Thursday, September 30, 2004

Knitting in the Moonlight

We have had a full moon the last couple of nights. I took some pictures but they did not come out that well. I found this picture on Webshots and this is basically what it looked like in my night sky just add a couple of twinkling stars and that is it. I have been diligently knitting every evening on my Butter Bear sweater. I finished the front. I had some troubles shaping the neck area because I miss read the pattern. Once I figured out what it meant I ripped it out and started the neck shaping again and it turned out fine. Now I am working on the back. I am excited to get them both connected and start shaping the collar. This is all new to me and I am learning a lot. I mostly cannot wait to get to the sleeves to try my hand at intarsia. I am trying to get a good portion of this sweater finished before I start the Weasley Sweater. Like I said, I am learning so much and I think it will come in handy when I start the Weasley.

I would like to put a word in for Banned Books Week and to celebrate the literature others have tried to suppress.

Here is a list of 50 of the most frequently banned books of the 1990’s

Impressions Edited by Jack Booth et al.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
The Witches by Roald Dahl
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Blubber by Judy Blume
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesley Newman
Christine by Stephen King
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Cujo by Stephen King
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
I Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
My House by Nikki Giovanni
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Still Blooming

I cut some fresh Roses from the yard and put them in a vase to enjoy this week. I have ten little rose bushes that came with the house. I do not know what kind they are. I do know they are the thorniest roses I have ever scene and they are mean.

Cosmo spotted this Praying Mantis on the window screen. Can you see Cosmo through the window desperately wanting to play with him? This is the largest one I have seen in my yard. I usually see the little babies in my front courtyard in the spring. I am so glad I have them. Some people pay to put them in there yard and I am fortunate to have them live and stay in my yard. Praying Mantis are gardeners little helpers. They eat many different types of bad insects in the garden. Some times, it is a little startling at first when I spot one on a plant. They are so still and it looks like they are starring at you. After the initial shock, they are very interesting to look at. Cosmo and I can agree on that.

This is one of my Irises blooming. It is called Baby Blessed. This one blooms twice a year. I got this one from the Iris Society when they had a display at the local mall. I bought about 10 different ones that day. They were all around 50 cents. Every single one of them has bloomed for me. I bought them about a year and a half ago and I just leave them in the ground.

This Lantana came with the house also. It is finishing blooming and it forms berries. The Lantana’s flower attracts humming birds and butterflies.

This is a White Ivy Geranium. It is blooming for its second year. It will bloom through Spring, Summer, and Fall and will go dormant during the winter. I just leave it outside in the pot through winter and it gets a little bit of water when it has become very dry. I like geraniums. I use to grow them when I lived in Oregon but would bring them inside during the winter.

Well that is my garden at the moment. I love the fact that it is constantly changing and always something new to discover. I am still waiting for the temperature to drop a little more before I begin my fall planting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Knitting Obsession

There comes a time when one stops, and asks themselves am I obsessed with my new hobby? The answer that came back to me was YES!

Here are some recent clues that have brought me to my conclusion

First, there was a link on Lauren’s blog. It was for The Yarn of The Month Club. I checked it out immediately. I was so excited about it you would think they were going to drop off gold coins to my doorstep. What they do is choose four of the latest yarns and send you a sample of each, along with a pattern and a newsletter. I rushed to tell my husband all about it. He smiled and gave me the look. You know the one where he is looking at you and thinks you have lost your mind. He remained smiling and said that is nice dear. He quickly returned to what he was doing. I signed up and am waiting for Mr. Post Man to deliver my first months stash.

Then there was this past weekends stop at the bookstore. I picked up this book called Knits for Barbie by Nicky Epstein.

