Thursday, September 29, 2011

Annual Fall Pilgrimage

Every year about this time I start to itch for some time in the woods.
Today was that day.
I headed out to my favorite ramble spot in Saint Paul, and as the colors are just beginning to be spectacular I will probably make a few more pilgrimages in the coming days and weeks.
It was a little emotional roller coaster of a morning. The Elder had an altercation with some classmates and I went to discuss the situation with her teacher.
After speaking with all of the miscreants involved it turns out that the worst offender wasn't her usual irritant in class but a girl who had been her friend. I think I felt the betrayal as deeply as the Elder must have done.
So I headed to the woods and listened to the waterfall and the wind in the trees.
It was such a gift, that half hour I spent in the woods.
To be able to sit quietly and breathe with the swaying trees and watch the light change as the sun came over the edge of the ravine and smell the sweet decaying leaves and dirt, it was just what I have been missing in my life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coming Out of the Fog

I had a couple of weeks there when I didn't feel like doing much. I was totally unmotivated to do house work, or work on much of anything. I didn't even turn on my camera for about 2 weeks.
I realized the other day that it's probably pregnancy anxiety.
This is my 7th pregnancy.
My first was ectopic, which I found out at a routine OB when they couldn't find a heartbeat at 10 weeks.
The last three were all very brief. Most of my friends and family don't know about them, but they're always there in the back of my mind.

Today I had my 12 week OB appointment and heard the heartbeat after an agonizing wait of 15 seconds which felt like 5 minutes.
Everything is going well, I'm healthy, the heartbeat is strong and fast.
I can feel the fog lifting.
And just in time for fall.
I hope to be here every day for the rest of the week to share some fall photos, and get back into the swing of things.

See you soon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yarn Along

Yarn Along!
I missed a couple of weeks there, but I did finish a project. The pirate sweater has both sleeves, and has even made a successful debut at school.
The Younger would like to be a pirate for Halloween, and I hope I can convince him to wear the sweater. I'll feel better about him being out in the cold if he's bundled...
The book and the yarn there are my next project. I have the materials to make the Chickadee Sweater from Little Red Knits.
I have had my eye on that book for some time, and I finally decided to make a model for the yarn store from it, mostly to justify the cost of the book. I'm counting that as my current book too, because it has so much fascinating information about sizing and fit. It's really a great read!
What are you knitting and reading lately?
Go visit Ginny for more knitting inspiration!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leave It As It Is

I love to sing.

If you know me in person, you know this to be true. In any case, I sing all the time, if I can, and I am singing this year in two wonderful groups.

Caritas Vocal Ensemble and The Singers. For Caritas the concerts season begins in the early spring, but The Singers will sing a concert on Oct 9th in collaboration with some other local choral groups.

Among other pieces, we're singing a choral work based on the words and contemporary music of the 4 Mount Rushmore presidents.

As I am rehearsing the music I keep getting choked up at the power of these words.

I don't know if you knew this, but the Gettysburg Address is pretty amazing.

Part of the Teddy Roosevelt text is taken from a speech he gave at the Grand Canyon and it is one of the finer things I have read recently as well -

I included the full text here -

In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it in your own interest and in the interest of the country - to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is.

I was delighted to learn of the wisdom of the Santa Fe railroad people in deciding not to build their hotel on the brink of the canyon. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon.

Leave it as it is. You can not improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American if he can travel at all should see.

We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation, whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. Whatever it is, handle it so that your children's children will get the benefit of it.

Now I don't know if it's the hormones, or just the fact that I haven't ever had to engage so closely with the words of these great men, but I have been a little bit of a mess every time I sit down to practice.

