family, knitting, living

family

Anniversary weekend

Henry and I celebrated our 11th anniversary a couple of weeks ago. We went out to dinner, but our real celebration was this weekend. We attended the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello….without children!
http://heritageharvestfestival.com/
If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I am very interested in gardening, cooking, food in general, etc. Henry shares many of these interests…largely because he is beneficiary of these pursuits. Henry has started two bee hives, so he is really into that.
This is the first time in almost 10 years that we have both been away from our girls at the same time for more than one night. They have spent one night at a time with meme and papa or grandpa and grandma while we we in town, but this was a milestone for us. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and so has Henry. It has been really great for us. We do so many things as a family and so few as a couple that sometimes we forget how great the person we married is!
I ran into three Waldorf teachers and about five Ravelers….but didn’t get their names. I’ve a habit of knitting and walking when we are out. I take something simple (wingspan, this time) and Henry walks next to me in case I lean a bit. So, I am obviously a fiber enthusiast and meet lots of people that way. Meeting the Waldorf teachers, I don’t know, I think it’s some sort of magnetic force we give off. We run into Waldorf people everywhere we go.
I am posting a few pictures and may come back later to tell you about that great info we got from the classes. Until then, enjoy:

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Alphabet Lost and Found

For better or worse, I have decided to join the The ABC’s with the Accidental Knitter. http://accidental-knitter.blogspot.com/2011/05/learn-your-abc-new-meme.html  This is a once a week posting theme based on the ABC’s.  We will post a topic beginning with the week’s letter of the alphabet every Monday.  I have been looking for a way to get back into to posting and I am hoping this is just arbitrary enough to suit me.  We were supposed to start last week with A.  Obviously, it didn’t happen.  So, I will post A tonight and hopefully put up B tomorrow.  I have a ridiculous backlog of photos, projects, stories, etc.  I just felt compelled to link the Might Be Giants song Alphabet Lost and Found because it is so cute and it starts with A.

Here’s a cut picture of Allison’s two littlest and my two making some no bake cookies.  Henry and I took Allison’s oldest and ours to the used bookstore today and Mycah bought a couple of cookbooks.  She immediately began pouring over them and located a simple recipe that we could make with many hands!


Second update, Knitted farmyard

Today was craftapalooza at our house…..so named because I had five extra girls and one mom at my house to make valentines.  Yes, you heard me right, I had a total of 7 girls 5-9 and another mom and Henry at my house today.  The picture to the left and the picture below show my dining room table covered in the various and sundry items used in making the valentines.  The girls all go to a school where they are to make the valentines…no store bought crap for this crew.  So, I felt like we would take the opportunity to get a jump on the Valentine making since I had to keep two of the girls today anyway.  The girls had a blast.  Besides the Valentine making, the girls helped make pompoms for the knitted farmyard as evidenced later in the post.  They had more fun making them for themselves, but I did get a few out of them for the farm.  They also had lunch, hid in the back bedroom and whispered, ran around like nut cases and had various little girl dramas all day.  All in all, it was a lot of fun.

This is the photo of our dinner.  I made homemade French Onion soup and used my homemade bread for the toast layer.  Mycah had two bowls, so did Henry.  Grey had a bowl and a half.  It was a big, big hit.  Henry was a little suspect of the idea of French Onion soup.  He likes it, but everywhere we have the soup it is way too salty.  I knew his objection because I have the same one, so Mycah and I both tasted the soup BEFORE adding salt and then added a little at a time until it was perfect.  Henry had bought me these little crocks the other day when I mentioned for the second time that I sure would like to have them.  The girls loved having their own crock with a lid and everything.  I used the Mark Bittman recipe out of How to Cook Everything.   Lori turned me on to him a few months back and I bought his book.  It is great.  The recipes are really good and he discusses substitutions for seasonality, explains lots of things I had not know and give lots of variations for most of the recipes. i also bought How to Cook Everything Vegetarian based on my happiness with the other book and it is a winner too.

These last two photos show the progress on the knitted farmyard.  Henry made the little hay bales for the field of hay. I love them.  I have pinned down the additional fabric for the hay and the grass. The blank spot will be the only latch hooked area as latch hooking doesn’t agree with me.  The pompoms are little bushes.  They are not sewn down yet.  That will be one of my last things.  I have made one chicken and am still working of the dad.  The knitting part of the knitting farmyard should be the easiest for me, but it has turned out to be the slowest and most fiddley.  It’s well on its way to being completed, so I will soldier on.

