Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas update!

I had wanted to post after Thanksgiving. I had pictures and everything. However, work got a little messy. There was a forced transfer, which meant that I had to leave my 40 alternative students and become the new classroom teacher for 120 eighth graders whose teacher wasn't able to keep up with her responsibilities as teacher.

It was a bit jarring to go from a situation where I had grown comfortable and had a regular routine to a new classroom that was basically in chaos. Realistically, the classroom isn't new, it is the same class I did a long term subbing gig in last year, but last year I was the teacher on day one. There was no hassle trying to figure out where the class left off. Due to the teacher's illness, the classes are way behind. I am not sure how I will be able to get them ready for the state testing in two months!

One to happier subjects, Christmas is here, and we are all snug, warm, and over fed! We had a simple celebration with a few thoughtful and meaningful gifts, a small tree (that I have had for a couple of years now), and a meal planned around taste and not over indulgence. I made a serious effort to shop for gifts locally which was actually very pleasant. In all cases, the local stores were less crowed, the staff extremely friendly and helpful, and the prices were good.

Organic and local foods filled my table and several of my own canned goods were opened and shared (these were things that I made for *special* occasions). There were even items grown in my own backyard.

Our charitable contribution went here. If you haven't given this year, check them out! One of these days, I am going to spring for the "Knitter's Gift Basket!"

Happy Holiday Knitting! (I hope you are all done with the holiday knitting)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

February Lady Sweater

I started knitting this in February, but my life being what is for the past year, I have only just now finished. Happily, Michell loves the sweater. I think she'll forgive me for giving her a birthday present 9 months late.

A close up of the knitting and the cute dolphin buttons

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's new with me

Lots of work, lots of driving (I have a tremendous commute that I hate). I am starting to get a routine, which is good because everything changes in two weeks!

I have been putting a lot of study into Anne Frank. I am reading the play with my students. I am crying a lot.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's that time of year!

Dear blog,

It is that time of year. After a long summer looking for work, being rejected, and feeling hopeless, I finally found a job. I am back at Griffith Middle School, but in a different, temporary position. Happily, I have a job for the full year this year!

So, I have been extra busy teaching and commuting, and I have less time for knitting, gardening, or cooking. It was a sharp transition. Every summer, just as I get really get into the bliss of domesticity, another school year starts, and I am back into the joys to teaching.

Today is cloudy and rainy, and I have lots of domestic work to keep me busy. I am happy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It is a lousy, lousy picture, but all 33 of my jar of tomatoes are there. Many are homegrown. Some have onions and peppers for a nice chili base, some have onions and my own homegrown basil and oregano for spaghetti. Many are just ripe, beautiful, local tomatoes with the steams removes juiced in the food processor and put in jars. No matter which way, the base for 33 different meals are tucked away in my cupboard until needed. There are more canning adventures to share, but I think one product at a time is easier to write about.

The big news, I finally got a job for this year! I will be back in Griffith working in their alternative program while the regular teacher goes on maternity leave. I am so happy to be in one school district for the year, and I am thrilled to be back at Griffith.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner tonight

Tonight, we are having eggplant for dinner. Not just any eggplant either. I picked the eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh herbs just a few moments ago. I bought beautiful, fresh cheeses yesterday for tonight's dinner. I can not wait to start cooking and eating!

Added later

I just had to share a pic of the final meal made with my produce. It was the freshest, most delicious meal I have ever had. I got a lot of satisfaction from knowing that the produce was all organic and the result of my own effort.

The meal preparation was labor intensive; however, the simple steps were a good reason to take this meal slow and easy. I enjoyed the process almost as much as the meal.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 09, 2010


from left to right
peaches in syrup, peach jelly on top of peach butter, honey spiced peaches, honey spiced syrup

A good friend and I thought it would be a great idea to can some peaches. There is a family owned peach orchard near me that has been in operation for close to 100 years. My mother used to buy peaches there every summer to can. There is no store, stand, or shop. Just a few tables (loaded with peaches) set up in the barn. The barn is no more than 30 yards from the home of the farmer.

The first day we worked together, we got about half a bushel or so of over ripe peaches. They were $16 and far too ripe to can in syrup. So, we opted to make peach butter instead. We were wise enough to not add water to our peaches because they were so juicy. We got 10 half pints of peach butter (each). There were two verities of butter, ginger and amaretto. Both super sweet and yummy. We also had 2 quarts of juice left, which we split. My friend made syrup, and I made 8 half pints of jelly.

