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Archive for November, 2006

Tiger-Dyed Socks!

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I’m excited. Here is a photo of about 1/3 of the socks I’ve dyed for sale this holiday season. (Note: After initial post I later added 2 more photos showing all socks died thus far.) I hope I’ll find some more blank wool socks to dye but it’s just a fluke I found these. Clearly this will not be something I’ll offer over the course of time. It’s definitely a lucky holiday special offering. I tigerdyedsocks.jpgwill have 17 pair dry and ready to sell at the Mid-Michigan Knitters Guild sale and meeting Tuesday night.

What doesn’t sell Tuesday I’ll photo and put up here for you folks. Photo editing and putting up the web information is the most labor-intensive part of the whole process, sometimes it takes longer than the dyeing.

However, if you guys out there see something you want and send me an order via email ( Lynn at ColorJoy dot com) before I leave for the guild meeting (say 5pm Eastern time Tuesday) I’ll sell to you. That’s if you can handle me not presenting it in a lovely fashion on a proper sales page.

tigerdyedsocks2.jpgThe socks that look more intensely colored (in photo #1, top left three and bottom kneesock) are thin washable merino wool/nylon/lycra blend, and they are larger (though rated for the same “average” foot all socks say they are for). The softer-looking socks (right top and bottom, and middle kneesock) are truly softer because they are angora blend (rayon, angora, wool, polyester, nylon, lycra).

The angora blend socks are noticeably smaller. My size 6 narrow feet (woman’s XS) would be much happier in the angora socks, though with that lycra they would stretch to fit many sizes. Some of both fiber blends are knee socks, some regular leg height (about 6-8″). Some of the angora socks are cabled or ribbed, the merino are flat stockinette in a very thin fabric reminiscent of the tights of my youth, but made of wool.

tigerdyedsocks3.jpgAll styles are $19.50 plus a dollar shipping, no matter which style you choose. Considering that yarn to knit your own socks is more than that, I would say this is a good deal for a handmade artform.And I’m SO happy with how some of the socks look like tiger stripes! Lucky me to happen on that method so soon in the dyeing game!

OK: two more photos posted here (be aware that some places where it looks dark blue it’s actually a purple that is on the blue side)… I’m off to teach computers for the last time this calendar year but I’ll check my emails when I get home and see what you all think!

Gratitude

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I’ve been grumpy lately. I won’t bore you with any possible excuse for that.

When I am grumpy I find that a gratitude list puts my mind back on the positive. So, today I’m grateful for (not necessarily in any order):

  • I found these wool sox to dye/handpaint.
  • The healthy arrival of Kristi’s two sons.
  • People who love me, including my Brother, Eric; his wife Diana; my extra-ordinary mother, Liz; and my beloved hubby Brian.
  • A day which did not require me to leave the house.
  • A good dinner made by my sweetheart while I was doing other things.
  • An excellent term with my Haslett computer students (Monday is our last day together).
  • A basement dye studio, an attic polymer clay area, a wool area (actually several wool areas) in this little house.
  • A city where the people are friendly, the creative friends are many, and the cost of living is low.
  • My music: the voice I lost for a month a dozen years ago which has healed; the Heftone Bass given to me by my father in law Larry who invented/built it; and Brian whose incredible ukulele playing makes us an act worth hiring.
  • Color.
  • Good food, good recipes, a creative mind to make new recipes.
  • My job. I get to work as a renaissance woman, so to speak… teaching, singing, dyeing, knitting, designing, dancing on occasion. Never bored, and somehow it works.
  • Another day of living on this earth. That’s as basic as it gets, but it’s a profound thing.

(I have had requests for photos… I dyed 19 pair of commercial wool (or wool/angora) socks tonight and will get photos somehow. The knitting guild will probably see them first on Tuesday, but we’ll see what happens. I did also make a little more sockyarn in the flammegarn series, another couple of skeins in pink grapefruit and a few in very dark turquoise…)

Quiet. Ahhh…

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Social Saturday Night

Saturday night I went to dinner at Altu’s restaurant (she was not there but I enjoyed listening to Jen Sygit and chatting with Phil Wintermute while eating dinner with Brian). After dinner I went to East Lansing High School to see Altu’s daughter in the play M*A*S*H.

