There is finally that cool hint of something in the air that reminds me that we will in fact survive the incessant summer, while simultaneously brewing absolute panic for the cold, dreary, 4:30pm sunset days of mid February. We had a fluke of September snow early this month (Selah pictured above). I heard someone recently say that their least favorite season was summer. I am not sure I would go that far, but there is something about the repressive heat that makes me weary. Similar to the repressive cold. Which is why fall is my sweet spot. Unfortunately because fall is followed by a season that is cold and barren, and worst of all, seemingly endless!!, I never fully give in to fall. I normally spend half of fall, grieving that winter is approaching. Alas, the air has turned crisp in the mornings and I(clap) Am(clap) Here(clap) For(clap) It!
Josh and I are slowly making our way through Schitt’s Creek. We really love it, Daaaah-vid. But our life is not permitting binge watching at the moment, because #kids. So, flashback to the 90’s when you watched your beloved show once a week, live. Turns out, ladies and gents, it’s not so bad. And while most friends inhaled S.C. at the beginning of quarantine and are now swimming through a media dessert, Josh and I are still in the middle of season 4. (…and yes, I know they get married…. damn spoilers). The show is funny, surprisingly clean, and light. All things I need in my life right now. I am oscillating between finishing it out, or canceling Netflix all together because What.The.Hell is going on with that company (if you don’t know what I am talking about…. read until the end and I will tell you.)
Ken Follet’s latest novel, The Evening and the Morning. Ken Follet writes historical fiction in a way that I’ve never encountered (says the girl who hasn’t read that many books…..) The books are long, this latest one is a 24 hour listen, very well researched, and well, good. I am not here to write a book review. I am just here to explain that Josh and I got hooked on Ken Follet during a road trip to California is 2012 and would do that thing where we’d arrive at our destination and just drive in circles until the chapter ended because we couldn’t walk away. I always listen to these books on audible and the narrator’s voice is so satisfying. Ken Follet has written two series that I would recommend: Kingsbridge Series, and The Century Trilogy. That’ll give you over 150 hours of listening, so that secures I don’t need to recommend another book until 2021. Done.
The boys play our new piano! Gramps and GV gifted us a piano (actually for Christmas 2019, but there we were, about to move into an RV, so we took a raincheck. And sure as sunshine, our raincheck showed up this month!)
The boys have been loving tinkering around on it. I am quite impressed with both Beau an Jude’s ear to pick up on playing. Beaudin is doing online lessons through Hoffman Academy. I have been very impressed by the set-up over there. If we stick with it for a bit, I may pay for the premium membership, but right now we are testing the waters with the free version, and it’s great. Beau, at 8 years old, is just old enough to sit through the online lesson on his own, Jude still gets a bit distracted, so for now Beau is the only one “taking lessons”. Though he usually ends up teaching his learnings to Jude later. I mean, it’s idyllic. (And then you hear the childhood clanging of the piano while trying to put the overtired toddler down for a much needed nap, and the idyllic haze vanishes.)
The Lazy Genius Way. This is also a reading recommendation which I promised two paragraphs ago I was done with, but I just can’t help it. My lovely sister-in-law, sent me this book because she listens close and knew I needed it.
[Side bar. My love language is Gifts. For a long time I was in denial of this because I thought it made me materialistic, but turns out, there is NO SURER way to my heart than a gift that was curated just for me. ok.thanks.bye]
Anyway, the book is great, maybe, if you like optimization of things in your life. The tag line is, “Be a Genius about what matters, so you can be lazy about what doesn’t.” and well, as a perfectionist, I could use some guidance about being lazy on some things (without overwhelming shame spirals resulting).
The topic I’ve ruminated on the most is: Decide once. On what to wear, on what’s for dinner on Tuesdays, on if we buy soccer team photos every years, whatever. Decided once and be done. For someone who OVER THINKS TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION, EVERYTHING, this has been v. helpful.
Cooking + eating + drinking…
I have been nailing food preparation lately which I can only say so confidently because for 9/10 of my kids lives I have bemoaned the provision of daily meals. Why, why, WHY!, must they eat so often? It still baffles me. Alas, the combination of twice weekly InstantCart orders, staying on top of prepping meals earlier in the day so I actually know what’s for dinner at 5pm, and just a general eagerness to cut back on eating out after the summer of kitchen remodeling and eating out far.too.often, has made for a lot of nutritious, home cooked meals as of late.
I have been using Danielle Walker’s cookbook, Eat What You Love and generally find it to be delicious. The trouble is that most recipes use a host of ingredients, take a bit of prep, and never (I scream, NEVER!) turn out like they look in the pictures. Which I get is a marvel of cookbook photography, but for a rule following perfectionist, how am I suppose to know when to take the chicken out of the oven if I am waiting for it to “turn golden brown,” and that color NEVER COMES?? Anyhow, I am trying, and people are being fed, and really, is there anything else to say?
Any more posts about the great van color saga. I kind of left you all hanging, but anyone who knows anything about anything, knows that of course I drove home in a Modern Steel van, the exact color of our old van. And anyone who knows anything about me, knows that this made me supremely happy. If I never have to change car color ever again, it’ll have been too soon.
Looking forward to…
A girl’s weekend I have planned in early October. I have a core group of friends that have been together for some time now, starting back in 2011 as a bible study with 20 ladies, and evolving, refining, being forced to adapt into now a lovely core of 6 dear friends. We have been through all the things: adoption, miscarriage, job loss, job promotion… well actually, I said it best back on the day we all tattooed ourselves in a slurry mix of hope, grief, and overwhelm. You can read that post here. I don’t regret anything!!! (Except that my tattoo is slightly off kilter and I just wish I hadn’t had so many mimosas that morning so I could have identified this tilt before it became permanent. But without the mimosas, would this tattoo exist at all? Exactly.)
Anyway, back to the point!, when Beau was diagnosed in January 2019, after we all reacted by getting inked, we soberly agreed that we needed to have a one week in Mexico once Beau was in a more stable place. That would happen in May 2020. Except it wouldn’t because 2020 has been a complete dumpster fire and our Mexico extravaganza was canceled by the worldwide pandemic. 6 months after that painful cancelation, and a lot of calculated decisions later, we have rescheduled for a weekend in the mountains. It’s still not ideal, becuase there is risk in all things. But there is also risk in never leaving your house again and dying a long, slow death surrounded by the same 5 humans. So, yes, we are going to the mountains, and yes, I am living for it.
This post was inspired by a fellow blogger who I love to follow, Kelsey, at Rising*Shining. She also co-hosts the Podcast: Girl Next Door, which is one of my top five podcasts. Give it a listen!
Click here to read about the Netlifx hysteria. It’s gross.