Going into hermit mode…

The happiest I’ve ever been looking at a sink full of dirty dishes.

The irony of undertaking a major house renovation during the month you’re writing about “home” on your blog is that you wind up with very little opportunity to actually enjoy your home.

During the two weeks I was without a sink or stove or countertops or cabinets, I moved awkwardly through my over-stuffed dining room, digging through boxes to find simple things like can openers and spoons, looking up microwaveable meals (even slow cookers can pose a challenge when there is no good surface for cutting!) and carrying dishes up and down stairs.

There have been people in our house almost constantly…friends and family for our party, sure, but also a lot of strangers: electricians and plumbers and floor-ripper-uppers, all with questions and comments and most of whom created lots of noise and dust.

I’ve spent tons of time outside our house: at Lowe’s, shopping, deciding, returning, exchanging; at other people’s houses, avoiding the mess and the noise and the distraction and being fed a better meal than I could make myself with no functional kitchen.

It’s been fun and exciting and I’m feeling happy that we’ve been able to make these changes, lucky that it didn’t take longer (which I know it often does) and grateful that we have had great friends and family willing to host us and hang out with us…but I’m also tired, and very happy to welcome November with a quiet house, an almost-finished kitchen, and nowhere to go. It sounds so good, in fact, that I plan to go into a bit of a hunkering-down hermit mode. After a month of busy-ness and excitement, it just feels right to start winding down and focusing on family, tackling some meatier writing, and the quiet comforts of home.

Just like last year, this November my theme here at The Happiest Mom is “food”. Not just recipes and cooking techniques, but how food can comfort and bring us together. I’ll be writing more about the Kitchen Hour, plus sharing my thoughts on everything from cooking with kids to cooking around kids, to cooking things kids will eat, to surviving the dinner table with your kids even when they refuse to eat what you’ve cooked. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts: about food, how it affects your experience as a mother, and what kind of posts you’d like to see this month.

Speaking of slowing down and November, here are a couple links I wanted to share with you:

  • Are you ready for Candletime? If you’re feeling hermit-y like me with on this beginning-of-November day, check out this cool nightly ritual. (Thanks to Leah for letting me know about it!)
  • This month, many writers are focused on finishing an entire novel via NaNoWriMo. If you’re more in the non-fiction state of mind and want to work on the craft of writing inspiring and thought-provoking essays, blog posts and nonfiction articles – plus help make your work more publishable – you might want to jump in on this session of my Writing That Inspires online class which will run through November. Technically the class starts today, but we will be ramping up slowly over the coming week, so there’s still time to sign up – and I’ll honor the early-bird rate for my blog readers. Just shoot me an email (meaganfrancis at gmail dot com) and put “Writing Classes” in the subject line. Let me know you’re a blog reader to get the special rate!

I didn’t do a Mindful Monday post this week because of Halloween and also because frankly, I’m too mentally exhausted to think about much besides puttering: putting away Halloween decor, snuggling on the sofa, setting up the kitchen, getting to know my beautiful new stove. I guess that’s it, then: my Mindful Monday intention is “Putter”, and this week, that’s definitely enough.

How will you be spending your week? Is slowing up, quieting down, and getting hermit-y sounding good to you, too?

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