Sunday, July 11, 2010

brownies, and chips, and cookies, oh my!

Before turning this into a random food oriented blog (garden, prepared, and then today), I have had other things going on (sadly... still no knitting).

Garage sales have been a focus of recent weekends, and I've been partially successful on my hunt, along with a few unplanned treasures. This weekend was a good one!

First up - pair of lamps. These were a bargain for $5/pr and will be perfect in the guest bedroom after a good cleaning. Of course I have a different project-in-progress for lamps for that room, but I couldn't pass these up and the other ones might not actually come to fruition.


A fun game board... the top glass has checkers to cover the backgammon board, and the drawer includes dominoes and cribbage. I'll need to get more little bits to use for checkers pieces, but already have a good idea. I may paint and distress the wood box as it's certainly seen better days, but this is a good addition to the game cupboard!

And a $10 bread machine. My bread machine didn't survive the move-storage-move process, so I'll have fun with this one.

The major purchase of the weekend will appear in a make-over post one of these days...

But instead of installing shelves or working on the headboard, I make Pillow Cookies. Not an intuitive name in my opinion, but essentially a brownie surrounded by chocolate chip cookie. YUM!

If I were to make these again, I'd go for a thicker cookie dough. This was REALLY moist and soft, so chilling the dough was critical, but made for a flat cookie with a bulge where the brownie bite was. And as Bakerella says, you will need to cover the cookies for further cooking when the tops start to get brown.

And they are HUGE! This plate is 7 3/4" across!

For the full recipe and much more enticing pictures, click here.

Temptation on so many levels...
Happy, Happy -

Monday, June 28, 2010

grown-up "Mac 'n Cheese'

I enjoy cooking, but as a household of one, I rarely actually cook. Grocery shopping after work is torture so I often "assemble" instead of cook.

This is my stand by for 'the last resort' and I call it grown up's Mac 'n Cheese. I'm not sure the nutritional value compared to Kraft, but at least it's not neon orange!!

After a long, hot day it was definitely time for a meal of last resort. And tonight's add -ins were broccoli and sundried tomatoes...

Slowly growing...

I've been slowing making progress on various house projects... always slower and later than expected, but progress nonetheless. But none are in the state of completion, so a more interesting project for "in-progress" is the veggie garden!

I was very late in planting anything in my new raised beds... partly because of my crazy travel all spring, and partly because we had such icky weather. And I kept the garden to the basics since it's all an experiment for these boxes. They get some sun, but not a lot... although I think they get more than I realized. So we'll see how everything goes this year and I'll have a much better plan next year.

The tomatoes are growing... but just starting to see some little yellow flowers. I have some heirloom (large and cherry-size), some "sweet 100s" (my favorite cherry tomotoes) and some "regular" but I can't remember which variety.


A baby cuke!

And the first beans I've ever planted... bush beans that apparently don't need to be staked!

Bailey is more interested in barking at the neighbors' dog than what's growing!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


In my search for some 'bargains' for some new spaces, I've been hitting thrift stores and garage sales. The perfect piece of furniture has eluded me so far, but I have collected another 6 pair of jeans at about $1.50 each. My stash is about 17 pairs now... more than enough for the lap-quilts I have in mind. I may not have furniture yet, but I'm on my way with accessories!

I pulled out the ones I'd collected before - and all have been washed, bleached (color-safe!), dried and are ready for cutting up. Not sure when I'll actually get around to them, but they're ready!

Jeans for quilting

Thursday, June 3, 2010


A new establishment I drive by on my way home every day...

Apologies for bad photo, but from iPhone (I was at a stoplight, not driving!)

Medical Cannibas Cooperative

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lofty Logic...

I went to local home/building store to see if they had replacement cushions for my patio set. For years I always kept them inside when not in use (the cushions, not the furniture), but they're now pretty icky.

I was also thinking about more patio furniture since I now basically have 2 patios in my backyard. I have no idea what I want (table and chairs, or sofa and coffee table, or maybe a swing?). But when walking by I saw this set that was 70% off and was really quite comfy.

