Saturday, December 29, 2012

Seasonal thoughts

Is this an air guitar, or a ghost one? Seen in the window of a local guitar shop, while walking the dog.

Actually, it's plastic. I really like the photo.

It's winter here in NE Ohio. I had dinner with my son on Christmas Eve and the went to Midnight Mass. Cold, but no snow, except a little left over, mostly on the grass.

Christmas morning was quiet. The family planned to get together Wednesday evening. Santa snuck in while I was out and filled my stocking. It seems my daughters think I should have something to open Christmas morning. I got candy. cookie mix and other little things. My dog got a huge rawhide bone that she hasn't started chewing yet.

A blizzard was predicted, resulting in a parking ban where my son lives. He was the host for the family Christmas. WEe held it Friday night. I made quilts from fleece and flannel that were a big hit. The smaller boy has dinosaurs on his quilt (a big interest).
I got more food stuff, flavored coffee, box mixes for baking, more candy, and the loan of an iPad. I want to buy one, but DD wants to make sure I'll use it before spending the money. She has one that she's not using much at the moment, since her phone does a lot of what she wants. I was looking for a bigger screen that a phone has. I expect to download things for use, but not store them on the iPad

Knitting has happened. I tore out my sweater. It was too small. I've started again, but concentrated on finishing a pair of socks needed by year end for a Ravelry group. The pattern is written, but I need better light for a good photo. What I'm using is acceptable, but I want a better photo as part of the pattern.

I also can show the mystery sock now that all the clues are out. I called it Winter Berries. I was thinking of mistletoe, but there were too many projects with that name. Right now, it's a free pattern, but eventually I'll reformat it and sell it.

I'm enjoying my time off from work, catching up on household things and cooking a little. I have a tendency to cook instead of clean, but I'm fighting it. There's only one of me and I can fill the freezer faster than I can empty it. I have a rule that I can't cook  a main dish if I don't have enough plastic boxes to pack up the left overs. I could buy more boxes, but have decided not to. These work well for taking lunch to work. I often full them with salad. They hold about 3 cups.

Today I made Oxtail Stew in my Crock Pot. It cooked all day until the meat fell off the bones. I used a recipe from Joy of Cooking and it is supposed to be served over noodles. Tonight I microwaved a couple of small potatoes and put stew over them.The white in the photo is reflection from the overhead lights

Time to let the dog out one last time, pack up the stew, and head to bed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Dog is on Vacation

She doesn't know it, but she's avoiding the waterproofing men and the noise and disruption going on this week. Monday I went to work after dropping her at the kennel. I avoided a day of jack hammering to dig up the floor around the basement walls.Today there is piping in the trench. The white is a waterproof coating for the inside walls.

This is the new sump pump. The picture shows the original "flower pot" walls which are over 90 years old and the original water proofing has failed. The blocks are made of clay similar to a flower pot and were originally sealed on the outside. The copper pipe is the cold water return to the boiler.

On the outside wall, the sump pump looks like this, with the downspout from the roof on the left.

The outside walls now have piping like this. The walls were covered with tar and plastic, which forms a trough in which the pipe is laid. The pipe connects to the downspout drain. This is where work has stopped for now.

The back yard is a storage area. Buckets were used
as a bucket brigade for removing broken concrete from the floor. I hear it weighed about 2 tons. They
are also used to bring gravel into the house to fill part of the trenches. So far only the sump pump has gravel around it.

 Everything in the basement was disrupted. I can't wash or dry clothes until this is over. It even disrupted my kitchen, because they unscrewed a small breaker box from the wall and shut it do that No light over the sink, no dishwasher, no disposal. I fixed that for now, by turning on the breaker.

Dear grandson Vitor is home from college. He's now 20 years old and we celebrated his birthday. Of course, I knit him more socks. My Mystery Sock patter is doing well on Ravelry, with over 500 people downloading it so far. The only problem was a bad symbol definition. I had found the error, but not put the corrected version into the pattern. All is fixed now. I had anticipated more problems, because of the unusual stitches I used. So far, so good. 

I ended the day by cooking some Poblano Chicken Chowder. I failed to correctly read the instructions and only added 3 cups of chicken broth instead of 3 quarts! A trip to the grocery store was made and it now looks like soup. I thought that chowder contained potatoes, but this one doesn't.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Flowers for My Birthday

The color of these roses struck me as particularly beautiful.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Fun in the Kitchen

 I've tried a couple of new recipes. First is Baked Persimmons. I found some today that I think are the last of the season, they were quite ripe, but I had wanted to try the recipe.

I also made Acorn Squash and Apples. The first is a dessert and the second a vegetable.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This is not pea soup

Plan A was to make Split Pea Soup on Sunday. I ran out of time. I'd like to make it in the Crock Pot, and cook it for a really long time.

I thought about cooking it today, but decided to delay it again. Sunday, I made beef stew and I still have some. That was tonight's dinner.

The mystery sock seems to be going well. There have been 347 unique downloads so far. That makes me happy and gets my name out. I'm busily knitting the second sock, trying to stay one clue ahead. The second clue gets published late Friday night, and I think the pattern is ready to go.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It worked, I'm thrilled

I've been working on the pattern for about 6 weeks now. It is my first Mystery Sock design. It was a challenge to make a sock pattern with four distinct parts. I was worried about how to upload it and make it go live. That part was easy.

Part 1 of the pattern went live last night about 11:00. I didn't want to stay up until midnight.So far this morning, 115 knitters have downloaded the pattern. I need to get working on part 2 of the second sock. I'm checking the pattern as I go.

I also need to keep working on the SKA Mystery sock that I;m knitting for Vitor.

Yesterday the timer button on my stove broke. Luckily, I have a backup. Ping works quite well and is happy to be used instead of hiding in a corner.