Can you guess what I got to do in the parade this morning?
I will give you a hint. That golden bit of fluff at the bottom of the picture has nothing to do with a new novelty yarn.
It may be hard for some of you to figure out from this first picture...
Maybe a less blurry picture will help...
(hint: still not knitting-related)
How about this third picture, does that make things clear?
Obviously, I didn't have any fun at all...
It was boring, really.
Actually, I'm surprised I didn't fall asleep.
As you can see, it was SO MUCH FUN being in the Dykes on Bikes contingent in the San Francisco Pride Parade!! It was wonderful to be in the middle of that huge, thundering throng made up of hundreds of womyn on motorcycles, and the crowd was really appreciative!
And...I have to let you in on a secret. It's much more fun to ride on the back, as you can see from this picture of me and my serious sweetie!
Les said she was focusing on her hand hurting from holding in the clutch, and staring at the wheels in front of her, while I got to enjoy myself, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd!
And what did I wear, you ask?
Well, just my normal, everyday biker-wear, really.
I had a really long post for you all written...and then I lost it when the spell check froze up. So here are the highlights, cause I don't have the energy to replicate the whole thing!
Last Saturday, Les and I went for our weekly short motorcycle trip, up to a regional park in Oakland. It was a beautiful day, at the tail end of the awful heat wave we had last week.
I've been knitting from the stash, so I brought out this lace weight wool that I dyed myself last year with Celeste. I couldn't find a pattern that inspired me, so I decided to do a simple garter stitch triangle and add a fancy edging at the end.
Here you can see my short-lived red hair. I had some red hair dye in the toiletry stash, and no money to buy anything else, so I went red! I got tired of it pretty quickly though. I think maybe my days of drastic hair color changes might be over. Maybe I'm just meant to be a blond! I went back to blond a few days ago, and I feel much more like myself.
I worked on my knitting while we enjoyed sitting in the woods and looking at the beautiful view. Now, of course, there is only smoke and haze to look at, as the fires around the Bay Area continue to burn. The local news is full of warnings for anyone with breathing issues, old people, kids, etc. should avoid any outdoor exercise. Ugh. Hopefully it clears up a bit, cause this weekend is Pride, and we will be outside a lot!
I've also been doing a lot of social knitting lately, seeking out knitting groups and new neighbors to knit with. On Tuesday night, I went to the EBLGBTSNB at Knit One One Studio and made this cowl with my one small skein of Malabrigo Aquarella. It's got bobbles at each end and a simple 2x2 rib. I think it will be a good thing to keep my neck warm on the bike.
I have one more knitting project that I've started, but no pics of it yet. I've also been doing some art journaling, working on my cross stitch, and reading LOTS of books!
Just popping in to mention the two good books I just finished. I think Celeste and Auntie Knickers will especially like them, so get online, you two, and request them from your libraries!
This morning I finished The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen. It was a wonderful story that had equal measures of romance, magic and silliness, and just a bit of mystery in it. Better than chick lit, less trashy than some of the paranormal stuff I read, and a fun, quick read! I'm going to request her other book right away (Garden Spells)!
It took me three days to read The Sugar Queen, but only because I was simultaneously listening to a great audio book while sewing. I finished it yesterday. Normally, I just listen to books in the afternoon before Les gets home, but last night I made her wait for dinner until I had finished the last disc, because it was so good I couldn't bear to turn it off!
The book is called The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard, and it is a mystery, though not part of a series, and not a cozy. It's about a small town in Kansas, buried secrets, lost love, and miracles...what could be better? The audio book version was great--good reader--and it held my interest all the way through ten discs. I'm sad it's over, because now all I have to listen to is some chick lit. The audio book section at the library is not as extensive as it could be. Perhaps I'll have to do some searching and requesting in that area too!
OK, back soon with a knitting update. Now it's time to run some errands!
1) The Library! I love going to the library and picking out a whole bunch of books. Such possibilities! I especially like to go to the new books section and look at any books with interesting titles. I always end up bringing a bunch of new books home. I was in Berkeley the other day, so I stopped in at the big central library and left an hour later with all the books I could carry!
Here's my stack, minus the two audio books I got, which I like to listen to while I do my counted cross stitch.
I've already finished Dyer Consequences (a knitting mystery), and I'm just about done with The Fortune Quilt (chick lit with a psychic quilter as a supporting character).
