Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers-February

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

I had fun this month, even though my posting might contradict this.

I knew immediately I was going to make my Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream. So I thought I might want to try to do this cake with white chocolate. I had a potluck at my SnB and decided that would be the day to showcase my work. Alas, my "white chocolate" burned when I tried to melt it. Errg! So, a week later, I tried again. I got the White chocolate to melt, but the cake ended up looking and tasting like a really sweet omelette--Yuck!

At this point I realized the "white chocolate" I was using was actually not really white chocolate--it had no cocoa butter in it (the definition of true white chocolate). So I gave up and went extra dark bittersweet.

And it worked beautifully. Here it is getting ready to go to the SnB.

It had actually started snowing so I felt the snowflake was appropriate.

Here's my ice-cream:

I used almost 1 1/2 Tablespoons of chili powder--I even pulled out the big guns I got in Santa Fe. It was snowing and I thought it would be easier to eat icecream if it had more heat in it.

So I'm all proud of myself, bringing treats to the SnB, and giving a fond farewell to a fellow knitter who gets to live on Mount Rainier for a year, when this woman comes in--carrying a cake.

Needless to say, it's good there were lots of women there. There was a lot of chocolate. The other cake tasted much better than mine, but my ice cream was pretty stellar.

What I learned:
  • read your labels
  • I had never made a flourless cake before--not my favorite
  • I make kick a$$ ice cream

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Art of Folding

My son found my origami books.

This should thrill me, but I have spent over 20 years collecting advanced origami books--full of models that shouldn't ever be attempted by mere mortals...

...or five year olds.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

From the Halls of Montezuma...

Recently I went to the gym and started my 10 minute warm-up. Everytime I enter the gym I intend to leave with the hope that something will be sore the next day. As I was sorting out my routine in my head, I became aware of the significant number of combat boots wandering around, and fatigues. Oh dear, the Marines are here.

(Why there is a boatload (pun intended) of marines in a landlocked state still eludes me)

I had to make a choice. Do I avoid my weight training and stay on the treadmill? Do I alter my training and stick to the "girly" side of the gym? Do I just enter the fray and and crank it like I intended?

I'm proud to say I chose option C. A less recent edition of Mountain Mama would have chosen a different option but this one stuck to her plan. And while I was straining to do those assisted pull-ups subtracting 65% of my weight, one of them caught my eye and thumbs-uped me (he was doing pull-ups with weights tied to his waist...someday...). It felt great.

At my knitting group, one woman said she wanted to join a gym but she hated the idea of people ogling the "fat woman on the treadmill." Of course we all want to be in our comfort zone, but look where my comfort zone got me.

I would rather be ogled on a treadmill than in a fast food restaurant.

Show and Tell

For Show and Tell, Yummy had to create a caricature of his favorite storybook character.

Imagine my delight when this was who he chose:

If you need help, refer to numbers 75 and 76.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Burn Baby Burn

Treadmill: 10-15 miles/week
Yoga: 1-2 hours/week
Zoomba: 1 hour/week
Weight training: 2 hours/week
Sore: every f-bomb day

While whining about how little weight I've lost despite working out (hard!) almost everyday, one fellow yummy* told me I should just strive to have my clothing fit better.

I wanted to say "I don't want my clothes to fit better, I want your clothes to fit me better."

I'm about to hit a weightloss milestone. It would happen faster if the Easter m&ms weren't out.

*Yummy-What happens when a woman gives up her yuppie existance after creating one or more yuppie larvae.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Survey Says...

I'm toying with a gadget. I'll blog about the results when it closes.


An old friend posted my 1st grade class picture on Facebook. It has induced a stream of funny memories. We've been been reminiscing all weekend.

So much fun!

I think you need to be my friend, and a member of Facebook to view the link. If you really want to see me in all my crooked-tooth, near-sighted glory, you'll just have to ask.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Knit Pics

"You finished seven sweaters! Where are the pictures of the other six? Why don't we get pictures?" you all ask.

Well, none of you asked, but all my sources say blogs are more "fun" with pics so here you go:

This one I started five years ago. I finished it a while back but waited months before sewing in a zipper. I thought I would wear it more often than I do, but it's sort of boxy on me. I was larger when I started it.

