T-minus 36 hours and counting…

Some twenty-seven odd years ago, my life changed drastically and this weekend the Object of that Change is arriving to visit.

The past weeks have almost had a surreal quality and I truly cannot quite believe that the very thing that I always hoped for, but never believed would happen is coming to fruition this weekend.

I have vacillated between moments of incredible joy to tear filled fear as the day has drawn closer.

What is this monumental occasion that has my world turned upside down, you ask? Gentle reader, the daughter I released for adoption just over 27 years ago is coming for a visit.

In person.

On my doorstep.

To say I am a wreck would be a huge understatement.

She is bringing her mother and her godmother with her for this visit.

Now, the question – who do I hug first?

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My father…the Yenta?

One should always be suspicious of early morning phone calls from one’s parent requesting an “impromptu lunch” but apparently, when said child stays up late and wakes with only her partial wits about her, one gives a yes answer without stopping to ponder the deeper meaning for such a phone call.

However, I did not giving this phone call one more minute of thought, rather I rose and seeing such an incredibly lovely day greeting me I rapidly filled the morning with other things – like walking the dogs, sipping coffee, listening to NPR, and yes – knitting.

Now knitting generally causes me to think and think I did this morning, and not once in all my thinking did the reason for my father’s spontaneous lunch request occur to me. A pre-occupied mind can be a thing of beauty – but ignorance is not always bliss. Yes, I was soon to learn that my bliss-filled state was about to get a shake up!

For once in my life, I can honestly say that I am thrilled that lunch with my father is not something that I find to be an occasion requiring make up and perfectly coiffed hair – yes that is right, and keep that in mind as this luncheon unfolds.

Upon my arrival at his office, I find everything strangely quiet but a burger from Bud’s is always tasty – even if the conversations there are not. Yes, my dad is a Raving Lunatic when it comes to politics and he is as far to the right as I am to the left. Polar opposites, as it were. I have learned over the years to bite my tongue and remain silent – it is always a good exercise in self-control. What should have really set off the warning bells was the inane chatter that filled the drive over to Bud’s – not one mention of Rush Limbaugh or any of his cronies, but rather the weather and other such trivial things filled the drive.

What happened next is really quite hilarious, especially after telling someone just last night that I loved surprises. When we arrived at the diner for lunch there was a guest joining us – yes, my dad in his infinite wisdom has determined that since I cannot procure a date for myself he will step up to the plate and procure one for me! Yes, you read that right – my father apparently thinks he is now a matchmaker, oy vey!

Gentle Reader, I do not often lose my temper but I could feel my blood pressure increase 100 fold as I sat down at the table. My father was grinning from ear to ear, the poor dolt whom my father had told God only knows what about me actually looked like he wished he was elsewhere but sat there gamely as my father introduced us. I somehow managed to be stunningly silent during lunch, I know – even I was amazed by this feat! I was even so rude as to send off several SMS messages off to a friend during said lunch – imagine that! Lunch proved to have epic fail qualities and then some!

The satisfaction I felt on the return trip to his office was well worth the scolding I got for my poor behavior.

I am especially thankful for makeup free, bad hair days particularly when your clothing selection that morning included baggy jeans and a ratty old sweatshirt.

Divine intervention to be sure…

When Mo Rocca learns a lesson from knitters or When life is practically perfect in every way…

Good Day, Gentle Readers from the thawing Great White North!

The world around me is finally thawing with signs of spring! It has seemed to be a long couple of weeks here in West Michigan. Winter has been fighting a valiant battle and his icy breath continues to cover the land, although the sun has melted most of the snow – but yesterday when I was letting, the dogs out I heard the familiar call of a Robin and when I looked around, I spied him hopping jauntily in my back yard! There is nothing like seeing the first Robin of the season. In addition, today we have warmed up to a whopping 56°F and you could find me outside enjoying the day – even sans sunshine, it is a glorious day outside! It seems unreal that on Monday morning when I was leaving work it was a frigid 7°F and when you factored in the wind chill it was well below zero!

While I was outside, I spied another sign of spring with a Wooly Caterpillar who was enjoying the warmth of the day as well! Can butterflies and flowers be far behind?

Last night I was fortunate to see Frost/Nixon and thoroughly enjoyed it for a number of reasons, one of which was the memories of remembering watching the Nixon Senate hearings when I was in High School. Every day when I would get home, it was all the rage over the airwaves and truly was what set me on the path for my interest in all things political. Frost/Nixon was a great movie with even better company!

While my social life is on the upswing in the most wonderful of ways, my knitting has been less than productive… my Clapotis is still languishing on the needles. FLS is growing in stature, but each row is L-O-N-G and this is not an easy to “take along” project. I have cast on a sock, but I am past the point of mindless stockinette and in the midst of cables – rending this project useless as an “easy knit.” I am restless and searching but I managed to find some shiny objects at The Twist Collective that ended up in my queue. It seems that my Cast-on-itis is flaring up again.

