Monday, December 31, 2007
What really irritates me is that I had a copy of the book the movie was based on a while back, and I gave it away in a book-clearing frenzy. Now I have to get another copy. There is lots more to this story, and I want to find out. Go ahead....see the movie. But, READ the BOOK!
Friday, December 28, 2007
1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? We took a family road trip to San Diego for a baseball tournament in July. I-5 through the San Joaquin Valley is probably the most misrable stretch of road in North America.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? In short, oh hell no! I would like to make a resolution for 2008, but my track record for keeping them is pretty dismal.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope, we're all too old for that. And I'm too young for grandkids (did you hear that boys??)
4. Did anyone close to you die? My sister-in-law died after a long battle with liver cancer. We were never particularly close, but I feel that I should have been closer.
5. What countries did you visit? Does San Diego count as a country?
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? More time for my attempts at writing
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Memorial Day weekend 2007 - see question #10 for the why. Pain sticks with me.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Starting this blog.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not sitting down and spending time writing more. I have a long term goal of going back to school for my MFA in Creative Writing in the next few years, but I have to actually spend time writing for that to be a realistic goal
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I received a lovely compression laceration that required three stitches and bruised by leg from knee to ankle over Memorial Day weekend. I now have a beautiful scar on my shin. Did I mention that I scar easily?
11. What was the best thing you bought? My new car, an Infinity FX35.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All three of my sons. They are all growing into wonderful men. Especially the youngest, who is showing glimpses of being really concerned about the world around him. He is finally passing through that "it's all about ME" stage.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My husband's brothers (both of them)
14. Where did most of your money go? Besides books and yarn? With regard to disposable income, likely sports stuff for the kids.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The really large tax refund I just learned we may get for 07.
16. What song will always remind you of 2007? "I'm with the Band" by Little Big Town
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? a) likely happier; b) definitely fatter, unfortunately; c) about the same income wise.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Write and Knit, and Exercise
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Eat
20. How did you spend Christmas? At home with family, the extended family came to my house and my SIL and I shared holiday dinner responsibilities. It worked out great!
21. Did you fall in love in 2007? Only with my hubby all over again.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Doctor Who and Torchwood (sorry, I'm a British SciFi geek)
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Do George Bush and Hilary Clinton count? Wait a minute, I hated them last year, too!
24. What was the best book you read? The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner. Makes me look at religious differences in a whole new light.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Nuttin' But Stringz
26. What did you want and get? A down pillow! Yummy!
27. What did you want and not get? A spinning wheel and latin dance lessons
28. What was your favorite film of this year? The Bourne Ultimatum or Elizabeth: The Golden Years
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Not much on the birthDAY itself. Just went out to dinner. But I got concert tickets for Little Big Town and Sugarland in Reno for my b-day, so a couple weeks later, we flew to Reno for the weekend and saw the concert. Reno really isn't an exciting town, but it was still a fun weekend.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I had the willpower to lose weight.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? If it involves jeans and a pair of boots, it's me!
32. What kept you sane? Knitting and Prozac
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? David Tennant of Doctor Who
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Barak Obama getting into the presidential race. Yay!!
