My 1 Million Row Challenge

Friday, September 30, 2011


As a lot of you who read my blog with regularity know that my youngest child Eric has ML4. You already know that a considerable part of my time is spent caring for Eric. I never thought that in my life time let alone Eric's that we would be able to find the gene that causes so many problems for Eric. Yet through the ML4 Foundations funding of research has help make that dream come true.  It would be nice to dream that in Eric's life time there was a treatment to slow or stop this life altering disease. This is a copy of a mass appeal fundraising letter that is going out this week. If you can find it in your heart and budget any help would be wonderful.

A clear link to the letter is ML4 Letter
In case you can't read the mailing address checks can be sent to

ML4 Foundation
719 East 17th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Please feel free to pass this letter on to anyone who might be interested.
Have a wonderful weekend with your families.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Simple Soup

I made this fast and easy soup for dinner last night.

White Acorn Squash Soup

1 White Acorn Squash - peeled, seeded and coarsely diced
2 Large Russet Potatoes - scrubbed and coarsely diced
1 pound frozen mixed vegetables
2 Cans chicken broth ( you may substitute a vegetable broth to make this vegan)

I put all my vegetables in my 4.5 quart Le Creuset pot. I added the 2 cans of broth. I brought the soup up to a low boil and reduced the heat to low and cooked it for 2 hours on low.  I did not add any additional seasonings, but feel free to spice it up anyway you would like.

This will serve 4 as a main course. I can't give you a calorie count but it will be pretty high in fiber.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Catch Up

Well it has been a little over a week since I last blogged. A week ago Monday I got Eric out the door to school and spent the next 3 days running around town like a mad lady trying to get everything under the sun done.

I found a new home for the 2 knitting machines that were in need of a lot of work. They went home with a nice couple from the Midwest. They joined us a knitting and had breakfast with us. Afterward they moved their car by mine and we whooshed the machines to their new home.

I did get my 2 rather large boxes off to Vermont. The final count that I sent was 30 back packs, 25 scarfs and 23 hats. This should actually read that I got about 50 to 60 skeins of yarn plus some backpacks out of the house. Some of the scarfs took multiple skeins. The sad part of this is that other than reclaiming a shopping bag I personally don't think I made much of a dent in my yarn stash. I will keep knitting up a storm because winter is coming and I know that the need will be great this year. I think I will make my motto "Have yarn will knit"

When it gets a little cooler, to read in the mid to low 80's. I will get some help to move yarn around the garage and see if the stash has gone down. This is when I plan on doing some more decluttering. I have found that the garage is like Fiber McGee's closet only larger and less prone to fall on me.

Not one bit of spinning has gotten done since last Friday.  Although John has discovered where the newly spun yarn takes a short rest after being boiled and thwacked. His only comment was "more yarn".

John and I did manage to get out of the house for a bit of "us" time this weekend. I would also like to add that at the party we went to the hostess graciously accepted one of my hand knit hats hot off the needles so I did not have to take the finished object home with me.  Can I count that as 1 more skein out the door? Yes I do take my knitting every where.

Well it is time to end this post so good night all. Please enjoy your families.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

All Is Well

All is well again. Today Eric woke up with a smile, the first time in it seems like weeks. Thursday and Friday I started to slow down an opted to have some help with Eric. By the way Thursday was also the first day of my flare up.

My knitting mojo slowed down by Thursday. I finished 2 scarfs and started another scarf. I also started a special order for Logan.  I also started another hat today.  Friday was the day the spindles got a lot of action. It just seemed to be what my body and soul needed.

I have started spinning unique combinations to put together in embellishment packages that I will have at the Tucson Wool Festival on October 22, 2011 At Kathy's Ranch , just follow the link for details.  Don't worry I will also have a large selection of stitch markers too. Rumor has it that there are new yarns in her store this week,. If you love her yarn as much as I do hurry in as the yarn will be sold long before the wool festival. If you can not make it out to the ranch check out Kathy's Esty Store . By the way I did not tell Kathy Withers, I was going to write about her new yarn nor am I receiving any compensation. This is all my version of fan mail for a very talented lady.

Well it is time to go check out what is happening in the rest of the house. Have a great weekend and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And Today Is?

It has been another long day of sick child care. This morning while we were in the living room I did the finishing work on 6 scarfs and 2 hats. I tagged them and put them in the rather full bag destine for Vermont. They also wanted woolen socks, gloves and mittens, but you know that I don't do those. It would mean that I had to pay attention to what I am doing. So a very large bag of scarfs and hats are going to be headed their way.  Some is better than none and I think these will still be useful. If you would like to send some hand knit socks or mittens let me know and I will send you the name of the contact person, school and address.

After lunch I finished 1 more scarf and started another one. I spent the majority of the afternoon being a chair back for Eric to he could breath easier. So not a lot of knitting got done, but breathing is better than knitting. I want to try to get a little more picking up done before John gets home so I am going to end the blog here tonight.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crazy Times Needs an Easy Dinner

It has been very crazy around here as of late. Over the holiday weekend Eric had a cold. I did get Eric in to school for part of the week. But this weekend the cold morphed into Pneumonia/ear infection with fluid behind the ears. The up shot of the cold and pneumonia is that a lot of knitting has been getting done. Not the finishing work, just the knitting. Eric will not let me bring the finishing work to his room. Saturday I said not to expect me any where before Wednesday but I think judging by today it will be most of the week.