I got Tales of the City, because I recently finished Maupin's newest book, Michael Tolliver Lives, and it was so good that it made me want to read the whole series again from the beginning!
2) Cooking! Don't get me wrong, I love it when someone cooks for me, like Gayle's many wonderful meals while we lived together, and when Les makes me breakfast in bed on Saturdays, but I also really enjoy cooking dinner every night.
Last night, I decided I needed to use up some leftover beef we had (stew beef) from when we grilled kebabs the other night. I didn't want to buy a bunch of ingredients, but I hadn't planned a recipe for this beef when I went to the store last week...what to do?
I decided to try to use what we already had and just make something up, so I browned the beef and then simmered it with a jar of tomatillo salsa and a chopped onion. Then, I warmed up some corn tortillas, topped with the beef and salsa mix, cheese, cilantro, and avocado. We had some Mexican rice on the side, and voila! It was yummy and easy and fun to make a whole meal out of stuff from the fridge!
3) My Corner! I like to sit here in the afternoon, after I've been somewhat productive, and before I start making dinner, and cross stitch while I listen to an audio book. Last night, I also did this (with headphones) while Les was watching her favorite show--my least favorite--Judge Judy!
As you can see, we are melding our accessories...my log cabin pillow with her Harley blanket! This is the couch in the trailer, which I am not a big fan of. It's not deep enough or cushy enough for my liking, though Les added a thick piece of foam under the cushion for me, which was a big improvement. We would love to replace it with a few recliners, but it's hard to find chairs that will fit through the trailer door!
4) Possibilities! I went to a knitting night the other night and finished the shrug I was working on, so now I have nothing to knit! This means I have to find a pattern or some inspiration ASAP, because I have another knitting night to go to tonight!
Oh, the possibilities! Since I can't buy any new yarn, I have to choose from the small amount of stash yarn that I brought to the trailer with me. This is mostly single skeins of Malabrigo, some different lace weights, or a bunch of single colors of O-Wool, which is a cotton-wool blend, worsted weight.
Of course, I don't have a lot of any of these yarns in the same color, so my options are stripes or small projects. I'm searching Ravelry until I get inspired, but I only have a few hours until knitting night!
Deacon can be found for much of the day (when he is not lounging on the bed, which has become his primary domain) at one of several windows waiting and making funny chirping sounds.
This is because we have bird feeders up all around the trailer, including several clear ones that are attached to the windows.
Because the windows are tinted, the birds can't see Deacon, but he can certainly see them, and they provide endless entertainment and excitement for him.
Here are a few of our frequent guests. They are fun to watch, even for humans, and sometimes there are four or five at a time at this feeder, especially since we started using the good birdseed!
So, for everyone who was concerned about how Deacon would adjust to life in a small trailer with two dogs, you can rest easy. He is eating, drinking, using his litter box, and having fun talking to birds all day.
He has taken over the bedroom, and the dogs are no longer allowed in there, and Deacon seems to know it. He sleeps with us every night, and cuddles with me in the morning after Les goes to work. Occasionally Asha tries to intimidate him if he gets too close to the dog food bag, but he is holding his own.
You knew I wouldn't be content just crocheting plain granny squares for long, right? Of course not. Since I have The Happy Hooker: Stitch and Bitch Crochet, I decided to try some projects in it.
Here's my first attempt at the skull potholder, using Lily Sugar 'n' Cream cotton (on sale for just $1 a ball at Michael's this week!).
I gather that the color showing through is fairly inevitable in this two-color crochet, but since this was my first attempt, it's probably much worse than it needs to be.
Even though this is supposed to be a potholder, it turned into more of a dishcloth, so I'm using it at the sink, and moving on to perfect my technique!
Here is my second attempt, and this time I embroidered it so it looks like a sugar skull! I am quite pleased with this. Using a lighter color for the background minimizes the annoyance of the color showing through the white, and outlining the skull's features in a chain stitch makes it look more finished, I think.
The idea for the sugar skull embroidery came from a crocheter on Ravelry, spookygrrrly! Here's a link to her project pageon Ravelry (you have to be a member to see it, though).
I am doing another one of these, with a pink background, and then I'll sew them together so that it will make a nice thick potholder!
I usually don't do meme's, but since Auntie Knickers has tagged me for several, and I haven't done any of them, I figured I would indulge her JUST THIS ONCE.
