Archive for October, 2011

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

He’s a natural

Last night while the girls were at church activities, Clark and I made gingerbread cookies. He was amazing. He made perfect cookies, with no help from me other than encouragement that it’s ok to have sugar all over your hands when you’re rolling cookie balls

cookies

cookies1

cookies2

cookies3

cookies4

cookies5

Now he thinks he’s pretty hot stuff and says that his cookies are better and yummier than mine because he’s such a great cookie maker. Thanks, bud.

I spun new yarn yesterday and today. The stuff yesterday is thicker than I’d like for a hat, so I’m going to do something else with it. The thinner, oatmeal tweed was spun this morning and is delicious. The other stuff is delicious, too. I’ll make it into a smallish, soft scarf or something.

newyarn

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Brrrrr.

It’s really cold. I’m not sure when we’re going to turn on the heat, but it’s definitely “not yet.” I’m so tired of this blasted recession.

So as I laid in bed last night, unable to sleep, I thought about slouchy hats. Green ones and pink ones and blue ones and brown ones… lots of hats. I want more of them. I love them, and I wear them ALL the time.

grayslouchdone

I also thought about selling them on etsy, but then I looked and there are SO many slouchy hats there already. While true, the ones I saw aren’t as cool as mine, there are lots. But I’m still thinking…

I made biryani last week. Along with some raita and sweet lassi.

biryani1

The family loves it.

biryani2

I love my enormous cast iron dutch oven. It holds so. much. food. And since my girls like taking leftovers for lunch instead of sandwiches, it works well to make huge dishes. Like cooking for an army.

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Oooh! How I hate blocking!

So my gorgeous, warm new hat is done. And wet.

hatblocking

I hate blocking. So much so that I don’t always do it, but I could tell that this hat would look better if I did.

So I wait.

It is both flattering and really annoying that now the girls all want a slouchy hat like mine. How many times have I made fingerless mitts, or legwarmers, or hats only to hear “I want one! I want one!” So I make some. And they wear them once. And then I find them on the floor, under the couch, etc. for the rest of forever.

But I will probably make Abby a hat. Veronica isn’t too interested, and Liv made herself one awhile ago, that I don’t seem to have a picture of. It’s really cute.

Here’s something that few will find interesting besides myself… But I LOVE it!!!

thecase2

This is my pedalboard case. For those of you who are confused, a pedalboard is a board with pedals on it that you plug an electric guitar into. Pedals change the sound of the guitar. You turn the different pedals on and off, depending on what sound you’re going for.

This is the board that sits oh-so-happily inside the above pictured case-

myboard2

Anyway, (and I can’t remember if I’ve told you all this already), when my pedal board sits out, it collects undesirable things like cheerios and goldfish crackers. It also gets stood on and messed with by my little boys. So quite awhile ago, I bought a set of sturdy, Samsonite suitcases real cheap on Craigslist intending to use the biggest one for my board. More recently, I made pillows to cushion the board in it’s case, and now, I’m decorating the outside of it with stickers.

My brother has the smaller of the two cases for his board, and at his initiating, we’re kind of competing to see who’s case will be cooler.

Can you tell that I love, love, love The Living End? If you have the time and want to see some AWESOME… here are three videos. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

The hat so far

Man we’ve been busy! I don’t like being busy. It’s a testament to how fast hats are that I have this much done.

grayhat

It’s been non-stop this week. I think tomorrow is relatively unscheduled. Yay! I look forward to it.

How do you like the hat? I’m not completely happy with the tension behind the colorwork, so I’m going to rip it out and redo it. I’m contemplating moving the pattern closer to the bottom a few rows. I don’t know. I’m going to have to spend some time in front of the mirror to see exactly where I want to place the color change.

Clark was SO cute yesterday. He was adamant that I teach him how to spin. He’s been “spinning” on my wheels since he was 2, by holding onto the bobbin leader and moving his hand up and down while treadling. Well, yesterday he decided he wanted to do it for real. I said no. He persisted. I said no a few more times, and told him it was really hard. He was sure he could do it.

