Tuesday, May 30, 2006


i am home, and will definitely be publishing about 10M pictures and thoughts and stories from europe as soon as i can get caught up enough to get to it! meanwhile, i got home to find this fabulous box waiting for me from my knitter's tea swap pal. a box of giftwrapped tidbits from stash--when i unwrapped it all, it contained a sampling of iced teas i can't wait to start making, some vanilla lavender tea biscuits, and these wonderful looking chocolate cookies. i can't believe that THIS is (according to the card in the box) a teaser gift! it's so generous!!! i think i may have the best tea swap pal EVER. such a nice thing to have a package waiting for me. THANK-YOU knitters tea swap pal!!! now i just have to get my own package to MY pal in the mail tomorrow!!! i got some wrappin' to do...

Friday, May 19, 2006

jet setting

i am off to europe for the next 10 days where i will have no access to this here internet. i am just letting y'all know since i won't be posting for the next week and a half or so. wish us a good trip--i'll see ya when we get back. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

white trash (and mint juleps)

last weekend, we went to a white trash cookout for our friend warren's 40th birthday. totally hilarious. i made deviled eggs because a) they have been served at nearly every white trash event i have ever attended in my life (and i have been to quite a few--i am from the appalacian mountains after all!), and b) who doesn't like deviled eggs??? i made two dozen of them, and they were gone in about 10 minutes. i thought my plastic tray covered in used aluminum foil and paper towels was a nice touch. :)

i also made a pitcher of mint juleps, and i think the hippie consumed the the whole thing out of his lovely american flag cup while playing bocce and smoking cigars. he had a great time--so great that i actually left him at the party after about 5 hours. the pms and headache overcame me, so i went home and talked on the phone to the sam instead. i was FULLY prepared to go pick the hippie back up later, but he got a ride home with friends, so it was all good. but as always, i digress...

what i really wanted to talk about for a minute are the mint juleps. now, i know i am Southern and all, but my first experience with this beverage was less than stellar. i made one following the mr. boston's bartending guide instructions, and it was a pure disaster! something with muddled mint leaves, powdered sugar, and whiskey that in the end, did not look a damned thing like what i knew a real mint julep to be. i swore off them forever, all because of one bad experience. how wrong i was!!! let us consider for a moment that i was basing my entire assumption about this quintessentially Southern beverage based on instruction from a guide called "mr. boston", and is that name not implicitly yankee? what was i THINKING? (no offense to the yankees, of course--some of my best friends can be classified as same, and new england and NYC have many wonderful things to offer, just not proper mint juleps.) (digressing again...) thank the lord for my cousin leanne who taught me her great grandmother's recipe for the summer beverage of the gods. i will now share with you this perfect libation. i can drink these endlessly on a summer afternoon:

perfect mint juleps
  • big handful of fresh mint
  • water
  • ~10 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2-3 cups whiskey
you are basically going to make a sweet mint tea with a lot of whiskey in it--so easy! wash mint thoroughly (especially if you pick it out of your yarn like i do), and place it into a medium to large saucepan. cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. remove from heat and allow to steep for 20-30 minutes. add sugar and stir until dissolved. strain mint concentrate into a 1-gallon pitcher. add 2-3 cups of your favorite whiskey (we generally use jim beam), then fill pitcher with cold water. chill for a couple of hours (if there's time--the hippie, he can never wait that long) before serving over ice with sprigs of mint to garnish. relax. drink steadily until gone. make more.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


trying to finish about 90k things at work and home before we leave to go to europe this weekend--i have had no time to post. i even have pictures just waiting in the wings to go live on my flickr account, and have had no time to deal with them either! annoying!

meanwhile, i HAVE had time to frog the entire front left side of the baby sweater i have been knitting. blah. i knitted the whole thing with the wrong size needles due to sheer stupidity. and you know, the whole time, i was like--this feels different--maybe i have just gotten used to the small needles, this side's going WAY faster than the right side... yeah. my needles were too big. i pulled out the whole thing. blah. again.

let's just say i am not having the best day. i won't even get into how badly my head has been throbbing since 6am or that disaster with the pop tart i had earlier. yeah. good thing i have a conference call tonight so i can relax a minute. oh wait. that sucks too. i'm going home, dude.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

dear knitters tea swap pal...

since you asked, i thought i would write up a bit of information for you about the teas and confections i love. all you other blog readers, you can just ignore this post unless you just like thinking about tea and sweets and yarn. :)

this is not the first time i have written a post about tea. i started drinking iced tea literally as a baby, and have consumed it lustily my whole life. i love iced tea both sweetened and unsweetened, and i also like both plain lipton-style teas as well as herbal and fruty concoctions. anything but raspberries. LOATHE the raspberry in any form actually--the devil's own fruit. but i digress...

