Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

jessie Brinkman Evans

What are you up to this weekend? We have been watching old Queer Eye episodes and playing gripping rounds of Australia’s Deadly Animals Bingo (one of Anton’s Christmas presents). Have a good one — take care of yourself — and here are a few links from around the web…

Wintery scenes from Sweden, including an Ice Hotel. (New York Times)

Listen to a random forest.

Have you gotten a text from your ex lately?

Head’s up: a rare sale on cashmere.

The benefits of cold water swimming. Would you do it? (New York Times)

Things I didn’t have on my Bingo card for 2020.

On a hunt for delicious winter soup recipes. Any recommendations?

Such pretty colors in this London home.

This Beatles documentary looks great.

I always love reading a media diet.

If you feel appalled by the Capitol riots, please consider donating to this D.C. fundraiser to help unhoused D.C. residents secure living spaces, keep D.C.-based people of color safe, and support frontline organizers and activists. We’ll be writing more about politics, news, race and how to help in the next weeks and months.

Plus, a reader comment:

Says Kamina on what’s your word for 2021: “My word is DOG. Because:
1. Dogs only have four modes: sleep, play, eat, and jobs. (This is what I call the intense, self-important focus of a dog in work mode – whether digging a hole or helping a human cross the street.)
2. Whichever mode they are in, dogs are totally focused on that mode. Dogs don’t multitask.
3. Dogs are happy in all modes. Even jobs. Dogs love jobs.
I tend to be sulky, distracted and discontent and I want to try to be more dog in 2021.”

(Photo by Jessie Brinkman Evans/Instagram. 100 tips via Kottke.)

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  1. Molly says...

    Carla Lalli Music’s Pasta e Fagioli is my favorite soup of all time, and it’s perfect for a cozy winter meal. We make it vegetarian, so we skip the ham hock, but we *definitely* don’t skip the parmesan rind suggestion.

    https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pasta-e-fagioli

  2. Coleen says...

    Love the London home!

  3. Elizabeth Spence says...

    The overseas fear of Australian animals is a bit of a joke here in Australia. My kids think large predators like what you have in the US would be far more scary than the snakes and spiders and rare encounters with deadly sea animals that we have here. That being said my kids and I used a drop toilet in a nature reserve last week when a baby brown (deadly but skittish) snake slithered into the loo with us. We screamed like banshees and ran to the car with our pants around our ankles. The snake was equally scared and left the loo immediately. For the record, this is the only time I’ve shared an indoor space with a snake, so I maintain these kinds of encounters are pretty rare.

    • Aine says...

      It’s just what you’re used to, isn’t it? I made a jokey comment about bears on a walk in the woods in upstate NY with my (Irish) husband, and then I had ot explain that yes,there might be some black bears in the woods but we probably wouldn’t see them. He didn’t find it all that reassuring.

      We live in the UK now, and while I appreciate the lack of venomous snakes, the (completely harmless!) spiders here give me the heebie jeebies just because of their size. I’d never seen a critter indoors as big as some of these house spiders, and I have to remind myself out loud that they can’t hurt me.

  4. Carolyn says...

    One winter soup I’ve been loving is Hungarian Mushroom Soup (https://themodernproper.com/hungarian-mushroom-soup). You have to really love mushrooms for this to be your thing, but it can be made on the stovetop in 30 minutes. I love its strong herbal, creamy taste!

    • jane says...

      I’m making this tonight because it seems like the perfect pouring-rain-all-week meal, along with the recommended cucumber salad as a side. Thank you!

  5. katie says...

    Cup of Jo’s Sweet Potato Minestrone is my go-to soup! I get excited with anticipation when I think about making it. I think it’s because there is no stock base – the wonderful flavors just come from the tomato juice and pesto. So, SO good!

  6. Alexis says...

    Smitten Kitchen’s Balthazar cream of mushroom soup! I have made it twice already.
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/01/balthazar-cream-of-mushroom-soup/
    Also dying for a good pasta e fagioli soup but alas, my kiddo hates beans (I’ll still make it tho).

    No ex texts. I do have one ex that I am still good friends with and we greet on holidays and bdays but that’s about it. Our kids are the same age and get along but I know that situation isn’t so common!

    I didn’t make any resolutions this year, but have vowed to have a better morning routine that includes drinking water and exercising for 10 mins. Doable for sure! I also downloaded a habit tracker, and it it so satisfying to check those things off.

  7. Mia says...

    Kamina’s Word of the Year is SPOT ON and pretty much absolute genius. It’s given me significant food for thought – thank you!

