Thursday, September 06, 2007

For Jen, my darling patient friend.

I believed I promised you this recipe a jillion years ago. Sorry.


Serve over pasta, grains, salad, greens, or steamed vegetables.

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tablespoon soy sauce (I use wheat-free tamari because of my daughter's gluten allergy)
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar or other mild vinegar of your choice
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, pressed (I often use 3 or 4)
1/2 teaspooon ground ginger
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste (for BG and me, that's 0 teaspoons! - but you may like it)

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender**, and process until very smooth and creamy, using just enough water or broth to make a fairly thick sauce.

2. Serve at room temp. Will keep in refrigerator 3-5 days.

I almost always double this recipe because it is so unbelievably delicious and if there are no leftovers, I will be sad, sad, sad.

* I use almond butter instead of peanut butter, usually. It is fantastic.

**Blender is actually optional, but your arm will get kind a tired if you whisk it. Can be done, though. Good for the upper arm strength.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Are you in the PNW?

A friend of mine is collecting chemo caps for the hospital where she works. If you want to kick in, I'm collecting and will mail them to her at some unspecified future date. Let me know.

edited to add: Here's a link to some patterns, as requested by my beautiful Mom: Love you, Mom!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What I Did This Summer.

This is not the only thing, but it has been by far the most important thing. It's from Victorian Lace Today, and is for my greatly beloved friend, Emily. Love in every single stitch.

and a detail:

and for Sasha, the one for my friend's wedding is a pattern I put together - picot edge, vine lace & diamond lace at the ends, with zigzag vine lace center. It's finished except for the grafting, and I will post pics as soon as it's blocked. I've finally borrowed a decent camera, so I'll be posting a whole bunch of pics this week of some of the many things I've been doing.

And for Jen, your recipe is forthcoming. I'm off to the State Fair! Funnel cake, here I come!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Well I love a rainy day.

I do. (Shut UP, Eddie Rabbitte get out of my head!)

I was thrilled to wake up and discover it's pouring out there. I opened the back door to let in the cat, and the smell of wet gravel driveway, and soggy, mossy backyard hit me full in the face. Mmmmmmmm. Maybe it's because I grew up here in the Seattle area, but I gotta say there is nothing like it.

I love the sound of the rain, and walking in it, and sitting indoors with a window cracked, listening to it fall, having a reason to wear hand-knit socks after a looooong stretch of sweating my way through a day. Wearing the cool weather (and blubber-concealing) clothes.

If I could, I would spend the whole day sitting near a window drinking hot beverages and knitting. I'm doing a lace stole for a friend who is getting married September 2. I have to work in a few hours, so as it is, I will squeeze in as many rows as I can while sitting in a window seat on the bus. And it will be great.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


I've been thinking about chicken a lot lately. I'm just wild about it. I'm going to knit a chicken sammich and eat it. Comments?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I had a few thoughts.

Did I ever tell you that Canadian money is my favorite money of all? Better even than Monopoly money, or Chuck E. Cheese tokens! I love Canadians. They have a coin with a beaver on one side, and the Queen on the other side. Gives an all new meaning to heads or tails, yes? Yes!


Who is more wrong? The person who starts to turn right into a gas station without signaling and narrowly misses hitting the car on her right (Oops! Yes I was wrong and I fully admit it, I MADE A MISTAKE), which is trying to illegally pass on the right, or the driver of the car (who tried to illegally pass on the right) who then follows her into the parking lot to threaten her with violence?

Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

Sticks and stones and all, but why does it continue to bother me, when I know she was probably unhinged in some fundamental way and not someone I care about or respect or even know at all? I just don't get what causes people to need to do something like that. She actually wanted to beat me up. Tried to bait me into a fight the whole time I was pumping my gas, which is traumatic enough by itself (threedollarsagallonohmygod). Weird! Anyway it made me feel all nervous and twitchy for a surprisingly long time after.

AND, there is knitting coming. Seriously. The battle of the camera batteries may well be on the way to won. Or I will maybe just cobble together something with borrowing, wheedling, and batting my eyelashes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Here's a link

I really really really like this guy's music. You should check him out.

I was very happy to learn that he's finally coming to my town, and on the day after my birthday! Couldn't ask for a better gift. Anyway, it looks like he's having a great year and I wish him all the best.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I hear through the grapevine

that it's nice to see me again. As in, I haven't been myself for a long time, and I seem to be back.

I do feel it, feel myself coming back. I didn't really know that anyone else was looking, you know? Apparently my sisters have been looking, and talking to my mom.

When you're sad, it gets easy to crawl inside yourself and stop reaching out and forget that others can see you. I tend to feel invisible and think my state of mind is a secret, but no. Not the case. I don't know why this surprises me, I can see joy and misery (and a whole host of other less consequential moods) in others - it's in the posture, the voice, the feel of a person. I don't really know why this thought has struck me so hard, why it keeps rolling back into my mind, but there it is.

