Be A Sinner and Sin Strongly (Eat S’mores)

Be a sinner an sin strongly, but more strongly have faith and rejoice in Christ.” -Martin Luther

it’s about John, but same theme?

Martin Luther, the great reformer. Nailed 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. He married a nun. I think he was a stand up guy. I’m an old school Lutheran. I keep silverware in my pocket in case of emergency pot lucks.

Now, I am all about eating healthier and making food from scratch. I see little merit in pre-made box food. I see even less merit in canned frosting. My God, it’s powdered sugar and milk, if you can’t mix that, you need some exorcising.

But, I am also a firm believer that life is freakin’ short and you have to live a little. Ain’t nobody want orthorexia. That is just foolish. I can’t stand when someone won’t eat something just because it’s not spinach leaves and mustard. True story. I’ll tell you all another time. People be crazy.

I have my personal weaknesses, funnel cake, corn dogs and ice cream are the usual suspects. But I’m also a big fan of s’mores. Maybe I just like burning marshmallows. If you separated the ingredients, chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallow; you’d be hard pressed to get me to eat them. Not a chocolate fan. Crucify me, I just really don’t care that much for it. Maybe I just like the process, the campfire, finding a perfect stick, skewing a big fat (gross) marshmallow and lighting it on fire until it’s a molten goo. Slap that on chocolate and graham cracker, I’ll eat it. I sin a little, to spite the devil.

When Mamie’s Toffee, a friend of a friend somehow on the wonder of the Facebooks, shared a blog post from Five Heart Home called S’mores Dip, I was sold. I sent out invites for guinea pigs to come help me eat it. It’s pretty basic, you need a cast iron skillet, butter to grease the pan, chocolate chips of your choice and marshmallows. I’m leaving steps out, click the link if you want to know how to make them.

wpid-20141021_210106.jpgforgive me Father, I am eating processed food…marshmallows aren’t even marshmallows

After I managed to twist a few arms, I had a hearty crew to test it out. Oh man. It’s good. An excellent party trick.

wpid-20141021_215534.jpgdon’t burn yourself…pro tip…

And I love a good party trick. Pop in oven, impress all. Who doesn’t love that? Dip in graham crackers and get melted chocolate-marshmallow heaven and IRL likes.

So forgive me, I have sinned. But all in good faith.

Kombucha Scoby Is Terrible (looking)

I don’t know how the heck I keep picking up weird things. My milk kefir grains were practically forced on me. Composting worms were all my fault.  I’ll take that.

But this random “hey, you want a kombucha scoby?” -friend of a friend on the internet- is above and beyond. Do I want a scoby? Uh, sure… *quick texting of my weird friends “anyone want a kombucha scoby?”*

Of course I found a taker! I have some interesting friends. I mean, maybe I do want a kombucha scoby and maybe I just want to use one of my friends as a guinea pig first…

I honestly don’t know what I really expected, but I picked up the scoby for my friend it was hands down the grossest thing I’ve ever seen. And I worked at a vet clinic for a while. I’ve seen/smelled a sink filled with poo. This thing is terrible. It smells horrifying. It looks like ham. Wet brown ham.

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I wasn’t kidding. How fabulous! I almost took a nip off the liquid…but…just not brave enough yet. So, where’s my guinea pig to pick this charmer up? It’s scaring the everything…

No Poo Number Three “Sebum Only”

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. Nothing interesting happened and I was busy playing with trouble kitty and working. I did managed to have a lot of fun. Fall is awesome this year, the weather is great! I haven’t had a desire to be inside. I’ll post some photos at the bottom of this, just for fun.

I’ve never been a big fan of rules. I’m a libertarian, after all. Why did the chicken cross the road? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS AND AM I BEING DETAINED?

wpid-2014-10-12-19.48.25.png.pngproof that I was being an idiot with a foam finger long before miley cyrus was out of diapers!

As you may recall, I have been no poo for some time and was to the point where I was only using water to “wash” my hair. That was all fine and dandy until I became aware that my hair was kind of dry on the ends. At first, I thought a good haircut would do the trick, I used to wear my hair up all the time and thought that I had a lot of breakage from that. I’ll be honest, genetically, I have terrible hair. Thin and wispy. My mother couldn’t get hers past her shoulders. The fact that I even can mange moderately long hair is a miracle. It used to be a lot worse until I went no poo.

I got my hair cut, professionally. This was a big step for me as I am very leery of hairdressers. I’ve gotten a mommy mullet cut when I was entirely too young for such a terrible hair cut, so I have my reasons. Obviously, mommy mullet was not my intended hair cut. I have legitimately never had a good experience with a professional cut, style or color.  Anyway, the woman there did a great job. She actually just simply did what I asked her. How novel.

