Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Sandwiches

Let's get to the 10:

1. At Planet Organic, they have one that is on a ciabatta bun, and there's sliced brie, greens, tomatoes*, and not sure what, but dayum, is it good.

2. Grilled cheese- good old Kraft slices on Texas Toast, with zucchini relish (my friend Pat turned me on to it).

3. Black forest ham on rye, with mustard and swiss- melted.

4. Toasted peanut butter, but you have to put butter on the toast first.

5. Toasted tomato* with mayo, and sometimes bacon.

6. I'm guessing a burger is a sandwich, and  my current fav is the Hero burger, with cheese, pickles and mayo.

7. Egg salad with dill in it.

8. Chicken Salad- but made properly. I like sprouts on top too.

9. Tim Horton's has these pretzel bagels, with salt chunks on top, and who cares if anything else is in them.

10. A fried-egg sandwich with ketchup.

I'm going to make a grilled cheese with brie and apples and walnuts. Looked good- but I'll give it to my daughter, as I'm not eating alot of carbs these days.

I do hope the Easter Bunny is good to everyone, and Tino has no idea what an Easter Bunny is, but he hopes there will be mousies.
Silly goof doesn't fit in the middle of his toy anymore- but he doesn't care.

* these are the only times I will eat raw tomatoes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cleaning Up The Act

So, it's Spring.  Alot of us are thinking about cleaning up, and it's something I think alot about, because it's what I do.  I grew up with a parent who practically sterilized our house, and if you sat down on something, she would smooth it over as soon as you got up. It was neurotic.

In my house, you will definitely find dustbunnies, and the odd cobweb.  But on whole, my dishes are done, my counters are clean, and the floors are swept.  But clutter, oh, the clutter. I am a knitter (spinner, sewist, needlepointer, cross-stitcher....) so I have alot of supplies.  However, they are organized and tidy and I do know exactly what I have.  The crawlspace, and the garage, not so much.  Those are not my domains.
Have you seen this book in the bookstore, or blogosphere? LIFE-CHANGING.  Who could resist?

I wish I did.  The author names her routine after herself.  If you follow her advice, it's simple: start in your closet, and take out every single item.  If you don't feel love and excitement about it, then it goes. This is the premise of the book.  Then you move on to other things (you're also advised not to store out-of-season clothes). 

(Rant coming on)- I like to be open-minded.  I read this, and my niece read it (I value her opinion).  We both came to the same conclusion.  Maybe if you live in Japan, and are restricted space-wise, I can see where this might be helpful.  But let's be honest. I live in a middle-class home, larger by Japanese standards, but not a mansion.  I accumulate. Human beings do.  We are programmed to buy- even if it's groceries (just try getting out of the store for under 100.00 bucks!)- and so, this book is way off the mark.  The author advocates laying folded clothes sideways in the drawer, which would cause all kinds of havoc when you actually try to remove something. 

By the time you have implemented the Kon-Mari (yes!) system, not only will you have conquered clutter, you will never have to do it again. You have arrived at a clutter free life, once and for all.  As I neared the end of the book, I came to the conclusion, well, she's deluded.

Life simply isn't lived that way.  And I don't care where you live, it isn't the reality.  So, like all the rest of us, have a Spring Clean, and put aside the things you no longer want, because guess what, it's GARAGE SALE season.

I think this book will be tossed on the pile-

Oh, and happy Spring.

I'm fleecin'.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things You Would Buy if You Had A Pot of Gold

Who's Irish and lives in your backyard?

Paddy O'Stone

I know that alot of people think about what they would do if they won the lottery, or came into some money. It kind of depends what sort of money we're talking about, doesn't it?  Sure, a few hundred would be nice, maybe a few thousand.  Alot of us think in terms of millions, so since this is 2015, and a million now buys you a detached house in Toronto- and not even a great one in a nice neighborhood, I'm guessing that the pot of gold has to be pretty big.  Let's play:

1. A Land Rover Defender.

2. A personal chef- there are some rules: they have to make low fat food that I like, and they shop, come in at a certain time, have everything ready and they don't talk to me.  Between 5:00 and 6:00 pm is arsenic hour around here, and I watch the news at 5:00. Oh and they have to clean up too.

