Thursday, August 28, 2014

Changes


 Ten-Year-Old Selfie

Twenty-Year-Old Selfie

My son, Kai, left for college at CSU Moneterey Bay last weekend. I've shed some tears over it, but I'm also so happy for him. He lives in MONTEREY now, after all. I was in labor with him for over twenty-four hours, and when he was finally born, he was a little the worse for wear, with a pretty big conehead. I remember looking down at him and thinking, "I'm going to love him no matter how funny looking he is." Well, I think he's pretty darn handsome now, and I know mothers are extremely biased, but he is a wonderful person and has been such a blessing to me, especially in the wake of his sister, who I also love a bunch, but who has kept up hopping, to put it nicely, for a big part of her life.

I am never that into knitting during the last part of the summer, what with 100 degree temperature, but I've been knitting quite a bit lately, probably for a little comfort. I've been knitting Pleiades with some blue Malabrigo yarn. I bought it in Monterey in July when we were looking for apartments for Kai.
 It's an easy pattern, but I didn't want to have to focus too much while we were driving in the car up to Monterey, so I started some  ribbed socks with some variegated Cascade yarn I've had forever.







Saturday, August 09, 2014

Trying Again

I received a nice note from an acquaintance last week, telling me how much she had enjoyed my blog. It was just what I needed to get a little inspiration again. I still knit a lot and enjoy it, so it seems silly not to record my accomplishments....and failures. So, here I go again.

I recently knit these little bunnies with leftover yarn for my neighbor who just had a baby and who also have a two-year-old.  I bought Julie's dress patterns a while back, so I used those. They're all so cute, and I'm so in love with the shoes that she includes in the bunny pattern itself. I bought my friend a card that had cute little pink fondant booties on a cupcake, so I found a tiny bit of leftover, bright pink yarn for the baby's bunny. Success! I even thought about making some of the cupcakes, but I regained my sanity before I tried that.
little bit of bright pink yarn to make one of the pairs of booties.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Stuff




I was sitting watching the Olympics a couple of nights ago, and I was thinking about starting a new knitting project, but then I realized that I couldn't start something because I had unfinished business. I just wasn't happy with the arms on the baby Poonam sweater I finished last week, so I took them out and reknit them. I am so glad I did because I took over the finished product to my friend's house today, and her little baby was quire pleased with his fashionable new item. He'll probably only wear it a couple of times, but I enjoyed knitting it, and his "knitting mother" seemed to really appreciated it.

In other happy news, we had a guest this weekend. Her name is Hershey, and the picture above is a picture that I took last fall and posted on Facebook, hoping to find her owner. She followed my friend and I home from our run one morning and was ADAMANT that we help her. I figured that someone in the neighborhood had lost her and was frantically looking for her since she appeared to be a purebred and was so darn cute. I took her inside to give her a little food, and then Russ went in search of her owner. We, of course, were limited on time since we had to get to work, so when we couldn't find an owner, we let her out into the "cold cruel world" again because we couldn't leave her in the house, and our dogs are inside/outside dogs. When we came home for lunch, she was in the house again because Kai had heard her crying outside her door and took pity. We really didn't want another dog, but now we really felt responsible, and, on closer inspection, we discovered that she was very thin and not well taken care of.



To make a long story short, she was adopted and is now doted on by a neighbor who had lost a beloved dog a year or two before, after we showed up on her door step and told her that she needed a new dog. Part of the deal is that we are "dog parents" when our neighbor leaves for the weekend, which is fairly often. Hershey stays with us, and, unfortunately, has taken on some of our dogs' bad habit, like sleeping on the warm laundry on the couch, that is waiting to be folded. I discovered her here with Gidget after returning with the rest of the load. Sigh!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Tiny Aran


In teaching, you start having colleagues who were also your students as soon as five or six years after they graduate, so you can imagine that since I've been teaching for over twenty-five years that I have tons of ex-student-fellow teachers. One of them, who has actually moved on up to teaching at the community college next door to our high school, had a baby in December. She's a knitter. Additionally, she's a "math teacher" knitter, which means that she probably doesn't improvise as much as I do, preferring to be mathematically accurate instead of just "guestimating." I'm a little unsure about how these sleeves are going to work out, but I'm pretty happy with this Baby Poonam. I'd better hurry and deliver it. We're back to kind of normal California winter weather. I'm not sure it even hit 50 degrees yesterday. Brrrrrr!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's See How It Goes

I remember feeling so disappointed when some of the bloggers who I discovered years ago stopped blogging. Most of them did that thing where they would post only sporadically, and then would officially sign off or just disappear. My blog has never been that focused where I felt it was a burden as most of the "retired" bloggers would often profess to feeling. I just haven't felt the motivation. I really have enjoyed the interaction with other knitters though, so I'm going to give it another try, and I'll see how it goes.

I have been knitting quite a bit since September, mostly small stuff....OK, only small stuff. Back in November, I knit the Green Forest headband for Paige, which was really fun to knit, with just enough variety in stitches to keep it interesting.


