Friday, January 30, 2009

Ok, in case you can't find

Puffcorn, you really can make this with regular popcorn. Just watch out for kernels and such.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

(Potential) Superbowl snacks, if you make that sort of thing.

At Christmas I sent my Uncle and Aunt (his wife) some snacks we call Kettle Puffcorn. (I don't know its original name, I got the recipe from another mother back in the days when my children were in preschool. I have made a few adjustments to it over the years.) He told me they really enjoyed it and suggested that I post the recipe (for everyone) when I asked him if he wanted it. I have only made this using Old Dutch Brand Puffcorn, but there are other brands out there. (Just don't buy the cheese flavor, you want the popcorn flavor.)
Now, if you would Kettle Puffcorn make,
A bag and a half of Puffcorn take.

Oh, wait. Wrong recipe. Let's try again.

KETTLE PUFFCORN
2 bags Old Dutch Puffcorn
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
 

Preheat oven to 250° F.
Pour one-and-a-half bags of Puffcorn into a large roaster pan. (Non-stick lined is great, but not absolutely necessary.)
 


Put remaining ingredients into a 2 quart saucepan (aka deep enough for boiling sugar syrup) and bring to a boil.
 

Boil for two or three minutes.
 


Pour mixture over Puffcorn in roaster and stir to coat, adding the remaining half of the second bag if you want. (If there is anyone around when I make this, part of that last half a bag is usually consumed before it ends up in the pan.)
 

When mixed/coated, put into preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how crisp you like it, stirring every fifteen minutes or so.
Remove from oven, let cool and break-up large clumps.
This could also be done in two 9x13 baking pans, or cookie sheets if you stir carefully.

[There is a recipe on the ODP bag (and their website) for a darker Caramel style Puffcorn, using brown sugar.]

Drive by knitting report

So, I am going to give you a knitting update with hopes of a "something else" post a bit latter today. (At bare minimum I hope to get a cooking post up I owe my Uncle. Just in case he, or anyone else for that matter, needs, or wants, Superbowl Sunday snack recipes.)
Anyhows, I have had a couple of wild haired knitting ideas as of late. Ideas like knitting a "Block of the Month" blanket. So I was going to start with December's block, as I have a theme idea. December's block is Advent, January's is Christmas/Epiphany, February's is Lent, etc. I wasn't too worried about starting right on time (especially since this idea didn't even happen until mid-December) as I need time for the idea/motif of the block to come to me. Well, I have the Advent and Christmas/Epiphany one's all planned out in my head, where they still sit. (Yes, along with all those missing blog posts.) When I told the D's about this idea over their winter break, TE said, "So you will end up with twelve squares to sew together?" (That would be the idea.) I think I heard her say something to TY along the lines of "She'll have twelve squares needing sewing together" as they headed up the stairs. Well, OK, sewing knitted things together isn't my first idea of fun, but I can do it. (And no, I won't end up with just visions of blocks dancing in my head.)
 

Here is actual proof to the "I can sew up knitted items" statement. See, if you take a piece of knitted fabric, and do a bit of origami magic and sewing, you end up with a baby sweater.

Particulars include (but not limited to) Pattern: One-Piece Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting (the book, as opposed to the blog, which I am sure mentions it somewhere, at least once or twice.)
Yarn: CottonTots (Much softer than the dishcloth cotton called for in the pattern.)
Where it has gone to live: To the Baby Brother that might need more than just a blue hat.

 

Which segue us right into the next finished knitted item, another baby hat!



A while back I had been chatting with Chan about different types of yarn we like and/or want to try some day. I mentioned that someday I wanted to knit with Fiesta's Baby Boom someday. It just so happened that she had started a project with some and she was just not feeling "the love" for the pattern, so she frogged that and sent me the yarn so I could play with it! Well, it also happens that there is a new Baby Cousin in their family, so I whipped out the six month size baby hat to send back to her. BTW, She had a really awesome post up yesterday titled "A Time to Mourn" that you all really should go read. I can't even think about watching the linked video without getting choked up.
One of my other wild knitting ideas is to finish twelve pairs (at least) of socks in a year.Why? Well, because I have that much (and more) sock yarn, and I love making and wearing hand-knit socks. Fortunately so does Hubband and the D's. These were finished on January second, so they count as pair number one.
Pair number two were started on January 14 and finished on January 18.
Details: Pattern:Thuja, modified to Toe-up. Yarn:
Schoeller + Stahl Big Print
. I only had two skeins, which is why they are toe-up and short. (I really wish I had had a third skein of this color!) I have three skeins of another colorway of this yarn, so I will get to have a longer pair! (I also have two skeins of a third colorway, but I think those will be modified Knucks.)

