This week had, like all weeks, a few ups and downs. I got some much-needed quiet time after a few weeks with the crew at home. We ate some lovely meals. The sun came out, and I basked in it. But the kids were also a little ratchety. New rules had to be established for technology use. My son got a haircut he doesn't love. Then, on Thursday I spent the day with a friend I haven't seen in eight months; it was truly one of those soul-filling days that keeps me going for weeks until the next visit.
Overall, I'm calling it a great week. I think, in the end, life is good if there are more good days than bad days. This week definitely leaned on the good-days side.
The highlight of the week was receiving this bundle, totally out of the blue, from my mother. In her card, she said she realizes winter can be hard for me and wanted to give me a little pick-me-up to get me through the last bit of the season.
Is anyone else's hand to your heart at this very moment?
Because....well....I know. To have a mother who sends you get-through-the-winter-in-style bundles. I'll be baking, lighting candles, wearing earrings, drinking tea and playing dice games with my kids all weekend. Oh, and those salt shakers? That's homemade, herb-infused salt my mother made with her own two hands. I will report back on how that tastes.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Popo.
Speaking of lovely gifts, a friend in Arizona randomly sent me this Live Simply sign out of the blue. She said it reminded her of me, and I have it in my bathroom with my few pieces of jewelry. I look at it every morning and smile. It reminds me to live simply, and it also reminds me that I have people who care.
I'm continuing my wine-a-week here, and I tried this Italian wine this week. Let me say, I'm a huge fan of big, California red wines. Huge fan. I realize this might be like saying I'm a huge fan of Tootsie Rolls to people who regularly eat Vosges chocolate, but a girl must be honest. So...when I got the urge to purchase an Italian wine, I did so with hesitation. I'm not a fan of European wine. Whew. I said it. You can throw rotten farmer's market fruit at me if you'd like, but when I was in Paris a while back, I kept drinking glasses of wine and sort of recoiling at the flavor. Or perhaps I should say...I recoiled at the lack of flavor. Where was all the boldness? Why wasn't the wine hitting all the parts of my mouth in an explosion of flavor?
How very American of me, non?
I got this wine on a fluke, as I passed the Italian wine section at our local fancy-pants grocery store. I thought: why not?
It was $20. At first sip, I wasn't impressed. I kind of rolled my eyes and thought: here we go again with this slightly acidic, flavorless wine business.
But then I took another sip and then another, and as I cooked dinner and sipped wine, it just got better and better. I realized the beauty of this wine was that it was so balanced. I'm sure I'm not using that term correctly, and there is probably a highly technical way to describe what I experienced, but I'll just say: it wasn't shocking in flavor, which was what was sort of shocking about it at all.
This has been my favorite bottle of wine so far this year. I'm hardcore committed to upping my wine game and broadening my horizons here. I may even venture into non-Californian whites.
Hahaha. Just kidding. I'm not interested in totally upsetting the applecart.
Per my brother's suggestion, I sorted my books into three piles: read, unread and half-read. I was really stunned by how many books I've actually read. Then, when I'm feeling all good about those read books, I look at the half-read books and breathe a heavy sigh. So many books, so many starts, so many discards because another shiny new book entered my line of site.
I'm determined this year to finish many of those half-read books and shift them to the read shelf.
Finally, I've decided to be all grown up and responsible and add more greens to my diet. I struggle with stomach issues, and I've learned bitters are helpful for such delicate concerns (I don't typically speak like a 90-year-old British school teacher except in the case of dodgy health issues). Anyway, I hate kale in my smoothies. Hate it. So my sister, whom we call the RosyLady (and who attended cooking school in Europe), suggested I do two things: first, buy lacino kale, which doesn't feel so much like a dried out adornment of restaurant parsley. Second, she suggested I sauté said kale in olive oil with garlic, just barely.
I did both, and a revolution has begun. To the utter horror of my children, I actually now eat and enjoy kale on the regular. They fear, rightly so, that I'll try to co-opt their own white-foods-only diet and turn their worlds technicolor (and yes, that's a reference to the Demi Lovato song).
That's it for me.
Here are five gems from around the web that made me smile this week:
OMG - I am loving this little boy with his heroes.
This will restore any lost faith in teenagers. :)
I am dying laughing at this baby-feeding trick. Hahahaha. My kids wouldn't do that for a mango.
Even my kids found this hilarious.
Hahahah. My kids would be in big trouble. :)
I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend ahead. Maggie is off school today (I can't even tell you why because I don't care and have lost count of all these educational excuses), so we're hitting the town like ladies-who-lunch.