I guess mostly it's that I'm really glad they were looking. Even when you think you are all alone, you aren't. I feel grateful. I feel grateful for so much these days.

Meanwhile, Spring is here! I took a long walk around the park yesterday, among all the brand-new green and the blossoming trees (like big, pink popcorn balls) and slobbering eager doggies. God it was great. It was just warm enough to feel comfortable in the sunlight, but chilly in the shade. Perfect. Then lunch with friends, another walk in the sunshine, and an entire evening of knitting in front of the dvd player.

A good day.

Friday, April 13, 2007

All that rhubarb for nothing.

(mmmm, rhubarb. Rhubarb season is coming. I wonder if it’s too late to plant some.)

So! Anyway!

No rats. None at all, no evidence of rats, traps all unsprung. No scrabbling sounds, no restless cat, no droppings to be seen anywhere. It’s quiet here.

Too quiet.

(insert Gary Cooper pic here)


The geniuses at Google have bought Blogger or something and made it impossible for me to sign into my account, somehow. None of their clever help FAQs are worth a turd, and after trying all day, I still can’t firgure out how to get on. So I may not even be able to post this.

All this hoop-jumping better result in less spam, that is all I’m saying.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rat Week

So. It's Rat Week, folks.

I have surrounded the house with snap traps, on the sage advice of Random Lowe's Clerk Guy. Because he is an expert, you know. I only snapped my right thumb in a trap twice! Good thing I barely need it to knit, I have a mountain of knitting to do. Remember knitting? This is a blog about knitting.

We are hunkered down here for the week, for the most part. I made some arrangements to go out of town, but then I got to thinking - what if somehow the rats get in and then have a week to do some real damage while we are gone? So we'll be spending the days away and coming home before dark in case we need to do damage control.

The city hauled in TWO semi-truck trailer sized dumpsters, and a bunch of big trucks and stuff to start the job. I took a few before pics with my camera phone. If I can figure out how, I will post them.*

Oh man, they are in there scooping large broken old appliances and whatnot from the back with a backhoe, while the neighbor is moving the hefty bags of dirt from the back to the front! When I was out in the backyard watching the goings-on and sneaking some cellphone pics, he came up with the wheelbarrow and asked me, "Hey, what's goin' on?" all normal as you please, as if this were just another day. Then he loaded three more bags of dirt in the wheelbarrow and trucked them into the front yard.

Must save the dirt! WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE DIRT?!

Good lord.

I am watching for the rats, I can just picture myself out there on the garden swing with my bb gun. All I need is some missing teeth and a six of schlitz.

TWO of those huge dumpsters, a bulldozer, a backhoe, and at least five guys out there, three of whom are standing still in their green vinyl suits most of the time, watching the guy driving the scoop. Smoking cigarettes. My tax dollars.

Meanwhile Neighbor is running load after load of heftybagso'dirt out of there to his front yard.

Oh, did I mention that he spent the weekend digging a huge hole in his front yard, and then cutting up the tree that fell on our power lines in December and burying the pieces in the huge hole?

*My camera phone pics are too big to even upload or something, I can't figure it out. They are also pretty damn blurry.


My next-door neighbor suffers from it.

(This is the backstory for the next post. This mess has been going on for a little while now. Like, years, actually. But it has only affected me recently. Bear with me.)

His backyard is fenced and full to the top with old crap, the easement behind his house is piled high with broken wood things - planks, old furniture, what have you. And hefty bags. There have been up to this point around 100 full hefty bags in his yard. The front yard, since we moved here, has been full of a LOT of aquarium equipment, planters, and full hefty bags. Every window in the house is covered from the inside by boxes and piles of stuff. Every couple of weeks the smell of rotting sewage drifts over and fills my backyard for a day or two. The theory is that there's a broken sewer line in the house somewhere. Or that he's storing sewage. The front yard and sidewalk in front of his house have been covered with ivy and blackbery vines and dog knows what.

At Christmastime, an old, dead tree that he had been warned about by neighbors and the city fell down and knocked out the power in my house for eight days. He spent the day after the storm cutting up the tree and hauling pieces of it to the easement behind my house.

So a couple of Saturdays ago, I went out to my van to get some things, and what do I see, in my own backyard, piled in front of my van?

Hefty bags. A pile of 20 or 25 hefty bags. In MY yard. Apparently the city told him to clean up, so he thought he'd just shift that shite to my yard. I filed a police report, and then, Monday morning, when I went out to take BG to school, I found that the pile of hefty bags had DOUBLED. Fraker sneaked out there in the middle of the night and put more of them there.

So again, I called the police, who came out, we all had a conversation together in which the neighbor tried to tell the police that the city gave him permission to store his stuff there, which is on the line between my place and city easement property. LIE. So I called him on it and asked for proof, he immediately caved and agreed to move the bags back to behind his own house.

Guess what's in them?

Go on, guess.

