a few little loves

There’s still something quite exciting about Fridays.

In our house, Fridays are normally the last day of the weekend. Danny has Thursdays and Fridays off so he’s in the busy din of Saturday night at the restaurant. For months, we went into Seattle every Friday. We met friends at playgrounds, lingered over lunch somewhere, and shopped at all our favorite markets. By the time we drove onto the ferry, we were bedraggled by the darkness after a long day, with a wide-awake kid in the back seat. Those were the long days of summer.

Now, we’re staying on the island more and more. Lately, Danny has been working Fridays too, so he only has one day off. We’d rather push Lu in the swing at the playground, then meander over to the library for some reading of Knuffle Bunny, than rush to the ferry again. After years of running, we’re walking slowly these days.

Fridays are now the middle of the week, any other ordinary day.

However, after years of being in school, waiting for the clock to tick its way to 3, I still love Fridays. I remember the years of being a teacher, listening to the gathering gabble of teenagers chattering early Friday afternoon. That happy noise rose and roared until the students rushed out the doors, leaving silence behind. It used to be that my happiest moment of the week was Friday at 4 pm.

Now, even though Friday is no longer the end of my week, I have been thinking about some of the little things that have brought me happiness this week. I thought I’d share them with you.

 

This video of a murmuration of starlings left me breathless for a moment or two.

I’m dying to try this wafu dressing on any salad soon. (Thanks to 101 Cookbooks for the link.)

My friend Molly always wakes me up with her memory of quiet moments.

This video of the triumph of an unexpected basketball player had both Danny and me in tears.

I had a little moment of chaotic happiness when I watched these two helping me to make a cake.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz is trying to make Twitter for Good, instead of the silly frippery it often ends up becoming.

Now I want to learn how to make dosas.

Carol Blymire went foraging with Hank Shaw. I wish I could have been there.

Every word written by Pema Chodron.

 

Also, we love Smarty Bars in this house. These are little nuggets of powerful foods: quinoa, gluten-free oats, walnuts, and banana or apricot. They’re simple. They’re tasty. They’re amazing toddler snacks when the kid is starting to stray into the land of hungry-grumpy. And almost every flight I took this summer was fueled by these bites. These are good. We think you’ll like them too.

Finally, for a Friday, a poem by Mary Oliver that has been ringing in my mind all this morning.

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

I hope that this Friday is a rushing roar of happiness for you, then a chance to feel quietly thankful.

22 comments on “a few little loves

  1. Erin Stewart

    This poem made me fill my lungs and exhale deeply. It perfectly captures the moments of quiet gratitude that I am sometimes blessed to experience and encourages me to look for them more often. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Anna

    Though I don’t have a regular weekend, I do remember and love that end of the week two full days off feeling. So relaxing and freeing. I miss that feeling, but I like to think that sometimes it is good to just enjoy each day for what it is rather than waiting for the weekend.

  3. Emily

    I work seven days a week.. but have little ‘parts’ of days that I look forward to. Like having Friday night to Saturday morning off.. and then 2 weekday nights in a row feels like a vacation too! Those lil snack bites would certainly help get me through the other days though! Love your posts lately!

  4. Donna Vieira

    I moved today…in the garden 50′ outside…happily weeding away to get my beds ready for the winter “tuck in”. Layered in wool socks, Bogs, wool hat, fleece jacket…a brisk wind left me breathless, too. I’ve got orphan garlic heads sprouting, and swiss chard growing, mustard greens, too. I heard the music; the rustle of dry leaves, and the songs of birds overhead. I was in heaven. Back inside I slurped down a bowl of cabbage and bean soup to warm me up again. Love you, Shauna!

  5. Andrea

    Love the post and the poem. Know the feeling, too. With all the viaduct construction last month, I was positively giddy to have an excuse to stay in our little corner of the world for a nice stretch of days! Enjoy the weekend, regardless of the day(s) it falls on.

  6. Betty

    Shauna,

    Just this week I saw a small group of birds flying in form. I thought “Lord, where
    are the masses?” I didn’t know the word murmuration until today! :) God always
    amazes me with his creation and, his answers to my questions.

    Thank you for the inspiring links. I cried with the young basketball player too.

    Prayer is the best gift. Honest, faith filled prayer.

  7. Rachel

    I loved the videos you posted! And dosas are probably my #1 favorite food right now. My favorite is the mysore masala dosa with coconut chutney…that’s the good stuff.

