Things I Am Learning About My Schedule and My Life

  1. I really, really don’t have time to garden once fall starts and school gets going with full intensity.
  2. I am consistently tired by Saturday night, because Saturday is so full of catch-up.
  3. I am consistently completely exhausted by Sunday afternoon, because I was already tired on Saturday night, then I got up early Sunday to go to church and was out half the day.
  4. I shouldn’t plan elaborate meals and desserts for the weekend. Definitely stop doing that and just plan on pizza.

The Weather Had its Chance to Cooperate, I’m Moving on with this Thing Now

When I lived in my parents’ house, my favorite breakfast was ice-cold pumpkin pie. My mother spices hers until it’s more brown than orange, and the filling when cold has no trace of wobbliness. Everything about her pie seems like the only real way for pumpkin pie to be–the color; the texture; the ridiculous, over the top spiciness; and the exact flavor of her handmade pastry, something I cannot replicate although I’ve tried.

Spiced pumpkin is great. The explosion of spiced-pumpkin everything, everywhere is great. Seasonal products are fun, and the idea of an informal, national celebration of a vegetable delights me. It feels old-fashioned and friendly, light when there’s lots of other stuff to feel heavy about.

The forecast is 90 degrees today. It would have been nice if the weather could have participated in fall, but too bad, we’re still doing it.



The Republic of Tea Pumpkin Spice tea: I got a sample of this flavor in the mail, and I was suspicious. I hadn’t been impressed with the strength or quality of the green tea I tried from The Republic of Tea, and wasn’t very interested in trying a black tea. It was free, though, and already in my house, so of course I drank it. It’s great, if you go for beverages that taste like a craft or candle store, which I very much do. That’s one of my favorite beverage genres, in fact. Each morning, I drink two cups of tea with milk and sugar, and that’s my wake up tea, it is sacred and I need it to be rich and creamy and strong enough that I can imagine the spoon standing up in it. This tea is less strong than my usual morning sweet teas, but I compensate by using less water per bag. About 6 ounces is good. It’s a fun treat.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios: Naturally the sight of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios on the shelves was exciting, but I’m a serious Cheerio person so I worried a little. When I eat Cheerios, I only like the original, plain ones, and I eat them dry (does anyone else do that, it can’t just be me) and I munch on them as a snack. Comfort food. Would Pumpkin Spice Cheerios also be comfort food? No, but they would be like tiny cookies, and that is also very good.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: IN A BOTTLE. Has this been available forever? I just noticed it. It came right home with me. Of course it’s not like a freshly-made latte from Starbucks. It is, however, a yummy coffee drink I’m glad to have in the fridge.

Belvita Pumpkin Spice Breakfast, um, cookies?: Gingery, pumpkiny whole grain healthy-ish cookie substitutes, or at least that’s how I think of them.

Pumpkin Spice Blended Chobani: Reappearance of a favorite. When I’m wishing I had planned ahead and bought dessert (but inevitably did not) I top it with whipped cream.

That’s all for now, but we’ve got months, and for once I’m not using those words to end a rant about Trump.


I finished this project and never blogged about it. It’s the Swoon cardigan, designed by Juju Vail and Susan Cropper (Ravelry link here). It’s from the book Juju’s Loops. I see there are copies available on Amazon (link), but I got my copy directly from Loop (link).

Juju’s Loops is, so far, my favorite knitting book of all time. I’ve made a bunch of the patterns, and I love them all.

Anyway, Swoon. Here is a photo of the whole thing.



It’s a lightweight cardigan, very boxy, and the pattern is one-size. Mine is smaller than it should be because I wasn’t paying any attention to gauge. Really, I don’t know what I was thinking. The thing is, it’s knit in lace weight yarn, I realized my mistake about 1/4 way through, and there was no way I was ripping it out. No way. So, it fits me, but please don’t use my version as a size reference. It will be larger if you follow the instructions correctly.

So, it’s this boxy kind of flowy thing, and it’s meant to have the feeling of a shawl, but with the convenience of a cardigan (click on the Ravelry pattern link above to see it on Juju Vail, and you’ll see it in action), meaning you’re not needing to watch where the ends are all the time or make sure it’s adjusted just so like when you’re wearing a shawl. I loved the concept, and I love how it works in real life.

Here it is, folded up. You can see the lace detail around the front:



Here is lace around the front, around the edges of the sleeves, and you can see the hem detail:



Here I’ve turned over the folded sweater so you can see the hem from another angle, as well as a detail of the stitch pattern used for the body:


One more shot showing a sleeve, the hem and a bit of the body, from the back:



I knitted my Swoon in Madelinetosh Prairie yarn, the shade is called Opaline. This is one of my favorite things I’ve made so far.

A Useful Map Outline Book

I’ve needed a book like this for years, and I’m not sure how I didn’t find it before now with all the looking I do. Oh well, we have it for this year onward, and I’ve been using it a lot in the last couple weeks.


If someone said to me, I have this book, and it’s called “Uncle Josh’s…” I wouldn’t hear past Uncle Josh. That’s the kind of thing that drives me nuts. I would stop listening, spend the rest of the time they were talking being annoyed someone would call a book Uncle Josh’s anything, then change the subject as soon as possible. That’s why I had to find this book on my own.

It’s a great book.


The book claims that every single place in the world is on at least one of the maps. I guess with a world map included in the book, that’s a safe claim. Even so, it seems to me from looking through it that there are close-up maps of every region.


Plus, there are full-page maps of each of the states in the U.S.


I know you can find outline maps online, but I always found it to be a pain to find exactly what I wanted when I wanted it. In this book, so far I have always found exactly the map I wanted.

Plus, there are options. I can get the place on different maps, and choose which map to use based on what I want to highlight about the surrounding area. We use this book as we study history. Sometimes we’re talking about the movement of people, and I want to point out how far a group’s current location is from their original location, so I’d choose one map for that. Another time, I may want the kids to notice why certain cities would have cooperated (or been rivals), and what water was nearby to facilitate travel between the cities or to a central location, so I would be sure to choose a map that clearly shows surrounding seas. That sort of thing. I can choose the map to match the emphasis of day’s lesson.

Very useful, wish I had it a long time ago, A +, highly recommend.


Biding Time

Hiding from the sun and heat. I’m done this summer, I really am.

We never read this in school. What a great book. My older son has already read it, and my younger son definitely needs to.

With all the ugliness encouraged by certain of our presidential candidates, the events in this book feel too close and especially heartbreaking. Once, when I was school-age, a world like this seemed so far away to me, but it’s not, is it.


A Simple Nani Iro Stole

A quick, easy end of summer project, because we’re bracing for another heatwave, and that means taking it easy. The garden is terrible, but it will need to wait. The porch needs to be painted, so do two door frames, but no way am I doing that in 90+ degree heat.

Adding to current pressures, school has started and we’re still getting the hang of our new schedule. Every day feels like I’m running through it, even though I’m rarely running, just mostly darting around the house, trying to keep up with things. Thankfully it’s a small house, nothing is ever too far away.

Anyway, this stole. I made it from one yard of a pretty Nani Iro fabric. I cut the yard in half from selvedge to selvedge, so I had two halves measuring about 42-43 inches (the width of the fabric after I washed and dried it as aggressively as possible) by  18 inches (1/2 the yard length). Then, I stitched the two halves together on the short, 18 inch side and hemmed the two long sides. The selvedge ends I left as they were, since, on this print, they were decorated. The finished stole is about 82 inches long.


I like to have things like this even though I have lots of knitted shawls. It’s nice to have something I can toss in the washing machine, unlike my knitted things. Now I just wait for a day when I want to cover my shoulders.