A Busy Weekend

I took an impromptu day off from blogging on Monday, primarily because I was running around like crazy all weekend and had not time to write a post in advance. I literally had a list of goals to get done this weekend, since we are going on vacation on Weds., and I was going to be out of town for work Monday evening, and get back very late Tuesday.

Saturday was cool and rainy outside, so I tried to get things done inside. I finished up the September block of the 12-block bunny quilt for my 2nd youngest niece. I want to enter this in the county fair this summer, so I have to get the blocks done, some sort of borders put on, and sewn together and quilted, by the end of July. I decided this would not happen unless I put myself on deadline of finishing one block a week. So I wrapped up September (bunny going to school) and have started on October (bunny with jack ‘o lanterns) for this week. I am not allowed to work on knitting projects until I am done with my embroidery block for the week.

I made this much progress as my boss drove us across the state on Monday:

My goal is to have it finished tomorrow, so I can take knitting projects on vacation I finished making my mom’s socks smaller at the toe, but I think I will wait and see if I need to re-do the cast-on (too tight on my calves) until after she tries them on. So then I started casting on the Silpalu Bag from Knitpicks, which I bought as a kit, oh, years ago, and then realized I needed to focus on my mom’s sock featured in “Can this Sock Be Saved?” So I worked on unravelling the top of that sock, unfortunately I was interrupted by remembering that I hadn’t boxed up and prepared for mailing the birthday presents for my nieces E. and A., and after I did that, I discovered several other things I didn’t have on my official list but still needed to be done.

Also on Saturday, I put away all the sweaters in the cedar chest (who else still has a cedar chest? Dad got mine at an auction. I think I have had it since my 1st apartment after college. It is good for storage as well as providing seating when needed.) I surprised Ken, who was doing laundry, with all the summer clothes from the chest. So now we are ready for summer, except we still have flannel sheets on the bed. We may be ready for regular sheets by June 1.

We went to our usual Pho 78 for some soup for lunch (good day for it) and had Cheeseburger Macaroni for dinner with leftover smoked sausage instead of hamburger, that was good. The cats napped all day, that was what they thought of the rain.

This One Time, at Knitting Camp…

I came home from work and announced to Ken I was going to knitting camp this summer. He was only slightly confused. And, I suspect, not at all surprised. Well, knitting camp (yarn camp?) is a virtual camp where you work on a project for a month with other knitters around the world. The interaction (if you want it) comes from message boards, etc., online. I have had many friends who have done knit-a-longs or quilt-a-longs but I am usually up against a deadline for something, and have never done one.This camp is sponsored by the Loopy Ewe, which is both an online and regular knitting store, and they just moved to Fort Collins this spring, so I am lucky enough to shop there in person! Here are the details of the camp.

The theme for this 3-segment camp is the Olympics, and so for the 1st project, you are to knit or crochet something that is designed by someone from a country other than the one you live in. When I checked on Ravelry and saw that the “Color Affection” shawl was made by Veera Välimäki, who is from Finland, I knew I was going to participate.

You are eligible for special bonuses if you buy your yarn at Loopy for the project (and I didn’t have any yarn that I liked for this project), so I went in and bought some lovely yarn. I looked at about a million pictures of the project on Ravelry (fiber arts website where knitters and crocheters plot to take over the world) and decided the ones I liked best had two pretty light colors for the first colors, and then a very highly contrasting color for the last colors. So that is what I went with.

AND my camp badge. The bad thing is that you have to wait until May 27 to cast on, so of course I want to cast on Now Now Now but this will give me time to work on some other projects and hopefully finish them up.

Speaking of other projects. I finally finished my youngest niece’s Christmas present. She doesn’t care, because she is only one. I don’t have to start being on time with her for another couple of years. It is a good thing, because she doesn’t have all of her baby quilts yet I make for each niece/nephew either.

Yo-yo button pillow. All I can say is that it is very cute, but never again! Those yo-yos and sewing them down, and the buttons, oy vey. My sister-in-law has a great talent for finding really cool projects that I will make one of and they say EEEEEEEEE! :  ) The colors are a little wonky in the picture, those oranges and pinks and greens are not quite that bright.

Then, my niece also had her 1st birthday last Sunday, so I just wrapped up that project. I would actually make this one again, it wasn’t too difficult.

