Passing Thoughts

The sounds of beautiful sax music fill the air, as I stop my new hand-stitched project for a moment, thoughts fill my mind of homemade gift ideas for the approaching holidays. Yep, I said it. The holidays are almost here and when you make things, it takes a long time, so better to be ahead than behind.

I get my first mammogram next week, my “baseline” as they call it. I would be lying if I said the thought of being smashed into a machine doesn’t make me nervous, but I know it’s important, and so I’ll do it. The one thing I have learned about diseases, including cancer, is the earlier you catch it the better. I don’t have any reason to think there’s anything wrong right now, but it is important they have a good picture of what my healthy breast tissue looks like.

As you’ve seen recently, Texas has been spoiling me with beautiful clouds. I don’t know if it was my own mother’s love of taking photographs of clouds when I was young that influenced this love in me for the sky, or if it’s just because the clouds are so pretty, either way, I love the sky. And I smile at the memories of pulling off the side of the road so she could snap just “one more picture” of the beauty above.

The tapping of the keys reminds me of Dash remarking how quickly I can type. School has been going well in the Taliercio home. We’ve got a good rhythm down, the kids are learning a lot more about technology, and patience, and so am I. Zane goes back to full-time in-person school next week, while Nick remains hybrid for the time being, and Dash will be remote all year… he’s thriving and it isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it initially was. For that, I’m grateful.

A friend recently asked what do you not miss about life prior to Covid-19. And while at the time I couldn’t think of anything, I have to say, the hurriedness I do not miss. The go-go-go and three busy kids and three different schools. It’s nice to slow down, to really absorb life, children, time together. I wish the same for you.

And so, the beautiful music from Nick’s sax has stopped now and I’m left with my thoughts and the tapping of the keys beneath my fingertips.

I’ll end by saying this, so much is going on in the world around us, so much pain, suffering, sorrow, and death but, oh I hope you see this too, there’s just as much joy to be found if we look for it, if we embrace it and if we receive it. My eyes are on Jesus, on eternity, and what that looks like for our lives right now. For me, that looks like love and grace, mercy and truth, and kindness – always kindness.

Apple Picking

Growing up, September always brought apple picking at an orchard in Weston, Missouri. Every year my mom, brother, and I would spend the day picking apples and eating their fresh treats. We brought that into my adult years and would go with my brother and mom and my oldest son. And then, we transitioned from that apple orchard to the one across the road, it was more of a pumpkin patch. My point is, I love apple picking season.

Sadly, there’s no such thing in this part of Texas, or if any part of Teas – I’m not sure they can grow apple trees down here? I looked and looked for one last year and couldn’t find any. There is the arboretum and little pumpkin patches but nothing that rivals the amazing apple orchards of Missouri and my youth. But even so, I still love September and look back fondly on those memories that date back to my little kid days.

When I stumbled upon a beautiful apple kit by Flax and Twine it sparked an interest in me to crochet an apple. or several! I needed a free pattern though so I went on the hunt for a free apple pattern, which I found at Grace and Yarn.

Picture credit: Grace and Yarn

I decided on skipping the face and just making it into a generic apple. But the pattern was perfect and made a sweet red apple, which was quickly snatched up by my youngest son.

I have dreams of making several in different colors and adding them to a clear bowl for my kitchen for the month of September. Will I make the time for that? I don’t know but it’s a great idea! ha!

This pattern was SUPER simple to understand. I recommend it if you’re a beginner. Check out the free pattern.

What is your favorite part of the season changing from summer to fall? Do you have sweet memories of the month of September? If so, I’d love for you to share those in the comments below!

Happy fall, y’all!

Gary the Happy Snail

My middle son has always been a nature lover. He adores nature, animals, bugs, and the like. While walking home from fishing a month ago he stumbled upon a couple of garden snails and asked if he could keep them at the house in a container. And me being the cool mom, I said, yes.

That was a month and 12 snails ago and we still have a snail colony going strong. He loves the snails, takes care of them, makes sure they have a nice clean home etc. And he leaves them alone for the most part, as not to upset them with too much holding. He’s really good at taking care of nature. He’s also a gardener, plays the french horn… so what I’m saying is, he’s pretty dang cool!


So when I found a snail pattern on Etsy, I knew I wanted to make it for him. After all, if I know how to crochet animals, what better way to use those skills than making gifts for my children?

I used a larger hook size than the pattern so my snail is quite large, which Zane loves. The pattern was pretty easy to follow and put together. One thing I had to do differently was the shell. I stitched it correctly but instead of gluing it together, I stitched it together, so you can see a couple divots that indicate that. I don’t have a hot glue gun.

Zane has named him Gary. The snails are all Gary’s with one Larry, the smallest snail. Right now, the crocheted Gary resides upon the container of the snails. He is their leader. And he will be well loved.

If you want to buy the pattern yourself, you can click here.

Free Crochet Hamster Pattern Review

I went looking for a quick, easy project to whip up in one sitting and found this delightful hamster pattern by Grace & Yarn.

Pattern at a glance:

3.5 mm hook

Worsted weight yarn in main color and accent color

Safety eyes, or you could embroider them

Stuffing

(She has the full list of pattern items on her blog post.)

You need to be familiar with the single crochet, magic circle, single crochet increase, and the decrease stitch.

This pattern took me a little over an hour in total.

My Thoughts:

This is a super well thought out pattern, easy for the beginner, fun for the seasoned, and will be loved by kids! There wasn’t anything in the pattern that threw me for a loop, or that I didn’t enjoy. I highly recommend this free pattern.

My youngest son promptly scooped him up and claimed him as his own. I did actually crochet with a larger hook than recommended because I couldn’t find my 3.5 mm hook so mine is bigger than what yours will be if you crochet it as the pattern suggests.

Her links:

Website

Etsy

IG

The next pattern I’m tackling is a snail, a paid pattern I found on Etsy. It’ll be for my middle son, who has a couple pet snails right now and really enjoys snails. I’m hoping it’s a straight-forward pattern, something I can understand, but it is going to be more complicated than this sweet hamster from Grace and Yarn!

What are you working on right now?

Homeschooling 2.0

Just like the rest of us, we’ve been thrown into “homeschooling” for the rest of the school year. We’ve not gotten the official word that school is out for the rest of the year but the writings on the wall. And that is okay. We usually get out of school in May so it’s not that big a deal. I do hope we can get back to normal by August for my older boys sake, as they miss school, their friends, a girlfriend, teachers, etc.

Homeschooling is going well. The two older boys are doing well with their assignments, zoom calls and so forth. Dash had a really good day schooling today. He seemed to really enjoy it. I can foresee him loving homeschooling long term. I don’t know if we’ll do that, though he is asking that we could homeschool him. I really do see him thriving with being schooled from home but it’s a matter of my husband and I both feeling we could help him and his online teachers make the best out of it. So, we’ll see. It’s all at the very beginning of talks right now.

Dash’s assignment today included writing elements of a story, which he included a dragon in his story, so we used Raising Wonder’s YouTube tutorials to learn how to draw a dragon. It went really well. Very helpful! So today, day whatever it is now, of homeschooling went great. It’s a cool but lovely day today. We’ll grab a family walk and bring Tuck with us, too.

I hope you’re having a great day!

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