Monday, September 29, 2008
I am onto the edging of the Summer Sampler Lace. Holy Moly, it seems like it will take as long as the entire stole did...I guess I won't count on being done anytime soon! I would, however, like to be done with my Aran Wrap Cardi by November so I can wear it, and I have two blankies to knit/crochet for Christmas gifts, so I'd better either put away the lace, or quit my job and knit all day!!!
Here's the yummy soup and salad I had for lunch yesterday:
I made the soup flavorful with leftover bubbly from our anniversary (I always save what's left in the fridge for cooking with...)
and cumin, tomato paste, rosemary sprigs and oregano, minced gingerroot, gray salt and pepper.
The soup itself had cabbage, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, sweet potato, baby portobella mushrooms, corn cut from the cob, and protein-pasta rotelle! Yum.
Such a great cool Autumn day for this kind of lunch! I topped it off with sun tea made the day before, a chunk of Ciabatta bread, and a lemon cookie. Then a 2 hour nap :D
I was hoping to make some headway on the credit cards next month, but since DS needs glasses and an eye exam, and DH needs new brakes on his car, I guess that won't be happening. Sigh. Oh well, we'll just keep plugging along, doing what we're doing. Simple September is my jumping off point for getting out of debt. And it worked well this month, I was able to send an extra $350 to a credit card...I just have to do that every month!
I walked my pup last night. It was dusk, and about 60 degrees outside. Beautiful, and no wind. A quiet Sunday night, the air smelled so wonderfully of brown, fallen leaves, and I could pick out the different scents of juniper, pine, oak, and maple as we walked! Can't usually do that (only the juniper almost year round--such a stinky tree!)
I feel renewed, and ready to face the work week. My first item of business: getting my hair cut immediately after work today! I'm leaning toward short...we'll see. Happy Autumn, all :)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I read this article about soup-making without stock, and became very inspired. Granted, I've done this tons of times in my past, but reading someone else writing about it somehow legitimizes it...So I'm gonna get into the kitchen and cook! It's perfect soup weather, cool and overcast, and something warm and hearty for the tummy is just what the doctor ordered.
I need to run to the store anyway--I'll swing by the farmer's market and see what soup makings I can find...
I am thinking a crockpot cheese soup would be good, but minestrone really sounds better right now. With big spiral pasta...What are your favorite soups?
Saturday, September 27, 2008
NatRedKnits gave me another blog award!
Wow, thanks so much, you've made my day!!! Now I get to pick another 7 happy blogs I love to read, to pass it on:
Here are the rules:
If you've already received the award, great! That means you really deserve it! And feel free to pass it on again!
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs and link to them
4) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!
Here are my picks:
Chookybluea fun rural blog in Australia
Farmgirl Fare Missouri farming and food!
Dutch Colorsfun crafting and life in the Netherlands
Skip to my Loucrafty goodness
Sarah's Homesteadrural spinning in Oregon
Bloesem great blog about style and design
Feeling StitchyA group blog--such amazing inspiration!
Blog awards are fun! It's so nice to get this feedback. Thanks a million NatRedKnits!
And, to top it off, Diane at Bella Vita Farm & Fiber has tagged me for a meme...hmmm, are you up for 7 more wierd/random facts about me?! Here goes:
- I LOVE coffee, but sometimes I get the caffeine jitters. It seems to hit me randomly though, so I just keep drinking it daily. Can't seem to get my day off right w/o that cuppa.
- I have all my wisdom teeth. I guess that's not too common anymore, but apparently my mouth fits them all, heh O.o
- I am a waterbaby. I love to swim, having grown up with a lake and a swimming pool. I can never get enough of being in the water! I'm about to join the YMCA and swim in the mornings before work (since I'm so land-locked these days!)
- I have a birthmark in the same place on my thigh that my mother does! How wierd is that?!
- I HATE Pink Floyd. I don't just dislike them. Their awful music acts on me like that episode on the Three Stooges where Curly pleads,"Moe, Larry, the cheese!" It grates on me, pushes some primeval rage button in my amygdala that gets me really angry at whoever is trying to make me listen to that s**t.
