Tuesday, May 31

May Flowers


May's Month of Softies theme was "May Flowers". This is my first time participating and I made it just under the wire! I had so many different ideas but none of them seemed to be "just right". Everything finally clicked, though.

The flower is hand appliqued. The front of the pillow is white on white print and the back is the same pink as the flower. It is stuffed with pillow stuffing and some dried lavender.

I plan to hang it from the bed post so it can inspire sweet dreams.

Monday, May 30

About Me - SP5

I had such a good time with SP4, that I have decided to join SP5. I've reposted my questionnaire from SP4 with additions for SP5 in italics.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I think everything has it's place and it's purpose. I do really love soft yarns though. (Who doesn't!)

same answer still.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
No. I tried crochet. Didn't like it. It's too bad too because I really want these felted ballet slippers I just couldn't get the hang of crochet though and I don't want to do things that aren't relaxing.
I've not tried spinning but I'd like to.

I tried to learn to crochet again. See this this and this post. I didn't really learn to crochet, I just learned to crochet that one particular pattern. I don't mind it. I just don't find it as relaxing as I do knitting. That could be because I really have no clue what I am doing, though!

I also got a very rustic drop spindle from the Historical Society. I can't figure out how to use it. I also apparently have the wrong wool for spinning on it. I guess I need to do something (what, I am not sure!) to the wool to be able to spin the little baggie full in to anything resembling anything at all. I'd love to get it all figured out.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Cats, cigarette smoke and laundry. Oh wait, I'm not allergic to laundry, I just don't like doing it.

that is still the same. The family would really appreciate it if I made friends with the washer though.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Just a few months. But I am hooked!

I started knitting in Dec. I just dove right in. I don't worry about how hard or complicated something is supposed to be. I figure I can learn as I go. It's more fun that way.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No but maybe I should. I'll have to look in to that.

Oooo I have an Amazon wish list! Where is it?? Oh! Here it is! I'll update it in the next day or 2.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Roses. I love roses. Lavender too. I'm not too fond of sweet smells though.

Yep, that is the same too. I've discovered a lovely candle scent called Clean Cotton. It has a nice clean smell. I like the smell of fresh laundry. I just don't want to do the laundry!

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Just a little. I prefer salty snacks - popcorn, pretzels. I like sour too - lemon, lime (margaritas!)

No change there either. I do like a little something sweet with my tea, though.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I scrapbook and I sew. I have 3 young kids so we do a lot of various crafts. I also like to bake. I guess that is not really a craft though.

I'm really getting back to my old crafty self! I love making things; being creative. I get excited about going to the fabric shops, the craft shops, the art supply shops, and the hardware stores.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have a wide range of tastes in music. I love it all really - I'm a big fan of music. I do listen to a lot of jazz and disco cheers me up and gets me moving. Yes, I can play music on my computer - I often do. I am right now - Renee Olstead.

I love music. Like I said I have a wide range of musical tastes. I've been listing to a lot of country music lately. I love the idea of getting a mixed CD of someone else's favorites! What a great way get introduced to some new music.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
RED! I'm all about the red!

Still loving the red! I have been drawn to pink and green lately, though.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married with 3 boys. We have 3 fish, a hermit crab and countless unnamed dust bunnies

Sadly, we are with out the hermit crab, and 1 of the fish. The dust bunnies are still with us though!

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Umm well... gosh I really have to think on this one. I WOULD like to drive a Zamboni someday. I want a wonderful herb garden and a rose garden. I had one and I loved it. We moved though and I haven't planted a new one yet. I'm not really sure what my life dreams are (is that sad?) I always dreamt of being a Mom and I have realized that dream 3 times over. I now hope that my boys grow up to be good men. We are working on that. I studied Geography in school. I was going to go in to Glacier Research. I often think that if I were to ever go back to school and have a career, I would go in to Forensic Geography. It absolutely facinates me. (I'm still thinking about this question!)

Still thinking about this one

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
No preference yet. I'm still exploring all the different types. I want to try Koigu KPPPM but I haven't found it locally and I haven't gotten around to looking online for it. Those handpainted yarns look so yummy!

I still haven't used Koigu yet. I still hope to.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don't know. I'll let you know when I find one.

