April 30, 2010

What's Cookin': Wetback's Delight

Sorry, I had to post it with the original name. It's the only name I've ever known it by and it's what my grandparents called it. I (sort of) apologize for being politically incorrect.

Here it is! The recipe I've been talking about for awhile. Mom and K, I think I might have sent you this already a long time ago, but I can't remember.

Wetback's Delight - makes about 6 generous servings
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
2 cans water (one tomato paste, one tomato sauce)
2 cups cooked rice

Brown beef in large pot/skillet. Add everything but the rice and simmer until slightly thickened, about an hour. Mix in rice just before serving. Serve with lettuce, cheese, avocado, chips, tomatoes, sour cream... You know, usual taco salad toppings. We use the chips as spoons and eat it like a dip/nachos.

Notes & Variations - The only variation is that I cut the original recipe in half since we can't eat as much as it makes. If you were to double it, just use 1 Tbs sugar, rather than 4 teaspoons.

I love how easy this recipe is, I love how tasty it is, I love how cheap it is, and I love that it's kind of a family tradition.

The Junk Food Debate

Ben and I were talking about this subject the other day and I decided it would make for a good blog post. It's kind of a touchy subject with me, so this is more like a rant than a post.

We were talking about what I do and don't let the kids have. We actually talk about this subject a lot. I don't really give the boys much sweets or junk food at all. He says that sometimes he thinks I'm a little harsh (and I agree with him most times) but he does understand my reasons:

- I spent the first year... or longer... of the twins' life just scared to even breathe on them. They were so tiny and fragile and I didn't know what I could or couldn't give them. Ben also made the point that so many doctors and nurses were always telling us "Don't give them this, but you can give them that." So it took me forever to give them their first bit of sugar just because I was so afraid of what it might do to them. I'm just now getting over it.

- I've watched various people around me stuff themselves full of junk food and have seen the consequences of it. Why on earth would I do that to my children? Rotting teeth? Overweight? Health issues? Yeah... sounds like a great way to go.

- Junk is just plain expensive. I don't know where people come up with "It's too expensive to eat healthy" when you can get just about a week's worth of food for what you would spend on one fast food meal for a family of 4. Why would I buy one box of candy when I can buy 5 pounds of apples and a bag of flour for just about the same price? Not to mention what you spend in doctor's and dentist bills.

- They're 3 and not even 1! THEY DON'T NEED SWEETS! Ben and I really agree on this. Giving them cakes and cookies and soda and whatever else is the "norm" for little ones their age on a regular basis is not OK with me. I just can't do that to them. It makes me feel like an even more horrible mother when I give them that crap than when I deny them. THREE!! Not thirteen!

- They're crazily rambunctious enough as it is. They're boys, and I love the fact that they run around and shoot things and act like boys. But why would I drive myself crazy with over-sugared boys? I try to keep my sanity as much as I can.

That being said, there are things I do give them. I'll give them juice, when the budget allows for it - which I don't really consider a sweet, but it is highly sugared. But for the most part they drink water (which by the way, is the best liquid I can give them) or milk. I'm more than happy to give them baked goods that I have made myself. I know what's in it and I know it's much better for them than store bought whatever. I give them "Toasted Os" cereal because they like to snack on it, it's easy and I figure it's got grains in it. We eat hot dogs and spam and boxed Mac & Cheese. But for the most part I try to keep my "junk food" to homemade things.

I've been told that I'm too strict or that I should just "let them have some junk every now and then." I do! Just not as often as everyone seems to think I should. I don't see how not giving them crap makes me a mean parent. I think setting them up for a life time of being addicted to the stuff makes me a mean parent. Plus, it's really nice when they get all excited to get a special treat of homemade cookies or maybe a bag of chips. They light up like it's Christmas morning because it's so special, rather than not caring because it's just the norm. Or worse yet, throwing a fit when I tell them no because they're used to getting it all the time. Ben says that's what going to Grandma's is for - sweets and treats. And I'm totally ok with that.

I'm not a health nut by any stretch. By I do limit our intake of stuff we don't need. I know a lot of people don't agree with me. But you know what? They're MY kids. And I make the decisions for them.

