Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Wee Bit of an Obsession

So, this is basically a knitting post.  You have been warned.

The New Year combined with cold snow and temperatures combined with Christmas money means I'm basically thinking of knitting and yarn and patterns all the time!!  I am so thankful God created sheep and silk worms.

So, I have discovered (I know, I know, where have I been) Alice Starmore.  I've heard her name several times in knitting circles, but I did not know what all the fuss is about.  Gracious sakes, part of me wishes I hadn't started to dig.  Her patterns....wow.

Thanks to a trip to the library, I started with "Aran Knitting".  Now my very own copy is on its way to my house along with a handful of her other books AND yarn from across the pond.  Look at this site!    I used up my Christmas money to buy some delicious yarn from there - Alice Starmore's site.  I cannot wait to share this journey with you.  Bear along with me?  I'm awaiting yarn for a sweater and a hat, so I'll start posting some pictures when there are actual things to show.

Other knitting adventures include starting the sleeves for my husband's sweater.  Hang on, I'll find my camera and join the yarn along today.....one sec:



<a href="http://www.gsheller.com/tag/yarn-along"

Picture of the start on the sleeve on a background of a knitted throw I started using thrift store yarn from my mom.  This thrift store yarn is vintage wool - what a find!

I would certainly be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to my friend who reminded of one of my long-neglected websites for buying books.  I bought my Starmore stash from it.  Also?  I love hearing the beep of my mailman's little pickup truck because that means we have a package.  My mailman's name is Denny, and I might have scared him a bit when I ran out to give him a bar of my homemade peppermint soap - I told him maybe just give it to his wife :)

Talk soon, folks; the crockpot needs to be loaded with white wine and garlic chicken thighs for dinner.  TTFN

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Few Things

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!  I hope you have had quiet time and exciting time these past weeks.

We have had some forced quiet time, as we all went through a round of upper respiratory issues.  I think I'm the last one with a little sinus pain, but I'm on the mend.  It's been a blessing, now that the kids are a tiny bit older, to have them (for the most part!) be able to blow their own noses :)  Our little Lydia is now a 4 year old; so we have the children evenly spaced in ages for a few months:  8, 6, 4, and 2.

Lots of Christmas cookies were baked this year, and a fabulous cookie exchange was held.  One of the attendees asked about doing some kind of exchange in the summer months; there are lots of ideas around for handmade swaps.  Maybe we'll try something new in 2015!  One of the new recipes tried was pretzel shortbread cookies.  Oh boy!  With only 3 ingredients, I think you should give them a try (well, 4 ingredients if you sprinkle some chocolate chips on top).

One of my favorite days from last week was Dec. 23.  We took the kids for a jaunt to Pittsburgh.  We toured Phipps Conservatory,  walked around downtown seeing the ice skaters and the gingerbread houses displayed at PPG Place, and had dinner at the Oyster House (I believe the 2nd oldest Oyster House in the country).  The weather was mild, and we enjoyed the time together.

Christmas presents have  yet to be put away.....favorites include a jar of army men, a nerf and a marshmallow gun, a crystal growing science kit, and dress up gowns for 2 princesses!  I knitted a toy for each of my kids:  a stuffed snake, a reversible dolly that changes to a different dolly, a reversible bluebird in a nest that changes to an egg, and a market bag to carry ballet slippers. 

Now the challenge is to get the house back in order!  Our dog is shedding right now too (why would she do that now?), so the vacuum is getting a workout.  Maybe we'll wait a few more days to feel "normal", as we have New Year's Eve and Day to play.  Jon and I were discussing if we (well me actually) are even able to stay awake until midnight!!  Party animals - not sure is that is an apt description for us.  My kids, on the other hand, claim they stay awake all night every night!  Wink!

A blessed 2015 to you.....a few days early, but obviously my posts are "generously" spaced.  TTFN!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Mix

Easing into a Monday morning here after a blessed day of rest yesterday.  My Sunday school students are just adorable, and we learned yesterday of Joseph's being sold, his prison experience and God's care of him while he was in prison and later rose to power in Egypt.  My little Susanna told her brother later that the Sunday school lesson was about Jonah coming out of the hole.  So, some of the lesson stuck :)

This week is to be a big kitchen week:  roasting pumpkins (and their seeds!) for putting puree into the freezer, extracting some honey, doing something with a box of pears, and similar things.  This will be the first time using my honey extractor we bought at an auction.  It's a lovely piece - we think the extractor is from 1913 made by the Root company!  I've been taking it apart to clean it thoroughly.  Here are two recipes that are super yummy:

1.  Grits.  We eat these almost once a week!  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Creamy-Stone-Ground-Grits-241178
2.  Butternut Squash Soup.  Oh boy.  I love this!  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/butternut-squash-and-tomato-soup#

I have very much been enjoying a "tea education" through my friend's blog.  She stumbled across this amazing tea company called Golden Tips.  Really, you should go read her handful of blog posts about how this discovery was made.  I never realized, even though I have had some nice loose-leaf teas, how ignorant I am in all-things tea!  I am eager to further explore this interesting company too.

