Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Duvet Days

It's been raining heavy for what feel like weeks now. I'm sure it's not actually weeks but nonetheless, that's what it feels like. Outside everything is saturated, soggy, sopping wet. The rain is like a relentless morse code tapping on the roof, pausing every so often to catch its breath, showing a glimpse of a blue sky and a ray of sunlight coming through before picking up where it left off. It's the perfect weather for a duvet day.

I managed a solid eleven hours of sleep on Monday night. I woke up on Tuesday my body sore from spending too much time horizontally, but my head fantastically clear compared to my state of mind over the few days preceding that. I blame the full moon, I never sleep right for about a week and find myself wondering what the hell is wrong with me until I realise it's out lunar companion in the sky messing with my sleep pattern.

Lily having a duvet day

I didn't venture far yesterday. Only as far as the shops to pick up a few bits I needed to make butternut squash soup. That was after I had chased one of the cats around the house to give her a tablet. For the first few days I was able to stick the tablet in her mouth and wait for her to swallow it. She soon copped onto this and somehow developed an ability to hold onto the tablet until I let her go, after which she spat the tablet onto the floor by my feet and ran off. My next tactic was to wrap the tablet in some salami. his worked a treat until she realised what was going on, and ate the salami around the tablet and proceeded to bat the tablet around the kitchen floor until it ended up under the fridge out of reach to both human and feline paws. Currently I'm wrapping the tablets in ham. When she sniffs out this ruse, I'm at a loss. What next?

Soon-to-be soup

This weather is perfect for duvet days, lazy days, days spent on the sofa by the fire with a good book. I love cooking on days like this, too. The warmth in the kitchen wards off the rain, and cooking with no deadlines and no time limitations can be very therapeutic. It's proper me-time. Just me and my ingredients, hands in the mixing bowl, measuring ingredients, binding them together, feeding more than just hungry bellies. Yesterday it was meat loaf with hidden boiled eggs inside (I think I got that one from Nigella). Blueberry pie with custard for dessert. All gobbled up by the fire, under a blanket big enough for two. Bliss.

Blueberry pie

I haven't set foot outside today, still waiting for it to stop raining for long enough to put the bin down. The road outside looks more like a river right now, so I have no immediate plans to venture outside any time soon. I have a loaf of bread in the oven, the whole house smells beautiful. I'll make myself a cup of strawberry tea and curl up on the couch beside the cat and read another few chapters of The Fry Chronicles.

Happy, rainy days.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In Dublin

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I was heading up to Dublin for Hotel And Catering Review Gold Medal awards. The awards were on Tuesday night, so we headed up bright and early at 6am(!!) to catch the early train from Westport to Heuston. The time it takes to drive to Dublin from out here in the schticks, you're better off catching the train and sitting back and relaxing for three and something hours rather than booting it down the motorway.

We were staying in the Hilton, which is a short walk from Heuston. We only fired our bags into the rooms and headed out again to lunch at the Avoca in Monkstown. The food was beautiful and they have their interior design and product displays thought out down to a T. The very friendly maître d' showing us to our seats had an outrageously fantastic, twirly, Poirot-like moustache. We had between us crab meat salad, caesar salad with a half a rotisserie chicken and Spanish meatballs with couscous and pita bread. The food was bloody gorgeous. We had a quick snoop around the food market, as we do a lot of same kind of things for takeaway as they do, and came back home with plenty of ideas.

After a few more stops in foodie places, we headed back to the hotel to get ready. Our timing was perfect to allow a nice bath and time to put our faces on. It was a black tie event, so we did have to look the part. Moving from one four star location to another, the awards night was at the Burlington Hotel. Pulling up in the taxi, all you could see were people dressed to impress, huddled under the awning for a quick smoke.

We were ushered into the function room, which was set up to accommodate all 360 of us there for the awards. A few familiar faces in the crowd, quick hellos this way and that and then seated for dinner. I was positively surprised by the fact that there weren't a stream of speeches before dinner, or indeed, after it. The menu was as follows:

Cornets of Smoked Salmon with Red Onion Cream Cheese, Mini Blinis, drizzled with a Lemon Oil

Fillet of Beef, Dauphinoise Potatoes with Green Beans, Sauteéd Wild Mushrooms & Pearl Onions, Brandy Peppercorn Sauce

Strawberry Sorbet, Passion Fruit Bavarois, Strawberry Tart

I loved the smoked salmon, but the blinis were very bland. I wonder whether they had bought them in ready made or maybe used the wrong kind of flour to make them. I understand I am biased as my father makes amazing blinis, so maybe my expectations were too high. But then again, it was a Hotel and Catering event. My beef fillet was beautifully pink in the middle, and the wild mushrooms were presented in a filo pastry cup, but my colleague sitting beside me got her beef completely overcooked. 

