Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trying to grasp an understanding...

I'm sitting here drinking my coffee and reading cnn.com after deciding to forgo my knitting time in hopes of wrapping my brain around the national economy.

It's not working. It's going to take a lot more coffee to get my brain working that well.

I'm a smart girl, but our nation's economy, the vastness of it, all the twisted politics - it's just way over my head. I'm trying to figure out exactly why I'm supposed to really care whether or not a bunch of big corporations get bailed out of the financial disasters they've created for themselves. I don't know all the ins and outs - I know very little about it, actually, but all I can think is that they must be crazy, the people who voted for this thing. I'm sure there are some good points to it, I just haven't gotten to that CNN article yet.

Reading all of this makes me ache for simpler times though. Why can't people just use cash to pay for what they can afford, barter occasionally or work together as families and communities, live within their means and appreciate what they do have? Banks used to be simpler -you got your loan, and you paid it off, and that was that. The Bank actually had the money they loaned you, and eventually got it back (hopefully). Now we've got one bank lending to another to another to another, no one has any idea where all the money actually is, and they're lending over and over again to people who have proven repeatedly that they don't deserve the loan. Criminy, what did they think was going to happen?

I hate economy, probably because I don't understand much of it. I hate how complicated it all is now, and I wish we could just get away from that.

I dont' even understand how it all got this way to begin with, but I sure wish it was simpler again. It just all seems like such a mess.

I'm rambling. Putting these thoughts into words is too hard to do at 7 o'clock in the morning. I'll just got back to reading CNN. Am I the only one who feels a little overwhelmed when trying to really understand the nations' economy?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bucket List

We watched Bucket List the other night. I'm sure most of you have already seen it, but we're a little slow here.

Good movie. Brings up that great question - if I were told that I have a fatal, incurable illness, what would I want to be certain I did before the end of my life?

In the movie, they do things like drive a Shelby, sky dive, and visit Mt. Everest.

Things like that just don't hold any meaning for me when it comes to the idea of my own death.

What would I do, if I thought I was going to die?

I'd knit like there was no tomorrow.


When you die, that's it. So often, when people die, there's nothing material left behind that truly encompasses anything of who they were. There's not usually much left except the memories, carried around in the hearts and minds of those they knew well.

I want everyone in my life to have something I've made. I want grandchildren, great grandchildren to wear sweaters I knitted, each stitch full of love and hope and dreams. Someone once said that wearing a hand knitted sweater is like wearing a hug. If I had any reason to think I might not be around much longer, I'd want everyone to have a hug from me, whenever they might need it.

So I knit.

Fall pics

Some pictures my mom and I took yesterday:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cute stuff - knitting FO's

The bag I finally finished for my MIL.

So far, everyone I've shown it to has kind of made a face. They think it's ugly. I guess I kind of think it's ugly too, I'd never use it. I'm not really sure she will, but the color is perfect for her, so she's getting it. And the knitting is really pretty good - that lace pattern wasn't the easiest I've done. So I'm pleased with the result, even if everyone says it's ugly.

Yarn: Euroflax original wet spun linen
Needles: size 3
Pattern: Lacey Lovelies by Claire Crompton - The Knitter's Bible: Knitted Bags

And since it seems I can't knit anything these days that people don't consider ugly (like my poor surf & turf sweater), I decided I better knit something that is inarguably cute:

Yarn: Bernat Berella and Vanna's Choice
Needles: size 8 circs and dpn's
Pattern: None, except I used this leaf pattern for Cora's.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Little Bit o' Misc

Hubby was home all day yesterday. Sadly, he didn't get an elk, which we were hoping for, but having him home for a few days is just as nice. He's still got a chance at an elk for rifle season, so maybe we'll still end up with some delicious elk steaks for dinner this winter.

We went to the Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge yesterday afternoon. It's basically a Barbecue and Beer festival, with some good music to keep the crowd entertained. We ended up staying about four hours. Both girls were splendidly well behaved, we had fun dancing around in the grass to the music and listening to Charlie Jenkins, a guy from Utah that we've seen before and is actually pretty good.


I cut all my hair off yesterday. Well, I didn't, the lady at Great Clips did. It's just about chin length now, a teeny bit shorter. My hair was really awful, all damaged and thin and ends split up to my ears. Every time I combed it I'd get handfuls of hair. So it's all gone now. I'm hoping it grows back a little healthier, and maybe will have a chance to get a little bit thicker. I'll post some pictures when the camera is fixed, or we find something else to use for photos.

