Monday, June 30, 2008

Back from Vacationland...

We're just back from a wonderful vacation at the lake - I'll post about it soon. We stayed right on the 'beach' and the hotel provided kayaks, canoes, bicycles, and paddle boats. We had a great and restful time - we stayed up late - slept late - had our meals at the hotel restaurant and just played. I knitted, of course, but I can't show it to you yet - it's the test pattern for the Knitters for Knockers - you can read more about it here and here It's a great (and very pretty) pattern and I hope everyone will donate and knit a pair.

While we were gone, I had scheduled a few blog updates and it seems so strange to look at them now - it's like someone else was updating the blog - I guess they don't seem contiguous to me.

And I've been tagged by Rachel at!

1. Five kind things I do for myself:
Knit - of course
Play the piano

2. Five kind things I do for friends:
This Blog was actually started as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family
I give them my books after I finish reading them and tell them to pass them on or donate them to the library.
I keep their children when they need to run errands, etc.
I'm Cub Master and a Den Leader and you get to be pretty good friends with the boys and their parents.
I send my friends little home made gifts too.

3. Five kind things I've done for a stranger:
I visit people in Nursing Homes who have no visitors - it doesn't matter if they don't know you - they're thrilled to have a visitor.
I returned a wallet that was left in a shopping cart at Stuff-Mart.
I gave money to a man at an intersection who had a sign that said - please give - anything helps.
I helped a homeless man pick up his money when he dropped his cup of change in a busy intersection.
I picked up a lost little girl at a mall and took her to the information desk so they could find her parents - that was pretty scary and so rewarding to see the panic stricken Mom's face when she found her little girl.

4. Five hobbies I enjoy - Oh no - only 5

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lefse Cover

It's still a few months before we'll start making lefse at the church again for the bazaar. It occurred to me that the bumpy rolling pins could be mimicked by the bumpy stitches on the back side of stockinette stitches so I made a rolling pin cover for my plain wooden rolling pin - to use for lefse making - I'll let you know how it works in October.

I used size 7 dpn's and just knit in the round until it was long enough to cover the rolling pin - then I made two chains and threaded then through each end like a draw string and drew it up tight and tied it.

and Voila - a lefse making rolling pin - and I don't have to clutter up the kitchen with another rolling pin.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Super Simple Worsted Weight Sock Pattern

I mentionned in a previous post that I was inspired by Cass at who made hers using Wick - which of course I have no access to here in tinytown...

So I'm writing a pattern for the ever-available Peaches and Cream - a worsted weight cotton yarn.

You'll need 2 skeins - one for each sock - any color - I used color 132 Earth Tone.
1 set of 4 dpns - size 4
6 sts = 1 inch
15 rounds = 2 inches
Cast on 48 stitches and divide evenly over 3 needles being careful not to twist. Place a marker. Work in k2 p2 ribbing for 12 rounds.
Knit each round for 30 rounds. Slip marker and knit 12 stitches. Turn and purl 24 stitches, keeping these stitches on one needle. Arrange the remaining 24 stitches on the other two needles. Then work the heel as follows.
Row 1: Slip 1 Knit 1 across.
Row 2: Slip 1 then purl across.
Repeat last two rows for 14 rows.
Turn Heel:
Sl 1, p 13 p 2 tog, p1, turn;
sl 1. k 6, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, turn;
sl 1 p 7 p2 tog, p 1, turn,
sl 1 k 8 sl 1, k1, psso, k1, turn;
sl 1 p 9, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.
Continue adding one more stitch befor the decrease on each row, until 14 stitches remain.
Pick up and knit 8 stitches along the side of heel and place on 1 needle.
Slip the 24 stiches from the other 2 needles onto one needle.
Pick up and knit 8 stitches on the other side of the heel and knit to the marker and place these stitches on the 3rd needle. You should now have 15 stitches on needles 1 and 3 and 24 stitches on needle 2.
Round 1: Knit around.
Round 2: Knit to within 3 stitches from the end of needle 1, k2 tog, k1; knit across needle 2; k 1, sl 1, k 1, psso, k to end of needle 3.
Repeat these two rows for 8 rounds.
Work even (knit each round) for 34 rounds - I find it easier at this point to rearrange the stitches evenly again (i.e., 16 stitches on each needle). This will make an average size sock (women's size 7-9).
Divide the stitches again as follows:
Needle 1: 12 stitches
Needle 2: 24 stitches
Needle 3: 12 stitches
Decrease for toe as follow:
Needle 1: K to within 3 sts of end of first needle, k 2 tog, k 1;
Needle 2: K 1, sl 1, k1, psso, k to within 3 sts of end of second needle k 2 tog, k1;
Needle 3: K 1, sl 1, k 1, psso, k to end.
Next round knit.
Repeat last 2 rounds 5 more times; then repeat the decrease round every round until 12 stitches remain. Knit the 3 stitches from the first needle onto the third needle and weave the sole and instep stitches together using the Kitchner stitch.
Work another sock to match.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When you break a needle

