twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
By a strange coincidence, every Monday has found us (or at least, Daniel) driving to our vet. On Monday the 3rd, Chester had her follow-up appointment for her mystery eye goop (no cause found but her conjunctiva is looking good). On Monday the 17th, Chester got an ultrasound done to check on the status of her kidney disease and enlarged ureter. (good-ish news: kidney and ureter are still enlarged but the same size as the last time she got an ultrasound done, so her condition is not progressing too quickly. The vets want us to try out a kidney/renal diet for her, which involves less protein and less phosphorus which will take less of a toll on her healthier kidney. We had been working on getting her higher protein via canned food, so this has left me feeling decidedly mixed.)

Monday the 10th is when we picked up Pan's remains.

Read more... )

I couldn't bring myself to photograph the urn (which came to us in bubble-wrap, in a black paper bag). So the photo of the day for Monday the 10th is the bento I packed for Daniel's lunch that day.

June 10 2017

July 11: A while back, I installed an app called OpenCamera on my phone, because I wanted a camera app with a macro mode, maybe one that would let me fiddle with white balance, etc. And for a while I was pretty happy with it! But after my phone updated to Android 6.0, I noticed that the photos I was taking with OpenCamera were looking kind of... dark.

Comparison )

I dunno, man! Open Camera seems to be one of the best-rated free camera apps out there, but I'm not thrilled with how dark some of these photos are turning out. I can't find any comments on the Google Play store indicating that other people are having this issue (although I did find a post on StackOverflow complaining of dark photos when using the Camera2 API... I remember seeing Camera2 API mentioned in the release notes for Open Camera). I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling Open Camera, and it doesn't seem to have helped.

I'm kind of torn between deleting Open Camera and holding onto it in the hopes that the next update will fix this issue.

July 12: Tammy kept me company on the couch as I took my WIP Wednesday photos.
Read more... )

July 13: Bento of the day: beef hamburg, cucumber asazuke (lightly pickled with salt and ginger), carrot pickles from the farmer's market, tamagoyaki
Read more... )

July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day! We got a macaroni and cheese pizza from our favorite pizza place (or... my favorite pizza place, anyways) and settled in for an evening watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in preparation for seeing War for the Planet of the Apes the next day. It turned out that I had forgotten a lot of the characters' names and a lot of the events of the movie as well.
Read more... )

July 15: We were going to get breakfast/brunch at our usual place, but Stir the Pot was unexpectedly closed. By sheer coincidence, the owner was there and was able to reassure us that it was just a plumbing issue (apparently one that was supposed to be fixed on Thursday, but acted up again on Saturday -- two of their busiest days) and that they'd be open the next day.

So we went to Cracker Barrel, where I drowned my sorrows in hashbrown casserole and biscuits with gravy.

And then we went to see War for the Planet of the Apes. (No post-credits scene.) We did some shopping but opted to save grocery shopping for Sunday so that we could get Blizzards at Dairy Queen and not worry about them melting in the car.

July 15 2017
(I applaud whoever drew that cute Spider-man on the sign and noted that he wasn't old enough to order any of his namesake drinks.)

July 16: Brunch at Stir the Pot! I was very excited to try out the Blueberry Bread French Toast (I'm not normally a huge French Toast fan, but this featured home-made blueberry bread and blueberry compote).

July 16 2017

The kielbasa Benedict was tricky to eat but also delicious.

After grocery shopping, I used up a bunch of cereal and hot sauces to make snack mix.

July 16 2017

This became our dinner.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
It's grey and overcast again, and I just discovered that my plans to have Kraft Mac and Cheese for National Macaroni and Cheese day have been sunk by a distinct lack of normal Mac and Cheese in the house. We do have a box of Pokemon Diamond/Pearl Mac and Cheese, TMNT Donatello Mac and Cheese, and Star Wars Mac and Cheese but:
1. I didn't necessarily buy these to eat, and
2. I am pretty sure that these are all several years past their Best Before date.

So I'm drowning my sorrows in tea and chocolate. Or chocolate-flavoured tea, anyways.

I think I bought Dark Chocolate Delight from the Davids Tea's big retiring tea clearance sale. I'm not sure when this tea was most recently offered by the stores; I'm seeing reviews that say it was part of the 2015 Advent Calendar and others that indicate that it was a regularly available tea. I can't find it anywhere on the US Davids Tea site, so I'm guessing it was retiring and then sold out online.

