Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lazy Random Day

I have emerged from reading 4 books on MS in one week, to read Winter's Bone. Possibly not the best choice for a pick me up novel, but oh well. I seem to be short on those right now. Potentially due to the fact that my favorite authors are in between books.

In carrying on the medical research, I do have House on. I can't decide whether or not I like this show. I'm getting addicted though, watching the reruns on USA.

All of this medical research makes me wonder why in the world, western medicine treats the symptoms but not the root of the problem. Someone would think you were crazy if you explained you had a hole in your roof but it was ok, because you were buying buckets. But that's what the medical world does, have a chronic disease like MS or RA, it's ok, we can make your symptoms go away, a little, well at least for a week or so. But let's not look for the root cause of the chronic illness. They just keep buying buckets to haul the water out in. Meanwhile, people keep eating their McDonalds, or frozen TV dinners, without question, garbage in, garbage out.

Rant over. I think cats are designed to keep us hanging out watching reruns and reading books on gray yucky days. They curl up and purr and you forget about cleaning the house. Clever creatures. Our cats are in the process of interviewing pet sitters for our upcoming vacation. I have thought of taking Neptune with us, but I think Mercury would miss him, and the thought of traveling with a cat, who attacks people isn't the most thrilling thing in the world. So instead, we are attempting to find someone who we can pay to come over and watch reruns and read books while he hisses at them. It should work.
Sweet widdle kitty, would never dream of attacking a pet sitter...

I am working on spinning up Primrose, I got quite a bit done yesterday, will finish it tonight. Very pretty blue it's turning into. I love watching roving turn into yarn. This is supposed to be a tea cozy. I think that's on a list somewhere, my desire to make a tea cozy. Must find that list.

And the Seattle Mariners start tomorrow!!!!! I am so excited, spring training has been great this year. It'd be a perfect start to the season if it wasn't for the fact that Dave Niehaus can't be there in person. I have been listening to spring training to prepare myself, but I don't think it will hit home till I turn on the game tomorrow night and hear the wrong voice welcoming in the 2011 season.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring in the Tundra

yay. I am so excited. I love the images of spring.. Especially flooding rivers. You can sense my irony here obviously. We are high and dry, but the river does run through my town, and some aren't so lucky. I can only hope it stops rising soon.

This is a road to a neighboring town Or was.

The river is more than twice it's normal size.

So, we'll focus on more spring colors in roving. A couple of these came while I was distracted with Kenny, so I hadn't focused on them, but they are so pretty!!!

Neptune is testing some Merino Primrose for it's sturdiness. This is my March fiber from Fondle This!

Who me? I'd never shred roving. Nope. Wrong cat.

Sorry, but he's cute. He sees the camera and the fiber and does this. Can I get an awwwww

Knittyandcolor batt. My welcome spring gift to myself!

Because I HAD TO HAVE THIS! Falkland fiber in Fresh Cut from knittyandcolor.

March Painted Tiger fiber club - Romney in a beautiful blues, greens and browns.
These are my 3 go-to fiber people, and I think you can see why. If knittyandcolor ever did a fiber club I'd be the first to sign up. Just love them all so much!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!!!

My life seems to be made up of diet information right now.

After my sister was diagnosed with MS a couple weeks ago, on top of my brother having gastric bypass 3 months ago, it's been a hot topic of discussion around here. So much of our health is tied into diet, but we put so little thought into it. Yet, really, we are fueling our body with junk most of the time. Is there any wonder that we then feel bad, and end up on medications or supplements to help? No, I don't think diet is the cure-all, but I do think that if we give our bodies the food they need, they will function a lot better over time.

I have been reading up on diets for MS, and since I believe in practicing what I preach, have become a Pescetarian. This was surprisingly easy. Now, cutting out sugar - that's another story. I know, that I can not have cakes, cookies, etc, and ice cream is the same way. If I have those in the house I will simply eat them all one bite at a time. I mean, if you cut a slice of cake, and it's uneven, you have to make it even again, right? It's kind of an OCD trait. The long and short of it, is, any baked goods I produce, I must have a clear exit strategy for. Which means people really like me, because I come with treats. My old work loved me, I bet they are still in homemade cookie withdrawl...

