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?

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  • I love the photo of you sitting in front of the washer too, Kate 🙂 . Since the pandemic began, I nearly always find myself sending out silent mantras (pleasedon’tbreakpleasedon’tbreakpleasedon’tbreak) when I use my clothes washer or oven or open my fridge or freezer. A couple of years ago it hit me that I didn’t actually need to wash my shirts after only one wearing. Our grandmothers definitely would not have worn things only once, and changing this habit has been an easy way to save water, detergent, and energy. I think it must also prolong the life of clothing, so it’s a win all around.

    I had been wondering about Bridgerton, and now I know to avoid it! I do most of my TV watching with my 15-year-old, and we’re progressing through Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which sometimes has a bit too much sexual innuendo for my comfort.

    Over the holidays I read Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In the Castle, which I loved. Now I’m reading Austen’s Northanger Abbey, and I’m enjoying this one too. I started knitting my son’s sweater (Cobblestone by Jared Flood), and it’s going well. I’m usually a monogamous knitter, but I haven’t yet finished my cardigan. (I’m at the bottom ribbing and there are short rows. I think I’ve got it figured out, but the navy yarn requires daylight knitting and I do most of my knitting at night. I kind of wish I had simply powered through my cardigan before beginning my son’s sweater; I’m easily overwhelmed, so I don’t handle multiple projects well.)

    I do have various intentions for 2021—I’d like to get back to blogging (or figure out some other way to write other than in my journal), and I’d also like to get back to exercising, which I’ve not managed to do regularly for quite a while now. My son’s school is closed for in-person learning until late January, which will make the writing harder but the exercising easier 🙂 .

    • I absolutely love the Cobblestone pattern. It will be beautiful. I wish I could help you regarding your sweaters, but I can’t. While I can have multiple things on the needles – a sweater and socks, or a dishrag and a scarf, I don’t think I’ve ever done two of the same type of thing at the same time. But sometimes it is nice to take a break from a long project like a sweater and start something new and they’ll patiently wait until you get back to them! (And yes, navy yarn is definitely a daytime job!)

      I wish you the best of luck with your 2021 intentions, in part because I hope to be the beneficiary in terms of blog posts 🙂 Isn’t it funny how the variations in schedules due to the pandemic really make such a difference in what we accomplish or don’t? Maybe it’s crazy of me, but I feel like I should be able to clean a bathroom just as easily with people here as without (we have another bathroom for them to use in the meantime) but it just isn’t. All that to say, I get you on how certain goals are easier depending on whether the school is virtual or in person.

  • My favorite pic out of this set is your reflection in the washer which says so much in all sorts of ways!

    My second favorite pic is the universe stars room. I wish I may, I wish I might have this wish I wish tonight! (At least that is what I say, even if that’s no exactly how the rhyme is truly written.) I cannot make an assumption if it would be your son’s or your daughter’s room. It would be grande either way!!

    I’m not surprised at your word for 2021 to be “play” as it suits you well. I have said “eventually” so many times in 2020 that I thought that would be my word. But today I want to kick that word back to 2020 and leave it in my past. So, on to -ings…

    -ing… Think about what I want my 2021 word to be.

    -ing… Keep my rose colored glasses. I wear two pairs with the coloring of seringeti sunglasses which lifts my mood. One is an Elton John fun style clear frame with silver sparkly glitter and the other is for my more serious grown up time tortoise shell frame. As a child, my mother would say she has on her rose colored glasses and I had no idea what she was talking about! Absolutely none!!! As an adult, I quickly learned that I needed rose colored glasses!! So I bought some several times in my life. So I’m keeping my rose colored glasses because I’m such a realist that sometimes I need that optimism mood lifter!

    -ing… sewing. I finally finished sewing and hanging my curtain shears. There are 14 windows that have the curtain shears. My corner kitchen windows I left uncovered and use antique partially stained glass so I can still see out to watch the birds daily. An accomplishment!

    A down the street neighbor told me that although she likes the curtain shears, she can somewhat see inside my house. I told her that I knew that and it works both ways, that I can see out too!

    -ing… I have been considering so many fabrics for several months to make the blackout curtain covers for over the shears. After searching so long, then figuring costs and thinking about how I want to spend my time, I learned that purchasing already made would be least cost (surprisingly) and definitely in line with my KISS (keep it simple silly) life philosophy. Saturday, I made the final decision. Today I received five curved style rods. My bedroom has three windows which I selected a blush velvet (soft shell pink which will coordinate with my sheets and duvet). Velvet will be for the child play in me. For the other two windows in my dining room, I selected a more dressy grownup style in a natural linen sheen which has the blackout. The 3 windows in the living room have recent updated magnetic blinds with my shears. The other second bedroom which I use as a TV sunroom has 4 windows and I’m just keeping that room with the shears only.

    -ing… refinishing the faux fireplace which previous owner painted latex over oil based paint, so it is peeling. I began process to paint correctly with oil based paint in a honey white. 2021 project for the year!

    -ing… rambling!!!

  • I just received the velvet drapery panels which are a perfect match in color just a tiny shade darker than my bedding. It’s beautiful! The bedding and draperies are not from the same company, so it is risky to purchase this way online. That turned out great!

    And the dining room draperies are much prettier than I could see online! So lovely!!!

    I’ll be hanging the rods this week and next. Temps on the rods with the shears for tonight! YAY ?

    • All of your -ings sound lovely, but the drapery and sheers especially. I’m so glad everything turned out lovely and I’m so happy you’ll have them up so that you can enjoy them soon. (I’m partial to velvet and linen fabrics myself.)

