Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Books are the new coffee.

Books are the new coffee.
February 28, 2008 Mary Jo

We were completely out of coffee today. Completely. Not even the back-up espresso was there. In fact, today is the second day in a row without my liquid ambition. Andrew and I have developed an unabashed dependence over the years. When I was mulling it over in my very sluggish head, I found I could count on one hand the days without coffee in, say, the past 5 years. Probably longer. Which would explain my lethargy yesterday, my pounding headache, and my complete unwillingness to do much of anything productive, like go get some more coffee. Kind of a vicious circle, right?

So I was taking a nap of my own while Isadora was also napping, and heard a THUD on the front porch. We have a steel roof, so it’s not uncommon for big heaps of snow to slide off and land with a similar sound. But a soft, persistent word popped into my pretty-much-sleeping subconscious. books. books. booooooooks.

And sure enough. There, on the porch, was a box of books I’d recently ordered. As I tore open the box with the closest box-opening tool on hand (a pencil, which broke) I had an instant flashback to those shining days in grade school when our book orders would come in. You may remember the Scholastic book catalogs that would be sent home every week or in a sort of guerrilla sales tactic to prey upon their captive audience. Well, my Mom sure didn’t fall for that – we can get all the books we want at the library. (she was always the savvy consumer) So each week went by sadly watching all the other sorry suckers open up their boxes and pull out the stacks of books they got swindled into buying. Except that one time. That one time, I too was among them, and gleefully collected my 1 book: 50 Simple Things Kids Can do to Save the Earth. Guess I had it in me back then too.

Back to now, though. The first book is by of my favorite bloggers, maybe even a mentor of sorts: Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. Her blog is called “angry chicken“. I read it compulsively. I already know how to sew, thanks to my wonderful Grandma, but I had heard so much about the book and thought I could still pick up some great tips. Just wait till you see what I make….

The other books are mostly an answer to my “what do we do all day together?” questions. I’m only recently a full-time stay at home mom. And I’ve still got a bit of the deer-in-the-headlights syndrome going on. Just what should we be doing?? We’re watching WAAAAY too much Elmo. And Pete’s Dragon. And how do I get anything done?? So I turned where I always do when faced with uncharted territory: books. Found some great recommendations on Waldorf-type learning and Un-schooling and other “alternative” types of teaching/learning philosophies from SouleMama, another blogger I read compulsively.  I’m interested in learning just what un-schooling is.  Sounds right up my alley.

And then there’s a beautiful picture book called Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairytale.  Mother Earth and sewing all in one book?  How could I resist?  We try to remember to thank Mother Earth for the delicious food at each meal, so this seemed like a good way to illustrate who this Mother Earth woman was.

Somehow, in all this excitement from opening my books, I completely forgot about the coffee.

And then I quickly packed up Isadora and headed into town for a shopping-cart full, with a vow to never, ever run out again.

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