Two weeks later, my friend and I buy peaches again. This time, 1 and a half bushels! That's about 75 pounds of peaches! We each got 11 quarts of peaches in a medium syrup, and 10 pints of honey spiced peaches to use as gifts! I also reduced and canned some of the honey spiced syrup because it was so good.

It was an epic canning session that took two days. We peeled, de-stoned, and sliced each peach. We carefully and thoughtfully prepared our syrups (using locally produced honey). We filled our jars, and process them two canners full at a time.

I am pleased to have captured these sweet treats of summer to use this winter in a jar. I am pleased to support local farmers. I am pleased that I have reduced the miles my food has traveled to my plate. It is sustainable. But what really pleases me is the connection to my personal history. I am following in the footsteps of my foremothers, and my own mother. I am connected to my food in a personal way when I can. I am developing a bond with another human being over our food.

Like knitting, canning puts me in touch with the past. It connects me to a basic survival need in a personal way. It connects me with other people.

It is real. It is human. It is basic. It is simple.

Happy Knitting (and canning)!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I harvested my first (well, not exactly) tomatoes. I will be overwhelmed by them in just a few days, but I am prepared to preserve my harvest.

Sly and the kids went to Florida to visit family. They brought home a huge bag of oranges. While the Honey Spiced Oranges can be seen in the last post, I also made marmalade. BTW, making marmalade=lots of work.

I made blackberry jam.

I made "end of the garden" pickles. There is a little of everything in there, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, beets, onions, and even green beans.

I am planning a second garden, now that most of my first garden is done. I will devote most of the second garden to green beans. I would like to put up a few because we really love them. My third garden will be carrots, onions, and potatoes since, with a little preparation, they can winter in the ground until I want to use them.

While my garden this year was very small, it has produced a lot of food and given me a great deal of satisfaction.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Summer has been keeping me busy. I have been putting all local fresh fruits and veggies I can into jars to keep for the summer. I have really enjoyed the process of producing rather than consuming.

My mother canned; more out of necessity than any real desire to put things in jars. There were always pickles, jellies, veggies, soups, and even a salmon stored safely in a Ball glass jar until needed or wanted.

So far, I have four kinds of pickles, three jams, and I am putting up oranges that Sly bought while visiting his family in Florida.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A little of what I am up to

Home again! Last week, I attended Knitters Connection in Columbus Ohio. I had a total blast (yeah, that 80's teen in me won't die). I took a spinning lesson, and learned tons. I bought way too much wool (is there such a thing?), and I spent quality time with dear friends! All in all, a great way to spend my 42 birthday (last Wed.)

The garden is exploding with food! There have been many salads, broccoli, peas, carrots, onions, beets! Soon, I will be swamped with tomatoes. Most of them will need to be canned to enjoy this summer.

I have been putting up lots of berry jams. I should do a video on it because it is super simple.

I have had several job interviews. Next week is THE ONE I think. When the principal called me about the interview, he basically told me what to say in the interview! Wish me luck.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grandma Put it All in a Jar!

I have lifted this ode of love to canned goods from Ashley English over at Small Measure. I have been using her book to can many jars of strawberry jam.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Thinking about food

I am making the leap into growing food (my weekly garden updates are evidence of that). While I am enjoying my small garden, I have been putting more thought into where the food I buy comes from. Buying a can of organic corn in the supermarket that has been shipped from who knows where uses more fossil fuels and therefore harms the plant more than local food grown with non-organic practices. I am lucky enough that I am able to supplement what I can't produce in my backyard with locally produced foods, which is much better for the planet.

Local strawberries that I processed and made into the most delicious jam. While I didn't grown them myself, they came from less than 10 miles away.

All cut up and mixed with sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice, it was hard to save them for the jam!

Dinner last night was so amazing, and so local! The salad and most of the veggies were from my garden. I baked the bread myself, and the eggs were from local, free-range chickens. Very tasty meal.

For dinner tonight, I took beans from my garden, some organic potatoes, and locally produced bacon and made this:

I won't embarrass your dinner by describing how fantastically good this meal was. I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow; more local bacon with free range local eggs, and homemade strawberry jam!

