Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 249)


Greetings and salutations from a place where it is always Winter. Or at least it seems like it. When you are finished insulating yourself with a layer of cold busting blather you will need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my murderous intentions towards Mother Nature, over to Conversion Diary to see how others are coping.

Life is too short to deny yourself blather.

I got on the scale on Wednesday evening, something that I try NEVER to do.

I restarted using the My Fitness Pal app on Thursday.

I bought a pedometer today and added 45 minutes on the treadmill to my daily routine.

Need I explain any further?

I wasn’t going to purchase a pedometer. Those things cost, you know, money. I found a free app for the iPhone and downloaded it on Thursday morning. And deleted it on Thursday night. Even if I dialed the sensitivity all the way down to the “numb” setting it still wanted to add steps to the count whenever I even thought about moving the iPhone.

I want to have as many steps daily as I can but the goal is not to lie to myself about anything, not what I put in my ever opening maw and not how many steps I do….or don’t…take.

So I went to Best Buy this morning and plunked down a small amount of money for a pedometer. Not a FitBit…the most basic of which would cost me $50….but something that is fairly basic but can still track my steps and/or mileage plus tell me how many calories I have expended.


Remember I told you last week that I had ordered a Reversing Ring so that I could do some down and dirty macro photography without actually having to shell out $$ for a macro lens that I so do not need?

It arrived on Tuesday. Such excitement.

I opened the ridiculously big box to find a reversing ring in a small plastic bag. So far, so good.

I opened the package and screwed the ring onto my 50mm lens (for which it is intended). Excellent.

I start to screw the other end into Big Bertha (you know, that sounds slightly pornographic).


It isn’t working!!

The ring is too small for the body. Oh this is so not good.

And as we all do, I looked at it and kept on trying to make it fit, as if doing this task more than once will give me a different result.

So I looked at the front of the ring……and saw that it was for a Nikon!! Did I order the wrong one??? Dang it! But then I looked at the packaging, which said quite clearly, that the ring was for an EOS system….which is Canon. Amazon, or more likely the factory in China from which this thing originated, doesn’t know their head from their whoowhoo hole.

So I have returned the ring, communicated with Amazon and told them that they need to have someone go and check the packaging, and the new ring will be coming on Monday.

This is what I was greeted with when I went out this morning to take Max the Magnificent for his early morning “constitutional”.

2014-02-28 06.27.53

Oh for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary! Obviously Max and I didn’t walk very far. And my mantra for the entire short jaunt was, “Hurry up! Do your business! Hurry up!”

A friend of mine asked me today what –6F feels like.

I would suggest that if you want to experience this go to your local grocery store. Stroll over to the freezer section. Open one of the freezer doors and stick your head in as far as it will go and take a deep breath through your nose. If your nose hairs freeze….you are just about there.

And just to make things “extra special”….we are predicted to get another 6-12 inches of snow Sunday night and into Monday.

Mother Nature had better not show up anywhere near me. I am going to beat her senseless.

Did I mention that the refrigerator repair man was going to arrive at my house this past Tuesday?

The refrigerator is still making noise. Not as loud as the last time, when they had to put in a new compressor, but still not quiet.

He showed up…..2.5 hours late (I knew he would be late as he had called me)

He listened to the frig

He checked the compressor (which is working fine).

He checked the freezer fan.

And announced that yes, the freezer fan was a bit noisy but it was still working and he could guarantee me that HAS would not authorize it to be fixed at this time.

Then he told me about his family and why he had quit drinking all those years ago and what kind of truck that he drove.

And then I paid him $75 and showed him the door.

It is always something around here.

I have seen exactly one of the pictures nominated for Best Picture for 2014.

That would be Captain Phillips.

It doesn’t really matter as I most likely will not be watching the Oscars this year….again.

I will watch something else that deservedly can be called a classic. Like Casablanca or perhaps The Philadelphia Story.

Stepping down off of soap box now.

