Monday, November 23, 2009

A new season

Get your wreaths and candles out, Advent is almost here already! It's time for a new year in the church. For many people, the past year may have been difficult, so I thought I'd share a novena I heard about on the radio this morning in the hopes that it might bring some peace and positive change in the coming year. It is said to be very powerful when said faithfully. (Remember, just reciting a prayer without thought and earnestness is useless. It's not magic!)

This novena is said 15 times a day for 25 days, starting November 30, the Feast of St. Andrew, until Christmas. It's also a wonderful way to focus our attention on the gift of Christ at Christmas rather than all of the other material 'stuff' that is going on in our culture this time of year. Perhaps you may want to say it with a special intention - selling a house, finding a job, surviving a stressful time, or say it for someone you know.

Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

(There is a certain reader of this blog, by the way, who may want to avail himself of this prayer as it is not insignificant that it starts on the Feast of ST. ANDREW and there is a certain intention involving a house that he has been trying to get fulfilled for quite a while now. Just a suggestion.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting Bigger

Big I has been very busy becoming a little boy lately.

He's had his first caramel apple. (Check Brisco out. He wants some caramel apple too.)

Actually, I made some, ate most of the caramel off but when I offered it to him, he studied it for a minute and then promptly turned to the caramel still on the end and took a huge chomp. Totally takes after his dad. How does he know??

He's been busy helping Daddy paint. On the step ladder - egad.

He helps me in the kitchen too.

Helps make a mess, that is.

But he has fun doing it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Solar Dyeing

Remember that white yarn I spun up a few weeks ago? I decided to try solar dying it with some of my Turk's Cap. I've been wanting to try for a while now, ever since I read about using Turk's Cap in this excellent book. And goodness knows the plant has been growing like gang-busters this year, so I had plenty to spare.

I had Craig help me with the alum mordant, since I'm still nursing and you can never be too careful with the chemically stuff. Though in all honesty, alum is probably no more dangerous than most of the stuff we have in the garage, but just in case...

After the yarn was mordanted, I cut a bunch of Turk's Cap - flowers, seedheads, leaves and stems - and simmered it in the dye pot for a good while. It smelled like any other greens you might cook up, in case you are wondering.

I have read that you can eat Turk's Cap, but it didn't look too appetizing.

After that, I poured it into my trusty kimchee jar I found next to the dumpster at our old apartment. Thank goodness for multi-cultural neighbors.

Then I put it in the yard and ignored it for a few days.

After a rinse and some drying time, I now have soft, peachy yarn.

I was only ho-hum about the color (natural dyes are never as impressive as synthetic) until I noticed that it is the same color as my little bluestem seedheads in the foreground. I have a soft-spot for little blue as it's such a fine example of a prairie plant struggling to remain unpaved.

Not sure what I'll make with it yet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No time

You know, when Big I was really wee, I used to get really bored. It was hard going from a busy office where there was always too much going on to having very little to do. Plus when you're bone-achingly tired all day, there's no energy to do a whole lot.

But now that the little guy is not as little, we're busy. It doesn't help that it's been sunny and 70-something for the last two weeks here. Who has time to post on a blog when there are playgrounds, gardens, stores, friends, walks, libraries, dinners to cook, chalk to draw with (and eat), dogs to chase...


I will post that A. picked the flame apron, as I had suspected he would. His mom says he's worn it every day.

Funny guy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pleased as punch

I just finished my first two 'real' sewing projects. I've been forever intimidated by my sewing machine and hauled it out only to do simple pillows or other low-risk, straight-stitch projects.

But when I saw this pattern and read through it I thought it would be a perfect project to enhance my skills. Plus our friends' 3-year-old son, A., loves to help his mom in the kitchen and could use a little apron.

I couldn't decide between fabrics, so I made two and figure whichever one A. doesn't want, Big I can use. They aren't perfect, but they're pretty darn good for a beginner if I do say so myself.

He just woke up from his nap in that picture, that's why he looks so grumpy. He does have some more growing to do before it fits.

I even added a pocket to the second one.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thank God

Here's something you don't see in the media everyday. (Note, I have no idea what else is on that website, it's just a link I found.)

It's a shame they don't say what exactly she saw on that ultrasound.

Oh wait...a person. Being killed. Right.

God bless her. Keep praying more good fruit will come from her situation.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Moo, Moo, Boo!

Here are a few pics of Big I in his Halloween costume. We didn't bother getting any candy, but he enjoyed walking around and seeing other folks out and about. Last weekend we went to a city Halloween event with some friends and even though there were ten bazillion people there, he was just interested in the rocks. Well, and the fire trucks. And the mini cars.

Craig suggested we put a 'Eat Mor Chikn' sign on him.


With the cooler weather, I've been baking a lot lately. Big I has learned that he can lick the mixer or spoon. So now he either pushes the chair over and declares "Up!" or he hangs around with his tongue hanging out waiting for a taste. Silly guy.