Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm Back!

I had a very nice trip home to visit all of my family in MI. I was gone for just about a week, since we got back yesterday afternoon. I wish I could visit so much more often, but at the same time, I love being home and tending to my work so much that it's hard to be away for so long as well. It's also hard to catch up sometimes too! I've got lots of laundry to do and lots of cleaning too.

I've gotten a pretty good start on catching up so far today though. I skipped making my to do list this morning, settling for putting the house back together after my absence and the extended morning routine. (Same things as my regular morning routine, but they take so much longer since they haven't been done for so long.) I've pretty much caught up on the cleaning that I want to get finished today, except for emptying the dishwasher when it finishes running and doing about five more loads of laundry. I started with the most important laundry though, like the sheets, so if it takes into the weekend to get that all caught up, no problem.

I'm definately planning to start back up with the to do lists on Monday. It worked so well for last week to sit down in the morning and plan out which things had to get done that day. I feel like it will help a lot when it comes to getting things done that I forget to do because they're not done often. It was also good to be able to, when I ran across a job that had to get done but didn't want to interupt myself to do it immediately, just jot it down on the next page so I'd remember to do it the next day. I've always resisted doing this, since it seems like a waste of paper to use a sheet every day just to write things down, but I've been using the back of the page a day calendar pages, so I don't feel like I'm wasting. Plus, it's so worth it to have the chance to get a little more organized in my work!

The dinner I cooked was a success. It was so pleasurable for me to get to cook so much food! And so satisfying to see it all disappear so quickly! There weren't many leftovers at all, perhaps just a cup of so of potatoes and some gravy and roasted carrots. I actually bought more meat to make a roast to shred up and make into shepherds' pie for Ben when he got there. I was glad to know that I've learned to cook well enough to make dinner for 20 people and get everything finished and warm at the same time! I don't think I could have done that even a year ago.

Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up in the cooking that I completely forgot to take pictures. So I don't have any pictures of people eating my food, or even the food, to post. I'll just have to do it all over again sometime. Maybe this summer I'll try fried chicken for all 20 of us.

I did buy some fun new things at the Amish stores in Clare. I just love going into those stores because it seems like they're the only places you can buy some serious homemaking supplies, lol. I got a two pound bag of yest for $4.60. I don't know what the Sam's price is, but Ben and I don't usually enjoy going in there, so since I was already at the Amish grocery, I figured I'd save us the trip to O'Fallon. I do know that we pay about $6 for 8oz of yeast at ShopnSave, so this purchase saved me about $20 in the long run! I got some things that are more on the frivilous side too, like dough scoops, at the Amish hardware store, but they're a good value compared to what I'd pay at a specialty shop, and I'm definately not the type to buy kitchen gadgets and not use them, so I wouldn't consider it wasted money, but more under the category of entertainment than of household necessity.

I've got projects to keep me busy this afternoon and through next week. I'm making an apron that Adam has requested. We fabric shopped while I was visiting, so now I have all the supplies to get started. And I'm also hoping to start a new knitting project, since I'm between things right now. The pi shawl was great travel knitting, and it's coming along well, but I think I will reserve that to be travel only knitting, since it's ideal not having to refer to a pattern or do anythinking at all, and not needing to have lots of balls of yarn with me the way I would with dishcloths or something else easy. Anyway, since I'm not finishing the shawl quite yet, and I'm planning some dishcloths for tv and movie knitting here at home, I want to pick out a project that's slightly more complicated and requires a pattern for afternoon quiet time/book listening.

Ben would like a vest or cardigan, I think, and I know I'd like a pair of thick socks. I should also make myself a cardigan or shrug, and Ben can always use warm socks as well. I think that my first step will be to check out the stash closet and see what's available. I did break my yarn diet by buying some sugar and cream cotton for dishcloths, but that doesn't actually count because I had knit up every bit of sugar and cream before we moved, so I couldn't make new dishcloths (and I have promised black ones to Adam to go with the apron) without buying some more. Anyway, since the yarn diet is still strongly in effect, I will be playing with my stash and digging through patterns this afternoon to decide what to make next.

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Melonie said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time! Welcome back. :-)
Your yarn diet has me excited to share my news - today I found a knitting shop online (in the next town over) and we headed over to check it out as their site said they had classes available for February. They were only $10 a person and limited to 2 people per class, so I signed Chatty and myself up for next Saturday. I'm so excited! We each have needles and two skeins of yarn (purchased for that Oak Meadow program that didn't work out). What project should we ask to tackle? Scarf or dishcloth sounds like a good beginner project to me - or are even those really advanced? Would love to hear your thoughts, project lady. :-P

Bethany said...

Well, the class might have a specific project in mind, but if they don't, dishcloths are excellent for beginners.

I'd avoid scarves at first because, while knitting comes to be relaxing and fun, at first it can be frustrating and a scarf can seem endless.

Hats are pretty good first projects too, they're not too big and they teach some very basic shaping.

The very first thing you knit will probably be just a piece of knitting with no purpose. Just to learn. And then you can start a project once you know the movements.

I hope you guys have tons of fun! I love it when people learn to knit!

Melonie said...

Thanks for the suggestions. They don't have a specific project assigned, but they do say that folks already working on a project can bring it and they'll help you along with it. I'm thinking that will come in handy as I get further along!

They also say "Just bring your enthusiasm, we will loan you what you need." But I've already got knitting needles and two skeins of yarn (for each of us) from the original failed attempt, so I plan to take those with us. The yarn I originally bought was to make a little shawl or scarf for the doll I made my daughter, so I'm thinking if the teacher asks I will see if that is something "doable". I was thinking maybe it would teach me how to do a scarf without having it take as long? I have no idea what she will want to make - she's just shy of 7 so I'm sure if I were to ask now she'd change her mind a gazillion times by tomorrow afternoon. I'll just let the teacher do all the deciding on that. haha

Your apron post is VERY inspiring. I'm in awe!!! I really wish my 9th grade home ec teacher had broken things down into steps as clearly as you do; my few sewing skills probably would've stuck with me then! Can you just come out to Cali with all your stuff and teach a class? hahaha

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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