Thursday, April 16, 2015


When we went to Mt. St. Helens area, we hiked The Trail of Two Forests.  First we accidentally wandered around the forest peering into big caves and holes in the rock, but I didn't have my camera or my phone with me, so no pictures.  Then we realized we were aimlessly following what were likely deer paths through the woods and turned back.  The actual trail is a boardwalk with educational signs and was amazing.  Apparently thousands of years ago, an eruption occurred and lava flowed through the forests.  Basically, lava surrounded trees, which caught on fire and burned, but the lava cooled faster than the trees burned, which meant that the lava cooled around the trunks, which then burned away and left huge tree casts in the forest.  Some of them were like wells straight down, and some were horizontal.  There is even a tree cast tunnel that you can climb through if you're brave enough (we weren't). The picture immediately above is part of that tunnel and you can see the cast of bark left where the lava cooled against a tree trunk before the tree burned away.  It is an old forest cast in stone with a new forest growing up all around it.  

The colors of the pictures are quite accurate; I haven't edited them in any way.  It was lush and rich and spongy, greens and yellows and browns in hues so deep and vibrant.  I really love the Cascades and miss the damp mosses now that we're living here in the desert on the other side of them.

The rest of the pictures are from the same trip on the property of Cedar Creek Retreat, where we were staying, a 20 acre plot with trails and creek access a quarter mile from the cottage.  Describing it as beautiful is an understatement.  It was breathtaking.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yarn Along Mid-April

Mid-April still on the needles, the dusky purple matching the blustery blue, gray, white, purple skies of the middle of April.  It is a sweet knit.  I'm eyeing it with anxiety, worrying that the size four will not actually be big enough for my four year old come next fall and I was hoping it would fit her awhile.  I have always had to adjust to smaller sizes since all my girls are petite.  The pattern (Mi Avril) didn't have a chest measurement which would have guided my size selection so I went with a size 4 figuring if anything it would just be a bit on the big side and while I did achieve gauge, it's not looking like it will fit lengthwise the way I was hoping for.  I might undo the bind off and knit another inch in the bodice, um YUCK, especially because I tried Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off and don't want to hassle with this!  (It was a great bind off though and it is really super stretchy without appearing loose.)  It's a surprise birthday gift so I haven't tried it on Millie but I think I will stealthily slip it on her in her sleep tonight and take a look.  Then I can know for sure except I can't because I don't really know what in the world I'm doing. 

Can you believe I'm still reading the same two books as the past several weeks?  I'm finally plowing through  
1) The Magicians by Lev Grossman about as fast as I can, which is admittedly not very fast, but I'm near the end.  The more I read the more I see Grossman's talent.  These are really incredible and if you like the Harry Potter genre you will probably like these. He has written complex, very raw characters in a really colorful, vivid, fascinating universe. I like this second book even better than the first.  

2)  The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall.  The third installment of a sweet quiet story about a family of all girls, a nostalgic story but set in the present day.  I love it.

I am listening to Sense and Sensibility via CraftLit and also listening to Twelfth Night via Chop Bard (such a great podcast if you've ever wanted to read more Shakespeare but feel daunted.) Podcasts accompany my evening dishwashing after the kids go to bed, my afternoon dinner preparation, and my drifting off to sleep. I'm looking for podcast recommendations to add to my list since I'm cleaning out my feed and realized that I'm paring out most of what I used to listen to.  Any favorites that you listen to regularly, literary or otherwise?

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for her Yarn Along link up!  Does anyone else wake up on Wednesdays and want to hop right online to see all the gorgeous yarn and projects that are sure to be posted?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Little Glimpses

It is evening now, even though most of the pictures are from our mornings.  One of our favorite movies is on as I write:  The Adventures of Milo and Otis; does anyone else adore this movie like I do?  If we can't be outdoors because of weather, or if we can't have kittens or puppies, it's the next best thing.  

Rosie is laying on the floor pretending to change her own diaper (laying on the floor seems to be her preferred activity lately, either playing, giggling, or tantruming - hello tumultuous twos!).   Lyddie and Millie are finishing dinner at their little white table while watching the movie, our Tuesday night tradition of girly night while Daddy is gone at church. The wind is wailing in through the drafty places in our old windows, while the sun flashes through the branches outside.  Even though it was very windy today, I was able to work in the flowerbeds pulling up the fast-growing weeds and grasses that don't belong, and now I am tired, but it is a good tired.  

We have a growing collection of poultry this year, and we are all having fun watching the various chicks grow.  Turkeys are such strange looking birds, but even stranger are our guinea chicks.  They add a chatter to our yard as they begin to explore their territory and I hope they continue to do well. Isn't that a stunning rooster?  His name is FancyBoy.  Yes.  FancyBoy.  

Someone needs to tell Millie it is still too cold to run through the sprinklers.  :)

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Yarn Along All Things Spring

 I couldn't resist showing adding pictures of these little girls.  Could they be any more darling?  I like to think of the dress Rosie has on as our cotton candy dress since it is light and fluffy.  Happy belated Easter.

We got away last week as a family to a little cabin and it was blissful after a very busy month.  I got a lot of knitting and reading done and was able to just rest and help Jesse rest and spend focused time just together with the girls.  What an incredible blessing.

On my nightstand: The Magician King - On my needles: Millie's Mi Avril cardigan...

 but mostly this week I am working on our kitchen remodel so knitting and reading won't happen too much.  I am, however, listening to Sense and Sensibility via the CraftLit podcast while painting (having finally finished Herland--which I didn't much like for its agenda).

I hope to add pictures soon from our trip last week - we went on an incredible hike near Mt. St. Helens and I can't wait to write about that and tuck some thoughts about those memories here.  

I get to join up at Ginny's for Yarn Along.  (Also:  does anyone know how to add a button for Yarn Along to their blogger sidebar? I haven't even been able to figure it out using Blogger's "easy" to understand widget system)

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Lovely Blossoms

I've got these lovely blossoms
Growing wild and free
And what I wouldn't give
If they would stay always with me

But the wind is calling
And soon they will away
I'll nurture them and tend to them--
Then stay behind and pray