Saturday, November 15, 2014

project 52: week 10

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.


First weekday morning frost. The light shining through the window is from a security light, not the sun.
 What's New?
It's beginning to feel a lot like... deep autumn. We reached freezing temperatures at night this week, with daytime highs in the 40's. We're down to nine and a quarter hours of daylight (our shortest is about eight and a half). Our space-heaters are getting a workout. I set up our tiny crock pot for hot beverages (we alternate between spiced apple cider and mulled wine). All the blankets are on the bed. Cats are becoming more interested in laps and snuggles. Soup is becoming a prominent weekly meal.

Currently Reading
Still making my way through Anne Rice's The Witching Hour. I swear if I had a day off I would just sit and read until my eyes hurt! I'm about halfway through at this point, and I blame this book on my lack of sleep. My habit is to read in bed every night, even if it's just a paragraph. But since I started this book I read for hours before finally realizing that my wake-up time is drawing dangerously near. Still, it's a good problem to have.

On the Needles
I've picked up my Hue Shift Afghan again and am nearly finished with the second of four panels. It's a comforting knit, easy on the brain, perfect for television viewing.

This weekend I'm picking up some yarn for niece and nephew holiday hats, although I haven't decided on patterns yet. Here are some possibilities. I've knit both the Hurricane Hat, and the Barley before, and I really like both patterns. I think the Ear Flap Hat would be cute for my youngest nephew.

Clockwise from upper left (Hurricane Hat, Declan's Hat, Garter Ear Flap Hat, Barley). Photos from Ravelry.com
I'm also going flannel shopping this weekend so I can sew up some pajama pants for my niece and nephews. I started doing this almost yearly when my oldest nephew was young. Now I have four kiddos to sew and knit for (and soon to be five!).

Looking Forward To
  1. getting started on holiday projects
  2. a week off from school

Saturday, November 8, 2014

project 52: week 9

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Beautiful and cold Friday. There were no pictures on Thursday, because weather.
What's New?
I made it back from outdoor school in one piece. We had some pretty intense weather this trip. High winds, rain falling sideways, white caps on the lake, falling trees and branches in the forest, closed highway (due to falling trees). And then Friday, our departure day, was a cold but beautiful sunny day.

Currently Reading
Anne Rice has me in her spell again. I've pretty much abandoned my other reads (although I know I'll pick them up again later). There is something about the way she writes that just sucks me in completely.

  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

On the Needles
I started and finished another Hurricane Hat while at outdoor school this week, using some of my leftover green Cascade 220. This one was another practice hat in anticipation of holiday knitting. I hope to find out colors and sizes soon for the little people in my life. Otherwise they'll get my best guess.

I also started some mason jar cozies. Some will be for me, and some for gifting. I think a mason jar, a cozy, and a cuppow would make a great gift.

Looking Forward To
  1. using up some of the eleventy-billion apples I have in storage (I'm thinking of apple pie filling, apple crisp, and maybe some more applesauce)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

project 52: week 8

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Pretty much every day this week.
What's New?
This past week has been filled with rain, yarn, and sickness. The bug I caught at the end of last week has held on, despite my best efforts. I took two days off work this week, which pretty much never happens. I made and ate chicken noodle soup, drank copious amounts of tea, took over the counter medication, rested every chance I got, and even ventured into herbal remedies. Still, it hangs on. I lost my voice completely for three days!

I'm gearing up to return to outdoor school, this time with my 6th graders. There is no tent camping on the menu for this trip, just warm cabins. I think I can do it, but I'd sure like to be well. We'll see.

Currently Reading
Even as I'm technically in the middle of three books, the reality is that I've been solely reading one in particular this past week. The world of Anne Rice is just so enticing, especially now that I've actually been to New Orleans. I completely understand the allure and magic of that place. It's just so other-worldly. The gas lamps, the Spanish moss, the crypts, the colonial architecture, the towering trees...

  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

On the Needles
It's hat-making time. Sometimes I just get a hankering to knit a particular thing, regardless of whatever projects are currently on the needles. So while I await instructions from family about color and size preference for my niece and nephews, I'm busy turning leftover balls of yarn into a variety of hats. So far I've knit a hat for myself with leftover yarn from my fingerless gloves, and another with leftover yarn from a sleep sack I made for baby Mason.

Looking Forward To
  1. being well
  2. visiting the rain-forest again

Saturday, October 25, 2014

project 52: week 7

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.



 What's New?
This week was HARD! So much to do to get caught up from being gone the previous week. So many meetings, emails, notebooks that needed grading, etc. It's no surprise to me that by Friday I was feeling sick. I left school at the same time the kids did (I never do that), went home, took medicine and slept for 12 hours straight. I fear this sickness will linger for a few more days at least.

Amidst all the hard, though, there were bright spots. I took my 6th graders to nearby Green Lake to collect water samples. My cats spent every morning cuddled on the bed, cute as buttons. We got some much-needed rain. The trees continue their slow progression to red, orange and yellow. I chatted with my cousin on the phone (a rare treat from 3,000 miles and a few time-zones away).

