The Book Thief

My husband and I have always been avid readers. I'm not sure exactly how many books (hardcover and paperbacks) we've collected over the 25 years we've been married, because that would involve digging them out, dusting them off and actually counting them and, well, ain't nobody got time for that, but I'm pretty sure the number is in the hundreds.

And I have a confession to make. Ready? Okay! Here it is: I am a historical romance novel addict, from way back. 

My love affair...ahem...with historical romance novels...siiiiiiiigh...runs deep...heh, I said deep...and long...oh my gosh, fiiiiiine, I'll stop, right now...and I'm pretty sure I've read (and re-read) every Lisa Kleypas novel in the house, because my oldest daughter also happens to be a big fan of Ms. Kelypas (seriously, Lisa, you write good!) and the kid buys way more books than I do, which works out very well in my favor.

Aaaaaand, if you happen to be a newbie parent...WELCOME ABOARD!!!!...this is where you should be thinking to yourself...heyyyyyy...you know what?!?...I can't wait until my babies grow up, start making their own money and buy books that I happen to like to read, too...not a bad gig, you guys!

Until.

My in-laws have been married for 60-something years and have collected probably close to eleventy-trillion books, which they have started sending over to our house, because we only have a couple hundred and...HEY!!!...what's eleventy-trillion more, right?!?

Actually, they sent over a box or two to donate to our local library and, as I was going through the boxes, I realized many of them were really old (and musty) books. I love really old (and musty) books!

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I took a bunch of my favorites and organized them by the color of their spines...okay, it was my youngest's idea to color-coordinate the darn things and NO she did NOT get her OCD from me...anyway...I think these books add to the vintage-y feel of our house.

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I also found an inscription in one of the books gifted to my Father-in-Law from his sister on Christmas 1945 and, well, Aunt Jeanne passed away last spring and I'm not even sure my Father-in-Law even realizes we have this book, because he's still not over the fact that he and my Mother-in-Law were not well enough to travel up to Massachusetts for her memorial, so I'm keeping it.

14yo: Oh...my...gosh..would...you...guys...just...LOOK AT THIS!!!!

Our youngest also loves books.

Hope Books

Except her taste runs a little darker (and scarier) and it must have been all the Stephen King I read while pregnant with her.

14yo: This book says it belongs to the library!!!

[one beat, two beats]

14yo: Which means Grandpa never returned this book to the library!!!

[eyes go wide]

14yo: GRANDPA STOLE THIS BOOK FROM THE LIBRARY?!?

Me: Actually, Grandpa probably bought that particular one during a book sale at the library.

Grandpa: Nooooo, I stole it.

I'm a little scared of what we'll find out during next week's Sunday supper (or Sunday Suppuh, if you're from New England) yah!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

If Wonder Woman & Mr. Mom Had A Baby

GarthNHRN and I have been married for 25 years (and YES, it totally does sound like a lot of years to be married and IT IS a very long time to be married, to the same person!) and we've been parents for 22 years (wut?!?!) and I've been a full-time mom (while working part-time from home as a professional blogger, writer and content producer) ever since.

Until this past April: When I accepted a full-time position at my current job.

And then my husband lost his job, in October.

This is the first time I'm speaking of it in a public forum, because my husband is much more private about his thoughts and feelings, while I'm more of a better out than in type of over-sharer.

You guys have lived through some of the best and possibly THE WORST times in my life, most recently with my Father recovering from heart failure AND kidney failure.

 

Watching a new day unfold from my parents' kitchen window and hoping for a better day for Dad. His recovery has been a...

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Saturday, January 2, 2016

I can honestly say, without hesitation AND with complete confidence that GarthNHRN would also agree, these last 5 months have been absolutely dreadful AND have offered up some of the MOST stressful periods of our ENTIRE marriage, EVER.

On the OTHER hand!

We've experienced some of the BEST stop, drop, laugh your ass off, snort-worthy funniest moments...EVER!...as a family...and, oh YES...there is the food!

 

My husband made us lunch. And my first thought was...WOW!!!...he really needs to lower the bar, a little. And then I ate it in like four bites. Carry on, Garth(NHRN)!

