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20 posts from March 2009

31 March 2009

10 Things on My To-Do List

A 6" knitted square

1.  Knit some more squares for Luke's blanket, making sure they're 5-inchers this time.  ; )  I knit two last night, but they both want to be 6-inch squares after washing.  I'll save them for something else.

2.  Fix the downstairs drip from the upstairs tub.

3.  Finish going through the Living mags.  I've shared a few Good Things with Ali that she's using at the coffee shop -- some cute folded paper pockets for holding bagels and cookies, pinwheels for spring!

4.  Sew together Oblique.

5.  And Maddy's sweater.

6.  And Mom's Habu sweater.

7.  Start my Habu sweater.

8.  Have a rummage sale this spring and get rid of all the stuff I've been cleaning out.

9.  Do some more cleaning out.

10.  Work hard on losing some weight and building more strength.  I have felt utterly trapped and pretty darn useless these past four days after throwing out my back on Saturday morning.  I have done this before, but it has been quite a while.  Damn waste of some good days off.  It's getting better, little by little.  The only good thing is that I've been catching up on rest.  I've been sleeping in -- and I took a nap yesterday!

Ten on Tuesday.

30 March 2009

When in doubt, knit squares

Spring Is Coming

My needles are up in the air right now -- as is often the case at this time of year -- and Cindy couldn't have timed her call for squares any better!  I am still working through the remains of a frogged sweater -- that happen to be blue!  In fact, it's Debbie Bliss Merino Aran and I used this very same yarn a few years ago to knit blanket squares for both Christine's brother Jef and my own brother.  Here's a beautiful example of how the squares are used.  If you have a little bit of blue wool and a few minutes to spare, perhaps you'll consider knitting a 5-inch square, too.

Can you believe I woke up to snow yesterday morning?  Well, perhaps you can.  I know I'm not the only one.  C'mon spring!  I am longing for 50F!

28 March 2009

Saturday sky, Friday morning drama edition

Spring.19-1

Spring.19-2

When I saw this on my way to work yesterday morning (car cam!), I thought we were in for it!  There's snow in the weekend forecast, but this made me think that perhaps the timing was a bit off.  It turned out to be a "nice" end-of-March spring day -- a bit cold, but mostly sunny.  Not bad.  There was a similar look to the sky at sunset.  For the most part, the sun is shining this morning, too.  There's still snow in the forecast.  We're supposed to get a few inches tonight.  It's all second-hand news.  I don't care to watch.

I had big plans today!  DH was up a little earlier than I was this morning, and was cooking up a high-powered liver & egg breakfast for himself when I got up -- he has a busy day ahead, too.  I don't usually break the fast immediately upon rising, but I accepted his offer -- sometimes when I get involved in the day, I don't stop to eat at all.  So, just as he was plating our meal, I bent OVER (rather than DOWN) to pick something off the floor and felt something snap in my back.  Damn!  Today is the first day of a four-day weekend -- and I have big plans for all FOUR days!  I ate my breakfast, took a handful of ibuprofen, got "dressed" (haven't tried washing my face or brushing my teeth yet -- that's next), and have been alternating hot- and cold-packs all morning.  Hopefully, I'll be able to salvage something of the weekend.

27 March 2009

Zoom zoom

365.108

I dragged it to a dance studio last night and Zumba'd.  Yeah, baby, I shaked that booty!!

Zumba was fun -- kind of like Jazzercise, which I did with some success back in the day (and a few years ago for a short time, but there were problems with location/logistics).  Zumba is concentrated much more on DANCE.  It's very fast paced and a good workout -- and I liked it. I'm going back!

Spring-into-summer I am not a solitary worker-outer.  I do much better in a group -- a group of friends, a group of strangers, it doesn't really matter.  Even a group of two is better than solitary confinement exercise -- except maybe for walking, which is tolerable alone, but I even prefer to do that with another.  I tried doing the elliptical at home/alone earlier this year and there was nothing enjoyable about it.  It was too early, too dark, too... lonely and boring.  Yeah.  It was uber boring.  (It was for me, at least!  Your mileage may vary.)

