324 new entries... yikes!

OK, I knew it had been a while, but wow.

Catch up on the last 8 months... still working on the sock pattern because it got lost for about 7 months. Oops. :) It's currently stalled, waiting for me to get to the store and buy place markers to help with the heel and onward. I'm also knitting Matthew a scarf. It finally dawned upon me that Abigail and I had multiple hats, scarves, etc. that I had made, but I had never made one for Matthew. It's almost done, but it is curling like crazy. I'll deal with the curling business after I get it all done.

I have a couple other yarn projects I'd like to get started on... I kind of think my ADD is influencing my yarn purchasing habits. It's like I have a mortal fear of running out of projects to make. Started knitting an ornament, failed miserably, and ripped the whole thing. Christmas is stressful enough without bringing more of it on yourself. I've picked out a sweater pattern I want to make for Abigail, but I'm making myself finish something before I start another project! Oh, and add to that that I am teaching crochet at 4-H, and we're making a purse out of plastic grocery bags cut into strips. OK, there must be more to my life than the yarn arts...

Winter is here--sometimes. It's definitely cold--most of the time. We've gotten a few good snows, but then it will rain the next day. It was snowing tonight--enough to make me wary of the roads, though not enough to prevent me driving *very slowly* to the store for dog food. But not enough to prime the sledding hill. While I haven't minded the lack of shoveling, I do want a real winter before it's all over.

Matthew's having a real eczema problem. We haven't the faintest idea what's triggering it. Could be stress, since his job is crazy right now. Once the craziness dies down, we're talking about going on an actual vacation... you know, the kind where you go somewhere not just to see family? I mean, I love getting together with everyone in the summer, but it's nice just to get away sometimes. Or so I'm told. I can count on 2 fingers the times we've done a non-family vacation since we've been married. Honeymoon, and FC reunion. So we're talking about renting a cabin on a lake down near Augusta. It's cheap, it's nice, and it lets you bring your dog. :)

Abigail and I are well, and Max is staying out of trouble. Mostly. God has blessed the church here, and after a couple hard years, some things are looking up. Still room to grow, though. Still some hard things to work through.

Time for bed. I guess those 324 new entries will just have to wait.
  • dawnmk23
    Glad to hear you are doing well.
    by dawnmk23 at 01/07/12 9:05AM
  • littlelamb
    I'm terrible about buying yarn. There are just so many things I want to make and so many pretty yarns! Are you on Ravelry.com?
    by littlelamb at 01/08/12 2:41PM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    Yes, a friend pointed it out to me, and it has been so helpful.
    And my yarn collection suffers from the fact that I go through yarn phases. For instance, I no longer use Red Heart much, but I had rather a lot of it when I came to that conclusion... and then there was a local close out on some Vanna's Choice right when I got into that. :)
    by matthew_and_brooke at 01/10/12 7:10AM
  • meg
    I used to buy yarn like mad, so I can relate. :-) oh, to have a real vacation! We would really like to come up to Maine...if we can quit spending our savings on new babies!
    by meg at 01/19/12 9:07PM
  • holly_ann
    It's nice to hear from you! Aaron and I have only traveled to see family or go to weddings. We also dream of a 'real' vacation :) I'm so glad you will be going on one. Hope Matthew gets better soon.
    by holly_ann at 01/26/12 11:17PM
  • heatheronthehill
    I would love that Brooke! Stop by any time!
    by heatheronthehill at 03/08/12 2:13PM
  • heatheronthehill
    Thanks for the cell phone advice! We were looking at the Tracphone today so I am glad to hear a good review of it.
    by heatheronthehill at 03/26/12 7:13PM

Good news bears?

I felt I ought to update that the family in question came back. Not that it's smooth sailing from here... just keep our congregation in your prayers. God knows the needs.