as for hot teas, i started drinking them in the summer when i was nine. i had a favorite teacher at school who drank strong black cinnamon tea with lots of sugar, so that is what i wanted as well. it was like liquid candy! along the way i have tried just about every kind of tea there is. black, caffeinated varieties are still my favorite. green and white teas are sometimes great, too. and i have been known to partake of the herbal tisanes as well. however, i find that they lack a certain something for me. i think it's a combination of the slight bitterness you get with a good black tea, and maybe also the ritualistic aspect of mixing in the milk and sugar, which i almost always do. i usually prefer my herbals on ice, and i sometimes make iced tea with a mix of herbals and plain blacks. really--i am pretty open-minded about it all.

as for confections to go with my teas--well--that's a place where just about anything goes. i adore scones, plain and with clotted cream and jam. i love oatmeal raisin cookies. i love biscotti. i love good dark belgian chocolates. and mmmmm, a chocolate cake is sometimes the aboslute best. muffins are also always a good choice. the only things i would say i am not in favor of are brownies and raspberries. i have no food allergies to worry about.

i guess what's left is yarn--can't forget that. like all knitter, i love me some yarn! i make a lot of baby items, and i am just getting going with garments for myself. i am also dying to make some lace, and i have some felted baby blocks in my queue. i have never made socks, but i think it will be doing that before the end of the year--i am just a little intimidated. i like natural fibers best, but if a synthetic is soft and plus and machine washable, i often choose it for baby stuff. i am addicted to mission falls 1824 cotton and to julia, which is a worsted weight wool/alpaca/mohair blend from a local yarn designer. i like ocean colors and sky colors, and lately, i have been leanng more toward the pink than i used to. i also love beautiful heathered greys and saturated blacks. i think i am about 50/50 on variegated vs solid yarns. all in all--i'm not hard to please. :)

so, i know that was WAY more information than you (or anyone else) really needed, dear knitters tea swap pal. but as you see--i am enthusiastic on these topics, and i can't stop talking about them once i get started. thank you so much for asking! you have inspired me to go ask these questions of my other pal as well. i can't wait to put something lovely together for her!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

the most awesome gift EVER!

you ever see that movie g.i. jane? i have a secret love for that movie. when instructor pyro yells as demi moore's character (jordan o'neil), "O'NEIL!!!!!" i always jump. makes me feel like i should do some push-ups or something. that movie makes me want to work out like nothing else. it also makes me call my friend at work, john o'neill, "O'NEILL!!!!!" when i see him in the hall, which he thinks is funny (thank god, because i am not sure i could stop myself). john, he's the nicest guy you could ever meet, and just all around cool. his hobby is working with and turning wood, and he is really great at it. yesterday, he gave me these. handmade knitting needles. he made them from some scraps of tiger wood he had laying around. they are AMAZING--better than my lantern moon needles, and WAY better than the brittany birch. they are smooth and slick and weigh next to nothing. plus they are just fucking BEAUTIFUL! i still can't believe that these are just his prototype. and now, he's all fired up to make some more and is filled with ideas for making them even better. i told him--you make all you want, brother--i'll happily knit with them all!

tea swap

i joined the knitters tea swap. this is my first online swap, so we'll see how it goes. i am utterly excited to get started spoiling my pal, and also dying to see what my other pal sends to me! whoo hoo! so on the blog for the swap, i posted a picture of my tea stash, and man, i have a LOT of tea! i mean, i KNEW i had a lot, but i didn't realize how much till I started trying to fit it all into one picture. as the hippie pointed out, it's about 4 cubic feet of tea. i MAY have a problem...

UPDATE: my secret knitting tea swap pal left a comment on my post from yesterday. yay! i would normally email back, but since i don't know who it is--welcome to my blog, knitters tea swap pal! :)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

this is why it's worth it

on sunday, we were so tired from kelly and amy's wedding that we spend the bulk of the afternoon napping. perfect nap day: raining out, kind of cool in the apartment, new pillow-top mattress with fabulous sheets... anyway--when we finally got up, it was clear that we needed food, and it was equally clear that i didn't feel like cooking. but then, the hippie remembered (thank goodness one of us did!) that i needed to make dinner to deliver to a friend on monday, so there was no way i was getting out of it. so i dragged us to the grocery store with feelings of dread to obtain the stuff to make two batches of chicken pot pie. the hippie--he begged. he loves the chicken pot pie, and really--who doesn't. so i made him help me, and we spent a couple of hours in the kitche cobbling it together. he watched the clock like a freakin' hawk while it was cooking and nearly cried when it had to stay in a few more minutes after the timer went off. but man--look at how happy he is eating this thing! i couldn't help it--i made a set of pictures of him while he was eating it. he thinks i am a total jackass for taking all these pictures. but man, it makes me happy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

kelly and amy got married.

