A Rose by any other Name

When I was in grade school I did a speech project on Shakespeare’s adage “A rose by any other name…” from Romeo and Juliette. I was a young romantic teen who was all into roses and romance and goo-goo-eyed gossip and summer crushes. Why wouldn’t I write about such a phrase if, in fact, we had to study Shakespeare? But that was a long time ago. Now I realize that Shakespeare was right. Sort of.

I suppose the point of Shakespeare’s monologue was to imply that it doesn’t matter what things are called, it matters what they are. Roses would smell just as sweet if they were called bluebells or snickerdoodles. Although snickerdoodles have their own sweeet aroma, don’t they? So here lies the muse. Are names important?

I’d like to think that we chose our children’s names based on research and good intentions. And we did. We talked about how they flowed and looked up their meanings and origins. I think most parents do. There is significance to who you were named after, your legacy, your family tree, etc. etc. Do you agree?

I suspect marketers and logo experts debate about what to name their products. Maybe not. I’ve heard many a story of music groups randomly picking names that seemed to stick. The Beatles? Really? Wham? Hootie and the Blowfish? Do they smell as sweet? Yeah, I guess.

I guess I was thinking about this these past few weeks as I was dreaming about our new place. The hubby says it’s not a “farm”… but it has a barn and a coop and so it must be a farm, right? Either way, a good property needs a name, right? I heard from the neighbours that most of the neighbouring farms were once owned by The Tinney family. The other half were from Linton’s. Dairy farmers. The name “Linton” seems to have it’s roots in the classic novel “Wuthering Heights” … which unlike Shakespeare, I did not read. Still, like most classics, there is a villian and a love interest and yadayada.

Why am I saying all this? Well. Names are important. They link you to your past. They connect you as a character in a story. They leave you a legacy to follow or one to create. Proverbs tells us that a good name is greater than silver or gold. What it means is that your character is connected to what people call you. Just think of all the names we have for God. Each describes a bit of His charcter. And that character helps us hold Him (and us!) in a good standing compared to others. Do you see it?

Anyway… my brain is kinda wandering around in this subject. Perhaps my thoughts are not as clear as I’d like them to be. Bottom line: names are important. But character is more important. And your name links you to your character and it’s legacy. Which is most important. So our new farm needs a name.

The Linton’s of Wuthering Heights lived in the Moors. Mitton Moors? Not really a moor. Not really a meadow either. Money pit? Maybe. Retirement Acres? Chicken’s paradise? Let me know your thoughts. I’m curious.

Building Blocks

Greetings my friends! I’m still here! We’re packing, purging, and getting our current house ready to list. All the while I’m beginning to dream about the “farm”. I’ll be too late to plant the garden this year but will take on the pond this summer. And learning to appreciate sunsets from my wraparound porch. Still, my brain is currently occupied with boxes and shelving and storage and … stuff. I have way too many books. And crafting projects. And paper notebooks. However. The current bane of my existence is LEGO. Read about my first experiences here. I hate to say it but not much has changed since that post oh so long ago. In fact, it’s kinda funny that Lego was involved in blog changes then… and blog (okay whole life!) changes now.

Okay. So let’s recap the muse about Lego again. Denmark, 1916. Woodworker named Ole Kirk Christiansen is known as the “creator” of Lego. His original shop was building houses and furniture but the Great Depression caused the crew to focus on smaller projects like wooden toys. The term “Lego” is loosely translated to Danish for “play well” leg godt. In Latin “I put together”. The name stuck.

Photo by Rick Mason via unsplash

Fast forward through some tweaking and brick adjustment, and by 1958-60’s Ole’s son, Godfried had taken over the family business and began the big switch to plastic bricks over wooden ones. I was shocked to know that Lego Canada wasn’t fully established until the late 1980s. The bricks had made their way to North America sometime before, but Canada didn’t have its own branch until then. My childhood. I must be old. Now, of course, we have Lego amusement parks, online clubs, T.V.’s Lego Masters etc. etc. And no age limit to builders. AFOL is a thing: Adult Fans Of Lego. My grown son is one.

In fact, the whole house is filled with Lego maniacs. Someone inevitably receives a box at Christmas. During the pandemic, weeks were spent building Hogwarts giant castle complete with minifigures and moving staircases. And so the conundrum of moving it all. No one is willing to part with it (even though I hear you can fetch $60 a kilo for the loose bricks). I have a large, I’m talking knee-deep, bin full of loose bits and bobs and teeny tiny pieces I painstakingly sorted from various shelves and jars. I’m still finding random bricks here and there. I was chastised for not keeping the kits together… but what’s a mom to do when there are sooo many? Plus I have built kits collecting dust on shelves. Any hints? At this point, I am open to all and every suggestion. Message me. Please.

