The Musings of One Miss Julie

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Monday, May 30, 2005

M'mm M'mm, Good

Last night Scott and I were struck with a bout of culinary inspiration. We both enjoy cooking but often get lazy when it comes time to get down to it. (Okay, so as Scott was just reading over my shoulder, he reminds me that it was actually he who had the light-bulb moment. I was just the go-alonger.)

In any case, Scott bought some ribs at our favorite local market. I don't usually even like ribs, but the ones we made last night with the recipe Scott found online were surely the best I've ever eaten. I even put aside my aversion to getting foody viscosities on my fingers and my dislike for eating any food that requires a Wet Nap after the meal.

Maybe it was the bourbon, maybe it was the root beer, but this recipe was divine.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Weekend for (Getting Close to) Finishing Things

I finally made some progress on my bathroom yesterday. Now I just need to paint and hang the trim before I can install the new toilet and pedestal sink. Ah, that's going to feel so good.

Tonight I've made my first real foray into unsupervised seaming. I blocked the baby sweater yesterday, and that went just swimmingly. Tonight I stitched the right shoulder and sewed on the right sleeve. The left sleeve is going to be trickier because the left shoulder is left open for a button flap. My trusty Vogue knitting book hasn't let me down yet, so I should be able to make it through relatively painlessly.

After that it's just stitching the underarm and side seams and adding the buttons.
I hope to continue working on it tomorrow, but we've got some Memorial Day family gatherings to attend, which will certainly impact the time availability.

I know one thing for sure: Three-day weekends are fabulous, dahling.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Groucho, P.I.

Here's Groucho the Wonderpooch, seen modeling his little trench coat that my sister gave him. As you can see, it's a bit biggish. And the smaller size is a little too small, so we're going to have to hit the racks again in search of the perfect outerwear for the resident canine.

The other night I suffered some knitting frustration, but I think I'm back on track. When I finally braved the pick-up-and-knits, I wondered why I couldn't come anywhere near the number of stitches I was supposed to have. I had a "Well, duh!" moment and figured out that I picked up stitches on the front of the sweater and the instructions I read were for the back of the sweater. Brilliant, Julie.

I was encouraged, however, to discover that I had actually picked up the correct number of stitches for the front piece! I just had to tear out a few rows to insert a buttonhole I had missed. And when I started binding off, sighing a satisfied sigh that I had accomplished my goal, I tore it all out again because I didn't like how my stitches lined up at the edge of the fabric.

I'm bound and determined to get it just right tonight. Fourth time is a charm, I'm hoping. And since I know what I'm doing, I should be able to pick up the stitches for both pieces tonight so I can start seaming it all together. All told, picking up and knitting isn't so bad. I don't know why I was so jibber-jabbery.

P.S. Have you checked out this fun little tid-bit from Brawny, the paper towel maker? Even with the subtle use of paper towel in each of the clips, the super-sensitive strapping man in flannel provides plenty of feel-goodness after a long day. The "random breakdown" segment spoke to me in particular.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Of Sore Losers, the Theatuh, and Timeless Insults

We had a whirlwind weekend, which started for me on Thursday when my sister, who was in town last week, brought over a tres adorables trench coat for Groucho the Wonderpooch. (Pics to come.) Friday we played games with the fam and Becky taught us Settlers of Catan and Dutch Blitz. Seriously, my sister wins at games like no one else I've ever known. I'm rather amused that her beau, who taught Becky both those games in the first place, managed to fare remarkably unwell at both of them that night. I tried not to be too amused at his expense, but he was clearly razzled by my sister's glowing success that night.

Saturday morning we hit the road for Stratford, Ontario, where we took in a conference on teaching Shakespeare through performance. I was one of a few non-teachers there, but it was altogether an enjoyable time. We watched their production of Shakespeare's As You Like It. As a result, I have a new favorite insult: "You lisp and you wear strange suits." I should be able to work that one in every day.

Taking a tour of their Festival Theater this morning made me realize that it could be super fun to work with a theater company. Their wardrobe department was practically an in-house Haberman Fabrics. They had a walls of buttons and trims 7 feet high and 20 feet long -- each. Bliss.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Nothing Like Mom's Approval

Yesterday for Mother's Day Scott and I had our fams over. I wanted to make a special meal using recipes I'd found a long time ago but had never attempted. I think there's a rule held by some people that one should never try new recipes on guests. Rules schmules.

It was scrumptious and beautiful, and I don't mind saying so. The chicken was delicately breaded with parmesan, herbs, and bread crumbs. It came out of the oven nearly photo-shoot ready. That's never happened to me before. And my first try at risotto was a glorious success. It was creamy, the rice had a lovely texture, and the small pieces of carrots and asparagus throughout were crisp-tender just the way I love 'em. Topped off with some bread and our favorite Michigan Riesling, it was a wonderful meal. And oh yeah, we had a great time with our moms, too.

Tonight I planted some snapdragon and cosmos seeds. So by the end of July I should have photos of my flowers to post. Oy, that seems ages away, but we're finally getting some lovely days so I don't mind so much.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Pick-Up-And-Knit Scaredies

Yay, me. I finished all the foundation knitting for the little sweater on Sunday. I made myself sit still in one place and actually finish it. It's super-duper hard for me not to do things based on whether I feel like it.

I know I should continue working on it tonight because I've just the finishing. But I'm giving in to my I-don't-feel-like-its and piling up with some escapist reading I picked up at the library. I worked a 16-hour day yesterday and feel a bit worn out, so I'll not self-inflict the guilt over two days of no knitting.

I need to pick up and knit the stitches around the neck and, frankly, I'm scared. I've only ever picked up stitches with the assistance of my knitting teacher. But class is out now and I'm on my own. My favorite knitting guide, that trusty Vogue book, has some good illustrations on the how-tos, but it's lacking in advice on how to know how many stitches and where to pick them up from.

If I didn't hate having to tear out and re-do as much as I do, I'd just jump in. Guess that's what I'll have to do anyway or I'll never get anywhere. I haven't let myself work on any other projects until I get this puppy done. The agony! Must. Finish. This. Thing. Soon.