I have a new project that I am itching to start.
I'm trying to maintain.
I have promised myself that I will finish one sock (thus completing a pair) and the Bookworm sweater for Bean, before starting.
Why can't finishitis kick in for a bit here?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
This week has totally spanked me and it's not over yet. Poor Bean has been really tired and, consequently, very fussy. I won't bore you with details except to say that I'd like to go back to sleep but, instead, am going to go do a Girl Scout thingy.
At least there are cocktails in my future tonight!
Posted by Liz at 1:18 PM
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
All of the old posts that are being republished are due to my deciding to take Bean's pics off the blog. Fortunately, they have been few and far between, but what with all the stolen pictures on Orkut, etc. it makes me nervous.
Ergo, some editing!
Posted by Liz at 7:12 AM
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for volunteering. And, that I am not always the keenest mind with a calendar.
Thursday: guest reader for Bean's class
Friday: Bake 4 dozen brownies and one cake for School Carnival, stuff folders for teacher
go to Bingo night (there is always a Bingo night before the school carnival) and drink beer
Saturday: Work snow cone booth at Carnival (it could have been worse - sno cone "juice" only makes you sticky. My friend working the cotton candy booth remarked that she felt like a giant scratch n' sniff.
Sunday: work at church getting people to submit recipes for the church cookbook (yes, I'm on the cookbook committee)
Sunday afternoon I am reaping my reward by completing Red's sleeves and drinking a glass of Dr. Pig's excellent 2.30 Maple Wheat (his best beer in my opinion).
Posted by Liz at 4:15 PM
Friday, September 21, 2007
See that big dirt patch on my lawn?
That is what $800 looks like.
Yesterday, it was a Rather Deep Hole dug in order to repair our sprinklers.
He had to replace the whole valve. Not one of those little flangy things most of us think of as valves. No, this thing was about a big around as a loaf of bread and half as long.
And, the psycho who had the sprinklers installed decided that, rather than putting the valve in the system on the flat part of the lawn, he'd rather install it in a maze of pipes about three feet deep on a Pretty Fucking Steep Hill. Our lawn has a huge grade to it over a very short distance. So, lots and lots of labor.
I do have to say that the man earned his money. He had to dig a three foot deep hole on the grade in close to 100F heat. And that's the part of the lawn with absolutely no shade at all. I tried to get a picture of the Rather Deep Hole, but I couldn't get a picture without repair guy being there and I really did not want to explain the whole blog thing.
Instead, I knit socks.
This is Colinette Jitterbug. The color is Jay.
I love this yarn. It's nice and sproingy and soft and I love the color.
I'm making up the pattern as I go along. Once I have a completed sock, I'll post the details. I did put up some detail in the sock entry on Ravelery, so if you can't wait, go there!
And, I completed one Summer of Love sock. It's not as wonky looking as in the picture.
Posted by Liz at 11:47 AM
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So, the sprinkler system broke last Thursday night. Dr. Pig found the shut off valve for the system, but the repair people can't make it until tomorrow.
And, of course, the good Dr. is in meetings and won't be able to be there from 11 'til 2 when they will arrive.
So, he sits me down with instructions on what to tell the folks.
Remember that Far Side cartoon about what we say vs. what dogs hear?
Yeah, the conversation went something like this:
Dr. Pig: The doomaflatch attached to the higgedlypink is stuck and won't floogle. So, we either need a new doomaflatch or they'll have to replace the flangeboggle.
Me: Say, which?
In reality, it's something to do with a solenoid, but that makes me think of adenoids instead and you don't want to know where my mind goes after that.
I'm usually fine with home repairs and get all pissed off talking to Repairmen Who Won't Listen To Women. Plumbing, however, mystifies me. All I can do is say, "Broke. Water won't turn off. Bad!"