April 28, 2010

I Struggle With Being Monogamous

ETA: Apparently, I gave my mom-in-law a heart attack when she saw that title. Sorry Mom. ;P
At least when it comes to knitting. (Scared you, didn't I? Ye of little faith.) It all started with the new mystery shawl...

I was doing so well. I had one project, the 09 shawl. That was the only project I had been working on, and was making decent progress. Then I started the new shawl, which only took about an hour to finish the first clue. And then I decided to start a super secret project that I can't talk about, but I can tell you I started it.

And then I was thinking "Hmm, I got that new yarn mom got me that I want to make a sweater with. I wonder if I could finish a sweater by the time we leave for our anniversary trip..."
So within a period of a week, I now have four projects on the needles. I have an illness.

Do they have counseling for knitting polygamists?

April 27, 2010

What's Cookin': Cream Cheese Penne Lunch

It's the end of the month and that means I'm running out of food. I usually try to use up what we have in the house during the last week of the month and just buy whatever basics we need like milk and eggs. That being said, I didn't want peanut butter and jelly for lunch and decided I wanted pasta. But didn't really have much to make a pasta dish out of. So here's what I came up with from what I had on hand -  and it turned out delicious! If my kids could give me a rating I think it's a 5, since they've now had fourths. It sounds kind of weird at first, but hang with me and try it out.

When I was little and I would go to visit Mimi (my maternal grandma) she would give me spaghetti noodles with cream cheese and dill on it. I have loved that dish my whole life, maybe because it reminds me of hanging out in her big, walk-in closet and watching movies on the TV she had in there. I based this meal off of that, since I had cream cheese and little else.

Cream Cheese Penne Lunch
1 lb tube pasta, like penne or rigatoni
2 Tbs butter
1/2 can Spam, chopped (yes Spam. Ben loves it. It's a staple in our house. If you can't stand that, see notes for different ideas.)
4 oz (half the small box) cream cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
Pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, set pasta aside and place pasta pot over medium heat (you know how I like using one pot.) Cook spam until browned. Add butter, cream cheese, broth, garlic and basil. Stir until cream cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Add pasta back in and toss to coat. Add pepper to taste ( you shouldn't need salt with the butter and spam.)

Notes & Variations: If I were to make this for dinner and I had the ingredients I would add at least one veggie like broccoli and/or bell peppers. And chopped onions. If you're not into spam you could do this with bacon, ham, or chicken - either cooked or raw. Just cook or heat accordingly. I would stick with a light meat, since it's already a rich sauce.

Meg Rating: 5! But I'm kind of partial and easy to please. :P

April 26, 2010

Plants Vs. Random Monday

Jalapenos - Kitchen Window. Not growing too terribly fast, but it's been so cold.

1 - It's Monday! And today, I feel like being random - With plants!
 Potato Bush - Front planter. I think this is probably my favorite plant on the whole property. The deep purple is just gorgeous.

2 - We BBQ'd for my mum's birthday yesterday, so my house is scrubbed. That means all I have to do today is laundry! Sounds like a Fiber Monday to me! 
Tomatoes - Kitchen window. Same as Jalapenos.

3. Menu Plan for this week - 
  • Monday: Lentils & Rice
  • Tuesday: Pizza/Calzone (I have sauce leftover from spaghetti that needs to be used)
  • Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken
  • Thursday: Loaded Baked Potatoes with leftover chicken
  • Friday: "Taco Salad" (originally called Wetback's Delight, which is horribly politically incorrect... But slightly funny none the less.)
  • Saturday & Sunday: Brats on one day if I can find them at a good price. Otherwise, TBD!
 Random Purple Flower - Found in the backyard grass. Teeny tiny weed flower.

4: We got a refund from Arrowhead from canceling our account. Adding it back into the grocery budget now brings our total monthly grocery spending to 320.39 with a budget of 350. With one week left in the month that means we're doing EXCELLENTLY well and I can get milk and eggs for the next week come Thursday. WOOHOO!
Can't Remember The Name  - Backyard planters. We got these from Grandma & Grandpa's house when we went down there. We call them the stick plants. They were in a lone pot on the back porch. Ben says they're from Hawaii.

5. It is wonderfully bright and sunny this morning. I'm ignoring the fact that it is supposed to be cold and rainy this week.
Azalea - Front planter. These aren't really my favorite. I'm not sure why. But I loved the way the dew looked on the flower. And the pink is a nice color. They turn a deeper red as they get older.

