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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Yarn Along: Deja Vu

Can you even see any progress on Nejat's blanket? I promise that there is some, but it may be hard to tell. There are only five more rounds (stars?) to go before I am finished with the crocheting. Then it will have to be finished, ends woven in and cloud border sewn down and so on, before I can give it to Nejat. Basically, though, I'm only a little past where I was last week.

Oh! I forgot to mention something again this week. I finally joined the rest of the interwebs on Instagram. You can find me there @arabianknits, if you want to follow me.

Likewise, I am still reading An Everlasting Meal. This is a book I would like to own. It will go on my wishlist. It reads like Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, which I love, without the same level of political narcissism, which I hate. At least so far. I haven't finished it yet, of course. This is a cookbook, a memoir, and a novel, all in one.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Fanatic.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Menu Plan: September 18 - 24

Rich and I have visited an Anglican church in our area a couple times. Since we have no parish of our own here, we have largely been attending a Catholic church. We were told about an Anglican church that meets in the afternoon and has dinner together after the liturgy. So, we went to see. We went once when there was a baptism and once and a more normal service, and this week we brought our children. We've basically decided to go to the Catholic church for mass in the morning, and to the Anglican church in the afternoon, like some people have morning and evening services. The real bonus is that our family, all of our family, can commune at the Anglican church. It's still not quite home, but it makes it more home like.

This week is our real week of school and work. Alexander is back to college this week, and we are back to full time school and outside activities and our co-op begins again. Rich is getting ready for some important things at work, and could use some prayer. Last week was rough on us. Nobody was sick or had any allergic reactions, but we had a nasty surprise that we're all still having to deal with now. It's been emotionally and mentally exhausting. I'm trying to plan easy meals and make enough that we can eat leftovers more often.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Menu Along: Hit by a Mack Truck

It's been a while since I've shown any progress on Nejat's blanket, but I'm so close to finished with it. I really hope I can get the crocheting complete by this weekend. Maybe, just maybe, I can get to all the finishing I need to do (like on my top, and the second mitt, as well as sewing down cloud borders and weaving in ends on this blanket). Nejat loves her blanket. She doesn't care that it was supposed to be finished for her birthday. Last year. She comes up to it and rubs her little face on it, and tells me how soft it is. I can't wait to have it finished, because I just want to be done with it, but I also can't wait to give it to her for her to enjoy.

I forgot to give the update on Marine Layer. It was supposed to be published in October, but the magazine has gone monthly in order to spread out the patterns so they get more attention. So, instead, the set will be published in November.

What am I reading? I finished The Stitching Hour, and started An Everlasting Meal, which, so far, I am enjoying.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Fanatic.

Our school schedule hit me like a truck on a dark highway. We've been going full tilt, and I'm not getting as much done as I'd like. I try to have my menu plans at least started, so I can just finish them off by Saturday, but I had nothing. With Alexander at home all day, too, I've been trying to cram as much in while he has full time school at home, before he switches to part time at home and full time at the college.

Dominic had planned on doing two courses with the public school here, but after trying it out for the summer, he decided it wasn't rigorous enough. It was fun, and he learned things in the class, but it didn't seem as challenging to him as he wanted. Since it was something he loves, we agreed with him that focusing on the core of our curricula, and getting him to where he needs to be with his own writing and mathematical skills would be a better use of his time, since he could take on an apprenticeship or learn from someone else or take college courses for the film and media aspect of what he'd like to do. In the interim, he wanted his education to be more well balanced and full. So, that's what I'm working on with him.

Ballet and co-op, meetings and all the normal bustle of life are also coming at us pretty rapidly, and we have Nutcracker to think about in less than two months. Bleh. I love them doing the Nutcracker, I just hate that it eats up our Thanksgiving weekend with dress rehearsals and performances. I was hoping that wouldn't be repeated this year. Not only all of this, but Thursday, Mariam came down with an awful case of hives from a reaction of some sort, which resulted in two nights in a row of us being up just about all night, and watching cartoons with her to keep her distracted from the pain and itching that was literally making her shake from the pain. She is doing much better now, but it was so hard for her, and so hard for us to watch and try to help. We still have no idea what triggered it. Fortunately, Rich had the sense not to do the work on our barn roof the Saturday after all of this, I canceled a trip I was going to take with a friend, and he had a BFR canceled, which was probably the safest thing for everyone.

Anyway, here is my menu along with my yarn along. Since we have about a million peaches, and keep getting more, we are eating a ton of them. We have at least one major repeat of a meal this week. Speaking of peaches, I still owe you all the peach upside down cake recipe. I'll try for this week if nobody gets hurt or sick or stays awake all night, two nights in a row.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Menu Along: I Tried Not to Do This

I had the opportunity to get a lot more knitting and crocheting done this past couple weeks. Rich had a conference in Montana, and aside from the long drive there and back, while he was busy with meetings and workshops and class sessions, I had a lovely hotel room in which to watch food tv and work on projects. And an even lovelier outdoors to sit and knit. I finally finished the knitting on the ballerina top, made quite a bit of progress on Nejat's blanket, and finished another mitt. I still have to weave in ends and block, and I still don't like the top that well. Once I've gotten all the finishing done, I'll try it on and see if it seems any better to me. My plan at the moment is still to send it off to someone else so I don't have to look at it any more.