The desserts were a platter of minis of all three listed above, and while they were perfectly tasty, they weren't anything out of the ordinary. Our pastry chef who was there with us, dissected each bite and came to the conclusion that the tart base and pastry case for the sorbet weren't proper pastry, rather than a ready mix you pour into pastry moulds and bake. 

The service ran like clockwork, I do find myself often paying attention to things like that, and I must say that for all of us to get our food more or less at the same time was down to great organisation. We were told at the start that they had fed hundreds of people on the Sunday before the awards after the Mayo-Donegal match. 

The wine, however was beautiful and it was the prefect lubricant to get the proceedings started. There were in total 17 categories and between three and nine finalists in each category. Each of the tables had a plaque for each of the finalists to take home, it was a honour to even be nominated, according to someone's maths we were in the top 3% in our field by just being up for an award. Not too shabby for a first time entry, I thought. 

Sadly, we didn't win out category, which was won by last year's winner in Co. Clare. I smell a road trip south in the horizon sometime soon, I want to know what they're doing to scoop up the award two years running. We'll try again next year, for sure. 

After a long day I was delighted to engage in my best impersonation of a starfish in the middle of my massive hotel bed. I think I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coming Soon...

Wow. That summer came and swept me away with it like a tornado took Dorothy. It was a busy one, at work and otherwise. Main memories are of laughter, friends, great food and even better company. I will dig out some photos and tell you about some of it soon, I promise.

I'm just back from my brother's wedding. It was beautiful, the happy couple made the day their own and I can honestly say everyone enjoyed themselves. We cried, we laughed, we danced, we caught up with relatives and enjoyed the fabulous food. More on that later, too.

Our three kitties are still around, and even our poorly patient Molly, is getting slowly better. She has food allergies and after a lengthy stay at the vet's for tests and tlc, she is on the mend, noticeably so. Perseverance and lots of pets.

It's starting to feel like autumn now, dark evenings, movie nights, candle light and lit fires. Woolly socks and glasses of red wine in good company. I do quite like this time of the year.

Work is still keeping me busy. We've been shortlisted for a Gold Medal award and are heading to Dublin for the awards ceremony on Tuesday. I'll report back about that sometime next week.

So, all of this to come. Stick around, folks!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last Day

It's the last day of my holiday today and I must say it's done me a world of good being off for a week and doing exactly as I pleased for seven glorious days. It's gone by quite fast, yet I saw a photo I posted on Facebook on my first day and it feels months away. The week started with sunshine and seems to be ending that way, too. Some drizzle and rain nicely bookended by sun.

I've walked on the beach, listened to the waves and felt really small. I've gotten pampered from head to toe only to emerge feeling so relaxed I could've been poured into a jug, that's how liquid I felt. Last night we had dinner at Mr. S's hotel, they had an Indian themed night and we ate until fit to burst. Food was delicious, and the company made it even better.

Off to work tomorrow, but I'll push that thought aside for today, I still have a whole glorious day to spend as I please. I had my morning caffeine fix out of a porcine mug, it is quite charming in it's on-the-nose-ness. Breakfast was a bacon sandwich and some sausages, after a walk on the beach.

The cats are sunbathing on the windowsill, sadly it is much warmer inside than it is outside, even with the sun out. I think I'll spread out at the dining room table now and catch up on my reading. I still haven't got through the weekend's Guardian, and of course I need to catch up on the local news from home with the latest issue of Pogostan Sanomat.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Home Cooking

I was reading this post by Johanna(it is in Finnish) about home cooking and baking, and it got me thinking. Johanna is a Finnish lady living in USA, and her daughter had come home from her friend's house asking if they could bake some cupcakes, she had gotten a great recipe for them. Johanna read the recipe, which read: "take a packet of cupacake mix. Bake the cupcakes. Decorate". To her, and to me, this doesn't count as baking. She had chosen to show her daughter how to make mocha squares. From scratch.

