reading list: update

Am kind of excited.  In the rash of posting 2012 goals/resolutions, I mentioned to a literary friend about this reading list.  She said that we should coordinate and have a bit of a cross-country book club.  So I sent her my list, and we'll see what she says.

I'm a little bit excited about this, I have to say.

As for 2011, I didn't quite make the cut off.  Well, I sort of did.  See, I did acutally read 52 books this year.  In fact, I read 64 books, clocking in at a mere 5.7 days/book.  However, of the orignal dozen or so books I set out to read by the end of this year, I came up short by 2.  But that's because I read an additional 11 books or so.

I think that's pretty cool, and I'm darn proud of myself.

Here's to delving head first into my 2012 list, and well as the primary goal of reducing my library request list from 100 items to 30 by the end of 2012.

I hate when things get like this.  I don't understand why we can't have a dialogue without him getting his nose all bent out of shape.

I hatet that I have upteen google accounts, all under different email addresses, and I can't make them all under one without losing what I have saved.  Grr.

As for 2011, between my mom, my job, and two bug infestations, this year has sucked ass.  On to the next.

Happy New Years, errbody.


Love is: surprising your husband by coming home a day early and he's excited to see you.

Love my mooba x-*



So THAT'S why I fell this way . . .

“Basically, I realized I was living in that awful stage of life between twenty-six to and thirty-seven known as stupidity. It's when you don't know anything, not even as much as you did when you were younger, and you don't even have a philosophy about all the things you don't know, the way you did when you were twenty or would again when you were thirty-eight.”
―Anagrams, by Lorrie Moore



For all those Jepordy fans out there, the answer is, What is more fun than doing the dishes and finishing your last 4 Christmas cards?

That's right.  It all starts innocently enough.  I just bought batteries so now I can take a few in-progress photos of the knitting I've been doing.  I must upload these RIGHT NOW. Wow, these photos are unorganized, and so many duplicates!  I must organize them RIGHT NOW!  Gee, a whole ton of my projects on Ravelry have no snapshots to prove all the laborious hours I put in.  I must  . . . folks, you're smart.  You know how this ends.

It is now almost 1am, and I still haven't done the dishes or finished my cards.  Instead, I'm writing on my blog no one reads about how much procrastinating I'm doing.

Tis a sad sad day for productivity.  Too bad I got so much done!

p.s.  Just in case none of you were wondering, I only have two books left for my reading challenge.  I might actually accomplish this list by the end of the year after all!


this cracks me up

What I got while attempting to web surf at work today:

Your organization has chosen to limit viewing of this site (http://www.geographia.com/argentina/argen01.htm), due to the rating of its content (art/culture).

to make!

This and this.

Whaddya think? Christmas ideas for next year?


christmas rush

So do you ever tell someone something random because you secretly hope it will help hold you accountable?  Well I do, and this is one of those times :)

I usually am pretty planned when it comes to Christmas.  I keep lists starting in May of who I'm giving to, ideas, amounts, budget, everything.

Except for this year.  And it's totally kicking me in the butt.

My goal is always to be done by December 1st.  I think I only made that goal once, but still, it helps a lot.

Now I just spent 3 hours running around crowded MOA, racking my mind for gift ideas for my nearest and dearest.

Never again, I tell you.  Never again.

And now I have still have to find time to write my Xmas cards and wrap our presents, and my the presents my parents have bought.  They say they won't need me to, but I know how this story ends.

If I don't have a little notebook riding around in my purse by next September AT THE LATEST, I might as well sign myself up for a marathon.  Because that's what I'll be doing in December, pulling my hair out, and being crabby and frustrated that I couldn't get this together earlier.

So!  How are you? :D


Dear cell phone, I realize that you are not 'smart', but please understand. I will never ask or wish or remind about a bfax. Ever!
Apparently the key to reaching my 10k steps is shopping. This merely fixes one problem by creating another! No good.


I'm team Jacob; my husband is team Edward. Think We'll be able to work it out? ;-)


Status update: (I) love double pointed needles.

