To be thankful

I am far from family made of blood,
But surrounded by family I have chosen
I am thankful for both.



Happy Christmas…

…to ewe!

Another WIP Wednesday

Howdy! I’m getting this in by the skin of my teeth, since in a 1/2 hour it will not longer be Wednesday…

I haven’t had much time to work on knitting, so I haven’t gotten very far on any of the projects in my previous post. I am on the decreases on my Mormorio, though, so it’s all downhill from here, at least as far as the body of the shawl goes. Still hoping to finish it before the end of the month. Fingers crossed…

WIP Wednesday

I am not a monogamous fiber artist…not in the least. Right now I am actively working on 3 different projects, with many others hanging out in the breeze, waiting for the day that I may deign to pick them up again. But for now, here’s what’s on the needles (and yes, right now it’s all knitting. I have zero crochet mojo.)

Mormorio by my friend, knit designer Heather Zoppetti. The yarn is from Persimmon Tree Farm and the pink? Holy cats…it is NEON.

You can see me from space…

My NaKniSweMo project…which is also going to be a gift for someone, so this is all you get to see of it. The yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Canopy.

Look, Ma! I’m making a sweater!

A simple bulky cowl, because one of my classrooms is freezing cold, and I cannot concentrate when it feels like my nose is going to freeze and fall off my face. Yarn is Frog Tree 100% Chunky Alpaca. (Chunky as in the yarn weight, not that the fiber came from a chunky alpaca.)

Toasty warm

Election day!

(This is political as I get here…)

Alright…technically I voted a couple of weeks ago via mail-in ballot…but you get the point. It’s your right (if you are an American Citizen 18 or older) to vote. If you don’t, well, that’s on you then.

Cooking all the things…

I can cook.  Really, I can. I just have a tendency not to. Not because I don’t enjoy it (well, I don’t generally enjoy clean up, but that requires a special sort of which I am not), but because, for some reason, it feels like a huge production to me (I have time issues). Or should I say, it felt that way.

Then I met one of my S’s…Sairy (go ahead, click. She’s doing NaBloPoMo, too…) She cooks ALL. THE. TIME. And enjoys it (or at least, it appears that way…I’m sure she’ll tell me if I’m wrong).

So, this weekend, in a fit of cabin fever-esque something or another…I cooked. And baked. It was frightening. The kitchen doesn’t know what to do with itself (and it seems to have hidden the self-cleaning button, dammit).

The baking was precipitated by the presence of some past-their-prime bananas, so they became banana bread.  Then there were the chunky peanut butter brownies that Sairy said I HAD to make (twist my whisk, why dontcha?).

The cooking? Well, that all started when I went with Sairy and another of my S’s (who henceforth shall be known as Shaz…because damn I’m getting confused with just S’s) to a fabulous little restaurant on our way to Rhinebeck a few weeks ago. The soup of the day? Tomato Goat Cheese.

Yes, please.

I wanted to drink a vat of the stuff…and I don’t like soup. This is impressive, people.

I may have mentioned to Sairy that she should find a recipe and try it out and report back. So, she did. And then she tweaked it and made it perfect.

Here it is. Double the goat cheese and add 1/2 tsp of dried thyme. You’re welcome.

Last dish…chili…which strangely still hasn’t been touched (The Boy forgot I made it Saturday and put a pizza in the oven on Sunday. Oops.) That will be remedied soon enough. It getting chilly in these parts…something about a Nor’easter…just what we need after a hurricane.

Sairy is my own personal test kitchen. I just ask for a recipe for something, and it’s like she becomes my Google search. It’s fantastic.

However…I DID find these all on my own (I think)…Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats. I made caramel, people! From scratch! And I didn’t burn it!!

Rock you like a hurricane…

Too soon?


Sandy is the second hurricane that has hit New Jersey since I moved here not quite 2 1/2 years ago. Last year Irene made a mess of things for a few days in our area, but things bounced back relatively quickly. This time, it’s taking a bit longer, and it looks like the damage will greatly exceed whatever Irene managed to do.

The Boy and I were very lucky in that we only had minor flickers of power outages during the storm. Our main household issue was a lack of heat, but that was due to other issues that need to be addressed and was set aside immediately post-storm so that we weren’t infringing on other immediate needs in our complex.

Trees down on our apartment building

Classes at school were cancelled for the week as the town had water integrity issues as well as power issues on 3 of the 5 campuses. The Boy’s office has been closed for the entire week. We spent the early part of the week having a Harry Potter marathon, and have since been getting out here and there as well as watching various television series. And I’ve been knitting…and knitting and knitting.

Mormorio…in neon

Whatever my feelings about our current governor, I have to say that he does a pretty good job in these kinds of situations. There have been crews from all over the country rolling in to assist with power issues, and things are being addressed in a pretty organized manner. Granted, as I stated before, the Boy and I were minimally impacted by any issues, but one of my dear S’s (I have many) was sans power for 4 days, and she’s in relatively good spirits about the whole thing.

There is still a lot more work to be done for recovery, and I do believe it will happen. I’m hoping that the other areas affected that we aren’t hearing about as much are receiving assistance as well.
P.S…I still prefer blizzards…


It’s November!

I can’t be arsed to write a 50,000 word novel, so I’m going to try something else…you know, because when school is going have so much more time to do things.

So, it will be NaBloPoMo…blog posting. Since this blog has indeed been languishing, it could definitely use a boost. I don’t guaruntee daily, but I think 3x a week is a good goal.

