saturday

Good morning!

life-changingOn this first day of a three-day weekend, I’m starting off with coffee and books in bed. I’ve read the local paper (via iPad), done some of my read-through-the-Bible plan, caught up on social media, and finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m late to the party on that one, and now I know why it has mixed reviews. Truly, you could scan it for the bold print tips, but then you’d miss the parts where she bids thank you and farewell to her castoffs. Clearly, Marie Kondo and I have different worldviews. For instance, I don’t believe inanimate objects have feelings, and she believes objects aren’t really inanimate. The cultural differences are evident, too. Having lived in Japan, Europe, and Hawaii, I’m aware of the space and storage differences in housing. We Americans take so much for granted, and I think Kondo takes for granted certain facts of living in Japan. (I will not put my clean dishes outside to dry, thank you.) Also, she mentions stockings throughout the book. Those are not at all a storage issue for me. 😉

The book has inspired me, however, to tackle my closet today. At her suggestion, I plan to take all of my clothes out, only putting back the items that I truly wear and like. She advises asking of each piece, “Does this bring me joy?”  If the answer is no, she thanks the pieces that don’t make the cut.

I won’t be talking to my clothes today, but I will be listening to podcasts as I work. These are currently in my listening rotation:

And now I have questions: What projects do you have planned this weekend? What are your favorite podcasts? What are you reading?

Happy Saturday y’all!

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bittersweet

Some of you know some of my story — of how my husband of twenty-two years insisted on walking away from our marriage. This happened over four years ago, and sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s my story. Friends have encouraged me to write more about that experience and what I’ve learned, but it’s really hard for a variety of reasons. First, it’s not only my story. It’s also my children’s, and I’m sensitive to that and to the fact that he is their father. Second, I don’t want to overshare, and I don’t want to dwell. And, honestly, it still stings. But I think I should share what I can, because I remember how very desperate I was for every morsel of encouragement and hope when I was in that deep, dark valley. If my story can help someone else, I’m selfish to keep it to myself. So if I can figure out ways to put my thoughts together, I’ll share them here from time to time.

One of the things I’ve found curious as I’ve moved through these past years post-divorce is how my previous life seems like it’s not my life. Everything I found out was such a shock, such a complete and total up-ending of the life we built for over two decades, that I really don’t know what was real and what wasn’t. I’ve questioned everything.

But as I decorated the Christmas tree last week and unwrapped hundreds of mementoes collected throughout all those years, I was reminded that YES, I did live that life. It happened. The memories are real. I really did visit those places, make those friends, worship in those churches, make a home over and over again. I cared. I loved. I didn’t just dream it. And even thought that life is gone now, I still remember.

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so many memories of our 8 years in Hawaii on the tree

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evidence of my brief foray into smashing plates and making ornaments

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a souvenir from our 2 years in Japan

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I bought this one in my favorite city — London

So I decorated the tree feeling that now ever-present sense of bittersweetness. I felt sorrow but I wasn’t crushed by it. I took joy in remembering and was thankful for that. Surely that’s progress, right? I can’t take credit for the progress, but I know the One who can.

If you’re where I found myself about four years ago, or if you know someone who is, I can tell you that it gets better. It’s not a straight line, but more like a crazy stock market graph with lots of highs and lows. Pain hits at the oddest times , and it still hurts to say “ex-husband.” But God is always good and faithful, and I’ve found that He comes through for me. It’s often not in a way I expect or even want, but He’s faithful. Even when I’m hanging ornaments on a tree.

This I know.

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saturday

It’s my third day off in a row from work, and there’s still one more to go! And it’s starting off well — coffee and reading in bed. And — true confession — watching a variety of Kick Six videos. (This one is a classic.) I never get tired of that!

Yesterday I decorated the house for Christmas, and Will came in for the weekend. Today my big plans include watching the Auburn/Alabama game with him on the big screen.

(I’ve got soooo many blog posts in my head, including one I mentally composed while decorating the Christmas tree yesterday. But today is unlikely to be a day I can actually put those thoughts to virtual paper.)

Thanks again to all of you who have encouraged me to keep blogging. I’m amazed that anyone reads what I write, and I’m surprised that you have stuck around through my blogging famine. I really appreciate it!

Happy Saturday, y’all! And Waaaaaar Eagle!

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a few things

~ Months ago I lost a favorite earring – one of a pair I bought in Hong Kong over fifteen years ago. They were my go-to silver loops. I almost tossed the remaining one recently, but last night I found its mate in a tote bag I haven’t used in ages. Hurray!

~ I’m a Florida voter, and although our primary is on March 15th, I voted early today:

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I’ll share more of my election thoughts soon, but for now I’ll just let you know that I voted for Marco Rubio.

~ It looks like our house hunt is finally over. We just have to wait for the builders to finish it. Meanwhile, I’m purging like crazy. I only want to put what we need and enjoy into our new home.

~ I recently cast on a new knitting project – Ridged Wrap. Here’s what the finished project should look like, and I chose yarn in a shade very close to that pictured:

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~ Just like I have multiple books in progress, I have many knitting projects in various states of completion. Tonight I’m going to cast on for a gift for my granddaughter who is due to arrive this summer.

