Knitting Projects and a Surprise Visit

What have I been crafting lately? Well, despite telling myself I wasn’t going to participate in Camp Loopy this year, I am doing it again. The first month’s challenge was to knit something with yarn you hadn’t used before, that was easy enough, but it also had to use at least 375 yards of yarn. I was also on a quest to knit something from one of my MANY knitting books, so I paged through a bunch of them, looking for patterns. I settled on the Lifted Stitch Scarf from Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders, but a few rows into it, I could tell the yarn was not going to play well with this pattern, and I changed to the Ericka Scarf from the same book. The yarn is Desert Vista Dyeworks – Viso Self-Striping in the colorway Spumoni. Yes, it did make me hungry for Spumoni each time I worked on it.

I got it done before the June 30 deadline, because we were going to be gone to SD, and I wanted to finish and take pictures and get it uploaded to the Ravelry website. Here it is!


Ericka Scarf Desert Vista Dyeworks – Viso Self-Striping Spumoni

Ericka Scarf Desert Vista Dyeworks – Viso Self-Striping Spumoni

And a little cat wants to help with the staging of this photograph:


The challenge for the 2nd month was to knit a pattern that has been popular with other knitters, that you haven’t knit before. The project needed to have at least 1000 projects listed (or 1000 queued up) on Ravelry, and it needed to use at least 500 yards, single stranded. I chose the Stripe Study Shawl and am knitting it with Kauni – Wool 8/2 Effekgarn  (orange/yellow/red – slow color change) and Cascade – Heritage Sock in Black.

Stripe Study Shawl

Stripe Study Shawl

It has 12 asymmetric stripes, and I am on stripe number 8, but the stripes get bigger and bigger as they go, so I am only maybe half done. I HOPE I am half done. I really need some good thrilling movie to watch on TV to knit on this, since it is all garter stitch and it is getting kind of monotonous now. Or a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Marathon.

Didn’t get too much knitting done this weekend, but it was for a great reason. Ken’s brother and his wife and little baby *welll OK, not so little* Owen were trying to fly home from South Dakota to San Francisco on Saturday. Because of the crash of the Asiana flight at the San Francisco airport, they were advised to go ahead and fly the first leg of their flight to Denver, but they weren’t going to be able to get any further than that, so they were stuck at the Mostek B & B for at least Saturday night. Ken got on the road to the airport and I went to the grocery story and got started cooking (overfeeding your guests as much as possible is part of my heritage).

Only one picture of Owen on my camera, this is him trying on my crab hat! Will have to get some of him trying on the “mistake” crocheted hat that I am saving for one of my niece’s dress up trunks, it is pretty hilarious.


We were lucky the house was quite clean since I had my knitting tea party (more on that tomorrow) and then I hadn’t been home much to mess it up, so we weren’t freaking out and vacuuming/mopping when we figured out they were going to be here overnight. Always great to see family, no matter how unexpected! Ken had never met Owen, so it was a real treat for him.

And a few more projects

It occurred to me to keep a running list on a sidebar of current projects but the very thought of that also kind of makes my head hurt. Because my favorite part of projects is starting a new one. We will see, maybe it would be a wake-up call for me and help me focus. HA HA HA HA! I think we all know better than that.

My niece prompted me to put up pictures of the horse pillowcases I made for her younger sister. I actually made four pillowcases, two for T. for her birthday, and then I thought as long as I was making two, might as well make four, so I made two for the Folsom Bazaar (October) as well. I used the method here at The Twiddletails Blog, it was the first time for me to use French seams, so I learned something as well. These were fun! If any more nieces and nephews want fun pillowcases, I am ready to go!


I am ALWAYS working on at least one pair of these potholders (method at Mielke’s Fiber Arts, LLC). Grandma Clarice used to make these, and they are great, thick potholders. I have used cotton yarn, acrylic, double thickness of acrylic, they all work, just create different textures and thicknesses. These are both cotton. I vary the size of the initial chain depending on the thickness of the yarn. I think I can say that almost everyone who has received a pair of these thinks they are great. They are very durable. Unless you melt them on a burner (don’t ask).


These are some I made for a Miss South Dakota fundraiser, in the school colors of South Dakota State University and University of Nebraska (OR University of South Dakota.)


