Tuesday Things

Watching: I binged the whole season of You (on Netflix) last Saturday while feeling under the weather. It’s dark and creeptastic but I was really into it. Then I started watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace on Netflix based on a recommendation. Darren Criss is brilliant as Andrew Cunanan and I love Penelope Cruz as Donatella. As you can tell, my viewing has been REALLY dark the last week and it’s messing with my dreams. I need some fluffy recommendations.

Knitting: I finished the pair of socks that I’ve been working on since January and have just started a pair for Jesse. I received the yarn in my Sleeping Bear Dunes Yarn Club in December and I LOVE it. (I’ve been a member of this yarn club for about three years and I say that about almost every skein of yarn I’ve received!)

Reading: I’ve been doing a lot so this little blurb is going to be long. Getting rid of Facebook and Instagram has freed up a scary amount of time in my life. (I’m actually humbled at the amount of time I’ve wasted!!).

I recently signed up for a three month book of the month subscription and the book from February was called History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. The writing was absolutely gorgeous. The story absolutely baffled me. It seemed like the type of book that would be great for a college level class – lots of symbolism (that I’m not sure I understood), stories that intertwined but not fully. Nothing was ever really CLEAR. I wanted someone smarter than me to say, “This is what this meant, can you see how this ties into this, do you see how this symbolized…”. I can’t decide if I liked it.

I also read The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. I would definitely recommend it as a dark beach read.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was also on my list this month. I definitely think this is worth reading. It was stark (In reading criticisms on Goodreads one of the largest was that there was a lack of ‘prose’ and that the story wasn’t very fleshed out.) but I think that added power to the story. The facts themselves are atrocious and I don’t know that sentimentalizing them would make them feel more atrocious.

I’m just starting this month’s book club pick, Any Man by Amber Tamblyn. The premise seems interesting and unsettling and I’m interested to see how it unfolds.

Listening: I’m late to the party on the Dirty John podcast but I’ve been listening to that when the kids are at school. I’m always collecting podcast ideas so if you know of any good ones, please share! On Spotify, we’ve been listening to a lot of classical piano. It reminds Jesse and me of one of our favorite getaway places because they always have classical music playing in your room when you arrive.

Making: I’ve been playing with some art journaling in a sketchbook and collecting inspiration/ideas on a Pinterest board. It’s calming and fun. In the kitchen I recently tried this pancake recipe and it’s become a weekend staple. The kids appreciate it and I appreciate the fact that I almost always have the ingredients on hand (unlike Martha’s buttermilk recipe which I also love). Jesse eats his with raspberry jam (my mother-in-law makes and it and it’s just the best, but I’m sure store bought would be fine if you don’t have homemade) and the kids eat theirs with maple syrup. If there are any left, I eat mine plain like a piece of toast because I’m an animal. This shrimp, this chicken (I made it without the sesame seeds and didn’t use green beans as the veggie because I didn’t have any) were good. I want to try this salad and these cinnamon rolls (because balance) this week. (To be honest I probably won’t make the cinnamon rolls because I’m in the middle of this health challenge and I have zero willpower.)

So that’s me. What are you reading, watching, listening to and making?

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  • History of the Wolves sounds like my kind of book. I just placed a reservation for it at the library, and I would love it if we could have a mini book club talk about it once I read it ๐Ÿ™‚ . (NOT that I’m saying I’m smart and can recognize symbolism, but maybe we can figure it out together.)

    It is *totally* humbling recognizing how much time is wasted with FB/IG. Not that there isn’t sometimes good that comes out of it as well, and not that we must fill ALL our time “productively” . . . but yes, on the whole, I think either stopping social media or using it very consciously is the best thing we can do for our mental health. (I’m reading Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet. He talks quite a bit about social media and its effects on us.)

    No fluffy Netflix recommendations from me, unfortunately. I’m re-watching Downton Abbey. My daughter and her BF recently got into it, and I watched several episodes with them when they were here for Reading Week, and I’ve now continued on my own. My almost 14-year-old is kinda sorta watching with me ๐Ÿ™‚ . I’m finding it hard to knit while watching, though, because even though it’s the second time around I don’t want to miss any of the gorgeous visuals. (I have managed to finally get the first sock of a pair I began in August off the needles, thank goodness!)

    Baking bread today, and muffins. I clicked on the cinnamon bun recipe linkโ€”and ended up laughing out loud at the Pioneer Woman’s writing and sense of humour, but also at how DECADENT her recipe is! I make cinnamon buns for birthdays and special occasions and mine are (haha, OF COURSE!) half whole wheat with reduced sugar and also veganized ๐Ÿ˜‰ . They are still really good, though. The last time I made them I was feeling quite down, and I told my 20 year-old son and his GF that I figured I’d be better off giving up on the courses I was taking and just make cinnamon buns all day. My son, who was wolfing one down, said, YES! (And his English-major GF said, NOOOO!) (And I hope you’ll laugh at this and roll your eyes, but my pancake recipe is also whole wheat ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

    Have a good day, Kate!

    • I would LOVE if we had a mini-bookclub about History of Wolves. It is definitely the kind of book that warrants some discussion!

      You’ve mentioned Notes on a Nervous Planet a couple of times. What are your thoughts on it? Should I add it to my TBR pile?

      I loved Downton. It’s by no means fluffy, and I could never craft during it, for much the same reason as you. The costuming alone was worth a watch.

      I do appreciate that your recipes are of the much better for you variety. Though it surprises me a bit that you wanted to give up taking courses to make cinnamon buns! I know we all have those days from time to time, but hope it didn’t stick around. And yes, PW’s recipe is so decadent and BIG – I’d definitely have to give some away to neighbors and friends!

  • Thanks for the pancake recipe. I was planning on having them tonight for Fat Tuesday dinner, but hadn’t gone so far as to look for a recipe. I make waffles often enough, but pancakes are a rarity. I’m not good at flipping them over– so much so that my husband calls them cursecakes. ?

    • Your husband’s comment on curse cakes made me laugh! I’ve found the secret to pancake flipping is almost over cooking them on the first side – so that the edges are set and they’re full of bubbles in the middle and then only cooking them briefly (a minute or maybe two) on the second side. This may not help you much at all, but I had the worst time of flipping (such a MESS!!) until my father-in-law who is a FANTASTIC pancake maker taught me that trick. Mine still aren’t as good as his, but he uses and mix and then doctors it up. Feel free to ignore the tip if you don’t find it useful!

  • Late to the party again! (I was in Chicago last week for a training…) I want to read that book and talk about it with you and Marian! I have been reading YA for a work project (that the training in Chicago was for). I loved Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. It was a slow start for me, but I ended up really liking Gabi. I am wanting to get back into some good adult lit, though.

    As for Dirty John, I know I’ve heard of it. Him? But I don’t listen to podcasts. So, I’m even more behind the times than you! (Hmm…there’s a theme in this comment…)

    And for making. I’ve been doing a lot of library advocacy work, so I haven’t been making much of anything in my usual sense. (I miss it!) But my group has made a bill that we are really hoping will become law, so that’s something!

    • I’d say that’s a very cool thing to be making!!!

      I’d love if we had a discussion on History of Wolves and would really value your and Marian’s thoughts!! The book the book store sent me this month (Any Man) is another one I wish I had a book club for because I *really* liked the premise but struggled with the execution and I want someone else to validate my thoughts!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been wanting to join/start a book club for awhile and these books are really cementing that desire.