Since we were on the road, I checked to see if there were any yarn shops around so I could get souvenirs. We stayed at a resort, and there wasn't anything there, but on our last day of the trip, we hit two yarn shops in Bozeman. They were very different from each other, but both had lovely yarn. I have to admit that I found the Yarn Scout more friendly and welcoming, though it was neat to find bison fiber and yarn at Stix. I completely spaced that I have a good friend who spins, so I didn't pick up any fiber for her, which I wish I had.

At Yarn Scout, I found some HiKoo SimpliCria, which I've been wanting to try for myself, and when I said that, the shop owner told me she had just opened the box of new colors and asked if I wanted to look through them. We all know the answer to that, and though there were a couple colors that interested me, I settled on this orchid, and bought a whole bag. Rich talked me into it. I tried to tell myself that getting four to six skeins would be enough, and he said that I might as well get it all, and save us all the sadness and trouble of me wishing I'd bought the rest after we'd returned home. It is chained and composed of baby alpaca like Rowan's discontinued Lima, but it comes at a lower per yard cost and is softer, in my opinion. I have enough to make a short sleeved sweater, which will be perfect for fall and early spring, or under a coat in the winter. It's a little too warm a fiber to make a long sleeved sweater out of, I think, as in sweater weather, I spend as much time indoors as possible.

There was also the mug above. I have been wanting one of those for a while, and they are for sale on etsy, but since it is hand made pottery, it is pricey, and with shipping, I'd held back. There was no shipping to pay in the store, and there is no sales tax in Montana, either, so Rich told me I'd better pick it up, and then helped me find the best blue there.

Since I like to get souvenir yarn that has a tie to the place we visit, I looked for special colorways, or locally dyed or raised or spun yarns. At Yarn Scout, I found some locally raised and spun yarn, I picked up a generous hank of charcoal alpaca, and several dyed for the shop colors. At Stix, there was the bison fiber and yarn. I bought a skein of a bison and merino blend to make a hat or something small like that, as well as the gradient from a local yarn company, Western Sky Knits. I can't tell what exact colorway it is, as it was unmarked. It was so lovely, though, that I had to pick it up. I can see a triangular or semi-circular shawl coming from this yarn.

Rich and I read one more section of Theology of the Body in Simple Language before we left on our trip. I finished two books The Suspicion at Sanditon, and Mudhouse Sabbath. I don't know if it is because _Sanditon_ wasn't complete, but somehow the tone of this mystery seemed more jarring than her others. It read more modern than Regency. Her other novels seemed to keep the tension between not sounding stilted and affected and not sounding out of period better. I noticed the modernity in this one, while the others were smoother, so I was constantly aware that I was a modern person reading people who didn't quite sound like they ought. The story itself was fun and enjoyable. Also, it turns out that I have read _Mudhouse Sabbath_ before. I had just forgotten. I think Lauren Winner might find a lot of what she missed of orthopraxy in Orthodox Christianity, or at least Eastern Catholicism.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Fanatic.

This week began with a teen movie night at our house. We returned from our trip Saturday night, and the kids helped us get everything ready for their party. Rich and the boys turned the back yard into a movie viewing area, with a bigger television and the dvd player out there, hooked up to the big stereo speakers. They strung up lights on the back porch, around the disco ball (what? You don't have one hanging outside your house?), and in the maple tree. They set up chairs, a section of the kids' couch, a mat with a mattress on it and a couple tables for the food and drink. We watched the new Jungle Book, or rather, they did, and Rich and I saw part of it as we went back and forth between the party and our younger kids, who were inside watching a cartoon movie. Including our oldest four, we had 20 teens/pre-teens at the house, and we still had two pizzas left over when it was all said and done. After the movie, Alexander put on a play list of music for everyone to dance, and Rich set up a fire pit, and all had a great time. Since it was Sunday evening, we had the holiday on Monday to rest a bit after our late night.

