Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Car is SO Hot it Stops Traffic...

This is not my car. Just an illustration.


Rewind to Saturday morning. The night was frigid and the bitter cold still hung in the air. I woke up earlier than I usually do on Saturday mornings and set out to do some errands. I sat down, looked through my cookbooks, and made a grocery list. I even had my coupons all ready to go. I kissed the hubby goodbye and bundled up to head out into the cold.

I crossed the street to where Jazzy (short for Jasmine), my faithful Explorer was parked and got in. She started up nicely and we headed down the street. After a brief second of deliberation, I decided which route to take to the grocery store. All was well as I made my way down the street and made a couple of turns. I casually stopped behind another car at a stop sign and once that car had successfully pulled out into traffic, I inched forward for my turn at craning my neck and hoping for a break in traffic. I eased my foot onto the gas and that's when it happened! Jazzy quit. The radio was still playing and my blinker was still blinking but the engine was not running and the car was NOT moving. Despite the growing line of traffic behind me, I calmed myself and turned the key into the off position and then back on. The engine whined, but the glorious sound of the engine turning over and the car starting was noticeably absent. I admit it. This is when I started to panic.

I turned my emergency blinkers on, and then back off accidentally, and then back on again, all the while trying repeatedly to turn the key and will the car to start. That's when it started. The beeping. The obscene hand gestures. If I hadn't been so upset, I would have gotten out of the car to announce to the irritated drivers that I had indeed done this on purpose to keep them sitting on the bridge and from reaching their final destinations. It was indeed a conspiracy and I was loving every minute of it. (I hope you are all noting the sarcasm here). Eventually they realized that the beeping and obscene hand gestures weren't really accomplishing anything besides keeping them there even longer, and they started to go around me. It was progress.

Somewhere between the engine unsuccessfully cranking and the menacing stares of my fellow drivers, I called the hubby to let him know that he needed to call a tow truck and get there STAT! (By letting him know, I mean I was crying and babbling incoherently about how I was in the middle of the road and the car wouldn't start and I was starting to become a traffic incident.)

Finally, out of nowhere the car started. I was startled. By this point I didn't realize I was STILL turning the key and trying to get it to start. I was elated, but terrified at the same time. I navigated the car through the stop sign and to a parking spot on the side of the road. I sat and let the car warm up for a minute and then, thinking that it all might be alright after all, I headed for my original destination.

While stopped at a traffic light I noticed that it seemed the car in front of me was expelling a ridiculous amount of exhaust fumes. On further inspection I discovered that it was not, however, the exhaust from the car in front of me, but instead steam, or smoke, or something pouring out from the hood of my car! This was bad. Very bad. I pulled my car into the nearest store parking lot and hid in my car away from the staring eyes of my fellow store patrons until my car had stopped fuming. I went in and bought antifreeze.* I thought it might help.

I poured the antifreeze in the car, checked my oil (which was fine) and headed on to the grocery store. Things were okay for a minute or two, but then I noticed the steam starting again and the temperature gauge rising a bit more quickly than I really thought it should. I pulled into a parking spot in front of the grocery for a split second before pulling back out and heading across yet another bridge to the repair shop where I had already scheduled my annual inspection for this week. I held my breath for the entire 2 minute drive there, afraid that my car would stop again at any moment, and pushing out the small fear in the back of my mind that it might just blow up! Two traffic lights and lots of shaking nervousness later, I pulled my car into a spot in front of the repair shop. To my dismay, they were closed for the day and wouldn't be back in until Monday. I thought about my options briefly and realized that this car was not going ANYWHERE. I called the hubby and had him pick me up. We left Jazzy there on her own for the duration of the weekend.

I was concerned that she might not recover this time from whatever malady was plaguing her, but I got the news yesterday that an unspecified amount of money that I really didn't want to spend on her right now later, she will be well again.

Until the next time anyway.

