Friday, September 30, 2011

Roadside Funny:

I snapped a quick photo of this sign in rural NC, as we made our trip yesterday. Couldn't resist. If their record is 85%, but they had to settle for 88% last week ... hm ... Are they shooting for lower seatbelt use? Somebody needs to manage these signs!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three Guesses Where I Am --

Carter Hall is just as lovely as ever:
I love the lobby. They have improved the chairs and couches. Vaguely gothic.
They didn't have these gorgeous tapestries in the lobby when I was at school here! Covenant College then was much more low-key, relaxed, and lower-income. Not any more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My husband is writing a book. He's been working on it for many years. It deals with the people who lived before the flood. It's a work of fiction, but follows the Bible, and treats the events as historical.

The book is called Tubal-Cain.
Adam has spent years working out the names, families, chronologies and datings of this book. It's fascinating -- he speculates that Noah had a library of sorts on the Ark, a record of the culture and knowledge amassed by the children of Adam that needed to be preserved.

His hero is Tubal-Cain, a descendant of Cain, but a man redeemed by God and brought back into Adam's home. I'm the editor of this book. I'm enjoying it very much.

Adam is putting the early chapters on his blog site for public reading, to gauge reader response. So, please read, and let him know what you think! Especially if you often read Sci-Fi, or Fantasy genre, or religious fiction, let him know your response to it so far. He's receptive to input. (And boy, has he gotten some from me!)

Here's a link to Chapter One. The real action of the story begins in Chapter Two, which will be coming up next.

If you want to read Adam's Prologue to the book, here's that link too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Sock Down!

Tada!!! Such as it is -- it's finished. I just learned how to do a kitchener stitch. That's the stitch you use when you need to knit up a seam, seamlessly :) In this case, I wanted a nice smooth toe.
Basically, you must have equal numbers of stitches on 2 needles, keep them parallel, and do a really fancy back-and-forth stitching, using a tapestry needle (or other large needle). I had to get online help from a youtube video.
In this photo, perhaps you can see that I've already finished off over half of the toe, on the right, and have only 3 stitches remaining to "kitchener."
So here's the sock. Mother likes it a lot. It's not a sock for wearing in a pair of shoes; it's too bulky for that. I wanted a pair of footie socks, for wearing around the house. They fit well and are comfortable.

Time to get started on the second one ....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Conquering the Dreaded Heel!!

I knit in the Continental Style, I discovered today. I was taught to knit by a friend in college, who was taught by her German grandmother. I always thought I just knitted the German way. Turns out, it's called "Continental." I feel fancy!

So what does Continental mean? It means I hold my yarn in my left hand, when I knit, like this:
(Please ignore the 3rd needle. And the hand that would normally be on the right hand needle, is holding the camera.)

The nice thing about the Continental method, is that the yarn is so handy to wrap around your needle, when you need it. You don't have to use your hand to yarn over; you just flick your left hand a little, and whip it onto your right needle. It's barely a movement. In a fraction of a trice, you go from the photo above, to the photo below.
Okay, so on to the dreaded heel! Here's what I've done thus far. I must admit, it doesn't look very appealing in this photo, does it? Rather an ugly sock. She's much more attractive in real life :)
Turning this heel -- Oh. My. Word. I had to walk down to Hunter's house for help, TWICE. Those directions! The cacophony of needles! The multiplicity of yarn! The "slip one" and "pass over" and "turn." You'd think I was at ballroom dancing class! I was thoroughly lost, until Hunter guided me back onto the correct path.

Here, the finished heel. You would not believe how hard it is to do this the first time.
Witness my nearly immaculate stitches. They really are more even than I ever dreamed they would be. I'm making progress!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Just a Sock,

I'm finally knitting. Knitting is scary. Many people don't know this. Here's the yarn that my good friend Annie sent me, all the way from Massachusetts. It's massive! It'll make a few socks, I'm thinking!
I was down at Hunter's house, Hunter, the master knitter. She lent me some DPNs -- double pointed needles, so that I could make socks. This is the mass of chaos that exists when you use DPNs:
I cast on, and forged ahead, in spite of the mess on those needles. And eventually, something began to emerge ... See those double rows of knits and purls?
And a few rows later, you can actually see the ribbing that will go around the ankle. Phew! It's becoming a sock!
I'm now further along, into the knitted section. More photos to follow.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Autumn in the Produce Aisle!

In the fall, I cannot resist taking a few photos in the grocery store. I love all the autumn crops! Aren't these silly?
But look at the selection of squashes! I like a good acorn squash; Anna and I used to split one because nobody else in the family liked them. I bought a butternut on this day though.
The pumpkins are gorgeous. And I love all the Indian corn. What fun! My favorite time of year! Happy Fall! (Okay, I know it's not official yet, but I'm so ready!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

Adam got busy in the kitchen today while the womenfolk were in town shopping. He's been longing to make eggplant parmesan for years, and today -- he got his chance! And MAN, were they delicious!

He started in the morning by slicing the eggplant (a relatively small one, I thought) into very thin slices, putting them in a colander, salting them lightly, and letting them drop their liquid all morning. He patted them dry later.
They he dipped the eggplant in an egg wash, then in flour, then in the egg wash again, and finally in fine bread crumbs.

Yeah, that's a lot of trouble to go to. I wouldn't do it. Good thing I have a husband who thinks nothing of such efforts!
Then he pan fried them in some oil. Not deep-fried. Just until brown and crispy. (Oh my, were they delectable. We had several as "sneaky snacks.")
This is a fuzzy picture of my plate before I attacked it. He sandwiched two eggplant discs around some mozzarella cheese - yummo! That's why they're in pairs. Crispy on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside.
As for the rest of the plate, you've seen his homemade pasta before:
And this is a simple red sauce, made with whole canned tomatoes:
And his crusty, chewy baguettes:
It was a memorable meal. I don't think we've seen the last of the eggplant in this house!

