My 1 Million Row Challenge

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Le Creuset 4 1/4 quart Soup Pot

I first wrote about my Le Creuset 4 1/4 quart soup pot way back in January of 2010. That's almost 3 years ago. It has been my blog post with the most views. Since then It has been used a minimum of twice a week, sometimes more often for the entire time. But never more than 6 days a week. I have cooked stews, roasts, chilli's and of course soup in it. It has been used in the oven as a roaster. On the stove as a soup pot. Basically it is my go to pot.

I would still recommend the Le Creuset cast iron line to everyone. They are still made by hand in France. I should say that this was a gift from my husband. I suspect that he likes the easy clean up feature of the pot. For tough clean ups like cooked on BBQ sauce he just lets it sit over night in warm soapy water, then wipes it out followed by a quick rinse in the sink the next day. Most nights he just lets the pot cool down and gives it a quick wash down.




Well you have all seen the new pretty pictures of the Le Creuset line of pot and pans. This is what my pot looks like inside and out after 3 years. This is my most used and most versatile piece of Le Creuset that I currently own. I have 5 other pieces of Le Creuset cookware, all are used with love and some are almost 20 years old and still in use. If I happen to remember I will give you a glimpse of this pot in another few years.

I have not been paid by Le Creuset for this recommendation, As I said before the pot was a gift from my wonderful husband. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 28, 2012

TGIF

After being up almost all last night with Eric, I am truly surprised that I got so much done today. Yes both guys are still sick, but chores must get done. I do have to admit that it was a rather late start in our house today. After finally getting to bed at 4:30 am I actually took the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30am. I ignored the to do list today and puttered getting a little done here and there.

Once I had help for Eric, it was time to do some running around town. The 1st stop was at Tucson Yarn Company. I needed some information off a yarn label to complete a pattern write up. With any luck I should be able to post it sometime this weekend. I also bought their last 2 bottles of Soak Wash and am very sad that they won't be carrying it anymore.

Then it was off to pick up both pairs of new glasses. They were not suppose to come in until January so I am very happy Pearl Vision got them in so quick. The lenses are a little larger than the last pair, at least for the indoor pair so I do still need to get use to the head tilt of the progressive lenses. With the stronger lens it did make it easier to see my knitting, but that does not mean that I am going to start looking at my hands while I knit. You will not be able to tell I got new sunglasses because they are my usual Ray-Bans.

I did a great job at the grocery store. I was organized to the hilt, I had most of my coupons pulled or loaded up on my Safeway card before I got to the store. I also had a very good list. I manage to irk the lady behind me with my large order and all my coupons, but let her be irked. I managed to knock off  $140.00 from my grocery bill which was about 40% off. I did not buy what we did not need, and none of the items were bought in hoarder quantity's, I don't shop that way.

Eric did do a con job on us tonight. He was very quiet so we let him watch the movie "We Bought a Zoo" based on a true story. I would recommend this movie to you if you have not seen it already. I also managed to finish a charity scarf and start a cotton scarf for my shop during the movie. Well it is not that late but I am very tired tonight. So I am calling it a night. I hope my boss agrees.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hot Chocolate Chai Tea Recipe

After a long night with Eric, my most amazing accomplishment was a 2 hour nap and a walk around the block. So rather than bore you with the details I will share a new winter drink combo that I think you should try.

Hot Chocolate Chai Tea

1 to 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
8 ounces of hot chai tea in a large mug
Vanilla soy milk to top it off (you can use other milks but I am not sure how it will taste)

Put the chocolate chips in the bottom of a large mug. Pour the hot chai tea over the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the desired amount of say milk and enjoy.

If you would like to indulge in this with out going into the kitchen, Starbucks will make something very similar.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Fibery Day

Today was a very lay back day around the house. Both they guys got up and then decided it was nap time. Thus it turned into a very fibery day for me. I just love play time, don't you? I got caught up on washing yarn, some fleeces and a delicate hand wash item. I also carded 4 new batts for Teri's shawl from the fiber I washed last week. Did I mention that I love how soft and squooshy the alpaca yarn is?

I also got to watch the Disney Christmas parade. I worked on a new scarf during the parade. I did get caught up and do chores during the commercials. It was knit 2 rows do a random chore, repeat. 3 loads of laundry, with a little tidying here and there. John did remind me after the parade was over that if I had TiVo'ed it I could have just skipped the commercials altogether. Well I would not have hustled as fast to do the chores.

I also found time to list 2 new hot of the knitting needles, items in my Etsy shop. A new hat and a neck warmer.  I will try to find time to list a few more items this week.