I don't like scratchy yarns. (who does, though, really??)

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Knitting! Oh wait I guess I need to be more specific. I am having lots of fun learning new things and each new project is a new adventure. I DO want to find a pattern for mittens with cables up the back of the hand.

I am attracted to wraps lately. Stoles, lace shawls, wraps, etc.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I don't have a long list of FO's so I don't have a favorite. I've enjoyed everything that I have made.

Still loving everything! I guess that is why I like knitting! There are so many different things to knit and so many differnt yarns to knit with!

17. What are you knitting right now?
I'm working on the Ribby Cardi, a simple scarf for my son and a French Market Bag. Oh and a sock.

I am knitting Clapotis as a wrap in cotton. I am about to start a lace stole, a dishcloth here and there and another sock.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I like some of them. I have one (it's store bought) and it is very comfortable

I still have that poncho. I still like that poncho. It is like a Pashmina turned into a poncho.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
No preference but I do find DPNs to be lots of fun.

I like both straight and circular depending on the project.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I've only used aluminum so far. Using them reminds me of my mother and my grandmother since that is what they always used. *added - I just tried Swallow Casein and they are just wonderful to knit with!

I'm finding that certain types of needles are indeed better suited for certain types of yarn. (imagine that!)

I have some needles that were my grandmother's and then my mother's so now I don't have to just be reminded of what they used, I can actually use what they used!

I still love the 2 pair of Swallow Casein that I have. I wish I could find more.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
I'm working on my first pair. (A pair of Magic Stripes) I'm already looking forward to trying more. (I need to find patterns and nifty yarn) I started these socks just to see if I could do the "dreaded" heel and DPN's and to see what self patterning yarn looked like. It's just too much fun not to make more!

I love knitting socks!

22. How did you learn to knit?
From a page in the back of a magazine, then got some help from the Stitch and Bitch Books. I kind of just dove right in. I figured I can learn as I go. I don't pay much attention to the skill level required on patterns.

That hasn't changed

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I guess maybe a month old. I started my version of Cape Mod at Christmas. I made a mistake (almost invisible unless you are looking for it). I set it aside while I decide if that mistake will bug me enough to warrant frogging about 18 inches.

Cape Mod hit the frog pond! Now my oldest UFO is a Fair Isle mitten that was started about 18 years ago! My mom made one mitten and started the other but never finished. She gave them to me recently so I can finish them since they were meant for me anyway. I'll finish it in the fall.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Hedgehogs. I love hedgehogs. I think my favorite animated characters are Pepe la Pew and Peter Pan. I really like Peter Pan - the character, the story, the show.

No change there either

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas and the 4th of July. I'm very patriotic. Halloween is a lot of fun too though.

Still loving those holidays!

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Tea cups, Nantucket Baskets, family recipes - the kind of recipes that have a little story attached. I have recipes from my family and from friends and I just love using them. It makes me feel connected. (I like feeling connected) Oh and red shoes! I just love red shoes!

Vintage fabric with state maps or travel motifs. I have some vintage handkerchiefs with state maps and I just love them! I'm on the hunt for fabric. I have projects in mind!

* New questions for SP5:

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have any. I like Interweave so I should think about getting a subscription to that one. My oldest back copy is Winter 2004.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
I really want:

Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge
Luise Roberts' 1000 Great Knitting Motifs

and a great sock knitting book. I don't know which one. Something with a lot of great sock patterns.

I guess that is it. If I think of anything else to add to my answers, I'll let you know. If anyone wants to know a little more, just ask!

Thursday, May 26

A Very Good Mail Day!

Secret Pal 4


My final package from SP4 Ailsa arrived! She sent 3 skeins of Andean Silk from Knit Picks in a gorgeous Sangria color. The yarn feels divine! I'm thinking something lacy to wear while I sip on Sangria might be in order for this yarn. She also sent a wonderful little sock sizing tool. Perfect for figuring out how long to make socks for various sized feet. There was also a bottle of wool wash. I've been using baby shampoo to wash my wool. I feel like a real knitter now. Then there was a bottle of cuticle oil. It smells like lavender which I just love! My nails tend to get dry and brittle so this will surely help! There was also another item that is still on backorder. It should be here next week, though. I know what it is but I am pretending that I don't so it will be a surprise when it comes.



