read * hear * say * see * eat

From the StoryCorps Thanksgiving Listen project (see “Say”)

I’m starting up my weekly/monthly installment again of the things I find on the interwebs. You can read past lists here.



  • So many excellent podcasts! Since I last covered this topic, I’ve added quite a few. Here are some of my new favorites:


  • I’m going to start sharing some of the podcasts that I know are looking for contributions. Here are a few I heard of this week:
    •  I’ve been hearing for months from StoryCorps about the Thanksgiving Listen, their big push to get everyone to record and submit stories of their elders over Thanksgiving weekend. There’s much more info on that link, including a PDF guide.
    • Lea Thau of the Strangers podcast is looking for stories about how we care for loved ones in our families as they age (which, if you read my essay above, you know is an important topic to me). You can share by recording a story here or emailing your thoughts to
    • Gretchen Rubin of the Happier podcast is looking for stories about your experience with her Four Tendencies (if you’ve been following the podcast or read her new book, Better than Before). You can share by emailing or calling 774-277-9336 and leaving a voicemail. (Fun fact: I was the nitpicking editor who wrote to tell her she misused “backslash” in Episode 33. She must have mentioned it five times in Ep. 34, and it tickled me to no end. As a word nerd, I have gotten used to being made fun of for picking nits!)



  • So Mom and the kids would have a yummy treat (and so I could use up some apples), I made Smitten Kitchen’s breakfast apple granola crisp before leaving for Boston on Tuesday, and it was delicious. Modifications I suggest are: cover the dish with foil halfway through, cook it at 350º instead of 400º, and use 1/2 coconut flour.

I learn slowly

So many times I have thought of coming here to tell you how much I love The Summer of the Great-Grandmother by Madeleine L’Engle (well, I suppose I did, if you follow Literary Mama’s Now Reading). I came across this passage tonight, stared blindly at the ceiling for a long moment, and then lurched out of bed to come share it with you:

“I learn slowly, and always the hard way. Trying to be what I am not, and cannot be, is not only arrogant, it is stupid. If I spend the entire day hovering around Mother, trying to be the perfect daughter, available every time she asks, ‘Where’s Madeleine?’; if I get up early with my grandbabies and then stay up late with my actor husband and get no rest during the day; if I have no time in which to write; if I make myself a martyr to appease my false guilt, then I am falling into the age-old trap of pride. I fall into it too often.”