Monday, October 29, 2012

Supper! Yummy...poached tilapia, chicken-flavored couscous with carrots, and baby bok choy with bell peppers and green onions. the fish and tilapia are family favorites, and even my picky eaters ate their bok choy with a minimum of protest.

(Can you tell I'm not very proficient at foodphotography? lol!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Hey! It's working again!

For awhile, I wasn't able to access blogger. Everytime I tried, it gave me an error message. But, tonight, it let me log on. Yay!

If I don't plan out meals in advance, I wind up running to the grocery store every single day. And feeding the kiddos a lot of junk food. I do have a subscription to a meal planning service, but I haven't been using it...bad mommy, I know. But, I printed out menus and recipes, the girls and I did a grocery trip, and supper is in the oven. Hallelujah!

Tuesday: White Bean and Ham Cassoulet, with steamed cauliflower and french bread
Wednesday: Sesame Chicken with sweet and sour sauce, over brown rice, with green beans
Thursday: Berry Delicious Pork Chops, baked sweet potatoes and corn
Friday: Baja Fish Tacos, with salad
Saturday: Crockpot Split Pea Soup with Sausage and crusty bread

Changes I made to supper tonight: I didn't have sage to put in it. I cooked it in my oven safe pan, instead of saute-ing and then moving to a 9x13 pan to bake in the oven. I've got to say, I'm sick, and it still looks yummy.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today, and blogging

After we dropped Gloria off at preschool, Vicky and I walked over to the church for Mass. St. Casimir's, next-door to the preschool, has Mass on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and I try to go when I'm not running around trying to finish my errand list. Church was normal, same-as-usual, until the end, when the priest asked those attending to help replace the missals in the pews with the new edition. Wow! It looked like an ant nest. (one that was kicked over, not a happy ant nest, that is) There were twenty or thirty people, and almost all of them were able to help. I did two pews worth myself, while Vicky sat in the pew with her book (the Catholic Bible Story lift-the-flap board book that a nice relative gave us a few years ago) watching in bemusement. It was fast, and it was nice, because everybody was smiling as they worked.

Nutella and o.j. isn't the most nutritious breakfast, but at 10:25, when I had 10 minutes for breakfast before I left to pick up Gloria from preschool, it was the fastest thing I could find. At least, I didn't eat Nutella straight from the jar. It went on to two slices of 100% whole wheat bread(storebought :( ) aside of my hardboiled egg.

I do need to find somethings that are fast and easy for me to eat in the morning, preferably things that can be eaten in the car. Make egg burritos in advance? Sausage links wrapped in pancakes? Maybe so.

My list of things to do is a little longer today, because I ran across Knit and Crochet blog week. It seems to be a commitment to blog on certain topics each day of that week. I can do that (just set my brain on autopilot, and turn off the filters...) but before I do, I need to blog the completed projects. Little J's stripey sweater, my triangle headscarf, and Little G's socks.  So, look for posts on those coming soon.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FO and WIP (or, knitting abbreviations are fun!)

First, the finished object (FO). I finished up on Little J's mittens. I wound up frogging (not abbreviation, but definitely a knitting term) and re-knitting the palm of the mittens two or three times, to make sure that I would have enough black for both mittens. The yarn is leftovers from the sweater I'm making for the boy.

Little J didn't want me to take a picture of him, so, he's hiding behind his new mittens.

The first work-in-progress (WIP) is Little J's stripey sweater. Body and sleeves are knitted, sleeves and shoulder seams are sewn together, now I need to sew the sleeves into the body, and knit the collar. Yay!

And, for a WIP that I have a picture of:

I'm starting on a pair of mittens for me. It's the Heather's Mittens pattern from SpillyJane, done in two knitpicks fingering weight yarns. It's hard to see right now, but there will be three-leaved clovers steming up the mittens. For a minute,I was horrifided that I would need to rip all of these stitches out and start over, because I had this idea to do a mitten thumb with a gusset, but after thinking on it, I decided to do the thumb as written in the pattern. What a relief! I was so happy, I knit three more rows yesterday! I'm knitting the colorwork with a strand of yarn in each hand, and while it requires co-ordination and good lighting, it is oddly hypnotic. Perhaps because it does require concentration, I have no attention left for anything going on around me.

Oh, other WIPs? I don't know...poor Clessidra is languishing again, and I really need to finish up Big J's companion cube before he has to leave.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February Reading

When I'm actually knitting a project I don't read as much. Some, but not as much. But lately, I haven't had anything pressing on the needles (the amount of ends to work in on Little J's sweater is quite daunting) and I've wound up borrowing a few books from the library.