In other news, last night was Back to School Night. We got to go and sit in teensy chairs and listen to the teacher tell us all about what happens during the day. It was fun, the school is a great place, and they seem to be really aware of the fact that these are little kids they are teaching. Our public school system is crap here. The Dallas paper states there is a graduation rate of a dismal 68% however, independent reports have stated that the on-time graduation rate is 46% - it's truly horrifying to be in a city that cares so little about education. DISD also claims that the dropout rate is only 1.3%, however, the math doesn't work since total class population went down by 1/3 while the student population in the district increased by over 10%.
I am insanely happy to have the ability to send Bean to private school and not deal with the lying, cheating (as in court-prosecuted for stealing from the school district) scumbag school board.
Posted by Liz at 9:05 AM
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Something Red is buzzing along nicely. While the pattern states that you should complete the ribbing before knitting the sleeves, I'm getting sort of bored so I think it's sleeves next (which have a fair amount of ribbing themselves) and then back to the body. That will also tell me how long I can make the sweater. I have plenty of yarn, I'm at 20 inches in length (pattern wants 23), and I still have three balls of yarn left.
I started the ribbing a bit lower on my ribs. I have a larger bustline and I loathe garments with any kind of empire seaming because it inevitably creeps up and makes my bustline look like the garment doesn't fit.
Here's hoping this was a good decision. I do love the look of the original, but I really don't want to knit 87,000 miles of ribbing only to find out it creeps!
One little retina-searing Monkey.
My God but this is bright yarn. Wound up, it looks so pretty with the green and the blue and purple bits and the red and yellow. It's almost scary knit up!
I like the Cherry Tree Hill supersock. It washes up very soft and it gets a slight halo, which will tone down the brightness of the colorway.
Summer of Love sock. I had to rip back to the start of the gusset when I realized that I had been doing toe decreases on the gusset. Whoops!
I completed the toe for the Monkey right before I went to bed, and I'm apparently still knitting it.
I like the pattern with it's lace cuff, hidden ribbing, and plain foot, but I'm still not sure about the colorway. The good thing is that this one is not as bright in real life. The turquoise blue is quite bright, but less neon than in this photo.
I'm craving a non-variegated colorway for the next pair of socks.
When I first started knitting socks, I wanted the brightest and most variegated yarns possible. Now, I'm getting burnt out on the variegated. I love how so many companies are offering shaded solids that have a slight variations in the color, but are not actually variegated. These yarns offer the best of both worlds: you get some subtle color changes to keep it interesting while still being able to show off a pattern.
Of course, I still have a pretty big whack of the variegated, so I'm not going to totally stop with those ;>
Posted by Liz at 8:33 AM
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Anybody remember the commercials for RIF?
I read to Bean's class. They all file in and sit down and a couple of the kids from last year's class are really happy to see me. C and K are girls in the class and M is a boy.
C: Hi Miss Liz!!!!
Me: Hi, C.
C: (Pointing at small boy rolling around on the carpet) That's M. He's BAD!
Me: You know, C, it's not very nice to say things like that about our friends.
K: (very earnestly) Oh, but he is bad! He really is.
Six other kids from the class join the chorus of how M is Bad.
Me: Oooookay, then. Well, how about we read this story!
Afterwards I laughed 'til I cried. Maybe you had to be there, but they were all so serious. Later, one of them told me all about how M is so bad and his apple is always on the trunk and never in the tree. "He's going to get A LETTER to his parents!"
One of the other moms had helped out earlier in the day. C sits at Bean's table (which is nice because they were buddies in Pre-K) along with two boys. M is one of the boys. So the mom is telling me how everyone knows M is going to get in trouble for something so Bean just took over cleaning up the table and organized everyone and shepherded M through the process. Cracks me up. My little organizer.
Posted by Liz at 10:07 AM
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Last night was plain weird.
The three of us went to our favorite sushi bar last night in celebration of our anniversary. Dinner was superb, as usual and Bean ate her weight in grilled chicken meatballs.
We used to always split a small cold sake and a beer between us. It ends up being about 4oz of sake and 6 oz of beer, so we're not talking about anything near what I would call overindulgence. However, about a year ago, I decided to stop drinking sake because it was giving me strange dreams. Last night, I indulged. And paid for it.
