Oh March!….

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                                                     Spring is coming, spring is coming
                                                       Birdies build your nests
                                                       Weave together straw and feather,
                                                       Doing each your best, doing each your best

                                                       Spring is coming, spring is coming,
                                                       Flowers everywhere
                                                       Daisies, Lilys, Daffodillies,
                                                       Spring is in the air, spring is in the air!

March has been full of surprises weather-wise here: just last week the world was shrouded in mist for days on end, followed by a couple of the most glorious warm sunny days – the kind that makes your heart sore with the promise of the summer days ahead  – then the last few days it turned cold again, with wind and rain. I suppose this mixed bag is typical March weather in the UK, but it feels oh so unpredictable!

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Today on the Spring Equinox, it is a lovely crisp sunny day – Hurrah! 

Winter is on the wane and spring is most definitely marching in at quite a pace. It always seems to take me by surprise, when spring finally makes an entrance after a long quiet winter in nature: at first there are just a few snowdrops dotted around, heralding the season ahead, but all of a sudden March brings crowds of daffodils, croci, violets, primroses and clouds of billowy white hawthorn blossom. And this is just the beginning…

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The birds are a-twittering and chirruping in the hedges and treetops and life is reaffirmed all around us in nature. On my morning walk today, I delighted in all these wondrous gifts of the season. I usually listen to music on my walk, but I couldn’t resist the bird song – so sweet and enticing; all the different mating calls and birds flitting from branch to branch with greenery and twigs in their beaks as they prepare their nests. It was a privilege to watch it all going on around me.

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There is a wonderful vibrant feeling to this season as everything awakens at once from a long winter slumber and the bright green of new leaf shoots is such a pleasing sight.

I finally packed away my winter books and nature table decorations a week ago, to be stored carefully in a plastic box in the eves until winter returns. I have hung our wool fairies in spring colours from the mobile above our dining table and have changed the cloth on the dining table so everything feels fresh and bright.

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The nature table has a light green cloth on it and there are felt daffodils , croci and snowdrop ‘children’ dotted around. I am planning to make some little felt primroses too as wild primroses are one of my favourite sights in spring. We also have some animals  on the nature table (we like the Schleich animal range)  –  some chickens, a sheep, a fox and a deer as well a chicken and a couple of rabbits that I needle felted some years ago. I will add their young on Easter Sunday and the Easter hare of course 🙂

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I made a few birds out of plasticine to sit in the branches of the trees,

and sat a nesting bird amongst some pussy willow. I absolutely love pussy willow, so I treated us to some this year; it makes me smile and it is so soft and silky to touch.

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Yesterday , I still had Mrs Thaw (a character found in the book Ollie’s Ski Trip)  on the nature table, sweeping away the remains of the winter. But spring is here so she had to say her farewells.

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Here is Mother Earth with the root children, busy sewing their clothes for their appearance today. 🙂

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My eldest had one of the root children cleaning a bee on her nature table.So sweet.

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The inspiration for this, as many of you will know is the wonderful Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers.

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And today, Mother Earth and the root children have emerged in all their finery to officially welcome the spring in.

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Happy First Day of Spring to you all! 

 

 

A short story about a Hen…

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This is Delilah. She is one of our three lovely hens. We have had our ladies Lily, Ruby and Delilah since last May. When we first brought them home, only Ruby was laying, but the other two soon caught up and we were delighted to be receiving two to three eggs a day. Treasure!

One day last autumn, we closed them off from their laying quarters inadvertently for most of the day, so they were unable to lay their eggs (hens require a quiet, private place to lay happily -at least ours do). The next day Ruby and Lily laid flat eggs  (!) and Delilah never laid again, until this week! 

