Sunday, February 22, 2009

In memory of ...

Aunt Mary.

Aunt Mary
(October 15, 1944 - February 20, 2009)

This blog wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my Aunt Mary.

You see, my Aunt Mary, who had always been a cool aunt in my opinion, helped get me starting on my crafting addiction! When I had my first little girl I commented to a few people how I wanted to learn to sew to make her pretty dresses. Most people smiled and politely commented along the lines of "That's nice. So, how's the weather?" But not Aunt Mary. Oh no. When I mentioned it to her she told me she had a sewing machine I could borrow, so I wouldn't have to go out and buy my own in case I tried it and never liked it. Well, since I know have 4 machines in my possession, that clearly never happened. But that first stitch I took was on Aunt Mary's machine.

And then a few years later I started talking about wanting to knit. Again, most people politely smiled and commented that that was nice and moved on. But nope, not Aunt Mary. She came over to my house, helped me learn to knit. And after I made my little practice square, she didn't even bash an eyelash when I showed her the first thing I wanted to make was some baby booties and by the way, could she help me figure out how to knit with 4 needles at a time? She never tried to tell me to pick something easier, but she showed me how to do it!

When I went to her house, she would show me her projects - the finished ones, the ones in progress. She always asked what I was working on and sometimes I would bring them with, knowing I would see her and knowing that I could whip it out and show it to her and she would ohh and ahh with me.

I told my husband this morning that it's all Aunt Mary's fault that I know have an enitre crafting room, a few sewing machines, more needles than one person needs and a bit of a yarn stash! Because, well, she helped me take the plunge and learn those skills. She was one of the people who understood why I just had to buy more yarn and needles and patterns and fabric and all the other fun stuff that I buy too much of!

But it didn't stop there. Aunt Mary was a reader. So when the yarn talk was out of the way, we'd talk books. What have you read lately? Was it good? Should I get it? If I was really lucky, she'd say hold on a second and go grab the book and lend it to me to read. And I knew that if Aunt Mary liked it, I would like it too! Her daughter (who is my age and was my barbie playing partner for quite some years) is a reader too. So get the three of us together and there was always book talk involved! I loved it.

But even before I fell in love with all things crafty and with books, she was a fun aunt. I LOVED going to her house. Heck, as an adult I loved going to her house. She was always upbeat, happy, and laughing. She would always welcome us into her house. And if you stopped by to say hi, well, my husband knew you could never just stop by. It always turned into long visits! I loved it.

My Aunt Mary, in a word, rocked. And every time I sit down to sew something up, or pick up needles and begin to knit, I will remember her. And when I read a great book, I will think of her and how much she would have loved it. Because even though she is not with us anymore, she will still be with me. And I'm so glad I have so many great memories of her to carry around in my heart.

Good-bye Aunt Mary. You were well loved. And you will be greatly missed. Thank you for all you have taught me and shown me. Thank you for always supporting me and being there for me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Okay, call me superstitious ... I'm okay with that ... but the last post was number 666. Since I doubt I'll be back to posting until next week sometime, I just needed to make 667 so it didn't sit at that number for too long.
I know, I'm crazy. It's okay. I accept it =)

Where I've been ..

If anyone around here is still reading, I apologize for being MIA.
However, everyone in my family (but me ::knock on wood::) has been so sick. Blech. We were at teh doctor on Thursday, then Saturday and then Tuesday. We have to return in a week. My children are on their second rounds of antibiotics. My husband is also on medicine. People, even my cat is on medicine!
It has been insane to say the least around here. So I am here doing what I can. It was rough going for a few days as each child wanted me to hold him/her and cuddle with him/her, but of course not the siblings.
My 6 year old ended up in my bed last night. Holy cow does that girl talk her in sleep. She also whimpers, whines, cries, yells, and makes all sorts of strange noises. She also rolls around like mad and kicks and takes blankets, and well, I ended up just moving to the floor. I felt bad since she wasn't feeling well and didn't want to kick her to the floor.
I hope that all the stuff going around here (oh yeah, did I mention that none of the 3 kids actually have suffered from the same thing the first time around? It's no surprise they are all sick again for the second time since there were so many bugs flying around this house it's crazy) leaves soon because I am done with it all. So done. I am kicking the germs out!
I have been scrubbing and cleaning. I bought some grapefruit seed extract from a local health store and have been using that to really scrub everything. I've added drops to just a plain spray bottle, to the laundry, to the dish soap. I have wiped, sprayed, washed, swept, mopped, etc, everything.
Of course, dh keeps teasing that just when everyone gets healthy, I'll get hammered with it and I'll probably get everything all at once and end up in the hospital. Let us surely hope not - we have a wedding this weekend and the two girls and myself are in it. Yikes! So, we could use many good thoughts to get healthy once and for all!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Today ...

Today the sun shone bright and the air was warm (especially for February!). The kids have been outside since about 2:30 this afternoon. I can not remember the last time they played outside for 3 hours straight. It's been much too cold for that sort of play this winter.

But today, today, the spring fairies must have visited us and gave us a break from what seemed like a never-ending gray, cloudy, and cold winter. It was warm enough even for this:


And yes, I love how the laundry hanging is mostly the cold weather jammies. Those jammies don't see much sun and how they soaked up the sun's rays today! Who knows when I'll hang my next load out to dry, but today, I took advantage of the unnaturally warm weather and gave the dryer a break.

And although I will washing mud off of clothes and hands and pants and boots and shoes, I am ever so grateful the kids were outside to take advantage of the sunshine today as well.