Of course, I have an edge on this, as I do the shopping, and cooking here. Other family members might be puzzled, but they go along with it, because there's no other food in the house. They are still eating meat when we eat out, which is fine, I'm not making them make the change, but they're assuring me that at home, they aren't missing the meat.  Of course here, I am talking about the adults. The kids are another story. The kids, don't miss the meat either. But - I did have a throwdown with one over eating green beans the other week. The end result (after an hour) was he did eat them, he didn't throw up, but he wouldn't even carry the fresh green beans out of the car from Costco yesterday. I think we'll ignore the issue for awhile, and then try again. I am slowly trying to wean them off of their junk food, and working on making fresh. Today, when we pick them up from school, I am taking baby carrots and grapes for their 'tide them over snack'. We'll see how they do with that.

But I have a feeling, that I am starting to put this together in my mind. I notice my palate has been changing, and I can pick out the subtle flavors better. I went to Costco yesterday, and we bought practically every vegetable they had, along with fruit and fish. Then, it's a fun challenge to figure out how I can use all these veggies in recipes through the week.

So far, I have made 3 versions of vegetable soup, vegetable lasagna, broccoli and crab pasta, and of course salmon. The favorite soup was a leek onion soup, that had the depth of flavor of a really good French Onion, but was loaded with veggies.

 This morning, I woke up, and wandered into the kitchen to put together a new vegetable soup. This one (yet untasted) has vegetable stock, brown rice, barley, black beans, carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic (I sauteed those 3 in olive oil), green beans, and I'll finish it with frozen corn and fresh spinach before it's done cooking. I added a small amt of smoked paprika, pepper, and Italian seasoning. It smells amazing. The best part, is that the soups are averaging 200 calories per bowl, but have so many nutrients in them that they fill you up, and keep you satisfied. And, with the crockpot full, this will feed us for a few days, so I won't cook again till Wednesday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Kenny!

You know, how when you plan something for several years, wait for it an equally long time, and plot out all ideas, that the fear of a letdown looms strongly?
Concert Goodies

This was my situation last night. You see, I had just been discovering Kenny Chesney when he last came to this frozen wasteland 4 years ago (totally don't blame him there - I wouldn't come back either). I didn't go to the concert, at the time I wasn't going to them. Then he promptly started touring in warmer climates. I plotted how to see him in Qwest field in 2009, but couldn't quite figure out how to get out to Seattle that fast again (I seriously regret that now), and last year he stayed home writing songs.

FINALLY he announced he was coming again, and I was there for the pre-sale, a horrible 20 minutes where Ticketmaster kept wanting to sell me tickets WAAAAY out in the back 40, and I kept panicking thinking I'd be relegated to the nosebleed section. after all that stress, I got good seats alongside the stage and took them.

All of that brings us to last night. A night I'd been waiting FOUR FROZEN YEARS for!I was a little worried that I'd be disappointed, could anyone live up to this much mental hype by someone. I should have known Kenny would never let me down.

From the start it was amazing, high energy and the crowd was great. It was packed and the energy was so high! It just rocked! At 10:30, he announced that if he sang till midnight, he'd be here on his birthday again. Of course that was fine with all of us, so they went off set and sang and partied. Uncle Kracker and Billy Currington came back out (both had been on before, in great shows), and then he featured people in his band. It was AMAZING! The best part? Clearly showing our mind meld, Kenny chose to sing my favorite all time song, one he rarely sings at a concert - On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful, in the expanded set. It was the best night ever.

Now I'm trying to convince everyone to get in the car and drive to Omaha to spend another Birthday night with Kenny. And I'm plotting for tickets in July to Kansas City.. Actually maybe I could just follow the band. He said we could all go on tour with him.. I mean, I don't really want to plan for the other 20,000 people there.. But I think he just meant me anyway.

Unofficial setlist including the extras :) And scroll down for grainy pictures of said concert..

Live a Little/ Reality/ Live Those Songs/ Summertime/ Beer in Mexico/ Coastal/ The Woman with You/ Big Star/ I Go Back/ No Shirt No Shoes No Problem/ Anything But Mine/ acoustic: The Life/ I’m Alive/ band: Living in Fast Forward/ Young/ Somewhere with You/ Don’t Happen Twice/ Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven/ The Good Stuff/ Out Last Night/ with Uncle Kracker: When the Sun Goes Down/ You Never Even Call Me By My Name (David Allan Coe)/ The Joker (Steve Miller, w Billy Currington)  Three Little Birds (Bob Marley)/ band: When I Close My Eyes/On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful!!/ She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy/ with roadie: Blister in the Sun (Violent Femmes)/ With or Without You (U2)/ Chesney’s guitarist Clayton Mitchell singing: You Really Got Me (Kinks)/ Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan) ENCORE There Goes My Life/ Boys of Fall

The pre Kenny Curtain

Uncle Kracker with Kenny, missed a picture with Billy Currington

By Kenny, Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 25, 2011


What do you do, when the winter won't end?
When all around you is snowflakes, my friend?

