Friday, November 30, 2007


Row 1135 out of 1140! I will be done knitting tomorrow and then I get to do tassels! I have decided not to mail it 'cause I would not want it to cross paths with DTY on her way home from school. Pictures soon!

My current instructions

I am supposed to be thinking about where I want to go out for dinner on Tuesday night. I wonder why? And where?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ideal setting to drink coffee

Our weekly "Getting To Know You" post for the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap is about our ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee. My ideal setting is my back porch on a beautiful morning. This is my favorite rocking chair to sit in and enjoy my coffee and yard. I am happy to be out there alone or to share the time, space and view with my family and our dogs. Sometimes I take my knitting out with me, but sometimes it just sits idle in my lap as I take in the view, the birds, and the beauty of it all. This time of year I am much happier drinking my coffee inside the house and am really happy with the coffee Hubband brings me most mornings before I even get up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving weekend

Hubband's mother came out here from AZ for the week of Thanksgiving, and on Wednesday his brother and wife came from SLC. It was really great to have them here as well as DTE. We had a wonderful visit, watched a movie, played games and showed them about the area. Our SIL had lived here when she was very young while her father did some of his medical training here at The Clinic. Yep, that's its name around here. (Click on the link to see what the rest of the world knows it as.) So, anyway, we went to see the house she had lived in years ago and met the folks that live there now. It turns out they are the people that bought the house from her folks and they remembered her parents names and her dad's specialty! That was pretty cool! It was a great weekend all in all and everyone had a wonderful time.

DTE was very glad to have the chance to come home for the long weekend and meet the new kitten. She had a good time playing with Oribel, and Oribel seemed to have a great time attacking DTE's feet, hands, hair, etc. Hope DTY likes her as well when she comes home in two-and-a-half weeks. Oh yeah, she'll like her too.

SP 11 package #2

Yesterday's mail involved a present for me! And it isn't even my birthday! (That would be next week.) I got a Secret Pal package full of wonderful yarn, knitting patterns, chocolate, special soap and tea. All very cool!

One of the extra cool things about the yarn? Hubband and I both agree that the colors of the yarn remind of the sagebrush in bloom on the west desert near where we grew up! It is really cool to see yarn the color of my childhood! I love this yarn!
My Secret Pal, aka Secret Ann, picks the best presents!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What I am thankful for

I am constantly most thankful for my family. The family that traveled to hell and back together and love each other all the more. The family full of unconditional love and forgiveness.
I am also thankful for the family that held us up without ever telling us how to travel the journey that we were on. The ones that couldn't do it for us and knew we had to find our own way.
I am thankful for family that has stayed family, the family that has joined our lives, and the family that has gone one before and we still miss every day.
Thank you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bird feeding update

My basic Bird Suet recipe:
Melt over low heat in a large pan
2 cups (16 oz. brick) lard
2 cups chunky Peanut Butter

When melted, remove from heat and carefully stir in:
4 cups oatmeal
4 cups cornmeal
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
extra peanuts, raisins, bread scraps, 1/2 to 2/3 cup crushed egg shells (particularly good for breeding/nesting season)

Pour into a parchment paper lined pan (not absolute, but makes it a lot easier to remove later!), let cool for 15-20 minutes, mark into blocks and place in freezer for about an hour (or until you remember to take it out). Break into blocks, place in a plastic bag and store in the freezer until ready to feed. You could melt in one pan and transfer to a big bowl if you didn't want to have to worry about burning small people with the large hot pan. (Not that I have ever done something like that, or burned myself. Nope, never. Never cut myself with a knife either.)
I put slightly crushed up bran flakes in the last batch and some extra bird seed mix.

I really don't know the science of how birds find their food, that is something Hubband and I have often wondered too. Anybody out there a birder and know the answer?