This was kind of our kick off for school. Amira's name day was on Monday, and we had our neighbors over to grill our goodbye to summer. Today, we began school in earnest, and it went pretty well. Ballet started up again this week, so we're back to weird dinner times and shuffling menus until we figure out a plan that works for all of us. Because of the new dance schedule, Rich is going to be in charge of the making, or at least starting, of dinners on most Fridays, so I'm trying to make those easier meals, with recipes linked here for him.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Menu Plan: August 28 - September 3

My vacation continues apace, but the meals are planned. The kids are still going to do much more of the work themselves, however. We had two birthday celebrations last week. Mariam turned six, and Jerome had his birthday party with his friends. This week is the last week we have of no school or extracurricular activities, though there is a not back to school homeschool picnic. I'm excited to have a week in which all I have to do is knit, read, and rest. I intend to take a good dose of prayer and quiet time this week, too.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Yarn Along: Losing Stash Dash

This is my first week of summer break, so if you are looking for a menu plan, you won't find it. The kids have been handling most meals, so I can take a break from all of the stuff they needed me to do all summer. This week and next week, we have nothing on the schedule, except for rest and fun, so I'm enjoying that break before school starts again. Especially since we decided to host a big teen party just before school starts for everyone again, too.

The Marine Layer scarf is finished now, as is another sample of the mitts in a different colorway. My photographer and model friends and I got together to do it all again this past weekend for the final photography, so I can send the entire set of pictures I want to use to the editor this week.

I lost Stash Dash, but I picked up that top up there again. The one that has been nearly finished for almost ten years. I'm starting to hate it. Rich thinks I'm throwing good yarn after bad, and ought to rip it out to make something I actually like, but I am thinking that if I finish it, I can give it to someone who likes it and never have to see it again. Rich and I have a lot of driving to do next week, so I think I can knock this out then, if I don't finish it this week. Between that, Nejat's blanket, and finishing another mitt, I should be able to add three more finished objects this month, which isn't too bad, even if I didn't meet my goal.

My last Magnolia Society Sweater Club shipment finally arrived:

Madelinetoash DK Twist in Dapper

I know I'm not going to get to it right away, but this yarn is for a vest for Alexander. He probably won't get it until next year, either for his birthday or Christmas.

Rich and I have read a couple more sections of Theology of the Body in Simple Language. He's been reading aloud while I knit. I read a couple fluff books last week. One was a fun, happy, little murder, Wicked Stitch, and the other, Going Vintage, I would not recommend at all. This week, I'm reading a slightly more literary, happy, little murder, The Suspicion at Sanditon.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Menu Plan: August 14 - 20

My deadline is looming, so I didn't get the recipes posted on Saturday for the Buffalo Chicken Burgers or the Peach Upside Down Cake, but I will try to do that in the next week and a half. This week is fair, as well as Jerome's birthday, as well as the week of our dance, as well as the week I need to do the final photography for the patterns that will be published in October.

There were a couple of schedule shifts we had to do last week, so there are some repeats this week. Normally, we do our fair food night on this night, but we have been so exhausted and busy, so we just did dinner and then milkshakes. We're still doing a lot of cooking out of the freezers, and doing some preserving. I've put up about 18 jars of blueberry preserves, and I'm getting ready to make peach chutney. We have blackberries in the freezer, so I'm going to try for blackberry peach jam and blackberry lime jam. I wish we could still get good crab apples. They made the best jelly. They looked like stained glass.

I forgot to mention the quotation on the service books for the wedding. Here it is:

I have taken you into my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you. - Saint John Chrysostom (What Husbands Should Say to Their Wives)

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Yarn Along: Marine Layer Regress

I made another set of Marine Layer mitts, and started the scarf, but realized I had cast on too many stitches, about five or six inches into it, and had to rip it all back. So what you see up there is where I was last night. Which means that the deadline to have it finished and photographed is a lot tighter now, so I'm starting to be a bit nervous. The exciting news is that this set and variation will be in an online magazine in October. The designer is supposed to provide the photography, though, and we all know that is my weak spot, so I bartered with a photographer friend and a model friend of mine and did an actual photo shoot, with them doing their work, and me directing what kind of shots and feel I wanted. That was kind of cool. We're going to get together to do it all again in about two weeks to get the final photography done, and I'll send it on to the magazine editor. She already has the patterns.

Still no July shipment or even shipping notice from my Magnolia Society Sweater Club. Hmmmmph. It's supposed to be shipped by the end of this week. I know I'm not going to get to it right away, but this yarn is for a vest for Alexander, and I did want to be able to start it once I finished a few things this month. It would be nice to give him the vest for his birthday.

As for reading, mostly I've been reading The Beginner's Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns, even though I'm not a beginner, looking for some assistance with questions I had, and it has already helped me finesse my pattern writing. Rich has asked that we pick up Theology of the Body in Simple Language as a study for the two of us. It is often our car reading - Rich drives, I read aloud.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Menu Plan: August 7 - August 13

I took an inadvertent break from posting this past week. I didn't have all the menus planned yet, and we had a whirl wind trip the week before, and then another trip to go to the wedding of one of our Laudate kids. It ended up being a longer trip than we planned, as our van started giving us trouble and we had to get it to a mechanic who couldn't work on it until the next day. Please pray for our van, because it still needs more work, and goes in for further diagnosis on Wednesday.

