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!
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.
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!
Just a quickie…made bread this morning. One loaf for the yarn store gals and one for my family while I am working at the store. The house smells so good and Henry and the girls are excited. They love my bread, but I have been on a bread making hiatus since before Christmas!
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.
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 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!!!!!