Thursday, April 17, 2014

Random thoughts and a little frugal craftiness

Today is Holy Thursday. The Last Supper. The Institution of the Eucharist. The washing of the feet, whereby Jesus showed us the attitude by which to live. Lent has been interesting, as it usually is. What I think I should focus on, and what God reveals to me? Not even in the same ballpark. On Palm Sunday, I really felt that I had failed to make any real changes in myself and believe me, I am in need of change. Monday came and I got up renewed in my desire to make the most of the holiest of weeks. One little change. One thing I have been doing differently. I can see that this is what I need to help me in so many other parts of my life.

Have I mentioned before how beautiful it is here? I have? Well, it is so beautiful that the pictures I take are very disappointing, for they seem to dull and veil the view.

These fields of yellow are like sunshine for your soul. Scattered among the green of new growth and the rich brown of newly broken soil, they bring a swell of happiness in my heart as we pass them by.

The gentle roll of the earth, the lone tree, the sky with the careless little clouds are like a balm that soothes the hurt as it heals the wound.

I have an overwhelming desire to go running down one of these fields with total abandon.

After reading 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn', I feel the need to not waste anything. Repurpose, reuse. My grandmother grew up in that same time and she is a very frugal woman, saving anything that might be used again. It is in that spirit that I made this needle case.

The outside fabric is the leg from my jeans that wore out in the knees. I cut the length from the back side of the leg, which was still good.

The green fabric is the one piece left over from making covers for my bowls.  That is how I decided how big to make the case. I just used the rectangle that was left. I then took another strip of denim from the other leg of the jeans. This one is half the width of the leg.

The brown is some bias tape that my grandmother once gave me. She has macular degenration and can no longer see very well. On one of our visits before her vision deteriorated too much, she went through her sewing things and gave me some lace that she made, wound on a little card, along with other bits of sewing notions. I treasure these and love adding them to projects. I see them and think of her.

The only thing I actually measured were the spaces for the pouches. Even that was only a dot as a guide where to start. I pinned nothing and just winged it. I added a layer of batting between the fabric to give the needles some protection. I added a wider piece of binding to the side and made a buttonhole in it for a closure.

Here is my 'helper'. He kept taking things and running off, laughing because he thought he was funny. When I stood up from the sewing machine to lay all the pieces together, he scared himself by standing firmly on the pedal and making my machine whir loudly. He then retreated to my bed to watch, but being 20 months, could not resist touching everything I had gathered for my project.

And now, I must go and prepare for Easter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Saturday morning dawned cold and overcast and found us loading up the car for our drive to Legoland. This has been a much anticipated trip.  Arriving in Germany, still clinging to his barf-bag, Jack asked, "Can we go to Legoland tomorrow?"

This little piggie even made oinking noises. Appropriately, he is stationed beside the line to order food. 

 Peter was not happy about being on the back of a lego pig, but was not sure how to remedy the situation.

Attempting to poke him in the eye was not effective.

Gouging both eyes not effective either. Crying for mama did the trick.

 "Would you like more meat with your order of meat?" The German fare is definitely heavy on the meat! Those swirly sausages were on a stick, lollipop style.

Trying his best to remove the sword in the stone. King Arthur he is not.

The next goal: Bury Jack in the sand. It is a lot of fun, by the smiles on their faces.

One of my favorite lego creations in the park.

Did I mention that the menu was heavy on the meat?

I'm not sure what they are planning. I didn't know whether to feel safe or worried, until I saw the storm troopers riding the roller coasters! I think they are friendly.

Tony was most impressed with the likeness to Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn of the guy on the left.

Full scale model of the x wing fighter. Made with over 5 million legos.

See? I believe the storm troopers are friendly. They lovingly posed with our children.

We are now season pass holders, so until the next time, Auf Wiedersehen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny for a yarn along.

Still working on a secret knit. Still loving it.

