Thursday, December 31, 2015

My 15 in 2015

I am going to be perfectly honest here and say that I stole this idea of my 15 favorite things from 2015. No, I didn't steal it from Oprah, although she may be one of the originators of this for sure.

And no, you aren't getting a car from me for Christmas.

Actually I stole the idea from my friend, Amy, who is doing something just like this over at her blog....and giving something away. You should go over there and check it out cuz.....a chance for something free....over there....

But not here. Here you just get my list of my 15 favorite things from this year. These are in no particular order and they aren’t the only favorite things that I have had this year but they are my favorites. They might not even be new things, but they are still my favorites.

1. S'well Bottles.
I am going to admit that when Shoe Queen extolled the virtues of her S'Well bottle, I was skeptical. SUUUUUUURE it keeps your water cold for 24 hours. SUUUUUURE it keeps hot liquids hot/warm for 12 hours. I drink a lot of water and a lot of coffee. I really hate lukewarm water and I really hate lukewarm coffee. Basically I hate any liquid that is lukewarm, well except for beer for which sometime lukewarmness actually brings out the more subtle flavors in the brewski. But that is a topic for another blog post. I took a chance and ordered a S'well bottle. I say chance because the standard size bottle is $35 and if it didn't live up to snuff I would have spent a lot of sock yarn money for a bottle.

Oh my goodness gracious and all the water gods in heaven. This thing was magic. I love ice in my water, and no I do not chew the ice as that is very bad for the teeth. Did you know that there is actually a name for the compulsive need to chew ice? It is called pagophagia. I know this because before the great uterine removal I was VERY anemic and one of the glaring symptoms of severe anemia is pagophagia and I had a RAGING case of that.

You know, I think I got off topic there for a moment. Where was I? Oh yes, ice in the bottle.
So, the opening to the bottle is a bit small so I ordered ice cube trays that make tiny ice cubes and now I have ice and water in my S'well bottle and the ice lasts for 24 HOURS! The only problem was that the standard size bottle holds about 16 oz and that meant that I was filling that thing up with water 4+ times a day. SO, for Christmas I bought myself a large S'well bottle for water and now I use the standard one for my coffee in the morning, coffee that now stays BLAZINGLY hot for hours and hours and hours.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Yeah, I am a Star Wars geek. Not as geeky as SOME in my family, and you know who you are, but still I rank up there. Saw the movie twice in the first week. Don't tell HHBL but I am thinking about seeing it again a third time by myself, if I can every find the time to do that.

I will do a longer Star Wars post that will be FULL of spoilers but that will be some time in January I think.

I do have some theories about some things.

3. Brunty Farms Poultry CSA
Sorry, unless you live here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio you aren't going to be able to partake of the goodness that comes from this place. But if you ARE anywhere around my area you should sign up for this. $375/year gets you 20 chickens, 8 dozen eggs and the most fabulous fresh turkey that I have ever tasted. Pick ups are spaced out over 4 months for the basic poultry, that means that in June, July, August and September you drive out to the farm on your appointed day and you pick up four newly dead chickens and 2 dozen eggs. And you can shop at the farm store for other things as well. I don't think there was a pick up time this year when we didn't buy bacon, sausage and other things. The lamb burgers are TO.DIE.FOR and the Chicken Blueberry sausages are....are....well, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about them.

4. Pistachios.
I always thought I didn't like Pistachios. Maybe it is because I haven't ever been very fond of things that have Pistachio flavoring in them. Whatever the reason, I have avoided pistachios most of my adult life. And then we went to AZ in February to visit the in-laws and there was a bowl of unshelled Pistachios sitting on the counter and I tried one. I cannot get enough of these things. Shell, eat, shell, eat, shell, eat.

5. Mystery Sock Yarn Year
I have talked about it before but I totally loved my mystery sock yarn year. I loved it so much that I am going to do it again this year....and perhaps every year until I no longer knit socks, which will not be until the Lord calls me home. It rejuvenated my already egregiously large love of knitting socks.

6. Pepperplate
Have I told you about Pepperplate? I feel like I have but I am going on 56 years old and the little gray cells are more Swiss Cheese and soft, gooey Brie that a nice hard cheddar.

Pepperplate, lets talk Pepperplate. This one also came from Shoe Queen. She raved. I scoffed. She was right. Pepperplate is an app that resides on my phone and my ipad. I keep recipes on it. I can order them any way that I like. I can tag/keyword them to my hearts content. If I find a recipe on the internet and I want to try it, I put it in Pepperplate. When I am at the store and I go, "Dang! What were the ingredients that I needed?"....Pepperplate can help. I am actually in the process of going through what few cookbooks I still own, the ones that I just never open that is, and looking to see if there are any recipes that I might want to try....and putting them in Pepperplate.

Go and try it.

7. My little back patio
This is our second full year at Chez Knit. Last year we didn't have a grill and we didn't have patio furniture until late in the year.

This year we have both. When I say patio furniture what I mean is a small patio table and two chairs as well as two plastic Adirondack chairs to sit in.

This year I also expanded the planters and actually kept everything watered pretty well. I was successful in growing a few tomatoes and herbs. In fact, I have still been able to use fresh herbs from the planters well into December because we haven't really had any snow....which I am sure will change fairly soon. Drat.

