Category: life | 1 Comment
Holy Crap! Where did April go? Particularly the last week of where I totally kept meaning to take a photo of my knitting and post it along with the fact I’ve made no progess at all lately.
I tote my knitting around everywhere and don’t work on it. But should the opportunity come up, I am ready! What this means of course is that I am not taking the opportunities when they arise, likely because I want to work on a different project but I won’t let myself. I want this finished item dammit. I wants it! My precious!
I’ve been doing well otherwise, just busy busy. Work is busy, home is busy, there’s always things to do. Like knitting group last night, that I just didn’t go to. I haven’t been since December. Not sure why, I like the group, maybe it’s just because I know it will keep me up too late and I’ve been having enough trouble sleeping as is.
At any rate, one day when I finish knitting my shawl I’ll post it. :D
Ohhh and Maryland Sheep and Wool is this weekend, I almost forgot! We are going on Sunday this year, since it’s supposed to be less crowded on Sunday and I am thinking maybe I’ll enjoy the experience more. I like fiber festival atmospheres but too many people in one place tend to stress me. It’s too hard to move around, much less move around with a bag of purchases. I don’t care for it. Not at all. And of course shmoo is just along for the ride and to sherpa for me, so he’s all about getting in and out ASAP. Maybe the slower Sunday vibe will be better for him too.
We are home from 3 weeks in Arizona, and while I took my knitting and spent many many hours at the Mayo Hospital there, I did not do a lot of knitting.
I did however teach shmoo’s sister to knit, and finally on the last day we were there was able to go to the only real yarn shop in the area.
If you are in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, check out Jesicca Knits, it’s a lovely shop, great selection, super super nice staff, even though we skated it 30 minutes before they closed for the day on a Saturday, and just a lovely experience over all. Very happy with them, would shop there again, kinda sad they aren’t local to me.
We also ate at Fate Brewing in Scottsdale for lunch one day and even the salads were really great. As shmoo said “I’d have eaten 3 or 4 of those spinach salads!!” I got the house salad and felt the same. Their pizza options were interesting and tasty as well. And the beer was really good. They did an IPA with Falconer’s Flight hops in it, which is a favorite of ours, so much so that shmoo ended up buying a growler of it to go with him.
Arizona is lovely this time of year as long as you don’t have allergies and like brown. Towards the end of the 2nd week things stopped looking so brown, and I knew that I’d been there too long because I could now see the colors in everything. Their spring is not that green and I missed some of the verdant greens we see hear on the east coast. My allergies were way worse than they are here in Maryland, but not as bad as if it were Georgia, but still I had to heavily medicate for them every day, which I don’t care for.
We were told that Coyotes, Javalinas, and Rattlesnakes were a problem out in the area we were, but didn’t see a damn one of them. I was really disappointed by the lack of coyotes and pigs. Rattlesnakes I’ve seen before so that didn’t matter. But we’d been told the coyotes are an aggressive problem that like to run in packs around the retirement neighborhoods snatching up small dogs to eat and running away with them. The pigs just wander around in aggressive herds like bored youths.
Our last nifty surprise was at the airport. We ate breakfast at a place called Bario cafe in Terminal 4 gate D, and discovered Michealados. For those of you like us who had never heard of them before… it’s a light plain beer, like dos eqis, corona, or bud light, ice, spicy bloody mary mix, lime juice, and some hot sauce in a glass with a salted rim. And it was pretty damn awesome. We are totally planning on making these for brunch, camping or Florida vacation in the future. Crazy good. Really.
So, that’s Arizona for you. Dry, brown, and pollen-laden with sketchy gang-banger style wildlife roaming retirement communities.
I’d go again to visit, but hopefully next time not because of a family emergency, and not for nearly as long.
Category: shmoocon, soap | Comments Off
Dear Shmoocon Staff Members,
I hope you like the soap and it helps you fend off becoming one of the smelly masses!
Thanks for helping to make Shmoocon great!
