What’s New Around Here

Forsythia

Well that week flew by, didn’t it? I don’t even know how it happened, but here we are… Wednesday again!

Spring flowers

Last Friday morning I got my 2nd COVID shot (Pfizer vaccine), and it wasn’t that bad. About four hours after the shot I got the same dull headache at the back of my head, and the sore neck I got after the 1st shot. I powered through work and by the time I sat down at home around 5 PM I realized how tired I was.

Shot #2 - Done!

The next day I felt really good when I woke up, but halfway through the morning I started to feel tired and slightly achy. If it wasn’t a Saturday I definitely could had pushed myself, but since it was the weekend I just took it easy and drank a lot of water. By Sunday I was my old self again! I went grocery shopping in the morning and spent the afternoon crafting.

This first half of this week has been a blur! Monday I was really busy at work, editing and submitting a grant. Yesterday was Drew’s birthday. He used a Lowe’s gift card to get some plants for the side of our driveway. We started working on this area last year and are trying to really fill it in with shrubs and flowers.

For dinner he wanted chicken marsala from a local restaurant so we ordered that to-go and just relaxed in the evening.

This morning I caught up on laundry, washing extra blankets that we probably won’t need again until the fall. I made tortellini soup for lunch. I have just been craving lately and since we had some spinach that really needed to be used up, it was the perfect excuse!

Tortellini Soup

After that I ran a few errands with Noah and Laura. I went to pick up my prescription (sigh, not there — our medical practice is really dropping the ball when meds need to be re-upped), dropped off some clothing donations, grabbed a few items at the store, and then we swung by Stewart’s for a treat — an ice cream cone for Laura and hot dogs for Noah, who had skipped lunch (knowing we were going to Stewart’s).

Once we got home I threw together a fajita marinade for chicken tenderloins, prepped corn for tonight, and made a delicious banana bread with dark chocolate chips. Oh, I can’t wait to grill a slice for breakfast tomorrow!

Banana bread

Yup, it was a busy day! But the good kind of busy. After all that, I just sat down to relax a bit and enjoy my day off. I finally settled on a blanket pattern for this yarn that has been staring me down for months. Nothing exciting — I just decided to do a C2C pattern. My reasoning is that there’s really no guesswork involved. Once I use half my skeins, I will start decreasing and that will be that! It’s also what I consider a pretty mindless pattern — one that I can work on while watching TV in the evening. Maybe once it’s done I’ll add a more intricate border. We’ll see.

New C2C lap blanket

Dinner came together quick, and it was delicious! I had scored some of the Elote seasoning from Aldi and was excited to try it. The corn was definitely spicy! I’m not sure if it was everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.

Chicken fajitas

Well, I guess that catches us up! Drew is finishing up the dishes, and that’ll be about it for tonight. Hope you all had a great day!

February Funk

It’s that time of year… spring is close, yet seems so far. We’re all getting tired of being cooped up in the cold weather, tired of sweeping up sand and road salt, and just… well… tired. It’s the end of February.

And it’s not just me, which is comforting. Seems there are quite a few people out there who also are experiencing a lack of motivation and general feeling of blah. That’s a technical term, you know.

Helping me rise out of it, though, is something new that I recently purchased. Ta-da!

new camera

I’ve been researching cameras for quite some time. I bought my last camera, a Nikon D40 that served me very well, over 13 years ago. And over those 13 years life has changed a lot! I wanted something a little more sophisticated than a basic point-and-shoot, but I really didn’t want another DSLR (at least not right now). Well, this Lumix fits the bill nicely! It’s referred to as a “bridge” camera — exactly what I wanted. And oh boy, is there a lot to learn! The features are really impressive, and I am still amazed that I can send a photo from the camera to my phone via WiFi! I’m feel like my passion for photography has been reinvigorated. I’m going to try to carry it around with me because, well, you never know when you’re going to see something that strikes you.

