Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year

I am so blessed. I have 3 great, happy healthy children, a loving, caring, generous, kind husband, and really terrific friends whom I love a lot and I feel their love as well,a warm house, enough food and drink, vehicles that take us where we need or want to go, and the beauty of the world that God provides us. What more could a person need?

I'm not one for new year's resolutions. It seems as though they fall by the wayside shortly into the year. I would like to finish some outstanding projects: home improvement and craft, organize my time a bit more and become a bit more motivated, and maybe lose a few pounds, but no promises ;-)

2011 brought us lots:
The first year my sons played organized baseball (and the oldest one LOVED it).
The first year my kids played organized soccer.
The completion of my first year as a junior high music teacher (totally NOT my age choice).
The year my daughter became a woman (TMI I know).
The little patio in the back.
A cool hammock stand for the hubs so he can USE the hammock.
A new furnace and water heater (ouch on the wallet).
Experiencing my first earthquake.
My first year as a parent of a middle schooler.
Dealing with a leaking roof... still dealing with that one :-(
Snowstorm before Halloween causing multiple day power outage.
The first time my oldest son auditioned for a play (and got the role he wanted YAY!)
A larger project knitted from my handspun yarn :-)
The Christmas where I truly found no need to receive any gifts because of the pleasure I got from giving them (and this was the best gift of all!)
The least stressed holiday ever (and the most organized I've been in years)

I am so blessed. May you have a blessed 2012

Sunday, December 11, 2011

yule moon

was yesterday. There was a lunar eclipse on the west coast of the US and I believe in the southern hemisphere on Friday. Of course, we didn't see it.

Today I found this

"Hierbas Buenas" Valley Petroglyphs (Night Time Lapse Movie) from St├ęphane Guisard on Vimeo.

set to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. So beautiful.

DS1 joined the science club at his school and his work for this week was to watch the moon. The beginning of the week was a bust as we had cloudy skies and lots of rain (yes the roof still leaks) but since Thursday the skies have been really beautiful.

Last night I went to see DH's women's chorus at Moravian College Vespers. I decided to hoof the mile to the church in spite of the sudden low temps. It was a beautiful walk.

Today I feel miserable. I finally have the cold that's been going around school. Thank goodness it waited until my concert at school was over (and my Messiah gig)

The vest... what a story I have to tell with that. I'll wait until it's complete then tell the while mess at once.

3 batches of cookies are baked and dough for cut outs is in the fridge. Today I started to infuse a pint of Bombay gin with pomegranate.... Has to work it's magic for a month.

Some Christmas gifts are made, others have yet to be finished. And yet I feel this still calm in my soul... like no worries. It'll get done in time before the baby is born.
8 days of school until break. Not that I'm counting ;-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

muppet madness

Last night we took the kids to see the new Muppet movie. If you remember the old muppet movies or the Tv show you will LOVE LOVE LOVE this film... Even my husband who had no clue about the muppets laughed and my kids loved it as well. A good night of family fun!
And don't forget to check out bakerellas muppet cake pops. They're really adorable. If only I had the time.. although I woulnd't want to eat them then!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today's date: only happens once a century. Unfortunately at 11:11 I'll be in the middle of a rehearsal at school. I hope something magical happens. My chorus could use it.

What will you be doing?

Monday, October 31, 2011

it comes in 3s

end of August was the earthquake

September brought a hurricane to the northeast knocking out power all over.

and Saturday the 29th of October..... a major snowstorm hits the Northeast knocking out power all over.

Enough already! So that should be the end of the surprises from Mother Nature right???

after 48 hours we have power again. I was able to get a hot shower and put a dent in the laundry. We were able to cook at home AND do dishes.

And now I think I'll go to bed. (just as soon as I grade these school papers)

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The third Saturday of September is world wide spin in public day (sip) So I took my wheel to the son's baseball game and spun about a half bobbin of yarn :)

So busy with school preparations and running after the kids I don't knit spin or play at all lately. Hoping it settles down soon!

Go out and spin in public today!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

happy birthday mom

91 today... hope you enjoy many many more!

photo courtesy of simplysweetsaz

Monday, September 05, 2011

happy labor day

I'm so thankful for the long weekend.

Friday night I was able to catch up on some lost sleep from the first week of school beginning. We were blessed enough to not be hit too hard by hurricane Irene. In the town I live, the schools were closed because of lack of power and flooding but where I teach we were a go. So I had a full week to put in with students... and boy was I tired by Friday.

Saturday morning called for a fall baseball game. Then some cleaning while DH ran to the supermarket to pick up a few things for our company for dinner Saturday evening. What a wonderful visit with fantastic friends.

