Sunday, July 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Jared & Tammy!

Some yummy "Q" was polished off today. To celebrate our son and daughter-in-law's birthdays The Saint smoked up some fabo ribs and a couple of free-range chicken breasts and threw together the obligatory "egg-devils" to go with them, yum yum! I contributed a tomato/basil/feta cheese salad...We all pigged out and then went to Cold Stone for dessert. mmm-mmm Founder's Favorite is my favorite too!

Check out this nice shiny meat...doesn't that make your mouth water? Those chicken breasts were basted by the ribs...I'm sure that's not on my food plan, lol...Oh, well, isn't that what weekends are for? I'll be back on the walking regimen in the morning.

I've been making good progress on the Peach Freeze. I believe I'll have it done in a couple more days. It's gone quite well except for the fact that I didn't start the first 3 rounds correctly so it looks a bit bunched at the bottom where the seam is but, oh well. I'll know better next time. I'm already seeing one in a different color so I won't make the same mistake the second time. It's been a fun project and I think it's gonna look pretty good.

Here's a close up of the stitches. It will need a slight bit of blocking but not much. I am a bit tired of looking at this peach color yarn though. Guess that happens...

Max got a new haircut yesterday and she wanted everyone to see how good she looks with no hair! She's such a happy dog! Right on time too since it's supposed to be in the high 90s this week. It's tough wearing all that dog hair in the summertime! Phew!

Max says have a great week! Toodles

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Let's Learn Socks KAL

Hey, everybody...Alana has started a KAL for socks...check it out!

Let's Learn Socks KAL

I know my Monkey's would like some company as they grow up or down rather on two circs.

Hope to see you all there soon.

It's gonna be loads of fun...more fun than a barrel of monkeys...really!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Fishin Hole

Saturday evening we dragged the boat over to the Grand River and offered up a few softshell crabs in an attempt at catching more catfish. Unfortunately only 1 tiny cat decided to take us up on our offer. We did, however, enjoy the beautiful view from the Ally II.

I thought the clouds were so interesting.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vacation & Knitting

First of all, thank you, Rena for taking such great care of Max and Sam. They love you and always do great when you are on watch.

We had a great week of vacation and I didn't want to leave our little vacation paradise! Can you blame me? Isn't this the cutest cabin?

(Click on the photos to enlarge if you'd like)
We love this place! Both the employees and the campers at the Petoskey KOA are so friendly. The Saint says we should work there when we retire. He thinks all they do is ride around the park in their egg-shaped golf carts all day. lol I'm sure there's more to it than that but he won't be swayed.

What a fabulous week we had. Camping, boating, shopping, eating good food, drinking some great wine...and did I mention knitting?! I have proof.

I also managed to finish 2 dish cloths last that time by the campfire! I was working on the Small Arrow Cloth designed by S.M. Kahn on the way up north and had a devil of a time with row #6 and #8 for some reason. I got to the point of swearing before I got past those rows, each one taking 2 or 3 tries to get right, and you have to repeat them 5 times! Ah, well, I got it done. I'll definitely be doing a few more of these babies! I love how it looks so dainty-like. If you haven't visited her blog you should check out Smariek Knits she has some fantastic patterns for dish cloths. The photo looks bit weird since the cloth was draped over The Saint's leg instead of laying on a flat surface...poor photographic choice I think. It was the wine! Sorry

Monday morning we headed over to the Leelenau Peninsula for a visit to Fish Town and a tour of a couple of the wineries on the peninsula. Fish Town was fun, lots of shopping, lunch at the Bluebird Restaurant and The Saint had a nice long conversation with one of the charter boat captains, at one point even asking me "don't you have some more shopping you could do?". I am documenting that here as it will probably never happen again (insert laughter here).