35. Who did you miss? Most likely my oldest son, away at college. He's fun to talk to.
36. Who was the best new person you met? New people? What are those? I met a new group of people at the end of the year - The Eastside Stitchers - a knitting group I am hoping to become more involved with. All lovely, giving people.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. Sometimes I have to take control, even if it doesn't make other people happy at the moment.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Somebody's got to be unafraid to lead the freak parade
Somebody's got to be unafraid to lead the freak parade
Somebody's got to be unafraid to lead the freak parade
To lead the freak, to lead the freak, to lead the freak parade
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
This, gentle audience, (all ONE of you!) is my final Xmas knitting assignment of 2007. Completed BEFORE Christmas! Ta-Da!! A right and proper Christmas stocking for my youngest son. Just mere days before his first Christmas, ten years ago, I had a little epiphany. It went something like this...."CRAP!! I don't have a stocking made for the Baby!" So a trip to the fabric store followed and a rather sad excuse for a stocking was created. Face it, there is only so much you can do with red felt, fabric paint, and no sleep. I have promised myself every year since then that I would make him a "proper" stocking. His brothers have cross-stitched stockings lovingly made by their mother when I was less harried and not nearly as insane as I am now. When I took up knitting about 5 or 6 years ago, I decided I would knit him one, rather than cross-stitch. Don't get me wrong, cross-stitch is fine, but I'm a Knitter-grrl these days. Still, it took me all this time to get a stocking knitted for him. That included a couple of false starts. Especially the false start I had that prompted me to visit Cultured Purls for a little knit-assistance. I spent four hours last Wednesday getting myself straightened out on how to resume the argyle pattern on the sock, only to decide on the drive home, to rip out the entire heel, and just make an afterthought heel. As a result of this decision, I had the whole thing completed by Friday morning. Then blocking and sewing in a lining and Voila! A completed stocking. The only problem now.......the other boys noticed that #3's stocking is LARGER than theirs!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Behold, the third and final fair isle hat for my nephews. All in their school colors. Now the clock is running on my fifth Xmas knitting project, the Argyle Stocking for my youngest. Made wonderful progress Wednesday. Did the entire leg, heel flap, heel turn and the picked up stitches. Then I got stuck! I had appointments all thursday and didn't get to my knitting guru. So first thing Friday, a trip to Cultured Purls for wisdom from Shannon, my personal knitting Goddess. She helped me figure out what was wrong (one was me, the other was the pattern), and got me started again (Thanks Shannon!). But on the way home, I got thinking - always a dangerous thing......me.....thinking. And I decided that it would be easier and hopefully faster, if I did an Afterthought heel instead of a heel flap. So I ripped our the picked up stitches, the heel turn, the heel flap; put in some waste yarn and started in on the pattern again and am working down the foot. Only 12 more rows of pattern to go before the toe decreases; then I add the heel, and I'm done. I still may get there. Pray to the Knitting Goddesses for me!
And when I haven't been knitting, I have been making Lefse! A lovely result.....SEE
But Lordy what a mess! I am still cleaning flour off my countertops. And for some reason, it has hardened into concrete!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Finished Xmas Knitting Object, the Third. Socks for #3 son's 5th grade teacher. Pattern: my own wing it top-down Garter Rib pattern. Yarn: Trekking XXL ombre color #66 (blues, to dark green, purple, reds - in a manly-man combination). Needle: US #1, cast on 72 stitches. The best part of all.....finished THREE days before my deadline.
Now, one more hat for nephew #3 and a new Xmas stocking for #3 son. I was going to try to make it a surprise for him, but then I just decided to tell him, so I didn't have to sneak around knitting. I think I may make it!
#1 son is home from college for the holidays, so now I have someone to talk politics, religion and other BS with. He's fun. He's old enough to have opinions, and valid ideas to back them up.
He also helps me find wacko things on Youtube. Like this:
Keep in mind, I don't really like the lyrics of the Crank That song, and Travis Barker is a bit extreme for me. But he does have to be one of the most phenominal drummers in the world. And I do like me some first class drummers!
Well, today, I am making Lefse for a classroom party. Pics tomorrow, if it doesn't come out like crap (please God, don't let it come out crappy - I got Lefse lovin' kids counting on me!) What, pray tell, is Lefse? Well, Swedish Tortillas, Swedish Naan, Swedish Pita. Go with the ethnic reference you are most comfortable with. Or look here: Lefse Sounds weird, tastes wonderful.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
3/4 cups powdered milk
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Mix the above ingredients together and seal in an airtight container until ready to use. You can use it in a ratio of 1/2 cup mix to 1 cup water - OR - 1/4 cup mix to 1 cup milk. Warm up the water/milk, place the mix in, stir thoroughly, until the little chocolate bits melt and everything is blended together.
