Merry Manifest – September 2017

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Hello there!  How’s the first few weeks of school treating everyone?  It’s strange to feel busy again – the first five years with only one kid who wasn’t school aged left us with a lot of freetime on our hands.  We just didn’t do a lot or commit to a lot.  We did things here or there, but these days feel different.  I’m trying to remember not to get so busy that our daughter grows up in the van; I want her to have the experiences of lazy days in our backyard too, so I’m trying to remember moderation in this season.

I’ve been trying to be intentional with my time over the last few months – intentional about things like chores and personal hobbies to spending time with my family.  I’m notoriously bad at balancing this all out, but when I do manage a bit of balance it feels great and I feel like myself.

I’m hoping in a few months to do another update of “how we do it” it around her as a working mom, now with a school aged kid and a school aged kids activities, but I don’t want to jump that gun too early and declare all the things are working and then back track later.  We’re in a season of trying things out right now and that’s okay.

In the mean time, I thought a good round up of current favorites was in store.  I miss sharing things like this on a regular basis, but I think once a month is the right goal for now.

So this is September’s Merry Manifest, a list of things that are currently bringing out the good in my world.


Amelie and Waitress Soundtracks – I know the world is all about Hamilton right now, but I was tickled to discover (and yes, I’m probably far behind) that these two movies were made into stage shows.  Neither is perfectly family friendly, but I’ve been enjoying them immensely (and you can listen to the whole albums on the Spotify Web Player for free).

Marian Call – One of our family favorites who recently came out with a new album and is on tour.  She came through town on her tour last weekend and we got to attend one of her house concerts – note: next house needs to have a basement suited for house concerts.  She’s just wonderful and brilliant and with an amazing voice to boot – if you’re in the area on her tour stops I highly recommend giving a show a chance.  Her shows are incredibly family friendly, though if you sign up for a house concert you’ll want to check with your host before bring kids just in case.


I’m currently working on a Hitchhiker shawl to give for our churches annual fundraiser.  I’m about 75% done and hope to do at least one more before the end of September when the items are due.

After that, I really need to get cracking on handmades for the winter.  My husband has blown through his third set of fingerless gloves, I want to make a bonnet or two for Helena and I’m thinking about doing socks for Henry this year.  I’m hosting a little craft along in Kaitlyn’s Tea with Tolkien group so I think one of these items needs to be Tolkien inspired.


I finally gave into the call of technology and got the family a Kindle Paperwhite during Prime Day and… I love the thing.  Don’t get me wrong I love my physical books, but oh this thing is great – especially synced up to my libraries Overdrive.  Borrowing libraries books at 11:38 p.m. because you just finished the last one?

Rilla of Ingleside – I recently finished the last of the Anne series and it was a nice little book.  I don’t think I’ll ever love it as much as “The Blue Castle” or the earlier Anne books, but it was a good read.  I would have preferred more emphasis on Rilla and less on Susan’s war prophecies.

Uprooted – A fun fantasy read, a little predictable, but worth a read.  I’m enjoying the fantasy trend of looking toward Eastern Europe for inspiration and the writers pulled a lot from this book from Russia and Poland.  It’s a nice change from the copycat Tolkien inspired landscapes and mythologies one often comes across in fantasy.  The author says this is currently stand alone, but I’d love to see more about this world in the future.

The Bear and Nightingale – I’m still unsure about this one.  It’s rather obvious the writer is not the biggest fan of Christian religions or so I think, I’m still not sure if the point was to tear at Christianity or just hypocrisy in religion in general.  That being said I enjoyed the world she created (another Eastern European inspired culture) and I do know a sequel is on its way that I’ll give a shot.

Uninvited – This one I’m reading for bookclub at church and …. ehh?  This isn’t a book I would have chosen for myself, mainly because I don’t have the trust issues that the author focuses on with other people.  So to me it’s reading less as a guidance or self help book and more as an expose on the authors personal neuroses.  It’s fine, I guess, I’m just struggling to relate because these aren’t my struggles.  There are more than a few sections I’ve come across in the first six chapters that we haven’t even been able to decipher – random affirmation that don’t quite make sense, but would probably sound good printed on a inspirational poster.  A fine book I guess, but I’m looking forward to moving on to our next study.

Homegoing – I’m trying to stretch my recreational reading a bit, I’m just in a phase in life where my reading time is more for relaxation and less for study or as a challenge, but I’m trying to pick something to challenge myself every few picks or so.  I’m only a few chapters in on this, but it is definitely a good book with a lot to make you think about.

Around the net:

Do people call it the net anymore?  I’m getting old.

I might have ordered no less than five of Alice Thomas Ellis’s books after reading this article.

One of my new favorite bloggers. I want her hair, and her super amazing wall calendar and all her blogging ideas.

When tragedy hits I think we all need a little advice on how to best help those in need.

On the Spiritual Side:

I’ve been trying to use our parishes subscription more intentionally.  We recently did a study of Edward Siri’s “Who Am I to Judge?” which was excellent and right now I’m working my way through The Wild Goose.  I highly recommend both if you have a subscription or other ways of watching them.

What’s on your manifest this month?

5 thoughts on “Merry Manifest – September 2017

  1. I had the EXACT same reaction to that article about Alice Thomas Ellis! I went hogwild with the Amazon splurges. Actually I feel vaguely guilty about that, because I did so without thinking whether I could even get them from the library.
    Uh, duh.


    • I looked in my library and Kindle/Overdrive – nothing! I’m guessing she’s not well known in the states. I have “Fairy Tale”, “The Summer House”, “Inn at the Edge of the World”, “Serpent on the Rock” and the first volume of her “Home Life” Column on order. I think some of them are being fulfilled through UK sellers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had that Hitchhiker shawl bookmarked for a while. I was just thinking it was about time I get some yarn to make it…. Looking forward to see your finished one — please post a pic!
    I read ‘Homegoing’ to stretch myself too and it was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. Really great storytelling and so powerful. I’m interested to hear your thoughts when you are done.


  3. I am SO EXCITED about that Alice Thomas Ellis article. I have loved her for several years and been trying (somewhat ineffectually!!) to spread the word about her. I am planning on hosting a read-along over at Literate Catholic, but I’m not sure which book to do yet. 🙂


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