Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I got a sewing machine for Christmas! I know absolutely nothing about sewing. Any good books you guys can recommend? I don't intend to do anything too fancy. I will need some sort of window treatments for the house and pillows would be great. Also, I think I should make myself a skirt since I own so few. I am quite addicted to tote bags for some reason as well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I am better!!! About 48 hours after getting sick, I was feeling mostly normal. I still don't have much of an appetite if I don't get reminded to eat. I wouldn't have eaten lunch today if I hadn't gotten a free sammich at work and was later reminded to eat it by a co-worker.

Speaking of my new co-workers, I love them! It's nice to work with other people again and not rely on notes for communication. The drive is also a plus. It looks like I will be helping not only develop gluten free items, but also helping them make pizza dough instead of buying it for our pizzas.

I think one of the first big projects for the house is going to be a new driveway. It is nearly impossible to get up if there is snow due to the angle and the ice has been impossible to get rid of. We are also going to purchase some new garage doors shortly as the current pair is rather ragged and not insulated at all, which is not good with the garage shares a wall and a ceiling with the rest of the house.

Now to figure out what to do with my two days off.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

So we had planned to get a jump start on buying supplies and painting, but I ended up with a stomach bug, which means I am completely useless. At least I haven't thrown up an almost 10 hours I still feel pretty crappy. Josh went over to the house for awhile today and took the mirrors off the wall and bought a ladder and other random things we need for the place. I was worried that the mirrors would be really stuck on the wall, but apparently they were just held on by some tape and what seems to be joint compound around the outside edges. Now we just have to replicate the texture on the wall where the mirrors were.

Now to continue with the 7UP and saltines.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We have a house!!

It's exciting and a bit overwhelming. The place is bigger than we intended to buy, but it has everything we want in a home and more. We already have a few power tools for the garage including a rather large air compressor and a new washer and dryer. We got a great interest rate and our insurance is about a $100 lower than I thought it would be. This all went better than I could have hoped.

It is once again snowing here (as of last night we were already 5" above December's average snowfall), but it is finally supposed to be not bitterly cold today, which will be nice since I plan to do a bit of shoveling at the house today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Day from Brighter Planet

Only the first five people that click are eligible to pass this on, so click fast!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, I gave my two weeks notice yesterday and was told to drop off my key and pick up my last check, which is pretty much what I expected. I am not too upset as I now have a chance to get some more Christmas gifts made and get my hair cut, which desperately needs to be done. The extra money would have been nice, but it wouldn't have been much anyway with the holidays.

I can also get all the utilities set up for the house and take care of all the little odds and ends we have been letting slip. We are closing on the house on Monday and I will now have a couple days to get some stuff done there like cleaning and determining which paint colors will go in which rooms. We don't have to be out of our current place until the end of January, so this will probably be the most relaxing move I have ever experienced. We have already purchased our new washer and dryer and have been accumulating the power tools and other odds and ends we will need in a house.

I promise some pics of the house and the knitting after Christmas if not before. I don't want to spoil the surprises!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Woot! I got the job! Wait...did I even mention I was interviewing for one today? Lemme check...

Guess not. Well, anyway I interviewed today for a baker position at the local natural foods co-op and they offered it to me, which I accepted. It is a huge relief as I know I won't have to fight for hours and I will have benefits once again. Also, there is some recipe development involved and recipe testing, which is really what I want to do.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My job has been completely frustrating me lately. There is a lack of communication that makes it difficult for me to complete tasks and people get frustrated with me since I didn't know. Then there is the lack of hours. I used to regularly work between 7 and 9 hours a night, but now I am lucky if I can squeak out 5. Also, they gave me a few days off this week which I didn't ask for. I also thought she said I had just Monday and Tuesday off, so I went in as I had planned on Sunday. My boss showed up as I was finishing and asked if I had misunderstood her. I assumed from the question that I had. Apparently I wasn't supposed to work Sunday either. Going from 5 days a week down to two is not what I expected from this job nor was cutting my hours by almost a third.

Since we are in the process of buying a house (less than 2 weeks!) I need a job with regular hours, and since this one is not proving to be that job, I am on the hunt for another. I have an interview for a full-time baker at a local co-op scheduled for tomorrow, which should work for when I start school and should allow for a part-time job if needed. Also, I wouldn't be working nights, which would make me extraordinarily happy.

As I am typing this I am realizing how long my fingernails are. Now where did those nail clippers go?

Also, am slightly addicted to Molehill Empire right now. And with all this free time I have gotten some knitting done.

My creation

Monday, November 24, 2008

I really enjoy finding, what I think, is the perfect gift for someone I care about. Of course there are the times when your gift is so perfect the person purchased the item already without your knowledge. Despite the fact I love giving a great gift, I really hate figuring out what that gift should be.

Until last week, I hadn't even thought about what I wanted to get anyone. I figured out a few things this weekend and had a really good idea for Josh one day, but that disappeared from my mind before I could write it down.

This year, I am completely lost. Also, I have no idea what my plans are for Christmas. Maybe i will make everyone come to me on the pretense of showing them my new house.

Josh and I weren't planning to get gifts with the whole house thing, but today he decided we should get small gifts. His "reason" other than wanting to get me something, was he doesn't want to explain to people why he's not getting me anything.

I know I am going to be making a few coffee cozies and thick socks. Josh is getting a Jayne hat, but he knows about that so I don't think that's going to count as his gift.

Grr... I hate making decisions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Woot! One month from today I will have a house!

Until then I have other things to worry about, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just so I know where to look, I am going to post my list of baking/cooking to do by Wednesday.

1) stuffing - figure out how to do in crock pot
2) green bean casserole
3) millionaire's shortbread
4) molasses cookies
5) s'mores bars

I have barely thought about Christmas gifts. I don't have to worry about Josh at least since we are getting a house and probably a couch, washer and dryer to go with it. I have a few ideas, but nothing concrete or well thought out. I am not even sure what my plans are for Christmas yet. I will figure it all out after Thanksgiving.

At least I finished a pair of socks last weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The house inspection has been done and the house looks good. A few things need to be taken care of, but nothing serious or that needs to be done right away. It looks like we are getting a house for Christmas!

Now I need to find some good now and low VOC paints in colors I like. Any suggestions?

I miss my dancing plurk nanners.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No more white walls!!!!!!!

At least that is my intention once we get this house. Our offer has been accepted, but they didn't accept all of our conditions. They want to move the closing date up a few days, which shouldn't be a problem. The house is almost ours! Now we just have to hope the inspection goes well. I am not too worried about it as the house seems to be in great condition.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Tuesday and Veteran's Day! I hope you all are enjoying the colder weather, if you are experiencing colder weather, that is. we most definitely are and, yes, I am quite enjoying it. I prefer to be cold over being hot and won't complain about snuggling under a blanket, or two, with a mug of tea and some knitting in front of the TV. We had about two inches of snow on Friday morning, which was gone by the afternoon.

I need some help. Josh and I have been reading the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher. Josh is quickly approaching the last of the available books due to all his free time at work, and is need of something else to read. Any ideas?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Is everyone else having an exciting week? I think the election got almost everyone excited while the outcome excited me, I know that is not true for everyone. Also not everyone else is in the process of buying a house. On election day, we learned the other offer on the house we want has been withdrawn. We also learned the bank isn't going to make the decision on our offer for another 2 weeks. Grrrr arrrgh. I hate waiting. At least the longer they wait, the more likely they are to not care as much about our late closing date, due to our lease obligation. A month ago it was a bit of an obstacle, but after the two weeks are up, our chosen closing date is significantly closer. Hopefully we will know whether or not the house is ours by the time we need to let our rental company know if we are staying or not.

