Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Yep.  That's me.  I would even go so far as to say Super Slacker. 

I work a 40+ hour a week job already and am silly enough to have lost my mind and gotten a part-time job as a knitting intructor.  So, along with all of my holiday knitting I have to have a hat ready for my class in two weeks, then I have to do three projects for my January/February classes... What was I thinking?! Well, other than enticing other folks over to the Dark Side with knitting.  Muwahahaha!

Which is why I haven't been posting.   Anyway, since I am a slacker I am going to share something knitting related that I wrote a while ago for a college class 'cause I ain't got nuttin' else for ya.

Anyway, enjoy my introduction to the knitting world and go out there and learn to knit!

A Chick with Sticks

By Poppy K.
It all starts out innocently enough. You spy a co-worker taking a break in the corner. With her head bent over her work you catch a glimpse of a beautiful green color and a flash of light off the knitting needles. You ask her when she walks past your desk what she was doing. "Knitting" she replies holding up the cutest baby sweater you've ever seen. That, is how an obsession is born.

Of course if you're going to become addicted to any hobby you have to have the right tools for the job. With knitting, in the beginning this is simple enough to accomplish. Later on down the road when the obsession has a firm grasp does it become trickier and costlier. However, to start you need only a few things. You need needles, yarn, patience and a book written for pre-teens on how to knit.

Needles: As a beginner you shouldn't buy the most beautiful pair of Rosewood needles that you have ever seen listed in one of those fancy knitting magazines. Unless of course they're on sale for a great price and you just know you'll be happily knitting with them one day. Your bank account will be happy to know that the cheap metal pair that only cost three dollars is more than adequate. Needles range in size from zero, which are so tiny that I think you may blind yourself if you tried knitting with them, all the way up to a monstrous size 50 that are thicker than a broomstick and somewhat hard to handle. But you can knit up a lap blanket in an afternoon with them! I suggest you grab yourself a nice size 10, 10 1/2 or even 11 to begin your knitting adventure.

Yarn: Here too you can get yourself into quite a pickle. I mean there are just so many colors, materials and textures to choose from! As time progresses, your stash grows and your bank account empties you'll find beautiful silken yarn, yarn made from bamboo, handspun wool, the list goes on and on. But for your first project you should get a cheap, smooth, single light colored yarn. With it you'll be able to see what it is you're doing, how your stitches look and where exactly you made your millionth mistake.

Guide: I can strongly suggest that if you're going to teach yourself to knit that you buy yourself a book that is written for young adults, pre-teens or even toddlers if there is one. These books give you detailed instructions and pictures that are so easy to understand that you'll be knitting in public before you know it. Books geared towards adults use mostly written instruction and horrid sketches to try and help you along, avoid them if you want any hair left at the end of "Lesson 1: Casting On".

Patience: This is the most crucial when learning how to knit. You most assuredly cannot get enough. Be prepared for your first project, which should always be a scarf, to have stitches that are too loose/tight, dropped stitches and wobbly edges. It's normal. It is also normal to donate any firsts to the Humane Society. With enough patience you'll be posting on FaceBook in no time that you're going to try knitting socks!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Greatest Commerical. Ever.

As I have stated before I regulary ask Mr. Wonderful if I can have a Polar Bear and he always says no.  Usually with a smart quip like "He will hug you with his teeth." Whatever.  This is the ultimate proof that, that is not necessarily true.  So there. 

I will watch this video every day and dream.

Dear Nissan,
Thank you for this commercial.
Maybe Mr. Wonderful will let me get a Polar Bear now.
And a Leaf.

I love Polar Bears!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Halloween is my favorite, favorite, favorite holiday. 
To all you nay sayers, grumpy Gus's and the like who do not consider Halloween a holiday, phooey and Bah Humbug on you!

Not much to say. 

A lot of pictures though. 

So let's get this party started, shall we?

I picked this baby up
from a local farmer!
Love it!

In action on the front porch.

Also picked this heirloom
up from the same farmer.
It iss mottled green & orange.

This little beauty is, I think
the best Jack-O-Lantern
that I have ever carved. 

Mr. Wonderful's
Vampiric Jack-O-Lantern.
Notice it is eating all of the pumpkin seeds
that I have plans for.

The Whole Shebang!

The whole front porch looked awesome! With the lights and the candles flickering...
I have pictures but I won't post them.  They are a blurry mess.