I have decided for the next little while to be a monogamous knitter.

I am currently obsessed with knitting on the Never Ending Mitered Square blanket. It is one of those things that I think to myself, “I will just do one more square” and I look up and it is an hour later and I have done about 5 squares.

But I am having so much fun doing them that I am not going to start any other projects for a while and just work on this one.

Well, I am going to start the next pair of socks but that is because I will be traveling in a few weeks and I always start a pair of socks when the plane pulls away from the gate.

Just my thing.

But other than that it is mitered squares all the time.

I lead a very boring, if fingering weight sock yarn filled, life.

Here are a few Instagram pictures from this past week. I was going to put them into a collage again but that is just a big pain in my bahookie so….I am not going to do it.

2014-02-21 13.32.352014-02-22 10.51.012014-02-23 12.28.452014-02-24 11.21.172014-02-24 11.43.552014-02-24 12.16.06-22014-02-25 06.00.272014-02-25 06.30.05-22014-02-25 13.29.372014-02-27 14.02.012014-02-27 14.40.34

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Warning. Rant Ahead.

This has been the longest winter.



On a normal day, with the sun coming up and the birds tweeting, this is what my little town looks like.


A quiet little place. A happy place.

But not always.

This was what I was greeted with today when I had to walk Max the Magnificent.

2014-02-27 12.17.24


Somewhere along the line I seemed to have missed the memo that said something about heavy bands of snow moving through the area today.

Mother Nature, if you were standing in front of me right now I would beat you bloody with a blunt instrument.

2014-02-27 14.02.01

But Alpha, how can you not like all this lovely snow. Stick your nose out into it and breathe deep.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Legacy List

DSA at the cottage
Today would have been my father’s 76th birthday. Because I knew this day was coming up on the calendar I have been thinking about his legacy to me.

Legacies, at least in my mind, are a very personal thing.

A legacy, as defined in the about 8 million different online dictionaries that I looked at, is

Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past.

My father left a lasting legacy, at least for me. I think if you asked all who knew him they would say that he was a larger than life person who lived life to the fullest. I would hope that when my time comes to go home to my savior that others will say the same of me.

I was going to write a wordy post (is there any other sort??) about my dad’s legacy but I think a list will do the job nicely. I have searched all over my blog posts thinking that I had already written out this list for you but I cannot find it. If I did and I posted it…..I blame the menopause brain.

* Christ is all.

* If you are going to do a job you need to do it to the best of your abilities. Don’t waste your time doing a half way job that will have to be redone because you didn’t do it right the first time around.

* Ice cream is always a good idea.
Well, all except for that one time when he had the bright idea to have a scoop of Bubble Gum ice cream and a scoop of Black Licorice ice cream. That is the only time that I ever remember him NOT finishing an ice cream cone.

* When braking in your car, let up on the brake pedal just a bit as you come to a stop and you will never have a “herky jerky” stop.

* Organ music is the music of the angels. And if you throw in a bit of Bluegrass that is even better.

* You can never take too many pictures.

* A good glass of wine is an excellent thing.

* If I, as the Chief of the OBGYN department, have written orders on a patient. And you, as a lowly resident, have said to ignore MY orders and written your own… will not go well with you my son.

* Hard work is a good thing.

* If you need to, ask for help.

* Yes, we are stopping at this vacation spot. No, you may not stay in the car and read your book.

* There is no need to yell. Intimidation Expressing your displeasure with a quiet voice is MUCH more effective (ask the progeny).

* Take the time to put your tools, whatever they may be, back where you got them. That way you always know where they are.

* Think through the problem before acting on it.

*You can never have too many flashlights……or pens…..or combs…..or nail clippers…..or baseball caps….or tools….or books…or batteries.

*You can never have too many pads of paper.

*Think ahead. It will save your bacon later on.

* Do not stick your hand under a running lawn mower. The consequences can be….not so great…especially if you are a surgeon.

