Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making Mittens

I have been knitting quite a bit lately... Just small things, mittens... hats... more hats...  Those mittens are made from Berocco Remix - a 100% recycled mixed fiber yarn, it's so soft, and I love the colors it comes in.  And you know that I love that it's 100% recycled too... And the hat is a new thing I'm tinkering with... more details when it's done...

I think I keep grabbing small projects mostly because I have a bunch of yummy yarn that I want to make into sweaters for different members of the family, but I haven't found the right patterns yet.  So while I sit and stare at my yarn piles and try to figure out what to turn them into, I'm keeping my hands busy knitting away at hats and mittens, and also I think, this guy next...  So cute!  Of course, I'll have to make two.  And oddly enough, he's been a project-on-hold for a while because of all the yarn I do have in my stash, I don't have anything white, or even close to white.  I guess I don't usually like white.    And I don't feel like spending money on yarn right now, so I guess I'm waiting for a white yarn to appear in my yarn closet (yes, I said yarn closet).  I don't suppose that's likely to happen... but who knows?

And thanks to a new friend I made at work, I have been reading books much more often and even participating in a book club.   I'm so glad to be part of a book club, I love to talk about the books I've read with other readers so that's a happy addition to my pretty sparse social calendar.   Last month's book was The Language of Flowers, and then we read the Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, which I really enjoyed.  The story centers around the lives of four women who come together through different circumstances, and whose job is to take care of the doves (which were important for their, um, ability to produce fertilizer for the community gardens)... in a Jewish settlement in the desert in 70 C.E., when the Roman army's took Jerusalem and then systematically conquered the rest of the Jewish cities and settlements... The settlement is on top of the mountain Masada, King Herod's previous stronghold.   I love historically-based novels, and while this book was a long read at 500 pages, it was worth it.

I promised myself when I finished, I could read the Hunger Games.  Which I did.  Loved it!  Not starting the second one until I finish the next book club book, which I'll tell you about next week :)

Linking with Ginny at Small Things.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Grateful for...

... coffee just about done brewing in the kitchen.  smells good.

... a freshly tuned piano, and about 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to sit down and play.  Someday they'll be old enough to let me sit and play, but right now the sound of the piano is an immediate call to attention and they come running.  Not to hear me play, to pull me away.   Of course, when they're old enough to leave me alone to play, they'll also be old enough to have practicing of their own to do...

...  homemade sausage lentil soup and a chunk of sourdough bread packed in my lunch.  I love soup for lunch.
And a nice big slice of lemon poundcake for dessert.  Or you know... breakfast.  Or after breakfast snack.  Or... whenever.

...  watching the sun come up this morning, in a completely quiet house.  Looking out the front windows and

...  seeing trees cleared out of the yard, (such a lot of trees!!!  and wood!) making way for some fruit trees this Spring.  A goal we set when we bought this home 5 years ago... finally happening.  It's very exciting!

... also grateful for a husband who can turn the fallen trees and brush that's all around us into a cool little play hut for the kids in a matter of minutes.  He's a crafty guy too - there's no doubt!

... the addition of 2 new work benches from Mike's shop which have been re-purposed into a pretty perfectly sized sewing and cutting bench in my craft room... I'll show you pictures of that this week after I get the space a little more organized.

...  time spent this weekend filling up and then leafing through more family photo books, another project that was waiting for EVER for the right "not too busy" weekend day to come along.  The kids love seeing pictures of themselves and laughing... so I'm happy that I dug the loose pictures out of their hiding spots and got them into  a book.  They're not really in the best order, chronologically speaking, but it's close enough.   I love a LOT of crafty things, but a scrapbooking enthusiast... I am not.

... the bright new paintings of robots I'm seeing around here.  And along that note... the newly-scrubbed dining/craft/art room floor that is now 90% paint dribble free, thanks to an hour on my hands and knees with water and sponge.  Looks right shiny down there now!

And then, just for fun, something I'm not  so grateful for:

The ENDLESS pile of mismatched socks and the hopeless task of sorting said socks with mates.  Egh.  Everytime I see this pile, I'm tempted to haul out the trash bin and just send them all flying into it with one swoop of my arm...  But then,

... our feet would be very cold.

                                                          What are you grateful for today?

Friday, February 24, 2012

This Moment: The trees are tapped!

Sharing a special moment of the week, a moment I want to pause and remember.

Visit Soulemama to see other's favorite moments...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh Fried Dough!!

I thought I would come back today, it seems like a good day to return to blogging... and since you're here...won't you join me for a fastnacht?  I just got done making them and have no one around in the house at the moment to share them with... so I'm sharing them with you... and saying "hello" again.

How was your Winter?  I've been gone a long while.  At first I was gone because Christmas was wearing me down... I'm still dealing with my feelings regarding this Christmas.  It wasn't the best... But, I got over Christmas, and moved on.
My next reason for not returning to the blog had to do with my work and family schedules getting all jumbled up and re-arranged once again, and it took me a good bit of time to get my day to day life settled back into a groove.... I realize now that it takes me a long while to sink into a schedule, and get "humming" along again.  I'm happy in a nicely worked out schedule where there is time for everything and everything has a time... This has been challenging to create lately...

So in light of that, I started thinking, well - this is dumb.  Why am I wasting time writing in a blog, when I should be doing stuff I want to do in the dwindling time I'm finding lately to actually do the things I love to do, and not writing about doing things.  It seemed there was only time for either doing or writing... but not time for doing and writing.... so I prioritized.

Except then I realized that writing is important to me and it makes me happy, and it helps me to feel grateful for all the good stuff going on around me, and furthermore, that in not writing, I was losing sight of the good stuff and focusing more on the bad stuff  (that's an old habit of mine that I thought I had broken)

So I decided, yes, I'm coming back to write again.  I'm going to make time.

...   but THEN I was gone because I got sick.  We all four of us got sick... (you may remember that we seem to do this as a family on a yearly basis right around this time...  Bleh.)

but I'm back now.

Feeling a bit better now.

Feeling like writing again.

Feeling like I've eaten too many doughnuts...

I don't have a real plan for posting yet, no real schedule worked out... can't say How or When I will sit down and write, but I can figure that out tomorrow...
And maybe tomorrow I'll give up eating doughnuts too, and observe this "Fat Tuesday" the way it was actually intended...  instead of simply another reason to eat fried dough.

Growing up, my great-grandmother Margaret had our entire extended family (a large extended family) over to her beautiful home on the hill for Fastnachts and molasses every year.  We didn't do this to observe a religiously significant holiday, for us it's clearly more about getting together as a family.  We ate ourselves silly, and talked, and ran around in the basement (the youngest set of us), and were sent home with a bag filled with leftovers and hearts filled with togetherness.  I am missing that tradition today, though it is still going strong among my family in Pennsylvania, thanks to my uncle...

but even though I'm far from my family, I'm carrying it on in my own small way, and thinking of them.  And definitely about my great-grandma.

When I grow up, I want to be like her...

p.s. here's one last tradition I'm continuing from great-grandma Margaret...

Raise your hand if you know what game Johann and I are playing...

p.s.  Here's a link to the doughnut recipe we use if you'd like to make some of your own.
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