A nice DSLR is on my Christmas List. 
And This time Mr. Wonderful said okay!

I suppose my greeni-ness this time came in the form of buying from a local farmer, buying heirlooms (except for the orange one) and all of the pumpkins were donated to my moms chickens.
Including the guts and excluding the seeds...

To which I did this!:

I was quite literally drooling while they were in the oven.
Next post I will share I how I made
The Best Pumpkin Seeds In Creation!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two words for ya: Worm. Poop.

Last summer I bought on clearance some straggly, mostly dead mums and in my ever optimistic heart planted them in hopes that I wouldn't kill them.  I am not known for my growing prowess nor my ability to keep perfectly healthy plants alive.

The year before I had seen a documentary or a television show where they showcased:  

Last year I was able to buy the fertilizer at my local Target store.  Not so this year. I am going to look into ordering it directly from the website - but I didn't need it this year as evidenced below.

Holy Mums Batman!
They got so gigantic they fell over

And this is just one of the three Mums that I bought.  They've gone bat poop crazy and taken over the front flower bed.  It's okay though. They're pretty.

There are quite a few different companies that sell the worm poop fertilizer out there. 
Or you can have your own worm composting bin. 
This is another thing Mr. Wonderful says no to.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Apples In My Eyesight

The Offenders - JonaMac's

Mr. Wonderful eats two apples everyday.  He buys the Michigan grown ones by the bag, doesn't matter what kind, he just picks a bag and throws it in the cart.  However, I am more particular.  I pick Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious - my two favorites.

When Mr. Wonderful mentioned that he was not enjoying his bag of JonaMac's I told him to stop eating them and I would come up with something to do with 'em...

And wooo doggy did I!

I had approximately 6 JonaMac's,
1 Honeycrisp that somehow escaped my hungry gaze in the crisper, and a single, 
lonely MacIntosh hidden in the depths of the fridge...

So I got out the Great Cookbook and looked for things to do with apples.  Then decided I was just going to make miniature apple pies.  Of course there are no directions for making mini apple pies so I kind of winged it.  Results and lots of pics below.

Apple peels destined for the compost bucket.
Allow me to expound on my paring knife - I have had it for 20 years.
I will use no other, I can find no other like it and I will cry if I ever lose it. Period.
Look at all the different colors of the apple flesh.  I find it interesting. 
I'm weird like that.
Don't laugh but I had to use my knitting swatch gage to measure
the diameter of Mr. Wonderful's biscuit cutters. 
I am still not quite sure why he has them.
So the biggest biscuit cutter wasn't big enough for my plans.
But the John McCann Steel Cut Oatmeal can which sits on the counter was!

Here was my plan, put the piecrusts in the cups of a muffin tin and treat them as their own individual pies - genius, right?
I put the muffin tin on a cookie sheet to catch spills.  I hate cleaning.
Filled with apples awaiting their tops.
I cubed the apples instead of slicing them - I figured slices wouldn't fit well.
I'm so smart.
With their lids.  They are not very pretty at all.
I must figure out a way to make them look nicer.
The weird, sicko perfectionist in me insists on it.
I ran out of enough dough to cover the pies - I used the standard Two 9" recipe.
Maybe next time I'll make 1 1/2x the recipe.
Anyway, so three of them got the Lattice Treatment.

Sick of pictures yet? Too bad! Here comes some more...

Fresh out of the oven
My cups definitely runneth over!
Which made for soggy bottoms while they were hot.

And in my impatience I didn't wait for them to cool down before I started to pry them out ...

And lucky for me I had a plate sitting right there
because this one fell apart and I caught it with said plate.
The fork is incidental.  Pay it no mind.

Next time I will need to figure out a way to better seal them and make them prettier.  Otherwise, they're awesome!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's The Great Cookbook Poppy K!

The beginning is not for the weak of heart.

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
There was a me.

This me was young, dumb and in love.

This other me got married.

And as a gift to the bride my mother, MommaBean, gave to me this cook book. (She gives a copy to all new brides!)

As you can see the cookbook fared as well as my marriage!

However, this, I still love, cherish and adore with all my heart.  It has some of the greatest recipes ever!

For instance the apple pie recipe.  I have made this recipe a million times, sometimes adding things like caramel bits to make Caramel Apple Pie, and every single time anyone who eats my apple pie loves it.

