Sunday, October 26, 2008

These are a few of my favorite links....

Look at the cute pics and post about fortune cookies and Chinese New Year (I know, I'm late) I found on one of my new fav blogs called PlumPudding I really want to try that recipe for fortune cookies.

I love the idea ofcheap makeup. Let me know if it is any good...I think I got this link from MeggieCat's blog, but I'm not sure.

Love all the fun stuff I find online. so great to "virtually shop"!!!

I spent part of the morning today making Easy Cinnamon Bun Bread. Yum, even without the powdered sugar icing. Somehow making a coffee cake with yeast dough makes it that much better~! And so far the rest of the day has been spent reading a book, napping, and researching how to preserve my crop of rose hips. I have some of the most extraordinary rose hips in the garden, that in years past I have not harvested. Now, knowing that the vitamin C content is so much higher than citrus fruit, I'd like to do something with them. Here are the results of my search so far:
  1. Saveur rose-hip tea

  2. U of Vermont Extension on Rose Hips preparation

  3. Rose hips marmalade and prep instructions

  4. more prep tips for rose hips

  5. recipes from Colorado for rose hips

  6. lots of uses for rose hips

  7. rose hip syrup

  8. more recipes, interesting....

  9. and my favorite: rose hip schnapps !!!

Just so every one remembers; inside of rose hips there are little barbed hairs that can cause lots of problems if eaten, so if you dry them and use them whole, you must strain through cheesecloth any possible seeds or hairs. I have not personally tried any of the above recipes yet--please let me know if YOU do!!

I'm excited b/c yesterday I went to the library and checked out a whole bunch books on knitting. One thing I have to say about my local library, they sure are stocked up on knitting books, new and old. I even found the out-of-print susanna lewis lace knitting book that is selling on Ebay for >$200!!!!! So I will be making some photocopies from that this weekend. And, that means I now have access to the Forest Path Stole pattern that I have been lusting after; that is the only pattern I would likely knit in the "Best of IK" book, so I have purposely not bought it. I love the library!

I just discovered the Knot Another Hat blog...a blog of a yarn store owner. Looks like a fun read, and inspiring with the knits!

We officially have grass! Yay, I was starting to wonder if it was too late in the season for the grass seed to sprout. Only problem is that the birdies were way too hungry and by the time it sprouted they had eaten big empty patches, especially in the back patch behind the patio. So I will be waiting until today's 50 mph winds blow past before I reseed some of the bald spots. I do not want those herbs and crap to grow again. After the seed comes in good, I will spread weed n feed to help it set up for the winter....

I raked leaves yesterday. Mild back issues when finished, so I will do no more yard work this weekend. I really need to attend to the downed tree limbs of 2 weeks ago, but that will have to wait. I can't afford to be off work again b/c of weekend warrior syndrome!

I made some crockpot chili yesterday. DH and I played scrabble Friday night and he beat the socks off me. DD had a black belt tip test Saturday; she has her 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and works as an instructor there part time. (She is also a Marine Corps Reservist, remember. One tough cookie!) I'm so proud of her. And DS is looking into a computers education. All's right with the world.

I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family and house, puppies and food, warm clothes and a job. Thank you God for such blessings. My heart and prayers go out to all who are losing their employment and looking at very tough financial times. Soon this election will be out of the way, and things can hopefully return to "normal." I'll say a prayer that it is so.

God bless you all this lovely Sunday. I'm off to pick rose hips while the garlic is roasting....then, to make grilled flatbread on the stovetop to spread the garlic over. mmmmmm Bye now.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Aaaaah, sweet weekend...

So. Looking. Forward. To. The. Weekend.

It has been another intense week at work. I think it must be a full moon ALL STINKING MONTH! Lots of crazies and wierdness going on. Our practice has never been busier. Two wakes to go to this week. Not a big fan of the adult "past-time" of going to wakes and funerals (I'd rather stay a 46 year old child and play all day), so this was a stretch for me. One wake I went to I did not know the deceased, but made an appearance to support the family member who we work with. The other was a dearly loved patient whose sudden demise left us all stunned. And what a beautiful family she has left behind....

