Thursday, July 20, 2017

nostalgia



I was looking through old photos on my laptop last night and realized three things:
1. My kids are getting so old.
2. I can't believe how young I used to look.
3. My life has been very full and blessed.

We've made a lot of really cool memories over the past thirteen years with our kids. And I'm so happy that I made it a point to pick up my camera often to catch a still frame of the moment.

So even though my kids are not so keen on me taking their photos anymore, I'm still going to sugar-coat my pleas to them and snap whatever pictures I can in those rare instances when they give their permission.

Cheers to making and capturing memories!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

right now...



We recently returned home after spending about a week in South Carolina with our friends. It was such a refreshing visit, and neither Brad nor I were quite ready to return home. They really are like family, so we always feel right at home when we stay with them.

But alas, here we are and we returned to some craziness indeed. There were various happenings that kept me very busy and a bit on edge, and Lily (who recently started treatment for Lyme's disease) had a bit of a relapse that required an ER visit Sunday night. I had to take Ian to the doctor yesterday to get his finger lanced after he got stung by something in the ocean while at SC and it got infected. It's just been crazy and strange, you guys!

Lily... oh I feel so horrible for her. She's been laying around in bed since Sunday morning, so sick with the Lyme's as well as from side effects of the antibiotics she has to take. It hurts me to see my kids sick, it really does.  I'm doing my best, feeding her nutritious foods and loving on her bunches, but she is so nauseated that she basically has to be forced to eat. I called the doctor today and we're going to give it a couple more days before we discuss possibly switching the med. She's on amoxicillin which is actually much milder than some of the other meds used to treat Lyme's. I'm really praying that she begins to tolerate it better so we can stay on course. So for now I'm trying to push protein-rich foods and giving her a daily probiotic.

We came home to a flourishing garden! It always amazes me how much a garden can grow in a week's time. We've been enjoying the bounty of those beautiful plants. Grilled veggies. Blueberry pancakes. Cucumber salads. Bags of berries for the freezer.

I'm also fermenting two jars of cukes. Fermenting is my absolute favorite way to prepare pickles. I throw in a bunch of garlic and some red onions as well as some dill, and the end result is just amazing! Pickles prepared this way never last long in our home. 

I've also dove into the world of kombucha brewing. Our SC friends' neighbor brews his own and had some SCOBY's that he gave me to start my own. As with most things, I just jumped right in. I spent quite a bit of our drive home online researching kombucha brewing. The SCOBY is so strange looking. It actually looks and feels like a piece of raw chicken. It's very alien-like!

Today, I'm immersed in laundry (like most days) and preparing for an upcoming yard sale that I'm having. And I'm on my second cup of coffee which hasn't happened in a LONG time. Just need a bit more of a boost today.

Have a good one! 






















Wednesday, June 28, 2017

the work of hands...



I have a goal to be intentional about "making" this summer. Whether that be with yarn, fabric, wood, paint, or food, I have some aspirations.

First of all, I absolutely go a bit crazy when I have a project languishing for too long, That means I have a few things that I absolutely want to get done before we start back to school in August. First of all, I have a pair of socks that I knitted for Brad. I finished the second sock while we were in Tennessee in May, but forgot my dpn's so I couldn't finish the toe. And it's STILL sitting in the project bag now a month later! What?! That's definitely a priority. Not because Brad needs wool socks in the summer, but because I only have several rounds left on that darn sock and it needs finished!

I also want to knock that large crocheted afghan out of the park over the next three months. It's already quite large, but my goal was to make it huge so that multiple bodies could snuggle under it. I was working along at a very nice clip until I ran out of yarn and had to order more and then, subsequently, lost my momentum. I'm using this pattern by Attic24.

Another fun crochet project was the market bag. I literally made that entire thing in under 24 hours, start to finish. I used this pattern, and I love how it turned out. It's a bit bigger than I thought, but that just means I can fit more things into it. This was a practical item for me to make, and I do plan on using it when I visit the little farmer's market we have here in the summer. But I could also see this bag being very useful for the beach as well.

Lily is currently making a crocheted rug out of thrifted sheets. I made another thrift store run yesterday morning for more sheets. One of our local thrift stores sells flat sheets for $1 each, and you really can't pass that up, especially when you have a use for them. I bought enough sheets for her to make her rug, as well as enough for me to make one.

I also have a collection of vintage, thrifted pillowcases that I want to trim with a crochet trim. This will probably not be done this summer, but it's definitely on my list of creative "to-do's." I love the look of these pillowcases. In addition, I bought that charm pack last spring because I wanted to make a quilt. Not an over-the-top quilt, but, rather, just a plain, simple patchwork quilt. I've only ever quilted a few smaller projects, so I think intimidation has been preventing me from actually cutting into that fabric. That's silly though, isn't it?

Handiwork has become a very important pastime here in our home. I suppose it has something to do with me sticking the kids in their highchairs at the age of one with oversized paint brushes and non-toxic paint. They've always just seen the process of creating from both Brad and myself, so I suppose that they would just naturally assume the same habit. In the above photos, the sewn doughnuts, the woven candle mat, the rag rug, and the yarn on the spindle are all projects that Lily completed or is working on right now (plus many, many more.) That girl can create up a cloud of dust when she gets in the frame of mind to do so. She's always got her fingers into a project of some sort. Ian is more interested in working with wood or repurposing things (he gets that from him dad and a bit from me.) He made me the wooden coasters from a tree he cut down behind our house and gave them to me as a Mother's Day gift.

So, yes, we spend a lot of our time making things here in our home. Maybe that's foreign to some people, but I honestly couldn't imagine not making that a priority for our family. And I am absolutely certain that it is essential to me and my peace of mind. It's a big part of how I express myself. I just feel like I must create. Which is one of the reasons I have recently took up watercolor painting again this summer. I used to paint in high school and college and my hands-down favorite medium was watercolor. I recently started a nature journal which I am head-over-heels in love with because it is enabling me to practice painting again and learn and record so much about nature (which is another favorite topic of mine.)

Now I suppose I need to find the time to pursue all of these creative goals/projects this summer. I have a rather good feeling that I will not accomplish near what I would like to because I do spend most days out-of-doors in the summer. But there are always rainy days and nights around the campfire which lend to the "making" mood.

Some other crafty plans I have...

I love this Chevron Crocheted Bag

These would be great for storage.

I love this shawl by Cherry Heart.

I need one of these on the side of my barn.