Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beach Sweater.

Sweater done.  Neve tried to not let me finish it.  She woke up all evening long last night.  Poor girl, I think her incoming tooth is really bothering her.  Poor mama who just wanted to knit.  But, at the beach today, it happened.  I finished the KAL sweater (deadline tomorrow, whew.)  I think wearing this during the winter will remind me of summer beach days (and I'll probably find sand in it for awhile).

It's not hard to forgive Neve for being fussy.  When she is happy, she is just so cute!

We got to enjoy the beach with some favorite cousins today.  And they played, played, and played all day.  I hardly had any complaints and very few requests.  It was probably our last beach day.  Okay, we may sneak some in still if the weather cooperates in September, but with Kindergarten starting next week, it feels like we are moving past summer beach days.  Plus the weather forcast for the rest of this week is not hinting at any beach days.  It felt kind of sad.  We have loved the beach this summer.

I didn't take my camera today :(  But I'll bet Angela can hook me up :)

In lieu of todays captured memories being shared, here are my favs from the weekend:

Monday, August 29, 2011


Thinking: about my East Coast trip with SIL Andrea!  oh, October, you can come quickly!
Drinking:  water :)
Enjoying: Nevey's cute sounds
Hoping:  I can finish my KAL sweater tonight
Smelling: Baby's head, mmm.
Watching: Baby Einstein (a first for Nevey)
Wishing:  baby had stayed asleep the first time I put her to bed tonight
Planning: to finish my KAL sweater tonight
Needing:  a housecleaner, like usual
Marvelling: at my calmness
Looking:  at fireplaces on Pinterest
Wanting: renovations to magically be done (before they've actually begun)
Wondering: if Neve would go to sleep for her Daddy
Loving: the idea of a week long vacation from this
Knowing:  I best go put Neve to bed so I can get to knitting, because i will finish this sweater by the deadline.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Garden Tour 2011

Seems to me I haven't been sharing much of my garden this year.  At times, I think I've even felt there wasn't so much to share.  But, WOW, as I pulled my pictures and thoughts together, I became aware of what a blessing our garden has been this year.  This is really the beauty of blogging for me.  I would miss things.  I love reflecting in this space and remembering to be grateful.  Sorry this will probably be long and super random.

So here I started, taking pictures at one end of my garden where more of the flowers are, although they are found in all sorts of places.  Our free teddy bear plant the kids got (I tried to move the other 2 when things got crowded and they didn't survive the move.  So now, they all share this one).
 Californian poppys I grew from seed.  I really dislike the price for greenhouse plants.  But, it really is hard to be patient for most of the growing season here to finally have flowers.
 I'm still a little nervous after last years tomato crop failure to late blight.  So, I didn't invest in greenhouse tomatoes.  I started these from seed indoors :)  I'm inspecting the leaves every day now and haven't seen any signs of disease yet. 
Then there's the squash.  I'll get a couple, but I'm afraid most are too small yet and the summer doesn't seem like its going to last long enough.  Maybe we'll get a super hot September again?  I've heard of people eating the squash blossoms.  Maybe if I was picking them off the blossoms and letting the other squash grow, I'd be more successful?  Oh, I still have much to learn.

 Next is this messy looking area full of beans, beets, and potatoes.  Mostly beets.  The kids are loving beets so I planted lots.  Ian and I have been loving a feta and beet salad, but I leave some plain roasted ones for the kids as they prefer.  Way at the back is our lone zucchini plant hanging out with the lavatera.  I even tried replanting some zucchini and it still didn't come up.  Oh, well, I'm enjoying having less than usual for this year.

Aren't these so cool?  They're on some of the onions that were planted last year. I'm thinking if I let it dry, I'll get onion seeds from it.
This afternoon, I cut down these 2nd year parsnips and turned them upside down in a pillowcase.  The seeds are almost dry and I read that is an easy way to collect seeds.  I'm thinking I won't buy parsnip seeds next year.  I guess I'd better learn how to store them properly.

Its kind of made my garden look messy as I experiment with collecting my own seeds.  I'm learning to be okay with that.  It makes me happy to think of growing from my own seeds.