Everyone likes home cooked meals better

I usually make my own suet, but sometimes I run out and have to buy some. I have noticed that those don't disappear as fast as mine do. Last week I was able to do a side by side comparison. It has been a week and the birds still haven't finished even half of the store bought one, even though it has been moved to the suet cage. They have gone through a lot of bird seed after they had completely finished their "home cooked meal," about three hours after I put it out. (This was after about thirty to forty minutes. They started out as about the same size.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Knitters' Coffee Swap 3

My Knitters' CoffeeSwap 3 box from Laurie came today. I forgot to take a picture before I opened it, but did get one right after.

I got everything unwrapped and drooled over, but needed to take it to the portrait studio. Oribel decided that she needed to look everything over before I could move it.

Once the box was emptied, the inside also needed inspecting and Sadie had to get in on the "sniffing every possible surface of the box" action.
Laurie sent me some awesome stuff. First off there is great looking coffee and a cup to drink it out of, and sock yarn to knit with while drinking the afore mentioned coffee. There is also a nice bag to carry the knitting in and some stitch markers that she made.

Laurie also sent treats for the whole family to share. Well, stuff for the people members to share with each other, and stuff for the animal members to share. There is also mystery to read and cookies to nibble.

(I think Sadie has been reading over my shoulder and wants to imitate Wes.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007


DTE's hat fits and she likes it! (I don't have a picture of her in it yet, maybe while she is home for Thanksgiving.)
I am still working on Dr. Who, but making progress. I think it will be done before DTY gets home from school in December, but maybe not in time to make it worth mailing to her. We'll have to see how much time I get after Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll just spend my whole birthday working on it. (That would be in just barely over two weeks for those that are now wondering.)

Somebody is busy trying to teach herself how to open the cupboard doors. Somebody also has decided she really doesn't like being squirted with water.

Last weekend's painted gift has reached its new home, and my uncle loves it.

I made him an "Owl in a Bucket".
Just because it seemed like something only a select number of people could rightfully own, so they should!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What I knit as the cold settles in (aka WWCS post)

As it gets cold here my thoughts of what all I want to knit expands, but doesn't really change. What I am knitting doesn't really change that much either. I mean I have this scarf I need to finish after all (I am on row 943 out of 1140!!!). However since I need that knitter's gratification thing (Is it done yet? Is anything done yet?), I toss in a dish cloth or two, or a hat, and I might just start a sock or something. I always have more ideas of what to make (be that knitting, cooking, beading, sewing, or whatever) than I really have going at any given time.
As soon as I finish this scarf up, I have a sweater I promised a young man this summer. I also keep thinking about fingerless mitts or fold-back mittens though, does thinking about adding projects count?

I have been thinking about knitting a bed for a certain someone, but she seems to have adopted a shawl I made several years ago for my grandmother as her personal daytime sleeping spot.(You know, sleeping, when she isn't climbing on or into something or place.)

Note to self

Note to Self (and anyone else that might in the future have access to cupboards in the kitchen house), "Keep the cupboard doors closed at all times." Other note to self, "Cookbooks on top of the microwave don't block access to the counter, they just make it easier to get into the cupboard and look at all the pretty dishes. Oh, and Self, don't forget to wash the clean plates, bowls, etc. before you use them." Maybe I'll skip a step, just put the plates/bowls in the cupboard after dinner and then wash them when I want to use them. Uh, no, I'll just wash them twice now. Damn, my dry skin is going to love this.
Note to Hubband, "As you well know, it is a good thing she is so damn cute. It helps insure that she will still be alive when you get home from AMIA." I promise.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Our weekend

Friday morning started out cold, but

with a little help from the furnace and a couple of pieces of bread, the dogs didn't seem to mind the cold at all.

Oribel had no cares about the temperature anywhere, she just wanted to explore every possible surface she could.


Saturday involved some great knitting time for me.
I took advantage of Oribel taking a long nap to get some sock knitting in. Giotto's cuff is a picot hem, which required knitting five rounds, knitting a round of yarn-over, knit two together (this makes an eyelet or hole without changing the actual stitch count), and then five more rounds of knitting. For the next round you then fold over the eyelet row and pick up the matching cast on stitch to the one you are working and knit them together. This produces a "sewn" style hem cuff. I have never done one of these before and was very excited about how it turned out. I was also glad that she took such a long nap so I could get it to a good stopping point.

