Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Absence of the new house in my life makes my heart grow fonder of it each time I go over there.

And, absence of the pictures I wanted to take of all those new hats I knit makes me want to distract you with a few Christmas (every time I type this word, I first type a mixture of it and my first name) pictures and a few shots of the new house. As I mentioned in my last post, I love this house. One of the reasons is all the shadows. If you ever get the chance to use my brother-in-law as your architect, jump on it. Sure, you won't have enough closet space to store all your junk. It won't matter, though. Once you toss out everything that won't fit in your new house, you will have made plenty of room for the beautiful shadows the millions of windows create on your bare walls. So, not only will you have decluttered your life, you'll have gained some breathtaking views right in your own home. Seriously. Take a look at this one, for example. This was taken as the sun set on Christmas day. My wine-making husband has an eye for this type of picture.

In the absence of any decent pictures of me postpregnancy, I give you a photo only a grandmother could love. My mom will think this is one of the most beautiful things she's ever seen. Everyone else will recognize it for what it really is: proof that no matter what contortionist-like poses assume, no amount of neck twisting will hide the double chin that has recently taken up residence on my face. That, my friends, is what nine months (plus three-and-a-half) of eating for two will get you. I'm trusting that it will go away like it did with the first two, but in the meantime... we'll take silly pictures of it in the bathroom.

I promise you that in the new house the bathroom pictures will be much classier. Yeah, I know. Classy bathroom pictures? Oxymoron - unless your bathroom looks like this. I've already warned my husband that when we finally move in, I will be found in here most of the time. I have decided that little wood section next to the tub will be my new favorite knitting spot. It just makes me so happy when I walk into this room (which I can't currently do, because the wood has been oiled). But, whaddaya know? It's still pretty from the doorway. I just get all giddy looking at it.

And, just in case you didn't believe me that there are tons of wonderful shadows in the new house (or, if you thought the wine shot above was just a fluke), I'll give you more proof. Take a gander, will ya? Is that a pretty wall, or what? And, just so you're aware, those spaces up high are done on purpose. To be honest, I'm not really a big fan of them. My husband, the carpenter here, is really big on assymetry, though. Will they stay or will they go? Only time will tell. I like the wall, though. And, hiding behind it in the future will be a little pantry for spices and whatever else I feel like putting in there.

The absence of any decent Christmas pictures has forced me to present this one instead. Have you ever thought you had taken plenty of pictures of an important event only to find out later that you had two or three? This sort of happened to us on our honeymoon. This was back before we went digital. We had a nice camera that no longer wants to function (feeling neglected since we got the digital camera?). On the roll inside its belly, we had pictures of our little wedding (a story for another day - my mom was the only person in attendance, and after a nice dinner with me and my husband, she whisked my groom back to Houston, where he needed to go to work the next day). We were touring Hurst castle when it came time to change the film. I felt something tug when I rewound the roll. When I opened the door, the film wasn't totally rewound. When the roll finally decided to come out, it was a little chewed up and had been exposed to light. We attempted to get it developed anyway, but I feared the worst. I was right to do so. There was nothing on it (I'm convinced that my mother put a hex on that film, since I was "in the family way" when she took those pictures of us). So, the beauty of that day will live forever only in my mind. Now that we have a digital picture, I don't have to worry about screwing up the roll of film anymore, which gives us little gems like this picture. Doesn't he just look like such a sweet boy? I love that. He really is, too. You can be sweet and ornery (Is that how you spell that?) at the same time. He's actually grown up a lot in the past month or so. He's now almost completely potty-trained, and the graffiti appears to be a thing of the past.

And, lastly, in the absence of any shame at all, I played around with a couple of the kids' Christmas gifts before wrapping them. This was really fun. I was all alone in the house (well, with a baby who wouldn't tell on me) when I opened the box from my brother and sister-in-law. I just couldn't help donning this little wig and head band to freak out my husband. He drove up just after I took this picture. I walked out, and while standing at a decent distance, I told him I'd been to the hair salon. For a moment, I actually had him scared. And, he should have been, because this ain't pretty. I just wonder if my sister-in-law looked this pale wearing this wig as Harry Potter for Halloween.

