Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I awaken early by nature. I love those quiet times of the day. It is my alone time for list making, day planning, reading and knitting a bit. It is also my time for exercise. I was running most days, but a bout with plantar fasciitis has slowed me to walking now. I love my time walking through the neighborhood. I greet neighbors I see or just revel in being alone. My route is between three and four miles, which takes around 45 minutes, just the perfect amount of time for exercise. When I return home I am greeted with hugs and reports on breakfast. Although I often consider staying home and using those minutes for something else, I know I will regret the decision. That early morning outing refuels me and helps me remain centered throughout the day.

** I am working my way through November with prompts from write alm. Join me won't you.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Perfect Buttons


I finished this little sweater for Aine several weeks ago. It is the Bulle pattern made out of Cascade 220. Although the knitting was complete, I could not count it as finished until we found the right buttons.  Aine and I looked together at first, but I was unable to reconcile myself to her picks, and she disliked most of mine. I decided we would look again for buttons when the whole sweater was complete. This weekend that chance arrived. Eamon helped me instead of Aine. He was certain she would dislike whatever we found. I assured him that we would pick two options, and she was sure to like one.


I was right. Aine was delighted with one of the sets of buttons we found. I thought she would when we spotted them. She has a big place in her heart for sparkly buttons. The light blue buttons match the contrasting pockets perfectly. Once the decision was made, I hurriedly sewed them onto the pullover . The sweater is now set aside to be worn on an upcoming trip to colder country. She cannot wait! I am glad we were able to find those perfect buttons.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Tiny Stitches





The mornings have been gorgeous and cool. After my walk in the brisk morning air, I have been picking up my needles to either knit or embroider for a bit. Recently I pulled out the Winterwoods sampler I bought last year from Alicia. I hesitated when she first released the pattern. I live in the southwest, and our winter is so very different from most of the United States. After our time in Virginia I changed my mind, I still love the feel of fall and the memories of my childhood spent in colder climates. With cooler weather here, it seemed the perfect time to begin the cross-stitch sampler.

Clad in jeans, a long sleeved shirt and flip flops, I took up residence on the front porch this weekend. The kiddos rode bikes and played in the driveway. Intermittently they would come over to check out my progress. Aine commented on how much she liked my shirt, a rare comment from the eight year old fashionista, who thinks her mom is rather pedestrian in her dress. Then she counted the figures on the sampler to help me figure out how much to finish each day. Eamon recounted to make sure she was correct, and because we forgot how many she had. We made a plan. So far I have two rows complete and the beginnings of a third. This meditative stitching is really perfect for me right now. My current knitting pattern requires too much concentration. The kiddos continue to race around our park and climb trees, while I marvel at the beauty of our world. With weather like this, I am sure the sampler should be done this week. It is too hard not to spend this time on the porch. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Without Wheels




For over two weeks now, our little family has been without a vehicle. We used our bikes more, took the light rail and depended quite a bit on others. Friends let us borrow their car and van, so we could easily attend services for my dad and get to a gardening class. We carpooled to park days filling up a minivan with scooters and kiddos. A trip to the farmer's market also involved a load of six kiddos and a back filled with produce. We have forgotten the lock to our bikes and been greeted with the generosity of a security guard at the grocery store who let us wheel our bikes inside. We discovered the library is so very close, although the number of books we can check out is limited again to what we can carry. Last minute Halloween costume prep was easily accomplished after a quick ride to the local, family run, fun shop. We know we can take the light rail and a bus to meet Grandma for a play without any trouble. Although we have had to change a bit of what we do day to day, our legs are stronger and our knowledge of our new neighborhood is better. I foresee weekly car-free days in our future.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Testing the new 'Hood

Halloween went fantastically well this year. Originally we had planned on hosting a party followed by trick or treating in our new neighborhood. As the events of the month unfolded the party quickly became much smaller until it didn't even exist. All our plans for treats, tricks and decorations quickly fell to the side. Eventually the kiddos and I decided to host a potluck followed by candy getting.
The excitement was palpable on Thursday afternoon. With their friends over, the kiddos ran around outside and in the park. Everyone had a chance to fill their bellies with the delicious food that was shared. Aine and one of the moms came up with ghoulish names for the dishes. Some of the names turned people off to the food I am sure.
As it became dark, the parents and kiddos headed out in our neighborhood. Eamon had a bit of trouble with his costume. Without a car to secure all the elements for his first elaborate costume idea, he had to resign himself to his backup costume - Jason Fox from Foxtrot. With a chameleon on his shoulder and black glasses, he soon tired of people asking just who he was. Aine's costume came together much easier. She knew she wanted to be an Indian maiden. We found the costume over a month ago at Goodwill. A quick bike trip to the local costume shop finished the outfit with a wig and fish for her hand-carved spear. Benton's costume was by far the easiest and just took a dip into our costume bin. He was the grim reaper complete with Eamon's scythe from last year.
We ended up at our friend's home where the kiddos sorted and traded candy on the front porch. They talked of the neighborhood haunted house run by youths in the area, which filled the streets with scary sounds and screams. They evaluated costumes they saw and shared ideas for next year. As we walked back home, we decided our new neighborhood is very active and perfect for trick or treating. Plans for next year are already underway and involve quite a party and costumes.