Sundried tomato loaf

I'm just wondering are there really that radical cultural differences when it comes to home cooking? When I was in school, home economics was taught to show us how to cook simple meals, how to clean, wash up and do laundry properly. I still have my old home ec book from year 1994 and I still consult it regularly to find out a basic recipe for something I want to put my own twist to.

Chicken pasta

A friend of mine, who spent a year in USA told me how the mother of the family would consult her vast cupboard of ready meal mixes, choose the one that hadn't been cooked the night before, added water, threw the whole thing into the oven and served it with shop-bought mixed salad. And that was home cooking. My friend went to make mac and cheese for the kids, from scratch and watched the kids' amazement when she went for an actual bag of macaroni, and grated some real cheese and made the sauce from scratch as well.


There seem to be two clans of home cooks. The ones, who are more than happy to stick a frozen pizza into the oven and call it a day, and the ones who are the Nigellas and Gordons of their own kitchens. The latter one whip up three course meals on a daily basis and up the ante to four or five courses when they're throwing a dinner party. Which is often. Where is the happy medium?

Breaded pork chops

You know, the nice, simple home cooked meal enjoyed by the whole family around the same table at the same time. I grew up on that, and maybe that's where my love for cooking stems from. My mother makes the best meatballs and mashed potato and macaroni & mince bake. I've yet to find someone to rival my dad's fishcakes and fillet of pikeperch with fried potatoes. The fish in our house was what dad would catch. We ate a whole lot of venison, as my dad would hunt moose, and at the christmas table the was always a pot roast of game birds. Tasty, simple and all the more appreciated when you knew the effort gone into making it for you. Not to mention the vegetables grown in our own garden.

Mince & rice pasties

That's what I'm calling out for. Normal, homecooked food where you're not left wondering what kind of E-numbers and other nice chemical surprises may lurk in your next meal.

All the photos above are my own creations. Homemade. From scratch.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strange Searches

Checking the traffic stats of both of my blogs I noticed a couple of strange search keywords that had led people to my blogs. For example, someone searching "creepy smiling kitten" had been directed to this blog, while someone searching for graveyard on the southern town of Tuusula, in Finland had been directed to my Finnish blog. The mind boggles, indeed. I'd like to ask you to check your stats and let me know what kind of strange search words have directed people to your blog. It's silly little trivia like that I find infinitely fascinating.

PS. I'm officially on holiday now, and guess what? It's actually sunny here!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Light Dinner

I'm only trying out blogging on my phone so bear with me.

I cooked up some sea bass last night and it turned out very tasty.

I coated the fillets in a mixture of plain and rye flour flavoured with sea salt, pepper and dill. I whacked the fillets onto a hot pan with plenty of butter. About four minutes on either side, and half way through cooking the second side, I squeezed in some lemon juice and a generous glug of white wine. Once the fillets were cooked, I added some capers to the buttery pan and hey presto! I got myself a sauce.

Served with mash flavoured with herb cream cheese, carrots and parsnip. All washed down with a nice Italian Pinot Grigio.


The Return

I wonder if I have any readers left? After a three month, self-imposed hiatus, that is. It was only supposed to be a little break and I would apologise for my absence had it not been so gloriously relaxing as it was. I all honesty, I probably would've been back sooner, but the weather. Man, oh man, the weather. It's been so typically non-irish, I've simply had to stay outside and enjoy it.

Sunset after a hot day

I've discarded all blog-related activity, and only dipping into Facebook and Twitter on my phone, leaving my laptop sitting on my desk gathering dust. It's been liberating. See, I started to stress and feel guilty for not blogging more often. I know, it's silly, it's only a blog and I hardly have thousands of followers hanging onto my every word, but still. I'm a worrier, I feel responsible for things I'm not necessarily responsible for at all. It's just me. But I have managed to teach myself to ignore those niggling feelings of guilt.

Taken at 10.30pm

On my Twitter travels I've met a namesake who lives in Sligo. Another poor Finnish woman lured here by a crafty Irishman. I've also met Jane, who lives on the other side of this little bay of water. On a clear day I could wave from my front porch and hope to be seen in Mayo.

Jane, I know you're out there!

