Currently (August edition)


Loving| These rules on writing well, from Zadie Smith

Working| On my dissertation proposal. One more week before it’s due!

Baking| This strawberry rhubarb pie, which tastes of summer and was so simple to bake!

Hoping| to make a trip here before the weather turns cold (my favorite hike is Black Balsam Knob up through Shining Rock). Bonus points if there are still wild blueberries when we make the trip!

Wearing| these favorite sandals, every single day (mine are two-tone, and no longer for sale)

Weathering| another round of job interviews. So grateful for the opportunities, but so stressful all the same! Almost done. 

De-stressing| With this new favorite (honey lavender!) tea. I got it at our local grocer, and it’s THE BEST. 

Waiting| for Josh to come home from another trip to Asheville. Wish I could have gone with him!

Listening| to the Magnetic Fields, as ever. The Book of Love in particular. One of my favorite love songs of all time. 

Reading| Adhaf Soueif’s gorgeous novel, The Map of Love. I’m sensing a theme here. Set in Egypt, a set of nested love stories, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. I recommend, even though I haven’t finished it yet. The ending with this one feels sort of inevitable. 

Happy Friday, friends. Enjoy it!


Currently : July 2014

HOME. Also known as the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, where I'm hoping to spend some time later this summer!

HOME. Also known as the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, where I’m hoping to spend some time later this summer!


Reading | Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

Listening | Zombie, by the Cranberries (in my head! it’s in my head!)

Hoping | To get a rather dreamy job – the interview was last week, and I confess, I’m on pins & needles

Watching | Parenthood reruns. People have been telling me to watch this show for years, and now I’m hooked! It really (really) reminds me of my family

Working | Dissertation proposal edits for days

Procrastinating | Laundry, as ever

Wanting | Lamps to brighten up the living room, but trying to withstand the urge

Wearing | skirts every day, because it’s WAY too hot outside

Recovering | from our summer yard sale. Got rid of stuff, met neighbors, made some cash, got a sunburn to remember it all by…

Drinking | Cold brew coffee

Eating | Kale slaw from the Moosewood cookbook (find it here)

Making | a kitchen pegboard! If it works, it’ll be on the blog in the next few weeks.

Sewing | baby presents. Our dearest friends had a tiny adorable human last month, and we can’t wait to meet him!

Dreaming | of backpacking with Josh this summer, in Shining Rock Wilderness. Still hoping we’ll get the chance this year!


what about you? whatcha up to this July?


Next week, I turn 30.

Have you dear readers seen those “30 before 30” lists that people make, with 30 resolutions to accomplish before their 30th birthday? I made one of those, and now I’m afraid to even look at it, because it went sort of like this:

Resolution: learn to play a stringed instrument.

Progress: I bought a ukulele. At Christmas. I’ve practiced 3 or 4 times…

I’m not sure I’d call myself someone who actually plays the ukulele, so much as someone who spent fifty bucks on one. Sigh. Resolution fail. I’ve been doing this with New Year’s Resolutions for my entire life. So, in the spirit of beating myself up less (I think that was number 13 on the original list…), I’m just going to call it 30×30ish, and put my resolutions on the internet so that maybe I’ll feel obliged to honor some more of them. Here we go!

  1. Learn a stringed instrument. For real this time.
  2. Learn more Spanish. (I’d like to be conversationally fluent)
  3. Go snorkeling in Belize (this one is happening, on a trip with my awesome mom and sister and Aunt Maurie, and it’s going to be EPIC).
  4. Get in the habit of wearing sunscreen and sunglasses every day.
  5. Exercise every day. Cultivate the habit. (So far my longest streak is four days…ha! So I’ll settle for four days a week. I’d call that effective habit change.)
  6. Finish my PhD coursework (Two. More. Weeks.!!!)
  7. Stop complaining. And nagging, which is complaining’s bossy cousin.
  8. Talk less impulsively? I need some sort of filter between the thoughts in my head and the words I say out loud.
  9. Start remembering the laundry in the washing machine, instead of forgetting it for three days at a time.
  10. Eat better. More plants. Less sugar.
  11. Cultivate the habit of keeping my car clean so I won’t be so embarrassed to let someone ride in it (I actually did this one! Hooray! Sheila the Civic is generally spotless on the inside – although the outside, it being pollen season, is bright bright yellow at the moment, but so is everyone else’s car – that’s life in springtime)
  12. Be better about keeping regular doctor’s appointments (done! I’ve been to see my everyday doctor, my lady doctor, my optometrist…and the dentist is next week! They were all quite polite about how long it had been since my last visit. Sorry, Mom. But look how much better I’m doing!)
  13. Go to more live concerts, because they make me happy.
  14. Start contra dancing again, for the same reason
  15. Find some balance. (I thought this would be the hardest one, but actually, it’s one I’ve done well with. I think it was all about realizing that I really do care more about life with Josh and family and friends, and about living a healthy balanced life, than I do about anything else, so I stopped putting other things like work and school and busy-ness before those two most important things. School matters, of course, but family matters so much more).
  16. Get on a real sleep schedule. (I did it! It’s about consistency, and avoiding caffeine at night, and I think exercise and eating right and managing stress are important too…but mostly it’s just deciding to go to bed and get up at a reasonable hour. And avoiding sugar. I swear, sugar is no good. But so tempting…)
  17. Join a CSA (done! We joined the one at Coon Rock Farm, and we’re looking forward to deliveries starting in a week or two!)
  18. Start keeping a planner, faithfully (done! Mine is the Life Planner from Erin Condren, by the excellent recommendation of my friend/boss Stephanie, and I live and die by it. It’s made life a lot better, because I no longer forget the important stuff).
  19. Spend more time outside (easy this time of year!)
  20. Ride my bike more
  21. Reconnect with my best friend (Done! Sarah Daye, be we in different towns or different planets, let’s never drift apart again. Ever).
  22. Make more art.
  23. Give up diet soda (I know. This one again? But I’m just no good at honoring it. It’s a problem).
  24. Finish an academic paper, and send it to a journal (I’m trying to go easy on the academic goals, because this blog is all about having a life outside of school).
  25. Go on vacation with our dear friends Zack and Amanda again this year! And every year. They’re our perfect pair to vacation with.
  26. Keep in better touch with my sister, who is one of my favorite people on earth. She came up with this one. It was a good one. We e-mail every day now, which is quick and easy and now we’re turning into one of those pairs of sisters who communicate about all life events major and minor in real time. I love it. If we start dressing all creepy like the Olson twins, someone stage an intervention, but until then, I think it’s awesome.
  27. Visit New York. (Confession: I have never explored America’s most famous city. Not ever. This is the year I really do it.)
  28. Keep minifying (it’s an ongoing resolution).
  29. Be a better pet owner (Take the dog to some training classes, and more walks, and more adventures. And take better care of the fish tank. I love my fish tank. But I could do a better job as its sovereign protector. Like changing the filter on an actual schedule…)
  30. Have more adventures with Josh. We’ve had such a fun ten years(!) since we met – here’s to making the next ten even more of an adventure.
  31. The end goal, so to speak – I just want to keep working more on being the kind of person I can really like. There are a lot of things I like about myself. There’s a lot of room for improvement. All things in time…but I think part of growing up is learning to treat other people well, to think before you speak, to take things in stride…and those are all things I’m still working on. I probably always will be! Maybe we all are.

So. I’m not going to stress out over how few of these I’ve accomplished yet. I’m just going to write them all down, take a deep breath, and remember that I have the rest of my life. 30 is just another year, and I have the feeling it’s going to be a great one!