Saturday, October 27, 2012

Someone Else Feels The Way I Do

This article just about jumped off the screen to me tonight: Breast cancer gets most attention.
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Catherine Reade and M.J. Ainsley begin by listing people they love who suffered from breast cancer, perhaps to offset any sense of sour grapes.

But eventually, Ainsley, a Chesapeake woman with pancreatic cancer, arrives at her point about breast cancer awareness month.

"I am thrilled so many people are survivors, and I'm thrilled about the awareness, but come on," Ainsley said, looking a member of the media straight in the eye. "There are other cancers out there."

And more deadly ones at that.

"There's so much pink, and it's in everybody's face," Reade, a Virginia Beach lung cancer fighter, said with a weary tone.

After 31 days of pink ribbons, races for "the cure," egg cartons with pink emblems, football players with pink shoes and sweat towels, November arrives with a bit less fanfare for awareness months near and dear to Reade and Ainsley.

The cancer that Reade is battling - lung cancer - kills more people than any other cancer in the country and is second only to heart disease among all causes of death.
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It immediately reminded me of a post I made almost a year ago, about breast cancer getting so much attention, to the point that as the daughter of a mother with non-breast cancer, it's making me sick. I'd never begrudge anyone their survival over cancer, but damn it, I just want my mom to live too. I don't know how she can when it seems like so much time and money is spent on treatment and early detection for breast cancer.

Finished With A Baby Gift

I finished up a baby gift for some friends tonight (I was supposed to take a weekend trip up to DC with my husband and his aunt and uncle, but I haven't been sleeping well lately, had a headache this morning and just couldn't bring myself to go, so I'm taking advantage of having the house to myself tonight).

This package goes along with the strawberry lemonade blanket from earlier. (And I am missing my camera tonight. It pooped the bed on me last weekend, so now my pictures are from my phone until I get a new one.) 

A simple post card type congratulations card (I really liked this card stock but it wasn't enough to make a folding card. I couldn't bring myself to not use it anyway.). I almost forgot to grab a card for them.

I decided I didn't want to make the hat the same size as the jacket. This will fit the baby, a girl, unborn as of yet, once she's older.
The hat will fit a head with a 16" circumference. The hat started from an actual pattern I found online, meant to be kind of a spring hat, but I started changing things right away and turned it into a different look. Unfortunately, I didn't write it down. However, I think this would also make a nice beanie too, once the turned up brim sizing becomes too short.

Little tiny jacket
The jacket is the Baby's Plush Jacket from the Cozy Crochet Kit. I love this little pattern. It's super easy to work up and has become my go-to pattern for baby clothes. This size should fit a three month old infant.

Both of these pieces were made from yarn and a button already in my stash. The black is regular old Red Heart Super Saver; the red is Premier Yarns Mega Brushed in Wild Berry Sorbet (#51-205); and the trim is an unknown eyelash yarn, probably some kind of Moda Dea yarn. I actually hoped to reverse the red and black, but I didn't have enough of the Wild Berry yarn to do that, and I didn't want to buy more. Both pieces were made on a K sized crochet hook.



Results of a Craft Challenge

Well, the results of Craft Challenge #79, Ugly to Awesome, at Craftster are out. This was where I entered my Halloween carousel horse, in which I nicknamed My Little Halloween Pony.

I'll admit, I'm a little bummed out. I didn't win, but I did get third place. I got 22.2% of the vote (18 out of 81), so that's nice. There were two people whose projects didn't get a single vote. Hell, I voted for my own. I'm surprised that everyone didn't do that. :)

Feel Like a Crafting SUPASTAR!!!!

I got a Craftster email today from ladykara, a new user. She had a question for me about the Polaris hat I made for a friend of mine at work.
The problem with the pattern, and I agree with ladykara, is how it's written for the first two rounds. (The pattern can be found here, but you have to have a Lion Brand username and password.) So, I sent her an email back with how I did my hat and hopefully, that will work for her.