Anyway, I threw my hat into Kim & Kathy's Spring Into Summer last Friday.  I dutifully weighed and measured on Saturday morning (Katie did too, btw; we're sharing a journal, being a little bit accountable to each other), but the weekend went downhill from there.  There was a lovely and very healthy brunch at Annie's, but Karen brought Chocolate Caramel Bars, my favorite dessert of all time, and I had... some.  (I never make them myself because I have no control when they're in the room.)  There was another incident with hazelnut bars at cooking class on Monday involving the pan, crumbs, and spoons.  Lordy.

Well, it's time -- it's been time for a while.  I've gained 40 pounds over the four years since I quit smoking.  I have a closet full of tight- and ill-fitting clothing and I am constantly uncomfortable!  This big thing where my stomach used to be is driving me nuts and always getting in the way.  I may have started slowly, but I've been much better since the weekend, also trying to get back into the habit of keeping a food journal. 

Hopefully, the next time (!) you see my ass on the internet, it'll be a li'l bit smaller.  ; )

P.S.  I thought my legs hurt the other day after cleaning a cupboard?  Speaking of which... Wednesday's cupboard was only the beginning.  I have a pretty big kitchen and that wasn't even the biggest cupboard, nor the only one with glass doors.  Thankfully, I've a four-day weekend ahead, some motivation, and a little bit of momentum.

Happy Weekend!

26 March 2009

...during... and after!

Spice-keh  Depression glass measuring cup

I threw out a lot of old spices and empty jars yesterday.  I kind of shudder when I think how old some of that stuff was.  And you would not believe how many EMPTY spice jars I had!  Ten or twelve of them?  WTF?

I have a pretty nice collection of green Depression glass, but it all started with measuring cups and mixing bowls -- the utilitarian items that my grandmothers would have used daily in their kitchens.  No doubt they had some serving pieces, but the everyday stuff is what drew me in.  I had a pretty big weakness for measuring cups with three spouts.  Most of my glass is made by Hazel Atlas (I had to narrow my focus somehow!) and marked with an HA that many people mistakenly think is the mark for Anchor Hocking.  I haven't bought a new piece in years.  I broke the lid to my everyday butter dish the other day, though, and yesterday I broke the ill-fitting clear piece that I was using as a replacement, so who knows...

Cookbooks  Nitty Gritty

I put two old WW cookbooks in the "get rid of" pile -- I never did use them much -- and kept the one that has always been my favorite (even though I haven't made anything from it in a long, long time).  The cookbooks from Nitty Gritty Productions were probably the first two I ever bought for myself!  The vegetable book has always been my go-to quick reference for general information.

Smart cooking  Cookbooks

The Adelle Davis book landed in my collection with marriage -- I've never read it.  The "Smart" books were added with kids and I may have made a few things.  I use the Household Hints for references a few times a year, usually.  As far as Wild Plants, I've eaten young fiddlehead ferns, cattails, and certain fungi (other than mushrooms) -- it was a long, long time ago and I did not forage alone.  I think my dad and his brothers all wanted to grow up and be Grizzly Adams or something.

I had to have a book entitled "How To Cook."  The plaid books are "All About Home Baking" by General Foods, c. 1933. One of them was my maternal grandmother's, the other three I picked up -- intending to give them either to my sister's or to my daughters. I can't decide, so I still have all four. If you happen to have copy of "The Tillamook Cookbook," I did the typesetting.

365.107 / Cupboard (during)  Cupboard shelf

There was a lot of up and down the stepladder -- and I felt it in my butt and thighs last night!  The shelves were definitely dusty.  This is the very tippy-top shelf and those top shelves get it the WORST!  It's not only dust... it's the kind adhered to the surface with grease.  Yucky, I know.

Cupboard (after)

Voila!  After -- clean and organized.  There's even some empty space!

25 March 2009

Random Wednesday, the clean edition w/FO

Shape-it Scarf

First, the FO.  This is another Shape It! Scarf (Ravelry link) from The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville.  Just as last time, I knit this one in SWTC Bamboo -- it feels great, has wonderful drape, is almost perfectly mindless, and one skein will do it.  I wear the other one CONSTANTLY, but maybe not so much any more.

