Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Stuff




I was sitting watching the Olympics a couple of nights ago, and I was thinking about starting a new knitting project, but then I realized that I couldn't start something because I had unfinished business. I just wasn't happy with the arms on the baby Poonam sweater I finished last week, so I took them out and reknit them. I am so glad I did because I took over the finished product to my friend's house today, and her little baby was quire pleased with his fashionable new item. He'll probably only wear it a couple of times, but I enjoyed knitting it, and his "knitting mother" seemed to really appreciated it.

In other happy news, we had a guest this weekend. Her name is Hershey, and the picture above is a picture that I took last fall and posted on Facebook, hoping to find her owner. She followed my friend and I home from our run one morning and was ADAMANT that we help her. I figured that someone in the neighborhood had lost her and was frantically looking for her since she appeared to be a purebred and was so darn cute. I took her inside to give her a little food, and then Russ went in search of her owner. We, of course, were limited on time since we had to get to work, so when we couldn't find an owner, we let her out into the "cold cruel world" again because we couldn't leave her in the house, and our dogs are inside/outside dogs. When we came home for lunch, she was in the house again because Kai had heard her crying outside her door and took pity. We really didn't want another dog, but now we really felt responsible, and, on closer inspection, we discovered that she was very thin and not well taken care of.



To make a long story short, she was adopted and is now doted on by a neighbor who had lost a beloved dog a year or two before, after we showed up on her door step and told her that she needed a new dog. Part of the deal is that we are "dog parents" when our neighbor leaves for the weekend, which is fairly often. Hershey stays with us, and, unfortunately, has taken on some of our dogs' bad habit, like sleeping on the warm laundry on the couch, that is waiting to be folded. I discovered her here with Gidget after returning with the rest of the load. Sigh!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Tiny Aran


In teaching, you start having colleagues who were also your students as soon as five or six years after they graduate, so you can imagine that since I've been teaching for over twenty-five years that I have tons of ex-student-fellow teachers. One of them, who has actually moved on up to teaching at the community college next door to our high school, had a baby in December. She's a knitter. Additionally, she's a "math teacher" knitter, which means that she probably doesn't improvise as much as I do, preferring to be mathematically accurate instead of just "guestimating." I'm a little unsure about how these sleeves are going to work out, but I'm pretty happy with this Baby Poonam. I'd better hurry and deliver it. We're back to kind of normal California winter weather. I'm not sure it even hit 50 degrees yesterday. Brrrrrr!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's See How It Goes

I remember feeling so disappointed when some of the bloggers who I discovered years ago stopped blogging. Most of them did that thing where they would post only sporadically, and then would officially sign off or just disappear. My blog has never been that focused where I felt it was a burden as most of the "retired" bloggers would often profess to feeling. I just haven't felt the motivation. I really have enjoyed the interaction with other knitters though, so I'm going to give it another try, and I'll see how it goes.

I have been knitting quite a bit since September, mostly small stuff....OK, only small stuff. Back in November, I knit the Green Forest headband for Paige, which was really fun to knit, with just enough variety in stitches to keep it interesting.


 Then, during Christmas vacation, I knit the Through the Woods  Neckwarmer. It was fun to knit too although I'm not sure how much use Paige will get out of it. She's complained that it's so cold riding her bike to class in Davis, which I'm sure is true. It's definitely "California cold" up there, but I think the complaints were more directed toward getting to take a car up there than for me to "fix" her chilliness.

In non-knitting news, our little beagle puppy, Rolly, who broke his leg last spring, has turned into a huge, gangling guy. He's a typical beagle: good-natured, stubborn, and always ready for fun. Gidget tolerates his antics quite well, and sometimes, even joins in.



Sunday, September 01, 2013

Fun Weekend

I posted a picture of my "Little Cotton Rabbits" bunny earlier, but I forgot to post the picture with the little headband I knit for my grandneice, along with it. It was super easy, but cute, I think. I haven't been knitting much since this accomplishment. It's just so hot, and not conducive to wanting to work with wool, which is my favorite "medium."




I did consider bringing some knitting along with me this weekend for a little trip Russ and I went on, along with 26 students and 2 other teachers, but I had to drive a van, and I usually do all of my knitting on trips when we're driving. We all spent the night at a friend's grandmother's house...well, "house" is an understatement. It's a horse ranch up above Solvang. We left after school on Friday, dropped our stuff off at the ranch and rested a bit and then went to see Cyrano de Brgerac the PCPA Outdoor Theater in Solvang. They did a great job, as they always do, and even Russ stayed awake for all three hours.   


