Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thanks to The Pioneer Woman, I now have clean dishes! She mentioned Lemi Shine on her home and garden blog a last week so I decided to track it down and try it out.

ETA: Since itt's been asked twice now, I found it at Hy-Vee and Target in town. I didn't look anywhere else.

I found my very own, slightly different from her's, bottle of Lemi Shine for about $3.75. I didn't expect much because we have tried other things in the past with little success. I added about a tablespoon along with my regular dishwasher detergent.

Can you see the difference? The glass on the left has been washed with Lemi Shine and the one on the right has not. It's a crappy pic. The dirty cutting board behind them isn't improving their looks much, I might add.

And one of the best things about this stuff other than it's remarkable ability to make all my dishes, even the plastic ones I had in the dorms, look better is this...

It's phosphate free, which is good for the environment. Dang, I sound like an advertisement, but I am rather excited about having clean dishes again.

Ok, moving on. I have knitted stuff. I have started several small toys, which I am sure is a surprise to you all. So far I have a frog, Trogdor, Sausage Dog and a snail.

Hopefully they will all be done by this weekend so I can knit socks.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I didn't do my Daring Baker's challenge this month. I was not in the mood to make balls of cheesecake and dip them in chocolate. Seems like too much work and mess for something I don't want to eat or make. I wanted a challenge to my baking skills! I was also really tired and busy on the weekends. You can check out the others' creations here.

So instead of making cheesecake balls on sticks I knitted, got my hair cut and played Mario Kart and Raving Rabbids with a little Rayman thrown in for variety.

Why is it that I can't sleep in during the weekends past 7 but am perfectly capable of this during the week?

Friday, April 25, 2008

I have been so tired this week. I blame some late nights last weekend and two nights of less than stellar sleep during the week. I am really looking forward to some sleeping in this weekend. I have had entirely too much caffeine.

In more exciting, at least to me, news the Cookie A. patterns I am test knitting will be in my hands soon! I don't yet know if I will get to keep one because it's for a book and she may need the sock or socks for something else, but the one I have seen (at the end of the post) looks too pretty to wear anyway. Oh, I am doing Sock Wars also, but I doubt I will last long. I didn't realize it was all happening around the same time. Oops! It's a good thing I like knitting socks and I have a whole month for the test knitting. I think my Poms are not going to be receiving much attention for awhile. I get paid in yarn and other goodies and get my name in the book!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Be nice to the earth today!


Monday, April 21, 2008

We had some gorgeous weather yesterday. It was close to 70 and sunny. Josh and I took a walk across the river in an area I have always meant to explore. There is a dog park, but I could never figure out how people got to the dog park. Now I do and I also learned of a new housing development I didn't know existed. it's actually a bit creepy and seems almost like it should be in a movie. I think that's partly due to it's newness and lack of people at this time. It is eerily quiet and empty.

We watched the latest UFC on Saturday night. It was a great event with several good fights including the main event. We got some Pokey Stix, which I haven't had since I was a student. I think I am going to snack on some before I go teach at the GymNest tonight.

In other news, my sister and her boyfriend are now engaged. I of course knew before she did, which makes me inordinately happy. Congrats!

Let's see, I finished my Jaywalkers (Ravelry).
Yarn: Zitron Trekking colorway #155
Needles: 2.75mm Knit Picks dpns
Started: July 2007
Finished: April 18, 2008
Mods: Unintentional ones only. I did the toe on the second one differently because I decided I didn't need to read the directions. Barely noticeable, so not getting fixed.

I started two more small projects this weekend, well yesterday. Both are more for Josh than me. I started Sausage Dogs and Trogdor (more info on Trogdor). More toys, I know. I can't stop myself. I also made flat chocolate chip cookies because I decided to follow the recipe instead of what I thought and caramel chex mix.

I also got some new shoes! They were $10 and my size and have owls on them.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I slept through an earthquake! I am so disappointed right now. I am usually a light sleeper, too. I know people in CA are laughing at our response to this right now, but I don't care.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yesterday was nice and warm if a bit windy. Actually the weather bar at the bottom of my browser window said "gales", which was fairly appropriate. I wore sandals and my toes didn't fall off, so it was a good day. It's still pretty nice today, though it is supposed to rain later.

