Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yarn Along

I am late to the yarn along this week, but I hope you will forgive me. Jack had Altar Server Boot Camp this week, which meant I had to have everyone ready to be out the door by 8:15. I realize that doesn't seem like a big deal to most people, but to this mama, it is. We have been getting to bed late because the sun doesn't set until sometime around 10:00 pm, and I can't blame the kids, for my internal clock is just as confused. So early rising is quite the challenge.

But onto the knitting. I am working on my "Heathered" cardigan. I always try to learn some new knitting skill with each project. This time, I tried "spit-splicing" my new skein of yarn to the old one. It worked beautifully and there are no ends to weave in! A big plus in my book. I will try to link to the Youtube video I watched to learn this amazing technique.

I just finished reading David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers". I really enjoyed this book. I was so inspired by the incredibly good character of those men. They had integrity, something I truly admire in people. Not being swayed from your moral compass by those with more power and wealth. I can only hope to instill such good character in my own children.

Joining Ginny, as usual.

The spliced section is on the tile, the new section is on the wood. You can tell that it has been felted together, and I was a little worried about how it would look when actually knitted into the garment.

The spliced stitches are on the joint of the needle.

I have divided for the sleeves and am working on the main body of the sweater.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Lazy Days of Summer

The weather finally has decided to act like it is, in fact, July here in Germany. Up until this week, we had not broken 80 degrees. Most nights were in the 50's.

Today, the sun was in abundance, with nice puffy white clouds dotting the brilliant blue sky. And we went above 80 degrees! With the promise of a trip to the Dinosaur Park, the kids quickly did their morning work and right after lunch we headed out. Tony even called to say he could join us there in the afternoon. The kids splashed in the creek until Tony showed up. Then we headed over to the miniature golf course. The last time we tried, there were many tears over the lack of skill. This time, though no one's skill had improved, the mood was cheerful and lighthearted and we had a great time.

working on his form

A perfect day

The first of many water shots, some accidental, some deliberate.

"Where did it go?"

"A little help please!"

"I will do it myself."

I kept thinking of Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail" when he took the kids to the amusement park.

Keeping score.

Rescuing another water shot.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Yarn Along and other things

With all the recent travelling we did, one would think I had a lot of time on the trains and planes to knit. One would be wrong. Travelling without a husband with four kids means you are on call all the time. I think I knit something like 5 rows of a sock in two weeks. Oh, well. I made a baby gift once I got home and finished that up a couple of days ago. That left me with that partially knitted sock ( I don't know when I will finish that. It could be an UFO for quite some time). I bought some yarn on sale over six months ago with the idea that I would like to knit myself a cardigan for the fall that would be soft and warm and be my go-to sweater on chilly evenings. It had to look good paired with jeans, too. After much searching for the right pattern, I think I have found it. I cast on yesterday and so far, I think I made the right choice.

Baby gift

Newest project on the needles, my cardigan.

As for reading, well...I have tried several read alouds with the kids that have not captured our attention. For myself, I have been reading David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers" at approximately one page a night, which is as far as I get before falling asleep! Not because it is boring, on the contrary, I really like it, but because I am so tired when I finally get everyone in bed. It does not get dark here until well after 10:00pm, and their little bodies just can't seem to fall asleep if it is still bright daylight outside.

In other news, we all caught something while travelling. Anna was ill on the trip, but since returning, Tony and I have succumbed to a  horrid cold with a hacking, annoying cough. The kids seemed to get a milder version, except for Therese. She has developed a rash that looks way too much like Chicken Pox. She has not been vaccinated for that yet, so it is a very real possibility. We are currently awaiting the results from the lab.

Tonight, Tony had a gig and was not home for dinner. I have been so bored with our usual cuisine that I sat down for a while on Foodgawker to see if I could find something new. Tony hates rosemary, calling it sticks and twigs, and promptly poo-poos any dish that mentions the stuff. I love it, though, so our dinner tonight was deliciously new and amazing and had tons of rosemary in it! Here are the links to the chicken dish and the potato salad. I changed up the potato salad a bit. We did hard boiled eggs instead of soft. We added feta instead of blue cheese, only because it is what I had on hand. Anna has made a lovely dessert that we will enjoy in a bit, after our dinner has digested a bit.