Not long after locking them out, Delilah’s comb started shrivelling and going purple and her feathers started to fall out too -she did look a sorry sight 😦

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She was still eating well and acting normally – as normal as a hen can act! 😉 so I suspected she wasn’t ill, but I was still concerned when she showed no signs of improvement, so I took her to the farm where we had purchased her and the owner reassured me she was fine, just in shock. Delilah lays our biggest eggs, so I am not surprised! (Ouch!). We were advised to add Life-Guard to the water to support her recovery and I put in some crushed arnica for the shock too. It has taken a good six months for her recover. I imagine it didn’t help that it was winter,  but now she is looking almost as good as new, her comb is growing  and is a nice healthy red colour again. Hurrah!

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Here she is at the back with her lady friends. Her comb is still a little smaller, but she looks really well with a shiny, full coat of feathers. 

I thought I would share this story, as being a new hen owner I had no idea what was going on with her. Our chicken-keeping book made no mention of this and when I searched the internet under “purple shrivelled combs”, it led me to believe she might have a heart condition or some infectious disease and knowing that chickens can die from one moment to the next from illness, I was keen to know what to do. Getting to know your chickens is important so you can spot behavioural changes.

Through this experience we got the opportunity to see how the girls really care for each other. When we took Delilah away to be looked at, the other hens acted very confused and didn’t really settle until she returned. It was touching to see how delighted they were to see her back; there was a lot of contented clucking.  🙂 A friend of mine told me about one of her older hens, who became sick in her old age and went into her nesting box to die. Another older hen went in there with her and later my friend found them huddled together with the other bird’s wing cuddled around the dead bird. It really is very moving to see the close relationships animals have with each other.

This morning, we were very excited to find a clutch of three eggs in the nest box!  It looks like she has made a full recovery, so this story has a happy ending 🙂

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Catching up…

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I must say I haven’t been crafting as much as I would like to lately. I have spent most of my spare time, when the children are at school (three hours most days) sorting out boxes of things in a final attempt to get some order into our home and to declutter the things we no longer need: I have a lovely box of good quality “treasures” waiting to go to the charity shop on Friday 🙂 It will never be perfect, I am clear on that, but I find myself wasting a lot of time trying to locate certain papers and other items because I just don’t know where I have put or stored them and it is really frustrating not having systems in place that work for me. I am not particularly organised in general – I do try, but it isn’t in my nature somehow and I am a bit dyslexic on that front too, but I live in hope!

We are moving on with our works on our little garage conversion/studio. It doesn’t look like much in the photo, but it has been plastered, the doors are going in on Friday and we will hopefully paint it early next week. It is starting to take shape and despite its smallness, we think it will be the perfect space to create in and it is nice and close to the house which is a bonus.

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I have been doing some gentle culling of my craft supplies. Nothing radical (I did that two years ago when we moved house), but still, letting go of things we won’t find a use for is a good feeling.  I try to keep my supplies in plastic boxes – one box for felt, one for wool roving, one for yarn, one for stuffing wool, one for fabric, one for notions and one for patchwork projects. If the items no longer fit in the box, I reduce what is in there until they do. It works for me. I have a lot of yarn, particularly aran, from old projects that is taking up far too much space in my box. The yarn is all squished up in the box and some of the more delicate yarn isn’t looking too happy. I was wondering what to do with it all when I saw the very thing on the soulemama blog (super crafter and all round inspirational woman) – a memory blanket!  I now have my mini ‘mountain’ of yarn in a big basket, always on hand and have already made a start. It is going to be a long term project, but it’s lovely to have a project where I can make good use of all this yarn. I am also enjoying some simple mindless knitting – it’s a blessing right now 🙂

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I seem to have a lot of purple, pink and blue yarns to use up, with the occasional red thrown in! 🙂

I have enjoyed reading the The Reader on the 6.27. It was in the ‘quick choice’ section at our local library. I wanted something thought provoking, but easy to read and it was both of these. The story is about a Frenchman who would normally never stand out from the crowd. He works in a paper pulping factory and hates his job and all it stands for. Every day he rescues a few pages of the books that are destroyed there and reads them aloud to the commuters on his morning train journey. One day he finds a memory stick on the train and when he reads what is on it, he feels he has met his soul mate. The woman is a lavatory attendant in a mall and she is as deep feeling as he is. He goes on a quest to find her and in the meantime enjoys reading aloud at an old people home at the request of one of the commuters. In his small, seemingly insignificant and monotonous life, he finds some moments of joy. I enjoyed every moment of reading this book. You feel for the character and it is wonderfully written. Very down to earth and touching.

