Sunday, March 31, 2019

Places and Spaces

Mark made a large amount of pork to bring to a barbecue today, and to give Gramdna some, and we still have some left in our fridge, too.

A bit more lived in my nook, although it is still quite too cold to sit there still for a long period of time.  We've all kicked around ideas for what to do with the rest of the space in that room -- finally come upon something we can work towards.  There will be more on that in the coming months - lots of work.. and then maybe one or two more pieces of furniture to find/buy/build to make that all work out.

I had such a migraine headache last night.. finally went away.. but eep!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Busy Day

 I made a new space today - and built that desk from a furniture flatpack we bought at the store.  Now I have a 'homebase' downstairs to read, drink coffee and listen to music while Mark is upstairs working on 3Dprinting or code.

That little purple sign on the wall is one of our family mantras : 'Hop to the Rhythm of the Pink Rabbits Dancing'... its a weird thing, but its ours.  Mark made the sign for me out of some text I made on my computer and put in SCAD for the 3D printer.  There is a little cat in matching color in the pencil box, too!  (My 3D cat design).  There is room in the desk for my shortwave radio and a sketchbook and we bought a few magazine holders to put some current reading material in.

Esme is a little upset about losing some of her 'private space' as she usually gets the full run of the downstairs while we are upstairs doing our computer stuff.. and now half of my things are moved down there to give Mark more quiet time when he is working on code .. but I promised her we will also set up a cool papasan chair type thing in one of the corners down there during the next wave of improvements.. and she can curl up in read in the light from the other window.  She's liking the sound of that.

 Esme and I stopped by the park and brought her razor scooter along (that she got last Fall after her birthday but we haven't really done much outside with).  She loved coasting along the park trails.

I saw these interesting vine trees while we were out, too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Sarvis and Garden

It's Spring!  The sarvis trees are blooming.
I did some cleanup in the garden today and took some pictures.
  I planted some Alaska peas outside, and some Blauhilde peas inside  to transplant... we'll see if either or both takes.

Our garden tiger was in residence (jaguar, Esme says)

 The lemon balm is starting to come up
 This is a weed plant I keep calling 'chickenweed'.. and forgetting the real name of it.  It has a few - cutleaf geranium, wild geranium or wild cranesbill.  I'll try to remember.. but my chickens love to it so I usually end up calling it that.

 I captured some vines while I was out there - a mixture of pumpkin and morning glory vines from last year, dried out around the fence and around our peach and plum tree.  I rescued the trees.. and really liked how that one shot of the freed plum tree with its leaves turned out against the fence pole.

 Hollyhocks!  We planted these last year somewhere in the summertime... and didn't expect them to do much after they seemed to come up and immediately die off... but boom - two clumps have come back up.  I'm happy!  I can't remember if they were the black ones I've tried for years to cultivate or a mixed color..we might get the chance to find out.

 Esme's lambs ears.  They have come up and are spreading a little in the shade garden.

 Our peach trees in flower
These are the ones we bought on clearance last year - Mark said we aren't going to let them fruit this year, but it is nice to see them take to the ground so well.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Finished object and wip

A finished object - a one skein garter stitch scarf that took about a year to finish (because I hardly ever picked it up).. that Esme chose the yarn for.  It is now in our bag of hats and mittens and scarves waiting to be used someday.  I went through those bags the other day and took all the 'unwearable' stuff out of them...

And a work in progress - a little knit ribbed hat hopefully is large enough, because I tried it on circulars and it wouldn't cooperate with me.. so I took it all out and put it on 4 dpns.  It is 89 or 90 stitches.. but my instincts say maybe I needed 100 or more?  We'll see.

Made cornbread, did laundry, gave the chickens fresh water - the daffodils and tulips are starting to come up.  It would be a nice day to work outside if I didn't have to close at work.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

bits and bobs

Did a little cleaning out yesterday - unearthing projects in my sewing table, finishing some things and organizing.  Cleaned out the hats and scarves and gloves bag by our door - and all the hopeless cases are removed and only useable things (and gloves with matches) are in there now.

WIPs work in processes :
I have a pair of gloves in a gray discontinued yarn that I hope will be enough to make them complete.. started them before Christmas and only got as far as the index finger on one hand.

There is a satiny mulberry yarn scarf in simple garter stitch that I have been working on for more than a year -- did a bit on that.

Unravelled the zigzag thing I was trying the other day back to yarn and three gray hats that we never used much.. yarn for something else and more practice.  There are several hats in the bag that we do use.. although I have to repair one of them.

Sewing WIP : I have cut down Esme's old kangaroo cloak for 'parts'... making a stack of four kitchen cloths out of it and will have scraps to put in another project.  She was a little sad about this but the young dogs (Kif and Rex)  grabbed it down from a hook the other month and began chewing around the button... rescued it but no, it is no longer 'heirloom' save it for her kid territory... and the rest of the cloth is very good - so make it into something useful.  I also have a bolster from our bed that, now that we have the new headboard last fall, is too large to be under the pillows.  The old board had a much larger gap between the mattress and the board and now the bolster is just 'too much'... going to cut it down for parts and make it longer and skinnier.

