Not necessarily

New Shawl-1154

I’m in get ready for fall and a new school year mode big-time.  I’ve been working to clean out every cupboard and cabinet, plan meals for September, and get a loose daily schedule pulled together.  Okay, so I haven’t actually planned any meals yet, but it’s on my list to do this week.  I want to plan three meals a day for every day of September (well, starting after Labor Day) because September is traditionally our most difficult month of the year.  My big problem is that I would rather do most anything, even clean bathrooms,  than plan meals, shop for groceries, or cook those meals.  I do like good food, I just hate to plan for it, and I hate to execute those plans.  I can’t explain it.  I love food and I hate food.  I was raised this way, that food is sort of a necessary evil.  One must eat to live, but my mom fought intensely personal battles with food throughout her life, and while I didn’t inherit her precise struggles, I definitely absorbed some of her negativity.  I share her stress over figuring out what to feed one’s people.  Complicating the matter are seven children.  Some hate beans, some hate chicken, some hate most everything outside of smoothies.

I’m fine with my kids hating what I cook.  I simply get tired of them sharing their feelings with me.  I wonder if I added to my mom’s food woes with my own bad attitude.  She was devoted to frozen mixed vegetables, and I surely hated them with all my being, still do, though I totally get their appeal.  All the colors, and all the ease.  Getting your kids to eat four vegetables at once feels good.  I’m sure I mentioned my negative feelings more than once, because I suspect that I struggled to keep my opinions to myself.  Knowing when to keep silent wasn’t my special childhood talent (nor a hallmark of adult Ginny, though I think I’ve improved).  I have a daughter (guess which one?) who has the same issue.  In fact, last night in an attempt to avoid planning or making dinner, I took a handful of children to the grocery store and fed them from the pizza bar.  Beatrix requested a piece of pizza from the center of the pie because it had the best bubble, and the teenage boy reached awkwardly across to slide the wedge onto his spatula.  He remarked, “If I were smart, I would have turned the pan around.”  Beatrix immediately replied, “Well, I guess you’re not!”  Fortunately, he was amused.

Anyway, I better get planning, because September starts tomorrow.

Things that were not necessarily on my list for this past week:  Dyeing more yarn and starting a new shawl.  These things help me to attack all the less appealing items on the actual list, and for those reasons I view them as important and necessary.

Ravelry notes for the pink shawl here.  Yarn here.  Pattern here.

Also, I seem to love pink and yellow now.  This is new.

All the Things

I finished reading Owls in the Family to the kids over the weekend.  I think this must have been one of my favorite read alouds in quite some time.  It’s based on the true childhood experiences of the author, Farley Mowat. (He is one of my older boys’ favorite authors.  Owls in the Family is one of the few books he wrote for younger kids.)

I did indeed dye yarn with pokeweed.  The berry picking part was unpleasant, and it took me close to an hour to pick enough of them.  I thought to myself, “Well, this will certainly be a one-time thing.”

But then my yarn turned out like this (the one on the left–on the right is yarn dyed with goldenrod) and I started having new thoughts:  “I need to pick more berries so I can dye more yarn!”

Later this week, I’ll try marigolds.

Larkspur spent her saved birthday money to purchase a cage for her new gerbils last month.  What a disgusting, messy nightmare that wire, multi-level cage was!  I share this only in case you are considering rodent pets.  I bought a nice big aquarium for them and now when they kick their bedding it hits the glass rather than the floor.  I told Larkspur that we can save the wire gerbil cage for bird rescue.

Small Things-0055

Because sometimes we find ourselves with an injured bird and they need a safe place to stay until we can get them to the real bird rehabilitators.  Gabe plucked this little goldfinch from the water on a kayaking trip last week.  Sadly, it didn’t make it.

Sunday afternoon, while I was working in the kitchen, Silas set himself up with a craft.  He told me he was making felt balls.  I’m not sure how the vanilla extract came into play, but it did smell nice.  I’ll ask Silas if he can put together a little tutorial for us.

I experienced the magic of turning a giant basket of fresh tomatoes into a tiny pile of cooked tomatoes on Sunday afternoon.  Beatrix asked, “Hey!  Why are you boiling tomatoes?”  I replied, “To make tomato sauce for dinner, silly!”  “Oh,” she said.  “I was wondering if tomatoes might make red dye.”  I’ve only been messing around with yarn and natural dyes for the past couple of weeks and it seems that my kids have forgotten that I do sometimes actually cook food in the kitchen.

The honeybees are in the Japanese knotweed, our last real flow of the year, thanks to this invasive plant that we have a love-hate relationship with.  I sure hope our bees are making themselves lots of honey for winter.