We went down to RI + MA last week. It was a lot of fun. We toured Plimoth Plantation, and the Mayflower II. There are pictures on my facebook. Anyone read this who's not on facebook? Anyway, it was a great trip, but it's also nice to be home. We got to see lots of people, and do some nice visiting. The people in RI have so much energy, it never ceases to amaze us. I've always wondered how they do it, and I think I finally figured it out. I think it's related to the density of Dunkin Donuts restaurants in the area... they must get their energy from drinking all that coffee, and given how many DD's there are, there's probably caffeine in the water supply! :)

I am crocheting a pair of socks for Abigail. (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90528AD.html?r=1) She doesn't like to wear the kind of socks Wal-mart sells, she says they make her feet sweaty. One of my friends has a child with similar feelings, and had found handmade socks worked for her (she knits), so I thought I'd try crocheting some. There are a bunch of new stitches, but that keeps it interesting. If I like the result, I might make a larger pair for myself.

  • mayflower
    lol about the Dunkin Donuts!

    I LOVE Plimoth Plantation!!! It's like.... my dream job ever since I was a kid.
    by mayflower at 05/18/11 10:31AM
  • merryrose
    I didn't know one could crochet socks! Thanks for the link.
    by merryrose at 05/18/11 10:50AM
  • zsha_zsha
    Fun! It was so nice to see you all!
    by zsha_zsha at 05/18/11 2:12PM
  • jlmanager
    Glad that the family came back, and I'm with you on the RI folks. :)
    by jlmanager at 05/18/11 11:26PM
  • textilet
    Brooke, there is nothing like wool socks, especially where you live! It might even be worth learning to knit if the crochet turns out too bulky. Or perhaps you can trade services? I can't wait to hear how she likes them! p.s. knit socks work up surprisingly fast!
    by textilet at 05/19/11 8:09AM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    I am actually learning to knit, but I'm not quite sure I'm up to socks yet. :) I'm pretty good at flat square things so far.
    by matthew_and_brooke at 05/19/11 10:00AM
  • tweedledee
    Yes it is soooooooooo due to DD! I might have to have a go at those socks too!
    by tweedledee at 05/20/11 4:02PM
  • mjintexas
    I support DD! :)
    by mjintexas at 05/22/11 12:54AM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    Matthew and I counted yesterday, and Bangor has 5 DD locations, at least, so maybe it's not confined to RI & Mass.
    by matthew_and_brooke at 05/23/11 8:08AM
  • meg
    If you have success with the socks, I'd like to hear about it!
    by meg at 05/24/11 1:08AM
  • meg
    Howdee Brookee! Andy and I were sooo disappointed we didn't have the funds to come up there next month! We really want to get up there and see you guys! Lord willing, we might be able to take a road trip up there next year! :D
    by meg at 05/26/11 2:19AM
  • littlelamb
    Have fun with the socks!
    by littlelamb at 05/27/11 12:21AM
  • mrs_rosshead
    did you see my family while you were in RI?!!!
    by mrs_rosshead at 05/27/11 9:40PM
  • meg
    Thanks, Brookee! That's the icing on the cake to have so many friends all over the country. A blessing from the Lord, to be sure.
    by meg at 06/14/11 2:21PM
  • meg
    I'll let you know how the coconut milk will work with pancakes...I'm supposed to try that today.
    by meg at 06/14/11 2:22PM

Bad news bears

I seem to only come here with bad news. Let me fix that by starting off with good news--my tooth is pretty much better. As long as I brush, floss and rinse (with listerine super-strength stuff), infection seems to be kept at bay. If I slip, the pain edges back in. So I've got all the motivation I need to be a good dental hygiene example for Abigail. :)

Less pleasant news, and news I felt too personal for facebook. We had a family leave the church today, and it hurts everyone when that happens. I think we tend to underestimate how much of an effect we have on people just by showing up, even if you don't necessarily interact that much. Especially new Christians... Anyway, I'd rather not name names, but please pray for that family, and the church as we respond.