Here is the second afghan in the works for baby niece L. This pattern is a free pattern from Bizzy Crochet: Faeries Sampler. It is beautiful, but lots of errata, and you should read her blog entry and the comments on it too to pick up some further errata. I still have several rows to go.


I swore I wasn’t going to do Camp Loopy again but my resistance is weak. I have noticed that I like to purchase knitting books, but I don’t actually knit patterns from them very often. So I have made myself a mental promise not to buy another book until I knit a pattern out of one of my existing books. So I am going to use Camp Loopy for that purpose. I am going to use this to knit the Lifted Stitch Scarf by Carol Scott from the Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders book, using this yarn, Desert Vista Dyeworks – Viso Self-Striping in the colorway Spumoni (right). Of course, this is going to have the result of making me want to eat Spumoni. I spend a lot of time in a car in June, going to various meetings, (not driving!), so I think this will be a good car project. I hope. And I will be on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, where Spumoni sources are few and far between, so perhaps that will be safe.


With the yarn on the left, Lorna’s Laces – Shepherd Worsted, colorway River, I am going to make the Twisted Spiral Neckscarf by Judy Warde, from the book One-Skein Wonders, Yarn Shop Favorites.  (Purchased both of these from Loopy Ewe, which is about 2 miles from my workplace, which is a dangerous thing.) So that will be another pattern from a book! That means I can buy two new books, correct? But wait, there’s more. I also bought this teal Kid Seta Noir (at Knit Knack), to make the Lace Spiral Scarf by Gail Owens, from Designer One-Skein Wonders.

teal Kid Seta Noir

This is NOT going to be a good car project, as there are yarn-overs, and then knitting into the yarn-overs with this tiny, tiny yarn, and somewhat larger needles to make it lacy, so I am anticipating this will be a challenge.

So I have three projects from three different books! That should mean I get to buy three more books, yes? Well, maybe I should stipulate that I should knit three patterns from books to buy a new book. Or two? Or five? It is hard when you are grown-up and have to make up your own rules. I have problems with how many popsicles I am allowed to have each day as well.

And here is a picture of a little cat, who looks so innocent, but went on, later in the night, to knock over the very nice flower arrangement that Ken got me, spilling water all over the table, narrowly missing the netbook computer. Grrrrrrrrrrr.


More MEH recipes

I was on a tear trying out new recipes this weekend. The chicken enchiladas were Friday night (they were a keeper, the ONLY one of the weekend), then Saturday lunch was not a new recipe, it was stuffed shells I made two pans of in August and froze for later. Saturday night was uh, some kind of meat (it is just SO wrong that I can’t remember what we ate on Saturday night, must not have been spectacular) and a new recipe for potatoes I wanted to try.

This was good, but I am not sure it was good enough for the effort. That was a lot of work, several dirty dishes,  and they were not that amazing. Not as good as my go-to fattening potato recipe, that is for sure (which I will have to post later because I can’t find it right now…).

Saturday I went to Showers of Flowers, a large local yarn store, on a quest to find some yarn that I THOUGHT I bought enough of when I started the project, but apparently had not, after tearing my studio apart to find the proverbial missing skein. From my internet search, it appeared that this color was now discontinued. However, Showers of Flowers still had 3 skeins, so I bought two. And then I did a little happy dance around the store.  So now I have enough yarn to finish my shawl/shrugigan (which they call the Nancy shrugigan but I call the Christi shrug because my friend Christi made one first) (and it says one skein in the pattern but I used a different yarn because I LIKE TO MAKE MY LIFE DIFFICULT) but I am working on a million other Christmas  and niece/nephew projects.  Plus, I was so inspired by finding the yarn I needed that I bought more yarn, for a different project. Plus a few skeins that were on sale that I am sure I will have a use for.

I also went to the Trollheim Lodge Sons of Norway Christmas craft sale. I bought some new refrigerator towels. These are always good to have. And my old ones are getting very, very stained. I guess I need to do like my mom does and SOAK them in something good (not pure bleach, I guess) to see if it helps. But now I have two new, cheery ones. I have a hard time letting go of some of the old ones because my Grandma made some of them, so I am attached to them.