Finally, I stumbled upon the most hilarious of events… Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me proved an unwitting accomplice to Mo Rocca and his knitting faux pas a couple of weeks ago. Mo’s comments brought a barrage of comments worthy of mention on the following weeks show and Mr. Rocca constructed a well worded, if albeit misguided, apology in which he blamed Alpacas for his dislike of hand knit items. This prompted me to write in to offer my meager assistance to Mr. Rocca, which led to some hilarity for my week – and being short on blog fodder and in my promise to another, more special person, I am offering this up to my readership as a blog bone for the dry season.

My letter to the Wait, Wait Staff:

Dear Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me Staff,

I am a knitter, spinner, and weaver and I felt it imperative that I help you with Mr. Rocca’s Alpaca blunder on this week’s show… Alpaca is one of the softest and non-scratchy of fibers and a sweater knit from that would be truly a thing that the other members of your panel would be most envious of.

Mr. Rocca should count himself fortunate to have had such a warm and affectionate bed companion whilst he was overseas!

I thought I should give you a heads up before Ravelry or the Society for the Prevention of Cheap Comic Humor of Alpaca’s started their email barrage!

I would be happy to send you some socks knit with Alpaca for Mr. Rocca – however he would find himself in such a blissful state that he might prove useless to you as a Panel Member in the future.

Regards,

AsKatKnits

To which they replied:

Hello Kathy–

We apologize for Mo’s ignorance of livestock, weaving, and the whole knitting world.  I can assure you that Mo means well and is doing his best to win the knitting community over.

Thanks for listening to the show and writing in!  We love learning more about alpacas and knitting.

Best–

WaitWait

With that, Gentle Reader, I bid you adieu and go to spread Knitterly Love with the world around me and in the words of the Divine Brenda Dayne, ‘if you are cold, put on a sweater!’ Yes, life is practically perfect in every way.

Anticipation is making me wait…

Merriam-Webster defines anticipation as “the act of looking forward; especially: pleasurable expectation”

Did you ever feel like you were standing on the edge of something truly incredible?

As I left work this morning the smell of spring was in the air, riding softly on the morning breeze, creeping in quietly as Old Man Winter struggles to hold on with icy fingers.

Something you are sure you have never experienced before but you can feel it growing as a stream does with each droplet of water that, with the sun’s gentle glow, thaws from the icy winter snows.

I looked to the east as I made my way across the parking lot to my car and a gloriously beautiful sunrise was greeting the day, kissing the earth and giving a rosy blush to the snowy blanket of white that covers her – the promise of a new day quietly unfolding.

Did you ever want to slow life down so that you could immerse yourself totally in the wonder that is unfolding before you?

It seems that I am standing on the edge of incredible – anticipation is casting rays of ‘pleasurable expectation’ over me and I find myself wanting to bask in the glow as I, like the long frozen ground welcomes the harbinger of spring. I do not want to rush headlong into the experience however, I find myself hoping against hope that time stands still so I can savor each emotion, absorb every tiny nuance, and become completely engulfed in the wonder that surrounds me.

Anticipation is indeed keeping me waiting…


Random Orts for Thursday…

Ort Number One:

Last week I took a little trip to see a friend whom I have been missing – she is the Mistress of Mecca and I had a truly incredible afternoon and evening!

I went to see her because Denny put a bug in my ear about taking a class in April that some famous person was teaching and I was game for the idea but, alas, I was lacking the tools needed to take said class. I had been doing some clandestine research on this very thing for some months, so imagine my surprise with Denny’s invitation! Anyway, I figured I had better go to Mecca and see what Beth could show me and did she show me!! It did not take long at all for me to succumb to the Siren Song and before I knew it, I was at warp speed! In less than 8 hours, my first project completed and I was itching for more!

Gina by you.

I am now proud to be sharing my home with the lovely Gina Lollobrigida!

DSCF1138 by you.

Here is my first project – woven with some of my very first handspun Corriedale. It is soft and so warm! And LONG – and did I tell you all that I had this done in less than 8 hours??? Um, yeah… just sinful!

DSCF1141 by you.

Seriously, don’t you love how this shawl pin matches perfectly? This was a find on my travels somewhere – it is an antique button. The pattern on the scarf – a simple twill pattern. Weaving is bliss, I am telling you, pure bliss!

Ort Number Two:

I have reached the four-month point in my rotator cuff surgery recovery and I am happy to say that The Most Amazing and Incredible Orthopedic Surgeon in North America deemed me a success! In fact, he said that he wishes all his patients did as well as I did. It was lots of work and I am finishing my physical therapy but I have full range of virtually pain free motion! I truly feel better than new and I am thrilled beyond belief to return to my normal duties at work starting on Friday night! The only issue I was having is some pesky muscle spasms but Adonis the Physical Therapist has given me a lovely little TENS unit and, low and behold, I did not want a new drug – just give me some Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation and I am one happy girl! Even better, my shoulder is happy!! Life is very, very good indeed.