I had planned to see the show sometime this weekend but did not know when I’d go. Imagine my surprise when Altu’s other daughter saw me and asked where her mother was. I didn’t know Altu was there. She had been holding a seat for her daughter but I got to move up and sit with her (daughter sat with a friend, I think we all enjoyed the end result).

We enjoyed the play and then we decided to go out for tea. Beaners is our closest hangout. However, it was packed… standing room only. We moved on to the Gone Wired Cybercafe where we could sit down and not feel rushed. We enjoyed our talk, as we had not been able to meet for our usual lunch this Thursday. What a delight it was to have time with her!

Lazy Sunday

Sunday I slept later than usual. My one scheduled class had cancelled. I was gifted with a full day at home! I love days at home, they are such a luxury. I don’t exactly snuggle down on the couch in a bathrobe but I wear sloppy clothes for working in, comfort over style, and it’s a nice break.

For breakfast I attempted to make a Boston Brown Bread (it’s “baked” with steam on the stove for 2 hours) which did not fully cook, probably because of a substitution I made. It smelled good, anyway! I then made some shrimp in tomato sauce over pasta, which was wonderful. Lunch for breakfast, sort of, but very satisfying.

Brian ran out and bought some great groceries and started some chicken with turnips and collard greens in the crockpot. It smells good. I did some tidying up in the kitchen before he got home and then switched gears.

Handpainting Garments

I’m in the Art for the Soul home art and gift sale on December 2. Since it’s an art sale rather than a fiber sale, I figure that some folks won’t be interested in handpainted yarn there. I am, therefore, handpainting some socks (some wool, some angora blend) and some sweaters. The socks are brand new, the sweaters are great finds I have harvested from various resale shops… two cashmere sweaters and a few angora blends, one silk blend, and a boiled wool jacket for starters. If I have time I will make polymer clay buttons for the sweaters which use buttons.
I’m not sure how much I will finish dyeing this week but I will plug away. The socks are pre-soaking right now, I’m sure those will be done today. Sweaters take as long as they take, they always surprise me how much labor they involve. (Dye wants to bleed through to other parts of the sweater as I work, there is a lot of effort involved keeping colors where I want them.)

We will see how far I get on the garments today. I will plan to take the socks to my guild sale on Tuesday, the sweaters may not be ready until the Dec. 2 sale (which makes sense anyway, since knitters are more likely to want yarn than a dye-painted sweater).

Live Music

Brian is experimenting with recording some ukulele music today on my little camera which does simple video functions. It’s nice to hear him make music in the background as I work.

Ahhh…

I *so* enjoy days where I don’t have to dress up and be in public. Sometimes it’s good just to stay home. I looked out once and it was snowing… big flakes falling straight down. The temperature is higher than freezing so that is not really turning into anything substantial, but it makes staying home even nicer.

And tonight, when the dyed items I’ve made today are steaming, I promised myself I can curl up on the heat vent like a cat. It’s my favorite place in the house and I don’t do that nearly often enough!

Baby Pictures!

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Kristi’s husband, Noel, has posted baby photos. Gerrit Nikolaas and Austin Noel are both 4 pounds and breathing on their own, just wonderful news. You might want to go and peek.

Knitting and Planning

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

novemberclouds.jpgDiana and I had a fine day Friday. We are close to finalizing the wrap pattern and we worked on some challenging bits for some other patterns I have in the wings for someday. We ate good food, I pet the kitty, we laughed.

Saturday noonish I taught a class for a few hours. Now I need to run to the PO, and will drop off a sample wrap at Rae’s.

I’m planning on dinner at Altu’s restaurant so that I can hear (Jen Sygit and Laura Bates as the act Calamity Jane) play/sing for a while, then I will go see Altu’s daughter act in M*A*S*H at East Lansing High School.

