Monday, November 30, 2015

Journal of a Mom: November 30, 2015

THE CLOCK READS...
1:00pm

WEATHER IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS
Bright sun, cloudless blue skies, mild temperatures for almost December.

IN THE GARDEN

LOOKING AROUND THE HOUSE
The kids put up our Christmas tree. It's a good thing that I'm not one of those Moms who needs the tree decorated just so...I'm content knowing how happy THEY are to decorate.

TO DO LIST
☐ Keep Up With Dishes and Laundry ::sigh::

FOR DINNER
Polka Kielbasa with Garlic Breadsticks and Tossed Salad.

WHAT'S ON TV
"The Amazing Race", "Master Chef Junior", "Grandfathered", "The Voice".

FROM THE CRAFT BASKET
I finished my 3rd afghan! Inspired by the simplicity and "clean lines" of  DC blankets at Something Peculiar and Kristine Inbetween, I created a striped blanket in Red Heart Super Saver Amethyst and Glowworm Green for my 10-year-old step-son. 


I love having an afghan WIP while creating smaller, quicker projects. I'll be ordering special orange and black Red Heart Team Spirit yarn next to make another simple blanket for my step-daughter. In the meantime, I'm working on cute Christmas crafts.

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays)Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).

I'M READING...


SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME THANKFUL
Time. Time for my husband and I. Time for my kids. Time for family and friends. Time for...crocheting.

I'M WONDERING...
...how will things go at the garage tomorrow morning? And yes, the van is headed BACK to the garage again. It's leaking antifreeze now.

NO WORDS NEEDED

DEVOTIONAL
Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

HHM

I'm linking up to The Simple Woman's Daybook and Happy Homemaker are Mondays. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: The Wonder of it ALL


1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?

I've always wanted to play the piano. I took a semester of piano in high school, and still couldn't play "Chopsticks". I don't have a musical "bone" in my body unfortunately. 

2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

Shopping is NOT my favorite thing. Thankfully there's on-line shopping now...But if I had to choose something, I would chose clothing. Finding and trying on clothing is exhausting and frustrating, and I find nothing enjoyable about it.

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

I have to cook it! I'm not too fond of cooking, but I LOVE a Thanksgiving dinner!  But the biggest change is that I can't always trek to the island to be with my Mom and Dad and my sisters. It's still a special family meal, but the family has changed over the years.

4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

I'm sure most of my friends would say CHICKENS. I have 8 hens, 5 of which were incubated from eggs over 4 years ago. Chickens are amusing pets. Really. Doesn't everyone share photos and videos of their flocks?

Sadly, our white chicken, Ava, passed away soon after this photo was taken.

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

I would love to travel the world on "Amazing Race". The culture they experience while running race is awesome. I just wouldn't want to do any of the stunts that involve heights or, er, unique foods.

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

I have what I call a "hobby farm". I have a flock of hens for eggs. (See above.) I grow a small vegetable garden in the warmer months. We have a apple tree (that sometimes gives us a few apples). We have farmer's markets all around us. I don't shop at them often, but my 2 favorite veggies to buy are peas and corn on the cob.

7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

I have gone to 4 different garages to determine what repairs I need on my van. I'm in awe that NONE of the garages have agreed on the repairs except for a blown headlight and a rusted brake line. (My son and I replaced the headlight and the brake line is repaired.) I have been told everything from, "It's time to retire her" to "She's in great shape for an almost 11 year old vehicle, but needs a few things repaired." Who am I to believe? 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday Coffee Chat: This or That

Time out for Mom

I'm joining Leslie this week for Tuesday Coffee Chat. Thankfully, her prompt is THIS OR THAT, I don't have to think too awfully hard. :: achoo :: :: cough :: My "thinker" wants to snuggle in warm covers and hope this cold passes. Click on over and read all about it!

THIS OR THAT

Heels or Sneakers?

What would Crocs be? Sneakers! There is no way I'm going to torture my toes in heels. And if I do need to wear something fancier than my New Balances then I'll slip on some sandals.

Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. I don't care for soda. If I've got a headache that won't quit, I will sometimes grab a Coke to see if the caffeine will help (as I don't drink coffee either). And sometimes I'll sip a ginger ale.


Instagram or Flickr?

Neither. I don't use either. I've heard of them though...

Tomboy or Girlie Girl?

Well, I don't like to wear much makeup. My nails are jagged and unpainted. Dresses? No way! See the heels answer above. I like to fish. I just taught my son to put a headlight into a vehicle. Yeah, Tomboy!

Nap or Read?

Oh, it depends on the day. I'm edging towards an early evening bedtime right now. But, then again, I'm battling a cold bug...I do spend quite a bit of time reading each day, bringing my bible, a book for pleasure and my WIP (crochet project) everywhere I go.

Karaoke or Bowling?

No one wants to hear me sing. Trust me. They might not want to see me bowl either, but at least that's not usually painful...

Pizza or Sushi?


Rain or Shine?

There is something special about a rainy day, a day to snuggle down under blankets to read and watch Hulu, but sunshine (although not too warm) is awesome for kayaking and fishing and hiking and picnics and camping and...