From the Canadian Davids Tea site, which still had this listed:
"dark side of the brew

What is it about dark chocolate? Its taste is sinfully decadent, but studies say it might actually be good for you. But wait – it gets better. Now you don’t even have to wait until dessert to get your fix. With this black tea blend, you can treat yourself anytime, anywhere. With cocoa shells, blueberries and big chunks of luscious dark chocolate, it’s a deliciously rich taste of our favourite indulgence. Welcome to the dark side…

Black tea, spiced dark chocolate (cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, ancho chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, allspice, clove, chipotle chili, ground vanilla), blueberries, cocoa shells, natural chocolate flavouring."

One of my first DavidsTea purchases was a big bag of their Blueberry Jam black tea, and I'm a big fan of chocolate-covered fruit, so this sounds right up my alley. I brewed up some of the Chocolate Cake tea to compare, but I suspect it is an unfair comparison.

Dark Chocolate Delight has actual chunks of spicy dark chocolate in it. I thought they might be cacao nibs or cocoa shells or something, but I just fished one chunk out of the loose leaf tea and nibbled it and... yup, it's chocolate. Meanwhile, the Chocolate Cake tea has cocoa, white chocolate curls, and sprinkles. It's no contest, the Dark Chocolate Delight has a much better chocolate flavour.

The berries are kind of muted, and the sheer amount of actual chocolate in this thing means that it'll start to congeal as it cools down, and also it won't be great for re-steeping (since most of the chocolate will have melted into the first cup). I also wonder how this tea does in warmer climes; does the chocolate just melt into a lump at the bottom of the bag or tin?

I'll probably get another bag or two of this if it makes a return (and if the price is right... looks like I got this at $5.99 for 2 oz, which is a terrific deal).
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone

So, last week I was pondering whether I should put the Slow Fade socks aside for now and cast on for something simple to knit in bed, since I was making so little progress.

As it turns out, had released corrected patterns and charts for Slow Fade last month and I didn't notice, because I hadn't refreshed the page. So I ripped out all of my progress and I guess I'll be casting on for the Slow Fade socks again at some later date.

In happier news, I finished one sock and cast on for the second of the pair.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Schatzi socks by Shannon Okey from knitgrrl52
Yarn: Knitpicks Hawthorne Fingering in Mt Tabor

I actually had to rip out the toe decreases because my pinkie-toe was feeling cramped. I knit the foot until my pinkie-toe was safely covered, then followed the pattern directions and decreased until I had 18 stitches per needle, then did one more decrease row. A perfect fit!

I can't remember whether I've made any significant progress on the Forest Ridge shawl, but I did get the WIP on my bigger circular cord so I could show off what it looks like now.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Forest Ridge by Mary Formo
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Pacific (probably)

I'm still working on the sleeves for the Lycka tee. The front of this tee has more lace and fewer interminable rows of stockinette stitch, so I might be able to finish it in time to wear this summer, who knows?

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Lycka by Stefanie Schuster
Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin in Blackberry

The Wolkig cowl is coming along slowly. I'm starting to get concerned that this cowl is going to be TOO long (I'd guess that it's somewhere between 10" and 12" in height right now?) but it does scrunch down, so I guess it's not that big of an issue. I'll keeping knitting until the yarn runs out, just as the pattern says.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Wolkig by Martina Behm
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller in Winchester Mystery House

And finally, I have again forgotten to photograph the Conundrum shawl/scarf. It's probably just as well, since the last thing I remember about it is sitting in the vet waiting room, ripping out several rows because I'd made a mistake.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
It's kind of gray and gloomy and overcast this morning, but I'm hoping that the sun will come out.

(UPDATE: hahaha nope, there was a severe weather/thunderstorm/hail warning around 1 PM and it's been raining pretty hard since 2, with a few bouts of thunderstorms.)

Today, I'm trying out an herbal tea sample from Davids Tea.

I was curious as to how the Frozen Raspberry Herbal differed from the Blackberry Blizzard Herbal, since both of them are berry + creamy yogurt herbal tisanes. So I compared a freshly brewed cup of Frozen Raspberry Herbal (poured over ice) and some Blackberry Blizzard that I've cold-brewed in the fridge overnight. And...

1. Blackberry Blizzard is pale pink.
Frozen Raspberry is a much brighter red.

2. Blackberry Blizzard is delicate berries and hibiscus and a touch of cream.
Frozen Raspberry is straight-up sour.

With Blackberry Blizzard, I can't say for certain that I taste the blackberry. I mean, it's certainly SOME berry, but I couldn't tell you if it was blackberry or blueberry or a generic mix of woodland fruits or what. Frozen Raspberry, though, is INCREDIBLY raspberry. I can almost feel the seeds getting stuck in my teeth (note: the tea does include freeze-dried raspberries but there are no loose seeds floating in the tea). Maybe it's because I brewed this hot and poured it over ice, but... it's a really vibrant flavour.

