Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dublin Bay Socks

I was very excited to begin my next project for Project Spectrum. I have had my yarn, Cherry Tree Hill - Moody Blues, for quite awhile. I have also drooled over the Dublin Bay sock pattern...wondering if I would be able to do it. My confidence with regards to socks has definitely grown. I have completed four pairs, granted most of those were with a heavier yarn and bigger needles, but I believed I was ready. So I cast on, couldn't get the needles to join properly, frogged. Repeated the process and frogged again. Repeated one more time and look how good it looks....
I took the sock with me to skating today, I love Tuesday afternoons. Two solid hours chatting with friends and knitting. Today was a very productive day. I was able to get several rows done. Then for some reason, I counted one of my needles. It was supposed to have 24 stitches, there were only 21! I tried to correct it. I carefully pulled out a few rows, but it was no use. So what did I do??? Frogged the sock one more time.....

I am beginning to think the yarn truly is MOODY Blues, maybe it doesn't want to be Dublin Bay.

Winter Scarf Swap

I participated in a swap over at Swap-bot. This swap sure was fun. The object was to send a "scarf kit" to someone. The kit needed to include a pattern, the yarn and needles to complete it, a cup and hot beverage.
Beth did a fabulous job for me. She sent the pattern for the Irish Hiking scarf. Funny thing is, I had this pattern bookmarked and kept thinking it looked like a fun pattern to knit up. Beth also sent some wonderful red merino wool. Red is my favorite color, but you know, I have never used it to knit with. So needless to say, I can't wait to begin this project. The only thing holding me back....the 80 degree weather we are having!
Thanks Beth!

Play Ball!

It seems like baseball season just ended and here it is time for full blown practicing again. Well, I guess for our family the season never really ends, for even when official team practices are over, there are still batting lessons, pitching lessons and speed training.

Since we moved into the new house last year things just hadn't seemed right with regards to baseball practice. The boys would go to team practice, RacerDad would take them up to the ball fields....but something just wasn't the same. Yesterday it hit me what was missing.....

The batting cage in the backyard. RacerDad finally had time to set the poles and get the net up. Yes, we have a 50 foot tunnel with halogen lights (for night time batting) right in our own yard. So yesterday afternoon and this morning I heard the sounds I had been missing since we moved in....the ping of ball hitting bat. What a lovely sound.

Do you remember the song...."Blue skies smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see." This picture is a perfect example of what I love about living in Texas. Here it is the end of February and we have beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the 70's and low 80's. Just gorgeous. Maybe I need to flag this post so that in the summer when it is 95 and blistering hot at 9 a.m. I will remember that I love living here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Chicken Rustica

Today's recipe is a recipe that I make when a trip to an Italian restaurant beckons me, but the budget doesn't allow.

Chicken Rustica

1 package bow tie pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces
3 Tablespoons basil pesto
3 cloves garlic minced
1 10 oz jar sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup crumbled ricotta

Cook pasta, drain and set aside. Heat 2 T oil in large skillet. Cook chicken until done, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining oil and other ingredients. Mix until smooth. In the large skillet, toss pasta with sauce and chicken. Cook on low heat five minutes or until heated through.

Add garlic bread and a tossed salad....who needs the Olive Garden???

Sunday, February 25, 2007


This past week I finished my purse and blue cable socks. The purse was a lot of fun to knit. I loved how quickly it went together. The i-cord was not difficult at all. I did have to modify it. The pattern called for only a 3 stitch i-cord, which would have been a string. I didn't feel it would be substantial enough for a purse of this size, so I did a 6 stitch cord. Like most things I am afraid to attempt, it was not as difficult as what I thought it would be. I have received several compliments on the purse, including a friend asking me to make one for her. She actually offered to pay me to make one....not sure if I want to take her up on it or not.

The picture of the socks is a little deceptive. It looks as if the front sock is bigger, while actually they are the exact same size, probably more so than any of my other pairs I have completed. I love the Lorna's Shepherd Worsted. They are so soft, I have them on as I type this. The only thing, I am afraid they will pill easily. I already have some fuzzies that I don't typically get with sock yarn.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Recipe

Mexican Pizza is a really not a very good name for this dish. It is truly not pizza, but I guess since it is made on a baking stone it has "that look". Even Mr. Picky the 5 year old will eat this, most mexican food is "TOOOO" spicy for him.

