Monday, April 25, 2011

What was that crunching noise that I heard while I was perusing the blogosphere? Hey! Those are your brother's and how do you know that bright blue chicks wrapped in cellophane are edible?!?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What I Am Good At

Procrastination, not grammer.

Since I am not doing much of what I am supposed to be doing today, I figure I should do some blogging.

I updated my Ravelry with some projects, an Owl washcloth that I am sending to my Aunt. She collects owl cookie jars, but this might be fun to wash them.
My Ishbel, made with my very own handspun from batts made special for me by Laurie.

And the remnants of my Tea Leaves. The funny thing is, it is such gorgeous yarn, it didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would to pull out all.those.hours.of.knitting.

And I discovered in the process that I do a pretty good job of weaving in ends.

We are taking the kids to DC.

Next time there will be someting interesting for you to see!

Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We have celebrated one april birthday with another in just a few days! I am very thankful for a good year and hopeful for another.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why I Do It

This Quilt with stitches, strong and true

Holds all the love I have for you;

No antique treasure or work of Art,

Just the simple gift of a mother's heart.

Gay stitches with some dark mixed in

The way my love for you has been;

Joy and Pride, some worry, too,

Evenings waiting up for you.

As I placed each stitch with patient care

I thought of you and breathed a prayer

That God would keep you safe tonight

And show me the way to guide you right.

Now you are grown, my job is through

As the quilt is bound and finished, too;

It holds my love and faith and care

To travel with you everywhere.

It may not seem important now,

But keep it safely anyhow;

And when there is no one else to care,

You'll find my love still waiting there.

To hold you warmly for a while

And see you through a time of trial,

No antique treasure or work of Art,

Just the simple gift of a mother's Heart.

--Author unknown

I won't judge you if your eyes are still dry. I first saw part of this poem over a decade ago in a newsletter from the sewing shop that I frequented. They had published the first stanza, it is written on the back of both of the boy's quilts that I made shortly after. They liked it and would have me read it to them before bed. I am getting ready to finish my first quilt for Lil'OnE and while looking around for it to write on her's, found this version. It is a pity that it is annonymous, it is so beautiful. But then, maybe it is better, because there is no distraction from the sentiment that is of my heart for my own children.

I create to satisfy my own soul, but that expression is of my love for my life, my husband, my family. The stitches of all kinds, threads of many colors, textures and strengths, weave and bind and knit us together; for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health, honor roll or c's, potty trained or stinky diapers, skinned knees or shirt and tie, hair bows or tangles, scattered toys or legos in their bin, crockpot dinner in or childless dinner out. They are mine. And I love them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blinded by Celebrity

I have been remiss. Not deliberately. Not only is my fabulous friend, Alison Hess, a wonderful author, but so is my fabulous former neighbor, Mike Harkins! Maybe it is because Mike is waaay over there, maybe it is just ordinary for me to have such talented, creative people swirling in my circle of friends. Either way, it is more good stuff to read. Mike's book is here. And once I figure out how to get the kindle edition (have I ever mentioned how much I *heart* my kindle?!!) I will be reading it next. But over here, you can read his work in a zine full of good stuff. Double bonus? This issue is free! You can read it on your computer or any other kind of reading device you have. I put that on my kindle, too, and ignored my kids and husband for a good while after dinner last week. Triple bonus. Ok, what else? We are hard core toddler here. How did I ever forget what toddler-hood is? And, Lil'OnE is not even two, yet! Already we have a potty chair that she likes too much to P in. I have deduced this from too many puddles right next to the chair. She is adamant, in incomprehensible syllables, about "how this is going to go." And she is the friendliest little thing you have ever seen. I think we go around just making people's day. Seriously, how many kids blow kisses to the cashiers at Giant Eagle? Now just to keep her from becoming cynical. With me as her mom. hmm. Wish us luck. Our Summer Calendar is getting full. I feel like the summer is almost over before it even gets here. The boys are going to scout camp, but two different weeks this year. Eldest crossed over to Boy Scouts, INBA is a Webelos now. I made our reservations for our annual trip to Ohiopyle. We have another Wedding to travel to in June. INBA is going to take another reading enrichment class. Cousins are coming to visit, the boys are going to go visit other cousins. And then school starts! I sure hope we can fit in a couple days at Grandma's pool. Isn't it only March?!? I'm not complaining, really. Just marveling at how and why the time passes so quickly. So, today, I am going to make scones and have a cuppa tea with a friend. I am going to do laundry and maybe dust the living room. I think dinner should go in the crock pot, right now. I have a million little things on my todo list. But this morning, at least, I am going to take it slow. Feel free to do the same.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not Ordinary

