Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh My! Yes!

I stumbled across this today:
     via Apartment Therapy

Creamy Candy Bar Sauce

Adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros
Yields about 1 cup
12 fun-sized candy bars, like Milky Way, Snickers, and/or Three Musketeers
1/2 cup heavy cream
Tear the candy bars into pieces and place in a small saucepan along with the heavy cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve warm over ice cream (or enjoy plain with a spoon.)
Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator, and reheated on medium low.

Recipe Notes

  • 12 fun-sized candy bars are approximately six ounces.
*I did not create this..see the link above for full credit where credit is due.

Sewing, Coffee and a million other little things.

I truly am an Aquarius. I have a million projects going and can seem to get to none of them. I am going to scrounge up all the thread I have. Trust me, right now, it's in a million different place around the house. Once that's done, I'm going to sit down and make the duvet cover for the bed.

I have a grand scheme in mind for the bedroom. However, it involves A HELL OF A LOT of purging and going through stuff. That's my downfall...I'm horrible at sitting and sticking to one task. I admit it, I need to seek a support group for scattered people.  But, that should not stop me from making curtains, duvet cover and pillow shams. That can be done with the bedroom in the current configuration. Annd, install the lamps I purchased almost a week ago now! See! I get distracted so very easily.

Today, I'm going to park my butt on the floor and make the king size comforter. Yes, I am making one. That thread and needle I have readily handy-no hunting involved.

Besides my self proclaimed scatteredness, I got all my homework done. Just in time for the new round to be let loose tomorrow. -sighs- While I love learning and am in an occupation that demands a lifetime of learning, it gets old after a bit.  I'm also in the mood for cinnamon buns and a loaf of bread. Must be the weather?

We are having another round of storms coming through. It's chilly, rather wet and blustery outside. Perfect day to stay INSIDE. It's even #NationalCoffeeDay, so I'm loving on my fancy schmancy espresso maker today. Although I swear it's #TeaSeason.

Other than that, there will be knitting going on as always. I want to finish the scarf I'm working on. I lost my other fave one and loved the yarn this one will be made of. Then I want to knit on a blanket I've been working on. Gonna need it. The Beaver blanket can't suffice for every occasion, now can it? See-that reminded me. I have some knitted pillow covers that I need backs for. Hello, same fabric from duvet can work for those! Yes! There is a method to the madness that I call a mind, I swear there is.

Remember all those socks I knitted? They are coming in handy now. Tis time. I love handknitted socks for running around the house in. They are house slippers that hug your tootsies.

As for now...the main project is hoovering/mopping/baking. Just need good music for that. I am music-ly motivated. I'm lucky that my computer is near the kitchen, I <3 on my Google Music Player.

Peek of the scarf:

I love the colors! It's a very simple yarn: Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Dragonfly.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall/Bake-both have four letters!

I've been blog surfing and an amazing thing has happened. The baking season is upon us. All over the blogosphere people are talking about baking and sharing recipes.  And here, I thought it was just me?

I've baked two batches of biscuits in the last two days. I like to start small and work my way up to the more complicated things. However, I'm really wanting to bake cookies and a cake now!  And I vow by all that is holy...I will master pie crust this fall/winter!  It truly can't be that complicated, right? Well..based on my's is complicated. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

Prior to the baking season, I have cleaned my kitchen to an inch of it's life. The counters are clear, the drawers thinned out. I think I'm ready to roll.

Plenty of workspace, that's the key. The table is right next to the counter for setting things to cool off on and such. I do have to admit, I have a good amount of counter space to work with. 

My fave biscuit recipe: 2 cups of self-rising flour and 1 cup heavy whipping cream.  Yep, that's it. Two ingredients makes it super easy to whip up. You roll it out, cut them out and back for 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven.  If it was any easier they would come out of a can!

Monday, September 23, 2013

B is for super comfy bedding

It's officially fall and that means getting the house ready for the colder weather. The main thing is getting the bed winterized.

I bought a new mattress topper. Finding one for a king size bed is not easy. Well it is easy, the hard part is finding one that is not 500.00 or better! I found mine at Target. On Sale. Had a Target gift card. Had my 5% off Target card. Got that puppy for a mere 35.00!  Now, I bet you think that was the hard part? Nope..ever tried to wrangle a king size anything onto a yourself? Yep, that's the hard part.

As is, my bed has a pillowtop to begin with. Plus it had a thick quilted mattress pad on it. Now it's got bascially three pillow tops on it. Hmm, yeah..feels like one of those plush beds from a fancy schmancy hotels. Tossed on some flannel sheets, all ten pillows and very comfy cushy bed perfectly suited for winter.  Problem now..I can't get up in the damned thing. So I bought one of these, the Bekvam stool. It sucks to be short, I swear!  Hm, I think it's gonna need staining. But that is for a later time and date.  At least the cats like it. Isabella sniffed it, climbed up on it and was "hey...this makes it easier to get up with". Nothing is sacred in my house.

