Tuesday, October 30, 2012

~The End of October~

So I thought it would be fun to go through my blog and see what the end of October looked like each year since I've been blogging.

October, 2005: I shared 20 Things About Me. One thing I mentioned was that people think I look 13. Actually, I haven't gotten that one in...a while. Must be the gray hair. ;-) And there I am, so grown up at 13!
October, 2006: Sock progress! I still have these socks. They're more for wearing around the house than for wearing with shoes.

(Ooh, that picture was taken before we refinished our wood floors. They look so much nicer now!)

October, 2007: Another pair of socks! I gave these to my mom. :)

October, 2008: Continuing on with another pair of socks! The end of October was a popular time for me to work on socks, I guess! This pair brings a happy smile to my face, booties for my daughter, made in gender neutral yellow because I didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl:

October, 2009: Some sewing for my daughter:

October, 2010: Some memories of my grandma, who had just passed away.
October, 2011: Considering which cake to make for my birthday.

That was fun! :) I am glad that I have blogged so long! Lots of memories on my little space here! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

~Giveaway Results~

The winner of the Sharp Crochet Hook is Sarah, who said:

Oh, yes please! What a genius idea! I would definitely love one of these sharp crochet hooks.

Sarah, I've sent you an email with further instructions!

I loved the comment that Deb submitted:

There was a lady in our church many years ago who always crocheted edgings around baby blankets. Her name was Grace Daley...but we all called her our Daily Grace. :) This post definitely reminded me of her, and I'd love to be entered so I can practice making some of her beautiful projects.

What a special memory!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

~Review + Giveaway~

At the beginning of this month, Jessica at Sharp Crochet Hook contacted me to ask if I would be willing to review her crochet hook. I was very happy to say yes! She sent me a hook and a small pattern booklet of crochet edges, which she sells for $10.99.

The hook has a pointed end, which makes it easy to use to crochet borders on fabric edges. When I make a crochet-edged receiving blanket, I have always used my regular crochet hook. It takes time and patience to wiggle the crochet hook through.

The hook and pattern booklet I received:

Since I don't have a need for baby gifts right now, I decided to go a different way and crochet a border on towels.

My towels and crochet thread:

Note: the crochet thread is lovely, nice and soft, BUT it wasn't the best match for this project, as it had a bad habit of splitting.

I washed and dried the towels to allow for shrinkage. Then I used a water soluble marker and marked where I would be crocheting (after I took the picture I noticed the ruler was upside down!):

Oh look, the towel got some handprints on it! Oh well... :)

I could have gone the easy route and crocheted above the hem. But I decided to test the hook out to see how well it really goes through fabric. ;-) It goes through so nicely! Note: if you have thicker thread or you're having trouble pulling the loop through the fabric, push the hook into the fabric deeper to create a larger hole.

My finished project:

I did have to use an awl to get through the fabric bands on the cream towel. Those were a bear to crochet through, and if you notice my pattern you will see that I had to go through each hole four times per pattern repeat. Otherwise, the Sharp Crochet Hook worked so nicely! I am thinking of more things I'd like to edge!

Now...would you like to win one? Jessica has generously offered to send a hook and pattern booklet to one of my readers. Just leave a comment to be placed in the drawing. The drawing will be open through Saturday, October 27, 8 PM EST. Please make sure that you either leave an email address in your comment or that your email address is in your profile so that I have a way to contact you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

~Squirrel Snack~

Our resident squirrel made our pumpkin into more than a snack. I think it is his breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Kevin took these pictures this morning. The pumpkin got thrown on the mulch pile later on. I'm sure the squirrel can enjoy it just the same back there!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

~Fall Color~

Right outside our front door, our neighbor's maple tree (which my daughter calls a "syrup tree"), leaves in such beautiful hues:

My pumpkin on the porch:

AKA, "Squirrel Snack":

Friday, October 19, 2012

~Hedgies in the Post~

I opened my mailbox one day to discover a package. Upon opening it, I discovered these:

Letterpress Notecards

I squealed with delight, and then called my mom to thank her for the lovely gift. It was an early birthday present. She wanted to make sure she got me something from my little list before someone else did. Well, I wasn't expecting anyone to give me anything in the first place, so it was quite a surprise!