Wow, first a request to repair a wedding gift blanket from back in the day and now this. :) My crafting ego is gonna get HUUUUUUUUUGE!

And here's my thought for the day: when the movie Predator came out in 1987,  do you think it was The Expendables of it's day? Can you tell what I've been watching as I work on things around the house today? Aside from Arnold Schwarzenegger being in both, Predator also had these guys in it:
  • Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed and Action Jackson)
  • Jesse Ventura (a former WWE wrestler)
  • Bill Duke (well known dramatic actor who was everywhere on TV in the 80's)
  • Sonny Landham (movie actor in the 80's)
  • Kevin Peter Hall (Harry and The Hendersons and Weird Science)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My "Walking Dead" Thought for the Week

I tend to run a little behind schedule when I watch "The Walking Dead," usually by a week or so. So WD fans, you can read this post and be assured, THERE ARE NO SPOILERS HERE because I've only watched season 3, episode 1 so far. I won't give anything any here, but I do have one thought to share.

 You see this group of three photos of the group? What do all the people have in common here? (And WHY doesn't T-Dog get more to do besides putting on work gloves and moving dead zombie bodies???)
 Any ideas yet?
All of our survivors are dirty and grimy. Makes sense, right? During a zombie apocalypse, when you're fighting for your life and survival, personal hygiene goes bye-bye. Plus, it's just hard to stay clean when you're forced to survive the way they are.






Okay, so that being said, look at the next group of photos and tell me what they all have in common.

Hmmmmm......

 Any guesses?
All of their vehicles are always CLEAN.

If you've got the resources to keep the outsides of your vehicles clean (soap and water, at the very least), why aren't you keeping yourself clean? Is it because of resale value once the apocalypse is over?

I understand this is a fiction series, but it's starting to bug me. I think I know why the cars are usually clean though. Right now, AMC is running the "Drive to Survive" sweepstakes, where you could win Shane's actual Hyundai Tucson (second vehicle photo, above left). You want the potential entrants to see how nice the car looks, and Hyundai may have a contract clause for the car to be clean anytime it's shown in an episode.

But come on....dirt, gravel dust, zombie gore and yet that Tucson looks like it just rolled out of the showroom. Stop it, AMC...get those vehicles dirty or get the survivors cleaned up!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Awesome Beef Stew Recipe

I have to say right now that I can't take credit for this recipe. I found it in the comments section of an article on CNN.com about things under $100 you must own. Unfortunately, I can't find that article anymore.

Anyhoo, one of the must haves was a Crock Pot, and yeah, I totally agree that it's a must have. We are on our second Crock Pot since getting married 14 years ago. The one I have now is larger than the first, and I'm actually on the second lid for this cooker because I wore the first one out!

So this was the recipe posted: 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of French onion soup (both condensed), 1 cup of water, and 2 lbs of cubed steak. Throw it in the pot and let it cook.

It sounded so good and wildly easy that I copied it to save. My husband's aunt and uncle came into town this evening, so I saved this recipe to use for tonight. I thought it was make supper easier if it was already done when they got here, they wouldn't have to wait if they were hungry, and it would keep if their flights ran late.

So here is my version of that recipe:
  • 2.5 lbs of cubed steak (I cheated a little: I cooked this the night before and seasoned it with powdered garlic)
  • 3 medium to large potatoes, diced into bite sized chunks
  • 2 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of condensed French onion soup
  • 1 can of water
  • Half a bag of frozen pre-cut veggies (beans, carrots, corn)
  • A healthy splash of Worcestershire sauce
I started this out on high in the crock for about 1.5 hours, and then turned it down to low for the next remaining 8 hours. Now, it doesn't have to cook that long, especially since I did the meat the night before, but me and my husband were both at work for that length of time. Basically, I started it in the morning and left for work.

We had about 30 minutes after all getting home before eating, so since it was so hot and cooked already, I just turned the Crock Pot off and it was the perfect temperature when we ready.

Stan and Susie were both really impressed with it, and Shane especially loved the way it smelled, even when we got into the garage, even before we were in the house. :) This is a definite keeper recipe!

