Good Morning from Franklin, TN!
We lived here for ten years before we moved to Wilmington, and both of our babies were born here. I’m embarrassed to say that we haven’t been back in the twenty-one years since we left! And wow…has it ever exploded in growth, with all the good and bad that comes with that growth.
We’ve had a lovely time; visiting our old home and the church in which our children were baptized, eating in our favorite restaurants (that are still around), and catching up with friends.
When we lived in Franklin, I had the amazing opportunity to take painting classes and attend weekly painting sessions. My teacher was an aspiring country music writer and singer but also an immensely talented painter. We would paint while he introduced us to his favorite artists and play the guitar and sing. It was beyond blissful!
When we moved from Franklin, there was no way I would ever replicate that environment. So sadly, I really haven’t done much painting since we left.
But, the last thing I painted when we knew we were moving was part of a lovely building in downtown Franklin. This painting isn’t (and will never be, if I’m honest) finished, but it hangs in our home, nevertheless. I had to snap of a picture of the building while strolling through the town this weekend. Here it is next to the unfinished painting.
If I wanted to get all deep about it, I guess this painting is a metaphor for my painting career…not quite there yet!
Terry heads home tomorrow, and I’ll stay for my blog retreat.
new on the blog
- I was very late to jump on the Rhubarb Train. As someone who likes just about every fruit and vegetable, I had a mental block when it came to rhubarb for most of my life. But I’m thrilled to say that I’ve overcome that aversion and feel like I must now make up for lost time! Enter this simple Rhubarb Jam recipe. You can water bath can it to keep it in the pantry or freeze it. If you freeze, make sure to leave 1″ of headspace.
from the kitchen
- Dehydrating apples is a great way to use up a bounty of apples before they go off. I dehydrate apples when they are a little too soft for me or even a bit mealy. It’s the perfect remedy. And not for nothing, dehydrated apples make great travel food! This post shares how to dehydrate apples without a dehydrator!
- Thanks to Louise for the lovely review of this Blueberry and Apple Crumble.
I made the blueberry and apple crumble last week while we had company. It was delicious and will be making it again. Thank you. L
from the knit studio
- Are you interested in learning to knit or gaining more confidence in your knitting skills? I encourage you to check out the series of how-to-knit posts we’ve done that will help you with either of these goals. I recently received this email from one of our valued readers that I hope will motivate you to expand your knitting skills with these posts. Thanks so much to Penny for sharing her thoughts!
Oh my gosh Lynn! I just went down a rabbit hole reading your knitting posts from previous years. I am an experienced knitter but I was fascinated with the detail that you used to explain the basics of knitting, casting on, needles, etc. I find the typical pictures of how to knit unintelligible but your instructions are awesome, perfectly understandable. I think it is that you take so many photos that I can see every step.Penny
If you want to learn how to knit or are looking to brush up on your knitting skills and knowledge, pop over to the How to Knit page, which houses all of the posts that teach knitting skills. Or, you could go ahead and visit each one by clicking the links below.
All About Knitting
- All About Yarn, including different fibers and weights, how to read a yarn label, and a Yarn Weights Chart
- All About Knitting Needles, including material, sizes, styles, and a Needle Conversion Chart.
- How to Cast On Using the Long-Tail Method, including calculating how much yarn is needed to cast on and how to make a slip knot.
- How to Knit the Knit Stitch
- How to Knit the Purl Stitch
- How to Knit the Seed Stitch
- How to Bind Off, including how to weave in your loose ends.
- How to Read a Knit Pattern, including a Common Knitting Abbreviations Chart.
- This simple Garter Knit Dishcloth will let you put all your new skills to good use!
- How to Block Your Knitting.
- Common Knit Errors; How to Prevent or Diagnose and Fix Them
- Join yarn using the Russian Join
- How to seam pieces of knit fabric with the Mattress Stitch (for sweaters, tops, pillows, etc…)
- How to Knit in the Round with Circular Needles
- How to Knit in the Round with Double-Pointed Needles
- How to Knit in the Round using the Magic Loop Technique.
