Sunday, January 30, 2011

52 Weeks---Vol. 4

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations, 
the extraordinary and mundane -- 
whatever is unique to the week. 

Late to the party at Barb's....these pictures are typical of what goes on around here, not unique.

The American Heritage Girl handbook with some of Meg's work and my reading scattered around...

Hot chocolate on a cold day last week deteriorated into quite a bit of time spent photographing the grease bubbles on the spoon after the whipped cream melted...

The usual mess on the kitchen table during school.  Books, knitting, the essential coffee cup.  On this day, Meg and Pip had begun knitting scarves for the homeless.  Now is a good time to start because they might, possibly, be finished next winter at a rate of about 2 rows per day!

My house got very clean on Saturday, but it will be back to its usual cluttered look tomorrow, I'm sure.

Friday, January 28, 2011


7 Great Things about Friday

It's Easy Day in school!  For years now we've had a light school load on Fridays because Mother of Divine Grace curriculum recommends it, so you can do things like go to the doctor or run errands.  Even though we don't really use MODG anymore, we've kept that principle for the doctor visits, field trips, and the co-ops that generally occur on Friday.

Aaaaah, it's a much more relaxed school day.  That's what Pip would say, except he's currently sound asleep on the sofa after the long drive to Tom's school this morning!

All this relaxing-ness comes conveniently after Thursday (American Heritage Girls day).  I always need a bit of a break after that; I don't know what I'd do if AHG were on a Monday.  

Heaven, forbid!

The weekend is ahead!  Now, sometimes, weekends are not at all relaxing, but even if they're not they bring the possibility of seeing my dear husband more during the days (instead of doing that exhausted ships-passing-in-the-night thing).  We can stop and have strength-inducing hugs and kisses in the kitchen and gross out our kids!

More knitting time in the day, and the hope of more such time over the weekend.  Even though Knitting and I are not exactly friends right now.  We've reach a tenuous truce and are trying to work out our differences.  Well, I am, anyway.   Knitting is being as feisty as ever.

I pretty much have the weekend off from listening to The Return of the King in the car.  That's good and bad.  Bad, because it's a great book and we're near the end.  Good, because I've been in tears every morning this week listening  to the battle for Gondor and all the heroic deeds.  I could use a little break from all the emotion.  

2 whole days off from teaching Math!

Need I say more?

Confession tomorrow morning!  That's always a great way to start the weekend, especially when it's been a bit too long since the last visit.

What do you love about Fridays???

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Evidently, I'm not meant to knit or to join in the Yarn Alongs since Safari crashes  every time I try to upload my photo. 

That plus the fact that my knitting is going absolutely no-where.  I'm in about the same place I was last week, only maybe a little farther behind. 

Yes, behind, not ahead.  I was doing so well, didn't even need a Lifeline..... Until I did.

So I ripped it all out and started again, using a lovely, lime-green Lifeline on the 24th row, the last of the pattern repeat.  I was all set to swallow my pride again and use another after the next repeat when I flubbed up the very. last. row.  and had to rip it out down to the lifeline.

Then---would you believe it---I messed it up again only 2 rows later!!!  I was so disgusted that I wanted to hurl it across the room, though I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn't make a very satisfying missile.  I was at the library, too, so that might have been a little awkward.

I feel like Sisyphus.   Or is it Penelope?

My only comfort right now is that I know the Yarn Harlot, professional knitter that she is, has had similar nightmares.  She soothes herself with a beer.  Maybe that's my problem---I'm not drinking enough.

Ah, now Firefox won't upload photos for me either. 

Doomed.  Doomed, I tell you.  My blogging and my knitting.

The reading is good, though.  Maybe I should just concentrate on that for a while!

The Rite.  An Eye-opener.
The Strictest School in the World.   With the kids.  Funny.  A cross between A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Mysterious Benedict Society.  I get most of my book recommendations for kids from Melissa Wiley.
One Thousand Gifts


You can probably find less distraught knitters at Ginny's Yarn-Along!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January Daybook

Outside my window...

..Sunny, but I'm assuming it's cold since it seems to be cold in the house!

I am thinking...

...about how such a meek, non-attention-seeking person such as myself can be so full of pride.  It extends to lots all areas of my life, but one in particular today.

