Yarn Along & Recap so far….

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The afternoon sun is out for a moment in between showers of rain.  It’s not very wintry here.  My aunt just posted a picture of snow in Indiana on Instagram, and here I am in the South posting pictures of daffodils.

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Don’t get me wrong; I do wish we had one more good snow before Spring begins in earnest. I wish we hadn’t already had mosquito bites in January.  Overall, though, I’m not complaining because I don’t have to try to drive in the snow. 🙂  If we get more than an inch, none of us go anywhere and we just enjoy the stuff and pray the power stays on. 🙂  Otherwise Haus Meister has to pull the Charles Ingalls routine and chop wood for our wood stove.  I do remember the night he was out at 2am restocking the woodpile because the power had gone down.  How homestead-erish it made me feel!  Ironically, true homesteaders would have had all their wood chopped and near at hand already.  But I digress.

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I finished Haus Meister’s socks/slippers before Candlemas so at least it was technically still in Christmastide. 🙂  I need to work on stitching soles onto slippers but he tells me they are quite comfortable.  I have some yarn I’m going to use for socks for me using the same pattern but without the leather soles.  I enjoyed the pattern a lot.

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My first official project of 2017 ended up being the Antler Toque.  I’m stash busting some Istex Alafosslopi in blue tweed.  Since the dusting of snow around Epiphany reminded me that we are woefully undersupplied in the hats and mittens department, I thought to keep happy doing small quick projects that help me use the yarn on hand.

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This picture was taken last week before I began the cables on the hat.  These are my reads for February.  The Brothers Karamazov is what my sister and I chose to fill the “book of over 600 pages” for our Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 reading challenge.  Some chapters were hard to slog through without Russian v0dka, I’m sure (I didn’t try), but about halfway through I just couldn’t put it down.  Haus Meister kept teasing me about binge-reading, but I was.  I just was.  And then it ended.

Dostoyevsky, if we meet in the hereafter, you must tell me how you were going to wrap up the loose threads at the end of your story. Yes, I do insist there are loose threads at the end of a 718 page novel! The only explanation I can find is that the author was a few months from his own death, but he left one character on the verge of death, and I’d kind of like to know what happened to him.  And two of the others as well! Whom does Alexey marry eventually? What becomes of him?  And Dmitri? Does his plan succeed?  It was the nearest I have come to throwing a book against a wall in a long time–I merely banged the book against my knees. How could it be over at that point?!?!?!  I did actually throw Tess of the D’Ubervilles because it was (in my humble opinion) just awful.  This time, I had come to the end of 718 pages and I wanted a quick epilogue, at least. Note: since writing the above I have learned some editions do have an epilogue; I just happened through frugality to have purchased the one that didn’t. Heh.

Suffice to say, it was a good book.  I’m going over it again, a little more slowly, to see if I missed any clues now that I know how it ends.  Besides, February isn’t over yet.

Different is also a nice book, and definitely not in the same genre as Brothers K, so it’s rather amusing to see them pictured together.  It’s non-fiction and encouraging, like a warm cup of tea from a friend who has been there raising a high needs child.  I have been taking this book slow, reading a chapter every few days, so I’m not finished yet.

In other news….

Happy girls.

Happy boys.  At the end of January, the lads went to Dallas as the support team for Trooper who was due for a trip to his CP specialist.  They had a fabulous time visiting cousins, climbing trees, watching trucks (that’d be Trooper), and seeing the Frontiers of Flight Museum.  Trooper is standing in front of the Apollo 7 capsule.

Trooper is going to be getting new ankle braces soon.  He has totally outgrown his last pair. This guy is growing like a weed!

I’m having fun with a new teapot and new candles, except that one on the right didn’t look as nice once the label was off. It looked like a soft-boiled egg with a wick in the middle. So why did I take a picture of it?  Because I wanted to prove to anyone who heard me vent about it (my mom and sister, mainly), that it looked like a soft-boiled egg.

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This handsome fellow (picture taken by Sunshine), has been busy with more painting.  He did the kitchen, upper half of the basement, and is going to do the classroom in Lowe’s Historic Collection Antique Filoli Lace (which I mention in case I forget and need to look for it again).  The hallway, foyer, and upper living room is rapidly becoming Woodlawn Colonial Gray (from the same collection).