- Organize Your Knitting with these free printables.
- Check out our Gift Ideas for Knitters.
from the craft room
- I’ve always been a sucker for ‘lawn art.’ I loved tucking in unexpected objects among my flowers and pots. I made these concrete balls last year and have moved them around my yard on my many whims. I liked one on my front porch steps, but now that my steps are white, they don’t stand out, so have been moved out into the yard.
- Not all crafts have to be for your home! These easy Bath and Body crafts will help soothe the body and soul. Make a couple and create your own spa gift for friends and family.
- Soothe rough heels with this Heel Balm.
- Keep a tin of this Hand Balm to nourish your cuticles and the rest of your overworked hands.
- Gently scented Goat’s Milk Soap for the bath or powder room.
- Add a bag of herbal bath salts to your next hot tub and steep away the stress.
- Heat up a microwavable neck wrap to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.
from the garden
Technically, Earth Day was this past Saturday, but can we all agree that every day should be Earth Day? Small efforts can have huge rewards.
- Be Bee Friendly! Plant flowers and vegetables that attract and nourish bees and keep harmful chemicals away from these hardest of hard workers.
- Use a natural weed killer. This is our third year of using this Vinegar Weed Killer. It took me a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t, how to use it, and what to expect. Sharing all my findings with you.
around the home + organization
- I’ll be gone from home for ten days on this trip. These Travel Organization Tips and this free, printable Packing Checklist keep me sane and organized.
- Kick off your spring cleaning with a spring decluttering with this 7-week decluttering checklist.
on my nightstand
Some of these are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission off the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
At the end of every month, I share my ‘reviews’ of books I’ve read, as well as where I stand for the year. I’ve set a goal to read 33 books this year. Many of you have written that you enjoy and appreciate my ‘book reviews’ (if you can call them that!), but I always struggle with not giving too much away and am also cognizant that my likes are not everyone else’s likes.
I am doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year. Last year I read thirty books, and this year upped it to thirty-three. So with that said, I’ve read nine thus far in 2023. Here is my quick and dirty review with one to five thumbs-up.
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Wow, where to begin with this one? It’s a quick read, but it doesn’t feel quick. There is very little ‘feel good’ in the book, which is not a reason not to read it. McCarthy’s spare prose puts you right in the midst of this post-apocalyptic world, where, despite the suffocating hopelessness, a father and son still find hope. McCarthy does such a phenomenal job putting you in that world that one morning after I had read it the night before, I was slightly startled to hear birdsong.
- Howard’s End by E.M. Forster 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 On the other end of the prose spectrum, this was an at times humorous and at times somber satire of the social strata of early 20th century England. I had never watched the movie before and followed the book by watching the Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson movie. The movie takes very few liberties, following the book closely.
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 When I was describing this book to my mom, I read the first paragraph of the book jacket and remarked, “not sure why I choose to read something that sounds so depressing, but I’m glad I did.” It is a historical fiction based on the last beheading in Iceland in the early 19th century. Kent does a brilliant job with her prose of placing you in the stark and merciless world of Iceland at that time. We know how the story ends before it begins, but it is the way that the tale of our protagonist, Agnes, unravels that will keep you totally immersed in the book. It is a rare day that I take time during the middle of the day to sit down with a book, which I did with this one over the weekend. It is haunting, yet somehow lovely at the same time.
- Brain Maker by David Perlmutter 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 A little non-fiction intermission! I am interested in gut health and how it affects our entire body. If this area interests you too, you’ll find this book enlightening. The bottom line, we are what we eat.
