Saturday, April 10, 2010

Peter and the Wolf

This week I was a chaperone at a field trip with Naters. We went to the symphony - downtown San Diego, to see Peter and the Wolf. The whole thing was amazing, and perfect for the kids. They narrated the whole thing slowly, and showed many many children's drawings by area elementary students, to illustrate the whole thing. They went over different parts of the orchestra and different concepts, like the "leitmotif" which was music to represent each character.
bird - flute
duck - oboe
cat - clarinet
Grandfather - bassoon
wolf - french horns
hunters - some woodwinds and some fabulous drums for the gunshots
Peter - a very chipper and sunny bunch of strings
The began by using popular and well-known music from the Harry Potter movie -the kids recognized the music representing Harry, his broom the Nimbus whatever, his friends. It was lots of fun and I noticed that Nate was smiling and attentive the whole time. I have to wonder, though, if Sergei Prokofiev meant for the wolf to be taken to the San Diego zoo at the end???

The Tea Leaves

Soooo.....this is the sweater I tried to knit. Labor of lurve. I ordered some fabulous expensive yarn (well, expensive by my tastes). The yarn is Dream in Color Classy, in the color Beach Fog. Oh, so pretty and so soft! It was a dream to knit with. After almost three months I had finally finished the sweater. Not that it took the whole time, its just that I have knitting ADHD and was setting it aside alot. Anyway, I looked at it and realised that something was wrong with the back: it is almost two and a half feet wide. Sadly, the front and arms are perfect, so I could not find a five feet wide person and just give it away. I'm sure I'll take a picture of it but its just too painful right now. Ha! I just need to remember that its the knitting I really love, not the sweater-that-I made-showing off,and refocus.
This morning Jose kindly brought me a large cup of coffee while I stayed in bed with my calculator, a pencil and paper, the pattern, the sweater, a needle, and a book by Elizabeth Zimmerman until I figured out how easily a sweater can go south by ignoring gauge issues and then skipping a whole row of decreases by mistake. Back on track now and ready to unravel the whole thing and do over! Cowabunga!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Frankie makes Gyoza

Last night my good pal Yuri came over, we went shopping for Japanese food at the Japanese market, and Indian at the Indian market. We came home and I made a big pot of Mulligatawny Soup with coconut milk, curry leaves, coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, ginger, green hot peppers, garlic and onion, a potato, an apple, red lentils, oh, everything but the kitchen sink and we split it into Tupperware for ourselves. Then, Yuri taught Frankie how to make gyoza and we had a huge yummy batch of that. Good food, good friends, happy busy kids, and a wonderful way to spend a cool rainy Saturday!

The San Diego Dog Festival Thingamajig

See the tiny little feeder that cricket is standing by? There is a gal who makes these food dishes. This one was the perfect size for Cricket and we picked it up at this dog festival thing here in an Diego. This gal apparently finds old wooden crates, Coke boxes, etc, and paints or stencils or finishes them, then routs out the perfect size hole to set a food dish inside. So cute! And, she makes some ceramic dishes to set inside. I absolutely could not resist getting one for Cricket even though most of the ones she had there were more cat sized really. We also picked up many treats for our spoiled pooches and almost, almost, a baby sister for them both. Jose had to try reasoning with me that we cannot handle any more dogs. We really cannot have more than two. We cannot. Really. Jose had to drag me away from this beautiful, sunny, happy Akita rescue girl who had been rescued from some situation or other, at one year of age had already had one litter of pups, and was in foster care. Look at that precious face!!! Instant love.


Our two families - ourselves and Yuri, Matthew and Ashley, took the kids to a restaurant on the beach for a very good, kind of spendy brunch on the beach. It was sunny and beautiful!

this idea in my head

So, I had this idea in my head that it might be fun to make one's own knitting needles. I got a few dowel rods at Lowe's, cut them up into 10 inch lengths or so, and sanded them. Here is a page ripped from the employee handbook at my latest job, covering the workbench whilst I put a coat of linseed oil on them. That handbook is great to have around for those times when I might need it! It was hard to figure out the best was to make the tapered ends. My lathe is slowly making its way over from Minnesota, but I tried using a pencil sharpener on the ends. It worked OK. Ideally the points would be long, sloping gently and dull at the ends. Later, I glued some little stones from Lake Superior on the ends. Sort of cute, but need to work on the points.
A few weeks ago, my neighbor's sister was visiting and saw us leaving the house, with me carrying a bag of knitting.
She asked me if I would ever consider teaching some girl scouts, as a volunteer, so that they could earn their knitting badge.
What a blast that was! The girls were about 10 or so, and were all pumped up about making scarves. I made each girl a little canvas bag, stamped with a hot pink heart of yarn and needles, and made a little list of local shops and cool websites for them to check out. The first class was tiring, with me running back and forth between each girl to explain over and over how each stitch goes. I cast on several and did one row for each of them so they could just start right out knitting. For the second class I did, some of them had made some progress and a couple had the most adorable things: a scarf with so many picked up stitches on the end it was on its was to becoming a neckerchief, and one with holes, loops and unintentional bobbles. Cute.
The great part about the class was that they had cookies for sale afterward, and who am I if not a supporter of my local troop?

a little San Diego in February...