Saturday, July 27, 2013

#1 knit a Christmas gift, and more

3437 lavender sachet

It feels a little like cheating to call this #1 on my list, because this is not the project I had in mind when I made my list.  However, the summer is zipping by and technically, it is going to be a Christmas gift.  I need to knit a few more so that I have one to keep, and can bear to give the rest away!  The best part is that it pings at least three things I love - knitting, gardening, and savoring the small wonders in life.  

Every year I ponder cutting my lavender so that I can use it for something, but I think, I'll do it after I get a picture that does justice to the lavender plants.  And then I leave it for the bees.  And then... it is past its cutting prime.  This year, I did not hesitate, because I'd found this cute little sachet pattern and I knew it would be lovely to dry some lavender.  I also have bits of vanilla bean that weren't quite fine enough for the vanilla sugar, and when I remember where I put them, I think that will also make a lovely sachet.    

At some point in my relationship with Dianne at Windy Valley, she gave me some remnants of various yarns in her shop.  I've had them in a bag for months, and it was a perfect little marriage of yarn and pattern.  I tell you, this is a very indulgent little gift!  I've got a whole bag of bits that will work for this, and I think they will make special little gifts, not unlike a loaf of pumpkin bread, or a little jar of jam.    

Speaking of jam, I've also recently made some lovely-looking jam.  I don't know if I should tell you this, but BFJ tried it said plainly, and I quote, "I would not eat this."  Note to self: cute little onions are not the same as shallots!   Oops.  Well, he saved it from ending up in your stocking, and you having to smile and pretend it was delicious.  

2653 savory blueberry jam

Other items accomplished on the list:
#5.  Finish a book. - My dad recommended a murder mystery, and it was a very enjoyable summer read.

#9.  Take some beautiful portraits of my kids. - The boys and I went out a couple of days before July 4th and got some great portraits of them.  I haven't gotten them printed out yet; should add that to the list.

#3 (paint the basement) is partially done.  Still some work to do, there.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

to Minnesota

So!  Here's what we've been up to... 

At some point in the past six months, my great aunt Ginnie (inadvertently?) included me on an email about the semi-annual family reunion in Minnesota.  I say inadvertently because I've never gone and there was no reason for her to include me but I assume I'm on her family distribution list.  Regardless, an idea was planted, but I was so unsure of whether we would actually get to Minnesota that I did not put it on my 10-things-to-do-this-summer list, although I really wanted to put Family Vacation as #1!  See, we've actually never been on a family vacation, and I didn't know if we'd be able to squeak it out.  Can you believe that?  I know, it's sad.  We've been on lots of trips to see family for holidays, but only a few hours here or there, and definitely not a vacation, the whole five of us.  Well, things have changed, I'm happy to say!

What did we do? you may wonder.
On Wednesday night, we drove to Nana and Grandpa's, loaded up the minivan they'd rented, and spent the night.  

on the drive to Nana and Grandpa's...
0733 on the way to SH

Early Thursday, we got up, and made sure we had everything we needed, and drove to eastern Nebraska, where our favorite big cousins live.  We got to see them, and tour their house.  And catch fireflies!  And while I took a hundred pictures of fireflies, they did not cooperate - they didn't blink when I clicked, and when they did you couldn't see it.  Here's something you might not know: fireflies don't live in Colorado.  The only time I have ever seen a firefly in Colorado was one time when our favorite big cousins drove out here from Nebraska with a jar of them.  And by the time they got here, there was just one still alive.  So although fireflies were on the very tippy-top of my list to get pictures of, I didn't.  

On Friday, we got up early.  Early.  And drove to Minnesota, the Northwoods.  Of course, we stopped many places along the way; with seven people of various ages in the car, we had to make a lot of bathroom stops and a lot of lunch, snacks and drinks stops.  Luckily, no one got carsick, although we'd anticipated one person might.  The boys watched a movie or two on Nana's laptop, and also had brought some gaming devices.  You know I had my vacation knitting - four different projects, and managed a few naps.  My mom worked on a special crochet project, and the men manned - ha - the driving and maps.  Along the way, we heard lots of stories of days gone by, where my parents had grown up and things they did, and memories of these many strange and foreign cousins we would meet.  My dad figures that the last time he went to this reunion, he was 12!  We enjoyed the miles and miles of green corn growing in Iowa, and I finally got a chance to prove to BFJ that Nebraska is really charming.  BFJ and I, at least, were amazed at all the wind farms in Iowa.  

0960 Iowa farmland

Oh dear, I've run out of time and am headed to my LYS today.  I'll have to tell you about our adventures in Minnesota next time!   

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

things to tell you...

IMG_1809

We have just returned home from a little adventure into strange lands and dark forests....  More soon!