Friday, April 4, 2014

Lately


I'm enjoying fresh tulips in the kitchen. Tulips are my favorite flowers and I especially love reddish or pinkish ones. When I saw these bright coral colored ones this week at Trader Joe's, I knew they had to come home with me. My backyard tulips are just blooming now too. Early April is tulip heaven, as far as I'm concerned.


Daffodils are still making me happy too. I didn't buy any this week, since I bought the tulips, but last week, these found a home next to my side of the bed. I moved them over a bit when I was actually in the bed, but flowers near the bed is one of the best indulgences ever, I think.


I haven't shared much crochet lately. Come to think of it, I haven't finished anything lately either. This is probably due to my new freewheeling attitude toward crochet projects, wherein I allow myself to have more than one on the go. I actually now have three crochet projects on the go, which may be too many. Anyway, these are my circles, which will eventually find their way into a flowers-in-the-snow blanket. I'm sticking with a palette of soft, dusty colors, to give the blanket a vintage-y but sophisticated feel. It's for the GB and I don't want it to look "baby," I want it to look a little more grown-up and ladylike. I actually have five more than this, made since I took the photo! It's coming along.


Have a cookie with me? I baked my favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe, from the endlessly useful Betty Crocker Cookbook. I put chopped walnuts in them this time. I love this recipe. It always works. It says you will get four dozen cookies and I always get four dozen cookies. Always. It helps that I'm afraid to eat cookie dough.


Do you live in a photography-happy house like I do? The Bear was taking some photos of a science experiment he had done with the LB (it's out of the shot here; it involved measuring the density of various items). I was taking a picture of him taking a picture. This isn't even unusual around here. We both take lots of photos. It makes me think. There are about five pictures of me per year as a child. Film had to be developed, photos picked up from the lab, sorted into albums, mailed to relatives. But for our children, two parents running around with cameras all day is perfectly normal.


Do you remember last spring when we planted grapes in our yard? We put in two different kinds, a red and a white, and tended them all summer. They thrived. We staked them up and kept them watered. This spring, they have leaf buds! They could have fruit as soon as next summer. The leaves are pretty right now, bright pink and feathery.


These two have sat, just like this, in the living-room window watching for Daddy's car in the late afternoon since they were tiny. They do it every single day. The LB usually says, "Let's go watch the road," like they're sentries. They sit in the chair together until they spot his car coming down the street, then they run to the foyer to wait for him to come up the front walk and enter the house. He still picks them both up when he comes in. I love how excited they all are to see each other at the end of the day.


I made an excellent lasagna this week. I put chopped frozen (thawed) spinach in the cheese mixture. I like to use no-cook noodles and was doing this trick I learned from America's Test Kitchen, where you pour boiling water over the dry noodles to soften them, which was supposed to help keep the lasagna moist. All it really does is ruin my noodles because they stick together and it's impossible to peel them apart without ripping them. So now I just add more wet stuff to my lasagna before baking. Un-drained spinach (and a bit more milk in the cheese mixture) was just the ticket.


We've got a new time-teller in the house. Learning to tell time is surprisingly hard, even with a digital watch. Now she announces the time every few minutes or so, which is sometimes very helpful. I timed a tea bag-steeping by her announcements; I knew there was one coming in two or three more minutes. Perfectly brewed tea!


Here's another thing I'm crocheting. It's going to be a scarf for the LB's teacher, an end-of-year gift. Can you believe I'm already doing end-of-year teacher gifts? There are only about six weeks left until summer vacation, so I'm getting a jump-start. This is the same pattern I've made several times already, the One-Skein Chevron Scarf (Ravelry link). It's easy and very soothing. And portable, unlike my circles above or the ripple throw I'm also working on. It's nice to have a project you can take with you.


On Thursday morning, we woke up to cloudy skies. I always relish this. I know how strange that sounds to readers in less-sunny climes, but it really does feel like a treat. The clouds filled in, lowering over the mountain until it was completely obscured. About an hour after I took this photo, it began to snow lightly. It did not accumulate, but it looked pretty as it fell. January, February and March were quite warm and dry, so I rather enjoyed this bit of snow in April.

