Hey friends welcome back !!!! and of course a beautiful big Happy New Year
What are you up to these days? What do you love doing in these early days of January?
I’m back at work but definitely still in summer holiday mode so it’s bubble tea on repeat, easy dinners, the fan on full and getting myself near the water for a little bit most days.
This time of year when the kids were smaller we always went camping (which they tell me now they hated for the most part so, so much for giving them idyllic childhood summers) but I loved it and miss it. Going swimming helps and sitting in a camp chair with a cold drink and a good spray of Aeroguard on does too. That smell just takes me there.
I hope your heading into the new year in whatever way suits you best. If you like to sprint on in I’m cheering you on but if your strolling along in Christmas recovery mode that’s ok too. I’m right there with you.
Whichever it is I hope these few good words reads are kind company along the way- – –
A Good Word
A Good Look
Coziness from Finland. This gorgeous “courtyard cottage” can be seen in all four seasons here.
Blogger Pauliina says “We have four wonderful seasons in Finland, that can all be seen in my little yard cottage. This series of pictures reminds me nicely that there is something magical and wonderful about all seasons”
A Good Laugh
A Good Idea
A few of them
from Morgan Harper Nicholls
It doesn’t make you any less of an adult if you don’t have a game plan for every single thing.
You can still be proud of how far you have come without having everyone else’s recognition of your progress.
It doesn’t make you irresponsible if everything isn’t planned out in your life.
You can still be who you were meant to be without meeting everyone else’s expectation of you.
You are no less worthy of love because of your failures.
Even when you feel the void of what’s missing, you still have access to what you need, deeply rooted peace that goes beyond your understanding.
After everything that broke apart you are still free to have hope for love
If nothing else this month is teaching you. You are strong and you are making it through.
Through it all, you made it through xx
A Few Good Reads
From Cup of Jo
I am underwater again. Without my glasses, I can barely see, but I know enough to stay in my lane and not disturb the elderly man to my side, in his own lane. We split it, that’s the lingo for us regular public pool lap-swimmers — can we split the lane please? When we cross in opposite directions, me mid-crawl, I almost hold my breath.
He’s running in the water, or running as well as one can with that much resistance. He barely moves but he is determined, calm and steady in his attempt, working his legs and arms. I think of myself 30 years from now, hoping I’m lucky enough to still be braving these waters; hoping my lane partner gives me grace to move as I am able.
It is early morning at an outdoor pool in Santa Monica, California. My bag is on the deck with my towel, phone, wallet and keys. All access to me: gone – – – keep reading
A fun one from Jason Kottke
(Some of the references went over my head but I enjoyed reading this list and learnt a few things too)
For the last few years, I’ve been a fan of Tom Whitwell’s annual list of 52 things he learned during the past year — here’s his list for 2021. This year, I kept track of my own list, presented here in no particular order:
- “In Fargo, Carl says ‘30 minutes, Jerry, we wrap this thing up’ when there are exactly 30 minutes of the movie remaining.
- There’s a Boeing 727 cargo plane that’s used exclusively for horse transportation nicknamed Air Horse One.
- In March 2020, the Covid-19 testing capacity for all of NYC was 120 tests per day.
- “The last time ships got stuck in the Suez Canal [in 1967], they were there for eight years and developed a separate society with its own Olympic Games.”
- The pronunciation of the last name of the man who lent his name to Mount Everest (over his objections) is different than the pronunciation of the mountain.
- While recording the audiobook version of Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White needed 17 takes to read Charlotte’s death scene because he kept crying.
From Introvert Dear
“It’s been a long day, I’m going to head to bed.” I smile and kiss my husband, and say goodnight to the in-laws, praying that no one calls me out for going to bed before 9 p.m.
I close the bedroom door and feel instant relief. Alone at last. I’m not tired enough to actually sleep, but I desperately need solitude. I get in bed and pull out my phone. I scroll Instagram and Facebook, check my email, watch a YouTube video, and even check my bank account. Beforehand, I wasn’t sure what to do with this time; I just knew I needed it.
When we moved in with my in-laws for about six months, it was a full house with my husband and our two little kids, plus the in-law’s two teenage children. And though they are wonderful people — and we were lucky to be able to stay with them until we could buy our own house — it was a lot for this introvert. I had, after all, married into a large, boisterous family after having come from a much quieter home – – – keep reading
And a beautiful one from Sean Dietrich
First off, I’d like to thank Miss Karen for telling me this story. Karen, you know who you are.
Our story starts with a young man. This young man had a large snake tattoo on his neck, slithering upward onto his shaved scalp. The frightful tattoo was one of many.
On his forearms, for example, were even more disturbing tats. And these were not the kinds of artsy tattoos you see on suburban, middle-aged dads who drive minivans. These were crude, Sing Sing-style tattoos done with the ink from a BIC pen.
The young, tattooed custodian entered the fellowship hall during women’s Bible study hour one Wednesday morning, pushing a mop. He quietly went about his business, cleaning the church, listening to rap music on earbuds.
The old women in the Bible study group were seated in a semicircle of folding chairs. They stared at the illustrated man with slack-jawed horror.
These were church ladies with hearing aids, Coke-bottle glasses, and quilted Bible covers. These were decent women who wore Chanel No. 5, and lily-white Keds. Who was this man?
“Is that our new custodian?” asked one old lady in pearls and polyester.
“Surely not,” whispered another. “He looks like an inmate.”
He was, indeed, a former prisoner. The young man had just gotten out of county lockup. The church hired him to do odd jobs, sweep floors, vacuum the sanctuary, and chlorinate the baptismal.
He was a good worker, and a nice guy. There had been complaints about him, of course. Lots of complaints. But none were based on his character. Just his appearance.
Which brings us to Karen.
Karen is 74 years young. She has been attending this 200-member church in the piney woods since infancy. Her husband used to be the treasurer here before he died.
For years, Karen has headed up the committee that produced the annual cookbook on the mimeograph machine. Karen was church secretary once. She has a key to the sanctuary. She arranges the flowers. She does everything here but preach the sermons.
After Bible study, Karen invited the young man to supper.
Initially he turned her down and said he didn’t want to impose, but you do not turn Karen down. She is a church lady’s church lady. And all church ladies wield spellbinding powers over the stomachs of mortal men.
“I’ll cook rice savoy casserole,” she said.
Case closed – – – keep reading
That’s all for now friends. Have a beautiful weekend. Rest up. Do something you love xx