Hardly any knitting got done this week: I knit on Moderne for 1-1/2 hours while watching Dog the Bounty Hunter on Wednesday night. That's it. So this weekend calls for some serious knit-time. I also feel that my back is healed enough for me to work on the remainder of the tree I cut down. Just, ya know, cutting and bundling the brush for removal. I will probably just do a small amount, so I don't start a bad chain of events again with my back!

My poor puppy has not had a walk in 3-4 days, and before that it had been 10 days. It's hard to walk a 75 lb dog that wants to pull you when your back is strained. So he has had to be content with running around in the back yard--luckily we have a large fenced-in yard. Another thing to do this weekend: walk the dog!

I did some web-surfing this week and have some fun links to show ya. I'll get on that soon. I still have to upload my pics from last weekend. Went to see my grampa in the hospital, and while there I took some cool photos. Also, because my back was still hurting from the weekend before, I made my bro drive home (4 hours) so I was reclining and taking photos of the amazing cloud formations as we came around the base of Lake Michigan. Love the sun-dogs. Love the scents of Michigan in the autumn. Love the crunchy hickory nuts underfoot. Aaaah.

Happy weekend y'all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The need to blog

I have this insatiable need to blog! Where have you been all my life, lovely blog?! It's such a blast, I totally miss it when I don't do it!

I have no subject for today's post. Though there are some issues I must work out and get off my chest, I don't want to subject my readers to all of my thoughts--what a horrifying freak show that would be for you, dear readers =D

So instead, I think I'll wax poetic. (You've been duly warned)

One of the most wonderful things I remember from my childhood is the lack of time-sense. Do you remember playing for hours and hours, what seemed like forever, without stopping except to eat, bathe and sleep?! I remember laying on the grass in the late summer afternoon, the coolness of the grass and it's scent surrounding me while I looked at the white fluffy clouds floating by overhead. Do you remember the early morning birdsong at your gramma's house? The smell of antique furniture? The sense of wonder in the garden that a seed you'd planted had sprouted and formed a mighty pumpkin plant?!

Do you remember wading in the mud puddles after a rain, and when Mom wasn't looking, sitting down in that warm muddy water?! I recall the view from every tree in our neighborhood park. Ice-skating on frozen puddles, sledding with all 4 of my brothers and my dad.

I miss that sense of freedom and one-ness with the present. I am so pulled about all day by things I HAVE to do; no wonder we need vacations! I think I need yoga again, to recreate that sense of being in the present. Of mindfulness. I could use the meditation (whoops, I almost wrote medication!) To slow me down. Give me time to think.

Waxing poetic is over now. (You have my permission to go and vomit) Now it's time to whine. Just kidding, I do enough of that for half the planet. I think I'll knit instead!

May your week be filled with new and glorious observations. And plenty of knitting time.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Uh oh

I'm starting to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The reason? I don't think I have enough yarn to finish my Summer Sampler Lace! I'm going to be so annoyed to work my way around this edging only to find out that I have to rip it out and come up with an edging that does not take up as much yarn! What the?! How do I let this happen all the time?!

I just made that same discovery with my Aran Wrap Cardi a week ago--gaaaah!

The problem I'm having with the summer sampler project is that the lace-wt yarn I used was some I'd purchased from China ( about a year ago. Their website had the colors pictured with the wrong color names, and when I ordered it I hoped I was getting an apple green yarn. Don't get me wrong, it was cheap, dirt cheap. But I have no interest in even trying to match up that yarn and buy another ball to finish my shawl. So I HAVE to make do with what I have.

Hmm. Maybe this is a sign to put these projects down and deal with gift-knitting that I've been putting off?! Both the projects I've been working on for myself are running into this trouble, and the 2 large Christmas gift projects are languishing in the corner. And time is running out for Christmas knitting!