The one that's  caused me to lose sleep, because I have to keep reading to find out what happens next, is a series by Brandon Sanderson, "The Mistborn Trilogy". The books are Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages.

It's an epic quest to save the world. The story is set in an alien landscape, but there's hints that in the past it was more Earth-like. The magic is quite unique, with three different systems, that lead to some unique creatures. The non-human species, although mentioned in the first two books, are much more important in the last one.

It's excellent writing, and i loved the books. The author has a few other novels, including "The Alloy of Law", that I read a few weeks back. That one has the same magic system, but is a little more technologically advanced. Further into the future, I think.

I've finished them now, so, time for another trip to the library!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I've fallen in a black hole

And I'm past the event horizon, too. The accumulated weight of my current knitting projects have sucked me in, and there's no end in sight.

Is there anything more depressing than the sight of millons of yarn ends to work in? I've finished knitting all the pieces for Little J's stripey sweater, so now I'm weaving in the ends (of all those d'mned stripes!) before I sewing it up, and then knit the collar. For which collar, I need a little bit of black, just 2 rows worth. I wish I would have realized that before I used the one and only ball of black yarn for a pair of mittens for Little J...I think I may have enough. Or, if I don't, there won't be any black on the collar, after all.

Poor Clessidra is languishing again. Stuck in a basket, waiting for me to measure her, and then sit down and think about what to do for the next stocking. So is my Print-of-the-Wave scarf, and that's been in time-out even longer than Clessidra. I tried casting on for the pair of mittens for me, but I decided I needed to start over, so there's not even a smidge of a beginning now, although I really really want to make those mittens (I told myself I can work on them seriously when the stripey sweater is done, done, done.)

And for car knitting, and wait-to-pick-up-kids-from-school-knitting, is a pair of mittens for Little J. Doesn't it seem a bit strange, I'm knitting mittens in the middle of the warmest winter we've had in a long time? And then, Christmas presents from the grandparents in Thailand came yesterday. They sent scarfs! lol! They're mostly handmade, and I think their aunt/cousin Yu made them. I guess they were worried the little kids would be cold....

The year is going by, and it's the first day of February. I don't want the days to go by so fast. Soon it will be the 28th, and Big J will be leaving on an airplane, to be stationed overseas. We're rushing around, trying to get ready, and I feel depressed and totally unprepared.

hmm. I think I'll finish up the mittens today. At least I'll complete something.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cooking is a hobby, too!

I cook almost every day to feed the family, but somethings are special. This week has been devoted to cooking projects. I knew in advance that it would be, and last weekend I planned my schedule, so that I would be able to do everything. Even for only two projects, I have to schedule arounn

The first project was to make marmalde from blood oranges that I found at the Commissary. I used the recipe from "Well Preserved, Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook" (in no way am I a 'new' cook, but it's a really good cookbook with a lot of useful recipes), and at almost the last minute, I added a cinnamon stick to add a little spice. I accidentally doubled the recipe, so it filled 12 pint jars.

The next project was more complex, although I'm not sure it took any more time.

The Lansing Historical Museum is having a Kansas Day celebration on Saturday, and part of it is a cake decorating contest. My friend Miss L is the curator ("Site Supervisor"), and asked if I would be interested...I entered a cake several years ago (the wheat cake), and this year, I have time, and the baby is a bit older.

So, Thursday the candy decorations were designed and made. (I love the techniques from the Whimsical Bakehouse cookbooks! Easy, and fun). Friday the cake was baked, assembled and frosted. Saturday, it will be delivered to the museum. (I'm going to wait until the last minute to put the church on top of the cake. It's too tall to fit in the cake-carrier)

It's a German Chocolate cake, with the traditional pecan frosting, with a small church on top. I really didn't have any brilliant ideas for a Kansas Day cake, but I do appreciate my German heritage, and the German settlers who brought wheat to Kansas, and scattered churches all over the praries.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FO: LittleRedRidingMittens

I finished Little G's mittens (for non-ravlery users) off on Monday, and have been waiting for the right time to take pictures to show y'all. Now, as soon as my camera battery recharges (#@!$%!! It seems the battery doesn't like living in the cold car. Or, it's not holding a charge for very long...) I'll post it up for you.

I did make some changes to the basic pattern. I cast on less stitches for the ribbing, considering Little G's skinny little wrists, then increased to the number called for in the pattern for the hand. The thumb has 2 more stitches than was listed, and instead of the spiral decrease at the top of the mitten, I used paired decreases on either side of the mitten.

Now we're waiting for snow. Seen any? send some our way, the kids would appreciate a snow day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

knitting progress, and a decided lack of pictures. Sorry!

Finished one project, on to another!

