So long lip balm, hello healing balm

February 24, 2011

If you know me in the slightest, you know that I never go anywhere without my lipbalm. If I do happen to forget it, I get heart palpitations until I can get my hands on it again. Not just any lipbalm either, but the absolute heaven in a tube from my favorite Etsy seller, Leigh at LeastLikely2Breed. She is also the crafter of that fine fluff in a tin known as Bad Ass Booty Balm. Seriously kicks diaper rash right on it’s can. And don’t get me started on her Tough Titties Nipple Rub (for nursing mum’s, sheesh you people have the maturity of 12 year old boys)…

Now un/fortunately, she has decided to stop making her wonderful balms and turn her creative juices to helping folks who are looking for therapy find therapists who are looking for folks. It’s genius really, and long over due! She is part of the brilliant and caring team over at Whereapy. Still in beta, they plan their big launch this Spring and, I have no doubt, will grow and grow and bring healing to many people who are longing for relief. As sad as I am to be losing my favorite “balmist” I am beyond happy to see her take on such an incredibly noble endeavor. Now show a girl some love and push her “like” button over at Facebook.


I am bruised…from today

February 22, 2011

No picture today, believe me, that’s a blessing for you folks. Someone ordered screaming with a side order of temper tantrum at our place and when my hubby came home this evening I was ready to eat glass I was so frustrated. Seanny is reaching the good ‘ol separation anxiety phase, so if I am out of his line of sight he screams. Finny is sick and apparently didn’t get the memo that sick children generally do not have more energy than usual and run about the house like a complete fool. Finny tried to stick a chopstick down Seanny’s throat (don’t ask). Mama yelled at him and threw the chopsticks away. Seanny screamed, Finny screamed, Mama took deep long breathes so as not to kill anyone. Once Seanny was calm, Mama took Finny, and his blankie and his juice bottle and dumped his temper tantrum throwing butt into his bed. I kissed his little blond head and said, “You obviously need some time to yourself.” and walked out and shut the door. There was much screaming and crying for all of ten minutes before the sick child finally crashed and crashed hard…for two and a half hours hard.

Once all the babies were awake again, the screaming picked up right where they left off and I nearly reached through the phone at 5:30 and killed my husband when I called to see how close to home he was and he said he was just locking up. Thanks for calling and telling me you were working half an hour late. By the time he got home I was ready to exit the premises post haste and go blow off some steam at SnB and possibly run away from home.

After SnB and a night with “the girls” I am feeling much better. Ah, now if only that wee child would sleep through the night. Pipe dreams…

Mawata Mittens

February 21, 2011

So, the ever fabulous Stephanie Pearl McPhee posted some gorgeous mittens a while back that were knit using silk straight off the hankie, no spinning. They were gorgeous and she says, incredibly soft. I believe her term was hand oven mitts or something.

I immediately started looking for mawatas to do a pair of my own. Lucky me I found some at my favorite yarn shop, The Mannings that were undyed. The were dyed at the party this weekend and after a quick youtube search on how the heck you actually draft the silk, I cast on my mittens. I am in looooove.

First off, for my non-knitting friends a mawata or silk hankie is the silk cocoon of the silk worm, after it has been soaked and stretched. It is either stretched into flat “hankies” over a frame, or stretched into a cap or bell shape.

A mawata bell

From there you can spin it or, as I am doing here, knit straight from the mawata.

Silk is super grabby if you have any kind of rough skin so I have been going through a ton of lotion today. These babies are a bit more fussy than my normal knitting, but they are speeding along beautifully and I am really loving the resulting mittens. I hope to be wearing them by the end of SnB tomorrow evening. They will match that 6-10″ of snow we are getting even as I type.

The mawata that I am using for this pair of mittens was dyed using black Wilton food coloring. Pretty cool huh? It’s not true black, so the colors used to make up the black fracture in the dyeing process.

Sooo gorgeous and soft and warm!

On a side note: ever since the Yarn Harlot’s blog post about her mawata mittens I keep seeing mawata ads on Ravelry and mawatas are selling out fast all over the internet. I’d love to have that kind of blog power.

A party to die for!