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Oh my heavens, I am on a roll! I’m afraid to say that out loud for fear of jinxing myself, but this was another gorgeous book! This book is meant to be savored; it is not a page-turner. O’Farrell has an incredibly poetic way with words that creates lush and melodic prose. This is ostensibly the story of Shakespeare, his wife Agnes, and their young son, Hamnet, who died from the plague. I say, ‘ostensibly’ because while Shakespeare is never named, you know it is him. And it is less about Shakespeare and more about his wife, her interests, her passions, and their relationship before, during, and after the death of their only son. Once again, I enjoyed this book so much that I reserved several more of her books from the library.
- The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼.5 There is no ‘half a thumbs up’ emoji…hence the .5. The only reason this is a 4.5 is that I don’t want to be too generous with the 5 thumbs to lose my credibility, and compared to Hamnet, it wasn’t quite as lovely. All that said, it is still a good book! Once again, not a page-turner but a slow unveiling of the relationship between two women of two different eras.
- The Good People by Hannah Kent 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼. Like her Burial Rites, this is based on true events. This time the story is set in early 19th century Ireland amongst a group of people struggling with poverty and a hardscrabble life. The belief in fairies (The Good People) figures heavily in this story, as does the conflict between that belief and the church. This ended completely differently than I expected and has I predicted last month! It is a sad story for all of the characters.
- I’m on a bit of a Maggie O’Farrell bent. I just really appreciate her writing, it is almost poetry. Her book, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 is my least favorite, but I still enjoyed reading it. A bit of a biography and I appreciate the insight into her life.
- The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 by Maggie O’Farrell is the story of two women of different generations who are related, but did not know it. The younger character takes in the elder and uncovers her heartbreaking past. The story does go back and forth in time, which didn’t bother me at all. O’Farrell does such a great job making you really care for her characters.
- This Must Be the Place 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼.5 by Maggie O’Farrell. Clearly I am still on my Maggie O’Farrell binge! This was another gorgeous book. At it’s core, it is about love, in all of its forms and variations. I struggled a bit with the back and forth in time and place, but she did bring it together. The story revolves around Daniel and Claudette, their marriage, their past marriages, their children and their past history that has brough them to their inflection point.
- A Ghost in the Throat 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 by Doireann Ní Ghríofa. This was a recommendation by one of our readers and I am so thankful for it! It’s a little hard to describe, but I’ll give it a go. It’s a bit of an autobiography by a young mother, also a published poet, who is fascinated (maybe a bit obsessed) by a famous poem written in the 18th century by another young Irish mother, Eileen O’Leary. The author, Doireann, traces the truth behind poem and the poem’s author, which centers on the murder of Art O’Leary. She hooks you with her opening line, “When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.“
- The City of Thieves 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼.5 by David Benioff. I loved everything about this book which was recommended to me by my brother! It is the story of Benioff’s grandfather, a Russian teenager during the siege of Leningrad and another young Russian soldier he meets in jail. Not to be cliche, but it will, in turn, make you giggle and make you cry. You witness the atrocities of the war at the same time you witness the evolving friendship between these two young men. The two main characters are immensely likable and have stayed with me even after finishing the book.
- The Marriage Portrait 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 by Maggie O’Farrell is the story of Lucrezia de Medici who was married at age of 13 to the Duke of Ferrara, 11 years her senior. Sadly, Lucrezia dies one year later under suspicious circumstances. What we know about this event is minimal, so O’Farrell adds much flesh to the bare bones. I’ve said that I am entralled by her style of writing, which remains true in this book.
- Let me introduce you to my college buddy, Jenny Gardiner. Jenny is an author of many books in Contemporary Romance genre, perfect for enjoyable reading at the pool, beach or anywhere! Jenny is smart and sassy, which carries through to her books. If you are looking for a fun Royal Romantic/Comedy read, check out Something in the Heir or Bite Me, her memoir about their life with their African Gray Parrot.
Well friends…I told you this would be a long one! Are you still with me?
We are off to do some hiking before we meet friends for dinner tonight. I wish for you a wonderful Monday and a fantastic rest of the week.