On top of all of this, we were literally at the gas station getting ready to take the three hour drive back home when Rich started getting phone calls and texts about a fire that was near his work and our home and was heading in our home's direction (though it would have had to cross a creek and irrigated land to get to us), and would he authorize the fire fighters to assist with the county firefighters. It was contained that night, but I was his secretary on the drive as he coordinated with various people and agencies, and the fire ended up being fought on both sides of the fence where he worked. At least two families lost their homes, and about ten buildings were lost, but no lives were lost. While we were figuring out if we were on evacuation or not, and how we might get our animals out, a couple hours later, we received news that the fire was contained at a dairy in a burning hay stack. Two and a half miles from our home. That was closer than I was comfortable with, for sure.

In any case, we got home late, exhausted, and had to get right to it the following day. By the time I had enough rest to try to post on the blog, most of the week was gone, and we had other things pressing on us. So, I took a rest, here. We are in a great season of feasting and fasting, with the Transfiguration this past Saturday and the Dormition coming up next Monday. What a treasure to share in these events in the life of Christ and His Church!

Speaking of which, attending Jordan and Bethany's wedding was such a treat and a beautiful experience. It was so wonderful to participate in celebrating and blessing their nuptials. The focus on their sanctification, and their marriage bed being kept holy and blessed was glorious, as it is so often ignored in weddings. I wondered if we would slip into being their "leaders" or teachers again, but happily, found that we could engage them as the adults they are and treat them as our friends. So, when his younger brother offered me a drink and I talked with him as a peer, he asked if we were, and I said, "You're an adult, I'm an adult, you're married, I'm married, you have a child, I have children, so yes, we're peers." Rich and I stole them away from their daughter and parents, and the work they had to do after the wedding, and had our kids watch their baby, so we could go out for coffee and talk, couple to couple. It was refreshing and a delight to know them as adults, and it was rewarding to know that we had a part, albeit small, in how these young men and women grew up, and they were adults that made us proud to acknowledge our effort. It was a huge compliment that Jordan said that he made a special effort to make sure we made the "A" list for wedding invitations, as we had been an important part of his life and that he felt that we always had wanted what was best for him, and to talk to Seraphim and Laurel and have them ask us adult questions and for our opinions on their lives and choices. We were honored to be asked and proud that we were able to do so without being their superiors, but rather their fellow brother and sister in Christ. Their family is our family, and when we think of the people we love in this world, they are pretty close to the top of our list.

So, the blog was neglected. But I'm back and here is our menu for the week. We have the meat from an entire cow (not steer this time, but an extra dairy cow that they didn't want to breed), coming tomorrow, so while I'm finishing this up, Rich and the boys are cleaning out both freezers, making room, and we are eating a ton out of the freezers this week. We're also going to take some time to do some canning. The goal is to make blackberry lime jam, blackberry peach jam, peach chutney, and blueberry preserves. Also, all the stock bags are being made into stock this week. Flat bags of stock are easier to store in the freezer than lumpy bags of bones and vegetables.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Menu Along: Knitting and Designing

No photos, but I'm about double the length on the waistband of Yasmina's skirt than I was last week. The picture up there is of the yarn that I'm using for the alternate/variation on my design. I had the darker green in my stash already and picked up the lighter green from Mr. Yarn's going out of business sale. Since I need the pattern edited and the variation knit, plus an extra set of mitts made, I think that's all I'll be working on for the next month, unless I finish them up, and can get back to the other projects I have going or wanted to finish.

I have exactly one more sweater club shipment coming, but it hasn't been sent yet. There has been a delay. I'm hoping to see it next week, now.

We read a little more in Life, the Universe, and Everything, but didn't finish it yet. I have read absolutely nothing else except the Bible and Prayer Book since last week.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

This weekend was a whirwind tour for our family. Saturday, we had a family reunion of sorts, which was a lot of fun. We had initially planned on leaving Friday and spending the night with friends, then going to the party. However, one of Amira's best friends was having a sleepover birthday party, and was only inviting three girls, so they asked if we could find a day that weekend that would work. We decided to stay home Friday, then pick up Amira at around 6:30 in the morning, and head off of a five hour drive. We only ran 20 minutes late. From the party, we went to one of our priests' homes and had dinner with him and his wife, went to church in the morning and had lunch with the parish. It was so good to receive the Eucharist, in the liturgy, with our church members. Since it was my birthday, I picked the activities, so we went blackberry picking, back in our old stomping grounds. We had dinner on the harbor, and met up with friends, then went back for ice cream. At first, we had planned to pick berries, grab ice cream from one of our favorite places, then head back and eat a dinner that was already prepared and in our fridge, but a funny thing happened on the way to the blackberries. We ran into an old friend and spent an hour or so talking to him, so we were later getting started on the berries, and that was after taking our time after church, anyway. So, we decided to head into town for burgers at the best place to get them. So, all in all, my fortieth birthday was pretty nice. I was in my happy place, eating delicious things, with wonderful people, after having had the opportunity both to receive absolution for my sins and advice in confession and the Eucharist with our church body.

