26 November, 2010

Dublin Day 1

We had a great first day on the ground in Dublin.  Started by taking the Green Bus Tour around the high points of the city, to get oriented.  Then we decided to find the National Leprechaun Museum, which was a little gem.  Had an early tea in a nice Irish pub [no turkey], and then homeward, so I could rest my feverish/chilled self.  Fever's gone today, so onward we go...

25 November, 2010

Blogging from Ireland

A happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Arrived in Dublin late last night. All we've seen is the inside of a taxi, flashes of the River Liffey, and the hotel [nice]. Problem with opening Lily's bed, but the staff ended up manhandling the old one out and bringing in a new one. We were SO tired by then.

Everyone else is still asleep.  I've been reading the tourist flyers, etc.  Ready for a GREAT day!

p.s. I have added Comment Moderation, as I have been getting skeevy spam comments.  No Word Verification, though...

23 November, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Yes, indeed...happiness reigns supreme.   As the tunester on Ren and Stimpy sang, I don't think you're happy enough!  I'll teach you to be happy....

No, I think I AM happy enough, actually.  Thanksgiving's come early 'cause my sweetie, he is HOME.


I'm thankful for a clean, warm home. I'm thankful for the crockpot, which is toiling away to make cranberry/chili pork roast.   I'm thankful for my used Dyson, which is truly a revelation in vacuums. I'm thankful for the dump, and the way they work to recycle so much of what we bring.  I'm thankful for Lily's school, and that she gets to see A Midsummer Night's Dream done by Shakespeare for Kids today.

I'm thankful most of all for my family, especially my sweet baboo of a husband who is en route home even as I type this. 

We'll be giving thanks on Thursday in Dublin, on a family holiday.  Wonder if they'll serve turkey anywhere??

21 November, 2010

Quiet Sunday

It's been a really nice quiet Sunday, too. Good Sunday school class this AM [not always the case with two challenging children in the mix],  nice potluck after church, a crackling fire in the fireplace this afternoon, happy kids who've done their homework, and the chance to sit and relax. 

Yes, a good Sunday indeed.

In honor of my darling man coming home soon, but completely unrelated to the rest of this post, here's a photo of all of us. This shot was taken this spring in Greenwich, on the Prime Meridian.

Feelin' Crafty

Why, yes, I AM up rather late tonight...I've been idly watching Miss Marple on the telly while assembling some things for tomorrow's Sunday school class.

Today, Lily and I did a craft. Yes, we did.  We made a tied fabric wreath [fabric strips on a shaped coat-hanger circle.  It came out quite nicely, methinks.  And so I begin the holiday season...

20 November, 2010

Missed another one...

Whoops! Missed another posting day.

Friday went well - I tried not to think about the fact that David had come ThisClose to flying home Friday before being told he'll have to return with the rest of the crew [soonish but not Friday].  The kiddoes had fun with their Children in Need Days and spots...I handed out spot sticker sheets to a couple of spotless little boys at school, who had a great time with them!

My day - fairly mundane.  A trip to the dump [all that wedding refuse wouldn't fit in my bins], followed by a trip to base for library, diesel, mail, and groceries.  Stocked up on canned goods, paper goods, and laundry soap now that we have extra pantry room. [During the pre-wedding declutter, I cleared out the "craft shelf" that had taken over half the pantry.]

At the library, I picked up Winston's War: Churchill 1940-1945, by Max Hastings who also wrote Overlord [a great, if dense, book about the Normandy invasion].  Read a little of that last night, and then the kids and I watched some of the Children in Need telecast.   After the Doctor Who segment, we all faded and by 9 PM, we were in bed.

This morning's another foggy one. Not sure what's on the agenda today, apart from NOTHING.  I was considering driving to base to see MegaMind with the kids but if the fog doesn't lift, I'm staying close to home.

18 November, 2010

Channeling My Mama

Tonight I made two spotty satin bandannas, for my charming children to wear to school tomorrow. Tomorrow is Children in Need Day and they are having non-uniform ["wear spots"] days to raise money. 

