Thursday, July 31, 2008


"What's that smell? Did you spray something?"


"That smell? It's like bug spray and air freshener combined to form a nuclear mushroom cloud that then rolled around in three-week old garbage that contained rancid citrus."

"Oh, THAT. It's Investigator's new cologne."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Churning Away

I can't believe I wasted seven whole months! Since Christmas I have had the instrument of deliciousness sitting in my basement collecting dust. Unbelievable! Anywho, now that I know what it can do, I've been putting the ice cream maker to good use. My latest project? Cinnamon ice cream. Like the Chocolate Sorbet I made, this recipe is also by David Lebovitz and found in his book The Perfect Scoop.

Several years ago I had the best cinnamon ice cream ever. It was at Rhythm Cafe and it was insane. Simply sick. It was sweet, it was spicy, it was delish. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a go since I doubt the boys at Rhythm are going to tell me their secrets.

In the first part of the recipe, David tells you to steep an assload of cinnamon sticks in milky goodness. I did this as instructed but found the result not a cinnamony as I had hoped. There was a nice cinnamon flavor, but not the spiciness I was wanting. So, in a move that could have been disastrous, I added a HUGE heaping tablespoon of ground cinnamon to the mixture. The results were great in that I got a whole lot of cinnamon flavor but not so great in that I never got the heat. I am not sure if my cinnamon is shit (quite possible since it is run of the mill grocery store stuff) or if I needed to use something like cinnamon oil. Whatever the cause, I got great cinnamon flavor, but not the mild kick I had in my mind.

Even without the heat, the ice cream is great and a huge hit at our house. It is especially nice over a heated oatmeal raisin cookie.

And can I just tell you how awesome I am. I am so awesome, I made a traditional custard base for this ice cream and didn't scramble the eggs. Initially I was a little scared of the custard thing and the whole scrambling of the egg yolks, but then I decide that the internets were just being pansies and that it wouldn't be that hard. Reality is somewhere in the middle. I stirred my little heart out and followed the directions to a tee but I did have a little egg residue at the end when I strained.

But it was little enough that I said, "Self, you rock!" If you have a hankering for some sweet cinnamon ice cream this is the way to go. It is creamy cinnamon yummy.

In addition to churning away at the ice cream, I am churning away on my Bee Fields Shawl. Unfortunately the Bee Fields is a lot slower and the final result is going to take more than a few hours.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


It's taken me seven months to use my ice cream maker. But let me tell you, IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT!

I never liked chocolate. It use to be that the only way I would eat chocolate was if it was in the form of a Peanut Butter M&M or a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. So how is it that when I am moved to crack out my ice cream maker for the first time, it's for chocolate sorbet. I KNOW. Total three-sixty. Must be some sort of post-partum hormonal change. But after reading this entry on SmittenKitchen I decided I had to make the Chocolate Sorbet recipe from The Perfect Scoop. And I had to make RIGHT NOW.

I can't say it any better than she did. It's just pure rich chocolate goodness. And, because it is sorbet, it is basically health food, so if you eat half of the enitre batch in one setting, you don't really need to feel bad about it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

O is for ...

Orange Straw of Goodness, or rather Orange Straw of Addiction.

Hi, my name is Jenna, and I am a coffeeholic. I blame my new found addiction on my baby. I am an awesome parent like that. I've always enjoyed coffee ... as a milk and sugar delivery system. Coffee in and of itself as a daily desire? Meh. Once I was home on maternity leave, however, it was no longer an issue of enjoyment but rather a need. I needed my morning milky coffee concoction like Crazy needs mental health meds, which is to say a WHOLE LOT. Every morning I would make Lady Bean a bottle and me some coffee and we'd drink until our hearts content. And that was all fine and dandy until you know, maternity leave ended and I left the house and went to work. Because let me tell you, it already takes me over an hour to wake up, nurse the baby, shower, dress myself, do the hair and make-up thing, change and dress the baby, feed and water the cat, feed and water the dog, let the dog do her bidness, pump the boobs, pack the pump, et patati et patata. I mean come on. How am I suppose to squeeze in coffee making and drinking time? I'm not!

I tried to wean myself of my morning love, and well, it went bad, real bad. So instead, I decided to make the drive of shame to Drunkin Donuts where I could get my fix. Once that orange straw gently passed my lips and started delivering the ambrosia of the gods, all was good. Except when I was broke. And this leads us to the part where I disclose just how far I have been willing to go to wrap my lips around that orange pole of pleasure. And let's just say that my husband mentioned another pole of pleasure which he would let me wrap my lips around for money, or Drunkin Donut and Starbucks gift cards. Which, in and of itself, whatever, husband paying wife for sexual favors, only slightly pathetic. Except that one of those gift cards was a FREE one he got at a Yankee game with only $2 on it. Yes folks, I'm all about dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

Oh, and the irony of this addiction ... I drink decaf. I KNOW. Who is addicted to decaffeinated coffee? A freak, that's who!

