Studies show that paying attention to the moments that bring you joy can ease depression, improve overall health, and contribute to longevity. Sounds good to me!

I've found that capturing these moments with my always-handy phone camera makes this practice an easy one to incorporate. If you start a collection of your own, please let me know!

Here are a few of my favorite "Happy Snaps."

Off to a Beautiful Start

Noro Bouquet

There’s no question that I love, love, love yarn. A complete yarn inventory has been on my “Nice to Do” list for months. Of course, I would rather knot yarn than count it, so I haven’t quite gotten around to figuring what all I have in my stash.

I love getting an idea, — usually around midnight on a holiday weekend — diving into my bins of colorful skeins, and finding exactly what I need just waiting for me there.

I will admit to having way more than I could possibly use in a year… or two.

Even so, there are times when I see a project that I want to make that calls for something that I don’t have handy. Sometimes — like last spring — my vision requires a huge order of 19 different shades that I just can’t find at my local yarn store. More often, I’m wanting a particular fiber or colorway but tell myself that I can make do with something on hand…

I put off a trip to Bliss as long as possible, start 4 other projects, attempt the desired project in a different fiber, and then I finally give in and run across town to get what I’ve wanted all along.

It happened just that way today. Well, I’ve been wanting to make an Tunisian entrelac scarf for months. But today I had to go into my local yarn shop and get three skeins of delicious Noro Taiyo and start my project.

If I didn’t have two of our kids with me, I would have plopped down in a chair and started crocheting on the spot. As it was, I had to go to the grocery store and put everything away before I could even think about giving it a go. I’m so antsy to get started I may just pop.

So, I’m off to wind this lovely bouquet of yarn into balls before I decide that it’s too pretty to use and start obsessing over finding the right yarn for the crocheted version of the Color Affection Shawl that just caught my eye.


Oh, She’s That Kind of Nerd!

Nerdy Crafter

Why, yes! Yes I am that nerd who solved a 25X25 Sudoku to determine the placement of these supposed-to-be-random squares.

But I’m not compulsive enough to pull out the 49 squares I’d already made and attached before I came up with this brilliant scheme.

So not only is it not random, it doesn’t actually follow the Sudoku pattern rules completely.

So, does that make it a Random Pattern?


Edna on Keeping Up Appearances


Once she realized that her constant companions all hooked, Edna stopped trying to explain her own quirks.

Happy Quote: Leader by Example


QuoteAccept that as you create your right life, you’ll become a leader automatically; not because you’ll want others to follow your rules, but because they’ll want to follow your example.

–Martha Beck

Pausing to Refill

Refiling My Cup -- Gina Lynette

As I’ve been thinking a whole lot this week about Joyce Rupp’s quote about pouring from an empty cup, I’ve been paying special attention to things that refill mine.

One thing that really helps is when I give myself permission to be a bit of a slacker. I don’t mean, give up on life. But as a driven, hyper-motivated, constantly-on-the-go someone, turning down the volume is sometimes desperately needed.

While I’m a pretty happy camper for the most part, it’s been a tough fall and winter for me in some ways — especially physically — and I started to really think about why. It isn’t a new revelation, but I’ve been using way more energy than I have available to me at a sustainable level. I needed to do some spring cleaning of tasks and to dos in light of the reality that my world has shifted to include two little people in my day who were previously off site, I’ve added a wonderful-yet-time-and-talent-intense contract to my schedule, I’m still in grad school, and I still want to include my coaching, art, and writing in my regular routine.

I know that as I add new elements into my day, it’s a great idea to paused to say, “Okay… that’s new and I want it here. Do I have room for it with everything else or do I need to do some clearing somewhere?” The truth is that those “You Can Do It All” siren calls are still pretty enticing. So, it always kind of takes me by surprise when I sit up and realize, “Hey! Wait! I’m worn out and cranky and have lost control of my calendar again!”

Next week is finals week. This means I have 5 papers to write as soon as I return from helping to facilitate an out-of-town conference this weekend. It’s going to be a whole lot of intense, time-limited, on-deadline work.

So, today? Today I gave myself permission to pause and refill my cup. You know, take a deep breath. Pour some coffee. Sit still. Participate in a live video summit that I didn’t think I had time to  attend.

And you know what happened? This little seed that I’ve been precontemplating for about 4 years just burst out of that conversation. I shared my idea, in public, with the actual person whose writing inspired it. You see, I was afraid to allow myself to want to pursue this idea because of fears of stepping on her toes, stealing her ideas, or infringing on her copyrights.

And you want to know what happened?

She said, and I quote, “Go for it!” Right there! Live!

I’m so excited that my teeth are buzzing. I’m hoping to keep this excitement and motivation flowing as I focus on this conference and finals week… but watch this space. I’m going to make room on my calendar for launching an idea that’s been percolating for years.

Talk about a full cup! It’s overflowing today!

