There is much we are thankful for this year. I don’t know the right words so I will just say.. Thank you.

Please join with my friend Mary and pay our thankful forward with Random Act of Kindness on Thankful Hearts Day on December 5th.

Thank you.

PG w Chai Latte

* Mary and I have known each other since we were 3. (Her grandparents and my grandparents were also very close friends.)


I’ve been having a rough week. I don’t know if it’s because of the “big day” at the end of the week/month and my feeling lacking in most things, or what. However, it’s not all as gray and gloomy as today’s weather: I’ve been reminded of how wonderful friends are.. and how they can surprise you when you least expect it, and need it the most.

This morning craving new yarn desperately I emailed my LYS, aka Melanie, and proposed we do a swap similar to one we did two years ago. She could send me some yarn from her stash and tell me what that yarn wanted to be, and I knit it. Thus yarn wouldn’t even enter my stash as it is hers and from her and it would to return to her. The benefit is that I get to play with something different and give a gift to a wonderful friend. She’s admired my Wrap for years and bought yarn for it. I’ve been wanting to reknit this pattern as I’m a much better knitter now. Win Win!

Then today’s post came. First there was a gift from my friend LC. A mezuzah case cushioned in a ball of yarn. Thanks dear. :)

Then a large envelope from Beverly entered the house. A large envelope that has tears streaming down my face even now, over an hour later. (so typos/grammatical issues are account of the tears, m’kay?)

Remember the 30 for 30 project? (or read about it here) Well that 30 is rushing upon me. I was frustrated because I’ve found excuse after excuse not to knit or crochet lots of hats. That hasn’t helped my week.

Oh I have a few but no where near the 30 I thought I’d have. My biggest excuse? I’m using dpns and don’t want to drop one in the car or on the train. Silly I know.

365.251 ... 20091028W-b

Anyway. This is the part of the envelope that caused the most tears:

365.251 ... 20091028W-a

These are knitted or crocheted by Beverly and her SnB. Thank you!!!

Oh what, you wanted Rhinebeck writings? Maybe tomorrow I’ll write it up. Maybe. If you look through my flickr for last week, you can see all that I brought back. It was modest and each item carefully considered, as all purchases should be.

apology, MoMA, community, car

Apology: Dear NYC, I’m sorry that it’s been really cold these past few days. I know that I was sad that I might not have a chance to wear the River Wrap until the autumn, but this isn’t acceptable weather. It is supposed to be Spring. Yes, rain is ok, I understand the need for it. Unfortunately I actually felt the need to mutter the s-word in my description of how the weather felt late this afternoon. That’s not ok. I’ve happily worn the wrap the past two days and have been very warm but I’d be just as happy if it were folded with some cedar for the next seven or so months.

Moving on, this afternoon I took advantage of my husband’s corporate discount perks to visit two amazing exhibits at MoMA: Color Chart and Design and the Elastic Mind.

I’ll start with Color Chart (sorry, site is in Flash). Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time at Knitty City not creating, but wandering around the store complaining to everyone that I was looking for inspiration. I should have stopped by MoMA instead.. the Color Chart exhibit wasn’t as inspiring as I hoped, but something about the white walls and the squares of colour by artists such as Frank Stella, Gerhard Richter, François Morellet, Sherrie Levine, and Sol LeWitt among others has left me thinking beyond my normal limited colour choices…

Yet Design and the Elastic Mind was exactly the push toward inspiration I was desperately seeking. Some of the items I had seen before (one example), however, many I had not. Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny’s “Honeycomb Vase” is stunning. A NYT review of the exhibit may be found here.

If you have the opportunity I urge you to visit both exhibits. Yes, you can see much of it online, but the experience of seeing all of this innovation organized together left my senses excited.

spot and stephanie, 02 April 2008As a last minute decision, last night I decided to stop by Stephanie’s talk as it really was on my way home. I missed her talk [I’m trying to convince E to drive me up to Webs on the 27th] but arrived in time to get my book signed and see some people, but not everyone I was looking for. I wasn’t really with it as I had a long day and didn’t really /talk/ at all with her when it was actually my turn. Spot kept jumping out of my bag at every opportunity and was constantly muttering something about sock yarn and lace, even though he and I have discussed the contents of my stash and my time commitments for the next few weeks. Sometimes I don’t know what gets into him. I think it’s PG being a bad influence. In any case, I really love these types of events because the community of knitters always inspires me and I make new friends (and push at least ONE person to write a public journal. Last year it was A, this year it’s (hopefully) E. I’m very happy to see both on wordpress). I was sitting in a chair introducing myself to E and hopefully not leaving the impression that I’m completely insane and waiting so I didn’t jump the entire line when a woman and her friend walked by and stopped to compliment the Wrap (Actually, everyone did; I’ve never had so many compliments on a piece of knitting before. Thank you everyone!). I spoke a bit about it and she suddenly asks, “Are you Penny?”. To which I replied at the same time she said, “Melanie!”. It was so wonderful to meet her in real space.. she was there with her friend T who has been her penpal for many years and they finally met in real person as well. I had a wonderful bit of tea with them after getting my book signed and we actually succeeded in crossing paths at MoMA this afternoon.

Mom's new scion, snowflakeLastly, my mum bought a new car. This pleases me as her Corolla is almost 15 years old and the back doors no longer consistently open (or one no longer did and sometimes the other sticks?). The Corolla was a good car, it drove me (I rarely drove it) all over while I was in high school, making weekly trips across the length of the Island for orchestra rehearsals and at least two trips a summer (more like three or four) up to Oneonta for music “camp”. Please say hello to Snowflake (the car). May they enjoy their time together in health and safety. A has a new white scion too, his is the bigger boxy one and I don’t know if it has been named (helicopter taxi might be appropriate). If the weather is ever not grey hopefully we’ll get a photo of the two together. :)

progress.. and gifts in photos

Since it’s 11pm and I’m just starting to draft this, I will be lazy and provide a photo-heavy post instead. If you are on dial-up (is anyone anymore) or a slow flakey wifi connection, I’m sorry. But first.

