Not Martha

on buying eyeglasses

Matt did a very helpful write up on buying inexpensive eyeglasses online over at 43 Folders. He includes details about your prescription and how to find what size of frame and lens you’ll need. I’ve been keeping track of what eyeglasses are available online lately as my prescription has changed twice since I bought the pair I have now* and I really, really need new glasses.

I suspect buying frames online might be more difficult for females, though. I’ve been looking for frames for about a year and I have stopped in every eyeglass shop I come across and have only found one pair that suits me. After trying on so many I doubt I could find a pair in the sites Glassy Eyes links to that I would be really happy with. Though, for $40 I might be more likely to be happy with them. The shops that have the option of uploading a picture of yourself and seeing what the frames might look like is encouraging.

After finding frames I liked in a shop I would come home and look them up online. There were a few sites I kept coming across that would carry the models I was looking for – Frames Direct and Eyefine. The prices there are less than in shops, but nowhere near the $40 to $80 price tags Matt talks about. (Note: I have not ordered from any online shop and can not give an opinion as to whether it is worth it.)

I finally did order a pair of glasses last weekend, turns out they are one of the first pairs of frames I tried on a year ago** when I got my new prescription. I was so tired of not having glasses that I went ahead and ordered them from the shop, and was a little relieved to come home and find they aren’t offered online anywhere. Coulda bought ’em cheaper guilt assuaged. In addition to my driving prescription my doctor gave me a weaker prescription for sewing and computer work, so I am considering buying a $40 pair online with the second prescription.

Frames Direct suggests that you can get your pupil distance measured at any eyeglass shop but I found they were resistant to give me the number, even as I was paying for glasses I had just bought from them. I was measured twice and given two slightly different numbers. I figure if I order glasses online I can use the average.

One thing that makes me hesitate to order glasses online is the fit. I had a difficult time finding frames that didn’t press into the area above my cheekbones. I didn’t think that part of my face was particularly wide, but I’ve since developed quite a complex about it. It seemed like the majority of womens frames came in two sizes: too narrow for me and ridiculously, child-sized narrow. I do prefer plastic frames which puts me at a disadvantage here. (Those little nose pads on wire frames make me feel like I’m getting a Vulcan nerve pinch between the eyes.)

To sum up: Yay, eyeglasses don’t have to be super expensive. Boo, the ones I can try on in person aren’t the ones sold on the $40 sites.

* The glasses I have now were bought in 2000 and I expect them to simply break at any moment, I fear it’ll happen while I’m driving. This happened to Ugly Green Chair a few years back. As a kid I had a pair simply snap and fall off of my face while I was sitting completely still watching television.

** I know because I found a camera phone picture of myself wearing them in my Flickr stream dated November 12th, 2006.

· comments [25] · 11-30-2007 · categories:shopping ·

links: Seattle

Urban Craft Uprising is this weekend! Sat. and Sun., Dec. 1st & 2nd at Seattle Center, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

new antique shop in Georgetown, at Mid Beacon Hill blog

Looking for good hotels and wineries in Washington State wine country. at Ask Metafilter

Kubota Garden, at Mid Beacon Hill. I have a guidebook that I bought when we moved to Seattle saying that the Kubota Gardens are closed, I’m so glad to find they are not.

Right, still have not gotten to Boeing Surplus. is a Columbia City wiki, via Slog.

What to do in the Pacific Northwest next week? at Ask Metafilter

update: The Punk Rock Flea Market is this Saturday, Dec. 1st from 10 a.m. to midnight.

· comments [6] · 11-30-2007 · categories:seattle ·

links: food

Gluten free sugar cookie recipe? at Ask Metafilter

How to find beer brewing yeast to match my favorite brands? at Ask Metafilter

I am craving slow-cooked goodness. Please share your favorite crock-pot recipes! at Ask Metafilter

Just bought a new slow cooker. What are your favorite recipes? at Ask Metafilter

What was the greatest thing before sliced bread came along? at Ask Metafilter

Seattle does donuts at Chow, which points to the new to me blog Cakespy, I’m so glad I found you Cakespy.