If you made them yourself for a few pennies - you have nothing to worry about...

I took my knitting to the lake last weekend (of course) - and somehow when I pulled it out of the bag - one of my needles was broken - boo hoo - I don't know how it got that way - I had draped my newly refurbished kintting bag over the arm of a folding chair and thought it was safe... I had lots of offers by the boys to break a tree branch and whittle me a new one - haha - but I declined - knowing that I would make another perfect little size four double pointed needle when I got home... I did.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brown Sr.

The Man-Cub has ranked again - he's now a Brown Sr. - two more belts to Black. We're so proud of him. He broke 2 one inch boards held together - and he was pretty nervous going into it - but he did fine as always. As one would expect the tests keep getting tougher...
...for this test he had to stop at each step and explain to the Master the name of the step and what it is blocking (in this case it's a block) or what he hitting - if it's a punch or a kick...
...these were his face contacts...
...I love it when I catch him in mid-air...
...the board break - sorry it's blurry - he's moving pretty fast - I'll try and get a better one off the video...
...the broken boards - quite a stack...

...the new belt...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Literary Meme

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary - In French even...
The Odyssey - I read this for school - but I loved it - I've read parts of it in Greek as well...
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre - first time when I was 9 - I recently re-read it though...
The Tale of Two Cities - I love Dickens - I think I've read nearly everything he wrote...
The Brothers Karamazov - I love Dostoevsky too - I could add a whole list of his books...
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (have it at home, might read it)
War and Peace - Love love love Tolstoy too - this one was a bit long and drawn out - but I loved Anna Karenina...
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad - Loved it - still read parts of it in Greek...
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations - probably my least favorite Dickens novel - it's funny that it's so often required reading for school...
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged - I first read Rand's 'Anthem' and was so intrigued that I read Atlas...
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha - this is on my to-read list
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales - read in 12th grade - I was probably the only one in my class that loved it - I loved Beowulf too - can't wait to see the movie...
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King - from Karen...
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - saw the movie first - then read the book...
Oliver Twist - a lot of Dickens on this list - I love Dickens...
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables - read it in French - I love Hugo too...
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune - I forced myself to read this one - but never got through the rest of the set my brother loaned me - I think I finally gave it back...
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present Cryptonomicon
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Slaughterhouse-five - I love Vonnegut - even did a post when he died - I have read everything of his I could get my hands on too...
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye - read in 9th grade - didn't get much out of it...
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid - In Latin...
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Friday, June 20, 2008

I may have a new addiction - um - er - I mean Hobby

Believe it or not - I've saved some of the Man-Cub's drawings...

...and taking a hint from 'The Creative Family' we chose some of them to embroider onto new dish towels...

...first I needed some new dish towels... we got 7 yards of cotton sheeting - cut it up and hemmed the edges - another great sewing project for a little one... are 7 new dish towels waiting to be embroidered...
Just trace the picture onto the fabric lightly with a pencil.

What fun! And the Man-Cub loves these new towels. He asked what would happen when the towels wear out - yes, of course we use them - I assured him that the corners never wear out and when the towel wears out we'll cut out the embroidery and re-purpose them - in a quilt maybe...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Birthday Goodness

Just a couple of pictures of the Man-Cub with his birthday goodies...

