Wednesday, May 6, 2015

tending my yarn garden...

Reading: In addition to my Bible, The Help, and Mitford #6, I've begun Somewhere in France. I know I wasn't going to start a new book before finishing my other reading, but I couldn't help myself. Of course, Bible reading is never done, so it doesn't count. :)

Knitting: The white up above is a another shrug, only this time it's for my AnnaLynn to go with a fancy dress she'll be wearing when she plays violin in a small strings trio for a wedding this weekend! It's her first paid "gig" as well as a special occasion, so, of course she needs a special knit, right? I searched Ravelry for shrug patterns using worsted weight and found this one which I'm modifying for the sake of getting it done (doesn't need to be quite so long). I have until Saturday...

Other projects that are all finished up and gifted (or are soon to be) include:

Tucker's Cardigan...

Locksley's Shrug (unblocked, but oh well)...

Matching shrugs for my sweet grandbabies...

(the color is more true in the above photo than in the one below)

Linnea's bonnet (which turned out a little on the big size)

And another scarfette!

Ravelry notes are here. :)  Lots of wee knits make it easy to keep them flying off the needles; I'm actually a slow knitter and am ok with that since I enjoy the process so much!

What's on your needles?

Joining Ginny :)


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Monday, May 4, 2015

mindful monday #10 -- the Kentucky Derby edition :)

{Mindful Mondays}
a good starting place for the week
and a nifty way to document what I am...

Reading: Somewhere in France, my Bible, and World magazine.

Listening to: old Susan Ashton cds and a fun new 70s/80s station I found on the radio dial :)

Studying: how to make herbal oil infusions, logic with Anna, theology with Danny...the learning never ends!

Creating: AnnaLynn and I both picked out patterns and fabric for sewing stylish new skirts for the warmer days ahead, working on mother's day knits to gift, and knitting for my granddaughters (always, it seems!).

Menu planning: dinners this week include salads, grilled chicken and brats, and homemade pizza.

Thinking about: how close we are to finishing school for the year, that next year will be Daniel's senior year (where did the years go?), about summer projects around the house and homestead.

Praying for: friends who are struggling with chronic pain, a friend who has cancer, for the persecuted church, for earthquake victims in Nepal, for Baltimore, for true peace.

Thankful: for the new-to-us vehicle we bought late last month, for better gas mileage, for technology (newer cars are amazing), and for our old truck that, despite being difficult to shift, gets the job done when I need a yard of soil or wood chips. :)

Delighting in: my AnnaLynn's love of horses and how she has looked forward to watching the Kentuck Derby for weeks now, something that's become a tradition for us even though we aren't (other than Anna, that is) horse people. She's hoping for a triple crown this year, just like every year. :)

Praising God for a new week and wishing you a happy Monday,


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Friday, May 1, 2015

seven things, ten people, and an award :)