The 70% pretty much confirmed my opinion though.

I pushed the nearby button and amazingly someone came over almost immediately. But they don't have it in stock.

Me: Is it available at another location?
Him: There aren't in stock in any of the bay area stores.
Me: Can I order it online and pay for delivery?
Him: No, it will just walk you through the process and then say there aren't any available.
Me: Will you have more in stock?
Him: No, they've discontinued this line.
Me: Can I buy the floor model?
Him: No, they won't sell that until the end of the season.
Me: But you won't have any available.
Him: I know
Me: So you're going to have the floor model indicating that you sell something that won't ever be available?
Him: yes

I didn't like any of their cushions either.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Laughter always helps...

Ok... I had a post about what a challenging day/week/month it's been.
Work is kicking my butt and there is mold/mildew/something in the floor of the new addition which is more than annoying.

So some days it's just all about the shoes! And I have some really cute ones. Brown heels with leopard print on the toes. Brown leather straps across the leopard print. Don't you want to see them? Of course I can't find my camera cable...

I'm a recent fan of The Pioneer Woman - she cracks me up (seriously - read her story of her romance with hubby, Marlboro Man) and had a post about a woman's shows - pink patent leather, but subdued with jeans. So I wore my new shoes with jeans to work today - whatever it takes to create some internal attitude, right?

But for my immediate laughter, Bailey's got a new thing... if I pause the TiVo and leave the room, he barks at the TV incessantly. He thinks there's someone trying to come in through the "window." He cracks me up...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reading List

The Big Read was floating around blogland for a while, but now that it's slowed down I figured I might as well peruse the list and see how I rate. I'm not really sure what the criteria was for a book to make it on the list, but I've left it as I copied it.


Bold the books you've read...

Italicize the ones you intend to read...

Underline the ones you loved...

Ok - I only bolded the ones I read and didn't feel like going back thru the list again... But I am happy to report that the Needham High School English Department apparently served me pretty well as a significant portion of these were high school assignments. Any my book club has a pretty good track record against this list.... although I'm not sure if that's any kind of measurement. We just have fun...
  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. The Bible (ok, not cover to cover)
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (okay - not complete!)
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
  34. Emma - Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
  45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  52. Dune - Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession - AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Bailey says: I liked reading Pride & Prejudice, Momma, but it would be easier if I had a haircut!
Bailey reads Pride and Prejudice

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Fraggle Fun...

Still no knitting... but some vintage Fraggle Rock knitting fun for Friday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fun...

I listened to this 3x when a friend posted it on Facebook.

And I'm smiling as I listen while getting the link to share now. Enjoy!!

(although apparently I don't know how to make it fit the width of the blog).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bailey says:

Can we puh-lease go back outside?


Friday, April 9, 2010


I like TiVo. Really like my TiVo.

This isn't a surprise to me, but the fact has been elevated in my awareness by the fact that at the moment it's off limits due to the fact that the stairs to the basement (where my family room with the TV is) were replaced and today was first coat of the stain.

First coat... which essentially means I won't be able to go downstairs (remember - the location of beloved TiVo) until Tuesday. I did make sure I had all my work folders, laundry and other necessities upstairs before the staining. And I can't really consider TV and TiVo a necessity... but Friday nights I'm generally too exhausted to do anything but scrounge dinner and watch TiVo with Bailey.

So... I did muster enough energy to brave the nearby outdoor mall to get a wedding gift. And I blocked a shawl that's been sitting on my guest room bed for 3 months (it's a big, warm wool shawl... perfect timing, huh?) And got that same guest room bed ready for a house guest. And a few other uninteresting things.

Frankly... true confession - I miss my TiVo.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!!!

He is Risen... He is Risen Indeed.
This is one of my favorite refrains at church...

A few pictures from Easter dinner at my friends' are still on my camera, but instead of spring Easter pics from a dreary, rainy day.... here are some of my favorite shots I took at Filoli Gardens yesterday. It was a bit overcast, but a great few hours spent amongst the tulips and other garden vignettes.