Another one that my sis in law found and sent to me. Tutorial here. I don’t even have to supply the hoop for hanging, as she already has one!

Now I just need to get them in the mail…..

The other project I am currently telling myself I need to finish before starting anything new is a pair of socks for my mom. I thought I had them finished, and then when I blocked them, they seemed to grow. And if they were huge on me, I was pretty sure they would be huge on her. So I pulled the toe back out of one, and took about about 10 rows of pattern, and re-knit the toe. I think it is much better now.

Both socks. They are actually a little browner than this.

So, those are my recent crafting adventures. Sorry this post is later than usual this morning, I was out late at an event that I will write about tomorrow! (Pictures of food!)

A Slight Melt Down

Had a small “incident” Sunday while cooking dinner. Let’s just say I was scraping burned Velveeta cheese sauce of the burner and out of the burner pan. Actually I just threw the burner and the pan in the sink and let them soak for a while. NOT PLEASANT. And so we had veggies in “smoky cheese sauce.” Actually the cheese sauce was not too bad. Velveeta can take a lot of abuse. NO FIRE, just a boil-over. A fair quantity of horrible smelling smoke, though.

Had to eat at Roll Cafe again the other day, it was cool and rainy and a day that required soup. Tried the shoyu ramen rather than the spicy ramen, of course I prefer the spicy ramen. The shoyu was still good. Don’t know if I will eventually get the miso ramen, I like the spicy too much. It comes in a combo with four pieces of California roll, I added on a drink and that was about $12, so a little spendy for lunch but delicious.

When I was at Pacific Ocean Marketplace last week, I wandered up and down the ramen aisle, looking for new and interesting packages for breakfast/lunch. I tried one of them last week.

For the record, I do not like instant sweet potato threads. Too gummy.

I just read “sweet potato,” I didn’t know that the noodles were sweet potato. That is what I get for not reading directions. The broth was really tasty, I think there was quite a bit of chili oil in there, but those noodles, ugh.

We had fun at knitting Tuesday night. There were only four of us but we made about enough noise for eight. K., who hadn’t been there for a while, was an enabler and allowed all of us to go down the street to the old-fashioned ice cream and candy store and get ice cream. It was a great night for it, lots of people out walking around enjoying the weather. I discovered I had left my wrist warmers that I intended to work on at home, and then I was going to rip out the toes of my Mom’s socks and make them smaller, but I didn’t bring any small needles to work on those with, so I worked on my Chevron Scarf and we all visited and had a good time. Even to the point of staying 10 minutes past our usual time.

Finally Some Yarn Content

Are you all tired of pictures of food? Well, it is easy to take pictures of food, because I generally eat some every day. Sometimes it is not very exciting food, so I don’t take any pictures of that. Sometimes I just forget. I almost always do something with yarn about every day too, perhaps I need to take more pictures of yarn. Ta-da! Pictures of yarn today.

This yarn is from a party my friend Judy hosted at her house. Myra from Fancy Image Yarn was in town and Judy had an open house for her, and we all got to see her delicious, squishy, colorful yarn. She has a gift for putting great kits together! I purchased two kits for wrist warmers (scroll down to Cutest Girl Leg Warmers or Adult/Girl Wrist Warmer) which are for me, but then I might have to make some for the nieces, because they are so cute. I got the pink/black/white set (looks like Good N Plenty Candies) and the pink/wheat brown set (looks like Neopolitan ice cream) (yes, still with the food obsession, I know.) I am eating Good and Plentys as I type this, now all of you who are food-suggestible like I am are going to go buy some, aren’t you? At least the next time you are at the store.

I also got an “assorted” package of blues/purples in sock yarn, and I am thinking Chevron  Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

And a pattern for a sweater that is very attractive in person.

However, I am not allowing myself to start anything new (except for the wrist warmers I already started) until I get my Mother’s socks fixed. I thought I was all done with them but when I blocked them they turned huge, and the cast on at the top of the leg is too tight. So I am going to have to do some ripping and readjusting. Plus I am working on a couple of gifts for my youngest niece, which involve the sewing machine and embroidery, I am not sure they are going to get there in time for the birthday party, but they will be done this month.

Also: I went to Bagel Deli this weekend when I was on my consignment store shop-hop. I have to go to that place if I am in close proximity, it can’t be helped.

