Sunday, September 30, 2012


Sorry about that. I didn't expect to be that out of it on Friday. Infusion mixed with allergy season apparently isn't a good combination for me. Anywho....what I was planning to write about on Friday is my thoughts on Knitter's Pride dreamz needles.

   I love these needles....and by love I mean these are my first choice if I could only have one set of needles for the rest of time. First of all, wood is my preferred material for knitting needles. I'm partial to wood anyway...I prefer hardwood floors to all others and with a husband into woodworking I've really developed an appreciation of beautiful wood. I have been lusting after a wooden interchangeable set for quite a while.
   Years ago I purchased the Boye Needlemaster set. As interchangeable sets go, this one isn't the greatest. The cables are stiff, the joins aren't smooth and no matter how much I tighten them they always loosen up as I knit. There is one aspect of them I did appreciate. The set comes with connectors allowing you to join cables together for greater length. This was in the early days of interchangeables and it was what I could afford. So I suffered through and dreamed of a wooden set.
   I never bought a set of the Knit Picks Harmony for two reasons. One, I knew of a lot of people who had issues with the joins popping out. Too many for it to be random happenstance. It was a down right design flaw and for the price I found it unacceptable. Two, I think they are ugly...with a capital UGH! I just couldn't bring myself to buy a set, or even ask for one as a gift.
  Then at Stitches East last year I came across the Knitter's Pride needles. I love these for many, many reasons. First of all, they have several options in the needle tips:
  • the Symfonie come in three styles: dreamz, Rose, and Cubics lines. All are laminated birch. The dreamz are color coded by size. The Rose line is rosewood colored with copper joins. The Cubics are square needles.
  •  Nova: their metal line
  • Trendz acrylic
  • and Basix: another line of birch in larger sizes. 
All of their tips are interchangeable between sets. I think it is fantastic that Knitter's Pride has a sampler set that includes different needle types: metal, wood and the square needles. What a great idea if you don't quite know what you would like.
   I have the Deluxe set of the dreamz needles. The set includes tips from size 4US to 11US, 24" cord, 2 32" cords, 40" cord, 8 end caps, 4 cord keys, and a set of size markers all in a zippered pouch.  I've been nothing but happy with them. My only complaint is that the interchangeables only go down to a size 4US. So I've had to supplement with fixed circulars in the smaller sizes. (Oh dear, I have to buy more of these needles. Whatever shall I do?) I also like the size markers. I always think that I'm going to remebmer what size I was using when borrowing tips from a project. These prevent mishaps of that type.
   The cables are soft and plyable. The joins are smooth. The needles are nice and pointed. I'm a sharp pointed needle kind of girl. As I always say, I want my needles sharp enough that if I throw them from across the room they will stick into the wall (or the person I'm throwing them at). Nearly all of my projects in the last 9 months have been knit on these. As I can afford to I plan on expanding my collection. As for price, they are comparable with the Knit Picks without the issues. I will have to test the DPNs though. I can be a little tough on my DPN's and I'm not sure how the wood will hold up.
   When I first saw these there wasn't a set available for the Cubics. They sold the individual tips but not in a set. I asked if one was forthcoming and was told no. So, I put the dreamz set on my wishlist and my Mum got it for my birthday. And then they came out with the Cubics set. Go figure. I'm debating on getting the set or just getting the tips. I'll have to do the math, but one could never have too many cables.  If you haven't tried knitting on square needles, beg/borrow/or steal a set. They are amazing to work with. They feel far more natural in your hands and seem to create less fatigue. That is why I was interested in the set, as I was having some major hand issues at the time.

In conclusion. Knitter's Pride needles. Get some. They are so worth it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

(not so) Favorite Things Friday

Today was infusion day and I'm just not feeling myself. I promise some posts with pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

10 Favorite Pizza Toppings

Ah, a topic after my own heart. I love pizza and I love to get creative with pizza. So here goes:

