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A portrait a week for a year.  The final week.  Thank you for going on this journey with me.  I have loved watching my sweet baby girl grow from the beginning pictures of 2013.  I look back and am in awe of her changes and it doesn't seem like a year has gone and I have an (gasp!) almost 3 year old!

This week:  Wearing the new kimono sent by cousins in Japan.  I'm not sure I've tied it correctly, must google that.

Yarn Along

Hi.  It's Wednesday and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I am joining Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  I love reading what everyone is working on and reading.  I took this yarn with me when we went to Tokyo back in November.  I had grand plans of starting and finishing this baby girl sweater on the 12 hour flight to Japan.  That so did not happen.  I started it three times and by the time we got home I had only finished the mindless stockinette stitch section.  
I just got word yesterday that the mama will be induced tonight due to some complications.  Baby girl was due on Christmas Day.  Given that I am going to work tomorrow and will work for rest of the month (except for the 25th) I was not going to finish by Christmas.  I've only finished two of the six eight row repeats so I just hope to finish this cute little sweater by the time we visit the first week of January.

No news on the book front.  I have had no time to read.  I am still reading Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs.  And I've renewed The Closers three times now onto my kindle app.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

New Glasses

Several weeks ago my mom asked me if I had noticed Corrine's right eye looking crossed.  I had to admit that I had seen it several times but it was so fast I wasn't sure I had really seen it.  So I made an appointment for her at the pediatric ophthalmologist.  I was very impressed with how they did their eye exams by using toys and stuffed animals.  They also did a dilated eye exam.  The eyes drops made her cross eye very pronounced, so much so that every time she looked up her eyes were crossed.  It made me want to cry.

The Doctor diagnosed her with Accommodative Esotropia, which is basically a focusing problem.  All kids are farsighted to a point but C's problem is she has to focus extra and it makes her eye cross.   Her glasses do not improve her farsightedness but rather the glasses do the focusing so her eye muscles remain straight.  It is something that kids typically out grow by the time they are 10-12 so we are keeping our fingers crossed she won't need her glasses for her whole life.

When I got the news she would need glasses I immediately thought to get her some super cute frames.  Luckily the lady in the frame shop steered me in the right direction.  She said that they usually sell kids under three some flex frames.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  Her frames are a rubberized flexible frame that bend and flex and take a beating that a three year old will dish out.  (On Monday after we picked them up she wasn't wearing them and I asked her where they were.  Come to find out she had them around her waist!  I told her they weren't a belt and they needed to stay on her face).  The glasses also have a head band to help keep them on her face.  Plus these frames actually fit her small face a lot better.

And all the cool kids are wearing glasses!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and I'm joining Ginny and everyone for the weekly yarn along.  It's all about the books and yarn.  I don't really have a lot to update this week.  You would think that a week of sub zero temps would find me wrapped up on the couch with needles in hand, but alas, it didn't happen.  I finished the second of the two grey aviator hats and worked a bit on the baby sweater (which I didn't take a picture of).  But I started my November square for the square swap group.  I thought I was finished with the knitting for that group, but it just goes on and on and on.  I haven't done my October square yet because I won't have enough of the requested color and I haven't been the store yet.  I am doing my November square in the Irish Moss Stitch pattern and I'm using size 11 needles.  I'm hoping to fly through this square in a couple of days.  
As for reading, I just pulled Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs off the bookshelf.  I loved the other two books in this series and with Christmas just around the corner, I thought it was a great time to start the book.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

