Sunday, July 17, 2011

TSS: It's Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

...or at least in theory it should be, right? A picture-perfect weekend on the lakes in upstate New York had me snapping a few photos yesterday, which somehow lead to a major blog redesign.  I like the simpler look, but may still do a little fine tuning. What do you think?

I did manage to relax this week with Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands. This wonderful collection of essays has me dreaming of the trip we hope to take next year. An added bonus was connecting with the author on twitter, and discovering some surprising common ground.

I also finished The Gap Year by Sarah Bird and will post my thoughts on August 8 for a TLC Book Tour. At the halfway point, I'm marveling at the truly amazing experience the audio version of Room by Emma Donoghue is providing. Interestingly, I doubt I'd enjoy the book in print... more about this in my review.

Paris in July has put me in the mood to read Emile Zola. He'll be featured in a Short Story Monday post tomorrow and I plan to start The Belly of Paris this afternoon. It's hard to believe July is half over.

In other news, Twin A recently received her dorm assignment, so Friday we took a road trip to investigate. We seem to have our best conversations while traveling, and the day in the car was truly a pleasure. The green, tranquil campus seemed idyllic, as did the nearby towns.

We also purchased a new (used) minivan yesterday. While it's hard to get excited about such a vehicle, we still desperately need one. For moving kids in and out of college dorms and summer housing in Manhattan, and hauling around our beloved greyhound, you just can't beat a van. I joke that I'm too old and too sophisticated for such a vehicle ( I'll share my minivan fashion analogy another day), so Twin B, commuting to college, will be the primary driver. Parting with van #3 and its 120,000 miles of memories will be bittersweet, but tomorrow we welcome van #4 to the fleet.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer Sunday!



11 comments:

  1. I love your re-design, but honestly I loved it the other way too. My favorite thing is to see the seasons change with the lake. Makes me think that I really need to change my header now and again.

    I read Room in print, so I'm curious on your take with the audio. There are definitely some things about print that wouldn't come through on audio.

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  2. Love the new design!
    Hauling space is an important consideration when choosing a vehicle--even when the kids are "grown" (Moving the CS back this year is going to be a two vehicle operation. Groan.)

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  3. I have five brothers and sisters, and in 1972 my parents bought one of the first minivans ever seen (used as a passenger car) in our hometown. It took all of us to college and back, we camped in it, and it moved some of us across country. My dad put window decals from each college and grad school in the back window (which he kept, when the van was finally junked after (15?) years, and hung in the garage). He loves to tell the story of another college parent who stopped him on the street and asked him incredulously if he really had that many kids in college. Something possessed him to say, no, there's only one, and he's still trying to graduate from somewhere. :)

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  4. I'm with Sandy - I like both the old and the new design :)

    I am unfamiliar with Paris was Ours and I must check it out upon my return.

    It was a bittersweet moment for me when I traded in my van for PT Cruiser about 6 years ago. Now I have a Toyota Rav4 --- I found that I hadn't quite outgrown the size of a large car after all.

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  5. I like this JoAnn, but liked the pink one and the change of seasons you had been doing as well. Sounds like you have been getting some good reading done.

    Happy Birthday...soon I think.

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  6. Minivans give me hives so I feel your pain. One day you will not have the need to haul other people's possessions around and you will go buy a very cool car appropriate for your stylish self. And then you will miss the people you hauled for and yearn for the ugly minivan. At least that is how I see it going for me. :)

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  7. I love the fresh look!! I'm always playing with mine and now you have inspired me!!! The mini-van thing makes me smile. Honestly, I always wanted one because even though I only have one child at home I seem to cart between 5-6 kids during football season, powerlifting, and drama club. I'm looking forward to your reviews to come!!

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  8. Sandy - Room is the first audio I've listened to with a child narrator...really adds another dimension, but think I'd get tired of it reading.

    DS - We were looking at 2 cars to bring Daughter #1 home from Manhattan, and again for bringing everyone to college... that pushed my husband over the edge. At least Zelda will love the new van ;-)

    Audrey - What a wonderful story!! I'm the oldest of 6 kids... my father finally bought a truck to transport all of us (and our stuff).

    Molly - There are so many advantages to a van... but style and image just aren't included;-)

    Diane - Yes, the big day is coming up on Friday... 39, again ;-)

    Frances - I was so excited to buy our first minivan back when the twins were toddlers, but by the time they were in high school, I was sick of them. Thankfully, I have a much 'cooler vehicle' that I drive every day now.... but we just can't seem to get away from owning a van!

    Staci - I've been driving so many kids around for so many years, but now that seems to be changing. Still need all the space though...

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  9. I like the new look and, like Sandy, love to watch the seasons change on the lake. Have a good week!

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  10. New look is very sleek. I like it.
    We only have one small baby, but so far I'm resisting the mini-van. I figure I can hold out for a few more years, at least!

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  11. Gavin - Even if winter does get a little long, the changing seasons are the best!

    Stacybuckeye -Hold out for as long as possible! I managed to avoid minivans until there were 3 kids and a dog... now there seems to be no going back ;-)

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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