  1. Anchovies- I know what you are going to say, but you're wrong. Anchovies are amazing. If the flavor and saltiness of individual anchovies on a pizza are too much, mash them up and mix them in the sauce for a more subtle approach. My best advice for people going off to college...learn to like anchovies. A pizza with anchovies on it will be all yours. All sorts of people show up at your door when the smell of a freshly delivered pizza drifts down the dorm halls. Nothing stops them faster than telling them it has anchovies on it. Just sayin'. 
  2. A simple Margherita- fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and can you go wrong? This is my test pizza for a new pizza place. If you screw this up then I'm not coming back.
  3. Caramelized onions, Portobello mushrooms, and Gorgonzola- now I'm not an onion girl by any means but this just works. Usually do this as a white pizza. Sometimes we'll add prosciutto or bacon, but this is still a winner without them.
  4. Buffalo chicken- as long as you do the sauce right. I'm from Upstate NY where this was invented. You can't give me subpar Buffalo sauce. With lots of blue cheese dressing on the side.
  5. Pear and prosciutto with arugula- the cheese on this can vary from goat to Gorgonzola. A divine treat. Bonus points...add fresh figs.
  6. Clams- white sauce or red, it doesn't matter. 
  7. Chicken pesto- what else is there to say?
  8. Spinach, garlic and feta- so good.
  9. Seafood- shrimp, scallops, clams, crushed tomatoes and lots of garlic.
  10. Bacon- the candy of meats.
One of the most important things to me regarding pizza is fresh ingredients. Always go fresh if there is the option. There are times that if you can't do fresh, then skip that ingredient. Canned mushrooms are not mushrooms. They are an affront to nature.  Olive oil is always preferred as is garlic. We will often make our own, but we still have a few favorite pizza places around. Next summer we plan on trying pizza on the grill.

So happy Tuesday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Six months

Yesterday was six months since my MS diagnosis. Had this come days ago I think I'd be far more optimistic in what I would say. But that was before Friday's appointment. We've discovered some issues that are a little TMI in nature. Personally I don't really have issue putting it all out there, but I have a feeling there are things most of you don't want to read about. Nonetheless, there are issues we are addressing, and some self administered treatment that is less than pleasant. And all of this has thrown me for a loop. This is the first low I've really hit since my diagnosis. I freely admit I've been in a fair amount of denial, but this has made it all too real on a daily basis. I expect to shake this off and keep going but it might take a little while.
Other than Friday's hiccup, I've been rolling along with things pretty well. My monthly infusions are going well. The one coming up this week will be my last on the Benadryl. I need to work harder on making my PT/OT exercises part of my daily routine, and just working in exercise all together. I did a session with the fitness trainer and I now know what I need to do, it is just finding the time. The gym at the MS center has horrible hours despite being in a perfect location. I talked to one of the Doctors about this and he's going to do some polling about need and hours. I've acquired a cane this last week. It's not something I need all the time, but there are times when I need just that little extra help with balance...especially in the evening. When I am home, I'm fine to bounce off the walls, but out in public lack of balance can lead to issues like this. My husband was surprised that I got a cane. I don't see it as a sign of weakness, but merely as a tool. My only requirement is that it looks kick-ass.
I can tell, sometimes, when I am due for my infusion. Words are harder to come by. Nouns like to run and hide from me, much like Little Miss does. I'd love to get my hands on my MRI and see where my brain lesions are and compare that to a map of brain function.

I'd write more but I am exhausted at the moment.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

I'm starting a new segment. I've decided to make Friday the day that I talk about my favorite things...movies, products, food. Anything. If it's something I like, this is the day you'll hear about it.

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the premiere of Firefly. And by premiere I mean FOX showed the second episode for the first time instead of airing the pilot. We watched Firefly during it's initial run and the reruns. I was heartbroken and thoroughly enraged when FOX cancelled it. Then Joss Whedon made the movie Serenity and further broke my heart. (Guns don't kill people. Joss Whedon kills people)

Firefly is in competition with Babylon 5 for my favorite Sci-fi series.  A delightful mix of space and Old West, full of wit and humor. This show has some of my favorite female characters in sci-fi. You've got 4 great women in the crew of the ship. The second in command is a woman of color, which is a rare thing in sci-fi. And Zoe is no throw away token character. The women are real people and sexual beings at that, without being stuck in the usual tropes.

Every time I watch it, I mourn for the stories we are never told. In a flashback we see when Zoe and Wash and her response is "I don't like him." I want to see how they went from that to being a married couple that are just so into each other. There's so much more to Shepherd Book. And I'd never say no to more Jayne. I love Jayne.

I could go on for hours but I must depart for the doctor's. Therefore I will leave you with the opening credits. Find the show, watch it, and see if you don't fall in love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Guess where I'm posting this from??  I have my laptop. *happy dance* And I love my geek-boy who reassembled it last night. There were several blue streaks being uttered from that side of the room so I think I owe him a cheese cake. It make take me a few days to get up and running with this presentation on my plate but just having the laptop is a start.

