Friday, June 29, 2012

Tank & Kimono, A Very Knitty Post

Last year my my lovely wife knitted me a kimono (  I loved the garment and I decided it needed a tank to go with it.  I found a wonderful pattern, in Knit Kimono Too  by Vicki Square called the Ao Tank.  I worked on the tank through the last thros of winter and most of spring.  I finally finished it at the end of May just in time to wear it to a wedding receptions.  I looked great in it and got lots of compliments, but there was a problem.

I will admit freely that I don't always swatch, but when it comes to clothing items I do.  I was so careful and checked gauge and followed the pattern.  I was so good about everything, and then I came to the end and followed the pattern for the neckline and the castoff.  I was about a third of the way through the castoff and realized, I had forgotten something very important.  Though I am plus sized and ample in the chest area, I have very small, rounded shoulders.  The tank kept sliding off my shoulders.  My mother always said it was very tacky to see a woman's bra straps, here I was walking around being tacky.

After some thought and putting my problem solving skills to the test, I came up with adding straps to the tank.  I followed the stitch pattern I used on the neckline and viola, bra straps covered.  Learning to knit has helped me on so many levels.  My hand and eye coordination has approved, I have learned advanced knitting techniques, and I can recognize most fibers on sight.  But my probelm solving abilities have improved so much I can fix my own droppy neckline, yay me.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Remembering My Dad

Today my dad would have been, 71.  I know you guys have listened to me be sad about this loss before.  But there is still this large hole in my life that has his name on it.  I am doing better than I was even a year ago, I rarely cry about his death unless I am near a rack of Father's Day cards at the grocery store.  I see this lack of tears as an improvement.  I also refuse to let him be upgraded to sainthood by my mother or sister.  He was a real person with flaws like everyone else.  So again I say improvement.  Today I got out of bed, spent time with loved ones, drank tea, and I laughed.  Improvement.  I have learned to cope, but the memory of him moves forward with me. He was loved and is missed.  Enough said.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Purchasing Fiestaware in Doing So I Change My Mind

Today I was in the pink, as in the new Flamingo Fiestaware Pink that I have been gushing on and on about for weeks.  I went to the local source of Fiestaware, the always fabulous Cornucopia ( with my minion in tow.  As I descended into the basement of dinnerware bliss, my heart beat a little faster at all the colorful goodness around me.  I stood in awe of the sea of pink in front of me and was almost too overcome to decide on what pieces to purchase.  My minion goaded me with a snide comment about buying it all up and locking it away from me.  Did I mention my minion is evil?

The new hue is just so fresh.  In the past the good people at Homer Laughlin have given us the washed out apricot, and the pastel rose as pinkish color options.  I was unsure how the flamingo would stack up to those colors.  Once home with some comparison with other pieces, the new color has more of a pop especially when paired with the green colors, like chartreuse and lemon grass.  In case you haven't noticed I am kind of in love with the new color.

Flamingo, Rose, and Apricot Mini Disk Pitchers

After much indecision I did chose some fabulous flamingo pieces.  I bought a gusto bowl, a ramekin, salt and pepper shakers, the mini disk pitcher, and a surprise purchase, but I will get to that in a moment.  I waffled on a small casserole dish, but decided against it.  The staff at Conucopia was a tad (just a small tad maybe) amused by my enthusiasm over the the new color.  I can't blame them, occasionally, I am a bit, (just an itty bitty bit) over the top.

The Purchase

Now for the shocker of the day.  I have in the past been a little critical of the concept of square Fiestaware (  Some even think I have said that I see square dishes as crime against humanity, but they would be exaggerating.  Though my initial thoughts on square Fiestaware were reserved, I find I may have been too hasty in politely venting my concerns.  I did in fact purchase two square serving pieces of dinnerware.  My minion was quite persuasive in suggesting that the the lemon grass and flamingo in square shapes were very attractive together.  Did I mention my minion is evil?  I know it can be a surprise to those who have heard my gentle complaints about squares, but I have, as is my prerogative, changed my mind. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And the New Flamingo Fiestaware Candlesticks Arrive

The Pyramid Candlestick Holders
Last week my special edition Flamingo Fiestaware Pyramid Candlestick Holders arrived to join the house that flamingos and Fiestaware built.  I would like to say I was not lured by the early morning email annoucing the pre-sale on limited edition new color candlestick holders, but I cannot (I don't even really like candlestick holders).  I gave the good people at Homer Laughlin my credit card number and waited with un-contained enthusiasm.  Fast forward to last weekend and they arrived.   I ripped open the box in the parking lot of UPS wanting to see the new color that badly.  I think I squealed a little when I dug the new items out of a mile of bubble wrap.