Welcome back, chestnut! at Chow. When I was a kid my dad brought home excellent chestnuts, they peeled easily and the papery layer came off, they were large and sweet and all other chestnuts since have been a disappointment. I wonder what kind they were?

A real life experience with groaty pudding at Redacted Recipes. She ended up using steel cut oats though, not nearly the same thing as groats. I’m more determined to make this now.

a running out the door recipe of Pork Tenderloin Steakettes with Salsa Cream Sauce, at Hogwash

really nice looking Fever-Tree mixers, at Da*xiang

cream cheese chocolate cupcakes at How About Orange

How to Cook Moist and Tender Chicken Breasts at The Kitchen

Ah! Rolo pretzel turtles at Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen. So simple and happy! via The Kitchen.

links to outrageously good looking recipes at Bake and Shake

Lake Erie Creamery Chèvre, things back in Ohio must have really changed since we left! at The Kitchen

Potato Bread at Food Chronicles

· comments [10] · 11-29-2007 · categories:food ·

I’m knitting another sweater: beginning the collar

the sweater: Ribby Cardi
the yarn: Cotton Ease in Stone
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Slow progress – I’ve started the collar. I did not bind off along the top of the sweater, instead kept stitches live and, after seaming in the sleeves, I arranged them all onto a needle and started knitting upwards. I like the way it looks at the back of the neck. There were some stitches to catch along the center front curved area of on the collar. I wasn’t sure if I should pull up the stitches from below, or pick up stitches using the new yarn as I knit the first row (as in: knit one, pick one up, knit one). I pulled them up but suspect this was the wrong way to go. [Read more →]

· comments [7] · 11-28-2007 · categories:knitting ·

links: tech

what monitor to buy? at Swiss Miss

tips for using the web to run your business at Tiffany Brown

help me update my coding skills at Ask Metafilter

hand crank radio with an audio input so you can listen to your iPod, at Ask Metafilter

help me decide on a cheap SLR camera at Ask Metafilter

First DSLR. Should I choose the Nikon D40x or the Canon Rebel XTi? at Ask Metafilter

Canon Digital Rebel XTi vs Nikon D40x at DP Notes

about the Nikon D40 at Ken Rockwell

· comments [11] · 11-27-2007 · categories:technology ·

links: the home

cute file clips at See Jane Work via Apartment Therapy

urban wall graphics at Swiss Miss, I really like these

moon in my room, a phases of the moon light for kids, at Hearthsong, via Mighty Goods

felt wine rack at Swiss Miss

decorating your toilet tank at Modern Cottage

eco-friendly paint round up at AT:Green

make your own fabric softening sheets at AT:Green

pretty custom cork board at Design*Sponge

Lotta Jansdotter sticky notes via the comments on this post, my thanks!

saving money this winter by winterizing your home, at AT:Green

world map wall sticker at Better Living Through Designs

· comments [2] · 11-26-2007 · categories:the home ·

Osgood Pie

Happy Thanksgiving, here is my family’s recipe for Osgood Pie. I only recently learned that it’s a take off of traditional Vinegar Pie. It’s one of those foods I grew up eating during the holidays and thought everybody had it. Turns out, not so much. I’ve been enjoying introducing it to people, especially because not everybody likes it (which is ok).

Some versions of this recipe call for beating the butter and sugar together, but we’ve always just tossed everything in there and it’s just fine, and it cuts down on the number of dirty bowls. This pie separates as it cooks leaving a sweet crumbly layer on top, and a gooey layer on bottom. Let it cook to room temperature before eating, it tastes even better the next day.

Osgood Pie
makes two pies

Preheat oven to 475.

Mix together:

4 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. alspice
1/4 cup butter (melted and cooled but still liquid)
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans, chopped or broken
3 Tbsp. white vinegar

Fold in:

4 egg whites, beaten stiff

Pour mixture into two pie shells (just the bottoms).

