Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{yarn along}

After putting in a few rows bit by by, I'm a few inches further on the Lovey Dovey, almost to the point where I get to start adding the top. I'm excited that it's looking to be much closer to Lotte's actual size than the last one I had to frog. It's looking like it will realistically fit an 18 month old this winter-perfect.
The boys have expressed that they would each like a hat this autumn, so I pulled out the leftover fisherman's wool from my Dad's scarf and started on one. I don't have a pattern i'm really following, but I'm only making a pretty basic hat. I haven't decided though if I want to make the hat tall enough that the ribbing can flip up or not...i'll play it by ear.
If I run into any major snags I'll most likely pull up a pattern that seems similar to what i'm attempting and look for help.

I've been reading bits and pieces of
"free range knitter" and it cracks me up. The stories are heartwarming, and genuinely funny. I had never heard of these books until last week at our needle night a friend brought them because she was finished with them and wanted to pass them on. They're perfect for a quick late night read  when i'm waiting for Lotte to settle.

playing along with ginny

Monday, August 27, 2012


writing this post whilst under sleeping babe
the sleeping babe who seems to be nocturnal
this weekend was void of stretches of slumber greater than one hour
but there are 2 new teeth coming through, so hopefully this passes
an evening coffee house and open mic night 
where zeke played "here comes the sun", beautifully
a campfire, complete with marshmallows and hot dogs
a bit of reading from this
book that a friend passed on at our knitting night last week
-short stories that warm my heart, just what i needed

lemon poppy seed loaf with way too many poppy seeds
the bag spilled right into the batter
which is a good thing if you ask my mom
a few inches of stockinette stitch on charlotte's lovey dovey
some pattern hunting for an idea of what to do with some new wool

a wedding celebration with childhood friends
washing and stemming and canning bushels of tomatoes
that's right, i don't bother skinning them
lotte helped squeeze the tomatoes for me
she thought that to be a very important step to the whole process
church with family
feeling my sister's babies kick
learning that they might be coming sooner than we thought
a bit of shopping for shirts that don't have baby stains on them
working up the nerve to wear one around the baby, ever
some back to school shopping
a purchase of 120 cahiers at 5 cents a piece
no, they aren't all for our family
a tiny leap of joy in my heart that my kids aren't actually going anywhere 
but will be continuing to learn at home and outside like they always do
watching mark and the boys build a little seat in our tree so they can pretend to hunt
with their bows and (rubber ended)arrows
a strange neighbor who really did think that the boys were going to hunt (and kill?) his cats
and who was angry that the boys now had a seat in our tree

because they would now be up there even more than they were before
and he doesn't really like children
especially children who do things like climb trees
trees that overlook a tiny portion of said neighbor's yard
because someone has to be the antagonist, I suppose
we told the nice (embarrassed) policeman that no, there is no real hunting happening
he showed up right as we were headed out to church

it was all very tom and huck
but now I want to send them up the tree with a kazoo and a trumpet

because I can

Friday, August 24, 2012

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A New Italian Wedding

I've always been a soup lover-I could probably live on it for the rest of my life and be quite content.
I'll admit, sometimes in the middle of the summer it does feel a little too warm for soup, but I can't seem to go very long without making some anyway. The second I see a hint of a thunderstorm headed our way, or the first signs of autumn, I start thinking about all the soup recipes I want to try.

A lot of the time though, soup is a way for me to cook a seemingly well rounded meal even if I desperately need to go grocery shopping and feel like we hardly have anything in the house to cook with.
There are some frozen, and dry pantry staples that I almost always have stocked that often end up in a soup of some sort.
Last week I made this soup for our family and it went over really well, even with the little miss. We were all pretty surprised by how closely it tasted to the Italian Wedding soup from East Side Mario's. (one of our favorite restaurants.)

The ingredients are unconventional, but they work surprisingly well in this traditional soup.
And the best part is that it cooks up really fast, without much work at all.
Of course you could make this with ground pork or ground beef, but the point of this was total convenience, using common freezer ingredients, and NOT having to thaw ground meat, break out the bread crumbs and roll out a bunch of little meatballs.

