Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The cell phone camera resurfaces...

But not with pics of my knitting... I got a package from my SP today!

She knows I love digestive biscuits and cannot find them in the US. (Obviously they're here somewhere because I had them before I ever set foot in the UK, but they were at parties and I have no clue where they came from.) I bought some when in Europe this fall, but they are LONG gone (as are 2 of the orange flavored ones from this package). According to the note inside, there is another package that was sent at the same time, so maybe that one will arrive tomorrow. Thanks Kellie!

And while I had my camera out, I decided to take some food photos. I decided we should start eating salads every night to get us more vitamins and other nutrients.

Carrots, kalamata olives, cucumber, fresh mozzarella, and red leaf lettuce. Quite good really.

And the pasta...

With tomato-vodka sauce. Yum!

OK, so here goes on the meme that Michelle tagged me for (I don't really understand what a meme is or what tagging is, but I'll play anyway.).

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. I despise going inside of gas station stores, post offices, and banks; I do everything I can to avoid this. (Luckily, I can send SP packages when no one else is inside the building, via the lovely automated doesn't bother me to be in there by myself.)

2. My favorite food in the whole world is artichokes (fresh!). But I never had one until I was 25.

3. When I am under a lot of stress, I dream about tornadoes. Usually I am desperately trying to get to shelter - sometimes I succeed, sometimes not.

4. I do not own a television, nor do I want to.

5. I hate spending money. When I need something, I will buy the best I can afford, but I hang onto my money pretty tightly. Luckily, C is the same way so we have never once had a fight over money.

6. I can't stand it if someone reads my newspaper before I do. This is normally only a problem when I have an overnight guest, and they innocently pick it up and start leafing through it. It takes everything I have not to rip it out of their hands.

So, I tag Kellie (don't know your blog URL yet), Sharon, Julie, and, um, I don't have 6 friends with blogs. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sorry - no photos yet :(

I'm having a bit of a camera issue. By which I mean that I hate the software that came with my camera, and the drivers for it don't let the computer view the camera as a drive, so I can't use other software very easily. So I'm sort of boycotting uploading photos until I get this all figured out.

But! I am still knitting. Last Sunday I started working on the front of the basketweave sweater (the one where I completed the back around August or so). I'm about 20 rows away from the armhole decreases, so I'm making good progress. In another week or two I should be done with that and grafting the front and back together...this will allow me to have C try it on so I can figure out how long the sleeves need to be. He has unusually long arms so I'm not going with what the pattern tells me to do. The only part of the sweater I am nervous about is the zipper (it has a zip neck) - I have no idea how to install a zipper, and the pattern is no help. Anyway, it should be an adventure.

I'm also almost done with my own pair of retro rib socks...hoping to have those finished by the weekend :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Super Bowl

Well, according to the Trib's website, the Bears won and are now going to the Super Bowl.

You know this means all my male employees are going to be hung over tomorrow, right? ;)
(I wouldn't qualify it as just the males, but I happen to know all the guys on my team are huge sports nuts, and none of the women are.)

Anyway. Off to finish cooking and eating supper.

Major drama at the symphony...

So we've just gotten settled into our seats in the performance hall last night when another season ticket holder couple comes in and are supposed to be sitting in front of us, but someone was already there. Lo and behold, their tickets were for the exact same seats. The ushers were called for assistance. They told the people with the non-subscription tickets they would have to move - they refused. Ushers threatened to call security. Interlopers still would not move. Everyone around me was gasping and commenting. I think they actually would have called security, except that the concertmaster came out just then and started tuning the orchestra. The subscribers were whisked to other seats, and the performance began.

Let me start on this next part, by saying that there must be a special place in hell reserved for people who cough during symphony performances...especially those who do so repeatedly. Anyway, last night was no exception - and I am really easily distracted, so all the coughing was really detracting from my enjoyment of the Rachmaninoff. So then halfway through the second movement, I was hit with an attack of acid reflux that caught in my throat and I knew I was going to have to cough. A lot. So I had to dive out the side door quickly so I could take care of things. There was seriously a good 5 minutes of coughing and water-drinking needed before it calmed down. But then I had to just sit in the lobby and watch the rest of the piece on the monitor...while the people at the bar and coffee kiosks prepared (LOUDLY) for intermission. Now, I totally understand needing to stay out of the hall once I left, but you can imagine how it felt to sit in an uncomfortable chair watching the performance on a small, fuzzy monitor with horrible sound, with all the noise around me...while all those coughers I mentioned earlier were still in their seats enjoying everything. And I had really been enjoying the view of the pianist from my (expensive) seat in the hall. I had to wait for a good 25 minutes...and then the pianist came back and did an encore, which I also missed...sigh. I was fine for the rest of the performance, but you can imagine how bummed I was, especially since concertos (or is it concerti? I never know) are always my favorite part of symphony performances.

So that's that - today it is snowing so I plan not to leave the house (though I did go to yoga this morning). Today's schedule includes some kind of bread (TBD at the moment), butternut squash soup, a barley and mushroom casserole, some sock knitting, and wrapping and putting away our old "everyday" dishes - which I finally replaced last weekend. Still quite a busy day. And we all know C is going to be shoveling today, right, because I am still in significant pain from the last shoveling job.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Weekend full of music...