Then we were off to visit Black Star Farms and Shady Lane Cellars two very nice wineries. The Shady Lane Semi-Dry Reisling is Rena's favorite so guess what she got for dog-sitting... :-)
After loading up the truck at both locations we headed back east through Traverse City and Charlevoix to the cabin and a super camp dinner of shrimp/sausage and pepper kabobs w/roasted corn on the cob. mmmmmmm

Tuesday morning we journeyed up to Alanson and had breakfast at the Dutch Oven Cafe followed by a trip into Dutch Oven Yarn, yes, this would be my purpose for driving that far for breakfast. The Saint enjoyed his scrambled eggs and the jelly-filled donut that he snuck in while I was petting the yarn, lol.

I picked up 3 skeins of turquoise Cascade 220 Heathers yarn #9455, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Peach color #004 for the Royal Peach Freeze Top shown here in the 4th picture down in the first column that I found in The Crocheter's Guide to Yarn Cocktails and a skein of OnLine Supersocke 100 in the Tropic color. I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the very nice lady that wound my yarn and was so helpful but thank you nice lady!

This is what I have done so far on the Royal Peach Freeze...
not sure why I'm on this sudden crochet jag but I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday was spent shopping downtown Petoskey and having lunch at the City Park Grill.

The weather was perfect everyday but Thursday and the rainy day gave us an opportunity to check out Stonehedge Farm and Fiber Mill. Lots of fiber, lots of animals and lots of YARN.
Deb, the proprietor, was away while we were there, an unexpected trip to Canada for a spinning machine we were told, but her family very ably gave us a tour and happily rang up my selections from the yarn shop. Here they are...

2 skeins of the softest, most beautiful 100% Alpaca in a very dark brown, 4 skeins of Almost Handspun in fingering weight for some nice warm socks and 3 skeins of Shepherd's Wool in Lakeshore color. I had a terrible time deciding what I couldn't live without, fortunately The Saint was distracted by a knitting loom demonstration he was being given, thinking he could probably navigate that technique he was them for keeping him occupied for a few minutes. hee

So I think I'd better get something done around here before I have to go back to work tomorrow. Yuk!!

Hope everyone had as great a week as we had. You all deserve it!


Saturday, July 14, 2007

FO and the little cabin in the woods...

Yay! The Eco-Friendly Expandable Shopping Bag is done! Isn't it pretty?

Done just in time too, we're hittin' the road tomorrow morning and headin' "Up North" for the week to stay in our favorite little cabin. Rena so kindly moves in to dog-sit. Thanks, Rena! Love you!

No dogs on the furniture while we're gone...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dog Days Swap Spoiler Answers

So I got a few questions from my spoiler (Hey, Spoiler) today and thought I'd better get them answered so as not to keep her waiting...

1. How long have you been knitting socks? Do you have any sock knitting books?
I've been knitting socks since last September, so not quite a year. I have two sock books - "Socks Soar on Two Circulars" and "Sensational Knitted Socks"...I have my eye on that new book that's coming out in August though, "Knitting Circles Around Socks" it has instructions for knitting two socks on the same two circulars, at the same time! Can you imagine? I tried to figure that one out back in March while we were vacationing in Mobile but I just couldn't do it.

2. Do you spin or dye your own yarn?
I do not spin, except in my office chair, hee, nor do I dye, not even my hair. :-)

3. Do you have any subscriptions to knitting magazines? Vogue Knitting? Interweave Knits?
I have no subscriptions to knitting magazines, although The Saint thinks I subscribe to every magazine in the world. I do Fons & Porter (a quilting mag), Martha Stewart Living, Gourmet and Everyday w/Rachel Ray right now, oh, and Nutrition Action Newsletter and Body & Soul and I share Plain & Simple and O with my daughter, she pays and I read those...maybe I do get every magazine, ha-ha-ha-ha! I do pick up Interweave and Vogue in the LYS though.

