What I’m Into: February 2014

Neverending winter

I think we are in the midst of the WINTER THAT WILL NEVER END. Are we in Witch-Occupied Narnia?

I have always disliked winter, but I’m pretty sure this has been the longest winter of my life. It’s definitely been the coldest and snowiest. I’m tired of trying to make the most of it by playing outside in the frigid wind. I just want sunshine and grass and warmth.


We’ve had some fun indoors. My friends and I finished putting together our quilt top in December, and have finally moved on to the actual quilting. (Did you know we’re making a quilt for Lydia? We are! We started back in August. It’s a crazy amount of work! I have the raddest friends ever!). Quilting on a quilting frame is a trillion times more fun than cutting and piecing. See how much we’re all smiling?


Back home, Lydia has become absolutely obsessed with drawing. She draws all day long. She uses up sheets and sheets of paper, practicing face after face. (She just turned 2 1/2). It’s quite charming. I don’t know why we didn’t just name her Kathleen II.


And I pulled out my sewing machine to make a couple of dresses for Lydia’s Waldorf doll. Here, I used a vintage pillowcase and my own pattern. It’s far from perfect but I’m rather pleased with it.

waldorf doll dress

And now that you’re wondering whether I’m actually a 70-year-old lady with a blog, here’s what I’ve been into!


Again, just one book this month. (I have accepted that this is just the way it is right now.)

Detroit: A Biography by Scott Martelle. I’ve always lived about an hour away from Detroit, and I grew up shopping there with my family quite regularly. Driving by all those crumbling, abandoned neighbourhoods, and catching haunting glimpses of the abandoned Michigan Central Station in the distance, I’ve always been disquieted by the question: What in the hell happened here? Since it’s not my country, I never learned about it in school or anything, even though we’re all used to seeing the city’s skyline right across the river from Windsor.

I’m finally getting an answer to that question. Detroit’s story is full of tragedy — racism, violence, poverty. The book  is heartbreaking. Martelle’s writing is accessible, compassionate, and probing. I really wish it contained more photos and maps, though, to help place everything.

Children’s Books

henry in love

After Chloe delighted us last month, I sought out some more books by writer/illustrator Peter McCarty, including Hondo and Fabian, Little Bunny on the Move, and Moon Plane. The illustrations in all of them are gorgeous. McCarty has a way of making his artwork look positively luminescent. (Some of his books are printed on  shimmery paper, which adds to the effect.)

But the real winner of the month was Henry in Love. Seriously the cutest book I have ever seen. I adore everything about it: The quirky illustrations. The sparse text. The fact that Henry’s brother’s name is Tim and his friend’s name is Sancho. Henry’s adorable elementary-school point of view. LOVE. Lydia loves it, too, though it really bothers her that (spoiler!) Henry shares his blueberry muffin with Chloe at the end of the book. “No! I want Henry to eat the blueberry muffin!”


Fiddler on the Roof — Continuing the Classic Movie Night tradition we started in November, we watched this three-hour musical in two parts via Netflix. (Yup. We finally got Netflix.) Once again, it feels good to get pop culture references now. And it really was an interesting, entertaining, moving experience.

The Great Mouse Detective — we watched this as a family (on VHS!) to wrap up last month’s Sherlock Month. You guys: Basil is still just as sexy as ever. I had to laugh at how the American writers had to keep reminding us that the characters are British: “Jolly good!” “I say!” “Good fellow!”


I feel like Parks and Rec has gotten funnier all of a sudden. I find myself laughing a lot. And after I talked about how much I love Sherlock for exploring male friendship/love last month, I was delighted by how openly the characters of Parks and Rec express (non-romantic) love for one another. Are we making progress as a culture? Anyway, what a great show.

We started watching Freaks and Geeks on Netflix, and I think I love it.

On that same theme of beloved-shows-that-were-cancelled-after-the-first-season, we also watched the first episode of Firefly on Netflix, but are hesitant to continue lest we get manically obsessed like we did with Lost a few years ago. This show has a similar feel to it. Any thoughts? Will I cry as much as I did with Lost?

That’s what I’ve been into! How about you?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer.

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  1. I used to love Freaks and Geeks when it was airing during high school. Kinda forgot about it.

    Did the Detroit book talk about that city’s great potential? I have heard some say that because it has been decimated, it actually has the potential to rebuild itself into something sustainable in a way that no other city does because of the flexibility offered by so much abandoned property and depopulation. I’ve heard there is a lot of urban farming popping up and new ideas that are having space to spread their wings. I have always been curious about that city too, but have never been even though I went to college in Grand Rapids, a couple hours away.

  2. I also watched The Great Mouse Detectives this month! It was my first time. So adorable!
    Christina recently posted..What I’m Into January 2014My Profile

  3. Firefly. DO IT. And you’re not finished until you watch the movie Serenity. You will cry, but you will also laugh a lot.