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Better picture forthcoming; this was all I had on my phone.

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As the laundry room was never entirely finished last year, I made up for lost time while the guys were in Dallas and painted the whole in “Craft White.”  It looks so fresh and warm in there now.  These doldrum months between Christmas and Spring is the perfect time to renew the home.  In our case, that usually involves painting, but there it is.

Well, all for now.  Have a great week!

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Remember the days when the messages were embossed on the hearts, and you didn’t have to use Google to know what they said?

 

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Coming into November

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It hasn’t gotten very cold here yet.  Only recently has the temperature dropped near the acceptable level for the wood stove, but we haven’t gotten to light it yet. After a 3week cough jag in September, it took most of the energy to get back to normal, so I finally decorated for Fall in October (a month late).

 

It’s been so dry that wildfires have burned 69 acres of the mountain across the valley from our ridge.  And coming along with the barren dryness of our season here, we have the election tomorrow.  What a malaise has settled on the country’s atmosphere.  I wish with all my heart that the decision rendered tomorrow would be the best for our country.  I cannot see how the current choices offer that promise.  But I never pretended to be one of the Wise who can see all ends.

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General response to election news and robo-calls.

I’m just tending my little corner of the hearth and guiding nine little souls on their path in this crazy world.  The flame we light in our children’s hearts is what will make America great again.  It is the small, quietly kindling flame of love, joy, respect for each other, honesty, fairness, and the rest of those small virtues that need to begin at home. And Faith. Always Faith.  I cling to this, no matter what political season or what party wins.

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An unexpected rainbow in the sky this weekend. Princess called it “the smile of God.”

Now, on to more family news, shall we?

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Our three big girls started attending American Heritage Girls in September.  The picture was taken that day, when the dogwood was still green.  Keeping it real: Sunshine still finds it overwhelming, and we got permission to move her into Miss M’s Pathfinder group.  It was just a better fit.  However, I adore this picture, and Sunshine’s sweet smile.

For Fall Break, Haus Meister took Rascal, Princess, and Dino up to Northern Michigan to visit his grandfather (their great-grandfather).  Granddad turned 99 last month!  It had been about five years since any of us had last seen the cottage on the lake, and the kids made many memories.  Granddad enjoyed conversing with Haus Meister after the kids had gone to bed, and while they were awake, the kids told Granddad all about their lake exploring and even prayed the Rosary with him.  It was truly an “epoch” in their lives.

Cousins came to visit!  Jipped out of a nice cosy family gathering after Rosebud arrived owing to her being in the NICU that time, my mom and my sister brought our nieces and nephew down for some cousin fun over their Fall Break.  The kids had such fun together, despite autumn cleaning.  More memories were made.

On Hallowe’en we had a quick trip to the grocery store where Publix had staff stationed throughout the store offering treats and pumpkins to any costumed trick-or-treaters.  So my sister and I packed up a few of ours and headed out.  Most of these costumes are self-explanatory, although I’ll mention that our niece at the head of the lineup there was Molly McIntyre of Pleasant Company/American Girl fame, complete with doll.  Dino was “Vacation Stormtrooper,” hence the swim trunks.  It is a perfectly legitimate costume; “Vacation Stormtrooper” is a fan-fiction creation of Dino’s own.  Sunshine went out for the candy hunt in the neighborhood, dressed in the dinosaur costume that has seen a few Halloweens now.  We had a merry gathering for dinner, including dear friends and all three of our parish priests.  It was definitely a party to remember.

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November 8 for us means 17 years as a couple.  He was 19, I was 18, we were college freshmen, and our first date was him making me tea on a camp stove at a picnic table in the woods, because neither of us had a car.

So was the charity event Haus Meister and I attended last weekend.  Our church had a fundraiser for our sister parish in Haiti.  There was a silent auction, swing music, wine and appetizers, and the fun of having conversations with other adults from our parish without having to turn around and chase a toddler.  Not that we mind doing that.  They are darling little toddlers, after all. 😉

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Can it stay cold soon?