As for sewing, it was also high time to finish those pre- Christmas (!) projects that just fell by the wayside. My sister asked me to make bunting for her four children in December. I managed to get all the triangles sewn before we were due to meet them, but as my husband was ill at the time, we didn’t travel over for our pre-Christmas get together and I lost the impetus to make them somehow. I did warn my sister that they might not get made in time as I had other making to do, but I didn’t expect to still be finishing them in March! There has been a fair bit of illness here over the winter months, not to mention going away after Christmas, I somehow got out of the rhythm of sewing for a while. Today I finally sat down with all these projects and am pleased to say I can finally tick them off my list! And it was lovely to be sewing again!

For the teenage girl:

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For the teenage boy:

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For the 8 and 10 year old boys with their forest themed room:

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I also finally finished the cushion I was making for our friend Zosia, who we have known all her life: she is only four days younger than my eldest daughter. It was once again rather a delayed project, but now we have an lovely excuse to see her again!

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I took some photos whilst making the cushion, so I might share a tutorial soon if I get a chance.

My eldest daughter is taking part in a Children’s Parade with her school in May . I had to sew her cape today before the workshop tomorrow.

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My daughter tried to sew it herself, but the fabric is so slippery, I said I would do it for her.

And finally on another crafting note my eldest daughter’s class performed the Jungle Book for the whole school and parents today. My daughter has a terrible cold and will probably be off school tomorrow resting, but the class has been rehearsing this play for four weeks as part of their Main Lesson and she couldn’t miss out on this culmination of all their hard work, could she?  After all, the show must go on! I was so impressed by the scenery and costumes and they even had lighting. Here are a few  glimpses:

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Ah so lovely to spend some time creating today. Joining  the crafty folks at Frontier Dreams KKCO and Ginny’s Yarn Along.

Play Food

Today after school, my daughters declared they wanted to play cafes and before I knew it, I was sat down with a menu in hand, ordering a sandwich, tea and ice cream! 🙂

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We made some play food for our cafe during the summer holidays last year. I meant to share it here at the time, but I didn’t get a moment. But playing with it today reminded me of those lovely crafty mornings and how well used and loved these play foods have been ever since. I didn’t take any photos today as my camera is playing up (eek!) but I found these on my computer and thought I would share them with you – Ah those long summer days….

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We already have wooden play food, but these are mainly vegetables and cakes and my daughters felt that they needed some real ‘cafe-style’ food to make their cafe more authentic (they are getting bigger after all so they need the right props!).  So on one of our ‘making’ days in our summertime rhythm, we pulled out recycled cardboard, coloured paper, scissors and glue and I helped the girls whip up a few sandwiches, pizzas and cheese on toast.Not the healthiest of fare, but this is what the girls thought their customers would like to eat! 🙂

These foods are so easy and cheap to make, I had to share them with you here:

For two sandwiches, you need a 12cmx 12cm square of corrugated cardboard, cut in half diagonally twice to form four triangles (we cut up an old cardboard box).

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Then its entirely up to you to decide what sandwiches you would like to include in your cafe. We used coloured paper to cut out the toppings: the frilly lettuce and cheese need to be cut a little larger than the cardboard so you can see them when the sandwich is closed and the cream coloured paper for the cream cheese needs to be a bit smaller, as you can’t have cream cheese leaking out of your sandwich, can you?! Stick these onto the cardboard and add your choice of filling. We added eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers, stuck on again with glue. For a closed sandwich, just place a plain triangle of card on top. Easy peasy! 

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Pizzas are also a cinch to make. Use the same type of cardboard as it is robust and trace around a small plate for the pizza base. Cut a similar sized piece of red paper to serve as the tomato sauce and glue on top. Then just add all the toppings you love. My daughters only eat olives and mozzarella with the occasional sweetcorn if they are feeling adventurous (!) so our pizzas are quite simple. 