Then there’s NaKniSweMo…knitting a sweater in a month. Specifically it has to be one that has at least 50,000 stitches. I have other knitting that I’m doing, as well, so I will be working on a number of things. But, I have the pattern picked for the sweater, and since I intend for it to be a Christmas gift for someone, I best get a move on.

Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo, or any of it’s spin offs?

Three Nights with Mr. Messy

The next few posts will be long overdue from my trip to the UK. Blogging hasn’t exactly been top priority around here. These posts will also be pic heavy, word light (likely).

You might think, based on the title of my post, that the Boy came to visit for a few days whilst I was overseas…not the case, for a number of reasons. 1) That would have been really expensive, and B) who wants to fly 7 hours one way to stay for a few days and fly back another 7 hours. No thanks.

In reality, this is about my trip to Scotland. Mr. Messy was the name of my bed in the hostel I resided in during my stay in Edinburgh. (The Castle Rock Inn, if anyone is interested. It’s  great little place and inexpensive. My only suggestion would be to bring a bed roll as the ‘mattresses’ leave a bit to be desired.)

My bunk

The Mr. Man room. Ironically, an all female dorm…

I arrived on a Thursday evening after a chilly train ride (the quiet car was quite cold…hooray for the fleece blanket I had rolled up to bring with). It was a quick walk from the train station to the hostel, and even though it was about 10 pm, it was still relatively light out (higher latitude for the win!)

Friday was spent on a day tour with MacBackpackers (highly recommend! Inexpensive and the tour guides are great!) up to Loch Ness and then back to Edinburgh through Glen Coe. Scotland is fantastically beautiful. I would love to live there…at the very least I want to go back for an extended vacation/trip so I can see more.

No Nessie sightings…

Glen Coe

I think this should be a postcard

Hamish, Tour Bus mascot

Our original tour bus ended up having some minor mechanical difficulties, leaving us minorly stranded about 4 hours out of Edinburgh. Never fear…the tour company generously paid for our dinner at a local pub (haggis, neppies, and tatties for me!) and took us on a walking tour. The replacement tour guide had me laughing so hard on the way back that I couldn’t breath…if you ever want to know the real story of Braveheart, you must hear it from that man (his name is Hamish, too…)

On Saturday I took the day to wonder around Edinburgh, staying in Old Town. Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, and all that good stuff.

Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street


He was playing the theme from Star Wars

Flower Clock in Princes Street Garden

View of Old Town from Edinburgh Castle

I had to go back to Uni on Sunday, but the tiny taste of Scotland definitely whetted my palate. I shall be back.


‘Ello, Govna!

Mmm…not so much. I have yet to hear anyone with that much of a cockney accent.

Greetings from the UK! That’s right, for the 2 of the people in the world who don’t know, I am currently on the OTHER side of the Atlantic Ocean near the lovely town of Brighton for a month long study program. I made it here a little worse for the wear around 3 pm BST. I managed to navigate my way from Heathrow to the appropriate train station with little hassle (but a little bit of hung-over jet-lagged nausea during the coach ride), and retrieved my rail tickets from the kiosk.

Insert Pic here (thusly inserted)

I was a few hours ahead of my train time (breezed through immigration, thanks much), so I wondered around the nearby area a bit (as much as one would be wont to do with a 19 kg bag in tow) and grabbed some lunch (bye-bye nausea). Caught the train to Brighton (mind the gap!) and then another train to Falmer. From there a lovely coach was available to take incoming students to the University (my legs thank you, University of Sussex).

And then disaster struck…at least in my very jet-lagged, sleep-deprived mind (I tried to sleep on the plane, I really did. I just wasn’t extremely successful). I was unable to connect to the internet in my dorm room (which, by the way, is a lovely little home away from home, particularly in that I have my own bathroom).  Now, normally the lack of internet would merely be an annoyance. I mean, I’ve gone for periods of time with out it, and I managed to come out the other side relatively unscathed. However, I had yet to communicate with the Boy (or anyone else back home, for that matter) to let them know that I’d arrived in one piece, safely, and I wasn’t floating in the Atlantic ocean somewhere.

I bawled. Heaving, snotty, messy sobbing.

And then I remembered my iPod.

Thank you, Jesus, it worked, installing whatever crap the network deemed necessary, and I was able to email the Boy.

(Now, don’t think I was going to leave that unresolved…the next day I took my laptop to the IT department and they fixed it right up. There is no way I’d be typing this long of a blog post on an iPod. I may be mad, but I am not a masochist. )

I managed to make it until about 20.30 BST before I crashed for the night…It seems to have helped a lot with the jet-lag…but I was a complete zombie until I went to bed.

Okay, okay…this a completely boring post. I plan to add a picture up towards the beginning, but the connection is acting up and taking forever to upload anything, so that will have to wait. But really, my journey was uneventful save for my melt down when I got to my dorm room. For that I am thankful.

Tomorrow I’m heading into Brighton proper, as I don’t have class tomorrow, to have a look see and perhaps pick up some postcards to send out. Hopefully I’ll be able to post pictures in a timely fashion, so I can share my adventures with you visually.

Until then, cheers!

P.S…I’ve totally lucked out thus far with the weather…sunny and in the 20’s. It’s really been quite lovely and I’ve been spending as much time outside as possible…it’s not going to last. I feel really bad for the kids who are in from California…they don’t know what to do with themselves when the sun’s not out.