Have a great, crafty evening and love to my family across the pond, in the burbs, on the ridge and in the hills of GA!


Knitted (sort of) Farmyard

In August our girls started a new school.  The school is a small private Waldorf school.  (for those interested in learning a little more, here is a Wikipedia reference  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education )  There is a lot more to Waldorf education than a Wiki reference, but you get the picture.  Anyway, it is a very small school, only one class per grade in grades 1-8 and two mixed age classes of pre-school and kindergarteners.  The school does a lot of community outreach in order to keep things going as the tuition alone would not float the school.  There are two big fundraisers every year.  The first is the Elves Fair in November and the second is the Gala in the spring.  Part of the Gala is an auction……….I’m sure you can see where this is going……

I have decided to make a knitted farmyard inspired by Wernhard Hannelore.  Her book is here on Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1844482170/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0855325763&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0SERHA50EK428SZ5JS6D

I say inspired because since I really got to looking at the book, I thought that the author had lost her mind.  The entire play mat is made on a base of latch hook rug canvas.  It is hooked and embroidered into the rug.  I had Henry draw out the portions I thought I’d like to have and then we sat down to watch a movie with the girls while I started the embroidery on the pond.  I worked for an hour and then Henry worked for the second hour with very little to show for the time invested.  I was getting vey discouraged when henry said….how about cutting up some Goodwill sweaters.  EUREKA!  I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored some great fabric that had no business being worn in the style in which they were made….so no great fashion has been harmed in the making of this object.  I have started piecing together the different sweater fabrics.  I will still have to latch hook bushes and maybe a field, but most of this will be a lot less labor intensive than I first planned.  The part that will be challenging is getting enough various little animals and people made.  I have several friends at school who have volunteered to knit something and one friend had volunteered to needle felt some animals for the farmyard.  I think the mixture of fiber crafts will make this project even more interesting than I originally thought.  I hope that it brings in some money for the school as well.  I plan to keep you updated for the next month on it’s progress…it should be interesting.

 

 

 

 


Waiting for the leaves to turn

I am waiting for the changes.  Some I wait for impatiently, some I dread, some have to happen, some can’t.  Changes are part of life.  The only end to change in one’s life is the end of one’s life.  I know this, but it doesn’t make some changes any easier.

We’ve spent all summer working on the new house…talk about a change!  The house is incredible and I cannot wait to move in, but I have to wait another week I think.  There are still a handful of things that need to happen and I don’t want to rush in where we are living in an uncomfortable situation.  It’s funny,  I am dying to move in, but I am nervous and worried at the same time.

My sisters are all having major changes happening in their lives.  I am standing on the sidelines waiting to see who needs to be picked up.  My stomach turns and churns watching and waiting for the last shoe to drop in all of these situations.  I know that at least two of the sisters will come out stronger on the other end, but I can’t stand to see them hurt, but the other sis…I’m not so sure about.

My girls have changed schools.  We put them in the local Waldorf school after three years of public school for the oldest and one for the youngest.  This was a very hard change to make.  We fell in love with  the school more than a year ago and have been planning this change for that long, but we still had tears from the oldest for the first couple of days.  It’s funny, she knows that this is where they belong, but she is still homesick for the other school.  They have both started to settle in and seem to really be blossoming.  They are wonderful girls (yes, I am biased, but this is true).  They are creative, curious, polite, full of wonder, adventurous, willing to try, and  good hearted….all of these things seem to help them fall right in with the other children and I look at their classmates and am amazed to find such confident, grounded little beings.  This has been a great change even with the challenges.

Speaking of changes, there are some I need to make (or I should say, Henry and I need to make).  On the health from the two of us are woefully unprepared to get older.  We need to clean up our diets and start exercising.  And I need to find a way to learn to let go of stress or at least not react so strongly to it.  The summer’s stress has caused me a hard summer and at least one minor exacerbation.  I need to get healthy physically, mentally and  emotionally to lull my MonSter back to sleep.  Once we finally get moved, the changes will be coming on that front.