My stitch markers from my Bead-it buddy Vicki came. Aren't they sweet? Dainty little things. I love them! Of course you all know how much I love red! The little charms say "Create" and are meant to inspire. I just know that they will, too. Thanks so much Vicki!

Back-Tack (Phase 1)


My fabric package from my secret Back-Tack buddy came. It was so exciting to see what sorts of fun things were sent for me to work with. Backtack-Phase-1 I can hardly wait to get started! I hope that the final recipient loves these fabrics as much as I do! It is so tempting to just keep it all for myself and using something else to create something for my phase 2 partner! (kidding kidding, tempting yes, but I wouldn't do that). There a 3 cotton fabrics and 2 smaller pieces of something else (mole skin, perhaps? sorry, I know I should know what it is), there is also some blue baby rickrack (I love rickrack!), some brown ribbon with little blue circles, some brown ribbon bows,and some little blue scalloped edge buttons. The colors are wonderful! Chocolate-y brown and bird's egg blue.

BackTack-Phase1-treats My secret Back-Tack buddy also sent a few treats for me! What an unexpected surprise! She sent 3 tins of Altoids Sours in Tangerine, Citrus, and Apple. There was also a lovely Zen Bath Time Kit from Trader Joe's. I love Trader Joe's! Our little store carries nothing like this though! Lavender Vanilla scented bath goodies in a Chinese Tack out style container. Then there was a book! A book about a little robot hedgehog! The boys have already read the book - twice! Edmund was so impressed with the package - "all things you love, Mommy!" Thank you so much Secret Back-Tack buddy!!

We have had rain, rain, rain for several days now. It has been dark and dreary which means the pictures are a bit dark. Sorry about that.

Orange Butter Horns


Orange Butter Horns

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbls dry yeast
1/4 cup tepid water
2 eggs
1 cup sourdough starter
6-7 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 Tbls grated orange peel

Heat milk to almost a boil (do not bring to a full boil). Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, and melted butter. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle yeast over the water.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Stir in sourdough starter, yeast mixture and cooled milk mixture. Beat in 3 cups of flour until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a medium stiff dough. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm draft free spot until doubled in size (1 1/2-2 hours)

In a small bowl, blend softened butter, 1/2 cup of sugar and grated orange peel. Set aside.

Punch down the down and knead for 5 minutes. Divide in half and cover one portion. Roll each half in to a 18"x6" rectangle. Spread with half of the orange butter mixture leaving a 1" border along a long side. Roll up jelly roll fashion, pinching edges to seal. Cut in to 1 inch slices.

Place each slice cut side down in a greased muffin tin. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size (1 1/2-2 hours). Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown in a 375F preheated oven.


I made these last Sunday and we have been enjoying them all week. They are a nice addition to breakfast and a special treat with afternoon tea.

Now to come up with this week's recipe! Anyone have a favorite recipe using sourdough starter you want to share?

Wednesday, May 25



A little pencil sketch that I did for the shark obsessed son.

Illustration Friday

Tuesday, May 24

A Little Update

Thank you ALL for your kind thoughts and comments both on our accident and on Topher's upcoming surgery. I am feeling much better about the surgery. I have complete trust in our Doctors and if this is what they recommend, then it is the right thing to do. He has had surgery once already to have his tonsils and adnoids removed and that made such a huge difference in his life.

As for the truck, it looks like it won't be totaled after all. The truck is almost new and has very little milage on it and they told Chris that when he gets it back, it will be just as good as it was. The boys seem to have pretty much forgotten about the accident which is good. No emotional scarring, there. Chris, however, is going to see a doctor. I'll keep you posted.

I wish there were a way (or maybe there is and I just haven't figured it out) to reply to the comments you all leave. I get an email with your comments but I can't reply to them. If anyone knows what I can do about that, I'd love to know! Thanks!

Monday, May 23

This Week at the Library

Here are our library finds:

(Due June 20)

Herbs Gardens of Delight (out of print)
by Adelma G. Simmons

I can't wait to plant an herb garden in our new house!

Grill Italian
by Clifford A. Wright

Backyard Barbecues

Chris' birthday is in just under a month and I want to plan a barbecue for him.

