Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home Again, Home Again...

It was a snowy ride home today...eight hours, with a couple of stops for diaper changes and nursing. I probably ended up flashing someone by accident as I sat in the truck. I feel that nursing is the most natural thing in the world, but hopefully I didn't scandalize anyone...I tried to be modest.
We had a lovely weekend, full of food and family. I ate far too much and baked cinnamon rolls from scratch...I did some kniting, I had a lovely talk with my sister-in-laws, we took family pictures which I will share this week and I had a date with my hot husband (we saw Quantum of Solace...good!).
It was a happy holiday...
We came home to a snow storm. The powers that be are calling for 6 to 8 inches by morning. It is time to get out the twinkly lights. I love how the lights look in the snow. It's also time to dust off my winter driving skills...sliping and sliding is definitely easy to do around here.

A couple of housekeeping things...
I updated my winter notebook there on the left. Just a silly list of domestic and family goodness.
I will be updating what I'm listening to sometime this week...Christmas music here I come! Barenaked Ladies, Michael Buble...so many choices.
I also added a location counter on the left as well. I really wanted to see where people "travel" from to take a peek here at Little Candle...so far I am amazed! Thank you to everyone for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankfulness...

I am thankful for many things this year.
I can't seem to find the words to write them all here.
Perhaps another time.
So I will just say Happy Thanksgiving...and
May you be surrounded by those dearest to you.
May you eat more turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy then you should (and don't forget the pumpkin pie).
May you get to take at least one long afternoon nap.
May the football team that you cheer for win.
May you recieve more hugs from loved ones then you can stand (although, can you really get too many?)
May your travels be safe.
May this Thanksgiving be truely wonderful for you.
May God bless you and keep you close.
Hugs!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My new brain covered in red satin...

I have taken to carrying around this red notebook. It keeps my brain in order. It has become my place for writing down such things like books to check out, Evelyn's measurements for her Christening gown, and my tulip bulb order.
I keep it in my bag and when I have a thought or something that I need to remember, I jot it down. My memory is a poor comparison to the way it used to be and this little book helps keep me on track and organized. "Mama Brain" is truly a condition I suffer from, just ask David.

I have always been pretty list oriented and this gives me a place to keep it all together.
One recent list:

To Do:
Picture of Evelyn in pea costume
Pictures of Evelyn's fingers and toes
Sewing - Haiti Caps, Christening gown
Check stash for fabric and lace for christening gown
Check out Knit picks podcasts and Cast On podcasts.
Menu plan
Do shopping list
Sweep and mop kitchen floor laundry

What do you do to keep organized?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taking the Time...

Weekends are when I take the time to really cook and feed my need to putter in the kitchen. During the week I tend to make quick things like grilled cheese, casseroles, and pancakes for dinners. I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen after work when all I want to do is eat...And the same goes for Little Man who's cries of "HUNGRY!" fill the house as soon as he walks in the door.
The above picture is of the Tomato Lasagna recipe from the cookbook Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. Oh my goodness! It is so very good! It could perhaps be that you make your own tomato sauce and then proceed to make your own bechamel sauce by which you create four delectable layers of creamy, noodley goodness. I also added a layer of cooked sweet turkey sausage which complemented the other ingredients perfectly.
This cookbook is lovely. The recipes are organized by color...what a novel idea...with pictures and sweet stories about the author's life and children scattered throughout. Plus, it is chalk full of recipes, 200 or so, so there is a lot to try and play with. I have made the chicken cutlet with cheese recipe a couple of times and there are many of the desserts that I hope to try out over the coming months. These are good, family recipes that the author uses in her day to day cooking. I appreciate the tried and true nature of this cookbook.
The lasagna took a wee bit of time and the kitchen was a bit of a mess in the process, but, it was well worth the three sinkfuls of dishes and the full dishwasher to accomplish. Plus, both Elijah and David loved it...and that is the best thing of all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lovely...

Have you found your way to Small Magazine yet? It's a lovely online magazine that can be sent to your e-mail in box for free. Yes that's right folks...free.
It has a fun, funky vibe that is popular right now in cool kids wear and misc. And which I happen to find as a perfect compliment to my taste. I always find at least twenty things that I would purchase in an instant if I had the disposable income. Each issue has a download-able coloring page. I am putting them together into a fun coloring book for the kids. I love the idea because it will be a bit different from a standard coloring book and it will open their eyes to the different possibilities in art.
Go take a gander and subscribe if you wish.
It's a lovely little nugget that appears quarterly.
I think you just might like it...

Monday, November 17, 2008

History in a Quilt...

