You Win Some, You Lose Some

If you have read this blog for any brief amount of time, then you probably know two of my favorite things are yarn and books.  This summer I decided to join an online bookclub hosted by Leslie Anne at the blog LaLa Life. We’ve been friends over on GoodReads for a while so I knew we had similar reading tastes.  Anyhow, there was a poll that took place a couple of weeks ago and this book won…

Now, I don’t want to say this is a terrible book.  It got fairly ok reviews. But for me? Nope. I made it about 40% of the way through and just couldn’t feign interest any longer. It was supposed to be about a single mom who moved to the Hamptons to be with this guy she barely knows and she gets caught up in the lifestyle of the Hamptons although, as far as I can tell, said boyfriend is sleazy and she’s really attracted to the local guy. Meanwhile the quintessential rich Manhattan/Hamptons family is totally dysfunctional, with daughter and wife sleeping around, son has a drug problem, and dad is suffering some sort of insufferable midlife crisis.  All this while the old guard wants to shut down a summer camp. So honestly, if there was eventually going to be a streamlined plot I’ll never know because it was just horrible.

So I dropped it. I hate quitting books because I always wonder if it really did get good and I am missing a great story. It’s on my Kindle so if I am ever desperate want to give it another chance, I can read it.

I moved on to On the Rocks which was another choice in the book club (and the one I voted for) and I will be completely honest: it’s set in Newport. That was pretty much the key for me. However, this story of a woman whose fiancé drops her via Facebook as she’s trying on her wedding dress is, so far, pretty darn good. Definitely a good beach read.

Moving on to Summer

I’ve been debating if this really IS the first weekend of summer since most of it was spent fretting over school and cleaning/packing up my classroom.  In the end, however, I decided it still counted because there would be no commute into school on Monday. I’ve stepped away from blogging for a variety of reasons but, in truth, I think it was stress and anxiety that caused most of the silence. This has been a tremendously difficult year and one that has left me reeling. I have been counting down to the end of school since January – and not in an exaggerated, dramatic way. I literally would not have made it through if I hadn’t kept my eye on the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

I’m looking forward rather than backward, and so I’m resurrecting this old blog.

Where is a Three Day Weekend When You Need One?

Truly, I believe that time passes nearly instantly from when I lock my classroom door on Friday and unlock it on Monday. I have another four day work week (yay!) so I am burning the nearly midnight oil working on lesson plans. Goodness it is much too much trouble to miss one measly day of school.  The countdown to summer, however, is most definitely ON.

This weekend was spent working around the house and working on school projects. Maia has a family tree due in Spanish so she’s been more interested than usual in my genealogy files. It’s given me a chance to sort through some old family photos which always makes me swoon.

Our kitchen is in the middle of a little rehab so meals have been at the whim of our contractor. There haven’t been major renovations…yet…but we’ve been updating some wall color, electrical wiring, etc. All of which means that the crockpot is retired, probably through the rest of the spring and summer, and best laid plans are disrupted.  Oh, and I’m a food rut. That being said, if all goes to plan, this is what’s on tap for this week’s menu:

Sunday – a break in the weather means steaks on the grill and baked potatoes

Monday – twice baked, crab stuffed potatoes (recipe here)

Tuesday – parmesan garlic spaghetti (recipe here)

Wednesday – honey dijon chicken breasts (recipe here)

Thursday – breakfast for dinner 🙂 {aka what will get cooked on whichever day my kitchen is a disaster}

Friday – out

Saturday – out

In the Kitchen

We have a long stretch of time at home (we often go away for long weekends) so we are making a concerted effort to eat at home. Argh, not my favorite thing, cooking, but I’m still trying. Yesterday I made a big lasagna for lunch which was mostly gone afterwards and what was left I sent home with my mother. I didn’t take a single photo but Greyson did a nice job cleaning up while I rested my foot. The lasagna is nothing fancy and a far cry from what my mother used to make, but I love it and I’ll probably make it a few times in the next month because I have four boxes of lasagna noodles. Not sure why that is. Anyway, I don’t use the turkey sausage, but pork, because I’m the only person who likes turkey sausage but either way is delicious.



I’m also still steeping my Fire Cider. The garlic is turning blue so I have to see if that’s normal, but I am looking forward to being able to use it. I’m feeling 80% like my old self, but my sinuses are still a mess.


