Quickie

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Hi Friends! How are you? I am ok. I didn’t get to decorate my tree like I was hoping too. I went to a couple shops after work to find Christmas Eve pajamas for the boys. While out I did find some for hubby but still nothing for my boy :(! Anyway while out I felt a headache creeping on and I hoped it would pass but it just got worse and worse! So after getting the boy from school, I made some hot chocolate for the both of us and rested on the couch until I had to make dinner. Getting up just made it worse but lucky for me my hubby came home from work and took over for me. He told me to go back to rest and he would take care of it all. He even brought me my plate all made up! So sweet of him! It’s little things like that that totally make my day and mean so much to me! I am feeling better now but that means my tree is still pretty naked!
So, hopefully better luck tomorrow and we are going to a hockey game so I will have plenty to share with you!
Have a wonderful day!!

Another Week Flown by!!

Hello Friends! How are you all? I am doing good. Keeping busy around the house, with work and trying to get ready for Christmas. I can’t believe it will be here next week! December has flown by! I am almost done with my shopping, what about you? Decorating the house is like half done, I know…I am slacking! But I did remember my favorite thing for the season.

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My Advent candles. I took this picture this past Saturday so it still only has two candles lit. I am always scrambling days before or on the day of to find the right candles but I always make sure it is set up and ready. I love sitting at the table with my candles lit and just the whole set up. It’s a comforting feeling. Is there anything about this time that you really look forward to?

Last Saturday we also went to our library because they had an activity for kids to decorate gingerbread houses. Little Man had fun working on his and coming up with ideas. I helped a bit with the fence but other than that he pretty much did it on his own.

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I also had my work Christmas party Saturday Evening. It didn’t go quite as planned. Both of our bosses called a friend I work with and said they were sick and couldn’t make it, just a couple of hours before it started. They had all the food and supplies for the party so my friend scrambled to get some snacks and salad stuff. My one boss ordered some pizza to be delivered to the hall where we had the party but he only ordered seven pizzas for almost 50 people, so she had to order more. Apart from that it was nice to hang out with some of the ladies outside of work. Have any of you had any Christmas parties already?

Yesterday my mom gave me a bunch of oranges so I decided to make a clove orange today while I was working on dinner.

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I forgot to get a picture of it done. I didn’t do a special pattern I just covered it all over with cloves. I will get a picture of it hanging up and all done. My mom used to have one hanging in our hallway for a long time and it smelled so good and lasted a really long time. I hope mine does too.

Tomorrow I am planning on finishing my tree. It has lights and a few ornaments that I have bought and that my grandma sent me. So hopefully I am successful!

I will be back soon, really I will! :)

Slow Week

Hi Friends! How was everyone’s week? Mine was a bit slow. I haven’t worked on any of my crafts or done anything special in the kitchen. It really was kind of a lame week. My husband had to take his car into the shop so for a few days I did some walking to work and getting my son to school. I forgot how much I enjoy a good walk in cool weather. It’s a whole different experience. The smells and sounds. There was a tree with a ton of acorns and three squirrels running around playing with each other and going nuts by it and it was so fun to watch.

I got some bulbs a couple weeks ago and put them in some water right away and they have grown much faster than i expected them to! It has been so fun to see them changing every day. Here are my paperwhites yesterday:

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Today even more have opened up. When they all open I will have to share that with you guys. So much easier than trying to grow plants outside or in a pot, I don’t have much luck with that.

We were pretty lazy Saturday morning and afternoon. Hubby and I watched a show we really enjoy called George Gently. Then in the evening we had a family Christmas party and Santa came to see the kids.

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I think Little Man is almost as big as Santa :)

On Sunday we went to the art museum for boy scouts, it was one of the things they had to do to earn the Art pin. I was really  excited to go because I had heard from a friend that they had some art from Monet there! We walked around for quite a bit before we finally found it. And it was just One. Don’t get me wrong it was beautiful but I was hoping for more. I love Monet, so I am Monet greedy I guess ;).  I shouldn’t complain I was able to see several of his pieces when we went to Chicago several years ago. Anyway here is the masterpiece.

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I took a couple up close shots and i don’t think the guard that was in the room liked it because she ended up moving from the back of the room to right in the line of sight of what I was doing. It was worth it.