How about you? What are you doing to refill your cup? Or, perhaps, the question should be, “What are you going to pause doing in order to refill your cup?”

Note: The lovely cup in the image was made by the incredibly talented and supremely delightful Melodie Grace. It’s my very, very, very favorite cup in the whole wide world.

Good News: Bad News

Navy Placemat

The good news is that I completed my second place mat while scoring 100% on my statistical analyses this week.

The bad news is that I was forced to eat the prop after taking this picture and odds are high that I’m going to need a glass of milk to wash it down and low that anyone around here is going to feel sorry for me and bring me one.

Studying Statistics: It Looks Like Crocheting

Teal PlacematYou know how when you’re studying statistics and watching delightful and informative videos on Visually Determining Kurtosis via SPSS Rendered Histograms?

If not, imagine driving… alone… across the prairies… at night… without a radio…

Same thoughts go through your head when learning statistics.

My apologies to statisticians, but as well as I do in these courses I can’t want to have your job.

Anyway, while entertaining the left side of my brain with said videos, I used the entirely-ignored right side of my brain sussed out the pattern for this placemat from a Japanese chart on a Spanish blog. I’d send you the links, but that part of my brain is busy right now.

I may have a set of 8 before we get through skew.

Wish me luck.


The gorgeous bowl was made just for me by Michael Robison. We went to high school together, but I’d bet he’d make you a pot, too, if you wanted one.

What does homeschooling look like?

Boo with Blocks

As I’ve mentioned, I am an accidental homeschooling mom. While it isn’t my first go in the home education rodeo, it is still somewhat a new thing this time around. It takes some time to completely switch gears, rework your schedule and your life, and get some of the “now what!?!?!” out of your head and replace it with “here’s how…”

Boo is a math and spacial genius with a massive vocabulary, a love of reading, and an affinity for all-things electronic. He is not a writer in the sense that it is almost impossible for him to take spoken or thought language and put it into any written form. Keyboards don’t help. It’s as if his brain decided to use those circuits for something else.

So, if he can’t write, how can he be a genius? Let me first say that I don’t use this word lightly. Genius is as genius does, my grandmother would say. Yes, he tests off the charts in every academic and achievement assessment thrown at him. His IQ scores — as little faith as I place in those — are consistently through the roof. So, he has the paper cred. But without any of that, the reality is that we knew this kid was smart before he ever spoke his first word. It’s something just innate. The sad truth is that no one got to experience any of this brilliance as he was being bodily removed from classrooms because boredom turned into unsanctioned creativity.

I wish I could say that the minute I brought him home everything turned into a series of wonderful brain-stimulating activities interspersed with museum visits and park dates. Well, we have done each of those things, but the reality is that I’ve been in a denial-induced shock and only sort of half-committing to this thing. We have and use a core curriculum. I’ve bought a dozen magazine subscriptions that he reads cover to cover the day each issue arrives. I can’t keep him in books –he reads them faster than we get them from the library. He has robotics and electronic circuitry kits, craft supplies, and manipulatives of every type at his reach. He’s learning, but I haven’t really been in it with him.

We’ve been fighting some recently. I want him to do his educational stuff and he wants to do something else. I want him to clean his room and he wants to do something else. I want him to come to dinner and he wants to do something else. I’ve never had this kind of relationship with this child and I don’t believe it’s just a bunch of changing hormones.

The good news is that I think I’m finally coming back around. Yes, me. I think I needed an attitude adjustment.

Boo didn’t choose to be home with me any more than he chose to have autism or be brilliant or be a boy or be at all. He’s a kid who likes what he likes and has a pretty strong neurological excuse to be a pain in the neck. Yet, for the most part he’s a sweet child who really does want to be in relationship with folks — including and especially me — in spite of what his diagnosis might indicate.

So, this morning, after spending the week in a bit of despair about the whole thing, I relented. Instead of doing the “first work then play” mantra I’ve been harping on for weeks, I brought out an unopened block set that was stuffed into a toy bin the day after Christmas. I handed him the pieces and he had challenge #60 completed before I got the cards open. He completed 6 more in the time it took me to get my camera.

Champ the Weather Dog made his appearance and I kept my mouth shut as the two of them worked together rather than telling Boo to leave the dog alone and get back to work. We did hit the online curriculum pretty hard this afternoon, but it wasn’t a fight this time. It was a treat to spend the day with my amazing kiddo.

Even if it took me a while to get with the program.

Boo Petting ChampBoo and ChampChamp Helping Boo

Block Challenge 5

All Shall Be Well

Bluebird and Julian

“all shall be well

and all shall be well

and all manner of thing shall be well”

— Julian of Norwich

Edna’s Advice: Newfangled Gadgets

Newfangled Sewing Machine

Edna’s advice about newfangled gadgets:

“Push all of the buttons and flip all the switches right away. That way all of the surprises happen while you’re watching for them.”

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