Thursday, February 20, 2014

Food and Weather

I made Quinoa Harvest Chili a few days ago, and it is delicious!  I snapped the photo above when I ate leftovers for lunch today, and didn't realize the picture was blurry until it was too late to take another.  If you squint, you can't tell it's blurry, but all that yummy wholesomeness should still be obvious.

My children are home from school this week, not due to weather, but because for some mysterious reason our school has this week off (this, in addition to Spring Break in April).  I don't know why we didn't go see my parents in Florida this week.  There must have been some reason we didn't think we could go this year, but that reason is eluding me now as I look out on more of this:

Thundersnow!  That means it thundered while it snowed.  Even the weather is getting cranky with itself these days and doesn't know how to behave properly any more.  Yesterday was gorgeous (by my Polar Vortex-induced standards).  The sun was shining, the temperature was above freezing for only the third time since December, and all of the icicles fell off the house.  I went outside and chipped away at the two inches of ice that's been covering our walk and driveway for far too long.  I'd chip away a little bit, let the sun work on it for a few minutes, then chip away some more.  It was tough physical labor, but I was so happy to get that sidewalk completely cleared for the first time in months.  Then today we had thundersnow, followed by sleeting rain, and now the walkway looks like this again:

You can see how deep it is by the mail carrier's footprints.  The driveway looks worse.  I am officially giving up.

My kids are content to stay home all day long when they have a school break.  My daughter has been watching lots of Olympics.  Today I thought we'd try a new recipe from an old cookbook, and we made these S'more Buns from my bread machine cookbook.
A near disaster--all the filling oozed out while they baked.  Fortunately only a little bit leaked onto the oven floor.  Sigh.  My daughter watched while I took the photo and said "Hashtag bakingdisaster!"  I'm not sure if any of this (the weather, the kids home on break, the oozing buns, the new crazy language that should sound foreign but doesn't) makes me want to laugh or cry.

To round out my sad stories, last week was extremely busy, and we had to be somewhere every single evening by 6:30 p.m.  That makes dinnertime a stressful and rushed affair, so on Thursday I told everyone we would be ordering our dinner from a restaurant and my husband would pick it up on his way home from work.  We NEVER do this.  I cook our dinner 29 days out of 30.  I was very much enjoying the stress-free afternoon and looking forward to my no-effort restaurant meal.  I placed our order online, my husband picked up the food, and I was feeling pretty pleased with things, but as we passed around the meals, we realized that the food I had ordered had not been included.  The restaurant had accidentally substituted a different meal, a meal with ingredients that were revolting to me and that I had absolutely no desire to eat.  Is there supposed to be a lesson in there somewhere?  I was glad it was mine and not one of the kids', but at the same time, AAAGGGHHH!

(I share all of this knowing full well none of these are really problems, and that there are so many worse things that could happen.  In the grand scheme of things, I have absolutely nothing to complain about!  But still, it does feel like it's been one annoyance after another lately.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pocket Hat

A few months ago I saw a picture on Instagram of a little girl wearing a hat with a pocket, and in the pocket was a little bear.  I love toys in pockets, especially in unexpected pockets (evidence here and here), and after seeing that hat, I had to figure out how to make one for my great-niece.  Etsy to the rescue!  I found this darling pattern here.  

I made the bear out of felt (tracing a photo I found in a book for a template), and secured him to the inside of the pocket with a two-strand crochet chain.  I made the chain too short to be a strangulation hazard, but long enough that the bear can come out and play.

I wish I had made something like this for my kids when they were little!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Freezing Fog

It's a very sparkly morning.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Never ending snow

This has been a brutal winter.  We've been getting lots of snow with no warm temperatures between snow storms, so nothing melts, and the snow keeps piling up and up and up.  We haven't seen grass since Christmas!  

Last Saturday we had a few hours of temperatures slightly above freezing, just enough to turn the bottom layer of snow into slush before it all froze again into sheer ice, so now we have treacherous ice underneath all that snow.  This morning when my son left for school he slipped and fell in our driveway.  When he left, I closed the back door behind him and heard a thud immediately thereafter.  Before I could even wonder if he'd fallen, he came bursting back inside, covered in snow.  He looked rather offended that his feet had betrayed him.  I helped him brush all the snow off before it melted, then shooed him on his way again.  

It snowed all morning.  School probably should have been closed, but it wasn't.  When the snow finally stopped this afternoon, I went outside to shovel.  Our driveway is like a canyon, with snow piled high along both sides, and I struggled with where to put the new snow. The snow was heavy and deep, and I had to battle to keep my balance on the smooth icy under layer.  As I labored away, the snow removal company several of my neighbors employ pulled up with their trucks and their snowblowers.  I hesitated, considering my two able-bodied teenagers who should theoretically be able to help me shovel when they got home from school, then decided what the heck, I would free us all from the chore.  I waved at the crew, asked them if they'd shovel me out, too, and ten minutes later my sidewalks and driveway were clear!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Finish: Tipsy Rib Scarf

I managed to successfully recover from the knitting disaster.  Whew! I had to rip out a lot of rows. I was worried I wouldn't be able to figure out what row I needed to restart with, because knitting boggles me like that, but after a couple of false starts, I was on my way.  I tell myself that recovering from mistakes only gives me more experience and makes me a better knitter.  Right?

I LOVE the yarn I used!  Malabrigo Arroyo in the color Azules.  It's so soft and cuddly, and the varying shades of blues and the hint of purple give it a nice dimension.

The pattern is free and can be found here. (Edited: I've just been notified this link is dead.  Pattern is also free on Ravelry here.)

Looks like we still have plenty of winter left, so I should get lots of use out of this in the next couple of months.  Um, yay, I think?

For my next knitting project, I am going to attempt to make a striped toddler-sized hat for my great niece.  Wish me luck!

P.S. I set the photo to appear as "large".  If it is too big that you only see part of it on your screen, please let me know.