Feb 24, 2010


Sorry kids...I'll be back in a flash. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves....

Feb 19, 2010


This will be very short and sweet today, folks. Stewey is out in the car waiting for me to take him shopping. I can guarantee you that if I'm not out there in about three minutes, he's going to start honking the horn. This, unfortunately, will result in me having to run out there in my nightgown. And considering that I'm full-on into "winter legs" mode, I'd really rather not.

(Believe me when I tell you that nobody needs to see that on a Friday morning in Hoosierville.)

(And by nobody, I'm referring to the construction crew that's noisily building a house down the street.)

There I was...minding my own business while watching the Olympics and happily stitching away on My Land. I thought that Stewey was sleeping under the blanket on the ottoman, but it turns out he was up in the studio, pencils clutched in his paws while furiously drawing in his little notebook.

Stewey has decided that he wants a pair of gloves just like this: But he wants to wear them with this:
Given my sewing skills (or miserable lack thereof), methinks this is going to be a very long day. Damn dog.

Feb 16, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's sitting in a corner rocking back and forth and sniffling into a hanky. At first, I thought it was because she discovered my "deposit" on the dining room floor, but when I asked her what was wrong she just replied "Oh, Stewey Dearest. Your mommie had no idea that there were such wonderful people in the world."

We were having our requisite winter afternoon snoozy nap when the doorbell rang. I bolted to the door immediately to greet our friendly neighborhood mailman, Mr. Jim. When Mom opened the door, I sprinted out to the front patio, growled menacingly, and then peed on his boots for good measure. Fortunately, Mr. Jim knows me pretty well so he was completely nonplussed by my behavior.

He did, however, do me a dirty deed when he handed over a very large package to my stupid mo-ther, all the while laughing that "Looks like Stewey's been on the internet again. This box is for him."

And what do you suppose my mo-ther did then? Why, she marched right into the office and OPENED MY PACKAGE without a "please?" or "may I?" in sight.

Oh, the bounteous glory that was inside! I received a little stuffed toy, the "P.S. I Love You" soundtrack, and a canister of Ina's "Sinful Hot Chocolate Mix". (Mom got a bag of little chicken treats that I'll give her during training time.)

This in itself would have been enough to make anybody's day, but I also received a very intimate letter (along with accompanying romantic photo) of my darling Ms. Carmen Sandiego Graley Her Very Self.

It was the perfect Valentine's Day gift from such a special lady. And yes, my darling, I'll see you in Louisville again in May. (But let's not tell anyone about our secret trysts mon ami. They are for us and us alone, n'est pai?)

My heart beats for you and you alone,

Stewey, dear.
We need to discuss your present dating situation. In the last ten minutes I've received no less than sixteen irate phone calls telling me to "Put that cheating bast--d on the phone right now!". Is there something you'd like to tell me? You need to be more mindful of people's hearts, my precious. One at a time, please.
With love from your Mommie Dearest.
P.S. Oh, Aunt Chrissy is going to be pi**ed.


After I finished Shepherd's Bush Thoughtful Heart I futzed around and decided to complete the next lesson on my CyberWorkshop with Orna Willis. Here's my latest progress on Cirque de Fleur:
This really is a lot of fun to stitch, and I am especially loving the colors! Who knew that I could do Jessicas and Crescents without breaking a sweat? Woo Hoo!

I was sitting in the Happy Chair thinking about what to stitch next when I started thinking about how much I really enjoyed the Shepherd's Bush piece. Just as I was saying "Gee, isn't it too bad that I don't have a Shepherd's Bush kit with an American theme..." it hit me! Aunt Chrissy and I took a class last year with the SB girls....and the theme...wait for it...was Americana! So another big fat WOO HOO fell out of my face as I rushed upstairs to the basket.

Here's My Land by Shepherd's Bush: I believe that this will be released at the Nashville Market this weekend, so you can call up your very own LNS and order to your heart's content! (If I'm wrong about this, I do sincerely apologize and hope that I won't get smacked for showing a design that was supposed to be kept secret until the actual release date.) (I'm kind of a boob in this way.)