* It's bloody cold!  Last night at 7pm it was 3 degrees.  When I let the dogs out at 4am it was -8 and right now it is -3 and it is almost 8am.  The big Newfie loves the snow, but I worry about his feet in this super cold weather so both dogs are in the house a lot more right now.  And I bought a heat lamp to put in the chicken coop.  I'm not sure if the ladies really needed it, but it makes me feel better knowing that it is there for them.  
 * On Tuesday (when it was in the 50's) I dug up the last of the carrots out of the garden and cut them up for the boys.  They love carrots in their kibble.  And about two hours after I dug the carrots the temperatures started dropping.
* Two days after we returned home from Japan my car died.  I thought it would be an easy repair until my mechanic called and said he didn't have good news.  The timing belt broke (which I had replaced 4 or 5 years ago) and basically shredded the engine.  The estimated cost was $5K.  The car was worth, in excellent condition, $2K.  Basically not worth it to fix.  Plus it needed brakes and there was a mysterious rattle in the front left wheel/axle area.  I so did not want to buy a  new (used) car.  My car was paid for and I had expected to drive it until it died.  I just didn't think it would die so soon!  Buying a car ranks as one of the worst things ever to do with your time!

Happy Thursday.  Stay warm.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and after a short hiatus, I'm joining Ginny and others for the weekly yarn along.  It's all about the books and yarn as we share what we've been working on and reading.  So...a few weeks back we went to Japan to visit my brother and his family.  I decided to go yarn shopping to bring back something to remember our trip by.  I did find some Noro, but I can buy that on my LYS so I passed on that.  Bryan bought me this cute little fingerless mitt kit.  You can't tell by the picture, but the back of mitt is an owl and it comes with the beads for the eyes.  Did I ever stop to think that the pattern was in Japanese?  Nope.  I can figure it out up to the palm of the hand and after that I'm going to need a translator!  Anyone?
 I had a very hard time buying yarn.  For one, most of the yarn was made in Italy.  Nothing wrong with that since it isn't anything I've seen in the states, but I expected to buy yarn made in Japan.  Anyhoo, I am not one to buy yarn just to have in my stash.  I buy yarn when I have a pattern in mind and know what I am making and how much yarn to buy.  I decided to buy this purple to make a hat for Corrine.  I bought some lovely rust/orange yarn, but I'm not sure what to do with it (more on that later).
Nothing new on my bookshelf that I'm reading.  I am still reading The Closer by Michael Connelly.  I finally finished The Lighthouse by P.D. James.  It started slowly but really picked up as the book progressed.  What I really liked about the book was I was not able to figure out "whodonit" before the the Detectives!  That makes it a good book in my opinion.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.

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The 52 Project

A portrait a week for a year.
This week- at a noodle shop in Tokyo she finally got frustrated with her one chop stick so she just slurped her noodle. 

46/53

The 52 Project
A portrait a week for a year. 
This week- on the airplane from Denver to Tokyo. It was a 12 hour flight and she was a wonderful passenger. She watched two movies twice, slept an hour at the beginning and end of the flight and ate a lot of goldfish crackers. 

**brought to you with the blogger app. Which I haven't really figured out how to use it yet. 

Greetings from Japan!

UToday was spent in Kamakura. Kamakura was the capital of Japan in the late 12th century.  We saw a lot of temples. I couldn't even begin to count the number of temples there are, but we barely scratched the surface. 

While we were at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine today we saw the end of a Shinto wedding. This was the beginning of the next wedding.  It was also a blessing day for 3,5, & 7 year old. They were adorable in their kimono, but I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures of kids.  


Also in Kamakura is the Great Buddha. This perhaps is one of my favorite temples that I've seen in Japan.  The building of the statue started in 1252 and took ten years to complete. It was covered at one point but the building was destroyed by a typhoon in the 1300's.  (which in itself is hard to comprehend). 

Yesterday we went to a sushi place for dinner (not my favorite thing). I think being awake for over 24 hours with only cat naps finally caught up with us. C slept through the whole dinner, the car ride home and being carried in to the house. Unfortunately she was up at 2am and doesn't know how to whisper.  She finally fell asleep again 3:30. I stayed up with her and slept in. I think we are now on Japan time.  Which will make it all the more difficult on the return flight. 

Yarn Along, Or...

Things to keep mama occupied for a 12+ hour plane ride.  I've got books, yarn, movies, my ipod, and a puzzle book to keep me sane.  I don't usually sit for 12+ hours.  For that matter, neither does Corrine, but I'm hoping she sleeps a little bit.  I can sleep on the plane.  The problem is this flight leaves Denver at noon.  So unless we get up at the crack before dawn, I'm not seeing much sleeping going on.