Yes, the camera. Baby has a thing for small shiny technological objects. Unfortunately, she's not gentle. 'Nuff said.


I have three or four recently finished knitting projects, plus Chloe's Halloween costume to post pictures of. I've been a knitting fool lately - I wake up in the morning around 6, do a bit of computer stuff, and then I knit until 7:30, when my day officially starts. It seems like it's getting harder to find time for 'me' things, now that Cora's getting into everything and climbing all over. I fear the day she starts walking. LOL

Friday, September 19, 2008

I finally uploaded pictures

I'm such a slacker. I've been using the laptop, and uploading pictures isn't quite as easy, so I just haven't done it in ages. But here are some.

Miss Cora with her Buddha belly, standing up. she's still not walking, but there's no rush. I read that a crawling baby at top speed moves 100 yards per minute. A walking child moves 600 yards per minute. Just keep on crawlin', kid.

Some baby socks made with the leftover yarn from one sock I made for myself. They don't match, but I kinda like them the way they are. I can knit a pair of baby socks in about 3 days' worth of knitting time. You'll notice that I mentioned "one" sock for myself - I started the second one, but I got bored. I'm sure it'll get done eventually...

Yarn: Regia Ringel
Needles: size 1
Pattern: None, just made it up as I went along, casted on 36 sts, i believe.
How to entertain a baby long enough to actually get a few minutes of knitting time during the day?

Cover her with little stickers. :o) It's good for half an hour of entertainment, at least. Only problem is you never know where stickers will end up.
another good child entertaining activity: give them foil. Lots of foil. For the baby, I just made some foil balls for her to throw and chase around. But Chloe used foil to make sculptures, and it was awesome. We had foil flowers and foil caterpillars and a foil man with a foil hat. Totally worth the $2 it costs to buy a roll of foil. :o)

Baby girl, eating (again). She eats at least 6 times a day, and it's always a full sized meal - as much as Chloe eats, if not more. Last night she wolfed down a whole slice of pizza long before Chloe even started on her cheese (Chloe eats pizza from the topping down to the bread, layer by layer.) Cora's getting so chubby!
I tried turning this picture, but Photobucket apparently didn't feel like it. I liked this because you can see Chloe's long hair without being braided or pulled back at all. I love her hair. :o) It hangs down to her underwear now.
Computer time for little girls. This is why I never blog anymore - they ALWAYS have the computer.

Another un-flipped picture, this one of the ginormous cucumber we found in the garden. It's 8 inches long and 8.5 inches around.
Baby girl feeding a baby doll. She LOVES baby dolls.

That's it for now. Not much to report really, just been doing my fall cleaning/organizing. Andrew got home last night from hunting, he's discouraged after not seeing aything for days and so is just staying home the rest of the weekend. I'm sad that he didn't get to shoot something, but happy I'll have an adult in the house for a few days.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Political Banter & Women's Rights


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I'm funny about where I stand on women's lib controversies. I think it's great women have the rights they do now, that they are considered more or less equal to men, that they can hold the jobs they want, and even run for president.

I just don't think that they should exercise the liberties. :oX

Honestly, I believe a woman's place is in the home, caring for her children, keeping the house clean, preparing meals for her family, and creating an all around pleasant environment for her husband to come home to. I don't think women should be passing their kids off to daycare in seek of "higher fulfillment" from out-of-home jobs, working up the corporate ladder while their kids and husbands are left to fend for themselves.

Women should teach their girls the tools the need to eventually be good wives, and impart wisdom to their sons to create future husbands. It seems sometimes that parents forget that they are raising what will soon be adults! Of course, husbands ought to be (ideally) supporting their families, but that's not always possible (or the husband just doesn't really want to.)

So yeah. I think it's great that, in theory, women can do anything men can do. I don't doubt that we can. But I don't think we ought to be out there proving it, I think we should be doing what is even more important - raising future generations. There's a handful of verses in the Bible (Titus, I think it's around chapter 2?) that talk about all the things a wife ought to be. Women should read stuff like this more often (I'm not even a Christian, and don't think one has to be in order to benefit from reading the Bible.) Just because our place is in the home doesn't make us any less important, or any less appreciated!

