Monday, January 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 4

Monday, Monday

It's 10:45 and I'm still trying to finish my breakfast (see apple crisp above)- it's one of those Mondays. When things get moving around here, they really get moving. The goal is to get everyone up, dressed, and eating by 8, with morning chores done between 8:30 and 9:00, followed by everyone hitting the books. There are usually enough new concepts being worked on that I'm busy moving from one kid to another almost constantly for an hour or two (or three...), interspersed with nursing the baby and training the 2 year old not to scream every time something doesn't go her way.
I am on a constant quest for organization helps and ideas. I've created my new planner page for this year and have instituted the MIT concept - loving that!
Todays MITs:
  1. Plan week's menu (it's Monday already, I know...)
  2. Write out grocery list, e-mail it to husband
  3. Spend an hour on the next step in current design project

If I can get those done, then, well, I will have managed to get 3 things done; 3 things that could easily be put off and forgotten about causing frantic freezer searching for a crummy supper (and the guilt that comes with that), continued barrenness in the kitchen cupboards (more guilt), and prolonged breathing down my neck for my overdue design (even more guilt)... Do you see the stress and anxiety I can avoid by getting my MITs done?!


I'm also hoping to dehydrate a few dozen more apples! I love dried apples to snack on. We were gifted with 3 huge boxes of apples that need to be used up quickly (thanks again theblondeknitter!) I spent much of saturday processing 16 half pints and 3 full pints of apple butter! That's probably more apple butter than one family needs... I also managed to dehydrate 3 quart bags of apples and cook up a couple quarts of applesauce (with a liberal dose of cinnamon), bake an apple crisp, and several dozen sugar cookies- they have nothing to do with apples, but I was kind of on a kitchen roll.

I've got another pot of applesauce stewing, six racks of apples drying, and am planning on trying out an apple spice cake recipe tonight. It's been way too cold, but we've had some sun most every day lately, and that's almost like spring, isn't it? Spring brings me energy, and apparently so does spring like sun on a cold winter's day. I'll take it.

The only downside to sun induced (and free produce induced) bursts of energy would be the way it cuts into my knitting time, hehe. If this keeps up, the legwarmers I'm working on won't be ready until next winter. The two February birthday hats I've got on my list? Well, I'm gonna need a couple of overcast days next week.

I've got a couple *free* patterns that I'm hoping to post by the end of the week- a simple cotton baby hat, a soft and simple scarf in the brushed suri, and a fun washcloth. Maybe if I announce it to the world, I'll be more likely to actually get around to doing it. Ya think? That's the theory I'm testing... I'm also hoping to get the Girly Wrist Warmers written up in a couple sizes, including one for Mom, and posted soon. Fun stuff.

It's now 1:30- Back to the daily grind.

  • Organizing/cleaning/decluttering Zone 5 this week.
  • Today's work- clear off piano top, clean/dust mantle, & declutter computer desks.
  • Toddler needs a nap
  • Teenager needs to do some Algebra
  • Somebody needs to vacuum
  • Some more reading should get done

And knitting, there should be some knitting.

Enjoy this day,

happy knitting-

ali

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays 1, 2, & 3

I missed the first 2 Wednesdays, oh well, don't sweat the small stuff, right? This is one of those times to apply flylady's "You are never behind. Jump in where you are." happy thought.
I like, no, love, the idea of Project365, but I'm forgetful, and just plain busy, busier than many, I dare say. I do like to take pictures though, mostly of my kids, and mostly every day, so I think I ought to be able to handle once a week.

Baby boy is 3 months old today- wow, what a whirlwind. He is such a sweet baby, so full of smiles, you know, the contagious kind.

Enough words, the rest should be/may be wordless...

Enjoy this day-
ali

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warming Up From the Inside Out


Oh my, another subzero day. I really could use a good grocery run, but that would require going outside, so today I'm thankful for a stocked pantry & full freezer- I can live without fresh produce for a few more days. (Fewer errands = more knitting time!)

I have enough fixin's for many batches of homemade cocoa mix (thanks, Alton!). That is how we warm up on the inside around here, that, and a good batch of soup, like this Salsa Chicken Black Bean Soup- I'm pretty sure I need to make that again tomorrow, as we are still looking at high temps in the single digits, at least it'll be above zero. It's a start. Baby steps.

(The cocoa recipe says to fill the mug half full of the mix, a third is plenty creamy... and if you read the reviews you'll find that this is NOT super sweet, like store mixes, but it is rich and creamy. We did increase the powdered sugar by a cup... oh, and it's really good with crushed candy canes, I'm just sayin', oh, and don't leave out the cayenne pepper, seriously.)


Version 1.0 of my Little Girly Mits are almost done, and I have at least one little girly chomping at the bit, but I have a couple quilt squares to get knocked out by Saturday morning if I ever hope to catch up on my Block of the Month Club, so... we'll see...

