We got our first real taste of summer this week after a drizzly, chilly May and early June. We’ve gotten in to a bit of a routine of having a more elaborate weekend breakfast and then hitting the Esplanade along the Charles River for a bit of activity, nature, and to let Charlotte run around the playground. There are several options for play areas, so we’ve been able to vary our route each day. We come home, grab a quick lunch (she’s ready for her nap at this point) and then all take a break in the height of the summer afternoon.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
Weekly menu plan (in case you need ideas or inspiration):
Sunday: Sausage and broccoli oricchette from Small Victories
Tuesday: Vegetarian quesadillas made with black beans, bell peppers, onions and cheese
Wednesday: Soft tacos with ground turkey
Thursday: Ramen with tofu and vegetables
Saturday: Chinese chicken salad
The original plan was to make a taco salad on Tuesday night, but I was too tired and not at all interested in a salad entree to get the ball rolling on that. We bought groceries the night before, so we made a quick switch to the quesadillas, then used whatever leftover bean-onion-pepper mix to stir into the ground turkey for Wednesday night’s tacos. Finally, the leftover turkey mix was paired with a bit of brown rice and cheese to bring as a burrito bowl for lunch the next day. The extra Romaine lettuce that should have been used for the original salad kept well and served as the base for Saturday’s dinner.
Here’s what I’m reading (that’s worth sharing) this week:
Sexist politics. Work was surprisingly busy on Thursday, so I wasn’t able to follow the Comey hearing in the moment, but this was one of the articles I appreciated after the fact.
This is the second book by Cusk I’ve read this year, and while both were delightful, I liked her first one better. In Outline, there was such a luxuriousness to the language and writing style that I didn’t notice to the same degree here. Transit was still interesting, intense but not exhausting in some of its descriptions of interactions throughout life, and very much worthwhile.
A few of my favorite parts include:
“He had often been lonely, looking after Clara in the early days, and was frequently overwhelmed by the new perspectives on his own upbringing which having a child gave him. Diane had returned to work full-time, and while sometimes he was surprised by her unsentimentality about motherhood and her aversion to maternal activities, he gradually came to understand that this knowledge – of nurture and its consequences – was not something she required for herself. She knew as much about being a woman as she needed to: it was he who hat to know, to learn. He needed to know how to care for someone else, how to be responsible, how to build and sustain a relationship, and she had let him do it. She had given him Clara with a completeness he was sure most women wouldn’t have been capable of, and it had been hard, but he had stuck it out.”
This last passage reminded me a bit of some of the dynamics I see at play with Charlotte, David, and me. I sometimes feel the slog of entertaining a two-year-old in the afternoons, and I’m pretty unsentimental about how much I relish diving in to the work I do. David, though, is loving and growing in his own way (and yes, reflecting on fatherhood through both their eyes), and rather than feel guilty about not spending more time with Charlotte, it’s nice to see it framed as a gift to give them their own time together.
“The problem with being honest is that you’re slow to realize that other people can lie.”
“I had been thinking lately about evil, I went on, and was beginning to realize that it was not a product of will but of its opposite, of surrender. It represented the relinquishing of effort, the abandonment of self-discipline in the face of desire.”