Sunday, April 27, 2008

*nerdy squeal*

I found Skyr in the grocery store! *squeal* ... Okay, I will explain, because I'm sure very few people outside of Iceland and maybe Scandinavia and Canada have ever heard of this stuff...

Skyr is the national dish of Iceland according to the Icelandic Tourist Board. It's a very, very soft fat-free cheese. This package that I'm looking at calls it a yogurt, but it's actually a cheese. It's very thick, thicker than the thickest sour cream, but not as thick as cream cheese. It's somewhere in between them. And it taste a little like sour cream or plain yogurt. But it's completely fat-free, and very high in calcium and protein, and always made from skim milk. There are three ingredients in plain skyr: skim milk (preferably unpasteurized cow's or sheep's milk, if we're being strictly traditional), live cultures and rennet. That's it. No sugar, no artificial anything. It is yum! I do like it! Skyr that's made from sheep's milk is naturally sweeter than that made from cow's milk, but I think the idea of cow's milk is probably more palatable to Americans, so the skyr that I found at the grocery store is made from cow's milk.

Next question would be, why am I spazzing out over it? Well, it's a very old kind of cheese and therefore it makes my inner (who am I kidding? there's no "inner" about it!) history geek scream and bounce around for joy. The Vikings pretty much subsisted most of the year on skyr, fish and other dairy products in Iceland. They had some limited types of vegetables (potatoes might be big there now, but they didn't have them in the 9th century - or for some time after the 9th century - obviously) that could be grown, but grain could not be grown there (as it was too cold, even for rye), at least not ever in any quantity, so most if not all of their grain was imported from mainland Europe or the British Isles, and so grain couldn't be as much of a staple of their diet as it was in other parts of Europe. They made bread, beer and porridge out of the grain. Which might be why one of the traditional ways to eat skyr is stirred in equal amounts with porridge. You can take a look at the traditional Icelandic foods listed at wikipedia and see what kinds of fish and meat dishes they ate. I can tell you, I don't think I would want to try most of them ever, even on a dare or if paid. And why they didn't use some of this stuff on Fear Factor, I don't know. 'Cause it's definitely Fear Factor material. Not that I ever watched that show, so maybe they did use some of these things.

Traditionally, skyr keeps well without refrigeration, although, the people who regulate such things in the US recommend refrigeration because there are no preservatives added to it. It does have some sodium, but only that which is naturally occurring in milk.

Skyr came about through innovation and desperation in an environment where everything edible needed to be put to good use. Butter was an excellent way of preserving the fats in milk, and blocks of butter could be and actually were used as a kind of currency (since they were also easy to store, weigh and transport). Viking women would spend a lot of time making heavily salted butter and cheese, which obviously, produced a lot of skim milk and whey. Whey, I'm not sure what they did with it, other than they could have drank it as it was. But the skim milk they could preserve for months at a time very effectively by making it into skyr. And so, they did.

And I finally got to try some today. hee! *blissfully geeked out*

That is all. :D


I am agog! Look ---->

KnitPicks Summer Yarn Samplers

Would it surpise you if I said I ordered all three? Plus, some sock yarn to make these in order to get free shipping?

In other news, apparently has disappeared? I am very sad about this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day, everyone!!

I didn't do a thing for it today today, other than tend the garden. But my mom is a science teacher, so she had a great ecological curriculum for today. She taught about the benefits of recycling, hanging laundry to dry outside rather than using a dryer, using reusable bags for groceries rather than paper or plastic, and how solar power works. She said the kids really seemed into it, and she was surprised by the number of kids who said their parents use the reusable bags and hang their laundry out.

