Maddy had a few places she wanted to go on Saturday afternoon, and she wanted to drive. It was a very successful outing in that I found a pair of comfy, stretchy jeans, which I wasn't intending and really didn't want to buy, but we were there and, well, they were only $11!! I'm wearing them now. We also went to one of her favorite indie coffee shops and then walked down to an indie book store where I found a little something, as did she. She still wanted to drive some more, so we just followed her nose and it led us to this farmhouse -- it's one of those that as a child I would think of as a fixer-upper. Now I enjoy a quick and wistful memory of the little girl and her house dreams on the way to mourning. The house is long past saving, and so sad. There used to be a porch across the front and the back porch was originally open -- a proud pillar is visible through the broken wood. There's not a drop of paint left on the siding. The floor inside the side door is completely fallen away and, while there was a plank, I nixed the idea of going inside. Everything in the house that could be removed and burned, or broken, was... removed and burned, or broken. There were doorknobs and hinges in a pile of ashes, broken glass and porcelain strewn about. I was startled by how compromised the foundation was in the rear of the house, pushed in and badly broken -- like something rammed into it, but underground (a really big gopher?) -- DH said that frost-heave can do that. Incredible. There was a barn behind me, with a loft full of hay, and a couple of outbuildings. Maddy found an old bottle in the barn for her collection -- I let her go in a teensy, tiny bit.
One of my biggest successes on Saturday was finishing the Fetching mitts while Madeleine practiced her driving! I have always been pretty calm and cool in the girls' learning-to-drive stage, but the knitting helps to keep me even more relaxed. When I mentioned the other day that I wouldn't mind a little more length from the thumb to the last cable cross/top of the mitt... well, chalk it up to operator error. There's a very good reason why I so often use small sticky notes to mark my place in a pattern, and I can't really think of a good reason why I didn't use them here... I suppose it's because the pattern isn't very long or complicated. The sticky note is my friend and perhaps I should have one pinned to my shirt, even, so I don't forget to use it. Anyway, I had to rip out the first mitt, when was more complicated than it sounds and I actually had to rip out and re-do the whole thumb (mostly due to very good and diligent weaving in of ends!), but they are both perfect now and I have no complaints.
There was macaroni and cheese yesterday. I found three Martha Stewart recipes and took a little from each. Basically, while the jumbo macaroni cooked, I sauteed some onion in butter and made a roux -- one of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do (ever since I learned how to do it correctly!) -- then a nice white sauce with fat-free evaporated milk and some skim, in which I melted two types of cheddar and some monterey jack. I made fresh buttered bread crumbs for the topping. It was good, but not great. A couple of notes: I scorched the cheese sauce and, while it didn't taste burnt, I think there was an affect on taste; I should have used all (or at least more) of the onion I sauteed; it needed more salt and, especially, pepper; try to use a less sweet bread for crumbs next time. I'll have some for lunch today and we'll see how it fared overnight. Also, an 8x8 or 1-1/2 quart casserole of this would be plenty.
I cannot count the times I had to look away from 24 last night. Guess what I was looking at! The knitted-on seed-stitch (third try) Coup d'Etat button band! I'm about half-way up the left side. ; ) I was looking in my closet this morning, trying to decide which sweater to wear today with the Fetchings for our first Winter Storm Warning of the year... I chose Oatmeal, but I really need a new sweater in the rotation!!!