* A clean car interior is the sign of an organized mind. (I might have a problem there).

* There is no reason why you cannot take 4 showers a day…as long as each of those showers lasts no more that 4 minutes.

* Keep good records.

* Go the extra mile for others without expecting anything in return.

* Raccoons, opossums and groundhogs must be eradicated.

* It is not acceptable to chew Green Apple bubble gum in a closed car. And NO you may not blow bubbles with it.

* A well written letter (or email) of complaint can go a long way.

* Be careful when lighting the gas grill. Your eyebrows might suffer a “mighty singe” otherwise.

* Measure twice. Cut once.

* If I have asked you to do something, I expect that you will get up and do it now.

* All work and no relaxation makes for a very grumpy person.

* Do your research.

* Read a book. Expand your brain.

Thanks Dad for the legacy that you have left for me. I long for the day when I will see you again. Until then……

I think I will go and read a book.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Puppy Breath

I fell in love yesterday.

You are asking yourself, right about now,


No fears. I love him too. I love him loads. I love him more that coffee AND yarn.

I was working yesterday, taking headshots for a group of college students. We were all done. The students had scattered back to class or practice or who knows where. I was just sitting around talking with the Deloitte and Touche reps about this and that…….

And then the head of the grounds crew came into the room. And in his arms was snuggled…..

Silver Lab 1



I am sorry but I just melted on the spot. A 9 week old, Silver Lab.

9 weeks old means PUPPY BREATH!!!

And ears so soft that you just want to roll around on them.

And eyes that speak the knowledge of a thousand lives.

OK, maybe not that last one but really this little thing had the most soulful eyes on a puppy that I have ever seen. And even as we all stood around and cooed and ahhhhed and fell in love, he gave a big yawn…..

And fell asleep.

If I had been able to figure out a way to not get caught I would have just laid that little puppy right in my spacious camera bag and slunk out.

2013-02-13 08.25.33

Alpha you cannot possibly mean that.

Yes, yes I could. But I didn’t think I was going to be able to wrestle that puppy out of his owners arms.

But I thought about it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 248)


Winter, Winter go away. Come again, like never.

You know what to do. When you are done ingesting your weekly dose of rejuvenating blather, you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the melting Sochi snow, over to Conversion Diary.

A triple toe loop of blather just for you.

For all who have inquired…..

My back is doing MUCH better. Large doses of ibuprophen and application of heated cornbag have made life much better.

And the garage door was fixed by Monday afternoon. I was right, it was a gear.

2014-02-18 12.38.34

Hopefully now the motor, and consequently the garage door, will last for another 17 years. It certainly sounds better.

The Rainbow Wrap of Awesomeness……….

Wrap of Awesomeness 1Wrap of Awesomeness 2

Was completed yesterday. That might have been why I haven’t blogged in a few days. I was totally might have been obsessed with finishing it.

Oh. My. Gosh I love her. LoveLoveLoveLove. She is only 14 inches wide but she is…….

9.25 feet long.

That is PLENTY long enough for wrapping around my ample body several time.

All told I knit 166 rows of linen stitch using 6 different skeins of yarn. Each row was 600 stitches long. That means that in just over three weeks time I knit….

99,600 stitches. On one project.

And I am going to be honest and say that I am already thinking about the next time I knit this pattern. There will be a next time I can assure you. It will look nothing like this one but I am already thinking and planning.

Oh, just to answer a question that someone asked me when they saw the photo up on Facebook. Will I make one for sale?


In order to make it worth my while to do that (it took 65+ hours to complete) I would have to charge the purchaser an egregiously large sum of money just to cover minimum wage costs for time. I sincerely doubt anyone is willing to pay that.

But if you are…..then let me know.

I cannot believe that I am going to say this but….

I am getting tired of the Olympics.

Maybe it is just because I am getting tired of watching TV. And perhaps it is because some of the competitions that I have watched (Men’s Figure Skating) have been totally uninspiring to me. And I definitely think there was something hinky going on with the Women’s Figure Skating final. Yuna Kim should have won.