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I have always appreciated and admired how some blotches of paint up close can be so beautiful from far away.

After that we went to a craft fair that was packed!! Great for all the people that had tables there and were trying to sell things but very hard to walk through. I didn’t get any pictures, all you would have seen was a whole bunch of bodies crushing around tables.

Then we came home and played a game together

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It’s called Wildcraft, my father-in-laws fiancee let us borrow it. You are basically a team and you start at grandma’s house have to make it to the center of the board, which is the huckleberry patch, and back to her house by nightfall with two buckets of berried per person. Along the way though you land on trouble squares and you suffer from different things, like a wasp sting, hunger, sore muscles and other health related things. But you have and also collect plant cards on your way and these plants can heal you from whatever trouble you got which is the main purpose of the game. To help teach kids natural herbs and plants. Little Man and I have played it several times since we got it just after Thanksgiving.

I am hoping to get my decorations out this week and maybe do some cross stitching. I am still reading Edge of Eternity and it is due back to the library tomorrow…I still have about 200 pages to go. Back to reading I go!!

Cross Stitch and Liebster Award

Hello Friends!! I am so sorry for my disappearance. It was not planned. How are you all doing? I am doing good. Last week was Thanksgiving so I had some time off. I finished up putting some packages together and did some reading and spending time with my husband.

A couple of weeks ago when I was at the bookstore they had the new Cross Stitcher magazine. It is a British one and is a bit pricey but I really like it and the patterns, so every now and then I treat myself to the latest issue.

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This issue came with a cute extra:

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It comes with enough fabric to make two heart ornaments and so I decided to make one for my grandma’s Christmas package. Like me, she likes owls so I chose that design. The fabric it comes with to cross stitch is very stiff, I have never worked with something like that before. You didn’t need to use a hoop to hold your fabric like you need with most aida or linen fabrics but when it came to sewing the back and the front together and then turning it right side out, it was pretty difficult but I managed to with a lot of tugging and poking and pushing and pulling. :)

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Here it is all finished! Not the best picture but I took it the night I was packing up the package. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. The cross stitching looks good I just wish the heart looked a little better. I have started the second heart so depending how much I work on it maybe by the weekend I will have something to show. I need to start working on my Christmas cards and some other holiday stuff, time is flying by!

I did manage to get my son’s Advent calendar done in time though, I have something for everyday which is quite an achievement because I usually have the first couple weeks filled and then I am trying to get things to fill it with as the month goes on.

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I use a curtain rod to hang it in his window. I made it four or five years ago. It is still one of the things I am most proud of. You can’t see them very well, I was trying to get a shot of all 24. Each stocking is lined with red fabric and has a red ribbon to hang by. Then I used some red glittery felt and cut out star shapes and embroidered the numbers on them in a shiny silver embroidery thread, which was a pain to work with.  But I got there in the end and he looks forward to it every year.

Last but not least my friend Joanna picked me for the Liebster Award. Thank you!

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My questions:
1. Are you social? (FB, Instagram, Twitter, ect?)

I am on Facebook and Instagram but I mainly go on there to see what other people are up to and sharing, I don’t post very much.

2. What colours are your favourite (on clothes and around you)?

Oh, I love the morning pink and purple you might catch in the morning when the sun is rising.Purple is also one of my favorite colors for everything.  Burgundy is not really a favorite color of mine but I know that it looks good on me. I like gray for sweaters or shirts. I really like bright colors but not all of them suit me so I try to have them around me in my bed sheets or pillows or when I make bags or something myself. and I can get away with wearing bright colors in my socks because I think socks can be fun and don’t always have to match what you are wearing.  A lot of the pictures I have hanging have bright colors.

3. Do you sleep in socks or never ever?

I am one of those people who as soon as colder weather hits I am always wearing socks!! But in the summer I do not sleep in socks.
4. What would you like to learn in the future?

I would really like to learn French. And I would like to learn to quilt, I have a basic understanding of course but to do it properly. Really, sewing better would be a plus, I do a lot of straight sewing and easy projects but to make myself a shirt, skirt or even a dress would be nice.

5. Coffee or tea? Tea but on the weekends I do enjoy a nice cup of coffee.
6. Do you have a pet? What is it? Maybe you would like to have one?

