Thursday, February 28, 2008

Minnesota in February (and finished JYWKRS!)

This past Sunday was a beautiful day in the mid and upper thirties and the sun radiating on the south side of our house was so warm that Dan and I sat alongside it for part of the afternoon.

It was a respite from the cold temps we've been having and made even Dan (who loves winter to its fullest) hopeful for Spring.

Of course, it being February in Minnesota, the temps swing from one day to another (sometimes as much as 40 degrees--although, that was a couple of weeks ago--now the temperatures swing only about half that). Today we have a light snow falling with a bit of a chilly breeze.

The snow will soon stop (Central MN has been quite cold this winter, but most of the has snow fallen far South or Northeast of us) and we will have a small coating of white to pretty up the muddy fields and sidewalks. Maybe there will be a big snowstorm in March that will force people to stay home because the roads are blocked, but soon winter will be over and it will be time to plant the garden. (before that, though, we will be making maple syrup--it is the perfect time of year for that right now!)

I think I will think of this pretty picture when the heat and humidity of July get to be too much.

It is also the perfect time of year for these socks. They are finally finished. This isn't the greatest of photos, but I wanted to give you at least one picture of them right now.

The camera battery died just after I took this photo and the digital camera is going on vacation to Washington D.C. tomorrow. There will not be time for a proper photo shoot before it has to get on the airplane.

Finally, here is a precious picture of the Barney's face. He looked so cute Sunday afternoon wondering outside that I had to take a picture-or two-or actually a couple more after that (if it hadn't been necessary to take these photos on Sunday-there may have been enough battery life left to get more pictures of the jaywalkers, but I digress). This is the best one.

(his face is so cute and angelic that you would never believe him possible of peeing on the red chair in the background of the previous picture, would you?)

My writing in this post sounds so formal--I guess I've been watching too much Jane Austen.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Valentines Pie and other such stuff

Here are a couple of those promised pictures of the Mile High Strawberry pie (it was quite good even though the crust slouched to he bottom of the pan)

My present from Dan
They are still alive and well on our kitchen table!!!

Lastly--some gifts of knitting
I gave Dan the neckwarmer on the left a couple of years ago for either his birthday or Valentines day (can't remember which just now) and he loves it, so I thought I would make another one for myself. They are great for skiing and for those cold days when you don't want your face to touch the air outside.

I wore mine last night while fetching in wood to heat the house and Dan just laughed because he could barely see my eyes between it and the hat I was wearing.

Oh, and just 'cuz I mentioned heating with wood I will tack on a picture of our old wood furnace
It is about the same age as me since my parents put the basement under our house and changed to wood heat the year after I was born--(wait did I just call myself old? I am not old---maybe old-fashioned, but if I start calling myself old at 28 there won't be words enough to describe my age at 93)

Photobucket Meme

Because Nathania did it . . .

1. Go to (don't sign in)
2. For each question below type your answer in the "search" box and press ENTER
3. Use only the first page of hits that comes up and select a picture. If no matches are found to your search query you can revise your answer.
4. Copy the html for the photo you select and paste to your blog

1) What is your first name?

2) What is your favorite food?

3) Where did you go to school?
Audrey and I

4)What is your relationship status?

5)What is your favorite color?

6)Who's your celebrity crush?
Johnny Depp

7) Favorite Movie?
The Princess Bride

8) Favorite Book?

9) Favorite Disney Princess?

10) Favorite Drink?
Berry Smoothie

11) What is your Dream Vacation?

12) Favorite Dessert?
Strawberry Pie

13) What do you want to be when you grow up?

14) What do you love most in life?
Stetson Man

14) One word to describe yourself

Go and do likewise if it would be something you would enjoy ;o)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sooo . . . what am I giving my honey?

Hey there---the cookies are baked and the pie is ready (more on that in a bit), but what most special thing am I giving my honey for Valentines Day this year?

Something knitted perhaps?


Now Dan isn't into sweaters or mittens or long scarves or knitwear in general, but I am hoping that this little gift will be the ticket this year.

This not overly exciting beauty is a button-up neck warmer that he should be able to wear along with his Carhartt jacket, cover alls, and warm, fuzzy hat when he is outside without it getting in the way of anything.

I few years ago I had made him a nice pull over neck warmer out of various scraps of yarn that he absolutely loves, but it is even too bulky to wear with his hat. It is great for skiing or wearing with a regular stocking cap, but a stocking cap doesn't fit the bill when my Dan is outside splitting wood or plowing out the driveway--or even out feeding horses at below 0 temps.

I put one cute little detail into it that only he will see when he puts it on . . .
I thought a little embroidered heart stuck underneath the flap would be just the perfect thing to remind him how much I love him everytime he puts it on.

