eight fun things

On our camping trip when I mentioned that no deodorant seems to do it for me anymore (I’ve read that extra stink is yet one more symptom of peri), my son and daughter-in-law were like, “Oh, you need salt stick deodorant. It’s great.” 

I was skeptical but they declared up one side and down the other that yes, it totally works, so I ordered it.

Day one, I was careful to follow the instructions exactly. (You know, in the name of scientific experimentation.) I wet the tip with tap water, twirled it all around my pits (the stick feels like plastic so this seems as pointless as rubbing a wet spoon in your pits) and then waited a few minutes before getting dressed so it’d have time to thoroughly dry. 

After a long hot day, the verdict … [drumroll]


I sniffed and sniffed and sniffed.


The next morning, I wore it to go running, and again, nothing. WHAT THE HECK.

One of my husband’s friends said he puts it on at night after showering and then is good to go the next day (and his work involves hard physical labor), and my husband has started wearing it now, too. At the end of each (hot! humid! August!) day we check in with each other. “How do you smell?” I’ll ask.

“Fine,” he says. “You?”

“Like roses!” And we both shake our heads, happily bewildered.

Note: If I apply it sloppily, or if I wear it all day and then go play Ultimate for a couple hours, I’ll notice a mild funk, but it’s not even close to the level of stank I’d get wearing regular deoderant.

Other notes: It doesn’t leave a residue film on the skin, nor does it stain the clothes. There is zero scent. It’s not an antiperspirant. Don’t apply immediately after shaving — any small knicks, even invisible ones, will burn. It lasts for an eternity (or thereabouts). But most important: it works.


Have you seen The Rescue (Disney Plus), the documentary about the soccer team that got trapped in that cave? My cousin and his wife suggested we watch it, but I hesitated, worried I’d feel like I was drowning the whole time. But then a couple weeks ago we finally took the plunge (ha) and watched it for our family movie night. WOW. What an amazing story.

That was incredible, my husband kept saying. I had no idea that’s what happened! 

Me neither. (And I did not feel like I was drowning.) Highly recommend.


Check out this beautiful photo series by Canadian photographers Aimee and Jenna.

Photos of real women and real bodies always give me a jolt.

Not until I see them do I realize how starved I’ve been for honest images.

A feast for the eyes. I love it.
photo credits: Hobbs Photography. (Click here and then scroll down for the BEST partner photo ever — cracks me UP.)


Did you get to hear the Fresh Air interview in which Cory Silverberg talked about their book, Sex Is a Funny Word, about how to talk to kids about sex? Silverberg’s perspective was refreshing and insightful. I kept finding myself nodding along and then thinking, Oh, now that’s a good way to approach it!

A few of my takeaways…
*Make conversations about sex less about reproduction (this is the default way we usually teach it) and more about gender and relationships.

*Refrain from spinning the tale that sex is a wonderful thing because for many people it’s a mix — bad, disappointing, mediocre, acceptable, good — and not everyone learns to enjoy it, and that’s okay.

*One of the main (and often untalked about) reasons that adults have such a hard time talking about sex is because of their own unprocessed trauma.

*When it comes to sex, power is at the core. Because children don’t have much power, and because they’re used to this (which makes them easy targets for sexual abuse), power/consent/relationships cut to the heart of sex education. Anatomy is important, but these issues go much deeper.

I was so taken with Silverberg’s ideas that I ordered the book. I’ll keep you posted!


Sunday morning, my parents sent me this song with the subject line: Your Sunday Morning Song.

And it was perfect.


I hate shopping for makeup — there are too many options and everything costs way too much money — but I wanted a good lipstick so a couple years ago I forced myself to stop at the Belk makeup counter in the mall. After much testing and deliberating, I finally selected a plum lipstick for almost fifty dollars (gulp). 

Fast forward to now, my beloved lipstick has worn down to a nub. Thankfully, the label hadn’t worn off, though, so I could still identify all the necessary information for getting a replacement. This time, I checked Amazon before trucking all the way across town. Wouldn’t you know, they had the same lipstick but for a fraction of the cost, whoop-whoop. 

And now my lips are red again. 


Our friends are visiting from New York and the other night, over plates of pulled pork and stoplight salad, they told us about one of their friends, Laura, who has won The Moth Story slam — twice. A couple days later, they sent us an email with the links to the winning stories. 

The second one (it’s just the audio) was so well-woven I actually got goosebumps. Her story-telling reminds me of good stand-up — not the sloppy trails to nowhere littered with cheap jokes, but the smart ones that take you on a meandering journey with lots of surprise vistas and a final destination (like this one and this one).

Now if Netflix would only sign Laura


Someone (maybe one of you?) recommended that I watch High on the Hog: How African American Food Transformed America (Netflix). I started it last week, and then I roped my husband into watching it.

It is soooo well done, slow-paced, thoughtful, beautiful, informative. There is a ton of history (which my husband appreciates) and a whole heck of a lot of good food. The host, Stephen Satterfield, is a marvel to behold with his probing questions and slow smile. He digs into hard issues with grace and an unflinching honesty. And he listens. I mean, seriously. How often do you see a TV host practice quiet, prolonged listening? Just watching him is an education in itself.


Have a good weekend, friends! xo

This same time, previous: chocolate milk, a few good things, the quotidian (8.12.19), riding paso fino, fresh peach pie, tomato bread pudding with caramelized onions and sausage, the Murch collision of 2015, spaghetti with vodka cream tomato sauce, the quotidian (8.12.13).


  • Anna C.

    I tried the salt stick back in the late 90s when I was brainwashed by health food stores. It did not work for me then. I was skeptical, but I have been experimenting with deodorants without antiperspirants, and my own regular anti-antiperspirant deodorant doesn’t seem to be working as well anymore. The main function of the scented deodorants seems to be to leave behind a scent that will overpower your body scent, rather than deal with what causes it, so I’ve given up on them.

    Your experience with the salt stick encouraged me to try that one again. So far, it’s been pretty effective. At first I was uncomfortable with how damp my pits would get, but I got used to that. They don’t smell, as far as I can tell.

  • Lisa Sale

    How have I never heard that song, or Iris Dement for that matter?!? I think I’ll embrace it as my personal anthem as I struggle through my faith crisis.

  • Karen with 1 R

    Back in olden times crystal deodorant became very popular because of no aluminum, which had been determined to cause Alzheimers. I tried it and it was ok. I don’t sweat or stink, so deodorant of any kind is just because I should, not because I must.

    I heard the Silverburg podcast and really liked his ideas and how he expressed them; things that we would never have discussed when I was a kid. No one was gay (that’s just their roommate, never found the “right” partner), no one was trans, they just looked butch or girly, but we never talked about it. No one didn’t like sex, we were all young teens trying to find out what it was all about and eager to lose our virginity no matter the circumstances. Why? because we didn’t have anyone to talk to us openly and honestly about this topic. This book is a refreshing counterpoint.

    The Moth! One of my favorite shows (can you tell I listen to NPR a lot?.Sad, honest, funny, just real people telling vignettes about their life.

    Good post, Jennifer!

  • Karren

    What a wonderful surprise to see the Mystery song by Iris Dement this morning. That’s one of my very favorite all time songs. So honest. I had the opportunity to see a whole program by her and to actually spend some time in her company and she’s just as honest and open as can be. A delightful person with a great song. Thank you for sharing it.

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