Sunday, November 30, 2014

out of here

Well, y'all I'm out of here until sometime in January.  Sister Suzy graduates the 13th and I WILL be there even if I have to do a 'Planes,Trains and Automobiles' to get there.

Hope every one has a good Holiday!

Judy

Thursday, November 27, 2014

giving thanks

 
 free clip art from:  http://www.hellasmultimedia.com/webimages/

I hope every one is having an enjoyable holiday.  I am having a reflective day.  I woke up this morning and realized this is the first Thanksgiving I have been alone in 62 years.  My family got together at some point during the 4-day weekend for a dinner depending on what day was best for the one who worked the oddest hours and days.  This was usually my older brother because he was a long-haul trucker.

So I am counting my blessings and giving thanks as I go about my day.  Celebrating my health, celebrating the roof over my head, celebrating that the cupboard is full, celebrating that with a flick of a switch I have lights, music, and all the conveniences I choose to have.  Celebrating that I can grab the keys, head out the door, burn all the gas I can afford wondering around looking at stuff in full stores or looking at nature's wonders.  Celebrating my relative safety in my own home as well as in the streets of the community I live in.  And above all, celebrating that I have people in my life that really care about my well being.

As I was thinking about past Thanksgivings, I remember with a smile the time that I worked at a small manufacturing plant that made terminal connection boards.  We were all excitedly discussing our plans for the holiday when Elfrieda and I were approached by a several of our Laotian co-workers about exactly how to bake a turkey with all the trimmings. They also didn't truly understand what the holiday was all about.

So I ask them if they really liked baked turkey (I don't).  No, they didn't, but they thought it was necessary to celebrate the holiday.  They were surprised when we ask if in their culture they had holidays where they counted their blessing or gave thanks with a special foods or dishes.  They, of course, did.  That's when we explained that despite the media hoopla, that was what the holiday was about and that a turkey was not necessary to celebrate.  It was way more important to get together with family and friends, count your blessings and eat foods that tasted delicious to you.  They seemed relieved they weren't going to have to buy, cook, serve and eat something that was not appealing to them.

So for my Thanksgiving Feast today, I'm not having turkey!  I am going to have chorizo topped nachos, tons of fresh veggies, apple turnovers and RC Cola.

Count your blessing and enjoy your dinner!

Judy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All Right!

Wa-hoo I'm finally legal in Arizona!  After much stressing and two trips today, the car and me are legal. (Yes, I know, it's stupid to stress to the point you're physically ill, but, well, we are talking about me here, are we not.)

 First off the check engine light was on and no matter what we did the idiot light would not stay off.  Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson) has emissions checks and if the check engine light is on they won't even check the vehicle.  Guess what was wrong?  The Gas Cap!  The rubber seal on the gas cap that pressurizes the fuel system had gotten hard.  The error code said the engine was about to commit hari-kiri but that's not how the car has been running since we got the transmission rebuilt.  I was sweating catalytic converters, O2 sensors, new injectors and yada-yada.  I don't have the money to just start changing parts until they find out what the problem is.  The cheapest fix after the tune-up the car got, was change the gas cap. And I saved $100 for the repair shop to 'diagnose' the problem.

Let's just say, it freaks the cops out when the state the car is licensed in does not match the state your driver's license is in.  Yup, there is a story that goes with that observation.  I kept my Kansas driver's license until I could get the car licensed in Arizona.  I honestly thought I was going to have to tag it in Kansas so I would have legal tags on the car from somewhere.

From the research I did on line I needed my Social Security card and birth certificate with my current driver's license.  Even the guy at the front desk said that was all I needed.  But when I got back to the lady in the cubicle she wanted me to prove I was the same person as named on my birth certificate so she wanted my marriage license.  The State of Arizona needs to update their information on the MVD web site, just saying.

I wonder what they do when faced with a common law marriage?  Which is legal in Kansas.  I forgot to ask the guy I talked to the second time.  I know, don't stir the sh!t.

I, also, kept my motorcycle endorsement.  I might just want to get a scooter for my 65th birthday.  Can you image me riding into the next family reunion on a Hog in full leathers?  I can see it now: a white-haired, short, fat, old lady riding a bike bigger than her!  That ought to cause the tongues to wag!

