Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sooooooooooooo hot. Want to touch the hiney.

Oh Mommydaddy. Have mercy, as Uncle Jesse would say. I guess I'm in an 80's TV mode. Thinking about this fine specimen will do that to ya.

Jason, call me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's just another boring Monday

I wish it were Sunday so that I'd have a whole nother day to catch up on stuff. Ever notice how people say nother like it's a word? A whole nother. Instead of a whole other. Nother ain't a word kids. Neither is ain't. Neither nother. Either other. Let's call the whole thing off.

We had a great weekend! It was The Cowboy's birthday on Friday, and we celebrated by both taking the day off. I made him a big breakfast of fresh blueberry panclocks (what we call pancakes at our house...it's from a movie, who can name it?), and bacon. Then we went and had an even bigger lunch with his parents at Fish Daddy's. The Cowboy is a big fan of this place, but the rest of us hadn't been before and I was sure glad to see that they had other things on their menu besides fish. And daddies. I had the ribs. They were superb.

After all the eating, we took a supposed 45 minute tour, that lasted twice as long, of a local guitar making factory, Collings Guitars, in South Austin. But I wasn't counting or anything. It was actually way more interesting than I expected, and The Cowboy was way in his element and very excited. So that was cool. I'm glad he got to do something fun like that for his birthday.

Then I got to have a little fun of my own, and went to Mystery Knit Nite at the LYS. It was a lot of fun!! I was a little nervous, since it was my first event at the store, and I didn't know anyone, but there were several other newbies there, and knitters are so doggone friendly, that I felt comfortable right away. And that wine I had helped too. Anyway, we got a brown paper bag (a la 4th grade lunch) and inside it was a pattern and some yarn, but the pattern didn't say what it was, so we just started knitting! Ooooh, the suspense. Oooooh, the mystery. What would it be??
It's a soap satchel! Made with DK weight yarn, 100% cotton. They knit up so quick and cute, and the owner of the store gave us several patterns for them, so I can make a bunch more. I know what SOMEONE is getting for Christmas. Wink wink. Yeah, I mean you. Which reminds me, I've already started my Christmas knitting. I figure I better get a good head start. So I might not have very many knitting pictures to post soon, since I don't want people to see their gifts.
Saturday we went to San Antonio with our friends Johnny & Tiff, and Jason & Belinda. We took the scenic route, on purpose, and I slept a good portion of the drive because of the car sickness. I can't help it, y'all. But San Antonio was a lot of fun as you can see from yesterday's blog. Here is The Cowboy and I celebrating his birthday with those punch bowl sized margaritas that tasted like lemonade and probably had about the same amount of liquor.

In baby news.....I give you my very pregnant and extremely uncomfortable friend Christy.

On behalf of her and her unborn child....please pray for this woman. She needs to have this baby ASAP. She is now past her due date and getting more ornery by the minute. No, I'm joking. She's actually being very good natured about this whole thing, but I'm not sure her husband would say the same thing. I don't live with her. But seriously, she's uncomfortable, as would you be if you were 9 months and counting pregnant and it was 102 degrees every day. And her ankles, oh those poor chubbies. And she's got a rash. She's just a mess. I hope that baby comes this week. Because my friends have the cutest babies (and I know hers will be no exception). Case and point.
Cate and Ellsworth (Ellie)

Sydney sporting a baby mohawk. I mean, my God.

And finally, it was a big day for Moose at our house yesterday. Blain received a parcel (I'm going to start throwing British phrases in at random, it's fun. Parcel is a good one, and so is petrol and trousers). Anyway, he got a parcel and Moose got the box. That cat loves to sit on stuff.

Hope your week is as good as Moose's promises to be!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ansel Adams, Shmansel Shmadams.

There is a reason, a very valid reason, why I did not own a camera until approximately a year and a half ago. There is also a reason why The Cowboy, who is actually a very good amateur photographer, does most of the picture taking when we go on trips. I will now demonstrate to you why it is that I should not be allowed to operate a photograph taking device. I give you now, a lesson in drunken photography.
First, you must drink a margarita the size of your head. It matters little if this margarita is very weak, for you will just purchase an additional shot of tequila to spice 'er up.

Second, it is imperative that you follow up this monstrous sized margarita with a beer.

Or three.
(you can see, I'm sure, that this will not end well)

Then, let the games begin.