Happy knitting!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Things on my mind

I have become increasingly interested in the idea of backyard or urban homesteading. The name is a little misleading because it isn't really homesteading. Rather, it is about self-sufficiency, independence, greener living, frugal living, and (for me) a more authentic way of life. With the price of so-called "organic" foods so high, the dangers of produce from other countries, and the huge amount of fossil fuels used to bring most goods to the store, I have decided that I want to be a producer, not a consumer.

The idea of producing more of what I use at home seems to be compatible with being a knitter and a spinner (not to mention a quilter, a soap maker, and a home baker). I have become interested in backyard chickens (I am still checking my local laws), and I am obsessed with pygora goats (which I may also be able to keep in town). Angora rabbits are very doable for me right now.

I have had a garden in the past, but this year, I have expanded my garden, and I am growing a wider verity of foods. My plan is to increase my small garden each year until I am able to produce a greater percentage of what I eat. I also plan to buy as much as I can at the local farmer's markets and preserve as much local food as possible for use in the winter months.

So, this post is an update on my urban sustainable homestead.
Sly loves blueberries, so when I saw bushes for sale at the garden center, I had to buy one. There are lots of berries, but this little guy might be ready to eat soon!

Regular readers know that I love my clothesline. It is a simple, easy, and cost effective way to start living more sustainably. Sly built this clothesline for my about 5 years ago. It cost around $50. Every couple of years we spend about $10 on a new line, clothes pins, and other small necessary items.

This is one of my raised beds. I am thrilled with how well everything is doing well, and I have several things close to harvest.

Broccoli that should be ready to eat soon. I am very excited because it is my favorite veggie.

Green beans are another favorite of mine. In addition to my two raised beds, I have a small container garden to increase my harvest.

Another of my container plants has visible signs of life. I use green bell peppers in so many things. I am not sure where this little guy will end up, but I know it will be great.

My first two tomatoes. I am very tempted to fry these little guys in bacon fat right now! I will be up to my eyeballs in tomatoes in just a few weeks. All my plants are covered in cute little, yellow flowers.

I really needed to thin out my lettuce plants, so I had a simple salad with my dinner tonight. The greens were very good, and nice and tender. Now the others will have room to grow nice and big.

Finally, my first attempt at canning. I bought some strawberries from a local farmer's market. There were way more than I would eat, so I thought I would do a small batch of jam. I think they are almost too pretty to eat!

Happy knitting, gardening, and cooking!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Video update

I have uploaded videos of my garden progress. Things are growing very well, and I am eager to harvest something! I need to lay down a weed barrier cloth and some mulch around the garden. It is very over grown in the garden area. We also need to build the trellis for our vine plants soon.

I also posted a video of Buddy and Trouper (aka Pooper). Poor Poop just doesn't like to play in the yard with Buddy is on his tie out. Little Poop has been nearly strangled by that lease three times, so he tends to stay out of Buddy's reach now.

A week and a half left of school!!!

garden update 2b

garden update 2a


Monday, May 10, 2010

Big Ass Update

The school year is winding down, and my next job search is winding up. This means I have been very busy. I am sorry for the delay in posting. I also do not really have the time for a video this week, but there are tons of photos.

First, some knitting. I haven't finished many projects in the past few weeks, so getting this beret done for Michelle was a victory.

She wears slouchy berets all the time to hid the fact that she hasn't done anything with her hair. As an art major, she has become very interested in DIY clothes, so mom's knitting adds to her street cred as an artist. I am just happy she appreciates hand knit items.

We have had two frost advisories this weekend. I covered the two raised beds, and it looks like everything made except for one pea plant (I think that wasn't long for this world before the frost).

This is my little blueberry plant. Can you see the little berries peeking out from under the leaves?

I call this the little tomato plant that can. I thought I killed it trying to get it in the bag planter thing that you see in all the stores. I just took a "wait and see" attitude about the plant. Well, it has found a way to thrive despite my manhandling. I am very pleased.

Lastly, my first ripe thing. A tiny little strawberry! See its little cousins?

So, my "urban homestead" is coming along. Clearly, there is a learning curve, but I am satisfied that I will actually eat some fruits and vegetables from my own land and hard work. It is a satisfying feeling.

Happy knitting!

PS: I finally posted a picture for this recipe!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today Monday, April 19, 2010

Outside my window ... Sunny! Lovely day.

I am thinking... why do I always burn the garlic bread.

I am thankful for... a clean house.

From the learning rooms ... about goats!

From the kitchen... lassagna

I am wearing...tee shirt, sweat pants. I am feeling lazy.

I am creating... food, soap, yarn!

