Sunday, September 20, 2009

Knitting extravaganza!

6 of us knitter people descended upon a little town in WI, for a Knitting Extravaganza. But first, we engaged in a tasty walleye and blue gills fish fry, a cabin slumber party and a tasty raspberry jam and fresh blueberries pancake breakfast.

For 15 dollars, we had a day full of 4 knitting speakers, a room full of yarn and pattern vendors, and a delicious three course lunch. DH's grandma had saved the newspaper clipping advertising it for me, since she thought I might be interested in it.

One speaker, from Blackberry Hills, taught us how to dye our own yarn, safely. Nora Murphy, an author read to us from her book, "Knitting the Threads of Time" telling us about the birth of her first sweater, knit with love for her son. Another tried to shift our concept of knitting mistakes into knitting assets and design features. She offered a good point to think about, but I will still rip back and fix my mistakes whenever I need to do so. The last spoke about her heartwarming tales of receiving and giving prayer shawls and knitting hats given to classroom students.

We had a great time while listening and knitting and were all able to deepen our bonds through countless discussions with depth that far surpassed our coffeeshop knitting times. We would even do it again next year.

Thank you knitter friends for coming to an unfamiliar place for an unknown event- and Thanks mom and dad for the use of your cabin in the woods! We all appreciated it!

skirts, pitchforks, and compost, oh my!

Meant to be read to the Wizard of Oz tune, Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

And Urgent care...Oops. I was being oh, so domestic in my denim skirt and handknit tank as I tended our compost bins with the pitchfork. Dh had been gone for 3 days last week, so I was the Noah-watcher round the clock. In the interest of keeping busy and entertained we began taking care of our plants by watering them, feeding the birds birdseed, and watering and stirring our compost to help it decay quicker. All these things were benefiting from the extra attention, but not without a problem.

Yesterday while wearing a skirt my pitchfork brushed against my bare leg. I looked down. It hurt a little. There was a little blood, but not dripping blood. No problem. I put some neosporin on and a band-aid. No big deal.

It hurt a little more in the morning, and was a little redder. After a girls small group get together at 9, and church at 11, it was time to go to urgent care.

The Dr. wanted to send me home on 5 days of antibiotics, which I balked at. Bad things can happen- like the dreaded girly problem, yeast issues. He reassured me, he'd give me a prescription for meds for that too. (I really hate it when med, after med gets prescribed since it gets out of hand so fast- and I think it's ridiculous). I pleaded with him for the most conservative treatment- and no drugs. He left for a few minutes, and came back and said that I could instead just put the bacitracin on 2x's a day with a new band-aid and leave it open to the air at night. He said to come back if it gets redder. That I could handle.

So, now I am trying not to obsess over whether it's redder or not, and just trying to take care of it.

The two morals of the story are- girls in skirts shouldn't use pitchforks, and do, do, do, be your own advocate for your health care. You know your own body better than them. But still, listen to what they say first.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The back

The back
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.

the inner regions

the inner regions
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
With the fabric coordinating pockets and sock knitting pouch.

Sqeeeeeeeeeeee! New bag alert!

Sqeeeeeeeeeeee! New bag alert!
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
Splatgirl has been hard at work, making me, a bag. DH sponsored much of the
endeavor as an anniversary gift. I had originally told him I wanted some
diamond earrings but then I thought, when will I see them except for when I
take them out or put them in. Maybe, everyone I know should get diamond
earrings because then I could actually see them, right? Or maybe just my
closest friends, or people I see often enough. Well, scratch that. Then I
got to thinking after seeing Splatgirl at a Lake Minnetonka Fest selling her
beautiful handmade goods, that I want a bag instead.

So here it is. I tried to imagine it, and I was even kind of nervous to see
it. I was so excited, that I had to stop trying to picture what it would
look it.

Then, today I saw it. Wow. I didn't' really know what to say. It was so "me"
silver, bright colors, silver hardware, and as unique as can be. I could
never have imagined it. It's really incredible. And it has a little
coordinating pouch inside for my sock knitting projects. Maybe I will have
to go cast on a sock for the purse. Hmmm...I think it should color
coordinate, I have a lot of yarn in my stash that would accent it well.
Thanks so much Splatgirl- you outdid yourself- it is AMAZING!

I did math for it

I did math for it
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
So I got carried away with my soapbox on the virtues of canning. This pic is
of the math I did to fix the other jam. I pulled out the electric scale,
weighed a bowl, zeroed it out, then added jam. To that figure I divided by
16 to find out how many ounces I had. Then, I used the recipe equation to
find out how much sugar to add. I used a pen and paper, and my brain.

Jam for breakfast, jam for lunch...

So, I canned jam till the wee hours of the night on Monday. I never tasted
it. I just trusted the "local plum jam" recipe. I tasted it a few days
later. I didn't like it. Ooops.

Dh brought it in to his work where the computer programmer foodies offered
some helpful advice. Sweeten it more. So I did. I had been trying to go the
healthy route, and had sweetened it very lightly.

So, Friday night, I canned the rest. 4 more lbs. of plum jam, canned. IT
went really fast since I had the jam made already and just had to heat it to
a boil, then boil the jars and simmer the lids. Piece of cake. Sometimes
your own tastebuds can get in the way, and you have to outsource those of
others for feedback, and in this case, moral support. I am now confident of
this jam being better, and I'm building up my canning skills as this was the
third time I've canned on my own. It's kind of addictive...The sounds of the
little jars cooling to the point where the jar seals itself with the most
satisfying smack your lips kind of pop, in turn with the idea of preserved
food that doesn't take up fridge or freezer space how can anyone resist?!

I must say initially I was not intrigued by canning at all. DH actually got
me interested in it. Last year for a special birthday present to him I
arranged canning lessons with his mom's best friend, a veteran canner. But
now I'm hooked. What else can I can? Or shall I say "fresh preserve" as the
domestic skill seems to have been rebranded.

There should have been 3

There should have been 3
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
My best girlfriend and I enjoyed these from Rainbow Foods the other day.
Next to each other they really represent "the girls." I couldn't resist.

Trying out a great garage sale find

My MIL found this on a garage sale, and thought of us. She said that "since
we are always on the go, it might come in handy sometime." Was she ever
right. We used it at stitch 'n bitch last week, and yesterday at a different
coffee shop. We visited Perks, a local coffee shop and I looked around for a
high chair, then asked for one. They didn't have one. I panicked briefly and
then reassured, I remembered this was in my car. Super handy, easy to clean.
Awesome. Thanks MIL!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Little landscaper

Little landscaper
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
Enjoys removing the rocks and mulch, and relocating them to less visually
desirable locations.

Plum hunting and gathering

Plum hunting and gathering
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.

hunter and gatherer and chocolate fest

Last week I was hunting for bargains on canning jars and supplies. Saturday I was gathering, using the apple picker to select fresh big apples, and later crouching around on my hands and knees gathering plums from the in-laws plum trees.

Shortly after I had unearthed far too many plums, like 3 ice cream gallon pails worth, I noticed that my legs were itchy. It didn't take long for me to sprout an itchy rash up and down my legs.

I told DH that we needed to go be busy so I would be distracted from the angry burning feelings. So we went to Town and Country Days in Shell Lake, WI. We caught the tail end of the "chocolate fest" held at the historical society building.

What exactly is a chocolate fest? My curiosity was piqued, and just had to find out. I had fantasies about all kinds of gourmet chocolate, like the kinds I fell in love with in San Francisco. But I reigned in my expectations, and brought them back to earth and decided that a chocolate fest would entail some exhibits and some history on chocolate, with tastes of bittersweet and dark and milk varieties, just to train the taste buds to notice the subtle differences in flavors.

Instead, it was neither of these. It was a few older ladies wearing vintage floral aprons sitting in chairs behind a few small tables of all kinds of bars and cupcakes that were chocolate. Pick up a paper plate, load it with your selected goodies, and then hand it to the older man to pay for the treats.

It was really quite charming, and nothing like I'd expected. Noah and I shared 2 chocolate cupcakes with white centers. I'd made some just like them before, and they were just as good. And that was the chocolate fest.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday funnies and tmi

The other day I tried the Starbucks Vivanno smoothie. It was the chocolate banana one. It definitely tasted healthy, but not in a bad way. I didn't know anything about it before I drank it.
Funny how drinking a healthy drink has a way of letting you know its ingredients without reading the label.