  8. E E Deere says...

    Soup: any soup will taste better if you make the stock yourself. Chicken, beef, vegetable. One nice option is to soak dried mushrooms, and use the soaking liquid as a soup base.
    Minestrone: 1. saute some chopped pancetta in olive oil, set aside when it’s cooked through but not tough or too brown. 2. In the same pan, with the same oil, saute finely chopped celery, carrot and onion. When the vegetables are almost limp add some minced garlic and cook another 4 minutes or so. 3. Now turn the heat off while you add some more ingredients: soaked chopped dried mushrooms, their soaking liquid, a rind/tough piece of Parmesan if you have it, a can of diced tomatoes and the juice from the can, your favorite chopped or shredded green (spinach, chard, etc.), a can of beans, a bay leaf or sprig of rosemary, a lot of water. Bring to a boil, then back down to a simmer, cover, and cook for an hour.
    Before serving: pull out the rind, the herbs. At this point you can add minced fresh tender herbs (parsley, etc.), cooked pasta if you want it. Serve with grated parm or Pecorino and crusty bread. Freezes well. Feel free to add any other vegetables you like.

  9. Marianne says...

    The ‘Text from ex’ essay is SO accurate. It’s hysterical.

  10. Sarah says...

    We discovered this Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric and I can’t get enough of it! The coconut milk is so creamy and all the flavors blend so well together. And although my husband and I do eat meat, we like to do meatless a few times a week, so this recipe is perfect for it. (Also, I’m a wimp when it comes to spice but I thought this had the perfect amount of spice to it.)

    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019772-spiced-chickpea-stew-with-coconut-and-turmeric

  11. Lisa says...

    I made the Smitten Kitchen soup you linked to and it was so cozy and warm. Will absolutely make again. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Mimi says...

    Love the glow of the yellow window shade in London – that would cheer up any grey day.

    Zombie ex texts are annoying in general but it does seem churlish to not respond during the holidays. I keep my replies brief, upbeat, and inquiry-less.

  13. Stacey S says...

    Frustrating to have links that ask for my email address.

  14. Gina Dwyer says...

    Now I can’t wait til dinnertime prep, when I will tune into tree.fm and get my nature sounds fix :)
    My current soup OBSESSION: https://www.platingsandpairings.com/creamy-italian-quinoa-soup/
    It is delicious, super healthy, and you can adapt and add veggies based on what you have on hand! I’ve made it at least 5 times in the past few months, and everyone I’ve shared it with has loved it :)

    • Rachel says...

      I second this!

  15. Rebecca Cage says...

    This easy white bean stew is a staple at our house and works with pantry staples. Sometimes I swap the ham for whatever rotisserie chicken I have, or sausage, or no meat. Sometimes I use kale or even no greens. I always add carrots, double the recipe and freeze – leaving out the greens for freezing and just add them fresh when reheating. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fast-white-bean-stew-236946

    This is one of my favorite blogs and especially these posts. Always take away something thought-provoking and equally something that feels comfortably like home.

  16. jane says...

    Random re: dogs💕
    Has anyone else ever hired an animal communicator? I have, a couple times, and both were pretty amazing. Once, for a dog I was very close to who passed away and again for a cat I lived with that didn’t like me, even though I’m a huge cat/animal lover (got a very specific answer that had somehow not occurred to me after racking my brain for reasons and I recognized it as entirely accurate). It’s not as weird as it seems and I really recommend it.

    • Frustrated says...

      Jane, was the reason your cat didn’t like you specific to your situation? We have an absolute piss of a cat that I have deeply loved for 11 years and she BARELY tolerates anyone. We’re the only ones who can touch her, but she’ll come to me from 3-6 a.m… and lay on me when I’m sleeping. Tips? Insight? 😋 I actually pet her every time she comes to me then, because I just want some connection. She’s like a satellite cat. She’ll sit and look at me.

    • jane says...

      My cat was a rescue from the wild and was in general wary of people but I made a horrible tactical error in playing with her in the same way I played with my former, very well-adjusted cat, who would herself initiate play by jumping out at me in sneak “attacks”. This kind of play was “our thing”. This rescue cat however, wasn’t down with sneak attacks, having come from what must have been a traumatic life as a stray, as I realized too late. So yes, it was specific to me, sadly. She began attacking my legs in a rage any time I walked by and about a year later died of kitty leukemia. I was so upset that I stressed her out when my intention was to introduce play and bonding and joy. Each animal really has their own story and personality so I learned the hard way to pay more attention to all animals as individuals in their own right.

