Here I am, 35. Weaning my fourth daughter, thinking about buying a lamb. Saying “last baby,” in the way that people who believe in last babies say, because they want to see it coming and say goodbye.
Baking bread, simmering beans. Wish I cared less about messy corners.
Once I believed in no shampoo. Once I believed in all shampoo. Now I believe your body changes what it needs and you should look in the mirror and decide then.
Did I ask for anything for my birthday? yes. I asked for new slippers because I wore mine nearly every day last year and they simply gave up on day 360. I asked for oysters and a cake by mail. I received a handwritten book (“My Story” by Lux Ringenberg), a cherry wood platter sanded to gentleness by Joan, and a small box for my drawer of chaos crafted from wood and glue by Alma. There was also a sawdust cake topped with real candles and sprinkles (ferried away from the kitchen without my noticing), with frosting made from flour and water.
This week the girls learned about valkyries and watched The Ring Cycle opera which is available on the Metropolitan Opera’s streaming service. The fact that the Met has a streaming service is a thing I never would have bothered to google if not for this being week six of family quarantine. Thanks to Ronia (Netflix/Astrid Lindgren) the girls already love harpies. The valkyries seem to be an even fiercer inspiration for them to contemplate.
I did not watch it with them but I listened from the other room and overheard the selective reading aloud of subtitles. “Giant. I think that’s a giant? ‘Unless you are honest and keep your word. A simple minded giant tells you this–wise woman, heed what he says.'”
I came in to watch a few minutes. “Mom, you’ll love this, it’s so cool. It’s freezing cool.” said the four-year-old who cannot read subtitles.
If you can’t make a list of what you love in life on your birthday, when can you? A few things:
I’m in love with the anti-fragility of google forms right now. I feel like everything wonderful has migrated to a google form of one sort or another. Sign up. Volunteer. Spread the news. Let me know.
example: This farmer in Southern Vermont grows the most beautiful and obscure flowering plants of all sorts in her greenhouse, and then sells them from her front yard. She has a google spreadsheet order form posted up for spring orders. Place the order, drive and get your plants sometime in May. Bunker Farm Plants (click the link in her instagram profile for the order form.)
Bon Tucson: such a classy shop that seems to carry only the most lovely things presented in the gentlest way. I so admire their style.
The cookbooks story on Tonke’s instagram account. What a pretty collection she has, and her reviews are wonderfully precise. It’s the most recent story listed.
Our monthly coffee subscription from my hometown coffeeshop Madcap (Grand Rapids, Michigan). It is the best most delicious coffee I’ve ever had, they strive to pay more than fair trade prices to their growers, they are obsessed with quality, and they ship three bags once a month. It’s been perfect for the last year and I’m so thankful for it.
Speaking of cookbooks, Tim of Lottie and Doof told me about Midnight Chicken and it’s one of the books I happened to have with me during quarantine. My quaran-team. A thoughtful reflective cookbook filled with short memory-essays and encouraging ideas. Extremely British. It is the single reason I buy more expensive butter for toast now (strictly for slathering) than I did before.