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Pickle Me This

March 17, 2021

Taking Stock

Making: A new novel that’s inspired by Barbara Pym’s books, and I just hit 10,000 words. It might not be good, it might never be published, but my goodness, am I having a good time.
Getting: ready for summer! If all goes well, we will going on all the holidays, and even if things don’t go all THAT well, which is good planning.
Baking: I just baked a loaf of banana bread but didn’t have enough bananas (which I only realized after I’d melted the butter), so grated a giant honeycrisp apple into the batter and I think it was a very good decision. (Update: it was.)
Sipping: My 800th cup of tea of the day, an Earl Grey loose leaf that we got when we after takeout afternoon tea from the Windsor Arms Hotel.
Reading: Excellent Women, by Barbara Pym; Satellite Love, by Genki Ferguson; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Last Interview
Waiting: to go pick up the kids from school
Looking: At crocuses and other buds poking up through the soil. Every year, it’s never less a miracle.
Listening: The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, a new album by Valerie June, which is so good, and inspired Stuart to order a new stereo because it was so great but the quality of our phone speakers was so rubbish, and this music deserves to be heard properly
Wishing: for not much, actually! I’ve been feeling extraordinarily good these days. I made a pledge that my March 2021 would be more enjoyable than March 2020, and I’ve been surpassing that low bar in glorious leaps and bounds.
Enjoying: How light the sky still is at 6pm since the clocks went forward
Appreciating: The amazing work of my kids’ teachers to give them a more than half-decent school year
Eating: I had a tandoori chicken wrap from Elchi Chai Shop for lunch, and it was absolutely delicious
Liking: The experience of tuning out a lot of what is happening on social media, getting my news from a few trusted sources and not forcing myself to pay attention to every single gosh darn thing, because it’s a big, big world
Loving: my apartment. We’ve lived here for 13 years in April, which is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, and this year in particular has made me grateful for a comfortable place to call home.
Buying: Grin Toothbrushes
Managing: my household. I am so good at this, and it’s an underappreciated skill—although not in my household because I make sure everyone knows how excellent it is that we never run out of toilet paper, cinnamon, coffee filters, fresh baked banana bread, etc.
Watching: We just finished watching the Fran Lebowitz Netflix series, “Pretend It’s a City.” I loved it. A fantastic escape from our current moment

Hoping: For some good news coming soon about my next book
Wearing: A ratty old cardigan. Yesterday my husband ordered me a brand new cardigan because I think he’s fed up with this one, because he is the one who has to look at it. I am also wearing my new slippers I bought at the beginning of February, and maybe it’s a coincidence that I’ve been happier ever since they came into my life. Though of course, I am looking forward to warmer days and being finished with cardigans and slippers altogether
Following: the path of the light as the sun moves across the sky. I know it’s going to be a nice day when the sunrise hit the windows of the high school west of my house bedroom window.
Noticing: That almost every parent I hear from about parenting in the pandemic claims that fortunately their kids are at an easier age to be dealing with “all this” than kids who are babies/toddlers/tweens/teens. I know this is contrary to the whole “the pandemic has been brutal for parents” narrative that seems to be in play, but the world is complicated and interesting.
Sorting: I am sort of between sorts (which is much preferable to being out of them). We’ve gone through our apartment this year and done things to make these spaces more pleasant and livable—it’s all organized. Except for the upstairs storage closest which is a disaster, because we’re long overdue for a trip to Value Village to make a donation of all the stuff we’ve been sorting.
Getting: used to new variants, second and third waves, to not panicking. It’s all very boring, actually. I think a lot of this represents a failure of storytelling. Pandemics are more banal than you would have thought.
Bookmarking: Well, I read it already, but I think YOU should bookmark Saleema Nawaz’s latest column in the Montreal Gazette.
Coveting: So I got a flyer from Pizza Pizza in my mailbox, which is a regular occurrence and I don’t ever buy Pizza Pizza pizza because I am an insufferable takeout snob, so just throw the flyers in the bin usually, but this flyer was about Pizza Pizza partnering with the card game UNO to celebrate the game’s 50th birthday with a commemorative deck, and now I am totally obsessed with this, even though I already have an UNO deck, but I don’t have THIS UNO deck.

Coveting also: A new novel by Katherine Heiny! She was part of an online event I attended in February celebrated Laurie Colwin, and it made me borrow her first novel Standard Deviation from the library and I love it so much. I laughed and laughed and laughed, but it was also so beautiful and poignant, which is a tricky balance to strike.
Feeling: good! Which is great, because, Little Darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.
Hearing: Abundant birdsong out my kitchen door, especially cardinals. I love it.

I stole this from Pip Lincolne and I am really glad I did!

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