Tuesday Things

February has been a month of growth. This is what I say when I don’t want to talk about how astronomically difficult this month has been personally – when I decide that Texas and coronavirus and crazy people (even if you just pick one of those) is enough. To my therapist, who I see through a screen, I say “can I just sit here and cry for awhile? It’s all just too much.” To myself I say, “I can’t get through this. I can’t. And yet, there is nothing left but to do it.” I’ve gone so far as to write “nothing left but to do it” on my mirror. The list of what sits atop (and is buckling) my plate isn’t necessary. We all have our plates. I will get through until eventually (hopefully when I’m a spry 93) I don’t.

Lest you think it’s all doom and gloom over here, it isn’t. We have reading snuggle piles (though they’re cozier with full sized and almost full sized human children) and laughs. We play games like Proof where I am trounced and Boggle where I trounce (though Abram is starting to give me a run for my money) and Connect Four which can be anybody’s game. I am exhausted and broken and comfortable and content. It’s the way of things. Speaking of things, here are mine:

Reading: I have READ the last few weeks. I’m not saying what I’ve read is award winning or brain turning. I finished All American Boys. This Close to Okay (BOTM pick – kinda had a squeamy that’s not quite right feel to me). Oona Out of Order (Rita, I think I heard about this from you?) which I thought it was a cute read. One to Watch, which I very much loved. The Substitute (part of a .99 pack on Amazon for people like me who don’t have kindle unlimited) was the best davenport read I’ve read in years. (Davenport reads are the not-too-racy-but definitely-romance type reads I would read on my grandma’s “davenport” while eating ice cream sandwiches when I was young. As a response to all of this 2020-2021 crap bag, I’ve been craving those books and that time.) Before We Were Yours (good, sad, sadder knowing it’s based in actual history) and The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis. Now I’m reading The Player which is the second book in the .99 pack.

Watching: Old movies like Big and The Sister Act with the family on Friday nights. Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Violet. Star Trek – TNG with Abram. One night when everyone went to bed early, I watched I Care A Lot. on Netflix which was dark, funny, twisted, suspenseful. Everyone was horrid and yet I found myself rooting for all of them. I need some recommendations.

Knitting: Working on a pair of socks for Abram. Sent out some hearts for Valentine’s Day. Reading limits the amount of time I have to be knitting.

So that’s me. What you -ing? Hope this finds you all safe and healthy.

Tuesday Things

Our January had some really good stuff. And a whole lot of not good stuff. Now it’s February. Praise be.

Also, Sticker charts are good if you’re three, 13, or 43.

On to things:

Knitting: Hearts. They are the fiddliest things I’ve ever knit and drive me bonkers, but they’re also addictive. I also have a pair of socks on the needles for Abram.

Reading: In the process of trying to entice a child into more reading, I’ve been setting an (almost) every night tradition where we set a timer and all curl up together to read our own books for 30 minutes. Those forced 30 minutes have been a gateway to me picking up books again. I’ve managed to finish The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, and The Heir Affair. I’m currently reading All American Boys.

Watching: Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. I’m doling episodes one per day and finding them absolutely charming. I signed up for Showtime to catch up on Billions after the kids go to bed. It is not charming. I used to like the characters (even if they were horrid) but now I like exactly one and am not feeling the show either. (I’ve already scheduled the cancellation.) Violet and I have also been watching episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine which makes us laugh.

So that’s me. What are you watching, reading, working on, looking forward to?

Also: I have so many links to share. I’m putting this here to hold me accountable for a Friday Finds post this week.

Tuesday Things

I am not a food blogger, but I’m sharing sub-par pictures of food because both of those salads were delicious. The beet salad I threw together with leftovers from the pantry and fridge. The chicken salad recipe I found here. Both are Whole 30 compliant and delicious. 

I felt like the expedition to get my haircut needed a selfie because those are the times we live in. (I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to wearing makeup, but I do wish I had more in the way of eyelashes.)

The picture of Molly and the hard-boiled egg makes me laugh. Two sounds bring her running – peeling an egg and a cheese stick wrapper being pulled open. I don’t know how she knows a cheese stick wrapper from another wrapper, but she always knows – even if she’s sound asleep on the other side of the house. I don’t believe in teasing animals, so I broke off a piece of the egg for her once I took the picture. I also don’t believe in animals on furniture, but you can see how that is going.

I deleted my FB account and deactivated the IG, and as a reward, I got myself a subscription to audible. It took me forever to figure out what book deserved my first credit, but I ended up buying Atomic Habits by James Clear. I had been reading it over the summer and couldn’t get myself to finish. Interestingly, I preferred the audio format. Now, I’m listening to Pride and Prejudice performed by Rosamund Pike (free with my membership), and I’m enjoying it. Rita has some great recommendations on audiobooks if you are looking for suggestions. 

