I had composed a long post about what it means to be an aspirational reader (versus an aspirational writer) but reread it a week later and realized I couldn’t whittle it down enough to make it sound less pompous. I still want to explore this notion, but I think I need to find another mental avenue.

I think about the welfare of our hens a lot and tend to tell Guion newsy bits about them over and over again without realizing it. Yesterday, for instance, I apparently told him three times that I had retrieved two eggs. It is not even interesting information. But I relay it with great sincerity and import. I just want them to be happy. They seem happier, now that they get to roam during the day (and I am more relaxed about it since the family men put up chicken wire on the back of the garden fence, so that they are even more protected from the shepherds). In the sun, their black feathers achieve an iridescent emerald sheen. They skitter around the garden, raking up little piles of dirt with their talons, and I think they look fat and cheerfully complacent.

Next month, I am going to participate in the #write_on challenge, initiated by Egg Press, to write 30 letters in 30 days. Care to join me? Revive the beautiful impracticality of snail mail! I relish the foolishness, the costliness, the extravagance of a handwritten letter. In 2015, writing by hand means so much more than it ever has. It makes less and less sense, as technology expands, and that is why I love the practice of writing by hand. It will cost you. Time and money. And thus it is more meaningful: a beautiful and special and un-reproducible practice.

What do you think qualifies a person as a Christian?

Lately, two frivolous things fill my mental space: (1) how much hair I’m going to chop off next week, and if it is an unwise move, as I am still unlikely to wake up looking like Annie Clark, and (2) when my front yard perennials are going to resurrect themselves and whether the lavender, which I feel very emotionally invested in, will make it, and also the tiny hydrangea from Andrew that was brutalized by winter, and the beloved Japanese maple from Kyle. These are things I think about. And the chickens. Always the chickens.

Monday Snax

Shaun and Ann-Marie came to stay with us this weekend to celebrate Ann-Marie’s birthday and we had such a wonderful time with them: Great discussions, lots of food, a trip to Carter Mountain (Ann-Marie has a lovely set of photos from the excursion). We’re huge fans of them both and can’t wait to see them again soon.

Lunch at The Nook
Lunch at the Nook with Ann-Marie and Shaun.

We also got to see St. Vincent in concert at The Jefferson last night and she was incredible. She made me proud to be a woman. (Stephanie ran into her on the Downtown Mall yesterday. That makes me super-jealous.)

Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. Marry me! Source: jessintheround

Snax, with handfuls of candy corn, which I unabashedly love:

Liz + Matt Married! A few photos of the wonderful bride and groom. We miss them and want them to come back from Italy soon! [You can totally spot the top of mine and Lulu’s heads in one shot… Score.] (Cramer Photo)

The Invisible Mother. Here’s something creepy for Halloween: The practice of covering up moms with oriental rugs and draperies while photographing children. (Retronaut)

Hitoshi Uchida, owner of J’Antiques Tokyo, and His Family Home in Kamakura, Japan. A gorgeous house of hodgepodge curious in the countryside of Japan. Don’t they all look so happy? (The Selby)

London Apartment: Converted School Gym. This looks like a totally awesome place to live, even if it looks like it’d be impossible to heat in the winter. Maybe they run gym classes to stay warm… (Paper Tastebuds)

You’ve Never Seen Book Art Like This Before. No joke! This is incredible. I don’t have the faintest idea where you’d begin with this kind of installation. (Lit Drift)

Is Your Link Old News? But if I ran everything on Snax through this application, I wouldn’t have any Snax to share… (How About Orange?)

DIY Tutorial: Moving Announcement Bookmarks. So classy! I don’t think I’d have the patience or wherewithal for this project (or any DIY projects, really. Not into that), but it’s great, all the same. (Oh, So Beautiful Paper)

Paper Dolls by Kyle Hilton. Would definitely play with these. (The Bluth Company)

Baby Goat Dances and Plays. Because we all need a little more happy baby goat in our lives. This will warm your heart on this cold October day. (Paw Nation)