We ate Sunday brunch on the patio all summer. HHBL grilled on our new little right sized for a small patio grill....remember those Brunty Farm Lamb burgers I mentioned in #3. Add some homemade tzatziki sauce, a slice of home grown tomato, some pickled red onion and a bit of lettuce. Oh momma. We sat and read, enjoying a weekend morning and the amazing quiet that is back there, even though we live no more than 300 feet from a busy road. I put up a hummingbird feeder and actually had a bunch of the little buggers find it.

I love my little back patio

8. My Kindle
I finally decided that I would get one of those handy little devises. I have an iPad. I love reading on my iPad. BUT, I realized that if I read on my iPad for any length of time before I go to sleep.....I don't go to sleep. Or if I do manage that then I don't sleep well.

I value my sleep people. You don't want to be around me without my sleep.

SO I bought a Kindle Paperwhite. That is what you want to get, a Paperwhite, because that is the one that is back lite and can be used in the dark of night. I know, I have tested it. Don't get the regular Kindle. I still read on my iPad but not in bed.

9.  High School wrestling
Ummm, this is a REALLY new thing, like a yesterday new thing. HHBL wrestled in high school and in college. He LOVES wrestling. I have no clue why we haven't gone to wrestling matches/tournaments before now. It is a puzzlement to me. There was a wrestling tournament at the local high school and we went last night.

Oh. My. Gosh. It was completely fascinating. I want to go again. I need to read and learn all the rules. I love complicated sports that require skill and thinking.

That must be why I love Curling so much.......

I need to bring a more comfortable seat to sit on the next time we go. If I hadn't been all squirmy after the first hour I would have been in an even more happy place.

And they started the whole thing with a bagpiper playing Scotland the Brave. I am hooked.

10. Continuing to clean out my house
Guys I STILL have too much stuff. It is an ongoing battle. And I will win it if it is the last thing that I do.

By the way, this doesn't apply to yarn. I just thought I should tell you that, cuz, I just bought yarn today for two baby blankets. There might be someone having twins this coming year and those boys will need blankets.

11. My neighbors
The people are a hoot. HHBL and I have lived here 2.5 years now and we are really just getting to know our neighbors. Thank goodness for the quarterly dinners and the fact that people like to walk the oval when the weather is nice. I have been so thankful for all of them. There is a small "cupcake committee" that brings goodies to everyone at the holidays. I might admit that my Christmas cupcake didn't even make it to the kitchen.

I was hungry. So sue me.

12. My counter top ice cream maker
We might, perhaps, love it a bit too much. Who wouldn't love the fact that with very little effort you can have ice cream in about 30 minutes. Really good ice cream. I might just have all the makings for chocolate ice cream that tastes just like a Wendy's frosty waiting to be used right this very second.
Orange sherbet, strawberry ice cream (with mini chocolate chips in it), peach ice cream, Oreo cookie ice cream, plain old vanilla, and many more have we consumed this year my young Padawan. You need one of these. It is made by Cuisinart and mine came from TMO and TSiL last Christmas.

13. The fact that I don't have to pick up dog poopies when it is -20F.
I miss my Maxie Poodles Good Dog more than I can say, even after two months. But, I am not in the least missing having to pick up doggie doolies.

I just have to be honest about it.

14. Fried eggs on top of my toast.
This was a great surprise to me. Up until this year my eggs and my toast were not to touch each other.

There was no mingling of yolk and crust, not slathering of white and butter together.

Egg and Toast segregation was complete.

And then I saw a friend consuming her fried egg on top of an English Muffin, and it all just made sense.

Fried egg on toast. Fried egg on English Muffin. Soft boiled egg on anything and everything that might be thought of as bread. All that has happened this year at breakfast time.

This might even make me re-think my COMPLETE aversion to Egg in a Hole. But only if the yolk is runny. Which I think means that I toast the bread on both sides in the skillet and THEN put the egg in.


15. Evernote
If you do not use Evernote, you need to.

My world would be dark and bleak without Evernote. I write notes for a meeting on my work computer….and they are instantly available on my home computer, my phone and my iPad.

Go, run, download. Be happy.

Wow, that took me WAY longer than I thought. Have a great New Years Eve, and a safe one. We are off to have our yearly pig out extravaganza dinner with LaurenLeap and The Tech Guy at Maggianos.
I can feel my waistband expanding at the thought.

See you in 2016.

Which is tomorrow.


  1. What a great list! Pepperplate sounds great, and if I knew how to add an app to my phone (must ask my son to show me) I'd be sure to use it. I've given p on my cookbooks and turned to most of the time.

    The other item that struck a chord for me was your back patio. I love my sun room and the deck off it so much so I totally understand.

    Happy New Year!

  2. I will be looking up the Pepperplate app for sure! I must mention that I love my original Kindle, not back-lit, for reading outside. In the sun by the pool or on the beach. You can't really do that with the backlit ipads or kindles. I do have a small light for it when reading in dark places. Pros and cons for both

  3. OK, THANK YOU!!! LOVE Pepperplate!! Exactly what I've been looking for!!!! Thanks!


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