Okay, I can read the writing on the wall. I'll worry about those "me" projects later! Sigh. (and maybe I'll get into researching another lace edging that uses less yarn and works well with the overall shawl. A learning process?--yes, maybe! As in "maybe I'll learn this time" to check my gauge, the yarn requirements, and other oddments I tend to ignore in the excited rush to make a new project!)

I have some marvelous nature pics from my weekend to share. But no time to upload them yet. Will bring 'em on later. Have a good week all!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Some stuff

Oh, look at the crocheted candidates for president! How hilarious is that?! I love it--if you make them, they'll probably be collectors items in the future!

Hah, I love that too much!!!

Also, I was reading Norah's blog--did you know she is offering a free pattern that is very swing-coat, Hanne Falkenberg reminiscent?! It is offered on her blog and her Ravelry group members are the test-knitters! How cool is that?! I love Norah Gaughan's stuff....wish I had some needles free at this point!

So there I was, surfing the Berroco free patterns site, when I came upon "Quixotic". For all you mosaic knitting lovers, this looks like the ultimate project! I love the way it looks in black and white, too! How pretty! I'm tempted....

And I'm still in love with Beatrice...I'm sure I posted about this in the spring. It looks so easy and quick--nothing like fast crochet garments in ripple stitch!!! I want to make this with some stash cotton.

Another beautiful (and free!) pattern is the Alexi throw. I love the color of yarn their sample is knit in, too.

Now, on to something I've been holding back--I can't keep it to myself anymore. I wanted to be able to show an FO of this before I posted the link, but that's not gonna happen. (I'm really backed up with Christmas knitting) So I'll share it now! I really want to make one of these starfish dishcloths. It's a great shape, and I love anything ocean-themed!!! Hope that might give you all an idea for gift-knitting....

Well, have a nice weekend. I'll be out of town, so no blogging til next week at least.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There's knitting going on

Oops, I did it again. I misjudged how much yarn I had for a project and, soon I'll be forced to put down the Aran Wrap Cardi. I just realized I only have 3 skeins of Cascade 220 left for that project, and I have the whole peplum and both sleeves left to knit! Huh? How'd I do that again?!

So now, I'm gonna have to look around online for probably another 8 balls of yarn to finish off my cardi. In obviously a different dye lot. Grrrr. I wanted to be done with yarn-buying for a while; not only that, I really thought I had enough yarn to knit this!! What was I thinking?! I guess that ~1980 yards is just not going to be enough for a full sweater in cables. Sigh. Should have checked the yardage when I started. Should-a, would-a, could-a...

I guess that will force me to work on Christmas presents. I have been knitting my lace and my cabled sweater for too long; it's mid-October and I have 2 blankets to finish. Time to get a move-on!

I also started a washcloth from Hakucho: the Circle Cloth. I love the high relief of this! I started that when I was home sick on Monday. It's a fun knit and a nice break from all my big projects. I was sleeping on my patio lounge chair, under my cotton ripple blankie (pictured under the Moderne in progress in my last post) and decided I really needed to knit another washcloth. It's been way too long =D

A photo will be coming of that project soon. DH is asleep in the room that's in, so no photo tonight (we're "tag-team sleeping" again--I take a 4-5 hour nap as soon as I get home from work, then get up just about the time he goes to bed at 11 or 12 PM. Very silly, and not on purpose!) I am going to do some spinning, though. Hope I remember how!!! Can't believe it's been about 6 months....

Work is crazy-intense. I think I just need to learn decompression techniques! I used to have a commute wherein I would deal mentally with my day and put it to rest before getting home. Now, I'm home in 7 minutes and sometimes can't turn off the work switch! Hence, immediately upon arriving home I'm either blogging, watching a mindless soap opera, or playing Empire Deluxe--a really great computer war game. I used this game for a mental escape while in PA school, to deal with stress; it's one of my favorite escapes. My brothers and I used to play each other online; now I just play against the computer, at least 3 games per week. There's a demo free at that site (the EDIE version is the one I use; can't save your game in progress, so I just leave it active and shrink it to the taskbar when I have to leave it)

And I wonder where my time goes...!

