Thursday, September 30, 2010

Because I Can That’s Why

I have been cleaning out again here at Chez Knit.

The Earth trembles in fear when I get in the clean out mood. In fact, I am in the clean out mood most of the time these days. I look into boxes that have been packed up for 9 months and I go…

Why did I buy this? I haven’t missed it. It must go!!!

I am sure that I will regret some of this insane madness later. But not now. No no no. And in my cleaning out today I found a box of pictures that I had printed out to use for some scrapbooking project or another. I always print out way too may pictures when I plan a project.

Why do I do that?

But I digress.

As I was sorting through and throwing away these pictures, which have all been scanned long ago and put on the hard drive, it struck me.

You would like to see some of them. I know you would. And I know that you would especially like to see the progeny in various stages.

And because I can.

And because they are all out of town and can’t hurt me immediately.

I will.

Top-27 (rev 0) TMO in her first year of life. Look at that square head just full of that amazing brain. And she is drooling too!

1996_Christmas-1(rev 0)Egads! At one time we actually made them SHARE a computer. Oh the agony.

image_13_2_2009-63(rev 0)TMO does not like birds. And of course the only person the bird wanted to go to was her.

image_13_2_2009-69(rev 0)   Can you see how much fun they are having at the fair. Shoe Queen looks like she is dead.

scan0002 We made them climb Mt. Roberts in Juneau. You would have thought we had asked them to pull out their eyeballs. And we were lapped by some ancient woman with a walking stick for the love of Pete.

1994_Dressing_Up_B (rev 0)Always the stylish dressers. Even then Shoe Queen had her own unique style.

1996_Geauga_Fair_B (rev 0)You cannot imagine what it took to get her to touch the goat let alone try to milk the thing. Obviously I was already well versed at taking pictures of animals behinds.

1993__4_(rev 0)“Ve come from zee old country”

Top-346 (rev 0)I think this was early in the year. TMO looks like she is freezing and Shoe Queen won’t even sit all the way down. Cartoon Girl looks a bit chilled as well.

IMG_7801 Ouch, Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!

IMG_7878_1Cartoon Girl’s perfect tubing dismount. She actually managed to slide about 20 feet on her back. Look at the perfectly pointing toes and the artistically placed hands.

You can’t see the blood from here.

There are lots more where these came from. And I will be posting them periodically.

But right now I need to go and hide.   

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your Eyes Are Full of Hate 41.

Does your family watch movies? Do they like movies. Are they obsessed with movie lines?

We are.

We love movies around Chez Knit.

When the progeny were young their TV watching was limited. Most of the time I made them go out and play with the bugs and frogs in the dirt. When they came in they could watch certain programs….and they could watch as many movies on video tape as we had available. And we had a lot. And we recorded a lot.

But not just any old movie, like some skanky Movie of the Week. No, no, no they could watch old movies or musicals. Things like Ben Hur or Sound of Music or The Fugitive or something like that. They went through an extended Charleton Heston phase at one point. And we all seemed to have the capacity to quote lines from the movies that we had watched. Endless lines.

And we can’t seem to stop.

We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well….and live.

You’ve got sawdust in your veins!


Welcome to Earth!

You want to make it a runway!

What about second breakfast?

Behold His mighty hand!

Left turn. Left turn. Too fast. Too fast. Pull up. Pull up.

Ryan,some things in here don’t react well to bullets.

You are a strange, sad little man.

The other day, while on the phone with Cartoon Girl, she called something “hinkey”. My next comment was, “He did a Peter Pan right here!”

And Cartoon Girl said, “Oh man, it is so great that you knew what movie I was talking about without me having to explain it. I love that about our family”.

Me too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I Wish I Had Known at 17

Isn’t it funny how sometimes, during a routine conversation with a friend, something will be said that just spurs a long, multi-day thought trail in my whacky brain.

