Brings big changes and the urge to bake all the things!
Starting with the weather… last Monday ushered in a glorious week. We had temps in the 70’s several times! I had to break out the summer attire to stave off a need for Steve to turn on the AC during the week (I lost… he did turn on the AC, sigh.)
Today, the furnace has been running steadily and it was just barely 30°F when I took Sherman for our morning walk. My ears got cold, I could have used a hat! I saw a few flakes drifting gently down on Saturday, but no accumulation. But the inner child in me did a mini-dance of joy at this week’s forecast with better snow chances on Thursday!
This colder weather turns my attention to baking. Today I am going to whip up David Lebovitz French Apple Cake. His take on Dorie Greenspan’s version is my absolute favorite! I think there will also be some more pumpkin bread as well!
The big dough bucket will be empty this week so it will be time to fill it back up! That wheat dough… well the taste is wonderful and it stayed soft and moist for the 4-days it lasted! We finished it off Saturday night with a “breakfast for dinner” of eggs and toast! In my second attempt, I baked it in a loaf shape as the recipe suggested. I used the baking steel that we use for pizza and my results were so good!
Finally, I am going to make a big batch of Baked Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats because there is nothing better than some hot oats to help warm you up after an early morning excursion with Sherman!
And there you have my very full list for the week! I will see you all back here on Wednesday with some other sorts of making!
I have been thinking about this exhibit for some time now (since last month, actually!!) and it has been one of the most enjoyable exhibits to put together!
Come in and consider the Unsung Hero… or Sheroes as is the case for me. As you all know, I frequently sing the praises of my sweet Nana, and my grandpa’s (maternal and paternal)! But do I have an Unsung Hero lurking about in my past?
Indeed I do! And not just one, but a dozen! And today I would like to share a bit about these amazing women.
First, we have to go way back in time to the late 80’s… I was living with my soon-to-be-husband, who traveled most of the month for work… so I had volumes of alone time. And back then, I was a very regular church attender and I remember vividly the Sunday that the ladies quilting group completed an altar cloth for very special occasions. It was stunning… the work was just incredible. And I remember talking with these amazing artists (all of whom I had known for most of my life) and asking eleventy-billion-questions! And the women said these magical words… why don’t you join us? And so I did! They generally met once a week for several hours – cutting fabrics, sewing, making the “quilt sandwiches”, tying the sandwiches, and then binding the quilts. Oh… and there was always a potluck for lunch (which might have been the best part of the entire day!)
Not only did this group occasionally make gorgeous altar cloths, each year they sewed dozens of quilts for Lutheran World Relief.
And so I joined… a non-quilter, but one eager to learn. I never became as proficient as some of the ladies in that group, but I could cut squares and sew a straight line with the best of them!
But the Very Best Thing Ever, and my favorite part, was was the making of The Tulip Time Quilt Show Quilt! This quilt would be entered in the Tulip Time Quilt Show in Holland, Michigan. It was a Big Deal and they were all hand quilted. There are not enough superlative words to describe how wonderful it was to be sitting around the quilting frame with the dearest of friends as we stitched, talked, and in general… just loved the heck out of each other! We shared joys, sorrows, struggles, heartaches, frustrations, fears… and even the dreaded meal planning wall that we all have hit!! You know the one… where you don’t feel at all creative and are sick of everything you have recently been cooking. Pre-internet days, there was not a vast well of ideas… unless you were sitting around the quilting frame, that is! Some of my best meal ideas came from that group.
The things I learned from those ladies extended far beyond sewing quilts. They knew the importance of supporting each other… in all things. I am a better friend because of them… and my life is certainly richer for all the things they shared with me.
A true friend encourages us, comforts us, supports us like a big easy chair, offering us a safe refuge from the world. — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Those ladies were all that… and so much more.
Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope you can send some time this weekend thinking about the unsung heroes in your life!
See you all back here on Monday!
Happy Post Election Day and I hope to provide you with some things to distract you while all the ballots are tallied. So… turn off the news alerts and settle in!
First up… The Eleventh Gnome, she is DONE! An extra hour over the weekend (plus a good series on Netflix) provided more than enough time to get the bulk of her on Sunday. On Monday I just had the small bits to finish up and it took no time at all.
Meet Gnaomi! She is an avid spinner!
I made several “tweaks” to the pattern. I used handspun to knit the sweater. I knit the sweater a bit longer than the pattern called for which meant I also needed to knit the body a little longer to allow the color work at the bottom of her “dress” to show… so she is roughly 15 rows taller, but I think her long stocking cap balances the bit of extra height out. The other change I made to the pattern was to knit the beard as her hair… I knit the start of the beard as written but then knit the “center” curl 5 times and then finished the beard as written. This was enough to go from ear flap to ear flap… giving her the loveliest curly locks. The final change was to make her arms longer so I could knot the ends to make it look like she was holding the spindle and fiber. I think I did 8 more rows of I-cord. Anyways, I think she is wonderful and she might be my favorite Gnome yet! Her spindle? It is a toothpick and a button… around which I would a bit of spun fiber.
As you can see above, I have also picked the five colors for the December Mystery Gnome. Yes, I am excited for December knitting! And a five color gnome is intriguing!
I have a plan for future gnome knitting as wellI! There are two gnomes from Sarah’s Gnome Family that I have yet to knit so I am planning a thirteenth Gnome in January to close out my Year of Gnomes! That will give me a baker’s dozen. I contemplating which of the last two I will knit, but it will likely be her Never Not Gnoming pattern.