Tip #1) Taking pictures of buildings at night, without a flash, is a great way to capture the way a building looks......at night....you know, in the dark. Below, I demonstrate this technique with the most well known building in San Antonio. You may not be able to recognize it in the dark like that. I call this one "Alamo at Night". Can anyone guess why?

Tip #2) You will not regret capturing all the fun times you and your friends are having. In years to come you will look back on all the joy you see in these pictures (as seen on Tiff's face, above) and laugh at all the memories.

Sometimes it even helps to take these pictures out of focus. Here, I've captured half of Johnny's face, and also some of the good times the people behind him were having. This one is called "Johnny Abstract".

Tip #3) Using props, and playing "make believe" can lead to some really great pictures. Don't be afraid to use your imagination. Below, I've taken an advertisement for George Strait's new CD, and cleverly turned it into a very realistic picture of me kissing George. Now, don't worry, I didn't actually meet George Strait. But who can tell the difference? Huh??

Tip #4) Think outside the box. Anyone can take pictures of themselves drinking giant margaritas and kissing ads. But sometimes you've got to look around to find the REALLY great shots.

A ledge.

The inside of my purse.

The sidewalk.

And lastly, who can resist the ever popular Drunken Self Photo? (tip #5). We've all been there. We've all done it. These pictures rarely turn out good, and if yours are anything like mine, then your head always appears to be the size of a medium watermelon. But still we continue to drink and still we continue to take pictures of ourselves from arm's length. Here is the best of those shots that evening, where upon I am showing my love for The Cowboy. He looks thrilled.

Thus concludes the lesson for the day. Class dismissed.

(seriously, though, we had a good time in San Antonio...real pictures and story of weekend will follow tomorrow)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why I knit

I knit for several reasons and not the least important of them is the fact that it's a great hobby for someone with OCD. You can totally re-do your work if it's not "just right". You can just rrrrrrip and start over, as many times as your heart desires until you get all the stitches lined up perfectly and everyone is happy. Of course, when you get to the middle/end of a project and then you mess up, you feel like throwing yourself off a cliff because either a) you don't want to have to go back and re-do the entire thing or b) you lack the knowledge necessary to fix the problem or c) you are too impatient to try and look up the fix in your Knitting Answer Book. I've become a lot more relaxed about mistakes the longer I've been knitting and that's probably because I make fewer, but also it's good because if I make a mistake, I call it a Happy Accident (thank you, Bob Ross) and move on. Unless it's a dropped stitch. Then I curse your mother and try to fix it the best I can. I'm still not 100% clear on fixing dropped stitches. So I just kind of jimmy rig it and move on. One of these days I'll actually read that book.

Anyway, I probably have the best boyfriend in the world. Friday is The Cowboy's birthday and we've both taken the day off work to go to some "super cool" (read: really boring) guitar workshop factory thing that he's been wanting to do forever, and really, you should see how excited he is about it. It's cute. So whatever, I'm a good girlfriend, I will suck it up and go because it's important to him. But what's even cooler than THAT, is that that night, Friday night, his birthday evening, he is letting me go to Mystery Knit Nite at Bluebonnet. I missed the last one, due to a timely visit from Nuggsamillion (my mother), and I was sad to think I would miss this one too. A bunch of (presumably) women in a room, with food, perhaps wine, and yarn?? Oh man, I know it may not sound like much to you non-knitters, but I get excited just thinking about it. Excited like this.

So The Cowboy, upon hearing of this Mystery Knit Nite, and knowing how important knitting is to me, said that I could attend, and it wasn't a problem at all. I argued with him for the appropriate amount of time: Oh, but it's your birthday! We should go out! We should do something special. Together.

You know. All that crap. And then I told him, because it's 100% true, that if he had wanted to do some crazy guitar thing on the evening of my birthday, I would have been sad. And that's only a partial truth. The entire truth is that I would have thrown a huge hissy fit and it would have been embarassing for all parties involved because after all, I am 30 Years Old. But he just said, again, that it was OK and that he wanted me to go.

So basically, he's the best, and I'm the selfish idiot who wouldn't let him have his fun if my birthday depended on it. But I'm cool with that. To each his own. He wins.

So short story long, I was trying to think of why knitting is so important to me, and why it's become somewhat of an obsession of late, and why I'm trying desperately to teach everyone I know to love it as I do. And then I was reading on of my yarn porn books last night. The Secret Life of a Knitter by the Yarn Harlot, AKA Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She's a hilarious knit blogger whom I aspire to be like one day yeah right and a link can be found to the right of my posts. Check her out. I'll give you a preview of her writing right now. She put into words a way of describing knitting that I love, so I'm going to borrow those words from her.

