A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How was your week? Feeling good about October? I think we have a pretty low-key weekend ahead of us with sounds lovely. Mostly I wanted to get Ralph and Maude’s plane tickets confirmed for the holidays. It will feel good to be able to picture us all together again.

The one big thing this weekend is Ben Blair is headed to Chicago for a conference. He’ll head out on Sunday. How will I do without the best French speaker in the house here? We will find out!

But first, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

Heads up. It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and several of the links are abuse/violence related.

-What really happens when you report a rape.

-A story about a lost dog reunited, housing/homelessness in San Francisco, and grace.

-Dammit. Reporters found most Catholic clergy ousted for credible claims of child sex abuse now have roles like high school teachers, counselors to at-risk kids, psychologists and foster parents.

Advice from Anna Wintour’s masterclass.

Would you ever give up your lawn? “Sheer inanity of devoting 40 million acres, nearly half as much land as we use for our biggest crops, to an inedible carpet…. Producing no seeds, nectar, or fruit, few creatures can use can use lawns as habitat. Biodiversity-wise it’s almost like concrete.”

What if your abusive husband is a cop?

-In the French house, I was thinking it might be fun to stock the kitchen with only French items — like Le Creuset. I’m betting I could find some good stuff at yard sales here.

-How is this story about Republican gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller, who worked with state republican parties across the country to racially gerrymander democrats out of power, not getting talked about more? So much corruption.

-Related, How to Get Away with Gerrymandering.

-Ohio State University stated in its annual crime report that Dr. Richard Strauss committed at least 1,429 sexual assaults and 47 rapes during his 20-year tenure.

-Is there a sport you wouldn’t let your children play?

-Sigh. First, the parents paid “consultants” to get their kids into college. Now, they’re paying “consultants” in an attempt to avoid jail time. (NYT)

-This is never not funny and I’m always so happy to see it show up each and every year (but definitely don’t read it if cussing stresses you out). It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf**ers.

Here are some things I bookmarked for you on Twitter:

-A thread on repentance, forgiveness, and Botham Jean.

-A lost and found acorn.

-Bob Woodward tried to moderate a discussion on the #MeToo movement and the audience booed. I found the thread fascinating.


-A short thread I wrote about Domestic Violence.

-This account shares excerpts from letters note and it is delightful.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


16 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. A few years ago we replaces our front yard with drought resistant plants. I’ll never go back. I water once every couple of weeks and week a couple times each year. It is lovely and a bit wild. A bonus is that the lizards I love moved in. The lawn had been a dead zone. We kept a bit of grass in the back, but I think that will go once the kids are a bit older.

  2. We’re in the process of switching our traditional grass lawn over to a bee or flowering lawn (https://www.beelab.umn.edu/wild-bees/wild-bees-flowers/beelawn)! We did our backyard this year and, depending on how it takes, plan to do the front yard next year when there will be grant money available from the state to do this. So far we love it and have found that the clover/grass mixture is better suited for the space than the turf grass we had there before.

  3. The acorn story on twitter is so cute! Japan has the reputation for returning lost items to their proper owners. On the twitter feed, someone links to a paper that attempts to explain why that is. Fascinating!

  4. I found a box with six pieces of Le creuset flame orange cookware at a yard sale ten years ago….. all for $6! In the US. Love, love, love cooking with them. So keep your eyes open. They are worth the search.

  5. What great links re domestic violence. Heartbreaking.

    I’m curious what you think about gorgeous public gardens that contain lawns, simply for aesthetics.

    Why take a beautiful (for once!) news story and make it ugly? Botham.
    Christians and even mainstream/secular therapists agree forgiveness is so healthy. It’s not easy and needs to be done over and over hence 70 times 7. I thought it was miraculous. What are Mormons taught?

  6. I have a whole set of LeCrueset and my fav pieces are: the metal pasta pot, the Dutch oven, the tea kettle, and a little baking dish. They are super heavy except for metal pot and are difficult to keep clean (for me) especially the frying pans. If anyone has any magical cleaning advice i’ll Take it. They are beautiful though.

    1. If your frying pans are not cast iron, have you tried Bar Keeper’s Friend? Use just a little water (so you don’t dilute the BKF too much), and I always try to clean pans when they’re still warm (not hot, and not completely cooled down).

  7. I’m sure you will find Le Creuset at yard sales and emmaus store in France( You can also try this website : leboncoin.fr) . If your are looking for other french designs and tableware you can try the Duralex glasses (there is a number at the bottom of each glass, as kids you look into it and decide it is your age for the whole meal : school lunches were a lot of fun!) and laguiole and opinel knives too.

  8. I love the idea of a French item kitchen. I have two Dutch ovens by Le Creuset that I have had for over 15 years. They are still in excellent condition. We have Laguiole knives. I bought the wood handle but if I were to purchase again I would do stainless. The handles have faded. Perhaps I should have used mineral oil more often. They are about 15 years old and still cut well. I love the bees. Please post with your kitchen finds. I had not thought about French yard sales! How fun and good luck treasure hunting.

  9. The acorn story and P.G. Wodehouse’s review both left me smiling…exactly what I needed on this Friday after what feels like an eternity of a week! (And “It’s Decorative Gourd Season” seriously *never* gets old!)


  10. I’ve mostly given up my lawn, and highly recommend it! What non-garden area we do still have (in the backyard, because our child is still young enough to want a space to play on) is a mix of “native ground covers” – ie. weeds! There are a few vining types, clover and moss, and forget-me-nots in the spring. It’s lovely and never goes brown – though it does still require regular mowing (which I do in 15 minutes flat with a muscle-powered reel mower).

  11. I find lawns bizarre, tbh – no purpose, or benefit. I could understand it better if lawns were in place due to a lack of time or resources to establish something productive, but large lawns seem to be associated with high-earning American families as a status symbol rather than a place of enjoyment, or anything actively useful.

    My mother grew up with a huge jungle of a yard, so every house – even the rentals – always had front gardens, rather than just a swath of lawn.
    She’s is actually re-doing her garden at the moment, to integrate the fruits, vegetables, and herbs into the flower beds because our available garden space is already taken up by garden and we don’t want to have to move/get rid of anything already established and because the flowers prevent pests destroying the vegetables. It’s so good for the environment (we get tons of lizards, native birds, bees, and butterflies), plus it is amazing for our mental health to have a sanctuary like that – we’re very, very privileged to have space, time, and resources to establish a garden.

  12. I love my Le Creuset enameled cast iron, and my Emile Henry stoneware, and my Duralux glassware but the thing I love most of all and get used every day are the de Buyer skillets and frying pans. These are a well kept French secret. Inexpensive compared with the brands above and the cook wonderfully and clean up is a cinch! https://www.debuyer.com/en/products/carbone

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