Monthly Archives: January 2007

Culinary magic

I spent much of the day in the kitchen experimenting, and it worked out suprisingly well. I got Adam an ice cream maker attachment for his KitchenAid mixer, and today we made triple chocolate ice cream. May I just say…yum! I actually ended up making most of it myself because SOMEONE wouldn’t stop eating the chocolate pieces 😛 It doesn’t look exactly like store-bought because I apparently can’t read directions, but it tastes so good I don’t care. Next week: vanilla with real strawberries. (Or maybe the week after that, or we’re going to get fat!)

At the same time, I decided to try out my new crock pot/roaster oven (thanks Keri!) and make some pulled pork for the first time. Albertson’s grocery stores down here suprisingly carry Dinosaur BBQ sauce, so I was able to make REAL pulled pork. (We have a few good alternatives down here, but Dino is like a taste of home.) It turned out really well! Next time I’ll either thaw the meat first or cook it longer because it wasn’t as “pulled” as I’d like, but it was still darn good. Great comfort food on a chilly night 🙂

Hey Mom…I also did all my dishes and cleaned the kitchen as soon as I finished dinner. You raised me good (even if it didn’t kick in until after I left!) 🙂

Productive Week

I finished a sock:
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“Denmark” from Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road in KnitPicks Gloss in the Pumpkin colorway. These are my work knitting and since we have been so busy the last few weeks, this one took me two weeks to finish.

Next…my Christmas present from Adam came this week!
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It’s put together but needs some wood wax and a little lubricant for the joints. I got the single treadle double drive version, and I can’t wait to get it going! Now all she needs is a name…

I spent the last few weekends in the backyard cleaning, building, digging, and planting. Here are some of the results:
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Its our mini banana grove! I chopped them back but they’re already putting out leaf shoots 🙂 Apparently bananas grow quickly!

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This was today’s project – raised vegetable gardens. I used 1×8’s to make two 4×6 beds, filled them with fertilizer and topsoil, and planted some veggies. Hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to go outside and pick my own fresh salad, beans, corn…this of course all depends on me actually being able to grow anything…BUT if you look closely you can see that some of the seeds I started (corn and beans) have already sprouted and are happily transplanted in their new home 🙂

Here’s the “finished” portion of the backard – we have our own jungle!
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The fireplace was a housewarming gift from Adam’s buddies from work. We haven’t had a chance to break it in yet, but it looks great!

I intentionally left out the rest of the backyard, because it’s not looking as great. The pool has a leak somewhere and the sides are buckling a little – not to the point of breaking (yet) but enough that we had a talk this week and decided we’re probably going to take the pool out. We have some more important things to take care of first (doors, windows, electric, etc) but then we’ll drain it, bring in some fill dirt, and lay grass seed. More on that later.

Now I’m going to sit, watch TV, and knit on the bridal knot shawl. It needs some love 🙂

Ariann

I love it.

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Pattern: Ariann, from http://www.chicknits.com (smallest size)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100g/3.5oz/220yd) – I bought six skeins, and used just shy of four.

I had so much fun knitting this sweater! I bought the yarn on Dec. 21st, and sewed the buttons on yesterday morning (Jan. 9) after two days of blocking. I will definitely be making it again in some other colors. It’s also the first thing I’ve made (that I’ll actually wear) where it was cheaper to buy the yarn than to buy a similar sweater in the store. Yes!!

I pretty much followed the pattern to the letter, except for the collar. I didn’t like the “Peter Pan” style big collar, so I k2tog at the begining of each collar row. I like it 🙂

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I’ve been unusually monogamous with this project, which means my poor celtic knot shawl has been shoved aside. Once the unpacking is done and the house is in order, its back to that. I need to make some serious progress there before I start something else, or I’ll never finish!

I heart my blocking wires

Ariann is seamed and is blocking on our living room floor as we speak…I’m using my new blocking wires to make sure the lace pattern shows well, and also to make sure the front fits right. When I tried it on before blocking the front wasn’t quite big enough, but I think with a stern blocking it will be perfect. I intentionally made a slightly smaller size than I thought I would need, since everything else I make turns out way too big. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it works out, otherwise my cousin will have a new sweater 😛

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Busy bee

I’ve spent the last two days unpacking, building bookshelves, gardening, raking, pool-cleaning…No wonder I’m so tired! I’m really excited about the backyard though…its shady and cozy and there is a lot of great foliage already. I got some hibiscus plants yesterday and potted them today. We have spider plants (not sure what they’re actually called) all over the ground in the back of the yard, so I picked a few of the babies to root for indoor plants as well. They grow like weeds here! (Well, they probably actually are weeds here.) The oak tree dumps leaves constantly, so I’m in the process of raking up several months worth of leaves, then I’ll re-mulch and put stone back around the pool.

We have a couple banana trees as well – anyone know how to take care of them? They’re not in great condition, and i want to know if I should cut them back or not for “winter”. It never frosts around here so I probably don’t have to, but I want to let them grow back healthy. Hmm…one tree produced some tiny bananas this year, so I sense banana bread in the future!

Unfortunately the only room that is quasi organized is my office/yarn room, so no pictures yet. I’ll keep plugging away with the boxes, and hopefully in a few days I can shove enough stuff out of the way to take some pictures 🙂 In the meantime, here are some pics of the backyard to hold you over:

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Sitting in our new house

As promised, I’m posting from the new house 🙂 We got most everything moved today – Adam has to pack some of his stuff and bring it over the next few days, but as far as I’m concerned we’re pretty much done. All that’s left is unpacking! I need to get a desk and some bookshelves this weekend, but other than that I plan to hole up at home and get everything sorted out. Thats my favorite part of moving – getting all organized and moved in, and making it feel like home.

I’ll post pictures once we get some of the boxes unpacked and out of the way 🙂

Happy New Year

Its half an hour late, but since I’m still up it still counts as New Year’s Day. The whole holiday season felt really anticlimactic this year, probably because we’ve been moving, and living in other people’s houses, and in a new area. And it doesn’t help that I’ve worked every holiday and holiday-eve since I started my new job. BUT tomorrow is the big day – we’re moving into our new house! I can’t wait to be in and settled, and to finally be done living out of boxes and staying in other people’s houses. Don’t get me wrong – I’m so appreciative that we have friends and family who had been so supportive (thank you Chris!) but it will be nice not to impose any more. Painting last weekend was hard work, but I’m proud of how it turned out. Unfortunately I’ve gotten my decorating juices going – I’m already planning for the kitchen!

I’m sailing along on Ariann – I finished the first sleeve at work on Christmas, and the second one on New Year’s eve. Today I attached the sleeves to the body and I’m working on the raglan shaping. I still love this sweater 🙂 I won’t have much time to work on it the next few days with work and moving, but I plan to sit and relax this weekend and see how much I can finish.

Next post will be from our new house 🙂