Sometimes You Want Some Pho Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Quilting hint for the day: Do not get soy sauce on your New York Beauty paper piecing patterns. You will not want to use them after that.

Don’t Ask.

Do you have a restaurant or bar you go to that is like Cheers – everybody knows your name? Well, we have one – the Pho place near our house. Pho 78. Well, the young good looking waiter has to be working, but he knows us. He just yells from behind the counter – “Usual?” And we say yes, and then I have to give him a big tip because he knows what the “usual” is.

What is the usual?

Spring rolls, and he knows that I am the only one that eats them, not Ken, and only brings one plate. I personally think these are the best spring rolls with the best peanut sauce, at the most reasonable price, that I have eaten in the Denver vicinity. (For those of you that may not have access to spring rolls, they have lettuce, bean sprouts and basil, with pork slices and shrimp, wrapped in rice paper, with a peanut dipping sauce.) You should try them.

Note the garnish plate for the soup behind the spring rolls. It contains bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, coriander and jalapeno slices. Our waiter knows to bring extra jalapenos for me. The usual serving is 3 or 4 slices. Last night, I got 12. I don’t like to EAT the jalapenos, but I put them in the broth and smash it around and make the broth spicier.

The pho (pronounced ‘fuh,’ not ‘foe’) is an amazing clear beef broth with rice noodles, except I don’t like the noodles, so I have a side of rice instead. I prefer to savor the broth as much as possible. And there are various types of meats you can get in the broth, from rare steak, which they put in raw in the kitchen and essentially cooks in the hot broth, to shrimp, tripe, brisket, and meatballs. I like the meatballs (they are sliced into the soup.) After I have stirred the jalapenos in, then I add sriracha sauce. Mmmmmmmm, good for what ails you.

This is a SMALL by the way.

Ken gets a beef and rice dish, with the beef in a sauce that I like too but not nearly enough not to order the pho.

Rapid City now has a Pho place, so I will have to try that sometime when I am up there again. To me, Pho is like chicken noodle soup, it is restorative. I need to have some before a trip as a preventative measure, and after a trip as a welcome home (obviously this is why they KNOW ME at this restaurant.)

You do have to be careful and order in the restaurant if you want a to go order, because the gentleman who answers the phone doesn’t always understand, and one time when I wanted rice instead of noodles, I got 5 soups instead. Of course Ken just picked it up and assumed I had my own plan (usually wise on his part) and didn’t question why there were 5 soups in there.

X Marks the Spot

The atmosphere must have been particularly still on Christmas Eve afternoon, as these jet contrails marked an X in the sky and it hung there quite a while.

I have been working on a written history of the home ranch, and the more I work on it, the more it grows. It started being just a history of the various buildings of the ranch, and now it has evolved, and this last week I realized I probably need to put some other landmarks, like dams and draws in the history also. My Dad seems to enjoy contributing to the effort and every time I bring this home to work on it and ask him questions, he comes up with some new story that neither Mom nor I have heard before.

Down the draw on a sunny Christmas day.

Many of the cottonwoods did not do well in the drought of the mid-2000s.

I always try to go out and feed cows with Dad at least one time when I am home. I am not as handy as my brother when it comes to lassoing a calf and helping give it a shot, but I can help feed cake (cow cake is a concentrated feed for cattle, compressed into a cake-like form). (And I have helped pull a dead calf, an experience I hope to never have to repeat.) Feeding cake involves sitting on the pickup tailgate, and dribbling it out of the buckets while the cows come running. Various cows are “cake hounds” and will eat the cake out of your hand, if you don’t mind getting slobber all over you.

One of my favorite pictures of my Dad, ever. On a much warmer day.
You see a lot on the internet about how food animals are not treated well, but I can tell you my Dad (and all of the ranchers that I know) usually puts the health of those animals above and beyond his, and has risked life and limb many times to take care of them, make sure they get fed in a blizzard, etc. And the harshest words I have ever heard him say to a cow are “Ya old blister.” And they know him too, they aren’t particularly keen on a newcomer being out walking around amongst them.

