Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Well, sort of. ;o)

I'm no longer dealing with constant nausea--now it's just moderate fatigue and the holidays and everything else. lol Ahhhh, life. I'm just glad I was able to overcome the association of nausea with knitting and pick up my needles again. It was only about a month ago, but it's good to have a few projects coming along.

So, we'll see how often I can do something meaningful here. I'm guessing not more than once a week, while DH and one of the older kids are at scouts. But, we'll see.

Hope you're all doing well, and that your holidays are wonderful and safe!

P.S.) I'm on Ravelry! Just look up PassionateMind, and you'll find me. See you there!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What a total crack up!

You've got to check this out. I think this bird has better rhythm than I do . . .

Let's Dance!

I'm off to visit some family, so blogging will be even more sporadic than the recent past (if that's possible! lol). Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Doin' the happy dance.

This was in my inbox just as I was trying to dash out the door Friday night:


frecklegirl has invited you to Ravelry!



Hey there,

frecklegirl has invited you to Ravelry!

Here you go! Thanks for your interest in our little site. Let me know if you have any questions or problems!

Jess


Yep. I now can login and see what the fuss is all about.

Except I haven't had time yet. :o\ I have cleaned the fridge today, though. That's definitely something, right? ;o)



Check it out . . . I can now see the sprouting seeds (they're all the way at the back of the top shelf) . . . one step closer to actually sprouting them. lol

Have a great one!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Good Tidings of the Season

No, I don't mean Christmas. (Although Costco already has their Yuletide merchandise out. Yikes.)

We've been doing a little festive decorating, some of which is shown here. First, you have the wreaths . . .




These are very simple to make. You buy a small grapevine wreath and a fall floral pick. Disassemble the pick, and then put it all on the wreath. This one has a few added birch leaves from the neighbor's tree.



The beauty of the floral pick route is that the composition is already made for you. A 59¢ wreath and a $1.39 pick (don't'cha love sales?), a few dabs of hot glue for the spots where the wire bases of the pick components don't suffice, and you're in business.

Here's the final product:



Not bad, if I do say so myself. The ribbon isn't wired, hence the pretty drape. (Ack--I've got to go fix that ribbon on the right!) It looks like a solid color, but it's really minute stripes of bright fall colors; red, yellow, orange, and even blue. It's really nifty up close.

I have visions of all kinds of seasonal wreaths hanging from that shelf . . . Christmastime wreaths with holly, ivy, evergreen branches and touches of gold; Winter wreaths with white, blue and silver, sparkling with iridescent glitter; Springtime with cheery pastel flowers and long blades of grass, and maybe a bird's nest or two; Valentine wreaths with sweet deep red rosebuds . . . and I could go on and on. ;o) And do you know where I got the idea? Her name was Lucy.

I used to see Lucy in old Lillian Vernon catalogs; you know, those thick little books that were Wal-Mart in your mailbox? I loved those things. They had strange things I'd never use, (t-shirts that read "Old Fart", or example), funny things (t-shirts that said "I may be Opinionated, but I'm Always Right!), lovable things (tiny dollhouse furniture, miniatures of just about everything--including a glow-in-the-dark nativity I bought in 6th grade), and those "never knew I couldn't live without it until I saw it in there" items like fuzzy foot warmers and change counting/sorting/rolling banks.

So, go out there and do something creative, will you? And if you already have, blog it, and send me a link. I'd love to see what the changing seasons have sparked in you!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Jugs

A la Isabelle, via Thimbelanna, via Cami.




Like Isabelle, I don't have a large collection. However, I have wanted to collect pitchers for some time. I love their shape and the incredible variety in which they appear.

The basin and pitcher on the left is a St. Helen's Ashware piece I found on the Oregon Coast. (No . . . as much as I would have loved to have found it on the beach, it was at a gift shop. ;o) I love the creamy brown swirls and the refined and feminine lines.

The pitcher on the right is a discontinued Noritake piece I found at a local craft faire. There were all kinds of fun found objects, old signs and antique books (of which I bought a few--can't resist beautifully bound, tiny books), and this beautiful china piece. I love the botanical transfer (the opposite side shows an olive branch; just beautiful), and the way the delicate handle manages to balance the mass of the jug itself by its wide sweep.

Oh, wait! I forgot one . . .



A mystery piece from eBay, I still love it.



I'm a sucker for form and line, and pitchers definitely have both. :o)

Maybe I'm Just Backward

I never really seem to want to clean in the Spring, when you're "supposed" to Spring Clean. Well, I mean, I do want to. I imagine sparkling windows and dust-free nooks and crannies, open windows and fresh air breezing through the house as I disturb all of the winter's accumulated dust.

But it's darn cold in the Spring.

This year, it stayed winter-jacket-needed-for-pulling-weeds-cold until June. June! (Needless to say, with the successive heat waves during July, August and early September, and the sudden onset of knife-edge crisp Autumn weather in mid-September, I'm feeling seriously gypped. Where did my mild seasonal transitions go? I got maybe six days total since January.)