Glad to hear all of my southern friends survived the tornadoes. Forgive me if I don't make any plans to move to tornado alley in the near future. As much as I love all my friends down south, I'd rather deal with snow than tornadoes. Yes, every once in a while one touches down in Maine, but it's usually in the woods.
  • curlie
    That is so hard. Much love and many hugs.
    by curlie at 05/01/11 11:28PM
  • dawnmk23
    I'm sorry to hear about the family at church. I hope you are able to keep in contact and try to influence them.
    by dawnmk23 at 05/02/11 10:58AM
  • aikenape
    Sorry to hear of the family at church. It's always hard to bear when you see families leave the church and the love for God. I'll pray that they return one day.

    And for the record, I'm with you on moving south. Never, never, never.
    by aikenape at 05/02/11 11:44AM
  • mayflower
    Agreed on the snow vs. tornado issue!
    by mayflower at 05/08/11 8:01PM

Mushy Valentine's Day

I had a bit of an adventure with a toothache over the weekend. Friday after lunch I got a serious toothache, but not one to panic, I kept hoping the ibuprofen would kick in and take care of it. By the time I realized that wasn't happening, the dentist's office was closed for the weekend. I called Saturday morning and left a message on the machine, and decided against calling his home number provided on the message. I was definitely uncomfortable, and unable to chew, but I could get by till Monday. I have never looked forward to seeing the dentist so much! So finally I get to see him on Monday, and discover I have an abscessed tooth. Joy.
I'm not really looking for sympathy, but I would appreciate prayers. He put me on antibiotics, and they are working, at least I feel much better, but it's not 100% gone yet. I really want it to be 100% gone by the time the antibiotics are done (Monday morning) so that I can avoid the dreaded root canal. I'm a big enough baby about fillings. I think this whole incident is going to improve my dental habits tremendously.
In case you're wondering, we had a very mushy valentine's day because I couldn't chew much of anything. I have so much enjoyed being able to chew again today and yesterday that I have to remember not to overdo it... I've been trying this crazy diet called counting calories, and doing pretty good before this distraction, so it's time to get back onto the horse. When all I could eat were protein shakes (through a straw!) it was really easy to estimate calorie intake. I also used my need for mush as an excuse to get a kitchen toy I've been wanting--an immersion blender (stick blender, hand held blender, the kind you just stick in a pot of soup and Whoosh! All done!) It makes protein shakes very nicely, and pulverizes ice better than my old blender does. Or did. The motor has been acting (smelling) funny. I think it's history.

OK, enough of my troubles. I have been enjoying my new camera, but most of my pics are on facebook. I'll try to put some on here soon. We're supposed to get a small heatwave here soon (42-43 for highs for two days in a row!), and hopefully that will allow me to get more outside pictures. Can't beat natural lighting. Also, I should have some pics of a locks of love donation soon. It's been about 21 months since my last haircut, and I already have enough for another donation. Abigail has at least 10" to spare as well, although I will miss giving her two braids going halfway down her back. But it doesn't take that long to grow out, and it will be so much easier to take care of. It will still be about shoulder length for both of us. I'm thinking about getting bangs again, but maybe that's just because I look about 7 years younger in my pictures with bangs. Mostly because it was 7 years ago.

I'd better get to bed. The girl woke up at 6:12 this morning, though she managed to let me sleep in till 8:30 ish. While I'm all for getting up a little early, I treasure my quiet starts to the morning. Good night!
  • tweedledee
    Hope the medicine works!! That weather sounds beautiful for you!
    by tweedledee at 02/17/11 5:23AM
  • aikenape
    I have a love/hate relationship with old pictures. I love the way I look in several of them, but I, like you, realize how long ago it was and how much things have changed since they were taken, so there's hardly a point in trying to replicate the "look" again. :-(