* I use Trader Joe's 72% bittersweet chocolate Pounder Plus bars for the chocolate. They are fairly inexpensive and is really good quality chocolate. And you can easily make a quadruple batch from one bar.
** I always quadruple the recipe when I make it. You can go through this fast during a cold snap.
2-1/2 TBSP unflavored gelatin
1 cup water, divided, plus 1 TBSP
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract (the REAL stuff!)
NOTE: I use 12-1/4 x 8-1/4 in aluminum pans you buy at the grocery store (the kinds of pans with clear plastic lids) to make the marshmallows. They end up being just the right size for a big fluffy marshmallow. I suppose if you want smaller marshmallows, use a larger pan, so you need to spread out the marshmallow mixture thinner and then cut them smaller.
Lightly coat the pan with cooking and dust with powdered sugar; then set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the water. Let stand 25 minutes.
At the same time, in a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over low to medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Increase hit to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to heat to medium and boil at a moderate rate, stirring frequently until the thermometer registers 244 degrees Fahrenheit - about 15 minutes. MAKE SURE THE MIXTURE DOES NOT BOIL OVER OR BURN.
I use a instant read thermometer to watch the temperature. A candy thermometer will work, too. DO NOT USE A MEAT THERMOMETER - THEY ARE NOT ACCURATE ENOUGH.
Place the bowl with the gelatin on the stand of the mixer, with the whisk attachment (you MUST have a stand mixer for this - if you don't have one, don't bother). Turn it on to low and gradually pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin, add the vanilla and the final 1 TBSP of water. Increase the speed on the mixture to high and beat at high speed and beat 15 minutes. In the end, the mixture should be white, thick and look like, well.....Marshmallows!
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Dampen your hands and press the marshmallow mixture into the pan until it is pretty well, smoothed out (it doesn't need to be perfect).
Let sit overnight, and then remove from the pan and cut into marshmallow-sized pieces and roll in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.
NOTE: You need a heavy duty mixer to make marshmallows. I have one of the original (40 years-old plus) Kitchenaid stand mixer (I inherited it from one of my great-aunts), and after 15 minutes of mixing the marshmallows, my mixer head is pretty hot and needs a serious rest. If you have a portable mixer, I would call that annoying friend with all the expensive kitchen gadets and ask to borrow her Kitchenaid.
Monday, December 10, 2007
DPNs, mind you........walked in the door and headed to the sock yarn section (as is my habit - I love sock yarn). And what was just sitting in the little cubicle next to the sock yarn.........MALABRIGO LACE WEIGHT! I looked, I touched.......I caved! Two skeins of lovely lavender Malabrigo followed me home.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
OK, honestly, I did go to Barnes and Noble for a few filler books, and I need to go to my favorite soap shop, Island Soap and Candle, for some lovely soaps (sorry, their website really isn't up to snuff, but their stuff is great). I plan to do that early tomorrow, and get that out of the way. Then, some stocking stuffers, and I am finished!
The Xmas tree is purchased (yet currently undecorated), and hubby and #2 son got the outside lights and the inflatable santa up outside yesterday.
Now, if I can actually get my Christmas cards out this year...........
Monday, December 03, 2007
This was my house on Sunday>>>>>>
This my friends is December in Washington State. Don't like the weather? Wait 20 minutes, it will change. We had a windstorm last December that knocked the power out to almost all the western half of the state for up to 10 days in some areas. We've gotten a little weird about unpredictable weather these days.
This was suburban flooding in a neighboring town today.
Krisdutch offered up a PIF opportunity the other day, and I bit. Kris is going to send me a special handmade gift, but I have to now "Pay Forward" her generosity to three other people. I have to PIF in the next 365 days, and so would you. The first three people who leave a comment, will get a handmade something from me within the next 365 days.......not before Christmas - I gar-un-tee! So, let me know you're reading this, and I will send you something fun. Remember, you have to be willing to share, too.
