Sunday, December 20, 2009
And here is the proud papa!
This grandma got caught without some projects done! I never believed that he would come so early. So I'm off to do some knitting....
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The fair is a good place to people watch. I spotted this young man - think he's a little bitter?
And of course there is the food. My daughter suggested we try the deep fried "gourmet" pickle chips. I'm glad I shared them with the Compadre. I'm sure that my arteries will thank me! This must have been the year to go to the fair (staycations and all that) because it was more crowded than I've ever seen it. When we went into the food building to get the pickle chips it was so full that we couldn't move. More than a little claustrophic! I wonder what the fire marshall would have said. I was glad to get out of that building.
We go to the fair every year. I don't always enter my things in it but it's always more fun when I can look for my entries and see them displayed.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So, before my son's wedding, in early July we went on our 2 week vacation to Colorado. I had gotten a cortisone shot in each knee and I timed it perfectly so I was able to do a lot of hiking. I also made an attempt to hike up a mountain again. Did you catch that? I attempted it. No, I didn't succeed - and I decided that I like the valleys just fine! The mountains towering above us in the valley are beautiful and much easier to enjoy!! The guidebook said that the hike up to Mt. Sherman was "easy". Ha!!! For a billy goat maybe. We lost the trail at one point because of snow fields and ended up on an area of scree. The rocks were largish and unstable and I am afraid of heights. At one point I almost sat and cried - I was afraid to go forward and couldn't go back. Yikes. We met several people that were just picking their way along without hesitation but I just couldn't do it. I ended up crawling along until we found more stable footing. While we were doing that we observed other people hiking across the snowfield to avoid the rocky area and that's the way that we got down - still not easy but more doable. I hiked up to the pass or saddle area of the mountain to humor the Compadre. This is a picture at the pass - as high as I got. He claims that the best part of hiking in the mountains is seeing the other side. Oh, I didn't mention that there were gale force winds blowing up there too and it was cold. We weren't the only ones that didn't continue.
We did do many, many enjoyable hikes during our trip. I logged 34 miles of hiking. I had great intentions of continuing to walk when I got back but....
On our way to Colorado we visited Pete and Carol, some good friends who live in Texas. Yes, I know that Texas isn't really on the way to Colorado from Minnesota but they live in the panhandle and it wasn't really that much out of our way. We really enjoyed our visit. While we were there we were able to see the church that Carol is pastoring and meet some of the people from the town. The town was getting ready for their annual festival and they had a fund raiser that I had to participate in. It was called horse drop bingo - and it is played just like it sounds. The field is marked out in a bingo card and a horse is let into it and the first place he, er, drops his load so to speak, is the square that wins. I didn't win but it was fun just imagining the game. I wish that we could have seen it! Rural people have a different perspective than us city folks!
After we got back from vacation we had to hit the ground running. A wedding happening in two weeks and....we had decided to have almost all the windows and the front door in the house replaced . What were we thinking!!! That meant of course that the workers had to get to all the windows. And I have stuff!! So we moved and cleaned and shoved the piles into the areas that didn't need to be accessed and somehow it got done. Then of course after the job was done I needed to move it all back. I took the time to organize the "fiber room" and now I can actually use it! And since I had to move all my fiber related books out of the bookcase that they were jumbled into I organized them and even entered them into Ravelry. At least all those that Ravelry currently has in the system. I found a couple of duplicates that I gave to Amy. What I should do is print out a list of my books and carry it with me so that I don't by duplicates any more. The downstairs family room/sewing area is still a disaster area but I'll get to that the next time I have some panic deadline - maybe Christmas. I know myself. In the meantime I'm enjoying the newly clean areas and hoping that I can keep them that way.
Amy, Eric, and Abigail came for the wedding and we had to try to babyproof this house. It was next to impossible so we blocked off areas and did a lot of supervising of Abigail. This is getting really long so I'll catch up on their visit in my next post.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Megan and David's ceremony was a beautiful outdoor one. It was a perfect day - even the weather cooperated! It was actually "cold" on August 1 in Minnesota. And no, for those of you that don't live in Minnesota, it's not always cold here - usual temps in August are hot and humid!
Abigail was a very cute flower girl!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Back in the "old days" in school lunch we made most of the food on site, from scratch. Including the bread. And during this period in my career I started my job at 6 AM at a school about 50 minutes away. So that meant that I had to leave home in the winter before the radio station announced the school closings for bad weather. This particular day I made it all the way into the school and so did my assistant despite horrible freezing rain that coated the roads with ice. We had a discussion about what to do but since school hadn't been called off we started the day's menu. Including the bread. All the while we were worried about the weather and how we would get home if our day was canceled. So of course as soon as we had the bread rising we got the call that we could go home. We had a discussion about what to do with the bread dough - we wanted to get back on the road as soon as possible before the roads got any worse and so we made the decision to put the whole bowl into the freezer and deal with it later. Now we're talking about a lot of bread dough. My memory is fuzzy but I think we used to use at least 30 pounds of flour in each batch. A lot of bread dough. I bet you can guess what happened. The next day when we got to school we couldn't believe what we saw. That dough took long enough to freeze that it had time to rise and overflow onto the floor of the freezer where it then froze into a large immovable lump. The custodian got out his ice chipper and it took a long time to chip away the frozen dough even with his help (and teasing). We needed that bowl to make that day's batch too - so the bread was late in getting started for the day. And it took a long long time to live down the "thing that ate the freezer" stories.
And just because every post needs a picture - here's one of Abigail "walking" her baby doll.
Monday, June 1, 2009
My Dad died two years ago and I still miss him. Funny how anniversaries bring events and people to mind. Really, today is just another day in June but to me it isn't. About this time two years ago today we were gathered around Dad's deathbed singing Amazing Grace as he left us to go to heaven. I still can't sing that hymn without tears.
Dad was a gentle soul, a wonderful father and a faithful husband to my Mom. He had a grace about him even during trying times. He was a WWII and Korea vet, he served in the Navy working with radios and radar. He was a smart man, he went to college when he got out and became an electrical engineer and worked on computers when they were first beginning. But most of all, he was our father. I still catch myself thinking I've seen him when I see an old man from the back that walks like he did or stands like he did. Or I remember him when I hear music that he liked or go to an event that he would have liked. I wish I had spent more time with him when he was alive, I wish that I would have had him over for dinner more often. Towards the end he was disoriented and confused but he sure loved to eat! I know I'll see him when I get to heaven but for now all I have are the memories.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
So here I present - Sivia Harding's Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl, made by Amy. Wow! And Thanks.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Canada, by Amy
Eric wanted to go to Toronto for a couple reasons and they both had to do with sports (for the record, I like sports too). The first thing we did in Toronto was go to the Hockey Hall of Fame. We could have spent all day there if we weren’t so wiped out. It was a lot of fun and Abigail enjoyed walking around (the exhibits were safely behind glass).
I wanted to go to Toronto for several reasons, the first of which was to go to the Lettuce Knit SnB. I was hoping to meet Laura of Cosmicpluto Knits (blog) and Stephanie of Yarnharlot (blog) and I met both! Of course I almost chickened out of talking to either of them, but Abigail makes it easier to talk to people. Stephanie remembered Abigail from last year when we saw her speak. I somehow managed to cast on for a toe up sock and I bought yarn in a gorgeous rust red for Laura’s B-side Cardigan. Space was tight and Abigail got cold outside so we left early, but I was still on cloud nine for the entire walk back to the hotel (at least a mile) and I think I talked Eric’s ear off. Of course, afterwards I think of all the dumb things I said or didn’t say to the people I met. Sorry mom, I forgot to tell them that you knit the sweater Abigail was wearing, not me.
On our second day of vacation we went to the CN tower, which is the tallest building in the world. We went up to the glass floor level and looked down at the ground beneath us. Abigail was completely unfazed by it and was more interested in the cheerios I had.
We went to the zoo, based on a lot of recommendations. It was a very long subway and bus ride, but well worth it for Abigail. She loved the tigers, the elephants and the hippos. She even tried to make the elephant noise that Daddy made. She especially enjoyed walking down the trails by herself. We really wore her out.
After she got some rest, we went to a Blue Jays game where Abigail got to run around some more. It wasn’t very crowded and we let her walk up part of the steep ramp by herself. Unfortunately, she wanted to run around during the game too and Daddy only saw half an inning.
We were walking through the mall when we saw on a TV that the Blue Jays were in the 3rd inning. Whoops! We had tickets to that game! We rushed back to the hotel and sure enough, our tickets said 1pm NOT 7pm like we thought. We made it to the game in the middle of the 6th inning, which turned out pretty well. Abigail sat through several innings and then I let her run around while Daddy saw more of the game. Afterwards, Abigail got to “run” the bases, though I don’t think she thought much of Ace, the Blue Jay’s mascot.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and put them into a pan. Fill the pan with HOT tap water and put it on medium heat. Bring to a steady but not hard boil and boil for 10 minutes (use a timer). When the timer has about 2 minutes left to go, prepare an ice cold water bath for the eggs. Put a tray of ice cubes into a bowl and fill with cold tap water. When the timer goes off, immediatly drain the eggs and rinse with cold tap water. Then put them into the ice cold water bath and leave them until the ice melts. When you peel them, crack them all around the middle of the egg and the shell should just come off in large sections. Works for me - try it and let me know if it works for you. Popular folk lore says that you should only use old eggs for boiling but I've used them fresh from the farm and it's worked.