We were going to be late coming home, but we ran into a delay in the pass that was pretty bad. It took us almost two and a half hours to go four miles. Aside from one fellow in a truck with an exceptionally good attitude who was rocking out to _Knocking on Heaven's Door_ as he drove, it was pretty miserable. But not as bad as it was for the people who were the reason for the slow down. There was a fatal accident that closed two out of three lanes. And that open lane had only been opened an hour before we got there. Please remember to pray for the soul of the departed and for the other critically injured person. In any case, we left the site of the accident forty minutes after we thought we'd be home. Rich was already exhausted, and had only enough energy to get us home at our first time. So, he pushed until we got to a rest stop about 70 miles from our house, then pulled over and took a nap. Even after he was back on the road, though, he was still pretty tired, so I had him exit at the next rest stop, and I took over driving, because I was slightly less tired than he was, having been able to nap a little while he drove. We got home at around 3:20. Rich was supposed to go to work and Amira had ballet, that was why we were coming back that night, anyway, but Rich sent e-mails to his boss and other folks in the office while I drove saying that he wouldn't make it in. I thought I'd wake up with the light coming in the window, and get Amira up to take her to ballet, but I woke up one minute before her class started. So, we spent Monday sleeping and resting. Which we desperately needed. Because that wasn't our first lack of sleep night, I had only slept two and a half hours the night before we left on the trip in the first place, and Rich had only a couple hours more than I did. Not to mention the 18 years of lack of sleep we're already sporting.

Needless to say, we spent yesterday resting, and everything is a little late this week. Thus the menu along again. We have a few repeats, and a lot of simpler meals or meals that can be prepped either by other people or in advance.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Yarn Along: Accepted!

I didn't want to delay on Yasmina's skirt for longer than necessary. So, I've just started in, making it as it makes sense. The directions seem to have been translated by someone who didn't have a full grasp on how English knitting terms need to be conveyed. Or, perhaps some of the more finessed details were missed in English. In any case, I've been working at it in such a manner to make it work and to make it most elegantly knit. The cafe curtain saw only a little work.

My exciting news is that I have a pair of designs that may be published in an online magazine, in what was, perhaps, the most simple proposal ever sent. The due date was approaching and the editor asked for a few more submissions. I sent an e-mail asking if an already knit design would be suitable and what would be needed and when, if it was. The response came within an hour, and I was so happy to find that there was interest. I will let you know when it is live online. In the meantime, I'm knitting up another sample in a different set of colors. I don't know how much else I'll be working on until it is finished.

Speaking of finished, I finished the book I started last week. It had enough in it that held my interest, but I wouldn't recommend it. There were too many modern cliches and socially/politically correct themes pasted on (to make it acceptable to the right circles of people?). Since we put down Life, the Universe, and Everything some time ago, because our lives were too busy, we decided to grab The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 25th Anniversary Edition again and finish it this summer. We're pretty close to finishing this, and will move on to the next book after that.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Menu Plan: July 17 - 23

We have a lot of fun stuff planned this week, and the kids have a pretty full social schedule as well. We were blessed to receive some amazing produce from a farmer we know, and so we have tons of eggplant and peppers and melons. Also, our apricot tree is ripening its fruit, so we are snacking on those now, too. It is so wonderful to have fresh produce to eat in the summer.

I plan on trying a recipe for applesauce bread for my knit night, and if it turns out well I'll share how I made it. We are still trying to eat out of our freezer, and we have a ton of berries. I'm thinking muffins and syrups for pancakes are on the horizon.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Yarn Along: Bumps in the Road

Nejat's star blanket saw a little progress this week, but Yasmina's skirt has been put on hold because the gauge information in the pattern seems completely backward to me, and I can't get an answer from the designer. I may just try it as it makes sense to me and see how it works out from there. Since all my projects are either too big or too complicated for me to work on in the car or socially, I started this cafe curtain as a privacy screen for our bathroom. This project was planned last summer during our bathroom remodel and I'm just getting to it now. It also begins with 50 inches of a simple lace edging from which I will pick up the stitches for the curtain itself. I just finished eight inches so 42 more inches to go! It doesn't seem like I'm making much progress right now on any of my projects.

I picked up a book that I think I'll take back to the library. The concept was fun, for a light book, and I thought I would enjoy it, but I just can't get myself to care about any of the characters. If I can't get into the story by Thursday, it will go in the library bag for Friday.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Menu Plan: July 10 - 16

We have an anniversary this week: 22 years ago on Friday (and it was at a Friday dance in 1994), Rich and I met and danced together for the first time. We're trying to decide how to celebrate that day this year. Fortunately, we have a dance this week, too! This means that my birthday is coming up. Two weeks, people! I'm terrible about knowing what I want for my birthday, and a week or two ago, I had a great idea and promptly forgot what it was. Poor Rich.

