Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'm procrastinating--today I told myself I was going to whip the kitchen and dining room into shape.  I'm taking it really slowly...

And this is after I've already done some clearing away!
The dining room is rarely used for dining purposes.  It's more often my sewing/craft room.  And--here's what really drives me crazy--it is also the room for stuff that has no home or stuff that needs to be put away.  It's a clutter graveyard, and finding homes for this stuff just sucks the energy right out of me.  Somehow the "if it doesn't have a home, get rid of it" idea is much more difficult in practice.

But I know that I really enjoy that sense of "mission accomplished," like yesterday after I returned from the laundromat with clean comforters ready to be put away (where, I'm not exactly sure). 

The comforters--clean and ready to be put away until fall.

And once I'm done, I can go back to reading,

I'm on magazine overload!
I am loving these books and wishing my girls would pick them up--and there's a new one out!
or knitting,

More dishcloths!

or dreaming about tomorrow night's chive risotto cakes!
I'll be making Barefoot Contessa's Chive Risotto Cakes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Morning

Well, hey there--I kinda disappeared, didn't I?  I guess posting five days in a row just wore me out! 

It took Rob several hours to mow the lawn this weekend.

Truthfully, there wasn't much to report.  Rain, rain, and more rain.  Library trips, baseball games, birthday parties, sleepovers--the usual.

Some herbs from Burpee--parsley, sage, and French tarragon.
I discovered that the Burpee seed company, whose headquarters are in the next town over, do indeed have a retail store in that next town over, so I made a stop there last week.  My seedlings are pretty pitiful looking, so I abandoned them. 

We use grass clippings as mulch--the green makes it hard to see the tomatoes and the pepper plant.
Summer break is right around the corner, and I can't quite believe it!  I am looking forward to just getting up in the morning and not having to be anywhere.

I think tonight and tomorrow night are our last two nights of double-booked, split-squad activity.  I look forward to a slower pace!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Check This One Off the Bucket List

**hey, there.  Blogger seems to be having technical difficulties--it ate up yesterday's post (oh, the horror!) and I'm not sure if/when it's going to be put back.  I'm just happy I can post now.**

Back in November, our church was hosting a blood drive.  I had never given blood before, and I decided that it would be a cool "bucket list" type of thing to do before turning 40.  I signed up; I showed up; I was turned away.  Turns out I'm borderline anemic.

So I saw my doctor and started taking a multivitamin (with iron) every day.  Also started using my cast-iron skillet with reckless abandon.  And yesterday, I tried again.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

In Which I Reveal (Part of) My Stash

Here it is:
I can explain.  Really, all of what you see was purchased (most likely) with a birthday/Christmas gift card(s) and was purchased with a particular pattern in mind.  But I can only knit so fast, and then six months later I'm discovering quite a bit of yarn tucked away into nooks and crannies.

Let me show you what I have in mind:

So, this red I ordered last spring (I think) during the Webs April/May sale (which is going on now). I was originally going to knit the Inca Marl Ruffled Coat, but it turned into another Francis.  And since Francis only needed half the yarn, I can make another red sweater.  Right now I'm leaning toward this, but I don't have really strong feelings about it.

Next, I ordered this lovely green to make the Jali Cardigan.  But I could always be persuaded to make something else.

This navy Lopi has been languishing for over a year.  Seriously, last year I ordered maybe five skeins.  Then about six months later I ordered another four skeins.  Evidently I wanted to make something I may make this into a long-sleeved Shalom cardi.  With this yarn, I want to make a "throw it on over everything because it's chilly in the house" type of sweater.  Again, not married to the Shalom--I've already mentally knit and frogged several sweaters with this yarn.

Now, this one, I am seriously committed to this pattern.  It is true love.  It is my Mount Everest of cables, and I simply must have it.  I also have strong feelings about the color. 

You may wonder why I am showing you all this delicious, warm wool just as we're heading into summer?  I am challenging myself to knit one sweater between now and September, and I'm inviting you to join me in a knitalong.  Just one sweater, with four-plus months to work on it!  Do you see a pattern you love?  Do you have any suggestions for a different one?

And lest you think I've gone off the deep end with selfish sweater knitting, there is quite a stash that I haven't shown you.  I am joining in Kristyn's ADVENTure this year--and I've ordered many skeins for that, too!

This is the first project for the ADVENTure.  The nieces and nephews will be getting cowls this year--and maybe some crazy mitts made from all my leftover half-skeins of yarn.  There will also be scarves for some of the grown relatives as well.  I plan on packing those smaller projects along for car trips and poolside afternoons this summer.

