I have so much to report today. Aren't these camellias (info also here) beautiful?? Mom brought them when she and Daddy came for lunch today. To the right are floating camellia. Mom cuts the stems short and "floats" them in water. This close-up picture is really pretty - you can even see the veins in the petals. Click to see a larger view.
Taylor and his girlfriend, Nicole, came to visit today before heading off to a wedding of one of his high school buddies tonight. He seems to enjoy coming home for visits - even though they are infrequent. If you remember back to February, he and Nicole were in an accident with a drunk driver (she ran a stop sign or light). His car was totaled. Well, today he was driving his new vehicle - a '03 Nissan Pathfinder. I like the color and he seems tickled with the car. Here they are - all gussied up for the wedding.
Another piece of news re: Taylor - he has a new job. Previously chef at the Charlotte Bobcat Arena, he's now working as a sous chef at the Charlotte Knights Stadium (baseball). Actually, he's the head chef but doesn't want the "executive chef" title until he has a little more experience. Best news for us - he is salary WITH benefits!!! YES!!! Wish they could have stayed longer, but Nicole has to work tomorrow. Oh well! We had a great visit - it was really good to see the two of them.
Mom and Dad (and Lily, of course) joined us for lunch today so they could see Taylor and Nicole. Mom took requests from Taylor - her sweet tea and chocolate sheet cake. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and had all the fixin's. Then, we finished it off with the cake and vanilla ice cream. This chocolate cake is THE best chocolate cake I've ever tasted. Both of my boys are crazy about it! So, go make it for yourself!!!
Cream 1 stick margarine with 1 cup sugar. Add 4 eggs, beaten lightly. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder alternately with 1 can of Hershey's Syrup. Add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes in a greased and floured 9"x13" pan. Let cake cool 10 minutes before frosting.
BEST EVER CHOCOLATE CAKE FROSTING
Melt a half stick of margarine. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 small can (1/3 cup) of evaporated milk. Low boil about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn heat off. Add 1/2 cup Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and stir until melted. Beat with a spoon -- avoid overbeating or it will be sugary. Spread over cake.
After all that lunch, Lily was just tuckered out! She is so funny to watch when she's sleepy. Her eyes get really blinky - her lids get heavier and heavier - and then, they shut ---- she just can't hold them open any longer. She is such a sweet pup and absolutely spoiled rotten! As you can tell, that spoiled rotten thing goes both ways!
Well, on the knitty front (bet you all didn't think I had any knitty news!), I joined a stitch marker swap and have two partners that I am going to send markers to. One partner is in Pennsylvania and the other is in Quebec, Canada. We have to swap by April 15th. This should be fun!!! Can't wait to see who has my name and where she lives.
I'm not done yet! As I posted the other day, I finished my Berocco Suede shawl. Here are two pictures of the shawl - one with the point worn to the side and one with the point worn in the back. If I made this again, I would definitely increase more than 1 stitch at each end of every row. My shoulders are just too broad for shawls. Toward the end of knitting the shawl, I increased 2 or 3 stitches at the end of each row to make the "tails" long enough to have them overlap, do a loop-tie, etc. I didn't want to have it feel like I was always trying to tug it around me. I like the length of the "tails" but the point in the back seems very long. Should've started those multiple increases sooner.
And, I'm STILL not done!! Look at what I started yesterday while waiting in two work appointments. This is the Simply Knitted Baby Sweater by Cindy Walker in Cascade Yarns - Sierro Quatro. This pattern is for a 3-6 month sweater and is written for 3 stitch gauges (3, 4, or 5 stitches per inch). This little (and I do mean LITTLE, looks too little to me) baby sweater is for my cousin's new baby. He and his wife were expecting in April but baby had other ideas and showed up yesterday. Seriously folks, does this sweater look like it will fit a real live baby??? Well, I think it looks a whole lot bigger in this picture than on my kitchen table. Maybe there is hope.
Tomorrow evening, I am taking a freeform knitting class at Cozy in Durham, NC. Lisa from String Theory is teaching it. Please go to her blog and see the freeform tote bag she posted today. What a great way to use up scraps! She does these great little felted bags for Cozy and freeforms the flaps.
Well, that IS ALL!! Whew! Thanks for sticking it out!