Food, Life, Picture Post

Success Lunch! And Other Stuff

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So, I made another lunch. Octo-sausages, olives, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and oranges. Then, omelette rice with ketchup smiles and a rice with sesame seeds.  AND a little piggy full of soy sauce!

A new note. I’ve been trying to cut soda out of my diet, and I have found that it is very hard. I live for the caffeine. I’ve cut sugary coffees out of my diet (very much to my dismay, because I love Copper Mountain Coffee), and then I’ve moved on to the soda. Which, with drinking lots of water, I have cut back significantly on soda consumption. But, I’ve struggled with caffeine. I’ve found a wonderful substitute:

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These things are great!

Seriously, I don’t care if you tell me they are bad for me. There is no high fructose syrup,  no aspartame, there is enough caffeine to get me through the day, and it tastes good. Whereas I would drink 2-3 sodas a day, I drink one of these a day. There are 5 calories per serving, 1 gram of sugar per serving, and for every serving there is as much caffeine as a cup of green tea. So, this is great for me.

It also helps me sleep. When I go to sleep at night I find it easier to relax if I haven’t had any soda that day. With one of these, I just melt into sleep and I wake up in the morning feeling the way I usually do (not great, not good, just able to get out of bed)(which is normal). Thankfully I dream a lot more too, so when I sleep I feel more rested and I hit REM. That is so nice!

That’s my stroke order, penmanship, and my timing my speed for my hiragana practice. I haven’t done that many yet, only three, but I think I’m doing better. I’m also working on remembering their meaning. Which, is going okay. Thankfully I have flashcards and I’ve got my laminated study guides at my desk. So, definitely working hard on that. I should have started keeping track of my hours of study, so I would have some idea about where I am at. I’m sure I’ve got quite a few hours under my belt, but they don’t count if I’m not making progress. Oh well, I’ll get there.

Have a good day lovies!

Food, Life, Picture Post

Success Lunch! 01/25/2016

So, I made another cute lunch. Not as cute as some of my others, but I remembered to take a picture of this one.

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Ta-Da! I didn’t have a lot of supplies when I made this, but thanks to my lucky veggie cutters I was able to cut out all sorts of cute things. That little figure is my mad radish farmer. I figured that he is mad, because his radishes are actually cucumbers. Which… was probably to much thought put into making a tiny man. There is a ghost in there, with the apples, I gave him a face too. He is hiding among the flowers.

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Not as cute as Pusheen, who I love and adore and want to fill my life with. Of course you can always find more cute images of fat cats here.

I have made the mistake/mission of working overtime tomorrow. Which is great because I need the money, but it sucks after the day I had today. I am currently working on an article for EVERYONE on the internet about how to get along with customer service. I’ve worked in that industry for YEARS and I think I can help a lot of people out. 🙂

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I’m still waiting to hear back for Montana State, the requests I sent are being forgotten under lap tops and will be found later in an out bin under the box of hard candy they got for christmas and forgot to eat and finally decided to throw out, and that’s if my requests don’t stick to the bottom of the box of candy, because the heat got left on to high and some of the sugar melted to the envelope. And then it will try to make a recovery by flopping out onto the floor when the trash gets taken out but then it will get kicked under a filing cabinet only to be discovered three years later by Denise from Accounting who dropped the ring she bought online to convince her coworkers that she was married and that she didn’t go home to an empty apartment with a bottle of wine every night. Not even her cat will hang out with her anymore. But she doesn’t want her co-workers to feel sorry for her and she doesn’t want her loneliness part of the office gossip so she printed out pictures of a random man on facebook, bought a fake ring, and pretends to be happy. She is going to find the envelope under the filing cabinet, open it up, and realize that oh “Derrik in processing needs this.” Derrik is going to tell her the form is expired and doesn’t have the right robot stamp because it’s been three years since and technology has evolved and now the form I originally sent in doesn’t compute. THAT’S how it’s going to go down.