All you need is:
Chicken stock (or water and bouillon powder)
6 frozen hamburger patties (plain, not the grilled, smokey flavoured kind. Can even be turkey, or veggie burgers)
2 blocks of frozen spinach (about 4 cups of chopped spinach, fresh, frozen or canned.)
1 chopped onion (optional) 
Tiny pasta, like orzo or Acini de Pepe (I've even done this with brown rice.)
Dried basil and garlic powder and black pepper for seasoning
Lemon juice or vinegar
Parmesan cheese for garnish

I know, the hamburger patty thing seems really weird, but hear me out.
A while back, my husband and I hit up a sale at a local gourmet grocery store and bought frozen hamburgers, only $5 for 20. Twenty! and with the prices of ground beef right now, that's a steal.
We bought 4 bags to feed to the deep freezer, thinking that they'd be great in a pinch, and we were planning several bbqs this summer.

Fast forward a couple of months...I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner one night. I realized that we had everything to make chili but beef, turkey, (ground meat of any kind.)
I often even use textured vegetable protein (aka TVP)  in chili, but we were out of that as well.

Then I had a flash back to my college days when I remembered scavenging my freezer and using a veggie burger patty to make a two serving pan of vegetarian chili. I remembered the bags of frozen hamburgers in our basement freezer and grabbed some.
It worked so well in the chili that I used it the next week in pasta sauce, and then in soups etc.

Here's how it works:

Take the 6 frozen beef, turkey or veggie patties, and put them in your pan. Add about a 2 quarts of stock (or water if you're going to do the bouillon method.) Boil those suckers over medium heat until they're cooked through, and even a little overcooked.
Use a potato masher to break them up into tiny, pebble sized pieces. This is a great job for an eager-to-help child. 
And yes, you *could* use a knife, but the potato masher is actually easier. (and depending on your pan, you might scratch it while using the knife. And if you wanted to avoid that, you'd have to remove the patties and get out a cutting board and then this would involve way more work than it's supposed to, so just go with it. Use the potato masher!)

Throw in your onion, 3 more quarts of stock, spinach (drain it if you're using canned), 
3 tbsp of basil (yes, lots. Even more if you have the spunk. More basil will not ruin this soup.)
2 tbsp of lemon juice, or vinegar (the lemon juice is best, but the vinegar will do.)
Garlic powder-this is up to you, it just depends on how much garlic you like. I did about a 3 tsp for the whole pot. I like it best if I can taste the basil more than the garlic.

Bring this to a boil, make sure that the spinach is broken up and completely defrosted if you started from frozen.
Add 1.5 cups of the pasta and return to a boil until the pasta is cooked through. (If you use brown rice, use only 1 cup, and you'll need to boil it a little longer.)
You could add more pasta if you like, but it will be less brothy-so it really just depends on you, and how thin or thick you like your soup.

I usually fine tune the seasonings at the end, adding pepper, more bouillon if needed, sometimes more lemon juice etc.

Serve, and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil if you're lucky enough to have it!

Enjoy! (and let me know how you liked it!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yarn Along

I'm happy to have finally re-cast on the Lovey Dovey- I had to frog the last one because it was running way too large. 
The pattern suggests a size 10 needles, but I brought it down to a size 6 needle, and now it looks to be about the right size for an 18 month old. (Although, i'm following the pattern for a 9-12 month old).
I don't think I have terribly loose stitches or anything, and I don't normally have things turn out so swimmingly large. So i'm convinced that it's not just me. 
Also, Cordelia mentioned to me that she had the same problem wit hers, so I don't feel so bad now.
I'm finished that somewhat tricky (to me) hem and i'm on to the stockinette stitch for the next 8 or so inches up. Easy peasy portable knitting, the kind that I like to take with me everywhere, and easy to do while watching baby.
Someday i'll have time for learning trickier stitches...I keep telling myself this.

