Tuesday Things

Oh friends, how are you all doing? It’s a tough time to be alive, isn’t it? My soul is tired and yet I am content. Both/and. Always. I think about the holidays this year and all that we’ve given up and all that we’ll continue to give up and the governmental nonsense on top of everything else, and my heart just aches.

I think about how my family is healthy and safe with a roof over our heads and food on our table and how we spend our days learning on our computers, and playing games, and making food, and watching interesting television and making things and I am so grateful.

I miss watching soccer and basketball games and swim meets and choir concerts. I love having mini-bookclub discussions with Violet and playing endless hands of Skip-Bo with Abe. It’s sad and scary and lonely and hard. But it’s also precious and beautiful and simple.

We make the best of it. We stomp and pout. We have dance parties and laugh. We makes waffles and messes. Both/and. All of it smooshed together in a big gloppy heap.

Knitting: Socks. A different scarf. I’m increasing the length on the scarf. I made it once before and I didn’t like how short it felt. Time is running short and I really need to be knitting faster. I also want to make some heart ornaments this year. We’ll see how fast I can knit.

Watching: I’ve got a lot on the currently watching list. The Queen’s Gambit. The storyline is good but the costuming and set design are the best. Drool-worthy. I watch it when I’m in the mood for something a little more serious. Dash and Lily. It’s a complete teenie-bopper Hallmark Christmas movie that’s a mini-series on Netflix and I. LOVE. IT. I watch it when I’m in the mood for something cotton candy – light and sugary. The Crown. I binged it all while finishing a sock. It left me feeling sad.

Reading: I finished reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and I loved it. Violet stole it before I could get to it (which is good, because I might not have put it in her hands) and she really liked it as well (fantasy and magical realism are much more her genre than mine). We had a very interesting conversation about it when I finished. I also read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Every single one of my friends on goodreads has given it 5 stars. I didn’t rate it. It think it’s an important and interesting story, but…it just felt beyond ratable to me. I have three books that I can’t decided between so I haven’t picked up anything since. I want something completely mindless and fluff after The Vanishing Half.

Making: Waffles. I still am getting requests at least once a week. (Kari, our family is forever grateful to you for the recipe.) Order out of chaos. We had a space set up in the basement for kid art/craft stuff, but as they are getting older, we are thinking it makes more sense to have everything in one area and free up space downstairs. (This may not have been my smartest decision as *some* people are decidedly less particular about how things are put away while other things are still scattered across the floor while waiting for storage homes.) Ornaments – a local glass blowing studio set up kits where you bring home a clear glass ornament and decorate it with colored glass frit and then bring it back to be fired. I’m excited to see how ours turned out. Hygge – all the candles and lanterns and sparkly lights. And maybe a Christmas tree or two (or three) are being set up. (I’m a minimalist’s nightmare in search of the sparkle this year.)

So that’s me this week! What are you watching, reading, listening to, making, or whatever other -ing you want to share? Hope you’re staying safe and healthy!!

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  • I love, LOVE that my grandma’s waffles are being loved by your family. I also love that I am making them weekly BUT am using the All Recipes version. I KNOWWWWW. My grandma is
    in Heaven laughing so hard right now. At least waffles are being made. 🙂 Oh and I have been throwing bacon in my batter as of late and it is a game changer.

    I just started The Crown on Saturday night and I am in love. It is quite possibly the most beautiful show I have ever watched. I can’t stop. Mike doesn’t really like it, so I have been watching it while he travels for work. It is a good distraction for worrying about him traveling to all the places. And I saw the trailer for Dash and Lily and immediately added it to My List because it looked like just the happy I will need this holiday season. 🙂

    I have been reading my soul homework that I’ve been talking about on the blog. One book leads to another to another. It’s like this wonderful maze of books. For someone who used to never read, it has been lovely. A nice reprieve from social media.

    I made cream cheese blondies the other night and they were AMAZING. Better than the waffles. I will share them on the blog soon.

    • You mentioned the bacon in the batter. I don’t know if I could get spare bacon to last that long in our house but I think it sounds delightful and if I can ever keep a slice or two away from the hungry monster tween and teen, I’m going to do that too!!

      Have you ever watched Downton? I love The Crown, but the costuming in Downton is UNREAL to me. I’m glad you have it as a distraction. I’m kind of jealous that you get to start at the beginning!!

      I love all your -ings!! I can’t wait to hear more about the books AND the blondies. I accidentally ended up with a bunch of cream cheese in a grocery order so it would be PERFECT timing!

  • I’m so glad you’re all well and are making the best of it, Kate. It is most definitely a tough time to be alive! (Thank goodness for knitting and Netflix and books.) I hope you show us the finished glass ornaments—I’d love to see how they turn out.