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Monday, November 2, 2015

Now that I am working full-time and commuting into the city (a.k.a. New York City, if you're NOT from Jersey) my husband and I have gone through a sort of Freaky Friday role reversal kind of thing. For example, GarthNHRN does ALL the:

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Driving kids to school
  • Food Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Picking kids up from school

And then, he does a whole lot more:

  • Drives my Dad to (and from) dialysis every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Does the food shopping for my mom, while Dad is at dialysis 
  • Because dialysis takes about 3 - 4 hours
  • Each time
  • Has met with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and pretty much every "ist" there is to make sure that "my" parents are getting the best care possible
  • Without going bankrupt
  • That last bullet is ongoing

Aaaaaaand yet, the man still manages to make the rest of us feel pretty gosh-darned thankful he's around.

 

GarthNHRN (singing from the kitchen): Tiiiiiiny bubbles, in the wine...Me (singing along): Maaaaaakes me happy...GarthNHRN: All the time...I love it when my husband ad libs :)

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Long story short: If Wonder Woman and Mr. Mom had a baby, he or she wouldn't be even half as awesome as GarthNHRN, however, I imagine it would look a lot like this:

Have you seen Channing Tatum & Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" vs. Jenna Dewan-Tatum's "Pony" lip sync battle?!? It. Is. EPIC!

Aaaaaaand, before you get your boxers all in a bunch, honey (not YOU, I'm talking to GarthNHRN, but feel free to hang around, Queen Tatum Bey, honey) this post is meant to be a reminder...for the times when...you know...you are feeling most un-awesome...or whenever we're having a bad day...but not today.

Okay? Okay. Now YOU do me (TWSS!)

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Happy ThanksgivingChristmasNewYearsValentinesEaster!

I used to be a planner, also super-organized (and this is the part where my husband would insist otherwise and I would end any possibility of a long, drawn out debate, by insisting back "WAS SO!" Because I am a great debater, like that!), but those days seem so long ago.

Holidaze
I knew if I just held out long enough, mismatched plates and glasses would become a thing (are so!).

In our house, the holidays were my Olympics! I researched recipes, collected odds and ends for binge-crafting sessions with the kids and made lists for ALL things holi"daze". 

This year? I'm lucky if I remember to wear matching earrings, and leaving the house with shoes on, and I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself wondering if I had remembered to use shampoo after already having gotten out of the shower.

My mommybrain is all grown up and waiting for someone to strain my carrots, dammit.

Now with Dad in and out of hospitals and rehab centers, since the end of August, I can't seem to think past remembering to eat lunch. Our parents play a large part of our celebrations and, now that our kids are getting older, (us too!) I keep reminding myself that every day we spend together is a gift.

"What's gonna happen on Thanksgiving?"

Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been my son's favorite holiday and now that he's turning 17 (ugh, really?!?) and has the appetite of a 17yo (a.k.a. never NOT hungry) he's taken over the menu-planning :)

"I haven't even thought about it, so don't know what we're doing, Bud!"

Truth be told, I'm still trying to figure out where September went.

"Well, if Papa is still in the hospital, we'll just have to bring Thanksgiving to him, that's all!"

[one beat, two beats]

"I mean, it doesn't matter where we have it, or if we cop a squat in the corner and eat off of trays, as long as we are together, right?!?"

I'm still trying to clear the massive goober that has formed in my throat, so I have yet to get back to him on that one, but I think maybe he already knows the answer and it was more of a rhetorical question, because these kids are way smarter than me. 

"Wait, is that Christmas music you're playing?"

My oldest daughter, on the other hand...

"YUP! Don't judge!"

Gahdfuhbid, it's like she doesn't EVEN know me!!!!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Under Pressure

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Our youngest daughter is not a fan of hospitals. Not that anyone we know is all...yay, we're going to the hospital!!!!...or anything...but if she were to measure up with her three siblings, when it comes to being squeamish, Hope has succesfully unlocked the "Holy Crap, I'mma Throw Up!" achievement medal at the age of 8.

If it is associated in any way, shape or form to the medical profession, she will work herself into a full blown anxiety attack and then projectile vomit all over your nice, crisp, white medical lab coat -- you're welcome!

At fourteen, it bothers her to no end whenever someone suggests she is simply being dramatic and clearly that someone has never witnessed anyone projectile vomit...like a boss.

Long story short: I've been taking medication for hypertension and monitor my blood pressure, regularly. And Hope had a breakthrough while visiting my Dad at the rehab center, where she actually walked inside, passed all the medical equipment and headed straight into my Dad's room, without throwing up.

Hope: Can you take my blood pressure?

It's the little moments, when your child opens herself up and attempts to control her fears, that make me agree to do things without thinking on it, too much.

Me: Sure, pull up a seat!

I gently wrapped the blood pressure machine's cuff around her arm and reminded her that it would slowly inflate.