This, and maybe a few other things, is what I have planned today for my day off:

Cupboard (before)

BEFORE!  I wonder what sorts of treasure lies within.  Stay tuned...

23 March 2009

A tale of three caps

Circles in wool & cotton; the desert (with purple mountain's majesty) and the forest

When I browsed the photos last night, they presented themselves in such a way that making a mosaic was a no-brainer.  I'll admit, I may have let myself be carried away on fd's flickr toys mosaic-making merry-go-round.  Honestly, though, I think I may re-shoot that set up, with a couple of small changes, and order a print.  I just love the colors and the patterning.

What we have here, in terms of knitting, is variations on a theme.

Three caps, all knit using Teva Durham's Afghani Cap pattern from Vogue Knitting: Caps & Hats as the starting point.  Also, my youngest sister has a sewn "Afghani Cap" made from felted wool that is a pretty cool cap and it was my mother's coveting of said cap that initially sparked this little journey.

Afghani hat

I knit the first cap with Mom in mind as the recipient.  I used Handmaiden Fine Yarns "Ottawa" -- the leftovers from my Moebius Cowl -- mainly because it was at-hand and because of the colors.  I knit the hat pretty much as written, though I may have cast on a few more stitches because I wanted a longer brim and also because of differences in gauge.

It turned out okay!  It wasn't quite the shape I was after, but it was a very good hat.  The biggest thing to come from it was that my sister saw it on the blog.

"This doesn't mean that I'm asking you to knit me a hat," she said (or something like that), "but I really like the shape of that hat.  There is some fullness at the top with that style and it's not so close-fitting.  It won't make me look so... bald."

Well, hell, of course that meant I had to knit her a hat!  Besides, those welts were kind of fun to knit!  I could use straight needles and I had more yarn!  I cast on right away!!

I may have increased the needle size for the second cap -- it's a terrible thing, but I really don't remember.  What I need is an internal video recorder (I'm getting a vague memory of a Robin Williams movie having to do with something like that -- I think) so I don't have to stop and write things down.  I'm terrible about writing these things down!

Anyway, I knit the second cap (possibly with a larger needle) just as I did the first, EXCEPT for one slight modification.  My desire was for a cap that flared a bit at the top of the brim where it met the crown.  With this pattern, I decided that short rows would be a good way to achieve the increase in an attractive manner.  I figured that a third of the total stitch count would be a good number to provide the "flare" and also determined that I would work the short rows in the welt areas.  I ended up working a short row on either side of the welt section and also between each welt -- for a total of four added rows in each of those sections (of which there were four, so, in the end, 16 more rows at the top of the brim than at the bottom).

Short rows (small mosaic)

It is very difficult to photograph a "short row."

The second hat turned out okay -- bigger overall -- but, actually, still not as flared as I wanted.  It was definitely not as flared as I was expecting with the addition of the short rows.

I took the first two hats to Madison a couple of weeks ago when we met up with my sister after her radiation appointment.  She tried on and I was able to see her in both hats and get her feedback.

With the onset of spring (though not, apparently, today), we decided that cotton might be nice -- and in a lighter, more neutral color.  I'd used up all the Ottawa on the second cap, anyway.

Afghani Cap

More welts!  I ended up choosing Gedifra Fiorista, a cotton/poly blend, in color 5213-Rose/anthricite -- it's both colorful and subdued (not quite as bright as linked, but perhaps a smidge brighter than my photos), and it knit up beautifully. This time, rather than working short rows, I decided to knit the brim as written but picked up more stitches for the crown and made adjustments to the decreases.  The cotton yarn is a lot sturdier and stood up better to that modification than the floppier wool.

I seamed it on the way to Madison on Saturday and my sister tried it on -- and the third time's the charm!  She loved the color, too.  I brought it back home to weave in ends and block it a little bit, mainly to smooth out the brim/crown juncture, and will get it in the mail this week!

