Tuesday Things

I get up every morning late, still groggy, and make myself the promise that I will go to bed at a reasonable hour. Coffee, porch sitting, some time in the garden, walks, maybe some yoga, hollering for kids to please get off screens and get outside already, bed making, knitting, running cold hose water over my feet, reading, Catan or Skip-Bo or rummy or Sequence, music, nagging at children to pick up their rooms, put away their laundry, and not leave dishes all over the house, wondering if we’re going to homeschool next year and promising myself I’ll look into it tomorrow, laundry (always laundry) and feeding hungry children (always hungry), dishes, making phone calls, writing letters, spending too much time on my own screen, browsing real estate listings and wondering about different lives in different places, pleading with my kids (and myself) just get outside and DO SOMETHING, picking up, putting away, watching a show or listening to a podcast. Whatever promise I made myself in the morning, I do not go to bed at reasonable hour.

I cry. Some days I set a timer and sob and sob and sob and sob until it dings. And then I dry my eyes and get back to it. The tears remind me I am still soft. I am still paying attention. The timer reminds me I don’t have time to wallow – there is too much that needs to be done.

I hold to my middle name as if it is both prophecy and gift. I used to tease my mother that she probably wished she could change it – such a misnomer for the serious, stubborn thing I was (still am). Now, I see that joy is also a serious, stubborn thing. I find it in the fiercely funny retort of my daughter, or the way my son curls himself into the side of me when he needs comfort, confident it can be found there. It’s in creating or crafting or sitting on the porch with a friend. It’s in the actions after the timer dings.

Reading: I have so many books on the TBR pile but the one I’m currently reading (The Guest Book by Sarah Blake) has been slow going for me. It’s good enough that I’m invested in seeing how it ends, but I’m really struggling with one character. I just don’t like her. I think that’s intentional, but I wanted to like her. (For all my talk about not liking one dimensional characters, I don’t like the complexity of this one. At all.)

Watching: I’ve been watching Lucifer on Netflix. I mostly like it? I don’t know. I wouldn’t recommend it. I just don’t feel like watching anything substantive and it’s quippy. Artemis Fowl (Disney+) and Lenox Hill (Netflix) have been recommended. My whole family is waiting for July 3 for the cast recording of Hamilton on Disney+ (I’m so grateful for my friend who gave it to me as a lovely birthday present.)

Knitting: I finished a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks and am almost finished with the first of a pair of Evergreen Socks. Speaking of knitting, I’m not quite sure what to make of Ravelry’s new look? I do like the brightness of it, but it’s going to take me a bit to get used to, I think. Once the socks are done, I’m going to start on this scarf, or these socks, or this sheep. Decisions, decisions. I need to make a list of projects for Christmas and get to work.

Making: My plan is to try English muffins this week. I have all the ingredients and I want to do it, so I think I just need to be brave. LOTS of house projects – the first being a master list of house projects. AND Jesse and I came up with a new handy dandy idea about how our family is going to handle house cleaning/chore stuff so I have things to do with that as well. (I love making a new system.)

Please, please, please tell me what is new with you and what you are -ing? I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and WEARING YOUR MASKS.

Friday Finds

Hi. I meant to sit down on Tuesday because I have pictures and things to share. I didn’t. I meant to sit down yesterday and type up a big long list of links to share for today. I didn’t. (I was also supposed to have a much needed social distanced patio date with a friend who I miss SO SO SO much that didn’t happen either because #life.)

  1. This instagram post says everything I want to say when someone brags about being “not political”.
  2. Best way to wash and dry salad greens.
  3. The Bookcase Flex. (Very important background for zoom meetings.)
  4. The Confederacy was an antidemocratic centralized state.
  5. A statue I can get behind.
  6. The Athenian Plague serves as a warning.
  7. What risks do you feel comfortable taking?
  8. I did this today. I think I’ll do it again tomorrow.
  9. Best ever pandemic bra.
  10. The bread is over.
  11. Netflix this week. (Umm, Unsolved Mysteries is definitely happening. LOVED that show when I was younger.)
  12. This. is. my. favorite. thing. written. ever.
  13. Introverts are valuable employees.
  14. This.
  15. I’m still learning.
  16. I learn a lot from Rachel Cargle too.
  17. This bread is so, so, so good. I make it with my discard every week.
  18. But next week I want to try these.

