Thursday, January 29, 2009
(Princess) was very excited about the book (she saw the movie on her birthday) and wanted to help read. So we sat down with it this morning, and have already gone through the introduction and the first chapter. I'm VERY pleased and impressed with how much of the book (Princess) was able to read by herself! Even better, she's excited about reading and working through the book together. At one point she yelled, 'there's a LOT of word wall words in this book!' before gamely struggling on.
I can already see that (Princess)'s developing confidence, and that she doesn't mind puzzling over words until she figures them out. I'm only stepping in for words that I know are beyond her or when I can see her getting a bit tired. I made her put the book down for a bit, but she's already looking forward to working on it more this afternoon.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to turn my girl into a reader!
PS. Plus, she asked for her own journal yesterday!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
So, without further ado, I proudly introduce my very first NaKniSweMoDo sweater! (It's natural habitat when I'm not wearing it...)
A little while ago, I curled up with her for a good snuggle.
"I don't like it when you are sick," I whispered.
"Me too," a soft little voice quivered, "I don't like it when you are sick either."
We smiled at each other.
Then she brightened, "But I like the lunches Daddy packs!"
Monday, January 26, 2009
Last week's wrap-up.
1. I did indeed finish my initial evaluations last week. I had a few questions come up in the process, and am waiting to hear back from the show superintendent before I go forward. I am amazed at how much I've learned in the process, and am very excited about what's to come!
2. I finished the first sleeve of my husband's Cobblesone on Saturday, and am about 1/3 of the way up the second sleeve. I chose to do the sleeves on a 16 " circular needle, because I know that this yarn ladders when DPN's are involved. Unfortunately, 16 " circs hurt my hands and slow me down considerably. (I had really hoped to have both done by now!) Ah well!
3. I did chose a shawl to work on this week, and in the process made myself very happy.
4. & 5. Art and Writing just didn't happen last week. There are only so many hours in the day, and it was a busy week.
6. & 7. Mornings and Bedtimes both improved - although not as much as I had hoped.
8. Sears did come to fix the treadmill, and the bad news is that it has cracks in the frame and probably won't last much longer. We're going to use it until it croaks, and then we won't be replacing it. Quite frankly, though we've used it quite a bit, we've found the upkeep to be prohibitively expensive.
9. A lot of my P.E.O. work was completed, but I have more to do.
10. My husband cleaned both girls' rooms over the weekend while we were at my parents' home. Yay husband!
This Week's List:
- Finish P.E.O. work. It's important!
- Set up a schedule for spinning the alpaca samples, and then get to it! My goal is to have everything finished and ready to return to the show officials by the first of March. I definitely found last week that slow and steady wins the race...and makes for a happier judge. A solid schedule is the key!
- Work on Cobblestone. In my heart of hearts, I would love to have it finished by the end of the month....
- Work on my shawl. This is my 'reward' knitting - to be done only when everything else is taken care of and/or on my night off.
- Finish cutting pieces for quilt, and then start sewing them together. I know, I know...an explanation post is coming as to how this could have happened. I have to strike while the iron is hot, though, because otherwise it might not get done!
- Continue working on my morning and evening routines. It helps soooo much!
- Actually make that appointment with my acupuncturist. You all have permission to hound me until it gets done.
Have a great week!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
If I want to play with my art supplies, than I have to trick myself into doing it! As much as the desire has been there, I've had trouble actually getting myself to show up in my sketchbook. For months and months, I've dutifully packed up an art bag to either carry around the house or take with me when I have some free time away from the family. The problem is that I NEVER open the bag. Last week, I made a snap decision to play with my art supplies and pulled out the bag before I even had time to think about it. (Personally, I think the Green Woman was waiting until she saw even the tiniest break in my scheduled to-do list that day...and then she jumped in as quickly as she could.) The picture you see above is the result of that play time.
The good thing about my artist self - and the Green Woman agrees whole-heartedly with this assessment - is that I am able to smile and enjoy my work for all of the positive things I see in it. It's almost as if I've found one place in my life where my hypercritical inner voice simply doesn't exist. Well, that's not entirely true...I do retain reason and a critical eye, but for some reason my heart and soul is very gentle with myself when it comes to art.
That's not to say that I look at the picture above and see a perfect work of art. Far from it. I know that it's a beginner piece, likely to please very few except for me and my girls. Saying that it's a bit flawed is like saying there's a little bit of water in the Missouri River.
