my week in objects (mostly).

September 29, 2017

five little things that made my week.

1. this sweater.   
{i’ve got some colorful plans for you, little bud.}

2. this book.
{spotted on the sidewalk by a little friend who insisted upon rescuing it for her buddy.}

3. this pink (enough) play dough.

{thank you, hibiscus tea.}

4. this new piece of chalk.
{because nothing better.}

5. these pumpkins.

{and a grammy for bringing them.}

other things:

food as self-expression.

why aren’t mothers worth anything to venture capitalists? (relatedly!)


40 years of ephemera, history & art.

can a cooler unite america?

[he] didn’t start the sexual revolution—he profited from it.

i don’t want to micromanage housework. i want a partner with equal initiative.

under one roof.

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  • Reply Carol Butterfield September 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Erin, the article on emotional labor hit home, quite literally. Thank you for developing a strong voice on things that matter, all while making little human beings. It’s astonishing what women do!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 29, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      So glad it resonated! Work here done with lots of help from caregivers and family members, to be sure!

      • Reply Monica September 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        I was just about to post the same. Great piece. Thank you

  • Reply Auberie September 29, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I love the book!! It was one of my favorite when I was a child. I wonder if I still have it, I have to look for it.
    Do you know “Devine combien je t’aime” from Sam MacBratney and Anita Jeram? It was another one of my favourites 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 29, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Ha! We have that in English! Never realized there was a french version (or was in french originally!?).

  • Reply Judith September 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    The article on emotional labor also hit home with me as well. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I had a full-time job and two sons, aged 8 and 10. A friend gave us a check for a year’s worth of housecleaning, but that’s when the household management issue bore its ugly head. I do have a husband who has always cooked and cleaned and willingly helped take them to appointments (in fact, he drove me to every one of those chemotherapy appointments), but still, I was the manager/coordinator of all things home and kid related, until I couldn’t do it any more. We had a talk about my not needing an assistant, but rather, a co-manager of the house and kids. He got it, and stepped up. After 34 years of marriage, I only hope, that should the need arise, I can step up as gracefully as he did.

    • Reply Nat September 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      Wow. It is amazing to me that the physical labor jobs (cooking, cleaning, driving children to appointments) are considered, from an outside (male?), perspective to be more work than the emotional/mental management work (making appointments, coordinating schedules). Mental/emotional labor is always so much harder for me than simply doing the dishes. It is very telling that it took a major medical situation for your husband to get that. (It is also very telling that he took on the task.)
      Like several other commenters, the piece on emotional labor was very resonate for me, but in a different way. My partner is a woman (I’m nonbinary) and I think we have a more equitable arrangement of both the emotional and physical labor in our home (of course, since we don’t have kids, there is less labor overall). But maybe she feels like she’s doing more of the emotional labor. I should probably ask…

    • Reply Monica September 29, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Good for you for voicing your needs – and for him to come through.

  • Reply Eva September 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Great articles! The emotional labor one is so sad, I know exactly how her frustration feels. We spend a little money for someone to come and clean because I didn’t like how long it took me, and I resented that my husband didn’t do it. Honestly, he just has a higher threshold for cleanliness, where as my tolerance is very low. He does, however, have a low threshold for clutter, so luckily he picks up after himself without me having to say anything. I think a good way to make changes with some of these issues is to do them gradually, one day at a time. Ask for help doing the dishes, or relegate who does what. I think it’s gotten easier over the years for us.

  • Reply Jen September 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Yah, that emotional labor article is so timely. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and how to talk to my husband about it. I’ve tried, but as the author says, it doesn’t quite seem to resonate. As we’re thinking about trying to have kids, this has been top of mind, so I especially appreciated the conversation about how this behavior impacts our children. Oof. Lots of work to do.

  • Reply Joanne September 29, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I have sooo much love for these posts of yours. I love the look of those pumpkins! And the sweater’s lovely <3 I'll be reading through these links, they sound fascinating.
    Have a good weekend!

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

  • Reply Amy September 30, 2017 at 2:37 am

    This post feels so peaceful! loved it xx.

  • Reply Diana September 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Those pumpkins are so cute and remind me of Autumn, lovely post dear xx

  • Reply mado September 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I think the juxtaposition of the V.C. and Hefner articles is so telling. Sure, women have benefited from the “sexual revolution,” but it is so far from equal (and so angering) when men can watch porn in a business meeting yet claim that breasts are “disgusting” when used for anything other than male sexual pleasure. Thanks as always for the thought-provoking round-up!

  • Reply Jess September 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Erin,
    I just discovered your blog recently, and I have really been enjoying your articles. If you have time, I have a quick question, not directly related to this post. I was wondering if/how you clean your coir brush? The plastic brush I’d been using to clean my cast iron developed a mold problem because I didn’t think to clean the brush itself, I’m afraid. Many thanks!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

      We use ours daily, often in soapy water, and let it dry between uses so we’ve never had a mold problem!

    • Reply Maura October 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Jess — I also use my brush daily. What’s worked for me is this: rinse thoroughly with warm water and then stand it up (brush end facing skyward) in an empty mason jar (or any jar); standing it up means it dries fully between uses. I’ve had mine for over 2 years with no mold or lingering food/kitchen odors. The jar needs cleaning once a week or so.

      • Reply Jess October 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

        Thanks so much for both of your replies! Do you also use the coir brush on things other than cast iron? I had been using the brush that got moldy only on my cast iron, and I don’t quite use cast iron every day, and I haven’t been using soap on it. I bet standing it up to let it dry will really help, too!

        • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 2, 2017 at 10:00 am

          I use it on anything that needs a good scrub! We’ve also had ours for years now. Ours doesn’t have a handle to prop it up with, but I just let it dry in a small soap dish on our countertop!

          • Jess October 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm

            I will have to get myself one and give it a try! I’m so glad you mentioned these brushes on the blog, I’ve been wanting to try something else, especially for the cast iron, for awhile now 🙂

  • Reply Kaila October 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you for writing:) We have similar thoughts/beliefs & I come for these links every weekend. I look forward to seeing what you have found to be valuable reading during the week – but after I click, click, click & read, I realized I never comment. So I wanted to say “thanks!”

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic (@WeirdWorkaholic) October 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I love those pumpkins. They make me want to go out and buy one (or two) for my cubicle at work, partly so it’ll make my cubicle look more cheerful and less “I’m counting the minutes until the end of the workday”.

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