I really would be afraid to be in my head sometimes because ideas and thoughts and longings and craziness just reign supreme in there. Enter at your own peril should be tacked up in big bold letters. I mean if I can come up with thoughts like, “Do whales sleep” while zipping down the highway in Hawaii then you never know what might happen.

But I digress.

I was having lunch with a friend last week and we were talking about teenagers, which both of us have had or have currently. Teenage/high school years are a wilderness. A wasteland. A desert in which we all must wander.

I actually spelled that dessert at first. Wishful thinking on my part perhaps.

But I digress again.

It is gloomy and rainy here today and that got me to thinking about what I wish I could have told my 17 year old self. Those words of wisdom that I would probably not have believed if I had told them to myself with the wisdom of 50 years of living. Did that sentence make sense? Oh well. This is what I wish that I could tell every 17 year old.

1. Be who you are ALL the time. That way you don’t have to remember what you are supposed to be like with different groups of people.

2. Startlingly blue eye shadow is never a good look. Never.

3. Don’t aim to be at the top of the heap socially. That is a really hard place to be (not that I would know cuz I wouldn’t) and the higher you are the farther you can fall. Aim for the middle. Those kids are nice.

4. Get off Facebook and go READ a book. Your mind will thank you. That goes for txting too.

5. Teenage boys are like good cheese. They will be stinky for a while but will eventually be wonderful. You just have to let them sit for a bit….like about 10 years. Ignore them and let them age.

6. That studly athlete is going to be balding and paunchy in about 20 years. Life is like that.

7. Laugh A LOT and not at other people. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with your friends. Laugh with your family.

8. Buy red high top tennis shoes. They will make you happy.

9. Ignore Hollywood. They are clueless.

10. Know what you believe politically and VOTE. Do not just vote for someone because it “feels good”. Be able to tell someone why you believe what you do. “I dunno” isn’t a valid argument.

11. Never say never. You may have to eat those words.

12. No everyone doesn’t hate you.

13. Yes we do understand what you are going through. We didn’t just go from 10 to 50 you know.

14. Every teenage girl starts a journal. Don’t stop writing. Keep on. And don’t just write in it. Stick in pictures and cards and notes and movie tickets. You will want to look back. We all need a good laugh from time to time.

15. Find humor in everything that you can.

16. Yes, have an extra cookie. Just don’t have 10.

17. Be creative. Creative is OK.

18. That girl who looks like she is always confident is just as much a mess inside as you are.

19. It is just fine to have less that perfect hair and no make up on. Be bold, don’t shower today.

20. Learn to appreciate different styles of music. There is a reason that Beethoven is still being played and no one remembers who Chairmen of the Board were.

OK, I am done now. Like I said, my head is a scary place to be at times.

Please don’t leave me running screaming into the night.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banana Chip Bars

It is raining today and the weather has cooled down.

And when I mean cooled down I mean that Thursday it was 90F and today it is 56F. Yeah that is cooling.

And because I spent the night last night on a friend’s couch. She had surgery several weeks ago and wasn’t feeling well and her hubby is out of town and so I stayed there and kept her company. And you know, other people’s houses have different sounds and there was a cat that decided that she just HAD to sleep on my feet. So I didn’t sleep as well as I might have.

And I am tired and crabby.

So that means that you need a recipe for one of my favorite bar cookies. These are my childhood. Yum. They have chocolate in them.

And bananas.
And since I really don’t like bananas all that much in their natural state and definitely not in things like salad or, shiver, jello then there has to be something to do with them when they get all nice and squishy. Yes, I know I could make a smoothie with them.

Have I ever mentioned that I really, really, really don’t like smoothies? Blech.

So, you have to make these. You won’t regret it. You will be hooked.

IMG_9091AThese are all the ingredients that you will need to gather. Not that many really.

IMG_9096ADump the butter into the mixing bowl. On the day that I took these pictures it was 90F and I didn’t have the air conditioning on. The butter was really, really soft. Yum.

