Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We're back!

Saturday, at Grandmom's Women's Club pancake breakfast:

So Las Vegas has come and gone, and we're back in the saddle again! The trip was too short, but it's good to be home. We went out for one of the heaviest dinners I've ever had in my life (all prime rib and cream and butter... even the salad was heavy with bacon, croutons and a dressing with grated hard-boiled egg in it. Tasty, but too much! Monday was a quiet day, mostly hanging out in the hotel room with a food hangover and reading, knitting and watching Veronica Mars dvds. The perfect day of downtime. In the afternoon, Daddyman and I went to the Star Trek experience (third time's a charm). It was pretty fun, and I have to admit that it is somewhat disconcerting to see borg drones walking around even when you know it's some guy named Brad from Poughkeepsie. (And yes, I know that ALL borg drones are some guy named Brad from Poughkeepsie.)

Monday night we went to see Mystere from Cirque de Soleil, which was impressive, though I was having the HARDEST time staying awake... the time change really caught up with me! Then Tuesday we spent most of the day travelling, and now we are settling back in to the inevitable post-trip piles of laundry and post-daylight-saving-time toddlers. Isn't it crazy how difference a simple hour makes to a one year old?

Friday, November 2, 2007

A post a day?

Though I haven't actually joined NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, where you are supposed to post a blog every day in November), I've decided to take on the challenge (which might be extra challenging this weekend in Vegas, but we'll see!).

So on the days when I don't have super cool kid pictures or knitting content, etc. I've decided that my theme for the month of November is food. I've just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle about her family's year of eating locally only, and found it quite inspirational. So I'm trying to be more aware of where my food comes from, and also of feeding my family more healthily.

My recipe for today is fast becoming my "go-to" easy bread recipe. It can be used for making quick yummy breakfast flatbread, pizzas, calzones, soft pretzels, etc. Yesterday for breakfast, we rolled out small balls of the dough and cooked some of them on a hot griddle (kind of like a pancake out of soft pizza dough). Yummy. The rest of the dough I rolled out into thin circles and froze between layers of plastic wrap to be used in the future, most likely for quick individual pizza dinners and lunchbox calzones (one of Thomas' new favorite lunches).

One of my favorite uses for this dough is to slice apples really thinly, sprinkle with a little cinnamon/sugar/cornstarch and fold into the dough like a calzone. It's a yummy, healthier option to a flaky-crusted apple turnover.

Basic Yeasted Dough
3 cups flour (I use a mix of white and whole wheat)
1 t yeast
1 t sugar
1 ¼ t salt
1 T butter (plus some for bowl)
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water

Mix together and knead until supple (however you want; standing mixer, food processor, by hand, etc.). Put in a plastic wrap-covered bowl to rise double. Punch down and use it right away or put in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it (up to a couple of days... I usually wait at least 8 hours or so for better flavor development).

I actually don't remember my baking temp and times... Probably 350 or 375, maybe for 15-20 minutes for the calzones?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oops, I forgot...

In the land of finished objects, here is the felted trick or treat bag I made for Miss G. The pattern is "Jack" by Kate Gilbert, and I used Lion Brand Wool (I forgot the names of the colorways, but they are a rusty orange and eggplant purple). Kind of a pain to make, because I don't like intarsia, but the errors in tension, etc. were erased by the felting, which I did in our front loading washing machine, and it went just fine.

A little Halloween-y

The Doctor demonstrates use of his sonic screwdriver.
("Doctor of what?" "Of everything!" -- Doctor Who, for those not in the know!)

Kids ready for fun!

A few too many pictures of Little Mister (and these are just the ones I posted) because I think he was perhaps the cutest one year old on the planet in this costume!

With friends, ready to hit the town!
That' all folks!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I love fall!

Busy day of playing, baking, cleaning, knitting and visiting the pumpkin patch!

Miss G had a ball at the pumpkin patch, and so did Little Mister, though it's harder to tell from the pictures, because almost all of them are of the back of his head!! He thought it was hilarious to walk away from me, and if I walked in front of him, he just turned in the other direction! Got a few, though.

In knitting news, I'm doing a some felting projects right now; the sweaters for the kids are temporarily on hold. I'm about 2/3 done with a felted halloween tote for Miss G ("Jack" by Kate Gilbert) . I hate intarsia work, and because it is stockinette stitch, it is all curly and awful looking in its current state, but I have faith that once it's sewn together and felted, it will look cute.
I finished a felted box from Mason Dixon knitting. In the box is the yarn I have bought (from a favorite blogger, the heathen housewife!) online from etsy. This yarn will be (eventually) my first pair of socks.