While it's not quite as bitingly cold now, I at least have that programmed need for frenzy at this time of year. It's the time of year that you scurry around and get new clothes and shoes and coats and all for everyone before school starts since there are tons of great sales going on, and when you tidy up the yard, and don't have to mow anymore (Vern dearly loves this time of year ;o), and you can turn your attention to more indoors. Time to feather the nest, bring out the russet and deep orange and brown deckings. The forest around here turns a deeper green than summer, and the mountains start to show golden among the green.

And I start to feel like doing something again.

So here's what I did today:



Beautiful, isn't it?

What was that? . . . . Oh? . . . . You say you don't see anything but a builder-white corner of the ceiling? But that's it, darling. It's white!

While taking a damp rag to the wall (lower down, below the left side of the photo) in order to make sure it was ready for my oldest to get to work patching the myriad tie-tack holes and scratches he put there a while back (why is it that boys are so fascinated with how they can use new acquisitions to destroy customize their surroundings?), I got to looking around, and went after some cobwebs and dust up in the corner. And then I saw them.

Remember this? Yep. Teal strikes again. This time, it was small crayon strikes on the ceiling. Don't ask me how my oldest got them there . . . although I have my suspicions. (A nice, springy bed is directly underneath that very spot.) So, I spent some time with the Dawn and dish scrubber again, and got them off the ceiling.

As I was scrubbing, I realized the walls could use a wipe down, and so I got my trusty friend, and we went to work.



Yes, Swiffers are good for something other than sibling fights.

So, after attacking all the walls and wiping down the tops of the door trim (can I just say ICK!?), I'm feeling better, and I think it all looks better. Sure, you couldn't really see the dust before, but you would have been amazed at the color of the water after I rinsed out that brown washcloth you see above.

So, then I set the 8yo to work filling all of the holes and scratches. He seemed like he was doing pretty well, so I went on to other things. Namely, blogging. (It's good to sit after an upper body workout like I just did. ;o)



(lol. My almost-4-yo DS just came out looking worried and announced: "I jus' got smackle on my hand," holding out his left palm to show me a tiny white smudge. He then promptly went to "wash it wif LOTS of soap and wahter." Gotta love that little guy.)

So, as we've been trying to sell the house, and repeatedly scrambled to get ready for showings (of which we've had a fairly satisfactory number, considering the market) I've come to one solid conclusion: there's only one way to keep the house clean for any reasonable amount of time once I've finished.



Yep. (The TV went on to greener pastures, i.e. somewhere it will be watched.) The kids occasionally watch a DVD, or we have fun over at YouTube. Mostly, though, we listen to the radio on it. (Which is my favorite, because it doesn't interfere with blogging, et al. ;o)

And just so you're all reassured, I'm feeling better (finally!), and am beginning to get a hankering to knit on some socks. (As soon as I can look at the yarn without feeling nauseous, I'll be back in action.)

Monday, October 1, 2007

A trip back to the Playground

At least in politics, that is.

This morning, the feed update for Jane was a link to this. It's a review of her book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity. Feel free to go read the review, if you'd like. I'll wait . . .

I did leave a comment, but to save you the effort of scanning through all of them, here 'tis.

Funny, isn't it, how when someone is terribly, terribly good in the very area where our insecurities and hidden guilt lie, that we lash out at them? Derision and scorn are unbecoming, Ms. Hunt. Never once has Mrs. Brocket claimed perfection; nor has she ever made efforts to pretend to it. She has shared what she enjoys, and that in which she has chosen to excel.

The villification of women who choose a path counter to the modern, mainstream feminist ideal is so tiring, not to mention misdirected. Why not focus on feminist topics that will actually help women, instead of throwing punches at your own? Women like Brocket are not the enemy. Classification, the narrowing of what is acceptable for women to choose, condemnation of women who choose differently . . . those are the bane of modern women.

If Mrs. Brocket bothers you so much, it's clear that you have issues of your own that need addressing.



You know, Ms. Hunt's kind of "feminism" Really Bugs Me. The whole feminist movement began because women were restricted and tightly controlled by society. The supposed goal was to liberate women from the confines of social strictures, and allow them more freedom to pursue their talents and interests. It has been a seriously rough road, and I reap the benefits of decades of fighting for equality under the law and in the eyes of society. And yet there are still people who, like Ms. Hunt, villify women who make their own choices.

The second to last paragraph here states one of my most treasured truisms of my chosen path. I respect Jane's copyright, and her request to not be directly quoted, so please do follow the link and scroll down. Whether women choose to write, cook, drive truck, bake, knit, build houses, explore the sciences, teach higher math, or whatever other avenue is now open to all human beings regardless of sex, we shouldn't be derisive of one another. We each search for our own happiness in our own way . . . and it's clear that Hunt herself still has quite a bit of hunting to do before she finds her own peaceful destination.

Just for the record: Ravelry Update

I love being able to keep track of how far I am up the list over time, so here's another snapshot of where I am in line:

Found you!
  • You signed up on August 7, 2007
  • You are #23725 on the list.
  • 2883 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 14240 people are behind you in line.
  • 54% of the list has been invited so far
Hmmm . . . how long do you think it will be? A week? 10 days? Two months?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Still Dancin'

Found you!
  • You signed up on August 7, 2007
  • You are #23725 on the list.
  • 9550 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 9958 people are behind you in line.
  • 41% of the list has been invited so far
So, there have been about 1,500 invites a week since I last checked. That's better than when I last posted an update. If I remember right, there were fewer than 1,000/week then. The big reason for an update, though?

