Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thanks For Playing

My mom joined in on the icebreaker I posted Thursday and even sent a photo. I thought you would all enjoy it as much as I did.

Hmm! Only three things. Who am I? What would I need to be content on a desert island or anywhere? Okay, no people but you said nothing about a pet. I would have to have a dog or maybe a cat which could forage better for itself. But I'm afraid of the dark and in case of danger, a cat would just climb a tree but a dog would be at my side protecting me. My mother was a huge animal lover so we grew up with lots of pets, dogs, cats, birds, fish, turtles, guinea pigs, hamsters and sea horses. When I went off to college, I had a cat in the boarding house at the U of Texas, the dorm and apartment at WSU and even in the living area at Deaconess when I trained for a year to be a med tech. So I would definitely need my dog.

Second would be a photo album filled with photos of my family starting with my mom & dad & three brothers. Next would come my own family, husband and three children and finally all my beautiful grandchildren. All those wonderful memories. But better yet would be a box with my photo albums inside and also all the wonderful Shutterfly albums and calendars of my grandchildren growing up made for me by my children, Mark, Kati & Keri.

The last thing is not so easy, but one needs to keep busy on a desert island and I really love art in all its many forms. Creating something beautiful is an important part of who I am and my enjoyment of life. I think we crave color which is why we want winter to be over with all its white, gray and dull browns. We want sunshine and blue skies and green grass and lots of flowers of every hue. I guess, I can't beam Pinot's Palette to the island but I can take an adult coloring book with lots of colored pencils

So there you have dog, a box of photo albums of my family and a coloring book.

I also want to say thank you to Jennifer for being my most faithful blog follower and also playing my icebreaker game. 

Many blessings this fine sunny Saturday.--Kate

Friday, February 10, 2017

Little Sweater

The day after Christmas, when my girl chose to keep her broken doll, we picked out a pattern to make Olivia a new outfit. It has been a cold snowy winter and Olivia came to us dressed ready for summer. So my girl and I both thought she may like something warm to wear. I found this clever Simplicity pattern that includes a link for knit and crochet patterns too. Sewing, knit and crochet projects in one pattern? It is like it was made just for me.
My girl decided she wanted me to make the crochet sweater for Olivia. Then she dove into my huge yarn stash to find which yarn she wanted me to use. This sweater pattern was probably an intermediate skill level, but thankfully required very little seaming to be done. It was worked from the waist up to the orange/brown rows in connected rounds. Then I work up the front and back panels separately and seamed it at the shoulders. Then I reattached the yarn at the arm holes and constructed the sleeves from the shoulder to the wrist in the connected rounds again. It was finished with a decorative stitch at the neck and waist.
Now Olivia has a lovely crochet sweater to keep her warm. We just need to get her some pants.

Many blessings this fine day.--Kate

Thursday, February 9, 2017


You know the best thing about icebreaker games? They get people talking, sharing their stories, offering up little pieces of what makes them unique, interesting, and special.

So I am inviting you to join in on an icebreaker.  You are stranded on a desert island and you can only bring three things with you. What do you bring? There are a few ground rules. First, it is not very interesting to bring the essentials. Of course you will need food and water. You could even try to be funny and say toilet paper, I have a four year old boy, I am all caught up on the potty humor. Let's just say the essential are covered, be more creative. Second, absolutely no "modern" technology. I understand you can not possibly live without your smart phone or iPad, but we are going old school here. Please, be more interesting. Finally, and sorry for you super extroverts, but no other people. People are not things anyway, but maybe if you are clever enough you might bring something that can get the people to you. Be thoughtful, be creative, be daring enough to share a little something about yourself. Something that might show a bit of what makes you unique, interesting and special. Humor is also, always encouraged.

If I was stranded on a desert island the three things I would bring are...