BUT, when I look at this picture the things that I notice are by and large the things that I'm pleased with. For example: There is a general sense of motion in both the water and the tree on the left. Actually, I love that tree on the left for its color, softness and drape. The bank was a serendipitous accident that pleases me no end. When I first drew in the line for the hill on the right, I didn't see a bank at all. It suggested itself later as I was filling things in - and it was perfect. This was the first time I tried my watercolor pencils, and while I didn't use them to their full capability or purpose I did enjoy the feel of them against the paper and the colors they left behind. All in all, I'm happy with this little picture, and feel like I can share it with you simply because it was a happy experience.
The Green Woman and I are very pleased. In fact, she's pushing the sketch pad towards me right now....
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Last week was an interesting week for me - very productive, constantly changing, oddly focused and yet distracted at the same time...
1. & 2. Last Thursday and Friday we had (as did everyone!) a nasty cold snap. Because of the frighteningly cold weather, I did cancel our P.E.O. meeting. Some cleaning was done, and I did get complete most of my presidential duties....but once I made the decision to cancel I let go of my expectations for those two things.
3. & 4. I had a great time at my guild meeting last week! I did find all of my knits to take with me, and I finished the last little bit of my sleeve minutes before it was my turn to do show and tell that evening. I'm waiting for buttons to arrive - which they will hopefully do today - and then I will debut my new sweater here!
5. I did make some art last week! It was loads of fun, and as soon as I can get it scanned in than I will post about it.
6. & 7. I did order new hand cards last Tuesday, and they are sitting on my table now. Likewise, I also began my work as the Spin Off judge on Saturday. I am having a lot of fun, and am learning a great deal in the process. I've set myself a schedule that should get me through the entire process in a timely, steady manner. Yay!
8.,9. & 10. My BKB was right...my crazy weight gain wasn't entirely right. By Friday AM nearly 6 of that had disappeared - which means it was probably mostly water. Sadly, I didn't get my exercise plan jump started last week, nor did I manage to get out of bed once to do my morning routine. However, I made some basic changes that seem to be helping already, and I feel a lot better this morning. I also didn't manage to call my acupuncturist...but I did talk to my husband about my winter blues, and I did make it a point to listen every day to my new guided imagery mp3 (which is already helping!). We're starting off this week in a much better place.
And for this week:
- In order to stay on track with my judging schedule, I need to finish my initial evaluation of all of the samples by Friday. Shouldn't be a problem!
- I'm in a super-fast knitting zone for some reason. I started my husband's Cobblestone pullover last Wednesday, and am already finished with the body up to the underarms. (Seriously...I did six inches yesterday and almost four the day before...) I want to keep it going as long as possible!
- However, I also want to get some lacework done this week. I haven't decided exactly what kind of lace I want to work on...but I'm getting the itch.
- More ART! Last week was fun....and I really must blog about what I'm learning about myself.
- More WRITING! I want to ease back into the writing habit by writing one letter this week. I used to be quite the letter writer, and I miss it!
- My morning schedule must be rebuilt. It felt VERY good this morning. to be up and doing the things that I know give me the best start to my day. It's simple - up at 6, do sun salutations while waiting for tea, go downstairs to journal until my husband leaves for work.
- Along with that, I need to start taking better care of my bedtimes. No sugar before bed, in bed at a reasonable time, lights out when I'm tired...no excuses.
- Another good health goal for the week: I need to call Sears today to set an appointment to get our treadmill fixed. I also need to look into getting new workout clothes. I'll tell you why later on.....
- I do actually have P.E.O. work that needs to be done on top of all of this fun stuff.
- Likewise, I think it's time to finally attack my eldest's bedroom with an eye towards complete organization. (or as much as you can expect in a six-year-old's room...)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I am a 35 year-old woman who loves Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books.
Yesterday morning, after dropping my eldest off at school, I made a snap decision to run to my Barnes & Noble so that I could buy the last book, Breaking Dawn. I finished it early this afternoon, and now feel rather lost. If I were a drinking woman - and I am not - than I would probably describe the way I feel right now as a reading hangover. 754 pages in about 26 hours - and it would have been less if I hadn't had to sleep last night.
No wonder I have a headache.
I know that I've spoken before about my English major - which was an act of love for me - and of how much I miss my pre-baby days of near constant book binges. I am a book snob, and I love good writing and skilled authors. The written word is sacred to me, and I take great joy in my favorite books.
