Monday, August 30, 2010

You know how I hate bandwagon knitting.

But I also love mindless knitting.

What's a girl to do?

Giddyup!

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Photographing your own head sucks! I miss my bathroom medicine cabinet "tripod!"

Details--

Pattern: Sockhead hat (Google away, it's Monday and I'm too lazy to link!)

Needles: US2

Yarn: Online Yarn in some color number. Is it so hard to name your colors? I guess so.

Notes: I knit this as a gift. I really like it! I didn't think I would since I'm not really a hat person, but this is a cute casual hat. I didn't modify the pattern much other than I know I didn't cast on the right number of stitches; I think I was off a few (but less than 10). Not a problem. The decreases are the only place it really matters (well ,and the ribbing) and I was able to compensate for it easy enough just by fudging along.

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This hat hits the bullseye in terms of mindless fast knitting. And I used up a ball of sock yarn that had been languishing in my stash for too long.

I hope the recipient of this hat likes it.

I do.

So much so I've cast on another one--for me!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pick a Pound of Potatoes

I probably jumped the gun on pulling these out of the pot.

But it's been "unseasonably cool" here.

And last night I had a dream about potatoes.

So the boys and I dug into the pot.

And pulled out--

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1 pound 15.35 ounces of taters.

Most are teeny weenie.

Ah well. No worries.

I think next year I'll plant them in a garbage can since there's more room here than at Squirrel Gables!

In the meantime we'll enjoy some mashed baby taters!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Whew!

There's a lot going on but not much at all , you know?

Friday, Chunky learned how to ride a bike.

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He's 8.5 and never had a bike. We were going to buy him once Dr. Mad Scientist got a job, but sadly (?) the neighbors beat us to it.

The neighbors are a middle aged couple that live above us and have adopted Chunky and Mooch as their own. I think they were excited someone with kids were moving in to replace Sad Old Lady and her Now Dead Husband.

Anyway, I can't get over how damn fast he learned to ride. Three hours people.

I won't tell you how old I was when I learned to ride a bike. Took me forever to "get" it. Of course I also had to learn on a dirt road. Not these cushy paved streets. Lower 48 kids! I don't know if Chunky's ever really SEEN a dirt road!

On Saturday we went apple picking.

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This year we picked 1.5 bushels. Expensive, but totally worth it. These apples (I don't know the specific type) are amazing. Crunchy, sweet, with just a hint of tartness.

I made seven pints of applesauce from a half bushel. I've got two and a half gallon freezer bags full of the cores and skins to make apple butter once apple cider starts hitting the shelf/farmers market.

I also finished some knitting on Saturday.

But it's secret Christmas knitting. So peeksies only for members that shall not be named.

Finally this Friday is Stitch n'Pitch in Somerset! Woot! So I really could give a rat's ass about baseball, but it's been too long since I've been around other knitters so I'm ditching the boys. I don't feel so bad ditching them. They're going to be using my Big Boss's preseason Jets tickets for the game Friday.

Alright, I'll wrap this up. My posts seem to be getting habitually more and more boring.

I fear I've lost my blogging edge. Yawn!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Aloha!

Work has been crazy busy (6.5 hours of OT just this week) and my knitting has been secret gift knitting so there hasn't been much to blog about.

But, today is a special day.

It's Hawaiian Statehood Day!

Yeah OK, it's kind of a controversial holiday since Hawaii wasn't that keen on joining the USA.

But hey, it's fun to be part of a group instead of being a rouge piece of crap organization, I mean state, that leaves it's conference, I mean country, hanging. But I digress.

Hmm...although BYU does have a Hawaii campus...grrrr.

Anyway, it's a good a reason as any for cookies!

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Hawaiian Drops (stolen from the Great American Cookie Book)

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teas. vanilla
2 eggs
1 teas. baking soda
1 teas. baking powder
2 cups oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup macadamia nuts (chopped)
1 cup coconut
1 3/4 cup mini M&Ms

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add your eggs and vanilla. Mix, mix, mix. Add the flour, oats, baking powder and soda, mix some more. Finally, mix in the coconut, nuts and M&Ms.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy and a hui hou!

