Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Get Thee To A Nunnery!

Really, a nunnery might be the only salvation for those contemplating a move anytime soon. Talk about simplification! You don't have to worry about a lot of that pesky 'wordly stuff', it is the epitome of lean and mean living.

I'm only half joking I think. No, I know I am only half joking.

This was the kitchen on day one, much of it came over in the back of the SUV and before everything was put away it was rather horrible. The kitchen is now finished and most lovely!

The sewing room (haven of all havens) is the last thing to get unpacked. It has also become the dumping ground for spare boxes, the carpet cleaner, the vacuum, and my new best friend the rolling gray cart. When you live on the second floor and do some moving yourself the rolling cart hauls a lottalotta stuff. And while being most helpful I do wish I had not tried to be so cheap and had more done by the professionals (aka big strong men who do not mind the endless shlepping of stuff).

TOMORROW will be the day I can start getting all of that crap OUT of there and begin unpacking and making the room lovely, and mine, and creative and happy. To paint or not to paint? How to organize? I think the first project will be a shower curtain for one of the bathrooms, have you ever noticed that when you know exactly what you want that you can't find it no matter how hard you search????

While everyone gets used to the new digs, poor Prince the Dog spent an awful lot of time in front of the door wondering what happened to his former residence. After a few days I'm happy to report that everyone is adjusting well.

Now, would someone please remind me how that whole knit purl thing goes?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Up For Air

The move is finished. Hallelujah and Amen!

I am exhausted, sore, dragging----- but MOVED! YAY!

The bed has been put back together an last night I slept on it (with nice clean sheets) for the first time, heaven! Unpacking is still running at about 75%, not bad for a big move.

I have FURNITURE again!!!! Lovely, new, fantastic FURNITURE! It makes my joy about the upholstered pieces even greater. Let me tell you blitters, I was OVER sitting on the floor on my air mattress!

I'm thrilled about the downsize although still amazed that after an extremely hard 'edit' on the other end, I still have a LOT of stuff. Much of the 'purty stuff', i.e. the photos, wall quilts, artwork, etc., just aren't going to make the cut here. It's still all good!

Off to get back into the grind and spend the day with a bride.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Still moving, not grooving

It is true, in an effort to have the longest lasting move in America (and possibly the free world and the outlying areas) I am still in the process moving.

Let me recap:
  • NO furniture from the couch/loveseat/chair category
  • STILL trying to relax and/or lounge from the fuzzy blue blow up bed that lays on the floor and takes a whole lotta effort to haul up and out of
  • the tv downstairs leaves tomorrow afternoon. I can only hope that having the U*-Verse box still plugged in will tape Jack tomorrow night and I can watch tv in my bedroom.
  • the house is covered in boxes. Covered. A damn lot of boxes.
  • there are more boxes joining the party every day
  • There is no knitting happening outside of Tuesday nights when I find that properly outfitted with a real chair, knitting is entirely possible
  • There is really no nothing happening outside of work and the move.

I remain tired and ready to throw in the towel. I would if I could spare a towel but I only have one out, the rest are packed and I couldn't tell you which box they are in. I really thought back in the day when I had a full set of towels and lived in a lovely home that the move was going to be a piece of cake, a simple little stroll over to the new loft daintily carrying objects and placing them in their new home. I am by all accounts a moron as this in no way is what the move looks like.

My dogs are freaked out and glued to my sides in fear that their Mama is going to leave them for points unknown. Poor things.

I do have a firm date to move (hallelujah!) and the movers are coming on Thursday after what will surely be a horrific day on Wednesday hauling everything possible in the SUV. By Thursday night it is my hope to close the door after the movers drop the last of it, the new furniture having been delivered (of which there is not only a couch and a loveseat but a new chair, in red, that was built to knit like the freakin' wind.) I will close the door and look around at the carnage and know that finally I am home again. There will be unpacking and new things to decorate an tons and tons to do but I look forward to it all with great excitement. I will peer out my window and see in the distance the Arch, I will look around at my lovely Victorian neighborhood and sing a happy song. Assuming I have the energy for it!

I'm 'off the contract' at today's wedding and so can maybe take a nap in between the last few things on the do-me list. After the guy comes to buy the washer and dryer from C*raig's List who I sincerely hope is not a murderer. He really can't be as the $$ from the washer and dryer will finish paying for the new flat screen. Oh yeah.

