Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Supper - Cabbage Steaks

An easy and inexpensive vegetarian recipe from The Healthy Maven
Cabbage Steaks with Chickpeas from The Healthy Maven

Today's Sunday Supper meal plan is for cabbage steaks with chickpeas.  (It's going to be for lunch, not dinner because I have to  go to work this afternoon.)  I stumbled across the recipe over on The Healthy Maven's website and have been thinking about it ever since.  

The spouse is not going to be pleased but I think Sarah and I will enjoy the meal.  Sarah has been talking about going back to a vegetarian lifestyle and while I'm not prepared to go full vegetarian, I would like to eat less meat and a lot more veggies.  And Mike, well, he can just fix himself a sandwich.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Learning to spin

Well, this post is loooong over due and karma is paying me back.  I've got that old Blood Sweat and Tears song, Spinning Wheel, stuck in my head.  And now you can have it too.

You're welcome.

But music from the '60's is not what this post is about.  It's about unexpected kindness and generosity.

Araignee's Tangled Web gifted me a box of fiber

A while back, I mentioned that I wanted to learn to spin my own yarn.  

Fiber waiting to be spun into yarn.

And a few days later, a package from Araignee's Tangled Web showed up on my door step.  Not only did the box contain a large amount of a variety of fibers, there was also a drop spindle, a couple of Araignee's special soaps and a copy of Respect the Spindle.  Apparently I'd had perfect timing when I said I wanted to learn to spin because Araignee was in the middle of a de-stash.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Araignee!

I'm embarrassed to admit that the box of fiber has been sitting here on my desk for almost two months untouched.  In my defense, I've been frantically trying to get a few projects finished and off the needles before 'the season' started and I had to return to work. Sadly, I did not get everything finished that I'd hoped to.  But give me a month or two and I will be learning to spin.  Or more likely, making a giant mess while I attempt to learn to spin.  I'll be sure to share my spinning adventures with you because I'm sure they will be comically horrendous.

As for Araignee's soaps, I'm sort of hanging my head in shame for not using them yet.  Sort of, but not really.  I may not be using them in the traditional sense, but I am most definitely enjoying them.  They smell so good I can't bear to add water to them.  At the moment, the Mediterranean Fig bar sits on my desk and freshens up the area every afternoon when the sun comes through the window and hits the bar and the Lavender Vanilla bar rests beside my bed and sends me into sweet dream land each night.  One day....  One day I'll get tired of picking them up to dust and I'll take them into the bathroom.  But until then, goodness!  They smell so good!

Meanwhile, sing it with me...

"What goes up must come down
Spinning wheel got to go 'round..."

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Three on Thursday - Happy Days

I'm feeling pretty happy on this fine Thursday morning and because it's Thursday, I'll share three reasons why.

1.  My daughter gave me this adorable little succulent.  I haven't planted it yet but it fits perfectly into this rarely used, almost thirty year old coffee cup.  Actually,  I may never plant it, or at least not until it's grown enough to need a larger container than this old coffee cup.

This yarn is so soft!
Eliot Capretta from Knit Picks

2.  Capretta.  More specifically, Capretta (#affiliate) in the Eliot colorway.  Knit Picks describes it as "golden rod" and "slate blue" but to me, it's more...  pond scummy colored.  Well, maybe not pond scum, but definitely pollen on pond water colored.  What ever.  I love LOVE it and can't wait to knit something with it. Now, if I could only decide what to knit.  I'd bought the yarn with socks in mind but I'm just not feeling it now.  A single skein of Capretta contains 460 yards of fingering weight yarn so I have a lot of options.  Too many options.  Y'all know how bad I am at decision making.  Suggestions, as in specific pattern names or links, would be welcome.

3.  The dentist.  So yeah, this one is a huge surprise.  I Hate going to the dentist.  My childhood dentist was a horrible, horrible man, as in, he was sentenced to 55 years in prison with no chance of parole horrible.  And he scared me for life.  But I've finally found a dentist that I like.  I can sleep the night before an appointment and I don't vomit the morning of with this new guy.  And he's cheap!  Because of my fear, not to mention the lack of dental insurance, I didn't go as often as I should have in the past and well, now I have a mess to deal with.  But like I said, this new dentist is cheap!  I received the estimate for everything I need to have done yesterday and it's thousands less than expected.  Thousands!  Thousands with an "s" less than expected.  I am a very happy camper.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Run over

Oh. My. Goodness!  I feel like I've been run over by a big, giant, fully loaded Mac truck.  The season has started and I'm back at work and it is very, very obvious that I should have spent my couple of months off at the gym instead of sitting on my butt Knitflexing.  I have sore muscles in places I didn't know I had muscles.  Someone please, please remind me of this feeling come January so that I, hopefully, won't repeat this experience.

