Chasing Your Own Tail

Time spent with a cat is never wasted. ~ Colette

All weekend, I’ve been craving carbs and junk food. The British Hubby and I have been sugar free and carb free for several months now. It’s been going so well that we’ve started running again. I recently purchased Low-Carb Cravings. Today we tested the French Toast recipe. It looked good. It smelled good. After the first mouthful the British Hubby declared, “It needs maple syrup.” Giggling, I agreed and proclaimed, “It would be better with bread.”

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While we were trying to convince ourselves breadless French toast was just as good as the orginal version, the kitties were getting up to some shenanigans.

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Gracie managed to get one of the toys stuck on her tail. She was going in circles trying to figure out why it was chasing her.

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Naturally, Burt and Ernie wanted in on the action.

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It’s just not the same without Gracie dragging it along.

 

Historical Picnic

Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit. ~Edward Abbey

Over the weekend, the British Hubby and I had our first outdoor adventure on Ulysses. We only made a few wrong turns before finding our destination, the historical Coal Creek.  Here you can see the remaining foundation from the Coal Creek Hotel that was built about 100 years ago in 1918.

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Here’s the view from Ulysses.

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Hiking in new motorcycle gear isn’t exactly the easiest hiking equipment for contemplating nature. New leather is a bit stiff for long walks. Instead, we had a picnic and some knitting while contemplating what the area would have looked like 100 years ago when the coal mines were active.

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Sock number two is coming along. This pattern, Vanilla Latte, is perfect for traveling. I don’t need to bring the pattern along. Maybe I’ll finish these before Stage 2 of TDS begins. (I know that was funny, right?) Stage 1 currently has about 175 completed pairs!

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I’m not sure Gracie even noticed we were gone.

 

The Start of TDS or Is It?

True love is like a pair of socks: you’ve gotta have two and they’ve gotta match.

Tour de Sock (TDS) started yesterday morning. I downloaded the pattern, Fins. It looks interesting, but I wasn’t enticed to cast on. That was my one caveat when I registered for TDS. I wasn’t going to force myself to knit the patterns if I didn’t love them. You can imagine the British Hubby’s shock at finding me not casting on a TDS sock, but working on wips instead! Stage 2 starts on July 25, and Shark Bite II starts on the 23. I know at least one of these will result in a new project. For now, I’m working on wips and watching the completed sock one projects cross the finish line. About 10 hours after the pattern posted, there were four finished pairs. At the 24 hour mark, there were at least 30!

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I may not be able to finish a pair of socks in 10 hours, but I do have a completed project to share. Presenting the first completed orphan wip of July and another completed Malabrigo March project, Glazed Lumberjacks! Dear readers, I only have four Malabrigo March projects to finish. This could be the very first year I actually complete every project! (I almost feel like I jinxed myself writing that on the blog.)

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It’s the weekend so we’re celebrating with grilled chicken salad. Yummy!

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Here’s a funny photo of Ernie. He looks like a floating cat head. I think he’s trying to spook Burt.

Viva La Revolution

Those that make peaceful revolutions impossible; make violent revolution inevitable. ~ John F. Kennedy 

Happy Bastille Day! Today is Independence day in France. A common misconception about the uprising at Bastille was the intent to set the prisoners free. The original rioters were looking for proper ammunition. They were looting for firearms and cannons. This brought their search to the Bastille resulting in a brutal beheading of the prison governor and his officers. According to Time History.com, “That event bolstered the revolution’s political meaning and the idea of the storming of the Bastille as a demonstration against political tyranny, rather than a violent event.” Today is a day to celebrate your freedom to revolt. Commit a thought crime or maybe eat cake. We celebrated with a high energy smoothie (the British Hubby wasn’t excited about the color).

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Ernie decided to check out the world for up high.

Have a fabulous weekend!

P.S. Just 7 hours and 8 minutes until TDS begins. Woot Woot!

 

Celebrating Life: Working edition?

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. ~ Oprah Winfrey

This weekend was fantastic weather wise in the PNW. Clear blue skies with temps in the upper 70’s and a breezy. Naturally, you would think we were out enjoying life in Ulysses. Unfortunately, I needed to finish up one project and get started on another for the day job. While I find it highly annoying when the day job cuts into my personal time, aka crafting time, I also know doing this prep work will make my work week significantly less stressful. I’ve decided to celebrate the fact that I have a decent job in which I’m well respected, and I mostly enjoy. Here’s to being employed!

