Friday, April 27, 2012

::this moment::cat nap::

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. 
Stop by Amanda's blog to visit more moments, or to share your own!
Have a restful weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


A handful of kitten is just the best, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are You Sure?

Yes, I'm positive.

Early April brought the shock and surprise of a positive pregnancy test. To say we weren't expecting this would be an understatement. It's taken a few weeks of many conversations, many hugs of encouragement, and plan-making to get used to the idea.

Our kids are completely over the moon with excitement. When not at work, I'm confined to my bed with severe nausea (a first for this mama), ginger tea, and a good book. I know nausea is a good thing in early pregnancy (indicating that all my hormones are doing what they should), but find myself crossing off the days till I reach twelve weeks, when I'm told it usually abates. My husband has stepped up to the plate like the champ he is, taking over everything I usually do: making meals, cleaning up, bathing the kids, doing homework with them, putting them to bed, and so on.

When I can get out of bed, I'm knitting small things for a December baby, and feeling so thankful that we get nine months to wrap our minds around the blessed and life-changing news that our family of five will become six. I'm picturing another little dark-haired newborn  coming into this house, and into my heart, and am once again amazed at how the space in a family always expands to welcome a new sweet babe.

And finally, in the midst of all the worry and readjusting, I am overjoyed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cornwall on My Mind

After becoming disenchanted with "Weeds" (which I'd been watching on DVD), our local librarian recommended Doc Martin, a British series about a London surgeon who gives up his practice after developing haemophobia (a fear of blood) and moves to rural Cornwall to become a small town's GP. 

The scenery is breathtaking, the characters richly varied and charming, and the many misadventures Doc Martin gets into hilarious! Think James Herriot without the people skills. There are all the eccentric rural folk you could hope for, a smart, lovely schoolteacher as a romantic interest, and lots of unusual medical emergencies. 

I'm one of those people that is susceptible to food suggestions. When a book I'm reading mentions that the characters were eating hot buttered toast, or tea, or whiskey, I have to get up and make myself something similar. When I read The Outlander series, I think I lived on oat cakes with honey.

So, as Doc Martin is set in Cornwall, what else would I crave but Cornish Pasties? Please don't confuse the name with those little circles burlesque dancers wear (and twirl). The word "pasty" rhymes with "nasty".
I found this recipe online and tweaked it a bit. 

In a small pot, boil 2 chopped potatoes and 2 carrots till just tender. Dice into small pieces. 
Mix these with a diced onion and about one pound ground beef.
Add salt and pepper, and some Worcestershire sauce. You could also add a bit of beef stock or dried beef bouillon powder.

For the pastry:
2 1/8 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup water.

Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add butter; crumble with your fingers till it resembles coarse oatmeal.

Add water and stir till just moistened.

Divide into 6 equal pieces, and make into balls. Roll into approximately 5-6 " circles.

Place a pile of the beef/veg mixture in the middle of the circle, and moisten the edges of the pastry with water.
Fold pastry in half,
and press together with a fork (we rubbed water along the edges first, to make them stick).

Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

YUM! These are delicious cold, and are perfect for taking on lunches to work or school. We made some gluten-free pastry for Jude's pasties, and he gave them the thumbs-up, too.

Friday, April 20, 2012

::this moment::treasure found::

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. 

Hope this weekend brings lots of found treasures into your life.
Visit to see more moments!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By Herself

Stirred up with my desire to just get the carseat buckled up, the shoes on, or the coat zipped, is my amazement and pride in her growing independence. I have to take a lot of deep breaths and resist the urge to hurry her, to help her, when each day she is learning exactly what it is she can do by herself

Letting your three-year-old learn to help themselves takes such patience when it would be so much quicker to force them into their shoes. It can be painful to watch them struggle, to yell at the sock that twists or the zipper that sticks. I want to rescue her. But I know she won't learn anything from that.

I walk away, ready to respond when her grunts of determination shift into yells of frustration.
I know that this patience will pay off when she, like her brother and sister before her, becomes more independent of me: getting her own snacks, brushing her own teeth, and running out the door to play in appropriate clothing.

What fascinates me is that as she pushes me away to find her own way, she pulls tighter to me in other ways; she cries and asks for just one more kiss on the mornings that I work, and seeks just one more cuddle before bedtime. She has chosen this time to need me less in some ways, and more in others.