I've enjoyed doing very little, lazing about and generally making the most of the summery weather. Barbecues, beers and merriment. Our collective midriffs are starting to move away from the six pack and edge towards a keg instead. I better dust off the old exercise bike again.

A light snack

I've felt old and young in one night, attending a friend's 21st birthday party. I've laughed until I was sore and stayed up until 7am on a very cold night it Dublin. I've attended an art exhibition opening, where I fell in love with one of the pieces, which is now hanging on our dining room wall. I've been going where the mood has taken me and put my "responsibilities" on the back burner. I've successfully recharged my batteries.

Tom surveying his kingdom

There is on piece of Really Big News. My favourite (and only) brother is finally getting married this September! We are all beyond excited, and you may expect plenty of wedding related blogging in the next few months. I will obviously need a dress, and I have decided on one, which unfortunately currently only exists in my head. I want a dress to match my prettiest shoes. Thankfully Teresa has been some sort of a wizard in spotting the right colour/style dress online, so I have nominated her as my personal online shopper.


So, that's it. It's raining here now, so I shall do a bit of hoovering, bit more reading and get the seabass out of the freezer ready for dinner. I'll see you around!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just A Bit Tired

I'm still here, on the edges of the blogosphere. I seem to be drowning in things to do and stuff that requires my attention and I'm finding myself increasingly tired and irritable.

Skimming through blogs, having a quick read and feeling guilty when I haven't posted anything noteworthy in what feels like ages. Work is quite stressful at the moment and it's definitely taking its toll. I work, I come home, I eat and go to bed. Repeat times 4. Days off are equally packed with things. I don't know how I have so many things to do but alas, it seems to be the case.

So I am letting you know I'm still here and I have jotted down a good few ideas for upcoming posts. All I need now is time to sit down and make them comprehensible to the rest to you. Mr S. is taking me out for some quality time together today. Might even go to the cinema or something else normal people do on their days off. Having said that, we'd both be quite happy to vegetate on the couch while watching some so-bad-it's-good-telly. But it'll be nice to get out of the house, won't it?

Friday, February 10, 2012

How to Bathe a Cat

I came home from work on Saturday and I was absolutely freezing. Not sure why, but I find that once I catch a chill, it's very hard to get rid of it. Gulping down two mugs of Earl Grey did nothing to warm me up and I could've given a limb or two in exchange for half an hour in a proper, Finnish sauna. Opting for the next best thing, I drew myself a very hot bath. The kind where you get out of it lobster red and glowing. After adding enough Radox to knock out a hippo, I slipped in.

Submerged in the bubbly tub, I started to thaw out. I was quite relaxed as it was, but had prepared to get even more relaxed by bringing in a glass of wine and some quality reading material (Donald Duck). I knew I had left the bathroom door ajar, because after about 10 minutes of blissful bopping about a little furry face appeared beside my head. Our cat Lily had decided to come and see what was taking me so long.

Two little paws on the edge of the tub she reached in to sniff the bubbles. She looked at them and then at me, perplexed. She's more used to sitting in the empty tub, staring at the tap, waiting for me to turn it on so she can drink from it while I brush my teeth in the mornings. After another brief glance, Lily sauntered out of the bathroom.

About fifteen minutes later she was back. Again, staring at me, trying to figure out what it was that I was doing. And, more importantly, why wasn't she included in this activity. She jumped on the side of the bath and went sniffing the bubbles again. By now, she had become to ta conclusion that the tub was, in fact a new bed, and the bubbles had to be my new duvet. She decided to jump in.

Needless to say, the realisation that she had in fact jumped into a bathtub full of water, resulted in the cat shooting out of the bath and the bathroom faster than anything on four legs I've seen before. I swiftly followed, seeing as a dripping wet cat roaming around in a house full of gadgets isn't an appealing idea. I followed thw wet paw prints into the kitchen and onwards to the living room, where there was a cat-shaped puddle in the middle of the carpet. She had continued onto out bed, which had a puddle in the middle of it now, before proceeding to nurse her bruised kitty ego under the bed.

Sulky cat

She looked well and truly pathetic, trying to lick herself dry. In one quick manoeuvre I had the car wrapped in a towel and firmly in place between my knees. Towel-drying a cat is harder than you'd think, so I had to bring out the hair dryer. After a while Lily seemed to be almost enjoying the experience. In the middle of it all I burst out laughing at the thought of someone seeing me sat in the middle of our bedroom floor, the drenched cat wedged between my knees, giving her a blow dry. You couldn't make it up.

