Friday, February 29, 2008

More Hats

Hat #4 and I are having issues, but it might be back on track. Here is how the rest of the week in hats has been shaping up.


#6 Ray's Hat


What I did last weekend

Yeah, maybe I am running a little behind here....
Last week I decided to make tamales for our Sunday night pot-luck, so I started on Friday night with putting the meat in the slow cooker all night. Then on Saturday I made the meat mixture, the red sauce, the tamale dough, soaked the corn husks, and assembled the tamales. I waited until Sunday afternoon to steam them so they would be nice and hot for dinner.
Most of the pictures I took of the process didn't turn out supper well, I think it had something to do with taking them one handed with the other hand a bit messy. I should have just asked Hubband to come run the camera for five minutes, but as you can tell, I didn't. I think you will still get the general idea of how it was done. (You might only notice the lack of picture quality when you click on them.)

Everything in place.

Dough and meat spread on corn husk.

Wrapped up in the husk and ready to put in the steamer.

Cooked and almost ready to eat.

Fresh, hot tamale with tasty red sauce all ready to eat. (I made twenty-nine plenty for both the pot-luck and for us to have leftovers the next day.) They are excellent with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt too!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Book Group

So the previous "Tag" post was done in a bit of a hurry just before Hubband and I left for book group where we discussed Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. We (the whole book group) highly recommend this book. We all mentioned how we haven't run across any one who has read it and not enjoyed it. Now if any one out there falls into that category, I would really be interested in knowing why. There were a couple of folks who said they had talked to people that just didn't want to read it because there is some violence and cruelty. I can understand not wanting to read it for such reasons,and I don't think I would suggest a twelve-year-old read it; or maybe even a fourteen-year-old without a parent read-a-long. I think there is difference between that and not enjoying the writing style, the story, etc. I truly would be interested in hearing the whys and wherefores of it not being enjoyed if there is anyone out there that falls into that category.
There is a brief synopsis at the link above in case any of you are wondering what it is about. Feel free to let me know what you think. Kind of an on-line/comment book discussion.
I love hearing more than one opinion on stuff, especially books.

I've been tagged and am passing it on

Jane tagged me the other day and I am finally following through with my end of the deal. Here goes---

The Rules--

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 (or more) pages.

2.Open the book to page 123 and find the 5th sentence.

3. Post the next 3 sentences.

4. Tag 5 people

1. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
2. check
"What is it" calls August.
"Did Clive feed the cats?"
His face appears in the crack of the flap.

4. I tag (and will probably regret at least a couple of these)

I thought about tagging my uncle, but since I wasn't sure he would still talk to me if I did. Maybe he could be bribed with a blue football dishcloth...
(Maybe he'll even play without an "official" tag.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

One answer

I think that this could begin to explain some things in life.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Coffee, coffee, coffee

Look, Anne is having another Coffee Swap! Any guesses as to what I will be adding to my Spring "To Do List"?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gifts Revealed

The last package that I had sent with some gift knitting in it has been received, so I am going to let the rest of you see what has been on and off my needles lately. (For those of you that wish to see that is, I'm sure you know how to not look if you don't want to. If you don't, I am thinking that would be your problem to work on, not mine.)

I made a pair of Fetchings for my mom. She likes them and said they will be nice for when her hands get cold in the house. (Which is good, 'cause that was kind of the effect I was going for!)

I know Sharon has been busy lately and hasn't had time to post about her Defeat the Winter Doldrums box even though she and her family are enjoying everything. I will show you the knitting I sent her, especially since some of you reading this probably don't read very many knitting blogs. First off she got a football dishcloth in Eagles Green,

and she also got a variegated blue and white one, which I made out of Plymouth Fantasy Naturale. I had never used it before but you can be sure that I will be again!

I had decided to participate in the WhoDuKnit January Mystery Knit-A-Long. We were given clues, starting with “grab some worsted weight yarn from your stash” and then the knitting instructions were doled out in pieces over a couple of weeks. This is what I had when I was done and you can read more about it here if you want. So those are the knitted items that I sent in the DWD box to Sharon.

(#1) I believe that is it on gift knitting, but I will toss out some pictures of my first three hats; number four and number five are on the needles. Number four is this hat this hat in the same red yarn as #1. Number five is the same as #3, except that the spiral is going the other way. (#2 and #3 are the same yarn, but #3 without the flas is closer to the real color.)