Living in New England
by Elaine Louie and Solvi Dos Santos

I loved the pictures and who knows, maybe I'll get a little inspiration for my New England home.

I also picked up "America's Best Cross-Stitch" by Better Homes and Gardens from the used book table for $1. There are a lot of great charts in the book.

Topher has moved out of the shark books and picked out a couple of books on pirates today. One has several pirate related crafts in it and I think that might help when it comes to getting him to wear his patch.

topher-flagToday was also the last week for Preschool Story Hour until September. The woman that normally runs it was not there so someone else was filling in. I don't think she was entirely comfortable reading in front of a group. She didn't have a real easy group though, either. There were quite a few children that we really wound up and therefor refused to sit quietly. They were running all around the program room yelling and making a lot of noise. I don't really blame them as much as blame their parents/grandparents that were not doing anything about it. Those children that wanted to hear the stories were getting awfully frustrated.

The stories today were about Memorial Day. The craft was a flag. They glued a blue square to the top left corner of a white sheet of paper, made stripes with red wooden coffee stirrers and then stuck little stars to the blue. Very cute and Topher wants to bring his to the parade this weekend. The same adults who allowed their children to run wild, also did the craft FOR them! Boggles the mind.

Sunday, May 22

Wrong Place, Wrong Time


Coming home from Cub Scouts on Thursday night we were hit by a young woman who decided to cross against 2 lanes of oncoming traffic with out looking. She was traveling entirely too fast. Her little car hit our big truck, bounced off and hit again and ended up facing in the opposite direction than she was originally traveling. Look how far she pushed our truck off the road!!


There were plenty of bystanders who came to help. Yay for human kindness! Two police cruisers showed up as well as a fire truck and an emergency paramedic truck. The other driver is entirely at fault (although, I think at first she didn't want to believe it) She was really hysterical and has a minor bump on the head. We are all sore and badly shaken. Chris has some bruising and much more sore than the rest of us. He saw it coming and tensed up trying to prevent us from hitting the telephone pole that ended up just a couple of feet from my side.

The paramedics deemed us ok and not in need of medical attention at the moment (but they said we may change our minds after a couple of days). The kids were pretty scared. Charles has a bruise and a small scrape on the neck from his seat belt. They are still out of sorts.


(Topher is such a ham for the camera, even in an emergency!)

We were lucky to be in the truck. If we had been in lower vehicle, the damage would have been much worse. They said they were surprised that our airbags didn't deploy! Thank goodness they didn't. I don't think I would have been as calm. The damage to our truck is worse than the picture looks. There is a good chance it will be totaled.

I've slipped into a bit of a depressed state. I'm trying to pull myself out of it. We are all ok. Trucks can be replaced. It's still such a scary thing to go through, though.

Wednesday, May 18

A Day at the Beach


A little early in the season but fun none the less! Yesterday Topher and I spent the morning at the beach on a field trip with his preschool class. The weather was beautiful for it! Warm enough to wear shorts and dip our feet in to the icy water but cool enough to a little sweater.

Topher-Beach-1The tide was low enough that we had plenty of areas to hunt for shells (and a little beach glass too!). We found a lot of shells and plenty of snails too. Topher was really hoping to find some crabs and a fish or two. No such luck this time. He was pretty fascinated with the seagulls. He kept trying to sneak up on them and catch them! I think he planned on bringing one home in his little (4 oz!) Glad container. He tried to get everyone and anyone to help him catch one of those birds! He also really DID think that one was going to fit in to his little snack cup! He's a real character! What did he think he going to do with that seagull once he got home, though?

Topher-and-Peggy We also took a walk up to the pier to look out across the water. (That is him with his favorite teacher) We looked across the sound and Topher excitedly pointed out Charles Island which he is just convinced is named for his own brother! The children all loved hearing that it is believed that the pirate Captain Kidd may have buried some of his treasure here! Of course now they all want to go looking! Who wouldn't hough! We saw a few small boats on the water and a large ship (an oil tanker possibly?) in the distance. We also saw a few Cormorants bobbing up and down in the water searching for fish. However, my shark obsessed son is absolutely CONVINCED they were sharks! But they are nice sharks he tells me, because they know he likes them. It makes him happy so we believe.