The baby gift. Isn't she adorable? I will have a hard time giving her away.

That is about all for now. Go check out Ginny's blog for more knitting and reading or just go soak up the sweetness of her new baby!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


On the last leg of our whirlwind adventure, we journeyed to London. Like I said, the train to get there was a fiasco and if there is another train line besides Eurostar, I would highly recommend you try it.

The apartments we procured were exceptionally clean and well appointed, though they did take a bit more of our budget than I liked. That seemed to be the norm in London however. The tube was much more expensive than the metro in either Paris or Rome. We bought the Oyster card, which you could reload if you needed to. I needed three passes and I put 25 pounds on each. I got a very small amount back at the end of our three days there.

On our first morning, we ventured out to the nearby Borough Market to get some breakfast food for the next couple of days. It had all the charm an open market should have and I enjoyed our leisurely stroll from stand to stand. After a late breakfast, we headed out to the London Eye. The weather was overly wet, even for London. Many of the tube stations were closed due to flooding. (Peter had come up with a great way to see the sights...for him. For me, my arms and back are still feeling the effects. He would walk for the first little bit and then request to be carried. Then, he would fall asleep while we waited in line for tickets, waking only when the fun began.) He was disappointed at the slow speed at which the London Eye went around, when he awoke mid-ride. We had planned to make the British Museum our next stop, but the weather was not cooperating. We would have about a 20 minute walk in the heavy rain. So, we stepped inside a store out of the downpour to make a new plan. We could see Hamley's Toy Store without such a long walk. Of course the kids were most happy with the change in plan. After thoroughly exploring every nook and cranny of the toy store, we headed to Chinatown to find dinner. My sister's family is vegetarian and they are more adventurous in their cuisine, so my family went to a more traditional style restaurant and we met back outside to find a street band playing "Hit the Road Jack". It went on for at least 10 minutes and everyone who passed by could not help doing a little jig. We then walked toward the theatre district and were paused by a street magician. He was quite entertaining. Then Jack turned to see that a theatre across the street actually had on display the Ecto 1 from the new Ghostbusters movie. He just finished building a Lego model of the original one, so he was thrilled to see this one.

The second day, we decided our legs needed a break and got on the Hop on-Hop off tour bus. We hopped off at the Tower of London and toured there. We hopped back on and rode until we needed to head to the train station for our Harry Potter Tour. My niece is a huge Harry Potter fan. So is Olivia. Anna has read only the first book so far. (When the older girls read these books, they were just being released, so they grew up along with Harry. They read the first book around age 11 and the last when they were 16 or 17.) I am making Anna read them the same way, much to her chagrin. The tour was interesting in the fact that I had no idea how much work it takes to make a movie and this really showed how they made every little prop and set. On our train home, it broke down just outside the station and we sat there for quite a little bit waiting for it to be repaired.

The last day, we packed up our bags and headed back to the Borough Market for breakfast. I really wanted to sit down to a nice breakfast since most of meals the whole trip were on the go between sites. The place I chose did not disappoint. It was the best food I have had in a long, long time. The table was situated on a balcony overlooking the market. Perfect. We then finally made it to the British Museum so that Anna could see the Egyptian exhibit. We also saw the Rosetta Stone. The clock and watch room was amazing too. Not wanting another fiasco when travelling, I gave myself plenty of time to get to the airport. Turns out I needn't have worried. Our flight was delayed and we ended up sitting in an airport restaurant for nearly three hours. When we finally saw that our plane was boarding, I paid the bill and headed for the gate, which was yet another train ride. I got in line and went to get our tickets and passports, only the tickets were missing! I checked every bag, beginning to panic. The woman behind me suggested I step up to the counter and let them know so they could be looking it up. There were my tickets, sitting on the counter! The waiter had found them and then had them sent to the gate. If only I could thank him! When I stepped through the door in the airport to see Tony waiting there for us, the relief that our journey was over filled my heart. Truly, truly, there is no place like home!

view from the apartment

view from the London Eye

a dizzying view

not enjoying the view

"It is not going fast enough"

Hit the road, Jack

obligatory photo of phone booth

cousins at the Tower of London

Car from Harry Potter...who is driving this thing?

How we all felt by the end of the trip