When you long to see the ocean
And really need some of it's magic potion?

Because you miss the waves of blue
And wonder what will become of you?

Trapped in this gray dark place
too far from the beach to have any peace?

You go to see Kenny Chesney!!!!!! And Billy Currington.. But Really KENNY CHESNEY!

I'm goin' Coastal tonight! See you next summer!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blizzard Spinning

Yesterday, while watching the flurries flitter down into the foot of snow, I finished up this bobbin of Shetland and N-plied it. This is leftover fiber from a fiber club I used to belong to. I love the colors, but the fiber was gross, with second cuts, and straw interspersed into it. So I was glad when I was done with the bobbin, though I still have another 5oz of this to go. It will be pretty made into something though, I'm thinking of breaking out the loom and weaving it into a bag.

Now I have to decide what to spin next... Oh the choices.

On another subject, I've been eating no meat (except for fish) for a week now. Surprisingly enough, after the first couple days it was really quite easy. I've been making a bunch of vegetable soups with beans, barley, and fresh veggies. I made a lasagna with veggies that was amazing! And happily, after the first couple days, I stopped looking toward fish to eat. Now if I can succeed in cutting down the sugar (note to self: Do not make cookies without a clear exit strategy for getting them out of the house - and do not bring home cinnabons 'for the kids') I'll be in business!
Warm Blanket and sunshine - what better combination?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again...

I knew those weather dudes were being way too evasive about where the snow would be...

I agree - it's disgusting

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Storm Cookies

It's a dark and stormy night.. Perfect for cookies!

These are so rich, eat them with milk, or dipped in coffee, but they'll kill your chocolate cravings!

To the standard Nestle Tollhouse recipe (found on the back of semi-sweet chocolate chips) add:

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Cocoa powder
(I mixed it into the flour and other dry ingredients)
After combining the wet ingredients with the dry, add your full bag of chocolate chips AND:
1/2 package butterscotch chips (or you could use mint chips, or cinnamon, or any other kind, I like butterscotch) 

Meanwhile take 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate if using the expensive brand, or 1 square if using the cheaper, and melt in microwave. Slowly mix in the melted chocolate to the dough and chips.

Bake around 10 minutes at 375. Enjoy warm fluffy chocolate overload. Ooh they'd be great with ice cream!

Rainy Days

It's kind of amazing here, that we slip so effortlessly from snow to rain here. As in one day it's snowing, the next, the rains start and the snows melt away. There are still snowbanks remaining, but they're dwindling. Unless, this rain turns to snow tonight, the weather people are being very vague as to where the rain/snow line lies.

Saturday after our drive, we ended at the ski hill again, where this time both kids snowboarded. They had a great time, though it was getting slushy. Later that night though, we were startled by thunder and the rains started.

The dwindling snowdrifts

Where I grew up, the flowers are out in spring, it's green, and alive. Here, spring means brown and grays. The grass, the snow, the trees, the rocks.. Everything has turned from shades of white to shades of browns. Ugh. It's as if the world is so worn down from the harshness and work of winter, that it continues to sleep for awhile to rebuild it's strength. To be fair, we could still get snow, but it still seems like a long time till green and growing things wake up.

Our resident squirrel, who invited a lot of other squirrels to winter over here due to our food.
He however, is the only one who tries to open up the food canister, or climbs our screens while
ignoring the cats trying to ram their way through the window.

He can't wait for spring either.

I am trying hard to spin my spring this year, focusing on bright colors, and textures. Though I did recently find this really old Shetland that I've been spinning into a light fingering yarn. I think it would be a lovely shawl. It's a little fall like in color though.
The start of the shetland

The Painted Tiger BFL - reminds me of pansies

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Study in Saturday Activities

Early frosty morning drive....

To a car derby

Another drive through the countryside to...

Be continued...