Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big earthquake, but Charlie and the boys and I are all fine, other than that our phones aren't working.

Friday, July 25, 2008

As of last night, yellow stripey magic loop sock #1 is finished! Yay! And as of this afternoon, YSMLS#2 is started. Huzzah!

I've got to say, I'm enjoying magic loop way more than I thought I would. I may be even switching my sock needle allegiance from my much beloved double points. It's that awesome. Largely because I have less fear of the sock coming off of the needles in my bag with magic loop. I'm very paranoid about that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So tonight Charlie is for real working late, and I wanted to have the celery with peanut butter I was going to have last night. Except when I went to get it out, the celery (which I bought on Saturday) was all floppy. I don't know that I've ever had celery go floppy like that. I was weirded out, so I threw it away. But now I have to come up with a new dinner plan. I am not pleased. I mean, I have other lovely vegetables that I'm sure are in fine condition, but I wanted that celery. And I wanted a dinner that involved little effort, and would get very few dishes dirty. For now I'm eating frozen grapes and weighing my options.

In good news, sock #1 of my current pair is almost done. I think there's a very good chance I will finish it tonight. The yellow and the stripey-ness continue to delight.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I just realized that the downside of my husband unexpectedly coming home for (late-ish) dinner is that I can not go with my previously planned menu of frozen grapes, and maybe some celery with peanut butter and raisins if I want more substance. Crud. Ah well, he's worth it.

(Note: I was seriously planning on the frozen grapes and maybe celery menu, but I also had nice hearty homemade chili for lunch. So I am not flying in the face of proper nutrition. Mom.)

(Well, not my mom, as she does not use the internets, but I know there are people out there who worry.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

It is the magic loop sock! In progress! I am digging it's yellow stripey-ness so much (It's On-line Supersocke 100 Holiday Color). I can't tell if I'm really going any faster with magic loop than with double points. I've been busy, so I've been doing a round here, a round there. But it's coming along pretty well for having been started Friday late afternoon.

In other news, I actually finished a toy last week after a bit of a toy making hiatus. So I'm hoping to get back on track with that in general. And I have a small painting commission, which will help me keep in painting practice. And thus, I am exercising my art muscles.

In other other news, there is a big pot of chili on the stove with my name on it, and I think I'm going to go eat some.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I think you know the answer.

Guess who taught herself magic loop knitting this morning? And made oatmeal raisin cookies? And discovered that the walk to the train station in summer heat and odd for the region humidity is not fun? And saw a rat climb over her neighbor's balcony into her bushes and is now a little freaked out by that? And is surprised by being freaked out, because she used to have a pet rat?

Yeah, things (other than rat related things, which I'm actually not too worried about, what with the cat and dog around) are going well here. Our household may have some boosts in income soon, which is exciting.

Plus magic loop! Which is actually really easy. Pictures soonish. I need to use it to make something that isn't in a dark, doesn't look like much in a photograph color.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Go, right now, and read this article/recipe about making cold-brew iced coffee. Because cold-brew iced coffee? Is amazing. I made my first batch last night, drank it this morning, and am making a double or triple batch tonight so that I can have lots and lots tomorrow. And if that means that I end up drinking way to much coffee tomorrow, than so be it. It's good. Also, easy.

Not a ton going on here. I working on swatches for a sweater I want to design. While doing so, I am promising myself that I will write this one into an actual pattern with multiple sizes to share with other people if it turns out. By doing so, I feel productive, even though I am just knitting the same little swatch again and again in different yarn/needle combinations while watching tv.

Also, can you tell from the coffee picture that I have a tripod now? My mom had two, so when I visited Chicago she gave me one. When you have shaky hand like me, it makes a difference.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I am always seeking the wonder in the everyday world.

The taste of milky tea.
The silhouettes of the plants outside my bedroom window wake on the closed curtain when the light is just right.
How the same plants look like a lush jungle when the curtain is open.
The sound an apple makes when, having been lightly tossed upwards, it smacks gently back into my palm.
The smell of onions cooking.
The gentle touch of someone's fingers on my neck, as they do up the back of my dress.

