Monthly Archives: September 2010

What’s Not To Love?

Green is my absolute favorite color.  Just about any shade of it makes me happy.  

I also adore cardigan sweaters because they’re easy to put on and take off when you come in and go out frequently. Long cardigans hide quite a few  body/fashion issues too, such as flabby arms, midriff exposure and even spilled lunches.  Large pockets on a cardigan are an even bigger bonus because even when you aren’t carrying a cell phone, car keys, lip balm, band aids, etc., they still provide excellent places to rest and hide your hands. 

The Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton is soft, warm and relatively inexpensive too. 

So, taking all of these factors into consideration, my version of the Farmer’s Market Cardigan should be the ultimate knitting experience with a pretty awesome end product.  

But, no matter how hard I try, I’m just not feeling the love for this project.  Heck, it even matched the key lime pie I made for last night’s dessert… matching food to clothing is necessary when one dribbles. 

Alas, once again, a project started with this yarn has been frogged.  Perhaps it was never meant to be knitted.

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WTF Wednesday, Ramblings and Sightings

The people I live with have the annoying habit of eating everyday.   Grocery shopping is a lot like doing laundry, in my opinion. It’s never really “done”, there are just various levels of “undone”.    It seems that no matter how stringent our budgeting or how carefully I monitor purchases, the groceries always cost more than expected.  Personally, I find it extremely irritating that even after spending a small fortune at the grocery store, I get home, unpack it and realize that little of what was just bought can actually be eaten. Laundry detergent, fabric softener, shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, glass cleaner, cat litter, bleach, soap, toilet paper, etc. all add up, but other than the toothpaste, they aren’t *usually edible.   We maintain lists of what we’re out of,  what’s running low and special, upcoming items we’ll need. These lists are a tremendously helpful tool. They keep shopping a focused task and prevent me from buying uneccesary groceries, especially pre-prepared, impulse purchases. Unfortunately, the all-important list is often left at home on the counter, along with the reusable bags.   And then, on the rare occasions when the planet align and I make it home from the store with provisions we actually need, packed neatly in their environmentally friendly reusable bags, feelings of accomplishment are short-lived because my kids, husband, and sometimes even the cats, descend like a plague of locusts, devouring food as quickly as it’s unpacked.    Oft times nutritious, planned meals are thwarted by missing ingredients so I end up throwing together questionable dinners.   As a result, I worry about the health of my children.  Recently, while grocery shopping this attachment caught my attention.

reads, “Buy This Product to Support Children’s Health”

Whew, glad to know the secret to healthy kids! From now on I’m just buying kibble… I’ll tell the girls it’s cereal. Heck, I was quite the kibble **connoisseur in my day.

 

Lately there have been quite a few more car ads than normal.  While sitting at  a red light in Vancouver I spotted this.  The  “WTF” factor is, admittedly, arguable.  On the one hand, it’s really nice that folks with limited mobility can enjoy the great outdoors. But on the other hand, should someone with severe physical restrictions really be out hunting large game?  Many questions come to mind… Is The Action Trackchair quiet enough to sneak up on a deer or other animal?  What if it runs out of batteries? If the rider shoots something how will he/she retrieve the kill? What are the terrain and weather limitations? Can it out run a bear?

 

Meet Husky and Snowflake.  Both are female rats who reside in a classroom where I work. Surprisingly, I’m quite charmed with the pair, in spite of past prejudices regarding rodents.  These ladies are clean, quiet and quite well-mannered.  While sitting near their cage one day I felt a tugging on my hair. One of them had pulled my hair through the bars and was playing with it.  This caused me to get the giggles, thus distracting nearby students diligently working.  I’ve since been relocated to the other side of the room, but even from a distance, their antics are still delightful. 

Given our current household demographics, I doubt that we’ll ever have rats of our own.  I’m sure that the kitties would love them just a little too much.