      I can not recommend highly enough the insight a professional animal communicator can share. Here is a general link to a list of pro’s as well as a link to the person I used several times and who I can recommend highly.
      https://www.petworks.com/hire/animal-communicators/nm
      Dr Laurie Moore at:
      https://www.animiracles.com/animalcommunicator.php

  17. Nicole says...

    One of the best things about winter is that it is soup season! I make a huge pot of soup every Sunday and eat it for lunch every weekday. My requirements for a “keeper” recipe are that it is delicious, filling, and requires a minimum of non- shelf stable ingredients. I rotate between the following:

    Smitten kitchen lentil and sausage https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/01/lentil-soup-with-sausage-chard-and-garlic/

    Detoxinista lentil quinoa
    https://detoxinista.com/lentil-kale-quinoa-stew-vegan/

    Oh she glows spicy peanut stew
    https://www.cbc.ca/life/thegoods/oh-she-glows-soul-soothing-african-peanut-stew-1.5030770

    I am a vegetarian, so I use veggie sausage in the top two recipes, or just leave it out.

  18. Cynthia says...

    I totally agree with “Dog”. I don’t multi-task, unless I’m watching TV and working a crossword puzzle. Potato soup is one of my cold weather favorites, and nothing beats a pot of navy beans on a snowy day.

  19. Anna says...

    This black bean soup is really good. It’s not simple (simplicity is one of the best things about soup) but it’s worth it. Here in Texas it’s easy to find canned chilis in adobo, but you should be able to find them at a Hispanic bodega.

  20. Denise says...

    I need the forest sounds playing on a continual loop. I felt like my blood pressure and pulse instantly calmed. My dogs (doing 100% dog sleep) were both rather curious about the monkey sounds from (I think) a forest in Borneo.

  21. Rachel says...

    On Wintry Scenes From a Swedish Wonderland, has anyone been following the channel Talasbuan on Youtube, and their wonderful little family? I just found it this week and now watch it every night to help me relax.

    • jane says...

      YES! I just binge watched their entire channel and I’m a vegetarian lol (skipped a couple videos for that reason). Cinematic skills of Mathias are Netflix worthy. And Tova’s birthing story is a must-watch for anyone but esp those interested in natural birthing.

    • Jean says...

      Seconding Talasbuan! I just watched a couple videos and I’m ready to leave my condo and winter in a Swedish cabin! They are charming and their cabin tour is a great place to start

  22. RK says...

    THANK YOU for writing about race, politics and how we can help. I’m terrified at how different our national response was to 1/6 than 9/11…especially in how this attitude of “move on” isn’t just seen from some politicians but also from my own circles. I get that 2020 was exhausting. But we also can’t unplug or escape from this moment. This is all to say, I’ve always really appreciated CoJ for thoughtful discussions and I look forward to this one.

    • allison says...

      Agreed with all of this!

  23. Karen says...

    Awesome Soup: Half Baked Harvet’s 30 Minute Thai Peanut Ramen
    It’s sooooo good!
    https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/20-minute-thai-peanut-chicken-ramen/

    The ingredient list may look a little long, but basically you make the broth (I think one of the key ingredients is the Thai Red (or Green) Curry Paste – a new-to-me ingredient that is concentrated with amazing flavor), bring to a boil, and then cook the noodles until done. I like to saute a bunch of veggies on the side (anything you have: bok choy, zuch, carrot, mushroom, broc, etc), and then add them at the end too. I’ve also made this by adding frozen shrimp at the end (to cook in broth), and my FAVE is to carefully plunk whole, raw eggs in the hot broth to poach. You bet my husband and I are hunting for those gooey gems when it’s time to serve…..

  24. Tammy says...

    Just here to bookmark all the soup recipes! Thank you, everyone!

  25. Anne says...

    In Germany we are encouraged to take “Wechselduschen”, which translates literally to “change showers”. The shower is made as hot as you can stand it, perhaps a bit warmer than you can stand, for 30 seconds. Then the water should be quickly changed to as cold as possible for 30 seconds, then hot again, then cold, etc. I think 3-5 cycles are recommended. It’s supposed to be a beauty treatment, a help against depression, good for weight loss, and good for circulation. I have rarely done it with enough consistency to test the claims, but I always do feel better on the days I do it. It’s super hard to make yourself flip that lever back to cold over and over again, though!!!

    • Erin says...

