For me?












Brass Shawl

Brass Shawl

Brass Shawl

Thursday evening I made the indulgent decision to sit down in a chair by the fire, and not get up until I had finished reading Howard’s End.  Silas and the girls were already in bed, and I asked my boys not to disturb me.  Seth and Keats mostly honored my wishes, and took turns quietly snuggling next to me in the chair.  Gabe sat nearby.  He would never snuggle in a chair with me.  I understand.

I watched Howard’s End about a year ago, and all I can say is that I must have been knitting lace or picking up stitches because I didn’t remember anything that happened in the last third of the book.  The story plunges ahead slowly and quietly and then all of a sudden I heard myself gasp aloud.  It wasn’t hard to stay put and finish the book after that.  I won’t call it one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it, and found it full of sentences and thoughts that I loved:

“…those who prepare for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.”   (amen)

“Death destroys a man;  the idea of Death saves him.”  (chapter notes indicate that Michelangelo was the source of this quote)

“He has worked very hard all his life, and noticed nothing.”  (slow down…always notice)

Speaking of reading, my mom mentioned the other night that she has been reading more lately due to a bout of insomnia (family plague.) With great feeling she said to me, “Ginny, I really like Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.  They leave the boring parts out.  I feel like I’ve found the most awesome thing in the world.  Russ and I have been scouring Goodwill, looking for more of them.”  For some reason I squealed with glee before collapsing with laughter as she spoke.  I love when that happens, when something said in ordinary conversation delights me to no end.  My mom is funny.  And you know, I think she is getting funnier.  There’s a lightness in that, and I love it.  We laugh together even when we are talking about the bad stuff.  Good medicine.  Anyway, the Reader’s Digest condensed version of Howard’s End would be about ten pages long.

Yesterday I came home from a little tea party that the girls and I attended to find a package, which the girls of course opened for me.   Jonny commented that he could smell it as soon as he opened the mailbox, and it smelled really good.  Inside was a bundle of goodies, a welcome gift from Rachel.  I was expecting a few baby care products, but there were some things for me too.  I sent off a joyous thank you email, and Rachel replied that she sensed lately that I needed a little something for me.  She was so right.  My bathroom smells amazing right now.  Move over Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap.

This morning I came downstairs to discover that my girls, inspired by yesterday’s tea party, were throwing me a little “pretend birthday” breakfast tea.  I ignored the fact that at the root of it all, they were probably just hoping that I would bake something, and sipped my tea with them while opening gifts.  I got a window decoration made from post it notes, and a ring made of the same with a bit of tape to hold it together.  It was all very special.  I love pretend birthdays.

It’s true that I have been feeling overwhelmed a good bit lately (I feel like I am constantly saying this, but it isn’t really a constant feeling.)  A friend reminded me that a new baby is supposed to do that, to slow things down, and that things can feel a little crazy for at least the first year (you’d think I’d have figured that out by now.)  I am so busy loving Silas and honestly enjoying every minute with him, that I forgot.  Taking care of a baby means less of everything else, and more…baby.  Today the sun was shining and the temperature was crazy warm for January.  I abandoned my home organization project and we ended up barefoot and in the grass.  When we got tired of that Silas and I danced and laughed until he literally threw up all over himself (in a fit of giggles.)  A bath followed and he splashed and laughed some more until I pulled him out, bundled him up, and nursed him down for a nap.  I thought of all the joy, the laughter, and the healing he has brought our family.  Many months ago, on the phone with my mom, she predicted that for us, and she was right.

Oh, and while I am talking about me…Jonny took pictures of my brass shawl this afternoon.  I have wanted to add finished photos to Ravelry for months it seems, but doesn’t it feel ridiculous to pose for photos?  It’s especially difficult if your husband turns the camera on you and instructs you to “look sexy.”  Ahem…I don’t do that.  He knows it.  He loves to torture me with words that make me cringe.  I do love this little shawl.  The night I finished it, I actually slept with it like a baby blanket pulled against me.  It looks silly wrapped around my neck on a warm day, but is quite lovely over my turquoise cardigan.

I hope your weekend is going well and that you are able to sneak in a little sunshine too.

Brass Shawl

(“I’m too sexy for my shawl.…”)


  1. Silas and Nola are about the same age and I find I relate to so many of your posts 🙂
    I feel exactly the same way since Nola was born as you describe with Silas!
    The shawl is simply stunning!

  2. Ginny, I think I love you. I just love your honesty and your subtle (at least on the blog) humor. Loved your mom’s condensed novels comment. I love those things that make me giggle when I think of them later!