I still haven't finished my TTL Mystery socks, but I am close. While they don't take a lot of concentration, I needed something that takes less for TV watching and standing in voting lines. I started another pair of Charade on election day in case I had to wait in line, which I didn't. Though I didn't make it on to the registered voters list. At least I am doubly registered now!

Now for some pics. First the new sock

Second, a pair of Fetching for my boss since she admired my pair and that automatically earns you a pair, in my book.

Third, the TTL Mystery socks in their current UFO state.

Fourth, you would probably think I have a destructive pet based on the state of this poor chair's upholstery, but you would be wrong. This would be why our first major purchase when we get a house is a couch followed by a better washing machine and exercise equipment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Still no news on the house. All we know is that the people who make the decision on whether or not to accept the offer have all they need and just need to make the decision. Grrrr....Arrrrgggh. I will post about it as soon as I do know.

In other news, I got another raise (a rather large one) and while I am still not making anywhere near what I was, I am doing quite well. That extra money is going to make a difference for us, especially since my hours will be a bit less during the holidays as there aren't as many weddings. Actually, if the deli that intends to sell our baked goods under our name decides to go with some items, my hours may not decrease quite as much. Our monthly income would have covered everything, even with a house, but now we have a little wiggle room, which is great. Now if we only knew about the house...

Giving this recipe a try for dinner. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am still trying to not get my hopes up about the house but our agent isn't helping. She recently told us that things are moving forward and an appraisal will happen soon. The bank is looking at both offers right now and from what she has heard, our offer looks stronger. Ack! Not that those are bad things, but they are encouraging my brain to think about moving in to that house.

I should easily be done with the second clue and possibly even the third of the TTL Mystery sock, but I frogged at least 1/3 of the clue twice already! Doh! As of now I have 15 rows or so to go before starting the heel which came out yesterday. My progress so far:

I think the pattern would be easier to see on a sock blocker but I could only find one and didn't like the idea of having only on sock on a blocker. Don't ask me why, because I don't really know.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Still waiting to hear about the house, as expected, but the time is just dragging by. We can't seem to help brainstorming about what we would do in there if/when we get it. We need to stop! I don't want to do much more house hunting after finding this place, and it will be that much harder if we don't get it after all the thought we have been putting into it. Grrr...aaarrgh.

In other news, well, there actually is no other news. I have frogged about 10 rows of the TTL Mystery socks due to my inability to follow directions because I assume I know what I am doing, and the same thing happened with Foliage, so there is nothing to show.

I essentially did a double shift at the shop yesterday, but I got home around 3:30am so was able to go to sleep when it was still dark, which is what I look forward to. I plan to sleep some more later, but for now am awake. I was so tired yesterday that I am surprised I am as awake as I am.

Happy Columbus Day! Does anyone get the day off?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Waiting is so hard. I am usually fairly patient as long as I have something to occupy me. I know we won't hear the bank's decision on the offers for the house for at least a couple weeks, but every once in a while, I start thinking of moving into that house. I try not to, but it is such a good fit for us that it is hard not to. HGTV has even more appeal than it used to.

Currently I am fighting a cold and the urge to cast-on for a sweater or vest (I don't own a vest other than my black puffy one which I should find since). I frogged the mystery socks so I could start a smaller version and also hat to get me through the time between clues, but the sweater urge is still there. Maybe some Sudafed, the stuff behind the counter, will alleviate both problems?

Ok, off to do some sock knitting an nose blowing. May need some more tea. I also need to fit a few more hours of sleep and get a MN driver's license today as well as register to vote. I also think some spicy Thai food may be in order.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Well, we put an offer on a house! It has to go through the bank as it is a short sale, so we are going to have to wait at least a couple weeks. We love the house and there is very little that needs to be done on it, which is perfect for us. It could use a new washer and dryer, but everything else is pretty new and well maintained. I will be rather disappointed if we don't get it.

In anticipation of mortgage payments and higher bills, I have volunteered to work a few weekend hours if they need me at the shop. It's easier than finding a part-time job and my boss seems quite willing to have me work more hours.

I started the Through The Loops Mystery sock for Socktober, but will need to frog so i can knit a size smaller. I should have went with my normal numbers and not worried about the warning to increase the number of stitches since the pattern fits rather tight. Oh well. The first clue was quick and easy.

I also started a hat to get me through the lull b/t finishing the first clue and the release of the second.

Ok, I need to get to bed and figure out a way to top sneezing. I think I have a cold.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Again with the somewhat long absence. My sleep schedule has been so wacky lately (I really should go to bed instead of blogging, Plurking, and TV watching right now) that updating this has just not happened. At least work is going really well, except for the long hours this week. Apparently everything I make is turning out well, and I totally conquered red velvet cupcakes which I formerly called (affectionately of course) little cake volcanoes.

Well, we have been doing some exciting things. Last weekend we started looking at houses. In our price range there are a lot of forclosures and short sales, but we are hopeful. We are going to go up about $10K to see if we can find something that needs less work and won't increase our monthly payments too much. We haven't quite found what we are looking for yet, but are hopeful that something will click tomorrow when we go look at 8 more.

Once we get a new-to-us-house, we can move our new TV into it. Speaking of the new TV, it was free! Today, after waiting for Sears to contact us for about a month, we went to the store again and came home with our TV, which was unexpected. What we thought was going to happen was they were going to come get our old TV which they junked and bring our new one. Instead, they are letting us keep the old one and giving us a new one. After the luck we had with the protection plan we purchased on the last TV we got another one and since we didn't pay for the TV it is totally worth it. It's so shiny and wide and the colors are pretty. It's 37 inches of flat TV and I loves it. Now for the house...

I finished one sock...and started another pair which doesn't include the finished sock's mate. Doh!

Pretend there is a picture here. All my available batteries are dead. Will remedy that shortly.

I will keep you updated on the house hunting and sock progress.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Goodness, it has been a long time. I blame Plurk (join if you know what's good for ya, it's better than Twitter) a busy weekend, an injured thumb, lack of knitting/crocheting/baking/cooking and a lack of sleep.

So, what have I been doing? Well, last week on Thursday, I think, while I was at work I caught my thumbnail on some of the shelving in the "janitor's" closet. It hurt but I didn't think much of it. I went home, showered, and fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later, it was throbbing and swollen. Work wasn't fun since gripping things was a bit awkward, but I managed. The throbbing continued through the weekend which was rather inconvenient because we were helping my grandma move and it kept waking me up during the night. I iced it, took some drugs, but nothing helped. I assumed I had broken it or something along those lines. Finally, on Sunday I noticed there was an infection under my thumbnail. I was quite relieved because I knew what was wrong and knew how to take care of it. Working was a bit interesting, since I am constantly dunking my hands in the batter and icing, but it all worked out. Once the infection was gone, the improvement was drastic and fast. I can almost and type normally and may be able to do some knitting soon!

Along with my sore thumb was a definite lack of sleep. I was awake for over 24 hours between Sunday and Monday since a few hours after I got home from Iowa I had to go to work. I spent the whole week trying to get enough sleep to function and am now finally feeling almost normal.

Another reason I haven't done much on the knitting or crocheting front is this:

Definitely not a motivator. I plan to salvage the yarn but haven't decided what to do with it after that.

