Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yarn Along

I took a break from blogging.

I signed up for the CWBN's Mid-Atlantic Conference, which was last Saturday, and gave myself until then. Until then to just let it go, not try to write or even think about writing. (I am always thinking about writing.) Partly because a break just seemed to make sense in light of the last post. And partly because I'd been struggling a bit about writing here.

The conference was wonderful! I feel refreshed and a bit more purposeful about blogging; I've been reminded why I do it, which was something I really needed. I have a half-completed post about it in my drafts folder as I type this. (Which may mean nothing. Sometimes the draft folder might as well be the garbage bin. ;) But I have determination!! And exclamation points!!!)

In the meantime, I am, of course, knitting and reading.

The blanket is for a baby (not mine!), gender unknown. The book is Dorothy Sayer's Gaudy Night, picked up because Haley and and Christy talked about it on Fountains of Carrots, and the other books they've read together have all been ones I love. I am probably committing some sort of book crime, because I haven't read the other books in the series first; I can tell I am missing out on the depth of Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey's relationship, but it hasn't really given me much trouble. I am enjoying it quite a bit.

Linking up with Ginny as usual.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've been thinking and meaning to write about Lent for ... well, I guess about 40 days. But Lent has been deeply personal for me this year, hard to write about without writing about everything in my heart. I never got around to distilling it in any way.

I will just say that God has planned our Lent in ways we never imagined, doing any and all work Himself; and then came Passiontide.

In the wee hours of the morning on the 22nd--Passion Sunday--the police knocked on our door.

My mother-in-law died in a tragic accident on the evening of Saturday, March 21. It was the most unexpected of deaths.

Michael got sick and started throwing up while the police were there. Keith was already suffering from health issues. And several hours before our family left for the airport, Dominic started throwing up with the same illness Michael had just gotten over, meaning that I had to unexpectedly leave my nursing babies behind for six days while we went to San Francisco. Keith was so ill when we got there that he spent the first day in bed.

And then, the suffering that comes with the death of a parent. With any violent and unexpected death.

I haven't been sure what to write here, in part because I wasn't sure why I'd be writing it. There is so much I cannot say on this blog. But I am telling you for the obvious reasons, I guess--we tell our friends when family members die. And also to ask for your prayers for the repose of her soul, particularly as we approach Easter and Mercy Sunday. There is so much hope in the face of death in this time of the liturgical year. I have so much trust in His timing, and we have encountered much goodness in the face of our sadness.

But please, as you finish reading this, say a prayer for us, and pray for the repose of the soul of Nancy Blum.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Still crocheting flowers! I'm working on purple now--a lovely lavender color called Comfrey. It goes a little slower for me than knitting, because crochet seems to be much less friendly to multi-tasking. You have to look at it. No reading, or watching television (at least not without a lot of pauses to look up). However, I suspect it might just prove perfect for listening to podcasts, so perhaps I should do that today.

I finished Story of a Soul and am now focusing on The Hidden Face. I'm also reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn before bed. I started it a few weeks ago and couldn't get into it, but now am enjoying it quite a bit. Funny that this is the second work of fiction in a row for me that takes place in New York.

This is the first time I've read it, but for some reason I've always thought of this book as one that everyone's supposed to read in high school. Like Catcher in the Rye, or Animal Farm, or what have you. So ... do people read this in high school? Because it seems a bit old to me. Which I guess may not be a bad thing ... but I feel like so many books are read in high school and then never again, which means that so much is missed in them.

The oven timer is beeping at me, and so I must pull my cookies out of the oven. They are Michael's consolation prize for not going to the library today, since I looked at the clock as we started getting socks on everyone and realized it was far to close to naptime. :( Given the choice he would still have preferred the library.

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Seven Quick Takes (23)

1. Well, this has been an exciting week. On Monday Michael tripped and split open his forehead on the corner of a wall. There was blood everywhere. I have a vivid image of him standing in the kitchen trying to wipe blood out of his eyes but not being able to keep up with it as it dripped off his chin onto the floor.

We were able to stop the bleeding pretty quickly, and my mom stayed with the babies while Michael and I rode in the ambulance--a trip he did NOT enjoy. Luckily Keith arrived just in time to help me restrain him while they cleaned and glued the wound. Ugh. :(

Then the next day he picked the glue off. So he's had a huge band-aid every since, and it bleeds a bit every time I change it, but according to the doctor there's not much more to be done about it.

2. The next day we said "bye-bye" to binky. Ever since then Michael refuses to nap, and "quiet time" has been ... not so quiet. I am not ready for this!! I already knew and appreciated how much sanity naptime gave to my day, so this week has been really frustrating. I've had so many projects I'm itching to start and now no time to do anything. Hopefully a new normal works itself out soon.

3. I've been letting him bring books into bed, but what Michael would really love to do is build things with his door shut. And I would totally let him, except that his palaces of blocks and magnetiles or long looping tracks inevitably crash on his wooden floor, waking up his brothers. He is really good at building and puzzles ... I think he's a very spatial thinker.

