October 4, 2016

A Fall Assortment

GOOD NEWS:  I am making progress once again on The Boring Socks of Boringness.

BAD NEWS:  Said progress is due to spending several hours in the ICU waiting area at Kaiser Hospital in Richmond, where Andrew's cousin Angie was admitted last Wednesday.  Her improvement is slow but steady.  As of the most recent update, she is relying less and less on the the ventilator, her color is coming back, edema is going down, etc.  She could still use thoughts and prayers, though.

KNITTING:  The lace Pi Shawl is coming along, though the going is slow with 512 stitches per round.  I'm on the last lace section.  Once this is done, I have to figure out what type of edging I want to use.

  • RELATED:  I'm going to need some test knitters soon.  I have a friend who usually tests for me, but I'm going to need three items tested at once, so, even if she's able, I'll need two more people to help.  Items that will need to be tested are:  a garter-based mobius cowl;  a half-circle shawl; a Pi shawl.  All are in lace weight yarn on US size 5 needles.  Please comment or email me if you're interested in testing.  I can't afford to pay you, but it should be good fun.

BAKING:  I've been trying different muffin recipes lately because I want something Abby can grab to eat on her way to school in the morning or to tide her through afternoon rehearsals.

The first attempt (a baked oatmeal recipe) was a fail.

Second attempt was Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix with added pecans.  They went over well.  Third try was a variation on the first ones - better, but just "meh" (no more baked oatmeal for us!).  Banana muffins were OK.

These Easy Berry Bisquick Muffins were a hit.
Don't judge me for using Bisquick, OK?


Banana Muffins:  I added 1tsp vanilla extract and...a handful (?) of pecan pieces.
Berry Muffins:  I added 1tsp vanilla extract and forgot to sprinkle sugar on the tops of the muffins.

Abby loves poppy seed muffins, so as soon as I get my hands on some almond extract, I'm going to try my hand at these Costco-esque babies, though I won't make them as giant as the Costco ones.

COOKING:  I've put Sarah in charge of making dinner once a week or so.  She has her own binder of recipes and has wanted to make chicken and dumplings for a while, but it was too warm out for a soup-like meal.  Yesterday was cold, grey, and a little rainy, so she made it, and Andrew and Abby really liked it.  Abby said it tasted "like the inside of a pot pie", so I know it came out right, LOL.
  • Modifications:  homemade chicken stock instead of canned (because we had some in the freezer that needed to get used);  cut-up baby carrots instead of canned (because ICK);  leftover shredded chicken instead of canned (because GROSS and because we had some in the fridge that needed to get eaten); left out the parsley
  • Recipe supposedly serves six, but that would only work if you were also having a salad or something with it.  If the soup is your entire meal (Hey, it has protein, veggies, and carbs all in one!), I'd suggest doubling the recipe in order to have any leftovers.
  • Yes, I'd prefer that she make something I can eat, too, but I don't really mind it as long as what she makes goes over well;  I am in the minority, after all.

Speaking of Abby, I found this on the desk after she had stayed up late to work on an essay for her English class.  Just based on the picture, any guesses on what piece of literature was the focus of the assignment?

Overdue Birthday Pictures

FINALLY remembering to post about our newly-minted legal ADULT.

Even though she didn't have to get up for school, she gladly got up early for our traditional morning bestowal of the birthday gifts.

The only picture she would allow me to take of her.

By request, Trader Joe's pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Abby wasn't feeling well that night and elected to miss out on our traditional dinner out, so Andrew and I took Sarah to, of all places, Armstrong Brewing for their special bring-your-own-stein Oktoberfest event.  We hung out with the usual gang from work, ordered Indian food from Copper Chimney next door, and had a good time.  I promise there was no underage drinking going on (like me, she had Diet Coke), but how many kids can say "My parents took me to a taphouse for my 18th birthday"?

A few days later, we had family and a few of her friends over for pulled pork and other delicacies.

Sarah loved her TARDIS cake, even though the edible picture
tore when I was putting it on.

The next week, she made use of her birthday present from us and took three of her friends with her to the Blink 182 show.  Though she's seen many big-name groups up close at the various Genentech summer concerts, this was her first actual paid concert.  Because she chose a trustworthy friend of ours as one of the three friends to take, I wasn't worried about what they'd get up to or how late they came home (1:34 a.m.).  They had a blast.

For the record, she's not wearing a micro-mini.
That's a long, swingy tank top over a pair of shorts.
I was actually surprised she chose to wear
the Army jacket instead of the
black motorcycle jacket.

It has been a little weird, knowing that's she's supposedly an adult now, but I gotta say that I'm so pleased to see the kind of young woman she is becoming.  Proud of this girl!

Oh, and she got a seasonal job at the local Halloween store.  Once she was hired, she had to fill out a bunch of forms online, read the online employee handbook and be tested on it.  We expect to hear today about hours, etc.

September 19, 2016

Miscellaneous Assortment

In only THREE DAYS, we will have a third legal adult in our home.  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Last week, I started a part-time job which varies from 4 - 12 hours/week.  Friends of ours take care of their invalid grandma and had some gaps in their week where, despite their staggered work schedules, no one was available to be home during Grandma's naptime.  99.999% of the time, it's the easiest job in the world - I just hang out and knit while Grandma sleeps, checking on her pretty frequently.  In case of an emergency like Grandma falling out of bed (last time she fell out, she got a concussion!), it will be a good thing I was there, and I'll earn every penny.

Working while I "work"; life is good!

Speaking of knitting, my current design projects are going well.  Can't show you much, but here are two peeks:

Abby currently has an A in Chemistry Honors and an A- in Pre-Calculus.  If I hadn't been present and awake at the birth, I'd wonder if she was really MY kid!

Speaking of Abby (and Sarah), look what my dad dug up from when Abby was almost eight:

August 30, 2016

August 29, 2016

Busy Long Weekend

We got to celebrate Grandma Ruthie's birthday.

We relaxed at My Sisters Cottage.

We went and took pictures at a few places
on the Yuba River and
at our favorite waterfall.

Best of all....


August 22, 2016

Gold Medal!

While I may not have met my WIPs Wrestling goals, I did achieve gold medal status in the Shawl Sailing event of The Ravellenic Games this year!

For the uninitiated, this means that I cast on a shawl during the opening ceremonies of the Rio Summer Olympics and finished it before the end of the closing ceremonies.  Yes, I knit a 1,002.5 yard fingering-weight shawl in just under two weeks.  Whew!

I can't show you a proper picture of the finished shawl because it's a design I'm going to publish soon, but here it is right after binding off:

Did you compete?  How did you do?  Please share.

August 20, 2016

Here a SALE, There a SALE....

The Cooperative Press warehouse sale won't be going on much longer because inventory is running out, so hurry over and check it out here.  There's not much left, but there are even a couple books that are only $1.00!




Remember, my non-CP patterns are are 20% off through September 1st with the coupon code SCHOOL.

Bag Ban Grocery Bag

Bijou Bijoux
Easy as Pi
Garcia's Cowl

Erin's Star


August 17, 2016

Houston, We Have a Sophomore.

For comparison:

The first day of school
calls for pancakes!

Before someone asks:  Yes, it felt strange only having ONE set of "first day of school" pictures to do this morning.

August 16, 2016

August 16 Crafty Chat

Oops!  Got so busy getting ready for today's Crafty Chat that I forgot to post the link beforehand.  It was abbreviated this week b/c I was solo, and we had a smaller crowd than normal in the chat room, but here it is: