and the trees are stripped bare

GUESS WHO PUT IN A WOOD STOVE?? There's still a bit of masonry yet to finish, but our farmhouse is fired up. The winter of my discontent shall be a good bit toastier. Take that, polar vortex.

We threw a party: venison chili, mulled cider, and a fire for a crowd of thirty-odd friends and neighbors. Such a nice night. My brother and his girlfriend drove out from Philly to spend the weekend with us, too, which was great. We went out together to a quirky Northern Chinese restaurant ten miles further into the the middle of nowhere, PA, that everyone was thoroughly charmed by. Dumplings forever. Delegating pumpkin carving to Uncle Josh? Priceless.

James turned five, and we celebrated with blue key lime buttercream. My older sister visited with a crew of friends for a little team-building retreat involving jumping off telephone poles. My parents were around for a bit. They bought a little second home here a few years back and venture out every few weeks, to the great delight of Dylan and James.

Jim's been in Milwaukee putting on a big four thousand runner stadium race with his buddy, like you do. That meant nearly a week of solo parenting, but we hung in there, we did. Quite happily, all things considered, fitting in trick-or-treat, a living room camp-out, a movie night, and scrambled eggs for dinner twice. Jim is back, and he brought with him Wisconsin cheese, because all the best men do.


50 Women Every Christian Should Know Michelle DeRusha's collection of mini biographies is worthy of a read. She's got mystics, martyrs, missionaries, activists, artists, and all sorts of diverse women spanning Church history. Definitely a good introduction to inspire further reading.

My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within More an autobiography than a proper memoir, I had a difficult time with this one, but I trust it would resonate with those who share similar stories.

Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World This title from Nish Weiseth, my editor at A Deeper Story, is about the role of storytelling in creating community and forging understanding. Her writing is interspersed with posts from the multi-contributor website, (including the first one I ever published with them. In print!). Like Nish, I've seen stories change minds and heal hearts, and writing in that community has been a tremendous pleasure.

As one who is equally appreciative of a well-reasoned argument (and believes that storytelling, like anything, can have a dark side), I wasn't completely sold on her story-is-king premise, but it's certainly a hopeful one, and Christians could all do with a bit more listening and not despising the days of small things.

Gone Girl Whoa. This thriller had me going. I don't want to spoil anything, but I definitely want to see the movie.

The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry Worth it alone for Anglo-Saxon Protestant Heterosexual Men. Berry is a national treasure.


The Bletchley Circle: These BBC feminist period piece mysteries about a crew of smart and nerdy code-breakers are the BEST and altogether too few. The series/seasons are just three episodes a piece. The first is on Netflix, and the second I tracked down in the library system.

Scandal and Parenthood remain my faves. I'm also rather charmed by the freshman romantic comedies A to Z (NBC) and Manhattan Love Story (ABC).

Pretty sure I saw zero movies last month.


Bill Murray mumble-singing one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs forever and ever amen. Anyone seen this movie yet?

If Ruth Baby Ginsburg doesn't make you smile, you are dead inside.

All right, that's me. What have you been doing, seeing, loving of late?

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