- I've always said my favorite poem of all time is "The Mad Yak" by Gregory Corso. I don't know why, but that poem always made me laugh in the past. But I'm not sure what I think of it now! I guess I'd better look for an Edna St Vincent Millay poem or an Anne Morrow Lindbergh poem about the sea for my new "fav."
- My favorite short story is "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Anne Porter. I LOVE this short story, so full of angst and ideas and emotion and the twist at the end...I love a surprise ending and this story couldn't have been more well-written! Again, something from my early 20s, when I was really into literature!
The thing about this meme is, I'm s'posed to tag 7 others to do it. Nah. I'll just let you choose to do it if you want. And, I'm not expecting all those I bestowed the award upon to pass it on--actually, I just wanted you all to know how much I LOVE YOUR BLOGs!!!!
Happy weekend :)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I picked up my Lace sampler again. I am halfway done with the final chart. I think this warm Indian Summer we are having is making me not want to have the wooly Aran Wrap Cardi sitting on my lap. So that's a good thing...soon I will have my first finished lace-weight project. I can't wait to see it blocked!
My Simple September has gone really well, except for 2 things:
1. My BFF came to see me from San Diego, and we splurged on a pedicure and dinner and lunch out. But that was a necessary expenditure, because, ya know, how often does your friend come 3000 miles to visit?!
2. I went to the grocery store after work yesterday, and realized I didn't have my checkbook. I therefore had to use a credit card for my groceries. Oooooh, how I hate that. Now I am going to have to double my payment to the card next month to make up for that. Grrr.
Other than those two things, I have been very good about the spending. And oh man do I ever see how those unattenuated urges to buy can build up! I can't believe how often I see something and instantly want it and immediately start telling myself I should buy it. YIKES!
So I think Simple September has been really great for me...a training ground for really watching my $$ output. I don't need to be gung-ho and make everything from scratch, but there are things I CAN do from scratch that are well worth it in the end. (I am speaking specifically of the granola recipe from the beginning of the month. MAN IS THAT A GREAT RECIPE! I'm gonna make that, and some variations, frequently. It lasted me 2 weeks.)
Recap: I did try the coconut ice recipe that I posted about a week or two ago--yuck. I thought it was really disgusting. I think the granola has turned my tastebuds towards more healthy eating :D
I am thinking of a yarny-good budget. Maybe like one pattern book or mag a month...something I can stick with that will prevent me from doing what I did in August. I bulk-shopped on YesAsia. Mm hmmm. Will post about the gets later. But wow. I need to stop that stuff.
So Simple September has been a great exercise for me to re-learn budget techniques, and to re-explore how much I love doing things from scratch. I hope others have been inspired too.
Happy knitting--pics soon, I promise!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I have been struggling lately. Struggling with the desire to publish my Republican views all over the internet. But I'll tell you why I haven't done so....
I think of people reading my blog, and I want my blog to be fun. I want it to be a source of inspiration, and a place where people can continue to see what they initially thought was good about my blog.
I think of all the otherwise great blogs I've seen lately where leftist propaganda is being flaunted, and I am very disappointed. I really don't want to have a group of lies shoved down my throat every time I visit a knitting blog, or a location blog, or a recipe blog. I feel, as many Conservatives do, that it is enough to have the facts speak for themselves and let common sense prevail. That rumors and throat-cutting politics are the dirtiest techniques to get your candidate into power. And I hate it being stuffed in my face constantly....
However, I am not one to let "the left" have their say forever while I stay mum. So there you have it. My political opinion.
And isn't that kinda conservative?
Okay, I've had my say. Now, on to some serious yarn-y goodness :D
Sunday, September 21, 2008
In turn, I must choose only 7 bloggers to bestow this upon! Yikes, how to choose? Every blog I read is so great, the people are wonderful and their creative ideas inspiring....(see my blogroll--I'm inspired constantly!)
I will choose some of the most inspiring to me in recent weeks. If you've already gotten the award...I'm just reinforcing what someone else already thought!
I choose these wonderful bloggers:
Hakucho(I know I keep picking on you Deb, but you inspire me!)
Tartelette, for her wonderful food blog
A Friend to Knit With
Knitting In Color for stranded inspiration
Knitting On Impulse for her wonderful color analyses and yarn dying
I love all these blogs and more! Have a good week.
Monday, September 15, 2008
In keeping with Simple September, I have been trying to go back to making things from scratch. Breakfast is one meal I have always been fond of making myself. I have been collecting breakfast recipes for 25 years.
Now I have a new fav. This is so easy, I can't even begin to tell you. It is called Scrambled Pancakes, and it tastes just like a piping hot spoonbread. It is so delicious with real Maple Syrup over the top, I almost ate DH's portion as well as mine (but I saved it for him, and he liked it, too!)
This is definitely my new go-to easy hot breakfast dish. YUM
Here's the recipe:
2 c milk
1 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 T vegetable oil
Mix with whisk. Pour into hot pan; cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Serve with your normal pancake toppings--it rocks with maple syrup, but fruit would be good, too! I would guess this serves 4.
In my experience it never fully sets up, but thickens into a spoonbread consistency (that may be because I was stirring mine almost constantly b/c I didn't want it to burn...we'll see what happens next time I make it.)
I'd love to expand on this further in the future, by adding dillweed or other savory ingredients and going without the sweet toppings.
Now, more time in the kitchen with Aim: yesterday I made these simple crackers from Angry Chicken: They are really good! My doggie likes them too, so I may use this recipe as a jumping off point for making dog-treats (by incorporating peanut butter, cheese, or chicken broth to make them savory).
Not much knitting got done--I also made raspberry coconut cookies. And Coconut Ice, but at the time of this writing have not cut into them yet...I was a busy girl in the kitchen, again. Must be the onset of cooler weather! I'm starting to think about baking bread, making chili, crockpot recipes, and beef stew.
I will likely be incommunicado most of this week, so don't be surprised if I don't post again til next Sunday. I have to study and go to classes around work to recertify in BLS & ACLS this week, as I have let them both lapse. And, I am also auditing a class in basic archeology at my community college which starts today, so I'll be up to my neck this week!
Have a good week, everybody!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
One of our family's offhand pastimes is thinking of the name for our next dog. We've been doing this wordplay for years, and it always becomes a hilarious exercise in general goofiness.
One of the names that always gets us going, is "Laughing Gravy." That's a dog name in a Laurel & Hardy movie! Inevitably one of us will remember that, which makes the others laugh.
Other names we've had:
- Nabisco ...(DS thought this up in kindergarten!)
- Capernicus ...(DS just gave this one!)
- Acorn ...(a past pet)
- Jupiter ...(a past pet)
- Solomon ...(a past pet)
- Jellybean ...(our current older dog)
- Bruce ...(kidding, we're not into people names for our pets)
- Sweet Potato
Why is it so funny to name your dog after a food? I don't know the answer to that, but it works for this family every time!
And...I usually come up with interchangeable names for the pets we already have. We actually CALL the dogs all these names. Like my puppy (whose name is "Fizz") gets called:
- Fuzzy Fuzzpants
My Furry Friend
My Fuzzy Friend
Puppah Fez ...(like "Boba Fet," heh)
My Furry Dogmother ...(an Aimonym)
Furry & Cute, Fuzzy & Sweet, Hairy & Nice, Wooly & Black, Cuddly & Fluffy
- (that's ONE name, folks!)
Or, our older dog, whose name is "Jellybean", aka:
Boopy the Good Girl
This is a very neat-appearing dishcloth! I might try one of these...
I'd love to make this coconut candy. Her presentation is beautiful too!
And, for an autumn sewing project, this Acorn is super cute! I really love the acorn motif, and have slowly collected things of that nature. I'll have to pull out some of my objects and share them with you, like Acornbud has done! (scroll down the page to view!)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
It's time to eat crow. In a big way.
Late in the day yesterday, when my brother was giving DS a birthday card, the topic of his age came up. Guess what I, his mother, was reminded of? He's only 20 this year! I feel so embarrassed o.O
The whole past year I had myself convinced he was already 20...duh, I've been wrong in my head all this time! (If you could only see how red my face is...)
Sigh. Is that a sign of "too much on my plate" or early Alzheimers or the fact that I posted yesterday at 3:00 AM?!!! One good thing is that he has one more year before he can legally drink. (~*~relief~*~)
So thank you for all comments on yesterday's post--I will translate your well-wishes to his 20th birthday! I'm pretty sure I got all the other facts in my last post straight. OMG.
I need some Ginkgo....
Now, on to knitting and food news: Look at the yummy treats made here:peanut butter cups at home! I'm always fascinated by making things from scratch, really nearly ANYTHING you can name I'll be interested in...but really, I draw the line here! No thanks, there are just some things that SHOULD be disposable!
Actually, I can hardly keep from commenting disparagingly on that. But I'll zip it, I'd rather be positive today!
In crafty news, I'd really love to make some of these felt garlands for either party decorations to be reused year after year, or Christmas tree decor. Aren't they the cutest thing?! I love that whole idea....
And look at the felted balls and bird here...more cute inspiration on this rainy day.
KNITTING NEWS: Here is a Ravelry page you MUST see. It documents the wonderful doubleknitted heirloom articles one family's amazing Aunt made over her lifetime. I've never seen so many beautiful creations in one place! The amount of work is mindboggling, as is the fact that "AuntMargie" combined charts from her collection for each one she made, and signed and personalized them all! She was a whiz! I love AuntMargie for what she did, and I love her family for documenting her legacy on Ravelry!!!
Other than our roadtrip to Sonic in this downpour, the only other goal I have today is to eat my Hello Kitty candy necklace. I'm not too motivated :)
Have a good weekend everyone!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Hi all! Today is my baby's 21 birthday. I cannot believe it!
It seems like only yesterday we were having power struggles about potty training! Oh, how I remember those days... I started a quilt for him when we moved into this house. He was in kindergarten at that time. The quilt top is not even fully pieced yet! Oops.
We are taking him to Sonic for dinner tomorrow. We are so excited to have a Sonic around here--I cannot even tell you. It has been 7 years since I had Sonic food. Oh how I love that stuff! We will have to find reasons to drive the 20 miles in that direction more frequently now. :D
(P.S. Lest you think we are real cheapskates, there's a reason why we picked Sonic for our b-day treat...when he was 18, he was planning a "road trip " with his friends to the nearest Sonic, which, at that time, was the distance from Chicago to St. Louis! You'd better believe we put the kabosh on that idea. A car full of teens driving hundreds of miles...don't think so!)
Anyway, it's kinda the "in" joke now. He's never had Sonic food. Neither has DH for that matter, and I don't think DD has either.... I'm freaking about the birthday thing--seriously, he's going to be of drinking age, YIKES!
Other freak-worthy news: DD told me she is going to be deployed to Iraq next year. I'm really freaked out about that. Mom's biggest fear....
On the knitting front, I am into my 3rd skein of Cascade 220 for the Aran Wrap Cardi. I am not needing the charts, finally. First armhole is done, and a small portion of the back. I'm not really flying through this. How I wish we were made of $$ so I could just stay at home and knit whenever I want!!!
I am busy trying to upload the last of my Maui photos onto Flickr. Two days agoI had a warning that there was not much virtual memory left in my hard drive, so I thought I'd better clean up some space! Unfortunately, before I realized it was likely the photos hogging up the space, I accidentally uninstalled my sound card software. I spent all night yesterday after work trying to upload and reinstall it, to no avail. So my monitor has no sound. Grrrr.