6. We forgot to close the window in the kitchen last night, so the whole house smells fresh and clean. I love it.
One of our bulbs - Backyard planter. I have no idea what it is, and I don't feel like digging the package out of the garage. I'll let you know when it blooms.

7. In case this is first time you seen, I changed my background. I wanted something bright and cheery and I didn't feel like making one myself. Do you like it?

8. Iced tea is awesome!

9. I'm hungry!

10. Happy Monday! :D

April 24, 2010

Mystery Shawls and Gorgeous Gates

Clue 1 of the GKMS10 is up and I've finished it. Took a little longer than it should have due to stupidity and the fact that I apparently forgot how to read... But! It's done and now I can't wait for next week. I'm also about 3/4 done with Clue 4 from the MS9.

Now, I have some more husband bragging to do. Hold on to your seats for this one. It's amazing.
This is the gate that we used to have on the side of our house. I think it's the original 1985 gate. Old, worn and ugly. Ben decided about a month or two ago that he wanted a tubing bender in order to make arches on gates. To buy one new would be almost $1000. So he decided to make one. And he did so, very successfully. Engineered it and designed it all himself.

And about 2 seconds after he was done, he grabbed a piece of square tubing to try it out. It made a very nice arch and he decided to use that arch to make a new gate... He used leftovers of metal that he has accumulated from the last few projects, got some hinges and some redwood and created this...
Amazing masterpiece of a gate. This picture does not do it justice. It really should be seen in person. When he was all done and I went out to look at it all I could say was "Damn.... damn.... That's a sexy lookin' gate" over and over. And it is. I can't believe how beautiful it looks. Actually, I can believe it. Because my husband has an amazing eye for design and everything he creates is incredible.

And I think the coolest part is he created it by using a tool he made himself. Pretty freakin' awesome. Also, it has a lock on it, which makes us both happier knowing that any random person can't just walk into our backyard. I'm so blessed to have such an amazing, talented man all to myself. :D

April 22, 2010

How Planning Ahead Totally Pays Off (Literally)

BAM! See that? OURS! We paid off Ben's truck and now it's OURS! No one can take it from us! (Well, you know, unless it's stolen...) Because we had a plan for our tax return before we got it, we were able to pay of Ben's truck at the beginning of the month and just got the title the other day. We payed it off 7 months early (which really isn't that early, but hey. It's still cool.) This sounds horribly egotistical, but I'm really proud of ourselves. :D Now on to the next one!!

April 21, 2010

Good Intentions

Today is Wednesday, April 21st. Which means that the GK Anniversary Mystery Shawl 10 starts in 3 days. And though I had very noble intentions of finishing the GKAMS 9 before then.... Well. I won't. I'm only half way through chart 4/5 and I'm making horribly slow progress. I took on a client in the last week, as well as general life, so I've been pretty busy. Not as much knitting.

All that being said though, I'm horribly, horribly excited about Saturday and getting the clues for this new shawl. I can't wait to cast on. I've realized that I deeply love this yarn color "Snorkel" (thanks for choosing it, Mom and K!) and I really want to work with it. I was even excited about doing a swatch! (Which you can see above.)

I used the gift card my sis got me to the yarn shop to pick up some size 3 Addi circulars. (I love Addi's. They knit so smoothly and quietly. I just wish the yarn shop carried the Addi Lace, so I could get a sharper tip, but they don't. I digress.) I prefer doing this yarn on 2's, like my current shawl, but I realized that it would make it too small. I think my current one might even wind up on the small side, but with enough blocking it should be alright. The pattern calls for 4s or 5s, but that's just too loose for me. I feel like you can't really see the lace pattern, as the stitches are all too open and airy. So I dropped down a size and I think I can deal with it. The pattern designer did mention that there is a chart you can repeat to determine what size you want, so either way I can adjust to account for the smaller needles.

So come Saturday watch for news of casting on!

