Random Thoughts

I hope you’re in the mood for a Random Thoughts post. Here are some of the things on my mind, including some of the bright spots we’ve experienced over the last couple of months.

-Have you already watched Little Fires Everywhere? I keep thinking about it. It’s a recent show on Hulu. It was being shared one episode each week, but the first season is officially out, so you can binge the whole thing at once if you’d like. The main characters are played by Kerri Washington and Reese Witherspoon and the acting is SO GOOD. The story is compelling and complicated, and I love that they used actual children to play the children. I was so happy every time there was a new episode to watch.

-I’m sick to my stomach about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. It makes me so angry. They hunted him down like he was prey. They killed him because he was black. It happened two months ago and we’re just now hearing about it. It’s horrific. The corruption and injustice are a cancer, and I want to cut them out.

-At the beginning of quarantine, Oscar decided to try making cinnamon rolls, and they were so good we’ve made them 3 more times. I’m not sure why, but cinnamon baked goods aren’t really a thing in France, and there’s nothing similar to a cinnamon roll sold in bakeries here. (There is something that looks a bit similar, called a Pain au Raisin, but don’t be fooled! It’s delicious, but it’s not a cinnamon roll at all.)

It’s been interesting because with the stress, we’ve been craving comfort foods. But we’re far from home and can’t get the ready made versions of what we’re craving, so we’ve needed to make them from scratch. It’s been a good push for us cooking-wise.

-Speaking of which, Betty has been making No Bake Cookies almost weekly. Last time we lived in France, we really had to make an effort to track down peanut butter. But this time around, the organic section of the grocery store always has a couple of options. Hooray!

-Olive talked me into a pair of Levi’s 501 originals and I’ve been wearing them pretty much nonstop for the last two months. They’re the kind with no stretch and they sit at your waistline. I’m quite sure I had a pair in my teens. I remember seeking them out with the original deep blue color, when they hadn’t been pre-washed at all and were totally stiff. And then you would just wear the heck out of them until they faded and became worn in. Anyone else? (This version is on sale for $20).

-Our old congregation in Oakland has been holding online church services sometimes on Zoom. Ben Blair and I joined the call on Easter Sunday and I loved it so much. I miss our California friends and family.

-We bought a puzzle years ago when we lived in France before. It’s a big one — 1500 pieces — and is an image of Mont St. Michel. We started it once or twice but never finished it, and we left it here in storage when we moved away. A week or so into quarantine, we pulled it out again and this time I was determined to finish it.

But oh my it took waaaay too long to finish, and by the end we realized we were missing four pieces (I’m sure they were lost during earlier attempts at putting it together), and had stained a few others (pro-tip: don’t eat chips and puzzle at the same time). There was one broken piece as well. It was such a hot mess! And still, I could not believe how accomplished I felt at the end. Hah!

Then we took a few photos and immediately threw the whole thing away. : )

-I finally tried Rothys shoes, and I think I’ve officially been influenced by a social media ad. I picked a pointy-toed yellow flat that I knew would get dirty, and just like they promised, the flats clean up in the washing machine like new. I admit, I’m impressed. I would normally avoid something like a yellow flat because I know they would look dirty after only a few wears, so this feels like a game changer to me.

Also, I love the look of wearing flats or summer sneakers without socks, but I haven’t had any luck with no-show socks that don’t slip off my heels. And if I don’t wear socks, the shoes get stinky. So I’m doubly happy I can throw these in the wash as needed.

-We’ve had a big unopened box of Magnatiles for a couple of years. They mistakenly got packed away and never used. We found them again during the move and finally opened them during quarantine and they’ve been such a hit. I love building toys.

-It’s a birthday week at our house. Betty Blair turns 14, and Flora June Blair turns 10. Is it really possible our youngest child is officially in the double digits? I’m so grateful for healthy, growing children.

Obviously we’ll be having simple celebrations at home. It’s strange not to celebrate with friends or go out for a family adventure, but Betty & Flora June are both being great sports about it. I suppose it will become another memory in their quarantine experience — something their birthday peers around the world can relate to.

I think that’s it for now. Please feel free to respond to my random thoughts, or you can leave your own random thoughts in the comments. I always love to hear what’s on your mind.

P.S. — More random thoughts.

39 thoughts on “Random Thoughts”

  1. I’ve been so tempted by Rothy’s, because they are so pricey – but tons of women at work wear them and seem to love them. Since we’re *saving so much money by never leaving the house right now, maybe I’ll treat myself!

    *Kind of kidding – I’m finding plenty of ways to spend while in quarantine, including $346489744 per week on groceries.

    1. I love Rothy’s, and you can get $20 off of your first pair if someone gives you a referral code. Then they get $20 off their next pair. I’m sure @Gabby wouldn’t mind sharing a code!