Currently Reading
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

On the Needles
Working on a Hurricane Hat that I started while at Nature Bridge with my 8th graders. I'm dreaming of more hats for my niece and nephews for the winter holidays.

Looking Forward To
  1. spending time with friends
  2. picking up more apples from the farm for eating and saucing.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

project 52: week 6

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

On the shore of Lake Crescent near Port Angeles.

The stretch of the Elwha just across the road from our campsite.

This used to be a lake.

That tree was cut down over 100 years ago before the dam was built.

At the mouth of the Elwha looking out towards the western tip of Washington State.

What's New?
I made it back from my week-long excursion into the Olympic Peninsula with my 8th grade students in one piece! It rained, but not too much. There were some bumps in the plan, but not too many. My students had the opportunity to study the Elwha river up close, including areas that were previously under water due to the dams. They visited an area that used to be a lake, and followed the river to the mouth at the Strait of Juan de Fuca. They also experienced tent camping, pit toilets, and (for some) using the "facilitrees." The whole trip was definitely a life-learning event.

Currently Reading
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

On the Needles
I've put my Wood Hollow vest on hold, at least until I have the energy to take out a few rows. I missed a cable and didn't realize for awhile. Sometimes when I make a mistake I let it go, but often it bugs me enough that I have to go back and fix it. This is definitely the latter.

So instead, I picked up my Hue Shift Afghan that I started back in November of last year. It consists of four panels that later get seamed together and then a boarder is knit around the whole thing. I have one panel complete, and I'm 80% done with the second panel. It's a good TV knit, but not a good bus knit (too big of a project).

Looking Forward To
  1. getting back into my routine

Saturday, October 11, 2014

project 52: week 5

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.

Sunshine & kitties
What's New?
Well, I didn't make it to the Northwest Tea Festival. But I did find time to read this article about tea & science. My favorite part:
As an aside, having been to America and sampling the weak tea made there, it must be stressed that the teabag should either be in a pot or the mug itself; it is not sufficient just for it to be in the same room.
It's all about whether or not you should add milk first, or last. According to the article, not adding milk is not an option.

I'm heading into the Olympic Peninsula next week for outdoor school with my 8th graders, and I've already packed many bags of tea. It's going to be rainy and cold, for sure, as autumn has finally arrived to Western Washington. So this weekend I'm heading to Goodwill to see what kind of warm clothing I can find for cheap.

Currently Reading
I finished The Midwife's Tale and The Origin of Satan late last week, and I've been spending most of my reading time in The Fifth Sacred Thing. I imagine that next week while I'm in the woods I'll lean more towards Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds.

  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

On the Needles
I finished my legwarmers! Last night they came off the needles. I still need to weave in ends before I pack them in my bag for this week's outdoor adventure. They fit perfectly from my ankles to my knees, so I anticipate having warm legs (at least the lower portion).

Looking Forward To
  1. spending time outdoors next week with 3 awesome teachers and a whole bunch of 8th graders
  2. coming home to my warm comfy bed at the end of the above-mentioned adventure

Saturday, October 4, 2014

project 52: week 4

What is Project 52? It's a little like Project 365, but instead of the goal of posting a photo each day, I'll post a photo or two each week along with a short update. Really I just need a little push to post something every week. Since I like to keep this space positive, posting every week forces me to look back and find something shiny to talk about (ten points if you get that reference). Some weeks that's a piece of cake. Other weeks it's more of a challenge, and those weeks give this task true meaning.
 
Sit-spot at Green Lake.
Friday morning's sunrise. Sometimes running late has it's pleasures.
What's New?
Last weekend was rather similar to the one before, in that it entailed spending tons of quality time in the kitchen. I picked up eleventy-billion pounds of apples (granny smith and honeycrisp) from my favorite farmer for super cheap since they were 'seconds,' I turned them into a batch of applesauce, a batch of apple butter, and some apple pectin stock for next year's jams. I also made baked potato soup. Monday morning, as I dragged myself into the kitchen to make breakfast, I found myself admiring how well I cleaned up the kitchen after all that mess.

Work this past week, however, was quite opposite. There were many extra meeting this week, both before school and after school. Our evening parent night was this week, which always makes for a super long day for teachers. There were multiple interruptions and schedule changes. It was hectic and stressful, to say the least. The bright spot of my work-week was taking my two 6th grade classes outside on a short walking field trip to nearby Green Lake for a sit-spot. Thursday and Friday were beautiful days and the kids really enjoyed being outside, noticing nature as they made observations in their notebooks.

Currently Reading
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
  • Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics by Elaine Pagels

On the Needles
Realizing that in 2 weeks I'll spend a week at camp with my students (including two nights of actual camping in tents), I quickly cast on for some simple legwarmers. I set aside my Wood Hollow Vest and learned how to use the magic loop method to knit both legwarmers at once. The pattern is designed to use every last scrap of a skein of Cascade 220, so knitting them at once seemed wise. I've only knit about 5 inches so far (they'll be about 14 inches long when finished), but I'm making steady progress.

Looking Forward To
  1. the Northwest Tea Festival
  2. Joe's birthday brunch at Endolyne Joe's