Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Peeking around the corner …

hope someone’s here – things have stayed busy and the poor blog has been seriously neglected for much too long! The garden’s long gone, though some of it (mostly green & wax beans, and roasted tomato sauce) lingers on in the freezer, knitting projects have come and gone, and of course more’s on the needles.

The most recent one I can talk about, Tangerine Leaves can be found in Knitter’s K113, and was lovely to knit!

We got a pretty good snow (for us – probably 6-8″) starting on Thursday, and it’s been Bird Central, with cardinals, juncos, chickadees, titmice, canaries, some rather unexpected robins, bluebirds, yellow-rumped warblers, a couple of pileated woodpeckers and swarms of cedar waxwings, which are going after the berries on the cedars, and the year’s bumper crop of persimmons.

Cedar waxwings feasting on persimmons

Cedar waxwings feasting on persimmons

IMG_8145 copy

IMG_8186 copyToby’s been loving the snow, in fact it’s been hard to get him to come in, even when it’s been in the teens & 20’s, and he comes in with snow sticking everywhere, including ice balls in his feet Toby 1

Toby 2Maggie’s more into cozy spots – here’s why it’s hard to get the bed made around here 😉 MaggieWe’re trying to get ready for the holidays, but there’s always something more to do! wreath



The Ides of March …

or at least it will be tomorrow – it’s amazing how fast the year is going by, though not quite as fast as the amaryllis is growing. It’s really shot up in the past week.

18" and still growing!

18″ and still growing.

Thanks to everyone who’s Liked Joyknits designs over on Facebook – please keep visiting!

My pal Maggie’s really a serious hindrance when it comes to making the bed. She always wants to snuggle and cuddle, and all that cuteness is hard to resist 🙂



Nothing like a nice big pan of mac & cheese when the weather’s cool, and having the leftovers is sure handy!

Mac & cheese.

Mac & cheese.

There has been knitting, in fact I had trouble putting it down. What I have here now is a caterpillar – once it’s blocked, I hope it will be another butterfly. knitting


Trying to catch up …

and it seems like one of those the faster I go, the behinder I get deals. Does that happen to everyone?

The car is back, it looks wonderful, and they completely cleaned the inside too!!! I was almost as pleased by that as by having it fixed 😉

It's back :)

It’s back!

I also finished a pair of socks for a friend – the yarn is Rachel’s Dyeabolical sock (color: Themyscira) – love that the heels are fraternal twins. They were a big hit!

Dyeabolical socks!

Dyeabolical socks!

I was in the mood for stir fry the other day, so we had a nice big batch of Ma Po’s Tofu – of course now I’m out of tofu, so will have to get more.



The critters continue to be great entertainment – this new box has gotten a lot of attention from both cats, though Amber seems to be more interested that Maggie. The fact that it’s probably bison-scented may come into that.

New cat toy.

New cat toy.

The weather’s been a real roller coaster, from highs around freezing or below (more normal) all the way up to around 70 (definitely not normal). We’ve had a little bit of snow, more rain, a few storms, and I think there’s more of the same likely in the next week.

I’ve gotten out to trim bushes and see what’s coming up when it’s been nice; found this great little nest (about 3″ across) over near the mail box.  nest 1 nest 2Does anyone know what kind of bird builds like this?

ETA: I think it’s most likely an American Goldfinch’s nest – size and location seem to fit, and we have plenty of them around!


Holiday and other things …

We had a great time visiting our daughters and families in Kansas City over Christmas, even though 2 storms caused some revisions at both ends of the trip. First there was snow and ice in KC on the way over, then snow at home when we were coming back – we managed to avoid the worst of both.

Christmas morning.

Christmas morning.

Daisy (dog) and Holly (spooky cat) ;)

Daisy (dog) and Holly (spooky cat)

Cat game!

Cat game!

We nearly made it back with no incidents when a deer ran in front of us about 10 miles from home – we were fine, though very startled, but neither the Outback (nor the deer) came out of it quite as well 😦 The front grille completely disappeared, the hood, 1 headlight, and the left fender took most of the impact, but the airbags didn’t go off. We feel very blessed to have come out of it so well! We called the insurance company this morning and the adjustor has already (!) called us back, so that’s in the works. Next step is to get an estimate, we hope on 1

car 2The trip was fun, but it’s also good to be home. After I picked up the pets, Toby went out in the yard and just kept running lots of loops in the snow. Meanwhile we’re still sorting through all the mail 😉

Bringing in all the mail!

Bringing in all the mail!

Happy New Year to all – hope you all have a great 2013!

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Back to class …

Someone mentioned Kim Klassen’s Skinny-Mini Photoshop Elements class, so I signed up – of course I was in mid-deadline, so now I’m playing catch up, but it’s very interesting. I’ve previously barely scratched the surface and I want to learn to make better use of the program! She’s using Elements 9, but apart from things being in slightly different places, I’m doing OK with my Elements 5.

The Day 4 review project was to take 2 very different photos, add a couple of layers and some text, so here’s my homework 😉


The start of something …

yummy for this year’s garden (all heirloom varieties). I also ordered asparagus crowns which I must now get planted!

Peppers - Jimmy Nardello Italian, de Arbol chilis; Tomatoes - yellow Riesentraube (grape-type), pink Brandywine & Dixie Golden Giant.

My 3rd design is now up on Patternfish; I’ve been working through the previously published ones for which I still own the rights. They’re all getting new charts and schematics.

Cabled Hearts Pullover

I haven’t much stir frying lately, but fixed a batch of MaPoTofu yesterday – very tasty (even better the 2nd day); I need to do it more often. The recipe is from Chinese Cuisine, which I got at one of the Asian markets in St. Louis. I like the book, but the recipes assume at least a fair knowledge of how it’s done, so I’m glad I’d watched a lot of episodes of Martin Yan before I tried it.

And of course,  a cat photo …


Cats, colcannon & crazy weather

When we were bringing in the groceries other day, I heard a peculiar noise and turned around to find both cats “mugging” the bag of cat food I’d just set on the floor. I was only able to catch 1 mugger – Maggie had already scurried away.

Amber - caught in the act!

The weather’s still been on a roller coaster, *up, down; rep from *. The warm spells have gotten the bulbs revved up …

Daffodils and thyme.

and then it does this sort of thing

Iced purple kale (last summer's planter).

I love watching this redbud through the seasons.

Redbud with snow.

Colcannon with kale and sautéd onions.

I had some nice kale that needed to be used, so decided to fix a batch of colcannon (it can be made with kale or with cabbage. Evidently there are 2 distinct schools of thought on this – I’ve made it both ways). My version uses mashed potatoes, onions and at least on this occasion, chopped kale that’s been simmered briefly in the the potato water, then drained and stirred in. I also put the whole business into a non-stick skillet and brown it like a giant potato cake. I’ll leave the turning over process to your imagination, but it was very tasty, and didn’t last long 😉


Baking, decorating and knitting …

There’s been baking, but I really need to put some away for later, so we don’t eat them all 😉

Lots of snickerdoodles.

Snickerdoodles closer.

And I’ve been having fun with the Christmas decorating. I moved the nativity from its home shelf to a spot just inside the door. It took some furniture shuffling, but I like it here. The next thing you see is the tree, and a new ornament I couldn’t resist—it’s got my name on it!

New ornament.

Then there’s the wreath our daughter Mary gave us last year; it lost a couple of cones, so I now have a new glue gun 😉

And of course there’s been knitting! I persuaded Maggie to model the modular scarf (Not her favorite activity!);

and I’ve been playing with some of the Zauberball. I think it might turn out to be a stole.

Zauberball swatch.