If March comes in like a lion, it is supposed to go out like a lamb. Despite our officially crossing into the second half of the month at some point today, this has yet to happen around here. There is still snow on the ground. There is ice on all standing water. Indeed, my 10-day forecast has that ominous snowflake for three days next week, past the vernal equinox.
So winter is stealing days of spring. And it’s stealing some other spring pleasures too. I finally did a full survey of my yard yesterday while tromping around with my daughter in the snow. We lost half a dozen big branches, full of buds, from my favorite magnolia tree. The Bradford pears took yet another hit. And we’ll have to do a lot of repair landscaping too. While I thought the front “fence” of skip laurels was just bent over from the heavy snow, in fact many of the bushes are snapped.
On the plus side, I did parent-teacher-kid conferences yesterday, and they went really well. Not so much the logistics. I had gotten up early on day one of availability in order to sign up for three conferences back-to-back. I sent my husband the dates — this was a month ago– and he marked his calendar. But he marked his calendar for the wrong date. So he was pointlessly free on Wednesday afternoon and out of town on Thursday, though he did Face Time in for two of the conferences. But aside from the logistics, the kids were all proud of their work, and their teachers were enthusiastic about them. My 10-year-old had created a whole PowerPoint presentation about his favorite topics, and what he needed to work on (punctuation and organization). He had notecards, but he went off-script, just glancing at the cards occasionally. He even added the pro-speaker element of moving from the front of the room to show something elsewhere in the classroom, thus forcing the audience to pay attention. The 8-year-old’s teacher said he was a “role model” in the classroom, which was somewhat surprising from the perspective that I am often arguing with him to brush his teeth at home, but nice to hear nonetheless.
I was interviewed, a few weeks ago, for a WSJ article on “Getting Ready Faster: Secrets from Stylish Women.” (Link behind paywall.) While I was not an example of a stylish woman, I could play the role of expert on mornings. In that role, I noted that getting everything ready the night before is over-rated. Then you’re stealing sleep or leisure time, both of which can make you crankier. Better to ask what you can not do instead. The piece should appear in print in the Saturday Off-Duty section.
It also references me as the author of the forthcoming Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. I now have a pre-order page up on this website. The whole website is getting redone and the new version should be up in the next week or two (I hope!) If you’re thinking of buying the book (and I hope you are!) please consider putting in an order prior to May 29. Pre-orders show booksellers that there is a market for the book, and encourages them to stock more copies and promote the title. Pre-orders also count toward first week sales, which tend to determine any bestseller list placements. Thanks!
Now onward to the weekend. We have Little League evaluations, a date night, and I’m going to a Bach concert. And getting the remaining stuff out of my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I ordered the two-burner portable stove for the basement bar kitchen. I’m telling myself the inconvenience will only be for a month and it will all be worth it in the end when I finally have a kitchen and master bathroom that reflect me. The former owners of this house had very specific tastes. For example, please see these bird-figurine drawer pulls in the photo illustrating this post. While I guess the birds could make life feel more like spring, and I know they are probably high-end and custom-made, I think it’s time to try something different. We bought this house 7 years ago, so probably time to do our own decorating.