    And I love, love, love Henry in Love. Every child I know is getting that book at some point this year.
    Suzanne Terry recently posted..What I Would Do DifferentlyMy Profile

  4. I’ve never seen Lost so I don’t know how Firefly compares cry-wise. I really enjoyed Firefly though, and it’s short so you won’t have time to get too obsessed with it. :) I think there were 2 places where I cried in Serenity, but I don’t remember crying during the series at all. I love Fiddler on the Roof.

    Definitely show us pictures of your quilt once it’s finished! I have a quilt in the quilting stages. I pieced the top about 4 years ago and then I finally basted the layers together about 2 years ago and I started quilting the first square and then it got packed away and it isn’t like I can just lug it out and do one square every couple months. It’s a queen, so my loosely committed to goal is to finish it in time to use it next winter when I have a queen sized bed. Getting married seems like a good reason to finish a quilt. I need some major inspiration and determination though.

  5. I’m so intrigued by all your quilting photos. I have no idea how this works. I do piece quilting by hand, or simple quilting on the sewing machine, but this looks like soooo much fun!
    Our winter has been incredibly mild but rainy and grey so I am equally desperate for Spring to arrive. Soon soon. Then you can shed the shoes again :)
    The Detroit book sounds fascinating. One of my best friends is from there and loves it with a deep passion so I feel like I should learn more.
    fiona lynne recently posted..right now – FebruaryMy Profile

  6. I adored Freaks and Geeks! I was so sad to get to the end of the series.

    My husband Clint and I are addicted to Star Trek on Netflix (the American version). We’re deep into season two of Deep Space Nine right now. Nice thing: doesn’t require a ton of brain power and the series take about a million years to run out at our current pace. :)

    It’s fun to hear what you’ve been into!
    Laura recently posted..Five Sense FridayMy Profile

  7. Firefly! Finish it! It’s definitely worth it, and I agree with Suzanne – then you have to watch Serenity! So, so, so good. We own it and watch random episodes at different times. Love it. So, yes, carry on.
    Sarah @ Two Os Plus More recently posted..How to Make a Lenten Sacrifice JarMy Profile

  8. My dogs are named Kaylee and Jayne (Yes, he’s a boy). So I think you know my vote. ;-)

    My dad grew up in a suburb of Detroit. His parents and two siblings and their families still live there. My Grandpa is a pastor at a church in downtown Detroit, and it’s very interesting to visit them. A lot has changed since my dad was a kid, for sure.

  9. Thanks for the children’s books recommendations. I will check out Henry in Love! Enjoy Freaks and Geeks, so said it was a short-lived show!

  10. Well, if we are in Narnia, Aslan is on the move and winter will soon be over.
    Leelee recently posted..By: Shana NorrisMy Profile

  11. Jumping in with everyone else – Firefly is worth obsessing over. And, since there are only 12 (I think?) episodes, plus Serenity, you can’t lose nearly as much time to it as you can to Lost.
    Katy recently posted..What I’m Into {February 2014 Edition}My Profile

  12. Firefly is a must. Truly. I cannot state this enough.

  13. I adore both Parks & Rec and Freaks & Geeks, and I say yes, definitely keep watching Firefly. You’ll be forever sad that it was canceled, but you’ll never regret watching it! And now I’m off to see if our library has Henry in Love for my daughter!!
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted..Catching Up is Hard to DoMy Profile

  14. Hi! I’m a fairly newish reader. I found your blog about a week ago (my mom and I have been getting into natural living, and she found your post on no ‘pooing, which I started yesterday!), and have reading your posts on parenting in huge gulps (my husband and I are going to start trying for a baby in June!!!). Finally finished your Peculiar Parenting tag and came to your home page.

    I had no intentions of commenting on anything until I read that you were on the fence about continuing with Firefly. DO. IT. This show is incredible. The characters are so compelling and real. The actors are fab. Joss Whedon is an incredible writer (if you haven’t seen it yet, you should check out his version of Much Ado About Nothing, which came out last year). It’s definitely one of my favorite shows, and it doesn’t require nearly as much time as Lost. :-) Watching this show changed my life (although not nearly as much as Doctor Who).

    Watch it. You won’t regret.

    • Ha ha, Rachel . . . if you feel so strongly about the show that you broke your silence to tell me I should, I will just have to continue with the show. And you’re right: it’s MUCH less time commitment than Lost. And with a two-year-old in the house, we need all the time we can get. :) Thanks for reading and being so encouraging!

  15. I’m very sorry to hear about your witch-occupied Narnia-like winter but I loved learning about your quilting circle. So cool! I’ve been more sporadic about watching Parks & Rec the last couple of years but I’m always happy whenever I’ve watched. I think this season actually is funnier and I love the way they look at friendship. Plus Ron Swanson.
    Leigh Kramer recently posted..The Enneagram and Blogging: Type SevenMy Profile

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