 The next morning, my friend's grandmother took us on a little tour of the ranch. She raises champion horses, and even though she's well into her 70s, she marched us up and down hills in 90 degree temps as if it was nothing.


Did I mention that we had 26 teenagers along? I still can't quite belief that our hostess, Maidy, was so generous. She has a beautiful home and didn't even seem to cringe as we descended upon her. Her dogs were also very accommodating, as long as someone was willing to toss their toys for them endlessly.



I can't remember her macaw's name, but he was happy to have us too, and even did a little dance whenever someone played the piano or accordion in the next room. What a fun adventure!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Sunday Afternoon" of Summer

 This will possibly be my most random post every. I haven't posted much this summer despite lots for fun adventures, including some knitting successes, as well. We usually end our summer with a visit to my parents in Humboldt County, which is from nine and a half to eleven hours away from us, depending on which roads we decide to take and how terrible the traffic is. This year was the first time in over twenty years that we went without any kids, which was a little sad; however we did take our dogs which was a little burdensome, but still fun. My dad built me a spinning wheel this year, and has sent me several pictures of his creation throughout his "building journey." My only responsibility before taking possession of it was to apply some Danish oil to the finished project.

My dad has never really shown that much interest in my knitting, but this spinning wheel has changed that somewhat. Last summer a friend of his, who raises sheep, gave him a huge bundle of romney fleece when he found out he was making me a spinning wheel. I have had it in my garage most of the year, waiting for me to learn to spin. I have a long way to go, but thank to my dad again, I did have an enjoyable lesson from a neighbor of my parent', Eilene, who is an avid spinner.
It would appear that Eilene is also an avid knitter. After our lesson, Eilene showed me some of her sweaters. I practically gushed. They were incredible. She and her husband have traveled the world, and she had knitted sweaters with yarn from wonderful places they had visited, including Florence. My favorite sweater, though, was a sweater she had knit from Philosopher's Wool. I'd kind of forgotten about them, since knitting anything from them is a major investment. Her sweater is the purple-hued one on the upper right. Now, I'm thinking that I need to make the investment in one. What a fun afternoon I spend with her.

 Our doggies took quite a bit of our time since my parents' yard isn't fenced well enough for them to roam outside. On the other hand, they were so cute, we didn't mind the effort. Rollie, our "baby," loved it there, and he loved having his "aunty" Gidget along to bother and....sleep on when necessary.

 Having dogs in tow does limit one's activities, but we didn't let it slow us down too much. We spend a lot of time just hiking around Humboldt County, but we also walked in downtown Eureka with the beagles and enjoyed the somewhat new boardwalk.
 I knit a bunny while we were there too. I think she may be my favorite bunny ever. I bought Julie's bunny pattern over two months ago, after waiting years for her to publish it. I have loved these bunnies forever, and finally Julie put together the most perfect pattern for creating one of our own. I sent this little girl bunny to my nephew and his wife, who had a little girl this winter, named Ollie. They're both very artistic, and I'm thinking will appreciate a little handmade gift for their darling little girl.

On our way home from my parents' house, we stopped in Davis to pick up Paige, who doesn't have to start back at school until the end of September, so she thought she'd spend a few weeks with us. We enjoyed some sushi out on the patio of our motel.  It might have been a little more enjoyable had we not had barking beagles sitting with us, but it was fun nevertheless. Paige knows how to order awesome sushi. It's funny how poor college students know all about expensive food!

Friday, July 19, 2013



I have such nice "blogdom" friends. I initially posted pictures of these Brittany Walnut knitting needles without any text attached. To tell the truth, I accidentally posted them. I had taken the pictures because I was selling them on Ebay. I still got three nice comments about them.  Anyway, I ended up selling this pair of needles for $45. I have two other pairs that I don't plan to sell, even though I also have no intention of ever using them. They're too special. I sure wish I had bought a complete set back when they were $8 a pair, but I didn't know that they would quit making them so quickly.




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Taste of Freedom Again

I'm not about to whine about how having an injured puppy can cramp your style since we're so happy he's doing so well, but....we hadn't been to the beach in over a month until yesterday. Rolly got his splint off last week and is doing really well. We still can't leave him though and have to watch that he doesn't get too rambunctious. So, we just took him to the beach with us.