I also get to see some interesting wildlife while I am out driving around in the pasture with him. This year, two bald eagles have been hanging out in the dead cottonwoods in our south pasture. Only one was here today, and he also didn’t care for strangers stopping the pickup to look at him and take pictures, so I don’t have a very close one, but you can tell it is a bald eagle.

Eagle says “I am not interested in participating in your picture-taking. Next time bring a long lens. Good-bye.” (Haybale pile and Black Hills in background.)

I also get to see other various hawks, meadowlarks, cottontails, deer, coyotes, and antelopes, depending on the time of the year.

The horses object to the ice in the pasture. “Get out here with some de-icer! And bring me a carrot and an apple while you are at it.”

Of course, there are many other acres of land where they could stand, but they like to stand here and be annoyed.

Big Family, Small House, Lots of Love and Laughing

I suggested to my Mom that while we were up in SD, it would be great to have a get-together so I could see some of the assorted relatives, since the “big” Christmas doings were going to be held the following Tuesday, after we had gone home, but when there were actual KIDS there.

Nice of me to invite people over to her house and ask her to cook for them, huh? But at least I knew I would be there to help.

By the time things settled in and the roll dough was stirred up, the ham was in the roaster, and the cranberry salad was in the refrigerator, we had 15 people in total attending. The rest of the menu included my Aunt Connie’s Scalloped Corn (recipe to follow, someday, it is out in the car in my knitting bag and it is COLD out there) (you have to have plenty of gravy for my family, gravy is a food group to us), mashed potatoes and gravy (pork gravy from a mix, but I added a lot of ham juice, a little milk, and then some corn starch to thicken, and it was good), sweet potatoes, relish tray, Aunt Trish’s raspberry salad, and Aunt Eileen’s brownies. No one had any room for the brownies after lunch so Ken and I mostly got to eat them for the next day and a half, and that was no problem, because they were awesome.

My parents’ house (where I grew up) is small, it is a 12′ wide trailer with an addition. So you can get about 10 people around the table in the kitchen.

And then there were 5 people at the kids’ table in the addition living room (built on to the trailer house.) The youngest person at the kids’ table was 26. The oldest person, was, well… we just won’t discuss that. He could have been at the grown up table but the Broncos game was on in this room and he pulled rank on me.

You know you are from a big family when you are 42 and you are still sitting at the kids’ table.

This is by NO MEANS the largest crowd we have had in this house, at least this time there was no one sitting on the bed in the bedroom with TV trays. Big family, small house, lots of love and laughing, we make it work.

And I decided we should have a buffet table to facilitate dishing up.

Sorry, picture is a little crooked. And I forgot and took the picture AFTER everyone had dished up, but there was really no stopping us once we got started.

Aunt Eileen announced that in all of her spare time (she has about as much spare time as I do) she is putting together a family cookbook, and she would like as many digital pictures of recipes as possible, so that means more food pictures and more recipes for this blog too.

My mom’s rolls are infamous, they are what gets grabbed 1st if anyone has the chance. My cousins were into them on the kids’ table because we put them out on plates rather than on the buffet table. Very difficult to resist fresh, hot bread for very long.

So here is the recipe:

Speedy Roll Dough

Measure 6 1/2 cups flour.

Combine 2 cups warm water, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 Pkg Dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp). Stir until dissolved. Add 3 tsp salt and 2 c. of the flour. Beat 2 minutes with electric mixer (or stand mixer). Add 2 eggs and 1/3 cup shortening. Beat 1 minute. Work in remaining flour (by hand or with dough hook). Do not add all flour if it gets too stiff, or add more if it is too sticky. Cover and let rest in bowl 20 minutes. Shape and let rise 40-45 minutes, until approximately doubled in size. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Makes two 9 x 13 pans cinnamon rolls, 1 cookie sheet ranch rolls (shape into golf ball size rolls), or 3 loaf pans Holland rolls. (Mom also calls these side-by-side rolls, you make a cylinder of dough about as long as your hand is wide, and about an inch in diameter, when you pop them out of the loaf pan, they separate nicely.) Could be made into any other shape you desire, for that matter.

