Wednesday, August 2, 2023


The soft glow behind the curtains

must be morning at last.

The moon is long set.

I am in my mother's house.

She finishes one more sleep

in the room beneath mine.

I am old,

and she is ancient,

Yet still the mother bond

pulls firm as ever --

The body that encased me,

The voice that whispered

the mother secrets that

no infant can remember,

no woman can forget.

She is here yet.

The soft glow of morning,

The deep green fescue growing,

The distant lowing of cows

in a neighbor's field, calling,

Come, my love, my baby,

Come home to me again.

copyright, M.K. Christiansen

August, 2023

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Just Sitting Here --

 Hi, friends -

Since I'm just sitting here on the reclining loveseat with Adam on a slow Sunday afternoon, I might as well write a blog post, right? Sorry to be so absent. I'm definitely slowing down these days. Adam is done with school for the year, and since he's home, he's the cook for the summer. Hooray! I'm glad to get that daily chore off my shoulders for a few months. I don't mind cooking, but not everyday!

So what's going on? I'm enjoying being at home with the two dogs and the kitty cat. It's a pleasant, slow life. Most days my back gradually hurts more as the day wears on, and I take pain meds, use a heating pad, and rest a good bit. Thus: slowing down.

Still, I try to keep painting and spinning/knitting. Let's see if I can find some photos on my phone:

Here are some cards I have for sale at the Saturday farmers market.
This 9x12" piece is fairy children going into a forest. It feels magical. I very nearly achieved what I was hoping for, which can be hard with art!
Our huge gardenia bush is blooming now! I have a blossom tucked in my blouse as I'm typing now.
Painting bookmarks:

This is the "wildflower blanket" that I crocheted for my sweet granddaughter who is two years old.
Leo, my companion in the studio. He's so sweet.

Lately I've been spinning up this fleece from a local farm. It's a Shetland/Black Welsh Mtn. cross. I'm planning a cardigan sweater!

This pile of yarn went into a rug I wove. I love the mix of the dark (seen in the above photo), and the light-colored Cheviot fleece.

For those who recall that my husband Adam has been sick for several years with a severe auto-immune illness, he is getting better. He had 2 chemo infusions (the aggressive and preferred treatment), and he is definitely improving, has more energy, and will hopefully be able to go off some of his meds soon. We are very thankful. 

Much love to all of you friends in blogland!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Hello, Friends!

 Well, everyone, I've been gone a while. I've struggled to keep up with both my blog and my Youtube channel. Sorry! But I'll try to catch you up on the highlights of the last few months.

Christmas was not what we expected! Just before leaving on our long-awaited trip to Mississippi for Christmas with our kids and grandkids, Adam tested positive for Covid. He was not very ill, but he couldn't travel. Then, on Christmas Day, I had to make a "mad dash" trip to visit another of our children to help, and Adam stayed home. I traveled quite a bit, ended up in Chattanooga for a late family Christmas. Chaos ... but it all worked out!

Adam visited a new doctor for his auto-immune illness and was approved for two Rituxan infusions in March. They've already made him feel so much better! We're very thankful for his improvement. He has much more energy and hopes to be in remission soon. 

I'm still making soaps and lotions and working with yarn a lot. I bought two fleeces at a local farm, and then my brother gave me a large bag of fleece from his sheep in West Virginia. Those fleeces have been so fun to clean and work with! I love working with fleece more than I expected, even the feeling of lanolin on my hands and the smell of the barnyard in my studio. I used the old alpaca fleece to make a rug -- a trial run on rug weaving.

The farmers market has started up again. I've been doing it for nearly 11 years. I still enjoy it, but it's quite tiring. I'm slowing down a bit on making some of my wares. But I'm still enjoying my chickens and my spinning and knitting.

I've had a little medical problem, esophageal spasms, that keeps me from being as active and productive as I like to be, so it's been a more "restful" year than usual. REST is my word this year, I think. I don't mind slowing down and realizing I can't do all I used to do. And as we get older, of course we want to use the energy we have for other people, especially family. Adam is still pastoring and teaching middle school, so that keeps him very busy.

If for some reason you'd enjoy watching my Youtube videos, here's a link to my channel. A lot of the things I mentioned here have dedicated videos there. Wishing you all the best, blog friends!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

And Now It's November --

 It's been over a month since I last posted. What a whirlwind! October was lovely, but it sped by. The main thing that happened is that my daughter, son-in-law, and two adorable grandchildren came for a visit! The grown-ups quickly left for a much-deserved vacation, and the little ones stayed with Nana and Poppi for 7 days. Wow! I haven't done that before in my own house. (I usually go to theirs.) We had loads of fun, were very relaxed and mostly played inside and outside, and watched lots of Clifford the Big Red Dog and Beatrix Potter's World of Peter Rabbit and Friends. I missed them so much when they left to go home, but I was wiped out! I think it took me about 5 days to recover, haha.