The spots are in honor of Pudsey Bear, the spokesbear of the charity.  Now Lily has lots of spotty gear, but spotty clothing for gents is sadly lacking.  We popped into town after school today to see if there were any Pudsey bandannas to be had.  Nooo.  We did score some nice spotty socks and little circle stickers; then I hit the fabric store for a little spotty fabric.

My mom would be proud of my Mad Sewing Skillz.  I turned the hems, ironed them and turned them again, and hemmed these bad boys while watching Top Gear.  I miss my mother's costuming talents, but in the past couple of years, I have impressed myself a wee bit by being able to fill that gap.  I just keep remembering that "good enough is OK."

And I know the kids will be happy tomorrow.

16 November, 2010


Feeling better today, although I still  sound horrid and have a headful of phlegm. Bleah.

We woke up to a gorgeous heavy frost, with mist everywhere.  The landscape was otherwordly as I made the school run this morning.  Soon enough the sun burned off the mists, but it was really lovely while it lasted.

Rested today.  I've got preschool cover duty tomorrow, so an early night tonight.

15 November, 2010


Still sick.  Much better, except for the croaky voice.  Returned groom's rental outfit.  Called fridge truck guys to come and get it.  Helped in Lily's classroom in afternoon.

Lay comatose on sofa for an hour before tea.

Tomorrow shall be a "duvet day" as soon as school run is done.

14 November, 2010

Wedding Weekend

I've been out of blogtouch for these last few days because of the Great Wedding Weekend.  Friday - decorating house and chapel, ferry caterers over to chapel, picking up bride's family from train station, rehearsal  dinner.  Saturday, last minute errand for caterer, followed by frazzledness getting kids and me ready in less than enough time, ferrying people to chapel.

  Beautiful wedding ceremony.  Back here for a FANTASTIC day of reception wonderfulness. The bride and groom were gorgeous, the weather cooperated for pictures, food was amazing, and all the guests seemed to have a marvelous time.

Post-reception cleanup was a thing of beauty - all the bride's family, who were staying here, got things sorted out so quickly and it was even cleaner than before!  There was a sort of after-party Chinese dinner, and I stopped in through the appetizers, but was flagging...

Had to go home, finish sorting out paperwork to hand off a church job, finish a talk I gave this morning, and find time to sleep a little, too.

I've been living on Lemsip [like Theraflu]for the last 3 days and today I feel pretty much out of gas.  Church went well.  Got some good news.  Gave my talk [about gratitude], which felt good, although I got totally choked up in the middle, which I never do. 

Post-church meeting about changes in the children's Sunday school.  Got a blessing of comfort and healing, and reallyreallyreally needed that.

Came home to help clean out the refrigerator truck/sort leftovers for wedding couple, etc., and help take bride's family to train station.

Now. Now, it's 6 PM, feels like midnight, and I just need to survive til Lily finishes her homework sheet and gets into PJs.....

11 November, 2010

I Hab a Code....

Yes, I definitely have a cold. It's not just the dust that was making me cough and making my nose run.  Feeling cruddy.

Did you know bleach fumes still suck, even if you can't smell them?

10 November, 2010


I am allergic to dust.  Isn't everyone?  Anyway, kicking up years' worth of dust by clearing out the laundry house and sorting the pantry has left me feeling and sounding like someone with a rotten cold.  Kids were coughing quite a bit, too.  I think after the pantry is done, the big dust storms will be a thing of the past.

That's enough about cleaning :).  Did I mention there's a walk-in refrigerator trailer parked outside my kitchen door for the caterer??  Good times....good times.

09 November, 2010

Some cleaning, some errands, and a wee break...

It seems like I've been running all day, right up to the moment 30 minutes ago when I plopped into this chair.  So many errands on base, a run to drop off donations, and a quick trip to the hardware store for door knobs [need to return as I need one more of the right sort].