Single or Taken?


Dress or Jeans?

JEANS! (PJs would be better...)

Winter or Summer?

Summer! I may complain about how hot and humid it gets sometimes, but Maine summers are fleeting. Winter sticks around FOREVER (it seems).

Exercise or Couch?

Are we talking the gym? exercise videos? Those are so boring! If I'm going to exercise then I want more out of it than good health; I want an experience! I'll take exercise if it can be kayaking or gardening or hiking or swimming. Otherwise, my couch is comfy!

Library or Cafe?

Our little library is such a special place with many nooks and crannies and soft, cushy chairs. Sometimes a quiet spot is just what is needed during a stressful day (or week or month).

Jocks or Nerds?

I know it comes as a surprise, but I'm a nerd, and I'll still with my "flock".

Piano or Guitar?

I've always wanted to play the piano. I took lessons for 5 months once in high school. I still can't play "Chopsticks". I don't have a musical "bone" in my body.

Marvel or DC?

What are these? Oh, DC - DOUBLE CROCHET! I'll take DC! :: wink :: (Can I link up again, Leslie? LOL)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Journal of a Mom: November 23, 2015

THE CLOCK READS...
10:21am

WEATHER IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS
Bright and sunny with cloudless blue skies and just above freezing temperatures

IN THE GARDEN
My men cleared away some of the downed trees, cutting them up with a chainsaw and ax then stacking in the shed. Plenty of wood for winter bonfires!


LOOKING AROUND THE HOUSE
I'm sharing a comfy, cozy morning with one special kitty.


TO DO LIST
☐ Declutter, Organzing and Deep Clean Bedrooms and Upstairs Bathrooms
☐ Pick Up Cold and Cough Supplies: Chicken Noodle Soup, OJ, Tissues

FOR DINNER

WHAT'S ON TV
"Amazing Race" and "Big Bang Theory"

CREATING FROM THE CRAFT BASKET

It's time to UP-CYCLE! After seeing this idea on Filth Wizardry, I decided to give it a try (although I didn't follow her pattern precisely). I removed the plastic label from a no-brand jug of bleach, then my husband cut the top off just below the handle. I hole-punched around the edge (without worrying too much about being straight and even). Using 2 strands of Caron worsted weight yarn, I SC around the top, then did a round of HDC, making handles on each side, before a final round of HDC. Most of my creating was done at the lake while my husband fished nearby. I had a GREAT view (but the rock I was sitting on got a bit uncomfortable).


I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays)Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), The Philosopher's Wife (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).


I'M READING...

SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME THANKFUL
Abundant, unexpected blessings

I'M WONDERING...
...will my issues with the van finally be resolved tomorrow afternoon?

NO WORDS NEEDED

DEVOTIONAL
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (KJB Romans 12:21)

HHM

 I'm linking up to The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: A Bunch of Words


1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

Oh, my life has had many unexpected twists and turns! But I am still surprised some days to be married to Tom, and the love and devotion as share.  I haven't had that before and it's a true blessing.

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesaucebeer o'clockbrain fartbuttdialcat cafe(apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here)fat shamehangryMx (gender neutral), and skippable. 

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?


I've used "buttdial" (and actually BUTTDIALED someone). I haven't even heard of most of the other words! How do you pronounce Mx? I think emoji was also added. Was bae added? Why would anyone use bae? Don't these kids know what it means? The richness of our language is faltering.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?


What's this chocolate gravy you speak of? Until Tom, I just bought the jar gravy, but he prefers to make it from drippings. I do like turkey and gravy, and pot roast and gravy, and I like a pepper gravy on our breakfast pizzas, but gravy is something I can take-or-leave.


4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.


I am a planner. I don't like surprises, and I like to have as much control over situations as I can. Of course those plans don't always go off without a hitch...


5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?


Nah ah! Please don't make me play! I'll play Skip Bo, Cribbage, Uno, Trouble, Sorry!, and even Clue, but not Monopoly. We have the original and junior versions as well as the Maine and Star Wars, and I don't like to play ANY of them. It has to be the longest, more boring game ever!


6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

So, I googled songs with thanks in them. Not one did I recognize! I'm going to have to see what other hodgepodgers say.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

A working vehicle! My van has been in the shop for a week now. Again. Although we have 2 other ITTY BITTY cars (with one not legal for the road), it's been a challenge juggling work, school and family life.

8. Insert your own random thought here.




Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Journal of a Mom: November 16, 2015

THE CLOCK READS...
5:30am

WEATHER IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS
AccuWeather says it'll be a partly sunny 50 degrees today. For November in Maine, it's been mild. And I'm loving it! Last year, things looked like this:


IN THE GARDEN

LOOKING AROUND THE HOUSE
It's quiet. Tom is already at work. Jake is headed to school. Cate is on the laptop getting started on her learning. Sam is snoozing. (He's always a late riser.) I'm enjoying a few moments of blogging before starting a day of housework, schoolwork and crocheting sparkly star ornaments.