At last I finished knitting the sweater vest that I made from my handspun yarn. It's a bit large, but that's better than too small. It's an extra layer for winter, to wear around the house.

I've been picking up so many pecans; this is a great pecan year! Today a friend is coming to pick some too. There are far too many for me. As you see in the photo above, the pecan leaves are covering the ground. We crush pecans when we drive out the driveway -- crunch, crunch -- and the chickens eagerly eat the meat inside. The baby chicks are babies no longer! They're nearly as big as the smallest hen, Bibby. I don't have a recent photo of them. And shockingly, I think they are all females! It doesn't seem possible, but I'm hopeful.

I'm slowly working on yet another children's picture book, this time a bedtime book full of sleeping woodland animals (well, except for the cat). Yesterday I finished the foxes.

I'm starting to write the text, which I want to be a poem, and yesterday I think I decided on its meter. I'm really enjoying this project. 

The farmers market is picking up speed as of last Saturday, and I must paint lots of cards this week, make Healing Herb Ointment today, and make a batch of soap. Phew! I also ordered more of my printed cards from the printer in New Bern. My packs of prints are selling faster than the hand-painted cards. 

I can tell Adam and I are getting older because we spend more time at the doctors' offices, and we talk about illnesses and medications. Ah well, that's what's important to you as you age, right? We are both doing fine. I've made some changes to my eating habits, and I'm feeling better than I have in the past 5 years. I cut out all sugar/desserts about 6 months ago. Then this fall I decided to begin intermittent fasting each day. It's not very radical, really. I try to eat supper about 5:00, and I don't have anything but water until breakfast the next morning, at about 9:00. It just gives my body a good fast, and gets my insulin levels down. It's a way to reverse pre-diabetes and (hopefully) avoid the awful medications for that disease. We shall see! I get blood work done next month, but for now, I feel really good -- less body pain, more energy. Hmm. See what I mean about talking about health issues? 

We have so many activities coming up with church friends and community events. It's a busy month. Enjoy the lovely autumn weather, dear friends, and remember to be thankful each day! 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Beloved Month

I told Adam that October 1st is my favorite day of the year. October is my favorite month, and on October 1st, I have thirty-one days of it to enjoy! 

Friday was an interesting day. Hurricane Ian was passing to our south, swinging strong winds and rain our way. With schools canceled, Adam was home. We enjoyed the day indoors, him sewing and me knitting and spinning. It was lovely. He made pumpkin scones.

I'm feeling so much better already, with cool weather and the departure of summer. Hooray! I'm also on a new eating schedule. Pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) has caused me to start a 16/8 diet schedule, where I don't consume anything but water between 5:00 pm and 9:00 am. It's not that hard to do, and it can really be good for you ... and it's so much better than taking medication, although I may have to do that too, eventually. But so far, I'm feeling so much better!

My doctor also prescribed a little something (medication) for anxiety, a first for me. I think that's helped also.

What have I been reading recently? Well, I read Miss Read's Changes at Fairacre, Tea by the Nursery Fire by Noel Streatfeild, and am now in the middle of Haven Kimmel's interesting pseudo-memoir, She Got Up Off the Couch. I have a precariously leaning tower of books on my bedside table, and another on my vanity, all of them waiting their turns.

Life has been fairly quiet here (except for that hurricane). I've adjusted to being home by myself during the day, and have taken the "be productive" pressure off myself. When the weather turns cool, my favorite thing to do is burn sticks and branches in the burn barrel in the mornings. It's sheer delight. 

I've started making my own pecan/peanut granola.
And how could I forget to tell you about the five baby chicks that were hatched by Henny Penny about 3 weeks ago?

They are so healthy, and she is such a good mama. I'm thrilled to see that all five have survived thus far. Three are "naked neck" birds, like their daddy Mr. Sparky. I'm not at all certain, but I have hopes that four of them are hens. We can hope! Think of all the eggs I'll have then!

I've been doing a lot of knitting -- LOTS of felted slippers, and I'm quite far along in a sweater vest, but not far enough along to show you photos of it yet. But it uses this yarn that I spun in July:

I did make a second wet-felted bowl, but no more. I'll wait to see whether I can sell them before I make a dozen, haha.
I take way too many photos of Leo. He's so very cute. I'll go find a few of them to share with you, and end there. All is well with us, and I hope all is well with you also, dear friends! I'm over on Youtube more than I'm here, if you're looking for me :) Take care, and God bless --

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Hello, Tomorrow!

