engaging…lately {47}

First, thanks for the spirit of support in response to last week’s ‘lack of sunlight’…These Yaktrax are on my Christmas list; we’re stocked up on ‘extra strength’ D3 + B-complex; big fat snowflakes make up for sunshine (at the moment); I’ll let you know when we try the SAD lights–since some of you are considering them. Juliann’s comment about fleece-lined pants? They cross my mind every morning when I get dressed! And endorphins help everything. Pretty much always.
I feel ready. And I’m in great company with you all.

The first snowfall is beautiful (and wet! and heavy!).

Though not quite a state of emergency. Good grief.

Duke loves it. At 11 years old, this weather brings out his puppy side, asking to go out again and again….rolling in snow…veritably lounging in it. (But he hates having his picture taking. So he wouldn’t look up.)

Snow season coincides with flu season…and I’ve had two kids home with it, back to back. Linc slept 16 hours straight; Elsa mixed sleep + waking with warm baths + audiobooks: This, a perennial favorite, and this, recommended by our (fantastic!) children’s librarian. When awake, she practiced a few garter rows with the goal of knitting boot toppers, ‘with a button!’, this winter. (She tends to get hung up with the first stitch on each row.)

About those endorphins…

In addition to walking with my fellow-fast-paced-friend…and getting outside every day…I’m mixing up my mat exercise. Since my back is still wonky, I save yoga for hamstrings + hip flexors, low back, and bedtime or gentle yoga; no flow. Every other day, I do an upper body free-weight routine paired with a core workout.

This is my new favorite…because I love push-ups. (But I rotate. A lot. Mixing it up keeps me ‘good sore.’ And out of a workout rut.) Great for any level–just adjust your weights. Do once or repeat a few times, if you like.

The Adam Frisch/Lauren Boebert race in Colorado is…close. Talk about every vote counts! (When Audrey’s history teacher retired at 77 years old, she announced that, someday, she’ll come back to haunt any former student who doesn’t vote!) Speaking of which–

The Georgia run-off.

Vote Forward (since 2017) is a grassroots effort to encourage participation in the democratic process by sending nonpartisan letters to voters in underrepresented precincts across the country. At the start of key election campaigns, volunteers receive an invite to generate letters, with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 per batch (no max. on number of batches).

It’s exciting to see its impact in just a few short years:

Interested? There’s a quick approval process, then all you need is a pen, printer, envelopes, + stamps. OR, request a complete kit be sent to you (print + postage covered by donations).

Recommended reading:

In itty-bitty review, L-R:

I listened to Min Jin Lee interview another author…about another book… But I can’t remember that other author. Or that other book! But I jotted on my TBR, read Min Jin Lee. I’m listening to her debut novel now; the 10th anniversary edition has a personal and vulnerable introduction by the author.

I’ve read all of Maggie O’Farrell to date, and I say Yes to her fiction (but her non-fiction is not for me). Fun thing I’ve noted: the farther back in time her book is set, the more compelling the read. The Marriage Portrait (16th c. Florence) is outstanding storytelling with such a great ending. I didn’t see it coming! And I want to say so much more about it. But I’m putting my hand over my mouth. I know a lot of you plan to read it. Enjoy.

It took me years to pick up Ann Patchett. But I finally did! (Starting with Dutch House a few years ago.) I recently read Liars and Magician’s. And while I especially loved Liars (nuns, boarding house, unwed mothers, rural, resilience, road trip), Magician’s was also moving–a unique and unconventional love story in all sorts of ways.


Both are excellent books by award-winning authors.. Both poignantly execute scarring truths…they hit the mark in a myriad of ways.

All too well.

Shadow Tag and Festival Days are, I suspect, just bad timing for me. Too much pain, too much loss, all too real and raw. Especially when I’m searching for light! In all the ways!

I did finish Shadow Tag. It was a very fast read and I was so hopeful…so. hopeful. But following up with Festival Days? (I had to pick quick! I was running out the door on a day with a lot of waiting). Well, too much. DNF.

And compassionate conversation.

I love when synchronicity happens.

I’m still reading Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I’m just past the middle now, and she’s talking about a small mishap at a conference in Lisbon where she became friends with Susan David (author of this book I’ve promoted here for years).

The chapter is on compassion. Not in personal relationships–where it’s easier. (Sometimes easier…?) But out in the world. In business. And work. In large groups of hardened-exterior men working on an oil rig where the safety stakes are high. For months at a time! And how…after attending her long, not-warmly-received workshop…their accident rate decreased, ultimately changing how the crew worked–as a compassionate crew.


The same day, this workshop landed in my inbox. I can’t tune in on December 1, but I’ll sign up so I receive a link to the recording when it drops.

Curious? Free registration.

And now, we’ll see what comes from this snow day ahead. With not so much snow. At all. Yet!?

Wishing you a warm + cozy one, wherever you are. xo

6 thoughts on “engaging…lately {47}

Add yours

  1. Did you read Pachinko? I have Free Food on my TBR list and have been following Lee this last year. She is doing some amazing work. Enjoy your snow – hoping it holds off here for at least another month.


  2. We have not had the flu but did have some weird virus go through that kept kiddo home for a couple of days, and it sounds like it’s been making the rounds. One of her classmates was out for a couple of weeks because whatever she had caused her asthma to get really bad, poor kid. I hope your kids are both back to normal by now and are able to enjoy the snow!


  3. Enjoy your holiday!! Not much snow in our part of Michigan!!
    This is my a book I thought you would enjoy by my a friend of mine and a local to our area!!
    A Different Existence by Cole Burke


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