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Monday, January 31, 2011

RECIPE BLOG: Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce Recipe -

We love these so much, I'm almost positive I've posted this before. If not, well, here it is!

Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce Recipe -

I make these often-they are an excellent summer recipe for those warm evenings when you're done working in the yard. A few sprigs of your home-grown parsley add the finishing touch.

Best yet, the pita's are easy peasy to make!

Traditional Pita Bread Recipe -


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide dough into six pieces; knead each for 1 minute. Roll each into a 5-in. circle. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Place upside down on greased baking sheets. Bake at 500 degrees F for 5-10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
You can sprinkle a little Penzey's Pizza Seasoning before baking, for a twist!

Freeze pita pockets in a zip bag and take out as you need them, they fit in a toaster! They will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months-once thawed, use as soon as possible.
Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Friendships can be such a strain on the emotions-

Take my neighbor ...
She's gone through some things recently I've never encountered in my life, and has fought back with the strength of 10 million Army ants. Shes a Cancer Survivor. I don't know if I could do it, hope I never have to find out.
During this time, we've shared more in the last 6 months, than we had in the 8 yrs we've lived here. I chalked it all up to trials by fire, and tried not to dwell on trivialities. But as is the nature of my Beast, I let things get to me and in one flash-in-the-pan moment, took a simple comment out of context. The end result was, we both had to take a break, step back, and ponder our choices.

I've learned some things are just not worth all the fuss and had to put my pride aside. Tonight, I doused the flames with a word of kindness, and will wait and see if there is anything left amidst the smoldering remains...
What I learn from this,  will carry me through the remainder of my days. Today I chose to never to have to live with regrets.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Agatha Cardi, to the 5th Power

I have decided my "lucky number" is 5. Why, you ask? Because it appears I must redo e-ver-y single thing I start, 5 times, to get it right. BAH! Whoever came up with the saying "third time's the charm" was a twit~

 It's either that or pattern writers automatically assume that everyone must understand it if it says less. Simple, right?

Not so, for me. I have to think, and re-think things over and over, until the concept either jells, or simply slides through the cracks in my skull and pools at the base of my neck.

I finally managed to cast on the body of Agatha. YAY, me!

Here's the end-result of 5 reedoo's over a 2 day period.

The arrow  marks the center back seam (Kitchener join) of the 2-part lace panel that the body is cast on to and worked. The 5x1 rib branches show the increases at the sleeve caps. It was only after I got this far into the increases, that it began to take shape, literally, and then it made sense.

The pattern is more obvious as seen on this, the Right Side. The person who is modeling the Agatha is in fact, wearing it Wrong Side out. The beauty of this pattern is, it's REVERSIBLE!

The Green Bay Packers won 21-14 over the Chicago Bears last night! Sunday, Feb. 6, we go to the SUPER BOWL!! WOOT!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I am making a correction to yesterday's blog post; and let me add, I lost a contact last week. GAH! I've been visually challenged, having an impossible time seeing to type, and my standby glasses are of little help here. I just let my fingers to teh talking and hoped for the best.

I'm changing things up a bit. As some of you know, I'm a dyed in the cotton Doily Artist. yeah, humbling, ain't it? LOL!

 I was previewing my many newsletter subscriptions in my Inbox, when I spied this beauty, and had to look.

I chanced upon this FREE PATTERN on and really liked the lines-and did I mention, it's FREE?

 I'm not a huge fan of crochet garments. I've made a number of tabards in the past, loved the warmth, the simplicity, how fast they would work up. A dear friend gave me a pattern so easy that to this day, I still remember how to make it.

 Since I've taken up knitting in the past 2 years, this pattern turned my head; the diamond pattern and loose draping is very comfortable to the eye.  Intermediate skill is required for this

For sheer elegance, this one is a great addition to any wardrobe!

Happy day, I just discovered that the original picture I posted yesterday (and am updating today) is for the KNITTED version! YIPPY SKIPPY, I KNEW I LIKED THIS ONE FOR A REASON!

