Friday, November 30, 2007

Ready to go!

We're almost finished packing up and ready to head to Padre. 6:30 A.I.S. (a- - in seat). We're so loaded down (back seat will be full also) my friend has to ride with her stuff with her in the front seat. Looking forward to a "girls" weekend and ready for a break from blogging!

Have a good one!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Herbs and Cheese

A shopping list consisting of an assortment of herbs and cheeses can only mean one thing-my mom's coming to town! She's flying into S.A. later this evening to begin her "Wintering" on South Padre Island. Being the foodie she is, she wanted to have her own herb garden for her balcony, so last week I nabbed the last few fresh herb plants in town although I did not find thyme and decided to plant some just to see if it would grow. This afternoon I visited Central Market and picked up the cheeses- Roquefort is sure stinky!

Tomorrow a friend of mine and I will be driving Mom down and getting her set up in the condo. Dad will be coming down in a few weeks by car (he still has some meetings to go to). Since her condo is on the 3rd floor-with no elevator-I'm sure I'll be getting my exercise in! I'm not looking forward to climbing 3 flights of stairs several times, but I AM looking forward to the sand, the beach, and some great seafood!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Quickie

Been up since around 3:00 a.m. due to the fact I'm a major worry wart and tend to obsess and fret over things (and just have a lot going on). Everything worked out ok..just tired and waiting for a load in the dryer to finish before I head upstairs. I'm calling this little quiz my post for today.

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about celebration. You enjoy all the fun and fellowship that the holidays bring.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you like to feel cozy and comfortable. You're happy to stay inside with a roaring fire and a warm drink.

You think the holidays should be comforting and relaxing. You don't like the holiday rush... you just like the simple pleasure of the holidays.

Your best holiday memories are warm and intimate. You remember special moments more than gifts or parties.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tis the Season

One of my favorite holiday type tv shows was on tonight-A Charlie Brown Christmas. I don't know what it is about that show, but every year I go will go out of my way to watch it. It was made in 1965 and it's amazing to me that it's still shown on TV. I wonder how many of my students will watch it, while I remember it being as much a part of the holidays as putting up a tree.

I also have favorite commercials for this time of year. One of my all-time favorite is this 1986 Folgers commerical.

I also love the "beverage" commercial with the Clydesdales pulling a wagon with the snow falling in the background.

What I don't care for are the over-the-top jewelry and car ads this time of year-they just make me gag. I would not be happy with being gifted with a brand new car payment or a necklace far too fancy for my taste. Just give me free reign to buy my knitting paraphernalia and I'm a happy girl. Dh knows by now it's best to "stick to the list" rather than risk spending money on something I'm not going to really love or want and vice versa.

I also enjoy seeing holiday themed episodes for my favorite TV shows. Friends always had some good Thanksgiving/Christmas moments(Joey wearing Santa pants for Turkey dinner still cracks me up). I also loved the episode of Will & Grace where they go to their various family houses as a group and only spend an hour there and when the bell goes off-even mid sentence they leave.

As for movies, I always watch It's a Wonderful Life at least once and have now added Elf to my holiday movie repertoire.

What are some of your favorites?

Monday, November 26, 2007


I've been douched!

Yes, Sophie got skunked last night. Things are pretty much under control now, but what a pain-in-the-pooper.

Mistakes we made:
  • Letting her in the house-it happened so fast. Next time we would contain her outside until we got our act together. We ended up having to throw out a pillow but hopefully (time will tell) were able to save a blanket we got for our wedding by washing it right away. Their natural reaction is to rub the sprayed area to try and get the oils off, which means everything they rub contains the odor. We're hoping she didn't rub on the carpet-we may need to treat it if the initial smell doesn't completely dissipate.
  • Not having a "skunk kit" or at least a plan as to what to do. My initial reaction was to pour tomato juice, but evidently that's not the thing to to anymore. There are several remedies mentioned online, just Google "dog sprayed by skunk" and you'll get a "skunk-load" of them. Many mentioned immediatly shampooing the sprayed area with Dawn dish soap (it's a de-greaser and will help get rid of the oils), and then following up with a vinegar type solution (I ended up purchasing some vinegar d o u c h e s-seriously, it was a remedy frequently mentioned) or making the following paste:
    • 1 quart of 3 % Hydrogen Peroxide
    • 1/4 c. baking soda
    • 1 tbsp. liquid soap (Dawn)
Some other tips I read about:
  • Bowls of white vinegar and bowls of fresh ground coffee have gotten a lot of good feedback in getting rid of the residue smell in the house.
  • Before handling your dog, you may want to put on some old clothes. Skunk spray is actually an oil and is very difficult to remove from clothing. Do not let your dog lay in his dog bed or the skunk oils will get on the bed.
Hopefully tonight will be much less eventful and less stinky!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What's That Smell??!!

