Thursday, January 31, 2013


Much did this bottle of water cost???????

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First yarn purchase in 2013

I found a yarn shop!  
I bought some really soft, nice thinnish yarn to knit up one of those cardigans that are really popular now.   I got this amazing turquoise blue color.   While I was there I found some 'sparkly, fun fur-ish' type of yarn.  Perfect for some sort of Christmas ornament knitting in the future!    Then, I went back and bought some yarn (the orange stuff) for my friend (she's now working in England) that I taught how to knit when we both lived in Seoul, South Korea about 7 years ago.   She loves, LOVES orange colors!  The colors aren't showing up as nice as they are in person.  I had taken the photos w/ my Ipad.. (my digital camera's battery is still MIA... I found it once; but I didn't know exactly where the camera was... it was in the middle of all the first rush of unpacking!)   The big skein of yarn is a soft, pumpkin color and the two skeins of the baby mohair are more of a soft 'red-orange' color.   I don't wear orange colors... but, I thought that both were lovely colors and I know that my friend will love them!.   The blues are all my yarns.   My mohair yarn is really a soft 'robin's egg blue' color that was just lovely.   I bought two different blues for 'maybe' two different cardigans?  Or a cardigan and a lovely rectangle shawl/scarf thingy?   Now, if I only had enough time to knit all the things that I have ideas for....    My friend, in England, is going to purchase me some BRITISH knitting magazines equal to the cost of the yarn that I bought her.   She is coming to visit during our mutual 'school's spring break' (we work for the same company/people/government- just in different locations) in April.   So, we'll do some knitting, yarn shopping, and tourist sight seeing.   Hopefully, I'll have my digital camera and battery all located in one location so the photo quality will be better?    ALSO, for some reason... I'm not allowed to space between my sentences/etc.?   Strange... so, I'm sorry for the long paragraph of words! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Italian Bakery in my little town has been found and VISITED!!

The bread.  I got 3 yeast rolls and 2 small loaves of bread.

I live at the edge of a little town and I had looked around for a bakery and never saw one and there is really only the one main street w/ a few stores/etc.  So, I was beginning to think that the town was just too small to have a bakery?   I finally found one on one of the side streets.   Problem is... I leave for work before they are open and since it is a bakery... they are closed around 1:30 and way before I get off work.   Since today was...Saturday, I decided to make a stop to check it out.   Cute bag, huh?   I cut open the round loaf and was quite happy to discover that it was full of chopped walnuts!  I love fresh walnut bread!   The small rectangle bread?  It was full of fresh black olives!   nom, nom, nom...   I did eat a little of all 3 types of bread with my lunch!   All of this cost less than $3.00!!!   It was soooooooooooo good too!    Darn it... why do they have to have limited hours?  I guess I can get bread on Saturday mornings????  

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Would you like some pasta??   and yes it was as good as it looks! 

Oh, Italy... how I love you!  (and your food)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Italian Christmas Cookies

I first found these special Christmas cookies made in northern Italy in Venice, Italy many years ago. I ran across them again last week at a bakery in Venice (when I took my visitors on the train to see Venice) and I grabbed a bag of 'fresh' bakery made ones! I promptly ate them... and I found some more at a local grocery store today. They taste like pie crust cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar and they are light, crispy, and YUMMY!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dead Fish Hats

I love how they turned out!   The youngest boy, almost 3 years old, got the 'downsized' hat with a blue background.  He loved it and wanted to wear it... but, since it was 105*F we told that he could wear it when it got cold outside.   I used some white felt for the eyes and just stitched an X on the eyes with some thin black yarn scraps that I had.   I wasn't able to post the photos when I lived in Germany DUE TO THE INTERNET SLOW WORKING ISSUES and as a result:  LIMITED ABILITY to download/share photos!  So, when I came across these photos today - I thought that I'd share them on my blog.

Has anyone else knitted this hat pattern?  It is a free pattern and is easy to follow.  I changed things around on the little blue hat since I was totally making it up to downsize it anyway.  I like how the fish fins look better on the blue one too.  I made them fuller and more natural looking (to me anyway).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

When good knitting goes 'bad' by accident... HONEST!

  • I know a nice elderly lady in southern Oklahoma.   She retired from her job as librarian just as I moved overseas.   She has constantly written me 'real letters' for the past 23/24 years.   She has a nice little stay cat who adopted her a few years ago.  His name is:  Trouble

     I have been knitting him a little cat toy for the past several years.   This year, I didn't have time due to moving into my house and being busy unpacking endless boxes to get ready for my guests that arrived the weekend before Christmas.  *I will return to this part of my story in a few minutes/sentences.

