Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov. 29--Almost December!

My current project. Must get this square done, and washed and blocked and in the mail ASAP.

It's for an "opportunity afghan" for NETA, to benefit the Ships Project. Hence the anchor motif.

I did this pattern once before, on the front of a little jumper for D1 back when she was about 4. It was wool, fisherman yarn (the itchy kind), and I did one repeat of the anchor with little cables running up each side. I'll have to see if my stitch count on this project will let me add some 4-stitch cables on the side...would be kind of nifty!

One of the nice things about rain is the spectacular sky effects you get afterwards. I took these shots to try to capture the glow of sun behind thunderheads.

The camera didn't get the glow the way I would have liked it to, but all in all these came out better than they could have.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nov. 28...Post-Thanksgiving Wrapup

Well, some would say the star of the day was the food. I didn't get a good picture of the turkey, although there are lots of other pictures of food up on my Flickr page. (Or there will be as soon as I upload them. Patience, hoppergrasser!)

This is a close-up of this year's innovation. D4 decided, at some point this year, that a potato ricer would be a good thing to have. On a quickie trip to Williams Sonoma, which actually turned out to be not so quick, we found this model. Some deliberating and testing later, it followed us home.

Along with an apple corer (for apple pie, of course) and the acorn cakelet pan. So Thanksgiving proved to be the perfect time to try out all three.
Riced potatoes are smoother and less lumpy than mashed, and with a firmer consistency. There is also the option to incorporate copious amounts of butter, cream, and other delicious additions.

The apple pie was a masterpiece. It was juicy and delicious and is now all gone. She found a recipe in an old Cook's Illustrated for a sour cream pie crust, which she loves to make. In the food processor. Speaking of which, I was trying to figure out how long I've had mine. It's a Cuisinart DLC 7, and it's at least 25 years old--I bought it back when that was a real investment, but it certainly has been a trouper. I replaced the work bowl a few years back--it had cracked and while it still worked, it seemed like it would be a good thing to be cautious about, since t here's a lot of power in that motor. It's also on its second knife blade. But the motor is still peppy and the machine itself still gets plenty of use. I really do believe in getting GOOD tools and taking care of them--my Kitchen-Aid mixer is 23 years old and not so very different from D4's much newer one. Well, okay, hers is red and mine is basic white... and yes, both of them live on our kitchen counter and both get used.

Naters was letting the world know through his T-shirt that this was his very first Thanksgiving! He's one of the reasons we're all thankful this year!
On the other hand, his brother was introduced to a long-standing family tradition: the olive-on-the-finger. The Little Jack Horner updated, so to speak. He also showed a great deal of style in the snitch-the-little-tomato activity, too.

And the hostess with the mostest, after a long hard day of being adorable, bid us all a good night.

Wayyyyy past her usual bedtime!

But oh, did she ever love helping Grandma whip the cream--licking the beater was at least as much fun as birthday cake!

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving was as much fun as ours was!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nov. 27--Happy Thanksgiving Day!

This came to my phone early this morning: our favorite Eager Eater, prepping for the feast to come!
Here's sending you wishes for a happy and fulfilling day with all the ones you hold most dear!
We'll be gathering with the "locals" and hopefully touching base with the rest of the family that's scattered around the country. With any luck, when I get back home tonight (we're getting together at D5's with her husband's family as well) I'll have more pictures and more reports. In the meantime, like little Nate, remember that good things are worth waiting for!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nov. 26...Life in the Cat Zone

There is something irresistible to a cat about new things. Simon is no exception.

He's not really lapping at the marshmallows in my cup of cocoa, it just looks that way. He decided after a few (very loud) sniffs that this was, in fact, not a cat beverage. He's now curled up an inch away from the cup, probably just enjoying the warmth.

Yes, we still have no heat. Not that we really need it right now--at the moment, it's 65 degrees and raining--but it might be nice to have if the temps drop to the predicted 50 tonight.

I can hear everyone out there who lives in Snow Country (or just Cold Country) snickering. Yes, I mean you, Seattle Marie, and Sheepish Annie too.

