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News from the Nest, February 28

I join in all the voices worldwide, praying for peace for our fellow Ukrainian world citizens. We all deserve to choose our destiny and live in peace.

I came across this quote this week, and it resonated with me, especially this part, “Put your faith in two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years…Laugh. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts…” Here’s the full quote by Wendell Berry, I’ve just put his book Jayber Crow on my list at the library.

So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute…Give your approval to all you cannot understand…Ask the questions that have no answers. Put your faith in two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years…Laugh. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts….Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry

We have one shot at this earthly life; we owe it to ourselves to find joy and hope, despite the facts on the ground.

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White star magnolia flower.
  • Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are in the final weeks of winter, it ends on March 20. Make a big pot of this Smoky Turkey Chili to warm your soul and tummy during winter’s last gasp! You can make it in your crockpot or on your stovetop.
  • And speaking of chili. Here’s a recipe to make your own chili seasoning. It’s a jumping off point that you can tailor to your own tastes. And not for nothing, it makes a great gift!
A glass jar with spices and a wooden spoon.
  • Do you know the difference between chile (with an e) powder and chili (with an i) powder? In a nutshell, chile powder, with an ‘e’, is just straight up, dried, and ground chile peppers. Some common hot pepper powders are cayenne pepper (sometimes referred to as red chili pepper), ancho chile powder (made from dried and ground poblano peppers), and chipotle peppers (made from dried, smoked, and ground jalapeno pepper). Surprisingly, each chile powder does have a distinct flavor. I’m partial to the smoky and deep flavor of chipotle chile powder, so always have that on hand. Chili powder or chili seasoning, with an ‘i’, is the spice blend commonly made with chile powder and other spices.
  • Now that we’ve been talking chili, are you ready to make a pot for dinner tonight? If you are but you don’t have chili powder or the ingredients to make my chili seasoning recipe, I’ve got you covered. Here are a variety of chili powder substitutes that you probably have in your pantry. This is the fourth ‘substitutions’ post we’ve done. It joins Old Bay Substitutes, Tomato Sauce Substitutes and Honey Substitutes.
  • Now’s a great time for a digital declutter! My laptop crashed at the end of last year and when I got it back, it was clear that I had neglected keeping it decluttered. I have spent the past month slowly deleting duplicate files, programs I don’t use, unopened emails, etc. I’m not going to sugar-coat it…it’s a slog. All the more reason to start, take it slow and don’t let it get away from you.
  • I don’t have any knit patterns for hats yet, but that’s changing! I’m working on a simple one right now that I’ll publish soon. But, I recently discovered Fox and Pine Stitches. She has some ADORABLE hats for children, this one with bunny ears is just too dang cute!
  • While we are talking knitting…if you are looking to teach smaller hands to knit, check out these kid-sized knitting needles!

Framed black and white photo with an orchid.
  • While winter may be slowly putting it into reverse, it may not be moving as quickly as we would like. If you need a little spring in your life, pop over to your local Trader Joe and grab one of their wee orchids. I’ve had this one since early January. That silver sugar cup or creamer that is languishing in your china cabinet would be thrilled to see the light of day and serve as the vessel for your new baby orchid! Here are some other ways to bring some Spring into your home!
    • Tabletop Garden I made this one at least two, maybe three years ago. I need to swap out the orchid from time to time, but I’ve had luck getting them to rebloom.
    • Terrarium This one is still going strong as well, it’s been probably two years for this guy. And talk about continuing to thrive under neglect. I’ve just recently put him somewhere where he’ll get a little sun and I probably add a little water 2-3 times a year.
    • I shared this last week, but in case you missed it. Two weeks and a grow light will give you bright green grass!
Zippered pouch that says \'if you knit you know.\'
  • And finally, I will be giving away another ‘if you knit, you know’ zippered tote. I keep all my small knitting gadgets in mine and needless to say, it is handy. Since we started with Wendell Berry’s quote, let’s wrap it up with it as well. Think of what brings you joy or gives you hope today, drop it in the comments in 5 words or less. I will randomly draw one name by this Friday and tuck it in the mail to the winner.


Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. I love rhubarb, ate it right out of the ground as a kid. i have 5 plants in the garden, and i get so much joy out of seeing it sprout up every spring! By spring i have no rhubarb left in the freezer so its exciting for me to watch it grow to be big and beautiful.

  2. I had to re-read the post to see “leave what brings you joy” part!😵‍💫. It’s early this morning. My family brings me 🥰!

