Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yarn Along...and other things

Thanks to Hurricane Irene, I had all Saturday to sit and knit and wait to see what would happen. We never lost power, praise God. Our leaky window leaked, and we had lots of downed tree limbs. I feel very fortunate that we fared so well.

I am excited to announce that I have finished my first lacework shawl! It is at this very moment being blocked. There were moments of panic when I realized a mistake had been made. I have found that, for me, it is best to immediately put down my knitting and walk away to calm down. Then I can come back later and examine my work thoroughly and come up with a plan. What about you? How do you deal with mistakes?

Pre-blocking

 
 Pinned and drying.

 Before

 After

 I have been busy with post-hurricane clean-up around here, but I did find a few hours to knit and crochet this little headband. I have not crocheted in quite some time, but the pattern had a video tutorial. It was fun and easy and ready to wear in no time.

As for reading, I have been reading out loud to the kids each night from our library selections each week. I have been SO tired lately that I fall asleep as soon as I tuck in the kiddos.

The next pictures are not about knitting or reading. They were taken at the last ever summer concert at Fort Monroe. It has been a tradition for over seventy years, but they are closing the post and therefore the concerts must come to an end.

 The gazebo all lit up

 The flags flapping in the breeze from the waterfront

 Jack decided to wear this band hat I found at a thrift store.

 I love the look he is giving my friend's little boy.

 The last concert each season ends with the 1812 Overture complete with cannons. There is a seperate conductor who cues the cannons.
 This was the best I could get. I wish I were a better photographer.
Not to mention people kept getting in my way!

This was her first taste of Oreo's. I wasn't going to include this picture except that I want to see if you can tell that her eyes aren't quite looking in the same direction. I have noticed this off and on since she was about 4 months old. This is the first time I caught it on film. Can you see it?

Thanks to Ginny for hosting and I hope no one minds all the extras this week!



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Preparing

As Hurricane Irene closes in on the east coast, I went to the store to buy some canned provisions and water, just in case. I bought some canned fruits and veggies, though not what I would consider the most healthy fare, but what the hey, it's a hurricane for Heaven's sake. My husband had the same idea to stock up on food and water and also stopped at the store on the way home from work....
 ...ummm, I think this is a subtle hint that just maybe, he doesn't fully appreciate my attempts at a healthy diet. He raised his arms and shook them mightily with a hearty guffaw issuing forth as I carried his booty into the house.
I'm just praying that we won't need this, but it is good to be prepared.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I felt the earth move...and other big news

Therese was asleep in her crib. The little kids were playing quietly beside me. I was perusing Ebay, looking for THE one thing my husband really wants to have. He doesn't want much for himself ever. I wish I could buy it for him, but the budget won't allow. Yet. One day, it will. All was quiet.

At first, I thought the kids were pulling on my chair. I turned to tell them to stop, but they were not touching my chair. Then I heard a low rumbling sound and the slab foundation of our home was shaking. The walls were swaying, pictures were swinging, my pile of freshly folded laundry fell over. I slowly realized that I was experiencing an earthquake! It was over in a few seconds, and I was shaken, emotionally. Tony was at work, Olivia was at school. I could not hold them close. We are fine now and the kids thought it was exciting. Although Jack did bring me a picture of a giant 'x' and told me it meant no more earthquakes in our house.

In other news, if anyone even remembers that I mentioned that there was something big that I wasn't ready to talk about, I am ready now! Let me start by saying that I love the south. I love warm weather, spanish moss growing on trees, the laid back feel of small southern towns. The slow drawl of a good southern accent. I imagine us retiring one day in such a place with a few chickens and a red barn and a large garden.

I'm guessing the army honcho's don't read my blog, or else they would know what kind of shock they have put upon this southern gal's heart. We have a new duty station to report to and it is not below the Mason-Dixon line my friends. It is not even close. We are going to ALASKA!!!! We have about a year to prepare ourselves. I have had about a month to get used to the idea and I am trying to embrace the new adventure before us. This could be fun, right? Tell me how much fun it is going to be, please!

Monday, August 22, 2011

End of Summer

It has been a whirlwind of a summer and now it is over. Olivia's first day of school is today. Luckily for me, she checked her facebook page yesterday, because I thought she didn't start school til Tuesday! Don't even ask how I got that one mixed up.

We ended our summer on a glorious note: A week at Folly Beach with my family. Before we left, we were baraged by various appliances and gadgets decided not to work. I did not have time to properly repair the stove, so I rigged it with a bungee cord in order to bake the bread I needed for the trip.