I like little things like this, the amazing things that happen all of the time without anyone noticing. Except that I like to notice. It's not a new sentiment, obviously. Lots of people take pleasure in the simple art of paying attention. It makes life good.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hey! Happy Independence Day! I'm checking in now in case I don't get a chance later, and also because some one (the dog) who is not so independent needed to be taken out to pee, so I'm already awake. Which I guess normally on a Friday I'm up at six, but it's a holiday so I was planning to sleep a bit later than the 7:15 at which I was awoken. Okay, to be fair I was planning to get up around 8am, because for me that feels very decedent. Because I am an adult now.

Unless fireworks are visible from my patio, I don't think I'm going to see fireworks today. Which I'm fine with, since the fact that anywhere in California is having fireworks displays during such a horrible fire season makes me nervous. Although of course they'll do the fireworks without me. But at least I won't have to cram in with a bunch of strangers and get mosquito bites. I'm not a fan of crowds, nor mosquitoes.

At any rate, pretty soon I'll go to the store, and then I'll have a whole lot of cooking ahead of me. But yeah! Have a fun day, no matter where in the world you are.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


So! Still hot! And I think I have a cold, or allergies, because my head feels heavy and my eyes are burning and I keep sneezing. But I will keep on going, because I have a lot of cooking ahead of me.

Tomorrow I'll be making a tomato sauce with sausage, a tomato sauce without sausage, and a pesto. To go with them, I will be making a very large amount of homemade pasta. Fortunately, I have Charlie to help in all of this. He's still working on gaining confidence as a cook, but he's really pretty good. It also helps that these are all foods we've made enough times that I won't need to consult recipes, and they're all things I can more or less guarantee will turn out.

Making pasta is so much fun! It's sort of like the Fuzzy Pumper Barber set I had for my playdough when I was little, except that when you eat the end result of this it tastes good. (Well, playdough also tastes kind of good, but homemade pasta is even better.) And homemade pasta is really, really tasty. What with the freshness and the eggs and all.

After a short time making pasta, Charlie and I are already deviating from the recipes we've started out with. I now go with two cups of flour to three eggs, plus a little bit of water, unless the eggs are on the big side. You make a flour mountain, make a little volcano top in the middle, and plop your eggs in the hole like a virgin sacrifice (horrible joke. I'm sorry). You scramble the eggs with a fork, and then start pulling flour into them. When they stop being runny, you start mixing with your hands. When its turns into a dough, you start kneading it. And you keep needing it for about 10 minutes. At that point you either start running through the pasta machine, or you get out a rolling pin and start rolling. Either way, you keep going until it's a noodle type thinness, at which point you cut it, cook it, and eat it. And it's awesome!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It is hot out there. I mean, I realize it's frequently hotter in these parts, but it's still really hot. After walking back from my knitting group I need a second shower. I mean, it's up and down hills and mostly in direct sun, but ugh. It really isn't that far, only 1.75 miles, and in cooler weather is a really pleasant walk. Today, not so much. I'm also just not a warm weather person. My feeling on it is, I can always add more layers, but you can only take so much off before you're naked.

At any rate, I broke down and turned the air conditioning on, which I hate to do. On the other hand, I do enjoy not feeling physically awful, so it's a trade off.

In other news that isn't about me sweating, I continue to enjoy art. And in particular, I am starting to work on my pieces for Crafty Giveaway, which I announced back in May. So if you're one of the recipients for that, you should be getting a package from me in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Back to work!

It's a semi-blurry photo of a toy that's long from finished, but it's still proof that I am back to work! And I could not be happier. I was getting worried. I came back from vacation, and felt devoid of ideas and stories and images and inspiration. It was like my brain had gone quiet. It will probably not come as a surprise that the thing that brought the noise back, so to speak, was writing about the issue in my sketchbook. It's a reminder that even though I never feel like I'm doing it right (which is in itself a nonsensical thought) using my sketchbook as an art journal is really helpful. I think it will also lead, long term, to me making my art more personal, in a way that I don't always think it has been in years. And that's good.

So yes! Art working again! Happy! Weeeee!