This one I blogged about before, hopefully while drunk. I ended up finishing this one in record time and wear it so much...

...I made another two weeks ago.

This next one is beautiful, but you will have to take my word for it since my camera doesn't like me. It's one of those sweaters that no one would ever think I made (unless you knew me) because it's so right. I wear it often...

...but it doesn't look as curvy on me as it does on Violet.

And finally, we have the third fair isle concoction (the first being here). Once I got going it went quickly. Providing I block it adequately, it fits beautifully (the shoulders are a bit tweaky--I blame the weightlifting). It's another "You made that!" sweater. When I wear a push-up bra with it the Businessman is happy and I could get a wenching gig in Bavaria.
And number six? Well, I thought Iwould have finished it by now. But Colorado being what it is, I have had no desire to work on my Dale of Norway.

99 Things About Me

I have been working on this list since I started my blog. Now that some old chums from my oast are crawling out of the woodwork, I felt the need to finish the list.

1. I have two children.
2. I have been happily married since 1999.
3.I was born in Edina, Minnesota.
4.I moved to Evergreen, Colorado when I was four.
5.I lived in that house in Evergreen until college. My parents still live there.
6.I have had seven addresses--three of them houses we've owned--in the past 10 years.
7.I hate moving.
8.I was two and a half when I learned to read.
9.In 3rd grade, a teacher told me that boys were better at math. This bothered me. A lot.
10.In 6th grade, the school district created an accelerated math curriculum for me (though other students were invited to participate).
11.No seriously, I had three teachers tell me this--when I never did my homework (but aced all the tests).
12.I have a degree in Biology.
13.I tested out of all the math I needed for this degree.
14.I love math. I should have chosen a major involving math.
15.I love being creative. I should have majored in art.
16.I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
17.I met my husband my first week of college. He was the first straight guy I met.
18.I was so freaked out about meeting Mr Right when I was 18, I refused to marry him until we had been out of college for at least a year.
19.I graduated from high school with almost all of the people in my kindergarten picture. (Need to verify numbers)
20. I use my middle name
21.My first name, Marianne, has been passed down to the first daughter for at least four generations.
22.When I was pregnant with my second son, my pregnancy-induced insanity tried to convince my husband to name him "Ariann." I was soundly vetoed by both him and my (German) mother.
23.I broke the chain and only have sons. I will insist their wives sign a prenup stating they will name the first granddaughter Marianne.
24.This means my future daughter-in-laws will hate me--better them than my ancestors.
25.I have a complete and utter terror of snakes. I must withhold this information from any future DILs.
26.I also have a fear of worms and anything else that doesn't have appendages.
27.If a furry snake were discovered, I would not be scared of it.
28.Toilet paper should come over the roll, not under. I have switched the rolls at other peoples' homes.
29.I don't get invited to many homes.
30.I am a vegetarian. I eat no land animals and very rarely fish. Gradually I will become vegan.
31. I love cheese.
32.Before becoming a vegetarian, I was willing to try anything once. I still am, but I would draw the line at animal flesh. I don't know if I would eat meat in a Million Dollar situation.
33.I'm not likely to be offered a million dollars to eat meat.
34.Mayonaise is gross. It creeps me out and I have never liked it.
35.The best deviled eggs in the world are made by my aunt-in-law. The only thing she puts in them is mayo. When I learned this I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.
36.I dated one of the writers of South Park. Nothing serious.