Good Thing

It's a good thing I figured out my issue with the Bee Fields Shawl and the SM when there was no M to S because it came up again! And, just like last time, my method worked perfectly. I really do wonder if this is something that a real lace knitter would now about and not have blinked over.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I've only been back at work for a week and yet I find myself pumping more often than I might normally do, just so I have an excuse to close my door and be left alone, well sort of alone. Now, if I could only pump and work on my Bee Fields Shawl at the same time ...

So Smaht

I figured out my problem with the Bee Fields Shawl. I had been told to SM when there was no M to S. I was sure I had messed up somewhere and just not caught it but for the life of me I could not figure it out. Finally I just decided to place a marker there and move on. And yah know what, it worked out swimmingly. I had not, in fact, messed up the previous row in some undetectable way. There were just a bunch of marker movings going on. I'm not sure if this is a typo in the pattern or if it just standard language when you are starting a new increase of pattern repeats that people use SM and not PM. Maybe it is just me being a novice lace knitter and I no understand words. Charts scary. Whatever the reason, I am cruisin' now. Well, as much as one can cruise on such things.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Gifts are a funny thing. There are those things you give because you have an obligation to do so, whether it be due to an occasion (I got your name for the holiday gift exchange, enjoy the WalMart gift card, ya douche bag) or a relationship (you're my husband, it's Christmas, enjoy the underwear) and then there are the other gifts. The gifts you give because you care about someone and you think they will enjoy the gift (like a homemade music CD, given just because). Sometimes the two intersect, and you have a gift that you think your person will enjoy, but hey, it also works for an occasion. Kismet! Which ever way it happens, I generally find gift giving very stressful. If it is an obligatory gift, I worry that the person can tell that I really don't give a shit and am just buying something because I have to (Gah! Ending a sentence with a preposition! Bad!). If it is a random, thinking of you gift, I usually am so pleased with myself that I then worry that the person won't really like it and I am coming off as a weirdo-stalker-doesn't-respect-social-moraes-and-boundaries-a-la-Crazy*. If it is a gift for an occasion and I think the person will really like what I got, well, then I worry that the person won't like it and not only will my gift suck in general, it is the big loser gift for the occasion. No one wants to be the giver of the holiday dud. Yes, I am insane.

All signs point to no modeling career for Lady Bean. Can you say uncooperative?
And, refusing to smile? Oh, and manhandling the merchandise?

I am also blathering on, instead of getting to my point, which is: I knit a hat, a very specific baby hat, for my friend as a shower gift and then I had second thoughts about actually giving it as a gift. So why so anxious? Well, first, I am insane. We know this. Moving on. What if it sucks? Can you give a handknit gift to another knitter and not have it be perfect? (Apparently yes, if the giftee is very nice and kind.) I do have to say that part of my anxiety belongs at the feet of the Yarn Harlot. You see, I was catching up on my blog reading when I saw this post of hers. This post where someone knit what looks to be a modified version of the Bee Fields Shawl as a baby shower gift. Holy Fuck People! SOMEONE KNIT THE BEE FIELDS SHAWL AS A BABY SHOWER GIFT. This shawl, I love this shawl. But it is KICKING MY ASS. (I am stuck on row eleven in case anyone cares and wants to help! I don't have a marker to slip where the pattern says to slip ... um, hello?) Anyway, I can not imagine giving that shawl to someone as a gift (mostly because I am greedy and would never want to give it up if I ever got it done). Also, and somewhat unrelated, who do I have to befriend to get gifts like that? Anywho, talk about setting the bar HIGH. So I see that and then I think, if that is what you give as a shower gift, well then my little viking hat? Feh.

I put her where she can't move to get a decent picture and she's all indignant!

The hat confounded me because when I followed the *&@^%!# pattern, I ended up with a hat that fit my head. A head much larger than any baby could sport. To quote Boo, "HOLY CRAP! Birthing a baby with a melon that big would kill her!" I had to fidget with The Mathes. The Mathes who laugh uproariously because I need to use my fingers when I count/add/subtract/etc. I had to use my kid as a model/test dummy. My kid with the odd shaped head that requires physical therapy. I had to learn new techniques (though I must say, hellllllloooo i-cord, I love you). I had to be innovative and 'make it work' with a three-needle bind-off. I had to seam and I had to sew, which HA! Oh, and HA! Depsite all of my insanity, and my knitting hurdles, I am pleased with the hat and hope Jr. enjoys it.