I am ready to get back to my generally Netflix only TV schedule.

Tomorrow is brew day.

I know I said that last week. But after I published that post I realized that I was out of the stuff that I wanted to use to sterilize my brewing kettle. It is this “non-rinse” stuff that makes life a whole lot easier. I ordered some on line from Northern Brewer (thanks Jon for the heads up on this company), the box arrived yesterday, and tomorrow is the brew day.

Who wouldn’t like to order supplies from a place that puts these kinds of stickers on the inside of the box.

2014-02-21 06.24.16

I have always been fascinated by macro photography. So cool.

But I do not have a macro lens. It is fairly specialized and fairly expensive and I just haven’t worked it into the budget…..yet.

BUT, you can do a gonzo macro photo shoot by detaching your lens from your camera body, turning the lens around and manually holding it to the camera body. You don’t have any control over much else like focusing but you can move yourself until you get something in focus.

Macro daisy 1Macro daisy 2Macro daisy 3Macro daisy best

The operation was a bit tricky because I was concentrating on holding my 50mm lens (my favorite lens) to my camera body with one hand and trying to steady my camera and myself at the same time. Like chewing gum, walking AND talking on your cell phone all at the same time, while there is a high wind warning.

OR, you can order a reversing ring for your lens so that at least you can have the lens secured to your camera body.

Which is what I just did.

Here is the Light Stalking article on how to do some macro photography without a macro lens.

I might have mentioned before that I have an Audible account. I love audiobooks. And yes, I know that I can get lots of audiobooks at the library. No need to tell me that. I use the library audiobook system too. But there are MANY books that I want to listen to that the library doesn’t have available. So, Audible.

I love Audible.

I love it for the mind blowing number of books that are available.

AND I love it for their customer service.

Many years ago I had another Audible account. I didn’t have it for long, there was only one book in it evidently, but I knew it was there. But I didn’t remember what email the account was linked to and I couldn’t download it to iTunes or to my current Audible account.

What to do, what to do. It was a book that I really wanted to listen to and I didn’t want to re-buy it.

This morning I chatted online with an extremely nice rep named Julie who, after looking at the situation, added a credit to my account so that I could just re-buy Master and Commander but not have to actually spend any money again on it.

Now I can start listening to it this afternoon…after I finish The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich….which was 57+ hours long.

I love Audible.

And here are just a few of the seemingly endless Instagram photos that I seem to produce on a weekly basis.2014-02-21 10.04.43

I am obsessed with Instagram.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Oh My Achin’ Back

It started out as such a nice evening. Dinner on Saturday evening with friends. Great Lakes Dortmunder and a fabulous bowl full of Pad Kee Mao. Laughter and catching up.

And then the garage door didn’t open all the way when we got home.

It was cold. We were tired. The garage door rose…….3/4 of the way up and then stopped. Hmmmmmm. The garage door opener has been on an individualistic kick of late but generally hasn’t given us all that much trouble. It is 17 years old and teenagers can be a pain in the backside. Maybe it was just something blew across the little light beams and stopped the upward motion.

I so hoped it was just that.

But when I got out of the car, HHBL’s Prius to be precise, I could hear the garage door opener motor humming away…but the chain was not moving.

Oh dear.

Google explained to me that it was most likely a gear in the motor that was now bad and would need to be replaced. Yeah, I am not doing that. And it was Saturday night which meant that no one else was doing that either until sometime during business hours on Monday or later. It was REALLY COLD on Saturday night and I didn’t even want to stand around in the garage, the unheated garage, discussing it.

So we went to bed, after letting Max out but before putting the garage door down, and just figured that we would have to manually open and close the garage door until whenever it was fixed. It has been close to 15 years since I actually had to open and close a garage door manually in order to let the car or the dog out. I remember now how much of an absolute pain in my big, fat bahookie that little chore is.

