Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Turn, turn, turn

Hello! I hope you're having a good week so far. Thank you so much for the comments and feedback on my last post, about our combined schooling situation. We're mostly very happy with our choices, but it's always good to stop and reflect on things periodically. I hadn't written about school at any length in quite some time, and with a few questions lately about how we do it, it seemed like a good time to revisit the topic. I also enjoyed reading about your approaches to education and why you chose them. I think it's a really interesting topic and I appreciate that you shared your thoughts, feelings and decisions with me.

Well, around here, fall is definitely setting in and I couldn't be happier about that. I realized lately just how bone-tired I've been. I've started going to sleep earlier and I'm feeling great with the extra sleep. It helps to have earlier darkness and later sunrises, both of which make it more difficult to get enough sleep in the summertime. I've realized that I get really overtired in the summer, actually; it creeps up on me and soon I'm totally exhausted. It's much cooler now too, even a little bit cold outside at night, which helps too.  Last night, I slept eight full hours with all the covers on, which is really saying something.

Are the seasons changing where you are? We're just starting to get some color on the trees and in the plants around the yard. The apple harvest was incredible this year; I'm running out of ideas for using them up, honestly. I've also been eating two apples per day straight off the tree. They're smallish apples but have a really good flavor and crispness. We've made lots of applesauce, dried apple leather, dried apple rings, apple crisp and apple cake. I think I want to try making apple butter with the last of the apples I can reach on the tree. I've said that in past years, and I do want to get to it eventually, but I'm enjoying eating the reachable apples so much that I may have to climb the tree to get enough apples to do anything else with - or have someone young and limber do it for me.

Speaking of which, the LB had a birthday over the weekend. We now officially have a teenager in the house! Whoa. I fully expect more teenagery behavior to kick in at some point, but for now, he's still the same sweet, agreeable and pleasant boy he's always been (if anything, I'd like to see some more opinionated behavior from him eventually; he might be a little too laid-back!). His voice is changing and he's taller than I am. He moves and talks just like his father. Our little boy is big.

We had a nice little birthday celebration, with dinner our at Jason's Deli (always his choice every year because he loves the salad bar), and cake, ice cream and presents back at home. I made a Funfetti-style cake like I did last year for the GB's birthday. I've been buying sprinkles in bulk lately, to use in a) the GB's birthday ice cream sundaes; b) the GB's birthday treats for school (Sugar Cookie Bars from Sally's Baking Addiction, which were so delicious); c) the LB's birthday treats for school (basic Rice Krispie Treats that he asked me to "make cool-looking," so I put sprinkles on top while they were still warm so they would stick on really well); and d) the Funfetti cake for the LB. I made a couple of changes for this latest Funfetti cake: I didn't use anyone's Funfetti recipe this time, just a basic yellow cake recipe with sprinkles added, scaled for only a single layer in a square pan, to reduce the sheer quantity of cake. As much as I love cake, this worked a lot better for us - we could enjoy the whole cake while it was still delicious.

In between keeping the sprinkle industry alive, I've been crocheting again. I finished a home decor project that I'll share soon. I've also started a new blanket. Yes, I know, I make so many blankets. But this one will be useful and it will finally guzzle up some of this worsted acrylic yarn that I'm still trying to plow through. I had no idea I had so much yarn. It's not even that I have a huge stash - it's actually really small by most serious yarn-crafters' standards. Still, it's plenty and I'm tired of storing it. So I've decided to replace my very first real big blanket, which I made around 2011. It's a Neat Ripple from Attic 24, and it was my first foray into doing something more complicated than row after row of straight double-crochet (which does eventually become a blanket, and I'd made several, starting when I was a teenager). I made it before I started my blog, but I did share some photos soon after I began blogging (like, literally, I think it was my second post to this blog; you can read it here).

