Friday, May 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 261)


Weekly greetings from my little corner of the frozen north. Once you have filled your minds with the my comforting stream of blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, faster than the speed of Cindy McCain smacking down Gwyneth Paltrow, over to Conversion Diary to see what is what.

Opening up the secret world of blather!

It has actually been a fairly quiet week here in Lake Knitbegon. A nice change from the holiday weekend which was anything but quiet. Saturday saw me sitting at a baseball game in the morning, getting home in time to wash my face and change my clothes before hopping in Coco to go to church to “shadow” some of the wedding coordinators there (something I am training to do at church), then hang around for an hour before church started. Sunday was filled with a bit of the Indy 500 and then out to the actual wedding where I watched Tammy and Christie work their coordination magic. EIGHT bridesmaids! 300 people at the wedding. Wedding guests arriving 45 MINUTES after the ceremony started. Egads. Monday saw us at the parade and then a wedding.

I was glad for a quiet week.

Basic knitting this week was confined to working on a sweater and a pair of socks. I bring this up only because…….

I have noticed a slight oops on the socks.


But I am not going back to change it. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not (silently stamping my feet)! I am just doing a pair of “vanilla socks” in a certain colorway that I will tell you about next week. Such secrecy Deb! Yup. What I mean when I say “vanilla socks” is that the pattern is very plain and vanilla.

Why does everyone think that vanilla means plain? Really GOOD vanilla is anything but plain. It is full of flavor and nuance and deliciousness.

Did I just really digress there? Where was I? Oh yes, socks.

See, the thing is that when I am knitting a pair of Vanilla socks I often do not look at what I am actually doing. By this point in my knitting life there is muscle memory and touch memory for knitting a knit 3, purl 1 rib, even with fingering weight yarn on size 1 needles. I can watch TV or read and not have to think about it. That is what I was doing, watching a bit of TV while working on the foot portion of the sock. That means that the instep (top) of the foot is ribbed and the sole of the sock is just plain stockinette stitch….or it should be. But when I put the knitting away I realized that there was a slight booboo about 1.5 inches down in the knitting where I had not changed from ribbing to plain stockinette on one needle. My guess is that no one else would actually notice it, or at least no one who wasn’t one of my KnitSibs, who would notice it immediately.

I looked at it. I seriously contemplated just dropping those stitches back and knitting back up. And decided not to.

Oh who am I kidding. You know I am going to fix that slight thing this morning. There is no way I could stand it otherwise.

Dang perfectionist knitting.

Million Bells 1

The Promise of Million Bells

Still fascinated with the Macro photography. Really and totally fascinated. To the point, actually, that when I am going about my daily life it is often the case that I will stop and look at something mundane and wonder how it will look under my “do it yourself” macro set up.

Yesterday morning found me outside, camera on tripod, photographing the beads of rain on the petals of the pot of Million Bells that sits on the patio table. I had just put my oatmeal on to cook when I looked out and saw all the little beads of water sparkling on the petals and knew I had to photograph them. But since I do not actually have a macro lens…yet….it takes longer to set up. And I didn’t notice that as I was crouching and kneeling and focusing and moving around, my neighbor Chris had been standing on her patio for a time just watching me before she let me know that she was there.

Thank goodness I wasn’t laying in the grass taking pictures of bugs.

And I burned my oatmeal.

Such is the price I pay for going with my photographic feeling.

Tomorrow I drive out to Northwest Indiana to help Mimi, Pilot Man and The Chef clean out things at The Cottage.


I will tell you all about it next week. It will be a long post so be prepared. It may be a bit emotional.

You will just have to deal.

The start of our poultry CSA comes ever closer and I am searching out interesting chicken recipes.

Have I ever told you how much I love chicken? I could give up beef in a heart beat but chicken…….not going to happen.

Last night I experimented with Chicken burgers and they were delicious! I ground the chicken with my handy dandy Kitchen Aid attachment. Why do that? Because I am obviously someone who likes to make more work for herself and is very much into the “I do it myself” mode.

And because I don’t trust the grocery store and how clean they keep things.

Then it was add a bit of salt, a bit of pepper, some chopped up cilantro, some garlic powder, an egg and some panko bread crumbs. Mix all together. Shape into a ball. Put in HOT pan and push down to form a patty and cook.

Oh they were delicious! I didn’t have any buns at home other than the one that I sit on so I just had it plain, topped with some caramelized onions that I had cooked earlier as well as salsa (homemade) and some yogurt (homemade).

I am a regular Martha Stewart…well all except for the federal prison thing.

I am a voracious reader. That is really for another post (which I am actually working on) but the reason why I say it now is because this week was a first for me.

I read my first anything by Stephen King.

I KNOW! I am surprised at this as well. The Horror genre just isn’t really “my thing” if you will. And my philosophy is that life is too short to read genres that don’t interest you.

However, I happen to love the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Did you know that the short story on which the movie is based was written by Stephen King? Yup, it was. It is contained in a book of short stories called Different Seasons. His writing is really wonderful, at least as far as I have gotten. I have finished Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and now on to the rest of the stories. Then next book in the reading pile will be The Green Mile, also a Stephen King book made into a movie favorite of mine.

But I doubt I will be exploring his horror genre.

Never say never though.

Let’s end with some Instagram pictures. Because, as usual, by the time I get to #7 I am out of ideas. Obviously I lead a rather boring life.
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  1. "Really GOOD vanilla is anything but plain. It is full of flavor and nuance and deliciousness." Amen, amen and amen! Favorite flavor ever. Also, I can give you the names of several Stephen King books that aren't so much horror as psychological thrillers.Anyhow, in Different Seasons you'll also come across The Body, which I think is in the Fall section. It was adapted into Stand By Me, another excellent film. You'd like The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. And 1963. Okay, I could go on and on. Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. Oh, thanks for the Stephen King recommendations. And as far as vanilla goes, I started making my own several years ago. So stinkin' easy and the outcome is vastly superior to anything that I have been able to buy. Sometimes I just go and smell the stuff. Sooooo good.

  2. I was all set with lots of complimentary comments about this post (I do love and look forward to your 7QT posts) but then I read that you make your own vanilla. I need to know how you do this, please! I know I could Google it, but I trust your experienced Martha Stewart-ness much more. I've been buying some rather expensive (but good) vanilla from Penzey's and would much rather be making my own. Also, I highly recommend NOT reading 'Salem's Lot and Cujo. They made me call my sister at 2:00 am and signaled the end of reading Stephen King for me.

  3. The post on cleaning out the cabin will be emotional for me, too. look at that little bitty place on the right side of the photo --I can't believe that NINE of us stayed there regularly and we are still friends. Sisters of the heart, even. And ME, TOO on Stephen King. Let us know which ones you like. I've never read him, but I'm willing to try--I'm just not interested in the horror stuff. Probably. :-)

  4. I watched The Green Mile last night and thought about reading it. But after Salem's Lot (many years ago) I said I'd never read another Stephen King. Might give him another shot. I will be thinking of you this weekend and your special place.

  5. you love baseball---so go ahead and read Stephen King's "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon". Our bookclub read it, reluctantly, but we all really liked it, and it's one of my favorite choices from bookclub, and I don't read Mr King usually. It's one of those stretching out of your box kinda books, and it's a rather short book.

  6. And, it would be very "Amish" of you to leave that mistake in your sock. no such thing as perfect!


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