Sunday morning arrived. 6:30a I am putting on coat and boots and gloves and taking the darn dog out to do his morning “stuff”. Rats, I have to open that darn door, which I do without really thinking about it. Max finishes his morning deposit and we go on with the rest of our day……

I sit down on the couch for a bit of time to read and then decide that I need more coffee. I go to get up……..

Oh, OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH! My lower back has decided to stiffen up like a Russian general with a chest full of medals. Oh Lord have mercy upon my back. Suck it up an be brave Deb. It isn’t anything.

I am still trying to tell myself that today.

2014-02-18 08.37.45

Currently Mr. Ibuprophen and this amazing little thing are my BFFs. Do you have one of these? It is a “microwave corn bag”. You heat it up in the microwave and it provides blistering heat to whatever portion of your body needs it for up to an hour (or longer). I whipped this one up this morning because I needed a slightly smaller one that my normal corn bag. We will be BFFs forever.

Or at least until my back decides that it isn’t going to try and make my life eternally miserable.

The thing that really bugs me about all of this is that I am usually SO CAREFUL about my back. I threw it out the first time when I was in my 20’s and a patient decided to go dead weight on me without giving me prior warning. I caught her before she hit the floor but my back went, “SPROIG!”. Oh that was a pleasant experience. As was all the lovely Restoril that I was provided by the pharmacy. Just as an aside. When they say take 1 or 2 tablets…..take only one at a time. Unless you love being in LaLa Land.

So take care of your backs folks. Or else you are going to have to get someone to help you put on your underwear in the morning.

Consider this your PSA for the day. You can thank me later.

Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 247)


February. The month when you start to see the light at the end of the winter tunnel….and you hope it is not a train. You know what you need to do. When you are done basking in the blather warmth here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of melting snow in Sochi, Russia, over to Conversion Diary.

Oh, and incase you follow me with an RSS feed and wonder why you got this blog post twice…it is because I was a bit “quick” on pulling the post trigger and realized that I hadn’t written the introduction. Let’s try this again shall we?

Blather that even Vladimir Putin envies.

I love the Olympics but I feel like I am watching entirely too much TV. I am not normally a daytime TV watcher. In fact, unless there is some huge news event that I am monitoring I rarely turn the TV on during the day.

But for these two weeks it is Olympics on the TV almost all day long.

And may I say, the “color commentator” that they have for the Cross Country skiing events, I am afraid that he is going to have a stroke by the end of every competition. I had no idea that anyone could get that worked up about a cross country skiing event.

I am exhausted just listening to him.

And one more thing….

Bob Costas PLEASE get better. Matt Laure is a poor substitute.

It was a whopping 32F yesterday. I felt like I should break out the shorts and t-shirts it seemed so warm out there. And the weather person is saying that it will be in the 50s next week.

Heck we might even, eventually, get as warm as Sochi, Russia….where it has been in the 60’s. Which is what you would expect for a port that is able to sustain palm trees year round. But NOT what you should have for the Olympics.

Just saying.

2014-02-13 10.35.54

I treated myself to a trip to Half Price Books yesterday. I love that place. I have loved Half Price Books since I discovered their flagship store in Dallas during my nursing school days. It was a place of wonder and discovery, much less well “organized” than my current local HPB and therefore all the more fun. I could get lost for hours.

Why I am telling you this after showing you a picture of a woman standing on a step stool looking at books on the top shelf? Well it is because of what this woman is doing. Something that I dislike.

She and her companion (who smelled so strongly of smoke that I couldn’t share an aisle with him) were diligently going book by book, scanning them with their little hand held scanners, looking for books that they could buy cheap and resell at higher price. You cannot see it in this picture but that cart is full of kids books.