Thursday, April 1, 2010


I'm stealing this from Coggie as I'm still trying to get back into blogging, still not knitting and still looking for my cable for my camera...

1. How do you feel about the marshmallow Easter Peeps?
I don't have any feelings whatsoever... I think they taste awful, but they have become a kinda cute iconic symbol for easter baskets (not Easter with a capital E and an empty tomb, mind you - just the cultural mass consumption of sugar & egg hunts!) The Washington Post as a highly entertaining Peeps Diorama contest. Check this out and then google to find previous years!

2. Chickens are notoriously nervous creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down?
Knitting always helps with any nervous physical energy... I pray. I remind myself that the situation rarely involves life or death circumstances. I think of 3 things I'm thankful for... And sometimes just allow myself a brief moment or two or ten to panic and then deal.

3. People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring rains?
I do... although we tend to get rain for 2 months. Never any really good thunderstorms, just incessantly intermittent rain. I like the rain when I don't need to be out driving around in it, but I don't like the mud it leaves behind.

4. When I was randomly flipping through TV channels this week, I saw a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies. I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why?
Noone. If I were forced, it would be Bailey.
5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or a nose ring?
um. No.
6. Do you have any special plans for Easter?
Church in the morning, and then since I'm 3000 miles from family, I will go to my "local" family - as I do for almost all holidays! We'll eat a lot of great food, enjoy some good wine and play games.
7. Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs?
I love Reese cups, but Cadbury mini eggs are my easter candy treat.

8. What was the last thing/person you took a picture of?
The cutest puppy ever!
9. What book are you reading now, or what was the last one?
In the middle of Time Traveler's Wife for my book club... but I find it pretty annoying. I'm also reading The Cloister Walk and a fun mystery by Susan Wittig Albert (or is it Albert Wittig, or am I making up her name... ?).
10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?
All of it. With the tendonitis in my wrist, my already poor house-cleaning has completely gone out the (dirty) window. With house guests in a couple of weeks (and some dust/dirt-generating work by a contractor today & Monday), I've just decided to have a someone come do a thorough cleaning for me next week (a good use of tax refund money!).

11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?
Ummm... quite a few. I'll guess nine pair, but most are 'nice' flip-flop-style sandals, not the rubber flip-flops you put on for the beach.

12. Which color makes you happiest?
Right now... any bright colors in all the spring flowers appearing!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Can it really be the end of March already? How did that happen???

Oh yeah, business trips to Delhi, Beijing, NY and now I'm with family in Florida...
I think there are some photos on my camera that I was going to post, but forgot the cable.

But I've been meaning to post about a few food blogs I've started reading, and when I discovered an old post on one about 5 meals, 17 servings from one chicken... it seemed absolutely worth sharing! Oh, and it was only $26. The bloggers write a blog called Cheap, Healthy, Good. It's a more recently blog-discovery so I've only been reading it for a few days, but absolutely worth checking out.

Two other food favorites that feed my bloglines are well known Smitten Kitchen and Our Best Bites. But the one that I've "known" the longest, and liked so much that I bought her cookbook for myself and 3 friends, is A Year of Slow Cooking - a year's journey of daily use of her crockpots.

Now... off to order chinese for dinner!

P.S. Anyone watch the pilot of Jamie Oliver's show about changing the food served in schools? I don't remember the name, but I couldn't stop watching and thinking how grateful I was I didn't have to eat in a school cafeteria. And that I don't have to work with women so stubborn and resistant to change. Good luck, Jamie!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2010 Goals...

Well, progress with my 2010 goals leave a bit to be desired... sigh. Starting with not even setting them! Somehow, that just makes me laugh, which I suppose is the best response, really.

So today I'll start with knitting goals. Although sadly, the knitting is on hold because of tendonitis. After 18 months of not knitting when I had tendonitis 5 years ago, I'm taking this seriously and have been wearing a brace for the past 2.5 weeks. This time it's my left thumb/wrist, but still incredibly inconvenient.

