Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cozy Cowl Hood With Bear Ears

After I sent the Titans blanket to Tammy, she sent me a box of yarn that she had and didn't need anymore. With that yarn, Nicole the Knitter asked me to make an animal scoodie for her goddaughter.

I checked around online and decided to try this one (it's actually the first one in a series of scoodies for Nicole's friends, so it was kind of a test subject). The goddaughter is a bit of a fun, funky dresser so I thought the more neutral colors would be good for her and match a lot of stuff.

I used Lion Brand's Cozy Cowl Hood and added the ears. You do need a user name and password to see the pattern on their site.


Ch 84; taking care not to twist the ch; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in each ch around; join with sl st in first sc - 84 sts at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc in this rnd and in all following rnds), turn, dc in each sc around; join with sl st in top of turning ch.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in each dc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Repeat Rnds 2 and 3 until piece measures about 19 in. (48.5 cm) from beg.
Fasten off.

The ears are my my little design.

Whatever hook size you use for the base hat, use for the ears as well, or go one size smaller.

2 colors of yarn:
  • A medium nylon/acrylic blend for both the insides and outsides 
  • Inside and outside colors of yarn 
Inside of the ears, make 2 separate insides.
  1. Give yourself a length of 6-8” of unused yarn before you start. This will be what you use to attach the front of the ear to the bottom of the ear. Chain 8. Do a DC in the third chain from the end of the hook. 
  2. HDC in each stitch. Chain 2 at the end and turn. 
  3. HDC in each stitch again. Chain 2 at the end and turn. 
  4. HDC in each stitch again. Chain 2 at the end and turn. 
  5. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row), to create a rounded off appearance. 
  6. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row), to create a rounded off appearance. Finish off the yarn and weave in ends. You will end at the top of the inside ear. 
Outside of the ears. Make 2 separate outsides.

1. Give yourself a length of 6-8” of unused yarn before you start. This will be what you use to attach the ear to the hat. Chain 12. Do a DC in the second chain from the end of the hook.
2. Row 1: DC in each stitch. Chain 2 at the end and turn.
3. Row 2: DC in each stitch again. Chain 2 at the end and turn.
4. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row), to create a rounded off appearance.
5. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row) again, to create a rounded off appearance.
6. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row) again, to create a rounded off appearance. Finish off the yarn and weave in ends. You will end at the top of the outside ear.

Lay the outside pieces flat and lay the inside pieces flat on top of them, so the bottom edges are together. Using a yarn needle, use the several inches of outside ear piece to sew the insides and outsides together, using the edges of the insides to guide you. Finish off the yarn.

Sew the completed ears to the hat with the same outside color yarn, on top of the head.

There's no real rhyme or reason to this cowl. I just liked the colors of the yarn, and for the heck of it, added the fun fur yarn to the edges.

The Eggy Tomato Breakfast Recipe You Need to Try

Earlier this year, I saw this recipe for Saffron Shakshuka, a Mediterranean-inspired warm-up dish to beat the winter doldrums.

So.

Damn.

GOOD!

Seriously, I'm not even going to try to convince anyone that it's this damn good. I'm just going to copy the recipe here and hope you're smart enough to make it for yourself.

Serves 3 to 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 red peppers, cored, seeded, and rough chopped
1 – 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
1/4 cup canned green chilies
1 quart whole, peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon spicy Hungarian paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (less if using a very salty feta)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
5 threads saffron
Splash rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup goat’s milk feta--I didn't have feta so I used my favorite soft goat cheese.
1/4 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
6 eggs

Heat a large 3 or 4 quart skillet with 2 inch deep sides over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when hot, the onions. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the red pepper and poblano; continue to sauté for 4 minutes or so. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Next, stir in the canned chilies and the tomatoes and juice, crushing each whole tomato with your hand as you go. Stir in the salt, pepper, and spices. Bring mixture up to a gentle boil, and then turn heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the rice wine vinegar, feta, parsley, and chives. Check salt levels and adjust as needed.

Edge heat up to medium-low. Working one at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl, and then transfer the egg to the shakshuka by dipping it into the stew and giving it a careful tip. Repeat for each egg. Cover and allow eggs to poach for 6 – 8 minutes –– just until the whites have set up. I learned how to poach eggs tonight, just for this recipe. :)

To serve, ladle into a bowl or spoon shakshuka over a grain, polenta, or rice. Garnish with a pinch of fresh herbs, a dash of paprika, and a sprinkle of feta.

HOT DAMN! MAKE THIS DISH!! The smell of it in your kitchen, as it's cooking, wafting through your home might just be enough to get you laid if you've got anyone in your home that might get turned on while you're cooking.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Star Wars Song Parody

So, the other day, I'm driving in my car and "1985" by Bowling For Soup came on. And while I'm listening to it, the lyrics started rewriting themselves in my head, Star Wars-style, because let's be honest...I'm a nerd and this shit's never too far from my thoughts.



Woohoo
Woohoo

Leia just hit the wall.
She always had it all:
One droid a day,
Daddy’s an Organa.
Her dreams were Force unseen,
When she turned nineteen.
Looking for just one man
What happened to her plan?

She was gonna be a rebel.
She was gonna be a Queen.
She was gonna shake her blaster
And keep her white dress clean.
Vader’s Death Star is now the enemy
Looks at her privileged life
And nothing will be alright.

Since the Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1977.

Woohoo

(1977)

Woohoo

She's seen all the classics,
She knows every line:
Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi,
You're my only hope.
She rocked to Figrin D’an!
Not a big Max Rebo fan.
Thought she'd get a hand
From ole'Lando Calrissian.

