Monday, July 30, 2007

state of the union

ok, maybe not the union. how about tour de fleece?

i always do this. i sign up for something with a deadline, and while i'm not under that deadline, i go great guns. the minute i sign up? it falls to crap. here's all i got done for tour de fleece.

this is 640 yards of fingering/sportweight domestic wool, 2-ply. this had been spun up before the tour started, but i plied it for the tour. there was no name on this (i bought it at the ROOTS convention that the local spinners/weavers guild held in blair), so i'm naming it jazzy-bel. i hated how it looked when i spun it, but plying it was fun! and yes, it's hanging from my door knocker on my front door. when i took this pic, i'd waited too long, and the stoop was in f ull sunshine. this was as close to natural light as i could get. it's actually pretty accurate, except the purple is a little brighter.

then there's this:

this is blimey, from tara. i'm spinning this up for deawn. and yes, in case you can't tell, it's practically froghair! she wanted navajo plied sockweight, so i'm spinning this as finely as i can. i'm actually farther along than this shows, but i've been having a hard time getting it spun up. i have discovered that i'm not really good with monochromatic roving. it bores me to tears. this is superwash merino, and very nice stuff to work with, just driving me batty! and yes, that is ALL i got done during the tour.
before the tour? i was spinning like a loon!
same for the L&V Sock Marathon. I'd been making socks left & right (mostly for charity), and then they announced this, and i fell flat on my face. my goal for SIX MONTHS? 2 miles. what i got done? 1735 yards. 25 yards short of ONE mile. sigh.
and the MS3? i have to admit, i did start over, because the needle i had was too big. remind me to investigate addi lace turbos again, they're very nice. i just coudln't afford to buy ANOTHER set of needles, so i took them back, and replaced them with addi turbos (they didn't have any in the size i wanted in lace needles ) in size 1. however, i'm still barely into chart B! i'm on row 53, at this point. i figure i'll finish clue 1 about the time everybody else is finished, lol. no matter. as long as it's done in time for christmas, i'm in like flynn. i'm making this for my SIL. this is being made with the alpaca laceweight i bought in conjunction with Laurie 2 years ago (she found a good deal, and they would split the cone onto smaller cones. i bought 4 oz, and according to her, i'm the first to do anything with it, lol!). the beads i bought are bigger than what they'd asked for in the pattern, but i like how they're settling in, so i'm leaving them. they're a pinky/red in size 6/0. the pattern had called for 8/0. however, since when have y'all known me to stick strictly to a pattern?
ok, one more bit, and then i have to go pick up liam from band (again!)
i was driving home, and at an intersection near my house, they were painting the crosswalks. the bimbo in front of me sat through TWO stoplight cycles, waiting for the guys, even though they'd gotten out of the way both times. she finally decided to drive AROUND them, through the next red light! there was a couple at the light in the opposite direction, and they honked (i had too, but this was beyond that!) and the male passenger yelled "yo, bitch! get out the way, ho!" oh yeah, classy. makes me real hopeful for future generations, sigh.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


this woman is abso-frigging-lutely amazing! i think i'd go blind!

Monday, July 23, 2007

holy crap, indeed!

this is fucking amazing. go see. (thanks, rabbitch, this was really cool!

product recall

there's a product recall from castleberry, a food processor in Georgia (it's that georgia thing, again! the peanut butter was from georgia!)

here's the brands recalled

apparently there's a botulism scare. oy!

thought y'all would want to know.

Friday, July 20, 2007

i has questionz!

Fillyjonk ran across this thing where a friend asked her 5 questions, and she had to answer them on her blog. then she said she'd ask 5 questions for anyone who requested them, so here they are, with the answers.

1. I know you have culinary training. What was the most fun and what was the least fun part of it?
The most fun? The Garde Manger & Buffet service class. We got to do a food sculpture, as well as ice sculpture, and set up display platters for 3 different buffets we did. That and being able to work with ingredients i'll never have in my own home (like truffles!).

The least fun? The absolute worst was Quality Control class. It was exclusively a classroom class, no hands on, and the note taking consisted of filling out pre-printed worksheets. On top of that, it was right after lunch service (that was an actual class; we'd prepare lunch, then serve it to the college students), and the teacher had a very monotonous voice. Needless to say, people did fall asleep in the class (one poor guy even snored!).

