Tuesday Things

My house is a mess. I’m choosing to say that we are in the “things get worse before they get better” phase. For example, I finally found and ordered photo albums. Five years after I said I would. Progress is progress.

I’m going to list some facts now: Abram is in quarantine. Abram’s school and the high school has gone all virtual for two weeks. The health department requested that all staff and students in all of the buildings be tested. The school district is still holding athletic practices (provided you didn’t receive a you-must-quarantine letter). And that’s all I’m saying about that.

We still have snow on the ground but there is a warm up on the way which is good because the supplies for a garage project I planned late summer have finally arrived and are making a mess of the very place I ordered them to de-mess. We might be in gloves and jackets, but I’m hoping we can get it finished over the weekend.

Let’s get on to the things.

Knitting: Working on the socks and the scarf. Not as diligently as I should. I want to cast on something knew. I’m bored.

Watching: I finished The Duchess. I’m still not sure if I liked it. I laughed. I cried at a couple of different parts. I stand by last week’s loved and loathed. I watched one episode of Unsolved Mysteries. And newest released version of The Witches on HBO. Abram said it was very good. (I only watched the first half because I got busy making a potholder after Purl Soho sent me an email about these.)

Reading: Still on Caste. I have so many books on the TBR pile and I need to tackle them.

Listening: This podcast that delves a bit into this article that made the rounds earlier this month. John Prine’s eponymous record, which is one of my favorite’s, and was a belated birthday gift. The Daily was also recently recommended to me and I’ve only listened to a couple of episodes, but I think I’m going to start adding it to my rotation. Peaceful Piano while I’m puttering. I need a fun upbeat playlist for an afternoon pick up. Suggestions?

Making: An effort.

So that’s me this week. How are you holding on as we deal with the pandemic and the election and…life? Are you watching, reading, listening to, or making anything you want to recommend/share?

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  • Well, I have nothing to say on the quarantine front because I feel like this will be the life for the rest of the school year. Our district was supposed to go hybrid and then they backed out last minute because our county’s numbers skyrocketed. We are homeschooling anyway but my friends’ all have kids who are in public school, which is why I know this. So I feel for you and them. Have you ever heard of Andy Slavitt? He is also worth looking up and I believe he has a podcast as well.

    I have that exact Spotify playlist! That is a good one. I have a couple of upbeat Spotify playlists that I do like when I am doing stuff around the house and the names are pretty predictable: Feelin’ Good, Totally Stress Free, and Have a Great Day! (don’t forget the exclamation point).

    The beauty of a pandemic and quarantine is that no one is coming into your home or at least that is how it’s supposed to work. So in theory, you have plenty of time to work on all of the projects around your home. Now, you have to live there as well but I feel like your home looks cozy and happy and lovely. And I am a minimalist. It looks like so much love lives there.

    Sending happy, healing vibes your way. XOXO

    • I haven’t heard of Andy Slavitt, but I’ll look him up. I think you might be the one who introduced me to peaceful piano. It’s very nice in the mornings when I want to drink my coffee and putter. I like Have a Good Day! when I’m cleaning too. 🙂

      I do think we have a lot of love here. And bickering, and mess and stuff, despite being NOT stuff person myself (the exceptions being books, yarn, and art supplies). I like order. I like things in places. It’s just not feasible with four people doing work, playing, spending time all day every day here and I’m learning to accept it.

      • Thank you for happy healing vibes. He doesn’t have symptoms and his test was negatives we’re just waiting out the clock, thankfully.

  • I am so tempted to order that potholder kit, just for nostalgia’s sake. I remember getting something similar as a kid. It was a very satisfying activity. But: I have no need for potholders, and I’m pretty sure no one else I know has one, either. I could knit some cotton dishcloths, though. I know others like those, and I think they have the same self-soothing qualities.

    All I can say about schools is this: There are no good options right now because we don’t have the political will to do what is needed to create good options. And as long as that is the case, I don’t feel like sacrificing myself for this issue. All of the articles, commentary, podcasts, etc. are rife with false dichotomies. And teacher as saintly martyr is a trope I am so. over. I am so sorry that Abram is in quarantine and that your community is experiencing such disruption. But not, to be honest, surprised–especially if practices are still a thing that’s happening.

    I love your mess. I always have a “worse before better” stage in all projects. I think it helps make the better all the sweeter. I especially loved the photo of the coat/shoe shelf. Those are always styled so prettily in the home blogs/feeds, and I’ve always been envious. I don’t have one, and it seems like such a cool thing to have. (I love a good cubbie. Again, nostalgia.) I like seeing what they really look like, in real life. Or, what I know mine would look like if I had one, especially back when I had children living in my house.

