Do you have a place where you can go that no matter what’s happening in your life everything feels ok? For me, it’s the public library.
[Also: Target. But our bank account doesn’t feel so good after that.]
When I was a little girl, I was a voracious reader. And overdue books fine accumulator. So much so that one librarian at my small hometown library had my card number memorized. As an adult, I’m a weekly visitor to my local public library. I love the smells. I love picking up a book off the shelf and scanning the description to see if it’s something that might be interesting to me. Most of all, I love the atmosphere. We’re all equals here.
My beloved local library is being torn down to make way for a new, more modern library. It’s closed for a few weeks while they move all of the books to a temporary space. So in the meantime, I’m going to explore some of the other libraries in my county.
This is the Happy Valley Public Library. Isn’t it so pretty?
Ain’t no party like a slumber party. We had a blast during our sleepover with our niece and nephew last week. We played hard. We sang songs. We read books.
This was our first sleepover with this bedroom mostly renovated, so it was quite exciting. Or as my niece said, “This is very special.”
What the foc?
While we still have pockets of sunshine coming through, we’re making the slow march into the cold and rainy season here in Oregon. Which means soup season is here as well. I already have several glass containers full of stews to thaw out on days when we feel too lazy to stand around the stove. If you give a girl a bowl of soup, you’d better hand her some bread to dip in it as well.
This focaccia is honestly the most delicious and incredibly easy accompaniment to any meal. It mixes together in about five minutes, sits in the fridge for a day or two until you’re ready to bake it, and then freezes beautifully if you have any leftovers. And no kneading!
Be sure to use good quality olive oil and flour. My favorite flours are King Arthur or Bob’s Redmill, which is based out of our local area. It’s important that the sea salt you sprinkle on top is large and flaky to give it that crunch that it needs. Too fine and it will just taste salty. If you have a salt grinder, unscrew it to its loosest setting (just be sure to tighten it back up!) or pick up a small jar of flaky sea salt at the store.
Books to borrow
Here are a few books that I’ve recently read that I’d highly recommend. These are likely in circulation in your local public library — save yourself a few dollars and some time by setting up an online account through your neighborhood branch so you can place holds for books in your pajamas at home!
Wealth and power gained and lost in just a few generations. In the words of the Countess, “Money can’t buy you class.”
This book was such a gift to read that I rushed it back to the library as to not stop someone else from devouring it. Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest.
Thanks for checking in this week! I’d love to hear from you. How are you doing?
We really know how to do Sundays around here. Despite our best efforts to sleep in, we usually wake up early and are sipping coffee by 7. On goes the electric fireplace and a nature documentary, and we snuggle with the doggies on the couch. When the weather is nice out, we sit on the back porch while Barkley chases butterflies. As you can probably imagine, it’s my favorite day of the week.
I stopped by my favorite local shop last week to buy myself a little happy during kind of a cruddy week. It's an apothecary called Milwaukie Mercantile and they sell the best chapstick along with herbs, soaps, and plants. This is the place where my fun money budget goes to die. They had an adorable terrarium there, but I was a babe with an already full basket. I already have plenty of succulents to kill at home, so I decided that I could make it myself.
Next up was a quick run through the aisles of my corner Salvation Army. The pricing there absolutely kills me sometimes. 🤦🏻♀️
I picked up a glass bowl there for about $6 and two packages of rocks from the Dollar Tree next door. $8 for this beauty! Not bad. I'm trying to find a dinosaur or some other little creature to add to the mix for some flair. What do you think?
Sweet, sweet Barkley turns two this week!
This poor guy is battling a little bit of an eye infection, but worry not: he gets the good treats after his twice daily eye meds.
This is my one of my favorite pictures of these two guys right after we first got Barks. Thor was a wee bit apprehensive — can you spot him?! — but you’d never know it now. They’re best buds!
Breath of Joy
I wasn't sure if I should laugh or run out the door when my yoga teacher Elaine decided to share the breath of joy with us for the first time. She was kind of flinging her arms around and making weird sounds, and good gracious I'm a little granola but deep down inside I'm still a Midwesterner.
I decided to go along with the rest of the class, and either the sheer silliness of how we all felt or the extra oxygen entering our bloodstreams made us all feel joyful.
This is a great thing to do when you need a pick-me-up in the afternoon. I usually do this five times in a row and then stand still for 20 or 30 seconds before going about my day.
Let me know what you think if you decide to try it. Videos encouraged!
Thanks for making it this far! I’d love to hear from you. How are you doing?
Is it weird to throw a birthday party for a dog? Asking for a friend.