In the rest of life, a friend is coming over with his snow blower to clean off our driveway. I asked him what I could do to repay the favor and he assured me that I didn't need to. It seems that he just wants an excuse to play with his small tank blower and since his drive is done, ours gets to be a Saturday playground. So of course I made him bread. His wife was trying to convince me it wasn't necessary, but I explained that I just needed to bake and didn't really need bread quite yet, so it worked out really well for all parties concerned. I am kind of glad he is coming over, since we are supposed to get somewhere in the neighborhood of four to six inches of snow on Monday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Late post and snow stories

Suzanne tagged me some time ago for the "You make My Day" Award. I will admit to being a bit surprised, but will say a big "Thanks!" Since I am so late in posting about it, I might wind up tagging someone who has already been hit, so am going to skip that part. If are reading this and want to play, leave me a note and post on your blog about who makes your day!
Today started out just fine and wonderful. It involved baking cookies for a couple of packages I am mailing to college students tomorrow. I also made granola yesterday for one of the boxes. (The other box isn't too crazy about granola, but will be getting other yummy things.) Then I worked on an overdue post, but saved it for later while I took Hubband out to the airport. Of course since I was already out and way past the other side of town I ran a few errands on my way home. Unfortunately when I got home, the very thing I have been a bit worried about happened. My car got stuck in the snow in our driveway. We have had a fair amount of snow, the wind has blown a fair amount more onto the drive, and we haven't really shoveled it much this year. Normally this isn't a problem for my car, but the carpet cleaners got stuck last week and we had to push them out, so that chewed up the snow quite a bit. Then a friend almost got stuck as he slid around on Sunday, so that chewed some more up. (The propane delivery truck had no trouble yesterday, but I am sure that all that weight was the saving factor.) Well, thank goodness for very kind neighbors and their tractor to pull me out of the drift I had managed to slide on/into and get very stuck. He also scooped off a bucket load of snow on his way out of the drive. If the snow we are getting tonight doesn't cover it up, maybe you'll get a picture of it tomorrow.
Oh, have I ever mentioned that we have a steep slope from the road down to our garage? That doesn't always help either. I'll leave you with a picture of our driveway last spring, without any snow. Not at all what it looks like now and not the best view of the slope, but it is green!

A busy and I was spoiled Saturday

Saturday three of us went on the road trip to get our Yarn Harlot tickets as planned. Yarn was purchased too; I had no idea that Malabrigo made a merino silk blend!
Fortunately, R2D2 was more than willing to pose for us while hanging out at his corner near The Yarnery on our way to lunch. Apparently there is one available for home use. (Hopefully those of you that needed a Valentine box were happy with what you had, but you can always keep this in mind for next year.)
We did stop in at Ikea and got the cabinets I needed, but we decided to skip the knitting event at the MOA.

When I got home after dropping the others off, I found a box on my porch. I was pretty sure it was going to be my Defeat The Winter Doldrums Dishcloth box, and it was. The very cool thing was that it was from Jessi! She did an excellent job of not letting me know she was my secret spoiler during our regular email exchanges, so I was totally surprised upon discovery of who my spoiler was!

Sadie really wanted to help take this picture "our" presents.

Simon and Sadie both love their "Munchy Sticks" and Oribel adores her catnip critter. So much so, that she ripped out the seam and I had to sew it back together.

Jessi also sent great stuff for me, and Hubband. Chocolates, coffee, cookies, Bert's Bees stuff, notepads, Fiesta Boomerang Malibu, P&C Desert Sunset, and she made me stitch markers!

Of course there was a dishcloth and special soap, plus she sent me the needles I had been looking for! She also sent a gift certificate to Harvest Moon dishcloth designs!

I (and everyone in my household) have been totally spoiled by her!

Hubband and I finished the evening of with putting one of the cabinets together, with a certain amount of help.
She seems to like being inside it, until she realizes the door is closed and she can't leave. Of course, as soon as we open the door and Oribel could leave, she is very content to be in there.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dishcloth links

For those of you wanting the sheep dishcloth patterns, here are the links/info. Out Like a Lamb Dishcloth, is the natural colored one.
The black one is by Terri Brimm and I found it in the file called "Terrb's patterns" in the Monthly Dishcloth KAL. I have found several cool patterns there, some that have worked out well for gifts/swaps. (I think it is worth the sign up for the pattern access; I am on the digest mailing and it goes to my Yahoo account.)
This is Bobbles, another one that I thought about doing, but didn't get done before the “project deadline.” Of course, that doesn't mean I won't still make it!

Knitting pictures

January's WhoDuKnit book was Three Bags Full, your basic "flock of sheep try to figure out who committed the murder" mystery.

These two dishcloths are my project for it. One can never have too many dishcloths after all!

I think I will be able to post pictures of some of my gift knitting soon. I know my Defeat the Winter Doldrums downstream has gotten her package, but I am going to let her post first.
I have my second Lenten Hat almost done. I finished the first one on Wednesday and cast the second one on afterwards. I think I will finish up the second so that I will have a new one for tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One way toward safety

I will be going on a road trip Saturday to buy a couple of these. I am hoping they will take their new job seriously. The only things that are safe from Oribel around here are inside cupboards and that isn't working out well for our viewing pleasure. Since I have awesome rocks, I figure we should be able to look at them somewhere other than rolling around on the floor. (Don't ask. Wait for the pictures. It is kind of a long story.) I figure as long as I have driven that far I might as well stop in across the street to check out the big weekend knitting event in the Twin Cities. Oh, and pick up tickets for April's road trip .

Road trip anyone?

Stephanie posted this today
April 10 รข€“St. Paul Minnesota, The Yarnery, St. Paul Minnesota, 840 Grand Avenue, Telephone: 651-222-5793, Time: 7pm Contact: This event (and signing) will be held at: O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium University of Saint Thomas, 2115 Summit AVE, Saint Paul, MN
***This is a free event but you need a ticket. Pick up your tickets @ the Yarnery. Limit 2 per person. Campus Map The O'Shaughnessy Educational Center is #4 on the map. The Yarnery suggests that knitters park in the ramp shown as R1 and most easily accessed from Cretin Avenue and follow the campus signs to the auditorium.

More info for other areas can be found here Yarn Harlot Tour.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sort of catching up

So I am sure you have noticed that I have been a negligent blogger. I promise you pictures soon, and then it days until I deliver. Trust me, blogging isn't the only thing I am behind on. I have also promised people emails and they are still waiting for those. (Unfortunately they might still have to wait for another couple of days; hopefully they won't write me off as a lost cause, leave, and never talk to me again. If they did, I might have to dig up some frozen worms to eat. Hi Cass!) I am also a bit behind on some house cleaning. Not that that is really anything new, but we are having our carpets cleaned this week, so I have been working like crazy to get ready for that. Plus my normal life stuff (which doesn't usually involve house cleaning). Anyhow, this is my finished Koolhaas hat. It is much better looking in person and I should have re-taken the picture so you would have a better one to look at, but that might have meant you would have to wait several more days. (Guess what? Hubband just asked me if I was updating my blog. I told him I was and he said it was a good thing as it was getting boring since it hadn't changed in days. So I will just remind myself that bad pictures are better than no pictures.) My hat is very warm and toasty, which is an important thing, since we have been having sub-zero air temperatures with -35°F or lower wind chill for days now.

This is a view of our refrigerator. We have "fractured sayings" refrigerator magnets, which have been a great source of amusement for many people over the years. Hubband used to have these on the file cabinet in his office and folks had a lot of fun with them there. When he started working at home, they took up residence on the fridge. Both of the girls wish that these were still available for their domiciles.(Please ignore the dirty refrigerator; that is some of the house cleaning I didn't do.)

The magnets seem to still be a source of great amusement, but I wish she would quit carrying them off and leaving them about the house. In addition to magnets and coasters, Oribel has a great love of bubble-wrap. She has a couple of pieces that she hauls around with her when the mood strikes her. She stores them either in her bathroom, carefully pulling them through the hole in the gate or pushing them under it, or under the defunct dishwasher, again very carefully pushing it under there when she isn't using it. As near as we can figure, the bubble wrap is being kept safe from the dogs. Not that I have ever noticed the dogs paying any attention to it when she has it out and about. Yesterday she was down in the basement and hauled something up and now she isn't allowed down there anymore. Hubband and I haven't been able to figure out where she found the piece of fiberglass insulation to play with, but we don't think it is a very good toy. She can just stick to chewing on bubble wrap.
I also caught her up on the fireplace mantle again. When I spoke to her about this problem, she let me know that she has been taking lessons from Sadie and showed me her belly. Then she rolled over again and promptly fell off. It seems that she has grown a bit more than she realized. Fortunately she didn't take anything with her that time.
I still owe Suzanne B a blog post but unfortunately it is going to have to wait one or two more days. I still have yarn and stuff to take care of in my corner of the family room assorted areas of the house for the carpet cleaning people.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Unstuck and almost done

After getting some help, my hat is well on its way to being finished. (It turns out the problem was pretty simple and I could have figured it out myself, if I hadn't been intimidated by the architecture, but I got a nice cup of coffee and a wonderful visit with the ever helpful Shivery Knits. Pictures soon!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Charity knitting and Update

I am sure that those of you that have been reading my blog for a while know that I enjoy knitting (baking, and other stuff) for other people. I recently learned of the Seaman's Church Institute through the Via Media group on Ravelry and have decided to do this project for the upcoming season. (Well, there is a chance I won't stop when Lent is over, but you get the idea.)

Knit 4 Lent
4,000 Hats in 40 Days
You are invited to knit as part of your Lenten Discipline.