And like always, I put my trust in her; in these ways, she does know best. I kiss her, go out the door, come back in for a series of five quick smooches in a row, then leave her crying her head off. When I come home, it is to find her running down the driveway wearing rainbow pants and yellow rubber boots (that she put on by herself), and I celebrate the many ways she is growing each day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baby Fan Mitts

I love these Baby Fan Mitts so much I'm on my third pair. Enough said.

The pattern is available here on Ravelry

Friday, April 13, 2012

::this moment::chick love::

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. 
Please stop by Amanda's blog to see more moments, or to share a link to your own!
Have a love-filled weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

quiet play

I remember stealing away from the noise of aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, and finding a soft spot to park myself with a few dolls. I remember the whispered conversations these "friends" would have, and the complete peace and absorption of quiet, solitary play. 

I remember now, thanks to her.

Monday, April 9, 2012

button eyes and stitched-on mouth

I'm participating in Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On share over at Frontier Dreams...pop over to her site to see what others are up to!

I spent Easter weekend at my parents' house. On Saturday night I sat up until midnight watching "The Ten Commandments"...did I ever mention that I brought room service to Charlton Heston once?...but I digress...while sewing little bunny faces.

My mom thought I was nuts(not for the first time). My dad was with her. Of course, it wasn't completely necessary for me to leave it all to the very last minute. I had cut out all the little pieces weeks ago, but have no sewing machine at home, so I had to wait until I had some kid-free time at mom's. 

I explained again that, although I rely on store-bought stuff to fill in the gaps, it is among my most important parenting values to present my children with handmade gifts. I had a moment of wondering if Jude was getting too old for this kind of thing, but erred on the side of caution, not wanting him to feel left out.
The next night, as he settled into bed with his bunny as a pillow, I asked him to let me know when he felt he was too old for handmade stuffed toys. He put his arms around my neck, and with such sweet sincerity declared, "Mom, I love the stuff you knit and sew for me!"
I whispered to him that he could just let me know if he ever felt he was getting too old for this stuff.
I don't think that will happen just yet. And that makes me so very happy, and proud to know that the value I wish to pass along appears to have been successfully adopted by my oldest child. And really? I don't think I have grown out of this stuff, or ever will. Button eyes and stitched-on faces have always been and hopefully will always be charming (as long as they're stitched on lovingly by hand, as opposed to the "fake" button eyes of a LalaLoopsy doll...or the button eyes in I digressing again?

I based the design for these bunnies on a picture I found during an "image" search for Easter handmades. I pinned it, but for some reason couldn't link back to the original site from Pinterest. Although inspired by the picture, I used no pattern for my bunnies. If you designed the originals and happen to see this, please contact me and I'll happily give you credit where it's due!

Friday, April 6, 2012

::this moment: shaving cream::

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
Do visit Amanda's blog to link up to your own moment.

Have a wonder-filled Easter weekend.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

simple, and 300

This simple wee pitcher is bringing me joy these days. It's just small enough for one tea-sized serving of milk. I bought it at Value Village for $3 and it was worth every cent. As I work through the stuff I've collected through the years, I have a new awareness of what I want in my home. The two guiding questions whisper in my mind: Is it beautiful? Is it useful?

In this case, the answer is yes. I hear people say that they "love" their iphone, or "love" their vehicle. I know that feeling, and always feel slightly materialistic and shallow for "loving" an inanimate object. Because objects that are mass-produced and widely available can be replaced.

But when you find some little item like this, at a thrift store or a yard sale, you know it is truly one-of-a-kind, and therefore, irreplaceable. This sweet little pitcher makes me smile each morning when I pour milk into my favourite mug, perhaps because I feel so lucky to have snagged it before anyone else did! The thrill is deepened by the fact that it cost less than $5. 

It makes me feel kind of pampered in the midst of caring for so many others. I know when I fill it with milk, it is just for me. It's sole purpose is to make my tea perfect...for me. I carefully wash it each morning, and set it back in a place of pride on my open cupboard.

I'm pretty easy to please, non?

Do you have a simple household item with a talent for bringing a smile to your face? What little irreplaceable object do you cherish? Leave a comment!

*A big shout-out to you all for helping me reach my goal of attaining 300 fans/friends/followers! My second blogiversary will be on April 14. Watch this space for a giveaway!