I’m not sure when it was exactly that I stopped reading blogs. It might have been around the time that I was feeling really overwhelmed by my final semester of grad school, but maybe it was earlier. Maybe that thing that so many articles talk about (attention spans decreasing with the constant use of digital technology) has happened to me. Certainly it must have happened around the same time that the gaps between my own posts got longer and longer.
Last week I realized that I have a stack of 6 or 7 books that I am currently reading. I never did this before. Before a few months ago, I almost never had more than one book going at a time. I wonder if I am allowing myself to be too easily distracted. The allure of seeing what other news articles have shown up in my news app before I finish reading this long New York Times or The Atlantic piece can prove too great sometimes.
While I stopped reading blogs, I kept using Pinterest and Instagram. It’s so much more simple to digest a photo and maybe give a click of appreciation than to read to the end of a story, antidote or article. I want to adjust how much of my time I spend looking for the next thing and try to focus on finishing what I begin. We’ll see how it goes!
In past years I have tried to be a cleaning whirlwind and spring clean my house in one insane weekend.
I don’t love this method. It’s kind of the worst. Instead, I have created a weekly cleaning ritual and a few built-in reminders on my calendar app that remind me to do little things that I don’t need to do weekly like change the air filter or clean the coffee grinder.
So back to kettles. I use my kettle everyday multiple times a day. It is such a workhorse and needs a little extra attention every once in a while. This method has worked well for me:
Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.
Fill kettle with mixture and let stand for 1 hour. When an hour has passed turn on the heat and bring to a boil.
Empty kettle and refill with clean water, boil, and then empty. You’re done!
I do this every 3 to 4 weeks and it keeps my nice little kettle bright and clean and without build up.
My top two favorite podcasts at this moment are The Longform and You Must Remember This.
The Longform Podcast is all about longform writing explored through interviews with writers and journalists. There is a lot of conversation about narrative and the approaches that the interviewees take when working on a piece of writing or reporting. Some of my favorite episodes are #175: Brooke Gladstone of On the Media*, #174: Venkatesh Rao, and #129: Rukmini Callimachi.
These are just three interviews that have stuck with me. I’ve enjoyed a great meaning more of them and I always feel like I have learned something. Sidenote, episode #129: Rukmini Callimachi is an excellent companion listen to the current season of Serial.
I found You Must Remember This because of The Longform Podcast’s interview with its creator, Karina Longworth. I would highly recommend taking a listen to Longform Podcast #161 before starting You Must Remember This, but that’s just my personal preference for understanding the context that a thing was made in. Okay, onward!
I have become a You Must Remember ambassador. I find myself encouraging the topic of podcasts in conversation just so that I can bring it up and sing its praises.
What’s that you say? You went to see the film Hail, Cesar! last night? Why have I got the podcast for you!
You Must Remember This, in Karina’s own words, “…is a storytelling podcast about the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century.” And it is so good! Each episode expertly weaves together true life tales that often sound stranger than fiction. The method of telling each story is so engaging you might find yourself devouring all 70+ episodes of past and current seasons within a week….like I did. A new season has just started and it’s about the blacklist and the McCarthy era. Very timely considering recent releases of movies like Hail, Cesar! and Trumbo.
*On the Media is another podcast and show that I look forward to each week. If you are interested in the workings of the media or in how news is reported you should check it out, but I’m guessing you already subscribe.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of blogging, but I think it’s time to get started again.
One // Two // Three // Four
Even after living in Austin for three years there are still lots of places I haven’t been to yet. During Courtney’s visit last month, we (finally) went to Zilker Botanical Garden. I had driven past the gates lots of times, but never explored all the different gardens.
There are waterlilies, roses, all kinds of cacti, and a lovely zen garden filled with streams and bamboo. A frontier village with lots of info on historic gardening methods. I want to go back for the annual orchid show!
These are threes things I am enjoying this week:
I tried this recipe for Ham, Cheese & Spinach Puffs and it’s a keeper! I like recipes that teach me a new skill. This one taught me how to make a béchamel sauce. We had a few hot from the oven for dinner with a good bit of salad. The rest I stored in the refrigerator and they make great lunches warmed up or cold.
I’ve been reading this review of Go Set a Watchman. I pre-ordered Watchman and I am looking forward to reading and thinking through it with my friend Tiffany. We are starting our mini-book club back up with this book. (We last read Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Paris Wife. They make very good back-to-back book choices for a book club interested in historical fiction.)
It’s just too hot to be outside or out of the pool right now in central Texas. But for some reason I just can’t stop looking at quilts and quilting patterns. This one is a beauty!
Earrings // Zip Pouch // Notebook Set