Potato latke. This was fine, nothing spectacular. Nice side dish.

Matzo ball soup. Amazing as always.

Prake or stuffed cabbage – delicious! I forget that this is HUGE, I should not have ordered the latke with it. Mmmmmmm. Excellent.

It really cooled off here Monday night and Tuesday. I need to start hardening off my little seedlings, getting them ready to go outside, but I think that I will not subject them to 34° tonight, poor little things. I would like to get them planted this weekend but may need to wait another weekend, still supposed to be in the 40s at night on Saturday.

Banh Mi #2 (Pacific Ocean Marketplace) and Knit Knight

I stopped at Pacific Ocean Marketplace (POM) on my way from work to knitting, because there are the ONLY place with banh mi sandwiches between work and knitting, and because I have just discovered banh mi and need to try them at every opportunity. There were a few reviews of their banh mi on Yelp so I decided to try one.

In comparison to the Banh Mi at D’Deli in Golden: Bread – both had excellent bread. Size: the one from POM was bigger, even for a small. It was about 8 inches long. Fillings: slight edge to D’Deli just because the filling was juicier. I don’t know what was juicy on the D’Deli one, perhaps there was more aioli, theirs also had a teriyaki taste to it. Value: POM wins  hands down, D’Deli was between $7 and $8 and POM’s was $3.50.

What separates Banh mi from other sandwiches is the excellent bread and the pickled vegetables, and the cilantro (POM wins on the cilantro front) – they just don’t taste like a typical sandwich from anywhere else. I am a big fan.

Plus, POM has green cake available.

Pandan cake is, according to wikipedia: a light, fluffy cake of Malay origins (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia) flavoured with the juice of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves. The cakes are light green in tone due to the chlorophyll in the leaf juice. It also sometimes contains green food colouring to further enhance its colour. The cakes are sometimes not made with the leaf juice but instead simply flavoured with Pandanus extract, in which case colouring is added if a green colour is desired.

It is quite tasty but would be good with frosting. They also had these long fried sticks of dough labeled “fried stick $1” which I was extremely tempted by, but you have to leave something for next time.

I also bought a large jug of soy sauce (I don’t fool around with those little bottles you can buy at Kroger, I have a recipe that uses up an entire one of those….). And I went through the ramen aisle and chose random packets of ramen, some of THOSE should give me something interesting to write about.

I didn’t exactly have a successful, or maybe I should say productive, evening at knitting. I tried to cast on my wrist warmers (scroll down to Cutest Girl Leg Warmers or Adult/Girl Wrist Warmer) from Fancy Image Yarn, and well, let’s just say I had casting-on issues, and then I had gauge issues (I knit loosely, so I need to go down a couple of sizes in needles), so that project didn’t get off to a great start, but I had fun playing with the yarn. And I just realized I didn’t post yet about the yarn party my friend Judy had at her house featuring Fancy Image yarn, so I will do that tomorrow, if I have my hard drive along with me that has those pictures on it…..(pictures of yarn, not pictures from the party, although that would have been a good idea too…). I think some of my younger nieces may need me to make some of the things on this page for them.

I tried the wrist warmers on two different sizes of needles and didn’t like the look of the fabric I was getting with either set, so I admired everyone’s projects they were making with their yarn from Fancy Image and worked on my “Christi Shawl” which I will show you pictures of later!

All of my knitting friends are very bad influences when it comes to enabling me to get new ideas for projects. Thanks to C.O., C.S, and J.P. (using their initials because I didn’t ask how they felt about me bandying their names about on the internet), now I have many more bookmarks on Ravelry, the website where knitters and crocheters meet and plot to take over the world. I saw the Color Affection shawl on Yarn Harlot earlier, and was tempted to bookmark it, but I am not that big on shawls, and then Cheryl came in wearing hers, and it was lovely, and I will have to make one. The asymmetrical way the sections join is just fascinating. Then J.P. was working on the Wingspan shawl (although I keep referring to it as “Wing It” in my head, hmmm, that might be a good quilt title) and that was also very cool. And C.O. has been knitting on the Yvonne sweater, and I have been admiring it, so I might as well add it to my queue, even though at one point when you are knitting it, it looks like a giant pair of underpants for a sumo wrestler. I have shown restraint by NOT buying yarn for any of these projects yet. Yet. Tomorrow is another day…..