Put into oven and turn temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is an even, dark brown. Allow to cool to room temperature before eating.

· comments [20] · 11-22-2007 · categories:food · recipes ·

30% Off at Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books is currently having a Friends (that’s you!) and Family sale. Enter the promo code FRIENDS at checkout and get 30% off and free shipping. It’s running through November 28th so you’ve got a week.

Here are some of the books that catch my eye, and these are just the ones in the Craft section: Softies, Amy Butler’s Sew-It Kit, Amy Butler’s In Stitches, Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing, Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart, and her Stitch-It Kit, Subversive Cross Stitch, Denyse Schmidt Quilts and Craft Inc.

· comments [6] · 11-21-2007 · categories:books · shopping ·

links: shopping, beauty, misc

giant round balloon, so nice, at Oh Happy Day

I’ve decided I miss having long hair. Any suggestions on ways to speed up hair growth? at Ask Metafilter

Mitigating a bad haircut at Ask Metafilter

Zero Zero salon in Seattle was recommended as a place to get a bad haircut fixed, and the comments at Yelp support that

Why do people want to dance at a wedding reception? at Ask Metafilter

Help perfume me at Ask Metafilter, points to the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab which has lines of perfumes based on Neil Gaiman, interesting.

How do nice people do it? at Ask Metafilter

DIY pore clearing strips at Brownie Points

KABACLIP Contact Lens Case hangs on the neck of your contact solution bottle, neat, at Cool Tools

recommended business books for women, a fantastic list by OrangeBeautiful at the Design*Sponge Guest Blog

I’m unacceptably uninformed about the presidential hopefuls. Are there any good sites/articles offering summaries, breakdowns and/or analyses of the candidates’ views/opinions on key issues? at Ask Metafilter

Plutoprodukter, at Freshly Blended

recommend games for a stereotypical girl gamer at Ask Metafilter

Cool Old Stuff

· comments [15] · 11-21-2007 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

I’m knitting another sweater: more of the second sleeve

the sweater: Ribby Cardi
the yarn: Cotton Ease in Stone
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I’m half way done with my second sleeve, and I got my Ravelry invite today. Ravelry, in case you don’t already know (of course you do, you’re hip and well informed like that) is a community for knitters and crocheters. A little bit like Flickr, and a little bit like a great big blog network and database of patterns, yarns and tools, it’s intricately connected to itself, Flickr and RSS feeds from blogs in a way that makes it very useful indeed. It’s proved quite the time suck in the eight hours or so that I’ve been poking around. It’s in beta so you have to have a sign in to look around, and they are uber popular right now so it’ll take about two weeks to get your invite after you request one (right hand side of the home page), but it looks like you will get one.

Through Ravelry I came across this new (new to me?) pattern by Chicknits, Twist, that might be what I use my Chocolate brown Berocco Comfort yarn to make. Pretty but still fairly simple. [Read more →]

· comments [5] · 11-20-2007 · categories:knitting ·

links: craft

wood fabric at Craft

cute party invite at Happy Mundane

Jenny Hart on business at Boss Lady

pop-out 3D christmas cards at Swiss Miss

gocco printing basic tutorial via Happy Katie

the next Sew U book will be about knits! at Angry Chicken

How to use Eyelets in your bags at U-Handblog

I kinda like this black knitted cape for Halloween maybe? at Go Fug Yourself

· comments [1] · 11-20-2007 · categories:craft ·

Everyday Food recipes I use

The other week Carrie left a comment saying that Issue #1 of Everyday Food had gone on Ebay for $50. I have that issue, I have a full stack of Everyday Food magazines up to number 25. I stopped buying them, I think, because we bought this house and suddenly my world was filled with painting and not spending money.