Olympic watching continues with My Land humming right along for company. I didn't expect to enjoy these games so much, but so far I'm riveted. First off, let's all give a great big WOO HOO to Canada! Please allow me to weigh in as the rube in the Midwestern United States who had no idea how very stunningly beautiful your stuff was up there! Way to go, Canada! Y'all have some great stuff!

As to my opinion of the athletes...well...all I have to say about them is that they must all be completely nuts. Either that, or they were all born without the fear gene anywhere in their bodies. Kind of like soldiers or policemen or firemen or neurosurgeons or toddlers. Wow wee, but these people are amazing. I really am in complete awe of anybody who would willingly do what they do.

I had my very own laundry Olympics yesterday, and I am pleased to report that I captured the gold! WOO HOO (what's with all the WOO HOO'S in this post?)! I washed, dried, folded, and put away eight loads of laundry and there is nary a pair of dirty socks in this entire house! I don't think that's happened since 1982, so I am going to go celebrate with a nice vat of dietCoke and a few hours of blog reading!

Have a WOO HOO day!

Feb 15, 2010


Scene: The US Olympic Training Facility in East JaBip, Colorado. A fog has settled over the mountains. The coaches are devastated by the absence of all of the Olympic athletes, because for the first time in human history, an entire country's contingent of participants has uttered a collective "Eh" and decided to go to Turks and Caicos for some R&R instead.

Ralph Lauren issues a call for volunteers (since he's already made the uniforms and all) because most of the uber models walking the Paris runways would rather wear real fur than be caught dead in "athletic wear".

A Spinster from Hoosierville arrives (with her little dog too).

US OLYMPIC TRAINING FACILITY COACH AND TRAINER: Thanks for coming, Spinster. We'll need you to suit up as quickly as possible so that we can get you familiarized with the various sports.

SPINSTER: (Breathing hard because of the altitude and the long eight foot walk from her HoverRound to the training site). It's my honor to be here, Coach, to represent my country in what can only be characterized as the triumph of human spirit and a testament to all that is good and wonderful in this world.

COACH (turning to the little dog): Does she always talk like that?

LITTLE DOG: You have no idea.

COACH: OK, first we're going to try a little freestyle skiing. Rather than work you up to it, I figured we'd just start with learning to ride the moguls straightaway. Now if you'll just put on this outfit and follow me to the top of the mountain we'll get started.

SPINSTER: (clapping her hands with delight). Oh goodie! An outfit! I thought I would have to wait at least a day or two to get some gear! Now if I can just (huff huff) pull (grunt grunt) on (gasp gasp) these pants, I'll be all set.

(The Spinster and coach ride the lift to the top of the mountain while the Spinter tries desperately to hide the rather large tear in the seat of the pants. Apparently the mogul suits are not constructed to fit women the approximate size of a small country).

COACH: Now if you'll just stand here, I'll give you a brief rundown of what we need you to do. First, you'll encounter a few large humps of snow that will probably jolt your teeth into the back of your head. Then, just as you're wondering what the hell you've gotten yourself into, you'll be catapulted off of an ice covered ski jump that will propel you forty seven feet into the air. Try to do something acrobatic at this point, like twist about violently or rotate counterclockwise, all the while making sure not to kill yourself. Then, if you survive the first jump you will enter a series of much larger snow bumps that will cause you to careen forward while your knees and elbows operate seemingly independent of any logical motion. The best advice I can give you here is to just close your eyes and hold your breath. Let the eighty five degree slope of the mountain do the work for you. Then, if you've survived THAT part of the course you'll have to prepare yourself for another jump. This one will be a little more difficult because you'll have to do it while looking backwards for your pancreas, which is probably stuck in the moguls someplace. If you land that jump, smile and throw your arms in the air and hope that you've managed to do all of the above in under 24 seconds. Oh, and you should probably try to figure out how to slide to a stop at some point.

SPINSTER: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COACH: I can see from the look on your face that this might not be the best event for you. Shall we try something different?

LITTLE DOG: My mother can't come to her senses right now. Perhaps we should look for something that is a little closer to sea level.

COACH: OK, let's go down to the long track to see if maybe speed skating will be her thing.

