Tuesday Things

In 9th grade, I beat Mike Lankfer to win the gym class ping pong championship. I’m still proud because that guy was a JERK. Abram is not a jerk, but I still love beating him. He beats me every time we play Monopoly so it’s only fair. (He doesn’t agree.)

I know I usually fill these Tuesday Things with whatever it is I’m reading, watching, knitting, etc. but there just isn’t much in the way of -ing the last week so I’m just going to ramble.

I’m homesick for Michigan. We cancelled both our summer and fall trips but scheduled four days in May with a wish, a hope, and a prayer. It’s a tiny little cabin on the Pere Marquette river that reminds me of my great-grandpa’s place. It has a decent cancellation policy, but I want to fish for trout and read books and see my dad and grandma. I miss the big lake and the dunes and the sand and the woods and home. I never realized how much my heart is buoyed by my trips home.

I sorted/purged/cleaned/organized my office and labeled everything in the hopes that when people go looking for something they can 1) easily find it and 2) easily return it. I ordered myself a 2021 notebook, started a food journal (and start a Whole 30 on January 2), and ordered seeds for the garden. I’m finalizing a list of knitting projects based off the things I have stashed.

The kids and I were watching videos from back in March when school was cancelled and I was making pancakes and we were putting together puzzles and everything pandemic felt a little bit like an adventure. I bemusedly watch the videos of that naive woman as she walks through the house and smiles in the mirror like a rebel in her pajamas at 10AM. December me picked Abram up from school in a flannel nightgown and can’t remember the last time I’ve worn “real” clothes. The pandemic doesn’t feel like an adventure anymore. It feels like a group project where I’m being graded on not just the finished product, but everyone’s effort while being assigned slacker partners and much, much higher stakes and then…a little bit of hope. (Yay, vaccine!!!)

I deleted my FB account (again) and deleted the IG app on my phone. I know a lot of people were deleting and talking about privacy issues with the most recent update but my reasoning has much more to do with the fact that I am a horrible consumer of social media. I compulsively use it and I feel bad about myself for 1) compulsively using it and 2) not living a life as IG worthy as some and 3) feeling the kind of crap that I did in middle school because of behavior that’s middle school.

I really, really appreciate you listening to me ramble. Sending hugs and warm wishes.

P.S. I need to take down our tree – you can’t even walk by it without needles falling – but I don’t want to give up pretty lights. Do you think putting twinkle lights in my pothos is overkill?

Tuesday Things

Just a few non-sequiturs before we get to the things:

That picture of those freshly crushed cranberries and sugar? I wish I could bottle that smell and send it to all of you. But you can make it at home by pulsing a bag of fresh cranberries in a food processor and making this recipe (or another recipe that uses fresh crushed cranberry).

This week has been hard. Pandemic living, sure, but also life. If you have extra good juju or prayers or happy thoughts to send this way, I’ll take ’em.

I signed up for a “fresh start” organizational challenge. Free with a list of tasks that isn’t overwhelming and motivation to check off some things I really need to do anyway? Yes, please. I’m looking to head into January a little less cluttered than before.

Knitting: Hats and socks. I have three pairs of socks in need of blocking which I’m hoping to get done this week. I’m pretty sure I’m going to set a goal to knit one pair of socks per month next year but I’m going to add on to that goal that I actually get them blocked that same month. I’m horrible about finishing a pair and setting it aside and then rushing like a crazy person to get them blocked and dry.

Watching: The Offspring on Netflix. I would never have picked it but a friend recommended it based on another friend recommending it and I love it. Kids and I are also rewatching The British Baking Show because that’s the kind of spirit we need in our lives right now.

Reading: Finished reading Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane. I didn’t like it but I’m realizing that dark/mystery/someone is married to a pyscho books aren’t my genre.

Making: Christmas lists. And then remaking them. And then again. We’re at the point of the year where I am almost done but I ordered some things I’ve forgotten about (or maybe didn’t order them but thought I did) and really need about two hours with a pad of paper, a pen, and my email inbox followed by a quick visit to Christmas present storage space in my basement.

I hope you’re having a good week where you are. The sun is shining so I’m going take a walk and “blow the stink off” as my mom used to say. I’d love to hear what you are -ing this week.

(Black) Friday Finds

In the spirit of Christmas shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving, I’m linking up some favorite online goodies.

  1. Beautiful beeswax candles.
  2. This and some “ammo” for a little (or not so little).
  3. Enamel pins: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
  4. With this to display them.
  5. A lovely apron.
  6. Classy but also punk.
  7. Pretty stained glass.
  8. A good puzzle.
  9. My go-to kiddo gift.
  10. A planner for next year.
  11. A craft to stay busy through the winter months.
  12. Some favorite games: 1, 2.
  13. A book of the month subscription*
  14. An every day pair of earrings.
  15. And a pretty dish to keep them.

Happy browsing!

*If you purchase a subscription from this link, I receive a free book credit.

Tuesday Things

Have you seen the funny/not funny viral tiktok where the woman lists off her 2020 goals? Yeah. I grabbed my 2020 bullet journal to get my Christmas list organized and realized I haven’t put a new monthly tab in since May. Short of a lone list in September where I tried to get my act back together, I have nothing but scribbles and a few random notes written down since May 30. And now the Christmas list.

I’ve changed up my instagram follows and set a screen time limit where Jesse holds the passcode. I’ve limited my news intake and no longer allow myself to seek out the comment section of our local health department/school district FB page. I still cry daily, survive more than thrive, shrug a lot. Some days I do all the things. Some days I feel like walking to the mailbox is more than I can handle. Some days I feel like that’s what thriving in a pandemic looks like.

Knitting: Hats. No pattern to link. Using bulky yarn I cast on somewhere between 30-40 stitches, knit between 9.5-11″ sometimes decreasing for the crown. Sometimes I make a pompom. I like that I can get one on and off the needles in about two hours. I’ve got my eye on making these for next year but not buying any more yarn in 2020. Finished a pair of socks. Cast on a pair of socks.

Watching: Finished Dash + Lily and wish I would have rationed those out a little slower. The Holiday Calendar on Netflix (fluffy, G rated Christmas romance). Midnight at the Magnolia on Netflix (generally the same thing). Drain the Oceans (with Violet) on Disney+. I’m looking forward to watching Hillbilly Elegy which I read last year.

Reading: Not a thing. I have a list. I can’t decide what I want to read off the list so I’m reading nothing.

Making: Plans for Thanksgiving dinner. This, this, and this are on the menu along with the classic green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and of course, pumpkin pie. Since Abram doesn’t like pie and I don’t think it’s Thanksgiving without dessert, I’m also making chocolate chip cookies. (This is the time of year when I’m extremely grateful for the double oven.)

So that’s us. What are you -ing this week? Wishing you all a very wonderful Thanksgiving – even if it isn’t the one you had hoped or planned – and with that, I just want to say how grateful I am for the penpal friendships we have created, this year especially. XOXO.

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!!