Monday, March 31, 2008


It might not be such a big deal to some of you, but I shipped my first Etsy order overseas today, to Luxembourg, to be exact. I was pretty excited.

I like to imagine the recipients, in my hats, warm and happy, skipping down some grassy lane hand in hand (yes, my visions are usually this sappy). My hands have touched every stitch and inch of these hats, and I like to think a little of me is in each one. I've never been to Luxembourg and don't expect to ever go, but now a piece of me has, and it gives me a good feeling.

I'm also reassured that I should still list cold weather gear in the shop for those in colder climates and in the southern hemisphere. Hopefully this will be just the beginning of more international shipping.

Meanwhile it's back to the routine around here. Two off to school today and I think it's safe to say the mono is finally gone, so things seem back to normal. Unfortunately for Allie that means no one to play with but mommy and the 18 year old girl working at the library today, but she's managing. She's played Lite Brite using a metal clip to pick up all the pieces with (that was interesting), gathered together yet another little box and filled it full of her "treasures", colored, played with this and that, and overall managed to hide her sadness until the meltdown as we left daddy and grandma at the barn/business next door. I found the panacea: Spongebob Squarepants. She's a big fan. Her wait is almost over, the bus should be here soon.

Friday, March 28, 2008


My friend came for her two day visit with her two boys and although we didn't plan a whole lot, somehow it feels like we packed a weeks worth of activity into that short amount of time. Kids are dropping like flies around here, my eyes are more bloodshot than they've been in I don't know how long and our appetites seem to have doubled.

I'm too tired to recount the whole visit and that's probably a good thing, because words can't do justice to what it felt like to have one of my dearest friends in town. I am happy, I'm sad, my heart goes with her on her difficult journey ahead, and I pray for her. I pray for the boys. I look to the summer when we'll meet up again, when John will jump right back in to the pack they make, and the girls will run giggling after.

Today I have no pictures for you, for those I'll send you over to a new blog/etsy friend who was nice enough to include me in some of their picks for today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Post park

Yes, that is John who fell asleep on the school papers he missed from being out last week.

A good nap was just what mommy ordered.

I should be vaccuuming

It's the day before my friend and her boys arrive for their visit and I still have some work to do. I'm not going to try to make the house perfect, that notion disappeared three kids ago, but I want her to feel welcome in our home, not welcome to a disaster area.

But instead, the house is quiet, the kids are finishing a movie they started last night and it got too late to finish, I'm sitting here in my little (very old) chair, checking what I usually check on the internet, sipping coffee and starting baby booties. John affectionately dubbed my little corner "the lair of the knitting lady" a while back. Where do they get that stuff?

I don't have a separate studio (oh how I would love a studio), but rather this corner of our bedroom with my chair, shelves and the computer. There is another duplicate set of shelves in the hallway. That's it. That's where all my knitting things reside. Finished products and what I haul to shows and markets are in big plastic bins (cat proof) inconpsicuously between the wall and bookshelves in the sitting room with the woodstove downstairs. Since knitting is portable, the entire house then becomes my work area. I can even take it outside, so I guess I should be thankful that I'm not confined to just one spot.

The yarn I'm using is that which was designated for my second sundance sweater. Remember that from a month or two ago? I hereby will no longer complain about never knitting anything for myself. I had the yarn, I even started the project, but it stalled just long enough for me to become uninspired. Then the though crept in: oh what beautiful baby hats and booties all that yarn would make! So I started last night:

My first knitting love is the baby hat. So simple yet so pleasing. This one will eventually be embellished, either with a simple applique from my girls old outgrown cotton dresses, or perhaps some soft pink polka dots, I have yet to decide. There will be a boy version as well. I have plenty of yarn.

Now you see why I HAD to start a knitting business. My kids are no longer babies. I love making baby hats and booties. There aren't enough people getting pregnant around me to keep up with the number of hats and booties I want to make. Simple solution: sell them. From this I've learned a important point, that perhaps what I'm really after IS the process, not the product. Whew, that's a relief.