Two more holiday knitting projects have snuck into my knitting queue, and I have no idea how they got there..........Oh yeah, now I remember, I think there are 48 hours in each day, and I have not one thing to do!
Now the list stands like this, three fairisle hats (two done), two pairs of socks (one may be going away), a new Xmas stocking for #3 son, a beanie for hubby, AND a knitted Santa hat for #3 son. This last one got dumped on me Sunday afternoon, and #3 has been a huge pain in the arse about it ever since. "Are you done yet?" "Are you done yet?" He forgets I have the last minute details for a 200+ person Holiday party to take care of before Wednesday. But hey...he NEEDS that had for the party on Wednesday! Everything else can go to hell in a handbasket, as long as his hat gets done!
What am I doing blogging? I have a Santa hat to knit!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
My latest completed read: "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. This book recently won the National Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. I will point out, that I am a huge Alexie fan. I think he is brilliant, funny, kind of hot-looking (nice hair Sherman), and a very original voice. He's also a local guy for me, and since I don't share the Pacific Northwest's blind love for Tom Robbins, I have to spread my literary love somewhere.
Where to start with this book. It is painful, funny, sad, joyous and very real. You don't have to be Indian to feel out of place. That is the perspective Alexie writes from, but it is a feeling that almost every teenager experiences at some point. I know I sure did! I read everything that Alexie writes, but this one was a particular standout. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for a teenager you love.
I also received a knitting related goodie from Amazon yesterday: "Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller. I haven't had time to actually knit any of the patterns, yet, but I can testify that they are "guy approved" patterns. My 16 year-old has already put in orders for two hats, and a sweater from the book. I have also found one that is perfect for #1 son, as well. AND there are a couple of good sock patterns (always a plus for me!). The sizing for the sweaters is pretty good, it seems. None of them will fit my XXL hubby without some alteration, but it is much better than some pattern designers I could name (Debbie Bliss). I'm so interested in diving into these patterns that it is taking all my restraint to not ditch my Holiday Knitting for a foray into "Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch." I hope I will soon be able to share a FO from the book with you all.
Is there an "all" out there reading this, yet? Or is it just a "one" so far (not counting #3 son who keeps reading my blog over my shoulder!)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
For the knitterly among you, the pattern is Fiber Trends Swirls Hat (pattern # AC-59). Yarn used, Cascade 220 Superwash.
F.O. #2 is nearly done.....just have to knit the I-cord top-knot. Only one hat and two pairs of socks left to go! Tee-Hee!
And I have some of my Xmas shopping done, too (thank you Internet!). My goal this year. To complete Christmas shopping without ever setting foot in a mall. Can we do it?? Yes! We! Can!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
On the Holiday Knitting front, I already have one hat finished, and another just shy of half-way done! I ROCK! I will try to get #3 son to do some modeling soon.
BTW, Cougs beat the Huskies in Apple Cup #100! Take that DAWGS!!
Just realized that I have not yet had my Thanksgiving nap. Too late for it tonight, but I AM going to get in some serious nappage tomorrow. What is a holiday weekend without a nap surrounded by the family dogs!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Here's the holiday knitting countdown:
1) fair isle hats for nephews A, B, and C (in their high school colors - even though they are not in high school.....yet)
2) socks for FIL
3) socks for youngest's teacher
Five weeks and counting......wish me luck!
P.S. And, Oh Joy!!! Youngest's teacher's wife is having a baby!!! I get to knit a baby blanket!!! And just when I really wanted to knit another one and had no Bee-Bee to knit for!
P.S.S. Happy T-day folks! I'm off to bake more PIES!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
But tonight I met the Eastside Stitchers, a Stitch'n'Bitch group in my area. Ladies, in a word, YOU ROCK! I am going to learn so much from you guys......I can hardly wait!
A lot of the Stitchers are also part of Eastside Spinners, and they invited me to come learn to spin with them on Saturday.....I am so Psyched! My Hubby is going to hate it, but he will be out of town on Saturday. By the time he gets back, I will be Spinaddicted as well as Knitaddicted.
