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Al Fresco

This is day 10 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

I love the way that Facebook lets you know when people you're friends with RSVP to events. I noticed a couple of people who said they were going to the "Main Street Food Truck Festival" and promptly clicked to see what it was. Something that I wanted to go to, is what. Dietary restrictions (no gluten for me, no dairy for Brooklyn) keep us from exploring a lot of local places, but with over 45 options, there had to be something that we could eat.

And there was. Our favorite paleo truck was one of the first that we passed so Brooklyn and I stopped for tacos while Adam and Tobin walked on until he was lured in by the scent of Cajun (something that he really likes but doesn't get often). As we walked along the row later, I noticed several other places that were also options for us dietarily-restricted people (mostly desserts, but hey, I'm not complaining about that!)

It was a well-organized event, with streets blocked off to allow a free flow of foot traffic and little seating areas every block or so. We found a spot between a very enthusiastic DJ and a performance artist who was dancing with hula hoops (it was lovely and intriguing - if I'd known that was a thing when I was a child, I would have wanted to do it. What am I saying? I still want to!)

The general recommendation (as I was doing my preliminary research, before suggesting it to Adam) was to arrive early, since they had about ten thousand people last year over the course of the 5 hour event. It was a good recommendation. We got there just as it was starting and waited in minimal lines without worrying about them being out of what we wanted - including the cotton candy that we trekked to the far end in quest of (I love cotton candy - blue in particular - but hadn't had any in years).

The weather was perfect for walking (we parked a good distance away, rather than fight the traffic and crowds as we got closer) and we encountered a few people that we knew (including our downstairs neighbors, who we had also stopped to chat with as we were leaving home). I love those days that are just cool enough to be invigorating, without being miserable. There was also a good balance of sun and shade, with enough tall buildings to {mostly} block the wind.

Between the trucks and the vendors and weather and the spending-time-together, I think we all had a spectacular time. It's definitely something we'll want to check out next year, if we're still here and they still have it! (Which they should - it was packed when we left, so hopefully everyone felt warmly welcomed!)

The media (social or otherwise) is a great way to find out about local events - just keep your ears and eyes open for things that might interest you!


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…