Another Five Things

I liked writing this so much last week that I will do it again this week. This week is also notable because I experienced my first sinus infection which has just been lovely! I think I feel better today?practicing their letters1. Monday was MLK Jr. Day and a school holiday so I worked it out that I didn’t have to be at the shop. The girls practiced their letters in the early morning. Jane is really coming along with her writing and Cate is definitely eager to help. We went to see Paddington in the theater in the afternoon – great fun. Mostly, I love to go to the theater because I get to hold a certain four-year-old girl for two hours straight. liz came over!
2. Elizabeth came over on Sunday for a post-Christmas celebration we have been trying to work out for weeks. (Side note: I actually watched part of the game on Sunday and what’s even more remarkable, enjoyed it immensely. How exciting!). She got her fill of George, the girls, and I made Ina Garten’s seafood stew from her new cookbook for dinner. The recipe I linked to isn’t exactly the one I made but pretty close. self-portrait by jane
3. The girls are forever stealing my phone and taking arty, blurry shots of their Chapstick or worse, my face. This one, by Jane, of her little feet, actually turned out well. I love those little feet! being mortal4. I was pretty much worthless after 3:00 PM every day this week so I read a lot. I was riveted by this book by Atul Gawande – about the end of life, about the failures of medicine and nursing homes and the rise of the palliative care movement. Gawande is one of my favorite New Yorker contributors and I think this is his finest book – so clear and approachable and hopeful and compassionately written. It’s personal too – he writes about the death of his own father.  Endings do matter and I think some things will change for the better in coming years. Read it.peace. an attempt.5. I am so thankful it’s Friday afternoon. Telfer’s home this weekend and Cate just got done with school. Telfer is going to run and pick up Jane here in a minute. I have a date with the laundry. I have no trouble doing the laundry, but putting it away? Not my strong suit. We don’t have a lot planned for this weekend. I am hoping to go to a yoga class, take George for a long walk and putter about tomorrow. Telfer is rereading Lord of the Rings and is about to finish Return of the King. I want to rent Boyhood. Make French Onion Soup. The girls want to play Candyland and do projects. Sounds just about right.

Five Things.

Here are five things that have made my week – the chatty version: unnamed
1. January is designated as signage month at the bookshop. We are going through and updating all the shelf labels, all the category signs. These two are the most visible (and most expensive) signs we are doing. The hours sign was just put on the window this morning. I can’t stop looking at both. So pretty! New shelf labels all in the same font and size are not as visible and somewhat tedious to do but also very satisfying.


2. We have been a firm Bird Bingo family for the past couple of years but we branched out to Candyland this week. I can’t say I love this game but I do love the forced togetherness and stillness – both for me and the girls – that game-playing brings.

3. No picture here because who wants a picture of a pot of beans? Not me. After reading Jenny from Dinner: A Love Story’s post about her slow cooker (side note: I feel the exact same way about my slow cooker. I have one really good soup recipe I make but other than that, everything comes out tasting a little bit worse than if I had just gone ahead and used my dutch oven). But beans in the slow cooker? A totally different story. Like Jenny, I made cannellini beans and didn’t overthink what I put in. Leftover ends of bacon, a can of tomatoes, the last of the thyme from our garden, a couple of bay leaves, carrots, celery, onion, etc. Absolutely delicious and the perfect meal for a Sunday evening in January after cleaning out the upstairs of the bookshop.

Another side note: we found so many gun casings in the floorboards of the upstairs of the shop. So many! The building used to be a bar and apparently it was a pretty rowdy bar from the stories I have heard and well, the fact that we found tons of shell casings in the floorboards.

beautiful, beautiful cookbook

4. After spending a few months with two jobs and a ton of stress and mental distraction, this month has felt so chill. Of course there’s always work to be done when you own a small business but right now, there’s nothing that needs my attention after 9:00 PM. I have felt a little bit guilty reading so much again but boy, I am such a happier person when I am reading. This last week I read this lovely cookbook above and The Accidental by Ali Smith (eh) and Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue which I loved. I have carted it around since our apartment days in California and finally, finally! read. Instant hook (but maybe not for everyone).

my downfall. every morning.

5. The morning roll and I go way back (since Cate at two decided it was her favorite food of all time) but I used to have to kind of work for one. I could walk down to the Bread Peddler or invent a reason why I needed to go downtown. I would have one maybe every two weeks. I now walk by the Bread Peddler at least twice a day, sometimes more. I love morning rolls (they are like a sugary croissant). I basically need an intervention at this point. I don’t get one every day, I certainly usually make my own coffee, but I am not sure how to break this habit. Basically, I am not quite ready to break this habit!

Around Here Lately

this little cutie started taekwondo yesterday
This little cutie started taking TaeKwonDo this week. We thought about piano lessons for about five minutes but this is much better and much more active if you get my drift. Cate runs for three recesses but it’s not quite enough to get all the wiggles out. The outfit (uniform? I am sure it has a specific name) is cute too! One of the main instructors made sure Cate knew she was not to go home and “practice” on her sister.

such a fun book

I loved The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We are calling 2015 “The Great Decluttering” at the bookshop. The entire upstairs is filled with what I will nicely call extra items. I have another word in mind but I will not say it. I have taken three loads to Goodwill so far and Telfer is bringing his truck down later today to fill with loads for the dump and Goodwill. With each load of stuff removed, I feel so much lighter. Anyway, the book is really fun. The author’s main premise is when tidying your home (or in this case, a business and to be truthful, our basement and garage at home), “take each item in one’s hand and ask: does this spark joy? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.” I love the sentiment. Just because something is potentially useful doesn’t mean it needs to hang out, taking up space in our lives.

first day of 2015. not a bad start.

January is usually a hard month for me. It’s dark and cold and wet but this year has is different. I am still in major gratitude mode for a renewed, lighter schedule. Telfer has had a busy week at the hospital and what would have been really stressful in November has just been absolutely fine. So what if I am at the bookshop less for a few days? I have good employees that can be here in the late afternoons. I have been walking George to pick up Cate from school and then we go together to pick up Jane. There’s always work I can do from home. I am getting up earlier instead of staying up later (one of my goals for the new year). Yesterday I even worked out!

RaChelle is on her way to visit Olympia later this morning. We are going to lunch and then to see Wild (since we read the book together a few years ago). I am so looking forward to some friend time. We are going to continue the great declutter later this weekend and Telfer is going to watch some football while I do my usual puttering/reading/crafting with the girls/messing about in the kitchen. Sounds just about right.