Still gotta learn how to do pictures.......Xmas knitting is just beginning and I will have show and tell soon!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
While eating Mexican food with my soon-to-be 21-year old (ack! I'm old!!) son last night, we started talking about three questions we would ask our favorite celebrities, if we had the chance.........Here are mine............
1) What is your favorite thing to eat?
2) What books have you read/enjoyed
3) If you had 48 hours to yourself, to spend entirely on yourself; with no responsibilities other than to yourself, and no repurcussions (money and travel constraints are NOT considerations), what would you do with those 48 hours? Being totally selfish with the time is the goal.
Who would I like to hear the answers from????
To name a few................
Folks, who would you ask these questions of, and how would you answer them yourself?
Saturday, June 09, 2007
If you actually like Paris Hilton, stop reading here!
I usually don't get involved in this celebrity crap. I don't care one bit. But this Paris in, then out, then in jail again stuff just galls me! The LA County Sheriff let her out on home detention, against the specific instructions of the presiding judge because he said she had "medical problems" and had been visited by several mental health professionals in her whole 75 hour incarceration. I wonder, perhaps she was, for the first time in her life, confronted with being by herself, and didn't like what she saw?? Discuss......
If Paris really can't stand being in jail.....for a couple of million dollars (and someone to replace me while I am gone) , I would be more than happy to take her place in jail (provided I am allowed my books AND knitting, and at least one of my puppy-dogs). A few days alone with myself is my idea of heaven. Then again, I don't live for the adoration of the papparazzi, AND I actually LIKE myself!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
I so totally have to tell on my dear hubby. He went on a short business trip this week. On his way back home, he was waiting for his flight and happened to be sitting next to a woman who was knitting baby booties on double pointed needles. After watching her for a few minutes, he turns to her and says "ya know, that would be easier if you knit them on two circular needles...."
She of course, turned to him with an absolutely incredulous look on her face - so what the heck does a big ole' bearded guy know about sock knitting! He goes on to say....."you're obsessed with it, aren't you?" And of course we all know she nodded - still a little dumbfounded.
Then dear hubby, all sympathy, "My wife is too" and reaches in to his carry-on bag and pulls out some of my handiwork - a pair of handknit socks! Frankly, he doesn't travel without a couple pairs of the socks I have knit for him.
I have him talking to strange women in airports about knitting......do you think I can get him to knit his own socks soon?
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
OK, so I am trying to embark on this blogging thing again. If anyone reads this, leave me a comment, so I know you're out there. Then I will try to be much more entertaining.
Today, I had to take the big guy, Otto, to the vet today. He has been violently shaking his head for a few days, so we thought something was up. Yup, there was, he has a yeast infection in his ears. Although the head-shaking was kind of entertaining, the vet told me that the head-shaking can rupture part of Otto's ear, causing a pooling of blood in his ear and then requiring surgery! Sooooo, on top of the yeast infection medicine, we have to keep him doped up on Benadryl for a couple of days to keep the itching sensation down and stop the head-shaking.
On the knitting front, I am trying to finish the aran baby blanket I started a while back. One more square to knit. But I noticed a small-to-middlin' mistake on one of the finished ones yesterday, so I had to frog out five rows and reknit it. Not a biggie, just an annoyance. I am using a three needle bind-off to join the squares together. So I have to pick up stitches on the ends, and then do the bind-off. Time consuming, but they look really good. Can't deny that. I am contemplating doing an i-cord edging all around the blanket, too. Again, time consuming, but I think it will give the blanket the ultimate in finishes. If I can ever figure out how to get pictures on this thing, I will post a picture of the blanket before I give it to the deserving baby. Face it, is there ever a baby who does not deserve a wonderful blanket? Heck! If I vaugely know the person having the baby I will make them something. I'm not too particular. Knitting baby stuff is just way too fun!!