Ingredients: Coffee & coffee grounds, Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, Shea Butter, ground Oatmeal, Salt, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance*
Credit to @hackerhuntress for “please sanitize your inputs”
* -Scented with Sandalwood and Leather Frangrance Oils for a neutral, clean scent.
Category: Finished Objects, knitting | Comments Off
I’ve finished my Bertrand Louis just one week after cutting my hair off at chin length again.
Despite this, I am very happy with both the hairs that are cut and the resulting hat/cowl thing.
I did normal brioche instead of half brioche and it is thick and stretchy and cuddly and yum. It’s a great stitch for handspun, and I can totally see using it again for another handspun project.
January has just ZOOOOOOOMED by.
And I’ve not completed a damn thing!
I’ve almost finished a Bertrand Louis, but I also got my hair cut so the need for a hat like object that allows me to have my hair up in a poorly done bun is gone.
I am about halfway on the Shmoocon HFC hat, and I’ve got 2 weeks to get it done, so I really need to get on the wrapping that up part of things, so I can do a post about it properly right about con time. The devil is definitely in the details on this one.
I’ve started a lace stole, then gotten angry with it and realized it was not the correct knit for the yarn, despite my love for it all. Maybe it’s just the time of year, or the needle size I was using.. no idea. I’ll have to come back to it later.
I’ve made a batch of soap that didn’t turn out like I wanted and got 2 more to do this week at the latest if they are going to make the staff bags for the con. I’ll save those details for a post later as well, because we all know I post irregularly at best so I’ll need something to say at some point…..
The first pair of socks I made shmoo, that he kept tucked away, was apparently found by moths, or something, because the knitting just randomly disintegrated in places when touching them, so he’s up for a new pair of socks at some point soon, and a co-worker I like is having a baby. I told him he was having a girl because I needed to make the little ballet slippers I found for someone’s child and he was up. I gave him the image to show to his wife to help it along and she loves them as well, so much so that even if they have a boy, it’s going to wear little ballet shoes! ;)
I also want to make the stuffed giraffe from Itty Bitty Toys, which I took a Craftsy class on, and it’s adorable.
Speaking of Craftsy…
I’ve been watching some of my Craftsy classes at night as I got to sleep because they have an app and it is awesome. The latest one I’ve finished is for Rigid Heddle weaving, and now I want to weave but just don’t have the time for it, so I am not letting myself even start anything weaving related at all. BUT I WANT TO!
I’ve had to cancel my guitar lessons for Feb, not that it’s a major thing, I only go every two weeks and Feb. is going to be a short month, but it’s getting crowded with THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE!!! and I like to have to time to practice before my lessons or it’s a waste of time for both of us, and I don’t want to waste my teacher’s time. He’s a nice guy and let’s me be cranky when I am struggling with a song.
So that’s January in a nutshell, lots of wanting to make/do different things from what I am doing as I keep plugging away at other things.
I’ve read a thing for someone on the internet.
If you like podcasts and Fantasy Short Stories, check out Podcastle.
In fact, if you like, you can start with the story I read here.
I have photos of the Rainbow Campfire Mitts finally.
I finished the Cat’s Cocoon thing, which he loves and will actually get in and not just lay on, but damned if he’ll stay in it when I am trying to get a photo of him using it.
It’s just not happening. He did make sure to guard it while I took a photo of it however, because he’s most definitely sure that it is HIS and he is NOT going to share it. Shmoo tried to raise it up a bit for me and Bri huffed at him and put his foot down on it so he could not.
I also knit a [Minecraft] slime as a Christmas Gift for a 2 year old, and it was a hit with most everyone but the recipient. This is to be expected of course, he’s 2. :) Even shmoo said he was really impressed at how it turned out, which he rarely says about any of the knitting anymore.
That’s it! Here’s your photos.
Ok, as mentioned in my Thanksgiving Recipe post, I’ve had a perfectly good reason for not posting the majority of this year.
I needed to move web-servers. We kept saying we were going to do it soon and then not doing it, and because it was going to happen “SOON” I didn’t want to add anything that would alter the backups we had already made. Never-mind that of course when we went to move the site, the first step was to take brand new backups.