Oh, I fell blissfully asleep. The bliss didn't last though, because then I started having nightmares. The horse that someone made me keep in the refrigerator was bad enough, but then we bought a very expensive house that was furnished. In the nightmare, I was very pleased to find a complete collections of linens of all sorts for every holiday under the sun.
I say nightmare because I am not a holiday towel sort of person. I do have a small collection of seasonal items that I use to decorate the front porch, and I think I have a plate with a Santa on it somewhere, but that's about it. People kept making me decorate things and it was driving me crazy.
And then I couldn't figure out how we were going to pay for the house now that we'd bought it and why we would buy a house that put Bean in a bedroom on a different floor and at the opposite end of the house from us. And I just wanted to go back to my house and now the horse was a Great Dane and then I was very thankful to wake up.
I think I'll go back to white wine.
Posted by Liz at 5:58 AM
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Anyone remember the Flintstones?
Nine years today. I didn't scan any photos, but that day was the first day we had rain in over three months. The priest told us that there is an Italian proverb that states that rain on your wedding day means no tears in your marriage. I wouldn't say we've had no tears, but we've had precious few.
Bean is happy that Daddy is finally home. I am happy that I didn't get mad last night when she woke up 7 times. Once to ask if she could use our bathroom instead of hers. Ahem.
Now, can anyone tell me why I was fool enough to schedule my annual on the same day as my anniversary?
Posted by Liz at 7:43 AM
Monday, September 10, 2007
Well, really it does. Today is a huge gullywasher - nothing like trying to get your child to school when it's raining so hard you can't see the road. Our little creek at the end of the block has overflowed it's banks as usual. Hopefully, the rain will stop in a bit and I can get a picture of the floodplain. It's pretty amazing.
Posted by Liz at 8:13 AM
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Bean has been writing a story. She's doing all of the writing herself, including the spelling.
One of today's pages had a picture of a plane with people looking out of the windows and underneath she wrote:
U plane flu n the eyr
(A plane flew in the air.)
I was pretty impressed that she got everything phonetically correct (remember the Texas accent, y'all - "A" is pronounced "Uh", "air" is "ay-er", etc.).
Art class starts tomorrow and she cannot wait. I'm hoping for some sun, so that I can take some pictures of her artwork. It's pretty fun stuff!
Posted by Liz at 7:41 PM
Friday, September 07, 2007
I took many, many stash pictures today in order to import them into Flickr and then into Ravelry. Because I was avoiding every single other freaking thing I'm really supposed to be doing (and I bought yarn, too!).
And then I deleted the pictures from the camera rather than downloading them to the computer. I redid some of the work but the rest can wait.
Posted by Liz at 2:07 PM
I'm on the board of a local charity organization. One of my duties is to create the newsletter and send it out. It's due today and I have less than zero desire to work on the damn thing. It's not even that big a deal - they are just happy someone is willing to do it! But it's a pain in the ass and I'm undermotivated.
I think I'll work on Red for a while. Nothing like a little procrastination!
Posted by Liz at 9:47 AM
Thursday, September 06, 2007
In a good way!
The thing I love about top-down raglans is that they start to look like a sweater very quickly.
I'm nearing the point where I'll start the interminable ribbing. I am lengthening the amount of plain knitting a bit. I want the ribbing to start well under my bustline and I can tell from trying the sweater on that, if I knit that pattern as written, the ribbing will be a bit high. There are so many empire-waisted shirts and dresses these days, that I have become an expert at determining which ones are going to work on me. I want plenty and enough room in the bust, otherwise I end up with a stupid line across my boobs. Not flattering!
So I'll give it a couple more inches and then ribs ahoy!
This weekend is going to be a major push to finish a bunch of things that need small amounts of seaming or pressing or whatever. I have a tendency to let items simmer in the finishing basket for a bit before the final bits and pieces. Bad habit, but it's my own!