I need a break. A spring break, to be more precise. We normally have our school spring break in mid-March, but this year it was postponed to mid-April. They wanted to wait until after the mandatory state tests. They'll have their break in the week approaching Easter. I'm so excited for a little downtime. I love being so involved and busy, but I'm feeling run down lately. Time for playdates and park days, picnics and Sonic slushes.

Call the Midwife is back! So happy about that. I just discovered that Netflix has Law & Order in its streaming content. All 194 episodes! I used to be a devotee of this show. I like the various incarnations of it too, especially Law & Order: SVU. I've started watching from the beginning of the series. What a great show. It's simple and kind of stripped-down, especially compared to some of the crime-dramas being produced today. I'm getting my criminal-element fix, for sure. Also, I've been watching a really good cooking show on Create TV, an Irish chef. I really like him. I've also seen a few episodes of a new show I've been calling Hugh Jackman Has a Cooking Show for Some Reason. I think it's mostly Korean cooking. It's entertaining but also slightly confusing. The Irish guy is great, though; more Irish guy, please.

Tomorrow, I have Chinese take-out to look forward to. It's at-home date night! Whoo-hoo!

44 comments:

  1. Your crochet projects are a delight, I particularly love the circles for the flowers in the snow blanket. I remember the photo process very well its only in the last year or so that we have a digital camera. The truth is I have only recently mastered how to use a computer.

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  2. I share your love of tulips, yours put an instant smile on my face. Those cookies look good too, have a wonderful weekend. Sarah x

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  3. Tulips are my favorite too. I think they are so happy because they mean spring is on the way. I love the little pitcher your daffodils are in too!
    I'm the one running around with a camera here. I wish I had done it more when my kids were young, but as you said that film thing made it harder. Your last shot is beautiful!

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  4. Some really lovely photos from the past week, Jennifer. Your beautiful tulips make we want to run out and by myself a bunch. We don't have any tulips or daffodils growing in our yard, I just never took the time to plant them. Your crochet blanket is coming along very nicely. Your lasagna looks really good! And your mountain views never get old... they are gorgeous. I also love the irish chef on Create TV! Yes, more irish guy, please!!

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  5. Hi Jennifer,

    Lovely to see what you and your family are up to - the tulips and daffodils are such pretty spring flowers.
    How sweet that your children wait for their Daddy to come home - only seems the other day my children were excited seeing their Daddy come home from work.
    Your crocheting work is really beautiful.
    happy weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  6. what a great post, there's so much to read and see at your house. love the tulipsand i love how your chidren run to the window to wait for their dad to come home-delightful :)

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  7. You 2 are so cute waiting for their dad ☺ I love tulips and daffodils, beautiful pictures Jennifer and like the look of GB blanket progress.

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  8. I love tulips too! They are reasonably priced over here so I buy them often. We have worked on telling the time here too, it is tricky for kids. It's the quarter past and quarter too that gets them every time. But they are getting there slowly! I do love your crochet, GB will love her blanket when it is finished. Can't wait to see the end result. :)

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  9. A lovely catch-up Jennifer. How sweet that they wait for their daddy to come home every day, I really love that picture of them both together. Time to sit next to each other a chat a little. Wonderful. The crochet is beautiful. I have a load of wool for a blanket and I'm wondering if I could teach myself enough crochet to make something like that. I like the idea of muted vintage colours. I always try to make things a bit "older" so that they won't grow out of them. I hope you guys all have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  10. What a lot of lovely at your house. As you know I have several lots of crochet on the go right now and it is nice to be able to swap and change depending on what you are doing isn't it. I hope that you have a good spring break, but I can't imagine that you will only have about 6 more weeks until summer break, that is amazing to us as that doesn't happen here until the middle of July - but then you do go back a lot sooner too! I hope that you have a great weekend. xx

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  11. Wow you have so many things going on at the moment, the flowers are so pretty and I love the look of the leaves such a pretty little thing. Have a great weekend.

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  12. Lovely, all lovely. I really like the look of your scarf. And that blanket is going to be stunning. I am a huge Law and Order fan, I love that you are too! We just broke up for our two week Easter holiday yesterday - we were all ready for it. X

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  13. A post chock full of happiness! The photo of your two watching the road is too touching for words. Love the flowers, the crochet, the grapevines...everything! Chrissie x

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  14. A beautiful spring post Jennifer full of all good things...your tulips are so pretty and how lovely to see your little ones waiting for their dear dad to arrive home every day...love the pic of your daughter concentrating on the time too!
    Gorgeous crochet circles....I can definitely imagine a lovely blanket and such a beautiful view you have from your window there!
    Happy Weekend!
    Susan x

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  15. Hi Jennifer, it is always a pleasure to come visit your blog. Happy Saturday! Hugs :D

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  16. Your post is full of sweet and lovely things Jennifer. I love your circles so bright and cheerful, thank you for the link to the chevron scarf I will have to make one of those, and thank you for the cookie it will go with my cup of tea, have a lovely weekend. :)

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  17. How sweet of the children to wait for their daddy! The tulips are lovely, the color is gorgeous

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  18. My husband used to do experiments with the children, I must remember to start again for the little ones. I like your eclectic post Jennifer, lots to see and think about. Your cookies make me hungry, I am off to the kitchen to make a Victoria sandwich cake. Yum. I don't soak my lasagne sheets either, too much hassle and you are right, a bit of extra liquid in the other ingredients does the trick. Have a lovely weekend. Cx

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  19. You always have so many interesting things to post about, Jennifer! The blanket circles are lovely. So are your daffodils you keep by your bed. If I kept daffodils by my bed I would be in sad shape the next morning. Sadly I am very allergic to them, so they are an outdoors only flower. I love how your kids wait for their dad every afternoon. And count me in as another happy person now that Call the Midwife is back on!

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  20. That was a really fun peak into your week! I can't wait for the tulips to start blooming here - it's freezing cold out there again today. Yes it's cute they are waiting to see the car! Funny my cats wait by the back door when my husband is away

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  21. I am getting all caught up, lovely giveaway presents, a fantastic workshop, beautiful flowers and family moments. You are blessed my friend.
    Meredith

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  22. Hi from Ohio! 2 more days here then I fly home on Tuesday morning. I loved your tulips and all your goodies you've baked. I was charmed by how your kids wait for dad each day. Adorable. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  23. Lovely moments from your week! Those tulips are beautiful.
    Marianne x

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  24. Loving your little crocheted circle and the little bears waiting for there dad to come home so sweet, enjoy the weekend
    Clare xx

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  25. A great post, with so many goodies, Jennifer. I understand completely enjoying the sight of clouds forming, and the promise of rain, or in your case, snow. There can only be so many hot sunny days which are appealing. So sweet, the little one waiting for their Dad, and Trader Joe's sounds like a store I'd visit. Your tulips are so attractive. Your crotchet has won be over, and with a little help from my friend who supplied some half-balls of wool and 2 hooks, I downloaded a pattern and just made my first granny square. Feeling triumphant!

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  26. The view from your garden is stunning.I would love to see this every day your so lucky.Your crochet projects are really lovely x

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  27. The lasagna looks fabulous.
    I love ~ Call the Midwife !

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  28. Lovely read ,Jennifer....
    Enjoy your weekend..
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  29. Your tulips are beautiful . What a wonderful tradition waiting for their dad to come home. Your mountain photo is very lovely. I love rainy days with it wonderful sounds. Your cookies look very yummy. Have a wonderful Spring break. Hugs judy

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  30. Ok so that is a great tip about the lasagna! I have never used those noodles before but I bet the prep time is cut in half! And I so wish I lived closer to you so that you could teach me some of your crocheting skills!! So beautiful! But my favorite is your sweeties waiting for their dad!! How adorable is that!! Happy weekend friend! Nicole xo

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  31. A lovely post & so sweet to see your children waiting for their dad to return home. Have a lovely week xx

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  32. I love the idea of 'Hugh Jackman has a cookery show for some reason'. Is the fact it's Hugh Jackman not enough? I'm thinking that the follow up could be 'Hugh Jackman reads the Telephone Directory' and the audience would have fun!