Today was also a baking day... lovely cool weather for making YUMMY sandwich bread. Here's the recipe, fyi. It's from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking book. I mixed and kneaded it in the kitchenaid, let it rise twice (second time in the pan) and baked it for about 35-40 minutes at 350, covering with foil after the first 20 minutes so the top wouldn't get too dark. Yummy!

100% Whole Wheat
Sandwich bread

3 c (12 oz) wh. wheat flour
3 T sugar
heaping ½ C (1 ¼ oz) potato flakes
¼ C (1 oz) dried milk
1 ¼ t salt
2 ½ t instant yeast
2 T (1 oz) orange juice
1 C lukewarm water
4 T butter, cut into 6 pcs

And finally, a face I can't resist!!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Those crazy kids...

Naps are nice, but getting up is better!

Birds in their little nests agree!

My little cover girl...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Corners of my home

I've been reading the archives of a fun blog by a crafter in Maine, and I've really enjoyed a flickr group she started called "Corners of my home" where she and others post photos of lovely, loved corners of their homes. I've been in a real funk, home-wise, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of mess that two children under the age of four (plus two adults and a nine year old) can make. For a little while, I've just thrown up my hands and let the mess go. But as I looked at those lovely little pieces of other people's homes (crafty, vintage, lovely) I was struck with the feeling that I had NO corners that currently inspire me. Which is a problem. So I've finally been motivated to give the house some attention, slowly but surely. And so here are a couple of little corners of my home that at least don't widly irritate me right now! (Okay, that's not the greatest recommendation ever!) It was really rainy today, and I did this in the late afternoon, so the light isn't the greatest.

My bedroom drives me crazy right now because ALL of the children love to play there and make big messes. I make my bed (almost) every day, and it gets unmade, rumpled, crumpled. It's not as though we live in a tiny house that lacks for play room, so WHY do they insist on playing in the one room that is theoretically adult space??! But I do love my pretty little LL Bean end tables and try to create a nice little reading and listening spot there. There would be a basket of knitting on the lower shelf if Little Guy wouldn't, well, eat it or something!

The dining room is one of my favorite rooms visually -- I wish we used it more! But it's one of the fun rooms to decorate... when we decorated for Halloween during family home evening a couple of weeks ago, we found we were out of spider web, so Big Guy went to town creating his own with black yarn, and I think I like it better than the pre-fab stuff!

This corner of the living room is a favorite of mine because of the old wooden icebox, which after many years of hints, outright request and begging, my dear sweet Mom gave to me. It was in my house when I was a small child in Maine, and I remember opening the doors and playing with it when I was tiny. When we moved to St. Thomas it went to live with Nana for many years, then down to Florida with Mom when she left the island. So it is my favorite piece of furniture anyway, and then combine that with the fact that it my yarn storage, and it becomes my absolute favorite! (I have this fairly silly notion that I'm going to keep my stash no bigger than what can go in or on this icebox... we'll see.)

Finally, a few pictures of the kiddos.

Miss G at gymnastics (inside on a rainy day through a window, so please excuse the horrible picture quality!)

Big Guy channeling the spirit of Jack Benny. (Okay, it's very late at night and for some reason I can't get the picture to stand up for me. So forgive the crick in the neck I'm giving you!)

Little Mister.
See you later!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Playing a little catchup!

Big Guy in flight

Reading in the bathtub?

Little Mister's first birthday... the cake appears to be a hit.

Retail therapy? NOT!

My clapotis is done! Yarn is Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Red Rover colorway.

Miss G's first pigtails... nope, she doesn't like them at all! No, sirree!

Here's my cute, drooly, walking boy!

Miss G loved helping Nana with the yardwork!

I've been neglecting this blog terribly, and realized that I just don't have the burning desire to record my thoughts that many bloggers do. So I'm going to try to make this just a photo blog and see if I can be more regular about posting. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back in the saddle again...

So it’s been awhile. School let out, and strangely, all my time went away! Add to that a 3yo who had decided that naps are SO yesterday, and we find ourselves blogless! But here I am again. I need to give this a little more of a try before I decide that it’s not for me. So today, in short, is me getting back in the saddle. And so before showing a couple of kid pics, here is a quick review of what’s been up:

In knitting:
Still working on Big Guy’s log cabin blanket, though it’s gotten significantly bigger than last time I showed it (I’ll take a picture one of these days). I have some cute Plymouth yarns Jean nee in a denim blue from which I’m going to make a baby sweater or two very soon, and I have started a blanket (I haven’t decided if it is a baby gift or Miss G’s blanket yet) in a luscious Lorna’s Laces Shepherd worsted. Until I start the baby sweaters, at the moment everything in my life is garter stitch, so I need something different, asap!

