Sunday, October 31, 2004

an Overabundance of Candy

Happy Halloween!

Look what a little bit of construction paper and a gluestick can do to a pumpkin :) My group at work had a pumpkin decorating contest during lunch one day...and mine won for Most Creative :D Yay me!

Looks like I overbought candy again this year - seems there are fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood. I guess that means I'm going to have to make more Peanut Butter magic middle cookies to get the candy out of the house!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Freaky Kitties

In honor of the impending All Hallow's Eve, the festival of Samhain, and Lucy's bid to start a Revolution, I'd like to introduce you to Teagun - one of the featured cats (not mine) on a delightful site called MyCatHatesYou. Beware, some of the cats there are absolutely hilarious. A particularly amusing similarity can be found between the Vice President Cheney and a certain fluffball.

The NYT recently made mention of the Friday phenomenon of CatBlogging. Apparently I'm not the only one in the world who likes to share my blog with my cats (though mine make rare appearances since they don't seem too fond of holding still for the camera...either that or I'm just not stealthy enough).

Thursday, October 28, 2004

mmm....Fall Food.

Autumn is my favorite month - unfortunately, too often in the southwest I don't get to really experience I've settled for just enjoying the cooler addition to the cool weather and color changes in the leaves (up north anyway), fall brings out the urge to cook hearty soups and stews.

Last night I made braised chicken with carrots and sweet potatoes....very easy, and very very tasty. I would have been even better if I had a loaf of crusty bread to sop up some of the braising liquid. And since I had the oven on and some over-ripe bananas to deal with, I made some chocolate-chip banana bread to finish the meal....Sorry folks, no photos. Taking pics slipped my blogging mind.

To make up for it, how about some miscellany? Did you know that Fusilli was originally formed by wrapping spaghetti around knitting needles??

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bah. Dental Work.

I don't like dental work. And neither does my kitten. Pooor Marble had to have her teeth cleaned and because she is prone to tooth decay, I get to learn how to brush her teeth. The good news is she likes cat toothpaste. The bad news is she isn't thrilled with my putting things (like a toothbrush) in her mouth.

On the knitting front, I finished off my bobble eared mouse - well, the shell anyway, it still needs to be stuffed full of catnip and sealed. I'll be knitting a few more mice up flat - I've decided I really don't like knitting on DPNs. And I really need to get back to work on Cozy....

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I've been Spammed!

I can't believe it. My blog was spammed. Have people no shame? Posting spam to people's blog comments?! Good grief. At least keep it topic related for cripes sake.

Now that I'm all riled about spam, I'll also say I'm really annoyed at the politicians. All this ridiculous mud slinging, name calling and labeling. One would think it's a bunch of mean-spirited children! Thank goodness the race is coming to a close. One week and counting. I can't wait.

alright. On the knitting front (a much more soothing topic, unless I have to frog something...but that can be therapeutic too) I've gotten past the bobbles on the bobble eared mouse. I think my next mouse may well be done flat, I think I'd rather seam than deal with small rounds on dpns.

Monday, October 25, 2004

UFO no More!

Well, after getting distracted by cookies (I raided my Halloween stash to fill those Peanut Butter ones, by the way. I stuffed the cookies with mini 3 musketeers, milky way, midnight milky way or personal favorite was the snickers...Then again, a nice chunk of dark chocolate would have been tasty too) I finally did some quality knitting on my Trio tote. As you can see, it's much deeper than the one on the pattern. As I mentioned before, I seem to have a habit in deviating from the yarns called out in a pattern. For this bag, I used Lion Brand Homespun (in Gothic and Edwardian colors) - it's a bulky boucle acrylic, so the moss/seed stitch pattern doesn't really come out. Because this is a much softer yarn then Trio, the bag is very floppy and probably has a lot more stretch than a bag knit with addition, the texture is nice because it hides mistakes! I found out I dropped a stitch somewhere along the way when I switched from circulars to double points...managed to fix it up nicely - I don't think I got it fixed perfectly, but it's certainly good enough for me. Anyway, I'm currently using this bag to hold my Works in Progress.

Here's a detail shot of the bag at the color change. (I know, you can hardly tell, it looks much nicer in person!) Incidentally, if I had made the bag all out of the same color, I suspect I could have completed it with one skein of Homespun. Perhaps I'll make a matching one with the reverse color pattern. In the meantime, I've taken some of the remaining extra yarn and am in the process of practicing knitting with double points guessed it...working up a mouse in the round for my cats. Lucky kitties!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

C is for Cookies!

It was a busy day today...while I was knitting (diligently working on my UFO - the Trio Knit Bag) I was watching PBS....and got sucked into a show about cookies....So. I managed to get the i-cord trim done on the top of the bag, and them promptly abandoned my knitting for some serious time in the kitchen....and I must say, it smells WONDERFUL!