Also, on Wednesday we met with a mortgage consultant and our new real estate agent. We have been approved for more than I could have hope and it looks like we can afford it! We are going to check out some houses next weekend. I am a little worried that we are starting a bit early since our lease isn't up until January, but with how fast the last few weeks have gone, it may not be as bad as I thought. I just don't want to be stuck with two payments for more than a month. We are looking at houses in the area we are currently living in, which is where we were looking to start with. It will be exciting to finally live in a place where I can paint the walls! I am so sick of white walls and beige carpet. Also, having my own washer and dryer will be so nice. We haven't really unpacked our stuff or put it away in our current place because we know we will be moving soon which makes it hard to get motivated.

The is currently holding my last paycheck until next week because they regard it as unusual account activity. Grrrr.... Since when is depositing a paycheck unusual?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

So I am starting to settle into my new routine and the job is going well. She gave me a raise on my first paycheck, which was a total surprise. I must be doing something right. So far there are only two things I don't like about the job, and the hours aren't one of them. Red velvet cake is a total pain because it gets everywhere, there are a lot of dishes to wash.

My car is back! It's so shiny and they even vacuumed the inside and cleaned it up a bit. It smells like paint, but that will go away along with the cleanness. I am so glad to be rid of that stupid PT Cruiser. It's ugly, the gas mileage was kinda crappy, and it can't accelerate. I missed my car.

So after getting the car repaired for free we are getting a free TV! The TV we purchase in Iowa when we moved into our last place has had a flaw in it since we bought it. It's nothing major, just a little bump to the left of center on the bottom of the screen that is only noticeable if you look for it and apparently the repairman we had in here to fix an issue that arose after we moved it (the image was tilted) noticed it. We purchased a 5 year protection plan with the TV because we knew we would be moving out of the state at some point and it paid off. Our TV isn't made anymore so they are giving us $750 to get a new TV!!! We paid about $450 including the protection plan, so it was well worth it. We are waiting for them to deliver our new flat screen 37" LCD TV sometime during the next two weeks. I am just glad they are taking the old one with them because that thing weighs about 200lbs.

I have been knitting and crocheting, well mostly crocheting, but it hasn't made it into Ravelry or the blog yet. My camera batteries are dead so I will post pics when it's done along with the planned tiny baby socks.

Ok, I need to finish getting ready because I need some food!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My family rocks. They have really been great with all the car crap my mom and sister have been dealing with. First my grandma just offered my sister a nice chunk of money to help with her car rental expenses and general living expenses while she's student teaching. Her generosity about made me cry. Then, my uncle, a pilot for Delta, offered to do the driving and car swapping for my sister and mom since he can take advantage of free flights. They are too nice! I can't believe how generous they are being with their time, support, advice and even money, without being asked. I love my family.

Ok, my plan to nap didn't work very well. Naps make me tense and I can't seem to relax and just sleep. I think about what I need to do after my nap and the sleep isn't always the most restful. I tend, it seems, to sleep at more normal times on the weekend, since I can go to work whenever I want on Sunday as long as no one else needs the same space. Since everyone else is taking today off I can work whenever I want. I offered to work since the extra money is nice and because I want to get used to this schedule. It will also be my first week without extra help and I thought an extra day would be nice. I wish I was in the mood for coffee. I may still stop at a coffee shop before I go in.

Now to find some food.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Turning down money, especially more than you thought you would get, is hard. I think it was the right decision though. Here's the deal, the damage to my car is just a couple hundred dollars or so away from being totaled. The insurance company offered to total it so we could either salvage it or just take the money and run. The really surprising part is how much they think my car is worth. It's about twice what I thought. After the initial estimate I thought they were going to total it and not give us the choice. We have decided to have them fix the car instead of taking the money and buying a new car because we can't deal with a car payment right now. We weren't planning for a car payment until after we were settled in a house and more settled in general and though this would have been a great jump start on a car, the timing is just wrong. Even 6 months or so from now, when I am making a bit more money, we most likely have a house and know what kind of monthly payments we will be making, we may have taken the money.

I hate making decisions sometimes. At least we are getting a new TV and now they are going to upgrade our rental because my car won't be fixed until next Wednesday and apparently the car they gave us has been sold. I miss my car and it's wacky fan the only works on high, manual transmission, and small trunk. The trunk on our rental is huge, while the car itself is not that much bigger. It's just odd.

On the knitting/crocheting front, I had to order more yarn for the baby blanket I am working on because I was just using stash yarn. I of course failed to hold onto the ball bands for either colorway and they didn't make it into my stash on Ravelry.I luckily ordered the correct colors and just in case I got it wrong I got a skein of yarn to make the chunky version of Foliage as I have had the strangest urge to knit a hat lately. Also, some more colorwork is increasingly tempting as is the February Lady Sweater.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I felt like a drove through a monsoon to get to work last night. I haven't driven in rain like that in quite awhile, despite the flood stricken area I recently vacated, because I didn't do a lot of driving there. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't driving a rental car I wasn't familiar with. I do love a good thunderstorm, which this was.

I really should go to bed, but I drank coffee, was out running errands, and just found out Sears is replacing our 2 year old TV (yay protection plan!), so I am not feeling terribly sleepy. Maybe a grilled cheese sammich with havarti will help.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by chelseachip.
I can't decide what to knit/crochet anymore. My sock is having issues and at the guage and size I am knitting, it's not striping how I hoped it would. I think I may need to move on for awhile. The egg/chicken on the left is having issues. I think I misread the pattern because it is huge! Hmmm.. not sure what's going on there. Elijah, in the middle, just needs me to embroider some eyes so he can join the soon-to-be-finished-baby blanket, once more yarn arrives, so the new baby of some family friends can get some use out of them. The kid is only 3 days old or so; I am not too far behind! I should really finish Ornette, but I want something a bit more mindless until I get settled into my new eating-sleeping-awaking routine. At least I found my bucket of yarn so I can go paw through it for awhile. I should probably wait until Josh is awake though.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My sister picked her car up from the dealership where they replaced the computer and fuel pump today. She drove about 150 miles, stopped at Dairy Queen and the car died just like before. This is ridiculous! I think she should trade the thing in for something else. At least it died at a place where she can get ice cream and sit in the A/C, since it's around 90F where she is.

It's so hard figuring out what to do with all our stuff in the new place. We are unpacking only what we really need and probably a few things we don't so it makes our next move easier. We are without a couch because it is one less thing to move later and our seating in the living room is a bit awkward right now. I am currently using one of those cheap butterfly chairs from the college section at Target, which I acquired while I was living in the dorms. It takes skill to get out of it. We have red folding chairs for our dining table and most of my baking supplies site on top of the kitchen cabinets. Our two table lamps don't have lamp shades because we didn't realize how expensive they are when we decided to trash the set from the eighties when we moved. It doesn't help that our laundry is in three different piles in three different rooms. I should really get on that. At least it is nice and cool today, almost too the point of chilly. Love it! I despise summer unless it is cooler than 85F and low humidity than I can accept it.

I have started another knitting project and might actually work on it or some socks today since I will be hanging around here doing laundry until I run out or quarters. I also have a baby blanket I am working on for a family friend's soon to be born baby, but I seem to have misplaced it. Grr...

I must say, I am quite jealous of my sister's new place b/c she has a washer and dryer in her apartment. I guess considering all the trouble she has had with her stupid car, she deserves a washer a dryer more than I do. That thing will end up costing her almost $1000 dollars including the rental cars, extra travel expenses, and the repair costs. I feel so bad for her. She's at the point where she doesn't even want to look at that car, and I can't blame her. A relatively new car with such low mileage shouldn't have that many problems, but according to the mechanics at the dealership, they have had several of them in for the same parts. At least one of the things that was replaced, the computer, was still under warranty. Send good car vibes her way!

