Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I knit a sock and 47 days left

I've just started to realize how soon we're leaving Texas. A dear friend told me yesterday that we only have 48 days left.... today it's 47. I have very mixed feelings- on the one hand I'm so excited to move home and start our next phase of life. On the other I just hate the thought of leaving all our friends here. I don't think I've ever been surrounded by so many good people that I just plain like, and deeply love. We've been blessed with many wonderful friendships and a strong sense of community here, and I'm sad to leave these people behind. I feel like I need to squeeze in as much time with everyone as possible before we go. I so highly value all these good people in my life! God is so good to us that he gives us each other to love.

One thing I will miss about Texas is the lovely winter weather. Except for a couple weeks of weather in the 30's, we've enjoyed a very mild winter this year (and every year, really)- most days it's in the 50's or 60's, which is perfect for life in the bungalow. The windows are almost always open, and we can spend time outside.

Today I'm finishing a batch of chicken stock. I need to finish the dishes. Zeke should be napping but instead he's crying in protest, even though he can barely keep his eyes open. A big Rottweiler keeps coming around our yard because our dog Sadie is in heat. I keep running outside with a big stick to chase him off. He seems like a nice enough dog I suppose, but I am seriously ready to shoot him. I'm supposed to be visiting my darling friend Natasha right now but Zeke's car seat is in Daniel's car. I've got a mild caffeine headache. Been listening to the Beatles lately... haven't gotten those cd's out in years. It just started raining! It smells like chicken soup and rainy weather today.

I've got a huge itch to start sewing again... but my sewing machine is still broken. Daniel said he wants to get an ipod touch and I told him that's fine with me if he gets my sewing machine fixed. I'll let you know if he goes for it!

For the knitters out there: Here's my sock!
Overall I am utterly pleased with how this turned out, especially since I learned from a book which is always more difficult than having someone show me. My only disappointments are:

-There is a small hole where I joined the heel back to the main sock. The book said this would happen, and to knit in the back of the stitch to avoid it. I thought i did so-- apparently I did something wrong because it's still there.
-The book didn't give any instructions for the bind off at the toe-- so I used a three needle bind off. I realized afterwards that I should have turned it inside out and then bound off-- so the bind off seam kind of sticks out on the toe instead of being on the inside where it should be.
-I made a few small mistakes (like decreasing in the wrong spot for the toe, and dropping a stitch then proceeding to pick it back up backwards) that i typically don't make, but decided not to fix them. It somehow seems more romantic that my first ever sock should have a couple flaws. In my opinion they add to the character of the thing :)
I used "Knitting Without Tears" by Elizabeth Zimmerman to learn how to make this sock. This is just a wonderful book on knitting and if you are often a frustrated knitter you must add it to your collection.
Oh I failed to mention that during this sock-knitting escapade I broke one of my lovely rosewood double point needles! It was so sad!!! Those suckers were $22 for a set of 5! And I'm not the type to spend that much on needles... but I totally splurged one day in my excitement to make socks. It appears that it could possibly be repaired-- I think Daniel could glue it back together and sand it down a bit for me. We'll see.
Future sock knitting goals: I used the german heel, but I really want to learn to do short-row heels- I think they look so much nicer. I want to make a pair of lace socks, or cabled, or whatever. Just something more fun than stockinette stitch. I want to make some knee-high socks. I want to make toe-less, flip-flop socks. I want to make everyone a pair of socks for Christmas next year. I have lots of sock goals. I think I like socks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday at the park

Today the weather is beautiful and Ezekiel and I spend the morning at the park with some dear friends. Zeke got to try the swing for the first time and he loved it! We also went down the slide together and played by a stream. It's so nice outside- one of those days where you just can't be in a bad mood. Unfortunately for Daniel, he had a migraine today. He and Zeke are napping right now

I previously mentioned my friend Kennedy and her adopted daughters in Haiti; well they made it onto CNN when they got home! Here's the link to watch it (excuse the random guys exclamations- I guess one of Justin's friends recorded the clip on his cell phone). Here are a couple other links-- their interview on Fox news, and then the article from a local paper. It really is an exciting story, and I'm so glad the girls made it here safely. God really has done all sorts of amazing things lately! (By the way, these are the people who are renting our house.)