      Your glasses sound fun – both of them. I’m particularly partial to the idea of silvery sparkly glitter myself!

      • The 5 rods did not work out at all. So I will be getting a little creative with how I will hang them on my rods that are already in place with the shears. (Oh well… that is part of the challenge of online or catalog purchasing.) Still happy. Those rods may be used for some other creative project… perhaps my extra large utility work room or to hold my quilts… PLAY!

        • I completed hanging the two in the dinning room. Although it wasn’t my original plan, the result looks great and much much easier to hang. (I’m not a perfectionist, yet I am very creative.) I will do the same for the bedroom velvets.

          Keeping my fingers crossed that your new washer will work out well!!!

          • No new washer, just new pump thankfully!! Glad to hear that even if it didn’t go according to the plan, it worked all right in the end!!

  • I love that photo of you with the washer, but my favorite might be A’s t-shirt. I really really like it! My machine broke down the first week we were all on lockdown in March, so I can empathize about things breaking during the pandemic. I feel so fortunate that someone was able to come out and patch it together so it would last until early summer, when numbers were better. Like Marian, I’ve been washing my clothing less often for quite awhile now, and for all of the same reasons. I almost always wear t-shirts under sweaters and shirts with buttons, and they can go quite a few wears that way. Jeans can go weeks sometimes.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you play in the coming year and how that might impact your -ing lists. Because we’ve been on break, I got to do a lot of -ings. Have been reading “A Long River of Song” by Brian Doyle, “Upstream” by Mary Oliver, and “Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear” by Kate Carroll deGutes (essay collections). I also tried “The Midnight Library” (did you recommend it?) but I didn’t finish it. I know it’s all the rage, but I didn’t like it. It could have been such a good book! I loved the premise. Just not executed very well. (Channeling Paul Hollywood, because we’ve been watching the British Baking Show every night.) Still watching and enjoying Schitt’s Creek, and re-watching Atypical, but with Cane this time. We’ve also been watching The Repair Shop (Netflix), which you might like. I watched the second season of Virgin River, which was just as bad and just as addicting as season 1. It’s a mystery to me why I like that show, but I do. So there. Have also been cooking (but nothing too exciting). Have been mostly writing. I think I might be starting a book? I am feeling extremely grumpy the past two days because now that I’m back at work I can’t keep my head in the writing project the way it has been. (There might be a few other reasons, too, but that’s a big one.) So I’ve also been grumping.

    It was sure nice to see a post from you today. Lifted me out of my sour mood. At least for a little bit.

    • Isn’t his shirt great? It makes me laugh. And is so accurate this year.

      Your list of -ings sounds absolutely wonderful and I’m so sorry that work had to get in the way of it all. I especially loved hearing that you might be starting a book!! I can see how having to return to the daily slog would make one grumpy when you’ve been working on an exciting project! (Even if there are other reasons, it’s not fun to have to give up working on what you want to do for what you have to do.)

      I haven’t read The Midnight Library and thank you for saving me the trouble. Books with a good premise and poor execution might be least favorite type of book so it’s probably good that I skip it. I DID join Audible this month to try it out so I think I’m finally going to listen to an audio book while knitting! Now I just have to pick which one!

      I haven’t watched the second season of Virgin River yet. I think I stalled partway through season one, so maybe I’ll have to go back. I don’t judge you for liking the bad and addicting – there is something comforting about schmaltzy and formulaic – whether it’s a Danielle Steele novel or a Netflix show. I fully support those choices.

  • I love the picture of you in the washing machine. We started out 2020 with a broken washing machine, so I know of what you speak. I spent the first few weeks of February just staring at my washing machine in wonder and thanking it every time I walked by it.

    I love your list of yearly intentions. Especially the trip alone with your daughter. I did that with my oldest and we still talk about it. I will do the same with my youngest at some point.

    I am beginning intermittent fasting again and lower carb because I was eating too much sugar over the holidays. I am on day three and I notice that I am sleeping so much better.

    I watched the 80s movie Valley Girl on television the other night and it was lovely. Not sure if you’ve ever seen it. Very 80s. I watched it when I was an 80s girl, but it took me back in a good way.

    I also love your son’s tee shirt. I am going to look for it because my nephew needs that.

    And I am getting myself that manifest sticker.

    Listening to a Spotify playlist right now- Soul Coffee. I like it already.

    Happy Wednesday. 🙂

    • The shirt is a men’s old navy. I ordered it in a XS and it’s still a bit big for him, but I couldn’t not get it when I saw it. It’s just 100% Abe.

      V and I had plans to go the NYC this year for her 13th birthday but it was 2020. We’ve since made a list of all the places we’d like to travel together and I’m sure we’ll think of something. Isn’t it nice to get one on one time with your kid – AWAY? I just always enjoy them so much as people on those trips!

      I have never watched Valley Girl but it sounds like the kind of thing I would enjoy right now. I’m putting it on my list!

  • I’m back to blogging now that it is 2021. That’s about the only intentional thing I’ve managed to decide on. This year is getting off to a rough start around here so I may allow myself to roll out the intentions by the end of January.

    I’ve been seeing that many people are watching Bridgerton and have to admit it doesn’t call to me. We’ve been watching Midsomer Murders which are about 180º opposite of Bridgerton. I like how old-fashioned and quiet the stories are. Nothing overtly sexual or shocking, other than the fact that there are so many murders in this small English county.

    Totally agree with The Hobbit quote. I do my best to keep the darkness at bay.

    • I’m sorry to hear about the rough start! I hope it your 2021 improves (it must, right?) as it goes on!! I think you’re the third or fourth person to mention Midsomer Murders. I might have to give it a watch.