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There was a request for cheese on toast which both my daughters enjoy. For this, you just need to cut a 12cm x 12cm square of card, rounding off the corners a little and cut a slightly smaller piece of yellow paper to go on top as the cheese. Add tomatoes too if you like. Simple! 

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Over the summer holidays, we consumed our fair share of ice cream (a distant memory now…), so my daughters thought it only right that their customers should be able to enjoy ice creams at their cafe too 🙂 So on another “making” morning, we wet felted some balls of ice cream in vanilla, chocolate, mint choc chip, cherry and strawberry colours. 

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To make the ice cream cones, I cut out a circle of thin corrugated card, 28cm in diameter and cut that in half and in half again. I then rolled the quarter circles into cone shapes and glued and stapled them to make them durable. (The staples can be taken out later once the glue has taken a good hold).

These foods are really straightforward to make with bits and pieces we all have lying around the house. A good rainy day activity. It is very satisfying to have a larger menu now. The cook and waitress certainly seem to think so!

 

Sharing at Frontier Dreams KCCO and The Really Crafty Link Party

 

Reflections..


So Lent begins. I am not particularly religious, but there is something about the Lenten period, that resonates with me. For me it is period of moderation; of being more conscious with regards to eating habits and consumption in general; a time of self discipline. I am taking a break from caffeine, sugar and alcohol, which I hope will have a positive impact on my health and wellbeing (I do this at least twice a year). As well as removing these from my life, I am also adding beneficial things to my daily life to try to kick start more self discipline in these areas: for the six weeks of Lent, I am going to write daily Morning Pages, drink two glasses of water when I wake (I am often dehydrated) and I will meditate daily and go for a daily walk. I have also decided to have an earlier bedtime at least four nights a week (as I think I am chronically overtired and get crabby because of it). I have read widely that in order for something to become a habit, it needs to be done for 21 days consecutively, preferably at the same time of day. I figure over double that will help set me on the right path again with regards to self care. I do hope so. I have rather gone off the boil with that for a while now. This time of year feels so stop-start, stop-start again, if you know what I mean?! Someone is ill, then they get well, we go back to normal, only to have the next child or adult get sick. This week it was the turn of my youngest. She had an awful headache, sore throat, earache and tummy ache and totally lost her appetite – even for toast (her favourite food!) – poor dear 😦

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We spent the weekend at home, dosing her up on elderberry syrup and manuka honey, with On Guard and frankincense in the diffuser round the clock, to make sure we all don’t get ill again. She was shivery so we had the wood burner going in our lounge almost all day too.

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She decided it would be nice to rest near the fire on some sheepskins and otherwise we played board games and cards, including our favourites; Uno, Rat a Tat CatWildcraftBird Bingo and Memory. She wasn’t feeling ill enough not to need entertainment, but her headache kept her in one place. So we spent a lot of time in the lounge, cosied up.

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We did a little hand sewing and knitting and watched  a couple of sweet films (to give Mummy a rest!). When she is ill, our youngest just wants to be entertained and close to me all the time. Daddy and our eldest went out for a bike ride and some other errands at the weekend, so it was often just the two of us. It was intense, but I need to remind myself that there is much to be gained from spending time together this way too. Life slows down for a bit and there is more time for tenderness.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much done in regards to my own making. We did some knitting together so I have nearly finished the Infinity Cowl I am working on.

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and  I finished the Valentine’s hat in time for the 28th February. It was a gift knit to be finished in February, so I am glad I finished it on time and the hearts came out well and are more visible than I expected. It looks too wide on the top section after the colour work, so I am going to have to rip it out to the colour work and redo it. I forgot to go back to the smaller needles 😦  My daughter also wants it more slouchy so will add some more rows. It shouldn’t take too long. I do so hope it works out. Luckily I am perseverant!

