Friday, September 30, 2005

Chicken Licken

Chicken with Leeks and Corn

2 leeks (white part only) sliced thinly
1 cup corn (I used frozen and I didn't measure it so this is a guess)
2 chicken breasts
glug of white wine
glug of half and half

Saute leeks until soft and then add corn and cook until starting to brown a bit. Turn off heat and reserve. Cook chicken breasts. Heat up corn and leek mixture. When hot, add white wine and simmer until some of it cooks off. Add half and half and cook until it thickens a bit. Put chicken breasts on plate and cover with sauce. Devour.

I served this with zucchini. Shredded zukes and drain (like you would eggplant) for half a hour or so. Squeeze every last bit of water you can out of the zuke shreds and then put in a pan and saute with a bit of olive oil. Add a pinch of thyme and lemon zest. Cook until hot or shape into patties and cook until browned and crisp on the outside. If zucchini is large, scrape out the seedy part in the middle or it's going to be wet rather than distinct shreds. Mmmmmmm.

Tonight: empanadas with mushrooms, red onion, carrot, anise, pine nuts, and a bit of ground beef. Served with a salad with tomatoes and cukes and whatever the heck else I need to use up!

Thursday, September 29, 2005


OK, posted something whiny and deleted it.

Summary of last 24 hours:
Rained last night
Still need to water lawn
Received $200 water bill. Not fun but replacing lawn more expensive.
In-laws back in Iowa
Did 6 loads of laundry (washed, dried, and put away thankyouverymuch)
Have groceries but left desire to cook at the store

Went clothes shopping for Bean. WIth Bean. Because she now has Opinions. Came home with really cute robe, slippers, and jammies with a design of kitties playing with balls of string (see, this post is knitting related!) that I am now hoping she will forget about so I can give them to her for Christmas. (The hood of the robe is a kitty face. So cute it will kill!)

Now hoping that fall weather holds off until I can find fall clothes that fit child and that child will agree to wear!

Oh, and we bought cookies.

Because that's the most important part of shopping!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ahhhh, the first days of fall
When the temperature gets crisp (98F with 60% humidity)
And the leaves turn brown and fall off the trees (from drought)
It gets to be sweater weather (if you turn the air conditioning down low enough)
And thoughts turn to fall dishes like stews and soups (who wants to cook when it's this hot and humid?)

Maybe at Christmas...

Monday, September 26, 2005

I have caught the Bean's cough, my husband will be in meetings until 8pm, and my in-laws are visiting which means that, instead of declaring it "sandwich night", I have to cook dinner.

MMMMmmm, cranky-Liz.

I am so tired I can't stand it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Big Storm Knocked It Over*

Sky for Sandy again. A bit different, huh?

What the big wind knocked over.

Our fence.

It was across the alley.

My husband and FIL propped it back up. Dr. Pig is at Home Despot getting concrete and a fence post hoping to fix it before the big rain gets here.

ETA: We just lost power for a few minutes. The wind is really picking up. Lots of small limbs down in the neighborhood. We'll have some big limbs down before tomorrow.
*One of my all-time favortie book titles by the late, much lamented Laurie Colwin

Friday, September 23, 2005

Today, Bean told me, "I wear glasses so no one can poke me in the eye."

She has a bit of a cold, so she stayed home from school today.

And played "Cowboy Monkey Ballerina"

About three weeks ago, she became suddenly obssessed with Halloween. I had not even thought about mentioning it yet but now we are in full Halloween Attack Mode. She's going to be a witch.

Blue Skies and Gak Attack!

Sky for Sandy.

The hot Texas sun blazing down on the first day of fall (yesterday). Because the first day of fall should always be over 100F.

The stuff "dripping" off the table is Gak, a.k.a. Silly Slime. This is a fabulous thing to make with children.

Unfortunately, I can't find the recipe right now but it's basically a solution of water with borax dissolved into it mixed with a solution of water and glue and a bit of food coloring. Mix the two solutions together and knead and you get a Silly Putty-type substance with a bit more viscosity.

For a Suessical twist on the whole thing, Bean's friend Zack came over this weekend. So, we made Gak with Zack!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Willaby Wallaby Woo

An elephant sat on you!

