Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Until then, I'm afraid it's back to text-only posts.
And I have such lovely things I want to show you!
Monday, March 30, 2009
You must understand that my church doesn't follow Lent, but that I find it to be a lovely concept that can be truly beneficial. This year, I was inspired by my faithful commenter, Lecia, and her church's focus on sustainable living for the Lenten season. I took her up on her offer to share their devotional booklet, and - after reading through it - I decided that this year I would Fast from unnecessary and mindless spending and Feast on the blessings of the things I already owned.
Which is why I chose not to waste time, energy, gas and money driving all over Kansas City this week. As lovely as those places all are, and as inspired as I can become by visiting them, I knew I already had amazing materials at my disposal. Honestly, the whole idea of a shopping trip wasn't even as compelling as it used to be. I was satisfied staying at home and playing with the large bag of supplies I had brought with me. I chose beads and prepped my yarn for some beaded socks.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Grammy-Great is the queen of over-ruling parental wishes, having perfected her spoiling tactics on me and my brother years ago. The girls, quite naturally, adore her - and she thinks that they are perfect! We're very aware of time with my beloved Gram. She's the only grandparent my husband and I have left, and so we always take portrait pictures with her.
Friday, March 27, 2009
For the record, I decided to take my camera almost everywhere with me. I'm kicking myself, though, for two reasons. First, I missed one truly excellent photo of my father. We were walking up the road towards our house and stepped off the road so that we could look at the trees. As we stepped across the ditch the scene before me was transformed into magic because of subject, color, perspective and emotion. Drat. Second, my camera is very, very limited with what it can do. Sigh.
I hope you enjoy my little photo essays!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Yesterday, my almost-3-year-old discovered the joys of climbing on hay bales and realized she was small enough to climb through the gates to the barn. She was overjoyed to be able to share in all of the fun her sister had already sampled the day before.
In the afternoon my 6-year-old learned how to sew. Her grandmother is teaching her 9-patch, and she's already meticulously completed two blocks. My father says it must be genetic. My mother is thrilled to have finally found someone in the family with whom to share quilting.
This morning I slogged around in six-inch deep mud and drizzle while doing the morning chores for my parents. I spent a lot of time examining the derriere of a certain cow for reasons I hope to be able to share later. Then I spent a bit of time herding cows, rearranging gates and playing hide-and-seek with a heifer who had escaped her pasture last night. I wasn't raised on a farm for nothing, after all, and that's one less thing my dad has to do tonight.
Life on the farm is very good, and I have some excellent photos to share when I get home!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
This last week was a rather interesting week that proved to be very introspective for me. Consequently, I spent a lot of time knitting quietly, reading, playing silly games with the girls and relaxing. It's been very good for me, but I have missed my blog!
Unfortunatly, our schedule is not helpful right now. The girls and I are getting ready to leave for a Spring Break trip to my parents' farm, and so I may or may not be blogging this next week either. At the very least, though, I am planning on taking our camera so that I can finally take pictures of the farm life I miss so much.
I hope you are enjoying the first of spring, and I will see you again soon!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
It's time to get back to the list!
- We're having the house appraised on Wednesday because we are thinking about refinancing. I've mixed feelings. On the one hand, we could get a better interest rate (although ours is already really good), lowering our monthly payment and giving us a bit more wiggle room in the budget. On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with the implications of refinancing because I'm not sure I want to be here long enough to make it worthwhile. Either way, I have an appraiser coming Wednesday at 9, which means I need to spend tomorrow in crazy cleaning mode. Sigh. I really hate it when strangers come to the house - and this is worse than normal.
- Spring Cleaning has truly arrived. Now that the alpaca is gone, I need to reorganize our bedroom closet, scrub the master bath and put our bedroom to rights.
- Also, it's time to finally start sorting the girls' clothing.
- Also, the girls' rooms are disastrous. They need serious work.
- I do have a little bit of prep work to do for my sock class. We have our third and final session this Saturday, and I need to make sure my samples are ready.
- I also have a wee bit of work for my P.E.O. meeting Thursday night - but not much.
- For fun, I am going to start working on the girls' Easter dresses. I swatched yesterday, and will probably cast on this evening.
- I really need to be finished with my Lacewing shawl. I'm still enjoying it....but I'm also fantasizing about other projects in a big way.
- Speaking of other projects, I at least want to cast on for my next sweater - and I think you may be surprised with my choice.
- What you didn't know about February was that I was able to easily make a whole bunch of healthy changes in my lifestyle. I cleaned up my sleep habits, successfully went on Weight Watcher (at home, using old materials), rebooted my exercise schedule, built upon my journaling habits and worked on some emotional stuff through guided imagery and writing exercises. It was a fantastic month, and I'm very proud of all of the work I did! Last week I fell off the wagon a bit - mostly due to the overwhelming amount of work I did to finish up the alpaca and the exhaustion that followed. I don't at all feel bad about that, but I do want to make sure I get back to the good stuff before I allow myself to slide any further. I've made a good start already, and will be using this week to reinforce my good habits.
Have a great week everyone!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
You see, last year I tossed my knitting list during a particularly low point in my creative life. What had begun as an organizational tool had become an albatross that was draining the joy out of my knitting. With the help of my BKB, I realized that what I needed to do was to throw away my list, clearing myself of any and all obligation so that I could knit freely. And it worked. Within a few days I had found my knitting love again, and every since then I've tried to keep my planning to a minimum.