OK, I know that they have to make a living but I hate when these people do this. They act like they are doing something wrong, scanscanscan look around to see if anyone is watching scanscanscan. I am sure that the staff of HBP know they are there and that they are fine with what is happening but I just dislike it. I hate even more, I mean REALLY hate it, when I encounter these same kinds of people at our local library book sales. They are usually first in line and when admitted start grabbing books and making a huge pile in a corner of all their books. Now they might not buy all of these books, they haven’t scanned them yet, but the books are not available for someone else during this time. Then they scan the books, buy the ones that they can sell at higher price and leave the “discards” in an unruly pile in a corner.

It makes my blood boil. And I will admit, that for one brief moment when she was in the bathroom, I thought about taking some of those books and reshelving them just to be ornery.

Stepping off soapbox now.

I have become a lazy blogger and therefore an inconsistent blogger. I am not sure at what point in the last several years I drifted into writing my blog post in the afternoon. It may have been a gradual things, a slippery slope that just kept me sliding down into bloggilaziness.

I am not really an afternoon sort of person. I don’t get as much done after around 1p as I do in-between say 6a and 1p. That is my “golden time”. So, when I am blogging in the afternoon what often seems to happen these days is that I will think, “Oh, I need to go and write a blog post.” But then I look at the clock and realize that it is 4p (or sometimes later) and I just don’t get downstairs to do it.

So, I am going to try changing things up a bit and blogging in the morning if I can. We will see how I do. Also, I am not really tied always to blogging using my computer. Now that I have a QWERTY keyboard for the iPad I can very effectively blog from there as well (which I did yesterday).

Of course no one may actually care when or if I blog……..

In rooting around in my freezer this week, a place that is still a bit disorganized from the move SIX MONTHS AGO, I made a discovery…..

Three more packages of my homemade fruit leather. I had completely forgotten about these, not having been over impressed with my efforts at the time. I am surprised that I didn’t just throw them out when I moved the freezer contents from OCK to Chez Knit. But there they were.

I decided to try one again…..

Guys I LOVE THEM!! Tart yet sweet. Packing a fruit punch. I wondered why I hadn’t liked them all that much at the time and then I remembered what the problem had been. They had seemed just too brittle and dry. I have solved that problem though. When I want some I just take them out of the frig and put them on the counter for 5 minutes or so. They warm up a bit and soften up and are fabulous. I can see that I am going to have to make some more as soon as fruit season comes around. Actually, I have a boat load of apples in the frig from my apple picking extravaganza last fall so I may experiment with apple fruit leather.

It is just about this time every year when I start to think about flowers.

Flowers that I am going to put in planters and pots.

February is the month when we all need to start thinking about color and sunshine and flowers.

This year it will be a bit different for me as I now have landscape beds that are taken care of by someone else. No more do I have a huge back garden to indulge myself in. But after watching what happens with the landscape crew I can see that there are some things that I will be doing. Once the snow recedes from the land (I sound like a northern version of Noah) I am going to start spraying the Hydrangea bushes with deer repellent. They have decimated the planting and this must stop. The landscape crew isn’t going to do this, not their job and frankly I doubt if they know or care. It is me or the four footed marauders deer…and I am going to win. I am not going to plant flowers in the landscape beds but I am going to extensively use pots etc. My brain is spinning with ideas.

Now if it would just get warm.

I may actually have to go out and buy a plant that has flowers on it just to get myself through.

We all need a bit of laughter during the dark doldrums of winter.

Here you go.

You can thank me later.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Have Found My People

So, I have mentioned that the first batch of beer turned out to be good....but light. That was to be expected considering that was what the kit was, "American Light". We have made it work, it is OK, tasty even, with a lime wedge in it. But it is still lite.

HHBL and I, as a rule, do not drink any kind of beer that has the term "light" or "lite" in the name. I seem to have found that I want a beer that tastes like a beer and not.....pissy water. I have also mentioned that we try to avoid any beer that has been brewed by one of the "Big Brewers" i.e. Miller, Coors, Budwieser. That also means that we try to avoid any of the lesser breweries that have been absorbed by the BIg Brewery Borg. You would be amazed what beers that encompasses. Yes, we are beer snobs.