Now I know most of you bother with my blog more for pictures and knitting than for the dribble above, so ask me how I meet all of these changes…  Well, I continue to knit.  As Elizabeth Zimmerman says, “Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.”  I have not exactly produced a ton, but I have managed to continue to knit a little here and there throughout all of this junk and have a few things to show for the effort.  I made a baby jacket for a friend fo a friend and I knitted a big headed monkey for Mycah’s birthday.  I also started a vest for me for winter.  The only downside to the vest is that I have to borrow it back from the shop as Carolyn gave me the yarn to knit it for the shop sample!


Randomness and Catch-up, again, again, again

I am determined to post tonight.  In all honesty I have wanted to post a number of times over the last month and have just become too irritated with the Mac to do it.  See, I have been a PC user until this past Christmas>  I needed a new computer, so Henry bought me the one I wanted terribly… MacBook Pro.  It is awesome, but I did not take a clas…I am not that kind of person, I like to figure things out on my own.  Unfortunately, the thing that would have helped me the most is what I need to post easily.  I need a simple explanation as to where to store things and how to access them easily so that I can load the photos into my post.  Agggghhhhh, I will beat this!

Anyway, onto the blog.  We are in the middle of renovation land at the moment.  The new house has had much work done to her and will have much more work to come.  Henry and I have painted the living room, the dining room, the guest room downstairs, and the girls playroom.  Now, while this may sound like no big deal, let me explain…..our gal is tall!  She has 12ft ceilings which required the purchase of a baker scaffold.  We have not turned on the air as we want the house to air out both the paint fumes and the order that she has acquired before our purchase.  Anyway, it is hot in TN.  It takes me and Henry 2 days per room to lay on two coats of paint.  The dining room took three days because we had to paint the poop-BROWN ceiling.  We still have the girls room, our room, two bathrooms and the yet to be completed kitchen to paint.

In addition to the painting, we will be ripping out the master bath due to some hidden water damage and not hidden hideousness and the kitchen will be finished by the contractor and a library will be built in the other guest room downstairs.   All of this is supposed to be complete by the end of July so that we can move in and get settled before the girls start school.  We are crazy!  We will make it.  Here are a couple of pictures for your enjoyment>>>

That’s the kitchen before.

Above is the before of the dining room.

In news unrelated to the house, I have been doing a bit of sewing, knitting and hand sewing.  I took a class with Lori at Textile Fabrics http://www.textilefabricstore.com/public_html/  .   The class was on reverse applique and was with Natalie Chanin.  http://alabamachanin.com/   It really got me excited about working on ANYTHING again.  I have barely knit in the last couple of months because of the house and because I had gone back to work temping for my old company.  I have been so busy and so tired, I have not felt like doing anything.  It was great to get my hands busy making something again.  The creating bug bit hard, so I took advantage of having Lori at hand and dug out two old unfinished sewing projects.  Last summer I attempted a dress for each girl and made some fatal errors in the construction.  This was before my week long sewing lesson with Lori.  I sheepishly dug them out to show her.  She said it was salvageable and we began to rip.  We ripped out most of my sewing, ironed and repaired.  Now, my girls each have the dresses I promised them last year.  I also cut out another dress for Grey last night and sewed it.  She was pretty pleased with it as well!

I would love to tell you more, but I will save it for later as this stupid post has taken an hour!!!!


Second Great Snow Day!

I am entirely too tired to write some long descriptive post.  So, you will have to deal with photos only.  I am starting a shawl with some local alpaca because I get to go with Lori to the Alpaca convention here.  She has several students who have placed well in their fashion design contest and I get to be her date for the tea!  Oh, forgot to mention….it is at the farm where I bought the alpaca I am making the shawl with.  It is a blend of 5 of their black alpacas.


Snow Days

Yes, folks…we have had a couple of real snow days.  By real, I mean we got about 5 inches of snow.  Now, I know for those friends of mine still in Iowa and now in MN, 5 inches is laughable……but in TN, 5 inches of snow makes the city stop, grown men and women turn into children and causes the grocery stores to run out of milk, bread AND toilet paper!

