Thursday, December 17, 2009

These are a Few of My Favorite Things!

Actually, this is what I was doing all Summer/Fall while I wasn't blogging.

Below is the most vile and manipulative creature in the entire house. It doesn't LOOK vile and manipulative, and it doesn't FEEL vile or manipulative, but let me reassure you that it has powers - beastly powers of mind control. We call her the Snugubus. If she catches you relaxing on the couch knitting, she will sneak up and stretch out next to you and within minutes she's taken control of your mind. Your hands are no longer under your own control, they are winding through her neck fur and stroking her and then if she so desires it she will make you fall asleep and before you know it you have wasted an ENTIRE day snuggled up on the couch napping and loving on her. Sometimes you don't even get to the petting part, you just wake up on the couch when she gets done with you and moves away and you wonder what happened - the last thing you remember is knitting or reading and then poof, gone. Like a Nixon file.

Below, is one of the two quilts I've made for my soon to be neices or nephews. My brother-in-law Bobby is newly married last December and they are now expecting their first children. TWINS! We won't know until January sometime if they're girls or boys but I'm too excited to wait to make something.

I've done a lot of reading too. See the crystal bowl of yarn in the background? That's not just decorative, that's my yarn ends, waiting to become a pretty project but patiently waiting until then as a decoration. Next to it is my London Fog, a huge mug of Earl Grey tea with cream! Mmmm, so good with a fresh book and a warm dog on the...couch... *snore*

I managed to get a Christmas tree up. This is the very first REAL tree I've had as an adult. We've always had fake trees. Well, we as in me since I became an adult. When I was a kid we always cut our own tree down. I'm excited about this one, my girlfriend bought it for me as a surprise and I'm so happy I can't stand it.

And below is the best dessert wine in the whole world. Love it! Go grab you some & enjoy the holidays.

BSG "Toaster" Toaster (be prepared to envy me)

This is for all those BSG nerds out there! My darling hubby, upon hearing that our beloved home toaster bit the big one, decided we needed a snazzy new one to replace it. His internet search turned this gem up. I couldn't be happier, although I do feel like I'm using a precious item like casual everyday household goods.

This is SO COOL!!!!!!!

It's Beginning to Feel a lot like Winter!

This was the scene from my new vehicle's windshield the other morning. I knew it was going to freeze, but we rarely get these beautiful frozen crystals on the windows! When I was a little little girl, my Grandmother would tell me that Jack Frost had visited in the night & we would put our hands on the window & melt our palm prints out. I loved winter for that, it was the very first season I fell in love with. I haven't had a visit from Jack Frost in decades. This delighted me in ways I am unable to express. I hope their beauty in the pictures can delight y'all too.

We forgot to take our hose inside. Silly us. Apparently there was a small leak. I have no idea if the hose is ruined or not, but I thought it was very pretty the way the icicles formed and the icicle stalagmite next to the hose too. The weeds lived though!

WTF for the Day, Hopefully

So on the way to work this morning, I saw a big WTF. Thankfully, I had my camera with me at the ready AND I was stopped right by this thing at a red light that went on and on and on.

Look, guys! I know y'all have been wanting a new van. This one's only had 1 oner! At first, I thought that might be a Southernism for owner, but I started second-guessing myself.

I mean, I don't know a LOT about cars and their mystical components. I'm relatively mechanical and I can follow instructions to do simple things like fill my gas, replace spark plugs & brake pads, but that's about it. What if an "oner" is one of those mystical engine pieces you have to have special training to identify? I mean, this big ole' van only has 70k miles on it!


I bet the following picture is what your engine compartment looks like when there's only one "oner". Which would also explain the low low mileage!

Then again, that 70k might not be mileage. That might be the asking price. I mean, how else are they going to be able to afford a window-writer that can spell gud?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gournay Potatoes & The Boy in the Box

I took some potatoes from my Mom's garden, a delicious red onion, and some herbs from my garden. Sliced thin & baked with cream and butter and Gournay, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses until everything was tender & bubbly.

That is my recipe, above. I have no idea what quantities were used, just "enough". It was so good I could have married it. Unfortunately, everyone else felt the same way about it so there wasn't much left. I'll make it again someday.

Keegan is my little kitchen helper. He scrapes dinner dishes & pans for me, pre-dishwasher, and he unloads the dishwasher after it's run. I know, it's a hard life for a little boy. Well I asked him to scrape out a pan and he came from his room to do it... wearing a box over his head. No eye-holes cut out or anything. He says (muffled from inside the box, facing in the wrong direction from me because he can't quite tell where he is) "Mom, why don't you make me wear more boxes on my head?"

I think about this for a minute, trying to figure out if there is a correct answer or even possibly something he might want to hear, but I get nothing. The sound of the tumbleweeds in my sound-processor. So I did what I'd like to believe any good mother would do and I said rather gruffly, "I don't know, Mister, but you'll wear that box the rest of the night or you're grounded!".

