A few years ago, I attended a conference presentation during which audience members were asked to construct a metaphor to represent our experiences as students.  No one had ever asked me to do this, so I was intrigued, but pretty stumped.  Then I remembered my old boom box, with its radio and dual cassette deck–I always kept a blank tape handy, ready to press “record” whenever something caught my ear.  I realized that I did the same in the classroom, gathering bits and pieces from various sources, often without an idea of how–or even if!–those pieces would fit together. That was the joy of making and sharing mix tapes; when crafted thoughtfully, they were greater than the sum of their parts.  

In that same spirit, I share a weekly “mix” of articles, recipes, book recommendations, and ideas in the hopes that something I share might fit into your own personal, ever-evolving collage. 

Have something you think I might be interested in?  I’d love to hear about it.  Share it here.


-I’m a day late with this week’s mix, and my post from this weekend might help contextualize why.  Jill continues to keep vigil at her mom’s side, along with a wonderful team of hospice nurses; since Jill’s mom was a nurse herself, they consider her one of their own and advocate fiercely for her care.

-For the last few years, I’ve looked forward to the Bitter Southerner’s Best Southern Albums of the Year.  The list always seems to arrive right when I need new music in my life (helllooooo giant pile of grading), and I’ve discovered so many now-beloved artists this way: Run the Jewels, Valerie June, Hurray for the Riff Raff, John Moreland, Leon Bridges, Shakey Graves.

-Another list I look forward to each year is Brain Pickings’ curated selection of Loveliest Children’s Books of the Year.  These books are always visually stunning, as well as substantive & meaningful in content, so it’s a great list to use when purchasing books for a birthday party or friends who are expecting a baby.

-Before things got really crazy, I managed to spend several hours in my kitchen doing some holiday baking.  I stuck to old favorites, to keep the margin of error low, and was able to mail some care packages off & deliver a few boxes of baked goods to friends and family, which made my heart happy.  Here are a few recipes I can enthusiastically recommend:  coffee + cardamom shortbreads (super easy to make & a brilliant flavor combination), hazelnut + dark chocolate meringues (I subbed in pistachios & they were still delicious), my most favorite rugelach of all time (super high-maintenance, yields a zillion cookies, TOTALLY WORTH IT).

Sending everyone love during this complicated, weird, wonderful time of year.  xx

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