Tuesday Things

Thunder is rumbling. Trees are budding out. Over the weekend we started to get our garden beds ready and talked about when and how we are going to plant. We added two grow bags instead of the three additional beds we had talked of adding. This summer is already shaping up to be busier. Violet is taking her first two high school classes, and Abram has some sport camps.

Abram has started soccer and track. I think you have to be a special kind of person to enjoy watching a track meet. Especially if your kid is one or two event kid. I love a track meet. My mom keeps telling me to take pictures but every time he comes around the track (he runs the mile mostly), I forget my phone/camera and can only cheer him on and marvel at how he just keeps his pace. I hope to remember before the end of the season.

This month, I did my first full grocery run (we’ve been using pick up or delivery with the occasional quick run in for a thing or two) in over a year. And my second. Ran into an acquaintance at Target. I’m out of small talk practice and it feels strange. I’m ready for hugs and long conversations over brunch, but not ready to give up the smaller circle and quiet. I doubt I’ll ever get back into the habit of wearing makeup or underwire bras again. Everything feels a little surreal. Talked with some friends and agreed that languishing is a good word. We’ve lived through that. Are still living through it. Rita talked about the all of it all much more eloquently so I’m going to point you in that direction and mostly just share my things.

Watching: I started watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. I read the book ages ago and knew it might not be the best choice for my mental health, but I wanted something dark and harsh. Lately, I find light hearted, cotton candy escapism grating. I don’t know how else to say it. I know I’ll crave it again (for example, I am beyond excited by the second season of Ted Lasso), but for now, I’m 100% invested in this horrible twisted show. Every episode has made me uncomfortable, a few have made me cry, and for all the terror and discomfort, the thread that makes it a dystopian fantasy is so thin. I can’t seem to turn away. (It makes me think about a conversation about the age appropriateness of The Hunger Games. One of my friends said that what made many adults feel like the appropriate age limit was higher was us thinking “This could actually happen” where as younger kids read it as complete fiction.). On the positive side, I can only grab episodes occasionally as my kids’ bedtimes move later and mine move earlier and it is very much a mature audience show. In family television viewing, Violet and I have been watching episodes of the most recent America’s Next Top Model will hopefully watch the last episode yet this week. Abram and Violet have also introduced me to Gravity Falls which, in my opinion, is golden.

Reading: I finished Boys and Sex by Peggy Orenstein (hard but important), The Gambler (the third in the Wedding Pact series I’ve mentioned). A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum (so good that I cried in multiple places and wish I had a book club to discuss it), The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (unserious good). I’m currently reading The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow and am still listening to The Promised Land by Obama. (It was definitely a bang for your buck buy at almost 30 hours). Creating the family reading time has been so good for me getting back into the reading swing of things. (Though since track and soccer have started it’s not every night as much as it used to be!)

Knitting: I finished a pair of socks for Abram. And died a little inside when I realized I was using the same sock blockers for his as I do for mine. Now I’m knitting on a pair for me (the yarn is Safety Dance from one of my favorite dyers) and then I promised a friend of Jesse’s a pair. I keep telling myself I’m going to do some knitting that isn’t socks this year but I haven’t exactly figured out when as soon I’ll be heading into Christmas sock time.

Making: I’ve finally started Chicago. It about a year each to finish NYC and Washington D.C. Maybe I can speed that up a little bit this time around. (I keep thinking of Marian saying “A thread a night” and I’m trying to do at least a thread every couple.) Our new favorite dinner. I also tried adding chicken feet to my usual chicken stock routine and you guys, I hate that’s it’s true, but it’s absolutely true. If you make homemade stock, you need to find a place where you can get them. (I get mine from a local farmer pre-peeled because I don’t want to deal with dirty chicken feet. I have a line.)

So that’s me as we head into May. (Kinda hard to believe that April is over this week!) What’s new with you? What are your -ings?

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  • What a great bubble! And the sidewalk art is lovely, too. Your socks are wonderful as well. Y’all rock creativity in your house.

    I wish I had some -ings to add here that were worthy of note. But we are in a holding pattern at the moment. Z-D has had his second vaccination, waiting two weeks now. My second vaccination is next week, then I’ll be waiting. Eventually we’ll be able to do things out in the world, but will we want to? While I don’t think we’re languishing, I think we’re on pause. And liking it more than I ever would have thought.

    The recipe looks great. Saved it for the weekend. I need something to look forward to, now don’t I?

    • I’m glad you don’t feel like you are languishing and instead are enjoying the quiet. I have to say that Jesse and I are both vaccinated and the biggest change is me going to the grocery store instead of ordering pick up. Let me know what you think of the meatballs!

  • Hi! I have something to say about each photo here, but I will focus. First of all your daughter is a splitting image of you with the exception of the additional dozen goo-eyes. Your hair cut and style is absolutely fabulous! Your son’s giant bubble is magically beautiful. I’ve never seen any bubble of this size!!

    -ing: Pivoting. I’m borrowing this word from Rita because it fits me in my this week’s state of mind. (not languishing, not dormant either).

