Friday, April 26, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ready to Head Out


As the month of April comes to a close, my time at Rhythm of the Home too is ending. Today as we pack up the car to head north for a bit of camping, I share our camping enthusiasm. Although I didn't grow up camping, I treasure this activity that we share. This first trip of the year will include close friends. There will be a birthday celebration and much laughter too. The kiddos have already planned trips to the river and lake. We have binoculars for bird watching and way more supplies than any family needs. I plan on finishing a bit of knitting, running in the mornings and taking long walks with the family. Dave wanted to bring his kayak, but his pfd is in storage somewhere. That trip will have to wait until we move into the new house and our next trip out into nature.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Turning a Corner

I haven't been knitting. Every day I pack my knitting into my bag, venture out and return home without ever touching it. I have been in a knitting funk. The other night I decided I needed to break out of it. I pulled the shrug out of my bag and set to work. After a bit of analysis, I realized that I had done too many repeats, so I ripped part of the knitting out. With that fixed, I began the ribbing. At the park yesterday I turned a corner and finished the ribbing on the main body of the shrug. Today I will block it so that I can seam up the sides and begin the final ribbing section. I am a bit concerned about my remaining yarn quantity, but I am hopeful. I think I just need to finish this project. It seems to have hurt my knitting alacrity.

I am back to reading The Sandcastle Girls. I took a break to read Beautiful Ruins, which I very much enjoyed. I would recommend it both books. They are quite different, but both engaging stories.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Free Days

A week or so ago, the kiddos and I headed out to the Desert Botanical garden for a free afternoon among the wildflowers. Wildflower season here in the desert is brief but gorgeous. For a few short weeks in the spring, the desert awakens in full bloom. The flowers come in a range of colors-white, orange, red, pink and yellow. I really like the garden most of the year, but this time is special. It is a magical time. 

The garden was a bit busier than usual, since there was free admission. We have had a membership in the past, but let it lapse with our trip to Virginia. I think we will be renewing our membership again as I like it a bit less crowded! The kiddos ran along the trails to find the secret climbing tree. They pointed out flowers and examined the artwork installation. The weather was a beautiful for the excursion.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Weekend

The weekend was full of friends and family. Saturday evening was spent saying goodbye to friends who travel to other states during the summer. They opened their home to a group of us for the celebration. The kiddos had loads of fun building a fire with some of the parents, chopping wood, climbing a rope, digging a tunnel and practicing pull-ups. No one wanted to leave, although we eventually did with a car full of Alaskan caught salmon and grass-fed beef from the resident fisherman/rancher. Sunday was a bit quieter. Eamon spent the day with a friend and the other kiddos ran errands. Dave upgraded the kiddos computer and I shopped a bit for our upcoming camping trip.

Friday, April 12, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reading and Knitting

Work on my shrug is slowly moving along. The lace is very easy to remember I just haven't been picking it up as much as I usually do. I have two more repeats of the lace and then on to the ribbing. I keep thinking tomorrow will bring more time to knit, but right now tomorrow is always quite busy.

I was so pleased to find the latest issue of Kindred magazine in the mailbox on Friday. I showed off my piece to anyone who would pause long enough to read it. Since then I have been savoring the whole thing. Dave and I sat outside on the balcony reading while the kiddos crafted a fort out of the freezer box. It was so nice reading the poetry and prose contained in this issue. I am proud to be included with such works.

I am also reading Beautiful Ruins. My process was interrupted when the ebook was due at the library. Fortunately a print version was available for pick up, and I am back on track. Progress also continues on my audiobook which is currently The Poisonwood Bible. Great things to read right now. I am just trying to find the time.

Fellow yarn alongers, how do you find time to read when life gets busy? Do you just focus on making time, or do you relish in the thought that things will soon slow and you will lose yourself in a book again?

Monday, April 08, 2013

My Leaves

This weekend I took a moment to capture my Leaves of Grass blanket. I am quite pleased with how it turned out. Blocking really helps this piece. I didn't use blocking pins, since we are staying at my parents' home, and I didn't have them available. I draped the blanket over a queen sized bed pulling the lace out evenly. I think it looks pretty good for now. I will reblock it once we have used it a bit. Next time with pins.

The piece took just under two months. The finished size is quite large. I am 5'10" and it fits me. I have packed it away for now saving it for cooler weather.


 **Be sure to check out Rhythm of the Home's blog this month. I am a guest contributor this month. My first post explores the beauty of the desert.

Friday, April 05, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Retired

This little bike has served my family well. Eamon was the first to ride it. With confidence he would pedal along the street. We finally convinced him to take off the training wheels, and with trepidation he rode while Dave and I ran along behind him. He would check his shoulder to make sure we were there; when we weren't, he kept riding.

Aine didn't need the training wheels for long. She was so young when she set off on the path near our home, flying down hills and racing along the straight aways. Not wanting to be left behind by a brother on two wheels, she quickly adopted her own.

