28 January 2009

I make a mean sauerkraut!

Well, it appears that my German heritage is coming in handy. I made 3.5 quarts of sauerkraut out of one of the cabbages in our fall CSA share. By late December/early January it had sat in its cool, dark place long enough, so we pulled out the first jar. It was yummy! Way better than grocery store sauerkraut. Best of all, we have finally found a good use for CSA cabbage. After completely burning out on coleslaw after the first head of cabbage, we wound up with a couple of heads going bad over the course of the summer. We are having the second quart for supper tonight...yum, yum, yum!

27 January 2009

Department of the Obscure...

So, today I watched The Price Is Right (probably for the first time in at least a decade). Why? Well, here's the obscure part: One of the contestants is a woman who went to/on the show with some family members for her 40th birthday. Approximately 38.5 years ago, said woman (then toddler) came to my first birthday party. I bit her.

It was kind of a kick. I totally recognized her mom when they panned the audience at the beginning. When they called her name to "Come On Down" I felt (temporarily) vindicated in having bit her, until I realized that it was actually her (younger) sister-in-law. When I finally figured out which audience member I had bitten, I felt more contrite, but out of principle, I have to stand by my early aggression. I totally out-guessed her sister-in-law in the game, but the jumping around and kissing the host crap? I don't car how big the prize is. You couldn't pay me to do it. Her SIL won a pool table and didn't make it into the showdown, but their group was just a few rows behind the contestants, so it was easy to get a good look.

I pointed out the people I knew to Bug and Bean (Beeb didn't much care) and Bug wanted to know where (on her) I bit. Cheek? Arm? Shoulder? Namma, care to enlighten?

Oh, and maybe someday I'll tell y'all about the girl I beat up and terrorized at a playdate. Don't mess with the KittyMommy, I tell ya...

26 January 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

And yes, the darling Beebster is the monkey in question. He just loves copying anything and everything anyone says or does! And man, is it stinkin' cute or what? We look at books with animals and I make the animal sounds and he imitates them and giggles. At bedtime, silly big brother shakes his head no and he copies it and giggles. This inspires big brother to repeat and pretty soon they are taking turns shaking their heads and both of them are giggling like crazy. The other day we were in the car driving home, and I'm not sure how it started, but Bug was making sounds like "Boo-boo-boo" and Beeb would copy and pretty soon Bug chimes in with "Hi-yah!" and then they were taking turns doing karate yells.

Oh, and if he wasn't a big enough nuisance before, he has figured out how to use tools. Namely, how to push a chair over if he needs to climb up to get something. I am quickly running out of places to put thing where he can't reach. Plus it is almost impossible to find anything when everything you own is piled on top of that one bookshelf in the living room that is inside the area gated for the dog. Of course, he'll be breaking in and scaling that bookshelf too within a week, probably.

P.S. Beeb says: "Please send hairstyling products! Once my hair dries, it lies down flat again, so I am only a stylin' dude for a little bit after my bath!"

23 January 2009

What a week!

We have had a good mix of exciting and historic and quiet and routine-y this week. On Monday we joined our friend K at the state capitol for a Martin Luther King Jr celebration. It wasn't exactly what we expected. We had thought it would be more music and less speechifying and one of K's friends was supposed to sing a solo with a choir and didn't. Beeb and I had a great time wandering the halls. He looked and and felt different colors of marble, climbed up and down steps, and inventoried and inspected every light fixture in the place, while I listened to the musical numbers (actually enhanced by the building acoustics) and tried to listen to the speakers (made pretty hard to decipher by the selfsame acoustics). Bug and Bean sat with K, but I think the whole thing was a bit beyond a six-year-old and four-year-old attention span. When Bug was explaining what I had missed, his synopsis was "A man had a birthday and tomorrow he's going to be president." Yeah, Bug, but not exactly. However, the HIGHLIGHT of Monday was the repair of the washing machine. After about 10 days without a washer, I'm thinking the maintenance guy was lucky that we weren't home when finally did the repair. I'm pretty sure I would have kissed him full on the lips.

While we were watching some of the pre-inauguration on TV on Tuesday, we got straight on whose birthday it was and who was becoming president. We watched most of the inauguration, but Bug and Bean tended to drift in and out over time. At least it was interesting enough that we found some books about voting, the presidency, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the library on Wednesday.

Beyond that, we have been doing our usual things which includes some knitting. I finished Beeb's winter night longies and I am just tickled with how they turned out:


I just hope Beeb's ankles and feet don't get too cold from the snowdrifts! And a close-up of the snowman:


We have also been playing Lego Star Wars on Wii and have discovered that Bug needs a timer when the game is going or he would never quit. I have been playing along with him and it's actually pretty fun. I like the cooperative nature of the game better than the Wii sports that came with it. Actually, I don't like getting beaten by Bug who waves the remote around in the air, mostly at random and still beats me at most sports.

