Wednesday, August 31, 2011

knitting update

I finished knitting this dress at the beginning of summer, but it's been too, well, summery for a wool dress until yesterday. I'm thinking perfect for fall, with tights and long sleeves under it.  Ayla seems to like it!

 I haven't been knitting much (or at least not finishing things, I have several projects going that I pick up and set down for long periods of time) except for jar cozies.  I've been mulling over the idea of stocking some up and starting a little etsy shop.  Any etsy crafters/sellers out there willing to share good advice, tips, mistakes to avoid :)?

*The pattern for Ayla's dress is not my design, it can be found here. I did modify it by knitting in the round up to the arm holes, instead of front and back panels.

Monday, August 29, 2011

a down-home kind of day

Saturday was busy (birthday party and festival in the city) and Sunday was lazy (gloriously lazy) and today was just right in a down-home kinda way.

 The girls decorated pencil boxes, one who's going off to the big box school excitedly, and one who says she wants to homeschool always.

 We prepped elderberries for making syrup and tincture.
 The girls played in the sand while I hung out the cloth diapers.
 There was an abundance of garden harvest.
 I dug potatoes, Sylvia found them in the dirt, and Camille peeled them.  I told her I would make as many mashed potatoes as she could peel.  She took me up on that by peeling 50 potatoes.  She set a goal and kept a tally.  I hope mashed potatoes freeze well.

 Carly's getting big and so are the chickens...
 but not old enough to lay eggs just yet.  One of our 'ladies' is a 'gent'.  Not sure how that's going to work out as I've never raised chickens before.  He seems very protective and a bit bully-ish.
 Ayla helped me round them up into their coop for the night

It wasn't flashy or grand, but it was a very satisfying day. It makes me think of this quote "As we get older and our kids grow up, we eventually come to realize that all the big things in our lives are really the direct result of how we've handled all the little things."
—Pam Sorooshian (an unschooling parent)
Camille and Papa are asleep.  The two littlest are awake and giggling and it's time for me to settle them in and read stories to Sylvia and nurse Ayla, until their eyelids feel heavy....

Friday, August 26, 2011


   We hiked through the jungle that is the corner of our yard to get to the elderberries.  And Sylvia happily picked me one slightly unripe apple after another.  So, I made some honey-sweetened elderberry-apple sauce.  Only Ayla and I liked it as it was pretty tart, and possibly a little scorched.  Ooops.

  And there was a living-room dance party.  Mama put on a silk dress too :)

 And more ground cherry pickin'.  Ayla, too.

  And Sylvia opted for Just Dance Kids on the Wiiiiiiiiiii while Camille took her puppy an a mile-long walk.

  Then there was this not-uncommon site in our house.  Two happy sisters playing on the 'puter.  Club Penguin and Girls Go Games for Camille, and Nick Jr and PBS Kids for Sylvia.

 There were household chores, some shared, some done by Mama, some done by girls willingly.
 We watched the organic farmer that shares our land prepare the oats and alfalfa for baling.

Camille cooked a simple dinner. Mama and Papa watched Project Runway.  The girls watched Arthur.  Sylvia is now doing the dishes because she loves to play with soap and water ( I won't show you a picture because she is wearing absolutely nothin' but rainbow legwarmers ;-) .  Ayla is nursing to sleep as I type one-handed. We don't have (arbitrary) limits on 'screen time' or enforced chores.  Life is good.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a hike down the valley

Our house is built partway into a south facing hill, just beyond the yard is a steep narrow valley, more of a glen really.  We hadn't taken a good wander down there recently, and today seemed just the day for it.

 This shallow sandstone cave is a favorite destination

 This area where it widens out is covered in jewelweed.
 The girls climbed down into a dry creek bed and were completely hidden from view by the fallen logs.

 One of the few places down here where you can actually see much sky.

Feel free to join me for August's edition of