Best of all was the hour I spent purging Lily's room. I cleared out a bin bag of junk and a HUGE Rubbermaid tote of toys for donation. No, she was not present.  Yes, I was ruthless about toys she doesn't play with.  No, I'm not done! And no, she didn't notice.  Heh.

I took a break this evening and went to a craft-making evening at church.  Lots of Christmas-type crafty projects going.  I made a little plaque and a pomander, and came home with parts for two wreaths that are a bit fiddly and will require more attention.  It was good to get out and do something not related to cleaning or purging.

After I post this, I'm headed to do some purging in the laundry house, which has been a catch-all for crap for tooooo long.

08 November, 2010

Man Lab

Hah! Bet you thought I was going to blog about cleaning, but noooo.  There was more decluttering today, but I wanted to share our newest enjoyment with you.

It's James May's Man Lab!

Good fun - he's trying to bring back all kinds of lost manly arts -  duelling, building things, serenading a lady, and even navigation by traumatized dog and magical powder.  The kids love it.

The KnitFarm/Knitting House is not being decluttered at the moment, Lynn, as you asked.  That's because it's holding all the stuff for the reception, as well as tons of junk that was not sold at the various preschool boot sales.  David and I will rent a little skip when he gets back and toss toss toss things out.  I did purge a large carton of yarn from the main house, though.  Actually, most of my yarn is in the main house, so there ya go!

07 November, 2010

And still it continues...

Today - the master bedroom.  Plus serious Dyson vacuuming/edging/de-spidering in every room but the kids' [haven't tackled those rooms yet].

Six large trashbags for the dump, four large cartons for the charity shop, and SO. MUCH. SPACE.   I can't get over how much junk I had stashed everywhere.

After my cleaning buddy and her family left, I kept on truckin' and cleaned fireplace/grate, purged the box room [where luggage and boxes are stored], and purged four kitchen cabinets. 

Go, ME!  From here on out, it's just kid rooms, bathtubs and any purging of kitchen/pantry I get around to.

And a p.s. to Lynn, who asked, I haven't taken before pictures.  But they're burned on my memory...

06 November, 2010


I'm giddy with decluttering joy...

With Afton's help to be ruthless, we took a carload of stuff to the charity shop this morning, and her fiance and his brother came round this afternoon to cart away a TRUCKload of stuff to the dump.

Having a huge house with lots of storage and a spare bedroom is definitely both blessing and curse. Blessings are obvious, but the curse is that I store things will-nilly in that bedroom and all those closets. 

Today we took all that "why did I keep this" stuff and we made it go away.  Woooooohoo.

We have now cleaned and decluttered THREE reception rooms, one hall, one dining room, one kitchen, and one guest bedroom.

Look at how peaceful and CLEAN it all looks.  The mantel has some things on it to be moved but otherwise perfect.

Still to tackle - the master bedroom, the kids' rooms, and the bathrooms [which are already in fairly good shape].  The remaining bedrooms have a LOT of junk to sort through because things were dropped off in there throughout the day.  However, I'll have Afton's help again tomorrow, plus her teenage daughter!

I'll leave you with this shot of the Mancave mantelpiece. That's the Roman shield David made over half-term. I did help with the wing detailing, though. 

The box on the counter there contains some wedding decorating stuff. Anyone have thoughts on how to hide all those darn wires between the TV and the cabinet?

05 November, 2010

Running out of gas...

Day Two of the Great Pre-Wedding-Reception Purge is complete, and we have 4 rooms done.  Two guest rooms, kitchen and all the miscellany to go.   House is looking great but I am feeling low on energy.

In these rooms, one of the biggest time sucks has been sorting and purging and reshelving the bookshelves.  We have two walls of books downstairs.  Afton told me she's never seen so many books in a home, outside the library.  And when they're disorganized, double-stacked, and messy, the whole house looks messy.  Seriously.

When they're tidy, however, books are practically art.  Check it out. The green room is the living room.  The even bigger bookshelf is in the dining room.

The stress of cleaning and getting ready is taking its toll, as evidenced by the cold sore blossoming on my lip. I've been zapping it with Zovirax all day but it keeps a-coming.  Sigh.

