Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow....

     I have a million things left to do before 8am, when I must open the Post Office for a few hours...and then home to our Christmas Eve Feast (which is not quite yet finished)...but I had to jump on here and tell you about the mail run today.


We had snow, like the rest of New England. We got about 9 inches, topped off with a lovely crust of ice.

A White Christmas!!!

But, back to the ice...
Chris has plowed, sanded, shoveled, back-hoed the places the plow wouldn't reach, and sanded some more. it's really as good as it's going to get. It's just too cold for the ice to melt. What are you gonna do? 
I'd stay home.  But the Post Office has this rule about always getting the mail through...and they don't care if the boat ramp is covered with 3 solid inches of ice. So, off I go.

I knew the roads were slippery. I'd already fallen the day before, so I was gingerly picking my way across our driveway, etc. (think: the snow equivalent of gun-shy). I made arrangements with (read: bribed) The Big Guy to swap out the mail for me. At the designated hour, I picked him up, and drove to the Town Dock, where the mailboat comes in. 
It was, naturally, dead-low-tide. 
That ramp was straight vertical.
And covered in ice.  *(Chris had thrown sand down it. I knew it wouldn't help me one bit, except to embed in my skin when I slid down the length of the ramp...)
But Paul wasn't at the dock- he was holding the boat back a ways. He hollered out, "I can't pull up to the float- there's ice on the water, and it will get sucked into my exhaust."
Now I don't know what that means, but the end result is that he won't pull to the float.
Um, so am I supposed to swim to ya?

No, he said, he'll have to go over to the other dock. I had to think about this one. Other dock? This is the only dock that's had any ...attention...since the snowstorm. There's the ferry pier, but it's dead-low-tide, and about 20 feet from the water to the pier. Nobody's aim is that good!
And there's David's wharf, the buy car where we sell lobsters. I looked over there. Nobody's been down since it snowed. Nothing is shoveled. The ramp there is also in a vertical position.
But there goes Paul, headed over. 
Uh, ok.
I drove over to the wharf. There are 482 stairs from the road to the wharf. And there were footprints, so somebody had been down. While I thought about who I could get to tend my life while I recuperated from the countless injuries I was about to encounter, I realized the truck was sliding on ice. That whole side of the island sort of...slants...towards the harbor. That did it for me!
I jumped out of the truck as fast as I could. It only slid a few inches, but that was enough to scare the pants offa me!
By this time, The Big Guy has lost ALL patience with this whole situation; Paul's reluctance to dock, my inadequate ice-driving skills, and the fact that there were 15 boxes and 3 mail bags waiting to be delivered. 
Up 482 stairs. 
He went down those stairs 3 at a time. When he got to the ramp, he took 2 steps, and had to drop the outgoing mail bag to keep from sliding into the water. Paul said, no-no, I'll come up with some of this stuff...and made it 3 steps before he was sliding back down. 
I would have been laughing, if I wasn't so busy chewing my fingernails. We've already had 2 guys overboard in the harbor; I was sure I was watching the next two.
I decided that reinforcements were in order. The ramp was un-passable. We'd have to dump all the mail there on the dock, pick it up with a skiff, bring it to the Town float, wait for the tide to come in some, and get the mail up the ramp then. 
I made a couple of phone calls, to get somebody to run a skiff over to the Big Guy and all the mail...but, news travels fast 'round here (most of the houses are clustered around the harbor; some people could watch our antics from their living rooms), and neither guy answered their phones.....
And so...
Paul dumped the mail, and left.
The Big Guy stomped back up the 482 stairs, in a VERY festive mood.
We drove back over to the Town dock. He got in his skiff, and put-putted over to the wharf. Took him 3 trips to get all the mail across the harbor. I slid down the ramp on my butt, and helped him unload the skiff.  I grabbed the lightest of the mail bags, and fell on the ramp 3 times before I quit. "Waiting for the tide," I said. "I'm done. " And I went up the ramp leaning over the rail, so my feet barely touched the floor, praying the rail wouldn't pick that moment, with me 12 feet off the ground, to break off...
The Big Guy was fighting a mail bag up when Davie drove up. Davie helped him get the rest of the boxes up, and I loaded them. 
And I tell you, if it weren't for those two guys being there this afternoon, I would have had no other choice but to have yelled to Paul- take it back with you, and send it on the ferry tomorrow! 

Can you just see me getting in a skiff???? 

I leave you with this solemn vow: 
I will have a hoist and boom at the ferry pier, so help me God.
And you know I will not stop, not BUDGE, until it is installed.


But, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Tomorrow is the feast that I wait all year for. It's all my favorite dishes, all in one day!
I will likely not be blogging until after the festivities, to let the annual Pepto Bismol -fest run it's course, but I have lots of news, some knitting (I won't be able to show a lot, my gifts are not given out yet!!), and a couple of funny stories (including the 'man overboard in the harbor' one), but here's a preview:

smoked clams
hot crab dip
bacon wrapped scallops
shrimp cocktail with super spicy horseradish sauce
cold lobster salad

Lobster Fra Diavolo with angel hair pasta
Baked Stuffed Lobsters, with scallops and shrimp
Stuffed Shrimp
Stuffed clams
clam fritters
mussels steamed in garlic and white wine
crab cakes

and if you aren't moaning on the couch:
pecan pie
cherry pie
toll house pie
biscottis
The Frosted cookies
stained glass windows
amaretto and kahlua truffles
pizzeles


I LOVE CHRISTMAS EVE!

And that's why, Christmas Day, we make two things:
 -a giant anitpasto platter, with salad, olives, vinegar peppers, portabella mushrooms, hot peppers, roasted peppers, cold cuts, parm cheese, smoked gouda, beets, and pickles. (Those last two are at thing Two's insistence.)
- and phyllo triangles filled with a sauteed mushroom mixture. (Actually a Weight Watchers recipe!! We love these, an they're fairly easy to do. I don't have a recipe, but I'll show you what to do next week.)

Merry Christmas, everybody!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Overheard...

Thing Two learned a joke. (From whence he learned this joke is a mystery, as he is rarely out of my sight...except for school.)


"What's invisible and smells like rabbit?"


"Bunny farts."


He mooned his father the other day, too.

Awesome.

**I have been informed that my husband, Father of said child, provided the joke. Punishments all around!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You've Got to Be Kidding.

This isn't funny anymore.

     We have had one storm after another for the past few weeks. Just when it seems the wind dies down, it picks back up again. The ferry cancelled Wednesday because of the weather (that's the 4th trip cancelled due to wind since October, for those of us counting). We had scheduled no school Wednesday and Thursday so we could all go off to Christmas and grocery shop (we build these days right into the school calendar so that there doesn't end up being only one or two kids at school for 2 days).
Well, that's OK; we're used to having to punt when it comes to weather ruling our lives. 
We re-grouped, decided to have school Wednesday, and take off Thursday-Friday instead. (We have a policy in place with the ferry service- if the ferry cancels Wednesday, there is a scheduled make up trip Friday. It was a long time coming, getting that policy in place, and we are very happy to have it.)
And all would have been right with the world...except that the boat ended up being pulled out of service to work on the pen at Swan's Island (due to some technical details that I don't fully understand. They needed the boat. Awesome.)
So, no trips Thursday, Friday, or Saturday either!
Ok...re-group again.
We decided to have school Thursday-Fri-Sat, the Xmas party Saturday night, and take off the following (this coming) Wed-Thursday.
Um, no.
We have our lovely art teacher, whom we all adore, Anne Claude Cotty, scheduled to visit those days. We cannot cancel art with Ms. Cotty!!
We re-grouped again.
After much haggling and debate, a bottle of wine, some tears, and a lot of swearing (hmm, who would that have been?) we settled on just having school every day but the first (original) Wednesday. Whoever really needs to go off the 17-18th, will just take the hit on the missed school days. It worked for the teachers who would have been the ones to really get tanked; parents have the option of pulling our kids out of school, the teachers are obligated to be there. They are leaving the island for Christmas, and didn't need to shop before then.
whew.

Then I sat down with phone and a calendar to figure out how to get mail to and from The Rock on those days....and minutes later...

... the ferry called to say they'd be able to run us a couple of trips...Thursday and Friday.
Oh. My. God.

Re-group, again. By this time, even I don't want to take calls from me!
 We decided to just leave the school schedule alone. 
(Seriously, I couldn't take any more, and I had only just begun to coordinate mail runs!)

The mail, I said, can come on the Thursday ferry. I'll juggle the mail schedule to use the Friday make-up trip to run mail Friday. And My Hero Paul will run for me Saturday.

And all was right with the world!

Nate brought the incoming mail on Wednesday night.
Thursday's mail went on and off the big ferry, hallelujah.

Aaaaaaand then it blew again, and the Friday boat cancelled. (yup, that's 5. Mother Nature? You'd already set a record by trip #3. Now KNOCK IT OFF.)
How am I not on Prozac?

Chris and Emmie ran mail Friday-both on and off (thank you guys...you're awesome!), plus picked up the stranded islanders who couldn't get home.

Paul Joy did the regular mail run Saturday.

Poor Chris; he ran his boat across Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
And we had to get Lewis to do an emergency run Saturday night;  Kay suffered a small stroke (she will be fine after a bit). Scary stuff.

Oh yeah,
     The Big Guy left today on the ferry to go after his dragging gear. (What? the ferry ran?)
He's going scallop dragging.
Trip fishing.
I'm going to be left here on the Rock all winter, alone, and outnumbered by my kids.
Awesome.

(This isn't the first time. Last time I was still nursing thing Two. The boat sank that year. And I couldn't drink wine because of the nursing. Good Times. That's a story for another day!!!)





