Friday, 31 July 2015

January - June Knitting

It doesn't feel as though my needles have been that productive this year and yet when I looked back over the photos, I found quite a selection.


My stack of dishcloths have been replenished, severel tiny, new babe knits have been made.


Socks and leg warmers for a friend's little girl.
Hand spun, cotton, sock yarn, stripes, plain, old patterns, much loved and new ones have been used.


Yet my yarn pile seems to have grown rather than diminished, now isn't that the way !









Thursday, 30 July 2015

Thursdays with The Buddies

think we'd be ok to call ourselves, seasoned home educators, enough years under our belts, paper mâché works of art, boxes of pictures, ticket stubs and pond dipping sessions attended to be the real deal. 
By no means experts, mistakes aplenty, disasters, triumphs and glitter crusted carpets are us. 



Denise - This will be our 14th year of learning at home, what began with Lewis at 7, taken out of school for a break, followed with Katie and Oscar never attending school.
Lewis, 21 and Katie, 17 now at University and college both decided to go to school in their teens.

Do we unschool ? Maybe
Are we project based learners ? Sometimes
Workbook Users ? Occasionally
Times tables, curriculum, hours of school time, test taking ? No, we are definitely not.

We learn at home, Oscar and I, by doing, seeing, listening, investigating, making and play, lots of play.
Our weeks flow, nothing much fixed firmly, plenty of time and space for all that life has to offer.
But Thursday, Thursdays are different, Thursdays we have a long standing date with our buddies, Jack and Susan.

And those are days full of adventure.



Susan - We are a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 children, living in a very rural area. Our 2 oldest children chose to go to school for the first time when they reached age 14 so for the last 2 years Jack remains the only one being home educated. This has allowed Jack to really establish his own pace and rhythm and way of processing things.  We learn, discover, repeat and develop together throughout the week of play, music, talking, watching and doing. Ok so there's the necessity of frequent medical appointments and treatments but Jack isn't being taken out of education to attend them, they're just a part of the overall week.


We'd love to start sharing our adventures here, each Thursday.
Our Paddington Bear days, gardening and play days, making, cooking and sharing days, days out and days in, Book Sharing days, holidays, festivals and fun days.

These Buddies are our greatest teachers and sometimes we teach them.








Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Guernsey - Yarn Along

Joining in with http://www.gsheller.com



Things have stepped up a gear since last weeks dishcloths, this cold weather will do that.
Over the weekend, I wore not one but two pairs of wool socks, layers of tops, cardis and jumpers, topped with a waterproof coat.
We were at a festival, Underneath the Stars in Yorkshire but seriously it's nearly August, I was freezing and we weren't even camping ( hotel with beds, bath, shower and cooked breakfast )
I cast on f.pea's organic guernsey just before we left and knit on it solidly over the weekend, sitting in the big top, listening to the delights of Eddi Reader, Kate Rusby and more, while dodging the rain showers.
Coming up to the end of the first ball of Rowan Luxury Cotton, DK, I finally succumbed to what had niggled me from dividing for the sleeves ( this is a top down, free pattern ) it looked too small, way too small.
I ripped back, right back and cast on for 12months instead of the 6, so pleased I did, loving how it's looking now.
Yarn is wonderful, soft and the colour is a summery apple mint delight, I'm not normally a cotton fan but this has won me over.

Total childhood flashbacks, reading Enid Blyton to Oscar, my days were filled with Famous Five and Secret Seven, this gentle tale of life for four town children, recently moved to a farm is a summer reading delight, even if the weather isn't playing ball.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Strawberries






For years we enjoyed tiny little alpine strawberries from our garden, plants bought on a day out, planted in a pot and savoured each summer.
Then the chickens found them !
Those tiny, sweet bursts of goodness, didn't stand a chance, fruit, leaves, plant and roots, totally wiped out.

New plants, different variety, full sized beauties, new position in the garden, raised bed in fenced off vegatable patch has produce plump, juicy treats and lots of them.
The harvest has been good and looks to last for a couple more croppings at least.
Mostly enjoyed fresh from the picking, I have however managed 3 pots of rhubarb, strawberry and vanilla jam and strawberry and mint cordial, some in the fridge and some in the freezer for instant sunshine in the depths of winter.


Friday, 24 July 2015

Handful




Joining in today with This Moment http://www.soulemama.com



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Dishcloths - Yarn Along

Joining in today with Ginny over at http://www.gsheller.com
Books and Knitting, knitting and books, these are a few of many favourite things.






I've hit my annual mid-summer slump of knitting, where every project cast on is wrong for one reason or another and ends up ripped back and discarded.
An almost finished Griffin vest for O was taken apart and abandoned due to a yarn join, right in the middle of the front, that bothered me so much it had to go, not content with taking it back to the join, I kept winding until all the yarn was back in balls and stored a way for another time.
It's not that the weather is hot, this is the UK after all, it's muggy, windy, showers and full on rainy, sunny, not so much, it's just not, well, autumn, winter, cosy, fireside, soup kind of proper knitting project time.
So dishcloths it is, because I certainly can't be without needles and yarn.
Cotton is perfect, bright, fun colours, pops of yellow, blue, orange and dishcloths, just the right size for an afternoon or evening, in the garden, watching a movie or listening to the rain.


No thought provoking, summer reading classic, just a fast paced, action filled thriller by my bedside.
This is my fourth Jack Reacher novel and I don't feel quite done with him yet, his time will come, I'm sure, I have a habit of binging on authors, Patricia Cornwell, Faye Kellerman, Kathy Reichs, only to grow fed up with the same old, same, still good while it lasts.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Monday, 20 July 2015

Nest







She made her nest right outside my kitchen window, nestled tightly against the wall, tucked in the yellow rose bush. She had collected straw from the chickens, plastic tape from somewhere, ribbon, paper and a whole load of stuff from somewhere else. She had woven, tucked and tended and created a masterpiece, ready for her babies.
Our relationship got off to a very difficult start, this Mama and me, she darted off whenever I was near, no time to chat, no time to get to know each other, no chance of letting her know I wanted to be her friend.
Slowly and I've no doubt the mealworms, I left out, played a huge part, we became friends, she was less inclined to fly away or snuggle down deeper over her brood.
We began to chat, she listened to me singalong to the radio, watched me hanging out the laundry and collect it in, she accepted me being around.
She began calling when I was in the garden, like a neighbour over the garden fence, I would wish her Good Morning, ask after her health, all with a smile.
Like any proud Mama, she was eager to show off her babies when they hatched and I was excited and extremely honoured to see them.
Such a delight, we all began to take time wishing her well, cooing and making all the normal new baby remarks.
She preened and fussed, flying in and out with meals, we saw more and more of her two babies as they grew, bulging out of the nest, demanding food and plenty of it.
Then came the wing stretching, the sitting on the very edge of the nest and at this point, we knew our days of having these beautiful, new neighbours were numbered.
Saturday was a long day away from home, while we visited with K, laughed, swam and enjoyed time together, that wonderful Mama and her two children moved out.
We came home to an empty nest. 
Our own nest is emptying with L ( 21 next month ) still in Leeds, now living with his girlfriend and K  (17) out of hospital and doing very well, in a supported living placement near Manchester.
Thankfully, O with his nearly 8 year old zest for life and all it has to offer, fills our nest to bursting.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Garlic





The bed revealed a meagre harvest, sad, sodden, rotting, with few exceptions.
I'm thinking the days and days of rain, the lateness of Summer and then lack of continuous sunshine have taken their toll.
I'm drying out, in today's sun and wind, what did come good and we will certainly celebrate this small but delicious harvest.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Sourdough








On a recent trip to Ireland I ate my body weight in fabulous bread - soda farls, potato, wheaten, Veda   
( oh my goodness, Veda bread, who knew ) and sourdough, home tended, home made, divine sourdough at Siobhans. Their daily bread, my slice of perfection.
Ireland was a fabulous adventure, there have been many since I was last here, lucky lady that I am, days out with friends, festivals, trips to Florida, the Keys and my beloved Isle of Lewis, much has changed here but as is life, much is still the same.
We still home educated O ( nearly 8 ! ) I still knit, read, sew ( occasionally ) cook, forage, create.
We still live in the same house, in the same village.
Friends have come, some gone and thankfully those very dear, family of the heart friends are still here.
There have been heartbreaking goodbyes, to dear loved ones including my Grandad.
Celebrations of birthdays, births, long lasting marriages, achievements and the every day, each day has something to put a smile on your face, like restarting this blog and seeing your lovely comments, thank you.

Eager to have my own sourdough going on, I bought a starter and set to feeding it, nurturing it, celebrating all it's bubbly goodness and then finally I made bread.
So now I have my own daily bread happening, my own slice of heaven.
Life is good.



Thursday, 16 July 2015

It's been a while, a really long while







Feeling my way around the new look blogger, thinking about things to say and cleaning up this space.
Hello, how are you ? Anyone there ?