IMG_9097A Then there is sugar. Two kinds of sugar actually. Yes, there is a fair amount of sugar. Stop complaining and just dump it.

Fear not the sugar.

IMG_9098AI am sorry but I don’t think there are too many recipes that aren’t made better by judicious applications of butter and sugar.

I am sure that Julia Child would agree with me if she were here.

Cream the butter and sugar together until they have been married about 50 years.

IMG_9099AAdd the eggs. Remember to crack them into a bowl first and then add them. That way there are no egg shells that get incorporated into the dough. These cookies aren’t meant to be crunchy.

IMG_9100AThen add the vanilla extract. Oh it smells so good.

And just as an aside. Who grafted my mother’s hands onto my wrists.

Seriously. Those are her fingers I am telling you!!!

IMG_9103AAnd then there are the bananas. Put them into some kind of bowl and mash em’, mash em’ good. Beat them into submission

IMG_9104  You are the master of the bananas and you must tell them what to do. Add them to the butter, sugar, vanilla, egg mixture and mix.

Then you add the dry ingredients but I forgot to take a picture of that step. You all are smart and I am sure that you can do this without the pictures.

You can can’t you…….

And finally, my favorite part.

IMG_9107Oh yes, the little morsels of chocolate goodness. Dump them into the bowl and mix them in by hand. I find that if you mix them in with the mixer it doesn’t get the chips evenly distributed in the batter and it breaks the chips up a bit and you don’t want that.

When you are all done then dump the batter into a greased 9x13 pan, glass preferable, and bake them for 25-30 minutes at 350F. They should be browned on top but don’t bake them so long that they dry out.

IMG_9110Come to momma


LINK->     Banana Chip Bars     <-LINK

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 86)

7_quick_takes_sm Greetings fellow rowers in the long boat of life. Hmmmmm, I was watching Ben Hur last night and am still in the galley slave mode….”We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well….and live.”

But I digress. Here is another installment of my always boring and insipid Quick Takes. Marty, the word “insipid” is just for you. Test everyone at work to see if they know it.

Here it is, Friday morning, and I haven’t written a single quick take. I am a slug, a sloth. I really do lead a busy life but sometimes I wonder when confronted with 7 simple slots in my blog post that have to be filled with the little things that are too short for a whole blog post. Although the way that I can ramble there isn’t anything that is too short for it’s own blog post.

Brevity is not my strong suit.

My favorite “Elixir of Life Update” from this week:

Elixir liquid, bitter, strong.
Wake me up and don't take long.

I don’t know how these things come into my feeble brain but I seem to be able to produce one, usually rhyming, every morning. It is a train that I have begun and now can’t seem to stop as people now look for them every morning on Facebook. The thing has taken on a life of it’s own.

I do enjoy producing them and it certainly gets the little gray cells moving right away since I don’t write them a head of time, usually.

I don’t like to waste things. It makes me mad. So if the milk goes bad around here I usually save it and cook with it.


Sometimes I wait just a bit too long before using it up

IMG_9090AIt was about to blow when I finally discarded it. And the smell???????

Whoo Boy.

Alaska, schmaska, who needs Alaska to see Bald Eagles. On the walk in the park this morning we saw the Bald Eagle soaring along, circling the lake and fishing. Amazingly cool.

And I did not have my camera.

Dope slapping self.

Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of my meeting HHBL.

Hurrah!!! Yeah!!!!

We were sort of set up on a sort of blind date which was actually a group date on which we took most of my family and assorted relatives.

Good times. Way to get a guy interested in you.

I will have to tell you about it some time because it was very memorable. As was our first “real” date which was actually 5 dates rolled into one day. We lived several states away from each other and were only able to see each other on limited weekends.

And yet we have managed to stay married despite really not knowing each other all that well.

Happy 27th Meeting Anniversary HHBL!! It was a good evening when you walked in the door.

AND, he was wearing a suit that day. And we know how much I love him in a suit!!!!

