Previous month:
July 2013
Next month:
September 2013

5 Words, 1 Week

I had an idea that it would be fun to write a 5 Tips from the Parent of a Student Moving Abroad post to accompany Katie's 5 Tips, but my feelings and thoughts are not that organized and I'm not up to the task of untangling them. How about 5 Words that I've been finding helpful... for life in general?

  • Beauty. Find it. If I don't see it anywhere else, I just look at my kids' faces.
  • Grace. Sometimes that means a little bit of acting.
  • Love. Unwavering. More than anything.
  • Understanding. Wear their shoes. Feel it.
  • Support. Always! Lean on me.

It's sure a lot easier now to see my kids move far away than it was in 2004, 2006, 2011... Maddy is the other one with a streak of wanderlust, and it won't be long before she's in South America, Africa, Europe... Kate's paving the way has definitely made it easier! I guess my sister's been the pioneer in our family in terms of international galavanting. So they can all thank her! Getting Maddy moved into her new apartment 100 miles away is proving to be the most challenging thing of all this year! Ali's much more of a home-body...

...and I can totally relate to that! She did recently come along on a quickie trip to Chicago!

Kate's departure for Scotland is one week from today and, oh, I am sure going to miss her. I sometimes think that I'm only one crazy head-scarf away from being Edie --could be either one, actually, Big or Little! So, maybe it's a good thing.

Here are five more words that will be helpful in the coming year:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Spotify
  • Skype
  • blogging

Amazing. And then, of course, there's this...

Everything's coming up baby!


15 minutes...

...gave me a good start. I had to set the timer for another :15 to reach my goal of cleaning off and putting away the ironing board that's been set up and heaped upon since June 14th! It's done!

One small step.

I am paralyzed by the enormity of every thing at every turn right now. Hopefully, breaking it down into bite-size pieces will result in some success and maybe even momentum. I need to get some of these projects going.

There's just a lot going on around here. I'm having trouble stringing thoughts together, finding words...

We made pie! My crust was terrible to look at (there's a reason I'm not the designated pie-maker at our house) but it tasted good. The homemade tart cherry filling was AMAZING! We did everything but pick those cherries -- though I have picked cherries in Door County in my lifetime -- and it feels so great to have made something so wonderful from scratch.

Tonight, the Packer game with Mom, Joe & Katie.

Tomorrow, farmers' market in the a.m., a friend's family reunion photo shoot in the early p.m., and dinner out with my family in the late p.m.

Sunday will most definitely be a day of rest... with a few :15s thrown in!


It's that time of year again

Kids are going back to school!

I wrote about that once: Milestones.

I think about that post every year at this time, and I still get teary when I remember.

Plus, so much as happened since then! It all changes now when I realize, too, that Sharon will be three years gone, already, in December. That Alison graduated, went to school, bought a business, got married, is having a baby! That even Maddy has graduated high school since then, and is working on her degree.

Anyway, if you've been following along, you know that we're in the "teens" now as we count down to Katie's departure to Scotland where she'll spend the next year working on her masters degree at the University of Edinburgh.

She has learned some things along the way and is sharing: What I've learned so far... 5 Tips from a Student Moving Abroad.

It's an excellent read -- not only for someone moving abroad, but for anyone who is embarking on a new adventure (even if it's only across town, because sometimes that can seem even further away...) -- and I hope you'll share it with anyone you may know who's in a similar spot.


More summer fun

Baby blanket knitting continues and I'm so happy that I started early on this project. There is a limit to my chevron knitting before I have to take a break! Loving how it's turning out, though. There's a glimpse of one of my finds at Stitches Midwest, an Ablet -- the Knitting Abacus row-counter/bracelet -- not necessary for the blanket project, but I've been using it for others and love it! Someday I'd like another.


Take me out to the ball game! Last Thursday was a perfect night for baseball... and look how exciting it is when the bratzooka comes around! Crazies.

We had a little rummage sale at Ali's over the weekend and unloaded some stuff, especially Kate... she had some really good stuff! I made heaps o' progress on Le P'tit Mousse and, in fact, have only seaming and button procurement left to do! (The Ablet was very handy for this project!)

Ali's CSA box was full of juice-ables on Saturday, so she made us a WONDERFUL apple, lemon, cucumber, carrot, parsley, cilantro, beet, ginger, cabbage & kale juice. Rod's whole family -- brothers, parents -- have been into juicing for quite some time, and got my brother and his wife into it a while back, too. They all juice everyday, or almost everyday.

Kate & I bought a pail of tart cherries in Door County last week. Here we are having a pity pitting party over the weekend. (Rusty certainly looks pitiful, doesn't he?) Kate wants to make a farewell cherry pie to take to work, as one does. I want to make one, too! I've never made a cherry pie from scratch and I'm looking forward to it. That's a tomorrow project, after the midwife appointment with Ali & Rod.

Countdown to Kate's departure: 18 Days!


Packing it all in

The sweater -- Pull Gaspard -- that I was fixing in the last post looked like this on Tuesday:

And this on Wednesday:

I did some knitting in the car yesterday while Kate took a turn at the wheel and we day-tripped up to Door County. It was a beautiful day, but other than this:

and these:

Behind the Minnetonka moccasin shop; on the shore in Ephraim

And despite taking my big-girl camera along (I haven't tripped that shutter in ages), I only took mobile-phone photos of menus and food.  ;)

That's the Turkey, Cream Cheese & Cherry Chutney sandwich at The Cookery, one of my favorite places, and definitely one of my favorite sandwiches of all time! I haven't eaten an actual "sandwich" in about a year, so this was really a treat... and, oh, so worth it. I even said to Katie, while eating it, that one of the things I love about it (and I love all the things about this sandwich) is that they use RAISIN bread. I also love and look forward to the accompanying dill potato salad and chunky applesauce. I enjoyed a glass of Island Orchard Apple Cherry Cider and helped Kate with her bottle of Crispin Artisanal Reserve Honey Crisp Cider, and we shared some eggplant fries as an appetizer -- so light and crispy, better than I'd even hoped. There are many amazing eateries to choose from in Door County, but The Cookery is consistently at the top of our list.

We made our way north to Ephraim and Wilson's -- an institution up there, but to which I'd never actually been -- and enjoyed a couple of root beer floats for dessert. Second dessert, actually, as we'd found ourselves in a chocolate shop and one certainly can't leave an establishment like that empty-handed.

If that wasn't enough for a day, we ever-so-briefly cooled our jets at home before picking up Ali and heading up to the Farmers' Market on Broadway (in Green Bay) for more food and fun! That's been on the list for a while and I would certainly like to return.

It's a combo farmer market/festival -- LOTS of fresh produce and meat, arts and crafts, food vendors, live music, beer. I didn't have any beer, but I'm happy to know that it's there.

A good time (and funnel cake) was had by all!

Tonight is a company picnic at the local baseball stadium, and sometime between now and 8 a.m. tomorrow we'll be setting up for a 2-day rummage sale in Ali's driveway! Jeepers, it's a busy month.

I'm trying to keep it all together and make the most of every minute -- packing it all in while counting down the days: (1) 'til Maddy heads back to school, (6) 'til Ali's next midwife appointment, and (22) 'til Kate flies over the ocean.

Meanwhile, Saltires are popping up.

I've cast on another baby sweater by a French designer! Le P'tit Mousse has been on my radar (Pinterest board) for a long time! I'm so happy to have an actual reason/baby to knit some of these sweaters!

I'm pretty sure there's more, but that's all for now!


Remember the good old days?

The lights flickered on and the fridge started to hum again when power was restored. The only thing left to do was run around and reset the clocks. Not spending hours trying to figure whether it's your printer that's fried, or the network, or WTF... who unplugged that cord?

We had a bad storm blow through the area on Tuesday night -- they've now confirmed that it was actually 5 tornadoes. We lost a big tree in the ravine at home (above), and a few branches, but no structural damage or loss of power. There was no power at work, though, until mid-morning today and the main route I take to-and-fro has been closed for the last couple of days and will likely remain so for a few more... snapped off power poles and dislodged roofs take time to clean up and repair.

And wow. I am utterly exhausted from all of that. And so completely humbled by and in awe of the many thousands who have gone through the devastating tsunami, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes of recent years. Incredible.

I'm also very grateful that I'll be hopping on a bus at 6 a.m. tomorrow for a ride down to Stitches Midwest. I've never been and am looking forward to a day of fiber and fun with friends. Fff. I'm not really too crazy about the 6 a.m. part, but do plan on taking a nap. I'll also continue working on Zim's Pull Gaspard. I dropped down a few stitches yesterday to fix a split stitch. I've just begun a sleeve. Very exciting!

Last but not least...

Addy is my new favorite 6-year-old! Can you believe it? Six today.

Will Zim zoom to 6 just like that, too? Crazy kids these days, they grow like weeds!


Ten on Tuesday: 10 Words

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Words to Describe Myself in an Interview

I'd just like to say that when I read the topic for today, I wanted to puke. That pretty much sums up how I feel about going on a job interview! I immediately closed the email and my first reaction was to just skip it altogether.

Then I accepted the challenge.

Maybe it's not a JOB interview; maybe it's another type of interview -- a newspaper story or magazine feature!

(Did you feel that? It's like the earth moved. Change in thinking = immediate relief.)

Well, then, in no particular order:

1.  Creative

2.  Efficient

3.  Confident

4.  Positive

5.  Responsible

6.  Dependable

7.  Independent

8.  Easy-going

9.  Quick-learner

10.  Hard-worker

11.  Loyal*

I'm not sure I'd use the majority of those words in anything other than a job interview, but they came SO much easier when I didn't think of it that way.