My car is still crushed, but at least it is running. I hope the alternator is fine because we jumped it again last night and drove it around a bit to hopefully charge the battery and it started earlier this morning. We are going to pull that battery out later and take it to Auto Zone because they will charge it for free and then check the alternator for free as well. Nice! It will be heading to the body shop on Monday and we get a rental car courtesy of Mr. Escalade's insurance company. If my little car was going to get hit by anyone, I am glad it was this guy. He has the connections and good insurance. I thought the adjustor for the insurance company would total my car, which I didn't want to deal with right now. I want this car for at least another two years, if it can make it. I want to buy a house before I deal with buying a car.

I guess I should get started on that laundry.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I am quite enjoying my new job. The pay sucks (I should get a raise soon) and the work is labor intensive and requires me to be on my feet for 7-10 hours a night, but it is fun. I think it helps that my new boss is great and the extern from LCB, named Chelsey, is great to work with. She is essentially working under me, but we seem to have the same idea about what should be done when and it goes really smoothly. I am supposed to be in charge, but there is no need.

I got some really nice feedback from the new boss today. She said everything is turning out really well, i.e. no raw, burnt or falling apart cakes. She also said I may get another intern when this one leaves after next week. Another extern would be great since I don't think I can get all that is supposed to be done, especially for Tuesday and Wednesday. Today we were done about a half hour early and probably could have finished earlier than that if we hadn't had a few math and counting errors and tried to work a bit faster. The time there flies no matter how much we have going on.

The hours take some getting used to. I have been sleeping when Josh is at work so we still get to spend a good amount of time together, but sleeping during the day is just odd. I almost feel like this week has been one long day. It's weird and really hard to keep track of which day it is.

My car runs but Josh is still referring to it as a pop can since it kinda looks like someone stepped on my car. That will most likely be fixed early next week after the insurance adjuster takes a look at it. The battery was drained due to a light in the trunk that didn't turn off because my car's poor little trunk is rather dented. Josh was thinking and figured it out as we pulled into the local Auto Zone to check the alternator. We jumped my car, pulled out the light bulb in the trunk and so far so good.

I haven't really been knitting, cooking or baking, other than at work, so I have nothing much to share. Oh! I did make a some of this batter for quick breakfast muffins, which I encourage you all to try. I added some flax and have in the past used honey as a sweetener and added some more cereal to make up for the extra moisture. I am sure that will change once I get used to this new routine.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I survived my first overnight at the bakery. I was there for about 10 hours, but it didn't feel like it until I sat down. That is when I realized how tired I was. Cake batter and buttercream are heavy as are the bowls they are mixed in and I am not used to being on my feet for that long. Tonight I get en extern from the school I will be attending, and she will be working under me. Wacky, I know. Her name is Chelsey, so there is probably going to be some confusion. Usually I will be working alone, but the intern will be around for 2 weeks, I believe. I enjoyed the work quite a bit and I really like my boss. I was awake for over 24 hours yesterday, went to bed about 11:30 this morning, woke up a few times, but finally got out of bed at 8:00. I feel much better after some sleep. All I know, is my arms are going to ripped, I hope, from all the heavy lifting. I leave for my next shift in about an hour.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cars' troubles

If you ever wondered what happens when and Escalade runs into the back of a Prizm, here ya go...

If my insurance was paying for this rather than the guy that hit the car I would probably have money rather than a car right now. The damage is definitely more than my car is worth. Since it wasn't Josh's fault, he was driving at the time while I was at home doing sit-ups, my car gets a new trunk, bumper and some other stuff courtesy of Mr. Escalade Owner's insurance. I supposed 121,000+ miles without incurring major damage isn't bad.

My sister's car isn't doing so well either. She is currently working her way south to the Houston area where she is completing her student teaching. Not only is she making this trip without cruise control, since her car doesn't have it, but the car keeps dying as she is driving or it won't start after she has stopped. She took it to a mechanic, but they couldn't get the car to die so they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it and sent her on her way. She got about 100 miles further and the same thing happened. Another trip to a different mechanic who may have figured out what is wrong, but doesn't have the part so she is going to have to keep driving the thing hoping it won't die while she is in a bad spot. She is not happy with that car. Her car only has 30,000 miles on it and has already had more problems than mine. I feel so bad for her right now. She really doesn't need extra expenses right now since she barely has enough to cover her living expenses while she works (i.e. student teaches) for free.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I got the bakery job! I was totally lucky to find this job because I just sent her an email inquiring about any openings and they had some. I start Sunday or Monday, she's not sure yet. Now I have to get used to working at night and sleeping during the day. At least Josh and I will be home and awake at the same time for the most part. The owner seems really excited to have me starting because of my science background and my familiarity with using scales. The precision and accuracy required in baking is quite similar to what is required for scientific research which is part of the reason I love it.

BTW, Meegiemoo, I stumbled across Cake Wrecks yesterday and pretty much went through all the posts on there.

If I get the two jobs I am interviewing for, I should be doing pretty well financially. One is for a baker at a wedding cake bakery. The pay isn't great at first, but within a year can be pretty decent depending on your performance. I am really more interested in the experience than the pay at this point. Ideally, you can progress from cake baker to cake filler to cake decorator if all goes well. The other interview is for an exercise instructor for patients with peripheral artery disease, and would consist of taking the patients on walks and keeping logs of the patients attendance and progress.

I haven't been doing a lot of knitting, but now that the Olympics are on that may change. I am almost done with an RPM but may frog and drop down a couple needles sizes because it is quite loose on me. It knits up fast so I can't complain too much. It's better to have a sock that fits!

If the weather is nice and we get some organizing accomplished around the apartment, Josh and I are going to go kayaking! He is all about getting a water craft of some sort now that we are in Minnesota and kayaks are being considered so we thought we should try them out. We did a bit of canoeing this weekend at the cabin and it was nice. Getting the canoe back onto it's hooks in the garage wasn't fun, though. He is also interested in getting a personal watercraft because it could be pulled behind his truck, though I have seen some relatively small vehicles pulling some large boats.

Well, I need to get ready for my second interview at the bakery. I really like the owner so far, so I hope this one works out!

Monday, August 04, 2008

I finished a pair of socks! (Rav page)

Pattern: Bellatrix(Ravelry)
Yarn: STR Lightweight in Carbon
Needles: 2.0mm nickel KP dpns
Mods: I don't think I followed the heel instruction, and I don't think I did the same number of pattern repeats as the pattern.

Started some new ones.

These are RPMs in Lotus Yarns exclusive Punk Rock Sock Club edition colorway Loose Nuts.

And now a great dessert recipe for those days you don't want to turn on the oven or give yourself food poisoning.

Unbakeable Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar

1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda (this does affect the taste and I prefer having it in though they won' be baked)
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbl milk ( I am not sure I just splashed some in there until it was about a normal consistency for cookie dough at this point)
2 1/4 c flour (I like half whole wheat and half white flour)
1/4 c ground flax (optional, but I like the flavor and it's healthy!)

Cream the butter and sugars together by hand or in a mixer then add the salt, baking soda, vanilla and milk and mix well. Add the flour and combine fully.

Now for the add ins: I used Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips which I was surprised to find at our local Cubs. Use whatever you want!

Form into a log, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for about and hour. Slice and enjoy!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I have been so tired the past few days. I think the whole moving thing finally caught up with me. I took a nap! I am bad a napping. It's just not in my skill set. After tackling the laundry on Tuesday and some of the kitchen on Wednesday, I haven't really done anything other than run to Target and the grocery store for odds and ends and sit in front of the TV. Josh and I did go on a walk to an area we are interested in purchasing a house, but other than that I have barely spent time outside, which is just a shame since the weather has been great the last two days.