There are more people behind me in line now than are ahead of me. Woot! ;o)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Illogical, meddling women. (Sadly, they do still exist.)

In honor of my 100th post, I'm going to rant. ;o)

I belong to several Yahoo co-op groups, through which I'm able to afford good-quality raw materials to make things for my family. A co-op is a group of regular 'ol people, whether WAHM's (work-at-home-moms) or SAHM's (stay-at-home-moms) or whoever, who get together to go in on group orders from wholesalers in order to be able to better afford their products. Whether it's the amazing PureWool yarn (soft as cotton, that stuff!), or hemp french terry yardage for home made cloth diapers, or yummy cotton sherpa fleece for pj's for the munchkins, organic cotton bias tape and sewing thread or organic cotton sheeting yardage, they're mostly things that can't be found locally, and are just too expensive retail (if they can even be found). Many of the co-op members are WAHMs who have very small-time operations, and can't afford the minimums required by some manufacturers. (600 yards of custom-milled bamboo velour, anyone?) These co-ops are their business's life blood in a very literal way.

Some wholesalers/manufacturers allow co-ops, some don't. Some require a business license and allow pre-sales, and some don't. Some never ask either way, and don't care so long as you don't cause them a lot of trouble. I've run a couple of co-ops myself, and they're a lot of work. There are long wait times as you try to garner enough orders to meet wholesale minimums; and then wait times for shipping to the co-op hostess and for her to sort, package and send out all of the individual orders. (Not to mention wait times as individuals get their shipping payments in before their orders go out.) Co-ops are a viable way for those of us without two substantial incomes to have access to better quality products for our families, but they're not as convenient or simple as dealing with a traditional retail shop, whether online or brick and mortar.

There is a rather disheartening element to co-ops, though. They're called moles. Individuals who apply for membership to the co-op under false pretense (asking to join as though they'll actually participate in the co-op's orders), who then take the info available at the Yahoo group, and go ferret out the wholesale suppliers and harass them. Sometimes they harass them to offer wholesale prices to individuals and small orders, sometimes it's with the goal of discouraging co-op orders entirely. There have been Yahoo groups with hundreds of members which have shut down completely as a result of moles.

Sometimes they'll come out of hiding long enough to say a piece before disappearing from the group, or sometimes they'll tell the wholesaler or manufacturer that the co-op sales are hurting their businesses (this unfortunately has a fair bit of clout when they have a wholesale account and a live business). Here is my message (recently posted to a co-op I belong to) to those who go about this underhanded stuff, lying to group owners, harassing wholesalers, and knowingly messing with hundreds of people's legal and above-board business dealings.



Unless there's a solid way to document that the advent of a certain co-op has significantly and seriously altered the sales patterns of an established business, (which I seriously doubt), it's ludicrous to claim that a co-op has hurt the sales/income of any given business. Especially an internet business. First, the economy is such a vast and fathomlessly complicated mess that there's no way such causes and effects could be tracked with certainty. For pete's sake . . . even the "big economists" can't agree what causes what anymore. Who are small businesses to make a guess and say that because a certain Yahoo group co-op over there has run a certain co-op recently that it has anything to do with their recent sales? More than likely it was an internet rumor of bad customer service, or high shipping charges, or something along those lines. Something business-specific, not complete-customer-base-specific.

Now, if the Yarn Harlot ran a co-op on Dream in Color yarn, I could see that having an impact. But this co-op? C'mon. 423 members. That's nothing compared to the customer base for even most small-time businesses. Even if the co-op membership was more than an internet business' customer base, what are the odds that EVERY customer of that business would belong to the co-op? I can nearly promise you that there are a lot of places that the co-op members shop in common . . . but not all of us shop at the same places for the same things. No way. It's statistically impossible, not to mention just plain unlikely, barring a campaign. And if such a campaign exists, odds are it will exist for a reason, and said business should sit up and take notice.

The argument that we'd just go buy the co-op'ed products at our local yarn shops isn't sound, either. I don't have the funds to go buy that much yarn locally, even if I could get it locally. For the non-WAHM's around here, co-op'ing is often the only way that we can clothe our families in
much higher quality stuff than we otherwise could. Shutting down a co-op usually means that the money I would have spent on the co-op goes to a discount internet retailer of a similar product . . . not an online store selling the very same thing, or my LYS.

LYS's are competing with internet stores 24/7 . . . internet shops can offer lower prices on a regular basis, but there's shipping and sometimes sales tax to add on, as well as wait times. (I rarely order from Knit Picks because their shipping services are so abysmally slow or expensive. There's no good option there.) Then you can't really see or feel what you're buying, or return it easily if it doesn't work out. The concept of free or reasonably-priced swatch cards hasn't caught on yet, so there's a fair bit of risk involved in ordering online. LYS's can offer a community and support system of knitters or crocheters, and most internet shops just can't. (Besides, even with virtual forums, how many of you can knit and type and the same time?)

Those individuals who are out to shut down co-ops out of fear, or loyalty to some other retail establishment, have no sound defensible base for their actions. No solid way to prove that co-ops are actually hurting anyone's business, and only the red herring of chronology in their defense. And if there is anyone who believes that they do have such a defense please do let me know. I'd love to see it.

Businesses should stand on their own merits . . . not be supported by subterfuge and sabotage.

And to the business owners out there: quit treating your customers as adversaries and try courting us for a change. Businesses are a dime a dozen; it's customers that are the desired commodity. They've got what you want: money. Even if you have the products they want, they'll take their capital elsewhere if you make business transactions painful. (Have you read my Knit Picks rant yet? Do. I'll wait.) Don't do that to your customers. It takes a tremendous amount of back-pedaling and making-it-right to undo the bad taste left in a customer's mouth after something like that. You want prospective customers and happy current customers. Previous customers are really, really bad for your business.

Go read some Seth Godin. He doesn't deal with yarn or fabric . . . but he has innovative ideas on making a successful business, and is darn successful himself. The principles he writes about apply to business--not just to marketing or a specific product or industry. Or, if going to his website is too intimidating, just go straight to Small is the New Big, and read it.

{/end rant}

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Well enough to blog.

Hallelujah.

(Don't you just love that word? What beautiful spelling . . . )

Today was the first day of thyroid hormone supplementation, and it makes a noticeable difference. Isn't that great??? I'm still feeling a little icky, and needed a nap, and good meals, etc. But I made all the meals, put the kids to bed, did the dishes (all of them, even! lol), and still feel up to blogging. Now that's an accomplishment. A milestone. A miracle.

In other news, it seems like I've been cooking a lot lately. Maybe it's because I've been blogging the recipes. Who knows? I just know that, besides one batch each of pancakes, muffins & cookies in the last week, I've been making meals pretty much as usual over the past month or so. But it feels like more than that. Keeping track really does good things for my Mommy Morale.

So, in order to keep boosting said morale, here's some comfort food for your tired, late summer, cooling evenings.

________________*

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 lbs. Mr. Dell's shredded hash brown potatoes (nor organic, but just potatoes--nuthin' else.)
2 cans organic green beans, drained
~1 1/2 cups frozen organic corn (or one can, drained)
2 cans Amy's Kitchen organic cream of mushroom soup
1/4 can Nature Valley organic half & half
3/4 can Almond Milk (or whatever kind of milk/milk substitute you use)
RealSalt garlic salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Pour a generous amount of olive oil in the bottom of a big electric skillet. (I have this one. I've even left a review, under the pseudonym "The Passionate Mind".) Add the potatoes, green beans and corn and mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soup and milk well. Pour over the potato mixture, and turn the skillet on to about 250 and cover. Once it has been simmering for a while, stir it around and scrape the places where it tends to stick over the heating element. Repeat every 5-10 minutes, depending on your skillet.

When the potatoes are done, but still have their shape, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

This is serious comfort food . . . simple, filling, and satisfying. The only thing that could make it better is a little spicy sausage of some kind. (We like Shelton's turkey sausage.)

Have a great night!


*(I don't have a name yet. Anybody wanna make one up?)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Antsier

Antsy-er? More Antsy?

Just over a week since I last checked, and only 1,000 invites have been extended.

Found you!
  • You signed up on August 7, 2007
  • You are #23725 on the list.
  • 12592 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 6422 people are behind you in line.
  • 36% of the list has been invited so far
Last time, there were 13,590 ahead of me in line. I'm guessing that the switchover to the grown-up servers and big data center setup aren't going as smoothly as planned . . . Casey posted to the Unraveled blog that they were planning on inviting 5,000 new folks by now.

So, it's okay. I can be patient, because I'm still not knitting. ;o)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

For all of us with children.

This eBay auction is a total crack up. And the winning bid shows just how much eBayers liked it!

In other news, I'm still here, and still not feeling too well. Maybe I'll have a contest to see if anyone can guess why. Hmmmm . . .

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Recipe for Monday: Spanish Rice Bean Dip

Quick, easy & reasonably healthy. (My favorite combo. ;o)

Preheat your oven to 350F.

~2-3 cups white Jasmine rice, cooked.
1/2 lg. can Herdez Salsa Casera (labelled "Hot," but it varies widely; usually between mild & medium. YMMV.)
1 lg. can Rosarita Homestyle refried beans
~ 1/2 packet Taco Seasoning (no MSG, sugar, soy stuff, anti-caking agent, or similar)
1 can Ortega mild fire roasted chopped green chiles
3/4 can black olives (I use Natural Value w/o ferrous gluconate)
4 oz. cheddar cheese (Greenbank Farms raw organic cheddar)


Spread the rice on the bottom of a 9" x 13" Pyrex. Spoon the salsa over it and combine well.

Open the can of beans and mash with a fork until it's softened up, then daub it evenly over the rice & sala. You want to try to preserve the layers, so don't mash the beans in hard, but try to get an even layer. My bean layer was lumpy and didn't completely cover the rice/salsa, but it was even overall.

Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly over the beans. Don't overdo it. 1/2 packet is tons.

Sprinkle the drained green chilies (all but about 1 teaspoon) over the beans.