There were no C*raig's List takers for my White Rotary in the original coffin case, can you believe it? Off to storage she will go because with the whole downsize thing two of my antique machines won't make the cut.

My bride today has already been sad that she will not hold my knitting and me forever immortalized to my blitters- aw, how sweet! I offered that she drive by in the limo, I'd run out into the raining street and she could jump out and give it a go but apparently she was less than sincere about the whole thing. How like a non-knitter anyway.

Hope your weekend is sunny and warm and for pete's sake that you aren't moving.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Gravy, the house is trashed---- I think I'd be happy enough to eat Easter dinner OUT, but friends gather! Thankfully they help haul a box down the stairs. All upholstered pieces are gone and an air bed is on the floor for sitting (sigh), the dining room table left yesterday. We'll be eating at the kitchen counter and at the 'little' table, and nothing traditional at that.

St. Louis is known for it's Pork Steak. If you don't know it, think ribs and chops and t bones all kind of rolled into one. A nice sticky bbq sauce on the grill, some cole slaw and potato salad, some baked beans come from this kitchen. Coming to join the table are some home baked rolls and deviled eggs, and some cupcakes to help me celebrate the day after my birthday.

It is Easter in any form, and a day to remember egg hunts from years past, nights up late making all sorts of Easter finery, and to be grateful for the present.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Do These Stipes Make Me Look Fat???

Oh good grief, moving is horrible. This is just part of the mess. And really, all things considered, it is fairly organized mess. Boxes everywhere----- stages of dissaray. Which pretty much defines a move all the way around. By this time next week we should have started the hauling, except for the big pieces of furniture that will demand the services of burly men on the clock. I can't wait! C*raigs list has been great to sell a lot of stuff---- but sadly tomorrow my sofa, loveseat, and chaise leaves. The new furniture won't arrive until the move on the other end, maybe I should put up the inflatable mattress so there is a spot to land for a week?

The chicken, in it's happy flat-ness. Waiting for stuffing having divided the stitches into halves (minus the tail stitches) and ready for the kitchenering.

Do these stripes make me look fat? Or is it the stuffing? Less stuffing, more waistline? Still such a fun project, love me the chicken!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chicken Heads, Rain & Angels

The chicken is no longer headless, yay! She needs to be stuffed and then kitchenered together and then the fiddly bits like the tail feathers and the wattle need to be knit. I have been packing (and packing) and hauling and boxing and taping and tossing and trying to keep some sort of order in a home that has pure and simple lost it. The kitch and fiddlies will have to wait until I have a little bit of oom left in my oom pa pa. Or something like it.

Is it spring? I am sick to pieces of the rain rain rain and chilly temps. Understandably it will make the flowers pop but it will also wash away the pretty blooms on the trees. The tender plants and buds were covered up for a freeze warning just the day before last, surely spring and temperatures that are warm and lovely can't be far away?

On the angel front, that is my niece's car. She was on her way to work and while going through an intersection was plowed into by a dairy truck who ran the red light. Thank heavens her angels were on duty and she got out just fine. The police who answered the call said they were shocked she made it out with no serious injury.

Yet another reminder, life is fragile------- loving respect and kindness to all should be the order of our days.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Which Came First..... the Chicken or the Bride?

Two brides back to back------ wow! That never happens, but isn't it fun when it does?

I can't decide which came first or which is cuter. Don't tell the bride I said that she was kinda' in Princess Mode.

It has been a long time since a bride rocked the sticks quite this well I have to say! Miss C did just that!!

She had a ball with the knitting-------- and actually, I think they are some of the most fun shots of the day. (I'm a knitter, what would you expect me to say?) Because she made no funny comments about holding a knitted chicken in progress or even raised her eyebrows over the project further endeared her to me. Maybe she was preoccupied? Other things on her mind?

Yup, blow on those smokin' hot chicken knittin' needles little bride girl!

She was lovely, the dress was just a frothy wedding'y confection of lace and tulle and beads that sparkled on the near perfect 70 degree day! Love the blue sash, don't you? Her maids all wore short blue dressed in that fabric.

And the chicken is ready for the lovely little chicken head. I so want to keep moving on her, work and packing call so I'm making far slower progress than I would like.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bride with Sticks

I'm really late in posting the latest bride of knitting-ness. Sorry about that, blame it on the packing or the chicken, take your pick.

She's wielding the sticks with the sleeves of the cabled cardi taken a couple of weeks ago. The sweater is fab but isn't the bride gorgeous? That gown was just incredible and the shape was just made for her.

