I heard from a bird…

…that this blog will be moving soon.


Come visit at kortneygarrison.com!

I’ll be requesting a site redirect, so *hopefully* you won’t notice any interruption.

I plan on posting on Sunday–the first Sunday of St Joseph–and Monday.  So if you don’t get redirected via your subscription or feed reader, you might have to come looking for me.

Do come looking won’t you?

A Morning at the Monastery

In October we had the chance to visit the Benedictine monastery Mt Angel Abbey.  It was a blustery day, but the sun did finally come out.  We walked the grounds, enjoyed the views.  Joseph kneeled and kissed every statue he found.  Then we went to the bookstore cafe to warm up with hot chocolate and muffins.  They even sold index cards, so we could draw a bit!

Now any visit to a monastery that includes an active toddler is going to be…active.  There were no extended times of stillness and silence.  Yet the morning was full of wonder and reverence and blessing.  May this New Year be likewise full.

5 Days to a More Peaceful Advent :: One Thing

The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings–Robert Louis Stevenson

…Except that all those things can sometimes make it too hard to choose.  Sometimes the fact that we could do any number of things makes it hard to do anything.  At our place it’s movies.  When it’s the perfect night to spend the evening together sharing stories through movies, we sometimes spend so much time trying to pick the right one that it gets too late to watch anything.

In the days leading up to Christmas, there will be no end to the things you can do together.  But don’t get bogged down in finding the perfect activity.  Choose simply; enjoy deeply; rest quietly.

peaceful advent

Here is a list of simple activities to get you started:

drink hot chocolate with whipped cream

play games

draw together

watch a movie

read a book outloud

share old family stories

take a bubble bath

watch the moon come full

make peppermint chocolate cookies

or peanut butter kisses

…and a pot of tea


my life and its hauled up noteooks


planning and scheming for the 31 Days challenge on the kitchen floor during naptime.  i don’t know if it’s necessary to have three different journals…though they do each serve a certain purpose!  i love that my paper plans are lining up with the digital.  just look at that poppy!

oh, and the post title comes from Anne Sexton’s haunting poem “45 Mercy Street.”

word + image


a few weeks ago Lori at Project Based Homeschooling mentioned Storybird.  it’s a site that offers illustrations to go with *your* stories.  you can also use the pictures as prompts for your writing.  but i had poem drafts piling up, so i started plugging them in!  i was really taken by so many different images, loved seeing how the feel of a poem shifted depending on which image it was paired with.  my poem are usually small–short poems, short lines, fairly limited subject matter.  i loved pairing my small things with really epic, even mythic pictures.

imaginings by jamin still

there are three options at Storybird: poetry (one image with “magnetic poetry” tiles to move into a poem), a longform book (you write + write and add pictures where you want them), and the picture book (many pictures with a small space for text).  this is what i used.  i finally settled on wonderfully evocative art by Jamin Still.  i feel honored to get to use such fine work.  though the site is generally easy to use, it was difficult to see what the finished product was going to look like before printing the zines.  of course you don’t have to print anything.  you can look at + link to your stories for free on their site.  but for $2.99 you can have online access as well as pdfs in three sizes: 8×11, 3×5, and one so tiny it must be for fairies to read.  plus the artist get a bit from royalties!

i hope you + your children check this resource out.  i look forward to seeing what you make!  and if you’d like a copy of my poetry zine, just let me know in the comments!

youtube the amazing

AP found this beauty yesterday.  it’s amazing how familiar these images are.  80 years after this film was made, i rode up the river in dugout canoes and watched as the men hauled the boats up over the rocks.  i washed with a calabash + helped make cassava bread. one note–the film uses the term “Djuka” for all of the Suriname maroons.  watch to the end; there’s dancing.



zoo adventures

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we spent a marvelous morning at the zoo when the California grandparents came to visit!  the animals were active and visible and the day was bright but not too warm.  even though we got to see the young lion cubs wrestle with their papa and the sea otters getting breakfast, we all agreed that petting and brushing the African goas was the highlight of the day!