Friday, December 30, 2011

Welcome {Winter}

Thanksgiving, Christmas and Solstice are well put to bed and we're gearing up for a cozy family New Year's Eve.

~Not all of the Christmastime knitting got done, of course (it never does!)

~The kids had the best Christmas, complete with trying to stay up All. Night. Long.

~I started a new, very part time, job that is turning out to be just what we needed

~Business taxes, website redesign and new opportunities loom for this mama

~Feeling up to all the challenges and blessings being found this season!

What's new with you?

Unrelated pic of some knitting (unChristmas type) that did get finished. This is the test knit for the new Green Apple dress. I'm in love!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hello, November!

Okay, I think I'm in love with November...and I don't care who knows it!

We are experiencing a truly crisp, bright start to the holiday season and it's wonderful. I've been neglecting my knitting but my kitchen has seen more action than usual.

We're enjoying a sausage, potato and kale soup that I heavily modified from one I found on All Recipes. I'll have to write down what I did before I forget! That's how my chili turns out different everytime.

I tried out Butter Belle's Soaked Pumpkin Muffins and all I can say is - yum! They are light and moist and perfect with a generous pat of pastured butter. I've had 3 today....just don't tell anyone. And this recipe reminds me why I keep the Kitchen Aid out on the counter. When I'm not doing a lot of baking I sometimes wonder why I have it!

I just started a new sourdough starter after killing one over the summer. I used to think getting a starter going was so hard but now that I've done it a few times I think that starters are super hardy and probably not easy to screw  up. I feel so rewarded when the starter begins rising each time I feed it! It's the little things, folks.

The knitting will have to be unneglected very soon to churn out all the gifting ideas I have in my head. I'm in a definite knitting slump - one where I have lots of ideas but no motivation to get things together and get started. Also, I've decided I need a swift and a ball winder. A lot of my yarn is in skeins and that doesn't help my motivation at all. I was going to ask for one for Christmas but then it would be too late for gift knitting. I might just buckle down and buy a set myself.

What are you working on for this holiday season?

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Oh my, it's been a busy week and an even busier weekend! One of those weekends where there just isn't enough time for everything - laundry, friends, Halloween preparations, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping - the list goes on!

Enjoying the pumpkin patch and all it's fun activities - like an apple sling shot and the photo ops!

Or maybe the puddles are more your speed - they have plenty of those too; it's Washington after all.

The makings for an impromptu apple pie on Sunday afternoon - well deserved after a weekend of hard work and hard play!

I hope your weekend was fabulous and family-filled!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Our weekend was full!
full of trips to the farm for milk
full of good friends and little boys growing up (sniff)
full of catching up with old friends
full of SUNSHINE!
full of cleaning up and cleaning out

Trips out for coffee (much needed for the cleaning part!)
Dusting off the sewing machine (literally, whoops)
Maybe a row or two knit
Planning many, many other knitting projects
Trying to maintain the self-discipline to shop only from my own yarn stash and not that of the (lovely!) local yarn shops (failing only a little)

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Even If The Sun Doesn't Shine

I am in love with the deep curiousity and action of my young children. They can seemingly take any activity and find the best parts, you know?

Right now:

:: paper boats and mud puddles

:: relearning to knit garter stitch

:: acting out Calvin and Hobbes (hehe!)

:: wanting to cook and cook and cook

Sometimes I have to step in and curb a little of what they want to do for what needs to get done - but for the most part I let them at it. You only get one childhood!

There's still plenty of riding bikes too because - really - the best part of riding a bike is done with boots on and through huge puddles! A quick shoutout for Kaiya's Skuut manufacturers - last week her back tire popped and they just sent us a new one in the mail, free of charge. I love great customer service like that!

What are your kids doing know that the weather has turned? (or will turn soon, or doesn't turn as the case may be)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Cooking

I love seasonality (pretty sure I'm making that word up). The cycle of our lives - indoors/outdoors, sun/rain, holidays - there's just a natural time for everything, if we're only willing to listen.