And then a few days later, the second part of her present arrived:
Hedgie Labels
(Only of course, with my name and address on them. ;-) )

And then, when a friend asked me for my address, I didn't suspect anything hedgehog-related, buuut, I once again found myself opening a package to find:

Yes, that's right! A second set of hedgehog notecards! I am thrilled! I had the hugest grin on my face when I was opening them! I have been slightly fretting at the thought of using those sweet little cards, as I can sometimes be a stationery hoarder! I think I will enjoy using these even more, knowing I have a few more in my stationery box! :)

So...lovely thank yous to my mom and my friend! I shall enjoy my little prezzies very much (and I'm on strict orders by my friend to not use one of the cards on her! *grin*) :)

For buying information (you know you want these for yourself!) click the links under the pictures. Images used with permission from the respective Etsy sellers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

~Thoughts on Loss~

Today is "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day", and I thought I would take this opportunity to share a little. I haven't written a lot about my loss here on my blog. I think, what has stopped me the most, is that it's a difficult subject for me - what to say, how to say it, and then: to actually sit down and type it out. I've thought through several posts within the last two and a half years - but felt emotionally drained just thinking about it. This post isn't going to be about the events of my loss, or the days following. Rather, it will touch on what life is like two and a half years later, and what life is like with loss followed by secondary infertility.

My baby was due November 13th, 2010. My baby would be turning 2 soon.

I think about my baby all the time. Yes, it has gotten easier with time. The deep grief which once crushed me has released its hold. There are still moments my heart hurts - that is the difference with the passage of time - the hurt is measured in a flickering moment, not days on end. These days I catch my breath with a sudden remembrance of my baby, I don't have to think about breathing.

So, these days? I think the hardest thing I deal with socially is in meeting people and making new friends. One little qusetion: "How many children do you have?" causes my mind to scramble for an answer. Do I say, "one"? even though that isn't really true? I'm a mommy to two children...one just didn't make it to my arms. Do they want to know I have two children? Will I cry? If I can say it without crying, will it be too awkward? All these questions running through my head, trying to figure out the best answer for the circumstance, taking too long to answer one simple question, probably making people wonder after I finally do stammer out my "one" answer: What's wrong with her? It doesn't take that long to count to "one"!

My precious daughter - she doesn't know how her questions and desires make my heart hurt. Not only in missing our baby, but I hurt for her knowing she has a sibling she'll never know here on earth. My daughter is very observant. She routinely points out her little friends who have younger siblings. She asked me once, "When are we getting a boy?" She notices families at the grocery store with a loud: "Look, Mom! They have a lot of children!" She has claimed one of my bedposts as her "sister" and goes in and talks to her every so often. It hurts my heart to know that she does indeed have a sibling - in heaven - and that she will probably not have a sibling here on earth.

I think of my tears these days as a gentle summer rain. Sometimes in the summer, the sun is shining brilliantly and it starts to rain a little. The sun never really goes away, and the rain doesn't last for long. I shed a few tears here and there, but it doesn't effect my whole day. I wipe my tears away and face the rest of the day with a smile. The tears which accompanied me through the early days after my loss were similar to a dark, stormy day, where it rains and rains, and is a dark and gloomy all day long.

I'm thankful for the gentle summer tears. I'm thankful for the happy memories I have, those happy weeks we spent excitedly planning for having two little ones. I'm thankful for my sweet baby in heaven who has never known sin or the effects of sin - and never will - always in the presence of the Lord, serving our Lord for all eternity. To think of my baby that way: I wouldn't change anything.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

~Spinach Quiche~

Last year, I was looking for a recipe to take to a brunch, and I stumbled across this Spinach Quiche recipe. It was delicious! What sets it apart from all other quiche recipes is the cheese crust! I was sold at the word "cheese". LOL I've made it several times over for various breakfasts and brunches, and I took it this morning to a potluck brunch I attended. So good. I would show you a picture, but: I was racing out the door with a hot quiche to try to make it on time, and I came home with an empty pie plate!

Here is my version--

Spinach Quiche

1 1/2  cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/2 cup melted butter

1 (10 1/2 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup whole milk -OR- 1 cup evaporated (canned) milk
1/4 t. nutmeg
4 eggs
salt and pepper

Cook frozen spinach, and drain well. While spinach is cooking, mix all ingredients for the crust together. Press into an 8- or 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Set aside. Mix together milk, nutmeg, eggs, salt and pepper, beating well. Stir in drained spinach. Pour into crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then at 350 for 20-30 minutes.