Benton just finished his tenure on the little blue bike. He hung onto those training wheels. He asked for them to be removed once and quickly changed his mind when the idea of balancing a bike seemed too much. When we returned from Virginia last fall, I convinced him to try again. With reluctance he agreed. While I was putting the wrenches away, he climbed onto the bike and rode away. I don't think he ever looked back.

This week we pulled out Eamon's recently outgrown bike. Benton has had his eye on it for quite some time. After putting some air in the tires and adjusting the seat, he climbed right on and all three kiddos were off. The need for the little bike is gone in our family. All five of us can ride together. I even took the child seat off of my bike. Big changes are afoot, and so much excitement. If you need us, you can probably find us on the bike path.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Adjusting


Since I arrived home in Arizona two and a half weeks ago, there has not been much knitting. After I finished the red Annabel sweater in the car, I worked a bit on a pair of socks. With the forty degree increase in temperature, it took a bit for me to adjust and get my knitting mojo back. It just seemed weird to work on hats, mitts, and sweaters with summer right around the corner.



Despite my lack of motivation, I was able to cast on two projects. The first was a baby sweater for one of my nieces, expected to arrive later this year. It wasn't quite right, so I ripped it all out. With a bit of help from a friend, I think I have found a pattern that will work better. I also started a shrug out of Dream in Color in the Cocoa Kiss colorway. The pattern is fairly straight-forward and knits quickly. I am about halfway through it. I am a little worried that the yarn looks like faded black jeans. Aine and I decided I should have picked a brighter summery color, but I was working from stash yarn.  I am hoping to finish it up next week and resume the baby sweater.
With the decrease in knitting, I have been reading quite a bit. I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the last. It became a bit fantastical and the characters more annoying. It was a compelling read though. I am currently reading Beautiful Ruins based on Amanda's recommendation. I am just begining to be drawn into the story. I started a new audiobook too. I am now listening to The Poisonwood Bible. It is quite enjoyable thus far. The narrator has a southern accent which reminds me of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I also read and listened to it many years ago, so I may add it back to my reading list. It deserves a rereading.

Joining up again with Ginny for her Yarn Along.

*I will hopefully have pictures of my Leaves of Grass blanket as well as the Annabel sweater this weekend. It is much to hot to model them right now.

Good Things

Photo taken during dropoff for Ancestral Knowledge class in Virginia
In the middle of the night last night, I felt a hand rubbing my back. I popped my head up and looked first in Dave's direction. Since he was fast asleep, I glanced the other way. Eamon was standing by the bed. He wanted me to lay down with him; he had a bad dream. I walked with him to his bedroom, climbed into his twin bed and held him. Almost immediately he asked to name "Good Things." It was a routine I started when he was very young. When he would awaken in the middle of the night, I would try to refocus his mind. Instead of fretting about the dream, I would have him list five good things. We would go back and forth naming items until the good thoughts replaced the bad.

I really like our "Good Thoughts" tradition. Not only does it calm my kiddos' upset minds, but it gives me another glimpse into their thoughts. I am always struck by what each of them picks for their list. Eamon is my most frequent dreamer of unsettling things, so he has the most experience with our "Good Things" practice. His list last night included family, friends, books, rocks, and the outdoors. Occasionally it includes Minecraft, but I like that it always includes his parents and his siblings - often by name.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Full


Phew! It has been an amazingly full two weeks, since we arrived back home in Arizona. After three long days in the car, the kiddos were delighted to see their grandparents and friends. We jumped right back into activities when we arrived. Our weeks have been full of friends, the park, Minecraft day, our book group's monthly family potluck, crafting, running, hiking, pogoing, bike riding, reading, and a whole lot of fun.

Since our return, we also celebrated a big birthday, relishing in our little man who is now F-I-V-E. The kiddos colored eggs and went on a scavenger hunt created by Grandma. Our family walked along the wash near home looking for wildlife and a few of us have gone hiking. The kiddos played with cousins and talked to a favorite Auntie and Uncle. Much love and smiles were given to a certain little niece, who is a bit fickle in her attention, but dearly loves her Uncle Dave.

The weather here has been fantastic. Initially our systems were a bit surprised by the constant 80 degree weather, having just experienced the mid-40s, but we quickly adapted. Much of the last two weeks has been spent outside. The kiddos have even tested the swimming pool, but the older folk still balk at the cold water.



Amidst all this crazy fun, much time has been spent on serious stuff too. We have been trying to decide where we will live. When we moved temporarily to Virginia last year, we packed up our home. Since we rented, it was an easy decision. Our initial return was spent with my parents, while we waited to hear if we would return to Virginia or be assigned elsewhere in Arizona. After a repeat trip to the D.C. area this past February and early March, we are back here in my parents' home. With no more out of state trips in the near future, it is time to find a new place to live. Our dreams of moving out of state are not happening fast enough, so we have decided to settle here in Arizona for the time being. Although we still carry those dreams, we want to make certain our now is not missed pining for our tomorrows. We think we have found our new home and are just working on all the paperwork that accompanies a home purchase. It is an exciting time, but I still hope we can someday move to our farmette. As my wise husband tells me, nothing is permanent. We can always change our course as necessary, but for now we are here. And we are loving our very full days.