Goooooooood morning, friends. How were your weekends? Mine was definitely good, although I felt vaguely unsettled all weekend. The usual, right? Between a couple of projects hanging over my head, a professional change for a valued colleague (excited for her, but I’m going to miss her), and the crazy news cycle of the last week, I just had this creeping sense of lingering dread all weekend. Which was too bad, because it was a beautiful one.
We had a super social weekend planned, which was exciting. (Ah, pandemic life and all the changes it brings… pre-COVID, I’d have been stoked about a weekend curled up in my own house, without social obligations. These days, I want to see all of the people.) We started the weekend out at the apple orchard; we were supposed to go with friends, but had a hard time finding an orchard that we all wanted to hit. It ended up being just us, at an orchard we’d been to a few years ago and thought was only okay. It was still just okay, but reservations were not required, so: a win. After apple picking (big plans for applesauce and homemade maple apple dumplings; watch this space) we headed back toward our neck of the woods to meet friends at a farm market and pumpkin patch. No pumpkins for us yet – it’s a little early – but we had a nice walk and left with some decorative gourds; another win. Sunday was more socializing: we were invited to lunch at our former neighbors’ house. Zoya had a surprise for the kiddos: two-day-old kittens, in a box in her spare room! She has added “cat midwife” to her long list of talents (along with kickass photographer, ancient chicken egg excavator, and gardener extraordinaire). We ate lentils drizzled with honey (AMAZING, who’d have thunk), traded book recommendations, and got caught up on all the news from our old neighborhood. It was good to be back, if just for an afternoon.
Reading. Bit of a slow reading week, which is fitting. Marilynne Robinson will not be rushed. I read through the rest of Gilead over the course of the week, and then turned to Home and have been reading it bit by bit. Still committed to my plan of reading through the entire series – my copy of Lila, which I loved, is waiting on my bookshelf, and brand-new Jack is on my coffee table. But I’m getting just the tiniest bit anxious to be on to my Halloween themed reads.
Watching. The usual. Still working our way through one episode of Rock the Park per night, with the kids as they wind down for bedtime. Not sure what we’re going to watch as a family after we’re done – which will be soon. Oh, and like everyone else in the Horrified States of America, I watched the first Presidential debate. (Almost forgot to mention that; every day has felt like a week and I had to think a minute before I realized that was just a few days ago. Yikes.) I wasn’t actually planning to watch. I already know who I am voting for and nothing is going to change my mind. So I was all set to spend the evening with Gilead and a glass of wine, but Steve said he felt like he needed to watch. He said that it turned his stomach to think of watching Trump talk for that long, but he felt like he needed to bear witness. I couldn’t make him go through that alone, so I kept him company. Gracious Hecate, was that not awful? I don’t usually drink on weeknights, but I had to get up and pour a whisky halfway through.
Listening. This and that! A couple of hours of my current audiobook (a Great Courses series on “The Art of Reading” – really interesting) and snippets of podcasts. I’m currently halfway through the Sorta Awesome fall coziness list and loving. it. As always.
Making. Lots of this and that! Some good dinners this week – a vegan chili packed with butternut squash and kale; maple-mustard tempeh; and an escarole and white bean dish served over baked potatoes that Steve requested I add to “the regular rotation.” Outside of the kitchen: a finished roll of film, progress on setting up the sunroom, and most excitingly: progress on unpacking the bedroom! The boxes and piles of stuff have lingered in the bedroom while I worked on getting the rest of the house unpacked and the kids settled in. But it was getting stressful to try to sleep in a chaotic space, and honestly – I deserve a peaceful bedroom just as much as the little animals I live with, who throw their laundry and toys everywhere. It doesn’t actually look like much has been done, yet, but I assure you progress has been made. Specifically, I cleaned out the closet! We have a huge closet that spans the entire length of the room, and I completely emptied and reorganized it. Just knowing that part – kind of the most daunting part – is done, is making the rest of the job so much easier to face. One more day of effort ought to do it! It’s also bumming me out a bit, because now that my clothes are all organized and hung up, I’m realizing that I have absolutely nowhere to wear most of them. I have one floral blouse that is making appearances on Zoom calls, and a herringbone blazer for online court appearances, and everything else is just sitting there. Blah.
Moving. Lots of movement this week! On Monday, I ran a trail 10K (for the virtual Fountainhead Classic), and yesterday, banged out a fast (for me) 5K around my neighborhood. The 10K was crazy difficult – lots of up and down steep hills, negotiating my way over rocks, roots and streams. I was exhausted afterwards, but I’m pleased to report: no injuries, other than a rolled ankle that’s already fine. In between, there was another neighborhood run and two strength-training sessions in “Mommy’s Jungle Gym.” Feeling strong!
Blogging. I’m doing a lot of dreaming this week: on Wednesday, talking about moving pipe dreams (don’t worry, I’m not moving) and on Friday, big adventurous plans for facing and overcoming a fear after the pandemic is over – and a book that is inspiring me.
Loving. I was going to tell you all about my new fridge, but you’ll have to wait, because how could newborn kittens not be the most exciting thing I have to report? These babies were literally two days old. Zoya was there when they were born (and gave us a very detailed description of the process of midwifing a cat – she “winged it” and it sounds like it was interesting, especially for the cat). Their eyes aren’t even open yet. You guys. I soooooooo wish I could take one home, but Steve and I are both allergic (although I wore my face mask in the room with the kitties and felt surprisingly fine). I even picked out the one I want: the little one with the black, tan and white splotches. I’d name him (her?) Cappuccino – Capp for short. Well, it’s not to be. But I got to pet two-day-old kittens, so basically, I’ve peaked.
Asking. What are you reading this week?