Knitting.  I still do knit from time to time; however, I  hit that place in my DH’s knee-high socks where I seem to knit and knit and knit, but the sock looks exactly the same.   Several more needle casualties have also hampered progress.  Whenever I hit a knitting wall, I do the most sensible thing possible and cast on a new project.  This time I started a Farmer’s Market Cardigan  using some Organic Cotton Yarn.  The OCY formerly made up a blanket that was 3/4 of the way finished, but my DH made a disparaging remark about the blanket, so I frogged the entire thing after admitting to myself that the blanket was, indeed, quite ugly. 

Not much else to report here.  School, work and the girls’ activities have us all very tired.  We’ve not even turned the tv on to catch the news lately.  Reading the local headlines on the computer has been sufficiently depressing and caused quite a bit of WTF, head-shaking.  Does this woman really expect us to believe that she tried to kill herself by rubbing Draino on her face?  Why not just admit that the do-it-yourself, at-home chemical peel was a bad idea.

 

* There was the time that my friend, Carmen, and I made pretend Poi (Carmen was visiting me from Hawaii at the time) out of toilet paper, water and seasoning and convinced someone living in my college dorm to eat it.

** At the tender age of four Debbie D. and I demonstrated promising talent as future bakers.  We could knock out mudpies garnished with kibble faster than Lucy and Ethel could wrap chocolates.  They were quite tasty.

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Happy Birthday A2!

Today A2 turns 12!  She refused to let me post current pictures of her, so here are some from ten years ago instead.

 

 

 A2 is an amazing artist. She has her own blog (private invite only, due to her age) featuring her drawings and designs.  One of the characters she created and wrote Manga about was Bunny.  Bunny is adorable, but her work has matured significantly since these were made.

A2 continues to take stunning pictures with my camera.  I’m always surprised to turn it on and see what she’s captured.

This afternoon A2 and her dad have a date at the archery range.  She’s expressed a great deal of interest in learning to target shoot.  Her Uncle David was an expert marksman, who could even take down a pheasant in flight with a bow, but A2 doesn’t want to shoot animals,  just cedar bales.

In addition to art and photography, A2 loves music.  She plays both the clarinet and the piano, and she hopes to add guitar playing to  her list of achievements this year.

She’s also very kind-hearted.  One of her favorite school activities is spending her recesses and lunch in the special-ed classroom befriending students there. She’s always making gifts for everyone in the family, including the cats.

In honor of her special day I made her favorite dessert.  It’s frozen peanut butter pie that is simply to die for! A2 asked me to share this concoction with everyone. The  recipe hails from The Dunes Restaurant, my first place of employment.  The restaurant itself burned down some time ago and was never rebuilt, so sharing the recipe is guilt-free… eating it is another story.

This recipe is not too sweet, but it is rich.  I didn’t have the small sized chocolate chips to make this one so they’re a little bit too big to achieve the right texture.  Using Honey Roasted, as opposed to regular, salted peanuts, isn’t necessary, but they are a bit crunchier and taste better, imo.

Peanut Butter Pie:

Ingredients:

1ea.     8 oz. package cream cheese           2ea.     14 oz. cans sweetened, condensed milk             1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup   small, dark chocolate chips       1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped  

1  cup heavy whipping cream

2 baked pie crusts. (The Dunes used standard pie crusts, but I like graham or oreo… it’s a matter of taste, really)

Whip cream and set aside. Beat cream cheese until soft. Add sweetened, condensed milk and beat until fluffy. Mix peanut butter thoroughly into cream cheese and milk.  Stir in chopped peanuts and dark chocolate chips. Next fold in whipping cream.  Pour into crusts, sprinkle chocolate chips and more chopped peanuts on top.  Freeze for two to four hours before serving.      

Happy birthday A2, we love you lots!

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WTF Absent

Sorry for being MIA, but between the 3 girls we’ve squeezed 6 more extra-curricular activities into the waking hours. Yesterday afternoon I sat down for a minute, fell asleep and almost missed picking A1 up from Speech and Debate. My DH’s sock dutifully accompanies me in the bottom of my purse/pack, in spite of being ignored.  I saw it on Monday while looking for my red pen at work.  Not much else to report. I’ve noted and even photographed several WTF moments, but there isn’t time to post them this morning.  Cheers!

