Brooks and Meadows

What happens when a family gets together and shares their excitement about their next creative adventure?! Creative rabbit trails - that's what happens.

Brooks and Meadows is where we will store all things about the rabbit trail. Sure, we hope to create some streams of income, but the creative exploration is the driving force behind it.

Here's to looking forward to future rabbit trails!!

Reading Room

Let's talk books, shall we?

I don't read nearly as much as I'd like to. I've been pondering how to go about creating a reading corner in our family room so that I can snuggle up with good books while the family watches tv nearby. The bigger challenge I have is being able to drown out, or at the very least decrease, the noise. I'm considering noise canceling headsets. Anyone have recommendations for a good pair? LOL

Before we go any further, I must tell you, I am not a book snob. I mostly read what Charlotte Mason referred to as "Twaddle".  I'm not much of a biographical or historical non-fiction kinda reader. I'm just not. I'd rather be entertained when I have the opportunity for restful reading. I read plenty of non-fiction in my daily work. :-) Just give me heartwarming, adventurous, entertaining stories. Any kind will do.

So with that said, I am launching my Reading Room category. 

Happy reading!

The Sewing Room

If you had asked me just a few short years ago if I would need a category on my blog for sewing, I would have chuckled and said, "No, absolutely not. I don't have time or interest in that." The joke was on me.

My mom left her home of nearly 60 years a couple states away to come live with us. We has invited her to do so many times and, much to our surprise, suddenly accepted that invitation two years ago this month when we were driving back from a trip to Tennessee with our daughter and her family. That was the beginning of a whirlwind year.

When she moved here, she left behind decades worth of craft supplies, fabric, and her beloved quilting machine. She didn't think she'd be doing any quilting. But the loss she felt was more than expected, and before long we were emptying our front room and making space for a new long-arm quilting machine. I had long been insisting that I would not be participating in the quilting adventures. She'd smile and say, "We'll see..."

The evolution began when she needed some help cutting the fabric to piece her quilts. I'd never done anything like that; it took me a little while to teach myself how to follow instructions - fold, and turn, and measure, and cut. Before long I understood the insanity of cutting a bunch of fabric up only to sew it back together again to make beautiful, colorful, fabric works of art. I get it now. And yes, I'm sold. I love pretty much everything about the quilting process. I have yet to master the quilting machine - that's John's job for now - but soon I will be taking on that challenge :-)

I haven't had the time lately to work in the sewing room, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. God willing - I'll be back at it soon. Granted, it's only one of several hobbies I will make time for, but it's something that most likely will be a regular part of our days when John retires. So, I'm making this corner of the blog all about the sewing room. It won't be exclusively about quilting - there are other sewing projects I enjoy and intend to get to, and even more I haven't explored yet!

So, welcome to the sewing room!


Giving thanks - that we have gone back to attending church in person * AC * The plan for solar, especially after seeing the increase cost for utilities that we were all warned about actually happening * Our garden * Mom being here * Friends who cared for grandboys while we were away for a long day * Upcoming trips * Camp hopes * Time with my husband * A new day.

Outside my window - daylight is peaking its head in the east. Quiet. Humid. I hope the walk this morning won’t be miserable. The lawn needs mowed - oh boy, does the lawn need mowed. :-(

Clothing myself in - Pajamas

In the kitchen - there are clean counters and clear spaces. The refrigerator is stocked well but not stuffed so that we can’t find what we’re looking for and thus waste occurs. Other folks have picked up days for the MealTrain. I have been saving a lot of recipes to try from various sites, mostly from CleanFoodCrush. I am looking forward to trying some of them this week. God willing.

Writing - I am determined to show up and do it. Period.

Reading - Still hopeful about that reading corner. I think noise canceling headphones might be helpful. I want to finish the book that was already in progress and then move on to so many others on the list.

Watching - more movies right now, which I like because it doesn’t lock us into the commitment. I think I might have said the same thing last time. LOL Purple Heart; The Gray Man; The Tourist - that’s some that I can remember for now.

Listening - podcasts! I have only resumed Out of the Ordinary for now, but I think as I (hopefully) resume work on the homefront and then begin sewing and quilting again I will be able to listen to additional podcasts and even some books on Audible. That’s my hope.

New song - Nope, none that I can think of…

Making - Spending time with Jeremiah this past couple of weeks, I realized the aprons are a very good idea. Every one of the grandchildren will love having their own apron when helping us in the kitchen. Really, all the things. I have not lost hope in getting to making all the things, but it just takes time. And we’re not promised time, so I only hope for the possibilities.

Camp - I think word got out that we were considering selling… but we have decided not to. I don’t know how we're going to pay for the dues, but it has to happen. I’d still like to find a way to pay for it myself - maybe this week I’ll brainstorm some ideas.

The week ahead - today is full, but tomorrow starts work at Sarah’s house. I pray that we make really good and positive progress before the end of the week. School starts next week and we both really want it to start with the kids having a nice, clean, organized, comfortable space to work, play, and live in.

Love God; love people.


