Bluto

What a summer/what a bummer and What’s for dinner? (part 2 -long)

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(Click here for Part 1)

What’s For Dinner?

I make some really yummy things to eat, even now that I am a diabetic and have changed my eating habits so that I can keep my fingers and toes and such. But overall, I’m just an OK cook. My Dad and my brothers are people who really love to cook, they really show their love to others through their cooking. My Dad wakes up every day thinking about what he and Mom are gonna eat for dinner, which – given that my mother takes a fair amount of time & caffeine to really “wake up”- has led to 50 years of him accosting her most every morning, right when she gets up, and demanding to know what she wants for dinner, which leads to a very blank and confused expression on her face that I find pretty hilarious these days.

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Of course, Mom’s not wearing the hat or the beard…..

Now I might wake up thinking of food, but it’s a completed dish I’m thinking of, preferably one that could be conjured up and served immediately by the chef/butler we do not have. Since I’m the one who does the VAST majority of cooking around here, I have tried many different ways to make the decision of what we will eat easier, and some of them have helped. I admit that we go out to eat way too often, mainly because I just don’t wanna cook much at all anymore.  One of the things that has helped a bit has been subscribing to Blue Apron** for one week a month. Since I’ve been sick or gone so much this summer, I have not been eating the way I want to and need to, and we aren’t sitting down to dinner  together nearly as often. Fresh things are going bad in the fridge, mainly ‘cos I forget that I bought them. And there’s loads of things in the pantry that should be eaten as well. I’ve fallen into a very lazy & unthinking pattern about dinners around here that is not only costly to my wallet, but to my health. So here is my latest attempt to change this downward spiral & act like an adult-

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If you click on the picture, you can see it better. I’m just happy to have a reminder of what’s going on foodwise each day. Studmuffin would rather eat chicken than almost anything else on the planet, ‘cept maybe chocolate ice cream, so that’s why there’s so many “Chicken Somethings” in the plan.  I have a lot of cookbooks, for someone who’s meh about cooking, so I put in “Use a cookbook” in hopes that I might try something new; it could happen. My favorite innovation here *has* to be “Pantry Roulette” – go into the pantry and see what interesting thing could be made from what’s there and the older the better. Please feel free to try this out yerself, or put in the comments how you deal with the daily grind of ‘what’s for dinner?’ BTW, it’s Crockpot Chicken Teryaki tonight. See? Workin’ already.

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** If you don’t know what Blue Apron is, go to the website and check it out. I have some free meals from them to give away; let me know if you want to try Blue Apron in the comments section and if you live in the USA, I’ll send them your way.

Some Actual Good Things this summer

Singing with the band Kaleidoscope & becoming a much better keyboard player because the fellas let me play more and more, singing with One Human Family Workshop choir twice, been married to Studmuffin for TWENTY-EIGHT years, traveling to Dayton with Studmuffin, traveling to WV for the Studmuffin family reunion, the Force of Nature graduated from high school – in the top twenty of her class, taking the Force of Nature to Marion Military Institute for college, the Duke of Curl spent part of the summer working in Colorado, he came home and now is in school AND has a job, paid off a fairly large loan, going to Birmingham several times for Baha’i Ruhi Institute training, YARN! FABRIC!……there’s been good things, many good things.

THE END:A Real Grievance

The day after I wrote the previous post (The Gardening groove…) on this here blog, June 1st, my beloved dog Boris suddenly died. His sister Natasha has been ill/dying with a chronic parasitic infection for the last 3 years and we thought for certain, she would be gone first. We know their deaths are coming – they are 13 or 14 years old, and for their kind of dog to make it past 15 is quite rare, so we know it is gonna happen within the next 2 years certainly. Natasha, whom I have nicknamed “the Crypt Keeper” because she looks so bad – patchy fur, flaking skin and so skinny – is still living and quite happy. She gets all the treats now.

I has a sad....

I has a sad….

I think he ate something he shouldn’t have – probably some poisonous vegetation. He always loved to eat leaves and green things. I planted zinnias every year, not because I’m fond of them, but because Boris loved to nibble the leaves so much. Others have told me that Labradors tend to get stomach cancer and that is possible, too.  I did not realize just how sick he was until about 2 hours before he passed away; I spent about 5 or 6 hours that day driving the Duke of Curl to and from his dr.’s appointment in Birmingham; I would not have done that had I known that Boris was dying. We buried him next to Bluto^^ that night, and a week later I planted zinnias on his grave.

We won’t be getting another dog while Natasha lives; she’s elderly and sick, but she was the less dependent of the 2 and I think adjusting to a new dog would be hard on her. I will rescue more dogs after she’s gone, mainly because of this video: Shy Shelter Dog gets Adopted. But it will be a while. Emmy the cat was sick this last week with a bad cold and it brought it all back.

Boris was the dog of my heart and life is really not the same without him for me. I am reminded of him everywhere in our house and yard and all the streets nearby. It’s been nearly four months and I’m still grieving, which of course, I have mixed feelings about. There are so many terrible things happening in the world all over, and I’m crying about a dog. A dog who had a seriously wonderful life, who I was privileged to have in my family since he and Tasha were 4 months old. All I can say is that grief is the price of love and buddy, your death is costing me a fortune. You were the BEST dog for me and none of us will ever forget you. Thank you Borisman.

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^^Bluto adopted us in the early Summer 1997 (est. 3 yrs old) – died January 7, 2010

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A groovy sock idea & the Amazing Bluto

The fabulous Yarn Harlot has a daily calendar,”Never Not Knitting”, and I receive it via email everyday. Today’s little blurb is:

“You know how you have a bunch of sock yarn and a bunch of sock patterns? Think about taking today to create your own personalized Sock of the Month Club. Choose 12 patterns from your collection that you love, pair them up with 12 yarns from your stash, and toss each set into a zip-top bag. Put all of those bags into a bigger bag (I like a pillowcase so I can’t see what’s inside), and at the beginning of each month, pull a bag at random and start knitting. It’s a fun way to surprise yourself, it helps you stay on track with a plan, and at the end of the year, you’ll have at least 12 new pairs of socks. “

I REALLY like this idea, I am trying to save some money and I very much want to join a sock of the month club (Woolgirl’s is the one….). Instead of 12,  I may just do an every-other-month thing since I don’t want to put any pressure on myself to do a pair a month. I mean, I knit fast enough to do it and deadlines can be quite useful, but I think one pair every other month would be realistic. And since I went through the stash last month, I’ve come to realize I have a LOT of truly gorgeous sock yarn (and I do mean a****LOT*****). I don’t just make socks with it, and I did buy a little more yesterday but that will be for a hat.

TANGENT: Isn’t it gorgeous? The creator of this hat is going to write up a pattern and I’m gonna make it…and maybe a pair of matching mittens.  Here’s her first one:

And the yarn I got for it is this:

Zauberball – fuschia

Waikiwi – from NZ and has a wee bit of possum fiber in it.  How could I refuse?

Cascade Heritage – ivory

I’m not sure if I’ll use the green or the ivory for the background yet…..and this one will be for ME! – END OF TANGENT

I might get to pairing up sock yarn and patterns tomorrow at the earliest. Maybe I’ll come up with some kind of yarn giveaway too. What do you think?

The Amazing Bluto is still with us. I can hardly believe it; his kungfu is STRONG! My dear friend Cathy came over to feed Kali and him everyday while we were gone. I was certain he would not be here when we returned, but I was wrong. He doesn’t do much but sleep, is not eating much, but still doesn’t seem to be in any pain. I wish there was some way for me to convey to him how great I think he is and how much I love him. Right now, I mostly wipe his nose and eye (which he hates) and pat him when I have some time. I’m gonna be an absolute mess when he does go, though I’ll have to keep it together at least a little bit to be a decent example for the kids. I’m forever telling them that, “All living things die,” and that “death is part of life – completely natural”. I do have a terrible time saying goodbye….

Actual knitting content

There’s a good bit of knitting going on…especially during this wacky sleepless phase I’m going through – falling asleep at 8:15 pm, waking up at 1:30 am and staying awake.  Ugh.  So here are a few pictures of what’s doing:

The cabled tam from Vogue Knitting’s 2008 Holiday issue for my best friend, Tangela.

I’m modding it by making it even bigger – more increases and bigger needles.  Yarn is Cascade 220 heather in some shade of brown (can’t remember what it’s called).  First picture is more color accurate. Second picture is me messing around with my new-ish camera and all those settings I’m not really sure how to use….

Sonya’s Bling-a-licious mittens in Rowan Cashsoft DK.  I will be embroidering or duplicate stitching white polka dots all over these.  They’ll be very “woo woo” when complete.

Noro Silk Garden Stripe Scarf number 3.  The yellow doesn’t glow quite as much in real life….

And lastly, in the WIP department, this sad thing:

What is it?  It is yet ANOTHER swatch in alpaca laceweight for a test knit for Mme. Landry.  It is to be a hoodie in my size (read: enormous).  I’ve been through the seven circles of Hell swatching this mofo (that’s right, I said it) and am beginning to wonder if this is the right project for me. Just sayin’….

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Major kudos to Franklin Habit for the mention on The Panopticon. I wonder if I can put “Vice President of Propaganda” on my resume? If you like, you can see my rather average mug in the picture collage – I’m on the bottom – extreme left. Franklin is a real gentleman, delightful and funny, and if you don’t go buy his book I’ma have a fit – I promise!

I did forget to tell him of the added bonus that came with his Dwarven Battle Bonnet – the pet hair that is a part of everything I knit.

The Amazing Bluto (amazing because of his inexplicable longevity) recently found a new perch here at Chez Oney:

That’s a Superman travel pillow that some wonderful kid that lives around here left on the floor.  Bluto loves anything like this to drape his fur puddleness onto.

This is what passes for action photgraphy in this phase of the Big B’s life.  And just so you can get an idea of size:

That little purple thing is a 6 inch ruler (15 cm).  Yeah, Bluto’s a fattie and he sheds like mad, along with the 2 black & white dogs, Boris & Natasha.  So Franklin, don’t be surprised if’n you find some black and white fur in yer hat.