I am currently reading this…..

P&PAnd oh my word is it hilarious. Who knew that the simple addition of zombies, or as they are called “the unfortunate unmentionables”, would give such zest to one of my already favorite books.

Totally wonderful.

I may now have to read “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters”.

And last but not least. It is AGAIN supposed to be 90F here today. What gives??? That would be the third day in a row when the temp will hover at or near the 90F mark in September for the love of Pete. HHBL loves it as he is definitely a warm weather person.

I, however, am not. And I have hand made socks that are waiting to be worn.

And I refuse to put the AC on in September.

IMG_9078And we are being absolutely drowned with these little boogers. I will tell you about that next week after I shovel the next round off the deck.

But it is supposed to be 64F tomorrow so I guess that will be OK.

I have always been a cold weather person. When I was going to school in Texas I would long for days when I could wear my wool sweaters. I am odd like that.

Of course, come back here in January when I am griping about the mountains of snow and you will have a different story.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maxwell the Unrepentant

IMG_9070AI am a bad dog.

I cannot help it. I am a dog. I must do dog like things.

I must get plastic bags off the counter that contain the last of the homemade foccacia that the Alpha Male was saving for her afternoon snack.

I must barf up pieces of plastic from previously mentioned plastic bag in inconvenient places in the kitchen where they can easily be discovered when the Alpha Male steps in the puddle.

I must go in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out all day long because, surely, there is something new that I must sniff in the yard.


I know I do wrong.

I know that things on the counter and in the garbage are not meant for me.

But I am a dog.

And that is the way that I roll.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Looking Through Deb’s Memories (Vol Whatever)

I have every hope that this will be a short post. I am sure you are rejoicing because….well….I sometimes have trouble with brevity.

Ask HHBL. He often has to tell me, “I just asked for the time, I didn’t need to know how the watch works.”

Thanks sweetie, I love you too.

But I digress.

In the continuing battle of the basement bulge I am going through more unmarked containers. It is sort of like Christmas when I pull out a box and open it up. Who knows what might be in there!! It might be something absolutely wonderful, something that I have been looking for all my life. Something that I longed to find again.

Or it might be a box of misc crap (sorry, I said crap) that the mice have left little “gifts” in. That has happened.

But not today thank goodness. No, today I found this…..

IMG_9072AI should probably give you a bit of back history to explain the tub and what is in it.

I used to write letters. You do remember letters don’t you? You know, you put pen to paper and move it across the page and make letters that make words. You write what you are doing and have done. And then you send it to some one so that they can know what you are doing and have done.

A revolutionary idea I know in the age of email and txt messaging and instant gratification.

I adore letters. I have all the letters that my Pringle grandparents wrote to each other when they were “courting”. Maybe I will tell you about those some day if you ask really nicely and don’t run screaming into the night, which is always a distinct possibility around here.

So, I love letters. I used to write a lot of letters. And the thing is, usually if you write letters to people they write back to you. Funny how that works. And one thing that I have always done is to save all the letters that family and friends have written to me over the years.

IMG_9075AThat is what is in the tub. All the letters that I have saved since I was a small child.

IMG_9076A And I am going to be spending some concerted time going through them and looking at them, reading them and putting them in some kind of order.

I wish you could see how excited I am at the prospect. I may never come up for air. I may have to give up cooking for a day or two.

I may have to give up cleaning for a time…….hmmmmmm, that might already have happened if the dog hair Hindenburgs that are swirling around the kitchen are any indication.

IMG_9077AAnd I am going to be taking pictures of the whole process so that we can look and discuss.

You knew I would so why would you be surprised.

And I am sure that there might be a blog post or two that comes from it. But for now it is back to looking at and reading and sorting letters from family, letters from friends that I haven’t seen in years, letters from overseas.

Letters, letters, letters.

I miss writing letters.