Notice Rose Saucer Under Candlestick Holder
I like the new color, it is bright and fun.  The pink will look great with my lemon grass, peacock, and tangerine colors.  I do have the old discontinued rose in several  pieces, I was worried the flamingo would be just a rehash of that shade of pink.  Immediately, on arrival at home I went in and grabbed a rose saucer and decided that yes this color is a different shade.  If anything, I would say the flamingo is the color that should have been produced from the beginning. 

My New Candlesticks are Even Numbered in Gold

Speaking of beginnings, a part of me wishes I could chuck all my Fiestaware and start over again with a complete set of the flamingo.  However, that is not going to happen, instead I think some new place settings are in order.   I have been assured that this weekend, shipments of the new color will be available at my favorite Fiestaware dealers.  I am thinking someone is going to be abusing her Visa card in the near future.  I can resist anything, but brightly colored dinnerware it would seem.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Girl Who Collected Bradbury

Today Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) died.  I was not shocked he was 91, a very respectable age for a writer, dreamer, and icon. But I did stop and have a moment, a moment in which I mourned the loss of a dear friend.  A friend that I have loved and cherished since a very wise middle school classmate suggested I read, The Martian Chronicles.  I was astounded by the imagery, beauty, and horror of Mars as I sat under a tree devouring the book.  From that point on I was in love with Ray.  His stories opened a world of tattooed men, time travelers, rockets, electric grandmothers, and blue bottles of wishes.  The stories became the key to unlocking my imagination, inspiring the adolescent me to dream in newly discovered worlds of science and space.  I can still remember the night I read "October Game," and having nightmares about disembodied witches for weeks.  I wish I could tell Ray thank you.  Thank him in some way for giving me the gift of his stories, and allowing me to grow and learn becoming a better person along the way.  His presence in this world will be missed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hamburger Mary's

How cool is this, St Louis has a queer franchise in Midtown.  Hamburger Mary's  (  is in fact a few short blocks from the very Catholic St Louis University.  I had the day off so I decided to take my wife on an adventure there for lunch.  After some traffic issues and a broken meter that stole two quarters we found ourselves seated and ready for some gay burgers.  We were a little scattered when we sat down so it took us a few minutes to realize we had the task of deciding what we wanted for lunch.

The menu was a little daunting, there were several yummilicious things on the menu from burgers to lobster mac and cheese.  I almost got the three grilled cheesy sandwich, but decided on the Barbra-Q Bacon Cheeseburger since we were at a famous burger joint.  My lovely wife chose the Meaty Mushroom and since we both love spinach artichoke dip we also got an order of spinny dipper.

Once we settled in and started looking around we were astounded by the over the top decor of chandlers, pink columns, and red velvet curtains.  We both thought it was fun, but the ambient lighting was not the best for knitting.  I gave up pretty quickly, but the spinny dipper showed up and my tummy was ready for some substance.  We plowed into the ooey, gooey goodness that is there spinach artichoke dip. This appetizer is our go to starter because we both like it so much, we have tried the dish at chains and original restaurants across the country.  So it is with much experience that I say this, BEST SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP EVER!  Our only complaint was there were so many artichoke pieces in it that it broke the chips. What a problem to have.  It was so delicious I wanted to lick the platter clean.

Okay, I want to be honest, my favorite burger in St Louis is O'Connell's
(  Hamburger Mary's did not change that, but I will say my half pound Angus beef burger was pretty tasty.  The sauce and onion rings on the burger combined together to make my tummy very happy.  Neither of us were happy with the lettuce/relish bed under the burger.  I did ask for no pickles, but I guess the relish is not considered a pickle derivative, so we had to  scraped off the the offense vegetation and it was fine.  Next time no pickle, lettuce, or relish please.

I could not finish the enormous burger so I have half for later.  Overall, I loved Hamburger Mary's, the atmosphere was so much fun, the staff very friendly, the burger worth the $9.45 price tag, and where else do you get your bill in a stiletto?