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Showing posts from May, 2014


It's Five Minute Friday! Time to write for five minutes flat (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo --- then linking up and sharing a little comment love with other bloggers. To learn more and/or join in, click here.

Nothing. That is probably what this photo would mean to most people. Some might have their own memory association, but no one (even someone who knew me) could know exactly what that picture means to me. Not "means" like "I have strong emotional ties to this photograph" per se, but "means" like "this picture represents a thousand words."
I don't think in words. I have poured years of my life into (attempting to) master the English language, from a burning desire to be heard and understood - because while I can have a perfectly cohesive thought in my mind, outside of my mind it's incomprehensible to others. Except that, after all of my efforts, I'm finding that no one actually speaks Eng…

Undone and Remade

This week's gifts...
521. A mailbox full of Happy Mail, including a sweet Mother's Day card from Carolyn
522. Grace. Always grace.
523. Adam sacrificing sleep so that we could spend time together
524. Watching an entire movie, alone, in one sitting, while knitting - it was like a day off for my introverted psyche!
525. Successfully convincing Brooklyn that we should sleep past 6:30am
526. Sharing her escapades over the phone with Adam as he drove home from Fort Smith - redeeming the time!
527. A whole day all together at home
528. Napping while Brooklyn napped and Adam slept in - 'cause he got home late last night
529. Catching up on "knit the sky" while watching The Hobbit part 2 with Adam's arm around me
530. That the cup of mixed berries I had forgotten about in the fridge hadn't gone bad by the time I remembered them
531. Getting to meet Adam for lunch (and being able to find clothes fit to leave the apartment in, since most of mine were soggy in the …

Behind Open Doors

Brooklyn has gotten less destructive and more contemplative of late - less likely to wantonly pull all of the books off of a bookshelf, and more likely to start a tune playing on her toy iPod while she thoughtfully looks at a book (usually upside down).

Not to say that pulling things out isn't still really fun. She discovered my stash of brown paper bags under the sink a few days ago and had a grand time unwedging them from between the pipes and scattering them across the floor --- I needed to reorganize them, anyway. ;)

Since getting into the cabinets is so very fun, except for the ones that have breakable things inside of them, and I don't really have anywhere else to put some of the things we went through the kitchen together and put a little strip of (what else?) Washi tape on each of the ones that she's allowed to open. She's lost her freedom a couple of times a day for getting into unmarked doors after being reminded not to, but it's actually working much be…

The End It Project: ignorance is bliss

I've been researching various items each month and writing about ways to avoid slave-made products, and which brands are Good, and posting about them on the 27th (because there are approximately 27 million slaves in our world today). I'm still researching "hair" (cleaning, conditioning, and removing), but in the meantime, here's a different sort of post...

Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I can find any number of articles that will get people in an uproar.  Car companies are making way too many cars and just storing them randomly all over the world and here are Google maps images to prove it! Uggs are made out of sheep skins - they're killing sheep! Chobani yogurt uses milk from cows who are fed GMO grain diets! And those are the linked articles - there are also the photographs floating around with long, verbose captions that claim to be quotes... except that the only thing you can find linking that face to those words is the post itself.
People start liking …

Slice of Life

We actually got to spend half of today with Adam - he worked an 8-hour day before noon, but then he was able to come home after that. So we went for a walk, all three of us, and Brooklyn and I showed him our nearby trail. It was really nice to just spend some time outside together - it's been awhile since we've been able to do that.

Afterwards, because it was hot today and because I had spotted a Tropical Sno shack located conveniently near the park, we had sno cones. We got Brooklyn a cup of shaved ice with no syrup - she enjoyed it deeply, although she kept looking over at my lime green one as if to ask, why is mine invisible? (That's my current design-in-progress coordinating in the background.)

I spent some time last week attempting to make baby food for her. OK, by "attempting" I mean that everything turned out well, but getting her to eat it is another matter. She likes the chicken, and she likes the spinach-and-rice... but the roasted root veggies are que…

Speak Life

The weekly reckoning...
503. Being able to take Brooklyn to Adam's parents' for a few hours as planned, and not having to reschedule
504. Recognizing an unenviable trait that Brooklyn inherited from me...
505. ...because I've had years of experience calming my own internal chaos, so I can help her start finding and creating "tethers" now
506. That my parents have a good relationship with each other
507. Brooklyn thinking that the slurping sound of water draining after her kitchen-sink bath was funny (instead of traumatic)
508. An hour of Practicing Peace for her that was an hour of packing for me
509. Being part of someone else's list of gifts
510. Safe travels with multiple pit stops - yet, somehow still getting home in the same amount of time
511. Brooklyn thinking it was a grand adventure to go on a grocery run after her dinner, instead of being upset about getting back in the car
512. Redeeming an unproductive afternoon with an evening of interacting with…

Counting Down to One

Three more weeks and she'll be one! After a brief independent streak, Brooklyn's decided that What I'm Doing is highly fascinating and something that she needs to be involved in. So far this morning, she's emptied the dishwasher (the dishes were unwashed), helped me finish my breakfast, and pretended to get into something that she wasn't supposed to as a ploy to get me to come read with her.

After a month of going and coming and sometimes (but not often enough) crossing paths, we're finally all home together at the same time. Brooklyn hasn't seen Adam yet, since he got in late last night, but she was delighted to find his boots and bag this morning, and I'm sure she's anxious to show off how she can (sometimes) stand without holding onto anything.