She doesn't knit, but I bet you could tell! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Half a Chicken is Better Than None

Half a chicken indeed! One more stripe of the red and a lil' bit of the creamy yellow and then it will be time to make a chicken head. What a fun project!

On other notes, I've packed the sewing room. I already sorted through and cleaned out stuff going to the local churches and scout troups and other places to donate things that won't make the move. I can't believe there is so much stuff in there. How did that happen?

I think I'm starting to enter the overwhelmed zone. Remind me that in a few short weeks this will be all over. Please.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

I love to cook, really and truly. Right now life is beyond madness with a move in a couple of weeks and a business to run. (And chickens to knit). I can get by on fast food, ordered in food, or always the oh so delightful food from the yummy case at W*hole F*oods but for just so long. When I need real food, home cookin', and a little on the plate love I turn to my slow cooker. That and my pressure cooker are my go to's when it comes to great food fast.

So.............. I was in the mood for comfort food, short ribs were going to fill the bill.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

  • "Long” short ribs, boneless (I get mine at C*ostco where they are gorgeous, almost looking like strip steaks) I used 3 big ones to serve 2 (twice). The leftovers are awesome.
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bottle of beer (I happened to have Fat Tire)
  • 1 cup white wine (I had an open bottle of a nice Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs. Maille Mustard (or any coarse grainy mustard)
  • 2 tbs. Worcestershire
  • 1 tbs. dark brown sugar

Dredge in seasoned flour (flour, salt, pepper, a bit of garlic powder) and brown all sides for a couple of minutes.

Lay the sliced onions on the bottom of the crock pot and place the browned ribs on top.

Deglaze the pan with the wine, add beer, mustard and brown sugar

Pour over the short ribs.

Cover and slow cook for 8-10 hours on low. (low on some crock pots is somehow different than low on others. Do not ask me why this is, I just know it is true!) It seems as a rule of thumb if you have a large crock pot where the short ribs can be in a single layer that less time is required. Also, the more ribs you have the longer it takes.

The browned short ribs sitting on top of the onion bed with the liquid poured over.

And the finished product, sliced and topped with the oniony sauce, sitting next to a serving of scalloped potatoes. Served with a nice green salad it is indeed comfort food heaven!

Knitly, the chicken is progressing happily. The base is done and an inch or so is traveling up her little chicken sides. The cabled cardi is not. 'nuff said.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Let the Chickens Begin!!!

Lookie Lookie what the mailman brought! Mail around here is always a good thing, especially when the weenie mailman has a package and is forced to ring the doorbell. When he timidly stuffs mail through the slot in the door the dogs go nuts and so recently he has decided that it is okay to leave mail on the front porch. No matter the weather. I for one am really crankin' mad about the US*PS saying they need more money. After I get a rebate, they can talk about more money. If I did not do my job I would not ask for more money I can tell you that! Harumph. Okay, that aside------- look what came! The pattern for the chickens in all their chickeny goodness. LOVE this pattern! The other bit of brightness is a top I'd ordered. Whoa. Do you not hate it when stuff you order bears no resemblance to the photo in the catalog? This is way yellower (on the fringe of ick), the 'jewels' around the neck are totally different, it is a lot shorter and the fabric is chintzy. Back it goes! The chickens stay to roost however!

Doesn't that look scary? Virtual pink stickies to safeguard the chicken pattern! I arrived a bit early at Tuesday knit night (the first one it hadn't been raining for in a long time) and sat at a table with a bottomless cup of joe. I cast on my chicken base! :) Yoel taught me the lifted cast-on, I can't believe I didn't know it! What a great way to add those stitches in for a very speedy increase. They look great, almost invisible, no holes at all---- and they lay really nicely. Perfection!

Some of the collected assortment of chicken yarn. The colors are actually a bit lighter and brighter, so it goes. My chicken du jour is going to be a French Chicken. Striped in a mellow ecru, a happy blue and a yummy green. I plan on embellishing her at some point as well. I really think she might need a beret.

I've only gotten about half into my chicken tush, packing and hauling and duty calleth. And out of dire respect I did knit another couple schmeensy rows on the sleeves of the ongoing cable cardi. It's all good--------- it isn't like I'm going to wear it this season anyway. When the cooler weather arrives I will be moved in to my new digs and my yummy cardi of cabled awesomeness will be waiting.

Wait until next when I share what is in the slow cooker. YUM!