We are going to visit my brother and his family in Japan.  My brother is career Navy and they are stationed in Yokosuka which is on the coast south of Tokyo.  They move home next summer so this is our chance to go visit.  I've been there the last time they were stationed in Japan, at Atsugi, but Bryan and I had just started dating so he did not go.   And Corrine is SUPER EXCITED to go visit Uncle Peter and her cousins.  
 I'm hoping to start and finish this baby sweater on the plane.  I've got 3 books and one on my ipad.  I'd like to finish Shadow Divers while I'm there so I can leave it with my brother to read.  It's about a couple of deep sea divers who find a WWII German uboat sunk off the coast of the United States.  My brother was  WWII History major in college and then got his masters in Military History.  This should be right up his alley.
 These two little crochet projects are for the return flight.  The brown project is the second to last square I need to finish my square blanket from my square swap group.  The pink yarn is going to make the same square only a bit bigger than what I need for the October square swap member.  These two squares shouldn't take too long, but I'm hoping they get finished before I get home!
Have a fabulous Wednesday!

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The 52 Project
A portrait a week for a year.
This week- Heading out to trick or treat with her good friend Connor.  (While it isn't close to Halloween anymore, Mama was a slacker with the camera so had to rely on other mamas to take pictures).  

Yarn Along

It's that time again. Yep.  It's Wednesday and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along. I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share boos and knitting. I finally finished my September square for the square swap group for my Ravelry group. It only took me two months, but with the cables I couldn't really work on it in the company of a two year old. There are some mistakes and I probably should have fixed them but I just couldn't make myself rip out my hard work. (I'll see how I feel when I'm working on my sweater!).  I just need to block and shape the square and off it goes to the Sept member

I also just cast on another aviatrix. This is for an I. O. U. baby present. Te baby was born this past summer and I wanted a cute hat to fit him in the winter. I am using Cascade Pacific in a lovely gray color. 

I put aside The Lighthouse for the time. I had put my name in the queue for W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton and my name finally came up. We are leaving on vacation next week and I wanted to have it finished and retuned by the time we leave. I am really liking this book. There are times when I can't put it down and I haven't figured out whodoneit. 

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share books and yarn!  I love this weekly update and I seem to have been a slacker of late.  I did a quick pair of fingerless mitts last week, but have mostly been working on Hanorah and my September square for the Ravelry group.  I thought once I was almost done with the group and come to find out I have to make a square for October too!  Ugh.  I just want to knit for myself.  It's ok, though, once I finish the September square I'm going to crochet a cute little square for the October person and then I'm done!  

Isn't this pink lovely?  I just received it in the mail from Quince and Co.  It's chickadee in pomegranate. It will become a baby sweater.  It is for the same new baby that I made the last Aviatrix for.  I am loving these non traditional pinks for a baby.

As for reading, I finished Girls in White Dresses.  All I can say was it was OK...ok not really.  Most of the main characters annoyed the crap out of me and I wanted to shake them and tell them they were idiots.  The book follows them from college to work to wedding showers (and bridesmaids dresses) to baby showers.  Maybe I don't get it because the world they were living in is not my world.

Now I'm reading a book by P. D. James called The Lighthouse.  I'm only a little way in so no opinion on it yet.  But I do love a good murder mystery.  I just downloaded a new Michael Connelly book onto the iPad.  It's called The Closers.  I'm trying to read all of the middle of the series books that I haven't read yet and now some things from the later books are making sense.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Fingerless Mitts and a Vintage Swing Coat

A couple months back my mom bought me this really cool lime green, vintage swing coat.  It has three-quarter sleeves and I thought some fingerless mitts would be really cool.  (Karen had just made some cool mitts which gave me the idea).  I went to my LYS and was trying to match yarn to the coat.  The yarn shop lady suggested a contrasting color and picked up this gorgeous purple!  I immediately said that's it!  I used Cascade 220 superwash in Royal Purple!  

