Trimming the Tree

The girls and I spent the latter part of yesterday at my parents to decorate the Christmas tree and eat my mum's famous roast beef dinner. Mmmm. The grandchildren hang all the bows and ornaments, and we rest. As all traditions go, a picture must be taken annually in front of the decked-out tree, and it never fails that one of the five must be noticeably dragged into the photo. This year, it was Olivy Bean's turn. So this was my picture from left to right - little brother poking big brother, big brother with "stupid" a.k.a. little cousin, little sister leaning on big sister, biggest cousin bargaining with littlest cousin to smile, and littlest cousin defiantly not having any of it. I suggest that next year we serve the chocolate as soon as they walk in the door.
After dinner, we played Sequence! Have you played Sequence? I love Sequence. We ALL love Sequence! We played Sequence for hours. Truly the best fun I've had in ages, and not just because my team won 6 of 7 games. My dad and the kids gave us a run for our money - it was NOT easy.Today is a day for chilling, tackling the mountains of laundry accumulated over the week, sweeping up the dust bunnies, and cooking up the wilting produce in the fridge and making room for the fresh stuff. I can cross off apple crisp, and next up is soup.
Happy Sunday, everybody!


Give Thanks

Today is American Thanksgiving and the pie is baked, the football game is on, and the chicken is brining. Since it's only Mr. T and I this year we're going for a mini sized but traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I've just got potatoes to do and the dressing, which Mr. T's mum so thoughtfully emailed the recipe for.We have much to be thankful for this year. For one, the wedding of our dreams with all of our family and friends present. It was what we had wanted and a million times more. We are thankful for our families, which get bigger and bigger each year. We love you all. We are thankful for our health as there were no major health issues this year. We are thankful for our jobs because in these times of uncertainty, a job, albeit frustrating at times, is better than no job. Sometimes Mr. T and I reflect on how generously we've been blessed and it's hard to comprehend how and why we are so lucky. But then we remember not to question and to just enjoy and be grateful everyday.

A Sunday Song of Sweets

Mmm. Molasses Crinkles - B's favourites. I'm surprised I still have 8 left. I keep counting them.
Here's that slipper I knit up yesterday, and my Hedgerow sock to show the size of the slipper before felting. That's BIG. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Michaels still has Patons Classic Merino Wool in Petal Pink, because I am definitely not going to have enough for slipper #2.

Kata's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a definite favourite around here with everyone except little B who doesn't like chocolate sprinkled through her cookies, but she still sampled a bite. That's okay, I know three people in the immediate vicinity who will finish that half-eaten cookie regardless. It's all good. Kata, if you're reading this, you need to post that recipe pronto for the rest of the blogging world - they are missing out big time.

Are you like me and can't throw out a magazine to save your life? Well I found just the thing for you! B and I whipped up this uber-cool Christmas tree after our early morning cereal ritual. Fun times, I promise. I'll probably make a hundred of these. Just saying.
I'm showered, dressed, and fed, so I am off to visit a friend and finish off those groceries. It will be good for me to step away from the couch for a few hours. I will miss you, dear couch, but I won't be gone long.
Ooh, and T, I dare you to look at this and keep waiting for the right time. Seriously. I think I feel my heart swooning and my knees buckling. Totally makes me consider having a third.

Splashed with Sunlight

I've spent the day lounging in my pyjamas, and I've gotten so much accomplished.

I woke up shortly after 7 a.m. (this is my every day wake-up time). I poured myself a giant bowl of bran flakes, drenched it in 1%, and sprinkled it with sultana raisins. The littlest shuffled into the dining room in her bright pink, fleecey robe and demanded alpha-bits - "in a bowl with milk and a spoon." We ate our cereal in silence with the exception of me blurting out quickly that I loved her. She didn't look up but nodded, continued to eat and made a positive 'm-hm' sound. This is our morning routine every single day.

Eventually J woke up and joined us, so I threw on a pot of coffee with a pinch of cinnamon dashed on the grounds and a squirt of maple syrup on the bottom of the pot to make it a little special with it being Saturday and all. It was snowing hard, so I slid on some old grey sweatpants and a purple sweatshirt over my pyjamas, and I booted up to go outside and shovel the driveway. I made some small talk with the older lady who lives across the street, and then I started up the car and drove to the library to pick up my holds. I popped into Michaels for some jumbo double-pointed needles and into the grocery store for a few little items to tide me and the girls over until tomorrow when I could do a proper grocery shop. I returned home by 10 a.m. so that Josh could have the car for work. I peeled off the sweats and continued padding around in my pyjamas.

I spent the morning making a corn chowder and MORE potato & leek soup. I did laundry. I knit up a slipper while watching three episodes of The Office on the laptop under my wool mohair blanket. I drank a pot of tea. I dug up some old CDs and sang loudly and mostly off-key. I watched a bright red cardinal eat berries on the grey tree covered in white fluffy snow. I thought about having a shower and getting dressed, but I took one glance at the clock and figured I would be heading to bed in another few hours, so what was the use? What a pleasant day! It was perfect. I need more days like this. :) It' s the only way I am going to be able to finish all this holiday making!