"Why would any sane person give up so much closet space and money to a craft that seems simple and silly? The answer: because knitting is more than it seems. Knitting is a complex and joyful act of creation in my everyday life...... Knitting is only two stitches, knit and purl, yet with those two ordinary acts we knitters can take a ball of yarn and a couple of pointy sticks and create something useful and beautiful.... Wrapping yarn around needles over and over and over again disconnects me from my cares. Knitting makes something from nothing, and it's usually such an interesting something.... I love knitting because it's something that can be accomplished no matter how poorly it's going at any given moment. It's a triumph of dexterity over string..... Knitting is magic. Kntting is an act of creation and a simple transformation each and every time. Each knitted gift holds hours of my life. I know it looks just like a hat, but really, it's four hours at the hospital, six hours on the bus, two hours alone at four in the morning when I couldn't sleep because I tend to worry. It is all those hours when I chose to spend time warming another person. It's giving them my time - time that I could have spent on anything, or anyone, else. Knitting is love, looped and warm."

Thank you Yarn Harlot. That, folks, is why I knit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Raindrops on Roses

One of my very favorite things to do is make lists. Lists are the best. And although I end up losing most of the lists that I do make, or not using them to their fullest extent, it doesn't stop me from making up more lists. In fact, I'm thinking right now I should go make a list of ways I can stop losing my lists. But first things first.

A list of My Favorite Things. Because I'm bored and crazy enough to think that you actually care.
1. My New Ring
It's the Open Sorrento Ring from James Avery, a jeweler here in Texas. All their stuff is hand crafted and they have some really lovely pieces. The Cowboy has gotten me quite a few things from there over the years, but this one I bought for myself, with the help of The Cowboy's Sister who gave me a gift card for my birthday. So she bought half, I bought the other half. But I will serioulsy catch myself staring at my finger, I love this ring so much.
2. Silk Soy Creamer
Soy Milk tastes like donkey butt. I imagine. Blech. But that's coming from someone who thinks that regular milk tastes like evil semen, so do with it what you will. However, I do like a little cream in my coffee. No sugar, just a little something to cut the bitter. Well this stuff is awesome! I use the French Vanilla, and put a little in my coffee and not only does it cut the bitter, but it tastes good too. I swear I can't tell the difference between it and regular creamer, nor will I allow myself to do a taste test because I don't WANT to be able to tell the difference. Anyway, it's good and it's good for you. Amen.

3. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

I will seriously throw a major hissy fit if at any given time I find myself without this product in my posession. Ask The Cowboy, he has seen me completely Lose It because I haven't had my chapstick with me. Especially in the winter months. And I will fully admit to being a chapstick snob (regular ChapStick? Blistex? I turn my nose up to you), but this stuff is the shiz. It isn't greasy, it goes on smooth and it really works. You can feel it curing dem lips.
4. Flip Flops

I never ever want to have a job where I can't wear flip flops to work at least part of the time. I know this is a very unrealistic expectation to have, but I've been pretty lucky so far. I would wear flip flops all the damn time, were it socially acceptable.
5. Tiramisu

Oooooooooh, mommydaddy. Sometimes I forget about tiramisu, and sometimes it's all I can do not to think about it 24/7. Like right now. Screw the rest of this list. I need to go get some tiramisu. Does anyone not like tiramisu? Because I can't understand how you wouldn't. I could maybe MAYBE see not liking it if you didn't like coffee, but even still, you have ladyfingers and custard and creamy delicious wonderfulnesssmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Sorry. Lost it there for a second. Anyway, I think I just figured out what's for lunch today. Thank you Italy.

6. Big Wine Glasses

I haven't concluded yet if I like big wine glasses because they are cool to look at and hold, or if it's because they can kick all the smaller wine glasses' asses. Hahaha. Glasses asses. That's funny. Or maybe it's what's INSIDE the wine glass that makes me like the extra large ones. Eh? Eh? Am I on to something? I think so. Red wine and tiramisu? And then a desk nap? My afternoon is really starting to shape up.