What's Cookin': Orange Chicken & Fried Rice

Ok, the story of the Orange Chicken. One night, a little while ago, we were eating something Chinese-ish (yes, that's a word). I can't remember what it was but Ben said I needed to make my Orange Chicken again. I said that I would but it was such an ordeal. It seriously takes me like two hours to make the stupid dish, what with all the cutting up, breading and frying. So Ben got the BRILLIANT idea of "What if you used popcorn chicken?" Ben's genius strikes again! I thought it was a great idea so the next time I was at the store I looked for popcorn chicken. I only found one kind at the store I was at, so I got a bag and decided to try it out. Hoo-boy did it make this dish easier. Now I'm not so anti-orange chicken. Which is good, since we love this meal. So here is my take on the recipes for Orange Chicken and Fried Rice. You can find the original recipes here and here, respectively. If you want to spend half the night making chicken.

Orange Chicken - makes 6ish servings
1 bag of popcorn chicken (mine was a little over 1.5 pounds)
1 Tbs veg oil
1 Tbs rice wine or water (not rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp ground ginger (to your taste)
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes (to your taste)
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs cornstarch

 Orange Sauce
1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs water
5 Tbs sugar
5 Tbs white vinegar
Orange zest

Cook the popcorn chicken according to package directions. Mine was 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While that's cooking, mix the orange sauce together and add the garlic powder, ginger and red pepper to it. When the chicken is done, add the oil to a very hot wok or large pan. Pour in the orange sauce mixture (carefully!) and let it come to a boil. Add the chicken and stir to coat each piece. Mix the cornstarch with the water 1 Tbs water and stir into the orange chicken. This will thicken it up. Heat through and serve with....

Fried Rice - serves a ton
2 cups uncooked rice
3 1/2 cups water

1 cup frozen peas
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp ground ginger
4 eggs, scrambled
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook rice. Fried rice is best if made with cold rice so that it doesn't glob up on itself, so either make the night before and put in fridge, or make and cool (I do this by spreading it on a cookie sheet and popping it in the fridge for awhile).

In a (very) large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat. Add peas and cook, tossing with garlic powder and ginger. Put into bowl with green onions and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil and pour in eggs, breaking them up into small pieces as they cook. Add these to the peas and onions. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the pan. Heat to screaming hot then add the rice, tossing to coat in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for a bit, then push it down with a spatula, squishing it to the bottom of the pan. Let sit for about 2 minutes, to let the rice crisp. Stir, then do again. Poor the rice in a large bowl and add the peas, onions and eggs. Toss to combine.

The main thing about fried rice is it goes so quickly that you need to have everything prepped and ready BEFORE you start. Otherwise you'll burn what's in the pan while you scrambled to get your other ingredients. (Ask me how I know this...) If you take a look at the original recipes you can see that I really veer from the way they are done. But I've made these dishes quite a few times and have just adapted them to make them easier on me and work for what I have. For example, I always use ground ginger since it's not something I keep on hand. But by all means, use fresh if you can/want.

6.1.10 - I found a popcorn chicken made with real chicken breast a few weeks ago. I made the dish again with it and Ben said you can't tell the difference.

Ben Rating: 4!

Happy Eating,

April 20, 2010

Menu Plan Mon - er... Tuesday

Whoopsie, I forgot to post yesterday. Was busy working. So here's this week's menu plan.

Monday: Veggies & Rice (Did our BBQ veggies in the oven. Not as good, but still tasty)
Tuesday: Orange Chicken, fried rice and broccoli (I'm trying a new idea for my Orange Chicken that Ben came up with. Will share later.)
Wednesday: Fumi Chicken Salad
Thursday: Dirty Rice
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday & Sunday: TBD and leftovers

April 13, 2010

What's Cookin': Creamy Chicken & Pasta

First thing's first: I have no picture because we were all hungry and devoured our bowls of this deliciousness quite quickly. This meal came to me in a Betty Crocker email and I changed it to fit our tastes.

Creamy Chicken & Pasta - makes 8 servings
1 Tbs olive or veg oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp basil leaves
2 tsp oregano leaves
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups heavy whipping cream (Sorry mom, I guess you'll have to save up points for this meal :P)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb pasta - I used penne
2 cups (ish) broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken with garlic, basil and oregano until chicken is no longer pink in middle. Stir in tomatoes, cream, onion, salt and both peppers. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Cook pasta according to directions (remember to salt the water!). Drain well and mix with chicken & cream in whichever is vessel is bigger. I had to use the pasta pot. Add the broccoli and mix well. Cook over medium heat until broccoli is slightly tender (or heated through if using frozen). Serve with shredded Parmesan (or green can stuff).