Despite the sore muscles, it's good to be back at work.  I've missed the people and well, let's face it - the paycheck.  

But seeing the people and getting the paycheck means I've had less time to knit.  

I'm knitting a beaded estonian lace shawl.
Madli's Shawl

I've made a little progress on my Madli shawl.  I am SO freaking glad I ditched the pi shawl idea and cast this one on instead.  I'm also very pleased with the beading.  I wasn't too sure about it at first.  Maybe because there are so few beads compared to the recently finished Jeweled Cowl but they looked weird at first.  There weren't enough or something.  They just looked so random.  But now that I've gotten a little further along with the knitting, I'm happy with them.  They remind me of dew drops glinting in the sun.  

Knitting a blanket from a sock blank I made when I had to cut off a portion of my knitting due to a huge mistake I'd made.
self-made Kroy sock blank

And, I've been steadily working on re-knitting my Paton's Kroy blanket.  You may recall I had to cut off about 16 inches of knitted fabric, basically all of February's knitting progress.  I've been using the cut off part like a sock blank and I only have three more inches of fabric to knit from until I'm back to where I started.  It's a good thing that I (1) like knitting with Kroy yarn, (2) the yarn is striped and colorful and (3) the blanket is plain garter stitch so I can read books, blogs and email while I knit.  Otherwise, I would have tossed the whole mess in the trash can.

As for what I'm reading these days....  I'm hanging my head in shame but yes, I'm Still reading Disturb Not the Dream.  The scary stuff is starting to happen and I realized I was having some disturbing dreams of my own so now I'm trying not to read it just before bed time.  And between bed time being my main reading time and going back to work....  I've only managed to read a few chapters over the past week.

But for now, I'm going to forget about my knitting and my scary book, try to stand up, take a few steps and attempt to raise my arms over my head.  I'm hoping this will help work a few of the kinks out of my poor, tired, stiff muscles.  Good grief!  I did get a lot of knitting done over the winter but I sure am paying the price for it now.

Monday, March 25, 2019

52 Weeks - Spring

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge topic is what I like best about spring.  Normally, here in Virginia we don't have spring.  We have winter, then milder winter, then a few days of summer, then milder winter again, then a week of summer, then snowy winter, then full on summer.  But this year, we seem to be having an actual spring.  Days in the 50's to low 60's with night time temperatures hovering right at freezing.

I'm actually being reminded of what I like about spring this year.  And those things are, in no particular order:

photo courtesy of

Cherry blossoms

photo courtesy of

Day Light Savings (or just longer days)
Grilling on the deck with a bottle of wine

photo courtesy of

The sound of frogs at night

photo courtesy of

Knitting and reading on the deck or any place outdoors
Cadbury eggs

photo courtesy of


So what about you?  What's your favorite spring thing?

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Supper - Crack Chicken Casserole

Yikes!  I'll be eating my Sunday Supper at work tonight.  Today marks the start of "the season" and I'm already freaking out a little bit about sticking to my Cook From Scratch goal.  Thank goodness for the Instant Pot is all I can say!

A simple, made from scratch recipe for crack chicken pasta casserole, made in the Instant Pot.
Crack Chicken Casserole from The Typical Mom

Today's Sunday Supper will be Crack Chicken Casserole.  I've shared, or at least mentioned a recipe for crack chicken here before, but this time it will be in casserole form.  

Crack chicken is one of the rare dishes that everyone in the family likes but it needs to be served with or over something else.  Served over rice or pasta or eaten sandwich style and served on sub rolls.  Notice there's three options there?  That's because there are three of us in the household now... and while everyone likes crack chicken, no one can agree on what to eat with it.

