Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two and Three

Tuesday, I decided that I would give NOT accomplishing a lot a whirl.

Everything is measured where I work. How much work you do and how well you do it. It's kind of hard to get out of that mode of thinking. So, instead of processing wool and cleaning out closets, I decided to poke around a local book store. I bought a hard covered book. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. I felt a little guilty buying it. Funny, because it's no big thing for me to get a new cook book or a knitting book. I like it so far.
It's all about Chinese here as of late. The cilantro chicken with the fresh water chestnuts we made Monday night was delightful. Fresh water chestnuts are fantastic! Though Sam remarked that it was too complicated or a weeknight meal. And I've been making things from my Kylie Kwong cook book. However, I've learned her recipes are far too salty for my taste, so they all need to be adjusted.

I finished the recycled sari silk garter scarf. I have yet to take a picture of it. I wasn't paying much attention when I cast on. I just wanted to be sure it was long enough. When I finally cast off, the sucka is about 10 feet long. Dustin and Tate stopped by in the evening to hang out. Luckily, I had made Jamaican Jerk Burgers, slaw and baked sweet potatoes, so there was plenty for everyone. I offered to give Dustin the scarf, but he declined saying it looked "older lady-ish." Grreaate. I cast on for a simple garter shawl using a beaded rayon yarn I bought years ago. But, after knitting a little bit, I just didn't like the way it looked. I actually wondered what possessed me to buy the yarn. It looked fugly to me. Does anyone have any ideas? Or does anyone want it?

Lately, that's been happening a lot. I get a small portion of a project done and it just looks fugly to me. So, I found some organic cotton in my stash and started the garter triangle shawl. It's very soft yarn. Last night I wondered if it, too, was fugly.

Wednesday, I cleaned the kitchen and refrigerator like a mutha. It was also the first pick up day for my CSA. This week's bag contained bok choy, spinach, lettuce, spring onions, and asparagus. I also got a dozen eggs and a small container of raw milk. I think I'll make a frittata for dinner tonight using the spinach and asparagus. And then a nice salad.

It was so nice to go out to dinner with my family Wednesday. The restaurant is less than a mile from my parents' house. It's increasingly harder for my Mom to get around. It was hard for her to walk from the front door to the table and to get seated. And it was kind of sad because neither one of my folks can hear very well, so conversation is hard in a public place. I ordered a soft shell crab appetizer and the veal liver. Tate got crab bisque and sea scallops. It's very kind of my cousin to spring for such an expensive extravagant meal.

I realized that I have the second felted slipper to complete for Danny before I go to Victoria. This morning I dug through the UFO basket and found it, but I couldn't remember where I had stopped. So, I frogged it and started over. That's okay, I hadn't gotten that far. Next, I have to make Caitlin and Danny a pair of the recycled sweater slippers. Those just take a few minutes to make.

June 14th is WWKIP Day. I'll be heading over to the Plaza for that. Anyone want to join me?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day One

My trusty beagle awakened my right on time--6:15. It would have been nice to sleep in, but then it's good to get things accomplished.

I started the day washing fleece. This is white merino I got off of Ebay.

Here is how I do it. Stuff the fleece in a lingerie bag.

Fill an insulated cooler about half way with HOT water. Add a bunch of Dawn dish detergent.

You don't want to move it around a lot. But, you do want to make sure it's submerged.

The cooler keeps the water hot. You are, after all, melting that lanolin off the fiber. I let it soak for about 40 minutes. Repeat two more times. Rinse three times in HOT water for 20 minutes or so. The middle rinse add some white vinegar.

Then, I spin it out in a salad spinner and set the lingerie bags on a little drying rack outside in the sun.

The process takes a long time, but it's not a lot of "hands on" time. Tomorrow, I will tackle the merino I bought at the Fiber Festival. It's a very light fawn color. I think it will look smashing blended with the white. And then dyed.

I certainly don't want to spend all my time cleaning. But, I do feel compelled to organize. I got the bathroom hall closet cleaned out. It wasn't that bad because I think I got around to it last year. I'm taking baby steps with the closets. The ones in my office and bedroom terrify me.

I've been reading about Vitamin D deficiency. So, I spent about 15 minutes in the sun today. I'm taking the holistic approach to my osteopenia. I've been taking Vitamin K2 supplements. I also need to get more calcium supplements. My mom has been taking Fosamax for years. She's now having troubles with her teeth and jaw, so the doctor has taken her off of it. I think she's been on it for 16 years or so. I was diagnosed with osteopenia at an earlier age than she was. I certainly don't want to be on a medication like that for years and years. Who knows what the side effects would be.

The recycled sari silk garter scarf is coming along nicely.

Tonight, we are having Cilantro Chicken with Fresh Water Chestnuts and Baby Bok Choy for dinner. I also got some Gai Lan to have with it. Or I could just make that for my lunch later this week. Sam took a half day off so we zipped over to the Asian grocer where we found everything for the dish. I'll let you know how it turns out. I've never had fresh water chestnuts.

I won't be going to Spinning on Wednesday. My second cousin is coming for a visit and she always takes the family to a swanky French restaurant. I can never decide whether to get the veal liver or the veal sweetbreads.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunny Sunday

The Great Purge has begun! I decided to start cleaning up the laundry room, where crap has piled for a LONG time. I took five grocery bags and one large moving box FULL of clothes and bedding to a Planet Aid drop off box. I also took out two bags of trash. And that’s only about half of the room. The jury’s still out on whether I have enough stuff to make a garage sale worthwhile.

I got my hair cut and colored. He colored it a little darker than I’ve had it. And the top is light. Of course, I will never be able to make it look the way he does. We made beer can chicken, mashed cauliflower and sauteed mushrooms for dinner last night.

I saw that Kim was tagged for some sort of blog thing. I wasn’t tagged, but I’m going to play along anyway. Kind of like an annoying little sister.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

Things weren’t all that happy for me ten years ago. I was in the middle of my awful, long, expensive divorce. My husband was in arrears, so I was totally broke. The man I was seeing decided to call it quits because my soon-to-be-ex-husband vandalized his car outside my house one night. I think this was about the time that I picked up knitting (again).

What are five things on my to-do list for today?
(1) Post on my blog. (as we speak!) (2) Start washing the mountain of fleece I’ve purchased.(started) (3) Make a game plan for my sabbatical (4) relax and knit. (5) Get Piddles’ nails trimmed. (done)

Snacks I enjoy:

Chips & salsa. And not your standard chips or salsa. I like the designer kind. Chips & guacamole. 365 brand organic cheddar popcorn. I guess I’m not much of a snacker.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Pay off the house. Get ALL of the remodeling/home improvements done Sam & I have been talking about for years. Buy each of my kids a new hybrid car. Buy a second home. The jury is out where. I’d like to investigate the Pacific Northwest. Pay off Dustin’s school loans. Make a ginormous donation to John T.’s business. Pay for Tate’s college education at the school of her choice. Buy a drum carder.

Places I’ve lived:

Montclair, NJ, Overland Park, KS, Parkville, MO, Kansas City, MO, Prairie Village, KS. Man, I’m boring!

Five people I’d like to know more about:

Barbara, Kim, PJ, Marilyn, Jamie (the Shepherd)

I got Intertwined from the library the other day. What a cool book. Here I've been trying to make my yarn thin and consistent. This book show you how to create thick and thin yarn with blobs of this and that. So, I tried to make a skein or two of art yarn. I think I'll try to make a hat with it. I love the crazy bats.