Trying to find the thread.
It's autumn, and a (not so) young woman's thoughts turn to Keats.

We're drowning in the printed word and Legos over here.

And we're loving it!

Okay, so I feel like a soulless husk now that both my CRjrs are in school, but on the bright side, I now have more time to pursue freelance work, make a decade's worth of personal health appointments and catch up on home repairs, and also, let's face it, putter around the house.

This has had the effect of making the house even messier than usual. Here's what's on the kitchen table, because you never know what I'll feel like reading while I'm knocking back some breakfast and lunch: Henry Marsh's Admissions (about his life and career as a neurosurgeon and his reaction to retirement, the sequel to the awesome Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery) and a novel, The Curiosities, by Susan Gloss (whose earlier novel Vintage I enjoyed). In the bathroom I've got a teen book on Edward Snowden, because I love Edward Snowden and sometimes a nice teen book is about the right reading level for the bathroom, and also a Cobblestones teen magazine because I have this idea that I should try writing for kids' magazines.

On my table I have all the books I wrote about last week, and also Glennon Doyle Melton's Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, because I hate it when people call other people (particularly women and their daughters) "warriors" like it's a good thing. I blame Melton at least in part for that trend, but the more I read her book, the more it seems that she is actually advocating that we NOT act like warriors--at least not in the "hack people up and win the war" sense that the word "warrior" gives me. Ditto a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, which, again, leads me to believe that as people, we should really not want to be warriors: "When you plunder a countryside, let the spoil be divided amongst your men; when you capture new territory, cut it up into allotments for the benefit of the soldiery." See? Not nice. Not something we should aim at for our daughters OR sons.

On my end table there's a copy of Avalanche by Julia Leigh, which I am re-reading because it is stupendous, and another pile of kids' magazines including Ladybug and Spider, and a bunch of Geronimo Stilton chapter books because the CRjrs are addicted to Geronimo Stilton. On the TV table are several recipe books because I'm trying to cook more and better, including the title Prep-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches, which has yielded some easy and yummy meals, including a fantastic chicken and bean and kale soup. Out in the garage I've got a book called Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about it, by Richard V. Reeves*, because I like some light reading whilst I supervise the CRjrs playing in the driveway and yard.

And everywhere else--literally everywhere else--there are Legos. Loose Legos, Lego minifigures, half-built Lego structures and vehicles, and tops. Evidently making little spinning tops with Legos is all the rage in school this year. Or, as the youngest CRjr said when he left this morning, "Sorry our tops are all over your counter, Mom, that's a real mess." At least he noticed it. Thanks, Lego Warrior.

Anyway, it's glorious. The plan is to cover every available surface with Legos and printed matter so I can't actually see how dusty the surfaces are or how badly the carpet needs to be vacuumed. I think I can achieve it.

*Interestingly enough, I had the idea that the Brookings Institution, where Reeves is a senior fellow, was a conservative think tank, but this source actually rates it as a bit left of center. It's okay and all--I'm so right I'm left and left I'm right so it doesn't matter to me personally--but I'm also happy this site ranks the think tank and its authors as "very high" on the quality/fact-checking of its reporting.