    Hope the antibiotics work for you!
    by aikenape at 02/17/11 9:40AM
  • mjintexas
    Ow, sorry about your tooth! Hope you get lots better soon!
    by mjintexas at 02/17/11 9:42AM
  • polaramy
    I wish you had told me about your toothache ahead of time. I would have made a recording of Dr DeSoto for you to listen to over and over again - I owe you for the millions of times I had to hear mom read it to you while I was waiting for the dreaded dental work. :P I grew to loathe that book.
    by polaramy at 02/17/11 10:08AM
  • polaramy
    Seriously, though, I hope it gets fixed easily.
    by polaramy at 02/17/11 10:08AM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    I still love that book :)
    by matthew_and_brooke at 02/17/11 10:12AM
  • the_earlys
    love dr desoto :) it's great for teaching making predictions!
    by the_earlys at 02/17/11 4:24PM
  • polaramy
    Really? I don't remember anything about the book beyond hating it. Maybe I'll read it one day.
    by polaramy at 02/17/11 8:44PM
  • jaydon
    Hope you're feeling better and do not have to have the dreaded root canal. I recently had a very bad infection which I though was an absence tooth, but was an infection in my tonsils-what is left of them and it hurt for a long time.
    By the way, I am sure that I have not written back to you to let you know hotel Polk is always open. Would love to have you any time. Do not have any plans for April other than the first weekend is our anniversary/Jay's Birthday and this year it falls on a weekend and we are having a series of lectures I think sometime mid April. Let me know.
    by jaydon at 02/17/11 8:47PM
  • littlelamb
    I hope the tooth gets better!
    by littlelamb at 02/18/11 1:34PM
  • themother
    Hope by now the antibiotics have kicked in and you're feeling much better!
    by themother at 02/18/11 9:25PM
  • mrs_rosshead
    HOpe that you're feeling much better now. Toothaches are NO FUN! Enjoy your heatwave!
    by mrs_rosshead at 02/19/11 8:13PM
  • zsha_zsha
    Aw! Hope you feel better! Miss you!
    by zsha_zsha at 02/21/11 6:26PM

Very Excited

OK, we've been home from Ohio for what, 6 months now? I figured it was time to update, and I do have some news that is exciting to me anyway.

I just ordered my first DSLR camera. It's a Nikon D5000, and it is wonderful. Well, it will be. I've been saving up for it for what feels like forever. I was counting my money last night, and came to the conclusion I was going to have to wait one more week. Then I checked my yahoo mail (which I use mostly for any non-personal e-mail, and therefore don't check obsessively) and lo and behold, our duplicate Christmas gift returns had processed, and I had a bit of extra money to apply to the camera. :) Between that and $10 from swagbucks searches, I actually also have enough to get a small flash diffuser, although I am hoping to eventually get a separate flash and a different kind of diffuser. That will have to come after more saving though.

Other things... 4-H has been good. Mostly. We lost quite a few people over the Christmas break. Basically one person decided she was overbooked, and she and all her friends decided to quit. Well, that's understandable, they all live about 45 minutes away (in good weather.) I have sometimes thought I need to put more home in our homeschooling. But I found it amusing that one of those people who quit, who didn't want to come to Bangor every other week for 4-H, I met at the library afterward, and she had signed her kid up for a weekly program there. ::Shrugs:: People make time for what they want to, and they're quitting 4-H, not quitting me. It's kind of a gut reaction to take it personally, or as a reflection on my leadership, when we lose 1/4 of the kids at once, but people quit 4-H every year. Funny, but yesterday's meeting (the first one missing those kids) was one of the best we've had all year... everything went according to plan, the kids had fun, and we even got a new family. I was very happy with how yesterday went. And next year, Abigail (and I) will be moving up to Junior's, and I won't have so much pressure to deal with. Definitely looking forward to that.

There must be something about me that makes clocks go wacky. I have no sense of time, I never have, but it's hard to blame me right now. Our bedroom clock is perpetually fast. I might reset it every month or so, but at the moment it's about 25 minutes fast. I come downstairs, the kitchen clock is about right, maybe 2-3 minutes slow. The computer decided to join the party yesterday, and, for no good reason, suddenly it is about an hour and a half slow. I am so confused. You may think time zones are hundreds of miles wide, but not in my house.