Before I go to stir my grits I'll leave you with two more links.  This magazine looks super-duper; maybe it would be a nice gift for someone on your list?  I have been trying to find a way to make my nail polish last longer; my nails on my right hand chip so badly a few days in.  This product seems to be helping; I'm still in the testing phase!

TTFN, dear friends and readers!



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Snippets From the Day

Yesterday was apple day!  We had a few baskets of picked apples from the 3 trees around our house, and those apples needed to be dealt with before rottenness set in.  It was a day!  Let me tell you!

~Why did I make the decision to go with recipes that called for peeled and cored apples?  I definitely started to question that decision around 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon when the crockpot was already filled; and it seemed the mountain of apples was not subsiding!

~There were some tears shed when, about 45 minutes after pulling 12 quarts from the canners, the jars of apple pie filling STILL HAD NOT SEALED!

~School was fit in the nooks and crannies of the day yesterday.  Last night right before bed I was quizzing Abigail and Jacob on their Science material.  I was asking which of the 5 senses would the "optical nerve" be related to, and my son replied with, "the sense of humor"!!  Oh, folks, where do they get these things?  Rapidly to follow was this question from him:  "What does 'humor' mean?".

~In the midst of the hurry and scurry yesterday....did I mention my husband came home from work to set about on his project of insulating the garage......something was forgotten.  I woke up with the dreaded feeling, you know, the feeling of having missed putting the garbage bin out to the curb.  Hahahaha....waaaaa. 


In conclusion, I will leave you with hope.  The jars did seal, and I will probably tackle more recipes with peeled and cored apples (next year, though).  Apples are a wonderful thing, and we will enjoy the fruits of our labors this winter (haha, get it?  fruit).  As my husband said this morning when I shared the garbage bin revelation, "we will survive".  As I read in 1 Corinthians this morning:  "....as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing...." we will do more than survive!  TTFN, my dears.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ups and Downs of Recent

Ah, life!  I've been reflecting on the slowness that some days seem to crawl by on as well as the speed that life passes by.  It is encouraging to think that I do not have to become bogged down in the every day chores and desires of more to accomplish (so, so easy for me), but I'm finding that I need VERY regular reminders that my tasks should be prioritized more along the lines of big picture view!  Thankfully, God is good; and provides people and readings to remind me!

Watching one of my honey bee colonies swarm this week (after I had just checked that the bees had enough room last week) is frustrating but encouraging me to learn more about the bees.  I think possibly they are a little too hot in their current location.  This is the same hive that swarmed last year too, so it might just be a characteristic of this particular colony.

My kids have started school!  Yay!  Yay for learning and expanding the mind - we are already having talks about using our school (and attitudes when the lessons get hard) to serve the Lord.  I'll let you in on a little secret....I can get some extra knitting time while I sit next to my pupils working on their lessons :)

My blog swap package arrived, and I have been enjoying the goodies sent by one of my newest blogging friends






Can I just say.......blueberry ginger jam!!!!!

My parents' anniversary today represents 38 years!  We had a nice dinner last night (provided by them, no less) around our table.  My little gift to them was matching handknit washcloths.

Speaking of knitting; have you been by my etsy shop lately?  I added something great for the chilly-er (!) weather!   I think it is just wonderful that my blog swap partner had knitted something similar for me to use.....I tuck my cozy in my purse in preparation for any coffee purchase :)

Well, I could go on; but another post will have to follow.  TTFN!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Goofballs

My kids make me laugh.  Here is just a typical summer picture along with a few eggs collected.  Can you see the difference between a tiny pullet egg and a regular egg from the older chickens?  Such fun!







Tiny girl has a very strict rule remembered in her mind.....one must always wear shoes outside.  She is prepared, people, to check that garden and collect those eggs.  I guess she forgot the memo about also wearing pants or a skirt or SOMETHING.  Too much!!





Summer is rolling along.  Thoughts of school are dancing in our heads too.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone...TTFN!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!

Winner for my giveaway last week.....using the completely random method of writing everyone's name on scraps of paper, folding them into tiny bits, shaking them around, and having my daughter pick one.........is harknessangels!! Congratulations! Now, you'll have to decide on something from my shop; and I will send it to you :) Yay!