Since autumn is meandering into winter, I would have to say that I am loving the views through the barren branches as the sun sets in the west. It is true that in the season of winter, you can see things that were hidden in the lush season of summer.
I love donning boots, leggings, and the softest sweatshirt I can find. I also love that first big inhale of the icy temperatures as I head outside in the morning.
I continue to take a photo of my garden every day that I am at home. Here is what it looked like this morning.
The grass is still green because the cold hasn’t fully set in. But, the flowers are resting. The supporting stems stand out – it’s their time to shine. The roses are always the last to drop their petals. Because I am so kinesthetic, I LOVE seeing the textures and variations and contrasts. The beauty strikes me as peaceful and calm. You can almost hear the quiet.
I’m still getting used to cooking many days for just two or three. I just apologized to Josh this morning because I either run out of milk or it goes bad before it is gone. Oh well.
I needed to reignite my love of cooking in this season of cooking either for a few or for a lot. Shauna Niequist’s new book, Bread and Wine, was just what I needed. Her book isn’t just filled with great recipes, it’s filled with the story behind the food. For a woman who loves stories AND cookbooks as much as I do, this was perfect.
Even though I don’t eat wheat, I love making her Sullivan’s Homemade Bread. It comes out EVERY time just Panera’s crusty round loaves. No kneading or no prior bread making skill is required. If you love homemade bread and have a bowl and a wooden spoon, you can make this. It is foolproof. The cookbook would pay for itself in no time if all you ever made was the bread.
When I’ve tried a new recipe lately that Ron loves, all he asks now is, “Shauna’s?”
Sure I know that you can get free patterns to download from Pinterest or Ravelry. I’ve done it numerous times. But there is something special about combining story with knitting patterns. (Notice a trend here?) My favorite knitting book, My Grandmother’s Knitting, invites us to step back into time. The yarns, the colors, and the styles are reminiscent of an era when everyone moved a bit more slowly and gracefully. I want to knit practically every pattern in the book.
Larissa Brown did a wonderful job gathering stories from many about their early knitting inspirations. I love hearing a woman write about how her grandma taught her how to knit a simple dishcloth. It has reminded me of the many ways my grandma’s creativity continues to flow through me. After my Christmas presents are knitted, I have my eyes on a pair of gloves to knit – in fact, I already have the yarn.
Even though I read Anna Karenia by Leo Tolstoy once before, I was drawn to its richness this past summer. Fortunately, I didn’t have to keep a list of characters to keep all the Russian names straight this time for instead I was swept into the story almost immediately. Finishing this book requires some perseverance, but for me, it was worth it. It took all summer long, and even after I finished it, I knew I would pick it up again in the future.
I was super excited to hear Brene Brown speak at the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek this summer. So excited that I had already purchased her book, Daring Greatly. After reading just the introduction of that, I ordered two more of her books, The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It was Just Me.
Oh. my. goodness. These books are changing me. I’m letting go of the need to be everything to everybody. I’m noticing the many ways shame has crippled me. I’m embracing the truth that existed all along. What God has given me is enough. I am enough.
I will be writing a lot about this in days to come. But, if any of you ever wonder if you are really enough, read these books. And stay in touch with my future posts
Home by Marilynne Robinson. I read her book, Gilead, and loved her ability to make me feel like I was right there. I think because it is the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we all long for something that feels like home. I’m going to trade off between my knitting needles, crochet hooks, and the pages of this book as the daylight dwindles.