Ok, so this week’s menu ~

Monday – Breakfast for Dinner

Tuesday – Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad

Wednesday – Spaghetti & Italian Sausage

Thursday – Baked Pork Chops & Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Friday – (First Friday in Lent) Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Saturday – Slow Cooker Pot Roast




It’s been a quiet weekend so I thought I’d join Karen today. Sadly, it went much too fast. On Friday, my son was in Hartford at the State House with other kids who are participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange. He is the only out-bound student (meaning he is going abroad next year) from our district so he has been able to spend a lot of time with the in-bound kids spending their school year in the U.S. He’s been able to forge friendships with kids from Italy, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand. After their trip, I joined them for dinner and the Harlem Globetrotters in Bridgeport while my husband took our daughter and a friend to the middle school dance.


Saturday was just a lot of running around trying to get things done and so nothing terribly exciting. We did go out to dinner at a new-to-us restaurant in Milford, Connecticut. The food was delicious and they have my favorite meal of cavatelli, sausage and broccoli rabe. I kept half of it for lunch on Monday because it was just too much to eat all at once. We have only a couple of substitute teachers at school so, on days like Thursday and Friday, we often help with lunch periods.


Often, we only find out right before lunch so it makes having a hot lunch difficult so I ordered a small crockpot for lunches. When it became clear we may be doing a few lunch periods, I thought it was time because I’d been looking at this for months. So tomorrow my leftovers are going in this to warm up all morning. My level teachers and I take turns for lunch periods and I had Friday but just in case…


As I was wrapping up the Giants socks, I started thinking about wrapping and/or packaging. After being my somewhat constant companions for so long, I thought these socks needed a little extra touch. I found this printable sheet of labels on Pinterest so I could quickly write the care instructions for handknit socks since they are going to a single guy.


I am back to having only one project going, although I think I may need to throw in another pair of socks for myself.  I haven’t really gotten much work done (meaning, none) on those socks I’d planned knitting this year. I really do love knitting socks, even if I do complain much more than I should.


For now I’m concentrating on my sugar swirls blanket for a soon to be born baby girl. I’m hoping it will be an easy knit although right now I’ve done two rows of k3tog tbl and it’s been requiring all my focus. Oh, and I got a spiffy new project bag from madderroot, located up in Maine. Llamas and alpacas are kind of a big deal in my house.

My foot has been acting up, after a few days of a horrible migraine, so I’m taking this Sunday evening slow and just knitting and reading. Maybe doing some extra lesson planning after dinner.

How was your weekend?

Yarn Along :: February 22, 2017

Click on the image to see more at SmallThings
Click on the image to see more at SmallThings

Well, this was meant to go up yesterday but I’ve been battling a migraine since going back to school.  I keep meaning to check if it’s a full moon!  Truly, though, the kids aren’t the cause of the migraine but their exuberance makes it difficult to cope at times.


We had a long weekend for President’s Day and headed up the coast to Marblehead for a few days.  I have a lot of pictures I will get to eventually, but it was a lovely weekend exploring, knitting, and reading. A notice of Philippa Gregory’s new-ish novel popped up in my Facebook feed and when I went to download it to my Kindle, I found a book just before it in the Cousins’ series. The King’s Curse tells the story of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, and I knew I’d just have to read this before moving on to Three Sisters, Three Queens. I wasn’t disappointed and found myself reaching for the Kindle more than my knitting ~ gasp!


When we got home, my pre-order of A Piece of the World downloaded to my Kindle. I heard an interview with Christina Baker Kline on NPR last Thursday as I was driving home from school and got hooked. The novel is a fictionalized account of Anna Christina Olsen, the woman portrayed (although it is technically Wyeth’s wife) in the painting Christina’s World. There is such a mixture of old New England grit, a connection to my beloved Nathaniel Hawthorne, the history of Salem…it had everything going for it.  I’m now about 30% into it and I am not disappointed.

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth

The knitting this week is focused on a Sugar Swirls baby blanket in Cascade 220 Fingering. It’s a nice break from knitting lots and lots of socks for the past year. I do have a rather large stash of sock yarn, though, so expect to see more socks here soon.  The photo above is reading very, very red but the yarn colors are a nice fawny tan, bubblegum pink, and deep magenta. Clearly it’s for a baby girl. 🙂



Yarn Along :: February 9, 2017

Click on the image to see more at SmallThings

Joining Ginny this week for Yarn Along. I’ve been posting more on Instagram lately. If I were to post only knitting here there would be few and far between going up because I seems to have lost most of my knitting speed.  I think the fact that I have books to go along with these posts is the only thing that save it because it really feels, to me, that I have same sock to show each week.

