Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Morning Musings

My coffee machine died last week, I think it might be a planned breakdown, one of those cup machines, which despite understanding the extra cost and the weakness of the coffee, I really enjoyed. I loved the speed, the ease of use - I could manage to make myself coffee almost while sleeping, but certainly while sleepily making kids breakfast and packing lunches. I am not a morning person. I enjoy them occasionally, especially while camping, but in general morning and I have a detente. In answer to my sudden lack of coffee making and unwillingness to go buy a new one, I dug out the old espresso machine I took from my parents - they might have given it to me or I might have borrowed it and failed to return it - and made my college coffee. Which is a quad shot with a cup of steamed milk. If I am honest, it tastes so much better than my replicator coffee, but grind the beans, fill the cup thing, install the cup thing, re-install it because I put it on crooked, wipe up all the grounds I spilled, fill the machine, realize I forgot to close the steam tube thingy when really hot water hits my hands while I am digging around in the lunch container draw. This coffee is hard on the half asleep but coffee needing mom, it is loud enough to wake up the sleepy Badger - who hates mornings with a passion that makes my detente look warm and cozy - and way more economical. And tasty. Sigh. All good things are work.

Now... I am alone in the house, Jim on a business trip, thankfully a short one, and the kids are at school. It is quiet here the only sounds are the keys I am typing and the spin cycle on the wash. I am drinking my coffee, I have been up for 3 hours and am halfway through it. I have a yummy Macintosh apple scented candle, made by a sweet lady who own a shop here in town, burning. My dishes are 3/4 of the way done, I doubt I mentioned that the dishwasher is down. It started leaking slowly, then more quickly. It functions, but we can't get it to stop spitting water onto the tile counter, I hate the tile counter. It was installed poorly, it is two shades of dirty looking pink, and it cuts every shirt I own. It was the first thing I wanted to change when we bought the house, but new counters are expensive and other projects keep getting priority. The water spitting dishwasher has nearly made the counter a bigger priority, and while I am now hand washing all the dishes I have a vague but certain fear that one day the sink will just fall to my feet. Hopefully later.

This Weekend... We celebrated Butterfly's (she asked me to change her nickname to Bunny, so moving forward...) Birthday by having 5 girls from school join us for a  sleepover. One girl had a commitment in the morning so she only stayed until ten pm. My SIL and nieces also came over on Saturday. I think they all eventually had fun, but drama. I don't want to do this again. Dear Beautiful girls you can't all be the center of attention all the time, you have to take turns. They are nice girls, but this was too stressful and Bunny was in tears repeatedly. Their parents came by 10 am, and my kids and I did a fast turn around on frosting another cake and un-wrecking the house before the family came over at noon. We had a great day and way less stress.

Some Plans for the Week... Wash wool. re-organize my dye porch. Work on organizing my room, so that when I make the kids do theirs I don't feel like such a hypocrite and so I don't trip. Giraffe's Mom is come up today with some timbers she rescued to edge my garden in and I suspect we will neaten it up a bit. Make banana bread. We are having a picnic tea party this afternoon, between school and violin lessons, I expect this to be a regular thing, but to kick us off we invited a girl who is in violin and another friend and the moms. Both girls are friend with Badger and Bunny. Mouse has robotics so Giraffe and her mom are picking him up and we are all meeting up after for 4H. Their activities are non-stop until after 8 tonight.

If I Get Some Time to Myself... I want to walk, for exercise and fresh air.

I am Grateful For... Bunny, who is such a sweet young lady, she wants everyone to be friends. She is cute -sy and fluffy on the outside and brilliantly logical and rational at her core. I loved that she nearly stopped opening her presents yesterday to read the book her godfather & family gave her.

Some Prayerful Intentions for the Week... I pray that I hold down the fort and get all the necessary things done while my husband is away. I pray that racism, bigotry, and misogyny are ended in the hearts of all mankind. I pray that no one ever has to hide in anyone's attic.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Morning (Sort of) Musings...

Now... I am in my studio, listening to the History of Byzantium, drinking the cold end of my coffee. I have spent the morning getting myself organized, home and business wise. Time has moved quickly, and while I want to start crafting my tummy would like to point out that it is almost 1.