After that, it was still dry. Okay, fine. I dumped a bit of coconut oil on it and brushed, brushed, brushed. That helped phenomenally. Then I came across the “sebum only” concept. I paid it very little mind until I read that too much water can make your hair dry. Cue light bulb over my head.

Okay, then, let’s give it a swing. For a week I did not get my hair wet. I showered (I’m not completely disgusting) and avoided getting my hair wet. I kept it in braids, because after 4 days, I was getting pretty greasy. No one noticed. Day 8 I decided I was sick of putting my hair up so I took a nice tub soak and scrubbed my scalp. When dry, it actually looked much better, believe it or not. My ends looked much more moisturized. So now, three days since that bath, this is my hair:

wpid-20141017_104008.jpgI would call this a good hair day!

My head does smell a bit mustier than usual, but not terrible, I’m still getting the swing of this. The ends are a lot better. I am going to try to go a week and a half without wetting it. Baby steps. Also I am brushing like a madwoman and am going to ramp up how often I clean my brushes. Wish me luck!

As promised, here are some photos of my recent adventures:

 wpid-20141016_110528.jpgtrouble kitty is watching you make stool

wpid-20141010_165821.jpgour backyard red maple

 wpid-20141007_103808.jpgstarted some granny squares for a hoodie, inspired by this post.

 wpid-20141005_141003.jpganother road trip scarf for a friend

wpid-20141005_140519.jpgangie and abraham are getting along

 wpid-20140927_112558.jpgthe baby fish are getting big!! there’s four

wpid-20140930_180951.jpgstunning view i thought

wpid-20141001_075736.jpgour red maple again. such a beautiful tree.

Ok, that’s it for now! I have to go pick up a kombacha scoby for a friend. I got a lead on it and my friend wants one, so I’m off! Have a great day and I’ll be back to check on you all in a little bit!

Trouble Kitty

Over the last two weeks I have been visiting the local animal shelter looking at kitties. It made me feel better to sit with the cats, who freely roam in rooms and onto laps. I’ve been taking my time and trying to make a good decision…despite the fact that the decision had apparently already been made…

The very first visit I met Trouble Kitty. I walked to the door of Touble Kitty’s room and he bounced right into my lap, purring and cuddling and fussing, like kitties tend to do. I was shy about him, he looks very much like my dear Lucia, who I still miss terribly. So I called him Trouble Kitty (his shelter name was Lewis) and fussed with him and tried other kitties. There are three kitty rooms, older kitties, middle age kitties and kittens.

There was Rush, a handsome older devil who demanded his feet be held while being petted. There was Biggs, who had a beautiful face and a loud purr box. The was Milo, who really, really wanted to cuddle but was brand new and shy to the other kitties. I played and petted them all for hours.

This pattern continued for days, Touble Kitty always demanding that he should purr loudly at me and play and cuddle and honestly, I was drawn to him, but again, he looked so much like Lucia.

Yesterday I went in with the same pattern, older kitties first, middle age kitties next and then the kittens.  Biggs had gone home. His sister Ariel had gone home. Leader, a middle aged cat had decided I was good enough to finally pet him. Rush was mostly interested in guarding the door and belly rubs. Someone was eyeballing Rush and I told them to hold his feet while petting him. I left the woman alone with well wishes to all the kitties and especially Rush and went to see Trouble Kitty and the kittens.

As usual, Trouble Kitty (I refused to call him Lewis, except when he wasn’t being trouble) bounced right over and climbed on my shoulder. Then he did this:

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just zip it closed and we’ll be on our way! :D Right?? Right???

Because of course he did. Crap. So I went to the front desk and asked if I could bring in Miss Angie Pants for a three second visit, just to see how he would react to her. Angie LOVES kitties. It broke her heart the first time she met an unfriendly one. They said yes.

Off to gather the Stinkhound! I got her in the car and we bounced into the shelter. Trouble Kitty was mightily surprised to meet an italian greyhound but not terribly upset. Alright, I got the point. Write up the paperwork!

Trouble Kitty came home with Angie and I and after some exploring around, decided Angie was A-OK and then we had a grooming party. That cat has the cleanest ears now. They’ve even played a bit, but no hissing or growling or complaining from anyone.

Trouble Kitty is now Abraham, aka Trouble Kitty. He likes lazer pointers, purring, dog food and windows (aka Cat TV). He poops in his box and makes use of the scratching post. He’s making sure the crochet is comfortable.

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 It’s been a long day for a little kitty.