Last night we went to a local symphony performance - primarily because they were playing Barber's Adagio for Strings, which is my favorite EVER. They also did the Strauss Oboe Concerto, which was really a lot of fun...and then Beethoven's 7th, which I didn't think I was familiar with, but it turns out I was because we have it on CD. It's just sort of sunk in over the years, but it was an unconscious awareness.

Tonight is an MSO concert in our subscription...Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 and excerpts from Prokofiev's Cinderella.

How do I manage to go to 2 symphony performances in one weekend and NO violin concerto? Sad. But now that I think about it, a string orchestra piece (the Adagio) is even better. I just have a weakness for strings. Must be why I married a violinist - and maybe why I got into knitting ;)

Just cross your fingers for me that I can stay awake tonight...I have been so incredibly tired lately...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My aching back...

So on Monday morning, I did some snow shoveling...about 2.5 inches in the driveway and about twice that much in the driveway apron where the plows came through. Everything felt fine while I was working, but as I was commuting later that morning, I felt a twinge in my back along the right shoulder blade. Over time it has gotten worse and worse.

Tonight I went for a massage after work and she loosened up some of the craziness in there, but I'm now starting to wonder if I tore something. I go alternately from feeling great to having horrific burning sensations in my shoulder. It's weird though; activity doesn't hurt it - swimming is no problem- but sitting in a chair is the worst.

So I'll be knitting for maybe 15 minutes tonight, then lying down with a heat pack on my shoulder for a bit before going to bed.

Many things have conspired against me finishing the latest retro rib, when the truth is I should be halfway finished with a second one by now. Not that there's any rush, but I've got so many things I want to do, and I've got no patience.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Ok, first, I apologize this is late, but I had technical difficulties. My PC has difficulty recognizing my new camera (why did I want something fancier than my cell phone camera again???)

Anyway, I decided to make clam chowder from scratch yesterday.

Clams, freshly scrubbed:

Clams steamed and chopped:

OK, now look at that. Clams are truly disgusting. I've never realized before just how disgusting, because you usually pop the whole thing in your mouth, but ewwww. I did NOT like chopping them.

Finished chowder:

It was thinner than I'd have liked, even though the recipe specifically talked about how it was supposed to be very thick. Also, I would use less smoky bacon next time because it tasted more like potato-and-bacon soup. (I do have to admit that today the leftovers were actually better than the fresh soup yesterday.)

And, to go along, popovers!

These are a favorite but I had forgotten about them and hadn't made them in ages. This was really what the craving was for, and chowder came up when I wondered what to have with the popovers.

And I did promise the retro rib:

I do have to say I'm disappointed in the representation of colorways on the Knitpicks website. This one did not show any pink at all on the site, but look how much is in there. I can live with it, but I definitely wouldn't have chosen it.

And, there is big news today from work...I got a promotion! This is a fairly big deal. I am now a Senior Marketing Manager, with 7 people reporting up through me. Wow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oh sure.

I sign up for the Rockin' Sock Club, after much deliberation, and the company's bank decides the club must be a scam and refuses to give everyone's money to Blue Moon.

I did get my refund, but their site is still down so I can't re-register yet.

I feel so bad for these people (I met some of them at Stitches Midwest last summer and they are SO incredibly nice). What a huge pain in the ass.

Meanwhile, as I wait for the first shipment, I'm doing yet another pair of Retro Rib Socks, which I haven't gotten around to taking a photo of yet because I'm utterly lazy. I promise, no later than Saturday.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

More socks...

Because I just couldn't wait for the Rockin' Sock Club to get started, I knit this last week:

Honestly - I don't like it. The yarn pretty much sucks. It's very slippery, so it doesn't hold taut when I am knitting - hence there are several holes in there that you can't see in the photo, and not holes from doing something wrong...loose knitting holes. The wool in it is superwash so I don't hold out much hope that blocking will help. In any case, I've set aside the rest of the yarn and started a different pair. I will come back to this one once I actually have a pair I like.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Clean Slate

Does anyone else have an uncontrollable urge to clean on January 1st? I am combining this with another uncontrollable urge - to relax after the craziness of the holidays. Hence, I am online for a few minutes, folding laundry for a few minutes, knitting for a few minutes, scrubbing sinks for a few minutes, etc. But it seems to work OK.

Last week I knit myself an alpaca neck cowl. SO nice to knit something on circs! (This photo is courtesy of my cell phone, as I'm not sure I can take a self portrait with the fancy digicam.) This will be nice to wear with my coats/outfits that don't work well with a long scarf.

Yesterday I started a pair of socks for myself. I have no idea how long this will take as I am NOT going to rush it and I will likely be working on other projects at the same time...but I will post periodic photos of my progress. The yarn is Plymouth Sockotta - 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, and 15% nylon. I hope it is comfortable to feels strange to knit, a little rough.

Today I signed up for the Rockin' Sock Club...this entails knitting 6 pairs of socks over the course of the year (which is about equal to what I did in '06, with not being able to knit anything else). Am I nuts????