Nice break tonight after all of that - our church had a Bonfire Night gathering.  BIG bonfire, good fireworks, and lots of eats.  I brought a vat of chili along, and that was very sweet of me :)  Good thing crockpots don't require watching or that would have been some nastay chili. As it was, the crockpot was practically licked clean.

04 November, 2010

Clean, clean, clean...

Today's NaBloPoMo post is a bit boring but I suppose that's because life is a bit boring right now.

 What I don't particularly like to do is clean.  This is a smallish problem because our friends are getting married in 9 days and  the reception is at our place.  Ahem.  And her family will be staying here, so I need the bedrooms to be company-ready as well.

Fortunately, the bride is a cleaning maven - she came over this morning and we decluttered and scoured; I've now got 2.8 of the 3 reception/living rooms looking fantastic. That 0.2 is the big bookcase in the green living room. Need to sort through and reshelve some items.

Crazy thing?  I actually had a nice day, and enjoyed all the cleaning.  Company made ALL the difference. Thanks, Afton!

Tomorrow's agenda - not sure.  We have the dining room and guest room to sort out, as priorities, then it's the kitchen and master bedroom.  Those last two need some clutter removed, but won't be the hard work of the other rooms.

03 November, 2010

Some retro entertainment...

I've just finished watching The Italian Job [the original, with Michael Caine, back in his "Phwoar" days].  VERY enjoyable movie with agile cars, funny stars and an awesome theme tune.

Another fine Michael Caine film is The Ipcress File.  Check it out...

02 November, 2010

Halloween recap

Halloween was both low key and everpresent this past week. Everpresent because there were three parties in the space of a week.  Low key because we didn't carve pumpkins or anything, or decorate the trunk for trunk-or-treat [beyond draping a pirate flag and some ghost tinsel].  We didn't even go trick or treating on the night itself.  

The first party was the squadron kids' Halloween bash one week beforehand. Games, dinner, pinatas, costume contests, trunk-or-treating...good times!  The kiddoes dressed as Doctor Who and his companion Amy Pond.  I even tinted Lily's hair redder - she looooved that.

The Saturday before Halloween there were TWO parties, so we split the team and changed costumes.  Lily the devil went to the party at her friend's house with all the girlies from her class.  

David dressed as Skulduggery Pleasant, and came with me to the church party/trunk-or-treat.   Then, with Halloween on Sunday, we stayed home, ate lots of that Halloween candy, and watched Doctor Who videos.

01 November, 2010

NaBloPoMo - she begins!

I'll take a stab at daily posts this month, without joining the official crew. 

Brief recap of the past 2 months....School started for kiddles and they're enjoying it. 

We went to Brugge/Bruges and adored it. I'd love to go back.  What a jewel of a city.

David the son ruptured his appendix, had emergency surgery and spent the best part of a week in hospital. He's recovered amazingly well!

David the husband got tagged to go away AGAIN for work. Le Sigh. He may miss a trip to Dublin we've got planned in a few weeks.

Knitting - on hold it seems.  I have two pairs of socks that are hibernating.  I'll pull out the one that's two-thirds finished and get it going again.

Feeling a little low and a lot overwhelmed, but things are going along...

How about YOU??

05 September, 2010

Quick Update in Sockness

For you KnitFans out there, I finished the stripey socks yesterday except for grafting the last toe, and I've completely finished sock 1 of the Kalajokis!  Cast on sock 2 and I am about to start the heel on that one now.

Alison was right about recognizing the wool - it's her hand-dyed Yarnscape Footsie in Blue Pine.  Clever girl :)  Check out that link - the Footsie is the sock weight wool, and Bunnylace is just...awesomeness in a skein.

Quiet day today - school begins tomorrow so we have to get all the ducks lined up for morning, but right now, I am kicked back and ready to knit...

04 September, 2010

Brushing off the cobwebs. Anyone out there?

Whoa, it's been a long time, hasn't it? 

