I did some cooking over the weekend to help warm things up. On Saturday, it was Abbey's Chili All Day. I've made that recipe at least once per year since Abbey first posted it. It makes a nice big pot of wonderful, hearty chili. Since roasting is my new favorite thing to do in the kitchen (plus it helps with the "warming things up" part), I roasted the stew meat and onions a la Carole's Roast Beef Soup, just as I did for stew a couple of weeks ago, and then picked up the chili recipe from there. However you might do it, I encourage you to try it... you'll like it!!
On Sunday, I roasted* a chicken and will use the leftovers tomorrow to make chicken soup. Ali also has tomorrow off, and we're going to work hard at cleaning out the playroom (where no one has "played" in years, but we still call it that) and carving out a work space for her -- a studio space, if you will. She is serious about taking on and doing more work, as well she should.
There's a part of our basement that's really, really cold and I use it as a gigantic walk-in cooler at this time of year. On Saturday, I had to go down there to get a beer for the chili and discovered standing water -- quite a bit of standing water -- on the floor in one area. There's a floor drain there, and another close by, but it was obviously stopped-up. The water was crystal clear, so I immediately (and thankfully) ruled out leaky drain pipes from shower, sink, washer, or other "dirty" plumbing fixtures. Frankly, where the water was coming from wasn't as much a concern as why it wasn't going. We tried poking then snaking, with no success, and it was determined that we'd have to rent a larger snake and try again. We snaked the floor drain last night, then the main drain, and again with no success. In a last-minute desperation move, a simple, lowly plunger was called for and... plunge-plunge-plunge WHOOSH!
Whew! It's good for now. The investigative work and any necessary repairs or replacements will have to wait 'til spring.
I cast off the sleeves of Oblique last night and the raglan decreases appear to match up perfectly with those on the fronts/back. I'm thrilled! I picked up buttonband stitches on the left front and will work on that at knit night tonight. Then there's seaming, the collar, and buttons. I had Katie pick up an extra hank of yarn yesterday, after all; I'm almost certain that it'll be needed.
Sorry for the picture-less post. Besides dealing with the water in the basement problem last night, there was more than 3" of snow to deal with this morning before leaving for work. Man, it was scary-slippery on the highway! Katie originally wanted to go back to Madison yesterday but postponed her departure 'til this morning because of the weather. I white-knuckled it to work -- it was greasy-slippery and I felt that any sudden move or twitch would land me in the ditch -- I'm pretty sure I skated most of the way -- and intended to call Katie with a warning the minute I arrived. Too late. She called me from a ditch just as I pulled into the parking lot -- she's okay and her car is okay (minus one fog light -- meh), but her door was wedged so she needed rescuing, and the car needed to be pulled out. The sun is shining and roads are improving and she'll be on her way soon; missing her first day of second-semester classes.
Arrgh. Yeah, looking forward to knitting tonight!!
*Big surprise, I know!