Besides counting down to a birthday, we're also counting down to a party. I finally sat down and got her invitations made a few days ago, and they're hopefully going in the mail today. There's…

Art in Your Life - and an Invitation to Community

Perched alone in a quiet place, wholly absorbed in the creation of something, there are many things that I could call myself. A knitter. A writer - of prose, and of love notes. A photographer. A student - until Brooklyn comes to get in my lap and take my pen, requesting in her wordless way that I come play with her. Perhaps even a crafter --- but Artist is not a title I've been eager to claim as an adult (as a child I was less shy and told my mother I was "artic" - defined as "someone who makes art").

After all, I can't draw or paint. Design sketches are the bane of my pattern-writing existence, and part of the reason that I self-publish. But then I was invited to sit on a figurative bench with a group of other ladies, and over cups of coffee and the internet, I began to realize that, made in the image of our Creator, we are all artists - whether we wield a brush, a pen, a needle, a camera, a spoon, a guitar pick, a bit of wire, a length of cloth, a sheet …

Authentic Space

An issue that I have with traveling, is that even if you cleaned before you left, you bring a lot of mess home with you. Clean clothes and dirty clothes all jumbled up together, things-I-can't-get-here and gifts from Mum and mother-in-love, all heaped up on and under and around errythang. I couldn't face it on Saturday night when we got home, but on Sunday afternoon I bought a bright bouquet for the-counter-that-would-soon-be-clean, brewed a cup of coffee, put on some music, and got to work.

(There are no before pictures - stopping to take a picture would have been demoralizing and slowed my momentum - trust me when I say, it was a mess by anyone's definition.) One of the items I brought back from Fayetteville is a wicker bench that goes with my old bedroom set - I loved it dearly, being a fan of furniture that can be approached from any direction and sat upon comfortably... and I had completely forgotten about it until Mum offered to let me take it. Now it's acting a…

Soul Amnesia and the Memory of the Heart {and a giveaway!}

482. Grace that allows me to choose gratitude
483. Pouring rain that kept Brooklyn and I in all day, so that we could both practice peace
484. Finding an instant connexion with the co-leaders of our (in)courager community group
485. A long afternoon nap for Brooklyn to make up for a short morning one
486. Three generation grocery shopping
487. A morning at the Farmer's Market with Mum and Brooklyn
488. Picnicking lunch with Brooklyn - eatin' local!
489. That there are not only different kinds of flowers, but that those kinds come in different colors and varieties
490. Finding a perfect Mother's Day card for Mum (after both my original and back-up plans fell through)
491. Adam escaping Drill long enough to visit for a while day, plus some
492. Brooklyn being content to play quietly in the nursing mothers' room during the sermon, so that I was still able to listen
493. A coffee date with Adam - 'twas a much needed chance to talk without distraction or interruption

Live on Location

We've been having an enjoyable visit in Fayetteville this week, albeit a chilly one. Yesterday we had to invest in a jacket for Brooklyn (a teeny white cardi with a little blue-green seahorse embroidered on it - this is no itchy emergency Easter-morning sweater!) - as the hardier adult, I've been layering my Tshirts with tank tops and being even a little more snuggly than usual. Hey, Brooklyn, wanna sit in my lap and read The Lorax?

The nice days have been nice, and it was lovely getting to see Adam over the weekend and spend a little time with him (before he had to go back to Ft Chaffee - again.) And the rainy days have been a good opportunity to play indoors, and practice contentment at home (or at someone else's home, which is actually easier, because you don't have all of their books memorized yet).

Since I'll have less than four weeks at that point and notices need to be snail-mailed, I should probably get to work on finalizing birthday stuff for Brooklyn as …


It's Five Minute Friday - a blogging flashmob of writers all over the internet joining together to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo, then linking up and sharing some comment love. Head here for more details, more posts, and to join in!

So, since last Thanksgiving, I've been counting gifts. Three a day, every day, and I've almost reached five hundred. It's nice to turn the pages in my little red notebook and see how many I have to pass over in order to find an unfilled one, and it's encouraging to look back and see how many weekly gratitude posts I've published between then and now. But the best part is when I see changes in my attitude and outlook. Change happens so slowly that it can be hard to spot because we acclimate to it as it happens - but every so often, I startle myself by reacting in a wholly different manner than I would have six months ago.
For example, Tuesday was a wonderful day - I got …

Time, Adrift

The weekly reckoning...
461. Finding a wonderful trail with a park close to our home
462. Successful replication of one of Adam's recipes
463. Scissor-tailed flycatchers - they look like they belong in Costa Rica, and yet... we have them here
464. Brooklyn eating a ridiculous amount of food for dinner
465. The little orange notes the postman leaves, letting me know that I have a package waiting
466. Already having the yarn I need to make a gift with
467. Running into Heath and Kristin at the park - it was so nice to see someone we know, randomly, in public!
468. A tiled kitchen for Brooklyn to "air out" in after a baking soda bath
469. and Google, for looking up diaper rash remedies (poor baby!)
470. Getting to church in enough time to pick up a quilt block to piece
471. A successful (translation: fun) dinner date with Brooklyn - nachos for me, applesauce and puffs for her
472. and a survey coupon for next time :)

Time together - that's something we've always stru…

Up and Out

It's been a busy, getting-into-things week! This morning she unpacked the snack bag that I had packed, while I took everything else down to the car in preparation for a trip to Fayetteville.

After I took the snack bag, she went to get a book, instead. I was surprised at her choice - she's been getting The Odyssey off of Adam's shelf all week and looking at it.

Her very favorite past time at this point is Taking Things Off Of Shelves. It's a very entertaining game - she takes off everything that she can reach, and then I put it back (because otherwise she starts trying to climb up and get into something higher). I've been explaining the cleaning up process and why we clean up - soon I'll start trying to involve her in the process.

Adam was supposed to be gone for most of the month, but he keeps getting sent to Little Rock for things (he's there right now - sadly, as I type this from Fayetteville - but we saw him three times that we didn't expect to and …