We have 3 school-aged kids who are on summer holidays. I love summertime, and I’m feeling the tension of wanting to soak up every minute and maximize these fleeting times with my kids, with the day-to-day, continued needs of life. I want to play, adventure, create memories; I want to be with my kids to craft, explore, linger over board games, walk to get a cold treat. I also have responsibilities to work, to function, to plan, to keep the life-wheels in motion. Is this the lie, the false pressure of modern motherhood? That nagging insecurity — when I’m doing this, maybe I should be doing that; and visa versa?
The threat of technology to our humanness is no new fear (hello, Blade Runner! …actually: goodbye, you are a super boring movie 😆). But, there seems to be an acute crisis of our current cultural moment, as we relate to technology. Here is just a fraction of writings from the past month addressing this:
With so much pain, brokenness, ugliness in the world, attention to beauty, joy, & wonder is absolutely necessary! Beauty may not solve problems itself... A stunning photograph will not end famine or war. Banksy's graffiti art does not solve Middle eastern contested-land conflicts. But, the restoration, hope, and inspiration that come from creativity and beauty are like gas in the tank — fuel for the drivers & changers of the world.
We don’t receive a lot of returned items, but it does happen. Of course! There is some degree of risk in shopping online, always. Stores take different approaches to return policies, sometimes with great sophistication in how it will impact your willingness to purchase. Here's a little peek at what I've learned over the years (as a customer and also as a retailer) about return policies.
Lately, I have often found myself in conversations that wend their way into sleep troubles. Maybe this is just a reflection of my age/stage of my peers! But, I think that the burdens of life, the weight of covid & its out-workings, and the expectations of the day have compounded and contributed to sabotaging our sleep health. We’ve all heard plenty of the same advice reel: don’t drink caffeine too late; keep a pad of paper beside your bed to write down stressors in the night (? is this actually a thing people do?); have a bedtime routine… And, maybe these have been helpful! But, I've also come across some more *quirky* tips & tricks about sleep health, and I wanted to corral all of these into one spot... for me, for you, and for all future reference and conversations!
It feels so disappointing to me and, well, financially gross, when I’ve spent money on clothes that turn out to be a complete dud. The sweater that gets pilly and gnarly after a couple wearings; the jeans that distort as I wear them or rub down the knees in months. Conversely, one of my great delights is enjoying clothes that are made well, fit nicely, and hold up because of good workmanship and materials. But, here's the rub... good quality clothes, made from solid materials, constructed to last: they cost money!
I love to read, and I love to read memoirs. There are loads of lists out there of great memoirs, and, well… this is another one. Some titles will be familiar & common, though I’ve left out some faves that I’ve already mentioned (many times) before — Born A Crime, The Glass Castle, Bossypants — in favor of other titles [though, truth to tell, I have also mentioned some of these before.] I hope that you can find something to read over the holidays! Happy Reading!
Mystery novels have often appealed to people with jobs that are never fully resolved (doctors, pastors, social workers). In this cultural era of many-problems-few-resolutions, reading a good mystery can be a refreshing break. Our 12-year old daughter is the most avid, prolific reader I know! We teamed up to create a list of mysteries for all ages of independent readers. The recos below are listed with increasing age levels in mind, but no specific age parameters (as a mature, well-read, near-teen, she has read up to Agatha Christie on this list). Read on!