Meet Mr. Wonderful

Finally he’s here.  And he was worth the wait.  Introducing Cooper Gregory Seaver (my grandson), born 9:22pm, April 17, 2007 (Happy Birthday to Susan and Kristin who both share a birthday with him).
7lb 11oz, 18 1/2 in. 

Mom and Dad are both doing fine and wish they could take a nap now.  Heh heh heh.



Tailgate Diplomacy

Tailgate I saw this parked at Wal-mart the other day.  It’s hard to argue with the logic of this statement.  No, it’s really, really, really hard to argue with the logic of this statement.  I agree with it whole heartedly.  Now that I have admitted that, I do take issue with a couple of points. 

  1. First of all, as a knitter, I resent the portrayal of sheep as something other than a noble animal that peacefully provides it’s own fleece for the enjoyment of spinners, dyers and knitters and warmth for it’s recipients.  I like sheep.  But no, I don’t want to be one. 
  2. Secondly, as a naturalist, I take umbrage at the portrayal of wolves as a creature to be reviled and which preys upon defenseless animals.  Not fair.  Wolves are an important predator in a healthy ecosystem.  I admire wolves, I do not fear them. 

I would like to say that I still agree with the truck owner.  Personally, I have always thought of us as a nation of cattle, but that really doesn’t work as well with the wolf analogy. I like cattle too, almost any way you cook them.  Seen any good bumper stickers (or tailgates) lately?

Spring Things Update

Bb_2007 Now that the rains and the freakish winter storm have passed, I have updates on the nature around here.  The baby bluebirds have hatched, I could not get a good photo as I was trying not to piss off the parents too much by messing with their brood, they were nearby watching me.  I think all 4 of the eggs hatched, though only one big mouth is visable in this photo.  I am always very excited about having a bluebird family around.  I made the nestbox myself and still have not put up the other two that I have, but should probably do that this year. 

Anole_cycad I went looking for one of my resident anoles that live on the sago cycad.  One was there which makes me happy.  There is usually one or two that live on that plant.  It seem sto be a perfect place for them to blend in and stay out of the hot sun in the summer. 

Stickbug2_2 I also found one juvenile stick bug on a cedar tree where I always have a bunch of them.  I couldn’t get a good shot of him, but they are one of my favorite insects that live here.  As juveniles, they are a very light green and they look far more delicate than they do once they acquire their brownish exoskeleton.  Here is a shot of one of last year’s adults.  They get up to around 6 inches long and are truly an awesome sight.  They eat only plants with those tiny mouths.  To me they look positively prehistoric. 

Pods The wildflowers have had a really good run this year, but the wysteria didn’t bloom much though it has finally leafed out.  Some years we get spectacular all-over blooms, but not this year.  I think the weather just was too wierd for it. 

The garden needs to dry out before I can get back in it, but I have a few more things to plant.  I haven’t gotten the mower started yet, the battery is dead and I can’t get help with that until Friday, but we desparately need to mow.  It’s turning into a jungle. 

Oh, I won a contest over at Susan’s blog.  Okay, I was the runner-up, but the cool part is, Susan still sent me her pattern for the Spring Things Shawl!  I am really excited.  I have all kinds of laceweight yarn that I can pick from in the stash.

He’s due today.  I am still waiting for the call from Rob and Kandis that they are on their way to the hospital to welcome my grandson and it’s getting hard to concentrate on much else.  Ain’t Spring grand?

UFO Roll Call

As much as I love finishing a project, apparently, I love starting them even more.  The ever increasing pile of UFO’s has become unavoidable.  I cannot begin a new project until I finsh some of the projects in the pile.  I don’t really know how it got this bad, I haven’t always been this way.  I suspect that the internets have contributed to my predicament.  I am easily tempted by new yarns and new patterns and much like the harlot herself, will drop the familiar in a heart beat to run off with an exciting, sexy, new, uh, project.  Is it hot in here?  Who among us does not have a bit of the harlot in us?  Anyway, because I am afflicted with guilt at the appalling tendancy I have to abandon perfectly good projects (and a few misguided experiments), I am going to lay bare my soul and prostrate myself before my readers (yes, both of you) so that I may be accountable for the completion (or deletion) of the following endeavors (click images to embiggen):