Crack Chicken Casserole will solve that dilemma.  It's made with egg noodles.  And peas.  I love peas!  Of course, I'm the only one who loves peas but.... The recipe doesn't call for that many of them and there's plenty of other taste going on with crack chicken.  If they don't look too hard, they'll never know there are peas in there.  Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.  And I'll tell them that too!

Honestly, I don't care if no one else eats it.  I will like it.  It's quick and easy to make.  Quick and easy enough for me to make it before going to work.  And I can take a big old bowl full with me and have a cooked from scratch meal.  And if the folks at home don't eat it well, then I'll have it for lunch a couple of times this week.  Win/win.

Friday, March 22, 2019

On The Needles - Madli's Shawl

Did you celebrate Pi Day on March 14th?

Celebrating Pi Day by casting on a pi shawl with Malabrigo lace weight yarn.
The start of a pi shawl

I celebrated by starting a pi shawl.  Several years ago I got the urge to knit a beaded pi shawl.  I even bought the yarn and beads for it.  Bright, pumpkin orange yarn.  Actually, it's Malabrigo lace weight in Glazed Carrot, not pumpkin.  And then I thought about the reality of a bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot, beaded pi shawl.... and I set the yarn up on a shelf.  

Sometime last year, still thinking about a pi shawl, I took the yarn down off the shelf and balled one skein.  And then I  thought about the reality of a bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot, beaded pi shawl and put the yarn back up on the shelf.

Then Pi Day rolled around this year and I'd finished the beaded cowl late the night before... and I couldn't stand it anymore.  I cast on for a bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot, beaded pi shawl.  And I screwed up the cast on and ripped it.  And cast on again, and screwed it up and ripped it. Again and again I cast on and ripped.  It took me six tries to get the knitting going properly on the dpns.  Six tries!  It was an omen and I should have known.

I knit around and around, following some lacy pi shawl pattern I'd found on Ravelry.  I knit and knit some more and finally it was time to switch to circular needles.  

And then all Hell broke loose.  I have no idea how it happened or what I did but...  It looked like somehow, in the process of knitting off the dpns and onto circular needles, I yarn overed 50 - 60 times, very, very tightly.  The weird yarn overs were so tight they would barely move along the needle's cord and there was no way they'd slide up onto the actual needle.  I pulled and tugged and thought I was going to break the needle but those weird yarn overs wouldn't budge.  I ended up having to cut the knitting off the needle.  I still don't even know how or what I did to mess it up so badly.

And in my frustration, I ditched the pi shawl idea and started knitting a lacy stole type shawl that will be worn as a scarf, not a shawl.  The pattern is Madli's Shawl published in Knitted Lace of Estonia.  And I love it!

I'm knitting a beaded, estonian lace shawl with Malabrigo lace weight yarn.  I'm replacing the knups with beads.
Madli's Shawl

I'm a little further along on the knitting than what's shown in this photo and I'm so happy I gave up the pi shawl idea.  While beads and bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot yarn may not make for traditional Estonian knitting, I'm loving the result.  And yes, I'm beading instead of knitting knups.  Y'all know how I feel about knups.  Thankfully there are only two out of each twelve rows that are beaded.  It's not as time consuming as it sounds.

Now, let's see how I feel about this shawl design after I've knit thirty one, twelve-row pattern repeats.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Three on Thursday - Summer Tops

It's Thursday so you know what that means.  

Three summer tops I'd like to knit. 

I don't know why I suddenly have such a strong desire to knit myself a summer top.  I spend about 94% of the summer in my work uniform and if I'm not at work, I'm either asleep or at Walmart.  It's also extremely hot and humid during the summers here in Virginia.  The idea of wearing anything heavier than a cotton t-shirt is just... unthinkable.  But despite all that, I have the urge to knit myself a summer top so of course I went Ravelry browsing.

Easy to knit simple summer top with lace panels on the shoulders and sides.

This is Novel-T designed by Laura Nelkin.  I love this top's simple lines and the strip of lace running under the arms and across the shoulders.

This simple summer top can be knit from a cropped top to a full length dress.
Sleeveless Slipover

This one is Sleeveless Slipover from Churchmouse Yarns.  The design seems so basic and not all that interesting but....  The pattern is written so that you can knit any length from a cropped top to a full length dress.  I just love that!  I also love that you could wear it with or without the shirt underneath.  It may be a simple looking top, but this versatile design could be worn all year long.  It's also a design I could easily see myself wearing.