My herbs have been super successful this year.  I've stored jars of my own dried oregano and parsley.  This might be the favorite part of my garden.  It might look like a mess, but its given me so much goodness - thyme, lemon balm, mint, fennel, mmm...


my herb box
My lemon balm ice tea has taken time to perfect, and sometimes I don't plan ahead enough.  It's the best if I do it the night before and let it chill overnight.  Apparently it helps with feeling calm, with improved memory, and I can't remember the third one.  I'm thinking I need to be drinking more of it :)

The kale has been a new thing in my garden and I've been loving it.  Kale soup, baked kale, ginger stirfried kale...yum!
The kohlrabi have been better for me this year.  I started some early indoors.
This was ready to be picked.  Wished I hadn't have decided to wait until the next day...
I'm not sure what ate it, and not sure I want to know.  It must have been big.  Other than that, we aren't too bothered by pests.  A big failure for some reason I have yet to figure out, is our broccoli.  6 plants and only one produced anything - which was the only other casualty of the unknown large eater!! :(

I love these pretty pink flowers...and love to take them inside to enjoy.
I only wish I didn't have to ignore what's around them to enjoy them.  I really don't get how so many people I know with kids can possibly have such clean houses.
I turn my back for a few minutes and the've emptied a box of crackers and left it on the table.  Pulled out papers, crayons...which entertained for maybe all of 10 minutes.  And their off, to make their next soon to be discovered mess.  Oh, well, at least I have the garden to retreat to :)

Many of the new recipes I've been trying with the basil, swiss chard, and kale have been from a new favorite cookbook of mine.

Only problem is, I've borrowed it from the library.  i've reached my max renewals.  I don't think I have a choice but to purchase myself a copy.  It's that good.  It's got lots of good stories that inspire me.  The layout of it is so unique, I've never seen one quite like it.

Anyhow, sorry for the crazy run on post.  It's taken about 4 sittings to get it done, which doesn't help with the flow of writing.  And, I'm not rereading or editing.  I am more full of gratitude, so I can leave it here, as is.  If you have any garden advice for me, I'll gladly hear it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little bits of happiness.

It was super frustrating to not be able to move pictures from my camera to my computer since Monday.  I was going to post some of Monday's Happiness, but after frustrating attempts I abandoned the post.  Yesterday I would have posted Tuesday Blues, because that's the kind of day it was.  Besides, I still couldn't get pictures.  Today I have spent pretty much all my free afternoon time solving the problem (Kellen is at a library program, Lanelle is happily playing and Neve is sleeping - for a few more minutes hopefully).  Today I am somewhere in between Happiness and Blues.  I'm at least looking for little bits of happiness to shake off the miserable blues.  And while it may be the most simple thing, this mug never ceases to make me happy.  And, my computer was slowly uninstalling my camera and I was trying to entertain myself so I didn't become unbearably frustrated.
While diapers probably don't bring much happiness to many people.  This diaper brought oh so much happiness to me.  I converted a boring rectangle prefold diaper (which leaks way too much) to a fitted, elastisized diaper.  Thrilling, seriously. And, a huge money saver.
 Paired with my wool diaper cover, I made myself the happiest, although oh-so-tired, mama (after the midnight diaper conversion project).
I am getting excited to make Neve some long woolies as summer is winding down, but first I am finishing this project. 
 My effortless cardigan.  I finished the second sleeve on the weekend.  It felt so good to try it on.  Now to finish the collar band.  I can't wait.
I asked my Dad recently how much he remembered his mom knitting.  (She was the Grandma who taught me to knit.)  Did she knit while travelling?  Was she always knitting?  He said not so much, just at home some.  But, my Mom pipped up telling me that on her side of the family - my Great-Grandmother knit all the time and my Grandma actually despised knitting because the house would be a complete disaster and she would ignore it all, knitting away her day.  Well, I'll try not to be quite like my Great-Grandma as I don't want my daughters to despise knitting.  But, there are days, I would certainly be happy to knit and ignore the mess.  Anyhow, just a little fun story I thought.  However, I hear Miss Neve crying now...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Reflections