37.My appendix ruptured when I was 12.
38.Two weeks after my appendix ruptured, I got a spectacular case of chicken pox.
39.I have been to Hawaii three times. I'm willing to make it four.
40.Most of the time, I would rather do something myself than pay someone else to do it. This includes housecleaning, home repairs and haircuts.
41.I always choose scissors in scissors paper rock.
42.Unless you know that. Then I choose paper.
43.I like headgames.
44.I refuse to keep dull scissors in my home. Either they are trashed or sharpened.
45.It bothers me when people won't throw away pens that don't work.
46.I hate the feel of writing on newspaper in pencil, this is why I do crossword puzzles in pen.
47.I don't like Crayola's "Cornflower" color. It feels like writing with a birthday candle.
48.I don't eat blue m&ms. Or any blue food for that matter. (Blueberries are cloudy purple).
49.I love chocolate, but don't like chocolate ice-cream.
50.Unless it is my homemade Mexican Chocolate ice-cream.
51.Chocolate in or on my ice-cream is fair game.
52.I rarely wear socks unless I'm working out. Even in Winter.
53.Though I'm American, my ancestry is 100% German. People who work in Scottish apparel shops refuse to believe this. They insist that somewhere in my gutteral nomenclature is a good Scottsh Tartan. Apparently I can't just choose a pretty one.
54.I love men in kilts.
55.I love babies in overalls.
56.I have never been to Europe, but would move there in a heartbeat if a realistic opportunity presented itself.
57.I have used only 275 cell phone minutes in the past year.
58.I used to work for T-Mobile.
59.My favorite color is green.
60.And blue.
61.I do not like red roses.
62.I have a bad sense of smell. I think it's from several bad allergy attacks when I was younger.
63.I knit. I knit fearlessly. There are few patterns that scare me.
64.I sew. Not as much as I knit, but just as fearlessly.
65.My fearlessness has resulted in millions of UFOs.
66.I have never watched American Idol.
67.I am glued to the TV during the Olympics.
68.I would be perfectly happy if I had no television.
69.Sometimes I think technology is bad.
70.I love my iPod, my high-speed internet, and my Wii.
71.Someday I will inherit land in North Dakota. (Hopefully later than sooner)
72.Though I have been known to bake the futziest of recipes, I buy premade piecrust.
73.After Book 3, I wanted to adopt Harry Potter.
74.I had a crush on Merlin (as in King Arthur's magician) in High School.
75.I also had a crush on Waldo. Almost every guy I dated resembled Waldo in some way.
76.The first time I met my husband, he told me he was once Waldo for Halloween--without knowledge of number 75.
77.I worry about the environment.
78.I worry about our society.
79.I'm not convinced we are creating a better world.
80.I do feel if we all put in a little more effort, this world would be a better place.
81.I have never purchased margarine.
82.Or non-stick spray.
83.The last time I drank an entire soda, I was in eighth grade.
84.Unless you count rootbeer floats, love those!
85.I dogear books rather than use a bookmark.
86.I read in the bath tub.
87.I fall asleep reading in bed. My husband often ends up removing my book before he falls asleep.
88.When someone loans me a book, I try not to do 85-87.
89.I would rather be in my home, creating, than exploring.
90.Alas, exploring leads to inspiration.
91.Inspiration leads to creativity.
92.Repeat 89-91 to find my inner turmoil.
93.My work ethic is good, but I would be perfectly happy if I didn't have to work (for money) ever again.
94.Dessert island: iPod, survival guide, boat.
95.I might trade the boat for a helicopter.
96.I love some alternative music, I hate other alternative music.
97.I listen to country music in the car because I like it (and because I have no CD player). The alternative radio station is too bipolar for driving (see 96.)
98.If you've come this far, I am genuinely shocked to see you here.
99.I think Americans waste too much of their lives on the computer.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Here Be Monsters