Ok I know what you are thinking. Why is this grown woman buying a book on Barbie knits and she has no children. I grew up with Barbie’s and probably had them longer than I should have. I did end up selling my dollhouse and all my Barbie stuff to a mom that was giving them to her daughter as a Christmas gift. My mom had pushed me at the time to sell my stuff when I was in Middle school. I think I still think back upon it and wish I had kept some of the things. So seeing this book brought back found child hood memories. The book has 75 patterns to knit for Barbie. My grandma use to sew many of the clothes I had for my Barbie’s and I think it would be cool to show her some clothes that I knitted for Barbie. My next step was to buy a Barbie. Looking over the dolls, I realized they have changed a lot. Wider hips and smaller busts, I assume that happened due to the unrealistic shape she use to have. I chose one out of the Cali Girl series. I think she is some kind of surfer girl. I am naming her Rosey. Here is a picture of her. Don’t worry she will be dropping those surfer duds and trading them in for knitted fashions as soon as I get to it.

Of course, it does not stop there. I found the coolest calendar at the bookstore. It is a 2005 Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendar. It is a box calendar that sits on your desk and each day you rip off a new knitting pattern. I am considering this a Christmas Present to myself and will not open it until Christmas.



I guess from here I should just accept the fact I have gone off the deep end and just revel in the excitement I refer to as Knitting.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Whole Enchilada Fiesta

This weekend we went to the Whole Enchilada Fiesta. On one of the days of the festival, they have a pet parade. This is where people can dress up their pets, and show them off in hopes to win prizes. It was a lot of fun to watch. There was one ferret and one cat and the rest were all dogs in every shape and size. Here are some pictures I took of some of the contestants.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Famous Hob Nob Chili

Kidney beans, 2 cans 15.5oz each
Crushed tomatoes, 1 can 1lb 12oz
Tomato juice, 2 cans 11.5oz each
Ground beef, 1 pound
Cumin 1 tbl
Chili powder, 2 Tbl
Bay leaves 1 to 2 leaves
Diced onion

Cook ground beef.
Meanwhile, rinse off kidney beans and put in large cooking pot.

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, onions, cumin, chili powder, and bay leaves. Stir well. Last, add cooked meat. Cook on low heat for 2 to 4 hours. Add hot sauce or other seasonings to your taste. The longer, the better for the flavor to come out. Add toppings of your choice, sour cream, diced onions, or cheddar cheese.

This recipe I got off a newsletter I receive from Sarasota Florida. I have made it several times and it always comes out good.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Weasly Along

I found a great Knit-a-long that is way to cool to pass up. It is the Weasley Along. It is hosted by Alison & Nipper. The Weasley along is making one of the sweaters from the Harry Potter movie. You can make either the H sweater (Harry Potter) or the R Sweater (Ron Weasley). Both sweaters in the movie were made by Mrs. Weasley and given to the boys as Christmas presents. The knit–along begins October 1st. I have ordered the pattern and plan to make the H sweater for myself. This will be my first knit along and I hope I have built up enough skill to make the sweater and to finish it by Christmas.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Cosmo's Story

I went in search for a kitten to fill the emptiness from the loss of my beloved cat Pusskins. Frankly, I must have a cat in my life. Ever since I was little I have been obsessed and in love with cats. I do not want to get weird or anything but, I just think life is so much better with a cat in it.

My husband finally gave me the thumbs up and I ran down to my local pound. I found a mother cat with 8 kittens in with her. I specifically wanted a boy cat and the lady helped me check the litter to pick out the boys. The litter was all dark tabbies except for two that were white tabbies. Both of the white tabbies were the males. I just picked the one that was the most out going. He was only four weeks old. I brought my new bundle of joy home to meet the rest of the family. Needless to say the dogs were very excited to get a kitten of there own. Who does not love a kitten? He was so adorable.

Soon enough he was running around acting as if he was the boss. He is so funny. He runs around like a spaz dodging behind corners chasing imaginary objects. I named him Cosmo after Cosmo Kramer from the show Seinfeld. My Cosmo likes to make an entrance just like the character Kramer on the show.

