5 Quick Things #224 🍋
build a birdhouse, write a novel, taste some cheese, & clear those bookshelves
My dog, Ginny, is currently sleeping next to me and she’s doing that thing where she’s either dreaming of chasing a squirrel or running through an open meadow — either way, she’s twitching her legs in a pseudo-run and whimpering with delight. I’ve been having really wild dreams lately, too, partly because of how exhausted I am during this lead-up to my book’s release this Tuesday. I couldn’t tell you what they were five seconds after waking, but in those four seconds prior, I lie in bed thinking …that was weird.
I’ve got four (!) podcast recordings in a row today, largely having the same conversation on repeat, so this evening I’ll be a shadow of my former self and will need to do nothing but zone out on the back deck and stare at our chickens or perhaps watch the next episode of Downton Abbey, which I’m re-watching. Either way — bring on the Friday, please. It already started with a successful Wordle guessed in three tries, so that bodes well for the weekend. 🙌
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. 👉 New episode of A Drink With a Friend! 👈 We have SO MANY choices these days — on what to watch, what to listen to, what to read. How do we choose? Even with seemingly infinite choices, we still have a finite amount of time and focus. Seth & I chat about how to decide what deserves a spot on our bookshelves, on our Family Movie Night agendas, and ultimately, in our personal and familial cultures.
2. Keep or toss? This is a good companion read to my conversation with Seth, above — eight good questions to ask to help you decide how to better curate your personal library.
3. If you’re like me and itching to start your spring garden already, this is a great list of 17 things you could do right now. I already do a number of these, but I think I’m going to do #5 this weekend…
4. I looooooove this new adventure my friend Shawn is starting (more on him below).
5. And finally, a mosaic made by a freed slave to thank God for his emancipation was unearthed during a recent excavation of a 6th-century church in Turkey. Beautiful!
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📚
Garden Maker, by Christie Purifoy
Time to Order Bitter & Sweet! 🍋
My book about Lent, Bitter & Sweet, releases this Tuesday! It’s a beautiful companion to its sister book about Advent, Shadow & Light, but no need to have read that in order to find beauty and use in this new gem. ALSO no need to feel like you know what the heck you’re doing when it comes to Lent — I wrote this for both the seasoned liturgical folks and for those of you brand new to this ancient tradition.
As a reminder, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday — this year on March 2 — so you’ve still got plenty of time. But by ordering now, you’re helping us tell booksellers to make sure they have plenty in stock (especially during this crazy supply chain crisis):
Thank you kindly, dear readers!
“I do not write for notoriety or money or publication or my own damned ego; I write because the writing itself—the pure craft—is worth the work.”
— Seth Haines #
Want to Write a Novel? ✍️
If you’ve got the audacious and brilliant dream to write a novel of your own, I’d encourage you to consider joining my friend Shawn and his wife Maile in their workshop, The Nine-Month Novel.
It starts again this March, and I’ve heard nothing but amazing about it! (I’m thinking of joining this year, too…)
Subscribe to Shawn’s new Substack, at minimum, but definitely mull over his workshop and consider enrolling if you’d like to see that story of yours finally go from in-your-head to on-paper:
$350 off for Italy! 🍷
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I’m genuinely stoked to tell you that from February 1-18, when you use this link to register for our summer trip to Tuscany, you’ll get $350 off per person! It’s the 35th anniversary of the company we’ve partnered with, and it’s their sweet way of celebrating.
Our group to Italy really is shaping up nicely, and there’s still room for you, too! Join us from July 23-August 2 as we explore Italian delights — here’s just a few:
the Vatican Museum, including the Sistene Chapel
the Colosseum + the Piazza Navona
Assisi and St. Francis’ Cathedral
Siena + a farm-to-table lunch at a cheese and olive oil farm
a Michelin-starred dinner in St. Francis’ ancient monastery
wine tasting in Montalcino + the medieval town of San Gimignano
Florence + Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia
The trip is already quite reasonably priced, and with their sale price, it’s even cheaper. Come along!
Question For You to Ponder… 🤔
What’s the one thing you know what you want right now? (and if it’s good for you — what’s the main thing holding you back?)
Have a great weekend,
p.s. Remember this? Still an instant mood lifter.
Oof. The one thing I know I want right now is to go with y'all to Italy (and maybe even take my husband) but the main thing holding me back is finances. 😬 It's hard living on his Christian-school-teacher salary. I keep praying for knots to be undone, especially in the next few weeks during this sale...
I'm also reading Garden Maker, and finally ordered Bitter & Sweet!