Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Days

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over. School starts for us on the 13th of August. I love summer because I get to have my daughter at home. It is such a pleasure to be able to just hang out together and talk. She complains when there are weeds to pull, but she's a trooper and she helps out. I know that there will come a day when she will graduate from high school and then off to college and then who knows what the world will hold for her. What ever it holds, she will excel in it.
I've been busy playing with yarn these past two weeks. I'm knitting a stole and I'm also knitting something called a reticule. I'll have to post the directions later, but it's a very interesting change purse.
My parents anniversary is coming up on the 4th, along with my brother's birthday. It's a hard day for many reasons. My mom will have been gone for two years on the 21st of August. I think I"ll go and celebrate her life on that day. Maybe go out and eat at one of her favorite restaurants. Order raspberry iced tea and toast her.

The garden has gone nuts on me. I'm actually keeping up on the weeds this year, but I have been picking about 100 lbs. of tomatoes each Friday and just as many pounds of cucumbers. I love summer. One of my favorite dishes to prepare is cucumber and tomato salad. It's so easy, but it is something we look forward to each year. I also have been playing around with cooking zucchini. We grow two different types - regular green and gold! The two together make such a pretty dish.


Finally got my daughter to try eating beets. At first she said they were gross but after she tried the dish I made, she decided it was pretty good stuff. Then she had the nerve (just kidding) to ask me if beets were good for you. Of course they are! So, she's eating more of them. Guess I better get geared up to make more beet and pineapple salad!
So, I guess maybe I should post the recipes. I'll have to find a picture of one of our cucumbers. You'll be amazed by the size of them. They are armenian cucs and they are delicious. Burpless, don't have to peel them and they don't get bitter. Just be prepared - they can get big!
CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD
1-2 lbs of cucumbers (yes, pounds)
1 large tomato or 2-3 roma tomatoes
salt, pepper and vinegar to taste (I use wine vinegar)
3 T. Wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
Toss, chill and serve. YUMMY!!!!


GOLD AND GREEN ZUCCHINI

6 c. gold and green zucchini, cut up in bit size pieces
1 large onion, chopped up in pieces
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. savory
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cumin
salt, pepper and garlic to taste

Toss zucchini and onions in olive oil. Sprinkle seasonings over mixture and toss again. Place in 9x13 pan. Cover with foil. Put in preheated 400 deg. oven. Cook for about 25 min. Stir every 7-10 minutes. Serve hot. Squash should not be mush. It should be firm almost crispy. You may have to add a little bit of salt to enhance the flavor. Test for flavor. Don't overdo it.

CANDIED BEETS

1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. flour
1 can pineapple tidbits (15 oz)
7-8 beets (tennis ball size)

To cook beets - cut off roots and cut of most of top. Wash, boil until tender. Drain. Slip off skins and cut into bite size pieces.

Boil pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar and flour until thick. Pour over diced beets and pineapple. Chill and serve. Soooo good the next day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Rainy Day Scarf


This scarf is a combination of a scarf and a shoulder shawl. It has the shape of a triangle, but the ends are rectangular, perfect for tying. Because of the open weave and size of needles, this is a quick knit project. Perfect for a last minute gift! It uses only one skein of yarn, so you can dig through your stash and use what you have readily available. A worsted weight yarn will be a "laceier" scarf and the bulky will be thicker and the detail will not be as visible. It is strictly preference.

Materials


Needles: Size 13 – 24”-30” circular needles
Yarn: One Skein (250 yds.) worsted weight or bulky yarn
2 stitch markers
Knitter’s needle for finishing off the ends

Gauge: There is no gauge

Abbreviations:
CO- Cast on S1 – Slip one
K – Knit P1 – Purl 1
Kfb – Knit front and back YO – Yarn over
K2tog – Knit two together
NOTE: The numbers in () is basically a guide for you to know how many stitches you should have at the end of each row. I left them there as a helper, that is all.
Also, if you want to make the scarf bigger, just add another set of rows before starting the ties.