TO DO LIST
☐ Staple Greenhouse Plastic to Rest of Chicken and Duck Run
☐ Rake Leaves off the Driveway
☐ Put the Lawn Mower in the Shed
☐ Scrub the Grill and Put Away for Winter
 Burn Branches and Downed Trees (BUY S'MORE MAKINGS)
☐ Plan and Buy Thanksgiving Dinner

FOR DINNER
Baked Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Cole Slaw, and Baby Carrots

WHAT'S ON TV
I'm all caught up on all the shows I watch on Hulu and CBS, "The Amazing Race", "Survivor", "Big Bang Theory", and "The Voice, until later on this week. So, nothing's on TV today.

CREATING FROM THE CRAFT BASKET
I keep a small wicker basket on a shelf for my scraps of leftover yarn. This past week I took out those yarn balls and decided to create simple DC beanies. I chose colors I thought went together and worked up the caps with no specific color pattern in mind. My scrap caps! I've started my 3rd afghan, a striped DC in deep purple and bright lime green for my step-son, but have enough scraps left to make at least 1 more scrap cap for when I need a break from the monotony of a blanket. (For a free DC beanie pattern in different sizes, click here.)


I'm also excited to share with you my crochet and craft Facebook page. I hope to create a virtual space to sell some of my creations, but also to share links to fabulous free patterns and funny memes that celebrate our art. I invite you to click over and like In Stitches!

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays)Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), The Philosopher's Wife (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).

I'M READING...


WHAT MAKES ME THANKFUL

I'M WONDERING...
What will the garage find out about my van? It's been there since Thursday morning and I have yet to hear from them. (They did say they were busy.) I'm praying that it's just spark plugs...

NO WORDS NEEDED

DEVOTIONAL
For we walk by faith, not by sight...(2 Corinthians 5:7)

HHM

 I'm linking up to The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Veteran's Day Edition

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?


2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

I'm not sure this counts as a patriotic film, but "Forrest Gump". It's my old time favorite movie, and it does have some American values running through it.

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

I have never gotten the flu shot, and unless it covers more strains I'm not sure it's necessary (in my opinion). I have never had the REAL flu. (Many people say they have the flu, but really it's just a bad cold.)

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

Always too much. Such a commercialized celebration these days. Buy, buy, buy. Time to get back to the REAL meaning of Christmas.

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

Although I have held a snake or two in my past, even BIG pythons, I'd rather not be surprised with one while out for a walk in the woods or another the yard.

6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?

No, not really, unless you count "building" an afghan in crochet.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

The woods and lakes surrounding our home are a blessing. The serenity of a walk in the woods, hearing the rustle of leaves and singing of wild birds, the glance of a deer, or a paddle along the edge of a calm lake with ducks and geese swimming near by, the sun warming my body are both places that bring beauty to my life.


8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!


Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Journal of a Mom: November 9, 2015

THE CLOCK READS...
7:56am

WEATHER IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS
It's a chilly one out there this morning! The chicken and ducks' water has a thin layer of ice. There's frozen dew feathered on our old car. But we're supposed to warm up to a sunny 53 degrees.


IN THE GARDEN
Fallen leaves and pine needles. Bare trees and withered plants. A pile of wood to burn in the firepit. Scurrying squirrels and chipmunks. Quacks of ducks. Clucks of chickens. Songs of wild birds.


LOOKING AROUND THE HOUSE
All is very, very quiet. Tom is off to work. Jake is off to school. Cate and Sam are visiting their grandparents. It's me and the animals, and they're snoozing.

TO DO LIST
Lots and lots of crochet with breaks for reading and taking leisurely walks. I might even do some closet decluttering and organizing...

FOR DINNER
It's mostly just Jake and I for dinner this week. Fortunately, he doesn't mind leftovers. I'm doubling up meal-making and serving the same dinner twice. I picked up a BIG bag of pre-made meatballs for convenience, serving them 2 different ways. (If you want the recipes, click on the highlighted links.)  I'm all about convenience in the kitchen!

Baked Pork Chops, Sour Cream and Chives Mashed, Peas, and Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce
Salisbury Steak MeatballsSour Cream and Chives Mashed and Peas and Carrots (2 meals)
Honey Teriyaki Sriracha MeatballsBrown Rice and Carrots (2 meals)

WHAT'S ON TV
I'll be catching up on last week's "Big Bang Theory" and "Amazing Race" tonight.

CREATING FROM THE CRAFT BASKET
My pastor's wife asked me to crochet a Yoda beanie with a bow for her granddaughter who's nickname is Yoda because of her ears. (She's adorable!) If you'd like to crochet your own Yoda beanie with bow, click here and here.


I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays)Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), The Philosopher's Wife (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Lunamon Design (Wednesdays).

I'M READING...

SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME THANKFUL
Tomorrow is my 6th month anniversary to my wonderful husband!

I'M WONDERING...
Should I be lazy this week without 2 of the kids around and no homeschooling? or conquer those annoying cluttered areas around the house?

NO WORDS NEEDED
(Isn't she sweet?)

DEVOTIONAL
Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

HHM

 I'm linking up to The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.