. . . and thanks to my awesome friend Jean, I am extra-prepared for it this year! She made this scarf for me last spring, but I’m only now getting to wear it for the first time.
Last spring, a huge tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, and took out a good chunk of the town. Among those directly affected were the parents and brother of my roommate from college (and still good friend), Beth. They lost pretty much everything: home, cars, belongings. The destruction was so bad that not only was their house razed afterward, but the foundation—which was too damaged to support another structure safely—was removed as well, and everything was filled in . All that remains is a flat empty lot with a driveway apron (the small ramp-like part leading from the curb to the main driveway) going nowhere.
Fortunately, none of Beth’s was injured. And the things they lost were, after all, just things—most of which could be replaced. But among the irreplaceables were items that Beth and her brother had made as children. When I asked Beth, “What can I do for your family?” she replied that some handmade Christmas decor would be much appreciated.
So I sent a note to my local knitting group, and right away several people volunteered to make something. One friend, Ann, is in the middle of downsizing/reorganizing and sent four boxes of Christmas stuff to Beth’s parents. (I checked with Beth about this before giving Ann the go-ahead to ship so much. Beth says there are holiday drives in progress in Joplin right now, so whatever her family can’t use or share with friends will surely find good homes with other people affected by the tornado.)
Other friends created items especially for Beth’s family. From the top : various ornaments from Katie, knitted owl and ball ornaments from Gina, a set of knitted accessory ornaments from Ruth, and a knitted stocking ornament from Beth (not the Joplin one).
All of this stuff (along with something I made) went out to Joplin early last week. Just in time for the holidays!
This is a long-overdue public thank-you to my friend Beth. Last January, someone posted to our local knitting group e-mail list a link to Morehouse Farms hedgehog mittens kit. I replied that I loved them but wasn’t planning to spend money on yarn anytime soon. Beth knows that my family loves hedgehogs—especially Sylvia, who has been hedgehog-crazy since she discovered Mrs. Tiggy-winkle when she was two. So Beth did something very sneaky: she bought a kit for me and had it sent to my house.
I cast on right away and got to the thumb gusset of the first mitten before I got distracted by other projects. This pattern is fun to knit—albeit a bit slow going (knitting bobbles for the quills takes time!)—and I’m hoping to get a set of these done for myself by next fall . . . and maybe a pair for Sylvia, too!
An awesome declaration about Facebook “friendship.” Plus there’s Shatner!
Several months ago, a group of friends started discussing various deep-fried oddities and our mutual love of deep-fried foods. (Me, personally, I think “the deep-fried group” should be on the FDA pyramid, right next to “the cheese group” and “the chocolate group.”) One thing led to another, and before we know it we were planning National Fry Day. Our motto: “If it’s edible, fry it.” Indeed.
One person graciously offered to host the event, which took place last Saturday. The oil was hot at 5 p.m., and although all participants also brought tasty non-fryable fare (e.g., salads, dips) to share and, ideally, make us all feel a little less guilty about the damage we were about to do to our hearts and GI systems, the deep-fried food won the popularity contest hands-down.
There were a few “pedestrian” dishes–that is, the sort of stuff you usually see deep fried, like samosas and sliced potatoes. They were good, but what interested me most were the things that one doesn’t often get to sample in battered and deep-fried form.
The list included:
- bacon weave stuffed with sausage and cheese
- fake bacon weave stuffed with fake sausage and cheese (a.k.a., “the facon weave”)
- olives stuffed with Monterey Jack
- olives stuffed with habanero cheddar
- mac and cheese
- Scotch eggs
- Scotch eggs without sausage
- Bacon-wrapped jalapenos
- Tandoori chicken
- Butterscotch Krimpets (Tastykake is a Philly company)
- cake icing
- cake batter
- Snickers (of course!)
I’ve probably forgotten to mention several things that made their way into one of the deep fryers. I ate so much fried food that I think I slid into a brief food coma and missed some of the action. One thing I didn’t fail to notice was that a surprisingly large portion of the food that got fried was vegetarian friendly…though I suspect that after a trip to a deep fryer, much of this stuff probably wasn’t too friendly to anyone.
I am already starting to draw up a list of new stuff to deep fry. I hope we do another party like this. Maybe not until next summer, though–I think my body needs some time to recover from this one.
While my friend Beth was secretly knitting a pincushion for me, my friend Katie was secretly knitting this tea cozy for me. Or not so secretly, as the case may be: she actually worked on it while she was sitting in my house, but lied her head off and told me it was for herself. She even lied when she blogged about it, too!
So imagine my surprise when Katie came over a few days ago and handed me this:
Of course I had to test it immediately (on a pot of Darjeeling). It fits perfectly–and actually did keep the tea warm a lot longer!
I am so lucky!
(Project 363 | 2010: 22 February)
Yesterday morning around 8:30 a.m., I had just finished breakfast and was thinking about suiting up to go outside to shovel the six inches of snow that had fallen since I’d last shoveled, and Sylvia said, “I think someone is here.” I looked outside the window and sure enough, my friend Beth was here. She also happens to live in my neighborhood and enjoys a good walk, so she was here on foot.
And not empty-handed. Look what she brought:
I’d posted the pattern last month, and Beth then took it upon herself to knit one for me. And see that little button on the top? She handpainted a little bee on it! (My family has a thing for bees. And hedgehogs. And cheetahs.)
I love it. I can’t wait to get a new sewing project going so I can use it!
(Project 365 | 2010: 12 February)
Honestly, I can’t imagine how anyone can say this is a bad thing. Seriously–what arguments can possibly be made against this ideal?
I’ve signed the charter. I hope you do, too.