Sunday, April 11, 2010

not as stupid as I thought


When I first saw this sign outside of the Jefferson Parish office building I thought "gee what a ridiculous sign." I mean, even the TSA has realized that knitting needles pose no threat of bodily harm. Or at least they are not any more dangerous that some one carrying a pen or pencil onto a plane. And here we have the geniuses that run Jefferson Parish, LA all intimidated by addi turbos. I was even a bit disappointed when I read the sign because I was thinking that maybe I could get a little knitting done while waiting for my simple repair building permit I need for our tiny little lab renovation at work.

By the time I left the permits and code enforcement office I was glad I had heeded the sign's warning and did not bring my needles in with me. I would have stabbed the asshole in permits.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I had to share

Sometimes you are given a gift that must be shared with others.  I give you the gift of insane recipes from the 1970's. Candyboots (I have not investigated this site fully yet so I don't know his or her's story) discovered a treasure trove of old Weight Watchers recipe cards from the golden era of culinary arts.  I hurt myself laughing.  Enjoy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

by popular demand - 78% more cats

So friggin' cute.

Yesterday was uber-geek day.  First, I went birding at Big Lagoon State Park and then headed to Pensacola for some yarn shopping at Yarnside Gathering

I have been to Yarnside before. Its about 35 minutes from our house on Ono.  The gal who runs it is extremely nice and helpful.  I have one gripe though that may sound weird.  The lighting is terrible.  They have overhead harsh fluorescent lights that do nothing for the yarn.   The colors and textures are all gray blue and flat.  I know its probably rented space but I am sure the landlord wouldn't mind an upgrade of the light fixtures. Even an addition of some halogen spots along with the fluorescents might help.   My other very minor complaint is they did not have any silk yarn.  None.  In a  yarn store in Florida.  In the Spring.  Yes, I know it's expensive stuff but its a very sale-able fiber for customers who live and knit in such a hot climate. At least for me, it is. But it's not right for me to make a fuss over it since I am not a regular customer.

Anyhow, I bought some Classic Elite Premiere to knit a shrug to wear with my Kentucky Derby dress.  I wanted silk, but found this since they didn't have any.  It's nice and soft and a bit shiny. It is made of tencel and cotton.

It looks like mathematical gymnastics will be required to get my shrug pattern down from a gauge of 24 sts x 34 rows in dk yarn, as written, to my worsted gauge of 20 sts x 24 rows.  The stitch gauge is a piece of cake but the row gauge is a big pain in the ass.

Big Lagoon Park is awesome. Even though spring break is supposedly going on almost no one was there.  They views are amazing, the beach is white sand, and the trails are extremely easy and likely good for birds. I didn't have much luck for the same reasons as yesterday and it was about 1030 in the morning.

Here is my list of new ones for the weekend:

Fish crow
Eastern blue bird
Clapper rail
Blue winged teal
Osprey (eating a fish)
Tufted titmouse
Black capped chickadee
Pileated woodpecker
White crowned sparrow
Ruby crowned Kinglet

I finished out the day by cruising over to Pirate's Cove and Shucker's at the Wharf for drinks.  Steve's got the boat humming along so summer is already looking good.  All of the dogs are back at the Cove.  Whoever made a stink with the health department must have died or something because at least a half dozen dogs were relaxing on the deck while the band was playing and they have taken the doggy gates down.  Perfect. I love drinking with dogs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

birds and a recipe

So I grew a lot of dill.  And here is a recipe I came up with to use a very small fraction of the tremendous volume of dill taking over my garden:

Mango Arugula Salad with Lemon Dill dressing ( fancy title for easy but freaky good food)
Serves 3-4

2 cups arugula (baby or whatever you like, add more if you want)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup cucumber, seeds and skin removed,  diced
Ripe mango - the yellow creamy kind (not the green kind), diced

Juice of one juicy lemon
at least 2 very large Tablespoons of fresh dill (I used about 3 Tbs), finely chopped
Really good olive oil
Generous sea salt and pepper (tsp each)

Whisk together the dressing toss with the salad. Serve. Yum.

In addition to making fabulous salad, I went bird watching at Fort Morgan, AL and Daphine Island using the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail for my guide. I have done this route before and this time of year it should be full of birds. The weather is such (excellent, winds from the south) that the birds are not stopping.

Here is my bird list in the order I spotted them.  If I saw a species at an earlier location I did not note it at later spot.  (For example cardinals, mocking birds, and blue jays were every where. No need to keep writing them down.)

Entrance to Fort:
Swaison's warbler
Brown thrasher
Peregrine falcon
American oyster catcher (fishing pier)
Northern gannet (beach)
Laughing gull (everywhere)
Mocking bird
Brown pelicans
Common loon
Snowy egret
Cattle egret
Brown headed cow birds
Eastern king bird
Blue jays

Next I took the ferry to Dauphin Island and started looking around Fort Gaines and Pelican Point:
Herring gull
Rudy turnstone
Royal terns
Scissor tail flycatcher (!, note that this supposedly rare species has been seen by me twice, once at Ft. Morgans in the fall and now again at Ft Gaines in the spring. humph. )
Yellow-rumped warbler

Next I went to the Shell mounds:
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Red bellied woodpecker
Northern water thrush
Hooded warbler
Black and white warbler
White-throated sparrow
Lincoln sparrow (going out on a limb with this one)
Common grackle
Carolin wrens
Great blue herons (nesting)
White eyed vireo
Chimney swifts

At the Airport:
Mottled duck (looking lonely)
Reddiish egret (fabulously good looking but I had not time to get my camera)
Redwing black bird
Song sparrow (definite)

Lastly, I found the Goat trees:
Yellow vireo
Cedar wax wings
Northern parula
Red eyed vireo

Also noted in several spots:
Double crested cormorants
Morning doves
Eurasian collared doves

About 44 species, give or take.  Considering it was a crappy bird day (few warblers during migration), not too shabby considering I was by myself. If the weather keeps up being fabulous I will have to go back to knitting. 

Lastly, I would like to note that I miss my cats.  They are home in New Orleans while we are here in Alabama and the fact that I miss them  acutely is making Steve think I lost my mind. Which I probably have.