I will post pics of this recipe someday, but I don’t make that many rolls very often……I can’t even find a picture of “Holland Rolls” that look like hers, so I really need to take one.

Over the river and through the icy snow packed highways…..

Last Friday’s drive to SD was longer than usual, not just because Ken and I had about three “discussions” before we even got out of town, on of which required me to bring out the fist of death (See Alice in the Dilbert cartoon) and threaten him with it. At least one of the discussions involved me saying when I buy my next car, the other one that I would consider besides a Toyota Matrix (which is what I currently drive, Mimi the Matrix) is a Scion. Ken things those are ugly and boxy. They are very highly rated in reliability, though. And I like unique cars. Then Ken said that maybe I should get a subaru. My opinion on those is that everybody in Colorado has one of those and also they look too much like a station wagon. So he questioned me then “Doesn’t Mimi look like a wagon?” “No, Mimi is cute.” Then he gave me one of those looks, and I said “Follow the Glenderella logic.” And he said, “So, NO logic?”  And that was when the fist of death first appeared……

Colorado roads were fine, but once we got past Cheyenne, the roads were snow packed and slippery, and the wind was blowing (as it always is in Wyoming). Several people were in the ditches, and most of them had arrived there recently because there were still people in the cars. After we turned east at Orin Junction, we had clear roads for about 10 miles, and then some of the worst roads I had ever driven on. Not only were they snowy and icy, but the snow and ice had frozen into ruts, and it was like driving over a washboard for 30 miles.

The road sign said  “Slick spots, turn off cruise control.”

As Ken said, “Slick spots, how abou the entire frickin’ road”

We refuled at Lusk, and were warning people about what travel to the west was like. We overheard  one guy saying “Just 40 miles to I-25, and then we will be fine.” Uh, no, sorry. We let him know he was going to have fun road conditions until Cheyenne. The station guys were also telling people the roads were the worst north of Lusk. Those people were in for a big surprise when they got west of Lusk. And the roads north of Lusk were also terrible, snow and ice packed, but not rutted, at least. And that didn’t slow down several people who thought they needed to go 70 mph. We no longer have any need to get anywhere that fast, must come with our advanced age or something….

The drive home took us about an hour and a half longer than usual, so that was pleasant. We did stop in and see my friend Cyndi and all her family there visiting, and dropped off a present for her.

Cyndi’s Christmas presents:

Fetching Fingerless Gloves (Pattern from Knitty, Summer 2006) I did a variation on the thumbs that I found online somewhere. The thumbs look like they are different lengths, but they are the same (really) (I hope).

Then a Christmas potholder/hot pad and two “yarn end” potholders/hot pads. They are kind of wild but they are nice and thick, this is my Grandma’s pattern for potholders.

Because they are crocheted in the round, they have a different look on each side. I did have to add some additional yarn to finish the Christmas one, ran out of the variegated. She will understand, she is a quilter.

And I got her one of my favorite pincushions –

By the tme we left Cyndi’s, it was dark and we had about another hour to go (at least the roads were clear here.) I told Ken it was kind of freaking me out, I wasn’t used to driving somewhere where there was so much DARK (no street lights, no buildings, etc.) all around. Usually we arrive at the ranch while it is still light.

We saw a bald eagle while we were still in Wyoming, plus many many antelope, and a shooting star as we got closer to the ranch. Ken said “Did you see that?” and I was glad he said that because I thought maybe I just saw a reflection of something in the windshield.

When we got to the ranch, my Aunt Connie and Uncle Norman were there (en route to Rapid City), and Mom was making steamburgers  for dinner. We had a good visit before they headed into Rapid City for the evening.