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  33. So much wonderfullness. Flowers are gorgeous and definitely a worthwhile indulgence. I am so in love with your children. I think it is gorgeous that they wait so happily for their Dad... Family life is awesome!
    I know what you mean about the crochet. Looking around me right now and I am overwhelmed with baskets, each one carrying a different project...You sound a lot more organised than me though and will most likely actually finish them ;)

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  34. I just LOVE the colours in your crocheted circles. These are just the colours & hues I've always been drawn too. It will look beautiful when finished. I remember waiting for my dad to come home too. We lived in a little bungalow and my siblings and I would wait at the front window to see his little Austen putt down the street. We would run to greet him too and he would give us big hugs. At my house whenever someone comes home now we holler "Hello!!" from the front door and it's funny to hear little return "hello's" from various parts of the house. I often think about the number of photos we take today to the few that our relatives took in their day. I kind of miss the ritual of really planning your shot so that you didn't waste the film. A good holiday was based on how many rolls of film you needed to develop. Enjoy the rest of your weekend ... I hope you have a few more cloudy days ;) I think we're going to have full sun today, but frost was covering rooftops this morning and -5C :P Wendy x

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  35. Such a lot going on at your house. Those cookies and the lasagna, mmmm, making me hungry. I love how your children watch the road for their daddy coming home, happy times.

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  36. Lovely post, lovely photo's - so much going on !
    Have a good week,
    Kate x

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  37. I love your tulips, your crochet and your delicious cooking! What a busy time you have been having.....it will be nice to have a break soon. Wishing you a happy week.
    Helen xox

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  38. What beautiful tulips...it's so nice to have fresh flowers around the house. Your cookies look delicious. I always eat cookie dough...have been doing so since I was a kid. Have never gotten sick. ;-) Very cool that both you and your husband are photographers. My hubby isn't a creative person (not saying this "meanly", just stating a fact) so he's not into photography, but my son is actually a professional photographer and it's part of his art major. The photo of your kids waiting for daddy tells a story in itself...and made my heart ache because I remember my boys waiting for daddy to come home from work, too. They'd shriek, "Daddy!" and run to tackle him as he walked in the door. He'd always make a game out of it and pretend that they knocked him down, and then the boys would climb all over him. Your last photo of the view of the mountains is stunning. Your landscape is so vastly different from ours here in the Midwest, so I really enjoy your photos.

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  39. I love tulips as well. They're just opening up in our garden and I was lucky enough to receive some for Mother's day (the other week here in the UK). Again beautiful photographs of all your goings on. BigR is trying to learn to tell the time...I'm hoping this might make her stay in bed! Wishful thinking I know!! Your lasagne looks delicious...I don't soak the sheets either...it didn't occur to me you were meant to! Oops! :) Great picture of your children waiting for their Daddy. My girls (now LittleR can walk!) both run to the door as their daddy pulls up on the driveway, shrieking loudly!!!! xx

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  40. Oh how I love your days lately. :) They look peaceful and time spent with family is always so lovely. I have been so busy lately and it's finally all starting to go back to normal. :) Your pictures are wonderful Jennifer. :)

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  41. What a fun post - full of all sorts of Good Things, from the flowers (Trader Joe's has such great prices on bouquets) to your lovely flowery sheets and crochet circles, to the exciting grapevine leaf buds and adorable kid photos.

    The lasagna sounds good - have you ever tried making your own pasta? It's even better than the storebought and only takes a little more time. (I should do a post on this if only I had a little more time!) :)

    Have a happy week.

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  42. I enjoyed catching up with your life this week, Jennifer. Your tulips are gorgeous, as are those cookies. I love the thought of sprouting grapevines, but the very best bit for me is the sight of your two children watching out for the Bear's return. Lucky Daddy. :-)

    This Briton is bemused at the thought of the summer vacation starting so soon. Here the children are on their Easter school holidays (usually two weeks) after which they'll be back at school at least until the end of June and often several weeks later, according to where they live. Our three grandsons won't start their summer holidays until the end of the third week in July, the last day of school being the 22nd!

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  43. So many fun things going on for you! I love the crochet circles and those dusky, vintage, feminine colors. I also love the ritual that greets daddy when he comes home. My daughters had a similar one. Now that they are grown and married, it's the family dog who waits for and greets daddy enthusiastically!

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  44. This is such a wonderful post, Jennifer. It is always fun to get glimpses of your sweet family and the special moments you all share in various ways. The tulips are beautiful, only rivaled by your crocheted flowers. I'm always getting ideas for crochet projects from you.

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