I THOUGHT I was done with the Octopus Juggling quilted wall hanging, but I did not do the hanger right. I guess there is a reason they make the hanging sleeves on quilts so wide – if you make it narrow, it makes the top of the quilt stick out oddly from the wall. So I am going to have to tear that off and do something different. This not helping with my goal of “finish one quilt a month.”

See it bulging?

There, see it NOW?

Sunday lunch was not something I am going to cook again, so we will just move on from that. Sunday dinner was Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin.   This made the house smell like I was making bread or cookies. The sauce wasn’t too strong on the pork loin, but it didn’t really do much for us either. It was just OK. I think I will stick with my old standard,  which I have only done on the grill. Maybe I will try it in the oven this winter. I think the secret to a good pork tenderloin is standing by with the meat thermometer and pulling that bad boy off the heat when it reaches 145°.

We also had Cheesy Corn, from a recipe I found in one of my Mom’s Reminisce magazines. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was not as fabulous as I had hoped. It was corn. With cheese. I would rather use my cheese on something else exciting. Ken even turned down the leftovers, so he really didn’t care for it.

Here is the whole plate, including mashed potatoes that were kind of an experiment too, as I had made a while bunch a few weeks ago and froze them. They were OK, needed some extra sour cream to perk them up. No complaints from Ken at least.

Not a stellar job of plating, Iron Chef judges would deduct for presentation.

MaryAnne says she is deducting points because we should have just given HER the cheese instead of putting it on that corn.

Back Again! Cats and New Recipe!

The cats started out the weekend keeping us entertained on Friday night with their new box. I had ordered some very small item on the internet and of course it came in a box that was quite large for the item, but just the right size for the cats. Well, the small-sized cat at least. MaryAnne plopped herself down into the box, even though Leo had been doing his best to claim it by rubbing his whiskers all over the flaps. A rousing game of poke-through-the flaps then ensued. And the Leo jumped INTO the box ON TOP of MaryAnne. Keep in mind this box was just barely big enough for MaryAnne, let alone her 20-pound brother on top of her. Needless to say, mayhem ensued. And neither one of them has been back in the box since. Too traumatic, apparently.

It was a good weekend for trying out new recipes. I just discovered a new food blog through Pinterest, Plain Chicken, and saw several things I wanted to try, including these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas. These were good.

I did have to take the stick blender to the sauce when I discovered I had purchased a chunky salsa, Ken is not wild about chunks of tomato. I personally would like more sauce – I would cover the enchiladas with mild enchilada sauce and then put the remainder of the chicken/sauce on top. Maybe I will try that next time.

These are definitely on the “keep” list.

I don’t have any pictures of the Box Invasion incident, but how about a few pictures of the little darlings being themselves?


Ken fed the little darlings soft food for a treat last night, and one of them (LEO) barfed it off of the end of the bed where I then stepped in it this morning, so that is on the NO  list now, at least for the big Leoski. MaryAnne seems to have a stomach of iron.





Adventure to SD, Saigon Restaurant and School of Mines Museum, Rapid City, SD

I made a trip to the parents’ ranch near Hermosa over Labor Day. My Dad and I had planned to tackle painting the ceiling in the main part of their house. The ceiling/roof developed a leak a while ago, and there was some damage to the paint, and it had been at least 16 years since we painted it, so it was time.

It has become tradition on my Labor Day break for me to bring tomatoes for my former 4-H leader and neighbor, because she likes home-canned tomatoes in the winter. Her daughter (my friend L.) used to live down here near Denver and we would go home to SD together, stopping first at the roadside farm stand and buying tomatoes and other veggies to take home to her Mom and other relatives. When she moved away, I continued the tradition, and then word spread to some of my Mom’s church friends, so this time I was hauling 3 bushels of tomatoes, a box of green beans, a box of peaches, and some other sundry vegetables I can’t remember. I don’t mind, because then there is a little more justification for my usage of gas to drive that far. I stopped at Palombo Gardens near Brighton for the vegetables, and then I stopped at Lauer Krauts in Brighton to have a breakfast runza sandwich. I kid you not, this “sandwich” was about the size of my head. Plus they had German chocolate brownies, again, just about as big as my head. I thought I took pictures but apparently not. The sandwich could have used some hot sauce, but since I was driving, couldn’t do that.

