November 22, 2016

Magical Realism

Abby got assigned another big English project today, this time on magical realism.  Would you just LOOK at the list of the books they could choose?

Unfortunately, they had to decide in class which book to read, so Abby didn't get a chance to ask me if I owned/had ever read any of these books.  As you can see from her markings, I have four of them and have read one other.  She's stuck with the 900 page book she chose in class, though.  Ah well.

I wanna take English 2 Honors!

November - Various and Sundry

In no particular order....

Puppy is growing and learning.  After three tries, we've finally settled on a "no-pull" harness that fits her and works well.  Woot!  If you're in the market for a step-in, "no-pull" dog harness, this is the one we got.  It is wonderful not to have to fight her the whole time we go for a walk!  Also, she has figured out how to play "fetch", though she tends to cheat and take the fetched item into her crate instead of back to the thrower.  Her current favorite toy is an old, knotted t-shirt of Andrew's.

This morning, she murdered Madden.

She has reminded me not to leave yarn where she can get it.

Her weirdest habit is routinely following me into the bathroom
(and sometimes trying to get up on my lap).
Don't worry; this picture was posed.

She doesn't just like to snuggle.
She likes to snuggle up CLOSE.

Abby did her Banned Book project on
A Clockwork Orange.

My old roommate Kimberley and her husband were in town,
so we had a mini reunion of the old early-90's
"downtown" (SoMa) gang (and spouses).
Only a few people could make it, but we had a great time.

I've nearly finished another pair of socks in
Patons Kroy FX sock yarn.

On Saturday, we fittingly celebrated our 21st
wedding anniversary at 21st Amendment Brewery.

This year, American Thanksgiving falls on my birthday.  Woot, a whole country celebrating with me!  I'm looking forward to a bit of relaxation; Abby is having a bunch of friends over tomorrow, so I'll be doing more then than for Thursday.  Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, take some time this week to be grateful for all you have.

November 17, 2016


Yarn:  Knit Picks Stroll and Stroll Tonal, 1002 yards total

Needles:  US 7 (4.5mm) and US 8 (5mm)

Construction:  In the round, center-out, following the "Pi shawl" formula

November 2, 2016

Halloween Pics

The Work Gang

J.D., Veronica, and Heather Chandler
from "Heathers"
Sarah and Squad.  I especially love the wall
from "Stranger Things"!

Better Shot of Sarah's
Black Canary Costume

October 31, 2016

October Was BUSY!

Where did October go?  Well, we were pretty busy.

We attended an epic wedding down in Atascadero.  It was epic, not in the expense or flash, but in how momentous it was.  Francisco and Aura were married and had two daughters, then they were divorced for over 20 years.  They have both changed tremendously and are now re-married.  I don't think there was a single dry eye during their simple ceremony.

The next day, we visited the tiny church down there, where we were asked to speak briefly.

Half the room.  They have roughly 20 members currently.

The following Wednesday, Andrew rescued a stray puppy on his way to work - no collar, no chip, not fixed. We suspect she was abandoned at the park.  According to the vet, she's 10 or 11 months old and was probably the "runt" of litter; she's not likely to get as big as Jenna was.  Her name is Honey.  The jury is still out on whether we're adopting her or just fostering her, but she's pretty terrific, though training a puppy is a lot of work.

No.  Really.  A lot of work.

She thought my Malabrigo Nube (spinning fiber)
was delicious.

She slipped out of her collar during a walk,
and I fell while chasing her.

She finds sock yarn an interesting toy.

Because we couldn't secure puppy care, I had to stay home, but Andrew and the girls joined other family for a long weekend on a houseboat at Lake Shasta.  Even in the rain, they had a blast.

Abby survived having a small role in the fall play, being the
understudy for the supporting role, and being the
assistant director, all at the same time.

Sarah worked off and on, but as Halloween got closer, more and more (she's working at the local Halloween store).

I'll get pictures later, but Sarah is dressing as Black Canary, and Abby is Veronica from "Heathers".

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: