Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I think I'll take up crochet...

...because DH's birthday is coming up and I just know he'd jump at the chance to wear one of these. I mean really, who wouldn't, when something can make you so obviously happy?

Just one of my finds from the Great Upstairs Clean-out of 2009 while I was down at Mom's last week. I have a prize for the reader who can guess the year this pattern was published. I won't tell you what it is yet. But I can promise you it will be knitted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

In freak of nature, 45-year-old turns 13

You'd think I'd be past it by now...this business of feeling like an adolescent, expecting to break out in bouts of acne and attitude at any moment.

I'm off to spend a week with my Mom, working on projects around the house that she can no longer see to do. Each time I make these trips back to the ranch solo, I feel as though I immediately revert back to that awkward teenager. The "ahh, to be a kid again" sentiment doesn't apply to me, I guess. It's a strange phenomenon, vaulting back through the years. Things are certainly different now: Dad's gone (has been for almost 25 years), the animals are gone, and Mom's the one who needs care now; not the child. And yet, she still manages to wield that Mom-ness that has me flipping between "it's good to be back home" and a bad burst of back-talk.

I doubt I'm unique. I suspect most women go through this at one time or another. You tell me. I'm just saying it's weird, and I'm not wild about the feeling. On the flip side, though:
  • I'll get a few days of digging through the old fabric stash. Who knows? Maybe I'll find some "vintage" stuff from my high school days. Ouch.
  • I'll get to run Sophie all over the ranch (one of her favorite things on the planet).
  • And I'll get to stare at this out the front window (one of my favorite things on the planet).
Maybe it will be good to be a kid again. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Waste not, want not...or not

From Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Never Not Knitting" Page-a-Day calendar.

Another of my March resolutions: de-stash. How is it possible, you wonder, that a person who has only been knitting for little more than a year could even have a stash? Well, it's like this: As a fledgling knitter, I bought stuff that wouldn't break the bank so that I wouldn't feel guilty if it didn't turn into what it was supposed to turn into. The now-more-mature, one-year-old knitter realizes this was a silly idea. I've become fairly proficient at tinking and frogging (more than I care to admit), so have been able to scrap patterns and start on new ones with the same yarn. And, I've learned what a joy it is to work with good yarn.

Noro Kureyon, colorway 95

Then, there's the yarn that my Mom bestowed on me after a massive closet cleaning, overjoyed at the fact that her baby had taken up knitting. She was a crocheter (before her eyes succumbed to macular degeneration)...a frugal crocheter, raised during the depression. While she made beautiful baby blankets, sweaters and wedding afghans, she made nearly all of them from 100% acrylic. Of course, back in the 70's and 80's there wasn't the mind-boggling array of fiber that we enjoy today, so I have to cut her some slack. Thinking I could put it to good use on some charity items (baby hats to hospitals, etc.), I took the stuff. Another silly idea. Oh, I still plan to use a bit of it for baby hats, but for the last year most of it has done nothing more than take up space in my closet. Obviously, when it came time to start a new project, the budding yarn aficionado in me would reach for something else. So, most of it will see charity in a different way...as a donation of yarn.

So this month, I've put a moratorium on buying any new yarn, requiring myself to knit what I have. Except for that little bit of Dream in Color Classy in Beach Fog I picked up on ebay last weekend. Using gift credit doesn't really count as buying, does it?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Unfortunately, Polly isn't a perfect creation...

Because it's Sunday and I lost an hour of sleep last night, I'm being lazy. So, with a nod to Melissa, via Kathi D, via, via, via...

The "unfortunately" meme: go to Google, type your name and the word unfortunately in quotations, and share the results.

Unfortunately, Polly will not be able to make finals.
I always hated finals, so I'm OK with that.

Unfortunately, Polly isn’t planning on writing a sequel.
Kind of difficult to plan on that when the first book has yet to be conceived.

Unfortunately, Polly is not included with this play set but three of her friends are...
You want the big dogs, you have to pony up.