      I’ve tried that kind of shower and it always makes me feel warmer and more invigorated when I do it (which isn’t often enough!).

  26. Agnès says...

    To be more a DOG. I will think about that! That was the best comment it made me laugh !! Thank you so much cup of jo team! And many thoughts of solidarité from Paris , to all the us readers . You are so strong.

  27. Meghan says...

    Joanna, did your test results come back? And is it weird to admit I have been thinking of you all week?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      You’re so sweet! The test was negative!

  28. Lindsey Fox says...

    1) LOVE “dog” as a 2021 word. What if instead of aspirational words we all picked animals? How great would that be???

    2) This Modern Proper Chicken Tortilla soup is so easy to make and super delish. It’s going on my list of meals I hope my kids make for the fam when they’re old enough. Like….12? When do kids start cooking meals? Or for that matter, stop peeing on the toilet seat?!? 🤪https://themodernproper.com/tortilla-soup

  29. K says...

    Kamina, that is brilliance!

  30. Monica says...

    I think 2021 deserves a cashmere boyfriend cardigan in leopard, I really do.

    And absolutely yes to cold swims! I just finished a brief podcast about “why getting cold this winter is good for you.” Nerdy-good stuff. Not loved by my perpetually cold, desert-born husband though!

    Even just a cold rinse after a hot shower is bliss!

  31. Ess says...

    Smitten kitchens lentil, sausage, and chard soup in the instant pot has been our go-to for cozy soups lately!

    • Janna says...

      Second this soup- I don’t have an instant pot, and it’s still a quick and easy soup. I sub kale and red lentils.

    • Angela says...

      I had this for dinner last night! So good :)

  32. Laura says...

    I LOVE the bar cart in the London home! Also, tortilla soup — yum!

  33. I totally agree with “DOG”!! 🤣 Wow. I love dogs but I am 100% more inspired to be more like a dog now.

  34. Marisa says...

    Dogs are just the BEST! My son and his dog have been with me for a month. They have to leave tomorrow (son’s going back to Manhattan for grad school) and I’m so sad to see them go. Between cooking for my son and taking my grand dog to the beach, they’ve kept my spirits up so much during this stressful time.

    This soup is so easy and versatile and tastes like more than the sum of its parts!
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/01/lentil-soup-with-sausage-chard-and-garlic/

  35. Sarah says...

    The dog comment is so insightful and actually inspiring. I, too, will try to be more dog!

  36. Em says...

    Yes to DOG!

    One of the best reader comments. Thank you, Kamina!

  37. Bethany R says...

    Google Giada’s white bean and chicken chili. It’s one of my winter soup staples! And knock-off Zuppa Toscana soups are a dime a dozen, but man, the combo of potatoes and sausage and kale is just so good!

    • Denise says...

      I love this! Thanks for sharing!!

  38. YP says...

    Best reader comment !!! Loved it

    Let’s all be more dog in 2021

    • Ann says...

      I did too! That comment made me so happy. I bet if I make a sincere effort to become more DOG in the new year, my own dog will develop a whole new respect for me.

  39. Gina says...

    So funny and random- I made that smitten kitchen soup recipe you linked last night for dinner and it was delicious!!

  40. Judy says...

    Omg the whole pick a word for the year thing makes me so crabby usually, but I can totally get on board with Dog for my word. Absolutely brilliant, Kamina.

  41. Colleen says...

    COJ – Thank you for lifting up DC folks helping each other. I’d love to suggest an organization that has been on the ground, helping the most vulnerable in DC including housing and services, and led by transgender women of color: Casa Ruby. I came to know Ruby and the organization years ago and their work is extraordinary and vital for many. They can always use our support: https://casaruby.org/donate/

    • Ana D says...

      Thank you, Colleen. Because of your comment bringing this organization to my attention, they just got a new donor in me. I’m grateful and proud to give to this organization as they give loving, tangible support to incredibly at-risk youth who need and deserve so much care.

    • Emily says...

      Thank you for sharing, Colleen! Just made a donation :)

  42. Katie says...

    Love the Australia’s deadly animal bingo game! I happened to find a redback spider in my bathroom the other day. That sure gave me a fright!

    • Lucy says...

      I saw a brown snake in the parkland next to my house in Brisbane recently. Think I’d be more terrified my 3 & 5 year old boys might take that game in as a challenge of what they could find in their backyard!

    • Kirstin says...

      Lucy that’s hilarious! (Kids! they’re so bloody stressful sometimes). I had a brown snake snapping at my front door one morning! It was raining hard and it wanted to come inside. I prefer non-aggressive snakes.

