Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Hey. I hope you had a productive, satisfying week. I’ve been super busy, so I’ll just get right to it.
The Definition of Heresy
If you haven’t read my One Little Word post for 2019, you probably don’t know about my 2,019 things. Like many of you (I’ve seen your Facebook posts), I’m determined to declutter and get rid of things I don’t need and haven’t used in forever. Since I like to have measurable goals, I decided I would donate or dispose of 2,019 things. Yes, I’ve been making a list as I clean out drawers and closets.
So far I’m up to 178 things. A few of these things went into the trash bin. Most are in sacks waiting to go to Goodwill.
Don’t worry. I’m no Marie Kondo. I have too many vintage egg dishes and old yellow-paged novels and pairs of beloved ripped jeans to come close to her level of tidiness. I’ve never read Kondo’s book nor watched her show. (If you aren’t familiar with her, in a nutshell, she’s an organizing, minimalist guru who only keeps things in her home that give her joy. Including books.)
Bless her heart, she doesn’t know how absurd that is, the idea of getting rid of books that don’t radiate joy. Obviously Kondo is no bibliophile. She doesn’t understand that books in general radiate joy. A stack of them. A shelf nearly collapsing from the weight of them. A bedside table made of books. A wall of books arranged like a jigsaw puzzle. All the words, stories, adventures, ideas…
Many brilliant, classic, soulful books aren’t meant to be joyful. Getting rid of books is the very definition of heresy. It just is.
Anyway, I still have a way to go in my quest to declutter in 2019. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll stick with the task of making a list of each item. Already that feels obsessive-compulsive, even for me. But my idea to dispose of 2,019 things has set me on my decluttering way, and that, I suppose, is the point of it.
Bottom line: I can breathe better every time I open an organized drawer or drawer. And I’ve straightened the books in my library, humming a tune while doing it.
Bread for the Birds
I even cleaned out my freezer. I’d forgotten what was in there. It’s difficult to plan meals around food we don’t know we have. So I thawed a turkey, and John smoked it. A frozen ham bone was used in the pot of beans John cooked. I toasted and crumbled a few slices of frozen bread (that looked to have suffered from freezer burn), and I tossed them out to the birds.
Turns out, bread for the birds also keeps the schnauzers occupied for a few minutes.
Beans and Cornbread
Seriously, is there anything better on a cold dreary weekend than a pot of beans and a pan of cornbread? Well, there’s one thing better. When your husband makes it. This was John’s creation. He was inspired by the charro beans at Chuy’s, found a recipe in the United Tastes of Texas Cookbook (which we have and highly recommend), and added his own secret spices because that’s what he does.
I ate a big bowl with a huge wedge of hot from the oven cornbread for supper Saturday night. We have plenty to freeze for later, (and space in the freezer, too).
Book Two News
My BIG news for the week… When I woke on Wednesday, the edits from my editor (who lives in Jerusalem) were waiting for me in my email. Needless to say, I’ve been neck deep in editing my Book Two manuscript, a process that takes me from the heights of excitement to the pits of despair all within the same quarter hour.
Editing is one of the most satisfying and frustrating things I’ve ever done.
You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.
For three days, that’s about all I’ve done. If John hadn’t made the pot of brown beans, I may not have eaten all day on Friday. When I forget to eat and lose complete track of time? That’s when I know I’m doing something that I love to do.
I tell you this because for the foreseeable future if you don’t see or hear much from me, it’s because I’m tied to my desk.
Send provisions if you’d like. That would be welcomed.
Hey Little Rock
I have a gig coming up in North Little Rock on January 24 at 7 p.m. and I would love to see some friendly faces! The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee is coming to Potluck and Poison Ivy (formerly Tales from the South). The venue is The Joint in the Argenta Arts District. Special guest, J. Bradley Minnick (of KUAR’s Arts & Letters), has agreed to join me! Together we will read excepts from my book, specifically those between Gracie Lee and Brother Brown.
Should be fun!
I hope you’ll let your central Arkansas friends know.
For tickets (dinner is included) and more information visit www.potluckandpoisonivy.org.
And if you’ve not yet heard the Gracie Lee episode on Arts & Letters, click HERE to listen. (It has been submitted for a possible Peabody Award!)
Things Momma Says
I’m sure Momma has said lots of things this week but not to me. I’ve barely seen her. Like I said, I’ve been editing. Sorry!
Momma, are you there? If you are reading this, maybe you can say something witty in the comments for everyone…We’ll be waiting.
That’s it for this week’s Sunday Letter. Three things before I go…
1. Do you crumble cornbread in your beans or prefer it on the side?
2. Have you made any big or small changes in 2019?
3. Have you entered my Jord Watch giveaway announced earlier in the week? If not there’s still plenty of time! Click HERE for the lowdown.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.