Next week I am going to our cabin for a few days and it looks like Josh will be able to come for the weekend. It's about hours north of here and has a bit cooler weather and of course a lake for those hot days. Now I need to find the library so I can get a few books and pick a new knitting project.

Well, I better get back to applying for jobs.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am once again at the Caribou Coffee about 5 blocks from my place. They are ridiculously ubiquitous around here. It's hard to go more than a few blocks without seeing one. I am not complaining since they have WiFi and coffee.

We are hardly settled, but the place is livable. I think we are going to wait to replace the couch until we move again, since we know that will happen soon. Also, we are only unpacking what we really want or need out for the same reason. I have so much more counter space and more cabinets that I am having trouble deciding where to put stuff int he kitchen. It's tiny and heats up quickly, but I think the appliances are better. Our clothes dryer goes for over an hour yet the clothes are still damp, so I am off to Target to exchange the drying rack we picked up yesterday since half of the attachment sites for the rack are already broken. I guess my attempt to save $7 wasn't worth it.

Josh is working tonight so I am going to bake something and maybe make some pizza dough to stash in the freezer. I may need to make myself a mini pizza tonight if I can find my unglazed tiles. I hope to replace them since Josh's new employer specializes in tile.

Ok, I am off to Target and the grocery store so I can get home and do some more organizing. I would like to be able to walk around without tripping over cardboard boxes. I may even knit tonight since I can't remember the last time I knit a stitch!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I am watching an episode of the X-Files that takes place in Okobogee,IA[sic]. Not only did they misspell Okoboji, but there were really large hills or really small mountains surrounding the lake. If you have ever seen Iowa you can be sure that isn't likely. I admit to never seeing These lakes myself. Also they showed what looked like 3 wolves at a grave site, which is unlikely since it is Iowa. Oh well, they can't get everything right.

I am unemployed and tomorrow I leave for MN. Josh is already there and said it won't feel like home until I get there. Now isn't that just sweet? He has his moments. I am tired and sore and my fingernails hurt from all the scrubbing I did. I even scrubbed the kitchen floor by hand and while it looks nice and clean the crap they put on there is a dirt magnet. If I walked in there with bare feet to make dinner or something, the bottom of my feet would be black with the dirt. This just amazes me since neither of us regularly wear shoes in there and with the exception of the last two months or so, cleaned it at least every other weekend.

Ok, so I am going to finish the episode and go to bed so I can load the last bit of stuff, make one more pass with vacuum and dust rag and hopefully get my deposit back tomorrow morning.

We will be without internet for awhile since we can get it cheaper if we are already cable customers, so if you don't hear from me for awhile, that would be why. There are about a million Caribou Coffee's up there so I won't be completely internetless.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I decided my sister needed an apartment-warming gift since she is moving into her first apartment this fall. Obviously, I wanted it to be something small since she will most likely be moving after the fall semester is over and is taking as little as possible with her. I decided to get her my most favoritest kitchenest tool ever..est. I am not going to mention what it is since it's a secret, but those who know me may be able to guess. Anyway, while I was at the site I buy these things from I noticed they were having a sale. I couldn't resist checking it out. I know I don't have a job (yet, I hope that will change soon) after this Friday, but I saw the thing I have been in search of for months, a kitchen scale (ok, just to be pedantic it says "baker's scale").

I bought it, and I am ok with that. There have been so many times I skip over a recipe because the ingredients are listed by weight rather than volume. No more! I also want to be able to divide my sock yarn skeins so I can knit them two at a time because I feel so much more productive when I do it that way. It's a multi-tasker! It may become my new favoritest kitchenest tool ever.

I am a bit excited.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I wish I could blame the storm early this morning for my alarm not going off, but it wasn't to blame since my power didn't go out, as per usual. I swear I set the thing, but it didn't go off. I did wake up and listen to the crazy thunder, lightning, rain and wind. It was a nasty storm, which I of course enjoyed thoroughly while I was awake.

I moved up some more stuff this weekend. I hope we will be able to get the rest of our stuff in one trip, with a few exceptions. The issues with the trucks kind of threw off our plans for this move. I guess that's how it works.

My plan for dinner includes these little guys in a salad and strawberry cobbler/crisp/crumble depending on what I can scrounge up from the items I have left. I think I will have to make bread crumbs in my coffee grinder (after cleaning it, of course). I unthinkingly bought a large volume of strawberries because they were incredibly cheap and in good shape not thinking about how I alone could consume that many in a reasonable amount of time, hence the cobbler/crumble/crisp I will be making.

Well, it's the beginning of my last week of work. I am not quite sure what I think about that yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I must be bored. Make sure you scroll down to read the directions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The truck is fixed. It was a minor thing, which is a relief, and apparently the part was readily available. I am going to drive to Josh's dad's workplace whenever I can get off work today to switch vehicles. Hopefully I can get back in time to go to tae kwon do even though it is going to be terribly hot and humid up there. Then I can go home, shower and enjoy another salad.

What should I put in my salad? Last night was just the herb and lettuce mix, shredded rotisserie chicken and some croutons with some toasted ravioli on the side (cleaning out the freezer a bit). The night before was watermelon, feta, and tofu. I have also considered making a chicken salad with the Greek yogurt and some of the rotisserie chicken or maybe edamame or cannellini beans or chickpeas or... I just can't decide. I have enough salad ingredients to get me through the week and then some.

Now I am hungry and all I have for lunch is a chicken and swiss sandwich since my peach was too mushy.

Does anyone need a couch?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well, we took our first load up to the new place. We didn't get nearly as much stuff up there as we wanted, but considering we each have a large dresser, desk, rather large TV and TV stand, and tall shelves as well as the bed and many, many boxes of DVDs, we did pretty well. Now I am left alone with the mess we left behind. Josh gets a new mess. My hands are rather sore and my legs have more bruises than I care to count including one, about the size of my fist, which I have no idea when I received.

Josh's parents as well as my mom helped with the driving of truck and trailer as well as emptying all the vehicles and drinking the beer (ok, that last part was just Josh's dad). Scooter was there for entertainment purposes. Josh and I took the parental units out to dinner at a place with a wood burning oven, which was excellent and Granite City for an excellent and incredibly filling brunch. If Josh's truck is fixed or using his parent's truck, I will most likely be taking another trip up there with whatever I can get into the truck by myself. Does anyone want to go with me? Also, does anyone want a 4 shelf particle board bookshelf? I am not keen on moving it north and taking apart particle board items once they are put together usually ends in failure. Let me know if you are interested in it or a couch with hide-a-bed from the 80's, possible 70's. If you are a Scrubs fan you will see our couch bears a remarkable resemblance to the couch from the first season or so. Well, theirs' was in a bit better shape, i.e, not so saggy and worn.

Now, I am tired and not quite used to being here alone yet. I can't decide which DVD to throw in the player, since I don't want to continue the TV shows Josh and I were watching. I guess I could get a start on my new X-Files DVDs. I am also not quite used to the idea of sleeping in the living room.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Crap! Josh's truck decided it didn't want to tell us how fast it goes anymore. That means it is not heading north with us. I think I will be driving one of Josh's parents' cars for a couple of days while his dad gets it fixed. I guess it's good that this happened before we left.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Josh and I went to his, possibly, last tae kwon do class with Hawkeye Tae Kwon Do. There weren't many people there, about 10 I think, and we didn't do anything terrible exciting though I was sweating like crazy due to the ~85F temp and Christy's leadership. I am pleasantly sore due to our somewhat forced hiatus from tae kwon do these past months and my run on Tuesday morning. I hope we can find a club or school in MN that we like. I have found one that intrigues me. They don't have tae kwon do, but a bunch of other things and you can take them all for about $100, which is a bit steep for me right now.

