Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's Off To Work I Go

I have been dealing with the terrible syndrome of procrastinationits at work. Every morning I think, I'm going to go in to the office and get some of these nagging little projects done and be superproductive.

And then I get there, do a few things, the ASAP things and surf the internet the rest of the day. I go through this every year about this time. I just don't want to work. I'd rather be at home nesting. While I am at work all I do is think about the things I could be doing if I was at home.

Now, before you think I'm milking the clock, I own my own CPA firm and I get the job done. It's just that this time of the year there is little to keep me busy. Just a few deadlines here and there and a lot of little things that really aren't interesting or hard but have to be done, even halfway.

But not today my friends! I awoke with the thought that I do every morning. I will be on task all day long! And today I am going to actually do it. So, today there will be no blogs, personal email, or youtube on company time. Ok, to be honest I'm cringing a little but I'm going to give it the best I've got. I may check back in on my lunch break to give you an update. Crazy and wild life I lead right? Forcing myself to work and writing about it.

EDIT:: I (mostly) did it. Stayed productive all day and there were several times I had to force myself onto the next. I'm not promising myself anything for tomorrow. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I could be a homesteader

After obsessing about it while at work, reading whatever google would produce under "grape jelly" I jumped in. I went ahead and purchased a water bath canner and some jars, printed out visual instructions and made my own grape jelly. Unfortunately, the grapes from the farm didn't produce enough juice to match my recipe. I decided that I am not experienced enough (ha!) to fiddle with the recipe so I went ahead and bought 100% grape juice with no additives from the store to take care of the short fall. Before researching I had no idea you could make your own jelly from store bought grape juice. So half the grapes in my jelly are local and the other half have traveled the world.
Canning is time intensive but I didn't realize how much time went by until I was finished. It took me about 2 hours to make 11 half pint jars. I tasted it before canning and it is yummy. It was not hard and most of my time was waiting for things to boil. Thanks to my blog friends who have been showing off your canning skills. It was what I needed to jump in. I thought crept into my head, "These would be so nice to give as gifts." Then I cringed from the thought. I want to hoard the grape jelly all for myself. It may take me a few more canning sessions before I stop being selfish and am able to give away my own hard work.
Oh and here is a picture of breakfast. Using my new fab cookbook, I made pancakes British style. They are like a thick crepe, dusted with powder sugar and a blob of whipping cream on top. Traditionally, they are served with a squeeze of lemon and powder sugar. My version was sooo good. I loved the cream on top. It melted and was heavenly.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Thanks to my new favorite cookbook I have cooked tons of cool stuff this week. Well, as cool as tortillas are.
So far we've made:
  • Baked apples
  • Tomato & Basil Salad
  • Tortillas
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Soda bread
  • Strawberry smoothies
  • Cheesecake

I have the ingredients to try my hand at yogurt and cream cheese. Can you tell I've read through the flour and dairy chapters? One of my favorite things about this books is that you don't need equipment. No food processors or anything like that.

In our CSA basket yesterday we received leeks, apples, tomatoes (just a few), various hot peppers, and grapes. Grapes! I've got to find a jelly recipe or something. I've also got to figure out how to pit them. If you know anything about grapes, grape recipes, or jellies please let me know.

Oh to be retired so I could knit and cook all day...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bragging Again!

Yes, I'm bragging again but after 16 years of being the only one who cooks around here I am loving the new interest by the boy.

This is what I found in my new cookbook, The River Cottage Family Cookbook.

In case it's hard to see, that is a paper doll with the words Cook Me on it. A subtle hint that someone wanted cheesecake. How could I resist? A request out of the book I've been carrying around all weekend!

I had planned on making it after dinner, but he jumped into it before I got the chance.

This cheesecake was 100% produced by the 11 year old. How awesome is that? I didn't have to cook it and it is really good. I mean really good. I have no idea how he does it but it is even better than what I make.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Lions Trash Bag Day