2. If you were going to open a restaurant (money is no object), what type of food would you serve and what would the restaurant be like?
I think i'd open a sandwich/coffee shop, with an adjoining yarn shop. I used to have all kinds of high flown ideas when i was younger, but as i've gotten older, my priorities have changed a bit. Now, they wouldn't be ordinary sandwiches (i've not gotten THAT boring), but fun stuff like oriental fusion chicken salad wrap, or chipotle grilled tuna pita pocket with field greens. drooling yet?

3. What is your favorite fiber type to spin or knit with?
i love spinning merino. i learned with merino, and i just adore it, still. to knit? alpaca. it's sooooooooo soft!

4. Describe one particularly kind or touching thing Mark has done for you.
ok, grab the hankie. Mark took my boys into his heart, no questions asked. Even though he's never had children of his own, and had actually been living on his own for 3 or 4 years, and had been single for 8 years, when we started dating (he'd had roommates for a while after his first wife left), he never hesitated. NEVER. Sean can be difficult, and for those who remember, has had some rough going. last summer was extremely tough. still, no hesitation. he will tell you "those are my boys." the only reason why he hasn't adopted them yet, is because they're attached to their last name (it's unique). at least that's what the boys say. But if they ever say "Dad, i want you to adopt me" we'll be calling a lawyer that day.

5. What's your favorite movie?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (imagine that, today of all days!)
however, the kitschy sneaky part of my heart says A Walk in the Clouds, with Keanu Reeves. what can i say, i'm a sucker for dark hair and gorgeous eyes.

And now i'll open it up for anyone else who is interested! Who wants questionz?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

a few things i've noticed

*there must be little quality package control over at sunmaid raisins. i just opened a box of golden raisins, and there was one squished in the seal!

*recycling is easier than i thought. at least in the summer. if i empty something that i know is recyclable, i just give it to a boy, and they carry it out to the bin. in fact, until i emptied the door on the freezer (it got left ajar last week, and everything in the door spoiled, so i had to throw it all away, except the flours), we only had one trash can. rare for us. i'm reducing our carbon footprint (i almost typed that foodprint, lol!)

*despite everything i've done on my end, the cable is running abyssmally slow. sigh.

*liam is absolutely burning through the sword of truth series. i started him on it at the beginning of the summer, and he's finished #7. there are 11 in the series. and they're not tiny books. at least 500 pages a piece! not to mention everything else he's been reading! reminds me of me at that age, when i had nothing to do but read in the summer (i would hide out in my room, and listen to my radio and read till all hours of the night.

*i missed spinning on the 15th, but since the 16th was a rest day, it worked out, and i just spun on the 16th! wouldn't you know it, i am on a major spinning jag, sign up for this thing, and all of a sudden, MS3 and squares of cotton ease mean more. sigh.

*i missed my L&V marathon goal. i had put in for 2 miles, and was 25 yards short of one mile. oh well. they were all for charity.

summer rite

this is something we do EVERY year, even if i have to buy fresh tomatoes at the farmer's market (last year comes to mind, we didn't have a garden).

BLT's. my family are bacon freaks. we buy bacon by the 10# box, so it's cheaper (i paid 9.90 for the last box), and eat it like mad. and it's not just mark, the boys, and I. steph adores bacon, and so does my baby brother. in fact, one year, i home-cured & smoked sidepork, and made bacon for bob for christmas. he adored it!

anyway, i don't have any tomatoes beyond the grape ones i keep getting. the rest just keep getting bigger & bigger. even the plum tomatoes! (the ones in the stores are going to look like babies!) mark's folks' garden patch gets more sun than ours does, so they actually had a few ripe ones. they had BLT's for lunch saturday, so they gave us the rest of t heir tomatoes.

guess what we had for lunch. i ALWAYS use french bread, mayonnaise (blech! miracle whip stinks!), and any leafy green. i've even used spinach, but green leaf or romaine is the best. we used romaine this time.

the toll? we had 14 sandwiches (the french bread loaf was small in diameter). we ate the whole loaf of bread, a pound of bacon, and 1 big-boy tomato, 2 smaller round tomatoes, and 2 pear tomatoes! that was for 3 of us! i can't wait for our tomatoes to get ripe! the boys & i may have BLT's for the rest of the summer! (mark dislikes raw tomatoes to the point he won't eat BLT's. i'll eat them in certain things, like BLT's)

there goes my pg-13 rating!


