Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little Reminders

"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."
~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

I find that God tucks little reminders in the craziest of places.

Tonight as I was knitting and counting and slipping stitches, the rhythmic flow of moving my fingers reminded me of praying a rosary. I'm not Catholic, but for whatever reason, this small motion really had me thinking.

It also reminded me of a short story that I read with my sixth graders. Although I can't recall the title, the story tells of a time when paper and ink existed only for the most high of aristocratic peoples. Therefore, in order to record and pass along important family stories and events, knots were tied onto a series of ropes. The knots, their spacing and their locations on the rope held significant meaning, as they signaled specific details of life.


Before I knew it, I was looking at each stitch with a new appreciation. Each stitch held a memory, a thankful thought, a gentle prayer.

Needless to say, tonight's knitting took a bit longer than usual (grin).

A Work in Progress

"Our modern society is engaged in polishing and decorating the cage in which man is kept imprisoned."
~Swami Nirmalananda

I started planning this room long, long ago. Well, at any rate, it sure appears that way.

Slowly but surely, bit by bit, it's coming together.

Although my beloved desk still needs assembled and the general look requires a bit of polishing, my little office is growing into the image I've held tucked away in my creative corner-- a bit natural, a bit modern, and very clutter free.

For now, I'm just giving you this sneak peak, but be sure to come back soon. I'll be unveiling my baby piece by piece.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.
~Pierre Corneille

Somewhere along the way I've lost my appetite for big, fancy things. Give me a set of knitting needles, a good book, or just a few hours all to myself and I'm quite the happy girl. Show me a box of old photos or a scrap bag of yarn and I can occupy myself for days.

As I prepare for the upcoming Christmas festivities I can't help but to let my love of simple things take over my gift giving. If I could have it my way, gift giving would once again become meaningful. I'm really big on that-- meaningful gift giving.

I'm so deeply saddened by the pre-made gift baskets at department stores and the on-line ordering of goodies such as cookies and muffins. In my opinion, that just turns gift giving into a chore, something we quickly click on and order between phone calls and dinner preparations and car-pool drop-offs.

In some ways, I wish gift giving would return to the days of old-- back when people wished and hoped and waited for something special.

So, here at 403, we're going back to basics.

I've been busy making little treats for the people I most care about. Monetarily speaking, these presents aren't much. But, they're from the heart and crafted with an abundance of TLC.

I'm not quite finished, but I have an entire drawer full of goodies and treats and little odds and ends. All fingers are crossed that I finish in time...(grin).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tree of Thanks

"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.
It's a way to live."
~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

I'm really enjoying this festive Thanskgiving tree and the memories it holds.

Notice the cute little Pilgrims and Native Americans?

My crafty mama made them for my 4th grade Social Studies project. Yep, she did such a great job that I received an A+ and had "my work" displayed in a drugstore window.

I thoroughly enjoy recycling such nostalgic treasures and seeing these cute figurines perched among the branches. All these years later, I still remember her working away on their intricate outfits, while Dad watched Sunday football and I painted the cardboard background.

Ironically, she and my dad came over the other night while I was decorating and unwrapping these pieces of my past. I really enjoy when they stop over, especially when they bring me coffee and soup.

I'm thankful for landing such great parents.

And, I'm thankful for landing such a great life.

I have it good, and I'm beyond blessed.

Thanks, Life. I'll continue working hard to keep up my end of the bargain.

Weekly Bread: Gingerbread-Pumpkin

"Bread baking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony.
It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells.
There is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, and no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread."
~M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

I like to think of cooking as an art.

If one really took the time to ponder the idea, it appears perfectly logical that cooking should fall into such a highly respected category. After all, one must visualize the dish, plan or sketch the recipe, gather necessary ingredients, and construct the masterpiece; while continually evaluating, monitoring, and tweaking flavor, temperature and measurements.

I dream of the day when I can whip up mouth-watering meals that not only taste delicious, but leave the house smelling warm and wonderful.

Someday. Maybe. Fingers crossed.

Until that day comes, I'll continue stalking some of my favorite cooking web-sites and putting a CK twist on the goodies that catch my eye.

For the past few weeks I've been dying to try this recipe. I have a love affair with gingersnaps, and a slightly disturbing infatuation with autumn. Therefore, as one can probably imagine, this delightful concoction had my heart racing--soaring--skipping beats.

I gave in. I could no longer resist.

Did I mention I'm also on a bit of a health kick?

Well, I am.

Farewell cup of vegetable oil and white all-purpose flour.

Hello applesauce and whole grain flour and cage-free eggs.

mmm...warm, savory, autumn goodness...

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