My sister is doing as well as expected, I guess.  The prescribed course of chemo/radiation concluded last week.  She's bald.  She's worn out.  She's lost weight.  She's keepin' on with the keepin' on, though, taking the dog out for walks, feeding the cat, getting some work done.  The surface burn from the radiation is so nasty and uncomfortable, limiting her movement and affecting posture.  Keep those good thoughts and wishes coming!

I still haven't had my fill of knitting welts!  Kinda scary...

20 March 2009

Fits and starts, firsts and fifths

Hens & Chicks

Happy 1st Day of Spring!!

Happy 5th Blogiversary to Me!!  While there hasn't been a lot of spectacular (or even not spectacular) knitting on the ol' knitting blog of late, I thought I'd share 5 of my favorite (finished) knitted things from the last 5 years.  In no particular order (Ravelry pattern links)...

StB

Alice Starmore's St. Brigid, of course.  Texture is my thing!  Her book, Aran Knitting, still sits firmly atop my list of "Wants."

Shirl

An adaptation of Shirley Paden's Cabled Shrug from Fall 2005 Interweave Knits that I like to call "Shirley Shrugs."  I did some seriously fun short-row mods and made my inner geek by happy by charting it all in a spreadsheet.

Wmsro

Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Williamsro, from Noro: Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book 2.  I knit this for the 2006 Knitting Olympics.  Texture and color!

Fib

Inspired by an Alexandra Virgiel pattern for a raglan sweater called "Fibonacci," originally published in Magknits and now, apparently, lost; I call mine "Fib."  I used nothing but leftovers from a sweater kit to knit this.  Um, also charted -- both sequence and color -- in a spreadsheet.

Hundertwasser

Knitty's Argosy knit in Opal's Hundertwasser sock yarn; this one is "Der Blaue Mond."  The Hundertwasser series makes me crazy happy.  I love everything about that yarn -- the inspiration, the execution, the colors.  I bought a box full of bare yarn and some dye, I was so inspired... a while back.

This quick little review is a fun exercise, and I'm feeling kind of excited and energized!  Maybe this is just what I needed in order to jump-start the knitting and some other projects that have been swirling around -- like dyeing!  A little time in the Finish or Frog It chamber would probably help -- and would coincide nicely with some of my other spring cleaning plans.

It's Spring!!

Thank you for reading my blog.  While I generally suck at the reply to comments part of this enterprise, please know that every one is... something more than "read."  I read every single one, and I feel them, too; I feel them very deeply.  I have tried and done so many things as a direct result of blogging, it's mind boggling -- it's BLOGGLING!  I have been inspired, lifted, grounded, supported, loved...  Thank you.

18 March 2009

Who's better than you today?

I get these anniversary emails from Quitnet and they always ask the same question: Who's better than YOU today?

My latest stats: 1,461 days smoke-free; 29,224 cigarettes not smoked (mind boggling); nearly 7-1/2 months of "lifetime saved"; and $5,113.50 not spent going up in smoke.

The best part? The stress. One of the biggest reasons I smoked -- and I'm pretty sure that it's the same for most smokers -- was to relax and relieve stress. In many ways, and for a very long time, it worked. Both mentally and physically, I'd remove myself from whatever was going on -- "take a break" -- refocus, regroup. take a time out.

At some point, though, rather than relaxing and letting go of the stress du jour, I'd be overcome by guilt and the stress of smoking. Every time I walked out the door and lit up I'd hear voices in my head and statistics would flash before my eyes. I was just trading off one stress for another and, truthfully, the stress I'd feel about smoking was worse than just about any other kind.

I'm feeling pretty darn good about kicking tobacco's butt and refusing to let that stupid little cigarette have such control over me. I miss smoking sometimes, but -- truthfully? now? -- not as much as I thought I would. I'm never gripped by a craving anymore, and rarely feel an urge. Sometimes... but rarely.

Considering how many years I smoked, there's very little photographic evidence, which is good I suppose. The photo above was in the same stack (taken the same day) as the one I posted the last week and I immediately noticed the cigarette. I had quit during my pregnancy with Maddy -- the only one of the three that I quit altogether -- and I stayed quit for a while after she was born. I thought I could be a "social smoker," but quickly found out that I couldn't have just one and it was 12 more years of smoking before...