Drain the olives and mash them with your fingers as you sprinkle them over the beans. Trust me on this one--they taste different when you break them up with your hands than when you cut them with a knife or egg slicer.

Grate the cheese over it all, and spread evenly.

Take a dinner fork and, holding it sideways, use the edge of the fork to push the cheese down into the layers. You're going for some incorporation here, but don't want to totally mix everything together. Level out the top and push the edges back down (they have a tendency to creep up as you're working near them), and put the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and possibly a green salad. (I didn't do the salad today, but it would be good with some jalapeƱo ranch, garden-fresh tomatoes and pignolias . . . )

Now, I know you're thinking: "I've got regular white rice; I can just use that." No! You really can't. The Jasmine rice gives this a subtle flavor that is out of this world. Put 1 c. Jasmine rice to each 1 1/4 c. water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. (Or boil for 15, turn off heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.) I had leftovers in the fridge, which is the easiest way to make this. So, just cook up a big batch the day before to eat with stir fry or some good Kim Chee, and you'll have leftovers ready to go for the bean dip. ;o)

Sorry I don't have a photo . . . it only occurs to me to post recipes after they've all been eaten; they've got to prove themselves, y'know?

Any questions?

Have a good one!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Antsy

Just for kicks . . . here's where I am in the Ravelry queue:

Found you!
  • You signed up on August 7, 2007
  • You are #23725 on the list.
  • 13590 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 4506 people are behind you in line.
  • 35% of the list has been invited so far
I wonder what the percentage will read next week? At this rate, I've only got a month to go. Woo-hoo! :o)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Sad Development

Well, since I came down with that bug, knitting makes me motion sick.

Yep.

If I knit more slowly, it's not as bad, but it's still no fun. Booger.

The last time this happened, it took a few months to wear off before I could knit again, so I'm going to take it easy and try to satisfy my crafty need with sewing. The kids do need a few things, so it's not all bad. My fabric stash has been sorely neglected, after all. The last time this happened I pushed it and kept knitting, and it seemed like such a long time before I could bear to even look at my stash. (Shocking, I know!)

However, that doesn't mean that some stash enhancement won't continue. Just today I managed to pick up a few skeins of PureWool's new 3-ply in some very, very pretty colorways. (And it was a great deal, too. :o) I'll share photos when they arrive. There's just enough for a couple of small projects, so I'll know how much I really "need" when the new co-op opens up on the first of September.

Knitting content to resume in a couple months or so. {Fingers Crossed}

Wish me luck!

Recipe for Monday: Killer Guilt-free Smoothies

The latest creation:

1 can pineapple chunks (the largish one)
1 bag frozen mango chunks (about 12 oz.)
1/2 bag frozen raspberries (about 8 oz.)
~1 1/2 c. Pacific Organic vanilla oat milk

Put the ingredients in your Vita-Mix or smoothie maker in the order listed. (If you're using a regular blender, you'll probably need to let the fruit thaw some before blending.) Use the tamper (if your machine has one) to push the frozen stuff down into the blades and stop when it's all processed well. With a Vita-Mix, be sure to not over process, 'cause it'll melt it.

These are dairy- and gluten-free, and full of great fiber, vitamins and such. The oat milk makes it taste creamy and rounds out the taste without dairy and all of its attendant allergenic concerns.

This makes a great meal with a batch of homemade* muffins (like Amy's Tropical Muffins) or sandwiches.

*Speaking of homemade, did you know that it's not allowed to bring homemade cookies/cupcakes/et al to some schools? Being homeschoolers, we're blissfully ignorant of a lot of what goes on in the local schools . . . but I was surprised to learn that one from a neighbor. What is the world coming to?

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Still alive . . .

Between Blogger totally messing with my photos, and being under the weather for a while, things have been pretty quiet around here, haven't they?

I'll be back . . . honest. ;o) I've just got to get my feet under me again.

Anybody want to come be "Mom" in my place while I convalesce? lol

Have a great night . . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

How many does it take?

How many forum members does it take to change a light bulb?

1 to change the light bulb.

1 to post that the light bulb has been changed.

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

53 to flame the spell checkers.

6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb" ... another 6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive.

2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is "lamp".

15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that "light bulb" is perfectly correct.

156 to email the participant's ISPs complaining that they are in violation of their "acceptable use policy".


109 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb forum.

203 to demand that cross posting to hardware forum, off-topic forum, and lightbulb forum about changing light bulbs be stopped.

111 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this forum.

306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

27 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

14 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URLs.

27 to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

33 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too".

12 to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.

19 to quote the "Me too's" to say "Me three".

4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ.

44 to ask what is a "FAQ"?

4 to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"

143 to say "do a search on 'light bulbs' before posting questions about light bulbs".

1 new forum member to respond to the original post 6 months from now and to start it all over again.


*This is one of those "Author Unknown" funnies full of timeless truths that circulates around the internet, and pops back up from time to time. While I would have loved to thought this up myself, I didn't write it, and send kudos to whoever did.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sob

So, back in early May when I read Amy's blog post about Ravelry, I went over to the Ravelry site and added myself to the waiting list. When I read Melanie's post today, announcing that she received her invite, I went over to check my progress.

I'm not there.

