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A Spot of Cheer

The offer we made on the most recent promising house was rejected this morning in favor of another, and the forecast for the next 5 consecutive days is a 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms - so we're battening down the hatches and trying to manufacture our own cheer indoors (which, right now, looks like a 50s/60s based Pandora station and trying to teach Brooklyn how to mashed potato).

Adventures aren't always "pony rides in May sunshine," to quote from The Hobbit. Honestly, I generally lead a pretty Bilbo-before-the-unexpected-party kind of existence... quiet walks, quiet sitting, quiet meals, lots of quiet. But in our noisy culture, sometimes intentional quiet is its own sort of adventure.

I've been preparing for this week with all the strategy of an upcoming quest - we went ahead and got groceries (and flowers, because they were pretty and also on sale) so as not to have to get out (unless we want to), and planned laundry to all fall on a day we'll be trapped inside (might as well embrace to fact that the only clean things are jammies).

Optimistic knitting goals have been set, and have a possibility of being met since I finished my last library book yesterday (not that I can't knit while reading, but it does slow me down a little). Two small children combined with my own cat-like tendencies mean that I view steady rain the way (some) Southerners view a foot of snow on top of an inch of ice: something to stay out of at all costs.

Really, it suits me fine. I can take a pretty big dose of staying-in (as long as I'm prepared for it). Space to knit and write, to read (to myself, or aloud) and snuggle on the couch... We'll just get out the markers and draw our own sunshine.

2469. Errands that didn't require getting out of the car
2470. Surprise happy mail
2471. Sorting Brooklyn and Tobin's outgrown-and-newly-grown-into clothes, and the generous friends and relatives who make that a thing
2472. A jammy morning
2473. Post-nap errands
2474. Learning and changing
2475. My Mum coming for a surprise visit
2476. The library and ice cream after
2477. An afternoon adventure at the park
2478. Solitary breakfast on the balcony
2479. A little prayer and a little hand lettering
2480. An excellent sermon
2481. A morning spent writing prayer strategies
2482. Whole trade bouquets on sale
2483. Brooklyn excitedly carrying a bag of raisins all through the grocery store


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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…