There are some things worth waiting for, right? ...and having Chris along for the pumpkin patch trip was definitely one of those things. So while all of our neighbors and friends were decking-out their porches with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, we refrained, knowing that Chris would be home soon enough. We resigned ourselves to being the Halloween equivalent of those folks who wait until Christmas Eve to put up the Christmas tree. After weeks of waiting, we finally made it to the Burch Acres Pumpkin Patch outside of Alma, KS -despite the wind and cold (it was Really windy). We weren't sure where the patch was located, but figured that any PP worth its salt would make the effort to put out a sign or two and sure enough, we found our way. The welcome was certainly warm...
The boys' favorite part though was the corn maze or was it a maize maze? That's an honest question by the way..Wren? Dad? Who knows crops? Matti declared us lost several times and at least once we found ourselves backtracking our way out of a dead-end.
And after the maze, Matti posed for the camera: For me, the significance of this photo lies not in the angelic expression on my dear child's face, but in his clothing. I made those flannel lined wool pants this week from a Oliver + S pattern. I also made Auden a pair (tweed, not herringbone), but he happened to be wearing jeans.
There are, of course, pumpkin carving photos and I'll post those tomorrow. Until then, have a great week. Love, Sara
One of our new neighbors, Aubrey, came to the rescue the night of our open house when she showed up with this recipe and a red apple peeler/corer/slicer in hand. I think her intent was just to leave me with the goodies, but she ended up staying to actually bake the pies while I finished up the chili and then the pumpkin-flower arrangements. The pies were so delicious that I had to try the recipe out myself with the leftover apples:
While the recipe is stellar, I also think the peeler/corer/slicer is key to the perfect pie. It slices the apples thinly and though I don't understand exactly why they taste better that way, I'm certain they do.
3 Cups flour, I tsp salt, 1 Cup + 2 Tbs shortening, 1 egg, 1 tsp vinegar, and 5 Tbs ice-cold water
Sift flour and salt together in a bowl, cut in shortening. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add vinegar and water. Add egg mixture to four mixture, stirring with a fork. With hands, mix and knead dough gently into a ball. Makes 2 crusts.
5 apples (peeled and sliced), 1/4 Cup brown sugar, 1/2 Cup sugar, 2 Tbs flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 Tbs butter
Combine al ingredients in a skillet, bring to a boil over medium heat. Let cool (or not if you're me and have the patience of Job's less patient evil twin). Pour into pie crust.
1/3 Cup sugar, 3/4 Cup flour, 6 Tbs butter
Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle over top of pie.
PIE: Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
In an effort to stretch the crust into two pies, I opted for the crisp topping, however, I can vouch for the traditional version. A couple of days before the open house, Aubrey brought over a piece of this very pie using a double crust (instead of the crisp topping) with cheese baked into the top and I couldn't gobble it up fast enough.
Another neighbor (a few blocks away), Sarah N., invited us to a Halloween party. Her invitation was perfect. In a little black paper box, on a bed of moss, lay a clay severed finger (not purchased, mind you) with a black ribbon tied around it. On the interior box lid, the invitation read, "Don't Forget..." with the party details following. Sarah N. is one of the craftiest people I know and I know quite a few!
Happy Fall: Love, Sara
I should be blogging Chris' return, describing how wonderful it is to have him back (it really is) and going on and on about our comings and goings since then, but I haven't really gotten any pictures of him with the boys yet (and what's a blog without photos)? I certainly didn't get any of the homecoming. Though I dutifully brought the camera to the ceremony, I ditched it the moment the guys filed in (I do have pictures of the boys eating cheetos in the hangar waiting for dad to arrive...) Nothing completes a moment like cheetos and Coke, right?
So projects instead: First up is the Liberty of London toddler quilt. I'm in the process of hand piecing a full size one (as blogged before), but in the meantime, I machine pieced and quilted a toddler one with the scraps (baby pojects are so great: I love the satisfaction that chases a completed project and baby items are such a quick ride):
I really love it, which translates into motivation to keep truckin' on with the Big 'un.
You may remember that I began a sock for the Yarn Harlot adventure and it's Complete (so the ends aren't sewn in yet, but I'm saving that for tomorrow's knit night. Ends are something I can manage to do while conversing- knitting at knit night is nearly impossible for me):
The other work in progress is a Shawl Collar Baby Sweater (Debbie Bliss: Essential Baby) for "Baby Feeb" whose sex is unknown and who is due in January and will live in North Dakota (maybe I should line it with fleece afterward :)). Choosing the sweater color was no cake walk. Blue and pink were out for obvious reasons and though I would certainly dress a baby girl of mine in brown (I do love brown and black and grey), other folks might not find it so appropriate. That left green and yellow really (lavender just won't do if this is a male child in ND and any other shade of purple hurts my head- unless it's paired with black for Halloween). Yellow can be a very lovely color, however, it stains easily and I already had some Cashmere-Wool in green on hand. Green it is: the front and back are complete and the first sleeve is in progress (second sleeve and collar to go- and sewing up, of course).
That's it for now I guess (a sort-of lame post...), but tomorrow I'll try to get a few good photos of the guys or maybe I'll let you in on the best apple pie recipe EVER. Love, Sara
I promised I'd post the remaining photos today and they're coming up, but first the latest breaking (and certainly Shocking) news: Matti and I have fever. Yep it's that time again- it's been over a month since our bodies were last germ occupied. The best part is that we're expecting Chris this weekend. There is no way that we're missing the RE-deployment (that's what they call it) ceremony though. I don't care if this is the bubonic plague and our presence at the ceremony will result in a pandemic- we're going to be there: germs flying and everything. I guess I should get on with the photo posting so that I can get some proper rest and allow my immune system to give the whole germ warfare thing a go, so without further delay.... the aesthetic room (just waxing for now- locals start growing out that hair):
If you like the photography (I sure do), it's Alicia Bock and you should visit her blog (http://bloom-grow-love.blogspot.com/) or her store webite: http://www.aliciabock.com/ I'm in love with one of her latest pieces: June clouds in an October sky. Not only is she a pretty great photographer, but she's sweet too!