Josh starts his new job on Monday so we are moving most of our stuff this weekend. We are loading almost everything Friday afternoon and evening, which won't be fun with the predicted 100F heat index, though Saturday should be cooler. We are going to have quite the caravan head to our new place with Josh's parents and their truck and trailer as well as my mom joining us at Eldora, Josh's truck and my car. Josh's new employer has offered three times to send a guy or two over to help us unload. I think I like these people all ready.

I will be sticking around until the end of the month in my mostly empty apartment. At least I will be left with a TV, DVD player, laptop, yarn and an air mattress as well as my kitchen and a few essentials. The first thing I thought of besides missing Josh, was the food I would be able to make with out considering what Josh would eat. What does that say about me?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

79 cent banana

I seriously just paid that for a banana. In my defense, I didn't know it would cost that much. I didn't even consider it might cost that much. It was a banana! Not only was it a banana, but it was a crappy banana. It kinda tasted like soap which is very disappointing after paying so much for it. I could buy a whole pound for that much, I think. I don't buy bananas all that often. I understand that the UI has to recover from the flooding. It's going to cost a lot more than they thought, but do they have to take it out on those who just want a decent banana?

And to continue with a little ranting, it's 21C (~70F) in here, which while an improvement over 19C, it is still not a comfortable workplace temperature.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

This moving to a different state has been a bit expensive. Luckily we have not had to add any hotel expenses (though, that would have been cheaper than paying two rents this month) since the gas for our trips north increased our credit card bill by almost $300 more than we usually spend. We also ate out more because we were out of town or just too busy/tired to grocery shop or cook. We put all our bills and other expenses on this card because we get a percentage back on whatever we spend. Everything is getting more expensive, and we are starting to feel it. I guess its good that only one of us will be coming back this weekend. Of course, I will be driving the vehicle that has a gas tank which holds about 8 more gallons and gets 50 miles less out of each tank of gas.

Groceries are more expensive, so I have tried to cut down on our expenses there as well. I started making granola for Josh because he eats so much of it. I should start making yogurt too since that is what he usually eats with his granola. I have also been purchasing more bone-in chicken because it is significantly cheaper and doesn't require much work if I want to remove the bone myself. I have made pizza instead of ordering it, but I am not so sure it is much cheaper than getting one from Papa Murphy's especially if you have a coupon. I plan to at least make some of our bread because I love baking bread, and I keep making cookie dough but not cookies. I figure I am saving on energy costs that way.

I also knit my own socks. Wait, I don't think that is saving me much money, but at least I am entertaining myself. Does saving $10 on two skeins of yarn for a sweater count? I decided I wanted to use nicer yarn for this sweater so I am slowly accumulating the yarn for it and hoping the dye lots are close enough that I can just alternate skeins. The yarn is the aran weight version of the yarn I used for the Poms. It's even the same color so I could have a matching sweater and sock set. Actually the socks may be going to my mom if she likes them and they fit her which means I would need to make another pair for myself. The sacrifices I make for my family...

My sister is in China for the next three weeks, and so far, it doesn't sound like she has lost any luggage or missed a connecting flight which is usually what happens to her when she travels. Let's hope this trend continues.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth!

I spent my day off knitting socks, shopping for a new pillow, looking at the mall for the camera I am considering and not finding it, baking another batch of oatmeal bars, baking bread and making pizza dough to store in the freezer.

I should have finished this pair almost a week ago now. I just couldn't make myself knit the toe.

Pattern: k4 p2 rib, plain heel flap
Yarn: Tofutsies #722
Needles: KP 2.25mm

I started Bellatrix(Ravelry) in STR Carbon

I am completely loving these socks. I started making Charade with this yarn, but it was not too pretty. I am using my smallest set of needles and didn't adjust the pattern at all; they will fit unlike my first attempt.

Tomorrow is packing day. Josh is moving with most of our stuff in a week so we need to finish packing all but what will be left with me, which hopefully will not be much.

Well I am going to go back to my beer and my sock. I think I need a movie to go along with them.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New sock! I should really finish the toe on the second sock of another pair so they are done, but this one is too addictive.

Josh is finally willing to get rid of his beloved couch. I have not made a big deal about it because I don't want to upset him, but I am soo happy. We even looked last weekend after we dropped our first load of stuff at the new place for a new one. Also, I think I have found a new camera. The reviews are excellent, the price is good and it is small. I plan to go to Best Buy tomorrow to check it out.

I hope you all get tomorrow off like me!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The temperature in the lab is back to its usual 23C. Still cooler than I would prefer, but I can't complain.

I have a pair of finished socks!

Pattern: Pomatomus
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose
Needles: KP 2.75mm
Mods: None, though one is a bit longer in the cuff than the other. Not sure what's going on there, but I don't care.

Love the yarn and the pattern. They fit me well, so I am not sure where my earlier doubts came from.

I think I left my cell phone charger in MN. I may have to buy a cheap one to get me through the next two weeks.

Monday, June 30, 2008

In the lab last week it was about 19C until Friday afternoon when we got to around 23c. Now it is 33C or approximately 90F in the lab. I much prefer too cold to too warm. I really hope they figure out this temperature regulating thing soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Apparently I have a talent for puncturing my extremities with sharp object purely by accident. First there was my foot; then, today I knocked over a smallish Erlenmeyer flask while washing a gigantic Erlenmeyer flask which broke into 3 pieces one of which viciously attacked my poor hand in retaliation. Yesterday I donated blood and they poked me twice! I guess I did volunteer for it, but my finger still hurts!

I am having trouble deciding what yarn to keep unpacked to entertain me for the next month before I move. It's really hard. I should probably just focus on stuff I have already started, but I kinda don't want to. Oh, and the whole "I am getting rid of yarn" thing kinda backfired. After the person bought the yarn, I had money in my PayPal account; well, it couldn't just stay there it had to do something. That money went and bought more yarn. Granted it's pretty yarn in some lovely saturated colors.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I was smarter today and wore socks with my shoes and brought a sweatshirt, but my hands and nose are still cold. I usually use Josh's shoulder as a nose warmer, but he wasn't willing to come to work with me today. Apparently he has to go to work, too. I could really use one of these in this place right now. Actually, I think it could be pretty useful in most places during the colder months. June in Iowa isn't supposed to be a cold month. I found an electric company in MN that lets you purchase blocks of wind generated energy each month for about 50 cents per 100kwh. I think it's totally worth it.

My good internet friend Melanie posted a link to Musicovery, which I am quite enjoying. At the rather chilly lab, I usually listen to Pandora, but this is a nice change and a different way to approach listening to music based on mood rather than it's musical qualities.

I have been knitting on the Poms and on my traveling socks (so far the heel flap of the 2nd is on it's third iteration), but nothing yet for Summer of Socks. I think I will need to bust out the baby sock patterns for this one.

I need some pizza ideas. I have another ball of this dough in the freezer (leave it in the freezer for a week, trust me, you won't be disappointed) and so far I have made taco pizza, white sauce with chicken, peppers and red onion, and something else, but I can't remember right now. Josh has been adamant about no red sauce, so I better steer clear of that no matter how much I want a cheese pizza right now.