Also all the public and charter schools in our county planted at least 38 trees given to them by the forestry service in honor of the 38th Earth Day. Nearly 6,000 trees (FTW! \o/) were planted between 11am - 12pm all over the county by kids and their teachers. Makes me all kinds of happy! The Guinness Book of World Records people were here to monitor the event, and the school system here now holds the record for most trees planted in a day and in a single hour. I hope this becomes a tradition and when they run out of space to plant trees at the schools, they can plant them elsewhere - places where there are erosion problems, etc. - and maybe things other than trees, like mangroves, sea grapes, and sea grasses along the bay and coast to help rebuild the estuaries in Tampa Bay and prevent erosion on the barrier islands, and go on field trips to study various ecosystems and maybe do clean-up projects. That would be cool...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baby Bathing Suit - All done!

Yay!! I've finished my niece's birthday present. She will be 1 year old in August, so also Yay! for not procrastinating for once.

It's a bathing suit/romper and matching hat. the colors are much brighter than they appear in this photo, but it's the best my camera phone would do...

Well, its finished except for the buttons to hold the straps and also the crochet around the arm and neck holes so that the knitting won't curl, which Susan will kindly do for me when I see her in probably less than a month. Because I might be able to do things like this with needles, but give me a crochet hook and I'm all thumbs!

The hat might need a simple crocheted string thing to tie under the chin, not sure. Because it looks like it won't stay on by itself, though I followed the pattern exactly. But that would be simple to do if necessary I think.

The pattern is here for those who might be interested. Sorry if you click and lionbrand won't let you look at it. They like people to sign up with for their mailing list before they let people into their patterns.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today was the greatest day of them all...

Okay, so maybe not, but that line from the Smashing Pumpkins song just went through my head when I was trying to think of a title for this post.


Today was AWESOME! Just so you know...

I got to class. A major plus. Afterward I got together with Stacey and we went to the College of Education and got info on their Masters of Arts in Teaching programs in the fields we're interested in. It would be so amazing if she and I get to go through the MAT program together! I think neither of us would feel so alone doing that if we have each other.

After that, we got together with Mia for lunch in the Marshall Center (which is the Student Union), and very soon Chelsea joined us. I was so happy because I haven't seen any of them in months! Even though all of us, with the exception of Stacey, go to school there and are on campus just about everyday. You'd think we would see each other more, but no, we are all so freaking busy and our schedules completely conflict. So YAY!!! we had lunch, then went to the mall to get boba and chocolate (which might be why I'm so hyper now because chocolate turned into chocolate + candy and I's on a SUGAR HIGH right nao), and then Stacey had to head home so we said goodbye to her and then the rest of us headed to the used bookstore near school and moar fun tiemz ensued.

Came home, got my presents from Ilana, and finished Jensen's hat! YAY!!!! *runz arowwnd liek a crazy* (I told you - sugar LOL! *facepalm*) It only took me three days from when I cast on the stitches on Saturday...

Oh, and I has pikturez... Thank God for camera phones, 'cuz I still don't have the computer cable for my digital.

Looks way better on than it does not...

Yes, that is LOST on my tv in the background...

And the other side...

Has a neat little decreased top, it does... See the nice pattern:

And from the front... :D Tha's me...

This hat is so comfy. In my hands, it feels like it might be itchy because the wool is tough, not silky, but then when I put it on, it only feels warm and cosy, not at all itchy, not even on my ears. And if it's not itchy on me, I don't think anyone would find it so.

It's made out of 70% Corriedale wool and 30% mohair, handspun 2-ply that I made from roving from Yarns, Etc. in Greensboro. The hat pattern is the Cashmere Rib Hat by Jessica at Fig & Plum.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hear my Squeals of Joy!!!

Yay!!! I got my wooly prize from Ilana today!! I danced around the living room looking for something to open the package with. And lo, what do I find upon opening? A lovely skein of lovely green Navajo churro wool, a wooly toy for my kitties and a bar of her yummy shampoo-body bar that she made not too long ago I think. *squeals of joy* The kitties are thusfar skeptical of the wooly toy, but I think it's too cute! The soap looks like a piece of candy, I think, and smells like yummy bread dough (I guess that would be the beer?). And the wool is just yummy! It is a single, I estimate at 188 yards. And I love the color! (What did you dye it with?) Kind of forest-y and mossy, and it changes subtly as I turn it around in the light. And it smells yummy too! Not sure what it smells like, but it's yummy...