 Then, during Christmas vacation, I knit the Through the Woods  Neckwarmer. It was fun to knit too although I'm not sure how much use Paige will get out of it. She's complained that it's so cold riding her bike to class in Davis, which I'm sure is true. It's definitely "California cold" up there, but I think the complaints were more directed toward getting to take a car up there than for me to "fix" her chilliness.

In non-knitting news, our little beagle puppy, Rolly, who broke his leg last spring, has turned into a huge, gangling guy. He's a typical beagle: good-natured, stubborn, and always ready for fun. Gidget tolerates his antics quite well, and sometimes, even joins in.



Sunday, September 01, 2013

Fun Weekend

I posted a picture of my "Little Cotton Rabbits" bunny earlier, but I forgot to post the picture with the little headband I knit for my grandneice, along with it. It was super easy, but cute, I think. I haven't been knitting much since this accomplishment. It's just so hot, and not conducive to wanting to work with wool, which is my favorite "medium."




I did consider bringing some knitting along with me this weekend for a little trip Russ and I went on, along with 26 students and 2 other teachers, but I had to drive a van, and I usually do all of my knitting on trips when we're driving. We all spent the night at a friend's grandmother's house...well, "house" is an understatement. It's a horse ranch up above Solvang. We left after school on Friday, dropped our stuff off at the ranch and rested a bit and then went to see Cyrano de Brgerac the PCPA Outdoor Theater in Solvang. They did a great job, as they always do, and even Russ stayed awake for all three hours.   


 The next morning, my friend's grandmother took us on a little tour of the ranch. She raises champion horses, and even though she's well into her 70s, she marched us up and down hills in 90 degree temps as if it was nothing.


Did I mention that we had 26 teenagers along? I still can't quite belief that our hostess, Maidy, was so generous. She has a beautiful home and didn't even seem to cringe as we descended upon her. Her dogs were also very accommodating, as long as someone was willing to toss their toys for them endlessly.



I can't remember her macaw's name, but he was happy to have us too, and even did a little dance whenever someone played the piano or accordion in the next room. What a fun adventure!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Sunday Afternoon" of Summer

 This will possibly be my most random post every. I haven't posted much this summer despite lots for fun adventures, including some knitting successes, as well. We usually end our summer with a visit to my parents in Humboldt County, which is from nine and a half to eleven hours away from us, depending on which roads we decide to take and how terrible the traffic is. This year was the first time in over twenty years that we went without any kids, which was a little sad; however we did take our dogs which was a little burdensome, but still fun. My dad built me a spinning wheel this year, and has sent me several pictures of his creation throughout his "building journey." My only responsibility before taking possession of it was to apply some Danish oil to the finished project.

My dad has never really shown that much interest in my knitting, but this spinning wheel has changed that somewhat. Last summer a friend of his, who raises sheep, gave him a huge bundle of romney fleece when he found out he was making me a spinning wheel. I have had it in my garage most of the year, waiting for me to learn to spin. I have a long way to go, but thank to my dad again, I did have an enjoyable lesson from a neighbor of my parent', Eilene, who is an avid spinner.
It would appear that Eilene is also an avid knitter. After our lesson, Eilene showed me some of her sweaters. I practically gushed. They were incredible. She and her husband have traveled the world, and she had knitted sweaters with yarn from wonderful places they had visited, including Florence. My favorite sweater, though, was a sweater she had knit from Philosopher's Wool. I'd kind of forgotten about them, since knitting anything from them is a major investment. Her sweater is the purple-hued one on the upper right. Now, I'm thinking that I need to make the investment in one. What a fun afternoon I spend with her.

 Our doggies took quite a bit of our time since my parents' yard isn't fenced well enough for them to roam outside. On the other hand, they were so cute, we didn't mind the effort. Rollie, our "baby," loved it there, and he loved having his "aunty" Gidget along to bother and....sleep on when necessary.

 Having dogs in tow does limit one's activities, but we didn't let it slow us down too much. We spend a lot of time just hiking around Humboldt County, but we also walked in downtown Eureka with the beagles and enjoyed the somewhat new boardwalk.
 I knit a bunny while we were there too. I think she may be my favorite bunny ever. I bought Julie's bunny pattern over two months ago, after waiting years for her to publish it. I have loved these bunnies forever, and finally Julie put together the most perfect pattern for creating one of our own. I sent this little girl bunny to my nephew and his wife, who had a little girl this winter, named Ollie. They're both very artistic, and I'm thinking will appreciate a little handmade gift for their darling little girl.

On our way home from my parents' house, we stopped in Davis to pick up Paige, who doesn't have to start back at school until the end of September, so she thought she'd spend a few weeks with us. We enjoyed some sushi out on the patio of our motel.  It might have been a little more enjoyable had we not had barking beagles sitting with us, but it was fun nevertheless. Paige knows how to order awesome sushi. It's funny how poor college students know all about expensive food!