Without further adeu, I give you: Xian Knit Kimono Jacket instructions

My replacement contacts just arrived at the Dr's office; they called just at closing, so I wasn't able to go pick them up-I am going over there tomorrow, first thing! No more visually challenged blog posts!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Because I'm Too Pooped to Blog

So I decided to promote someone else's blog post:

SWC FAQs | Away with Words

Post a Day participant Olivia is the organizer of the Silent Writers Collective weekly retreat, designed to help writers combat distractions, procrastination, and lack of motivation.
The group meets up each Tuesday night at 9 p.m. via Twitter, and goes silent to write for one uninterrupted hour.
By committing to a group effort, (think Weight Watchers or NaNoWriMo) many writers find it’s easier to stay motivated and reach goals. Writing, as we’ve heard ad nauseum, is a solitary endeavor, but sharing our efforts with a group makes it easier, and can help us reach our writing goals.
We’re not a critique group, we’re not limited by genre, education, experience, or skill. We just get together to write.
Learn more about the Silent Writers Collective here.
I'll be back tomorrow, promise!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Ships Project , Socks for the Troops

I have just finished a pair of Wisconsin WinterSocks and am happy with the outcome.

I went in search of an organization to donate to, found The Ships Project and have joined The Ships Project Yahoo Group, to become more actively involved. Please check it out and join us!

The next ship date is the first week of February. 1-7, 2011.

I saw a Fox in our neck'o the woods while on my way to Eye Dr. to get a new contact-shes crossed in front of my car, in plenty of time to get out of harms' way, . Losing a contact has it's up-side; I would not have seen Fox, otherwise~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pumpkin Butter Recipe -

Short but Sweet Blog post:

Pumpkin Butter Recipe -

I'm about to finish Sharon's WI Winter Socks, am working down the toes as we speak~ pictures in the coming day, or two or 3!!

Off for the evening, going to go plug in a movie: Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Funnyman Kevin James ("King of Queens") stars as Paul Blart, an overzealous security guard who finds himself in way over his head when he attempts to thwart a criminal mastermind's (Keir O'Donnell) plot to rob an entire shopping mall. Bobby Cannavale, Jayma Mays and Shirley Knight also star in this family-friendly laffer from director Steve Carr, which shares more than a few similarities with the much raunchier Observe and Report.

Have a good evening, and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tracks in The Snow

A dedicated knitter has no limitations; he/she just knits one row at a time.

~excerpt from a page of At Knit's End, by  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee , The Yarn Harlot.

I have never even considered the possibility that there are limits to what one can do with knitting. I see it in random knit objects all over the internet, pictures people have posted from cities around the globe-lamp posts, bicycles, you name it, someone has knit it. The only limits are those we place on ourselves. ..well, that, and our pocket books.

I am about 4 inches away from finishing Sharon's Wisconsin Winter Socks. After I finish her socks, I plan to charge full steam ahead on the Agatha Cardi.
The lace pattern almost resembles deer tracks..
reverse right panel, up-ended
There is a gorgeous first quarter moon hanging low outside our office window facing due west, and a new dusting of snow on the ground. Next full moon is scheduled for Jan. 19

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Freaky Saturday and the Creepy Modem

Today was Freaky Friday, the day after. No, seriously, it was like riding through the tail of a comet.

I don't usually share my random bizarre experiences, especially when I'm the only person having the experience at the time. BUT, I have the pleasure of being married to a guy who also knows bizarre.

Let's face it, we're both a little "out there".

I had been talking with a girlfriend from back home, and was having a rather difficult time hearing her. Her cell phone was not getting a good signal, kept getting static breakups in voice relay. About 20 minutes into the convo., I told her I was needing to find my Bluetooth, so I could have hands-free whilst we chatted.

So, I'm digging around behind my monitor, looking for the Bluetooth device and found the cable right away. I kept telling her to repeat her last sentence, because I kept getting feedback from her end. That was when I noticed another sound, over by my monitor. Thinking I must have left a web-cam or chat client open, maybe I had Facebook open in a browser tab. I checked each app., finding nothing open.

Meanwhile, I kept talking with DGF.  A few more times, I heard what sounded like chatter over by my desk. Then, DH came back in from making hair sticks, and sat down to do some computer work. I completed my call and was still looking for the Bluetooth, my head down low trying to look behind my monitor. That was when we heard the little voice come out of the modem, at first barely audible, then a second time, very clear, "is that you, Gramma Ranelli?".