Mr. S seemed to think Lily was extremely well styled and felt softer after the ordeal. The week didn't necessarily improve for poor Lily, as she too great exception to being de-wormed. At least I didn't have to shove tablets down the cats' throats as I opted for the de-wormer that you squirt onto the nape of their necks. Tom is always an easy patient, just purring away to himself when I treat him. Lily on the other hand, usually tries to make a break for it which is why she gets wrapped into a towel before the procedure. The things I do for them. Madness.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pyjama Botherers

This story by the Irish Times had made it into the papers in Finland, too. Yup. The dole office in question had felt is necessary to point out to its customers that pyjamas aren't appropriate clothing to wear while visiting their establishment. I had a moment of quiet desperation. They had to point it out. The people showing up to supposedly apply for jobs, wearing their pyjamas, had to be told to smarten up a bit. Oh, mercy!

I can't really say that I'm surprised, to be honest. I've seen girls (yes, it's almost always girls) slouching about in the supermarket in their pyjama bottoms, hoodies and Uggs. (I hate Uggs, too.) It makes me wonder at what stage do you stop caring about your appearance in public? The contradiction here is, that these same girls will more than likely spend the best part of two hours getting ready for a night out; choosing their clothes, doing their hair and make-up.

Maybe it's a cultural difference, with me having been brought up in Finland, where especially this time of year going outside in anything less than four layers of thermals is simply unheard of. Was I to meet someone in their pyjamas walking down the street in Finland, my first reaction would be to check all the psychiatric wards in the vicinity to see if they were missing someone in their latest head count. Maybe I'm just unable to appreciate the freedom that comes with not caring what people may think of you when you're walking down the shops in your Primark finest. Bulls**t.

The thing is, I bloody love pyjamas. I have dozens. In different colours, materials, sleeve lengths. Dress ones, short ones, long ones, full ones, sets and singles. I have them all and I love wearing them. At home. Indoors. On the couch watching telly. In bed. The most fresh air my pyjamas get, is if I'm putting a bin out in the morning, and even then I reach out the back door and drop the bag in the bin just outside the back door. I may be seen by an occasional sheep and sometimes my next door neighbour. She is more than likely to be in her pyjamas, putting out her bin at that hour, too.

Yes, pyjamas are infinitely more comfortable than most appropriate day wear. They're built for comfort, not for style. Saying that, I am currently sporting quite fetching pyjama bottoms in grey and white checked pattern teamed with a t-shirt. I'm half dressed, but then I am at home, not out and about. Farhad Manjoo wrote about why he loves staying in pyjamas for the whole day. That's fine, you work from home! I'm pretty sure I'd be given my P45 as soon as I stepped my slippered foot in through the doors of my workplace.

And while I'm ranting, let's hear something about the dreaded onesie. It's what babies wear, right? No. There are grown people, all over the world wearing these hideous garments as pyjamas, or "loungewear", as they're being marketed. I think you could give up on normal life the moment you find yourself inside a onesie. The first time I saw one, was on Scrubs. I thought it to be an entirely fictional piece of clothing. How wrong was I? I shudder, they're horrid, and I can only imagine the stink inside one of them after you've spent a day (and a night, and a day) in one. Yuck.

Rant over. As you were.

Onesie photo from here
Scrubs photo from here

Monday, January 30, 2012

Positive Thinking

I blogged about positivity before (here) and I am sort of echoing that same sentiment again, a year and a bit later. There has been a bucket load of shit raining down lately and it's seemingly indiscriminately hitting pretty much everyone in the world. Workwise there's people being laid off, put on short time, getting their wages cut and those who manage to keep their jobs are now doing the work of three people with less money than they used to.

The whole of the economy as we know it is in deep doodie. Deficits, over spending, cuts cuts and more cuts. Placing the blame on whoever happens to be within reach of an accusing finger. Making up too many excuses and not enough ideas to resolve the mess we find ourselves in. Yes, all of us.

People around me both here and in Finland are going through some things that can only be described as pure and utter shite. Things that aren't fair, things that are causing them unnecessary stress and heartache. Things that life every so often throws your way just to make sure you're not getting too comfortable.