I also had great success with wheat bread baking this week! Vital wheat gluten might be my new favorite thing! I ended up with a loaf that had incredible crust, but the crumb was tender and airy! I am baking another loaf today!
The reading this week has been glorious. I am immersed in two books which I have divided into two categories:
- Day Time Listening: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I am about an hour in and really enjoying the listening!
- Before Bed Reading: Mouth To Mouth… a very curious tale. I am not quite sure how I feel about it, but I can’t stop reading!
But what I really want to talk about is something for you all to watch (instead of the never-ending election coverage) I discovered a limited series (there are just 4 episodes) with David Tennant and Stanley Tucci… Yes!! In.the.same.show! The series is Inside Man and oh my, it was SO GOOD! It will be the perfect thing to take your mind off vote counting… so get some knitting, queue it up, and enjoy!
There you have my making this week! What about you… what are you working on!
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you! I will be back on Friday with a Museum of Me exhibit!
…is all about persistence.
I got a Christmas Cactus last November from Trader Joe’s… it was full of buds then, but not a single one bloomed. Instead over the course of a couple of weeks, they all fell off. I was quite heartsick over it.
But!! I did not give up! Instead I rallied around this despondent Christmas Cactus. I watered it…I made sure it had light and a lovely spot to sit. And yes, I talked to it… a lot! It is a very attentive listener! LOL
And in mid-October I began to give it the tiniest bit of fertilizer… and look at it now! Apparently, my plant was patient as well… patiently waiting for that bit of fertilizer! And it looks like it is going to be a showy November which will hopefully carry over into December as well!
The end of each phylloclade has at least one bud…quite a few have two, and some have THREE!
If ever there was a lesson for me in not giving up, this is it! Sometimes the payoff takes a LONG time… but don’t give up!
That, my friends, is my Sometimes Monday wisdom for all of you.
See you all back here on Wednesday!
Welcome to the final Currently post of this year. I know. Where did the year go?
Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator. — Robert Orban
Good advice, and some advice I have been following closely this year – I am the navigator of my days – the “filler of my minutes”… Let’s see what I am finding to fill those minutes, shall we?
Even though November has decided to revisit early summer this week…tomorrow will be in the upper 70’s and Steve is threatening to turn on the AC again. Sigh. However, I know that cold weather is hanging on the doorstep and as such, my desire to cook all the cold weather foods is burning inside me! This week I made a huge pot of chicken soup, chocked full of carrots, celery, and yes… chicken. I also picked up some Vital Wheat Gluten to try my hand at this whole wheat bread recipe, which I will be baking later today! And next week I have plans to do more baking…pumpkin bread anyone?
I am savoring the latest Masterpiece Mystery – The Magpie Murders. I have watched one and really enjoyed it. I hope to catch myself up with it as my Gnome Knitting companion. Ha! I also watched the latest Shetland series on Britbox… the farewell to DI Jimmy Perez. It was bittersweet, but I hope they have plans to continue something with Tosh and Sandy. It is not quite the same as the books, but they are based on Ann Cleeves books. And can we just talk about the scenery for a moment? It is stunning. Speaking of stunning… I discovered a BBC Scotland show, Landward (also on Britbox.) It is a little glimpse into life in Scotland with a heavy take on farming and nature.
Last night, I began Gnome Eleven and purchased the December Mystery Gnome… and I have begun thinking about yarn colors (the mystery gnome needs 5 colors!) I am not purchasing yarn but rather will be peeking into my yarn leftover bag if I need to add something different than what I have used thus far this year! And my new Gnome… well, I am thinking it will be a she… so no beard, but I am seeing some curly locks! And she has a handspun sweater… so I know she is crafty. I am wondering if I could take a wee button and a bit of a broken dpn and make her a little drop spindle! The Gnome Knitting has been such a fun project this year… and I am thinking about what to do next year that will inspire whimsy and creativity! I also have been enamored of all the in-process Pressed Flowers I have seen on IG. I am not jumping on the knitting bandwagon to make a cardigan, but I am rekindling my plans for a rectangle shawl version. I am at the *thinking about yarns* stage… and wondering what I might couple with some handspun that I have.
While we were in Erie, we walked… a lot. On all sorts of terrain… and lots of uneven terrain. And each day I began to notice that my left hip was progressively more painful than the day before. And by the end of our time in Erie, me trying to walk in the morning would be comical and if I was not in so much pain, I’d surely have laughed at how I looked hobbling around. The intense pain has subsided (although the stairs are still a bitch) but I am making an appointment to go see my doctor to discuss what might be the problem. And I am long overdue for an eye check… but oof, do I need one. So it is on my list to make an appointment, pronto! And after that… I need to address my hearing (or lack thereof) issue. Getting old is not for the faint of heart!
While I have not been stressing about it, I am concerned about what our nation will look like after Tuesday’s elections and what all that will mean for democracy as I have known it. I have voted and I have encouraged everyone I speak with to vote. (I mostly don’t care who you vote for as long as that candidate is living in a fact-based reality…) It does make me so angry that there is a very loud faction of people in America who are racist as all get out… and they are not even ashamed of it at all. And all this not so subtle fanning of the flames of violence… well, I just don’t know how we pull back from that but I hope there are more voters that are concerned about voting for candidates who live in a fact-based reality than not. And I really hope that all the poll workers working next week are safe.
And with that, I leave you. Have a great weekend and I will be back on Monday!