This knitted summer top is plain in the front and fancy in the back.

And Davit, designed by Amy Palmer.  Although the shaping wouldn't look great on me, this one is my favorite of the three.  I just love the simple front and that crossed back.  Absolutely love it!  It might not look all that great on me, but I bet it would be terrific on my daughter.

Now the hard part.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Join me over at Carol's to see others' Three on Thursday posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Jeweled Cowl

Life has been pretty good lately.  

A simple, knitted beaded lace cowl.
Jeweled Cowl

I never thought I'd call a trip to the dentist a 'good thing' but I took their recommendation to do no hard physical activity for a couple of days to heart.  I sat, re-binge watched True Blood and knit bead after bead onto my Jeweled Cowl until I ran low on yarn.

I enjoyed knitting this beaded lace cowl.
Jeweled Cowl

I only knit 46 rows of beads instead of the 51 stated in the pattern.  I'm happy with the depth of the cowl though so ....  But I'm not exactly happy with the circumference of it.  It needed to be an inch or two longer.  In order to twist it around my neck twice, I have to remove my eye glasses and it's like wearing a uncomfortably tight turtle neck.  At this point, I'm not sure if I'll keep it and wear it long or find some skinny, small headed person to give it to.

The pond in stormy weather.

Another good thing -  we had some very warm, dry days last week and I was finally able to take a walk around the neighborhood.  I walked down to the pond and am happy to report that all the ice had melted and there were even mosquitoes buzzing around the water's edge.  Okay, I'm not so happy about the mosquitoes but they are a sign of spring.  I'm also happy I got the walk in when I did.  It felt 'tornado-y' and the weather quickly tanked not long after returning home.

Sign of spring.

Another sign of spring - our lone daffodil has sprouted leaves.

As for my book progress....  Well, I obviously spent more time binge watching True Blood than reading.  I'm still reading Disturb Not the Dream and I started reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Yeah, I'm a little slow on that one.  I'm probably the last person on the planet to read it.  

Monday, March 18, 2019

52 Weeks - My Favorite Movies

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge topic is my favorite movies.  All I can say is, you better grab some coffee and maybe a snack.  The list is long.

In no particular order:

Office Space
Catch and Release
Breakfast Club
10 Things I Hate About You
King Arthur  (the one with Clive Owen)
The Sound of Music
Terminator 3
Alien 2
The Cutting Edge 
Leap Year
My Fake Fiance
Miss Congeniality
Almost Famous
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Bodyguard (the one with Whitney Houston & Kevin Costner)
A Knight's Tale
The Perfect Storm

So, yeah.  I have a thing for sarcasm and romance.  And apparently, movies from the '80's.

What about you?  Are any of your favorites on my list?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Supper - Cabbage Lasagna

First, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

Although I've got some Irish blood, we won't be celebrating the day with traditional Irish foods because someone forgot to grocery shop.  

Well, okay, okay.  Maybe that someone was just too busy knitting and didn't want to grocery shop. 

Whatever.  We won't be having corned beef and cabbage tonight.  But we do have a head of cabbage in the refrigerator and I have been trying to cut back on the carbs lately so....

Easy, low carb recipe for lasagna made with cabbage instead of pasta
cabbage lasagna, photo courtesy of

Cabbage lasagna.  But shhh....  don't tell the family.  Based on how last week's carrot fries went over, I don't think anyone besides me is going to be excited about lasagna made with cabbage.  I have high hopes though.  Cabbage has become a staple in my diet (mine, not theirs) and everyone loves meaty tomato sauce so...  I'm excited to try it.

If you'd like to take a chance, you can find the recipe here.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Off the needles

First, let me just say thank you all for your kindness over the last few posts.  I've enjoyed reading about your bat stories and although sorry for you, I'm glad to know I'm not alone in dental woes.  And now, on with today's post...

In all the hoopla of last week, I forgot mention -

Simple Yet Effective cowl

I finished the Simple Yet Effective cowl knit with Winter's Candy Cane.

Large version of Simple Yet Effective

I didn't think about it while I was knitting it and you can't see it in either of these photos but the design is reversible.