Paige went along with us. (It's amazing what a bored college kid, home for the summer. will do for entertainment.) We had been telling her how good Taco Temple in Morro Bay is and had thought about taking her there, but we would have had to do take-out. Then I remembered that Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant is doggie-friendly; plus they have delicious seafood too, so that's where we went. Paige and I had the Mariner's Salad, which is packed with bay shrimp, and Russ had a seafood burrito, which looked awesome with whole scallops in it and other delicious looking stuff.

 After a stop at Giovanni's Fish Market for some scallops to take home (Um, the fact that the scallops were from Canada didn't dissuade me from buying them) and some smoked salmon, we headed over to the Los Osos Farmer's Market  for more food purchases. Our favorite purchases this trip: Dark Nectar Roasting Company coffee and Joycup Peanut Butter Cups.

The Dark Nectar guy had about six different flavors of coffee for us to try. I liked everything I tried, but I thought McPhee's Grill Blend was a great name, so we went with that. Paige and I fell in love with the candy last year. It's soooo good, with flavors like: Espresso Sea Salt, Lemon Blueberry, and Olallieberry.
 I get kind of annoyed when Farmers' Markets say, "No dogs," and then people are walking around with their dogs, but we were a little guilty of it this time. Russ carried Rolly the whole time, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't exactly kosher either.

 Gidget was happy to see Rolly home again. She hates riding in the car, or we might have considered taking her along too.

 Did I have something about this being a knitting blog in my title? Well, I'm back to knitting, feverishly even. Last fall, I received the most fun, unexpected gift. It was a "care" package from my friend Julie. It was an endless array of wonderful stuff, but my favorite item was two skeins of yarn from Glinda the Good Wool. It's called Frost in the Vineyard, which is totally cool to me. I've been looking for a pattern that was worthy of this yarn, and, believe me, I mean looked and looked. I finally found the perfect pattern: Ysolda Teague's Scroll Lace Scarf. The pattern is easy although I haven't yet memorized it. I feel like a knitter again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nope, Still Not Bored


 This picture doesn't do justice to how I spent my afternoon today. I made chimichangas with three of my favorite students/ex-students: the Arellano sisters. Several years ago, the oldest sister, Stephanie brought chimichangas to a potluck for our class one day and I've been in love with them ever since. I've described their chimichangas as melting in your mouth  It's not an understatement to say that I'm obsessed with them. I hinted...Ok, begged for the recipe, but the girls said that they were not at liberty to share it since it was their mom's secret recipe although they have often provided me with a good supply of them throughout the year.


 Well, this afternoon, they showed up with all of the fixings for....Chimichangas. Their mom gave her OK for me having a little awesome Mexican cuisine cooking lesson. I've eaten a lot of good Mexican food, but these chimichangas are the best. The recipe actually wasn't very complicated, but it did take some time. I don't think I'd be breaking any confidences by posting the recipe here, and it will help me remember how to make them.

Chimichangas


  • two chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • one white onion, chopped
  • one bunch cilantro, chopped
  • one bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • one pkg. large flour tortillas (They use Guerreo brand)
  • canolla oil, for frying


Poach the chicken in the chicken broth with two cloves garlic, one half chopped onion,  cilantro, and 1 tsp. salt. When chicken is cooked, shredded it, and place it in a bowl with one clove of the garlic, the rest of the chopped onion, chopped parsley, and enough tomato sauce to moisten well without being "goopy." Let the chicken mixture cool, and then place a thin line of chicken across the lower third of the burrito. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the chicken and form a tight tube, then pick up the bottom portion of the tortilla and roll the rest of it tightly into a tube. They usually let their chimichangas sit in the fridge over night to set, and then fry them in the morning. They're easier to work with that way.
 I've slowed down a little on my summer accomplishments, but I did finish Russ's socks yesterday. He seems to like them, and kept them on even though it's like 80 degree in the house. I bought Julie's bunny pattern last month, so I'm thinking that that will be my next project, but we'll just have to see. Maybe I'll throw caution to the wind, and start two projects at once.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not Bored Yet!