I do have some things this week, so I should probably get started.

Watching: Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. It’s a friend recommendation, and I’ve only watched one episode, but I’m sharing because that one episode was a delight. It’s a food/travel show, and I’m going to ration out episodes one at a time like candy. I binged the second season of Virgin River in two sittings. 

Reading: Do audiobooks count as reading? I’m counting them in my Goodreads challenge because otherwise, I haven’t read anything. For almost all of my life, I’ve identified as a reader. But lately, I just have had the worst time finding anything I want to read. I still have How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (a reread) and Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden in rotation, and my goal for the week is to get one of them finished.

Knitting: We spent last weekend up north. I thought I had packed all the tools for my current knitting project, but I didn’t. Past Kate deserves a nod because last time, she left me a pouch with two balls of dishcloth yarn and needles. I puttered away in front of the fire on dishcloths and then stashed it back for next time. Jesse’s socks are finally complete, but I need to block both his and Violet’s. I also added a few squares to my sock yarn blanket. If I finish that, it will probably be a decade from now, but I do love looking at the squares and remembering which ones I got in trade and which ones I’ve made into socks and for whom.

Making: I ordered a few seed packets and plants for things we’d like to try in the garden next year. We had plans to expand to a different section of our yard, but will probably postpone that until next year. I want to make sure this hobby sticks before we invest in more garden space. (And if it does, that I can’t convince my family to move to a little hobby farm instead.)

Abe’s school is doing a scheduled two week virtual plan so I’m hoping to get in some art or crafty thing with the two of them though I haven’t figured out exactly what yet.

So those are my things. What have you been -ing lately?

Tuesday Things

My favorite picture of this bunch is probably the reflection of me, sitting in front of the washer, waiting for the spin cycle to kick in. We’ve done that plenty since Christmas, when the pump on our washing machine went out, and have all impatiently awaited its replacement (holidays, COVID, shipping). If you ever doubt that a fully automatic washing machine is a luxury, tie yourself to it for the rinse and spin cycles for every single load for a couple of days. If you really want to cement it in your brain, do it for a couple of weeks. You’ll 1) evaluate whether every piece of laundry really needs to be washed and 2) renew the awe you feel at your grandmother who used a manual wringer washer until she was 35 (with six kids). We’ll be back to a regularly functioning washer this week and none of us are sad about it.

Almost a full week into 2021, I have a word (play) and some intentions. I’m using a workbook purchased from The Handwriting Club on etsy to be a bit more “analog” this year. Abram told me I needed one more to fill up my intentions checklist but I think I’m going to leave a little room for the universe and wait until I’m a little further in the year before I add that one. (I bought V & A their own workbooks too, but they aren’t as enthused.)

Let’s talk some -ings. I don’t have many, but that’s okay.

Reading: I have a few things going which is unusual for me (I tend to be a serial monogamist when it comes to books). How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, a reread of The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden. I’ve been absolutely craving a completely indulgent Sidney Sheldon or Danielle Steele novel which is perhaps why I keep picking up and starting new books.

Watching: I binged Bridgerton on Netflix in a couple of days. Someone told me it was a cross between Gossip Girl and The Crown and I’m going to say that’s true – in so far as it’s a 95/5 cross, with GG being the 95%. It’s quite sexually graphic in parts (unnecessarily so in my usually not a prude opinion) and sometimes a little ridiculous, but it’s also fun and filled with eye candy (of the costuming, settings, and people kind).

Knitting: Still Jesse’s socks. I was in a mad dash to get them finished before Christmas which didn’t happen and while I’m only about 20 rows from the toe I feel like I’m on some weird knitting treadmill.

Making: All the food prep. Jesse and I decided it might be good to reset our tastebuds and try a Whole 30. We started January 2 and I can’t say all the recipes have been winners but these coconut curry meatballs were amazing, as is this hash which we’ve always liked. Be prepared for a whole list of linked recipes as the month goes on.

Listening to: The Stardew soundtrack on Spotify. My brother got me the game for Christmas so we could have socially distant hangs and I love the music. It makes me happy when I need to do some drudge work (like manually drain the washing machine, or wash dishes, or fold laundry). This is also my most played song in the last couple of weeks which is 100% my sister. (Any music that is even kind of cool is almost always a recommendation from one of my siblings.)

So that’s me. How has your 2021 started? Any intentions/resolutions/words you’d like to share? What are you -ing?