On Thursday evening, our school system called off school for Friday.  I got up Friday morning to find the streets barely damp.  We were very disappointed, but not surprised as this is par for the course in Nashville.  At 9am it started snowing in a manner that seemed promising.  It was not bad and I had to go to my Nanny’s because she had an ice maker line fail and I (being the busy body, ex-claims adjuster I am) had to make sure things were going as they should.  I wound up spending about 2 and a half hours there calling insurance companies, condo association, er services, etc.  By the time I was ready to leave, we had about an inch and a half.  No problem, I learned a lot about snow in Iowa.  While this is true, I failed to take into account that not everyone in Nashville went to Iowa with me.  I got on Briley Parkway only to find it at a stand still because there were 4 accidents all within 1 mile of each other!

I finally made it home and spent the rest of the day watching the snow accumulate, doing science experiments with the girls, cooking and seeming up a baby sweater while the girls painted a bird house next to me in their craft/toy room.  It was so cozy and lovely.  We had a great time.

We did not go sledding yesterday as I really wanted the snow to get to the point that it was deep enough to sled nicely.  So, this morning we got up ready for some serious sledding.  I planned to drive down to the park a mile from the house, but could not get the car out of the drive because I closed the gate last night and the gate must be dug out before we can open it.  So, we sledded our street, then the green at Waverly-Belmont and then at the park.  Henry and I pulled the girls most of the way there and back.  We did not have sleds because we lost them in the Iowa flood, so I bought inner tubes.  They worked pretty good after getting out technique down.  On the way back home we stopped at the Frothy Monkeys for hot chocolate and a late lunch.  It was a great time.  Now we are in, warm and fed.  I plan to do some knitting and bake some bread.  The girls are enjoying taking it easy after playing so hard and Henry is playing WOW.

I LOVE snow days!

Here’s some pics of our two snow days.


Christmas and New Years

Christmas was easy this year.  Easy is good….especially since Henry and I were not up to speed.  David, Lori and the twins came up the Thursday night before Christmas for the Solstice Party that Lori always hosts.  Since they are living in GA now, Doc and Cathy are kind enough to open their home for the party so that the tradition can be kept alive.  I miss all of the Murfreesboro folk and especially our supper clubs that we carried on for several years.  The Solstice party lets us relive those times at least once a year.  Anyway, we had the party on the Saturday evening before Christmas.  All was well and everyone had a great time.

Then, DUN_DUN_DA_DUNNNNNNN.  Disaster struck Monday.  I had to work at the yarn store and went in feeling ok.  But, Henry woke up feeling not so well.  At some point that day David started feeling bad.  Lori started downhill and I called Henry to bring me my headache medicine because I thought I was getting a migraine due to my upset tummy and headache.  He came in to drop off the medicine and looked awful.  I called right before I went home at 6:30 only to find out it had started.  David and Henry were throwing up and sick, sick, sick.  Lori was so nauseated she could not stand and I think she had a fever.  I ran to Walgreens for 7-up, ginger-ale and chicken soup.  I made it long enough to get everything set up for the sick house and then I was down (or up sick) all night.  Three of the four girls remained well and Mycah, the one who got sick, got a very mild case.  Needless to say, by Thursday evening, Henry and I were a bit better, but not really excited about Christmas.  Henry’s tummy recovered much better than mine and he was able to eat on Christmas…..I was still picking the day after Christmas.

Thank goodness most everything was done before the illness struck and our family had made a joint decision to focus on spending time with one another rather than going over the top with things.  It worked out wonderfully.  The girls opened presents and played Christmas morning.  Then we went to the Ladd Christmas (dad’s) at my cousin’s new house.  They were great hosts and we had a good time.  me and Henry made gingerbread houses with  the little kids while the adults played White Elephant.  Then, best of all, was the day after Christmas.  We went to Mom’s.  She had decided to do Christmas the day after so that we could all be there and not be rushed.  We would up staying most of the day.  We ate, knitted, chatted and the kids played.  Of course, there were presents.  Mycah’s favorite toy this year happened to be from Meme.  She got a full child sized drum set.  She has had the best time jamming on the drums.

After we all got better and all Christmas activities were over, Henry, the girls and I went to GA to spend New Years with David, Lori and the twins.  There was a full moon on New Years Eve, so Henry went scouting for the local fairy cows.  He successfully found them and was able to convince them to give him enough Fairy Milk for all four girls.  They have now had fairy milk at the farm in Christiana, Meme’s, our Iowa City apartment, our new house and now, GA.  It’s a good thing Poppa knows how to talk to the local fairies and he must have developed a good reputation with them, so that all seem pretty willing to help him out with an emergency fairy milk run.