As I began my own version of spring cleaning earlier this week by clearing out the workbasket, I realized, though, that I had cycled back around again and was ready to pair up my yarn and patterns. In fact, I was excited and rather energized by the prospect. The alpaca project left me rather drained, and this was exactly the exercise needed to refill the well. New, and very exciting, patterns on Knitty and a trip to the my favorite LYS Friday morning fueled my efforts, and the rest is history.
I spent yesterday laying out on my bed my patterns/books and the yarn intended for the project. I pulled both stash bins and my leftover basket to find just exactly the right matches, pouring through books, patterns and magazines. The result is a list of 22 projects which will be fun and - I believe - rewarding because of their diversity. Sweaters, socks, lace, children's projects and beaded knitting....they are all covered in my list. I found a project home for yarn that I bought just because it was pretty and for yarn reclaimed from old sweaters. A small bag of leftovers was designated for the charity knitters at my LYS, and I gifted my Mom with a bag of forest green silky-wool that is really more her than it is me. It feels very, very good.
When I was finished, I packed up all of the unclaimed yarn and put it back under the bed. I'm thrilled to say that I am now able to get my leftover stash into those two bins! I now have two baskets full of project yarn sitting next to my knitting bookshelf - one for sweaters and one for everything else. It's more than enough to keep me busy for a very long while, and I can't wait to get started!
In case you are curious, my list includes (in no particular order and w/o links because I would rather go knit right now):
- Two Jane Austin dresses and shrugs for the girls' Easter dresses. (I did buy new yarn for this yesterday, and Mom picked out the matching fabric this morning.)
- The Princess Shawl
- Whilrpool beaded socks
- Aeolian Shawl - also beaded
- Flutter Sleeve Cardigan
- Town & Country Cardigan
- Herringbone Rib socks
- Blossom - short sleeve pullover
- Laminaria - another shawl
- Fiona's Top - again x2 for the girls
- Hanging Garden Stole
- Tangled Yoke Cardigan
- Bella's Mittens
- Fiesta Feet
- Rhiannan - crazy, cabled knee socks
- Tilia - pullover
- Waves of Grain beaded scarf
- Autumn Arbor Stole
- Honeybunch - lace scarf, designed by a blog friend! (Beautiful Bonnie!)
- Christmas colorwork gift bags
- Fir Cone Scarf
- Borghild - cardigan
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The main theme for the day seemed to be "renewal" as I cleared out the cobwebs so that my knitting could begin anew. Thus, I faced facts and my beautiful lacewing shawl....
Monday, March 9, 2009
Last week, as you may remember, was a bit on the busy side....
The follow up:
1-4 The alpaca Spin-Off superintendent is picking up everything on Wednesday! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to finally be finished with this job. I do have some paperwork to wrap up, but that won't take long. Life can now return to normal.
5-6 I finalized all of my PEO paperwork this morning, and was ready for my meeting last week. I was rather caught off guard by how completely draining that meeting and the end of year paperwork was. It's a good thing that I love my chapter so much!
7 I had a wonderful first sock class.
8-11 However, nothing else got accomplished last week. I was rather surprised with exactly how much PEO work had to be done. In fact, I spent the greater part of three entire days dealing with it, and with the rest of my time devoted to the alpaca show.... Again, life can return to normal now.
12. I did finish most of my lacewing shawl, but. More on that tomorrow.
This week's list:
There is no list. I'm so completely exhausted and drained that I need to really take it easy this next week. Yes, the house needs to be cleaned and there are projects that I both need and want to do. The Green Woman and I feel a great need to just be, though, and so that's what we're going to do for a while.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
The end is in sight with the alpaca show, and so it is time to return to my favorite organizational tool - the Monday List.
- Wash all of the mini-skeins for the alpaca show.
- Finalize paperwork for the alpaca show.
- Judge the Suri samples (there's only 11).
- Pack everything up and have it ready to return to the show superintendent by next Monday!
- Important PEO paperwork must be completed! The sooner the better - and probably today.
- Likewise, I need to prepare for my PEO meeting this week.
- I'm teaching the first session of a 3-part 'knit to fit' sock class on Saturday, and so I need to make sure I have all of my notes and samples together.
- Sort and put away hand-me-downs for the girls, box up outgrown clothes to give to friends and charity. (This is important. There's been a stack of storage boxes and a mound of old clothes living in my bedroom for far too long as I've pulled random things, but not had time to do anything with them.)
- Family Menu Planning - something which is always a good thing, but has fallen woefully aside as I've been so busy over the last month.
- I'm not going to worry about any intense Spring Cleaning until the alpaca is out the door - but I do want to start working on some small things, like reorganizing my bedroom area and scrubbing the kitchen floors. All of this is as time allows, and I will press the family into duty as needed. I imagine that next week's list is going to be more Spring Cleaning than anything else.
- One of the things I would like to do is to put together a post-alpaca list of things that I want/need to catch up on.
- And because life is no good if it's all work and no play, I do want to do some fun knitting this week! The lacewing shawl is well under way, and I think I'll just stick with it. I might even be able to finish it by the next guild meeting!