After a morning enjoyed - a rare quiet coffee visit on the couch with Ian, phone visit with a birthday sister, a walk by the tennis courts to watch Daddy play, on to the farmers market for honey and a kids choice treat (marshmallow squares, of course), being joined by Daddy there for delicious beef on a bun for easy, no clean lunch (yay!) - I am now home alone.  Well, I shouldn't forget sleeping Neve upstairs.  I feel quite alone.  Ian is off picking chokecherries with kids and their friend Ben.  And wow, were they all excited about it! I am ready to tackle my disaster of a craft room so that I can manage to get near my sewing machine to try fix up some diapers for Neve.  But, the quietness made me want to pause and load up my pictures from the week.  And, I found so many favorites.  And, I smiled because it was a good week.  I love to share it here because I don't want to forget all the good things.
Kellen came up with this project.  Had me pick up the paint he wanted.  He gathered some leaves.  He asked for the biggest paper.  He wanted it as tall as him.  I wasn't getting it at first.  Why do you need the paper to be as tall as you?  Oh, he is trying to get his camouflage ready to go hunting.  I should have known.  I haven't been asked since the making of the paper, to tape his "outfit" together.  Whew.  The making of the paper really was so much fun, and so pretty.
Kellen is often not interested in doing kids crafts that I would chose.  But, if I let him have the ideas, he can stay focussed long enough to finish projects.  The robot is his usual request.  This time, he was extremely happy with the supplies I gathered for him.  Success!  I hope I can get Lanelle interested in some different types of crafts.  I'm gathering ideas for when Kellen soon will be gone to Kindergarten.  Without him shutting down the ideas (which aren't robots, guns or dinosaurs), I think I can expand her interests!

Some might think I need to expand my interests past knitting more often.  But really, when there are so many cute things to be made and such beautiful kids to model them!  I really like Lanelle's butterfly hat!  I'm so happy I tried something new - working with 2 colors and following a chart.  Wasn't really that difficult!

I was able to go bike riding with just the girls.  So relaxing to not have to worry about where Kellen was.  The girls were so happy riding quietly in the Chariot.  A little treat that was much enjoyed by me!

Lanelle loved the path that I took her on and begged for us to take Kellen the next day.  I hadn't gone so far with him before, or taken him on gravel.  But, he did wonderfully and we made it out to a park we rarely play at.  Fun to have a "new" adventure spot.
The kids came in from playing outside one morning saying they had a surprise for me, but they needed a flower "pot".  When I gave it to Kellen and said I was excited to see the flowers they had picked for me.  He was very suprised.  "How did you know the surprise was flowers??" Hee,hee!  I wouldn't have thought to pop the tops off the marigolds and float them in water, but they look really cool and have lasted well.

 These pictures were my extra special gift of the week.  I was reading Ann Voskamp (again).  I just like picking up her book and randomly reading, because I forget so easily what I have learned from her.  So, I read about eucharisteo and taking the time to name the gifts.  Finding the gratitude in my life that can change everything.  To find the joy in the little moments that will lead me to an "emptier, fuller life."
She wrote about how her camera can be the way to receive the moment with thanks.  She was taking pictures of cheese.  Then, Neve on my lap was crying and I got up to change her diaper.  This was the shadow I saw on the wall.  I knew it was the moment for me to stop and give thanks for her and for being her mama.  Even when I didn't want to change a diaper.  I don't have words like Ann to describe the moment.  All I can seem to come up with is, It was the perfect moment full of thanks.

Trip Treasures #4: Laughter and Play

Sometimes you just have to laugh. I knew as the rain poured in our collapsing tent that we would soon laugh about it.  That thought kept me pretty light-hearted about our 2am waking with thunder, lightening, crazy wind and sideways rain.  As I tried to hold the sides of the tent up, pull in our luggage to the "drier" middle ground, Lanelle slept peaceful.  As I carried her across the campsite to Grandpa and Grandmas trailer in the wind and the rain, she slept.  That made me laugh.  When the tent flapped and let in a huge dump of water and it landed directly on poor Nevey's face, I didn't laugh.  But, now we do.  I wonder if she'll like tenting after that first experience?
Poor broken tent, the morning after the storm.
I also had to laugh often listening to the cousins play together.  Quite the adventures they make up.  This, if I remember correctly, is the ship they made.
The trip just wouldn't have been as much fun if Nolan would not have joined us.  They really had so much fun!
What a great big cousin he is, with a great big heart and fun spirit!

Sliding on the World's Largest Dinosaur
We laughed lots with Grandpa and Grandma, especially while Playing Pegs and Jokers too late every night and eavesdropping on the crazy camp neighbours.  Oh, the wonderful memories we have.  Soon, I'll have to wrap up Trip Treasures, but it really is so fun to savour our trip this way!