Monday, February 28, 2011

February refused to bow out gracefully,

 and hit us with this...

So we fought back valiantly with a little of this...

 apple oatmeal cookies (yes - I know we eat a LOT of oatmeal cookies around here!)

(homemade chicken stock for the freezer)

 (I sewed up some new bread bags from dishcloths to accompany ...)

 Mike's delicious 10 grain bread .  Oh My God - yum!
And then of course - plenty of hot chocolate

 and then finally...  I dug into my freezer for my summer vegetables.

 hoping to capture a little summer lovin'

in a nice big bowl of Garden Vegetable soup!

Take That February!

Don't let the door hit you on your way out!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

:: This Moment ::

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.   
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your ‘moment’ over at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Happy Weekend to you All!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weekend in Connecticut in photos

I was planning to share a new favorite salad recipe today, but I forgot to bring my memory card for my camera home last night from the office.  

So instead, I'm posting a picture gallery from our weekend in Connecticut.  Enjoy!

Now - I'm off to do some serious button shopping.  That's right.  Serious button shopping.  I have no time for dilly-dallying today.  The perfect buttons for my latest sweater project (to be published in my favorite knitting magazine in April!!!!!!!!!!!!!) must - and WILL - be found.  TODAY!!


(she's trying to get away from me, but I caught her.)

 J working on his Easter story

 G choosing a tune

G and great-grandpa cuddling.

as you can see - we spent the whole weekend inside, because it was just too darn cold! Brr.!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A lot of knitting, and not much to show for it...

So, I realize now, with 4 sweater projects going on my needles, that knitting 4 sweaters at the same time makes for slow progress on all 4.  It feels like I'm inching inching inching along, and never really getting anywhere.  I know, of course, that I am getting somewhere - but it just feels like I'm not.  Psychoknittylogically.

And it's a bit frustrating.   And also, I'm thinking, ill-timed.  For they are all four, bound to be finished just about the time we cast off our sweaters and go dancing about in the warm Spring sunshine.  Ah well.  <big sigh>

People who want knitting to be a relaxing hobby should not complain about the process but simply enjoy the slow, tinkering nature of going one stitch at a time.  I, however, really want to wear my sweater, and would like myself to hurry up about it, already!!  Get a move on, sister.  Time's a wastin'.

Side note -

I have found another designer who I love love love!!  Her name is Kirsten Johnstone (that's a Ravelry link)
and her knit designs are fabulous!  Here's a link to her blog:  for those of you not on Ravelry.  You "non-knitters".  (You are a strange and mysterious bunch, you!)

Her designs are simple/modern/chic with clean lines, and understated colors.  Love love this hat (again - another Ravelry link)... almost bought the pattern last night, and now I am so glad I was able to exhibit the slightest bit of self-control (which is not at all my thing) and I waited... because today is the anniversary of her blog, apparently, and she is offering a 50% discount on all of her patterns.  So Hooray for self-control!  Now I can buy twice the amount of patterns :)

(Notice how I'm not going to buy the same amount of patterns at half the price - because that would be sensible.  and frugal.  On second thought - maybe I should be frugal today.  Yes, I will try.)

 But I can't promise anything.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Show of hands...

How many of you find yourself now knitting while you sleep?  Dreaming about cables, and dropped stitches?
Gauge swatching, knitting the sleeves of your sweater during your dreams?

Quick show of hands...

...  how many?  uh -

hmm.  no?  nobody?  right!  me neither.  No - I was just kidding!

That's crazy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I wish I had his daring and independent fashion sense...

his ability to instantly become an ice explorer and expert mountain climber simply by grasping a stick and
trekking to the top of a snow pile in the front yard.  

 I saw a lecture on Youtube that said 98% of kindergartners score at genius level on Divergent Thinking skills  (unfortunately those scores decline rapidly each year thereafter).    I hope he retains as much of those skills as possible as he gets older.    

Right now, it's sort of like living with Willy Wonka.    Well, two of them, actually.

(is there anybody in there?)

Friday, February 18, 2011

:: this moment ::

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.   
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your ‘moment’ over at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tea Time for Toddlers

We are struggling right now with bed time.   Johann has always gone to bed by gathering all of his soft animals together, hearing a story or two, and then listening to some quiet music.  I don't remember him giving me any trouble at all - even as an infant, he seemed to enjoy his time alone.  His quiet time.

Then came -

And our bed time routine was flipped on it's head, and stepped on, and then thrown in the trash.  George does not care for being quiet, or "settling down,"  or snuggling down into bed with a nice book.  None of our soothing rituals seem to work for him, and frankly, I'm grasping at any idea I can get to get him to transition to "sleepy time" more easily.  I'll take any ideas.

I remembered reading somewhere that children are people.  Interesting.  I'll have to write that down.

I'm a "people" and what I do at night is have a hot cup of tea before bed.  Because it relaxes me.  So I figured, why not?  Let's give that a try.

Thus:  "Tea Time for Toddlers" began in our home, every evening after pajamas (again - this concept is loosely translated by George into simply - take off my day time clothes) and right before story time, I'm now serving a nice warm cup of Nighty Night tea (an organic herbal tea made just for children) to both of the boys on their play table in their bedroom.  I bring it up on a special tray, with maybe a little bedtime snack too, and they drink that while we hear our story.

So far so good.  It does seem to be calming George down a bit, though he is still bouncing around quite a bit while I'm reading.  