Dirt. Or compost or... something.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, the police said I shouldn't be calling them about it, I should call the city, but they city told me to call the police. Apparently this guy has a jillion unpaid fines and abatements (is that the right word?) for this exact thing, and now the city is about to go in with big equipment and forcibly clean up the property without his permission, since it's officially a public health problem. They told me they plan to work the whole week of Spring Break, and that I should surrond my house with rat poison during that time because the rats are about to become homeless and they will come to me.

Sewage and hefty bags and rats, oh my.

Apparently, the Special Circumstances Housing Group is handling the case, they have had it for a long time. The house is within weeks of being taken from him. So I hear. Rumors abound.

The Excavation will be over Spring Break, so BG and I are going to visit Grandma & Grandpa. And maybe a couple of other places.

I am really freaked out by the rats, though. The rats! OMG. The strange thing is, I never ever see any evidence of rats at all. I wonder if he doesn't have some sort of rat poison all over that place already. Seems like there'd be some bleedover onto my place, it's only ten feet away. And I get a produce box every Wednesday that sits outside my place until I get home from work. If there were rats, wouldn't they be all over that?

Another friend asked:

'You say the bags are full of dirt? Is it possible he is excavating beneath his house for some secret torture chamber or pot grow room?'

ohmahgaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw. Some friend! I am now officially obsessed with the dirtbags.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

My bubble bath smells exactly like St. Joseph's baby aspirin

Which of course hurls me into a back-in-time tailspin to the time I split my chin open trying to sneak some out of my grandparents' medicine cabinet when I was around four or so. I don't remember being hauled to the hospital to have the four stitches put in, but I do remember thinking the docs were dumb to strap me down like that, as if I weren't a Big Girl, able to control myself and hold still.

I still have the ubiquitous chin scar. Thirty six (almost) years later. This is somehow surprising. Scars can surprise you.

My little brother had a horrific bicycle accident when he was eight and I was nine. It involved gravel and riding another kid on his handlebars and a very steep hill, and culminated in an overnight hospital stay. Aside from the head injury and lost teeth, he scraped off the skin from both knees, so much so that he couldn't bend his knees for weeks. Big, knee-sized scabs. Anyway, about five years ago we were hanging out at some family barbecue and I noticed he had some big scars on the front of his legs, about mid-thigh. Turns out they are the scars from the long-ago bike accident. It blew my mind. Apparently your leg skin grows outward from the bottom as your legs grow. Who knew?

And seven years ago I broke my pelvis. It knitted back together a little off, which throws a very slight bend in my spine, and causes the muscles to compensate up and down my back. The upshot is that every once in a while my back will sieze up somewhere. Rarely in the same spot and usually without warning. It will be a lifelong issue. Not all that debilitating, but still a regular inconvenience.

Recently I have come face to face with some new, less corporeal scars. Things I didn't realize were there, holding me back in my new life, residue from sadness and lonliness that I did not really expect. I find myself more hesitant, less confident, assuming worse of people than they most likely feel.




like it.

One some level I know that I am still the person I once was, just as deserving of happiness and love, just as fun and funny and interesting and sexy. And on another level there is that litle voice. The one that reminds me that at any minute anyone can just change his or her mind about you and *POOF* gone. I hate that little fucker.

I am unwilling to learn to incorporate this scar into my life, my future. I won't just live with it. This is a scar I want to erase. I don't know where to begin.

Maybe right here.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Kinda tired of packin' and unpackin'

It is truly astonishing how much taking apart and rebuilding a household can drain right out of you. If anyone had told me how long it would take for me to get back here, I would not have believed it. But back I am. I have missed you. And there is knitting to be shared.

Knitting oh knitting, oh how I love thee, oh how grateful I am for your calming, soothing, repetitive motion, your beautiful colors and comforting soft fibers. You are my balm in sad times, my joy, my wooby.

And now I shall thank you by SHOWING YOU OFF!

For the record folks, I have been in negotiations with multiple webdudes who seem to all have the same M.O. of fraking off with my ideas, never to be seen again.

So anyway, here we are, in no particular order:

DB Cotton Cashmere hat for Trina, (my own pattern) pending her approval:

Headbands in various colorways (my pattern) for Cynthia to choose from:

Fabulous Ultra Alpaca reversible cable scarf from Cables Untangled (which, by the by, is an EXCELLENT book! Beautiful patterns, great instructions, and a large stitch dictionary in the back - RECOMMENDED!)

Part of a cabled clog sock (my pattern, Ultra Alpaca AGAIN) for the lovely and talented dubby, which has since been finished, and its mate begun:

Kind of boring Cascade 220 sock for my generous and particular Beloved Mom, part of a pairs of pairs for which she has been waiting patiently for way too long:

Half of the body for a client sweater, which is now finished up to the neck. It's an Elizabeth Zimmerman saddle shoulder from Knitting Without Tears. Very fun to work, in what else? Berroco Ultra Alpaca:

There are a pantload of other new items which have not yet been photographed. They will come soon.

Thanks for your patience.