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So I sit and wait. And wait some more. They’ve added more things to my checklist too, probably thinking that I wouldn’t notice, like someone would do to a shopping list telling me I need cookie dough when I don’t or when someone adds an extra chore to a list when I wasn’t looking. That’s how I felt. I haven’t submitted the application for housing yet, because I’m still waiting to see if I get approved. If I don’t get approved and I have filled out the application, then I don’t get the housing application deposit back. That’s 200$ I can always put to something else.

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Life, Rant, Short Post

The Half Ginger Freaks Out!

So, howdy friends.

Today, I decided that I was going to check on my application to MSU (Montana State, for anyone who thought they would check it out by googling it. Michigan State has the web address msu.edu.) I typed in the password and the username that I was issued to check and I couldn’t find it.

A mirror SHATTERED in my brain. Like the scene in the Labyrinth when the part ends.

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The one that happens after this. I couldn’t gif.

Oh, I freaked out. Couldn’t find it. Raced through my old emails, looking for the receipt from when I paid my application fee, couldn’t find it the first go around. I finally found it, I went to look for the confirmation email that should have been sent when I requested the report for my ACTs. Couldn’t find it. Hurried to the ACT website, logged in (after having to request ALL of my login information again, because… ugh, it’s not one I’m going to remember). There was NO record of my ACT scores being sent to MSU. And that’s when the stone drops. BOOM! In the pit of my stomach, nausea, panic, and worry. So I dropped 34 dollars to re-request it. Normally it would be 12 dollars, but being as old as I am and from taking the ACT in 2008, it had been archived and needed more time to process. 34 dollars I wasn’t going to spend.

Ugh! FINALLY, I frantically searched the MSU website for any answer. I found the “MyInfo” page and decided to give logging in a go. HOLY CRAP IT LET ME IN!

RELIEF!

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SO I GIVE YOU 4 REACTION GIFS! WORTH IT!

Food, Picture Post, Short Post

20/01/2016: Success Lunch!

So, this post is a little belated. But, I wanted to share with you the lunch I prepared on Wednesday. Little backstory first.

My mum gave me a 100$ gift card for christmas to Amazon. As I’ve been eyeing a wonderful monbento box for a while, I committed to much (~30$) to purchase the one I wanted. I will admit, it was more then I spend on groceries in a week, and it was more then I am usually willing to spend on anything. But, I’ve been wanting it for almost two years now and I figured it was now or never (or then or never, as it is past tense). I may have posted the link in a past post, however, here it is again. It’s not the normal shape, but the dishes are deep enough that when I make “american” sized portions of things that may be to tall for my regular box, they fit nicely. It holds a lot more food than I was expecting as well, it was surprising. Usually I run out of room before I run out of food, but this time, I ran out of food and needed to find something else. So this was my end result:

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From left to right: Onigiri topped with sesame seeds and wrapped in nori; radishes and cucumbers cut into cut faces and flower shapes (I have cut veggies cutters now too), tamago, and then buffalo ranch chicken.

This is WAY more than I would usually pack. Usually, I divide up the meat portion into a dinner and lunch portion, however this time, I still had room to add something else on the right. I had to cut myself off, I felt full just packing this and almost didn’t finish it on Thursday. The smiles and the flowers are supported by tiny silicone molds that were much smaller than I thought they were, I had already bought them and I didn’t want to return them, so flipping them over helps add volume to the lunch (which, until now, I didn’t know was an actual thing).

Sealed up, packed up, and ready to go!

Life, Picture Post

What I Have Learned After A Year of Being Single and A New Book Challenge

So, Hello! I just pulled the cat from the couch, how are you? It’s been a couple of months, but everything is very well here. I was officially hired by Plum Creek, so I got about a seven dollar raise. That and all the overtime I work helps out a lot. I have never finished out a pay period with money left over, and I was able to do that. Being financially stable is an amazing thing, it is a new thing, and it is something I have come to enjoy greatly.