After the play I’m planning to stuff two crockpots full of soup for overnight cooking, and tomorrow I’ll be handpainting sweaters for the Art for the Soul sale that will be December 2 in Williamston.

It is really gray here today but not raining or snowing, and not horribly cold. (Photo here is yesterday’s sky showing a little blue, today is not that nice.) I’m happy to be wearing a virtual rainbow today. People comment on my colors all the time. I can’t help but wonder why Lansing people don’t wear color more if they seem to like it so much?

Busy, busy…

A Day with Diana

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Diana is my brother Eric’s wife (I don’t like the label “Sister in Law” because it can mean two things and focuses on law rather than relationship). She has become a good friend. Not only does she love my brother (who is my best friend in the world), she and I have many things in common. She’s a very creative woman.

Diana was the model in the Goddess version of my Perfect Hug Shawl pattern. Not only the model, but the test knitter for that very shawl, and the Sassy Summer Handbag. She’s testing my new wrap pattern this week. When she’s not testing patterns for me she’s often knitting samples of previous patterns, for the shops where I teach/sell patterns.

dianacurrants2sm.jpgDiana is not only talented at handwork but she also knows a lot about cooking and edible plants. (She was quite the naturegirl at one time, doing wilderness camping with only a knife and a tarp as gear, as well as mountain climbing during the two years she lived in Japan.) She is my first source of information when I want to know about this or that herb. She once did a lot of gardening, and still takes a lot of beautiful photos of plants and flowers in her yard (see currants and vervain here).

She’s also a writer. She’s very helpful to me when I am struggling to find a good way to explain things in my patterns. I really appreciate her thoughtful attention to my questions on wording.

This week Diana sent Eric on a trip up north to be with her father. Eric has not had a vacation of any sort, for more than a few hours, in years. She knew it was time for him to get away and she made it possible. Eric and Diana’s dad get along really well, and last I heard her dad was already cooking for Eric’s arrival before Eric even left the house. They will have a good time! (This friendship/caring is cool enough, but since Eric and I lost our dad in 1973 it’s double-wonderful they can enjoy each other this way.)

dianavervain.jpgSo weeks ago I made a date to go see Diana today. It will be a girl’s day in, so to speak, but we’ll be working on this wrap pattern for at least part of the time. Since both of us tend to talk about knitting more than any other subject, we will find the work to be as pleasant as the play.

I’m trying to get my act together to get on the road as soon as possible. I want as much time as I can get with my friend. Diana loves Altu’s food so I’ll be stopping by the restaurant on the way out of town (they live 1.25hr from here) and getting her a special lunch.

I’m also taking her some pumpkin butter spread and a spelt biscuit or two from my breakfast, they turned out REALLY good. Gourmet, as Brian would say! (The soy-milk tapioca pudding, made without any coconut milk, never set up. That was a disappointing loss… but Brian had some anyway, bless his heart. Not sure what I’ll do with it other than pour it down the drain…)

All I want to do is knit legwarmers. Instead I’m going to save that for later and get on the road.

Off to see my friend…

Happy Birth-Day to the Dutchicans

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Our friend Kristi (RedDogKnits) and her husband Noel are expecting their boys to be born today. I wish all good to envelop the family as they start their important journey together. Two boys will be in neonatal ICU at first, this is to be expected though all signs say they are doing very well for 32 weeks. The parents will sadly say goodbye to little Eli as well.

Whatever your belief system, do send good energy toward our friends in Lansing today. I imagine they will feel every emotion available to a human in the next 24 hours.

They are no doubt drowning in packages stuffed with handknits for the boys! All those stitches show love, and they really understand that.

Hugs and all best to the Dutchican (Dutch and Mexican, they made it up) family today.

Flying from One Place to the Next

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

I have been away from my computer a lot the last few days. There is so much to do I am working on crossing off “to do” items from my list. I’ve delivered patterns to two shops, am working on a new wrap pattern (will visit Diana Friday to try and finalize that one), had two days where I danced (one public and one rehearsal/class), taught starting at 11am and ending around 8:30pm on Thursday.