we were there. in fact, we were those guests who never leave. the wedding was in this amazing B&B in benson, nc called the preston woodall house. the funny thing is that my boss had told me all about this place and recommended that we stay there. i swear, the man knows where to go, what to eat, and where to stay for every destination i have ever given him. but i digress... so yeah, the wedding was beautiful and saturday was just a perfect day. they got married in the morning outside in the bright may sun, and had a beautiful brunch reception in the ballroom of the B&B. kelly and amy are our friends from dance class, and i am happy to report that they did a wonderful job on their first dance--our instructor will be proud. amy put martha stewart to shame: with some help from her friend samantha (not MY samantha) and her sister, she made her own centerpieces, all the invitations, programs, and placecards, homemade peach jam for wedding favors, bouquets and flower arrangements, and her wedding cake, and it was all just gorgeous. they were VERY thoughtful in their placement of guests at the tables for the reception--we loved all our table mates, and the conversation was quite lively. theirs ranks very very high in the list of fun weddings we have attended. after the recetion, we spent the entire afternoon just hanging out with kelly and amy on the endless porches of the B&B, and somewhere around 8pm, they talked us into just staying there. there was one open room, and the owner was great about letting us rent it VERY last-minute. i made an emergency store-run for toiletries, yoga pants, and flip flops to wear home on sunday since, while my shoes were FABULOUS, they were also sporting a 4-inch heel. i can't say i wanted to deal with that on the day after, as it were. of course, all of this means we got NOTHING done this weekend, but i am OK with that. it was time very well spent with new friends. i took a ton of pictures, of course. you can check out a few of them here if you like. :)

Friday, May 05, 2006

need more knitting time

so i have been a little stressy this week, and my reaction that that is to sort of shut down and focus on small projects that i can complete quickly. kind of a control what you can approach to life i guess. thus my way-faster-than-normal progress on this baby garter stich cardigan, which i can't seem to get enough of knitting. the back and the right front are done, and the left front is going strong--i just need to finish that and add the edging and buttons. i am DYING to see it finished, so all i want to do is work on it. i wanna make a hat to match, and i already have the yarn to do it, so that's next in the queue. i seem to be into this idea of making hat and sweater sets since the eggplant thing. i finished the raglan eggplant sweater up a couple of weeks ago, but i realized i hadn't put any pictures of it up, so i snapped a few last night. i know you guys have seen the hat before, but it's so cute with the sweater that i could not resist including it. yay for finished objects and exciting WIPS! now, i jsut need to figure out what to do with my fabulous new pink yarn, which is very fine and sometimes fuzzy and VERY hard to knit with. i know i want to make a lacey-ish shawl or wrap-type thing out of it, and i would LOVE to have it in two weeks (although i realize that may well be a pipe dream). anyway--if you guys have any suggestions, i would greatly appreciate them.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

famous. and covetous.

i sent some pictures of my clapotis to axelle over at two pointy sticks because i was giddy with happiness over how it turned out, and she asked if she could put some of my pictures on her blog. and now she has! i am so flattered that such a fantastic designer is throwing some props my way! i'm famous for a day...

and man, now i really want some felted baby blocks. i wonder if i could make those. you know. in my spare time...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

always a bridesmaid...

did i mention that the hippie and i are attending 5 weddings this year? five!!! a lot of weddings. i am officially in one of them (eric and kylie's) as of this past sunday. so's the hippie, which means i will get to see him in a tux, which i am sure he will ROCK. i am looking forward to that. anyway--i swore off buying bridesmaids dresses a while ago, but i kind of knew it wouldn't last. as of sunday, i am the proud owner of a blue, tea-length satin number with a little grosgrain bow in the front. this means i own bridesmaids dresses in yellow, black, ice blue, red, purple, blue, and god knows what else. someday i will just cut them all up and make a really expensive quilt. the bottom line is that it's not possible to say no to a bride who loves you and needs help when you love her and want to help anyway. i am that bridesmaid who has a comb, some safety pins, krazy glue, bobby pins, lipstick, clear nail polish, and double-sided tape on her person, as well as three different sizes of curling irons plugged in somewhere, just in case. i always end up straighting and tugging and pulling and pinning everyone in site on the days that my friends get married. i am the thrower of showers and bachelorette parties. i am the driver and the personal shopper. i am that person you want with you when you are dress shopping because i will tell you if you look fabulous or of that chiffon train is making your ass look a mile wide. i know my fabrics and can tell you if you are getting ripped off. i can bake your wedding cake. i am your errand runner, and i will shield you from your mean relatives, if you have any. what i am NOT is photogenic. you do NOT want me in your wedding pictures. the only picture i own from my best friend's wedding (hi alyce) is a picture of me in full bridesmaid regalia with WAY too many bobby pins in my hair (i look scalped) and her her standing perfectly still with her arms out, her head wrapped in tulle*, her dress on but not quite right yet, and my hand down the front of the dress lifting her boob into place. boy howdy it's flattering. but in the end, i guess these are my friends, so they know what they are getting when they ask me to put on the dress. it's nice to be wanted. :)

* to protect the dress from her makeup. yes, i brought it with me. it was leftover from the sex kitten veil i made for her bachelorette party.