Ah fall. We’ve had some lovely hikes this autumn, experiencing just the most delightful weather for our outings.
The Preying Mantis must also think the same since she’s still out and about in these parts, likely laying eggs before dying off with the frost. We’ve just learned how good these insects are for the garden and all the nasty insects you don’t want around. So be sure to protect any egg sacs you find this fall so you’ll have some helpful garden friends next spring.
Between our house and the neighbour’s house, we seem to have the prettiest colours on the street in fall, soon to be carpets of gold to frolic in (and yes, rake…but I’m not thinking that far ahead yet.)
And now that a cold spell has come upon us this past weekend (snow in some parts of Ontario, though thankfully not where I live!) I have that hibernating instinct kicking in, and a great urge to pick up knitting and truly make this the year to learn more than the straight knit stitch.
Thanks to my eldest who is miles ahead of me in the knitting arena, I have a live-in knitting nanny of sorts guiding me through how to follow a pattern properly, and easing my stress when I drop stitches or increase by accident. How does this happen I ask you?!! I was so diligent in counting, so eager and tensed, even to the point of heart palpitations when anyone spoke to me as I counted. Shush! I’m knitting, can’t you see?!
I’ve discovered it’s best to just wait until the wee hours of the night to work on it as I truly am a tunnel vision learner. I need to focus one hundred percent on the task at hand or all goes to pot. And when all goes to pot, mummy’s whole person does too.
And please don’t worry about that magnifying glass in the photo. Yes, everyone, I have been wearing my glasses. The pattern was just slightly too tiny even with spectacles.
I promise to let you know if this knitting turns out in the end, or if it becomes another seven year blanket embarrassment that I’ve still got on the go (yes, my laughing friend and tutor from the south, can you believe that?) And if I’m brave enough, I’ll add that widget Yarn Along from over there on Ginny’s blog and proudly post my creation alongside a current book I’m reading.
This has been the exciting year for youngest to pick up new notions, knitting being one of them. I’m so happy about this, and more so now because my eldest can be the ultimate tutor, and thus advance our ten year old at a much faster pace than I ever could. Imagine her now at my age and all the wonderful things she’ll have knit by then! It’s thrilling to see the motivation and the interests taking shape in the house.
Our pampered Peppy is the first recipient of her finished work. Peppy has gratefully received her mini blanket, faithfully sleeping with it every night so far.
The next new notion of littlest has been the Klutz Felted Friends kit. When she asked for some assistance with it, I wavered between the silent voice in my head which said, “oh, really?” and “oh no,” and “isn’t there someone else you could ask?” and the be a good mummy voice that said, “Say yes Barbara,” “Make this count Barbara,” “It’s not about you Barbara, it’s about littlest.”
You must know I’m not a huge fan of sewing projects and handicrafts that require working with a needle. I know, how sad. Maybe one of these days the bug will get me and stick. I hesitatingly agreed to read over the instructions with her and hope to just prompt her through it as a tutor.
After reading the very well said instructions alongside the great visuals this kit had, we set to work to measure and pull apart the proper amount of felt to make the fox. It was a little tricky at first to roll this ball into any kind of shape so I was already getting a bit frustrated from the outset. And then when I started poking, more like stabbing, the needle all over the oddly shaped ball to help form it into the body of the fox, I broke all three needles at once. There were a series of rants which I won’t go into here, but are common to man, woman, and child in this household when mama is out of sorts (and usually when she’s trying to do handiwork of some kind).
Thankfully this wonderful kit came with a second set of just in case needles for people like me. Of course I broke another one almost instantly but thankfully the last two worked just fine, and more likely they did so because I finally got the hang of what I was supposed to be doing. And after that? I was hooked. Did my youngest make this fox? No way! It was all mama’s doing because I couldn’t put it down. My excuse is that I really needed to get the feel for how to do a creature before I could tutor her through the next one. Aren’t I right? Tell me I’m right.
He has been named Timothy Fox, and I promised I would give her a turn at the next one, a squirrel to be named Fluff.
And on our continued new notions, littlest is riding a bike mama-free now! My back is thanking her. It was on the list of must-dos this summer but look how fast that came and went and all the fun we’ve had in between! So we vowed the fall would not pass before she knew how to ride. Time is limited here in the great white north for such learnings since winter is so long and you’re a whole year older before getting to try again.
She almost had it just before we moved from down south. But not quite enough, and with our ups and downs in life since our return home, it didn’t happen. And honestly, I’m realizing there’s just a timing that happens for all things whether it’s speaking, potty training, reading, writing, riding a bike, doing our sums, driving a car, swimming, you name it, it’ll happen in due time, so just relax. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter when, does it?
But oh the joys when one finally can!
Baking is the last new notion littlest has been taking a fancy to this past year (and okay, maybe a bit of a this is on your list of to-dos kind of fancy.) So when we had that pot of Three Sister Soup simmering on the stove top on a very hunkering down, rainy, cold, stay inside kind of school day, littlest set to baking these hit the spot kind of biscuits that are just the perfect addition to a fall soup.
I’ve literally been making this recipe for years it’s so tried and true. The kids loved them right off the bat when they were wee, and they’re still enjoying them. We like to cut up cheddar cheese to eat inside the biscuit alongside our autumn soup of choice. We have officially deemed our youngest family member The Biscuit Maker, though I’m not quite sure she’s aware of her new title and responsibility. But as the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss.”
Pot of Gold Biscuits (courtesy of Kim’s Kitchen):
2 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C oil
1/4 pound sweet potato, peeled and shredded (about 3/4 C)
1/2 C orange juice
1 Tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 425 F
Combine dry ingredients and cut in oil. Stir in sweet potato. Add juice and honey and stir to a smooth dough. When firm enough to handle, knead briefly (about 30 seconds) Pat to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut into 1 1/2 inch squares. Bake on an oiled baking sheet or pan for 12-15 minutes.
Makes 12 1 1/2 inch biscuits.
Enjoy! Happy Monday Make to y’all!