Metatalktail Hour: Holidays and tea towels November 24, 2021 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Happy week Metafilter! For many Mefites in the US, this is Thanksgiving week so there might be travel, family with all its good and bad aspects, and/or a special meal. And for many Mefites, it's just a week. So, if you're celebrating, here's wishing you a wonderful holiday, and if you're not, just sending you some good mid-week vibes. Also I'm in the market for a new tea towel (or other pleasing kitchen towel), so please share your tea towel ideas or links.

This is just an open thread to drop by, let us know what's going on with you, all are welcome, just no politics please.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 9:31 AM (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I've grown really irritated with kitchen toweling, why does it seem to be a requirement that it have zero absorbency whatsoever?? I've switched to flour sack towels (which are amazing for everything from hair towels to small tablecloths to giant apron-napkins) and good old terry cloth hand towels and washcloths.

Thanksgiving will be just the two of us, and I can barely be fussed with turkey, so I ordered us a giant fancy box of vegan meatstuffs from The Very Good Butcher so I can focus on the critical side dishes.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:50 AM on November 24, 2021 [9 favorites]

I will always put in a plug for Smoking Lily tea towels. They're 100% cotton, screen printed and absolutely beautiful.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:26 AM on November 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

I find terrycloth a bit lint-leaving for kitchen purposes, since I guess we're not organized enough to only use terry when it's suitable. Between terry and floursacks, I really like an all-cotton waffle-weave. I find them imported from India and sold in fancy kitchen goods places, like Whole Foods but not always that expensive.

If I finish a serious home DIY project, my next *easy* DIY is going to be getting this linen-cotton waffle weave and making bath towels of it. I note they also make narrow kitchen towelling.

But none of these are exactly tea towels as I understand them, which have to be Decorative and usually Sentimental. Somewhere on Stack Overflow's words sibling there's someone asking what the US term for a tea-towel is and IIRC the conclusion was that it's "tea towel" but many USians don't have or understand the concept. Yesno?
posted by clew at 10:27 AM on November 24, 2021 [5 favorites]

Dusen Dusen has some I like, and there’s currently a sale.

We are invited to a small gathering tomorrow. Someone else is making pumpkin cheesecake, so I am making apple pie and bringing a fancy salad. So nice to get to eat someone else’s cooking! I am so tired of our standard meal rotation. There will be a total of 4 children, enough that we should get some adult conversation. We have no family members in town for the holiday, but my dad was here last week and my mother in law arrives next week for a lengthy stay (she is moving here, staying with us while her stuff is in transit and the new house is being got ready. After that it’s all grandma and grandchild time!!!)

Planning a booster shot next week, perhaps when my kid gets her 2nd dose. Air travel looms in January.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 10:44 AM on November 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

So here's the deal: My heart is half as strong as yours. The lion that has run it these long years has turned lamb. As it has weakened it has become larger, and as it's become larger it's developed an unusual pattern to how it beats.

The numbers? Of 100 ppl with a heart condition such as mine, inside a year 3 will drop dead ZAM! for any reason or none at all. Another 4 will die after some horses ass games involving hospitalizations, surgerys ET CET.

What caused this to happen? A question mark. What can I do to make it all better? IE diet, exercise, prayer/meditation, get married, better clothing, new boots? Nothing. Nothing I do can move those numbers in any way.

Two different medications can actually help my heart strengthen. One of them is a beta-blocker (which regulates body functions below the level of cognition, is actually used by classical musicians to calm panic on-stage but doing so without dulling their emotional edge, allowing Art to come through their fingers, Art without fear, an uproar in the pro classical music community, seen as unfair, blah blah, maybe 20 years ago) which I've been on for two months, doubled the dose last night, double again in a month. (Provided I haven't died or what-have-you interim.) The other medication I'm not on yet, nor know what it does or why.