Regardless, it is done now, so I should be back to posting with semi-regularity, aka, about once a month if prior habit still holds true.
I have broken this post into different sections below so you can just go to the sections you are interested in and skip the part you could care less about.
It’s a long-winded ride, so settle in!
I am no longer with bluehost. That felt so good, let me say it again. I am not longer with bluehost!! I am no longer paying anyone for a shitty shared hosting platform. My site is on my very own server in shmoo’s data center. We have complete and total control.
All back end work is being handled by us with him doing most of the SysAdmin heavy lifting since he got to choose the OS. We bought the server at the beginning of the year, got it up and running early February and have generally only used it as a Minecraft server ever since. Mind you, Minecraft was not the intent for the server, but it has worked out nicely to use it as such. I have migrated my WordPress and Gallery installations over finally this weekend, and made sure that they are up and working correctly.
Part of this migration involved upgrading Gallery2 to Gallery3, and this has killed the plugin that worked for using Gallery photos in my blog, which makes me sad, because I loved it and it’s silly to put the same photos in two places on the server, and now I have to go back to using full links again if I don’t wish to do this. While this doesn’t make me happy, it is liveable. I don’t care for any of the Gallery3 themes, but overall it’s still the best photo gallery software out there, so I’m still using it. What I won’t be doing is going back and fixing any of the links that worked with the WPG2 plugin. I used it for years, and I just don’t care that much about fixing it.
Blog-wise I am using a theme I used several years ago that really isn’t widget compatible. Well it is for the left column, but not the right, and I can’t figure out why, and after a few hour I just gave up and fixed the right column without widgets. I’ll likely be looking into other themes later, but for now, I don’t cringe at the thought of this one and thus it shall remain. I always quite liked this theme, I just moved on because I liked widgets more.
I went to MSW and bought a bunch of stuff.
I did Tour de Fleece this year and spun 40 ozs of fiber, but haven’t done much spinning since. Nothing really of note at any rate.
I did take Felicia Lo’s Craftsy class on Spinning with color, and found it quite useful. I wish I had taken it a month or two before TdF so that I could have planned out some of the techniques to try during that time. Also, Craftsy is pretty awesome. If you like taking classes on your own schedule, at home, in your pajamas, without other people… it’s totally the way to go. Pretty affordable too and they have sales every so often too.
Since the Dim Sum, I have knit a new Nalgene Cosy in broken rib.
The Misogyny Networks Mankini Top
Made with the finest acrylics money can buy!! This fabulous fun fur and fuzzy yarn creation filled me with a dirty shame.
It was so bad that shmoo said my knitting license should be revoked, and he didn’t even have to wear it.
Regardless it was perfect for its intent and I was happy to compromise my knitting standards to help make a point in my industry.
Sometimes you have to take one for team….
A Pair of Campout Mitts for my Nana.
Mod was adding the extra i-cord at the bottom.
The gray is Alpaca and the pink is the same stuff the nalgene cosy and tea pot cosy were made of. I am finally almost out of that yarn. ALMOST!
A Pair of Campfire Mitts for myself.
I still need to take a photo of these, or wrangle shmoo into doing so while I wear them. Maybe next week!
Made these with the two Rainbow yarn bumps I spun up.
I had finished one armwarmer at the end of last year. It got ripped when I changed from the made up as I went along pattern to Campout Mitts.
Made them longer and added a band of garter stitch at the bottom.
I’ve been working on an Entrelac Infinity Scarf for my aunt. She’s been waiting about 3 years for me to make something with this yarn, and I am about half done with it.
Hopefully I’ll wrap it up before 3 more years go by.
I’ve also started a cocoon thing for the cat, but it’s crochet using random scrap yarns. It might end up horribly ugly. It probably will be. If he likes it, he won’t care, and neither will I. If he doesn’t like it, the dog will.
Daisy and Bri are both fine.