Joy #2 and I got up early Saturday morning to do a little community service. Our city gives trash bags twice a year to it's residents. Some smartie who worked for the city and was a member of the Lions club approached the city and proposed to have the Lions club deliver trash bags as community service and a fund raiser. We (the Lions club) deliver all the bags in one day for the city. The city in return doesn't have to pay their crews overtime to get the bags delivered or add additional duties to the already busy city workers. It used to take them 3 weeks. And since they all go out on the same day it is easy to determine if someone got overlooked or their bags taken. The city pays us around $4,000 a delivery ( we deliver around 16,000 bags) and they are still saving money. It's a big job and we were short on teams but our team delivered 1,075 bags between 7 am & 1:30 pm. It is a fun project and you get to see parts of Leavenworth that you don't normally see. It is satisfying helping the city and making a large chunk of change for the club.
The rest of the weekend I found myself lost in this cookbook.
I read a review of it on Soulemama and ordered it immediately. Something I don't normally do sight unseen. I'm so glad I did. The book focuses on real food, from scratch but not hard. The authors assume that you are using all fresh ingredients and nothing from a can or box, yet all the recipes are so simple. They also had their own families cook all these meals together and the photography is of what the food really looked like with all those hands in it. Not staged and perfect. I am reading it cover to cover. Chapter 1 was flour. They discuss the process from plant to mill and then expand on all kinds of recipes. I made tortillas for the first time in my life using their recipe. It was awesome, took a little bit of time but not very much and it was so satisfying. In addition to the tortillas I baked some apples from the farm using their simple recipe and we ate them for lunch. Joy #1 & I ate our tortillas separate from the apple but Joy #2 chopped up his apple and made a roll up.
This cookbook is just down our alley since we have been trying to cook from scratch and avoid the pantry items. If you too have been moving away from boxed food and ingredients I highly recommend this book!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I didn't get a chance to photograph this during daylight, but here it is. My slow progress on the sweater. I'm so glad I went ahead and took it to knit night so I could push through the decreases. Now joy of joys I get to knit only the pattern for 7 rows and not have to worry about waist shaping. This sweater is challenging. Not hard but just a lot to pay attention to. I'll have to put it aside soon to work on my nieces mittens and beret. I'm looking forward to a quick knit.


Here is the faucet. Very plain jane sheek right? I through in a handknit just for fun. You guys are so much fun. Thanks for indulging me. I love the fact that you don't think taking pictures of a sink is nutty. I don't think my kids bought it though. I heard one mumble, "Sure there are no pictures of me when I was 4 or 5 but we'll be certain to have a picture of the faucet installed in 08." Good Times...
I worked on my Ivy League vest tonight at knit night. I'll take a progress picture tomorrow when the sun is up. It's coming along!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh the drama of a new faucet.

I woke up this morning to water all over my kitchen floor. My faucet has been at the leaky stage for oh, a year but only recently did it start leaking down the sprayer underneath the sink. I tried some duck tape and a bucket. That lasted about a week. So I decided I would bite the bullet and get this sink fixed. I went online and watched a lovely YouTube video of how to install a kitchen faucet. It looked easy and doable.

Next, I went to the local hardward store for tools and with my promise I'd be back to purchase a new faucet and whatever else I needed. They were so encouraging. Changing a faucet is no big deal for them but they were just as excited at the prospect of me doing it myself as I was. Love Gronis hardware!

I get home, tools in hand and tackle the hard part. Dismounting the faucet that has been attached to my sink since, oh before I was born. I'm guessing the 60s. No easy feat, though I was making progress. That was until I started to feel sick. Apparently, I cannot lay on my back and work above my head without wanting to throw up. It was taking forever because I would work for 10 minutes and lie down for 15 minutes. When I realized it would be midnight before I'd even got the old fixture out I called Papa. Thank goodness for family members who are retired and home during the day.

Papa came over and finished unhooking the old faucet in about 20 minutes. A much quicker pace than my sick stomach would let me work at. I headed down to Gronis's for my new faucet and supplies. Papa told me that putting the new one in is much quicker and I should be able to handle it even with my stomach upset. And he was right. It went in very smoothly. I had to take my time tightening the lines but it was all working out! I was so proud of myself. It only took me all day it seemed but I would have a new faucet!

And then it happened. I was tightening the last supply line to the water source and I heard a crunk. The pipe under the sink broke off. Ugh. I ran downstairs to turn off all the water to the house and sighed. Then I called my plumber and proceeded to tell him my triumph of replacing my own faucet and the derailment of that joy by the pipe busting. He was able to get over to my house quickly and soon discovered that the pipe in question was barely attached to whatever it was supposed to be attached to. He fixed it then tested my faucet. It worked!!! He said that if he would have installed the faucet the pipe would have done the same thing so I should ignore the pipe issue and having to call him and be proud of myself. After all, all he did was fix the pipe and keep water out of my basement. I on the other hand installed a functional kitchen faucet.

I was about to take a picture and then decided that I was walking on the line of crazy. Who takes pictures of their kitchen faucets?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scarf done, check!

As you can see the Special Olympics scarf is completed. You'd think the hard part about this project would be the crochet. Nope. It's getting the package ready and mailing off!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Special Olympics Scarf

A lady from my knitting group alerted us to the Special Olympics Scarf Project. The Special Olympics World Winter games will be held in Boise, Idaho February 2009. The organizers have requested 5000 scarfs to present to the athletes as a gift and to help raise community awareness regarding their cause.