I am thankful for...

...homeschooling and the opportunity to spend lots of days with my children who grow up and move away far too fast.  It's not always easy, and we're not always happy, but I can't imagine not having had these years and these extra hours  with all my kids.  When it comes right down to it, it's the hours and minutes that add up.  And they're adding up when my loved ones are away from me in high school, too!  I'll just try to be thankful that they're at excellent Catholic schools while they're not with me!

From the schoolroom kitchen table...
...last week we stayed on track all week.  Today is a bit of a struggle with one student, but we're managing.  We're working on memorizing times tables and prepositions!

From the kitchen...

...birthday cake again!  Last birthday for a few months...whew!

I am wearing...
...sweats.  Ugh.  I need to go get dressed!  I know there are "nice" workout clothes, but I feel such a frump if I don't put on real clothes.  You can wear sweats workout gear if you want to, but it makes me feel lazy.  Weird, huh?

I am creating...
...Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Frogged it.  Here's where the big ol' ugly Pride reared his head.  I've been working on my Lace Ribbon scarf which was beautiful!  Growing slowly, but surely.  I'm not the fastest knitter, but I had done about 8 inches with no problems.  Thinking about how much easier this lace pattern is and I haven't made mistakes or needed to use a lifeline.  (Read the comments in that last Yarn-Along.)  But maybe I should.  Nah.  

You know where this is going, right?  I can only blame the excitement at the end of the football game last night...but I finally made a mistake...when I discovered it I tried and tried to figure out how to take out just the little bit, but I had absolutely no idea how to put those loops of yarn back on the needles!  So it's all gone.  And I don't think I'll finish it before warm weather comes.  

You know what they say:  Pride goeth before a fall.  


I am reading...
...The Rite .  It's going to get creepy, I imagine.  Especially after seeing the movie trailer yesterday.

...The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Picked it up Saturday to skim through (since I'd read it before) and it was the book for a new book club I've been invited to join.  Well, I thought it was Sunday, but I was wrong:  it's next week.  And that's great news because 2 pages into it I remembered how much I love. love. love. this book.  It was such a fun read, and I am having fun reading it again, and I am blessed to be able to discuss it with others this time!

I am hoping...
...For a productive spring with American Heritage Girls.  There's a lot going on there!

I am hearing...

...the occasional noises from the kitchen table where my Little Princess is doing her math.

Around the house...
...nothing new there.  The usual clutter and balls of yarn.

I am going... the health food store and probably the yarn store for some new lace knitting needles.  I think this scarf will go a bit faster with a sharper point on my needles!

One of my favorite things...
...a Daddy who takes his baby ice-skating for her birthday, and hangs around at the post office for hours with another child who needs a passport!

I am praying for...

...My brother who gets a BAHA implant tomorrow so he can begin to have hearing on both sides again!

A few plans for the rest of the week...

...AHG, Choir, and not to forget---a 9th birthday celebration tonight!

Picture thought for the day...

from this:
to this:

Happy 9th Birthday to my sweet Meg!  You're so much fun to be around!  I love your sparkly personality and your zest for life.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

52 Weeks---Vol. 3

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations, the extraordinary and mundane -- whatever is unique to the week.   Visit Barbara for more!

Marching for life on Friday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


 In case you wanted to see my Lacy Baktus.  Here it is.
 I've blocked it twice and worn in 3 times.  Very cozy and colorful.  The colors are a little muted in the pics because I didn't use a flash.
 Finished Elizabeth the other day and am now working on The Rite.  Although after I took the pic this morning (and it has taken me all day to get to this post!), One Thousand Gifts arrived in the mail, and I started it during piano this afternoon!

The new project is the Lace Ribbon Scarf, and the yarn is Spud and Chloe fine in Anemone.  Love. love. love. the color and I thought the wavy-watery pattern was perfect for it.  Even though it's more lace and you'd think I'd be over the lace by now after the Pretty Thing, which I threw in the top of the closet and haven't taken a picture of it since I blocked it.  It really is pretty.  Despite everything.

Meet my new BFF (Best Friend Forever, for you non-texters):
This little row counter is a life-saver when it comes to lace, and probably cables, too.  It makes it so much easier for me to keep track of where I am.  

