Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Fair Warning: This post is not entirely Disney-wholesome, 'G' on at your own risk

Setting: 9:30 p.m. Halloween night

Mr. CPA returned from making a quick trip to the Safeway grocery store just across the street from our house and the following conversation ensued…

Mr. CPA: So, what’s the scariest thing to see on Halloween?

Me: (interrupted right in the middle of composing a work email) blank look

Me: Uhhh, I don’t know, ummm, lots of things…(frantically trying to think what the right answer might be)

Mr. CPA:
How about the kind of creepy looking guy behind you in line at the grocery store with the two loaves of French bread and two extra-large boxes of personal lubricant?

Me: Eeewww!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming

Okay, the computer problems I was having seem to have been resolved and hopefully that’s the end of it for a bit. (fingers crossed)

I have to say that ever since the sudden, unexpected death of the motherboard back in May, my new computer hasn’t quite been the same and is overly prone to fits of naughty behavior.

I suspect I should just wipe it and reload everything from scratch, but that prospect is somewhat less than appealing with everything else that needs doing around here so I’ll just muddle along 'as-is' for now.

Lopi Sweater Update

Only the neck ribbing to go...

Not too much progress since the last update. However, in a dramatic departure from the usual scheme of things here at Yin and Yarn, this lack of progress is deliberate.

As I was completing the last of the neck decreases and starting the ribbing, it occurred to me that I was going to need some 'stunt knitting'* for some upcoming photoshoots so this is as far as the sweater will get for now.

PS: Please forgive me if I haven't responded to a comment or email. I'm a bit behind due to the computer issues and being out of town last week.

*Stunt Knitting : 'in progress' knitting held by non-knitters in order to look like a real knitter in photographs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Please Stand By...

We are experiencing technical difficulties here at Yin and Yarn...

I can't go into much detail right now since I am quickly posting during break time from my computer training classroom in Seattle (I'm at C# programming training for the rest of the week, I'm sure you are all extremely not envious of me).

Friday, October 5, 2007

High Fiber Friday

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Technically fits the title, but likely not the type of fiber you were expecting. Not your typical gummy tasteless bran muffins - these are delicious! Even the picky eaters in the family enjoy these.

Buttermilk Bran Muffins
This recipe makes a nice light muffin without the ‘gumminess’ so typical of most bran muffins

Makes 3-4 dozen muffins

6 Cups unprocessed wheat bran*
2 Cups boiling water
1 qt buttermilk
5 eggs
1 Cup oil
3 Cups sugar
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups unbleached flour
(can substitute up to 2 cups of whole wheat flour for white flour – but no more or muffins will be heavy)
Cinnamon to taste (optional)
Orange peel to taste (optional)
Blueberries, apples, raisins as desired
Topping: Oatmeal and/or cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven to 400°

Mix 2 cups bran and 2 cups boiling water in a large bowl and let stand for 20 minutes. Add buttermilk, oil and eggs and whisk together until well blended. Stir in sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add remaining 4 cups bran and flour. Mix thoroughly (don’t worry about overmixing). Fill greased (PAM-type sprays work fine) muffin tins about 2/3 full, add fruit (I usually drop on top of each muffin and push it into the batter), and top with oatmeal and cinnamon-sugar mix. Bake in a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes or until brown.
(this time is for Ecko medium sized 12-cup cupcake/muffin tins you may need to adjust for smaller or larger sized muffins)

Batter will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days**. The top may oxidize a bit but just stir before using (this does not affect the quality of the muffins). This recipe fills the largest Tupperware bowl. Muffins freeze well.

* Sold in the bulk foods section or at most health food stores

** The original recipe states that the batter will keep up to 4 weeks but this seems both unsafe and unappetizing to me. Though, to be fair, the original recipe used All-Bran cereal and maybe the preservatives help extend the life of the batter.

NOTE: Just add fruit to muffins prior to baking, don’t add to the large bowl of batter or it won’t keep.
If you're interested, you can download this recipe as a Word doc here.

Lara was nice enough to loan me a few spindles from her very impressive collection. I was playing around with them today to get some ideas before making an appointment with my photographer.

Forrester Spindle with Dicentra Design fiber

Avi Wasserman Hatchtown spindle with my own hand dyed fiber
(allegedly a merino but I think not - from the Never Ending Internet Fleece)
ETA: Sorry, I was mistaken on the spindle. Lara let me know that the spindle is actually a Hatchtown spindle, not an Avi Wasserman as I had thought. Either way, it's lovely to spin on! (this coming from someone with a confirmed spinning wheel preference)

Time for a muffin break
(with homemade peach marmalade - yummy!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My SUV is greener than your SUV

Last night when Mr. CPA and I went to the gym to continue with our program of torturing our aging bodies improved physical fitness, we found that the large, and usually empty, parking lot near the gym was practically filled to capacity.

For a moment we were alarmed that this meant the YMCA treadmills were at full capacity and we would need to run ourselves around on actual non-moving concrete sidewalks in the rain.

But then we realized that there must be a play or a concert happening at the performing arts center near the ‘Y’.

But it wasn’t either of these things. What was the big event?

A presentation and discussion on the effects of Global Warming.

That everyone had driven to. In their cars. Alone.*

Because nothing stops the ‘Global Warmings ’ like a prominently placed Puget Sound Energy ‘Green Power’ sticker on your SUV.

*and yes, it hasn’t escaped me that driving to gym in order to exercise is at least equally ironic…

Monday, October 1, 2007

Weight Training for Whiners

Gratuitous fibery photo
with absolutely no connection to the content of this post

I signed up for a new class at the YMCA, ‘Strength Training for Women’. The first class was Saturday. I am feeling remarkably not stronger at this point since every muscle in my body hurts.

Well maybe not every muscle - just the ones I seem to use for common, everyday tasks. Like sitting or walking or breathing. Or using my mechanical pencil at work, which was not the effortless affair it usually is.*

I’m really not used to feeling my abdominal muscles when I’m only breathing. In fact, up until now I was fairly convinced that my abdominal muscles were long gone and never to be heard from again. Much like my youth or seeing “102” on the scale in the morning (::sniff:: miss you, metabolism!).

So you’ll understand when I briefly considered reneging on my commitment to go out jogging with Mr. CPA after work this evening (it seemed like such a good idea when we had discussed it in the morning over coffee, you know, before the 10 hour workday…). But I rallied and managed to make the 2.5 mile route, though I must admit it was more of a 'run/walk' than the solid jogging event that it should have been.
ETA: 'run/walk' in my case means *run until you think you're dying, then walk until your heart stops feeling like it's attempting to pound its way out of your chest and breathing semi-normally is once again possible, repeat from *. I should note here that it was Mr. CPA's second run of the evening and the 'run/walk' format was solely for my benefit.

It's frustrating that one can get out of shape so quickly and easily, yet the path to fitness is so slow and painful (and did I mention how slow it is?).

It’s all about the baby steps. Small, painful little baby steps.

*Did you know your shoulder is a big player in the whole writing process? It sure likes to let you know it too, especially after making it lift those weights and barbells for no apparent purpose just two days ago. The shoulder is not really so big on the suffering in silence it seems.