I'd like to have shown you a pretty picture of Lambchop #1, but she was sick and had a nasty chafing thing all over her face. Normally, it'd be just below the nose, but she had developed a fun little habit of using her sleeve to wipe sideways from her nose to her cheek. It took me a full day to figure out why one cheek was red. By the time I realized why, the chapped skin had spread over a decent portion of her face. I know that sounds really gross, but that's only because it was. A little shea butter fixed her up.

In the next couple of days, I'd like to post a couple of hat shots and tell you about things like my frogging/recycling a sweater I knit that I just don't really like the fit of. The yarn deserves better than that. I may even throw in a little New Year's resolution list. Absent that, I could share pictures of the New Year's meal, which will contain things like (vegetarians, turn your head) foie gras and capon (castrated rooster).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's All Good

It's been a really long time since I last posted, and I could give you a really nice post about the several FO's I've got to show you. I haven't gotten around to taking any pictures of them, yet, though, so that isn't going to happen. I have four of them, though. Four hats, to be exact. I just can't seem to be bothered to post about them, though. It could be all the chocolate fudge I've shoveled in is weighing me down. Or, perhaps it's the fact that the older lambchops don't have school right now, and I don't have much time for anything. Or, could it be that we're all down with a little cold, and I can't see straight. Actually, it's most likely the fact that itty-bitty Lambchop #3 has not only a cold but the beginnings of her very first tooth. All the excess mucus and spit has caused her to throw up her milk three times in the last few days and beg to be held 24/7. So, when she lets me put her down, and I'm able to dig through the piles of Christmas dishes and laundry I still haven't gotten to wash (this may be an exaggeration, but then again, it may not), I'll take a few pictures. Until then, I'll tease you with a blurb about my FO's.

First, I made a hat for myself. It's that little cable newsboy cap from Stitch'N'Bitch (Nation?). Cute. And, it was quickly stolen by the biggest of our lambchops. Looks better on her, anyway. Then, I got to work on a slouchy beret for my sister-in-law (a modification of the new free pattern on Wendy's blog). I had to modify it, because I didn't have her yarn. Instead, I had two beautiful balls of Knit Picks Ambrosia (or whichever yarn of theirs is that alpaca cashmere blend). Turned out pretty well. Seeing I was on a roll with hats, I made up a chart for a Superman logo. I had ordered some Cascade 220 from Webs a while back to make a superman hat for Lambchop #2. It turned out pretty well. My brother-in-law (who is in his mid-thirties) saw it and wanted one of his very own. I just happened to have enough of the blue yarn left to grant him that wish. So, since I spent my day holding Lambchop #3 in my lap on the couch, I actually finished another one for him. I had learned from my mistakes on the first one, and the second turned out even better. After washing and blocking it all, I'll try to get a few snap shots of them.

Aside from all the knitting, I haven't done much of anything. Well, there was the huge meal I cooked on Christmas day. Despite a few minor glitches (having to put the turkey back in the oven to cook a little longer, not-quite-perfect-but-still-tasty pie crusts), it all turned out well. What was extra special about it all, though, was that we had the new house finished just enough to be able to open gifts and eat our Christmas meal there. So, even though we couldn't live there yet, we did enjoy a beautiful sunset, gathered around the table we had set up next to the Christmas tree while being warmed by the fire in the wood stove in that room. I'm going to love that house. I can feel it already. I will be so happy in a chair by the fire knitting or spinning while gazing out the window at the vineyards as the sun sets. And, surely, some day, I'll think to take a picture of it all to share with you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What A Weirdo!

I have been tagged for a meme by our friend Gromit who has recently resurfaced after months away from the computer. I heard there was some incident involving tangled mohair yarn that kept Gromit "tied up" for so long.
Here are the instructions for the meme (and I won't be tagging anyone because I just don't know six people whom I sure would be happy to be tagged - but, by all means, share your weirdness with the world, if you are so inclined):

"THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

So, here are six weird things about me that you most likely don't already know...