Also going to install not a pace-maker but a defibrillator (pretty much like the one hanging on the wall in your office but considerably smaller, god be thanked, and not covered all over with instructions for use) used to blast a persons heart into acting right when they are laying dead somewhere, or close to it. I suggested that he install 7 of them, and maybe could we get it jammed in there before he left for the day, but it seems that he's conservative, insisted installing just 1, plus not doing it yesterday but instead at a later date. Though absolutely not too much later IE probably next week, give or take. A two hour procedure, in his office I think, need a ride home though because I'm to be gorked on some pain-killer. Cut through some chest/shoulder muscle then attaches two lines, one to either side of my heart, then attach it all to that same muscle and then sews it all up, snicker-snack, bing-bang, done. He said I'm hurt a week or two but can shower and/or whatever else, the sewing will easy hold it in place, the skin sealed up with some sort of super-glue.

I cannot help but wonder if maybe I got covid and it trashed my heart. I was deathly sick last January, vomiting up my socks (truly, I think the worst vomiting I've ever had, running out my nostrils even) plus falling down like a drunk for a few days (which stopped when on the bicycle rides, after maybe one fall as I warmed up into the ride.) I thought it was food poisoning but ??

I keep wanting to have A Reason but it's not like that apparently. These numbers are good unless/until I pay attention to the fact that it's not death for 7 out 100 of everybody but rather 7 of 100 who have this stupid candy-ass heart weakness.

I've got the best medical care that is available. Truly. These docs are great, their office staff absolutely ready to look me dead on with happiness and spark after I tell them that the doctor told me that they are probably going to fire them, because they are Not Good People. Medication will help. The defibrillator will help, it can even strengthen my heart by making it beat when it should. I like that it can shock me into acting right and I won't even feel it; there are some people in my life who should emulate this behavior, that's for sure.

I loathe the fact -- The Fact! -- that there is nothing I can do to help myself. I loathe the fact of my heart turning on me, and that it's just something frightening and dangerous and bad that happened, same as if the brakes failed in my pickup, or maybe getting religion. I'm not happy.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:14 PM on November 24, 2021 [37 favorites]

That sucks, dancestoblue :-(. Wishing you all the best.

Nothing remarkable happening to me, which is good in its own way. Looking forward to being in the same physical space as at least some of my co-workers when state borders crack open on 17 December, though.
posted by dg at 12:40 PM on November 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

I am at my parents' place, where about 20 minutes ago my father was switching back and forth between the UConn game and MSNBC and got the news that all 3 defendants were found guilty in the murder of Ahmad Aubery. And I am once again grateful that my parents and I are all unanimous in our opinion in most political matters ("Oh thank God" is how my mother and I both reacted).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:26 PM on November 24, 2021 [8 favorites]

Just my wife, me and my adult son who still lives at home for Thanksgiving. I didn't even buy an entire turkey, just a turkey breast. T-day has never been a big holiday for us. I do need to winterize my camper this weekend. Other than that, we plan to do a whole lotta nothin'. I've got 3 library books stacked up that I need to make some serious progress on if I'm going to get them read before their respective due dates. This is my first weekend home in a month, so doing nothing is exactly what I need.

Happy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or whatever else you may be celebrating this week.

And best wishes for a medical answer for your heart dancestoblue.
posted by COD at 1:29 PM on November 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Hugs to dancestoblue, if you want them, and to anyone else who needs a hug. Holiday weeks can be hard, as can life in general.

I am staying home with just the boyfriend this Thanksgiving, so I'm sad not to be with the rest of the family but also thrilled not to be dealing with holiday traffic or any reason to get out of pajamas for 48 hours.

As for tea towels, I have a bunch of raggedy workhorse ones, but for cute designs I love Girls Can Tell.
posted by the primroses were over at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

This is going to be a challenging holiday weekend.
It’s the first Thanksgiving since my dad died in June, and the first since my mom with Alzheimer’s entered assisted living. This was my dad’s favorite holiday (“because it’s just about family and food—no gifts!”). I’m having Thanksgiving lunch with mom tomorrow at her assisted living center ( the food is actually very good there). After that—I really just want to wake up and have it be January 2, but that’s not going to happen. I’ll figure something out.
Unfortunately, I have no tea towel advice!
posted by bookmammal at 1:49 PM on November 24, 2021 [12 favorites]

Are you more of a chair-print tea towel kind of person, or more of a wild-pattern tea towel kind of person? Maybe you're a butterfly tea towel kind of person? Wait, wait, I've got it--Guerrilla Girls.

