Dear Kat – On Boozy Strawberries

My friend Kat and I are trying this thing on our blogs. What we want to do is a series of letters to each other about food and life and whatnot. We became friends in the kitchen over food and gin and photography while we were graduate students in Scotland. She was my maid of honour at my wedding. Now Kat lives in Germany and I live in the US. We miss cooking together, so this is our way of reframing that part of our Continue reading →

From Trash to Treasure: the Dumpster Dresser

All I have to say is “Thank you Nicole Curtis!” – after watching the first season of rehab addict, RM started to understand how something that might appear at first to be trash may turn out to be treasure. It all started one weekend afternoon with the snow on the ground, RM took the garbage bags out to the dumpster in the alley behind our house. There he found a dresser. It was laminate veneer. One of the drawers was stuck but he excitedly ran Continue reading →

State of the Union

“There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” ― Homer, The Odyssey Admirable as it may be, but living with someone else, whether you live with your elderly parents, a roommate or roommate, a spouse or significant other, or with 100 strangers in a college residence, has its moments. Around the time we became engaged, RM and I started periodic meetings which we call “The State Continue reading →

Ashes to ashes

Growing up lent was marked out by the presence of fish on Friday and the giving up of things. It seemed all stick and no carrot. Good thing I liked salmon and tuna. For a few years, my evangelical self shunned all things lent as unnecessary to my faith – it was all browbeating and no grace I piously thought. My arrogance was part naïveté and part bluster. But over the last few years, lent has again found a place in my life. Lent reminds Continue reading →

Textiles: Warmth and the brownish knitted sweater

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell That brownish knitted sweater. I needed it. It was that beautiful wool against my skin or it was going to be hiding under the covers for the rest of the day. It had been a gift to my aunt many years ago. So long that she hadn’t realised it had found Continue reading →

Be at Home where you Are

“Be at home where you are” (1 Tim 6:6-7) Being fully at home in a new place is not always easy. But in making a home, being at home seems kind of inherent. “No settled family or community has ever called its home place an “environment.” None has ever called its feeling for its home place “biocentric” or “anthropocentric.” None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as “ecological,” deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great Continue reading →

Empty Shelf Challenge: 2015

For 2015, I’m seeking to reignite my love of reading for reading’s own sake. Sometimes graduate work can take away a love of reading for its own sake when you only read what you have to for years on end. I’m on a personal mission to take my love of reading back from the clutches of have to and read for the love of all that is holy!   January 1.Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand 2.Hunters by James Salter February 3. Boyd by Robert Coram  Do Continue reading →

Cottage-by-the-park House Tour

It’s time for a tour. Well, a virtual one at least Our little home is new. It feels like a great privilege to be the very first family to call this house our home. What you can’t see in this image is the sweet lttle light in our front yard. It reminds us of the light pole in Narnia – and we’re really hoping to find a faun or a little stone lion to join in. Our own little literary joke seems right to us! Continue reading →

Merging Stuff and Styles

“It is true that the aesthetic turn has led to a frantic search for mystical experiences of all kinds, and to addictive behavor and its accompanying levels of stress. But the abuse of goods underlines their indispensability; it should not lead us to deny their source in God and God’s created purposes. What we cannot do, despite the deviations we prefer, is ignore the turn to style and aesthetics that is so prominent.” William A. Dyrness,Poetic Theology,(35-36) Two lives melding into one. Nothing has been Continue reading →

What’s in a Name?

“Philosophy is really nostalgia, the desire to be at home.” ― Novalis Names have power. Names convey identity. Names mark seasons of life and spaces. Names help you find a sense of ownership or belonging: they mark the beauty and the hope for and within a place (or for a child). Rural properties in Australia commonly have a name that identifies it to the community. Addresses have only recently been changed to numbers that indiciate to emergency services the distance down a particular roads. I Continue reading →