Almost Fall

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Can you tell which window pane just got replaced?  It was kicked out “accidentally” a couple weeks ago and the chickens quickly figured out that there is cat food just inside that door.  (I am pretty sure they had some help.)  I heard, “Chicken in the pantry!” more than once. Now that the window is fixed, they just stand there looking confused.

Early mornings have finally started to cool off a little, and I laughed seeing Larkspur outside in her mud pie kitchen wearing a wool hat the other day.  Totally unnecessary, but a sign that she’s ready for summer to end.  I am too, though fall has a tendency to make me sad.  I think it’s a combination of seasonal depression and too much going on in general.  Busy schedules overwhelm me.  When I am stretched thin I start finding myself on the verge of tears frequently.  September is always the worst. If I can just get to October, things will calm down and I’ll be able to exhale.

Our old cat Winifred disappeared last week.  We knew she was in her last weeks (longtime thyroid issue) and kept debating whether or not we should have her euthanized.  She was still happy to eat and be pet, and she was Larkspur’s favorite, so we kept holding out.  Now I regret it.  She must have died, and we can’t find her anywhere (outdoor cat).  We are in a similar spot with our even older cat, Silas.  He’s seventeen years old, and while he isn’t ill, he is just plain old.  He’s thin and totally deaf.  He sat in my lap the other morning and I cried thinking about the first year Jonny and I were married, when Silas was a kitten who would sit in my lap purring while I studied.  It’s hard to lose the pets that have such a strong link to our youth, I think.  I’m going to try to convince Silas to move inside before it gets cold outside.

Oh man, sorry that this blog just became the most depressing thing you’ve ever read!  Just a couple more weeks, and all will improve.  In the meantime, I’ll try not to write about elderly and dying pets!

On a positive note…

Just kidding.

But seriously, I promise I’m laughing.  Even if I don’t have a positive note to end on.

(edited to add, because folks are asking:  the peg toy is a Montessori color sorting activity.  You can get them (affiliate link) here.   And here is a link to Larkspur’s hat pattern.)

Tidying my brain

I have a variety of ways to try and smooth things out when my brain starts feeling too full of loose ends.  Organizing something is always good: a drawer or a cabinet.  But equally, or even more soothing to me, is organizing my knitting, or better yet, making plans for new projects:  printing patterns, choosing yarns, winding, casting on.  I couldn’t help keeping some of the yarn that I dyed last month, and I made plans for all of it over the weekend.  I have two skeins of dk in a nice gray blue from hopi black dye sunflower seeds and indigo, and I think those will become a Granny’s Favorite cardigan for Mabel.  I’ve never knit that pattern and it is popular with my knitting friends.  I have two skeins of 2-ply fingering weight in the lighter olive green in my photos (dyed with goldenrod), and will combine it with some undyed yarn for a Herbarium shawl.  I’m super excited about that one!  The blue-green dk skein with the printed band on it will likely become a Hackberry hat and maybe some fingerless mitts.  And finally, I kept two skeins of single ply wool in a deep olive green (also dyed with goldenrod) to knit a Nurmilintu shawl.  Over the weekend I finished my Emiliana shawl (it’s blocking now, and I’ll get good photos later in the week I hope), so I went ahead and cast on for the Nurmilintu. It feels so good to finish a big project and start a new one!

Maybe even more so than knitting, my new Blessed is She planner has been a lifesaver for me this month.  I want to mention it, because the September-August version sold out in a week, and I am afraid the same is going to happen with the 2017 calendar year version that is available for pre-order now.  It is a planner designed for Catholic women (though any woman could use it, just know that it includes holy days, feast days, etc. and Bible verses).  If you click through that link you can see more photos of the inside and read a detailed description.  It’s really wonderful, and even printed in the U.S.!  I’ve never had a planner meet my needs more fully.  I think my favorite part is simply the daily calendar pages that include the hours of the day next to the lines to write on.  I love being able to quickly write in everything we have going on and having it all fall chronologically.  In my previous planners I would write things down as they were scheduled, but they might end up not being in order.  There is enough room for writing in this planner that I can sketch out my yarn dyeing plans for the month, plan meals, and there’s even a designated place for weekly prayer intentions, which is super helpful for me.  So, if you don’t already have a planner that is meeting your needs, I highly recommend this one!  It’s saving my brain big-time!