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My youngest is keen for me to get started on her belated Valentine’s hat, so she helped me roll her skeins of yarn into balls on Monday, whilst we listened to a marathon (!) of  Martin and Sylvia audio-stories.

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I went out of the room briefly whilst we were balling the pink yarn and it now looks like this!! Eek!  Is there an easier way??!

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My daughter is better now and back at school, so I can finally borrow my husbands computer to finish this post – mine has been playing up so this post has been four days in the writing as I was unable to save it several time. I almost gave up altogether 😦  I am still doing some major decluttering whilst the girls are at school, but I look forward to the day when I can devote a bit more time to creative endeavours as they feed my soul. The balance is all housework at the moment. Craft group tonight with friends – that should get me started 🙂

Joining the crafty folk at Frontier Dreams KCCO.

 

 

Travel plans…

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I am sitting in a cafe with a hot chocolate, having an evening off bedtime and breathing a little sigh of relief at having some time to myself after an intense weekend and the whole of Monday spent indoors (my youngest has been ill). Last night she was up until 11pm feeling unwell, although I do think she is on the mend now, thank goodness. She usually throws off illnesses in a matter of days – Oh to have a wonderfully robust immune system!

My daughters, especially the eldest, struggle to go to sleep before 9pm, so I am usually shattered in the evening, as I tend to lie down with them for a while in a darkened room until my youngest is asleep (and often I fall asleep too..) My eldest still needs me too and always feels a need to talk about things that bother her at night. Of course I want to be there for her, but it can be exhausting and I don’t get much done in the evening afterwards. So my husband and I decided to give each other two evenings off “bedtime” each week . I use my Monday evenings to write here and on my Thursday evenings I either meet friends out, craft with friends, go to a meditation class or do some more writing. I treasure this time and am so much more present and patient on the other evenings with the children.

But one thing we have been doing most evenings, since January, is slowly planning our trip to the States this summer; deciding on one location every evening if possible, or at least talking the options through.

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We are planning a five week tour from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Oregon, flying out of Seattle. We have arranged most of our accommodation through the VRBO site as we believe that staying in a “home from home” environment will suit our children best. We will be travelling in the car a lot, which they dislike, so it will be good to have a base for three days each time, from which to venture out and return to at the end of an eventful day. We had considered bringing our tent, but we have decided against it as it will mean a lot more work for us and the children will settle quicker at each location this way, we hope. Family holidays can be exhausting as it is, so we want to reserve our energies. There is a fire pit at most locations and a lovely big outdoor space for the children to explore (with creeks on some of the properties),  so we will have plenty of adventure!

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I must say it’s really enjoyable spending time with my husband planning this trip – planning is surely half the fun of travel! We have a joint goal in common and it has brought us closer. Of course we have the children in common and our common goals for our family life, but we have missed making exciting travel plans together. For us:

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After getting married in 2000, we used to travel abroad each year  for three weeks or so at a time, including:  Egypt, Central America, India, Cuba, the States as well as multiple city breaks. We also both lived and worked in Australia and travelled S.E Asia in our twenties. My husband travelled a lot on his own and with friends prior to this and I lived and worked in both Italy and Germany for a year each and travelled solo by train in Europe (Interrail) and by Greyhound buses in the States in my early twenties. It is one of our joint passions; to discover new places and see new sights; making memories. My favourite song in my travelling years was “Travellin’ Man” by the band Free as I love to be on the move :-). I loved the freedom of travel and not knowing what was coming next or who I would meet.

Travelling with children is clearly a different ball game, although I know people manage to take their children with them to all kinds of exotic locations.

When we first had children, we dreamt of family trips to India or Thailand, but we haven’t ventured out of Europe for eight years, since our trip to the States in 2008, when we still only had one child (who travelled at a much reduced price). We don’t have adventurous children; our children find travel disorientating and take time to get used to different cultures and besides they are not vaccinated, so I am unsure about going to India and Thailand while they are still young. But I think they will be able to enjoy a trip to the States now they are older, as it shouldn’t be too much of a culture shock!