Unfortunately, Polly isn't a perfect creation and she dances faster and faster until she is out of control and ends up off the dance floor.
Well, I never claimed to be perfect. But obviously, someone's been watching at those wedding receptions...

, Polly, who happens to have a problem keeping her clothes on...
Now that's just not true.

Unfortunately, Polly is silly enough to believe them!
My full name does not include anna...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Top five reasons I'm glad it's March

  • It's no longer February. February has always been my least favorite month of the year. Dark. Brr.
  • Spring Training is underway. Go Giants! Go Red Sox! (Yes, I have dual loyalties. I'm a National League girl at heart, but I also have to root for our hometown--home region?--boy, Jacoby Ellsbury . This drives my dyed-in-the-wool-third-generation-Giants-Fan brothers NUTS.)
  • Daylight Saving Time begins. More day at the end of the day.
  • St. Patrick's Day. Hey, 1/4 Irish is still Irish. I actually like corned beef and cabbage.
  • Spring officially begins on the calendar. Which means only another couple of months until it reaches Central Oregon...but a girl can dream, can't she?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Every 56 days

That's how often you can help save a life. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every 2 seconds. Think about that! Even more amazing to me: just 5% of eligible Americans donate on a regular basis. Until recently, I'd fallen into the other 95%...it had been 19 years since my last donation (the look on the volunteer's face when I handed them my old card was comical...you'd have thought it was in heiroglyphics. "I've never seen one this old."). I can't explain what kept me from donating after that first time in 1989...it wasn't as though I'd made a conscious decision not to donate. I just simply didn't do it.

Thankfully, that has changed, and I made a resolution this year that as long as I'm eligible, I'll give as frequently as allowed. It's painless (this, coming from someone who quakes at needles and the sight of blood), it only takes an hour, it could save someone's life, and you get free cookies. I love cookies.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In stitches

It's been a fabric-and-fiber-filled couple of weeks, and I've been stitching like a madwoman. My knitting group is making a blanket to donate to charity, so I bought a skein of Cascade 220 Heathers (in colorway Kansas) and went to town on some squares.

Our daughter's friend had their first child...last November. How embarrassingly late can I be with a gift? At least she's not walking yet. Thank goodness. This is her Sweet Dreams Pillow.

And lastly, my nephew/godson and his wife are expecting their first baby in May, and the shower is next weekend. They're expecting a girl. No, seriously.

I'm still scrubbing the rust off where sewing is concerned, but I'm getting back into the groove and it feels good.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Dinner For Eight Dilemma

A couple of years back, we were invited to join a dinner group. Those who know me know that I'm not a chef. I'm barely a cook. I love to cook, but am only secure when following a recipe. I rarely venture into "I wonder what would happen if I put some _____ in this dish?"...my comfort zone doesn't really reach that far. And, for some reason it seems I can use every pot and utensil in the kitchen to boil water. So, as you can imagine this has been a great learning experience for me. Here's how it works:

Once every three months--give or take--we'll get together at one of our homes, open some wine and see what we've turned out. The host picks out the menu--based on a theme--and assigns a dish to each couple. We've discovered some terrific recipes, and have had themes on:
  • Oktoberfest
  • Hawaiian
  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Cranberries (each dish used cranberries in some way)
  • A touch of gold (everything on the menu had to have a hint of yellow/gold)
When my turn came around to pick the menu last year, I decided I wanted to learn to cook Thai. Never had, and neither had anyone in the group. It ended up being one of our favorites. Here are the dishes, with links to all recipes (conveniently gathered from the web) in case you'd like to give any of them a try.

Appetizer: Best Spring Rolls, courtesy Darlene Schmidt
Salad: Rick's Thai Cucumber Salad, courtesy Rick Scott
Entree: Thai Red Chicken Curry, courtesy TheKnackeredChef
Dessert: Thai-style Creme Caramel, courtesy Darlene Schmidt

Now for my dilemma: It's my turn again. I need a theme. Anybody?