Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh, poor Apollo. That poor man. *eye roll*

Being a person of no employment, my yarn intake has dropped sharply. And even though I have a healthy stash, I couldn't find exactly what I needed for a last minute pair of birthday socks for Mom. I wanted something that I could knit quickly (stockinette) but had some sort of pattern, like a self striping yarn. So I decided to head to Joann Fabric's to see what they had for just a few dollars.

First, I was really surprised at all the sock yarns at JF's. Just off the top of my head, I'd say they had at least four different self striping brands. I decided to try out Premier Serenity Sock Weight in Indigo from the Deborah Norville collection. Being on a budget, I was able to convince Apollo to use a coupon and purchase one ball of yarn while I purchased the other. We both paid a little over $2.50 each. (The Joann Fabrics here in Springfield is real friendly and helpful with coupons and such when you don't have one, unlike the stores we frequented in San Diego. You can ask Apollo about The Great Coupon Incident of '04 if you'd like to hear a good story involving one of their CSR's, a printed coupon, the flu and myself. There may have been some chicken necking involved. Apollo was NO help. And while he says he was afraid of me and knew I could take care of myself, I still hold his stepping away against him.)

The funny thing about Apollo shopping with me is he acts embarrassed about it. (And I'm not talking about tampons which, after those first couple years where he wrapped them in newspaper, he now buys without issue.) The normal guy would hide the item of "shame" so nobody sees it. However, Apollo always flaunts the item and whines to any woman within ear shot of how he's being forced to be seen in public with it. Then they engage in a teasing discussion about "how it looks good on you" or "but you look like a knitter." He acts shocked and gives them the, "don't you feel sorry for me?" spiel to which they give no sympathy, laugh and walk away. We then bump into them several times during the shopping experience and he holds the offending item up and giggles and they giggle back, with some sort of quip related to him doing a good job. Seriously, it never fails. Once I was in a dressing room trying on clothes and I heard some sort of boistrous laughter outside. I stopped and listened closely, realizing he was crying to some women about the tank tops he was forced to hold and how he was so tired from all the shopping and really would like to be outside grilling some food or watching football, blah blah blah. And this is why I don't feel bad taking him shopping because I know he basks in the attention.

Anyway, so I furiously knit both socks over the period of a few days (though I technically knit three but frogged one out because the leg wasn't long enough, even though days ago Mom had just asked me to knit shorter legs) and with aching pre-arthritic hands, give them a wash as usual. Normally I do this just to get dirt, oils, cat slobber, etc out of them but also because I like to block all my socks before I give them away. The strange thing is, as soon as I put the socks in water and added Soak, the socks started to bleed. A lot!

Serenity: during wash

I know some yarn bleeds but I was shocked at the intensity of the dye (this photo does not give it justice) and how long it took me to rinse the socks until the water ran clean. None of the other yarns I've used have done this. But I guess that's what happens when you buy cheap yarn. I had almost given them to Mom without a wash (because I really don't care for the design of the yarn pattern and just wanted to put them away) but I'm glad I did this time. I would have felt bad if they bled all over her clothes. Granted, hand knits should be washed separately but Mom lives on a farm. Nothing gets special treatment at Moms. (Last week I hung her clothes on the line to dry and found hay stuck in some of her hand knit socks. I didn't ask any questions, I don't want to know.)

Alrighty then. Just wanted to warn people out there! Don't forget to wash your yarny goodness! (And do get your man to buy yarn for you and do ignore the whining. He probably secretly enjoys the attention. Or at least you can tell yourself that.)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cooler temperatures

After Aimee threatened to take away the air conditioning unit she loaned us, Apollo finally decided to install it in one of the two windows it would fit in. (Of course, it's now only 88 degree's Fahrenheit outside.) We decided on the kitchen window, since using the dining room window also meant we wouldn't be able to open the front door and we rather like using that door.

I was hoping it would get put in earlier and for some reason I was acting all helpless female, so we missed it during the heat wave last week. I guess that's what happens when extreme laziness sets in.

Meanwhile, the cats were panting and inventing new ways to keep cool, like laying with their legs up against the walls and all legs splayed out with tummies flattened on the floor. At one point, I started petting Zoe with my soda can that I had just retrieved from the fridge. She didn't seem to mind, so I laid it next to her on the couch. She ended up leaning up against it, laying her chin on it and finally stretching near it for about 30 minutes. She is truly the princess of the house, why else would she wear a pink bow with sparkles?

Zoe cooling off with a can of cold soda

Speaking of the heat, we haven't cooked in the house for quite a while now. Apollo's been taking the opportunity to grill outside every night. He got a Coleman grill for his birthday in July and it's definitely come in handy. The cool thing about it is it comes apart from the legs so you can easily take it places. We've already taken it on a 4th of July outing to Triangle Lake and Mom's potluck. He was gifted an extra grill for it since one half of the existing unit came with a flat cast iron griddle. I just love that you can buy accessories like that. The only bad (or good) part about it is it uses those tiny Coleman propane fuel tanks and they burn out unexpectedly or sooner than one would like. (However, they aid in the portability.) Fortunately, there's an adaptor that will allow us to hook up a larger sized tank. I'm fairly certain Apollo will be buying one of those soon.

The grill isn't one of those ginormous types that take up as much room as a small sofa, which seems that's all you see in stores, but Apollo had been admiring this one because of its decent grill area and portability. I was shocked he wanted (you wouldn't believe the whining) a gas grill since he had always belittled them and said something about getting his Black Man card revoked if he used one. But it's definitely welcome in this heat when we don't want to sit around and wait for hot coals to get ready to cook on. Plus I don't think anyone will question his ethnicity, definitely not here in Oregon. (Once in San Diego while we were hanging out in Balboa park, a tourist asked him if he was Mexican. Ha!)

Apollo grilling zucchini and potatoes fresh from the garden

Last night we had fresh potatoes and zucchini from the garden along with chicken breasts marinated with Thai seasoning. Who would have thought grilled veggies could taste so good? I haven't had potatoes in ages because I grew up eating them with butter and gravy and didn't know any other way to eat them. And since I'm not eating that much fat now, potatoes just didn't have a place in our kitchen. But I decided to try growing them in the garden because it seemed sacrilegious to not include them. I surprised at how good a fresh potato tastes! Apollo coats them with a little olive oil and seasoning and that's it. I think that's what he's doing with the zucchini too, which I didn't know I'd enjoy so much. I try to have them every night now.

Well, the AC unit kicked off. Zoe is running around like a crazy monkey and Simba is biting the curtain. They're finally acting like themselves again now that it's a little cooler in the house. I wonder what August has in store for us?