Josh and I are going to start moving stuff this Saturday, which makes me kind of excited. We started packing up the kitchen and my bookshelf as well as two of our three computers, so a truckload is heading north with us. It will be nice to get the boxes out of our current place. While in the throes of packing I noticed some sticky brown syrup dripping down our plastic shelves in our storage room. This is the shelf that Josh stores all his beer making ingredients on. Somehow, a bottle of malt extract broke and slowly leaked all over the floor. Luckly, since it is mostly sugar, it was fairly easy to wash away, but I had to use my bench scraper to get the stuff off the floor. Why was I cleaning it up an not Josh?

Monday, June 23, 2008

It is currently 19C (~65F) in the lab right now. My nose is so cold and my toes aren't happy with the situation either. I really wish I had brought my fingerless gloves. They are unable to regulate the temperature in our building and the power plant for the university is still not at full capacity. This means our water pressure is low, the autoclaves aren't operational and we have no deionized water, which is pretty critical for most experiments. It will be an interesting week. I am definitely wearing socks with my shoes tomorrow (no socks with my shoes today) and maybe a sweatshirt instead of my little hoodie. I do have one completed sock in my bag. I could alternate feet. I just started the heel flap on it's mate as I was waiting for the bus this morning.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I have really enjoyed our weather so far this spring and what has now turned into summer (June always seems like the start of summer no matter what the calendar says) other than the crazy amount of rain of course. We have barely had to turn the A/C on other than the random humid day. We did have to turn it one yesterday due to some humidity and a cake I made for a wedding for some of Josh's parent's friends.

The fondant is not as smooth as I would like, but I think I am learning. I had to turn the air on so the frosting holding the raspberries in place wouldn't slide all over the place. The couple's wedding reception was supposed to be at a restaurant that was damaged by the floods, so they are postponing it. I was supposed to make a 9x13 cake for that, but Josh's mom decided her friends needed a cake anyway since they had the wedding despite the reception issues.

Yesterday while his parents were at the wedding, Josh and I took care of Scooter.

He is a great little dog. He listens well, is not very good at playing fetch, doesn't bark at other dogs, and only shed a bit.

At Hy-Vee the other day they were giving out fabric bags for free, which I thought was quite nice. I think the bag is still working on it's colors, though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

another "stolen"video

Again from the lovely blog of Libby:

I need to start watching The Daily Show again. I was so much more informed when I did.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I finally finished a sock! Initially, I stopped working on it because I wasn't sure I liked the fit, but I needed a sock to knit yesterday, on dpns for some reason, and I decided I did like it.

This the first of a pair of Pomatomous in Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose. Despite my previous doubts, I love this sock and must start on the second one after I finish this post.

I decided Josh and I needed some more fruit in our diet so I made a blueberry crisp.

I combined a couple recipes which worked pretty well.

For the fruit:

2 lbs frozen blueberries,feel free to use fresh but halve the amt of cornstarch)
2 tbl corn starch
1/2c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until the fruit gives off some juice.

For the topping:

1c old fashioned oats (I like them better than quick oats)
1/3c flour
2/3c brown sugar
pinch of salt
cinnamon, cloves, ginger or whatever you want
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) unsalted butter cut into small cubes
I also added some pecans

combine all ingredients and use your fingers to mush it all together until you get course crumbs.

When fruit has baked for at least 30 minutes, add topping and bake for another 40-50 minutes until top is golden and crispy unless you like it softer than bake it until then.

I also made this and put it into the refrigerator to grow overnight.

Any guesses what it is going to become for dinner tonight?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hello! I am back. My internet is back, too, which is why I am finally posting. As far as I know, I am not supposed to be going to work. That is what the UI's website has told me and I am going with it since no one I have asked has told me otherwise. This means I am taking a little vacation. It's a good things since Josh and I went to MN this weekend for some apartment hunting. We found one! Actually it's a townhouse with a garage, which will be so nice. We will be moving in sometime next month probably over a couple of weeks.

If you are interested in some more flood pictures from around my apartment check my Flickr page. It has been a bit odd seeing 1st ave just down the hill from our place on the news everyday. At one point they were filming a shed floating down the river and I noticed it was live so I ran out to my back balcony to watch it.

Elijah is done. He could use some eyes, but I am not sure what I want to do since this is for a baby.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I so need a canoe or maybe a paddle boat

This video (which I "stole" from Libby shows what happened when dirt railroad levee close to the Iowa River broke due to the flood waters. I didn't go to work today because I didn't want to get stuck there since almost every route to and from there is currently flooded with water or traffic or both. We are hoping to get to Eldora and then on to MN this weekend to look at apartments, but it may be hard to get that far north. I think there are still a couple routes we can use.

I did go down to the river this morning and took some pictures, don't worry, the water was barely above my toes, but my camera didn't save them for some reason. The parking lots behind my apartment for BK and a couple businesses are flooded due to water coming out of the sewers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So, they have closed 1st Ave up to the street my apartment is on. The police were just starting to redirect people, including the bus I was on, as we came to it. I knew that was going to happen since yesterday, the water under the bridge looked like this.

ETA: Some thing completely cute to distract you from impending doom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I did get to help fill sand bags yesterday and I am really feeling it today. Not only am I quite sore from the physical labor involved (wet sand is heavy), but I got a good sunburn on my arms. Josh had both of our bottles of sunscreen with him at the golf course, and I stayed longer than I initially intended. I think I was out there for at least 3.5 hours. We were filling sand bags to be used to protect the city's wells that are all along the river and the electrical equipment near them. There are three of them on the paths I run, and I always wondered what they were.

The Coralville Res went over the spillway last night about 8:30pm and the water should be making it's way down the Iowa River to the Iowa City area in about an hour so it's about to get messy. It is interesting to me how some of the businesses around our apartment have surrounded themselves with sand bags and others right next to them haven't. I took a few pictures yesterday of the bridge across the street from my apartment as I walked to the area they were sandbagging.

More rain is headed our way today and a lot more tomorrow. The river is not predicted to peak until next Monday, so we are in for an interesting few days. I am obsessively checking our local newspaper's website for info.

ETA: If you are in the IC/Coralville area and want to help check out and Coralville's website. The column on the right side of the page lists places sandbaggers are needed and how to get to them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I don't really remember the floods of '93 since they didn't really affect me in any significant way, and I was 10, so didn't really care about that kind of stuff. The floods now, though they aren't really affecting me other than more traffic on my bus' route to work, I am definitely going to remember this. I can see the river from my apartment so I been watching it rise.

I plan to help with the sandbagging this afternoon if they are still in need of more sandbags in an area I can get to. Josh helped yesterday when they asked for volunteers at Lowe's. Amanda found his picture on the local paper's website in the flood pics from yesterday. They are placing sandbags near the dog park I run around in the mornings.

I took some pictures of the clouds (the ones I wanted to see when I stepped on random sharp piece of plastic) from the thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday and have them on my Flickr page if you care to look. You can also see my toe, which doesn't show much or the bloody mess I made on the floor while trying to get to a paper towel.

Though I have been distracted by storms I did make a bit of progress on Elijah.

I have also been distracted by new yarn. See, blurry picture due to excitement.

Monday, June 09, 2008

It was a really nice weekend. I experimented a bit on my oatmeal bar recipe with good results and made two fabulous appetizers which are new to my repertoire. I got to play with a yeast dough (always fun) then turned it into a tasty pizza with extra dough stashed in the freezer. Josh and I saw Kung Fu Panda, which was excellent. I bought an iPod Shuffle (because the price of an armband for my iPod Nano is almost as much), went on a run, and got some knitting and crocheting done.

