A Halloween/Thanksgiving treat

found this interesting-looking recipe while surfing over at Slashfood this morning. It's for Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta and the picture looks as tasty as the dessert. Definitely a viable alternative for pumpkin pie (can you imagine?) and I also appreciate the reference to gelatin alternatives for us vegetarian-types. It's going on the list of things to make ... just need to figure out when. :-)

Quiet .. at last

After two days of hissing and spitting, I think the cats have finally figured out that the house is "ok" and that they really are friends! The first night was just awful - the yowling was incredible. Who'd'a thunk that those two normally spend all their time sleeping on top of each other given that they weren't even looking at each other without major protest!??! Regardless - we've all moved on.

The worst of the moving is over, but there's still so much to do. All the stuff that we've accumulated over the past decade is just incredible - but at least half is going away. Donations, trash, recycling, whatever. Bottom line, it's not coming up here! Life without furniture is certainly a pain and my knitting is non-existent (then again, so is my running).

Tomorrow, it's on to the winter running schedule (lunch at Rancho, hoo boy!) and buckling down at work. Boston on Wednesday, back Thursday night - then the final pack/move this coming weekend.

... now, where's my checkbook?

A new home

Ye gods - I can't believe it's been over a week since I last put anything up here. I hereby solemnly swear that I will blog once a day for the next week. Even if it's simply describing my commute or plane flight, I will do something.

Ok. On with the show.

We moved today. Ok, well maybe "move" is too strong a word. We packed a bunch of stuff, hauled some of it up the hill in the trailer, bought a new bed (yes, that's a good thing) and, most importantly, moved the cats. One is now hunkered down in the mostly empty living room while the other is snuffling around the kitchen and grumbling. This is, actually, progress. I would expect nothing else from the wee beasties.

While I wish I could say that the end of this move is in sight, sadly, it's very far from that. Given that we can only move the contents of our furniture and not our furniture itself (hence the new bed), this move will be a long and drawn-out process.

I did, however, manage to move all my knitting and about half of my stash. Hey, a girl's gotta have priorities! Pictures when I find my camera - which should be some time in June.

Coffee Swap Three!

Once again, I'm lucky enough to be participating in the Knitters Coffee Swap. Last time around, my partner was Jenni over in Scotland and she gifted me a whole box full of wonderful things.

So, without further ado, here are the answers to the questions for this round:

1. Whole bean or ground? - ground - for sure!

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? - fully loaded. While I like the occasional decaf, if it's of good quality, I don't *need* it so I'll stick with the normal stuff

3. Regular or flavored? - regular. No doubt. If I want flavor, I'll add some syrup or spices.

4. How do you drink your coffee? - generally with cream and sugar in the mornings, but often black or just with cream if I'm having a particularly luscious dessert!

5. Favorite coffee ever? - Aged Sumatra from Peet's

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? - generally, I'm fussy. I like a coffee with good flavor. Bad coffee is, well, just plain bad!

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? - molasses or butter cookies, biscotti, simple pastry

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? - I prefer low-acid coffees from Arabia, Indonesia or Central America. Kona, while good, just can't compare to a Sulawesi or an exquisite Moka-Java. Flavor. It's all about depth of flavor.

9. Yarn/fiber you love? - Anything wool, silk, natural fiber, or a combination thereof. I also love Wick from K1C2. If it's hand-dyed or hand-spun, I'm sold. You can find me on Ravelry to check my stash. That's a good indication!

10. Yarn/fiber you hate? - I generally don't like novelty yarns, though I've used them on occasion. I also tend to stay away from 100% acrylic, though some man-made is ok. Majority of the fiber needs to be animal/vegetable.

11. What's on your needles? - pair of socks, afghan, two sweaters. I'm now three weeks behind on the latest mystery shawl, but that's because I'm moving house! Actually, just check the queue to your right ... that'll tell you everything!

12. Favorite colors? - greens, browns, reds, deep blues. Yep, I'm an "autumn" girl

13. Allergies? - not that matter here - unless you're sending a bottle of Sulfa!

14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? - I'm just happy to be a part of this. Knitting is a huge stress reliever for me and it also lets me do things for people I love. Coffee gets me started in the morning and also keeps me warm on those ridiculously cold days. When I can combine the two - what could be better! I'm also looking forward to meeting another new virtual friend. My last partner was a real dear and I can't wait to get started!

So there it is. Answers abound. Back to moving!

Woo hoo!!!!!

Today is a day of happiness. Two big stresses have become much smaller - not totally gone, but definitely smaller.

1. Removal of contingencies on our new house. Yup, this is as close as we get to actually *buying* the property. Folks, it's all over but the crying. And the signing. And the paying. Granted, I still have to organize utilities, garbage, pack, move, etc., but the house is just a sneeze away from being ours. Ain't it a beauty?

2. The address is correct on my Wollmeise package! I have finally managed to order some lovely wool from Germany and my heart skipped a beat because I'd forgotten to include the full address for my office. With the move and everything, I didn't want it to end up on an unoccupied doorstep, but I also never include the company name when I put on a work address. Over the weekend, however, I got an email from Claudia and she's assured me that she wrote the correct address on the box - that means I should actually get it! Maybe this week!!! OMG!

So - this week, it's more packing and boxing and stuff - and I'm also going to get a pair of halloweenie socks going for a party at the end of the month.

Hoo ha and hoooray!!!!

(oh, and did I mention - I'm back in the coffee swap! It just doesn't get any better than this!)

The only thing constant, is change.

When I was younger, I always had an idea of where I expected to be. It revolved around the place where I grew up, maybe on the lakeshore rather than inland, and it involved quiet. There would be snow in winter, there would be fish fry and beer and German Fest in July. Beer festivals in late summer, trips "up north" to see relatives - even the occasional road trip to Chicago and diving in the Caribbean. Yep, I was a MidWesterner - to the hilt.

Ten years ago, my life got turned upside-down. My (now) husband and I picked up and moved to the Bay Area based on him getting a job and me expecting to do the same. We sold our house, said "farewell" to friends and family and made a new life here on the left coast. We came out just as the housing market was going crazy and we barely managed to squeeze in to a tiny 2/1 house that was just under 1200 square feet. A huge change from our 2-story farmhouse on an acre of land! The market continued to skyrocket and we settled in for the long-haul .. because *surely* we'd never leave. Ok, so let's get started on that remodel/addition because we *DEFINITELY* can't afford to buy anything else!

Yeah, right.

Ok sports fans, toss all that stuff out the window. Cancel the permit (crap, add that to the list), call the inspectors, buy some boxes (due next week) and get ready to write that honking big check 'cause we're moving to the mountains. King's Mountain, to be specific. Though a combination of dumb luck and some fast decision-making, we've bought a new place about 6 miles west, as the crow flies. We're up in the redwoods with a peek-a-boo view of the Pacific. How much did it cost? About half the price of the remodel. Taxes will work out to be only slightly more, but overall, we're happy.

Moving day is 25 days away - and hopefully the old house will sell shortly thereafter. It goes on the market on/about November 5th.

I still can't believe it. But, honestly ... it's wonderful.