Lesterville, MO July 16, 2022

Giving thanks - that our daughter was like a pit bull, sinking her teeth into making John and me go to the river where her husband’s family owns a little piece of property right on the bank. It’s a river where a lot of float trips take place. We’d gone on one of those the year prior and it was not a banner experience. But she insisted we would enjoy the way their family did things, just hanging out on their little piece of heaven on earth, playing, and spending time together. She wanted very much to redeem the river’s reputation. 

So less than two weeks ago we packed a few things and off we went to follow them for the two-hour drive south. We did, indeed, enjoy our time on the river, in the sunshine, with the family we have come to call friends. It was a perfect day. We didn’t know it would be the last time we saw our friend, who died suddenly this past Monday. Amidst the shattered hearts and tears of profound grief, we are also incredibly thankful that God saw to it that we spent that time with him, that we were privileged to see him in what I am confident was his favorite place on earth. He was the happiest man I think I have ever known. I don’t recall ever seeing him in person or in a photo when he wasn’t smiling ear-to-ear. He loved his family with such gusto. I am grateful to have called him friend and family. 

Outside my window - we had record rainfall earlier this week. I will remember it as Heaven raining tears for us. Today, the sun is shining again. It feels wrong, and it feels right all at the same time.

Clothing myself in - whatever I could find available in my closet when I woke up at 8:00. Black yoga(ish) pants and forest green tank top. The ponytail is getting old. The next haircut may be shorter than it has been in a while.

In the kitchen - Meal Train foods are being prepared, along with our own family meals. Enchiladas are apparently a real favorite of those who have had them before. That makes me happy. People who know me know my love language is food. There is very little one can do to comfort those who have suffered such loss, but feeding them is one small, practical thing that can be done. Prayer and food. That’s it. 

Writing - I cannot not write. I might not be writing much these days, and certainly not much that matters. But I’m starting to really grasp how important these words might be to my family one day. I’ve actually considered changing the settings to invite only so that I can be a little more open with details. For now, I realized I can still write those posts and leave them in drafts until a later date. My girls will know how to access them if and when the time comes. I know how much it would mean to me to have writings from my own father, John’s parents, and all those who have come before. Stories matter, and we have lost so much because people have let go of the art of storytelling. Having things written down helps keep the stories accurate. Oh, how I wish I had those stories in writing.

Reading - I am thinking about how I can create a reading corner in the living room. I want to be with the family in the evenings, but I’d rather be reading than watching tv (as I’m sure you’re tired of reading). There are times when I really enjoy movies and good series - just like anyone else. But the books would be so much better.

Watching - we finished All American and last night we started The Terminal List. It’s a Prime Video original and only has eight episodes. I actually kind of like that because I don’t feel like we are committed for weeks :-)

Listening - I’ve started listening to Out of the Ordinary again, and I remember why I enjoy podcasts so much. I think I will be spending more time in the car to and from walks, and in the basement working with fabric in the coming months. I will be listening more to music, podcasts, and books on audio.

New song - The only song that comes to mind is one that the family indicated was a favorite of their dad’s. Till you can’t by Cody Johnson

Making - English muffins. I suppose that could go in the Kitchen category but it’s what I’m making for now. I hope to get some yogurt and granola made also.

Camp - Still undecided about the lots. Leaning toward keeping them at the moment. I’d like to find a way to pay for the annual dues myself. I haven’t actually had a source of income myself since I was 25 years old. I’d like to know that I can if I really need and want to. 

The week ahead - from the last daybook post  ****BLACKOUT DATES there is so much on the list of to-dos during this blackout period… I kind of need to think about a list, maybe. :-)***

Note to self. STOP THINKING THAT YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER ANYTHING. You don’t. You simply do not. Not one iota of control. Put the planner aside. Stop making long lists. Stop thinking that you know what lies ahead. Stop making everything today about tomorrow. It is wasting valuable time.

Just love people. Love God and love people.

Sunday Mornings

Trying to get back to church. Laziness; I’ll call it what it is - laziness that has kept us from getting back to church regularly. And travel - there has been some travel. 

Starting out the week with a plan for meals at least. That’s a good start. 

Sunday - BLTs. This is a maybe because if we go out after church it becomes more of a fend-for-yourself day. 

Monday - Mosticiolli

Tuesday - Cabbage Rolls

Wednesday - Pork chops

Thursday - Pot roast 

Friday - Hibachi Shrimp

Saturday - Grilled ham & pineapple


Giving thanks - that I was prompted and convicted to resume my walks at my favorite park. This alone is such a gift and so, so good for my spirit. It is an investment in my life and, therefore, an investment in good stewardship and service to the people in my life. 

Never enough time...

Why is it that I like my avatar better than the reflection in the mirror some days :-)

It's been one of those weeks. I'd like to write a Daybook post, or anything really, but right now I have other responsibilities beckoning me. These days I wonder if God ever had any intentions for my writing.

Maybe later this week there will be some scattered moments for some scattered thoughts from a scattered brain LOL.

Does anyone else ever feel this way? Tell me if you do...