July 12, 2013

Summer in a Jar

I have my eyes on some classes... not knitting this time. I have yet to do any canning in a wet bath. I have all the tools. I have had them forever. I figured I would get around to it sometime. Well here is my chance...

We Can Pickle That
August 6th, 2013 5:30 PM   through   8:30 PM
Harmons City Creek
135 E 100 S
Cafe Level Cooking School
Salt Lake City, UT -UT

Relish Your Garden
August 27th, 2013 5:30 PM   through   8:30 PM
Harmons City Creek
135 E 100 S
Cafe Level Cooking School
Salt Lake City, UT -UT

Tomatoes Redux
September 24th, 2013 5:30 PM   through   8:30 PM
Harmons City Creek
135 E 100 S
Cafe Level Cooking School
Salt Lake City, UT -UT

July 11, 2013


Summer check-in. We have worked, planted, traveled, knit, baked, read, laughed, cried, and more. Doodle is saying so many words now I can't possibly list them all. His favorite word is blue.

I have 4 projects that are in my knitting bag. My main priority is a gift so no details. It is a big project and I have a fast approaching deadline. Second up is Insouciant. I still have a bit to do and the short sleeves. Then a shawl called Rushing Tide. It was a project from a class that had the best information about fixing mistakes in lace! And the fourth item is also a gift. It is sad how long it has taken me. Summer time is not a productive knitting time for me. I spend 99% of my time outside. This picture is from a bit ago, I am almost half way through the next lace section. Just trucking along slowly...

So that 99% outside has all been for good. The garden is not looking too shabby. Some of the raspberries, strawberries, snap peas, and lettuce that I have already harvested. Carrots, potatoes, collard, blueberries, aparagus, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions, pumpkins, and watermelons are all going strong. I cannot wait until we have everything ripe at the same time.

We have traveled north to my stomping grounds twice now. I love getting to visit with my gram and mom. Doodle does pretty good in the car even though it is a long drive. We have enjoyed pork chops, butterscotch malts, huckleberry smoothies, the best chai in the world at the Leaf & Bean, time for all of us at a really fun Children's Museum, and a much needed couple weekends of fun. And nothing beats the view of the Big Sky Mountains as you drive east on I-90 to Bozeman.

The 'hood is having a party this weekend. We decided that a ice cream social was in order. I am hoping to make maple ginger (the best recipe from Kate Zuckerman's The Sweet Life) and a double batch of milk chocolate (from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home) with mini marshmallows. We asked everyone to bring a pint and then we will have everything else. Candy, cookies, sprinkles, caramel, chocolate, everything! I am so excited!

Alan even made me these sweet acrylic cone stands for displaying treats. Totally DIY. $1.56 for a piece of acrylic and just drill holes to fit the cones. Then a heat gun to warm up and bend the edges. Sweet!

May 13, 2013

Spring flingin'

Hello! Hope you are all as busy as we have been here at the Morris Ranch. We have been flingin' dirt.

The plan for the backyard was expanded upon and we decided to put down pavers for a 10ftX10ft patio. We had to dig way down in the back so that we could add the right amount of gravel and sand to put the pavers on. We even rented a little dumpster to dump the extra dirt in.

Alan did the majority of the work with some assistance from our newest neighbor Paul, digging and more digging. Then he used stakes and ropes and measured, leveled, and measured some more.

Mother's Day was spent working on it. We had to move the gravel (3 bags of it) to the area to spread out. Then we rented a compactor and smashed it down. Doodle played in the sand bag while we shoveled and moved all the gravel. Sand baby, yay!

Dad, don't bother with the manual, this is how it is done!
Then we had to move the sand. So doodle lost his play area but it meant we were closer to being done. After the sand level we were able to start laying down the pavers. It really went fast at this point. We are really glad that we did it and grateful that we had help from our neighbor.

We still have some stuff that we will be digging out, moving around, and planting but nothing compared to the Paver Project of 2013.

April 17, 2013

Not so secret garden...

This is the year. I am starting asparagus crowns that I will harvest in a year. I am starting raspberry canes and wisteria. I am growing lettuce, beans, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and Alan is building me up some fancy boxes to do it. We finished one today when it was freezing out.

That and I finished my first pair of socks. Hear that? Two items that match, done.

Cross that of the to do before 33 list (ha, need to finish that list)! I gifted them to Alan so I could make myself some that are longer in the leg and now I just need to decide... Tosh Vintage in Cove or Water Lily? Pictures of the yarn yum are from google images and I am not sure who to credit...

I am in the middle of another fantastic class at the local shop, Insouciant. I went with a double strand of the Habu Tsumugi Silk in charcoal and light grey. I am slow to knit it up but it should be a good summer top.

I have another knitting project that is quite an undertaking. The recipient could be a silent lurker so no details will be revealed until gifted. I know, such a tease!

I have also fallen behind in my book challenge. 50 for this year. I need suggestions so shout some out. And I am not counting cookbooks in the count. :)

On top of life and knitting, I am hindering helping Shirley help a new neighbor. He needed some suggestions for his house (yep, from paint to lights, tile, etc.) so Pinterest to the rescue. I will have to post some before pics, mood boards, and after pics. Have I told you how much I love painting? I do!

April 9, 2013


I write this now knowing this is personal. Maybe too personal. I haven't said much about this to many but I need it out there. Maybe I will look back on it later and I won't be so sad or angry.

The place I worked in Oregon was a great place. Mostly kind, good people and good benefits. A group of people that really cared about things like helmets. They would basically pay you (through special funds) to buy a helmet to wear when riding a bike. I loved it and took advantage of it. I wear a helmet when riding a bike, it is a no-brainer. Do they help? I don't know, I am not an expert. But really, do they hurt? I cannot imagine they hurt. I am open to reading, researching, and understanding this better so inform away.

In Utah, I see a lot of folks who do not wear a helmet. It drives me bonkers. Especially when I see kids with no helmets. Or parents on bikes with no helmets even though the kid has one. As most of you know, I was in an accident when I was 10. Drunk driver, a bicycle, a 10 year old, and no helmet is a recipe for many years of pain. The guy that hit me was in jail for less than 2 hours because he had a heart condition. He died before we went to trial, liver failure I think. And to this day, I still cannot ride a bike without remembering every single bit of that experience. Hospitals, doctors, pills, and years of bills was a huge burden on my family.

Side rant:

Drunk drivers are attempting murder in my book. Sorry. No way around it. We know what happens to a human when they drink. We know what you need to operate machinery safely. Drinking and operating machinery do not mix. You as a drinker, already suffering the effects, cannot begin to be able to safely make the call of whether you can operate a car on X number of drinks. Don't do it. Don't guess. Don't just do it once. No excuses.

End of side rant.

My sister called me Monday. The kind of call where she kept calling until I picked up. When it kept ringing I realized I better wake up and answer. My Uncle C was in an accident on Easter night.

Details... I cannot begin to understand this. This that my family has had so much experience with.

He was not wearing a helmet. NOT wearing a helmet.

He was on a motorcycle. Going fast. Free range area. There was a cow in the road.

A life flight, a female figure from my past that lies to get on the life flight, and days later. He is still in the induced coma. There are multiple fractures, including a skull fracture. A punctured lung. So far no response. We also cannot find a living will. So much pain.

He has a little girl. My youngest cousin. She is 8. What a mess. 

I am trying to think this through. My Uncle C has always been able to remind us all of what not to do in life. I keep thinking, what is the problem here? Would the helmet mess up your hair? Do you need more examples of what happens without one? Did you just forget it? Do you even own one?

I have said this before and it crushes me now with complete despair. When you don't wear a helmet you must understand that your family will be the ones dealing with the aftermath of an accident. You will likely not comprehend much after the damage is done.

Please, not just for you, but for those around you. Wear a helmet.

I promise something on the lighter side soon. Hug your family.

Mardi Gras in March

So in an effort to meet people and make friends, we have tried to hold some neighborhood events. We have set up a couple for the whole street and then we tried a few dinners with specific people. We have had a sushi night, pizza night, soup night, and maybe this month we will have a crepe night.

It has ballooned into a dinner once a month with 14 (ish) people. Kind of crazy but definitely fun. We might try to have dinner with a smaller group sometimes just because it is hard to visit with such a large group. Anyway, we pick a theme and run. March was Mardi Gras, the PG version. We know Mardi Gras wasn't in March this year but that didn't matter to us. We got some beads, feather boas, and figured out the menu.