Friday, July 19, 2013



I have such nice "blogdom" friends. I initially posted pictures of these Brittany Walnut knitting needles without any text attached. To tell the truth, I accidentally posted them. I had taken the pictures because I was selling them on Ebay. I still got three nice comments about them.  Anyway, I ended up selling this pair of needles for $45. I have two other pairs that I don't plan to sell, even though I also have no intention of ever using them. They're too special. I sure wish I had bought a complete set back when they were $8 a pair, but I didn't know that they would quit making them so quickly.




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Taste of Freedom Again

I'm not about to whine about how having an injured puppy can cramp your style since we're so happy he's doing so well, but....we hadn't been to the beach in over a month until yesterday. Rolly got his splint off last week and is doing really well. We still can't leave him though and have to watch that he doesn't get too rambunctious. So, we just took him to the beach with us.

Paige went along with us. (It's amazing what a bored college kid, home for the summer. will do for entertainment.) We had been telling her how good Taco Temple in Morro Bay is and had thought about taking her there, but we would have had to do take-out. Then I remembered that Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant is doggie-friendly; plus they have delicious seafood too, so that's where we went. Paige and I had the Mariner's Salad, which is packed with bay shrimp, and Russ had a seafood burrito, which looked awesome with whole scallops in it and other delicious looking stuff.

 After a stop at Giovanni's Fish Market for some scallops to take home (Um, the fact that the scallops were from Canada didn't dissuade me from buying them) and some smoked salmon, we headed over to the Los Osos Farmer's Market  for more food purchases. Our favorite purchases this trip: Dark Nectar Roasting Company coffee and Joycup Peanut Butter Cups.

The Dark Nectar guy had about six different flavors of coffee for us to try. I liked everything I tried, but I thought McPhee's Grill Blend was a great name, so we went with that. Paige and I fell in love with the candy last year. It's soooo good, with flavors like: Espresso Sea Salt, Lemon Blueberry, and Olallieberry.
 I get kind of annoyed when Farmers' Markets say, "No dogs," and then people are walking around with their dogs, but we were a little guilty of it this time. Russ carried Rolly the whole time, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't exactly kosher either.

 Gidget was happy to see Rolly home again. She hates riding in the car, or we might have considered taking her along too.

 Did I have something about this being a knitting blog in my title? Well, I'm back to knitting, feverishly even. Last fall, I received the most fun, unexpected gift. It was a "care" package from my friend Julie. It was an endless array of wonderful stuff, but my favorite item was two skeins of yarn from Glinda the Good Wool. It's called Frost in the Vineyard, which is totally cool to me. I've been looking for a pattern that was worthy of this yarn, and, believe me, I mean looked and looked. I finally found the perfect pattern: Ysolda Teague's Scroll Lace Scarf. The pattern is easy although I haven't yet memorized it. I feel like a knitter again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nope, Still Not Bored


 This picture doesn't do justice to how I spent my afternoon today. I made chimichangas with three of my favorite students/ex-students: the Arellano sisters. Several years ago, the oldest sister, Stephanie brought chimichangas to a potluck for our class one day and I've been in love with them ever since. I've described their chimichangas as melting in your mouth  It's not an understatement to say that I'm obsessed with them. I hinted...Ok, begged for the recipe, but the girls said that they were not at liberty to share it since it was their mom's secret recipe although they have often provided me with a good supply of them throughout the year.


 Well, this afternoon, they showed up with all of the fixings for....Chimichangas. Their mom gave her OK for me having a little awesome Mexican cuisine cooking lesson. I've eaten a lot of good Mexican food, but these chimichangas are the best. The recipe actually wasn't very complicated, but it did take some time. I don't think I'd be breaking any confidences by posting the recipe here, and it will help me remember how to make them.

Chimichangas


  • two chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • one white onion, chopped
  • one bunch cilantro, chopped
  • one bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • one pkg. large flour tortillas (They use Guerreo brand)
  • canolla oil, for frying


Poach the chicken in the chicken broth with two cloves garlic, one half chopped onion,  cilantro, and 1 tsp. salt. When chicken is cooked, shredded it, and place it in a bowl with one clove of the garlic, the rest of the chopped onion, chopped parsley, and enough tomato sauce to moisten well without being "goopy." Let the chicken mixture cool, and then place a thin line of chicken across the lower third of the burrito. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the chicken and form a tight tube, then pick up the bottom portion of the tortilla and roll the rest of it tightly into a tube. They usually let their chimichangas sit in the fridge over night to set, and then fry them in the morning. They're easier to work with that way.
 I've slowed down a little on my summer accomplishments, but I did finish Russ's socks yesterday. He seems to like them, and kept them on even though it's like 80 degree in the house. I bought Julie's bunny pattern last month, so I'm thinking that that will be my next project, but we'll just have to see. Maybe I'll throw caution to the wind, and start two projects at once.