LITTLE DOG (in a conspiratorial whisper to the coach): You can try, pal, but I can tell you right now that the words "speed" and "spinster" have never remotely been in the same sentence, let alone universe. Good luck with that though. I'm sure it will be fun to watch.

A helicopter arrives to transport the Spinster, Coach, and little dog down the mountain. (Sadly, the discovery of a terrifying fear of heights came at the top of the mountain and not the bottom, so measures were taken to save what little time was left for training and the chopper was called.)

The threesome arrives at the indoor long track training facility.

COACH: OK, Spinster, I'll just ask you to remove the mogul uniform and slip into this neoprene body suit for some speed skating training.

SPINSTER: You want me to wear what?!

COACH: A neoprene body suit. It's aerodynamic, designed by NASA, and worn by speed skaters the world over. Perhaps you've seen the Visa commercials featuring Apollo Ono?

SPINSTER: Yes, but but but....my left ELBOW weighs more than an ENTIRE Apollo Ono! But never fear, coach! I'm a team player and will give it my (huff huff) best (gasp) shot (tug tug tug) (yank yank yank)...

The Spinster collapses on the ground with the neoprene body suit stuck partway up her ankle.

SPINSTER: Can we just try it without the suit? I brought my own athletic wear for this, so maybe we should just ditch the outfit idea for a while? (She holds up her Winnie The Pooh duffle bag containing her eighteen year old sweapants and Hanes old man t-shirt that she bought at the WalMarts during a strage men's clothing shopping impulse).

COACH: OK, but you better hop to it. I see that the Zamboni is ready to re-surface the ice so our time will be rather limited from this point out.

SPINSTER: Zamboni?! Oh good, may I have mine with a hearty bolognese sauce, please? And if you've got any garlic bread and a nice little Chianti, that would be great.

The Coach sighs heavily and looks at the little dog for support. The little dog, however, has decided to go check out the gift shop and then head back to the hotel for a lovely room service dinner and a few hours of Pay-Per-View.

COACH: Now if you'll just let me put your skates on, we can get started. Please be very careful with these, since they are sharp enough to slice a ham. As a matter of fact, we've had some very serious injuries recently, and I'm not sure that there are adequate medical personnel here to fix your femoral artery if you're unlucky enough to fall on your own skate blade. (Which, by the way, you most always will because the nature of the ice is to throw you outward into an uncontrollable lump). Once you get on the track, you'll need to get up to a speed fast enough to propel you around the course at approximately ninety billion miles an hour. Oh, and you'll need to lean a bit when you go around the curves.

SPINSTER: Lean a bit?

COACH: Yeah, you'll pretty much want to be horizontal to the ice with only your fingertips and the very tippy tippy edge of your lethal skate blade keeping you from certain death.

SPINSTER: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Coach quickly realizes that the Spinster might not be the perfect candidate for substitution on the US Team this year, so he suggests that they head on over to the luge course to see if maybe one last event will be within her realm of possibility.

Hilarity ensues as the Spinster attempts to mount a sled the approximate size and sturdiness of a Saltine cracker. She makes it a full six feet onto the course before becoming hopelessly lodged in the luge, much like Augustus Gloop became wedged in the chocolate pipe in Willy Wonka's Facotry. The sled crumbles beneath her.

COACH: (grunting profusely while trying to unwedge the Spinster from the luge track). Um, maybe we should re-evaluate and discuss whether or not the Winter Olympic games are, um, well...appropriate...for someone of your relative physical condition and, um...er...size.

SPINSTER: (grunting profusely while trying to stand up, re-adjust the neoprene body suit that has embedded itself into her ample backside, and while also trying to look wintry and impossibly fresh looking): Why, of course, Coach. I think that I should probably head back to Hoosierville and re-think my athletic aspirations. After all...I'm already a gold medal winner in the Stitchy Numb Butt event, as well as Excessive Stashing and Futzing, and the very difficult Starting So Many Projects that I Don't Have One Damn Thing Without Thread In It semi-finals. Perhaps the Winter Games aren't for me after all.

COACH: Thanks for your participation today, Spinster. On behalf of the entire US Olympic Organizing Committee, may I just say that you are truly a great American and should be very proud of your efforts while here at the US Winter Olympic Training Facility.