Well, what was looking like a quiet ending to my day just vanished! Sophie got sprayed by a skunk!! DH let her out back without her being on a leash and the next thing I knew Sophie came flying in the house with a panicked DH after her saying "I think Sophie got sprayed by a skunk!" We grabbed her and tried to immediately wash it off with dish soap and then I decided to throw on some semi-normal looking clothes and buy some feminine products that I read online that are good for getting rid of the skunky smell. DH is bathing her in it right now. I'll let you know if it works!

Funky Sunday

Ugh. This morning I woke up in a funk. The cause? Hard to pinpoint-tired, end of vacation, busy week ahead, stepping on the scale, gloomy weather-who knows. I just know I wasn't good company.

I've gotten in to the bad habit of falling asleep early and then waking up around 2:30 -3:00 a.m. and watching TV til 4:30-5:00 a.m. and then falling asleep again for an hour or two. When I do wake up, I still feel groggy all day. It's going to be a hard habit to break and will require me to stay up as late as I can tonight so I can get some uninterrupted rest.

Then I stepped on the scale..Wow...just when I was making some progress I took 2, 3 or even 4 steps backwards. I figured that big box of bagels from Panera would catch up with me at some point-not to mention not keeping track of what I was eating.

So, there I was-tired, depressed about going back to work and having to be back on a schedule with responsibilities and crap when DH was telling me how his friend, who teaches at a local community college, was feeling the same way I was. Somehow that made me feel better-I wasn't crazy! Then I decided to make some Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls (forget weight gain for the time being). I do have to say the ooey goodness of the rolls did make me feel better (along with the coffee and chocolate mint truffle creamer).

I even chuckled when I looked over on the couch and saw this:
Suddenly, I decided I wanted to go work out. I looked at what I was wearing and really just needed to make a few minor clothing adjustments, grab my I-Pod and go. So I did. I was relieved to see most of the people at the gym looked just like me: frumpy & fluffy (probably not smelling like cinnamon rolls and coffee though). Two miles on the treadmill later, I came home feeling MUCH better and as long as I can stay up to a decent time, think I'll be ok.

I also made some progress on another set of fingerless mitts I'm making for a friend to give as a gift.Luckily Sophie stayed still long enough to be the background for my photo. I am using Noro Silk Garden (my latest yarn crush) Color #37. I'm really loving the purply colors in this yarn.

That's it for today..Peace out!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Comfort Food-Sloppy Joe's

The cold rainy weather we're having makes me crave comfort foods. One thing Mom used to make on days like today were Sloppy Joe's. These taste so much better than using a can or dry mix! Because this is one of my favorite recipe sites, I decided to pattern the format of today's post after hers.

The recipe: Mom's Sloppy Joe's

The ingredients: Things you probably already have on hand (worcestershire sauce, ketchup (I like the Heinz Chili sauce), mustard, onion, garlic, ground beef, salt, pepper, buns). You could also use all those fast food ketchup and mustard packets you have lying around for a cheapo version of this.

Begin by browning 1 medium chopped onion, 2-3 minced cloves of garlic with 1# ground beef. Drain excess grease.

Add 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon yellow mustard. This is just a starting point, add more of any of the ingredients until you get to your desired taste and consistency. I ended up adding over 1 cup of the ketchup and doubled the mustard for myself. Salt/pepper to taste.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve on a bun with some fries. Mmmmmmmmm.

Here's the complete recipe:

Mom's Sloppy Joes

1 pound of hamburger
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c. of ketchup (or more)-I like to use Heinze Chili Sauce (or leftover fast food ketchup packets)
1 Tablespoon of mustard (or leftover fast food mustard packets)
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper

Brown meat & onions & garlic. Add rest of ingredients
and simmer 30 minutes.