  3. Silas is lovely, and your photos with him as great. 🙂
    Nice shawl too! I also have a bad time modeling my own knits, so most are just shown without modelling at all. I always feell a bit silly posing…

  4. aw, what a life! Love the pictures and all….I love pretend birthday tea parties 😉
    …did you just burst out crying when reading Howard’s End? I just remember it being so terribly sad.

  5. I loved this post today! Great shawl, great baby, great kids and wonderful take on life. Thank you for making my morning coffee drinking time better 🙂

  6. You are adorable Ginny. And you are so good at making me laugh! And so good at being honest, and at knitting…
    Thinking of you and sending love… (and sending a small package soon, but I don’t think it will smell particularly nice, sorry…)
    Renee <3

  7. Don’t you love when you get a package from LuSa you can already smell it before you open the box?! Love all her stuff. I have mentioned before that my daughter and your Silas are practically born on the same day, and I have been feeling overwhelmed too, mainly with work suff. I guess we still have to remember these babies of ours do take a lot of time and energy. Your shawl was beautiful,by the way.

  8. Wonderful post and beautiful shawl!

  9. When my daughter was younger she loved to wrap things up in silks and give them to people to unwrap because it was “your birthday!” or “Christmas!” So much fun! I’m glad that those who care are providing you with the pick-me-ups you’ve been needing, and that you got some quiet reading time just for you. What a treat! The shawl is beautiful.

  10. Lovely shawl! You made me laugh while reading your blog and, as always, warmed my heart. Thanks 🙂

  11. Ginny,
    The shawl is lovely: I added it to my Ravelry page:))) for a future project…time permitting!
    I love to follow you and your lovely family through your blog. Focus on them and you will keep things in perspective, enjoy all this “littles” time, for they will fly the nest soon enough!

  12. Beautiful family, beautiful shawl, beautiful/funny words. This mother of three (who sometimes feels overwhelmed too) is really getting into your blog for many good reasons.

    Stay peaceful inside… most of the time! 😉

  13. chantelle says:

    I laughed out loud about the Howards End – Readers Digest version. Middlemarch might be about the same length when subjected to the same scouring.
    Love the shawl, love the new look on your blog…and if we were neighbours and I was the pie making sort of gal, I’d leave one on your front step for your pretend birthday. Happy Sunday.

  14. I love your shawl! I know what you mean about “look sexy” 🙂 I <3 the pretend birthday tea. What a fun idea!

  15. That Beatrix makes me smile so in every picture you take of her, she looks just like her mama. I’m blessed to say my youngest looks similair(fair skin, blonde hair, looks just like me) It puts it into perspective when you can look at your children and see how beautiful they are and then come to realize they look exactly like you-even though you yourself may not feel beautiful all the time. Self image can be hard for me sometimes, So every chance I get to tell someone they are beautiful I do it…Happy pretend birthday Ginny, you are such a beautiful person inside and out!

  16. Christina says:

    Absolutely wonderful! The shawl, the children, and the author. I love peeking in at your moments. As a single parent it is my “nite out” when I get to read your words and see your pics.
    Best wishes…..

  17. Pretty Ginny in her pretty shawl.

    I Love this post so very much. It’s really honest and I love that. Here is to a peaceful and reflectively calm new year.

    XOXO, Jules

  18. This post is exactly why I love to read your blog. There is so much honestly and humor and insight in a few well-written lines. All of which is illuminated by beautiful, interesting photos. Thanks for sharing pieces of your life with us and inspiring us to continue sharing pieces of ours.

  19. Your shawl looks tres sexy 🙂

    So glad you were able to just sit and read. I do love when that happens. Time with wee ones is so precious and fleeting. It is good to just relish it.

  20. Love to read you, every time.

  21. I loved those readers digest books they are great when you go on holiday.

  22. Awesome shawl, awesome quotes, and funny mom. Oh, does that happen a lot? I grew up in a house with maybe seven books. It was torture. Maybe my mom should try Reader’s Digest condensed books, too.

    Also, you have the most amazing skin I have ever seen.

  23. Good for you–taking some time for yourself. Those quotes you shared from Howard’s End were wonderful. The shawl looks great–I really like the color!

  24. Oh seriously. Must you entice me with a gorgeous shawl when I just started an afghan. How do you find the time? I only have 3 kids and I can barely find time for my yarn.

  25. Seeing as how I work in a library, I’ll ignore all talk of CONDENSED BOOKS.

    The shawl is beautiful. And your little one in her hat, etc., has almost a matronly air!
    Happy un-birthday.