15 January 2009


We are deep in the deep freeze here in Wisconsin! Last night our thermometer on the back deck got down to -17.9°F (-27.7°C) and now, at mid-day we have warmed up to a balmy -6.3°F (-21.3°C). The good news is: no one has puked yet today (yesterday was Bean's turn); the bad news: the washer isn't fixed yet, the dirty diapers and basket of puked on items are threatening to take over the whole house (and I'm not even including the regular laundry that has piled up since Sunday), and there is no stinkin' way I am dragging the kids out to the laundromat in this weather. I guess that means I get to go this evening after supper.

Although Bug and Bean would love to go outside and play in the snow (yeah, we've had a ton of that this year too!), we are finding ways to stay entertained. Bug's (invisible) girlfriend Lainie had triplets and gave them to him. So he is parenting the babies, while I am desperately hoping this doesn't portend things to come!

Bean is in her ballet gear, practicing her moves (both ballet moves and prima ballerina/diva moves):
Beeb has been working the pretzels and working the cute in Mama-made knitting:

So basically, we've got a single father of triplets, a diva-in-training, and a pretzel addict. Good times.

We have also been watching Disney movies and playing with toys. After lunch we'll pull out at least a part of our pile of books and snuggle and read. Not a bad way to spend a frigid day!

13 January 2009


Well, if you live in a rental with a washer and dryer, it's pretty much a guarantee that you will discover a washer that doesn't spin at about 6:00 Friday evening. Of course, it goes without saying that you discover this with load of diapers (do you have any idea how much water those puppies will hold? I could barely lift the basket to take them to the laundromat over the weekend!). I called the management office first thing Monday to let them know and the maintenance guy was over quickly. He took a look at it and told us that it would be a straightforward fix, but that he didn't have the part he needed on hand. He had used the last one on a repair last week and had new parts on order already. So no big deal, probably a couple of days.

You can just hear the universe snickering right now, can't you?

Well, this morning Bug woke up with a stomach bug. He would get the owie tummy and I would chase him into the bathroom when he felt like he might need to puke. After doing this three or four times with no pukies, he was apparently feeling secure, so he stayed on the sofa with us and ended up making Mt. St. Helens look like a mere snort in 1980. Sofa cover, pillows, all his clothes, all my clothes (we're talking down to the underpants, people), all his blankets. And no functioning washing machine. Once we were all cleaned up again, I was considering a family field trip to the laundromat, but Mt. St. Buggins erupted two more times (both safely in the toilet, thankyouverymuch), so I really don't dare take him out of the house. Guess the sofa is going to be nekkid for a while...

12 January 2009

First FOs of 2009

So, for several months now, when I tuck Bug into bed, I have to tell him "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed octopuses bite." Then I have to spell octopuses. I can't even remember how it got started, but I do know that for almost as long as we have been doing it, he has been begging for me to knit an octopus. I had been considering a Socktopus, but just wasn't getting around to it. I just wasn't feeling the love for a somewhat involved project. I really wanted something get-in-get-out-get-on-with-it. Anyway, I had been wanting to try some Amigurumi, but hadn't dipped my toes in. I can crochet, but it tends to involve a fairly colorful array of four-letter words. I decided that this might be a good time to try. Introducing Bug's Bed Octopus:


And little sisters being little sisters, her tuck-in included "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed hippopotamuses bite." So an amigurumi hippo for her:


And finally, as I was on a roll and didn't want anyone feeling left out (though there are currently no turtles in his bedtime ritual), I made a Turkel for Beeb:


Although knitting is still, by far, my drug of choice, I am happy to report that I am now crocheting with somewhat fewer curse words. There may be more amigurumi in my future. Wouldn't Kitty Daddy just be completely taken by these?

10 January 2009

Catching Up IV: Other 2008 FOs

And here we go with a final round up of 2008 finished objects. For the most part, these are parts of a set and I had planned to blog the whole set when it was finished (and may still do so), but as we have stepped across the annual FO divide, I will at least show off the parts of the sets that are finished. First off, I have finished two out of three BYOB bags I had planned. The third has been cast on...



...betcha can't guess the color combination to complete the set! ;o) These are great grocery/market bags and hold a ton of stuff! I really like the Cotton-Ease yarn too. With most cotton yarns, my hands tend to cramp up, but this has enough give that it is enjoyable to knit with. Still, I tend to work on these in small doses, as I am not a huge fan of seed stitch. I love how it looks, but, like ribbing, it tires my hands a bit.

Next, I started hats and mittens for all the kids. I have finished all the mittens, but not the hats. Cute little Beeb mitts. No thumbs. Talk about instant gratification! They took me an afternoon!