No email address of mine showed up. Zippo. Nada. In desperation I added my email. That's three months I could have been on the waiting list. At the Unraveled blog today, the waiting list count is 15,422. That "2" at the end is me. (On the "antsy" status-checker page, it says I have 15,421 people ahead of me.) So, at roughly 1200/week (according to Ravelry's Casey), I've only got 12.85 weeks to go. {sob}


I'm being a big girl about it, but it's hard.





At least I can still knit . . .



Er, I mean, at least I can still knit . . .



Oops, that wasn't it, either . . . Maybe this?



Fiddlesticks. Ummmm . . .



I mean, at least I can still knit . . .



This is getting embarassing. One last time.

At least I can still knit!



Ahhh. There it is. ;o)

Monday, August 6, 2007

My Mood Today . . .

Prompted by a visit to The Knit Farm.


Click here to create your own painting.


Actually, that's pretty much how I'm feeling about now. It feels good to look at it. :o)

Maybe I'll hang it on my wall . . .

Friday, August 3, 2007

Recipe: Rockin' Fast Pesto Pizza

Rockin' Fast Pizza

1 ~12" Kamut Pizza crust (I buy them all cooked and beautiful from my local health food store.)
1 can Natural Value green olives (just as good as the more expensive varieites)
1/2 lb. cooked ground turkey with onions
1/3 c. pesto
2+ c. grated cheddar & mozzarella cheese

Spread the pesto on the pizza crust, then add the turkey & onions, followed by the olives (I crush them in my fingers as I take them out of the can. Must faster than cutting or slicing with the egg slicer). Sprinkle the cheese liberally on top, and put it under the broiler on low for about 3-5 minutes. Watch it closely . . . we almost had a burnt offering instead of pizza, had I been even 30 seconds slower today. ;o)

Bonus: Word of the Day

Pestocide: n. 1) Death by pesto.

Have a great weekend!

Love my Laceweight

Sorry to make you wait so long for a finished photo!

As the baby is fond of saying: Da-Da!



There's no blue in it . . . it's really dark dark dark purple with shades of burgundy. The red filter strikes again . . . and ain't no way I can bring that red back. It looks lousy when I try. ;o) Use your imagination . . . .

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adding beads to knitting.

Well, as I tried to think of a clearer way to explain adding beads to knitwork, I realized it was a losing battle. So, I went for the 1,000,000,000,000 word approach. Video.

Without further ado, here 'tis.



I know there's no sound . . . it took me several tries to do it this smoothly. When I'm just knitting on my own, I have no trouble. When the camera's going, I'm all jittery. I figure it speaks loudly enough on it's own, though. ;o) This is hosted over at Google Video, (click here to go to it there), and if you'd like to put it in your blog, or email a link to a friend, that's fine with me. I do ask that you include a link to my blog if you do so. Thanks so much.

So, does that make more sense now, CCR? Hope so. :o)

I'm off to get dinner ready so I can go knit tonight. It has almost been a MONTH since I've been to the Tuesday UFO night, and I'm ready to get back into it.

Have a good one!

Monday, July 30, 2007

The rest of the color story.

Sorry to leave you all hanging like that. (Well, all three of you. ;o)

When faced with that much Black Cherry gone (seven packets!), and a still-magenta-yarn staring at me, I started sifting through what little I understand about color.

Then, I remembered this. Byron Pickering is one of Vern's favorite artists, and we actually stopped by to see him on one of our trips out to the Oregon coast. Byron and his wife were wonderful to talk with, and it was incredibly neat to see some of Byron's originals on display in his home. Before Pickering began painting the ocean, he went every day and watched it . . . for a year. 365 days. Just watching and taking it all in. It's apparent from his work that he really knows how Northern Pacific, and I love looking at his work. But, back to dyeing . . .

I remembered about using complements in order to get the color one wants. Black Cherry wasn't giving me what I wanted, so I had a daring thought: add green.



Wait! Won't that make brown?



Yep.



That's what I wanted. A little brown in that magenta to take the bad 80's memories out of the color for me.



(It's hard to use the sun when it has set . . . ;o)

And here's what happened. (The "morning after" shot.)



Not bad, eh? I apologize profusely for the glaring white background. That's morning sun on my white tub. The yarn dried hung on a plastic-wrapped broom handle.

One skein is very much lighter than the others, and it's back in the dyebath tonight, trying to darken it up a little.

Witness:



We'll see what happens. I tried dyeing them all together so they would be the same color . . . but next time I'm going to dye one skein at a time and take notes so I can reproduce the color on the others. ;o)

And now I need to stop being a bad girl and go finish cleaning up dinner. Have a great night!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Little boys and literature.

I love to read. I always have. Books seemed such magical things to me--I read through the entire juvenile section of my little rural county library before I turned 12, and haven't looked back since. The sheer availability of reading material on the internet is seriously addictive for me--I have to watch very carefully the time I spend reading at the laptop. Vern is the same way. I can't imagine not being able to read, or not reading. I look forward to the day when the kids aren't so little and I can spend more serious time reading actual books . . . good, long, excellent books to savor and enjoy.

