Sunday, June 28, 2009

See -

Pretty cute, huh?
Yes, that's an end that needs to be tucked in -(looks kind of like it's umbilical cord...)
I suppose you could make it in a weekend if you did nothing else - but it did come together pretty fast (4 days) for someone who had made nothing but baby afghans and a few hats - and the hood will definitely be better, redone bigger.

Pat, pat, pat - that's the sound of me patting my self on the back - ha, ha, ha..........

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'm Baaaack....

Well, the sweater got almost finished while we were on vacation at Black Sheep Gathering - I didn't think that the hood was big enough and I still don't have buttons for it - but Sophia and her mamma Erin came over on Tuesday to try it on before they want home to England and it is going to be splendid, and I was right - the hood was too small - you can't see how much she is swimming in the sweater, but you can see that the hood is just right size now - so I ripped it out and made it bigger - It will go with Sophia's grandma & grandpa when they go to see her in August.

I don't have my pics from Black Sheep organized quite yet, so I thought I'd share this new recipe that I made for dinner on Thursday. It is from one of those little plastic ring bound "community cookbooks" called "Kernel's Delights" a fund raiser by the Dollar's for Scholars group at Mansfield High School where I grew up. I thought it would be fun to see what recipes people had come up with - not really thinking that over the 40 years that I have been gone, there are lots of new people in town - didn't recognize but a few names - but this recipe caught my eye the other day when I was looking for something to make for dinner. I used both a sweet potato (the yellow ones) and a yam (the bright orange ones) because The Shepherd likes yams better, but the next time I make this (and I will make it again, it is YUMMY) I will only use sweet potatoes - they just had a better flavor and texture for the dish. Sorry I didn't get a picture - we were hungry and I didn't think about it until the dish was consummed and pronounced delicious.

(I have made a few changes in her original recipe - I'll list them)

2 tsp olive oil (I used 2 Tbsp canola oil)
4 (4 oz) boneless loin pork chops - I used two thick six ounce loin chops and sliced them im 1/2 inch slices
1/4 tsp salt for seasoning the chops - I also used some garlic pepper and some Pampered chef Asian style seasoning that I have in my spice cabinet -
3-4 green onions including about 3-4 inches of the green tops - cut into 1/2 inch lengths.
1 (10 oz) can Mandarin Oranges including the juice
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce (I think I might have use 3 or 4 Tbsp)
1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes - I used two potatoes

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and sprinkle both sides with seasonings. Cook the chops, turning occasionally until nicely browned on both sides, abaout 7 minutes. Add the green onions and continue cooking until they are limp, about 2 minutes. Add the juice from the oranges to the skillet, reserving the orange segments for later. Stir in the soy sauce, sweet potato cubes and any other seasonings you might want to add. Adjust the head so the liquid simmers gently and cook 8-10 minutes longer or until the sweet potato is just tender when tested with a fork. The liquid will have cooked down to only a tablespoon or so. If the pan begins to boil dry, add a few teaspoons of water. Add the orange segments into the skillet - don't stir too much - they will disintegrate, put the lid on the skillet and continue cooking just a minute or two longer until the orange segments heat through.

I served this with a green salad and green peas - both of us really liked this dish - I will make it again for sure.

I have a beautiful Icelandic fleece from Lila that our friend Nancy gave me that I need to get to skirting and we have a Summer Solstice (one week delayed) party to go to tonight but I'll get our BSG pics organized and posted in the next day or so - It was, as always fun - and wait til you see all the fiber I bought!!! (I almost bought a spinning wheel - but decided to hold off...) Later..........

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A sweater for Sophia

Our friend's daughter moved to England to go to school - met a wonderful man in the town where she was living, fell in love, got married and now my friends have a grandchild (their first) in England, of all places. When I found out that Erin was coming home to visit with Sophia this month - I decided that I needed to make her (Sophia, that is) a sweater -

Inspired by this -
I rustled around in my (rapidly growing) stash of fiber and found some wonderfully soft Targhee hand painted roving by Mountain Colors in a colorway called Lupine (blues with green and purple) - Of course I had only purchased 8 ounces of it, and when I went back to look for more - no such luck - it was all gone. BUT, there was another colorway called Alpine - that was the same on the background colors (blues) with beautifully coordinating side colors (gold and turquoise) - so hey, why not - I'm not too savvy with Navajo plying to keep the colors straight, so, I was just planning on a regular two ply yarn anyhow. So I got 8 ounces of the Alpine and when I plied up the two , it looked like this:

Of course by now, I'm realizing that it would have been a heck of a lot easier to have just gone to Macy's and found an adorable little wool sweater that she could grow into. Erin and Sophia are here for their visit - they'll be here until the 24th - and that book does say "Weekend Crochet for Babies" - I'm hoping to get it done this weekend while we're in Eugene at Black Sheep...

And yes, I fell to the marketing - the one on the cover was so cute, that is the one I'm making - I'm going to look for buttons at Black Sheep on Friday (as well as checking out all the "tasty" fiber that will be there) and hopefully, I'll get to meet my friend Yvonne from LavenderSheep's Fiber Garden - I also know a little bit more about the kinds of fiber that I like to spin now - but it will be good to find some new things - and maybe try out some new wheels! Don't worry, I'll take pictures.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Shoot Me.....

These three little boys are looking longingly at

this .....

That's a LONG way when you are separated from your mommy for the first time.

The Mom's were unhappy -

The BOYS were REALLY unhappy -

It breaks my heart to hear them cry like that - I even went out last night before I went to bed and tried to bribe them to SHUT UP with some graham crackers...... Didn't work.

I hate weaning weekend.

"Oh, but we didn't know we'd each get our own bowl - maybe this isn't going to be so bad after all."

We'll see how long it takes for Galloway to get his squeaker back. Over the last 24 hours, he "Baaaaaaaa'ed" himself hoarse. Poor little guy.

I REALLY hate weaning weekend.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Bowing to Temptation -

funny pictures of cats with captions

Actually the dust bunnies have just gotten bigger, they are threatening to take over the spinning wheel and the strawberry rhubarb pie that I baked tonight tastes like "Old Spice" because I have gotten totally involved in the Joanne Fluke mysteries that my sister Nance sent me last week - I'm almost finished with the 4th one (I think there were 10 of her books in the box). It's called "Lemon Meringue Pie Murder" and it is pretty fun. I have been trying to figure our which one of her recipes I want to try first - most of them are pretty regular cookie recipes - but there are some intriguing ones.

Oh, and the strawberry rhubarb pie tasting like Old Spice? Instead of grabbing the plain cinnamon - I grabbed my Pampered Chef "Cinnamon Plus" which contains cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and CLOVES! Warning - do not put cloves in with rhubarb. Yucko - The Shepherd didn't complain, but he probably figured if he did, he'd never get another pie - ha, ha, ha . . . He brought in some extra rhubarb, so I made some plain rhubarb sauce - I think if he puts a couple of spoonfuls of it over the other, it might kind of hide the taste of the cloves.

Well, gotta go - I only have 16 pages left and I think I know "who did it" - then I have another 6 ounces of targee top left to spin up for the baby sweater I'm making. Everyone have a great weekend!

See more Lolcats and funny pictures HERE

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Loss of a bright and shining star...

In Memory
Denise Guren
8.14.52 - 5.31.09

This is a would'a, could'a, should'a story, I suppose.

I've known who Denise was for years before I knew her personally - one could easily be in awe of her talent - she was a very gifted violin/fiddle player in both folk and Klezmer music - but I didn't get acquainted with her until I joined Spindrifters a couple of years ago - she was the consummate fiber person - a wonderful spinner (she and her husband designed a new little spinning wheel that is quite popular) and I think she could knit most anything.

Denise had cancer. She faced it with more courage and grace than anyone I've ever seen. She continued to come to our Saturday guild meetings and was also active in the Knit night at NW Handspun Yarns. She and Doug were at Gretchen's Fiber Frolic in April - picking up the first Shetland fleeces from their wethers, that Gretchen had processed for them. She mentioned something about overdying the grey and fawn to see what kind of heathery colors she could come up with.

I sat beside Denise at the last local guild meeting in March. When she mentioned that she had decided to accept Hospice. I didn't know what to say - I didn't know her very well. She quickly said it would make her life easier - that it would allow her to do things in the time she had left that she wouldn't be able to if she didn't have the help. In fact, a friend told me today that she had seen her at Folk Life in Seattle over Memorial Day and at the Farmer's Market last weekend. Denise lived her life to the fullest.

As I said, I didn't know her very well, but I would have liked to have known her better. Afraid of loosing something I had just found, I didn't "find" it at all. I had been thinking about her a lot the last two days, thinking I "should" send her a card to see what she had done with the fleeces that she picked up at Gretchen's - and then, too late, found out this afternoon that she had passed away on Sunday.

Do you suppose there are Klezmer bands in heaven?