Stay warm,
Happy knitting-
ali

ps- in keeping with my video clip kick, have you seen this?! Totally amazing. Mind bogglingly amazing. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Play 1.0

You know it's cold out when-

video

That's what happens when very hot water meets sub-zero temps...

Oh, my goodness, it's painfully cold out there, dangerously cold out there- I'm not going out there, anymore, at least until tomorrow, 'cause, you know, it's supposed to get up to -5.

I finally got around to taking a couple pics of one of the last projects to come off the needles in 2008, well, I got around to having my 9 yr old budding photographer son take a couple pics.





Pattern: Evangeline, Raveled here.

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino, Leaf Green

Main mod: Did mine on a Reverse Stockinette Stitch background

It seems just about every one and their neighbor has made a pair of these. I do wish I'd read more comments on Ravelry regarding lining up the cables with the ribbing before casting on. I was well into my first one when I realized that they hadn't lined up at the beginning. This probably would never have bothered me, because I probably never would've noticed- I can be like that sometimes. But once I had noticed, there was no leaving it be. I was too impatient to rip and start over, it would be 'eh, good enough' (family mantra) to be lined up on the hand, where more people will see... I considered starting out the second one lined up, but then they would be different, and that just couldn't be, no way, no how- I can be like that, too, sometimes.

They fit just right (I love it when that works out) and they're coming in handy right about now, as an added layer to my 99 cent little stretchy gloves...

All in all, a pleasurable knit. So much of my knitting time is spent designing that it's just nice to sit back and follow a pattern instead of having to think so much sometimes! That being said, if I were to make another pair, I'd add in a true thumb gusset, I do enjoy me a good gusset now and then, and probably a different cable, and, then, with my Rev St st mod, well, it'd be a completely different fingerless glove- off to the designing board, I think. I've got some great new mystery yarn just calling to be some funky new fingerless mitts.

Speaking of designing, I've got a little girls' set on the needles now, and a couple little girls hoping they're done soon! Better get on that...

Here's hoping you're warmer than I am right now! (-27 F)

Happy knitting-

ali

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Slow Start to a New Year

I played the piano tonight until my hands and wrists ached. I haven't been playing much lately, so it didn't take that long... Playing the piano is one of those things in life that make me happy, one of those things I'm trying to do more of these days, things that make me happy, that is. I've spent weeks, knowing the year was ending, knowing the time of fresh starts was drawing near, thinking, for the brief moments I could find in a house with 7 children and the never-ending to-do list that comes with that, about things I'd like to do, things I'd like to change, things I'd like to improve, things like cutting down on the number of 50+ word run-on sentences I write each day... Just kidding, I have no plans to change that. I write the way I speak, and, apparently, I can run on and on.
I've created a daily planner page, and instituted the MIT idea, Most Important Things. My daily to-do list can get to be a bit (totally) unrealistic, but I need to list all those things, or I'll forget they need doing. At the top of my page go my 3 MITs- if I can just manage to get those done, I can feel I've accomplished something (even if I have to move the rest of the day's list onto the next day's).
I bought a new 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" calendar to carry with me. It was almost audibly calling my name. The cover is the green in my blog header, and the pages have this faint green swirly vinelike floral motif. It was made for me, and it was half-price. That's almost my favorite price.
I'm recommitted to conquering my clutter (stash is NOT clutter). You should see the piles of clothes and shoes that are going out my door. Someone remind me that the next time I see some shirts for my kids on clearance for $1.87, that I/we/they don't need one (or 2) in every color... It's not really saving money if you buy 10 shirts you weren't planning on buying... ehem.
I have a few projects, for others, to finish up, and then I have some personal projects to tackle. I have several designs partially completed, and several patterns partially written, and have been waiting for that 'someday' that I'll 'get to it' to happen along, and, well, those days don't just happen, do they? Nope. Not for me. I'm hoping with some new wind in my sails I can make a few of those 'somedays' come my way. Make, as in, make the effort to get some more things done.
Spring is on its way. Yes, I know, it was 1o degrees this morning, but I could still see outside for a few minutes after 5pm- that is progress. Spring is productivity inspiring, and for me, even the thought of spring on a sunny winter day is enough to get me moving. I moved 2 dressers today, to 2 girls' rooms, and even put clothes in them. If I can get the rest of their closets sorted through and arranged yet this week, I will feel domestically successful. (There were recent room changes, rooms painted, woodlike floors put in 2 rooms, etc... and things have been a little scattered since...) 15 minutes at a time. It can be done.
As for knitting, well I have a couple new projects off the needles, but no good pictures, so I'll leave you with anaction shot of some of my kids- watch the 3 yr old...

video

Happy knitting-
ali
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