It’s been a busy year. Changed jobs, moved (twice), and my car broke down. The super big things. Who knows I may move a third time before 2014 is over. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past year (September to September, and I am aware that it is October). After the dramatic shift my life took, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Thankfully, I’ve had an amazing support team along the way. I learned that it isn’t as awkward as I thought it would be to go to the movies with myself. It’s also easier to coordinate movie dates and dinners with friends when it’s only you. But let me make a list, as I have grown to love lists. I have also grown to forget them a lot.

1) Cooking for one: Surprisingly a super hard thing to relearn. I went for a while cooking for two people, but one of those people had a two person appetite. A pound of bacon wouldn’t be enough. A block of cheese would last a day, and a box of pasta would be dinner for one. Once the Shift (I should really just call it that all the time) occurred, I found I was still buying for more than myself, and a lot of food went to waste. At the time that wasn’t cool because I wasn’t making a whole lot of money and that was just lost funds over time. I started to buy small frozen meals. Good for portion control, terrible for sodium levels. Then I went through a snacks only phase. So many pistachios were consumed over a few months, as well as candies and goldfish crackers. Oh, dear me, do not get me started on the goldfish crackers. I could have wholesaled out of my room with how many packages I had bought and subsequently consumed. Now, I eat what I want. If I want to eat a whole meal of red curry shrimp, I will. Most days I have a salad for lunch. I’ll have two corndogs for dinner if I work midnights, and I’m okay with that.

2) Making Friends: Before the Shift, I had the friends I had always had. Those that stuck with me through everything. After it, it was like a whole new world of people was opened up before me. I rarely went to bars before September of last year, because I was with someone and they never wanted to go. Last November I started to work at Target and met people that wanted me to hang out with them at bars. So, nervous the first time I went out, I don’t talk to anyone at the table. Somehow I still won them over. They kept inviting me back, I became their friend, we shared stories and hung out together. I had never had bar friends, and now I did (/do). I was an introvert among introverts, we all hated coming out of our houses and socializing. But, we had found a common place to hang out with people just like ourselves, and I don’t know if extroverts know how amazing and magical it can be.

3) Flirting: Apparently, I’m good at it. In all of my weirdness and all of my quirks, I’m apparently good at flirting. I did not know this.

4) Roommates: I have had very few good roommates experiences. Before I moved to Portland, I lived with a (now former) boyfriend and various other roommates in that same house. I loved that house. I lived with good people, and for the most part we got along. Then I moved a few times and I was tired of moving. This time last year though, my best friend Ky and her husband, offered me their spare room. Now, Ky wasn’t a new friend. She and I had met back in 2009 when I started at Teletech. Our friendship grew over time and slowly she became my best friend. When I was living in Beaverton and her and her husband told me they were going to visit Portland, I immediately offered my space to them and they offered a space to me. I trust them 100% and I know they would never let me down. We have our ups and downs, but I have learned so much from them and they have helped me grow as a human being. I tell them all the time that I don’t need to be married because I get to be around them and the happiness they share is enough for me. I wouldn’t trade their friendship for the world.

Maybe more of a list later… I already feel like this post is stretching on and on and on. But, I wanted to talk about the book challenge I’m going to start on January 1st, 2015. It’s a reading list, pulled from the front and back covers of a book called

    501 Must Read Books

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Courtesy of Google Image Search

That is the book. I bought it at The Bookshelf in Kalispell. I picked it up, took it to the counter, and told the clerk (Mary is her name) that I was going to read all of them in a year. That’s 1.37 books a day and 9.63 books a week. I’m still shooting for that goal, It’s not entirely unattainable, a bit unrealistic but not unattainable. Some of them are about 800 pages long though, others are around 250-300 pages. It all comes down to time management. If I don’t finish in a year, then the challenge will be to see how long it takes me to read them all.

There is a list online if you want to see the selection of what I’m going to be reading here. I challenge you to try it out too. It’ll be a fun year expanding your reading ventures. I’ll try to update every week over the coming year what I finished, thoughts on the process, and so on. Bad Rock Books and The Bookshelf are going to get a lot of business from me, as well as the library.