Since I finished that first batch of beer I have been thinking about brewing my next batch. It has been a back of my mind obsession. So today I figured that I would pick up another one of the Mr. Beer kit refills. No reason not to start a new batch of beer, this time perhaps an IPA or ale as those are what we like best. The Mr. Beer website told me that I could pick up a refill at my local Target. I thought that was a bit odd but went ahead and swung by there on my errands rounds.


I wandered the hallowed Target halls but didn't find where the refill kits might be. I asked at Customer Service and after the pimply faced clerk (who looked a great deal like Stan Shunpike) called someone with one of those little scanner things and that girl concluded that the refills could only be ordered on line I moved on.

I knew that there was one other place where I might find what I needed. It was a little place called Leeners and it was just around the corner. I found it, I parked, I opened the door......

And I heard the angels sing.

An entire store completely devoted to brewing beer, making wine and all sorts of other things like a kit for making fresh mozzarella cheese or BUBBLE GUM!! A true "do it yourself" candy store. But as I stood there in front of all the beer supplies, oh the beer supplies, I just didn't know what to do. I have done only one kit. I didn't see anything like what I had used before. Oh there were kits but I wasn't sure if they would work with my kit. There were parts and pieces that made up a whole but I didn't know what to put with what.

And this was when I had to make a decision. I had to ask for help.

I do not like asking for help.

Did you know that? Even if I need help I do not like asking for help. I want to be able to walk into a store and know just what I need and where to find it. To ask for help might mean that I don't know what I am doing, that I am ignorant.

I hate that.

But it was necessary. So I looked around for someone to help me. And that is when it struck me. I saw only women working there. Only women.

This place is owned and operated by women.

I can do this! I can ask another woman who obviously knows about beer (boy howdy do they!) what kit to use. I just happened to grab Kathy. With disappointment she told me that they no longer carry Mr. Beer kit refills but that the other kit refills would work. However they didn't have any IPA refills at the moment. She even went to the trouble of looking at what had come in the shipment that they were unpacking at that very moment. Nope, no IPA. I tried to tamp down my disappointment and started thinking about what other refill I might like to try when Kathy said,

Oh, I can just make you up a kit while you wait. It won't take long.

Whaaaaaaa????? Yes please.

And so Kathy grabbed some yeast from the frig. And some malt extract from a shelf. And she ground some of the barley for me. And grabbed the correct hops. And had me read through the instructions so I understood what I was supposed to do......

And I brought it all home.

Guess what I am going to be doing on Saturday morning.

A beer brewing store run by women.

I have found my people.

Now if they were also knitters I think my brain might explode.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Perfect Thing To Go With Curling

This year, in the spirit of The Yarn Harlot’s original Knitting Olympics, I am working to finish a project that I cast on shortly before the start of the actual games.

It is going to be a stretch to get it finished.

I am going to have to knit hard.

Stay focused.

Watch endless ends of Curling.

And as is my way, it is a project that deviates from the pattern as written. Heaven forbid that I just do the pattern as written, right? What sock pattern have I ever left truly and utterly alone.

I am making it sound like I got out graph paper and pencil and reworked the entire pattern. That is very far from the truth. I looked at a boat load of the already finished projects on Ravelry (this pattern is actually written as a really long scarf), thought about all the sock yarn in the stash and decided that I would just make the whole thing bigger and badder and…..

It is going to be so freaking AWESOME.

2014-02-09 14.44.01

This is actually the wrong side of the wrap. And I have to tell you that I love it. LoveLoveLoveLove. What is not to love about a project where BOTH sides are just so utterly pleasing. I can hardly wait to finish this thing. And that is why I might just actually get it done before the closing ceremonies. I get up in the morning and want to race through what I have to do so I can sit down and knock out a row. I am finding the linen stitch to be completely hypnotic in it’s working. 600 stitches PER ROW. Row after row after row after row. Each row taking around 20 minutes to finish. With fringe forming at the ends. I am not all that fond of fringe on knitted things (that is an understatement) but with this Rainbow Wrap of Awesomeness, it is going to be just so “right”.