*this occured after several phone calls to several people who instructed me on just where exactly the antifreeze needed to go (I knew okay, I just wanted to be sure I was right), and a phone call or two to hubby who got the distinct privledge of trying to help me remain calm throughout this episode.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Kind of Fiber Are You?

Click here to take the Quiz.

I'm Angora!

"Angora – Soft and warm
'Angora has a warmth that rivals cashmere and softness that rivals qiviut. Best of all, it comes from cute little bunnies that look for all the world like furry footstools with ears.' –The Knitter’s Book of Yarn

Angoras are eager to please and are highly sensitive. Flexibility and adaptability are your strengths and sometimes your weakness, as well. You are essentially a warm and feeling person, and little escapes your impressionable mind. You are generous with others and strive for harmony in your relationships."

What fiber are you?

Word of the Day



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Help! I Married a Doctor!

I just found the most amazing thing on Ravelry--A group titled (so very appropriately) "Help! I married a doctor!" For knitters who are living the medical spouse life style.

Through that group I found this site The International Medical Spouse Network.

From the site:
"The international Medical Spouse Network (iMSN) is the the original online community made by medical spouses for medical spouses. We are a nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting medical families during the medical training years and beyond. We provide help and encouragement to medical families as they navigate the medical education process and eventually finish residency or fellowship through our online community forums, spouse liaison program and relocation resources. Enjoy our annual Secret Santa program, participate in our cookie exchange our kick back and discuss your favorite books. Our members also host local get-togethers and forge offline friendships."

How great is this??? I think it says something that medical spouses need an international support network. I'm so happy to have found this!

I also found this game: Infection. MUST BUY THIS GAME. As a medical student's wife, hospital employee, and RN's daughter, I find this concept hilarious.

This totally just made my day :-)

A Post Not Entirely About Knitting

Apparently I've been posting about knitting a lot, leading some (*ahem* you know who you are) thinking that I might be just a wee bit obsessed and that I have nothing else going on in my life. (Just kidding of course CK).

The weather here this week is amazing for January in Pittsburgh. It feels like Spring outside. This morning when I was walking down the hill to the bus stop, I even heard birds singing. It makes me long for Springtime and the renewal of life that comes with it. I've even got a jump start on reading some gardening books so that I can have an even more amazing porch garden this year than before.

On my walks too and from the bus stop, I am always surprised by just how much I love my neighborhood. Sure, my car seems to be a sitting target for anyone that wants to back into it (this time my neighbor's car was hit and pushed into mine-- Jasmine (aka my Explorer) did not suffer any damage, but my neighbor's car did :-( ), but other than that and the incident with Hubby's radio being stolen out of his car, things there pretty lovely.

The hubby and I had some really wonderful time together over the weekend. His schedule was nutso, but we had a really enjoyable time being together and loving it. It left me feeling renewed and quite content. I won't see him much this week due to schedule conflicts, so I'm glad we had this lovely time together.

I am still battling the cold that never ends (aka the cold that *almost* goes away but then makes a stealthy return). I'm going on two weeks of this now and I'm ready to be done with it. Hubby (aka he of the normal immune system) has had it and gotten over it already. It's probably a good thing though considering how busy he is.

Just a small tidbit of knitting related news.... there is a new yarn store in the plaza where Trader Joe's. I AM IN TROUBLE. I love looking at yarn. I really think I could buy it and just look at it and be happy.

I am thinking about signing up for another writing class at PCA this semester. I have really missed having a regular writing group and being accountable to others helped me to write on a more regular basis. I'm hoping some of the members of my previous class sign up as well. They were really a joy to know and share with.

I leave you with a picture of a snowy Pittsburgh day in "the neighborhood" (now the Mr. Roger's song is stuck in my head... appropriate since I live in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood literally!). As warm as it is today, it's hard to believe this was only a couple of weeks ago...

I welcome tidings of comfort and joy ('cause they're not just for Christmas).

Friday, January 4, 2008

2nd Finished Object!!

