What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: A couple of weeks ago my husband went to summer camp for adults. On the last day, there was a spontaneous dance party to George Michael’s Freedom. We’ve been keeping this tradition alive since he got home. (On a side note: I remember thinking this was the most dramatic/arts-y video ever when it came out. Now more than 20 years later, I’m just wondering why George is eating an orange at the beginning? Random.)

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Books & Brews: Results May Vary / Urban Family Brewing Company’s Death to Cereal

 

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday* of every month I pair a story I love with a pint to sip while reading it. (*Except this month … I’m running a little late with August’s book. Which just means double the fun in September!)

Up for reading and pairing in August was Bethany Chase’s RESULTS MAY VARY (which, by the way, might have one of my favorite covers ever). The story opens with the main character Caroline discovering that her husband is having an affair with a man. And when I say husband, know that I mean high-school sweetheart turned husband, with whom she has spent the overwhelming majority of her life– so obviously her world is completely turned upside down. The novel chronicles Caroline’s attempts to make sense of the betrayal and learn how to move forward. The book totally lives up to it’s amazing cover (not that I was judging it by that, at all, in any way).

Here’s what I loved about the book: Continue reading

Rest

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If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that today would typically be my Books & Brews post. For the last 14 months I have consistently posted a book and beer pairing on the last Thursday of each month. I LOVE reading and tasting beers and writing these posts. It’s truly my favorite thing I’ve ever done on this blog. In other words, rest assured, Books & Brews isn’t going anywhere. In fact I’ll be back next week with August’s pairing. (And really, it will barely be September then, anyway ….)

So here’s what happened, I was a little later than usual picking my book for August and I was still not done reading on Tuesday of this week. I still could have gotten the post out today– but here’s what it would have taken: Continue reading

Be Still

There’s this weird light in the middle of the night. It’s a different dark from the just post sunset twilight, or the pre-dawn haze. There’s a depth to it that you can just sense somehow without even looking at the clock. File this under things I wish I didn’t know, but it’s true. I seem to be waking up quite a bit in what my Mom has always called the wee small hours of the night. Those little hours that stretch long, during which those thoughts that seemed mostly manageable in the light of day become large, lumbering, unwieldy giants. And once they’ve fumbled their way in, boy is it tough to evict them. Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I’ve been slowly listening to this great interview with Glennon Doyle cover170x170Melton on the Beautiful Writers podcast. I stumbled on Glennon’s blog years ago and always appreciate her ability to have these amazing no-nonsense, honest conversations about relationships and success and failure and all the highs-highs and low-lows. She’s really, really good at describing the messy parts of life in a way that makes you feel heard and understood and not alone. This podcast is full of all that.

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Roots

IMG_0772This is a perfectly healthy and thriving tree. I don’t know how it happened. Was there more dirt around that tree that has washed away over time? Maybe lots of trees grow over and around rocks like this but we just can’t see it. Or is it somehow possible that there was a little seed that fell in a tiny dirt filled crack in this rock and then just grew and grew and grew? Continue reading

Books & Brews: From the Sideline / New Belgium Brewing’s Shift Pale Lager

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a story I love with a pint to sip while reading it. 

This month I read Amy Avanzino’s second novel, FROM THE SIDELINE. Technically it’s the second book in her Wake-up Series, but I had no problem reading it as a stand-alone without reading the first book (though I really want to, now). In FROM THE SIDELINE, the main character, Autumn Kovac, reluctantly allows her only son to try out for the local youth football team. She’s terrified about sending her ten-year-old onto the field to be tackled by faster, larger, and far more coordinated children. She’s convinced he’ll sustain a head-injury, at worst, or be ridiculed by his peers, at other worst. Even though she can’t see any positive outcome, trying out for the team is only thing has made him happy since his father left– so she gives him the green light, certain he won’t make the cut. When he does, she finds herself thrown into a world she knows nothing about and finds out she has as much learning and growing to do as her son, if not more.

Here’s what I loved about the book: Continue reading

In the Quiet, In the Crowd

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Weeks ago a friend invited me to a potluck. It wasn’t just any potluck. It was a Super Secret Talent Show and Potluck. In addition to bringing a dish to share, you were also encouraged to bring your talent– specifically a talent that very few people knew you had (hence the super secret part). Always excited at the prospect of sharing a meal and meeting new and interesting people (with super secret talents), I eagerly marked the night on the calendar. Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I listened to an interview with Jesse Browner on The Good Life Project podcast last week. Browner, a novelist, was talking about his recently released memoir HOW DID I GET HERE? The book is his reflection on his decision to leave the Bohemian lifestyle of Alphabet City in the 1980’s (think, RENT) and take a government job. It’s about how he questioned for years whether he would have been more creative and productive as an author had he not taken the “day job” and how he has finally made peace with his decision. This is something I think about all the time and his wisdom and insight helped me see some of my own choices from a different perspective. Pretty sure this is one I’ll need to listen to again. And maybe again. Continue reading

Stubborn Sheep & Rose-Colored Glasses

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I talk about city life pretty regularly here on my blog, so you may or may not know that I grew up in Madison County– a fairly rural part of Virginia nestled at the foot of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Folks (including me) are still trying to figure out where exactly I got this huge dose of city-love that’s pretty much the polar opposite of my childhood experience (save for a week every summer with my grandparents in Roanoke, and lots of weekends with my friend Karen in a very walk-able suburb in Maryland– maybe that’s all it took?).

Anyway, all that to say, as a result of growing up on a farm, I had some awesome experiences, such as raising sheep for a 4-H project. Now, twenty-something-ish years later one of my friends, Becky, has a daughter who is raising sheep to participate in the very same 4-H show her mother and I did when we were her age. Naturally, when I was in my hometown last weekend, I had to go visit. Because– sheep. Sweet, kind little creatures that I named and fed, and walked and groomed and loved immensely. (Insert nostalgic sigh and wistful smile.) Continue reading