I have over 60 projects on my Ravelry queue, I need to get to knitting faster.

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.

Works in Progress – March 2012

There are several works in progress at the moment. Some of them are in process every day, some have been sadly neglected.

These quilt blocks are for my niece K. I try to get a pieced quilt, an embroidered quilt, and a crocheted afghan done for each niece or nephew within a year of them being born. Ever since three of them were born within 6 months of each other, I have been behind. This niece MAY receive this quilt in time for her 5th birthday this fall, I hope. I hope she is still fond of bunnies at that age. Next time I am picking a quilt that does not have 12 blocks. My goal is to get this one done in time to enter in the Boulder County Fair this summer.

The next four blocks. June is out of sequence because the transfer on that one didn’t work well and I need to do some tracing. And I see that I neglected to do July’s eyeball, poor rabbit. This pattern was a vintage pattern that came from Patternbee.

Close up of April.

I started these socks in a class on knitting two socks at once on one circular needle. I am not sure that I totally agree this is possible, when it comes to the heels. They are called “Kickline Socks” and I think this would have been a better pattern in a solid color yarn. I am not sure I like these, but they are nearly done. I think the last time I tried them on, they wouldn’t stay up, so I may rip them back part way or all the way and make a pattern I like better, so I could actually wear them, because I really like this yarn color, it is Lorna’s Laces in the colorway Lorakeet.

This sock is going to be the subject of future articles entitled: Can this sock be saved? I  made these ankle socks for my mom a few years ago, and she wore this one out, and then tried to fix it herself. They are toe-up socks, so I think I will be able to just rip it out down to the hole, and start re-knitting. I still have the yarn, so she lucked out there.

This is the “Nancy” one skein shrugigan. A friend at Knit Knight made one and I loved it, so am working on my own. By the Shaefer Yarn Company.

I realize I totally forgot the socks that I am currently working on, whoops. Maybe later this week.

And now for the big project, the color class project. Can you tell what it might be from my design wall? I have no mad drafting skillz, so I just taped out an approximation onto my design wall with masking tape. You can see my youngest niece A’s pieced quilt off to the side, I have ONE strip sewn together.

Here is a rough draft of the design. I decided to do a landscape, but not really a traditional one. And I wanted to draw a design by hand instead of with the computer this time.

It will be something along those lines, at least. We will see how it goes. I have it marked out to be pretty big, so I better get going on it. The colors of the tetrad I chose are blue, orange, yellow-green and red-violet.

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 – http://www.ewesful.com/ewesful.html.

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.

Actual Knitting and Crocheting

How about an actual post with knitting and crocheting content? Since I mention them in my blog title? Well, how about….

I learned to do the knit stitch when I was relatively young, I suppose 9 or 10. But my mom only knew how to do the knit stitch, and I couldn’t figure out how to do the purl stitch from looking at the Readers Digest Guide to Needlework.*  So I diligently knitted my mom horrible misshapen dish cloths our of who knows what kind of yarn (whatever was in her yarn bag) and continued to develop my skills in hand embroidery, latch hook, and sewing.

About 20 years later, living in Utah, that seemed to be a fine place to learn to crochet. I learned I was going to be an aunt for the first time, and I wanted to make stuff. I couldn’t get any further than the chain stitch by looking in books, so I took a class at a local store. All I really needed was to see someone do stitches with their hands, rather than from a picture in a book, and I took off. So, if you have been trying to learn, I encourage you to either take a class from a live person, OR look at the many YouTube videos which are now available.  I made many, many double sided pot holders, which had been a specialty of my Grandma, and crocheted edges around baby blankets, and then eventually did the whole baby blanket. I still prefer to make baby blankets by crocheting rather than by knitting, because it is much faster.

In 2005, after we had moved to Colorado, I took a knitting class. This was both good and bad, because I did learn to do the purl stitch, but the the other students in the class didn’t even know how to make a slip knot, so the teacher was busy working with them and not noticing that I twisted my purls. It took another class with a different teacher to find that out. Since then I have moved on to continental knittting (FASTER!) and twisting my purls is no longer a problem. I have other problems, like widely variable gauge, a cat who bites through my yarn, too many projects to do and too little time, etc. etc.

Here is a picture of my first real knitting project – a hat and scarf. I am keeping them, because, you know, 1st knitting project.