*Loyal was actually one of the first words that came to mind, but I'm pretty sure that's just me showing my age.


Right Now... It's August!

Here's what's happening for me . . . Right Now!

WATCHING . . . Orange is the New Black. I think Netflix is figuring it out! Not only are they offering programs they way their customers like to watch, but their original programs are KILLER. Ahem. On that note, I'm sure it will surprise no one to know that instead of OITNB, I watched The Business of Being Born last night.

On the To-Watch list: Hannibal, Hell On Wheels.

READING . . . I haven't actually cracked a book in months... until Tuesday when my Amazon order arrived, consisting of Special Women: The Role of the Professional Labor Assistant and a few other books in that vein. 

Becoming a doula has been on my radar for years, and now... That Alison wants me attendant at the birth is a given. I would like to be knowledgeable as well as instinctively supportive! Who knows, maybe this is the push and start to actually pursuing certification.

KNITTING . . . Um, baby stuff? As established, I recently finished Little Heaume and am only in need of a button to finish. Imagine my delight at learning that the National Button Society will be holding their Diamond Jubilee Convention here in a couple of weeks! I just happen to have a few other items in need of buttons. I am also working on Purl Soho's Chevron Baby Blanket, using a superwash wool in 3 colors. I just made the first color change and... now I'm bored and ready for something else. It'll probably be Pull Gaspard, you know, for my "portable" knitting project; I just have to decide which size.

LISTENING TO . . . Happy! Clap along!! I was so happy when I learned that Pharrell Williams was doing the music for Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). I first learned of Pharrell in Snoop Dogg's Beautiful (I love visiting Rio that way)! He also made an appearance last season as a guest coach for Usher's team on The Voice. And then, of course, there's this summer's controversial number with Robin Thicke and T.I., Blurred Lines... causing a bit of a stir. Sassy. I like to turn it up loud.

I don't know what it is, exactly, but I love Pharrell's voice and the way he sings. Plus he's so boyishly cute. So, fine, I'm having a little crush. Anyway, Happy is a fabulous early-morning, start-the-day, going-to-work song. The other DM2 songs I have starred in Spotify are Fun, Fun, Fun and Just A Cloud Away. Also, the movie was cute.

DREADING . . . Katie's departure for Scotland... five (5!) weeks from TODAY. My feelings about this are multi-faceted, of course; I am also Celebrating, Itching To, Inspired By, and Delighted By... among other things.

HUMMING . . . See "Listening to..." above.

CELEBRATING . . . Did you hear? There's going to be a baby!

PLANNING . . . To pack a lot of fun into this "last month of summer." Thanks to one of the women in knitting group, I'll be catching a 6 a.m. bus next Friday for Stitches Midwest! There's a trip to Door County on the calendar, as well as a quickie to Chicago, the button convention, a rummage sale, a month of farmer markets, a writing project, and a little photo gig for some old, old friends. Someone will have to help Maddy and her friend Katy move into their first apartment this month, too!

ITCHING TO . . . Like Kym, I am (have been) itching to do some sewing! I have some things ready to sew, some clothing to take in, a quilt cut and ready, another that I'd like to make... maybe for a baby. My machine's a Husqvarna, and it's getting time to go!

DRINKING . . . Beer, coconut water, tea a la Arnold Palmer.

NEEDING TO . . . Shop around for health insurance. Yep, it's that time of year again. I'm not sure how many more years I'm going to be able to take a 20% annual increase in health insurance premiums. Next year I'll have surpassed another "milestone" birthday. This is not the area where I want to spend all my money! I don't understand and it all makes my head hurt; insurance and the medical machine make my blood boil... certainly none of this can be good for my health!

ORGANIZING . . . Yarn! Sort of. I'm working on it. It's part of the plan to clean out my workroom for the installation of French doors. Rusty's been helping Ali & Rod with a bathroom remodel project at their house, giving me some reprieve. Naturally, I've ignored my task altogether. Tsk.

INSPIRED BY . . . Relatively stable weight in July and apparently finding true balance in my diet. I have buckled down a bit, now, for August, in an effort to lose a few more pounds. I'm delighted to know that I can have my cake (ice cream, beer, the occasional potato chip, chocolate) and eat it, too, without guilt, really, or worry that I've "ruined my diet." I really "treated" myself well and with abandon in July, but am apparently doing okay on a day-to-day basis and held my own. This has to be the way I was meant to eat...

DELIGHTED BY . . . My girls. Always, my girls! Katie's preparations for attending the University of Edinburgh are so exciting. Alison, of course, is in the midst of one of the most exciting periods of her life. Maddy will soon be winding down the summer camp counselor job and amping up the school-year coffee shop manager job, in addition to continuing to work on her education degree.

My house is going to be completely empty soon, for the first time in a long time.


How about YOU?  What's going on for YOU . . . right now?