Sunday, February 26, 2012

What I'm Crafting

I am not a pro at knitting -- but I do enjoy sitting down with a nice skein of yarn and trying to make something out of nothing.  Right now I am making a dishcloth out of a cute variegated cotton yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago with my mom.  She gave me some directions for this checkered cloth and we got started together on the new project.
Mom has probably completed 2 of these things by now, but I am not that fast.  I am about 1/3 done with my first one.  My stitches are often uneven -- but hey, it is only a dishcloth.  What a forgiving project for a beginner to start with.  I'm happy to give out the instructions if you comment on this post with your e-mail address.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What I'm reading

The Feast Nearby has been a pleasure to read this winter.  I'm almost done with it and I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in eating local foods, putting food by, and simple living.  Robin Mather writes about the year after she lost her job in Chicago and her marriage.  She moves to West Michigan (near and dear to my heart) with her dog and bird to heal and regroup.  The book is more a collection of essays grouped by season -- talking about how she sources local foods while sticking to a strict budget.  At the end of each chapter, she includes a half dozen recipes/techniques to use and preserve the various ingredients she highlighted.  I'm excited to try some of them this year!

Next on the list to read is this book:

Folks, this ain't normal looks like it is going to be one that really makes me think.  I've read the first chapter (I had to take a peak) called "Children, Chores, Humility and Health".  Joel Salatin (you may have seen him in the film, Food, Inc.) jumps right in discussing what he thinks is wrong with our society today - how removed we are from how life has been for centuries.  We no longer raise our own food (some of us are trying to learn though), chop our own firewood, etc.  I'm curious to see where he takes this book.

I'm always open to suggestions for good books.  Please share if you have read anything interesting lately.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Going Dutch

I got these tulips the other day and had to photograph them before they faded.  They are live tulips (not cut flowers) and they were on clearance at the grocery store.  I knew they only had about two days left to look pretty, but it didn't bother me -- I have other plans for them.  I am going to plant the bulbs this Spring and enjoy them next year when they grow again.  These flowers were less expensive than buying the bulbs alone.
My Dutch (frugal) heritage is showing -- not only was it a great buy, but the flowers are from the Netherlands as well.  I am 3/4 Dutch and come from an area that is packed full of Dutch people.  Ever heard of Holland, Michigan?  Holland is just down the road from Grand Rapids.  They have a tulip-time festival every Spring.  So many gorgeous flowers!
Anyway, I definitely crave Spring right now.  We've been pretty lucky with a mild winter, but I'm ready to get my hands dirty in the garden again.  I'm dreaming up my plans for this year's garden right now -- what I want to grow, what did and didn't work last year, etc.  What do you plan to grow this year?  Leave a comment if you are a gardener as I'd love to know your plans.