Anyhow, after hearing about the Ebay thing I decided to look at whether I use the magazines. The answer is, not so much anymore. There are a handful of recipes we like and I refer to, but all of those are on and I have printed out ages ago since the Everyday Food magazine is nearly impossible to keep open on my kitchen counter. I also printed them because finding the recipes was always a chore, after spending way to look looking through table of contents for that one chicken thyme, maybe oregano?, recipe I took to bookmarking anything that looked promising:

Which resulted in me hunting through bookmarks to find recipes. Still frustrating. I started something like this very nice Everyday Food Magazine Index, but then came the moving and the painting. I’ve downloaded that index and it’s a-ok.

I’ve considered getting rid of them (or now, of course, selling them on Ebay) but then comes the holidays and there are a few issues promising a trouble-free Thanksgiving or with lots of cookies on the cover and I think they might be useful again. The magazines are cheerful looking enough, but still take up quite a lot of space.

I have no way of substantiating the Issue #1 Ebay fetching price other than watching the a current auction to see how it goes, or I could just call to see if I can purchase a back issue. If they still have it it might not be worth as much as I hope.

So, here for my own reference are the recipes I use, a lot of these have become more reference points, and some I only made once but liked. I use fewer recipes than I have issues, it might be time to sell ’em.


Roasted Pork Loin with Pearl Onions

Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

Sauteed Pork Chops

Pan-Seared Steak

Grilled Pepper-Crusted Sirloin

Garlic-Roasted Chicken Breasts

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream

Chicken Parmigiana with Easy Chunky Tomato Sauce

Sauteed Chicken in Mustard-Cream Sauce

Spinach Pie

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms

Quick Beef Stew with Cauliflower Puree

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

Hummus Vegetable Sandwich


Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Italian Sauteed Kale

Mushroom Ragout


Frozen Mocha Toffee-Crunch Terrine

Cornmeal-Cherry Cookies

· comments [28] · 11-19-2007 · categories:food · recipes ·

links: food

roasted stuffed onions at Smitten Kitchen

no-knead bread in a hurry at The Kitchen

homemade chicken stock at The Kitchen

simple rosemary roast beef at Hogwash

no oven required, pan fried pizza at the NY Times

in praise of quinoa at Chow

groaty pudding, I must try to make this

how to caramelize onions at The Kitchen

should I buy a crockpot? at Ask Metafilter

do I need a smaller crockpot? at Ask Metafilter

dulce de leche ideas at Brownie Points

Thanksgiving cooking at Cool Hunting, check out that silicone turkey harness

pumpkin waffles at Smitten Kitchen

chana masala at Thimble

the magic of salt-roasting at Chow

fancy cupcake wrappers at The Kitchen, I’ve been seeing these mentioned everywhere but I didn’t realize how many styles there were

pie crust 101 at Smitten Kitchen

hapiness is shared donuts at Brownie Points

· comments [8] · 11-19-2007 · categories:food ·

Escali Primo digital kitchen scale

On Monday I wrote about wanting a kitchen scale for both baking and being able to print my own postage. I was consider something slim and silver until a few people (thank you!) recommended a Escali Primo digital scale. I took a peek on Amazon and this is what I saw:

Oh baby. And it comes in orange! It’s like it was meant to be. The scale has gotten really happy reviews on Amazon and it’s got all the features I need – grams or ounces, 11 pound capacity, tare and has a small footprint. One commenter from Monday mentioned you can find the plain white one at Target.

· comments [31] · 11-15-2007 · categories:food · shopping ·

how the stew turned out

The stew was good, not great, but definitely comfort food that was easy to prepare. I threw the small potatoes about two hours before serving, an hour before I threw in chopped carrots and celery and turned it to high. I think the meat and onions could have benefited from another hour or two of slow cooking, meaning I could have started it at 8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. The onions did that thing where the layers pop out when you push on it, so worth not just chopping them up. And the no-knead bread went perfectly with it. I think the crock pot thing is going to become a habit.

· comments [17] · 11-15-2007 · categories:food ·