The Scarf Battle

Recently, Beloved asked me to make him a winter scarf (he believes in being proactive).  After he picked out the yarn he wanted, I searched for a suitable pattern; I didn’t want anything frilly.

A week later, I had this:

Beloved's Scarf

You can find the pattern here – it’s super easy, just alternating rows of half-double crochet and bobble stitch. I used a size J/6 mm hook and 3 skeins of I Love This Yarn Firecracker, from the “Colors” collection.  It turned out somewhat wider than I anticipated (both the hook and yarn I used were larger than called for in the pattern), but I’m not at all displeased with the finished piece.

Nor am I the only one who likes it; Darling Daughter took one look at the scarf and said, “That’s WAY too pretty for Dad.”

I posted the photo on Facebook and tagged Beloved, saying “Darling Daughter says this is too pretty for you, dear; I’ll have to keep an eye on it until you come home or you’ll never get it.”  (He’s out of town on business this week.)  DD, who is, shall we say, mischievous, commented on the post:

You know, my neck is awfully chilly. If only there were something fabulous laying around to keep it warm….

The Purloined Neckcloth

Don’t worry, I made her give it back.  For now.

You have to admit – it does match her scrubs really well.

My Nail Artist

Before I begin today, I would just like to say thank you! to everyone who commented on my last post, both here and on Facebook.  The warm support you all showed was incredibly touching, and my enthusiasm is renewed after months of bloggy ennui.  Again, thank you so much.

So, without further ado…

When Darling Daughter boomeranged back home in April, she brought her favorite hobby along (a fair trade, since she had to leaved her beloved kitties behind – I’m allergic).

Well, first, you have to understand something about us both.  I’m not really a “girly girl” – makeup and clothes and hair and jewelry et al has never interested me all that much (the one exception to this is shoes…I definitely have a thing for shoes).  Oh, I make sure I’m clean, neat and presentable when I leave the house; my clothes fit me well, both physically and emotionally, but “business casual” is about as dressy as I get and my hair lives in a perpetual ponytail; I have neither the time nor the inclination to futz with a ‘do every day.

Darling Daughter, on the other hand, is far more girly than I.  She loves clothes and makeup and shopping. (She also loves action films, video games and Ru Paul’s Drag Race, but that’s neither here nor there.)  She also loves nail polish.


DD is what my friend Lisa would immediately peg as an “artsy cousin” – I am a Sturdy Gal if there ever was one – and the young woman has flair and style I’ll never be able to achieve, at least with my person (the kitchen is something else all together).  Her fingers, more than anything else these days, is her avenue of expression for this flair and style.

Behold, the Ever Changing Manicure:

Bee's Knees
Pink Flowers
Water Marble

Might I point out she’s got talent?  While she has an amazing bag of tricks – and more nail tools than I ever would have believed existed – the bee, flag, flowers and roses are all hand-painted. And look at the marbling on the accent nail in the last photo!  Not easy to achieve, believe me.

At any rate, after four months of bi-weekly awesomeness I finally let her give me a manicure.

A nail biter in my youth, I wore acrylics for years as an adult, only abandoning them about two years ago after becoming finally weary of the maintenance.  They were never very long and I always sported a simple French manicure (it goes with everything).  Once I ditched the fakes, I kept my real nails neatly and sensibly trimmed and filed; no fuss, no muss and it makes working with fondant and gum paste so much easier.

After being, er, persuaded to do something with my unassuming nails, I bought a bottle of OPI Nail Envy and let them grow out just beyond my fingertips.  Finally, last night as Darling Daughter removed the Bee’s Knees mani – one of my absolute favorites – and added a sky blue polish with fluffy white clouds and red, heart shaped balloons, I let her do mine.

Mint Polka Dots

Obviously, she has the whole “posing our hands to show off our manicure” thing down far better than I, to say nothing of the gasp of, “Mom!  We REALLY should have done something about your cuticles before you took that pic!”  But hey – we’ve already established I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to things of this nature.

I doubt I’ll have a new manicure twice a week from here on out; for one thing, DD has a job and a very active social life – she has far better things to do with her time than make sure Mom’s nails are painted.  Then there’s the simple fact that there’s a reason my nails are pink with mint polka-dots – those are the most subdued polishes in her ever-expanding collection.  I’m sorry, but I’d NEVER be able to rock that ‘Murica! mani the way she did, although the rose one is more or less up my alley, sans glitter.  No, I suspect most of the time, I’ll keep them neat and covered in a coat or two of the Nail Envy (that stuff really does work), and let her give me something cute when we’ve both got the time and wherewithal.  When she does, I’ll make sure and post it.

And who knows?  I might surprise even myself with something gold and glittery red at the holidays.

Random Tuesday Asparagus and Footwear

Yeah, you know you’re at the Sushi Bar when both food and shoes are in the title of the post.


Much to my delight, we received our first delivery – ahead of schedule – from our CSA co-op yesterday.  Not a large delivery this early in the season, naturally, but enough to make me giddy.  It contained radishes, some baby lettuces and this:



I had no idea there was such a thing as purple asparagus, but there is.  And it was delicious in this:


Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

I LOVE spring.

Another delicious component of the stir fry – which, maybe surprisingly, had no Asian flavors at all – was another find from the Local Roots co-op on Saturday:


Dark Chocolate Balsamic Mustard

Yes, that would be Dark Chocolate Balsamic Mustard, made with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar which I am going to order online in the next 3 minutes.  The mustard itself has quite a kick, but a wonderfully smooth, rich undertone and finish.  I put about a teaspoon in the stir fry and it was just marvelous.  Today, it’s going in a salad dressing destined for those baby greens that came with the asparagus yesterday.

And, finally, my newest pair of shoes:


Vibrams FiveFingers Treksport

Beloved and I are doing quite a bit of walking these days, and after wearing these almost non-stop for the past 3 years I have come to dislike my regular walking shoes intensely.  However, it’s rather hard to hike through the muck and mud in a pair of Crocs ballerina flats, so new shoes were in order.  I’m not going to go into whether or not barefoot running or running in minimalist shoes is adventageous or dangerous – I’m not a runner, and never will be for a variety of reasons – so let’s just suffice to say that these particular Vibrams, which are made specifically for walking/hiking over rough terrain, are what I am now wearing when Beloved and I go off the beaten path, so to speak.

Besides, I really like the odd looks I get from people when I wear them.  ‘Cause I’m just that way.

Now, head on over to Stacy’s and get your Random Tuesday on.

Is It Spring Yet?

I am busier than a Kennedy at a strip club with an open bar, so I’ve not gotten around to read and comment much the last couple of days – sorry about that!  I will rectify the situation as soon as I can find time to breathe.

I also don’t have much time to post today, but I will share my giddiness that it will be a blazing 67 degrees in Podunk today!  Spring, that capricious flirt, is teasing me with sunshine and warm weather.

So, I present you with the First Sign of Spring:

I dug out the Crocs and capris.

Have a lovely Spring day, y’all.