I stopped to see my friend Cyndi in Hot Springs. I stopped in at Black Hills Books and Treasures in Hot Springs to pick up a copy of Dave Strain’s book, “Hay Camp.” A few weeks before they had discovered a book about the early days of the Black Hills called “Black Hills, White Sky,” and then heard from another friend that they should have “Hay Camp” to complete the collection, so I stopped in there and they had a copy, the updated edition even. And then I stopped off in Hermosa to drop off some of the tomatoes.

When I got to the ranch, my dad already had a bunch of the ceiling taped, which was a real time saver. He was still working on the area that needed to be repaired, adding some plaster/fill and then letting it dry and sanding. Friday morning we got going early and tackled that painting. We made good progress, I was mostly using the trim brush and doing the edges. Their ceiling has these tiny little trim boards in a contrasting wood grain all across it, so we had to work around those. Next time I just vote to paint those white. The blue painters’ tape didn’t work for squat. Where it didn’t leak paint, it stuck to the wood. I was pulling that stuff off with tweezers for DAYS. We got done with all of the painting that day, I think, just needed to do some of the clean up. We also ran out of paint and needed some more. I also suggested that Dad get some texture to spray on the repaired area, because there were a few other areas that had some water damage, and the paint didn’t adhere really well in those spots. My dad is 77 years old and he pretty much puts me to shame in terms of endurance and working hard, so I just tried to catch up.

In the meantime, Mom was washing down some of her teapots and tins that she keeps up on top of the cupboard, since we had to take those down to paint around them. I got the small hand vacuum and went after the dust on top of the cupboards, so we got those good and clean before painting. I removed the jar of rattle snake rattles and suggested that THOSE be thrown away, but that was vetoed. I did suggest that we take one of the interesting jars on another shelf and put the rattlesnake rattles in there, so they wouldn’t get so dusty the NEXT time. I hope my brother is aware that HE is going to inherit the rattlesnake rattles. Or maybe his WIFE needs to be aware.

Saturday was spent cleaning up, putting things back, and getting things back in order. I grabbed the dust vac and went after the north window screens in the house, cleaning out some bugs and dust. Dad and I also brainstormed (at my instigation) how we could replace the screens in those windows without tearing the whole house apart. We put some materials for those on the list for town on Sunday.

Sunday we went to church, and then into Rapid City to go to Ace Hardware and get more paint, patching material, window screen, etc. We also met my Aunt E. and Uncle J. at Perkins for lunch and caught up.

By the time we got home, Dad wasn’t feeling well, and so we all took it easy that afternoon.

The next day, Dad and Mom took him to the Dr. (he is fine, had an infection), and I went into Rapid City to do some shopping and visiting of old haunts and a new restaurant.

Disappointingly, the antiques mall was NOT open. Since this is getting lengthy already, a report on what I did next will come tomorrow…..How about a few pictures from around the ranch?

Yes, I am sitting on the boot brush, what of it?

I am hiding in the blocks!

Whammo! I suddenly attack!

Bailey and Zippy wonder why I did not bring them any apples.

Food and Other Randomness

As I was leaving on my trip to Iowa, I saw this painting covering some construction walls at DIA:

That is an octopus, if I am not mistaken, and of course that made my day.

So I have numerous restaurant meals to report on, since I have been remiss in my blogging. I returned to Golden Bowl Noodle House (see previous entry)  and had one of their Combos – small bowl of beef noodle soup (steak pho), 2 egg rolls, iced tea or soft drink, for $8.95, which is a pretty good price as far as I am concerned.

Here is there menu. EM, you and I need to go here together. SO MANY things on that menu I want to try. And I think that is the most reasonable price on spring rolls I have seen lately.

Here are the egg rolls, Instagram style:

Here is the pho, it was excellent, my almost-favorite, second only to the place where they know my order by heart.

I ate at OOKA Sushi in Broomfield, but I forgot to take pictures of my rolls, I just took pictures of my wonton soup. It was excellent wonton soup.

I think I had the veggie tempura as well. The soup, tempura and rolls were all good, just too much. My eyes are bigger than my stomach, as usual.

And now, finally, a menu from D’Deli, the restaurant in Golden with amazing Banh Mi. (see previous entry)

The Banano is also excellent.

And Mary Anne would like to say “Hi.”

More food pics tomorrow. Can’t do any more right now, making me hungry…….


Crafty Friday

Well, to give you some relief from the food pictures this week, and the food pictures yet to come….

The last block of the bunny quilt. Now to get it assembled and quilted, hopefully by niece’s birthday in October.

The first block of the Vortex Afghan. This is supposed to measure 17 inches, and mine measures 24 inches. Apparently I should be using a smaller hook. Oh well, not turning back now. This might be a 4-block baby blanket, not a 6 block one. These colors also look pretty scary in this picture, they are not that bad, really.

And two lazy cats, sleeping on the afghan, when I have perfectly lovely rugs/blankets/etc. on the arms of the couch for them. Yes, they do apparently know they look picturesque.

This is my list of things I am interested in, for the IA State Fair. I am not saying I am going to eat all of these things, I am saying I am interested in them….

German chocolate funnel cake, and carrot and blue sapphire funnel cakes, Chocolate Lava Cake, Deep-Fried Ho-Ho, Deep-Fried Cupcake, Mini Donuts, Apple slush, Fried Butter, FriedPineapple, Fried candy bars, pickles, twinkies, and oreos Chocolate-Covered Frozen S’more, Deep Fried Cheesecake Covered in Chocolate

Lamb sandwich, Beef Sundae, Breakfast Lamb Sausage (bratwurst), Jennie grinder, Gizmo italian beef, Cheese Curds, Crescenti, Bacon Wrapped Eggs, egg cooked in a muffin tin wrapped in bacon and covered with cheese,Turkey Tenderloin Sandwich

On A Stick: Double Bacon Corn Dogs, Deep-fried Pickle Dawg – A quarter slice kosher dill, covered in cream cheese, wrapped in ham or pastrami, dipped in batter and deep fried, Dutch Letter, Fried Pineapple on a stick (Fresh pineapple dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried), Hot bologna on a stick, Cornbrat (bratwurst dipped in corndog batter), Meatless corn dog/fried veggies, Veggie table, Cheese On A Stick, Pastries – Dutch Letters

Annual Knitting Brunch

I took last Friday off work to cook and clean all day – sounds like fun, doesn’t it, but it was, because I was getting ready for my annual knitting brunch with my friends from Knit Knight at the local yarn store. Fortunately, the house wasn’t too messy since we just had company a month ago. It did need some picking up, and the kitchen floor always benefits from a mopping. MaryAnne was pretty sure I stayed home to play with her all day, so I ended up spending some time throwing the ball for her to chase and catch.

I took a break at lunch time, and headed for the local Polish restaurant, knowing Ken would want to have nothing to do with going there with me. They have very reasonable lunch specials for $7.95 at Cracovia. I elected to have the Czerwony barszcz (beetroot soup with sour cream and potatoes) soup and the Golabki (cabbage roll). Since I had tomato sauce with my cabbage roll at the Bagel Deli, I tried the mushroom sauce here.

The soup is VERY pink. It is served hot, not cold. I gave it two thumbs up.

The cabbage roll was also excellent. A little filling for lunch. There were also several slices of bread, and “pork butter,” which involves lard, I believe. A little of that goes a long way.

Then I came home to more cleaning and cooking. And then Saturday morning, we had our party!

The sunroom, all set up and ready. The sunroom is pretty much the reason we bought this house.

I pull out all of my vintage linens. I do not care if they have a few holes or stains, they have character. And yes, they all have to be ironed, which is a big pain. But worth it.

My friend C. and I show off some of my vintage hat collection. The veil on mine is so long it would make it hard to eat. How did they deal with that? I guess ladies didn’t wear their hats to eat. Perhaps this was a church hat. It goes with this dress rather well, don’t you think?

I also pull out my Mom’s luncheon sets (glass plates) and my trays that were mostly wedding gifts.  I don’t remember where the swirly mod green one came from, I think I may have snagged that from Mom’s cupboard as well.