Around here, we had a couple days off school. It was cold and windy and basically felt like a new form of torture the school district implemented on the parents.

So I schlepped my brood to the craft store and we made art for the playroom. I was inspired by a "picture" Vicious made when he had a page of sticky eyeballs and a sheet of paper. I loved the effect so much I wanted a (more) permanent version:


(Yes I cut his hair. Yes I regret it. Yes I think he looks like the offspring of the National Socialist regime. Hair grows.)

And speaking of hair. We decided we needed a hairy monster. I asked Yummy to close his eyes and picture the craziest, hairiest monster he could. What color is he?

Rainbow of course!

I cut. Yummy glued. I had no idea cutting monster hair would be such a chore!

I still have enough supplies for "Slime" and "Scales"

What? Where do you go for your wall art?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

March Madness Isn't a Sale in a Garden Catalog?

Last week after my workout the I found the businessman shooting hoops. He asked me to join him so he could get practice with his rebounding.

It took about 10 minutes to realize this meant my suckiness was what he wanted, having only made about five baskets and seeing him get almost all my rebounds.

Next time he asks me, I don't know whether to be honored or offended.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Phrases I use far too often around here:

Because I told you too. (Relative of "Because I said so" which I would never say)
Did anyone feed the cat? Then why is he biting my ankles?
Where's the cat?
Stop hitting your brother.
You cannot throw golfballs in the house.
Do you think screaming is a good way to ask for help?
Because I'm mean.
Life isn't fair.

And my favorite:
Keep your underpants on. (Literally)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Airing of the Stash

There are numerous knitting Icons who encourage a yearly "Airing of the Stash" though I think the actual term comes from Cast On's Brenda Dayne.

This year, it wasn't hard: thanks to the work I did this Summer on My Sewing Room most of my yarn is sitting tidily in it's corner. The tricky part was finding the hidden caches, like the basket on a shelf in a cabinet behind another shelf (thank goodness for castors) or the wonderful totebasket for the living room to hold only my current project that multiplied exponentially and filled up the bookshelves.

I keep my stash in Excel so I can wrangle a funky equation that theorhetically tells me how much yarn I can buy (one skein for every two used) but really tells me I have bought far more then I should have (It was a silly resolution anyway) because I'm a nerd.

I was logging my yarn and I noticed a few differences between last year and this year:
  • I bought less yarn
  • No wait, I bought fewer different yarns. This means instead of one beautiful skein that I could make a ??? with (And I don't need any more of those) I would buy a sweaters' worth of yarn. So more skeins, but fewer rows in Excel.
  • I have finished seven sweaters since August. Four of them were started in the past seven months. While this consumes yarn, it leads me into a false feeling of stash reduction.
  • I still have an embarrassing amount of yarn. The only thing protecting my head from exploding at the quantity is the knowledge that it couldn't fill a moving box (and I have heard of people who have boxes (plural!!!) of sock yarn alone.
  • It takes a depressingly long time to knit up a 450 yard skein of sock yarn.
  • With all my fair isle sweaters (I've made three now) I have 50 partial skeins of Knit Picks Pallette (why does a pattern say it uses 750 yds of a color when it only used 422?)which is probably enough to make three more sweaters or six more vests. However, I will stab those 2.5 mm needles through my nostrils and out my ears before I cast on for another fair isle project.

So, not being in the habit of self voodoolation, I'm taking those fifty skeins into my SnB tomorrow and I will try to pawn them off on anyone who wants them.

Half of 50 is 25. I could buy 25 new skeins...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blog Blahs

Life is at a state of steady busy-ness: I have been very busy with the usual life stuff, but nothing of interest has happened.

This makes for slow blogging.

So, you can either hope for a microdisaster in my life so that you may be entertained, or you can get off the computer and wreak havoc in your own life.

Your choice.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Role Models

While folding laundry:

Vish: What's this?
Me: This? It's a bra. It's an undershirt girls wear when they grow up.
Vish: What's Dat?
Me: What?
Vish: Dat?
Me: What's dat?
Vish: Um, the boy who lives with us and drinks coffee.

*pause to hide giggling*

Me: You mean Dad?
Vish: Yeah, Dat!

Friday, February 06, 2009

At Least I think it's Cool

I popped into Crow yesterday in my yoga class.

Does anyone other than me find that impressive?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mountain Dew, Fritos, and Ergonomic Peripherals

Okay, this next sentence is going to make you all know how much of a nerd I really am:

So I was listening to my math podcast...


...last December and they had some gift suggestions for math geeks. One of the suggestions was a computer game called DROD.

Normally I avoid computer games. Not because I'm against them, but because they have a potential for huge time-suck (which is also why I try not to linger on Facebook either, but I digress). However, my math podcast hyped it so I thought I'd try the demo.

I have found the need to limit myself to one dungeon room a day. There is just this huge satisfaction of swinging my sword at a cockroach (and hearing that popping noise) that has rendered me addicted. The game is intriguingly simple, but so darned challenging. I keep meeting new enemies, like tar and evil eyes, and I have to figure out the puzzles that will let me escape.

On occasion I get very stuck so I meander to the message boards for hints (not solutions) and I enter geekdom. These people speak languages I can't hope to understand, with words like "Data/Bitmaps directory" and "dynamically loads a .tim file." I am so swimming in deep, deep water here.

I wonder if any of them can fix my router?
Blog Widget by LinkWithin