Saturday, January 21, 2006

Secret Pal Foo

I LOVE getting mail. I think it's something that no one really outgrows. The anticipation. The warm fuzzy knowing that someone thought enough of you to put even the smallest of items in the mail and send it your way. Very nice. It's even nicer when you're the recipient of the kindness of a stranger. When you participate in a Secret Pal, you're opening yourself up to the generosity of a stranger and, hopefully, a new long term friendship. At least that's how I see it.


Look how beautifully it's wrapped. There's a little handwritten note, pretty red ribbons on everything and two other notes explaining the gifties. Sigh. I put everything on top of my piano, (it's closed because it's actually cold here tonight. What the hell?) and Boogie just ran around saying "Pesents! Pesents!" Pretty neat. She got to keep a couple of ribbons and she examined the handwritten note. I think it met her exacting standards. Notice how I'm just sort of rambling away here delaying the inevitable picture of everything opened just so you can experience the excitement of opening "pesents" with me. Enough of that. Here's what was inside:

From the left to the right we have 4 bars of dark, organic chocolate; (and let me tell ya'll right now as I begin the long decent into PMS that chocolate is more than appreciated.) Targhee roving, a breed that I have never had the pleasure of spinning but which sent me running to my copy of "In Sheep's Clothing" to see what else I could learn in addition to the incredibly thoughtful info provided by my secret pal and finally, Wilton's Icing Colors. That's right kids, food coloring to dye my Targhee with. Who knew? Did you? I never even considered food coloring when talking about dying yarns, just Koolaid, plants and some scary chemicals that require the wearing of a mask. How narrow-minded is that? I mean, it dyes food. Why not dye yarn? (Hell, we drink Koolaid.) This is the coolest thing I've ever seen. SP even provided instructions on how to do this. Holy crap is that awesome or what? (Let me guess. All ya'll already new about the food coloring, didn't you?) I am blown away. So here's a big public thank you to my SP and I'll send my private love later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chocolatey Goodness

Okay, if you're diabetic or on a diet step slowly away from the monitor. Otherwise buckle up kids cause this is one super yummy and idiot simple desert. I got this recipe from my mom and I have no idea where she got it but damn near every relative on her side of the family makes this thing.
Without further ado I proudly present:

(pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees)
You'll need:
1 stick plus 1 Tbls. of butter or margarine
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of flour (all-purpose . If you want a more cake like texture use self-rising)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa
Melt the butter in a 9-inch pie pan. (This step is extremely important as the melted butter provides the non-stickiness for your pan.)
Pour butter over other ingredients. Mix well. Put mixture back in pie pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. (My personal preference is ice cream and, if I'm feelin' crazy or have raging PMS, hot fudge on top of that.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I've been tagged, and it's not a scary tag

My friend my SP 5 Amy tagged me. This meme isn't nearly as disturbing as the last one. Here goes!

4 jobs you have had:
Speech-Language Pathologist
Personnel Clerk, Dept. of Defense
Sales Clerk (in a book store!)
Film Library Clerk (Janna, I too was once a librarian...sort of.)

4 movies you could watch over and over:
Best in Show
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Mystery Men

4 TV shows you love to watch:
(I mainly watch DVDs)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4 places you have been on vacation:
New Orleans
The Netherlands

4 websites you visit daily
Don't really look at anything else on a daily basis

4 of your favorite foods
Krispy Kreme Donuts
Mexican Food
Moose Munch candy bars
Pad Thai

4 places you would rather be right now
In bed
On my sofa, knitting
Snuggling my baby
Closer to my mom

4 bloggers you are tagging (a couple of these chicks are new to blogging. Feel the crazy love, ladies!)

Self Portrait Tuesday Week 3: Personal History

Source of inspiration:

This picture was taken over 30 years ago at my grandmother's home in Jasper, Alabama. I'm the kid with her finger in her mouth and my sister is peeking out from behind the bed. The only "doctoring" I did to this photo was to enhance the color. The original was very faded.

My grandmother's home was filled with antiques. The huge bed we're hiding behind was the one my grandfather died in, at home, surrounded by his children. I never knew him. There are other photos from that day; my sister and I jumping on the bed, running around it. It's somehow fitting that a bed that witnessed the end of a life becomes, in later years, the playground of two little girls. I really love this picture.

Edited to add: Donna, Oakman does sound very familiar! I'm sure we drove through it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Knitting Foo

Finally, a post about knitting! Let's start with this little gem, Wavy.
I got off on the wrong foot with Wavy but I wouldn't be worthy of holding the title of World's Worst Knitter if every project I started went along smoothly. I'm using some alpaca that my sister gave me for Christmas. I really like this pattern and, even though my scarf will be a bit smaller, all that alpaca snuggled against my neck will feel nice. Of course, it would feel even nicer if the temperature would cooperate and drop about 20 degrees but I'm sure I can find a reason to wear this sucker. Maybe we'll move north.

Ah Triangle. My first adventure in intentionally felting something. At this point, the entire bag is about half-way finished. (I'll give the specs on it once I take a pre-felting pic.) I've really enjoyed knitting this and even though it's stockinette it really is a quick knit. Although I don't think the picture shows it well, the contrast color is a chocolate brown. It's really pretty. Hey, I have a question, should I block this thing before I sew it up and felt it? Any advice about the whole felting experience would be fab.

Last month I talked about re-discovering how much I loved spinning. This humble little ball is the result of that fling. It's a little uneven and the twist did relax though not as much as I'd hoped, but I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I have a bunch more of this stuff to spin up. I don't really have anything in mind to do with this yarn. Maybe I'll give it away or something. In the mean time, I'm lovin' the spin. I think I have some undyed Merino somewhere. I played with dyes a few years ago so I might give that another shot, too. Or maybe I'll take it slow and do a Koolaid dye.