Archives for category: Crafting

Our Christmas seasons can be fraught with gift needs and wants, places to be, people to see. There are gifts wants and needs and people we would like to see, but no fraught (fret?). Not this year.


I grew up in a family with faults far too numerous to count and far too in the past now to dredge. But there were some really cool things, too, that I have chosen to carry into this moment in my life. Like the sincere appreciation for homemade gifts. So, many years I make some if not all of the gifts even when I know they are not appreciated. I had the recipient in mind through the process and so the gift is a piece of me on behalf of my family.



This year there are not so many homemade things. I don’t know why. There just isn’t. And it’s OK. I’m not in the least bothered by it as I would have been in the past. I don’t know why. I’m OK with not knowing why.


My Husband comes about the holidays in a different way than I do. He likes to go and look a half dozen times and then pick up a few things here and there. Stealing a piece of a text with my Sister …

That’s a big part of what gets his mind in the right place for the holidays. Funny how I just want to be home and bake and make while he wants to be out and about. This year, for the first year, I am perfectly OK with whatever. I have no stress. So odd and awesome at the same time.

And I am OK with that. This year. Typically I get my granny panties all wadded up over it. Not this year. I don’t know why not this year, but not this year.


As I type this I am just laughing at myself. There is a brief squabble over what color the next loom band ornament should be. There is a science experiment debate over proper microscope management and there is a miniature schnauzer in desperate need of a good grooming on my lap. It’s comical. And I’m all good with that.


I am grateful for the odd and awesome.


The past few days I have been ridiculously productive. This is no good. I am confident I am setting myself up to feel like a  failure when I do nothing. Probably today. No. Wait. Today starts Hanukkah! There is surely some crafting to do. Here are some of the ideas I have gleaned. And this is my favorite take on a menorah EVER. We’ll probably use leftover glass rather than buy anything. I don’t think God cares. I think He is joyful.


And there went my feeling of failing … I don’t know that experimenting with floating wick prototypes qualifies as doing nothing.


No. We’re not Jewish. We’re not pagan, either, but the children have celebrated Samhain before. And we’ll probably enjoy Muharram towards its end. I think it is fun and we learn. All of us. And not always things we wish to know. Knowledge, no less.


As for the fermented cranberry sauce? I will open it for a taste this afternoon. It *looks* like it “worked.” Monday, I started a gift for my Husband: true pickled eggs. They’re still sitting in the dark. The ones I made for him last year…eh.


The Villi yogurt has made a full quart. Eh. Not so crazy about the taste. But perhaps as the tang develops in the starter. In the meantime, I have a batch in the crockpot right now.

The day began with a mistake. I will never again turn the TV on the day after a deranged human kills children. Because it will happen again and I will spend ten minutes wasting tears and becoming angry. I’ll stick with prayer.

Running into a Radio Flyer with removable rails while walking through a dark garage hurts. Badly. A week later.

Hand me downs are the ultimate form of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Plus they fight consumerism!

I am only “on the fringe” because so many users rely on my family for their lifestyle.

Opening windows, even just a wee bit, on a 60 degree day in December changes how the house feels. Aaaaahhhh.

Everyone should have an Uncle D and Aunt J. Terribly jealous and joyful at the same time!

I’m not a big fan of Christmas. The consumerism nauseates me. It’s just a day randomly selected to celebrate my Savior’s birth. I’d prefer to celebrate the randomly-selected half birthday on June 25.

Decembeaver. All about that.

Kids on skates and blades and scooters on a sun-soaked concrete pad surrounded by woods is a delightful scene.

The bird feeders need more seed.

But I’m going to knit a while longer first.


The morning is nearly gone. It began with my Husband and our humorous reflection of punk business people thinking they’d pulled a fast one. Then frustrated reflection about other business people who are bulldogging a situation. Y’know … that all is what it is. And we can only control our circumstances. And, if the Mayans are correct (even though they missed their whole Spanish demise) then does it really matter?

But my Husband left to earn our keep and the day progressed. We’ve made a fresh carpet for the playhouse.



We’ve baked a gingerbread house sans buttered molds…

(perfect for morning snacking)

And a house with buttered molds…

And another in the oven now.

We’ve set the sprouts out to dry and green. Kelly Mae found just the right spot for good light.


Rebekah Anne has helped me work the yogurt


and she has helped me feed the sourdough starter and make the dough for its first 24 hour rise.


Kelly Mae taught Sawyer to latch hook while Rebekah Anne and I worked in the kitchen.


Reade was at the table doing a Physical Science experiement.



And when Laura Lea finally woke at 1038a, she ate some crumbled gingerbread and Sawyer taught her to latch hook and she’s been busy since.


I suppose now we’ll begin to pick up the house and then have a yummy lunch.


Not sure what our afternoon will bring… Does it matter? No. Life is good. Even if it’s about to end Mayan-style.

This series of texts today was just funny to me.

Me: Do we have a hand crank tool that digs holes in wood? If not, how do you advise me to dig holes in a piece of wood to hold some candles?

(a brief pause)

Husband: Let me drill it

Me: Hmm. Can you do that at work? I need a piece of wood with nine holes. Nothing fancy, I want rustic.

Me: And can you do it today? Just realized Hannakuh starts tonight.

Me: Can I drill it? Is the drill downstairs?

(a lengthy pause)

Husband: I will do when I get home. Reade can help.

Husband: Oh he’s camping. What time does he leave?

Me: 4p. Can he and I do it?

Husband: Pls wait

Me: Ok. Thank you. ❤

(But I know he is wondering…)

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Share your moment here and look for others at SouleMama.


Sunday is a day of rest that doesn’t often seem restful. Today it started with a flurry of busy-ness but has settled into quiet enjoyment.


Today is Thanksgiving. I am simply grateful. Our sweet family is here together relaxing and enjoying what has been gifted us by our Creator.

The food is ready for its final cooking/baking.

Beef Rib Roast
Smoked Ham
BBQ Green Beans
Mam-Maw Squash Casserole
Sweet Potato Cassserole
Corn Pudding
Sausage Dressing
Mam-Maw Biscuits

I am on the deck sitting in the sun knitting.

Sawyer is beside me doodling in his new doodle book gifted him by Xan.

Rebekah Anne is sitting with me also, working on her first complete cross-stitch project.

Kelly Mae was sitting with me and quizzing me (translate “ribbing me”) about my inability to Black Friday shop. But she has moved onto the barn with the others.

The others are at the barn with my Husband helping Reade set up to flesh the deer hide from his hunt this morning.

It is quiet. Simply quiet. I am simply grateful.


There are two things that tie for first of my favorite things to do for myself. Useful Handwork and Useful Gardening.

Reade and I just pulled up the sweet potatoes. Not as good as last year’s harvest, but good enough for Thanksgiving. A couple missed carrots, too. Now our garden is down to only peppers, kale, and greens. Kind of makes me sad. Planning for next year has already begun!


My hand is for reference of size of a couple of the potatoes. Only planted 6 plants, 4 survived so not bad. And I have my own slips for next year!

Sunday is a day of rest that doesn’t often seem restful. This rainy, quiet Sunday I am sitting under a down blanket doing some elfin knitting while Rebekah Anne is cuddled up against me.