Oh, before I go, look at the amazing honey caramels here! Mmmm. Her latest post is about caramel apples--a must try!

Happy knitting all!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Moderne moves along...

DH and I went to see An American Carol last night. I knit on a Christmas present throughout the whole movie. And after it was done, I didn't have to rip out anything! My movie knitting is improving!

I enjoyed the movie. The bad part was trying to walk after sitting for an hour. My legs and back are in so much pain from the yardwork I did....I had to call in for a day off today as I can hardly move. Spending the day on the heating pad again!

That means some knitting will get done, and probably some computer time, but not much else. I sure hope this calms down by tomorrow.

Here are some pics of things that occurred this weekend:
The mown-down front flower bed with edging removed, ready for turning under. Those long leaves were daylilies and siberian iris leaves that look awful from the street when they are not blooming.

DH going to town with the tiller. That stupid thing broke before we were done with it--maybe we need >3.5 hp to till our awful thick clay soil....Oh, did I mention I also cut down a tree? Yes, I did that while DH tilled. I'm hurting, yes indeed.

See the brush at the top of the hill in front of our gate? I could only deal with 1/4 of what I had cut down. Poor DH, I just created more work for him, chopping wood and chopping down a stump :D

A surprise-nephew's b-day party~! He turned one year old :) You remember last year about this time I found out I was an auntie again--he was born in the ambulance on the way to the hospital as no one knew he was expected!!! That kind of stuff really happens, believe me! I think b/c he is such a laid back kid!

I turned this pan of frozen rolls into...

this! Yummy easy overnight caramel rolls! So good, so easy. I didn't have enough frozen rolls for the whole recipe so I halved it and put it in a 9" square cake pan instead of a bundt pan. It made just enough for the 3 of us. Mmm.

I weeded my flower bed and transplanted a small rododendron from that front bed we plowed under. This bush cracks me up, it's at least 7 years old and look how freaking small it is! (It's the "tall" plant in the center)It has cute flowers in the spring, though! This is probably the only flower bed I'll be able to keep up with from now on. Right by the front entry, I love all the happy flores....annuals and perennials and flowering bushes and trees!

A shot of the front of the house, now with grass seed in place. Oops, looks like we missed one clump of iris leaves, heh. (The other site we tilled is about twice this area! It's seeded, too.)

Grilled flatbread:

This stuff totally rocks, the rosemary, olive oil and salt give it a delicious flavor and there is nothing like hot chewy bread! Yummy, now one of my fav recipes! I got it from here.

And now for some long-overdue knitting. Sorry, this is supposed to be a knitting blog mostly, but ya know, life takes over =)

Here is the progress on Moderne:
BTW, I recommend that book (clickety)

And I'm slowly working up the first long side of the Summer Sampler lace--see how the edging is going to look?
I couldn't read the corner chart to save my life, and after 3 tries, I just decided to miter it myself along the lines of the pattern. So it's hole-y looking at the corner. I hope that diminishes when I block it, but if not, I'll just live with it!

Messy but happy:
--the story of my life!

Happy Monday, y'all!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yardwork catch-up

I couldn't sleep this AM, so I surfed the internet.

DH and I did some major weekend-warrior type yardwork yesterday, and my quadriceps are KILLING ME! But that's better than the low back pain I went to bed with--bordering on back strain. Thank God for heating pads. I have to be careful today....

So that means no carrying baskets of laundry up and down stairs! YAY, I'm off the hook! (Actually I did the majority of it Friday night)

Today's plan
1. spread grass seed
2. knit
3. grill our yummy steak and some mahi mahi fillets from Trader Joes
4. make grilled flatbread too--I'll let ya know how that turns out!