Ballet starts again this week for Amira, and she just got her first pointe shoes this weekend, so there is a lot of excitement at our house. It also means that breakfasts are going to be long on ease and short on time. Other than that, we are still fairly free. Next week may be our first week of driver's ed, though. So, school will basically be starting for the summer.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Yarn Along: Finished, Finished, Finished! Two FOs!

Not just one FO this week, but TWO! The Celtic braided scarf is completely finished, all ends woven in and everything. Also, my surprise project is finished. I will post a photo when the person receives it. I picked up Nejat's star blanket once I finished those two. Since Yasmina's birthday is this week, I asked her if she minded an IOU type present, and showed her the yarn and pattern. She thought that was more than fine, so I'll be working on this skirt for her for some time. She said she'd probably wear it with tights this fall. Rather than change yarns for the lace, I am using the same yarn as the body of the skirt.

I've hardly had time to read over this past week, we've been busy doing things together as a family.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Menu Plan: July 3 - 9

We finally have a week of rest! Our town had its fireworks show on Saturday night, so we went there with the kids, then did a small town parade and festival on Monday, came home in the afternoon, rested, and the kids slept in the tent with the rain fly open so they could see surrounding fireworks from the neighbors and town and Rich and I watched a movie and went to sleep. It was perfect.

However, because of my health stuff, I really needed that rest, and this is the first time I've even been seated at my desk in front of my computer. We do have some repeats this week. On Saturday, we had biscuits and sausage gravy, so our Hobbit Dinner was moved to Sunday. I'm trying to figure out when I can make the caramel apple strata.

Also, it is Yasmina's golden birthday this week. We're doing some small family things for her, but will be having a party later.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yarn Along: The Generosity of Knitters and a Secret Project

The marine layer scarf is finished at last! For only needing buttons sewn on, it took me quite a long time. I worked a little bit on Nejat's star blanket during Vacation Bible School, but haven't done a whole lot more with the cloud border, because it isn't as portable as it was, and I have to pay attention to the pattern, which means I can't really work on it as easily during knit night. I'm almost finished with the Celtic braided scarf, but since I made the first section a little longer, I am about 30 - 50 yards short on the yarn. I didn't want to buy a whole new skein of the yarn and I can't even find the tag to see what the dye lot was, nor did I include it in my project page because I was sure this would be a one skein project. Lesson learned. However, a kind lady on Ravelry had a skein and was willing to wind off about 50 yards for me and send it in exchange for me buying her a pattern from her wish list. It should arrive here tomorrow or Thursday. There is another project I'm working on, but I can't share much about it for a few weeks. Shhh! It's a surprise!

Wedding Cake Murder is read and I even cooked something from it. It tasted good, but I could have made it better my own way. Since my reading has mainly been fluff lately, I wanted something with a little more worth. I've been wanting to read A Prayer Journal for some time, so I did. I should have read it long ago. It is not long, or hard to read. Here are many quotations that jumped out at me:

I ask You for a greater love for my holy Mother and I ask her for a greater love for You.

But the point more specifically here is, I don't want to fear to be out, I want to love to be in; I don't want to believe in hell but in heaven.

Give me the grace, dear God, to adore You for even this I cannot do for myself.

Give me the grace, dear God, to see the bareness and the misery of the places where You are not adored but desecrated.

I don't know if I've ever been sorry for a sin because it hurt You.

Help me to ask You, oh Lord, for what is good for me to have, for what I can have and do Your service by having.

Let me get away dear God from all things thus "natural." Help me to get what is more than natural into my work - help me to love and bear with my work on that account.

Virtue must be the only vigorous thing in our lives. Sin is large and stale. You can never finish eating it nor ever digest it. It has to be vomited.

No one can be an atheist who does not know all things.

Perversion is the end result of denying or revolting against supernatural love, descending from the unconscious superconsciousness to the id.

The S#x act is a religious act and when it occurs without God it is a mock act or at best an empty act. Proust is right that only a love which does not satisfy can continue. Two people can remain "in love" - a phrase made practically useless by stinking romanticism - only if their common desire for each other unites in a greater desire for God

No, the saints died for God and God died for the dead.

I am so weak that God has given me everything, all the tools, instructions for their use, even a good brain to use them with, a creative brain to make them immediate for others. God is feeding me and what I'm praying for is an appetite.

If I am the one to wash the second step everyday, let me know it and let me wash it and let my heart overflow with love washing it.

I can't believe it took me this long to actually crack this book. Of course, with some of her western views, I don't have complete agreement, but her private thoughts spoke deeply to me.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

# Altered to avoid weird visitors from searches including this.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Menu Plan: June 26 - July 2

This week is a little bit more restful. Only one child has activities this week, though Alexander has work to do, but he can get himself there and back. Our neighborhood has a cook out each year, and this was the week for it. I actually fell asleep on a blanket when most of the people had gone home. I did get a little volleyball played with the family and friends, though.