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I’m celebrating with a giant cuppa. Currently I’m loving decaf hazelnut cinnamon creme tea bags from Adagio tea and house blend black from Plum Deluxe. I’m also still drinking copious amounts of iced tea with my hario cold brew iced tea filters (I love them). Lately, I’ve been wondering if I could make my own iced chi tea latte with foam. My milk frother does have a setting for iced tea/coffee. I think I’m going to have to experiment. If anyone has a good recipe they love, please post it in the comments or send me the link.

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Despite having to work some this weekend, I’ve made some progress on my wips. My African violet shawl is on the last lace section! I have about six more rows to go before the bind off. I was worried this was going to end up being more of a shawlette, but the lace section gave this some much needed depth.

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My sunset cable scarf is coming along. Progress on this one seems less noticeable, but I am on skein two now. Just keep knitting!

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Burt says’s, “Look how fierce I am!” Stuffed toys and feathers beware.

Tools of the Trade

Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given. Great leaders work to sharpen them. ~ Simon Sinek

The past several years, I’ve indulged myself in a pair of Signature needles during their anniversary sale. This year I acquired a set of US 6 straight needles. Normally, I wouldn’t buy straight needles any more, but this brand is an exception. While scarf knitting is no longer my favorite knit wear to produce, I still love wearing and giving scarves. Ten inch Signature straights make knitting a scarf sheer delight. The customizable tips and ends, make these needles more like art work than tools. I was eager to use them on my Sunset Cable Scarf. (I’m not sure if you I made a cable the wrong way. I’m a little annoyed at the mistake, but not enough to go back and fix it.)

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This weekend I also purchased another US 5 needles. As I’m starting less projects and attempting to finish more (well, it’s not going to swell this month), my needle selection is growing. Normally, I prefer metal needles, but for my lace Spring Sunrise Shawl metal needles were just too slick. That meant a trip to my yarn store! They carry a new to me knitting needle, Lykke. This beautiful needle is made from driftwood. The points aren’t as piercing as the stiletto signature tips, but they are sharp enough for the lace sections of my shawl. Smooth joins allow the yarn to easily pass from cable to needle and back again. I see more of these needles in my knitting future. I would really love it if they made dpns.

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Today I tried out a new tuna salad recipe, tuna-cottage cheese scoops. My local library had some interesting low carb cookbooks. I checked out 300 15-minute Low-Carb Recipes. The British Hubby can eat the same three meals day in and day out. I prefer a little variety in the my salads. This has some really interesting meal ideas. Obviously, I haven’t tried all 300 recipes, but so far the first one really did only take 15 minutes to prepare. I also like the versatility in this salad. I can use it as a dip with raw veggies or I can put a scoop on a big salad. (I’m sure it would be even better on a warm croissant, but I don’t have any of those.)

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Gracie is trying to convince me this salad is for her!

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The End of June Gloom

Clouds came floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

A heatwave hit the PNW this weekend along with heat advisories and triple digit temperatures. I think today’s peak was 102 or 38.9 in Celsius. My Hario cold brew tea bottle along with our ice maker is getting a workout. It’s also grilling weather. Keeping our unair conditioned house cool is a challenge during the heatwaves. Turning on the stove or oven is just unthinkable. Cheeseburgers or turkey burgers are one of my favorite items to grill out. Below is my new favorite summer time meal, cheese burger salad. It’s all my favorites (including mom’s homemade pickles) in an all veggie no carb meal. Yum!

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Since the overcast mornings are coming to a close, I thought it was a good idea to post another progress photo on my April Showers Shawl. A few rows back, I managed to get off by a stitch. The diagonal lace pattern now has a jog in it for a few rows. While I could rip back to fix it, I decided to keep it as a design element. It reminds me that sometimes life throws us little hiccups along the way. Below is a close up photo of my mistake. (It actually looks like this might have happened about half way done as well.) Once, the shawl is finished, I’m not exactly sure the mistake will be that noticeable. I know there are many knitters out there this mistake would drive them nuts, and they would have to go back to fix it. We all have to be true to the type of knitter we are. I sort of like the way the yarn overs look a bit like a wave instead of straight diagonal.

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Poor Ernie, can’t seem to get cool. Here he is attempting to sleep in front of the fan. (Wow,  does that rug need a vacuum. Too bad, it’s too hot for such labor intensive activities.)

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Stay tuned for cooler temperatures and maybe even a completed project!