Jul 30, 2008

Meatball cravings

Today, I was in the mood for spagetti and meat balls. This caught me by surprize, because I swore off meatballs years ago. My Oldest Sister, along with her Italian husband, has the corner on the meatball market. Every time I've been to their house they've pushed "real Italian-style" meatballs on me.

So today, when I got the urge, I tried to stop myself. Then I surrendered and gave myself over to meatballs, my style. This is what I did:

Hamburger, a handful of dried oregano that's been rubbed between my hands so I can loose myself in the aroma, diced yellow chili pepper, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and ground comino, all mixed well in a bowl with a raw egg. Then I let that sit to develop it's flavors. While that was sitting, I prepared the sauce: in a saute pan, I heated olive oil with more rubbed oregano. After I recovered from the intoxicating aroma, I sauteed sliced mushrooms in the oil. I dumped tomato sauce in a pot to heat, with even more rubbed oregano and ground comino, added the mushrooms, and a half tablespoon of miso. I would have preferred to add dry red wine, but somebody (me) drank it. So miso helps to intensify the flavors. Then I put that on to simmer.

While the sauce was simmering, I fried the meatballs.

Then I ate one of the meatballs - definitely NOT "real Italian-style" meatballs, but just how I like them.

Then I commited a cardinal sin and cooked egg noodles instead of spagetti. YUM. Sorry, no pictures...I ate everything before I thought of photos...

Jul 29, 2008

The knit-a-long sock

To further that sock compulsion, here's a cuff on my current sock:

A little funky-looking, hmm? I'm using Odyssey Rock Ranch 100% alpaca in dark blue, and my own handspun "Superfreak". I have a little skeinlet of about 30 yards, so I thought I might use it up on these socks. If I don't have enough in this skeinlet, I do have two other larger ones to dip in to to finish.

Book Order

The other day, I was contemplating my sock-making compulsion and ordered this:

Unfortunately along with the book came:

"Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item."

Hmmm. I'll leave it on order and maybe it'll arrive for Christmas.

And, yes...it's a momentary, short-term compulsion, not an addiction - I am not an addict...I am not an addict...I am not an addict...I am not...

Jul 27, 2008

It came in the mail...

Look what came in the mail this month! Fun stuff!

My new spindle from Butterfly Girl Designs, and "Riot", a bamboo/glitz/sari silk blend.
These batts are from The Knotty Sheep. Kary does great work!

This is "Butterfly Kissed", from none other than Butterfly Girl Designs, in all it's glorious glitzy splendor...merino, bamboo, and sparkly stuff. Yummy!

Jul 24, 2008

A Morning With Celeste

Come on, let's go outside. Come on, you can make it, Mom.

It looks so nice outside! I can already smell the people and the cars!

Come on! Get those feet moving! Move it! Move it!

Okay! That's a good mom!

Wait a minute! What's been going on here? Pidgeons?

Yeay! We're outside! Okay, take my picture...I know I'm beautiful.

Okay, that's enough with the camera. No more photos, please. That little red light on the camera kinda weirds me out.

Okay, okay, just a little smile for the camera...

Jul 22, 2008

The City Bus

Now that I'm working downtown, I take a bus to work. It's way too far to walk the distance, so I catch the #48 that takes me down Salaverry Avenue to Jiron Manuel Segura, then to Mexico Avenue, over the Expressway and across to Manco Capac. Eventually, Manco Capac crosses a bridge and becomes Abancay Avenue, which runs through the middle of Lima Central. I work just a half block from Abancay, on Cuzco Street.

To say that downtown Lima is crowded is an understatement. It is a SEA OF HUMANITY at any given moment. When I arrive at the institute, I feel like I have reached a safe haven. Working at this place gives me many opportunities to observe people. When I get on the bus, there are always many personalities that make themselves known. There is always someone in need who is allowed on the bus to do what he or she can to collect money. Today there were three on the bus that I rode home for lunch on: first a man with no arms and only one leg hopped aboard to ask for pocket change. He was clean and well-fed, clothing pressed and neat, but obviously unable to work. So he delivered a 30-second speech explaining that he needed to money to help contribute to his family in gratitude for them taking care of him. Pockets opened up. Change purses opened. Money clinked into his shirt pocket as he walked on what used to be a knee and knelt on the complete leg to make his way down the bus aisle. He was there and gone in 5 minutes, having completely torn out our hearts by not whining or begging.