At least, it isn't ordinary for me to be friends with a published author!
My friend (she said I could claim that in public :) just published the first in her three part series about Lucie, a girl with ancient knowledge her family has protected since the beginning of memory and a Prophecy to fulfill to save the world from Darkness. And it is her birthday! Ugh, to be a teenager.
It is appropriate for middle school through adult readers. I have read the book. I like it and recommend that you read it, too. I can't wait for the next installment. What on earth is Lucie going to do next?
Until the next book is ready (which I hear is not that far away) I am going to re-read The Prophecy. I have a kindle, so I might buy it here. But here, they have nearly every format imaginable and you won't need a special reader to read it. There is also a sample to read there. And, it is only $1.99 to buy. Sweet!
Her website is
Check her out, you won't be sorry that you did.
I am obviously not as eloquent as Alison, so don't hold my endorsement against her!
In other news, I don't know if my kids are ever going to all be healthy at the same time, again!
INBA was home Tuesday, Eldest was home Wednesday and Thursday. It is just this ickiness that includes fatigue and headache and some stuffiness. I know for sure that they feel like cr*p, because I can't shake this junk either! Junk, I tell ya!
My latest netflix love has been watching (streaming on the Wii) the un-edited British version of Downton Abbey. Oh my goodness, I just love that series. It is 7 (45 minute or so) episodes instead of the 4 (80 minute or so) that we got on PBS. They cut out a lot of the Bates/Thomas/O'Brien story and other little bits and pieces that didn't change the story, but when you see what they were, they round out the story.
Once I ran out of that, I found 3rd Rock from the Sun on streaming. I forgot how funny that show is! I laugh until I cry. John Lithgow is a rare gem.
Hmm. My life sounds pretty cushy. Reading books, watching tv. I didn't even mention the beautiful quilts I am making or the bread baking in the oven that smells divine. Ah, the beauty of editing.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Overwhelmingly Ordinary

I finally sent my 9 year old back to school today. He was home 4 days last week and then again on Monday with a fever and general malaise. He was a lump on the couch, which is rather disturbing when I know how he usually is.
We watched the SuperGame on Sunday. The commercials were ok. I thought the half-time show was fabulous.
This is how Lil'OnE felt about the way those Steelers were playing. Isn't the Mister handsome with his darling daughter?
The neighbor brought over the pink jersey for the Lil'onE.
Did I ever show you a picture of our Matchy Match?
The sweaters are gorgeous. MadToshDK is divine. Unfortunately, I don't like my sweater. It doesn't stay on my shoulders properly and always pulls to the back. Annoys the heck out of me. Now I need to find someone to wear it. I guess I could ravel it and reuse the yarn. But I think it might hurt to undo all that work. I will see if a friend can do it justice and if not...
Oh, and here is an ordinary thing for you.
No knead bread. I make it all the time. I use this book. But if you go over Here, you can get a sample recipe and have unbearably delicious bread tomorrow. The Sonoma Multicrunch Bread is another recipe in the book that is too good to miss. Every recipe I have used in the book is great. I have been baking like this for many months now. I have a few modifications that I made to the oat bread during that time. I use 1 pound King Arthur Bread Flour, it really does make a difference, and I use 11 1/2 ounces white whole wheat flour for a batch. Trader Joe's sells the white whole wheat at a very reasonable price. Weighing the flour also helps with consistent results. It needs a little more water with the white whole wheat, but the taste is not changed and it is still whole wheat!
The Mister gave me a dough whisk and a yeast jar for Christmas. He loves me! Oh. Maybe he loves the bread?! Maybe both. :)
And so it goes...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Everyday Ordinary

Two Sundays ago, the homily at mass was about Everyday Ordinary. At least, that is what I heard. Father Mike was talking about the lack of commentary in the Gospels about Jesus from the time he was found in the temple until he began public ministry and was baptised by John. His point was that those years were not insignificant, they were just ordinary. Everyday Ordinary is a blessing. And we need to remember that it is still meaningful to do the everyday things every day, day in, day out, over and over again. Raising and nurturing, cleaning and cooking, working and sleeping. It is meaningful and important to honor the work, the mundane work, the ordinary work, of life.
It is the whole, you don't enjoy the sunshine with out a little rain. But it is more.
I have been thinking about it for nearly two weeks and still cannot articulate it.

