Whoa. I haven’t written since LAST Sunday? Whew. It has been quite a week here. Lots of normal busyness, a hefty dose of traditional and nontraditional holiday activity, some returning health and vitality (and the attendant long runs outdoors) and some brand new stressful surprises too. You know, totally perfect normal life stuff. How have YOU been?
As usual I have about three thousand great philosophical things I’d like to sit and talk to you about, as well as some easy, fun stuff:
- I want to tell you all about two books I read this past week or so: Stitched by Anne Lamott and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Have you also read them? I really need to talk about them. These titles are similar in message but vastly different in voice. I predict few people will groove them both too hard. But I did.
- You should totally make the pretzel-crusted salted-caramel brownies I tried from Ruth over at Living Well Spending Less. But do not overbake them or the caramel might pop out your fillings.
- From now on when I make pie crust, I shall always and forever use half butter and half shortening or lard, instead of all butter. Still delicious and sooooo much flakier! It makes me want to make every pie recipe in the entire universe.
- A Pinterest board I am curating with a handful of girlfriends, Gratitude and Joy Seeking, is gradually collecting lots of followers, and I am sitting here weighing different things we could do with that.
- I am fully, joyfully invested in Christmas right now. Inwardly I have been for a couple of weeks, but now that Thanksgiving has been fulfilled, beautifully I might add, my house and everything else can catch up to the colors, sparkles, and music in my heart. And especially since the Christmas season is a bit shorter this year, I vote for maxing it out with love and joy every single day!
- Do you know how powerful giving thanks is? Do you have any inkling of what is at your fingertips when you use your imagination to its fullest positive potential? Beauty, miracles, grace, and new life are around every corner, in every dim circumstance, if we apply faith and allow Love to have Its perfect way.
- Have you walked around outside at night lately? My gosh. Here in Oklahoma, the night skies will take your breath away. Last night we had a bonfire party with friends and family, and for a while about a third of us went on a star-gazing hike. It felt wonderful. It makes me deliciously dizzy to gaze up like that in a cold, dark field… Then getting still and cozy again by the fire is just perfect.
- Our llamas are suddenly spoiled rotten, hand-fed creatures. They are all three still cat-like in their willingness to be held and fully cuddled, but lately a person can hardly walk out to the middle field without being surrounded by three fuzzy, begging little divided noses. It makes the buff a little sad. He feels ever so slightly neglected.
- You mamas out there will understand this… My heart is made light and airy, strong and bright golden, when I get long, loving text messages from my children. I am so thankful for this right now! What a wonderful week. I have a couple of really fun daughter-related details coming soon… So happy!
- Hey, can we please talk about what to do in the garden this time of year? I am currently experimenting with manure tea for indoor gardening projects, and it just makes me so dang excited for spring. I know. It’s barely winter. CALM DOWN LADY.
- I am going to work on a required reading list for women like me. Care to contribute ideas?
- Sewing takes up all of my spare time lately, which is flat out wonderful. If you happen to be in the market for an apron or some such textile-ish item for Christmas gifting, send me a message.
- It’s that time of year when I drink coffee early every morning, work hard around the farm, run a few miles, take a shower, then drink hot tea every afternoon, before the men drive home from work. I am usually reading or writing during these breaks. What is it about the pre-dawn hour and the pre-dinner hour that make my mind work in this hot beverage kind of way? Do you do this?
- Have you heard the new Macklemore song? What is your favorite new music lately?
- Foggy mornings at the farm have given me pause to consider the necessarily slow pace of life right now. More on this later, but just take heart that if you are being urged or forced to live one day at a time… You are not alone. Not at all. It’s totally ok.