I know; it’s Wednesday, but I’m overdue for a post. Most days I’m forced to choose between blogging and something else. Obviously, the something else has won, and on the days when it hasn’t, I’m two paragraphs in before some thing needs my attention right this second. This isn’t a complaint. I’m pleasantly busy and on days when I have more time, I’m reading or knitting or doodling or making lists or working on a project. Or watching basketball. This may be Abram’s last year playing (though I hope it isn’t) and I’m trying to soak up all the bleacher moments I can. I haven’t been as good about capturing little moments with my big (or little) camera and I hope to work on that while also staying off Instagram. (I decided I needed a little break to focus on my own creativity…and never ending to do lists.)
I used my Christmas money and bought those adorable wooden dolls for myself and these leggings. I’m Benjamin Button-ing my soul. Delight and joy in 2022. And omicron, but I can only do what I can do about that. (How are you all? Staying healthy? Mentally? It’s hard work – mental health in a pandemic.)
I had a new friend reach out to me to let me know that the community garden had plots opening up, and I put in and got one. It’s a short walk (an even shorter bike ride) and adds an additional 400 square feet to my garden space. I’m excited to garden with my neighbors and Jesse turned up his nose up at adding more raised beds to our landscaping (at least for the time being) so this was a wonderful compromise. I’ve ordered seeds and a few starts. I’m going to try cucumbers, potatoes, and sweet corn in addition to things that I’ve tried before. As a stretch this year, I’m also going to attempt canning, and I’ve picked up a couple books with that in mind. (This and this if you’re curious.)
Let’s talk things.
Reading: I set a goal of 52 books this year and cancelled my audible subscription. I try and I try but rarely do I get a book to connect on audible. Non-fiction and classics I’ve already read/liked seem to be the best choices, but I just don’t think read-alouds are for me. Here’s what I’ve read since we’ve last chatted: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth, The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang, Paper Airplanes by Tabitha Fornay, Writers & Lovers by Lily King, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, Everyone in this Room Will Someday be Dead by Emily Austin, and The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Writers & Lovers was hands down my favorite of all the above books. I love Lily King and this book was especially delightful. I also really enjoyed Austin’s book. The Love Hypothesis was very trope-y and the whole “broody bad guy except to me” story is not my favorite. I wouldn’t recommend that one.
Knitting: Socks. And socks. And socks. I have plans for other projects. I have no idea if I’ll ever get to them.
Watching: I watched the second season of The Morning Show and the third season of Succession. I find myself drawn to watching them, but I don’t like the characters and I don’t really like the shows because of that, but I also know I’d watch any new seasons of either one so…whatever that means. I absolutely loved Don’t Look Up (Netflix). Being the Ricardos (Prime) was not what I expected, but good – even if I did have hard time with jumps in chronological order. Violet and I are watching Arcane (Netflix). It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and dark. (This may be an unfair generalization, but I think it’s easier to like that kind of thing when you’re 14 and not 43.) Abram and I watched Encanto (Disney+) and have plans to see the newest Spiderman in the theater because we keep hearing how great it is.
Making: I’ve been working on Chicago, but I’m taking a break because I spent one whole evening on it and the next evening realized a mistake and ended up removing every single stitch I had done the night before (and then some). I’m a sucker for a notebook/creativity project and am doing this in 2022. Final decisions for the remodel we’ll be starting in the spring. (I’m not nearly as prepared for this as I was for the kitchen remodel which seems like it could be problematic with shortages, but fingers crossed.) In this kitchen, I’m making this salad, this soup, these meatballs, chili, and this salmon. (I haven’t been very adventurous in the kitchen. Any recipes you can recommend?)
So that’s me. Looking forward to hearing how you are doing and what your -ings are in 2022. Are you starting to feel like you’ve found a post holiday groove?
Long time no talk—I’m glad to hear you and yours seem to be doing well. Your goal of 52 books a year is inspiring! I’ve been trying to read more too. I just finished Agatha Christie’s The Murder at the Vicarage, and before that, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey. (I loved both of them.) Now I’m re-reading Pride and Prejudice and I also just started The Day the World Stops Shopping by J. B. MacKinnon. I watched Don’t Look Up but although I’m not quite sure how to feel about it, I could completely relate to the scientists losing their cool on that talk show. (I feel like I am a heartbeat away from that myself whenever I go to the grocery store.) Another watch, which I absolutely loved, was Anxious People. Socks are now always on my needles too, along with a slightly modified Trego sweater. (It’s occurred to me that knitting is the only thing keeping me sane these days.)
No post-holiday January groove for me, unfortunately. My youngest has been learning from home, and my husband is often now working from home too. School is scheduled to go back to in-person learning on Monday, but I doubt that will last. So I’m feeling very much in limbo.
Happy planning for that vegetable plot, Kate!