I'm sure this post will irritate a lot of people, but hey, it's my blog. :-)

I should make note of the fact that I nearly fail in my endeavor to be a great wife on an almost regular basis. There are times that my husband texts me to let me know he's on his way home from work, and I'm racing around the house putting make-up on and brushing my teeth and putting the children in clothes instead of pajamas. Dinner is sometimes leftovers, or even worse, I just suggest we should go out because I don't feel like washing dishes. The house isn't always clean, the children are sometimes allowed to run wild... but hey, at least I'm trying!


In other news, my dad figured out that I'm a democrat yesterday at breakfast. How on earth he JUST figured that out is beyond me, but suddenly he's concerned with my political views and is forwarding me dozens of emails about "why Obama is bad". My husband should be quite pleased.

Damn Republicans.


Check out "womenagainstsarahpalin.org".... it's worth having a look at.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Little Knitting Bits

I've decided to buy each of my daughters a pair of knitting needles and some yarn for Christmas. Not that I expect either of them to begin turning out scarves and mittens any time soon. You'd be amazed though at how entertaining simple things like pointed sticks and long, long bits of string can be. I broke up a sword fight earlier, braving the size 10 bamboo double pointed needles for the safety of my children. I spent an hour this morning untangling a mess of linen yarn that my one year old got ahold of.... while it was attached to my current project: a bag with a 169-stitch lace pattern.


My husband is not, nor will he ever be, a knitter. One knitter in the house is plenty of insanity, thanks. But honestly, if he ever picked up a pair of needles and some wool, I'm quite convinced he could turn out an Alice Starmore fair isle without one stitch of difficulty because he hears me talk day in and day out about my knitting, and I don't bother using "simple" terms for him. The other day, a newly-knitting friend was over with a freshly finished washcloth. "The ends roll under" she fretted. He looked at her, and her washcloth and said, "That's because you haven't blocked it yet."


Hand knitted socks are my very favorite thing to wear, and my least favorite thing to knit. Do you see the twisted irony in that? Thousands of stitches, knitted on little needles the size of toothpicks and yarn not much heavier than quilting thread. But the joy of wearing them is unsurpassed. It doesn't matter if your socks match the rest of your outfit, and knitted socks are never too special or fancy to wear even when you're spending the day chasing small children and folding laundry. Maybe that's why it is the way it is... after all that work, it better be worth it, or knitters would buy their socks for $1.99 at Wal Mart, just like everyone else.


And then there's the really special person that came up with the idea to make size 1 wooden knitting needles. Every knitter knows the pleasure that comes from knitting on wooden or bamboo needles. And every knitter who has had that pleasure knows that you just can't pass up a great deal on wooden needles, even if they are size one. Mine were purchased at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, KS while we were on a trip to visit family. Less than one hour later, in the car on the way home, we hit a bump. One of my prized size one needles snapped right in half, mid-stitch.

I'll save the luxury of wooden needles for things like sweaters, knitted on reasonably sized needles instead of toothpicks.


My youngest daughter has an actual need for clothing: she needs socks. This wouldn't pose much of a dilemma for most mothers - you can buy toddler socks $4 for 12 pairs at the local department store. But for me? I'm debating when to start a month-long toddler sock-knitting spree (and dreading it.) She'll be lucky if she has any socks to wear at all come spring. Just as I won't let my child be seen in public drinking from a bottle or wearing a disposable diaper, I don't think I muster the humility to let her be seen wearing store-bought socks.

"Do those look like toys?" I demand to Chloe as she uses the above mentioned bamboo double points as walrus tusks.

Stupid question. Obviously they do or she wouldn't be playing with them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary.

Some women are anniversary nazis. They require celebration for the anniversary of the first date, the first kiss, the first sex, the first everything. And of course, the anniversary of marriage. I'm not one of those girls.

Today was my anniversary. I didn't realize it until sometime Friday, and I spent a whole day thinking it was actually tomorrow. I did go out and find a perfect card for my husband, and wrote him a love letter on pretty paper. (Paper is the traditional first wedding anniversary gift. It seemed fitting, since I'm a scrapbooker.) I'm okay without a big fancy celebration. I don't even require flowers, or jewelry, or a fancy dinner.

But I would've liked to have seen my husband today.


Instead, he left for work at two a.m and isn't home yet, with no sign of returning anytime before I go to bed. I'd like to say it doesn't hurt a little, but it does.

So I dressed up in a pretty little dress, combed my hair for once, and ran errands today. Grocery store, health food store, homeschool field trip to learn how to make butter, and I picked up something like 400 pounds of peaches and delivered them to friends around town. My sister-in-law, aunt-in-law, and my aunt all called to say happy anniversary. My husband didn't... he doesn't have cell phone service where he's at.