Tuesday, May 17

Partially Accommodated Esotropia

That is what they told me today at the pediatric opthamologist. Topher was first diagnosed with Amblyopia and Strabismus as well as extreme Hyperopia (farsightedness) a little over a year ago.

He got glasses and they made a huge difference. He could suddenly see! He told me. He said "Mommy I can SEE!" when he first put his glasses on. His attention span also greatly improved. He started doing so much better in school. It's just preschool. but still. We then had to patch his good eye 2 hours a day to help strengthen the weak one. He did pretty well for awhile. He then decided he didn't want to be a pirate anymore. It was a real struggle.

Last month he went in for his eye check up and his eyes are crossing again. The Dr changed his glasses prescription in hopes that it would help. (He also told us to stop patching for now) We went back today and it did not. His vision has gotten so much better and his eyes are crossing less but they still cross. He also is still only relying on one eye. He doesn't see binocularly so he has no sense of depth. He does really well for a boy who can't see depth!

His eyes have gotten as good as they are going to get with the glasses. He has such a strong prescription (boy oh boy are they thick!) and it can't get any stronger. We need to get both eyes working together or he runs the risk of going completely blind in the weaker eye and the stronger eye has a chance of developing a deviation. sigh......

Now we go back to the eye patch. This means I need to come up with some little tricks and incentives to get him to wear it. Topher will also need to have surgery - on both eyes. I started to cry in the doctor's office. We've done all we can and surgery is really the only option now. I know it is the right thing to do and I completely trust my Dr but it is still very scary.

I'm a wreck.

Monday, May 16

This Week at the Library

I've decided to post my weekly library finds. It is more for my future reference than anything else. My comments are open if you'd like to make some recommendations. (I love recommendations!)

Due June 16-

The Naked Chef Takes Off
by Jamie Oliver

The recipes in this book look really yummy! They appear simple enough to be everyday food while at the same time being elegant enough to be dinner party food. I have several recipes already earmarked!

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots
by Sharon Lovejoy

A great book about gardening with children. There are several theme gardens outlined in the book as well as a multitude of tips and trivia. The boys and I are looking forward to planting a garden this summer! This yard is a clean slate - not one plant other than a lone rhodedendron in the front bed.

The Great American Cookie Book

A very thick book chock full of cookie recipes with enough pictures to make your mouth water! The kids and I have looked through and marked quite a few recipes to try.

No novels or thought provoking reading this week. I AM reading a little paperback for pleasure, though. Two For the Dough by Janet Evanovich. It is a fun little mystery. Not a lot of thinking required which is perfect for me right now.

Topher and I also went to story time. Once again he had a loads of fun. They read several classic children's stories (Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs, Etc) and sang several songs. The craft this week was making necklaces from shoestring licorice and Fruit Loops. Not the best idea for a bunch of 3 and 4 (and a few 2) year olds to have sticky candy and cereal just before going in to paw over books in the Children's Library. Topher willingly saved his to eat after lunch. Unfortunately it has been rainy so there was no playground time after the library. We are hopeful for next week though!

Sunday, May 15

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Little League season is here! I love this time of year!

Edmund-on-base Edmund plays coach pitch baseball. This is his second year in coach pitch and his third in baseball. This was his first game and the team looks good. I can see a lot of growth and improvement from last year. His favorite position is catcher. Unfortunately he only got to play catcher for 1 inning in this game and it was a "1-2-3" inning and so he didn't see much action. There are a lot more games in the season though. He did make some great plays while in the field and he was really hitting well.



Charles plays T-ball. This is his second year. He is coming along and he has a lot of fun. Of course, like all the other 5 and 6 year olds, he gets a bit distracted out in the field sometimes. They are so much fun to watch though. He says his favorite position is first base but he seems to end up playing third base the most. A tough position for a lefty!

Friday, May 13

Science Fair

Today was the Second Grade Environmental Science Fair. The student were learning about the environment - various types of environments and ways to protect the environment. They had to do a research paper on an environment and then create a diorama depicting that environment. They also had to build something out of recycled products and write a report detailing what they built, what they used and what they learned. WOW! Second grade!!


Edmund chose the Savanna. He created several animals (giraffe, zebra, cheetah, warthog and an elephant) from pipe cleaners (and pom poms for the elephant). He also made some trees using pipe cleaners, a toilet paper tube and green tissue paper. He did a great job!!