(Ok back to being a good human being and not talking about my self indulgent fat ass for a second)

7. Those Green Grocery Bags

Unlike The Cowboy, I don't care that they cost 99 cents. That is a small price to pay to help The Environment. Look at all that Al Gore has done for us. I can give back. Thank you Al Gore. Anyway, I love these bags, and the thing that I love the most about them is the superior feeling they give me when I remember to take them to the store with me (which is about 50% of the time lately) and I'm walking back to my car with my 3 green bags chock full of groceries, and I see other people coming out of the store and they have plastic bags, and I can give them dirty looks and judge them in my head and say to myself that they aren't helping the environment. I'm helping the environment. This doesn't work when I forget to take them to the store, of course. And I should probably start a list somewhere of reasons why I should always remember to take them to the store. That list would look something like this:
1. Al Gore is watching
2. Superiority

8. Sharpies

Like a child on Christmas. That's me when I get a new pack of Sharpies. A girl I worked with quit a few weeks ago, and I promptly raided her desk and stole all her old Sharpies, before any of the other nuts I work with could get their hot little hands on them. They now live in my desk and I count them every day. If this makes me crazy, then pass the potatoes. There are 14 of them, and I haven't named them (yet).
9. Socks

I have always appreciated a good sock. If you are ever in doubt about what to buy me, always go with socks. It's a safe bet. Oh, and Sharpies. Red Wine. Tiramisu. Well, pretty much just check the above list for gift ideas. But really, socks make me happy and I think that's why I enjoy the knitting so much. Well that and it really cooperates with my OCD, but the knitting of the socks! Oh, what could be better?

10. Jar Candles

Another thing I find that I buy randomly for no reason whatsoever just because it looks pretty/smells good/was on sale/felt like it/it was Tuesday/your face. I don't need a reason to buy a jar candle.

11. Tomatoes from the garden

In the summer, there is nothing better than fresh tomatoes from the garden. Tomatoes from the garden taste so much better than store bought tomatoes (for reasons other than the fact that they don't carry salmonella)and I tend to forget that the rest of the year. But once we pick those first few tomatoes and slice em up, maybe put a little olive oil, salt & pepper, some basil and fresh mozzerella (if I have it...usually I don't)....oh, it's damn near heaven.

In conclusion, I am going to take my Sharpie and make a list. Then I'm gonna put on my flip flops and go to HEB where I will purchase fresh mozz, red wine, tiramisu, soy Silk creamer, maybe a jar candle, whatever. Then I'll take my green grocery bags, judge some people, and call it a day.

(I realize I didn't get everything I listed up there in my little spiel. And I don't care because you know why? It's my blog and I'm the boss. Lunch time.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sometimes on Mondays, I have opinions about things. And I need to get them off my chest so I can begin the work week.


So first, and I'm going to preface this entire blog by saying that I almost feel badly about posting about the two people I'm going to post about together at the same time. I feel that one deserves our utmost respect and the other most certainly does not. But they are both things that have been bothering me, so here I go.

I don't really have anything profound to say about Tim Russert, but I always liked him and he will be missed. I liked him because he seemed like the kind of guy you'd be able to sit down with and throw a few beers back, or shots of whiskey if you prefer. He was a great moderator and an awesome reporter, but he also seemed like he'd be a lot of fun at a party. You know what I mean? I bet he had some good jokes.

Anyway, I'm saddened by his death, and my thoughts go to his family and friends.

Onto a much much much more happy subject. I don't know if this is normal, and if other people feel the same way regarding this as I do, but I. Love. The. Olympics.

Like, seriously. For real. Straight up. Word to your mother. I can't get enough of it. And I've officially started my own personal count down. 52 days. Whenever an Olympics is in swing, my life kind of becomes a cycle of, well, watching the Olympics. I tear up every time I hear the beginning of our national anthem. And you want to know a secret? I tear up when I hear "Oh Canada" too. Y'all know how I feel about our neighbors to the north. And that is one beautiful song. While I prefer the games of the Winter Olympics to that of the summer, I am nevertheless very excited about Beijing 2008. It seems like it's been way longer than just 2 years since the last games. Yay Olympics.

And now I will leave you with this and apologize if it terrifies you to your very core the way it does me. I just don't really know what it is I'm looking at exactly.

Is that her HAIR???? I mean, I know she's all cracked out and we should Respect and give the girl some privacy so she can get her rock on in peace, but WTF is that???? Why is she able to stand upright? Does she have small animals living in her hair? I can't imagine the need to have a nest that big sitting up there. Perhaps my friend Charlene needs to rescue them and bring them to live with Pebbles & Bam Bam.