So true to form, it’s another red and blue sock. I had stopped to work on a baby blanket only to frog that after goofing up the first color change. So I decided to go back to the sock (no. 2!) and get that done. Yesterday was a sick day for me but I was too sick to even knit much. I’d hoped to knit 400 stitches because that seemed like such a massive number on a sock. In truth, it was six and a quarter rows. And I only made it through about 200 before I needed to lay down again.  Today is a snow day ~ our first here in Connecticut ~ and I’m determined to get down to the heel flap.

IMG_4216Pattern: Susan B Anderson’s How I Make My Socks (link here)
Yarns: Malabrigo Sock in Ravelry Red and Azule
Needles: Size 2 DPN

I just started this book, which I think is Young Adult fiction that I had purchased for Maia. So far it’s good although I’m only a few pages in. I needed a break from War & Peace which is definitely not going as quickly, easily, or as enjoyably as Anna Karenina did. I am gathering up every book I own that I never got around to reading and slowly making my way through all of them, then dedicating myself to only reading books from the library. I love books, the gathering and handling of them, but they quickly overrun our home.

Weekend WIP


I know, I know…the same sad sock. I added on the red for the toes so I have high hopes that this will be done tomorrow. I’ve made it a point to log in some devoted knitting time and it has paid off. I set my watch alarm for an hour and another half hour yesterday. It was a bit of a rough weekend with both myself and my husband sick with what I’m utterly convinced is strep throat. C’est la vie! <—–I’m revisiting my high school French while my son works on his German for his year abroad. My favorite phrase thus far is: “Le requin is eating a dolphin.” I cannot fathom a single instance where I will need to announce that the shark is eating a dolphin!

I will admit to getting a bit tired of this sock so I moved over to Maia’s sweater for a bit while we watched the Sherlock Season 4 finale (so stressful!). The cables in that, which I will share when it’s a bit further along, were much better at keeping my interest.


2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Casey has
read 0 books toward
her goal of
24 books.

Well, this year I didn’t quite make my goal of 45 books, even counting some new picture books I’d found for my classroom. I did dial it down a bit this year, though, thinking two books a month might be doable and will give me a chance to go ahead. I think 2015 was 113% of my goal so, while it doesn’t matter a whit, I did get pretty giddy seeing that percentage.

Any good recommendations for when I finish War & Peace?

Box O Sox KAL

My Instagram feed is filled with boxes of socks tagged with #boxosoxKAL so I had to investigate what this was. A box of 12 socks? I’m in! I immediately started imaginging family members opening boxes filled with socks! Well…let’s not get ahead of ourselves. My Giants/Hanukkah socks haven’t progressed much since knitting the other night.

Well, as it turns out, this particular KAL began in January of 2016 so I missed out on that, but I just found the 2017 thread on the Yarngasm Podcast page on Ravelry! And, yes, I am STILL working on those Giants socks but I do have lots of socks planned for moi. You can click on each image to visit to pattern page on Ravelry.


Eternal Spring Socks by verybusymonkey
Eternal Spring Socks by verybusymonkey


Turkish Bed Socks by Chruchmouse Yarns and Teas
Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas


Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton
Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton


Rowan Moon Socks by Louise Tilbrook
Rowan Moon Socks by Louise Tilbrook


Cachoeira by Kristi Geraci
Cachoeira by Kristi Geraci


Rye by Tincan Knits
Rye by Tincan Knits


Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson
Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson


Petty Harbour by Reyna Curtis
Petty Harbour by Reyna Curtis


Owlie Socks by Julie Elswick Suchomel
Owlie Socks by Julie Elswick Suchomel


Amelie by Alana Dakos
Amelie by Alana Dakos


Gaudete by Stephanie van der Linden
Gaudete by Stephanie van der Linden


Lacunae by Anne Hanson
Lacunae by Anne Hanson

Phew! That’s a list. I’m going to have to ramp up my attempts at two at a time socks.  But how amazing to have a dozen hand knit socks for me! Most of my sock knitting is gifted.