His recycled product was a car. He used a bread crumb canister for the body and chopsticks and yogurt tub lids for the wheels and axles. He used lots of other little bits for various other parts of his car.

I'm really very proud of him! He is doing so well in school. I think moving and changing schools back in February was the best thing for him (and for Charles too). They are learning so much more and doing so much more than they did in the other school.


"Ninja Swords" by Topher (age 4)

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is "Mischief". I was working on my own entry when this one sort of fell in to my lap. Topher decided to "make the walls pretty". He is a mischievous little scamp for sure!

The picture quality is not that great. The drawing is done in a light crayon on white walls so it was hard to get enough contrast in the picture to have it show. Next week, a real entry!

Thursday, May 12

Sourdough Starter: The Big Pay Off!


Sourdough French Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water (105F)
1 envelope yeast
1 cup sourdough starter
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
6 cups flour, divided

Pour the warm water in to a mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add starter, sugar and salt. Beat in 3 cups of flour until blended. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free spot (1 1/2-2 hours until doubled in size). Punch down the dough and add enough of the remaining flour to make a medium-stiff dough. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic adding flour as necessary.

Shape the dough in to 2 loaves, tapering the ends. Place on to a greased baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm, draft free spot 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour water 1 inch deep in a 9x13 baking dish and place in the bottom of the preheating oven. Brush the tops of the loaves with water and use a razor to slash the tops of the loaves in a diagonal. Bake 45 minutes or until golden and the loaves sound hollow when tapped.


So many of you have asked about my starter. (woohoo! I have regular readers!) I finally got the bread made! It came out great but I think next time I will make it in loaf pans instead of free form. The dough ended up having to sit in it's second rising longer than it needed so it over rose and then deflated a bit. I had 2 very large, somewhat flat loaves - somewhat like the ciabatta loaves that the local bakery sells. It's good though. We'll have sandwiches on it tonight before Edmund's baseball game.

Wednesday, May 11

Sourdough Starter: Maintenence

Sourdough Starter in Fridge

Standard Feed

1 cup milk, room temperature
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar

Measure out 1 cup of starter to use for baking (or give it to a friend with instructions). Mix the feed ingredients to the remaining 1 cup of starter. Cover loosely and leave on the counter overnight. The next day, put in to the refrigerator and stir as needed.

You should repeat this process every 7-10 days.

Tuesday, May 10


Spring has sprung at Our Home on the Hill!

Flowering tree Flowering tree 2This is the tree in our front yard. I just love it! I can see it from my living room (and depending on where I sit, it is sometimes all I can see) It makes me happy when I look out side. I'm not sure what kind of a tree it is but you can be sure that I will find out!

We also had a family of Canadian Geese in the front yard. There were 7 goslings and 2 adults. It is so cute how they all stick together almost as 1 entity. They crossed the road and tumbled down the little hill to the pond. We watched them for awhile but eventually we lost sight of them.

I love Spring!

Bead It


I saw this little swap Bead it and decided to give it a whirl. I followed the instructions posted by Poor Miss Finch and went to town. They were so much fun to do (and very addicting)! These are wrapped and off to my secret Bead It swap partner. I hope she likes them!

*(I'd really like to know how everyone takes such nice crisp pictures of stitch markers! I took about a dozen and they were all slightly blurry.)

Monday, May 9

Books and Crafts!

Topher's-orange-visor Today was Story Time at the Library. Topher loves to go to the Library so when I found out that they have a story hour - with a craft! - for preschoolers, I knew we had to go. A good time was had by all! We sang songs ("ABC's, "Twinkle, Twinkle"), read stories ("Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse", "Are You My Mother?"), did finger plays ("I'm a Little Teapot", "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes") and finally we did a craft. Top-of-visor The children decorated little plastic visors with stick on letters and sparkly bits. (No pictures during story time as the woman reading was a little, umm... cranky with anyone she deemed the least bit distracting) After story time, we explored the stacks and found a few books to bring home. One about being a garbage man and one about dinosaurs and fossils. We then went upstairs to the 'big people' books where I found a (new to me) cookbook to try. Next week I think we will pack a picnic lunch for after.