In addition, I am working on learning about new foods and cooking/baking alternatives to the foods which I’ve been eating a lot in the last few years. Yesterday we ate baked plantain, which I enjoyed. Today we tried a “salad” of thinly-sliced fennel bulb (related to celery but smoother texture and a bit of anise flavor). This morning I made yet another version of Teff muffins without eggs, and they were relatively good. I’ll get it better given a little time.

Tonight I made tapioca pudding to eat tomorrow, and I expect to make some drop biscuits with spelt flour tomorrow morning. I may make a cornbread-like pan bread for lunch, with either buckwheat or rye. It is quite an adventure. I guess some people do this all the time for entertainment. I do find it interesting but I wish I had someone else doing the cooking/baking and I could just taste it when it was finished!

As I told Rae today when we were chatting after class, it has been for me about growing up and doing what is good for me. Even if I don’t like it. I told a young lady just yesterday about how sometimes we just have to do things we don’t want to do… and as unwanted things go, interesting new foods are a really decent end result.

Knitting? Oh, man! I was doing so well there finishing things for a while. I’ll get back to that, I have so many fine items in my stash either started or not. I do have a wrap (a store sample for the almost-done new pattern) nearly finished and I hope to finish that tomorrow when I’m with Diana.

Yesterday I bought some fat yarn from Rae to make myself some fat socks (aran weight, 4.5st/in if it were for a sweater). Then I went to Threadbear and Rob had me try on a sweater in a reeeeeally soft merino yarn I liked. So I bought some balls of that and instantly cast on for legwarmers.

The yarn I got for socks is sitting helplessly in my purse waiting for me to notice. But the legwarmers! Yum. I’ve knit about 6″ on those, so far so good. The colorway is sort of grays to soft turquoise then back to gray. Slowly changing stripes, and since it’s meant for sweaters the stripes go a long while before changing color. Very nice so far.

Fortunately for me, I have had one class finish up today and another will finish next week. That often means I knit a sample pair to demo. In the case of tonight’s class (which finishes next week) I have a sock and a half done, and that will be great.

I also found a *run* in the ball of the foot of my handknit sock today. I forgot to take photos of it before I repaired it but I spent some happy time darning the sock. Now I have a pair back the day I lost them. Very good! I have a lot of socks to darn but they are in my bag to carry around in case I have some waiting time. Maybe I’ll fix a few more that way. If I can distract myself from the legwarmers, that is!

susansfirstfootie.jpgI let Brian use my camera the last few days so I don’t have the photo of Linda’s first (well-fitting, toe-up) sock. It’s really pretty and she did a great job. She was pleased as punch.

Last weekend, Susan finished her first sock in a First-Time Toe-Up sock class at Little Red Schoolhouse. She determined that she wanted her first to be a tiny socklet, an ornament or decoration. It’s knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, a wonderful yarn. Here is a photo of it before she did a short cuff and bind off.

Well, I’m falling asleep at the keyboard so I had better give it up for the night. You may not hear from me Friday, as I’ll be with Diana all day working on that pattern. We’ll have fun even though it is primarily a work day. See you soon!

Three Sorts of Days Off

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

It is funny… just when I think I’ll never have a day off again, I start hearing about days off in more than one place… and then I get an evening off unexpectedly.

Sharon P. told me recently that she thinks that a three day weekend would be perfect… one day for errands and housework, one for relaxing, and one for entertainment/socializing. She likes to go to dance weekends and has a great time but that’s not resting, for example. Her comment got me thinking…

So then I go to Chelle’s blog, “Hanging by a Thin Thread.” She says:

I have a personal theory that there are three types of weekends: 1) the kind where you relax and recharge; 2) the kind that are fun and stimulating but busy; 3) the kind where you work around the house doing serious cleaning or working on a household project.

Do I hear an echo in here?

No wonder when I get only one day off and I spend it cooking food for the rest of the week, I feel like I did not really have a day off. There is none of the resting or the socializing in a day like that.

Tuesday night I thought I would have help with my yarn business but my helper had to cancel. After the early alarm clock and performances, I was somewhat relieved to not be so over-scheduled for one day.