I finnished knitting my first SOCK!! Yes, a SOCK!!! I am so excited about it! It isn't perfect (unfortunately) and I am sort of a type-A knitter (although not much of a type-A anything else) but I am pleased none the less. Now time for sock number two.

This is a picture Daniel's Aunt Jacque took of our family when we visited her for New Years. Daniel is so handsome!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Funny video and other stuff

Well here I am, writing for my blog again. At first I was daunted by the idea of catching you all up on the last few months, but I decided to skip ahead to now and write about any significant events from the past months as I think of them. I am no longer daunted, and ready to start writing again. I have never really enjoyed writing until I started a blog- I definitely don't consider myself any sort of writer. But I like keeping a general record of my life, and since I hate scrapbooking this is a great option for me!

Today Ezekiel and I are both sick. Actually I've been sick since Sunday, and he since Tuesday. It appears that we have RSV which is a pretty nasty thing to have. Fortunately Ezekiel has not needed to be hospitalized despite his prematurity. He had a doctors appointment yesterday and he has another one today just to make sure he's still doing ok. He's a tough little guy, and I think he'll get through it unscathed.

Today I am collecting money and supplies for a friend from Haiti. She lives here (actually she and her husband are renting our house) but has family still in Haiti. She and 3 others are getting ready to go back there tomorrow and stay for 10 days to help her town recover from the earthquake. Tonight I am going shopping with all the money I collect to get her as much stuff as I can-- first aid stuff, candles, matches, tents, blankets, etc. I have a few girl friends going with me and I think we'll have fun. So far we have $300 but I have a feeling we'll end up with a lot more. I am really excited to be able to help directly-- it is much more gratifying to help her than to just give some money to the red cross. I feel very blessed to be able to help in some small way!

Today it is raining and Zeke is crawling around the bungalow playing with the dogs. Snot running down his face, of course. This is his new favorite thing to do- he came up with it on his own, and as you can see he thinks it's hilarious. He's feeding raisins to the dogs.

I forgot to mention the main reason I started keeping a blog again! We got a laptop!! Woo hoo! A friend found us a good deal on craigslist, so we paid a little over $300 for a $600+ computer. I am so excited- been trying to convice Daniel to get one for months. I guess he finally caved (but I swear I'm not a nagging wife!) So although we still don't have internet in the bungalow, we can obviously now use wireless networks which will be nice. Our church's school has a wireless network, so we can just go sit on the playground and use it (it doesn't quite reach to the bungalow).

So the lack of internet the last few months was rough at first. I really like googling things that I'm curious about, and I like facebook, and I like blogs, I like checking the weather forecast. But in reality, once I was unaddicted, life was much nicer. Very slow-paced (especially when we only had one cell phone for a stint) and relaxed. I knitted up a massive storm of things--- the last few months have probably been my most productive knitting months ever! I learned to knit socks from a book (knitting without tears by elizabeth zimmerman- a great book!) and I made various things for people. I've read piles and piles of books. I've kept my house much more tidy and organized. I feel a strong sense of inner calm and stillness and quiet in my soul which I know has everything to do with our new simpler, "unplugged" lifestyle. (Zeke just knocked over the trash.) I just love it. I have more energy for important things and more time for people. I no longer have crabby days because I know I wasted too many hours doing nothing on the internet. So I am grateful that we don't have internet in our house, and I'm not sure I ever want it in my house again. At least if I do have it again someday I plan to strictly enforce time limits and have internet "vacations" where we just turn the stinky computer off for a couple months at a time. I know they say technology is supposed to make life so much better, but at least in my experience, it seemed to numb a part of my soul. What do you think? What have you experienced?? (said one internet junkie to another internet junkie!)

Daniel was accepted for the Polyface farm 4-month internship! We leave for that in May. Meanwhile we will live in Texas until March 15th, at which point we will move home to Kentucky. So the time line is: 2 more months in Texas, then about 6 weeks in Kentucky, then four months in Virginia at Polyface, then the rest of our lives back in Kentucky! It's gonna be awesome.