Yarn Along & Tasha Tudor



August 28th is the 99th birthday of the late Tasha Tudor.  This must be nostalgia week for me because I’ve been hashing out memories with people for the last few days.  Today I’m remembering the time when I was in the midst of my first readings of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series.  I was around 8 or 9, and we were at my grandma’s house.  My mom brought me over to the bookshelves–the same ones we used now to make our Tasha Tudor-esque dollhouse for our daughters–and pulled A Time to Keep off the shelf. 

“This is a Tasha Tudor book,” Mom said in a hushed and reverent tone, or at least so it seemed to me then.  It was before the days of Amazon and eBay, and the local bookstores so rarely carried anything by Tasha when we were by.  This meant the book was extra incredibly special, irreplaceable at the time.  She opened it and handed it to me and I was instantly transported into Tasha’s world of the 1830s.  I was fascinated at the rhythm of her seasons, at the costumes and the corgi dogs. I often returned to the book when at Grandma’s, and now I’m just as much a collector as my Mom (in fact, probably more, for books are my guilty indulgence). Haus Meister even found me the coveted Tudor-illustrated Little Women for Christmas one year. If you think I exaggerate that it’s coveted you didn’t have the ill luck I did over several eBay bids. Still, I must confess, A Time to Keep is my favorite.

So, a happy birthday to dear Ms. Tudor and I’ll drink my nighttime tea in her honor tonight.

Now for the knitting. Armas hasn’t gotten very far, mainly because I misread an instruction and only discovered my error 3″ into the collar. Out it all came and now I’m just trying to catch back up. Getting there, slowly but surely. I do not think it will be a birthday sweater at this rate. ;)



What he sees…

What we see:


What he sees:

"The Man from Snowy RIver" 1982 film. Thank you Google Images!

“The Man from Snowy River” 1982 film.
          (Thank you Google Images!)

Trooper is in training for our area Equestrian Special Olympics. Less than a month to go! We can’t wait!

(for Mom, who showed me this movie when I was little and really made me want a mountain horse. Never mind that there’s no landscape like that anywhere NEAR where I grew up:)

Rest in Peace


“Daniel” went to his Heavenly home recently.

More than likely he died in the adult mental institution where he’s been for the past two years. Possibly in a “laying room,” the same four walls around him day in, day out. Very little interaction.

It’s not his fault. It’s not really even his country’s fault. They were under the Soviet thumb for so long, and their own recovery has not been the easiest. In fact, they’re being invaded again.

How could they possibly have the medical care for their neediest that, say, we do here in the US?

And we? Why do we stand by and let the little ones languish in institutions if we had the means, ability, and love to help them?

And what do we do in our own country to help our neediest? Our disabled? The ones born “different.”

Do we offer them a smile?

Do we encourage them to be the best they can be?

Or do we suggest that their parents have a moral imperative to abort them?

To terminate their lives while their very hearts are beating? For what? That they will be spared a life that’s different–or that we will be spared having to “deal” with them.

The latter, me thinks.

While we as a culture entertain such thoughts, we enlightened wealthy Westerners, no finger of blame can we point at anyone for Daniel living and dying bedridden, age 7, unable to walk on his own or even raise his head.


For Daniel’s sake. For the sake of all of them.

Give them a chance to really live.

Rest in peace, my Ukrainian sweetheart. I prayed for you every day. I rejoice you are now at peace and rest, whole and well at last.

Happy Birthday, marvelous mischievous Miss M!

She’s acted older than her age for so long that I once thought she turned 3 last year…but actually she turns 3 today. :)

It’s a tulle and tutu ballerina birthday, because her favorite things to wear are ballet outfits. I’ll offer her something perfectly charming from her closet and she’ll simply shoot me her mischief look and growl: “No. I wanna be-a-reena!” She can say “ballerina” on its own but tumbles over “be a ballerina,” so she shortens it to “be-a-reena.”

Happy Be-a-reena birthday, sweetheart!


{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


Well, the first week of the new school year is now behind us. As first weeks go it was definitely one of our better ones, although there was a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth from time to time at the thought of all the work that needed to be done. And then the kids joined in. ;) No, it wasn’t that bad. Princess did comment that her first grade coursework was definitely longer than her kindergarten one. The one most pleased with course advancement is Trooper, surprising as it may seem. He’s hovering between two grade levels and likes the higher one more. With patience and luck and a good dose of grace I’m hoping to test him fully into the higher grade maybe even by Christmas. He’s in a good spot right now and I want to take advantage of it. :)

But meanwhile, it was back to the books, even if it means you’re reading to your little sister. :) 

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It’s still summer, though, and last Friday Haus Meister brought me home a treat:

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I’ve made 7.5 pints of Ginger Peach Tea Jam already, then gave a bag to one of my good friends around here, and plan to try and make jam out of the ones in my refrigerator this weekend. Yes, we have also eaten some. These peaches are one of the best things about summer in the Deep South. 

(Pretty Happy)

Going back to the school topic, I’m once again juggling the household/homeschool routine and sometimes during this week, frankly, folding the laundry has had to wait until later in the day or early in the morning. I’ve been folding in the basement family room lately, and sometimes I have company.

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The Mischief Squad at Rest.