4. One of your hobbies is cooking... Do you have a favorite chef? What type of cuisine do you like to cook the most?
I am in a quandry about the favorite chef question. There are certain qualities I like about several different chefs so if I could make a model out of parts of would be the short list... Nigella...her food is so humble and she's always looks great while she's cooking...Tyler Florence...he's the cutest boy and uses simple ingredients...Jamie Oliver...I love how he talks and can whip up a fabo meal for a bunch of people with just a couple of ingredients and everybody always has a great time...Rachel Ray...the most practical of all and I guess that's because she isn't really a chef. I have 3 of her cookbooks (in my collection of 103 cookbooks, many of which are vegetarian - you need your veggies!) ...Alton Brown...he is the great educator of The Food Network...always funny and has some great I boring you yet? Sorry. I get carried away when I start thinking about cooking and eating, especially eating, really good food. Last Fall I bought this really fabulous, shiny stainless, dual-fuel, double oven range...I love it!

What type of cuisine do you like to cook the most? My fav recipe is for Burmese Chicken and I make a killer Linguine w/red clam sauce (Italian), I also enjoy making Figgy Scones.

5. Do you live near a Starbucks? Yes, several, there's even one in our local grocery store

I'll bet you thought this was going to be a few simple questions didn't you? HA!

Thanks for askin! Have a great day!

Friday the 13th

Happy Anniversary Honey!

8 years of wedded bliss today...

Here we are at Rena's wedding last September...a handsome couple - don't you think? The past 9 years with The Saint have been the best!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I Really Have Been Knitting!

Just so you all don't think I'm slacking in the knitting department, here's what I've been working on like a mad-woman the past couple days...
It will be a re-usable grocery bag when it's done. I found the pattern on the Lion Brand site. It's the Eco-Friendly Expandable Shopping Bag.

What you're looking at in the pictures (click on photo to enlarge) is the bag with the bottom at the top and the handle being worked on my Knit Picks Size 8/32" circular. The yarn is Lily Sugar & Cream in Over The Rainbow.

I'm also stealing an idea I saw on Grace's blog (Hi Grace!) for posting a picture of my favorite place to knit. It's a toss up between the deck and the living room but since I've previously posted a picture of the outside locale here's my inside knitting photo...

Notice the classy lawn chair cushion...the slats in the back of this mission-style chair that Rena and Derder gave me one year for Mother's Day did not make for long-term comfort. But with a little frugal ingenuity, when we purchased some new cushions for the deck chairs voila! I have a nifty chair for knitting in the living room - right in front of the picture window where I can survey all that goes on in the neighborhood while I knit or watch tv or just neighborhood watch. Not that I pay attention to what goes on in the neighborhood, much, LOL, well at least I don't use the binoculars like The Saint does...hee

And speaking of The Saint, he had to go to bed really early since he was up most of the night cleaning those catfish and he gets up at 3:30a to go to work. The fact that I was up as long as he was and he took a couple of naps today are completely beside the point! *hear me snickering?* He packed it in by 8:00 so now I have more time to blog! Woo hoo! He did have enough energy to make this yummy looking dinner tonight though. Rib eye, medium, with guacamole sauce, tomatoes and onions...mmmmm Do you think maybe he's been watching too much Food Network?


Sunday Morning Crime Update

I am sad to say that at about the time we were backing in the driveway, returning from our lovely fishing excursion, shortly after 1:30 this morning, there was a police officer responding to what was reportedly a domestic dispute who was shot and killed. About a block (as in 100 yds) from our house. Hence the big commotion early this morning.

So sad, senseless and tragic.

Our thoughts are with the officer's family and the rest of the local PD.

Gone Fishin

It's 1:50am, guess where we've been tonight...

Yep, cat-fishin on the Grand River! Ain't they cute? They talked to us from the live-well most of the evening. The biggest one is mine, hee, so is the littlest one! Those were the only ones I caught tonight. It was a nice quiet, for the most part, evening out on the river and we saw a few fireworks too. NPR had a show on with the Neville Brothers and it was pretty awesome to hear Aaron Neville sing Amazing Grace out there on the water, in the dark when it was so quiet.