Sunday, DH ran off early in the morning for church and I cleaned up from the night before. All three kids had soccer in the afternoon. They came back beat. The hub and I watched the end of the very long (and sad) Phillies game. I wonder how their protest will turn out.

Today, I've spent most of the day working on school lessons, still not finished. It's raining again. Baseball was cancelled this morning. FOr dinner I made 40 empanadas: spinach, egg and cheese, corn & blue cheese, walnut and celery. I also made baked feta for DH and I from this recipe I found on pinterest. I'll tell you how it was after we eat

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

earthquake day

Well the east had an earthquake today. The first that I've ever experienced. I was at school sorting band music, putting the mess in order that my predecessor left. I was wondering what the custodians were doing that would shake the building... turns out it was an earthquake. Whodathunk??

I made Betz White's cashmere bunny for two baby gifts. Paired it with a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit. One couple are both colleagues from work. The other mom was a student of mine for my first years of teaching.

DD needed a few more things tonight for school and I noticed a sale at Staples. We got a boatload of stuff: 6 one subject notebooks, 5 retractable bic pens, 12 dixon ticonderoga pencils, a package of 6 mechanical pencils, 2 reams of copy paper, an 8MB thumb drive, a clear 18" ruler (for me), 20 pencil top erasers, 2 sharpie markers, 100 sheets of notebook paper... between the $5 off coupon, and our staples rewards and the sale. I spent $1.53 and we put in for $11 in rebates... ROCK on thrifiness :-)

My Phillies won tonight and the Little League team from PA won too!

Peanut butter cookies surrounding Reese's peanut butter cups baked after dinner.

Great day!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

it's official

i managed to spin over 2 Kilos of yarn during July... 2020g to be exact. I finished the BFL/BL fleece (the never ending brown fleece) and swatched to see what kind of vest I can make for DH. Using US8 needle I get 16 stitches x 23 rows for a 4x4 square.

Smaller needles gives a fabric that is too dense. (trust me I've knitted 1/4 vest on 5's and 6's... and ripped out both)

I'm almost finished the first recycled cashmere sweater blanket... couple of things to do yet, but it's pretty nice If I do say so myself. Grays, black and a touch of grey, white and red argyle. Needless to say, it's super soft.. trimming it with black blanket binding
Here's a sneak preview:

There's still some work to do, but it's looking pretty good.

OK... gonna grab a banana and be off to bed. I've been a little under the weather lately.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


for the new craft room to be done after the furnace switch... I'm thinking of perwinkle with white furniture accents... which means I'll have lots of painting to do...
and I want a floor with that foamy stuff so I can block on the floor directly. I'll have lots to paint... maybe I'll do one of the bookshelves in a darker shade of the periwinkle.

so opinions??

Oh and the glass doctor said he can't fix the window. The husbeast will have to do it. I wonder how much he'll charge the kids :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

guess what I made?



Reamed with my new toy from the Moravian Cookshop. A whole pound of these babies.

and baked to perfection

for the hubster for tmrw after the Iron Pigs game. Our neighbor gave us 2 tickets for a late morning game so he's taking the boy who LOVES baseball, while I wait for the window repairman to come.

The recipe for the body of the pie is from Emeril's (the same one I always use) but this time I topped it with meringue from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.

THe mans' birthday is Saturday, so I'm trying to surprise him a little each day this week. Yesterday I brought home the cutest t-shirt from the zoo... 4 beetles crossing a pedestrian crosswalk.. and it says in the correct font The Beetles. Today was a few dark chocolate truffles from the Moravian cookshop. Champagne, cappucino, coffee, raspberry, amaretto, and some pyramid looking one. Sunday was a Phillies towel that you take to the game. Monday was a lost day, I'm afraid. but I have lots more planned for him.

Just a bird's eye shot of what I made during the 2011 Tour de Fleece. There's lots of yarn there... and a few rolags to spin yet. It will be finished before school starts.

from the Philly zoo

all my animal friends would love you to check them out We went yesterday and I took far too many pictures. I've only posted a few there.

still spinning the fleece from the tour de france.

Friday, July 22, 2011

day 21

I finished 3 bobbins and plied them together.
Two skins fo about 220 yards and one of 175 yards... not bad... now to wash it and set the twist and fluff the yarn a bit....

found out a friend of mine has breast cancer today... sad day....

also got a paire of etienne aigner shoes at the thrift store for less than $5. They have no wear and fit great. Perfect for school :) I'll post a picture later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

bobbin bobbin who has the bobbin

I managed to finish almost a whole bobbins worth today.

Here's a pic of the two bobbins that are done:

Yesterday we went to the Camden Aquarium. On the next street over is the RCA Victor building with this beautiful stained glass window

We touched jellyfish, and sea stars, stingrays and sharks and saw lots of stuff but my favorite was the sea turtle...If you want to see the best pictures point your browser to my facebook album

Sunday, July 17, 2011

a little color

I went to a wedding party yesterday. Two colleagues that I played a little cupid with. They're perfect together and the party was just as perfect. Outside at her parents farm. The food was all in the barn which was decorated so cute... the weather was perfect and the band was awesome!

I've been spinning up a storm... lots of brown and a little more color. I have this pink roving that I spun up. Not quite sure what it is but I think it's the stuff that Kraemer's in Nazareth makes Mauch Chunky with. It isn't super soft, but I love the way it spun up!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

more of the same

spinning spinning spinning.... carding, carding, carding. There are 6 baskets of rolags

Today was the first day I didn't spend cleaning the basement out. Although I was a freecycling queen again today. Glad someone can use what we no longer need. Rather see that than it go into a landfill. I also did some big league napping this afternoon. Thanks to my angelic children for letting me sleep.

Watched the AAA minor league all star game tonight.. Hooray that the IL won! Got to see some of my favorite Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs play too.

Yesterday I did 4oz. of a color other than brown.. soft squishy corriedale from Spunky Eclectic I love it and whenever I finish spinning the fleece in my stash, I'll be buying from her... what a lovely spin

Friday, July 08, 2011

if at first you don't succeed......

been cleaning out.... garage attic, basement front.

We have to move everything from the front of the basement out so the guys can convert the furnace. It WILL be finished by Sunday...Temporary inconvenience for permanent improvement.

I started the recycled cashmere patch blanket. It's all laid out and one length is sewn. It would be a cute scarf. If it turns out OK, I may gift it to the SIL who loves black.. THis is all blacks and greys.. that is if she likes it. If not, it will get plenty of use at my house... after the grey/black will come the colored... pinks, burgundies, greens, tans and browns.

My SIL comes Monday. The erupting volcano in Chile is delaying her flight. She WAS to arrive tomorrow.

And of course the spinning continues. Today I plied this. Lesson learned, don't navajo ply when the youngest wants your attention.

I'll never finish the Brown BFL THere is SO much fiber.... Although I did locate my hand carders today. So it will make things go much easier. I wish I could rent a drum carder. It would make my spinning life so very much easier....

Monday, July 04, 2011

spinning wheels

well I've tried twice to post a movie.. to no avail

but I will give you a sneak peek what I've veen working on while the boys in France are pedaling their brains out.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

stitch, stitch, stitch

June was a month for sewing a bit. I oiled up the machine and FINALLY finished the cushions on the window seat in the basement. (After DH nudged rather strongly)

I'm happy with the way they turned out. I finished them the day before DS1s birthday (and party)> Now we have 'stadium' seating in the family room.

We're going to a dinner on Sunday and I thought I'd like to take a little gift along with the bebidas and dessert. So I whipped this together today. I got the idea from Kate S. Thank you to her! But of course I tweaked her directions. Instead of having two seams show on the outside, I have no seams showing. I did use batting and quilted it, but I quilted the liner and outside separately. (I don't have a quilting machine. Just a regular Kenmore so the quilting is very plain.
Here were my steps:

Cut two rectangles from coordinating cloth.
The one you'll be using on the outside 7" x 16"
The one you'll be using on the inside 6" x 15"
Cut 2 rectangles of batting in the same dimensions.

Quilt the batting to the wrong side of each fabric.

Cut two circles about 5" in diameter from both fabric and batting.
Quilt the 2 circles (batting on the wrong side again).

With the fabric for the outside, put the long right sides together and sew a long seam (I used 3/8 inch allowance)
Do the same for the inside fabric.

Sew a circle to the bottom of one of the tube. (right sides together) I had to ease the circle to fit the circumference of the tube.. Not an exact science since I didn't really use a pattern.

Repeat with the other tube.

Turn the outside tube right side out. Leave the inside tube inside out and place it inside the outside tube.

Cut the top shape as you desire. I used bias binding to attach them together.

Flatten the tube centering any shape you've given the top

With the sharp point of scissors, cut through all layers of fabrics making a slit the desired length of your handle. Once the slit is made shape the handle as you'd like

I was going to use bias tape here as well but decided against it. Instead I folded the cut edges in and handstitched the outside to the inside.

I really like how it turned out. Maybe they'll make good Christmas gifts this year. Cut down on the fabric stash a bit!