Another thing I’m doing is going through my books. We’re hoping to having a book sale at work in late spring/early summer, so that’s always easy way for me to pass things on. I have so many cookbooks, most of which I’ve picked up at other book sales, and some of them can definitely go in the donation pile.

Craft-wise, I haven’t been doing too much aside from collecting a lot of ideas! Noah did ask me to make him a hat in a new color, so I started on that. It’s just simple HDC ribbing, so it’s perfect TV crochet.

crochet hat

That’s just a quick little update from me! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Lazy Wednesday

Hello, all! Thought I’d pop in and say hello. Actually feeling a little under the weather today — nothing concerning, just some tummy discomfort. As I get older some foods really seem to bother me and as much as I hate to admit it, coffee is one of them. If I don’t have something to eat along with my morning cup of coffee, it just doesn’t set well. I skipped breakfast today, so… After having lunch I started feeling better but I’m still kind of meh.

Check out these moths we saw on our small shed yesterday. I looked them up and I am pretty sure they are Blinded Sphinx Moths. Drew caught them in the act, and by the time I got home from work only one (what I believe is the female) was still hanging around. They were so big and honestly could easily have been mistaken for leaves. Amazing!

mating blind sphinx moths
mating blind sphinx moths

Not too much else to report. I did get a new menu board to replace a chalkboard I had in our kitchen. In case you don’t know, Joann is having a pretty great clearance sale right now (it’s heaven if you like Happy Planner products!) and I scored this dry erase board for under $3! There were sets of calendar clings, and I was sure to grab those too because they’re so cute. Drew drilled holes at the top and added the screw eyes so we didn’t have to remove the hooks and then patch the wall. I love it!

happy planner menu board

Another thing I’m loving is the new Paul Tremblay book! I am a slow reader when I’m enjoying a book — I tend to linger on the pages and savor the words — but I think I’ll finish it by the end of the week. It is a little odd reading about quarantines and pandemics while we are living in one, but in a way that’s what makes it even more compelling.

currently reading: survivor song

The weather is still so hot and humid. I sound like a broken record, I know.

I did finish my crochet candle mat, and I really love it! I’m going to work up another one and then I will share the pattern. I have it all written out, I just want to make sure my instructions are correct.

Well, I suppose that’s all for today. Nothing great for dinner tonight – just Italian grinders and tater tots. Feeling in a cooking slump at the moment. Nothing sounds good, and I don’t feel like standing over a stove either. Come on, cooler weather! Even a few days of relief would be welcome!

Catching Up

last vinca

Once again, life has gotten busy! You know how it goes. Oh my goodness, where to even start? It’s not like too much has been going on. Just lots of everyday life kind of stuff. Over the last week I’ve been busy with copywriting work, which has been wonderful! At this time of year a little extra money is definitely welcome.

I’ve also gone a little crazy with some new Erin Condren orders (thanks to referral credits)! Last month they had an amazing sale — 25% off anything on their website. I had been thinking about purchasing a horizontal planner to use as a daily journal, so I went for it. Now maybe your’e thinking, Carol, didn’t you buy a horizontal back in June, then decide to sell it? And you would be right. I immediately regretted it, but the deal was already done. So, after thinking long and hard I decided to purchase another one. I also picked up a couple new covers and extra folders. 

new erin condren goodies

My other purchase, just yesterday morning, was the new hourly planner. I am really looking forward to this for 2016! Earlier in the year, there was a customer survey with several possible changes. An hourly planner was one of them, and I was all for it! I’m looking to simplify my planning, so this should work well. I absolutely love my washi and stickers, but I’m craving a little more order, especially as our family gets busier. So I’ll save my crazy decorating for my journal and keep it simple in my planner. At least that’s the plan.

 

A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on

Of course, I’m also thinking about my favorite holiday — Thanksgiving! It kind of snuck up on me this year. Hard to believe it is next week! Once again, I’ll be happily hosting it. I need to start my list of dishes and hit the grocery store. 