Next up, Bug's mittens. You may recall our excursion to have Bug and Bean choose their own yarn, so imagine my surprise when I showed these to Bug and his first question was "Why aren't they green?" Just when I think he has reached his pinnacle of leaving me speechless...


And Bean's...


If I can find some coordinating superwash solids, I'm thinking each of the bigger kids may need a fish hat. Beeb already has a hat in progess.

Finally, a project that started with a bang and ended with a whimper and as a result didn't get blogged. If my Ravelry entry is to be believed, I started this in April 2007, knitted it as if possessed, felted the purse part, and then let it languish a bit. I'm not sure how long it sat before I got bit by the bug again and lined it with some fabric I had stashed. I didn't get all concerned with matchy-matchiness as the whole thing was a bit obnoxious colorwise anyway (leftovers from Bug and Bean's felted clog slippers). And it sat, all finished except for a strap. I started a doubleknit strap with diamonds and knit mile after mile of it. I'd knit a little, lose patience and let it sit and repeat, with it never quite long enough. I finally was so disgusted with it I ripped out the double-knit version and went with striped i-cord, felted it, and eventually sewed it on, finishing it finally in early November.



09 January 2009

Catching Up III: The rest of Honkah

The rest of Honkah got caught up in the post-Christmas blur. We didn't have our traditional Christmas dinner (Swedish meatballs and lefse) on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but used it for one of the days of Honkah instead. I already can't remember whether it was the 6th or 7th day. I know we did something for the other day to, but it also escapes me. However, the last day of Honkah was definitely too special to forget. Dale-Harriet invited us over for an evening of dreidel and latkes and general Honkah merriment. We even left with some of our own dreidels and a little "real" menorah that uses birthday candles! After demonstrating how to play dreidel to Daddy, we put them in with the holiday things for next year so we're ready next year!

See? This is while I need to blog in real time instead of playing catch-up. We did some very cool stuff for Hanukkah, but it all escapes my kid-addled brain...

08 January 2009

Catching Up II: Stealth Projects

While there wasn't a lot of Christmas knitting and crafting, there were a few projects. First up, crafting with the kids. For the grandparents, we made tote bags with freezer paper stencils. The kids make the drawings on freezer paper and I did the cutting and painting. The bags are:

Sammy dancing in a mushroom (Beeb is on top) by Bean for our local adopted grandma:

Cat sleeping by Bug for Kitty Daddy's mom:

Bug in an easy chair with mom in the wind by Bug for Kitty Daddy's dad:

Kitty Daddy and Bean by Bean for Kitty Mommy's parents:

My bit of Christmas knitting was for my wee nieceling. She got a pair of Peace Fleece longies and a matching gnome baby with some of the leftover yarn:



Oh, and if you're interested, here are pictures of my baby brother being a dork with veggies. One of us was clearly switched at birth, as I am never goofy or odd. *snort*

07 January 2009

Catching Up I: Holiday Yarniness

Since we have been completely gobsmacked by the Holidaze, I am once again dreadfully behind in blogging. Last time this happened, I did several short catch-up posts rather than slogging through it all. So here we go. In no particular order.

There may have been some post-Christmas stash enhancement. Kitty Daddy and the kidlets gave me a gift certificate to my local LYS (as opposed to my favorite LYS, more on that in a bit). Since I seem to be going through the toes and heels on all my socks at once, I opted for some sock yarn acquisition. The first is Colinette Jitterbug (just like the No More Stinkin' Winter socks) in Raspberry:


I have already started THE viral knit from Last Saturday Knitting (Charade), except toe-up instead of top-down and a different toe and heel. Yeah, so that's basically just taking the texture from the pattern. Pattern, Schmattern. Heh.

I also got two other skeins of sock yarn, On Your Toes one turquoisey and one pinkish.



Okay, the difference between the local LYS and the favorite LYS...the local one is just a mile or so from our house and they do have some mighty fine yarns, but I finally figured out one reason that I just don't like them as much as the Sow's Ear (other than Late Night, that is). The owner must have almost diametrically opposite tastes in color from me. I go in there and look at the pretty yarns and touch them and ogle them, but I have always had trouble when it comes time to pick something out. I finally figured it out this time. Another discovery is that they buy stash yarn and sell it on the cheap, so I may have to keep my eye on that inventory...

It goes without saying that the favorite one is the Sow's Ear. The best thing about the Ear is, by far, the people, both knitters and staff, but I also have a much easier time finding things that simply must follow me home. At Late Night last Friday, I used a little Christmas cash to buy "It Itches" by Franklin (LOVE IT!!!) and these:



It is possible I may be developing a wee bit of a Peace Fleece problem. But really, I can stop any time...just one more skein, 'kay? Or two...or maybe a sweater's worth. No really, any time. I can stop any time...