Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Christmas sweater 2012!

The first of six Christmas sweaters is in the cupboard! I've finished Choe-A-Little-Bit's Vodka Lemonade cardigan and am on to the second sweater.

I did make a few modifications, both intentional and unintentional. The pattern calls for a US size 5 but to get gauge I used size 4. Although I’m not sure of the final fit, I loved the decreases and increases at the side for a fitted sweater. I just hope it works for Chloe. I was a sloppy pattern reader and only put one lace repeat on each front side - a design feature I guess! I looks fine to me but doing two on each side would have added a little more interest for me when knitting it!
Pattern: Vodka Lemonade
Yarn: Jojoland Tonic
Colorway: Shaded Spruce
Amount: 4 skeins
Needle Size: US 4

All in all this is a sweater worth doing again!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chloe's "Fiesa Wear Socks"

When visiting the California Dreamin’ family in May, Chloe-A-Little-Bit was very enamored with my Fiesta Wear Socks. I thought I was being very smart in finding her favorite colors blue, purple, and turquoise in fiesta ware colors. I was to find out later Chloe’s interest in the socks was for the yellow orange color NOT necessarily the socks!
Pattern: Lala's "No Pattern" Afterthought Heel Socks
Yarn: Dyer Straits
Colorway:
Needle Size: US 2

Hope she wears these!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A nursery under our deck

For the last week we have been watching a trio of baby robins in their nest. I had noticed a mama robin hard at work building a nest under our deck but didn't think much of it until The Chick and I heard babies chirping a week ago. We followed the sounds.When we got on our hands and knees, we could peek through the crack in our deck and see three the babies just five inches away. All week we have kept close tabs on them. Today I attempted a quick photo....
  About a week old and it's hard to believe that they will be on their own in a week!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Twelve in 2012

Many people are knitting socks this year with a call to needles of: "Twelve in 2012". With my new found fondness for knitting socks I thought this to be an admirable endeavor. Even though it is only half way through the year I'd like to present my twelfth pair of socks:
Pattern: Lala's No Pattern Socks
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Ragg Shades
Colorway: Blue Brown Mari
Amount: 2 skeins 
Needle Size: US 2

Friday, June 15, 2012

Before summer really can get started...

Next year I will be teaching science to third and fourth graders. I really didn't want to spend the summer thinking about what I will be doing and not producing anything concrete, so I spent the first week of my summer vacation lesson planning for fall. Scientific Method, ecology and worm farms are some of the things happening in the fall.

The principal also encouraged me "to just have fun." No more needed to be said! The "geek" glasses and science tees have been ordered, and a lab coat will be on hand by fall. I'm still looking for a pocket protector but think I should be able to find one soon. A real favorite of mine arrived yesterday:
 "Morti" McMasters
My 7th grade math teacher
Thanks to DeeAnn, our primary secretary, for the great idea! Morti will be our class mascot - taking tests for the students, giving out rewards (candy in his cranium) and keeping an eye on the kiddos.

The grandkiddos aren't to sure of Morti. The Pirate wanted to know how Morti liked staying at the house last night. When I told The Pirate Morti was bored and thought things were dead around here he had a good giggle!

The classroom is a mess but Morti and I are prepared for the first day of school!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Fawn 2012

Continuing the family competition called  The First Fawn Sighting, this morning Hubby and I were plotting out our day when I spotted the first fawn of the season out our living room window! Hubby immediately said it wasn't a "confirmed" siting.

The Number One Rule is:
Until there is a photo the siting is labeled unconfirmed.
SO.....
June 12, 1202
6:45 am
Score!
Checking the previous fawn sitings over the last four years this is the earliest yet.  The closest only four days later, June 16, 2010.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting in shape for summer

The week before school ended the principal approached me about becoming the science specialist for third and forth grade. I gave it some thought over the weekend and on Monday asked for the position. While exciting, it changed the dynamics of the last 8 days of school. Not only did I do the usual end of the year things - teaching, reportcards, fieldtrips, and storing of items - I also immediately went into moving mode, taking only items I thought would be science worthy. Students happily grabbed boxes as they went to science class making the physical movement much easier. This last week I worked on developing lessons and now have the first quarter ready for fall. Lessons for the fifth grade "math review" class that I will also be teaching are lining out nicely. Having the first quarter ready to go allows me to relax and enjoy the summer! My only reservation is the fact that I will have 450 students and because I have a hard time with names, there will be a lot of "Hons" and "Champs" next year!