I am going... to eat soon.

I am reading... Urban Homesteading

I am hoping... to find a full time job soon.

I am hearing... as little as possible. I like it quiet.

Around the house... small amounts of laundry. vacuuming. I plan on spinning and knitting this evening.

One of my favorite things... doggies sleeping on my feet.

A few plans for the rest of the week: work mostly.

A video of last week:

I worked a few extra days last week. I wanted to make up for the pay that I lost during spring break. There are 5 weeks left of school, and while I am looking forward to summer, I need to think about having a full time job next year. Part time just doesn't work for me. Sadly, there have been so many budget cuts around here, there are many people looking for work now.


Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crock Pot Ham and Beans

I took a photo, but I can't find the darn camera now. Look for an update as soon as I find the camera.

This post is dedicated to my friend Mandy who is new to crock pot cooking. I know she will love this recipe. I learned to make this when I was about 10 years old. I used to make this from time to time for my family growing up.

A few facts about this meal

1. Depending on how you source the meat, it is possible to feed your family for less than $2. That is for the whole meal, not per-person. I often make this with a couple of large pieces of left over ham, especially the fatty parts. I freeze the left over bits every time I make a ham to use for this soup. Even when buying the meat for this soup, it is super cheap to feed the whole family.

2. You do not have to soak the beans overnight when using a crock pot to cook beans.

3. Crock pots use way less energy than the stove.

4. The meat is not the center piece of this soup, the beans are. Since the meat is flavoring, you can feed your whole family with a very small amount. You can also leave the meat out.

1 lb. bag of dried beans -- cook's choice. I prefer great northern or black beans, but any dried bean is fine. Lentils and split peas are nice too.

Small amount meat of choice (a few oz of left over ham (esp. fatty parts), 5 or 6 strips of bacon, or a ham hock are all good choices)

2 - 3 carrots diced

1 stalk celery with leaves diced

1 small onion diced

1 bay leaf

water to cover beans in pot, about 2 quarts.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Put all ingredients into slow cooker except salt and pepper (the pork cuts used can be salty, so it is best to wait until soup is nearly done and taste test seasonings). Set cooker on HIGH for 4 - 6 hours or LOW for 8 - 10.

Serve in bowls with Molly's Country Corn Bread.

Simple, cheap, and totally yummy!


Monday, April 05, 2010


For today Monday, April 4, 2010

Outside my window ... Sunny! Lovely day.

I am thinking... about the rest of the work I need to do in the garden.

I am thankful for... spring break.

From the learning rooms ... re-learning Windows Movie Maker.

From the kitchen... something with hamburger in it.

I am wearing... still in my PJs, but not for long.

I am creating... a garden.

I am going... work more on my garden.

I am reading... The Everything Soap Making Book

I am hoping... my garden does well.

I am hearing... Pooper's tummy growl. I wish he would go eat already.

One of my favorite things... a wonderful hubby who works hard to build my raised bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week: tons more yard work, but it is spring break. No regular work.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

No picture, I finally got my Youtube account for this blog. All my pics are in the video.

Video I want to share:

Video blogging will now be a regular part of this blog. I will be starting slow, but I have serious plans for the Youtube account that goes with the blog.

This entry marks more blog entries than I did all last year. It was a hectic year with student teaching and looking for work, but I am looking forward to doing so much more with my blog in the up coming months.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

On March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. I’ll be turning out the lights to show I care about our planet and our future. Join me by signing up for Earth Hour at

This will be my third year participating in the event. Hope you all join me for an hour of knitting by candlelight. I am going to try out a couple of solar lamps I have too.

Happy Knitting! (in the dark)

Monday, March 22, 2010

That Daybook thingie

For today Monday, March 22, 2010

Outside my window ... Sunny! Lovely day.
I am thinking... major plans for this blog. Maybe Wed? Defiantly by spring break.

I am thankful for... a relatively clean house.

From the learning rooms ... lots of things, but it is all related to my future plans for the blog. I won't tell you!

From the kitchen... granola

I am wearing...Purdue sweatshirt and cut off shorts.
I am creating... I know that I want to make this soon!

I am going... work on lots of changes for this blog.

I am reading... Casting On. (actually, the book got set aside for a while)

I am hoping... it will finally stay warm.

I am hearing... the soft hum of my computer, the whir of the space heater, and Trooper grunting!
Around the house... small amounts of laundry. vacuuming. I plan on spinning and knitting this evening.