It truly was a simple cowl to knit.  The only difficulty I had with the whole project was typing the name.  Every time, as in Every Single Time, I've tried to type "Yet," I've accidentally typed "Etsy"  I guess it just goes to show how much effect muscle memory has on my life.  But, if you don't have an Etsy shop and/or  you don't plan to type the cowl's name repeatedly in blog posts or on social media, I'd say give the pattern a try.  It's very simple, knits up quickly and it's free on Ravelry.

I can't wait for Christmas so that I can wear it.  Not that I'm rushing the season or anything...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Three on Thursday

Well, you might want to skip reading today's Three on Thursday post.  It's mostly me whining and throwing myself a giant pity party.  And it gets a little graphic.  But, if you ever find yourself in my situation, I do have some helpful information.  Here goes:

1.  I went to the dentist to get x-rays and to make a plan.  Sadly, I'm having some issues and will be spending a lot of my summer in the chair.

A trip to the dentist

Instead of x-rays and a plan, I got one x-ray and a pulled tooth.

2.  I spent the remainder of the day (and most of the night) sucking on tea bags and binge watching True Blood.  It seemed appropriate.

Do you know about sucking on tea bags when you have a bloody mouth for what ever reason?  Soak a teabag (caffeinated green or black tea) in cold water then stick in your mouth over the bloody place.  The tannic acid helps stop bleeding.  Sounds crazy but it really does work.  And, if you get the right flavored tea, it tastes a lot better than bloody gauze.

What's the right flavored tea?  Definitely not Lipton's green tea.  Yuck-O!  I'll admit though - I'm not a fan of green tea to begin with so sucking on a green tea bag was just - Ick!  ICK!  Next I tried 'regular' Luzianne but all we had was Family Size bags and I couldn't begin to close my mouth around the giant bag.  I went to the pantry shelf full of "special" tea and most were either decaf, cinnamon or peppermint flavored (thought that might not be best for an open wound) or they'd expired five years ago.  (We rarely drink "special" tea, although I love the idea of it and buy it frequently.)  But there on the back of the shelf - Yes!  A tin of Barnes & Nobles' Autumn Orange.  Okay, so it was expired too, but only by a little bit.

By the way, expired Barnes & Nobles Autumn Orange bags taste pretty good.  Good enough to over power the blood taste.  And they stopped the bleeding eventually.  Yay!

3.  And  now I'm on the "cold and old" diet.  That's what I've named it.  For 24 hours after the bleeding stopped, I can only have cold foods.  Cold, unlumpy, soft foods.  

So now I'm drinking yesterday's left over cold coffee.  You know you're a coffee addict when the dentist tells you cold foods only and your Very first thought is, "But what about my coffee?"

And did you know that there are no cold, non-lumpy soft foods that aren't pure sugar?  Apple sauce, ice cream, pudding and jello.  Ugh!   I mean, ice cream is Yay!  But even ice cream gets old if it's all you eat over a 48 hour window.

Because at work, never fail, as soon as I heat my food, some crisis happens and I end up eating my food cold an hour later.  It never fails!  But, it has taught me that I like cold cauliflower smashed up like mashed potatoes.  And today I discovered cold scrambled eggs with a tiny dollop of mayonnaise to hide the cold egg flavor isn't bad.  

So yeah, I'm calling it my "cold and old" diet.   But it's okay.  the diet is working!  I've already lost three pounds and tomorrow I get to eat warm soup.  But for now, I think I'll go finish off the ice cream.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Bats in the Bellfry

I had a different topic planned for today, but life was just too strange to ignore.

So, while at work Sunday afternoon, I received a panicked text from my daughter that there was a black widow spider in the house.  I laughed it off because well, she does share my DNA.  It stands to reason that she too would believe that all black spiders are black widows and all brown spiders are brown recluses.  They are!  I'm sure of it!

Thankfully my husband arrived home before I did and took care of the spider situation because.... It really was a black widow!  A rather large one!  A big black widow spider in our house!  Hanging out, plain as day in the front entry area!  Yikes!

We (meaning Sarah & I) are a little jumpy now and flinching at every shadow.  But, we (meaning Mike) are doing a lot of painting inside the house, some of it near our front door and maybe the black widow came in on a tarp that had been stored out in the garage.  The idea isn't great, but it's better than believing we've been sharing the house with Mrs. Killer Spider for any length of time.