Anywho...on with the show:

10 Things You Love To Do on the Weekend

  1. Sleep in- though I've not been able to do this in about 4 years. 
  2. Big Breakfast- either out at the diner or cooked up at home. A full breakfast with the works bacon/sausage/hash, home fries, eggs, pancakes/waffles/french toast, fruit, juice and coffee. I miss the days of going to the diner every weekend.
  3. Dress in non-paint clothes- while many others like to dress down on the weekends, I take the opportunity to wear something a bit nicer than my daily uniform of paint spattered jeans and my workhorse t-shirts.
  4. Reading the paper- which is getting harder of late. And it doesn't help that the paper guys don't seem to understand that I want my Sunday paper by the time I get up. I always organize it first, then read it, for the most part, in the same order. 
  5. Knitting- duh!
  6. Getting out of the house- during the week I usually go right from work to picking up the kids to home and that's it. I like to get out every now and then.
  7. Time Machine to see the trains- the hobby store has a train club and they open the train room for the public to see two Sundays a month. I love taking the minions there. We could lose a paycheck or two in that store.
  8. Play in the backyard- We've got a big back yard and we try to make use of it. We constantly talk about all the plans we have for the landscaping that just never quite get done but I still love the yard. And the minions love it too.
  9. Movies- Staying up later to watch a movie or two once the minions go to bed.
  10. Library- this is a Saturday tradition with the minions. They love the play things the library has and Little Dude has started using the computers there to play some games. We always leave with stacks of books and movies. I'm looking forward to the weekend and it's only Tuesday. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Good news

Motherboard is out for delivery.

Bad news: its going to the husband's workplace...which is not open today.


We're hoping for Monday. Which is good, since I found out two days ago I'm giving a presentation to our Board for work on Thursday. This coming Thursday.   O. M. G.!!!

So I might not be back to full speed this week until I get a presentation together, calm the butterflies in my stomach, and find something without paint on it to wear.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

I know what you all are thinking...Holy crap, a post!

 No, this doesn't mean I have my laptop back. It just means I can't sleep and I beat my husband to the desktop tonight. The motherboard on my laptop is currently out for repair and the lack of news is making me nervous. I'm so frustrated by the whole situation. I was just getting into the swing of blogging again and in the planning stage of several projects when it all was torn away from me. Surfing from a Kindle Fire just isn't the same...especially when you share the Kindle with someone else. Plus it wouldn't let me post from there. And there has been so much to write about this summer. I hope to be back into the swing of things soon.
Besides, I'm not sure how much more I can take having to used the shared Mac at work.

But to the topic at hand...Ten on Tuesday. And today's ten...(or rather tomorrow since I'm writing this the night before) 10 Favorite Sunday Dinners.

I grew up with the tradition of Sunday dinner at my Italian Grandmother's house. We ate in the basement because the upstairs was saved for special occasions...because you never know when the Pope might stop by. But those dinners hold some of my fondest memories of childhood. Now all of these meals weren't from those days but they still remind me of them

  1. Pasta- With homemade sauce and meatballs. Jarred sauce is unheard of in my family. My Grandmother would always quiz me on who made the best meatballs and I always told her that she did. Oh and garlic bread. Don't forget the garlic bread with lots of butter...I think this is when my love affair with garlic started. 
  2.  Pot roast- I love me some pot roast. Made with the McCormick cooking bag, though I do use the crock pot one now. With carrots and potatoes and onions (but I wouldn't eat those) and the au jus. Mmmmm....just thinking of it makes my mouth water. 
  3. Meatloaf- with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and more gravy. Whether you use ground beef, ground turkey, or a meatloaf mix of various meats, it doesn't matter. Just good warm comfort food. 
  4. Traditional Turkey dinner- You know the one. My Grandmother made the best turkey gravy (notice a trend here?) ever. After dinner and dessert were done, and everyone was sitting around with their coffee and chatting, I would grab a bowl of gravy and some fresh bread from the bakery across the street and dip and eat. 
  5. Shrimp scampi- my Dad's. Hands down, best ever. 
  6. Lemon Pepper Chicken- this was my Mom's specialty when we were growing up. The best part was the seasoned skin. I remember once swiping all the skin off the left over pieces before they were put away. That good.
  7.  Braciola- my Grandmother's. Divine and what I wouldn't do to know how she did it.
  8. Lasagne- a pain in the butt to make but so worth it. As a child I wouldn't eat it because I had an issue with ricotta cheese. (a bad jug of milk turned me off of any lumpy cheese product for years). 
  9. Soups/Stews- all kinds. Soup and bread is probably my favorite meal. I could eat soup every day.
  10. A meal that we often do, it was a staple pre-kids on grocery shopping days, consisting of fresh bread, fruit, cheese, dried meat, olive oil and spices with some other additions depending on what we had on hand, including, but not limited to steamed musselss or clams, tomatoes, peppers, soups and such.
Well there you go. Now I'm gonna go raid the fridge.