Thursday, March 12, 2009

Near and Far

I know that March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb (at least for my North American readers), but around here it seems to be the opposite. As I mentioned, in my previous post, the tidal wave of guests has begun... and the fun of whirlwind days along with it!

My brother-in-law arrived a week ago with his 4yo daughter. They are staying at my MIL's place until April 3rd (sweet vacation, eh?).

His wife and 6 yo son (both in school) will join him on the 17th until the 3rd as well.

My sister and her toddler daughter (and hopefully her dh will be able to wrangle time off from his work) will be here (at my mom's) from the 25th to the 29th.

A friend also from MN will be staying with another friend vacationing on the keys in Sarasota the week of the 23rd and we'll have lunch on the 24th.

Another friend, who is here already, will be leaving on the 21st and we're trying to get in as many "playdates" as possible!

Finally, after everyone will have gone by April 2nd, another friend arrives from SC. She'll arrive the night of the 3rd, stay for the 4th, and head to Disney on the 5th.

See? I wasn't lyin'. It's truly a good thing that all my family and friends like one another, because there's going to be a lot of overlapping of visiting time happening; many combined trips to the beach. "Now everyone, play NICE!"

So that's part of the "far" in the title. And, yes, they are coming "near" and I'm thrilled! :) Of course, that makes for some creative schooling (isn't it always, though?) and less time online here.

Around here, in the "near", we've just about finished juicing up the last of the citrus.

Eve loves to help out with this activity. We've juiced and given away many oranges and fewer grapefruits (our grapefruits are not particularly sweet), and frozen numerous quarts of the juice of both. I actually LOVE the grapefruit juice with agave nectar! So, SO delicious!

The last batch of citrus will be the huge bag of lemons Mom and Jerry gave to us. I have a delicious version of lemonade that I've been drinking daily - and which I will share in a post to come - and I need to set up my supply of frozen lemon juice so I can be sure to get my fix whenever I need it!!

A lot of knitting and crocheting, of course, has continued. This is the scarf I made out of a skein of bamboo yarn that was gifted to me last summer. If you know bamboo, you will know that it is quite cool and silky and has a wonderful drape. But also, because it has no memory, it stretches quite a bit with its own weight (it's heavier, like cotton, which also has no memory) and to me, it is therefore better suited to scarves or even light blankets, rather than garments. This scarf, I imagine, will be nice for spring and summer evenings. I think it's rather dressy and I feel like I could wear it out someplace nice.

I've finished the squares for the Granny Square blanket I've been working on and now just have to sew all the buggers together and crochet a border. I'll get pictures up when I've finished that. Be forewarned: it's bright!!! :)
And now for more news from afar:
A dear reader of this blog is my friend Kortney over at One Deep Drawer. She e-mailed me letting me know she had some yarn she'd like to send my way and would I like it?
Would I ever turn down yarn?!
This past Tuesday, a well-traveled package showed up from Oregon with goodies:
I love the extras she and her family dropped in: little paint trays from the re-use center (YES!) and this!



I am soooo excited about this and so excited to share it with all of you! Kortney was a Peace Corps Volunteer and sent along these materials that she used in a presentation she did to talk about her time in Suriname and the Peace Corps Correspondence Match Program. The program matches you and your students with Volunteers working overseas for correspondence! The correspondence is not one-on-one with each student, but more Volunteer to classroom or homeschooling family, as it were. We are certainly going to be looking into it!
A week ago, Monday, another special item arrived in the mail for me! I participated in this year's Holiday KAL/CAL and this year I won a prize!



I got to choose beautiful, hand-crafted beads, buttons, or take a credit from her Etsy store and choose what I wanted there. That is just what I chose and about a week later my gorgeous necklace arrived in the mail!

It's a little jug with an actual cork! So sweet! It can hold a tiny, little note (see the little piece of paper in the box in the photo above?) to send a special message to a recipient, or essential oil. And she even sent along an extra little cork in case one gets lost. Isn't it the coolest thing?! Kristy does such fine, fine work and has wonderful prices for her one-of-a-kind pieces. Be sure to check her out at The Glass Chickadee.




And finally, one more sneaky, little pal is paying us a visit. See the black, bumpy lump in the middle of the photo? That's our resident gator. S/he has lived among these interconnected,
neighborhood, water run-off ponds since it was a baby gator. It's a bit bigger now - about 4 feet in length. It keeps its distance and we do too. It's never come up on the bank of our yard - perhaps there's too much activity here. We do have to share our space and, indeed, our state, with these amazing, if frightening, animals.
It's not just a matter of having it removed, because the animals are never just removed, but instead, killed. There are over a million alligators living in the state and they cannot just be re-located every time someone wants them out of their backyard. If this guy became a regular camper in our yard and made it so that we could not go out there, I'd reconsider. But as it is, this is his/her home as much as ours and I, for one, am glad it's here.


Wishing you all a sunshiny week!

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