Well, I’ve said a lot here, more than I’ll probably write in all of NaNoWriMo next month.

Have a good October everyone!

Uncategorized

A Birthday, A Cold, and A Season 3

So, I’m 23 now! YAY! As of last Friday. And I had an amazing party. It was the first real birthday i have had (as an adult) where I wasn’t going it alone or spending it hugging the toilet because of food poisoning/spending it with someone else’s family. I got to have a real party with friends. It’s been FOREVER since I’ve had fun at my birthday. I didn’t get off until late, because it’s never really mattered to me about going out and about and enjoying myself. This year I had friends switch shifts and what not, and I made an attempt to switch mine too. That doesn’t work out for anyone who has a birthday on Valentine’s day. If you don’t request it off, you don’t get it off. That and that Saturday was a Canadian holiday (Family Day) and we were SUPER busy at work. It’s not that I didn’t plan on going out, I just didn’t expect to be actually going out. I’ve got a few nice bruises from that night that are still fading and everyone found out that I wasn’t lying when I said I sucked at beer pong. Seriously, I suck at it and no matter what you say, I’m never going to be any better at it, it’s not my sport. My mum told me how gross beer pong was and my only excuse was “Well, when you’re a certain level of drunk…” and it went from there. I’ve never had anyone ever buy me drinks just because it was my birthday. So that was actually kind of nice. Random people showing up and saying “Hey, you’re the birthday girl. I’ll get you a shot!” Somehow… the whole bar knew it was my birthday. I met new people too. Which is weird for me. A guy tried to pick me up on the way outta the bar, which has NEVER happened before. Needless to say, I didn’t go home with him, but it was pretty funny. 

When great events happen, greater things happen. Because of all of this, I WALKED AWAY WITH A COLD! Seriously, and not a fun one. That’s right the girl it takes undercooked seafood to take down got a cold. I… do not like it. I’m in the last legs of it now and I still don’t like it. It is WAY to expensive to be sick. Cold medicines, cough drops, tissues (Thanks for the Puffs, Mum), chapstick, hand sanitizer. That crap adds up fast. Guests are work that are all concerned that I am there to infect them and their families (Being sick is no excuse for missing work, those people count on you to be there), coworkers avoid you like the plague, and you are never without a tissue in hand or a lozenge in your mouth. I didn’t look great the past few days that I worked, but thankfully I have an schedule that rotates my days this week so I work one day and have the next one off. I’ve caught up on my sleep, which is super nice. But at the same time it hurts to leave the bed, so sleep has just been happening.
One thing I have noticed, and I don’t think that people do it, is that as soon as you cough or sneeze around one person, that person has a frakin medical degree and will tell you everything you need to do to get better. Seriously, I coughed once at work in front of someone and they launched into everything that they do when they are sick and that I need to be really vigilant because I will get bronchitis if I don’t do the things she told me to do. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the concern, but at the same time, I think I’ve got this. Yes, I am rarely one for being under the weather, but still, I know how to make myself better.

But yes, a birthday isn’t complete without a present. Some people may count the cold I got, but that was a gift from everyone. I bought myself a present. I bought myself GAME OF THRONES SEASON 3!!!!

Image Seriously! Look how pretty it is! The CG wasn’t great on the DVD, but I never expect it to be perfect. On bluray I’m sure it will be magical. I was so happy to finally see it. It’s been a year since it came out and so much has gone to crap in that time frame that it was great to finally be able to watch something like this again. 

 

If you haven’t guess I am a huge fan of fantasy. I’ll give almost anything a try once. And this one is pretty magical. I like to think that one day something I write will evolve into a great show like this one. We all can have dreams. 🙂

 

Well, I’m done for the night. Hope everyone has a great rest of February. 

Food, Life, Success Dinner

Success Dinner: Homemade (from scratch) Creamy Tomato Soup

So, hello everyone! I made something delicious in The Half Ginger Kitchen, my feet are killing me! I should actually be in bed but I just had to share what I made.

