Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On hiatus

I know I haven't posted for quite a while, and don't know when I will be posting again. I was at my parents' near Fort Worth for 12 days. I originally went up just to help my mom get through her second cataract surgery, but ended up staying because my dad was hospitalized with pneumonia. He had surgery and was on a ventilator for 6 days. I came home last Thursday, the day after they took him off the vent. On Friday night he apparently had a stroke and passed away Sunday morning. The memorial service won't be until next Monday as we gather grandchildren from all around the country. Mike and I will drive back up on Sunday and come home on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday (a week from tomorrow) I am flying up to MSP to see my daughter and son-in-law and their new 108 year old house and lend a hand with getting it ready for them to move in. Right now I am just feeling exhausted from what I have gone through and the anticipation of what lies ahead. So, dear readers, please bear with me while I take a little break...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My new favorite toy

Over the years I have had several of these stainless steel steamers that start out all nice and tight looking like this.

But after a few years (and hundreds of uses) they end up coming out of the dishwasher looking like this. I guess the repeated stress of opening and closing them finally takes its toll. Not a big deal, just annoying.

Well, recently I bought this silicone steamer and I LOVE it! I have no idea how long it will last, but for the time being, it works great, and I don't have to deal with reattaching those aggravating little pieces, whatever you call them.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Brunch and Beethoven

Today was a wonderful day of indulgence...brunch at Brennan's of Houston (as in the Brennan's of New Orleans fame) and then a marvelous concert by the Houston Symphony. We have been to Brennan's a few times before for dinner with a large group, but we have wanted to see if their Sunday Jazz brunch was as good as the one we had at Commanders Palace...it was! Then we heard Beethoven's 7th as well as a remarkable piece by Ravel, Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. It was written by Ravel for a pianist who lost his right arm in World War I, and the piano part is played solely by the left hand...amazing!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Envelopes and socks and a scarf, oh my!

This is probably the prettiest time of the year in our backyard. This is the view from our bedroom upstairs. I love looking out at it, so lush and verdant. It will look like this for a while, inviting to the naive eye, not betraying the heat and humidity and bugs that will attack you if you should venture out into it. It is still trim and tidy, and actually quite cool and pleasant today. But summer is definitely just around the corner. And I'm not sure when, but sometime in July or August, the backyard starts to remind me more of a jungle than a retreat.

Ever since I saw the post about of security envelopes on Design Sponge, I have been obsessed with the idea (I told you that I am a nerd!) These are the ones I have amassed so far. The one on the bottom right reminds me of something from microbiology...gram positive rods?

I realized that I never posted a picture of the socks I was working on after they were finished, so here you go. Guess I will just admire them till next winter, as sock weather is over with here in Houston.
As for my latest knitting project, I found this yarn on sale at Michael's and was intrigued by the fact that it is 50% soy. So I bought a couple skeins to see what it would be like to work with.

I decided to just make the scarf that was the free pattern on the label. It is turning out nicely, even though I initially thought that K6tog was a typo. I finally figured out how to knit 6 together, which actually involves using a crochet hook...go figure!