1. It’s Easter weekend, which will be a hard end to a hard week (Mom was the one in our family with faith; she loved Easter and spring and brunch and getting her adult children something for their “basket”). We’re not celebrating–we decided as a family to take a year off from celebrating anything–but I am making a quiche and listening to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
2. There is a new collection of Oliver Sacks essays out, including this one on “The Healing Power of Gardens.” If the weather holds, maybe I’ll get some yard work in, too.
After the last sweatshirt, I switched patterns to the Sloane by Named Patterns and it was everything I wanted: high neck, great fit through the shoulders, and those long French darts to add a little something. (Thanks to @threadsnips on Instagram for the suggestion!)
I’ve heard the drafting on Named Patterns praised before; I’d say it’s justified because I’m happy with the fit straight from the envelope. It’s also a really fast sew–this was done in a weekend.
I know the indigo will fade but right now it’s the perfect Bob Ross phthalo blue, so of course I had to pair it with some yellow ochre pants (from Everlane).
Yesterday was a hard day anyway and then to watch Notre-Dame burn just made it harder. Mom and I went to Paris together in 2006; it’s still one of my favorite memories.
Here’s Olivier Latry, one of the Notre-Dame organists, playing a version of La Marseillaise (from a service after the 2015 terror attacks).
It would have been my mom’s 71st birthday today; it’s nearly three months to the day since she died.
I knew intellectually going into this year that it would be hard–we would mark these holidays and most likely she wouldn’t be here for them. But living a hard truth is exponentially more painful than just knowing it.
There is so much that hurts because she’s missing it, and so much to be angry about: she didn’t see Skyler grow up, or her 50th anniversary, or my wedding, or even her garden waking up for the spring. She took such good care of herself; how can people who eat McDonald’s every day and never exercise be alive, and she can be gone? So much anger.
But–and this is the hardest thing to live with–there is nothing we can do about it. She’s gone. We can be angry at what she’s missing or we can remember everything she was here for (sometimes we do both). She got to see me with a career, with a house, with Doc, and starting therapy. She got to see her son marry and meet her grandson and make memories with him. She had 46 years with my dad, full of partnership and respect and love.
She left us with so much: what she knew about flowers and cats and loving people, what she knew about style and art, random pronouncements over the years that come back to me. I know she wouldn’t want me to be bitter so I try to focus on those things instead of the colossal unfairness of her death.
It’s hard. It’s so hard. But she did so many hard things–she did the hardest thing–and she did them gracefully and beautifully. I owe it to her to do the same.
Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.
1 I have never felt so seen nor so alarmed at being seen than when I read this piece from Danny Ortberg (from the late lamented The Toast): “My Clean Floor” And The Battles You’re Only Aware Of Once You’ve Lost
When did I become The House Noticer? Walk past the fridge, register idly There are thumbprints on the handle. Gotta clean them off. Crumbs in the vegetable drawer, too; someone’s going to have to lift them out with a damp paper towel. And the Pledge gets the dust off the kitchen table but it doesn’t do a thing about the water-glass rings, so someone’s going to have to find out what does that. Are any of the bath mats damp? Wait for the afternoon light to come in the windows so you can see just how not-really-clean all the surfaces really are, giving the lie to the idea that you live in a world filled with order and sense. The house has a secret language all for you, and the last thing in the world it wants is for you to share that language with someone–anyone–else.
2. There’s a roundup of the best “home pants” on Man Repeller. I would argue that the truly best ones are Hudson Pants that you sew out of sweatshirt fleece and savings, but I love that the concept is getting discussed.
3. From McSweeney’s: Things I Wish My Therapist Would Say To Me But She Never Does. Accurate.
I’ve had this Mark Doty quote saved for long enough that I don’t remember where or when I first encountered it–definitely not during Mom’s illness, but I’m glad I have it now. This is from the memoir he wrote after losing his partner Wally, which I haven’t read (yet).
“And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that’s as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd–as if I shouldn’t be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it…I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.”
I came across this Instagram account Notes From Your Therapist and had a hard time picking just three notes to post about. Created by therapist Allyson Dinneen, nearly every note gives me the same feeling of “yes, this makes sense now” that I get going to actual therapy. (She has a blog, too, if Instagram isn’t your thing.)
I’m on the hunt for a new therapist because mine is moving to a practice that doesn’t take my insurance. Hopefully I can find another good match soon but until then, there’s this Instagram.
I was still having trouble with the strength of my faux flatlock seams (the gray beta tights failed after my last post) but I’d also gone ahead and bought a lot more fabric for gym tights. What to do? Revert to regular serging and keep on sewing.
Since I was working with prints–and to limit the seams–I did the version of the Super G Tights without the side pockets. I used a twin needle to topstitch the front and back and waistband seams and left the gusset seam just plain, and it’s fine. (I was worried there might be too much bulk with a serged seam allowance but I don’t notice it.)
Because I made the version without the side pockets, I got fancy and added a back welt pocket for my phone using this tutorial.
Speaking of fancy, how great are these prints?! The leopard is a nylon athletic tricot from Mood–it’s definitely lightweight but it passes the squat test for sheerness. The Hawaiian print is the Pine Crest Fabrics “Athletic Double Knit” from Fabric.com--it’s a great medium weight, very smooth (and smoothing) and also not sheer at all.
I’ve noticed a little bit of side eye at the gym when I wear these (the craziest leggings color women wear there is burgundy) but I don’t care. I love prints and if I can wear them even while I get swole, I’m happy.