Now, it doesn't save me from all lace mistakes.  A dropped stitch, a forgotten yarn-over, or, heaven forbid, a dropped yarn-over can cause untold chaos in lace-knitting.  Especially if you discover it several rows later!  (Am I right, Barbara?)  I'm starting to look at all these shawls and scarves that I have bookmarked with new appreciation.  I don't know how people get through those without making mistakes!  I'm of the firm belief that you have to finish your lace in "one take" because trying to fix a mistake is a total nightmare.  Even when I catch an error while still on the row, I can't really fix it, and I have to rip out the whole thing.  It's so hard to find the right little thread to pick up!

Anyway....this Lace Ribbon Scarf isn't giving me fits.  Yet.  

I hope I haven't jinxed myself.

Any experts out there know how to deal with difficult lace patterns and mistakes?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Day of Torture...I mean School

The children all woke up easily enough today after their 10 day bonus vacation, and we took Tom to school.  That was great; we hadn't been in the car enough lately to listen to The Two Towers!,
someone must have given them the impression that "school" means doing whatever they feel like doing all day.

Like playing Wii video games,
card games,
computer games,

and just generally whining and acting put-upon when I suggest something else.  Like reading a fun chapter book together.  I'm so mean.  I just wanted to jump right back into the difficult work!

My mom is so mean!

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK Daybook

 Outside my window...
Cloudy skies because we're expecting rain which will wash away the rest of our melting snow!  

I am thinking...

About American Heritage Girls all the time.  Went for a walk yesterday with hubby and had to confess that I heard hardly a word of the homily at Mass because I kept thinking of issues we're having in the troop.  But I turned that into a prayer for guidance and got an inspiration which I hope will help!  

I am thankful for...
the long vacation we have had for the past week!  This apocalyptic snowfall that we had in the south which paralyzed most of Georgia was simply a Godsend.  I know many people who were perfectly content to stay home.  I'm sure it had an extremely negative effect on the statewide economy with businesses closed and people who couldn't get to work, but as a society we probably needed the rest!

From the  learning rooms  kitchen table...
MLK Day, today.  Back to work tomorrow with renewed energy and determination to work hard and get lots done---at least on my part.  I can't speak for the kids.

From the kitchen...
An old recipe from my ancient La Leche League cookbook.  It's called "Kima", but it's similar to this recipe "Keema Matar".  The LLL recipe doesn't have yogurt in it, but I think I'll try it tonight with some of his variations from the video!

I am wearing...
an old poncho that my grandmother knit for my mother 35 years ago, or so.  It's ugly, oh-so-dated, heavily fringed, and, ugh, long-lasting acrylic.  But it's warm and it was Mom's.  On the chair behind me is the smaller one that Grandmother made for me.  Meg wears that one.

I am creating...

A new scarf out of sock yarn:  Lacy Baktus.  I like the  stripes in the yarn, and I'm using a larger needle so it's not as tight.  

Still working on that.  Almost finished.  

I'm trying to restrain my promiscuous tendencies (where yarn is concerned!) and NOT start a new project since I found a couple of skeins of Spud & Chloe Fine that I had treated myself to and forgotten about.

Hmmm, re-reading that makes it sound as if I have lots of promiscuous tendencies and I'm only restraining them where yarn is concerned.  Rest assured, any such tendencies exist only with yarn and knitting projects!

I am going...
to run a few errands today and generally get organized for school to start again tomorrow.

I am hoping and praying...

...For a friend who has been out of work for about a year now and is about to lose her home

...for healing for lots of people with cancer, especially this little boy. 

I am hearing...
The quiet sounds of children deciding which game to play.

Around the house...

It's clean with the exception of the usual lived-in look.  I'm actually wishing for a bit of warm weather because I want to paint some furniture.  And Katie won't be happy to hear that we're thinking of how to rearrange children and bedrooms when she moves out for good in August.  Not that she's not welcome to come home, but she doesn't want to.  She's ready to get on with her life and be independent!  

One of my favorite things...
The Divine Office for my ipod.  I've taken to using it in the mornings to listen to the Morning Prayer.

What do you like to use for morning prayer to start your day off right?

few plans for the rest of the week...
Back to the normal routine with school, scouts, choir, American Heritage Girls.

 A Photo thought...