February 19, 2011

Hmm, scratch that, party to dye for. Yes, that is what happened here at my house today. I was up at 8:00 a.m. preparing for my guests. At 11:00 people started showing up and we got things going. (A funny note, I have learned that no matter what I do or say, people from SnB show up for events half an hour earlier, so if I want people here at 11:00, I tell them the party starts at 11:30, which is what I did). There was incredibly delicious food including B’s potato soup. I have to pause here for a moment as I am suddenly filled with an overwhelming desire to drive to her house and demand the leftovers. Casey made scrumptious finger sandwiches (when did this group get so fancy?) and Crystal provided a lovely green salad. I made delectable red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. It was, well, decadent really.

Prior to lunching I ran a communal bath in my bath tub…for the yarn, for the yarn, people! I sloshed a good bit of vinegar in and we all put our yarn to be dyed into it to presoak while we ate. After dining the dyeing began. There was a good representation of materials as well as dye processes at the party. Acid dyes and food coloring (Wilton) were used. Kettle and hand dye were the processes. Cotton, wool, and silk, were the fibers used. There were many beautiful finished results too. Unfortunately, the only person taking pictures of the actual party was our resident professional photographer extraordinaire, Casey. So, you will have to be content with the pictures of all of my lovely goodies that resulted from the party.

All of my dyed goodies


My yarn, Dave's gorgeous dye job. Thank you Dave.


I'm calling it Tequila Sunrise


I don't know why, but this reminds me of my old Tropical Fun Barbie's bathing suit.


Just beautiful


This one was kettle dyed as an after thought with the dye bath left over from my fingering weight yarn.


This picture shows the color truer, it's a heathered juniper green, tossed into the dye bath after nearly all the dye had been exhausted.


This one was my favorite, kettle dyed, the different shades of green are amazing!


A close up of some of the greens.


This was so hard to photograph the true have to see it in person.


Mmmm, more green. Those light spots are actually the palest lavender.


This is a mawata (silk hankie, or bell) that was died using one single food color: black, pretty cool huh?


Another mawata, these will both be made into mittens ala Stephanie Pearl McPhee.

Some of the dyers stayed for a wee after party that involved pizza, boardgames and a bottle of wine. It was great fun and made for a long day. I literally collapsed after all was said and done. At the end of the day I forgot how fantastic it feels to sit and not be on your feet.


Dave and Seannan. Dave was quite thrilled that Seannan was not crying. I just thought the pair was adorable.

Behind, Catch Up

February 18, 2011

So, I’m a little behind in my blogging these days, but over all I think I’ve been doing much better than in the past. At this point though, I got to thinking I should probably check in with some of the goals I set for myself this year.

Blog every day with a picture:

Well, I’ve not blogged every day, nor have I had a picture with every post. I’m okay with this as I am still blogging much more than I was before. I still really want to be blogging every day. (Every day being Monday through Saturday) I have much to say and much I want to remember. I spent a day or two reading my blog back from the very beginning. This May marks my fifth year hear in PA. So much has happened, so much has changed. I’m very happy with my life here. Apparently so much so that just typing that last sentence brings tears to my eyes.

*sniffle, sniffle, dab with a tissue, clear throat*

Okay, moving on…

Sticking to the budget, and saving:

…hmm, let me get back to you on that one. This is going to be one that I’m going to have to do the clean slate/start again thing with.


I am having a blast with this one! I love going to the gym, I love how good I feel. It has presented a small problem in that I really think it’s important to go at least three times a week and doing so means I’m out of the house in the late evening for three nights at least. I don’t like that too much, so hubby and I talked about it and found a schedule that will work well. I have lost 1.5 lbs and in my frustration at that I have realized that I don’t eat nearly as well as I thought I did. I started using the daily plate feature on Livestrong. com and wow, um, it really makes a difference when you actually see how quickly those daily calories you are allotted slip away. This needs work on my part. Restraint and creative meal planning.

Meal planning each week:

Doing pretty good on this one and it definitely helps me stay within my grocery budget. I need to find a few more websites that offer some more healthy weekly meal planning ideas.

Reading my bible more and praying more:

This has been a stop start goal. I get going really well for a while (and notice the benefits immediately) and then get distracted. I need to be much firmer on myself for this one. I’m a better person when I do keep up with it.