1. Every night before I get in bed, I have to sweep the bed of even the smallest little piece of dirt (incidentally, I never found this necessary until we moved to this dry, limestoney property we now live on and had kids pouncing around in our bed). I also dislike having any wrinkles in the sheets.

2. I often chew the middle of my upper lip.

3. I occasionally get a compulsive need to wash my hair. It just suddenly feels dirty, and something needs to be done about it.

4. I am not generally claustrophobic, but when I get hot, I get almost panicky trying to get out of whatever clothing is making me hot (this is worst when I'm wearing a coat or heavy piece of clothing while strapped into the seatbelt of a car. It takes every ounce of rational thinking I am capable of (which, according to some, may not be that much) not to thrash around like a cat in a carrier on the way to the vet's office (or a thought-to-be-dead-deer strapped to the hood of a car, perhaps).

5. I sucked my thumb and twirled my hair on my fingers as a baby. My mother was able to rid me of the thumb-sucking habit rather abruptly at the age of two (some quite nasty-tasting lotion stuff was involved). I have never really stopped twirling my hair. I have succeeded in quitting several times as an adult but never entirely. Oddly, the urge is never there when my hair is too short to get a good twisting action going. If I let my hair grow out, though, my hands seem to instinctively know when it's long enough to give me the urge to start twirling again. And, just so you know, when I say I twirl my hair, that's not really an accurate description. I have a complex set of knots and twist I do. Then, I caress them with my finger (Freak!). It's the kind of motion only a child could come up with. Need I mention how comforting this can feel? It's been months since I last did it - my hair is currently too short.

6. I can't stand to have dirt on my fingers or have the skin on my hands too dry. I especially hate packing dust. Since I like to cook, I'm often washing dishes by hand. This makes my skin dry, so I'm always applying lotion.

And, one little extra tidbit for you...

Most likely my mom and my brother could read this list and would be nodding their heads in vehement agreement on at least half of these six things (I know my brother once said, "hey, that's a great idea" when I admitted to sweeping my bed every night). We all have a very strong sense of touch, I think, and this makes us extremely sensitive to strange little sensations others might find pretty normal. I think it's actually worse for them than it is for me.

On the up side, I have a theory (based on absolutely no fact whatsoever) that this hypersensitivity is somehow linked to the ability to appropriately hear speech sounds. It makes imitating the accent in foreign languages easier. As a result, I can pull off an almost native sounding accent in the two languages I speak aside from English (which is my native language, and I'm pretty sure I do okay in that one, too). I know that my mom and brother, despite the fact that they don't really speak any foreign languages, are quite good at imitating words and phrases in another language.

And let's be happy that I am not a soldier at war, because my enemies would have no trouble torturing me. All they'd have to do is grease up my hair, roll me in packing dust, put me in a hot room wearing an angora straight-jacket, and send me to bed on wrinkled, dirty sheets with my head shaved and some kind of nasty-tasting lotion on my lips so I could get no comfort. I'd tell them anything.

Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, I finished the cable newsboy cap (or whatever it's called). I made some accidental modifications to it, but it turned out well. I'll post a picture of it soon, I hope (that'll have to wait until I have some make-up on to con you all into thinking I'm not a hideous creature with hormone-induced acne all over my face. Until that time, you may read this post over and over again and ponder my freakishness.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Is It All Worth It?

I'm kind of hoping that the trouble I go through to have fun with the kids will be worth it in the end. Of course, they'll probably come up with plenty of reasons to resent me, but I try. And when they're in therapy, blaming me for the troubles of their lives, I'll always know I tried. Or, maybe my attempts at having fun with them will be what ultimately throws them over the edge and causes them to seek professional help. Yeah, given the way things went with our Christmas decorating extravaganza the other day, that's pretty likely.