Speaking of that, those sandwiches are one of those things that has all sorts of regional names: Sloppy Joe, Barbecues, Taverns, Manwiches, Steamburgers…….I don’t think I had ever heard them called Taverns until I moved to Colorado. Loose meat sandwiches, Maid Rites – except sometime Maid Rites are only seasoned with salt and pepper. What do they call them in your neck of the woods?

I finished a pair of socks while I was there, and made progress on the Chevron Scarf, and then made reverse progress on the way home when I discovered I had was somehow up to 52 stitches from the proper 48 stitches, so there was some frogging (rip-it, rip-it) done there. Progress pic:

This is being made with a Magic Ball from Sophie’s Toes. The colorway is “Cosmopolitan.” I unrolled the 1st color and am alternating (per the pattern) with the unrolled ball and the yarn still on the big ball. I am into the 2nd colorway now, and we have taken a turn for the pink and purple. This is going to be a very interesting scarf.

The Best Christmas Presents

You may see the chainsaw and the Chatty Cathy doll predominant in my picture from last year, but you can also see I am clutching some homemade Barbie doll dresses, and my brother has a homemade hobby horse.

Those are the gifts I really remember, from the Barbie doll dresses my mom and aunts made me to go with the Barbies they had played with as children and passed down (Mom made me a brides dress and two bridesmaids that year), to the wooden Barbie house my Uncle Roger made me, with a rug my Aunt Becky crocheted, to Sesame Street finger puppets Aunt Becky made (Grover and Oscar the Grouch, oh I remember.) Aunt Eileen made me an awesome purple velour hooded robe, because she knew I loved purple, and a cool t-shirt that she embroidered flowers on (some special embroidery technique, they were really neat) that I wore most of the way through high school.

That is why I try to make as many gifts as I can for my nieces and nephews, if even one of them remembers those gifts when they are my age, and especially if they are a crafter or artist themself, they will know how much love is put into those things. And the things they make me (not many yet, I need to encourage the crafting habit) are among my most treasured objects.

From my oldest niece:

Do I love it? Of course I do.

I hope you all got to see loved ones this Christmas, or talk to them on the phone, and remembered Christmases past, and perhaps made some new memories. If you are traveling home, be safe.

I’ll be with you in a few, I am blocking traffic.

According to my stats, people are finding my blog by searching on “outhouse puzzles” and “Bears and outhouses jigsaw puzzles.” Well, if you want that puzzle, I wish you the best. I have several more for you, if I can get them away from my mother, but they don’t have as much character as that one.

We now have our White Christmas here in Colorado. I don’t think we really needed 14 inches of White Christmas.

The birdbath in the backyard is the official documentation station. I do not think it fully displays the depth of the snow this time.

Ken got stuck trying to get out of the driveway this morning. After he shoveled his car out, he decided he was going to drive to the park and ride and take the bus the rest of the way. That worked out great for me, because I had to drop my car off to get serviced before we drive to SD for Christmas, so I had the shuttle take me to his car at the bus stop.

Our street, this is the 4th snowstorm this year, and the biggest one so far, Ken says.

I was fine driving my little car around town, gave myself 2 hours to get to my eye appointment across town. I was also meeting my mailing coordinator with 2 mailings for work. Fortunately, he was also 45 minutes early. Great minds apparently think alike. So I sat in the coffee shop and worked for about 40 minutes until my optometrist could get me in 20 minutes early. Why do I still drive way across town to the optometrist? Well, one of the docs there went to SDSU for Pre-optometry, and the guy I had today went to NDSU. These are my people. They understand the cold weather. They are glad to be living in Denver. We can talk about the mighty Jackrabbits.