Who am I kidding, I have terrible taste in tea towels.
posted by box at 2:38 PM on November 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

We love tea towels as souvenirs and gifts, because they do get used up eventually. I was very pleased with this "Blue Danube" pattern from Millie Rose.
posted by wnissen at 2:40 PM on November 24, 2021 [5 favorites]

I've always hankered after something from The Radical Tea Towel Company, so am dropping the link here for your perusal, without being able to recommend their absorbency or otherwise!
posted by penguin pie at 2:55 PM on November 24, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm currently in Worcester (yes, where the sauce comes from) for two weeks, and falling gradually behind on my list of things I should be doing as (a) I spend too much time online, still, and (b) it's really pretty, with the autumn leaves making for excellent strolls around either bank of the River Severn and (c) Worcester seems to have escaped the effects of the pandemic oddly very well, and there are a heck of a lot of new restaurants and cafes here.

A tea towel design, which is based on a picture taken at pretty much the spot I picnic at when the weather is good. Make sure, of course, that you use a different tea towel for drying the teapot than you use for drying your tea cups and saucers. And good luck with {tries to remember Thanksgiving food, it's been a while} deep-frying your Turducken.
posted by Wordshore at 3:49 PM on November 24, 2021 [7 favorites]

I'm at my Dad's house, and one thing that I did during this trip was meet my Dad's new girlfriend (!!!!). I like her. I was determined to like her, because I have decided to be an adult about my semi-recently-widowed father starting to date, but I actually do like her. People seem a little weirded out by this. My father doesn't seem weirded out: he is not particularly attuned to other people's emotions, especially mine, and I don't think it ever occurred to him that his kids might not be overjoyed that he was stepping out on my semi-recently-deceased mother. But everyone else seems to expect me to feel a lot of angst about it, and I don't. She seems like a pleasant person. She's nice to my father. She's wicked smart, and she has excellent politics. She reads a lot. Honestly, I'm mostly worried that she's going to dump my father and break his heart.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:59 PM on November 24, 2021 [24 favorites]

Sending all good wishes to dancestoblue. I'm glad you have a good medical team and I hope the results of everything will be good. Always bet on a MeFite against the odds.

I've been popping beta blockers like M&Ms this week. I've got a concert on Saturday which I was offered at three weeks' notice, a concert performance of a role I hadn't done before. I read through it, figured it was just about learnable in three weeks, contemplated the fact that I had no other work, and said yes. I started work on it, and was excited. Even at short notice, I felt as though I could make a good job of this.

Then I got diagnosed with COVID and had to spend 10 days isolating. Luckily the symptoms were manageable, but it meant I couldn't have the rehearsal time I ought to have had last week. So I prepared as best I could in isolation...

...but on day 3 of my isolation period, I got the news that one of my best friends had died suddenly and unexpectedly. The physical effect of that was a choked, painful feeling in my throat that took about a week to clear up to the point where I could sing safely again.

(I couldn't pull out; I'm the person you hire when everyone *else* pulls out. Mezzo of last resort, that's me. I do need this job-- both for the usual reasons, and as a reason to hold myself together)

So I'll deliver what I can on Saturday. It will be as good as I can make it. I wish I could give the performance I'd have given if COVID and a hell of grief hadn't intervened. But I'll do whatever's possible.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:08 PM on November 24, 2021 [30 favorites]

I would like to thank phunniemee and HotToddy for help with my pecan pie.
posted by NotLost at 10:49 PM on November 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

NotLost, you are welcome! I hope it came out great but if not, no worries--I've been served many an imperfect Thansgiving pecan pie and they were all still plenty good.

dancestoblue, whoa, that is a lot. I'm sorry this is happening. Sometimes things go right, and I hope they will for you, that you will be in the lucky 93/100.