Later on I did some more knitting that wouldn't be damaged if I had help. I can't really show you all much more than this, 'cause it might wind up being a gift, and I just never know who is reading this.

After dinner Hubband and I watched a movie and I got a lot more knitting in. This time I got just a tiny bit of help and then another long nap was had on my helper's part.

Sunday was not big on the napping or knitting. I think she is making up for yesterday in more ways than one. All morning seemed to be non-stop running all over the house, chasing things, carrying around her various treasures, hiding Hubband's belt under the bed, and who really knows what all else. Fortunately he found the one he wanted just before he and his suitcase had to dodge an attack kitten on the stairs.

I did a little bit of painting today, but it definitely is a gift and I do know who is reading this time!

Miss Orebel managed to keep herself busy by doing whatever stretching she needed to look into things she hasn't seen before. Who knew cats stood on their tippy-toes?
She has continued to work on ways to climb over the microwave, so we tried putting "ScratchNotTape on the counter areas around it where she was walking. That didn't work out very well in the long run. Her reaction to discovering it with the first step was to chew at the edges to pull it up. She actually got a little corner of one of three pieces up. Then she just realized that if she stepped on it a few times it wasn't very sticky anymore and she just started walking across it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Boy, I hope midnight means my time zone

Since Anne is a well practiced hostess of many dish cloth swaps and is one of our co-hostesses for the WWCS, we have mini-contests each week about our relationship to coffee. The idea of this is so our secret spoilers can get to know us a little better and what we might like. (Hi unknown spoiler person!)
So this week is all about when we started drinking coffee, why, and when the real passion of/with coffee began. Without further delay, here is a little new information about me (and maybe a few family members). When I was a small child (less than sixth grade) I would occasionally taste my mom's coffee but I never thought it tasted very good (maybe in retrospect it was the sugar). I never tasted my dad's hot coffee because he was long gone to work each morning by the time I got up. (I believe he may have spirited coffee off to work in a thermos; I certainly heard stories about all the thermoses going through the security x-rays unsuccessfully.) However, I do remember his iced coffee on a hot summer Saturday afternoon. It was yummy and I loved watching the milk hit the coffee in the clear glass and the awesome swirlyness. That was yummy coffee, but not quite as good as my brother's ice tea. Lucky for me he was around every day to make it for me. Good thing he also taught me how.
I first really started drinking coffee around the time I was a senior in High School or so. I worked at a Denny's restaurant and it was always there and to be pretty OK coffee. It was at this time I learned that I do not really care for sugar in my coffee unless the coffee is ice cold and also has milk added to it. Part of the starting to drink it then was about the caffeine, but it was also a social thing in a lot of ways. Drinking coffee and hanging out with friends as well as with co-workers on the job. It was also the smell of coffee that I loved and always had since I was little. Plus there is nothing like a nice warm mug to wrap your hands around! But it was also definitely about the caffeine after I started college while working full time!
My true passion for coffee began in 1981, shortly after John opened The Salt Lake Roasting Co.. The smell of the coffee roasting was enough to make me salivate walking down the street, and the taste Morning Thunder was my first true coffee love! of I started drinking his coffee whenever I could (but obviously not at work),and have never bought the likes of Folgers for my kitchen cupboards. Small batch roasting truly makes a difference! Oh, and SLRC is a very cool place to hang out in Salt Lake City. Just ask my girls and they don't even drink coffee!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cat Math

If you take one of these,

And add one of these,


This is what you get.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The pictures I promised and didn't deliver

So I had promised some updated pictures of DTE's hat and DTY's scarf, but failed to give them to you when I had planned to. Turns out that the antics of a Basset Hound and a kitten are very draining to a camera as well as humans, and it needed time to eat and rest up. I am hoping a day or two late is better than not at all.
The scarf is almost eight feet long now and is about three-fourths of the way done. Yeah, it isn't going quite as fast as I had hoped, but I am spending more time on it recently and so it is moving along. It will be going to weekly knitting a Dunn Brothers again tomorrow, so will get at least another forty-plus rows added to it.