Miss M is definitely into tea parties right now. I think she’s hosted more than either of her older sisters. She might host more as her articulation improves, because right now she indicates another tea party session is at hand by demanding: “Come down sit a pahty.” Given that her “party” sounds a lot like “potty,” I myself have often mistaken her meaning. Dear thing.

(Pretty funny)

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Speaking of Miss M, she has a birthday fast approaching. Warning: pictures to-be-posted promise pink profusion.


Now for some news that I cannot believe I haven’t mentioned yet. As most of you know our Old Haus has been on the market for eleven months after our previous renters moved onto a larger house. We had two potential buyers back down because of financing as they were trying to get the offer made to begin with, and one offer we refused because he was rather unreasonable. He wanted us to modernize the place and pay his closing costs, while offering us under our asking price. Among his requests were that we completely update the plumbing pipes (not that it needed it) and move the water heater to an entirely new and awkward location. Sayonara! And after this the summer doldrums set in and no one looked at the house for a couple of weeks.

So I tried the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots.


A week later Haus Meister gets a text from a family friend who knew that we would be open to renting the house and knew of two potential tenants who might be interested. An option that we had almost given up hope about suddenly became reality. I prayed the novena in late July. August 3rd a one-year rental agreement was signed and they moved in August 4th. 

I’m keeping that novena card.

(Pretty REAL)

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


I have some catching up to do. One member of our family celebrated her patron saint’s feast day not too long ago, and this year that day means a dessert in honor of the saint and a new small icon for our wall. It really is rather Pretty even though my camera doesn’t do it justice.



Last week I was AWOL from the blog as we were going back to St. Louis for Trooper’s follow-up with his absolutely amazing specialist. My parents came down for a mini-vacation (not that they had much time to relax) and watch most of the kids while Haus Meister, Trooper, Rascal, Littlest and I headed across a few states.



Trooper happily watched trucks for hours. He likes them as much as ever, which keeps him from being as bored as say, his brother, who began snapping pictures on my phone.

To relieve the tedium of the drive, Haus Meister produced a slackline out of the boot of the car (ok, so I’ve seen a few too many British car shows) because you never know when you might need one of those. At a rest area he rigged it up between two trees and it helped the boys stretch their legs.

IMG_1265They all really enjoyed it, although Haus Meister never quite made it across without being tackled by Rascal or pulled off by Trooper, who didn’t feel like reciprocating the help and was impatient for his next turn. Happy boys.


We did visit the Gateway Arch on the day we left and the lines were so long we knew we couldn’t get in, get our tickets, get a ride on the tram, see the view, get down again, and then drive home by 1am. Sigh. A bit of real there.


But we had fun elsewhere, too. :)


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, our wooden trains are out again. The earliest seasons of Thomas the Tank Engine vie for screen time as the cheeky little engine enters his third cycle of being tops in our house amongst the preschool set.  I prefer “old school” Thomas to his current CGI shows, and so does Sunshine.

And to end on a little Real…


I saw this at Lowes the other day. I would love to have it take over the foyer wall. I would love it if it would take over the foyer wall and not have the Mischief Squad practice rock climbing techniques using the coat hooks. Right there Miss M sees it as a potential princess dancing stage but if Sunshine was with her you’d better believe the climbing would start. ;)


Yarn-Along: Finally Finished (more or less)!




On Sunday I bound off the Follow-Your-Arrow shawl. Whew.


I’ll soon be wet-blocking it, as soon as I can figure out where I hid my lace blocking wires from the Mischief Squad….

Meanwhile, on to the next large project! Meet Armas, a pattern that I picked out because it was made with the very brand of Icelandic wool yarn that Haus Meister bought me for Christmas almost two years ago. I joked that if I had enough knitting time I could finish it by his September birthday. Or Christmas. Or realistically, our anniversary next May. ;)


I have 16 skeins of this yarn waiting to be used. What a spree I’m going to have when they’re out of my cupboard, just trying to fill the space again!

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}



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This graceful luna moth has been a regular visitor this week, with no less than three sightings. It is perhaps the only thing of that size I’ll tolerate next to my door with any pretence of equanimity. I’m still at variance with Nature coming indoors uninvited. This one respects my space. ;)



That’s a given. :)


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Posey knows how to spend a summer evening!

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Rascal and Dino have been charged with the duty of cleaning up their extensive LEGO collection. Rascal got the idea to store everything by color in our old workbox bins and strawberry baskets. The closable bin bottom right holds minifigure components. The one problem is that while organizing it they also stop to play for half the time…. or decide now that they have all they need of one color, to begin to build that one invention they were going to do that one day… ;)

photo 2

Some interesting minifig combinations. Super Bombur is my favorite. But what’s with the clean-shaven color-block Gandalf? The Spaceman Hobbit? The Yeti Hobbit?

In the mornings that I can get a row in on the rowing machine, the corgyn follow me downstairs. They wait until they hear the beep of the machine coming on and then they come galumphing down the stairs as quick as their stubby legs permit. Then they come over to me and check out the machine. Pippin goes off to chew on whatever LEGOs are on the floor (I do tell him to stop, and he does listen for about five minutes). Merry is the one I can count on for the ultimate in workout time support and encouragement.

"I'm here for you!"

“Yeah, I’m here for you!”

Thanks a lot, buddy!