So good!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Polar Plunge

Yes, that's what the local newscasters have been calling the cool/cold weather we've been having-The Polar Plunge. I don't care what they call it, I'm just glad it's not 88 degrees anymore (That was our high on Wednesday). Polar Plunge type weather is great for cooking and knitting!
First off is my cheapo version of one of my favorite hot beverages-Hot Caramel Apple Cider.

Here are the ingredients:
I zap a mug of the apple cider/juice in the microwave, spray some whip topping, and then drizzle some of the caramel sauce. Viola!
Let me tell you, for about the same price of one Grande at you know where, you can make many mugs of this apple-caramely goodness in your own home.

I also have a F.O.
The details:
Pattern: Maine Morning Mitts
Yarn: 1 skein Noro Silk Garden, Color 241
Needles: Size 7 dpns
Notes: These were a fast knit and I love the pattern! I also fell hopelessly in love with Noro Silk Garden too. I am planning on knitting a matching scarf and am also knitting a second set for a friend. The little ball is how much yarn I had left from the one skein.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

The morning began with me eager to get up and check out the ads for tomorrow's sales! For the first time in many years, nothing is standing out to me being worth getting up early and fighting the crowds. So I'm pretty sure I'll skip the madhouse that is the day after Thanksgiving shopping.

Then I gathered all the ingredients to make my Sweet Potato Bacon Biscuits (my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner) and started the process (baking the sweet potatoes, frying the bacon and onion, ect.)

DH sprung this new shirt of his on me as we were walking out the door:
EEEEK!!!! It's an EBAY find and he loves it. Me, not so much! Since we were going to his side of the family, I figured they would understand. I found out later he ordered one in red too-lucky me!! Supposedly it looks like a shirt Cleto of the Cletones from the J i m m y K i m m e l show wears-whatever, I just try not to look directly into the blue flowers-they're blinding!

Then we headed out-not exactly "Over the river and through the woods," but rather "Take this exit and go through the gate."
We had a wonderful dinner with DH's sister and family, watched football, and then stopped by and visited with some other friends on the way home.

Oh, here's what's left of the biscuits:
Crumbs! They were a big hit!

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with as many wonderful family, friends and memories as mine! Now, I must change into my "comfy pants."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Ice Cometh

I called my younger sister on Saturday and found out she visiting older sister and planning a day of "thrifting." We had a fun chat and like always it just felt like hours, rather than months since we were all together. I felt a pang. So much so that I dug out my "Sister's Purse" to use this week to make me feel closer to them. It kind of surprised me how I ached to be with them.

Mom sent the following pictures of the ice beginning to form on the lake at the cabin.

And if I wasn't missing the family enough, both older sister and Mom sent the following link:

The Thanksgiving Movie

I miss my MN family but am blessed to have my S.A. family and friends. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your day with family and friends!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Which Scarf?

I have fallen in love with Noro's Silk Garden yarn! I'm in the process of finishing some fingerless gloves (done in a knit 2, purl 1 rib pattern) and decided I want to make a scarf to go with them. My dilemma-which scarf? Which one do you think would be best?

Monday, November 19, 2007

NaBloPoMo Meme

Fern tagged me for a NaBloPoMo meme. I was relieved not to have to think too much about the content for today's post.

The rules:
  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people participating in NaBloPoMo at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I guess I'll focus on the random things and you can decide if they're weird or not.

1. I've found that when stressed, annoyed, etc. "crap" is my go-to word. I'll use the modified "crud" when at work though.

2. I'd rather throw out the leftovers in their containers, than deal with cleaning out the gross, moldy food.

3. I like writing my shopping lists on index cards, it makes it much easier to cross things off the list on the sturdy card while pushing the cart.

4. Random etiquette tip: The salt and pepper shakers are married and should always be passed together - even if the request was for only one.

5. I like having choices! It is not unusual for me to have 3-5 different shower gels in the shower and 6-8+ different perfumes (with matching lotions) to choose which that best fit my mood, time of day, type of occasion, and time of year.

6. I have a tendency to not spell check my work. This once caused me to write a whole essay exam on the "p u b i c wars" instead of the Punic Wars.

