Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fw: one thing off the list

Got the test pair of socks done today. Dear Daughter says they're very cozy. Didn't take me very long - not quite two weeks to get them done. With luck and persistence I should be able to get 2-3 pairs done before Christmas to give as gifts. Dear Daughter is home this afternoon because she had three teeth pulled this morning. So far she's not too uncomfortable, mainly complaining about the numbness in her lips. She's had tylenol and motrin, and will keep getting whatever she needs. Oh, and she had a double scoop of Baskin Robbins Gold Medal Ribbon for lunch. Hey, it had to be something soft.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

lots to do

So I'm getting started on the whole Christmas thing. Earlier this year than most, but I guess that gives me permission to take on a whole lot of stuff that I wouldn't ordinarily try to do. Last January one of my New Years resolutions was to learn to crochet, which I have done to a certain extent. And, as the picture demonstrates, I'm now learning to crochet socks. My sister pointed out that I could BUY socks if I wanted, and is worried that the economic crunch in Seattle is worse than she thought. It's the hand-made thing, though, and I hope to get three pairs done for Christmas presents - matching socks for my sister-in-law and my neice, and then a third pair for my other sister-in-law. We'll see. If I have more time, I'll do more.

Then there's the Fabio BVM that I'm cross stitching. It's actually a Mirabilia Design "Madonna of the Garden", and it's a fairly complicated piece by my standards. It's also very pretty, like, if this is what Jesus and Mary really looked like, then Joseph must look like Fabio. Or something like that. It's cool to work on such a challenging piece, but it's not really to my taste. I'm thinking it'll be our school auction donation item this year. That gives me till May 2nd to get it done. Well, sooner than that if I want to get it framed.

And then there are the bookmarks. A friend secured a table at the St James Cathedral Advent fair, then asked all her crafty friends to make something to sell. Figured we'd all get credit without each of us having to make enough to stock a booth. My goal for this is to get a dozen bookmarks made. I plan to sell them for $8 each and donate the $$ to Operation Nightwatch. Am using Hardanger embroidery patterns that I designed (well, they're so basic that "designed" is a bit presumptious) although it's fun to play with the colors to tweak each one. They work up pretty quick, like, two evenings of stitching per bookmark. But then they have to be done by the first week of December, so I don't have all the time in the world.

There's lots to do. The house needs cleaning, and there's a stack of books that I'd like to read, but the cold wet weather makes me want to stitch. So for now, that's what I'll do.

the view from up here

It's that time of year. Foggy time. This is a photo Dear Daughter took from our dining room window. We have a great view of the sky, if you can overlook Pederson's Plastic Roof next door. It's kind of an eyesore, and the power lines provide a lovely accent. But we do get to see the sky.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Yesterday we had a nearly open day. Between work, school, soccer, and various musical activities, someone almost always has something going. But yesterday there wasn't much on the schedule. So I decided it was a good day to plan a family activity. This idea was met with varying levels of enthusiasm. Dear Husband was on board, but wanted to do something way more involved than what I had in mind (like drive an hour away and visit a zoo and a museum and goodness knows what all else). Talked him out of it fairly easily, though, and he got to work with the What's Happening from the Friday paper, trying to find something a little smaller scale.

Both kids asked about playdates as soon as they were awake. Like, "Good morning, mother. Can I have a playdate with ______?" My son was ok with the family day idea, but my daughter, not so much. She's very close to being a teenager, and I think yesterday she got a little closer. We ended up going to the Carpinito Brothers farm, where they had U-pick pumpkins and a corn maze. Dear Son thought it was all very cool, and spent the afternoon leading us all through the corn maze and evaluating the pumpkins to find three that would work for a pumpkin snowman. Daughter sulked. When she wasn't pouting. Somehow we ended up taking home $40 worth of pumpkins - don't ask me how that happened - and she did manage to get engaged with the process of picking out her pumpkin(s). And she also liked eating the caramel kettle corn. Other than that she did a darned fine imitation of a teenager. So maybe we're in the fall of her childhood, and soon she'll be moving full on into a new phase of life. Last month she took the picture of the Aspens that's attached to this post. She's a good kid, a talented kid, and while it's sad to loose my baby, it's going to be cool watching her grow up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

baking bread

The picture above is a loaf of Challah bread I baked a couple of years ago. It was my first attempt at Challah bread, and I was so pleased with how it turned out that I took pictures. I haven't tried Challah again, but I do try to bake regular old wheat bread for the kid's lunches. It's nothing special, but my daughter tells me she likes it when her school lunch is made with fresh baked bread. I use organic wheat flour, but then standard white flour because it gets too expensive to use the good white flour. At least I know they aren't getting any preservatives or anything in their bread. The peanut butter may be full of weird stuff, but the bread is good.

It's not hard to bake decent bread, especially since My Dear Friend gave me a stand mixer last Christmas. The way my life goes, it's almost more about timing and scheduling than anything else. Take today, for instance. I worked night shift last night but the babies behaved and I got a couple of hours of sleep. I mixed the bread this morning and it'll rise while I take a nap this morning (very soon!). Then I have a 1pm meeting back at work (which I might sleep through, although it'll mess up the bread). Before the meeting, I'll set it up in bread pans, but then put it in the fridge because I won't be home before it'll be ready to bake. When I get home (after son's soccer practice), I'll set it out to rise, then bake it this evening. Or the husband can bake it if I have to leave for work before it's ready. It's not always this complicated, but sometimes it seems that way.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

follow-up to the previous post

This is a look into my front yard. There are asters (Ruby Morn), japanese anemone, miscanthus, pineapple mint, eucalyptus, and raspberries falling all over the place. But it's pretty.

First one

So I started this process today, but was interrupted by the kids, who wanted lunch. And over lunch we had to have a quick Pig Latin lesson. They're getting better at it. We debated over the correct pronunciation of "I" (ay-I, I think). But now they're back to playing, and I'm back to writing.

Took a couple of quick pictures of my yard, and will try to post one. It's pretty, in a Secret Garden kind of way, but I'm tired of being unable to walk through the front yard without getting mugged by the raspberry plants. And the eucalyptus is kind of in the way and annoying, too. I can't imagine a garden without raspberries, and love picking a big bowl for breakfast, but that's in June. By this time of year, they're sprawling and prickly and not all that much fun. So I'm debating whether to cut them back, but am afraid I won't get any berries next year if I cut back too hard. Of course, it does me no good to have berries if I can't get at them. It's overcast and cool today, so I'm not really motivated to work outside anyway. I guess the raspberries are safe for now.