SPINSTER (sniffling delicately into a hanky): I accept your thanks on behalf of spinsters everywhere, and I hope that my attendance will encourage and inspire millions more to hear the call of duty and come represent their country in what can only be described as a true testament....

(The coach stops listening while he pulls out his Blackberry to text his travel agent. Within seconds, he is confirmed on Delta flight 749 to Turks and Caicos and before the Spinster has finished her blathering, he's on his way to the East JaBip airport.)

Feb 14, 2010


"Thoughtful Heart"
Shepherd's Bush
32ct. Ivory linen
Soie D'Alger Silk and sterling silver charm from kit
Happy Valentine's Day from all of us here at Chez Spinster! We hope you're warm and safe and cozy with someone (or something) that your heart desires!

Feb 10, 2010


Somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature that the weatherman predicted snow OF CATASTROPHIC PROPORTIONS FOR ALL OF NORTHWEST INDIANA! SNOW!! IN NORTHWEST INDIANA!

Now I'm all for the drama and all, but Geeze Louise...

Several months ago, Aunt Chrissy and I made a pact to stop watching the news. We were getting all caught up in the urgency of everything and we found ourselves walking around like vibrating tuning forks waiting for the world to end. Most of it was caused by our weatherman (waving a big hellooooooo to Mike Hoffman!), who seems to love standing in front of his green screen yelling about this or that and terrorizing the old people with threats of something falling from the sky.

(Now before you go and get all offended about the old people remark, may I just point out that I am one of said old people, and I rush off to the grocery store the very moment a cloud passes within eighteen miles of my house.)

So I'm sitting here waiting for the snow while Stewey harumphs on his perch and the sun shines brightly. Oh well, at least the pantry is full. (Just in time for me to pack it all up and deliver it to the TeeVee station for their food drive this Saturday).

I reeeeaaaalllllyyyyy need to get a better plan. Sigh.

Thoughful Heart is rocking along:I didn't do this on purpose, but it looks like I might actually have this one finished in time for Valentine's Day. (Oh, I think I'm supposed to turn my head and spit three times between my fingers while says "kenahura" after I say that.) (And allow me to apologize right now for mis-spelling and mis-pronouncing "kenahura".)

("Kenahura" is basically counting your chikens before they hatch. It's like inviting fate to screw up the thing that you just pronounced as finished, won, gained, etc.)

(At least I think so. I'm kind of famous for screwing up words and using them in COMPLETELY inappropriate ways.)

But anywhoose....when I get this piece done (ptoo ptoo ptoo kenahura), then I think I'm going to treat myself to a lovely frame from the Michaels and then hang this in my bedroom. Stewey wants it over his little night night bed, but methinks it will go nicely behind my fancy-pants reading chair instead.

Don't feel toooo sorry for him, kids. That little night night bed is what he hops into when he gets his two cookies before bed or whenever he's pouting and wants me to feel bad that I'm using the vacuum cleaner during one of his favorite TeeVee shows. He doesn't actually ever sleep in the darn thing (I mean, after all, that's why we have the big gyrl sleigh bed, right?), but I just can't bring myself to get rid of it.

Well, I'm off to the laundry room. Yet again. One last load to wash, dry, fold, and then put away so I can start all over again tomorrow. Cwap.

Feb 9, 2010


We're under a Winter Storm Warning (!) today, so this means that Aunt Chrissy and I ran to the grocery last night for provisions. Oddly enough, the entire store was empty and quiet, so we strolled the aisles as though we owned the place. It was pure heaven.

Now before you get all worried about us not having the proper things here to outlast any natural "situation", might I just point out that I have enough food in my fridge, freezer, and pantry to feed a small country for at least a week and a half. This, of course, comes from the remembrance of living through the Blizzard of 1977 (!), during which we played on a snow pile that went up to the roof while Mom stressed out over making sure the entire neighborhood had fresh milk.

(She was like that, don't you know. Always looking out for everybody and making sure that no matter what was going on, you had dry socks and something good to eat.)

(Hmmm. Note to self: Explore this as possible cause of footwear and food obsession.)