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in brown and beige. The grey area with the rivets were done in something from my stash that was a wool, acrylic, nylon blend. I have lost the tag in my travels though, so I can't give the name or the color.
Needles: Susan Bates Circs, size 3.75 mm (US 5), which I actually snapped in half and now are no longer cirs!?!
Pattern: Chile Con Yarne's Baby Viking Hat.
Modifications: Oh where, oh where to start? I cast on fifty-six (I think, it was some number divisible by eight) stitches instead of eighty. I knit the body of the hat for only and two and a half inches (as opposed to five inches) before starting to decrease. I decreased every row to make the hat more head shaped, based on my kid's lumpy head shape (which could prove to be problematic for a normal head-shaped baby but let's just ignore that). I knit the body of the hat double stranded to make it more stiff and able to hold up the horns. I used i-cord for the side strings on the flaps because my crochet chain was GAWDAWFUL. I didn't knit the "seven more rows of stockinette" for the horns because I was worried they would be to big and heavy to stand up if I made them that big (I knit three rows of stockinette instead). I also ended up picking up the stitches on the edge of the horns and using a three needle bind off because I could not seam them together without making a vomitous looking mess.
Time: 3 months.
Care: Hand wash, dry flat.

* Speaking of Crazy and gifts, I received yet another animal. A zebra. A black and white zebra. A black and white zebra just like the other black and white zebra we already have.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Open Your Eyes

So Lady Bean is still breast feeding. Well more like breast snacking, but whatever. You get the idea. And, since I am back to work, I've been pumping. I've told everyone in the office this, you know to give them a heads up, just in case. So. You'd think that since I have my own, non-shared, private office, this would be a pretty painless endeavor. You'd think the big NEON ORANGE (like, Hi, hunters wear this color so they don't get shot) sign posted at eye level would be a hint, a hint that you shouldn't walk in my office without at least knocking.

But no, you'd be wrong. One of the other lawyers just walked in on me and my pumping frankentitties (have you seen what a pump does to one's nipples? Frankentitties). Dumbass reads the sign, knocks and then, without waiting for an answer opens the door. The best part: when he knocks, I start yelling, "No! No! Nnnnnoooo!" and yet, he keeps opening the door and then looks around it to see me. Unreal.

So far my boobs have gotten more action at work (groped by boss, ogled by co-worker) than they do at home.

N is for ...

Not looking.

Me no lookin' at the camera. You can't make me!

Nope, not gonna look! Wahhaaahaha!

For some reason this saved as a draft and never published so I am posting it now! But I am on schedule for the abc-along, I swear!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

I got absolutely nothing done at work on Monday. I didn't answer a single letter, I didn't even log my mail. Actually, that's not totally true. I did manage to take a legal call and I answered and sorted the sixty-four e-mails that had accumulated while I was in Miami visiting with my uncle before his surgery. Oh, I also got a cheap thrill. But work-wise, nada. And the day, it flew by. It was fun and it was over. All of a sudden it was 4:30pm and I had done nothing but relocate two piles of crap work. Yesterday, I got some work done. Clients' crap correspondence was organized, I devised a plan of attack to get stuff done and I even finished three or four of those things. And in the end, the day, it didn't fly by, but I wasn't staring at the clock counting the seconds either. Which brings us to today, apparently the slowest day ever. I've pumped the boobs (exciting), eaten breakfast (ham, egg and cheese on a multi-grain bagel, yum), caught up on my celebrity gossip (Justin Long, you slut!), read my e-mail (hi boo!), written to two clients (you crazy fuks), chatted with Mr. Cool (bad knees suck), and yet it is only 8:31 a.m. How is this possible. It should be like 10:00 a.m.

And, is it just me or is my use of the word "got" totally ghetto? I write like I speak and well, maybe I need to take a remedial English class or something. Yowsers. Ghettoness aside, I can't believe how slow this day is progressing. An inchworm moves faster than time in my office. Prof. Larson's business law class moves faster than time in my office. Invasive anal examinations performed by knowledge seeking space aliens move faster than time in my office. Gah.

Also slow, my ability to blog about Miami. I brought my camera with me and took some great shots of Lady Bean on her first boat ride and playing at the Stiltsville house. I had planned to blog about the highlights of my trip (afterall my uncle's five hour surgery, not a highlight, though surving the surgery was) but I am slow, however, and have not managed to upload any of the good ones. Instead I have this one ...

... a comparison of what I brought to Stiltsville for me (on the right) and what I brought to Stiltsville for her. I had my phone, camera, knitting, sunscreen and a hat, whereas, she, she had two bags of stuff.

I also have these two pictures...

... which should be accompanied by my mental soundtrack of "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How much longer?" I have several pictures of Stiltsville, but none of the trip out there. I was trying to get some shots that would capture my mounting excitement as the houses got closer and closer. I didn't really do that.

The last picture I managed to upload is from the front patio/deck of the house looking at the city of Miami ...