Crocheting – I know we had to make a doily for that class. I DON’T know where it is currently located. It was a small doily, but it was not a simple pattern. This teacher expected you to learn and learn fast, and get your projects done.

Here is a knitting project I keep on my wall to keep myself humble: And to remind myself to check gauge. And to proceed with extreme caution when using vintage knitting instructions.

Doesn’t look too bad, does it?

How about a hand for scale?

* There are probably many, many more up-to-date needlework books out there, but I still pull this on out quite often. So often that it lives in the living room bookcase instead of in the craft room. Mom and dad got it for me at an auction – best gift ever! Still available on Amazon, although I think now you can get a “classic” one with the dated looking cover, or a newer one. I haven’t seen the newer one to see if they updated the 1970s type patterns inside.

In Which Yet Another Appliance Attempts to Take a Dive

Well, an eventful-enough weekend. Woke up to snow, snow, and more snow again Saturday morning.  And MaryAnne, sitting on the window sill, looking out at it, licking the window, how festive. The newspaper in its plastic orange wrapper was barely poking out of the snow. And I, with my fabulous razor-like memory and organization, had left my snow boots at work. Eventually I put on DH’s snow boots and trekked outside to retrieve said paper, so I could continue my a.m. tradition of Diet Coke and newspaper, the breakfast of champions.

About enough snow, already, OK?

I needed to go out to the store to get additional potatoes and some other things for Thanksgiving Part II, but I wasn’t about to go out until the snow settled down a bit. So I worked on cutting out pants for DN 12 (birthday pants about 2 months late)  (with the help of the cats, of course),

Leo, helping. Big time.

sewed a little on my color class project (taking a quilting class based all on color theory), sorted clothes for DH to wash, looked out at the snow and complained, and did some family phone calling that needed to be done. Made beefy harvest soup for me for lunch http://www.txbeef.org/recipe_book/soups_stews_and_chilis/beefy_harvest_soup and Oriental Beef and Noodle Toss for DH (a recipe which he inexplicably likes, I sometimes hit on the oddest things that he actually enjoys. Unfortunately, I do not enjoy it much (not spicy enough)).(Recipe I have scanned in from a cookbook and saved to the computer in an effort to narrow down the cookbook collection.)

So that was a kitchen disaster, making two things at once with multiple ingredients, stuff all over the place, but that is kind of the way I cook. Thinking about things, I came to the conclusion that I needed to cook the turkey that night, because Sunday we were going to be going to a Christmas party, and I didn’t want all that hassle and clean up and being exhausted and too full before the party. So, when the snow quit (about another 6 inches, thank you very much, 2nd snow storm in 3 days), I struck out to the store, which was busy with everybody else who had the same idea.

Of course, just going to the store has to be eventful, so I locked myself out of the house. I had run back upstairs to grab my reusable bags, but did not grab the keys off the hook like I meant to. I shook my coat to see if the keys were in it, and the zipper jingled, so I thought I was good. When I got to the car, I discovered I was NOT good. In a combination of events that only seems to happen in my entertaining life, the husband had announced that he was going to take a LONG hot shower after shoveling the walk/driveway. So of course, him getting in the shower coincided with me locking myself out of the house. Oh hey, I have a brilliant idea, I will go to our neighbors across the street who have a spare key. Well, none of them are home, except for Lucy the cocker spaniel, who looked a good deal like she would enjoy giving me a good ankle bite, but she wasn’t going to get any key for me.

So I stood on our porch, peering in the door window, hoping to see some sign of DH emerging from the bathroom, and pounded on the door/rang the doorbell approximately every 60 seconds. I am sure the cats were freaking out, because they always panic and hide when the doorbell rings.

After about 10 minutes of this (fortunately I was dressed warmly, and the sun had come out and it wasn’t CURRENTLY snowing), our neighbor did come home and I retreived the spare key, zipped into the house for my key, yelled to DH that I had been locked out, and headed off to the store. Fortunately, I only had 4 things I wanted to get, and I managed to remember all of them. Unfortunately I forgot to even think about getting that throat anaesthetic spray to deaden my sore throat, but I seem to be getting over the evil cold/sinus thing slowly.

Stopped at Starbucks to get hot cocoa for DH and I because I am such a nice wife, but what I really needed at this point was a shot of Baileys or Jagermeister in mine.