If you have not seen it yet the Dr. Who Christmas special is not to be missed. I really can't tell you more, but you really have to watch it. Well its getting late.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Knitting 1 Million Rows




A scarf
The Black Baby Alpaca for Teri's Shawl
This is the finished KAL



A Shawl and Winter Cap Set
As a regular reader you might have noticed that my rows knitted counter took a giant leap of 538 rows added today. So here are a few pictures of my latest creations. I am really bad about placing the pictures so lets just hope that they come out nicely. I hope to list them in my shop as soon as I can find the time.

I also included a picture of the Black baby alpaca yarn for Teri's new shawl. The first skein of yarn came off the spinning wheel today. I even started spinning the second skein of yarn today too.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Glasses and More

Eric is still home sick. Eric now has a head cold and I honestly do not know how he caught it since he has been home for a full week. Last night was an every 2 hour night, but I did manage to grab a nap today.

I did not get through my whole to do list but I think with Eric home sick and me being up half the night I am really OK with that. 80% of the chores got done so that's not to bad. I choose not to do the finishing work I was planning to do because I was so tired I did not think I could see straight enough to weave in the ends. There is always tomorrow.

John and I managed to get out of the house for a couple hours tonight. The 1st stop was Pearl Vision for new glasses and sun glasses. My prescription took a jump and both had to be replaced. The surprise here was it took less than 1 hour to pick both frames and lens. This is a new record for me. It usually takes more than 1 hour just to pick the frames.  After trying on about a dozen pairs with some almost right I found one pair I really liked and stopped there. The sun glasses were easy Ray-Bans all the way. I just love the aviator frames.

This weekend I plan on doing some more zenning and make one or two more charity runs this week. I think I might have to move to the garage to get rid of more things. Maybe by the end of next year the garage will be as neat as the house. Well its time to go catch a Friday night program.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Semi Homemade Apple Pie

This recipe request is from my daughter Teri. This is a family favorite. It is great alone or served with vanilla ice cream


Semi Homemade Apple Pie

1 Package Pillsbury Pie Crust.

8 to 10 apples cored and sliced, leave the skin on. Use a tart & firm apple like Pippin or Granny Smith

1/2 cup of sugar

A Small Pinch of salt

1 Teaspoon of cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of flour

2 Tablespoons of sugar mixed with a few dashes of cinnamon (reserve)*

1 cookie sheet lined with foil

1 very deep pie pan 9 to 10 inches

For a glass or ceramic pie pan heat the oven to 325f for an aluminum pan heat the oven to 350f.

In a large bowl mix the apples, salt, cinnamon, flour and sugar until the apples are well coated. Use one pie crust to line the bottom of the pan, making sure that the crust is firmly in place. Fill the pie crust with the apple mixture. When you have reached the top of the pie crust, make a small mountain with the rest of the apples. Rinse your hands and get the pie crust edge wet, but not dripping. Carefully place the second pie crust on top and seal the edges by crimping the edges ( basically pressing the 2 pie crusts together.) Use any design you want for crimping, folding the excess dough into the crimping pattern. 

Make a small dime sized vent in the top of the pie along with 4 vent slits about 2 inches long. get the top of the pie crust damp and sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar mix*.  Bake for 45 minutes. If the crust has not become golden cook a little longer until the crust has become golden.

Cool a minimum of 15 minutes before slicing. Serves between 4 and 10 people depending on the size of the slice.

* If you do not want that extra cinnamon flavor on the pie just use plain white or raw sugar for the dusting on top.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Good Friends

I find that good friends make life a whole lot easier when the going gets tough.  As you know Eric has been sick for a couple of days now. Which basically means that I am mostly home bound and sleep deprived. I have one friend, Lisa who has called in extra shifts this week so that I could get a little sleep and get to a couple of appointment's. Something I normally don't get to do when Eric is sick.

Another friend Nancy stop by today to pick up a few things that I needed to drop off at the Knitting Guild meeting tomorrow. Nancy has known me long enough to know that it will be at least 3 days before I get to leave the house for me. This also gave me a chance to give her a holiday present.

There are also a couple of friends in my social media circle who always give me encouragement when Eric is sick. Cindy of  Jacob's Reward Farm.  Could you send a few healing prayers her way this week. She had a pretty nasty fall and is now recouping at home.  Also there is Sandy of  Homestead Wool and Gift Farm. I just love her fiber and batts too. Hopefully Sandy and the sheep don't get hit to hard by the coming winter storm. Not to be forgotten is Joanna who used to work with Eric a long time ago and now has a family of her own.

