And Mustard

That Uncomfortable Hugshake

Starting a blog post after a prolonged and unnecessary (it's not like I was doing anything wildly interesting that prevented me from reaching my keyboard) absence is always awkward for me. It's been over a week... do I mention the morning that Caroline projectile vomited all over the couch and Edward spent the rest of the day doing an excellent impersonation of Steve's reaction?

["And then Daddy said, 'Aaaaauuuuugggghhhhh!'"]

We had a weekend guest. Steve turned 44 and I threw a birthday dinner for him. Patrick seems exactly the same after two weeks of Augmentin (maybe even a little puffier around the eyes?) so I have a call into his doctor at the Mayo to get instructions before I refill the prescription.

Patrick's sinus infection epitomizes my parental worry that something will be wrong with my child and I won't know it. I mean, obviously I know it on some level or we wouldn't be treating him at all but it really chops my onion that I have to guess all the time. His nose never runs and he never sounds congested. He never runs a fever. His bloodwork looks normal. When a practioner pokes a scope up his nose they never see anything concerning. Most frustrating of all when I ask Patrick how he feels he says, "Fine" unless he is curled under a blanket with his fist pressed over his right eye in which case he says, "How do I look like I feel?" And I can't even descend upon him with maternal wrath for the sassmouth because clearly he's ill and he probably doesn't realize how annoyingly preteen he sounds.

Where was I?

Right, wringing my hands over the fact that the only time we are able to absolutely confirm that he is still swimming in infection is when he gets a CT scan and unless he wants to pursue the supervillian career we discussed as Day-Glo Boy I would like to try to limit his xposure-eay to all that adiation-ray. But if the antibiotics aren't working at all then we need to stop them and figure out what to do next but it is impossible to know if the antibiotics are working... see above.

I am biting my thumbs waiting for the doctor to call back. I am also biting my thumbs because I had my repeat chest x-ray this morning and even though I am fairly sure the lung nodule is gone and/or nothing to worry about I keep remembering my childhood in the asbestos mines of Brazil and by "childhood" I mean "high school/college/ several years post college" and by "asbestos mines" I mean "Camel Lights." Yes I was stupid and yes I regret it but there you go.

Change of subject and tone: books. Books books books. Books!

Patrick and I finished listening to the Keys of the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. I confess I was a little disappointed by the end. Without spoiling it for you I got all excited by the last book trying to figure out how he was possibly going to resolve the arc and... huh. I suspect he wasn't totally sure how he was going to resolve it either.

We are now on the latest book of the Angie Sage Septimus Heap series (Darke) and all I have to say is... swoon. I really really really love this series. I had been thinking of audiobooks mainly in light of the fact that they made commuting to school less boring but it recently occurred to me that listening to a story together is an experience unto itself. Patrick and I and the characters kinda hang out for the duration of the book and my reactions and his reactions get incorporated into how I feel about the book. It's a nice bond.

I have Eragon set to go next but I am hesitating. It is massive and that's just book one. Is the series good? Is it worth it? Will we like it? Anything else to recommend? I am contemplating the next whatever it is by the guy who did Percy Jackson but just between you and me I thought those books were dopey. Patrick liked them (which counts) but Greek mythology was My Thing in elementary school and I cannot help but feel it could be done so much better. Also, forgive me, he's not that great of a writer. Decent storyteller, yes, but meh on the prose. 

So book recommendations, please, for Patrick and me (yeah I know, AGAIN) and for you and the younger set I have something special. For the first (and probably last) time ever I am facilitating a book giveaway. And not just any book, but one which has been written, illustrated and self-published by one of my readers. It is a retelling of the princess and the frog and it is called The Golden Ball by Katelyn Sinclair.

To be honest I would probably give her a plug regardless because she leaves me helpful comments and I am supportive like that but it's nice that I can do it without violating my strict ethical code because the book is REALLY GOOD. I think you and/or the smallish person in your life will really enjoy it and you can check it out in its entirety here (this links to a movie-let of the book being read - quite fun) or you can see the book on Amazon here.

She is giving away ten copies (eleven, actually, as Edward and Caroline are getting one too - apparently I can be bought with the perfect execution of kickass iambic tetrameter) so if you would like one just leave a comment to that effect along with an actual email address that will reach you. I will do one of those random number generating things to select the ten and that's it. Oh, wait, no, it isn't. If you get a copy of the book I'd love it if you would come back to my blog at some unspecified time in the near future so that we can have a little online focus group for the author. Give her some constructive feedback. Deal? 

To sum: I'll come back and let you know what the Mayo says. Ditto whether I still have my lung thing. You will let me know what Patrick and I should listen to next and whether you would like to be included in a drawing for Katelyn Sinclair's book.

I think that's it. I promise to write more often, even though it's just fiddling life stuff. Life is in the details after all.

PS Oh! Witch and Wizard by James Patterson. Patrick is reading it and he LOVES it. I haven't read it personally so I am not absolutely certain it doesn't contain illicit drugs, foul language and naughty sex but as far as I know it is appropriate'ish for a nine year old.

PPS Holy cats, I didn't realize I had so many book ads up. Please check them out, too.