Saturday, May 7

Expanding My Horizons

I have a pretty extensive culinary palate. I love food and there is really nothing that I don't like. I am willing to try anything and everything. That said though, I have never cooked with Tofu. I am not sure if I have ever had it before either.

Our monthly Supper Club meets tonight and this month's theme is "Cinco De Mayo". In my continued effort to cook light and healthy I found a new recipe for guacamole. In addition to the avocado, it uses tofu.

Light Guacamole

1/4 pound firm tofu
2 oz sliced avocado
1/2 of a medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tbls diced green chile pepper
1 Tbls fresh lime juice
Dash of ground red pepper

In a food processor, blend tofu and avocado until smooth.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.

**Update -Guacomole The guacamole was great! Really very good. It met with rave reviews, too. Everyone gobbled it right up and no one had any idea that there was tofu in it. This recipe is a keeper.

Friday, May 6

My Knitting Bag

I've been on the hunt for a knitting bag. I've just been sort of stuffing my knitting in my purse but I wanted to switch to a smaller purse so that would no longer work. I've seen some that I really like but they are just not in my budget right now. I've thought about making my own but I got overwhelmed at the fabric choices. (there are just too many wonderful fabrics!)

While at Target picking up cleaning supplies, I found this bag.

knitting bagknitting bag inside

It is just the perfect bag for my knitting right now. It is light and summery. Large enough to hold my knitting, a book and/or pattern and what ever notions I want to carry around. It has a small zippered pocket inside and it ties closed with some pretty bits of ribbon. The price was right, too. ($12)

I may eventually want a more standard knitting bag with lots of pockets inside but until I find the one I want, this one fits the bill.

Thursday, May 5

Sourdough Starter: Day 9

Sourdough Starter in Fridge

Standard Feed

1 cup milk, room temperature
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar

Measure out 1 cup of starter and toss the rest. Wash your container.
Mix the reserved starter, milk, flour and sugar and put back in to the container.
Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 2 days.

(mine will sit a few days longer. I plan to bake bread on Monday)

Wednesday, May 4

Sourdough Starter: Day 8

Sourdough Starter

Repeat instructions for Day 2: Stir.

The Big Reveal!

Secret Pal 4 has come to an end. This was my first time participating in something like this and I had a lot of fun. I also learned a lot (like how understanding people can be when I am a complete bonehead and don't get my packages in the mail in a timely manner!) Anyway...

I had a wonderful Secret Pal from Australia. I really enjoyed getting to know her through our emails and I am thrilled to now be able to read her blog. Her packages really made me feel special and I can't wait for the last one to get here. (she told me there is one more coming! How exciting!) Check her out, she is Ailsa at Pick Up Sticks.

I was Secret Pal to another lovely lady from Australia - and as luck would have it, they are good friends! What are the odds! She is a very sweet woman and has been more that patient with me. She knits things and sells them and uses her blog as a contact for her clients. You can find Donni at Moggy and Me.

I hope to keep in contact with both of them. You can never have too many friends! In the mean time, go over and say "Hi" yourself.

Tuesday, May 3

Sourdough Starter: Day 7

Sourdough Starter

Repeat instructions for Day 3:Feed.

* for those of you playing along at home, we have now fed our starter 3 times. We are very close to the part when we get to make bread!

TV Knitting

I did a little TV knitting. A co-worker of Chris' just had his first baby so Chris asked if I could make some little booties. Take Charlies Angels: Full Throttle, Stitch'N Bitch Nation, and some bulky stash yarn and this is what I made.
Booties for Hung
The "One Hour Baby Booties"

I especially love the little buttons!

Monday, May 2

Sourdough Starter: Day 6

Sourdough Starter

Repeat instructions for Day 2:Stir.

Sunday, May 1

Sourdough Starter: Day 5

Sourdough Starter

Repeat instructions for Day 3:Feed.

A book thing

I got this from Knit Happens

1. Grab the nearest book

2. Open the book to page 123

3. Find the 5th sentence

4. Post the sentence to your blog

5. Don't search for the "coolest" book. Just use the one that is next to you

So here is my sentence.

"Vacations can be difficult, but try to exert the same control in your choices that you would at home."

(from The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr Phil McGraw)

Is it profound?