By the time I got home, it was time to get the turkey started if I wanted that to get done, so I wrestled it out of the bag. I have a nice roasting pan but if I use that for the turkey, I can’t fit any other pans in the oven, so I stuff the 12 pound turkey into a 9 X 13 cake pan. It fits nicely. http://www.cooking.com/Recipes-and-More/recipes/Herbed-Turkey-Breast-recipe-6775.aspx I do remember to remove the neck and giblets, because I have plans for the giblets. I throw the neck in the pan to roast along w/the turkey, it will get boiled along w/the carcass to make broth.

Later I peeled the potatoes and got them boiling, blenderized the raw giblets for the stuffing (that is the way my Grandma used to make it, I am trying to re-create it, it is a different taste but it grows on you.) I wonder if she always used the gizzard, that doesn’t seem to blenderize very well. Mmmmm, delicious giblet smoothy. (Not really, I didn’t taste it, I was trying to not even smell it….) With a couple of eggs, added to the usual bread crumbs, onions, celery, and seasoning, this is the traditional family recipe. Potatoes get mashed, along with cream cheese and I show great restraint and only use 1/2 stick of butter. There is butter in the stuffing too, and I basted the bird with butter, so I tried to be frugal in the mashed potatoes.

So I am whomping up the potatoes in the KitchenAid stand mixer, and they are about done, but then I start to hear really bad noises from the trusty KitchenAid, like the beater is whacking into the side of the bowl. I stop and look and think *(&()*&*&^(* this will be the 3rd kitchen appliance to die in a month, bloody hell, and try to adjust it. Still whomping. Oh well, figure it out later. So when DH goes to dish up his potatoes, he gets a big chunk of white metal on his plate, the cover to the place where the attachments can go on the front of the mixer has fallen off and that is what is making the noise, thank goodness. Now I just need a new Crock Pot (handle disintegrated) and food processor (broke the lid). Although I am going to try to order a new food processor lid, their website says “not available online, please call us,” I consider that to be a really bad sign. As in, we don’t have parts for that bloody thing, it is so old (about 10 years old, I think…) go buy a new one.

The adventurous part of the turkey was getting it from one pan into another so I could easily get the pan juices to make gravy. I have a baster, and could have retrieved the juices w/that, but it isn’t really that functional, I have had it forever, maybe there is a better design out there now……So I grabbed my nice new tongs from IKEA a few weeks ago, and my giant grilling tongs, and I manhandled that baby over. No disaster, surprisingly. The only treat the cats got was when I dropped the basting brush onto the (relatively clean, before that) floor and spattered butter and herbs everywhere.

The proper tools for turkey transfer.

Altogether a good meal, although I accidentally opened up creamed corn instead of regular. Didn’t get around to making sweet potato casserole, can make that some other weekend, or scalloped corn, but DH won’t eat either of those anyway, so I will make them some weekend and take them for breakfast at work all week.

I knew I wanted to get up Sunday morning and clean up the kitchen (did you think I cleaned it up Sunday night after dinner? Ha ha ha ha ha.) So I did that, alternating cleaning with reading the paper. Made a new ranch chicken recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-cream-cheese-ranch-chicken-147494 in the mangled crock pot for lunch, didn’t want to eat too heavy as we were going to a Christmas party this afternoon and I knew there would be good appetizer-y food there. Ran out to look for new jeans and found a fleece top that will be good to wear this winter if it is going to snow 3 times every &*^(&*^^%$^ week, and my throat spray that I forgot the day before. And I did a little sewing, and we (mostly DH) watched the Broncos, and I tried to nap, and MaryAnne work me up, scratching on the carpet, playing with a hair elastic, I have no idea where she got that. Little brat. Scritch scritch scritch scritch, on the carpet, and she has been digging up the carpet by the bedroom door so I assumed that was what she was doing, and I stomped up to check, and NO, she had the hair elastic, and we don’t really need for her to be eating that. And then she demonstrated to me how she can jump up ALL the way on TOP of the entertainment center, I didn’t want to know that….

We went to the Christmas party, and it was lovely, but I really think I did too much this weekend and I probably should have spent more time trying to recover from being sick so I am OK at our work convention this week, I may be paying the price by Thursday. And the weekend ended like it began, snowing like crazy, oh the joy.