It is one of the least interesting pictures I took. I really need to get my butt in gear and get those pictures off of the camera. And, if I had brought the camera to work today, maybe I could do that to pass time because even with all of my blathering .... it is still only 9:02 a.m.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Highlights, vol. 1

I walk into my office to find a sign from the gang (nice) and a present from Crazy,which, for the record, brings us up to six animals. I am feeling a bit like Noah.

I know y'all are some jealous biatches but you better step off my pink striped zebra!

I decided to take a picture to represent what going back to work meant to me ... knitting and napping time. But my inbox was so full, it tipped over when I put my yarn on top.

I was hugged by Crazy and then groped ... after hugging me (WTF?), she stepped back, put her hands on the girls and said, "Oh! I should be careful of those, I don't want to get wet."

I start to sort through the "personal mail" pile on my desk and find a court notice ... informing me of a hearing on MAY 9, 2008.

It's only 9:41 a.m. ... this is going to be a GREAT day!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Something New

I'm not in love with these socks. I do not want to marry them. I do not want to have kids with them. I will, however, wear them until they fall apart because I did knit them stitch by stitch and all those stitches took some time.

I think one reason I am not in love with these socks is the fit. The socks were a bit wide and so to compensate, I made them shorter. They fit my feet okay, but still, eh. They are wide because I am insane. Not insane in that I can't tell how wide my feet are, but insane because there was pooling in the colors and so I had to get past that and this was the way that happened. Mind you, the pooling happened anyway once I started increasing for the gusset, so bah. I hate pooling and I think that I need to quit buying these pretty variegated yarns. I know better and yet I seem to buy them anyway. I buy them, I knit them and then I am underwhelmed. I was going to say, such is life I suppose. But instead I shall be more proactive. Oh yes. I shall make a proclamation. One involving lame yarn purchases. I will need to ponder my proclamation, to draft it just so. But just wait, it will be good (or not).

So anyway, these socks took some time to knit. And, it wasn't just because they are so wide and have extra stitches or that Lady Bean is a time suck and I couldn't work on them often. Oh no, these socks took awhile because of all of the flipping around in the book I had to do. I like the idea of the mix and match heel, toe and arch, but making it work was a bitch. I have six different post-it notes marking six different things I was flipping between. In the end, I used the Rushing Rivulet stitch pattern with the Riverbend Architecture and the Whirlpool toe.

The Rushing Rivulet stitch pattern is pretty, though somewhat obscured by the yarn's many colors. I tried to mute the colors in the picture so you could see the pattern. In any event, it is a nice stitch pattern and super easy. I'm sure I will use it again at some point.

The Whirlpool toe is basically the star toe only done in a toe up manner. It was easy to do and a toe I am sure I will do again. The Riverbend Architecture consists of putting your gusset on the sole of the sock. I'm not sure how I feel about this as far as comfort in walking. We'll have to see how they feel once I wear them.

So overall the socks are okay. The book and the pattern are great ideas, if a bit fussy and pain-in-the-ass-turning-forth-and-back-y.

Yarn: Socks That Rock, medium weight, Watermelon Tourmaline.
Needles: Addi Circs, size 3.0 mm (US 2)
Pattern: Cat Bordhi's Rushing Rivulet Riverbend socks.
Modifications: None.
Time: 27 days.
Care: Machine wash, dry flat.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

M is for ...

Major, massive undertaking.

Yes, that is my first "real" lace project. And, if I may say so my self (which, no duh, I can since this is my blog), I feel like I am really setting the bar pretty high. Not so much because there are a lot of complicated stitches, but because HOLY CRAP there are a lot of stitches period.

This is the Bee Fields shawl. BeFri bought the pattern for me as a Christmas gift and I have been working up the nerve to wind my Geisha yarn into a pretty ball and get to knitting. Being that it is such a massive undertaking for me, I had to psyche myself up. I do have one issue and that is my yarn gauge. It is smaller than the pattern's which means my shawl will be smaller than the pattern and that is NO GOOD! I want it to be nice and big and sqooshy. After reading the pattern, I realize I have no idea of exactly what I am doing or how this is working. Basically I am following along the pattern blindly and hoping for the best. I can't figure out how or where I could do extra stuff to make it bigger so I think I am going to e-mail Ann, the pattern creator. Hopefully she can say like, "Oh, just do an extra repeat of rows 1,161 through 2,378." Ha!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

More Cowbell

Lady Bean received a present in the mail today. A present from Crazy. Well, actually, a present from Crazy's cats. Go figure.

Why yes, those are three more garbage bag animals. Apparently, we are building a menagerie. A menagerie of sharp, pointy (did I mention sharp?) bag animals that are TOTALLY appropriate for an infant.

And, for the record, I am screwed when it comes time to identify the brown guy cause I have no inkling of exactly what he is. A mini-Snuffleupagus?