How fun is this? Recently I was nominated by Cathie at Cathie's Craftworks for the One Lovely Blog Award -- thanks, Cathie! So sweet of you. :) Cathie is a blogger and private math tutor who enjoys crocheting, quilting, knitting, crafting, baking, and reading; she and her husband make their home on Long Island in New York state. I've never been to New York state or anywhere in New England north of Pennsyvania... maybe someday!
The purpose of this award is for bloggers to nominate fellow, mostly newer, bloggers that they wish to recognize. The goal is to bring attention to blogs that we think are "lovely" and enjoy reading. We hope others will enjoy reading these blogs also.
In order to accept the award, the nominated blogger must follow these rules:
  • Thank the person who nominated you & link back to them in your post 
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award
Here are my seven facts:
  1. I live deep in the Cascade Foothills of SW Washington state surrounded by miles and miles of Douglas Fir (which makes for easy access to firewood and terrific stargazing since we are far from the city lights!)
  2. I was born in Braddock, PA, and am fond of all things Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania; in fact, two years ago when we visited there, I cried when I saw the "Welcome to Pennsylvania" sign!
  3. I am mom to five and Baba to two (so far); besides being a wife, there is nothing I would rather do with my time than be a mom and grandma :)
  4. My knitting (and/or crocheting) goes with me pretty much everywhere; I enjoy creating lovely things for my granddaughters as well as making up my own patterns; whenever I have free time, I'm usually knitting if I'm not out in the garden :)
  5. I was the fastest kid at the Vashon Island elementary school while in the sixth grade (yes, even faster than the boys) and was a "track star" (ha!) in middle school and jr. high where, for years, I held a record for the 220 (does that age me, or what?!!); my fastest time was 27.7 which isn't so fast by today's standards, but at 14, I dreamt of the Olympics... LOL! High school track brought me to reality and I quit. Wish I hadn't... :)
  6. We have homeschooled for almost 23 years now which means that, including my years in school and college, so far I've spent 37 years in school...good thing I enjoy it!
  7. I tend toward melancholy and have to work, to purpose, in fact, to be joyful, thankful, and happy; I named my blog "Happy" in Dole Valley because, really, who would want to read, "Melancholy" in Dole Valley? Ha! 
And in no particular order, here are my blog nominations; not all of these are necessarily "newer blogs" so in a way I'm breaking the rules... I'm ok with that. :)
  1. Ranee @ Arabian Knits -- Ranee is a fellow Washingtonian who knits and crochets and writes lovely patterns!
  2. Karen @ Moments with Mother Culture -- Karen is an author who lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania; her books, like her blog, are a balm to the homeschooling mom's soul. :)
  3. Jayne @ Adventures at Tiny Toadstool Cottage -- Jayne knits, blogs, and farms in the land down under!
  4. Herrick @ The Deliberate Agrarian -- Herrick is an entrepreneur and author who blogs, gardens, and sells American made clothespins from his home in New York state. He writes about the economy and history and is a good source for agrarian and self-sufficiency encouragement.
  5. Izzy @ The Compound -- Izzy is a mom who blogs, gardens, and raises pigs, chickens, and rabbits somewhere in sunny Florida! 
  6. Maria @ The Gentle Art of Living Slowly -- Maria is an amazing seamstress, a long-time blogger, and is momma to three; this sweet lady lives in my homestate!
  7. Sarah @ Gentle Home -- Another Pennsylvanian! Sarah doesn't post super often, but she's a sweet lady who knits and gardens and homeschools her sweeties. I met Sarah through a blogswap!
  8. Darcel @ The Mahogany Way --  Darcel is an amazing woman raising and unschooling her three sweet children somewhere in Virginia; Darcel is also a talented knitter!
  9. Shara @ Mama's Mission -- Oh my, I think I "met" Shara when I very first started blogging! She's a woman on a mission who creates lovely things with yarn and cooks up a storm in North Carolina :)
  10. Melissa @ Melissa Marie Knits -- Melissa is a lovely 17 year old senior who I've recently become acquainted with; she's a sweet young lady who enjoys good books, knitting, blogging, and creating artsy  memory books and scrapbook pages. Melissa lives in New York and recently completed knitting her very first sweater!
Thanks to each of you for brightening my days and inspiring me each in your own unique ways -- it is a joy to know you all!


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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

tending my yarn garden...

Knitting:  It's been a productive knitting week for me! Tucker's cardigan is finally off the needles, and I found the perfect buttons to go with it which made me super happy. Linnea's shrug is also complete (more cute buttons!), and Charlotte's matching shrug is well on it's way...  Locksley's shrug is almost done, too!  And the yellow is a scarfette I created as a gift for my sweet mother-in-law's birthday. :)

Reading: I picked up a few new books from the library (more WWII) and can't decide which to read first.  I'm almost finished with book #5 of the Mitford series (A New Song), and will put off starting #6 until I finish The Help  and my library books. Any recommendations on which I should read first? Btw, did you see the video tour of our small-town library that I shared last week? Scroll to the bottom of the post and take a's cute, it's charming!

Looking forward to seeing what you've been knitting and reading, my friends!

Joining Ginny :)


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

homestead update...

Lots of bloom and growth outside my windows these days which puts a smile on my face despite the fact that the deer stopped by one night and ate all but two stems of my bluebells. You can see the evidence in the bottom frustrating! Lettuces are coming along; a little late this year, but that's ok. If you're wondering, we grow French crisp along with a few varieties of romaine. My spinach and peas were a fail, but that is due to my being sick early in April which kept me out of the garden. Oh well. There is still time to plant again which I plan to do asap.

Unexpected sunshine on Saturday provided the opportunity to fill my hanging baskets with fuchsia and calibrachoa (million bells) starts. (As an aside, the link is to an article about growing and propagating calibrachoa which thrills me since they are expensive! I'm planning to try this once my plants get a little more growth on them.)  Back in 2012, I shared a tutorial for refreshing the soil in last year's planters as well as some tips for growing calibrachoa baskets which you can find here. :)

The herb garden is growing nicely; I discovered a few volunteer garlic plants from bulbs that must have escaped harvest last summer. Chives are getting ready to bloom which always looks so pretty, chamomile and echinacea volunteers are growing like crazy, and my lavender is looking lush and full of promise!

Our weather has been finicky here in the foothills; at the tail end of April, we've had snow in the higher elevations (Silverstar and Larch Mountains) which has brought near freezing temps at our place during the night. Rain, sun, rainbows (!!), clouds, storms, wind, and then mild temperatures (it was 80 on Monday!) have me exercising caution about starting the garden too early. There is plenty of time...

How does your garden grow?


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