Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A New England Yarn Journey :: Gotland Wool Company

I want to introduce you to another Vermont Fiber Farm - Grandview Farm located in Washington, Vermont.  

 Kim has been a long time shepherdess, but recently welcomed Vermont's first flock of Gotland Sheep to her farm.  You can meet some of them here and learn more about the history of Gotland Sheep.    

They have curly, lustrous, silky wool.   I purchased a skein of worsted weight in Mist from her shop, Gotland Wool Company.   The yarn is such a beautiful silver gray color and super soft.  I am enjoy knitting a baby bonnet with this gorgeous yarn.    It is more expensive, at $17.00 for 2 oz - but the joy of working with it is worth it.  

I am learning more and more about the costs and care that go into owning a flock of sheep and truly, if yarn is cheap, you really do need to wonder.

You can listen to a podcast from a couple of weeks ago at Woolful, where Kim was a featured guest.

Woolful podcasts are my new absolute favorite podcast.  I get so giddy each time I listen to the interviews with other fiber enthusiasts and am researching where the entire process of sheep to wool might fit into our family's future.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


It can be so easy to get discouraged -
-there is still so much snow
-it is still so cold
-our house's roof desperately needs to be replaced
-our car's engine went and we need to buy a new old car
-a mild flu is making it's way through our family
-Mike has to have another operation, this time to remove a lump in his throat

Or I can be choose to be encouraged -
-the wet snow is great for sculpting and building and it really is melting
-before everything melts, I still have time for knitting
-we are working on a refinance mortgage with cash out so that we can put on a new roof
-the new old car we are planning to buy on Saturday morning is a Honda Odyssey minivan which will be much better on gas mileage than our old Suburban
-I am thankful that the flu many of us have had is a mild one
-the lump in Mike's throat is only a cyst

For today, I choose to rest in the Lord and be encouraged, knowing that His hand is in everything.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Often the root of discourse in marriage and other relationships is selfishness.  We seek
to please ourselves first, to try and get from the other as much as we can to feed
ourselves.  This is, of course, a recipe for disaster.

Some would say that we are born this way, and maybe so, but regardless, it is possible
to seek another path - that of compassion.  What makes that so hard, however, is that most
of the institutionalized systems, work environments, and cultural norms in our society
support the "me first" mentality.

We are ranked, graded, promoted, recognized, blasted with media promoting satisfaction
through the acquisition of stuff.  What rank were you in
your graduating high school class?  Were you a star athlete growing up in your small
town?  Did you have a date for the school prom?  Is your chosen profession going to
give you the opportunity to purchase all the stuff that will make YOU feel good?
What happens when you don't get the grades, the "good" job, the attractive spouse?
Often anger, repressed or otherwise results, or perhaps seeking pleasure in harmful ways
to self such as alcohol or drugs, or maybe even resorting to porn to satisfy some sort of "I deserve this pleasure and can dominate" feeling.

The competitive nature of our capitalistic economy encourages us to put ourselves first.
This then leads to greed, envy and ambition.  Wherever there are winners there are always many
more losers.  So often this fulfillment of self first carries into our other important relationships -
partner, spouse, sibling, parent.

The opposite of selfishness is compassion which is something so alien in our country.
It is interesting to note that compassion is the foundation of most religions and spiritual traditions - treat others the way you wish to be treated.

This is certainly no easy task and all the harder when we have been brought up in a culture that sends the opposite message.

I think it is possible to work toward being more compassionate - through growing one's faith, ignoring many of society's messages, being more aware of every word that you speak, strengthening families, and creating a society that encourages the creative genius in each of us.

While I certainly can't change the world, I can change myself.  For today I will strive to
stop and think before I speak.  Am I loving, blessing and encouraging with my words and actions?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Loving More

 Life is short - really just a blink of an eye in the scope of things.

At 45, this realization has become more intense.  There have been more reminders lately of just how precious this one life is.

When Mike was undergoing his double hernia surgery, the anesthesiologist found a lump in his throat.  Actually, he cut him as he was sticking the tube down.

The feeling that I had when the surgeon told me about this after his surgery was overwhelming. 

It turns out after a CT scan, that the lump looks benign, but Mike will be seeing a throat specialist next to probably talk about surgery to remove it as it is about an inch in diameter.

That week between the surgery and the meeting with the doctor was one where my senses were elevated - where I appreciated even more each moment.  

I cried out to God to please heal him as our relationship had only recently been one of mutual intense love and respect.

Our relationship has reached the best it has ever been - ever - we have both grown so much thanks to the grace of God.   What an amazing design that of husband and wife and when it is realized as God intended - what a gift.  (It was not always this way as we have had long struggles that are too personal to go into here but there were many, many times when I was ready to give up.)

I am so grateful now to have this time with Mike - to feel loved by him and to love him - God is good.

If you are in a hard spot, just remember that God is faithful and even though His timing may not be yours, there is a plan and a purpose.  I thank God that I hung in there and stayed faithful to my marriage.

We are hoping that we can encourage other Christian couples by sharing our story.  We will be hosting a twice per month Sunday evening potluck at our home using Matt Chandler's new study, The Mingling of Souls.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thankful for

a deck of cards

that March has arrived after the coldest February on record 

time to spruce up a pantry and that paint is an affordable option to give a fresh look

Emmy's collar bone healing - so well that we have to tell her to slow down now

paint to add color to these gray days

Nolan helping us break up the ice on the roof while Mike continues to heal from his surgery