Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Family Thursday

Several things have come up over the last few days that beg to be shared.

1. The Harlot is asking people to knit fruit and vegetable baby hats to support a breast feeding program in California. See her to sign up. As for my story:

When Elder Child was born I developed clots in my legs. The doctor was just about to inject iodine when the nurse asked, "Are you allergic to shellfish?" The answer is yes, according to a scratch test. That was the end of that test and the doctor was very put out that he would have to arrange for a radiation based test. The test went fine and all the clots were superficial (not life-threatening), however, due to the glow-in-the dark nature of my milk, Elder Child had to take a bottle for a week. So, for one week (after C-section, yet!) I pumped and threw away milk while The Husband fed Elder Child a bottle of formula. Elder Child's doctor said he had never seen a mother so determined to nurse. As if I had a choice. Diabetes runs (heck, it gallops) in both families and I would do anything (what mother wouldn't?) to help my child be healthier, besides, it is so much easier to breast feed than shlep bottles every where! So far (21 years) he and The Baby are symptom free.

2. The Story of Guido

We have a bird feeder in the back yard. It used to be very close to a retaining wall near the kitchen where I grow strawberries and flowers. A family of chipmunks moved into the neighborhood and claimed the fallen birdseed (and my strawberries!) as their own. One of the chipmunks (now known as Guido) started lurking under the foliage in the border and he began to kill any of the birds that ate fallen seed. Then he would leave the headless corpse on the edge of the wall as a warning to other birds. I called a friend with connections and she came back with the information that chipmunks are very territorial in the summer and will often kill birds that threaten their food supply, especially if they can sneak up on the birds. We moved the bird feeder out in the open and the birds are safe. We did, however, see a cat that lives under the garage playing with a small furry rodent. It was Guido! He is no more.

3. I have been working on de-crapifying the house and last week I was reading some back issues of the New York Times. There was a wonderful article about husband training*. The author loved her husband, but little things drove her crazy. Co-incidentaly she had to write an article on animal training. Hmmmmm...She thought, "Can I apply what I have learned about training animals to training husbands?" Why, yes, she could. To summarize: First: you must know your animal (husband). Is he a loner, or social? Is he a follower or a leader? etc. Second: what is the behavior you wish to change? Don't have him hover over you as you cook? Give him a job at the other end of the room. Third: Give positive reinforcement. A smile when he puts one sock in the hamper, a kiss when he puts in both socks and the dirty shirt. (hiding the dirty clothes under the bed and asking him if he checked the hamper when he needs a clean shirt is allowed). Fourth: Be prepared for him to catch on and use the same methods on you!

*What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage
Modern Love Column
New York Times
June 25,2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Knitting Out West

The last post I made was from my friend's computer, so I couldn't put up pictures. Back home again and now I can. I got into Seattle around 8 in the evening and then we had a three hour drive to Dianne's house. For me (still on PA time) that was like being up at 2 AM. As we passed these signs (picture taken later in the week):

I wondered, in my sleep deprived way, why there was a picture of George Washington on all the road signs. It came to me just as I opened my mouth to ask. Duh! I'm in Washington!

Over the week much knitting was done.

Here we are after a day trawling for yarn. Dianne is working on a baby blanket and I (the one in red) am working on that secret project for the Winter Holidays (you pick which one). At one point Dianne had to go do some laundry and her son, Jacob, took over.

He doesn't really knit (yet!) but he wanted to get in the knitting pictures. His older sister, Katie, has decided that she really wants to start knitting, so we got her some nice soft yarn and she gave it a shot.

Later, we discovered that this yarn doesn't stretch and is kind of hard for a beginner. We spent many, long days after that trying to find 100% wool (Katie decided to knit a messenger bag and felt it) without leaving their small town. Even WalMart let us down. Katie's Mom promised to keep looking. I knit Katie a pair of short socks for her flip-flops. I let her choose the yarn and she was so cute going from bin to bin squeezing and petting the yarn. Obviously we are training her well.