In other news, trying to figure out what to do with 341 yards of new yarn I bought that looks like this:

I seem to be in a scarf rut, so maybe it's time for some new skills.  On the other hand, I love how much instant gratifcation scarves provide.  And capes and wraps do nothing for my narrow shoulders.  Entrelac perhaps?  Cabeling?  feather and fan?  Discuss.

Also, saw this amazing spiral scarf (why, oh why do I never get sick of these?) at 3 kittens.  It was like a lace-weight fuzzy (mohair?) knitted on a larger gauge, like 13.  But it was like it was knitted in a long rectangle with an eyelet edge, and then they went back and slip stitch crocheted the edge to make it ruffle.  The clerk said they did something else, but I couldn't really follow.  And even if they did do something else, it got me thinking, would that work?  So I think I'm going to pick up some more of the fountain hills at Depth of Field (I need it for something else.  No, really!)  and do a quick trial, and see from there.  Because I did not dig all the long rows of the first spiral scarf I did (knitted horizontally with kfbs ad infinitem), but I also disliked how slow it was knitting vertically with short rows.  Although, I'm sure the lace work didn't help that at all.

I like that I've gotten to a point in my knitting edification that I can see projects and more or less understand how they are made, or at least see how they could be made.

note to self - runny pecan pies

I made this recipe for our holiday party, and unlike other times I 've used this exact same recipe, it got rather runny.  So I went looking for advice.

From the Pie Expert.  All credit goes here.

I have a problem with my pecan pie filling always being runny. I’ve tried to cook the pie longer but then the pecans get too toasted and taste burnt. Please help!
Sad over a runny pie
Dear Sad,
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! So this again is a common problem, and one with many potential sources. The reason pecan pies set up in the first place has to do with the egg and sugar to liquid ratio. Cooking the egg/sugar/liquid mixture makes a custard, and so if one of these custard components is off, you'll have a problem. Some pecan pies have fillings that are cooked beforehand on the stovetop. I've read that during this step it's important that you let that cook slowly without stirring, or the filling will be runny. I am not sure on the science there... and kind of think that is superstition... but it can't hurt to try it.
If you are using a recipe that *doesn't* precook the filling, you might try out a recipe which does... because then you do some of the thickening before
A second thing to try is to adjust the liquid, so that the liquid:egg ratio is heavier on the egg. So if you are adding any liquids (like bourbon), try reducing the quantity... or using larger eggs (so if you usually buy large eggs, switch to jumbo.
A third source of runny-ness could be your oven. If it is cooler than you think (you could test this with a thermometer) you could have problems. If you are cooking longer at lower temps you might have problems getting that custard to set.
finally, you could try this recipe out:

1 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs
pinch salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pecans (i like using whole pecan halfs, but you could also use 2 cups chopped)
9" unbaked pie crust

Place rack in lowest 3rd of oven, preheat oven to 350 F
Filling: combine corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan and stir to mix. Place over low heat and bring it to a boil, without stirring. Remove from heat, add butter and stir gently to melt butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs to break up and whisk in salt and vanilla. Whisk in syrup and butter mixture, being careful not to overmix (to avoid getting air into the filling which will result in a foamy layer on top of your pie during baking). Let cool.

Assemble: spread the pecans into the bottom of the crust. Skim any foam from the top of your filling and then pour it over the nuts. With a fork I usually arrange the pecans so they are all coated with some filling and right-side up.

Bake: Place the pie on a cookie sheet and stick it in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set (if you grab the sides (use potholders!) and twist the pie back and forth gently, the sides should stay put, but the center should jiggle a little) and the center will be puffed up. Remove from the oven, remember that the pie will continue to cook for a while after you take it out, so the middle will set up. Also, it's normal for the pie's center to deflate a little. Serve warm or at room temp.

good luck!
- the Pie Expert

Although, upon further reflection, I think I may have made this one last year.  Maybe that's why it was different, hmmm?

*Update 12.2012*  It is indeed the James Beard recipe from Epicurious that is not so runny.  Two fewer eggs will do that.  Made it twice this Christmas season both with fantastic results :)


Sometimes I read blogs, and I think, “I want mine to be just like that”. 

Here is an example: