I'm loving this!

Otherwise Known as a Grilled Cheese

I’m not a food blogger.  I’ve never really aspired to it, but I’ve gotten into the habit of posting the things I make that turn out well.  This brings me to this sandwich.  Sandwiches are important.

Twelve grain bread with gouda, spinach and avocado-seasoned with a dusting of Spike and served on a Halloween-themed Dixie plate.  We use paper at my house-I know, it’s shameful…

You know what’s not shameful?  This delightful dish! This mammoth morsel! This marvelous munchy!

 

Crochet

Number Seven

I’d like you all to meet number seven. I don’t think this variation needs a lot of explanation.  Again, Catania Cotton.  Again, Pierrot 29-34.  Just when i think I’m finished with these guys, they pull me back in!

You can see a rundown here along with pics of my Number Six.  (Yes, I know.  I have a gift for catchy titles.)  Number Six was cute, but Number seven…well, it’s Claret.

Claret makes me happy.  And so does Number Seven.

 

 

 

 

Crochet

Number Six

You can’t accuse me of being fickle.  Fickle flits from one pattern to another.  This scarf pattern and I are in a relationship.  No matter where my eye wanders, I keep coming back and trying variations in color and pattern to the most excellent Pierrot 29-31.  The only relationship as durable as the one I have with this scarf, is my relationship with Catania  mercerized cotton. I’m not ashamed to say it.  I love them.  I’ve proclaimed my love boldly:

  • In February, I worked the pattern for the first time.  I followed the directions implicitly in an odd colorway of plum, chocolate-brown, off white and grey.
  • My second version (first variation) was a “Seascape”.  I love it.  Maybe my favorite of all of them.
  • Third, was in ivory and spring green.  Very natural and organic.
  • Fourth, my daughter chose the color palette, and so it became “Whitney’s Scarf”.  That girl has a wonderful eye for color!
  • The fifth version was an Easter edition of the pattern, or as I like to refer to it, “The one that looks like a watermelon.”

And now I’ve finished number six.  I like it a lot.  It’s more of a winter colorway-crisp, cool and evocative of all things brisk.

 

Too much?  Maybe.  I’ll just leave it at “I like it.  A lot.”

Each of these scarves will complete their creative journey as a Christmas present.  Needless to say, the person who gets number six will have to be very special-at least as special as number six.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Mission · General

Poultry Parade

My chickens are divas.  Not only do they lay extraordinarily tasty eggs, but they are tremendously amusing to me.  They’re greedy, messy, ridiculous and sweet.  And although it’s been quite a while since I posted about them, they take up quite a bit of my time and energy, and deserve a little press.

I have six chickens in two domiciles.  Four (The Hogwart’s Four) live in a split-level ranch kind of chicken coop with an extension.  The other two live in a chicken tractor-or what I like to call the chicken equivalent of a classic Air Stream travel trailer. Let’s do a roll call with their updated head shots…First, there’s Hermione

Hermione is a Barred Rock and the undisputed Queen of the coop.  She’s a real diva’s diva.  She coexists with the other ladies in peace and harmony, right up until they cross her.

Hermione’s sister, Luna, however, is more reserved.  She’s the first to move out of the spotlight and the last to investigate when there’s activity in the coop.  Luna is cool, quiet and distant.

Then there’s Minerva.  A Black Sex Link, this lady doesn’t suffer fools.  She just doesn’t really have time for nonsense.  I might even call her haughty. Just look at the disdain in her expression…

And then there’s Jenny.  Jenny’s the chicken equivalent to Paris Hilton.  She’s a party girl-always the first to the door when there’s company in the coop.  She seeks out the camera like it’s the paparazzi at an after-party. Diva-licious!

 OK, moving on to the Tractor Team…This is Buffy, the Buff Orpington.  I love this chicken.  She’s just sweet.  She’s kind of isolated with a companion who is the chicken equivalent of paranoid schizophrenic (more on this in a moment).  My goal is to integrate her with the Hogwart’s four.  I tried once and she wound up with her ear ripped in two.  I’m not sure if one of the divas did it, or if she did it to herself fleeing their bullying.  I pulled her immediately, though, and haven’t had the nerve to try it again.  The guilt was terrible.  Even with the slight ear deformity, though, she’s a looker!

