Friday, July 20, 2018

Five For Friday: Dumplings, Bathroom Tile, STUMPKIN, SWEETY, And Other Stuff

What five things make me happy today?
(I could definitely go with five that don't make me happy but couldn't we all at this point?)

1. The soup dumplings at One Dragon in Houston's China Town. Yummy little water balloons of deliciousness. A mom and pop place for sure - I think there are like 8 tables and you wait outside if they're all filled which they often are.

2. The beautiful succulent plant in a cute little pot that I got at Trader Joe's. It prefers minor water and not much sunlight - perfect for a neglectful gardener like me.

3. The almost done bathroom remodeling that has filled this house with dust. I didn't used to be a person who got all gooey over new counter tops and shower heads and tile but I think I'm gonna throw a cocktail party in this room. Force our friends to get as excited as I am. Because this bathroom has been the original bathroom from whenever the house was built. And it was time.

4.  Two picture books that I've seen in F&G form that I am so excited about: Lucy Ruth Cummins' STUMPKIN, coming this fall, about a pumpkin who wants to be a jack o lantern except he lacks a sturdy stem, and next spring's SWEETY by Andrea Zuill, about a naked mole rat who just wants to be herself. (she wears fabulously homely outfits and has braces, complete with headgear and I am in love with her.)

5. The tiny ice cream cones (also from Trader Joe's). First because they are tasty. Second because the box lists not only the calories of one or three but the entire box, which while not my thing is certainly pleasantly aspirational for those just in case moments.

Til next time.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Five For Friday (Including some random thoughts on Captain Ahab)

Well, my goal to post more each month got blown out of the water in June now, didn't it? That's what three road trips and a bunch of work and trying to finish a manuscript and remodel the bathroom and slog through 95 degree plus days all month long will do to a girl.

So back at it and here you go with a quick Friday Five of things that are making me happy even if the world seems a giant trash fire most days.

1. Had a great time last month at ABA Children's Institute! Learned a bunch. Caught up with some of my favorite publishing folks. Met some new fabulous folk. Got to speak on a panel. Ate a bunch of yummy New Orleans food, much of it provided by publisher dinners. (As a mid-list author I am not always on the publisher 'family dinner' invite list. As the children's buyer at an indie, I am sitting at the table while the waiter asks me filet or fish and I am beyond thankful to get to rub elbows and drink a bit o' wine.) Bonded with the Brazos gang as we drove through a torrential downpour most of the way from Houston to NOLA.

2. The bathroom remodel folks were able to put up the new recessed lighting I have wanted for like 10 years. Nothing else in there is done, but the lighting is kick ass!

3. The homemade hot chocolate and mini churros at Xochi in Houston. Do I even have to elaborate?

4. The new season of YOUNGER. If you are not watching, you need to be watching.

5. The sweet earnestness of THE BOLD TYPE.

Also, I am slogging through Moby Dick, a chapter or two a night. It's our store summer book club read and although I am not in charge and don't have to read, I thought I would attempt. It is different than I remembered when I didn't finish it the first time. It is still long-winded to the extreme. I am still skimming long passages and am none the worse for doing so. But Ishmael and Queegqueg are quite the buddies and some of it is really funny (although possibly not intentionally so) and so onward I go.  No clue when I'll finally meet Ahab. At this pace I'd imagine he doesn't appear until around page 150, but I could be wrong about that. I'll let you know.

Til next time.