Friday, January 22, 2010

Great Score

Seventh Generation Baby Wipes











Usually about $3.50 per 70 count pack. Found two packs on the clearance rack at Super Stop and Shop for $1.15 each. That's $2.30 for 140 wipes. It will take me forever to use 140 wipes. I hope I don't have to ever buy another pack of wipes. That means I also hope Z2 learns to use the toilet soon. I believes in letting them go commando . . . that's the fastest way to help them get it! Oh, if the hubby weren't so squeamish! We'd have this done already.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FO: Hot Water Bottle Cozy

A quick and easy project. This hot water bottle cozy only took me 3 days to complete and it would have been shorter except I frogged it once because I wasn't following the pattern and my stitch count was way off. The design is clever--it's crocheted in one piece then folded over and stitched together. I added a button not because it really needed it but because I thought it was a nice touch. I added crab stitch all around because that's my favorite way to finish off crochet pieces.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the project. I used up some yarn that was just sitting in my stash and for which I couldn't think of any specific project. The yarn is variegated and therefore tends to be a bit busy for larger projects but lends itself well to such a small project.

I feel like completing it so quickly has added fuel to my crafting fire! I'm ready to move on to my Sideways Grande hat but I'm debating whether I should churn out another XL soaker before I do that.

And now I lay me down to sleep

Often before I go to bed, I feel the urge to pray to God. This is despite the fact that I'm in a place where I am unsure about God. I don't understand God and while I don't know if I would want a God that I could completely understand, I don't feel able to trust a God I don't. I don't feel warmly towards God necessarily. I don't feel like God is my Mother/Father or that God takes care of me. I'm not really sure if God loves me. Or if God even deals with love since love is more so a human emotion and feeling. Maybe God is love. Maybe God is not. Maybe God is something beyond love. Like an inseparable union of love and hate. Something we can't grasp as humans. I don't know. Confused jumble of feelings about God is what I am.

But I do know that up until now, for some reason on the other, I've been protected and provided for so I give thanks to the Universe/God. I'm not sure if He/She/It is listening or interested in my thanks but I am thankful nonetheless. But when I get that urge to pray, that's what I usually do even though feeling like I need to pray is probably more a force of habit than anything else. I think it's pointless to pray for protection for myself or for my family or to pray for things in general. I have no idea if that's what is in God's plan for me or if there is even a plan or if God is making up the plan as we go along. I feel like if there is a plan in order for my life, I can't do much to change it. All I can do really is accept it and do the best I can in any situation I'm faced with and try my hardest to set my course the way I want it to go. No guarantees it'll go that way, though.

Sometimes I wish I had a concept of God for myself that was more comforting. That I could nestle into and rely on. That would, I think, make the difficult times easier since I would be convinced that, hey, someone out there has my best interest at heart, I mean, He/She/It loves me with every fiber of it's being and He/She/It is Big Boss Hog straight running shit. (as opposed to it running itself). Someone once told me (before I learned to knit/crochet) that God must love humanity because God created it. When I started to knit/crochet, I realized that was a shaky argument. How many things have I made that I completely hated and then unraveled or threw in the bottom of the draw or donated or used as a rag of some sort? Yeah. Not much comfort there.

Anyway, so here I am trying to find a path that works for me and that feels right to me and that makes sense and that doesn't rely too heavily on God. I'm mean, I'm not mad at God at all. I just don't get It and I'm not sure I will. But is it the supreme level of haughtiness and pride not to just submit? Why do I have to get it? Why can't I pull up some faith from within myself and just trust?

One question just leads to another.

So when I lay down to sleep, instead of going down that road, I just say thank you with all my heart for all my blessings. And I leave it at that.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gumbo!


So, I've never had real gumbo like with real sausage and neither has the hubby but when I saw Vegan Dad's recipe for Gumbo with Vegan Andouille Sausage a few years ago, I was intrigued. So I made it bu I think I was the only one who liked it. Granted, I didn't have some of the ingredients then so that might have been the problem.

Well, on one of Z1's DVDs (don't ask me which one) they were talking about gumbo and so Z1 was nagging me to make some. Since we were in a kind of rut meal-wise (beans, beans and more beans albeit with a variety of grains and breads), I decided to make it again. This time, it was a real hit. I think I will make this more often with one modification and that is to brown the sausages before I add them to the soup. Even though the Andouille sausages were delicious, we all agreed: we didn't like the mushiness of the sausage in the soup. Browning them before adding them to the soup may help to keep them a little more firm.

Each serving of the gumbo was about 6 Weight Watcher's points each and since it's a very filling meal (lots of vegetables), that 6 really good quality points. I'm sure I'll make it again soon especially in these cold winter months (the pepper really warms you up).

It's the hubby's weekend off (and one of the very few where he's not working overtime) and I love to make comfort foods when he's home. Today, I'm making pancakes and tempeh bacon for breakfast (although I'm not having pancakes). I'm making pizza for dinner.

FO: Clapotis

I'm so excited to finally be able to share my Clapotis! I have wanted to knit this for a long time and so it feels great to say I did it. This project was a lot of fun to do even though it was a relatively large project because it was easy to memorize the pattern and the motion was fluid and repetitive without being boring. In other words, there was enough variety in what I was doing to keep me engaged but I didn't have to devote 110% of my focus to the project. This translated into a project I could do while the kids were awake which was great. It was nice to have my fingers working on something consistently for so long and I have to say, the finished product is beautiful. It has a lacy feel to it because of the dropped stitches but I used medium sized needles (Size 7) and a worsted weight yarn. So here are some pictures:



The pictures don't do this pattern much justice so I hope you look at some pictures from other folks to get a better idea of just how pretty it is.

The yarn I used was Filatora Lanarota that I got last year at Smiley's Yarn blowout. I really love this deep and rich color but I think if I were to do this pattern again in the future, I would go for a variegated yarn or something a bit lighter. I bought four skeins of this color for this project but I ended up only using two and a half. That was a nice surprise and I'm already thinking about what I'll use the rest of the yarn for. Z1 needs another extra-large soaker (that boy has some thick, muscular thighs--sheesh) and this yarn would be perfect for such a project.

Since I've got some momentum going, I immediately started on another (simple) project: a crocheted hot water bottle cover. I'm using just some oddly colored variegated cotton yarn that I had in my stash. We usually wrap our hot water bottle in towels to keep it from burning the skin but a cover actually made for it would be much more functional. I'm only loosely following the pattern, I have to say though, because I am a much more advanced crocheter, I basically know what to do without needed to stay glued to the pattern. This project will be my daytime work while the kids are awake. I am determined to finish my Monkey sock by the end of next week by the latest. How long can a project wait to get finished? Yeah, it's really time to finish!

So I've got my knitting/crochet mojo back (I think). Chimamanda Adichie's new book That Thing Around Your Neck just came in at the library (I had put it on hold). I hope it doesn't derail me too much.
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