Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've been busy!

That's not exactly a truthitude. I've only been busy playing with yarn. The house is a mess, the roof still has a hole in it and the dishes aren't done. But the fruits of my labor are much more picturesque.

First up, some beautiful bamboo yarn barf. A friend of mine, who is an experienced wool roving and yarn dyer, tried out some bamboo yarn, to see if she wanted to branch out from wool. Unfortunately, when she tried to re-skein the yarn after dyeing, she found that it had turned itself in to many tiny tangled "yarnlets." She got one hank sorted out, then gave up and sent me the rest.
I figured that she really was exaggerating about how badly the yarn had held up, but hoo boy, she was right! I spent an entire evening of watching tv trying to get together one hank, and it was no picnic. The thing was in no fewer than ten pieces. A sane woman would give up, but the stuff is just so darn pretty that I'll probably find a way to use it anyway.

And hot off the presses, folks, a summer sweater for me. I started this in March, but then got sidetracked, and worried about length and sleeves and decoragtive finishing a lot. I finally got sick of knowing it was there, undone, and pulled it out this morning. I realized that I didn't like the look of the sleeve I had done, so I pulled it out and left just the sleeve cap. I also forwent the decorative edging I had planned, and did just a simple single crochet border. I really still ought to get a cute little frog closure for it, but I'm calling this baby done. I might even wear it to church this Sunday. :)
Pattern: created by Knitware sweater design software.
Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Sport, color: Cream
Hook: US H/5.0 mm

Sorry about the deer-in-the-headlights look, it's hard to pose for a portrait taken by a six year old. But don't you like my new hair cut?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ack! roof repairs in the rain.

After dinner, we were milling about, waiting for the big rain to stop and a particular TV show to begin when dh announced, "we have a leak." He went and got a bucket, and I started to see dollar signs.
It's raining cats and dogs and we just replaced the thingamajig and the watchamacallit, meanwhile, the doohickey and doodad are higher on my to-do list than the roof.

I took a deep breath, figured out that it was obviously near the edge of the low roof outside our bedroom window, and went off to look at it. I opened up my bedroom window, removed the screen, and launched myself over the dresser. That area is a section of rubber sheeting, as opposed to standard shingles (historically, most everything in my house was done in the most "frugal" way possible), so I looked around for a hole. Sure enough, there was a wrinkle at a seam about 10" from my window. The seam's adhesive had failed, and the hole was large enough I could stick a finger in it. crap. Once again, the Peter principle has kicked in-- home ownership is the ultimate example of having risen to the level of my incompetence. I have no earthly idea about how to fix a roof of any kind.

BUT, I didn't want to have any more leak, and I especially didn't want to have to leave a bucket in the family room until it stops raining, so I went downstairs, found an old vinyl tablecloth, chopped off a hunk with the kitchen scissors, and plopped it over the hole. I put some heavy stuff on top to keep it from blowing away right away and woohoo! it worked. The drip stopped in spite of another hour of steady rain.

Tomorrow's to-do list has just added "learn how to fix hole in roof." It's always something when you own a old house, eh?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Instant Gratification

That's what I've titled my recent knit project, although its designer named it the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret. I guess that's a good name too. I started it on the 22nd, and finished it last night. That's 5 days, people-- I don't know if I've ever knit something in only 5 days. Not that I'm that slow a knitter, I just get sidetracked really easily. But this was a hat with bulky self-striping yarn, cables and sz 11 needles, it was over before I could get bored. I'm still impressed with myself, though, as in this same 5-day span, I replaced the screen door latch, painted a window seat, newel post, and a couple of back door steps, weeded and mulched a few flower beds, planted three plants, installed the clothesline, helped out with Vacation Bible School at my church, went swimming thrice, among other things. I didn't do any laundry, though. Poor Mr Deplume spent much of yesterday working on that. The guilt is fleeting, though.

It's made from a partial ball of Austermann Murano, and it is soft and squishy and all too hot to wear in July, even just to take a modeled picture. I plan to make a matching neck warmer for myself out of the remaining 89 grams of yarn. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008


At about 11 o'clock this morning, my older child lost her first tooth. I repeat: we have tooth loss. Several of her friends in kindergarten were losing teeth 10 months ago, and she's been very impatient on this front. Anyway, it was marginally loose yesterday, but some fresh corn on the cob sped up the process, and a chicken sandwich closed the deal this morning. We have secured the tooth, and it will be presented for Tooth Fairy confiscation tomorrow night (they'll be staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house tonight, and the Molinator doesn't have their address on file). She was later surprised to find that Mr Deplume took half a day off work, and we all went swimming, where she showed off her new talent, the back float.

It's been a very big day.

Now we're off to drop the kids off for the night, then have a (slightly belated) birthday dinner consisting of copious amounts of sushi, then some shopping to spend the birthday money from my Mama.

Monday, July 14, 2008

green fur bike

green fur bike
Originally uploaded by NormDeplume720
First the good: this guy was showing off his free ice cream. Who doesn't love free ice cream?

