Friday, July 31, 2009

God and Knitting

Back to Basics update:

Here on the road, I've finished the caterpillar I knitted for my son. For the eyes, I even got to use old button saved by my hubby's great grandmother. The boy loves it, and it's so satisfying to see him loving something that I made. Also, I'm using the left over yarn to make a knitted bunny for the girl. Pictures to follow.

Theology update from this morning at breakfast:

The Girl (out of nowhere): "I think God is the Pink Panther."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lovin' Lovett

Lyle Lovett at Red Rocks! With his Large Band! WOOT!

What. A. Show.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good Enough Griswold

Time to get into the family truckster and head to the Rocky Mountains. I will check in from time to time but frequently will be offline. Praise be.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brits v. Yanks, Part I

Okay, so I found a little romantic comedy on Netflix instant play called I'll Be There. It was set in Wales, which is perfect since I'm becoming a regular visitor there.

But it got me thinking.

Why do British people, as a rule, carry so much disdain for Americans? I mean, I suppose I could ask the same question about Europeans in general, but I was thinking about the Brit v. Yank question since many Americans really like Britain and the Brits. Or perhaps it's just that we think they seem distinguished and smart because of the accents. In return, the Brits seem to think we are losers who talk through our noses. Perhaps we do talk through our noses, but why are we perceived to be losers?*

I mean, really, what's up?

*And I won't even go into the whole who-won-the-war issue.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

High and Dry

Kids are in bed (have been for a while). Hubby is out with the guys. Alas, I have no chick flick.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Who Needs Mommy

So, most of the day today, my daughter was very "mommyish." She wanted Mommy for everything-- she didn't want Mommy to take a shower, she wanted to cuddle with Mommy, she wanted Mommy to play Barbies and read stories. Finally, I untangled myself from her so I could run errands while my husband took both kids over to their cousin's house (the cousin is just a few months younger than my daughter, who is four).

So, about an hour ago (~7:00p.m.), my husband calls me from his brother's house and says, "The girl wants to ask you something."

Girl (speaking very clearly and sounding about 11 or 12): Hello, Mommy.

Me: Hello, Sweetie.

Girl: Mommy, Can we have a sleepover?

Me (after a pause): You want to sleep over there?

Girl: Yes.

Me: Did you ask Daddy?

Girl: He said it was okay.

Me: Are you and the boy going to sleep there without Daddy?

Girl: Just for a few days.

I can hear my husband start to laugh in the background since I doubt he (or his brother) had agreed to the "few days" part. So much for being Mommyish.

The Details, in Brief

So we think the boy broke his leg/ankle when he was jumping on hotel beds in Berkeley. Yes, we allow our kids to go crazy on hotel beds. I think I was in a meeting when it happened (edit/they weren't alone in the hotel room; their father was present), and everyone's a little fuzzy on the details anyway. But there seems to be a vague memory of the boy saying, "Owww!" after one of the jumps. There was a little swelling later, but it went down quickly, so we thought he just twisted it a little. The swelling (which was just a tiny circle of fluid on the little bone that sticks out from the ankle) came back about a month or two later. Then went away. Then came back. Then went away. Then came back and stuck around. Then, we went to the doctor. She said it was a cyst and sent us to get x-rays to determine whether or not it watch attached to any ligaments or anything.

Not a cyst!

The biggest moment was when the boy found out that he needed a cast and that he wasn't going to be able to swim*. He was crying in the doctor's office. The girl was watching him so somberly, clearly tuned into his grief. Then he said, "I don't want [the girl] to swim if I can't because I don't want to have to watch her" (he was referencing our upcoming hotel stays, which usually include swimming as well as bed jumping). The girl, who loves to swim, without pause and with a very serious and earnest face said quickly, "I don't like swimming."

It was so sweet.

*We have since learned that there are water sock things kids can wear that will allow them to swim with a cast.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Broken, Broken, Broken

Apparently, my son's ankle is broken. Apparently, it's been broken since the end of February when we went on a trip to Berkeley. Apparently, I am a terrible mother.