7. For whatever reason, I don't plan what I'm wearing to work until I wake up in the morning. I know some people can have everything laid out and ironed the night before. I've tried, and just can't do it. I have to go with what I "feel like" wearing in the morning, which means I have to get up extra early to build in my "deciding" and "ironing" time.

I hereby tag (not so randomly)my fellow NaBloPoMo-ians

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Oh, my achin' bones!

What was I thinking?
This morning I decided begin to process of moving my "stuff" into what I have deemed my "craft room." This meant the removal of many, many, many books (and yarn) from shelves and the shelves being hauled upstairs and all their contents plus some. It's amazing to me how much I had crammed in my office area downstairs. Here is just a taste of the state of my office area during this process:
90% of my stuff has been hauled upstairs, my arms are killing me and know I'll be feeling all the trips up and down the stairs tomorrow.

In addition to this project, I also decided to wash the sheets and comforter on our bed, as well as vacuum and dust the upstairs and downstairs.

Plus, tomorrow is our last garbage pick-up for a week due to Thanksgiving so I'll need to get the fridge cleared of extra food.

In the middle of all this I wanted to give up and leave it, but just kept chipping away and for the most part am done. I knew it would be hanging over my head had I not done it today. This way, I can focus on shopping for shelving and other storage options.

DH did help some, but Sophie was no help at all, as you can see!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Remember these from the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago?

I ended up using them to make some Sweet Potato Biscuits as part of a Zesty Ginger Beer BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe.

Although the chicken was good, the sweet potato biscuits were OUTSTANDING and worth the effort. In fact they were so good that they are going to be my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year. Even DH, who doesn't really care for sweet potatoes gobbled them up! If you're looking for something different to try, check them out!

Sweet Potato Bacon Biscuits

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 cups flour
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (I'm sure salted butter would be fine)
1/2 cup cooked crisp bacon-chopped
3/4 cup cold sweet potato puree (I just baked some sweet potatoes)
1/3 cup buttermilk

In small skillet over medium heat, place 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion; and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Lower heat and cook about 10 minutes, until onions are caramelized; cool completely and set aside. In food processor, add 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar; 3/4 teaspoon salt; 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder; and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Pulse to combine; add 6 tablespoons unsalted butter and pulse until mealy. Remove mixture to large bowl; fold in 1/2 cup cooked, crisp bacon, chopped; and onions. In glass measuring cup, mix together 3/4 cup cold sweet potato puree and 1/3 cup buttermilk; stir into flour mixture. Form soft dough; place on floured surface and pat to 1-inch thickness. With 2-inch cookie cutter, cut biscuits. Arrange in buttered skillet and place in 425 F oven about 25 minutes.

My notes: I fried the bacon, cooked the onions and biscuits in the same cast iron skillet. I think using the same pan for everything really enhanced the flavors!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Coffeeswap Goodies!

My day was made yesterday when I came home to this:

I was thrilled to pieces with the goodies I received from my Coffeeswap partner, Coarine! I was really excited to see some Regia Bamboo sock yarn-something I'd been wanting to try out-and in my favorite colors too! The coffee (from Port City Java) will be brewing in my coffeepot while I'm on vacation next week, the truffles have already been "sampled" and I'm afraid won't be around for much longer. I'm also excited about trying the chocolate covered coffeebeans. My favorite part of the gift was the yarn ball-it's so pretty! I'll have to find just the right spot for it.

Thanks again Coarine, I love it all!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


It's November 15th which means I'm halfway through NaBloPoMo-woo who! Some days it really was a challenge to get something posted! I know I can do it for another 15 days though!

I'm also halfway done with my Maine Morning Mitts!

The thumb is a little wonky and I think I somehow knit the thumb inside out but I'm ok with it. It's my first pair of knit mitts and they are just for me! Looking forward to casting on for #2.

I also received my coffee swap package tonight and am thrilled to pieces with the contents-which I'll save for tomorrow's post! Thanks Coarine!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shift Happens

I've seen this slide show a few times-most recently at a faculty meeting. Go ahead, take a look.

I'm amazed at the amount of technology my students have incorporated into their everyday life. It really is something to see the cell phones, ipods, and other similar type devices whipped out at the end of the day. I can't help but wonder what technology is going to be like in 10, 15, 20 years and the effect it will have on careers (mine included) and the academic needs of the students.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Crazy Cat

This is Nilla-sitting on my lap when I was up at the cabin last summer.