Ort Number Three:

For those of you who have followed my blog are aware that a daughter that I released for adoption a long time ago has contacted me. Well, I got an email this week about planning for a trip. Yes, it seems that what I have been dreaming about for almost a lifetime is going to come to fruition – I will be meeting this amazing young woman and her even more amazing mother next month. I am walking on air with my head in the clouds. There will be more news to follow, so stay tuned!

Ort Number Four:

The Spinner’s Flock is this weekend and you can be sure that I will be trekking over to spend the day with the Triumvirate of Naughty for a day of Moistness to the Nth Degree! I am dragging planetKnit along for her Induction to True Fiber Frenzy…if you are all lucky, I will have photos to share!

Ort Number Five:

New coffee table book – “Beautiful Sheep” my very biased review is that this is pure erotica for anyone who loves long wools… I myself feel the need for some Lincoln, oh my!

DSCF1127 by you.

And with that, Gentle Reader, I am off to release my inner Domestic Diva so that I can spend the remainder of the day sans guilt working on my February Lady Sweater!

Move over Becky Homecky, there is a new Kat in town…

It seems that about once a quarter the urge to become one with my inner domestic goddess over takes me and the result is a flurry of deep cleaning, moving things, and the like…

Well, I freed my Inner Domestic Goddess yesterday and she was like a whirling dervish!

My kitchen found itself first on my list. The “Tupperware” cupboard – organized! The pots and pans – organized! The oven – cleaned! The refrigerator – cleaned! Yes, even the refrigerator!!

The Inner Me really wanted to start knitting on a baby sweater for a co-worker who just had a baby, but The Domestic Diva was not stoppable!

From the kitchen, I moved to the living room and I have rearranged the furniture and in the process banned all the resident dust bunnies to the bottom of the vacuum cleaner bag! I am happy to report that the new arrangement has much better lighting AND I have a spot to sit and spin without being in the traffic flow! I love it when a plan comes together!

From there I moved on to my closet – that dark black hole that sucks the life out of my bedroom! I am please to report that I have a bag of clothes for donation, a bag of clothes for consignment, and all those “single” socks are on their way to sock heaven where I hope they find their mate!

In the midst of all this domesticity, my tummy started to grumble and a recipe that had been piquing my interest from a crock-pot cookbook that I got on sale several weeks ago took root in my brain! It called for these delicious looking pork barbecues, it was a 2 day process starting with pork spare ribs of all things, and you reserve some of the meat and sauce and make barbecues later.

Well, while I frequently repress my inner domestic goddess, the Goddess of Cooking All Things Good has free reign and my dinner plans were on the move. I had made a lovely pork loin in the crock-pot late last week and you know that the vegetables were gone right away but I had a good portion of this lovely loin left. I started to work on the sauce and I am going to share it all with you! It is so simple and in less than an hour, you can have these amazing barbecues to serve your family!

· Start with one 18 ounce bottle of any barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce)

· add to that one medium onion – chopped

· one stalk of celery – chopped

· one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (I put this in the empty barbecue sauce bottle and shake it around to get all the barbecue sauce out)

· one packed tablespoon of brown sugar

· two teaspoons of garlic – minced

· two tablespoons of yellow mustard

· and one teaspoon of crushed thyme.

Now, the recipe would have you pour this over 4 and a half to 5 pounds of spare ribs and cook the ever-living hell out of it. Um, yeah…my thoughts exactly.

Here is what I did, I put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmered over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion and celery were soft. You could sauté them in a bit of olive oil as well and add them in, but I was going for quick and easy!

Now, here is where the good part comes in – a tangy Cole slaw to top this savory concoction would be just perfect, right? That is what I thought too so I made up some quick and easy Cole slaw and I will share that recipe with you too!

· Two cups of shredded cabbage, I buy it already shredded at the market – get the kind with shredded carrots in.

· One-eight to one-quarter cup apple cider vinegar

· three tablespoons of honey

· one-quarter of a teaspoon salt

· some fresh cracked pepper – I put in bit more than an eighth of a teaspoon

· and you can add celery seed – I did not for this recipe.

Put all of the ingredients in a plastic container with a lid (if you are in my kitchen, you can now find a container with a lid to match making this process much more streamlined, to be sure!) and shake well. Put in the refrigerator for about an hour, shaking occasionally.

While the sauce is simmering and the Cole slaw is marinating I heated the left over pork loin in the microwave a few minutes until it was warm enough for me to pull it apart with two dinner forks. Once I had it all pulled, I put it in a large pot so I could mix it with the barbecue sauce.

Toast a bun until it is nicely browned and a bit crispy; place on it a generous portion of the pork barbecue, and top with a dollop of well-drained slaw. Serve with ice-cold hoppy ale – my choice was Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale. The result for me – one very happy mouth, and oh my, was it good.

DSCF1115 by you.

I am giving that Domestic Diva free reign for a bit longer today, up on her list – the closets in the remainder of the house – who knows what treasures she will find there!

…maybe she will find the inner writer who has been struggling lately, one never knows!