I decided to bake three different types of cookies this afternoon. And to make best use of my oven, I started with the ones that took the lowest temperature ... Mocha Chocolate Chip cookies from Mrs. Fields Cookie Book. I did deviate slightly from the recipe and melted the butter in order to obtain a chewier cookie - usually when I bake these, the cookies come out crisp. Yum...even tastier with vanilla ice cream.

Next were my husband's favorite cookies - also from Mrs. Fields Cookie Book. They are Maple Cinnamon Swirl cookies. Rather than cutting the butter in by hand, I made the dough in a food processor. They came out flaky and tender...and also very very tasty. Tip: Use dental floss to cut the slices from the chilled dough - it keeps the cookies together and round too!

And finally, the cookies that started the whole thing...These cookies were being made on PBS during the cooking show I was watching - America's Home Cooking, I think. I didn't catch the official name of the cookies, but I'm calling them Peanut Butter Magic Middle cookies. They've got a special surprise baked right inside. A bit of care is required to get the magic middle from oozing out, but I seem to have got the trick down.

Now then. Back to my knitting....

Friday, October 22, 2004

Thank Goodness Cats are Forgiving

My pooooor cats. They both had their trip to the vet this morning. One of them growled and hissed at the carrier. I'm not sure who the culprit was, but I think it was Marble. Neither was happy about going to the doctor's office (I can't say I blame them)...and upon returning home, neither of them wanted anything to do with me. Luckily they forgive and forget quickly and we're now the best of friends again, as if nothing happened :) We'll see if Marble is of the same opinion next week...I have to bring her back for a teeth cleaning :(

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

And back to the Pond Again. Glub glub glub...

*sigh* I really need to learn how to frog back more complex work...either that or I need to quit being such a darn perfectionist. As it is, I somehow acquired a couple stitches while working on Cozy, and while undoing my work, I dropped a stitch and couldn't figure out how to get it I frogged her. Again. I've restarted now for the *fourth* time. This time that's it. If I acquire stitches, I'll have to get creative about a decrease...If I lose one somewhere and it isn't dropped, I'll have to sort out an increase. Otherwise I'll never have a Cozy for my car!! (for the folks that are wondering, I'm currently knitting Cozy up in an easy care wool blend yarn for casual use - I figure I'll be adding to my stash and will knit up another Cozy sometime in the future - I'm thinking a yarn of either linen, silk or bamboo in it perhaps...) In the meantime, perhaps I need to cast on another project to keep me entertained when I'm too tired to work on Cozy...I'm thinking either a Kitty Pi bed or some felted slippers....and there is that trio bag that seems to be stuck on needles....

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Feelin' Froggy...Ribbit Ribbit!

Well, the one cool thing about rain in the southwest is it brings the frogs out. We were off hiking in the Grand Canyon with some drizzly weather and in addition to some other cool wildlife (bighorn and condors), we spotted lots and lots of tiny frogs like this little fellow.

Speaking of frogs, I've been having issues with Cozy. First I started out with some lovely blue yarn from Paton's (Beachcomber) but it just wasn't working out - the yarn is DK weight, and kind of nubby and textured...and it just wasn't agreeable at all. So...I had to add to my stash. I'm making a Cozy for the car, so I'm now working up the pattern...for the third time. Yes, the *third* time. Cozy, for me anyway, is not mindless knitting what with all the yarnovers and whatnot....Luckily I wasn't too far in before I discovered this. I'm becoming quite the expert at balling yarn though!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Knitting and Cooking...oh my!

Well, it seems there are an aweful lot of knitters that also love to cook....I stumbled across a cool project on My Favorite Things - a "cookbook" of favorite recipes submitted by other Knitting Bloggers - of course I had to jump on the bandwagon...and you should too :D

Missing for One Week

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, I disappeared for a week for a much needed hiatus from corporate life to go play in the "Real World." Where did I disappear off to? Why one of my favorite places...the Grand Canyon :D Weather was excellent except for one day of drizzle; company was great and the photos came out fantastic. Even finished one of my knitting projects along the way....all that's left is weaving in the ends! Unfortunately, today I'm swamped so the update is brief. Thanks for continuing to visit :D

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Just what *do* They Stand for Anyway??

I never did quite understand what the Republican party stood for - or just what their agenda was....and I must say, it is rather difficult to discern what with all the smoke floating about and the lack of clearly stated plans. Thanks to my week long hiatus, a long car ride and Garrison Keillor's brand new book (on CD! Hooray for books on CD!) I now have a much clearer understanding of what's what. Highly recommended for those who want to know what the Plan is.

Friday, October 08, 2004


Those crazy guys at JibJab are at it again! They've gone and made another political cartoon for this hotly contested election. Since I have the (mis) fortune to live in a contested state, I need all the amusement I can get.