So to celebrate the fact I can legally drive through five states to get to Sister Suzy graduation I stopped at Sonic on the way home the second time and bought me a foot-long chili-cheese dog with tots and a large limeade!  Yum!

I'm going to tempt The Fates and tackle the next item on the to-do list.  I hope everyone is have a good day!

Judy

Monday, November 10, 2014

rose sweater

I finished my rose sweater that I have been working on since mumble-mumble.  I've posted about it off and on over the last 18 months.  The design was a hybrid between a Cuff to Cuff Sweater from the redheart.com web site and the lace pattern off the bottom of a cowl called the Cosy Neck Warmer that I had played around with trying to make into a shawl.  It would have worked too, except for keeping the back of my arms warm.
I haven't washed or blocked the sweater yet so the lace's points are curled a little and bunched.  The original sweater pattern was for a short-sleeved wrap sweater with the seed stitch going all the way down the front and around the hem.  Well, for me, if I'm going to wear a sweater I want one with long sleeves because the backs of my arms are cold.  And since I have no waist tying anything around my waist looks stupid!  I, also, need more fabric in the front of my garments because of the boobs and belly.  Time to make some design changes!

I wanted a shawl collar so I did some research and figured out how to do some short rows to give the sweater the extra fabric in the collar area. 

The pattern was easy to up-size to my dimensions, however because I wanted a zipper closure I had to pick back about three inches of knitting around the collar and front because the sweater was just too big. 

I re-knitted about a 5 inch square on both sides of the front because I decided I didn't want the seed stitch to come as far down on the front of the sweater as I originally thought. I am hoping when I wash and block it the re-knitted part will blend into the rest of the sweater, as it is noticeable right now.

One of the things I read about knitting kimono style sweaters was the side seams tend to be uneven because of the difference between cast-on edges and bind-off edges.  So I did provisional cast-ons and then the Kitchener Stitch to sew the edges together.  I also did a provisional cast-on for the first sleeve where the pattern tells you to begin because I didn't know how long or wide or how I wanted my sleeves to be finished.

Another decision was whether or not to use the seed stitch all the way down the sleeve.  I think it would look just as good with the seed stitch stopping an inch below the shoulder line.  I debated on using the lace pattern around the cuffs but couldn't figure out how to knit the pattern in the round.  I think that would have looked nice too.
When I got around to inserting the zipper I used Techknitter's technique of making live stitches on the zipper itself.  As you can see one side is installed closer to the zipper's teeth than the other side.  One of the thing I didn't read was how far away you should stay from the zipper teeth.  So the first side I picked up stitches on the outside third of the tape and thought that was too far away (exposing too much tape).  So on the second side I went in to about to about two-thirds of the tape width and liked it much better.  If I ever insert a zipper into another sweater I will get even closer to the zipper.  I used the Kitchener Stitch to attach the sweater to the zipper and then, used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off around the collar.

Oh, and, if you are in Phoenix go to SAS fabric stores that zipper cost me a dollar and you can sometimes buy fabric by the pound!

All and all, I like the fit and I think the sweater will keep me warm as I head back to Kansas for Sister Suzy's graduation.

I hope everybody is having a good day!

Judy

Sunday, November 2, 2014

not feeling the love

I'm just not feeling the love for the quilt I'm working on.  I think the biggest problem is it is another king-size quilt.  This makes three in a row, and this one is being quilted as one big top.  I'm tired of wrestling it in my machine.  However, I am about 2/3 done, so I am going to lay it aside for a few days. 

 I think I will start getting everything ready to head to Kansas for Sister Suzy's graduation and Hubby's memorial service.  I've started by deciding what knitting I wanted to take with me.

I posted about this afghan back on May 20, 2012 and haven't done a whole lot more to it since then.  When I pulled it out this afternoon I had to go out on the web to watch a video on how to do cables because I couldn't remember the steps. Oh My!  Well, I have two more rows knitted on it, and how to knit cables is back from the recesses of my mind.  Yeah! 

I need to start a physical list so I can remember everything I need and want to take with me.  Otherwise, I will forget something important like my coat or the cat.  LOL  She is not going to be happy with me.  She does not like to travel.

I hope everybody is having a good day!   The buzzer for my dinner just went off and I am hungry.