Last posting in March.  Lily ended up being really ill for 2 weeks.  David deployed again and is home now.  Life went on in the usual pathways, with some lovely highlights here and there.

Did some family history work in the summer, and discovered that we have two half-sisters.  I've been in touch with one, Kate, and that is just wonderful! She is funny, and clever, and very much a Devine :)   My [our] sister Anne was able to meet her when they were in the same area for other reasons...Really, this has been the high point in the year for me.

Summer break for kiddoes - no big trips as David couldn't take the leave.  Legoland, London a couple of times, Cambridge and Norwich days out, and a flying trip to Wales, too.   A couple of sleepovers, some days at the playground, a few movies.  It's been a truly relaxing holiday.  Kids start back to school on Monday.

Knitting mojo is back, although it took its sweet time... I started these socks in the spring sometime and they've traveled around in my bag, getting not very much attention at all until the past month.  I call them Kaffe Broadripple-Top Socks, as the wool is a Regia Kaffe Fasset colorway and the top is filched from the Broadripple sock pattern.  I'll finish them later today or tomorrow, I hope. Love the color and the way the stripes are showing up.  This is my first "fraternal" pair of stripey socks, as well.

My mojo seems to have come back in full force because of the 6 Sock September knit-along on Ravelry.  Below is the first of my six socks, in progress. The pattern is Kalajoki.  It's really a nice, smooth knit, although I have to keep track of the chart. Doesn't the wool suit the curving river of the pattern?

12 March, 2010

Life and Funny Things

Knitting - slow. Lily - sick for waaaay too long, and feeling 90% back to normal now.  Thank heaven.

Have you heard of RickRolling? That's my Funny for today - here's the Ultimate RickRoll.  Check it out...

04 March, 2010

Update on sick kid, and an old draft post that was kickin' around...

 Lil: still sick and actually worse.  So not strep, as Urgent Care thought on Sunday.  Doctor yesterday said he's seen a LOT of kids with this virus this week.  Fever, bad throat and then painful mouth sores and NASTY swollen-up gums, etc.  Got a prescription for  a numbing mouth rinse.  Slightly helpful - still won't eat more than a mouthful of anything.  May last 4 more days, according to doc.  My week/weekend commitments?  Cancelled.   Sticking close to fever girl, and pushing liquids.

I spied this little dashed-off entry still in draft form, so enjoy:

  • Little habits... we all have 'em.  Diet Cherry Coke, handbags [shiny, shiny!] or whatever it may be. Check out this thoughtful post about what your habit may be costing you in the course of a year.

02 March, 2010

Pink Noise, or the Mathematics of Movies

This is quite an interesting article, discussing this study in Psychological Science. Apparently well-edited movies [whether they are fluff or "serious film"], and lots of other things, follow a wavelike pattern that is pleasing to the mind's eye. 

Who knew?

01 March, 2010

Olympic Finish Line?

Emmmmm, not so much.  Lily blossomed with fever Monday morning, which resolved over the weekend into horrible strep throat and tonsillitis.  I spent my weekend snuggling her, and much of Sunday afternoon in Urgent Care since she hurt too much to eat/drink. A shot of penicillin for the strep and a dose of steroids for the tonsil inflammation, and there's light at the end of the tunnel.  Fever's come down a lot but she's still miserable and too sore to eat, so not a lot of knitting happening.

I did cast on the fronts and they are all of 2" tall so far.  I have a feeling I'll do more knitting today, though.  Congrats to any Gentle Readers out there who had Knitting Olympics goals that they met!!

26 February, 2010

Laptop/Case giveaway, and miscellaneous other info!

So, I am home today with FeverGirl, which means I can sit and catch up on blogs. I just read about an AWESOMEtastic giveaway, and will post the info here so you, too, can enter to try and win.

Win a Compaq CQ10 10-inch screen notebook computer AND a Targus computer backpack by checking out this blog post! Mighty nice...good luck if you enter [and good luck to me, too, of course].

