I have a few project and travel posts ready to go, but this is the post I was most excited to write tonight, so here goes! This week was a bit unusual, in that it’s sandwiched in between a week of beautiful vacation and when I go back to work next week. It has been weird and wonderful: the kind of week that gives you enough breathing room to really think about what you want to be doing. It has turned me in some new creative directions, and I’m really grateful for that. It has also been a bit awkward at times, but in ways that have ultimately been fruitful. I’m grateful yet again to realize that creativity, like most things, comes in cycles. When you find yourself in a rut, you hang out there for a bit until you find yourself propelled toward something that makes you excited again. No matter how many times I go through this process, it’s always painful and awesome at the same time. I’m grateful, once again, to be right where I am. And where I am is cutting up old plaid shirts and giant muumuus to make cute summer dresses. Not a bad place to be.
And so, without further ado, my week! It began with a trip to the library, oh happy place, where I found this stack of beauties. I actually went to the library to grab a few books that I’d returned but that hadn’t been checked in; I found them on the shelves, took them to the desk, and explained what happened. They apologized profusely, but, hey, I used to be a librarian, and I know that these things happen. Especially in gigantic university libraries. When Eric used to return my suitcases full of research books (literally!), I’d have him stand there while they checked each and every one in, and listen for the little beep. I think that beep is the library equivalent of seeing the whites of their eyes before firing. And Eric did it for me, because he is the sweetest. As you can see, I was not kidding about reading everything else Ian Frazier ever wrote. Right now I am reading Michelle Hoover’s The Quickening, which is very painfully beautiful. Her prose is sparse and yet peppered with such original images that you find yourself frequently pausing and closing your eyes, just to imagine them. Highly recommended.
This is the dinner I made on Monday. It’s kind of a game for me, making dinner out of nothing when we’ve just returned from a trip. Thankfully, we always have beans, grains, and spices, and, this time, carrots. A pretty nice dish!
When I headed to the gym on Wednesday, I finally found their class listing. Zumba, here I come! I don’t really know very much about it, but it seems like you get to dance around a lot, and to that I say yes!
I also baked a giant cake. I have never seen a cake rise so much out of a Bundt pan. Wow! Perhaps it is surprising that I would turn on the oven, given the current temperature. To this observation I can only say that sometimes you can’t get between a girl and her cake.
But the crowning achievement of the week was that my sweet and talented friend Lisa and I tried our hands at lemon meringue pie again, and this time, we succeeded! The success was mostly due to the fact that I let her handle the egg separation and meringue beating (like a pro!) When the pies came out of the oven, they looked almost too pretty to eat. Good job, us! I love doing these posts because it helps me see how much I really do in a week, even when I feel like I am not accomplishing much. I am not used to having so much time on my hands, for sure, but I am really happy with how I spent it. And really happy that in the moments when I felt restless, it popped into my head to adjust my mental state from anxiety to gratitude. Even if that process takes time, I’ll take the prompting to attempt it as a gift, any day of the week.