Yarn Along for the end of October


Mellow greetings!  Please bear with me as I continue my search for a new background look to ye old blog.  I think I’ve changed it three times since the summer.  Ah well, it’s that time of year for Fall cleaning, and I’ve been repainting, so it’s just par for the course I guess. ;)


Weird glowy aura effect, pumpkins look pale and dreadful…. wow, what a lousy project picture! Why am I even compelled to post this?

Meanwhile, the knitting. Oh me oh my, I’ve had to redo the yoke for Armas three times.  I think I’ve finally got it.  Now I’m treading uncharted waters… or rather, charted waters, because this is the first ever project I’ve done that has a chart but no line-by-line written instructions to translate my way safely through it.  I’ve found some tips from Ravelryers who have gone before me down this road, and I’m grateful for them.  However, I’m alternately confident and petrified about continuing!  But continue I will because 1) I haven’t found a sweater pattern for my husband that I liked better and 2) I have 16 balls of grey Icelandic wool yarn in my stash and if I use it up, I’ll have an excuse to buy more yarn!  Because as we all know:


 Meanwhile, I have been doing some reading besides mulling through pre-Christmas magazines and catalogs, since those seem to come starting mid-October.  I read Hannah Fowler by Janice Holt Giles, and really enjoyed it.  Since Leila explained it admirably I’m linking you there.  Another gem of the fiction world I read cover-to-cover and back again (same with HF) was The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer.  It toppled The Reluctant Widow for my favorite Heyer novel. What a lark!

In between times I have actually done some serious reading and bought Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child.  It was written by a homeschooling mother of severely disabled twins and describes how a classical based education helped the children (now grown) and emphasizes why these people society deems useless still benefit from and indeed deserve the best education we can offer them, even if we are tailoring great art and fine music to a basic level.  Although we use a different style of homeschooling than the author, it was a breath of fresh air to read this book.  It reminded me again why we chose this road for Trooper (and Sunshine, too).

So there we have it for this week!

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It’s good to be a boy….

….on a Fall afternoon….a week before Halloween….when school is done and Mom announces that THIS came in the mail today:


The shopping list for the weekend now includes PVC pipe, some kind of foam, cardstock paper, metallic spray paint, oh, and duct tape.  A lot of duct tape. :)

There’s already a request for the follow-up book: The Knight Book: Warfare by Duct Tape that they hope they’ll find under the Christmas tree.

Unlike most requests, I’m sure that can be arranged.  They’ve inured me to enough of their quips and games and I’d much rather them keep busy creating their own costumes and accoutrements. :) Besides, these boys have five princesses to protect and defend (not that said princesses won’t lend a hand in the battle, mind). They can’t start too soon. :)

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Of all the random things…

Because the latest homebrewed is about to be moved from secondary fermentation to the carbonation day, we were compelled to (gasp) go out and buy some beer.  That’s our cue to find the latest seasonal brews and yesterday Haus Meister happened upon this:

photo 1 (14)

“Peach Beer!” He tells me. “I think you’ll like it.”

“I bet I will,” I admit.  I like peach tea, peach jam, peach pie, and peaches.  So why not peach beer?

Then he took a bottle out of the box.



photo 2 (15)

We looked all over the box for an explanation for the design.  None. Judging by images on Google it’s probably something for Hallowe’en.  What an incredibly random label.

Thank you, Dogfish Head.  I will now be referring to you as Demon Coon Beer for the foreseeable future.

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A bittersweet tenth birthday

Some years ago I wondered just how the children would want to commemorate Jacob’s day. After all, the only one to have seen Jacob was the Trooper, who himself was only nine months old and probably has little memory of it, if any. But even as I thought and fretted, the Rascal had the answer.

“Let’s sing for him! Doesn’t he have a cake? You said it was his birthday…”

Thus the tradition of a little something to celebrate Jacob began. It fulfilled my hope that our sweet baby would be remembered by his brothers and sisters; that he would be recognized as part of our family even though he passed away before most of them were born.  It keeps the day from becoming overwhelmingly sad, as it would, if I had to keep the memory of him to myself.

It is a perfect way to affirm that every life is precious and worth celebrating.

Every life, no matter how brief.  And his was so brief.

Happy 10th birthday, Jacob Dominic. The hour we had to hold you was too short. We look forward to being with you in Heaven.

jacobs day

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Row to Rivendell

Yes, we’re still rowing!  I knew it had been a long while since my last post on this subject, but I hadn’t realized the last post was in July! Fortunately we have managed despite a grueling schedule to get 36.2 miles worth of rowing in on the machine since the last check-in.  This puts us at 141.38 total miles.

According to our virtual atlas….

On our journey from Bag End to Rivendell, we’ve reached the milestone 137 “Continue east-southeast at a comfortable pace. Weather nice.” We are approaching milestone 143: “Road curves more to the east. Marshes fill all the northern horizon.”

Drat the Midgewater Marshes.  As I’ve said previously, this is our third attempt to “get to Rivendell” and we have never passed the “Marshes” yet.  Well, let’s see where we are at the next check-in!

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{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Two week catch-up edition


The recent blogging hiatus has been irking me a little, but life has just been that crazily busy lately.  At first I feared that my recent capitulation and entrance into the world of Facebook had something to do with it, but I haven’t even posted a lot there this week.  Basically my homeschool group began to use Facebook as a launchpad for group discussions and calendar dates.  So despite years of saying I’d never never join FB, I’m there now, and I must confess it’s been so nice catching up with old friends.

