Thursday, April 30, 2020

My Kitchen Window

 This post is for Purple Debbie!

I just uploaded a bunch of random pictures to this blog post. Then I thought of my dear friend, Purple Debbie (she has a wonderful blog. See here) She always laughs at me and says, "your post would have been a whole week of posts for me!" And she's RIGHT!!!!!

So....I'll just talk about this one picture today. 
Share with you a few of my favorite things about my kitchen window.
I took this picture because I had a creative block during my workday on Wednesday. I went in the kitchen to clear my head and try to get inspired. I love this view and I thought it was worth taking a picture.

Let's start with my new plant. I love it so much! It's a stranded pearls plant. A succulent that looks like little strings of pearls (looks like peas to me). So far so good. It seems happy where it is. I've looked up how to care for it and I'm following the directions. Basically, don't overwater it.

Next, is that little snowflake shape ceramic hanging from the window lock. Chase made it for me in school this year as a Christmas decoration. I loved it and couldn't bare to put it away when it came time to pack up the Christmas stuff. Right under it is a little pinch pot that Garrett made when he was little. Right next to it is a little ladybug made of clay. Dalton made that for me when he was little. Garrett also made one (it's on the other side of the windowsill).

The little Oui yogurt jar (that stuff is delicious!!!! btw) now has a sunflower seed planted in there. Let's see if it sprouts! I planted a bunch  of them outside but kept one inside.

The empty milk bottle usually holds fresh flowers from my walks. It once held half & half. I'm a sucker for a glass milk bottle. Then a cute little succulent I've had for years. 

A wooden soap dish holder that my mom gave me as a Christmas gift in my stocking years ago and a bar of soap gifted to me by my mother-in-law. Next to that, a small toothpick holder made of ceramic that my parents brought home from Alaska for me. I love it!

The ceramic leaf that hangs on the other window lock is from the Kutztown fair. I went to college there and we went to the fair when Garrett was a baby. That's story for another day!!! LOL. Mention the quilt barn to me or my mom and we have very vivid memories of baby poop!

The feather stained glass piece that hangs was purchased at the Farmers Market in Asbury Park last spring. My co-worker and friend came to my house one weekend and I took her to Asbury for the bizarre in Convention Hall. We had such a good time. I took her to breakfast at Toast, hit up the farmers market then shopped the bizarre. She lives about 45 minutes away from me so we don't get to hang out outside of work very often. This feather reminds me of a really fun day.

The felt ball garland was purchased at Calgo Gardens, a local garden and gift shop. It's a favorite of mine and I don't get there very often. But when I do, I always find little treasures. Great gifts too!

And then there's the view. You can't beat it, am I right?

So lookie there did I do? ONE post on ONE photo and lots to talk about :)


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Heading into Week 7!

Hi friends! Well...we are heading into week 7 of quarantine. Like I've said before, we are settling and it embracing this new normal. I finished my Ankers Summer Shirt and I LOVE it! It's so nice to wear. Fits perfectly too. I finished Dalton's college quilt last night. I love it. He loves it too and he used it last night. He reported to me this morning that it was nice and warm and a perfect size. Success!

I'm reading a new book, Confessions of a Midwife by Diane Chamberlin. It's REALLY good so far. I bought it on my kindle. I wanted to rent it on the library app, but my kindle freaked out and isn't working well with their app. So I bought the book and so far it's hard to put down. 

I stopped over to our local nursery, Lanza's (down the street from us) to pick up a flower or two just to liven up the porch. I got some geraniums for now and then I spotted a String of Pearls plant. I have always wanted one since I was in college. My college roommate Addy's mom had one and I always loved. Hopefully I can keep it alive! It's a succulent and new to me so I'm looking up how to care for it. It feels good to have some new plants growing in the house.

I also planted some flower seeds around the front of the house this weekend. Hopefully by summer it will be a pretty view of flowers and color. I'm ready for warmer weather! Saturday was nice. It was sunny and we weren't freezing, so Chase and I headed out with his fishing pole. It's hard to figure out where to go. We want to abide by the stay home order as much as possible but mentally this kid needed to get out. All the parks are closed and we can't be around people. I found a little spot that we could get to. The brook was stocked with trout so we gave it a try. No luck with the fish but it was really nice to just be outside. Chase has been having a hard time with this quarantine. He can't really express it because he's 8 but we can see him get "down" and quiet. He misses his cousin Shea so much. Normally the two of them spend their entire weekends together. It has been really hard for them to be apart. They FaceTime and play video games together virtually but it isn't the same.

Liz and I haven't been together and we miss doing the podcast! Today we decided to zoom and record it. It was fun! Felt good to see each other and talk. Hopefully Liz can figure out how to edit and post for you to see. We talk about what we've been doing, making, watching, cooking, etc.

Just poured myself a glass of wine and Rick and I are going to start watching Waco on Netflix. 

Have a good week! Hope you are all safe and healthy. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Stitch by stitch

We have settled into our new normal. I'm doing much better being home. We all are. I go out just to buy groceries now. I was taking rides to get out of the house but I found myself getting upset when I saw the empty parking lots and closed stores. So many people are out of work and struggling right now. Small businesses are being hit so hard. I work as a graphic designer for a senior living community. We have several communities around the state and I am seeing photos of the healthcare workers, nurses, cooks, sales team, maintenance workers, and more. So many positive stories come out every day from our communities. We made signs that say Heroes Work Here in big GIANT letters that greet the workers. They are on the front lines of this and working so hard. I am fortunate to have a job and work from the safety of my house.

