Lots of nothing much


These days, I am clinging to fall as tenaciously as the few remaining leaves are clinging to our trees. Icy winds have been howling for days, and we finally have need for the sweaters I’ve been longing to wear since September.


Winds blew all the leaves into the side of the house, covering what’s left of our garden beds.

I love it. We have been lighting fires and candles, making soups, and snuggling in with blankets and sweaters and woolly socks.

I used to sleep under this quilt at my grandparents' house when I was a girl. My great-grandmother filled it with down from her own animals.

I used to sleep under this quilt at my grandparents’ house when I was a girl.


This dog finds joy in every day, in the smallest of things.

I am making slow progress on the napkins. Emphasis on slow.


So many, many tiny little stitches…

I have other projects I want to work on. Small, simple things. I’d love to stitch up some new cloth napkins for the holiday plates we’ll be using after Thanksgiving.


I’d like to make a variation on these wonderful paper snowballs that’s been knocking around in my head.


I want to make cookies, and then eat them while diving deep into another world. I encountered this book last spring, but I’ve been saving it for the cold, dark months that we’re finally entering. I’m sure it’s more of a winter book than a spring or summer one. (Do you think some books demand particular seasons, too?)


I want to spend hours lost in 14th century Norway, but that might have to wait until January because right now, I am stitching, stitching, stitching…


No, I am not neat and tidy with my supplies.

I’m behind schedule. When I started, I figured I’d need to complete one napkin per week. I’m at 1.6 for the past two weeks. Clearly, that will not suffice. Each flower takes about one episode of Friday Night Lights. (Oh, how did I miss that series for so long? Such delicious TV candy, that.) The stitching feels tedious at times, but at other times it is soothing. I’m getting better and faster at it, and that kind of progress is so satisfying.

This is absolutely a gift for myself as well as for my mom. As Marian helped me see in her post about knitting, the experience of making something for someone else is as much about what goes on in our heads as in our hands. As I stitch, I am grateful that I have the time and materials I need to make a gift. I am grateful that, although my eyes are definitely straining to get thread through the small eye of a needle, I can still get it through. I’m grateful my hands can hold and handle a needle. Mostly, I am grateful that I have people I love to make gifts for.

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I wish you a safe holiday and much to be thankful for.

How could we not bring this home from the thrift store with us?

How could we not bring this home from the thrift store with us?

9 thoughts on “Lots of nothing much

  1. Marian says:

    I love the coziness of fall and winter 🙂 .

    The napkins look like they’re coming along really nicely! I love that you feel that stitching them has become as much a gift for yourself as for your mom, and that it’s become a conduit for gratitude. This is precisely how I feel when I make things, so much so that if the recipients no longer want/need the item (for example, my boys are both now beyond appreciating my hand-knit mittens) I feel it very distinctly as a loss. (And then I have to figure out other ways to channel my need to make things for my loved ones!)

    Oh my gosh — Kristin Lavransdatter!!!!! I read this trilogy about 20 years ago, alongside my FIL. I loved it, and it spurred on a rather lengthy mediaeval historical fiction jag. Not sure if you’re a particular fan of this genre (or just happened across this book) but in case you are, Sharon Kay Penman’s Welsh Princes series is SO GOOD!!! (And yes, delving deep into another world fits in so well with cozying up under a blanket, a cup of hot tea beside you, while the wind/snow howls outside….)

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Rita 🙂
    Marian recently posted…Knitting Over-analyzedMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      I love cozy, too. These really are my seasons–although I love spring, too. It’s really just summer that gets to me.

      I heard about Kristin Lavransdatter from a library colleague. Early last spring I read The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, which I loved. One reviewer said, “”If Willa Cather and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had collaborated on a book, THE SNOW CHILD would be it,” and that’s what got me to try it. And that is exactly true. It was a quiet, old-fashioned book, which seems to be what I’m craving in my reading right now. It’s a book in which big things happen, both inside and outside the characters. (I’m impatient as can be with navel-gazing protagonists who do nothing more than talk and think about the minutiae of modern life.) I was telling my friend Suzi about why I liked it, and she recommended Lavransdatter. I’ve been saving it all these months, and I think I will begin it over the holiday weekend. I’m very much looking forward to Thanksgiving this year–though I maintain that I wish we celebrated when Canada does. Your time frame is so much more sensible than ours, and it seems to allow Thanksgiving to remain its own, true holiday, rather than Christmas’s red-headed step-child.

  2. Lisa says:

    Lately I feel that “lots of nothing much” is definitely something to be grateful for….I am enjoying monotony and uneventfulness, as it means nothing is wrong that needs my fixing. I’m glad you are having nice, uneventful days. The napkins look like they are coming along swimmingly.
    Lisa recently posted…two One Room Challenge highlightsMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Oh, me too. I’ve had about as much of lots of something in the past few months as I can stomach. I’m glad to hear you’re having some nice, boring days, too. I think we both could use a lot of that.

  3. Sarah says:

    Such lovely stitching on that flower! I hope the napkins for your mom are going well. And I hope you do get a chance to sew up some for yourself, too — I love that combination of fabrics and they go so nicely with your dishes!

    Ooh, Kristin Lavransdatter! That’s been on my to-read shelf for way too embarrassingly long. I’d promise to start it this weekend along with you, but I have a couple of novels I’m smack in the middle of that I feel kind of obligated to. (I mean, I am enjoying them, I really do want to finish them — I just cannot seem to get into a fiction-reading rhythm these days.) And I’m definitely putting The Snow Child on my list, too!
    Sarah recently posted…Slow Fashion October: WORN, and why I care about clothesMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      I know what you mean about fiction-reading rhythm–I have a hard time finding one, too. When I was younger (before kids), I always had a fiction book going. Not so now. When I click with a book, I have no problem finding time to read it. Problem is that I don’t click with much these days. Not sure why…I miss the days of being easily enveloped.

      • Marian says:

        I’m experiencing the same problem! Ever since my WWII jag I’ve had a hard time choosing a fiction book to settle into. I know part of the problem is the need to knit, but I think it’s also largely due to indecisiveness. So many good books on my list (and The Snow Child is definitely going on my list too; I love novels based on fairy tales!) and I should just pick one and go with it, but then I get bogged down in Goodreads reviews and start second-guessing. (Which sounds just a bit pathetic!) (I did — finally! — read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I had been on the library waiting list since JULY!)
        Marian recently posted…Knitting Over-analyzedMy Profile

        • Rita says:

          I found some good stuff in the Kondo book, but I don’t really understand why it had the impact it did. I really liked The Snow Child–I like a good fairy-tale based novel, too. A good old-fashioned kind of read.

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