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Snow days for days

January 20, 2022
black wooden fence on snow field at a distance of black bare trees
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today marks the third snow day of the week. There isn’t any more snow than there was three days ago; it’s just the way of things in Athens, Ohio. Truth be told, the snow is melting as far as I can see, but one of the great mysteries of living here is snow days without snow. The deli-counter guy at Seaman’s is pretty sure that we’re going to have another one tomorrow, not from snow, of course, but because it’s supposed to be 3℉ tomorrow morning. There’s no way they’re going to school tomorrow.

Did you order your free at-home COVID-19 tests, courtesy of the U.S. government? It’s so easy. It really makes you wonder what else they could do if they put their minds to it.

Scarlett and I made this apricot + pistachio olive-oil cake from Dorie Greenspan last night, and it’s quite lovely. Highly recommend. All the recipes in her new cookbook look amazing.

I’m going to go get my life together and figure out dinner now. Maybe someday I’ll be one of those people who does meal planning and shit. LOL no.

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Blurred minds

January 18, 2022
blurry grayscale portrait
Photo by Elīna Arāja on Pexels.com

How are you doing today? That big Midwestern snowstorm on Sunday left us with about eight inches of snow. Having lived in Upstate New York for seven odd years, my outlook on snow is probably skewed because this seemed like just an average snowfall. I never understood those Mid-Atlantic New York City winters of rain and slush. (Rainboots and an umbrella? In January?) But we’re country mice now, and school always gets canceled due to those back roads that no one clears, so the kids are home. They’ve been sledding on the hill in our front yard for two days now. Brian and I spent about three hours shoveling the driveway yesterday morning before the sun was up, and fool that I am forgot she’s in her 40s now and didn’t take any ibuprofen or Tylenol. Everything hurts.

Maybe the cold also melted my brain because I cannot think today. It feels like sludge in my skull. I think I’ll grab some analgesics and a glass of water, just a fun little afternoon snack for a middle-aged lady. I’m avoiding the television during the week because I am a narrative addict, but these glorious, golden days of television programming that we’re living through make it hard, especially on days like this, when I long to be a slug snuggled up with my dog on the sofa. For years, we didn’t own a television, and those were good years, but my kids are learning the last 30-plus years of pop culture on The Simpsons right now (thanks, Disney+), so we’ve got that going for us. But did you see that they’re doing a Saved by the Bell reboot? Is nothing sacred?

I think I’ll go make some bread. I need to find some hygge. I hope you find yours, friend.

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The weekend

January 14, 2022
down angle photography of red clouds and blue sky
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

TGIF, my friend. I hope you have a beautiful weekend. Whenever anyone asks me if I have weekend plans, I just laugh and say, “Maybe next year.” I’m teaching a few voice lessons because what is a weekend anymore really? We’re supposed to have a big winter storm on Sunday, and the kids are both thrilled and disappointed because they don’t have school on Monday so they can’t have a snow day on Monday. Ah, such is life.

I am looking forward to watching Somebody Somewhere Sunday on HBO Max. I hope it doesn’t hit too close to home.

The one pair of jeans I’ve been wearing every day of the pandemic finally gave up, so I ordered some new ones, including these 90s-inspired throwbacks, which Brian said were definitely 90s, but he has forgotten what 90s jeans actually looked like because these are much better.

My current read is Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy. As I am a sucker for anything set in Scotland, I picked it up. I’m only a little ways in, but it’s lovely.

Peloton did an Amy Winehouse series this week, so I think I’ll take this yoga class this weekend. She was my very fave.

And maybe Scarlett and I will do little baking. I made this carrot cake from Dorie Greenspan a few weeks ago for Brian’s birthday, and it’s perfect. Perfect. Don’t let the health nuts in the comments talk you out of the sugar. Trust.

Stay safe, stay sane. xo

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Praxis

January 13, 2022
purple and blue abstract wallpaper
Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Did you see this article in the New York Times earlier this month? Do you have a word of the year? This is a lovely idea, especially for the anti-resolution crowd. Even though I am all about resolutions, I thought this was a beautiful way to take a macro view, a more thematic approach. So, I looked at the goals that I set for the year, and at first, I thought, “Create.” But on second thought, that wasn’t really it. Yes, many of my hopes for the year center around creative endeavors, but the hard part for me is not the creation, it is the discipline, the practice of showing up every day, whether I want to do it or not because some days I really don’t want to.

“Discipline” seemed too hard, too puritanical. “Practice” connotes for me sad, dirty, solitary practice rooms from undergrad and grad school, but it was closer, and then I remembered that word from my graduate feminist courses: praxis. Although it’s used mostly in academia, it’s a fabulous word, and words with x’s are always a little sexier, don’t you think?

prax·​is (noun) | \ ˈprak-səs  \
plural praxes\ ˈprak- ˌsēz  \
Definition of praxis:
1. ACTION, PRACTICE such as a.) exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill; b.) customary practice or conduct
2. practical application of a theory

It fits just right, I’d say. And that’s the word.

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New approach

January 11, 2022
photo of nimbus clouds
Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

I’m trying a new thing: writing on my phone. This most likely is a sign of the inevitable decline of our culture and society as a whole, but the thing is I always have it with me. I’m trying to create new habits, which is hard as hell, and as such, trying to reduce friction around these tasks. Let’s count this as working smarter. Right now, I’m sitting on the sofa with Leo while he plays Zelda. The dog is in the running for World’s Neediest Dog and must therefore be on my lap for 23 hours a day. Writing this in the Notes app is much less disruptive to his super cush life than me getting up and going to the computer. Of course, I’ll edit and zhuzh it up over there, but I mostly just wanted to get it down because of that little voice. 

Who is that little voice, by the way? The one who as soon as you start trying to change your life tells you that you’re too tired or you just don’t feel like it. She’s the voice of Little Miss Self-Sabotage, that’s who. And does everyone have this voice, or was I just born under a bad sign? Don’t answer that. 

I’m also hopeful that this can help me get some song lyrics down. They do not want to come out of my head. I don’t know what they’re doing it there, but they do not want to play with me. I’m trying to be less precious about the whole thing, but it’s a struggle right now. 

In other news, I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday.