Category Archives: knittin

A week ago my mother died.

We buried her quickly because we didn’t want any of mom’s old friends to hassle us. We were right. I put the obituary out the Sunday following and already had several hangup calls. DH had to field a terribly unpleasant call from a distant family member who was extremely insensitive. Mental illness has robbed me of my mother, heaped judgement upon me, and devastated my nuclear family.

Today is Tuesday. Eleven days after she died. The grief is finally settling in. The people have left. Thanksgiving is Thursday. I am sad. Very, very sad.

Blogging grief. Is this a good idea?


No time.

WEATHER: Hot, hot, hot, and humid. That’s all I got so say.
HOWEVER! Mid-August is upon us and the temps are going to start falling.

I have to say, I am a very, boring person. I blog about my life, weather, and feelings mostly. Hmmmm. Actually, that is why I am posting tonight. Feelings.

SCHOOLING: We are off to the races. 5th grade, 4th grade and somewhere between K and 1st. Classical Conversations has really saved my homeschooling hide! I am tutoring this year. Yikes.

COOKING: Grilled an entire salmon tonight. I overcooked it. oops. Some kind of ratatouille and brown rice. No bread.

KNITTING: Working on Alice Starmore’s St. Brigid, a 2 year endeavor. A afghan for DD#2. A couple of shawls. No time to list all of it here.

SPINNING: Completed plying the 2.5lbs of Cranberry wool/mohair blend. 3 ply. Not sure what weight yet. I’ll record that later.

ON MY MIND: I am feeling wistful, nostalgic or something. Not really sure what it is. I had a random thought about the Bible college I attended from 1989-1991. Lots happened there, mostly bad. But I still feel such affection for the place, professors, and old friends. The school FINALLY got a website up and running and have reached the 21st century, technologically speaking only.

I am frustrated because I don’t have time to really post tonight. I gotta go do other things. Should I hit publish? I think I will. Forgive the slapdash post complete with grammatical errors and no spell checking.


Hmmmmmmmmmmm

WEATHER: I rolled out of bed at 7:30am and it felt quite brisk. I put on sweats and an alpaca pullover, but forgot my feet. They haven’t warmed up yet, 4 hours later. The weather is crazy and pollen maddening!

SCHOOLING: Working on subtraction, subtraction, subtraction. Reviewing Math-U-See, to see if a better teacher than I can break thru our glacier of misunderstanding.

Our homeschool co-op is done for the year. We are entering the summer cycle of our little homeschool. We read and do math. Test in June. Take July off. Gonna be great. Focus on housework and play. Delightful!

COOKING: I don’t feel much like cooking today. I did make Sour Cream Blueberry muffins for breakfast tho. This was pure self-defense! No cereal and I didn’t feel like eggs……….. again.

KNITTING:
A handspun sweater. Ashland Bay roving in a sea swept blue grey meets a chestnut and green batt to create a cool green/blue cable yarn. Pattern: Neckdown Wrap Cardigan by Knitting Pure and Simple.

SPINNING: Plenty of that. Still saving some of the roving from the above knitting, in case I run out of yarn and need to make more.

ON MY MIND: A picture is worth a thousand dishes…………


Knit pictures and repentance, aren’t you glad you dropped by! ha

WEATHER:The weather is 78.8 F today, so far. Everything is green and I am hoping the pollen explosion is past. I love the sound of the wind in the leaves, especially when the leaves are young and light green.

KNITTING:I have been knitting. A lot. I like to spend my time knitting and not wrestling with my camera, computer, and blog server to show off what I have been doing. So, here is a couple of days worth of technology work to show you I DO still knit… A lot.

COOKING:Made a Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake today. Not very pretty as the bottom stuck badly, but with a gnache glaze…. I don’t think I’ll hear any complaints!

Interesting blending technique for a pound cake. Melted butter and chocolate and sugar together in a heavy bottom pan. Le Creuset rocks y’all! Then, added all the flour, leavening, cinnamon, etc and poured directly into the pan. Chocolate, perfectly deep and rich.

CLEANING: Not keeping up too well at the moment. I basically keep the kitchen under control, so I can cook another meal and keep the toilet from smelling awful. Other than that, it is pretty spotty. I just don’t have people over much, or, they drop in on me and I decide I don’t care. Works either way.

GARDENING: Disappointment this year. It is May 5th and have not tilled the garden or started seeds. This is NOT like me. We’ll see if I get anything in the ground this year. Still composting tho.

SCHOOLING: Classical Conversations is over until next October, thank You Jesus! Very stressful but good.

ON MY MIND: There is always a lot on my mind. Even tho I am an extrovert, I think a lot. My favorite times of day are in the early mornings and right before sleep. Lately, I am thinking about repentance. Big word. What is repentance? How does it show up in your life? What does it look like?

I RESENT strongly the idea that repentance is some kind of Pavlovian behavioral modification.

It was recently said to me, “Catie, you are such a good little girl.” The context was a pastor helping me with my problems with mom. This was NOT a complimentary statement. Goodness has never gotten me anywhere. In fact, our goodness is self-righteousness. Great. I’m self-righteous, I won’t argue with that. But how do you stop being that way? Repentance.

I have more definitions of repentance than I can comfortably write here. Change of mind. 180 degree turn in behavior.

Those are all paltry descriptions of a profound gift that The Father has given us. Repentance. The gift of the ability to change. How to effect that in your life tho. That’s what’s on my mind today.


Weather: We’ve had some serious cold lately. My bedroom thermometer has almost, but not quite, dropped below 60 F. There was mixed freezing rain today, but we persevered and made it out to church.

Home Keeping: I’ve been doing basic house maintenance and that’s bout it. I’ll tell you what though, it is much easier to keep house when you aren’t educating your kids at the same time.

Cooking: The girls and I have made 2 different types of cookies so far. Mexican Wedding Cakes and Chocolate Charms. They are both eggless, shortbread cookies but flavored differently. The wedding cakes have ground almonds and the chocolate charms speak for themselves.

We have used whole wheat pastry flour (wwpf) and sucanat for everything. Oh, I have been using store-bought lard called Manteca, for 1/2 of the butter. The cookies are light, crunchy and delightful. Not heavy at all. Yeah fresh milled grain!

I *think* if folks had a chance, without telling them, to eat cookies, cakes, etc made with freshly milled whole wheat, they would PREFER them. Just a thought.

Knitting: Actually not doing much. Just a little in the evening with a VERY little TV watching.

Spinning: I have been spinning like Rumpelstiltskin lately. I have finished up the black, Icelandic fleece from Natasha’s farm. Andy has subsequently bought me another 1 and it is even MORE gorgeous if that is possible. I am processing this one without the help of the washing machine, and it is making a world of difference.

On My Mind: We have been forced to turn on the oil heater as I broke the window out of our wood stove. This couldn’t have come at a worse time, but, I learned a lesson that could potentially save our lives later. Who knows? So, we are using 2 kerosene heaters mainly and the oil furnace in the morning to knock the chill off.

Well, the DH and kids are putting lights on the tree, I think I’ll go and offer moral support and watch and spin. Blessings, beloved


On My Mind: I am convinced that I have been raised wealthy. Very wealthy. What I mean by this is that whenever we needed wanted something, we went to whatever store my mother frequented, and we bought it. I know my family or origin struggled with monumental debt.

This time of year, Christmas, has been hard for me in the past. The fighting, arguing, and silences followed by a ‘joyous time of opening gifts.’ I have worked hard to get past that and find peace in this season of Advent. Isn’t that one of the names of Jesus? The Prince of Peace?

Peace. Today, I am at rest. There is X amount of dollars in the checking account. A big hospital bill to pay. Less than 1 weeks worth of seasoned wood to heat our house, and I am at peace. There is dinner cooked and waiting for us to enjoy together. The children are going with my husbands parents to a concert of 1 of the many, many cousins we have. DH and I are going to go Christmas shopping, maybe. I am at peace.

I’m at peace because Jesus came and He lives. I KNOW that the hospital bill will get paid. I KNOW that somehow wood will become available to us for the wood stove (BTW, this is NOT a solicitation of any kind, just a testimony of the grace I have received from my Maker), I KNOW that my children will receive something wonderful for Christmas. I KNOW that God resides in my soul and that is the only present I want. All of these things come/ will come from the King of a Thousand Sheep on a Thousand Hills.

I think I am just pensive about my grandma. Neena. Born in 1910, died in 2004. She is my hero. She had borders live in her house to make ends meet. I have absolutely no needs. I have been doing minor research on Depression Era living. You know what? We might be headed that direction. And it will be good for us. I am so spoiled.

There’s a website you should look at. I am there about everyday lately because, as skilled as I am in the kitchen, I need help learning to cook and grocery shop cheap. The name of the website is, don’t laugh, it’s for real….. The Hillbilly Housewife. She has several menus and shopping lists that blow my mind. Good wholesome food made with cheap ingredients. Good stuff. That leads me to….

Cooking: Tonight’s menu, from the Hillbilly Housewife herself….

Taco meat
homemade tortillas
coleslaw

This is the Tortilla recipe, I have adapted it from somewhere off the internet.

Beloved’s Tortilla’s
4 c freshly milled, soft white wheat
2 t table salt
4 t baking powder
2 T lard
1.5-2 c warm water, enough to make the dough come together

1. In your stand mixer, using your paddle attachment, put in all of the ingredients BUT the water.
2. Mix on ‘stir’ until the lard has been ‘cut into’ the dry ingredients.
3. Slowly, drizzle in water until it forms a ball of dough as you are mixing. As soon as the ball forms, beat the dough for 1 minute or so to develop a little gluten.
4. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
5. Heat cast iron griddle on medium
6. Divide dough into 12 equal balls.
7. Use enough flour to prevent sticking, roll out dough into discs.
8. Cook on griddle, about 1 minute per side.
9. Place cooked tortillas into Ziploc bag so they can steam together and remain soft.

I am thinking the tortillas were made for less than 50 cents. The taco meat cost about $4.00 for 2.5lbs. A head of cabbage, a couple of carrots….. maybe $1.50. I am not costing in the seasonings, that would be too hard. So, I have a meal here, that will feed the 5 of us for 2 meals. That’s 10 meals.
4.00
1.50
+.50
$6.00 Not bad. Divide that by 10 (for 10 meals total), we are talking .60 cents a meal.

Well, DH is home. Gotta go and eat with my treasures. Peace, beloved

PS: This is MY Christmas present. Not the animal, just the fleece.


Artisan Bread with Freshly Milled Flour

Weather: Going to be a lovely day! Lots of sun after yesterdays rains. Strong winds forecast, but I love variety.

School: It’s official. We are on our ‘summer’ break. I take December off so I can truly enjoy the holidays.

Cooking: My friend Ginger, here’s her blog, educated me on bread. As always, this is more of a formula versus a recipe. Here are the basics:

Artisan Bread, a la Ginger

1. Put the following into your mixer and beat for 10 minutes, really, 10 minutes. This will develop some serious gluten strands. Very beautiful.

2 1/2 c hot water
1 T yeast
2-3 c freshly milled, whole wheat flour (this is approx 1/2 the total amt of flour you are going to use)

2. Add in the rest of your flour (whatever it takes to make the dough come together) and the following:

2 t salt
1/4 c sucanat
nuts – opt
flax seed – opt
dried fruit – opt

3. Knead all of this for 5 more minutes.
4. Let your dough rise an hour or so.
5. Shape your loaf into baguette shape or boule shape and liberally COAT THE BREAD IN FLOUR! (I watched youtube for specific help in shaping these loaves)

6. Preheat your oven to 450.
7. I have put a cast iron griddle into my oven and heat it along with the oven. If you don’t have that, improvise. My 1st loaf I baked in a colander and the bread and the colander turned out OK.
8. Slash the tops of your bread with your bread knife. This gives the bread the ability to rise. Place bread in oven and QUICKLY throw 1/2 cup cold water into the bottom of the oven.

9. Throw 1/2 more water into the bottom of the oven frequently. This produces steam that makes an incredibly, crisp crust.
10. Bake 25-30 minutes. The bread will be quite brown and hard.
11. Wait as long as you can before digging in.