Seamen’s Church Institute is asking for hand-knit or crocheted hats for mariners serving along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Hats will be given as Christmas gifts, along with personal items.
Spread the word to your knitting and crocheting friends!
Finished items should be sent to:
The Seamen’s Church Institute
241 Water Street
NY, NY 10038
Attn: Jeanette DeVita
For pattern suggestions:
Seaman's Blog
For home page
Seaman's Church Institute

I will also continue with my regular stuff, but I figure if I only work on charity knitting projects while at meetings, pot-luck/movie discussions, and Kitting In Public, I should be able to get a lot done. It will probably mean I will be scheduling my time for home knitting a bit better too. ( I also figure I will be able to use up at least some of my stash doing this project.)

Updated information on Knit 4 Lent: 4,000 Hats in 40 Days

I have noticed several questions/responses on the K4L Group on Ravelry and thought I would address a few of them here in case anyone was interested in more information.
The new director of the hats project has posted all of this information/changes on the Ravelry group.

"What about colors/type of yarn?"
Any color that is suitable for both men and women is fine, as well as variegated or stripes in hats. Some mariners prefer bright and cheerful, while others prefer dark.
We can use either acrylic or wool. Or a mixture. I just ask that if your item is not machine washable, please attach a note."
(Otherwise known as, "Knit what you want, all hats are appreciated.")

"Should a note be included with the hat when it is mailed into the Institute?"
It’s really up to you. I like keeping records and knowing how many knitting friends we have, but some folks prefer to remain anonymous. Those who include their contact information will (hopefully!) receive a letter. It is fun to know. I have a map, in my office, with little pushpins representing our knitters.
Some knitters include a note to go to the mariner. Every once in awhile they receive a thank you note.

Hat pattern links
Lucky Seven Hat
School Beans Hat
Basket-Weave Hat
Easy Roll-Brim Hat
Seaman's prayer link

A little of this and that

I have been doing some knitting (in addition to the afore mentioned stuck hat), but a fair portion of it is more gift knitting. I will show it to you all after the recipients have received them. I have also been working on several feet of a three stitch wide garter stitch thing. It is definitely not very interesting yet, but will be after it is felted and sewn onto the purse it is for. Pictures of that later too.
The other night I made some delicious Orange and Ginger Chicken and served it with brown rice. Hubband and I both agreed it would also be really good made with tofu instead of chicken. I am not sure the purveyor of the recipe would agree; if I recall correctly he is not a big fan of tofu. That's alright, I still know I can fix tofu in a way that would convert him to the dark side.
Last week I decided to try filling the unused bird bath with corn to see if I could convince the turkeys to stay out in the yard. It worked until the other wildlife in the area finished it off. I am beginning to wonder if they would join the turkeys on the deck if we didn't have a gate.
This is the view from our back door today. We got almost 3" from nine to noon today and might get more snow this afternoon. Well, snow mixed with sleet/freezing drizzle. The falling snow kept Oribel entertained for quite awhile today. Of course, she did ask me several times to let her out to go play in it, but I wasn't very cooperative with her.
For all those asking about Catnip Bubbles, here is a picture of the bottle. Basically it is bubble solution with catnip oil added. I am pretty sure I found them at PetCo, though I did come up with several different brands when I did a Google search. I will do my best to get some pictures of her playing with them for you all. Unfortunately I missed getting any pictures of Sadie and Oribel sharing the pillow last night. Oribel was already on the pillow when Sadie decided to snuggle in next to her. It would have worked out fine except for when Oribel needed to stretch out and decided to kick Sadie out of her way. She didn't really kick Sadie much, mostly just pushed on her with her back feet. Sadie was only willing to move a little bit though.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Progress, but now stuck

I had been making good progress on my hat, until this afternoon, part way through the fourth repeat of the pattern. Somewhere I have a mistake and as of right now, I can't figure out where. I was really disappointed as I think otherwise I may well have finished it today. Le sigh. With any luck I will be able to find the mistake tomorrow on my own. If not, I will probably be stuck for a week and a half as I won't be able to go to my Knitting Support Group this week where I know I would have plenty of help available. Fortunately it isn't the only thing I have available to work on.

Friday, February 1, 2008

We have a most awesome neighborhood

Hubband was just looking out the window of his office (which is directly above the kitchen window) and noticed a full-grown Bald Eagle circling our yard and the fields around us! It was too cool. We have seen them near here (a couple of miles away) on a fairly regular basis, but never in our own backyard!
Additionally, other night when the shadows were being photographed, we could hear the annual mateing call of the Great Horned Owls in the woods. We have heard that every winter since we moved here and they have been known to keep us awake in the middle of the night with all their chatter back and forth. Fortunately we also get to hear the owlets later in the season.
Between the Red-Tail Hawks, at least two two different kinds of owls, coyotes, and eagles, I really don't want Oribel to go out unattended to explore the yard. I would take her out on a leash today (since it is a balmy 21°F), but I don't think she should have snowballs stuck to her belly just yet. Of course, she might notice them sooner on bare skin instead of clumped up on fur.
Maybe we'll get lucky and be able to get a picture of the eagle next time.