So the optometrist told me next year we will probably WEAKEN my contacts prescription. I wear an 8.5 correction (very strong). Perfect vision is 20/20, mine is 850/850. Essentially blind as a bat. Well, I had asked him if it would be OK if I got some reading glasses for when I am working on some tiny tiny knitting things, I am feeling like I can’t see them as well as I used to. So he said, when you get older, being a little overcorrected in your distance vision hurts your close vision. So, I got about 15 years of vision stability, after puberty/etc., when it changed a lot, and now I get to have changes again, oh joy oh rapture. But, I do get to go get some cute reading glasses. All my friends have them. Sigh……

Then I went to my favorite restaurant down south (Bagel Deli) and had chicken soup with one matzo ball and one kreplach (Jewish wonton as they called it) because I love their matzo balls but I wanted to try kreplach.

Then I had a kashka knish (Kashka is cooked buckwheat). The kreplach was fine, I would eat that if I was in a slightly different mood, but I still like the matzo balls. The knish was kind of bland. I can see how you could easily substitue kashka for meat in some dishes, tho, it has the right texture.

It was perfectly made. Just not my thing. I still have NUMEROUS items to try on their menu.

Then I made my way to the car place, dropped of the car, picked up Ken’s car, tried to do some Christmas shopping (unsuccessful), came home to get on a work conference call and got stuck in the driveway. Called into the conference call and told them I was blocking traffic and I would be with them in a few minutes.

Fortunately, our dear neighbor across the street has a 16 year old son who was already suiting up to come help me. And another neighbor from down the street joined in. We have a good neighborhood. Also fortunate the neighbors were home because I gave my house keys to the car guys along with my car keys, whoops, but our neighbors have a spare. We got my car dug out enough to get into the driveway, and I told my helpers “That’s enough, thank you, you don’t have to dig any more,” but they still dug some more of the driveway out as I went in to get on my call. I do my best to help people when I can, but it is so humbling when someone helps you, it makes you want to do more. So I am remembering to help the next person stuck in a snowdrift (literal or figurative) I see.


The Darkest Evening of the Year

As I said on Facebook, the “Darkest evening of the year” didn’t need to be the “Longest commute of the year,” too. But the Christmas snowstorm took care of that for me, slippery roads and blowing snow. My commute is currently 104 miles a day, my office having moved after I started there. In this economy, I am pretty glad to just HAVE a job, so I don’t complain too much, except for when it snows like this. Ugh.

Speaking of “darkest evening of the year” – that is from the Robert Frost poem, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I did not know until a few years ago that “darkest evening of the year” meant the winter solstice, and now I remember that every time solstice comes around. Once upon a time, I had time to memorize poetry, and that is one of the poems I memorized.

I have to say, it is one of MY favorite nights of the year, because the days will start getting longer again. I am a big lover of daylight.

I was pretty tickled to sleep through the whole night last night for the first time since I came down with this cold after Thanksgiving. I love my nieces and nephews, but they are a germ factory.

Got my teeth cleaned yesterday, always good to have that done and over with. The dentist complimented me on my “beautiful teeth” so then that really made me feel I should bite something to prove their worth. I showed restraint, tho. Guess I should thank my parents for dragging me to the dentist over the years, including for those horrible fluoride trays that you had to sit with in your mouth and wait forever and ever. My hygenist yesterday said it was only 4 minutes but I am pretty sure it was longer than that. As a kid, it felt like hours. I also had to take fluoride vitamins as a kid, because we lived in the country and had well water that wasn’t fluoridated. One time, my cousin Susan and I sat down and ate the entire bottle, alarming my mother and causing her to call poison control. (We were under 5 at the time.) They said we would probably have some diarrhea but otherwise we would be fine. I wonder if I should credit that overdose for my amazingly strong chompers…..

I am also pretty excited that The Hobbit trailer is up on the internet. I love the Lord of the Rings books. I did not read them until I was 28, and we were moving to Utah, and I got one as a book on tape to listen to as we drove across the country. I promptly called up an old boyfriend who had read them and asked him why he didn’t make ME read them.

“G., it is pointless to try to make YOU do anything you don’t want to,” I believe, was his response.