Daisy had another spine/neck disc rupture this spring but seems to be ok and able to live with it. She’s old and has a more limited mobility than she used to but over all is still a happy healthy dog. We took her to Florida this year with us, and for a dog who absolutely hates water, she absolutely loves the beach and St. George Island. Even shmoo noticed how much she liked it there. We took her with us on our morning walks, and she wasn’t interested in touching any little bit of the surf AT ALL, but she would every now and then and not totally panic. Mostly she loved the warmth on her old bones, the sand itself, and the interesting smells.
Bri is doing well. Evil as always. He’s gone to a meat twice a day diet and I am the one that feeds him. I am less worried he might kill me in my sleep and he has stopped peeing on my things, or rather, only on my things. Now when he gets mad at us, either of us might suffer the wrath. I am OK with this because I no longer feel targeted by him. Shmoo is less pleased, especially when I get to point and laugh at him.
Work is good. Always busy, always a challenge but I am happy.
I have stopped doing Letter Exchanges because I am a bad pen-pal and haven’t written a letter to anyone since I got sick back at the end of January from shmoocon. I was sick for over a month, ended up missing a week of work total, and did 3 different rounds of drugs. It was awesome, if by awesome I mean, totally sucked.
Facebook and G+ still suck.
Twitter is still my social network of choice.
I broke my Kindle3 keyboard and had to get a new one, just in time for the Paperwhite. I love it other than really missing the side keys for advancing the page quickly.
The game FTL is awesome.
We still aren’t playing WoW, though we have started playing GuildWars2 since they came out with a Mac client.
It’s not as fun as WoW but it doesn’t have a monthly sub price so I don’t much care.
Minecraft has replaced WoW for me for the most part. It’s the game I spend the most time in, and I like to see the things others have built.
That’s it, you’re all caught up!
Hai webbernets! I’m sorry it’s been so long. There is actually a reason I’ve quit posting besides laziness in general, but I’ll post about it later and for now go back to ignoring you after this post.
This is a list of links for my standard Thanksgiving Day recipes.
I’ve been talking about cooking to a lot of people at work and it’s easier to have it all listed in one place I can point people to easily.
First, the turkey. We brine our turkey.
I use these instructions for brine and cooking:
I don’t use ice for the brine, I just use total amount of water and make it ahead (Sunday or Monday night, allow to cool on stove and refrigerate), then throw the turkey in when we get it on Tuesday.
I will note with brining that you can’t really use the drippings for gravy without being way too salty. You may want to consider this if you don’t care about the turkey as much as you do the gravy.
I use stock for my gravy, no giblets (cause eeeww). I do use some of the drippings and consider that my seasoning, and then throw in some flour and bam! gravy.
This is close enough to what I do, it’s not rocket surgery. I always throw in some random amounts of cinnamon or nutmeg as well, to taste. We like it pretty tart, and if you cook it ahead by two days it should gel up enough on its own, no pectin or gelatin needed.
I don’t buy Brioche for this however, I make it using this recipe:
Then I split it into two small bread loaf pans, let it rise 2 hours, and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.
I usually make this on Sunday, so I can cube it on Monday or Tuesday, and if it’s not dried out/stale enough on Wednesday I throw it in the oven on low for a hour or so to finish that up.
The sausage we use is a Country Sausage from our local meat market, ’cause YUM.
Sweet Potato Souffle and Broccoli Casserole:
I’ve posted my family recipes on this ages ago, so here’s that link.
This year I am taking the broccoli and cooking it the oven and using cream of chicken soup instead of cream of celery or brocoli.
The original recipe on this called for cream of mushroom, but I’ve hated mushrooms always, so much so my Mother couldn’t slip this past me.
The sweet potato souffle recipe is perfect and I don’t ever change it.
Key Lime Pie:
I use a spring-form pan for this and make a graham cracker crust using whatever instructions are on the box of crumbs, which are basically, add some melted butter, mix and smoosh around and form it how you want it, throw in oven to harden.
Sometimes, I melt chocolate and cover the bottom of the crust in that and let it harden. Sometimes I don’t. It’s really good without it so it’s not needed for a good pie.