You see, I had the bright idea of having a full day of Christmas fun on Wednesday, when they weren't in school (French kids don't have school on Wednesdays - if you're really curious, I can elaborate some other day). We were all going to go out and chop down a Christmas tree bush together, then bring it home to decorate it. Then, for extra fun, we would bake and decorate sugar cookies. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans...

First, the baby fell asleep just before time to go bush-hunting. So, I didn't get to go. This little detail made Daddy feel he had the right to skip out on the decorating. So, it was just me and the three little ones. That was alright, though, because I was armed with Christmas CDs and plenty of Christmas spirit. CD player not working? No problem. I've still got my Christmas spirit, right? That's about the time Lambchop #2 dropped and broke an ornament given to me as a gift many years ago. Christmas spirit, are you still with us? A tiny, whispered 'yes' was the answer. Then, my sweet little angels commenced their most well-practiced activity - the bickering. No, really. They're quite good at it. I should be proud they've achieved such success at such tender ages. Lambchop #1 wanted all the pretty ornaments. Luckily, Lambchop #2 didn't care much about that (even though Lambchop #1 tried hard to make it clear hers were prettier - being the first-born seems to have plagued her with a constant feeling of jealousy, and she tries her darnedest to spread the wealth, but that's a therapy session psychology lesson for another day). He was more concerned about getting his fair share of turns on the step stool to put his not-necessarily-as-pretty ornaments up. Unfortunately, this ranked right up there on Lambchop #1's list, too (she's got that first-born's competitive nature thing going on, too). So, to make a long story short, we finished with narry an injury inflicted, and I sat them in front of the babysitter tv for a movie while I prepared the kitchen for cookie decorating.

La-dee-da. While I enjoyed a few minutes alone, Lambchop #2 fell asleep on the couch. Fast forward. Kitchen's serviceably clean, so it's decision time. Do I wake him? Well, he'd be mad to find out we did it without him, right? So, I woke him. Bad idea. He cried almost hysterically for the next half hour while cutting and decorating cookies. I think it must take some talent to both decorate cookies and throw a fit. What can I say? My kids are gifted. Lambchop #1 - I have to give the girl some credit - was very patient. I held my own pretty well, too, up until Lambchop #3 joined in the chorus with her brother. That's when I had to call in reinforcements. So, Daddy reluctantly came over from his office and helped out. For the next half-hour we calmly tossed colored sugar over the top of every surface of the kitchen the cookies. All in all, it was torture. I'm pretty sure, though, that it'll be remembered as a good day in their minds. Afterall, they were the ones just doing what kids do, and I actually did keep my calm. So, they won't recall "the day Mommy flipped out when we were decorating cookies". Hey, when I think of it that way, I'd have to say it was a pretty good day, right? Well, at least they got some coolness points out of it at school. The cookies were quite a hit.

Oh, and not that this should be an after thought, but I finished the little blue sweater I was making for Lambchop #1. It turned out pretty well, I think. She seems to like wearing it, which is way more than you can ask of a 5-year-old girl (especially when it's not even pink). The yarn is Anny Blatt Fine Kid in some (most likely discontinued) color called Glacier. I knit it on 10.5mm needles, which are huge for the thickness of this yarn, but it gives it a nice airiness, and makes it a pretty quick knit. I didn't use a patttern. It's a bottom-up raglan in the round. I just did a gauge swatch and measured her and made it up as I went a long. It's got a scallopy/lacey bottom edge on the body and the cuffs. The arms are big flowy things. I sort of meant to do that and sort of didn't. I wanted it to be the same circumference all over, so I measured up top and didn't do any increases from the cuff on up. Silly woman that I am, though, I measured around the shoulder where the body would normally get sewn to the arm, not the bicep area that I should have. By the time I noticed, it was way too late for me to want to rip mohair, so I went with it. The resulting arm is a little flowier than what I had planned but not by much, so I can live with it.

