In which I am a Contributor

In CategoryCooking, Home Schooling, Navel Gazing


Even though I have resigned myself somewhat to this whole child-led learning idea, I haven’t quite beat back my need for Checking Stuff Off A List. I am still trying to find a middle ground that satisfies all parties. I flailed around and finally came up with a starting point that works for me. I wrote about How to Create Your Own Unit Study at Heart of the Matter last week.

And yesterday they graciously printed one of my favorite Christmas recipes – Quick and Easy Cake Mix Cookies. These are unbelievably easy, with only a few ingredients. They are a true staple of mine. One year I gave away something like 50 dozen of them.

As a matter of fact, I think I have all the stuff to make another batch…

Just Finish Something Already! Week 6

In CategoryNavel Gazing

Okay, fellow procrastinators! It is Week 6 of Holy Crap Only Four Weeks Left Before Christmas!

I know many of you accomplished great things at the Black Friday Sales last week, so link up and brag about it!

I actually had a very productive long weekend. We hung all new outdoor lights, replacing the original 30 year old sconces. The only way those ancient things would have cast any light is if they caught fire.

We replaced the shredded paper shade in the garage window with a not-really-wood blind. The blind we had been saving for that purpose ended up being too short and this led to a frenzied version of musical chairs with all our window coverings. We finally found one the right size in our bedroom, but it was so filthy with dust that I insisted we pull the bed out before we took it down. 

Pulling the bed out revealed the King of all Dust Bunnies. It wasn’t even a dust bunny, it was more like a dust…sand dune. 

After I recovered from the shock, I stripped everything off the bed, made Jim get the vacuum, and cleaned. I don’t think our room has been that clean since we moved in. This is how projects go around here. It’s like pulling at a loose thread on a sweater. In fact, at this very minute Jim is at the furniture store buying a bed frame because for the last 17 years our box spring and mattress have sat on the floor.

‘Cause we’re classy like that.

I also finished the Swirl Hat. I got a little overly-pleased with how well it was turning out and received a Knitting Smack Down by making a mistake I couldn’t figure out how to fix. Oh well, that’s how everyone will know it is hand made, right? Dang it.

I knit it with the incomparable Lorna’s Laces and I just love it so much. It’s like a big pink cupcake. Little will be adorable in it. I need one more boyish hat for Big and they will be even.

And look how cute the top came out – Super! Swirly!

Thankful it’s OVER

In CategoryNavel Gazing



This is going to be one of those years that will definitely be remembered.

Firstly, my kitchen faucet exploded on Monday morning and proceeded to make a fountain every time I turned it on. Jim chased all over town looking for the parts to fix it, but no one carries them because “those are supposed to last the lifetime of the faucet.”


I called the manufacturer –

(After heroically pulling that information from my obsessively organized cabinet in about two minutes. Did this garner applause? No. Once again, my fantastic filing skills go unnoticed by my family. Ingrates.)

– and they said they would send a whole new sprayer assembly thingamajig. I said great, could they overnight it since Thursday is a holiday and plus because I have kind of gotten used to that whole running-water business?

Guess not, since as of 3pm Friday, I am still waiting.

Secondly, we have a tradition of going to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Thanksgiving Day. It is a great day to go, because we practically have the place to ourselves. They serve a big turkey dinner and all the docents are in good moods and there aren’t any pesky school groups clogging up everything. This year, we decided to go on Wednesday. Why not? One day won’t make that big of a difference, right? Who goes out to the museum on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? Everyone is busy grocery shopping and baking pies.

WRONG. In fact, there were LOTS of other people who go out to museums the day before Thanksgiving. LOTS AND LOTS. We had lunch in the cafe and hit the exhibit about the Amazon we wanted to see. It was interesting and we had a good time in spite of the crowd.

As we got in the car to go home, Big started complaining that his tummy was hurting. He has a sensitive stomach, and we chalked it up to eating a crappy lunch and just getting over a cold.

Big mistake.

He puked all over the damn place about 15 minutes into our trip. I careened across four lanes of Denver traffic looking for a place to exit while he gacked his guts up all over my car.

The car I just made the final payment on. That’s not really relevant here, I’m just sayin’.

Luckily, I had brought along the standard extra set of Just In Case Clothes. I found part of a roll of paper towels and some antibacterial wipes and got up the worst of it while Jim got Big in clean clothes. It was about 9 degrees out, and the poor guy was freezing to death when we finally got going again.

Let me just tell you right now that cranking up the heat in a car that’s covered in macaroni and cheese puke is slightly less than optimal.

But we sort of got used to it during the TWO HOUR drive home.

Thirdly – yes, there is a third thing – whilst trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner, the kitchen sink became clogged.

Clogged very badly indeed, because SOMEONE didn’t believe me that you can’t stuff potato peels down the disposal.

Especially when you can only run the water at a trickle because of the whole stupid exploding-faucet-water-fountain Situation of Holiday Awesomeness.

I am sure wives everywhere can imagine the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I noticed my husband repeatedly flipping the disposal switch on and off and saying to himself, “Huh. What’s going on here?”

Just as I needed to drain the potatoes, he was crawling under the sink with a bucket and a wire coat hanger.

Seriously, people. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

After HOURS of peeling and unclogging and cooking and cursing, we finally got everything on the table.

Big pushed the dreaded mashed potatoes around his plate and wondered why we weren’t having tacos.

Which is now officially an option for Christmas dinner.

Just Finish Something Already! Week 5

In CategoryKnitting

Here we are at Week 5 of Just Finish Something Already!

This week I finished…

Well, I managed to…..

Okay, the truth is I didn’t finish anything. I started a hat.


I had about 3 inches knitted on Saturday night when Jim asked if it was going to be big enough.

So I measured.

And it wasn’t.

And then I was all mad at him for making my hat too small.

I sulked the rest of Saturday evening, then resignedly ripped the whole thing out about 4 hours ago and started over.

Imagine my surprise when I did not manage to reknit the entire thing in one evening.

Also, I decided I am definitely going to make ham for Thanksgiving.

Or maybe turkey.

For sure one of those.

How about you?