Midway through my extensive Thanksgiving cooking I realized that I might no longer enjoy doing it and that if I want, this can be the last time I do so much. I still have a ton to do and find that I'm framing it to myself as my last hurrah. I never thought I would be the middle-aged woman who is sick of killing herself putting on Thanksgiving. I was always good at it and liked doing it. Weird.

As previously reported, my partner has started doing yoga with me. It continues to be adorable. He's 6'4"; when he starts to lose his balance in tree pose he braces himself using the ceiling. An entirely new concept for 5'0" me!

Tea towels: I followed a Wirecutter rec some years ago (maybe it was still Sweethome then) and got the biggest, bestest, most perfect towels ever. Then last year I tried to order the exact same item and what arrived was garbage. Is this a deliberate strategy? Do businesses actively plan to start out selling something great then switch to garbage to profit off their reputation until the well runs dry? Because it seems like this is the pattern with everything.

All right, enough grouchiness. We're all still here, missing those who are not, thankful for what's left to us. Hope you all have a good week!
posted by HotToddy at 2:53 AM on November 25, 2021 [8 favorites]

The college kids are back and an out of town niece is with us. Yesterday when the news about the verdict came in, everyone said how good it was -- and it was so good to hear some righteous satisfaction for a change.

Four kids, two girlfriends, and the niece were playing a board game in the kitchen last night so I sat down with the dog, just listening to the sound. He left and I was so relaxed that I dozed off with relief like I haven't felt in years.

And dancestoblue, I wish your doctor a steady hand and your heart a steady beat.

Take care y'all.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:40 AM on November 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

When I moved into a new house some years ago it came complete with a stack of really cheesy calendar tea towels, all unused. Some people are really into them so I donated them to local thrift shop, all except one of them which was for the year that one of my kids was born. I tucked it away and forgot about until recently when I rediscovered it in a box of random stuff. I gave it to the relevant kid, not his style, which I knew. Well, his very cool 12 yr old daughter thought it was so uncool (or whatever words the cool kids use these days) that it was cool and it now hangs on her wall.

Another son and his wife are hosting us all for a big meal today, they have the biggest house, we're all bringing food. She is pregnant and they have a 3 yr old, the only person in our family who is not vaxxed. Daughter-in-law asked us all to get covid tests. I bought some at the drug store but also got one at the drive-up county health department site yesterday. Got the results, negative, a few hours ago.

A couple of years ago I spent a lot of time in Brunswick, GA, outside a different courthouse hoping my Kings Bay Plowshares friends would not have to spend years in prison. They didn't.

Here's hoping y'all find the tea towels of your dreams, you eat a good meal today, and none of your people are in jail.
posted by mareli at 5:50 AM on November 25, 2021 [5 favorites]

I will be with family again today instead of solo as I was last year. I'm vaxxed and boosted and my family is at least fully vaxxed (they are, for the most part, younger and heathier than I). I am bringing spicy green beans and a semi-homemade pecan pie (I don't do crusts so I'm using store-bought). I also am bringing lots of raw veggies and hummus as self-defense against the non-diet friendly snacks that will be present.

This has been my first year of retirement--thank you, AFSCME for a contract that gives me lifetime health care and a defined benefit pension--I highly recommend Union jobs to all who can get them, especially with government agencies. That means a relatively financial-worry-free retirement. I found that my reduced commuting, eating out for lunch, etc. expenses have mostly made up for my reduced income. Of course, Universal Health Care should be seen as a human right and should be available to everyone--but until then...