His Dad helped him cut eye holes & a nose/mouth vent because the box was also a bit too narrow for his face & was pooched out strangely toward the bottom.

Apparently the boy has scraped dishes wearing a box before, it's messier than the normal procedure and the dogs are congregated. Look how attentively they are watching the pan. It's like a magic show just for them! "C'mon, box-boy, scrape faster" they're saying.

The Wily Kiefalope

Once known as my mild-mannered baby son, it has now grown to gargantuan proportions and nearly unbelievably is taller than me by more than an inch! I sent him off to his Grandparents' and a mere two months later he comes back to me OVER TWO INCHES TALLER!

I tried to explain to my Mother that it was completely unacceptable that she transformed my baby into a burly-voiced giant in under a sixth of a year but she completely ignored my complaint. I'm afraid to send the little one up there next summer. No good can come of it.

Here's a picture of Kieffer and me standing side by side. He now uses me as a comfortable armrest, towers over me, checks my hair to make sure the part is straight. All the horrible things we kids used to do to our tiny little Granny and we thought it was so funny (I'm sorry, Granny. If I'd known how terrible and traitorous we were back then I never would have adjusted your hair from above... I now know I deserved that elbow to the bladder). I KNEW I should have gotten Kieffer started on coffee earlier.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Alive, if Barely Counts.

I've been cooking, have some good recipes to share. I've been knitting, have a crappy pic of my FO (Icarus) but nothing really good yet because my hubby is a slacker just like me and he's my designated photographer.

Instead of a proper post, I'm just going to post these crappy pictures that have been building up in my "Post About This" folder. Then I'm going to go knit some more on my Traveling Woman, because the sooner I can finish it the sooner I can start on my Aeolian. By the by, I only started the TW so I would have some beading experience before starting the Aeolian. That and I needed a project to be finished in under a month so I could feel like I actually do accomplish some things in a reasonable amount of time...

My brother, Scot, got suckered into going into the attic-from-Hell and installing a fan in my spare room. I took some pics. I call this his "Attic Bandit" look. The fan looks & works very well, by the way. I haven't told him yet but we're in the process of picking out fans for every room. He's going to be so excited!

This is a great ride I took with my best friend Scott. Normally I ride my bike & follow him, but I felt like taking pictures so I rode with him for a change. We didn't go far, because his back seat is about the size of a chestnut but he assures me (ASSures?ha ha ha) that there is a great product on the market that extends the sides of the seat for a more comfortable passenger ride. In other words, the big-ass-girlfriend seat extender kit. We had a great time despite me being a big-ass sissy.

Below is the great recipe I got from a friend. I hate exact recipes, so this is an approximation. Two cans of croissants, unrolled flat on foil. Squeeze or roll all scored edges together. Make a mix of about 2 cups shredded chicken, 1 cups chopped broccoli, 1 cup chopped red peppers & mushrooms if you so desire, a half cup mayo (I used ranch dressing) 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 cloves of garlic (pressed) and 1 teaspoon of dill weed. It's a rather dry mixture, add salt & pepper to taste. Spread it out along the center of the croissant panel. Cut your edges in about 3 inches to make strips you can twist & pinch over the top. The twist looks really neat when it's done. Brush bread with beaten egg whites & bake @ 350 for 25-28 minutes.

If you do it right it will be beautiful. If you're sloppy it should look like mine below.
No matter what it looks like, it tastes magnificent and it's really easy to do. Looks great, tastes great, not a lot of work. That's my favorite kind of recipe! By the way, I have an actual recipe if anyone really needs it. Most of my friends are cooks like I am, you get a general idea then go make it your way at home so that's what I've given here.

Now, ANOTHER kind of recipe is the one below. I have several tomato plants as some of you may already know. These plants have produced some fifteen THOUSAND tomatoes and are all over 9 feet in length! I have friends and neighbors avoiding me because I keep trying to give them tomatoes. That is pretty bad! They are delicious though, so I thought I would use some of them up in a homemade tomato paste. This pot is what I started with in the morning.

This is what I wound up with after it was all cooked down that evening. This equals one can of tomato paste as far as I am able to tell. I cooked it all day. Not so efficient, but definitely more tasty than the store bought stuff and I managed to not waste precious produce. I won't be doing it again, but for a learning experience it rocked.

I have been cooking a lot more, but I want to knit now that my duty is done. See? I'm still alive!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Got Some Gardening Done

(I just threw pictures in randomly, I'm exhausted, the next post will be more cohesive)

Between the lovely weather, my lovely job, and going to KY just about every single weekend - I haven't really had time to do anything I need to do. Like knitting, blogging, house cleaning. See how I snuck that cleaning one in there? Ha ha ha, as if THAT really ever happens. I clean less often thanks to my new lower standards! I recommend that to anyone who's stressed over a messy home. ;)

This past weekend I went to my Parents' place for the holidays. Mom fed us, Mmmmm! I got to shoot my new shotgun and subsequently severely hurt my shoulder. Turns out I'm a muffin, and when you don't really have fat shoulders/armpits, muscle definition, or sufficient padding you can really bruise yourself shooting something with a moderate "kick".