 

Yarn Along: Raindrop Cardigan on the road!

Two weeks back I wrote about starting the Raindrop Cardigan. Unfortunately I had to frog all my work and restart because I thought I had cast on the correct number of stitches that late night I began and didn’t recount. It ended up I was making a cardigan two sizes too large with a pattern allowing 2-4″ positive ease.

As my three year old says: “Whoopsie.”

So as we hit the road to St. Louis I recast the sweater. I wanted to write about it as we drove, since we traveled on a Yarn Along link-up day, but all you would have seen was this:

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While in St. Louis, Haus Meister let me pick out a Mother’s Day gift here:

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Of course I can’t help myself in these places. I left with a Mother’s Day gift and an Anniversary gift and something rather frivolous.

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I don’t know what this will be yet, but it sparkles. I have at least two girls who will love it.

Meanwhile, I actually haven’t touched my knitting since we arrived home late Sunday, but I unpacked it this morning to help incentivize me. I want to have this finished by next week! (Cue maniacal laughter)

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Reading-wise, I’m perusing curriculum ideas for next year, because somehow it seems the thing to do as this school year scrambles to a finish. I’m highly interested in this social studies course since one of the kids will be studying American history next year. I think the Little House class will make a great supplement.

Happy knitting!

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Ah, at last, at my computer and not trying to do this on my phone! 🙂 We’re scrambling to settle into a routine again, amazed that July should be going by so speedily. Our co-op starts up again on August 6th and I’d like to begin our regular school year around that time. It gets us out in May and also it’s just so humid right now that the kids don’t really want to be outside long unless a pool is involved. Anyway, here’s a look at some things around here since last Thursday. 🙂

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The lighthouse at Portland, Maine.

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Sunshine runs along the beach. She and I could have stayed there all day.

Cabelas! Not in Portland, but as a stopover in West Virginia. The one stop my mom suggested that met with 110% approval from Haus Meister. 😉

Funny

Miss M’s typical face. You can’t help but love it.

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Milestone alert! Climbs stairs (this is the landing of the stairs at the townhome we rented in New Hampshire)…

….and pulls to standing from sitting/crawling position (blurry because she’s wobbly). Can we tell someone is nearly a year old?

The Castle

 

Earlier this month, Haus Meister had to attend a conference HERE. At that beautiful ski resort. So we made another amazing road trip of it, which meant we didn’t actually stay in this glorious building, but we weren’t far. Story of the amazing road trip will be blogged as soon as I conquer the mountain of laundry that inevitably follows any vacation. Anyway, a shuttle bus drove up to our door and whisked Haus Meister away in the morning and brought him back at night. Occasionally, we tagged along. But this building, of which the above is a back view, was enough to provoke awe in the younger set (not to mention those of us who could appreciate 1910 beauty). Case in point:

DINOSAUR: (saying quite matter-of-factly as Haus Meister drove up to the hotel to get our check-in info) The castle is our home now.

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On the last day we were there, Princess got to attend the historical tour (thanks to Grandma and Aunt tagging along with us). She reveled in the luxury, truly to the manor born. Case in point:

PRINCESS: Mama, call me a shuttle.

ME: Um…why do you need a shuttle?

PRINCESS: So I can go to the castle and twirl (twirls for effect–and did I mention she was wearing a tiara?).

ME: Oh, I see. Well, I don’t know about the shuttle, dear. It’s almost your bedtime.

PRINCESS: (aghast) And I don’t have a princess dress!

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Home again, Princess proudly looks at the lunchbox I bought for her homeschool co-op days. Rascal initiates her in the protocol of lunchbox ownership.

RASCAL: See, [Princess], you can use this box when you go on trips to store LEGOS or even food!

(he used his for LEGO storage on this trip)

ME: That’s right.

PRINCESS: Yes! Yes! We can go back to the castle and I can take this with me and I can dance in the castle with a bea-yew-ti-full dress and flowers in my hand!

Before I could respond to this, Dinosaur gleefully adds his two cents.

DINOSAUR: The castle has DONUTS!!!

(I don’t remember that. I guess he does.)