Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Twisted Threads: Stocking Up For the Winter

Twisted Threads: Stocking Up For the Winter: Our cats are indoor cats. The temperature inside stays fairly stable year round. Yet two of the cats are packing on weight like we're go...

Stocking Up For the Winter

Our cats are indoor cats.

The temperature inside stays fairly stable year round.

Yet two of the cats are packing on weight like we're going to throw them out into the frozen tundra where they'd have to eat micecicles to survive. They argue they are merely fluffy. I argue they are short haired cats.

Not Fluff

Nope, not buying it.

You either. No fluff.


So they are on a diet. This is not a good thing according to them. Really, all we're doing is keeping the door to the magic food room (AKA the upstairs bathroom) closed during our waking hours. Then opening it at night for them to nosh on their free range chicken food until we awaken. Not the end of the world.

However, according to Mercury, this is resulting in him growing weaker by the moment. He yowls to the wold that we need to open the door NOOOOOW before he FAAAAAAAADES into NOOOOOOOTHING!
When really pressed he'll simply collapse in front of the door paw outstretched toward the food source.

Neptune on the other hand, is simply angry. He's stalking around the house, knocking off water glasses, breakables, and randomly biting people. Actually this is his normal behavior. It just seems more intense.

How long can we hold out under this dual assault of cat hatred? We shall see.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ShockWave

First the Shock:


Fresh from the wheel yarns! You see, while we were playing at the waterparks the dogs went to a camp down the road. I am not completely convinced they were thrilled with the camp but it was safe with plenty of doggie playtime. We did not enjoy having them away from us, except for the fact that I could spin on my spinning wheel without one of the following happening:

A - A puppy attacking the pedals.

B - A puppy stealing the roving.

C - A puppy dropping a tennisball in my lap.

D - A puppy needing to go out.

E - A puppy grabbing one of the zillion things he shouldn't have and racing away with it for the glory of the chase.

None of the above really bother me, it goes with the territory and too soon he'll be a well mannered adult dog. However, my yarn production has dropped significantly. But this weekend I finally got 2 bobbins plied and skeined. Yay me!

Grapes of Wrath BFL/Silk from Knittyandcolor. About 175 yards

Waiting to be plied, sparkly batt from knittyandcolor

Jealous Cat

Merino/Yak from a LYS. About 150 yards. Already stolen to make a hat.


I also worked on a vest (Lolita). This is the 2nd knit, the first one I made an error so had to take out a good 3 inches. Oops. At least I realized it fairly quickly. Not bad for knitting in a noisy waterpark.
Size comparison?

See? Really it is a pattern. This always startles me.

And now for the Wave. While I was doing the above (and cooking food) the others were either racing up and down slides, or riding the tidal waves. I actually love the wave pool too, but I wasn't in there 8 hours a day like some others.









It was a tiring weekend

Really tiring.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What Does a Plant Based Person Eat?

I have actual knitting (and spinning!) content coming along with a recap from the weekend. But right now the car is halfway unpacked, the living room is halfway packed, I have a dog with an upset tummy, 2 other clean happy ones, 2 cats who are being their normal obnoxious selves, and 1 cat who is upset that he didn't come on vacation with me. So pardon the fact I haven't found the yarn spun (and plied!!!) or taken pictures yet. There's still tonight.

Instead, I'm going to talk about dinner. Dinner is always lovely. In the midst of chaos, we will not be eating out, nor will we be eating frozen pizza, burgers, or other sundry foods. Dinner tonight? 1 large can of black beans, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of stewed tomatoes, 1 cup of salsa and a quart of vegetable stock. I added some nutritional yeast, a little paprika and let it cook. Once it's heated through and the flavors have merged I'll add 1 cup of frozen corn and a package of raw spinach then heat again. Delicious, fast, protein packed, nutritious and fat and animal product free.

Insert picture. You know. If I knew whether the camera was still in the car or if it's in the living room. Most likely it's where the bag of spices are that we meant to take with us on the trip.. You know the ones I use every day. Which wasn't on the trip with us, and appears to not be here either. Can a bag vaporize?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Turkey Pardon Day - Or Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know I may be late, we are for the 2nd year in a row at the Wisconsin Dells, at a water park. The first day was taken up by getting here, unpacking and organizing, the 2nd by Thanksgiving, and the 3rd we devoted to Yarny pursuits (Dude I am 2 inches into making a vest - that is exciting!).

This year, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner at home. Oh yes, it was Vegan. Oh yes it was AMAZING! The only non vegan items on the table were stovetop stuffing for my sister in law, and marshmallows on the Nostalgic Sweet Potatoes (you can get Vegan marshmallows, I forgot). What did we have?