This is Bean's new favorite song. The next verse requires you to sing it about someone and subtitute a "W" for the first letter in their name resulting in:

Willaby Wallaby Wommy
An elephant sat on Wammy!?!?! (Yes, she injects those punctuation marks into her speech.)

A few more verses (Womatoes, Wolly - Molly the dog, Waddy. etc.) and she's cracking herself up to the point where it really does get pretty funny. Or crazy-making. Something.

I needed a new knitting project like a hole in the head but...

One-Skein Wonder here I come. I'm going to make one in the turquoise Cotton-Ease to get a feel for the pattern beause I'm not in the mood to adapt for gauge and size straight off

Then, I can adapt the pattern and make one for Bean and one in the Suede. How cool will that be?!

The CD is a band called the Ex-Husbands. Excellent country in the "Johnny Cash drinkin' and killin' and my woman done left me" vein.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Preparation

Just received this from a police officer with Crimewatch:

> Hurricane Rita is now a Cat 4 (131-155).  The  models used to track
> hurricanes show that the probable impact will be near Matagorda. With
> this being the general location of landfall, the strongest side of the
> storm will severely impact the greater Harris County (Houston) with
> destructive winds, very heavy rains, and tornadoes.
> After landfall, the track of the storm is projected to move over Dallas
> - Fort Worth area. If the storms reach land at a Cat 4, by the time
> it reaches DFW, it should be a CAT 1. We will experience wind gusts
> at time greater than 50 mph up to 74 mph. The Metroplex will
> experience the affects of Hurricane Rita by Saturday afternoon. We can
> expect periods of heavy rains and possible tornadic event associated
> with the rain bands. I would suggest that you stock up on batteries
> and potable waters. Fuel up your vehicles.
Note that I am in Dallas. Several hours from the coast. Rita is now a Cat 5 hurricane. I have a friend evacutating here. I have other friends in Houston and the area who I hope are evacuating. Katrina was beyond scary and Rita is looking to be a bigger storm than Katrina.

I remember I was home from college for the summer when Alicia hit Houston. I was supposed to go to a Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour but we had such wind and rain in Dallas that my parents forbade me from going. Of course, the stadium is open air and now I can see their point but boy I was angry at the time.

Dolly Mama *

The Pig-Tailed Dolly from Weekend Knitting as imagined by Tim Burton. Those are the pieces of her head next to her. I still have to embroider the face before I put the head together. And I don't really embroider so, it's an adventure!

Lest you think it's all dolls, all the time:

Yep, I have finished both bands of Kepler and picked up the stitches for the back. I'm still messing about with the sizing for the top. I started at the 37" size because I like my waists with plenty of room, but, given the way cotton expands, I will be paying very close attention to my gauge over the decrease rows and making a decision on whether or not to go down to the 35" size for the rest of the body. I know I will need 35"-sized arms. I made Chamomile last year and it did stretch a bit. Not excessively, but it's something to consider since this should be a fairly close-fitting sweater and it's highly unlikely I'd want to wear something under it.

*Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hear the groans. Like you didn't know that was coming at some point.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I know there are people out there reading this blog. I have to admit I was a bit surprised that NO ONE has yet commented on Tomatoes - even if they only say, "MY God, that's really ugly." Granted she is ugly. But in that "so ugly it's great" way.

Bean is in preschool three days a week now. It's changed my life. Really. I actually have, get this, time to myself.

I remember when Bean was about 8 months old and my husband had taken her somewhere while he ran errands. I had the sudden realization that it was the first time I'd been alone in the house since she'd been born. Wild. Yes, I'd gone out without her, but I never got any time alone in my own house.

When you have a small child, you forget the restorative power of being alone with your thoughts. Of silence. Of having the time to just be.

Bean is having total fun at preschool. I have to drag her away. She's a bright child and was ready for a classroom experience. She started to hate MDO last year because it was boring. She wants to do things and not just play.

And I am finding that I have plenty of time to play at my own fun and still have time to do "chores". It's no longer an either/or prospect that leaves me feeling either frustrated or guilty. Very liberating.

It's also nice to see all my piles of stuff to get to later are now being dealt with. It's finally "later". Yesterday, I cleaned my desk and organized everything. I can actually see the floor of my laundry room. I can see a day in the not-so-distant future when I won't have to clean and organize my house area by area and room by room. When it will just be a few hours a week of maintenance. How strange is that? Maybe I'll have time to really sit down and design all those knitting projects I've been fiddling with on paper!

Monday, September 19, 2005

You Say Tomato

Meet Tomatoes.

Bean almost named her "Broccoli" so I think we lucked out on Tomatoes! Molly the dog is not going to eat Tomatoes but she looks like she's thinking about it!

Tomatoes is from the book Knitted Babes. A total blast to knit. Her dress is knit out of Limbo Mexiko because I am a total sucker. Hopefully, I have enough yarn left with which to knit the second sock. I weighed the leftovers and how much I used out of the second ball and it should be enough to squeak by. Totally worth it if I end up having to buy another ball, though.

I played with several different arm and leg ideas rather than the noodle arms but, I have to say, the noodley appendages look the best.

I've already knit her panties, a ballet top, and made a tulle ballet skirt.

I'm now working on the "Pig-Tailed Dolly" from Weekend Knitting. Bean has dictated that this dolly will be named "Pickles". And that I need to make another dolly like Tomatoes as well. That dolly will be named Petunia. I hate to break it to Bean, but Petunia is going to be mine. And she'd going to have a slightly diffferent attitude about her. Heh, heh, heh...

Friday, September 16, 2005

Baby Baby

The Knitted Babe is going well. I decided to go with the original pattern on the arms and legs and by golly, they don't look half as noodley in person as they do in the pictures. Hopefully, there will be something worth taking a picture of at some point this weekend.

I'd love to bitch about the board meeting I had this week, but I don't want someone I know to stumble upon this little exercise in self-adoration and get their panties in a wad because I made a veiled reference to the facts. Suffice it to say that I am part of a group that is not altogether pleased.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I've had a really great week so far. We are talking fabulousness of a level I rarely attain. Yesterday, Bean and I went to the mall and ate lunch. She wanted a cookie for lunch so that's what she got. I ate my sandwich and she had a giant cookie and a glass of milk. Then we went and visited a friend of mine who works at the makeup counter at Neiman's and Betty put glittery powder and lipgloss on Bean. Then we walked all over the mall and did alot of really silly goofy walks where we'd scrunch down and walk like ducks (Walk small!) and then stand up straight (Walk tall!). I'm sure everyone thought I was some sort of maniac but I couldn't stop laughing and Bean laughed so hard she fell on the floor and couldn't get up for a minute or two. It was FUN!

This summer has brought more than it's share of annoyances and lots of money going towards fixing house and car stuff - always a pain. And it kind of got to me after a while. But this week, I seem to be getting my groove back.

And then there's the knitting. While I like Kepler and River, they just aren't fun. Most of this is due to the fact that it's 97F outside today and I'll be lucky if I can wear a sweater by the middle of November. I've knit several sweaters over the summer and they go straight into a drawer to wait for cooler weather. There isn't much motivation for finishing these projects.

The socks, though... FUN! No, I won't wear them for ages, but I really enjoyed the colors. I decided I needed something fun to knit.

Here it is! FUN! Sure, the dolls look sort of like freaky aliens, but I think I can make a few modifications such as thicker arms and legs and embroidered faces that will make them a bit less otherworldly.

Bean is all excited about picking out yarn for the hair and the clothes and I am excited about knitting something totally goofy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Eat This

Bertoli frozen bag dinner things. I had a coupon so I bought a couple.

Most frozen bag dinners get mushy but not this.

The sauce comes in little chunks approximately the same size as the veggies and pasta so it all thaws and cooks at the same time. So, when they say 10 minutes, they mean it. The pasta was nicely al dente, the veggies crisp, and the chicken firm. I'm not recommending this as fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but, if you have a situation like mine in which you may need to provide a meal upon short notice and if, like me, you actually like a semblance of nutrition in your meal, this is pretty good stuff. Better than Stouffer's/Lean Cuisine and much less sodium.

Limbo Lower Now!