So I went downstairs and found some fiber I was willing to sacrifice to the cause. I showed him what to do with his hands while I treadled for him and do you know? He did really, really well! Shockingly well. When he would pinch and pull the wool forward, he’d look and stop before pulling it completely apart. That’s actually remarkable. Then he’d slide his thumb and finger back down at the proper tension, to about the right place before doing it again.

I think he’s a natural.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Spinning is fun

I don’t do it much anymore, but I really enjoy spinning, and really like to spin my batts.

grayyarn

Nate was somewhat in awe last night. “You just decide you want a hat, pick through your stash of wool downstairs, and spin up yarn. Just like that!”

Yup.

It’ll be interesting to see how the knitting goes. Fortunately, hats are a small project. But the last few times I’ve tried to knit (it’s been many months since I tried), my tendonitis flared up something fierce.

There was a time in my life when I dreaded not being able to knit. I’d heard of it happening to other people, and thought there could be nothing worse. Fortunately, music has come into the picture, and I am able sate my need-to-create through another vehicle.

But I do miss it.

As for the hat…. I’m hoping it looks as nice as I’m envisioning. There are specific design elements in my head, but I’m not sure how they’re actually going to play out.

I’m going for another slouchy hat, but I wanted this one to be thicker than my brown one,

slouch3

so the yarn is heavier. I have a huge, thick, blue and brown hat that my sister knit a decade ago. It’s an unintentional slouch hat, and I love it. That’s kind of the vibe I’m going for, but I want it to fit better around the face. We’ll see what happens.

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Bluegrass and fire stations and stuff

First of all, here’s Liv as a brunette. Or redhead. Or whatever.

brunette

We had a wonderful time at the bluegrass thing. I’m so impressed by Liv’s orchestra teacher. She teaches at 2 junior high schools, so both schools came. She was the only one in charge. It was just her and assorted parent chaperones. We spent Thursday night in instrument specific classes, where the kids learned how to play the instrument of their choosing. I was able to help out in the guitar class. Then late that night, a number of instructors, chaperones and students played together, mostly improvising. Bluegrass style. Totally fun.

The next day, we divided into 6 groups or “bands,” mixing the instruments up, and each band worked on a song. We played all day, in about 1 hour increments, breaking for meals and a block of 2 hour free time in the afternoon. Then more band practice. Then sound check. Friday night, the parents arrived and the instructors (a mom, dad, 3 sons and one friend) did a show. Then each band performed their song. Ours was “shortenin’ bread”). The instructor family did a finale of “Johnny B Good” bluegrass style, and it was rockin’.

So. much. fun.

However, the food completely sucked. I can’t even articulate how bad it was. If I go again, I’m taking a cooler and feeding myself. Well, myself and Liv. She hated it, too.

This was our band.

band

I’m in a pink hat, in the back, on the left. Liv is to the right of the banjo, under the horizontal cello, wearing red. Our instructor is in black, holding the yellow stand up bass.

Here are some more photos. Our practices were all indoors, but we played outside while waiting for our turn to sound check on stage. And it was freezing.

bluegrass1

bluegrass2

bluegrass3

That’s pretty much all I got in the way of pictures. It was a busy 28 hours.

The local fire station was hosting a pancake breakfast and tour Saturday morning, so we all had fun with that.

firestation1

firestation2

firestation3

firestation4

Can you tell which of my kids really likes to have her picture taken, and which totally doesn’t?

In other news, I need a black/gray based hat. I don’t have one, and I have acquired some shirts and a scarf over the past year that really don’t go with brown. So I might have some spinning and knitting in my near future. It got real cold, real fast, and I need more woolies to keep me warm.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

pumpkins7

The weather couldn’t have been better. If it had got any warmer, I would have been uncomfortable, because I was prepared for the worst. As it turned out, Clark shed his coat and hat. I took off my coat, but still had on the snowboots, alpaca legwarmers, wool fingerless mitts, scarf, and hat. Happily, we didn’t need rain gear, but it looked threatening a few times.

All in all, a lovely day.

pumpkins1

pumkins6

pumpkins2

pumpkins3

pumpkins4

pumpkins5

I’m really excited because this afternoon, Nate’s taking over the household duties and I’m chaperoning Liv and her orchestra at a Bluegrass/Roots music retreat. It’s 28 hours of intensive instrument lessons and jam sessions culminating in a live performance Friday evening. The students get to pick either their orchestra instrument, banjo, mandolin, stand up bass, or guitar. Liv is going to learn the stand up bass. The parents are encouraged to play instruments along side the kids, so I get to take my guitar.

It sounds like so. much. fun.

I’m taking all the seats out of the back of my Expedition in a few hours so I can swing by the school and pick up a truckload of basses and cellos. Then Liv and I are off to the party!

:-)

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

New rule at my house

No one gets dinner ’til their room is clean. Every day. Not only that, but it’s not mom’s responsibility to remember to check rooms before dinner. If it is discovered that someone ate dinner with a messy room, they get an hour of chores that night, and any other punishment that suits my fancy.

I’m. Sick. Of. The. Crap.

I’m tired of being ignored, taken advantage of, and pushed over because I’m “nice” and understanding of circumstances. There are no more circumstances. If you want to eat, you’re going to clean your room. And if you clean it every day, it’s not going to get so messy that cleaning it up before dinner is a big deal.

So deal.

In other news…. Dad the Great-dyer-of-hair was at it again Sunday morning. Liv is now brunette.

dye1

dye2

dye3

dye4

I haven’t managed to get a picture after the fact.

I escorted Clark and his class, along with 2 other kindergarten classes to The Farm to get a pumpkin and look at barn animals and such today. It was weird being a veteran mom and helping the newbies out. For some of these moms, the 5 year old was their oldest. Wow. It’s been a long time since I was there. And yet, I was right there with them corralling my 2 year old. Kind of funny.

I’ll post pictures of the Great Pumpkin Acquisition soon.

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Happy birthday, sweet, beautiful boy!

Max was quite charming and adorable today. Hooray! It’s always nice to enjoy someone on their birthday.

maxis2-1

Max totally understood the “blowing out the candles” thing. I, however, didn’t fare so well. I only put one candle on it the first time. Max blew it out. Nate asked if there shouldn’t have been two candles on the Zinger, and Clark and Veronica yelled at the poor birthday boy to stop reaching for his cake while I went and set-up the “do over.” Which totally confused the little guy and actually means he blew out a total of three candles…. that’s not a problem, is it?

He handled the mishap quite gracefully and with some light reassurance that it was now ok, ate his cake.

maxis2-2

maxis2-3

maxis2-4

In other news, today was my first day in Clark’s Kindergarten class heading up music time. Yup, I get to take my guitar into class once a week and lead the kids in some fun songs. We kept it short and simple today, but I have grand plans…

Anyone know where I can get props like frog and monkey masks really cheap?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Dilemma

Max will be 2 tomorrow. He didn’t get the memo that he’s not 2 yet. By the way he behaves, it’s quite clear that he thinks he turned 2 six months ago.

I can hear him right now, in the crib, laughing and talking very animatedly to either 1. the wall, or 2. his still sleeping older brother. I would be inclined to go and get him as I’m sure he needs a diaper change and he sounds just so darned cute. However, I have learned from experience that when I go to get him, his seemingly charming mood will immediately shift upon seeing me and he’ll turn into the angry, tantrum throwing thinks-he’s-already-two that I deal with on a daily basis.

Yesterday is still fresh in my memory and can I just tell you….?

I don’t want to.