This Weekend... We celebrated Badger's eighth birthday. It was actually in August but she wanted to wait for the school year for friends and we have had a busy month with weddings, funerals, and birthdays. She had a great time. Friends and Family gathered and ate the cakes she made and one little girl stayed over night. Birthday season has begun in earnest and Little Seal is next in two week.

Some Plans for the week... That leads into my plans well as I want to make him a stuffed animal dragon. I want to do more work on my business, especially posting listing and such - so much more fun to spin and weave and felt - but work I much do. I also want to get my Christmas crafting plans started.  I also should clean up the garden and put it to bed and will be helping a friend harvest her grapes.

If I get some time for myself... I will likely fall asleep, as much as I like this new schedule, I am a bit run down from all the stress of the past month and feel very tired just now.

I am grateful for... my beautiful funny Badger, who loves to help and to bake.

Some prayerful intentions for the week... I will continue to hold Becca in my heart, she lost her mother to cancer this month. I want to work on my own intention to lose weight and exercise more. I view this in the prayerful section of these musings because it is my head and my heart that need to change. I need to find a balance in this area of my life.

I am off to find some lunch and wish you a good week. ~ Julia

Some highlights

 Many - though not enough - days at the beach with friends. Including seeing Giraffe (dear friend's daughter, here nicknamed as they are her favorite toys) experience the surf - dislike - and the sand  - loved it. Mouse built her a little pool to splash in and then we spent a long time building retaining walls and moving water. Even though this is Lake Michigan, the waves where very strong that day.
 Lots of fiber-y fun, this is a camel and sheep's wool blend.
 Homemade tasty treats, my granola shown here.

 Dehydrating food for our backpacking trip. I loved the trip and am attempting to lose some weight and get in better shape to hike more.
 Hiking trip breakfasts, my granola plus dehydrated banana chips, pineapple, blueberries, and cranberries. mostly it took me hours to finish eating a bag. Very tasty but a bit crumbly/messy.
 Gear and packing required a lot of thought I used everything I brought at least once, but in a fit of trying to lighten the pack the night before I left some things behind - long sleeve shirt, pj pants, drawing pad and pencil, flashlight (this was accidental,) hand sanitizer, and honey sticks - that I really could have used. A learning experience and due to friends not a horrific to endure one.

 Tiny little dishcloth I made to bring on the trip the day before!
First day back to school. A new schedule since Mouse is in middle school and has to be there by 7:12, the girls and I get to their school now well before supervision begins, so we play on the playground or in the van depending on the weather. Beaver has a new schedule for his last year in high school and doesn't have to be in until 9. Which makes morning bathroom fights all but disappear. I really think this new schedule is a boon to our family.

~ Julia

Friday, June 10, 2016

camping food prep

 We are going on Wednesday, so the prep has to be done soon. This trip we are expecting 13 people. Mostly everyone does their own food but shares adult beverages and snacks. Jim and I tend to experiment with food. Scratch that. I tend to experiment and He puts up with it and packs extra just in case food. One year I did all 1800's recipes including a rabbit stew (we both thought I could have gotten the same taste with a mix of pork and chicken & saved quite a bit of money,) crackers, and bread. One year I made a bake reflector oven and made cinnamon rolls. One year I did all 1700-1800 drink recipes. The ones that were basically a shot in cider or beer were good, some of the others were very not good. I won't do that as it required too many things and mostly I didn't like the drinks anyways.

This year we have the following and I am experimenting with some stuff at home and planning on doing the hiking trails at the campsite.

