Friday, August 11, 2017

short cut blogging

Hello lovely ones,

How's your week been?

Most Fridays by the time I finally sit down with my laptop I generally know what I'm going to write my blog about. Most Fridays I've been thinking about something, or feeling something, or making something and as soon as I've loaded the photos the words come. Not always the words I expect, not always in one go, not always in order and definitely not always in any sort of readable state. But over time the sentences and themes emerge, I type them, I rearrange them, I delete some and then, mostly, by the time I press publish, I'm happy I have.

But not today. It's been a bit of a messy old week and somehow it's gotten to an hour before I have to go and pick up Pepper from school and I feel rushed, and I haven't had lunch and I'm hungry, and what I really feel like is a cup of tea in Bren's workshop and a few rows of my socks.

So if it's all the same to you I think I'll load the bunch of photos I took this morning which will give you a little glimpse into my right now, I'll write a tiny bit about each one and then we can all go along our merry ways and hopefully have a wonderful weekend.

Here goes:

This is Miss Pepper's cat who until recently was called Popcorn but then somehow during a particularly intense Orange Is The New Black binging session, had a name change to Poussey Washington. It's such a good cat name and it just rolls off the tongue, don't ya think. She doesn't look like she minds anyway.

This is farmer Bren axing a bowl blank out of a piece of apple wood. He has plans to make us all breakfast bowls. I can't wait to see them.

This is of a pile of blankets that I've made on a shelf in our studio. The pile grows and shrinks as girls take blankets to put on their beds and snuggle on the couch and then put them back, but these three seem to remain the constants.

These are my baby cabbages. I tell you what, growing plants from seeds never fails to excite me. Each one of those stems and little leaves feels like a lucky blessing. I love germinating seeds, it seems to make sense even when the rest of the world doesn't.

We have a metal filing cabinet where we store our seeds. Packets and jars of saved and bought seeds all filed by the first letter of their name. These are the seeds I've pulled out over the past few weeks optimistically hoping to get a head start on spring. It's a bit of a mess. We are hoping to get organised and keep really good records this year so when next season rolls around it'll be less of a guessing game and more of a knowing game. Although working under Mother Nature you can never really be sure.

This is the book I'm reading. I love the cover. It's about Trevor Noah, who was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time in apartheid South Africa where such a union was punishable by five years imprisonment. It's an easy read but I'm finding it hard to really get stuck into it. I think that's because the last book I read, Idaho painted a picture that was so vivid that I felt like I'd watched a whole movie by the time I'd finished. I could not put it down and then I could not stop thinking about it once I had. What a magnificent book. I hope that this one grabs me soon and takes me on a journey with it like Idaho did.

This is a cup/bowl that Bren carved during the week out of Native Cherry. It's such a beautiful piece and when you hold it up to the light, parts of it glow bright pink. Right now it's drying out slowly in that pile of wood shavings but I cannot wait to see how it dries and how it looks when it's oiled. we're not sure how it'll hold hot coffee, but gosh wouldn't that be a perfect way to honour one of my favourite rituals.

This is an arm warmer I knitted for someone I've never met who asked for one via a local Facebook page. Apparently it fits and is exactly what they were after. Yay!

This is a slipper I knitted for a giant. Oops. Just a gentle reminder to knit a gauge square when you are knitting an old fave pattern but in new to you yarn.

These are the first socks I ever knitted, three years ago almost to the the day. Look at how much they've faded. I still love them and wear them often despite the hole in the sole of one of them.

These are the socks I am currently knitting. Colour work is addictive! I can't wait to grab a chunk of time tonight to knit some more. I've gone up a needle size to 2.5 because the last pair of patterned socks I knitted were too tight. Fingers crossed these ones turn out just right.

This week is musical week for our big girls. This is the puzzle we've been doing with Pepper while they've been busy rehearsing and performing. It's of Santorini in Greece. It's hard to imagine that it's been almost two years since we were there ourselves.

It's raining as I type this and with all the mucking around it's almost three hours since I started.

And by mucking around I mean pestering my youngest sister by text, watering the greenhouse, picking Pep up from school, putting some washing away, making myself a snack, pulling out some weeds, crying to Bren about the state of the world and our country, reading and looking at everything on Facebook and Instagram, feeding the fire and scrolling through Ravelry. But I guess some days are just more straight forward that others.

So that's me and my meant to be quick blog that ended up taking hours.

How about you, what do you like to do to procrastinate?
Are you a good seed organiser? Garden record keeper?
Do you get obsessed and stay up way too late at night looking for just one more puzzle piece?
What are you making/baking/reading/planning?
I'd love to know.

I hope your weekend is exactly what you need it to be.

