Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Feeding the Fire

Before we took the plunge and committed to purchasing a wood burning stove insert for our one-hundred year old heat sucking home, there were a a few concerns we had to talk out and work out.

I know most people would go gas--in fact many people tried to convince us of the benefits of a gas insert before we bought.  But I just couldn't bring myself to convert this house to gas and it just didn't feel right to me.  However, with wood, there is some work involved.  We can't get heat with just the flip of  a switch.  We had to talk about wood in some detail.  Where do we get it?  How do we split it?  Where do we stack it so that on a cold winter night we're not having to run to the garage in order to heat up our house.

We still don't have all the answers and it's likely things will change and get tweaked from year to year as we get a better rhythm to our work.  But we do have some ideas now as to where the wood will come from (after we go through our own supply).  We're learning about the best tools and methods of splitting wood.  And we decided upon a great place to stack our wood--the back side of the car port.  It's covered and protected, and it's close to the door--so close in fact I dare say that one could even go out on a cold snowy winter night in bare feet and not have to step in snow.  I think that makes for a really great stacking pile.

So, Sunday afternoon we all went out and moved some of our wood (collected over a couple of years from trees in our yard that we took down) to it's new location.  The rest will come once we get our splitting system down.  It's really been great the past couple of days to have our wood so close and handy.  So far, we're figuring it out.  I've even lit a few fires myself.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Heartwarmers

They're done and I love them.  These two little heartwarmers and their wearers certainly warm my heart.  They are easy to wear and do just what they are intended to do--keep my babies' torso warm.  They took just barely over one skein of yarn from the two that I had bought so be forewarned--matching hats are to come.

Friday, November 21, 2014


I know just how Motel, the tailor, from Fiddler On The Roof felt when he got his first sewing machine--really excited with a little bit of nervous.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Boutique and Dyed Onesies

The Winter Boutique that I've participated in years past is coming up this Saturday.  I never would have thought that with five children (two of them being toddlers) that I'd still be making stuff to sell.  Usually I'm pretty selfish with the things I make and the precious moments of time that I carve out for me to "make" are reserved solely for items for my own children.  But now and then I get a bug to "make" on a large scale.  And an upcoming boutique is just the motivation I need to get started.

I've had a pile (big pile) of onesies sitting on a shelf since an early summer yard sale.  And yesterday was devoted to dying them.  Georgia and Beatrice really got a kick out of me "cooking clothes" all day long in the kitchen.  When they informed me that it was lunch time I offered them some green onesies.  They looked really confused.

Well, now I have fifty plus onesies dyed and ready to stencil.  These were some from last year.  Priced at five dollars a onesie I hope that they sell well.  If not, bring on the baby showers, I'll be ready.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yarn Along

Thanks to a late night knitting group last night I was able to finish Heartwarmer shawl number two!  Oh what a lovely little pattern.  I still have to tie in ends, block and sew on buttons but we are so close to wearing them and it can't come too soon.  The weather is so so cold and our old house does such a poor job with keeping that cold out.  We're taking some serious steps this year to help the situation.  Twelve years of freezing in our own home is enough for us.  A wood burning stove insert will arrive any day.  I do hope that it will prove to be a great improvement upon our 65 degree house temperature.  Of course, a shawl, a blanket, good slippers, wool sweaters and some hot tea or cocoa will all continue to keep us warm these coming months.  Winter's here.  We're getting ready.

With all the talk of snow and cold and winter, I should have our winter books out.  But we're still enjoying our fall books and still keenly aware of the fact that our own leaves have yet to be raked and bagged.  We're hoping for a warm(er) weekend so that we can get that chore behind us.  But back to the autumn books.  Along with our Thanksgiving picture books I have a handful of autumn themed stories.  One of my favorites, and one I am excited to pull out every year is The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger.  I don't remember where I got this recommendation from many years ago but it is a treasure.  Obviously it's about autumn and leaves but it's also about a surprising friendship that is so sweet and really touches my heart.  Sometimes I can't tell if it's a happy book or a sad book.  It's funny how sometimes those two feelings are a lot more closely related than we think they should be.

Linking up with Ginny.

Friday, November 14, 2014


It's no secret who Louisa takes after when it comes to cold and snow.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Last Warm Day

Are you sick of pictures of little girls in leaves already?  I for one can't get enough of them.  I watched these two play in the leaves for a while, determined to just "be in the moment" and not worry about documenting this play time, but in the end I couldn't resist running in and grabbing my camera.  The colors and the giggles were all too much for me to resist.

Last Tuesday  we pulled into the driveway at 2:30 coming home from The Treehouse Museum.  It was past the twins' nap time.  The big kids were heading home from school and I really wanted to get Georgia and Beatrice settled before the after school craziness began.  But as we got out of the car Georgia asked, "can I jump in the leaves?"  I said no--but not too emphatically.  She asked again and headed over to the big leaf pile (two year olds are not easily defeated).

Knowing that the weather forecast predicted snow and rain and cold cold weather beginning the very next day I responded, "just a couple of jumps."  It didn't take me long to realize that what they wanted was far more important than what I wanted.  I think they could feel the cold weather coming as well, and their need for some last play time outside was a great one.  Their total and complete enjoyment of rolling and jumping and playing in the leaves reminded me that sometimes naps are overrated.

P.S.  The ponchos were hand knit by my brother's mother in law for Oliver and his cousin Karoline when they were both just one.  It's been so fun to see Oliver's poncho passed down to all of my children and then reunited with Karoline's for another season of children.