Today brings the pleasant chore of spreading grass-seed into our newly defunct flower beds. They were so overgrown I've been really embarrassed by the lack of curb appeal our house has had. If I wasn't sick nearly every freaking weekend, I'd have been more ahead of the game. Really. I do love to be outside, but no time anymore. One of the flowerbeds we removed was a large one I put in while I was waiting to get into PA school--guess I didn't realize how little time I'd have to garden while in school and getting my career up and running!

So I heave a huge sigh of relief that soon these two former eyesores will be re-incorporated into the grass of our lawn. So much easier to care for. We rented a rototiller for $18--let's see, that's about $400 less than what I would have bought one for!!! Yay, savings!

And maybe with these crappy areas under control, next year I might feel like trying to grow a couple of tomato plants. I have been very reluctant to undertake any new plantings! (I'm thinking of all the $$$$ in plants we just plowed under, but really it was too much to dig up scattered tulip and daffodil and crocus bulbs to move--I'm thinking it will be fun if they come up in the new lawn areas in the spring, and after flowering I will either move them or just mow them down....I'd really love to plant some scilla in the front yard and let it go crazy in a few years. But then, we'll probably be living in Hawaii at that point.)

Don't you love planting fall bulbs?! That was one thing I always swore I'd never stop planting, yet I have (same reason--time). I miss doing that.

The Bears are playing right now--gotta go knit! I'll be back later =)

Meanwhile, check out some of my morning's surfing:

DONUTS, yeah baby!
Jigzone--some online puzzles!
Homemade Poptarts recipe~!
Astronomy Pic of the Day from NASA
Nani's Indian Cooking--I'm gonna add this to my webroll. Yum

And a couple of really thought-provoking sites:
I'm liking theGodguy's take on America's economy. Bringing me back to the Simple September principles. I like this budget-tightening, yes I do.

And A Disgruntled Republican --very interesting for conservatives, since much of the opposition press is squelching anything in the mainstream media that might hurt their candidate (like Obama's links to the voter-registration-fraud group ACORN, a terrorist named Ayers who actually bombed the Capitol Building in the 70s, and his own racist-spewing church pastor/priest. I'm so sure you can go to a church where the leadership speaks like that and you won't know that's his stand on things. Uh-huh.) Yeh, how much have we heard about this? Very very little....

Don't believe me? Want more info? Check out theAmerican Issues website for the scare tactics liberals are using (as usual, dirty politics one and all) to silence our freedom to know the facts about our candidates.

Happy and informed election year!

10-15-08ETA: while I liked thegodguy's take on the economy, further reading into his blog brings me a lot of concerns. Please keep this in mind if you visit that blog--I'm not sure what kind of religious liberalism this is, but I don't agree with most of his views; he does a lot of ripping on Christianity, which I find offensive, especially if you are calling yourself "theGodguy".

Friday, October 10, 2008


I'm so wiped out. Don't even ask about my day. Very thankful I am that both my DH and I have jobs. Yet OTOH I really miss being a housewife. Sigh. (And, I'm tired of catching everything on the job, especially scabies, stomach flu, strep throat, every cold virus known to man, and bronchitis.)The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence, I know, I know.....

I have finished my audited telecourse videos. That was really fun. Now I am trying to squeeze in reading the text each night. So glad I don't have to study for tests or write papers. No way would I get it done.

But watching videos to learn from while knitting is double duty in my free time, and I really like that. Suweeeeeet!

I got a new pattern book: Norah Gaughan volume 2. This volume had the most patterns I'd like to try. Right now though, my knitting seems to be bogged down in BIG LONG-TERM PROJECTS! (did you know that's the name of a Ravelry group? OF COURSE I'm in it. Heh.)