A touring ministry of relics came to a local church last week, and Rich and I were able to attend with two of the girls (ballet night). Rich made sure to tell me to touch my hand to the relics, and I am seeing relief and healing, which is wonderful. I ran out of one of my medications without a chance to get more because we had been so busy, so it was only prayer and the relics, and normal moisturizing going on this week. I've been able to wear my wedding ring and everything. I am praying for God's glory in His saints to be shown. The talk was instructive, but being able to see and touch the relics was awe inspiring and humbling. Even Yasmina was moved to kneel before each one. Seeing relics of the Apostles and of Christ's cross was enough to bring us to tears, and saints that we had taught about in Laudate were represented. Many of our favorite saints and some we met for the first time were there. We were even able to see a relic from Saint Mariam Baouardy, which was amazing. Since not all our kids were able to attend with us, we bought the video so they could hear the talk and see the relics on screen, at least. If you get a chance to see such an exposition, I encourage you to go.

Our farmers' market and the Grocery Outlet came through for us this week. There were plenty of excellent deals at both, and we came home with pickling cucumbers, pie cherries, some of the last of the fall Pink Lady apples, dill, garlic, and a gorgeous bouquet of deep pink roses and stargazer lilies, which we knew would come home with us as soon as we saw them. Rich used to bring me bouquets of stargazers all the time when we were dating, as he worked as a delivery driver and one of his stops was a florist, who would let him pick through her extras. One of the ladies who comes to knit night here also brought several boxes of apricots from her tree, which was a treat. Since our tree won't be ripe for another week or two, we are enjoying them quite a bit.

We're cooking as much from our freezers and pantry as possible over the next few weeks. At the end of July, we should have a steer in our freezer, so we need to clear things out and clean up so all the meat will fit. We've also needed to defrost our stand up freezer for some time, so we are planning on getting that done during this time, too.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yarn Along: Finished, Finished Finished, and Almost Finished

Bah'ar is finished, blocked, and given away and I have finished the knitting on the marine layer scarf. There are two buttons to sew on before I can count it as finished, finished. That makes the set complete. These are intended as a gift for someone later this year.

It's been a while since I picked up Nejat's star blanket, but as I am still working out the neck line on Amira, I figured I'd get it and see if I could make some progress. I am working on the clouds. Since the star afghan is a little too big and requires more attention now, it is staying at home to be worked on there, and I picked up the Celtic braided scarf and have made significant progress on that. I forgot to make the strips for the braids in stockinette stitch, but I think I'll actually like them better still in 2 X 2 ribbing.

Since Mr. Yarn is marking their yarn down significantly more than they already did (if you order $75 dollars or more in retail price of the yarn, it is now 35% off and free shipping), I picked up some yarn that is even more beautiful than this photo. It is far deeper and richer than that picture, and the picture is so beautiful that it sold me on the color.

Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted in Saltwater

I am trying to decide if I want to make it into one of these three sweaters:

Graduated Ribbed Top, which I've wanted to make since I first bought that book in 2000 or 2002.

Tubey (solid colored, without striping).


The first two leave me with only about 100 yards to spare, the third will leave me with nearly 400 yards. I like the graduated ribbing on the first sweater and the neckline of the second one. I do like the third sweater quite a bit, but then I have to have the right shirt underneath to match the yarn color and I don't know how much I will wear it, while I think an interesting ribbed sweater will get worn quite a bit. So, I may mash up the first two to keep the parts I like best about each.

I started and finished Double Fudge Brownie Murder, and started Wedding Cake Murder. It looks like there was a book in between the two, but our library doesn't have it. So far, they haven't refused any of my purchase requests, so I may ask them to order it.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Menu Plan: June 19 - 25

I thought summer break would be a break, but we didn't even get one day. Last week, we had ballet dress rehearsal and recital, baseball camp, a summer film class, and our monthly dance. Oh, and it was Rich and Dominic's birthday (which means we're half way through our family birthdays now), and Rich took me out on a date to a local theater production (which was fun, but exhausting). This week, it's baseball camp, the film class, Vacation Bible School, the girls' ballet class' final week of instruction, an event at church, a hefty delivery that we need to meet and pick up, a birthday party for the older kids, and more, which has me running from one drop off to the next, then pick ups and so on. And, of course, Father's Day. Which is all on top of our normal weekly life and errands. Oh, and did I mention that our washing machine broke last Wednesday, and we just had the repair man show up today (not their fault, it was the earliest they could come)? So we also have almost a week of laundry to try to take care of, too.

The rest of the month is like this. Then, there is a two week break, then more ballet, and driver's ed for one of the boys, and maybe after that, we can breathe. As far as I know, this is the busiest week we have. Next week is pretty full, though not as much as this week, and there is a big deal event at Rich's work that he's been working on for quite some time that will come to fruition, and I hope after that we can rest a little.