 

Pair number three has been started (night before last), and may be for me, unless one of the daughter units chimes in as wanting it (which might only be one of them, now that I think about it for a few seconds). I have enough of this Noro sock yarn (two full skeins of the same color) to make two pairs, so one for me and one for her is certainly an option! I have a couple more pairs planned already (not all for me), so I will be able to stay entertained.
I have also been working on a hat for Hubband, but it needs some "paying attention to" knitting time, and then it will be back to mindless knitting until it is done. I plan on getting it to that point by Sunday or before, so that hopefully he can wear it soon! A hat is also in the works for DTE, but it is all full of criss-crossing cables, so is a "pay very close attention" project. She picked out stuff for another hat as well (but knows it may be next fall's hat), plus I have a couple of other items in progress. I have also decided to make myself a sweater (it is supposed to be a KAL with some of the ladies at Knit Night), and of course there are blocks to knit.
Oh, and a ton of sewing to do with my awesome new toy! But that is a different story/post!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Da Herd! Da Herd!

Every day, pretty much like clockwork.







The other day it was a three-point buck about eighteen inches from the deck.

I have just been beside myself

with excitement and glee since I heard the news last night. Seriously, I sat in the car in the grocery store parking lot so I wouldn't miss one bit of the interview. If Hubband had been home this afternoon for this one, he probably would have told me I was wriggling like a puppy. Seriously, this news makes me very, very happy. Obviously he is even more excited!
(If you haven't read any of his stuff, you really should. I suppose I should give DTE her copy back.)

Have I mentioned I am excited about a movie in February?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OK, I knew it had been a while,

but I hadn't realized it was a whole week! I really haven't forgotten about blogging; of course I would have a better chance of you believing me if you could see all the drafts in my head. Drafts about time with the girls home, drafts about what they/we did while they were here, drafts about the knitting I have been doing (more socks and a sweater started and finished in the last week), drafts about knitting I want to do, drafts about sewing, etc. Sadly, most (well probably none) of those drafts will come to fruition today. However, you do get a brief Oribel story and a couple of pictures; it is Wednesday after all!

This weekend I was refilling the birdseed bin and tossed the empty bags inside as I was done with them so they could make their way out to the garbage can. Of course the introduction of something new in her kitchen required a close inspection/approval.
 

She was able to give this one an extra-close inspection, much to her satisfaction. Oribel did seem to have some birdseed stuck to her as well as enough seed dust to make Sadie sneeze after climbing back out from inside the bag!
I will do my best to give you something other than rambleings about unseen drafts soon!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finally, a new WoW post

Back in July, Princess Jasmine and Anita sent Miss Oribel sparkly kitty toys, which have become to be known as "Kitty Crack Toys" around here. She loves these things beyond almost all reason. They get snuck up on, attacked, kicked, and carried all over the house (they also get stashed inside shoes for safe keeping).
She is down to the last one, having worn out all the others. I was getting a bit worried about what we were going to do since I haven't seen them at PetSmart where I buy her cat food. DTE pointed out that the store where we buy our dog food sells them in a larger size, thank goodness! We brought one home for a test drive and it seems to pass muster, even if it is blue. (I haven't been able to get a picture of her with that one yet.)

Of course you know she has an obsession for kitty treats as well, and with some help from DTE, you can finally see a bit of that "live."
video
Ufortunately I was unable to catch her licking DTE's fingers, but I promise, she gets every last bit of kitty treat flavor she can.
Current weather forecast looks like this
This Afternoon: Sunny and cold, with a high near -1. Wind chill values as low as -30. North wind around 18 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around -26. Wind chill values as low as -46. Northwest wind between 10 and 16 mph.

Tonight we are going to test drive the "Throw some boiling water in the air and see if it freezes before it lands" thing. It is a "we" thing so that pictures will be involved; bubble blowing is also going to happen. (No promises that said pictures will then be posted tonight, but I will do my best to have them up by lunch time tomorrow!)
Oribel has decided that it is a wee bit too cold for her to go outside. Of course, she needs to have one of us open the door for her, several times a day, to remember how cold it is! (Don't forget to check out Whiskers on Wednesday.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A scarf for me





This pattern, a discontinued Noro yarn (New Ruby) and Dale of Norway Baby Ull (black). I have another one I made without the black and since it is too short, I am going to frog it and make mittens to match my scarf.

So deceptive

This morning we had a beautiful blue sky,


 

sunshine,

 

and shadows.

 

Evidence of deer wandering though our yard and looking for acorns,

 

wind,

 

and frost.



Of course, we also had this
(as of 8:54 AM CST on January 13, 2009)
Temperature -18°F
Windchill -38°F
Humidity 78%
Dew Point -23°F
Forecast as of 7:40 am CST on January 13, 2009
Now
With northwest winds from 10 to 20 mph...and air temperatures in the 10 to 20 degree below zero range...bitterly cold wind chills will be in place for the morning commute and children heading to the bus stop. For areas along and west of the Mississippi River...wind chills through 9 am will range from 25 to 35 degrees below zero... with a few areas approaching 40 degrees below zero in southeast Minnesota.