    My -ings: I put aside my sweater knitting to concentrate on the baby booties, and I’m now nearly done the second pair. It was a finicky pattern, so I’ll be relieved to finish them. I’ve started trying to figure out which books to give my kiddos for Christmas; this always takes way longer than it should because I get far too caught up in reading reviews. I watched The Queen’s Gambit and mostly liked it. (I found some of the flashback scenes triggering, so that nearly ruined it for me.) We started The Crown the other night; it’s hard watching the parts with Diana, knowing how terribly it will unfold, but I do love seeing the clothing and the sets/scenery. I’m still reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, which is just the light kind of read I need right now. The V.E. Schwab book you mentioned looks really good; I’ll add it to my list.

    I hope you have a good week, Kate. Stay safe 🙂

    • Marian, sometimes I feel like you read my mind! I said almost the same thing about Diana in a text to a friend who is watching it! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the Addie LaRue when you read it! Wish you luck picking books! I can see how that would be time consuming!

  • I’m always so happy to see a post from you! Because I love seeing the photo snippets of your life, but also your words. Both/and for sure, and always. For sure. Your days sound sort of idyllic to me, although I’m sure they’re not. Or not always. And only, I suppose, in the cocoon of your home (because it’s such a horror show in the larger world right now), Both/and.

    I can’t wait to try your two book titles. I’ve had the hardest time finding books. I have discovered the joy of knitting with an audiobook, and I might be hooked. I’m listening to a Tana French novel—The Lookalike I think it’s called. I placed holds for about five more of her books with the library today. (The library is suspending print book checkout again. I just got print book checkout going in one of our schools two weeks ago, and we’re already stopping it again. Sigh.)

    I LOVE Queen’s Gambit, and for the same reason. The clothes and wallpaper! I like the story, but it’s the visuals that have me loving it. I also watched an episode of Dash & Lily and am looking forward to more. I might be watching it with Grace, so I’m currently paused. And then I need something new. We seem to be on the same wavelength, so I’m just going to wait for your recommendations. 🙂

    My biggest -ing is working. Pivoting again as things are going back into lockdown. I just want to be hibernating, and I’m having a hard time finding any motivation. All I want to do is drink tea and knit and listen to books and cook (and eat) good food. And watch the candles slowly burn.

    • I still haven’t managed to get into audiobooks. I really need to commit to trying. I think it would be so much nicer than watching television while I knit. And it would solve the problem of wanting to read while knitting. (I’m so jealous of those who can do both!)

      Our local library has also closed. And the public schools will all be virtual after Thanksgiving. It’s going to be a long winter. I can see how it would be hard to transition into work mode when lockdown (and this season) lends itself to hibernation. I struggle to force the kids to stay on task (and myself) during the week! Abram’s school is open (but he’s in quarantine until next week) and he’s supposed to return after Thanksgiving (fingers crossed). I hope you’ve been able to carve out the better balance work time/leisure time for yourself. It has to be difficult – especially this year!

      I’m really grateful for learning the concept of both/and. It’s really helped me balance out this year. I think I might fall into despair otherwise because you’re right, the world outside my home is quite the horror show.

      • I have to look at what I’m doing when I knit. I cannot imagine being able to read and knit simultaneously. That I can knit at all is a minor miracle. I have extremely low mechanical reasoning skills (based on a standardized test and decades of lived experience). So, that’s why I love audiobooks with knitting. And with anything that’s tedious and doesn’t require full concentration (cleaning and kitchen chores, mostly). It also makes walking by myself tolerable.

        • I don’t have strong mechanical reasoning skills either! The first time I took a knitting class the instructor told me it wasn’t going to be my hobby. I am stubborn. And knitting, like anything repetitive gets easier as you develop muscle memory.

          I use music for the cleaning/walking. But music isn’t the same for knitting. I’m going to try. Really. I don’t know why I’m so resistant.

          • No, music isn’t the same. I don’t get lost in music the way I do in story. I’ll tell you, though: I abandon a lot of audiobooks very early on. And some I think I’m going to abandon, but I stick with them (usually just because I don’t have any other available), and then I’m suddenly hooked. I’m picky, and I have to like the narrator. So, I get the resistance to them.

  • I like waffles. All waffles. but I’m sure Kari’s are the best. Please don’t tell Alton Brown that I’m thinking about straying from his recipe.

    You said: “My soul is tired and yet I am content.” Same here. I don’t know that I’m doing a lot worthy of note, but I am not sad. Just tired, waiting for something good to happen that’ll spark my interest in doing more. Or at least doing some things out in the world again.

    In the meantime my husband and I play board games, tend to leaf raking, and watch shows on Netflix and Acorn. Not bad, just kind of blah.

    • We can trade. I’ve tried three of Alton Brown’s recipes and they’ve become standards so I might have to try his recipe and have a taste test!

      Yes. Not bad – tired of hearing and seeing selfishness and willing ignorance while trying to do the right thing. And a lot less exciting than usual.