I’ve started the Patrick O’Brien series again, which is wonderful. Post Captain, the second novel, really evokes Jane Austen… and for me there is not much higher praise. It just amazes me that a twentieth century man was able to capture the flavor of eighteenth century literature in such a convincing way – there’s not the merest whiff of the modern world. In the first few books especially, it always seems to me that this is the “other side” of Jane Austen; this is what the menfolk were off doing while her characters lived out their quiet lives.

I’m also reading a couple of other things right now. Besides the usual small pile of knitting books (I’ve currently got Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi out of the library and am about to teach myself that technique).

I’ve been reading Chew on This by Eric Schlosser, which is the teen/pre-teen version of Fast Food Nation. I bought it for Thomas’ end of summer reading project and have been dipping into it myself. We’ve been on a modified fast food ban (Subway and occasional non-fried options at other fast food places allowed) and I hope that reading this will motivate us to make it permanent.

I’m also reading The Great Snape Debate -- actually all of the readers in our house are reading it, as an opening act for the main Harry Potter events coming in the next few weeks. We are all getting VERY excited about both book and movie, as well as the prospect of a new audio book to put us to sleep every night!

The other fun, new thing going on with me is that I’m spending WAY too much time playing with my new ipod shuffle, which is so much fun! I’ve loaded it with a bunch of audio books and have subscribed to a ton of podcasts, so I’m totally boring the kids in the car with things like General Conference talks, News from Lake Wobegon and knitting podcasts! I can’t believe how tiny the thing is:

Okay, it’s WAY past my bedtime, and I’ve gotta go, so here are some kid pics before I’m off to bed. Big Guy and I are having a Mommy-son date overnight in KC tomorrow night at Great Wolf lodge, so I’d better get my rest!

Big Guy'snew water rocket... at launch and in flight!
Bye for now!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A work in progress...


(Do you know, I think that may be my only photo of the house?? I remember taking some long ago, but they must have been on the camera that was stolen, because I couldn't find them anywhere!)


So the contrast may not seem very great in these pictures. The picture from today is a little glare-y. But the new color is a really great grey-green-sage. The triangle in the upper left still hasn't been painted, if that helps to see the difference. I'll take a morning picture once the whole thing is done, so the light will be better. But I have to say, I am really, really happy with the new color. No more boring beige! Now we have a slightly less boring green! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This and that

Well, lots has been going on on the domestic front in our household. First, house painting has FINALLY begun. Woo hoo! With all of the rain we've had, it's been pushed back and pushed back for a few weeks, but he finally started yesterday! (Any guesses what the weather is like today? Hmmm?) There's only a portion of the front done so far, but I'm loving the new color, which is a relief, since it's really hard to visualize how an entire house is going to look in a 3x3 color swatch! Since it's grey today, I'll wait for sunnier weather to take a picture for an "in progress" shot.

Also, I read Green This, by Dierdre Imus, this weekend, and am becoming a convert to the concept of green house cleaning, both for impact on the environment and individual health. I hadn't ever really considered the ingredients in all purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, etc. Ick. But I've been having some fun trying out some new products (and rediscovering some old ones like vinegar and baking soda)... and when I find products I like, if I buy in bulk on or some such source, the prices are comparable to "regular" cleaners. So far I've gotten some nice dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent. I've liked each so far...

Reading the book reminded me of something that I've been wanting to do for awhile, too, which is phase out the wall to wall carpeting out of the house. The perfect place to begin is the master bath, because it has always skeeved me out that there is carpeting in there (but I managed to block it out most of the time!) So I have a call in for a quote to rip it out and put some tile in there. And since Big Guy has been having some coughing/congestion issues lately that I've begun to think are allergies, I did a mini spring cleaning in his room yesterday, which included moving his gerbils out to the porch for awhile to see if not breathing in a bouquet of gerbil food, bedding and waste all night long helps him to breathe a little easier.

What is it about springtime that makes one spring clean in spite of oneself? I'm also putting things in piles in various corners of the house in preparation for a yard sale soon... we'll see if I actually have the stamina to wait until the yard sale, or if I wimp out as I always do and haul it down to Goodwill because I can't stand to have it hanging around after having decided to get rid of it!!

Not a very visually interesting post so far, so I'll leave you with a couple of quick photos of the kiddos from our trip to the zoo late last week!