Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Tales

The more astute among you will notice that this is posted on Friday, not on Thursday, as I had so blithely announced on Wed. Yeah, I had good intentions. I even had my laptop with me, and a cord for uploading pictures, so things really should have gone better than they actually did in the blogging department. So much for posting every day in November!

Someone had a very peaceful holiday, spent mostly snoozing in people's arms. Mom was lucky if she got to hold her long enough to feed her. Well, she's such a sweet little bundle!

The Gathering of the Clans took place at Audrey's house, as I may have mentioned in a previous post. Auntie D4 and I reversed the order of the usual trek, ie we went over the river (San Gabriel River) and through the woods (the "forest" is actually Forest Lawn, but they do have trees there!) to baby's house.

If you are arriving at someone's house just as the rooster is beginning to stir, it's polite to bring some breakfast with you.

If you are D4, that means baking. These are luscious cranberry-almond muffins, which got a drizzle of almond glaze before it was time to eat them.

There was pie. Apple pie, a la Cook's Illustrated's new version, where the apples are slightly precooked to avoid that hollow area under the crust when the apples shrink down during baking, as fresh apples tend to do.

This pie has ten lbs of apples in it: 5 each of Rome Beauty and Pippin.

The consensus? It was a great pie! The sour cream crust is another special touch. The recipe is here. I love this magazine--three people are getting a subscription for Christmas, since I know they will love it! It's not slick or fancy, but the information is clear and well-researched, and the recipes are YUMMM!

Then there are the traditional pumpkin pies. I need to find the pictures of D4, age 2 1/2, stirring the pumpkin filling for pies on Thanksgiving the year her baby sister was born. Anyway, she's been doing pies for a very long time, and I know she'd love to cook and bake a lot more, if her job was less demanding.

What happens when you try to take a picture of a 1 1/2 year old tornado?

You get a picture of part of his face. There is also a shot of the top of his head, and another of a corner of his jacket.

Takes some corralling before he can be in one place long enough to be more than a blur!
He loved his Thanksgiving dinner, ate lots of everything. Mom says she thinks he's heading for another growth spurt, since he eats and sleeps more than usual.

Tradition! Some of the great jobs are well worth inheriting. Daddy Scott got to carve his first turkey, and he did an excellent job. Then came the not-so-fun part of being the new patriarchs: cleaning the turkey carcass. My husband always did this, and it was quite a production. Newspaper on the table, stockpot for the bones, plastic containers for the meat. Well, the stockpot stayed home this year, but the dads did a great job of scavenging the last bits of yummy turkey.

Great-grandma Hortensia and her newest descendant bonded. I think it is love...

Then came the "fun" part and the reason this post is delayed. Apparently, when D5's house was added on to before they bought it, there were a few corners cut. The result? A plumbing malfunction as the kitchen sink backed up and, instead of actually backing up into itself, sent a gush out through the washer, flooding the family room and soaking the carpet. Roto-Rooter came to the rescue, and things were somewhat normalized, but it did put a damper on the celebration. Ironically, the situation might have gone unnoticed except that Garrett was running around in his stocking feet and got his socks all wet. Looking for the source of the water led to discovering the leaks, probably hours before it would have otherwise.

Audrey had her own opinion of the whole fuss.

Just to cap off the day, I managed to trip and fall on the stairs on my way to bed, landed on my right arm and hand, twisted my shoulder, and am spending the day with a very sore wing. I'm hoping that rest and ibuprofen will help it--haven't tried to knit yet, but I think I will try it a little later on. I'm looking at it as a preview of what shoulder surgery would be like, and I'm not liking it one little bit!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Sort of a preview of what we have to be thankful for this year!

Audrey has joined us, and she's got a loving set of parents and lots of extended family.

In one of those little ironies, she'll be a week old on her first Thanksgiving; her mother was a week old on hers, too.
It took her mom 3 years before she was bigger than the turkey. (Mom was a little bigger than Audrey at birth, 7 lbs 2 oz to Audrey's 6-10.)

More tomorrow. I just wanted to share these pictures, because I just love them! (The pics, and the people too.)

...and there's cooking to be done!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday Miscellanies, Tuesday's Too!

Yesterday kind of got away from me so you'll have to bear with a kind of hodgepodge post today. Please?

The Great Stuff Clearout continues with mixed results. Here you see the back of my Purple People Mover, filled with "stuff" that's headed to new homes.
It was a Montrose Monday, and I spent some time Sunday night planning my route to maximize the delivery of the stuff BEFORE knitting, so I could enjoy the day with a clear conscience.
Met up with a friend to hand off those tubs. They are perfectly fine tubs, translucent so you can see what's inside of them--but the wrong size for me, alas. With my tendency to cram stuff in, they just get too heavy for my achy back to handle. So, adios! The rest of the stuff went to the Huntington Collection, which is the thrift store for the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Very conveniently on the way to Montrose!