Thank you so much, Ilana!!! *big hugs*

Also, my friend Phaedra now has a blogspot blog... It will be linked momentarily in the right-hand column.

And in other news, today was made of awesome! Because I got info on the MAT programs at school, had lunch with Stacey (and got my Supernatural Season 1 DVDs back from her after she had borrowed them and didn't give them back for four months - LOL!), Mia and Chelsea, and then went to the mall for boba and chocolate, then to a bookstore where fun ensued, only to come home to presents from Ilana, and then - to top it all off - I just finished Jensen's hat! (*squeals for joy*) Pictures will be up momentarily...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a meme...

never thought I'd be doing one of these here...

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules.
3. Share a 6 word philosophy of life
4. Tag 3 other people

1. Ilana done it!
2. Rules.. see above.
3. 6 words? I don't think I can do it in 6 words... I've got one that's 5 words. Facere quod in se est. Do what is in yourself. But that's the best I think I can come up with...
3. Three people to tag... hmm... well, I don't really know anybody on blogger other than Ilana, who already tagged me, and Susan... So Susan! Tag! You're it!

Wheee! A quiz...

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?

Magister Mundi sum!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code


I'm sick... I think I have the flu. Plus, my camera cord that hooks my camera to the computer for transferring of videos and pictures was stolen at the hotel. So I have to wait to get a new one to post all my EyeCon stuff. But never fear, I still had a wonderful time. I adored all the stars. They were all really lovely, kind, gracious people and we were so lucky that they were there. But I'm feeling light-headed, so that's it for now.

Here's one of my favorite videos of Sandy... when she talks about Jared's and her dog, Harley, and I think she also mentions their other dog, Sadie. No spoilers, and her candid kindness and sweetness really comes through in her answer to this question. Really, she's such a nice person! So glad she was there...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I'm home!

Jared did the exorcism for us:

For the eternal squee!!!!

EyeCon... Yes!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Two things...

One... my kitty being adorable, sleeping in the laundry...

Two... I've spun a lot of the stuff I've bought recently, in particular that stuff that I bought for Jared and Jensen's hats.

I need help choosing now. I think that the gray for Jared's is out. The gray that I got, stupidly, is too coarse.

For Jared's I was thinking the green, and for Jensen's the blue-gray. I need help choosing what will go with it. I've got natural black, natural brown and natural white (which is more of a slightly off-white). I'm not sure if it will be for the stripes or for the main color. But let me know what you think...

For further visualization, these are some of the patterns that I'm considering using... The Chocolate and green ribbed hat, the 1x1 Rib Hat, the Watch Cap, and the Simple Ribbed Cap. There are others that don't have pictures. But these are basically the two types, those with fold-up brims and those without. Which do you prefer? Which do you think the boys would prefer? Either way, they will have stripes.

I'm also thinking of making one for Sandy, Jared's fiancee, just because... For her, I'm thinking something with cables... maybe in white? 'Cause wouldn't she look amazing (like she doesn't already!) in a white cabled stocking cap? Something like Anna of Green Cables maybe... Haven't really started looking for patterns for her yet...

That's all... *hugs everyone*

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Today was Amaya's birthday... She is one of my kitties... Behold Her Cute-'n-Tiny-ness:


Went to the RenFaire this last weekend and the weekend before. Lots of v. interesting stuff... I've got hundreds of pictures. I wish I could post them all, but that's impossible. I will have to figure out what it is that I really want to share. There were hotties playing Human Combat Chess and the jousters were pretty in a young Aragorn kind of way too. There was craziness at the Washing Well Wenches Show, and Bunnies in Peril (it was a magic show). Food was nummy... All in all, it was a good couple of days.