But then things got weirder.

Late that night, I'm hanging out in the living room reading a scary book (Disturb Not the Dream,) and suddenly hear my burly, tough-man husband screaming like a little girl.  

There was a bat flying around the bedroom.

What kind of zoo are we running here??

High fashion protective gear to wear while removing bats from inside the house.
Bat removal protective gear

And guess who had to get rid of it.  Yep, me.  (In good faith and to not totally emasculate my husband, I did already have shoes on.)  Good thing it wasn't my first bat rodeo and I had the proper protective gear.

As for the scary book, I read Disturb Not the Dream many, many years ago as a teenager.  It terrified me!  If memory serves, it was the first hardback book I ever bought for myself as an 'adult' and it still sits proudly on my favorite books book shelf.  The title recently showed up on my Amazon You Might Like This Book list and since I didn't remember anything about it at all other than shear terror, I decided to read it again.  I'm only a quarter of the way through it and haven't been terrified yet, but I am shocked at how brutal and violent it is.  I imagine the terror won't be too far into my future.

Diagonally knit, garter stitch blanket knit with miscellaneous skeins of Patons Kroy Sock yarn,
Kroy Sock blanket 

And to throw a little knitting into the story, I've been focused on re-knitting my Kroy Sock blanket instead of working on the beaded cowl.  I really, really want to finish the cowl but I can't read and bead at the same time.

Monday, March 11, 2019

52 Weeks Challenge - In Ten Years...

Today's 52 Weeks Challenge is "Ten years from now..." and it shouldn't be a hard post to write.  For the first time ever, for my 2019 non-resolutions (I usually set annual goals but never call them resolutions) I made myself a "lifetime" vision board.  Basically, it's where I want to be in ten years.  In ten years I'll be at retirement age and hopefully pretty much settled into the life I will lead up until I'm so riddled with Alzheimer's I no longer know who I am.

Being my first-ever vision board, it's fairly basic, but I'm happy with it.  It represents what I want out of life.  And what I want is:

To be living debt free on a body of water.  If I had my preference, it would be a tidal river, but I'll take a very large pond.  It needs to be water that's swimable and canoe or kayakable.  But again, I'd prefer a nice tidal river that's motor and sailboat navigable.  But that debt free part of the description is important too so... I may have to settle for a pond.

We'll have a nice garden full of flowers and vegetables.  I'm not sure how this will happen seeing as though I am Not a gardener.  I can't even grow weeds and the moment I start to sweat or see a bug I head back indoors but...  A nice garden I will have.  

The house will be casually, but nicely decorated.  And clean.  And full of family and friends.  We'll get back into the habit of having Friday Night Suppers where friends, family & neighbors just show up and gather for an evening of good food and conversation. 

We will have a well trained dog.  Or two.  Or even five.  Well, maybe not five seeing as though our number one goal is to be debt free.

Mike and I will be healthy and lead an active lifestyle.

When I'm not swimming, sailing or paddling in our water, I will spend my days sitting on the porch, watching the water while writing

 and/or knitting. And the knitting may even earn me a bit of income.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Supper

If I can get my husband to agree to it, or perhaps despite him, I plan to make carrot fries tonight.  I enjoy roasted asparagus in place of french fries, so why not roasted carrots?  After all, we are trying to eat healthier and I do need to fit into my work uniform soon.  

photo and recipe courtesy of
photo and recipe courtesy of

Carrot Fries

olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and slice the carrots into french fry shaped sticks.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the carrot sticks out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Flip the carrots over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the sticks are tender and slightly crunchy.

And to go with our carrot fries, we'll have burgers on the grill to celebrate the start of Day Light Savings.  It's tradition.

Friday, March 8, 2019

On the needles

Thankfully life has settled back down and there's been no craziness for the last few days.  Thank you all for your kindness and cheerful comments on yesterday's post.  I was hesitant to put part of that post out into the world but since it all turned out okay in the end, and it was horribly and nerve-wrackingly funny in that 'how screwed up can my life be?' way, I thought, oh why not?