Marian!! So good hearing from you! I thought of you when I registered for the plot. When do you start garden planning? I know it’s early but I always worry about not getting seeds!
Your reading list inspires me. I read a couple Agatha Christie’s this summer (and then moved to Agatha Raisin) and I love them, but I’m such a slow reader when I tackle classics!
I had to smile at your Don’t Look Up/grocery store comment because I thought of you while I was watching it for that reason. Putting Anxious People on my list!
I can understand you feeling in limbo. Our schools haven’t shut down as of now, but we did get an email from the public superintendent saying it may come to that in terms of staffing. I think January is going to be a tough month around here (and a lot of places) but I’m hopeful. (Maybe that makes me a Pollyanna, but I’m clinging to that shred of hope.)
I am (unfortunately) quite a lackadaisical gardener and I don’t do much planning. I always get my plants and seeds at a local greenhouse, and I rarely get there soon enough to get English cucumber seeds. Those always seem to be in short supply, but other than that I’ve never had a problem getting plants or seeds. (It certainly doesn’t hurt to get seeds early if you’re particular about varieties, though.)
“I had to smile at your Don’t Look Up/grocery store comment because I thought of you while I was watching it for that reason.” If I could make a laughing emoji, I would, Kate. Related: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/abortion-climate-change-alarmists-were-right-now-stop-calling-them-ncna1278534
I think January will be extremely tough, pushing hospitals and healthcare workers to the brink, but I also think your hope is not misplaced.
Thank you for sharing that piece, Marian!! I just shared it on FB because YES!! (I miss the days when I could take satisfaction in saying “I told you so!”)
I like that you’re lackadaisical in your gardening (and that word). I think we all should have something we do and enjoy that isn’t intense work. (Even if it still is plenty of work!)
I love hearing what you’re watching and reading because I need some new suggestions. Totally with you on The Morning Show, which we watched over winter break, or right before. Did like first season better than second, but, yeah…I’d turn in to another one. Watched the first episode of Station Eleven this week (because I loved the book), but need to figure out a technical issue before I can watch any others. I’ve been frustrated with trying to find things that both Cane and I will like. We just started Game of Thrones (10 years after everyone else), which is OK, but…not hooked. And so many heads being cut off with swords.
I just this morning (before reading this post) started listening to Writers & Lovers and reading about Lily King, who is somehow new to me. I love serendipity. I also struggle to find good audiobooks and limit myself to what I can get from the library. It’s hard to find ones I like, but when I do I really love them. They get me to clean, and I love it when my house is clean.
As for -ing, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, writing, walking, and soul-searching. My thoughts/wonderings are too fragile to share just yet, but lots of shifts happening under the surface (as is fitting for winter, right?). I’ve been delighted to discover that, yes, I can still read a whole book in print, and that I even really like doing so. I haven’t abandoned social media, but I’m there a lot less. I mostly use it at times I couldn’t be doing something else that I value more.
I’m glad to hear that you are well and your days are full of the things you want to do. I’m enjoying discovering what those are for me. Omicron is wreaking (more) havoc in schools here, but that’s a wave I’m just kind of riding. Had a class yesterday missing more than 1/3 of the students, and this is our last full week before finals, and I’m just going with it. It’s going to be what it is and my primary goal is to do no harm (which sounds simpler than it is but still helps me make decisions), as that feels like the best kind of care I can give right now. I read a book that I avoided because I hated the title (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck), and then I almost didn’t read because I hated how many times he used the F-word in the first chapter, and because what late-middle-aged white woman wants life advice from a white millennial dude, but: I kept reading and was reminded that you shouldn’t judge a book (literal or metaphorical) by its cover. Asking myself frequently if what is starting to upset/consume me is what I want to give f*cks about is helping me immensely.
As always, such a treat to see a post from you. Thank you. Really truly.
Game of Thrones is DARK. I loved it up until the end of season (I think) six when it replaces character development/motivations for action and gore. (Walking Dead was another one of those shows that I loved until it started chasing shock value.)
Yes to soul-searching and shifting!! The ways you are filling your down time sounds really lovely.
Every single person I know in teaching right now is talking about how drained they are and how hard it is this year. I appreciate that your goal is to “do no harm” – honestly, that seems like a daunting task in and of itself. I feel like the f*s book could be good for me, or not, depending who you ask.
You sound content and that makes me happy!! So good to hear from you, Rita!! Thank you for being here!
Ally Bean says
I want to find a post holiday groove, but I haven’t. In fact, I might have found the opposite, having been more organized during December. I don’t like to hear books read so I’ve never tried Audible. You make me realize I should pay more attention to what’s on Netflix, I’ve been in an Acorn rut lately.
Oooh!! Acorn is one I haven’t ever signed up for but I hear I should. I don’t need another streaming service, but need is a variable term with omicron isn’t it?