After seeing that Ginny was reading my all-time favorite book last week, I pulled out my copy of my second favorite book to take with me to an appointment. I love re-reading it because I always find something new that speaks to me. This morning it was this:

 "The sad thing was in the knowing that all their nerve would get them nowhere in the world and that they were lost as all people in Brooklyn seem lost when the day is nearly over and even though the sun is still bright, it is thin and doesn't give you warmth when it shines on you."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Castle with a View

This afternoon, we decided to see our first German castle. We started close by. Berg Nanstein is in Kaiserslautern, which coincidentally is where Tony's car lost it's drive shaft a few days ago. We were following the brown signs, but were having trouble locating the castle. We drove past a narrow little cobblestone path with an arrow to the castle with a picture of a bicycle on it. We assumed that it was a bike path. After circling for a while, our friendly GPS finally felt like cooperating and informed us that that little path was indeed a road for cars. When we reached the castle, the inside was open for only thirty more minutes. Since there was a charge to see the inside, we will go back when we have more time. There was plenty to see on the outside and we stayed for several hours. The weather was perfect, the view phenomenal, the beer cold, and overall was a splendid day for the soul.  I'm told the ice cream was pretty good too.

The view from the castle

There is all kinds of excitement in those faces.

photo credit goes to Anna

This was on the back side of the castle.

A Tree Grows In Berg Nanstein

This is the "road" to the castle. We are coming back down when I took the picture.

Also a two way street. Those cars on the left aren't moving. They are parked That leaves plenty of room to drive, don't you think?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thankful Thursday on a Friday

I am linking up with Jamie today to do a thankful post.

First, let me say how thankful I am to finally, finally, have an internet connection! I called my parents last night for free and I also Skyped with them! Oh, so thankful for Skype so I could see my mom and dad, Sophie, and my grandmother.

Thankful for creative kids who liked watching a show called Art Attack in the hotel room. She created this paper mache helmet from items in the room. I did buy her some paint.

Thankful for cotton yarn and a pair of knitting needles. I made a lot of dishcloths in that hotel room!


Thankful for little boys who can fall asleep anywhere.  Thankful that these kids of mine handled this move like champs. Even through three, count them three stomach bugs in the first six weeks! Thankful for Lysol wipes too.

Thankful that cans of food have pictures on them so I could buy the things we needed for pizza at the local grocery store. Thankful for Google Translate on my phone so I can try and tell the ladies at the deli counter what I would like to buy.

Thankful for our new backyard. Thankful that there is a chicken coop backing up to our yard. (Not our chickens, but we get to watch them) Thankful that Peter gets in on the play now with all his siblings. Thankful for nice neighbors who don't mind the repeated trips into their yard to retrieve baseballs.

Thankful that this is the view out my front door. Look at those mountains! I love the little village we live in. I feel like I am living in a fairy tale book. Everything is so quaint.

Thankful for signs of spring. Flowers are budding and bursting forth everywhere I look. There are so many new plants to see too. And the birds! I am trying to capture them on my camera. There are such interesting birds here.

Thankful that most of the streets look like this. Some are paved, including our street, but all the sidewalks are made of stone like this. It is so pretty.

I am going to have to have a whole post dedicated to all the doors I see. Thankful for all the interesting architecture. It is like eye candy for me. I could just stare and stare and never grow tired of the views.

Thankful for little boys who find these small doors as funny as I do. Little doors like this are everywhere, tucked in the sides of buildings or walls.

Thankful for getting to see this on our walk to the store every day. Thankful that we can walk to the store because Tony's car broke down yesterday. Thankful for GPS so I could find him to pick him up in the big town where he was stranded. Thankful for leftovers because cooking dinner got interrupted for a rescue mission.

Thankful for the little chapel on post (not the one pictured here) where we have been going to Stations of the Cross and a soup supper every Friday. It has helped us meet people in the Church a lot faster than I imagined. Thankful that the Lenten season came along at just the right time this year.

Thankful for little girls who keep on walking after Mommy kisses her knees for the hundredth time. She just keeps tripping on those cobblestones. She keeps walking, but she does not suffer in silence. Thankful for her spirited personality. Most of the time.

Thankful for warmer temperatures so that our walk is more pleasant. Thankful that the sun has been out more than the clouds lately.

Thankful that I walk these streets more than I drive on them. It is like playing chicken every time we drive. There is room for about one and a half cars on the streets in our town. When you meet an oncoming car, you need to determine who is going to yield and pull onto the sidewalk, and who gets to proceed.

Thankful for the exercise this hill affords me every time we walk home. It is a good workout because I am usually the one pushing the stroller loaded down with Peter and all the groceries we have just bought. I am huffing and puffing those last 50 feet. I figure it will get a little easier every time. Right?