Smoked salmon/asparagus/cream cheese tortilla roll ups.

Pimento cheese finger sandwiches. All of the tea sandwich recipes are from here:

Green Chile Egg Casserole.

Prosciutto fig tea sandwiches.

Wonton Mini Quiches brought by my friend Cathy. They were excellent.

Pickle roll ups from my friend, C (pictured in hat.) I think these have: pickles, bread, and cheese. They are delicious!

More pimento cheese pics.

Dessert table: angel food cake with homemade strawberry sauce, Strawberry pretzel salad, kringle (hand carried from Wisconsin by my friend M., pictured here  with the champagne bottle making a mimosa), smoothies,  and Boston Creme Poke Cake. That poke cake is really rich, it needs LESS of something, maybe only one box of pudding would be better. Strawberry pretzel salad was good as always, I only make this when I have significant numbers of company coming, because I can’t eat it all. Everything was delicious, thank you to all my wonderful guests who attended shared food and laughs and who may never be the same after all of C’s dog stories.

The dessert table again. It was worth a 2nd picture.

We also had tea and punch, in a nice punch bowl, thanks to my friend Judy. She allows her punch bowl to live at my house and come out for the knitting parties. She also brings champagne for mimosas, what more could you ask for!

After we enjoyed our refreshments, we adjourned to the most comfortable chairs to knit and chat and tell wild stories.

A good time was had by all (I believe) and boy, did I sleep that night. (Ken hightailed it out of the house for the day, and the cats hid. MaryAnne did come out to be admired when there were only about 3 guests left.)

This is about how much help the cats were:

A Monday of Epic Proportions

I think I will just work my way backwards through this weekend, including Monday, since it was SUCH a Monday that I didn’t even post.  Monday got a head start on Sunday night with a headache that wouldn’t go away (hence no post written in advance Sunday night for Monday morning posting.) It continued with a disturbing dream about being back in my very first apartment after college with scruffy mice and weird cats, and started out bright and early with me remembering that I hadn’t sent out some slides for a conference call that morning at 9:00 that I was supposed to have sent out on Friday. So I got up several minutes before I usually do, and logged onto my work computer, and sent those out. I don’t remember what else went wrong between then and leaving the house, except that MaryAnne was annoying and wanted to run into the closet and not leave. Then I got to my car, which wouldn’t start, wouldn’t even turn over. I looked up at the dome light, which I sometimes turn on when it is dark, and the switch was on. So the battery was dead. Back into the house I go, to wake Ken, who is still sleeping. He gets dressed, come outside, pushes my car out of the garage, pulls his car up next to it, and gets the jumper cables, which are fortunately nice and handy on the garage wall. After I manage to put the negative cable on a piece of metal which does NOT work as a ground, apparently, because the car won’t start, he hooks things up correctly and Mimi the Matrix does indeed start. So off I go to work, only 15 minutes late.

They day continued to be a Monday: misunderstandings, miscommunications, no cupcakes, etc.

Looking back on Sunday, it was a better day. Still grey and cloudy, but quite a bit warmer than Saturday. We had a picnic to go to at 1:00 with some of Ken’s former co-workers, and I had made the famous Coughlin dip (recipe below) and cole slaw (which I won’t post the recipe to, because I am looking for “The One” in coleslaw recipes, and I don’t think this one was it. Plus, I am mad at it, for reasons you will hear shortly.) I made them both the day before, because they are both better if they sit overnight. Also: I don’t make coleslaw very often and I was not aware that it doesn’t require as much dressing as you would think, so I didn’t add the 2nd bag of shredded cabbage, and I should have. That has been duly noted for next time.

We had fun at the picnic, even though it was a little cool. Watched other people’s children run around and kick their soccer balls into the (cold, cold) lake. Ate good food, visited and caught up with some old friends and met some new ones.

We came home and I discovered the lid wasn’t QUITE closed on the cole slaw and cole slaw juice had leaked out and filled the bottom of the reusable bag I was using as well as dripped in a trail behind me all through the house. There may have been muttering and cursing. That bag went straight into the trash.

Then we decided to go to Kohl’s because we had a 30 percent off coupon, I was looking for clothes and so was Ken. We bought: socks, a rug, and shoes for me, so we didn’t quite meet those objectives, but we saved money.