Hmph. But true.

So I loved the books, I have the “Annotated” Hobbit, and some year for birthday/Christmas I am going to ask for some nice illustrated versions. I like to watch the movies while I am knitting or crocheting or sewing the binding on a quilt, but I like to listen to the commentary, and that kind of drives Ken nuts, so I try to do it when he isn’t around. It drives ME nuts when he watches movies that he has seen over and over and over again, but he doesn’t comment on numerous bad habits of mine (too much) so I try to restrain myself.

I guess HE doesn’t say anything about me reading different books over and over, but then again, reading a book doesn’t intrude into the general atmosphere of the house as much as watching that Clint Eastwood movie where he is the preacher again and again and again. Or Pelican Brief. Or The Fugitive. I could go on.

This website is hilarious: Handmade Ryan Gosling. These are all the things a confirmed crafter really wants to hear. Especially “Hey girl, don’t stress about me stepping on that pin. It’s my fault for walking barefoot in the dining room” and “Hey girl, I totally don’t mind finding your unfinished projects all over the house. They remind me of you when I see them.”

Those are some pretty sexy things to say. I told Ken that and he said, “Uh-huh.”

Ken is pretty programmed, when I am sitting on the couch and I say “Uh-oh” he says “Needle?”  He is really very good about finding pins/needles on the floor if I let him know he needs to look for them. Defense mechanism, I guess.

And for your photo enjoyment:

I still get pretty excited about chocolate covered cherries. There is a box sitting right next to me at the computer, as a matter of fact. They only put 10 in the box now, which is really probably just for the best.

Happy Solstice! Enjoy the longer days!

I think my brother the rabbit should be a little worried

I went to a one room country school.

The biggest class size I was ever in was 3, in kindergarten and 1st grade.

(1st day of kindergarten, 19cough cough cough)

1st day of 1st grade. My mom made me this smock, embroidered with Dennis the Menace, Snoopy, etc. I think my oldest niece has it, I don’t know that she was ever allowed to wear it. Double-knit polyester, that must have been a huge pain to embroider on. I think that the fact that it is double-knit polyester, lime green has something to do with why the oldest niece wasn’t allowed to wear it.

Me and my toothless grin and Scooby Doo lunchbox.

Going trick or treating you pretty much knew whose houses you were going to, and who was coming to yours. Of course, living in rural SD, we probably put 20 miles on the car trick or treating. And of course the older neighbors always wanted to visit with my mom, and we wanted to get on the road for MORE TRICK AND TREATING!

This is me and my brother and two neighbor boys who were going with us that night (and my Dad’s knee). I think my brother the rabbit should be a little worried. We got that rabbit costume as a hand me down from someone, my Mom made that mask to go with it, she has much better artistic abilities than I do. I sure wish I still had that cowgirl outfit. Wait, I can sew……

School Christmas program. I am pretty sure this is the largest enrollment at the school while I was there. The next year, things had changed, families had moved into town, and the school was smaller but still there.

Looks like 12 kids to me, what with the ones who are directly behind others. Probably covered most of the 8 grades. That teacher had her hands full, all of us and no teacher’s aide. And she still did a good job. However, if you gave her any guff, you could be taken out in the hall and sp*nked with a ruler (don’t want any weirdos searching google to find my site based on sp*nking.) I NEVER went out in the hall, I was a Good girl. In grade school at least.

Well, my husband says my blog posts are too long so I will stop there. And, my sister in law has just called for her annual “assistance needed” with her Christmas address labels. She did it just fine last year without me, so she was all cocky, but she couldn’t remember one of the steps, so call in Microsoft expert Glenderella……

And my finger is bleeding, to boot

Sorry to kind quit still in the middle of the weekend, but I thought, whoa, I am tired just reading this, and went to bed. Woke up Monday morning feeling not rested at all. However, it wasn’t snowing, so that was a bonus.