Ladies you are all very wonderful and accomplished women in your own right. Thank you for being part of my life. It is truly a blessing to have you in my life. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day Gone Wild

Today turned into a Topsy turvey day with in 10 minutes of waking up this morning. Yes it was one of those wild eyrp days with 5 loads of eyrpy clothes to wash. I have since folded and put away 4 of those loads. Aren't you impressed.  UCP was able to get me coverage so I could go to my eye appointment. Yes new glasses are in order. I should have them by years end.

On the fiber arts side. I finished another hat and started another hat. I picked up a scarf that did not quite feel like a scarf while I was knitting it. The further I got into to it the more it said I want to be a small felted purse. With that decided the knitting went faster. I also pulled out all my black alpaca fiber and sorted it. The good news is that only 50% has to be washed. I am almost positive that I have enough to spin and knit an nice comfy shawl for Teri. Being the wonderful daughter she is it does not matter to her if I use a drop spindle or spinning wheel. I am pretty sure that Eric will not let me bring the wheel into his room so I might just use a drop spindle.

On the Eric front it seems like he now has a runny nose too, so I would not expect me anywhere this week. I just have to get an Eric sitter so I can make 1 other appointment this week. I will call a few people to pick up end of year drop offs for me too. Well the boss is calling so later all.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Paradox

I have found a paradox in my quest for a cleaner house. The further along in the process I get, the less I have to do. All the same I want to continue moving more out of the house. Throwing more out or donating to charity, but I am running out of things that need to go. Conversely I find that I need to dust and vacuum more because there is no clutter to hide the dust. John and Teri agree that this is a good thing. Maybe some one can enlighten me of what to expect at this stage of zenning the house.

Doing laundry all day is good, but does not quite fill the need to toss. I also need to learn to carve out time to knit and spin while the guys are home.

Well I have to get ready for next week, not quiet as busy as last week, but I am still double booked on some days.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hats and More Hats

I seem to be making a lot of hats lately. My goal is to get the scrap basket down to a reasonable size, i.e. almost empty. I have completed 2 hats in 2 days and started a 3rd hat tonight. My friend Lisa has not seen by scrap basket so low ever. I can actually tie down the top of the basket. I now know that the only way more will be added to the basket is when I complete other projects and throw the left over yarn in the basket. That is one benefit of the massive house cleaning that I have been doing this year.

This seems to be good knitting weather too. It was cold and rainy for the last 2 days with highs  in the mid to low 50's. I know all of you who read this blog in colder climates will think I am silly to complain about the weather with the current temperatures. The only thing good about the temperature now is that my wool hand knit socks actually feel good. I can also wear my cowls and woolly shawls out in public. My only solace is that spring will be here in about 5 months and I will have my wonderful weather back. Can you tell I am a summer person?

Well there will be another cold and deary day tomorrow so I foresee more knitting and gift making in my future. Although right now it is time to call it a day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Driving

I am astounded at the amount of driving that I am doing this week.  I filled up Tuesday and am already down 1/2 of a tank. It normally takes me a week to go through that much gas.  I hope that things slow down soon.

I am also taking credit for the rain tonight.  I washed my car on Tuesday.  Well I am beyond tired. So good night all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Catch Me if You Can

It was another busy day today. It started out by Eric's aide being late. Then Eric hiding my car keys in his wheelchair. I searched high and low for them. I finally took the spare set. By the way I did find them wedged into the side of Eric's chair when we got to his day program. Eric thought that was the funniest thing in the world. Sometimes I really don't get male humor.

I did manage to get to all corners of Tucson today. Yes, there is a story behind that. I went to register Teri's car. So after I dropped Eric off I went to the MVD at Shannon and Ina. They told me I had to go to 29th and South Palo Verde.  All they way across town. I had to get the California Smog certification translated into the Arizona Smog Certificate. I kid you not. They do this for an additional fee of course. Then down the street a little further to the Broadmont MVD to get the car registered. December must be a good month to do it because there was not a line.

Then it was off to FedEx at Broadway and something in the Williams Center to get it sent off to Teri. This close to the holidays I just wanted to make sure it would get to her in time. Then lunch at the 5th Street Deli. I really like their new potato latka recipe. As a bonus for my self I picked up dinner to reheat later. Thanks to Asher and his team I did not have to cook tonight. The food was dropped off at home.

Then on to the mall to get some just in time shopping done. Everything was on sale. I also meet some nice knitters who were knitting just outside the food court on Arizona Avenue in the Tucson Mall. I might just have to join them someday.

Off to get Eric and then a quick nap followed by Eric's quarterly review. Yes I brought my knitting out to calm my nerves. After 20 some odd years of doing them, I still hate the process. Well its getting late and believe it or not tomorrow is going to be just as jammed packed as the last 2 days.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday.

Today was not a typical day for me. I was moving non stop all day long. I drove to 3 of the 4 corners of Tucson.

 After dropping Eric off at his day program it was time to do some catch up at home and get some packages ready to be mailed. I ran out of time to get them sent  before I had to drive to South Tucson for a luncheon. The food was good. The company even better.

Then off to get the packages mailed. I landed up having to drive to the Foothills Mall to get them mailed at FedEx, with just enough time to go pick up Eric. Then off to do one of Eric's favorite chores. Getting gas for "his" car along with a trip through the car wash.

I was very brave today and did a pretty good job of trimming Eric's hair. He seems to be sick most weekends lately. I think I will finish up the left side with Lisa's help on Friday. Yes this was one of my crazier ideas. With 2/3 of the haircut near perfect, in my humble opinion. On the other hand Eric does not think I should give up knitting and spinning or my day/night job to become a hair stylist.

I only have a few more appointments to book before I can clear off my calendar. I did not finish the hat I am working on either. I only managed to get about 50 grams of wool knitted today.  Well it is beyond late so its time to say good night all.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Multi-Tasking

I would like to dedicated this blog post to  Emma S. from Canada. A fan and a regular reader of my blog. Is very much interested to know how I manage the household tasks and the knitting. This is a very good question.

The first thing I would have to say is that I take my knitting absolutely everywhere I go. If I am at the grocery store I have a small project such as a hat or scarf with a very simple pattern. The plus side of this is when the lines get especially long I am usually the first person they take to the new line. I think this is because good customer service mandates that your customers should not be in line long enough to actually be doing a "hobby" and making progress. The only place this has not worked is Walmart.

I also take my knitting to restaurants. We are not the 5 star dining kind of folks. So After I have decided what to order out comes the knitting until the food arrives. The plus side of this that I eat less of the nibbles that are placed on the table. This is a two for. 1 more knitting. 2 less calories are consumed. It also works when everyone is having the desert I so dearly want and choose not to eat most of the time.

When I have to do the carpooling for Eric, I always have my knitting with me. Sometimes they run late in his day program. So I just sit and knit while I wait for Eric. I seem to be one of the only parents that does not get upset with them running long. I also knit while John is driving so I will not be a back seat driver I never knit while I am driving, please don't knit and drive as I feel this is very dangerous.  I have also been know to knit while walking in the mall or at street fairs. My hint for knitting at the movies would be very light colored yarns and a very easy pattern.

I also get a lot of knitting done when Eric is sick. With the children's channels they tend to be on a 6 hour or less repeat cycle. I have to say there are only so many times I can watch the same episode of a show in a 24 hour period. I do keep a fully loaded basket of yarn for scarfs or ponchos in Eric's room by the rocking chair. I also doing a lot of knitting during his breathing treatments ( 45 minutes, 2 times a day), I consider this my down time.

With all this being said, in reality I have 5 hours a day to get all my chores done in between driving Eric. So not much knitting gets done during the day. I am not above running the washing machine, dishwasher and dryer at night while I sleep to free up some time during the day. My biggest chore of the week is still laundry with an average of 20+ loads a week. I also love my I-Robot Roomba and Scooba, this allows me to do other chores while the machines are mopping or vacuuming. Multi tasking is the key. This might sound just awful to most people but one of the advantages to have a child with a lot of health issues is that his aides are responsible for keeping his room and bathroom straight and the rest of the areas of the house he uses neat.

The main part of my knitting gets done when I have time to meet up with friends or while watching TV after dinner.

So yes, I do manage to squeeze in a lot of odd moments of knitting. Each row by it self is not much, but a stolen minute here and there really adds up to a lot of rows.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

3RD KAL Clue

For the final KAL clue you will need your dpn's' and darning needle.

Cast on 3
make and I-cord 24 inches long.

Fold the Rectangle in half, leaving the eyelet at the top with out a seam. Sew up the bottom and side of the rectangle. Turn inside out. Weave the I cord through the eyelet and knot the ends of the I-cord together.

Add a bar of your favorite soap and hang in the shower or tub. This design is also ideal for small bits and pieces of soap.

As promised this will knit up fast and you still have time to make a few presents.

Happy knitting.