37 of 40: Make Ukrainian Borsch
With produce from the farmer’s market, I made a huge pot of Ukrainian borsch. Thanks to Marlene Stotlzfus from Ukraine for providing it! I was a bit leery about the beets. Anything that actively bleeds shouldn’t be a food. But in the end I did not taste beet flavor. Woo-hoo!
I felt very close to the earth and the Ukrainian people while making this dish. It mostly consists of root crops that can be stored through a long winter, and I could imagine garlic hanging in braids and potatoes piled deep in the cellar. I hope the country of Ukraine can experience peace and safety and warm bowls of borsch this winter.
38 of 40: Read and Study.
This entry stands in for several education-type challenges I took on in the last 38 days, most of which do not lend themselves to nice photos. The photo includes several of these books along with other books currently on my stack.
Here are some of the things I did.
~Researched email providers—I’m experimenting with a new provider now so if you are getting this by email it will likely look a bit different.
~Tried document sharing with a proofreader.
Books I read, am reading or have on my stack to read, which I picked for my list of 40 things:
~The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
~Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
~The Physician by Noah Gordon
I’m not endorsing the whole stack since I haven’t read them all yet.
39 of 40: Revise a 40-word Paragraph for 40 days.
I started with a paragraph quoting Carl Jung, and have been revising it for the last 40 days. (I missed a few days, as I did with most or all of my 40 day challenges, which really doesn’t bother me.)
Since the topic is being born (but doesn’t lend itself to photos) I’ve included some photos from my baby book. It’s hard to believe that my mom started putting it together for me when she was only 24.
This paragraph exercise has been one of the most helpful exercises for me out of the entire 40. It’s amazing that you can look at something day after day and always find a way to improve it.
I’ll share just three of the editions, each of which is exactly 40 words.
- #1 “Life really does begin at 40; up until then, you’re just doing research.” When I read this quote by Carl Jung on my 40th birthday, it made me feel better. Maybe because it validates where I am at. But more.
- #15 “Life really does begin at 40; up until then, you’re just doing research.” What does Carl Jung mean? A physical beginning? No. Perhaps he means years of experiments are the beginning of certainty. Repeated failures are the beginning of humility.
- #40 “Life really does begin at 40; up until then, you’re just doing research.” Carl Jung proposes life’s best lessons require 40 years gestation. Maybe experimentation, decades long, births confidence. Suffering, survived, produces courage. Independence, exhausted, flowers into connection and community.”
I’m still not totally happy with it, but it’s much tighter than it was, much closer to expressing what the quote meant to me when I read it. One takeaway for me as a writer is that there is almost no possible way to produce a perfect work. There is always something that could be better. However, the value of repeated edits cannot be understated.
40 of 40: Visit Cousin Anita In Her New Home
My cousin Anita suggested that we should come visit her and her family as one of the forty things on my list. Hurray, we managed to fit it in!
On Day 40 (not planned that way but it worked out!) we were hanging out in Boonville, MO with Kendall and Anita up above the Missouri River.
Anina didn’t love the eight hour drive. She started saying “SLY” repeatedly toward evening. We knew she meant “slide,” one of her new passions. We were planning to stop somewhere anyway to let her run off some steam. Was she ever pleased when we pulled up to a park and she saw slides out the window! She wanted to go down the huge ones, of course. She could use a little of my caution, and I could use a little of her fearlessness!
It’s been great to catch up with this cousin before heading over to our Hoover family gathering. I feel like there were a few things on my list that I didn’t post here, like my playlist of 40 songs, so I may reflect more in a blog post in future.
And that’s the end of the list of 40 ways to celebrate turning 40! Thanks for joining!
It’s August! Which means Kidnapped in Haiti is soon to be released, on August 15. Take pre-orders now in the Katrina Hoover Lee shop. Due to paper shortages and long print times, sales of the book may be restricted initially until all shipments arrive. However, I feel pretty confident that I can fill all pre-orders promptly.
I think I was so exhausted after writing this book that I kind of boxed it away to cool for a little, and haven’t been sharing much with you. But I do hope to share a little more in the upcoming weeks.
Kidnapped in Haiti expected in August.
Book 4, Tricked on the Tracks, coming this fall!