The next person to jump on the bus was a young man selling candy. A bag of 100 pieces of candy costs about 2.50 soles. They sell each piece for 10 cents or 3 for 50 cents...by the time they sell the bag of candy, they've made their money back 4 times over. Not bad, but after the bus crowd has paid their own bus fare and donated to two or three people that are perceived to be needy, a candy salesman rates pretty low. Sympathy for an able-bodied man who's selling over-priced candy does not abound.

The third person to enter the bus to ask for money was an elderly man who was alo selling candy. He claimed to be 84 years old with no income. I was out of change by the time he arrived. Luckily, other people had recently gotten on the bus and there was a fresh crowd for this elderly man to work. I thought of my own father, who is not 84, but will be one day. It would hurt me to no end if he chose a lifestyle that led him to spend his last years going from one bus to another, selling penny candy to pay for his meals.

Sometimes I think about O's family. They have no home of their own, they have no savings, nothing between them and the street except what they earn for that day. I've talked with O about this many times. He has no savings of any kind, either. I cannot even consider him living like the old man on the bus, or working as a shoe shine man or panhandling on the street till his last day. I wonder why so many in this culture have not even a thought beyond tomorrow, or the next weekend, when they can go to a party. I know it is not just in Peru, but this is where it's been really evident to me. This morning I noticed an elderly lady, fairly well dressed, begging on the sidewalk. She looked about 100 years old, but in good health and again, clean and pressed. I wonder what her story was.

Jul 8, 2008

the pictures

Here are pictures of the first skein of the Superfreak (now known as Blueberries) yarn. I think it is fingering weight yarn - smaller than double knit, but more substantial than lace weight. What I will do with fingering weight yarn I have no idea. I hope there is enough to make a project with!

This is the yarn with some of the roving.

Jul 6, 2008

Back to spinning

I've been spending what's left of my weekend spinning up some superwash merino roviings, handpainted by Rochelle, colorway "". Well, as I've been pre-drafting and spinning, I noticed that my "Superfreak" had mutated. It's more like "Blueberry Cobbler". Just as "Squidge" changed into "Tea Roses", "Superfreak" has taken on a different personality. I'm not disappointed at all, just enjoying the way the colors are taking on a new look and formulating a new project for it in my mind. It's amazing how the most dramatic colorways change after pre-drafting and spinning. Then comes the plying and even more color changes. I love watching the process unfold. So far, I've got one 165-yards of it in DK weight, with more of the same fiber to spin yet. I'm hoping for another 100 yards of it so I can make some socks.

I've joined Butterfly Girl's subscription fiber and spindle club. It's a 3-month subscription and, every month for 3 months, Mary sends 3 ounces of fiber and a spindle for me to try. I have no idea what the spindle will be like, nor do I know what the fiber will be. It'll be a surprise every month! It starts this month, and I can't wait to see what she sends!

Camera, camera...where's my camera? Superfreak, aka Blueberry Cobbler has been soaked and squeezed and is hanging up to dry, and there's sun this afternoon! ...and I can't find my camera. Ratz. Well, there's always tomorrow.

Jul 4, 2008

A Letter From Daisy

I recently received a letter from my "Adopt-a-Goat" goat, Daisy:

Well hi!

This is Daisy, your perfectly perfect little goat! I'm starting to look curly again, thank goodness! I just hate the "shaved to the skin" look, don't you? All the big girls are out on the pasture, but I'm living in a little pen with Lilly, Phoebe and Charlie. They told us that we had to stay in the pen because we wouldn't stay in the pasture. It just doesn't seem fair, does it? All that perfectly gorgeous green stuff to eat--peach leaves, flowers, green alfalfa--and I'm shut up in this little pen. Darn! Well, I guess I'll have to just learn my lesson and stay in the fence. I've learned it. I really have. So would you please tell them to let me out now?

The people have started putting some white powdery stuff in my feed and they even dusted me all over with it. I like the way it feels on my nose. It tickles. They tell me that this stuff will make the itchy bugs go away. I'll be happy for that. The only thing is, it makes my grain look different. It's just not the same and I really like things to be the same.

The nice thing about my pen is that I have a very nice house to hide in when there's a storm. I haven't been wet once this summer and that suits me just fine.

That's all for now. My life just isn't very exciting, I guess, but if you'll tell the people to let me out of this little pen, things could get really exciting pretty fast!

Thanks for being my sponsor,