This little person will turn 9 in a week!
You can find other January Daybooks here!

Friday, January 14, 2011

52 Weeks--Vol. 2 "Snowpocalypse"

I'm linking up with sweet Barbara over at Praying for Grace today.

After 6 days
Ready to go play!
This has been an amazing week. After only 4 days of school in January, we got hit with a rare snowstorm here in Georgia that has paralyzed most of the state, and kept the kids out of school for a full week!
Card playing when they're tired of snow.

The snow itself was on the high end for us(4-5 inches here), but it wouldn't have been such a big deal if it hadn't been topped with ice.  That, combined with the fact that the temperatures have stayed below freezing for the whole week, means that pretty much everything has been shut down all week.  If temps had risen the way they normally do, this would have been all over in a day or two!
Doesn't everyone have a slinky in the midst of their baking?

It's been great.  We've relaxed, and played, and baked, and read.  Only Pete, who sleeps most of the days away,and stays in his lair bedroom the rest of the time, is a little stir crazy.  Dh is a tiny bit stressed because he needs to work to pay the bills, but I think he has enjoyed being around more and getting extra sleep.
Home work and a snack.

We're turning into such lazy folks.  Sleeping until we awaken naturally.  Going to bed early, or late, as we choose.  Not so governed by the clock.   The children have spent hours and hours playing outside with their friends.
Decorating with all my white stuff after putting away Christmas.
Wii Wipeout

I got out with the young'uns yesterday for our weekly milk and egg run and a visit to Trader Joe's.  The roads were both better and worse than I had imagined.  Some places were great; others were very dangerous.
Pip's 12 birthday on Monday.
Baking biscuits.  You have to have lots of carbs, right?

We had to cancel our long-awaited Mother/Daughter sleepover with the American Heritage Girls.  It was going to be such fun! 

Our ten-day weekend should be over on Tuesday after MLK Day.  It will be a harsh new reality!  Of course, getting back to routine has it's benefits; I'm just trying to enjoy it as it comes along!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Is it Wednesday?  It's so hard to keep track of the days when you're snowed and iced in!  Schools are closed for the 3rd day in a row.

I think I have sufficient Cabin Fever to actually do some work today, like finally putting away the Jesse tree, nativities, and Santas.  

We've been enjoying these days, spending time together, eating and playing.  Dh & I have had a couple of long, extremely tiring, walks through the snow and ice.

Last Thursday, in what was evidently a very timely maneuver, I got 4 books from the library.

The Rite, the making of an exorcist.  I've read a couple of chapters.  Bound to be fascinating.

I read most of Crafting a Business, it's full of interesting stories of women who have turned their passion into a business.  I left off at the end when it got into the nitty-gritty business details because I'm no where near that point.

I saw Green Darkness suggested somewhere, but haven't been able to get past the first page, yet.  I'm sure I'll try again, but not yet.

Elizabeth is a coffee-table biography of the late Queen Mother (current Queen Elizabeth's mother).  I stumbled across it at the library and picked it up because Don and I had just seen The King's Speech the weekend before.  When we went to see the movie, I didn't realize who it was about.  Awesome movie, but I'm really enjoying the book, too.  Admittedly, I never gave her much thought as the mother of the Queen, especially since I'm not British, but it seems that she was a rather sparkling personality.  The character in the movie was well portrayed, I think.

You know the best part about this book?  It's a big, hardback that lies flat when you open it---and that means I can read and knit at the same time!

In these pics, you can see the Pretty Thing I've been working on. finished. It's a crumpled mess, and you can see the chart the goes with it.  Following the chart isn't the hard part, though it looks that way.  After starting over 4 times, I finally figured out that I needed: 

~~~stitch markers to separate each 17 stitch repeat (you work the chart 7 times around each row), 
~~~and a sticky note to keep track of the proper row, so I didn't accidentally switch rows midstream.
~~~Counting the 17 stitches before and after each segment would have been a good idea, too, in retrospect.
~~~Absolute silence--this is not a project where I could do anything besides knit and concentrate!  

I finished it.  Finally.  I gave up on anything approaching perfection and figured out which mistakes could stay and which couldn't.  

I blocked it, and it's beautiful.  

I wore it, and it's scratchy and floppy.  

I kind of hate it.  No doubt because of all the trouble and tears it caused me.

