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Knit is a Four-Letter Word

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Holidailies 2014 Day 2; Black

Holidailies 2014

This isn’t the entry I planned to write and was writing, but then the lights in the house surged and dipped into black, one, two, three times, you’re out. Completely dark except for the light of my now-not-internet-connected laptop.

I called SA Power Networks, and they wanted me to walk outside to check the fuse box, even though I can see from my window that the street lights are out, and it’s moonlit but inky darkness as far as my madly adjusting pupils can make out. Then they had a report of an adjacent outage. Adjacent? Does that mean I am darkness adjacent? Because it feels like darkness immersion to me, and I really do not want to venture out into the pitch-black outside to confirm a theory.

So we settle on adding my report to their list, which means I will get SMS updates and I grab the anemic but better than candle torch/flashlight from the drawer of random. Cleaning my teeth by torchlight is not so much like camping but rather trying to remember where bits of my mouth are by touch and randomly issued pallid beams of not helpful illumination.

I am typing this out on my mobile phone which is plugged hopefully into a currently dormant power strip. According to the ETA of the text that just popped up from SA Power Networks, there is an outage in my suburb (no longer adjacent but rather actual SMS-confirmed darkness, possibly) and they’re anticipating power back on by 3:15. I’m anticipating the darkness brought on by closing my eyes, but am hoping the power comes on and charges my phone so the alarm clock app wakes me up for work in the morning.

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Holidailies 2010 Day 1 – An Introduction

It’s the first day of Holidailies … introduce yourself and your website.

I’m Amanda Page, aka Emender Poige (to the American ear, that’s how my Australian accent sounds.)

I’ve been blogging since it was online journalling, way back in the deep dark ages of late early 1996/early 1997. If you count all of the entries and laid them end to end, they might stretch halfway into 2011. It’s been a long time, but not prolific. And on a bunch of platforms that went away, as did a chunk of the entries. Litweb, Newsguy, Cyber-e-net, Diary-X, Geocities.

But I’ve been in every Holidailies since at least 2003 (blast from the past – check out the 2003 page. Considering 7 years in internet time is like counting in dog years, there’s still a surprising number of people there that I still know and “see.”

After being online for such a long time, sometimes it can be hard to write – have I said it before, did I say it better the first time, should I be saying it now.

That is why I love Holidailies – once a year, I and a bunch of other writers push past that, and we write. I get to read a bunch of excellent entries, and I get to flex the writing muscle that doesn’t get a lot of use.

You’ve seen the word clouds on the blogs, it’s a plugin that I haven’t quite gotten around to working out.

Here’s my manual cloud – these are words you’ll expect to see a lot of over the course of Holidailies

Jeff. Australia. Australian. Knit. Knitting. Crochet. Crocheting. Yarn. cats. Adelaide. Hoover. Lucky. Cooking. Books. Christmas. Cards. Late. Tired. Bed.


Ten on Tuesday

This week’s question for Ten on a Tuesday is – Ten Things I like about Fall/Autumn.

1. ) Apple cider from Sunny Slope Farms, a local orchard. They don’t start making their cider until half way through October; not until they have a mixed selection of apple varieties to make it from. This attention to detail makes this the Best Apple Cider.

2. ) Apples – Sunny Slope has the best apples, its totally the reason why I don’t eat apples outside of Autumn here. Their Empire apples are small and red and crisp and tart with a little sweet and completely addictive.

3. ) Knitting – Woolly hand knits make complete sense. When finishing off a 3 skein shawl, having all of that knitting draped over your legs becomes pleasant, as opposed to slightly sticky in Summer.

4.) Sparkly lights – I know it’s not an old Halloween tradition here, but I do like all of the sparkly light displays that start up in the Autumn now. Sparkly lights make the earlier sunsets tolerable. (I also like it when people keep their Christmas lights lit in January. January is a dark, dark month in the Northern Hemisphere, it can always use an extra bit of twinkly sparkle.)

5. ) Tea – hot tea, with milk and sugar, and a small plate with a couple of biscuits (that’s cookies) is lovely when there’s a chill in the air.