On the knitting front, I cast on for Cozy last night, frogged it once, and restarted. I'm still not decided as to whether it's working out with this yarn. Stay tuned and find out. As usual, I'm not following the yarn called out in the pattern - but I've had this yarn in my stash that I bought and just don't know quite what to do with. I decided to try it out and find out. The yarn is finer gauge/weight and is very loosly spun, so it's been an adventure working with it. *sigh* we'll see...worst case is it goes back in the stash and becomes something else :D

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Chicken - it's what's for Dinner!

I needed a quick dinner that 1) used up the peppers in my fridge 2) used up the limes that have been sitting on my counter for a while (before they shriveled into little up in the arid environment that is the Desert Southwest), and 3) that would produce portable leftovers for lunch. What did I wind up with? Another variation of my previously posted Tequila Lime Chicken. Unfortunately, I had no jalapeno or cilantro on hand - so I used some other herbs for additional flavoring and it came out just fine, though the kick from the jalapeno was missing. Now that I think about it, I probably could have used a couple scoops of salsa in the marinade to get that spicy flavor....well, I'll add it to the list of things to try in the kitchen and we'll see if it works.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Let that be a lesson.

I do it for all my other work. Well, mostly anyway. Why I didn't do it for my blog, I have no idea. Back up your work. I've now got an offline copy of my various links etc so I can restore my sidebar relatively painlessly if this ever happens again. Luckily the content was if that would really matter ;)

If you haven't seen it already, the creators of Tako the Octopus are coming out with a book! No wonder Tako has been on hiatus! Incidentally the book isn't about Tako. It's about fish. That'll do. I'll be looking forward to seeing it once it actually makes an appearance :D

On the knitting front, that mystery fuzzy ruby/sapphire project is coming along fast and I imagine I'll be casting it off soon. I'm thinking I might need to knit something for myself....I'm thinking either Cozy or Shimmer...neither of which I need to buy new yarn for (my goodness...using actual yarn from my stash! Could it be true?!!)

...please stay tuned...

Blogger or something killed my blog this morning - or rather it killed my blog template....imagine my horror when I checked in this morning for my blogging fix (clearly I'm hooked) only to see the vacant page with some html tag garbage in place of my title. Aaargh. Well, the goodnews is it was just the template that was damaged. Easy enough to fix. I just have to remember what all links and such I had should be back shortly.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

What would happen...

If all you did was eat McDonald's every day for a month? Well, watch this film and find out. I must say, the production was much more smooth than I had expected for an independent film and overall I think it was well put together. I was a mite disappointed that the marketing aspect of fast food towards children wasn't focused on more strongly. If you get the DVD, be sure to check out the"Smoking Fry" clip. How frightening.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Photo Frustration

First: Yes, I am aware of the fact that my photos are screwy. The photo hosting service (Flickr) that I am making use of is having some DNS issues and are working hard to resolve the problem. I guess that's what I get for being cheap and not hosting my own darn photos. Worry not, if they don't display properly now, they'll be back up later...or so I've been assured!

The weekend was plenty productive with my BabyQ getting its grate (cast iron) seasoned as I baked goodies for an upcoming hiking trip...after all, it seemed a real shame to fire up the oven just to bake some cast iron. What did I make? Some tasty traveling cookies called "ANZACs" (sorry, I forgot to take photos) and some journey bread that I jokingly call Lembas bread - but it's really called Logan Bread - very dense, and nearly indestructible from what I hear. What can I say, it was an experiment...and since I don't typically eat hiking food unless I'm out hiking, you'll have to wait to hear how it turned out.

On the knitting front, I started a mystery item, recipient yet to be determined :) it's going quickly as it knits up fast...the yarn is Paton's Allure, and it feels oh so snuggly! I took it with on our road trip up to Morning Starr Animal Sanctuary this weekend. Made the trip up to view the sanctuary and donate some items. They're a small organization that is doing good work for a large variety of animals. Consider adding them to your charitable contribution list...the smaller organizations often don't draw the same attention as the larger ones, but at the same time, they can often use the donations more effectively in some cases due to less overhead.

And for the curious, here are some photos of my finally finished modified French market bag. It isn't really lopsided like that on the bottom, that's an artifact of my putting a non-symmetrically shaped object inside to try to facilitate photo taking.

Friday, October 01, 2004

He knows me too well...


My husband knows the true way into my heart....why is that you ask? He brings me devices that can belch flame and fuel to run them :D I'm now the proud owner of a Weber Baby Q...In addition to my other weekend activities, I'll be seasoning the grates and preparing this lil thing for use. Since Raquel and Chad couldn't move their propane tanks up to Oregon, I've even got a spare tank to hook up to this new addition.

Well. In addition to bringing me fire to fuel my pyro tendancies (ask me about my camp stove collection sometime), Todd brought me an AJ's signature Fruit Tart....mmmm....shortbread crust, pastry cream and lucious fruit! Yum!