Since there seems to be such incremental movement forward on my projects, the picture's I could show would be BORING. Instead, I'll just give an update on my knits in progress:

1. Two blankies for Christmas gifts. Not lap-ghans, but good big blankies. One is the Moderne Log Cabin from Mason Dixon, the other is funky flower grannies by Krochet Krystal (see link on sidebar)

2. Summer Sampler Lace Shawl. That edging is c-r-e-e-p-i-n-g along....

3. Aran Wrap Cardi. I'm still in love with this project. Wish I was farther along, but that's what you get when your attention is divided among 4 large projects!

Soon I'll probably need to knit a washcloth just for the sense of accomplishment of FINISHING SOMETHING!!!

Hope you all have a nice weekend. Me, I'm overwhelmed with all the things to do, as usual. "Serenity NOW"



Saturday, October 4, 2008

At Risk of Sounding, Um, Repetitive...

I received another lovely blog award from Hakucho! Thanks so much, Deb. Isn't she sweet?!

Okay, I'll try not to "toot my own horn" anymore =) But I do appreciate this award.

But now, I think I'm done doing memes and awards (see sidebar!) This recent spate of them makes me really feel part of a community, but it takes so long to pick out and link to 7 other winners, that I think I'll bestow this award on anyone who writes a blog I have listed in the blogroll...I love all these blogs!

(There is one blog I've followed for a year for the lovely location shots, which I had to remove from my blogroll due to it's being overtaken by pushy, obnoxious, political comments on every post. There's just no point in directing people to that or listing it as if I enjoy it anymore. It's really annoying, actually. I wish that the election year was over already...and that people would exercise restraint. Oh, well.)

I finished one side of my shawl edging! Yay. Now I need to get a circular size 5 needle to pick up stitches along the long edge of my shawl. Any suggestions as to a good versatile length for a circ that I might re-use in future lacework? Would a 26" or 30" be good? I have to be picking up almost 400 stitches per long side in laceweight yarn....I guess I could check the pattern suggestions too! (Whodathunk?)

Because that lace came to a screeching halt, I picked up my Aran Wrap Cardi again, and just made the second armhole last night. I had a glass of wine, some lasagna & garlic bread, and then started knitting. Perfect end to a rough work week.

I am doing one armhole of the Aran wrap cardi by binding off/casting on like Vogue suggested, and the other armhole is done by leaving live stitches on stitch holders. I want to see the difference between them when I pick up the sleeve stitches. And, because the tweed Cascade yarn I'm using is so "busy" when you look at it up close, whatever the difference between the sleeves will not be too visible! At least, that's my theory =)

Knitting Media:
I am enjoying the videos for the telecourse in archeology that I am auditing. It's fun to watch those while knitting away, and very interesting. Much better than junk t.v. I hate sitcoms! I forgot I had a couple sets of CDs with studies of classical music and favorite authors...bought expressly for knitting to! What a fun way to relax and learn at the same time! They were quite a bargain at Borders....

I have been hit by the noisome virus going around. It is the worst cold I can remember. Just awful dizziness and upper pharyngeal/nasal inflammation and nausea. I feel ragged after this week. Every time I turn my head the room spins. I wish there was a med I could take that wouldn't knock me out. Right now, sitting very still is the only fix, and knitting/surfing have been my saving grace after work--taking my mind off my discomfort and keeping my head still!!!

This weekend is going to be about getting my size 5 circs, and possibly the new Mason Dixon book. I'll have to run to my fav LYS to get those, and it's about 15-20 miles from here. (I wonder if I can drive that far this dizzy? Hmmm) And that's it. I'm not spending any other money. How I'd love to get that cement patio, new fridge, leather chair, or laminate flooring I've had designs on (for years!) But, no. This month no bonus spending.

What the?:

Huh? Who'd dress their kid like this?! Unless it's a halloween costume for the Michelin Man...

My blog posting may be sporadic now. So sorry! I have many great links I'd like to share, but I need to spend my time elsewhere at this busy time of year. Adieu! And happy knitting :)