Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vanilla Honey Yogurt. Yum!

I made a delicious vanilla honey yogurt this morning.  Sophie is cleaning the bowl right now.  She likes it too.

I have sun poisoning from being out in the sun Saturday and Sunday.  I did not get that burnt.  But I did get a little red.  Monday was a beautiful warm sunny day as well, but I was inside at work all day.  Closed up in a room with no windows. Ugh!

Today's Quote

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another beautiful day

Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.

I don't know what these are.  I will look them up.


Sophie approves of the homemade yogurt! and so do I.  It was delicious. Much better than what you buy in the store.  I ate it plain with fresh strawberries on top.  No sweetener needed.  No bitter taste.  It was delicious.  I will make it again.

Crockpot Yogurt

Heat 1/2 gallon of milk on low in crockpot for 2 1/2 hours.  
Unplug and let sit covered for 3 hours.
Scoop out 2 cups of milk.  Stir 1/2 cup of yogurt (with active cultures) in the milk.
Return to the crockpot.  Stir.  Cover.  Wrap the crockpot with bath towels.  Let sit overnight for 8 hours.  In the morning you will have delicious yogurt.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the homemade yogurt for the starter yogurt of your next batch.
Yogurt will stay good for 7 - 10 days.

Serve with fresh fruit.

Miniature mums I bought at Trader Joe's Easter day.  
They are still cheery and beautiful

Angel relaxing in the window hammock.  
Doesn't she look comfortable?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It is a Most Beautiful Day

I could not have asked for a more beautiful day.  For those not from Western PA, it was sunny and a dry 89 degrees.  My day started by reading Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl at Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.

 I ate lunch then hiked for 50 minutes. 

Beautiful lavender flower.

Small crick through the park.

Leaves on the trees are just starting to come out.

Trail at the top, ready to start the decent.

  I drove back over to the lake and read for a little while.  I started getting restless, so I drove to Knit One North and visited with Karen.  

I worked out at the gym at work.  Showered.  Spontaneously stopped at Giant Eagle and bought 1/2 pound of scallops to cook up for dinner. And, more milk and starter yogurt to try the yogurt recipe again.  I put a little butter, well actually, a lot of butter in the skillet with diced garlic.  Sauteed for a bit.  Added the scallops.  Cooked slowly until tender.  They were delicious. 

 The sun is still shining brightly in my front rooms.  I am on a natural high it is so beautiful.  I made camping reservations for the near future.  I cannot wait to go camping. I reserved the the site where Molly and I always camped.  It will be sad not to have her there, but it is a premium site.  Secluded.  Across from the water spicket.  

I started another batch of hopeful yogurt.  When I wake in the morning I will find out if it turned into yogurt. I will post the recipe if the yogurt turns out.

Step outside.  It is a beautiful day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Recycling Sweaters.  A man's X-Large Tommy Hillfiger sweater will soon be a medium hand knit 'fisherman' sweater for me.  Yellow is my favorite color.  Connie found this at the local Goodwill and gave it to me.  Notice the sleeve is missing.  It is being unraveled into the ball of yarn.

It was not a good day for growing bacteria.  I don't know what happened for sure, but I suspect the yogurt did not grow because I used a metal slow cooker and not an actual crockpot.  I ended up with 1/2 gallon of spoiled milk instead of a 1/2 gallon of plain yogurt.  I will try again, but with a different process.  Last time I made yogurt I set the bowl of milk and starter yogurt on top of my stove with the pilot light under it.  I have an electric stove now.  I don't have a crockpot.  Mom does not have a crockpot. One alternative is to make it in the oven with the oven light on for the heat.  My oven light is burned out.  Maybe it is time to invest in a new oven light.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homemade Yogurt in a slow cooker

I drank a large glass of chocolate milk before going to bed last night, consequently I am awake at 3:55am.  I've been wanting to make yogurt.  I have not done it since the 80's.  I am making it in the slow cooker I inherited from my grandmother.  If it turns out I will post the recipe here.

I started my wellness program at work last week.  I am back into the exercise.  What is difficult is the nutrition program.  I have a terrible sweet tooth and have severe cravings for sugar.  Fruit just does not cut it.  The two things that satisfy my sweet tooth are sweet tea and chocolate milk.  They both keep me up at night.  So I have good reason not to drink them.  But the cravings are terrible.  I seriously think I have a physical addiction to sugar.