And, currently on the needles...

a cable newsboy cap from Stich'N'Bitch Nation. I had a brain... um... burp of some kind when I first cast on. Didn't get the right number of stitches, despite the fact that I counted them. Oops. Noticed it over an inch into the thing when I started the cable pattern (after doing the m1 row). I ripped and started over. Now I'm all the way up to the beginning of the second cable. This is my selfish knitting of the weeek. Hope it goes quickly, because I have couple of hats I wanted to knit for Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I have absolutely no logical order for my thoughts this morning, but I figure I'll just go with that and see what happens (yeah, don't ask me how that's different from my usual post-writing method). Really, I just wanted to share a few pictures from our day in the city the other day. Grandma could always use a little smile, and I know nothing makes a grandmother smile like a few pictures of her grandbabies.

So, here we go...

Let's see... what did I upload first again? Umm. Yeah. Lambchop #1 working on a masterpiece here. I love to watch her when she concentrates on something. She really puts her whole self into the things she does. She gets this great look of utter determination on her face when she works (you know the work of a five-year-old - painting, coloring, etc.).

You know, I'm almost tempted to just leave these pictures in the collage-like order they end up in with no words between them and let you figure them out yourself. I've got chores I want to get done, anyway. I'll try to make a little effort for your sake, though. What's next? Well, let's see. We took the kids into town having forgotten it was Telethon weekend all across France. As I mentioned in my last post, it was really crowded because of this. I've got a couple of blurry shots of a few of the activities they had going on. They struck me as funny at the time, but the shots didn't come out well enough to want to show them to you. One was of a group of guys doing little football maneuvers (and when I say football, I mean American style football, not the soccer kind that most Europeans would mean when they say the word). This is pretty odd when you're in the South of France. Even odder when these guys are crammed into a 20X20 foot surface to do their thing. They had also set up a series of dirt jumps and ramps for some bikers (not motor, just the pedal kind) to do tricks on. This really freaked my mother-in-law out. First, she HATED the crowds, but secondly, she was in constant fear of someone hurting themselves by falling off of a ramp or pile of dirt and slamming into a tree or nearby bench. They had that covered, though, with the numerous Red Cross people standing by in case of disaster.

Anyway, so we waded through the people crammed together on the Comedie in order to get to the antiquey merry-go-round (carousel, for some of you, I guess) on the other side. It took us quite a while, but the kids were happy that we made the trip. You can just barely see Lambchop #2 in the picture to the right. He liked the merry-go-round enough, but two times around was more than enough for him. I think it made him a little nauseous but he wasn't sure how to say so. Lambchop #1 is serious about her horsey rides, though. The excitement she built up all morning long thinking about her impending go-round on the go-round would make you think she'd have an ear-to-ear smile plastered to her face. Not so. Instead, we again saw the same look of concentration as when she was building her wooden tower. I broke into her thoughts just long enough for this shot. She's got a bit of a regal air about her, don't you think? Makes sense, I guess. She is the same kid who, for a long time, was saying her last name with the addition of de Comberousse (part of our wine estate's name).

And, really quickly here, I thought I'd show you this last artsy picture of Lambchop #3. It's a little something I like to call "Wine With Babe". That's our wine in that glass, by the way. I swear I'm not trying to use it to maintain my mother-in-law's anonimity. It just happens to be covering her face. Makes me think, though, that there could be much more fun ways of blacking out people's faces in pictures than the typical black bar. Maybe a pair of clown glasses with a funny nose? Anyway, ain't she 'tweet?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ladies... Please, There's Enough For Everyone

Yep, my boy's a ladies' man at the young age of three. Here's the proof, in case you needed any. This picture was taken at school where they do a monthly birthday party for the kids' whose birthdays are that month. These three are the November babies - or shall I call the two girls "babes" instead? Has he just done a Joey (from Friends)? "How you doin'?" Notice the look in the girls' eyes, though. Should we find it disturbing that he's the only one smiling? I'm not sure their totally convinced by loverboy yet. Give him some time, though, and I'm pretty sure he'll have them wrapped around his finger. That, or our mischievous little man is planning on slamming their heads together (because, notice the way his hands seem to grasp their necks). Hmmm, and looking at that shiner on his right eye, maybe that's much more plausible. Oh, well. He's either a lover or a fighter, right? At least he's completely at home between two girls, though. That must count for something.

