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Archive for October, 2008

Officially…

Yup, My Precious has reached one of his milestones in life.

October 26th. Very Important Day. Always.

This precious person has impressed upon people to be low-keyed, subdued, humble, gentle and very private. He exudes an inner intellectual that he guards closely, but surprises us on occasions he lets his guard down. He rarely smiles on cue. But every now and then, he will exhibit a wicked smile that translates to a playful naughtiness he’s about to spring on someone dear to him, most especially on the cats, specifically on Jake. I just realized now that this behavior is exactly the same as Mr. Wonderful’s. Like father, like son.

Here’s one of his playful moods.

The parents sprung a joke on him.

He thought it said, “You’re 21 Now Go Home…..”

Overall, the occasion to celebrate his birthday was what he wished for. Quiet and only with his loved ones + a very dear childhood friend, BH. He got to talked to his Titas (aunts) and Lola on the phone when they called to wish him a wonderful birthday. BH, by the way, is only 2 weeks younger than him. So both get to celebrate birthdays twice every year.

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Testing The PollDaddy

Oh boy! WordPress just recently added a new feature that WordPress bloggers can use, called PollDaddy. Isn’t WordPress wonderful?

We are going to test it here, my friends. (That expression from McCain ~ My Friends ~ is irritating. But it’s also catchy.)

Just try not to be cruel! I’m sensitive! hahahahaha!

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Oh Look, I’m Knitting Again

After my frustration with the completion of the cap shawl, I decided to lay off touching yarn, knitting needles, knitting magazines, bla, bla, bla. It’s unusual for me to invest time to one project; plus the fact that one project should only take so much time to complete as three months. I have handled several projects before and finished them in 3 months. Oh yeah, liar!

Well, I got stung by this cap shawl. The band that is to complete the shawl was looking great. When finished, I spread out the shawl to see my wonderful handiwork. Spread I couldn’t. Somehow, putting pressure on myself to finish it had me stressed out that I knitted the band with the same needle size as the shawl body. What does that equate to? When a person gets stressed, the muscles get tensed. Which amounts to knitting TIGHT.

Ah, my frustration! The book did not say to knit the band on a larger (much larger) knitting needle. There was no mention of it at all. So, instead of spreading and stretching out, the shawl curves like a darn &^%$# bowl. Stunned, I sent it in my UFO drawer with the rest of the rejects. Not proud even to show a stupid picture of it.

Promising myself not to get near anything pertaining to ‘KNIT’ or ‘YARN’, I guiltily went my way doing something else. Although……..I couldn’t help myself when I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival recently.

Being a self-proclaimed procrastinator and slacker; however, I do not consider myself a quitter. No sir-ee bob! No quitter! In the back of my mind, I will have to unravel that band and start over. Maybe this February, in the dead of boring winter, I will pick it up again. 

At this point in time, what one is familiar with, always comes back to it. So……….I’m knitting again.

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He’s Leaving Home

My one and only. My only child. My Son. My Precious. He’s leaving home. He’s leaving the nest.

For a month now, I’ve been feeling sad, mixed with glee. It’s a teeter-totter kind of feelings.

It’s not that he’s going to be far away. It’s not that he’s going to live by himself. There will be 2 other friends from high school, best friends actually.

When he was born, a wonderful feeling of parenthood had enveloped me. Very strong maternal bonding has suddenly hit me. This child has given me the strength to live life through him. And yet, it scared me beyond wits to think that one day, this child will grow up and will be his own man. And I have no choice but to release him.

This is the time, this is the moment. The right moment.

As a parent, I’m proud to say My Precious was a child who did not give us major headaches: like getting into drugs, smoking, drinking, girls, skipping school, etc. None of that sort. We did not give him curfews ~ he’d come home on his own accord before 10 p.m., no more than midnight. Even now, so close to his 21st birthday. He even calls home if he’d be a little bit late or, if he left the house and we weren’t there to know where/who he was going with. He’s that responsible.