I started blogging and made some internet friends and one of those friends, Ann, one day said, "I'm thinking about quitting smoking." And I said, "I'm in!" The gauntlet was down, the whole internet knew about it -- and was so amazingly supportive, Cara was indispensible -- and here we are, four years later!

Indeed. I'll take my day!!

15 March 2009

Spring is springing!

Spring is Springing

Spring

Saw a thermometer reading 53F today -- it was smack-dab in the noon-day sun, but whatever.  It's been a long time.

I didn't make it to Madison this weekend -- I've made a few trips recently and there's a family thing NEXT Saturday, and no doubt a few more trips in the nearer future besides.  Plus, I didn't have a car yesterday.  We had a ceremonious driving of DH's old van to the junk yard last fall and haven't replaced it.  He takes me to work and Katie picks me up sometimes, or sometimes he takes the bus or rides a bike (bike weather is coming!) and it's been working out.  I'd take the bus if it didn't get me where I wanted to go a half-hour after I'm supposed to be there and, unfortunately, work is WAY too far to bike and also the route is mostly unsafe for biking.  It's inconvenient sometimes, but mostly not.  I don't miss the repair bills or stress over wondering what the next major thing will be.  We'll have to replace that vehicle in some manner, somehow, and soon -- art fair season is approaching.

Anyway... yesterday was a very quiet day at home with no wheels and plenty to do!  I processed some photos that have been waiting, did some cleaning and laundry.  It was good.

Today was errand day!  I had a few things to pick up -- ingredients for Fish Chowder a la Carole, a few items at Target, a stop at Goodwill.  The Fish Chowder garnered rave reviews from my toughest critics.  It was completely yummy.  Thanks Carole!

13 March 2009

Flashback Friday & Random & Babies

Mud Pie 1993

I'm a member of a Flickr group called "When We Were Young."  I've posted a few photos, mostly from the mid-60s when I was under 10, but I guess the mid-90s and age 35 can be interpreted as "young" when you're 50.  Heh.  Look, ma!  Shoulder pads!  Humongous plastic-frame spectacles!  Bangs!  One chin!  I'm thin (even though I'm certain I thought I was not!)!

That's Maddy, 2, wearing a white sweatshirt and serving me mud pie.  I love her sweet, sweet face.  That sweatshirt was a hand-me-down that was also worn by Ali -- and I think maybe even Katie -- and for some reason I'm thinking it was something I redeemed with "diaper points."  Whatever poly-acrylic fabric it was made from, it was indestructable and ALWAYS came clean, white as snow!

The snow is melting!  We had horrid-for-March windchill (below zero) yesterday, but it's warming up right through the weekend.  I'm officially calling it SPRING because the street department was ON MY STREET this week PATCHING BIG-ASS POTHOLES!  We've been kind of zig-zagging the first block the past couple of weeks and have been running out of zig-zag room.  WooHOO!

Busy week next week.  It will officially be officially spring on Friday -- which is also my 5th Blogiversary!  Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day and also Michael's birthday and also the day I smoked my last cigarette four years ago, which makes Wednesday the 4th anniversary of the Quit!  Joining me in that celebration are my sister Karen and founder of the Cold Turkey Club, my wonderful friend Ann!

There's a new baby in blogland!!  There's no official post up as of this writing, but Baby Boy Bookish has arrived!!!  Congratulations to Wendy & Rob & Sophia!!  I have always had a huge soft spot for babies and have found myself recently being a little reflective and completely awed by the "babies" in blogland.  There have been a lot of 'em born in five years -- sometimes two and three at a time!!  I can't believe how fast they grow up on the blog!

Happy Weekend!!

11 March 2009

Yet another...

Desert Hat 3

Desert Hat 4

Afghani Cap in the making.  This time in cotton.  I love the welts, and kind of hate them too.  I'm playing around with yet another little tweak... or variation on a tweak... hoping it works.

Desert Hat 2 Desert Hat 1

I'm diggin' the colors -- earthy -- rocks, sand, desert, mountains... purple mountain majesties.

10 March 2009

Hm

I may have screwed around under the hood a bit too much and frakked my feed(s).  This is a test.