At my parent's house, and with a little help, but in his signature style.

4. I've been knitting a lot lately but in a very non-committal way, jumping between hexipuffs and crochet flowers and leaves for Michael's blanket. All little parts of larger projects.

5. I've also had some non-knitting projects in the works ... I bought lumber for this table (before naptime ended ...), written up a spring-cleaning to-do list, and hung up teal paint samples in various places ... But it's all mostly on hold until this naptime/quiet time thing is sorted out.

Apparently Keith and I had an agreement some time ago that our kitchen would be white with teal accents, maybe a backsplash. He reminded me of this in dismay when he saw those swatches up on the wall. But I've definitely developed a taste for more color and would like to experiment a little. I think he's right that anything except, perhaps, a very light teal on the walls would be too much. What I'd really like is painted cabinets ... but since ours are laminate, that doesn't make sense. (Well, 75% of them are laminate. This section is wood; another is metal.) Which makes me a little sad. I'm determined to paint something though. Maybe the door frames?

6. I forgot to post about what we ate last week. On Friday and Saturday we had this curry with homemade naan, and other nights we had frozen ravioli with pesto, a quiche with broccoli and carmelized onions, and mushroom soup.

7. This week's meals:

Monday: Honey Lime Sweet Potato Tacos
Tuesday: Clam chowder
Wendesday: Broccoli pizza and mushroom and carmelized onion pizza
Thursday: Out to dinner at Burgatory with my family ... not particularly Lenten ;)
Friday: Fish tacos

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Little Things

I had an idea that I would crochet an Easter garland, and ordered some lovely colors in this yarn. But it's clear that crochet is largely foreign to me. As I happily perused patterns and pictures of various crochet flowers, the one thing that didn't cross my mind was gauge. When the thread arrived and I realized how small a hook I'd be using, my vision had to be revised. The flowers are smaller than I'd like, but they work up quickly and I intend to make a lot of them.

However, lately I've been drawn to my hexipuffs. Another quick and dirty project, and one I don't even have to look at much while knitting. I do need to buckle down on the flowers if I want a garland by Easter, though.

I've been reading a little of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at night, but mostly I've been rereading Story of a Soul and The Hidden Face . I think I will read about Therese's family next, especially since her parents are being canonized soon, and her sister Leonie's cause for canonization was just opened. I've been on a Therese "kick" since reading Shirt of Flame, and I think her autobiography was perfect for me to read right now.

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Friday, February 27, 2015

This Week's Meatless Meals

Another week of (almost) meatless eating!

Twice we ate with other people this week, so we ate what they served us, including the leftovers (my father-in-law sent us home with a HUGE amount of lasagna that made lunches for four days). Rather than being legalistic I simply have focused on preparing meatless dinners on the weekdays when we're home, and avoiding meat myself for lunch unless there are leftovers or something that needs to be eaten. (We often eat meatless lunches around here anyway.)

Saturday: Lasagna at Keith's dad's house.

Sunday: French dip sandwiches (loosely based on the Pioneer Woman's recipe) and a salad.

Monday: Tortellini with alfredo sauce, asparagus.

Tuesday: Cream of broccoli soup from this cookbook, with bread from Loafer's.

Wednesday: Chinese takeout with my family, for my brother's birthday. And birthday cake of course. ;) (I made it from a mix, which I basically never do, but I made chocolate swiss meringue buttercream to go with it, and it was delicious.)

Thursday: Salmon en papillote, with spinach and cream, served over couscous with feta. This sounds super complicated but it's so simple! I learned how to cook salmon this way while I had this cookbook out from the library, and none of the recipes I found online were quite what I remembered, so I fudged it and it turned out fine.

Friday: Enchilada pie. Was planning on making clam chowder, but I decided 1) I need more potatoes to go in it, and 2) I'd like to serve it with bread, and it was too late in the day to make it. So change of plans!

Saturday: We are having guests! The french dip sandwiches were a trial run for serving them, so we'll be repeating those.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Winter Knitting

Oh my goodness, but this is a long book. I stopped by the library today to renew it. I didn't expect to take so long to get through it. But it seems fitting, since I picked it up during the coldest part of winter--it has been so bitter these past few weeks. This book unfolds in a way that is vast and majestic--a particular sort of movement that is well suited to magical realism, I think, although that genre can also be smart and zippy--so it is hard to zip through, but I am certainly enjoying it. I'm hoping to finish it this week ... and maybe it will mean the end of winter? (Yes, friends, winter is still here and strong because I am reading this book. I am sorry.)

These socks. Today is my brother's birthday, and I'd hoped to hand them to him today. It would totally be possible if the kids slept for another two hours. But they have been in bed two hours already and are ready to get up. Sorry, Anthony!

Linking up with Ginny.