In between Eric's cold and pneumonia John had a few days off and we did some work around the house. We spent most of the stay cation playing catch up.  We have a new door handle to the garage. A new coat rack went up in the laundry room. Believe it or not the back wall of the laundry room floor is empty.  As well as the floor in the pantry. A new pack rat trap that worked in under 1 hour. Just in case you are curious I put a link to it in the blog. I also managed to make a big dent in the craft room. I even returned projects that people wanted me to finish for them, undone, no they were not going to pay me to do them, they just thought I needed something to keep me busy. Like I really need people to give me busy work. That's Eric's job. It is very liberating to say no to people.

This is what I am making for dinner tonight.

Easy Chicken Stew

1 Package of Trader Joe's Maripox Mix
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Package of Trader Joe's ready cooked chicken
1 Pound Package of Trader Joe's Frozen Mixed vegetables
1 Pound Package of Trader Joe's frozen carrots (the yellow/orange kind)
1 can Chicken Broth
1 pound of small potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the Maripox mix. Saute in the Olive Oil. Add the chicken, mixed vegetables, carrots and chicken broth. Bring to a low boil and add the potatoes. Cook for 60 to 90 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Ward and Up Ward

On ward and up ward would have to be today's theme. After a long day yesterday followed by a long night  last night with Eric, John spent the morning with Eric so I could go to knit with the girls. It was a very productive morning. I got to talk and relax. I finished 2 UFOs, both were scarfs. now I just have to tag them and put them in the right charity bags.

I would like to thank the good people at Einsteins on Shannon for making lunch for John and I.  By the way we are also having bagel sandwiches for dinner. A Perfect bagel day. Bagels for breakfast lunch and dinner. Nom nom nom.

After lunch I spent some time working on my latest weaving project. I stop working when I start making mistakes because I just hate unweaving. There has to be a better term than unweaving. Then it was off to the cleaning stage of my day. I was very successful in my humble opinion. 3 baskets of recycles out of the house, all the small trash cans emptied and the kitchen trash filled.

I went through my box of handmade items from my studio and sorted everything out. I have one box that is going to charity with woolen scarfs and hats. All the stitch markers and earrings are sorted out by price and bagged. I went through some of the mess in the craft room and made a first cut.

You will never guess what I found when cleaning today. Well you know the scarf that I started 4 years ago to go with my holiday outfit and never finished. What about the socks that I started when Teri and I went looking at law schools. Turquoise yarn that I bought for Teri a few years ago. Well you might have guessed that I found that bag. I will finish everything in the bag starting with the holiday scarf and then the socks.

The question I have for every one tonight is: will the socks get done before Teri finishes law school. In other words can I finish one pair of socks in 3 1/2 years? This one will have a prize so please send in your answers. The winner will be picked by a random number generator. The prize is yet to be determined but it will be good. The drawing will be on September 26, 2011. By the way please leave a way for me to contact you if you win. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Big Change

You will notice something different about my blog today. I no longer have an Artfire Studio link. As of today I have closed my studio. Yes I will still make and sell stitch markers and hand knit items. I will also be making hand spun yarn. I am also working on the weaving bug. I will have a few select patterns that will come out locally. If you need any of these items you can contact me directly. If I have something spectacular I will show case it on Facebook and Twitter. You can find me on Twitter as skaro964. When I figure out how to do it I will list my patterns on Raverly.

I still plan on participating in Kathy Withers Wool festivals. Anything else will be up to divine providence as I have to put the house and men in my life first. Teri is getting to be pretty independent but still needs me on occasion.

This has been mulled over for quite a while. This frees me up to do more charity knitting. More time to spend honing my crafts. But most of all getting  my house in order. At this time it would also be a very bad time for people to throw new projects my way as I have already over committed myself to a lot of projects that need to get done.

As my life evolves I hope that this will be the beginning of another great chapter in my life.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Recipe for Teri

Before I start this blog post I would like to send a out a big thank you to the simply wonderful folks at Le Creuset. My daughter had a problem with her Le Creuset Stoneware Casserole. A very long story short , they were very good at keeping the warranty on the casserole and a replacement was sent to her.

As I have said may times before and will say it again this is my favorite brand of pots  and casserole's. I have been using them since so last century, really my first one was bought in the early 1990's. Yes I still do use the red heart shaped casserole. It also still looks as good as the last purchase from last year. Yes I know that they are pricey but if you consider how long they last and their excellent customer service they are a good value.

I would like to add at this point that this opinion is my very own. I have 6 different pans. I have purchased or received them as gifts from my husband. My daughter has 3. I have not received any compensation from the Le Creuset Company. Nor did they asks for this very public thank you.

Now on to one of Teri's childhood favorite recipes.

Italian Chicken

1 whole chicken cut into pieces, washed in cold water
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 24 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
2 4oz cans of mushrooms drained
1 large can of black olives (optional)
Salt and pepper

In a fry pan warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Carefully add the chicken and brown. Place the browned chicken in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and olives if desired. Cover with the spaghetti sauce. Cover and place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 325f and cook for 60  to 90 minutes. This dish can remain in the oven longer just check after one hour to see if more liquid is needed.

Be sure not to put the grease from the fry pan down the drain. Municipal sewer systems were not designed for this. Either drain the fat into you fat can or wipe down the pan with a paper towel before washing.

When removing glass or stoneware casseroles from the oven I prefer to place them on trivets , cookie cooling racks or several layers of towels. For your own safety please DO NOT place this type of pan on a cold or wet counter.

This recipe serves 4 to 8 people. This can be served with pasta, rice or potatoes.