Sorry if that's ruined your Monday. But I had to think about it all weekend. Here's to a great week!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

WWKIP? No....instead I get RIP WIP

Today was WWKIP day (world wide knit in public day), and while I did not do any knitting in public, I did do all of the following things:

1) spill coffee all over my brand new white "yarn" t-shirt, thus proving once and for all to myself exactly why it is I don't wear white. Ever.
2) purchase nearly $60 worth of yarn (but I had a gift certificate for $25, and I got some of it for 50% off, so I got a good deal)
3) teach my friend Megan to knit. Yay! The love of the craft is born in a new person.
4) somehow manage to screw up several weeks of hard work and many, many stitches.
Some photographs to accompany my tales:
First, my shirt. I was so essited to wear my new shirt that the Cowboy had bought me for my birthday (after I told him I wanted it). I hadn't worn it yet and was specifically saving it for WWKIP day. I don't have any pictures of me in the shirt, of course because not 15 minutes after I put it on, I was wearing a big fat coffee stain on the front. Brilliant. But here is a link to the page where it can be purchased. Link. Anyway, you will all be glad to hear that I got the stain out thanks to my good friend Megan and her bottles of Spray & Wash and Shout! Which I do not own either of but will next time I go to the store. Excellent little products, I say.
Next, the yarns. Oh, the yarns. I knew I was going to be going to Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe today because they were having a sidewalk sale, and people were going to be hanging there and knitting. In public. You know. Also, I got a gift certificate from Christy for my birthday and I'd been saving it up for just the right yarn. So in light of those two facts, I sat down this morning with my pattern books and tried to find a pattern that I was interested in making, so I could know what to look for when I enter the store. Ordinarily when I walk into a yarn store, my entire mind just pretty much goes blank, and the drool starts pooling around my mouth. "Uh-duuuuuuuh" are the only words I'm able to muster for the first 12 minutes. And then I just start molesting all the yarns, and pattern? What pattern?
So I tried to prepare myself. Honestly, I don't even remember now, hours later, what pattern it was I had in mind. Probably would have helped if I'd have actually brought the pattern with me, but I'm not that smart folks. I spilled coffee all over myself. I can barely drink beverages without avoiding catastrophe. So of course I can't properly equip myself for a trip to the LYS. Anyway, I walk in, with my coffee stained shirt......and then the uh-duuuuhs start, the drooling, and next thing I know:

I could barely even wait to start knitting up that last yarn. It's so thin and pretty and shimmery and wonderful. I'm making a scarf and really, the yarn is doing all the work for me. I'm just garter stitching it all the way, and it's allowing me to practice my fancy new Continental moves. And that yarn you see in the second picture? It's the new love of my life. If it asked me to rob a bank so that I could afford to go back and buy all it's brothers and sisters, I would do it. I'm not going to tell you how much money that 1 skein of yarn cost, but $18 is a lot of money. I'm just saying is all.
After my productive trip to the store, and a quick change of shirt, I spent the rest of the day with my friend Megan. I guess you guys can officially start calling me a Knitting Teacher, because she is now the second person I've taught to knit in as many months. She picked it up pretty quickly, and like a girl after my own heart, became an instant knitting perfectionist. Starting over eleven or so times in order to get the stitches just right. Honestly, she took to it right away. And I'm not just saying that because she's reading my blog. Hi Megan.

I really hope she keeps up with it, since she lives so close to me. It will be nice to have someone to knit with. Someone I already know who appreciates my wit and can understand my issues.

After such a wonderful and yarn filled day, I would have thought nothing could go wrong. The shirt was already close to ruined. What else could bring me down?


This was my scarf that I'd been working on for the past few weeks. Made with a lovely alpaca/silk blend that I loved so much and had stashed but wasn't sure what to knit with. It asked to be a scarf, and apparently it's had a change of heart. So sad. Tragic. I don't know what happened. I knotted it (I know, I know) AND weaved in the ends, and still, it's managed to come unraveled. Now, I'm sure there is some sort of Magic Fix out there in Yarn Land, but frankly, I don't have the skills to fix this and I'm not sure I want to. I realize that this sort of thing must at one time or another happen to all good knitters. So I'm almost to the point where I will just accept this tragedy and move on. I will always cherish this yarn and the good times this "scarf" and I spent together.

RIP WIP May 2008 - June 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Meme

So I went to my very first Knit Night/Stitch-n-Bitch/Chicks with Sticks group last night. You might remember that awhile back, I had planned on attending a meeting....well that never happened. It was a funny(ish) story, but now I'm not in the mood to go into it.