I looked at DH, he looked at me and shook his head. "Did you hear what I thought we just heard?", I asked him. He repeated what we both heard, verbatim. The lights on the modem were blinking like some sort of crazy carnival attraction, no pattern at all, just crazy.
DH suggested maybe it was Mom messing with us again. Just the thought of that and I had to sit down, my knees suddenly giving out. I was immediately overcome by a feeling  that I would say I only experienced one other time in my life.
I could not move for several minutes, and only after I regained my composure, did I send my oldest son a text message asking him if the girls were ok. He called me within seconds of getting the text.
 "No, everyone is ok here, why?", he asked. "You are going to think I'm nuts..." I said; then I told him everything. He even asked the kids, what do they call me when I'm brought up in conversations. Grandma Sandra, is what they said. As I thought.
DS and I had a laugh about it, as I told him I was having a little bit of butterflies as I looked down our darkening hallway, we exchanged more trivialities, then I let him get back to his family.

Later, when I came back downstairs, we thought it happened again, just once more time. Both DH and I heard that tiny voice come out of the box, then it went silent and the lights stopped flashing like a RR crossing light gone amok, and went back into a normal rhythm.

We may not know what it was that happened tonight, but we do know for certain, today was definitely electrically charged.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Picking Up and Knitting Stitches - 2 Ways

Updates on Sharon's Winter Socks: did this just fine, but the stitches were too loose, as I discovered about 5 rows up...I ended up having to re-weave them to tighten them up, as a fix. (I know, I should've just rippit'd them...but) that is a problem I keep having....:(

What's this I hear about putting the socks on DPNs to do the heel?! Haha caught you :)
A great fix to tighten the stitches after you pick them up is to knit them through the back loops the first time you come to them. This gives them a nice twist and tightens them up. Ooh, I sense another blog post coming... thanks for the inspiration!

Yep, you caught me pickin' the lazy way out. I suppose I could have just put the stitch markers at the 9-stitch mark on Needle #1 and the 3-stitch mark on Needle #3, but doing two-ata-time, and o, remembering which side of the heel I was to work said gusset stitch, let alone WHICH NEEDLE TO WORK WITH at the beginning of each side, that was just asking too much for to wrap my mind around. So I cheated, sue me~ :P

Thanks again, Liat; that is exactly what I had considered doing, after the fact. Note to Self: next pair of socks, Many Twisted Gussets. O, I feel a song coming on...hehehee~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jimmy Stewart - A Dog Named Beau

My neighbor sent this to me this morning:

We miss Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Carson, and Ed McMahon. We also miss even more our loyal friends we call dogs, who have passed on. They are wonderful companions, and so much more, but they do remind us that we are mortals who one day must pass on as well.
If you're a dog lover, how could you not end up with tears in your eyes, after watching this??
This is a film clip from a 1981Johnny Carson show

I wrote her the following response:

I'm balling like a baby,
that is Igor, to the tee,
Duke, Rocky and Lily,
I'm sure, you'll agree~

…oddly, Miss Pepper has decided she likes unsalted peanuts. I bought a 25 lb bag of NC-grown peanuts in the shell at our local Feed Supply, where I  keep them out in a corner of the garage. I originally got them for our Winged Friends, to help them survive the bleak winters when pickin’s are slim. The Crows and Blue Jays love them and will come when I call, "Peanuts, getcher PEEeeeea-nuts!"

Our Boy Igor knows where I keep them, and begs for his daily ration of peanuts, while we stand around with nothing better to do. If there's noone around to beg off of, he helps himself, diving nose-first into the big netted bag, shells them in a neat little pile, and eats them, leaving me a nice little Outback Steakhouse peanut-shells-on-the-floor MESS.

Now Miss Kitteh must haz peanutz! she begs off me by climbing my leg, claws and all, until I shell one and break it apart for her; she actually *eats* several, then when done, plays with the shells…

Fickle Four-Leggeds~

Today, I turned the heel on Sharon’s Wisconsin Winter Socks,  got my gussets all in a row, and am moving on to the toes; they should be done by Sunday, if not sooner~ WOOT!

These darn socks defy every attempt to take a good picture; the colorway is  Lion Brand Wool-Ease  Pines Print, a deep spruce green and navy blue. I'm hoping for a sunny day, before they are ready to be gifted.

