Row to Rivendell–dusting off the rowing machine

Herein I confess I didn’t touch that rowing machine from last October (my last check-in) until this past Monday. Or rather, if I touched it, it was to keep the thing out of sight of the Christmas festivities or the kids climbing on it.

Well, feeling out of condition and waking with too many backaches prompted me to return to the “Row to Rivendell.”  Also, I gave up the snooze button for Lent and figured this would help. It’s been so long since I posted about this so I’ll recap that I decided to tailor my workout by pretending I’m on a journey so it looks like I’m actually going somewhere. Lots of people do this with a real map, walking/running/riding/biking so you add up the mileage over time and find that you’ve exercised your way to New York City, for example, without leaving town.  I’m joining the merry folk who pretend they’re in Middle Earth (The link below shows how), and when Haus Meister can, he joins me and helps me get a mileage boost. ;) Theoretically, I’m following Bilbo’s trail from Bag End to Rivendell.  And it’s taking years. So anyway….

The first day was fantastic.  I got my morning prayer, my time for reflection, my workout, and my shower all accomplished before the little girls woke up.  That feat was not repeated until this morning.  Suffice to say, some days were better than others.  All in all I accomplished 8.51 miles on my own this week.

According to our virtual atlas….

We’re at mile 149.89.  At mile 149 it says “Camp due south of the Midgewater Marshes.”

And in another 20 miles, I’ll leave those behind for good and finally get farther in my workout regimen than I ever have before.

Yarn Along: Armas continues

The rest of my yarn arrived!

photo 1

It was before I necessarily had to have it, but I’m glad it’s here for when I 2

Sorry for the blurry, grainy iPhone photo. This is a quick look at the front of Armas, scrunched onto the largest pair of circular needles I have.  I’m a row from casting the sleeves onto waste yarn and finishing the front & back, so hopefully next week I can lay it out and show it off a bit better.

photo 3Here’s my mountain of Alafoss Lopi. Think I have enough?  I’m knitting for a rather tall man so ideally this should get me through. :)

My Lenten reading this week: G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy

Yarn Along–finally a picture!

Hello there! The attack of the plague last week delayed my knitting a bit, and as of last night I am about to begin chart row 32.  I was just at or a little over row 37 when the previous sweater disappeared, so I’m thrilled to be practically caught up in less than a month from cast-on.  I’ve made some mistakes but they haven’t required unravelling back to the start (well, except for one early on, like on row 3 of the collar, so that doesn’t really count, right?) and my darling Sunshine girl has had mercy on me and so far has left the project untouched. Sometimes she tries to “help” and pulls the project off the needles in the process.  It also helps that I keep it locked in my room more often than not.


I went ahead and ordered four skeins of the Istex Alafoss Lopi that Haus Meister chose for this sweater.  As we only know of one yarn shop that carries it for sure, and that yarn shop is in another state (he visits it if he’s on outage nearby, hence the reason this type of yarn becomes a Christmas present for me]….. Interesting side note: I just lost my right parentheses/zero key. Could this have anything to do with the toddlers spilling milk on my keyboard last night? Hmmm…  Anyway, I ordered it from The Nordic Store, meaning soon I’ll have a package from Reykjavik, complete with viking helm on the label. Huzzah!


I am thoroughly enjoying “Armas Redux” as I call it and hope I do get it finished before the warmer weather settles in next month.

On the table with Armas (and the roses, and a conch shell picked up on our honeymoon] is a sneak peek of one of the Lenten books I’ve picked out.  Well, it’s not really a Lenten book, but a book I’m going to read when Lent starts next week.  Last week I read a book called “See you in Heaven,” a memoir of a mother of eight written by her daughter.  My mother-in-law picked it up while on a recent retreat.  It was a nice book, a good look at a life of a woman who truly realized the irreplaceable value and dignity of motherhood.

Right now, though, I haven’t picked up any book to read but instead have been doing damage control from the plague, soothing the remaining coughers, trying to knit, and also trying to make sure Lent doesn’t totally sneak up on us.  See you later!

Words from Trooper

Before Christmas I had an inspiration (thank you, Guardian Angel!): instead of having Trooper practice handwriting with random words out of a textbook, I would verbally ask him questions and see if he would respond.

And he did.

So every day we practice and you can see the joy and relief he feels to finally tell us the thoughts in his head. In the following “conversations,” I am speaking to him and he is writing. Sometimes he gives a lengthy answer, and sometimes he gives the monosyllabic response of the 11yr old boy who would really rather not talk right now. ;)

Me: what’s something you want me to make for you?

Trooper: Mac n cheese

(Go figure)

Me: Do you think you want to drive a car someday?

Trooper: yes

ME: what kind?

Trooper: truck

ME: a little pickup truck?

Trooper: yes

Me: Is there a question you’d like to ask me today?

Trooper: How do you spell Indianapolis?

Me: (blinks) um…like that.

Trooper practices typing by emailing his grandparents. One day he began instructing my dad as to what type of yogurt is best. We have a running family joke that Trooper missed our recent bout of stomach virus–and past ones–by a daily quart of plain Dannon.

Trooper: I like yogurt. You will too. Just the plain kind, not the silly kind. The silly kind has fruit in it.

Me: You’re going to see Mr. R (his wonderful speech therapist) today. Would you like to tell me about him?

Trooper: Mr R is my friend and my helper.

And yesterday I asked him something that had been on my mind for years. The answer is what apraxia is like for the boy who has had to live with it.

ME: when you were real little you tried to say some words and then stopped. Do you remember why you stopped?

HIM: I stopped because I couldn’t think of the way to get my words out.

ME: But you had the thoughts, the words all the time?

HIM: yes

Hilarious or heart wrenching, I love these conversations. I love not having to guess what he’s thinking! Because sometimes I have guessed wrong, I’ve found…except about the pickup truck. ;)

Today’s Agenda

1) Be very grateful for a husband who gallantly took over sick bay when the stomach virus hit me last night. This was after two of the kids got sick and before two more fell victim to the plague. Luckily Rascal, who had it first, was definitely on the mend.

2. Pray the remaining three kiddos–plus Haus Meister–dodge it.

3. Laundry (first thing I did this morning was make the trip downstairs to make sure I could do this)

4. Drink Vernors Ginger Ale

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Nine months!

In the past month she’s decided that scooting and crawling sounds good. As a result we are scrupulously sweeping and the floors look awesome. She’s also gotten two more teeth and is starting to outgrow her 12 month clothing (but don’t worry, Aunt Dominique, the outfit you gave her still fits. In fact, she’s still growing into it!).

Sweet sweet Littlest one.