Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lately

Sorry I've not been here in awhile. I'm still super-busy at work. Two words: Administrative Review. And that's all I'm going to say about that. I've not had the energy for blogging lately, but I'm still knitting up a storm. This week I finished up more kids' hats. I'm knitting at a rate of about 3 1/2 hats per week and hope to have enough finished objects to stock our Etsy shop in a few months.


But I've put down my circular needles for awhile to work on something for me. Two somethings actually. I've just cast on the stitches for Miette, a cotton/wool cardigan that will be perfect for the coming spring and maybe the summer since my office is so cold. I've purchased the prettiest vintage bakelite buttons from Ebay and a vibrant cherry red yarn (Cascade Sierra).

After that I'm working on this super-cute little fox stole. The pattern is in French but if you scroll down the designer has translated it into English.

In between these two projects I must to find time to knit two simple Christmas projects for a couple of family members that I missed seeing over the holidays.

All this knitting keeps me sane.

My work is so taxing right now, but I'm still putting most of my energy into my home where I wish it could solely reside. The whole Gwyn family has been baking, knitting (yes--Mr. S now reaches for some spare needles and yarn whenever he sees me pull my knitting out) and growing things. We've planted pinto beans in our living room and basil in the kitchen and transplanted Snake plants, Violets and a Christmas Cactus in the living room as well.


I love the way plants make a space feel more like a home, and in an urban space like the one we live in, it's nice to see green leafy stuff on a daily basis. T and I daydream about being true homesteaders, and we're all wishing we had room for a garden in our backyard. We're anxious to move into a little house with enough of a yard for some raised beds. This has become a goal by the end of this year. I've already built up a great little Amazon Wish List of organic gardening books.

We've been finding time to play too! This week I've been Wonder Woman, a mama otter, Betty Boop, a Whale Shark, an Iguanadon and countless other animals--both prehistoric and modern; and Mr. S has been numerous super heroes, a baby otter, Betty Boop's puppy, a Killer Whale, and various meat-eating dinosaurs.

Sometimes we take a break from all that pretend play to learn things. T and I have gotten creative when it comes to Mr. S learning the alphabet. He's known how to sing his ABCs for awhile now, but learning to sight-read letters has not been very interesting to him, despite the fact that he LOVES to be read to and has taken to looking through books at bedtime under the covers with his night light on. I've started having "circle time" with him and his toys and stuffed animals on my days off. We have an easel with a chalk board and dry-erase board, and I play teacher while Mr. S plays student. We also go around the house with light sabers, swords and dart guns zapping the letters we encounter on the refrigerator, the mail, book spines. But T created the best game when he made Battle Droid alphabet cards using our computer and some card stock.


Mr. S loves to fight Battle Droids, and for this game each Battle Droid holds a letter, and Mr. S uses his dart gun to shoot the Battle Droid with the corresponding letter we call out.


I'm happy to say he knows all his letters by sight now and is well on his way to learning all their sounds.

We've strung kite string with clothes pins above his bookcase too, which we use to reinforce what he's learning in pre-school that week. I change out the letters and numbers each time he moves on to a new one in school, and I also hang up his art projects there. This is a good place to display holiday crafts. Right now we have Ground Hog's Day and Valentines Day up (Seamus been slowly hand-making Valentine cards for each kid in his class).


He loves to look at the stuff on this wall. Last week I had a picture of the Grand Canyon hanging there for the letter G, and he kept saying how he and his Grandie were going to go there this summer with our cat, Kiki. (He also wants to go fishing with Mammaw and fishing on the boat with Grandpa and Georgia--Mama and Papa are not invited to go on any of these trips.)

This week also brought a special delivery: a huge box full of the handsomest hand-me-down clothes from our dear old friends Alastair and Oliver. I loved the sweaters and robot pajamas they sent us, and Mr. S was very excited to receive the toys the boys packed inside. But perhaps the most fun thing in that box was a martial arts Gi in a size 5, the perfect fit for Seamus with a little growing room.


Thank you Alastair, Oliver and Ann!

Even though my work week is overwhelming right now, I've found a little time to write and to submit to journals. The past week and a half has brought three new publications for me (one of which actually pays). Look for more posts on this when the stories come out.

And now to enjoy two lovely, glorious days off!

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