Hats Off to January~

I finally got a pic of my hat, and finalized the WIP~

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This was so easy, I’m already thinking I’ll make the girls each one. I’ve started a 2nd one tonight, while Hunters blanket is drying, and will send his Birthday Blanket out when the first of 3 hats is completed. I feel like I’m running the gauntlet,  as each time I begin a Gift project, my time is already run short~ I’ll keep plurking along until they are done, and we’ll begin all over again.  The hourglass keeps spinning…

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I’m fond of this afghan-I love the colors~

back to knittin~check ya laters!


There’s a Giveaway at Gorgeously Green, and I thought, “why not give it a go?” Can’t hurt to try, and I could use a boost to make me feel good about being a responsible Greenie, while striving to use products that are GOOD for you, not just convenient.



Now, if I can just get Sophie to find safe dog care products, so our Igor can go “green” 🙂

Updates on the rain in California:

~Sis says they closed down I-80 yesterday, a 20-car pileup in the snow at Cisco Grove…the Sierras are getting pounded, which is good for the Ski resorts, and means more water for the usually parched Valley.
~Jessica Watson weathers another storm on her way to becoming the youngest person to sail around the world~


Time to call it a day~ my weekend lineup includes much knitting time, and hopefully wrapping up the Mary Jane’s Hat~

Super Bowl Recipe Blitz Continues : Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 can Artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste

Place the spinach and artichoke hearts in a saucepan, with enough liquid to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
In a separate saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil until the garlic is just translucent. Add the cream cheese and stir to a paste. Add the spinach, artichoke and seasonings, mixing well.

Pour dip into a serving bowl in the middle of a serving tray, then arrange corn chips, toasted garlic rye cocktail slices  and crackers around.  Then step away from the platter before you are flattened by the stampede!

Planning Ahead for The Super Bowl ~ Sausage Cheese Balls

DH and I began thinking about what we’ll be serving this year for Super Bowl Sunday.
Here’s the line-up:

Sausage Cheese Balls
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Antipasto deli tray
Assorted cocktail toasts, crackers and chips

Sausage Cheese Balls

Betty Crocker and Bisquick® present:

Sausage-Cheese Balls

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 45 min
Makes: About 8 1/2 dozen cheese balls

3 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 pound bulk pork sausage
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease bottom and sides of  cake pan or cookie sheet.

2. Stir together all ingredients, using hands or spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Heat oven to 375ºF. Decrease Bisquick to 2 1/2 cups; stir in 1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Do-Ahead Tip

Want to make these Yummy cheese balls ahead? You can:

~ Cover and refrigerate unbaked balls up to 24 hours. Bake as directed.
~ Cover and freeze unbaked balls up to 1 month. Heat oven to 350ºF. Place frozen balls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brown.

~ Bake as directed; cover and freeze up to 1 month. Heat oven to 350ºF. Place frozen balls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through.

~Bake as directed; cover and freeze up to 1 month. Place 6 frozen balls on microwavable plate. Loosely cover with waxed paper. Microwave on High 45 seconds to 1 minute or until heated through.

The best part, you don’t need to cook the sausage before using it when making this recipe!

DH suggested we have Spinach Artichoke Dip with Garlic cocktail toasts, and a nice antipasto tray complete with Riga-Tony’s salami, real fresh mozzarella, olives and assorted condiments.  I’m going to sneak the Cheese Balls in because he’s not big on Bisquick-type recipes, but I know he’ll enjoy these~


Cami’s Books: Book Giveaway – Counting the Cost by Liz Adair

I’m entering a Book Giveaway – Counting the Cost by Liz Adair

Set in Depression-era southwest, award-winning novel Counting the Cost is about Heck Benham, a handsome, hard-riding cowboy, who sees his life turned upside down when Mrs. Ruth Reynolds moves from back east into Heck’s homeland. Ruth and Heck challenge the social rules of provincial New Mexico as they fall in love. That love is challenged as she faces the reality of living as a cowboy’s wife and he finds he must choose between her and the life he loves. This riveting story of choices, consequences, and the cost of redemption rings true because it’s based on the lives of Liz Adair’s ancestors. In fact, the pictures on the cover are of the people whose lives are shadowed in the book.

Book Trailer – Counting the Cost



via Cami’s Books: Book Giveaway – Counting the Cost by Liz Adair.

Knitting Techniques : The I-Cord

The Knitted I-cord: “I” is for “Ingenious”

The venerable Elizabeth Zimmerman rediscovered and named the I-cord (the I-cord, called a “stay lace,” was mentioned in Victorian needlework manuals). The “I” stands for “idiot” because Ms. Zimmerman thought  the technique was so simple anyone could do it.

The I-cord is simply a tube knitted in the round with two double-pointed needles (I’ve done it with a long circular needle, too).

I-cordThe I-cord is one of those things in knitting that is endlessly useful. The technique is somewhat idiot-proof, once you get the hang of it, and it’s also really mindless knitting—the I-cord is something to do in front of the TV or with a good audio book on board for sure!

Here’s a quickie tutorial:

With a double-pointed needle, cast on the desired number of stitches, 3 is a good number. *Without turning the needle, slide the stitches to other end of the needle, pull the yarn around the back, and knit the stitches as usual; repeat from * for desired length.