Faves

Faves 3/10/09

1. Solitude, 2. I have been waiting all winter long for springtime., 3. Change, 4. yunomi, 5. {a friend who cares}, 6. Pink Blush, 7. revontulifinished11, 8. {Poppy}, 9. RED, 10. sprung, 11. Rearview, 12. Remembering summer, 13. Yellow, 5, 14. a boy named sue, 15. Untitled, 16. Eastern Shore of Lake Winnebago
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

It's looking a little brighter, don't you think?  Makes me think, "Sunny, with flowers."  Happy Tuesday.

09 March 2009

Weekend update (with weather) (and pizza)

Yesterday, as an antidote to this:

Spring.8

I went on a search through the archives and found this:

SummerSky-3

Sunset on a summer evening (July 2008).  The weather is the hot topic this time of year, isn't it?!  We had about five inches of snow on the ground last night when all was said and done.  I was surprised this morning at how much ice there was under it all -- there must have been some "wintry mix" at the start.  And fog!  The sun is out, though (even if it's an hour "late"), and we'll see 40s by mid-week.

Lunch

The weekend was pretty low-key.  Maddy dropped me off at the coffee shop around noon on Saturday and Ali made the most delightful flatbread pizza and had time to sit down and have some lunch with me.  It was a nice day, so I walked home.

I've started some deep cleaning/clutter-busting -- the current focus is magazines.  It's embarrassing to admit that I have back issues going back almost to the launch of a certain homekeeping magazine.  In order to keep from being overwhelmed, I've set a goal of 12 per day -- I check the table of contents and quickly flip through, pulling out recipes and other good things.  It's hard and I'm kind of sad about it and wonder if I'm doing the RIGHT thing...

I've had a couple of fits and starts on a new hat with my sister in mind, but I think I've found the groove.  It's another in the Afghani style, but cotton.  I hope I can make some progress tonight during the Dancing With the Stars season opener!

08 March 2009

Forcing

Guess what? We're in for some fun springtime weather today -- in the form of snow -- 6 to 8 inches, last I heard; I haven't bothered with a morning update. What-frickin-ever!

My lone and ancient apple tree is hard to get to and of questionable health, so I pruned the hibiscus tree by the garage -- the branches grow every-which-way, so it was good.

I'm makin' my own damn spring!

06 March 2009

Not your average bear

Vicki and Yogi...

"Vicki and Yogi on Mom's new chair," ca. 1961... St. Louis?  I'll bet Mom would remember when -- certainly where -- she bought that chair.

That's a true black-and-white Polaroid -- my dad took LOTS of Polaroid photos when we were kids.  It was a pretty big camera and the case was HUGE!  I used to love watching them develop, of course, but there was also a little spongy-squeegee thing that he'd use to apply fixative or something and I used to love the smell of that stuff.  I loved the smell of gasoline wafting through an open window when I was a kid, too.  And I liked eating butter straight up, and the crispy fat on a grilled steak and, apparently, aspirin, as I had my stomach pumped not once (baby aspirin) but TWICE (Anacin -- the real stuff) as a kid.  But I digress...  Anyway, fixed or not, you can see some funky stuff happening on the Polaroid specimen above -- that's tame compared to some.

365.84

My interest in gadgets for picture and sound is definitely from my dad, though he's probably better at getting them to consistently work.

Happy Weekend!!

05 March 2009

Noggin noshin'

Hat

Noggin, with the addition of "I-cord" and a pompom, in Dale of Norway "Sisik" (color #167).  It was a little tedious to knit that long cord (in the round, even), but I sure love the result.  I followed the Noggin specs for the newborn-to-3-month size, making the crown a bit shorter than written.

Hat trick

I finished the second Afghani Cap the other day -- the one with mods that kinda worked, kinda not -- I'll do a better shoot and write-up of that one. I had a little international hat trick trifecta goin' on yesterday, what with the little Noggin in Dale of Norway "Sisik" yarn and the two Afghani Caps in Canadian Handmaiden "Ottawa."  It made me smile that I'd think of "hat trick"... I'm not even into hockey... everything I know about hockey I learned from Love Story and Miracle.