I got my progressive lenses yesterday. It really made the sewing SO much easier. Both by hand and threading the machine. Should have done this a while ago.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

one of these things is not like the other

so we're having some work done outside the house. The guys that are doing it all look alike except one.... (there's a fourth who matches but isn't in the picture cuz he's driving the grapple bulldozer thing.)
anyway can you spot the 2 differences in the men?

so we're attaching the gas line to switch the heating from oil to gas. Getting a new furnace for the summer vacation. The hole they put in the street is large enough to bury me. and the two in the yard could bury small animals (like dogs or cats) of course my snapdrapgons are now gone for good... They've been there since 8 AM and it's almost 8 hours later.... lots of tools too.

The downside (may be an upside) is I have to empty the stash rooms and clean them out when the furnace people come to take out the oil tanks and furnace and water heater and install the new ones.... i guess a little revisit to the stash will be useful. Perhaps it will be a great time to destash on ravelry or elsewhere

Sunday, June 26, 2011

what's for lunch?

Today I decided to raid the refrigerator after I went grocery shopping to try to use up some of the older food and make room for the new stuff.

We had Chinese take-out Friday night and didn't eat the white rice. So I started with that.
I added some green olives cut up in pieces
about 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
cut up some grape tomatoes
cut some canned beets
and hearts of palm
and finally to about 3/4 cup of mayo added one diced chipotle pepper... mixed together and then added to the rice salad.

It was quite yummo.... with that we had some sliced tomatoes, mozzerella and basil sprayed with a bit of olive oil.

Dinner came late.... spinach empanadas, corn empanadas and blue cheese, nut and celery empanadas.....

For dessert..... Emeril's key lime pie YUM

DD went to Dorney Park with a friend and the boys stayed home. DH was at church ALL day. The in-laws and I hung out with the boys... not a bad day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

you can ring my bell rock?

Yesterday we took everyone to Ringing Rocks State Park Even though I've lived so close all my life, I've never been there. So with hammers in hand off we went... I had to convince DS1 that it would be fun. Once we were there he was springing over the rocks like a sure footed mountain goat. We found rocks that made harmony by themselves depending on where they were struck. Plenty of rocks that made just a thud. It's a strange and wonderful place. As DS 2 was trekking among the rocks, exploring he found this Eastern Milk Snake. I couldn't identify it on the spot, but looked it up as soon as we got home. That experience curtailed his jubilance at exploring a bit. He decided to sit with the apos and hit rocks nearby.
I walked down to the bottom of the field to where it expandes left and right... trying to make some historical sense of it all. I did see one blue jay right at the lower edge of the field but nothing besides the snake, some spiders, a few moths and butterflies and a dragonfly or two the entire 2+ hours we spent there.

If you're nearby, make a trip. It's worth it. If you forget a hammer pick up a small rock and use that. We were able to play a couple of tunes with some careful boulder choice.
And don't make our mistake... continue down the trail to check out the waterfall. That's for our next visit, I guess.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


actually went to the thrift store today to drop off a TON of kids clothes and toys. Picked up a few things for home.... 2 books and a CD for DD, a car holder that unfolds into a playmat for DS2, a cashmere sweater to frog and this Mikasa bud vase....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

penny wise and pound foolish

they cut 12.5 teaching positions, plus secretary and custodial positions and this is supposed to be the easier year between this year and next. Class sizes will near 40. My department has suffered a 50% loss over the past 3 years. And the instrumental program has been obliterated. Sad time to be in education

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

happy teachers day!?!

our teachers' union found out today that the school board did not accept our offer for pay freeze. we asked for a few concessions that would not cost them any money but offered to 'give back' over $250K. I don't get it. So I can't help but wonder what that means will be the fate for our programs and teachers. Anxious would be a word to describe the state right now.

My performance in the Rachmaninov all night vigils was successful, albeit short. I sang in the 2nd movement with my best Russian alto voice. That was pretty much my weekend.

My boys had baseball, the dd had a concert and a GS project and we managed to go to a birthday party in there as well.

the countdown is on at school. 25 student days left. Of course it's my busiest rotation. and 6 days until the spring concert. I'll be glad when it's all over and i can sleep.

One month until the in-laws arrive.

i nit 2 little baskets and filled them with chocolates for my own children's teachers today. Of course I sent them off to school before i took any pictures... I've made the basket many times before. It's a quick knit and a great stash user. Each one takes about 45 yards of worsted weight so it's easy to do with scraps.

school work beckons......