I was really proud of this blanket and it was used to death, first on our bed and later in the family room. It's funny to look at it now. My color sense has improved a lot, as have my crochet skills; there are a lot of mistakes. I think the mistakes have a lot to do with the fact that this blanket is now falling apart! Stripes are actually separating from each other. It's full of holes. I've decided to crochet another Neat Ripple to replace it! I know, really going back to basics. But I have my reasons: I love the look, it's a timeless classic; I have plenty of yarn and I'm better at colors now, so I think I can make a nice-looking ripple; and it's almost mindless, which is the kind of project I like to have in the cooler months, to pick up and put down as I want. I've made lots of square-based projects lately and this is something a little different. I'm excited! It's giving me a peaceful feeling and just look at that yarn disappear.

What's new with you? I hope the rest of your week is good! Take care, my friends.


  1. You sound so delightfully contented in this post! What a lot of nice things. I like the start of your new blanket very much. I've just finished knitting Fliss' jumper and will get back to my shawl soon, probably this evening.

  2. Hello Jennifer,

    Such lovely photos so much Beautiful Colour :)

    Our weather is much cooler especially at night.

    love the sprinkles on the cake, I always think they make
    cakes look happy :)

    Belated Happy 🎂 Birthday to LB and GB x

    Knitted Pumpkins are so sweet.

    Take Care x

  3. HaPpY, HaPpY Birthday to the LB! I hope his day was wonderful. I smiled at your description of using sprinkles. I remember doing that when wya back when our kids were small too. Those darn sprinkles just never seemed to go away! Ha!
    Fall has settled in here too. Some trees have lost all of their leaves already and others are turning. I don’t ever remember this happening in September before, so it makes me a bit nervous as to what this winter might be bringing to us. I’m like you with a lack of sleep during the summer. Last night was the first night that I slept eight hours straight in a long time. It was really nice. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress on your new blanket Jennifer. I think you always do such beautiful work.
    Blessings always, Betsy

  4. oh how wonderful! all the treats, the cake (smart to do it to scale that is manageable and delicious!) and the new blanket! Sounds perfect!

  5. Happy Birthday to LB! Welcome to teenagerhood. I have a feeling that LB will remain a calm kid because of your calm environment and his upbringing.
    It's cooler here too but no color changes yet. All your work with apples will be wonderful this winter!

  6. Happy birthday to your LB, it sounds like a perfect birthday celebration. I hope he enjoys his teen years - it's an exciting time. It's definitely cooler here, there was a frost the night before last, I couldn't believe it. Very early for a frost. The days have been sunny, but I have my scarf and slippers and hot water bottle out. Enjoy the rest of the week Jennifer. CJ xx

  7. I smiled at the sprinkles, it brought back so many memories of using them when my girls were younger. They still like sprinkles on cupcakes when they visit, so some things never change. Looking forward to seeing your progress as you work on your new blanket.

  8. It is always a treat to read your posts, and I enjoy your change of seasons too. Happy Birthday to your lovely teen boy, and how time does fly. While they still love sprinkles you have kids in the house! I know just what you mean re the sleeping, and I crave those 8 hours per night when I can achieve it. In recent times I have installed block out curtains and make sure I close the shutters in our room - it does help to keep the random lights of the city out. Happy crotcheting, the perfect cool weather craft.

  9. happy birthday to your boy! he shares his birthday week with me!
    we're tying up the loose ends of term 3 here in home school so its a week of learning + testing + marking xxx

  10. Happy birthday to the LB, they seem to shoot up and change so much at this age. The cake looks lovely with all those sprinkles on top. I wondered if you'd be starting a new blanket now that autumn's here, I know how you like to have a big project on the go over the winter months and I don't think you can go wrong with a ripple, it's such a soothing pattern.

  11. Happy Birthday to your son! It sounds like he had a wonderful birthday. His cake looks really yummy. I love all the sprinkles! Fall always puts a smile on my face. I just love this time of year! We are heading north up to the mountains this weekend in search of pumpkins and mums, and hopefully some cooler weather and colorful leaves.

  12. Happy Birthday, Mr. LB Teen! I'm glad you had a good celebration :) I took more photos of the flame colored Maples in our yard today...and we have four little shrubs that look like little flames as well. I love this time of year! Happy Autumn! xx
    PS the pillow you made in your latest post is so pretty, Jennifer! I do not want to enter the contest but I enjoyed the post and the look of the yarn!


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