Back to knitting.

I cannot stop myself.

Friday, February 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 246)


Guys, I almost forgot it was FRIDAY!!! Chalk it up to menopause brain. You know what you are supposed to do. After you have looked over my Gold Medal winning blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of Bode Miller going down hill, over to Conversion Diary to see what else is going on.

An Olympic sized pile of blather.

You know what happens when you don’t pay attention to the calendar?

You end up with a year of Amazon Prime that you hadn’t intended to sign up for.

I am usually on top of these things, you know. Amazon “kindly” offered me another trial of Prime, a month for free. I had some things to order so I said, “SURE!” all the while knowing that at the end of the month, before they charged my credit card, I would cancel.

And then time got away from me.

Dope Slap.

So you can bet your bottom dollar that I am going to make Amazon Prime work for me this year….and then cancel.

I have already written myself a note to remember.

In the words of one of my nursing professors, “If you didn’t write it down then it wasn’t done, even if you did it.”

Just for those who have inquired about the actual socks that I keep saying I have…..

2014-02-07 12.48.48

This is half of the drawer full. And the socks in the bottom left corner are the pair that was finished last night. I have already wound the next skein of yarn for the next pair of socks. Now to decide on the pattern.

I don’t care if I have a “sock” issue. Every time I look at them I am happy.

And we ALL want me to be happy.

Let the orgy of TV watching begin!

I don’t normally watch TV during the day, unless I sit down to watch something specific on Netflix. But as of 7:30p tonight I will be watching as much of the Olympics as is humanly possible. We do not have a DVR so it will have to be what I can catch on the NBC stations.

Skiing, Ice Hockey, Biathalon, Ice Skating, Luge……


Second gigantic batch of beef stock is done and in the freezer. I think I can stop for a while now.

But it is so darn addictive to just throw all these disparate parts into a large roaster, add water and then let it cook for 24 hours. And when it is done……….


This time, after I had strained the stock and let it cool I got to thinking about the fat that solidifies on the top of the stock. I hate to waste anything so I got onto the internets and found that I can reheat that, render out the water, put it in a container and either keep it in the frig for a bit or freeze it. I fried onions in some of it for our French Onion soup this week.


2014-02-06 19.03.48-1

We had homebrew last night. It is pretty good for a first attempt. The kit came with a “light” beer and I would say that this tastes very similar to Corona. I really wanted to add a lime to it. But as there were no limes to be had….I did without.

Next up will be an IPA. I think I am going to stick to refill brew packs for a bit and then perhaps branch out into doing most of it myself. But I need to do a bit more reading before I venture down that road.

I generally don’t like a lighter style of beer but I like this one just because I actually made it.

I am contemplating the purchase of a canning size pressure cooker.


There, that should get the NSA to come knocking on my door.

Where was I? Oh yes. In my continuing quest to be as “non-processed” food as I can I am thinking ahead to the coming summer and what I might need a PRESSURE CANNER/COOKER for.

I think the best option is to have this lady,

Bailey 9

tutor me on the finer points of pressure canning. If it can be canned I believe that MrsPinecone can and has done it.

And besides, if I go over to her house to learn then I can hang with these crumb crunchers….


And to round out the week let’s just have a selection of Instagram pictures.

Because I really don’t have ANYTHING better to do with my life that document it on Instagram.

2014-01-29 16.35.342014-02-01 06.02.172014-02-02 18.21.56-12014-02-03 14.15.20-22014-02-04 07.08.23-22014-02-04 10.15.14-22014-02-04 12.20.39-22014-02-05 12.47.46-22014-02-05 14.58.15-22014-02-06 09.03.22-2