• Just Life

    Choose | July 2021.

    This month’s check-in with my OLW might seem like a bit of a sharp turn from previous months. (it did to me at first.) I honestly didn’t even see the connection with Choose when I listened to the first season of this podcast last October. but Season 2 started this month and the connection seems clear … in an unexpected way. Here’s the “jacket copy” for the podcast: “How do we transform and transcend our biases? From judgments made unconsciously to complacency in systemic evil, we must learn how to see if we are to learn how to transform. Center for Action and Contemplation faculty member Brian McLaren hosts the…

  • Just Life

    Five on Friday | Silver Linings.

    Way back before TGIF became my Friday thing, I used to share a list of five things … and wow, the last one I posted was in March, 2020 (whoa, time machine!). That last time, I wasn’t feeling very TGIF-like … and today I was thinking about silver linings and wanting to change things up a bit. Thanks to a tennis ball hit hard on my left knee during Tuesday’s practice, I’ve spent much of the last three days with my knee resting, iced, compressed, and elevated. It seems to be improving (for sure the swelling is down), so I’m hopeful I’ll be back to my usual active self next…

  • Food & Drink,  Just Life

    TGIF | A Stormy One.

    I’m typing this looking out my study window (at the rain) with Holly in my lap. The lightning and thunder started about an hour ago. Radar says it’s nearly past us, but there are lingering rumbles. Holly-in-my-lap isn’t shaking any more and I am grateful. Still, it’s gloomy, wet, and, now that the stormy part has mostly passed, surprisingly quiet. I mostly hear the whirr of the fan blades overhead and my laptop keys. the birds just started singing again and now I know for sure the storm has passed. I suppose a smarter version of me could’ve made that whole opening bit a full blog post. But I’m in…

  • Just Life

    America.

    As a kid, I loved the 4th of July. potluck cookouts and sparklers. running through the grass in bare feet, and maybe the sprinkler if it was warm enough (many of my childhood memories are from the early 1970’s when we lived in Wyoming … y’all I think it snowed once on July 4th). Later, I loved making plans to watch the fireworks. One summer (early 1990’s), Marc & I took the girls for an overnight to a fancy hotel in town that had great views of the fireworks at Lenox Mall. Two years ago, we had a great time celebrating with Katie and her family (and if you clicked…

  • Just Life

    TGIF | Hello July.

    Last month I greeted June and this new season with a few intentions. All of that (with the exception of porch time!) is still a work in progress. I published my first set of minutes for the women’s ministry this morning and yikes, I’m rusty!  I’ve played three tennis matches with three new faces; I haven’t made any new friends, but I am learning more names. Also in the not-started category is the recipes – I haven’t tried a single new recipe in weeks. But a few weeks ago (to use up some bread that was going stale), I resurrected a favorite Caesar salad from years back. It’s been in…

  • Just Life

    Looking Back | June.

    “We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive …” ~Niall Williams, History of the Rain My first thought when I saw these 30 photos, all compiled into one place was that it didn’t look at all like COVID. There are people (friends Charlie on the 3rd and Deena on the 24th) who aren’t in my family bubble up close (unmasked). There’s evidence of a long-awaited haircut (on the 4th), multiple trips to the library, two coffee dates (one with with me and a book on the 9th and another with Deena on the 24th), and a trip to the pool with Sam (on the 25th). but the rest…

  • Just Life

    Choose | June 2021.

    Another month has flown by and once again it’s time to check in with my OLW. This month I’m revisiting gratitude. I’ve written about gratitude before (a LOT!) It was my OLW in 2008 and that year I made a little book and started filling one page a week with short, almost daily entries. The pages are filled with mostly little things about work, family (Katie was in college, Sara was in high school, and Marc traveled a lot), friends (including family who are friends), and crafting. I traveled a bit, too – mostly for work, and sometimes to see friends. One of those weeks was a simple entry written…

  • Books,  Just Life

    Savoring Life along with Transcendent Kingdom.

    I finished Transcendent Kingdom this morning. I loved it (just like everyone told me I would) and I’m glad I took it slowly, savoring the writing and the story. I was incredibly invested in a good outcome for Gifty and I think she got that, so I was pleased with the ending. I was almost angry enough with the “theology” she encountered to throw the book across the room. gah! It’s so real, and so harmful … gah! I also really appreciate Gyasi’s range as an author – and she’s only on book #2! There are certainly some common themes with Homegoing, but this is a brand new story, told…

  • Just Life

    Hello June.

    I’ve been dithering these last few days about how to greet June here at mere-et-filles. In past years I’ve riffed the TGIF format, crafted a summer bucket list, said a simple “hello”, and some years, said a lot more. Last June’s post is a time capsule moment for sure (I do love when former me writes something that current me looks back on and feels … good about). We have no plans to travel and I’m good with that. I expect there will be some fantastic stay-cation options as things open up (and we get more comfortable being part of them). and still … this June feels special. this summer feels special.…

  • Just Life

    Looking Back | May.

    “So new to the city, I remember wanting to photograph everything in sight. It was during my first few months that I began to sharpen my eye and appreciate the extraordinary findings in life’s everyday moments. In many ways, I was like a photograph myself, coming into focus, developing not just my art, but my life.” ~ Renée Rosen, Park Avenue Summer Ah May … what a treat it was to look out and see people (unmasked), along with plenty of blue skies and early summer blooms … and books. so many books! Every single one of those everyday moments did indeed feel extraordinary. A Gratitude List: family who live…