I hope your week is going well,

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weekend of chill

I cannot tell you how very much I needed and am enjoying this three-day weekend, but I’m going to try…

Remember the insomnia I recently lamented? Well, Friday and Saturday nights I slept all the way through, and then some. And last night, although I did have some awake time in the wee hours, I went back to sleep until 8:30 this morning! I’m beyond grateful for good sleep. If you sleep well on a regular basis, stop right now and thank God for that gift!

I’ve been productive in a few things (laundry, grocery shopping, finishing a scarf), but mostly I’ve rested and relaxed and knitted and read and watched tv and celebrated Paul’s birthday (Saturday) and Valentine’s Day.

I kicked off the weekend of chill by knitting:

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On Saturday we celebrated Paul’s birthday with dinner at Ted’s:

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teds

 

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And on Valentine’s Day, we went to church, looked at houses (we’re trying to find one to buy), then went to a nice dinner at The Edison:

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And now on this Monday morning, it’s nearly noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I slept in, spent time reading, drinking coffee, and visiting with my stepson. I’m about to pull out the knitting again.

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So the weekend of chill continues. It’s wonderful.

Happy Presidents’ Day, y’all!

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this Christmas will be a little different

candleTrue confession: This year, in a huge departure for me, I’m not really decking the halls. We’re currently renting, and much of our stuff is packed up. All of my Christmas treasures are in a mini-warehouse, and this year I just don’t have the energy to go through all the boxes, decide what can fit in this house, and haul it all around. So Paul came home with a tiny Charlie Brown Christmas tree and a couple of poinsettias the other day, and that will pretty much be the extent of it.

(Right now, I’m listening to my Christmas playlist, enjoying the Salted Caramel candle from my son and his wife, and drinking a cup of coffee.  It’s pretty nice.)

I’ve decided that I’m okay with that this year, and my people tell me they’re okay with it, too. I’ll really enjoy the next time I can pull out the Christmas china, my Santa collection, the needlepoint stockings, and put the hula-dancing Santa on the tree.

Having a merry little Christmas,

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monday miscellany

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve linked to all the things. Here are a few clicks for this week:

~ Some encouraging news: millennial are out-reading older generations.

~ And more optimism: why you’ve been duped into believing the myth that the world is getting worse and worse. It’s worth reading all the way to the end.

~ My dear friend in Hawaii hit it out of the park with this post on narcissism.

~ A good commentary: I am a Christian but I don’t follow Christ:

…Christianity is not a choose-your-own-adventure story in which you get to define the terms of your relationship to God. God has defined the terms of our redemption, and they are irreducibly Christocentric. God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf in order that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus taught us that we receive this salvation by repenting of our sin and trusting in Christ to save us (Mark 1:15). That conversion issues forth in a life devoted to God and His purposes. To miss these truths is to miss Christianity altogether.

~ I hate wire shelves, so I appreciated this: how to change up wire shelves for less than $10.

~ The reign of recycling. Yep, good intentions aren’t always enough.

That’s it for this rainy Monday. Have a good one!

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saturday afternoon

It’s another gray, gloomy Saturday, but at least we have a little taste of cooler fall temperatures. I’m happily at home, with a huge pot of Brunswick stew (recipe below) on the stove, a sweet dog nearby, and football on the big screen. We’re dog-sitting for my parents this weekend, so I’ve had a little sidekick:

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I haven’t made Brunswick stew in years, but Paul and Stephen both expressed an interest. (I really like cooking when folks appreciate it.) People can get a little crazy over Brunswick stew preferences, but here’s the tried and true recipe I use. I love that it makes a huge pot because leftovers are always a blessing.

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Brunswick Stew

1 whole fryer (about 3 pounds)

2 stalks celery – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion – quartered

water

2 (10-oz) packages frozen lima beans

2 (10-oz) packages frozen kernel corn

1 cup chopped onion

2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

1 (8-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon salt

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste

Combine chicken, celery, onion, and enough water to almost cover the chicken in a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove chicken, celery, and onion from broth, reserving broth in pot; discard celery and onion. Cool chicken; skin, bone, and coarsely chop meat. Add chicken, lima beans, and remaining ingredients to broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 4 1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring often. Add water if/as needed.
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The Auburn game is starting in a few minutes, so I’ll be flipping back and forth between that and the UGA/Bama game while knitting. Go Dawgs! 🙂

Oh, and another tidbit about the Brunswick stew: My dad says it’s good to eat when you’re sick because it looks the same coming up as it does going down. You’re welcome.

Happy Saturday y’all and War Eagle!

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hey there

As you already know if you follow me on instagram, I’m once again obsessed with knitting. That has cut into my reading time — and into my blogging. So here’s a brief attempt at catching up a little.

~ I mentioned that when my son was visiting recently, he interviewed me for his podcast. That episode is now up, so you can listen in to our late night conversation if you’re so inclined. We chatted about photography, blogging, knitting, football, and my need for speed. It’s a pretty mellow episode, so grab some caffeine first.

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~ I’m working on an easy drop stitch scarf with a skein of yarn I bought earlier this year in California. It’s turning out really cool, and it’s an easy pattern.

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~ September is coming to a dreary, wet close. It looks gray and cool outside, but it’s really muggy and warm. I’m pretending otherwise, however, and am putting myself in a fall frame of mind with flowers, a scented candle, and lots of coffee.

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~ I’m still working on the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine, but I’m not on schedule. I’m not giving up, though.

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So that’s a quick round-up of what’s going on around here.

Happy fall y’all,
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