Muffulettas... oh how I love thee. So we first had one at Caputo's Downtown. I am not a sandwich eater. This sandwich changed that. I think about this sandwich... a lot. We have tried no less than 3 times at the Caputo's on 15 & 15 but it is way too spicy, inedible. Caputo's Downtown is perfect. Granato's makes one too but we tried it and would NOT eat it again. Ever. :(

When we make muffulettas at home we make the olive salad with the pimento stuffed green olives, giardiniera, two kinds of cheese (provolone and swiss is good), salami, and honey ham. We use a good bread that soaks up the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We eat it cold but that might be personal preference. Come on, sing with me...

Jambalaya... I have never made jambalaya. I cannot even say if I have ever eaten it. One of our neighbors explained that there are 3 main things, gumbo, jambalaya, and étouffée. Gumbo is the soup, which he made and brought to dinner. It was delicious and I would love a bowl on this crummy, rainy day. Jambalaya is the rice dish. Research shows that it is incredible varied and people have strong opinions on consistency of the rice. We made it with smoked sausage, andouille sausage, and shrimp. It turned out pretty good, I will definitely make it again. It is just a matter of frying up the sausage with peppers and onion, add cajun spices and seasoning, broth, rice, and cook! Yum. 

Last but not least, dessert. The tradition is King Cake. Some cake that has a plastic baby baked inside of it. Whoever gets the piece with the baby brings the next cake and they might get special treatment or something. I didn't want to bake plastic IN food so I made cupcakes, cored one, and added a gumball. Paul, the newest neighbor was the lucky recipient. The cupcakes themselves were a recipe from Mini's Cupcakes cookbook. They were alright but not THE chocolate cupcakes. The search for the perfect chocolate cake recipe is still on. 

March 24, 2013

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

Wow, where does the time go?! I keep thinking I will get to 'that' tomorrow and well, weeks go by...

I have been up to just about everything. Knitting, baking, cooking, parties, visiting, road trippin', and loads of eating!

I started a sock class on Tuesday. It is an easy sock pattern and I decided on Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the William Morris colorway. As Morris is my last name it only seemed appropriate! This picture does not do the colorway justice, it is a lovely red-brown with notes of lavender and teal. I realized I have been knitting for 10 years and not once have I made socks. Yep, in 2003 I met a nice lady at my first job out of college and she sort of taught me to knit. Knit badly and she didn't know how to 'stop' or bind off as I later learned. I ended up righting myself with books, other classes, and many scarves later. :)

I also took a class on magic loop and it really is magic! I am working on these socks two at a time!!! When I finish one, I will finish the other!!! Sorry, the magics have overwhelmed me.

So the majority of my time as of late has been taken up by my wittle baby sissy coming to visit. She is not like me. She hunts with bow and arrow (not for sport but for actual food), she fishes, and has gun(s). I asked her what she wanted for her birthday one year and she said "a new pistol." I sent her flowers. She is the mother of my wonderful nephews and married to the coolest guy (EB).

They came to Salt Lake all the way from Ranchester, Wyoming and then we all went in one car to St. George. It was a hoot! Hikes, ribs, ice cream, and sun. Then we came back to SL for some more food and fun. Corned beef and cabbage, the zoo, and yogurt. The food was tasty and tiny guy had all his cousins in one place.

Picture bomb now and more on Mardi Gras in March later...

February 27, 2013

Seams, bits, and pieces

I have knit all the pieces of the sweater. All that is left is the class on Sunday where I think we will pick up stitches to knit the collar. YAY!!!!! It isn't perfect but it turned out pretty good.

I am working on seaming all the pieces together, this page on seaming is helpful.

All the pieces are knit, now seaming!

I have a couple of classes coming up, magic loop and a sock class. I have a couple of hive hats and a gift on the needles still.

And in baking news, I think I will make a batch of Roma's cookies, I just got the cutest cookie cutter in the mail from Fancy Flours.

February 18, 2013

Go Fish!