So this room may be converted to the smallest guest room ever if I get bored with the waxing thing...They call it a room, but it's pretty much a glorified closet. I think mom and dad's walk-in probably has the same square footage, just a different shape.
Isn't that light fixture beautiful? There is only one light fixture in this house that's not gorgeous and it's in the playroom and subtle enough that it doesn't drive me crazy.
...and then the boys' room which has made progress since these photos- namely the painting is now finished and curtain rods hung, the only things missing are curtains and one wall needs SOMEthing (it pretty much looks just like it did in the old house, only the walls are grey):
See that tape around the windows? That's finally gone. I think a light blue or a green curtain would look best, but I'm having trouble deciding. I'm not sure how useful light blue curtains would be- I mean the boys'll have opinions of their own someday soon and I'm afraid that green might be too much- there's the green beanbag in the corner and the green edge around the rug. Any advice? Okay, off to bed (and a little reading: the Yarn Harlot book, of course)...Love, Sara
Yesterday we held an open house in an attempt to meet our new neighbors. I had fun and hope they did too, unfortunately, our only guests were the neighbors we'd already met. Because we were having guests, I thought flowers were in order and tried to copy Eddie Ross' arrangements that can be seen here. Mine weren't so cute. If my LSAT score isn't high enough to pursue a career in law, floral design is not Plan B. So I think I'll take this opportunity to Finally post photos of the house. I actually began a post quite awhile back, but lost the uploaded photos twice and gave up. More dining room photos (or as Matti call it, "the Diving room.")
I got these plates at a Junction City antique shop, Garden Gate Antiques, and they were more than reasonably priced, $5 each. The red wooden chairs I picked up at an antique store in Alma for $50, painted them red, and recovered them. Now for the playroom...
The Living Room: The chair I hate but can't live without. Chris wanted a recliner and this is what he chose. It was the least worst one we saw when we were out shopping that day in Fargo. Ever since Matti arrived though, it's been my chair. The big arms were perfect for nursing a baby and Now, it serves as my knitting chair. There Are rare occasions when comfort trumps aesthetics.
PS: I forgot to mention that my absolute favorite feature of our bedroom is that I can reach the light switch from the bed- it doesn't get better than that!
Oh, and there are things that still need attention like the wall space over the rocker- I could go on, but how boring is someone else's to-do list? Okay- see you tomorrow. -S
It's nearly two a.m. and I'm eating crackers and cheese with apple cider- a reasonable snack for this time a' day if you ask me. I just got home from hearing the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, speak and read from her new book, the Free-Range Knitter. I haven't read it yet, but really look forward to curling up in bed with tFRK tomorrow night. Most of you are probably unacquainted with Ms. Pearl-McPhee- as I was until about a year ago when our neighbor Cori introduced me to her books. Even as a new knitter, I devoured the loaned books- trying to make myself put the book down so that I wouldn't resemble the waking dead come morning. Maybe that's because she's a darn good writer who just happens to write about knitting. There are some of you out there who will never knit, and that's okay. I'll never like watching golf on television, but she's worth checking out: http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/
So Cori, Will (2), and I took off for Kansas City yesterday afternoon. Of course, on the drive over I had to begin knitting a sock. I've been on a sewing kick lately (I do that; singlemindedly craft until weariness of that craft sets in forcing me to either launch immediately into a new project in a different yet equally beloved craft type or to put all crafting aside until I've properly decompressed). The sewing was beginning to wear- time to pick up the knitting and what better than a plain brown sock on my way to see the Harlot. Once in KC, we dropped Will off at his grandparents, took a tour of their beautiful garden (she is a Master Gardener and has the "yard" to prove it), and then headed for the Plaza. After a quick bite at Panera (I was going to photograph my food, but I ate it too quickly :)), we picked up our books and settled into knitting- waiting for the Yarn Harlot to appear.
Before reading a selection from her new book, she regaled us with stories and anecdotes- holding nothing back. While others might repress the memory of being locked out of a hotel room in just a pair of blue panties with "cowgirl" written on the back, she hasn't and doesn't pretend to have either (which would be the way I'd go about it). AND, as if delivering an engaging and funny talk wasn't enough, she signed books for forever. It was forever I know because we were practically the last ones in line. Really. ...but we have signed books now and photos too!
Me, me, me with the Yarn Harlot! Hey! I think we have the same hair color! And Cori & tYH...Cori also had a few admirers, or at least her shawl did (I am certainly among them): Cori with the owner of Rainy Day books- the book store responsible for bringing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to Kansas City. Now, if they could get the "Mason Dixon" knitters Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner here, I'd be set for a long while. Think I'll go to bed now. Tomorrow is the Open House and it'll be a busy day! Sweet Dreams, Sara
Yesterday was our Matti's third birthday! Since we've already had the big party, we (three) celebrated with cupcakes. The night before he had decided on strawberry cake, but a few minutes in the deli section resulted in a change of confectionery plans- chocolate clown cupcakes instead. So he needs a haircut...I keep thinking that any day now it'll be long enough to tuck behind his ears. And then, as if we weren't having enough fun by ourselves, Charlie and Joe from next door popped over to help celebrate. After scoring a sucker each, they ran inside to get presents for Matti. I'm not sure which was better, the acorns or the art...they were Big acorns. Happy Birthday little man! Love you, Momma