 What's tomorrow? Tomorrow is the first of September!! I'm so happy to wave August good-bye, with all its heat. September might not feel much better right away, but at least it is an "-ember" month, and it must usher us into the cool delights of the ember months.

I hibernate indoors during summer and do creative things, as you know. This has been The Summer of Felting. I showed you the hats before. Then I moved on to slippers! Oh, what joy! 

I think I've felted about eleven pairs of slippers.

Felting is unpredictable and time-consuming, and I may have finally perfected the knitting pattern that I use to make these slippers. It took a lot of knitting, trial, and error.

This week I moved on to wet felting. Rather than knitting an item and then washing it to felt it (shrink it), wet felting uses straight fiber, wetted, soaped, and rubbed for hours, in order to make a piece. I started with a rectangle that I may turn into a book cover. It's about 8"x7".

I immediately made a larger one that was more challenging:

I like the colors, but I don't like making objects that seem to have no use. So yesterday I decided to make a bowl. I watched a long video by an expert felter called Nicola Brown, set out all my wool fiber, and launched into it!

That's more like it! I'm quite happy with that bowl, but it took 4 hours of hard work (as in, physical labor) to produce it. I'll wait a few days before I do that again. I love the look of felted wool. I hope to be doing this for a while.
Adam is back teaching school now. His health issues continue, and we plug away, one day at a time. It's not easy. Our lawn mower has been broken and in the repair shop for nearly 2 months. A very kind neighbor did mow the house lot a few days ago (with many thanks from us!!), but it doesn't look like the rest of the weedy property will be mowed anytime soon. SIGH.
I took a trip with a friend to Montreat, in the lovely mountains of North Carolina. Then I visited my mother and family in West Virginia. Both trips were designed to let me escape from August's unrelenting heat, and I knitted and felted slippers as I traveled. Now the temperatures have dipped into the 80s, thankfully. 
You'd think I'd be truly sick of crafty activities, but I'm not. If I do get tired of one, I just rotate to another. I haven't been doing a lot of painting, but I did finish these three "sleeping animals" pieces, which are 9"x12".

I think I like the rabbits best.
Here's a photo of Leo, and of my mother's geraniums, and then I must dash. 

All the best, dear friends! God bless!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Whatsoever Things

 A daughter of an old friend shared a "story" on Facebook that she found on Twitter. I don't do Twitter. But I did find the Tweet from Hannah Anderson. Anderson said so many good things, but here's an example:

"We only have a certain amount of time, attention, & resources. If we devote them to being anti-culture, we cannot devote them to forming healthy culture. We're passing along something, to be sure. But it's not the gospel. It's not a sustainable faith."

Basically, Anderson is saying this: Be careful about being against things. Don't be against the culture, but don't be against the church. If your life is full of "anti-things" and "no," you will reach the bottom of that well and be empty. You can spend your life being against things (even evil things), but it won't fill your soul or bring you happiness. 

We need to spend our time making good things, beautiful things, joyful things, whenever we can. The gospel is the good news, not the anti-news.

Like Anderson, I was entirely brought up in a Christian culture that was against; we were all about rejecting people and ideas. It defined us. We were anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-Democrat, anti-drugs, anti-divorce, etc. You remember. We called ourselves pro-life, pro-marriage, Republican, clean-living, etc. But we spent most of our mental time being against things.

It's exhausting.

Now it's also popular to be against the church, against institutions, against whatever the other side is. I have friends on both sides of this pitched battle. I'm tired of it.

A scrap of paper on my desk reminds me:

Sometimes the ugly in life jumps up and bites us, and we must deal with it. Some friends feel called to be warriors in the Ugly Fight. I don't. Most of us are struggling to get our legs out of the quagmire of cultural sadness from all sides. I want a saving rope of beauty and goodness to come down and rescue me from the quicksand, don't you?

Perhaps this is why the part of Facebook I still enjoy is the groups -- "Spinning Fibers" and "Handy Women" and "Creating Hygge" and "View from My Window." All these groups consciously foster peace, beauty, or encouragement inside a community of humans. No meanness allowed.

It's hard to change yourself at almost-60. I was trained for decades to be against things, and was told to raise my children the same way. It's heart-breaking now to think of all the opportunities for joy I missed with them. (We did have many, but not enough.) I can try to change myself for my remaining years, though. This Bible verse has been rattling away inside my head for many days:

"Make it your ambition 
to lead a quiet life 
and attend to your own business
 and work with your hands." 
I Thess. 4:11

That sounds like a lovely life, yes? I'm trying. Wishing all you friends the very best, and if these words are helpful at all, I'm glad.

Hannah Anderson's website is here.