Way back at the beginning of the month Mr. Wonderful and I went to the apple orchard down the street.  We bought all the goodies there were to buy and when we got home from our outing I cooked up a big pot of chili and baked my first pie of the year!

6 Cups of apples thinly sliced
This bowl we inherited from Mr. Wonderful's Grandma. I love it.
3/4 c. Sugar, 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
(I skip the flour & lemon juice... because I usually forget)
Plop it in the pie crust with some butter on top
I usually make it from scratch but I cheated & bought this one, which was not as good.
Stick the top crust on and seal the two with a fork
We don't have milk in the house so I used some half & half to brush on the top
And instead of cutting slits in it, I used a cookie cutter and cut out stars... aww, how cute!
Then you pop it in the oven!
The yummiest appe pie ever!

Later I'll post what whacky-ness I came up with today for this apple pie recipe...
I've been slaving away in the kitchen all morning but now it's sit back and watch a movie while Mr. Wonderful slumbers!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skeleton Army

My niece, Princess Pretty Face, has a birthday in October.  So every year for her birthday party I make some sort of Halloween type treat. 

Two years ago it was 'Eyeball Cupcakes', last year it was a 'Cat Litter Cake' - both super yummy! I will have to look and see if I can come up with pictures...

Anyway, this year I made Skeleton Cupcakes. 

She had seen a picture of them on the cover of a magazine (I cannot remember which) and this prompted her to beg in her best, most pleading Princess voice to pretty please Thea Poppy make skeleton cupcakes. 

Of course being the World's Greatest Thea Poppy Ever.  I did it.

All of the ingredients are gathered...
And Ta-Da! Here is the first of twenty - I called him The General
And here is the Skeleton Army!

They are missing their arms because I didn't think the arms would make the half hour trek...

And then I left the house without their arms.

They were a Leper Skeleton Army.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

To Have or Have Not

I have been making a conscious effort as of late to only buy things that I need.

It is a very thin line between needing and wanting for me.  A few weeks ago I decided that for an entire week that I wasn't going to spend any money.  I know, crazy right? Crazy enough to work...

And I did it! 

I was only tempted 999 times per day.  Piece of cake!

At work, at home - temptation was everywhere! There was the evil vending machine, the dastardly offers to "go grab some lunch", all of the odious, but great, crafting ideas popping into my brilliant little head. 

Gloriously I dreamt up knitting projects and of big mugs of warm and creamy, I mean vile, Cappuccinos. 

That grubby little devil named Temptation sat on my shoulder egging me on.  But resist I did! 

And in order to congratulate myself on my witholding prowess I promptly went out and purchased The World's Greatest Halloween Salt & Pepper Shakers.  Ever.

And I must confess, October is not an easy month for me to be frugal.  My beautiful niece, Princess Pretty Face has a birthday in October and the Greatest Holiday, Halloween, is this month.  Costumes and presents and, and, and ... I have been horrid for the whole month. 

But I'm making a promise to myself that November will be the most frugal month for me yet.  I'll keep you posted.

*This post is only 20 and some odd days old... which means you'll probably hear about "Frugal November" some time in January!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Growing Things

This year I decided to plant some veggies so that Mr. Wonderful and I could be more "self-sufficient". 
I planted green beans, tomatoes, carrots and strawberries.  We live in a condo so our self sufficiency experiment had to be in containers on our back deck.

The strawberries didn't make it because of Fudge the Squirrel digging in the pot.  However, we did get lots of green beans and tomatoes!

Anyway, thinking that the experts were just being particular I disregarded their advice regarding the planting of carrots. 

They said "Space the seeds evenly." 
Do they realize how tiny those buggers are?
They must not.

They say "Once the greens are about an inch long start thinning them out." 
Don't they know how difficult it is to cull the little herd of cute green things you've planted and are growing?
Obviously not. 

So my heirloom Tuchon carrots that were supposed to grow to about be about 6" and adorably baby sized? Only 4 of them ever made it that big.  Most were an inch, some were still thin little orange roots. (See Picture)

So the moral of the story: They are called experts for a reason.  They know more about said subject and you should listen to them! Next spring I am going to give carrots a try again and this time I will do my best to remember what the experts say.

Green Hint: Take your used coffee grounds and spread them around the base of the plants.  The plants love the Nitrogen and the animals do not like the coffee - silly things.