Oh, I'm supposed to tell you that Stewey wants y'all to STOP with all of the lovely commentary on me and my stitching and my writing. He claims that I'm becoming hard to live with, especially since I've taken to printing out comments every day and wrapping myself in them like some kind of "Cool Kid's Cloak of Indestructibility". What can I say? You're the wind beneath my wings.

(Please stand by for eye rolling and retching sounds coming from the general vicinity of Stewey's perch.)

I'm still plugging along on Thoughful Heart and hope to have it completed by the end of the week. And, seeing how we're headed into another Olympic Season, I think I'm fixin' to stitch a Laura J. Perin quilt pattern, but in all reds, whites, and blues. There are so many lovely patterns that methinks I might have to putter about upstairs for a bit to see what I can come up with.

That's the report for today. I suppose that I had better go shovel a path for Little Lord Fauntleroy out back or we're going to be washing drapes all day. I swear I'm going to slap a diaper on him and call it a day, but every time I threaten to do it he whips out our Agreement Of Ownership That Proves Once And For All That We Live In A Household In Which A Dog Is In Charge and then calls his attorneys. Damn dog.

Feb 8, 2010


Do you have any projects in your basket that are the stitchy equivalent of a Valium?

I'm happy to report that for me it's turning out to be Shepherd's Bush Thoughtful Heart. Every time I pick this up, I feel like I'm sinking into a warm bubble bath and that the world has just fallen away. The house is clean, the clothes are washed, the dog is perfectly behaved, and I'm a petite blonde supermodel triathlete who has just won the PowerBall. (Oh, and my boyfriend Jeffrey Dean Morgan is standing by in a tuxedo waiting to take me to dinner. In Paris.)

We had stitchy weekend here at Chez Spinster, but I'm sure Stewey would tell you that the highlight of it all was his Saturday morning excursion to PetSmart with his new BFF. Aunt Chrissy decided that she and Stewey would have a little "together" time, so she picked him up bright and early and then spoiled him rotten with some new toys and treats.

The first thing on their shopping list was a new ball for Zhu Zhu, since the one that came with Zhu Zhu has a propensity for breaking open during play, thus resulting in Mommie having to run screaming through the house "DROP IT! DROP IT! DROP IT RIGHT NOW!". Unfortunately, the new hamster ball bit the dust after about 20 minutes of Evil Stewey bashing it about the floorboards.

(Evil Stewey is a little monster that appears every now and then to terrorize us. He is especially vicious when it comes to hard plastic balls, and he gnashes at them and chases them into walls until Tylenol and bloodshed show up.)

(Everyday Stewey thinks he is quite the barbarian, and although bears a striking resemblance, is in no way related to him.)

I've wanted to try wool applique for quite some time now, so Saturday I tried my hand at this:

I know it's just a beginner kit, but it was exactly what I wanted to see if more of this type of thing will be in my future. I think it will, but I need to learn to relax a bit and not try to make the stitches PERFECT. By the time I had spent an hour or so on that buttonhole stitch my shoulders were in my ears and my teeth were sore from all of the clenching.

Not much else to report today, other than the fact that we had a damn good pot roast for Sunday Dinner last night. I wish I could take all of the credit for it, but alas, I cannot. My only contribution to the meal was the roasted sweet potatoes with brussel sprouts and garlic and a bunch of boo hoo hoos when they showed the soldiers watching the Super Bowl. (What can I say? I get very emotional when it comes to heroes in uniform.)

Looks like I better get to it...I sense a disturbance in the force that will probably involve some laundry and housecleaning today. Happy Monday!

Feb 5, 2010


My mom can't come to the blog right now. She's still "indisposed". By "indisposed", I mean that she's still sitting in the corner thinking about what a wench she's been this last week. I do believe, however, that she is formulating a plan for better behavior, so things are definitely looking up for the weekend.

Seeing how she was "indisposed" yesterday (read: in bed with the covers pulled over her head), my Aunt Chrissy came over and picked me up for some mani/pedi action. I really like it when Aunt Chrissy takes me for a nail appointment, since we go to the specialist at my doctor's office rather than the ham-fisted hacks at the mega store. (The last time Mom took me to that hellhole, they stuffed me in a crate with a muzzle on my mouth and then got all upset when I voiced my displeasure with a few well-placed poops on their filthy floor.)