I also got two cute lamps to attach to the wall. The Arstid wall lamp. The current bedside table lamps take up so much room on what constitutes nightstands in my house - the ever so popular three shelf bookcase! Yeah, wall lights will be much better.

Last but not least...a new comforter. Well, it will be a new comforter once I'm done. Have you priced a down comforter for a king size bed. Yeah, we are back to that damn big bed syndrome issue. Well, I'm rather frugal. Ikea has comforters on sale. Twin size down comforter, winter rating of 3 on sale for 14.99. I simply bought two of them, plan to just stitch them together and then make a huge duvet cover for it all.
Bingo, king size thick down comforter for 30.00! Once I make the matching pillow shams and new curtains, I will have one luxurious bedroom.

One can never put a price on comfort. Well, you can, but it doesn't have to be hundreds of dollars. And let's face it, I'm kind of frugal.


Dear Students on Academic Discussion Forums,

Wikipedia is NOT considered a reliable source for reference. Even Wikipedia tells you NOT to use it as research references, but to use it as a guide to the ones considered reliable by the academic world. Click on the link if you do not believe me!

Thank you
Person wanting to bash their head in because just because it's on the internet does not mean it's true!

New Frosting Recipe!

The start of fall means it's time to bake again. That means I go searching for new things to try. This is one of them. It sounds so yummy. It's courtesy of  StyleMePretty

Almond Italian Meringue Buttercream
Make 5 batches (25 cups)
Adapted from Warren Brown’s CakeLove Book


* 5 large egg whites
* 1 ¼ cups extra-fine granulated sugar
* ¼ cup cold water
* 1 lb unsalted butter (at room temperature- about 35-45 mins out of the fridge)
* 1 tsp almond extract
* Candy thermometer
* 1 quart saucepan


Slice the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and set aside.

Measure 1 cup sugar and the water into the saucepan and stir gently. Pour the remaining ¼ cup sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the sugar water over medium-high heat. Partially cover with a lid.

While the sugar syrup is cooking, separate the egg whites into a standing mixer (fitted with the wire whip attachment). With the mixer on high speed, begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. When the peaks are stiff, you have a meringue.

Pour the ¼ cup of sugar into the meringue while the mixer is running, and keep whipping.

Bring the sugar syrup to 245°F (raise the heat if you need to). When the syrup is at 245°F, remove the thermometer and slowly pour the syrup into the meringue while the mixer is running. After a few minutes reduce the mixer speed to medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meringue is cooled. Add the almond extract, then add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the butter is fully incorporated.

* Makes 4-5 cups buttercream

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vacations come and go!

Went up to Lake Tahoe for the week. Every day was spectacular weather wise. matter where I went, it was just downright gorgeous. Just crystal clear the whole time. My camera app was working constantly. Had a great time, made some new friends (always a fun thing), ate like the proverbial horse at some fabulous places and collected pine tree seeds. I'm determined to grow a pine tree on my balcony.  There was ALOT of knitting going on. Almost finished my sweater, just need to do the second sleeve and I'm done. A LOT of reading was done, the deck was perfect for that most of the day. Baked two apple pies just because I could. I basically just sat back and relaxed. I rarely got online on my computer-even though the wifi is now installed. I did text quite a bit. The lake is now 4G almost all the way around it. There are some spots on the western side of the lake that are zero signal but just a few now. (Dear Rubicon Bay...get with the program, a mobile signal is needed!)

From about 8000 feet up overlooking Lake Tahoe

Looking down at Emerald Bay

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe..again

From the 15th Hole at the mini golf course. I want BIG trees now!

Lake Tahoe done in granite.

Wind surfers on the lake. There were some guys surfing as well.

The cabin. Rather roomy and walking distance to four casinos! The North Shore rocks.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Travels to Lake Tahoe are always fun

Yesterday, I drove from Portland to Lake Tahoe. I cut down through Kalamath Falls down to Susanville to Reno and up over Mt. Rose to the lake.

I passed Crater Lake, and went through about six National Forest. I saw the Pumice Desert and some of the most beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, I also saw a fatality. It was on a section of winding highway were the signs literally said 25 or 30mph or even 15mph around them. Someone didn't obey the signs and someone died.  Someone on a motorcycle didn't make it around the bend totally. Their motorcycle which originally looked like what I call a "crotch-rocket" looked like shredded cheese. Whomever was driving, I have no idea, there was a full covering over them.

While I love motorcycles, they are dangerous. Either the driver of the bike was swinging really wide to take the bend. Usually if they are speeding, they will swing wide to take a bend. Unfortunately, there was a vehicle coming along the opposite direction. One with four wheels. Law of gross tonnage will always win.  Never fails.