I am VERY slowly re-knitting the portion of blanket that I had to cut off the other day.  With 16+ inches needing to be removed, cutting it was a much easier route to take than frogging it would have been.  I'd hoped to have the blanket finished by the end of the month, although I didn't really expect that to happen.  Mid April would have been a much more realistic goal.  Now, that goal is more like mid November.  I'll be going back to work soon so less time to knit plus, the blanket will simply be too hot to knit on during the summer.

Knitting a simple yet elegant beaded lace cowl.
Larry the Lama modeling Jeweled Cowl

Besides very slowly re-knitting the blanket, I've been working on the beaded cowl.  Now that I've had a chance to refresh the beading muscle memory, it's knitting up a little faster.  The goal is to have it finished by the end of the month.  The cowl is supposed to have 51 rows of beads and I've completed sixteen rows.  So, finishing by the end of the month should be completely doable.  Knock on wood.

I'm also quite pleased with the beads on this version.  I'm so glad I frogged the first attempt and tried again with different beads.  These beads are perfect.  

10 things I hate about you
photo courtesy of

They show up enough be understatedly blingy, without being all Look at me!  Look at me!

Thursday, March 7, 2019


I had an emotionally Epic sh*t storm of a day the other day.  I try not to curse here on the blog but .... The things that spewed out of my mouth....  

So let me try to explain my day, in three steps since it is Three on Thursday.

1.  I'd had one of those nights where I just couldn't calm my brain and it was after 6:30 a.m. when I finally went to bed.  Around 9:00 a.m., I hear my husband stomping down the hallway and into the bedroom where he begins to shout at me to get up.  Our son is in jail.  

What??  Jail?  WHAT??  No! NO!! No!  *^$;%$^&@#* Dammit!  While I'm not normally verbal in the morning, the language started spewing.   

My baby!  My little baby boy (my little baby who happens to be in  his mid 20's) in jail!  No! NO!! No!  *^$;%$^&@#* Dammit!

So Mike starts explaining how an elderly family member with some memory problems, who will go unnamed to protect the innocent, had called Mike to report that Zack had called them from jail.  He'd been drinking, got in wreck, gotten arrested, thrown in jail and needed bail.  But they didn't know which jail.  

So, right there, we should have known something wasn't right with the story but when you're told your kid is in jail for something so *^$;%$^&@#* stupid, you tend to react rather than think.

So while I tossed on some clothes and brushed my teeth, Mike began searching online trying to figure out what jail Zack was in.  Apparently there's a website.  You have to search by individual jail, but you can check to find out if your child, who is in SO much *^$;%$^&@#* trouble, is there.  We couldn't find him.  He could have been anywhere when he wrecked.  He travels a lot for bowling tournaments and general fun, boy adventures.  Who knew where he was?

So while we were frantically searching jails, we were also thinking about what Zack's, and our, future might look like.  I hate to admit that we were thinking about finances in that situation but....  Was Zack hurt?  What kind of medical bills would he be facing?  Was Zack driving his old, beat up truck or his girlfriend's new car?  Was the girlfriend with him?  Was she injured?  Who'd he hit?  How badly were they hurt?  Did he hit another car or just a ditch/tree....?  What legal fees for the DUI would he face....   All of that was running through our heads while we searched, along with visions of Zack's sweet face bruised and bloodied.  Not to mention the thoughts of how tightly I'd hug him once we found him.  And how as soon as I'd hugged him, I was going to stab him in the eye with my knitting needle for doing something so stupid as drinking and driving.  This total panic went on for almost three hours while we searched and searched. 

And then we got the brilliant idea to call his cell phone.  

And Zack answered.  After a few weird moments of "You got something you want to tell us boy?" and "I don't think so." responses, and Zack starting to freak out a little bit about what the hell we were talking about and us realizing that he was okay... and at work, not jail... We realized that the dear family member had simply been confused and the entire story was made up. Made up!   Zack was not and had never been in jail.

Oh. My. God!  The day will be forever known as The Day Zack Did Not Go to Jail.  I still get a little shaky just thinking about it.

2.  So after that fun and exciting way of waking up after only 2 1/2 hours of sleep.... I decided to calm my nerves with a little knitting.  I've been knitting another diagonally striped, queen sized bed blanket out of Kroy sock yarn.  I don't think I've mentioned it here on the blog yet, but I've been working on it here and there since before Christmas.  

