hello!

Now that our house is no longer overflowing, I’ve pretty much stopped cooking all together. Instead, I’ve been living on pretzels and cheese, popcorn, apples and peanut butter, ginger tea, red wine, chips, and eggs. The fridge is bare and everyone’s fussing about there not being any food, and I’m like, Stop fussing, there’s cereal..

Yesterday, I threw together a stirfry with leftover rice, sausage, and spinach, and then, last minute, everyone made themselves eggs to go with. And tonight there will be mashed potatoes and steak and corn. And I baked one of my freezer coffee cakes this afternoon.

So it’s not like we’re not starving or anything.

*** 

I still feel like I’m recuperating from all the activity, though. I was sick last week (just a cold) and haven’t been sleeping well. And then one of the kickboxing instructors alerted/invited me to the studio’s Valentine special — bring buddies for free — so I’ve been going to classes all week, some of which take place at 5:30 in the morning. So now, on top of the cold and lack of sleep, my entire body hurts.

I keep telling myself to take it easy. It’s okay to rest. Napping’s good. Netflix are fun. Read.

Anyway, for those of you who think I’m go-go-go all the time: I’m not. Just fyi.

*** 

Speaking of kickboxing: I need to find a better deodorant. Preferably, one that works. The kind I’m using — some cheap, unscented Dove stuff — just doesn’t cut it.

Suggestions, please and thank you.

*** 

My husband and I watched Joker the other night. I loved it — I thought it was real and creative, nuanced and honest, beautiful — but my husband, not so much.

It was actually pretty funny: the whole first half, I was like, Lah-de-dah-de-dah, isn’t this story fascinating? Isn’t the acting great? And my husband was literally writhing in agony from the social awkwardness of it. I had to hold his hand so he wouldn’t walk out, and even so he managed to flee the room on a couple times.

Then the violence picked up and he calmed down and I started covering my face with the pillow. 

We’re such a team.

*** 

Do any of you own a tortilla press?

For awhile now, I’ve been contemplating buying one, but I’m worried it’d just clutter up the shelf. On the other hand, if it made tortilla-making that much easier (I hate the rolling-out part) then I’d presumably make tortillas more often and it’d be worth it, right?

Ugh. I hate it when I can’t make up my mind.

*** 

The other day I came across this post about spring cleaning.

Pretend you’re going to be selling your house, Sarah writes. Go into each room and make a list of everything that needs to be done to ready it for showing to potential customers: painting, a new chair, patching holes, decluttering, etc. Then, one room at a time, do it. Get it nice — not for the customer, but for yourself.

It’s an intriguing idea, but I don’t think it’d work for us, since most of the work would fall to my husband and, well: if you’ll recall, that kitchen island took three years (or thirteen years, depending on how you look at it) to finish, and I’m still waiting for him to install a couple easy-peasy latches on the cupboard doors.

I’m not fussing, mind you (not too much anyway) — just, keeping it real.

*** 

I’ve been writing, often five mornings a week. People ask me how it’s going. The answer: I’m doing it, so … good?

It’s weird how I have so little to say about something that I spend so much time doing.

*** 

My new experiment: bamboo toothbrushes!

I haven’t tried them yet, but the kids love them. Since they’re all identical, we just write our names on the handles.

*** 

My younger son is into plants. Or growing things? Whatever.

I’m not sure where he gets the interest — neither my husband nor I are particularly good at growing things — but he’s forever sticking plants in dirt, or water, and trying to get them going. Just this afternoon, he came back from a friend’s house with a start for a houseplant that he’d begged.

For awhile, he cluttered up my kitchen sill with his starts, and then, once he moved into his older sister’s tiny room, I ordered him to take them all upstairs to his new room. He kept the plants clustered on an old end table in front of the window, but then, for his birthday, my husband built him a special plant shelf that runs across the upper half of the window so he could get rid of the table and save space.

It wasn’t completely finished when my son’s birthday rolled around (see above about spring cleaning), so my son sealed it with tung oil and then installed it himself.

And now he has lots of room for his plant collection!

And the arrangement of the room — with a cut-to-size bed above the dresser — is the best we’ve come up with to date.

He’s got tons of storage and work space, good lighting, and a cozy reading nook.

It’s tight, but it’s all his. He loves it.

This same time, years previous: homemade pasta, the quotidian (2.20.17), doppelganger, Jonathan’s jerky, in my kitchen: 11:50 a.m., almond cake, pan-fried tilapia, toasted steel-cut oatmeal, cream scones.

12 Comments

  • tammie

    Pit paste is the best deodorant in town w no aluminum – foodcoop or amazon and now I refill my bottles downtown – works also great for teenage pits 😉

  • farm buddy

    For deodorant, try Tom's. I have used that stuff forever and really like it. Here is their website:
    https://www.tomsofmaine.com/
    Hats off to the plant-growing son! You might get him this book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening, by Peter Burke. Then he can grow something for you family to eat in the winter!!

    • Jennifer Jo

      Just looked that book up in our library and they don't have it, shucks. Maybe I'll ask them to do an interlibrary loan….

  • Carolyn

    I've always needed to use an antiperspirant rather than deodorant, since deodorant would always break down. Then I found a recipe for homemade deodorant. So I tried it and love it – it works like a charm. It's so simple to make, coconut oil and baking soda, and it lasts forever since you only need to use a small amount. You can also add a few drops of a fragrant oil – I use peppermint. I've seen recipes for 1/2 oil and 1/2 baking soda. But I've used less baking soda with just as much success. Another plus, baking soda DOES NOT contain aluminum and it's much cheaper to make it yourself.

  • Unknown

    I've been making my own deodorant for years, because it's the only thing that works. Bonuses: super easy, excess can be frozen to use later (you really only have to make it about once a year) and it's zero waste – reuse your old deodorant container/s over and over. Oh and you get to scent it your very favorite ways. Pro-tip – if you have sensitive skin, do a little less baking soda. There's even a demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42Htnp8P9Eg

  • Maggie

    That spring cleaning tip sounds great, until you think about it. Great idea for people in finished houses that don't need a lot of work. But that wouldn't be us.
    We're half way renovating an old (previously abondoned) house and the list would be endless. Good thing we don't actually have spring here, I'll just skip the whole spring cleaning 😉

  • Margo

    I've thought of trying that spring cleaning tip before – it makes me sad when people wait to fix up their house right before they sell it. I want to enjoy my house with my family in it! But dang, it is so hard to get projects finished. I'm a finisher, but I lack the necessary skills for the house projects.. . .

    Your son's room is so charming! I'm a fellow houseplant lover and I will give him starts of lots of things when next I see you – my windowsills are filled up, ha.

  • Chris B

    Deodorant brand – Crystal – it has a pink label. If I can't find it in the store, Amazon carries it. It will allow you to perspire, but no sweat stink. I sugar wax the underarms every 2 – 3 weeks so there is no shaving irritation when using the Crystal. Your son's room is fantastic! Love the plant shelf.

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