Tag Archives: journal

November Things

A few things that stood out this November:

1. My son turned 2 this month, and since bananas are his favorite fruit (probably favorite food), we had a banana split party.

2. I released the pattern for The Ramona Cropped Ringer Tee. You can find the pattern in my shop here, or on Ravelry here.

3. My husband and I had a mini-vacation sans child, thanks to my in-laws watching our son for a couple nights. It was the first time we’ve had, just the two of us, like that since before he was born, and it was really lovely and needed, and we were both really thankful. We stayed close to home, basically acting like tourists in our own city. We ate at several restaurants we’d never tried before and also visited a local gourmet chocolate shop. Their salted caramel hot chocolate is probably my favorite I’ve ever had, such good flavor and just the right amount of richness for you to take time with each sip and really savor it. We also tried several of their handmade confections, and my favorite of those happened to be their salted caramel-filled dark chocolate candy. My husband also got a white hot chocolate that he said was really good, too.

October Things

A few things that stood out this October:

1. My toddler has been learning random letters and numbers (I’m assuming starting preschool this fall has helped spur this at least a little bit) so we’re really trying to run with it. He really loves the letter ‘O’ and will point it out and shout intensely, “OOOOO!” when he sees one.

2. I finished the updated draft of a star stitch sweater and it’s now ready to be edited and graded. Woo!

3. We took my son to a pumpkin patch/apple orchard for the first time. It was mostly fun and he enjoyed having the freedom to run around, but that made it a bit harrowing for my husband and me since the orchard we went to didn’t have the best parking set up and the apples trees were located on the side of a steep hill. Definitely more suitable for older kids. When we took him to the actual patch to pick a pumpkin, I don’t think he quite understood what to do, so we picked a green one for him since he’d been really interested in a green one they’d had over near the games area.

Missing Autumn Weather

My favorite season has always been spring, and second is autumn. They are quite similar. Sadly, we don’t really get either of them in the southern US anymore, just a few days of that sweet in-between of t-shirt weather and gentle breezes, and then weeks of back and forth icy cold and steaming hot, until the forthcoming summer or winter season finally wins out.

I’ve been thinking about this lately as I walk into town a lot with my son. We haven’t done too much walking during the height of summer as temps have been pretty high, and this leads me to thinking how harsh the cold will be eventually and how he might not experience those autumn-y days in the same way I did.

For me, as a kid, autumn seemed to start in August, just as school was back in, and stretch for weeks. But the past several years it feels like it lasts about two days.

Surprisingly, it feels like September has brought the cooler weather, and I’m hoping we’ll truly take time to enjoy it while it lasts.

In between a few custom crochet orders, I’ve been working on this cardigan for my son. I try to make him a new jacket or sweater every year. This one’s been working up pretty quickly (although clothing for kids is so much smaller that it does go faster, especially with worsted weight yarn). I think the collar might be where the biggest challenge lies with this one, as I’ll be trying a shawl collar for the first time and might have to play around with increases and decreases to get a shape I’m happy with.

Tea Tales: Apple Lime Sweet Tea

In 2010, I went on a short-term mission trip to Costa Rica. The main part of the trip was spent helping build a new church and medical clinic, along with leading VBS at several surrounding churches. The last couple days were spent at a new location and were meant to be a chance to experience more of the country, rest, and reflect on the previous days before heading home.

The second location was a hotel with a breathtaking view of Arenal Volcano, and we’d been told by the previous year’s team to be sure and order their “sweet tea” at dinner because it was not what you would expect as someone from the southern US, where we’re know for our cold, sugary, simple tea.

Drinks were brought out to the table, most in normal glasses. But the sweet tea was served in wine glasses with paper lime and apple decorations stuck on the side and straw. We reconfirmed several times that “No, it’s not alcoholic.” Just sweet tea.

Very intense presentation, very yummy and refreshing.

We tried to decipher the ingredients and make our own version when we got back home.

For apple juice, I recommend the Simply Apple brand, as it is a pure-pressed apple juice with no added sugar, that is closer to a cider texture and taste-wise.

For tea, use any black leaf tea.

These ingredient measurements are for a single serving, but you could, of course, increase them for a full pitcher.

Tea Tales: Warm Tea In The Fridge

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For most people in the south, tea means an ice cold cup of sweet tea (black tea with lots of sugar). Growing up, that’s all we drank. No herbal teas or green teas. Nothing “fancy.”

My mom and I were a little different than most around us, though. Not that we don’t love a glass of cold sweet tea, but there was a treat we both shared a love for.

When the tea had finished steeping on the stove, Mom would pour it into a pitcher over a few scoops of sugar, add in a little more water, then stir. Once it was ready she’d put the pitcher in the fridge to cool. She’d come find me, and like a shared secret, let me know, “I just finished making tea. It’s in the fridge, so go get some now if you want it still warm.”

I’d pour some into a jelly jar glass and cup my hands around it to feel the warmth. Hold it below my nose for a bit and let the steam clear out any congestion. Then sip it slowly. I’m pretty sure I remember a few people turning their noses up at us from time to time, like, “Who drinks warm sweet tea?!” Those comments seem so silly now.