Tofurky and Quorn turkey roasts. I sliced it and presented it nicely and frankly I think in a potluck I could have fooled people.

Mashed potatoes made with Silk Soy milk and no butter. I used Yukon Gold potatoes that are creamier anyway and mashed them with nutritional yeast, ranch seasoning, pepper, a little salt. They were awesome stand alone potatoes.

Sweet potatoes 2 ways. Mashed with salt and pepper (again I used the Silk), and mashed and topped with brown sugar and the marshmallows then baked off in the oven.

Dressing with kale, pecans and apples. Made at home with lots of seasonings and vegetable stock.

Barley Dressing with cranberries and Cayenne.

Gravy. I used some Tofurky gravy but I diced some mushrooms and quick sauteed them with stock then added the Tofurky. It was awesome. I could have made my own gravy here, but when traveling this seemed like an easier proposition.

Apple Cider Cranberries, again made and home and brought with us.

Brussels sprouts with a fig walnut reduction.

Corn on the cob

Vegan pumpkin pie

Sugar free and vegan Apple Pie

And with all that, we ate before I took a picture. Something I regret since I actually was really proud of how the table and food looked. Oh well, just proof it tasted great!

It just goes to show you, that the right seasonings override fat, and that with a good attitude and creativity even a meat based holiday can be enjoyed. Best of all, we really did pardon the turkey this year!

For those interested in this diet, The Last Heart Attack a presentation by Sanjay Gupta is being aired several times this weekend on CNN. It interviews Bill Clinton about his heart issues, and several doctors, and then talks about the dietary changes that can prevent, or reverse heart disease. Really an awesome show.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Bet You Expected a Taylor Tirade

Sure, I am disgusted by the results last night at the CMA awards. Actually I boycotted them (except to see Kenny of course) due to the lack of Kenny's nomination. And maybe, just maybe my social media responses may have been the following:

"Practically the entire show was a fiasco. I boycotted it due to Kenny Chesney not being nominated for Entertainer of the year (though I did watch his performance.) But seriously, Taylor Swift has no talent, just amazing marketing. Her marke...ting team does deserve an award. All I can say is welcome back Faith Hill - maybe between Reba, Faith, Martina and Carrie we can restore something besides off pitch shrieking to female country music."
"Boycotting the CMA's since Taylor Swift was nominated for Entertainer of the year, and Kenny Chesney was not. Irate is not too strong."


"Seriously 100 great country music singers, and one who can't sing her way out of a paper bag. But she's ent of the year? Stupid."

"NO! She can't sing a note. Her voice could be used as a form of torture."

"Wow all the Xfactor singers can sing circles around someone who won Entertainer of the Year. I demand a recount."

"So overnight I decided all the CMA voters don't actually listen to country music. Reba, Brad, Carrie, and Kenny are who again? grrrrrrrr" (sorry Kenny for listing you last there - you're first of course - always first!)

Sure, I said those things. And I don't regret it. But is an awards show important in the great scheme of things? No, it's not.

I have a vow not to talk about Politics on this blog - it's a polarizing issue, especially now in this country. This blog is a happy place. However I might violate that rule right now. My blog, my rules. Because I do wonder, I wonder a lot, why the CMA's, Kim Kardashian's divorce, and what's on TV is more important than the news.

Start political rant:
Why do so many not listen, and take ownership of their party, their beliefs, and what is happening? Why is it still ok in this country to marginalize or make fun of someone assaulting a woman, or sexually harassing someone at work? And why is it ok to say that the person assaulted didn't matter because she filed for bankruptcy or had financial issues. So she wasn't rich - does that mean in our culture she doesn't matter? Why do we become irate over a  coach or a priest being caught molesting children - not because they did it but because it threatens our belief system or a win. Why is what you say more important than your actions? At the same time why are we not responsible for what we say? Can I tell a blatant lie about the President on TV, and then laugh and say I was joking? When did we decide as a culture this was ok? Have we stopped loving each other, and expecting the best? Only to become a country of people who hate, fear, attack and praise lying sociopathic behavior to get ahead? Why are we not supporting those protesting? Why do we not care? Protesting to change is what this country was founded on, and what makes freedom work. Take a moment, turn on the news and then get involved. Whatever you believe in, it won't happen without you! This is our country, and I for one, want to make a difference. We are America, and we need to appear to be more than spoiled children who are disengaged, with politicians in congress who believe their personal agendas and investments are more important than you, me, our kids, and the future. End political rant. Bet you really do wish it was a Taylor Tirade :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Neptune's Sonatina

video
Evidently Neptune's dramatic personality is due in part to his artistic aspirations we were hindering. He has always loved listening to Devin play the piano and one day with a little encouragement started playing the piano, and now any time it's open runs over. This specific day he was a little upset over the fact that he wasn't allowed outside to chase the leaves so his music was a little dramatic. I do apologize for the last 30 seconds, I thought he was going to play more. I never seem to have the camera handy when he starts to play, will have to get another better video later. Ramses is also learning, evidently taking his resemblance to Rolf the dog seriously. Yes, only in our family could you find a piano playing cat - and poodle.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Follies

