So, you know how I keep giving people soup? Well, it suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea if this soup was actually... good. I mean, the people I've sent it to say that it's good, but maybe they were just being kind? I got into a discussion about this with one of my cousins and she smiled her bright smile and said, Ooh, let me send you some!
The soup came in the mail and it was, in fact, good. I mean everything about this gift was a Gift with a capital G. The soup--chicken noodle--which was very tasty. The rolls and cookies, delicious. A ladle. You get to keep the ladle! And the packaging. I have never seen such cool packaging. I know I sound like I am doing a commercial here or being paid off by the Spoonful of Comfort soup people, but I assure you I am not. Here is the cool thing about the packaging: each individual box is reversible, with an adorable pattern and just waiting for you to reuse for packaging another gift. My husband and I got two complete meals out of the soup and loved the entire experience in a way that I know sounds mildly loony, but there's the truth of it. Thank you, cousin Lindley!
And speaking of cool gifts, a few weeks ago, my friend Natalie D. Richards had a new book come out and I wanted to give her something fun to commemorate the occasion. Natalie is a New York Times Bestselling author and this is her 8th book, but she still gets a little anxious by the whole thing, the idea of people reading what she's written and all of the publicity stuff you have to do when a book comes out, never mind the fact that she is knee deep in the writing of her ninth book and time is scarce for her, to put it mildly.
Anyhoo... I was talking about this with my lovely friend LaNesha who works at the library and makes greeting cards as a side business, and she said, What is this book about? And I said, It's about a scavenger hunt that turns deadly. And she said, I bet I can make her a nice card. And I said, okay.
Well. This card. Oh my God I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it is the most awesome card I have ever seen. Can we even call it a card? No, it is a gift in and of itself. A giftbox, to be specific, that looks exactly like the giftbox that the main character in the scavenger hunt story receives. (Side note, this happens at the beginning of the book when a girl is getting out of the shower and finds a white box with a green bow sitting on her bathroom sink, and who the heck put it there and is potentially creeping around her house?)
When LaNesha made the card (really, it is more like she built the card) and presented it to me, I was so excited to give it to Natalie that I wanted to race right over to her house at that moment instead of waiting for her book launch day. When I did finally give it to her, of course, she loved it.
And speaking of loving people's gifts, my husband built me a library and I am over the top in love with it. This is one of those Little Free Libraries that you may have seen set out at people's curbs or in public parks or near schools. How it works is the library steward (as we Little Free Library owners are called) fills the library with books and anyone who is walking by can take one or two or all of them, and they, or other people, can drop books into the library and then take more and it's all just a nice karmic book sharing thing that I love the idea of, but I wasn't sure, exactly, how it would work in practice.
But let me tell you, it does work beautifully. The first day I filled it with books (these are books I had around the house, books I'd read and was happy to share). I also filled a basket by the front door with more books, assuming I'd have to replenish, but the funny thing is that I haven't had to dip into this backstock at all. The first few days, nearly the entire library collection turned over and it was a new set of books, books I wanted to browse myself.
And there you have it, another good gift, and isn't it funny how the best good gifts are the ones that truly do keep on giving?