And, in case you needed a better look at that shiner, I've got this second picture for you (and, also because I find him cute, and I know Grandma will be pleased by these pictures - the rest of you will just have to be patient with this annoyingly proud mommy).

If I were a better blogger, I'd show you pictures (yet to be taken) of the pants I finished sewing for Lambchop #1. They turned out really well, and she looks adorable in them. I'm still working on the shirts, though, so the pant pictures will probably come with pictures of the shirts. Or, I could show you the little mohair sweater I've almost got finished for Lambchop #1 (isn't she quite the spoiled brat these days?). Once again, though, no photos. And, I guess if I were even a mediocre blogger, I'd show you some nice shots of our trip into the touristy area of Montpellier yesterday (a rare thing these days). We actually took some of that, but I'm just not in the mood to sort through them. I'm not a great blogger, I guess. This evening, I'll settle for being a good daughter and putting these pictures up so my mother can download them, as I'm sure she'll do. I will tell you a little something about my trip into the city, though.

There were tons of crowds, because it was "telethon" weekend all across France. Kind of a Jerry Lewis-type thing but much more wide-spread. Montpellier was the only city in the south that was televising the festivities. So, there was a lot going on and a ton of people watching it. We spent a little time imitating canned sardines while we attempted to cross the "Comedie" (a large plaza) to get to the merry-go-round we'd promised the kids a ride on. After that, I took a long walk doing what turned out to be lots of window shopping. I was on a mission for some purple shoes for Lambchop #1, who is all about the purple this year. Never did find any at a decent price (because, call me crazy, but I don't see 120 euros as decent pricing for something that'll fit a 5-year-old), but I did visit a local yarn shop.

They had lots of nice things, and I thought about grabbing up some nice baby super wash for a little something for Lambchop #3. In the end, though, I spent a whopping total of 3.50 euros for a little ribbon and a spool of thread to finish sewing the shirts I'm working on. Is that amazing? A once-in-a-blue-moon trip to the shopping Mecca of the area, and I bought some thread and ribbon. That's just un-American. All that fun yarn, and I didn't buy any. Maybe I couldn't justify the over 5 bucks a ball. Yeah, I think that was it. I enjoyed fondling it, though, and maybe sometime soon I'll make a little trip to their factory outlet and go a little hogwild snagging up yarn at much lower prices. Anyway, it was fun, and the company of my husband's cousin was much enjoyed (especially when I realized that having children has apparently stripped me of my femininity - what female knitter spends only 3.50 euros in a nice yarn shop?? - but I can still out-window-shop just about anybody.).

Note: my apologies for any typos. I am being summoned by a whining toddler. Must not keep his majesty waiting... too long.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Washable - My Pasty, White Behind!

I know it may be a bit early in the morning to be talking about my pasty, white behind, and some may argue there's never a decent moment to throw that subject into a conversation (much less start one with it). But, this is my blog, and I figure it's an attention-grabbing post title. Besides, I don't really want to talk to you about my pasty, white behind (Why would I want to share with complete strangers details about how it's gradually spreading with the birth of each child? What am I going to do? Give you dimensions to compare with your own pale, expanding hindside?). What I really want to share is a little... perhaps we could call it a rant of sorts. You know those washable markers - or, at least, the markers they claim are washable? Yeah, you know the ones. If you're like me, you've spent many an hour attempting to remove the likes of their washable markings from every surface of your home. This is, no doubt, when you learned they weren't really that washable, after all.