(What can I say? Some of us prefer a little privacy when bathing, and don't consider it at all pleasant to be hosed down in some kind of prison re-entry fashion that involves cavity searches and a strong de-lousing liquid).

After the nail appointment, my Aunt Chrissy asked if I wanted to do a little shopping, and of course, I was thrilled! I do love to shop, especially when I can ride in the front of the cart and noodge the items that I want. That's how I've obtained all of my favorite toys....I'm placed in a shopping cart for safekeeping, and as we troll up and down the aisles I grab whatever strikes my fancy. If Mom chooses the toy I'm not as enthusiastic about it, but you can bet that if it's something I've selected for myself it will be treasured forever.

I'd like you to meet the newest addition to my menagerie: This is Constance. Constance the Cow, to be exact.

Constance is a real cut-up and decided to play "I'm a big burly wrestling guy and I'm going to pin you, Stewey!" for that picture. I figured since it was her first day and all, I'd indulge her, but after a few strategic kicks to my nether regions, I figured I'd better show her who's boss:
"Night night, little Constance. You need to be quiet now and take a nap."

That isn't a very good picture of me, but it does allow you to view the nice job that Miss Nekka managed on my paws. I thought the cucumber moisturizer was especially lovely.

Mom is still working on the Shepherd's Bush piece. She finished all of the over-one lettering last night and went to bed with a headache. I heard her mumbling to herself that she hasn't a clue how y'all do that over-one stitching so beautifully out there and that she was definitely not made for it, but she persevered and got it done. I'm going to noodge her in the direction of the Happy Chair now to see if she can make some more progress.

Happy Weekend, all! I do hope that if you are expecting bad weather that you stay inside with something lovely for comfort! Take care!

With love from your pal,


Feb 4, 2010


My mo-ther can't come to the blog right now. I've sent her to her room to think about what a beast she's been these last few days and so that I can have some peace and quiet when I call the doc for some new meds. I've been seeing a lot of different commercials on the TeeVee for stuff that I think will help her, but I'm not sure if my puppy insurance will cover any of it. (I have to hide it in a piece of cheese to get her to take it, so it's better if I just go buy the stuff and not tell her too many details.)

Anywhoose...I rummaged around in the studio last night and came up with a new project for the old lady to start. I occurred to me that one of the things that was making her mad was the fact that she hadn't started anything new in a long time. She seemed to be on a "let's get some of these damn WIP's finished" kick, so I figured we'd nip that one right in the bud.
I picked Shepherd's Bush Thoughtful Heart because I thought the sentiment was particularly good. I also thought it might prompt my mom to start thinking about Valentine's Day and all of the wonderful presents that she will surely purchase for me. I'm pretty simple this year, actually. All I want are some new silk boxers. Oh, and world peace.

The Winter Olympics will start soon, which means we'll probably have some more angst over the lack of appropriate stitchy projects. Don't worry....I'm on it. I've pulled out the notebooks that contain all of Stitchy Aunt Laura J. Perin's charts and I think I'll kit one up with some USA colors. That way, when Mother recalls the "Project Which Shall Not Be Named. Ever." I can just slip the kit into the Happy Chair and hope that it will distract her for a while.

She's like that, don't you know. If you wave something pretty and shiny at her, she'll stop dead in her tracks to oohh and ahh over it and you can just get on with your life.

(If that fails, you can also say "Do I smell bar-be-que ribs?" and she'll be off like a shot to the nearest Famous Dave's for sustenance.)

(What can I say? I pup's gotta' do what a pup's gotta' do.)

Today is cold and gloomy, and even the damn squirrels seem to be bored. I'm keeping myself busy by peeing on the drapes and reading The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. I started it yesterday afternoon and find that I just cannot put it down. Oddly enough, as we were listening to the BBC before falling asleep last night, we heard a report about "locked-in" syndrome and how doctors are discovering that sometimes these patients are actually conscious in there. I find this subject fascinating, despite the tough emotions that come with, but if I want to have a future in neurosurgery I suppose I should really bone up on this stuff.

