Martha Stewart, We Have Very Different Tastes

Once again a food post. I made this:

Three Bean Pasta Salad

It looked like this:

I served it with a BLT sandwich that was divine. However I followed the recipe according to directions, tasted it (cause you’re supposed to salt and pepper to taste) and all I could taste was red wine vinegar, which tasted like wine gone over (which is what happens to wine when it spoils, it becomes vinegar) and was awful. So I doubled the amount of mustard and honey which made the salad better. My other alternative was to try to rinse off the pasta and beans and just pour over it my favorite Italian dressing. Sadly the best thing about this salad was the celery.

I Have Better Things to Do With Salami

So I made this:

Tasted like a cream cheese and mustard that smelled like salami.
So I made a second sandwich from an old hors d’oeuvre recipe that was much better. I don’t have photos of it. It didn’t last long enough.
The old hors d’oeuvre recipe is hard salami, cream cheese and sweet gherkins. Most people take the salami, spread cream cheese on it, then wrap it around a sweet gherkin. I slice my gherkin into half so the pickle doesn’t overpower everything else.
So I decided to make this into a sandwich. I spread the cream cheese on the sandwich, placed the gherkins, sliced of course to lay flat, and then added salami. It was almost divine, however my husband and I decided to next time to make a spread of the cream cheese and chopped gherkins and that way.

Why This Won’t Be a Food Blog

After having a bag of Gardetto’s, water, and a paperback novel for lunch I decided I wanted to try to take my lunch to work because I don’t want to get too burned out too quickly on White Castles (my favorite fast food other than Taco Bell).

However… I’m a really lousy cook and not to mention a picky eater. I usually don’t try new foods because I don’t want to be grossed out. There are also foods I don’t like such as salmon (way too many salmon patties as a kid) or avocado. I’ll eat guacamole, but only if I have to (such as my Mexican food has it already on it.) I don’t like hummus (tastes like creamed tortilla chips to me.)

I googled easy work lunch ideas and most were tuna salad variations, egg salad variations, some salads I would never want to try. Like this one:

Cherry Almond Farro Salad

What is farro? The salad looks like rice crispies with cherries in it. However there were some things I’m willing to try, such as a mashed chickpea salad, and a tuna cabbage salad. So I went ahead and picked out 4 or was it 5 new recipes, one being a pasta and bean salad, to try for lunches at work. The problem is I need to try them before taking them as a work lunch. I’d hate to make my lunch and find it tasted awful and I end up having White Castles anyway. Starting tomorrow I’ll try and taste a recipe from the ones I’ve found that appeal to me. All the recipes are on my Pinterest Board: Recipes to Try

Resolutions for 2017

I wanted to get this up yesterday, but I was busy with the Sims 3…  I need to get some screenshots for my FB page. My current goal is to get my main Sim and her spouse their lifetime goal. Ain’t been easy. Everytime my Sim’s spouse gets promoted he seems to get demoted!
Okay, resolutions. I want to drink less (probably made that one last year) and so far failing miserably. I’ve drank the 31st, and the 1st. I’ve got a Sober tracking app and then a drink tracking app. I want to only drink once or twice a week, but I think I may have to go some stretches without drinking at all because when I do try to only drink once or twice a week then I wind up drinking every day of the week.
Cardio! I’m going to try to keep up doing cardio 5 days a week (at the moment I’m only doing it once or twice a week.)
Be responsible! This is where I envy my sims, they don’t have to do laundry and they have a maid clean the house. I mean be responsible as in doing more housework. I’m really a slob.
Get some orders on my Etsy shop. I don’t mean have the shop my main source of income, but get an order every couple months.
Keep up with crocheting. All of November and December I’ve been a crocheting fiend. Making gloves, making an afghan. Once I finish my scraps afghan I’ll make another to sell or give away. I want to keep up with the chevrons but a slightly different pattern.
Definitely take a trip! I hope to actually visit Chicago this year. We live close and I’ve never been.

The Year in Review…

I’m writing this before work while eating toast trying to get rid of a hangover if that says anything about 2016 I dunno what does.

2016 for me was a horrible year, not as bad as 2015 according to my husband. In 2015 I was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies. I had lost my job, a dream job that I had finally decided to make a career. I had friends, I had great connections, and once I was fired I was suddenly non existent to these friends and connections. I felt invisible and was overwhelmed with loneliness and self loathing that I thought the only way to solve my problems was to remove myself from this world. Then after getting help, getting medication, and getting better, my brother-in-law was arrested for downloading child pornography and molesting my daughter, all under my roof and I didn’t know it until the police barged through the door. I panic now at loud noises. However that was 2015, we’re here to talk about 2016.