They both seem to like the new ritual anyway - so I'll keep it up.  It is nice for us to all enjoy something which I had previously done all by myself.  I like sharing my nightly tea with my boys... whether it calms them down or not.  :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Wedding Ring Pillow

I'm extremely under-the-weather today, so I'm just posting a picture of a finished project for you.  This is the pillow that Johann will carry as the ring bearer in Cori and Avery's wedding this May.  It is 100% silk, and oh so soft.  Silk is a lovely thing to knit with if you haven't already.  I bought mine at Blue Moon Fiber Arts .   They call it "Luscious Silk" and I would have to agree.  It is luscious.  The pattern is from this book

Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences

which has lots of cute patterns.  I don't usually buy knitting books, I typically buy a pattern at a time, or I check out the book from the library.  However, I knew I was going to make at least 4 or 5 things in this book, so it made sense to just buy it.

and now - as for the rest of my day...

I'll be laying in my bed, moaning incoherently, and wishing for it to be tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

--- 39 Things I love about you ---

1.  I love your generous heart.
2.  I love your thick black hair.
3.  I love your amazing musical talent.
4.  I love you as the caring, loving, devoted father of our sons.
5.  I love the way you cook mexican food for me.
6.  I love that you snowblow that huge driveway so I can pull my car out easily.
7.  I love that you sometimes come along to the beach in the summer even though I know you don't like the beach that much.
8.  I love that you're willing to build a chicken coop for me, even though it might be a passing fancy.
9.  I love that you put up with my passing fancies.
10.  I love your strong shoulders.
11.  I love how gentle you are with our pets.
12.  I love how you believe in and look for the best in everyone you meet.
13.  I love that you are almost always smiling.

14.  I love that strangers seem to love to tell you their whole life story, and you love to listen.
15.  I love that you support me in my creative endeavors.
16.  I love that you take care of me when I'm sick.
17.  I love that you love your mother a lot.
18.  I love that you love to have breakfast with your grandfather, and that you two have such a special relationship together.
19.  I love that our children have the blessing of knowing your grandfather.
20.  I love that you laugh with my mom and dad, and are willing to play "chase the rat" when they come to visit.
21.  I love that you love my sister.
22.  I love that you enjoy spending guy time with the boys, building stuff, and going places without me.  
23.  I love that you would never think of saying something hurtful to someone else.
24.  I love that you wake up each morning sort of reluctantly and are pretty grumpy until you shower.
25.  I love the way you smell after you shave.
26.  I love your big eyes, especially when you have that mischievous look you have a lot.
27.  I love that you won't get rid of that old rusty good-for-nothing pick-up truck.
28.  I love that you're up for anything, and that leads to many weird adventures and strange obsessions that we enjoy together... like Twin Peaks, and the month of endless popcorn, and that Origami thing we went through.
29.  I love that you are a horrible, just terrible dancer, and still - you dance.  (but just for me)
30.  I love that you sometimes embark on reading a book, but you never get past the first chapter.
31.  I love that you're obsessed with guitars, and music, and chords, and tonality, and modes, and other strange music-related things.
32.  I love that you are neurotic about never being late for anything, so that we sometimes arrive uncomfortably early for social events.
33.  I love your entrepreneurial spirit.  You're daring, and very brave, and that inspires me.
34.  I love that you have worked so hard to make such a great life for us here in our new home.
35.  I love that you untangle my unsolvable yarn knots for me.
36.  I love that you ask me where your wallet is every day.
37.  I love that you can figure out how to fix anything.
38.  I love that you see the best in me, and put up with my many "worsts"
You know me better than I know myself most of the time, which helps me sort myself out when I feel all mixed up.

39.  I love that you are my most faithful and closest friend and that I have never had the slightest bit of doubt that I will always be able to count on you when I need you.

I love you, my forever Valentine!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Careful - Don't go in the water!

da - duh..............  daaa - duh, 

doo doo, doo doo, doo doo....

(If I can get my act together this weekend, 
I'll have a new "Jaws" mitten pattern written for you by next week. 
 Stay tuned)

:: this moment ::

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.   
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your ‘moment’ over at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plantable Seed Paper Valentines

I meant to post this last week, and never got to it.   We had some fun a couple of weeks ago making recycled paper.  We added bits of red yarn scraps, which made the paper a nice pinkish hue, and we mixed in 4 packets of wildflower seeds (after the pulp was blended, not before!) so that our paper could be used to make our Valentine's cards and then planted in a pot by the recipient to grow their own flowers.  I was a little skeptical that the seeds would sprout, so we planted some paper scraps in our pots as an experiment - and - up came the little baby flower sprouts.  So - success!

This is a great project for children - especially littles who like to tear paper to bits and shreds.  (ahem - like my littles - who looked at me questioningly when I asked them "would they please rip up this stack of paper from our recycling bin into the smallest pieces they possibly could."  When Johann was sure I meant what I said - he happily occupied himself ripping and ripping for quite a while)

We made the seed paper by

  1. Ripping up paper we found in our recycling bin at home

  1. Soaking the paper bits in water and letting them sit overnight

  1. Pureeing the bits in a blender,

4.   Stirring in 4 packets of wildflower seeds with a spoon

and then

5.   Spreading out the puree on a screen to dry in front of a fan.  (the paper puree needs to be spread as thin as possible on the screen so that it can dry as quickly as possible) 


-  When the paper was dry, we cut it into circles, and glued it to the center of each of some cardstock flowers, along with a little stick for the flower stem, and a note telling his friends how to plant the seed paper later.

The boys had such fun pushing the button on the blender and watching their paper shreds turn into a pulpy goo that they have requested we make paper again next weekend.  So we may be diving back into our paper recycling bin for another batch soon!
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