Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind posts almost daily “good lists” on her instagram account chronicling little everyday graces. I love that idea. So here’s my good list for today, which turned into a convenient little snapshot of my life right now.

// NPR News Now
When I worked full-time, my radio dial was always on NPR. (I introduced Brad to both NPR and libraries, by the way. #soproud) Now that I’m at h0me with le bébé, my news intake dropped to skimming headlines on Twitter. Well. That’s a good way to be outraged and constantly wondering, What is even happening??? So I was delighted to find the NPR News Now podcast. It’s simply the five-minute news update NPR gives at the top of the hour, updated every time they air it. I listen to it morning and night and at least I’m not bewildered when my pastor addresses “the terrible events in Charlottesville” now. (Oy.)

// Cabernet Franc
*New Favorite Wine Varietal Alert* I brought three bottles of Cabernet Franc with me from California. Last week, I broke into them. I opened the second this week. EVERYONE. Why is this not as popular as Pinot Noir? The two I’ve had smelled of juicy stone fruits (prunes and cherry, respectively) and had full-bodied flavor with some spice. I poured a glass tonight while making dinner (see below) and this wine + pecorino? DONE. So good. I’m going to hang out here for a while even if it’s rosé all day weather.

// Running on the trail near our house
I flirted with running again about two or three months after Leif was born and it was a struggle. I gave it up. On my daily walk with Leif a few weeks ago, I suddenly felt like jogging. So I did. It felt great. Since then, I’ve been running once or twice a week, especially on the very smooth paved trails near our house. I don’t know if it’s Leif’s smiling face looking up at me from his stroller or the thrill of stretching out my tired muscles, but for the first time in my life I am in LOVE with running. I want to do it every day. I think about it when I’m not doing it. This is major news.

// Burr by Gore Vidal
Hi, I’m Joanna Linberg and I am a library dork. My TBR (to be read) list just topped 1,000 titles this week. In an effort to chip away at that, I initiated a new library strategy a few months ago. I’ve been working methodically through my list by letter of the alphabet. If it’s on my list and on the shelf at my local branch, I check it out and give it a shot. And for whatever reason, I started with Z and am working backward. I’m in the Vs now and picked up Burr by Gore Vidal. Y’all (I can say that after a year in the South, right?), it’s great. It’s witty and sharp and sort of an alt history of the Revolutionary War and our nation’s founding. I’m assuming an alt fictional history, but I haven’t finished it, so I haven’t done any research about its contents yet. One of my rules for this strategy is that if I find an author I like, I can go back and check out their other titles if I want, and I’ll definitely do that for him.

// This tomato sauce recipe (The. Best.)
Simply the best way to make that ol’ standard, spaghetti, taste luxurious. I don’t even add meat usually. Somehow a floppityjillion onions and garlic make canned tomatoes taste incredible.

// Parmesan Celery Salad
Dinner tonight, and another standby for us. I realized tonight that if we’ve been making it for five years and aren’t sick of it yet, it’s a real winner and everyone should know about it.

// Not looking at Instagram and Twitter
Recently, I deleted Instagram and Twitter off my phone for all the reasons one does such a thing. Specifically, wanted to model less screen time to Leif and find a little more margin to write. It’s been almost two weeks and again, unsurprisingly, I don’t really miss them. I thought I missed Twitter, but then I signed on from my laptop and it was all hot takes and outrage and one liners and “if you’re not reading this, then hmmm…” I signed back off. I actually enjoy hot takes and outrage and one liners and links to great things to read, but I just don’t have room for that in my priorities right now. So I’m out for now.

// Flax seed
After reading this book, I worried I wasn’t getting enough DHA in my diet to help Leif’s brain be ENORMOUS. Brad did a little research for me and we realized flax seeds, which I have several times a week, are a good source, so WHEW. Thank you, sweet little seeds, for taking one item off my “I Might Be a Bad Mom” list this week.

photo: On the top of Leif’s good list: staring outside at the wind moving the leaves in the trees. It’s been a favorite of his since he was only a month or so old. 

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