In addition, if you bring anything home Cosmo automatically assumes it is for him. He is all over it. He loves ribbon off presents or any type of string.

You might be wondering why in some of his pictures he has a black thing hooked to his collar. Well this is an invisible fence type of collar. We have it set up so he will not go out the dog door. I lost my last cat to the cruel outdoors and I will not let it happen again. It does not bother him at all. I can feel safe that he will not go outside.

My husband calls him Mr. Boots and thinks I pamper him to much. Well Cosmo is my baby and will always be. Even now when I look at him, I still picture that scampering little kitten I brought home. Cosmo is so precious to me and just brightens everyday he spends with me.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Haley's Story

Chris and I had finally bought our first house and decided it was time to get a second dog so that Brandy could have a playmate. We had been promising her all these years that we would get a second dog when we were able. We did some research on different types of dogs. I wanted a dog that was easy to train. We were looking for a small dog that would be easy to take care of.
There was an Italian Greyhound up for sale and we never thought of that kind of dog but after looking it up in our dog breed book, we thought she would be perfect for us. So we ran out that day and brought her home. She was so tiny and shy at first.

It did not take her long to bring out her true personality. Haley and Brandy hit it off right away. Haley was the little annoying sister. Always nipping Brandy’s tail or tugging on Brandy’s ears to get her to play. They would chase each other and wrestle all over the back yard.

Haley loves being outside in the sun. She goes out through the dog door and will lay out in the grass for hours sun bathing. She is also very fast. She leaps and runs so fast. She loves to chase the birds in the back yard. She comes very close to catching them.

Haley is a sensitive dog whom really likes to please you. Her favorite spot is curling up on your lap and sleeping. She also gets cold easily and likes to wear either her sweatshirt or parka on chilly mornings. Here she is the first time experiencing snow with her sweatshirt on.

Once we brought Cosmo our cat home they were instant best buds. They chase each other all over the house. Haley will even give Cosmo a bath and clean out his ears. It is so much fun watching them play together. Cosmo is like Haley’s accomplice. Cosmo will get up on things to knock down stuff for Haley to chew on.

We are so glad we found Haley and she is a part of our family.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Brandy's Story

Brandy will be 10 years old this October. How we got Brandy was my husband’s surprise to me. It was around Christmas and he had planned on the two of us driving out to see some Christmas lights. We kept driving and driving and I thought he was lost but I did not say anything. We finally stopped in front of an old farmhouse that did not have any Christmas lights. He turned to me and said we are here. I asked where we are. He said he had called about a Bassett Hound Breeder and they had some puppies available to purchase. So we went inside. We passed the puppies Father on the way to the puppies. He was huge. He looked like a miniature cow no joke. We almost ran out the door. There is no way we could have a dog that big in our tiny apartment. However, the lady said the females are a lot smaller.

We came to a box of puppies. It was a big litter of 12 puppies. They were all crying and trying to climb out of the box. Then we had to pick one. It is not easy to pick one puppy out of a box of 12. They were all so adorable. I picked the one that was the darkest and had a black spot on her belly. The breeder said that the older they get the lighter their coloring gets. We drove happily home with our new puppy. Boy did we not know what we were getting into.

The first night we had her all set up with a dog bed in the kitchen. She cried and cried and cried. She won that night and ended up sleeping in our bed. She won several years of sleeping in our bed. Brandy is a hound and let me tell you hounds will eat anything. Their bellies drive them. I will just tell you a little bit about a 4th of July block party we went to and brought Brandy along. It was like a kid in a candy store. She was eating food off people’s plates. We even caught her behind a bush with a whole loaf of bread eating the entire contents. That was just the beginning. Towards the end, she was drinking out of people’s alcoholic beverages that they had set down beside their chairs. Then would just start wondering around barking hap hazzardly at different people. When we got home, she crashed and did not wake up until morning. That was the last social event we took her to for a while.

After a bath we would put her ears up with a scrungy to let them dry out.