My wish for you all is that today is more good than bad, that you can find a moment or more of peace and happiness, that you have that extra slice of pie without beating yourself up for it, and that you have things/people/pets in your life that you can feel really grateful for. As always, I am grateful for this place of interesting, thoughtful folks who give me hope and let this grumpy introvert have just the right amount of socializing to feed my soul (without actually having to go out in public). Thanks Mefi family!
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:28 AM on November 25, 2021 [11 favorites]

I have no opinions on tea towels but have been enjoying reading about them.

I've got 3 library books stacked up that I need to make some serious progress on if I'm going to get them read before their respective due dates.

Renew em!

I spent last year having take-out Thanksgiving alone and doing some zooming with sister and not_on_display. This year the three of us (all boosted) are getting together in person and my sister has decided to toss tradition out the window and make coconut cream pie because she knows it's my favorite. Very sweet. I'm doing my usual cranky adjustment to not-my-house and it's going well. Last year I spent the day after TG in the ER with a new-to-me gall bladder attack, so the goal today and tomorrow is just "No ER" which seems like a nice manageable goal. I will get it taken out eventually but it's been fine since. Bu Nothing Day is tomorrow which is my real holiday. I think Jim and I will visit an old friend of my late mom's and mostly loaf on the couch.

Today really kicks off the holidays which include Hannukah (next weekend! sister decided to make latkes!) and JIMSMAS (also next weekend!) and then a small respite before Solstice (maybe we'll have the bonfire this year) and the rest of Holidaytime and New Year's.

Going to get out for a walk today, and otherwise try to get off of my hamster wheel for once this year. dancestoblue, best wishes, that sounds like a lot, you'll be in my thoughts. I am grateful to this community.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:06 AM on November 25, 2021 [3 favorites]

Dancestoblue, what truly awful news to get. Sending healing light to you and Pallas Athena.

I love the Thanksgiving meal, so I bought a small turkey and split it lengthwise and will have the other 1/2 at Christmas. Turkey sandwiches in my near future. Going to Friendsgiving in a little bit; I made the stuffing, and pies. Tomorrow is Pie For Breakfast Day, and I plan to enjoy it.

My dishtowels are often vintage linen calendar towels, which no one uses, so they turn up at thrift shops, and work well. (Thanks, marelli!) I'll buy nice looking cotton or linen dishcloths when they're priced well, though I did get one with lobsters woven in, a tribute to my Mom, who loved lobster a lot.
posted by theora55 at 10:53 AM on November 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

Dancestoblue, I am so sorry about what you are dealing with!
Hang in there Pallas Athena.

A friend gifted me this BlueQ tea towel, and I actually like it quite a bit. It's red, so I will defintely be having it out for Christmas this year. I also like MUkitchen products.

I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself so these threads are both consoling and a reminder it is not all about me. I have been having the Fall of cascading health issues, sigh. First a bout of chest pain, which did not seem to be a heart attack. But, the cardiologist put me on Lipitor and it did not go well - side effects of excruciating muscle pain in my legs and neuropathy. This all threw off my walking, so now my right knee is messed up to the point of crutches and lots of pain. Back to the doctor on Tuesday.

Also, my sister was in the hospital for two weeks while all this was going on, due to extremely high blood sugar. She is home, but weak and with multiple heath effects, and the state of NJ has messed up getting her her unemployment money, and she can't get anyone on the phone to straighten it out. I've told her to try her local representative's office to see if they can help, and that I can lend her money if need be to tide her over. (This is the sister whose husband died suddenly a year ago, and she had Covid pre-vaccine availability, so she has really not been having a good year.)

Anyway, Thanksgiving this year is just me and Mr. gudrun and the cat, and Mr. gudrun picked up our meal from a restaurant which we will just reheat. We also have a giant whack of cherry pie, Mr. gudrun's favorite, for dessert. Mr. gudrun's mother absolutely adored pie, so we will be thinking of her when we eat ours. In the meantime, I'm watching the latest episodes of Joe Pera Talks With You, and hanging with the cat.

