my week in objects (mostly).

November 3, 2017

five little things that made my week.  

1. vanilla extract. 

{i don’t know what possessed me, but i had a sudden urge for a dash in morning coffee and i’ve been repeating the move all week.}

2. this library haul.

{because i love me an ox cart man, but the 90th read does get a little tiresome.}

3. these found wings.

{but mostly the fact that we had just the very very perfect thing waiting to put them in.}

4. these jeans.

{for being just right. (found at this gem of a spot.}

5. favorite sweaters.

{and at least a day or two of the right weather to wear them in.}

other things:

i want, i want, i want.”

tahini noodles.

resistance revival chorus.

updating my library queue!

gathered conifer + salt.

this is the place i know.”

little leaders.

pantsuits to lawsuits.

open enrollment is here.

clog questions answered (agree to agree!)

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  • Reply Nicole November 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Love beautifully illustrated children’s books, and my little ones definitely care about the loveliness of stories as well. I spotted the corner of Ferdinand in your book pile–I think everyone in my house could recite that one by heart! It was worth purchasing in the end….

  • Reply Kelly November 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Do you make your own vanilla extract? It’s super easy and lasts forever. My last batch was made in 2012 and I’m still using it today.

    This is the site I used when I made mine –

    But I made a lot more – vanilla beans are expensive (regularly) but REALLY expensive when you buy them one at a time.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Yes! This is my own! Still going through a big batch I made two years ago!

      • Reply E November 6, 2017 at 10:08 am

        Me too! I made HUGE bottles for my parents and siblings for Christmas in 2011 and small bottle (but still pint-sized) for myself. I inherited on of the large bottles and I think it will be 2031 by the time I am through 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca November 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Those butterfly wings in the glass are just lovely! Also I have been meaning to share that I have revisited your book over and over again in the midst of moving to a new city and your advice about avoiding big box stores during a move has become a mantra of mine. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration!

  • Reply Laura November 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I love Ferdinand the Bull! It reminds me of my childhood every time I read it to my daughter. (The cork tree is my favourite part)

  • Reply kelly November 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    In response to the “i want” article:

    I am thankful for the good men I know who are kind and warm and gentle and NEVER mistreat women and would never even think about sexually harassing them never mind sexually assaulting them. There are good men in this world and I want to celebrate them more.

    • Reply Elizabeth November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Hmmm. Yes, there are many good men in this world – I’m married to one and mother to another – however, celebrating men for not sexually harassing or assaulting women is an odd concept. We should not celebrate people, men or women, for being law-abiding and decent human beings – this behavior should simply be expected. Lastly, I don’t think men (good and otherwise) have ever been in danger of not being celebrated.

      • Reply Libby November 3, 2017 at 6:50 pm


  • Reply Gigi November 3, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    I love vanilla too, especially in baked goods and in the autumn time, but I have been trying to moderate myself due to the current vanilla shortage. The trouble is that when a large customer base yearns for a very specific material or product, it can have huge consequences on the global supply and on the local economies that produce that material. Perhaps a more sustainable (and maybe creative) path for us as a society is to seek out regional alternatives for natural materials to add flexibility to the “healthy” food and “natural” cosmetics supply chain. Just my thoughts – I
    am no way an expert on supply chains!
    The NPR article on the present vanilla shortage:

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 4, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Seeking local alternatives always seems like a terrific idea. What’s fascinating about this article though is that the global demand for real vanilla is actually making the local economies flourish as prices for the labor-intensive plant are driven up. Seems to me an argument especially to make sure we’re buying fair trade vanilla beans so that the folks doing the growing are getting fairly compensated.

      • Reply Gigi November 6, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        Agree with you on making sure folks are fairly compensated!

  • Reply Stephanie November 3, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I wish we could simply expect decent behavior, but it seems the US as a society no longer has a consensus on what it is to be decent. In these dark days, celebrating common decency wherever it can be found feels like a very worthwhile endeavor to me, as does resisting the impulse to make sweeping judgments against any category of human beings, even men. I was bothered by the “shame” note section in that piece, though I understand where the writer is coming from. I’m angry, too, but I refuse to be angry at any class of people as a group.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 4, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Agreed in lots of ways. I’m not sure mailing “shame” ransom notes is going to solve much, and I agree that celebrating common decency is worthwhile, but I’m also struck by how much we try to talk about the root of problems as being on an individual level, rather than a systemic one. We’re more comfortable with the idea that there are a few bad seeds than a system of inequity, or racism, or sexism from which even decent people benefit. I *think* this might be what Stella Bugbee is getting at.

      • Reply sasha November 6, 2017 at 4:47 pm

        Well said Erin. One of the many problems with systemic racism and sexism, is that they hurt everyone, even the *good* white men who don’t agree with the systems, but who nonetheless benefit from them.

  • Reply Of Ashes & Bones November 5, 2017 at 4:02 am

    I add cinnamon sprinkles to my morning coffee, but now you make me want to add vanilla.

  • Reply Stephanie November 5, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I suspect you are right about her intention, but I also think she is an intelligent and savvy writer, and if she wanted to say that, she could have said it. I feel like the great lesson (for me, at least) over the past year is believing what people say and paying attention to their actual words — not what I want to believe they are saying, and not anyone else’s interpretation of the meaning. And it disturbs me when people I respect and often agree with, like Stella Bugbee, choose to use framing, even casually, that would be problematic in another context to make an argument that matters so profoundly, because it offers that type of framing some validity. But I suppose it also has to do with what you believe will change the system, because it is a both/and problem: bad individuals fed and protected by toxic systems. Maybe shame and guilt will work. I don’t know.

  • Reply Lauren November 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Does that $520 wool sweater have magical powers?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Could be!

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