Archive for December, 2005

late night quickie

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Quickie blog entry, that is. (Get your mind out of the gutter, you!) I think Stomach Bug is gone for good. Yesterday was all about broth and noodles. Today I had beans and rice for lunch and roasted butternut squash soup for dinner. So far, so good. Tomorrow night we plan to go out to dinner with friends to Billy’s Restaurant, which we’ve been wanting to try for awhile. I don’t know if I’ll make it to midnight because the Head Cold is still kicking my butt. I’m hoping that if I rest up a lot tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be good at least for dinner. Going out to dinner is an Event That Cannot Be Missed, especially with good friends on a holiday.

Speaking of the end of the year, if you are part of the American Express Rewards program, you should check for deals that expire tomorrow. We just booked a weekend in Kansas City, MO at the Country Club Plaza Marriott and paid for it all in points. We also purchased some gift cards to restaurants in the area with points. Thanks for weekend vacation, Amex!

I got another knitted Christmas gift off in the mail today, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. So happy, in fact, that it was hard to part with it. It kept my lap nice and warm while I was knitting. Once I know it’s been received, I’ll post pics. That’s it for now. Off to bed.

run forrest, RUN*

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

So, yeah. We’re sitting here watching the Alamo Bowl because we live in Nebraska, and that’s what folks in the Big Red State do. We’re not wearing any red, but I’m knitting with red yarn. Although it’s red for a totally different team. (Hi Phil! Pretend you didn’t read that, ok?)

I had this whole blog entry written in my head about the amazing Southern Indian food we’ve been cooking up lately, but the cold that was in my head has morphed into a Stomach Bug. Let’s just save the food blog entry for another day, shall we? On a positive note, at least I am not traveling and dealing with the Stomach Bug in an airport, or worse, airplane. Yikes!

So lets talk yarn, ’cause yarn makes everyone feel good, right? I received two birthday surprises of yarn in the mail within the past few weeks. One was two skeins of Fur Real Purple People Eater from Nancy and another was Plymouth Yarn Outback Mohair from Tanuj and Claire. The Fur Real came with a box of patterns called Knitting to Go and I’ve already made this pattern. The Outback Mohair came with the winter issue of Interweave Knits that I’ve been eyeing up in the magazine aisle for weeks. Oh, such fiber excitement!

See, talking about yarn and I’m already feeling better. Take that, Stomach Bug. In other yarn news, my parents sent me a very generous check for my birthday to buy some nice sweater wool, and my in-laws have promised to bring back some wool from India. (They asked what kind; I requested “pretty”.) Now, if I can only get these last few Christmas gifts finished so I can start knitting something for myself. Better get back to the needles. And football. Go Huskers!

*Yes, I know Forrest was from Alabama, not Nebraska.

christmas day

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Wow. Christmas Day was the first day since January 1, 2005 that we did absolutely nothing. No work. No household projects. No work. No errands. Did I mention that we did no work? I forgot what it is like to take a day off and just hang out. It was awesome.

I have a cold that is getting annoying. In a rare burst of energy, I made Eggs with Spicy Masala for breakfast from my new favorite cookbook, which my parents gave me for my birthday last month. T made dosas. It was an awesome Christmas breakfast. I had big plans for making a lamb curry and dhal for dinner, but my cold pretty much knocked me out. T made a pizza instead. The day was mostly spent on the couch watching movies, surfing the internet and knitting.

Chloe got some new toys. She really likes Frog, but isn’t too sure about Bee. She’s also very guarded with Bird. I think maybe she is worried that something is going to happen to Bird now that Frog and Bee have arrived. I’ve posted pictures in our very small Christmas Day photo gallery. I’ve also put a gallery link on the right under Our Stuff.

christmas eve

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

We had a blast on Christmas Eve. Pictures are posted in the gallery.

Christmas Eve 2005

first in a knitting series

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

As many of you know (mostly because I couldn’t shut up about it) I knit a lot of our holiday gifts this year. It’s too early to post finished Christmas knitting, but here are some birthday gifts I knit for T’s parents. His Mom’s birthday is tomorrow and his Dad’s is in January. Click here for the knitting gallery.

Durga's Stole Close Up

christmas eve menu

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

I’ve planned our Christmas Eve dinner, finally.