Enough introspection, I need to now show you that I'm not the only crafty one in the house. Recently Kevin has taken up tying flies. It was a shocker to me too, especially since he generally poo-pooed the whole fly fishing genre, that was until he received a really nice fly rod from his dad last year at Christmas. He's slowly warmed to the idea and the fly tying is a natural progression. When he asked me if I had an extra crochet hook he could have I nearly fell over laughing. "You see," he said, "there's alot of similarity between what you do and tying flies. All these old guys who tie flies have wives at home who knit and crochet and they borrow their things." I'm dumbfounded. Those of you who know Kevin are a little bit too.

Showing off his second finished fly:

We will go to the park later. 70 degrees and sunny will not be wasted on us. But for now, I'm off to vaccuum. See ya!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Knitted bunnies were finished, chocolate, peeps and light sabers (yes, light sabers) assembled and an egg hunt at grandmas ensued, all the perfect ingredients for a happy Easter for the kids.

They still believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. John gets a little skeptical from time to time but hasn't yet realized who's behind some of his favorite holiday moments. I thought the bunnies I made would have sparked some doubt, but instead they believe he took them out of my knitting stash.

It's the first day of spring break and we don't have a whole lot going on. It's a good thing. I like having time to breathe and let the kids play. The big event of the week will be a visit from a long time friend who lives out of town. She's coming with her two boys and staying Thursday and Friday. So I'm planning a few outings, meals, a picnic, some time on the go-cart and tractors; the usual.

Perhaps one of the more interesting parts will be sharing 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms between the eight of us. The girls share a bedroom and so John will "camp out" with them, and my friend and her boys will share John's room. Luckily though the bedrooms are few, they are big and if we can clean up the Legos they should have plenty of room.

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with an old friend and adult conversation. When we get together every year or so it seems there's never enough time to catch up and say all we want to say. It used to be a daily occurence when she lived here and we were in school together, but distance and families of our own have changed that.

The kids got a little treat today when I gave them access to my camera. You would have thought I said we were going out for ice cream. I needed some new pictures of my belts to go in the shop and I'm completely impressed with what they can do at age 4, 6 and 7 1/2. A little cropping goes a long way!

I thought they would have gone a little crazy taking pictures of each other, but they seemed satisfied with just belts. I'm so glad I no longer have to wrangle taking these pictures by myself, but the comments about my butt I could have done without!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Favorite parts

Every night at dinner for at least the past year and a half or so, our family participates in what we call, "favorite parts". It evolved from the need to include everyone in the family dinner conversation because some had a tendency to talk more than others. Imagine that! Anyone can initiate it at any time during dinner or if we happen to forget, while we're cleaning up the dishes. We raise hands, take turns and each night we all think of at least one favorite part of the day. Sometimes we also recount our least favorite parts or "worst parts" as the kids like to say. But they each find it a personal triumph if they have nothing bad to report.

It provides us with time to share, and each part is usually a conversation starter in and of itself. There is also time to show our family solidarity. When someone is sick or has been wronged that will usually be their worst part and one by one we each chime in that their sickness or the great injustice is our worst part as well.

Yesterday after Lauren came home from school she was sitting and reading to me. She tired and so I finished for her and I realized that since she and John have learned to read, they'd done most of the reading and it had been a while since I'd read to all three. I pulled out an old favorite of mine and opened it to uncertain stares but once I started they were mesmerized.

These poems make me smile, laugh, cry, dream and imagine. I'm always astonished by the author's immense imagination and rhythm, irony and sense of play. It reminds me of childhood and that silliness is good and all things are possible. My all time favorite has to be "LISTEN TO THE MUSTN'TS" and I share it below:

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

And so yesterday, sitting there on our bed, cuddled up with my three little ones at the 4 o'clock hour that's usually the craziest of the day, that calm magical moment was most definitely my favorite part.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Even without a calendar, you know it's Spring around here when these start to bloom all around the house:

I have no idea what this plant is called, I looked it up once but have since forgotten. It's not really a bush or babies breath, but long individual stick-like projections out of the ground with an explosion of tiny white flowers. They're taller than I am! It blooms at the same time as forsythia and the equally beautiful flowering quince here. I love the fact that not only is the house old, but so are all the plantings around it. The purple iris are ancient as are the tiger lillies and the damson plum trees. We also have an apple tree that's as tall as the house and a trunk that takes two people to reach around. Somewhere pruning fell by the wayside.