A lot of wonderful things happened this weekend, like Mom's cooking (just have to mention it again, it was THAT good), getting an animal-love "fix" from their herd of critters, seeing my Dad and harassing him, getting to play with the kids, seeing my best buddy Scott, & spending the night @ his house watching old movies & hangin' out just the three of us (hubby too). Mom loaned me her extra espresso machine! That's been keeping me wide awake since I got home. I'll have to post pics of it later, I think it needs a name - I love it THAT much. I also -finally- got the opportunity to bring back some plants since we drove up in PJ's car.

My Mom and I really really love our family heirlooms. We've got some neat stuff that's been in our family for generations. We've got a deerskin-bound lesson book/journal from a great-great-great+ somebodyorother that's just full of old math and calligraphic handwriting lessons. Apparently books were so precious back then you got one and made it last throughout your lifetime because he grew up writing school lessons in the book and used it when he was grown and working as well. We've got family bibles that helped my great-grandparents trace our geneology back many generations, from when we first came to this country. We've got some furniture from many other generations. And perhaps most tangible these days - we have flowers and vegetables from my great-grandmother's old home place gardens. A home that all of us remember living in at one time or another, five generations of us, that is now no longer in the family.

My Mom's garden at her home is all that's left now of what once was the old home place gardens created by my Gran. I got to take a huge clump of phlox and another of poppies. I didn't have room for asparagus, but will get some of that as soon as I've prepared a safe place to put it at my home.

So since arriving back home Sunday evening - in a torrential deluge, I might add, I've been pruning and weeding and trying to prepare my yard for the special things I've brought home. My neighbors must have thought I was crazy, pruning and digging in the rain. And for sure the mosquitoes thought I was a delicious snack no matter what the weather. But I got things under control and got about half the stuff planted. The important heirloom stuff definitely.

I got a butterfly bush, and a bunch of black-eyed-Susans from the horse fields while I was home too.

I don't know where I'm going to put everything, but I do know I'm very happy with the possibilities and I hope the cool weather stays long enough for me to at least get the yard mowed!

I'll post pictures as the yard progresses. Tomorrow night I'm having a friend over for espresso (which IS a good idea, no matter WHAT you say!) so I'll be neglecting yard and knitting again, but I'll try to post a espresso pic.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We May Have a New Puppy...

For now we're dogsitting a friend's found-puppy. He wandered in her neighborhood for days before she broke down and fed him, then he stayed at her house on the front porch protecting her property from everything for the next few days. She's going out of town for a week today and she was frantically trying to find someone to make sure he was ok while she was gone.

But truthfully she doesn't want a dog anyway, she's scared of anything that looks like a pit bull and said the only reason she could be near this one without being in a full blown panic attack is that he's so young.

We're trial-ing him at our house. He's a very good boy. Her son named him Luke, so that's what we're calling him. He will either return to her when she gets back, or stay with us, or we'll speak to the lady at the Mt. Juliet shelter who does pit-type rescues (Jill Hart). I'm not sure we can handle another dog - Kara is already more than a handful!

But last night they played until they collapsed, then got up and did it again. It was like outsourcing all the attacking of us she normally does for attention! Some nights I don't even get a chance to knit because Kara pounces me repeatedly. She does the same thing to DH who says its like a tank rolling over him out of the blue when he's playing video games. She WILL get your attention, and then you WILL play with her, there's no other option.

But now there's Luke, who did the same thing to Kara all night long. He wanted to pounce, he wanted to play tug, he wanted to run & chase her, then be chased by her. They didn't bother us at all! If they hadn't been so damn entertaining, we might have been able to knit and play video games but instead we were laughing ourselves silly and taking pictures of the critters playing.

Looks like, if we can work on his housebreaking, we might have ourselves another puppy. Only one question remains: I think he's a boxer, pure and simple. Hubby thinks he's a pit bull, all the way. We'll wait until after our friend gets back from vacation and if she doesn't take him back we'll take him to the vet and get his opinion on what we have.

Truthfully, I really love puppies. OTHER PEOPLE'S PUPPIES! Kara, who is well on her way to being two years old, is just about the youngest animal I really wanted to adopt. Kara loves PJ though, she's adopted my husband even though she adores all of us. So we'll see. Keegan has been lamenting not having a dog of his own so Luke might fit that bill. Of course you don't really "give" any animal to a 10-year-old - before anyone snaps my head off! But my dog Pixie, the mini-schnauzer, is madly in love with my 13 year old Kieffer and is unofficially "his" dog. Has been for years now. We joke that he's her boy, she's raised him, she's his fur-mother. Even though he'd never be allowed to take her with him when he moved out and the burden of her care is still mine.