Sometimes I’d wonder if we brought him up boring. He’d rather stay home than ‘prowl the mall’. He doesn’t even get tempted into drinking, unless the occasional supervised offering. We had urged him to travel, go out on a whim, dare to meet new friends, even a girlfriend. Do fun things.

But then, maybe because he’s been home for so long, sheltered in a way, that he’s just waiting for that time when he’s on his own. There will be change, lots of changes occurring in his newly found independence. And I’m hoping the changes would be positive changes, not the college peer-pressure kind of changes. That at this point in his young adult life, all that he had learned from being with his parents will stay with him until he makes his very own decisions that would fit his way of life. And along the way, he’d be able to pick up positive traits and examples from people surrounding him, as opposed to their negative ways.

Gosh, it’s hard being parents. I actually am more edgy, and ambivalent about all this leaving home scenario. I have never been more worried than I was when the child was at home. And yet, I would like to see if we have raised him right. I’m eager to test how good parents we had been.

So for now, he had been packing boxes, a few at a time. I believe there are 3 reasons for this action:

  1. He works full time and has little time to pack all at once; or
  2. He has mixed feelings himself ~ he’s scared to be on his own and what’s out there in the unknown world, or
  3. He’ll miss all the things he had been familiar with, like: dinner, laundry, etc.

And so, here I am wailing inside me, and yet utterly happy that on his accord, he feels he’s ready to face the world, capable of taking care of himself. Ready to be an adult.

Little bird, spread your wings
Tugging at my heartstring
Fly, fly away
But don’t go astray
Your life has begun
At twenty-one!

 Poet I’m not! At least it rhymes!

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Clams

The other day, I had to go to Costco for some reason or another. There I discovered they were selling shrimps, fish and to my surprise, clams. Manila clams to be exact.

Why the interest in clams? There’s always plenty shrimps, lobsters, crabs being sold in fish markets or any old supermarket and restaurants offer them in their menu. However, it’s hard to find octopus, squids, mussels and clams. These were just but a few seafood items I used to eat growing up. So, finding clams at Costco of all places hit me with a cooking idea.

When my family and I were up in Leavenworth, the dinner I had the last night we were there was steamed Manila clams with a side of garlic butter and some mixed vegetables. Oh, it was absolutely delightful! Even my exotic-food shy of a husband loved it.

Although I hesitated in buying the clams, I had to browse around the store in hopes of making the decision of buying them. My hesitation was because Costco only sells them by 5-pound bags. Just way too much for me and my husband. Anyway, what the heck I told myself, I splurge in buying expensive or gourmet food only once in a blue moon.

So I brought the bundle home and made this dish immediately. A rule of thumb with seafood: you cannot leave them in the refrigerator for too long. Seafood always, always has to be fresh.

Steamed Manila Clams: Quick and Simple Meal

Make sure you rinse them well. This way, any sand and grimes will wash away.

I fried a lot of chopped garlic and some sliced onions in a big pot. Placed a teaspoon each of pepper and salt. I added a small, sliced tomato the last minute.

Poured about 2 cups of water. And started the boiling process. Once in a boiling state, I carefully dropped the clams and closed the lid. While the pot was steaming up, I gave the clams a swirl around so that those on top can go get cooked below in the pot, plus I poured a little of white wine (maybe less than a cup). I have no idea how long it took to finish cooking (estimate of 5-10 minutes) from time the clams went it. From childhood experience watching my elders cooked these, the clams are done when majority of them have opened up. (Note: never pry open those that do not open up upon cooking. As a child, we were told not to. It could be superstition, or it could be because the clams were dead and rotten to begin with. Ooops, I shouldn’t scare you from cooking clams.)

 
When heat intensifies in cooking, live clams open up.

As for the garlic butter, all I did was finely-chop up 2 cloves garlic and fried in a little butter. Once brown, I added in 2 tablespoon butter just enough to melt it. (Note: the garlic butter is for the sake of my husband, who cannot tolerate the taste of FISH SAUCE.) Steamed rice, steamed asparagus (not pictured) and slices of lemon rounded up the meal.

About fish sauce: one fact I can share with you. It’s a weapon I have discovered with effectiveness. If you’re not Asian, it’s hard to know why until too late. hahahaha!