I hope to go to knitting tonight, and work on the Aran Wrap Cardi. I am really enjoying that project, but I need to finish up on the Summer Sampler Lace. It is hard to switch back and forth from worsted weight to lace weight yarn. And this week's sinus infection had me comfort-seeking by knitting with thick and cushy, squishy wool :)
Here's a photo of the yummy Caprese Salad I had for dinner tonight:
The only thing that would have made it better would have been some chewy bread...however, I wasn't all that hungry, and had a hard time eating all that bocconcini!
-fresh mozzarella (bocconcini is best)
-red wine vinegar
Toss together. YUMMY! Great with a chunk of chewy bread and a glass of Chianti, for a summer meal! Enjoy :)
Monday, September 8, 2008
It is too early for this sense of "the end." Usually we can go through September with many hot/warm days still. I'm already wearing my Blue Beauty sweater around the house these days!!! Yikes. So, my wool-knitting picks up again in earnest!
I managed to get a shot of my Aran Wrap Cardi outdoors on my front porch yesterday:
among the Clematis Montana. Those blooms smell incredible, wish I could share that with you as well.
(Here you see illustrated my absolute lack of gardening this year. That is a vine you see sprawled across the base of the porch. In normal years I tie it up to the main post throughout the growing season, knowing that when late summer comes the blooms will carry us into a last blast of blooming happiness before the cold sets in. This year, you have to get on the floor to experience it. Ahem.)
Due to illness, lunch meetings, and appointments out of town prior to work, there are not many days I can walk to work. Go figure, all summer I could've done so. Last week it was DS' soccer game at the community college after work (before they yanked his eligibility due to something about insufficient credits from last semester--the kid wasn't even on the team last semester.) I am really glad I went and took some fun action shots, as it looks like that's all he'll get at the college level. Grr.
But other than that, Simple September has definitely curbed my spending. I spent $100 Saturday at the Italian market, and really bought only ingredients--nothing prepared, no frozen dinners. Can't believe it cost that much. Wow. But the challenge of cooking something each night for dinner is inspiring me. I found a couple of really great recipes I'd like to share.
First, this summer roll recipe. I happen to have all the ingredients for this, so it's slated for tonight's dinner. Looks incredible. And look at the grilled flatbread recipe here! YUMMMMMMMMM! Can't wait to try that. Also, I found a recipe for a cute snack cake. I'm gonna hafta share this one with DD, I know she'll appreciate that :D
Hope you all have a wonderful week. Here's to good health, good food, good friends and good knitting :)
Sunday, September 7, 2008
(In a perfect world, I'd have my own garden, but that dream's on hold while I'm busy in the professional world. Usually August and May are when I'm missing that the most.)
So with masses of fresh tomatoes in hand, I decided it was time to make sauce. This pot of sauce simmered all day, with short ribs and chuck steak pieces flavoring it, whole stalks of fresh basil, onions, and cloves of garlic. Looks kinda gnarly while it cooks down, but don't worry, you strain out all the skin and seeds towards the end:
And you add some of these:
I was at the Italian Market yesterday and splurged a little on some imported fusilli pasta--
--this was a rockin' meal! (I had to continue cooking down the sauce, as it was somewhat thin. You can see that in the photo. But I ate it runny b/c I WAS STARVING by this time!!)
I'd never had fusilli before, nice and tooth-y, m-m-m!
I ran by the farmers market too; summer is about to end, so I thought I'd better buy one last dose of fresh corn. Yum, yum yummy sweet corn!
I bought some flax seed to add to the granola I made:
That turned out so yummy. I used the recipe from here as my base, only I didn't have coconut, so I added 1/2 cup flax seed meal, a couple tablespoons of white poppy seeds and white sesame seeds for crunch, and 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs (heh, I had a box of that in the pantry!) I also added a splash of vanilla vodka to the butter while it was melting, so the alcohol would evaporate and leave the flavoring. This stuff rocks!
I also bought some bocconcini; my absolute favorite salad this time of year is a Caprese salad. So that is on the menu this week. Simple foods, remember?
And the best find of all? Fresh fava beans. I wait on the edge of my seat for these every August! Look at that big beautiful pile of favas waiting to be shelled:
Look how huge these beans are!!!
