Saturday, January 22, 2011

WHAT was that noise?!?

By the time I get home from work, I rarely have brain cells left to be creative when it comes to cooking dinner (never mind, creative enough to have leftovers for tomorrow's lunch!). And, in spite of rumors otherwise, working for the City of Portland does not pay so well that I can afford to eat out/get take-out/drive through for lunch OR dinner.

So I try to cook ahead, stocking my mini-freezer with single-serving meals that don't require much - if any - prep other than thawing and heating.

A couple of days ago, I found a great deal on boneless, skinless chicken breasts at my local store. Some would go into chicken-corn chowder, some into chicken taco rice, some would be cubed and frozen for who-knows-what. All recipes required browning/simmering/cooking first - so I got out my trusty over-large WearEver skillet.

Chicken seared, liquid added, lid on to simmer. A few minutes in, I heard a *>POP<* from the kitchen. Wandering back, I saw this:

Really? Is that what I think it is? Apparently so...

The glass lid has ...well, it hasn't shattered, 'cause it's all still there. MAYbe, if I'm really careful, I can lift it off?

Or not. Hmmm...

If I'm really careful, can I - without spreading glass all over the chicken - pick up the lid?

Apparently not.

Eventually, I let the entire thing cool enough that I could pick up the lid by the edge and toss it. My formerly favorite over-sized skillet now gets aluminum foil when I need a lid.


(Fortunately, the glass chucks were sufficiently large that I could avoid them, salvage the chicken, and carry on with cooking for the freezer!)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"I can't have nuts!"

That's what the kid just said - loudly!- as I started to put a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and a KitKat into his Hallowe'en bucket. Mind you, the Reese's are at the bottom of the bowl so that if (cough) there's any leftover candy, it'll be Reese's.

So I swapped the Reese's for a box of Hot Tamales.

"I can't have hot!", he claims.

I'm tempted to say, "Look, kid, I already gave away all of the boring stuff!", but give him two KitKats instead.

Back in the day (after dirt, but before dinosaurs), we swapped the stuff we didn't like with our sibling or buddies. It's Halloween, and I really can't take the time to say "ground or tree?" when a kid says he can't have nuts.

Two leopards just came to the door. The girls were MAYbe 4 and 6, and were as cute as cute can be.

When did I become a curmudgeon?

- - - -

Knitting - and Rhinebeck - has occurred. Susan and I got to spend two days at Rhinebeck. To my amazement, Anne Hanson (aka KnitSpot) recognized my shawl (Wing of the Moth) and asked if she could take a picture. As if I'm going to say "no" to the shawl's designer? (As if I weren't flattered beyond words?!?)

After Rhinebeck, Susan and I headed to Northampton (aka, "WEBS"). The brilliant and lovely Marcy (aka knittinggolfer) met us there for fun, yarn, and lunch. We posted pictures of each other on Twitter, but I neglected to take a For Reals picture.

- - - -

And, at almost-8 pm and with three almost-teenage girls (one vampire, one witch, one vampire-witch), I'm out of candy. There's one (one!) Reese's Peanut Butter Cup left. Time to turn off the porch light, have a piece of candy, and knit.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sekrits, Rhinebeck, and otherwise

Two of the five secret projects I've been working on have been delivered (see This And That for more on those two -- and I cannot express how delighted I am to have been part of the surprise!), and three are part of Something Big And Wonderful, and wait on someone else's timing.

Now that the Sekrit Projects are complete, I've gotten a moment to work on my own knitting. And, as of yesterday, Wing o'the Moth is finished and blocking, just in time for a trip to Long Island and Rhinebeck!

It's always a guess, what to pack for Rhinebeck and WEBS. It could be cold, could be raining, could be cold AND raining, and it could be positively tropical, tank-top weather.

This is the first time I've been on the west coast and headed for Rhinebeck so, while I'm tempted to pack my entire wardrobe, I'm trying to be a bit more judicious. Current forecast is chilly (but not all of the way to "cold") both days, and windy on Sunday.

Kingscot[e] is definitely going, as is Hypotenuse. And Wing (even if I have to wear it over a coat!), but I think other, lighter shawls (Diamond Fantasy Lace, fex) will have to stay home.

I do have my List Of Things To Look For (but am not feeling obligated to buy anything) but, even better, have my List Of People I Want To See. (WEBS and Marcy on Monday!)

Before Rhinebeck, though, I'm headed to Long Island to see Susan and folks with whom I used to work at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Swell fun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Still alive (honest)!