Notes & Variations: This recipe called for two cans of tomatoes, but we're not big tomato people so I cut it in half. I also doubled the pasta up from 1/2 lb because I know we eat a lot and use the leftovers for lunch the next day (of which there were plenty). The recipe called for a bag of frozen veggies consisting of red peppers, onions, broccoli and mushrooms. But I couldn't find a mix like that so I just used the fresh broccoli and it turned out fine.

Ben Rating: 5!! I GOT A 5!! Big, big praise from mister "Nothing but meatloaf gets a 5". ;)

A Little Help From My Friends...

I need y'alls help. I just started chart 4/5 of the '09 GK Mystery shawl. I think, if I try really hard, I might be able to finish by the 24th - which is the start of the '10 Mystery shawl. So here's where you come in.

I have all these colors of laceweight and I can not, for the life of me, decide what color I want to use. So I'm presenting it to you in the hopes that someone will choose for me. Or at least point me in a direction. The above picture is a little off in presenting the actual shades and hues, but it's pretty close. The only real difference is the light blue is more teal than blue. So here are the colors, from left to right:
Port, Midnight, Raisin, Snorkel, Juniper, Spring Green. I also have a set in greys and blacks and browns that will fade from one color to another that you can sort of see at the bottom there. Or, I have just plain cream.

So, what do you guys think?

April 7, 2010

What's Cookin': Slow Cooker Chicken Chow Mein!

This doesn't have nearly as much in it as the recipe called for, but I couldn't find some, and I didn't like the rest so I just cut it down to what I knew we would eat. But I'll give the whole recipe for those who want it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chow Mein - makes 4-5 servings
1.5(ish) pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (doh! totally forgot to put this in.)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or about a tsp of powder)
1 can water chestnuts, drained (didn't use! nasty things...)
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp finely chopped gingerroot (or about a tsp of powder)
2 Tbs cornstarch
3 Tbs cold water
1 Cup sliced fresh mushrooms (Ben doesn't like 'em)
1 Cup snow pea pods (couldn't find 'em)

Remove fat from chicken and cut into bite size pieces. In a large skillet, cook chicken in about a tablespoon vegetable oil until brown. Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and water chestnuts (yuck!) in a slow cooker. Add chicken on top. Mix the broth, soy sauce and ginger in a bowl and pour over chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

When it's done, mix the cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl. Stir into the chicken mix then add the mushrooms and pea pods (if you're using them). Set to high and cook for 15 more minutes.

I served this over chow mein noodles that I got for $1.25 for a 1 pound package (I think it was a pound. Maybe it was 14 oz.). I cooked the noodles according to the package, then I fried them up in a screaming hot skillet with about two tablespoons of oil until they just started to crisp, tossing them with soy sauce and garlic powder. I noticed they kind of tasted like Ramen noodles, so you could probably get away with doing the same thing to a package of those if you couldn't find/afford chow mein. Or there's always rice, of course.

Ben and I both agree this needed peanuts and I think I will add some red pepper flakes next time for a little heat. I'm also not terribly sure about the cornstarch next time. I think it made it too thick, but that might have been because I didn't have everything else in there. But either way, it was good.

Ben Rating: 4. He said it was very tasty. :)

April 5, 2010

Why A $1000 Emergency Fund Just Isn't Enough

I read a lot of books and blogs and websites about personal finance. A lot of "experts" say that you should have at least a $1000 emergency fund in place while you pay down your debts. When Ben and I were talking about our budget the other day I mentioned this and said that I really was not comfortable with a $1000 emergency fund and he agreed (ours is larger than that). One thousand dollars really won't protect you much these days. It's a nice idea, and hey it's really better than not having anything. But here's why I think people should work on building savings as well as paying off debt.

Unemployment: What happens if you lose your job? The usual time for one to find a new job was about 3 months. That has grown even longer now that the economy is in such a desperate state. How is $1000 supposed to last you 3 months or more? Our current house payment is $700 - that includes P&I, home and mortgage insurance, and property taxes. So if something happened and we had to use a $1000 savings as "income" that would leave us with $300 after housing to disperse to utilities, food, car expenses, insurance, etc. Not going to cover it. And what about the next month? Even when we were paying $625 for rent in our first tiny little loft that wouldn't have left us with much. Most people suggest 3-6 months worth of expenses (not income) as an emergency fund. I agree.