Official description for Frozen Raspberry:
"berry delicious

We’re just gonna go ahead and say it – we’re total raspberry addicts. Seriously, how can anyone resist these deliciously tempting berries? They’re sweet, fruity and bursting with summer freshness. We all know raspberries taste great straight up. But have you tried them as an iced tea? Gamechanger. We kicked this blend up a notch with a creamy swirl of yogurt. The result? An icy treat that tastes just like a raspberry fro-yo. We won’t judge if you go back for seconds.


Apple (apple, citric acid), sugar, raisins, hibiscus blossom s, carrot, yogurt pieces (yogurt powder, sugar, maltodextrin, modified starch, citric acid), beetroot, raspberry, natural and artificial raspberry and strawberry-cream flavouring."

...seriously? RAISINS?

Pictures of the Day: July 1 to 9th

Jul. 10th, 2017 04:11 pm
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
Daniel called the crematorium. They said that we can pick up Pan's remains whenever we're ready. It's already been 11 days.

Here is how we spent some of those days.

July 1st: Canada Day. Wherever I am, Canada will always be my home and my country. Canada is by no means perfect, but I believe that its heart is true and we can all work together to keep making it a better place.

July 1 2017
I requested that we celebrate Canada Day by having poutine at Chez Ben Diner, Connecticut's foremost (and only?) Canadian-American restaurant. I had the chicken-and-peas poutine, and I think Daniel had the American? Or maybe the Meat Lover's?

We also bought a slice of sugar pie, which we had for dessert later that day.

July 2nd: Our usual brunch place, Stir the Pot, was sold out of all the breakfast specials we were interested in... so we drove out to Cosmic Omelet, where we tried out their Star Spangled Slammer omelet, which contains American Cheese, hot dogs, gound beef, baked beans and coleslaw.
Read more... )
Unfortunately, our omelet was missing the baked beans and coleslaw. Apparently they serve the Star Spangled Slammer on all major American holidays, so we'll have to try it again on Labour Day.

July 3rd: Not technically a holiday, but Daniel took a work-from-home day so we could take Chester to the vet for a follow-up for her eye. The vet seemed happy with Chester's progress, noting that her conjunctiva looked good and she had even gained some weight.

In other news, I decided that I'd bought too many containers of oats and decided to use them up by baking some oatmeal brittle... only I was missing a key ingredient, so I had to settle for making my usual one-bowl ranger cookies. It turns out that the cookie-making process goes a lot faster when you use a cookie dough scoop or disher.
Read more... )

July 4th: I thought it might be fun to celebrate Independence Day with a Red White and Blue theme, so I made Bakerella's Mini Maple Pancake Muffins with blueberries, with apple-infused maple syrup and blueberry maple syrup as the dipping sauces.
Read more... )

We had burgers and cole slaw and oven fries for dinner, because AMERICA. (I'm told hot dogs are more traditional for the 4th of July, but I had neglected to buy all-beef franks and also we like burgers better.)

July 5th: Our hot peppers may have had a disappointing yield last year, but this year's Hungarian Black pepper is doing great!

July 5 2017

July 6th: We had reserved seats at the 10 PM IMAX 3D showing of Spider-man: Homecoming, so we went out for dinner and then tooled around for a bit until it was time to see the movie. We spotted a skunk while at Wal-Mart.
July 6 2017

PS: Spider-man: Homecoming is a great movie with the most authentic teenagers yet! The humour might be a bit PG-13 for the smaller kids but it was fairly family-friendly in terms of violence. There is one mid-credit scene and one post-credit scene.

July 7th: On July 5th, Chester started having litter box problems again... Cut for TMI )

So we took her to the vet again, and they gave her an enema again, and since she didn't produce anything within 10 minutes, they kept her overnight and we went home.

It was too cloudy to really enjoy the stars in proper Tanabata style, but I did decorate dinner (brown sugar chili) with star shapes.

July 7 2017

July 8th: We were able to pick up Chester from the vet in the morning. We dropped her off at home, had breakfast at Stir the Pot, and did our grocery shopping.

Later that night, I discovered that my handknit socks were wearing through. I checked my Ravelry projects, and it looks like I never actually wrote these up on Ravelry? The yarn was entered in my Ravelry stash records, though, and it looks like I probably knitted these in 2007. 10 years!

Read more... )

I don't actually like these socks, so I probably won't be repairing them. I suspect they lasted so long because I only wear them during the summer (they're a cotton-wool blend)... and honestly, there are much more comfortable summer-appropriate fibers available these days.

July 9th: After taking care of a few errands, I got my hair cut so I could donate it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. I brought along this hair style from as an example of what I wanted. The stylist voiced her annoyance with the slight wave in my hair that results in it flipping out when it should be straight or curved in. I guess I'll be breaking out my velcro rollers again.

July 9 2017

July 2017


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