On New Year’s Day, the big girls introduced the little ones to the rip stick, snappers and confetti poppers.  Fun was had by all.

My favorite moment of the whole couple of weeks was the one where Mycah crawled into my arms for an afternoon nap.  She is in perpetual motion at all times, so the slow down was wlecome adn so, so sweet.

Whew…..glad I got that off my chest!!!!!


France, part 1

I am planning on posting about France in several parts as I do not have the ability to sit here linking photos and blathering on for hours at a time.   I get bored and frustrated when a post gets to long.  (Oh, on  side note…I cannot tell you how relieved I am to be typing on an English language keyboard.)

Caux is a little town in the south of France.  It’s population is about 2500 according to Wikipedia (I’m pretty sure that’s close).  The village used to be a fort as you can see in one of the photos.  French cities are so different from American cities.  The town centers are packed together buildings with winding stairs leading to open courtyards, crooked halls leading to a front door or nowhere and buildings that belie the interior lives.  The buildings are so closed that it looks as if no one lives in the town until someone appears from nowhere or a window may be open two floors above the street.  I really don’t know how to describe it.  It was so beautiful.  I have to say tha it was a little creepy in that with everything always closed and the streets so twisty and little enclaves so hidden, that I felt someone could jump out at any time!  Of course, i wouldn’t happen…it was just eerie and I was out of my comfort zone.

The center of town loosens into free-standing structures as you move out-of-town toward Becca’s house.  The houses are fairly close, much like the area where I live.  The have small lots that they use to maximum advantage.  Most yards had at least a couple of fig, nut or olive trees; many had swimming pools; and many herb or vegetable gardens.  All houses also have shoulder-high walls around them.  The architecture is very Mediterranean as they are just 30 minutes from the Mediterranean Sea.  The houses are stuccoed with clay tile roofs in washed out colors that are usually of a warm tone.  The place is so safe that the kids can walk the 5 minutes into town together…without needing an adult.

I have to say the overall impression I got of the town was that of a fairy tale. It was so quite, relaxed, peaceful.  I really liked it and would recommend the area to anyone.


Trains, Planes and Automobiles

I am posting from the train for my November second post as it appears I won’t have another chance today. I generally love the train but we have not been very successful this trip with France’s TGV. I have been on the TGV before but it was more than 10 years ago and was not this hard. The train is overbooked so the controller sais we may loose our seats at any time. I don’t mind standing but it is three more hours to Charles deGaul and I feel like shit.


November 1st, time to blog all month

Greetings from France.  This is just a quick note to say that I am planning to blog every day in November again this year.  Due to the enormous number of pictures I have taken in France and in New York over the last two and a half weeks, there should be no shortage of things to write about.  Here is one picture of my niece, nephew and brother in law to hold you off!

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Traveling

Well, it’s 11:35 the night before I leave on a 22.5 hour trip to France to see my sis and her family.  I’m pretty keyed up.  I spent the day doing some last-minute grocery shopping (Henry did 99% of it yesterday, but could not locate everything we needed), prepping and vacuum sealing all prepped ingredients for Henry, going over schedules and how to cook all the ingredients into edible meals with Henry, taking the girls to a carnival and lastly……packing.  I should be passed out in bed.  Instead, I am awake.

I just returned from a trip to New York with Lori on Tuesday.  I was gone 5 days and it felt like 5 years.  The first couple of days were great, but then I started to feel lonely.  That’s an odd way to feel in  place like New York, where you can”t turn around without making an intimate acquaintance of a stranger and I was with amazing people.  Don’t get me wrong,  I had a great time.  I just felt disconnected.

Now I am going to visit my sis……the person that I miss so bad it aches….yet I am still nervous about leaving my family.  I know they will be fine without me.   I just will be missing stuff.  What stuff?  I don’t know…but stuff, nonetheless.