But the the green fun fur -- that's just odd. Maybe it's just that I'm a Midwestern goober, but I just don't see the benefits in this. Anyone from Southern California care to enlighten me? And the upkeep: I don't want to have to vacuum my bike, too. Can you imagine how gamey that furry seat gets after a couple of long summer rides?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

As promised, the grilled meatloaf recipe

Someone expressed interest in the recipe from my last post, so here it is. If you try it, please let me know how you liked it. I'm really a fan, I think.

1 lb. Ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 Egg, beaten
1 Onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. Cracker crumbs
1/4 c. Ketchup
1 tsp. Prepared mustard
4 or 5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
a dash of salt, a sprinkle of pepper

1/4 c. Ketchup
2 Tbs. Brown sugar
1 tsp. Dry mustard
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg*

1. Combine meat, egg, onion, cracker crumbs, 1/4 c. ketchup & prepared mustard in large bowl; mix well. Shape into loaf; place in lightly greased 10-inch metal baking pan.**

2. Combine 1/4 c. ketchup, 2 Tbs. brown sugar, dry mustard and nutmeg in small bowl; mix well.

3. Grill over hot coals for 15 minutes. Place double thickness of foil on grill. Remove meatloaf to foil. (We found that it got a little too black on the bottom, so next time we'll spread out the coals, or move the loaf to the other side of the grill for less-intense heat)

4. Grill for 10 minutes longer or until cooked through, basting with ketchup mixture.

*The nutmeg really does add a nice flavor, even though it seemed weird to me at first.

**Because I had a time crunch issue, I placed it first into a 9-inch square pyrex pan and microwavfed it for 10 minutes at 50%. It didn't cook the loaf, but it heated it through enough that it only needed 25 minutes on the grill. I moved it to a metal pie plate before sticking it on the grill

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So much to post, but so little devotion

I'm in a slump here. Every day something happens that causes me to say to myself, "you should put that on the blog." But every day, I reply, "I'll do just that later tonight." But it pretty much never happens. But it stops here. I am now making a concerted effort to actually document the interesting stuff, instead of procrastinating. Procrastination is really only acceptable for yucky stuff like calling the dentist or paying bills or scooping the cat litter, not fun things like playing on the internet.

So here's a big catch-up post.

First off, we have a little example of Norm's insane obsession with old crap. A tricycle from my Grandma's barn. About 25 years ago, Grandma Bug decided she wanted a tricycle to use for exercise. So she got one. It was yellow and big and heavy and had a big white basket on the back. We kids loved it, but it was too hard for her to pedal up the hills on their road. Enter bright idea #2, the electric trike. It is red, powered by a motor on the front and a car battery mounted between the back wheels. We kids loved that trike, too-- nothing like pedaling down the road, and then pulling the power-assist lever on the hills. Zoom! I remember it like it was yesterday.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I saw a thread on Bikeforums about resurrecting an old trike. Suddenly visions of bicycle restoration pop into my head. A phone call, a flashlight, and a lot of dirt later, I came home with this:

The original yellow tricycle had been sold many years ago, but the red DeSoto was there, waiting for me. It needs a lot of work, but is in amazingly good shape for something played with by preteens and then stored in a barn for the last 20 years. If all goes according to plan, I'll remove the motor and put a big basket on the back.

I'd like to take a moment, here, to mention that Mr. Deplume never said a word. He helped me load it into the truck with only one little question, "why are we bringing this to our house?" And when I gave him my answer ("so I can fix it up and ride it, of course") he didn't even give me a funny look. He's a good egg, I tell ya.

Next post that should have been made last week:
I actually finished something! I've been working on this prayer shawl for months and months. I will never again use that pattern. It's too mindless and too tedious all at once. And it felt like the shawl refused to grow. But I persevered and got it done. This is my first object made from a recycled thrift store sweater. You can see the original sweater on the Ravelry page for this project.

And lastly, I made meatloaf on the grill this week. Well, Mr. Deplume was in charge of the actual grilling part (we like to keep our gender roles archaic, thankyouverymuch). I didn't take a picture of it, though, as meatloaf is ugly. But it tasted great. I started with a recipe on someone else's blog, but changed it considerably as I am incapable of following a recipe (or pattern, for that matter). It didn't really resemble the author's recipe at all when I was done with it. I remembered what I did differently, so if anyone wants my take on grilled meatloaf, let me know and I'll post it here for you.

So that's all I have for today, but promise to be back soon with more madcap adventures.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

oops- sunburn

I took the kids swimming yesterday. They had a blast. There were lots of blow-up flaties and googles and flippers. Both kids are itching to go back right now. In a rare instance of good parenting, I managed to slather both of them with sunblock. In a not so rare instance of run-of-the-mill stupidity, I forgot to slather my self with same. So now I have a upper-torso sunburn. At least I was wearing a hat, so my face is largely unaffected. As the optimist that I am, I'm thinking 'Hey, at least it will even out the awesome farmer's tan I've been rocking this summer." I hope it doesn't peel and go all away, just leaving a flaky and unattractive farmer's tan.

I have been trying to work on my many UFO's lately. The problem with working on stuff like that is there is no spark, no drive to get going. So I'm all too happy to sit around playing on the internet or cleaning the house and not knitting or crocheting. I have promised myself to have finished at least two projects before the Olympics. I'm not great at meeting self-imposed deadlines, but now that I've put it here, maybe I'll do better. :)