5 Quick Things #205 📬

Hamlet hotties, an unboxable lady, busy ants, & we just got a letter

Hi there,

September is arguably the most frustrating month in central Texas. It sounds like it should be early fall, and by all accounts, the end of the month is per the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall — but according to my wardrobe choices and the stickiness of my skin, it’s decidedly not. While others write about hearing geese in the morning or finally pulling out a long-sleeved shirt, the sun seems to bear down even harder over here, finally scorching the last of my vined backyard garden melons.

Gratefully, this week the mornings have felt about five to ten degrees cooler (before the afternoons rise back up to near-100 Fahrenheit, of course). I’m tempted to bemoan the midday heat, but instead, I’ll choose to praise the morning and evening bookends. Hooray! There are tiny pockets of the day when it’s lovely outdoors!

How is it in your neck of the woods?


5 Quick Things ☕️

1. 👉 New episode of A Drink With a Friend! 👈 Seth & I pull on the thread we started weaving a few months ago, practicing the art and habit of noticing the everyday beauty around us. As always — as a listener, you’re invited to nod along and notice your own as well. Join in this time-tested practice!

2. “She looks beatific and tough as nails at once” — We should all be more like Dorothy Day. I one-hundred percent agree. (NYT)

3. I’ve never heard of the last two, but I agree that this is a great list of podcasts for tweens and teens.

4. I’ve been thinking about why LOTR feels like such a fitting story these days, and this piece on Tolkien’s hope in spite of his hard life explores it well. “We need a story about when times were hard and showed no sense of ever getting easier, and the heroic path was to believe against all evidence that they would.”

5. And finally… Steve came back to say hi. This wasn’t my generation’s thing (I’m a few years too old), but a few of my kids loooved the reruns.


Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 🎧


Quotable 💬

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

— Henry David Thoreau #


Inside The Commonplace 🏡

No new essay or conversation this week (it was a doozy past couple of days!), but I’m currently working on: a list of my current must-open newsletters (it’s very curated so it’s short but mighty), thoughts on the feminine genius and its connection to writing, reflections on why we listen to certain music at certain seasons, why we need more wholesome-and-gritty YA novels now more than ever, and more — including a poll for subscribers about which classic we should read together for our fall/winter book club. If you’d like to subscribe for full access to these pieces, I’d love to have you! (And thank you in advance for your support.)

Subscribe to The Commonplace


Elsewhere (by someone else) 📍


Question For You to Ponder… 🤔

What do you want to say yes to right now? What 3-5 things will you need to say no to for it to happen?


Have a good weekend!

xo, Tsh

p.s. We finally migrated AoS over to a new server, and while we’re still updating a lot of old posts (12 years of writing = lots of them!), it’s slowly becoming the archived library it’s ultimately meant to be.