Judy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

a case for prewashing

When cleaning out the mother-in-law's apartment after moving her into assisted living we came across this wall hanging that her mother had made.  Nobody wanted it so I took it.
It needed a bath, which I finally got around to doing the other day.  :-)  I hand-washed it in a sink of cool water with some serious toothbrush time in one spot on the white background that was a yellow greasy looking stain.  Which, thankfully, when it dried is not that visible.

It dried with the puckered look you see in the photo.  While examining it closely to figure out why it was not flat this is what I observed.
The gray fabric of the basket had shrunk!  Damn!  I can do one of two thing, leave it as is OR unpick the basket and re-appliqué it and hope like hell it doesn't shrink any more.  I'm going to go with the first option because I'm not that great at appliqué and sometimes less, is more.

The moral of the story is pre-wash your fabrics because I'm sure Hubby's grandmother would be upset about the puckering.

Oh! And here is a picture of Psycho Cat.  Isn't she the most pitifulest thing you ever saw? 
She doesn't fool me.  I see that red gleam in her eyes.  LOL

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy



Sunday, October 19, 2014

mug cakes

I was hungry for a piece of cake, but didn't want to make a whole cake; not even a single layer cake because I will eat the whole thing in a short time frame.  You know a piece with dinner, a piece for a bedtime snack, a piece for breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, just because it is there until it is gone.  So I thought how about a mug cake.  They equal a large slice of cake, get my fix and it won't be in the fridge calling my name.  JuuDddYyy  JuuDddYyy  Aye Taaaste Gggoooddd!

So I wondered around the net looking at recipes.  One of my problems with mug cake recipes is no one tells you the volume of the mug they are using.  My mugs range from one-cup to two-n-a-quarter cups.  So would the recipe overflow in the microwave if I used the one-cup mug or am I going to need a magnifying glass to find it in my big mug?  Nobody answers that question.  I tend to error on the side of too large.  I don't want to waste any cake batter! ; >)

I found a recipe over at thehungryhedgehog called apple cinnamon mug cake.  Jess says it makes a small cake and comes with an icing recipe.  The cake looks about the size of a cupcake so I doubled it and sprinkled powdered sugar on top.  It was okay, if you really like cinnamon.  I went back to the web checking apple cake recipes for the cinnamon to flour ratio, which confirmed my feelings there was way, too much cinnamon and not nearly enough apple.

The first thing I did was make up a batch of Apple Pie Spice I found at southernfood.about.com
I just realized I use twice as much cinnamon as they call for.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cardamom

Next up I re-hydrated some apple fruit leathers I had made a while back .8 ounces or 22 grams of dried apple to a half-cup of boiling water let set ten-fifteen minutes to re-hydrated; then blend well.

My rendition of Applesauce Mug Cake

I used my two cup mug but a cup-n-a-half would probable be big enough.  Spray the mug with non-stick spray or grease.  Use a cereal bowl to mix it in. 

6 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar (can use brown)
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp applesauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
1 Tbsp milk or 1 tsp of powdered milk and 1 Tbsp of water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract.
1 Tbsp chopped nuts (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped raisins or dates (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients.  I added the nuts and raisins to the dry ingredients.  Then the wet and mixed until the dry ingredients were wet and no lumps.  Scrap the batter into the prepared mug and microwave 60 to 90 seconds depending on your microwave.  I would stop it at 60 seconds and use a toothpick to see if it is done before adding the last second 30 seconds. 

Because I doubled the recipe, I think it would work in two one-cup mugs.  I would shorten up the time to 45 seconds before checking so see if it was done.

I found a Butter Sauce Recipe for an apple cake that I liked the looks of and now that I want to give credit to the blog I found it on, I can't find the blog again. Crap!

EDIT: think I found it:  http://www.food.com/recipe/chunky-apple-spice-cake-with-vanilla-butter-sauce-15682

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp heavy cream or 1 tsp of creamer and 1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp brown sugar or 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix first three ingredients in a 1-cup ramekin.  Cook in 10 to 15 second bursts stirring between each burst until it has thickened about 90 seconds total. Carefully pull out of the microwave and add the vanilla extract.  Pour over the cake hot.  I loosened up the sides of the cake so the butter sauce would run down the sides of the cake and bottom too.  There is more than enough here to cover the two smaller mug cakes if that was the way you made it.

I hope everyone is having a good day!

Judy