Appropriately, this first day of Spring is Lauren's actual birthday. One of her doctors actually nicknamed her "miss merry sunshine" after just meeting her, which matches her disposition exactly. She and the white flowers above have alot in common. They way they reach up to the sky makes me so hopeful for the mild weather to come.

Also arriving this week was the flu. John has been out of school all week and will miss tomorrow as well. Nothing like a two week long spring break! I'm in germ control mode with hand washing and "magic soap" as the kids call it, and failing miserably. Yesterday, despite his temp of 101, John and Allie were having what they call EGG WAR. It's a new phenomenon. In years past the kids would spend hours staging mini Easter egg hunts in the house with plastic buckets and eggs. This year the game has morphed into putting the buckets on their heads as helmets and pelting each other with the eggs. Hence the name, egg war.

Another arrival,

I can't stop making these. I'm mulling over a bracelet idea and will probably end up making a much bigger pendant as well.

Also, on the needles are some more bunnies. I ended up selling the first three I made for the kids (what kind of mother does that?) so now I'm finishing the ones I'll actually give the kids on Sunday. I'm glad it worked out that way because I think it's best to give each of them their own color. John gets the masculine gray, Lauren the blue below (her favorite color) and Allie will get cream or pink, I haven't decided.

Happy Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When it all comes together

I've been making crocheted pendants, crocheting with wire and beads for some time now, but have wanted to do it using softer materials. Today on the way home from the preschool run, I pictured a new style of necklace accomplishing just that and here you have it.

I've seen crocheted necklaces in Garnet Hill magazine that of course are quite pricey and wanted to put my own spin on a very old idea. The pendant itself is domed, which I love (and you'll see), and completely crocheted as well as the body of the necklace making it a very organic and simple piece. I used a super strong nylon cord which is practically indestructible with regular wear, but is feminine just the same.

What I love the most though is the back. Of course.

The necklace is 17" long and the pendant is just under 1" wide. I love to play with color, as you can probably tell from my knitting, and these don't disappoint. When I was done with #1, I'd already planned #2:

And #3 is already strung. It's going to be a darker turquoise with a green pendant. One is up in the shop already, and the other two aren't far behind!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Party Girl

She started out excited but still fairly calm,

But I think the sugar and gaggle of giggly girls got to her,

It seemed like they all had fun. Some cried when it came time to leave. There were some moments of whining and "I need help!" with our little egg project, all of which went away when I announced that they didn't have to be perfect. I guess that need starts early in some.

The opportunity to spend this time with Lauren and her friends (she moved to a new class in January) gave me a quick education. The personalities of the girls were so apparent as well as the group dynamic, and many of my questions were answered, like, "Why all the baby talk? Ohhh, I get it, because all the girls in your class do too!" I found out who the pack leader was, who the quiet ones were (yes there were some), those with a rosy outlook and those with a cloudy one, the helpers and those who demanded attention. It was alot all at once.

Most of the mothers dropping off thought I was very brave, and by the time Lauren was standing on her chair boxing with balloons I knew why. Still the favorite activity of all those present had to be the egg hunt put on by Daddy and John, reaffirming my belief that with kids sometimes the simplest things are the most memorable and thrilling.

Which leads me to a confession. Before the party Kevin stopped me to let me know I was getting a little anal, worrying too much and getting a bit obsessed with the details. I agreed and through a tearful conversation revealed my fears. "I don't know if I'm doing this right, if I'm a good mom, or if what I'm doing is enough. I feel like I'm navigating new territory and am out here all alone. I know I can talk to you, but you're not a mom, know what I mean?"

And in his subtle but reassuring way Kevin told me, "All she wants is you. She wants you to smile and have fun; to be present, give her hugs and laugh with her. That's it." By this time I was sitting on the kitchen countertop and he moved over so I could lean on his back and hug this way for a while. It was just what I needed to make it and to remind myself once again that motherhood isn't all about me or my perceived shortcomings, today it was all about Lauren.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Love notes from Lauren

Some of Lauren's favorite things to do are read, draw and write letters and books. It seems like every day I find a pile of her writings and books she's stashed all over the house. I find them under her pillow, all around her bed, under the sheets and between the bed and the wall. They come with us in the car even for a three mile trip. She started at a young age, when at 2 I bought her a magna doodle. They were inseparable until this year while in Kindergarten she's grown more attached to paper. I can't say I mind. The magna doodle just gets erased, but the paper I can keep. I could fill this blog every day with all her little bits, thoughts and ideas, but today I just wanted to share my recent favorites.