That was a LOT of linky love for a Thursday!  So now that I showed you mine, show me your stash.  What do you have planned for the needles for this summer, and are you game for a knitalong?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The View Around Here

This is the view into the family room from my station in front of the stove.  I'm here alot--and yesterday I made some changes.
 First, I went out back and cut off some lilac to bring in for enjoyment.  The carnation you see hiding in there is from Mother's Day.
 Then, I went to my newest favorite place--a big antiques barn--and purchased this ironing board.  It's the perfect height to use behind the sofa.  I am thrilled to be able to add another light in here. We don't use the overhead light, and the two lamps we're using weren't quite enough. The lamp I'm using on this new table is an extra we had at home, and the shade's proportions aren't quite right, so I may tweak this some more, but even as it is,  I love it!
 And while at the antiques place, I decided to start a collection.  These are glass insulators--from telephone or telegraph lines (I'm not really sure).  Anyway, once I have these ledges filled with different shades of blue and green, it's going to be very pretty.  I don't think Rob loves this development as much as the ironing board/table...but I have a bid in on a purple one on ebay.
 All that news was more than enough to make a good blog post, right?  But then this morning, there was BREAKING NEWS!  Remember "the Smoker" from last week?  I was all set to follow Jodi's advice if/when he turned up again, and for the first two days this week, nothing.  When I woke up this morning, no car, but as I was taking the butter out of the fridge, I heard a loud crash.  I went to the front of the house to discover that our next-door neighbor (a teenage girl) had done this to her car:
 when she drove it right into the back of the Smoker's car!
Both kids called their parents to the scene.  (Actually I think the neighbor girl just ran home to get her dad.)  And the cops were called.  Rob went out after they were all done making their reports and learned that the Smoker lives in our neighborhood. I would love to know what he told his parents and the cops what he was doing over for now, I'd guess that he's not going to be stopping by here again any time soon.  And if he does, the cops will know exactly who I'm talking about!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Dishcloth Fun

After I knit that ballband dishcloth, I discovered this version on ravelry:

 Really, who doesn't need a giant pear dishcloth?

On Sunday, we had a lovely Mother's Day picnic and then we went to one of our local parks. 

Aliens were spotted!

They looked friendly, so I brought them home with me.

Friday, May 6, 2011


When Caitlin was a baby, she used to say, "what doin'?"  (as in, "what are you doing?" or "what is going on?".  Really, it was toddler speak for "what up?") Well, we've had a lot of "doin'" this week. 

A few days this week, I have opened my bedroom blinds to find this car parked in front of my house.

 I believe they are high school students.  The high school is just outside our neighborhood, and the driver appears to need a smoke before school.  As far as I can tell, it's a cigarette he's smoking...but I'm keeping a close eye on this.  I wonder how crazy I would look if I went out to the car in my "housecoat" (as Rob likes to call it) to speak to the young gentlemen...for now, I'll keep trying to get the license plate number.

On the back side of the house, the birds are having a grand old time!

One of these days, I'm going to sit out in the sunroom with my coffee and my bird book and just watch.

Last night, Bobby's Cub Scout den moved up from Tiger to Wolf.  The ceremony was nice.

Here he is receiving his Wolf neckerchief and handbook.

While waiting for my last ball of yarn to finish my New York cardigan, I finally knit a ball-band dishcloth.  This is perfect for all those random amounts of cotton yarn you have lying around (you know you do). 

The colors don't go with a thing in my kitchen, but it's just so fun-looking!

And...that last ball of yarn did arrive in the mail.  And now it's done!  The New York Cardigan:

(Oh, wait, you need a warning: this is a "stars without makeup" edition.)

So there you have it!  I think I started this back in early March.  Think of all we've done since then:  five soup suppers, two family birthdays, Easter.  There was probably snow on the ground when I started this sweater, and now the leaves are back on the trees!  The pattern was easy enough, and the yarn was dreamy.  I used Classic Elite Classic Silk, and it's so very soft.  This is the second sweater I've made using this yarn.  (And I'm wearing the other one right now.)  It's the perfect weight for spring/summer knitting, so if you need to knit up a little something to wear when you walk down the refrigerated aisles in the grocery store, this is the yarn.

I don't really live in a neighborhood where the moms visit one another over coffee.  I think of this space as that neighborhood, and I want to thank you all for stopping in here.  I love stopping over at your places, too!  I want to wish all you mamas out there a most happy Mother's Day.