    I finally decided to give Schitt’s Creek another try. It might be growing on me. Finished Mrs. Wilson, which was sort of unsatisfying (as real life–upon which it is based–can be). I forgot about The Duchess and appreciate the reminder. Watched the 1979 movie of Salem’s Lot over the weekend. What it showed about male/female relationships and depictions of women in popular media during my formative years creeped me out far more than the movie, which just seemed campy. 40 years have gone fast, but it was a long time ago. Longer than I often realize.

    An effort is about the only thing I’m making these days, too. It’s a pretty big project, and I think we should feel good about ourselves for attempting it. Take care this week, and good luck with the garage. (Cleaned mine out so I could finally park the car in it again, which feels really good as the weather is turning.)

    • I was so tempted to buy the larger version. I probably would have bought it if I didn’t have a smaller one (and a bunch of loops) already here. I’m a sucker for an art/craft project. You are right, however, that cotton dishcloths are always useful and are equally as soothing to make.

      That cubby is driving me crazy right now but I’m just pulled in too many directions to devote the time to putting away the summer/fall gear and unpacking the winter. I will say, they are very nice to have. Before we had these – it was a bifold closet and we modified it. They really are handy.

      I think Schitt’s Creek takes a little bit. By the second season I was hooked. I never fell in the love with The Office, though, so I get not loving a comedy that everyone thinks is amazing. If you do watch The Duchess, I hope you’ll let me know what you think. Also…don’t forget about Rebecca! I watched it last night and I want your opinion on it.

      It is really amazing to me how much in our media just doesn’t hold up anymore.

      Finally, I agree that we should be proud of ourselves for making an effort. It IS a big project.

      • I am a Schitt’s Creek convert. I’m about 6 or 7 episodes in. I’m finding it to be good comfort TV, something to grab when I need an easy half hour. I can see the characters starting to grow on me. I can see it won’t be a one-note show. FWIW, I never loved The Office, either. (Or Napoleon Dynamite, which I somehow associate with The Office—another thing everyone but me loved.) I tried the first episode of The Duchess. It feels like a lesser Catastrophe or Fleabag. Maybe only because it wasn’t the first to attempt that kind of comedy, and so it feels like a knockoff rather than something fresh? I know first episodes are often not true indicators. (I hated the first episode of Fleabag, but came to love it.)

        And I will not forget Rebecca! Sunday nights are mine alone, and I have made a date with myself to watch it then.

        • I think you’re right on about it being a lesser Fleabag or Catastrophe. I think that’s why I didn’t want to compare it to that show. For the characters flaws in those shows, I found them…endearing? Lovable despite being so flawed? I don’t feel the same tenderness.

          I didn’t like Napoleon Dynamite either. I don’t like comedy that makes me feel icky. That and the Office both did. (I wonder the difference between those and say…Catastrophe?)

          I got my brother hooked on SC and we kept trying to pick our favorite character and just couldn’t. They all are so great that it wouldn’t be as good if you subtracted any of them. Hope you have a great rest of the week!

  • We continue to stay at home all. the. time. My husband is working from home at least through January, probably longer. He loves it so from that point of view we’re happy as two peas in a pod. As for how clean and tidy the pod is… well, here’s my take on housecleaning: no need to fret over housecleaning until it makes you so fretful you can’t stand it. To wit, I have a high tolerance for messiness, hence we don’t live in an Insta-ready home.

    • I’m just going to say that it makes me so happy to hear that someone is as happy as two peas in a pod as they are working their way through a pandemic. It’s refreshing. Thank you.

      I also appreciate your take on housecleaning. I have a low tolerance but I’m stretching because I have to with two kids and (sometimes) a husband all working from home.

  • Gosh, I love your home, Kate. Any cleaning/reorganizing project that I’ve ever done always begins with making a mess. It’s taken a long time for me to accept that this is the way things work and to not get overwhelmed midway. (I don’t always succeed, but I’ve taken to letting my family know beforehand that I’m embarking on something that is likely to make me tetchy.)

    I’m so sorry Abram’s in-school stint was cut short. My youngest is also home from school and is waiting on a COVID test. (He wasn’t feeling well on the weekend, so he needs a negative test to be able to return to school. This has meant my husband is also having to work from home.)

