Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enter to Win

For my friends in the U.S. or Canada, Knit Picks is having a drawing for a couple goodies. Go here to enter. (it is the Fresh Start Contest). YOUR chances of winning will be better since I have entered too! You see, I never win any giveaways. I wish I felt the same way about bridges and such. You see, I KNOW that when I cross a bridge, MY CAR WILL CAREEN OFF THE SIDE INTO THE DEPTHS BELOW. Honest. My poor husband and daughter can attest to that. I drive them nuts. My husband says that for all of the billion to one things that ARE GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME....I should play the lottery! So anyway....maybe you or even ME will win the Knit Picks giveaway. Ha. Good luck! O.K. no such thing as luck...and I will probably never go flailing off the side of a bridge or win the lottery or get struck by lightning...but you never know. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010


Over the Christmas weekend, we spent time with my mother and family, my husband's brothers and families and my husband's children and families. We met his kids and their families at the Olive Garden in Indianapolis for lunch yesterday. With six little ones, the hostess had great insight in providing us with a room in the back all to ourselves. I think everyone had a great time. I like the Olive Garden giant salads they provide, but I just have never liked any of the main dishes I have ordered. I ordered 'chicken spiedini' and although I ate it because it cost $9.95, I didn't care for it that much.
It kind of reminded me of a crawfish boil. To me, everything in the crawfish boil tastes the same. That is the way the chicken dish was, it all tasted the same. Perhaps it is my taste buds. But anyway, I survived. It was all o.k.
Then my family of three found ' Whole Foods' and did a little shopping.
Then after that we were able to get home for church at 6 p.m.
A busy but nice day.

On the drive to Indy and back I was able to get considerable progress done on my pink moebius that I have been working on. Almost finished.
Also, last Mon.Tues. & Wed. I made Chris a nice hat for Christmas. So I have still been getting some knitting done.
Also, as I mentioned before, I have a little part time job a few evenings a week. I deal directly with customers and not one of them told me Happy Holidays. Those that chose to say anything said, "Merry Christmas".
I thought that was sweet.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sweet and Sour

This morning, as our dog Jenna, was wanting my attention, I remembered how dirty she used to get when she lived outside.
She is so clean and lovely now. I retrieved this post from my previous blog so you can see our version of "Sweet and Sour".

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Out and About

Today, Maggie and I will be out and about the town to do some Christmas shopping. We need to look for a present(s) for The Husband and pick up some ingredients for next weeks 'fun' cooking. We are going to make "Aimee's Russian Tea" and some cinnamon rolls and whatever else sounds fun. We need to decide what our Christmas Eve dinner will be....so far it is leaning toward pizza from Maggie's favorite pizza parlor. (We usually exchange gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning because, well, frankly, Santa has never been to our house. ) I will also look at a certain store for some cast iron cookware. I like Lodge. Of course, we will stop by Jo Ann's at some point today. I sense there is yarn calling my name.
But, before we leave, I will surf the web for some great crock pot recipes. I took a part time job, a few evenings a week and although Maggie is quite willing and helpful to cook,it would be a nice break for her to just have to serve it instead of cook the whole meal. So if you have any great little slow cooker recipes, just let me know.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Recital

Margaret's piano recital at her teacher's house.
This year she played "O Holy Night".
Very pretty.

Although her musical instruments include the guitar, harmonica, mandolin, piano and recorder....next year we are hoping for a cello. That is where her heart truly lies.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket

As you know, I am a big Elizabeth Zimmermann fan. If you are having trouble "owning" your knitting or can't quite find 'that freedom' in knitting that you KNOW is there....read her books. All of them are great. I am so glad that I read her books first when I began knitting in 2009. I have wanted to make the BSJ for some time. I splurged and bought the actual step by step pattern HERE.
I didn't have any good yarn to work with so I just used some scraps....just for practice. The next jacket will be with good yarn. It is suggested that one knit the BSJ first to understand the construction, before knitting the Child's Surprise or Adult Surprise Jacket. So I did.
Here is what I ended up with. It was quite a surprise.

At the half way mark-above. (all of the yarn was different in weight and texture so...it pulled and stretched at different areas)
Getting ready to bind off in purl, which is quite lovely. (above)

Well, it doesn't really look like a jacket.

But flip it a bit and TaDa!!!! It even comes with buttonholes.

The back. All that is needed is to stitch the shoulder/arm seam shut with yarn. Sew on buttons.