Grandma’s Potholders

My grandmother, June Glaser, kind of was a big deal. She crochet and sewed like a madwoman. I however, was more interested in worms, bugs and playing outside. Oh sure, Grandma made cool stuff, curly cues and little dresses for me, but I was a tomboy. My favorite was when she fixed the hell* out of my jeans. Then I could go ride bikes and look for frogs and get dirty. She had all boys, all sons and my uncles and my dad taught me that life was fun getting dirty.

*literally fixed the hell out of my jeans. like, satan himself would have had trouble getting through her patchwork.

When I got older, I started to appreciate her craft more. My brain suddenly realized that she had made things, by her own hand. That was important. She made herself skirts mostly and a bit of crochet here and there. She taught me how to chain stitch in crochet, but I think I was like 6 and again, more interested in climbing trees. But there was one thing, one mountain of thing that she made that every single family member had to the point that I was shocked when I realized not every household in the world had them…

Crochet potholders.

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a meager few of my collection…

She had a ball of yarn and a potholder going wherever she went. She had a literal stack of them, taller than me that she would give away to everyone. When I moved out, question 1 was “What color potholders do you want?”

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the answer was red and black. my kitchen was adorable. 

Not only are they the most beautiful potholders ever, they are functional. I’ve seen people use inferior potholders and burn themselves. Not so with Grandma’s!

I never really thought about replicating them until I was at a bridal shower for a friend and she got a cast iron skillet and…ready? A granny square. It was the “potholder”. Like, the gift giver said it was the potholder. For the skillet. Raise your hand if you know how amazingly hot a cast iron skillet gets? Now raise your hand if you would use a single layer granny square (with the holes and double crochets, mind you) to pick up said skillet. Jokes on you, if you did that, you wouldn’t have a hand to raise because it would be BURNED THE HELL OFF.

One of my pet peeves with crafting is function and form. Yes, I want something pretty, but it has to function as intended. I’m not making an apron with holes in it, I want a sturdy apron. I’m not making a blanket that is super short, I need a big enough blanket. I’m not putting glitter and stuff in my soap, I want it to just be soap. It has to have a purpose. I tell everyone that I will repair any gifts I give them because I want them to be used. Beat them up. Get em dirty.

So I took a good hard look at the potholders.

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starting chain?

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sewn together?

wpid-20140716_112527.jpgsee how it folds?

I noodled around with it for a while, racking my brain. These are some well loved potholders. It looked like they were worked in a round. And then I remembered:

THE INTERNET.

You know? The amazing interwebs that have more than just pictures of cats? I went over to the crochet group I follow on Facebook and armed with pictures and whatever information I had and in, I kid you not, 40 seconds I had like 8 replies. Three videos and several links. I’m okay with patterns, so I went with the written link. Oh man, it’s easy as pie.

CROCHET FOLDED POTHOLDER. Now, I prefer Grandma’s Magic Awesome Potholders That Are Better Than Yours, so that’s what I’m calling them. Judging that the pattern is pretty much everywhere (unbeknownst to me) I feel okay with that. I’ve already made 3 and I am working on a fourth.

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angie helped. as usual.

*Aside, ever since Angie got her bad teeth pulled, this happens:

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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m yarn bombing. With potholders. I’ve already attacked two of my friends. Third one is getting bombed tonight.

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stitch faster!!!!!

The pattern is an excellent yarn eater, it takes about a 1oo yards? I’m guessing. I timed how long they take to make and it is about an hour and 40 minutes. So goodbye, yarn hoard! Hello potholder bombs! I hope you take a chance and make at least one of these, they are amazingly useful and hold up well to abuse and washing!

Falling Face First Into Fall

Dear Illinois:

You’re terrible with the weather.

Love, BMary.

I believe it was, oh, two days ago, was 80 degrees and humid. And now, we are in the 50’s, if we’re lucky! Bonus if there is sunshine! Who the heck plans this stuff? I know it’s September, but seriously! Calm down, Illinois, you’re drunk. Go home, take a pill and lay down. Pluto is not a planet. How much did you drink?

Anyway, apparently it is FALL RIGHT THIS MINUTE YOU GUYS CEREALLY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE. So my husband and I hit an apple orchard and got some (duh) apples, cider, doughnuts, fudge and possibly diabetes. I can make that joke, right?

We had a great time, I completely forgot my phone at home so I have literally no pictures of this grand outing. Which, in hindsight, was all right. The place had just opened for the season, so just the store area was open. No corn maze or hay ride or petting zoo yet. Damn. Also, we’d need to borrow a kid if there was a petting zoo, because you bet your back end I’d go in there to pet the baby goats and whatnot. It’s the kind of thing you need a kid to get away with though, it’s weird to see some almost thirty year old squeeing over baby animals. That almost thirty year old being me. Don’t judge me. I like animals and I like to pet them.