    I’ve been feeling as though I’m not actually making enough of an effort lately. I’m doing most of the things I’m supposed to be doing, but very little of the things I’d like to be doing, which makes me feel as though I’m simply engaging in a whole lot of productive procrastination. 🙁

    Anyway. Reading: I finished The Count of Monte Cristo, which I really enjoyed. I tried to start Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (because I really wanted to understand the Cassandra reference you and Rita mentioned quite a while back), but my brain wasn’t cooperating, so I switched to Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is going to be the light and easy read I need right now. Watching: I’m still on Schitt’s Creek and the Great British Baking Show with my 15-year-old son. I meant to mention last week that I had watched David Attenborough’s new documentary as well as the Kiss the Ground documentary (both on Netflix), which were both really good. Knitting: I’m still working on my sweater, and I finished one baby bootie for our niece, but I’m not entirely certain I like it, so I’ve been slow to begin the second one. Listening: I’ve been listening to the podcast LeVar Burton Reads while knitting and the album In Our Time by AHI while cleaning. (It’s not what I’d call fun and upbeat music, but many of the songs seem eerily in keeping with what we’re going through right now.)

    I’m grateful for these posts, Kate.
    Take care,
    xo Marian

    • Thank you so much, Marian for you kindness about my home and my posts. I know you said you don’t feel as if you’ve really been making much of an effort, but my guess is that you’re being overly hard on yourself. Productive procrastination is an effort – especially when you don’t have your home to yourself to do the things you usually would.

      I’m sorry to hear about your son. I hope is test was negative and he’s feeling better. My husband has had to work from home this week as well and sometimes I like it but sometimes it makes me crazy. I know you understand that sometimes I just want my house to myself so I can GET THINGS DONE.

      I like the idea of LeVar Burton Reads. I’m going to have to check that out.

      Did you get the pattern for the bootie off Rav? I’d love to see it. 🙂

      Hang in there, Marian. We’ve never been in a pandemic before. I think it’s a lot more taxing on our systems than we’d like to admit. xoxo.

      • Thanks, Kate. My son’s test came back negative, so he went to school today and my husband went into the office. When the pandemic hit, he was one of two people who continued to go into the office—everyone else was told to work from home. I didn’t tell him this, but I was so relieved to not have him home along with my youngest son (and then my older son as well, who came home from university and was here for about three months). I am such a creature of habit, and I honestly love being alone in my house. It’s just so much easier to get stuff done that way.

        This is the bootie pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-hausschuhe

        • I’m so glad to hear your son’s test was negative and you’ve had house time to yourself. I understand completely. I’m am adjusting but still have days where I feel itchy at so much other people energy here. But really, what else can you do?!!

          I like the picture of those booties. It’s frustrating when you work on something and it doesn’t come out the way you want!

  • Hi Kate! I’m so glad to hear that your son’s result came back negative and no symptoms!! What a relief for your family.

    Your home is a beautiful mess 🙂 and I see those tiny crystals in special places.

    At the moment, I’m icing the pain in my hands by holding a raspberry lemonade margarita on the rocks. I have been pulling out weeds of Johnson grass, including roots, which is the final phase of my St Augustine grass project in the backyard. 12 large bags over the week! Also I finished all the outdoor projects that I wanted to get done just in time for our first cold weather. So a bit of celebration too.

    Watching David Muir, my favorite reporter, for so many years and Ginger Zee reporting another hurricane Zeta in the Gulf of Mexico headed towards Louisiana (again 6 times this season).

    Made an effort to watch the debate, but only could tolerate half hour. Nauseous!

    Listening to Music Choice SOUNDSCAPES by my TV (free, no adds, pretty landscape photos with a famous quote).

    And mostly listening to the common songbirds in my yard. Changing the bedding for winter and placed a wool blanket under the bed on the hardwood floor as I’m on pier and beam. I’m learning the difference of how the old homes really have no insulation, but it is my shelter.

    Enjoying your post today!

    • Your icing the hands comment gave me a chuckle. A raspberry lemonade margarita sounds lovely. I had my first tequila in 20 years this year (a Paloma) and it was delicious. Congratulations on getting all the outdoor projects finished. It sounds as if you’ve been very busy.

      The debate was definitely a hard watch. I would have turned it off if Violet didn’t have to watch it for school.

      I haven’t been very good about watching the national weather since the pandemic started but it does seem as if the Gulf Shore has really had a lot of hurricanes this year! I hope it’s the last one you have to deal with!