The teacher hat for Little J's teacher is finished. It wasn't a bad car project, although the three different balls of yarn tangled together in my bag. I'm glad it's done, and I am glad it actually looks right on a human head. She loves it, and was wearing it when we picked Little J up this afternoon.
And here is the next project that I cast on. Click here! We went to storytime on Wednesday, all the stories were about mittens. My favorite was one by Jan Brett...I think this one. Aaaanyway, Little G asked if she could have new mittens, like in the books. And, Wednesday night, when I couldn't sleep, I cast on for the mittens and was halfway through the first one. I know that I'm going to put a string on a pair, but I'm contemplating wether to make three for the set. They are my car project, now.

Little J's sweater is not a car project. Too many decreases, to make the sleeve look right, and I have to pay attention to my pattern. So, I work on that one at home. I finished one of the sleeves, measured what I would have to do to have the stripes line up the way I wanted, then I ripped back the sleeve cap. Serendipitously, I didn't have to redo the whole entire sleeve.

After I finish the sweater, the next project is for me! me, me, me...I want a new pair of mittens, and I have the yarn to do this pattern. Dark brown for the back ground, and a varigated green for the clover leafs. Pretty, no?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Current progress

was knitting in car, on teacher's hat.
 shouldn't've, I pulled something in my shoulder and knitting was making it worse.
I'm not knitting now, resting.
Typing one-handed! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Man (boy) in Black!

What is it about a clean floor that immediately causes small children to drag out all the toys in the room?? I had a fit of cleaning (I don't clean often, but having people visit is a great encouragement.) and within half an hour, there were toys all over the floor. At least it was a clean carpet...

Okay, finished project from a few days before...

Not the Man in Black, but Little J wearing Big J's new hat. It's the Watch Cap from Knits Men Want. It fits Big J, and it's in his (both of them) favorite color, too. It looked especially fetching on Big J when he wore it to track down the mysterious gas leak smell, but, i didn't catch a picture of that.

My next project is a hat for Little J's teacher. She jokingly requested one like Little J's, but in red, black, and white. Turns out, I have lots and lots of red worsted weight, so she's getting one that's mostly red. And then, back to Little J's stripey sweater, I have the yarn for it!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Fooling around

I wanted to put up a pic of clessidra, so I fooled around with Big J's little computer and the webcam, until I came up with something..

I know, it's pretty blurry, but you can see, there is a top to the bottom of the sock. It's actually long enough to go over my knees, a little longer than the pattern says...I have short legs, that's all. Now, if I only had two socks....

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Back from Branson

Back from Branson! I picked up some souvenirs, but it seems that a cold was waiting at home for me. Oh well. sniffle, sniffle.

Branson was fun. It helped that we had sufficient computers along for almost every person to play with when we had down time in the hotel. Although one night I was caught up with knitting, and it was after 10 pm when Big J looked up and said "Shouldn't the kids be getting ready for bed?" Whoops!

What did we see? We watched the New Shanghai Acrobats (and I really think they, or a related group, toured through Leavenworth a little while back), visited the Titannic Museum, the Butterfly Palace, the Amazing Pet Show (pet and magician show, more like), and ate at a couple local places. (And we visited the local WalMart for cleaning supplies after I managed to drop an almost full cup of hot chocolate in the minivan...)

Knitting wise, I worked on Little J's sweater. It's coming along, although slowly. During the driving time (thank you Big J!), even with the mistakes I made and had to rip back or repair, I knitted the body up to the shoulders. I haven't started on the sleeves yet -- I think I'll need to order more yarn. I've plenty of the blue, but no more green.

I actually took along yarn for four different projects. That's right, for a four day trip, I thought I was going to run out of yarn-ness. Silly me, even if Branson doesn't have a yarn store, there's always walmart and dishcloth cotton. But, I did knit most of the other projects, too. I finished up the Clessidra stocking I've been working on since before Gloria was born. That is, I finished stocking number 1, out of the two neccessary if I'm ever going to wear them. And, I'm afraid that I might not, because it's a smidgen too big. :( Big J thinks I should wear them anyway, but I know that I won't. I hate having wrinkly, baggy socks, and that's just what would happen. That stocking isn't unraveled yet. I've told myself I'll give it a gentle wash, block it, and see how it fits then. (My personal prediction is that it will get larger. We will see.) If it doesn't, I have some ideas on how I can modify the pattern to get what I want.

The last knitting that I did, actually started on the way home, was a cat sweater for Princess. Don't look incredulous, she just had a haircut, and acts like she's cold. Well, okay, she snuggles in blankets all the time, but I can tell. Really! I finished it yesterday...

Isn't she cute?