Time seems to be zooming by faster than I can keep up. Between work (recently grant-writing, which seems to eat 30 hours of every 24-hour day) and life (family and friends' birthdays, friends' about-to-be grandkids, and the not-work of working for Tina), things seem to have gotten away from me.

That's annoying, because I actually have knit! I wore the Diamond Fantasy Lace shawl and Kingscot[e] at Sock Camp... and I have exactly zero pictures to prove it.

Currently on my needles: Traveling Sweater in five Raven colorways, Spring Forward socks in a BMFA Rare Gem, and a project that I can't write about.

In the near future is World-Wide Knit In Public Day and Black Sheep Gathering.

Further down the road, I've just booked the plane tix to go to Rhinebeck this fall with my dear friend, Susan. Tracy and her WonderSweetie may be on a parallel path; it'd be fun to see them on the other coast.

More soon... I hope!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Yarn Torture!

Sivia Harding's pattern for the Diamond Fantasy Lace shawl says, and I quote, "block severely". Not "aggressively", "severely".

Done, and done.

This is Blue Moon Fiber Art's amazing Seduction (50% Merino, 50% Tencel) in Winter Solstice. Love, love, loved knitting with it!

I'm not a particularly loose knitter, but this blocked 9" longer and almost 20" wider than the pattern size. (And no, I didn't do an extra pattern repeat -- in fact, I just went and recounted!) Mind you, I'm not objecting to the size. I'm tall, and I was thinking about adding a repeat or two if it looked like it was going to be small.

Now the hard part: waiting 'til it dries!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Milestones, Albeit Odd

Two years ago -- well, 25 months ago to be accurate -- I bought a 200 foot roll of plastic wrap. I'd just moved back to the Pacific Northwest, was living in a studio apartment, about to start working for Portland Fire & Rescue, and househunting. And while the studio apartment had some amenities (two plates, two coffee cups, two sets of cutlery, etc.), it did not include dishwashing soap or plastic wrap.

Tonight's dinner leftovers mark the end of that 200-foot roll.

At 25 months per 200 feet, how long will the recently purchased-from-Costco, double-pack of 750-foot rolls of plastic wrap last?

(Comparing my personal use with what Tina and the Barn Gals go through every day at Blue Moon Fiber Arts amuses me greatly!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tracy and Jen's Grand Adventure: Results

I may have mentioned that Tracy and I won a grand prize basket in last week's Portland Yarn Crawl. Today, we finally had a chance to catch our breath, meet up, have lunch... and then we headed back to her house to spread out our booty. We fondled, we discussed, we divvied, and we're both quite thrilled with the amazing gifts in this basket.

Seriously, thank you to the vendors who donated and THANK YOU! to Northwest Wools for participating.

This, gentle beings, is everything spread out.

This Lantern Moon basket is staying with Tracy. (You'd be proud, Susan: Tracy's stash still fits in baskets!)

The Lantern Moon needle case and Destiny circ came home with me; the Sox Stix stayed with Tracy.

I've now got Knitted Socks East and West and Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans; Tracy has Knits Men Wear, a Pocket Pals pattern, and the winter edition of Knitting Traditions. I expect to borrow Knits Men Wear, she expects to borrow the afghan book.

Two skeins of Aslan Trends cotton - we've each got one,

and two skeins of Asland Trends Pima classic -- again, we've each got one. The brown Poems sock yarn came home with me, as did the Classic Elite Alpaca sock yarn.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca and a pattern book, and Imperial Stock Ranch yarn and pattern. We, um, didn't feel compelled to keep the bits together -- so I've got the Berroco yarn and Tracy has the pattern, and Tracy has the purple Imperial Stock Ranch yarn, and I have the dark gray. Tracy has the Tahki beret kit -- she'll actually make it and wear it!

Frog Tree chunky alpaca and Classic Elite Silky Alpaca lace -- both Tracy's colors. I somehow managed to miss taking a picture of Lanaloft bulky from Brown Sheep that's pretty close to the Silky Alpaca green -- also Tracy's color.

In the top picture, you can also see bottles of Unicorn Fibre Wash and Rinse (I've got the wash, Tracy has the rinse -- trust us, there's a logic to that split!) and a sample of Bar-Maids salt scrub.

So, keeping in mind that this is HALF of the stuff that was originally in the basket, here's Tracy's basket:

And my half, pretty well filling a Yarn Crawl bag.

Again, thank you to the vendors who donated, to the shops that participated -- especially Northwest Wools, who picked my name out of the hat -- and thank you, Tracy, for sharing the adventure!