A get well card for me a few weeks ago (one of many):

A short essay about some kids watching t.v. (this is just the prologue):

And a little invitation to her brother. She wrote birthday invitations for all her friends, even though I sent out others. This came just after she told him it was a girl only party. I think she places him in a category all to himself:

Which leads me to the party. So far there will be ten little girls descending on the house. Our parties tend to be simple but hopefully fun. This will be the first year there hasn't been a hayride at someone's party. I admit I'll kind of miss that.

Here's the plan. We're going to get crafty and make some stuffed eggs and bunnies with felt, some fat plastic needles and yarn. Then Lauren is set on an Easter egg hunt (3rd year in a row, I think), cake, ice cream and presents. If we have time, maybe a few games. If the craft works well I'll be sure to include pictures. Or, we'll have a few laughs if it flops.

Hope everyone can bear with the opportunity to gush, but I am a mom after all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Even though I never talk about it, except in the sidebar to the left, I really am a physical therapist. It's just that since having kids I only work once a month at a rehab hospital where I've been for 13 years. I keep my license and I get to stay home with the kids and play with yarn. My licensure needs renewing by December and so I went to a continuing education course today. Luckily, the instructor was good and the topic was interesting.

It was a yoga course. I've been interested in yoga for some time but have only just scratched the surface in learning the practice. I dabble a little here and there, go through phases where I do it at home and then phase right back out. When I pick back up it becomes so apparent where my tension is and just how much tension I have. My right side feels different than my left, I'm tight here, oooh, pain there, and it's only then that I realize just how out of shape (or in shape) I am.

Today I thought more in terms of balance and how OUT of balance I am. For starters, there's mono...out of balance. Wrestling my daughter to give her eye drops and then seeing daddy do it with no fuss or fighting...out of balance. Throwing some almonds and a banana down my throat on the way out the door to handbells...out of balance. Clutter...out of balance. Being focused on obtaining happiness from external sources rather than from finding the joy within...out of balance. Hurrying...out of balance. I could go on.

One of the best parts about today was seeing yoga as an open door. At the very minimum I can incorporate it more into my daily life even if that just means focusing more on my breathing. Or, it could grow into something more. I now see the future as wide open, where I really can pursue what interests me and I don't have to stay in the box where I ended up after so many years of school. It's one of the best perks of being an at home mom that I never would have imagined. If you'd told me 10 years ago I'd have a little knitting business I probably would have laughed. Who knows what I'll be doing in 20 years and to me, that is exciting. I guess you could say it was a very good day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Camera shy

As I'm not a fan of having my picture taken, you won't see me often on this blog. But I thought I'd show you the scarf I finished last night. Long and skinny, right? Best part is it's only one of my two available skeins, so who knows, maybe I'll use the other and incorporate the same pattern into some fingerless gloves or something.

[Lauren just brought me a poem she wrote and at the end was a little question. "Which child do you like the best? Allie, Lauren, John were written and their pictures underneath. I was instructed to circle my answer. So I circled all three. She seemed surprised.]

Besides wrestling a four year old to give her drops for pink eye twice today, the only other exciting thing I've done was roast a chicken. I have a few words to say about both.

I'm usually pretty proud of myself when it comes to getting the kids to go along with the not so fun parts of being a kid or a parent for that matter. You know, like getting them to eat vegetables, clean their rooms or generally do anything they don't want to do. There's not usually a big fight, but they can be gently coerced and rewarded without much fuss. But this youngest, fiestiest, tiniest but often strongest child has become a screaming banshee with the drops. They are working beautifully and she's so much better. I've tried everything to get her to go along peacefully, even bribing her with donuts, cookies and chocolate. None of it works. I guess I can't always expect to get off so easily.