It is snowing here, and I suppose I'll have to go shovel it sometime. The girl is still asleep though (who knows what time HER clock says). She had a tummy ache in the middle of the night, so I let her sleep in a little late, but I think that's coming to an end. Once she's awake, she'll help me shovel. She's really quite a good helper now. She'll do the little sidewalk in front of our house (not the main one, the city plows that for us--hooray for living across the street from two schools!), and I'll use the snow blower on the driveway. I am so glad we have a garage. I remember having to shovel under the nose of the car to make sure there weren't any piles blocking the tires, let alone having to clean off the car... don't miss that. We've lived here about 3 years and 4 months now... by my calculation, that's the longest we've ever lived any one place, and I'm in no hurry to move again. I love having room for guests, and being close to church, 4-H, and the library, and I LOVE being across the street from two schools--our road gets plowed quickly as long as school's in session. I do miss the land we had at our old place, the woods, all that... but you can't have both the woods and the convenience of town. All I'm missing are some return address labels with my name on them--where's FC when you need them?

One more thing: I have a book I'm looking for. We've been reading through "The Caroline Years" series about Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother during her girlhood, and the I'm looking for the last book in the series "A Little House of Their Own." Our library doesn't have it, and it is apparently out of print and very hard to find, even though it was just published in 2005. I can't find it online for less than $60. For paperback! Once I can get out of this house, I'll look at used bookstores, and goodwill and places like that for it, but if anyone happens to run across a copy of it for $15 or less, let me know.
  • mayflower
    I've gotten free address labels online. The Cystic Fibrosis Foudnation and other charities will send them out if you order them.... (is that being uncharitable of me? Using them for their address labels?)

    I think you need some new clocks.... maybe there's a strange magnetic field in your house! Actually, I have known a couple people who really do have magnetic fields of sorts - electronics of all kinds go wacky around them.
    by mayflower at 01/12/11 11:29AM
  • themother
    I've been looking for those books too, to give to my niece Caroline and was appalled when I saw the prices they were asking. If I do find a copy, I'll loan it to you, unless you're wanting to keep them on hand. Good luck!
    by themother at 01/12/11 12:10PM
  • themother
    Oh, and I enjoyed reading your post! Have you thought of printing your own labels on the computer? Walmart has labels you can buy and then go online to print them out, even adding designs.
    by themother at 01/12/11 12:11PM
  • dawnmk23
    I was just thinking about you and your family! Glad you are doing well. 4-H sounds fun. It's really big here. :0)
    by dawnmk23 at 01/12/11 12:13PM
  • aikenape
    Check ebay for the book. I just did and found several for sale. Might be worth looking into.
    by aikenape at 01/12/11 1:12PM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    I did... there's one at 17 plus shipping, I might spring for it if I hadn't just spent a bunch of money on the camera. :)
    by matthew_and_brooke at 01/12/11 2:50PM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    I just can't bring myself to pay $30 and up for a paperback.
    by matthew_and_brooke at 01/12/11 2:50PM
  • zsha_zsha
    by zsha_zsha at 01/12/11 3:37PM
  • jaydon
    Love your newsy update. Have you checked half.com if they don't have it you can put it on a wish list and your price range and they'll email you when they get one.
    Have fun with your new camera - I look forward to seeing pictures.
    by jaydon at 01/12/11 4:55PM
  • marla
    Does your library offer inter-library loan by any chance?
    by marla at 01/12/11 10:44PM
  • tweedledee
    AWww... so excited for you! You'll have to post some fun with camera!
    by tweedledee at 01/12/11 10:52PM
  • matthew_and_brooke
    Marla--statewide, and no one in the state has this book.
    by matthew_and_brooke at 01/12/11 11:41PM
  • jlmanager
    Cool! Enjoy the camera. And I agree with you on the house. You've got an excellent arrangement there, and being close to the building is wonderful.
    by jlmanager at 01/14/11 12:13PM
  • mrs_rosshead
    Have fun with your camera and we do expect some pictures! Great update, thanks!
    by mrs_rosshead at 01/15/11 11:59AM