Hang On! Time out! Gotta go see what's going on outside...wooo weee! Looks like all hell is breaking loose out there! I believe every police officer, fire truck and ambulance in this city is 1 block from our house at a stand off with some criminal! We barely got the boat backed in the driveway when we saw a couple cars speed past the house then heard gun shots and all the sirens started. We can hear the police on their loudspeaker talking to someone they think is in the house...ah, life in the city *sigh*

That peace and quiet was sure nice while it lasted. It's 3:58am now...I need to try to go to sleep...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Here're my answers for the first Dog Days contest!

Someone who crochets Pheelya D
Someone who's never made a dishcloth before is Diana C
Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for less than 2 years Val D
Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for more than 5 years Isabelle J
Someone who is from a non-US country country Jodie W

I Told You So...

How do you like my pretty new light switch?

It was quite an adventure getting it!

Why is it that when you tell a man something needs to be done they don't do it with the urgency that you feel is appropriate? As my mother would say N-O-W!

Last Friday I told The Saint that the switch for the dining room light needed to be replaced because it wasn't turning off the light properly. A situation that I would think would warrant immediate action ...his plan...yeah, I'll get around to it...

This morning I was ready to head out the door to work, made my usual last walk through to be sure everything was off and the bedroom door was shut (since Sam likes to look out the bedroom window at people passing by during the day which has totally destroyed the mini blinds in there). As I passed through the dining room and into the kitchen I was stopped in my tracks by something that smelled HOT! I followed my nose to the source of the smell...that blasted light switch, argh! Just as I bent to take a sniff of said switch a small puff of white smoke came out, YIKES! What to do?!

I punched the push button switch a couple of times and the light didn't shut off, not the first time I've had this happen in the past week, although it did dim and brighten a couple times. No problem, I'll just turn off the power to the switch and all will be well til the end of the work day when The Saint gets home and can replace it. I sped down the steep and rickety basement stairs with visions of melting, burning wiring in my head and pulled open the door to the circuit breaker box, found the one "labeled" dining room, flipped the switch, ran up the stairs and the light was still on! Ran back down the stairs, flip another switch, ran up the stairs, the damn light was still on, although no more smoke was seeping from the switch, this is a good thing, I guess. I run back down the stairs, flip a third switch, third one's the charm right? NOT, when I jet back up the stairs with a slight wheeze that light is still on! What-the-hell!? Alright, I'll get you yet, blasted light! My fourth trip down the stairs, into the now-dark basement, where the breaker box is on the other end of the house from aforementioned stairs and I decided to just flip the main breaker and shut off all the power, can't go wrong with that. I barely make it back up those stairs (for the fourth time) and aha!, the light is off. Now to find a screw driver, take the plate off the switch and make a little inspection. Thankfully the wall, and the wiring in it, was ok. The switch itself was warm and stinky but not yet melty.

At this point I decided to give The Saint a call so I could get some assistance, and go to work - where I was supposed to already be. I took a couple of deep breaths, and thought relaxing thoughts, and dialed his answer, called the terminal...dispatcher answers...yes, he's still on the dock, hold on...Of course The Saint knew there must be some emergency or I wouldn't be calling so when I told him about my little adventure in electrical trouble-shooting he was doing the Home-to-First run across the parking lot to his truck to come rescue me. Ahhh, my Knight-In-Shining-Armor, zoomed home, removed the offending switch from the wall, turned the power back on and headed to the local hardware store for a new switch.

He got the rest of the day off and I had to go to work!

I did, though, get to say two things when he came in the door, to rescue me..."I told you to replace that switch last week" and "You need to do a better job of labeling those breakers down there!"...neither of which he could argue with.

Ah, yes, it's the little victories in life that are so sweet! I wonder if the next time I ask him to fix something he'll drag his feet getting it done?! *sigh* Probably.