One of my favorite things... my spinning wheel.

A few plans for the rest of the week: shopping of the JH swap.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Demon dogs!

The little guy is Trooper, aka "Pooper." He is new here, but getting along fine.

Link I want to share: Crochet instructions (opens as a pdf)

Video I want to share:

This makes me want to learn Russian!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Crock Pot Kool Aid Dying

I experimented with the crock pot method of kool aid dying. I am please with the results (not so much with the picture). I used Lamb's Pride worsted. I wanted something spring-like, a meadow in bloom-ish?

I think I will use this to make a couple of pairs of my Toasty Fingerless Mitts pattern.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March!

I didn't have any students today (teacher record day), so I didn't get to give a quiz or anything for them to beware of.

I missed Pi Day yesterday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yummy fruit and nut breakfast bread

I love hearty breads with fruit, nuts, and whole grains. This is a bread machine recipe, but it would make a very nice loaf using traditional bread baking methods.

1/3 cup hot tap water
1 teaspoon white flour
2 teaspoons yeast
couple drops of honey

Place these ingredients in the bottom of your bread machine. This is my bread machine version of proofing the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

1 cup milk, room temp
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil (I use canola)
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups unbleached white flour (I use King Aurthur)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 rolled oats
1/2 coriander
1/4 nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt

put these ingredients in your machine in this order. I use the basic setting on my machine. My machine as a delay buzzer for adding nuts and fruits. I wait for that before I add:

zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup dried mixed berries (I get these on the snake aisle at Walmart. Look for something that has no added sugar)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 crushed pecans

Let the machine do its magic.

This is a very hearty, comforting bread that is great as morning toast. Enjoy!

If you make any of my recipes, please leave a comment and let me know how it turned out.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I am wasting time on Youtube

This is what I want!

I love the Garden Girl!


For today Monday, March 8, 2010

Outside my window ... little gray. Still snow on the ground. It should be warm enough to melt today.

I am thinking... major plans for this blog. I am giving any hints, but the plans are in the works for a new an improved Molly Knits Sweaters.

I am thankful for... Mondays off.

From the learning rooms ... lots of things, but it is all related to my future plans for the blog. I won't tell you!

From the kitchen... something vegetarian

I am wearing... still in pink PJs.

I am creating... yarn. Finishing a Lady February sweater for my DD whose birthday was in February.

I am going... work on lots of changes for this blog.

I am reading... Casting On.

I am hoping... that state testing will run smoothly this weak.

I am hearing... Mitters desperately meowing at Sly to pet her with his foot. I know, right?

Around the house... small amounts of laundry. vacuuming.

One of my favorite things... Trooper sitting on my feet to keep them warm.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Shhhh, super secret changes. Look for them in about 2 weeks.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I am sharing a link to a cool tutorial I found for kool aid dying in a crock pot.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Stale Bread Crumb Cookies

This is a very versatile recipe for a basic coco cookie using stale bread crumbs. It has been a while since I have made it (my kids are grown), but thinking about it now, I think I will make some tonight to use the lefter ends of the bread I have. BTW, I only eat whole wheat bread, so I know that works really well. I am sure white is fine, but I have never used it. I did sneak a few stale cake doughnuts in these once. That was really good.

1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/4 cups sugar (these are really nice with a combination of white and brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk (you can use water or another liquid)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup melted shortening (for a lower fat version that is tasty, try apple sauce. Peanut butter works too and is YUM OH)
2 cup bread crumbs (I use the food processor to make these really fine)

1. Sift together dry ingredients
2. Combine wet ingredients and add to the dry mixture
3. Add melted shortening (or apple sauce or melted peanut butter) and bread crumbs
3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with paper or silicon liner.
4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until done.

Don't tell the kids about the lefter ends from the loaf of bread.

Monday, March 01, 2010


For today Monday, March 1, 2010

Outside my window ... little gray, but the sun is trying to shine. Still snow on the ground.

I am thinking... about what it will feel like to not be sick.

I am thankful for... that I actually feel human today. Still sick, but better.

From the learning rooms ... to sick to think.

From the kitchen... don't feel like cooking. Sick

I am wearing... nasty sweat pants, tee shirt, old ratty sweater.

I am creating... lots of snot.

I am going... to go crazy if I don't get better soon.

I am reading... Teacher Man by Frank McCourt.

I am hoping... that I will be well enough for work tomorrow.

I am hearing... Trooper grunting.