The parish priest went on a fishing trip.On the last day of his trip he hooked a monster fish and proceededto reel it in.The guide, holding a net, yelled, "Look at the size of that Son ofa Bitch!""Son, I'm a priest. Your language is uncalled for!""No, Father, that's what kind of fish it is - a Son of a Bitch fish!""Really? Well then, help me land this Son of a Bitch!"Once in the boat, they marveled at the size of the monster."Father, that's the biggest Son of a Bitch I've ever seen""Yes, it is a big Son of a Bitch. What should I do with it?""Why, eat it! Of course. You've never tasted anything as good asSon of a Bitch!"Elated, the priest headed home to the rectory.

While unloading his gear and his prize catch, Sister Mary inquired about his trip."Take a look at this big Son of a Bitch I caught!"Sister Mary gasped and clutched her rosary, "Father!""It's OK, Sister. That's what kind of fish it is, a Son of a Bitch fish!""Oh, well then, what are you going to do with that big Son of a Bitch?"Sister Mary informed the priest that the new Bishop was scheduledto visit in a few days and that they should fix the Son of a Bitch for hisdinner."I'll even clean the Son of a Bitch", she said.As she was cleaning the huge fish, the Friar walked in."What are you doing Sister?""Father wants me to clean this big Son of a Bitch for the newBishop's Dinner""Sister! I'll clean it if you're so upset! Please watch your language!""No, no, no, it's called a Son of a Bitch Fish.""Really? Well, in that case, I'll fix up a great meal to go withit, and that Son of a Bitch can be the main course!Let me know when you've finished cleaning that Son of a Bitch."

On the night of the new Bishop's visit, everything was perfect.The Friar had prepared an excellent meal.The wine was fine, and the fish was excellent.The new Bishop said, "This is great fish, where did you get it?""I caught that Son of a Bitch!" proclaimed the proud priest."And I cleaned the Son of a Bitch!" exclaimed the Sister.The Friar added, "And I prepared the Son of a Bitch, using aspecial recipe!The new Bishop looked around at each of them.A big smile crept across his face as he said,"You fuckers are my kind of people!

Friday, July 13, 2007

this was quoted to me as an oldie

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table And poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the Empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled."I'm glad you asked". It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

always room.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

woohoo, titles!

i know, i know, really original.

hmmmmm. what do you want to know? i know!

my afternoon with miss vi & the knitting idiot aka beth. my god, i had fun! beth arrived while i was packing orders, and i continued with thank yous while they chitchatted. i just sat there and laughed, lol. then i took sean to the library to do a "make your own clock" class (i love these "teen" classes they've offered this year! they did a "mystery dinner" last month that both boys went to, and thoroughly enjoyed (the menu? tacos & nachos, lol!)), and the games began! we were originally going to go to the farmer's market, but discovered the downtown one no longer operates on wednesdays any more (hey, vi! mark told me it's been relocated to boystown! more investigation is needed, i see!)

so, we decided to convene at personal threads. god, i love that place. i never used to like it, but there's been a few changes, and i heartily approve. as miss vi needed some coffee first, beth asked if we could stop @ a craft store so she could pick up a few needed things. would you believe they don't carry the toggles on sweatshirts? the lady in the fabric department agreed that they really do need to carry them. so she only ended up getting ribbon (and the poor guy who checked her out? i think he primarily works in the back, because he almost forgot her discount (the ribbon was on sale!)). then, because the line had been so long, we decided to skip hancock fabrics (she knew THEY carried the toggles she needed), since we didn't want to strand miss vi at personal threads alone (god knows what damage she would have done to her credit card without us to restrain her (we won't discuss the yummy skeins i kept finding, and tempting her with (tibet silk, and cashmere laceweight!))) (there goes my infamous parenthetical love!), we hustled our fannies down there, to find she hadn't arrived yet.

for those of you who have been to personal threads in person, you know they put a 40% off bucket/shelf in the doorway. le sigh. i resisted temptation. i was there as back-up. beth was after sweater yarn. then i saw the austerman sock yarn with the aloe in it. and such tasty colors! i still stood firm. then miss vi appeared, and i started having fun distracting her with tasty skeins. and joe. omg! he is so funny! and so helpful! and such an ENABLER! he's the one who put the cashmere laceweight in my hands originally.