The rest of the pie is according to recipe, and then I generally top with meringue cause I don’t like wasting the egg whites, and if I set them aside to use later I always forget about them.
We don’t do bread/rolls. Not sure why, guess we just haven’t felt a need for it. We won’t be doing them again this year. :)
Beverage wise, I always make sweet tea, this year will probably be Ginger-Peach iced tea, because we both like it. There’s always beer, and sometimes we make Sangria, but usually that’s a Christmas or New Year’s thing.
I’ll probably also make some deviled eggs because shmoo loves them, and maybe some celery, carrots, and ranch dressing to snack on for pre-dinner football.
The Sangria Recipe is here:
It was originally posted on The Elk Run site but it kept getting moved or taken down, and so I duplicated it here a few years back.
You don’t have to use Sweet Katherine for your Sangria but it’s really something special if you do.
And that’s it. Our Thanksgiving (and several days after) eats in a list of links and comments.
If you end up making any of it, do let me know what you thought of it. :)
of being sick and tired.
January flew by with only one other small knit getting done, and that was just a new nalgene water bottle cozy. Nothing special there. I still don’t like the handle on it, so no photos yet. It’s the same yarn as the tea cozy so it’s pink/salmon handspun and I did it in a broken rib. Use your imagination. It’ll look better than what I actually did I am sure.
The end of January was Shmoocon of course. And despite taking extra time off of work to be sure I got plenty of sleep and wasn’t stressed, and Zinc and Vitamin C for two weeks ahead of time and during the con, and naps, and no boozing it up or partying. I even did a different job so I wouldn’t be exposed to as many people. By Monday night, I was sick. And in fact, I am still sick, though finally off of the antibiotics (for now, unless I have to go back again). This time I actually went to the doctor and his verdict was tonsillitis. The antibiotics given did nothing to make me feel better and two days before they were up I called him because I suddenly had a fever again. So I got new, stronger, expensive even when generic, antibiotics designed for bronchitis and pneumonia. They were supposed to clear me up by the end of the weekend, but they did not. So, Monday morning of what was now week three (this past Monday) I was back in the office so he could listen to my lungs and take an xray if needed. He decided they were clear and I sounded good except for my lack of voice and the coughing. It’s now Sunday and I still have no voice, still having coughing spasms, and still very very tired. I spent most of this weekend sleeping, again, much to shmoo’s dismay. He is also tired of me being sick.
So now I’ve burnt an entire week of time off from work on this crud, as well as the extra days I actually took for the con, and am still sick and quite frustrated because I’ve done everything I can to not get sick. The doctor said “you should have had a flu shot” to which I replied “Oh I had one back in October thank you very much”. Basically, if you get a flu shot and then wash your hands at least 5 times a day, you cut your risk of getting sick by 50%. I washed my hands way more than that. So now I am angry at myself for getting sick and it taking so long to get better. And I am frustrated because I really don’t know what else I could have done to prevent this. I guess I need to decide if it’s worth and if I am going to the con again next year because other than not going, I don’t know what to do about getting sick every year.
But enough bitching!
The naughty reindeer olympic hat was a huge success! Todd loved it, and wore it ALL weekend, despite being indoors and it being a very hot hat. Better yet, the registration desk had a few inquiries about where they could buy “the hat with the fucking” on it. So that made me feel good. Mostly I am glad that Todd got a hat that I like and that he loves because he waited two years for the damned thing, so he should have a hat he quite likes. I’ll probably never do another one like it, because the one was enough, but it’s always nice for a knitter’s gifts to be loved and well received.
That’s all I got for now. Been to sick to knit or do anything else but nap between coughing fits and trying to keep it together for work.
Maybe there will be progress to report next month.
Though the cat is an undeserving bastard, I cranked this out today while watching the Packers and Lions play at the pub.
Pattern is from knitty. ( http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring03/PATTdimsum.html ) I’ve also taken a bit of leftover white stockinette from where I changed up the Naughty Reindeer hat and used the sewing machine to whip up several more. They aren’t pretty, but the cat was stealing them from me as I made them, so they must be a hit.