Truth is, I have a soft spot for 'young adult' literature. When done well, there's just nothing like it. I can count on one hand the number of bestsellers, book club picks and/or popular adult titles that I have enjoyed. On the other hand, I regularly find gems among the children's shelves in the bookstores.
I'm also a huge fantasy/mythology/fairy tale geek. As much love and respect as I have for the classics, I would far rather have my nose buried in the latest Charles De Lint or Patricia McKillip novel. (Although rather interestingly enough, I prefer to listen to novels by Dickens or Austin.)
My point is not that Stephenie Meyer is the most brilliant writer of modern times - far from it -but that she does incorporate two of my favorite genres into one enjoyable fairy tale. I have a healthy dose of respect for her (and for J.K. Rowling) for pulling off the minor miracle of getting kids to read. I enjoyed the books, had fun with the fantasy and am glad I read them. Anytime a book can so completely engross me it's a good thing.
Also, I am rather surprised with the meandering trail that my thoughts have followed this afternoon. I feel an essay coming along...or a research paper. I can almost see connections between Bella and at least two of my other favorite heroines spiraling around in my brain, and I long to get that down on paper before it escapes.
I think I'm going to be busy tonight.
Monday, January 12, 2009
It's been a while since we've had a Monday List, and I am definitely feeling the need to get this particular organizational tool going again. We're starting fresh for the new year, so here goes!
- Clean, clean, clean....I'm hosting P.E.O. Thursday night, and so the entire upstairs needs to be spotless - including the bedrooms, as they will be needed for coats and other aspects of the meeting.
- Speaking of P.E.O., I have a bit of presidential work to do for it this week. Eeek!
- On a much more fun note, I do have my CWSG guild meeting tomorrow night. I didn't get to go last month because of the flu, so I have a whole bunch of knits to round up so that I can take them and show them off. I also need to return some books to the guild library.
- I have a very fast sleeve and a half to finish on my first sweater for the year...and I believe I have time to get it done before the guild meeting!
- Because it will be fun, and because I think I need to do it - I am hereby giving myself full permission to make a complete mess with all of my art supplies this week. I'm going to let myself have fun and make really bad art just to try it all out! Who knows what will happen? At the very least, I'm hoping to loosen myself up enough to just get started.
- I need to research and order new hand cards for my judging job.
- And I need to get to work on that job. I have a good amount of time to get it done....but the sooner I start the more time I have to actually work on it. I'm super-excited about this job, and I really want to do my absolute best. I'm probably going to get started on Friday - once I get past my other meetings and responsibilities this week.
- Time to face the music - I gained 13 lbs over the holiday season (starting just after the flu I had the second week in December) and I feel lousy. My goal this week is to jump start my exercise plan. I may take the time later this week to discuss my actual health plan here on the blog - in large part because of the accountability that gives me - but we shall see. For now, the most important thing is that I get moving...and so I shall
- Along with that, I have to pull myself out of bed early in the morning for my alone time with my journal. I really need that time, and yet I've been choosing not to take it for really bad, silly reasons. Enough is enough...I know I'll feel better for it.
- Finally, I am going to call and make an appointment for an acupuncture appointment. I promised that I would do just that if I felt that I needed a bit of a tune-up, and I know that's where I'm at right now.
Have a great week everyone!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
First up - action shots of the hats!
Sunflower Tam by Norah Gaughan - Knitting Nature
Dream In Color Classy - Cool Fire for my Princess and Visual Purple for the Pixie, approximately 40-45 grams/hat
Needles - Addi Turbo US 6 and 7, old metal double points US 7
Princess - November 23 - 25, 2008
Pixie - November 24 - 26, 2008
No modifications as the pattern was perfect as is!
Even better - the Christmas Sweaters!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
My girls had to help.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
And then get a royal headache while trying to darn the mistake. If the actual word 'darn' - or something stronger - comes out of your mouth while doing so, don't fret. This is quite natural.
And enjoy your shawl!
I actually gifted this to my grandmother for Christmas. Gram's been doing plain feather and fan afghans for years and years*, and when I chose this pattern I did so for love of the way that it played with that old, old pattern. Gram loved it, and appreciated the work involved. In our family, knitting equals love.
*I don't really think Gram knits much else. We were delighted when we found a picture of Mom's first birthday and realized that Gram was working on a feather and fan afghan in the background!