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Now, I don’t like using recipes. I really don’t. If someone can tell me how to do something that is different. I don’t like opening a cookbook and following a cookie cutter recipe. If I did that all the time there would be many houses on fire (see post  Chicken Fried Evil). Alton Brown, Paula Dean, and several others will never know the tears their recipes put me through. So, I’ve decided that I’m no longer following them. I’m making shit up as I go.

I did have to google the proper way to roast garlic, but I just needed temp for that. But that’s how far I took the seriousness of my from scratch soup. The only thing I didn’t do myself was the chicken stock and that’s because I didn’t have a chicken carcass to boil for a hour or two. But it still turned out AMAZINGLY AWESOME! Oh, and the cream. I used Kalispell Kreamery Half and Half. Not only to support a relative’s business, but because it’s some of the best stuff available.

So here it is.

Kas’ Soon to be Famous Homemade Creamy Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup

Roast The Garlic:

Take a bunch of garlic, and peel off the skins. Keep the cloves together and some of the skin on them. Rub them with olive oil. Oven. 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 30-35 minutes.

Forget it until the timer goes off.

 

Chop Tomatoes and onions

I used 5 Roma tomatoes and about half an onion. I chopped them up into neat little bowls like on the Food Network.

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That’s the oven with the garlic in it.

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I got distracted while the garlic was roasting, but that’s okay. Because I got everything else prepped. Once the garlic is done, you should be able to take out the cloves from their husks by holding the end of the bunch and pushing on the butts of the cloves with a fork. Make sure it’s cooled first.

Then, mix 2 tablespoons of butter, the onion, and ‘some’ garlic (I literally just put some in it. I had chopped it up and put about 2 cloves in it, if we needed t be exact). You want to be a vulture here. Do not leave this alone. Use a low heat and stir constantly. I actually didn’t burn it, but knowing my luck I could have.

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This stage usually only takes about three minutes of stirring and not burning. If you burn it you must start over.

 

Next, we add our tomatoes and chicken stock. Now, I didn’t peel my tomatoes, and it made the soup chunky. So I highly recommend peeling the tomato. It doesn’t effect the flavor, but if you don’t mind a chunky soup don’t worry about it.

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It’s not going to look very good at this point, but GIVE IT TIME! It will look better. You can season it at this stage with salt and pepper, or you can wait until the end. I seasoned both here and the end. Bring this chunky mess to a boil and them let it simmer for a while. I think I did 8 minutes.

While that is simmering, dig around in your mother’s kitchen. “Why would I do that?” you may be wondering. Well, you do it BECAUSE you might find this:

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I was SO EXCITED! I was tripping over myself with excitement. Until, I realized it wasn’t working. I tried everything and it wouldn’t work. So after the simmer, I did this:

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I did it by HAND! I have a tendency to do things by hand anyway, but this was ridiculous. I stood there for a while, chunking away. More and more and more chunking. So that happened.

I then poured the soup back into the pot and added the delicious KK cream! Oh it was awesome! So whisk that in, and wha-la! Soup.

BUT! Then something else happened. I was re-assembling the food processor and I heard a click I hadn’t heard before. I checked the top of the bowl and BOOM!

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I didn’t realize that I needed to use more force to get it to work. So, I decided that it was okay and I RAN IT ANYWAY through the PROCESSOR! BOOM!

It got rid of more chunks and helped thicken the soup. It was awesome.

I topped it with parm cheese and it’s fabulous!

These are my dishes from the food processor, I wanted to show that I was actually able to use it!

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Yum yum yum in my tum!