My oldest has always turned into a pile of whining jello when I've tried to encourage him to read. Tonight, after I had the three younger ones in bed, a new synaptic pathway flashing into existence and I said: "You may stay up later than the other kids if you read. If you don't, then you'll need to go get in bed." His face lit up and he started right at it. He's sitting on the couch right now, reading away--sometimes to himself, sometimes aloud--and it's beautiful. Just beautiful.



I'm thinking this could be the start of something wonderful. :o)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fun in the Sun

It has been pretty hot here. Not as hot today as earlier in the week, but still hot enough to encourage me to stay inside. So, I decided to make the sun work for me.

Here are three skeins of Shimmer (70% Baby Alpaca, 30% Silk) from Knit Picks. I actually got it on eBay, and thought that it was all shades of blue, not blue/gray/white. I haven't been able to figure out what to do with it as is, because I really don't like the color. But today, while I spent hours steam cleaning carpets, I mulled over over-dyeing it with either red or yellow. I opted for red, as you can see. Black Cherry, actually.



Here's the new swift, btw. It arrived in today's mail, and handily wound the top skein in the photo above. (That's what the 5th dowel is for.) It works very well, and I would recommend one as a good swift for the price. It has only one coat of stain on it (the wood grain is still raised), so I'm thinking about staining it either dark cherry or near-black. I'm leaning toward the black. But, we'll see. (MS3 included for scale.) I might just need to buy another one in a larger size . . . we'll see how different skeins of yarn work on it. This swift has 24" arms. (That means they extend 12" from the center.)



Here's the yarn in a nice vinegar bath in the sink. This stuff had an astonishing amount of air in it. It floated like a cork, and had to be ever so gently pushed down and the air squeezed out against the bottom of the sink. It took quite a bit of persuasion before the stuff didn't want to float, and then even more before it was saturated.



And here it is, sitting comfortably in the dye bath. That's just one packet of Kool Aid in a 10 quart enamel stock pot. I might do another dye bath if this doesn't end up dark enough, but it looked awfully dark when I had it all mixed in. I shudder to think that I drank untold packets of this stuff back at school . . . I wonder what happened to all of that food dye . . .



And here is the dye pot, basking in the golden glow of the afternoon sun along with the Yarrow.



And here's what I've been taking blog photos with the last couple of days. It's very cool--the only thing it doesn't do better than my Olympus is zoom--and it's hard to beat a 10x optical zoom when you've only got 3.8x. But this baby starts up in less than a second, takes shots a whole lot faster, has a macro focus of just about an inch (opposed to the Oly's 3"), and has excellent battery life. I'm glad that Vern's sharing his new toy. (And that he doesn't take it to work! lol :o)



And now, we wait for the sun . . .

Still dyeing . . .

Seven packets of Black Cherry and I have deep bright purple, magenta, and intense pink.

Thinking . . .

It was Cami's idea . . .

The quiz, that is.

Your Life Path Number is 7

Your purpose in life is to find truth and meaning

You are very spiritual, and you are interested in the mysteries of life.
You are quite analytical and a great thinker. You have many theories and insights.
A life of solitude is perfect for you. You need time to think and do things your way.

In love, you are quite charming. You attract many with your confidence and wit.

While you enjoy being alone, sometimes you take it to an extreme.
You can become too isolated, shutting out loved ones and friends.
Express yourself a little bit more, and you'll be surprised where it takes you!

Really, that's pretty darn close. There are other facets of my personality that aren't covered, but it hits all of the big ones. While I don't believe that astrology can predict the future, it's a surprisingly accurate documentation of the patterns of our emotional relationship to the rhythms of our environment.

I really do look for the truth behind things I learn or experience; to see how it fits in with other things I already accept as true, or to see how new experiences necessitate an alteration of the way I see things. The spirituality thing is also dead on. I don't talk about it much (I'm pretty reserved, remember? ;o), but that's mostly because those things are so very sacred to me. It's not something I'll often drop in casual conversation, but is reserved for times and places when I know that those things won't be made light of, or ridiculed.

Right now we live in a rural area, in an anomaly of a small subdivision. I have a great view of a pasture and forest from my living room, but all around me are other homes and other people. Even with exceptionally large lots (most are about an acre), I feel pretty closed in.

I'm also right dab-smack in the middle of learning to express myself more. It has come as a bit of a rude awakening to Vern, (for the first five years of marriage, I didn't much), but he has proven that he's worth every last bit of love and devotion I give him by only respecting and valuing me more. I feel like I'm just now beginning to understand my own needs, and how to balance them with the needs of my family and others around me. Learning to say no has been a huge leap forward; along with consciously deciding to no longer be "busy" like everyone else.

Thanks, Cami. That was fun. :o)

So, today is going to be a good one . . . not because the stars said so, but because I decided on it when I woke up this morning. ;o)

Make it a good one!

Friday, July 27, 2007

In Living Color

Still not as pink as real life . . . I wish that I could turn off the built-in red filter that pretty much all terrestrial cameras have. (High-end Astronomy digital cameras don't have the red filter--and boy, do you ever pay for it!)



Here is the set of Hawaiian sea blue markers I made. (And I'm keeping these! lol Modelled by the baby herself. Not too shabby, eh?)



Still prettier in real life . . . but I hope you get the idea. These are so much fun to use. :o)



Maybe this is better . . .