Specs on the project:
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease-(at least it has a bit of wool content, right?) doubled in Forest Green Heather and Natural Heather-much less than one skein each
Needles: A pair old plastic Boye needles of my grandmothers-size 10 1/2
Pattern: I just cast on 23 stitches cuz I thought that might be a nice amount and garter stitched back and forth until I thought I should decrease a few stitches for the back of the neck (so it won't get too bunchy back there) and then when I thought it seemed like it was long enough I increased back up to 23 stitches again and kept going for a while. Oh, I also threw in a couple of buttonholes at the beginning of it.
Extras: The brown corduroy buttons were in my grandma's old button box. Before I started the project I thought of maybe just putting in one big button, but when I found one medium sized corduroy button I thought, "If I can find a matching one this will be the perfect look" and I did!
I also reinforced the buttonholes when I was all finished by whip-stitching all the way around them with the green yarn. I just made them much more stable.

Now, on the pie--I made a Mile High Frozen Strawberry Pie, so I am hoping that it will taste alright because it doesn't look as pretty as it should. I made a crust for it using the same recipe for the peach pie crust-ummmm . . . that pie crust isn't very good for a pre-baked pie crust. It falls down in the pie plate. I am sure the people at ATK knew that and have a different recipe for a pre-baked pie crust, but I don't check those kinds of things out.

It is hard to describe how it looks, so I will bring the camera home tonight and take a picture. I have had the pie before and it is quite good, so it will just end up being like most things I make--maybe not the most beautiful presentation, but very good tasting.

Oh, and one last thing--remember the drawing I was commissioned to do?
It is finally done!
Robin's Remuda

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


It has been cold here and my sweet and wonderful Dan has had to be working long hours, so I got out this peach pie from the freezer that I had frozen up for just this kind of occasion.

It was based on the recipe on America's Test Kitchen (can't link to it because I think it is only available to subscribers or something, but go ahead and try to google this lattice top peach pie, I was able to write down the recipe by watching a video online).
In the summer, I always buy a crate or two of peaches for canning and I decided to make up a couple of pies (these peaches are the best ever--homemade canned peaches our also waaaaay better than store-bought canned peaches, so if you want to try out canning I would highly suggest trying it out with fresh peaches). The first pie we ate right away and my, oh my was it tasty*, so I made sure to freeze one and save it for some gray and sad days during midwinter to lift our spirits. It was well worth the wait--I wish I had made more (I do have a bunch of apple crisp in the freezer and they are good, but golly gee peach pie is tasty*)

One other summer fruit-ish picture, just cuz I feel like it
l to r: dark jars behind the empty ones are maple syrup (oh and I think there is also a little jar of strawberry syrup in there too), strawberry preserves, apple sauce behind strawberry, salsa, more strawberry preserves. Not having to buy any syrup, jams, or jellies from the store---priceless and far more tasty*!

*my word of the day

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hidden in this Picture*

*Brownie Points to anyone who can tell me about the play I am referencing--
(I'd give you something, but considering I am about to go out and spend my last little bit on a few groceries and I tend to spend too much on little things, I'd better not-my husband would really start to shake his head and wonder why he married such a flighty girl)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

Hi, here is a quick video post of me playing guitar and singing. Be kind and don't tell me how bad it sounds.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Vest, Jaywalkers, and Legwarmers

Hi all--
Finally a knitting post!!!!!!

First of all pictures of a knitting project that I finished last fall

It has five buttons up the center and I am very happy to say that they turned out well.
I was a little worried that the buttonholes might be a bit too small for the buttons because they felt a little tight at first, but I just pushed the buttons through a couple of times and they work!

Pocket and ribbing detail-I was a bit confused at how they pockets would finally come together on this, but I just followed what the pattern said and when it came time to put it all together it did make sense.

My dad liked it so well, he decided to wear it for his city council picture!

Next, Jaywalkers--the second sock has been started-woohoo!
It has only taken me 8 months, but I have finally finished the first sock
Here is the finished first sock. (this picture is not accurate in color, but I did want to show the length of the sock) I had to start the ribbing at the normal spot because my calves are rather shapely, but I really wanted to make these to be something nice and cozy for winter and being out in the snow and ice. I could have made them a little longer even, but I do like that they go above my knees. I need to wear a brace on my left knee when I go skiing and having the sock under the brace will be nice.

Finally, a close up of the stitching. They are really quite pretty. I think I will even wear them this spring when the weather still has a little chill in the air under my 3/4 skirt.

Lastly--my very own legwarmers.
I made these up fairly quickly, but they took me longer than they would have had to because I set them aside for a few weeks.

These have gotten a fair amount of use. I am now in a ballet class and although I have not worn them in the class (the teacher wants to see our ankles to make sure we are pointing our feet correctly), I have been using them at home in our 140 year old farm house.

In fact I have also been wearing those thick black tights as long underwear as well. These negative digits we have been having the past bunch of weeks, make it important to wear layers.

Well, I am prepared for the cold--bring it on!