Set Up Rows:


Cast on 1
Row 1: kfb (2 stitches)
Row 2: kfb, kfb (4 stitches)
Row 3 and 4: kfb, knit to the end of the row (6 stitches)
Row 5: kfb, *[yo, k2tog], repeat * to the last stitch, yo, knit 1 (8 stitches)

Begin Stitch Pattern:

Rows 1-4: kfb, knit to end (12, 24, 36, 48, 60)
Row 5: kfb, *[yo, k2tog], repeat* to the last stitch, yo, knit 1 (14, 26, 38, 50, 62)
Row 6-9: kfb, knit to end (18, 30, 42, 54, 66)
Row 10: kfb, *[yo, k2tog], repeat* to the last stitch, yo, knit 1 (20, 32, 44, 56, 68)
Repeat rows 1-10 until you have 68 stitches on your needle.

Setting up Tie ends:

Row 1: Turn, kfb, knit to end (69 stitches), place marker, cast on 40 stitches
Row 2: Turn, knit across to end, place marker, cast on 41 stitches (150 total stitches)

Stitch Pattern:

Row 1: Sl1, knit across to end
Row 2: Sl1, knit across to end
Row 3: Sl1, *[yo, k2tog], repeat*to last stitch, K1
Row 4: Sl1, knit across to end
Row 5: Sl1, knit across to end
Repeat rows 1-5 until your tie ends measure 3”-4” wide. (Each set of 5 rows is approximately 1” wide).
Bind off loosely after Row 5

Musings From a Busy Mom

I've been sitting here watching the "news" the past few days and came to a conclusion that I'm sure many of you have reached. Our country is nuts.

I have watched our so called "news stations and news updates and news reports" and all they want to talk about is Michael Jackson. What about the real news in this world, country, state, or town? What about the 13 soldiers that died in Afghanistan this past week? Where is the news on them? What about the respect they deserved for standing up for something they believed in - freedom????

Don't get me wrong. I grew up watching the Jackson 5 and later Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson and Janet Jackson, independently. I liked their music, but I never considered any of them a god. I grew up in the 70's and 80's. I remember when Thriller debuted and all my friends were so excited. I remember the white glove and the moon walk. None could do it better than Michael. But at some point, the Michael I liked and listened to changed. So, as I grew up I quit listening to most of his music, but every once in a while one of the "golden oldies" would play somewhere and I'd be bopping my head to the beat. It was fun music. So, when I heard that he had passed away, I knew that like Elvis, there was going to be a media circus. There was, to the detriment of our country.

During this past week, I've learned that Michael bleached his skin, had numerous nose jobs, didn't want to look like his dad, had needle marks all over his body, on and on and on.

What I didn't see was discussion of the 13 soldiers that died, the cap and trade bill, the health care bill, California's financial spiral, or any other actual issue concerning our country. The media sold out.

I got my news from the internet. Don't get me wrong, I get a lot of my news from the internet, but not everyone does. So, how can 6 plus hours of coverage be explained away by all the main stream media as news worthy? Why didn't they do a lottery to see which ONE station would carry the event of Michal's memorial?

I see teenagers who are devoting their life to Michael (including kids that I know). They think that he walked on water and that he changed the world for everyone. Well, he did in a way, but not always for the better. I don't think it's a wise choice to make any singer a role model. For that matter, no sports figure either. Find someone in your life to use as a role model. At the very least they will listen to you when you have concerns, issues or dreams for your future. My role model growing up was my Nona. I loved her dearly and she faced a lot of issues that none of us could even dream of, including immigrating to a foreign country and not speaking the language.

So, when will the media really start to cover what is going on in our country and world without commentary? When will they report the news without bias from either direction? I would like to wake up one morning and see that for once our country, even tho divided by party, has come together for the betterment of our country without worrying about who got the bigger or better piece of the pie.

I want a country that is run by a government that is for the people and by the people, not for themselves and by themselves.

So, my rambling is done........think I'll go knit something..........
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