But optimistically, let's talk knitting!

Although not my entire 'to-do' list of knitting projects, the 3 knitting goals for the year are:

Goal #1 - Ten Shawls for 2010
This is a Ravelry group to start/complete, well, 10 shawls. Different meterage requirements and prizes each month for the FOs. I've got 3 completed...

Upstairs. A boring name, but made with Malabrigo Lace which is an absolute favorite!!
Upstairs wrap

I made most of this during the women's retreat last month and gave it to my friend L who joined me there as a memory/prayer shawl. This was made with yarn from 3 Irish Girls Adorn sock yarn.
Multnomah blocked

And this doesn't count toward the challenge since it's a scarf, but it was still a lace 2010 project and I loved the knit stitch.

Honeycomb Scarf

I've made a third for the challenge, but haven't taken any pics yet...

Goal #2 - Sweaters!
Not sure how many I'll get thru, but I want to knit sweaters. I made 3 last year... I still need to tack the collar down on one of them. I loved knitting it because it was an unusual construction - knit on the bias, but not sure how much I'll wear it other than cool mornings when I take Bailey out for a walk. The second one - love the sweater, but not on me. The third one, I wear all the time.

So for 2010, I'm hoping to get some of these done. Patterns are queued and yarn is waiting (Ravelry links):
Fence Vest (two of these in the queue...)
Pembroke Vest (obviously not for me)

Goal #3 - Alan Dart
I recently discovered Alan Dart patterns and although I've always avoided knitting toys, his are amazing. I want to knit his Christmas Wishes Nativity set and I also have the patterns for Circus Mice and Harvest Mice.

So hopefully the tendonitis won't keep me from then needles for long and I'll get to some of these projects soon.

Bailey says:
I've found a new favorite place while Momma works (smart puppy!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stitches 2010

Took a much-needed day off today and spent it at the annual homage to yarndom - Stitches West Market. I had contemplated signing up for classes, but turns out that my procrastination was a good thing. Not only were the interesting classes sold out, but I've developed tendonitis in my left thumb/wrist. My brace for immobilization would have made a class worthless.

I did however remain optimistic that I will heal and made a few purchases:
Stitches 2010

The marled yarn on the left is for a sweater for me. Well it was... only when I impulsively switched colors before I paid, I switched yarns and now have the wrong gauge. So will be finding a new project for this one!

The blue Vintage is for the Pembroke vest for my 18 month old nephew.
The Colrain on the right is for a vest pattern I found... green for my mom and burgundy for me!
Now just to wait 'til I can actually cast on...


Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Finally Find Your Purpose!

Apparently all you need to do is watch Oprah. She sent an email and told me so.

No wonder the world is a mess... we didn't know that she held all truth and divine inspiration.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Helloooooo..... am I here?

Hmmm.... life got away from me and blogging.

I thought about scrapping it all, but decided to give it another shot. I love reading blogs and the amazing virtual community they create. So... here we go again! Ironically, I realized that my last post was of Stitchs 2009... and a week from today I'll be at Stitches again. So instead of belaboring a year of no posting, Stitches will be my oh-so-worthy bookends of a hiatus!

2009 was a bit nutty... after selling my house in whirlwind fashion, Bailey and I "temporarily" stayed with dear friends, who I'm grateful to still call dear friends after what turned into six months 'between houses.' But it was worth the wait for the right place and I love the new house and neighborhood... we're walking distance to a small downtown area with coffee shops, great food and cute shops.


I'll skip all the work that I've done & had done... a few small projects still to do, but Bailey and I are most happy in our new home.

And there's been lots of knitting (will save pictures for later. maybe.) many long hours of working (nothing photo-worthy!) and countless other things that may or may not have been blog-worthy, but will look foward in 2010 instead of looking back to catch up.

Happy Everything -

Bailey says: Momma, I know you think these are your socks and I'll pretend that I think they're yours, but just so you know, they're really mine!