I am crocheting a scarf for the project. The deadline is in January but I got the urge to get started last night. There is a great group on Ravelry that have inspired me to get going. They have 516 members right now and already have 142 scarfs completed and sent. I've not done much charity knitting. I seem to find other ways to help out because sometimes charity knitting just takes awhile. But charity crochet is up my alley. And I love how this scarf is turning out.

If you're interested there are only a couple of rules.

  • The yarn must be Red Heart Yarn Color 0885-Delft Blue and 0311-White Length: Approximately 4 ½” x 50” . I'm not a fan of this yarn but they want all the scarfs to be the same. And it must be washable. It really wouldn't be that bad if it had some softness too it. All that said I think it was a good choice on the organizers part to pick something that is readily available across the country and inexpensive.

  • Once finished, place scarves in plastic bags with your name and address on a note card along with a personal note to the athlete and mail them to:
    2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Scarf Project 3150 W. Main Street Boise, ID 83702

Simple right! I can't wait to see pictures of the athletes sporting their individual, yet similar scarfs.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not much

Not much going on here. Nothing new or exciting. This weekend will be a whirlwind so I guess this is the calm before the storm. I was supposed to harvest grapes today with my CSA but with all the rain we've had in the last week or so they aren't ready yet. Tuesday I was able to knit most of the evening and have finished the corrugated ribbing on the Ivy League Sweater. I've made it to the fair isle pattern. Last night when I worked on it I caught myself thinking "just one more row". Fair isle does that to me. I can't wait to see what the pattern looks like with one more row. I'm glad I'm seeing progress. This is my first sweater using finger weight yarn and tiny needles. Tonight is knit night. I don't know that I will haul this sweater to the group. Maybe I'll just work on the chevron scarf. Simple, so I don't have to pay attention.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Best Free Place in Town

Tonight while on babysitting duty for a friend Joy #2 and I took the girls to the library. Our house is fun and all but we have to work to make it so for the little ones. We have no toys and a few books. We make do by playing in the sink, coloring, and wandering around the yard. Sometimes real things are more fun than toys. Tonight however was rainy so we decided to check out the learning center at the library. It is a cool playroom with tons of stuff to keep the imagination flowing.

The girls and Joy #2 played for over an hour. They loved Joy #2 playing with them. It is so much fun watching the girls on Monday and best of all...they go home when I get tired. :)

On it!

Thanks to that burst of energy the house is now back in one piece. My room is finished, minus arranging stuff on my walls. I was also able to put the rest of the house back in order and get the laundry done. It's amazing what you can get done when you work non-stop. :) By late Sunday afternoon I was able to sit in my comfy chair in my room, put in a book on tape (InkSpell), and cast on for the Ivy League Sweater. Working on this sweater is so soothing. Or was yesterday. I love fair isle and can't wait to get back to it. Unfortunately, it won't be tonight. We watch 2 little ones on Monday nights and they get all my attention. But when they go to sleep, I'm back on it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'm Tired

Friday after work I decided to tackle my bedroom paint job. Now I remember why I had put this off for so many years. You have to move out all the stuff, clean all the stuff and then put it all back neatly. That's a big job!


I do like the color I chose. It is a burnt orange and goes great with the afghan I made this summer and my new oil painting. I purchased the painting at the Meals On Wheels auction that was held the end of July. Now that the painting is done I am tackling the job of putting everything back. Ugh. I have 2 huge piles of books to get rid of and some yarn. Organizing my knitting stuff was about the only part of the "putting back" I didn't mind. Well, that and making the bed.

New Oil Painting

My view laying on the bed exhausted but not finished!

I'm going to keep going until I totally tucker out. And then tomorrow I'll tackle the rest of the house. I started working on my room when the rest of the house was tidy. Now it is all a mess, I'm not sure how I managed that!

Friday, September 5, 2008


  • One skein of TLC's Cotton makes 4 newborn hats.
  • Joy #2 is off today to Dads N Lads out at Nebraska Youth Camp. It is our last camp event of the year.
  • I haven't casted on for the Ivy League Sweater but plan to tonight.
  • Our knit night just keeps growing and growing. After months with 4 regulars we've had lots of new people. Thank you Ravelry.
  • It's cold and raining here. Sock weather time! It almost makes me want to cast on for more socks but I have way too many projects I want to get done by the end of the year.
  • Too many projects going at once makes me ancy.
  • Anything else? Oh yea...
  • All of Joy #1's friends have gotten cars or are getting cars within the last month. The most recent is her friend that got a Mustang (2004 I think). Come on people, where is your solidarity? No more cars for 16 year olds! I can't keep up.
  • That's all. Happy Friday.