Archive for January, 2010

My own personal scarf

This is my Fed Up Scarf. I made one for my sis-in-law in pink and am now making myself one.


I don’t really like wearing scarves, so this is perfect because it knits up quite quickly. And I’m enjoying how the variegated yarn is working out.


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Everyone knows that a parent’s job is to help their child become an adult and stop needing them.  We want them to grow up, move on, and rip our hearts out a little bit as they go.  This daughter of mine is only three, but there are already brief moments when I can see that for all angst, she is going to be a sparkling and independent adult.  And that will be sooner than seems possible.

To me, one of the most important things I can teach her on this path to independence is to respect her emotions, to govern her reactions but never to condemn herself for the depth of her feelings.  And this is a passionate little girl, with depths of emotion that not everyone can understand.  Her compassion and empathy are of the sort that can make the world better.  I’ve heard plenty of times that children don’t feel empathy until they are four, but I don’t buy it.  She was more empathetic at 18 months than plenty of adults I know. 

On the other hand, the depths of her fury on a bad day are amazing – it’s a good thing she has me as a mother, because I know what it is to be that angry.  When I feel her heart pounding in her chest and see her breath catching, it’s my heartbeat and my breath.  She is oh so very my daughter and I can only hope to teach her how to ride that wild spirit to success and happiness without ever thinking she needs to tame it.  That’s a lesson I have yet to teach myself. 

What I never would have guessed is just how brutal it can be to have a child who is thoughtful and considerate, attuned to her emotions and those of others, and able to address them.  The other night, after about four hours of “bedtime” by which of course I mean NOT LYING DOWN, I was beginning to get a little testy.  I will admit that I have little patience for the statement, “Mama, I’m having a hard time sleeping,” when she is bouncing up and down and spinning like a nitrous oxide-powered whirling dervish.  But I was keeping it together, talking her through things, keeping the limits, doing it right.  Perhaps my Pollyanna on Valium voice was slipping a bit, but certainly no fits were being pitched.  Well, at one point I went out of the room for a little break, having let her know that I was going to come back shortly.  Upon which she proceeded to freak the heck out and spit on the carpet bigger than Dallas.  There was an incident at school that she’s working on processing, so it’s not like it just came from out of the blue.  But I only found out about that afterwards.  The Pollyanna on Valium voice definitely left the building at that point.  She said, “Mama, I’m sorry I did something mean that made you angry and sad.  Sometimes when you’re angry, I feel sad that I made you angry.  And when you use an angry voice, I feel worried.”

Oh, well, let me just pour some lemon juice on that.  It’s what I want her to be able to do.  I just want to be Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and Mary Poppins all rolled into one so she never has to address anything with me but how she loves me with all her chicken.  It could happen.

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Fed Up Scarf

This is the Fed Up Scarf.   Not a great picture but I will see my sis in law, the lucky recipient, soon and try to get another picture. I whipped it up over a couple of evenings when I was completely fed up with knitting gifts but felt guilty not to make her anything, and blocked it at 2am the night before we drove up.

Here’s the “pattern”:

Patons Classic Wool (here in Dusty Rose).
US Size 11 needles

CO 17 rows
K 4 rows

Row 1 – K4, (yo, k2tog) 5 times, k3
Row 2 -K3, p11, k3

Rep rows 1 and 2 until you’re fed up. Or 60 inches.

K 4 rows, BO loosely.

Block with feeling.

Here’s a shot of a swatch (Patons Classic Wool, colorway Regency), just to give a better feel. Not blocked of course, and naturally I’m trying to take pictures with my phone while the tot naps in my lap. Very professional.

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The tot and I spend a weekend in the Hill Country. Happy days.




It’s so nice to spend time, just the two of us. She is such a chatterbox, telling me stories and just happily babbling away. I love to hear her sweet, sage observations about the world. I love to see what’s emerging. She is so delicate, so tough, so fragile and so timeless.

The last one is my best shot this week. 


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All about the Mama

I made myself a pair of armwarmers.  I lurve them.  Of course, after the Great Freeze now it’s nice and warm.  I don’t care, I wore them to drop the tot off at playschool anyway.

Do you like my nail polish?  The tot painted them for me yesterday.  It was very exciting.

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In the Kitchen

In the last year or so, I’ve been making a conscious effort to buy fewer and fewer processed foods. We keep a couple of Amy’s pizzas in the fridge for emergencies, but besides that, I really try to only buy ingredients. It’s become habit by now. 

Mmm, frittatas

At this point, the processed foods I want to get into the habit of making are bread, yogurt, cheese, and kombucha. Bread – easy, just have to make it a habit. Yogurt – even easier. Again, just make it a habit. (I just made the first batch in the crock pot the other day and it’s been a big hit. I used it with some dill from our CSA to make some dip – it was delightful. The husband and the tot both approved. So weird.)


Finished yogurt

Hippie dill dip

Cheese – not hard but kind of involved, and I don’t have anywhere to store a press to make harder cheeses. So I’m going to try to get in the habit of making soft cheese spreads and not fret about buying cheddar.

Kombucha, I haven’t tried yet. But honestly, how hard can it be? Fermentation ain’t exactly rocket surgery. I mean, I can ferment the compost (ew) so surely I can ferment some tea. We shall see.

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I’ve been thinking about this project for a while now and finally got around to doing it. I’ve made a resolution to just snap shots of this sort of activity with my phone – it’s much easier to use while actually doing stuff with a three year old. So anyway – here it is….

I saved a bunch of cracked eggshells and cleaned them thoroughly.


We dyed them with turmeric.


The tot used an unfolded paper clip to poke holes in the bottom. I was really surprised at how well she managed this. I did one to show her how, then held a couple for her, and then she did almost all the rest. Only one got cracked.


Now we’re ready to plant the seeds.


The tot filled them with dirt and then I put the seeds in. The aster seeds were so small that they were making her nervous. She had a hard time getting them to cooperate.


They’re sitting on the windowsill now – she is so excited about them.

I need to find a medicine dropper for her to use to water them. Aside from that, and assuming they do actually bloom, this went just like I hoped it would.

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