Sunday, November 26, 2017

Feeling Thankful...

I hope you all had a good week.  We had a nice Thanksgiving with our sons and a yummy meal  More on that later, though...

All the crocheting I have to show for the past week is stitched up into this small pile of new squares that will be going into my Last Dance blanket.  They aren't blocked and I'm still working on the last one, so here's where I was on that task Saturday afternoon:

Boy, that's a busy background.  Oh well...  it's the cloth on my dining room table at the moment.

Once the ends are woven into these eight squares and they are blocked, I am half-way done.  Twenty-four squares down, twenty-four squares to go.  That may sound like a big job ahead of me, but really...  because each square is made four times (and they are usually a breeze after making the first one), crocheting these is fairly quick work.  I'm still hanging onto the hope that I'll have this finished shortly after the end of the year.

And since I asked for help last week about how to cook venison backstrap, let me report that after much research, I ended up marinating the meat for 24 hours in Allegro Marinade.  There are lots of purchase options for marinade, and plenty of ideas for making your own, but I decided to use what I could find locally and this was it:

Oh my goodness - it made for the most delicious pan-seared and cooked venison steaks; and we also sauteed strips of meat for eating fajita-style with sauteed peppers and onions.  It was fantastic!  I'm only sad that I don't have any more venison backstrap meat to prepare like this.  I have some various cuts of venison in the freezer that we've been given so I'll put the marinade to use on those.  And I'm going to try this product on beef as well.  I can only imagine it will be delicious.   I found this at Meijer, but I think Kroger may carry it, too (for whatever interest that may hold for anyone).

And starting Friday morning, it has been back to my sort of unpredictable, kind of newly busy-crazy life.  Since mid-summer I've been doing elder companion care, and it's feast or famine in terms of the work (because the husband of the couple I work for has a sporadic, on-call work schedule).  I never would have believed it until I took a chance and tried it, but I kind of love doing this type of work.  Though truth be told, I fear I've been spoiled by the sweetest lady in the world who's in need of this kind of care, and honestly can't imagine doing it for anyone else.  But that's okay, really.  I wasn't even looking for work when this opportunity presented itself, so I'm just thankful for what it brings to my life in this season.  Not only does the work feel worthwhile, but I'm grateful for the friendship that has grown with this couple.

So I'm out the door in a few minutes, and if you're reading this on Sunday, I'm either at church running the sound board for morning worship,  taking the sweet lady mentioned above out to a nice lunch (compliments of her husband) or tucked in at her home spending a quiet Sunday afternoon in her company.  I imagine she'll nap a bit after a busy morning and a yummy lunch, so maybe I'll get a couple more Last Dance squares crocheted up. 😊

As for the week ahead... I'm hoping my first-ever computer glasses come in (and hoping they work well for me), I'm getting fitted for a mouth guard on Monday, helping with the Little Dresses project on Tuesday and am seriously looking forward to some unseasonable 60-degree days later in the week so I can clean my windows before winter sets in!

To see what other YOPPERs are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Square Dancing...

Trying to catch up for lost time in a Last Dance CAL I've been participating in, I finished three different sets of squares (in no particular order):

Week 4's squares

Week 6's squares

Replacements for week 1's squares that I wasn't liking all that much

And that's it!  Except for some mindless garter stitch knitting up of a dishcloth - which, of course, is a very relaxing thing to do.  ;^)   

On my schedule for this week is a hearing test, running some errands, and then otherwise getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with my little family.   Normally, the extended family gets together and more times than not we've hosted, but this year I've felt a serious need to keep it small and spend time with my adult sons who have been moving and/or getting jobs that take them further away  - which makes seeing them much less convenient.  I felt the need to hunker down, stay home and am actually thrilled that Thanksgiving will be small this year.   And our meal less traditional than our normal turkey and green bean casserole (which, of course, is accompanied by a whole bunch of other yummy dishes).

We plan on enjoying a meal of venison backstrap (from a deer middle son bagged last year) and some garlic shrimp.  Surf n' turf at its finest.  Or at least funnest.   I'm currently looking for recipes for cooking the backstrap.  I thought we'd grill it, but just today someone told me they found it tough grilled. Another friend told me when her son-in-law grilled it, it was melt-in-your mouth wonderful.    Hmmm...  let me know if you've had good experience cooking venison (and be sure to tell me how to replicate it).  My venison-cooking experience is limited to chili and tacos.  With these recipes, it's pretty easy to cover up the gamey taste (more or less) and toughness isn't an issue.  I'm vetting any and all suggestions!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans.   And wishes for a great week for everyone else.  

To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Some happy finishes...

I missed my fellow Yoppers last week.  I had a vertigo attack on Saturday and even after the spinning stopped, it took it out of me for a few days.  Fortunately, by Tuesday I was feeling mostly myself again and I was able to make up for lost time.

Note:  All of my links below open up separate windows so you won't lose this page (I know sometimes I wonder about that when I'm reading someone's blog and I'm hesitant to click - so I thought a mention about it might be worthwhile.)

Had I been feeling well last Sunday, I would have shown my three As Time Goes By squares:

They turned out a little larger than the Don't Fence Me In squares, so I'm thinking I may not block these.  I probably need to make a few more squares in this blanket before I settle on what will be the final size of the squares - and deal with them all in a way that will make them stitch together nicely.

I love these patterns and the videos by Polly Plum.   The videos make the squares a breeze to make.

Also, I had made another set of stitch markers (or progress keepers as knitters use them):

I am really enjoying making these and have some more ideas brewing.  


And then later this week I finished my Leaping Stripes and Blocks blanket:

I like how it turned out, but I would have liked it more if I hadn't made it quite so wide, so I could have made it longer to fit an adult, or made two baby blankets.   As is, though, it will work well for a child (probably up to a pre-teen age).  Now I need to find a child for it.   ;^)


And now I'll leave you with a couple of videos (that I found online) of a young man who a dear friend and I had the pleasure of seeing in concert at a small music club in Indy this past week.   Ian Ethan Case's specialty is playing double neck guitars - and we were treated to a number of creations of his on those instruments.  But my favorite song he performed was done on a kalimba.  I think this was the song he performed for us:

As good as the video sounds, in person this song (all of his music) was absolutely mesmerizing.   If you stick with the video (it's only around 8 minutes long) I promise you - it will make you dance.  Right there in your chair.

And if you've never experienced a performance on a double-neck guitar, here you go (about 6 minutes in, though, he pulls out the kalimba again, and then goes back to the guitar.):

It was nearly midnight when the concert ended, but I could have stayed for hours more, I think.  ;)


To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.