In other wonderful goodness, here is a sneak peak of the wedding shawl. I briefly thought of letting it get to meet the sun. And then envisioned it flying away into a mud puddle and decided it could meet the sun when the bride to be is the one taking it outside!


Thursday, February 05, 2009

A pretty good day!

Today has been a pretty good day overall! We had t-ball this morning for 2 kids. They both had fun and mostly behaved LOL!
We came home and a friend invited me to a knitting group that is in between both of our homes (we aren't terribly far apart, but it's nice to have a place to meet in the middle sometimes, ya know?) What's even better is the other group I'm in meets on the 2nd nad 4th Thursday of the month and this one (as far as I can tell) meets the 1 and 3rd Thursday which means in theory I can now knit pretty much once a week! Yeah!
To top that off, I think I found a homeschooling group that I will fit into nicely. I keeping my fingers crossed. We've been in groups before that were okay, but we are kind of the edge of even homeschoolers and so quite often other homeschoolers don't get us. It might not make much sense, but it's there. Not to say that all don't and we have nice homeschooling friends, but I'm excited about this group! Although it doens't look like we'll be able to meet up with them until next month, I'm still so excited!
The kids were all pretty good today and we got a lot accomplished - Awana work, piano, played, cleaned, laundry.
All in all, a pretty good day!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A good book!

A few weeks ago, a publisher contacted me and asked if I would like to receive a copy of The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil. Well, since I LOVE free books and I love knitting, I instantly responded with a yes please!

And once I opened the book, I couldn't put it down! Which means, I was up much too late last night reading LOL! The book is set in England - which I admit threw me off a few times because, well a few words are not known to me! But I quickly got over that - and even at one point told my kids I was quite knackered earlier today (that means tired!). Anyway, Jo MacKenzie is a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys (who quite wear her out which I completely understand) and married to a news reporter who is often away from home and not around physically or mentally. Her life changes completely when he comes home one night and informs her he wants a divorce. Then on the same night he is killed in a car accident.

She packs up her children and moves to a seaside community where she takes over her grandmother's knitting store. While there, Jo develops many friends and really learns to be comfortable in her own skin. The book mixes drama, comedy, heart-break, love without feeling too "cutesy." It is much more than knit 1, purl 1!

I will admit, at one point, I thought the author was hinting at the possibility of health problems with Jo, and I was nervous it was going to turn into the English version of The Friday Night Knitting Club. I am pleased to let you know, that is not at all what happens, for which I was grateful for! And I really did enjoy this book!

I'm giving it 4 stars. And I'm pleased that the back of the book says she is working on a sequel. And I will be eager to see it published and get my hands on that as well!


There has been much cleaning going on here lately.

Thanks to the party we hosted on Sunday for the big game, my house is cleaner than it has been in a while. Nothing like a dozen people coming over to motivate you to scrub and clean every nook and cranny.

I reorganized my kitchen today. Switched up a few cabinets, found a few things to get rid of, and organized things so well that I was able to move a few things out of the pantry and into the kitchen (I only wish I could have moved more! LOL)

And I've been cleaning up my bloglines - making sure things I saved I still want to save and as much as I hate to do it, I've been unsubscribing from some blogs. I feel bad :-( But I just don't have the time to read them all anymore. I've only cut 10 so far, but I plan on cutting about half of them by the end of the week. And they are all lovely blogs and I wish I had more time to read them all. But I don't.

Anyway, in knitting news, I finished the shawl I was knitting, but I can't show you it yet =) I need to block and then give it to the bride-to-be and let her see it first. I'm trying to start a new knitting project. Except I'm having lots of trouble with gauge and might just end up giving up. I'm supposed to get 26 rows and 20 sts on a size 7 needle. A size 6 needle is giving me 25.5 rows and 16 sts. That would be a problem. :::sigh:: I think to get the right number of stitches I need to drop to a size 4 needle. But then I'll have too many rows. Grrr ... kind of frustrating. I might have to drop the project and change gears. Which bums me out because I really wanted to make this (simple, cute) hoodie for my 6 year old.

And aside from that, I need to really clean my office before I do anything else. It's a big mess again. :::sigh::: I'm starting to think I can't ever keep it clean. Really it's because it has become the dumping grounds for everything else in the house that doesn't fit anywhere else. So really, until I get the entire house organized, it will continue to be the dumping grounds. On the plus side, my kitchen is nice and tidy and organized now =)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Plastic Free

I am really feeling a huge pull to lowering the amount of plastic in this house. Or maybe not even lowering the amount of plastic, but bringing in much less plastic as the days proceed.

It's not going to be easy though. Almost nothing in our local stores is sold in glass jars. And why would they be - plastic is lighter and is less breakable, so it makes sense that most things are coming in plastic. And then factor in bath products - no glass there.

I follow a few blogs dedicated to this, and I get the feeling in order to really be plastic free, I would need to, in a sense start making a lot of food from scratch. And that scares me - on one hand, that would be much healthier (because I won't add high fructose corn syrup to my sauce or ketch-up or mustard and I would know everything was GF and safe for my dd). But do I really want to be so against plastic that I'm making that much stuff?

I feel torn. I have not, though, been putting any hot food near plastic if I can avoid it. I am stalking sites with plastic alternatives looking for sales on other types of containers. I'm watching freecycle and craigslist for alternatives. And last night, I sent home food someone else brought in one of my plastic containers. ROFL! Because although I don't want to use the plastic, I don't want to just toss it into the garbage either, ya know?