I will post pictures of New York as soon as I can upon return from France and of course I will post the France pics asap.


grey in feb girly sweater


Mom’s Preemie Project drive


Biscuts and Noro

Another post on the same day…no sleep equals time to do extra things.  Anyway, I was feeling a little less than inspired this evening when super time rolled around, so we had breakfast.  Grey has been asking for breakfast for dinner for weeks.  It’s one of those things that is kind of fun and definitely out of the norm for the girls.  I decided that we needed biscuits if we were going to have breakfast.  Mycah helped me make biscuits a couple of weeks ago, so she was ken on getting to do it again and Grey wanted t since she didn’t get to help last time.  They both have their own aprons for cooking and a different one for crafting.  Grey used her cooking apron, but Mycah used her craft apron because it is short enough for her to keep from tripping!  Anyway, they each cut in  a stick of butter (yes, the recipe calls for two sticks of butter).  I patted out the dough and they used my mother-in-laws biscuit cutters to make a ton of various sized biscuit.  We really had a good time. 

grey-and-mycah-making-biscuts

Me and the girls spent this past weekend with my mother.  While I was there I started and finished a cablomintry out of about 1/2 of Noro.  I wore it today and the girls were kind enough to take a picture of it.  I also made one for Emmy out of red cashmere and a loose spun silk.  I had actually made that one for me also, but Emmy loved it so much that I had to give it to her.  She looked so pretty.  I did make a second one for me, but it is still in need of ties and weaving in the ends. 

noro-cabliomitrynoro-band-2


January has been a big month

On top of January being the beginning  of the New Year with all the promises a new year holds, we have also had a number of big events here.  I took photos of most and will paste them at the bottom of the post. 

First, the narrative.  The first set of photos show Grey and Mycah on New Year’s Day.  They are each holding a penny that was in their black-eyed peas.  Every year for as long as I can remember I have had black-eyed peas for god luck on New Year’s Day. The peas bring good fortune in general, but whoever finds the penny gets an extra dose of goodness during the year.  Grey and Mycah both found a penny this year.  I hope their year is full of all of the promise, hope, love and luck that Henry and I wish for them. 

The next picture is from Henry’s birthday.  We celebrated at Kobe’s.  Kobe’s is a hibachi place.  The chefs cook on a huge grill in front of you and put on a show.  The food is good…a little over-priced…but you go for the show.  Henry and I both went as children (not together) and have great memories of it.  It’s one of those places that kids just love and adults get to eat something that is not chicken nuggets.  The girls loved it. 

The next photos are from Grey’s birthday party.  We invited her class to our house for a crafting extravaganza and cake.  The kids got their own craft aprons, made a door hanger, and painted a picture frame.  It was crazy, but fun and I will be recovering until next year when her birthday happens again.

Last, but not least, fairy milk.  Henry fetched the fairy milk from the fairies who keep fairy cows.  He only can do this on the full moon.  Since it was the first full moon of the new year and both Henry and Grey had a birthday, the fairies also gave the girls each a special little necklace.  Don’t you wish your husband had a direct line to the fairies?!  And the fairy connection is only one of the reasons I love him.


100th Post and a Give Away!

Believe it or not…I have been putting off making my 100th post becauseI wanted something worthy to post about.  I know…silly.  Well, I have something worthy.  This morning I spoke with an old friend.  D was my best friend in high school.  He is a year older than me and I thought he was soooo cool.  He went to college first and was responsible for me meeting Henry.  D was also my first room mate in my first apartment.  For a while D, Henry and me were always together.  We had the best times.  Then, about 7 years ago something happened and we just quit talking.  I think I was not as good of friend as I should have been and neither was Henry as the two of us got so involved with our lives together and we pushed D….not on purpose.  Then he was pretty unhappy with us and then I got my feelings hurt..and so on and so on. 

Today Henry called him for something else.  They talked and then I talked to D.  He sounded very happy, different, but the same and not angry.  When I actually got to speak to him it really made me realize how much I miss him.  It sounds like the three of us will get the opportunity to try to rekindle our friendship and THAT is worthy of my 100th post.

Just to make sure my knitting buddies celebrate with me….I am going to give away some yarn and a book to go with it.  So…leave a comment and I will have one of my monkey girls choose a name from a hat.  (I have no idea how to use a random number generator and do not plan on learning right now.)  You have until Friday to leave a comment!


New Hair, New Hats and Christmas Tree

I have lots of photos to share.  Hopefully they will come out in the gallery and not take too long to load.  The first ones are of our Christmas tree.  We put it up the day before Thanksgiving but did no decorate it until the weekafter.  This is our first Christmas in our new house.  We are pretty settled

and it is really beginning to feel like home.  There is nothing better than hanging out next to the Christmas tree in the morning, turning on the lights, everyone else asleep, hot coffee and knitting in the living room.  Amazing.