Here's one of the things I do with boiled eggs. This "recipe" comes from my grandmother so that must qualify it as an heritage recipe - except that my kids and the Compadre think it's gross so the recipe is bound to stop with me. Anyway, take a peeled egg and slice it. Drizzle oil and vinegar on it and then sprinkle salt and pepper on it. Mmmm, brings back memories every time.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
And if I had thought that there would be a camera opportunity I would have brought it to the sock machine get together last Monday. We got a tour of the wooden box factory that is a family business for one of our members. It was like going back in time - the boxes are made with very old technology and this is one of the only places that makes wooden berry boxes. We saw the basswood logs being made into the thin veneer and scored and sliced into the pieces for the boxes and then watched them being stapled into the actual boxes. I just love factory tours and this was especially great because of its history and because I know one of the people involved.
I learned how to make the tiny felted mittens on my sock machine on Monday too. They are fun to make. The idea is to make coin purses out of them by sewing velcro in the top. When I got home and showed the Compadre what I had learned he started laughing! He pointed out that the entry for Monday on the Yarn Harlot's daily calendar was about making mittens because they're a small project. And she had the idea to sell them as small purses (tongue in cheek) because you don't need as many mittens as you do socks. And here I was actually making small mitten purses! Talk about a coincidence.
I'll leave you with a picture of a different baby! This is Natalie, she's the daughter of my nephew and his wife. They were visiting last week. Also in the picture is my son and his fiancée
Sunday, March 29, 2009
For such a short trip we packed in a lot of visiting, yarn shopping and eating out. I visited Amy’s favorite yarn shop – Stitches with Style on the way in from the airport. It was fun to see that Abigail is such a regular at the shop that the staff gets down on the floor and plays with her. She’s also been well trained that she leaves the yarn alone!! She does have her own yarn that she can play with. I did have to stimulate the economy there and I bought some sock yarn and a cool necklace made out of slices of aluminum knitting needles. We ate at wonderful Malaysian restaurant twice while we were there. I wasn’t too adventurous but I did eat a dish called Fried Pearl Noodles. The noodles were kind of the shape and consistency of gummy worms but they tasted like fried rice. Very good. We also visited Amy’s other favorite yarn shop Vulcan’s Rest Fibers. This shop is in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. I wished we had had more time to explore the area. This shop had spinning and weaving supplies. Of course I had to stimulate the economy there also and I bought some more yarn and some roving. I wanted Amy to use some of the roving to practice her spinning but she is reluctant to use “good” fiber to practice. Keep spinning Amy, you’ll get better and better and then you’ll be happy to use good fiber.Abigail was dedicated at their church on Sunday. It worked out that the dedication could be scheduled when we were there and so that was a bonus. We got to meet a lot of Amy and Eric’s friends too. Abigail wore a dress for her dedication that I had made when my girls were little. This particular one is one of a matching set that I made for Amy and her sister and it was worn by Anita. I need to re-learn how to smock so that I can make some cute dresses just for Abigail. Another bonus was getting to know Eric’s parents better. It was fun to spend time with them.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
So I was planning to have the evening to myself because the Campadre would be teaching. My dinner on those nights is usually leftovers, or popcorn, or whatever I can scrounge up - you get the picture. Confession is good for the soul I hear. But the Compadre came home and he wanted something to eat! And he was sick. I checked the cupboards for chicken soup and the cupboard was bare (of Campbells chicken soup that it). So I remembered that my daughter - you know, Abigail's mother - had told me of a yummy alfredo soup that she made. With the wonders of cell phone technology I called her up and asked her for the recipe. She told me how she made it and then I proceeded to make it my way. And it was yummy!
It all started with a Pampered Chef recipe that Amy had. The basic premise is a jar of alfredo sauce and a can of chicken broth. It also included broccoli - but if you remember my last post - I can't do broccoli. So, here's what I did.
I found a cup of cooked diced turkey meat in the freezer and put it in a pan.
I dumped a jar of alredo sauce in the pan
I added about 3/4 of a box of shelf stable chicken broth (about 24 0z.)