Anyway, the meeting was great and I picked up a few new techniques. Turns out I've been knitting ass backwards this whole time. Well not really, but I've been knitting English style, which, apparently, is not the most efficiant form of knitting around. And I'm all about efficiancy, so I picked up the "new" (new to me anyway) style of Continental knitting last night. It's going to take some practice, but I can already tell that I will like it better and it will improve my speed. Anyway, I met some really nice knitty friends and I will definitely be going back for more meetings. I would post pictures but I didn't take any, because I didn't want to be "That Crazy New Girl Who Shows up With a Camera". You know who I'm talking about.

So instead, I've decided to do something else with photos. I've seen the following idea all over random knitting blogs and photo sights. It's called a Meme (pronounced Meem, I believe). Here are the rules:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into flickr search
b. Using only the first page, pick an image
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.
I totally stole this idea from Staci, so I will gladly give credit where it's due. Also, Flickr, for those of you who don't know, is an online photo uploading and sharing sight. I use it in conjunction with my Ravelry account, where I post pictures of my knitting projects. My flickr ID is caps, but I can tell you that my pictures aren't much to look at. Some people take some beautiful shots, but I use mine mostly for knitting purposes. I'm no Ansel Adams. I leave that up to the Cowboy.
Anyway, hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Literally. I'd like to share with you now an e-mail I received from my friend Charlene.

"feel free to post the pictures on your blog. nothing cuter than a rat...
Meet our newest family members, Peanut and Trixie!!
Catherine had a wonderful birthday surprise! Peanut is the darker one, and Trixie is the lighter. (yes, she is named for Speed Racer's girlfriend!)
They are dumbo rats, so their ears are bigger and more on the side of their heads, giving them a bit of resemblance to Dumbo the Elephant! they are very sweet and we already love them!"

I got this e-mail last week. Today, I received the following message from her:

"PS can't believe you havent posted any pictures of my adorable pet rats yet!!!!"

That's right. I am being hounded to post pictures of......rats. Because her, um, rats, are apparently on par with The Cuteness.

Charlene may or may not be delusional.

We're looking into it.

Here now, are my friend Charlene's rats. Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or whatever their names are.

Also, for the record, the Catherine she refers to in her e-mail is in fact her daughter. Not myself. I did have a lovely birthday surprise also, but I assure all of you that it had nothing to do with RATS.

Big Ups, Charlene. Big Ups.

Monday, June 9, 2008

We Be Jammin'

Last weekend (I'm a little behind on the picture uploading), The Cowboy and I were busy beavers. We made jam!!! We have a dewberry bush on the side of the house, and in addition the fruit we picked there, we used some dewberries from a local park. We collected many berries, 6 bags full I believe, and commenced the jamming. Here now for you, my bloggy friends, is a quick how to in jam making. Because I believe in teaching you something as well as entertaining you.

First, you take the frozen berries and rinse them off. Get rid of any little pieces of leaf or stem in there.

Then you smush the ever loving crap out of the berries.

This is my favorite part, and here The Cowboy has stolen my fun from me.

Then, you cook the berries with Sure Gel and a crap load of sugar.

I have no idea why this picture is showing up sideways. It's not this way on my computer, and I tried several different ways of uploading it, but to no avail. You get the picture, but it is really bothering me. Moving on....

While the berries are cooking (and you are stirring constantly) you can also clean out your jars. You have to make sure the jars are Very Clean and have No Bacteria in them. That would, afterall, pretty much ruin your jam.

If you don't have enough arms to stir the berries and clean the jars, it's always good to have a Jam Helper. We had several.

Her tongue is ready to catch any spare berries that may go flying.
Once the berries and sugar and stuff start boiling like crazy (a warning, that shiz WILL get all over everything....your clothes, your hands, your newly painted walls and newly laid floors....so it's best to keep some wet rags ready), you pour it EVER SO CAREFULLY into the clean jam jars.
Now here is where it gets tricky. Last year when we made jam, we just used regular pots and (I believe) a metal vegetable steamer. This year we kicked it up a notch and bought this......


Ok, actually it's just a regular canning device. A canner? I don't know what it's called, ok. But it has a metal tray thingamabob inside and you put the jars in the tray and lower it into the piping hot water. The hot water seals the jars shut.

Well that's just great. Another sideways picture. Please don't send me the bill for your sore neck.
When you've boiled the jars for 10 minutes, you take them out of the SDEAJC and put them on the counter to cool. You will start to hear the lids "pop" as they seal. This scared the beejesus out of me the first time.

27 jars later.........

The finished product:

Jam, anyone?