10 Things to Love

Our home hasn’t found sleep in the past few nights, for reasons we don’t yet know. We’ve been tossing bedspreads to the floor, flipping pillows to the cool side. This morning, I called a truce earlier than usual, padded out to the dark dining room to find even the dogs trotting on my heels, ever awake and begging for breakfast.

Insomnia, the great Gordian knot.

The good news, of course, is it finds me here typing to you. I’ve had a more difficult time coming to this space during daylight hours. There are apples to peel, slice, dole out. Another chapter in Ramona. Emails, always. But for now, for this moment, all is quiet and calm. All are fed.

It is just me, right here.

(Bliss.)

A small smattering of loveliness to share:

1. Months ago, I asked the fine folks of Instagram for the greatest soup/stew/chili recipes beknownst and have slowly taken it upon myself to test each and every one (a most suitable goal if ever there was one). Here’s the clear winner so far, all ye crockpot curious.

2. It is no secret we Loechners waddle around in sweatpants at first frost, and last year I stocked up on these. They’re thick and structured, perfect for weeks-in-a-row wash and wear rotations. A not-so-short list of places I’ve worn them: Here, near-daily. Bee’s theatre class. Our favorite corner coffee shop. Grocery shopping. Walks to the library. Not yet church, but it’s only a matter of time…

3. Eyebrows, then. While I’m never one to hop on the micro-blading/eyelash-extension/whatever the kids are doin’ these days-train, I do love a good eyebrow dressing, and my general preference is gel > pencil. Boy brow is good, but I like the ingredients in this one better.

4. Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace. I re-read these essays as often as I can, for Berry’s constructive wisdom and simmering depth. Though the writing is slow, that’s never been much of a dealbreaker for me (oft: the opposite). My January has been made all the better for this one.

5. Ken’s gearing up for a big project out-of-town, so I’ve got my favorite meal delivery scheduled. We all hate to see him go, but on the plus side, I don’t have to share the romesco.

6. Speaking of sauce, our co-op just started carrying this, and the cilantro chili flavor has graced no less than three daily meals over here. Eggs, chicken, rice, toast, potatoes, salad – heck, you could probably slather it over a bar of soap and it would taste better than an afternoon at Gjelina (very good indeed).

7. A conversation with Maira Kalman, on rituals and obituaries, trees and love.

8. Bee came home from her Chinese lesson a few days ago with a red envelope and a crisp $5. She explained Chinese New Year in great detail, said today was the day to visit her father’s relatives. So we did. Said tomorrow was the day to visit her mother’s relatives. So we did. Said all week is the week to gift oranges and apples, ruby red scarves and mittens. So we did. And I am learning this: I will never regret following a child’s lead.

9. A happy little weather station.

10. Linen sheets, for when we all start snoozing again (soon?).

 

Sending peace and warmth to your neck of the woods, sleepless or not. Happy February, friends.

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