I suppose I cannot complain. We have been blessed with the resources to give such creative projects to our kids (those kits aren’t cheap… even second-hand!) And I am thankful that this hobby is one the whole family can participate in. Skills are required and bricks are boredom-busting… at least for a little bit of time! I love Christmas afternoon. The little baggies are all over the dining room table and heads are bowed in brick worship and concentration of builder booklets. Even our girls.

So my muse takes me to Ole Christiansen again. Could he have built my soon-to-be new-to-me-century farmhouse back in 1900? Would he know his toy would become a worldwide phenomenon? Will I ever find a solution for how to pack, sort, and store all those tiny bricks? I need perspective. Hebrews 3:4 says:

 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

I must remember that houses, Lego bricks, dishes, books and treasures I find are human things. Made by some factory and shipped from Amazon. Even the precious ones are created with human hands. God is the builder of our relationships. Our connections and our friendships. Our families. He orchestrates the timing in our lives of who arrives and who leaves our blips in time… and the whys of when they are there. I’m glad you all are out there. Connected to me in a weird way through my words on a page. I may not know you… and I may know you well. Your purpose in being here is real. I’m glad. And if you have an idea on how to organize Lego for moving: I’m very glad! Message me!


Oh, beloveds! What a week it has been! What a few weeks it has been! Apologies if I haven’t been keeping up. There has just been no time to do regular things like keeping a Blog. I’m jumping ahead of myself. Rewind. We bought a house! Not just any house…. an old-century farmhouse on 4 acres of land! That dream of chickens you’ve heard me talk about 100 times… it’s coming true! I’m trying to convince the hubby we also may need a small goat. That may take some time. He’s a work in progress. Anywhoo… I am super excited. But terrified.

The emotions have run high. We raised our kids in this house. Our first house. Twenty-one years in this house. So. Many. Memories. And a whole lot of clutter. I’ve just begun to unearth and box up “stuff”. Some things hold dear memories. Some do not. Some hold memories for others and I’m not allowed to cut out those things because of their thoughts. It’s a learning experience for all of us! I ask myself, “Does this hold emotional attachment for me?” Marie Kondo would be so proud. So. Many. Memories.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

I’m asking myself “Why?” “How can things contain emotion?” Or how can other things contain absolutely no attachment? I don’t have the answer. I am sure there is some deep psychology behind emotional attachment to inanimate objects. I’m sure those who work with hoarding and OCD behaviours have all the answers. I’m sure there are psychologists and therapies for the stress of moving and how to communicate appropriately to your grown children that they need to get rid of Legos. Or why I can’t throw away a rubber band (because I may need to it wrap something — and safety pins cost money?) Choices need to be made.

Now don’t get me wrong… I love a good purge and clean. Still… thinking about the whole house at once is overwhelming. Slowly, like eating an elephant, we take one bite, and then another, and another… until eventually all will be packed in a box and neatly loaded on a truck. It will be big big changes for all of us. And I count it as a blessing.

I have begun to see the blessing in memories. I have begun to see the blessing of time and how God has allowed this season of life to shape and mould each of our children to life beyond the nest. To see the hubby and I embrace, dare I say, retirement planning? To see the blessings in our finances to be able to carry mortgages and costs and know He holds our future. To see Hope where many do not. To wonder in excitement about a new, quieter lifestyle in the country. To learn new skills. To make mistakes and work through them.

The Bible tells us not to store up treasures on Earth and to not put our trust in Earthly measures. Yet Jesus witnessed life here among people and “stuff”. Maybe he didn’t have Lego to pack, but I am sure there were precious “things” that belonged to Him. Did Mary save a piece of “useless” straw from the manger because she was emotionally attached to it? Maybe not.

I’ve convinced myself that God gives us things. Tangeable, hold in your hand, physical things, because He knows we need them as practical reminders of all that He has given us. Peace, Hope, Comfort, Joy, and Pain. Emotions that are stuck on stuff. I have no other words. I know you know what I mean. So, beloveds, humour me in the next few months. mittonmusings.com may morph into my personal journal of sorts as we make these transitions to “country life”. Will you stick with me? Will you share a post or two? Besides, who’s gonna listen to me talk about my new chickens? I’ll keep you updated about the goat.