3. Nice homes for my kids, sister and close friends.

4. A gardener, one who knows about plants and cuts grass and pulls weeds. 

5. Maybe a few Chesapeake Bay Retreivers:
My dream dog, which is larger than a Labrador (love those too) and has a curlier coat.  They are famous swimmers, and like Labradors, have the webbed feet, oily coat and otter tail.

6. Lots of money to the cat rescue.
Laura had some Ragdoll kittens- they went to good homes.
7. Trip to Germany, England, Scotland and maybe the Baltics.

8. A spending spree at Gudrun Sjoden.

9. Lots of money to Sick Childrens Hospital and Princess Margaret Cancer Center.

10. I think I'm exhausted having spent all that money.

Would I really be happier having all those things?  Not really.  But thinking about it can be fun sometimes.  And I do love animals.

Not much to report since last week. I did manage to figure out how to thread the new serger, and sort of figured out that if you don't have the lower looper thread OVER the upper looper, you're doomed. As I was cursing and swearing, I did wonder what kind of evil mind ever came up with the idea of such a convoluted plan, I think I've cracked it.

I raise a cup of Irish Breakfast Tea to you- for those that are Irish, or wish they were-


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sewing and Knitting and Fiber-Oh MY!

For the first time, in weeks, we have temps above 0 C.  This, of course, brings on my headaches, because I am a barometer, and can predict these things.  I suspect, though, winter is not done with us yet, but it's nice not to have to wrap up like a mummy when you go out.

Why yes, I HAVE been out and about.  FC got me a very nice prezzie:
This is a 4 thread serger, or overlocker.  Once I figure out how to thread it (you don't have to, it has been pre-threaded) and use it, it means that I can make my own clothes using knits. To be honest, I am so tired of trying to buy clothes that I can wear at reasonable prices.  All my stores are gone, and it's insane to shop online as the duty and taxes are just stupid.  This will make it possible to buy really quality fabrics and finish them like store-bought.  This is the plan.
Miss Mew finished her "walk-away" dress- it's a vintage pattern that is still available, and as she is lucky enough to have a slim waist, and a figure that looks great in this silhouette (New Look)- I think she did a superb job.

I have also purchased some patterns that I know I will use alot- check out the Margot pants with the ties on them. Cute?  I got some 100% linen in a medium blue for those. I am really trying to stay away from black, unless it's for leggings.  The Gabby dress patten can be shortened as a tunic-y sort of thing, as well as a great loose dress for warmer weather.
There are more babies being added to the family, so yesterday while I was tidying up, I whipped off this large receiving blanket.
I also finished another pair of socks. These are Tadpoles (free pattern) done in BMFA Lightweight in Hobbit's Garden. I have come to the conclusion that Blue Moon, for the price, and the colours is really my favorite sock yarn.  In fact, I pretty much like everything I have ever knit from her stuff.
I have also been spinning- this is Fat Cat BFL in "Romanesque" which I have spun as a gradient.  The paler green is Bartlett.
And Tino is a little bit narked at me, as he thought that blankie might have been his.

Next time, Tino.

And we're fleecin' out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ten On Tuesday- Tuesday But Not 10

I am not playing the 10 today as I can't think of  anyone, real or imagined, that I would invite to dinner right now.  Unless it's that cute Patrick Grant from The Great British Sewing Bee and he wears his kilt, like he did on the last program.  Gasp and swoon!!!!  He would be allowed.

We had the coldest February on record.  It went on for most of the month.  Someone asked me yesterday if I thought the snow was over.  Pffft- we often get snow in April.  But I have been busy around here.
Ta da! I have finished my handspun Gnarled Oaks cardigan.  It's blocked and has buttons. Done and dusted.  I used FatCat Knits BFL in Sugared Beets.

The only downside was these oak leaves.  Very clever, but fiddly.  Never mind, I will probably never do another one, but I can recommend the pattern.  Those are oak buttons from Etsy.

On Saturday we went to the TIFF Lightbox and saw an old Barbara Stanwyck film, The Lady Eve, on the big screen.  We parked at the subway and took the train downtown.  I have to say, the subway never really changes, does it?  Same old weirdoes, especially at night.  It was a good film and probably the first time I've been out in months.  I should probably do it more often.

A very bad boy who can't bear it if you aren't paying attention to him every second. Trying to spin, sew, knit- live- is hard around here. 

Ah well.  Fleecin'-