Sunday, April 17, 2011


The daffies are up and about spent, but the tulips haven't yet bloomed.
On Saturday, both sons had baseball scheduled. The youngest one's game started at 9. The real feel was 38°F. But early afternoon it was raining so hard and windy that the 5:45 game was called. It was a day for knitting and sleeping and reading.... all of which were done by the entire family (not all by everyone, but all by the 5 of us)

I finished MIL's bday gift.

Pattern: Echo Reversible Drop-Stitch Mobius by Kristin Omdahl in Interweave Knits Spring 2011
Yarn: recycled Abercrombie & Fitch 80 wool/20 nylon
Color: brown
Needle: US13
Buttons: Coconut shell purchased at A.C.Moore
Recipient: MIL

The only thing I needed to do was to ply the yarn double to make it bulky enough. I'm afraid it could be a little too long but I'll let her figure out how to deal with that. She loves brown and loves cables... hope she likes this.

Have to put this cute picture of the little man on opening day of baseball. Don't tell the older one that I forgot to take the camera to his game. I'll get some good shots of him soon. I had other stuff in the front of my mind. We had a concert that night that DH was conducting and I was soloing at. Left the baseball game early to go to the concert. This spring is going to be running around for sure.
DD found this nature anomaly today and insisted I take a picture of it. I call it the siamese twin dandelion.... kind of interesting.

Monday, March 28, 2011

pentatonic wonders

I've seen this video several times before, but it is SO worth sharing. Particulary in our current mindset of budget cuts which directly affect the arts in most cases.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

perigee moon

picture from nasa of the moon rising above the Lincoln Memorial I use this because my own picture isn't that good and it was later and not nearly as large.

Tonight our great friends came for dinner... Manicotti (or canneloni) with homemade crepe shells some with vodka sauce, others with puttanesca sauce and some with cheese and spinach filling with alfredo sauce. For dessert just see the pics below. To say I'm stuffed is an understatement.


ricotta pie


After it was all said and done and everyone (well almost everyone) had gone to bed, the middle child and I spent some time writing notes to each other. Then we spent another hour talking. I wonder how long he'll put up with doing that with his old fart mother.

This is my pathetic shot of the moon last night...

A local photographer Hub Willson has a WONDERFUL photo that he took last night with a 900mm lens... breathtaking

Monday, March 14, 2011

let's do the twist

I started a pair of socks for me... then realized I hadn't read the pattern completely so ripped them out last night.. I'll start them again. Knitty's Twisted but I'm wondering if I do 3k and the twisted purl if I can then turn them inside out to make them. they are reversible after all. I asked the designer and she said no one had tried it that she knew of.. and that the toe and heel shaping is very specific. although twisting the purl stitch can be a pain because you hvae to grab it from behind to twist it.. so it might not be worth it.

Anyway state testing begins tmrw and I have to proctor for close to 4 hours a day. The rest of the day I sit with my homeroom... doing who knows what so I'll be taking knitting along!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

a walk about

town on Monday with the hub....
My school was cancelled due to 'inclement weather' but at home it was cold windy but sunny and beautiful so our kids had school. After dropping them and returning home for breakfast with the hub we decided to take the time to go for a walk since he is on spring break from the college. We walked about 3 miles or so and then stopped for coffee at one of my favorite places in town that isn't my house!

Along the way I took these photos. I could live in any one of these houses I think ;-)

I love how the sun crosses in front of these gorgeous wooden garage doors. The garage that owns these doors belongs to this house. This is the side view of the house.. there is a gorgeous enclosed sunroom on the north side of the house and an open covered porch on the south side.

Down the street near the library is this cute brick house and the single brethren house of the Moravian Church. Both of these are historical buildings.

But my favorite picture is this which met me on Sunday afternoon. It says Mom and Dad I love you bye Pablo. He was so angry with my hub cuz he asked him how to spell by and hub thought he meant as in goodbye which he didn't.... but it's still too cute!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

fastnacht socks?

here they are... a long overdue Christmas gift for the love of my life.

Pattern: Manly Socks by Hannah Six
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock
Colorway: 149
Needle: US2 (my new sox stix by lantern moon :-) )
Recipient: the hubby!

He requested them to be longer than the last 2 pairs. I had very little yarn left. I think it's going to be kept in a safe place for the inevitable darning. I was calling them fasnacht socks because all day they only had the end of the toe left to do... I teased him that I was going to leave them that way like a donut!

I'm not really crazy about this yarn. I didn't rewind the skein and maybe that would have helped but it was really sticky in pulling it out and I spend LOTS of time undoing little knots.

Now I need to cast on something for next week at school when I'll be proctoring exams and watching my homeroom for hours.... Something mindless because Lord knows I'll be interrupted enough!