  3. I have a mantra when I am feeling out of control or overwhelmed. It is, “Let go, let God! Pray!” It helps me keep a positive attitude and keeps me happy!

  4. I love the look of the grass around the main plant. Grass is a lot more pretty to look at than dirt. I’m going to give it a try. I have knitted all of your washcloths. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Lynn,
    Thank you for all your useful information. At the moment I’m busy knitting a baby blanket for my first grandchild using your lovely ‘clover-leaf’ pattern. I had not knitted for years so blew the cobwebs from my needles….and after a ‘shaky’ start am now enjoying and making good progress with the, hopefully, much appreciated ‘heirloom’. Will send you a photo on completion.
    Greetings from Anne Scott from Scotland, residing in The Netherlands 👋🏼

    1. I would love to be considered for one of your zippered bags I just love getting your newsletter and reading it I always learn something new

  6. I am a first time great grandmother and the smile and laughter of this child gives me great hope for generations to come. God With Us. Amen

  7. This is such a cute pouch!! I started a sweater last year after a skidoo accident and the summer came and then Christmas and now no more excuses, I need to finish knitting this sweater so I can move on to my next project 😂

  8. Thanks for W. Berry quote. His words are so authentic and hopeful! I appreciate your book thoughts. Have you read Exiles by Christina Baker Kline? Australia in 1800’s— great read.

  9. What brings me joy? The coffee prepared for me every morning by the SU, and the SU themselves. The dog that spends most of her day sleepng next to me as I knit. The Nibling, eminently knitworthy, for whom I make making baby soft things. The view out my windows of all the birds at the feeders, the baby squirrel trying to hold his own, the four marauding deer who come in the night to attack the bird feeders. My friends, near and far, who are there when I need them, and vice versa. Thank you for the chance to win; I have at least one knitting bag that can use it!

  10. I would love to win this 🙂 Lynn I look forward to your blog, I receive it on Monday mornings a great way to start the day and week. Thank you!

  11. I love all your homey, cozy ideas! I am a knitter so of course your patterns are greatly appreciated. Your home must be absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

  12. Good Afternoon Lynn !!!!!!!
    Oh this post :0)
    I swore I would NOT buy another book until I make my way thru the stackS on my night stand ……. oooops, bought one !!!!!!
    I work for a CPA, so we are smack in the middle of tax season and I am working 6 days a week :0( So I told myself ….no more new knitting projects … ooops … I LOVE the bunny hat !!!!! And I cannot wait to make the chili seasoning for gifts !!!! Thank You Lynn !!!! Happy Spring :0)

    1. This weekend while she was staying with me, my 3 year old granddaughter, Hazel asked me to teach her “yarn sticks” as she reached for my knitting needles gave me such joy! It has me wondering “how old is old enough to begin teaching a child to knit”? Then I see the knitting needles for children in this post and I had to laugh! I’m not sure she has the dexterity yet, but when she does, Mimi will be ready!!

  13. My Children & Granbabies give me hope for a kinder and more gentle future towards how we can treat each other.

  14. I really enjoy your blog. So glad i found it! I’m a knitter and love making washclothes which is how I found you! I am using the tag from your library. Great idea and makes the gift look professional! I have been doing a book challenge for myself the last 3 years. Got close 1st year, about half last year and a little behind this year but all the books I’ve read this February have been super! Beginning a new one tonight. Pray for Peace…..

  15. Being around family and spreading positive vibes. Sharing smiles and getting inspired and I return inspiring others. ❤️

  16. Even in the midst of all the turmoil in our world right now, we can rest in the fact that God is in control. We don’t always understand His ways, but we can trust in His love for us. Spend time just being quiet and do what calms your spirit.

  17. It looks like chili is in the menu tonight! Love the knit tote and excited for the drawing. Thank you!

  18. Such a cute little pouch! I so enjoy your blog and look forward to new content each time. Your knitting patterns are so classic and “do-able”. Pick me to win!

  19. I am new to knitting (leftie),learnings more everyday. The zippered tote is really cute and would come in handy for my supplies.

  20. I am so thankful for my sister who encourages me and is always there for me! ❤️ Little Sister

  21. Love seeing a photo of the Spencer kids. Pam has been a good friend since first grade.
    My reading goal is 30 for the year. I’m way ahead of schedule as I just finished #12. Currently reading ‘The Gown’ by Jennifer Robson.
    I love your blog,

  22. Thank you a beautiful blog post. It has helped me to stop and savor the good in my life while millions go without. I oray for peace, strength to the Ukrainians and wisdom to all those in government. Thank God for the peace my handwork brings to my soul.

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