I did get something productive done, however, I finished the Road Trip Scarf! I wrote about it’s beginning here and I got stalled by not calculating the right amount of yarn needed. Even after 3 skeins of 145 yard yarn, I still needed to borrow from my stash for the tassels and flowers. I went tassel crazy, not going to lie.

wpid-20140914_145401.jpgI PEED IN THE POOL!

I was sort of inspired by the shirt I procured the other day. Fringe is back, baby! I love fringe! So I went nuts with the tassels. Instead of weaving in any ends, I just added a few more strands of yarn and braided them together. Best idea ever. I got the buttons from my grandmother’s stash that I inherited.

I’ve also already started another version…and ran out of yarn…I am terrible at thingslike countingor making adult decisionsand portion controland rambling

wpid-20140914_191215.jpglove me some UGLY yarn! I was dying to think of a project for this yarn.

wpid-20140914_162833.jpgAngie helped.

Tomorrow is that husband and I’s “dating anniversary” which is silly to celebrate, since we’re married. But only freshly married. Like, we still haven’t managed to squeeze out a honeymoon yet. So we’re going to celebrate that for the last time. Probably dinner and drinks and fart jokes. You can’t go without fart jokes. Ben Franklin rolled with the fart jokes and he’s on the $100 bill.

Keeping it classy over here in Illinois,

xxxbmary

WIP PARTY!

Despite my god-awful last couple days and my insane schedule I have been crocheting away. It’s kept my mind off of things and I’ve made some decent progress. I will admit, a stuffed-crust pizza, ice cream and a lot of Jack Daniel’s has made things easier. It’s a weird ritual. Every problem is solved with stuffed-crust pizza, whiskey and ice cream.

Anyway, I feel better. A little lonely, but better. Angie is doubling her cuddle efforts.

So here are my WIPs,

THE BLANKET OF SHAME:

wpid-20140912_074508.jpgit’s a bit of a mess, but it’s getting there.

This poor blanket, a stash buster that just would not be square. I’ve frogged quite a bit of it and reworked it. It’s square so far, thank God! Hopefully I will have it done before next year…maybe…? I made the new version a bit larger than the old version because seriously I have so, so, so very much yarn in my stash. And I’m using stitch markers! I’m a big girl!

THE…PONCHO? RUG? I DON’T EVEN KNOW AT THIS POINT:

wpid-20140912_074334.jpgalso square, thank God!

Well, I needed a new distraction and I needed it now, so for some reason I decided I wanted to do a single crochet poncho type thing. I really wasn’t making brilliant decisions at this point. I guess this would be part of the back. I dug up the yarn leftovers from this project and just whacked away at it. About at the point pictured here I decided maybe having two WIPs that were long term and single crochet was not my best idea. It might end up being just a rug or something. I’ve been itching to make a rug and it’s kind of small, but nothing some border work can’t fix. Also, I’m not sure if I have enough yarn, nor the will to purchase more of the same dye lot. That one’s on the back burner.

THE ROAD TRIP SCARF:

wpid-20140912_074243.jpgfinally, I decided to make a quick project!

This scarf is HOT on the Facebook group I follow around. I swear, 10 finished scarves get posted per day. They’re pretty darn cute, the final project and instructions are from Zooty Owl, and the link to the pattern is here. Nevermind how dull it looks right now, just go get that blog some clicks and see for yourself. They are adorable. I don’t know, nor do I have any contact with Zelna Olivier, but I think I might pay some attention to her blog. You guys first though. I haven’t been keeping up!

I’m hoping to have this guy done this weekend because my husband and I are hopping off to an apple orchard to get some apples, cider (no alcohol, promise! I’ve had enough!) and at least 15 caramel apples. I have an apple addiction, I swear. If I don’t eat them often enough, I have dreams about them. Not even kidding. I love apples. So does Angie, because she is crazy. Since she has no teeth and she doesn’t like apple sauce, I, um, well, um, baby-bird it to her. Use your imagination. How would you resist a cute pooch begging for an apple??

So I’m going to make some tea, check out your blogs, crank out a few more rows, go to work, come home, crochet til I drop!

xxxbmg

P.S. I also made a poo-necklace and snuck over to my friend’s work and shoved it under his wiper on his car. Because I’m a good friend.

wpid-screenshot_2014-09-12-09-00-28.png*snickers wildly, winks 100 times, falls down an escalator forever*

And now for something completely different.

Ever have one of those days where you want to bash your head into a wall until you stop moving?

Work was a mess. I blew a bike tire on the way to the bank.

Positives:

Going to see a friend’s brand spanking new baby! :-)

Please enjoy some pictures of me as a “groomsmen” for my friend’s lesbian wedding! I channeled my inner dyke.

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I look like my brother. Only attractive. Ok, off to see that baby! Have a good one, guys! :-)