This just reaffirms my love of very simple, plain, bland knits.
And the ever thoughtful Mag even sent a little something for Sally.
She thoroughly enjoyed the packing paper! Thank you so much!
Here's a rare action shot of Sally playing with her Turbo Scratcher. She loves this thing (almost as much as J. does)! She'll tear through the cardboard scratching part every couple of months. Fortunately they sell the cardboard refills in two packs, and I can flip it over for a fresh side.
Ok - cute story: When I lived in Washington, I think she spent most of her time in the back bedroom while I was at work. But when she heard me open the door at the end of the day, she'd run first to her scratching pad, scratch at it excitedly a few times, then run over to meet me at the door. It was so adorable, her little routine. She doesn't do that anymore, but she still like scratching at it. If you don't already have one for your kitty - I highly recommend them.
Happy caturday! =)
Heavenly I tell you. Flaky, buttery, and super yummy. The next time I make brioche, I might try the "Middle Class Brioche" it doesn't have quite as much butter, but it's still enriched, I think it would rise a little better. I'm also thinking about getting a brioche pan because the pan I've been using just isn't working out. And I guess today wouldn't be a bad day to do that.
I thought about getting up early and going shopping today. I've done that before and gotten some really great deals. But dang.. it gets earlier and earlier every year. I just couldn't quite bring myself to get up at 4am. Sally woke me up at around 5am... so I still could have gone early, but I decided what I really wanted was sleep. So I slept in. =)
Oh... and I've been knitting! The cables are fun, and going well.
I keep thinking I'm making really good progress here... and I am. But I still have several inches to go on the body. And then I'll have to do the sleeves! And I won't be able to do them both at the same time like I normally do, so it's going to feel like it's taking a lot longer. Oh well. It'll be done when it's done.
Look how pretty! It was far easier than I had anticipated, I even did cabling without a cable needle... which involves taking stitches completely off the needle! It was kinda scary (in as far as knitting gets scary), but they didn't run, they just hung out there until I got them back on the needle. =)
And here is Mr. Greenjeans... the pattern calls for a few more inches before starting the cables, but I'm going to start them now. I'm also disregarding the pattern's instruction to go down a needle size for this section. So many people have commented that the cable-rib pattern pulls in quite a bit. Since my tummy doesn't pull in... at all... I'm just going to stick with this size 8 needles I used on the top part. It's been coming along really quickly... but I think it's going to be slow going from here on in.
This is the give-away pile, actually I'd already brought two bags full of books to the car when I remembered to take a picture. Never fear... Sally was just supervising, I didn't take her to the Goodwill (was tempted though ;) ).
And here's the entryway / entertainment area. I put away all the shoes and bags, and got rid of a bunch of the video tapes & the stack of magazines I was saving for craft projects.
(That's Nature's Ugliest Creatures on PBS btw.)
The closet looks much much better. I took all my inherited, non-project specific, fabric and put it in a box under my bed. That gave me a little more room on the shelf. I put up the shoe rack to the left of the shelf, it keeps the door from opening all the way, but trust me, all the shoes are very organized. =) Now that the shoes are organized, I have room to put my work bags in here.
I'm not sure if you can tell, but the carpet is much much cleaner too. I vacuumed, scrubbed the high traffic areas and vacuumed it all again. Which of course is the cue for Sally to puke all over the place sometime tonight. Until then though, I'll enjoy the nice clean carpet.
I didn't really do anything with my old computer & desk. And my multifunctional nook has only improved slightly. I put away all the laundry and got rid of the junk papers. But there are still some legitimate papers here... and I still can't bring myself to put away my sewing machine. But that leaves me something to do next weekend.
I am officially calling this my 'Oh my gourd! Butternut squash soup'. Because as soon as I tasted it that's all I could say (between moans of food-ecstacy that is... and if you've never had food-induced ecstacy, I'm not sure I want you reading my blog =P just kidding... please keep reading my blog).
Here's the 'recipe' as shared by the woman at the market.
Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Roast the squash for an hour or so at around 3o0F-350F (I started it too high, then turned it down... and totally wasn't watching the clock - just roast it until it's soft). Cut the squash into chunks... not too big, not too small.
In a stock pot, melt a couple tablespoons of butter (that's the secret ingredient... it always is. Whenever you taste something really really good I guarantee there's butter in it... or possibly lard. =) ). Chop an onion and saute it in the butter over low/medium heat until it's translucent & yummy looking.
Add the squash back into the pot and add chicken stock (or veggie stock, but I had chicken stock on hand from the last time I made chicken). Add some fresh sage (the cookbook I checked called for thyme but the lady at the market said sage... pick your favorite herb). Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for another half hour - hourish, occasionally stirring and mashing down the squash. When it's looking good and mushy and hot, puree the soup in small batches.