My favorite book, "The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle. There are very few books that I have read more then once and there are no books that I have read as often as I have read this one. When I was a little girl I watched the animated movie made in the 80's. I loved it. Then on one of my frequent trip to a used book store in Seattle "Twice Sold Tales", I found this little old book on the shelf and I wondered if it was the same story. Imagine my delight when I realized it was. When ever I need a truly beautiful story, I find my copy of "The Last Unicorn."

My stuffed elephant that has been with me since I was very young. This old girl, Ellie, has gone on every journey, been through every heartbreak and has been long and well loved. She has been loved nearly flat. I could not imagine going anywhere without her.

Finally, a notebook and pencil. I realize that is technically two, but they are used as one unit. (Plus, it is my game.) This choice was much harder to make. With the first two, I did not really even have to think about it. For this final choice there were actually a lot of possibilities. There are a lot of things I like to do. (Knitting needles could easily have made the list.) When I really took a moment though I realized that having a notebook (or five,) on hand to jot down the ideas that come to mind is a core part of what makes me who I am.

So that is what I would bring. I would love to know what you would want with you.

Many blessings this fine, fun day.--Kate

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Real Inland Northwest Winter

I have spent all but 6 and a half years in the same region. This is the first winter in a really long time that feels like the winters I remember in the 1980's. Where the snow starts in Mid-November and there is still snow on the ground and storms through the month of February.

Even though I do not enjoy the reckless drivers and the narrow icy roads, I am really enjoying the snow. I like that we have had nearly three months of winter white and rosy cheeks. Making snowmen, snow angels and lots of tracks in the snow. Actually having a chance to enjoy the sledding hills, (that still get too icy.) We also still love going to the parks. Those large open areas that are great for running, falling, digging and sliding on snow.

Wet, brown winters do not make the season pass any faster and I am way more likely to let my kids go out and play in the snow then the mud puddles. The kids are able to add a different level of creativity to their play. Climbing to the top of the 10+ foot snow banks. Trying to walk on top of the iced over snow. Digging snow holes and pretending they are hibernating, adventurers waiting out a blizzard or captives of some snow monster.

Now, if only there were a way to get people to drive better in the snow, I think winter could be a favorite season.

Many blessings this snowy evening.--Kate
Even the cat has been enjoying the snow.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Spring" Cleaning?

My spring cleaning bug never bites in the spring. It could be because by spring all I want, is to be out enjoying the beautiful days. So every year about this time I get motivated to rearrange the furniture and try to get some clutter out.

Right now the big project is thinning and organizing the book collection. All the members of our family love books so we are getting a little over run. I have decided that any books or series I am willing to check out from the library are not books I need to keep. There are many books that I would never be willing to part with, but I will still be able to remove a lot from the piles this way. Perhaps free up a little space in the process.
I have learned as the years pass and the kids get older and start to discover their own interests and hobbies that our living space keeps feeling smaller and smaller. I am a habitual collector, but even I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed and claustrophobic. So my plan is that by spring we will have gone through all of the major area of clutter and collection and exchanged it for order and organization. Wish me luck.

Many blessings this fine day.--Kate

Monday, February 6, 2017

MOPS crafting

Just over a year ago I joined a MOPS, (Mothers of Preschoolers,) group at our church. It has been a wonderful source of support and encouragement. I have also made a number of really fabulous friends and a number of really fun crafts.

My very first meeting we worked on personalizing a tote bag, watched a video and had a refreshing small group discussion. I was hooked; adult conversation, sympathetic mommy stories and crafts, what more do I need? Oh yes, a nice 2 hour break where my kids are being watched by wonderful volunteers.
This first craft was perfect for me. The bag is super cute and practical.  Just the right size for hauling around whatever current project I am working on and my books. The project itself was a fun experiment in personal expression. All in all, a great way to craft. I did not have to worry about getting or finding supplies, I just got to come and create. Best of all I left with a finished product, not another work in progress, and it is a bag that I use often.

Many blessings this fine day.--Kate

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Little Book of Cheer

I found these in a charming little Hallmark book printed in 1968.

Many blessings this fine Sabbath.--Kate