[turning machine on]

It began to inflate and my precious, beautiful and ever so brave daughter began to lose her shit.

Hope: It's not stopping...it's NOT stopping...MOM...IT'S NOT STOPPING...AHHHHHH...MAKE IT STOP...GAAAAAAAH!!!!!

10 seconds later, it stopped.

Hope: Huh, that wasn't soooo bad, how'd I do?

[leaning over the machine]

Me: All things considered, your blood pressure isn't too bad at all.

Hope: GRIN!

Me: You're heart rate, on the other hand, is 128.

Hope: Yeah, BUT I didn't throw up!

End scene.

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Ocu-LOL-inctus

Yesterday started out uneventfully enough -- I hopped onto the train (okay, so it was more like a slow side-step, being very weary of not falling in between the dreaded gap) settled into my seat (near the emergency exit, of course!) and then started playing around with my phone.

Crushing Your Head
What?!? I get bored, easily.

And then my left eye began to twitch and I started rubbing it...and rubbing it...and daaaaaaang, what is UP with the itching...so I rubbed it some more, blaming the stupid cat or the dumbass dog for dumping hair all over the house. 

I got into work and then the coughing started...cough-cough...hack...gag...cough-cough...OMG!!!...what is up with all this...cough-cough...hacking?!?!?! I've had this weird sort of nothing cough since spring, so I thought maybe it's allergies...rub...rub...rub...and the itchy eyes must be like fall allergies...OR...I'm just allergic to work.

What?!? YOU TOO!!! Ugh, one of us needs to win the lottery and end our agony, right?!?

So, by the end of the day, my left eye was beginning to hurt and now my right eye was getting all weepy, but I really needed to finish up a few projects before leaving for home, so I texted my husband:

Pink Eye Text

So, I got on the train and then the pain hit...not like, hmmmm, this sucker hurts...I'm talking about the full-metal-holy-crap-I'm-dying-ova-here...ME EYE!!!! And then I InstaFacebooked it:

YUCK!Seeeeee, totally gross, right?!?!?

So my husband, Garth (not his real name) picks me up at the train station and takes me to the doctors office. We were waiting for quite a while and I was getting restless, because ME EYE!!! So, as a way of distracting myself from the full-metal-holy-crap-I'm-dying-ova-here, I started telling my husband about the conversation I had with my co-workers, before leaving the office.

"I told them it was probably pink eye and then one of them asked me if I had heard about the licking eyeball fetish?!?"

[blank stare]

"I looked it up on the train home and found out it has a name, too: Oculolinctus."

[blink-blink-rub-rub-blink]

"Even though I was a little afraid about Googling licking eyeballs, because you never know what the Internet will spit out!"

[one beat, two beats]

Aaaaand, oh how he laughed...and laughed...

[the sound of crickets chirping]

Moral of the Story: I put the LOL into Oculolinctus!

[the sound of crickets gasping for air, and then falling down, dead before even hitting the floor]

Stupid pink eye, dumbass OcuLOLinctus.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Have You Thanked A Drawbridge, Lately?

I love going through my Instagram feed, especially while riding the train, first thing in the morning. You people take good pictures, while I play with apps and filters and pretend like I know what the heck I am doing. Photo apps are so much more forgiving, they make even the most...meh, it's a drawbridge...image worth an extra 3 seconds of non-scrolling. FullSizeRender

Today, I took this picture of one of my favorite little coves along the water (in between the Raritan River and the New York Bay) and a drawbridge...but, well, the poor drawbridge can't help its utilitarian feel. I mean, it's a drawbridge. A hard-working, under-appreciated and often times thought of as an inconvenience to commuters rushing to and from work type of drawbridge. And it deserves a little love, dammit.

IMG_1027Add a little charcoal filter and it becomes a much more interesting drawbridge, don't you think? Even the high-tension wires in the the back look almost cool and the shadowing of the water directly under the bridge, very deep!

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Hit it with a little pen and ink, and the drawbridge transforms into something so unlike a drawbridge, right? Still, I can't stop staring at it.

IMG_1029This one is called Fusain Painting, which means creating art with a charcoal in stick form, made from the wood of the spindle tree -- don't believe me? Google it, like I did :)

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Aaaaand, then my favorite filter: Van Gogh Style! I adore the coloring, now this drawbridge makes me feel all artsy-fartsy and stuff. Thank you SO MUCH and have a nice day, drawbridge! 

NaBloPoMo November 2015

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.