four fun things

Back when I was going to physical therapy for my hamstring, the therapist often used a muscle pounder thingy on my leg to help break up the fascia and facilitate healing. She recommended we buy one for ourselves, so when my husband found one on sale at Costco, he picked it up. (similar, Amazon)

I thought it might be an unnecessary extravagance — was it really any better than old-fashioned (and free) massaging? — but we have been LOVING it. My husband has a wonky back, and using it on the sore spots every other night or so has made a huge difference.

For me, my hamstring is still giving me grief. It got better, but now that I’ve started playing Ultimate again it’s aching and burning quite a bit. Days that I work it harder than normal, I’ll use it on the back of my leg. I’m not sure we’re using it correctly, but my leg feels all warm and relaxed afterward, so I guess it’s fine?

And it does wonders for getting that jittery feeling out of crazy legs! Nights when I feel an attack coming on, I use it on a few pressure points and the crazy feeling lessens dramatically. It’s a marvel!

Sidenote: I’ve recently had an increase in leg muscle cramps: as in, I went from none to lots. So I did a little research and learned that leg cramps are a symptom of perimenopause: lower estrogen levels make it harder for the body to absorb magnesium. Anyone else have this problem?


Another friend did it again!

I’d preordered the book and it arrived at suppertime. I started reading right away and got so absorbed in a story about marriage, morels, and venison that I burned the burgers. (They were still good.)

The takeaway: Lucy’s essays about marriage, the natural world, and growing up are a delicious read, her writing rich and chock-full of insights. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and am full of admiration for her mad writing skills. Recommend!


Have you watched Julia (HBO Max)?

Both my husband and I enjoyed the show — it did my heart good — and I hear there is going to be a second season, yay!

And speaking of shows, I need recommendations. My husband and I are (very slowly) watching Station Eleven, but I’ve spent so much time being confused (perhaps because I keep trying, and failing, to relate it to the book) that we may need to start over from the beginning and rewatch it as a stand-alone story.

Other shows I’ve recently watched: Inventing Anna (loved it, but my husband refused to watch it due to the cringy factor); Somebody Somewhere (okay); Hacks (fading interest); Working Moms (okay, but meh); Life In Pieces (lost interest). I did enjoy Life & Beth, after the first few episodes. I see Netflix has a new season of Alone which I’m looking forward to watching with my younger son…

What else?


If you need a laugh, or GALES of laughter, you gotta read this embarrassing story about a woman’s run-in with Ethan Hawke.

photo credit: my younger daughter

It’s perfect and cringy and wonderful and I laughed for minutes, smiled for days. (Don’t skip the comments. They are a landmine of hilarity.)


This same time, years previous: currently, yogurt cheese, movement, all things Thursday, putting up walls, four weeks down, three to go, in which a pit bull bites my butt, ouch, zucchini fritters, roasted carrot and beet salad with avocado.



    Perimenopause + muscle cramps + magnesium… yes! This! An over the counter vitamin taken a couple of times a week has done wonders. No more cramps. And thank you for your perimenopause series, my friends and I have found it so informative to hear others’ experiences.

  • DB Stewart

    Maybe you haven’t encountered these…? Derry Girls on Netflix is hilarious. My wife & I enjoyed The Americans on Disney+ (high tension) and Ozark on Netflix (mouth-dropping plot twists). Ted Lasso on Apple+ is kind of healing. Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek is warm and funny and I say this with pride: so Canadian. Parks & Recreation is also fantastic, IMO.

    My wife has a wonky back too; thanks for the recommendation, lol.

    • Jennifer Jo

      I haven’t watched Derry Girls, but MY girls loved it. I’m also a huge fan of Ted Lasso, Schitt’s Creek (watching it with my younger son this time around), and Parks and Rec, so I think we have similar tastes. Going to look into The Americans and Ozark….

  • Kathy S.

    My “Dame Lady Bench” is where I’ll be taking my rest breaks each time I walk at the local park from this day forward. Thanks for that royal laugh!

  • SB

    Oh, one more strong recommendation: High on the Hog (on Netflix). This series about African influences on cuisine is so moving, beautiful, enlightening and lovely. The host, food writer Stephen Satterfield, is wonderful.

  • SB

    Have you watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? It’s super cringey (by design, not because it’s bad) but also brilliant, hilarious, heartbreaking and well-worth watching. It subverts and upends tropes about .. pretty much everything and the acting and music are phenomenal. FYI, this is coming from someone who does NOT like musical theater (sorry!). A few other movies recommend are “Sound of Metal” (the acting is so good!) “Bernie” (NOT weekend at Bernie’s, ha — this one is VERY quirky, but also based on a crazily TRUE story –definitely look up the guy Jack Black portrays afterwards to appreciate its authenticity) and The Queen of Versailles (documentary that is BONKERS).

    My favorite podcast is Pop Culture Happy Hour from NPR and while I don’t necessarily watch a lot of movies or shows (I get bored easily), I love learning about what’s out and how popular culture fits into broader contexts, history, genres, etc.

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