Thank you sara!!! (more on that at the end. I can’t wait until Monday)

Last weekend we spent a lot of time gathering the final parts to the new kitchen. Monday was a busy day ultimately finding us at Home Depot Expo choosing a countertop [Beige Olympo] and sink (the most expensive part!). I’ll skip our reaction to the process of this and just show you the pictures. The sink arrived Thursday (the box was big, but it is quite light) and the countertop “guys” made an appointment for this coming Friday afternoon (it’s my fault, I just couldn’t guarantee I’d be home any other day). It’s really starting to come together. In the corner upper cabinet are 3 lazy-susans which make a large difference. We’ll be adding one more shelf even though we’ll both need the step stool to reach it. We’re thinking of putting a fold down counter/table below the cook books. We’ll see. That shelf really is even, it’s the photostitch that makes it a little “odd” (it doesn’t help that our walls aren’t straight and the doorman-phone is crooked too).

sink & countertop choice sink & countertop choice
360 kitchen status
(click to go to flickr, they’re all slightly bigger there)

I’ve cooked a little this week. Without a countertop it’s a little difficult. I made pasta for shabbat and we had tacos tonight. On Thursday I used up some leftover brown rice and made this fried rice in the picture. It was a perfect lunch on the snowy Friday.

How did I make it?

leftover leftover fried riceLeftover Fried rice with soy^2 and mushrooms
You need: leftover (brown) rice, extra-firm tofu, edamame, shitake mushrooms, olive oil, sesame oil.
First slice the tofu and put it on a baking sheet and bake for a while at about 250° I can’t tell you exactly how long to bake it as I set a timer and then fell asleep and slept through it. I think it was in there for about 45 minutes.
Next start the water for your edamame and go clean your mushrooms. you can just run them under water, just don’t soak them for hours.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and when it’s warm throw in the mushrooms. When the water is ready cook the edamame. After the mushrooms seem to soften and shrink, add the tofu (i chopped my slices a little smaller at this point) and let them brown a bit. Drain the edamame and if it’s still in the pod, shell a few and throw them in the pan. When it seems that stuff is starting to brown top with the rice and sprinkle with sesame oil. Stir it every so often until browned to desired level. Enjoy!

Lastly, Sara sent me a box. I knew she sent it, but I had no idea what was in it beyond the felted spocks which we hoped fit me. The answer to that is a very loud YES! It’s as if she had knit them for me. I’m still in shock that they fit. You didn’t reknit them did you? She also sent many other goodies which have me in shock, as they include another pair of socks!!! These two pairs fit me better than all the socks I’ve knit myself. Sara, you are a master knitter and i’m inspiring to half a quarter of your talent one day.

spocks, from sara PG with the gifts

helloLastly, I don’t want it to seem that Britt‘s little penguin guy is being misplaced. PG has been talking with him a good deal and he is fitting in and feeling at home and really wants to come with me to the office tomorrow when we do a very long overdue upgrade and I hope that it goes smoothly. At the moment that is an unknown and I’m VERY nervous about it. So I think i’ll let him come. We could use the moral support and good happy vibes he brings.

making my day, twitter, and a stamp

A while ago I was honoured to be tagged with this “make my day” award that’s making the rounds of the knit blogs these days… it made MY day… and I’ve been waiting for the right time and way to respond to it.

I’ve had a pretty rough couple of weeks and so many people have been very kind and generous with words and actions and just plain wonderful.

Thank you!

I really truly appreciate and admire the friendships I have recently formed in person and online and don’t quite now how to really thank you for it. The majority of you should know who you are; there are some whose writing I read but do not comment on, they make my day too. Thank you. I really don’t know how or if I’ll ever repay the kindness properly, but I will try.

I’m a really really bad twitterer. I don’t check it all the time, nor do I always update my status. I don’t pay to have SMS on my phone (I’m cheap sometimes) so if I’m not at a computer and checking it, I don’t see it. Therefore, if I don’t reply to a tweet timely I apologize.

My tool for this week satisfies part of my stamp problem. I LOVE stamps. I want to go back to tokyo just to stock up on a bunch since I seem unable to find these iso-stamp(second row, first column) here. I’m also fascinated by date formats and I have never liked the American standard date, i.e. February 21, 2008. I’ve written 21-Feb-2008 long before I knew it was “British”. We don’t know where I came up with it as I hadn’t had exposure to it prior to my adoption of it. It was an improvement in my eyes, but it wasn’t perfect. My largest complaint was that it didn’t sort well. It took me more years than I should admit to realize that the ISO standard 8601 would fulfill most of my needs. But most stamps I find here are the wrong format. When I was in Tokyo I picked up a DDMMYYYY stamp, so it was closer. A while back I found a how-to online which i now can’t track down which wrote about how easy it was to modify a regular date stamp. I have been thinking about it for a while. Stamps were more pricey than I wanted so I waited. Yesterday I wandered into the 99¢ store next door to the Firm and discovered they were selling stamps with a “received” or “faxed” add on … for 99¢ plus tax. I looked at it and appeared to be something I could easily take apart so I bought one. Tonight I did and then followed what I recalled of the tutorial and made my stamp. So I introduce to you my 99¢ ISO-ish date stamp.

Wow. That was wordy!