If you are in the area please come and see the show, it's going to be amazing, but bring your hanky.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny again for Yarn Along! My favorite day of the week :)
Thanks again for all of your kind wishes last week!
I haven't quite finished the pirate sweater for the Younger yet, though that hasn't been a problem with our 90 degree temps the past week.
Tomorrow brings a change in the weather, so I hope to finish up soon.
I was planning on knitting a jolly roger pocket, but I saw an adorable sweater in Rowan's Summer Baby book and it just had a skull and crossbones on the front. I bought the book, and this weekend I added it to the sweater using duplicate stitch (not my favorite technique, but I figured it would be faster than taking out the sleeve and ripping down the front to use intarsia)
So that's the sweater.
The book is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
I bought this book for my Hubby a few Christmases ago as he really enjoys historical non-fiction.
It just happens that my book club chose it for our next selection, so I pulled it off the shelf and started in. It's been a great read so far, the 25 or so pages I finished this morning...
What's on your lists of books and/ or yarn this week?

First Day of School! Redux

The Elder started school last Tuesday, but in Saint Paul Kindergarten didn't start until yesterday.
So, here is the second first day of school photo.
The Younger was so excited to start!
He did really well - met some new friends, navigated the cafeteria like a pro, he is so ready!
Today, after a piano lesson, and before some more piano lessons, I have a few hours to relax, do some knitting and sewing that I have been putting off until I had some time, and maybe drink some tea.
What's on your agenda today?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thank You and {This Moment}

Thank you all for joining us in our excitement!
I was a little overwhelmed with all of the kind words and well wishes yesterday.
It's a pretty wonderful place, this blogland.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yarn Along and Other News

Joining Ginny again for Yarn Along.
A few weeks ago I saw that someone was reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I added it to the growing list of books to someday read.
Well, when I saw it at a garage sale for 50 cents I snapped it up and I am so glad I did!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Betty Smith about growing up desperately poor in the early 1900s in Brooklyn.
Her descriptions of the daily lives and social interactions of her childhood home were vivid, raw, often sad, but sometimes beautiful.
The knitting is a pirate sweater for the Younger. He is way, way into pirates right now.
The plan is to put a Jolly Roger pocket on when it's finished, and he asked if I could add an Imperial Navy flag on the opposite side.
He's so funny.
In other news, I have been flipping occasionally through the book that my midwife gave me at my first OB appointment a month ago.
Which means that we are expecting a third baby in the spring!
Thanks to Yarn Along, I won't suffer for great ideas for baby knitting!
Good thing I have a little time :)
What have you all been reading and knitting lately?

First Day of School!

Today is the first day of school in Saint Paul, as long as you're in 1st grade or above.
So the Elder hopped on the bus this morning and went on her solitary way to 2nd grade.
For Kindergarten we have to wait another week!
The Younger did get to go in anyway and have his goal-setting conference with his teacher.
The big goals for this year are to be able to cross the monkey bars on the big playground, play and read 4 books.
Happy First Day, everybody!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Fair!

We just got back from our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair, and we had tons of fun!
Even after 6 hours we hadn't seen everything - we missed the animal birthing center, the play farm, the old-time-y village and the fine arts building.
But we did eat lots of stuff,
see the Butter Heads and the crop art,
go on many,
eat more stuff,

and bond with farm animals of all 4-legged varieties.
Whew, summer can end now.
Have a great weekend, and here's to school starting this week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Exploring Music

I am an old book junkie. I have been collecting old books and old sheet music since Jr. High.
The other day I was in search my old Beverly Cleary books in my parents' attic, and I came across this awesome book - Exploring Music.
The copyright is from 1975, but the book was originally published in 1966.
This is really much newer than the books I usually like to pick up. Most of my library is full of books from 1900-1945.
Anyway, I was hoping to find a song or two to sing with my children's choirs when we start rehearsing next Wednesday, and I found a treasure trove! There are great folk songs in here, along with some church-y stuff that wouldn't fly in today's school environment, but will be perfect to sing with the Alleluia choir.
Even better than the song selections contained within this lovely book are the illustrations -
These fashions! I think the Elder needs a sweater with an anchor on it!
And the Younger would look spectacular in a charming sweater vest!
Mostly, I just wish I had looked through this book when I was a musician at work in a music store! I would totally have had this made into a poster to hang above my work station.
Have you found any treasures in your attic lately?

p.s. Thank you all for your kind comments on the Hello Kitty Compromise! You're all the best!