Appetizers (provided by Christina)
Spinach Balls
Veggie Tray

Main Course
Roast Beef Tenderloin
Baked Eggplant Parma-Style with Fresh Mozzarella
Mushroom Risotto
Green Beans with Balsamic Vinegar

Dessert (provided by Lauren)
Surprise! I don’t know yet, but I’m sure it will be good.

The baked eggplant is the only time-consuming dish. I’m planning to prepare the green beans tonight, since they are served chilled. The eggplant I’ll take care of early in the afternoon and put in before guests arrive. T will have the roast prepped and ready to go in the oven as soon as the eggplant is finished. We figure the eggplant can sit on the stove and stay warm while the roast is cooking. The risotto is T’s special recipe, and he will make that right before we sit down to dinner. All in all, a very tasty menu that shouldn’t be too much trouble to make, so we can spend time relaxing with our guests. And the only recipe from my Italian cookbook was the eggplant. The rest are all Kundhi originals.

we’re almost ready

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

I both love and hate the holiday rush. No matter how early I start getting ready, there are always last minute preparations. Sometimes I wish that the week before Christmas I was finished with everything and could just sit back, lounge around and look at the tree lights. But, there is something to be said for that last minute holiday high: staying up late and finishing gifts, setting up an assembly line of paper, boxes, ribbon and bows, and imagining the smiles when family and friends open up their gifts. I enjoy the ritual and had even more fun this year because I made so many gifts by hand.

Most of our boxes are in the mail heading toward their destinations. There are a few stragglers that I am desperately trying to finish up. Our holiday cards went in the mail yesterday. Folks on the West Coast should be getting them today, and friends in the Heartland—you should get them by Christmas. Friends and family on the East Coast—they are coming! I know last year we were slackers and didn’t get our cards out, but this year I actually designed something myself, which I haven’t had the time to do in years. It also helped that I didn’t have to hand address and stamp a bunch of envelopes.

The only big thing I have left to do is plan a menu for Christmas Eve dinner. We are having friends over and we are cooking up an Italian feast! T gave me this awesome Italian cookbook for my birthday when we were dating, and I’ve loved everything we’ve ever made from it. The hardest part of planning the menu will be not going overboard and making too much stuff. Then again, leftovers for Christmas Day wouldn’t be too bad, either!

I have been hoping for some more snow so the ground would be all white and pretty for this weekend, but it is going to be in the 60s today and tomorrow. There’s a chance that we might get a little dusting on Saturday, but it will probably just rain. I so wanted a white Christmas! Mother Nature, can you please look into that for me? Thanks a bunch!

Totally unrelated topic: I went to the Drudge Report this morning and saw the headline “Double-Mouthed Fish Pulled From Neb. Lake”. The City just finished dredging and cleaning Holmes Lake. Where the heck did they get the fish to re-stock the lake for Pete’s sake, and is there some sort of return policy or money back guarantee for mutations?

blizzard

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

A few weeks ago, the midwest was hit by a huge snowstorm. Central Nebraska was hit with blizzard conditions. Click here to see more.

blizzard

tree pics, as promised

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

tree and chloe
tree closeup

the weekend

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

Ever have one of those weekends where you felt like you were super busy, but by Sunday night you felt like you got nothing accomplished? Last weekend was one of those weekends. Saturday was filled with to-dos and errands and Sunday—well, I just don’t know what happened to Sunday. Then yesterday was back to work.

On a productive note, the tree is finally decorated, thanks to T. Most of my free time is spent knitting. Decorating the tree was not high on my list of to-dos. It looks great, and I have taken some pics. I’ll post later this week.

The other productive news, and what is most exciting to me is that I bought a wool winder! If you are a knitter and reading this, you probably want to know if I’m getting a swift, also. The answer is yes, but for now I’m using the backs of the kitchen chairs. If you are not a knitter and reading this, you probably want to know what the heck a wool winder is and why is it so exciting? Well, the shortest answer I can give you is that most yarn comes in center-pull balls or skeins. You dig around the center to find the end of the yarn, pull it out and start knitting. Easy. But some yarns come in hanks and need to be wound into a ball before you can start knitting. I’m currently working on a project that needed five hanks of wool. T helped me wind the first hank, and it took us a lot of tangles, about an hour, and then more tangles, etc. Doing this for the four other hanks, and for many more hanks in the future, not an option. Last night I used the winder and it took me 10 minutes to do this.

Yes, sometimes it truly is the simple pleasures in life that make us happy. For me, it’s a center-pull ball of yarn.