Mexican Pizza

1 tube crescent rolls
1 8 oz block cream cheese (I use a little less)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 T. taco seasoning
1 pound hamburger, browned and seasoned with the remaining Taco seasoning envelope

Toppings (any combination of the following):

shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
sour cream

Remove crescent rolls from tube. Separate into 8 rectangles, press or roll out on pizza stone, sealing all seams. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly. In the meantime, combine softened cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasonings. Spread this mixture on cooled crust. Top with taco meat and any desired toppings.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Project Spectrum - First projects

When I found out that Lolly was doing Project Spectrum I thought it was an interesting concept. My ideas started flowing on what I would create each segment. Of course most of my projects are socks, but at least I would have a plan on using my sock yarn as opposed to random grabbing. I made a list of blue yarns and patterns I would like to accomplish and anxiously awaited February.

When February rolled around, I had the Feather and Fan baby blanket that needed to be finished first. We also had miserable illnesses to wade through....so here it is February 15th and not much accomplished.

I started my blue cable sock in January and thus have one finished. It is a very quick pattern using worsted weight yarn and size 5 needles. I am using Lorna's Laces Sheperd Worsted. I love this blueberry color and the yarn is very soft for worsted weight.
This purse is the project I was mosted excited about starting. I have had the yarn in my stash since October or November and have not had the time to begin. It is knitting up so quickly. The pattern calls for two strands of Cascade 220 and one of the bubble yarn. It is knit with size 13 needles. I am almost through the first skein of bubble yarn, so I am almost halfway through the project. A new skill I will be learning with this project is making an I-cord. I am looking forward to attempting it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It is Finished!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

My friend Marie is expecting her fourth precious little girl. When I heard the news I offered to make her a baby blanket. Thinking something flannel, a little ribbon and embroider the baby's name...maybe an afternoon's worth of work. She was excited at the prospect, saying she would love for the baby to have something special made just for her.

One afternoon Marie saw me knitting. "Oooo" she squealed, "Something like this would make a beautiful baby blanket". At first I didn't think much about it, then one day when we were talking, she asked if I minded knitting something for the baby....the shawl I had been making was just so soft and "something" like that would be perfect.

I began this afghan in January. I wasn't thinking when I selected the yarn. I choose a very soft baby yarn in fingering weight. For those of you that do not knit, fingering weight is one of the finest....the only yarn smaller is lace weight. Small yarn = small progress. So this was going to take a bit of time and the baby was due February 20th.

Here it is, finally finished. My hope was to have it done before the baby was born and I was able to meet my goal.

Can I just say, it will be awhile before I do anything with baby pink again!

Go to 5 Minutes for Mom to see other projects being tackled in Bloggityville.

Monday Morning Recipe

I wasn't sure that anyone looked at these recipes, but in the last few days I have had people comment that they miss the recipe when I don't do one....so here we go.

I love recipes from Taste of Home/Quick Cooking magazines. They typically are recipes that if my family likes the ingredients, they will like the recipe. This recipe is one of our favorites, the flavors are a delicious combination and best of all it is made in the crockpot. Gotta love those crockpot recipes!

Cube Steak with Gravy

flour for dredging
1 1/2 pounds cube steak
1 T oil
1 onion sliced into rings
3 cups water
1 envelope each brown gravy mix, mushroom gravy mix and onion gravy mix

Brown cube steak in oil. place in slow cooker, top with onions and two cups of water. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Whisk together gravy mixes with remaining cup of water. Add to slow cooker, cook an additional 30 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

My family is not big on onions and they still love this recipe!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stash Enhancement

This is my new yarn from The Loopy Ewe. The top one is from J Knits. This yarn is the softest yarn I have ever felt. I don't know if I want to knit with it, I may just sit it on my table and pet it for a few weeks.
Here is the Claudia Handpainted....Cherry Chocolate. Looks good enough to eat!
For online ordering and customer service you just can't beat The Loopy Ewe. Their turn around time is wonderful and they throw neat little extras in with their packages.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cherry Tree Hill Yarn