Now, I'm going to go take care of a few mundane things and do some knitting if it kills me. ;o)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bead Happy

I need to stop. This is seriously eating into my knitting time.

Here is most of a set I made a while back. The colors are really a pretty mauve/purple there in the middle, with the one on the right a dark mauve purple, and the four on the left irridescent dark burgundy. (I've gotta get me some medium gray background material. This brown stuff is horrible!) But be that as it may, I just love these little markers. They're teeny tiny, and only fit up to a US6; but I still love them.



Here's the roaming marker in that set. (Please ignore the fingerprint on the bead! lol)



One of the tonal blue set I made at the same time. (Ugh. Brown stuff must go. That seed bead is a wonderful, irridescent amber. Not whatever color that is.) This set has cobalt and deep periwinkle markers. I love making big sets of stitch markers with some variety. They're so fun to see hanging all together.



Oh, and here's the WIP they're all on. It's Knitting Daily's Summer Shawlette. (If you can't see the pattern, it means you need to get with the program and sign up for Knitting Daily already. ;o) That's Nature Wool in a wonderful garnet colorway on 6mm KP Options. (US10.) I wish I had bought a Whole Lot More when I got that single skein. We'll see if it's enough to make a full shawlette, or just a wide, crescent-shaped scarf.



And, meanwhile, my sweet MS3 waits patiently, cozying up behind the Nature Wool. (I feel a little funny posting photos of blurred charts--it's like there's nudity to hide! ;oP)



Just when you thought my bead frenzy was over, what did I do tonight instead of knitting on MS3?

I made more . . .



I'm going to take some better photos in natural light. These are light baby pink. Wonderful, make you smile, girly pink; and two barely distinguishable light lavender cubes tossed in for variety. You can see the roaming marker, as well as the round marker with the fun dangle. The fringe beads on that dangle are irridescent light purple . . . pretty enough to make you cry. So, have some hankies ready for tomorrow's post. ;o)

And lastly, this is what I saw out of my window tonight, and then walked barefoot in the cool grass to catch.



I just love poofy pink sunsets. Don't you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday . . .

to me!

(Okay, so it's 5 weeks and 6 days late, but I'm not complaining!)

Vern surprised me today by pinging me on MSN with: "Your swift is on it's way."

Check out the little video there at the bottom of the listing. Go ahead, I'll still be here. ;o)

Did you see how smoothly that baby turns? How it bounces back when the yarn hits a snag? Hallelujah, I've seen the light (at the end of the ball-winding tunnel)! This morning when I was fighting with my birch Joann swift, I vowed I would never use it again. And I won't. eBay, here it comes. (I'd never curse any of my blog readers with such a stubborn, stiff hindrance to knitting!) Now, before you start thinking that Vern is psychic (he does know a little about knitting, and saw my frustration this morning), I had pinged him a few minutes earlier with a link to that auction, as a friendly hint. I didn't think for a second he'd actually do it, though. He usually thinks things over for a day or three before making any kind of purchase. :o) Woo-hoo!

So, in a few days, I'll be winding all by my lonesome, instead of with several children helping me. (I'd run the old swift, while one child pre-tensions the yarn, another cranks the ball winder, and a third chants: "Mommy, is it my turn yet?" while the baby laughs and babbles and points her little chubby finger at the lot of us.)

In other news, despite the ball winding fiasco this morning, I didn't get any knitting done today. I did, however, make these (along with three meals and a little laundry and misc everyday stuff). First, a family photo.



Yep. Stitch markers. Four sets of which were made today. The sets are either five or six markers, in Not-so-wee (up to a 16mm needle), usual (up to 6mm) and Wee (up to 4mm) sizes. The two sets of purple ones are jumbo sized, with five markers each, one of which coordinates but stands out, for knitting in the round. The olive set is designed for lace, with six markers in Wee size, with one center stitch marker (it has a clasp that is easily repositionable), and one marker with a fun little drop on the bottom for marking the beginning of a round (you know, for all of the mobiuseseses you knit). You can see it there on the left of the green bunch.



Up next is a semi-precious gemstone set (read: fancy polished rocks) in Not-so-wee. I figure since a US17 needle is 12mm, these should work just fine for just about everyone. (Note: if you regularly knit with, say, size 35 needles, I think I might even be able to come up with something. ;o) The square rocks are Autumn Jasper (one of my absolute favorites), followed by assorted tumbled agate/adventurine/marble/whatever nugget drops, and some Swarovski crystals tossed in for good measure.



And last up, a set designed by my 7yo DS.



Not too shabby, eh? He stacked the beads and bent the headpins, I cut & curled & linked the rest. It was hard to keep him from taking off and designing thirty more sets while I was working on this one . . . that boy has a good eye for color. I never would have put the red seed beads with that turquoise--too daring. Too intense. Too bold for the woman who loves soft, soothing colors. (Witness the sweet purple, above?) But I really ended up liking these. There's no way I can keep them, though, because the little capitalist knows that these are destined for my LYS for resale, and he wants his cut. ;o) We'll see how it goes.

And now, I'm off to get ready for bed, and try to sneak in a few rows of Clue #2 before I crash.

Sweet knitterly dreams to you all . . .