Posted by Liz at 4:22 PM
As an avid Project Runway fan, I was looking forward to Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. Gunn seems like a natural choice for such a show. He's clever and full of constructive criticism. I thought it would be a witty version of What Not to Wear. Maybe even a successful version of the Queer Eye show that featured women (and bombed horribly due to the boring hosts).
It's more like What Not to Watch.
They had a "sneak preview" last night and I was bored pantsless. They pick the same sort of stuck-in-a-rut, dressing 20 years too young people that WNTW picks. They have the victim try on clothes and then critique them just as in WNTW. They go shopping and have plenty of product placement treats. (WNTW) Hair and makeup (WNTW) .
Last night, the big deal was getting a dress from Bill Blass. Bill freakin' Blass? Has Bill Blass been at all big since the 70s? Maybe the 80s?
As for supposed life coach, if I need a life coach, then I'd like someone who maybe had a few years of life experience under his belt rather than some nerd who needs to shave and still uses Clearasil.
Gunn is over his head. He visibly cringes at the wardrobe he's facing and then cringes from making any judgments. There is an art to critique without hurting someone's feelings. Gunn has it on Project Runway, but with a full show resting on his shoulders, he can't keep it going.
Posted by Liz at 8:13 AM
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
This version is a big improvement!
The shorter color changes combined with a lighter weight yarn are making for a more interesting sock. I'm knitting on size 1 needles. I would have had to go down at least to a zero, if not smaller to get the sock the right size with the Silkie.
Yay for fun socks!
Posted by Liz at 7:04 AM
Monday, September 03, 2007
Homeade Pepperoni Pizza
Making your own pizza dough is surprisingly easy, particularly if you have a food processor.
Crust - adapted from Mark Bittman
1 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast or 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 C AP flour (more if needed)
1/2 C cornmeal (Bittman specifies semolina flour, but I never have semolina. However, as a good Southern girl, I have cornmeal which is close enough. The semolina/cornmeal adds some crunch to the crust. If you prefer it sans crunch, just put in 3 C flour.)
1 C water (do NOT pour all of the water in at once - add gradually)
2 T olive oil
Combine all dry ingredients in food processor and whiz until mixed. Add water and olive oil through the feed tube. It's been so humid down here that I have not needed the whole cup of water. The dough should form into a nice ball - not sticky.
Turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead for maybe a minute. Put it into a bowl and coat with olive oil and let it rest for a couple of hours or so. Sometimes, my yeast is a bit off and I find that this recipe produces very little first rise, but I just keep going. The crust tastes good regardless.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Knead each for a few minutes and form into a small ball. Cover the balls of dough with a tea towel and let them rest (no more olive oil) for another hour or so.
Roll or pat into a pizza and cook at 500F for about 7-8 minutes. Go light on the toppings - otherwise the 'za will be soggy. 1 pizza should serve one person. The thinner you roll out the dough, the crispier your crust will be.
I highly recommend the purchase of a pizza stone and a peel. You find lots of discussion about just getting an unglazed quarry tile from Home Despot for your pizza stone, but I found a perfectly great pizza stone for $10 at Target (my Home Despot only had glazed tiles). I did go to Williams-Sonoma for my peel, but it was only $14 and it gets quite alot of use.
Put some cornmeal down on your peel (this works much better than flour), put the rolled out pizza dough top, and add toppings. Be sure to give the peel a short jerk to make sure your pizza will slide into the oven easily. At 500F, you don't want to be messing with a pizza that folds up. If the pizza does not slide easily, take a bench scraper or metal spatula and wiggle it under the pizza until the pizza comes up. If you have not enough cornmeal or too many toppings, the pizza will stick.
This is a really fun dinner for children, as they can help assemble their own pizza.
Wrap leftover uncooked pizza dough in plastic and refridgerate and it will keep for three or four days. Let it come to room temp before cooking.
I have frozen this dough with mixed results. Frankly, it's so easy that I'd rather just make it fresh.
Posted by Liz at 7:21 AM