Friday, November 30, 2007

This picture was taken at the intersection of east 36th Street & Lexington Avenue at 7am. The photo is very blurry (I tried twice), but the yellow leaves of this tree were on fire with the rising sun and looked so pretty against the quaint buildings on that street.

Now for a serious matter that I need some help with. I'm having a little problems with the kitties at The Works that I thought I would put out there. You guys may know Monk from his various appearances on the blog. Monk has a sister, Penelope, who has been very troubled the last two days.

We inherited an area rug from our neighbors on Wednesday night and Monk took a liking to it right away. He spent almost the entire evening sitting on the rug. Everything was fine. Late Thursday afternoon, he and Penelope started to fight with each other in way that is truly disturbing and very new.

Whenever he comes near her, she growls and then attacks him viciously. Master P thinks that the rug must smell like some other animal and she doesn't recognize her brother or like the smell. It's really very upsetting and more than a little unsettling. The cats are about 4 years old and we've never seen them fight like this before.

I sprayed the rug entirely with Febreeze but they are still at each other's throats (literally). All I've read about aggressive behaviour in cats suggests that I cat will act out suddenly if it feels its territory is being threatened. Could this be from the rug? I'm a a real loss, here. Tonight I put Penelope in a "time out" in the bathroom and Monk just sits by the door meowing mournfully. It's as though he wants to be near her, but she won't have it.

Has anyone had an experience with this kind of behavior?!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've been making soup like it's going out of style here at The Works. Last week was lentil soup, that wasn't a huge hit. I froze most of that. Yesterday, however, I made potato and leek soup.

I can't emphasize enough how easy and really practical is is to whip up a big pot of simmering goodness. I usually make quite a bit and freeze half the batch. I always have stacks of soup in my freezer to make a quick lunch (if you keep it frozen, it will keep the rest of your lunch cold!) or to defrost for an informal dinner party when I'm at a loss. (Some fancy garnish can make you look like a rock star!)

Also, and this is the most important, it is cheap. Potatoes and leeks? How much did that cost me? Like, $5.00. Seriously folks, do yourself a favor and make some soup.

Potato & Leek Soup

You will need:
about 4 leeks, cleaned well, sliced lengthwise and chopped. White and light green parts only
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
5-6 cups of chicken stock or broth, or vegetable stock
some nice olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of your pot
plenty of salt and pepper

Cook the leeks in the olive oil over medium high heat for around 5 minutes or until they start to smell yummy.
Put the potatoes and stock in, season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes start to fall apart, about 25 minutes.

You can use a blender to make the soup smooth or leave it chunky and rustic. I like it somewhere in between.
Garnish with sour cream, creme fraiche or plain yogurt. (I also added a splash of apple cider vinegar right at the end, but this step isn't necessary.)

Enjoy this with a big salad with bacon and a poached egg or as a start to a meal featuring fish or chicken. Instant rock star!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What happened to October? Or November, for that matter? This week was a blur of work and crafting, much like the past month.

That interview a while back? The position is still hypothetical at this point (something about budget, blah, blah), but I went in this week, freelance, to see if I might be a good fit. I can't really tell you who I'm working for, but I can tell you that if you read the New York Times, you will be seeing some ads that I styled with some handbags. Very cool.

In the weeks until Christmas, I'm going to be crafting mostly gifts, so they won't make an appearance on the blog. I thought I'd take a shot at a more life-style blog, though I already have catching up to do.

This is what my week looked like:
Sunday: work at The Point - all day
Monday: emergency evening shift at The Point. Knitting season is in full swing!
Tuesday: crash at home. Cooking, knitting, catching up
Wednesday: Project Runway Night at Kevin's house in Queens. Lasagna and Heidi Klum!
Thursday: quality time with Master P. Much TV: The Office, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl
Friday: date night. "No Country for Old Men" & Italian food
Saturday: much knitting & martinis on the Upper West Side with a special friend visiting from Boston (regulars at The Point know who I'm talking about!).
Today: yummy brunch with Kevin and his man, browsing around The Container Store, and hot chocolate at The City Bakery. The week is off to a good start!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

There I was, bleary-eyed, drinking a cup of coffee before heading to work and reading all of your blogs. I thought, "I haven't posted in a while. Danged dreary weather."

Then it hit me (it was only cup #1, OK?): daylight, sunshine, pictures!

I managed to get this pic of the latest incarnation of the felt pillows I was working on a while back. Felt on felt. I think these will come out a lot more like I envisioned. That's often the case with my projects, I find. It takes more than one try. I love how the monochromatic circles look kind of like a Lego!

I'm madly knitting and sewing what I hope will be holiday gifts. Everything else will be put on hold for now. I kind of like it, too. Just fun mindless, TV-watching knitting. Mindless is about all I can handle about now anyway. I'm starting down the barrel of 12 consecutive work days, so wish me luck!

(And a shout out to my dear friend, Lynn, who doesn't have a blog, but reads mine and, apparently, tells other people to read it, too! You rock, Lynn!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's been a real, long while since I had a serious visceral reaction to some yarn. Since I swooned and squealed and Had To Have It!!! I thought that maybe I was a little burned out. To much knitting on demand and not for my own pleasure. That is, until last Sunday.

There I was, minding my own business, working at The Point and labeling some yarn, when I encountered a bag of Claudia's Hand Painted Silk. Oh, I had labeled the fingering weight sock yarn easily enough. No temptation there. "I don't even knit socks!" I thought silently, calmly putting all of the lovely yarn on display.

Then, from an assorted bag of 24 colors, came this baby. I mean I yelped, people! I squealed in delight. I brought the poor skein up to my cheek (an action that, frankly, I deplore in others) and then I hid the yarn behind the desk, in case any one else should see it and then I'd have to fight them for it.

And so, I bought that skein of 1,100 yards of 100% Silk lace yarn on the spot, not being able to be apart from it for even one more moment, and I DON'T EVEN KNIT LACE! Nope. Not a stitch.

This cannot be a shawl, folks. It just can't. I won't be able to do it. I may become a slightly wide stole-type thing in a nice 4 or 6 row lace repeat with a lot of purl rows. Something dreamy and luxurious just for yours truly. Oh, man. I can't wait.