I haven't been reading much lately, I do want to dive right into a good book, more than anything. 
However, our littlest has been a few cute dimples short of horrid at night for the last while- And she's not much for napping.
It's getting better, slowly. 
Once I start getting a couple hours in the evening I'll be able to start reading a real book again.

In the meantime, I've started jotting down my evening  ideas, thoughts and prayers again. (I don't know why my best creative thinking comes to me late at night, but it always has.)

I used to do this all the time-in fact it was a crucial process I had to go through in order to fall asleep. I felt like I couldn't go to sleep until some of it was on paper. 
Sometimes in the morning, it looks ridiculous because it was written in the dark, or because the idea or thought that I had was written with only half my wits present.

I've been having some anxiety lately though, some baby related, some just me, and as if that doesn't make sleeping hard enough, I also have just been laying awake even when babe is sleeping because I feel like she's going to wake up at any second and i'll have to get up and go put her back to bed.
I have a hard time relaxing enough to fall into slumber and spilling thoughts out on paper has been therapeutic.

Monday, August 20, 2012


This weekend was...
not sleeping in...poop
iced coffee, and iced coffee again
teething woes
slobbery cuddles
indian food
being bitten by the littlest person, a lot
a few rows of knitting
goofy songs on a porch swing 
some early christmas shopping while the boys were with mamaw and papaw
a trip to ikea for cupboard door safety latches
sunday morning church, surrounded by babies
walking babies, babies learning to sit, babies starting to crawl
paper dolls with my very imaginative four year old niece...who told me that i'm yellow and should never wear red. point taken, thank you, eva
a roll in the sandbox with my very delightful, and oh so simple little nephew
another trip to ikea, this time for lunch much to mark's displeasure, but he was a good sport
supper on the back porch, and chocolate cake
a good roll in the grass with all the kids

joining Amanda in weekending

Friday, August 17, 2012

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

{Yarn Along}

This past weekend I finally finished up on my rae, I don't have it blocked yet though so I didn't bother to photograph it for this week. Next week! I've never blocked anything (I normally don't knit anything very large...), so that will be new.
I had to frog the
lovey dovey, it was coming out so big that I didn't think Lotte would wear it until she was probably 4. I'm going to go down a needle size and see if that helps. I'm excited to start it over again, because it was looking really cute before I realized just how wide it looked.

I started on these little mice for my sister's babies that will be arriving sometime this fall.

 *yes, another sister of mine is expecting multiples, just in case you think "deja-vu"! *

These little suckers are the tiniest things that I've ever knit. Normally I'd crochet something this small without a second thought, but wowee, these were a bit of a learning curve.
My wooden double pointed needles just didn't seem small enough for some of those ssk's.
After I relaxed a bit though, the pieces got a bit easier, and my stitches got a little looser, which helped a great deal.
I've finished up a head, a body, two feet, and one ear. The feet were the strangest things I've ever knit. It works in a knit, slip, knit, slip, knit type pattern. And in the end you have two sides, and the whole thing turns inside out. That was a surprise!
(I'm sure all you knitting pros are laughing at this right now, but It really did amaze me!)

I can't wait to get these little guys assembled, they're so cute! I'm not making the entire mobile in the pattern though, just the little mouses.

I haven't done much reading other than patterns this week, but Lotte sure has.

 I had to remedy the situation by packing the books in so tightly that she can no longer pull them out. She's a little miffed at me, but I think she'll get over it.

Monday, August 13, 2012


This weekend was: 

the celebration of a 1 year mile stone for my sweet little niece and nephew I can't believe how far they've come
yummy birthday cupcakes
More rain, this time without the thunder
a trip to the asian grocery store that turned out to be a bit of an adventure
we were chased to our car by a somewhat psychotic, screaming employee for bringing the cart out of the store. apparently that's a no-no. who would have thought?
snuggles with a sweaty little girl and two even sweatier little boys
a really late night supper of homemade pad thai that was well worth the trip to the militant grocery store
folding of laundry this never ends, does it?
church with family, followed by even more birthday cake for my brother in law
some thrift store finds
watching the closing ceremony of the olympics while we made supper, and wondering how queen was still really queen without freddie
this debate inspired a few impersonations
which then led to drawing goofy faces on bananas 
the bananas were the tiny kinds, but taste like chalk-at least they're good for doodling
supper outside in the back yard at dusk
an evening family walk before bedtime- I think we'll be doing this more often.