I had received a delivery of yarn from my new favorite online source, The Loopy Ewe, last week. Then everything started falling apart, blogger woes...sick kiddo....pity party for me....you name it, and I didn't get to post. So better late than never! This gorgeous yellow/green/blue is CTH "Life's A Beach". I can see this becoming a beautiful pair of socks during the green months of Project Spectrum. The other is a lovely brown from CTH called "Birch". Here again I will hold onto it until August. I wish the project bag showed up better. It is the perfect size for a pair of socks!

Here is the Birch yarn again with some of my leftover yarn from the "Stinger B" sock. I am thinking I may do the heel and toes in this just for fun. I don't know if I am quite brave enough yet, but maybe by August!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Still Here

Just having a hard time posting lately. Knitting has been a priority lately over computer time. I MUST finish the baby blanket....and am finding anything and everything do to but that.

We have been to a doctor's appointment for two of my little men today, the youngest two have had persistent sniffles, respiratory issues. Since they have been ill longer than 10 days, they are now on antibiotics and breathing treatments.

I am now off to a doctor's appointment for myself. I, too, have been sick since my cold. I never really got over the cold and as much as I want to believe now it is just "allergies", I have a bit of a wheeze and a nasty cough. Since I had pneumonia, RacerDad is very particular about me going to the doctor.

Note to self.....never say "my family hasn't been sick for over a year".

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Single Socks Completed

I have completed three single socks. The "Stinger B", blue cable and now my "clown sock" or as it is actually known the ZigZag sock from the Easy Sock list.

I am getting quite a bit faster at knitting socks. The ZigZag took two evenings. Some day I may even be as quick as Beth. She can really crank out socks, beautiful, difficult socks.

Now so that I don't get single sock syndrome....I must complete these three pairs before I can begin a new pair! But before that, I MUST go back to the baby blanket. My friend's baby is due February 20th I am quickly running out of time.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wintery Mix Again

So much wintery weather is simply unheard of in North Texas. The snow is still coming down, after two hours. It has been beautiful, big fluffy flakes. Of course the ground temperature is too warm for it to stick, so it is pretty much melting as soon as it hits the ground. The weather forecasters are saying that the bridges will probably remain clear as well this evening. But tomorrow morning may be a different story.

Benjamin was determined to make a snowman. I thought he did well considering we don't even have 1/4" accumulation!
If you squint, you just may see the snow on the ground. This weekend they are even saying we may see windchills below 10 degrees. Can you believe it??

Clown Socks

I needed a bright spot today. I decided to begin a pair of socks with my Schaefer "Lola" that the boys have dubbed my "clown yarn". The easy socks group that I belong to began their February KAL today and since it uses DK weight I thought this yarn would be perfect.

The pattern for the sock is called Zig Zag, it is by Cavy Shops. You can see the completed sock here.

Of course I received a lecture from my "project completion minded" son. "Mamsie, you haven't finished that baby blanket yet, should you be starting those? What about your Stinger B and blue cable socks are they finished?" No they are not finished. But is there anything that says I must only have one project at a time going?

Thursday Thirteen #11

Thirteen Things I Loved about my Mother
My mom died one year ago on February 2 after a short quick battle with breast cancer. These are some of the things I loved and miss about her.
1. The twinkle in her eye when she was happy.
2. Her pumpkin pie....no one could make crust as well as mom.
3. Beautiful sewing ability. I have some lovely quilts that she made.
4. She was proud of me...she never told me, but all of her friends at the funeral told me that she had told them.
5. Mom was laundry queen. I never can keep up with all our laundry, she would always help when she came.
6. "Care packages". She would send recipes, articles and things of interest from the Tulsa paper.
7. The love she had for the boys. She was a very caring Gramma.
8. Her inability to dust. Mom never dusted, she hated to dust. Yet she would usually dust before I came home so I wouldn't know. One time she forgot and my grandmother and I wrote her messages on the table. She didn't find them for a long time! We laughed over that.
9. She always wanted to have food the boys would enjoy when we came to visit. A visit would necessitate several phone calls to discuss the menus and shopping list.
10. Her loyalty. If you were her friend, no one could say anything against you.
11. She loved music (usually country), she played it loud and sang offkey. But she sang joyfully.
12. Mom was sentimental. I found cards in drawers in her house that people had sent to her in 1974. She kept everything.
13. Her phone calls. We talked everyday. I sure do miss that.