So, I forgot, on Friday night I made spaghetti. Not an outside of the normal occurence, but I have to explain how Ken’s family eats spaghetti. I have no idea how this evolved. In my family, we made our spaghetti with a pot of cooked noodles, cooked hamburger dumped in, and jar (usually home canned while I was growing up) of tomatoes and only ½ packet of spaghetti sauce seasoning because otherwise it was too spicy for my father. (I am pretty sure I love spicy food so much now because I was repressed for so long….) Oh, and slices of Velveeta on top, then put the lid back on the pan so it steams and melts the Velveeta. Mmmmmmm. Velveeta. My nephew (Iowa nephew aged 6) calls Velveeta slices “Grandpa cheese.” I am sure you can tell why.

OK, so I don’t even remember how I made spaghetti when I was out and about on my own, I don’t think it was something I cooked very often. But when I met Ken, I met a new way of making spaghetti. Here it is: Brown the hamburger. Cook the noodles. Warm up the sauce (or make homemade sauce.) Have ready: grated cheddar cheese, and cottage cheese. Do not combine anything before serving. Here is how you make your plate: Spaghetti, then sauce, then hamburger, then cottage cheese, then cheddar cheese. If you really want to go on a cheese o rama, then add some parmesan. Regardless of how odd this is, it is actually pretty good, the cottage cheese creates something like a lasagna effect. I imagine it is something like Cincinatti chili/spaghetti, but I have not had that (yet).

After lunch on Sunday of course we had to watch the Broncos game. Well, at least until the third quarter, which is when Ken was so annoyed with them he gave up and turned the TV off and came upstairs to wrap Christmas presents. BUT I was supposed to keep listening to them on the radio, just in case something happened. (It would have taken a miracle on a par with a rain of toads for them to pull out a win this week, but really, stranger things have happened.) I had decided at halftime that I had better get going on the yo-yo pillow or it was never going to get done. Well, it still looks like it might never get done, but at least that gift is for the 6 month old who will not know the difference if she doesn’t get it until March. Her mom has already given me the out on that. Monday night I finished sewing on the yo-yos but I also stabbed myself and bled on it. Did manage to get the bloodstain out, but I think that gift is going to arrive after Christmas.  But of course I still have a million things to do before Christmas, and would like some time in there to bake some cookies, ha ha ha, I don’t even have my share of the Christmas letter written yet. And then we went out to dinner with friends from SD who had come down for the game. And then we went to WalMart. And then we went to Safeway. I woke up Monday morning feeling like I hadn’t had a weekend at all. Oh, but I only went to JoAnn fabric 3 times, not 4, I miscounted.

We also washed the 2nd rotational set of flannel sheets and changed them. This set is threadbare, whereas the other set is less threadbare but has a hole in them that I need to patch, since Ken keeps sticking his toe in it. I think we are going to ask for a gift certificate for new flannel sheets and bedding, because that is just how exciting it is around our house. I should make us a quilt for our bed, but we are last in line behind all the gift quilts I like to make. We are using an older and rather strangely colored quilt right now (which does have sentimental attachment to me) but we used to use it primarily because we had a cat that barfed a lot, and we didn’t want a quilt on the bed that we cared about him barfing on.

Simon, helping with my knitting pictures, not barfing.

Well, Simon has been gone now, what, two years, so maybe I can spring for a comforter, and maybe sometime get us a quilt made. (To match the poppy print on the wall. Which isn’t hanging up yet but is sitting at the top of the stairs.) I guess I do have some of my ancestors’ frugual genes – I give my mom a bad time about using something that is chipped or worn, but I don’t hesitate to do it in my own house. Double standard!

So, at the knitting Christmas party, and during the 1st half of the football game, I was working on a NEW project (hello, once again, easily distracted by NEXT project.) This is the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I have made this three times already, but in worsted yarn, and have given them all away.

This one I am making with a very cool Sophie’s Toes Magic Ball from my friend Cathy, which is actually sock yarn, and I am KEEPING IT, darn it.