Speaking of the cat, the good news is that even though he has probably two kinds of intestinal cancer (his heart is too wonky for them to do surgery to remove the tumor and definitively diagnose him), he is actually doing well on his chemo regimen (and new heart meds.), so we hope to have him around for at least another year or maybe up to 3. He is only 7, so fingers crossed!
posted by gudrun at 11:41 AM on November 25, 2021 [8 favorites]

Healing thoughts for you, too, gudrun.

I forgot to listen to the radio at noon, when a local station plays Alice's Restaurant, but there's time for me to catch it on youtube.
posted by theora55 at 12:15 PM on November 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's not a holiday here today, so I've been swatting corporate buyers away from our small stash of Raspberry Pi 4s at the online store. One automotive company seems to have had every employee try to buy one or more today.

For tea towels, and this is a link to a friend, but Megan (instagram link) makes the most glorious tea-towels out of her little house in southern Denmark. I've no idea if she's selling any currently, but they're more vibrantly coloured than the photos show.
posted by scruss at 6:43 PM on November 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

I was attempting to explain 17776 to my brothers and dad, when we were talking about football, and my 10-year-old was like, "Ooh, I really want to read that!"

Anyway I just got my phone back after 4 hours. (He is about halfway through. There was a pause for Thanksgiving dinner.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:16 PM on November 25, 2021 [3 favorites]

Here a little down in the article is a picture of the very towels.Trader Joes carries nice three packs of cotton tea towels, dish towels. World Market had some good comical ones, like an embroidered mushroom with the embroidered text, "Let this shitake go!" There was another with a picture of greens that said, "Oh kale no!" Another with a wine opener which said ,"Screw it!". The TJ towels have nice patterns, they look nice hanging on my stove handles. The family feast was lovely!
posted by Oyéah at 9:50 PM on November 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

In the Before Times I got mildly concerned about the circulation of coliforms by the bathroom hot-air hand-driers at work. Although I was probably wrong. Anyway, I bought a pack of 4x 30x30cm = 1.sq.ft terrycloth face flannels and sewed a little hanging-loop on one corner: my personal, tree-saving, low-carbon footprint hand towel. These are now doing some tea-towel duty in the kitchen: smaller and so safer than a tea towel for bringing hot dishes out of the oven; convenient for de-dusting my chapatti pan etc. The best tea-towel in this life is the 5x5 Irish Linen Union Glass Cloth as it says on its own tin. "linen union" is half cotton: linen is not really super absorbent.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:41 AM on November 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

We have a set of really good looking tea/dish towels that are just (but only barely) this side of useless: it's lightly maddening. They dry hands and work as pot-holders but for big spills they seem to just push stuff around. I always marvel at their non-absorbency. "Why are you doing this, tea-towel? We both know this is not what I want... why won't you just do your simple narrow little job..." and at the same time, I think, "You do have an attractive pattern though, and clean up nice. Not in the trash today. Maybe they'll get better with more washing."

My thoughts to you, Dances to Blue and gudrun and Pallas Athena and anyone else finding their way to be mostly up-hill. As consolation, at some point you do stop ascending and there's a view. This insight based on my own experience, at least.

I'm in America for the first time since summer of 2019: the terrain for some of the family has gotten markedly steeper of late. It feels like Death has been scything nearer and nearer to my circle in the last few years and in this case just nicked some stems. Whether enough to kill the plant or not is an open question (My parents' neighbour, though, have turned out to be ... fantastic. It's not surprising, they always were fantastic, but just - I hope they get a fraction as much from the relationship as my parents do. )

"...I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;"

and as much as I thought he was a bit... shit he's pretty right-on here. On the flight I looked out the window and thought what an insane privilege it is to fly - to see the earth from up here. Clouds look like ground, as variegated and substantial as a field. Can you imagine dropping through them and seeing for the first time the world underneath.

It's surprising, getting old. A privilege.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:59 AM on November 26, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best wishes to dancestoblue and gudrun and Pallas Athena. I hope you all have loved ones near to help you recover.