I'm pretty sure that I've worked during the summer every summer since I've had kids, which means over twenty-one years. It's not like I've worked all summer, or full days, even, but I've worked! This summer I'm not working. I can't entirely take credit since I wasn't asked to teach a college class, but I didn't even try for a high school session, so I'll congratulate myself on that  bit of good sense. It's only been a week, and I have enjoyed every minute, even if some of those minutes have involved napping on the couch every afternoon.
 As usual, we have a ton of plums, which I don't know what to do with. I'm not interested in all of the work that canning would take, but I don't want all of those delicious plums to go to waste. We always give away a lot to the neighbors, and I usually try to do a few creative things with them. Since I'm pretty much obsessed with Pinterest, I figured that I could get some inspiration there, and I did! I found a recipe for spicy plum sauce from Local Kitchen, and several hours later had some plum sauce that was at least as good as any I've tried from the grocery store or at a Chinese restaurant.


Our first meal with my plum sauce was with pot stickers as an appetizer, but last night we branched out and had it on chicken. It took several hours and a lot of work to make about a quart's worth of plum sauce, but I think I may have to make a couple of more batches.
I've been plugging along with my socks too, and even though I'm a little nervous about running out of yarn, I think I may actually finish a knitting project, something I haven't done a lot of recently...er...this year.

 This is a bad picture of my current sock situation, but, as you can see, I'm very near the end. I've lost the label for this yarn although I think I may have bought it from The Loopy Ewe. If I end up short, I'll have to do a little more investigating. I usually only order from The Loopy Ewe, Webs, or LIttle Knits, so it shouldn't take too much detective work. I haven't been using a pattern, just cast on 64 stitches and started knitting. I've made a promise to myself that this is absolutely the last time, I improvise a pattern and not write down what I've done. I'm coming up on the toe, and I can't remember what I did on the first sock exactly. I don't deserve any sympathy, feel free to roll your eyes!
We're still in love with our little Rolly, even if we are bad beagle parents and were playing on the bed with him and let him fall...and break his leg. He has taken it in stride, but we were so very sad. Bot of us cried over him the night we got back from the vet. It's not a terrible break, but it is his upper femur, which was hard to splint, and we've pretty much had to be with him every minute to make sure he doesn't get it wet, etc.


 We're going on week three and are optimistic that he'll be fine eventually, although Rolly thinks that he's just fine now, and wants to run around and tussle with his "auntie" Gidget, who is always willing to oblige him. She even gets in his kennel with him to take naps.


It's been quite a challenge keeping his splint clean, although we've enployed the "plastic bag" bootie method so that he can potty in the backyard and hang out with kitty too.




Monday, May 13, 2013

A Little Progress

It's not a particularly exciting project, but I can actually post a little knitting progress, for a change this week. Paige has been very insistent that we go up to see her at U.C. Davis to let her meet our new puppy. How long of a trip is that, you might ask. Well, on a good day, it's four-and-a half hours. That was obviously a ridiculous idea because little Rolly is only six weeks old and certainly not house or car broken, but, of course, the reason I have a sock to post today is because I knit for nearly ten hours this weekend, going back and forth between home and Davis. It really did seem like a bad idea, but it turned out fine, and Paige and Rolly were so happy to meet each other. We ended up having a wonderful little "Davis" weekend.
 It was the Davis Whole Earth Festival this weekend, which made us feel right at home since it reminded us of all it was lacking was the cannabis aroma that permeates many Humboldt County activities, but considering it's a college sanctioned festival, that makes sense. Paige carried Rolly around the whole time, and was pretty much mobbed much of the time, with innumerable people asking to see him.

After our jaunt around the Whole Earth Festival, we made a little stop at Let Them Eat Cake, which is a  wonderful little cupcake bakery. It has a kind of French atmosphere inside and the most delicious cupcakes. I had an "illegally blonde" cupcake and Paige had a "fleur de cel chocolate caramel" one. They were worth every calorie. Russ said he didn't want one, but we ignored his attempts at self control and bought him one anyone. It didn't last very long!

OK, so this picture was staged, but there isn't anything cuter than a worn out little beagle. Paige added the little stuffed toy for effect.
We ended our Saturday with a run along the Davis Avenue of Trees. Paige puppy-sat for us for about an hour, and we had a fun run, even though it was about 88 degree at six in the evening. We felt a little limited in our dining choices having Rolly along, but discovered that the Thai Nokon restaurant downtown didn't mind us having a puppy on the patio, so we had a great Thai meal of spicy duck, silver noodles and kum ka gai. Paige even came back to our hotel with us to spend the night so that she could spend a little more time with us...er, I mean Rolly, ha, ha.
Rolly was once again a perfect traveler on the way home, although he wasn't particularly excited about having a collar and leash on when we stopped for coffee at our half-way point.