In Memory

Hard to believe that one year ago today was my mother's last day in her earthly body. It was such a normal day. The boys and I went to bible study, had lunch with friends...typical day.

She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2005, we were both taken by surprise, there had been no history of cancer in our family. We even chuckled a little because our family has heart issues, not cancer. I went to Tulsa in January to be with her the weekend of her first chemo treatment. She made it through like a trooper. We had a great weekend. I went alone, the boys stayed here. It was like when I was growing up, just mom and me. I did some grocery shopping for her, cleaned her house, cooked, was her all around maid, even cleaning some small spots that had been on the carpet over a year. We laughed more than we had in years. Her best friend, Tonja, came and took our picture. I was shocked when mom agreed, she hated to have her picture made and when Tonja asked, mom didn't have on make-up or her hair fixed. I am so glad we took those pictures. It was a very blessed weekend.

The next couple of weeks were hectic. Mom had doctor's appointments, good days and bad days. I am so thankful that Tonja was able to be there for mom, she took mom to each and every doctor's appointment, with me living 4 hours away and with three boys it was difficult for me to be there. I spoke with mom every day, many times a day on the phone. We really didn't talk about anything, but I am glad we heard each other's voice.

I remember that I didn't get in touch with mother one Monday. I was a little worried, I had spoken with her every day for months. When I finally got a hold of her, I found out she had gone to a board meeting for the Lions Club, a service organization she proudly supported. She had also gone by the Tulsa Boat Show...one of the Lions pet projects. I was thrilled that she felt well enough to go see her friends. The next day, Tuesday, she was going to have a port put in to make treatments easier. She was nervouse about having the procedure done, but knew that it would make things better. She laughed and told me not to worry about her, but she would be out of pocket the next morning.

When I spoke to her Tuesday afternoon she felt great. The procedure to put the port in had been "a piece of cake" and she wished she had done it sooner. She had plans to sew that afternoon and then some of her friends were coming for dinner. Her cousin was going to spend the night, they had an appointment for early Wednesday morning, so Pam was just going to stay with mom. She sounded excited about her agenda. Mom was a planner, she liked to know everything that was going to happen in a day. She also loved to be surrounded by friends...so Tuesday was a perfect day for her.

Wednesday, when I got home from bible study, Pam called. She was hysterical, mom was in the emergency room and Pam didn't think mom would make it through the day. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, mom had had a great week, she was feeling good....why was she in the hospital? My first thought was "is Tonja there?" Tonja was calm, unflappable...Pam was prone to hysteria and didn't handle difficult situations well. Tonja was not there yet, so I decided to wait to hear what her take was before I got too worried. That was about 2:00 in the afternoon.

About 4:30 that afternoon, Tonja went by the cancer doctor's office so we could all have a conference call. We found out then that mom's cancer was stage 4 and had spread to the rest of her body. Any hospital visit could be the last one and I needed to make plans to come home. Ironically, the doctor from MICU was sharing the same information with mother at the same time. I was on a plane from Dallas to Tulsa that night, after calls made by the doctor, I didn't know if mother would be alive when I got there. It was very surreal. She was "fine" on Tuesday and then dying on Wednesday.

I was by my mom's side by 10:00 Wednesday night. She was conscious and able to talk. It was such a blessing. I was able to share a few hours with her before she died. I was on her right side and she had three other friends surrounding her. God granted her a peaceful departure from the earth surrounded by love and friends.

My mom died at 2:00 in the morning on February 2. I have gone through quite a bit this past year. I know I would not have made it without the strength supplied by my God and Savior. I have been blessed beyond measure.