Week of August 8

Family

Charlie has been amazing us this week. He started standing up on his own from sitting without holding on to anything for 5-10 seconds at a time. When he does, he shouts, “Up up!” He figured out how to use a fork. He also learned a new gesture (shaking his head no in reply to certain things), and he seems to have a bit more of a personality than he did last week. Children are amazing.

Charlie learning how to use a fork.

We had a great weekend playing and gardening in the yard, as well as meeting up with some new friends for a low stress play date at a playground. You have to be super intentional and proactive to forge new friendships in adulthood. Shared interests and/or shared circumstances aren’t enough like they were in high school and college. One nice way to make it easy for someone to say yes to hanging out is suggesting a place like a park so neither party has to host (which requires a lot of clean up and prep that is difficult with an infant or toddler).

Dad hack: move the grill over by the swing set so you can push your child on the swing and make dinner at the same time.


Aging kindly

Recently I’ve been inundated with ads about hair loss products, weight loss products, exercise products, and health supplements. It is crazy! No wonder people are feeling less content with their physical appearance.

I know it is generally worse for women than men, too.

We’ve learned to pretend to celebrate older women, but we haven’t learned to accept what happens naturally to their skin. We celebrate older women but not the un-intervened-upon face. This fuels a multibillion-dollar cosmetic and skin care industry dedicated to helping people — mainly women — stay young, or rather, try to look like it.

I’d like to tell the people in my life these things:

  • It is okay if your hair isn’t the same color or as thick as it used to be.
  • It is okay if your skin has more wrinkles, stretch marks, or scars than it used to.
  • It is okay if you are heavier than you’d like to be.
  • What matters most is how kind you are, how much love you show those around you, how much you help others, and what you create.
  • In short, your actions matter more than your appearance. It is okay to be kind to yourself.

Related: My current favorite Instagram scam is Colon Broom, which is being marketed as a trendy new weight loss product. It is just psyllium husk, which your grandfather would recognize as Metamucil.


Gardening and cooking

The heat wave finally broke in the middle of this week, so we’ve been spending a lot of time outside: Many meals and playtimes on the porch, swinging time before and after daycare, a fire in the chiminea, gardening, and washing the car for the first time in over a year.

Tomatoes and tomatillos are coming in steadily. We get baskets like this every couple days. Lots of kale to harvest and freeze for winter and dill to dry, too.

Whenever we pick tomatoes, Charlie always grabs one directly out of the basket and digs in.

We cleaned the dried up pea vines out of the garden and planted another batch for a fall harvest. We also planted some daikon radishes and more cilantro.

I made some tomatillo salsa with the first batch of tomatillos. More of that to come as the tomatillos continue to drop. Probably albondigas, too.

I tried two new culinary tricks this week: Making egg bites in the Instant Pot and cooking a sheet pan meal outside in the Ooni pizza oven. The egg bites turned out great and we are making more for the week ahead. The sheet pan meal was tasty, but it cooked faster than I expected even at the lowest temperature, so I scorched some of the vegetables. I also used up some old pizza dough by making a focaccia-ish bread.


Digital Garden

I tended to my digital garden a lot as well this week.


Things to read on the internet

Tove Jansson’s summer days – by Mason Currey
“Tooti and I wake up early, always simultaneously though we sleep in separate beds.”
masoncurrey.substack.com
Tradition and the Individual Talent by T. S. Eliot | Poetry Foundation
In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to “the tradition” or to…
www.poetryfoundation.org
The Secret Life of Leftovers — The New Atlantis
www.thenewatlantis.com
Peekskill, N.Y.: An ‘Artist’s Paradise’ on the Hudson River – The New York Times
Newcomers praise this diverse Westchester city for its galleries, art studios and welcoming vibe: ‘It’s easy to be part of the community.’
www.nytimes.com

^^ A piece the NYTimes did about the town we live in.

Kevin Kelley’s website got a refresh recently! Check it out. I’m a huge fan of Kevin’s various projects.


Books

  • Finished Odalisque by Neal Stephenson and started The Confusion by same.
  • Continued reading Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig

After Salman Rushdie’s stabbing in Chautauqua, I realized I haven’t read any of his books yet, so I’ll be on the lookout for them at used book stores. I’ve spent time in Chautauqua, which is typically a quiet, peaceful place. What a shame for a fanatic to irrevocably alter that.


Ideas

Photos.app -> WordPress media library

I’d love to make (or download if it already exists!) an extension for Photos dot app on macOS to select some photos and have them automatically uploaded to the media library on one of my WordPress sites. Would save me time multiple days a week.

I think this could be accomplished with Automator or Shortcuts. Something like selecting the photos, clicking a share action to kick off the Automation Action or Shortcut, which then exports the photos and runs a bash script that makes a POST to the /wp/v2/media endpoint.

Revisions block

I want to make (or download/install) a custom block that shows a list of revisions for the current post on the front end. Bonus points if it can be a linkable version. Looks like this might help.


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