Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Rep from * … again.

You might recall that I’ve had computer issues recently (November and December) – they’re baaack … which makes me very glad that we re-upped the service contract on the darned thing. Spent some time on the phone with a very pleasant service rep; I was OK with unplugging stuff and opening the case, but when he got to “remove the CMOS battery and unplug cables x, y and z,” I wimped out and hollered for H. No luck with the various suggestions, so I guess I’ll be waiting for the service tech tomorrow*. At this point I’m glad I’ve still got the previous computer still set up and running!

Afterward, I decided a walk around the yard was a good remedy, so here are some of the goodies I found.

The flooring guys are finished for a while. Everything is done, except they estimated wrong and had to order more hardwood to finish our bedroom. They did, however, get done in the kitchen so the cabinets should be coming yet this week. 🙂

*ETA: Shhh … I think they may have fixed the right thing this time, at least I’m hoping they did!


Food, flowers & a floor

Since I had a bunch of kale, some potatoes and a piece of flank steak that were all rapidly approaching must-go status, I made a batch of Colcannon (mashed potatoes, with a chopped sautéd onion and blanched kale folded in, then browned like a giant potato cake – non-stick skillet very highly recommended!) and broiled the flank steak to a nice degree of rareness – yum!

The 2nd stalk on the amaryllis is getting ready to open – originally I thought there were 3 buds, but there are 4 🙂

The flooring guys are moving along. The latest concern is that they think they’re going to run out of the hardwood – eh? I hope there are no dye lots in oak flooring!


Kitchen preview and spring things

There’s progress on the long-running construction project 🙂 The kitchen sink came the other day (lots of internet ordering on this job), so we took it up to the cabinet shop and got a preview of our cabinets – I love the rope (cable?) trim and the Golden Pecan finish! The upper cabinets have arched panels; lower cabinets have the flat-top panels. The flooring crew has been here this week, and are making fairly good progress — I’m hoping for even more tomorrow, when they’re supposed to have 3 guys here.

Kitchen cabinet preview.

Raking, raking, raking ...

The weather was just lovely yesterday (more rain on the way), so I took a spindle out on the deck and Toby spent a lot of time just looking around. Later I raked piles and piles of leaves out of my hosta beds, then dragged 3 huge tarpsful down to the garden and mulched them with the rotary mower; our soil needs all the help it can get!

Crabapple; horse chestnut; lilac; little daffodils.

I’m so happy to see these little daffodils – I thought they’d all been buried in the construction mess 🙂



It must be the season for amaryllis, as I’ve seen others around the blogosphere. This one was an “orphan plant” someone left in the church basement for adoption last year. After a long spell of creative neglect, it was moved into the basement to keep it from freezing and recently showed signs of growth, not just 1, but 2 buds. Really nice and bright in this spell of dreary weather 🙂

I succumbed to a sale at Interweave Press and ordered a book and 2 DVD’s – I’m afraid the book is leading me into temptation, as I’m already gazing longingly at several spindles in the excellent photos … (sigh).


Amber on a roll!

Someone was feeling pretty frisky this morning, so I just sat back and clicked away:



Yesterday morning, I thought (hoped?) that maybe the phone company’s equipment had hiccuped in the time change. Red internet light on the modem is never a good sign, but rebooting the modem kept it running for short periods. This morning, a brief connection, then nothing at all, so I called tech support, and they said they’d have someone check it out as soon as possible. I had visions of a day or 2 with no email (worst case, no?) but the phone guy came over at the very end of his day and stayed until it was fixed. Turns out the modem was on its last gasp, so with a new modem, we should be good for another several years. Yay CenturyTel—I love great customer service!

A couple more somewhat spring-y shots – catkins on the hophornbeam tree, and doves that have been pretty frisky lately.

This is one of my favorite recipes, Hominy Casserole. I always keep cans of hominy, tomatoes and green chilis on the shelf, plus an onion or 2 and sausage, which I normally have in the freezer. This time I also added a can of dark red kidney beans, which may become a standard.


Socks, stew & salamanders

I recently stumbled upon The Reluctant Entertainer’s blog – she and 3 other bloggers were invited to a chili tasting at the Culinary Institute in Napa (how cool is that … sigh) by Bush’s Beans. She shared one of the recipes they prepared, Bush’s Chicken and Kidney Bean Spanish Stew, which was very tasty and will definitely be repeated!

Served with Daisy's Yellow Rice.

In addition to some extremely loud spring peepers in the ponds, it’s the season for salamanders to be on the move. A couple of them took a wrong turn the other night and ended up in the shop. H called me on the intercom, then popped a can over this visitor until I could get out there with a camera. When I was relocating the first one, a 2nd one was about to come in too.

Spotted salamander.

I’ve noticed that some of my more experienced socks are starting to wear out, so the pair I just finished can go right into the rotation 😉

Mistake Stitch Rib; Zitron Trekking XXL, color #104.