A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? Ours was good. We cleared out two structures in the backyard at the new house — a potting shed, and an old building that was once a carriage house and is now a dirt-floored shed. It was really satisfying to empty them both out and clear the cobwebs — though now we have big piles we need to take to the “decheterie” for recycling and dumping. (Here’s a garden highlight if you’d like to see what we’ve been working on.)

We also had someone come take a look at the broken glass in the yard that needs to be replaced. That work is supposed to start next week and I’m quite happy about it. The garden is a pretty little spot — and then you see the broken glass and all of sudden it feels depressing — so it will be wonderful to have the glass replaced.

While one crew was tackling the garden, some of us were working on the last room of wallpaper. It’s one of the smaller rooms but it’s taken longer than any other — the glue is particularly sticky. I think it will take another 2 or 3 sessions with a full steamer.

Up next? I think we’ll be knocking out some old plaster in the attic. But before I head over there, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

-A really moving piece about how lockdown is affecting India.

-Something pretty. A Soviet cookie catalogue from 1922.

-This is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking for Washington to lead.

-Say it isn’t so! According to this article earthworms aren’t the soil heroes they’ve been painted to be.

This made me really sad.

-I enjoyed this discussion about the deficit way more than I expected to.

Are you a generous tipper?

-Amazing deep data dive into the racial disparities of COVID.

-The Entire Weekend Box Office Report Is From a Single Drive-In in Florida.

-“One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential” and women are nearly 75% of the US health care workers who’ve been infected with Covid-19.

-I’m going to listen to Glennon Doyle’s audiobook Untamed this weekend.

Here are a some tweets I saved for you:

This tweet is brilliant, and her follow-ups are good too.



This thread is so good. The best thing I’ve read about the challenges of working at home while your kids are also at home. And such a smart response to a really crappy comment.

-It’s time to ask: Why doesn’t he stop?

Really great thread — and numbers are improving! (Though there’s still a long way to go.)

-Have there been any protests in your town? This is an excellent thread (with article links too!) if you want to learn more about them.

I don’t know enough to have an opinion.

-Hah! She doesn’t hold back.

-It never had anything to do with jobs.


Click through for creative responses to the question.

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


7 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. Enjoying all the home updates and wishing I had your energy and resources.

    The piece on India is intense, and I have thought on similar things for quite a while. (When wearing a face mask was made mandatory I wondered if any Muslim women were thinking “Not such a bad idea now -is it?”)

    When we, as a world, have been backed into a corner, this mess has become a magnifier on who we are. Sorting out who are the leaders, who are the caregivers, who decides politics can be set aside for authentic solutions without self serving. It sheds a bright light on how each of us genuinely regard all humanity -how do we react to race, religion, financial levels, political bend, and extreme personal stress. It clarifies our priorities and concerns and actions. In other words, this pandemic has revealed where our personal lines are drawn, what we will and won’t accept, how far we will go for ourselves and others, -and all of our prejudices have been laid bare.

    I, as the author, hope and desire that after all the dust has settled we can finally wake up to just how destructive our prejudices are and find that in the long run we are all just human, and without each other, we’re all just animals.

  2. So do you think Schopenhauer was 9 when his mother wrote that, because it perfectly describes why I find conversations with my 9 year old irritating. The number of times I have to bite back, “I have been doing this thing for 30 years before you were even born, and I taught it to you five minutes ago, so you are not the expert here.” Maybe I will just print that out to hang next to my desk for the feeling of solidarity.

  3. We’ve been on fire (not literally) with our backyard! After months of my partner being away working on a film project it’s nice to have this concentration of time. I feel guilty for feeling that with everything going on but know that I must find a silver lining to this current time. I’m hoping to submit our house in the near future for the living with kids series!

  4. I hate tipping! HATE. For all the reasons you gave and also because I think it reinforces the idea that some jobs are demeaning — we tip to compensate people for the humiliation of shining our shoes or bringing us food or trimming our nails. But no one should be demeaned by the work they do. Work is by its very definition valuable and we should respect the people who do it.

  5. I have been enjoying learning about your new home in France and the work you are doing on it. Have you, by chance, read the book “LeAppart” by David Lebovitz? It’s such an interesting read about his experience purchasing and renovating his apartment in France. He essentially describes how frustrating and confusing the process is. Do you find that to be true?

  6. I am glad you highlighted the Shannon Watts tweet. I am a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Ohio and Chris Dorr regularly posts videos of myself and other volunteers on his social media. He raises a lot of money for his “organization” but it literally all goes to him. The people who follow him are threatening and have threatened me personally when I testified at the Statehouse on a bad gun bill. The Dorr brothers are grifters and have regularly been charged with fraud. They are dangerous for our democracy.

  7. Gabrielle – thank you for these links, and for continuing to update on your house and projects over the past few weeks.

    I was thinking of something I think you said recently, but I can’t quite place it. You wrote about the idea that after your kids are adults, they have a role in upholding their relationship with you (said in a nicer way, you hope you form relationships with them that will make them want to choose to remain close with you, or something similar?). I have a new baby now and have been thinking about and appreciating that idea quite a bit – do you know where I can find your post about it?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top