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Maidenhair Fern closeup, Humbug Mountain, Oregon.

5 Things: October

5 things is a way for us to share with you what has been bringing us joy, keeping us sane, inspiring us to stay engaged, and making us smile. It’s a place for us to share a little collection of our now.

1. Our new baby fern plant. We’re calling her Fern. 

This is a simple one, but it can be comforting to have a new plant to fuss over and admire.

2. The Code Switch podcast on NPR.

Code Switch is an excellent podcast on race and culture in America, hosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji. To give a sense of the scope of the podcast they recently covered Sen. Kamala Harris’ career, the Treaty of New Echota, and the architectures of mass incarceration. #housingsegregationineverything

3. Jane Austen.

Jane Austen is an excellent comfort read. She’s wicked funny, radical, and arguably a game theorist. Early during the quarantine when our daughter was living with us, we laughed at how constrained our lives were. As we were stocking the pantry and sewing masks for donation, we were also suddenly invested in the minutiae of our neighbors’ activities, and it all felt very “Netherfield Park is let at last!”

4. Lighting a quality candle.

We have a Scent of Oregon Penrose Candle, and it’s crisp, vegan, and not cloyingly sweet.

5. A new morning ritual.

It’s not a complicated routine—I wish I had the discipline for a journal or for AM meditation, but that’s not in the cards right now. However, I am trying to be more mindful when I first open my eyes. Instead of immediately reaching for my phone, I spend a moment thinking of someone I care about, and setting an intention for the day. Today it was, “I will care for my body by stretching at least twice.”

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