    • Rusty says...

      There’s actually an Aussie song about a Redbsck on the toilet (dunny) seat! For real! Too funny!
      Love the dog comment. I copied it jnto my journal. I just wish we could shake it off like dogs do!

  43. Sara says...

    Just made that white bean soup this week for my WFH lunch and it is quick and easy! Prepped and cooked during an hour-long conference call. Delicious!

  44. Yes to the word DOG! This made me smile. I love it. I am all about simplifying in 2021. Thanks for highlighting this great comment!

  45. nadine says...

    Aww, love Kamina’s comment about the word DOG as word of the year!
    And I’m so looking forward to Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary! It already looks amazing..

    On a serious note thank you for keep on writing politics, news, race and how to help. Did you read about Andy Kim? https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/behind-viral-photo-rep-andy-kim-cleaning-midnight-after-riots-n1253519 It moved me so much. In these horrific times we need to keep engaging and show the world that we can fix the situation and work for the community.

    • Ellen says...

      Nadine, thank you for sharing this. It is a sad truth that the good things people do are often far quieter, and far more important than the raucous misbehavior that greedily demands attention.
      I am now, happily, an Andy Kim fan.

    • Sarah says...

      I hadn’t seen this and so appreciate you sharing it.

    • Denise says...

      I almost cried when I saw this, and the pictures of the Capitol housekeeping staff cleaning up. Democracy in action is so many little things, so many people, just pitching in to get the job done. Something these entitled terrorists need to learn.

  46. Michelle says...

    Loving that strawberry vase in the London home!

    • Karen says...

      I saw that too, and I’m wondering if it’s a vintage ceramic cookie jar (sans the lid)! If so, that’s a whole world of opportunities for dramatic vases.

  47. Kristin says...

    Hahaha, high five for Kamina! I am totally with her – dog is my word now, too.

  48. M says...

    Does anyone else find texts from your ex really creepy? There’s this guy I dated for about a year and a half TEN YEARS AGO who has continued to casually text, fb message, or request to follow my private social media accounts about once a year, every year, since we broke up. We attended the same university and were on friendly/polite terms whenever we ran into each other, but otherwise there was no reason to keep in touch. A few years ago I told him I didn’t want any contact and stopped responding, but still it continues. I actually started to have nightmares that he was stalking me.

    I didn’t hear from him in 2020, so I’m praying that he’s done, but since he reaches out so sporadically, I think it will take a few years to really believe it, which sucks.

    • sookiestackhouse says...

      It’s creepy, and you should tell him to stop. I don’t want to frighten you but I feel obliged to warn you that stalking can begin like this. It happened to me with an ex from high school — 24 years later. As I learned, the police can do nothing until stalking escalates to active and explicit threats. Stop him before it gets there — it’s more difficult to stop later.
      Cup Of Jo, I have written your team and in comments several times to please start some conversations about stalking and domestic violence. So many women feel lost and afraid, and there is not much help or discussion out there. Can we talk about it, please?

    • Another M says...

      Yes, absolutely! One of my exes (who I dated for barely a year) would text me often afterward because he wanted to get back together and just wanted to “make sure that I didn’t feel the same way?”. Like wtf dude…I said no!

      I’m talking texts but also leaving me a gift in front of my apartment, texting me that he’d driven past my place and “your car’s not there…”. I think he still would have tried contacting me had I not finally just blocked him.

      Sometimes texts from an ex aren’t harmless…here to say if it’s making you uncomfortable – block the ‘effer.

  49. J says...

    I’m not a dog person (don’t hate me!) but after reading Kamina’s comment, I want to be more dog in 2021 too. What a lovely idea!

  50. Rachel says...

    The holiday ex-text article was perfect. It’s definitely a thing! I got a New Year’s Eve text from a guy I haven’t heard from since a friendly text exchange the summer of 2019. I just laughed and waited a few days and replied back with “Happy New Year.” It will probably be another 18 months until I hear from him again.

  51. Kate says...

    My husband swims (some days just dunks) in the Irish Sea a few mornings a week
    for mental health/depression. If he can’t do it for some reason, he takes icy showers. It’s NOT for me despite his frequent invites, but has really helped him. He comes home truly invigorated- full of energy and upbeat.

  52. E says...

    I sometimes take cold showers because I too had heard of benefits like reducing depression, improving immune system, etc. I imagine swimming in cold water is probably more tolerable but sometimes I really do enjoy a cold shower. I have to be in a certain frame of mind for it though because admittedly I don’t have enough steel to do it every day and still find myself falling back to very hot showers (which supposedly also have their own benefits so I guess it’s a win either way).