Details to follow soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fiskers and Ginghers and Rippers, Oh My!

So I went through a box marked "sewing" and a canvas bag that had some unfinished knitting projects (from about 15 years ago) in it*. I wanted to take stock of the sewing gear I already have on hand. I found my nice Ginghers scissors that are still in their nice little box*. I found a good pair of Fiskars. I found at least one seam ripper, quite a few needles, several colors of thread, two fabric cutters, one little plastic measuring grid thing, some white two-sided craft tape stuff, a crochet needle, a yarn needle, a needle threader, some supplementary "feet" for the sewing machine (that I don't know how to use), and a bunch of erasers.

I am proud of myself for currently knowing the location of all of this gear. Now I just need to re-learn how to thread the machine. I have the User's Guide, so I should be good.

Also, I thought I might mention that I have recently started to feel a little silly about this getting-back-to-basics blog topic since I'm realizing that so many people I know already do all of this stuff that I'm trying to work on. My garden is fledging and smaller than all of my friends' gardens. My canning mentor has already put up dozens of jars of preserved fruit. The more I talk about this stuff, the more I feel like everyone is thinking, "Oh, you are way behind. Everyone has chickens now, and we've all been making our own mayonnaise and our own clothes for years. Plus, we've all purged our clutter and none of us have plastic toys in the house."

But the thing is that, for me, my focus on home and hearth is quite new. So I suppose I'm blogging the journey of a bookish, disorganized, take-out ordering, working mom who hopes to create a home that is a lot less cluttered while also learning some skills that make me feel a bit more like Caroline Ingalls. Just a bit.

*In the bag, there was a finished back to an unfinished sweater that I worked on during the summer of 1994. Yesterday, I gave it to my daughter as an afghan for her dolls. It was strangely satisfying to see it being used in that way.

*Scissors--singular or plural?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baby Steps

The sewing machine is still on the floor by the front door. This goes to show you that I haven't made much progress on the sewing front and that I still have many gaps on the organization front. Currently, since there is a bunch of random stuff on the desk in the office/playroom, I have no good place for the machine. I have to figure that one out.

But I did make banana bread today from my old bananas instead of letting them turn totally black and go to waste. To many of you, this may sound like nothing. For me, it is a source of pride and satisfaction.

I also plan to make some homemade mayonnaise from a recipe I found in an awesome UK mag that I found at Barnes and Nobles called Country Homes and Interiors. It seems as if British country style is quite different from good old American country style. Can we say "homes from the c18 overlooking the ocean"?

Does anyone crochet? I can just barely knit (but I enjoy it), but I'd like to be able to crochet a hat for my daughter. She tried on a crocheted hat the other day, and it was so cute.

I'll let you know how the mayonnaise turns out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sewing Machine

The sewing machine has left the garage! It's sitting in it's Styrofoam packaging near the front door in our living room (had to take it out of the box b/c the box seemed to have mouse poop on it).

Next step, review the user guide.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Meme from The Thirty-Something Bride

What is your current obsession?

Dreams of Homesteading.
Cooking new things in the kitchen.

Coffee or tea?

Tea (black or earl grey--with cream and sugar)

What’s for dinner?

Apps at the place where I got married (seared ahi and fried calamari)--kids were at a b-day party!

What would you eat for your last meal?

boiled peanuts with beer, sweet potato chips, yellow tail sashimi with lots of ginger, homemade mac and cheese, port and chocolate

What was the last thing you bought?

Fairy garden. Flowered watering can. Candle.

What are you listening to right now?

My husband's sleepy breathing.

What’s the best gift you have ever been given?

Hmmm. Pearl earrings. Bracelet with my grandmother's picture (from TSB!). Down payment money for condo (and other such financial gifts from parents).

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

Old-fashioned homemade vanilla.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?

Love her so much. Think she's amazing and stunning. She's family.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Just an hour? If I could beam myself somewhere, maybe Italy. Maybe Sri Lanka. If I can't beam myself, I'll just take some time at the bookstore.

