Friday, October 30, 2009

My Aunt's house burned down tonight.

I was going to tell you about a concert I went to tonight. But on my way home, I learned Elaine's house burned down. I feel horrible, I love her so much and I know she's going through a lot of pain. My heart is broken knowing this has happened to her. Her husband died ten years ago in December, so she already suffers from depression this time of year. All her photographic memories of him and her son (who is now 15) were burned up, along with her two cats and everything she owned. She's really upset, mostly in shock. Of course, things could have been worse but thankfully they were gone when it happened. And I just learned that her farmhouse wasn't even insured because of its location.

Please, get your house insured if it isn't already or check to make sure your insurance covers even the unlikeliest of situations. Get a fire proof safe and use it. Come up with a fire plan. And have your home inspected for potential fire hazards, like old wiring.

So sad.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What the??

I was sitting outside on Mom's front porch while she was taking a phone call when I heard her say, "Yeah, that's the spot." I looked inside to see what she was talking about when I saw this:

Apollo * sigh * massaging Mom's feet

I kid you not. Apollo massaging Mom's feet with lotion! I was shocked! After I picked up my chin, I took a photo so I could preserve evidence of Apollo's sucking up.

Apollo pointed out to me later that he had to wear gloves because "Mom's feet were hurting me."
I really don't know what to say.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First pumpkin

Having grown up in a religion that doesn't allow celebrating holidays, I have never carved a pumpkin. Until now!

We invited our neighbors Niki and James over to carve pumpkins. Because I was new at it, Apollo and I carved our pumpkin together. Ours is the one on top, Niki carved the one on the left and James the one on the right. I couldn't believe how easy it was! We have another pumpkin and I'm thinking of buying a third one so we can cut away without having to share.

The only bad thing about carving the pumpkin is it made me crave pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Autumn colors with Hazel Knits Sock Club spoiler

The trees are turning red, orange and yellow, putting on quite a show. I'm still surprised at the beauty just outside our living room window. You miss out on this kind of stuff in So Cal.

I took these about a week ago and already the tree's have changed quite a bit. By the way, this is the Snowball tree which I blogged about last April.

Turning red

Check out that spider cleverly hiding from rain drops under a curved leaf!

Smart spider

It was sprinkling while I took these photos and I was running around outside barefoot. I thought that meant I was acclimated to the temperatures until my neighbors kept complaining about how hot it was in the house while I felt chilled. I guess it's going to be another cold winter for me.

More autumn colors showed up in my mailbox recently. Check out these beauties.

Hazel Knits Fall 2009 Sock Club

They're from the Hazel Knits Fall Sock Club shipment. Path to the Peaks and Cascade Canopy, perfect for the season.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two ways yarn made me smile today

  • Yesterday, the website contacted me and asked if I would be willing to share a photo of one of my hats with them. A hat specifically designed by Jared Flood aka Brooklyntweed to go along with an article written about him on their site. Of course, I am honored to share! They put up the photo today with all the other beautiful Brooklyntweed projects. Don't forget to check the Spotlight section to read about Jared! (I need to find that hat too because I'm either going to pick up stitches on the brim and add on to the ribbing, or I'm going to rip it out and lengthen the ribbing and then knit the cables all over again. I know. Crazy.)

  • Today we purchased a rather large item (OK look I am on a budget and had to buy a 5 piece dining set that came in a huge box and we had to put everything together ourselves) and after cramming it in its huge box into the trunk, realized we needed some rope or something to tie down the trunk lid. Apollo almost went inside the store buy some bungee cords when I thought, surely I must have yarn in my purse that would work just as well! After some rummaging, I found the leg of a dinosaur I had knit, ripped it apart and gave it to Apollo (who wasn't phased by this) to make the appropriate tie down. Who would have thought a knitted dinosaur leg would come in handy! Also, I don't know why a dinosaur leg was in my purse.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One sock short

So about a month ago I started a pair of plain old stockinette socks for myself. There's something comforting about stockinette socks. Simple and functional. Plus they're extra mobile because they don't require a pattern and I can knit on them when at Mom's (with low light conditions and Cops or Queer Eye blaring on TV while she cackles and then spoils the ending because she has already seen this episode), at the theater, waiting for gas, etc.

I made it to the toe of both socks and decided to tweak the heels and experiment with the foot length, so I ripped one of them back to the leg and started over. Meanwhile, other projects got my attention and I put the socks aside.

Yesterday I grabbed one of the socks and completed it. But when I looked for the second sock, it was no where to be seen. I looked everywhere. Even strange places like in cat beds, the freezer, the litter box, etc. Still no sock.

I started to doubt that the second sock even existed. Even though I clearly remembered knitting it. And even though I had obviously used two socks worth of yarn. I thought I was losing my mind.

Thankfully, I checked my projects notebook on Ravelry and saw where I mentioned a pair of socks so I am now confident that the second sock does indeed exist, that little bastard.

Now I have to decide, should I knit a third sock? Or do wait for the second sock to show up and continue to walk around the house with just one sock on while Apollo gives me The Look? And what is a group of three socks called, if two is called a pair?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mom's obsession

My mom is obsessed with firewood. She not only collects it for herself, but for us, my aunt and grandma. After a storm she drives through the mountains on isolated gravel roads, the kind with bear and elk poop on them, looking for windfalls. After she finds one she contacts the Forest Service, or whomever the tree technically belongs to, and gets the appropriate permits. Once when we helped carry off partially cut wood chunks, we had to drive 20 minutes into the mountains to find the downed tree. She is serious about her tree hunting.

She also gleans trees from logging sites. This last time, her stepson was nice enough to leave some of the smaller trees unharvestable trees behind for her.

James and Mom

This last time, my cousin James helped out by sawing up the wood. I don't remember how many truck loads we got out of this, but it took several hours to cut, load, haul to Moms and then unload.

Logging site

That tiny man is Apollo standing next to giant piles of brush waiting to be burned so the area can be replanted with trees. After replanting, the trees can be logged again in about 50 years. Renewable resources are awesome. And look, small plants are already starting to grow under the mess!


This is one thing I missed about Oregon: huckleberries! As kids we used to pick wild fruit and plants to eat while playing in the woods. Gone are the days of exploring the wilderness and enjoying edible fruits of the land, now we glean fallen trees. All. Year. Long.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October and still getting veggies from the garden!

We expected frost almost two weeks ago, so Apollo and I picked half of our tomato plants clean of green tomatoes, then decided to risk it and covered the rest of the plants with plastic. Turns out they're OK and slowly ripening on the vine. I have to keep an eye on them though because all the rain we're getting is making them split.

Meanwhile, I put all the green tomatoes in paper bags with a banana and have been waiting to see if they would actually ripen.

Brown bag tomatoes

And look, they did! This is just some of the tomatoes, I have quite a few green ones left. Yesterday I used these, along with a few I picked from the garden, to can four quarts of stewed tomatoes (with garlic and onions). Today got eight more tomatoes out of the bags and roasted them for an impromptu zucchini (yep, still getting them too), pesto, garlic and pasta dish. It was delicious!

I also have carrots still in my raised beds. I've heard I can leave them there, even through frost. I'm not sure if that's true but I guess we'll find out. I pulled up a couple handfuls and a few that were growing kind of funky. Turns out those planting instructions on the seed packets are there for a reason. Next year I'll give them a little more space. Fortunately their shape doesn't affect taste!

Too close for comfort

Meanwhile I'm already planning what to grow next year. I definitely need garlic and onions for my stewed tomatoes. Which reminds me, I'm hoping to put garlic seed in the ground sometime in the next couple weeks!