It was a doozy of a week around here. I had a sick kid, another kid with an orthodontist emergency, a birthday to celebrate (husband turned 47) and a lot of writing for work projects. School took a backseat except for watching the movie Reign Over Me and writing a discussion post about that. Has anyone seen it? It was funny, charming, touching, sad, sometimes cliched, and thoughtful with regard to the issue of mental health after extreme trauma.
Beyond that, I got to meet with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, a writer friend who has known me since I had my first baby and then when I had my second baby and has kept up with me through all the moves since. I am grateful for this kind of enduring friendship. Whenever I see G., I feel like I get my bucket filled a little, which is a lovely feeling, no?
Here are a few pics from the week:
I grabbed this wine earlier this week, at a grocery store in one of those baskets marked for specialty wines. I don’t even know what that means, but I liked the idea of a big, smooth wine. This fit the bill. It does taste a little like iron, a little metallic. I’m sure there’s a legit term for that, a term the wine guys know. I don’t know it, but I liked the wine. It’s a big wine, but it’s also smooth. I’d give it a 7.5/10. I think it ran about $18. I had it with arugula and chicken salads, and after a few day so that, I’d lost all that horrid bloating from too much Halloween candy. Good times.
Maggie actioned these sandwiches one night before ballet. Baguette, turkey, freshly smashed avocado with salt and brie. I feel utterly confident she’ll make it in life.
I recently took my kids on an overnight to Asheville, where we turned (and loved) the Biltmore estate. I was honestly surprised my kids liked it so much. Maggie was taking heaps of pics, and our son asked me a lot of questions about the current Biltmore family line and who was going to inherit this estate. I can’t tell you all how many times I replied, “I don’t know.” Poor child, to be stuck with a mother who isn’t up on the Vanderbilt family blood line. Aside from that, that wall in the basement was my favorite part of the entire house. Isn’t it lovely, sort of in a French way, like a wall you might find in Provence? I’m making that up, too, because I’ve only ever been to Paris.
A woman at my son’s school makes this badass Chipotle Apple Butter. I asked her to make me a big batch and can that, and she did, and for about 6 large jars it only cost me $40. She apologized for it costing so much, and I had to remind her that I was purchasing homemade food, free of preservatives and things I couldn’t pronounce, that would keep in my pantry for a year. I got a screaming deal on that stuff, and I’ve been dipping my chicken in it all week. Sometimes, it’s the little things.
Finally, to celebrate my husband’s birthday, I headed to the wine shop to find a wine he’d love. He isn’t into the big, spicy wines I like. He likes a more balanced red, usually a pinot. I got both a pinot and a chardonnay. We had the pinot last night, this bottle, which was $30. I am not going to lie: it wasn’t our favorite. I liked it more with food than alone. There is something about European wines I can’t put my finger on, but I don’t care for it. They’re lighter and almost have the taste or feeling of grape juice. That makes sense, obviously, but both my husband and I felt curious about it. That’s the only word I can use because we both liked the wine but felt something was just slightly not right for us. That said, it was very smooth and balanced (whatever that means), and I bet a true wine drinker who knows how to appreciate wine would love it. The wine guy said it was one of his favorite in the shop, and he was using all sorts of terms well above my American head.
We’ll see how to the chardonnay goes tonight.
We paired all of this with a Honey Baked Ham, Todd Coleman’s Potatoes Gratin (a family favorite), green beans and cupcakes from a local bakery. I got gluten-free cupcakes, took one bite and threw them away. Ugh. I could have done better myself at home. Oh well. Lesson learned.
That’s it for me.
Here are a few bits from around the web that caught my attention this week:
This article on 10 Dreamy Coffee Shops Around the World got me thinking about travel and food and how great it would be to pick one type of food or drink and places all over the world (or US) you could visit to explore that: bbq, chocolate, wine, creme brûlée, pastries, pasta/noodles, tacos. Ugh. The list goes on.
Modern Mrs. Darcy writes about 5 areas she can’t afford to be low maintenance. She got the idea reading 10% Happier (which I wrote about here), which I’ve read and really enjoyed. I also recently downloaded the Headspace app, and have used it off/on (like everything else). It makes me want to recommit. I like the idea of treating ourselves like something special. :)
If you haven’t read George Saunder’s “My Flamboyant Grandson”, stop what you’re doing now, click the link and read the story. As you know, I love Saunders. I wrote about reading Lincoln in the Bardo, but my favorite of Saunder’s work is Tenth of December. My brother and I just talked about that book last night, recounting our favorite stories and quoting our favorite parts. I want to read it again this coming year. Every time I think modern fiction has jumped the shark, I remember Saunders, McCarthy & Haruf. I need to find a female writer who makes me feel the same way.
Finally, I had a massive zit on my forehead this week. It was one of those monsters that just sit there, a big, swollen mass, and then there is a scab because someone tried to pick at it. It has been glorious. To be 43 and have wrinkles and zits is one of life’s simple treasures, no? Anyway, I had no idea (no idea) there are patches you can put on your zits and leave them overnight and heal those beauties. I just saw this yesterday. I could have used this knowledge earlier in the week, but I have it now. Has anyone tried something like this? I typically just use coconut oil and Neosporin if there’s a scab. Sigh. Will I ever learn to leave my face alone?
That’s it for me.
I hope everyone had a fabulous Friday night, meditating, drinking a cocktail, getting to bed early or whatever it is that lights your Friday-night socks on fire.
I’m off to write a paper and then get outside into this sunshine. I endured rain and mist yesterday, so I’m due for some fall warmth.