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Holy Hustle

"Holy doesn't understand why Hustle can't slow down and rest, and Hustle doesn't understand why Holy seems to be missing the opportunity to serve her family and community through work."  -from Holy Hustle by Crystal Stine

If I had to pick a season to describe my life right now, I'd say early Spring. The time when you find a mouse nest in your watering can and spiders living in the potting soil, when last year's neatly tilled garden has grown crab grass with a fervor it never exhibited toward your produce, and there is a lot of hard sweaty work to be done before planting, and a lot of waiting and weeding and watering to be done before harvest.

Also known as staying home with soon-to-be three small children.


The quote at the beginning of this post really encapsulates the problem that I have with most Christian women's lifestyle lit. They seem to either be written by a well-rested grandmother who doesn't understand why everyone can't get up earl…
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Relief...

With the neighbor cats I knit in the spot where sunlight hits the soothing balm of warming calm Winter morning's perfect fit
By a conflagration bright of candles' flickering light til overcast this day is past quilts against snow blankets white
My hands clasp a mug of tea Earl Grey sips to comfort me the kettle steams my smile beams the creeping chill must flee
When loneliness invades my heart I turn to outer warming arts I find relief that honors grief but also sparks new starts.
This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. 
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Cookery

Every year, for about the first three weeks of January, I'm pretty motivated about cooking. Unfortunately, for the rest of the year, I am decidedly not. This usually presents itself as making a grand and exciting plan at the beginning of the year... and then abandoning said plan mid February.

This year, rather than my usual route of denial and attempting to muscle through, I made a plan that matched the data. First, I've been watching/reading my way through Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat, one section each week, to stay motivated. I've learned lots of useful things that I've already been able to apply, like matching the salt/fat in a recipe to its country of origin and making better fried rice, and preemptively salvaging a recipe that, as written, did not have nearly enough salt.

Another thing that has helped is having access to a Trader Joe's (the first one in our overlooked and underestimated state). Besides having a lovely selection of produce and flowers…

Sacrifice...

Thank you for your sacrifice. It's a phrase my husband hears often. He works for the military full-time so he spends most of his time in a recognizable uniform. People buy his lunch, shake his hand, extend gratitude and grace. Sometimes, when we're together, they repeat their comment to me. I smile graciously and say thank you, but it bothers me for the rest of the day.
I don't wear a uniform - at least, not one anyone would recognize. But I do put on my hiking boots and a nursing-friendly top, strap on a baby and grab two more little hands, and carry on with life when he's gone (out of the country, out of state, out of town, or just working late - again). 
We get groceries. Go on walks. To the library. To church. To Bible study. To the post office to mail the thank you notes we made together after Christmas. To do fun extras like the zoo, the Museum of Discovery, the nature center, special events at local businesses. We cook and learn and explore and create. We follow…

New Year, Still Knitting

You know I couldn't let January pass without a knitting post! I've been doing a lot of it (as per usual) although I did take one whole week off at the end of December to read, instead (the library didn't have audio version of the book my bookclub is reading so I had to physically hold the hard copy).

I mentioned All The Gloves on Thursday - those are finished and ready for delivery now. I also made a couple of pairs as commissions (it is so flattering to give someone a knit gift, and to have them send a photo of how worn the item has become through use and then offer to pay for a replacement. That's how you make a knitter like you!)

In between all the gloves I took a break and made an impulse project - a modified version of the Purl Soho Bandana Cowl. It was a fun Christmas week project, and I was able to cast it off at Hand Held's last knit night ever, so that was meaningful.

I finished up another commission yesterday - a wool hat for a runner. My go to hat for m…

Direction...

Near the end of last November, I was given a project. I've developed a lot of familiarity with the drive through workers of a particular McDonald's (those $1 drinks get me, and they brought back the doughnut sticks!) and noticed that they can't wear regular gloves while they're working because they can't work the register. This is a problem that knitters have a solution to. Why not make a bunch of fingerless gloves and give them to them for Christmas?
I set to work. The yarn I wanted to use was part of a sale, so I was able to get one of every color, and the pattern I was using took about a day per glove to knit, so I cranked them out pretty quickly. This is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to me.
But then I began to feel a prodding in a different direction. My original plan had the potential to put the employees in an awkward spot. Could they possibly get in trouble? Should I talk to a manager/owner first? Even if not, here I would be, sweeping in and gaining …

A Backward Glance

One of my favorite things about having a word of year is that I'm never quite sure how it will manifest itself over the course of the year. This past year was no different. I had a general idea of where I thought grace and would take me - and I was mostly wrong.
If you asked me, and I wasn't given much time to answer, I would say that 2019 was a hell of a year. To the point that when I scrolled through all the photos I'd taken (my way of jogging my memory, and the reason I take them) there were things that I thought had happened longer ago, because all of it was just too much for one year.
But grace was there through it all. I made a list, month by month, of every "grace and" moment, good and bad. Grace and a girls trip. Grace and a broken toe. Grace and baristas. Grace and a car wreck. Grace and lights. Every month had at least four and sometimes as many as ten instances listed. Grace within and without and beside and beyond every moment of every day.

This year…

Grace and Knitting

In considering what to write for a post that wraps up not only a year, but also a decade, a particular part of the past ten years seemed like an apt metaphor for everything that's happened.

Ten years ago, I was working at a little dimly-lit knit shop on East. I'd discovered it five years earlier, on the recommendation of an enthusiastic fiber crafter who was also browsing crochet books at Barnes & Noble, took an array of classes (including their learn to knit one), became one of their top fifteen customers of the year in the last three months of the year I got my first job, and started working there three years later when their previous shop girl joined the military.

I learned from extraordinary crafters and artists, and I was given the opportunity to teach what I knew. I made bizarre mistakes and fixed the unfixable. I discovered what rules are important, and which can be bent (or even broken). I wrote a pasted-letter note for our knit graffiti project that ended up beco…