I'm not holding it against him personally. It's not like he can help it.

But there damn well better be flowers, jewelry, and a fancy dinner in my future.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Phantom Returns

Andrew came home tonight. He got home at six, after four days of being gone, and was in bed by eight, leaving at two in the morning. He'll be home late tomorrow, but will then be gone for, presumably, the entire week.

That meant we had two hours to visit, cuddle, kiss, update, and enjoy one another. Chloe, Cora and I all turned into spazzes. It's amazing the energy that man brings into this house. It's almost comical, Chloe and I trying to talk over one another, Cora squealing and screaming and otherwise begging for his attention. I haven't been in the presence of another adult since he was home last Wednesday, except for my in-laws, and they don't count. When he comes home, I talk. And talk, and talk, and talk, as fast as I possibly can, relaying every thought, idea and story that have crossed my mind in the past several days. I'm sure he finds it exhausting. Poor guy. This all punctuated by Chloe climbing all over him, literally smothering him with pillows, and Cora saying "Uh? Uh?" with her arms extended, begging for him to hold her.

It's two hours of chaos. He's probably glad to be going back to work. I would be, if I experienced that every time I walked in the door.

And now I'm on my own with our two adorable little monsters for another week.

I warned him before he went to bed, "There's a good possibility the next time we see you, the children will be duct-taped to the wall, and I'll be hiding in the far corner of the yard, furiously knitting a sock..."

Dani's baby gifts

Now that she's received them, I can post pictures of the things I made for my friend Danielle for her baby boy, due in November.

Soaker, made with Paton's SWS, a soy/wool blend that is my favorite for soakers. Knitting in boy colors was kinda fun.

A crochet bib, made with Lily Sugar & Cream. Someone made me a couple of these bibs for Cora and they are my favorites. I wanted to share the fun of using crocheted bibs.

I also made him a cute little fleece bunting with monkeys on it, but I either didn't take a picture of it, or can't find it.

Yesterday was a real Saturday. No school, just lazing around and relaxing. I did a lot of knitting, Chloe played more computer games than she's ever allowed to, and Cora just hung out and played with us. It was so nice, and much needed. With the weather cooling off, we hung out outside for awhile, the girls played in the water while I working on my knitting.


I weighed Cora last night. 18 pounds even. A week or so ago, she was 17 pounds, 8 ounces. It's not just my imagination, she really is eating a lot!


I thought the sock monster that lives under my dryer was particularly hungry lately. Then I realized that no, Chloe's just been stealing the baby's pajamas to use on her baby dolls.


Phantom Husband should be home today. We haven't seen him since Wednesday evening. I'm hoping I can convince him to get a few things done around here this afternoon since he'll be on another long week starting tomorrow.


Friday, September 5, 2008

My kids are cute.

I may be biased, but I think they're pretty freakin' adorable.


In a brief moment of panic, we homeschooled like crazy today. We did a little bit of everything - english/reading/phonics, math, science, history. I found out my sister in law is spending about 3 hours per day with her five year old in their first year, and I felt like a slacker again. Thankfully, Chloe didn't hold it against me. We'll be back to our usual 20-30 minutes on Monday, I'm sure.


Got a call from a lady we know who organizes produce co-ops every so often. She was taking orders for local organic peaches - $5 per 20-lb box. How could I pass that up? So I'm getting 40 pounds. I canned and froze 40 pounds at the beginning of August too. We should have enough peaches to last until next peach season now! Cora likes the canned ones though, so I'm sure they'll get eaten one way or another. It's a lot of work though, and soon it will be apple season, where I'll do probably 40 or maybe even 60 pounds of apples...

I love all this old fashioned food stuff; canning and freezing and otherwise preserving and hoarding. It makes me happy. My garden is surprising me - cucumbers and beans are running rampant, I've been giving some of both away. I was picking red tomatoes earlier and didn't realize that Littlest One was sitting there munching away on green ones she was picking through the garden fence. She seemed content, so I didn't stop her. LOL

It's amazing how much food that kid can put away. For dinner tonight she had half a stromboli sandwich leftover from our dinner out the other night (I can only eat half of one in a sitting!). She also had about 8 french fries, two sticks of cucumber, four or five tomatoes, five crackers, a small handful of pine nuts and a few bits of bell pepper. Oh, and two of the Dove chocolates that Deb sent me.

At the rate she's going, she should weigh more than Chloe by her second birthday.