    I had another local friend who is 'cat-sitting' 2 cats for a friend who was going to be away for a few weeks.   The cats were still in the 'hiding' stage and I had asked my friend if the cat owner had left any cat toys with the cats.  The cat owner didn't.   So, I decided to try to find some 'yarn scraps' so I could knit some cute wool cat toys so that the 'cats' would think that my friend was OK in their minds and maybe come out from hiding?

    I went to the downstairs extra room where the yarn and various other craft items and endless boxes were stored.  I couldn't find any of my yarns that weren't designated for larger projects.  I kept digging around and I finally found a forgotten and abandoned knitting project.

    It was no longer stuffed pushed far down under left over yarns,  in shame, forgotten and hidden under a variety of yarn left-overs in the bottom of a basket... oh no... the movers had deposited this ONE LONE knitted item in this huge basket with the yarn skein still attached.  I had used left-over sock yarn from my very first pair of knitted socks.   *I do wonder what they thought it was????  No, I don't want to know what they thought it was...

    It was knitted to be a cat toy for TROUBLE.  I had knitted many items for him in the past.   A large variety of items such as his own cat, fish, dinosaur, birds, sushi, a doughnut, and some basic ordinary knitted mice.   These are almost always 'knitted free-form' and have always looked like what I imagined that they would be when I finished knitting them.

    It all started out innocently enough... I was trying to think of something 'different' that Trouble might like to play with.  I thought that something long enough so that he could hold it in his mouth and 'kick fight' it with his back feet might be a desired element?

    So, I started knitting with the double pointed needles... knitting and stuffing, stuffing and knitting.   I dug around in my 'craft supplies' and even found a lone hard plastic ball with a bell on the inside and I thought that would make the perfect touch...  all good ideas.   All innocent ideas.

    However, when I took it off the double pointed needles after knitting late into the evening... this is what emerged...

  •  (some unraveling had already happened before I hid this 'long forgotten knitting project')

    At the point that I first found the 'cast aside' knitting project... at first I wondered what on earth this was... and then the memory came crashing back and I immediately remembered the reason that I hid this project from view... and totally forgot that I even had it)

    The hard plastic ball w/ the bell in it... is no longer attached at the base securely knitted closed...  That detail really made the image complete.

    Yes, dear readers... we are looking a knitted PENIS!!!  

    All I know is that I couldn't send this innocently and accidentally knitted penis to a nice elderly 80 year old lady's cat.   First of all, if she wasn't aware of what it looked like... surely SOMEONE else visiting her home would notice and wonder why her cat was playing and attacking a KNITTED PENIS??

    AND, if she immediately knew what it looked like... would she wonder why I was sending her cat a knitted PENIS??? 

    This was the only 'left-over yarn' that I could find... so, I grabbed it in my hand (trying to hide the shape as best as I could) and I walked upstairs... where I laid it down and started 'unraveling the yarn'... to knit it into a couple of knitted kitty toys.

    I didn't unravel fast enough.   My friends (non-knitters) came into the living room and saw the 'uh' knitted ITEM that I was unraveling... and started laughing so hard that they had tears in their eyes.... I then had to tell them the 'story' of the knitted item's history.

    I used the lower 'pointy' part and knitted a sting ray cat toy and the other yarn that I unraveled turned into a ordinary knitted mouse.

    I also knitted 'Trouble' a new cat toy.  I knitted a purple octopus with lime green eyes.  I forgot to take a photo and it has already been mailed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day...

Ever feel that way?  That the 'to do list' gets longer instead of shorter?
  *Angel statue found in Italy-- I love all the statues/heads that they put holding up arches/ledges/tiny balconies/etc. here in Italy.   I make sure that I look up when I'm walking down the streets.   This angel looks like the shelf is getting heavy or the weight of the shelf/ledge is giving him/her a headache?   lol

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

If you stayed up late... I hope you got lots of rest later.

                                         I'm still unpacking boxes.  I have worked on this for the past couple of days.   I had company visiting for a week and they left on Sunday... so, I started unpacking more boxes.   THINGS are a total mess now!   I have stuff in the downstairs hallway, the guest bedroom down there, the living room down there, etc.   I have empty boxes stacked ready to be taken to the garage and added to the huge stack of other 'flattened' empty boxes.  It looks far worse than it did.
This is a little Italian cat that I found sleeping on a boat. I always take photos of any cats that I come across in my travels.