My younger sister brought her in from a freezing cold Minnesota winter's night (saving her life)a few years ago and ended up keeping her. I've never known a cat like Nilla, she definitely has her quirks.
Take this for example:

She spends April-November up at the MN cabin with my Mom and Dad (who dote on her). When my Mom sent this picture, the subject line read, "There are cats, and then there's Nilla!" She's a sweetie though!

Remember the snow pictures from last week? Well, the snow is gone, but take a look at this sunrise!

What a wonderful colorway that would be in yarn: Sunrise!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are You Ready?

Are you ready for the new season of Project Runway?

I know I am!

I'm also ready for Thanksgiving vacation! Just have to get through this week-piece of cake compared to last week and I'll have 9 glorious days off! I'm giddy just thinking about all the knitting, shopping, reading I can do!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kid N Ewe Part 2-The Fiber!

Yesterday I talked about the fun of seeing fellow friends who feel the same way about fiber as I do. Today it's all about the yarn! I am so pleased with what I purchased and don't have any "buyer's remorse." So what if I'll be eating pb & j for awhile-hee!

My first purchase of the day was for two skeins of "Brown" from the Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co.-no link as far as I can tell.
They are based in Henderson,TX and truly were a thrill to find! We didn't expect to see anything of interest in "Building 3," boy were we surprised!
The hardest part was deciding on the colorway!

My second purchase was a planned one-Brooks Farm!

After a lengthy amount of time looking, feeling, and discussion. I wound up with 2 skeins of Acero (super wash wool, silk, viscose). One 8 oz skein in dark purples and blues (Clapotis here I come!), and then a 4 oz skein in solid purple (probably socks).

One of the most fun purchases I had was my 3rd one, some "Betsy" roving.

Marsh Mellow Meadows names their roving the name of the sheep it comes from. I couldn't resist getting one in my sister's name. Kim said she'd spin it up for me before I send it to sister Betsy! There was also one named "Janna" in bright pinks that I know Janna would have been tickled to see.

I also fell in love with and went home with some cashmere from Jojoland.

This will get knit into some gloves or mitts. Of course I just want to wear it around my neck!

My final stop at the day was at Amanda's booth where I purchased some sock yarn, needles and stitch markers.

I also purchased some yarn (not pictured) for my Coffee Swap partner that I'm hoping she'll like.

It was such a fun day! The hardest part will be making myself finish some projects before casting on for new ones!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kid-N-Ewe Part 1

This morning Kim and I headed to Boerne for some fiber fun! Although much fiber was purchased, today's post will be about my fiber friends. First, we checked in with Amanda of Lone Star Arts who also had Mary helping her.

It wasn't too long before we bumped into Linda (sister of Janna) and Jody.

Linda was so proud of her toes painted with blue nail polish now that Janna(now living in Iowa) can no longer give her a hard time about the color!

We also ran into Chris, contemplating her next purchase...

And of course, the kilted David.

I was most excited to run into these fiber friends roaming the booths:

Note to self: Do NOT permanently empty your trash or smart media card until you have finished your blog entries!!! I accidentally deleted some pictures...SIGH.....

Friday, November 09, 2007

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow..

For some reason, November seems to be a month of projects. For the third year in a row DH and I are planning on some November DIY type projects. This year: the guest room is going to be turned in my craft room (my yarn stash spilleth over).

Since the day DH and I moved in together I have HATED the couch he brought with him. You know the one...the bachelor couch. Here it is:

There's even a matching chair in his office. It's been taking up residence in my office area downstairs-much to my dismay- in addition to the matching pillows. Pretty, aren't they? NOT!

It all started with my wanting to get rid of the bed in the guest room (Salvation Army is coming tomorrow) and I cleverly worked into the conversation (letting him think it was his idea) that perhaps there were other pieces of furniture we could donate as well. He suggested a few pieces we've been storing in the garage and finally mentioned the dreaded pink couch-woo hoo!

So tomorrow the redecorating process can begin, the guest room will be cleared out and ready for painting over Thanksgiving break and I'll be rid of the pink couch.

In a way it is sad since we are both getting rid of several pieces of furniture from our single days with many memories connected to them (probably why we've kept them around this long). The sweet part? Shopping for paint and new furniture of course!