As my anxiety ratchets higher and the world gets crazier, this post from Allyson Dinneen (the “Notes From Your Therapist” Instagram account) is gonna be my new motto:
If you’re tired of the internet giving you things like “politics” and “global pandemics” and “the collapse of civilization,” take a look at this. As the intro says, this is why the internet was invented.
Finally found a purpose for the internet pic.twitter.com/7BsM6q9oiL
— Kevin W. (@Brink_Thinker) February 25, 2020
From Lisa Congden, something to remember (plus some more color because we all need it):
Admittedly, this is a hard mindset for me to have, but I’ll go for it.
I got my hair cut the other day. I looked in the mirror afterwards and the thing didn’t happen.
That thing, that guilty little tingle when you see how good you can look with a bit of effort. When you fancy yourself. When you’ve been feeling knackered for the past two months but one glance in the mirror tells you, with great relief, that you’ve still got it.
It didn’t happen because even though the hairdresser had done everything I asked her to do, I saw my own reflection and immediately thought, oh right, that really is my face then.
She goes on to make this excellent point about wrinkles–which I’m still ok with, but ask me again in 10 years–and the option of having time:
Having always liked older faces on other people, and thinking the best faces were the ones that looked like life had been lived in them, I understand now why people fear wrinkles. Wrinkles are a visible end to choices, to a life of infinite possibilities. They tell us that we have to make peace with the decisions we have made, or that we didn’t even realise we were making. They are a door that is closing on our own face. Which is why anti-ageing products, those little teases, sneak up to whisper to us that we can carry on dithering forever. Dithering is wonderful.
We gathered a lot of old pictures to display at my mom’s “celebration of life” service; not to sound utterly shallow but I was shocked at how bad my hair looked in most of them. I spent most of my 20s trying to be blond and not conditioning enough, and on short curly hair it all added up to looking like I was in a Harpo Marx wig.
Since the funeral, I’ve gone full “Curly Girl Method” and kept growing out my hair, which is helping my hair satisfaction levels–but just once, I want what The Cut article leads with:
It would be so nice to have a good haircut. Like, a really good one. The kind of haircut that looks like the result of understanding what sort of haircut would look good on you. The kind of haircut that looks effortless or, if not effortless, at least the result of effort expended fruitfully. The kind of haircut that makes an acquaintance at a mutual friend’s birthday party see you and say, oh cute haircut.
From Lisa Congden’s Instagram this week, here’s a good reminder to be present wherever you are–even if it’s not quite where you want to be.
I finished the puzzle last night so we can reclaim our coffee table:
It was a process (metaphor alert!)–there were days when I would just sit and try to make things fit, get frustrated when nothing did, and walk away. There were other days when I would be able to make it all work and the pieces just feel into place. There were days when I just wanted it done already and other days when I got into the zone.
Will I do another meta–ahem, puzzle again soon? Probably. But I think I’m going to stick to just 500 pieces.
I’ve been craving fall fruit pie, to the point where I bought a tartelette from the fancy bakery not once but twice last week. My inner Midwestern farm wife was appalled I’d spend $6 a pop for something when I could just make a whole pie for less–so yesterday, I did.
This is French apple pie or apple-streusel pie, known in my family as “apple pie with a crumbly crust.” I grew up eating pies made from the recipes on the back of the Kraft Minute Tapioca box and, even after tasting fancier and more sophisticated fillings, I still think they are the Platonic ideal of pies. So here is the recipe for apple pie from the box (with a topping invented by my mom) in case you’re craving fall pastry, too.
- Unbaked 8- or 9-inch pie shell (I’ve switched from Crisco pie crust to pate brisee; don’t tell my inner Midwesterner)
- 6 c sliced apples
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 T Minute Tapioca
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1 stick butter (chilled)
- 1 c flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
To make Crumbly Crust, mix flour and brown sugar and then cut in butter until streusel-y in texture.
To make pie, mix ingredients for the filling, pour into the pie shell, and top with the Crumbly Crust. Bake at 400 for about 50 minutes, or until you can see lava-like bubbles of thickened apple juice in between the streusel topping.
Growing up, my family often had a jigsaw puzzle out on the table behind the sofa in the TV room. I really enjoyed sitting and working on that while people watched TV, in the action but also outside of it. I remember getting lost in the details of an image while you fit the pieces together.
I grew up and moved out and didn’t think about puzzles again until Mom was going through chemo–the cancer hospital here has puzzles everywhere in the waiting rooms (because it’s a metaphor, get it?) and they got tainted with that experience. I didn’t touch them in the hospital and assumed I’d never want to see another puzzle in my life.
But fast forward to the last six weeks, when work has been so busy. I get home so fried I’m not able to sew (because I don’t have the brain power) or knit (because I’m too wound up) and instead just default back to looking at a screen.
So I went and bought a puzzle.
Thankfully, I don’t think too much about the cancer hospital when I’m doing it. I don’t think too much at all, actually, and that’s wonderful. I can still feel productive but I can also zone out and I’m not straining my eyes or looking at things I don’t need but want to buy. Highly recommend.