Then we came home and I made enchilada casserole for dinner (recipe here). Always a favorite and makes good leftovers.

Some of the baby plants spent the day in the house, since it was still pretty cool in the sun room. Some of them got a little wilty on Saturday morning when I put them out there, so they got to spend the day in the bathtub. Monday night I did finally plant the sweet peas outside, they were getting a little crazy and attempting to strangle some of the other babies, so they were the first to go outside.

And I just knocked over a picture of my niece, which fortunately didn’t break, while answering the phone, so the MONDAY continues.

Coughlin Dip (named after my sister-in-law, we were introduced to this dip at their wedding rehearsal dinner)

1 pint mayo
12 oz cottage cheese
12 oz sour cream
1 pkg ranch dressing

Blend well and refrigerate overnight. Serve with potato chips and vegetables.

This dip sounds kind of gross but it is delicious. I don’t even like cottage cheese and I like it. It makes a huge batch so I only make it if we are going to a picnic or a pot luck.

MaryAnne being unladylike again.


Leo would like you to know he would never do such a thing.

He does, however, say: Don’t hate me because I am so beautiful.

Other events of the day

As we were finishing up our noodles and dumplings at Tao Tao, we got to talking about Art-o-Mat, and Erin had admired my art I got from the one at Washington, DC, so I thought, hey, there is an Art-o-Mat on the way to our next noodle stop, and we added it to our list.

We also stopped at Fancy Tiger, and admired a great many fabrics, petted many yarns, and drooled over the needle felted shark kit, but eventually decided we shouldn’t take on any additional projects at this time. (We got slightly list getting there of course.)

Then we ventured over to Santa Fe (street), not without adventure, I need to remember to put a better map in my car, I generally know the right direction to go but not necessarily the fastest route. So we get to Santa Fe, and driving up the street and looking for a parking place, we sight not only the art gallery with the Art-o-Mat, but a fabric and yarn store I forgot was there, and a store that said “CAKE” so you can bet we were excited.

Of course we went to the cake store, Frills Cake Shop, first. Well, unfortunately they were sold out of cupcakes for the day, and were working on filling orders for cakes/cupcakes. We are definitely going to have to return here sometime, possibly during the First Friday Art Walk they have on Santa Fe. Next we walked down to Access Gallery and there was a note on the door that said “Sorry, closed this Friday and Saturday” so that felt like two strikes against us, no cake and now no Art-o-mat.

However, when we got to Fabric Bliss, they were celebrating their 1st birthday, so not only did we get a cupcake or treat of our choice (I had a delicious blue and white cupcake, Erin had a coffee flavored cheesecake sort of creation) but it was 20% off everything but handmade items. I got some laminated fabric (blue with cherries) for my kitchen table, and Erin got some very cute flower hair pins. (Shoot, forgot to take a picture of either one!)

And then we traveled to our 2nd dumpling tasting, and all was well.

On the way home, I asked Erin how long it had been since she had been to La Patisserie Francaise, and she said it had been a LONG time, so it was necessary to stop there. La Patisserie is a truly wonderful French bakery with Creme-puff like “Swans” and “Nuns” which are just kind of indescribable but also involve choux pastry and chocolate ganache and creme filling. This page has a picture of each of them. Try not to drool on your keyboard. They were out of swans, so we each got a nun and Erin got another pastry that I can’t remember because I was concentrating too hard on what my 2nd choice was going to be, which is something with lemon that I haven’t eaten yet, if you can believe that. That nun was gone as soon as I got home, however. And then I had to have a little nap.

Plus, Erin is awesome and brought me presents:

A cupcake which is both bubble bath AND a bath bomb, can’t wait to use that!

And a bath toy! Which she knit herself! Doesn’t it have awesome fishy little lips! I am going to have to keep it away from the cats.

It has a ping pong ball inside it. I am going to have to think of a good name. He/she can hang out with Bruce the Shark Finger Puppet.

Well, that is so much already that I think I will tell you about the scary Halloween house tomorrow, this seems to be more than enough for one day – no wonder I was so tired!

MaryAnne has filed herself in the media center for you to enjoy later.