Return the soup to the stock-pot and add some milk (or cream), just enough to make it the consistency you like. I probably added about a cup, but I hadn't added that much chicken stock. And you're done. Garnish it with sage, serve with nice fresh bread from the market & say "Oh my gourd that's good." ;) There is nothing better than a nice hot bowl of creamy soup on a rainy rainy day.
Please note my: work bag, tutoring bag, knitting bag (one of them anyway two more are out of sight!); and my work out back-pack. Not only am I a crazy cat lady, I am one shopping cart away from being a bag-lady. Not promising. Something must be done.
In the entertainment center and on the shelf beside it I have a rather large collection of VHS tapes. Which is unfortunate because my tape player doesn't actually function with my TV (not even with the adapter) =( As I've lived with this situation for a while, and have started replacing my video tapes with DVDs, I just need to say good bye to them.
On the bookshelf you'll find a wide variety of books both read & unread, but most disturbingly my Introduction to Psychology textbook circa 1993. =? and several other books from college. Now it was conceivable, when I graduated, that I would one day have a job that would utilize my incredibly overpriced education and that these textbooks would be valuable resources for years to come. But yeah... that pipe dream is over... really over. So I think it's well past time to get rid of them.
Danger zone #3The craft room / coat closet.
Complete chaos, I tell you! I have no idea what that thing in front is, but it's big & loud & Sally runs away whenever it's on, which can't be a good thing. On the right you can see a stack of boxes at least waist high - that's a portion of my yarn stash... but by no means all of it. It is in serious need of reorganization!
Danger zone #4
This is by far the most inefficient use of space in my entire 550 sq. ft. apartment! And is probably my best entry for a "junk drawer."
The desk itself was purchased at Goodwill (circa 1998 but who knows how old it was then!), cleaned up & given a nice coat of paint. The drawer was not entirely in tact when I bought the drawer and over the years I've tried my best to repair it using tape and real actual nails. But the runner thingies that it should slide into just no longer exist. It's time to, at the very least, get rid of the drawer. Oh... and that thing on top is called a "monitor", beside the desk on the right is an antique known as a "CPU" back in the olden days before laptops, computers & monitors were *separate*! Scary, I know. This beauty has Windows 95 on it, and is almost functional. For the longest time I intended to transfer the files to my new laptop but never got around to it. When I did make an attempt I came to the unhappy realization that the two were not even remotely compatible. The old computer uses 3" (not so) floppy disks... which my new computer does not. The old computer has a CD Rom drive, but can't write to it. I actually found a USB port and got excited, until I actually plugged my flash drive into it and an error message came up. "What is this strange object with which you are violating me? Remove it at once!" OK... that's probably not what it said... but close enough. In theory one could email the files from one computer to the other... but in theory one has lightening fast cable internet. Alas... in reality one has dial up. =(
So I think I'll finally break down and call some computer repair folks and see if they can do anything for me. There's not a lot of urgent stuff on it... but several pictures that I'd rather not lose to the ether.
Noticeably absent from these photos are the kitchen, bathroom & bedroom. I clean the bathroom pretty regularly. That's priority #1 when I do feel like cleaning. And thanks almost entirely to my dishwasher, the kitchen stays relatively tidy. Plus there's absolutely loads of cupboard space so there's a place for even all of my kitchen gadgets. My bedroom stays more or less tidy because I spend so little time in there, let alone conscious.
So that's the starting point... I'm giving myself until Sunday to straighten everything up, then ready or not I'll take pictures again. Any tips or encouragement would be most appreciated. =)
*If you were thinking, quite rightly, that I might get a little more cleaning done if I weren't blogging... I'm using the Fly-Lady's tip, setting the timer for 15 minutes to clean, then another 15 minutes to blog. So I've already started making a little progress.
Well, it's a little exciting. This is my first time doing a raglan sleeve, and it's my first time knitting a cardigan from the yoke down & in the round. Well, it's not a pullover, so it's not completely round, but it's seamless, so I'm doing the back, shoulders, and fronts all in one piece. Which means no seaming! Or at least minimal seaming/finishing. Yay!And here is Soleil:
And I'm feeling a little remiss because I've been so focused on books lately that I've neglected on of my primary responsibilities with this blog... posting pictures of Sally.Here she is last weekend... she's watching a squirrel on a tree just out of sight. I thought she looked cute surrounded by all the leaves.
Another thing that sucks... last week I sent a rather snarky email about someone. But instead of putting that person's name in the subject line...I put it in the "To" field. Yup, boys & girls, no one to blame but myself.
Still needs to be blocked, seamed & finished... but the knitting part is done. Yay!
I've also cast on for Mr. Greenjeans. I'm excited, this will be my first cable project. It's a top-down sweater which is nice because I'll be 2/3 of the way through it before I actually have to start doing the cables. Should be exciting.