As I prepared to write today’s post, I downloaded several pictures from my nice camera’s photo card, which card of course I promptly erased.  Unfortunately iPhoto then crashed and lost all my recently downloaded pictures. GRR! I’m glad there wasn’t many photos in that download of the children, but I will now have to redo my YarnAlong photos for the week, and you’re now stuck with my grainy iPhone pictures.  Ah, technology.

Pretty Happy


A very lovely Princess had a birthday two weeks ago.  Unfortunately this seems to be the only picture on my camera, and those were the only cupcakes to survive until the icing.  Apparently someone found my not-so-hidden cupcake hiding place. ;)  The important thing is that Princess had a very happy 6th birthday.

Happy Happy

I love to read books; always have, always will.  I am so happy to see a love for reading emerge in our children too.




Although sometimes they aid naps. ;) I just realized that I took pictures of them reading the same book!  I promise we do have lots of books around here.



Over the weekend we picked up a whole bushel of apples from the local orchard (no, I didn’t hand-pick them).  So far we’ve made two pies, apple cranberry crisp, and enjoyed as many apples as the girlies can eat.  They love apples.

Real Happy

Trooper’s first attempt at Special Olympics.  He had a very fun time.  Unfortunately the team had a flat tire on the way to the event so it was a scramble getting the horses ready and there wasn’t any reins for Trooper to hold onto and show how he’s learning to guide the horse.  Basically he got to sit back and chill, and that never bothers him.  He still got 4th Place. :)  Way to go!!!!

During the "obstacle course"

During the “obstacle course”


Fun Happy



(Posey is trying to eat an apple in these pictures.)

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{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}





Someone really loves my big camera.


Adorable baby shoes…that she’s outgrowing fast.



Oh, the places we find ourselves (in fancy dress, no less!).




Praying and remembering 13 years out.

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Yarn Along


The replacement phone arrived but as I opted for a less expensive older model, the  camera quality is pretty grainy but I’m pleased because I want to relearn how to use our old standard camera again.  Please bear with me as I figure out the whole focusing thing. :)

Last week was Haus Meister’s birthday but it came smack in the middle of an intense deadline at work.  The kids decorated the kitchen for him that morning and we gave him his birthday presents at random times over the weekend.  One of these gifts was my book for the week:



Where Eagles Dare by Alistair McLean.  Haus Meister and I enjoy the movie and now the book as well.  The screenplay for the movie was also written by the author so it isn’t terribly different–except there seem to be a lot more explosions in the movie.  It amused me that my “Austen fan” stitch marker is right there next to the only spy novel I’ve read in a decade.

Coming along with the knitting!  We’ve finished the collar and are now moving onto the main sweater!

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Yarn Along & P, H, F, R for week without my phone’s camera


So, I had a blogpost in my mind and I had pictures for it.  Then, the preschooler accidentally tossed my phone into the loo for reasons beyond my comprehension.  The benefit for me is that I am learning to use and definitely love our standard camera again. This is what I’ve come up with for today’s post.


 Mulled cider candle: the answer to the question, “Can anything good come from Wal-Mart?” 

Hot Cinnamon Spice tea… liquid autumn?  I put that on my Amazon subscribe and save list.  Next month I might just have to get two tins.  Haus Meister and I will be done with this one well before October.

Yes, I was in total denial of summer that night.  Why do you ask?


My Princess.  “Did you get my picture yet, Mom?”


 I am still waiting for an excuse to open this.  The wrapper is too hilarious, the thought too funny.  I would hate to use this prematurely.


My knitting for the past two weeks.  Now I’m back to where I was two weeks ago when I had to restart the project.  But the cold nights are coming and as you can see I’m getting ready for it.

Actually, after Littlest arrived I went on a parenting binge-read, brushing up on all my special needs mommy reading and reading up on babies who didn’t gain weight right away and would formula use damage her, etc etc etc and officially burned myself out of any serious reading for the nonce.


The flowers that replaced the dead tomato plants on our porch.

I am still in utter denial that it is 84 degrees out there.

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Thoughts at the end of the day of Sunshine’s evaluation

When it was first confirmed we are parents of an autistic son, I half thought of buying one of those puzzle piece ribbons for the van.  I’m kind of like that; right now our massive beast of a van is the repository for stickers detailing where we’ve driven it (Vail being the most prestigious looking–we don’t mention that it was during the off season).  But I let it slide.  I appreciate the thought behind the puzzle pieces.  I appreciate seeing it on other people’s cars and know that we aren’t walking this road alone.

But there’s another piece of our family puzzle I haven’t mentioned much simply because her story is unfolding at its own pace.  We have in our care a special little rosebud whose petals are slow to unfurl. We get glimpses of the beautiful flower she’ll become, but still she needs our help, our hands, our voices, our love, and our patience to support her.  You know her by her blog-pseudonym of Sunshine, and a ray of sunshine she truly is to all of us.  And as I watch all our darlings grow up around me, I realize that to me, there is no missing puzzle piece.  In fact, sometimes, they are each of them a puzzle, and sometimes the typical ones are more of a complex jigsaw to me than the two who are supposed to be more of a challenge. ;)  This isn’t knocking the puzzle piece design or anyone else who likes to use it.  I just chose not to buy one for my van because there’s a lot on my van already.  And as much as I want the general public to give my autistic children a break, I also hope someone tries to do what we do, and look past the evident differences and see the wonderful side of them we are privileged to see.



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