And look at the lovely cushiony package they grow in! That's pretty posh :)
I make these the way that Madhur Jaffrey explains in "World Vegetarian",
you must shuck them,
boil them in salted water for up to 5 minutes, then peel each bean,
(peeled beans are on the left and the empty skins are on the right)
and then you can serve them after saute-ing in a garlic-lemon-thyme sauce made with an olive oil base. It's a finicky business, but well worth the effort! I look forward to this every year =)
Afterwards, I was so wiped! I had spent 5 hours in the kitchen, and didn't get around to making the cucumber pickles/salad I'd wanted to do...maybe today. Or, maybe that's all the cooking I'll do for a little while, heh!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Giggle. Here's a funny link to a Redneck Sheep Song. Make sure you have your sound turned on....
I don't know why, but that really makes me laugh. Simple tastes :)
I missed out on Knit night due to a brewing sinus infection. Oh well, I knew I couldn't escape for too much longer, everyone is coming down with the ickies lately. I had a solid run of a month or so of good health =D
Look at this: this photo from stitchy mcyarnpants is a scream. I love the kitty's face....
Now for some fun surfing. I saw this non-knitting blog post about beautiful art glass-blowing...I've never seen such beautiful glasswork in my life. I want to go see that exhibit now! OKLAHOMA here I come :) Wow that is some gorgeous art!
I feel all inspired now, by the lovely colors and forms. And, I was just reading this post at the Twist Collective Blog, and now I am in love with Wisteria!!! Look at the cables and shaping! Wowee, that also is some craft. I'm not the biggest fan of turtlenecks, but I would definitely wear one that looked like that :) Cables make me wild for more cables--it's an unending cycle!
These kinds of things really inspire me. I hope they make your day, too!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
My tentative adjustments to the Aran Wrap Cardi are the result of the yarn I picked to use. It's Cascade 220 from my stash, and it's a tweed. If I were to start over, I'd probably use a solid colored yarn. But this has been in my stash in large quantities since I bought it to knit a cabled poncho out of it. (The instructions for that were ridiculous, so I frogged it in frustration.) This yarn is one of my favs when I look at the ball:
But when I see it knit up, I'm having a hard time with it. It reads a very dull gray. It bothers me just like my Hemlock Ring disaster. Dull is NOT my most fav color when it's dull outside, and since I won't be wearing wool any other time but when it's dull and cold, this is most unfortunate!!!
Back to the adjustments. I was going to change the zigzag panels. One side of the cabled zig-zag has reverse stockinette, and the other has seed stitch. In this tweed yarn, you can't even see seed stitch definition, and that texture blends in and dulls the definition of the zigzag on that side. Also, for some reason, I can't get the seed stitch mojo going--I have to keep looking at the charts to see what stitch goes where for that, and it feels like it is slowing my progress down. So I was thinking both sides of the zigzag would be better done in reverse stockinette.
But NO, I am not going to frog it and start again. I decided ultimately to leave it as is. Partly because I caught a glimpse of this in natural light, and it looks way better than I was thinking!!! Yay for natural light :) And I think the change would alter the dimensions also. Apparently I could use some practice with seed stitch too, so I'm leaving it as is....It's just such a distracting yarn. (Gee, wish I was knitting this in a deep rich warm solid color, just like the Rainey Sisters!)
- I want to use this yarn up.
- I want to see how this pattern looks knit in tweed.
- I want to wear something made of Cascade 220! So I will soldier on (it's not that bad-looking in the right light. I love knitting with this yarn! Cushy, squishy wool. One of my go-to favs...)
So that's where I am right now. I just started the third repetition of charts. I had to mark up my chart page with the errata, and change the chart rows numbering. I also ended up putting white-out over the old numbers as I kept looking at those and getting all messed up! Now it's a piece of cake. Here are my notations to myself:
I'm having lots of fun working on this project. Today was great, a rainy and cold precursor to fall, and I cranked on the cables while I watched "The Young & The Restless" on Soapnet...See, there's a reason for soap operas to exist--they are a great excuse to sit for an hour and knit!!!!!