Later in the week we went to Grand Coulee Dam (no yarn shops, rats!) and we met the nice people from Bee Skep Farms. They had these handsome fellows with them.

They are Cheviot sheep. If The Harlot is looking for puppies for her girls, these might pass. They are only slightly over knee high and are bred for the rocky lands in Wales and Eastern Washington. They don't need a dog to herd them. In fact, their owner says they will attack any dog that bothers them. Sheep-like? I think not!

Even though I have been home a few days, laundry is calling and I have decided to work on what I call my piles o' crap. As I said to The Husband yesterday, if we can get rid of 80% (too high?) of what we own, we will be ready to move if he gets a good job offer next spring. Yesterday I threw out some foodstuffs that expired in 1995. More work in the kitchen to follow. Maybe even some cookbooks!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hi! From Washington

I won't be able to post pictures until I get home, but here's what I am up to.
Last Monday I flew from PA to WA to visit my friend Dianne for a week. So far we've been to 2 yarn shops and WalMart (for fabric). I worked on a Channukah gift for one of the family (sorry, no pictures until it is delivered, Oooohhhh! Won't posting in December be fun!) on the airplane. We had our own little craft row. I was working on .....the gift and the lady next to me was working on an afghan in crochet. The lady by the window said she wished she had brought something to work on, but she hadn't knit or crocheted in a long time. Every time the Stewardesses walked by us (we were right outside the gally) they smiled. No Weenies on this flight!
Yesterday we went shopping (on a yarn crawl) and I bought the yarn to make flipflop socks for Dianne's daughter, Katie. She was so cute feeling all the yarn and going from bin to bin to find the best color. I will take a picture and post next week. Dianne spent way tooo much on yarn for a Gift project of her own and something for Katie to start re-learning to knit (you will be assimilated!). Great yarn, but it takes sooo much for a blanket. I got a really great space dyed yarn, but it too is destined for a family gift, so you'll just have to wait.
Today we are off to Chi Gong (Spelling in Chinese is not my forte) class and Dianne and kids will be taking thier Karate class while I knit the aforementioned flipflop socks.
Plans for the rest of the week include sight-seeing, swimming, and laundry.
Now, back to vacation.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


A dear friend of mine says,"Score!" whenever she finds a great buy. At the Sisterhood Sale at the Temple this morning I found this:

It is all marked "Dyed in the Wool" complete with hang tags telling content. From mohair to silk to merino wool to some kind of wierd ribbon, I am soooo excited. I don't know who brought it in, but thanks! Sadly, the husband found two (TWO!) boxes of Time-Life cookbooks. He tried to explain it by saying we can get rid of the ones we have since this is a complete set. We have 11, there are 25 (!) in the boxes. Somehow he came up with "a net gain of 3 cookbooks"? Sigh!

Just a follow up on the drawer full of chocolate, I had time to take a picture before I posted today:

Mmmmmmmm! Chocolate!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Five Things

It's been a slow week here for knitting (ran out of red yarn one and a half inches from the toe), sewing (finished the tallis and am not(!) inspired to do anything else), and cooking (graduation week, we go out for food). Thanks to Cynthia I have a meme to keep us busy.

5 things in my fridge:
1. Homemade peach iced tea
2. Brianna's honey mustard salad dressing
3. Fresh blueberries
4. A drawer full of chocolate,yes, a whole drawer-full!
5. Squirty cream (2 cans)

5 things in my closet:
1. Unfinished afghan (8 years so far)
2. Teapot-shaped hand bag
3. Stage make-up kit
4. Fake mink coat
5. Large white sun hat

5 things in my purse
1. Chocolate flavored antacids
2. First aid kit
3. Prayer card with 18 prayers for all occasions
4. CPR mask
5. Swiss army kit

5 things in my car
1. Blankets for each child
2. Box of tapes since the CD player doesn't work any more
3. Maps for the three largest towns in my county
4. 2 bottles of winshield washer fluid
5. A tape measure 'cause you never know