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nosy Neighbor

I was in the neighborhood of the recipient of the sock postcard I recently purchased.

And I couldn't help but take a picture (from my car) of the house that Mrs. Longbotham lived in back in 1939.

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Glen Ridge is known for it's pretty upscale houses and high median incomes. Given this, the Sock House isn't so decadent.

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Around the corner from Sock House.

The landscaping is a little overgrown and the house could use a new coat of paint. But it looks like it was a decent house back in its day.

It was built back in 1908. Which is fairly recent for Glen Ridge.

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Along with their uber-elite schools, Glen Ridgeians claim their fame by their gaslit street lamps.

Doing a teeny tiny bit of research, I found an old advertisement for a house a little ways away from Sock House up for sale in 1920. That house had five master bedrooms, two servants bedrooms and bathrooms, a double heated garage, two tiled bathrooms and a sleeping porch. Going for the grand sum of $50,000.

Dr. Mad Scientist and I have looked at houses for sale on that same road (out of morbid curiosity to see how the other half lives!) and many of them go for around a million.

Sock House doesn't look quite that nice.

Finally, I'll leave you with a crappy drive-by shot of the Post Office where the postcard was postmarked.

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Cute huh? One thing I'll miss when we leave the East Coast is all these textbook old time buildings.

I mean back in 1939 when this postcard made it to Mrs. Longbotham, my hometown was only 4 years old and people were walking their cows downtown and living in their newly finished cabins!

Palmer

palmercabin

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The temperature this weekend was cool.

I would love to know when I started thinking that 80-85 degrees was "cool."

I got a hankering for pickles. I blame knottygnome.

For the price of a jar of Claussen kosher pickle spears from the grocery store, I made 8 pints of my own pickles.

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I used regular cucumbers, not pickling cukes.

Oooo! So wrong!!!

Whatever. The only difference between regular cukes and pickling cukes is the amount of seeds. Regular ones have more that allegedly get mushy and gross when you pickle them.

All you have to do to get around this is trim away some of the seeds on your spears.

Then I broke up a bunch of dill, stuck a generous spriggage in each jar along with a slice of onion and a clove of garlic.

Toss in the spears, pour in the boiled brine, put in the water bath to seal and voila--pickley goodness!

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There was one jar that took a little bit to seal so I decided it was defective* and tossed it in the fridge.

Sunday Chunky and I got down on the pickles.

Holy mother of Fatzah! I am a homemade pickle convert! They are so good!

A little saltier/tangier than I'd like, but still so damn good.

Oh and did I also mention I made 7 half pints of peach jam?

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Yeah and I might have finished some boring socks too.

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How I get anything done with this little monkey underfoot, I'll never know.

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That's better. Just a plain jane pair of cotton socks made from Online summer sock yarn.

Next up on the TV knitting--Christmas presents. That's right people, it's never too early for Christmas!



*Flimsy excuse to get my pickle on!

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Meet Me On The Other Side

The moment of truth!

You remember my adventures in tracking down Mrs. E. Longbotham?

To recap quickly: When I've got nothing better to do and Facebook has gotten boring, all my normal blogs have been surfed and message boards start irking me, I surf vintage correspondence/photos on Etsy, or I'll surf this site.

Aside from a small collection of stuff I've found in the used books I've purchased (my latest fave being 1/2 a five dollar bill I found in one of the Regeneration Trilogy books I purchased recently) I don't normally buy the things I surf.

But this postcard caught my eye because of the address.

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This address is less than two miles from where we live and I drive past this house every other Friday to get to the bank.

What sealed the deal in purchasing this card (aside from the fact it was less than $5) was what was on the back.

A postcard of magical sugar coated ponies?

A postcard from Alaska?

A postcard from Cookietown, Oklahoma?

Nope.

Not quite.

I think you'll like it since technically this is supposed to be a knitting blog.

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It's a sock pattern!

Ok, maybe not that exciting as the buildup might have made it -- but I flippin' love it!

The handwriting is quite legible and knitting shorthand hasn't really changed in 71 years.