Yes, it's a sock! I'm knitting your basic top down pattern. I'm still working on the bands of Kepler and, between that and the River Stole, I needed something mindless to knit. Voila! The yarn (Limbo Mexiko) does all the work. And how could I resist this given the purple and green jacquard?

I'm on the second band of Kepler. I had planned to complete that band on Saturday at the Knit Out but I was conscripted into teaching beginning knitting. Unprepared. To about 20 people. Including several kids. And one woman who wanted me to teach her to knit socks.
I did OK, but it would have been better had I had a handout prepared and a few swatches to show people.

I did not stab anyone with my needles.

Not even the woman who told me I was casting on incorrectly.

Lady, I stated about 8 times that there are many methods for casting on and that I am only going to teach one. If you already know another method and prefer that method, please feel free to use it but I am not prepared to teach any method other than this one. I "knit on". I was taught to knit by someone who had been knitting for something like 60 years or more and this was her preferred method and it stuck. I do know a few other methods, but I suffered a brain lock at that point and just wanted to teach my Old Faithful.

I've taught people to knit before, just not more than three at one time!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Seven Year Itch

Happy 7th Anniversary, Sweetie!

We opted for anniversary lunch, since Bean was in preschool. We decided to eat Indian food and I had a wonderfully spicy chicken tikka masala.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I just realized it's Friday

I know I've been a bit distracted of late what with the starting of the preschool (ACK!) and the Bean not wanting to leave preschool when I come pick her up and the multitudes of other crap-to-do that is piling up on my desk, but I usually figure out what day it is at some point in the early morning rather than around 4pm.

I'm thinking this mental fragmentation is due to the fact that I've only knit two rows of Kepler this week and nothing else. Obviously, I need to spend much more time knitting in order to retain my awareness that I am, in fact, awake.

Eat this

Turkey, havarti and cucumber sandwich.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Too much of a muchness

This week has been nothing but busy. Not much knitting. OK, true confessions time: not much in the sense of two rows on the second waist band of Rudyard.*

Yesterday, I dropped Bean off for her first day at preschool (ack!). Then I dashed off for my mammogram. After the fun of being mashed flat, I got to go to a new guy for a haircut. Love LOVE this guy. He comes up to me and he has most of his hair buzzed except for a fauxhawk in back. Needless to say, much fun was had with my hair. Hopefully, I can get Hub to take a picture over the weekend. Then it was off to pick up the Bean and then last night I had my card game. I'm in the middle of helping organize silent auction items for a fundraising ball and am also helping organize a Katrina fundraiser/toy and clothing drive with my church parenting group, so today I have had meetings and yet another meeting and a party tonight. (I'll be at the party.)

Thank God tomorrow is a school day. I get to pay bills, go to the grocery, and make an art supplies run so Bean and I can turn toilet paper tubes into binoculars.

If I'm lucky, I might get to knit tomorrow night.

*Check the title of yesterday's post...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


This article from July 18th is scary.

I'm knitting Kepler in Rowan Summer Tweed. Summer Tweed handles cables fairly well and meets the gauge requirements of the pattern spot on. I've heard people who hated this yarn but I have to admit that it's one of my favorites. I love the tweedy and slightly rustic look of the yarn. I also love the fact that it's very wearable in the Dallas climate. I considered knitting Kepler in wool, but I have very little need for a wool pullover.

Here's a picture of the first cable band for the body. I think it's looking really nice. I wasn't sure about the color choice, but I had the yarn in stash. It turns out, the pink is actually very pretty and the "rustic" texture of Summer Tweed looks very much like a rough wool.

This is a fun project. I love the cables, but it's nice that the rest of the sweater is plain. I'm a smallish person and I really have to consider the scale of the sweaters I knit. All-over cabling in an aran weight yarn would make me look 20 pounds heavier and a few inches shorter.

River is also growing slowly but surely. Given the resistance of KSS to ripping, I'm trying to be fairly careful. I've found that I can't quite keep track of what I'm doing if I'm tired (or watching the horrible news these days). Oddly, the cables in Kepler are going just fine even when tired.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

River Picture!

The beads are very tiny but they add a nice sparkle.

I also really like the variegation.

Hopefully, I'll get in some knitting time today!