'Perfect is the enemy of good'

Apparently Voltaire said that at some point during the 18th century. If you're anything like me, you're thinking, who was Voltaire anyway? I mean, I've heard his name and I probably had to include him in an essay once in humanities class, but maybe I'll just google him to make sure I'm not quoting some mass-murdering sociopath in my first blog post in a very long time.

 A quick search reassures me that Voltaire is OK to quote, but now I'm googling mass-murdering sociopaths throughout history and it's bad. Don't google that.

Next, I make myself a bowl of oatmeal. 

Another day goes by and I haven't started this blog.

Restarted. As I alluded to above, I began writing Penny Carnival a long time ago--March 2008 when my daughters were in diapers and our family lived in Spokane, Washington. Since then, we have moved to three different cities and lived in six different homes. Yes, 2,018 minus 2,008 equals 10. No, we're not in the military.

I think what has held me back so many times from diving into this creative outlet (which is what it was and always will be) was the expectation I'd set for myself to make it perfect. And if it wasn't perfect, it wasn't worth sharing with the world. I mean, who wanted to read about a family of four living in a 700-square-foot urban apartment? (Um, lots of people do, you ding dong). 

Plus, blogs and Instagram feeds and Twitter accounts and who knows what else are just so pretty these days. My 13-year-old daughter (Bo) advises me that a website's imagery needs to stick with a consistent theme and that I must post on social media at peak times each day. She, for example, sets an alarm to remind herself to post every evening at 5:00. (If her dream of becoming an actor falls through, we're suggesting something in marketing or communications.)

But I'm opting to channel Voltaire (and my friend Sarah, who introduced me to that message years ago), and I'm going to start blogging again regardless of any inner or outer expectations. Consider yourself warned that things might go online here at 3 a.m., and I hope you will be sleeping. My Insta feed will likely use different filters and inconsistent hashtags. And sometimes the posts here will be about topics as mundane as what I had for second breakfast today.

Blackberries, if you're wondering. From this bush.


First breakfast was eggs (from our chickens) and spinach (from the grocery store).

Other times, I hope the posts here will offer something more intriguing, like the remodeling we're doing of this 1905 farmhouse, which--after six homes in 10 years--we hope will be our last.

farmhouse penny carnival.jpg

There will be recipes, too, but the photos that go with them might be half-eaten, like this apple galette that was seriously too good not to dig into immediately.

apple pie penny carnival.jpg

Did I mention that our farmhouse is on 2.5 acres? And that there are fruit trees? Lots of fruit trees.

apples penny carnival.jpg
barn penny carnival.jpg

And once our moving truck makes it here from Boston, I will dust off my sewing machine and offer up instructions for some handmade this and that. I haven't sewn a book sling in a few years, but this house is screaming for some bright tea towels and fabric baskets.

Whether you're a longtime reader of Penny Carnival (hi, old friends!) or you're new, thanks for being here for some not-perfect, plain old good. I've missed this space and am glad to be back.