Which language do you want to learn?


What’s your favourite quote (for now)?

Shame you fall down no one push you. (Amy Tan)

What is your favourite colour?

I gravitate towards green and browns.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

My cotton knit J.Jills skirts are the most comfortable. My brown leather boots are the coolest.

What is your dream job?

Writer of books (that people buy).

What is your worst habit?

Spending more money than I should. Oh, and flaking on thank you notes.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?

A composter. Or maybe something from the Sundance catalog.

Do you admire any one’s style?

Yes, I admire the style of people who are fit.

Describe your personal style?

It used to be kind of hippyish. Now it's really just frumpyish. Gotta work on that.

What are you going to do after this?

Get in bed and read a few pages of The Master and Margarita for my book group.

What are your favourite movies?

Grease, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cool Hand Luke, Bridget Jones's Diary, When Harry Met Sally, Apocalypse Now (any many more . . . )

What is your favourite fruit?

Blackberries picked while hot from the sun. Good cherries. Good strawberries. Rhubarb (not a fruit?)

What inspires you?

My children. My mom. My husband. My friends. Good literature. Music.

Your favourite book?

I just don't know. Jane Eyre is way up there . . . but I have some more recent favs, too.

Do you collect something?

Not really.

What is your favourite smell?

Gardenias. And my kids just after they wake up.

What are you most proud of?

My kids. Some of my professional work.

How many times do you press the snooze button before you get up?

My alarms do not have snooze buttons. They just call, "Mooooommmmyyyyy, Come iiiinnn heeeerrreeeee . . ." until I arrive.

Cats or dogs?

I have a dog. Used to have a cat. Used to be a TOTAL cat person but am now a bit doggish.

What’s your biggest fashion mistake?

You mean from today? Probably everything.

What do you look forward to coming home to after you’ve been away?

Kiddie-poos who say, "Mommy!" and come running. Or a quiet house is good, too!

Complete the following:

Love is…

higher than a mountain; love is thicker than water . . . (Sing it!)

Which phrase do you feel embodies your spirit?

See quote from above.

TAG! (If you want . . . )

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back to Basics Log

Today's back to basics activities:

  • Planted seeds with kids for late summer garden (even though kids put all of the bok choy seeds in one spot and then covered them so I don't know where they all are).
  • Cooked up squash given to me by a friend (I usually steam, but this time I sauteed, and it was SO much better).
  • Made homemade orange sorbet from fresh-squeezed OJ (good, but a little soupy).
  • Knitted a bit more on my husband's scarf.
  • Watched Breaking Away (hello, IU!)

On another note, the house guests left today. They arrived less than 48 hours after we returned from our trip to Alaska and stayed for four days. Two adults, two kids. There was camping involved. Lots of eating. The kids HAD A BLAST (which included taking everything out of the playroom closet so they could make a "kids' world apartment"). As soon as their cousins left today, my kids--who had ignored me for four days as they played with their cousins--started immediately climbing on me and demanding that I play with them (which was bothersome because I was trying to watch the last set of the Wimbledon men's championship).

Maybe having house guests is easy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

  • If you give Mom an hour to sleep, when she wakes up she's probably going to ask for some tea.
  • If you give her some tea, she's probably going to want to sit and read.
  • If she sits and reads, she's probably going to want a couple of hours to write.
  • If she sits for that long, she's probably going to want time to go on a hike.
  • If she goes on a hike, she's probably going to want to take nice long shower.
  • If she is all nice and warm and clean, she's probably going to want to sit down with some lavender lemonade.
  • If she has a tall glass of lavender lemonade, she's probably going to read for an hour while she drinks it.
  • If she's sits down to read again, she's probably going to fall asleep for an hour.
So be careful if you offer mom an hour to do ANYTHING because she's going to want another hour.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meet Tiki

Isn't she cute? These are early pictures. She's grown quite a bit since these were taken. Getting a little fat, to tell the truth. Gotta reduce her cricket intake.

You can see in the last pictures that she's molting around her head. Looks like she has a bad perm job.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009