Besides the fatality, there were road works. The kind of road works that requires a car to lead the line of cars through it. While I love the fact that Oregon takes care of it's roads, I have had enough road construction this summer to last for a few years. Counting the two I drove through yesterday, the one I drove through today, I have had six road works to deal with this summer. Three of which were near my house and were dealt with on a daily basis.   If I never see an orange road cone till summer next year, I will be rather happy.

I do admit, the road works were worth it. The lake is positively gorgeous this time of year. The tourist have all gone home at least till ski season kicks in. It's quiet, the traffic is not bad at all and the winds have picked up a bit, so the rustle in the trees is so nice at night.  Plus, it's cooler. In fact, it's cool enough tonight...I might have a fire going.

Hmmm, knitting by a fireplace, something just so cozy about that.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm being rather Lazy

Instead of packing...I'm debating a scarf. I've decided that after knitting for ten years, it's time to make a pattern of my own. Now mind you...I have never attempted anything like this. Hell, there are still patterns I can't even begin to follow.  I know, it's strange. No idea what has come over me, but I figure what the hell. It's a ten hour drive to Lake Tahoe, I'll have time to think it over, that's for sure.

I have managed to find wifi service near the cabin, only 1.7 miles away! All is not lost. While I have stocked up on ereaders, patterns and other assorted things I simply can't live without, there is always something you need. I am not looking forward to living off my phone connection for nine days.  I'm afraid I'm spoiled rotten when it comes to tech/gadgets and stuff like that.

I do plan to play #Ingress while I'm up there. A whole new bunch of portals..I'm hoping to submit some new ones as well. It's a greek me, it's relaxing.  I do plan on laying around the cabin reading and doing much of nothing. I might do laundry before I come home, we will see.

What sucks is I just started a binge on the show "The 4400". I had started watching it but then slowly stopped watching for some reason. Yay for netflix! I know the show got cancelled, but Netflix has all  forty-three episodes. And me without wifi for a week! Oh well, it will be here when I return.  I do have cable up there though, so there is that. 

Let's face it, between end of August and beginning of snow season, there is NOT a lot to do up there but relax. The temps are supposed to drop into the low 30's at night.  Ooo. fireplace!!! Hello! There is that. I know the dog will love that part.

I'm going to go scrounge dinner up..I'm starved.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Copyright Wars

You have to love the internet. Stuff is posted, stuff is shared, stuff is claimed. Every now and then, I see something and it makes me laugh because it's so stupid you have to look twice.

Today, I read an article on a popular weblog. It had a graphic attached to it. Naturally the first comment was "nice article, you could have credited me with using my design". Attached was a similar design but not the same one.  The graphic...was text in speech bubbles. 

I've seen people getting in "troll fights" because of graphics. Once, a person was demanding a picture be taken down because it was hers and she created it. Um, she created it out of images that were copyrighted by someone else. The pictures were owned by a television studio. I'm sure she was careful to get the copyrights to use the photos. 

Is using a graphic you found online bad? I don't think so. You put it on the internet so people can see it. If someone says, "hey this is great" and uses it...and GIVES YOU FULL CREDIT WITH A LINK. Why not? More exposure for your hard work. That's why you put it up in the first place, right? 

Copyright gets bantered ALL OVER the place now days. Everyone is an armchair lawyer. Just because you manipulate a few things does not mean you own the elements of it.  If you create a blue bubble with pink words in it that are left hand center and have a .02mm drop shadow..yes you own it. You do not own the blue bubble, the words nor the drop shadow.  

If you create a knitting pattern, yes it's yours. However, what people knit from do not own. For build the schematics for a television set. That's yours by law. Does that mean you own the tv that is made from it? No. The person that bought the tv owns it. 

Has anyone watched the news with the copyright battles between Apple and Samsung? They are suing each other on everything from technical aspects to superficial things. The technical aspects are close but the superficial stuff has been laughed out. "Oh, they have a white phone?" Sorry, color is not copyright-able.

Intellectual property is a very specific area. Once you start trying to copyright an idea, you're already on the downhill slide. Take the pyramids. The Egyptians built then, the Mayans built them. According to current historical thinking..they had no contact with each other. So..they came up with the same ideas independent of each other. Who came up with it first? Who holds the copyright to the pyramids? 

I believe that if you invent something, yes it's yours. In that configuration. But that's all. If you take a's yours. If you paint a picture, yes it's yours. If you invent fictional characters, yes they are yours. See the connections, here? If you create a logo from scratch, it's yours. 

If you create a logo from common every day graphics, you own the configuration, not the elements. If you manipulate a photo, the manipulation is yours, not the elements. If you write a story with someone elses characters..the story is yours..but the 

See the differences?  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Avoidance Successful!