And as far as roasting a chicken goes, why have I not known how easy that is until recently? Why is everyone so afraid of the whole bird? I cooked the Thanksgiving turkey this past November and started out scared of it, but when all was said and done I thought, why does everyone make such a big deal about that? It turned out perfect. The only thing I needed help with was brining it, lifting it in and out of the bucket. That part is even optional. I swear it's easier than making spaghetti. Now gravy on the other hand, is a different story. I stick to the jar.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The tables are turned

Allie's had a cute cold since Friday, you know the kind where she doesn't feel bad, but her voice sounds so cute in it's hoarse, squeaky state? Even she knows it's cute, talking just to hear herself talk because it sounds so funny and adorable. But unfortunately, it's gotten worse and this morning she was completely congested and woke up with crusty, red, watering eyes. Pink eye. Luckily John had it about a month ago and so there's plenty of drops for Allie to use and we can avoid a trip to the germ infested doctor's office. Here she lays. Watching Giada.

I've also flip flopped a little with my knitting. My little knitting friends will recognize this pretty pretty yarn. I bought it at least two years ago and made it into a big scarf, using two skeins of yarn. It's 100% merino, Art Yarns, colorway (?), all I know is I never wore it before, and didn't sell it either (although I didn't try very hard. I think I always knew it'd become something else). So why not take it apart, wash the yarn, hang it by the woodstove to dry and start all over? Silence the gasps, but that's just what I did.

I was reading mason dixon the other day and saw their simple feather and fan pattern written out. There are so many different variations of this idea in several books and I've never felt like making it before, but for some reason the urge hit this time. It'll be long and skinny, a perfect little decorative spring scarf. The kind I'd even throw on with just a t-shirt and jeans and hear Kevin make comments like, "you know it's 60 degrees out." And "honey, it's spring". In one ear and out the other. I'm just having some fun. Finally.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

One happy boy

Give him an old lawn mower (without the blade), a trailer and the promise of $3 for picking up sticks and he's off. Running. Tell him we can call it "John's tractor" and he's grinning ear to ear, it's one of his proudest moments.

Of the three kids this one has really got the entreprenurial spirit. Tell him he can make money and he jumps at the chance. He gathers coins from the bottom of the bus, digs it out of people's couches (last night at a friend's house) and spots everything shiny in a parking lot. He saves it all up and before I know it he's ready to buy Legos.

The best was Kevin's commentary at one point. I was working on, what else, the orange sweater and he was giving me the play by play, "oh boy, now he's pulling up to the burn pile...he's stopping...uh oh....he's backing up....uh oh....JACKKNIFE!" Out the door he ran for another tutorial.

The other use for the tractor John immediately thought of was giving the girls trailer rides. I'll be sure to include pictures when that happens.

I say I wonder where John got his desire to be self-sufficient, but I do remember a little girl in the early 1980's who, when she could barely push a lawnmower had started her own mowing business with her best friend, the little boy across the street. It was hardly the thing any of my other friends were doing at the time but it seemed like the perfect idea to me. We did this for several summers and it generated some nice income. One incident that stands out is when I wasn't sure if the weed infested free standing flower bed of the elderly lady across the street was to be mowed or not. I thought it looked like it needed tidying so I hacked away at it and ended up running over a railroad stake from the trolley car that used to run down the street and through her side yard decades before. I think it cost my dad $400 in lawnmower repairs because I bent the motor shaft or something major. I didn't go back to her house much after that.

Kevin's parting words as he went off to Orvis were priceless. "Now remember, he's gonna crash at some point, and probably more than once. Let's just hope it's not into your car or anything, that could be kind of expensive."

Good thing I'm not too much of a worrier.

Friday, March 7, 2008

All about orange

The candles are lit, rain is steadily beating on the tin roofs (not a typo, there are 4 in all), girls are drawing, making books. The boys are on a Lego quest, John eager to spend his saved coins from firewood duty and the tooth fairy (he has three gaping holes in his mouth right now), and I'm once again, parked, trying to work my way through the pile of orange yarn you see below.

For those just tuning in, this is a sweater I'm making for a friend that has been in a similar state for about two weeks now. It's a tunic tank made out of Blue Sky Alpacas dyed organic cotton in color poppy. It is similar to the orange sweater at the top of my blog, only longer, shaped at the waist, has side slits, larger pockets and of course is sized for an adult. I'm a relatively fast knitter, so this project started with a bang and I had one piece finished rather quickly and there it sat. This happens to me quite a bit, where some projects just get stalled for one reason or another and I wonder when they'll ever get finished.