Which makes me think I need to tell you a secret about my unhealthy relationship with my starter. It’s very happy. I leave it in the fridge for a week (sometimes two) and it always behaves reliably. I trust it implicitly. The problem is me. I just don’t LOVE baking. It’s fiddly. It’s hot. I keep wanting to break up, but I can’t bring myself to do so because all it has done is exactly what it is supposed to have done – help me bake tasty breads. Ridiculous.

On that note, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs.

Tuesday Things

I am here – posting cozy, happy pictures – because it’s Tuesday and that’s what I like to do. I am not blind to what is going on in the world, but my discussion of it here will be summed up in one sentence. White people need to listen to and learn from black people.

Watching: All of Mrs. American on Hulu. (This definitely had a point of view and was a bit heavy handed at times, but I also really enjoyed it.) Finished all of the second season of Dead to Me (I love it) and started watching Riverdale on Netflix. I’m in the second season and like it, but it gets dark and weird at times. Watched a first couple of episodes of Space Force on Netflix but am feeling decidedly eh about it.

Reading: Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl (★★★☆☆) – I wasn’t the right audience for this one but the writing was beautiful. Unscripted by Nicole Kronzer (★★★★☆) – I bought this for Violet and after she finished she told me I had to read it. I’m glad I did. Perfect 8th grader romance. The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (★★★★☆) – I actually read Unscripted in the middle of this because it was slow moving and very character driven, but as someone who grew up “in faith”, I appreciated it. The Guest List by Lucy Foley (★★☆☆☆) – plot holes and predictable but it was the dark mystery beach read I expected it to be.

Knitting: Still working on socks. Almost done with Violet’s pair.

Listening: to records!! I’ve been begging and pleading for a record player for years and Jesse and my sister got me one for my birthday. Lots of Carole King, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Tom Petty, John Prine. Abram likes his dad’s old Led Zeppelin. I can’t wait to get a table and get it all set up. (This also completes my hipster bingo – house plants in macrame hangers, library card catalog, grandma crafts, a grown-up mobile, vinyl).

Making: Visits to the garden. I love watching everything come up. We have tomatoes (those first little babies make my heart so happy), melon, peas, beans, radish, lettuce, broccoli, onions, sweet peppers, pumpkin, zucchini, and a second attempt at carrots (the first attempt was most likely lost to overzealous weeding). When the radish are done and things are a bit cooler we’ll put in spinach. Sourdough. Myrtle is a happy and bubbly starter but my first loaf was not a success. Underproofed, underbaked. I’m going to try again later this week when it’s a smidge cooler. Tie-dye t-shirts. I didn’t take pictures because I was too busy playing. I’ve never done it before but Violet and Abram have done it lots at camps and birthday parties. Having a craft where they were the ones helping me figure it out was fun.

I hope this finds you well and safe and healthy. I’d love to hear about what is going on in your world.

42.

I have no idea what the next year is going to hold, but I work better from a list. Some of these things may not be possible, but they’re written down just in case.

  1. Stay cigarette free.
  2. Write a short story.
  3. Make a knit list. (Finish the list.)
  4. Become a morning person.
  5. Complete a 100 day project.
  6. Update the home master list.
  7. Purge the back basement.
  8. Take a trip to Maine with Violet.
  9. Go hiking.
  10. Start and finish the Chicago embroidery project.
  11. Make a picture book for each of the kids.
  12. Use an alarm clock instead of my phone.
  13. Practice unapologetic self-confidence.
  14. Camp. (Even if it’s just in the backyard.)
  15. Have a treading water contest with Violet.
  16. Deep clean/purge bathroom cabinets.
  17. Hang pictures in the upstairs hallway.
  18. Learn to make a really good homemade spaghetti sauce.
  19. Take a class.
  20. Floss.
  21. Go social media free for at least one month.
  22. Get a mole screen.
  23. Get a mammogram.
  24. Mail one handwritten letter a month.
  25. Have a get together at my house with friends.
  26. Tend the garden.
  27. Take a long weekend in the U.P.
  28. Go skiing.
  29. Find a sunscreen that I will actually wear on my face. Wear it.
  30. Reach my goal for the 2020 goodreads reading challenge.
  31. Annual fall trip to Michigan.
  32. Have family pictures taken.
  33. Unsubscribe from unwanted email lists.
  34. Continue writing down weekly intentions list.
  35. Make a list of fun “social distancing” activities for the family. Do them.
  36. Learn to give myself a manicure.
  37. Wear out a pair of running shoes.
  38. Practice using procreate.
  39. Make a batch of homemade vapor rub.
  40. Do some blog housekeeping.
  41. Embrace mistakes.
  42. Develop a new healthy habit.