September was a great month! Weather was lovely end-of-summerish, girls started school, felt normal physically, shared some big news and took a VACA!! Here are the deets….
1) The big news. Most of you reading this also follow me on social media, so you would have already seen my post where I announced my involvement with Flyleaf, a new bookstore, bar and cafe opening sometime next year. Don’t ask me when next year, or I may a) throw my drink at you b) cry c) fall to the floor. The store is literally under construction and we are relying on the supply gods not to fail us.
It’s been a childhood dream of mine to work in a bookstore or a cafe (a quaint one in London or some off the beaten path European city, of course, but this will do), and the fact that it’s both (plus champagne and tequila!?! YES, PLEASE) is icing on top.
2) Confession. I actually received this note months and months ago (vs when I posted it this month on social media), as I started freelancing for the owner at the beginning of the year. Wasn’t sure what the job was going to turn into, if anything, but it now feels like a sure thing, so I felt confident in sharing. ANYway, crazy excited.
3) I’ve been taking an extensive bookselling/inventory class through a regional organization and let me tell you that I had no idea how complex the industry is. Or archaic. The point of sale systems (not to mention some of the people? Sorry!) make me feel like I’m in 1990 (or 1980, depending).
A recent class was all about cost of goods and I spent forever doing the homework, only to realize I did it wrong, then spent forever doing it again. I mean what in the world!?!? Managing a bookstore doesn’t mean reading books all day and looking up every once in a while to talk to eccentric customers?
4) Our sweet (aka rascally and sometimes good) puppy got neutered this month. It was quite an ordeal. Due to complications, he had to get his surgery site drained a couple times and the cone stayed on for a whole 14 days. When the cone finally came off, the vet said to “keep his activity low” for another two weeks because his day job is a comedian. WAH!!! That was rough.
5) Our sweet (aka sometimes whiny, but mostly sweet) youngest daughter turned 10 this month! Instead of a cake this year, she asked for macarons, which was super easy because Trader Joes has frozen ones that are reeeeeally good. She also asked for spaghetti with bolognese, which I happily made.
6) I could have spent the whole post on the bookstore, just like I could have spent the whole post on my fab weekend trip to Benicia, California. Firstly, I’m sorry to everyone I wasn’t able to see. I miss SO many wonderful friends in the Bay Area and I didn’t even make it into San Francisco except for coffee on the way to the airport.
My girlfriend Erin lives in the cutest house overlooking the bay. It truly felt like a vacation. She has a fig and quince tree (I enjoyed so many figs with breakfast). The quince we didn’t attempt to tackle. Apparently, you have to cook it and all that nonsense.
7) I’d never been to Benicia before, surprisingly (or not so surprisingly, since it’s easy to stay in the San Francisco/Marin bubble when you live there). It is a sleepy town with friendly people and a just big enough downtown with cute shops and restaurants. We did a lot of walking. And sitting on the porch watching the water and the occasional person/dog walking or biking along the path that runs along the front of her house.
8) Okay, and lots of TV-watching, too. Erin introduced me to the show Physical, which I couldn’t resist because a) one of my favorite actresses, Rose Byrne, stars in it b) it’s based in the 80s c) it centers around dance aerobics/jazzercise. Amazing. Parts of it are hard to watch (i.e. eating disorder), but I became hooked after the first few minutes, so of course we had to watch ALL 10 episodes before I left because I don’t have Apple TV at home.
*To clarify, I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I’ve struggled with self esteem and body image but only in my head, which is not even close to the degree of an eating disorder. I just don’t like watching stuff like that – self deprecation to that level, similar to I don’t like watching or reading about any kind of abuse or gore, etc.
I joked that I’d have to come back when Season 2 comes out, except that I wasn’t joking.
9) On the way from the airport to Benicia, Erin was kind enough to take a detour (thank youuuuuu!!) to Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland, so I could check out my high school classmate’s new spot, Noodle Belly. He sadly wasn’t in yet, but we did pick up a couple dishes for lunch and they were DELICIOUS.
Why I didn’t take a pic of the noodles, I don’t know! But here is one stolen from their Facebook! I got the pork belly, which I have been craving. Grosse Pointe isn’t exactly the mecca for Asian food, so this was a big treat for me!
10) I did get to see a handful of dear friends, including my band besties, Susan and Jennifer. I saw Susan again at her place in Emeryville the next day and visited with her goats and chickens as well. We walked down the street to get tacos, which I had also been craving, in addition to Asian food. Grosse Pointe is not exactly the mecca for Mexican cuisine, either.
11) One afternoon we drove across to Port Costa, another Bay Area hidden gem I had never been to! Nothing was open, which we weren’t expecting, but because of Covid, a lot of spots there altered their hours of operation. Still, it was really cute and I had fun checking it out.
12) My first month of not working (yes, I’m working for Flyleaf, but it’s in bits and pieces, and all from home) was pretty fantastic. Although I’m not sure how I got it all done before. The cooking, cleaning, shopping, general kid and puppy mayhem. How do working moms (haha, what a term. All moms are working!) do it at all!? Auto-pilot, I guess.
I’m not back to my pre-surgery health, but I’m getting more and more confident that I’ll get there soon (only to have surgery again in December, but we won’t think about that right now). My heart is still full with the kind of good feelings that only true friendship can give you. The puppy is getting better on walks (BETTER, not good, but I’ll take that win).
Like I said, September was a great month. So happy to be able to say that. As I sit here in October, I’m trying not to dread Fall. Although lovely in many regards, it is a reminder that winter (a long, long, Michigan winter) is once again close behind.
As always, thanks for stopping by and Happy October!