Do I have a point? Sure. Our Mayhem is quite ordinary. Painfully ordinary. Don't-want-to-dull-you-with-the-details ordinary. But, somehow, I feel better about it. Not that our lives may become anything else, but maybe that the work I do now will allow my children to relish the excitement of becoming adults and finding their way to settle into the ordinary of their lives, too. Not at all flashy and reality tv worthy. Just our reality.

Doesn't make for a very exciting blog. Sorry.

In other News:

I watch a lot of PBS. There is a lot of good stuff on WQED if you ignore the Doo-Wop and Celtic Women.
Last night was a fine example in Nova. It is about Making Stuff Smaller. Seriously, click on the guy with the magnifying glass and watch. It will blow your mind. And Mr. Mayhem didn't know that that is how a quartz watch works, either.
I also love Masterpiece on PBS. Mystery mostly, Sherlock last season was awesome. You cannot see the episodes online anymore, but you can see the trailer. A terrible tease. I also like Wallander, ahhh Kenneth Branagh. *sigh*
Anyway, Downton Abbey on Classic, right now, is fabulous! And I don't usually care for that time period type things. You can stream the episodes at the moment. I recommend that you do.

I will be back soon with more of the mundane Mayhem...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Not All About Baby

See, here are the Mayhem fellas... making nice for a picture with Grandma when we celebrated her birthday. Ignore the cake, I have not refined my baking skills, yet.But... there is a little sister.
Cuter than Cute.
And I finished Tea Leaves and Tiny Tea Leaves.
Matchy-Match strikes again!!
If you know of any other big girl/little girl patterns, let me know! She is going to outgrow this sweater, too.

In other news...
Winter has us in its grips. Shocking, I know, being January and all.
Lil'OnE LOVES to be out side in the snow. Crazy loves to be in the snow. She grabs a "kid size" plastic shovel that is twice as tall as she is and puts nearly as much snow on to the drive way as the boys remove.
Sledding still happens out by the front steps. They have been stockpiling snow next to the retaining wall so that they can slide over the edge without hurting themselves (they want steeper slope, I want them to not bust their heads open. Mean mom.) I am hoping that the snow hangs around until this weekend. They have a 4 day weekend and I would love to send them outside for a good bit of it!
I was on Retreat at St Paul of the Cross Monastary last weekend. *sigh* It was so wonderful in many ways. I need a week. But, I will settle for a weekend next January!

Monday, January 03, 2011

First FO of 2011

Say Hello to the Car Socks of the last 2 months or so.
They are nearly identical and mismatched.
How, You say? How can such lovely socks be mismatched?
Check out the toes.
Hmm. They both have toes.
Yes. One is a wedge the other is a star.
Oops.I had been petering along so long with these that I forgot that I decided to get fancy (aka do the not all the time the same toe.) And I never bothered to look at the first one when it came time to finish the second! That and it was dark in "The King's Speech."
Which, by the way, is a really good movie. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are fantastic actors.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

three hundred degrees

Ah-Ha! Thanks, knitsburgh!
I succeeded in making my hard candy just like Grandma used to make. My recipe came to me from my Aunt Carrie, out of some community cookbook from who-knows-when and called to cook it to hard-ball stage which is about 260 degrees. But it works way better when cooked to hard-crack, 300 degrees! go figure.

I have made (thus far) orange, lemon, butter rum and cherry. I have some lime oil and I bought a candy flavor sampler at Michaels so that I could try more for less... love a coupon. But, the candy flavors are formulated for chocolate, some have added vegetable oil. I made the cherry and it wept. Not a lot, I wiped most of it off with a napkin, but not desireable and I will remember that for the future. But the good stuff, if you are also so inclined to make hard candy, is at the Uncommon Market . Prepare to be totally overwhelmed by your choices of flavor. Then buy the butter rum flavor. Werther's Originals. oh yeah. But the boys are pretty partial to the orange and lemon- which tastes like lemonheads.

-We seemed to have survived the holidays.
-Kids don't go back to school until Tuesday.
-I am still working on my Tea Leaves, am down to the button bands, just waiting for a chance to work on it when I am quite awake. I really want this sweater to be done! I want to wear it and I am tired of knitting on it. But, it is gorgeous yarn (MadToshDK) and a beautiful pattern (even with the slim fitting sleeves.)
-No particular resolutions. It is always the same, anyway. Yes, that includes updating the blog more often :)

Happy 2011 to you! I wish you the best year yet!