I tend to pile my works-in-process about, so I see them often. My reasoning is that I need to see them so they remind me they're there, but instead I think they just nag, saying, "remember me? I need to be finished. Someone's waiting, remember?"

What really has been holding me up is the neck shaping. I don't like the way I did it on the first piece, so I'm doing it differently on the second and if I like it I'll go back and do the first side to match. So that was today's task, and I managed to finish the second piece, changing the neck shape. I think I like it, but will sleep on it to make sure in the morning.

I found something today that's helping me put the whole project in perspective and hopefully I'll remember this the next time one seems to drag on endlessly. It's an idea from Kathleen Norris, poet and author. I posted about her book Dakota: A Spiritual Geography a while back, and I've now picked up her more recent, The Cloister Walk. In just the preface, and this is slightly out of context, but, she talks about "time, oriented toward process rather than productivity...rather than always pushing to 'get the job done' ". Not a new concept I know, but it helps me to be reminded every once in a while.

I'll admit it, I'm a pusher. I like to finish projects. Starting a knitting business helped me so much in this capacity because I always had a goal, a deadline. Before that I could have had anywhere from five to ten projects going at any given time and would never seem to finish any of them. So now, when I'm used to finish everything I start, I tend to get frustrated with the projects that don't seem to finish themselves. Really, this happens to me alot, where I wake up in the morning and wonder, well how'd I manage to finish all that last night? It's like it happens in my sleep or something. [Pipe down peanut gallery: AM, Pam, one day I'll write about "how to knit in your sleep" but for now it's my secret].

So I've put the yarn down for another night, I think, or maybe I'll just wake up in the morning and it will somehow be finished, who knows. Tune in tomorrow and I'll let you know.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gratitude and the super hero complex

I was driving home this morning after dropping Allie off at preschool and a trip to the grocery store, when I started thinking about what I would post today. What do I possibly have to offer anybody today? I thought. I'm completely and utterly exhausted, I have no new pictures of knitting to show. No words or great insight to share. I don't really have anything to say about anything. (There you heard it, the ugly voice of negativity that takes over especially when my defenses are down, and I'm not paying attention.)

"In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel was on the radio and I thought, well, at least I'm thankful for music. And I'm thankful for friendships, old and new, for the mere ability to knit, for my kids, my husband who cares about me even when things are a little off track, business that has, well, been keeping me busy, for shelter, food, blue sky and new growth.

And there you have it--one attitude--changed. All with a little sunshine, some good music and most of all, gratitude.

I fall into that same trap that so many of us do, and expect myself to be super human. That somehow magically at the 3 week mark of this bout with mono I would suddenly be able to pop out of bed and resume all normal activity. How wrong I was. On Monday I thought it would be completely fine to go (with Allie) to the post office, grocery store, out to lunch and shopping with an out-of-town friend, ride around with her all afternoon, walk through a house Kevin's building and then top it off with a preschool fundraiser with Kevin and the kids to Chuckie Cheese of all places. Afterward I literally thought I was going to leave behind a trail of body parts on my way out to the car. Such complete exhaustion is indescribable.

And, ignorantly since then I've done a bunch of laundry, cooking, and caring for children. I've been to the post office 3 more times, bible study, grocery store again, made multiple trips back and forth to school and the real kicker was trying to stand up for handbell practice at church last night. After 15 minutes I was propping myself up with the table and the wall. Finally I sat down. The worst part is how irritable the fatigue makes me. It's like this little squawking bird pops out of my mouth like a cuckoo clock and says things like, "Get out of the kitchen!", "get your shoes off the couch!", "do your homework!". ugh.

So instead, today has been about gratitude. That errands don't fill my day with anything but errands, and constant activity only means that I'm unsettled. I'm finding other hidden perks to this whole situation as well. Like it's easy to save money when you don't spend it, and somehow my wardrobe is just fine when I can't go shopping.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm in!

Just got the news yesterday that I've been accepted as a regular vendor at the Goochland Farmers Market this summer! I'm so looking forward to the experience.