  53. Andrea says...

    Great rattan planter in the London home.

  54. AmesB says...

    I have been swimming in the Irish Sea for the past 10 minutes and it is the only reason I have retained my sanity. U fortunately in the past few week I’ve developed very bad Raynaud’s disease so I’m going to have to take a break for a whole and I’m really very sad. Jigsaws will have to fill the void!

    • AmesB says...

      Flip, 10 months not minutes! And while, not whole,d’oh

    • Bee says...

      Hi! I am a cold water swimmer and have also had the Raynaud’s problem. There is a Wim Hof video about this if you google it. He suggests submerging the hands or feet in a bucket of very cold water separate to the rest of the body for a few minutes at a time to train the vessels.

      I haven’t tried it but after daily sea swims – or cold showers if it’s too rough – I have to say I’ve got through the Raynaud’s! After weeks of wearing thick socks & bigger shoes for painful feet etc it’s literally stopped!

      Another thing – have you tried neoprene boots / gloves in the sea?

      Really hope you get back in the water soon : )

  55. Julie says...

    First of all, HBH’s spicy italian pesto noodle soup got me back on soup. Secondly, COJ team, I can’t thank you enough for linking the article about texts from exes around the holidays. I am in continual recovery from my narcissistic ex of ten years ago, who always reaches out to bother me and be hurtful around the holidays. I’ve always wondered why the expletive he does this (besides as an attempt to suck joy from my life) and it’s one of the best feelings in the world to find out something that happens to me happens to other people, though I wouldn’t wish that confusion or adrenaline spike on anyone. Happy weekend all.

    • Sarah says...

      Sorry you have to deal with this. I have an ex like that and he does the same thing despite me never responding. For so many years! All the best to you.

    • Jeanne says...

      Julie: People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are like Dementors. They can never be truly happy and seek to control and make others miserable too. Misery loves company! Go live your best life and congratulations for getting rid of that ex. It’s not like a regular break up and you should be so proud of your strength.

    • Andrea says...

      Julie

      Great reason to block ex. I feel you, I also have a narcissist in my family and them planning to negatively affect others is all they do.

    • jane says...

      The great thing about digital and social is that you can easily block anyone immediately and give your self a break. Why is this not obvious?

  56. Sarah says...

    I love the dog comment – I think this will be my word too.

    We unexpectedly lost our family dog on Tuesday night, and I’m in shock and heartbroken. Spending hours in the middle of the freezing, raining night digging his grave made me realize just how hard it is to be human. (And to be a mother, telling our toddler the next morning). Wednesday of course we all experienced the continuation of terror against Black (and Jewish) people (also had to think about how we will explain this time to our Black and Jewish toddler). This is just to say: yes, dogs are truely a gift and please be so grateful for every moment you have with them. Please hug yours tightly for me and my family.

    I so appreciate this blog, especially this week.

    • Megan says...

      Sending light and love to you, Sarah. I read a quote on Maria Popova’s IG (@brainpicker) that said something about the peculiar way in which life can be almost unbearable but also sublime as well. The amazingness of having a dog, and the nearly unbearable feeling of losing one. Hugs!

    • Sarah says...

      Aw that sounds terrible. Will hug dog extra today.

    • E says...

      I am so sorry for your loss. Dogs are such a special part of a family and losing them is so painful. Sending you love and hugs

  57. Trish says...

    I’ve been cold water swimming for 3 winters now. It is such a buzz and a great way to clear your head and forget about the stresses for a bit. I throughly recommend giving it a go 🏊‍♀️

  58. Kim says...

    I’m stealing that word of the year! Brilliant.

  59. Katie says...

    Not lately, but over the course of the pandemic I have had not one, but TWO texts in separate weeks from a guy who I casually dated who had, a couple of years ago, ghosted me not once, but TWICE! Reader, I did not answer either pandemic text. I did consider screenshotting our last conversation where I told him I was great with second chances, but not so much with thirds, and just sending that without comment, but ultimately decided against it 🤣

    • Jules says...

      How weird!! He got around to not doing whatever he was doing years ago and FINALLY felt something about it. Smh.

    • suki says...

      Geez you only live once – that text would have been chef’s kiss-perfect! But I guess he didn’t deserve even that much of a response, so, sounds like you made the perfect decision haha

    • Jill says...

      Smart girl! 🙈🙉🙊