  8. Shawna

    I love dosas! You should definitely make them. Such a good gluten free food. The recipe I use is even easier: no cooked rice, just 1 1/2 cups rice and 1 cup lentils, soaked, ground up with some warm water, and then fermented for 24 hours. Then add a little salt and maybe more water and fry them up like crepes.

  9. Tami

    Shauna, I love Fridays, too. There’s a looking forward-ness that is palpable, even if it’s not the start of any time off.

    And I also love dosas! There’s a street vendor in NY called the dosa man who first turned me on to them. Gotta give them a try in my kitchen.

    Smarty Bars! They have saved me from many a hungry meltdown (mine and my kids’). I was working as a doula a couple months ago, had been up supporting this beautiful mother and father to be for hours without a moment to breathe let alone eat or drink. I was on the verge of passing out, my blood sugar was super low and I was exhausted. I always keep a jar of Smarty Bars in my doula bag (and my diaper bag and my car). I stuffed a handful in my mouth, and literally within 5 minutes I was feeling good, steady, ready to keep on going. Thank goodness for whole foods in convenient packaging!

  10. Michele

    Today what made me happy (granted it is Saturday.…but I do love Friday’s) was lunch at The Hardware Store. We brought guests from London to the Island and shared our little treat. Fresh fish, foccacia I could eat and save room for dessert!!! That and sunshine on a Saturday in November. I loved today.

  11. Patty

    I love your site, GFG! It has always been on my Google Reader because your recipes were wonderful.
    Maybe I sensed something — now I read it (for the past four days) with a different purpose, my sensitivity to gluten.

    You have a pre-made all-purpose flour mix available? I thought I had read that, and search as I may, I can’t find it. Could I have some help, please?

  12. Kayla

    You were right, the video about the basketball player left me in tears as well. what an awesome story!
    P.S. I’m loving your posts recently!

  13. Rami

    It’s 8:15 am; I’ve been up for hours. Your post is remarkable…the murmuration blew me away. The basketball player also had me crying. And the Mary Oliver poem. I visited your island last summer with my daughter (who lives in Seattle). I told her then that if could live anywhere else, it would be there (or Paris!). You’ve made my day (and my week). Thank you. xoxo

  14. Ashley

    This poem, like others, calmed me immediately. But more than the poem I really appreciate the last line of your post, and the idea of being “quietly thankful.” It is always refreshing and inspiring to read other people’s positive recipes, messages, or words, so thanks for passing along some good energy to every one :)

  15. Indy

    Dosas and their cousins, idlis are awesome. I soak rice and urad dal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigna_mungo) — the white hulled lentils; in a 4 rice to three urad dal proportion. Soak them seperately, rice for about six hours, dal for about two in luke warm water. Grind the lentils first until they become amazingly soft, pillowy and beautifully aerated, and then the rice… until both are as smooth as you can get them.

    Place both in the same, much larger than you think it needs pot. Throw in a bit of salt by feel. And then use your hand to mix the batter. The warmth of your hand gets the fermentation going. If your kitchen isn’t warm in winter (mine certainly isn’t), preheat your oven in a low setting, and put in the batter. We use the tallest container we have to minimise spills.

    Fermenting in a very low oven makes the batter usable much faster. You’ll know its fermented beautifully when the top is fluffy and airy. At this point you can shove the batter in the fridge, or use it immediately, first beating it slightly to disperse the aeration evenly through the batter.

    You can use this batter on the first day to make idlis: little fluffy rice cakes. I have a dedicated idly pan, but I’ve found shallow ramekins work too. Oil them slightly with sesame oil, fill half the ramekin with the batter and steam them. They will rise beautifully and will be gorgeous and soft. Eat with a lentil sambar and chutneys. Traditionally, coconut chutney always makes an appearance, but I love roasted tomato, mint and coriander chutney too. After the first day the idlis don’t seem to work so well, I think you need the aeration of the first day to get them really as soft as a good idly should be.

    But the same batter used subsequent days makes spectacular dosas. Eat plain with same condiments as above, or with a stuffing, or my favourite way.. with a mixed chilli-lentil ‘gunpowder’ — google mulagai podi– I always grind a small bit of tamarind and a bit more sesame than the reciepe calls for (as my mother, who makes the world’s best mulagai podi does).

    As the batter gets more aged (by the fourth/fifth day) you can use it to make uttapams.. south indian ‘pizzas’.. batter on a griddle, topped with chopped chilli, ginger, coriander, onion, bell peppers etc.

    I would also suggest you check out adais– a mixed lentil pancake, which is incredibly hearty, very healthy and delicious. South indian food is a GF paradise :)