Thanksgiving in the eirias household was just our threesome, the mister and the little and me. The mister did the big cooking, freaked out entirely about the timing being wrong fifteen minutes before serving, but the timing was not actually all that wrong and the food was fantastic. And now I’m remembering that that happened last year, too. Afterward we played Carcassone and ate pie. We split two pies from
the bakery down the street with some friends in town so that we didn’t have to decide between chocolate pecan and key lime.

Spoke with my parents yesterday. I don’t have an easy relationship with either of them, but these were good conversations. I say “conversations” in the plural because it’s not really possible to speak to both of them at once. Our family of three somehow only functions dyadically. I don’t know, we’re pretty weird and unsociable people. But my dad’s chronic illness is worsening fast and my mom is getting old too and every holiday, well, you just don’t know.
posted by eirias at 4:52 AM on November 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

Pallas Athena, what a run of bad luck. That all sounds tough. Especially having your voice stolen by grief.

The only thought I have on tea towels is remembering a very charming children's short story called "The Highest Tea Towel". But I can't remember the writer! It involved a tree climbing girl.

In my own news, no Thanksgiving in this part of the world but we have Black Friday for some reason.

I'm almost scared to write this but it looks like, maybe? The SSRI I'm taking is starting to work. I haven't been nauseated today or yesterday, and I'm feeling only slightly anxious, even though I heard some pretty bad local news this morning, something that would usually have sent me into an anxiety spin.
I've been on the full dose for 4 weeks now, and in the last week, even while I was still feeling pretty anxious, I found myself able to do all kinds of things that I wasn't feeling like doing up to now. Working on my garden, fixing up my aquarium, drawing, doing ceramics, all of these are things I haven't been able to do for at least 2 years and suddenly it's like they don't seem like a big deal, I'm able to do them.
Which makes it easier for me to put myself in a good mental space for those moments when I'm not feeling so good because I can distract myself by making ceramic aquarium ornaments, or tidying my garden. Or just looking at the fish in my aquarium, something I was unable to do until recently as I was scared I would see something was wrong with one of them.
It's just so strange. I really hope this is not just a blip, and that the meds are really working.
But whatever, right now I'm feeling good, and that's pretty awesome, even if tomorrow is not so great.
* happy sigh *
posted by Zumbador at 5:57 AM on November 26, 2021 [11 favorites]

I worked yesterday and got home towards the end of my husband’s lunch with his parents, overlapping by less than 30 minutes which is the perfect amount of time. I mean, less would be fine. I hadn’t seen them since February 2020, before they voted for Trump (again), before they got all “I do my own research” about COVID (though eventually got more careful and vaccinated), before my MIL abandoned Facebook because they were keeping the truth down. I wasn’t looking forward to it but I guess it was fine.

I’m off today, which is unexpected. I’m getting my booster midday. I will nap and snuggle with my dogs, one of whom came home two years ago today.
posted by obfuscation at 7:45 AM on November 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

Hope all are well and those who have/had some time off this week have been able to enjoy it! For anyone looking for tea towels I would suggest The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The owners opened it as part of a broader effort to revitalize a neglected portion of downtown; I have toured the mill and it is a fascinating look at how textiles are made. Their products are not inexpensive, but are very well-made.
posted by TedW at 6:55 AM on November 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Belatedly (and embarassedly) sending best wishes to dancestoblue and gudrun.