It is a young market, this will only be it's third year, but that's just fine with me. If I thought I was going to sell out every Saturday I wouldn't be able to be a vendor. All the knitters out there know just how long it takes to make each item and build up an inventory. Instead, I'm looking forward to the community aspect the market provides. I want to make new friends, be involved in the local art and farming that still makes this area unique. I want to make memories with the kids, as this is something that I can take them to without it being a hectic selling experience for me as larger shows and markets can be. In short, I picture it as a quiet, dreamy little slice of country living before it has even started. And you gotta love a market whose manager is named 'Cricket'!

So if you're in central Virginia and want some fresh, homegrown and handmade goodies, come visit the Goochland Farmers Market every Saturday from 9-12 beginning May 3rd and going through October. Visit the website for directions and more information. See you there!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

now THAT'S vintage

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."
--Baba Bioum, Senegalese Ecologist
(thanks, Deborah!)

We are a family that is not opposed to hand-me-downs, remember this post? About the only thing we've passed up so far was a used toilet and that just goes without saying. I wouldn't consider myself a packrat, when things are past their prime I can let them go, but I hate to throw something out too soon, even when it may not be so pretty anymore.

Enter vaccuum.

Yes, this little beauty is my husband's great uncle's old Electrolux cannister vaccuum, circa 1965. You heard me right. 1965. Do the math, that's a 43 year old vaccuum. I love it that it still works, but much more than that it's better than any other vaccuum I've ever used. It creates such a vortex when you turn it on that everything is fair game. Legos, Barbie shoes, crayons, it'll even drag a shoe if you want it to.

I found out how old it was a few years back when the hose developed some leaks and it needed replacing. I went to the Electrolux store and picked out my model based on their pictures and sure enough, it was from 1965. So, for $70 I got a new hose and a practically new vaccuum. A few years after that the motor began to make a funny (LOUD) whine when I turned it off. Kevin took it apart and assessed the problem; it needed a new motor. He said he could replace it, no problem, but was it wise to spend $200 on a new motor, or just go ahead and get a new vaccuum? I opted for the motor and haven't looked back since. Tell that to Dyson.

I've slowly been reclaiming the house today. It always amazes me how quickly things can go to pot and how much paper the kids come home with from school! It's a never-ending battle with clutter and this little treasure or that. Where can they all go? It's almost so bad that I need a major organizational piece of furniture (or two) in every room. And as that is not in my budget, I have to get creative. Part of that creativity involves a little deception when it comes to school papers. The kids expect me to save everything they come home with which isn't at all feasible. I keep a stack of the boring, rote stuff they bring home, and take out the keepers and put them in a stash of their own. As the boring pile grows I just lop off the bottom half from week to week and stash it with the "to-be-burned" items and the pile seems to stay at a nice level (for the kids anyway). We would drown in paper otherwise. So sad.

No, I haven't stopped knitting, in case you wondered. There are happy little bunnies and purses hopping off to new homes for Easter as we speak and more in the shop waiting for adoption. It seems the applique is liked, as well as those without it, so I'll keep making what feels right. I think it's working.

final mono report: 3 weeks. MUCH better.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I like to pray in the shower

"I now see my life, not as a slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery of a purpose which I did not know." --Joann Field

"For awhile I looked outside to see what I could make the world give me, instead of looking inside to see what was there." --Bell Livingstone

Used to be, not too very long ago, that my morning shower was something to be rushed through, a mad scramble to scrub and shave with an infant in a bouncy seat in the bathroom with me and two curious toddlers running about, with only minutes to spare before the next certain catastrophe.

Now it usually goes something like this:


Allie's typical response, "Mommy, when are you going to be done?"


But this morning was slow and quiet, everyone settled and happy, doing their own thing. So I climbed in, turned the dial toward the red and stood, hands clasped, head tilted up so the water ran down my face and into my ears so it sounded hollow and loud. I express awe and give thanks for love and guidance, health and happiness, art and expression, family, peace. I ask for forgiveness and to be rid of selfishness, materialism, a blind eye, a cold exterior, pride, worry. And I pray for friends, those with torn marriages, and those lying scattered, tossed about in the wake of addiction, loss, depression. I pray for dreams, new babies and little boys trying out for baseball. My whole body tingles.

I hope tomorrow can begin just the same way.