Here you go!
Ten years ago:
I was graduating from the Arts High, preparing for a summer of nannying. I drove a red Geo Metro, and would soon get a job at the oldest feminist bookstore in North America, where I worked part time (and on and off) for seven years!
Five things on today's "to do" list: 1) Shower
2) Finish watching the last episodes of Sex and the City on dvd
3) Make turkey chili for supper
4) Run to Michael's to pick up a ball of light pink dishcloth cotton for a project
5) Clean out the litter box
Things I'd do if I was a billionaire: --pay off all my student loan debt, and the debt of all my friends and relatives
--buy a big Harley for Les (with a really cushy backrest for me!)
--buy a Prius
--buy houses in Minneapolis, Luck, WI, the Berkeley hills, and anywhere else I might care to live
--give lots of money to Smith, the Arts High in MN, and PSR, as well as to several churches and church organizations, like The Coalition
--travel all over the world, first stop: York to see Lemondancy and the Cowboy!
--Open a yarn store and cafe with the Germans
--so many other things! (That's why I REALLY need to win the lottery, and then this blog could be all about what I do with my millions! I promise it would be entertaining.)
Saturday, Les and I decided we needed a day of fun and relaxation, after weeks of stress and being busy every weekend day, so after sleeping in and having breakfast in bed, we took a motorcycle ride to Half Moon Bay for some lunch and beach time.
Here I am, posing with the beloved Harley. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy riding on the back of this bike? It is a wonderful feeling of freedom and really fun! It's also great to be the passenger, because you get to look at all the beautiful scenery and just relax.
The only problem is that the helmet messes up my hair!
After lunch at a famous sandwich place in HMB (I think it's Celeste's favorite too!), we headed to the beach for relaxing on the rocks, and that's when I took out my hook!
Yes, It's true. I've succumbed to the lure of crochet. I used to crochet a lot when I was younger, before I got the hang of knitting. I found crochet easy and fast and fun, and it took me a long time to really "get" knitting enough to enjoy it.
Once I did get knitting down, I dropped crochet and didn't look back, except to do an occasional edging on a knitted item, of course.
Recently, I decided that I really should become proficient at crochet again, in case I should ever need to teach someone, and really just because I like to be able to do anything with fiber and do it well, you know?
So, I got the Stitch and Bitch Crochet book, some acrylic yarn and a few new hooks, and got to work teaching myself all the techniques.
I decided to start with a granny square afghan, cause it's fast and fun and oh-so appropriate for a crochet project, so I got Lion Brand Jiffy yarn in green, purple and pinkand I've been making granny squares like crazy all week!
Now, of course, I couldn't stop with single color granny squares, could I? Stay tuned for my adventures with multiple colors and patterns!
I've moved out of my flat in student housing, moved in to the trailer, and Les set up our new wireless service for me so I'm back 'home' online!
I've made a few dinners in the trailer kitchen so far, and it's going pretty well. There is a definite lack of counter space, as you might expect, and yesterday I had to go to Ikea to get such luxuries as sharp knives, dishtowels, and a colander, but thankfully the fridge is good-sized and I've even gotten used to lighting the stove with a lighter every time I turn a burner on!
Here's a shot of my first real trailer cooked dinner. It's a chicken coconut stew I concocted a few months ago, and that has become a favorite of mine (and Les likes it too, I think!).
Here's the basic recipe: In olive oil, saute a bunch of chicken breast pieces until golden on each side, and remove from pot. Add onions, cooking until translucent, add a clove or two of garlic, chopped, and cook just until you can smell the garlic. Add the chicken back in, with just a bit of chicken broth--maybe a cup. Bring that to a boil, then add one yam, chopped, a can of chick peas (drained and rinsed), and a large can of diced tomatoes. Cook until yams are soft enough to pierce with a fork, then add one zucchini, chopped, and one can of coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of curry powder (to taste), and cook until zucchini is done.
That's it! I serve it over cous cous, and it does really well as leftovers. When I used to cook in Courtney's kitchen, (where there was a full selection of spices) I might add some cumin and cayenne pepper, and some ground ginger, but as I don't have many spiced collected here yet, I didn't use them this time, and it turned out fine. I love to experiment with spices, so I will be happy once we accumulate a full pantry of them.