The thing is, I am painfully aware of all of this. Painfully aware. I have very low tolerance for negativity and wallowing in it. Misery loves company, but I most certainly am not a fitting companion. Yes, I love a good moan and a whinge every so often and then move on. Move on and focus on something nice and positive. This doesn't mean living in denial of all the things that are wrong in the world, it just means that I choose to see the light at the end of the tunnel as a ray of sunshine rather than an oncoming train.

I find myself feeling very much on edge when faced with someone so focused on the bad, negative things that it is all they can talk about. It makes me very uneasy, especially when it seems the person isn't looking for help or solutions but rather to have someone to wallow in the pigsty of negative thoughts and anger at the world with.

Not for a minute am I suggesting that isn't me on some days. There are times when I am fully convinced my whole life is on a downward spiral and it's everybody else's fault and I am being treated so unfairly by the entire universe that all I can do is sit in my room and sulk about it and leave dramatic posts on Facebook and Twitter about how unfair my life is. And then I step back, take a look at the teenage-y, angst ridden version of myself and I snap out of it. Too much negativity gives me a rage headache.

I've dotted this post with pictures of happy animals. It helps fight the negativity. It also helps to block certain someone's posts on Facebook and unfollow them on Twitter. Just saying.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year, Old Face

Hello! It's been a while - yet again. If I'm completely honest, I haven't really felt as if I had anything interesting/amusing/noteworthy to say, so I kept my golden silence over the holidays and a little bit longer. Here's a quick recap:

Ahh, lovely Christmas. It truly was lovely. We ate, we drank, we had duvet days and generally spent a lot of time doing very little indeed. Mr. S was home after his 5 weeks at his father's place so we felt like we had to make up for lost time. I went back to work on the 27th of December to a very busy place indeed. There were a lot of people about, which helped me get back into the swing of things again. Mind you, going back to work after a very very lazy week off was a challenge in itself.

December is proving a very bad driving month for me. Remember last year, with the snow and icy roads I managed to mangle my pretty little car's back bumper? Well, this year, to balance things out I mangled the front bumper. And bonnet. And radiator. And few other bits. With the help of a ram in the middle of the road. That's right, a ram. In the middle of the f***ing road! It was dark as well, so didn't really see the little shit until he was on my bonnet. Thankfully I had slowed down a lot due to an oncoming car with it's beams and hazards on blinding me. The result of this little incident was a small state of shock, one dead ram and a bill from the garage totalling €2500 sent to my insurance company. Thank deities for no claims bonus protection, eh?

New Year
I was working, Mr. S was working, so we didn't really get up to much to ring in the new year. I was proud to have stayed awake until midnight, for one. For a brief moment we did entertain the notion of going out but then realised that would've involved getting off the sofa, getting dressed and actually leaving the house. We had wine, nibbles and generally a wonderful evening without being pushed about in a cramped pub by drunkards trying to get to the bathroom/bar.

Getting Older
Yup, it was my birthday shortly after the new year as well. I'm feeling old this year, and have decided to do a Benjamin Button on my birthdays and turn 29 this year, working my way backwards until I'm 25 again, and maybe then I can start over again and try turning 30 again in 9 years time. Sounds like a plan to me. For my birthday Mr. S fed me until I was fit to burst. He knows what makes me happy.

Other News
There isn't all that much out of the ordinary happening here, if I'm honest. I'm using up my last year's holidays from work and only working four days per week for the next couple of weeks. Mr. S bailed out again for a couple of weeks, to go over to his father's and finish putting in a new floor upstairs. He's back next week. In the meantime, work has gone quiet, it is the low season after all, so we're all working shorter days. This means I've taken up knitting again and this time I'm going to tackle my greatest nemesis; the woolly sock. In my 31 29 years on this earth, I've managed to successfully knit exactly one pair of woolly socks, and that was under the extremely patient guidance of my third grade teacher. I found knitting the heel to be somewhat problematic and decided I didn't need to bother with them anymore. But how times change! After years of knitting hats, scarves and few successful attempts at mittens, I've decided to face my fears. I've gotten this far for now. I'll need to watch a few online tutorials on the subject but I'm fairly certain I'll be able to master it soon enough.

Exciting times, eh?