I've also been busy this past week cleaning house....not really blog worthy. Since our February trip to Hawaii everything has been categorized into "I'll do it when school is out".  Messy closets, needing new carpet, cleaning out the yarn stash, cleaning kitchen cabinets, hardcore knitting of Christmas sweaters, deep leaning of all rooms, flower beds, deck flowers, maintenance of old Singer sewing machine, getting the Morris couch and matching chair recovered.....the list goes on but this is what immediately comes to mind.
I believe everything has its place and everything should be in its place. Hubby thinks its place is stacked conveniently nearby for easy access. Can you feel the tension?? All cleaning must be carefully executed to keep domestic peace in the household. I made a tactical error this week and put his stack of hardback books on the shelves in the library, in alphabetical order according to author. When he realized they were gone he became really unhappy, how would he ever remember what he had read and what he hadn't?? Personally I think this simplifies things - he can just keep reading the same books over and over never having to buy another book! Thank goodness he has a man room and has just given me permission to step into it and put everything he owns in there rather than try to put them away in their proper place!

Today....on to my yarn stash, hands off Hubby!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beach Boys Concert 5oth Celebration

When we were at the California Dreamin' Gurl's graduation she casually mentioned we should return in a few weeks for a Beach Boy's Concert. Years ago a Beach Boys concert had been the gurls first experience at concert going and she remembered it fondly.  Little did she know that Hubby had been trying in vain to arrange just that event.
"The Beach Boys Concert - It Might Be Their Last, After That They Might Be Died Tour"
Hubby had talked about it so much, I actually thought that was the name of the tour and so was surprised to learn the concert's actual name is "The Beach Boys 50th Celebration Tour!"

He hadn't thought to look for a date while I was still teaching school. Hubby had tried Red Rocks, "No the grandkiddos would be visiting," How about Seattle? The answer was again no for the same reason.  But when The California Dreamin' Gurl said they were singing in the Greek Theater on June 2 his eyes lit up and who was I to say no because I had one hour of school before the plane took off?

We arrived on Thursday and drove to Napa Valley for a little relaxing at Calistoga's Indian Hot Springs. What a beautiful place.
 
We left just in time to get ready for the concert Friday evening. 
 
The Boys sang over 40 of the past hits and a couple of songs from their new cd. They still can put on a good concert.

The next morning we left the guys to fend for themselves - thank you Bake Sale Betty once again for providing lunch - and took of for the Retzlaff Winery for a fleece festival. I bought a few balls of roving (merino and corriedale) We also ran into one of my favorite set of pocasters, The Knitmore Girls, and had a nice visit. Jasmin was the one to suggest the merino and corriedale roving and it has proved to be a great spin!
Early Sunday morning we went to the Alameda Flea market. Hubby collects fire memorabilia and he wanted to roam "the largest antique show in Northern California".  I went along for the ride - literally so I could get to the airport! But then I saw something that I just couldn't do without. It was love at first sight, something that I just couldn't live without....
 It was just being unloaded when my eyes fell upon this little cabinet. (can you spot it behind the man? It's just peaking out next to the turquoise chest) The gentleman that sold the cabinet to me said he had bought it from an estate and the family had collected dolls and toys. He felt that they had used it for storage of the collection.
I haven't received my Kaidan Dansu (stair chest) yet, this photo is only a close second - I'll include photos when it arrives!
What a great way to begin the summer!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New recipe

Hubby and I enjoyed this soup recipe I made last week while the snow was flying. Several people have asked me to post it. Enjoy!

Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup

    2 tsp olive oil
    6-7 scallions, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tomato, diced
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp Badia Sazon with Annato (I've never heard of this and will use it another time)
    1/2 lb beef, cubed into small bite size pieces (I used beef tenderloin)
    5 cups water
    beef bullion
    1 carrot, peeled and sliced
    2 tbsp yellow bell pepper, diced
    2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 cup cooked quinoa
    6 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
    salt and pepper to taste
                                                         
Saute oil in a large pot, add scallions and garlic and sauté until soft over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, cumin, sazon with achiote, 1/4 cup cilantro and cook another 2 minutes. Add beef, water, bullion, carrot, bell pepper, salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low about 1-1/2 hours, until meat is tender.

Add potato and cooked quinoa and cook an additional 25 minutes. Add remaining chopped cilantro and serve.