Where Have I Been Online Lately?

The two places I was poking around on the internet: Lorraine Eaton's Amish cookbook giveaway from Pilotonline this morning (I had the chili posting) and the Free Range on Food live chat on The Washington Post yesterday afternoon (I had the last comment of the chat about PB and pickle sandwiches).

Where have you been lately?

Feeling a Little Mentally Stymied

As you can see by the lack of posts, I'm feeling a little mentally stuck again, so in order to clear out the cobwebs, I'm turning to another blog for inspiration.

On Oct. 16, Fantastic Fangirls asked, "What comic book character would you take out on a date and why?"

Easy peasey, lemon squeezey: either Iron Man/Tony Stark or Captain America/Steve Rogers. And yes, I am basing this answer on the Iron Man and the Avengers movies, but it still counts because they STARTED as comic book characters.

Tony Stark: I defy any woman to not have a good time with this man, no matter what your "type" is, if you even have one. I'm not talking about getting into the sack with Tony, although I think that's the way any evening would end with the old Tony (pre-hostage, pre-arc reactor days), and then the general booting out of his house by Pepper Potts. We're talking just dates here.

He's wildly sarcastic and funny, but he's also highly intelligent, educated and witty. You could have actual conversations with him. He's also got hobbies: he likes hot rods and in the first Iron Man movie, he based the color scheme on the suit on hot rod red. To me, that just shows he can geek out a little bit about the stuff he enjoys.

As a multi-millionaire, he's got the world at his fingertips. He has a whole fleet of cars and airplanes at his disposal. A date with Tony could happen ANYWHERE. He suggests pizza or Italian, and before you know it, you're on your way to Rome.

But what about simpler tastes? I think Tony has them. "Have you ever tried shawarma?" Iron Man asks Captain America. "There's a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don't know what it is, but I want to try it." Shawarma is flavorful, spit-roasted Middle Eastern street food. If that doesn't speak to simple tastes, no pun intended, I don't know what does. To me, this says Tony doesn't have to dine in the fanciest, best restaurants that money can buy. He's in a busted up restaurant in NYC with his friends (I guess you could call the Avengers his friends now), enjoying a meal after doing something worthwhile: saving Earth and all of humanity from Loki and an army of aliens. That's kind of humble.

And from a total fangirl POV, come on...it's RDJ here. Tony Stark is good looking!!!! What's wrong with wanting a little arm candy once in a while? :)

Steve Rogers: born July 4, 1922, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, to poor Irish immigrants. God, he's got humble oozing out of his pores already! He's a sweetheart, and it doesn't matter if we're talking about the pre-Super Solider Serum or the buff-Cap. He's nice and well mannered (I cracked up during the Avengers when he's meeting people, calling the Black Widow "m'am" and some other random guy "son.").

In late April 1945, during the closing days of World War II, Captain America stops the villainous Red Skull  from destroying NYC, by crash landing the plane and saving tens of thousands of people. Rogers is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic, where he freezes but lives, until being thawed out about 70 years later. He will do anything for his beliefs, provided it benefits the greater good. He's got heart.

And because he really does come from a simpler time, Steve probably wouldn't be bogged down with the latest and greatest of anything, in order to enjoy an evening out. Because of the effects of the Super Solider Serum on his metabolism, he can't get drunk so he's not going to get all sloppy on you. He likes baseball games, the radio and going dancing if he had the right partner. He grew up frail, thin, sickly, and bullied, so it's safe to say he'd never be mean to someone, just for the sake of being mean. He knows what it's like to be verbally (and physically) hurt. Simple things and a good time would make for a good date with Steve.

But at least he's trying to adapt to live in this time. He went along with them for shawarma. :) Steve probably never tried it in the 1940's

And from a total fangirl POV again, come on...Steve Rogers is good looking too (even for a guy with blonde hair)

I think it's interesting to look at these two guys and realize they are pretty much polar opposites of each other. What does that say about me? :)