Found an old sweater I was knitting last year.. and all the yarn to complete that... not sure if I will continue on that.  Looking it over trying to figure out 'what in the world' I was doing with it.  I never use a pattern so.. I'm probably lucky the piece that is finished looks like it would fit any part of me.  It does.. look like it will fit some part of me.. but I know there are measurements and such in a notebook if I can find them I'll know more than 'make a mirror of this one and then guess'...

Not bad for a start!  Cleaning up that is.

I'm still learning Welsh... bought an English-language cookbook about old Welsh traditional cooking... interesting and a bit 'archaic'.. the recipes are little more than lists of basic instructions 'start with a pound of flour' etc... not like a typical recipe nowadays.  Still, lots to be learned there.

I've also given in and for Esme's sake, as that is the language she wants to learn when they offer it in school, I've begun doing a Spanish language lesson each morning while I wait for her to get ready before the school bus.  She doesn't hear it.. but it helps to do it then and keep it 'separate' in my head from my Welsh studies later in the day.  It doesn't do badly for keeping me at the top of the charts in my 'video game of Duolingo' as Mark calls it.. either...

Today would have been my mom's birthday.  I lit a candle for her last night.. since I had missed doing that in February.

This was a scarf at first.  Then I made it a shrug by sewing the sides together to make sleeves.  Then the other night I was wearing it and I was STILL cold.  So, I added a tighter rim around it and longer sleeves and a clasp at the front with a button to hold it on.  So, its makeshift.. but I'm wearing it and that really counts.  It's there to throw on when I'm freezing.

recipe for Bulgur Wheat and Cabbage with Celery Seed, Red Beans and Tobasco

I made this for lunch and everyone was following their noses to the breakroom when I had it in the microwave.  I took inspiration from a 2017 BHG recipe.. which, of course, I didn't have everything for.    The things in the other recipe I substituted were green cabbage for radicchio, and tobasco sauce in lieu of green or Kalamata olives.  I also added some red beans because they were in the fridge already next to the cabbage.

Fresh Green cabbage
Bulgur wheat (red or white, I used red)
garlic clove
olive oil
tabasco sauce
cauliflower (frozen okay)
canned red beans
lime juice
garam masala
 celery seed

step 1:
Boil 1.5 (plus a little more) cups of water in a glass beaker and pour into a glass mason jar containing 3/4 cup of red bulgur wheat.  Cover mostly with a lid and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes (while you do everything else)
step 2:
About a cup of steamed cauliflower, pulsed in food processor with one clove of garlic, generous topping of black pepper and a few squirts of lime juice and tabasco sauce

step 3:
chop up some green cabbage - maybe 3/4 cup? and sprinkle with salt, pepper and celery seed.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil (and I put a tiny bit of walnut oil on top of that because my olive oil is getting slim).  Toss seasoned cabbage in the oil until it begins to wilt.  Add the cauliflower mix from step 1.. stir well, let steam a little with a lid over it.

step 4: 
drain the remaining water from the wheat and add to the cabbage and cauliflower mix - stir up well.  Add about 1/2 cup of canned beans to mixture and also 3/4 cup of water.  Add a smidge of garam masala over the surface.. maybe even less than 1/8 teaspoon - I just did a pinch and didn't measure.  Put lid back on and steam some more on medium to low heat for about 7 minutes... we want the wheat to soak up some more of the spiced liquid and get a little less chewy.. and the beans to soften up a little as well.  Make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, turn it o ver and steam until the wheat is the right texture (add more moisture if needed ,but should be okay).

I added this to some slightly sweetened cornbread and it was a very spicy good meal.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Two new bags

Esme's gym bag had disappeared out of her school bag... but it might still be around here somewhere... But I used this fabric to make her a very distinctive new one with a pink shoelace tie, and made myself a new larger lunch bag to bring my quart jars and containers in.  Mine has a pocket on the side and is actually a little larger than I wanted it to be.  The size of her gym bag is just right - it was one fat quarter for the bottom and half a fat quarter for the top piece.

Sunday, March 03, 2019


I learned a new stitch today.. it's only been twenty years I've been knitting and avoided making this step.. until I saw a friend make up a blanket in this stitch and she did it so quickly... I thought it really can't be as hard as all that.

I also made a new lunch bag, twice as deep, out of the fabric in the picture.. I will take a picture of it full of things tomorrow.  It is large enough to hold two quart jars or a quart jar and a sandwich container.. which was such a tight fit in my other bag.

I've finished reading 'Where the Crawdads Sing'.. powerful haunting book.