Currently • June 2019

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” - Regina Brett

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READING: Summer is a good time to read outside of one’s comfort zone and, so far, I’ve read quite an eclectic selection:

  • Hemingway on Writing - “An assemblage of reflections on the nature of writing and the writer from one the greatest American writers of the twentieth century.” (What’s a Currently Reading list without at least one Hemingway reference, right?!)

  • What the Lady Wants - “In late-nineteenth-century Chicago, visionary retail tycoon Marshall Field made his fortune wooing women customers with his famous motto: "Give the lady what she wants." His legendary charm also won the heart of socialite Delia Spencer and led to an infamous love affair.” I loved Marshall Fields and am sad that very few traditional department stores with that level of service and attention to detail still exist. Although the novel features prominent industrialists including Marshall Field, Harry Selfridge, George Pullman, Potter Palmer, and Philip Armour as well as events such as the Great Chicago Fire and the Haymarket Riots, it is much more fiction than historical and a bit too soapy for me.

  • Vintage - “At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women who are drawn there.”

  • The Wondering Years: How Pop Culture Helped Me Answer Life’s Biggest Questions - The title is intriguing and I loved the pop culture references dating back to the 1970’s, but this book was a little too evangelical for me.

  • Louise Penny novels: Nan has been trying to convince me to read this mystery series set in Montreal. I finally checked out Still Life, the first book featuring Chief Inspector Armand Garmache.

  • A Man Called Ove - I read this summer’s all school read a couple of years ago, but it’s worth a second look. A grumpy yet lovable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. This heart-warming book illustrates the power of community. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks with a 2020 release date.

  • In case you missed it: Links I Love • June 2019

WATCHING: Nothing new. It’s summertime. I’m open to suggestions though :)

LISTENING TO: Podcasts — As part of the PHS Summer Learning Project, we have identified books, podcasts and videos that support the PSD Graduate Profile. Podcasts are kind of new to me. My favorites so far are:

  • The Earful Tower - Oliver Gee shares fascinating stories about Paris with guests including mayors and ambassadors to comedians, chefs, tour guides, and authors.

  • Should This Exist? - It’s the question of our times: How is technology impacting our humanity? On Should This Exist? creators of radical new technologies set aside their business plan, and think through the human side: What is the technology’s fullest potential? And what could possibly go wrong?

  • Happier - Each lively, thought-provoking episode features offers practical, manageable tips for making your life happier.

WORKING ON:

  • Updating our outdoor space — Eric is refinishing the deck, and we continue to work on our yard. Recently, we added more heirloom plants and native Wisconsin wildflowers.

  • Refreshing “Piper’s room” (aka our bedroom) with an adjusted floor plan, fresh paint, new carpet, new lighting, a chair and side table for reading, newly curated accessories. When we moved into this house almost four years ago, somethings were deemed “OK, for now,” but I finally decided that “for now” was long enough. It’s time to update things to reflect what we really want.

ENJOYING:

  • Taking a break - My goal is to stay away from school for one month. So far, so good…

  • A slower pace - Lingering in the morning over coffee, taking time to read or even nap in the afternoon, not feeling rushed to complete projects…

  • The weather - It has been a cool spring with just enough rain to keep things green (I love a rainy afternoon when I can curl up with good book and a certain beagle!). Summer arrived last Friday and things are heating up, but so far it is pleasant and aren’t too many mosquitos.

  • Early morning walks with Piper (the sunrise, the crisp air, the deer sightings, the smell of wildflowers…)