I debated about posting this, but I will look at it as a PSA of sorts.

sort of too much info= read at your own risk about body functions

I had guessed there was protein in there. Check. Then, perhaps fiber. This I knew once I felt gassy. And as soon as I drank it I had to pee. Then, I had to pee again, 2 more times over the course of 2 1/2 hours. Apparently there's fiber powder in it also. I had to google what I had drank, and found this site. It never told me how much fiber was it it though. If you've seen the SNL sketch with the Jamie Lee Curtis Activia, you will know a little bit about how it went. If you haven't seen this funny commercial, give it a look.

Despite all the untimely effects, there are 18 grams of protein in there- amazing!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

State Fair cake, from Tobie's in Hinkley, MN

It is a little dog. My mom ate it's tail before I took this pic. It's not a

Dairy queen's Sept. blizzard

I am a Blizzard fan club member. Aren't you? Every now and then they give e-mail coupons. This month there's a dollar off this month's blizzard. Oreo Cookie Jar.

Oreos are good, sure. But then add cookie dough. OH, how about that addictive fudge sauce, too.

uhoh. Good thing we have a membership to the zoo, I know where the mall of america is, and my walking program started up again. And I have a toddler to chase.

This blizzard sounds too good to be true. I have friends that have validated its goodness. Mmm.

thursday's thoughts

These are the only ones I had today. haha.

I'd been almost getting bored with my knitting. That happens when you are knitting a wonderful wallaby sweater for your son out of unwonderful acrylic yarn that you felt compelled to use though it was supposed to be for a former co-worker's baby's sweater. Oops.

I was knitting on it, and I just didn't like how the knitted fabric was turning out. It was a little holey in places, and it bugged me visually. So I zzzz'ed it on my ravelry page. Really, I just pulled out the needles and closed it up into my acrylic yarn stash bin.

Then, I was fixing up my green tank. I finally got fed up with the 80's look that is tank straps sliding off my shoulders. Kelle helped me fix it after I had ripped back too far on the neckline, and together all the stray stitches were found. I reknit that ribbing part on size 2's. DK weight cotton yarn, Reynolds Saucy, to be exact.

But then, on my ever continuing quest to finish old projects, I plodded along to completion on a cotton fan stitch dishcloth. What a joy it was to bind off that puppy at knitting group yesterday.

Brings the tally to:
1- felted mancala (ran out of yarn, so I bought 3 new skeins of Cascade 220 at Borealis yesterday)
2-Owls 2
3-leaf lace shawl (need to find the pattern back, Noah, did you hide it?)
4-crocheted red heart bib
5-thrummed mittens (need to figure out the gauge, and rip them back for the 3rd time!)
6-stuff a bunny nugget and sew him closed and weave in last tails
7-Weave in tails for tank

Since I am going to the cabin again, and not driving this time, I plan to get a lot of this done in the car. Last time I drove both ways since mom was coming and DH was in CO.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

dishwasher canning

Noah and I were returning from meeting a friend at the park, and I overheard my neighbor across the street talking about canning. I heard that she was making her tomato sauce so it would be ready to use, instead of just canning the tomatos by themselves.

So we walked across the street, and I told her about my eavesdropping and learned her hints. She uses the dishwasher to heat her jars, then pulls a few out at a time and fills them, tops them, and continues. She said she's never had a problem doing it this way. So, I did a little more research online, and DH and I gave this system a go.

For whatever reason our dishwasher seemed to spend 2 hours washing the newly purchased jars and bands, and my spaghetti sauce bubble away, and reduced itself significantly by the time the jars were in their drying cycle.

Our kitchen currently holds our 4 quarts of sauce, and 1 quart of plain crushed tomatos. There was about 3/4 of a jar leftover of tomatos, not enough to can, so we will have to use them up in some tasty recipe this week.

OH, did I mention this was our first time canning on our own? Dh is waiting for the lids to pop downstairs. Hope it works!