Right now I'm filling our kitchen with fall favorites and enjoying the smell of simmering and baking.

Our roasted chicken from dinner

This chicken will make many meals just from one roasting. The bones are simmering away to make stock and the remaining meat can be used for another dinner.

My hope is to feed my family whole, nourishing meals without breaking the bank. I want our meals to bring us warmth and good health in every season but especially in these cooler, darker days of fall.

I use this simple recipe for roasted chicken from Nourished Kitchen. Do you have a favorite recipe that makes you feel warmed and satisfied?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To GAPS or Not to GAPS

Oh, that is the question that is heavy on my mind right now.

The GAPS diet is a gut healing and sealing diet with far reaching benefits for many chronic disorders. Designed by  Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract while ridding the body of the unwanted yeast and bacterias that make so many of us ill.

Sounds great, right? The thing is this diet looks tough. I've been following a few online journeys through the GAPS Intro and the Full GAPS diet (less restrictive than Intro) and I'm starting -just starting- to think that maybe we could do this.

Our son (9) has a host of chronic conditions that the GAPS diet could really help. Asthma, autism, allergies and ezcema. He has had these ailments since infancy. Each day that I wait and ponder whether or not we should do this I think to myself that it is another day that he could be feeling some relief, you know?

So hard for a mama.

My first step will be to get the book from the library and arm myself with some more knowledge. I'm also seeing more and more resources out there for doing the GAPS  diet successfully; especially with kids. This makes it seem much less scary!

Do you have any experience with GAPS?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Right Now

Things that I am loving right now:

Knitting ::  a special Christmas gift
Listening :: to Michael Franti and Feist on my Pandora
Simplifying :: our home and  getting down to brass tacks for winter
Working :: on new passion projects taking me in all sorts of wonderful directions!
Watching :: the drizzly, Northwest weather outside my very Fall
Hearing :: a 4 year old begin the long, wonderful journey toward reading
Spending :: some one-on-one time with the big brother
Making :: new friends over chicken soup and conversation

What are you enjoying right now?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebrating Michaelmas

Ahhh, the beginning of Autumn is truly here in the Northwest! Crisp mornings, drizzly days and dark evenings.

Last week we celebrated Michaelmas. This festival is all about courage, bravery and heroic deeds and is a perfect analogy for the soul strength we need to get through the long, dark, cold winter.

I didn't get too many pics (having too much fun actually DOING!) but here are the few I did capture.

We picked the last of the blackberries in the sunshine and Kaiya found this woolly friend

We read Saint George and the Dragon and made Dragon Bread. Almonds for the spikes and teeth!

Dinner was cozy chili and bread with blackberry jam

We also dyed silk capes with yellow dye to make "capes of light." The kids had fun reinacting the scenes from the book (especially the part where the dragon falls into the blackberry bushes) with their capes and (invisible) swords.

How was your Michaelmas?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Farm Friday

I so enjoy our trips to the local farm on Fridays to gather milk and any other goodies that the season brings! This is also the kids' favorite part of the week and it is so very hard to get them to leave. I guess I could have worse problems.

Today we visited the growing chicks and milk cows in the pasture. We've watched the chicks grow from tiny fluff balls to awkward chicken teenagers. It is quite a way to mark the passage of time.

I love the feeling of being so close to our food source and this is reflected in my children's knowledge. My four year old believes that milk only comes from farms (not the grocery store) and my nine year old says he would like to study to be a farmer someday. They understand that the beef cattle in the field will one day nourish a family and that the farm's precious baby cow, Della, drinks the same milk that we do.

Seeing the white prefold diapers blowing in the breeze as we left was the perfect way to end today's farm trip. I love knowing my farmers, their family and the animals that benefit from love, sunshine and bountiful pasture!

Have you met your local farm community yet?