We just spent the afternoon at the Living Planet Aquarium and we loved it! For being land locked in Utah it was quite a set of exhibits. Alan and I used to go to the Newport Aquarium and now we have one here to visit. The price of admission isn't too expensive and membership is just about the price of going twice so we signed up as members so we could take smiler any time. He had so much fun! He kept going 'ooohh' and 'aaah' and signing fish. It was hilarious. They even have a petting tank and he got to touch a gray smoothhound shark and round sting ray.

Afterwards we stopped for a frosty at Wendy's. :)

February 8, 2013

Row, row, row your... sweater

Back done to the arms AND the two front pieces are only 25 rows from the arms! This might just be a sweater!
The second class for the sweater I'm working on is Sunday. I've 25 more rows and my home work is finished. I think we will be learning to graph the armholes or something on Sunday. The picture is of the back piece and the two front pieces.

It has been hard knitting because everyone in the house is under the weather. Coughing, sore throats, runny noses... Blah. Just when we were over the awful colds we had in December. Thank goodness for the weekend.

January 31, 2013


Sweater progress!I'm working hard on my sweater. The class first met last Sunday and we have two weeks to knit the back and two front pieces to the armholes. I've 10" of the back done and I think the measurement to the armholes will be 16.5". The pattern is Cinnamon but with some edits to make it more man-like for Alan. No waist shaping, larger collar, cool buttons, etc. I'm using Cascade Eco + in Summer Sky Heather, Alan liked the color and I'm happy it is light so I can see what I'm doing!

uploadWe've decorated for Valentine's Day AND knit night is tonight. Sweet. Before I go though, I have a few things to make for our neighborhood pizza party tomorrow. Should be a hoot!

Meanwhile, we managed to get up our posts on our big Northwest driving trip, start reading here. I think we should do it again this spring!

January 19, 2013

33 by 33

Well, another couple additions to my list...
  1. Hike to Delicate Arch (May 5, 2012)
  2. Run/walk a 10k
  3. Dancing lessons
  4. Make a croquembouche
  5. Travel internationally while little man is still 'babe in arms'
  6. Knit more. Knit a sweater. The first one I finish will be for Alan. :)
  7. Music or singing lessons
  8. Cook from 1 cookbook, all the recipes OR make 1 recipe from every cookbook. Document it and photograph it. Then post about it!
  9. Swim. I've never taken lessons and I dislike water. I just need to do it. Get it over with. Swim like a fish.
  10. Learn to knit two things at a time. Useful for gloves and socks... 
  11. Take a Fair Isle/Intarsia class
  12. Visit Bryce Canyon 
  13. Visit the Grand Canyon
  14. Visit Glacier National Park
  15. Take tiny guy camping.
  16. Read 50 books in 2013. No, not kid's books... although "I'm Not Scared!" by Jonathan Allen is Frankie's current favorite.
  17. Listen to more music, take in a play, go see an opera, basically go enjoy what culture has to offer! I'll cross this off if I see at least 3 of the above...
  18. ?

January 16, 2013

2013 and Off the Needles

I forgot to wish ya'll a happy new year! We managed to stay up and ring in the new year with hats, noise makers, and neighborhood fireworks. Frankie liked the fireworks but hated the noise makers.

Off the needles... I've finished a couple of fun projects. First is from a class I took at Blazing Needles, the City Creek Cowl. It was fun to work cables, I haven't in a while. I even tried cabling without a cable needle.
The yarn, Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Worsted, is organic, naturally dyed, and super squishy soft.The purple is my attempt to expand my wardrobe colors. It is the perfect accessory for the snow and cold weather we are experiencing.

The second project was just a quick knit to escape from the never ending baby sweater that I've been working on for Frankie. Alan got a new jacket for Christmas so I thought I would knit him a new hat. The Hive Hat looks fun, is quick, and I had yarn that would work in my stash. Plus, who doesn't love a free pattern! I love, love, love this hat and I plan on making one for myself and one for anyone who wants one!
Hive hat in Malabrigo worsted. Colors: lettuce and frosted gray
New hat and coat! Hive hat.

January 5, 2013

Off the needles...

This project was so quick it was barely on the needles! This hat, Tuft Love, took less than 3 hours. I used 1 skein each of Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca Dk and Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca Dk in Blush. I love it and the best part is the huge pom! And doesn't it look like  recent item in the Anthropologie catalog?!

Tuft Love