Good afternoon, friends. How are you?
Right now I’m…
Feeling… sluggish and bored. Zero energy. Therefore, I’m…
Drinking… English Breakfast tea with a little sugar and…
Forcing myself… to write this post, just to get something out. Must. Produce. Words. (Already I’m beginning to feel a little better.)
Mustering up the energy to… tackle some kitchen work. Seven-plus gallons of milk are culturing on the stovetop and will need to be turned into a cheddar in short order. It’s time to make yet another menu for the next week, and I have a whole bunch of small kitchen tasks I need to get to, like slicing a half ham, freezing some rotting bananas, mixing up some yummies for the week’s lunches, making a white sauce for supper. Once I jump in, it’ll be fine. It’s the period before — the dread transition — that kicks my butt.
Wishing… it would just rain already. The air is thick, the clouds low and heavy. It makes everything feel ponderous and blah.
Looking forward to… watching another episode of Julia with my husband tonight. We’ve both been enjoying it, me more than him (no surprise there), though the random Julia quips do make him laugh out loud with surprising frequency.
Reading… Here We Are, a memoir by Aarti Namdev Shahani about her family’s immigration story. It’s not a hard read, but it’s taking me forever to finish. Maybe I’m just not in a reading mood? Or maybe I’m just delaying finishing it because then I’ll have to find something new to read and, like I said: I dread transition.
Trying to remember… all four of Bryan Stevenson’s points in the talk he gave at my son’s graduation. That’s right: Bryan Stevenson, the Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy (READ IT) and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, was the commencement speaker, whoop-whoop! (I joked to my son that none of us were coming to see him walk — we just wanted to hear Bryan.) To make change, Stevenson said, we must have 1) proximity to the people/issues/problems that we wish to help/impact/solve, and 2) hope, which is just another way of saying “being faithful,” but the other two points? I can’t remember! (And yes, I’ve devoted quite a bit of shower-time to racking my brains.)
Eating… my second iced maple pecan cookie of the day, mmm. I need to make another batch — I have some ideas for improvements — so maybe I’ll do that this afternoon? Also, I’ve been thinking about maple oat scones an awful lot lately. Might need to scratch that itch, too.
Babying… the roof of my mouth. I went on a baguette-making kick this week and my mouth took quite a beating from the (marvelously) crusty loaves. After eating yet another piece of fresh baguette slathered with butter, I announced to my husband that I didn’t want to eat anything else for the rest of my life. Just, fresh baguettes and butter. (And yet, I still want scones.)
Mulling over… the rising food prices. On my latest shopping trip, I spent twenty-five percent more than I thought I would. Is that an accurate representation of the rising costs or did I just overspend?
Ordering… another pair of Brooks running shoes, more rennet (soon) from New England Cheesemaking, and a second pair of crocs for my restaurant kitchen-worker daughter. She got one pair to keep at work and then she decided she liked them so much that she ordered another pair for at home. (She orders through our account and then pays us back.)
Listening… to this podcast on intuitive eating and perimenopause — again. Mind-blowing new concept (start at the 46-minute mark): just as pre-adolescent girls often put on extra weight before they hit puberty, women often gain extra weight when they are perimenopausal because — GET THIS — the extra weight is the body’s way of slowing the drop in estrogen and lessening the side effects of peri! The extra weight is not “a spare tire,” as it’s often called, but rather a freaking LIFE preserver. A shifting body shape isn’t a sign that a woman is letting herself go; rather, it’s normal and healthy. That this surprises me so much illustrates just how much I’ve absorbed our culture’s skewed perceptions of health and aging without even knowing it. I knew weight gain was common, and a thickening middle was maybe inevitable, but I had no idea that this was actually the body’s way of protecting us. I still don’t want it to happen, of course, but this new perspective helps me to be a little more gentle with myself — or something. I’m still trying to figure it out.
Glancing obsessively… out the window to see if Emma is showing signs of labor. (Not yet!)
Gearing up… to plant the garden. Even though I’m still missing winter (I’m secretly fantasizing about moving to Canada), I have to face it: summer is coming. So this morning I went to the greenhouse and picked up a bunch of starts — tomatoes, peppers, herbs, as well as some flowers.
Getting up… to go make the cheese. Bye!
This same time, years previous: currently, when they’re “nothing” to eat, the quotidian (5.13.19), the quotidian (5.14.18), driving home the point, on getting a teen out of bed in the morning, crock pot pulled venison, maseca cornbread.
Go “get proximate, change narratives, be hopeful, and do uncomfortable and inconvenient things” (Bryan Stevenson).
Whoo-hoo — THANK YOU.
So interesting about perimenopause and weight gain. I’m 46 and the last two years my body and mind have been going through crazy changes that I didn’t understand. Your perimenopause series has helped me so much. I’ve hooked several friends on it too. We agree – why isn’t this talked about? We’ve been so in the dark and these other women’s experiences are so enlightening. Just wanted to pop in and share that I’m a long time reader (and probably polar opposite) but I enjoy your blog so much, especially your willingness to share these topics.
Re: food prices, yes, that sounds about “right” (it’s all wrooooong the stupid corporations profiting off people not being able to tell which price increases are legitimate and which are just “bonus” profit margin https://www.cbsnews.com/news/retail-price-gouging-lowes-amazon-target-accountable-us/ ).
If you ever get the other two points, please report in!
(and that is *fascinating* re: the additional weight, and if we had actual large-scale studies of perimenopause, we could probably tell whether 1. people who are carrying more weight in general experience reduced symptoms and 2. to what degree gaining weight helps. I am a bean pole to begin with, though, and do not want a spare tire [my collagen is wonky so weight gain/loss is *extra* tired-elastic skin and my hips are already having a hard time keeping my pants on without my waist increasing] but *also* do not want an aggravated perimenopause “experience” and… ugh.)
Thrift at Home
I dread summer heat too! Ughhhhhh. And even though I love the garden at this stage in all its promise, I know that in midsummer I will feel haunted by it like another creature I have to tend :/
How amazing that you got to hear Bryan Stevenson!!! So cool. Is this a game that *you* have to remember all his points or can you ask the other people who heard him also? And then report back, please!
Also, not to fuel your baguette bender and hurt your poor mouth more, but recently I’ve been craving and eating buttered baguette with pieces of good chocolate on top – it’s a French snack for kids and it’s AMAZING.
These posts are so good, Jennifer. These fight of ideas, rambling posts. Lots of thing to think about. Do you really like winter better than summer? Hmmm. Oh, yes, the body is wise. I have been on hormone replacement therapy for 35, yes, 35 years. I had to have a total hysterectomy at a young age, so I know all about hormones. One of the things I can report from personal experience is that estrogen is stored in the fatty tissues of your body, and when I lose weight, I will get an obviously higher level of estrogen evidenced by physical symptoms. It’s nice to know it’s all part of the design. Yes, the food prices sound about right. I live in a 2 person household, but I have found that several of my personal staples have almost doubled in price, and they are nothing fancy. It’s shocking how much the total is for so few groceries. However, I feel very blessed that I can afford to buy what I really need. I think about all those folks who cannot every time I shop. I hope there is relief soon. I feel very sluggish when I don’t exercise, but I hate that transition – from inactive to exercise. After I start, I feel much better. Good post (for me)!