The first time we went to the States as a couple in May 2003,  we travelled from San Francisco to Denver and some of our itinerary will be similar again this time. We did the trip on a tight budget and camped most of the way or stayed in cheap motels. We even camped in the snow near the Grand Canyon (it was the first time they had had snow that year – in May!). It was so foggy, you couldn’t see the Canyon at all!!! So we moved down to New Mexico in a hurry to warm up! 🙂 We were much more spontaneous then and took things as they came.

We have decided to plan this trip better, with the children and our comfort in mind.

So this is our itinerary so far: We fly into Denver and will spend a few days getting over our jet lag in Grand Lake (which is incidentally where our youngest was conceived)  🙂 Then we will visit friends in Carbondale for a few days: we have visited twice in the past and love the town, it’s so liberal and progressive and it’s also easy to walk everywhere in the town centre.

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After that we will journey onto  Dolores, stopping at Ouray on the way for lunch (I wish we could stay there longer as I loved it there last time, but we have a long journey to make). We will stay in Dolores for three days, so we can visit the Mesa Verde National Park and the surrounding area.

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Then we will move onto Williams, Arizona so we can explore the Grand Canyon National Park region – finally! 🙂 We would have loved to have stayed in Utah too and had a brilliant time in Moab on our first trip, but we think one Canyon trip in the heat will suffice for the sake of our children (and our sanity!). We will be staying in Las Vegas for a day and night on our way across to Oakhurst, California where we will be based whilst visiting the Yosemite National Park.

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We missed out on visiting Yosemite on our first visit and are really looking forward to discovering the area.  Following this, we plan to stay in  South Lake Tahoe, California for three days. Last time we were there, people were still skiing in May!

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We will then journey onto the Lassen Volcanic Park area, which was recommended to us by friends. Our next stop after that is near Eureka, so we can visit the Redwood National Park and the surrounding area. And then we shall drive up the Oregon coast, via a stop off in Port Orford, Oregon, where we hear you can find agate crystals on the beach if you are lucky 🙂

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We will then stay three days inland, not far from Reedsport, Oregon; staying in a cabin with its own jetty onto a river! They even have a kajak we can use :-). From there we can explore the coast and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area.

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And then we will finish our trip with four days in Portland, Oregon, spending time with friends before returning to the UK via Seattle (it worked out a lot cheaper than flying out of Portland and I hear flying out of Canada is even cheaper).

So that’s our trip so far. Now we have to think visas and a new passport for our eldest who will have less than six months validity left on her passport when we travel (passports have to have over 6 months validity left). We need to think how to arrange our luggage as we will be constantly in and out of the car and how to make the plane journey more enjoyable – my eldest is petrified of flying as I have mentioned more than once 😦 We have upgraded to Premium economy so that we can receive more attention if necessary and we think a smaller area of the plane will make the flight easier for my daughter. I pray for no turbulence! We also need to consider where the health stores are on our trip and many other details. But we will take the laptop with us, so I don’t think we have to plan in too much detail – thank goodness for the internet!

I am sure I will fill you in on more of the travel details as I make them.

We are so thrilled to have this family adventure to look forward to and feel incredibly blessed to be able to take this trip of a lifetime with our children.

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We will no doubt continue to pore over travel books and maps to flesh out how the trip is going to go. We have never been this organised, but it feels good to have some firm plans. I expect there will be plenty of room for spontaneity – we are not that organised!!

Any tips of where to go, bearing in mind our itinerary would be so welcome. We are open to ideas 🙂

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Half term …

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We were on a half term break from school last week. It was a busy week with trips out to meet friends and having them round to ours to play, which was lovely, if rather tiring at times. Many of our friends don’t go to our school, so the school holidays is the only time we see them really.

On Wednesday we had a super long play ‘date’ with two sisters from 9.30am to 7pm (another family popped in for a few hours after lunch too). This was followed on Thursday by having another friend over from 12.30pm til after 6pm. My children and I were exhausted by the end of each day and I think the other children were too! (this was unfortunately unavoidable or I would certainly have spaced these days out!). My daughters (and I), being introverts, don’t do well with more than one play ‘date’ in a row or very long days with friends – I think four hours is our maximum time for a successful play ‘date’. By the end of both days, there was repeated questioning of “when are they/we going home” (!) from all of children, which is a shame as they really enjoyed each others company for most of the day. You live and learn 🙂

I am not one for putting on films when we have friends over, but I think in the case of the super long day, it would have helped, as everyone became fraught in the last couple of hours. 😦 Watching a simple film does have its place I think.

On Saturday we met friends at a National Trust place with a Sylvanian Nature trail!

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My daughters are both crazy about Sylvanian families. They love little animals in general; soft toys, Sylvanians and the real thing of course! The trail was a little disappointing and the quiz questions rather baffling, but it got us round a lovely wooded area and the girls each brought one of their Sylvanians with them for the adventure 🙂

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My daughters went back to school today and I am frankly exhausted from all these outings and play ‘dates’ at our home. My daughters prefer to have their friends over to  our home, rather than visit them as they feel more free to be themselves (and I think they believe we have a better selection of things to play with!). I respect their wishes, but find half term breaks a bit too full on personally. I prefer the longer summer, winter and Easter breaks, as you don’t need to cram so much into a short space of time.

We did have two much needed days at home: Tuesday, we spent decorating and making for Valentines and on Friday, we went for a walk and my daughters started work on their own patchwork doll quilts. They’re going to be very floral! 🙂

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My youngest was very keen to get started and hand sewed several rows before her sister had even started hers.

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She only has two more rows to sew together before she finishes the patchwork square and starts on the border. My eldest decided to do it the easy way and caught up by sewing it all on the sewing machine!

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This is my first morning to myself in ten days and I am really appreciating a little quiet, so I can focus on getting things done without interruption. I so admire home schooling families, but I personally fear it would drive me a bit crazy to be in company all the time and my daughters don’t need a crazy Mummy!

I need to spend a few mornings on my own, going for walks, pottering about, doing a lot more decluttering and catching up on some long overdue making.

I started the Valentine’s hat before Valentine’s day, but unfortunately I have been struggling a bit with concentration, with this week being so tiring, so I have had to rip back several rows quite a few times as the pattern wasn’t coming out right 😦 and it HAS to!

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So here I am again, one row of hearts in and hoping to find more quiet pockets of time this week to continue this project. My eldest daughter chose the yarns, which are a pine green colour for the main hat and cornflower blue for the hearts. We bought the yarn through an internet shop and unfortunately the colours are quite similar in tone and the hearts don’t stand out too much.

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My daughter says she is happy with the effect (it’s not a surprise Valentines gift anymore so I wanted some feedback), so I shall plough on. My youngest chose light purple with dark pink hearts, which should look entirely different. I forgot how long it takes to knit with sport yarn: it is so fine, but the yarn is beautifully soft and I will have to stay patient.

Any tips for hats that are quick and easy to knit would be very welcome! I tried the Vermonter pattern, but it didn’t ever fit properly, so I had to give up after three tries! I am sure it works beautifully for some.

I was feeling a bit exasperated with my lack of knitting success, so I made myself another Drop Stitch Cowl, because I needed a quick project that required little concentration and I wanted something in a mustardy yellow too. I managed to knit most of it in a car journey and the rest while my eldest was seeing an osteopath! I think the osteopath is now inspired to start knitting too! 🙂

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Now that is finished, I am going to make a simple eternity cowl with this lovely bright green yarn as I don’t believe you can ever have too many bright and cosy scarves!

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I have never used such enormous needles before! Hopefully it will be another quick satisfying knit inbetween hat knitting.  It will be good to alternate between the scarf and hat depending on the mood of the moment!

I do hope this post isn’t too negative – it isn’t meant to be. I just feel very tired right now. It’s that time of year when energies are low. I’m certainly looking forward to the spring energy coming in.

Joining Nicole and all the crafty folk for KCCO.