I have my moments that it all hits me...this is a time in history and the entire world is experiencing it. It's surreal at times, isn't it? I worry about the future, specifically the next few months. Will my son have a graduation? Will he go to college on time? Will sports ever come back on? So many unknowns. We watched a special on tv last night, Jersey 4 Jersey. It featured musicians and celebrities from NJ. It also showed people at work, local restaurants that are struggling, nurses, doctors, teachers and families. It was sad!!!! My oldest was sitting next to me on the couch and said, "this is just an hour of sadness!...with good music). It really was. Living in our house in our little bubble has isolated us from a lot. Made me very thankful that Rick and I are able to have a job that keeps us home with our kids.

I have been knitting like a maniac. The top I am knitting has taken me less than a week. I am almost done. Stockinette stitch in the round is my friend right now. Mindless and easy to keep my hands busy. It also lets me watch tv, read my kindle and talk to my crew while I knit away, stitch by stitch.

Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Bread Obsessed!

Back in December I made a sourdough starter. This little jar of bubbly goodness has brought me so much happiness. Who knew a mixture of flour and water could do this?!

Making loaves of sourdough bread has brought me so much joy. I don't know why. It's silly I guess. But the act of mixing the ingredients, checking on it over a few hours, planning on what design I'll create on the top, putting it in the oven, and waiting to see what it will look like, then sharing it with my family is so calming AND delicious! My kids look forward to it. They love it. It's so good!

It took me a few tries and recipes to get the perfect loaf. I had success when I followed the directions found here. I follow it exactly and it always comes out well. I also add rosemary into the loaves depending on what we are having for dinner. The loaf in this post was one I made for my sister, Liz and her family. She reported that it was SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!! 

So there's bread obsession!

Week 6 of Quarantine

We just started week 6 of quarantine and week 5 of online learning for the boys.
I think we've all settled into our new routines and it's getting easier. My youngest is the hardest with schooling but the teacher and school are doing a GREAT job of making it work for the kids. They are making it better every week. It's not ideal of course but it's working for now. I am thankful to have a job that allows me to work from home. Many people in my company are healthcare workers and they are on the frontlines every day. I am safe at my dining room table on my computer. For that I am thankful. I am hoping that my oldest can have some kind of high school graduation. More than that, we all hope he can start college in the fall. But all we can do is stay home and healthy.

I have been knitting a lot. I casted on a quick knit, the Ankers Summer Shirt by Petite Knits. I'm using Marianated Yarn. It's her Playtime DK weight yarn in the Honeycomb color. It was from my stash and I'm enjoying the knit. I think it will be fun to wear under a jean jacket and navy blue linen pants this summer. 

Cooking and baking has been happening A LOT. One bonus of being home is the ability to start dinner earlier and not rush home from work and start dinner. We also don't have baseball. Wow. What a difference our life is without baseball! We haven't had a spring without it since our oldest was 4 years old. I miss seeing the boys on the field and cheering them on next to friends on the bleachers. I am enjoying the slower pace of dinner time this spring.

I still go for a walk every day at lunchtime if weather permits. I bundle up and my little guy walks around like it's summer. We're a sight! I am in a winter coat and hat most days and he is in shorts and a t-shirt. Kids.....

I am trying to take lots of pictures during this time so I don't forget all of the little things. Like birthday parades.....who would have thought. Chase made a sign for his friend, Alex's 9th birthday and we drove by with his classmates to wish him a happy birthday. It's so sweet to see their faces as they wave to each other. Made me cry! Shocker...I cry at everything!

So as we head into week 6, we are all doing a little better than the beginning. 
How are all of you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Let's Take a Walk

We had a huge storm that lasted all day on Monday of this week. Winds and rain kept us cooped up in the house and we missed our lunchtime walk. When the sun came out after dinner, Chase and I headed out for some fresh air. Here are some pictures of our walk.

Chase was very excited about the giant worm he found and carried all the way back to feed to the chickens. Andee would have died! LOL!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Thankful for Knitting!

During days like we are living through makes me even happier that I have hobbies. I can only work, clean and cook so much!!! Knitting keeps me calm, sane and happy. Stitch by stitch, I relax. 

I wanted to share some photos of my latest knit. This is the Ninilchik Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter.
I love her patterns. They are fun to knit and fun to wear! I went through my stash yarn for this one. As a knitter, I tend to buy yarn per project. I don't have much of a stash. But I was able to use half used skeins that I saved for this one. I also had some of the off-white yarn from my mom.

This was a quick knit...just two weeks. That's what happens when you can't leave the house!

I hope you are all keeping busy and are healthy. 


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Sunrise

For the past few years I have gone to Sunrise Service at the Manasquan Inlet. Several local churches gather to welcome Easter Sunday while the sun rises over the ocean. For obvious reasons, the annual service was cancelled. Our boardwalks are closed but there are a few openings to the beach and I decided that I would try to get down there in time to watch the sunrise. 

I took these pictures at Belmar Fishing Club beach. It was a perfect sunrise to start this Easter.

And I found two pieces of seaglass :)

Wishing you all a Happy Easter. -Leanne

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Happy Siblings Day

Happy Siblings Day to my sisters, Andee and Lizzie!

This picture was from 1990, taken on our month long cross-country camping trip. 
We were headed out to the rodeo after our fancy dinner of tomato soup and Hawaiian Punch! 

Thankful for these two more than words can ever explain.