Its been almost two years since we have been without a pet. We used to have cats. I would like to have a cat again and we have talked about it but I think maybe we have waited to long and now I have gotten used to not having to deal with a litter box and the cat hair everywhere. But then when I go to friends that have cats I can’t get enough of them. It’s a big decision and I want it to be the right one and the right time.
7. If you could choose any epoch and place to live, when and where would it be?

This is a tough one but I think In the renaissance period in Europe… specifically probably France. I think I need to travel with Doctor Who so I can just have a taste of it all, there are so many things that I think would be awesome to experience.
8. When did you start writing your blog? Do you plan to ever stop writing?

Well this is my third reincarnation of having a blog, so I have been doing this on and off for several years. I would like to think that I am not going to stop writing because I do enjoy it but I have never been a great writer and it has been kind of easy for me in the past to stop writing. I am also still hesitant sometimes about what i put out there and sometimes I think something is kind of sill to write about. So i still struggle a lot.
9. What is the most handy tool you are lost without?

Can a handkerchief be considered a tool? makes a great napkin, tissue and towel :) My key chain nail clippers would probably be one.
10. What are your three favourite dishes from three different world cuisines?

Puerto Rican Mofungo, filled with chicken and no broth on the outside i don’t like when things get soggy and mushy.

German Wiener Schnitzel with Potato Salad.

Pad Thai, I realize that the Pad Thai that I get around here might not be like the real Pad Thai but it is my fave Thai dish.

And Middle Eastern Tabbouleh salad and Falafel. Yum, thinking about all this food makes me want it all!
11. Glass half way full or half way empty? Way Full!!

I am going to nominate

NothingButKnit

Jules World

Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen

My Questions:

1: What is a new recipe you have tried recently that was a success?

2:Your favorite thing to do before going to bed?

3: Do you like to watch foreign films?

4:Sweet or Salty Snack?

5:Your Dream Vacation?

6:Do you like to read and if so do you have a favorite genre?

7:Do you listen to or watch any podcasts? If yes, do you have a favorite.

8:What is your favorite time of day?

9:What inspires you?

10: Favorite music?

11: Do you sing in the shower?

Have a great day!

The Marsh

Hi Friends! How are you? I am snuggled up on the couch with Little Man away from the cold that is hovering outside my front door. We got some snow today. Yuck, but I am thankful it was only a little bit. Some people have been hit really hard.

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It is pretty, I just don’t like driving in it and because it was so cold the roads were quite slick.

So on Friday I told you we were hoping to go to the Marsh over the weekend and we did! We layered and bundled ourselves up and went over to the marsh for a wonderful walk. I could have stayed there all day but the men aren’t quite as keen as i am to be doing all that walking in the cold but I took some pictures to share our walk with you.

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This is when we first got there. Then we started walking on our favorite trail but Little Man wanted to do it in reverse this time.

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You can see that the water was completely frozen in places and then there was a section where the water started flowing over the ice.

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This is a part of the marsh that is normally filled with water but you can see there isn’t much in there right now. I love seeing the changes from season to season.

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My men playing with their sticks :)

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Love that pop of red within all that brown. It isn’t as bright in the picture as it was there.

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Me all bundled up in my handknits!! That the Gap-tastic cowl and the Wurm hat. I had warmed up a bit by then since we were further into our walk but before that I had my cowl wrapped around a third time and all you could see were my glasses.

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Along the way we found that the beavers in the area had been busy!! They had chewed five trees and started a sixth one but didn’t it. then you could see the drag marks of the trees going down to the water. Little Man thought it was so neat and we both too some of the shavings that they left behind.

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It was hard to get a picture of but here is where they have built their dam a little ways down from where the trees were taken.

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Bubbles under the ice that Little and Big Man had to “free” with their sticks.

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Mushrooms growing on trees.

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That was our walk, enjoyed very much by all.

By the road that leads to the marsh there is a sign for a farmers bakery in the area. it has been there forever but we never checked it out so today we thought we would be adventurous and see what it is all about. It turned out to be super cute little place that had some delightful looking pastries, donuts, pies and even fresh-baked bread. We got a loaf of rye bread and some sweet treats. Then I came home, made some coffee and enjoyed my treat with a book.