As I got older, Mom and I began to delve into the world of herbal teas. Fruit teas became a favorite, and mint. But I still love a good cup of warm black tea, sometimes with a bit of lemon juice added and mostly with honey instead of sugar. A classic a bit refined, but with humble, sweet beginnings.

Waters Wears: Friends and Flower Crowns

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Several weeks ago, my friend, Kelsey and I made some flowers crowns. Our friend, Caleb, helped us with a photoshoot a little while after that featured them. You can see the official Flower Crowns post on Kelsey’s blog here.

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These people have been my friends for years now, and though we all don’t get to hang out together as much as we used to, the times we do get to spend together are always lovely and silly. It’s nice to spend time with people you share so many inside jokes with, who’ve stuck around through awkward phases, embarrassing phases, differences in belief and choices, tears, laughs, etc. All in all, this day made me feel so joyful. I love these people. (I know, so much cheese, but it’s true.)

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(Find out more info about outfits and accessories on Kelsey’s post.)

for friends fighting hard battles

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for friends fighting hard battles

“be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”

I wish I could give your heart peace.
I wish I could say or do something to make it better.
But I can only offer that I’m here – though I
 am a bitter, selfish, prideful person, I will try my
 best to be here for you – and I can carry your burdens with you.

Don’t keep it in, don’t feel like you can’t share. If
you open up and I ignore, forget, don’t understand
 the depth of your struggles, am not there in the
 ways you need, then the fault is with me, not
you, the things you’re going through, or the way
you’re feeling.

And if you want, if you don’t mind, let me make
an attempt, however imperfect or unpoetic, however
honest and real on my part, to tell you of the
One I believe CAN give your heart peace. Who
 can do something to make it better.

 Who carried your burdens long ago.
 

I am trying to remember this message, too, dear friend.
I am feeble, fickle, weak, and small. As I said, I am
a bitter, selfish person. I am full of fear, a worrier.

 Let us walk together toward Him, learn to lay
 our burdens down and sit at His feet.

Grandma Boot’s Diary

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My Grandma Boots died December 1st, 2012, just a few weeks before her 97th birthday. When she was a young woman, she kept a diary, which my family and I cherish very much. And that’s why I’m writing this. Because I’m mad at myself.

The same month she passed, my parents house was destroyed in a fire. It was also the same month I got married. I’d had my grandmother’s journal with me at my parents,’ and hadn’t packed it to take with me to where I would be living with my husband; it wasn’t mine, and I planned for it to eventually end up back at Grandma’s (I mean, no one expects a house fire).

Oh, how I wish I hadn’t had it there. It wasn’t damaged by the fire so much as the water used to put the fire out. And that’s why I’m mad at myself. Water dilutes ink, and some of the entries in that journal just didn’t make it. Including my most favorite one. So I guess that’s why I’m putting this here, because since that entry isn’t documented in that diary anymore, I want it to be documented, to be remembered, somewhere.

A lot of the entries are short, only one or two sentences, usually about who she saw that day, the passing of a family or community member, or, most often, “I picked cotton all day.” Entries often mention her best friend and her future husband, my Granddaddy Dan.

My favorite is one where she writes of a surprise visit from my granddad, after she’s been swimming or playing in the rain with a sister or cousin (I’m sad and frustrated that I can’t remember the details), but the thing I love most about this entry is that she’s being sarcastic and humorous in it, and it’s just neat to imagine her that way. So here is my favorite line from the entry, best I can remember –

“We were soaked to the bone, and boy was I a pretty young thing for Dan to see.”

I know it’s simple, but it’s neat for me to see her being so candid amidst entries that just detailed the events of the day. It gives me a different picture of her. I love her humor at the situation. Whether she was actually embarrassed or just thought the situation itself was funny, I can’t tell. But I do love that it sounds like something I’d say if a similar thing happened to me.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to know her at my age, to know the young woman in the picture above – what books and stories would she like, what would our conversations lean toward, what inside jokes would we share? What was her fashion sense, what was her way of showing her friends and family she loved and appreciated them? What did she think about marriage and children, before she had them? I wonder if we’re any bit similar.

I could tell a ton more stories about my Grandma Boots and all the special moments we shared throughout my life, about how important a part of my life she was and is, but I’d like to just focus on this little moment today.

God bless you and yours.

Journals

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It seems like everyone who likes to keep a journal has a hard time resisting buying many more than they need. Right now, I have about five, some which are filling up fast, and some that are almost bare. As a kid, I always wanted to be someone who could keep a written journal everyday, and though I tried, it never lasted. I’ve noticed, as I’ve gotten older, however, that I can seem to keep a journal (or several), I just tend to fill it with more than just a play-by-play of my daily life.

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My journals mostly consist of clothing and project ideas, occasional story ideas and poems, and a few quotes and Bible verses. Though I generally separate some things, such as having a sketchbook primarily for sketches and drawings, and one journal devoted to story and writing related things, stuff does intermingle in some sometimes.

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I have also always had a tendency to draw on the covers of my journals (and most anything that resembles an open canvas, actually).

I love seeing pictures of other people’s journals, it’s such a neat insight into the person, and sometimes so inspiring. I wonder what mine say about me.

Have a wonderful and blessed day!

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