I took a break from the socks this evening, and instead worked on the Agatha Cardi, 2nd front panel, while watching a movie on Netflix:  Rabbit-Proof Fence. Peter Gabriel directed the music. It was an amazing (true) story, and would watch it again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Agatha in the Morning

I need to keep a journal.

but what is this, you ask? It’s merely the remnants of my day, bits and pieces of what’s left of my scattered thoughts, condensed. By the time I get done with work, I can barely remember what I did in the morning; then it’s time to go to bed. All I can think about at the end of a long day, is getting comfortable and knitting.

I had a simply marvelous morning, Dahlings! I got up at the crack of dawn, before it was even light yet, another 5-hour night behind me. I noticed the neighbors still had one of their small Christmas trees up; I could see the twinkling lights, as I headed for the kitchen and the coffee maker, with plans for taking down all the holiday decorations.

But by the time I got comfortable with my cup’o Joe, wrapped in my blankie, with Igor curled up on the other end of the sofa, I was not in a big hurry to dismantle the Christmas tree just yet. It was just too pretty to turn off, so I left it on until well past 9am. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll take it down…

Last night, I finished the Agatha LEFT front panel. All along, I had been thinking I was working on the RIGHT front panel, until I read the instructions for starting the other side, which told me then, I was on the RIGHT side now. Okely Dokely, still not sure…

I’ve already got about 17 rows of the mirror side started, and when I laid them together side-by-side, the match was pretty close. I had a moment to worry that the second panel would look far better than the first, (I’ve got the hang of the pattern now) that the difference would be so noticeable-would I have to redo the first panel over again, so they would match in the end? It turns out they are not that far off, and I’m content to leave well enough alone~

I worked on Sharon’s WI Winter Socks this morning. Oh, what a time that was! I got both heels turned, using a set of dpns, easy peasy. Then I had to sit back and study the path to get the circular needles back on track. I made a couple passes going the wrong way before finally getting it right. Needles in position, the socks are ready to go, and tomorrow I’ll begin the gussets. Then on up to the toes, a cake walk. I lost my morning sun too soon, so hopefully, progress pictures will be taken and posted tomorrow.

I did get the dining room table cleared off and got a little creative with the new centerpiece. Viola~

It’s nice to change things up a bit, and I always did love my cobalt glass. Mom’s Big Cup and Saucer is now on the breakfast island, out of harm’s way; if it’s not at the center of the room, it’s no longer a constant reminder of past transgressions.

Time to hit the hay, tomorrow’s another day~

Igor sez "just come to bed, Mom~"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Learn to Knit Magic Loop Socks - Part 1-2

Learn to Knit Magic Loop Socks

Turning the Heel

verypinkknits verypinkknits
And before I go, I wanted to share what I got from my next-door neighbor (the same Sharon I'm knitting the Sharon's Wisconsin Winter Socks for) I'm getting ready to turn the heel on her socks now, so the video will come in handy~

 The "vase" is a cutout of a cook book, isn't that clever? She fashioned the "roses" from ribbons, the colors inspired by my favorite rose, Blue Girl.  I just love this new beauty, it picks up the subtle blues in my Mom's table runner.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wisconsin made it to Pasadena, TCU deflates Badgers

We spent New Years Day working on getting orders ready to go out on Monday. We started some new projects; DH is making leather bags and I've started another sweater, the Agatha Cardigan. It was business as usual, but with one very exciting highlight: The Wisconsin Badgers went to the Rose Bowl!!

Wisconsin airs it out, TCU deflates Badgers -

We couldn't view the game on local channels, so a friend recommended for live streaming coverage. Miracle of miracles, we were able to watch the game live from my computer, while working in the background.

Great game, we almost clinched it until a 2 point conversion pass interference was snagged by the Horned Frogs; at that point the game was pretty much over- they won, 21-18.

During the game, I got some intense knitting done; 4 repeat patterns for the right front panel of the Agatha Cardi, and 2 more to go for the first panel.

All in all, it was a relaxing night, and tomorrow will be be another marathon knit-fest. DH is going to make our annual New Years Day (after) dinner: Angel Hair Pasta with Clam sauce and Mussels in garlic butter, mixed greens salad with House Italian, and Cole's garlic bread.Mmmmm-MMM!

The wind outside is frightful, right out of a Christmas Carol.  Some of our WI Peeps are enjoying the warmer climes of California; for us,  it's back to a frozen tundra with bitter cold.

Have a good night, and stay warm!