The Switch



Merritt in deep thought with his kitty.

Merritt in deep thought with his kitty.

June & Socks.

June & Socks.





The temperature swings wildly in Iowa.  The wind blows.  A lot.  I don’t think I like wind.  I like watching its effects from inside my warm house, with a fire in the stove.  But ever since I took up residence in this state in the fall of 1999, I have had trouble adjusting to the wind.  It is blowing blowing blowing today.  The warm days of mid-week (from which these photos originated) are gone.  Hard freeze tonight.  And June has croup.  Spent much of last night in the cold night air, in that wind, coaxing her to breathe deeply.  Halloween will have to be improvised.

The switch from Autumn to Winter is not my favorite time of year.  I do love snow, especially a nice cross-country ski snow…but the warm leaves of October are such a good friend, I hate to bid farewell.  My husband has successfully repaired his very very VERY old, homemade wood splitter & I’ve been watching him quickly fill the wood stacks this week.  Feederwatch starts next week.  And I readily admit the wind sure does move my big bluestem in a rhythmic, comforting way just beyond the front windows.

November is looking better already.

Farewell October!





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June has been waking up very early for about five days running & crying uncontrollably when she realizes she is all alone in bed. I’ve been trying in vain to get up early (pre-5AM) in order to set about tackling the piles of schoolwork & housework that grow ever more cumbersome around here, but to no avail. June just won’t have it. No matter how early I wake, she seems to be right behind me. Frustration ensues.  It was very very foggy at the end of last week & I felt like it was a symptom of my existence. It is sunny today & it was incredibly warm yesterday, thankfully.

Just have to push on through the fog.

And maybe dig out your old boots & realize you still look pretty good in them.

Yarn Along {Porch Ponderings}

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Spent the entire morning yesterday on the back porch.  It was so cold in the house it was making me tired.  I sat in a chair directly in the sun & let her rays do their thing for about ten minutes.  What a pick-me-up!  I knit for a bit while the girls were inside eating breakfast.  Heard the Chickadees in the woods & a very, very loud woodpecker having a go at a tree.  The boxelders were pinging against the porch floor & screens every few minutes, losing their minds in the late October sunshine.

Our porch has been made ready for winter.  Wood stack in place, summer trappings in hibernation…the garden cleaned out, fall crop of Bibb lettuce nearly ready for harvest…but Autumn seems to have tightened her grip & made a power play…yesterday’s weather was just awesome.

I’ve frogged so many projects lately it’s a bit worrying…I can’t seem to commit….much like this Autumn weather, it’s here, it’s on the way out, it’s here again…currently I’m knitting a knit lovey with Camilla’s fiber thanks to Ginny’s post last week.  Hoping the project works out & it can become my go-to baby toy pattern for Christmas/shower gifts.

Planning to re-read Stephen Crane’s “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” today in order to aid Coralee with her Lit homework.  I think the last time I read it was in 11th grade.  That’s a lot of Autumns ago.

Joining in with Ginny.

Pedal Pusher

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June learned to pedal her “bike” today on the back porch in the morning sunshine & she was thrilled with herself.  She’s 3.5 years old, but we live on a gravel (dangerous) road and our driveway is also gravel with no cement or blacktop slab–hence her elderly age for just learning.  Her legs are finally the perfect length & something clicked cognitively leading to her milestone moment today.

After pedaling around awhile she stopped & looked at me & said, “I’m still your baby, Mama.”  Then she gave me a hug & kiss.  And pedaled away again.

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June’s Tunic: Debbie Bliss Picot Dress (she’s been wearing this dress since 6 months!).

Knitter’s Life


When you’re in-between knitting projects & your eldest is at a Band lesson for 50 minutes & the baby is napping in the backseat of your parked* car…this works. Winding up the luxuriously-soft Mountain Girl Yarns ‘le Jardin’. The colors in this skein are a river of exquisiteness. Very excited to knit something {for me!} with this Montana treasure.

*Please do not ever attempt winding a skein while driving. I know, so silly that I feel the need to mention that…

Yarn Along {Oops, I Knit it Again}




Sanders Pumpkin Farm, 40th & final year--2014

Sanders Pumpkin Farm, 40th & final year–2014

This past week has been spent knitting my nephew (~8 months) two hats that didn’t fit, in two different styles…frustration. So I went back to the good old Wurm pattern which I’ve literally knit like 50 times. Oh, well, it’s a classic. And I swear this third cap WILL fit. My nephew is a very very very intelligent baby…read between the lines here, folks–love you, Aunt Ellie! June was kind enough to model as she apparently has the same size head as her cousin. I used Knit Picks Gloss DK for the double-knit brim–amazingly soft stuff, an excellent substitute for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, but with a prettier sheen. Repeated the colors pumpkin, grey-brown, and the ‘Doe’ Gloss DK in the main body. Used some label-less yarn for the other two colors, not as soft, but still wool.

We went to Sanders Pumpkin Farm last Friday on a homeschool field trip (Merritt had no school in the afternoon & was thrilled to tag along). This is the farm’s last year for pumpkins–40 years!!! Quite a milestone. We will miss the annual visit, but this will hopefully spur me to get better at growing pumpkins. We only got two this year. About 30 gourd-pumpkin hybrids (accidentally) & about 30 Butternuts. Gardening is totally a crapshoot for me, but I soak in the mistakes & my garden improves the following season as a result.

No reading this week. But I acquired more books. I may have a problem.

Joining in with Ginny.

Yarn Along {Fledgling Featherweight}





I began knitting a Fledging Featherweight for Coralee this week. I’m using Quince & Co linen in the colorway Truffle (yarn from my now-frogged Kit Camisole–sad story for another day). Fledging is a Knitbot pattern I bought as part of a trio of popular Knitbot adult patterns sized down for children, fittingly called Little Knitbot. All three patterns are adorable, elegantly written, fun to knit, & require no seaming.  It’s knitting up amazingly fast considering how little time I’ve had to knit lately.

Finally picked up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society novel from the library. Still haven’t cracked the book (embarrassing). Also reading the fall Seed Savers newsletter/magazine–my favorite part of being a Seed Savers member. The stories of real people saving seeds, as well as the histories behind heirloom varieties is always fascinating to read. Rich photographs & yummy recipes, too. I harvested my fall crop of French Breakfast radishes yesterday. They’re so beautiful, I had a hard time cutting them up! I think I will only plant this variety next spring. They grew amazingly fast & the ‘finger’ shape made the root a breeze to pull. The white tips blending into the scarlet–a work of art growing in your soil! Hoping my lettuce comes ready soon, too. A couple of our chickens–our fluffy Blue Cochin named Marianne & a nameless Americana–hung nearby the garden gate while I harvested & then followed me around the yard afterwards….it’s not like we don’t feed them, beggars.

Joining in with Ginny.