Simon also likes to be helpful in other ways. Most especially, he loves to help D4 with her projects, since s he's the one who proclaims that he's "not a real cat" and that he's a "fluffy ruffle cat." "Real" cats are like Padua, rough, tough, screen-door-demolishing grumpycats, apparently.
Simon thinks any puzzle is improved by the addition of cat hair and the removal of superfluous pieces.

Last night, after class, I was all prepared to write a really interesting blog post. I was going to discuss quilts, and quilt classes, and what kind of fun stuff goes on there. Well, the plans got changed.

I noticed immediately when I turned onto my street that there was something different--no streetlights. No lights in the houses, either. Except for my car's headlights, it was quite dark.
Not sure what caused the outage, but it was definitely "lights out" in the ol' neighborhood. I arrived home to find D4 lighting candles.
Yes, she who had made fun of my candelabra, and my fondness for candlelight, was taking advantage of the non-electric variety of light.

The fire in the fireplace looks a little less cozy by camera-flash light, but let's just say it was a nice warm glow.
And the candles gave plenty of light to see by.
It would all have had a lovely 19th-century ambience, except for a few modern touches. Like cell phones, which allowed me to get text messages from my friend in Las Vegas, who was able to tell me why our power was out. (Substation in Pico Rivera offline, stolen ground wires. Some thieves really need to get caught and punished! Well, they all do. But these in particular!)
And of course, since there was no power, there was no Tivo recording our two favorite Tuesday night shows. I mean, how could I go to bed without knowing who won Dancing With the Stars?? Vegas Buddy to the rescue! He also remembered where the flashlight was--duh.
So there was the fun of opening a wine bottle by flashlight, and then sipping wine while reading in bed, also by flashlight, which is not nearly as much fun as it's cracked up to be. And then, at 3 am or thereabouts, when the power was restored, my room was lit up like a summer morning, since I'd left the lamp on when I left for the shop.
And that lovely post about quilting? Well, it's gone. Sigh. Maybe there will be some knitting soon though.

Oh, one last thing. This was a "trial run" for tomorrow's festivities--little bitty corn muffins shaped like acorns. The pan is from Williams-Sonoma and the acornlets are just as cute as they can be.
If you'll excuse me now, I need to go help "s0meone" get marshmallow off his whiskers...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, Nov. 25

So here's a quick peek at my latest treat--a copy of Norah Gaughan's Woodland Gothic, which has some fabulous projects in it, and two skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Polar Morn.
Just in case you suspected that knitting was going to be taking a back seat here. Not gonna happen!
I also got the November Socks That Rock shipment, and I love love love the colorway--it's called Muddy Autumn Rainbow, which is about right. It's all muted darkish tones of cranberry and brown and blue and green. I might need to order another skein so I can make a shawl out of it--the yarn is smooshy soft and squinchy and it would be perfect for a wrap!
Hmmm, maybe I ought to go check the yarn requirements for the Clapotis. Although I did want to do that out of Sea Silk, so more pondering is in order.
Meanwhile I've been trying to get the squares of batting cut for the little ones' ragg quilts. Looks as if there will be plenty from one batt--but maybe I'll cut more just in case. I still have to decide if I want to put one square of batting, or two, in between the flannel.
Class tonight. Maybe there will be some interesting quilts to photograph! Can't believe how close we are to the holidays--Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then the countdown to Christmas starts in earnest! 0

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Post A Day? Or 30 in 30 Days?

That's the burning question here right now. If my calculations are correct (and since I'm dysmathic, there's no reason they should be) this is my 20th post this month. Since it's the 25th day, that would mean I'm 5 posts behind. So if I do two a day for the rest of the month, I ought to catch up, right?

I promise the last one (how many people have my name) is the only "cheater cheater pumpkin eater" one I'll do. This is a real post and there will be 10 more. I do have some cute pictures to share, after all, as well as a couple of adorable videos. And since Thursday is Family Day, I'm positive there will be opportunities for more cute pics.

Here's one for now. Enjoy!

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