Around the house... I don't even want to think about it.

One of my favorite things... Vick's Vapor Rub.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Not being sick.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I have no pictures at the moment. Sorry. At least I am blogging regularly.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, February 22, 2010


For today Monday, February 22, 2010

Outside my window ... Snow, again! Looks sort of pretty right now, but it is big, heavy, wet snow.

I am thinking... very little actually.

I am thankful for... peace and quiet. Tony stayed at his sister's last night.

From the learning rooms ... still learning about gardening. I think I may have worked out how to start my seeds indoors (I don't get much natural light in my house)

From the kitchen... I think chicken soup. Sly is sick.

I am wearing... jeans and a sweatshirt.

I am creating... socks

I am going... have to go back out in the yucky to pick the dog up from the vet. He is having his 21 toe removed.

I am reading... a knitting mystery. Julius Caesar for work.

I am hoping... for nothing actually.

I am hearing... snow falling.

Around the house... the never ending laundry and dishes

One of my favorite things... Winter Olympics.

A few plans for the rest of the week: watching the Olympics and knitting socks.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I haven't taken any pictures. I need to find the old camera.


I had to add this video as soon as I saw it.

Happy knitting (and cooking)!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


For today Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Outside my window ... Snow

I am thinking... about dinner, I will be posting more recipes this week.

I am thankful for... a hubby who washes dishes.

From the learning rooms ... to budget my time.

From the kitchen... Pork chops and cabbage (recipe tomorrow), Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread, Apple Cake (recipe soon).

I am wearing... jeans and a grey sweatshirt.

I am creating... socks

I am going... continue cooking.

I am reading... a new knitting mystery. Nothing special, but fun.

I am hoping... tomorrow at work will be as good as yesterday at work.

I am hearing... NPR.

Around the house... the never ending laundry

One of my favorite things... Winter Olympics.

A few plans for the rest of the week: watching the Olympics and knitting socks.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I haven't taken any pictures. When dinner is done, I plan to have pictures to go with the recipes.

Happy knitting (and cooking)!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread

This is a bread machine recipe, but it would also make a yummy single loaf bread using traditional bread baking methods.

1/3 cup warm tap water
1 T honey
1 T white flour
2 t yeast

Place these ingredients into the bottom of bread machine and let them sit for about 5 minutes. This is my bread machine adaptation of "proofing" the yeast to get it ready to make bread. Basically, this process wakes the yeast up (warm water), feeds it (honey), and gives it something to do (flour).

1 cup buttermilk (room temp)
1 T oil (I use either canola or olive)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 additional T honey
1 t salt
1 egg

In the order listed, add remaining ingredients to the bread machine. I use the basic bread setting for my machine. Let the machine do its magic.

Monday, February 08, 2010


For today Monday, February 8, 2010

Outside my window ... Bright and sunny, but don't be fooled. There's a storm brewing!

I am thinking... that I really don't want to drive to work tomorrow.

I am thankful for... a healthy dog. Bud gave us a scare last week. He was urinating blood. He went back to the vet this morning, and he is doing well. He likes that mommy is giving him lots of treats to hide his meds.

From the learning rooms ... square foot gardening.

From the kitchen... I used the left over veggies from the super bowl veggie tray (about a cup of broccoli, cherry tomatoes --cut in half, a half a cup baby carrots, and maybe a stalk or two of celery), left over salsa (about 1/4 a cup), a bag of lentils, roughly 4 cloves of garlic, 4 cups of water, and salt, pepper, and cumin (lots). I am going to stick something in the bread machine to go with this amazing, cheap soup.

I am wearing... jeans and a light blue sweatshirt.

I am creating... socks

I am going... grade test, spin a little.

I am reading... a knitting mystery. Nothing special, but fun.

I am hoping... that my drive won't be too bad. I know they won't cancel school.

I am hearing... not much.

Around the house... a few dishes and laundry

One of my favorite things... a truck with 4 wheel drive.

A few plans for the rest of the week: trying to stay out of the snow.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This is why we all want to work at Knitpicks!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

That Daybook thingie

Simple Daybook

For today Wednesday January 20, 2010

Outside my window ... Melting snow, but there is still a whole lot.

I am thinking... about my plans for the Knitting Olympics.

I am thankful for... space heaters

From the learning rooms ... that working part time doesn't necessarily give me extra time to do things I want to do.

From the kitchen... left over ham and beans. Very yummy ham and beans, if I do say so myself.