And as for tea towels....I don't really use them? I have a couple given as gifts, and one that I got when I was in London during the Queen's Jubilee and there was a newspaper giving one out free with the weekend issue or something. I've also knit a couple to do something with the backlog of dishcloth cotton I have. But I often find them not absorbent enough for the things I'd need a towel for.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on November 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Tea towels, huh. What a coincidence!
I have a stack of ratty stained unraveling side towels for household cleanup. These are small terry cloth towels used by the kitchen staff in restaurants, they're rented from the linen company with the uniforms and table cloths. Everyone manages to have a couple wind up in their knife kit, somehow.
I have another stack of not-as-stained, not-as unravelled; they get used in the kitchen. You don't want to use the thin or holey ones if you're grabbing a hot pan handle.
I have a third stack of absolutely pristine brand new ones, a truly useful gift from a ways back. I thought about using them this week for our guests, but the basic kitchen towels aren't ratty enough to go into the cleanup pile and I'm pretty sure my loving friends don't actually notice my kitchen towels. I'll bust them out when my MIL visits again, she notices.
I bought a heavy calendar jacquard tea towel in brilliant rainbow colors a few weeks back at a fancy tea shop. I am not versed in this sort of thing, I just liked the splashy colors as a wall hanging. But I realized it would make, hopefully, a good gift along with some fancy tea stuff, so our friend who joined us for feasting this year went to the shop and got me a couple more.
I hope they are appreciated as kitchen art, or something. But if they get donated maybe one of you who like such things will find them?
I hope for all of us, and hugs.
posted by winesong at 3:02 PM on November 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

You know that thing where you pick up CRAFT you were pretty OK at after a long hiatus and you screw up, but only your subconscious brain picks up on the screw up and sends jussst enough information to the conscious brain to correct it enough that you don’t know you screwed up until you are finished?

Yeah, that is me right now. After much internal struggle, I decided to embrace the perfection of imperfection. Because in the end. the much missed joy of creation and being able to share it with someone else outweighed the mistake.

I gave up on CRAFT almost two decades ago when I allowed spouse’s family to turn something that gave me pleasure into a chore to serve spouse’s family. At the time, it was easier to completely quit and say “I just don’t have the time any longer” than it was to say “No”. But it is two decades later and doing two little projects for gifts that I am freely giving to others has made me so happy.

I don’t have recommendations for tea towels, I am an abject failure when it comes to selecting tea towels that meet in the intersection between utility and attractiveness, so I’ve been gathering links for future towel purchases.

The holiday has been lovely so far. Spouse and I met for the first time on Thanksgiving weekend 27 years ago. We celebrated this evening with a trip to Michael’s and a nice dinner.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:45 PM on November 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Our dog has been very sick for going on two months now (tbh I thought we'd have to put him down at least twice) and the vets were throwing everything they had at something they couldn't figure out (vestibular disease? stroke? dental issues? ear infection?) and it seems we FINALLY found the vet who instinctively knew what the problem was and maybe it's been solved now? And it looks like we're on the road to getting our dog back? We have seen flashes of his normal self these past two days and I'm very cautiously optimistic but things are finally looking up.
posted by cooker girl at 6:52 AM on November 28, 2021 [19 favorites]

I forogt, I have one tea towel that I adore. This woodland owl tea towel was given to me as a thank you for some work that I did and it's up on the wall over my computer so I stare at it when I need an eyeball break. I love it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2021

I found the stackexchange ruminations on tea towels, which touches in passing on kitchen roll and J-cloths.
posted by clew at 3:52 PM on November 28, 2021

hugs and good wishes to all in this thread. Our holiday was sad and chaotic and a bit frightening, as my mother's health continues to be one step forward, eight steps back, and somehow always at its absolute worst when there is a small child present to be terrified and traumatized by it. My brother joked that there was a good thanksgiving hidden away in there somewhere--we just never got to it.

My gratitude to my partner is profound as he continues to be just seamlessly supportive and nonjudgmental with all of the mess (and my frequent, growing frequenter, long absences for caregiving). I only wish--and told him so--that he could have known our family back when things were good, before everyone's lives went so thoroughly off the rails and we had to white knuckle everything every day.

We used to have the most incredible holidays.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:39 AM on November 29, 2021 [9 favorites]

It looks as though you were previously provided with many tea towel options but if your tastes run to the aquatic you might like the work of a young artist who's local to me and works for my neighbors. She screen prints her geometric designs on tea towels which are carried by the gallery I have linked.
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2021

If anyone wants a hand-dyed tea towel, I make them and you can see them from my instagram, which is linked in my profile.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:22 AM on December 16, 2021

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