6. ) Soup. Cold soups are OK, but hot soup really comes into its own in the cooler months. I make a mean Roasted Pumpkin Soup – here it’d probably be called Roasted Squash soup, since I make it with Butternut. I’m originally from Australia, and there a butternut is a pumpkin, so Pumpkin Soup it is. Then there’s Beef and vegetable Soup, Matzo Ball Soup, Curried Cauliflower Chicken Soup. I could live happily in the colder months with a big pot of soup in the fridge, and a constant supply of buttered toast with which to dunk in it.

7. ) Humidity levels. The Summer in Southern New Jersey kicks all kinds of arse with its bountiful supply of tomatoes and corn, but the humidity, man, that’s a different kind of arse kicking. Autumn is the kindest month to my hair – the humidity is gone, but the breaking cold hasn’t arrived.

8. ) Self inserting cats. We have a cat door, so they could, in theory, be self inserting cats all year round, but they like to stay out and cat about when the weather is warmer. This then requires multiple and varied cat wrangling techniques to bring them inside. In the Autumn, suddenly the heated house with the blankets and the human laps becomes infinitely more appealing, and they’re in like Flynn every night, no persuasion required.

9. ) Thanksgiving – turkey, home made cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, these are good, good food.

10. ) My birthday. In Australia, I had a Spring birthday, but it morphed into an Autumn birthday when I changed hemispheres. My birthday is November the 24th, so every 4-6 years or so, my birthday and Thanksgiving Day collide – turkey and cake!


Vale Holidailies, Hale New Beginnings

2009 2009 Holiday Cards & Treee

Holiday Cards & Tree

Farewell Holidailies!

I haven’t done so well this year, 7 entries in. The holiday season, weather, the great basement flood of ’09 really kicked my arse.

Several of the journals and blogs I read, including Karen from Hat on Top are taking part in “New Beginnings”. Essentially, keeping track of the resolutions, or life goals/changes that you want to make on a weekly, or regular basis. Helps you keep track and see if they’re working out, and if they’re a real workable change. This neatly dovetails with how I’d planned to keep my goals reviewed – weekly it may not be, but definitely once a month.

I did make some resolutions for the new year, on New Year’s Day, which I plan to detail in another entry. Several of them I’ve been keeping, some not so well, and some are long term goals that won’t be finished within 2010.

Here are some I’ve been abiding by –

take a photo every day. Post it to to Flickr. I’m doing the 365 challenge, and have been sticking to it for almost a week now. Here’s the set at Flickr. I allow myself a slide of a day to post the pics, and I’ve been keeping to that as well.

Wash and moisturize my face at night. Clean my teeth every night. Many of my resolutions are of the self care type. Can’t very well take care of all of the things I need to take care of, without taking care of myself. These two are coming along nicely. Folding it into my routine, providing a nice little slowdown before I go to bed. I’ve not been one to take good care of my teeth, and this is the first baby step in fixing that.

Thanks again to Jette & Chip for Holidailies, it’s something I look forward to every year. And now that the Holiday rush has died down, I’ve time to go off and read some of the Holidaily-ers I’ve missed out on.

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Soaked Saturday

Had a great day out with the nephew, bookshop, chinese food for lunch, pottering around, and spending time at his house and then Jeff’s Mum and Dad’s house. Got home around 10PM to a 2.5 inches flooded basement, which put a bit of a damper on the day.

Happily none of the electrical gear (computers, guitars, exercise gear, printers, washing machine, dryer etc etc) were affected – mostly on, or now moved to higher ground.

Am off to watch Ep 1 of Doctor Who’s David Tennant finale, and blank out the mess that will need to be cleaned up in the days to come.

Can’t do anything for now, it’s not coming in through the window, but up through the water table. So, bed, knitting, TV and chocolate, and tomorrow’s another day.

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Why I Own a Bundt Pan

The Beginnings of Monkey Bread

This is the reason I own a bundt pan. I make this recipe in December every year, once, maybe twice, and then the bundt pan goes back in the cupboard.

Prep Time – 10 minutes, plus overnight, plus 30 minutes cooking time.

Materials – bundt pan, baking tray, mixing bowl, microwave safe container, clean dry tea towel.