I avoided the "stove on a hot day" syndrome. I opted for the "drive thru" choice. I always include a few "drive-thru" days in my monthly budget. They are for just such emergencies! When one lives in a home with no A/ has to allot for such days as it's just too hot to turn on the stove to cook.

I didn't even knit on my sweater today! Not one single stitch! Nary a one! *laughs* You know it's hot, if I'm not knitting.   At least it didn't get as hot as they predicted, although tomorrow is supposed to be another scorcher of a day. After that it's dropping back down into the low 70's which will be nice. However...I will be up in the mountains enjoying..wait for it... 30 degree nights! read that correctly, 30 degree nights! I'm so damn happy it so makes up for the fact there is no damned internet up there.  

I'm going to read and knit, drink and gamble and then do it all day after day! It's nice having a place that is walking distance to a casino..less chance of a DUI. Since I can cut through the back way, there is little chance of a WUI *walking under the influence* either. *snickers*

Casino is due east and the lake is due south...both by foot. Correction, two casinos due east of me. I'm just glad I'm headed up AFTER tourist season has ended. Not that I mind tourist...just don't like them crowding it up while I'm there. *grins*

Hmm, I think I hear a video game calling me? No..wait is that yarn? Nope, it's a video game.

Heat Wave Ver 4.8

Hello second week of September and hello return of the summer heat wave.  See anything wrong there...besides any grammatical errors? The words "September, heat, wave" should never be on the same side of the period. Never.  It's September 10th and going to be 92 degrees today. That is just wrong. I'm a winter type person and I live for the cold, the dark, the rainy and the cloudy. This heat and sun stuff gets old after day three of it.

To add to the joy of the day, we got a notice by the city that our water will be off from 10am to 2pm, due to construction across the field. Yay! Hot day and NO water. Lovely. I filled up the tub, several pitchers, some huge bowls and such. My babies (the pets) need a lot of water in this heat. Right now, they are lounging in front of a fan. Poor things.

And I have a confession, I'm now on episode 25 of the original Hawaii Five O. Don't ask me why I've gotten hooked on this thing, but I have. As hokey as the story lines go, they actually are well written episodes. The language is very out dated since was produced in the late 60's and the 70's.  It's rather amusing to see them get around with no mobiles or any truly modern technology. The stories though are kind of riveting. Kind of makes me miss tv shows. What is really sad...I have over 400 channels and the best thing on is a show that is over thirty years old!

I'm still knitting on the big red sweater. It had horrible beginnings. It was going to be a hoodie, but I scratched that pattern, then it was going to be a top down and I messed up on the increases. Now it's top-down version 2.0 and working perfectly. I was lazy and didn't frog the other efforts, I've just been knitting from them and frogging it as I needed the yarn. I'm just now getting to "unused" yarn on it.

I really love this pattern, easy, not a lot involved in it. I think I'm going to knit it in other colors. Change up the yarn, maybe go for some wool-ease, or maybe 100% wool? Either way, my sweater needs will be met for years to come.  The irony of sweater planning on a 92 degree day does not escape me at all.

Speaking of heat, I'm considering making myself a frappucino? Or maybe an iced coffee since I have a pitcher of chilled coffee in the fridge. Yummy!

No idea where this graphic came from, I am not claiming to have created it. Someone is creative however and they are a genius!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Extended Weekend!!!

Yeah, today is a "bank" holiday. In the US we refer to it as Labor Day. It's a nice long weekend, sort of a last hoorah for summer before school and fall hit.  Me, I'm glad summer is winding down. While we were blessed with a relatively cool summer,  a lot of people were not.  It will be nice to have cooler/cold weather back. I'm sorry...I'm just a cold weather kind of person. Must be genetic, after all my ancestors hailed from the far cold northern areas! *laughs*

Today they announced that Charlie Hunnam will be portraying that Grey dude in Fifty Shades. While I deplore the book on so many levels, I love his acting abilities. Now I'm totally torn, will I watch it? Probably, but not for awhile. It will have to be on dvd and be on sale. The only reason I would watch the damn thing is cause he's in it.

The red top down sweater is coming along nicely. I'm on the never ending increase section of the yoke. I swear the entire body of the sweater knits up faster than this damned yoke. Still it's my absolute fave pattern for sweaters. No seaming, no calculations...just pure knitting. I love the fact you can knit the sleeves and just use the Kitchener stitch to attach them to the sweater. Easy..and yes, still NO SEAMS! Life is good.

I have homework out the wazoo today/tonight. I slacked off all weekend and now it's time to pay the piper, so to speak. But for now..I'm fixing more coffee and eyeing that sweater.  Knitting is calling to me.