Tag Archives: alvie bean

Eleanor Morgan and the Case of the Noisy Chimney Koalas

I slept poorly last night. I was restless and plagued with weird dreams. We currently have a family of birds who’ve built a nest in our chimney and the babies are newly hatched and loud AF.

Because the bird noise is near constant right now, it’s invaded my subconscious, and last night I dreamed opened up the fireplace and found: two dozen hummingbirds, some rabbits, a hawk of some kind, baby owls, opossums, raccoons, stray cats, and a koala.

Hopefully, I’ll get more sleep tonight and the baby birds can adequately learn to fly in our chimney so they can get the hell out and we can make a chimney hat or whatever to keep future critters out.


I spent a lot of time with The Ruby Blade over the weekend. Saturday was definitely my most productive day, with Friday coming in second. Yesterday was not so great. I finally managed to get things moving in late afternoon when my friend RJ started bribing me. Every 500 words, I got another page from her current WIP. It was very effective!

I’m hoping that one more week of focused, intense work, and I’ll be able to wrap this draft up and send it to my beta readers only a week late.

This weekend’s writing supervisor is checking my work.



I feel like I haven’t had much time with my kiddo lately. He’s been at his dad’s since last Wednesday (the 26th), and the previous weekend, he was at the coast with his grandma. The Beer Guy and I got out there for one night, but it feels like it’s been too long since I’ve gotten an adequate amount of Alvie Bean snuggles. I can’t wait to pick him up tonight and I’m even more excited to spend the weekend with him. (Please remind me of this at 3:30 pm on Saturday when I’m updating my Etsy listing because he never. stops. talking.)


I actually had a wonderfully productive weekend, even beyond the writing. I did menu-planning and got groceries for the week (although I know we’ll have to restock the bananas midweek), went to pick up my new glasses, got my car washed and the oil changed, got a massage, and brought some of my books to a local book store where they are currently on sale. In addition, I’ll be doing a book reading and signing there on August 10 at 7 pm. If you come, you can ask me anything, buy paperbacks of my books, and get them signed. I’ll also try to convince you to come have a beer with me after (my treat).

Three Things Thursday: Late Breaking edition

  1. Today is my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, mother. I hope you’re having  lovely day.
  2. Yesterday, I got to spend the morning at home due to an under-the-weather kiddo. He’s back in school today and feeling much better, and his sick yesterday meant he slept really, really late and I got a decent amount of writing done on The Ruby Blade. I’m going to need each and every one of you to buy a few hundred copies of my book (each) so that I can make a living from writing. Please?
  3. I am looking forward to reaching a point in my life where I’m not constantly exhausted and can get myself out of bed when my alarm goes off. My plan for tomorrow? 5:45 wakeup call and up & out the door for a run by 6ish. I have my intervals loaded on my phone and will lay out my exercising clothes when I get home. The main challenge is going to be forcing myself to be in bed and asleep by 11.

Happy almost Friday! Woo!

Time to retire this old thing…

Book Review: Chapter Book with the Bean

Over the weekend, Alvie Bean declared that he was a big boy and wanted to have his fancy bed flipped over so he could sleep on the top bunk. One of the things we did after flipping the bed is move all the books from the shelf above his bed and fill the shelf with his books. (For the time being, he doesn’t need access to the manga and beer books that had previously filled those shelves.)

I swear the book next to “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex” is “The Art of the Cocktail.”

After we filled the shelves with Bean’s books – both the ones we read regularly and the ones that have been waiting for him to be old enough/responsible enough, etc. – he started asking questions about some of the books he’d not seen before.

And that’s how, when Sunday night bedtime story came around, we ended up reading “The Little House in the Big Woods.”

I have such fond memories of this series. I devoured it in 2nd & 3rd grade. I was pretty sure that our reading of this book (“It’s a chapter book, Mothah.” [He has taken to calling me “Mother” with a wildly affected accent…]) would be over almost before I got anywhere. There’s a lot of words and not very many pictures.

(I was also a little worried about what I was going to have to censor while reading. I don’t mind reading about butchering and killing bears and using a pig’s bladder as a balloon, but there are some distinctly racist things in The Little House on the Prairie, and I don’t remember if there’s anything like that in LHitBW.)

We read half of Chapter 1 Sunday evening – until it was past Mr. Bean’s bedtime. We finished the chapter last night – because that’s what he decided on again. We’ll see what happens (after tonight, he’s at his dad’s for six nights, so he might forget by then), but he’s into it.

We do a lot of segues to explain hunting, and butchering, and what a bear trap is and why people don’t really use them anymore, and he’s enjoying the story and asking really good questions.


We talked about headcheese and pate and how sausage was made, and he’s expressed a desire to have some headcheese at the next available opportunity. I was thrilled (he’s already a connoisseur of paté and fancy cheeses…), especially since I just had headcheese for the first time a couple weeks ago! (His diet is still more limited than I’d like, but so much better than it was a year ago. He’ll eat pasta now, and mashed potatoes, and will usually try just about any vegetable, declare he loves it, and then not eat any more of it.)

Ever since he was born, I’ve looked forward to the day that I could start sharing my favorite books with him. For as much as I don’t want him to grow up too quickly, I also can’t wait for him to experience The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. And to be there when he reads A Wrinkle in Time or The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Prydain or…

I’m not sure yet if this book will stand up to the test of time (other than the forthcoming racist bits that I’ve not yet decided how to handle), but I do know that this is an amazing experience.

Every parent thinks their kid is something special. And of course, all children are something special. It’s weird, though, looking at someone that I created (with an assist, obviously) and listening to his questions. His vocabulary astounds me sometimes, and he always wants to learn more, more, more. His “whys” are no longer purposeless (I’m sure that toddler whys have purpose…I’m equally sure that purpose is to annoy the fuck out of their parents), but instead looking for actual answers.

If I succeed at one thing while parenting, I hope that one thing is instilling my love of reading in Alvie Bean.


The daystar! It burns ussssssss!

Portland is well-known for being gray and rainy. It’s part of its charm. I’ve lived here for almost eleven years. It is not a surprise that the winter months are overcast and moist.

This year, though…this year was miserable. (Even the Weather Channel agreed. By 2/1, Portland was named the most winter-fatigued city.) Between the ridiculous snow and ice in December and January and the fact that it’s rained a lot (A LOT), most people I know who live here were getting ready for the shitty weather to be over.

(Aside…the caption in this photo. If Astoria had record-breaking prrcipitation, does that mean it was raining cats and dogs? hahaha ha ha. I slay me.) 

We’ve had a couple teaser days here & there. Days when the sun would shine and the temperatures would sneak into the 70s. Days when we could have “drinks on the patio” with the Bean.


After a day or two, though, the sky would again become overcast and the rain would fall. So when the forecast promised well over a week of sunny skies and warm weather, I was cautiously optimistic.

The temperatures got a little warmer each day last week and the sun peeked out for longer and longer. By the time the beer guy picked Bean up from school on Friday, we were definitely warm enough for drinks on the patio again.

Saturday was beautiful. Mid-70s. Sunny. Perfect weather for practicing bike riding skills on one’s brand-new bike.

He did great until he found out I was no longer holding on to the bike.

(We also spent a significant portion of time indoors in the morning, flipping Alvie’s bed from a regular bed to his big boy bed.)

Learning about bats while wearing his batman pajamas

Yesterday was the annual neighborhood street fair. Food vendors, live music, booths with many goods and services for sale. It was such a nice day! We ate in the sunshine and wandered the booths. BUT! It was crowded! Everyone in general vicinity was there taking advantage of the nice weather.

We ate some lunch, grabbed some iced coffee, got L’s face painted, and then headed out.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in our much less crowded back yard, sipping rosé (me), Radler (the beer guy), and water (Bean).

Today’s supposed to be in the 90s, and I’m almost glad that I’ll spend most of it in my windowless basement office, protected from the burning harshness of the daystar.

Almost. (I’d rather spend every nice day in the shady backyard, reading and sipping rosé, but alas! I’ve eaten too much avocado toast and purchased too many iPhones, and I am not independently wealthy.)

Three Things Thursday: Alvie Bean

Wednesday mornings are always a little sad. I drop my Bean off at preschool knowing I won’t see him for a bit. It’s usually either two days or five days, depending on where he’ll be for the weekend. When I have to drop him off on Wednesdays when he’s spending not only Wednesday & Thursday with his dad, but Friday-Sunday, too, I always feel a little teary.

This week, I get him back Sunday morning, because Mother’s Day! This week’s three things are my three favorite pics of him and I together.

  1. Summer 2015 – such good looking people.



Most of my pictures of Bean and I are selfies. I have almost zero pics of the show of us together that (a) I didn’t take and (b) I like. (I think I might have more pics of Bean & the Beer Guy than Bean & me.)

Fortunately, kid loooooves to take selfies.

  1. First plane ride as a “big kid” in August 2016. He was a tiny bit excited.

My kiddo is wacky and weird and brilliant and capricious. He is so very affectionate. Quick to give compliments and just clever enough to know when an “I love you so much mommy,” might get him out of trouble. He’s also an anxious boundary pusher who talks constantly (like oh my god stop talking for thirty seconds), interrupts too often, and has a short fuse on his temper, and despite his claims to the contrary, is only pretending to eat those vegetables he asks for on the regular.

He’s amazing. If I had to be a mom (and apparently I did), I couldn’t ask for a better kid. (Most of the time. There are days when I’m positive a kid who listens, does whats asked with a smile and sparkling personality, and already knows how to read is out there…)

“Oh, mommy. You didn’t smile. Take a picture and make the same face I’m making.”

Bonus pic: 3.5

Thanks for making me not just a mother, but your mommy.