This week was a busy one. We are in the “flow” portion of “ebb and flow” at work right now and a lot of proposals have come in. Yesterday, I spent six straight hours editing and afterwards I wanted to collapse and never get up again. It’s been a week busy with some good things too, though. I’ve been reading a lot and I made some good progress on my knitting. This weekend, my mom is coming to visit me and I’m taking a couple extra days off work, so I have that going for me too.
Here are some things I read and bought this week. Spoiler: it’s all books.
I’m not quite done yet with Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, but I am already profoundly affected by it. This is an essay collection by indigenous ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer that blends, as the title suggests, her scientific background and indigenous philosophy and perspective in writing about nature and the world. Kimmerer speaks a lot in this books about plants and their importance in indigenous thinking. Plants are there to provide us with everything we need, but we, in turn have to respect plants and take care of them.
This book has made me feel like crying at times almost as if it’s making me miss something I never had. As regular readers know, I’ve been feeling a lot of climate anxiety lately. The way Kimmerer thinks about nature offers something of an antidote to our current ecological woes. She articulates the concept of the Honorable Harvest, which calls for not taking more than we need from the world, not taking the first thing we see, leaving resources for others (including other animals), and respectfully using what we take. It’s something that resonated with me a lot as I read the book. It’s impossible to completely opt out of the capitalist system we’re inhabiting (at least, as an individual), but I want to incorporate some of this approach into my life. I highly recommend reading this book if you have been worried about the environment. It makes me feel like there’s something I can do.
I try to get a lot of my books from the library so I don’t spend all the money I earn on books (-insert rueful laughter-), but I also make a point of pre-ordering books from authors I like or for stories that look exciting because first day sales really determine a book’s success. On Tuesday, my pre-orders of Margret Atwood’s new book, The Testaments, and of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow dropped onto my Kobo. In paper book activities, I bought Pantaleón y las visitadoras by Mario Vargas Llosa on the recommendation of my Spanish teacher because she’s helping me prepare for my upcoming Peru trip. I also bought The Cook’s Herb Garden in hopes of stepping up my herb game.
Making Things and Doing Stuff
Work cut into my making things and doing stuff time this week (and my energy), but I was able to rally and still do quite a bit.
On Saturday, my cookbook club met! We made food from Signs and Seasons: An Astrology Cookbook. Although I’m not a great fan of astrology, it was a fun theme and everyone made great food! I choose two of the Taurus-themed recipes: brisket and mashed Lima beans. I was excited about the brisket because I’d never made it before. I cheated a little bit though and didn’t exactly follow the recipe as written in part because I wanted to make it in the slow cooker. The brisket came out really tasty and so did the Lima beans, although I still prefer mashed potatoes as an accompaniment to meat, but I wouldn’t turn down beans.
Outside of cookbook club, I made a corn chowder (which I think turned out a little too thin, but there are worse things) and biscuits for dinner last night. I also made another batch of zucchini bread because my mom requested it. I used up the last of the large zucchini that I got from Taco. True derby wifehood is sharing your garden produce.
Knitting and Crafts
I finally got started on the blanket I bought fabric for a couple months ago. This week, I ironed it all and cut it into squares so I can get ready to sew it. Next up is the fun part: deciding on the design and how the pieces are going to fit together.
I was going to post a picture of my knitting until I realized that the pictures I took were blurry and terrible. Regardless, I finished knitting the hood part of my hooded caplet. It looks handsome and I’m really pleased with how the cable turned out. It’s amazing to think that I can make something so nice.
It’s been a good week for derby and (hopefully) it’s still getting better. On Sunday I coached my peers for the first time and it was great. I love thinking through skills and figuring out what small pieces we need to work on to build up to the larger whole. We worked on improving our lateral blocking in pairs and our jammers practiced patience. I think the best part was running some jams and pausing mid-action to think about the next move. Everyone knew what they wanted to do, they just needed to practice thinking faster. On Wednesday, I coached again but for our new skaters. They have been learning how to hit people so obviously that was a fun session for me to coach. I let them all hit me for practice, which seemed to make it less scary for them. They didn’t have to worry about their own instability plus a teammate’s.
Tomorrow is our second home team game of the season. Team Blue Steel is taking on Team Yellow. We lost our first home team game, but I’m hoping we’ll win this one! It has been much less stressful to make a roster because more of our blue skaters are available, so that has been a relief. We also have a visiting announcer who I’m excited about. I’m looking forward to a good game!
Finally, some cats for your nerves. This week, we have cats in the sun.