Was that it? I think so, hmm, well. In my estimation, I’m doing fair. There is lots of room for improvement, but I haven’t given up on any of these goals. So, I will be pulling my boot straps up and moving ahead.

Ah, yes, and the picture too.

I have a wee confession to make. I used to be a beader. Thanks to a gift card to the Potomac Bead Co. (it wasn’t even my gift card) I may just have to get back into making my own gorgeous jewelry…such as the above piece. *sigh* It makes my heart beat a little faster every time I see it. I love the colors, the beads, the length, the shape…I have to stop now.

Dear Elizabeth

February 17, 2011

Dear Elizabeth,

I love you. I love you. I’m going to say it again. I love you. I want you to know that and I don’t want you to ever forget it. I love you. I know that your little brothers take up a lot of my time, but please remember, that is no reflection of my love for you. It’s as simple as them not being able to care for themselves.

You on the other hand…you scare me. You scare me with how fast you are growing and maturing. How that teeny baby of mine that pooped all over everyone the minute she was born…that baby is gone. The sweet, adorable toddler who charmed everyone around her and had many a grandparent wrapped around her finger…she’s gone too. You’ve gone from awkward little kid to a beautiful young woman. To be perfectly honest, it breaks my heart. I still don’t understand how we got here so fast. So please, be patient with me. It’s hard for me to let go, you know that about me. It’s hard for me to see you so independent. You don’t need me nearly as much as you used to, and in some ways, you need me now more than ever. It’s such a difficult balance and it’s so hard to maintain. That explains all the head butting we do these days. It’s a struggle that mothers and teen daughter have had down through the dawn of time. You are struggling to find out who you are become an adult, you need me and you don’t me. I am struggling to let go while still holding on enough to steer you in the right direction. Often times, that struggle ends up in tears, frustration, and a misunderstanding. We’re doing okay though as far as moms and teenage daughters go. We’ll get through these next few years. You and I have always been really close and I know we always will be. I hope that someday, when you are older and wiser you will look back and say, “Ah, I see what mom was trying to do/prevent me from doing/protect me from.”

I am proud of you, ridiculously so. You are beautiful (you come by it naturally :P). You are smart. You are talented and creative. I want you to know that whatever you do with your life, as long as it’s a path that *you* choose, I’ll be proud of you. God loves you and has a plan for your life. Did you hear what I just said? The creator of the universe loves you. Don’t ever forget that, it’s so important and the key to forgiveness and true happiness. Please find a good man to marry, remember who you are and don’t settle for less than you deserve. There is no such thing as the perfect man or romance like the movies. Passion will come and go many times, but true love is a daily commitment to your spouse. Respect and communication are so important. 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 is all you ever need to know about real, true love. And most importantly, when you are reading that passage…remember to point those words at yourself and not at your spouse or anyone else. It’s hard to do, but so worth it.

Never forget that service to others lead to lasting peace and happiness. Always tip well. Always be willing to serve, it is an honorable and noble thing. Today’s world looks down on service and serving others above self. Be it family, friends, or a complete stranger, do it. You’ll sleep well at night.

Remember to make time for yourself and your family. I love our girls nights out. I love the times when we all do stuff together. I just love spending time with you. Some of my favorite times with you have been our rides to or from Wilkes Barre; belting out tunes, eating ice cream, hearing about all that goes on in your world.

And always wear sunscreen.



Toddlers are easy

February 16, 2011

I know that I’ve posted this activity before, but it’s so effective and easy I had to post it again. It always amazes me how the simplest of things will captivate Finnigan (and most kids his age) for hours. The other day I really needed some time to do stuff and I needed it relatively quiet so I could think. Here is my recipe for one quiet toddler for at least an hour if nap time is still far off.

1 quart of water

5 drops of food coloring

1 turkey baster

1 medicine dropper

various sized and shaped clear plastic containers

1 towel

I fold the towel in half and put it on the table. Then I put the food coloring in the water and mix it around and poor it into a few of the containers. Add your toddler (sleeves rolled and just count on changing out fits when done) and your baster and dropper. Pat them on the head, take a few pictures if you wish and bask in the knowledge of your brilliance!