A Camelback from his Auntie Karen... We've not been on a hike yet but he's already broken it in while mowing the lawn the other day...

I thought the music notes on the outside was such a cute idea...

The Man-Cub playing his trumpet with his new music stand - thanks Grandma...

And finally some sweet sweet goodies for the whole family - thanks K...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Double Digit Birthday

The Man-Cub has turned 10. When I remember what I was doing 10 years ago this week with that little bundle of boy I'm amazed that I now have this big 10 year old bundle of boy - who'll never see another single digit birthday - quite a milestone!

It's been our little family tradition to put the wrapped presents at the foot of the Man-Cub's bed before he wakes up in the morning.

Then he opens them all while he's still in bed...

There was a baseball clock...

...and a baseball switchplate for his baseball themed room...

...a new filter for his aquarium...

One solar energy experiment set and book...

...and another solar power discovery kit - he's really into energy conservation and solar energy right now...

...we made my standby recipe for yellow cake
and added some sprinkles - these ones are actually Easter sprinkles - but it makes the cake look like a 'funfetti' cake which is what he wanted...

He's old enough to light his own candles now...

...and blow them out...

Happy Birthday Man-Cub!!!

He's received lots of nice gifts from all of you and he's very thankful too!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Kildeer

The Kildeer babies have hatched - all four of them - they're so cute running around peeping with their Mama...

It's quite difficult to get them all in one shot...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crockpot Apple Butter

I still have a couple of bags of dried apples to use up before the new apples begin to arrive - I remember a long time ago someone talking about making apple butter in their crockpot and I did a quick search for a recipe. I didn't find any that specifically mentioned using dried apples - but once they're reconstituted into applesauce - there's really no difference. I'd post a link - but I didn't really use any of the recipes - here's what I did.

Crockpot Apple Butter

2 quart containers of dried apples
3 quarts water
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup sugar - more or less to taste

Cook on low about 12-14 hours.

The crockpot was almost full so you can see that it cooks down considerably...

I ran this through the blender - I wanted it to be just like the 'White House' apple butter I grew up with (which by the way is not available up here - there's only one kind of apple butter up here and it costs about $3.65 for a little bitty jar)...

I got two pints for later and about a pint that I didn't seal up for immediate use.
It was thick and rich and just a little bit tangy - the Man-Cub wanted it a little bit sweeter - but I didn't add any more sugar...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Last Cub Scout Day Camp

Next year the Man-Cub will be a Boy Scout and he will probably attend Day Camp as a helper instead of a participant - he'll get to wear a staff shirt - just like his Mama's...

But this year he enjoyed all of the myriad of activities - a new activity every half hour for three days straight...

Of course there was Archery and - Mama didn't teach it this year - I was a den leader for a group of wolves - that was a lot of fun too...

They got to make didgeridoos - that was a lot of fun and very noisy...
The Man-Cub got 3 special beads for 'leadership' in the Teamwork station...
...and he was chosen for the great honor of participating in the flag ceremony...
...they did an excellent job...
...the flag is up... the pledge...
...a super juggler tried to teach the boys how to juggle - not an afternoon project - that requires a lot a practice...
...the wiggly snakes station...

We had a lot of fun - but we're really tired from all the driving (3 hours on each of the 3 day camp) and activity...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day

Have y'all seen this video -

Here's the recipe

If you love freshly baked bread as much as we do - you've got to try this - it's so easy...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dandelion field

We have quite a few dandelions in our yard - they don't bother me - I kind of think they're pretty and cheerful. Most of them get mowed over.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


The Man-Cub spends a lot of time outside - just playing. I peek out the window and check on him every few minutes while I'm working. This is what I saw...

So...wondering what he was up to out there - I walked out - with my camera of course...

...he's built a pond in the field - in case any frogs want to lay their eggs there...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Focused Reading

The Man-Cub is a very focused child - has always been so - he'll become spontaneously interested in something - we sometimes know the inspiration point and sometimes not - then he'll read voraciously on the subject for a while - days or weeks sometimes - these periods of interest sometimes also require the making of costumes and/or models...

The current phase...Frogs...

...we have every frog book in the local library...