and then i fell. boom. admittedly, i haven't been buying much yarn this year. like i need to! i ran across the koigu basket. i know y'all have heard of the koigu wall. well, this basket is located near there, full of lonely singles & doubles, and discontinued colors. i normally only wear red on football saturdays (when i remember, lol). i've been told it's a good color for me (particularly since i quit dyeing my hair), but i'm just not a red person. however, several bright red skeins of KPM leapt out at me. that's when joe stepped in (almost literally!). i had 3 in my hands, and he took one and set it aside, as its color didn't match the other two as well (variations in the same dyelot, i believe). i looked down at the remainders, heard him say "those two go together much better," and then heard hosannahs sung on high. MINE! i clutched them to my chest, and did not release them until i paid forthem. then there was the sockotta perched so cunningly above aforementioned koigu basket. we were admiring all the interesting colors, and joe said "this does its own fair isle." however, the skein that sung to me? reminded me of tropical birds and citrus drinks. SNATCH! this one huddled in with the koigu, and got comfy. at that point, i said "no more!" and turned to the saleslady and paid for it quickly! i have found that this is a good antidote to further purchases. i really didn't do too bad. i only spent about $30. but still. thud. right off the wagon. i'm thinking fawkes for the red (if it's the right weight, i have to look at the pattern), and monkey socks for the sockotta.

then we absconded out to miss vi's, and sat around and shot the shit til i had to go pick liam up at the library (mark was a lovely husband, and picked up sean from his class, and dropped liam off for his volunteer duty, hence freeing me up for this afternoon of fun & frivolity!)

what a lovely day! and, apparently, another lady from the L&V message board is coming july 24th! (she'll actually be here on the23rd, but that is zoo day, lol). another excuse to go into the shadow of the valey of yarn!

i shall fear no evil, for thou art knitted with me.
thy needles & thy bodkin, they comfort me

i better stop, now, before i offend someone!

but i may continue again later!

oh, and a bodkin? here

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

go see!

dig this


call the men in the white coats

call the men in white coats (and the shift+tab thingie didn'twork!) edit: the titles areworking again, now if only my space barwould behave!

on several accounts!

1) i went & weeded my garden sunday night. at 10 pm. yes it was dark. but not so dark i couldn't differentiate tomato plants from weeds. i got 6 grape tomatoes earlier in the day, which the boys sucked down like they didn't exist (granted, these things were the size of my pinky!) i've also got buttloads of plum tomatoes (roma), and other tomatoes, but not a ripening one in the bunch. i did get 2 more grape tomatoes today, though (sean hoovered those). i've also got pepperage going. the eggplants were in the shade for part of the summer (i'd show you my garden, but then the city might see, and then i'd REALLY have to clean things up), so they're just now getting some growth to them. hopefully, we'll see some blooms, soon. (the one thing i didn't get? mosquito bites. for some reason, they just don't like me this year. really bothers me, let me tell ya!)

2) i signed up for the MS3. in my defense, i've had a cone of 1500 yds of medium grey laceweight alpaca that i got from laurie, for 2 years. she'd found a deal on a pound of this stuff, and they agreed to recone it in 4 oz helpings, so i agreed to help her out. i've been hunting for a pattern for it. sooooooooo, off i went to hobby lobby, and found some beads on sale (lovely reddish/pinkish beads that go so well with it (i was initally looking for something a little less . . . garish, but they were out of most of the bigger beads, and these aren't too bad. i'll take photos when i get a chance (or think of it, lol). believe it or not, my hobby lobby also carried the dangerous crochet hooks, so between my beads & hook, itcost me under $5! my downfall were the addi lace turbos i bought at personal threads. still, i only spent an additional $23 total. i'm thinking i'll gift this to my SIL, since she's allergic to wool, and she cried over the last shawl i made for her.

3) i was sorely tempted to go to the opening of HP5 tonight. i hadn't realized it was opening midweek, until i saw carin was going to meet a coworker at the only theater that is having a midnight showing tonight. one small problem. the movie is over 2 hours long (i looked it up!) and i have to be at my mom's at 10 tomorrow morning for her pacemaker check (i love that they can do it over the phone!). midnight showing + over 2 hours of movie + needing to get up eearly = cranky minnie. that and the fact that the boys are STILL AWAKE (it's 1040 pm right now) (i just heard sean yelling at liam, i may just go to the damned movie by myself on thursday!), and i really don't feel comfortable leaving for that long while they're still up and terrorizing each other.