The photos also show both girls pre-haircut.  Grey has been begging to cut her hair for months.  Henry did not want her to cut her hair, but finally gave in after months of whining.  His only requirement was that she has to have enough to give to locks of love.  It finally measured 10.4 inches, so she got it cut.   The pictures show the actual snip.  Mycah wanted her hair cut just like Grey’s….so she did.  They are so cute!

The last set of photos show the hats I knit for Henry, Grey and Mycah.  Henry’s is made of Noro.  It has a double layer where the cabled band folds up over the main body of the hat.  This makes a very warm hat.  He really needs a warm one for Iowa.  Iowa is frickin cold!!  The colors are so Henry.  he loves i.  Grey’s hat is made Malabrigio worsted and in the Wooly Wormhead pattern, Meret.  It should be a little baggier, but I was afraid she would not wear it too slouchy.  Mycah’s is special.  She picked the yarn.  I hate the yarn.  The colors are every bit as hideous as they show up on the screen.  The yarn is about 90% artificial crap and shiny as all get out!   She wanted her hat to look like a flower….but wanted the teal color, not green for the leaf part.  I hate it and she absolutely loves it.  She is wearing it around the house.  Oh well….at least she likes it.


Last Day of November

Well, my goal of posting every day in November went up in smoke.  I think I’m at about 50%.  I have to say, that’s better than I had been doing.  Oh well. 

This last post of November is about Thanksgiving.  I spent a wonderful thanksgiving with my two girls, my husband, my sister and two of her children and my friend Wendy.  This was a pretty small get together compared to what I am used to, but it was great.  My sis, Allison, has been very stressed and down of late and I have been very concerned.  She seemed to have a really good time and I really got to talk to her.  We hung out in the kitchen with the littlest (10 month old Elliot) and cooked.  This is the thing though….we cooked on our schedule, with no deadlines, no other place to be and no….anything.  We had decided on a 5pm dinner and came fairly close to the mark, but again, close enough, was close enough.  Allison made a sweet potato souffle that will forever and ever be our go to recipe for sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving.  We found it while flipping through the cookbook looking for a different sweet potato casserole.  I brined my turkey the night before and then buttered him down and cooked him a good portion of the day.  I have to say…that was pretty good turkey! We had the misc side dishes that are the standard must haves and we had pies made by my girls!  Wednesday night I let them make a pumpkin pie each and a fudge pie each.  They had on  aprons at the kitchen island just working their tails off!  It was great.  The girls were sweet, really interested, well behaved….I felt like I was June Cleaver…but of course, way COOLER!  Anyway I’m tried of writing and am suffering with this cold, so I will leave you with a few of my favorite pics from this week.  

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PS…Thank for the pictures, Wendy!


Weekend

You know, most people out there are jumping up and down that today is Friday…especially the Friday before Thanksgiving….but I am not feeling it.  I am tired.  I have really worked out hard this week, cleaned the house from top to bottom and cooked for friends.  Now I have tomorrow and Sunday to look forward to.  Why, you ask, would I be so unhappy about Saturday and Sunday?  (even if you didn’t ask, i’m tellin’)  Henry and I have to try to get the farm cleaned out.  When we moved we brought everything we actually use and a little more.  What we did not bring was the stuff that clutters one’slife.  Henry is a very sentimental guy.  The farm was in his family for almost 100 years.  His grandfather and grandmother raised three daughter there.  His mother lived there and ran the farm.  Then he took it over.  We have three generations of things to go through and Henry has to make agonizing decisions about what to do with it all.  Now, some of it is not precious in the sentimental way, some of it is fodder for sculpture.  That stuff has to get to a storage place so that it can hang out until we find him a studio.  Of course, we will get to move it one more time. 

I also did not know that my niece’s party was going to be tomorrow, until last night.  Now I have the guilt of not going even though I did not know and I have made all these arrangements already.  Ummphhh.

Of course this tale of woe will not result in a complete disaster of a weekend.  David, Lori, Drew and Zoe are coming to stay with us and watch our girls.  So, we get to spend some time with them.  We miss them terribly and jump at any chance w can to have them here or to visit them in GA.  And…on the bight side, we should be nearing completion on finishing up the farm by Monday.  I think the worst will be done and everything else will be downhill.  I will be glad to have a much smaller corner of the world to be concerned with soon!


