Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This entry is like the Jeopardy category of the same name-a little bit of everything that hopefully comes together in a pleasing way. I've thought of all kinds of things to write over the last couple of weeks, and one of my original fears about blogging is coming true. I'm not using my beloved red journal much any more. I take a few notes in church and scribble down a poem or two, but that's about it. I love how my previous red books are a snapshot of my real life, sort of like a combination between an old-fashioned Household Book and a Commonplace Book. They have everything from grocery lists to games of dots with Evan and Sara during church to scriptural insights to travelogues.
Now, I've gotten out of the habit of always having it at my fingertips and writing in it because I'm now editing in my mind to write things here. I am all for cultural and emotional evolution as long as it improves on things, so I am going to try and amend my previous habits by making notes in a smaller book once I fill up my current red journal. I can have the immediacy and tactile pleasure of a nice book, but use the notes as a basis for my writing here. I have a deep-seated aversion to redundancy in any form, ( I always challenge myself to get all my groceries in the house in one trip because I can't stand making multiple trips in and out of the house. You should come over sometime-it's very entertaining) so the thought of writing something once in my red book and then writing it here or having different journals for different things is bothersome to me, but one must adjust I suppose. I need to make a choice about how large a part blogging is going to play in my journaling life, because the red books constitute the most successful journaling I've ever done .

Something that sparked my interest recently was a "reprint" of a knitting book that I bought. The author had self published a very artistic, hand-bound book of sock instructions. It sold out quickly of course, and I never bought one. Now it is available on a disc as a series of interactive html and java based pages that one reads in a web browser. It has the interactivity and multimedia capabilities of the internet, kind of like a blog, but it is permanently preserved on a disc. I need to learn how to do that, because I really enjoyed using this new version of the old "book." Maybe that will be the future of my journaling.

So as I sit down to capture the last few weeks, I am paused between travels. But before the travels came a birthday, a little Shakespeare, and time spent with family.
June 30, the day I got back from camp, was Evan's 11th birthday. He requested a plain yellow cake with plain vanilla frosting and Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. That is Evan's taste in food expressed in cake. He knows what he likes and it all fits on a very short list. The cake worked out fine from my standard recipe for yellow cake taken from Cooks Illustrated's The Best Recipe. The buttercream icing was simple and went well with the strawberry jam filling between the layers. Sometimes less is more. Unfortunately, Eric picked up the coffee ice cream instead of the cookies and cream while at the supermarket, so Ev was a bit disappointed on that score, but all was made right the next day and he got to have his ice cream for lunch. The party above actually happened on Monday the 2nd so that everyone in town could come over-Mandi and Tim and Grandma Joy in addition to Steph and Dave and Mom and Pop.

On his actual birthday, with his permission, we got to go on a wonderful double date with our friends Mendy and Michael. We went to see Shakespeare's As You Like It performed in the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute-an antebellum girls school located above Old Ellicott City. It is so beautiful-arches and columns and beautiful light. They rent the property for photo shoots. It is spendy, but I think it would be great fun to do our next family photo shoot there. The show was great, the company was even better, and we got to have our first dinner at the Ram's Head. We've never been there in all our years of living just down the road. We will definitely be back. Michael and Mendy are great fun and we laughed a lot, ate swedish fish and M&M's and talked about everything.

Fast forwarding to the 4th of July, we started the day with the fabulous church breakfast at the park with the funny name by the shores of Laurel Lakes, then had a few hours of nothing (I love nothing during days like these) before heading over to my mom's for our traditional, old-fashioned Catonsville Independence Day. As usual, the parade was loud and colorful and the food was delicious. The fireworks got postponed this time, so we missed those, but the day ended successfully with an impromptu trip to the movies to see Transformers.
Here's Tyler in his Parade finery
Mandi, Tim and Tyler on Mom's front steps
There's nothing like a parade!
Sweet Grandma Joy
Sara and Mandi in their matching outfits
Everyone eating al fresco in Mom's lovely yard

On the 5th, I left for my adventure deep in America's Dairyland: Knitting Camp in Marshfield, Wisconsin. I'll write about that on my knitting blog and put up a link. Here's to redundancy if it gets the story told.


  1. Wow! Busy times. I loved As You Like It. I'm glad you saw it too. I also hate redundancy, and with the emergence of my blog, I have been doing less giant journaling. Still, they really do serve different purposes. I suppose I will go back and forth. I've always loved your red books. They're awesome.

  2. Next year we need to all coordinate and get to Shakespeare on the same night :) I love your redbooks too. I like that things come and go in our lives and that we make places for the things that work best when they fit, if that makes sense. I love looking at all my old journals, they were just right at the time and reading them puts me back in that place and frame of mind. Journaling is awesome!

  3. Well, if you ever left off blogging, I would sure miss you! Though I suppose there's always the Nook. You definitely have to do whatever works best for you. I actually have something like a red book, but mine its not quite as comprehensive as yours. It's basically a small spiral notebook where I jot down shopping lists, to-do lists, phone numbers, random thoughts and observations, doodles during long phone calls. My best journaling has always been through letters--for that sense of audience, I suppose, so blogging works great for me because I'm writing for an audience, not just myself. Anyway, long comment. I loved your pictures, especially the one of "Sweet Grandma Joy."

  4. What busy good times. I liked the photo snippets and recaps. I forgot to ask about your knitting retreat when we talked last!

    I love the red book idea and had never heard of a commonplace book before. I also keep a random spiral notebook or two around for jotting, but not much else. My stashes of ticket stubs and cards end up tucked away and who knows where else!


Thank you for sharing your insights!