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I borrowed the book from a friend, it’s Wild Tales by Graham Nash. It is his autobiography and when I read the back of it, it sounded really interesting. I am about four chapters in and while still interesting for me it has slowed down a bit so when I was at the library on Monday it was very easy for me to be tempted by a different book.

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This is the third book in the Century Trilogy that started with the Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. This is the Edge of Eternity. It just came out last month I think so when I saw the library had it in I had to check it out. I really enjoyed the first two books, they are very hefty, both close to if not over 1000 pages long but they really pull you into the lives of the different families that you are following starting in the early 1900’s. Book three is starting in 1961 and with the American families it is about segregation and Communism in Cuba. The German families are dealing with the split between East and West Germany and where I am at the Russians have just put up the fence that divides Berlin. The Russians are dealing with JFK and playing nice or maybe not so nice and they have their own kind of revolution going on. We have only seen a little bit of the English family but they all have their struggles whether it is personal, professional or with the country they live in. I can’t wait to read more later tonight.

Hope you are all well. Tomorrow I am hoping to show you a couple upcoming crafts that I am planning on starting, not knitting but I must do something!! Have a great day!

Two Dinners

Hello Friends! How are you all? How was your week? Mine was pretty good. Work has been busy and I have been busy taking Little Man to Boy Scout activities this week.

My self change has gone great this week! Today is the first day that I splurged a bit with a couple of pieces of Halloween candy as a bit of a Good Job reward. I am already feeling the benefits of going back to my healthy ways of eating.

Joanna, it is so true about going back to working out and how much just even a little bit of time away can change you and make you weaker! I am so glad that you will also be trying to improve yourself. I will cheer you on for sure, and I know together we can totally do this!!  Thank you for the well wishes for my wrist, I hope as well that I can move past this. I usually use circular needles but it seems like the big needles are hurting me. I thought about changing the style of my knitting so I am using my hands differently, but I tried that a couple of years ago and I was so clumsy. I use my hands a lot at work too, and then I come home wand want to spend my evenings knitting so that probably doesn’t help ;).

Today I am sharing another dinner with you. A new recipe I tried this week. Actually two but the other is from another blog I read so I will just share the link. The pictures are the best but I hope they give you a pretty good idea of how it all looks.

Yesterday I made chicken drumsticks with sweet potato coins. The sweet potatoes were so good, we all could have eaten a plate full of them.

The Recipe is from The Can’t Cookbook. I found it at 5 below for 5 dollars and it had some recipes in it that I thought made the book worth buying even though its supposed to be for newer cooks. It shows you how to cut onions and garlic and tips like that. It has great pictures in it so it really is a great beginner book. This was my third and fourth recipe from the book and we haven’t been disappointed.

So you marinate the drumstick overnight for best flavor. She had four sauce options. I chose the barbeque and the lemon and sage.

Barbeque

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Lemon and Sage

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I put them on a baking sheet.

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and popped them on the oven at 425F for about 35 minutes.

They go in together with the sweet potatoes that cook at the same temp and cook time. For those you take 3 medium size sweet potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2 inch slices and put them on a baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil over them.

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Then you are going to make a mixture of brown sugar, salt, cumin and black pepper.

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Pour that over the potatoes and give a good mix.

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Pop those in the oven with the drumsticks and when they are done they should look like this:

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And here it is plated up.

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Like I said earlier the potatoes were delicious!!! Best I have ever made and we kept munching on the extras. This was the first time I made drumsticks and they came out really good too. Little Man and Hubby really liked them and everyone agreed the Lemon and Sage one was delicious. My husband especially liked them, he said he could really taste the sage.  I am always hesitant to try new recipes because my husband can be very picky and unsure about new recipes. But this was a success!! Which of course makes me super happy.

Dinner tonight was Italian Wedding Soup from Jcasa.  I have been making it for over a year now and it is a well-loved dish in this house. It was perfect tonight in our super cold weather.

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I normally use smaller noodles but I forgot to get some so I used the smallest I had on hand. It’s very easy to make. I don’t use as many bread crumbs and cheese as she uses for her meatballs. I eyeball about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. If you so try this recipe try what you think sounds best for you. The main reason I used so little is because when I first made this I was at the peak of my diet and that was just too much in my mind to put in my meatballs and they taste great so I have never tried using the full amount.