4) i joined tour de fleece. well dammit, i was going to show you a pic of the roving i'd just finished plying, but apparently, my camera card was too full, and i didn't see it, so i've got nuttin'! anyway, this isn't nearly so much a stretch as i'm always spinning anyway. in fact, right now i'm spinning up some of tara's roving for deawn. not quite sure what i'm getting out of it, other than hilarious stories about recent funerals for notorious deaths in the city (you knew she worked at a funeral home when she's here in the states, didn't you?)(and go check this out, i about DIED when i saw it! i think i may just have to make one for myself!)

anybody wanna hear waht i've been reading? and yes, i've been reading, i've just been lax about talking about it.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (book cd in the house. this one is going slow, as i've discovered the joys of a DVR, and am trying to catch up on a backlog of shows (creative juice, i love you, but you may just have to go))

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book cd in the car) i ended up listening to these out of order because there was a huge queue for this one. funny, it still came before OOTP. i better hurry if i want to hear all of them before the new one comes out (egad, 10 days!)

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan. i actually had to check this book out twice, because someone requested it before i had finished, and there was no way i'd get it done before i'd get a fine. i'm actually enjoying it this time around. it's book 3 of the wheel of time series. (i've got 4& 5 on book cd, which will happen after HP4 & HP5)

Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits, by Robin McKinley. this is a YA book, but it's 6 short stories, and very good. i don't mind the YA label at all!

and on that note, imust fly. my spacebar is hosed (hush, eliza!), and i'mtired of pounding on it to make it work. sigh.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rocking Girl Blogger!

i'm a rockstar! thanks to itgirl, she nominated me a rockin' girl blogger.

apparently, i'm supposed to nominate 5 more. here we go!

Miss Vi (who is a rockstar in her own right!)

ok, ladies, do your thing!

(and look, 2 posts this week! woohoo!)

Edit: it's easy. save the button to your computer (because hotlinking is a baaaaaaaad thing), then post it, and nominate 5 more! share the love!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


it's been pointed out to me by certain, ahem, people, that i haven't posted in 2 weeks. sorry!

i've thought about it. honest i have. i've just been. . . lackluster, i spose. i have been spinning like a madwoman. i got both nightshade & tulip from spunky eclectic as a part of her fiber club. i donated the nightshade to claudia, for the MS ride prize basket.
i wasn't terribly impressed with this colorway, until i got it in the sun. then all the colors just glowed! the fiber was coopworth, which i've never spun before, but it was a pleasurable spin. i almost decided to keep it, and then decided it would do more good for claudia. let's hope sh e got #1 for next year! considering she set a new goal of $30K and blew right past it to over $40K? i think so. we knitters rock!
then there's this little lovely:
This little lovely is tulip. In roving form, it most definitely made me think of tulips. however, spun up? it's a little different. thanks to miss vi for taking this picture. didn't it turn out just lovely? it's BFL, which i've never spun before, but it's niiiiiiiiiiiice. i'm keeping this one!

i've also done some knitting & crocheting.these socks, according to carin, are at least a size 11, lol. i hope there are mongolians who have big feet. these were knit almost exclusively in the car (stop lights are good for 3 or 4 stitches!), and while waiting for the kids. they're shortrowed toes & heels, done toe up. i had always thought i preferred top down until i found this. i'm a convert! i'll still do top down where appropriate, but i likee!

let's just move on, shall we? i don't know quite what went wrong with this sweater, but it's wearable, so off to mongolia it went.
this hat went to mongolia as well. it's redheart jumbo in bright yellow, and some handspun i got in a secret pal exchange. the handspun was very nice to work with. i had originally started this as single crochet, but it was coming up weird, and funky, and would not lay right, so i switched to half double. and this little beauty popped up. took me one night at S&B, plus a little more time in the morning, and it just FLEW off my hook! good thing, as i needed to mail it in 2 days!

this hat was some mystery blue fuzzy stuff from my charity stash in bulky weight, along with oceanos malabrigo. this hat is tasty. i almost kept it for myself, but the call for adult clothing wore me down, and off to mongolia it went. this one is single crochet, but i think it worked better than the above hat because it was done on a size N hook, while the above was done on an I. i was going to switch to an N, but it went awol on me. sigh.

ok, i'm getting worn out with all this posting, so i'll just vanish for now. i promise i'll be back.

EDIT: i don't know why, but blogger insists on putting a huge space at the end of this post. who knows!