To live content with small means.William Henry Channing
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
and wealthy not rich.
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
I’ve been going through all of my social media sites lately and culling quite a bit. You see, I have the unfortunate habit of clicking “save for later” or whatever the equivalent is on each site. So I’ve amassed an insurmountable heap of digital content that I will never get through, nor would I ever want to try. Things that may have interested me five years ago hold less sheen and shimmer now.
But what I do enjoy is that I’m a word hoarder. I have journals filled completely with little scraps of beauty that I find in books or quotes from songs or sermons or what have you. In the culling process for all of these digital articles, I’m finding a treasure trove of words that I’ve collected on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest as well. (Like the poem above.) So I’m working on gathering them all together in one place, so I can read them on days when I need a good word.
Life has been less beauty-filled and more grin and bear it around here. We’ve had plumbing difficulties which lead to a lot of laundry from the sopping up of plumbing messes. And dishes piling up because everything is slow to get a fix for here in France. And I haven’t washed dishes in three days except for a couple of desperation rounds washed in the bathtub. So my cooking is all off-kilter as well because I’m trying to create as little dish disaster as possible.
It’s a hot mess. But it’s real life.
Also, we’ve been trying to evaluate one of our kids for a learning disorder. It appears that he may not have this particular learning disorder but that he struggles immensely and needs extra help in a certain area.
And some of the kids have had just genuinely angry days. My husband worked a Long Week last week; he’s working a shorter week this week. But the kids have not adjusted to the spontaneity of their Daddy’s schedule after years of predictability and availability. And sometimes that comes out in anger.
So I’ve been lax on my projects. But today I managed to pick some up for a few hours while listening to kids reading to each other or watching kids do some independent portions of their homeschool.
I’m nearly finished with this hurdler stitch scarf. I still have the mustard/gold baby blanket on a crochet hook, but as he’s not due till February, I need to prioritize winter and Christmas gifts first.
So I began this linen stitch scarf for one of twenty-odd scarves I’m going to attempt to make in the next two months. (I have ambitions that are overly high sometimes… I’m aware of this.) We work with 13 to 15 teenage boys who have completely heartbreaking stories, and I’d like to make them each a scarf for Christmas if I can. At the very least, the kids are going to be making them a Christmas cookie/goodie care package, but I’d love to include scarves, as many of them are frequently cold due to not being from this climate.
So yes, you’ll be seeing a lot of scarves here. Hopefully some fun color combinations. There are also a few odd family Christmas gifts that I need to make up as well. I don’t think I’m going to get to my own kids’ slippers that I have good intentions about. But as I’ve just made several of them scarves and made large blankets for all of them, I think we’re good for a teensy while. They’ll be getting cardigans for Christmas anyway. (Sadly, not handmade, but at least it’s something.) What’s that old joke about the cobbler’s children never having any shoes?