Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.
This past week was…I’m having trouble finding the right word. Challenging? Definitely. Maddening? Yes. Weirdly fulfilling? Also yes. I’ve been cycling through a lot of emotions, as I’m sure we all are, but often, I circle back to the present. What can I do in this moment to make my life a little easier and more joyful? I ask myself that question throughout the day.
Often, it means baking and cooking to relieve anxiety. Other times it means chatting with friends and family. Today, it meant finishing a watercolor painting that I started yesterday with a pencil drawing.
I read once that we should pay attention to activities that make us lose track of time, because that’s where our true calling lies. I don’t know if my calling is to be a watercolor painter, but I do know that it involves being creative. Whether it’s painting, writing, or working with my hands to make food or flower arrangements, I get the most satisfaction when I’m doing something that requires creativity.
That’s why this period is just as rewarding for me as it is difficult. I have a lot of anxiety about the state of the world and the health of the people I love, but I balance those fears with lots of meaningful activities that perhaps I didn’t have as much time for before. I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find your silver lining.
Without further ado, here is Dimanche:
Have you visited The Washington Post‘s Coronavirus page yet? If not, I’d highly recommend checking it out. The newspaper has done a great job covering the pandemic. I trust them more than other news outlets. Even though it’s good to take a break from the news once in a while, especially if you’ve been plugged in all day, this is a place to go to become informed.
I enjoyed writing this story about Known & Grown. The organization, which promotes sustainable farming practices in the St. Louis area, is helping people get fresh, local food during the pandemic by compiling a spreadsheet full of farmers, CSAs, and farmers’ markets, and instructions on how to get their produce. Read more about Known & Grown in my story for Feast Magazine.
Making sourdough bread from scratch is one of my baking goals, so I enjoyed this story from The Washington Post. The newspaper sent a writer to a bread baking camp in Kentucky. The writer already had some experience baking bread, but she became even more adept after attending camp. Read the full story in The Washington Post.
Speaking of bread… The Post also put out an article recently, “The 10 Best Breads in the World.” Not sure if I completely agree with their rankings (hello, challah?), but it’s a fun story to read. Check out the article in The Washington Post.
Need a work-from-home playlist? Paste and I have you covered. The music publication put out a Spotify playlist geared toward people working from home who need some soothing tunes. I’ve been shuffling through songs all week. Check it out here.
You’d be surprised how many things you can make at home instead of buying them. Now is a time to consider this as the government warns people not to make unnecessary grocery trips. Stock up on some ingredients and give these recipes from The Los Angeles Times a try.
We could all use a laugh right now, so without further ado, I bring you these humorous posters from national parks. The posters were inspired by bad Yelp reviews of the parks. “Trees Block View, and Too Many Rocks,” reads a poster based on a one-star Yelp review of Yosemite National Park. Scroll through the posters in this AFAR article.
The pandemic could change the way individuals access mental health care. This story from my friend Tanya Basu covers how the recent relaxation of HIPAA constraints could allow some individuals to access therapy via telehealth. Read more about it in this piece from MIT Technology Review.
Finally, I made some really good iced coffee and I can’t stop thinking about it. I saw on Instagram a recipe for dalgona iced coffee, a South Korean coffee drink that has gained popularity during the pandemic. Why is it so popular? you may ask. Well, for one, it’s delicious, and two, it’s easy to make with ingredients you probably already have at home. Get the recipe in this LA Times story.Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started. The Weeknd is a genius.