 

Life

You Have Arrived At Your Destination

So, hello everyone! It is an hour later in the day, but isn’t. People say it’s cold, but it isn’t. And I have been in Montana for a little over 24 hours! It was a pretty nice trip. Iwas  listening to “Outlander” as an audio book and I gladly thank my former government and psychology teacher for recommending it. It’s a little slow when I’m listening to it, but the story is really good. The narrator is Davina Porter, she’s okay but her voice was a little irritating over the ~14 hour trip. She does the male voices incredibly well, but makes Claire, the main character, sound awful. It was fine in the beginning, but after a continuous 12 hours (because I also listened to some music and “Herbert West – Reanimator” read by Wayne June and written by H.P. Lovecraft) of her voice it started to bug me. I’ve just got the the part where she was trying to run away from Jamie (Which is a stupid decision, that man is AMAZING) to be with a man that looked just like a vile man (because they are related) which I would think is a terrible idea. I mean, seriously, this evil man reminds you of a husband that hasn’t technically been born yet, so you want to go back to your husband. Could you imagine her going back and everytime her husband gets irritated or mad she would be reminded of the vile man ( I can’t actually remember his name. He isn’t as bad as Joffery though. I hate that guy.) But, I’m only half way through the audio book so hopefully Claire stops making terrible decisions and stays with the sexy hunk of Scotland that she’s also married. I’ve just realized I have forgotten the time travel element, which would have been an important thing to tell you because nothing I have said really makes any sense. But there you go.

So it’s a good book, It’s my kinda book. I wasn’t exactly prepared for the sexy parts. That’s usually not in the books I read, so of course I giggled immaturely when they buzzed into my ears. But it was fun. Through the next couple of days I’m going to try to finish it, but I don’t really sit for long periods of time with nothing to do but listen to an audio book. I tried reading and listening to it and boy did the plot get a tad twisted and confusing. 

The train was pretty uneventful, although I did get to see an orca whale. At least part of one. I saw it in the Puget Sound. It was cool. I tried writing on the way and I was distracted by the water. I like looking at water, I don’t like being in large bodies of it. I saw a lot of deer too. I like deer.

I slept yesterday from 10 – 4 pm, it was nice. A real bed, even if the mattress is a little softer than I’m used too. Cora is still a cutie, even if she’s the size of a boulder. She’s a cute boulder. She all stocky and wide. Absolutely ADORABLE!

Odie is still with us too. His age is showing but he’s still is as cute as ever. He has senior moments a lot and he doesn’t hear well. He’ll be 15 this Nov-Dec. I think. He’s such a good little dog.

Hopefully I will have a special post coming soon. I purchased a Loot Crate this month and I plan on doing a special Half Ginger unboxing!

Life, Short Post

Update: Half Ginger Goes On An Adventure (a.k.a. The Trip)

So, here I am at 5:00 am and I’m updating my blog. “Why?” You may ask. Well, it’s because I’ve booked my ticket for my trip. Yep, that’s right, it’s happening. I’m still not going to tell you where I am going though. It will ruin the suprise!

But I did buy a new suitcase today. It’s smaller, as I’m trying not to take a whole lot with me. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Isn’t that exciting? It came with an extra little bag too, which is nice. The one I fell in love with, well, I should have checked the price before I left the store. It was $140 and it was 50% off. The one I got, in green of course, was $70 at 50% off. AND, I got two bags instead of one. Pretty nifty in my opinion.

I also got a discount on my ticket, about 25% off. Which was STELLAR!

So, ticket is bought, luggage is… empty. I leave on the 22nd.

FUN TIMES!

Crafts, Life

New Project and A Shout Out

So I’ve started on a new project. Crochet that is. I’m working on converting pixel art into granny square blankets. Minecraft has been a huge help in the distinguishing of what pixel is what color. I’ve also decided to do a solid granny square instead of a open granny square. I have irishlace.net to thank for the help on figuring it out. Her website is subtly  referencing a lot of things that I love, but I will let you find those out for yourself. I’ll post a picture of the blanket when I am done. Lots of squares to make, but I’m trying to make the blanket row by row, instead of making all the squares and assuming that I have enough of them. I’ve done a whole spreadsheet on how many of each color I need in each row and I thought it looked really awesome. And it does, But I’m not going to share it until I’m sure I did it right.

I don’t have a whole lot to say tonight, I haven’t gone on a adventure today, so I don’t have a whole lot to talk about.

A shout-out goes to irishlace.net for having wonderful instructions that I could follow for the solid granny square that I’m using in my current project.