Ingredients – 1 packet frozen (24) yeast (Parkerhouse) rolls, 1 stick (4 oz/113g) butter, 1 packet vanilla pudding mix (not instant), 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, Crisco Shortening for greasing the bundt pan.

Method: Melt the butter in the microwave safe container in the microwave. Mix in the mixing bowl the vanilla pudding mix and the brown sugar. Grease the bundt pan.

Monkey Bread - First Layer

Evenly spread half of the frozen rolls at the base of the greased bundt pan. Pour half of the butter over the rolls, and sprinkle half of the pudding/sugar mix.

Monkey Bread - Second Layer

Arrange the second half of the frozen rolls over the first. Pour the rest of the butter over the second layer of rolls, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar/pudding mix.

Monkey Bread - the Night Before

Place the clean tea towel over the bundt pan, put the bundt pan into the baking tray, and put the whole thing in a warm spot overnight.

Monkey Bread - The Morning After

The next morning you’ll see the rolls have doubled in size.

Monkey Bread - Uncovered

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Remove the tea towel, place the baking tray and bundt pan in the oven. The baking tray is to catch the drippings, if it boils over. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Monkey Bread - Just Out of the Oven

Voila! The monkey bread is crispy and done, out of the oven. Loosen gently around the edge of the pan.

Monkey Bread - TaDa!

Turn the monkey bread out onto the tray.

Monkey Bread - Ready to Eat

Scoop all the syrup out of the bundt pan over the monkey bread. Eat immediately – the caramel/toffee hardens as the bread cools.

It’s quite rich and very sweet, which is why we save it for a couple of special times a year, when we know we’ll have a bunch of people ready to help eat it.


Earworms and Malaprops

Me while making Honey Crackles for the Annual Cookie Swap – “Brilliant! These star shaped foil thingies have inserted an earworm! Now all I can hear in my head is “Oh LIttle Star of Bethlehem”!”

Jeff while also rapidly filling the patty pan cases because we made three times the recipe, and it sets hard as a rock in pretty short order if you don’t go like the clappers – ” Yes, although sadly that’s “Oh Little *TOWN* of Bethlehem”, so….”

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I’m a knitter (But & Because)

I’m a knitter but

My top 3 projects on the go are

a) the crocheted Holiday Homespun afghan that I’ve given away, and take back to finish
b) the crocheted purple and green Batman Interstitial afghan for Jeff
c) the crocheted two toned granny cotton washcloth where I’m practicing changing colours without cutting, with just one row for each of the two colour changes.

I’m a knitter because

a) I only know how to crochet granny squares and rectangles – going around in a circle I’m fine, but I don’t know what to do with the end of a row when turning on a flat piece
b) I can do much of my knitting (and purling) without looking down at my work or even in the dark (Theatre knitting)
c) I’m a knitter who crochets, not a crocheter who knits

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In need of Oil

Today I put my car in for a service. It’d been a while since it had an oil change, sometime in 2008. It also needed new battery terminal wires – the old ones weren’t staying tightened any more, and were prone to just coming undone. Battery terminal wires just coming undone equals the same thing as a flat battery, no oomph at oil.

I dropped my car off at lunch time, and picked it up after work. The mechanic (who is new, and I theorize working his way into eventually owning the business from my other mechanic) gently chided me for not replacing my oil on a regular basis. Not doing this very minor service, he said, can end up damaging the car on an ongoing basis.

When I got into my car, and turned on the ignition, I immediately noticed the change. The car ran more smoothly, responded quicker, drove looser.

I couldn’t help but think about swimming.

I haven’t been for a good month or more, something seems to have come up every time. And yet still, the one time in the middle of all of the not getting theres, the one time I did go into the pool, the difference was immediate.

I felt more limber, looser, my brain and body responded quicker.

I need to try and fit the pool in, even if it’s only for a short stint. Even if it’s not on a night I usually have my class. Or get out of bed earlier, and swim laps for a half hour.

I’m in need of oil!

Link of the day Why Swimming is a Good Good Thing.

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We are the Needling Ninjas!

DIshRagTag Needling Ninjas!

DIshRagTag Needling Ninjas!


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