After a quick perusal of Ravelry, I found this pattern and like it's simplicity.  The pattern said to cast 28 stitches which was going to be way to small.  I made the right one and I worked them up in a night.  It was about two weeks before I started on the left one.  Thinking I remember how many I cast on for the right, I cast on 36 stitches and knit away.  Later than day when I was finished, I  then realized that I  must have only cast on 34 stitches for the right mitt.  And apparently I can't count either  because the left mitt is longer as well. 
I like the way the left mitt fits better so my plan is to frog the right mitt and cast on again with 36 stitches.  But first I need to make an aviatrix with the left over purple.  I am making a newborn size so shouldn't need all of the yarn.  And once I rip out the right mitt, I can use that yarn as well.  I'm hoping it will all work out.  That's what I get for thinking this was an easy project!!!

This Moment

This Moment
A Friday ritual
A single photo-no words-capturing a moment from the week
A single, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.
This moment this morning at 6:30.
Joining with SouleMama.

Fall Time



It is most definitely fall!  I love this time of year.  It has most certainly gotten colder.  Right now it is only 36 degrees out.  We may hit 40 today.  In light of the much colder (than last week) temperatures it is time.  Time to change the bedding from the cool summer bedspread to the warm winter down comforter.  Time to get out the kitties box.  It is an old fruit box lined with a wool blanket.  It sits in front of the heater vent in the dining room.  They are happy little kitties now.  Time to put away the shorts and get out the jeans and long sleeve shirts and sweaters.  Yay,  it's sweater weather.

The leaves are dropping here in town.  The maple tree in the front yard is turning a pretty shade of red.  Up in the mountains a lot of the leaves just turned brown and fell.  Too much rain in the last month plus some early season cold and snow.

For the most part the garden has been put to bed for the winter.  We'll leave the carrots and dig them as we need them.  I'll use the leaf blower/vacuum and suck up the leaves to spread in the garden.  Then I just need to spread some compost on the garden and rototill it in.  I love working outside in the cool weather!




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A portrait a week for a year.
This week- Corrine helping in the garden.  She most concerned for her worm family.  This is daddy worm (because he was the biggest).  She relocated him from one side of the garden to a new home.  

Pie Pumpkins

Note to self: always write down what is planted where.  

I have 62 New England Pumpkin Pie pumpkins, 2 (rather small and mostly still green) Jack o Lantern pumpkins and no butternut squash.  
What does one do with 62 pie pumpkins?  Give them all away, of course.  Why, you ask?  Because hubby and I don't like pumpkin anything.  Corrine might like it, but she won't get it here.

I have started baking them down for some people who want pumpkin and won't do it themselves or don't know how.  Even though it's super easy...I just cut the pumpkin in half, clean out the pumpkin guts, put each half upside down in a baking dish, pour water in the dish and bake in the oven at 375 until it's soft.  Then I scoop it out and puree it in the food processor.  I'm also going to bake down some pumpkins for my food swap next week.

I may have to put some on neighboring front porches (with a note on how to prepare it), ring the door bell and run like crazy!



Homemade Tomato Sauce

This past Tuesday I made tomato sauce.  There is nothing like opening a jar of sauce made from your own tomatoes!  Especially if it is in January or February and your eating tomatoes from South America that have been flown into the US.  

I know I've been complaining about it all summer, but this has been a strange garden year, at least for us here in the Denver Metro area.  We had unseasonably cool temps in July and August and a boat load of rain most of it coming three weeks ago.  These two jars are the total of the tomatoes that were in my garden, and I had to buy some to actually make this much.  
I froze some of the Roma Tomatoes as they ripened so they wouldn't go bad before I had enough to make some sauce.  The beefsteak tomatoes rotted with all the rain.  I also grew some Green Zebra tomatoes, but they did not peel well enough to get any sort of meat for the sauce.  (Hubby says they are good in salads though).

I'll list the ingredients that I put in (because I don't measure, I just taste)-
*Tomatoes, peeled and seeded.   I like to use a variety because my cousin says it is "like symphony in your mouth"
*brown sugar
*salt
*balsamic vinegar
*fresh (or dried) basil
*fresh (or dried) oregano and thyme
optional-
*roasted garlic
*red pepper flakes
*any other fresh or dried herbs to taste

A quick, easy way to peel tomatoes is to cut an "X" in the bottom of the tomato, drop it into a pot of boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Immediately plunge the tomatoes into ice water.  The skins should peel right off.  I squeeze the tomato a little to squirt out the seeds.  Chunk the bigger tomatoes and put them into a food processor or blender.  I pulse to keep it on the chunkier side.  Add tomatoes to a  nonreactive pot.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients to taste and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally, reduce heat to a low-medium and cook for 60-80 minutes or the desired consistency is reached.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare canning jars.  Spoon 1T lemon juice into hot, clean jars.  Using a ladle, spoon sauce into jars leaving one half inch head space.  Wipe jars and adjust lids.  Process in a boiling water bath.  I boil the jars for 20-25 minutes, but we above 5000 feet.  Remove jars from water bath and listen for that satisfying "ping" to indicate the jar is sealed.  If you don't hear the ping, test the lid but pushing down in the center.  If it "pops" try to reseal it or use in the next two weeks.

I found the original recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  But I have since changed it and added things based on what is in my kitchen at the time of canning.  And I've never made a batch that is the same.   I'm debating whether to buy more tomatoes at the local nursery or buy sauce as needed this winter when my lone two jars are gone.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and the others to share updates on books, knitting, and crocheting.   This weeks I've been working on C's Hanorah sweater.  Once I got a new set of knitting needles to replace the broken bamboo needles, it's been smooth knitting!  I got quite a bit done during the Bronco game on Sunday.  C was playing with the girls where we were watching the game so I didn't really need to check up on her since the older girls came and got me when I was needed.   I'm also working a pair of fingerless mitts.  I'll show those when they are both finished. 
I finished Needles & Pearls by Gil McNeil.  I enjoyed the story and am eagerly waiting for book number three, Knit One, Pearl One.  I may have to buy it.  I'm getting ready to start Girls in White Dresses.  I'll let you know how it is next week.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.

Banana Chips

Bananas were on clearance at the market the other day.  I bought five bunches of bananas.  Why, you ask?  Nope.  Not for banana bread.  These overripe beauties were meant for dehydrated bananas! 
Banana chips are super easy.  They key is to slice the banana consistently (which I have a hard time doing).  I slice them about about an 1/8" thick.  Then give them a quick dip in a half lemon juice half water mixture (to keep them from browning) then lay them on the dehydrator tray.  I put the tray on a cookie sheet to catch the lemon juice drips.
Check your dehydrator guide for times.  I set ours for 15 hours with the vent closed and then check them for desired doneness.  I don't like them crunchy.  I like them with a little chew.  This batch was in the dehydrator for 18 hours.  The basement smells of bananas!  Mmmmm.
After the bananas have cooked to your desired doneness, pop them off the tray and munch away.  I pulled these out and have not been able to stop eating these sweet little things!

We were gifted a dehydrator from my in-laws.  They had an old one sitting in their garage they didn't use and we were the lucky recipients.  

Shared with: Independence Days Challenge

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone for the books and knitting (& crocheting) update.   I finished the Aviatrix I made for a good friends new baby (due on Christmas day). 
Once I had the hat finished and was sewing on the crocheted flower I noticed that I had neglected to slip the wrap (from the wrap and turn) back into the knitting.  I decided that since it was a consistent pattern throughout the hat, I would just leave it and pretend it was supposed to be there.   I made the 3-6 month size hat and used Paton's silk bamboo yarn.  I'm hoping that means this sweet baby girl will be able to wear it all winter.


This Moment

This Moment-
A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.  
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.  
Joining with SouleMama.

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