However, I instantly went into “errand running mode.” I got groceries and kitchen utensils at Meijer, a huge multi-merchandise store. Then I went and got some specialized produce at the health food store. I popped in to the Goodwill resale shop and found some nice wool items. I ran to the post office.

Then since I was on the east side near where we dance, I decided to get some good coffee and take it to Yasmina Amal. She was teaching (until 9pm) after getting up so early that she essentially did not get any sleep at all. The coffee was, predictably, appreciated. It was so easy to do it for her, it seemed the only thing to do. She’s even more of a night person than I am. I can not sleep before 1am no matter how I try, and she’s a few hours behind me. Yup, coffee was the ticket.

I keep promising myself I’ll crawl into bed under the covers with a book or knitting or even a telephone to call a friend. So far, I put away the groceries, started a dinner in the crockpot, checked email, and am looking through cookbooks trying to figure out what else I might make in the second crockpot on slow, overnight, and what I might bake so I can freeze it for later.

I like to make granola bars or other freezer-friendly snacks so that I can carry them with me in my purse. Sometimes that is the difference between eating nothing and at least getting a little fuel to get through for a few more hours. If I don’t bake things like this (barley brownies, oat granola bars, teff muffins, kamut pumpkin bread… all very tasty and not at all compromises from “normal” wheat versions) then I regret it later when there is no time for baking.

But it’s only 8:30, not even dinnertime for us on a regular day. There is still time to put in a crockpot meal, put one or two somethings in the oven, eat dinner and then actually rest.

I guess it’s time to go back to that kitchen. (Good thing that my normal life is pretty energetic and stimulating without needing a day off to accomplish it.)

Rest. Yeah, day of rest. It sounds soooo nice.

Dancing at Mason Middle School

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Tuesday, three of us from the Habibi Dancers started our day with performances at Mason Middle School (20 minutes outside of Lansing, the county seat and a lovely town with many Victorian homes). Our first show was 8:30am. My friends, none of the three of us who danced today are typically awake at 8:30am, but we did a very nice show in spite of that.

habibimasondrum.jpgIt was pretty wonderful to dance for a large room full of kids that age. We danced with canes balanced on our heads and I did a basket dance (more balancing, I just LOVE dancing with a basket). We taught them the beledi rhythm, they drummed it on their desks and tummies while Yasmina Amal drummed on her drum.

We discussed costumes and had a male teacher don an Egyptian man’s outfit which drew many giggles from the crowd (he was a great choice, did a wonderful job). We ended by teaching some of them a simple Greek line dance.

After the first show, we had a couple of hours to blow in Mason before we had to dance again at 12:45. We found our way to a restaurant for breakfast. One of our dancers can do these daytime shows only if she brings her toddler. Feeding the child pancakes after she was good during our performance, was a smart move. For me, it was all about a cup or two of tea!

habibikeanes.jpgBreakfast can not last several hours, so we decided to go downtown Mason and browse Keane’s five and dime.

Keane’s has been a Mason institution a long time, with wood floors, a fabric/crafts department (it was where I first bought polymer clay), and a candy counter. They just remodeled (very little wood floor left, I’m sad to report) and we were curious how it looked. And of course, the child was happy to go to a store with a very large toy department!

I could not help myself, I took a photo of the candy counter. Isn’t it beautiful? Mind you, this is only one side you see. It forms a sort of island in the middle of the store, with counters on four sides. Just like the five and dime we went to at Brookfield Plaza for Christmas “stocking presents” when I was a child in the mid-1960s. That’s a good memory. (Actually that is where I bought emerald green and turquoise Red Heart acrylic yarn in 1969 when I learned to knit from Mr. Johnson, but that is another story.)

habibimasonman.jpgAfter perusing the five and dime as long as we could, we each bought a little something and proceeded back to the school. One more set of kids. This group was more awake and had the energy of lunch under their belts! More fun, indeed… Again kids asking why a man would wear a dress. Again me explaining that if it is very hot, it makes no sense to wrap fabric around your legs… that wearing something that shades you and allows breezes to blow around your skin is a very wise way to dress, male or female. (Personally, I think shorts make no sense even in a Michigan summer, but I know I’m in a minority.)
habibimasonlinedance.jpgI can’t say I enjoyed the alarm clock going off this morning when the sun was not yet up, but I did enjoy my day. Dancing for anyone, but perhaps particularly for kids, is a great way to spend half a day.

