Monday, May 23, 2016

Digging











Dean: "Mama, it's you!"





Normal-ish spring weather has returned, with peonies and roses and mock orange blooming everywhere. Ahhh... On saturday we went strawberry picking on a whim, thinking we wouldn't find many berries and that it would start raining on us. We were wrong on both points! In an hour we had picked over thirty pounds of berries, they were so plentiful. And by 'we' I mean Vincent and I, with Gianna contributing about a basket of berries, Dean probably eating about a basket of berries, and them both getting bored quickly and deciding that using the rows of plants like hurdles was much more fun, running up and down, probably stomping on berries as they ran. So then I had to stop picking and redirect the running elsewhere lest they destroy all the berries. All in all a normal berry picking trip.

I took stock of my knitting projects and realized that I had set this sweet partial fairisle sweater aside for so long that it would be too small by next winter, so I had to rip it all out. Sigh. He already fits into Gianna's sweater which is a size bigger than this one! So my plan now is to give hers to him and knit this one for her in the next size up. It's a painful lesson to learn.

Gianna's class put on their spring performance last week "A Trip Across Asia." She was a tiger and did a lantern walk on stage, in addition to singing in the chorus. After the show I asked her if she had been scared or nervous (she had lines she spoke into the microphone all by herself) and she looked at me like I had said something strange and replied, "No, mostly I felt proud and excited." YES! I am so impressed by her teachers and what they are able to do with three mixed grade classes of kindergartners, first graders and second graders. As one of my friends said to me during the show, "I think I was a flower when I was in kindergarten, not a taiko drummer or an emperor with twelve lines!"


Friday, May 13, 2016

Home Scenes






















Here's a glimpse into the last few months, minus all of the used tissues and cough drop wrappers. The weather is pretending it is summer and the plants have been reacting accordingly, although the temperature is supposed to drop about 30 degrees overnight tonight, with a high of 90 and sun today and 61 and rain tomorrow. Back to Portland spring tomorrow. My garden will love the water and milder temps, as will I. We've been enjoying the weather, though, with grilled dinners outside, kids running through the sprinkler, local strawberries (atop shortcake of course!), a yard full of flowers and lots and lots of seed sowing and transplanting in the garden.

I started that sweet mitten and bonnet set for Gianna's school auction and learned some lessons. First, maybe don't pick something with a new type of stitch that can't be found on youtube and is easily forgotten. Second, don't get a cold with only a few weeks left to finish it. Yeah, so the auction is tomorrow night and it is still only half knit. When I did feel good enough to work on it, I couldn't remember how to make that cute bubble stitch work! Fortunately I have a back up finished project and now I have a whole year to finish this for next year.

I have two rolls of Swedish wallpaper that I am hoping to get on the wall this weekend, plus maybe some strawberry picking, and the school auction tomorrow evening. It will be the kids first time doing bedtime with a babysitter. Fingers crossed for success!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Glow













While it is not as dark as it was a month ago, it still feels very much like dark winter. The buds on the trees and the tender shoots pushing up through the earth are a welcome sight. I know we still have some time to go before spring is officially here, but it is nice to see a few hints of it here and there.

Dean has turned into a true helper whenever I need to grind meat. He would be happy grinding meat everyday. This day we made a double batch of meatballs; one for that night and one for the freezer. We have meatballs once a week. I'm thinking of trying a teriyaki meatball or some other kind of non-marinara based meatball.

Last weekend I learned that there is a ligament in the arm that can become dislocated if the arm is pulled on too hard. It's called Nursemaid's Elbow and Dean had it. I don't know how it happened. I was in the other room and he just started crying. After many tears and realizing he hadn't used that arm for three hours I decided to take him in. I'm so glad I did! The doctor popped it right back into place and he was using it again without discomfort within ten minutes. Amazing! The doctor said it was his favorite emergency medicine procedure. Now it is mine too.

I broke the apparently fragile jar my first starter was in, so I had to start over. It is now bubbling and smelling good. I think it is ready to be added into some dough this weekend. I'm trying not to get my hopes too high. GF bread isn't the same as regular bread and usually the first time baking something doesn't yield a perfect result. Still, I'm dreaming of homemade gf bagels, I can't help it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Snowy Magic













Happy New Year friends! We are coming off of two weeks with all of us off of work and school during which we celebrated a three year old birthday (trains and trucks!), Christmas (hosted dinner for 12 in our tiny house), New Years Eve (a super mellow evening in with just the four of us), and New Years Day (with a very cold hike).

We got a surprise treat of snow for the last day of Winter Break. Catching snow on our tongues, eating ice, sledding at the park and exploring the snowy playground were the activities of the day. I thought it was the perfect ending to the break. Then, in true Portland style, the snow turned to freezing rain overnight and we woke up to everything covered in a thick sheet of ice, and school and work cancelled the next day. A bonus day of break! And then school was cancelled again today. It's not so fun having two extra days of break, in my opinion, even if we did make my favorite oatmeal cookies. I'm beyond ready to get back to our routine.

In an effort to eat something other than hummus and chips for lunch during the week, I've started cooking batches of food on Sunday that are ready to be eaten whenever hunger strikes. I thought my plans were going to be thwarted by the snow, but it turns out I had everything I needed to make a batch of granola, muffins, hummus, and a pot of mojadra. I aspire to be as organized as this lady. Not only is school starting up again, but we'll be adding a gymnastics class and swim classes twice a week, so I need to be very prepared.

As of January 1st we have officially started an elimination diet to sort out Dean's health issues. For the next 6 weeks we aren't eating gluten, eggs, peanuts, pineapple, and chili pepper/powder. When we first discovered that gluten was an issue for him, I stopped baking bread. I've missed it. I found a recipe in an old issue of Taproot for gluten free sourdough. I now have the beginnings of the starter sitting in a jar by the stove under a towel. Once the starter is ready I can make some dough that can be used to make bagels and pizza dough. I can hardly wait!