Back to the couch,

Lookin' Good, Baby

This very adorable picture was sent to me from this little guy's mommy. He has an uncanny resemblance to his stuffed bunny toy and even more so when he has on the rabbit ears hat that I knit for him. There's just something about babies with animal ears that puts a smile on your face. Hope everyone has a happy weekend!

It's Catching!!

The littlest crafted ALL on her own. I brought home a craft book from work about a week ago, and I just left it on the hutch and promptly forgot all about it. The kid picked it up, asked for a paper bag (we only had lunch-sized), and she found the oil pastels and her little scissors. Following the pictures in the book, she made a ladybug costume for Flower (that's her bear's name). I feel a little 'not needed', but at the same time, absolutely thrilled. She got that 'craftiness' from ME!!! Woo-hoo!

Oh, and after several struggles about playing with water on the dining room table, she coloured a paper plate blue and drew in a fish, and now the Polly Pockets and all the Littlest Pets can go swimming without getting wet. Ingenius!!
She may not be a smartie-pants at school, but in creativity, she's all A's.

Forging Ahead on Holiday Knitting

Mittens! I returned to my mitten roots. This is the Warmest Mittens pattern from Knitting Pretty. It makes a very fitted mitten which I believe will keep hands the warmest. I used two different worsted superwash wools, and I am very happy at how well they feel. I'll post the details on Ravelry to avoid boring the non-knitters. :) I did modify the pattern a little bit, and I mastered the magic loop! I can cross that off my goals!

Seeing all those hats that T made, makes me want to whip up some hats too, and I've been doing a little charity knitting myself. I've been working on some little baby stuff for a very young mom who is scheduled to give birth to her first baby - a boy - next week. The doctors already know that the baby will have special needs, and I believe his first operation is scheduled shortly after. This mom is going to need all the help and warm thoughts and prayers she can get. When I heard her story, I immediately decided to finish my cotton baby kimono, and I knit up a little wool-blend hat as well. I am currently working on some baby slippers.

You were right, T. That kimono was easy!

Back to my making,


Hats for the Homeless (and a husband)

I've been knitting up these hats on my evenings in front of the tv. Knit with chunky yarn on circulars they go fast. I can usually finish one during a couple of episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, followed by a couple episodes of Testees (good Canadian content south of the boarder). The hats are for donating to the community of homeless who live beneath the I-94, which I take daily to and from work. It's getting cold and everyone needs something warm. Including Mr.T who has since coveted one of the four hats that I've made (there's only three left in the picture). I'll let him have it since he's a bus rider and the morning wait can get unfriendly. Plus, I like him.

Bazaar-o World

I finally made it to the annual Hutton House Bazaar, and I will definitely add this event to my must-go-to list every year! I made off with a giant bag of ceramics and jars of homemade jelly. I am plan on sticking to buying handmade this holiday. I did pretty good last year, but I am decidedly stepping it up a notch. Currently I am busy knitting mittens like no one's business, and I have the girls' Christmas lists already, and I have big plans!! Big plans, I say.

Have you ever seen such a pretty leaf? I picked it up downtown last week from a gingko tree - it was truly beauty amongst the dirty debris that litters the sidewalks.

Speaking of litter - like my new waste basket or my new umbrella stand? I think it's too pretty for garbage - it's probably better suited to the foyer filled with wintry accessories for now. It's making me smile right now.

And speaking of the holidays, I dug up this little doe for my mantle. The ladies at the antique store are treating me like a regular now. While there this weekend, one of them followed me and offered to empty my hands every half hour - I practically have my own hold shelf now. It's probably a good thing they're closing at year end because I am running out of space to store all these trinkets. Someone stop me. Please.
My goal this week is to make Potato Leek soup. I have potatoes, and I have leeks. Bon appetit! More importantly, I am crossing my fingers that my little family enjoys eating it. I have a feeling it's going to be a giant batch.

Night, night.

Go Play Away From Me

She found a pair of my old glasses a few days ago, and when we least expect it, we will turn to look at her, and she is wearing them and going about her business as if everything is as it should be. When we see this, we start to giggle, and then we want to squeeze her little cheeks and gobble her up. She's too cute. So when she starts encroaching on my knitting territory (a big comfy white couch with lots of warm throws and my cup of tea to my immediate right), I can't help but stop what I am doing and whip out the camera. She's always game for pictures.
I love how J just makes his way into the shot. Honestly, the guy has two legs - he's just sitting on one. I keep waiting for him to cut off the circulation in one leg and try to stand up only to realize that he is laying on the floor like a puddle of jello, but I guess that only happens to me.
In knitting news, I have mastered the magic loop method on another pair of mittens. Wow, is it ever faster than wrestling with 5 dpns. Just saying . . . sometimes it takes me a little longer to hop on the wagon. Or like Fat Bob says you're "jumping someone else's train". It kind of fits here, but doesn't. It's a free train, right? I'm just not the first one on it. In fact, I'm kind of late. It's embarassing really.
Time for bed. Big day tomorrow involving lots of crockpots and surely a large number of power bars. Until then, cheers.

Yes We Cake!

What does a transplanted Canadian in the US do on election day? Well, I can't vote but I can bake.
This is going with us to our very first American election day party tonight at a friend's. Let's hope it brings us luck.