One last pic, just 'cuz I can:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Surf & Turf Sweater

Please pardon the goofiness of the pictures - what can you expect from a five year old photographer?

I made a sweater. I made the pattern myself, and it fits like a glove. I saw a sweater in a magazine in a variegated yarn like this with the funky little cable/bobble thing on the sleeves, and I loved it except that it was a cropped sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. So I wrote my own pattern, and snagged their sleeve design. Everyone who sees it oohs and ahhs until they see the sleeves, and they make a funny face. People really hate bobbles. I feel bad for them, they get such a bad rap, but really can be fun and hip in their own right.

Whatever. I love my bobbles. And it's not like I'm telling someone else they have to wear my bobbles, so hmph.

Pattern: My own, sleeves stolen from Knit.1 Spring/Summer 08 (pattern 6, not sure what it was called.)
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver (see? I'm not a yarn snob!) colorway "surf & turf"
Needles: size 7 for ribbing, 8 for body

Learned how to sew in a zipper with this one - putting a zipper into hand knitted sweaters is entirely different from sewing one into a dress. It sucked. But it turned out good... the third time around.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Ball Popper of Doom

The culprit:

The accomplice:

Looks like a fun, innocent little toy, doesn't it? Ha! It fooled you, too, eh?

No, it is the Ball Popper of Doom. It eats things. All kinds of things. Cell phones, grocery receipts, refrigerator magnets, wooden blocks... I've asked Cora. She's certain she has no idea how those miscellaneous objects find their way down into the depths of the ball popper's tubes. I'm not so sure I believe her.

If anything is missing, just look in the Ball Popper. Odds are, you'll find it there amidst an array of other junk that hadn't yet been identified as "missing".

And if it's not in the Ball Popper, check at the bottom of the bin holding the dress up clothes. It comes in at a close second as "favorite place for little mischief makers to hide things."



It's been a rough week. No, make that a rough two weeks. Lots of stuff going on, personal things I'm not comfortable blogging about publicly, but nonetheless, I've needed some TLC and haven't gotten much of it. Until today.

A dear friend (and reader of this blog), a kind woman whom I've never met in person, only on an internet message board, sent me a box chock full of wonderful happy goodness. Splendid things for me, books and candies for my girls, even some candies for my hubby (Lifesavers, because he is my life saver.) And yarn! Two bags of yarn, waiting to be made into snug little sweaters for little girls, or blankets, or.... something. Books to help me in my "Quest To Prove There Really is a God". All kinds of things to keep me busy and keep me sane and keep me smiling and laughing. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful friend!

Here's pic of Chloe with her hair braided using the directions from one of the books we got in our big box o' love:

Random Blah

We made some new friends yesterday. :-) I'm really terribly at making friends. People intimidate me. But Ashley met a girl she thought I should meet, so we went to the park for a playgroup with her and a few other moms, and everyone was great. A little bit earthy-mama type, but not so much that they were snobby, which is rare, and was nice. Most of them homeschool, and there was even another five year old that was just starting kindergarten this year. Chloe had a great time playing with her. We're gonna start going back every Tuesday for this group, and a couple of them want to learn to knit. Getting out and doing things is good for me, especially with the Phantom Husband back to work this week.


Speaking of the Phantom Husband, he hunted pretty much all week last week. Didn't get anything, but he had a good time, so I guess that's good. I'm really hoping for an elk. You just can't beat totally organic red meat like that. He's back to work for two weeks now, and then he'll go back out. It sounded like he was pretty close a time or two, but didn't quite have the shot he needed. It would be great if he'd get something right away on his next week off so we can spend some time with him, too.


It's almost fall. You can feel that crisp-air feeling in the mornings now. Yesterday it was cool enough that we needed sweaters at the park, and it's still dark as I type this, a little after six in the morning. Seasons changing always make me happy. I dont know that I'm quite ready for winter yet, but the cooler days of fall will be nice. Where on earth did the summer go? I feel like it shouldn't be over yet!

I'm trying to figure out what I used to write about... the desire to write just hasn't been with me for a few weeks now. I guess I'll leave this at that and be finished.

One note: Carol asked about the homeschool link I'd posted in a previous post. It's something like "Hidden Creek Homeschool" if you Google it, but the words "this site" in my post about it are a link to the blog. For whatever reason, my blog layout doesn't show that text is linked, which is lame because I link a lot of things people probably aren't seeing. I suppose it's time for a new blog layout... as soon as I have more time to sit down in front of the computer!