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Whoa! Where did October come from?!

music to read by :: October Song (Amy Winehouse)

my favourite slippers and dog

Oh, October. You snuck up on me like a thing that sneaks, and made me and my to-do list look like nothing but sitting around reading. But I still love you.

Yeah. October.

basket of homemade mis-matched guest slippers

The time of year I dig out the duvet, my slippers, the box of miss-matched guest slippers; enjoy a warm fire and tea; and still leave some windows open.

This year, it’s also the time time I look back at September and wonder just what the hell I accomplished.

I plan to blame it on the husband. Why? Because he went to Paris for two weeks and I didn’t. I think that’s good enough reason.

So.

September. Let’s say goodbye with a handshake and a wrap-up.

crappy pic of what is actually a lovely scarf

  • Yoga 2 times a week? Yep!
  • Knit two presents? Yep! A scarf for my sister and one for my mom – where I learned how to knit a fringe. Go me!
  • Knit a scarf for me? Nope. But I did make an awesome snake scarf for the kid.
  • Knit a pair of slippers for the basket? Well, one is a pair in my world so we’ll call this one a win.
  • Donate blood. Nope. And I have no good excuse …. Bad me.
  • Pottery? Did none. But did get a commission for something fun so I do have to get my ass in gear.
  • Food budget? Win! But the man was away for 2 weeks, so ….
  • Holes in bedroom. Uhm …. let’s move on.
  • The books on the living room floor are gone!

awesome snake scarf

  • Organize bookcase in bedroom? I’ve done two shelves.
  • Buy paint? Did I mention I didn’t fill the holes?

And now for October. And while I wish it could list reading, fires, tea, and watching the leaves change …. {{sigh}}

House and Home

  • put front and back gardens to bed
  • plant garlic
  • start the damn holes in bedroom
  • finish organizing bookcase in bedroom
  • paint some trip upstairs

Personal

  • yoga two times/week
  • knit one present, one pair slippers, and one scarf, plus a scarf for me
  • donate blood

Pottery

  • research and design commission. yay!

That’s it! That’s all! Plus, you know, all the other crap I have to do in a day.

2

Knitting three to get one

music to read by :: Red Knit (Mutsuhiko Izumi with Jimmy W)

I’m a newbie knitter, in that I learned last fall, made a bunch of slippers and scarves, a few hats, some arm warmers, half a sock, and then took a break for summer. Then September rolled around and, Holy Crap! Birthday present time was upon me.

So I pulled out the  needles, bought some birthday present wool and promptly realized knitting had fallen out of my brain and had, in fact, been left by the side of the road bloodied, an unravelled mess.

But I persevered.

I fell back onto ol’ faithful scarf, a basic pattern found on the wrappers of wool. But where was a damn wrapper pattern when you need one! Certainly not on the wool I had bought! Lucky me.

So I sat. I meditated. I remembered.

And after a bit of unravelling, brain farting, and use of my iPhone knit counter, I produced a scarf and was back into the swing of things.

Basic pattern, remembered!

It was kinda like riding a bike, if riding a bike was done sitting on your couch with pointy things.

Or not.

Basic hole-y scarf pattern (for those of you who throw out your wrappers)

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Some days you just have to yell, “it’s chicken soup makin’ time!”

While last week was exceptionally warm (ok. stupid hot), this week has been seasonal and sunny, and Sunday, inparticular, called for soup.

And a slipper.

Yep. Sunday I knitted a slipper.

You see, last September I got this bright idea for a huge  basket of mis-matched slippers for guests to wear while visiting, as we keep our house on the cool side and have all hardwood flooring. The only problem with this grand plan was my complete and utter inability to knit.

Solution? Put it out on Facebook and then meet in a pub and learn! After two lessons I was comfortable enough to attempt basic slippers and off I went. (the process of me learning is a whole other storey. slip knot? nope. can’t tie one)

I now have the basket of slippers, of varying sizes and colours, but on Sunday I had to finish a “pair” for me. The time spent babysitting chicken noodle soup seem like a good time to me.

making basic broth

I started early in the day, making the broth from scratch. Now, I like a simple, basic, broth as well as one that is not watery – but I don’t like to go as far as a “cream” soup.

I simmered the bones for a few hours, until the meat pretty much fell off with a mere poke. I didn’t add anything else during this process, just water and bones.

Once the basic broth was ready, I drained the liquid and returned it to a pot, putting the bones/meat aside for later. I then added two cleaned chopped potatoes (white or sweet, I’ve made it with both) and a large pealed and chopped carrot, some ground pepper, some onion, and some garlic greens.

I let this simmer for a couple more hours; I kitted and cleaned in between checks. Once  the potatoes and carrots were cooked through, and flavours were all mixed together, I used my immersion blender and blended the crap out of the pot’s contents, resulting in a nice thick chicken/vegetable broth. I then added some oregano and thyme, a bit more pepper, and a dollop of balsamic vinegar. I also picked over the bones and added chunks of chicken.

About an hour before dinner I added a couple of handfuls of egg noodles. At this point, my daughter wandered in and asked if we could add dumplings.

Uhm.

Yeah!

making dumplings!

But I told her she had to make them. After the 9 y/o squealing had subsided, she dug out the recipe card and got to work. 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of baking flour,  1tbsp butter, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup milk later, she was a mixing fool and I had a flour covered kitchen.

We brought the soup up to a slow boil and she dropped the dough in using an ice cream scoop.

cooking dumplings!

It took a bit for me to convince her that the dumplings would “grow”, but she finally agreed that maybe I would know and dropped small balls in. We returned the soup to a simmer and let it go for 20 minutes.

Then we ate it all!

I thought I took a picture of the final product, but I guess not. We were probably too excited to eat.

But I can show you my pair of mis-matched slippers, made with double yarn for that extra comfy feel.my mis-matched pair!

**disclaimer :: I do know how to knit a pair of slippers, I just choose not to!**

2

Running, Week 1, Day 1

Well. That Sucked.

So.

I have quickly learned that “running” on my not-actually-mine-treadmill is just not going to happen. I am, essentially, a princess and if the opportunity presents itself to hop off the treadmill and knit, well honey, I’m going to do just that.

So I used my call a friend option. Good friend that she is, she agreed to start run-training with me 2-3 mornings a week, prior to her heading off to work. (my logic being that even if I stop running, I’ll still have to walk home)

I purchased an app called Couch to 5K for my phone (just 0.99$ for my iphone), borrowed toe socks from my 9yo, and head out into the -7C  morning to start running. The app, using intervals, is geared to getting one off the couch and running 5K in 9 weeks.

We shall see.

Due to the cold and my complete out of shapeness, I required two hits of my rescue pump but after that, breathing wasn’t a problem. After a 5 minute “brisk” walk, the app alternated between 1 minute of jogging and 1.5 minutes walking, and finished with a 5 minute walk cool down.

We only paused the program once, to walk up a hill, as we knew we were not going to run up, and pausing meant we still had to do that 1 minute of running once we hit the top.

The end result? I’m totally out of shape, but ….

3.11km with an average pace of 9.37 min/km.

Slow, but more than I’ve ever done. Ever.

Yay me!