By the way, she's in KY with the boys for the summer. This is tradition, she loves getting to be a "real" dog once a year. She's not dog aggressive and she basically leaves the other animals alone so that's a privelege we allow her to have. Kara isn't allowed on the farm because she IS dog-aggressive and she would kill cats/chickens/bunnies/wild animals and potentially even horses. She's just not the kind of dog we could trust to be out there. At least not now. Perhaps sometime in the future.

Don't you love the playdate pictures? Please excuse the condition of the "man room" where we were. That's PJ's domain as he keeps telling me, and he doesn't want me interfering with its cleaning or decorating. Not much happening in either category there if you ask me, but it's his so I let him do what he wants with it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Knitting Update

First part of the tablecloth finished last night! Now I can get back to my Icarus, because I know this yarn and needle size will work. This is a over-flashed close up.

A farther away shot of the whole thing. You can sorta see the pattern here. I couldn't hold it stretched-out enough and still take a picture. Drat, I miss my minions.

I was trying here, to hold out the corner a little bit. Doesn't really improve the visibility of the lace though, unfortunately.

I've got five more to make, potentially more if I have enough time and yarn. This was a 12-row lace pattern around the edge of a store bought hemstitch napkin. Each napkin will have this lace edge around it, and will be kitchenered together on their edges to make a nice wide lace panel in between them. There's an additional 5 rows of lace that will go around the perimeter when it's completed, to give it a picot edge. It only took me a few hours of actual knitting to make this edge around one napkin, so I have hope I can accomplish this before the end of summer for gifting purposes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Final Post of the Day

I've gotta start posting during the week!

This is what's on my needles right now. More pictures tomorrow, when the 1st one should be completely done! It's going to be a beautiful lace tablecloth. Hard to imagine from this one little picture, eh?

This is my first open tomato flower! I've been waiting for this for weeks now. My tomatoes just took off when I planted them in that wonderful compost and now they're covered-up with flowers. I really need to reposition some of my plants, but I haven't yet because I'm worried all those beautiful flowers will drop if I do! There's always next year to do it differently if this doesn't work so well.

Here's my sunflower. Apparently it is a flower and not a new bunch of leaves. I'm just waiting for this one to open. I've got a bunch of them with these buds on them, but this is the largest one. In a few weeks, the bird-planted-garden underneath my seed dispenser is going to be in full bloom and it will be magnificent!

This is my beans, my first bean plants are already on their 2nd bloom after the first harvest. I don't think there's enough nitrogen in their soil though, they're turning yellow. I'm going to put a few handsful of compost on top of their soil just to get them through. I think these I'm going to let the beans mature and dry so I have some for planting next year. If I can keep myself from eating them all, that is.

Presenting Baby Regan!

This is Ayla Regan, that I knitted the two blankets for earlier this year. She's two months old now & she came to visit me just the other day for the very first time. She's precious.

She loves to knit already.

Jeremy and I with her, doesn't he look formal? He felt more comfortable with me between him and the baby!

This is how he feels when he actually holds the baby. Terrified man, ha ha ha. We couldn't stop laughing at him.

This is Gwennie-Gwen, me and baby Regan.

I didn't want to put her down, let alone say goodbye. I was really glad they got a chance to come visit though, it was so nice. I wished they were closer, rather than in North Carolina.

Birthday Travesty Pictures

Sometimes we make children do things... horrible things... in the name of "fun". Here are pictures, to document for all time, the joy of parenting. We're bigger, so we can make them wear birthday present ribbons & bows in their hair. It's like being a bully but legal! See the joy in his little face? Yep, this will come up in counseling later.

I had a great birthday party at my Mom's. Keegan eventually smiled and got into the spirit of the beribboning. And my Mommy bought me makeup! Yay!

Critters on the Farm

These pics were taken the day we dropped the kids off at my Parents' farm - the same day I rode in the rain on the motorcycle in the last post. :) Been saving these, but had too much knitting going on & didn't post about them in a timely manner.

Look at this beautiful frog! She was sitting on top of the chicken's fence. There's no more chickens, and my Mom had folded an old pair of painters jeans over the top for some reason. Couldn't move them later because this critter was on top of them.

Below is a little froglet on top of the dog's pen fence. Both of these fences are really tall. How did these guys get up there? I'd have loved to see them climbing.

First frog kept yawning. We apparently bore little froglets.

Now THIS thing is freaky! First of all, it's about as long as a big person's hand - from pincher tip to wing tip. It was extremely aggressive. And it FLEW AWAY after we'd snapped a bunch of pictures of it. It was the size of a hummingbird! Freaky.