    -ing: Hanging my artwork. SURPRISES: My cross stitch pair of Precious Moments, Sew in Love and Love Goes on Forever that I stitched on a blush pink enhancing further with a needlepoint on 40 mesh silk gauze. To my surprise this fabric is the exact color of my new velvet blush pink drapes in my bedroom! Although the motifs are the innocence of my youth, that color still flourishes from my heart. What a surprise for me to see! I wondered if you date and initial your cross stitch art work? The themes are a reflection of your interest. My pair is initialed and date 82. What Fun stitching brings!!

    So wonderful to receive a note from you in my email yesterday, Kate. Lovely!! And the socks…to die for; so envious of your talent my dear.

    • You are so sweet about my photos (and socks). The kids got super bubble solution/wands in their baskets for Easter and we had a really fun afternoon learning how to make giant bubbles. They did. I tried and never managed to make a one.

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re pivoting and not languishing or being dormant. That sounds like a good state – or an active one, at least!

      I love that you are hanging up cross stitch and that the fabric matches your drapes perfectly!! I haven’t dated the ones I’ve done and I’m kind of sad about it because I was trying to figure out when I started this city project. I suppose I can look back on the blog. It’s been YEARS.

      So good to hear from you!

  • I am so happy you posted during my birthday week. I realize it isn’t FOR me, but selfishly, I will take that as a present. 🙂
    I love your pictures. They are candy for my soul.
    By the way, I love your hair.
    I love your son in his socks in the backyard blowing bubbles. It is spring in the Midwest.
    We’ve had a pretty great spring. The trees and flowers seem to be early, which makes me happy.

    Happy almost-May!

    • Happy birthday week, Kari!! I should have known you were a fellow Taurus. 😉 I hope you’ve had a really magical month/week/day. 🙂

      It really is spring and I love it. Usually, I love a winter and I’m pretty sure our March average temperature was warmer than April, but I’m hoping for a big warm up in May (my birthday month). It looks like we’ll be getting a return to 80’s over the weekend so my wishes might come true!!

      Thank you so much for the compliment on my hair! It gave me the biggest smile. My hair stylist is an absolute magician. I wish I could take her with me everywhere! And, we cut four inches off. I can’t believe I cut that much off and it’s past my shoulders!! My hair hasn’t been that long since middle school!! COVID…it’s weird the things I celebrate it bringing into my life. 😉

  • So happy to see a post from you! Seriously. I missed it earlier this week because Monday my district was attacked by ransomware and school is closed. Again. When we just got opened. We cannot use any of our devices or tech-based accounts–which means that I have been able to do almost no work this week. It’s been a weird one, sort of like the pandemic: Really terrible AND bearing gifts. I had two days completely off this week, and it did me a world of good. I decided to accept the gift wholeheartedly, because gnashing my teeth wouldn’t do anyone any good.

    I, too, like attending track meets. And I had a child who ran only one event, and it was the very last one. I think it’s because I ran track, and the vibe feels so familiar and good. I’m glad you get to do that.

    My own -ings have been numerous. A lot of gardening. Shopping, for the first time in a year. (Despite all my bra bravado, I’ve broken down and bought some new ones. But I have new bra rules: They must be pretty, and as comfortable as possible. Now that I’m back at work, I’ve realized that I just don’t feel as comfortable letting it all hang loose as I hoped I would be.) My pandemic body is definitely different from my pre-pandemic one, and after living through the winter in the one pair of jeans that still fit comfortably, I’ve decided that the body I have now deserves some well-fitting and reasonably nice-looking clothes. Not looking back at that old life. If my body changes again (as it has reliably done several times in the last 10 years–thanks, middle age), I will buy new stuff. Life is short.

    My latest watching is Cheerleader Generation (Hulu). Only two episodes in. It’s fascinating. I was a cheerleader (nothing like these young women and men are), and I briefly coached cheerleaders my first few years of teaching, so that may be why I find it interesting. So many layers to unpeel, about sports, athleticism, culture, values, gender. I tried Handmaid’s Tale when it first came out, which was early in the Trump administration and I just couldn’t stomach it. It was waaaay too close to reality. And it was also so horrible. I’m not a reader who visualizes, and so things I can tolerate via print can be too much for me via TV/film. I’m listening to books that are much like The Wife Upstairs. None have bowled me over, but they make chores more enjoyable. I’ve been half-heartedly reading Cal Newport’s Deep Work, which is several years old. I like him. I think I’m just too distracted by other concerns right now.

    Looking forward to your next post! Your mention of Marian made me realize how much I’ve missed her in these spaces.

    • I miss Marian too!! I know we’ve talked about this before, but these comment threads have created some very real and very valued friendships that I treasure!

      I feel you in pandemic body changes and am glad you’re treating yours to well fitting clothes and pretty bras. I understand returning to bras, though I’m not in an underwire place yet (or maybe ever.)

      I thought you might understand about track and agree that part of it is a nostalgia for my own experience. And watching kids with their friends after this last year has been so good for my heart.

      I’m off to look up Cal Newport and Deep Work because I haven’t heard of them before now! Hope you’re having a good weekend!