I really want a new dining set but I just bought a couch and need to buy some wallpaper (and a single-level house without an HOA in the mid-future). So saving money with DIY skills was in order. First up, replacing the split cane and worn out foam on the old chairs:
I went back and forth a lot on vinyl types to replace the cane with but finally settled on a bright green (from Fabric.com–I only needed a yard for four seats). Once I figured out I could just pull the vinyl around the seat corners and didn’t need to make folds, it went quickly.
These still aren’t the most comfortable chairs but the new foam (from JoAnn, in store) helps a lot–and they’ll work for now.
Next up, I’m making skirted tablecloth made to cover the (thrifted IKEA, dinged up and dirty) dining table completely:
(Will Toby ever get off a fabric-covered table? Will we be creating a tablecloth Fort Kickass for him to play in constantly? Stay tuned.)
Literally–it’s titled “Monday” and it’s pretty recent (seen here, if you’d like audio). Yes, we all deserve “a flute of champagne/ for having made it this far!”
by Alex Dimitrov
I was just beginning
to wonder about my own life
and now I have to return to it
regardless of the weather
or how close I am to love.
Doesn’t it bother you sometimes
what living is, what the day has turned into?
So many screens and meetings
and things to be late for.
Everyone truly deserves
a flute of champagne
for having made it this far!
Though it’s such a disaster
to drink on a Monday.
To imagine who you would be
if you hadn’t crossed the street
or married, if you hadn’t
agreed to the job or the money
or how time just keeps going—
whoever agreed to that
has clearly not seen
the beginning of summer
or been to a party
or let themselves float
in the middle of a book
where for however briefly
it’s possible to stay longer than
you should. Unfortunately
for me and you, we have
the rest of it to get to.
We must pretend
there’s a blue painting
at the end of this poem.
And every time we look at it
we forget about ourselves.
And every time it looks at us
it forgives us for pain.
1. What’s the latest on the John Deere strike? The company is doing whatever it can to break the picket lines:
For those keeping track at home, John Deere has now:
– Refused to settle a fair contract
– Announced they’re cutting healthcare for 10,000 strikers and families
– Withheld untold $$$ of back wages for strikers
– Gotten a bogus injunction against workers’ right to picket
— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) October 21, 2021
If you want to help the workers on strike–who have no wages, no healthcare, and clearly no hope John Deere is going to work towards a resolution–this Go Fund Me is active again (it raised so much money in its first 24 hours, organizers briefly closed it to consult with UAW about the best use of funds). Hold the line!
2. This is just fun to look at: Flower interpretations of works of art (via Laura Olin’s newsletter).
3. And finally, this was fascinating and really humane (and I learned about ancient “sky burials,” which sound awesome). To Be a Field of Poppies: The elegant science of turning cadavers into compost
This is a wholesome (and massive) thread of people who cave to their pets’ ridiculous demands. As someone who does this as well, I was delighted and reassured:
Greg and I have to stand in these spots every mealtime for the dog or he won’t eat. He looks at Greg who says MORE then he looks at me and I say MORE and this lasts til he’s done. We used to have dignity pic.twitter.com/dnKAPfIrG9
— broti gupta (@BrotiGupta) October 13, 2021
Anne Helen Petersen wrote a newsletter this week about “a blob of amorphous unease” that had been growing all month, and the feeling of no progress:
The calendar moves forward but we’re stuck. In old patterns, in old understandings of how work and our families and the world should be. That’s the feeling of regression, I think. It’s not that we’re losing ground. It’s that we were too hopeful about having gained it.
I’ve felt the same way, steadily growing for a month. I chalked it up to the change of season, but then I started thinking about refinancing the mortgage and it all kind of fell apart: Where do we want to be? How do we get there? What do I want to do? If it’s not what I’m doing, how do I do something else? What about money? What about the future? Why is it all so difficult?
Petersen talks a lot about community in general, and ends the newsletter with saying her October regression feels “so much less swallowing when shared.” I guess if nobody know what they’re doing, then not knowing what you’re doing yourself isn’t as big of a deal. We’re all just figuring out what to do with our boulders together.
I used to wear a cardigan over a t-shirt or turtleneck about every day in high school. I don’t know why I stopped–style change, I guess–but 20-something years later, I’ve rediscovered them. This time, of course, I’m making them:
This one is out of a gorgeous German cotton sweater knit from Jumping June Textiles (I got a lucky remnant) and the pattern is the Marlo Sweater from True Bias. Looking at mine vs. the pattern pic, I clearly ignored the suggested button placement, but it’s fine. No issues sewing or fitting, although this knit is drapier than the stable knit the pattern calls for.
Cardigans are great for regulating heat as you move around or the house warms up during the day (how had I forgotten this?). I already have another longer one planned in polar fleece–gotta make up for lost time.
We had some good weather yesterday and hadn’t done anything with our nephew in a while, so we spent an afternoon at a local…Halloween/fall extravaganza? Its official name is “Kuwahara’s Pumpkin Patch & Thriller Park,” it had the production values of your local high school theater class, and it was great.
(In fairness to the production values, I think a lot of it was meant to be seen at night, with people popping out from the pumpkins to scare you, but I liked it during the day.)
As aunt and uncle, we’re contractually obliged to buy Skyler whatever he wants on these outings, and this time he wanted a 42-pound pumpkin. This is why I work out.
1. Over 10,0000 UAW workers at John Deere are on strike and it makes my union-loving heart happy to see it. I found journalist Jonah Furman on Twitter who really breaks down what the issues are–and posts stuff people on the picket lines send him, like this:
John Deere strikers in Ottumwa, UAW Local 74, successfully convince a freight driver not to cross the picket line pic.twitter.com/lwUjOZhrVZ
— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) October 14, 2021
On the first full day of John Deere using non-union workers to attempt to replace UAW members on the factory floor… didn’t even make it til 8am without a 911 call. pic.twitter.com/vBd73jX5Pe
— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) October 15, 2021
2. Enough unions are on strike that the #Striketober tag is happening–healthcare workers, coal miners, Kellogg’s employees, potentially the IATSE starting on Monday. Teen Vogue (!) explains why this feels uncommon and what you can do to support striking workers, who have no paycheck, no insurance, and no guarantees they’ll get what they demand. (Where I could find them, I linked to funds that help workers on the picket line.)
It’s a dark fall day here, so this feels appropriate:
by Joy Harjo
It is a dark fall day.
The earth is slightly damp with rain.
I hear a jay.
The cry is blue.
I have found you in the story again.
Is there another word for ‘‘divine’’?
I need a song that will keep sky open in my mind.
If I think behind me, I might break.
If I think forward, I lose now.
Forever will be a day like this
Strung perfectly on the necklace of days.
Your jacket hanging in the hallway
Next to mine.