No hat picture…

OK.  I still don’t have a hat photo for you.  I had a busy day.  I took Grey o Sylvan for tutoring.  While she was there I ran down the street to the Spinning Guild meeting.  Everyone was very nice.  I may go back.  I want to spin on a wheel so badly that I can taste it, but I am so very frustrated with the drop spindle that I am afraid I won’t be capable of using a wheel.  Anyway, after the tutoring/spinning excursion, I came back home wit Grey so that I could get lunch for everyone and gather our bathing suits.  We all went to the YMCA indoor pool.  I am trying to offset the Saturday work at tutoring with a fun time at the pool for Grey.  So far it seems to be working.  Henry went with me and the girls and we had a great family time.  We went to Game Sop to pick up a Wii for someone who wants to give it to someone else for Christmas and has not been able to find one.  (I know…cryptic…don’t want to give anything away) Then, we hit Target for a couple of book/toy shelves for Mycah with bins in a quest to help her get organized and be able to clean her room up easily and on her own.  After all of this we were exhausted and hungry, so we had sushi.  Last, but not least, me and the girls popped popcorn and hen we all lazed around on the couch watching Howl’s Moving Castle.  That movie rocks every single time we see it.  We have seen it at least 20-30 times and never tire of it.  It was a great family filled day.  I love my little family!

Here’s a picture of the Mycah.  She’s standing in he fort part of the play-set that we finally managed to bring down from the farm.  This is so Mycah…………

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Did you? We did.

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PS. If you look cloely you can see that I am wearing my completed Tuscany Shawl.  More pics tomorrow after the polls close and a winner is in place. Here’s to the democratic process!


All Saints Day

Today was All Saints Day at church.  The purpose is to remember/honor those who has passed away during the previous year.  Most of you who read my blog are aware that my grand daddy died this year.  I did not really post about it because I really wasn’t ready to talk about it over the internet.  But, today was a good day, a hard one, but a good one.  The ceremony was very touching and I was very emotional.  Henry was hugging me and I leaned my head on his shoulder.  This was a big mistake…I poked him in the eye with my crazy (growing out, curly) hair.  I got tickled and almost lost it.  Good grief, I’m such a klutz!

My grand-daddy, Sneed Ladd, was a truly remarkable man.  He was a regular, working guy.  He delivered milk and ice cream his entire work life.  He helped Nanny raise 4 children and was the proud grandfather to 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren(gosh, i hope i counted right).  Grand daddy was a man of few words.  he sat back an took everything in before voicing his opinion…if he gave it.  Should you ask for advise, he was always willing to give you whatever he had with a quite strength and heart full of love that made you certain that he was right and that even if you chose the path he would not have had you choose, he would always be there to hug you and tell you everything would be ok.  Grand daddy saw his children, grand-children and great grandchildren make plenty of mistakes.  He never judged and never turned his back on any of us.  All of the love he showed his family he also showed not only to the members of his church but to anyone he met. 

After church we went out to eat with the clan…..about 30 of us.  Yeah, they never saw us coming!  It was fun.  The girls love hanging out with their cousins.  We got home around 2:30 or so.  I cleaned the house a bit and then helped Henry work on the girls’ fort/swingset thing.  It is still not done, but very close.  Maybe I can work on it some more tomorrow since the rest is lightweight, mundane work. 

Afterwards, the girls had peanut butter sandwiches as Henry helped me install the under-counter CD player int he kitchen.  He brought it back from the farm.  I had specifically asked him for it because I really like listening to a CD or the radio while I’m in the kitchen.  I also like turning up a fun CD or the girls and them dancing like maniacs while I cook.  It is a great stress reliever and I also wind up laughing like crazy.  Anyway, I have missed my kitchen CD player.  There was a CD in it when I plugged it up.  It was Nora Jones.  I listened to it a lot and associate it with the farm, with warmth, with love.  Apparently Henry does as well.  We danced in the kitchen, crying over missing the farm, but loving our new life and knowing that as long as our family is together…everything is beautiful and the way it should be. 

It was a good day.  It was a hard day.  It was a good day.