I Love This Woman

Susan Boyle is my hero.  If you have not watched this, watch it now.  How sad how our culture judges people by the way they look.  Visit the Susan Boyle Fan Site.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Elizabeth Zimmermann

I have fallen in love with Elizabeth Zimmermann (EZ) aka the Opinionated Knitter.    Born in 1910 in England, educated in Art schools in Switzerland and Germany.  Died in the USA in 1999.  

She developed the EPS system for knitting sweaters.  I started an EZ sweater.

I measured a sweater that fits me well.  It measured 47 inches across the chest.  I knit a Cap Swatch Gauge.

I figured my gauge and cast-on the appropriate number of stitches.  I did my calculations by hand and made errors.  So already my sweater is not a 'true' EZ sweater.  I cast on 198 stitches,  knit a k2, p2 rib.  Increased to 212 stitches and will knit in stockinette stitch until I reach the arm holes.  I am bummed that I miscalculated my cast-on stitches.  I should have cast on 192 stitches.  Maybe this error was meant to be so the ribbed edge will fit nicely around my large waist and budding buttocks.  

This sweater will go fast as I am knitting with Heavy Worsted Cascade Pastaza yarn.

A Day in the Park

The state park that is.  Morraine State Park. 
 Hiking.   See evidence that Spring is here!

This is a little creek running through the park.

It is hard to tell in this picture, but in the low-lying areas the trail was muddy.

These are the only flowers I spotted.  Can you find them?  Small white blossoms.

A view from the top of the hill.

It was an overcast day, but a warm 67 degrees.  I hiked in my shorts and short sleeve t-shirt.  An invigorating hike.  There is a sign for "short trail" and "long trail."  No mileage is posted.  I've hiked the short trail before and know it takes me about 25 minutes.  I've started the long trail before  but always get scared in the middle of the trail where the short trail intersects it.  I don't know how much longer the long trail is.  Because I am tired I turn onto the short trail and finish the hike in 45 minutes.  After I get in better shape, I will do the entire long trail.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Friend Revisited

I met Dean when I was on a family vacation in Florida when I was in high school.  I have not seen him since 1982 when I lived in Oak Park, Illinois.  I was still in college.  He had just gotten out of the Army.  He must have rejoined the Army because in his email he said he was retired from the Army.  I googled him and he is still running in races.  He must not be 50 lbs overweight like I am.  

At least I am the same person inside, but actually I am not.  At the core I am still the same person, but I have blossomed.  I am more outgoing and a better conversationalist.  I'm happier too.  I wonder what he has been up to?  He wanted to be a chef.  I wonder what he did in the Army?  He is now self-employed.  I wonder if he has a restaurant.  He wants to talk but I want to exchange emails.

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult was very good.   A great read!

Angel sleeping in her favorite chair.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Snowy April Day in Western PA

I drove in white out conditions this afternoon.  Doina and I went to the Strip District.  Had lunch at Rolands and shopped the Strip.

Look Mom, No cavities.  Good news from the dentist office.

Staying inside trying to stay warm.  Reading Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult.  A tough read.  Heavy.  Depressing.  Why do I do this to myself?  The book is addictive.

Been watching a DVD tutorial on Blogger.  It was created in 2004.  Many things have changed since then, but still very informative.

Today's Quote

If you are capable of living deeply one moment of your life, you can learn to live the same way all the other moments of your life.  - Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, April 06, 2009

Knit One is now collecting Helmet Liners for our Military Personnel.  I think this would be great for me in the winter time.  I might make one for myself in Cascade 220 to match my Reversible Cabled Scarf.

Today's Quote

"Be Kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Life is Always Good...

My Booze & Books group met today to discuss Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  Who killed August?  Was it Marlena or Rosie?  Mandi thought is was Rosie, the elephant.  Karen thought it was Marlena.  I thought it was Marlena, but Mandi convinced me it was Rosie.  I wanted it to be Rosie so she could get her revenge.  Our next book is Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl.  

I finished the Reversible Cabled Scarf. 
It is knit with Cascade 220 100% wool yarn.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Pam!

Mom and Pam (my sister) 53 years old today

We went out to eat at Aladdins at The Streets of Cranberry. It was absolutely delicious.