I started wondering if it was anywhere close to long enough and laid it out on the bed to check.  

And I immediately had another curse fest.  No! NO!! No!  *^$;%$^&@#* Dammit!

Have you ever knit a diagonally striped blanket, or any kind of rectangle?  You know how once you get the width you want, you have to start decreasing on one side while continuing to increase on the other to get the rectangle shape?  Well, I hadn't done that.  I'd simply stopped doing any shaping at all.  No!  NO!! No!  *^$;%$^&@#* Dammit!

Sixteen inches of fabric removed from my Kroy blanket.

I took the scissors to it, cut off about sixteen inches of knitting, sixteen inches of fingering weight garter stitch, and cursed.  And tried not to cry.  And slowly and painfully picked up all the loose stitches and started knitting again.  Apparently, I created my own sock blank.

3.  Having a total pity party melt down, I texted my husband and told him to bring home comfort food.  He brought frozen pizza and a chocolate pie.  We ate three quarters of that pie ourselves.

No! No! No!  I have to fit into my work uniform soon.  *^$;%$^&@#* Dammit!

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Jeweled Cowl

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I'm going to be a beading expert when I finish knitting my latest project.

Knitting a beaded cowl with Knit Picks Preciosa yarn.
blue & green sea glass beads

I'm knitting a Jeweled Cowl.  I started it, using blue & green sea glass beads I had in my bead stash.  I couldn't decide what beads to use and I'd asked my Wednesday night knitting group for help with the decision.  Everyone agreed with the sea glass but.... Turns out, they were a poor choice.  They completely disappeared into the yarn.  I frogged that version and started over.

Knitting with Preciosa fingering tonal merino.
Retro Blue beads on Preciosa

This time, I'm using "Retro Blue" with a few other slightly more sparkly beads thrown into the mix.  Although there isn't that much difference in the photos, there is a huge difference in real life and I'm much happier this go round.  Good thing because every other row is beaded.  There are only 14 beads per row, but with placing them every other row, it seems like I'm constantly putting on a bead.  

The yarn I'm using is Knit Pick's Preciosa and I'm loving it!  It's been in my stash long enough that I don't remember ordering it.  I absolutely Love the color and I've picked it up and thought about knitting with it 1,000 times, but I've always put it back in the drawer.  It's a single ply merino and my experience with single plies are that they tend to be splity (splitty?? One or two T's?? Spellcheck doesn't like either spelling.) and well, I've just never overly enjoyed knitting anything with single ply yarn.  But I had those sea glass beads and they looked so good with the skein and...  

And now I'm kicking myself for not knitting up this yarn sooner.  It's an absolute delight!   It is SO soft and not splity/splitty at all.  Even after frogging my first attempt and having to fight to get a few of the beads off, the yarn showed no wear at all.  I will definitely be ordering more of this yarn in other colors.

Drat!  But, Cool!  I just jumped over to the Knit Picks website to see what other colors the yarn comes in and... I see my skein of fingering weight Preciosa is so old, Knit Picks doesn't even sell it anymore.  They only have it in worsted now.  But that's cool because I was thinking I'd like to have a sweater knit out of this yarn and a worsted weight sweater would knit up a lot quicker than a fingering weight one.

Besides knitting, I'm also still on a reading kick.  So far, my Kindle is hanging in there although it looses 1% of it's battery life every six minutes.  That just means I need to read faster!
The King Tides

I'm currently reading The King Tides.  My Kindle is appreciating that it's a fast paced read.  I'm having a hard time putting it down.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday Supper - Caribbean Chicken

I'm feeling particularly lazy so this week's Sunday Supper recipe is ridiculously quick and easy.  The recipe is written for use in an Instant Pot but it would be simple to adapt it for the stove top.  Enjoy!

Caribbean Chicken

1 bottle of sweet BBQ sauce
1 can pineapple chunks
3 - 5 chicken breasts
prepared rice

Pour half of the BBQ sauce into the Instant Pot.  
Add chicken.
Pour remaining BBQ sauce and pineapple with juices over chicken.
Cook high pressure for 11 minutes.  Natural release.

Serve over rice.

This is a family favorite of ours.  I like to add a splash of hot sauce to mine.  I also like to add green peas to mine but no one else in the family likes peas.