Answering a question from one of the comments: I had shown the Yarn Pirate Merlot and had a question as to how it compares to the STR Lenore. Here they are side by side, and the color is reasonably true. They are both just amazingly deep, rich, winy colors and they make me happy!
We had a surprise visitor--our own Ellen Bloom came to knit with us, as did Slowknitter Wendy. We had a great turnout, including blogless Kille and baby Wyatt, but unfortunately, most of my pics didn't come out very well. You know, it's one thing to have an adult's eyes come out that demonic red, but a sweet little baby? No way!
We had a great lunch at Joselito's, which is turning into one of our Monday hangouts. There's just something about spending the morning hanging out knitting at the coffeehouse, then having a decadent lunch. Makes me feel postively spoiled!

Tuesday's frolics included some heavy-duty returns at the Mall of No Parking (they're redoing the parking lot to put in more shops--but why, oh why, couldn't they wait till after the holiday rush?) and then: quilt class!
Anne does this great Magic Tiles quilt--it's become a specialty of hers--she's taught it several times and keeps making new ones. This one has a Halloween theme, and tonight it got its quilting all done. She says she'll probably bind it on Friday, and she'll most likely use the purple fabric that's in the cornerstones. (Not a quilter? The cornerstones are those little squares in between the blocks.)

Ethel did this great block. It was supposed to be a 12.5" square, and guess what? It finished out to 12.5"! Ta Da! Keeping those triangle points crisp and pointy is a real challege and she did an excellent job!

There were some other great things going on, too. Gail was doing froggy stuff (with purple lily-pads yet), Louise was quilting some Thanksgiving table runners, and Rochelle has been working on a marvelous quilt with dreidls and other Hanukkah motifs in it. I would have taken pictures, but didn't get the camera out till things were almost all put away!

Now on to preparations for the holiday meal--more on that tomorrow!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Warning: this post is 100% free of new-baby (or old-baby) photos. If you want to see the latest and greatest, you can click on my Flickr badge and/or go to D5's blog and click on her Flickr badge.
I'm not boycotting baby pictures, but I thought it might be nice to have some thing else for a change.

Like this:

Which is the yummy and very very lemon-y bundt cake that D4 made for D5's birthday. We sort of have a world-class collection of Bundt pans; this one is tulips, in case you didn't recognize them. The glaze is especially lemony--nothing like stepping outside and picking lemons right off the tree! (Hey, they hang over on our side of the fence, so we're allowed. Besides, when Uncle Eddie* planted the trees, he said it was so my little kids could have fruit.) The recipe is here if you want to try it.
Let's see. How about some camellia shots? The white one on the side of the house is in full bloom now and oh, so pretty. Most white varieties bloom early, I think, at least when we'd be scrounging for white flowers in Feb. for the Camellia Festival floats, we could never find very many.

Don't know the name of t his variety, or if it's one that was hybridized by the nurseryman who built our house.
It's a pretty one, though!

I love the way the big buds open up. I like the dainty camellias, and the singles, but the big ol' peony-flowered ones are my favorites.

Does this look like November to you?
Yeah, not to me, either.
We're getting another bloom out of the Transvaal daisy that D1 had sent to her grandfather back in April. I took it home, repotted it, and it's been sort of muddling along quietly since then. All of a sudden, this week it's burst forth with a couple of huge blossoms. I think that when I redo the yard, it will go into the ground. Plants like this that have been "forced" into bloom often take a while to revive and thrive, but it looks as if this one has decided to make it. It's a nice reminder of a very sweet man. (Yes, and my very sweet daughter, too!)
Can't go too long w ithout showing this off. It's Yarn Pirate's gorgeous superwash merino, in a special overdyed colorway she calls Merlot. In person it's a little wine-ier and a lot more red, and it's soft and nice. I am thinking shawl--ET ordered two skeins, so that's 960 yards, which ought to be enough to make a respectable shawl.
Yes, I have some Lenore from BMFA, one of the Raven colors. There are some pretty significant differences in the two... and I love them both. I seem to be on a dark-red kick lately, and I'm hoping that I will be able to get it all knitted up without getting really tired of the color! Nah... that won't happen!

This interesting jumble needs some TLC. It's an ebay purchase, 9 skeins of Bartlettyarns 2-ply in a creamy color. I think it will be enough for an aran sweater. This is one of ET's more "stellar" purchases: I was making a square for NETA, if you recall, and ran out halfway through. So ET got helpful and bid on this auction for what she THOUGHT was 2 skeins of the same yarn. Nope. Not the same yarn, and not just 2 skeins, either--although, with shipping, the total cost was under $17 which is almost stealing for yarn of this quality. There is definitely work for my swift and ball winder in the near future! While perusing ebay, ET ran across this: Rowan Yorkshire Tween 4-ply in Desiccated. Used double, this ought to be a good worsted-weight-equivalent, don't you think?

The final bit of ET shopping included this loverly Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a very pale apricot color. I think this will be very becoming to Audrey and also to any hypothetical cousin-to-be or future sibling.

Okay, off to commune with the ball winder and swift and that cream-colored yarn. Otherwise, the furry ones will be nesting in it. I've already caught them eyeing it...