Skewer of chicken Lunch Wednesday (Jim)
Mushroom Hash Dinner Wednesday (Jim)
German pancakes breakfast Thursday (Julia)
Mussels stew & french bread lunch Thursday (both)
Fajita dinner Thursday (Julia)
Fish in foil corn on cob lunch Friday (Jim)
Bean and rice & cornbread Dinner Friday(Both)
Tortilla soup lunch Saturday (Jim)
Beef curry & Sticky rice Dinner Saturday (Friend&Julia)
Brats lunch Sunday (Jim)

 These two are attempts at photographing my horseradish infused vodka. At the top is my lemoncello. I got one large bottle of vodka and split it between the recipes. The lemoncello has sugar, water, and the peals of 5 lemons. I let it infuse for almost two weeks. I used a 8 inch long piece of horseradish grated and the vodka and let it infuse for four days - it smells strong enough to strip paint. I strained and bottled both today, discarding the lemon peal but I ran the horseradish through the food processor and jarred it for later use. 
Later today I will be starting on beef jerky and honey roasted nuts. I also plan to make banana bread and chocolate chips to take with, and have two types of home-brewed beer to bring along.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yarn Along - flower explosion

Joining in with Ginny and the Yarn Along!

 In preparation for next weeks camping trip I dug out an old project. I plan on working on my milk sweater while camping, but as this is a pattern I need to pay attention to and there is definitely going to be drinking and too much sun. Not a great combo. I wanted a easy evening project for around camp. I started this several years ago, using up my bits and bobs of yarn. I paid little attention to yarn weight figuring I could even it out at assembly. I plan on making 100 flowers then crocheting them together with green yarn to have a flower garden afghan. I have misplaced the pattern! But the internet was good and I found it again - here! I have 58 done so far. When I was working on them before, I did not tuck my tails. I spent a few hours this week and got them taken care of. Behold the yarn shrapnel   
As for reading I am re-reading Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard. I really like her characters.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday morning musings - lists

I love them! recovering from prepping for and having a show for my yarn and such. It rained all the show day so I had to reorganize and dry everything. Luckily, Sunday was sunny and breezy. Here are my to do lists in recovery and in preparation for our up coming large group camping trip. The kids will be hanging out with their cousins and grandparents for the week (next week) so it is just the adults. A week long date with my husband, that we just happened to bring a bung of friends on... okay more like before kids trip. Okay, okay, we always end up spending time talking about how cool they are and how much we miss them, but adult time is important. These lists are not for the shop, just for me. I should get off my computer and get to work!

House – to do list
Find bedrooms
Find rec room
Weed wack around garden
Plant garden
Mulch garden
Buy sprinkler for garden
Rack wine

Camping Prep – to do list
Horseradish Vodka
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Snack mix (buy?)
Roasted nuts
Beef Jerky
Dehydrated peaches
Fancy bacon
Beef for jerky
Check sticky rice quantity
Chocolate chips
Tomato juice
Instant coffee
Whip cream can
Camping kitchen stuff (sort for two)
Bag or container for kitchen
Spice disk
Rack for Dutch oven
Baking dish for Dutch oven
Baking stone for Dutch oven


Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Morning

Right Now... I am waiting for the spin cycle to finish so I can hang the towels in the sun and start a new load of clothes. It is nine am and this will be the third load.

This weekend... We went up to the property to camp. Hence, all the dirty laundry, woodsmoke on clothes yuck, on a campfire yum. I accept that I am weird. I had a cold and did not want to go, but my husband really did. So I went. I had such a great time. He was right we all needed the screen free, outdoorsy together time. We connect up there so well and everyone seems to be bone deep happy there, I wish we just lived in the woods. It would not be the same I guess but it is what my heart wants. Hoping to go next week too.

Plans for the week... prep business for start of show (post on that here) visit with Angie - when the towel are hung - get the house cleaned up. Work a tiny bit in garden. Start walking 3 miles a day.

If I get anytime for myself... I would like to make a few skirts for me. I bought myself some new jeans for the camping trip, I had been thinking I should lose weight before buying new for long enough that what fit was not decent to wear in public and what was didn't fit well. I gave in and it felt so nice to be in clothes that looked nice and fit. I want more of that feeling.

I am Grateful for... the woods and the water, times when hungry children help make food over a fire, the stress falling from my husband and my shoulders when we walk into the woods.

Prayerful Intentions... I want to make a few more little shrouds and line them and to make a few hats for the Christmas at sea program.

What makes me Smile... Butterfly (all of them but her most as she was so certain she would never get it) shooting her arrows at the target Daddy built. Then her joy and certainty when he showed her how to aim and hit the target himself. Of course, Daddy can do anything!