(The illustration above shows knitting the stitches after you’ve slid the them to the other end of the needle.)

Here’s a really easy Vickie Howell video tutorial (check out her way-cool tatt on her arm!):

I’ve worked a short I-Cord, as a real illustration. I’m a Lefty Knitter, so it’s going to be opposite of what the above illustration shows, but I tried to duplicate it as closely as possible; you get the idea.


These are great for making a tie for a poncho, eyelet closure for a knitted blouse (stay lacing) or strings for a cap.

Reminds me of my elementary school days when I first learned how to make a Daisy Chain with dandelions 🙂

Army Basic Training 1960s: Fort Ord, California

Quick Hair Pics and Color Updates

Just a quick hair update~

I colored again today. I think I was ready, sorty. Actually, I was getting used to it growing out au naturale~it gave me “charactor”, IMHO.

DH said he wasn’t ready for the gray, there is already enough gray between his hair and Igor’s! 😀

8 months of Hair Lengths, July 09

Color of Choice: L’Oreal 5G Medium Golden Brown. It’s me, just without the gray…I’ll start going back to Nature again when this fades out, in about another 2 months. That’s the beauty of this color; when it fades, it goes away, and leaves only my natural color.  There was about 4 inches of natural gray when I re-colored. My hair grows fast in winter. In summer, I won’ t care as it will be up in a do every day~

I feel fi-yi-ine~

Look out, Danica, there’s a New Indy 500 Champ on the Horizon!

Just a quick update on Baby Girl, with a new picture to share~

The Kiddo is going to be 1 year old in about 4 weeks, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since I last got to hold her, new from the hospital.That was the longest 2 months of my entire life, until they were able to release her and I could make the trip south to finally get to see and hold her.

Zooom, Baby!

She is just about the cutest little thing, always has a smile on her face!

Watching the Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens Playoffs. I’m fannin the Colts,and they are charging ahead, 17- 3 in the 3rd quarter… OMG. RAVENS INTERCEPT A THROW, RUN FOR 40, TACKLED AND FUMBLE>>>COLTS POSSESSION!

I’m nearing the end of the 3rd Woodland Lace Doily-this time it’s for D. I should just do the entire alphabet, LOL!
A few weeks ago, I ran out of the green just 9 dtb’s from the last green row, and was lucky enough to get the last ball at WalMart yesterday-same dye lot even, and I bought the original ball back last Summer~

I love this color, and plan to make one for myself next.

Woodland Ferns and Lace

Woodland Ferns and Lace Doily

Pattern from South Maid Book 364, Special Doilies For Special Times

Back to the Playoffs,


The Secret Window~

Omigosh, is that the house on Watson Wy? :=) I know that house!!!

WOW, that was a surprise!  What were the chances this picture would get recognition?

Me and Mom, 2002

That was the last time I got to hold Mom.

I had just moved to Wisconsin, ready to pick up the pieces of my shattered life,  when I got the call. Dad was seriously ill and in the hospital, and I needed to go back home to take care of Mom~ and my world fell apart all over again.

You see, Mom had Alzheimer’s and Dad had been caring for her for the last several years before anyone even knew what was happening. Oh, I’d get the “we don’t want you to worry…”,  but those words alone were enough to drive me crazy with worry. But I was a million miles away, raising 2 little ones, and 2 teenagers.

I had no idea how bad things were, or the things he’d had to resort to, to keep her out of trouble. He had to unplug the microwave every night, so when Mom got up in the morning for her routine muffin treat for breakfast, she wouldn’t burn down the house. The last muffin Mom attempted to heat, was set for 4o minutes-about 39 too many. The smoldering remnants were tossed unceremoniously in the trash can out back.

I remember thinking how sketchy her letters had become, then they just stopped. She would tell me on the phone, she couldn’t quite put things down to words, and I would tell her  it was ok, I’d rather talk with her anyway. Then dad told me about the time she insisted something was wrong with her Singer 2010 sewing machine. It was one of the first electronic sewing machines, and Mom loved her sewing, made all her own clothes for years.
Nothing was ever wrong with the sewing machine; Mom had simply forgotten how to operate it. How frustrating she must have become, especially when the repairman told her 3 times,  there was nothing he could do… so she quit sewing, altogether. She loved to read her romance novels, but those too, were gathering dust on the shelf.

Dad had taken all the knobs off the range top, too. They were put out of reach in the cabinet, alongside the remains of seasoning packets that had gone out-dated many years before.

Dad came home from the hospital just 3 days after I flew in. He spent his remaining 5 days in a hospital bed, in the living room. I stayed with him  and we watched the Giants almost win the Pennant that year. When they lost, I saw the light go out in his eyes, then he settled back to complete his final journey. We spent the next couple days in each other’s company, neither of us speaking much, just happy to be together again. Most of the day, he just stared at the painting  of an Italian Villa on the wall above the T.V. Mom bought the painting when Dad was stationed in Germany, and although I don’t remember where she bought it, I remember the Street Painter and the day she picked it out.

I imagine Dad was taking his mind back to the home of his father and family, back to Italy.

Sometimes I can almost see him there in the painting,  now hanging in the Guest bedroom. I feel I’m still close to him in that way.

Think I’ll go upstairs and sit a while~


a doily I made for Mom, in her favorite colors~

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