This pattern is very easy to read. All you have to know is how to do simple increases and decreases, knit and purl. It is just garter stitch back and forth.
You can add a hood or extend the bottom into legs for a snow suit type thing.
You can Google Baby Surprise Jacket and see all of the endless color possibilities.
I think my practice jacket turned out cute. Can't wait for the real thing...our family has two new babies coming within the next year so I can knit at least two. :)
P.S. If you don't know how to knit.....You Tube videos are helpful. Join Ravelry.com and get info from there as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010


GREAT movie moments (in my opinion).

Best death scene : Ben Hur: Messala after the chariot race.

Best downhill run by a horse: The Man From Snowy River.

Funniest scene (s): The Great Outdoors (Big bear chase me, leeches & the bats)
The Money Pit (when Tom Hanks has had enough after the bathtub falls through the floor)

Most pathetic scene: Enchanted: (Chipmunk hanged by his little feet on the hanger)

Favorite soundtrack: King Arthur (Hans Zimmer), How to Train Your Dragon ( don't know who did it, but it is quite pretty), Civil War Documentary by Ken Burns ( again, don't know who did the music, but beautiful)

Favorite Movie Cowboy: Sam Elliott (love that voice and the jingle of his spurs :) )

Anywho.....these are just a few of my favorite movie things. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Honey Wheat Bread - Bread Month Two

After kneading and before rising.

After first rising.

(the bread above was from the small pan-below from the larger pan)
Cooled and sliced.

I have made this bread on and off for a few years. Actually I have made it harder than it really is for a few years too. :)
Here is how I make it. You will need two bread pans.
The pan in the front is smaller than the one in the back. So you can use two smaller pans or two larger pans. The larger pan makes a longer, not as TALL loaf, while the smaller pan makes a shorter HIGHER loaf. But I find that with this recipe, three of the smaller pans would probably be perfect. But, alas, I have only two.
The smaller pan measures 4.5 x 8 inches across the rim.
The larger pan is 4.25 x 10.25 across the rim.

You will also need the following:

4 and 1/2 tsp. yeast 1/2 C. warm water ( 105° - 110°) Dissolve these two together while you.....
Put 3 C. wheat flour

3 C. bread flour

2 crushed vitamin 'C's
2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. flaxseed, crushed (optional)
in a large mixing bowl and mix together really well.

Then you add to that;
1 and 3/4 C. warm water
1/4 C. butter, softened or melted

1/3 C. honey
and the dissolved yeast mixture
I let my Hamilton Beach mixer that I have named E.V.A. mix it all together with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.

If, during this time you need a tad more flour, add a little bread flour at a time to reach the desired consistency.

Then turn the dough out on a clean counter top and knead, adding a little flour if necessary, for another 5-10 minutes. You will know it is right when the dough is smooth and springy to the touch and you have a happy feeling.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and put the dough in it, roll it around to coat all surfaces. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm area to rise til doubled for about 45 minutes. I sit mine on the hot water heater and some times I even heat up rice bags (for soothing sore muscles) and stack them around the bowl if my hot water heater seems too cool.

After it has doubled in size I turn it out on to a clean surface and divide it in half. Gentle deflate. Shape into a rectangle about as wide as your pan and as long as you wish.

Then roll it up tightly, tuck under the ends and put them in greased bread pans.

Cover and let them rise 30-45 minutes, generally when the dough has risen about 2 inches past the rim of the pan.

Heat your oven to 375°. Place the bread on the lowest rack.

Bake for 45 minutes. Put an aluminum tent on after the first 15 minutes to prevent excessive browning.
Remove the bread from the pan and cool on rack.
These can be frozen after completely cooled.

This bread is also great to use in bread pudding.
I have just recently found
It has wonderful information.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ron Santo

You can't be married to a life long Chicago Cubs fan without the news of Ron Santo's death breaking your heart.
During baseball season my husband listens to the Cubs games on the radio, no matter where he is or what he is doing.
He listens in the truck, on the back porch, while bathing, while 'sleeping', while eating, while working.
The church steeple was built to the sounds of Pat and Ron and the Cubs on the little battery operated radio he carried with him in the truck.
We will miss you Ron.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


We sent out a 'care' package to a soldier yesterday. We know his mother from church.

We are studying this area. the soldier is not here.

Margaret finished up her round blanket. She crocheted it. It is Vanna yarn. Very lovely colors.

The little snow fall that we received yesterday is now melting.
Jenna is doing fairly well with no eye sight. She is learning a little about "step up". When I lead her to a step, I stop her and tell her "step up" and she raises her foot extra high for it. So I think she is getting it. She has tripped over the step a few times and smashed her poor face on the concrete slab that the step leads to. So I decided she needed to learn what step up means.