I finished the hat while the camera was eating, so instead of a WIP, you get a FO picture. I am happier with how the fabric feels on this version, but apparently I have tension issues with two-handed knitting. (Well maybe it has to do with two slightly different sized yarns. One is worsted and one is Aran, but I am guessing it is me.) It pulls in and is smaller around in the two-color section, at least it did before I washed it and put it on The Head to block. I am hoping it will be better when it is dry, if not I will be seeking advice tomorrow at knit night. Fortunately I know a Blue Ribbon Knitter I can get help from.
Then I just have to see what DTE thinks. Maybe she will be happier with it than I am, but I will be more than happy to knit her another one. I am still not sure the "pulling in part" will fit her. Plus I am not really sure that the yarn was as contrasty as she was expecting. But it defiantly looks like a trout. Not enough left over to make mittens, but I do know where to buy more, be it for mittens or a hat.
On another note, for some time now Hubband and I had been suspecting that the two of us were having mice problems and it was confirmed the other day. So we went to the store to get something to fix the problem. So far it seems to be resolved. Apparently two tailless mice get into more conflicts with each other than one with a tail and one without.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The best I can do

Well, that maybe a bit of a misstatement, but it is the best I could do at the moment for those of you wanting more pictures of Oribel. The fact that I got any of the following pictures is pretty remarkable! Not so many full pictures of her, but Sadie is pretty darn cute too. Plus you might get a better feeling for "Bag." Not much else to say, except this is picture heavy. Hope you enjoy it!







I am pretty sure they will all enlarge if you click on them.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

How does this happen?

Have you ever noticed that the time seems to go by a lot faster now than it did thirty-five or forty years ago? Now maybe that isn't true for some of you, and I am more than willing to believe that it has something to do with being almost forty-six instead of somewhere between six and eleven years old. Oddly enough, Hubband and I were just talking about this very thing the other day,and discussing different examples. Like how Christmas seems to come around a lot sooner than it used to; how you plan to call the insurance agent to change your coverage because you just dropped the last kid off at college, and all of a sudden it is weeks (almost months) later; you know, stuff like that?
OK, so you are probably wondering where I am going with this. Well, I had kind of lost track of when the last time I posted here was. I can't say that I have been horribly busy and not had time. I mean, I was doing stuff like reading, knitting, cooking, beading, washing dishes, stuff like that. Nothing that I couldn't have set aside to actually tell you all what I was doing. The time just went by faster than I realized. Sorry, did you miss me?
I did get to the point of decreases on DTE's Fake Isle Hat while I wasn't here, and decided that it just wasn't going to fit her. It barely fit me, and my head is a bit smaller than hers, so I frogged the whole thing. I originally had figured that if it didn't fit her, I would give it to someone else and just make a second one for her, but I didn't like the way the fabric felt. It was just too tight and not stretchy. I started over tonight with the next size needles and am much happier with the results. I am up to the third row of the first chart. It seems to be knitting up faster this time around; I think that is a combination of looser fabric on the right size needles and some of the "been here, done this." I have also been working away on DTY's Dr. Who scarf and will give you progress pictures of that and the hat tomorrow.
I will also admit that I am still being somewhat distracted by the antics of Oribel. I get really distracted with the combination of her plus Sadie. They are getting along quite well and seem to have invented some games to play together. Their favorite seems to be something Hubband and I refer to as "Bag." Kind of hard to describe, but it involves the cat being in the bag and poking the sides to get Sadie's attention. Then Sadie noses the sides of the bag and Oribel bats about at her. Sooner or later Sadie gets to stick her nose right inside the bag and she never gets hurt. Apparently Oribel doesn't use her claws at all when she is playing with the dogs, just when she is playing with Hubband, me, or yarn. They are a lot of fun to watch and we are really glad that they get a long so well. Now if only Oribel would stop crying at the garage door whenever the dogs go on their walk, or just let me put a harness on her so she can go too!