2016 brought bed bugs, head lice, mites (on the rats) and fleas. So basically the year of the parasites. I had to borrow money to pay for a heat treatment for the bedbugs, took 3 weeks to get rid of my daughter’s head lice (you wanna know what worked? Vinegar, she smelled like a salad for a while, and after drenching her head in straight vinegar I spent 2 hours pulling out nits.) I’m still battling fleas. I’m hoping once it turns cold and stays cold, I’ll be able to  get rid of them.

2016 also brought change. I changed jobs twice. In February I got a job at KFC, liked my work, liked my hours, was offered full time, was making minimum wage though. I quit because the management didn’t like me and when I worked, I worked entirely with management. When I accepted full time I went from 40 hours a week to 10. I quit in April and started at Wendy’s. Once again I liked what I did, the hours weren’t bad. I was hired to close the dining room, so when I cleaned the dining room I listened to audiobooks (which is how I managed to read so many books this year). This job was the opposite of KFC, the management liked me, but my coworkers did not. My coworkers were some of the laziest, unkind, and entitled acting people I’d ever met. I spent so much of my blog complaining about the goings on at Wendy’s. So I went looking for a new job, got one at MotoMart making $0.75 more an hour. I quit after 3 days! I’m so glad I did. I was treated worse there than any other place I’d ever worked. In November I quit Wendy’s and got a job beginning of December with Lowe’s. They pay me a lot more, but work my a lot less. Still the paychecks are about the same. I like Lowe’s better so far, the management and the co workers all seem cool.

2016 brought new lessons in home-ownership, like calling two different a/c repair guys and one telling me I need a new a/c unit and the other just cleaning it (which fixed its problems.) In December the bathtub drain started to leak and I’m so very proud of myself, watched YouTube videos and replaced the tub drain for about $30 and it only took maybe an hour of work. I spent most of the time playing with the plumber’s putty. Also the desktop computer crapped out twice, which caused me to replace the outlet it is plugged into on my own. Once again, only cost like $20 and took me maybe 30 minutes. We also learned the difference between “power strip” and “surge protector.”

2016 saw me return to World of Warcraft after watching the Warcraft movie. I’m in a good guild, with good people, who play everyday and we chat in Discord, every day. I started streaming my gaming, but I’m not the greatest at commentary, but I’m working on it. I’m also crocheting so much I decided to open up an Etsy shop. We’ll see how long this goes. I’m currently making a scarf and a shawl to put up for sale. Might make an afghan too.

2016 gave Paul a car, he has a Hyundai Genesis now, so now no more new car envy, well except the fact the car is gold and not maroon or blue which are his favorite colors. We have a car payment (which is why I have a job) for the first time in years. This car is also a lot newer than any car we’ve ever bought. Before though we bought an old Ford Explorer for $650, then put $300 with the work into to get it legal. Then we traded it in on the Genesis, how much did they give us for it? $400.

I lost my grandmother in July of 2016, other than some cousins I haven’t seen since my mother’s funeral I have no living family on my mother’s side. It was also the first time I ever planned a funeral. I have all of grandma’s things from the nursing home, and most I threw away, but I still have her recliner, no idea what to do with it.

I gained a cat in 2016, Black Betty, who is the perfect cat except that she’s really gross and will sneeze globs and strings of snot everywhere. She sleeps by my arms at night, she rides on my shoulders, she’s annoying, but not a much as the other cats. I also gained a dog, I have a Beagle named Maggie and her whining for whatever she wants bugs the hell out of me. Last night she kept pacing the room, and I have hardwood floors so all I heard was tap, tap, tap, tap, She’s a good dog, but the most annoying pet I own. She whines for everything! To be petted, to get on the couch, to be fed, to be watered, to go outside, for a treat, to go for a walk, to ride in the car…

I admit my 2016 blog was mostly about depression and how work sucked, but it also was something else. It was the first time I kept up a blog. I mean I picked blogging back up in May and yes there are some gaps in there. I didn’t blog everyday (my life isn’t that exciting or dramatic) but I managed to blog at least several times a month. I’ve been playing Sims 3 and I could do a whole blog about the drama in that game! Or like how I laid in bed last night wondering if I was a Sim…

I hope to post about my resolutions next (there aren’t that many) and hopefully find a way to keep them.

Also today is my mother’s birthday. She’d have been 58.

FREE DRAGONSCALE CROCHET BEANIE PATTERN

I started with this pattern: Crocodile Stitch Adult Hat It was confusing. I thought they were gonna do photo steps all the way, but nope, they stopped the photos when I needed them the most such as in how to decrease the beanie. So then I tried to go ahead and wing it, my beanie wound up too small. I discovered I had decreased too much, too quickly. Then I went ahead and tried to figure out their patten and when I decreased the way they did, my hat was not as symmetrical as my winged version. So I decided to redo the hat, using my ideas, and just add more rows of scales before decreasing.