We don’t have any big plans for the weekend. Tonight is camp out night for Little Man and I. We are going to watch the movie Eragon. Then we are sleeping in a fort in the living room. Tomorrow we are supposed to go for a nice walk at the marsh and then just relaxing around the house. Reading. Playing. I am hoping to start sewing on a project I want to make for my Oma for Christmas. Just playing it by ear, the weekends are usually not rushed or over planned, we do that enough all week. If we do manage to bundle up and head out for our walk, I will get some pictures of the marsh to share with you. So I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Dinner and some weekend stuff

Hello My Friends! How are you today? It was a typical Monday, I didn’t want to get up and out of bed this morning and it dragged in the normal Monday way. Day one of my changes that I wrote about yesterday was successful! I was a good girl when it came to my eating and my water intake so I am really that happy that I didn’t crash on day one! :)

On Friday I tried a new product and decided to share my whole dinner with you guys instead of just the product since it was part of my dinner anyway!

I have made this dish tons of times,It’s a basic meat and gravy dish, I don’t really have a name for it and the only thing I ever really change is what I serve it with. It could be rice, mashed potatoes or Spatzle (a German egg noodle). On Friday we went to a local market that carries quite a few European items and I came across something I haven’t had in a super long time.

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The best way to describe these is like a dumpling, my grandma of course makes these homemade but a girl has to get her fix somehow! I have gotten something like this before but the didn’t come in their own little dumpling sacks. In the other stuff I got you mixed the ingredients and then made your own balls and put them in boiling water but with these that’s basically all taken care of! you just toss them into a pot with cold water and salt.

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And bring them to a boil.

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You can see how they have already puffed up a little in their sacks. Then you turn down the heat and let them simmer for 15 minutes.

While those are cooking, we start the meat.

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This is turkey loin cut into 1/4 in slices or so and season with a seasoning that my grandma sends me from Germany. It’s from a well-known chef over there called Herr Schuhbeck. This is the steak and grill seasoning. Then you toss it in a pan over medium high heat.

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And cook until the turkey is cooked through, it doesn’t take long. Then we are going to add about 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste.

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Give it a good stir until the turkey is all covered with it and cooks for a minute in the pan. The we are going to add gravy. This is where I cheat and just use a powdered gravy.

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Add a splash of heavy cream or milk, whatever you have on hand and give it another stir.

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Once everything is warmed through and nice and thick, the meat and gravy is all done. Now back to the Knodel! This is how they look after the 15 minutes and you are supposed to run them under cold water.

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The you free them out of their little sacks and put the on the plate.

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Lol, I got a bit rough with the one on top but this is how they look all done.

And here is the final product…

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Yummy!! it was so good, and one Knodel would have been enough for me, they are very filling. I will be getting these again. Just a note, these are not something you really want to eat by themselves, they need some kind of sauce or my grandma has also put them in a chicken broth and made a soup. Also really good.  So, hope you liked that. If you want to see more, let me know.

Over the weekend, Little Man and I built a Fort in the living room and we really didn’t leave it much. We even slept in it at night.

We played some games.

Memory

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Labyrinth, this is one of my favorites.

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Also some Battleship and some Rauber Rudi.

I also got some reading done.

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That’s Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I am about 3/4 of the way through. It is a book for kids but its a quick read and sometimes you need that. I was at an activity at the library for Little Man and it was laying on the table by me, so i picked it up and started reading it and didn’t want to stop when it was time to go home, so the book came home with me. It’s about a sister and brother that go to spend a couple weeks with their grandfather and find out he is the caretaker of FableHaven, a sanctuary for mystical creatures. And of course when kids start sticking their noses into things, trouble starts. It’s part of a series, i am not sure how many books there are but I do want to read the others at some point…just making my list longer and longer.

If you remember in my first post back to blogland, I mentioned having to take a break from crafting, most of all knitting because of my wrists. It has been since the end of September and it’s like all i can think about but I am behaving!! I have been wearing my wrist guards at night and trying to watch what i do with my hands during the day. I am giving myself until December and then i will very slowly get back to working something. When i was working on Little Man’s socks my hands weren’t bothering me. It was when I went to a project with bigger needles that i started to feel the ache again. So we will see, wish me luck.

I better get off to bed. Have a great day!