Wednesday, June 28, 2017

a little list to get my groove back

it's a very long time since i did a bit of bloggy visiting, but an instagram post reminded me of the wonderful and creative sandra juto's blog and she did this list, which made me want to do a list to ease me back into the rhythm of blogging. sandra is swedish, so there's a mention of fika, that delightful swedish custom of relaxing with coffee and something sweet in the afternoon.

do you?

have beer in the fridge? no, but you can always find white wine and tonic.

have a pet? anyone who follows my instagram knows i am a cat person and we have multiple cats. favorites are molly, charlie, sif, billy and kittens bob and bella (that's bella above). we have a few more outdoors, but it's ok, because they have awesome lives and we have 17 acres of land.

have a favourite sweet? i'm not really that big on sweets, but do regularly make chocolate chip cookies and if i have a sore throat, some salt liquorice is a good thing.

wear powder? no, but i do swear by becca's backlighting primer and mac soft & gentle highlighter for that daily glow.

have any plans for the future? we will eventually finish our house and it will be awesome.

have any "best" grades from school? it's starting to be awhile ago, but i always did well at writing and in my lit and literary theory courses.

have an addiction? it's probably white wine, but i also can't do without my kiehl's lip balm #1. and i would be very sad without podcasts.

have fika today? alas, i did not, which was unusual, because we often have cake in the afternoon at work.

wear nail polish? yes. almost always. these days, i'm into quite neutral flesh tones, but i can also do a nice bright blue or salmony pink.

have a friend who lives in another country? yes. lots of other countries. and i live in another country as well (thank goodness, with that cheeto at the helm) - for nigh on 18 years now.


do you despise? i think we all know that it's that dangerously ignorant clown who is destroying the country of my birth.

share most memories with? at this point, knowing one another for 20 years, it must be husband. i would say my mother, but we don't share that many memories anymore with all of hers fading away...

do you long most for? i still miss my sweet frieda badida kitty and think of her often.

annoys you? rude drivers. people who are at the back of the line and rush forward when a new cashier opens. people who say, "ik' aw" constantly.

do you cuddle with? sif, she's the cat most likely to snuggle up and sleep next to me.

cooks? i'm the primary cook at our house, but i love cooking. it relaxes me. sunday evening dinners, where i throw together a bit of everything that i find in the fridge and in the garden make me happiest.

does the dishes? husband does, which is part of why i like to cook.


magazine to you read? i just bought a digital subscription to the new yorker. but i like to pick up unusual magazines when i travel. things like tank or kinfolk.

bus do you take the most? i don't take a bus very often, but when i do, it's 34. i'm more likely to take an s-train to get around copenhagen.

day is your birthday? march 22.

season do you prefer? i've always loved autumn. it signaled the start of school (and i stayed in university for a long time), and i still retain that love for a new sweatshirt and the sense of a new beginning that came with the beginning of the semester. i can still conjure that feeling, just from the shift in the temperature and the angle of the golden light.

town did you grow up in? platte, south dakota. i don't think i could live there now, but i'm glad to have grown up there.


are you doing right now? thinking that i should probably be wrapping this up and getting to sleep

is good about you? i have a lot of energy, am funny and generally in a good mood. i love sharing ideas and seeing what happens to them, without feeling too protective of them. i think there's a lot of power in shared ideas.

is bad about you? i procrastinate. i need deadlines in order to function well. i talk too much sometimes. if i don't like someone, i can't hide it.

do you want to work with? social media, fun content, people who give me energy, ideas, ships (luckily, i get to do this).

is most fun at the moment? being in copenhagen during the week and at home in the countryside on the weekends, hanging out with kittens and enjoying the garden. going on holiday next week.

are you wearing? a grey t-shirt with hearts on it and comfy grey lounge pants, both from primark.

kind of shoes do you own? i'm in total sneaker mode now that it's summer - faves of the moment are rose gold pumas, white pumas, green converse, light blue adidas. and when i'm at home, haviana flip flops.

is your shoe size? 40

are you reading? i'm half-heartedly rereading murakami's kafka on the shore and i ordered a book from the library on the history of the cia - legacy of ashes. i intend to take it on holiday next week. i'll admit that i read an awful lot of news online these days and it means i haven't been reading books much. that's undoubtedly not very good for me, so i need to remedy that.

are you going to do now? i'll post this and get to bed. tho' i'm actually sitting in bed, writing it, so i wont' have far to go.

well, that was fun. if you're still blogging these days, why not play along? it just might get you into the groove again.

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reading this made me feel less helpless about the era of epic stupid we're living in. 

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11 podcasts to brighten up your summer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

stitches, objects and memories

ever since working on cleaning out our mother's house, i've been pondering things. the things we collect, stockpile, accumulate over a lifetime. the mundane things - bowls in which we serve dinner, glasses for milk, ceramic bulldogs, socks, tea towels...

i had some breakable glasses wrapped in the tea towel above for the trip home. the glasses are cheery ones from the 50s - with a pink check and a gold rim. i didn't notice that this tea towel had a careful hand-stitched repair of a hole until i went to iron it yesterday. and i welled up. mom must have sat down with it and carefully stitched a fine little oval-shaped patch into place. i find myself wondering when she did it. she couldn't have done it today. she's losing her words for things like needles and thread and while her fingers might remember how to make careful stitches, i'm not certain her mind could any longer make the connections necessary to do so. what made this particular towel worthy of repair? it is a nice, soft towel of the kind that are hard to find these days - the kind that actually absorbs water and which is soft enough to clean your glasses on and have them end up clean. that's part of why i used it to wrap up the glasses, i knew i would appreciate using it when i got home.

mom's house is full of objects and we donated, gave away, threw away and burned a great many of them. but there were things here and there that i wanted to save and take home - like these glasses and this tea towel. i'm not sure what to make of my choices. i don't particularly remember the glasses from my childhood. i think they are something she collected at a flea market in the years after i left home, so there aren't memories attached to them. but still, they spark joy (a factor my sister swears by after reading the marie kondo book). and it means something to have brought them home with me, across half a continent and an ocean. i feel comforted when i use them.

it is, in many ways, a situation without much comfort, this losing your mother to alzheimer's. i have been able to read about it a little bit now, but still haven't found anything that i feel like is the book i need. i think i deal mostly by avoidance. i don't call her much, because it brings it to the surface, hearing her repeat the same stories - the relocation of her cats to another zip code (as she puts it), the evil people who took her driver's license tho' she wasn't hurting anyone, the whereabouts of her (multiple!) guns - hearing her search for words and stumble around in her decreasing vocabulary. it's too raw and distressing. so i seek comfort in drinking my gin and tonic from cheery glasses she chose or fingering the mended stitches on a tea towel. and it hits me that the tea towel could have been my grandmother's and the stitches hers. and she also had alzheimer's and was eventually erased. leaving behind a mended tea towel, that i muse over at my own desk in my home in denmark, so far from where the stitches were stitched. and i wonder if objects can be repositories of memory. and if it will also happen to me...

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speaking of memory and objects, matisse found joy in things as well.

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an interesting piece on alzheimer's as a women's issue in the lenny letter.