The kids are great. Report cards should be out any day now, and judging by the work they have brought home I have no worries at all! Laura started Daisy Scouts and seems to love it. Of course, two of her best friends are also Daisies, so I’m sure that has something to do with it 😉

This morning I went for a mammogram. Oh, the joys of getting older! I suppose it’s a rite of passage for a 40-year-old woman, though — right? It actually wasn’t horrible, and I know it’s so important. Everything is normal, so it was nice to leave the appointment knowing that. Plus I got to wear this awesome “spa” robe, LOL!

oh hey!

Otherwise, I’m just doing my thing! I have to get back to a couple crochet projects I started. I’ve just been tired at night and zoning out in front of the TV. The time change earlier this month kicked me on my rear, like it always does.

Well, I ought to attack the three overflowing laundry baskets that are currently staring me down. Oh! And if  you’re a tea lover, be sure to check back tomorrow. I have a review going up that I think you’ll enjoy! Have a great day!

 

Finding My Groove

fall is here

Well, it has been a month of adjustments around here. The kids are adjusting to school again. I am adjusting to having all three kids in school all day. And I am also adjusting to a new part-time job. I wasn’t really intending on going back to work so soon after school was back in session, but a nearby library was looking for someone for weekday afternoons. I interviewed and got the job. 

I’m working a lot more more hours than what I had been working at “my” library, and it is much busier. The time goes by quickly, but the vibe is very different — definitely not as personal. It’s just taking some getting used to. Since I work afternoons and don’t get home until after 5, I’ve been trying to get everything I need to do done in the mornings — cleaning, appointments, phone calls, dinner prep. My husband telecommutes, so for now it all works. He is able to get the kids off the bus and get dinner going. 

I’ve been ridiculously emotional lately — I think all these changes are causing it. It is strange to not have any little ones at home during day, and I think that is the hardest adjustment for me. I definitely miss it. Luckily, they all love school so the fact that everyone can’t wait to go makes it easier. But there’s also the realization that baby and toddler days are officially gone. And while I know our family is complete, and I really don’t want any more kids, there is a little part of me that is very sad about this.

Stupid things set me off, like driving by our local Friendly’s and seeing that it had closed. I immediately got all teary, remembering how we used to go there all the time when Jake and Noah were little. When we first moved up here, dinner at Friendly’s and walking through the mall was our standard Friday night out. 

Change is hard, even for grown-ups, I guess. Everything just feels different. I can’t explain it and I probably sound like a fruitcake. But like the kids, I will adjust. It only takes time.

In the meantime, I’ve set aside my Stitchcation Afghan and I’ve been working on an infinity scarf. Believe it or not, the yarn is by Red Heart! It is so soft, and the colors are just beautiful. I think RH gets an undeserved bad name. Their yarns (even the SuperSaver) have really improved since I first started knitting and crocheting 10 years ago.

infinity scarf

Outside, it is definitely starting to look like fall. My burning bushes are turning red. Leaves are falling. The days are shorter, and the evenings are cooler.

burning bush

mums

A couple weeks ago, Drew had the brilliant idea to take some extra bricks we had lying around and build a firepit. So on weekend evenings, we’ve been enjoying an outdoor fire (complete, of course, with roasted marshmallows). Saturday night we decided to do sparklers for no good reason other than that they are fun!

sparklers

My parents also visited this weekend. Dad helped Drew paint the back of the house (it’s a huge project, let me tell you), and Mom cleaned up my front garden because she actually enjoys doing that 😉 It looks a thousand times better! I would have gotten around to it (probably), but I am very appreciative that she just did it for me. After my last bout with poison ivy, I’m still kind afraid to touch anything green without wearing a hazmat suit.

So all in all, things are good! My weepies, I’m sure, will subside. I am fortunate to have (so quickly) found part-time work that works with our schedule (because really, the kids are only home for about an hour and a half before I get there — it’s not THAT bad). And really things are just moving right along.

How are things with you?