Knitting Rut

I am back (sort of) from the flu. I’m fine as long as I don’t eat too much or too spicy/greasy. One day at a time I guess…

I have my last craft fair of the season this Saturday. I wish I could say I was more excited. Thanksgiving was stressful, I don’t feel 100%, and my knitting has been in a rut! All I have been doing is cranking out scarves, dishcloths, and headbands for fair season.

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Easy knitting to be sure, but it’s just not speaking to my soul. I really want to dive into some baby sweaters and blankets. Not to mention a circle vest I have planned for myself.

After this Sunday I pledge to knit what I want, when I want! At least schedule and health permitting ๐Ÿ™‚

At least tomorrow is Friday!

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Flu Hiatus

Well the family flu finally caught up with me. Halfway through the drive home from my parents….

I have pretty much been sleeping for the last 36 hours. Sorry for the impromptu hiatus. Hope to be back on my feet in the next day or so.

I’ve even been to sick to knit!

Blessings of a Small Town

I grew up in a tiny farming community in rural north-central Kansas. Only about 300 people, about ten times as many cattle, and a consolidated school district with a couple other small towns. As as kid I knew all my neighbors by name. My grand parents lived just on the other side of town which was just a short bike ride away. I could ride my bike anywhere I wanted really. I graduated my senior year with almost the exact same kids I started Kindergarten with. I had two sets of uncles and aunts who lived in town so I had ready-made playmates with nine cousins.

I think a lot about where I grew up these day especially with our holiday visits back home. I live in a bustling state capital with every shop, restaurant, and service just a short drive away. We have liveย theater, movie theaters, museums, parks, swimming pools, and access to anything else you could think of that you don’t have in rural life. I love being near all those things. But I have no family where I live. The husband and I both have a 3 hour drive to get to our hometowns and our families.

Sometimes we miss:

– Being able to drop in my Grandma’s house whenever I want. Her door was always open!

– Home cooked meals enjoyed with extended family across a big dining room table

– Wide open spaces with lots of peace and quiet

– Seeing actual stars at night

– Getting waved at and waving at every passing car because it’s probably someone you know

– Neighbors helping out when someone passes or falls ill. No one gets left behind in a small town

– The grocery store where they still have carry out service to your car and help you put your groceries into your car

– The smell of fresh cut hay or grass (even though it makes me sneeze)

– Lazy weekends around the house with my parents

These are the things I am most thankful for. I have formed relationships with friends and family that will last a lifetime. Most of all I just love being able to slow down my life a little bit. I tend to run at full tilt, like all the time. Sometimes everyone needs to take a deep breath and enjoy what’s in front of you. Because it might not always stay that way. Because my parents were under the weather, I got a cozy one on one Thanksgiving with my Grandma. That is a memory I will always cherish. So today I will drink my coffee, help my mom clean the house, and just enjoy life before we have to return to the rat race Monday morning.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Back Up Plan Thanksgiving

Well, we made the trek to my hometown for a family thanksgiving yesterday. We have gorgeous 60-70 degree weather here in Kansas. It wa on course to be a great trip. Our plan was to have a nice meal with my parents and grandma as the rest of the extended family is out of town.

The best laid plans…..

Both my parents woke up this morning with the flu. My dad had been up and down all night with an upset stomach. So we implemented plan b: lunch at grandmas with just the three if us!

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We had turkey (slow roasted and carved into a crock pot)

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We had potatoes and gravy (all home grown from the family garden)

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And of course delicious rolls made by my mother before she got sick

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Mmmmmm Thanksgiving!

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I am truly thankful for my life and those who are in it and all that I have. Today is for hanging with grandma and nursing mom and dad back to health.

And maybe a little knitting and football from the easy chair!

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Volleyball Tuesday

I have been living in my current city for five years and I started playing pick up games of volleyball on Tuesdays a couple years after we got situated. That introduced me to some wonderfully talented players and now I play every Tuesday in a competitive league with some awesome people! I played all through middle school, high school, club ball, comparatively in college, and intramural college. I LOVE volleyball!

We typically play a 4-2 system, two setters, two middle hitters, and two outsides. (This season one of our middles is 6’3″!!!! That is about as rare as finding two decent setters for one team.) Tonight we had two subs, both hitters. This meant we had to snap into a 5-1 with me playing the only setter. Boy howdy did I get a workout! I have the knots in my shoulder to prove it. Not to mention a few bumps and bruises from running into people as we tried to transition back and forth, lol.

We went 5-1 in matches for the night with a few rough stretches but we worked out the kinks eventually. Not bad for a bunch of ladies on the verge of 30 and still trying to play like we are 18!

Now for some time with my feet up and snuggling the puppies….

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Sweet and Sour (and Hot) Beef

My husband and I truly disagree on very few things, but level of spice in food is one of them. My husband likes a good burn and bite or even make your nose run hot. I like mild to medium spice but nothing that hurts (so to speak). It’s a constant battle and I usually win. Mostly because I am the cook, lol!

Today I tried a new crock pot recipe that I hoped would strike a balance. I made Sweet and Sour Beef from the Taste of Home Slow Cooker Classics. Pretty simple recipe:

2 lbs boneless beef round
16 oz tomato sauce
Sliced carrots
1 sliced onion
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Basically put the beef in the bottom if the crock pot, mix the remaining ingredients together, and pour over beef. Cook on low 7 ish hours. The cookbook also called for this to be served over noodles, but we are trying to cut out starch so we skipped that.

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Results were great! I strained the juices and thickened into a sauce with a basic flour and butter roux.

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It made a devilishly thick sauce with a hint of sweet molasses and a vinegary bite at the end. The chili powder and paprika gave just enough heat for me. The husband sprinkled on some crushed red pepper flake for added heat. I will note that crock pot recipes don’t always make the most beautiful dishes.

The low and slow cooking really softens the ingredients and tends to make everything the same color. Don’t let this discourage you! Crock pot food is delicious and can be really healthy. Not to mention it is hot and ready for you when you get home!

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I LOVE this cookbook and this recipe got a big thumbs up from the hubby. Definitely a keeper! The house smells wonderful and it was very filling even without the noodles. I betcha the husband even goes back for a midnight snack!

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Sunday At Full Tilt

I would like to say I LOVE MY HUSBAND! He has been outside ALL afternoon picking up leaves. And I really mean all afternoon!

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This has left me free in the house to do some dishes, some laundry, throw together a leftover surprise casserole for dinner, wind some yarn into cakes, and plan some drills for volleyball practice.

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And I still haven’t played with any of my birthday yarn yet either!

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Sundays are exhausting!! I hope all is well in your neck of the world ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas Craft Fair Madness!

Time for a holiday sneak peak of my Christmas wares!!

We had up cycled jean purses and bags…

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We had holiday themed aprons…

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We had frilly knit scarves…

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We had bobble knit headbands…

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A few beanie style hats…

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Reversible knit cotton dish cloths…

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Even reusable swiffer dusting cloths (100% fleece)…

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And finally a little hand stitched Christmas cheer!

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All in all a great fair and completely exhausting! I even got to spend the day with my momma!!

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I think we both have earned a glass (or two) of moscato!

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Happy Holidays!!!