Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Snow Day?

Ready to get to work.

I have not been around much because we are busy getting ready for the Fiesta of El Santo Nina de Cebu. Nana and the Bumper are both dancing this year, and I am helping to sew costumes. By helping I mean ironing and  keeping the Bumper occupied while Nana does the actual sewing. The dances are all Filipino folk dances which require a lot of practice, so all of our Saturdays have been taken up with dance practice.
All done!

The Bumper danced last year, but she mostly wandered off and did her own thing. This year she is a lot more focused and is doing her best to follow along. She likes the music and being with other kids.

First Snowfall
We woke up to a snow day today, and the Bumper was really excited! She could hardly standstill to be dressed, she wanted to rush outside in her pajamas's. I was not as happy. It was just enough snow to close school in our area -- about an inch, but not enough to be really fun. Which meant after her first mad dash outside, there was not much for her to do.  There was only time for the Bumper to build a really tiny snowman, make some footprints, and pelt me with snowballs, before the snow switched over to rain. The Bumper was quite put out and I don't blame her, I mean if school has been cancelled the snow ought to be decent enough to play all day in!

For the rest of the day we will bake cookies for the fiesta, the Bumper has asked to snuggle in front of the fire in her sleeping bag for a little while, Nana will finish the rest of the sewing, and genrally just try to stay warm and busy.

Keep Warm!


I am so very thankful for a snug roof over my head, warmth and plenty of food in the pantry on days like this.  The roads are slick and the weather cold, if I don't have to venture out I won't. If am very lucky I will be able to sneak in some crochet and knit in today.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Focus- Books

For the last couple of weeks I have been reading an eclectic variety of books. Everything from Amish homespun wisdom and 19th century letters to wild romp into a Parisian family's past. When I am writing I tend to read non-fiction or out of my genre fiction, right now I am looking for a book on hot air balloons and dirigibles. Here is what was on my shelf this week:

1.  Traces of Wisdom: Amish Women and the Pursuit of Life's Simple Pleasures by Louise Stoltzfus

While the book was a refreshing look at the small joys in everyday life, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been interviews with the women themselves, rather than a commentary by a former member of the community.

2. Hidden America ; From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This County Work by Jeanne Marie Laskas

The book was at turns raw and introspective, giving a reader a glimpse into the private lives of some of the people who do some of the jobs the rest of us would rather not think about.  I learned more about the people than the work they do, but I think that was the point-- to make the reader see people rather than positions.

3. Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present Edited by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler

I am still only in the first section 1775-1779. Ladies back then wrote very long letters, but the perspective is well worth the antiquated English. I am enjoying this walk through history very much. Already I have learned things about the Revolutionary War that were not taught in school! Since this is a library book it will definitely be renewed.

4. Stella!: A Treasury by Marie-Louise Gay

I can't decide who is enjoying this collection of stories about a fiesty big sister and her little brother more; the Bumper or I.  Charming and imaginative this collection has found a welcome place in our bedtime routine. The title character has fun and inventive ways of answering her younger brother's steam of seemingly endless questions. I have even borrowed a few!

5. A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

This story about a middle aged Frenchman coming to terms with his mother's death and uncovering family secrets along the way was one that captivated me from the start. I found my self at turns sympathetic and repulsed by the main character. It is not a book I would have read if a friend had not loaned it to me, but I think I have discovered an author I will read again.

What have you been reading this week?

Happy Reading and Have a Good Weekend


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

I love the first day of the new year, when everything stretches out before me like a blank page pregnant with possibility. I love the chance to start over or reinvent myself if I choose or I can stay just the way I am. I can try new things or  perfect old ones. Acquire good habits and leave behind bad ones. Take a class, learn to dance, draw, cook, sew, spend time with family and friends, grow closer to the Lord,  all or none of these things. A brand new year with no mistakes in it.

Yes I know I carry some of the baggage of the previous year with me, after all I am still me, but it is the possibility that intrigues me. Also as a writer I love that in January I can set a goal of and writing a page a day and at the end of the year I will have a novel length manuscript!

The New Year will have some of the same: the comforting routines of housework, breakfasts,  lunches, suppers to plan and cook, laundry to be done, school time, bath-time, playtime, story-time, and bedtime prayers. There will likely be times of happiness, sadness, worry and laughter. A bright new tapestry to be woven and maybe just maybe an Adventure to be had.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nearly Wordless Wednesday and New Years Eve Musings

It is New Years Eve. It feels weird. I am at turns melancholy and excited. 2014 was largely in the shadow of the tragic events of the end of 2013. Grief doesn't end with the funeral, I learned I can not allot a certain time and place to grieve and be done with it I had to let the feelings come and go as they willed, and still do. Yet there was plenty of joy in 2014, I got to watch the Bumper grow, make friends and learn new skills ( I am most proud of her reading the letters in her name, she is most proud of walking the balance beam at her school, climbing trees and jumping from swings).