Here is my pattern:
We’ll be using chain, slip stitch, double crochet, front post double crochet. You’ll also need a yarn needle to bring the ending hole closed once the crocheting is done. Pick your yarn, and then whatever needle is suggested. I used I Love This Yarn: Pastels and an H hook.
The rows will be discussed in prep and scales.
Chain 72 (a scale is 4 stitches, so if you need to make the hat bigger or smaller add or remove in multiples of 4). Slip stitch to make a ring. Now their pattern has you go around once with a hdc, or you can just jump in and set up your prep row. When you’re ready to start your prep row, you chain (ch) 3, then double crochet (dc) in the same hole as the ch 3. Ch 1 (you’ll always ch 1 after every dc), skip 1 stitch (st) and dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc in same hole as the previous dc (st should look like a V).

You’re going to continue this until you reach your ch 3. The V st will be your scale, and the single dc is your anchor post so your scales lay flat. Your last st should be a post before your sl st to the top of the chain 3. Ch 1.

 Now we’re done with the prep row, time to start the scales.

 You’re going to front post double crochet 5 times around the ch 3 post. When you’re done with the 5 dc you should be at the bottom of the post.

Now we’re going to do 5 dc up the dc we did after we chained 3. Then you’re going to slip stitch (sl st) around the anchor post.

Congrats, you’ve got one scale made. Now to do this until you’ve anchored to the last post and should be back at the beginning of your scales. Once you anchor your last scale, ch 3, dc in the same st, ch 1, we’re gonna do another prep row just like the last one, instead of using stitches, we’re gonna use the scales to help up prep. Each scale should be between two scales of the previous row and each post in the center of a scale. So once you’ve done the ch 3, dc, ch 1, your next dc will be in the center of the scale below it. Chain 1, then dc in space between the scales, ch 1, dc in same space, ch 1.

Then put on your scales.

Put on as many rows of scales as you want depending on how slouchy you want your beanie. The first time I did this, I only put on 3 rows before decreasing and my beanie looked like this:

It looked lovely, but it didn’t fit on my head right, and I couldn’t pull it down to cover my ears, and reminded me too much of the top of an acorn. The blue beanie at the top of this post is my 3rd beanie I’ve made, and I put on 6 rows of scales before decreasing. With the beanie I photoed for this post I also put on 6 rows, but 5 would’ve been fine too:
So up to you how many rows of scales before you start decreasing, cause when we start you’ll be ready to close the end hole after 4 rows.

The decrease! So you’ve got your 5 or 6 rows of scales, this prep row will be a little different, we’re gonna skip some scales. So you’re going to ch 3, dc in same st, ch 1, dc in the center of the scale below, ch 1, dc in the space between the scales, ch 1, dc in the same space, ch 1, (like normal, but once you’ve prepped 4 scales, count the scales below, so you should have a V that needs an anchor post, instead of putting the anchor in the center of the next scale, you’re going to skip that scale and anchor in the next scale in line.) So every 4 scales we’re gonna skip one when building the prep row. Don’t skip the last scale before you join the prep row.
(Now I feel hypocritical, I complained about how the other pattern didn’t have decrease photos, and I noticed that when I posted my photo, I’d made a mistake in it. It shows the skipped scale, but the skip is wrong, it should be a V, then skip a scale so the post goes in the center of the next scale.)
This photo is incorrect.
Not sure if you can see this. By my index finger is the scale, see how it anchors to the center of the next scale? I took this photo after finishing the hat.
Next prep row, we’re gonna do the same as we did before, but now you’re gonna set up for 3 scales, and then skip a scale. Add scales as normal.
Next prep is 2 scales, skip a scale. Add scales as normal.
Next prep is you’re gonna skip every other scale. Should be just 4 scales.
This photo might help show the scale skips.See, post, V, skipped scale, post.
When you tie off your project leave a long tail. You’re gonna thread this tail through a yarn needle and sew the small hole closed.

Stitch around the edge, and then you’ll pull it closed.
Turn the hat inside out and tie off the yarn.
Enjoy your beanie!

Creations By Turnip

My daughter made this for me. I asked her to draw me a turnip. She did a wonderful job. I’ve decided to go ahead and start selling my crochet work. I opened a shop on Etsy, $0.20 a listing. They ask for you to list about 10 items, you don’t have to, but they suggest it. I’m slowly going to try to work up to 10 items to list. I need to buy some alpaca yarn and make a pair of gloves and a hat, I also need to write up and photograph the making of the hat. I’m selling my crochet, but I’m giving away my patterns for free.

Creations By Turnip