One of the first days in South Carolina, we packed up the seven of us, and drove to Georgia to visit the cemetery and put a fresh bouquet on Ben's marker. We also got to see several good friends that afternoon. It was a good day.

The rest of the week was dedicated to relaxation. On the porch with Therese.


Under the tent with the kids.


More playtime.

A flower discovered on a morning walk.

Also found this guy on the same walk.



The view from the dunes.

Sophie and her Grandma

The whole gang minus my sister's boyfriend, who unfortunately could not stay the whole week.

It was a great week, and it even got better when some friends very dear to our hearts stopped in and spent the day with us yesterday.


And now, the new school year begins. I am really looking forward to it! Goodbye summer, hello school!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In Loving Memory

It has been four years today since God called my Ben home.

My post today is on his blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On the Lake

I don't want anyone to think that I always complain. I am so grateful for all I have, especially my family. We spent a long weekend with my parents and it was so fun! I think I probably gained 5 pounds from all the good food my mom prepared. I am proud to say that my mom can cook the pants off me!


On the boat at the lake. Isn't my mom beautiful?


The captain of the ship! My dad.


Please tell me you can tell how much fun tubing is!
Click on the picture to get a good look at their faces.



At first, Therese was not so sure about the whole boat thing.

The life jacket, the swaying floor, the noises.


She changed her mind!

She loved the lake.


A Recipe and other things

Remember the orange-cinnamon loaves I made for Sophie's birthday? I did say that I would post the recipe soon. It's still soon, isn't it? I got this recipe from my mother. She took a bread baking class when I was a little girl and this is one of the breads she learned to make.


Yesterday, I made the foolish decision to have a cyst removed from my back. Hindsight being what it is, I should have waited until we returned from our upcoming beach trip. The surgeon boasted that he had only had two cases with complications. I know this was supposed to be reassuring, however, with the way things have been going here lately, I had my doubts. A few hours after I returned home, something didn't seem right and I went to the mirror to investigate. They had said to expect some slight swelling. Well, it looked like they had implanted a baseball on my spine! I went back to the hospital and they said it was a hematoma and they put a pressure wrap around my body to help reduce the swelling. It is somewhat better this morning, but I cannot lean back in a chair.

Why did I think things might not go smoothly?

1. Our A/C went out again this weekend while we visited my parents. In case you haven't been keeping count, that's three times this summer!

2. My oven that is less than 2 years old, but is no longer under warranty, is not working properly. I think the hinges on the door are sprung, for whatever temperature I set it for, it is about 75 degrees less. If I hold the door tight, it will increase the temp. A home repair is in the works.

3. The reading lights in the van keep blowing the fuse.

4. The garage door opener is possessed, I think. It will randomly decide to reopen itself.


It is almost comical how all these things happen at the same time. Almost.

Now, that recipe I promised:


ORANGE CINNAMON LOAVES


Soften 1 pkg. yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.

Mix 1 cup scalded milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 cup orange juice. Cool to lukewarm.

Measure 6 1/2-7 cups flour.

Stir in 2 cups flour and 1 slightly beaten egg-beat wll; add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead 10 minutes and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down- divide in half and roll each half into a 15"x7" rectangle. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. cinnamon and spread on each rectangle. Sprinkle each with 1 tsp. water and smooth with a spatula. Roll up dough and seal edges. Place sealed edge down in loaf pans. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and frost with icing made of 1 cup powdered sugar and 4 tsp. orange juice.




Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yarn Along

A bead! Do you see it? Right next to the stitch marker. I did it! My first row with beads! I watched a video on how to add beads, and the lady made it look so easy. In fact, it is easy, once you get your hands used to holding your work and a crochet hook. By about the 10th bead, I found my own little rhythm.

I've been reading this book to Anna before bed. I read Jack whatever book on vehicles he wants first, then I pick up the Penderwick's. It's funny how people start gathering around us as I read this story. Everyone likes it and wants to hear the next chapter. Even my husband. It is so sweet to look up from the pages and see my family all together.
I am gathering courage as I get further into this project. Oh, there are already mistakes, but they will stay. I once read somewhere that the Amish purposely leave a mistake in their quilts because the only truly perfect thing is God. I don't even know if this is true, but I like the idea behind it. Plus, it allows my perfectionist side a chance to relax and just "go with it" when I realize many stitches later some little detail I did wrong.
Thank you Ginny as always for hosting!!