I am looking forward to making my New Years Goals, and challeging myself in the coming year. I make goals rather than resolutions. In my mind resolutions are easily made, easily broken, and easily forgotten. Goals on the other hand give me something to strive for and work toward accomplishing. If I did not accomplish some of them I can revise and try again next year! When I do accomplish one I cross it off the list and make another to put in its place.  I have cherished the still quiet moments of this past year, and small things have given me happiness and joy. My faith was tested, stretched, and I hope grew. May this continue in the New Year.

Let' s Ring in the New!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hooky Happiness and Knitty Goodness

Well the Christmas crochet frenzy is behind me. I made a hat and scarf for Nana, a scarf for my sister and hat for the Bumper. I gifted Nana with yarn in the colors of the hat and scarf she wants me to make next, because there just was not enough time in the days before Christmas to get it all done. So now I am looking forward to new projects. I am so excited because there are several things I want to to try and make this year.
Hat and Scarf to Go
Think of all the wee little hats!

First up will be Nana's gift. Hopefully it will be done in time for the annual February cold snap. Next will be the baby hats I am working on for a hospital in need of hats for newborns -- a stash buster and I get to give something back -- win win! Here is the address if anyone else is interested:
Attn: Rachel F
 5007 Opal Drive
Cheyenne, WY
82009 USA

Cozy Blanket here I come!

The Bumper is still asking for mittens and I am looking for an easy knit pattern. Then I will create something just for me and I am so excited. I did not get my act together in time to do the Crochet Along with Lucy at Attic 24  
 but I still want to work up the blanket and am looking forward to it. 
And the sock is still here

Last but not least is the sock that never ends. I have not forgotten about the sock, but I can crochet faster than I can knit. I am still a beginner when it comes to knitting, however; I have a goal I am working towards and it is something I have wanted to knit ever since I was ten years old. Can anybody guess what it might be? It is not socks, but they are a good and challenging starting place.

p.s. It is not a hat, I have a gauge story about hats that put me off knitting for a good many years.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Meatless Monday and Christmas Catch Up

Candles to welcome the Light of the World

The Christmas holiday is still going strong over here. In my family we celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. We will take down our decorations after the feast of the Epiphany, in the meantime we are still singing carols and rejoicing in the birth of the Savior even as the rest of the world has moved on.
The Bumper has thoroughly enjoyed herself. She was much more aware of what was going on than in past years. Nana and I definitely caught her excitement and I was willing to stay up late and fill her stocking. The look on her face Christmas morning was well worth the extra effort. The best part for me was when she snuggled down in her bed that night and said: "Mom I love our family. I am glad God gave me our family." We then had a still quiet moment as the Bumper asked God to take care of her Daddy, who she wished could be with us but understands that he is with God.
Happy Birthday Baby Jesus

On the other hand my sister and her husband were not able to join us for Christmas this year because they were laid up with the flu and were bedridden the entire week. Well they say misery loves company, and I caught a sympathy cold that had me out for the count Christmas night and all the day after. The Bumper now has what I had and is being very quiet today.  I am on the mend but am dragging a little bit.

Now here is the thing, I like m y cuppa in the morning (whether green tea or coffee or lemon water depends on my mood), and I especially like pumpkin spice latte. Yeah I know I am late on the pumpkin bandwagon, but as far as I am concerned pumpkin can be eaten all winter long. What I don't like are coffee house prices and fussy recipes. Don't get me wrong, I have found some wonderful vegan recipes, but frankly I don't have that kind of time.  So I give you Busy Mom's Pumpkin spice latte:

 8-16oz Hot brewed coffee
2-3Tbs non-dairy creamer of choice
1tsp pumpkin pie spice

Add the creamer and sprinkle spice on top and voila:  Pumpkin Spice latte (vegan).  The way I figure I all really wanted is the spice taste, if I am trying to add nutrition to my coffee I need to rethink my breakfast choices!

Happy Drinking,

Finished the Bumper's hat with not a moment to spare!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.
Glad tidings of great joy.
Today is born our Savior Jesus Christ the Lord/