Well, yesterday, Jackson Pollock struck again (if you don't know who Jackson Pollock was, click here. If you want to be Jackson Pollock go here, and start moving your arrow around the page. Click on the screen to change colors. You can press the space bar to start over with a clean slate - err, I mean canvas.). For those who don't want to roam around the net, I'll just tell you that he was pretty much the father of splatter paint, an artform Lambchop #2 is working hard to perfect these days. As you can see in the picture here, the little guy decided he got into too much trouble when he used my furniture as a canvas. So, our future tattoo artist decided to use his own skin, instead. Daddy wasn't particularly happy with this masterpiece, but I found it a little funny - especially when I couldn't get the stuff off. I even used alcohol on a pad of cotton. It lightened a bit but was far from gone. Let's just see if it wears off before school on Monday. They're pretty much getting used to me bringing him in with all sorts of stories to tell (like the nice shiner he had on his right eye from taking a plastic swing seat to the face). Actually, they've got stories of their own to tell when I go get him. I seem to recall him coloring his face and the shirt of his friend just the other day at school, as a matter of fact. Got to love him for his entertainment value, if nothing else.

This next photo was taken at Lambchop #2's birthday party. He had tons of fun, but since he barely ever sat still, I couldn't get a decent shot of him. Lambchop #1 is much calmer, so I'll show one of her, instead. This is actually the one good one I've gotten of her, though. She's recently started making a really goofy face in pictures. It's this self-conscious smile that looks really awful. She has such a beautiful natural smile, but she's been replacing it with the weird one in pictures lately. I've pointed it out to her, and she's making an effort to smile more normally. My husband tells me that a good photographer would be able to get them when they're smiling naturally, without them knowing I had taken the picture. True, perhaps, but every time they see me with the camera, the automatically strike a pose. And you should try taking pictures of a moving toddler with a digital camera whose delay is longer than a USA Network commercial break (for those of you who've never watched USA, the longest commercial break I ever timed was over 13 minutes towards the end of a movie).

I've got no pictures of the third Lambchop today. I tried, but they were blurry. I do have pictures of food, though, if that helps. I just wanted to share a couple of yummy shots with you. The first one is the haul of veggies I brought in on December 1st. No, you didn't read August 1st. You read December 1st. Weird, huh? I'll admit the tomatoes weren't quite like the ones you pick in mid-summer, but they weren't bad at all. I made quite a delicious sauce with them. Got the recipe from a novel I was reading the other day (halve an onion, throw it in the pot with a stick of butter and a bunch of tomatoes, simmer for one hour). Not fat-free, by any means, but very tasty.

And, last, but certainly not least is this plate of homemade donuts. In an effort to keep my family healthy, I cook up dishes like that tomato sauce and serve it at the same meal as a batch of these babies - because you can never have too much cholesterol, I guess, huh? I got the recipe from my Baird on Bread book. Actually, it's a book I bought my husband before we were married. At the time, he was attempting to make his own bread about once a week. I know for a fact that I've used the book much more than he did. It's probably why I married him (it is a really good book). I had been wanting to try the yeasted donuts recipe for quite a while but hadn't gotten around to it. I took care of that last night. They look really good, don't they? And, I think they would have been if they had gotten fully cooked on the inside. I guess my oil was too hot, so they were gooey in the center. We tried baking them in the oven this morning, but their sugar coating hardened and browned the outside a bit too much. Oh well. I'll try again some day. They're pretty, though, aren't they?

Maybe next time, I'll show you the progress I've made on the mohair sweater I'm making for Lambchop #1. And, speaking of that sweater, a couple of commenters had mentioned some things about it. First, for the person who asked (forgot who it was, sorry) what was laying next to the body (was it a sock?)... it was the sleeve I had started knitting. I'm knitting this sweater in the round. I've put the body on hold after knitting from the bottom edge up to the arm pits. Now, I'm knitting the sleeves, which will be added onto a circular needle to be joined in with the body later. I was able to get rid of that ugly gap, by the way. So, although the tip about putting the sweater in the freezer may have been helpful for if I wanted to rip it, it wasn't necessary.

Now, I need to go serve up some chocolate-peanut butter bars I made yesterday as well (yeah, we're on a real health kick around here).