Love is love,



Friday, August 4, 2017

once upon a winter's day

For the first few days after I published my blog last week I felt like I was free-falling.  Going through my days without a small voice in my head telling me what else I could be doing felt disconcerting, like I was off balance, like something was missing.

As your comments started coming in and it became apparent how many of us are feeling the same way it occurred to me that we're conditioned to move forward and gather skills, possessions, degrees, jobs, stories, partners, friends, wealth, almost since the moment we draw our first breath. Standing still, being happy with what we have and not wanting more, feels almost unnatural.

Then after a while, as I reconciled your comments with the way I'd been feeling, the bossy voices in my head quietened down and I began to feel present and still. For as long as I can remember that voice has been nagging at me to hurry up and finish with the laundry so I can paint that mural on the studio wall, finish writing my blog so I can get going on that book idea, put down my sock knitting so I can design something fabulous, stop what I'm doing and learn something, teach something, work at something, get out there, make a difference...

Being free of this voice for the past few days has been wonderful. A few days ago I went into the forest for an armful of kindling and found myself on my hands and knees examining the moss and wild animal poo. Yesterday I sat in the chair next to the fire in Bren's workshop in the middle of the day and cast off my socks. And this morning I went for a walk with the sole purpose of looking for bulbs and signs of spring. I've listened to my girls' stories, I've watered and observed the progress of every single pot in the greenhouse, I stole 20 minutes to read my book in the middle of the day, and I sat by the campfire eating dinner and watched each of my people in turn, listened to their stories and felt lucky to know them.

And I've noticed that the lack of the need for progress hasn't meant that I haven't been productive. Not at all. As well as all the usual daily bits, I've started baking bread again after years of buying it from an organic bakery in town, I've planted hundreds of seeds in the greenhouse, I've prepared a garden bed for planting, I've taken on a knitting project for someone I've never met and I've felt calmer and more grounded than I have in ages.

I'm not saying that I'm all zen or anything, just a bit more at peace. And I have been sleeping better which might be a coincidence, but is definitely awesome.

I'm not convinced yet that this peace will last.

As much as that statement upset my farmer boy when I said it to him yesterday, I am aware that I am pushing up against 45 years of habit as well as bitter winter winds that threaten to throw me off balance and demand movement and new and change.

But from where I'm sitting right now (up against the heating panel in my bedroom), being content with my simple life, taking my cues from Mother Nature and enjoying and engaging with this stage and this phase and the right now, feels just right.

I hope you're feeling it too, I really do.

In other news I am in the middle of reading my sister Abby's copy of Idaho. It took me ages to settle into a book after finishing Eleanor Oliphant but this one, despite the fact that it's pretty bleak, grabbed me after the first page.

I am listening to and loving the second series of Homecoming, a psychological thriller in a podcast. It's so beautifully produced and scripted, I can't wait for the next instalment.

I am darning in the ends of the Bavarian cable socks. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn half way through the cast off and had to choose the closest I had, but hopefully you won't notice unless you put your nose on my ankle. Which truth be told would be a bit weird of you.

I am casting on a plain blue sleeve for someone and these soon to be very patterned socks for someone else. I might also knit some quick, chunky slippers because concrete floors and bitter winters do not go very well together.

And I am picking and cooking loads of brussel sprouts, planting broad beans and cabbages, sipping the most beautiful tea that gorgeous Tara from Nourish and Nest sent me as a present, aching from last night's body combat and pump classes, trying to drink more water, watching episode two of The Handmaid's Tale, feeling frustrated by how limiting dark winter days are for photography, splitting wood for the fire, hurting my foot with the wood splitter (so silly), contemplating a steaming hot bubble bath, thinking about how my dad is taking each of his daughters out for coffee separately and wondering if I should do the same, and hoping that the blizzardy weather on the weekend is not as bad as they're predicting, although by the way the wind is howling out there it feels like they might be right.

Oh and I'm trying to get back to each of you who has left me a comment, but sometimes I'm better at it than others. If you leave me a message on my blog, I'm trying to reply in the comments of that blog. Facebook and Instagram and Bloglovin', I'll reply there. And email for some reason is my hardest to get to, but I am getting there, mostly. And if for some reason I haven't, please know that I have read what you've written and have thought about it, it's just hard to get onto the computer sometimes. Blog comments are so important to me. It's so heartening to know that there are people out there reading and interacting. So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for taking the time, I truly love and appreciate every single word. You guys are the greatest!!

And that's where I'm at.

How about you?
Are you slowing down and enjoying your simple life? Or are you not quite there yet?
If you shut your eyes right now what can you hear?
If you had a choice between meat or lentil Bolognese, which one would you choose?

I hope your weekend is kind to you.

Love, Kate


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