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Belated Birthday to OS

September 30th was my Oldest Sister’s (OS) birthday. I had been getting items here and there for her birthday care package but never got to send it until just before the weekend.

Boy, I’m a bit behind by 2 weeks in anything pertaining to personal stuffs; like email reading, ironing, yardwork, housework, etc. due to the vacation time I recently had. Sometimes, having an R&R gets more stressful since all the work one normally does gets put off and accumulated. No one is there to relieve you of it.

Anyway, according to my mom, the package had been received today. OS finally got her birthday package. However, my mom and YS (youngest sis) already opened it. Darn! Bad girls! They couldn’t wait for OS to get home from work to open it herself.

It is now safe to post what I sent her, as by the time she sees the post, she had already seen the package.

 

She loves sewing!

 

More sewing projects & other goodies. See the elephant figurine ~ she loves elephants like I love pigs and sheep. Actually, there are 2 little sheep figurines in the pix if you take a closer look.

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Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival was 2 weeks ago. Saturday, September 27th was the day I chose to go. Last year, there was a last minute decision to go and wound up going on a Sunday. So, it was a rush-rush trip culminating to excitement since it was the first time I went. Excitement meant buying.

This year, self-restraint was the goal. I didn’t want to be excited. Why? I wanted to exercise a little self-control. Just a little. The plan was not to buy, Buy, BUY those soft, luscious yarns, knitting tools and books, rovings, etc.

With that in mind, I went to OFFF with the goal of:

1. Checking out the animals. Spent a long time at the livestock corrals in the hopes of not getting tempted to a buying frenzy.

      

           

2. If I was to buy anything, it would be no yarn, no yarn, no yarn. I have a tendency to get excited upon seeing new yarn and buying them on the spot. Then come home and realize I have to knit a project out of them. I collect yarn like I collect stuffed animals. So, I bought these instead.

      

3. Certain things have been bought outside of the main building of the fairgrounds. I cannot show you what they are. They are meant for the 150th posting contest. Actually, I decided that it’s not going to be a contest, but a GIVEAWAY. I realize I’m not good at contests, much less create/organize one. TOO MUCH WORK! Remember, I’m lazy, lazy, lazy.

4. When I went into the main building, there were tons of temptation. I had my son follow me around to stop me from buying. Also, he kept asking, ‘how long did you say you were ONLY going to stay?’. That made me feel guilty. (Being raised a Catholic, GUILT TRIP is part of growing up. It never left me.) But in the end, I had to buy these.

              

So, my son and I stayed for close to 4 hours. I wanted to stay longer ’cause I promised another blogger I would meet with her and her friend. After some miscommunication with previous email exchanges, we finally met. Only it was so brief. I wish it had been longer. They’re one of the nicest and very friendly knit bloggers I’ve ever met. One is Naomi; the other Ellen. They’re from Seattle. I also wished I had taken their photos (or maybe they didn’t want that) since I had my camera with me.

Northwest Blade Show 2008

The reason why my son was with me when I promised not to drag non-knitters with me to trips like this, is due to the fact the day before, we both went to the blade show up in Clackamas. Here’s proof of what I bought.

               

Both of us refrained from buying unnecessary stuffs. My Precious only bought one knife. He was sad that balisongs were no-show at this show. That was even the case at the April 2008 Eugene show. Organizers for both shows decided to showcase and push the custom knives more. Very expensive but such exquisite craftmanship! Balisongs were not money-generators; although, they can be expensive at best (over $200 to $1000).

Anyway, we stayed overnight in Milwaukee. Wanted to stay away from Clackamas thinking all the blade enthusiasts were booked at hotels nearby. Milwaukee is about 15 minutes drive to Clackamas. The show was really smaller in size than last year’s. We didn’t stay too long to our dismay.

The following day, being Saturday, we only had to drive about 25 minutes south to Canby where OFFF was. But we took our time and had a wonderful breakfast. Highway 99E was scenic, with the road hugging Mollola River. That was a pleasant surprise.

Thus, September trips had been successfully planned and executed. Now, what does October holds?

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