I am so behind here, between my tooth (now gone, I hope the Tooth Fairy comes soon though, I think I deserve a big present - maybe a pony - or a Reeves spinning wheel. Either one.) Ramses who is in the midst of teenage puppy adorableness, and just general life type activities. No apologies just a fact. So here is a synopsis of the past 9 days.

We had a lovely dinner party, in which I practiced my new cooking skills with lowfat/plant based cooking on 2 willing friends. It was a great time ending in a knitting lesson, hopefully we have a new convert.

The next day Neptune took out his rage on being locked away for the night by knocking over a lamp and breaking a window. Seriously? That cat and his magic claw wreaking destruction everywhere. Luckily it didn't break the entire way through, just the inside pane. Of course that is still 300.00 to replace.
Window? What window? I merely used my magic claw to remove the vent
which knocked over the lamp and tapped the window. I couldn't have
planned that out..

Then that night, the same cat escaped causing a heart attack on my part when he wasn't in the house when we came home. Luckily he was also panicked over the situation and was just as happy to see me as I was to see him. No, no one threw him out, he'd kill the chipmunks then and cause us much trauma, He just slipped out.

That leads us to Halloween. It was a success with trick or treating and happy kids dressed up as Sora and Roxas from Kingdom Hearts (a video game). It was another successful costume done by my mom who has some sort of magic ability to throw together a costume for anything out of nothing. The grown up holiday consisted of handing out candy and eating Vegetarian Chinese food made by the lovely restaurant down the road.
Sora

Roxas





Then we get into the tooth debacle, which kind of made a bunch of days a blur.

But I did go to a small fiber festival on Saturday, which was fun but I didn't buy ANYTHNG! I did want to buy a drop spindle. But I resisted. At least for now. As for the rest of it, I have so much here I just didn't see anything I needed. I know, weird right, but I don't have a fever..

And yesterday, we actually left Ramses the most spoiled puppy in the history of the world home, and went to see Puss and Boots. Which was funny, but is banned from our home forever. I have no idea what Neptune would do if he saw that movie for inspiration. Terror and chaos would ensue I'm sure.
Our version of Puss and Kitty Softpaw
PS - Neptune has a new trick to show you.. Stay tuned.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Streak Ended

It has been at least 15 years since I went to the dentist. Yes I just admitted that.



I have a phobia about them. Caused by large needles that never really numbed my mouth anyway where they were supposed to, sadistic hygenists that made it a game to see how painful teeth cleaning could be, and a few cavities filled incorrectly made me avoid the office like the plague.

Mention teeth around me and I panic, the sound of a drill makes my teeth ache, and going into the dentists office makes me sick.

Luckily I have been blessed with pretty good teeth. I don't get cavities easily, I didn't need braces, and I don't suffer pain easily.

But on Saturday I was woken up by someone apparently hammering my tooth on the inside trying to crack it's way out. This tooth was one incorrectly filled a long time ago that has always caused me problems. The past 2 days I've lived in pain, from mild to severe depending on the moment. So today I did it. I went in. Mainly because the thought of an infection made cringe, what would be worse than the dentist? A dentist appt morphing into a doctor's appt.

To make a long panic attack filled visit short, I once again kind of anyway lucked out. There is a crack and a cavity beneath the filling that needs to be fixed. But the pain is being caused more by the broken tooth behind it that is pressuring it. So I need to have that one extracted, and then the filling taken care of. I realize this means 2 more appointments, but really, I am happy there was no infection, no root canal needed and it seems like a quick fix. There are also no more cavities lurking and the dentist didn't give me a hard time over not coming in.

There is a major stigma really over dental phobia. I wonder why? It's a realistically horrific experience, the lack of control, the pain, the stress and the fact that the sounds and smells are easily identifiable. Why do we look down on people who have a phobia of this, but don't say anything about people who fear bridges or won't eat their peas? Weird on a lot of levels. I admit I have a phobia, and I admit that it's not a healthy one. But it's no less real than other phobias. I can talk in front of 250 people, go on TV, confront someone in public. I can not go to the dentist without mentally talking myself through each step and thinking it's the lesser of 2 evils. It may be wierd, but it's reality.

Now to get up the courage to call the oral surgeon. Ugh.