La Brioche

Turns out Deb was right last week when she said that "you don't have to be retired to drive two hours for lunch"!  That's exactly what I did yesterday.  Mom and I drove down to Madison to meet my sister after her radiation appointment.  Katie suggested La Brioche presents True Food and it was perfect -- a very interesting bakery and restaurant!  We were seated in the "slow chi" part of the restaurant and enjoyed a nice, relaxing lunch. The hastily shot photo above shows the transition from medium chi to slow chi -- there is also a fast chi part. The care and attention to placement and appointments are evident, and it was quite lovely. The food was delightful. I devoured a spinach omelette with chevre and roasted tomatoes accompanied by a nice salad of spring greens with vinaigrette and french bread.  We had Tres Leche Cake for dessert (split tres ways). I had never heard of Tres Leche Cake before LAST NIGHT when, by very strange coincidence, I caught a portion of an Alton Brown show on the Food Network about milk!  (Alton's recipe is linked above at "Tres," another by Emeril Legasse is linked at "Leche."  I haven't tried either... perhaps I'll try both!)  Yum. I think it's my new favorite -- rich and moist, yet very light, and sweet.  And not La Leche Cake as I was mistakenly telling the girls at book club last night...  That's so very different.

Spring.4

My sister, by the way, is doing well.  As of this morning she has a completely bare little noggin.  She had it shaved off pretty close last Friday after it started falling out, but even the little stubble continues to fall (who would think of that?) and so another friend was going to shave it completely today.  She has a terrible burn in the collarbone area from the radiation (again, who knew?) and her esophagus is quite irritated (that side effect of radiation, at least, I had read about!); other than feeling quite fatigued at times, she's hanging in there and hasn't really experienced any sickness or nausea -- fingers crossed for more of the same and that she gets through the next round of chemo likewise.

I took the two Afghani Caps down for her to try on.  She'd mentioned seeing the first on my blog and that she really liked the shape -- not so form-fitting, clingy, and skullcap-ish.  Being on the brink of spring, however (YAY!), the wool is a bit much, so I'd like to stop at the LYS tonight and see if there's a nice soft something more spring-into-summer that I can use.  It's a pattern that I enjoy knitting and I'm having fun with all the experiments.

Shall I save a little somethin' for tomorrow?  I feel like I could go on and on today.  I do believe I've turned a little corner -- I had a great day yesterday -- and even while it seems like parts of the world are falling down around me -- even right ON me -- I feel strong and I see light and I think I'm gonna get there.

03 March 2009

Oddfellow

I gave this little Oddfellow to Ali on her birthday almost three years ago.  She named him Oswald and, for the longest time, he rode shotgun in her New Beetle.

Oswald

He's got a new job now, presiding over the box of punch cards at the coffee shop.  Right there on the counter, he greets everyone with his brilliant orange smile.

I did a little barista training with Katie at the coffee shop last night while Ali ran an errand.  It probably won't happen too often, but my help will likely be needed there on occasion -- plus I'd just like to learn -- I raised three baristas, it seems like making a latte is something I should know.  Katie taught me how to pull an espresso shot and how to steam milk.  To practice, I made myself a double 12-oz. caramel praline latte and a mocha (decaf, of course).  I also made (or assisted in making) a vanilla steamer and a couple of hot chocolates for some customers.

01 March 2009

Welcome Spring

I know that "spring" is a few weeks off yet, but it's MARCH and we're getting CLOSE and I took the Christmas wreath off the door and replaced it with THIS today!!

I also took down the light display after this photo was taken, and the Christmas stockings were put away, too. I wasn't into the holidays much this year, but I do like to honor (and admire) my own handiwork and that of others for as long as I can -- I stitched all of our Christmas stockings and my sister made me the pinecone wreath (with pinecones she HANDPICKED HERSELF, she'd be quick to add). The deadline for stocking removal is usually St. Patrick's Day, though I've been known to let 'em go 'til Easter.

Anyway, we'll spring forward in a week and my morning commute will be dark again for a bit, but it's coming people. Hippity-hoppity, spring it on its way!

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