I stirred it all up and started it heating.
Then I added:
1 cup of sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery including the leaves
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 clove's worth of chopped, bottled, garlic
I cooked the soup until the vegetables were done and then we sat down to eat it. Yummy. Turkey soup for the grumpy, sick, Compadre. He pronounced it good. And it was super fast to make.
By the way - if you have extra cooked turkey or chicken meat, dicing it up and freezing it in small baggies make for easy meals later on. And if I had some, homemade broth would have been better - less salt and all the other mystery ingredients in the boxed stuff. I'll have to get on that - soon.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I think that every writer goes through dry periods, sometimes called writer’s block. I guess I qualify as a writer now since I’ve had difficulty thinking of something to write lately. But I have a few backup ideas in my mind and now is the time to use one of them. QoE of Yarn and Chocolate tagged me a long time ago for the 6 things about me meme. I know all about the facebook controversy about the 25 things and narcissism and all that and really I’m not sure what I’d tell you about anyway but I’ve been meaning to tell you about one thing about me for a while.
I have a lot of allergies. They all showed up, the nasty things, when I became middle-aged. And they keep showing up. I’m allergic to a whole bunch of foods and some hay fever inducing things too. Oh, and some medications also. The family joke is that some day all I’m going to be able to eat is white rice. Most of the food allergies but not all of them are related to the latex allergy I have. So, let me tell you what it’s like to be me.
Last evening I must have eaten something that I was allergic to. I’ve gone over in my mind everything that I ate last night and nothing was on the known allergy list. That means probably another food is heading for the do not eat list. The prime suspect is chocolate. I might cry if that’s true. Some people who just don’t understand, think when a person who is allergic to a food tells them they can’t eat such and such “oh, they just don’t like that food and don’t want to eat it”. I like to eat cherries, cranberries, kiwi, bananas, avocado, pineapple, salmon, broccoli, artichokes. And I love chocolate. In fact sometimes I crave one of the foods on my do not eat list, but I don’t want to spend a night like I did last night for the short period of enjoyment I would have if I ate one of them. So, last night, it started with stomach cramps, like you normal people would get with the worst flu you’ve ever had and then it worked its way down to abdominal cramps. Basically I can feel the offending food working its way through my system. Sometimes I can sleep it off but it took a long time of tossing and turning and sweating and getting the chills last night for it to get through me. Not pleasant. I hope it’s not the chocolate.
And then there is the latex allergy. Food service workers and nurses are the most likely to have this one due to the latex gloves that we wore until we were sensitized to them. In my case it causes a red rash sort of like a bad sunburn but it itches and then hurts like the dickens if I scratch it. So, latex is a natural rubber product and is found in all kinds of things. Like elastic in your underwear or socks. This is one of my “justifications” for having a sock machine and knitting all my socks. I went on a tour of a sock factory in Indiana during the sock machine conference and noticed that the label on all their socks said that latex might be in the product. I mentioned that to the manager who was leading our group that maybe they could use a non latex elastic in their socks since there were many who were allergic to latex and his attitude was “that’s your problem, not mine”. Most medical establishments understand and take measures to make sure that latex is not a problem – in fact some have banned latex completely. Kudos for them! By the way balloons are made with latex. One popped balloon spreads powdered latex into the whole room. And elastic, I have a hard time finding underwear – most labels don’t even tell what the elastic is made out of. I found a brand I could wear and then they changed the way they’re made. So I’ll have to do some more searching and find another one. Or I could always make my underwear!! Not. And did you know that most condoms are made with latex. Heh. That’s all I’ll say about that one.
Some people actually could die if they eat the food their allergic to – my Aunt Ann is one of them. She’s got the type of allergy to nuts that closes up her throat and she can’t breathe. Some of the kids in school who have peanut allergies are that allergic – I pity their mothers. Can you imagine fearing for your child’s life every day when you send them to school?
I’ve met my share of people who are intolerant towards people who are allergic. Allergic people don’t choose to be that way, it’s not like we’re trying to make life difficult for you – it’s just that it’s difficult for us and we would like you to be understanding and helpful. Yes, you might not be able to have your favorite food when we’re a guest in your home in deference to the person that is allergic to it or you might not be able to wear your favorite perfume to some public places. And if you’re a manufacturer it sure would be nice if you would put accurate labels on things, not just generic labels that say the product might contain the allergen in order to cover your butt. But keep in mind that what you might be called on to do to defer to the allergic person is just for a short time – we live every day like this.
And just because what's a post without a picture - here's another picture of Abigail.