In Olympic Knitting news, I haven't seen the Olympics in almost a week, and have about 4 rows of sleeves to go. Then it's on to the front pieces of the cardigan. So my Olympic pace is a tad slow, but Lily may get this sweater while it still fits. And that I declare as a victory for me! When I post this, I am picking up the knitting AND the remote, for a little DVR'd Olympics action.

21 February, 2010

Sleeves, as promised, and a jacket for spring

This fuzzy picture shows two sleeves in progress, slightly less than halfway along.  See how fluffy the yarn is?   Switching to metal needles did make a big difference in knitability, however.  The fluffy, squeaky yarn is moving along the needles pretty easily now. 

I am way behind if I hope to finish this during the Olympics, however.  I've got the rest of the sleeves, the fronts AND the hood still to slog through.  Ah, well, it's coming along...

And now for something completely different:

Pretty, no?  It's a fitted, lightweight trenchcoat. Bought it as a birthday present to myself after trying it on for fun, on a friend's urging [thanks, Afton!]. It was very inexpensive as coats go, at £20.  To be honest, it looks good, but BARELY fits - a little too tight when buttoned.  I really, really need to stop derailing my food wagon and say goodbye to the 15 pounds that arrived with winter eating.  Looking at this lovely thing is a little incentive to do just that!

19 February, 2010

Pictureless Olympic Update

The cardi continues.  I got some great feedback from the designer when I added my project to Ravelry and found hers.  So I changed from my lovely Zephyr needles to some plain ole aluminum ones and the knitting is MUCH much smoother. Still feels plasticy on my fingers but it's moving much more quickly.

I've finished the back, and am going to cast on both sleeves at once after I post this blog.  Haven't gotten a chance to look at the actual Olympics and knit in 3 days, what with all our running about and feeling exhausted by evening.  Tonight looks to be better!

Pictures with next post, I promise...

16 February, 2010

Olympic and Other Knits

First off, the Olympic knitting. I am about 70% done with the back piece of Lil's cardigan.  Still feeling the hate for the way the Brushstrokes yarn feels on the needles and my fingers, although I love watching the color shifts.  Check 'em out:

I think I should be competing in the Olympic category of Finishing a Knitted Item for the Benefit of a Loved One Although It's Completely No Fun to Knit.  There is fun in watching the Olympics over the top of my knitting, though.  How 'bout those crazy moguls skiers??

Moving on, we have my Around the Corner Scarf, started in November and not really worked on since December...this one's really fun to watch as it grows, but I am not feeling the love for the way I have to pay attention every second to the pattern, which is all short rows and loopy bits.  I know it will be worth it, in the end, but my short knitting attention span in the winter has relegated this one to the bottom of the "Basket O' Knits In Progress."

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday.  We celebrated by eating LOTS of pancakes for supper at our friends' tonight, and it was lovely.  Now I am in a bit of a carb coma, but mmmmmm. Lovely American-style puffy pancakes, syrup and bacon.  Lily went with more British-style crepes with lemon and sugar, and ate four.  Quite a meal for such a small peanut!

14 February, 2010

Knitting Olympics and Other Life Bits

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Mine's been very nice - chocolate and a phone call from the Faraway Sweetie. 

Now to business...The knit mojo?  She is back.

I have opted in to the Knitting Olympics this year.  At first, I thought I'd shoot for the Argus Shawlette, but after I whipped out 198 Yds of Heaven [Ravelry link] in 4 days (new speed record for me!!), I thought lace isn't as much of a challenge as it used to be. Here is 198 Yds, on me as I wore it yesterday at Wagamama, and displayed outside...

Instead, I'm tackling the lovely cardigan pictured below, for the girlie bean.  In exactly that shade, per her request. Here's my Ravelry project link.

This is my Olympic Torchlighting Cast-On Picture.  See the Opening Ceremonies in the background there?  I did DVR and watch them in daylight, given that it was 2 AM or something here when they began.

And for the record? Stylecraft Brushstrokes?  Pretty color, but hideous, hideous, HIDEOUS to knit with.  Squeaky, sticky, icky yarn that makes my teeth itch to work with.  Good thing she will love it.