Well, the weather was really just a segue into what I really wanted to talk about. Not that the weather really has anything to do with what I made for dinner yesterday other than the fact that I needed to open the windows to let the smoke out. I didn't burn anything, but it certainly got smoky. I actually roasted a whole chicken in my oven. I had never done that before, in the oven that is. I have done the beer can in the butt chicken before on the grill, which was incredibly tasty. I think the smoke was due to the butter I shoved under the skin, but I will have to try again with olive or vegetable oil (they have higher smoke points than butter) to test my theory.

The chicken was tasty, and the skin a nice golden brown. I tried the skin, but didn't like it. I am not sure what people find so appealing about chicken skin. I like cooking with it on because it adds flavor and keeps the chicken moist. I do wish I had made a pan sauce for a bit of extra flavor, but I was too lazy and had run out of counter space which isn't hard when you only have about 4 square feet to work on. i also made roasted cauliflower and orzo risotto with spinach. It was a nice meal that required little hands on time and I have chicken left over to shred for chicken tacos tonight!

I also made some cookie dough and shoved it in the freezer for cookie emergencies. I don't know how the cookies will taste but the dough was quite delightful. I used some cage-free eggs I found at our local grocery store that are only a few cents more than the store brand, so I am quite happy. I do look forward to the green eggs from the farmers' market though they are more expensive.

I would have posted pictures of all of this, but nothing was terribly photogenic and the light in my kitchen is crappy. I guess the chicken looked pretty good except for where I split the skin on the breast side while trying to shove butter in there. I think my technique needs work.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I am eagerly anticipating my federal refund to magically appear in my bank account. Ok, so it's not all that magical, but it certainly feels that way when that number is suddenly bigger. Anyway, I am eagerly anticipating it not because I have a fun purchase planned, but because I want to save it. I just love watching my savings account grow. Actually it is being saved for a house and with my refund, the possibility of a federal rebate check, and my health care spending account claims I will have a decent chunk of money to put in my savings account during the next month, which makes me so happy and excited.

Since I am not making any big purchases I went for a small one. I bought a bit of yarn to try out from Knit Picks. I got some Comfy, Shine Sport, Cotlin and a couple Felici colorways for some ankle socks to change things up.

I picked up my Jaywalkers (Ravelry) again. With one sock done I decided it was time to finish the other. I have no idea what drew me to them yesterday, but I almost finished the leg between 4pm and 9pm last night with dinner in there somewhere. Actually let me check, I might be done with it...Ok, so I just did a quick comparison and I need about 5 more rows before starting the heel. Go me! I love quick knits.

This sock makes me want to knit some more Monkeys(maybe no purls?) and River Rapids(pdf) as they were also extremely fast socks to knit. I have switched back to carrying the yarn in my right hand for these as that is how I knit the first and also my left wrist is sore again so this gives it a bit of rest. I think my crochet habit may have caused the tendinitis to plague my poor wrist again. It's either that or how tense I tend to be when I knit the Jacobean socks, which I have no explanation for. I don't enjoy them; I guess that could be the problem.

Someone remind me to schedule a hair cut. It has been almost a year, which is rather pathetic.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Since it was snowing last night I decided I needed to make desert. Ok, so that's not really the reason. I just wanted desert, but it had to be simple. My go-to simple sweet recipe used to be brownies, but I get messy when melting chocolate is involved. Actually I am generally a bit messy when baking.

Anyway... so brownies were my go-to treat, but now I think blondies have replaced them. They are marginally quicker to make and just as satisfying, unless I really need chocolate. I have tried a few recipes but they weren't quite what I wanted. The recipe I used most frequently always ended up a bit greasy due to the ratio of butter to everything else, a bit too thin and a little heavy since there was no leavening. I sorta combined a couple recipes with my own twist for this one so feel free to give it a try. I will try to get a picture of a bar when I get home, but make no promises if there is a lack of daylight. I underbaked mine a little. I was going for gooey, but I think I went a little too gooey.

I have published the recipe here for your blondie baking pleasure.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Found a new online shoe store. has the same brands as Zappos but they are cheaper and somehow related to each other. I want these and these and these and few of these.

I have been thinking a lot about ways to make fixing up a home better for the environment as well as cheaper. One easy way to freshen up a room is new paint, but paint doesn't always smell so fresh, so I have been looking into environmentally friendlier paints. Also, I am interested in Habitat ReStores for cheaper building materials.