Since we have four different groupings of kids going in different directions at the same time each day this week, our breakfasts are dependent on a blessed find at our local Grocery Outlet. They had organic toaster waffles with blueberries, and we are eating a lot of them. They aren't that great, to be honest, but there is no time for homemade. In fact, the kids ate in the van this morning, and probably will the rest of the week, too.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Menu Along: June 5 - 11 (Sea Themed Scarf and Shawlette)

Still keeping on keeping on with bah'ar and the marine layer scarf. The goal is to have the lace finished, washed, and blocked by this weekend. Wish me luck!

I've picked up Circus Mirandus, which is just a fun kids' book about magic and mystery and family and love.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

We have a few repeats. There was a heat wave of temperatures at or over 100 this weekend, and I'm going to try to serve cold food or food that can be made quickly for the first part of the week. We're supposed to be back in the 80s and 70s by Thursday.

Alexander finishes his first year at the college this week. We're praying for him as he takes his finals. I'm so proud of what he's done this year. We're going to spend part of the summer on some of the things we couldn't cover this year because of his schedule. Ballet recital is next week, so I'm bracing myself for dress rehearsal and being a stage mom for a couple days.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Menu Along: May 29 - June 4 (FO and Progress)

The socks are finished! I picked up bah'ar, which had a couple errors in the pattern. The first wasn't that big a deal, the WS rows had the charts worked in the wrong order, but anyone who was used to knitting with charts could catch that. However, there was an error in both the written and charted part of the third chart, though I think I fixed it, and you can see my corrected version in my project notes. The marine layer scarf came out of hibernation for me to work on since then, also. I finished absolutely nothing for MadMay.

Alexander has been working on making me a swift for some time. This weekend, he and Rich put their heads together to finish it for me. They made the pegs adjustable, in the hopes it would work with mini skeins to jumbo skeins. That is my first wound cake of yarn done with my new swift.

I finished The Trial of Job and it was well worth it. It is a quick read, and full of much to enlighten and provoke contemplation. I try not to get too political here, but part of the writing on Job's so-called comforters articulated a big part of why I could not and cannot support a particular candidate in our presidential election:

The difference between the two cases is not a matter of wisdom, therefore, anymore than it is a matter of justice. The difference between Job and his friends is that Job is suffering, while they are "at ease" (verse 5). They have been using this advantage solely to pass judgement on a suffering human being, who differs from them only by the fact that he is suffering. This is a great moral offense.

There were a couple books I tried to start after finishing this one, but nothing that really stuck this week.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

We're still busy with guests and end of year activities, so menu planning is a challenge. However, here is a rough outline of what we might eat this week.

We have two major feasts this week, though we had to miss the Corpus Christi procession after church. Our house guests had health issues that would have kept them from walking, and we didn't want to leave them. Since this family was a priest's family, he graciously celebrated the Eucharist at our home, which we were so grateful to share in with them. Today is the feast of the Visitation, so we're still celebrating as a family.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Menu Along: May 22 - 28 (Socks!)

So, it appears that, at least for the next few weeks, it is likely I'll be posting one Menu Along each week, and that is that.

Michaelmas has been set aside for a bit while I finish these socks. But I'm almost finished! I should have them ready this weekend or shortly after that. Amira is still in time out, and I am so sorry for my knitters. This has taught me to get it to the tech editor before giving it to knitters to try. I don't even think I'll mention a preview until I have my tech editor go through the pattern first.

MadelineTosh Euro Sock (formerly Quarter Round) in Beach Bonfire

My second Magnolia Society sweater shipment arrived this weekend. It is intended for a sweater for Mariam. She took one look at the color swatch on the club page and said, "I would like a sweater in that color." There is enough of it to make her sweater, a pair of matching socks, a matching doll sweater, and maybe something else. However, I'll be knitting it at 7 1/2 or 8 stitches per inch, so it will take me a while. Anyway, I have one more sweater club shipment to go, and that will be that for all clubs and most ordering. It turns out that Paradise Fibers' switch to their new website effectively canceled my membership for me, which was frustrating (because of the way the website is still not complete, and how all accounts had to be reopened, and points manually transferred, and all purchase history lost, oh, and you only found out by trying to use it, there was no notification to customers that this would be going on), but saved me the dithering over when I needed to get it done. I was able to cash in my points from before, and I have a 40% off coupon I plan on using for one special skein of yarn and using my points to make it almost free.

I'm about half way through The Trial of Job and Fr. Reardon is, again, knocking it out of the park. Even his short thoughts and exposition are deep enough to keep me thinking for quite a long time, and help me look at my faith and the Lord in ways that never occurred to me before.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

Menu planning seems almost futile at this point, but there is some cooking happening. Also, we are smack dab in the middle of asparagus season, so we're eating asparagus with everything.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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