Photos: Yasmina Amal on drum (note kids in background drumming on desks and their tummies); Keane’s candy counter; male teacher modeling Egyptian man’s garb; kids doing Greek line dance.

Update

Monday, November 13th, 2006

First, I have to say I’m thrilled to see folks chatting with one another through my comments. After over a year without comments this is a sweet turn of events… if you commented before, you might want to go back and see if someone came back at’cha, as they say.

Upcoming events for me: three classes this weekend, one at each of the Lansing shops where I teach.

1. Perfect Hug Shawl class at Little Red Schoolhouse, 11-1 on Saturday.

2. Polymer Clay buttons/beads at Rae’s Yarn Boutique, 2-5pm on Saturday.

3. Wristwarmers at Threadbear Fiberarts, 1-4pm on Sunday.

I continue my gratitude that in Lansing everyone plays together so nicely. I love each of these shops, they have very different personalities, customer bases and yarns. Yes, there is a bit of overlap but I celebrate them all. The owners of each shop I’m proud to consider friends.

Please consider joining me for one of these classes. Any one would be a good thing for a not-too-pricey, not-too-time-consuiming gift or two or three. Once you know how to make one item, it’s not hard to repeat a second time, you know?

I hope to see some of you there.

Learning from Dreams

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Awareness

I woke up a little early this morning, having a vivid bad dream. I guess if ancient kings could learn from dreams, maybe I can too.

When I was a child my bad dreams included being chased. I had one recurring one, and as a young adult the dream returned. That time, I realized I was dreaming and turned around and told my pursuer that I knew it was a dream so I was going to do things differently this time. I never had that dream again.

This morning I woke up from a nighmare, the kind of my adulthood. This type of dream started for me when I was planning my first wedding at age 21. I would dream that the guests would come on the wrong day, the flowers went to the wrong church, the dress was wrong, things just never went all the way right.

With this sort of dream, the exact details never repeat but I keep having variations on a theme. It happens particularly when I get overbooked or am working toward a big deadline.

No Dress Rehearsal

In this morning’s dream, I was in a musical theatre production. I had a minor dancing part with a few lines (this reminds me of when I was one of the tap-dancing “angels” in Anything Goes).

I found myself at the first public show (thank goodness it was for children) not remembering what to do. I would forget if I had a line. I would forget where I was supposed to be for my entrance. I didn’t know what costume I was supposed to wear for the next entrance. I was so frustrated that I could not remember what to do next, until I realized that we had not had a dress rehearsal. At that point I got upset with the director that he(?) would have done a show thinking we could do a children’s performance instead of a dress rehearsal.

My Current Tools

Wow. No wonder I woke up. My life is full of things to do, and if I knew a good order in which to do them, things would work out better. As it is, my mind works like a tornado, going quickly in circles and touching on things just long enough to move them along a little bit, then on to the next thing. Eventually everything gets done because I’m determined to do my work, but it’s really inefficient.

I have a palm device (AKA palm pilot, but mine is not that brand) which coordinates with my calendar on my laptop. I don’t know what I would do without my palm. Those who know me best know that they should ask me to pull out the palm and write things on that, if they want me to remember an appointment.

I also organize with my email program. This works well for how my brain works… I never delete an email I might want to refer to again. Instead I have hundreds of folders by topic and I “file” messages in those.

If for some reason I filed in the wrong place, there is a good search function in the program which allows me to look up old messages. I’ve looked up messages that were 5 years old before. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to access that information when I want it! When friends/associates ask me if I can do this or that event or task, I ask them to send me an email. I lose sticky notes and other paper reminders… I can lose one in less than 5 minutes, have done it repeatedly. But an email is never gone.