Catniss.  I don’t even really know what to say.  She’s like a demented version of Miss Prissy (you know, the chicken on Bugs Bunny).  She tends to go into panicked, self-destructive flight.  She does this frequently for no visible reason.  She just freaks out. And when she freaks out she starts flinging herself against the coop.  This always, always results in bleeding along the top of her nose.  I’m pretty sure she’s brain damaged, and I’m starting to think it’s stunted her growth.  I got her as a chick just after Easter, and she just doesn’t seem to be putting on the growth you’d expect from a Rhode Island Red.

One of the reasons I love Buffy so is because she’s so patient with Catniss.  No matter how many times the freak chicken bloodies herself, Buffy never gets aggressive with her.  In fact, I’ve never seen Buffy peck at Catniss at all.  She’s a saint. As I mentioned before,  I separated them once, and Buffy actually acted distressed that she wasn’t with Catniss.  I find this difficult to understand because, again, Catniss is a freak.  I’m not sure what to do with her.  I don’t get that she’s healthy, and I can’t bring myself to bump her off.  For now, I’m watching her closely, and planning another attempt to integrate Buffy with the more “balanced” crew in the Hogwarts Hacienda.  Then I’ll figure it out….

 

So there you have my Diva roll call – five big beautiful hens and a slightly demented ingenue pullet.

 

 

 

 

Crochet

Tunisian Ta-Da! Redux

Finally! I can show you the Tunisian Multi-Garment I completed as a result of my very first Craftsy Class, Jennifer Hansen’s “Tunisian Crochet:  Revolutions in Color and Style”.

I started this little jewel in May, and finished the first rectangular panel just a few short weeks later in June.  And then I stopped….

I stopped for…a while….

I finally picked it up again in August.  And in a few short weeks, I finished the second panel.  I was pretty prompt in blocking, but then I started working with the lacing.  How did I want to lace these two panels?  There are a ton of options.  A shoe lace edging borders the each side of each panel.  I would lace it, and then unlace it…lace it and then unlace it…lace it and then unlace it….You get the picture.

Finally I stopped with the lacing, and just took the pictures.  It’s beautiful.  I went with a simple poncho.  Very cute with jeans!

Jennifer Hansen has such an amazing mastery of drape when she’s designing.  If you haven’t, you should check out her website at Stitch Diva Studios.  I love her style sensibility. (So hoping she does another Craftsy class on Broomstick lace…)

Now onto my next class!  Maybe it’s finally time for one or two in photography?  Cuz what I’m wondering right now is, what’s up with the grey foamy on that hanger?  Who leaves that in a picture?  Oh well…one should embrace one’s opportunities 🙂  Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

 

 

General

Acts of Random Gastronomy

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun…

When I ate my first Big Mac, there was not a McDonald’s in my home town.  You had to drive about an hour in any given direction to get to one.  When I tried my first one, it was love at first bite.  (Scarcity drives demand, don’t  you know.)  I don’t remember if it was my sophomore or junior year in high school, but we finally got a McDonald’s in my little East Texas town. The cars literally stretched about a mile down the street the Saturday it opened.  I’m not sure that there was ever a more anticipated opening in our little burg.  It was big news.  Yep, big news.  But it wasn’t pretty.  I have vague memories  an  undetermined period of time where I consumed  Big Macs daily. Looking back, it’s hard to believe.

I don’t love Big Macs anymore.  I don’t love McDonald’s.  And I certainly wouldn’t drive out of my way to get to one.  There have been times when I’ve pulled into the drive-through for my kids and smell has repulsed rather than enticed me.  In spite my general abhorrence for the restaurant chain, however, about once a year, I have an inexplicable craving for a Big Mac.

Over the last couple of weeks, I felt it coming on.  I’d see a commercial, and be tempted.  I knew it was coming, and when I woke up this morning, I had a sneaky suspicion that  today was the day.  Today was the day for a Mac Attack!