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Non-Laborious Weekendus

 “I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be.”

Peter Gibbons, “Office Space

This weekend we didn’t go anywhere.  Everyone slept late. We ate cold cereal and lots of prepared foods.  About a billion brain cells died as we watched mindless movies. A1  hung out with a friend. A2 took lots of pictures and loaded artwork onto her website. A3 was grounded to her bedroom for the duration, but she invented new and creative excuses for leaving her confinement. I knitted.  Other than doing the minimum required laundry, bathing and the acquisition of groceries we did NOTHING! What a delightful way to celebrate Labor Day.

On Friday night we went to the first varsity home football game of the year.  A1, and the other J.V. team, helped the varsity cheerleaders escort veteran football players from the 1995 state championship team out onto the field during half-time.  A1 expounded on how “old” they were, even after I told that I’d graduated ten years before most of them. We’d never gone to a game before and the crowd was huge, especially considering that we live in a small town.  The stadium was standing room only.  While there I cast on a sock in the school colors. 

The first school spirit sock was finished on Saturday.

Then, rather than cast on its mate, I began one of my DH’s work socks, because when he saw the school spirit sock he started whining about how I always knit for other people instead of him. Sniffle, sob, hiccup. Poor little, neglected hubby!

Monday morning A2 and I visited Barnes and Noble’s to pick up some reading materials.  While there I spied a spinner in the Starbuck’s Cafe!  Her name is Carol and she was delightful to chat with.  She teaches spinning locally and sells fiber out on Etsy, under the name Fiber Maniac.

She had an older Ashford wheel with her and she was spinning some lovely lavender, white and yellow superwash Merino from Lorna’s Laces.  Carol graciously gave me some plying tips.  My Navajo plying leaves much to be desired.

Not much else to report.  Besides the passing of Labor Say weekend, there have been some other “unofficial” signs that fall is coming.  My DH took the pool apart and stored it last week and the tips of the maple leaves are starting to turn orange.  Is summer waning for you too? 

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First Week Updates

Daylight hours are growing noticeably shorter, and we’ve been treated to some wonderful sunrises over the Cascade Mountains.

another photo courtesy of A2

Tonight was the first J.V. Football game of the season.  The FB team totally rocked (we won 27 to 8 ). The cheerleaders were fantastic too. Unfortunately, the uniforms the cheer team ordered back in June never showed up. Yesterday the company claimed that they never received the P.O., however if the team ordered the uniforms now they could get them in  another 6 to 8 weeks.  Um, no thank you, they kind of needed them sooner.  The girls were disappointed because they’ve worked very hard.  The varsity team saw what happened and they got together and decided to loan the J.V. squad their own skirts. The girls topped these with matching T-shirts so they’d be ready for the game.   Now the rush is on to order some pre-made, basic uniforms. There won’t be time for the company to put on a second color,  embroidery, etc. Parents are searching locally for striped edging to sew on, as well as an embroidery business willing to take a rush job.   All in all, I think the girls handled this situation quite gracefully and the varsity squad deserves a big “Thank You” for taking such good care of their younger teammates. I plan to bake them all cookies or something.

A2 and A3 both love their new teachers. A2 is trying out for Jazz Band. If she makes it then practices will start at 7:00 in the morning at another school.  Carpool details, etc. are still up in the air, but we’ll make it work.  A3 is excited to have a locker for the first time and she brought an eclectic assortment of items from home to decorate it.

The new work year looks promising.  There have been a lot of changes at the school, but students and staff alike have adapted quickly.

Absolutely zilch. Zero. Nada. Goose eggs.  That’s how much knitting I’ve successfully accomplished this week.  When I finally pulled it out of my purse it was entangled with my keys.  Crap. 

We haven’t made any plans for Labor Day weekend, other than to attend the first varsity home football game Friday night. All of the cheerleaders are performing at half time. High school and college games are fun to watch, I just don’t enjoy  professional sports. Sorry, I digress.    Anyway, it sounds like the whole family just wants to sleep in. That sounds like a lovely plan. 

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