Wednesday, February 23, 2011

knitting and reading

I missed last week's yarn along due purely to laziness. I'm coming into the last few days of my mid term break and I have done exactly that, have a break, so wonderful. Anyway, this week I'm reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. I picked it up in a charity shop last week. Several things about it caught my eye: Irish author, a girl living in another country away from home, the process of making your home in a strange place. I'm not very far into it yet but this quote caught my attention: "...the rest of her life would be a struggle with the unfamiliar." I've very much been feeling like this the last few weeks. Don't get me wrong, I love it here in Belfast and I'm so thankful to be here, and I don't really want to be anywhere else. Just sometimes living in another culture is tiring and I've been feeling the wear and tear of it.
On my needles today is a Jewel Cowl in a lovely shade of green. The yarn is part bamboo and it's so silky and soft! I got it in a yarn swap my local stitch 'n bitch club held at Christmas, bonus! I'm making this for my mom, but it's a surprise so don't tell!

Friday, February 18, 2011

just bolstering myself a little

"You won't have to lift a hand in this battle; just stand firm, Judah and Jerusalem, and watch GOD's saving work for you take shape. Don't be afraid. Don't waver. March out boldly tomorrow - GOD is with you."

"No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."

"Does God speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?"

"You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

I’m missing the other half of my wardrobe which is packed safely away at my parent’s house undoubtedly being worn by my youngest sister...

There is something so wonderful about this picture that it makes me want to cry.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

little bird, little bird...

... fly through my window.

Here is evidence that spring is on it's way; the days are getting longer, the trees are beginning to bud, and the birds are singing in the morning. I caught some pictures of this little guy preening himself outside my window Sunday afternoon. Thanks to the audio version of The Bad Birdwatcher's Companion and my resulting new found knowledge of (a few) British birds I can tell you that he is a Great Tit. There was what I think may have been a female at the top of the tree and this little guy didn't sit still for a minute, he was hoping from branch to branch and fussing with his feathers and singing every few minutes. Lots of fun for me!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

it is finished

Ishbel is finished, and I mean ends woven in, blocked, worn once already, finito!

Monday, February 14, 2011

unreasonable lengths

I've had a lot of people comment on "how good" I am with children. I've been told I "have a gift." I usually pass these comments off with an awkward smile and a shrug of the shoulders. In my mind it was simple; I've been taking care of children since I was a child, it's fun (way more fun than a sales position), I'm taking care of someone else's children (which is a huge responsibility), and I'm being paid good money. Most of all, it's something that comes naturally to me, yes I'm always learning and growing and getting better at it, but I've never had to work hard or really struggled with it. But I guess I'm coming to realise that doesn't mean that being "good with children" is an easy thing or something to take for granted or pass off as not a big deal. And at the risk of sounding like I'm tooting my own horn, the more I'm studying the more I'm realising, I am good with children. I'm reading "Child Development a First Course" by Kathy Sylva and Ingrid Lunt which is an introduction to the psychology of child development and a lot of the observations and recommendations they're making are things that I've always done, intuitively I guess. Maybe this is it, maybe I've realised what my "thing" is. How exciting!

Anyway I really just wanted to share this quote because I love it! It's from the chapter on substitute mothers, i.e. foster/adoptive parents, childminders, day nurseries (those are all British words, think nannies and daycare centres):

"It has been suggested that the crucial characteristic of the parental role is its partiality for the individual child; the child needs to know that to someone he matters more than other children, and that someone will go to unreasonable lengths, not just reasonable ones, for his sake."

How great is that?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

i'm gonna be there!

yarn along

This is the third, and final, week I'll be posting Ishbel as my knitting WIP for the yarn along. I only have nine rows to go so hopefully it isn't overconfidence to say that by this time next week it will be all done and maybe even finished blocking! As for reading I just started Evening Class by Maeve Binchy. I'm not expecting anything more than a fun read but I found it at the £ Shop and that was too good of a deal to pass up!

Monday, February 7, 2011

friday night and saturday

I was rather domestic this weekend. After working at the nursery on Friday I came home and crashed. I had plans to meet up with friends but they fell through. So I caught up on all my American Thursday night shows and then I made a big pot of what turned out to be amazing vegetable stew.It's onions and leeks and peppers and chilli and mushrooms and peas and carrots and sweet corn and celery and canned tomatoes and I served it over couscous and it was very happy.
On Saturday I met some friends at the market which is always fun and had lots of samples (hello Toffee Apple Bread, I love you!) and some freshly squeezed juice. Then I went into town and purchased an amazing find at the pound shop.
Look at these jars. They are nice and big and pretty. (I love glass!) and they were only £1 each! I've been wanted canisters for a while as flour and sugar stored in their bags does not send me to my happy place. I started with five, but I'm sure I'll be heading back for more!
Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning (boring) and baking (fun!). I made a double batch of banana bread and one half made a proper loaf (hiding in the background) and the other half made banana chocolate chip muffins. So happy! Saturday evening I babysat. Great to be back in the saddle again. British TV is just as bad on a Saturday night as American... Phineas and Ferb anyone?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

yarn along

Another week, another yarn along. I just think this is such a lovely idea! (Even if my photographs leave a bit to be desired.) I'm reading Child Development - A First Course (for school obviously). We've been told many times that we should be reading more than just our text books so I finally decided I should take them at their word. I find child development to be a fascinating subject. Much more interesting than many of the other things we've been studying this year like legislation and health and safety regulations.

I'm still plugging away on the Ishbel. I'm coming into the home stretch and am so looking forward to seeing it finished. It's all bunched up on my needles now so binding off will be a big unveiling!