I’m not gonna lie.  I was stress eating.  Stress with a capital “S”.  And I’m not ashamed to say it…That sandwich was good.  I enjoyed it.  I didn’t feel bad about it.  I don’t now.  And I’m done.  Done until the next time.  My next annual (or whatever-I’m pretty sure it was well over a year this time) Mac Attack.  Nostalgia?  Probably Tasty? Usually. An anomaly?  Absolutely. Acts of random gastronomy…

General

Obstacles…

 

It’s been a month of transition at my house.  Transition back to school.  Transition back into my husband’s business travel.  Transition into a new level of engagement in my own job, which has also necessitated travel.  As it turns out, I’m not as good at transition as I used to be.  This morning finds me reflecting back on a month of obstacles.  Isn’t that absurd?  It’s so easy for us to focus on what we aren’t able to do instead of really experiencing what we’ve done.

I sat down today to write about obstacles to my blogging.  Mainly because I carry masses of guilt on a daily basis.  Guilt for what I haven’t done or haven’t done well.  I added my blog to this list over the last couple of weeks.  I felt guilty because I didn’t do something that I do strictly because I enjoy it.  And guess what? The guilt eliminates the enjoyment.  That’s an irony I don’t find enjoyable.  And I love irony.

So this morning I woke up a little angry.  Per the usual, I was angry with myself.  So I decided to give into the obstacles. I let myself be interrupted by my kids and chose not to be frustrated by it. I let myself go onto other things when i couldn’t start a load of laundry because I’m out of laundry detergent.  I let myself read blogs and link to sites as my whim dictated. I let myself drink a cup of coffee and do nothing. And it was nice.  And I don’t feel guilty.  I gave into the obstacles, and I was able to cut myself some slack instead of focusing on what isn’t getting done.  (I win!)

….And now I’m blogging.  (I win again!)  And I’m still going to talk about those obstacles, because really, they’re kind of funny.

1.  I finished my Tunisian Multi-Garment, but have no photos to blog because I can’t decide the best way to lace it together.  I’ve laced and re-laced this garment around 5 times and undo it every time.  There’s a strong possibility I’m subconsciously postponing the inevitable because I don’t want  my picture taken.  Hmmmm.

2.  I’ve crocheted what I feel is an adorable scarf.  I can’t finish it, however, because I went off pattern and ran out of yarn with only three sides of the final border row to go.  I went to the yarn store yesterday and they’re out, so I ordered some.  It’s going to take two weeks for the yarn to come in because I went to my local yarn store instead of ordering it online.  Why don’t I order it online?  Because of guilt! I love the little ladies at my yarn store and I feel obligated to get it from them because of their elderly wonderfulness. Next.

3.  I’ve finished a pencil skirt and I think it’s pretty awesome.  I’m actually taking license by saying I’ve finished it because I haven’t.  I need to add a hook and eye to the waist band.  That’s all.  I’ve needed to add this hook and I for roughly four weeks.  Still haven’t done it.  I want to wear it to work.  But I can’t because it needs a hook and eye.  Could it be that I’m postponing completion on purpose?  Probably.  You see, I want to blog my sewing triumph, but then…I’d probably need to have my picture taken….

Oh well, I think I’ll deal with one shortcoming at a time…don’t you think?  I’m going back here now…Wishing you all a peaceful weekend!….Amy

I'm loving this!

I’m loving this!

I have a recent quasi-obsession with Snapseed.  I don’t know how many of you utilize a photo app, but I love this one!  It’s so simple to use. Everything is done with the swipe of a finger.  I never really utilized the camera on my iphone until I started using it, and now I’m using it all the time.  Let’s take a look!

Here’s a photo, unaltered, that I took with my iphone last week.  I was on my way home and the clouds were amazing.  I pulled over and took this….

Pretty right?  Nice, but let’s see what Snapseed can do.  First I use the “Automatic” function to clean up the pic.

Wow, sweet!  How about black and white?

Nifty! Vintage?

 

Neat…..And now my favorite-Drama…

 

You can crop, color correct and straighten. Too fun, people!