Medical Emergencies: If you are lucky enough to have insurance, you will have a deductible or an out of pocket expense to pay when the need for medical care arises. Our current insurance states that we have a $2500 OOP expense per person per year. $2500 - $1000 still leaves $1500 that we would have to pull out of our butt if all we had was a $1000 emergency fund. Some people's OOP are not that large, and some are even larger. But either way, $1000 will not cover you in most cases of a serious injury or illness. And let's not even get into what it would cost if you aren't insured at all. I would suggest that you have the amount of your deductible/OOP stashed away in savings for such an emergency. The term "Better safe than sorry" really applies here.

Vehicle Emergencies: This one is very similar to medical emergencies. Your insurance policy will have a certain deductible that you have to provide before they cover anything. But that's usually just if you have an accident. So if you're driving along and you don't hit anything/one but your transmission decides to take a dive, guess what. You're going to be paying more than a grand to fix it.

Natural Disasters: Earthquake, hurricane, flood, etc. In a 30 minute time slot people have seen their whole lives turn over and disappear. If you have start over completely do you think $1000 is going to cover it?

Death: I pray that none of you ever have to use an emergency fund for this because you will all be well over 90 before you pass on. But let's hypothesize that you and/or your loved ones get into a car accident and someone dies. Or there is a house fire and one of you doesn't make it out. It's a really horrible thing to think about, but if it were to happen funeral costs can rise well over $3000.

"Ok, that's cool but how am I supposed to come up with extra money?" Some people don't even have $100, let alone $1000. If you're trying to come up with any kind of emergency fund but can't figure out how, here's some ideas.

Cut back - See if you can squeak anything out of your budget. Do you have any extras or luxuries you can cut out for a period of time while you build up a safety net? Wouldn't you rather go a few months without cable, or that Extra Chocolately Mochacinno you love so much if it meant you could sleep easier at night? Or you could even do something as simple as turning off the light when you leave the room. Transfer that utility bill difference to savings.

Keep That Change - I wrote about it here and you can do your own version. Or set up a change pot on your dresser. Once a month take it to the bank and deposit it in savings.

Sell Stuff - Got any books you don't read lying around? Games? Electronics, musical equipment, appliances, furniture? There's many resources for getting rid of unwanted stuff and making money. Yard sale, eBay, Craigslist, or just getting the word out through friends and family that you're looking to sell it.

Save Those Windfalls - Tax returns, birthday/holiday money, inheritance, bonuses, overtime. You will most likely get extra money a few times a year. I would highly suggest you put it in savings, especially if you're hurting for a cushion. That shiny new toy can wait, can't it? And once you have what you consider to be a comfortable savings, then the next batch of extra money can go toward that 62" plasma you've been wanting so bad. 

In the end there really isn't an excuse not to have more than $1000 in the bank to cover you in the event of an emergency. If you can buy a soda from the vending machine at work every day, you can put it in savings. And if, heaven forbid, the need arises, you'll be much happier you sacrificed a little back then to cover you now.

April 3, 2010

FK: The Scrap Blanket

Well boys and girls, it's done! (Sorry for the lame pic, it's hard to take good pictures of such large items.) I finished knitting the other night then had to spend FOREVER weaving in ends. One part of using small bits of yarn that I didn't consider. Oh well. Ben says it's the ugliest thing ever, and I think it's "rustically homey and charming".

Pattern: Knit garter stitch until you want to kill yourself. Made easier by watching shows at the same time.

Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in "Colonial", "Antique", "Nouveau", "Fawn", "Pearls", "Wreath" and "Waterfall" - various amounts of each.

Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm Brittany wood straights

YTD Mileage: This blanket itself was 1,473 yards, which brings my new YTD total mileage to 1.68 miles! It was a lot of knitting. A lot.

In other knitting related news I have 21 days to finish the GK '09 mystery shawl. She's got a new one going for 2010 that starts April 24th. Ok I doubt I'll really finish that soon. But I at least have to decide on a color to knit the new one out of.
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