I also stepped on a weird piece of plastic which ended up embedded in the ball of my left foot near my big toe about half an inch while I was trying to go out onto my balcony to take a picture of the nasty looking wall cloud. I then made a bloody mess on my kitchen floor while I yelled for Josh that I was getting blood all over the floor. At least I think it was plastic because Josh broke it and threw it away before I could examine it more closely. My foot feels bruised and tender and still oozes a bit. Lovely, I know. I am a bit worried about it getting infected since the piece of mystery plastic was on the floor and made it quite a ways into my foot (not that our floor is dirty it's just a floor). It kinda ruins my workout plans for the next few days due to it's location. I am surprised I have gotten any running in with my sore knee, chest cold with cough, pulled hamstring and now puncture wound to bottom of foot which prohibits even normal walking. I am trying to get into a running routine, but it's not going so well.

ETA: This sounds like a really neat way to power your home using solar panels.

Definitely make these if you aren't near a campfire.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Destashing and a new elephant

Some of you know Josh and I will be moving sometime in July. We haven't really worked that part out yet. My goal is to clean out and get rid of stuff so we have less to move. This is good for you because I need to decrease the amount of yarn. Head over to my Destash set on Flickr to see what is currently on there. More may be added as I get more desperate to fit all my yarn into 2 tubs. I have a lot of sock yarn, so that is mostly what it will be. I will probably be going through it all again this weekend so check back if you see something on my Stash pages that might interest you. You can also check it out on Ravelry if you so desire. I prefer PayPal for payments.

The new elephant is Elijah.

I think the best part of the pattern besides the cuteness is there is no seaming. Stitches are picked up for each part. The only that that I am a bit worried about is embroidering on the eyes because I am really bad at that.

I am working on a peanut butter version of the oatmeal bars I posted about the other day. I will let you know when I have a recipe that works. My first attempt last night was a bit too dry due to poor math on my part.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My jeans are soaked! See that blob of orange and red in the middle of all that green? That's what I was in while waiting for the bus. Orange and red mean lots of rain.

The fact that the street outside my apartment was full of about 3" of water when a car drove by just helped me get wetter. Not that I needed it. Luckily I am wearing sandals designed for water sports, since walking through the raging river of our parking lot could be considered a water sport today. I went for a run this morning and the rain started while I was doing my stretching and sit-ups after my run. I actually would have enjoyed running in the rain until it became a torrential downpour that felt more like going through a car wash. I do love a good thunderstorm as long as I am not waiting for the bus in it. The sky still looks like it is about 9pm rather than 9am.

There has been progress on Ornette, though it has been slow. I love the pattern, but it makes my left wrist tired so I have to take a break every so often. I started Elijah using this yarn in turquoise this morning while watching the rain. He will be a gift for my former neighbor's baby. Since I couldn't decide on clothing for the kid, he or she is getting a toy and granny square blanket in Hawkeye colors since the dad is a big Hawks fan.

I made bars from this recipe (via Cookie Madness) last night with a few mods. I decreased the butter to one stick, added some apple sauce for more liquid and also a 1/4 cup of ground flax; since I didn't have raisins I used chocolate chips. I think Josh had three bars after dinner. He seems to like them. I will make them again, but I think with even less butter and more flax and apple sauce.

Look what the from and lady bug are doing on my iGoogle!

frog and bug!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I rarely have trouble picking yarn to become a sock. Lately that has not been the case. First there was the Ornette troubles, minor as the were and quickly remedied. Now I am having trouble with Bellatrix and the Yarn Pirate Kalamata not working out. I can't decide what pattern to use with my new yarn from Lotus Yarns sock club, and I just can't decide what to start.

I finished my sample knitting on Monday, which was a simple knit. I want something along the same lines difficulty-wise so I can knit while on the bus or watching TV without having to worry about it much. Ornette isn't bad for TV knitting, but takes a bit more concentration than I can always spare, though I do love the pattern so far(I am almost to the heel!). I am kinda leaning towards some Sidewinders, but not a redo of the Hawkeye yarn (that could become Aquaphobia), which looking back now that I know more about fit, probably did fit me fine and weren't too tight as I thought.

Any suggestions?

I hate this feeling of indecision. At least I know what I want to bake this weekend. There is definitely something involving yeast, maybe this, and another cobbler, possibly cherry, depends on what Josh gets at the store.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Last week I bought three pounds of cherries for about $3. We munched on them during the week as dessert, but then I made the gigantic cupcakes and teeny cake and the cherries were ignored for a bit. Well, it was time they were eaten, but several were a bit past their prime. I knew I needed to use them, but I wanted something simple and quick to make. At first I was thinking this cake, but I was lacking ingredients. Then I thought of cobbler. It was not something I can remember eating often if at all. I assumed it was easy since it's just biscuits atop a fruity filling. The only thing was, I had to pit all the cherries, otherwise this would have been a quick and simple dish. As it was I and my counter were rather sticky with cherry juice by the end of pitting 4 cups of cherries, but it was worth it. We had already decided it was left-over night, so I had no other food to prep.

I used a recipe from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which I love by the way. It has you cook the fruit separately until they start to release their juices then place the biscuits on top. They provide a table with filling recipes for several different fruits. I had sweet cherries and the recipe was for sour, so I had to reduce the sugar, but other than that it worked perfectly.

Josh and I polished it off in two days. He almost bought more cherries for another, but I think I will go for sour cherries from the freezer section for the next batch or possibly strawberry rhubarb; though blueberries would be nice too.

ETA: I forgot to add my sock progress! I am almost back to where I started before I frogged because it was HUGE! Those dropped stitches add a lot of stretchiness.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

L'Opera! : Daring Baker's May Challenge

I was happy to see this challenge was cake and a fancy one at that. I quite enjoy baking and decorating cakes though I had never heard of an opera cake.

Due to our crazy schedule this month and only having baking time on the weekends, I didn't get to this cake until Memorial Day. By that time, I was not much in the mood to make this cake anymore. I already knew I was going to be reducing the recipe by at least half when I went to the grocery store. I was even more glad of that when I saw the price of the ingredients require. Almond meal was over $11 for two pounds and the white chocolate bar(the only one I could find in the whole grocery store) was almost $4 for 3.5 ounces. If I had made this cake full size I would have spent over $20 just on those two ingredients, though I would have had some almond meal left. As it is, my little cake is worth about $10 and it's not even pretty. I skipped buying the almond meal and made my own, which may have not been the best idea.

My cake has a definitely gritty texture, due to the almonds. I followed the directions and allowed the sponge cake to cool on a piece of wax paper which didn't go so well since the side against the wax paper became quite soggy, which I thought might happen yet still did it. I used my own favorite buttercream flavored with lemon extract and also flavored the cake with lemon syrup and skipped the mousse as I am not a fan of mousse.

I didn't really understand how the cake was to be assembled since the directions didn't specifically say. I put butter cream on the top as suggested and once I added the glaze, it slid right off. I ended up scooping that all off and pouring glaze all over the cake since it was already stuck on the sides from sliding off.

I admit, my attempt at this cake was rather lacking in enthusiasm, but based on the cost on ingredients alone, I don't see myself making this cake again. The taste was nothing special, but that was also my fault since I didn't want to spend anymore money and tried to work with what I had on hand. Maybe a traditional chocolate version would be better. I am not a fan of white chocolate, but I will take dark chocolate any day. At least the little slice is kinda cute.

Be sure to check out the other DBer's attempts at opera cake on the blogroll, and if you feel up to attempting this recipe yourself you can find it here.