The Essential Backup

Because of my absolute dependence on my gizmos to help me organize, I have very good “backup” procedures at my house. Every night while I’m sleeping (3am) my laptop wakes up and makes copies of everything I deem important, saving them to another computer in the next room.

I also occasionally make an extra copy of one of those backups in case the backup program goes funky. I learned in my years of computer consulting, that you often need the 3rd and last backup before you rescue your lost data. I make sure I have that. My calendar file is always in two places on my second machine, plus on my palm device and my laptop. I’m serious about how much this helps me. Rae learned it while my palm was not synchronizing and I was waiting for parts and finally a new device. I just could not function properly, and she even commented how I really needed that palm to arrive soon! I’m so glad I’ve found this tool.

But how do I give myself a “dress rehearsal?” I have so many little puzzle pieces to fit together every day now (until the weekend after Thanksgiving, when I’m in the “Art for the Soul” home show in Williamston).

Beginning a Learning Curve

I don’t really know what to do first, second, third. I do have my calendar program where I can fit tasks into timeslots. I try to do that as much as I can. However, sometimes I’m unreasonable about what I can really fit into that little square on the screen.

What I have not taken into consideration for months, is that there needs to be “wiggle space’ between my tasks/appointments. I’m human. I need lunch. I typically get lunch only about 3 or 4 times a week. I just do not make room for it in my schedule (I do get a good breakfast and a good evening meal every day). With my health already funky when it comes to the foods that nurture me, I need to make sure to nourish my body on a regular schedule!

I’m already cooking virtually all of my food, something I would have said even 6 months ago was an impossible idea. Now I need to plan enough to have foods ready to eat for lunch. I had made a lot of food and put it up in the freezer, but then I found that one of the ingredients I thought was working out for me (onions) seems to be making me feel crummy… therefore, much of the food I “put up” is now good for Brian to eat but not for me. Sigh. Start again.

Open Minds: New Foods

The cool thing is that we are trying new foods and it’s turning out well. The parsnip/sweet potato soup was incredibly satisfying, and I’m eager to add some new favorites to the rotation.

Last night we bought some unusual vegetables at Goodrich Shoprite (a place where many international students from MSU shop, so there are a lot of foods many “Americans” don’t recognize). It was sort of fun to open our minds to new foods.

I bought a fennel bulb and some plantains. Altu has told me how to fry plantain though I’m thinking of trying it in a soup. I don’t know much about fennel, found one recipe where you cook poultry with chopped fennel then throw away the vegetable, unacceptable to me. We bought an artichoke last night but neither of us has ever eaten one. I have some tomatillos, very good in salsa but I’m not sure what else.

Request for Recipes

If anyone out there has recipes (for these or other unusual veggies I haven’t mentioned here) I’d LOVE them. We are definitely groping around in the dark here with new vegetables. I can eat virtually any vegetable other than onions and mushrooms (or potatoes, which are not functionally a vegetable).

I don’t like to fuss. Some cookbooks say things like “if you don’t have a fish poacher, use a turkey roaster.” Some insist you use a blender or food processor. Ugh. I don’t have any of those (I do have a very small food chopper/processor) and don’t have room or the desire to add more “stuff” into my tiny kitchen storage space.

Help?

Off to deal with the squares/rectangles on my calendar…

Photos: Palm device I decorated for Altu, similar to mine. My calendar page from 2 weeks ago… this week is approximately the same.

Two Food/Recipe Blogs

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

I’m in trouble now. I found two interesting food/recipe blogs:

The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz
(includes great photographs of NYC)

Is it EDible
(try not to get hungry reading Chicken & Rice with Cilantro Pesto )

Touching Base

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Altu’s was great! I have photos of that (thanks to Regina) and of my sock class at Little Red Schoolhouse, but no time to process them.

I’m off to Threadbear to teach Bags to Go! After that, a music party to celebrate Mike Ross’ (musician in Scarlet Runner Stringband) retirement. Will touch base again tonight when I return.