  26. Love the shawl. I actually started one but am not sure if I’ll have enough yarn. Then I have to rip it back a bit because I was knitting while watching tv & the stitches aren’t equal on both sides. Ugh. Then I started another sweater & tried making mittens…I have 3 different size ones! I’ll need to rip back those as well. Ugh…not a knitting time…too busy at work!

  27. Love that last line! You look very pretty in your beautiful shawl. I was hoping to see this knitted project finished. Sounds like your finding little moments to just rest and take a deep breath, content. Love the photo of Silas ‘rolling down the hill’. Barefoot. Outside. January? Crazy weather we’re having. I hope it snows.

  28. Lovely post! And shawl too. Maybe I should start reading those condensed books. I was thinking the other day, I’d like to read a good book, but I don’t want to bother with a boring one. 😛

  29. Oh, I love your photos…!
    I’m such snob about condensed and abridged versions! Really, I ought to loosen up, but I am so stodgy that I used to slog through chapters of drudgery once beginning a book and would doggedly read it cover to cover. Now I just put it down when it gets too thick and sometimes don’t finish. Maybe the condensed versions would get me to the end!
    Love the shawl. And I am typically a Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap person, too–and coconut oil for my night cream. Simple is best (but a gift is even better than best!)
    Have a blessed Sunday, Dear Ginny.

    • I’m such a snob too, and that’s why it was so funny to me-that and her tone, maybe one of those “you had to be there” moments! Definitely a lesson in loosening up!!

  30. I’m glad you finished Howard’s End. I quite enjoyed it but it was a slow read…and sometimes a slow read just needs to be tackled.
    You and your shawl are beautiful. I colours in it are so lovely!
    Thanks for your words on the first year with a new baby. I keep reminding myself that it took a year after #5 to feel like I had energy again but I tend to forget that and overdue it.
    Hope you’re enjoying a beautiful weekend!

  31. I love the “feel”-look of your creations… They always..and I mean always look like something I would want to touch..and i am picky about things i wear. that because of the pattern or the yarn you choose?
    Happy birthday again…pretend or not… You skin looks amazing. What do you use?

    • I think it’s the yarn here–and the abundance of simple stockinette stitch. About my skin-thank you! I am honestly not that great about skincare. I wash my face with Dr. Bronner’s castille soap.

      • Oh you know you are not the first person with great skin to say dr.bronner’s…
        Sheesh what magic is in that stuff!
        On the other hand I am glad you said that that…because like you said, I am not great about skincare either…so that is doable in my book.
        Thanks again for getting back to me!

  32. I wish your mom had discovered RD condensed books a few years ago…my mom had metric tonnes of them and it seemed like no one wanted them. I couldn’t sell them at Half-Price Books, the libraries didn’t want them…I think they all finally went to St. Vinny’s here in town. I had so many of those…I so would have sent them to your mom!

  33. Happy pretend birthday! And your shawl is absolutely lovely.

  34. hi ginny, i love all your posts, but i especially love this one! so funny throughout…and the pic of silas’ feet up in the air as he loses balance…precious. it was nice reading about your mum’s take on readers digest (who has that job of reading and weeding out the boring bits anyway? uggh!) who knew you were too sexy for your shawl!?

  35. the pictures of are beautiful.
    and what you wrote today, so nice. i love the slowness a baby brings. i too have enjoyed that this last year.
    enjoy your goodies!

  36. I had to smile when you said your husband says things like that on purpose to make you cringe — MINE does that to ME, too!!! I know it’s all in good fun but…. *sigh* I don’t want to cringe! 🙂

    Beaufitul photos of Silas, and I love your shawl! I’ve been on a shawl kick lately, and it’s great.

    Happy weekending!

    P.S. – Would you care to join in my stash-busting challenge? I’m trying my hardest to finish old WIPs get creative with what I’ve already got in my stash. What’s the saying, what’s old is new again? Yeah – that.

  37. Loved the thought prevoking quotes from Howard’s End, but your last comment had me cracking up.
    I liked the shawl too. One of these days I’m going to have to learn how to knit.

    Happy day after your pretend birthyday…day. :0)

  38. Your “I’m too sexy for my shawl” has me busting a gut. 🙂

    I’ll be learning that baby lesson soon. I’ve kind of already started learning it here in the 3rd trimester. Such a good way to remember the Important Things, no?

    And that 6th picture down (of Beatrix) is darling. Happy weekend, Ginny.

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