      1. Thanks for the heads up, Emily. I found a link that should work for the $20 off and I put it in the post. I hope that works! Let me know if it doesn’t.

    2. I thought they didn’t ship internationally? I’m.suoer curious how she managed to get hold of a pair!

      1. I’m actually not aware of their shipping policies, Vicky, but I got my yellow flats before we moved here. I wore them a bunch, and then it was winter and too cold for flats. But it’s warmed up again, and I pulled them out and started wearing them again — and they still look great! I suppose that’s why they were on my mind this week.

  2. Please take action for Ahumaud Arbery. Call you representative, donate to the NAACP, demand justice. The fact that this continues happen in the US is unacceptable. As a Canadian, I wish I could do more.

  3. Thank you for posting about Ahumaud Arbery. I’m so tired of seeing yet another person turned into a hashtag. And even worse, his murderers have yet to be charged! If the scenario was reversed, that wouldn’t be the case.

    1. I absolutely agree. If he had been white, the killers would be been charged (even if they were white too). It’s pure hatred, corruption and injustice that they weren’t arrested on the scene.

  4. We love our Magnatiles so much! They are the absolute best open-ended imaginative toy we have, and my kids have not tired of them in the two years we’ve had them. Plus, it’s so easy to clean them up and they stack so nicely for storage, unlike Legos.

  5. Magnatiles are especially fun if you build them on a light table. (Some of us old school graphic designers still have them!)

      1. I haven’t tried them but I get ads for Gekks socks all the time. They are expensive but I am so intrigued. They look like a true no show. Total pet peeve of mine is seeing no show socks with flats etc. Also I love my Rothys. My nice mother in law got them for me.

        1. I’ve never heard of Gekks before but I checked out the link and I’m intrigued. I wonder if they’re any good? I would love a good liner that works with heels.

    1. I’ve tried many brands & the only ones I have found that don’t slip & are comfortable are Vans. They come in cute prints or solid black or white. They’re awesome!

      1. I totally recognize those, Angela! Ralph has owned several pairs. I forgot about them.

        And seeing them made me realize I should probably have said liners instead of no-show socks. I have an easier time finding no-show options for sneakers (though I’m always glad for a recommendation), but feel like it’s almost impossible to find socks that work with flats or heels and don’t show.

        In my head, they’re all no-show socks because the idea is they don’t show while wearing shoes, but when shopping, there’s a big difference between no-show socks and liners.

    2. I have had the best luck with Keds brand socks (or I think the version I buy are called liners). They have a more square-ish design on the top of your foot, which hide perfectly when wearing clogs. I have not tried them with flats, but they work well in my canvas sneakers and do not slip off my heels.

  6. Ahumaud Arbery’s murder is heartbreaking and maddening, and I’m so glad you pointed out that we’re only hearing about it two months after the fact. Forgive the odd segue (I have so many feelings about all this and can’t quite put them into words), but have you read “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi? It’s a really great fiction novel set in a West African-inspired country where a group of people who are born with the ability to use magic are systematically oppressed. It’s a great book, really enjoyable and touching, and the author’s note at the end just destroyed me (and is incredibly applicable to Arbery’s murder). Highly recommend it.
    P.S. I listened to the audio version read by Bahni Turpin, and she’s SO GOOD. I wish I could read to my kids with that much emotion and vocal control. So. Good. I normally read print books but recently realized audiobooks make tedious household chores so much nicer.

    1. So good to know, Heidi! I worked with Bombas years ago when they first came out and love the quality — my own Bombas socks from their era are still going strong. But I didn’t realize they had come out with no-show and liner options. I want to try them for sure!

  7. I’m sure this happened in the middle of your night, but two of the three men who chased down Ahmaud Arbery (the father/son duo with the guns) have been charged and arrested. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning.

    This article is from the local Atlanta paper

  8. Elizabeth T.

    I have a close friend in Paris – back when we were teens we used to exchange in the summers. She developed a taste for cinnamon flavored candies in the States so whenever I visit her or send her a package I always bring or include some – Big Red gum, cinnamon Altoids, red hot fireballs, cinnamon gummibears…

  9. Yes, to the Levi’s 501s! I used to steal my boyfriend’s in the mid-90s. They were dark and stiff when new, but lasted forever as they aged to a light color with a soft hand. Yet, that was long ago and I was less, um, curvy then as a 20 year old. Maybe I’ll try them again!

  10. Good old 501’s! I was born in 1957😱 and grew up in Salt Lake. We wore those stiff 501’s, Lady Manhattan blouses with the lace trim, Bass Weejuns. High school we switched it up with Seafarrer sp? dungarees purchased at the Army Navy store, downtown.

  11. Regarding Rothy’s, I have the black pointe and yes they do wash well. However mine stink so bad even after a wash. Definitely not a summer shoe for me, because they get hot. They look so great though, I’m really on the fence about a second pair.

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