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!



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:


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.


Brunswick Stew

1 whole fryer (about 3 pounds)

2 stalks celery – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion – quartered


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.

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!


“…with some pleasant inns…”

cslewisFrom A Year With C.S. Lewis:

The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

–from The Problem of Pain

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.


~ 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.


~ 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.





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


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

Happy fall y’all,

random thoughts

~ I don’t know what’s worse: walking out of a dressing room when nothing fits or walking out when everything fits.

~ We recently rented a condo on the Gulf coast, and it was crammed full of useless “decorative” items (a large frog with artificial greenery coming out of the top, odd fish-shaped vases, etc.). It was a small studio condo, which was all we needed, but it felt even smaller because of all the clutter. Less really is more, you know.

~ Fall is in the air. I’m so happy. But what’s with the pumpkin-spiced everything? We recently went to a Mexican restaurant, and at their hostess desk, a heavily fall-scented candle was burning. Um, pumpkin-spiced Mexican food does not smell good, y’all.

~ I went back on Whole30 for a whole five days. It made a difference, though, and I do feel better. It was a good detox from vacation.

~ Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Or don’t. So there will be more for me.

~ I’m back on a knitting binge. I’ve got so many projects in progress and in the queue, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got my Auburn football scarf all ready to resume during tonight’s game, a spur-of-the-moment easy drop stitch scarf on my needles, a complicated shawl waiting patiently at the bottom of my awesome knitting tote, a wrap I’m itching to start, a class to take in a couple of weeks, and countless patterns pinned and saved in Ravelry.



~ Today is a Saturday with nothing on the calendar except a football game tonight. I’ll be making a Costco run, cooking, and cleaning, with college football as my soundtrack. Yep, I love fall.

~ Late start this morning. Yay!

~ Hey, if you’re in a drive-thru line, would you please consider pulling up close to the car in front of you? When you leave a car length or more, you leave folks hanging out in the road. Thanks ever so much.

~ I’ve got a bad case of TrumpFatigue. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any more about him.

~ Speaking of politics, so glad Boehner is out and I wish he’d grab a few others as he heads off into the sunset.

Signing off now to get started on my Saturday. What’s on your agenda?



I can’t believe I’m saying this after that terrible loss to LSU, but yesterday was a really good day. My son was down for a visit, and we spent the day together. He had a podcast interview with The Sturdy Brothers in Thomasville, so we headed north on a beautiful fall day. We enjoyed coffee at our favorite spot, and then he did his interview while I camped out at The Fuzzy Goat to knit. It’s the coziest spot in town.



On the way out of town, we stopped by my sister’s house for a visit with their family, and then we grabbed a late lunch in Tallahassee before getting home to watch LSU crush Auburn. I worked on my Auburn scarf (more on that project later) while wailing and gnashing my teeth.


Paul took Will for a ride in his beloved 1970 Camaro, and he gave Will a turn at the wheel. I missed all of that fun, but I did snap a pic in the driveway.


After the game Paul, Will, and I went out for sushi, and we just happened to find out during our conversation that Paul had never seen Face/Off.  We rectified that after dinner, and Paul may never forgive us. Around 10:30, Will remembered that he was going to interview me for a future podcast, so we did a late night (waaaayyy past my bedtime!) thing that will probably be as exciting as an NPR episode. (More on this later, too.)


I ended the day by watching Ole Miss beat Bama – the cherry on top of my day. ;)

Family, football, knitting, hanging out, a beautiful day… these are a few of my favorite things.

Tired but happy,



“God was working all night long…”

storminsideFrom Sheila Walsh in The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are: [emphasis mine]

In 1956 Cecil B. DeMille directed the epic movie The Ten Commandments, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. It’s hard to forget that moment when Charlton Heston, cast as Moses, raises his staff over the Red Sea and the waters part in seventeen seconds. It was a moment of pure drama back in 1956, but it’s not the way it happened. The way it actually happened is far more meaningful to us as we face life’s inevitable storms. We read the story in Exodus 14.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (Exodus 14:21–22 ESV)

All night long! It didn’t happen in a moment. God was working all night long through the darkness. We don’t know how long the night will be, but we do know this: no matter how things appear, God is at work—all night long! Only the morning light will reveal what God has done. Do not despair or give in to the chaos of what you feel. Stand strong on what you know is true.

all good things must come to an end

Well, we’re back to reality. Or almost. We got back home earlier today, and I’ve been busy unpacking, restocking the fridge, and doing laundry. I’m back on the Whole30 wagon tomorrow, so I boiled eggs, made a big salad, cut up some veggies, and have some chicken marinating.

We return rested and relaxed and grateful for our time away. Paul and I agree that we have fun traveling together and even going to Costco together. We’re grateful.

Here are a few more photos from our time away:

coffee with a nice view



not a cloud in the sky…

umbrella, multiple layers of SPF, hat, sunglasses — it’s hard to be a white girl in the sun.

nice view! ;)


chips & salsa for lunch

last evening on vacation

We stayed on 30A, and enjoyed the scenery and several good meals. Our favorites: The Great Southern Cafe (we liked it better than Bud & Alley’s), The Perfect Pig, and La Cocina Mexican Bar and Grill.



the beach

Paul and I are enjoying a little getaway to celebrate our first anniversary. Yesterday and most of today was dreary with rain and clouds, but the weather began clearing up late this afternoon:







We haven’t minded the non-beachy weather; we’ve done some outlet shopping, watched football (if Auburn doesn’t kill me one day, it’ll be a miracle), gone to a movie, taken naps, and enjoyed some really good meals. Tomorrow the forecast calls for sunshine, so I suppose I’ll spend the day trying to keep from frying my white skin.


I remember

[a repost from 2013]

A co-worker asked me yesterday where I was on September 11th. I told her I was living in Montgomery, Alabama and in my second year of homeschooling Will and Caroline. He was a fourth grader, and she was in second. On that very mundane early fall morning, we were sitting at our dining room table with our books when my mom called and told me to turn on the television. And then I was on the phone with my sister as I watched the towers fall.

My little second grader drew her feelings that day:


A horrible day, wasn’t it? So much fear — was this just the beginning? Those people in New York City, Washington, DC, that field in Pennsylvania! Their families! All of those firemen! As a military family, what did it mean for our future? Who would do such a thing to our country? So many questions. Glued to the television.

Since that awful day, I’ve often heard it referred to as a tragedy. That makes me a little nuts. It is not simply a tragedy — something that just happened to happen to people. It was an act of war — acts of pre-meditated terror and evil inflicted on people like you and me. And then it was rejoiced over by other humans, twisted and dark and evil. Nope, not “just” a tragedy. It was evil.

Where were you?