bringing hope and joy



Bright and cold. The sun on the snow is making me squint, even here at my desk. We got another couple of inches last night, just enough to make things look clean again by hiding the dirt. That sounds like a metaphor for the New Year, if I ever heard one – just shiny enough that we are able to overlook the crud carrying over from one calendar to the next; just bright enough to inspire hope for a fresh beginning, a fresh layer of white snow.

Eight days in, I’m working to keep my enthusiasm, as one kind reader encouraged me to do. Bringing little things into my days to keep myself moving forward.

– I cleaned my office. There is now a wide swath of open floor next to me, and the cardboard boxes have been restacked neatly behind me, where I can’t see them as I work. Renting a place without any real storage necessitates that my office also double as a holding room for things we don’t want to unpack here, but it doesn’t have to become a dumping ground. I purged, mostly paper. I refolded my fabric stash, and finally organized all of my pins and scissors and tools into the sewing basket my parents gave me…three Christmases ago. My plants are freshened, my photos rearranged, and I have a fresh doily on my vintage picnic baskets for my diffuser to rest on. Making the space work for me.

– Instagram! My word, there’s a whole world of like-minded people in there. I’m new to the platform (posted #19 this morning!) and have a wonderful friend and colleague to thank for the introduction. I don’t know what I found so intimidating – it’s right up my alley with the beautiful images and celebration of small moments. Check out #instagramhomesteaders – such a cool group of (mostly) women who are living this crazy alternative to the mainstream, in whatever way they define it for themselves and their families. And if you’re inclined, you can follow my nonsense too – @kirsti125

– I’m trying a very loose variation of the Whole30 this month, attempting to get a handle on my own system. My hope is to find the source of my eczema, a pursuit that was completely pooh-poohed by my dermatologist some years ago, preferring instead to just prescribe me a cream. Because why find the root of the issue when you can slap a bandaid on it, yes? The rashes come and go, mostly on my hands, and sometimes flare up to the point that I can’t wear rings or make a fist. It’s not life-threatening, but definitely painful and inconvenient. Anyway. Silly me, I decided to give Whole30 a whirl after doing our shopping, so I haven’t completely cut the grains – still enjoying a slice of toast with my eggs, but goodbye to the pasta and rice. When it comes to coffee, I’m a cream and sugar girl, though far less than most – I haven’t changed that, but sweets and dairy are gone elsewhere. Just a few days in and I’ve had a sign that I should try this for real, no cheats: I neglected my own care the other day and allowed myself to get too hungry, so J made me a grilled cheese sandwich. Goodness, the stomach issues that arrived that afternoon! I’ll spare you, but suffice to say, I think we may have uncovered the return of my childhood milk problems.

– Things that bring me joy! Tea in a pretty new mug, a surprise gift in the mail. Coloring! Practical knowledge of my oils – wearing Frankincense and learning so much. Crayons for little visitors during work hours, and a lamp with a story. And chickens! Oh the chickens, in all forms. They are an endless source of conversation and entertainment.

What are you doing with your fresh start?


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