Monday, August 6, 2012


This weekend was:
more thunderstorms, but without much needed rain

iced Popcorn tea which I think is amazing-If you could put a state fair into a cup, this is what it would taste like. Mark finds it disgusting though...too bad for him!

purging many of the contents of our basement, making the basement much more enjoyable

ending a hot day by spending an evening in a hot tub with a broken heater- i suppose that's a cold tub?

the ripping of more magazines- that's right, i'm still going

a new tooth cut through for a certain little someone

a few rows of knitting

lack of sleep thanks to the little miss & possibly due to more new teeth ...this too shall pass

bird watching and nest spotting

some inspiration for some art projects for when I have more time to complete such endeavors

an annual family reunion with goofy games, but even goofier participants

freshly painted toenails yes, this matters

fresh tomatoes from mamaw's abundant garden

a new tomato eater in the family, who tested out her new teeth, and doesn't even mind having seeds stuck to her chin

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yarn Along

I was beyond giddy when I found this sweet book in the bargain bin at my favorite local yarn store.  I already have another one of Susan B. Anderson's books, "itty bitty toys", which i'll admit, I haven't actually made anything from just yet. It's not because I haven't wanted to though. The desires are there, it's the skills, you see, that are not. 
I'm still a knitting newbie, but i'm slowly getting the hang of all this, and patterns are starting to make sense. I've always been a hands on, visual learner, so reading about how to do something is a little bit confusing.

My knitting this week was actually rather productive; i've finally gotten comfortable enough that I can put my knitting down if need be, to chase baby, or remove random objects from her mouth etc. Before, I couldn't put anything down mid-row without having a small, but very real panic attack. I'm also able to knit without looking at my work non stop, providing i'm just knitting or purling, which makes it a lot easier to knit at the same time as minding the baby.

I'm just over half way on the
rae, thanks to sweet Rachel for helping me understand the decreases. The pattern had me a touch confused, thinking that the increases and decreases would end up on opposite sides, which wouldn't make much sense.

The yarn i'm using is a little bit odd. It changes consistency in thickness and colour, so some spots end up looking much more lacy than others. It almost looks like I used self-striping yarn.
 I don't mind too much for this project, because it's just a scarf. But if this were something else i'd be a little annoyed. I love the colour though.

I also started the "lovey dovey" that i've been seeing everywhere. I fell head over heels for this sweet little shirt (or dress, depending on how long you make it) and wanted so badly to make this for Lotte for her first birthday. I decided to make it in turquoise, and a buttery yellow for the bodice and hem line. Rather than a heart, I might do her initial, but i'm not sure.

The hem was a bit confusing, but now that i've done it, I get it, and I really like the look of it! I had to call a friend on that one too, to help clarify exactly what I was supposed to do. I'm a little freaked out by the bodice, but i'm not going to worry about it just yet. 

Lastly, I made the head portion of this little mouse last night. I don't want to make the entire mobile, but I do want to have a few little mice for baby gifts.
I'm not going to do any more though until I get some metal double pointed needles (or tiny circulars). Doing this tiny little guy on bamboo with slightly blunt needles nearly made me throw in the towel. Some of the stitches on the decreases were really hard to pull through.

I also get to learn to make I-cord for the arms and legs, something I haven't done before. I'm slightly tempted to just crank some out on my little i-cord machine, but I do want to learn, and it doesn't look terribly difficult, so now is as good of a time as any. However, I think i'd better finish a couple projects that are in the works first!
::yarning along with Ginny ::