  1. Vkcardi_3 First, the one that I have decided MUST be ripped.  I loved this pattern K_fall2001_2 (Vogue Fall 2005) when I first saw it and I liked the fact that it was designed to use Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky, an economical yarn and washable too.  This thing did not fit and I could not for the life of me get it blocked to where the edges would lay flat.  It was just atrocious, and I have another sweater in mind that I think will work better for me and for the yarn.  The one I want to make is from Knitter’s magazine Fall 2001, a simple, cabled, top-down pullover by Charlotte Quiggle.  My only regret is that I have a blue denim yarn and not the discontinued Foliage color which is shown in this photo.
  2. We_cardi_3 This next one is another Wool Ease Chunky yarn which I got at Staci’s Simple_cardi_2yarn swap last year, that I thought would make a good gardening sweater, something I could wear to work in the yard in the fall.  It’s a super simple pattern from a BHG Knitted Sweaters for Her pattern book.  It also called for the LB yarn.  I thought I needed to break up the expanse of light-swallowing walnut brown yarn by adding a funky green around all the edges.  I just lost interst near the end, mostly because I just dislike knitting with this stuff.  It’s not really that bad, but I prefer wool.  There is something sloppy about the way this yarn finishes.  Anyway, I am going to finish this one because I still think it will function well for what I had intended. 
  3. Square_play_4 This next little number I have no recollection of why I put it aside, because I really like it.  It’s the Square Play top from Knitter’s magazine Summer 2004 and it’s knit out of Lion Brand Magic Stripes sock yarn.  (I am beginning to see a pattern to my dereliction.)  This top is a fun knit and I just happen to have purchased the perfect green wool crepe for a simple skirt to go with this when it is finished so I hope that will be the incentive I need to be done with it.
  4. Fakeisle_3 I loved this pattern and it was my first fair isle knit.  Unfortunately, my tension was too tight and I made the larger size so it won’t fit the friend I meant to give it to AND it draws in badly where the stranding is.  I need to rip it and re-knit it in the smaller size carrying the yarn on the outside and knitting the design on the inside, there may be a term for that technique, but I don’t know it.  Anyway, it will be nice when it is done right. I thought the black yarn was a bit severe with the Noro I chose, so I went with a dark brown instead.  I thnk the effect is the same without the black overpowering the color.
  5. CeceThis is embarrassing because this is the Cece I am making for my mom and I started it a year ago.  It’s just like the one I made for myself, only my mom specified longer sleeves.  I had started one sleeve and got side-tracked by something else.  Anyway, it needs to be finished.  She is about to move down here so maybe I can make it a housewarming/welcome to
    Central Texas gift.  I have another sweater I have the yarn for that I meant to make for her, that has not yet been started.  She is one of the biggest fans of my knitting, so I really need to reward that charming trait.
  6. Socks_2 There are 3 different sock pairs that need to be finished.  Considering how much sock yarn I have in the stash, this is just sad.  I would really like to join Allison’s new sock exchange (coming soon), but I am simply not there this time.  I gotta get caught up first. Socks end up being my "meeting project" so there are usually several going at different stages.  Turning heels isn’t something I like to do in meetings.  I guess that’s why all my socks are really simple patterns.
  7. This last item isn’t essential, but it was begun and I think I’d like to fFeather_fan inish it.  It’s a feather and fan scarf using a yarn from JojoSquare (ebay seller) that changes colors over long runs very gradually.  I really just wanted to test the yarn, I think it would make cool socks too if you weren’t anal about matching them. 

There are so many things I want to knit – some of them I am more intrigued with than any of these, but I need to honor my commitments.  It’s not like I am in a position to waste time or yarn.  So, I will begin finishing some of these items, while still knitting new ones, after all, my sister-in-law is expecting a baby in June, but multiple projects are normal.

If there is anyone out there who wants to tell me that this isn’t a serious back-up, I could use a little encouragement.  I cannot be the only one.

Edited to add: ACK!  I forgot a whole sweater that is now in the seaming stage and I can’t believe I forgot it.  I wonder if I should dig a little deeper in that pile.

Craving Comfort Food

I happened across a good deal on pork chops a few weeks ago but it wasn’t until yesterday that I felt like fixing them.  One of my favorite meals is fried pork chops.  To me it’s comfort food.  I don’t fry very much any more, but every now and then, my old east Texas roots come out and demand to be sated.  Sometimes I use bone in chops, but this time they were boneless.  So long as they aren’t too thick, it really doesn’t matter. 

I dunk the chops in an egg and milk mixture and then dredge it in a mixture of flour, commercially prepared bread crumbs (the plain ones that are fairly fine) and about a teaspoon of my favorite meat seasoning, Bolner’s Fiesta Fajita Seasoning, Mesquite flavor. Honestly, I don’t measure, I am guessing how much I put in, but it could be more depending on the quantity of chops.  It’s very good stuff on lots of meats.  Hot_oil
Heat the oil or shortening (I used oil, because I was out of shortening) and cook the battered chops till they are golden brown on both sides and no blood runs from the meat. 
I drain them on paper towels until all are cooked.  My husband likes them served with a cream gravy (bechamel), but I don’t care, so I didn’t bother this time.  Cooked_chops_2
I served them with couscous and a romaine salad and the cornbread muffins that June posted about the other day.  Mmmm, they were good, go check out the recipe.  Ahhh, my little southern fried heart is happy.  Paula Deen’s got nothin’ on me.  Well, ‘cept that big hair and all that cash.

Amid all this cooking frenzy, I managed to finish a pair of socks.  I lost the band, but it’s a Koigu KPPPM and it’s my own sock recipe with a short picoted cuff and
plain st st. 

We are currently plagued at our house with some electrical gremlins and every day we have our own personal rolling brown-outs.  Some electricians came today and installed a ground we were deficient in and suggested we replace the aging and obsolete Federal Pacific electical panel for $700 which we passed on for now.  So naturally, the brown-outs continue tonight.  At least I charged the battery up good on the laptop, cuz I am writing this by lamplight.  Oil lamp that is.   The lights will come back on, when they feel like it, but it’s random and varied in it’s attacks so we never know exactly when to expect it or haow long it will last.  It all started in the middle of March when we got 8 inches of rain in just a few days, so I blamed it on something getting wet.  Well, we have continued getting rain which is great for my garden, but is playing havoc with my patience.  Not to mention that I really need to get out and mow the weeds, if it will dry out enough.  Okay, I am all whined out.  I’m going to try to tackle a summary of UFO’s, so stay tuned.