I think my favorite part is this:

"Using 4 kneedles k[nit] round and round until almost 2 in[ches] before desired length."

How come I find a 71 year old spelling error so quaint, but will actually leave a comment on a newspaper website pointing out that the subject of the article suffered a grand mal seizure, not a "grand maul" seizure?

Now I'm left wondering who sent this postcard to Elizabeth Longbotham? Why did they send it to her? Did she perhaps mail it to herself for some reason? The postcard is postmarked in the same town, and honestly if you've ever been to Glen Ridge, it's not that big (or maybe letters were postmarked at their destination not their departure post offices back then??). One could easily walk something to its destination in Glen Ridge. Although maybe not in March! Brr!

How did the postcard end up in Texas? (Actually I found quite a few Longbothams living in TX--they must be connected to the NJ ones).

Did she ever use it to knit socks? It's survived this long and is creased, so I would guess yes, she probably did. Or at least intended to.

I'd love to take a picture of Mrs. Longbotham's house for you, but I'd feel kinda weird doing that and posting it on the internets. Not to mention I'd look like a weirdo doing it.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Hello Salty (Peanut) Goodness!

Boss #5 has been pissing me off lately.

At 3:30 every day he hits the vending machines and gets a bag of potato chips. That's fine, whatever, this is America, freedom of speech, freedom of snacks and all that. But he is the LOUDEST eater ever!

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I swear to cats, it's bad enough I have to hear him lip smacking and munching his lunch, but then the crunching of potato chips every damn day?

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There's only one cure for the fact I'm not too popular--

Salted Peanut Chews!

Salty, sweet, and best yet--SILENT to eat! Ha ha!

Y'all asked, and y'all shall receive.

Recipe adapted from--
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Gifted to me by the lovely Beth!

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter/margarine softened
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mini Marshmallows

Topping:
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter/margarine
2 cups peanut butter chips
2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend together your butter and sugar and add flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Keep blending in the vanilla and egg yolks. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 13"x9" baking pan (ungreased). Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes or until it becomes golden brown.

When it's done baking, take it out of the oven and sprinkle enough mini marshmallows on top of the crust to cover the crust. The original recipe calls for 3 cups, but I found that didn't cover the crust good enough--I needed a little more. Don't double layer the marshmallows, just put one layer down so that not too much crust is exposed.

Pop the pan back in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes--until the marshmallows start to puff up.

Take out the pan and let it cool.

While it's cooling, melt the butter, corn syrup, and peanut butter chips in a saucepan on the stovetop until smooth. Once smooth, take it off the heat and add in 2 cups of the rice crispy cereal and the 2 cups of peanuts. Spread this topping over your pan.

Cool in the fridge until they're firm.

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After cooling--enjoy the silent munching of these chewy delicious cookies!

Want more cookies? Tomorrow is the debut of the Fall 2010 issue of Knit Circus!

Holy crap--go look! I'm not a shawl person, but that little red number is tempting!!!

And go check out Elizabeth's incredible Stone Henley that's going to be included in this issue as well. Love it!

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Long Weekend

I put in two hours of overtime so I could take Friday off last week. I came to work today completely overwhelmed at the amount of crap I have to do because I was gone one measley day.

This, my friends, is why I will in all likelihood lose 8 days of vacation time come December 31. Vacations aren't worth it when you spend all day worrying about when work is going to call and how much shit is going to be waiting for you because your bosses don't like using their back-up secretaries.

But, I did have a lot of fun and got a lot done on the day I wasn't whoring my secretarial skills out for money.

Friday we went to the Jersey Shore.

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Someone did NOT like the crashing waves and was totally freaked out by them. But he loosened the death grip on me enough so I could trade off with Dr. Mad Scientist to frolick in the water.

Maybe next year he won't cling to me like a barnacle.

Saturday was chores and spinning.

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Sunday was busy.

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Salsa.

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Cookies (Salted Peanut Chews--delish!)

And turning these beauties...

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...into this!
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Holy crap, AWESOME pie! But those peaches are some of the best I've ever tasted, so it wasn't hard to make a delicious pie!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some work I brought home with me I need to do. Joy.

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