I finished my second knitted object last night! I would have been finished a lot sooner if I hadn't restarted the thing several times because of knitting where I was supposed to purl and vice versa. Anyway, I love this scarf. I kind of messed up when I was binding off, since it was only the second time I had done such a thing and I don't think it will ever be my favorite, but it's not that noticeable. It's so soft and the texture is lovely. Alas, it will be on it's way to my Momaw tomorrow (I hope). I love sending my knitted objects out into the world, but I think it's time I knit something that I will get to keep, so last night I cast on and knit the ribbing for some Cozy House Socks. I haven't done socks yet, and I'm trying to work with dpns for the first time, so I hope this isn't a complete disaster.

I welcome encouragement and you can do its!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ahh recipes

My recipe book, posing with my knitting.

The lovely ladies at Mason-Dixon Knitting are hosting a show-and-tell recipe contest. As a result, here for all to see is my lovely little handwritten recipe book. Crazy and sentimental me decided that a handwritten recipe book would be a lovely keepsake to treasure and add to as I began my wedded life. The perfect little book for this endeavor was given to me as a Christmas present last year and so I began (I also have a book of compiled printed recipes, for when my hands just can't handle anymore).

Here's the first handwritten page:

Here also as part of the contest (and for your enjoyment) is a recipe from this lovely little book. It's a nice American take on an Indian dish which apparently tastes authentic enough for my husband to like it:

Garam Masala Vegetables

1 1/2 lbs potatoes in large chunks (I usually use about 3 good sized potatoes)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp garam masala (buy it pre-mixed or make your own blend)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes w/ garlic & onions - undrained
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Place potatoes in microwave safe bowl & cover w/plastic wrap.
Microwave on high 3 minutes or until almost done (this is a good tip to use with any potato dish where you need the potatoes to get done more quickly)
Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat
Add garam masala & turmeric; saute 45 seconds or until toasted
Add potato & cook 2 min or until potatoes begin to brown
Stir in tomatoes; cook 3 min or until mixture begins to thicken
Stir in carrots, peas, & broth
Bring to a boil-reduce heat & simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat; stir in salt & cilantro.f
Serve with rice, or eat as a soup.

I welcome taste tests and pictures of your own recipe receptacles!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

So I've been MIA for a few weeks. Christmas business and all that. We enjoyed the holiday very much. The time with family was much enjoyed and as usual the food was amazing! I was able to finish 3 scarfs, and Taylor's blanket. Taylor's blanket had some *ahem* issues. Somewhere between here and my hometown one edge ended up very terribly curved. However, after some whining and almost sobbing I was able to think of a way to fix the seemingly unfixable. The curve of the blanket had made it somewhat resemble the edging of a shawl. Knowing my sister and remembering how she likes to wrap blankets around her shoulders , I tied some yarn to each side of the crooked edge and turned it into a shawl! Happily, all ended well as she loved it and is using it exactly how I imagined. I think that will be my last foray into crocheting for a while. I simply love to knit and am quite addicted! Before we move on entirely, however, here is a picture of Taylor and E cuddled up under Taylor's blanket/shawl:

Just in case you were wondering, I ended up getting my amazing Knit Picks Harmony needles for Christmas!!! I am SO very excited. Dear Hubby did very well!

I am SO excited that I can knit something that doesn't require size 8 needles (which were all I previously owned!) He also went shopping on my Etsy favorites list. He did such a wonderful job :-)

I'm currently working on a scarf for my grandmother in mistake rib. I am in love with mistake rib right now. It is so simple and knits up beautifully. I've decided that in the coming weeks I'm going to take the plunge and learn to knit in the round! There is so much about knitting I want to learn and I enjoy it so, but in truth I am such a novice.

I have no real New Year's Resolutions this year. Instead I've been thinking about certain habits, tendencies, etc. of mine that lead to overall unpleasantness in life in general. I am trying to be more conscious of these tendencies and instead of being overwhelmed by them, I am hoping to bring them down to size and change them.

I welcome all kinds of encouragement and prayers in this area of life.