A very wise woman once told me that a quilt is the perfect thing for a bed. It keeps you cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter. I think anyone who sleeps under one can attest to the truth of that. I probably have a fondness for the quilt in all it's forms because of history. A quilt's history is American history. While majoring in History in college I was most interested in material culture...the history of things, possessions...the things that people keep and have kept throughout time. (I just re-read those sentences...forgive the overuse of the word "history")
Quilts are beautiful and utilitarian...they tell the story of who made them and who owns them. The above quilt was made for Evelyn by her Nana, my step- Mom. The multi-colored fabric is vintage from the stash of my great-uncle's mother. Well into her nineties, she doesn't know how long she's had it or where it came from, but I love that it came from her and that my step-Mom used it in the quilt.
This quilt will keep Evelyn comfortable for years to come and even though it is new, it already has a history and a story to tell. I love it for that. And it is just so sweet to look at. Thanks Nana!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Read this book...

This book is amazing. I haven't quite finished it and I already know that it is something everyone should read. It is the story of a family that made the decision to eat locally for one year by growing their own food, buying from nearby sources and foregoing mainstream, industrialized, processed food.
Barbara Kingsolver writes:

"Woe is us, we overfed, undernourished U.S. citizens - we are eating poorly for so many reasons. A profit-driven, mechanized food industry has narrowed down our variety... But, we let other vegetables drop from the menu without putting up much of a fight. In our modern Cafe Dysfunctional, 'eat your vegetables' has become a battle cry of mothers against presumed unwilling subjects.
Mom is losing, no doubt, because our vegetables have come to lack two features of interest: nutrition and flavor. Storage and transport take predictable tolls on the volatile plant compounds that subtly add up to taste and value. Breeding to increase shelf life also has tended to decrease palatability. Bizarre as it seems, we've accepted a tradeoff that amounts to: 'Give me every vegetable in every season, even if it tastes like a cardboard picture of it's former self.'"

So very true. Why do I put up with poor food? Just because I can get a tomato in January doesn't mean I should buy and eat a tomato in January. Food grows in seasons, perhaps I should go back to eating on that schedule?
We are breeding out diversity in our diet and beginning to rely on far too few foods for our nourishment. It may not be possible for everyone to grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens, but I want to try to help support the farmers and local food producers around me. I just feel that I need to add more back to my families diet. I want to grow an heirloom tomato or shop at a local farmer's market...buy local beef or chickens or hold of buying those raspberries in December. I am inspired to get back into canning and to take a bigger role in creating what goes into my families mouths...
Hmmmm, with all of these grand plans of sewing and crafting and now gardening and canning I'm not going to have time to go to work! :)
It's a good book...I highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Projects

I whipped up these circles on Monday while I was home with Elijah and before I got sick. I was inspired by this post over at By Sun and Candlelight. I didn't have a star punch so I worked with what I had on hand. They enhance the waning Autumn light and Elijah loves the colors. When I first showed them to him he let out a loud "Oh!" It made me smile.

Here is the new bag that I whipped up with the help of my Step-Mom Lisa. I had actually started it right after Elijah was born, but had never finished it. I am in love with it. It is so happy and cheerful in these darker more gray days. It is perfect for stashing my wallet, cell phone, an umbrella and all of the necessaries that come with being a Mama.

Another little glimpse of a Christmas project. I am having fun. The only problem is to try to keep from doing to much and becoming overwhelmed. I am really enjoying trying to make as many hand made gifts as I can. Not only is it economical, but it also brings me a great deal of joy and contentment.
What is bringing you contentment these days?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sniff, Cough and Grab a Tissue...


We have all been sick here. We have been going through my stockpile of Kleenex and subsisting on little sleep. I had made a big pot of Chicken soup with rice on Sunday, so that has been getting us through too.
Thankfully we are all starting to come out of it.
I had only been back to work one week and then I have missed all of this one so far.
Ah well, it's only money.
Today everyone was sent off to their respective places and I stayed home and did some more recovering...namely, sleep.

The weather has turned cold so we are tucked inside more...perhaps that is what has led to us all being sick. I am loving this time of year. I love the seasons and seeing each one change. I appreciate what each of them bring. So I don't mind the cold. But, don't remind me that I said this next March when I am complaining of winter and longing for Spring.
It is time to grab my babies from the sitter and spoil them in hugs.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Proper Title Escapes me...

