Not just a hobby, it's a way of Life

Archive for February, 2012

Technology – cheapskate style

I love technology, but it’s often balanced by a need to be thrifty.  Would I love a smartphone?  You bet I would.  Am I going to pay the rate required to use said smartphone?  Nope.  I’m currently working on what I need to do to increase my earning power, but at this point in the ballgame, it’s simply an expense that doesn’t make sense.  There’s an income threshold that I might entertain the notion (or if BoostMobile was available in our area, or if we were in an area it was), but for now, traveling is the top dog for the discretionary income.  If the thing can’t teleport me to Maine, I have no need for it.

Every one, it seems, has an e-reader.  I liked the idea, but once again, it wasn’t a thing I needed to spend money on.  It’s a uni-tasker, to use Alton Brown’s terminology.  I knew there was an app for the Ipod touch, but I thought I wouldn’t enjoy reading on the backlit screen since much of teaching online is, you guessed it, reading on a backlit screen.

Well, while the true e-ink device may be easier on the eyes, the app is darned impressive.  I can send my PDF knitting patterns to it wirelessly, as opposed to the convoluted method I was using earlier.  I’ve already read a complete book on it.  I think eventually I will get the full-fledged Kindle, but for right now, I’m content.

That’s Amore

Since Ramblin and I have our xmas/anniversary/Valentine’s/birthday trip coming up, Valentine’s gifts really weren’t necessary.  Instead, I decided to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  I will guarantee this is the best meal we could have had in our area.

I don’t have a ‘recipe’ per se.  I tend not to use recipes on stuff that I’ve just always made.  The meatballs are ground beef, minced garlic, minced onion, Bragg’s Aminos (I put this in practically everything), and Italian seasoning.  I cook those in a skillet while I’m letting the sauce simmer.  The sauce is tomato sauce, tomato paste, more garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and some sugar.  We use the Barilla Plus pasta which really keeps its texture even in the fridge overnight.  No mushiness at all.  Love it!

My other project I’m working on today is the Leaving pullover by Knitspot.  All of Anne’s patterns are simply lovely.  I believe I’ve sang her praises before here on the blog.  It bears repeating.
Leaving panel

I’m working on the back, already having knit the sleeves and front. I think the pattern is rather heart-like, so it seems very appropriate for today.

And finally, in other exciting news, I was a giveaway winner from Springtree Road!  Maya dyes beautiful yarns and fibers, and I absolutely love her Muscadine Sock.   Do yourself a favor and go check out the lovelies!  If you’re not a knitter, it may not hold the same appeal, but trust me, it’s good stuff.

Two kinds of toasty goodness

The apple dessert was a big hit.  The best part was it was still just a bit warm when it was served.  Yummmmmm

And Saturday evening, I realized that while I had been organized enough to ensure I had all the ingredients for the dessert, actually getting him a present slipped my mind.  At 10pm, I cast on a pair of fingerless mitts.

Kenny's Smoulder Mitts

And finished them Sunday morning.  This was some yarn I had spun a few years ago, and it seemed like a great color for him.   The temps have even dropped here, to make them even more attractive.

Feeling Fruity

What you see above is the fruit I purchased at Big Box Store today.  That fruit should last us a week.  (Disclaimer:  I am making an apple dessert this weekend, hence the two bags of apples.)

I have loved fruit all my life.  Who loved pomegranates before pomegranates were cool?  This gal.  I can’t think of a single fruit (outside of Andrew Zimmerman’s durian – anything described as “completely rotten, mushy onions” is not on my menu) that I wouldn’t eat.  There are favorites, of course, and some that I wouldn’t necessarily choose.  If given a choice between some decadent chocolate dessert or a fruit platter, I’m picking the fruit.  Yeah, really.

The reason I’m making a dessert is that we are celebrating my uncle’s birthday, and a bag of apples simply doesn’t shout, “Celebrate!”  It will probably be something similar-ish to this apple crisp recipe.   As I recall, I might have made this last year.

Now, as you can probably surmise, I’m not eating all of this fruit myself.  You don’t spend 15 years with a person without some things being contagious, and Ramblin has got the fruit bug.  I think his downfall started last summer when I got the notion to start making smoothies.  (I won’t show you the frozen fruit stash – oh yes, there is one!)

As we all know, every smoothie recipe ends with “. . . and a banana.”  I don’t care what combination you’re making, there’s going to be a banana involved.  So, I started keeping them on hand.  And we started running out of bananas before we even got the smoothies made. We now even have a banana-buying strategy: we buy now-nanners and later-nanners.  Now-nanners are ready to be consumed immediately.  They are that nice yellow shade with maybe just a few scuffs of brown.  Later-nanners are yellow-green and need a few days to ripen fully, during which time we consume the now-nanners.

What?  Don’t look at me like that.  It’s genius.  Sheer genius.


The view from here

Just in case you’ve ever wondered, here’s what my workday looks like:

Also in case you were wondering, I have been to the lighthouse pictured on my desktop, but it is not my picture.  It was a standard one included on the laptop.  It’s Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Bristol, Maine.  (Maine – squee!)

I finished up another long-term knitting project.  I was very excited when I started this sweater, and now that it’s done – meh.

Vail finished

It’s pretty enough, but the fit or something just doesn’t thrill me.  Oh well, it’s done.

And I’ve started something new that will hopefully turn out better.

Leaving sleeve

This is Leaving by Knitspot.  I’m making the pullover version, if all goes well.  I don’t normally like knitted pullovers, but Anne just makes so many things look beautiful.  I fully plan to make a cardigan version in the future as well.

Taxes are done, and my head didn’t quite explode.  It did get ugly, though.  Ramblin had to take me out for Chinese food afterward to banish the frustration.