Blogs · Books · insomnia · Podcasts · You caught my eye...

Heart Full. Brain Chill.

It’s been a good weekend. My heart is full and my brain is chill. After some much needed acupuncture Saturday to address some recurring anxiety and insomnia, I had a delicious night sleep and an excellent mothers day to boot. Lots of time in nature, lots of good food, and sweet times spent with and without my family.

I’ve also been reading a lot this weekend.

In my quest to stop filling so much of my time with mindless scrolling through social media, I’ve stumbled upon several new blogs, a few podcasts and am finishing up a few books.

Blogs + Podcasts

These two seem to go hand in hand. Most authors these days are double or triple whammy-ing with their prolific blog+podcast+new book (wow guys). And I am not complaining, because when I discover someone new, it’s a triple bonus.

Shauna Niequist – Has a new podcast out this week, interviewing Tsh Oxenreider (who I had never heard of). Lovely first podcast, am definitely looking forward to future installations. Tsh talks a lot about an amazing trip that she went on with her family – a year long, around the world adventure. Which leads me to –

Tsh Oxenreider – http://theartofsimple.net/ Discovered she also has a podcast! Downloaded a few old episodes and spent some time on her site and amazon, trying to figure out which of her books I wanted to order first. Easy to listen to, interesting interviews with lots of familiar names. I listened to one of her old podcasts with Gretchen Rubin (one of the current books on my nightstand – Happier at Home). Which lead me to:

Gretchen Rubin – http://gretchenrubin.com/ WOW. Her website is just a treasure trove of delights. Blogposts, quizzes, community. Very cool, Gretchen. I took her Four Tendencies quiz and I am a “questioner”. I just downloaded the informational guide to go with this discovery and I am excited to learn more (and find out what my partner is too!). Want to get to know yourself a little better so that you can form better habits? Check it out here. (PS. Gretchen also has a podcast. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. There are only so many hours in the weekend :)) I’m looking forward to finishing up Happier at Home. It’s been an enjoyable slow read as I process all of the amazing offerings on life and happiness that Gretchen discusses. More on that soon!

Pod Save America – I have had so many friends recommend this podcast. I am not the biggest fan of podcasts, believe it or not. This weekend was the first time I listened to a complete podcast all the way through, and the lucky first was Pod Save America’s podcast this week re: James Comey. I laughed out loud and felt a little less crazy about the world by the time I finished listening (and appropriately cynical). These guys are fantastic. One of the reasons I dislike podcasts is that they lack a certain professionalism and finesse, and often times are just painful to soldier through. Not these guys. Hilarious and relevant, easy to listen to. Give them a listen if you enjoy politics (and are cynical about the current state of affairs in Washington).

A Cup of Jo – This is one of the only blogs that I religiously check. And I LOVE her Friday posts. This blog covers everything from travel to food to fashion to motherhood. Friday posts just hold so many rabbit trails ready to be discovered. My favorite trail this weekend was actually an earlier post that I had missed about aging where she mentions having a club that meets to discuss articles instead of books. I read most of the articles that she posted but my two favorites were:

How to be polite

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, My Dear

Finally, the last book on my nightstand.

Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

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I love this author. She is my go-to when I get hit with insomnia. Not because her reading puts me to sleep – not at all. Her books are like a comforting old friend. I reread her Sevenwaters series at least twice a year and absolutely love the strong women that dominate her books. If you love Irish folklore and YA fiction. Read these. And read all of her other series too. ❤

Happy Sunday, friends. Peace be with you.

Hard Things · Life · Motherhood · Sewing

Quilts

Lately I’ve taken to sleeping with a quilt under my striped comforter. It’s the quilt that Grandma made for me and my husband for our wedding. I’m not sure when I started doing it, it’s been at least a month.
It may have been around the time when my parents went crazy. Or when they came down to visit and mom cried about Grandma and my aunt dying.
She told this sad story about how she was going through her things in her kitchen, as she packed everything up before they sold the house. And she found her ceramic spoon rest, hand painted white and brown, labeled:
Martha’s Kitchen
Painted while my Mom worked in my Grandma and Aunt’s ceramic shop 25 years ago. And she found it there, hidden among old pots and pans and it hit her. Like a ton of bricks. My Mom and sister are dead. And she cried then. And she burst into tears as she told us at my kitchen table.
“Did you keep it?” I asked
“No.”
I really don’t understand my mom these days.
And I know she’s never been as sentimental as I have when it comes to objects or memorabilia or pictures. And maybe she just didn’t want the reminder of them being gone.
So I have this quilt over top of me right now. And it’s comfort. And sadness. Hard work. Love. Everything that we live and breath every day. And even though Grandma is gone, she still hugs me at night and a piece of her is in this blanket. She tied the ties that keep it together and stitched and pieced the squares. She made it blue because I love blue. With all the chaos that is my family and is my brain this year, there are some things that are constant and comfort. Something magically transforming and grounding like a quilt. Basic yet complex, beautiful, thoughtful, patterned and planned. Lately I’ve just soaked it in. It is constant. In my sea of inconsistency.
The other day I had folded it and left it on top of the comforter. My daughter and I were laying on the bed, reading or listening to music or something. And m climbs into the folded rectangle and she says “I’m on a boat”.
Yes, you are. You are on a boat. Way to use your imagination. I said.
And I laid back and watched her play boat on my quilt. Then she opened it and climbed in. “I’m sleeping. Tuck me in.”
Yes sweet girl.
It feels fitting that I made Grandma a quilt before she died. That I got to bring it to her and put it over her lap. Kiss her cheek and stroke her hair. Something comforting in a quilt being shared, made for someone you love. To communicate something that you can’t always say or always be around to repeat.
I love you.
I’m not sure where my quilt ended up after she died. Maybe Grandpa has it. Maybe one of the aunts.
But I have the one she made for me and here it will stay, on my bed, for a while. Until it is time to display it, or hang it, or pack it up for a season. And then one day I will pull it out again and remember.