And on the crochet front...ta da! Here is my Chanson En Crochet nearly finished! Looks great on an office chair don't you think?!

All it needs is a row of trim around the top and front edge and it will be finished! I hooked and ripped the first row of the floral pattern 3 times before I finally got my mind wrapped around the design and could get it right. I had to keep referring to the not-so-helpful picture in the pattern because for some reason I couldn't visualize the written directions. Now that I can actually see it, I think I'll be making several different colors to go with assorted dresses that I have recently acquired.

Hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Herbs, Cloaks & Daggers, oh my!

This is the small herb garden next to my deck. Just enough to satisfy my need to dig in the dirt. 2 basil (for basil/tomato/feta salad), 2 parsley (for tabouli), 1 oregano just because it looks nice, 1 sage, 1 thyme (for chicken and roasted potatoes), 1 oregano and 1 lemon thyme.

Another beautiful day in W Mi although we could certainly use a little rain. The grass is brown and crispy. My little herb garden is growing nicely but I have to carry water to it every morning. I feel bad for all of you in Kansas that just can't get a break from the rain.

The basil loves the hot weather and the parsley had grown enough that I could make some tabouli yesterday. Mmmmmm. My son-in-law, Chef Wes, gave me some great tips for making tabouli with barley. I like it better since you can serve it as a salad rather than just something to put on top of your pita and hummus. It's good with the hummus but it's more versatile than regular tabouli made with bulgar. It is seasoned with a tagarashi seasoning blend to make it interesting. I love summer recipes!

I cooked some beets over the weekend as I was intending to make a pot of borscht but I realized it would take several hours to accomplish the task and today I'm just not up to it. Guess those beets will be cut up into salad for the week instead. I haven't found many people who actually like beets. I love the earthy taste of them. Someone once told me that they reminded them of dirt. I guess you could call that earthy taste dirt if you can imagine freshly turned garden dirt in the spring on a warm day...that would be my interpretation of the taste of beets. Add some vinegar and a little sugar and you have fabulous pickled beets! Where's my fork?!

It was a frustrating weekend on the needlework front. I am working on that Chanson en Crochet...I have hooked and ripped several rows, several times but I think I'm making progress. I just wish they would show a better illustration of each row of stitches so I could figure out as I go if I'm doing it right, rather than getting 3 rows farther and having to rip back because the numbers weren't right. I sure do miss my Grama! She understood all that stuff and if she was still around I could call and ask her and she would tell me in the most wonderful way what I needed to do to make it come out right. And then she would want to see pictures of what I did when I was finished...hey, maybe blogging is sorta like having a Grama! Thanks!

I think it's time for a big clean out in the sewing room/office at our house. I can't think straight there is so much stuff in here! I've been trying to talk The Saint into letting me switch the office with our bedroom so I could have more room but so far he's not buying my plan. He says the king size bed won't fit in the 10 x 10 office. I think, we only need room for the bed and I've even offered to buy him a flat screen tv to hang on the wall in the "new bedroom" but he's not easily swayed. Well, he goes to Canada fishing the first week of August so, guess what...I'm going to switch them around while he's gone and see how it feels. Once it's done he won't make me change it back and I'll be all set! Call me devious...anytime I want to do something around here he's not really on board with I just wait til August and let her rip! One year he came home and found all the carpet from our living/dining room packed in the back of his pick-up waiting to go to the dump, (insert hysterical laughter here) I waited til he left and got out a carpet knife and cut that stuff up into about 4 ft square pieces and stuffed it into the bed of his truck. With that nasty carpet out of here and a fresh coat of paint on the walls, voila! a new room. Rena and I had a good ole time doing that one! She loves demolition. I haven't come up with a good project the past couple years, he's dropped his guard and will never suspect...tee hee Wish me luck! He just doesn't have a good visionary mind...leave it to me and he'll see how great it can be (or not). I'll let you know about the 8th of August if it worked or not. I may have to buy a smaller bed...