I discovered Yoga Today through another blog, but have yet to try it out. I think until this chest cold clears up this may be the best type of workout that won't send me into a coughing fit. It's free and there are new sessions daily as well archives of older sessions.

I need to explore this site a bit more, but I am intrigued. It has "free" and "books" in the description.

I really want to try making my own butter. It looks so easy, and I am interested in how real buttermilk compares to the cultured buttermilk found in stores.

Monday, April 07, 2008

elephants, owlet, frog, airplane and another bird

I was busy this weekend. I had little energy to spare due to whatever virus has attacked me now, so I crocheted.

pocket elephants
Pocket Elephant

little airplane
Mini Stuffed Airplane


Mr. Froggy
Mr. Froggy

I made another bird as well, but it was dark by the time I finished so no pic. I have an army of 11 now and two more colors of yarn to go before I have gone through the colors of my stash. More pics can be seen here. The elephants have tails!

Seriously, the sitting and crocheting was about all I could handle. I had no energy and even laughing would make me cough. I am still coughing and am really sick of it. It's rather hard to get a workout in!

Friday, April 04, 2008

unrelated things

It snowed again yesterday. Not much snow. But it is April in Iowa and I believe the rest of the world so we shouldn't be having snow.

I am still sick and suffering from a lack of sleep due to waking myself up because I was coughing. Ick...

New bras are great. So glad I bought some.

I have decided to make tiramisu. I have never had it which that is a good enough reason for me.

I still have cake, which I will be throwing away.

The frogs didn't lay well so no extra work for me this weekend! Though, now I have to figure out something else to do today.

I am making a pocket elephant for a coworker.

Is it ok to eat lunch at 9:45am?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Whatever ick I have isn't too bad, but still brought on the annoying scratchy throat and coughing as well as wearing me out. I slept hard last night and am still tired (coffee snuck into the lab is helping a bit with that), so no workout this morning as I had planned. My plan to workout tomorrow morning just got nixed due to a new work obligation which will carry over through this weekend. I have to be in before 7:30am tomorrow and since my gym doesn't open until 6am there is no way to get a workout in before work. I think I may have to stay late as well. Is it funny that I had to go back and read one of the papers I am an author on to get some info for this experiment? I think it is, but that could be the tiredness talking.

Anyway, I have some new recruits who just got their wings and beaks.

I have a feeling this is a never ending project for all those bits of DK and worsted yarn I will have laying around.

Joining their ranks shortly is Mr. Froggy or whatever I decide to call him later.

I should really be working on socks instead. I am such a bad person.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Sock Madness has left me or maybe something else took over. It may involve a crochet hook and cute stuffed animals. I am blaming the evil cake crazed dreams I had Monday night. I was so tired yesterday from lack of sleep due to cakey dreams. I have no explanation for the dreams, but maybe a little explanation for my lack of sock progress. Not a huge fan of the pattern, though I did see one sock today that is changing my mind and may have me switching yarns to something more solid.

My throat is dry and scratchy and I have been coughing a bit. I really do not want to be sick again.

Oh and for those of you checking up on my running, my knee has been sore for the last two weeks so I am giving it a few days rest but plan to run again tomorrow and maybe Friday to make up for it. Oh, and I skipped the rest of Week 1 because I just wasn't feeling it. Week two was still not too hard, but I don't want to break too many rules in case that is what's causing the weird dreams. I made my last cake on the day of my last "run", so they could be related. I told Josh to take the rest of the cake to work today so I don't have to look at it.

His coworkers seem to like it much better than we do. They get more products of my baking than my own coworkers because buses are not conducive to transporting baked goods, especially layer cakes. I should bring in some blondies or something less fragile to make up for it. I have been meaning to develop my own blondie recipe.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Those Sock Madness 2 organizers tricked us! Last week they said the pattern would be posted today, April 1st. I was totally fine with that since my only free night is Tuesday so I could get a good start. Well, they sent out the pattern yesterday. Early April Fool's Day joke. I work all day then teach tae kwon do until 8pm, which means no knitting if I want to eat dinner before 10pm on Mondays. I am so going out this round.

I am pulling out some mystery yarn for this pair. It was given to me by Liz and she had no idea what it was or if she did, I have since forgotten what she said. Send fast knitting vibes my way!