Wears the bikini and chain made of metal.
And what’s the deal with Mon Mothma?
When did rebellion become a movie?
What ever happened to Life Day, bun heads?

(In space was)

The Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1977.

Woohoo

She hated Solo, make him stop.
When did he stop being such a scoundrel?
And when did Chewie become a hero?
Please make this
Stop! Stop! Stop!
And bring back

The Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 1977.

The Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1977.



Another Visitor to Our Yard

I had just started mowing our yard on Sunday afternoon when I saw it. After one pass around the edges, I came back up to the house, and saw the rump of a young possum, snuggled up against the brick crawlspace. I thought, this probably isn’t good and I wondered where the hell he came from, because he (I don’t know if it was a male or a female, but I’m referring to it as a “he.”) wasn’t there three minutes earlier. And because possums are nocturnal, and here it was about 4:45 PM, this was just odd, even though we do have them in our neighborhood, along with assorted birds, raccoons, the occasional fox, and even snakes.

I clapped my hands and tried to scare it off, but he wasn’t budging. In fact, he continued to dig and creep along the bricks like I wasn’t even there. It was a little guy, maybe just 12 inches long plus his tail. Still, I gave him a wide berth, and got almost in front of him, clapping and making noise the whole time. This was one brave little possum. But when I did get in front of him, that’s when I saw his face.

Half of it was missing.

He had a lower jaw with teeth and a tongue (that looked either suntanned or callused from being exposed all the time), and he had eyes and a forehead (with everything he should have from that point up), but he was missing his nose and all of his upper jaw. The fur was gone from his face and it formed am upside down V between his eyes of black, probably infected, scabbed over skin. I thought at first: Holy shit, did I run him over with the mower? It was a disgusting thought. Then I realized, if I had, there would have been blood and screaming, from both him and me. No, this was not a fresh wound.

The more I watched him, creeping around the border of my house like a careful oversized mouse, I thought he was deaf. But the more noise I made, I realized his ears were twitching to the sounds. And then as he made it to my front step for a little rest, he just about fell off the steps…because he couldn’t see them. He was blind as well. Despite being a blind, wounded, baby possum, he showed no fear of me. I probably could have picked him up by the tail and he wouldn’t have cared, because who knows who or when he was injured so severely. Maybe he wasn’t afraid of me because he’d never seen a human. He never even once played dead for me.

It was hotter than hell that day, damn near 100 in just air temperature. The heat index may have been a few degrees higher. He looked like he was panting, based on how his little sides moved. It was kind of hard to tell for sure since he had no muzzle and his tongue was already out. A couple times, he settled down for a bit to relax. He looked exhausted. I told my husband to keep Cujo inside so he couldn’t bother the possum. I couldn’t just leave the poor little animal out like that. And what kind of quality of life could he possibly have? I think he may have been living under the hose reel box in the side yard, because he wanted to hide under there.

I called Animal Control for some advice. I was basically told that since it was a wild animal, they wouldn’t do anything for him, and if he died, they’d tell me how to bag up his body for disposal. At this point, the little guy was looking worse. Flies were all over the exposed skin of his face, even his eyes. I called a local (over in the next zip code) wildlife rehab group and left a message around 6 PM. I coaxed him into a bucket so I could get him out of the sun for awhile, but he decided he wanted to be free and very nicely and calmly left the bucket for the safety of the back yard and hid behind the hose reel. When he laid down to itch his face, I thought I was going to start sobbing like a baby: using a back paw, he itched his right eyeball until it bled and didn’t seem to care. The bleeding didn’t last long and it clotted quickly.

Since he had settled down again, I started my mowing and kept an eye on him. Do you know how awkward it is to mow with one hand because you’ve got your phone in the other hand? I didn’t have pockets in my shorts and I needed to keep my phone handy in case the rehab place called. I tried sticking it in my bra but that was just super uncomfortable. On a hot day, I don’t want a rectangle of plastic in my cleavage because I would have been sweating all over it.

I kept wondering when the fuck the rehab group was going to call me back. This was so unfair to the possum. And as someone who has done dog rescue, this struck me as unprofessional.

I even went inside to get cleaned up a bit. The rehab’s website said they closed at 8 PM.  By the time 8:15 rolled around, I went back outside, found the possum (probably a Virginia opossum), and scooped him back into the bucket (thank god for work gloves and unused bamboo tiki torch supports). Three houses away from us is an empty lot on the water with a ton of overgrown vegetation in the back. It wasn’t the best solution, but I figured the little guy would have a better chance at survival if he was back there.

The rehab place left me a message at about 9:15 that night. The woman was so blasé about it and gave me another number at which to call her. I was irritated so I didn’t call her back. What would I have told her anyway?

I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking about that little deformed face and how brave he was, like it was no big deal. I purposely chose to not take his picture, even though I had plenty of chances. It felt like I would have been exploiting him somehow. Hey guys, check out this freak of nature I found! Look at the little monster!! No, this wasn’t like the raccoon that scared the shit out of me last year; this was an animal that had probably been attacked by another animal and needed some sort of help along the way. Would the rehabbers have even been able to do anything for him, or would they have euthanized him? I could see the benefits of both.

Every time I go outside now, I check the road and along our crawlspace for him. I’ve moved some rocks to the hose reel box to block it off. It’s too out in the open for his safety, at least, in my opinion. Despite never actually touching him (I did think about trying to pet him but didn’t actually do it), I guess I became strangely attached to him in that short period of time.