So, now I'm working on this nice, peaceful project, Lacy Baktus.  It's such a change from that last nightmare.  Most of the rows are nothing but knitting and I can do that while I read!  I'll probably spend a good chunk of today curled up with Elizabeth and Baktus in my lap!

That, to me, is what this Yarn-Along is all about:  reading and knitting at. the. same. time.  Because frankly, I don't think the two things go together very often.  If I have a fascinating book to read, I'll choose that over knitting.  Conversely, if I have a great project going and no good books, I'll knit every chance I get.

How about you?  Do you read and knit?  Can you have a great book and a great project going at the same time?

Visit Ginny to see what others are knitting and reading, possibly at the same time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day(book)

 Outside my window...
4-5 inches of snow! my Dear Husband keeps intoning.  We were up very late last night watching it snow, running from window to window, jumping up and down, and watching a movie because no one could sleep.

I am thinking...
about what to do today.  Play in the snow?  Knit and read to my heart's content?  Put more grades into the computer?  (Not bloody likely, that one!)  

I am thankful for...
snow that arrives on Sunday night after we are all safely home from our many, many activities yesterday.  Dh's office is closed and no worries about his going in and being out on the roads.

From the  learning rooms  kitchen table...
Snow Day!

From the kitchen...
Another birthday cake for Pipster's 12th birthday today! And probably chili in my new dutch oven.

I am wearing...
Sweat pants and a fleece I inherited from my 17 year-old son.  Actually, it's Dh's now, but I'm borrowing it.  Slippers.  Contemplating boots and snow gear, but with the sound of sleet hitting the windows, I'm not so sure!

I am creating...
A new scarf out of sock yarn:  Lacy Baktus.  I like the  stripes in the yarn, and I'm using a larger needle so it's not as tight.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to get some Madelintosh Sock after this to make another, and I might even attempt some beading.  I first saw this pattern on the hips of a lady at a yarn store. She had used beads on the edge every few inches and it was gorgeous.

I am going...
Nowhere!  Unless it's outside to play!  I probably won't be going anywhere tomorrow either because I think the massive amounts of ice we're to get will keep us homebound for another day.

I am hoping and praying...
...For a friend who has been out of work for about a year now and is about to lose her home

...for healing for lots of people with cancer, especially this little boy. 

I am hearing...
Nothing but the sound of water in the pipes.  The young 'uns have all left the immediate vicinity to find other kids to play with.

Around the house...
I got the tree down on Saturday, all by myself as I listened to podcasts on my new ipod dock.  It made the work, which is usually such drudgery, much more pleasant.  Do you hate taking down your Christmas tree?  It brings me such joy while it's up, and then I'm the only one doing the work of taking down all that joy.  Not my favorite, but this was good.  My mind was on other things.  

In case you're wondering, and I know you are, I was listening to  The Catholic Laboratory.  Can't remember the name of the gentleman who does the show, Ian, maybe, but he's wonderful.  He's got a terrific British accent and the show is very well done.  Excellent explanations of complicated subjects and lots of variety in the show.  There is quite a bit that's over my head, but I enjoy it anyway.  It's a great source for science information and Catholic truths.

Anyway, the Jesse tree is still up along with nativities and Saint Nicholases (Nicholai?  Nicholi?).  Maybe I'll get to those tomorrow.  Or next weekend.

One of my favorite things...
Sugar.  It's one of those love/hate things.  If I had a New Year's Resolution, it would be to give it up forever.

Yes, that's a repeat from last week.  We struggle with sugar a lot during January with the bad habits acquired between T-day and New Year's coupled with 3 birthdays.  I abstained from the first 2 cakes, and the cake yesterday at a reception, but I'm feeling weak today.  

And feeling the siren song of my mother's delicious fudge frosting that I'll be putting on Pipster's cake today.  yum.

few plans for the rest of the week...
Snow, snow, snow.  I imagine it will have eased up enough to allow travel to our first American Heritage Girl's meeting of the year on Thursday.  And we're having a huge Mother-Daughter sleepover on Friday!

 A Photo thought...
Sweet Mom.  She stays because it's a snow day!
Huge flakes last night!

After only 30 mins. of heavy snow.

The Cupcake

This morning!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...