I am wearing... gray sweats

I am creating... socks

I am going... eat popcorn, knit, watch TV. I am not very ambitious today.

I am reading... Julius Cesar, I start teaching it tomorrow.

I am hoping... that my career path settles down soon.

I am hearing... Sly eating. Can you tell I don't listen to the radio or watch TV much? I love a quiet house.

Around the house... a few dishes and laundry, and one very scary dirty bathroom

One of my favorite things... ham and bean soup even with all the farting.

A few plans for the rest of the week: if the snow melts, riding the Harley.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My plans for the Knitting Olympics.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Daybook

For today Monday January 11, 2010

Outside my window ... Snow, and more falling. We have had a lot of snow this past week. There are several feet on the ground right now. It has been cold, but it was colder last year.

I am thinking... not much really. Today is a slow day. A little house work, a little grading for tomorrow.

I am thankful for... automatic washers

From the learning rooms... Still spinning

From the kitchen... Sly has requested Corn Chowder

I am wearing... long underwear -- my winter PJs

I am creating... a clean house

I am going... to take my Christmas tree down, finally.

I am reading... One of the knitting mysteries. I started it at work Friday during SSR (silent sustained reading)

I am hoping... I am too content right now for hope.

I am hearing... nothing.

Around the house... hung new draft blocker curtains, need to vacuum

One of my favorite things... oatmeal

A few plans for the rest of the week: mostly work -- maybe go out with Sly on Wed (we are both off).

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... it has been a while since I posted a picture of Buddy.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Daybook

For Today

January 6, 2010

Outside my window ... snow, but a clear, sunny day. We had a lot of lake effect, so the ground is buried under a couple of feet. At least another foot will be here by Saturday.

I am thinking... my mom's birthday, today.

I am thankful for... my mom

From the learning rooms... lesson plans are on going....................

From the kitchen... chili, corn bread, hot things

I am wearing... long underwear, tee shirt, sweater, wool socks. These are my winter PJs

I am creating... ply some yarn, and make soap!

I am going... to remember my first day at Bendix for the rest of my life!

I am reading... The Knitter's Almanac. Thinking I might spend the year knitting with EZ.

I am hoping... that my second day at Bendix will be better than my first.

I am hearing... nothing.

Around the house... laundry.

One of my favorite things... a nice cup of tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, avoiding driving in the snow too much, knitting, spinning, reading, and making soap.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... the front of my house.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Years update

I really don't want to do a list of resolutions. In a week, I feel guilty for breaking one of them, and forget the rest of the year that I made them. I do, however, want to just recap what I have done this past year.

Actually, I have to say, that the past two years have been like one really long year. Starting in 2008, I began the Transition to Teaching program at Indiana University South Bend. The idea behind "T2T" is to help people who already have a Bachelor's degree to change careers and become teachers. It was an extremely intensive program that took up a great deal of my energy. Last year at this time, I had just finished a semester of working full time at Boston Middle School during the day as a Remediation Assistant while taking 10 credit hours at night. I was also getting ready to student teach.

Student teaching was an interesting experience, and I have already blogged about it, so I won't go into all that again. After earning my teaching license, I began my job search. Looking for work was challenging, but I was able to find a temporary position at Griffith Middle School. I am thankful for the chance to work with the students, and I am very sad that I will not get to spend the rest of the year with them.

In December, I started looking for work again, which is a difficult time for a teacher to look for work. I applied for several jobs, and I had lots of interviews, but none of those worked out for me. Then, out of the blue, I got a call from South Bend Community Schools. I had put in an application over the summer without getting a call. The interview went very well, and I was excited about working in the school, so I was thrilled when I was offered the job!

So, starting this year, I will be teaching high school English (several grade levels and classes) at the Bendix School in South Bend. I am pleased to be working in a district closer to home (GMS was an hour commute). I am hopeful that I will continue to work in South Bend.

What are my other plans for the New Year? Well, knitting has been put on hold for the past two years. I would really like to finish some projects that are bigger than hats. I got a new spinning wheel for Christmas, and I am already addicted to making my own yarns! A couple of years ago, I had a small garden, and I would like to have a garden again this year. Even though we sold the RV, I still have tons of camping equipment, and I hope to take several trips this year. DH got a Harely, and I hope the bike will feature in our summer plans.

Above all, I want to be safe, happy, and healthy. I wish the same for all of you.

Happy Knitting!