I have something to share.
Something that I have been struggling with.
I came to a realization the other day.
For the last couple of years I have been keeping people at a distance, lest I get too close.
I hold myself back from becoming invested in others lives, others that might become good friends.
Because of this I am lonely.
I am not talking about my husband when I say this. He is my closest and dearest friend. But, as a woman I think it is important to have good friends with which to talk and spend time with. Since moving nearly two years ago, I have yet to make any friends that would qualify for this. I am realizing that I need the connection with other woman, but, for some reason I hold myself back. It is not fear of being hurt, although I have had my share and I have also done some hurting as well. I am afraid to become too invested in case we move again, which is likely to happen in the next few years. I had thought that maybe I had been building some nice relationships through blog friends here in blogland, but lately I have been feeling unconnected, disjointed and not involved. It saddens me. I have been holding myself back in my posting and not really sharing my true self and forcing my writing. Because of this I don't think that it has been authentic or honest. I need to re-evaluate what I am doing here, what my motivations, and hopes are for this blog and get back to the core of why I started doing this.
When I say all of this, I honestly do not know why I have become this way. I have become more inner facing instead of the open and fun girl that I used to be. I want to become more involved in things like swaps, and group blogs, but I fear that I will not be able to follow through. I think I am just at a bit of a low point. Perhaps God has been trying to teach me some things, but, I have been to focused on other things to pay attention...perhaps there is a lesson here.
I used to have my girl friends in my old town over every Sunday afternoons for coffee and yummy baked goods and I miss those conversations. I just miss those connections and I hope to find a way through this funk to allow myself to open up to the possibility of new friendships even if it does mean physically leaving them behind in the future. I hope to reconnect with long time blog friends as well as long time friends all over the country. At least to say hi and to check in every once in a while.
A good friend is worth preserving and I need to work harder at doing that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can I Interest you in a Violet?

This is my plant stand in the dining room. It has that funky, kitschy vibe. It's a cheap piece from the seventies that had been created to seem colonial...ish. I love it for it's funkiness. I have debated on whether or not to paint it. Maybe a glossy candy apple red or a crisp white.
I had originally purchased it as a stand for my purses...I was a single gal, social butterfly and collector of "pretend" purses. "Pretend" Purses are not designed for practicality. Clutches and hand bag that had enough space to merely hold a tube of lipstick and a single credit card. They were rarely practical, made from brocades or hand painted. I had a nice collection of vintage and new to pair with any outfit for going out on the town. The stand stood next to closet and mirror for easy access.
That collection has now gone by the wayside, since marriage and kids and the stand has since be relegated back to it's original purpose. Although I did keep the vintage purses.
Now on it's shelves sit three pots of violets as well as an aloe and basil plants. These violets all have come from one original violet. Thi African violet has humble grocery store beginnings, but must come from some good hardy stock. It blooms constantly and has split and mutiplied many times. The flowers are a beautiful, sweet pink with deep, velvety green leave. It is like stroking the ears of a kitten, the leaves are so soft. It is wonderful to look over in that corner in the dead of winter and see a hint of happy color.
I have given starts to many people and they have had equally good success with it. I wish I could pass a specimen on to every one of you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Haunting we did go...Part 2

Last week, we also baked treats to deliver around to our neighbors. Pumpkin cupcakes and oatmeal sugar cookies were duly baked. We had witches, pumpkins, ghosts and scare-dee cats frosted and sprinkled. I had ever so much fun trotting around the neighborhood and ringing doorbells goodies in hand. I may have to do this at Christmas time. I wish I could have delivered a plate full to each of you.

The front walk looked lovely after dark with the pumpkins glowing beside metal pumpkin buckets to illuminate the walk for the tricker treaters to come. You might note the little Roma standing on the front step.
My little Roma out on the hunt for candy. He didn't get what the whole thing was about. He enjoyed ringing the doorbells and saying "treat." When we got home I recycled the candy he has gotten back into our bowl to be handed out at our door and he was none the wiser. He seemed to care less about the actual candy and what it was, which is good since I ended up giving it away. He didn't need it and by all means we adults didn't need to eat it either. Although those two Reese's cups would be nice right now...
And here is my little sweet pea. How cute she would have been out and about in the neighborhood? At least Evelyn was kind enough to allow me to photograph her last night. It was my step-mom's idea to add the pipe cleaner tendrils...I love them. I designed the little hat on graph paper first and then sewed it up in green felt. All totaled, her costume cost .79 cents. I had everything on hand but the green pipe cleaners.
The "peas" were merely green felt circles pined to a baby sleep sack. She would have been nice and warm, although it was a warm and balmy night, which was very unusual for Halloween.


I have been glued to CNN all evening watching the election returns. I have such a since of hope and promise in my heart about this election. I am officially a political junkie, however, I am so glad that finally we will know who will be president and we can leave the campaigns behind. What a long two years it has been! I hope you got out and voted. It is so important for every American to let their voice be heard. And as a woman I feel it even more keenly. There are still parts of the world where woman are not allowed to have a say in their governments, so I feel a since of responsibility to not only them, but also the women who came before me. Women fought for much too long to have the right to vote and I never want to take their struggle for granted. David and I hit the polls early this morning before work and stood in line for 35 minutes to cast our ballots. It was so wonderful to see so many people out at the polls. I hope that you were one of the millions to participate.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Haunting we did go...


My little Halloween tomato.
Maybe more of a Roma than a Beefsteak.
I had a little Sweet Pea too, but, she didn't go haunting with us.
Three cheers for handmade costumes, they are so much more fun.
My step-Mom helped me figure out the stem on the hat and I think he turned out just perfect.