Brandy loves kittens. At one place we lived the neighbors got a kitten and Brandy would sit out side very still and whining watching the kitten and hoping it would come up to her. As soon as it would, she would get excited and the kitten would run away. Then she would sit very still again waiting. We finally brought home a kitten of our own a little over a year ago. She loved having Cosmo around. As you can see in this picture, Cosmo was a real rolly polly kitten. Brandy was fascinated with watching him.

Brandy is a talker. We believe that we talked to her a lot when she was little so she talks a lot now. She makes all kinds of noises. She whines & barks in all ranges. She also snores. She gets this from my husband. She takes a long time to get ready for bed. She goes through a whole routine. My husband thinks she gets this from me. Brandy first will go outside and go to the bathroom then she goes into the kitchen and drinks a ton of water. After that, she comes into our bedroom and walks around finally making it to her bed. If her bed is not fluffy, enough she sticks her nose under neath it and lifts the ends with her head. Finally she will get on her bed and move around in a circle till she feels she is in the right spot sometimes she will even scratch the bed to fluff it. Finally laying down she starts to smack her lips and lick her paws. I have no idea why she does this.

What can I say Brandy is very special. She is our little princess. She was pick of the litter. We love her dearly and hope to have her several more years.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Hillsboro Apple Festival

This Labor Day Weekend we drove to Hillsboro for their annual apple festival. It is about 60 miles from our town. The festival was about a quarter of a mile long and it was up and down both sides of the main street.

The festival was jam packed with a ton of people. There were lots of different craft vendors and different types of foods to sample. Chris my husband had a BBQ brisket sandwich and I had a giant corn dog. We each had a piece of homemade apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I did not find any venders that had any knitting stuff. However, I did see a couple of knitted ponchos that people were wearing. One lady was selling hand-sewn purses, but I did not see any I liked.

I did find a person that was selling bamboo in little pots. I found one I liked with three stalks of bamboo in it. The pot has some flowers on the side and a little frog character sitting up on the edge looking at the bamboo. It came with a little sheet of paper specifying how to care for the bamboo. The paper also says that Lucky Bamboo is an excellent way to attract positive “chi” (energy). The round shape layers give you good “Feng Shui” (fortune). For Centuries, Asians have considered it a very lucky and positive symbol.

It is believed that:
3 stalks attract Happiness
5 stalks attract Wealth
7 stalks result in good Health
21 stalks offer a powerful all-purpose Blessing

We had a great time walking around looking at the venders stuff and watching people. Chris grabbed a lime-aid for the ride home. It was probably the best lime-aid I had ever tried. Usually they are too tart for me but this one was just right. I purchased a caramel apple to take home and enjoy later.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Cell Cozy

After seeing how good Laura-M’s palm Cozy came out, I decided to try and make a cozy for my cell. I just used some left over yarn I had laying around and #4 US needles. I kept my cell handy to knit according to the size of it. I did some kind of pathetic buttonhole thing for the part were my antenna sticks out. I did mine so the flap tucks into the front of the cell that way I did not have to do a button or Velcro closure. I like the way it turned out.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Tuna Noodles Romanoff

This is a quick and easy dish to make. I like making casseroles because you can toss all the ingredients in the dish and stick it in the oven. Then you have time to go play before dinner. This dish is a tasty fancy smancy tuna noodle casserole dish.

4 cups uncooked egg noodles (8 ounces)
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna -- drained
1 cup sliced mushrooms (3 ounces)
2 tablespoons capers
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
2 tablespoons margarine or butter – melted


Heat oven to 350º.
Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.

Mix noodles, tuna, mushrooms, capers, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper in large bowl or pot you cooked the noodles. Put noodle mixture in an ungreased 2-quart casserole or square baking dish, 8 × 8 × 2 inches.
Mix breadcrumbs, cheese and margarine; sprinkle over tuna mixture. Bake uncovered 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.