More on that at another time.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Deep In the Land of Scrap

Greetings from the land of paper and cutters and tape runners and pictures.

I am scrap booking today. I know you wanted to know that. And because I am doing that and my brain doesn’t multi-task as well as it used to I thought I would just regale you with some FO’s from the year in knitting.


Oh sorry, I got caught up in knit speak there for a bit. FO are Finished Objects. Just like UFOs are Unfinished Objects, not something that hovers in the sky over LA. Can you tell I was watching “Independence Day” last night for about the millionth time.

“Welcome to Earth!”

Sorry, distraction reigns around here. So, without further ado here are some finished objects from this year. There might be a preponderance of socks. But then again maybe not because, hard as is is to believe, I haven’t knit as many socks this year as usual.

For those of you who don’t care for knitting or don’t understand the overwhelming urge to play with pointy sticks, you can leave now.



Bamboozled  These are “Happy Socks for a Happy Event” and went to Roots and Rings on the birth of her first progeny.

Hurstling sweater                                             Hurstling’s Football Attire
Come to think of it this sweater also went to Roots and Rings. I loved the football buttons

IMG_5148These are alpaca and they are soft and warm and just like a hug for your feet. Now if it would just get cold.

img_5996                                             Sparkly Heels and Toes

IMG_6949                                              Oh How They Sparkle! 
These went to my momma cuz she likes red just like me and she needed them badly. They told me so when I was knitting them.

img_5973                                                  The MOB Wrap
All Mothers of the bride need one. This little project taught me that when knitting lace you should alwaysalwaysalways put in a life line at regular intervals.


Otherwise you will regret it when you have to frog back hours and hours of work. And lace is really hard to frog back.

IMG_7324                                               My Little Nutkins
Again, when will it get cold enough that I can again wear my hand knit socks. My goal is to have ONLY hand knit socks.

I might be making strides toward that goal because I have, at last count……..

25 pair of hand knit socks.

That isn’t too many is it?

IMG_9063A                                                       I Am Kool
My Koolhaas Hat from the knit a long. It is going to really warm.

IMG_8890A                                              Peanut Dreams of Cocoa
This project went to Spontaneous Clapping for her internet bloggy baby shower. It was just so much fun to knit. I might have to do another one. Is anyone else having a baby?

OK, I had better stop now and go finish what I am supposed to be working on. Believe me when I tell you that there are more project pictures. But I want you to come back.

Did I scare you guys off.

Hello? Hello?



Monday, September 20, 2010

We Are The Champions

Cue the music……

Queen comes on singing “We Are the Champions” (if I knew how to embed it I would).

I might have mentioned a time or two that HHBL plays baseball in the summer months. And in the fall months too but that is a different story.

Today we will talk about the Northeast Ohio Roy Hobbes Masters Division, that would be those who are 48 and over. That would be HHBL. That would be the Kent Mudhens Masters.



Of course I went to the double header. You betcha baby!

IMG_8979AI went prepared for the day. The chair is essential for my patookis. Obviously I need food and drink. It was a cloudy day so the umbrella was just in case. Of course I would bring knitting. And the paper was to entertain me with the latest in our ongoing political scandals here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. It looked like I was moving in as I set up shop.

I am a boy scout in female form.

IMG_8983A  The field of battle. Can you hear the roar of the crowd?
Maybe not. But there were a few fans.
IMG_8999A Elvis was in the house to cheer on the team.
IMG_8986A Last minute instructions from the coach on how to beat the Bucs into dust and send them screaming back to Pennsylvania.

OK, maybe they were just talking about the line up.

But I like my version better.

IMG_8990A All for one and one for all!
OK, that isn’t what they say. But I can’t really tell you what they say, it would take too long. And some people might not understand and take offense. But they say it every time before every game.

You will just have to be left wondering.

A bit of mystery is always good for you.

IMG_8993A Cheering on the team.
That is what I like the most about the boys who play for the Mudhens. They just enjoy playing the game. They compete 110% but they don’t take themselves too seriously. There is a ton of laughter and ribbing and encouragement.