Right On Time!

Yesterday, a package arrived in the mail. Is there any happier thing than that?  Well, perhaps a few. I love gifts!
This package is from a dear, old friend. When you're young, you don't fully appreciate the precious comfort that is an old friend, someone you've known for decades who is just as dear and fun and beautiful as she ever was.

This friend is Lisette.

The package is a wedding gift for Adam and me. Purchased over 22 years ago, and carried from place to place by my friend. She always intended to send it, but never got around to it. This effort might have been hampered by the fact that we moved around so much, and we lost track of each other a couple of times. (Thank you, Facebook!!)

She sent a Shakespeare teapot -- is that not adorable?! I love it! As Julia said, "It's such a tragic story!" There's a famous quote from this scene, inscribed on the bottom of the pot. Should we sip tea from this very pot and read the scene together?
She also sent a book of poetry. I have another one rather similar to this, but published by a different company, and I adore it. It's my most-read poetry book. This one is full of luscious paintings, many from the Pre-Raphaelite period, and lots of romantic verse.
This is a typical page. Beautiful art blended with dripping poetry.
She wrote a note. And I can't help but wonder: did Lisette write this 22 years ago, or did she write it a few days ago? I can't tell. Either way, the wishes are appropriate. And I know my friend, I could pick her handwriting out of a pile of hundreds. We've both aged (although I must say, she hasn't changed much). We're heavier, wrinklier, kinder. But her handwriting hasn't changed one bit. Is that why hand-written letters from dear friends are so nice? We feel we are skipping time, ageless.
And I shouldn't forget to mention that large tin of Jasmine tea she sent, to go with the pot. A cup of that would be welcome on this rainy, foggy mountain morning.
Happy wedding to us! Thank you, Lisette! You are such a dear! This gift was most welcome, and it came right on time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Go Paint!!"

I was sick yesterday (as I said), so that's what I told Julia to do for school -- "Go paint on the porch!" And she did. Actually, it was too wet and cold on the porch, so she painted on the dining room table. This is the Get Well card she painted for little ole me:
She knows I love all things related to the sea, so that was a very happy card for me. She saw a lighthouse on the TV, and that's where it came from.
Isn't that sweet?
Later, she wanted to paint some more, so she did this. I think it's just out of her head. I like the depth perception here, of the near trees and the far trees, and the water in between.
And this is Chuck. She copied him from a card my mother has. Isn't he cute? She was especially pleased with how he turned out.
All these are watercolors, which is the medium we use most, but the paper was my last piece of acrylic paper. Very stiff and slick. She liked it, but I don't like it much for watercoloring because it doesn't absorb the paint/water well. And for any of you worried about my daughter's education, she also did two sets of Saxon math yesterday. We did so much history and other stuff on Monday, we needed to catch up on math yesterday. Homeschooling is flexible that way. On Monday, we watched a 2 1/2 hour documentary on the Mayflower travelers called Desperate Crossing, an excellent show that traces them all the way back to their conflicts that sent them first to Holland.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What's Happenin'

What's happenin'? Not much. Yesterday I started getting a bad cold, and today I'm laid up in bed with my jammies on, sipping hot tea. Ick.

However, this past weekend, our church had its annual Missions Conference, and we heard reports from around the world -- India, Peru, China, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya -- of God's kingdom work going on there.
We ladies had a brunch on Saturday, and a speaker.
Julia had her own fun last weekend; she had a friend over to spend the night. When we took her friend home, they went to swing on a large vine in the woods. Julia gave it the old college try!!
There's a beautiful barn near their house, and I've been wanting to take a picture of it. It has wonderful ivy growing on its side. I like the stray bale of hay also.

I'll be recovering today and probably tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be my zippy self again. Meanwhile, this will be my friend:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Grand World Tour

Ratty, Mole and Toad are departing on their Grand World Tour! They have left Pom Pom's house, and will make the round of stops here in the States before leaping across the Great Pond (Toadie is rather good at that part) to visit Mags. And they're off!!!!
I'm sure Toad will be nothing but trouble to his friends, all along the way.
(What would Mr. Graham think if he knew what his little animals were up to now?)
Here is a picture of Creative Miss Pom Pom's thundering trio, ready for departure. They will travel complete with their own passport (I LOVE that!), a copy of the book I believe, and other nice surprises.
I'm trying to think what they should do during their visit with us here in the Appalachian Mountains. Visit a waterfall? Play with Sandy? (They might be a little worse for the wear after that play date!) Drop in at the local bakery for a danish? Julia will have to help me decide.
I must include a tiny happy for the next lady on the tour, and tuck it in the package, so I want to begin planning what I should crochet for her. A doily? A tiny purse? Any thoughts?

For Janie -- Here's Uncle Phil Potter!

This little post is for my friend Janie, who wanted to see the picture of Phil Potter, and original "Wyoming Cowboy" whose image is on the Wyoming license plate and is otherwise the state's symbol. He was one crazy guy who was also a relative of my husband, Adam.
I think this horse looks more like an angry donkey.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Afghan

Yes, it's coming together. In fact, it's looking better than I expected, considering I'm using second-hand yarn that's the wrong size and colors. Here are the first two rows, put together:
I took that pic a couple of days ago. Now I have 4 rows put together; two more to go. Then I'm planning to crochet a black border around the outside. I'll keep you posted!