a knitted sontag and gingerale

Hello friends,  I hope your year is off to a great start.  We celebrated Epiphany on Sunday and the kids got their last gift.  On that day we also said “see ya later” to our oldest sons best friend who is an honorary Gaitan and has left to join the Navy.  It was hard to know he is leaving and won’t be sleeping over anymore or just hanging around our house but we are praying for him and we can’t wait to go to his graduation.

As I type this I am mixing up some homemade gingerale (recipe below) for one of the boys whose stomach doesn’t feel the best.  We have been oiling everyone up, staying on our wellness routine and hoping for the best during this time where everyone seems to have the flu.

It has been quite cold, even frigid here.   Movies, blankets and hot tea are the norm of our days lately.  So cold yet no snow and the little ones are growing restless for a day of sledding.  I do love this time of the year though, I love this season of bundling up, fires going in the woodstove and time to knit or read.  I am almost done with Olivia’s Sontag shawl and if I can just get it off of her body then I can get all the ends woven in and move onto making myself one.  So exciting.

For me a new year means me trying to keep new and good habits.  I am finding that I am getting better at keeping habits going as time goes by, does this mean I’m getting old?    This year I am working on blogging more, sleeping more by getting to bed at a decent hour,  making more time to do the things that make me feel happy and fulfilled and keeping a list of what those things are so I’m not trying to remember what I wanted to do,  working on completing projects (more lists) and writing in my daily journal.  Really its just a few quick lines in this little book I bought two years ago and finally dusted off.  I got it at Anthropology and each page holds notes for that particular day for 5 years.  Its going to be fun to look back and see what happened the year before.  One thing I never miss is my bedtime prayers so I put my journal on my bedside table with a pen and I just do it right before my prayers.  I also intend on getting better organized but I think I will start that in February once I am used to all my other goals.

I’m off to go and give this glass of gingerale to its owner and as promised, here is my very easy way to make gingerale with actual ginger in it (you do know that most store bought gingerale is just sugary soda yes?).  This version isn’t healthy but its easier than making a fermented gingerale and when you need it right now, you can get this done in less than 30 minutes and it will settle tummies.

Easy DIY Gingerale

a big nub of ginger, peeled or not

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 c water

Sparkling water or club soda

lime optional

First we are going to make a ginger syrup.   In a saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook until the sugar is dissolved.   Slice or chop the ginger into small pieces and add it to the water and sugar.  Let it boil gently until thickened.  Strain out the ginger pieces, we save them and eat them since we peel the ginger first, so yummy) and keep the ginger syrup in a jar.  Whenever you need gingerale, just add 2 or 3 tbsp of your syrup to about 12 oz cup of club soda or sparkling water.   Serve on ice or chilled.  So yummy and you won’t believe you were drinking that stuff from the soda aisle.  If you like you can squeeze some lime juice into your ale and see how you like it.

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A tama for the new year

There is something about the new year or perhaps the fact that I am once again using my planner and keeping my lists (which declutters my brain enough to get stuff done with out spinning my wheels all day) that makes me feel so productive.   I have no idea why I work against myself and ever stop doing all of the things that I know make me work better.  This year my only intention is to live better, to live more, to do more of what makes us tick and happy.  More adventures, more love, more completed projects (can I get an amen?)

I made this Tama for Mateo two months ago, then made buttons and lost them.  They have never been found but I am sure they will surface now that I have gone and made 4 new buttons.  This morning I actually sewed them on and he is loving it.  I made the sleeves wide and the whole thing is quite roomy.  This little boy of mine likes comfort and I hope it will fit him for quite a while.  It has been bitter cold outside so playing inside is the norm right now…unless we get some snow.  Then I know it won’t matter and I won’t be able to keep him or anyone inside.

These cold wintery days off of school no less, have been filled with play (all those new toys from Christmas), working on projects and lots of reading under blankets.  We are once again reading all the Brambly Hedge books and one more go around of our Tasha Tudor  Christmas books before its time to put them away.  This advent calendar is probably Mateo’s favorite since he isn’t a reader yet and he has a great time just making up stories about all the little animals in the drawings.  Oh how I love Tasha.  Are any of you a fan of hers?  What a beautiful life she led.

Also on my list is the epiphany gifts which sit waiting for me to work on them.  I can’t wait to show you what I am making for my children this year but first I have to carve out some time here and there to work on them.   Erica and I went thrifting yesterday and came home with quite a few finds for projects that I want to work on right now so I have to work against my little bitty attention span and stay on track with finishing these things first.

How are you doing this week?  Are these first days of January treating you well?

(happy to be joining the Yarn Along once again over at Small Things and FrontierDreams).  Knitting friends are the best.

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