Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Progress. Some Slow. Some Fast

So the hat is done. Yippee!!! This was the Kauri hat - the one I frogged what? Two or three times? So I ended up doing it in a more plain style. It's a tad big, but I can work with that. It's toasty, but I could use more "warm" around my ears. 

See the decreases? Sorry - like turning a heel, hat decreases still jazz me. So I'd do another, but I'd take it down one size. I have some superwash wool and I'd just do a "scrap hat" to use it up. 

And the button? It's a button, but I looked at it, and decided to make it a "hat pin" or actually, it could be a shawl pin. At least this way, I can remove it when I hand wash it. 

Also, I have enough yarn left over for some wristlets. Not a full mitt, I think, but at least pulse warmers. Those will be nice, because they can be worn with my gloves. You know that little space where it always manages to attract snow, between your sleeve and your glove? Well -- wristlets! Voila - it's handled. 

I think what I'll do for the next one is a moss stitch band for the "rib" section. Oh, and I did manage to find some short-cable circular needles. Yay, again! Thanks to Le Mouton Rouge Knittery, I was able to get the button/pin as well. Hey - if I ever find that purple shawl that just needs its collar finished, this swirl will be a nicer shawl pin than the sheep pin that I have. 

Where there's hope, right? 

Hat pin/shawl pin/ button
I'm not a hat person, really. I prefer earmuffs, but I really wanted to see how the Kauri yarn felt and knitted up. Frankly, I don't think I would make a sweater with it. The brush-tail possum sheds. I'd use it for a scarf, mitts, another hat. But that's about it. The silk gives it a nice sheen, so it would also make a very pretty shawlette. 

Of course, now my mom wants one. A hat, I mean. I don't think she'll either care or want it knit with the Kauri. Besides, I'll have to order it. I got it in Indianapolis, and I'm not driving out there again! 

Actually, this thing knit up relatively fast; just took about a week of knitting time, considering I also have a full-time job. 

So now I'm back on the Nephew Afghan. It's a slog. My hands hurt. But I may end up just taking a picture of it and giving them an IOU for a wedding gift! I'm almost at the end of the 3rd set of yarn balls. I have one more set. So, progress, but a slog. 

Catholic Church...

Speaking of progress, the slower progress is with the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese of Chicago released a boatload of records regarding the pedophile scandal. Even Cardinal Bernardin, who was held up as a paragon in the Archdiocese, was implicated. He shifted priests around and asked forgiveness when he should've asked for prison time. 

Now the victims and their families have to pick up the pieces. And the congregations are left to wonder if the "crisis" is really done. I don't mean to demean it by calling it "crisis" with scare-quotes - but what I'm trying to say is: is the BULK of the abuse uncovered now, or are Catholics just waiting for the other shoe to drop? Is there another generation of pedophiles waiting in the wings? 

Don't know. But hopefully, the Church might have learned its lesson. If it's going to come back under Pope Francis as a stronger, more viable institution, the transparency has to be there. I think this pope is trying. But I'm also in the "waiting for another shoe to drop" category. 

I'm not going back to the Catholic Church. But I would not like to see the whole edifice fall because of institutional blindness. 


In all truth, I have no idea where I got this from. But it's a good one. I like dark greens and this is a rather flexible recipe. You can use a variety of greens, or a mix. 

Garlicky Greens Recipe

1 lg. bunch of kale or chard                2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt                                 5 cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
1/4 c. grated Parmesan (opt)            crushed red pepper flakes (opt)

De-stem the greens (if they're the big ones); grab the main stalk and strip the leaf from the stem to the top. Tear big leaves into bite-sized pieces or dice them with a knife. Wash them in a large bowl or sink. 

WASH CAREFULLY to remove the sand/grit. Wash, rinse, repeat - at least twice, in my experience! Set aside.

JUST BEFORE you want to eat them, in large skillet, heat the oil, add the salt (a couple of big pinches) and the greens. They should hiss & spit when they hit the pan. Stir till they're bright green and they just start to collapse - perhaps up to 4 minutes, depending on how hot your pan is and the size of the chunks of greens.

About 30 seconds before you pull the pan off the heat, add the garlic, and stir up to cook - don't burn the garlic! Pull off the heat, add the cheese and then the pinch of red pepper flakes if you want. 

**You can make this vegan by removing the cheese and using toasted almonds or pine nuts. 
**You can use bagged baby greens - in that case, you don't need to de-stem, but perhaps 
trim the stems.

I've done this and it's fantastic. I prefer the baby greens or a mix of kale and spinach. The big kale kind of knocks me across the room. The baby greens are lovely. I will seriously eat the whole pan. And you should; greens are good for you!

In addition, I might consider using this as a base for a soup. Or maybe add this to a soup in the last minute or so that I was heating it up.

Raisa & the Elkhounds...

Well, things are progressing both fast and slow. Fast in that she's adapting to our routines. Slow in that Quinn is a bit sketchy toward her. And this morning, she jumped on Tippi, who was NOT happy. We've tried to defuse the snarl-fests, but at some point, they'll learn. 

This pic was before she lost her "couch privileges." She's only allowed on the floor for now, till everyone figures out where they belong in the line-up. 

We figure a couple of weeks and then we'll all be one big happy family. 

She goes to "Puppy Play" next week, and then her lessons start in February. She and Quinn will be trained together, and then she and I will proceed through the CGC training. With luck, she'll also be a therapy dog. 

Right now, everyone's pooped out and napping. So we have a "little piece of quiet" before all heck breaks loose again. 


It's snowing again, and about 15* outside. It "feels like" 2* - which is warm, compared to this morning, when it was about -6*... But wait, there's more! 

We're supposed to get somewhere around -28* by 10 p.m. tonight. The wind has picked up. The birds are at the feeders. The dogs really want to be out there. But it's too cold. 

It's January and this is what I remember when I was growing up. People are griping about it now because we've been spoiled due to the climate change. 

Random Picture...

It's not a picture. It's what happens when you give a baby Siberian Husky a tennis ball. Yes, it's a little blurry. But she moves FAST! 

Raisa passed her vet check with flying colors, though the vet says she's a little on the light side. We've got her back on puppy food. From what we understood, perhaps her rescuer had her on "big dog" food. But they need the nutrition and extra fat of the puppy food for that first year, so we've got her back where she needs to be. 

We're looking for her to fill out eventually. She's already as tall as Quinn, but not as "beefy" as our River. 

And boy is she noisy!! The Elkhounds are still wondering how such a little puppy can make so much noise. 

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