I think I might cry.

IMG_8994A OOOOOOOO, my own personal baseball hunk. I like him almost as much in his baseball uniform as I like him in a suit.

And I REALLY like him in a suit.

Uhmmmmmm. I think I had better stop there.

Back to the game.

IMG_9004BWThe tools of the baseball trade. The smell of pine tar. The ping of the bat. The slap of leather as the ball hits the glove. The smell of the dust as it blows up into my eyes and I can’t see what is happening on the field…..

IMG_9007A  Oh yes.
And now I would like to brag on HHBL a bit. Power hitter. Yes. Stellar left fielder. Yes. He is what I might call an “inhibitor” when he is in left. He has a gun for an arm and can throw from left to home, beating the runner. That also means that he can throw, with amazing accuracy to any other part of the field. The other team doesn’t send runners as often as they might when HHBL is playing. In fact, with HHBL, Mark, Steve and Karl in the outfield, the Mudhens outfielders are the best in the league.

IMG_9008AOf course you have to have peanuts when you are watching baseball. Jean brings them which is good because if I had to be the one to buy them there might not be any left by the time I got to the game.

I might like peanuts.

IMG_9011A copyI was worried for a bit because I didn’t think I was going to have enough pages left in my scoring book. But I found some that were blank and hiding. But I am finally finished with the book. But the question is, what to do with it. One side of my brain says to save it for things like the above notation that I made at a particular game.
But I am not sure that I really need a piece of paper to remember that particular incident and it’s aftermath.

IMG_9016A The Mudhens won the first game 8-7. It was a squeaker that almost went the other way. The Bucs are a hard playing team that can score and make plays. There was some mound maintenance that needed to be done between games. At one point it looked like they were excavating but things finally got put back together and

IMG_9018A it was time to do their little ritual.

Still not telling you what they say. Sorry.

The game was hard fought.

IMG_9021AThe tension was horrific. We were tapping our feet and eating peanuts and jumping up and sitting down and yelling encouragement.

And I have to say that all that tension just makes me have to go to the bathroom. And that is a problem because the only place to take care of business is the one lonely Port-o-potty. Why can’t they make those things just a bit bigger. It would make things just a bit better, less up close and personal if you know what I mean. It isn’t the worst place that I have ever encountered. Remember these? But it doesn’t make the whole baseball experience the best. Thank goodness there was toilet paper.

And I didn’t take a picture of it. Aren’t you proud of me?

And finally, after almost 6 hours of baseball…..

IMG_9024AThe final out was thrown and the Mudhens beat the Bucs 11-4 to take the Masters Division Championship for the first time. Much rejoicing ensued.

IMG_9029A  I love the part where they all line up and shake hands.

IMG_9034AThe obligatory team picture. A nice looking group of guys.

And then the party began.

IMG_9038A  IMG_9057A IMG_9036 IMG_9037A I so rarely have a hot dog. I usually run the other way. But sometimes you just have to succumb to the siren song of the dog. And these were totally yummy.

IMG_9058AI also indulged in some Doritos. Oh these are so, so good. I was already sliding down the slippery slope of bad eating, I might as well jump into the deep end of the pool.

IMG_9043AOf course we needed some champagne. Don did an expert job of opening.

IMG_9050AMark demonstrated the correct way to share a bottle when no cups are readily available. Thanks Mark for the lesson.

And so, we ate, we celebrated, we enjoyed the good memories from a great year.

Congratulations to Don, Don, Dave, Denny, Dan, Wade, Jerome, Jim, the other Jim, Tom, Karl, LeRoy, Kelly, Ronnie, Mark, Mike, Phil, Pat, Scott, Steve, the other Steve and Ted, the 2010 Northeast Ohio Roy Hobbes Masters Division Champions.

I can hardly wait for November and the tournament in Florida.