Forecast as of 3:27 am CST on January 13, 2009

Wind Chill Advisory in effect until noon CST today...

Today
Sunny until late afternoon then becoming partly sunny. Highs zero to 5 below. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph in the morning...shifting to the southwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Lowest wind chill readings 30 below to 35 below zero in the morning.

Tonight
Snow. Snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Lows zero to 5 below. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 100 percent. Wind chill readings 15 below to 20 below zero.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Life is just what happens

to you while you're busy making other plans." (John Lennon)
I am sure you all know by now that it has been snowing for weeks in parts of the USA where it doesn't normally snow. The Northwest snow storms affected DTY's train trip home from school in Portland. As in, she was delayed fifteen getting home. (Way better than some of her schoolmates who were delayed via the airport for a week.) A friend of hers was coming to visit and was supposed to be in last Tuesday on the train and she was delayed due to snow by twenty four hours. On Friday morning we drove up to the Twin Cities to put the friend on the train for Chicago for the next leg of her visits. The plan had been to do stuff around the TC and then put DTY on her train west in the afternoon/evening. Upon checking up on the train times at the station in the morning, we discovered that DTY's train was cancelled due to "snowstorms and avalanches." She really had wanted to be back at school by Monday morning for some training and job assignments at her work study/reactor job;Friday's train "should" have gotten her there on Sunday. They had no idea if it would be running on Saturday or not, which "should" put her in on Monday. (It wasn't according to what she was told on the phone by the Amtrak Lady.) Fortunately, we were able to find her a one-way plane ticket for Monday at a price we were very happy with. (Actually about the same price as the unused half of the train ticket!) So, we are driving to the TC again tomorrow to put her on the plane. Of course, the snowstorm that stopped her train has traveled our direction....

Monday: Snow and areas of blowing snow, mainly after 9am. High near 20. Wind chill values as low as -8. South wind 7 to 10 mph becoming north between 21 and 24 mph. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Monday Night: Areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow before midnight. Cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around -11. Wind chill values as low as -32. Blustery, with a north wind 25 to 28 mph decreasing to between 16 and 19 mph. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

and:
Winter Weather Advisory

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
909 PM CST SUN JAN 11 2009

...BLIZZARD CONDITIONS POSSIBLE MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING...
All of this is according to NOAA.

Of course, that whole getting the congested head/dizzy thing was part of life and not part of the plan either. I do seem to be much better, thanks for all the well wishes and I hope to have more life info soon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I know,

it is Wednesday, and you might be stopping by to see if there are any new pictures and/or stories of a certain Miss Oribel. I am sorry to report that there is nothng right now; that has nothing ot do with her, and everything to do with me. I have been trying to get rid of a conjested head for several days and so far today the head is winning big time. If I move my head too fast in any direction the room spins to catch up. So really, this the best I can do for now. I will do my best to make up for it soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tea, ice cream, and socks

a.k.a., another pair of socks finished. This is the yarn that I received way back in August of 2007 in the Knit Tea 2 swap. It is wonderful to work with and the colors really do remind me of ice cream. (I started these this past November and I don't think they would have taken me so long if I hadn't been working on several other things at the same time. Especially since I started the second only a couple of days ago.
I used the Southwestern Socks pattern by Wendy over at Wendy Knits. It is a toe-up pattern with an all-new-to-me-heel. All in all very interesting to knit up, but I do think the lace would show up a bit better in a more solid yarn. But all in all, another wonderful pair of socks (and a pattern that I would be willing to make again).
I have no more unfinished socks on needles but that will soon change. Both of the girls would love more socks from me, as would Hubband (plus they travel well). I do have a few other things to finish up, but am also going to start a scarf for a Traveling Scarf project. That needs to be mailed out on Monday, and of course I will be getting one in the mail soon. I am sure other things will come up that need knitting, sewing, etc.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Socks!

Oh, wait. That is supposed to be Happy New Year, isn't it?
I finished this pair of socks last night, just before midnight, and I am very happy with them! (Just ask Hubband, I am sure he will tell you how much I keep going on about their colors, comfieness, etc. to him. I am guessing he will be glad I am gushing about them to someone else besides him.)
I don't know when I started these; several years ago, before we moved here. I do know it was in my "still learning how to knit days," and I hadn't made very many socks when I decided to teach myself the two socks on two circulars method. I am sure that is part of why they got put in a box and were lost for a while, I really needed stuff I didn't have to think about in the midst of relocating and all that goes with it.
Yarn: Cascade Fixation Spray Dyed/Effects
Pattern: Cuff down, 2X2 rib, all the way down to the toe.
I wasn't completely sure about the whole stretchiness of the yarn at times, but I really love these socks and the color. I like that they are cotton (with a little bit of elastic to add stretch) and this yarn has definitely grown on me.
Happy New Year to everyone! I am off to start our Black-Eyed Peas.