I hope that wherever you are is pleasant and lovely and bright. And, if there's a crabby spinster in your vicinity that you are adequately prepared with a sedative and nice cup of peppermint tea.

With love from your pal,

Feb 3, 2010


Is there something in the air? Is it a full moon? What in the holy hell has happened to my stitchy mojo? What, for that matter, has happened to my bloggy mojo?

Since I'm pretty sure y'all are sick and tired of hearing about Stewey peeing on the drapes, I'm going to go read a book. Or two. Or a magazine. Something....ANYTHING!...to snap outta' this!

Oh, and P.S....the pic is a character from my very new favorite comic strip: "PEARLS BEFORE SWINE". If the man weren't married already I would declare him my boyfriend, but alas, methinks he is "with family". Sigh.

Feb 1, 2010


On Friday I got the hankering to do some cooking. So I sat down with all of my Ina cookbooks and planned out the making of at least six hundred different tasty dishes and then decided to attempt Olive Garden pasta fagioli.

I should probably mention that a) I haven't had Olive Garden pasta fagioli in about ten years so I'm not exactly sure what's in it, let alone if I even like it, and b) there wasn't a recipe to be found in any of Ina's cookbooks for said Olive Garden pasta fagioli.

So on Saturday, Aunt Chrissy and I headed to the mega-mart, along with the rest of the state of Indiana. What does it say about a place that when the sun shines during the month of January, you would think it was the apocalypse the way everybody comes out and drives their cars as if a trip to the Home Depot would save the world? So it would seem that everybody decided to go to the grocery store at the exact same moment I did, and those everybodies got the hell in my way until Aunt Chrissy made me do breathing exercises in the soup aisle.

(For the record, I did NOT throttle the Granger housewife who knocked me out of my L.L Beans, rummaged through the chicken broth cans for an hour and then looked up and me and said "Do you need to get in here?").

(And, for the record, I did NOT get my New Jersey on and say to her "Whadda YOU think?!").

Instead, I stood behind her and glared so hard that I gave myself a headache. The foreign exchange student that was unlucky enough to be with this brawd gripped their cart in utter terror.

So much for making a nice impression on our national visitors.

Pasta fagioli, it turns out is remarkably simple to make. The version I came up with started with the Holy Trinity....celery, carrots, and onions, followed by some garlic at the last minute. (Ina says that if you put it in all together it will burn and become bitter, so I do as I'm told and add it at the last minute.) Then I dumped beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken broth, red beans, white beans, nicely browned ground beef, and some spices.

Aunt Chrissy can't take spicy, so I sighed heavily and made it nice and bland for her with the understanding that I could add with impunity my own chili powder and cayenne pepper later.

This simmered for about three hours, and just as we were getting hungry, I boiled these little itty bitty ditali pastas and added them to the pot. Well....um.....I thought they were itty bitty, but the result was an increase in volume that was...um...rather unexpected:
Who knew that ditali pasta morphs into something ten times larger than what any normal person would expect?

Needless to say, I containerized TEN big quarts of the stuff and sent Aunt Chrissy home with four of them. I kept six in the fridge for dinners this week:
Oh, and did I mention that I didn't really even like this stuff? (Sometimes it's not easy being me.)

We had StudioPalooza in addition to our PastaFalooza, so I did manage to finish my very first ornament:
FaLaLa Ornament
All Dolled Up Series
Little House Needleworks
30ct. Weeks Dye Works linen
DMC floss and little red beads

I'm still not convinced that this thing will actually fit on a Christmas tree, but I won't make the final judgement until I get to the finish-finishing stage. I suppose that if it's too big I could make it into a stand-up or a pillow or something, but I'm not going to get twisted about it until the time comes. Stay tuned for some heavy glue gun action.

I tried and tried to kit up a new canvas piece last night, but I kept getting frustrated and jumbled over color selections. Aunt Chrissy peered at me a few times over her stitchy glasses to ask what was wrong, so in the end I decided to put it all away and stick a few stitches into the big red sunflower. Maybe I'll play with that one for a while to see how far I can get.

That's the Monday report from Chez Spinster, dearies! Cioa and cheerioes to all!