Saturday, December 13, 2008

Random good things

     Thing One came home from school the other day, so excited she could barely get the words out. They had carved rocks into shapes and she made a fox and Mrs. Finn had to help her and Thing Two already lost his and look isn't it awesome.....

wow.
     Apparently she is all about carving soapstone. I love the look of it, and want a small piece for myself. (If I ever tried to wear this around my neck I'd find some bizarre way to maim myself. I'd like to make the newspaper for some other reason than "Woman bends over to pick up pencil and breaks own nose with chunk of soapstone tied round neck. She later died of injuries sustained when shards of her broken nose entered her brain. She was found on the toilet/in the shower. Story at 11." No, thanks.

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They also made pottery this week. (I wish I went to school with them!!)
I didn't get the same feedback with the pottery. My fingers were crossed that she'd be some amazing talent at the wheel, as her Mother is a huge pottery fan. I still hold out hope.


     Thing Two had some excitement this week as well. He was thrilled to receive mail- his own mail- addressed to HIM. 

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All the way from Australia!!

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Great job with the handwriting Miles! 

Thing Two loves three things in life (besides me): the moon, stars, and trains. Not necessarily in that order. He was at the Post Office having lunch when this came. He walked around with it the rest of the day. He may very well be sleeping with it right now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Henry the houseguest

     We have a new pet. His name is Henry. He came with his own passport, and he has travelled extensively. He's an elf.


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A christmas Elf. A snitch.
He's here to watch...observe...narc.
He will collect info sans illegal wiretaps, to report to Santa on christmas Eve. 
And he plays dirty.
He's rather antagonistic. Every night he hides himself in a different spot. He leaves a little note, rating the kids on their behavior the previous day. (The first day he arrived, they got a thumbs-down. They were mortified.)

     The Big Guy thinks it's totally creepy that this little doll/elf creeps around the house at night when we're asleep, touching things.
I think he's having flashbacks, memories of the horror movie  "Puppet master". Yeah, I had trouble putting my feet to the floor for a long time after that one, too.

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OK, now I'm a little freaked out, too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Oh, That?"

"That's an R-VEEEEE."


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"But don't you go fallin' in love with it now, 'cause we're takin' it with us when we leave here next month."

I can only hope.
I never know what I'm going to come home to find. This moved across the street from me when I wasn't looking. 
Awesome.

Just waiting for Leo or Steve to come out in the short bathrobe, and the hose, "Shitter wuz full!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Feast

A few shots of Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And there's more!

My birthday extravaganza continues!

I jumped in the shower, and came out to find this sitting on the kitchen table.

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(I ran back into the bathroom and tried it again, but there were no more bottles the second time.)

Thank You, Barbara...I may have to cough let you win the next time we play cards.

I'm running out of hiding places for my chocolate stash. It's getting bigger than the yarn stash!

Hehe, winter is looking up!

Salud!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh, the Pressure!

     Ooops, I thought I posted this the other day. Dates are a little bit off. I think the power went out in the middle of this post. 
Let me explain. 
     It all started on Tuesday, 2 short fun-filled days before Thanksgiving. The wind picked up, and just kept on picking up. It blew for 2 days. Did you know that if hurricane-force winds blow after November 1st, they are not classified as hurricanes? No, they're 'winter storms'. They can rip your roof off, but they aren't hurricanes. Awesome. 
     So in the midst of stuffing mushrooms and baking pies, the power went out. And stayed out. We dug out my new BFF, Genny.
  I lurve her
Genny would be short for generator. 
She saved me! She finished the mushrooms! She baked 4 pies! She ran the dishwasher! She let me shower!!!!
She's my hero. And, YES, SHE'S FEMALE! (Nothing male could get that much housework done.) 
     The power came back on Wednesday afternoon, only to go off again a short time later. We ran Genny to do the necessary stuff, and played board games by kerosene .(That oil gives me a huge headache. Or it could be the low-light. And I could not knit, it was too dim for me to see. More awesomeness! Mother Nature and I are no longer on speaking terms. Interrupting knitting!)
     Power was restored late Wednesday night, and the turkey was in the oven by 8am Thanksgiving morning. We crossed our fingers that the power would hold; there wasn't enough gas to run Genny for 6 hours to cook a turkey. It held, the turkey cooked, and all was right with the world.

     Okay, that seemingly innocent -looking Christmas Tree widget on the sidebar is giving me fits. I was very excited about it at first, being so festive and all...but...now it's just mocking me. I'm beginning to hear it in my sleep. 
It sounds like the Mother and the teacher in the movie "A Christmas Story"...
taunting......."You'll shoot your eye out, you'll shoot your eye out,"
except it's  "You'll never make it, you'll never make it".
'It" of course, is the long list of items I plan to make for gifts.
AND THE TREE IS PROBABLY RIGHT, WHICH IS WHY I FEEL LIKE SETTING IT ON FIRE.



I once watched this for 24 straight uninterrupted hours in a fleabag motel one Christmas. TBS had a marathon. We had literally JUST moved onto the island, and had to go DownEast one more time, to get the boat. He was driving the boat down the coast, and we had to wait for the weather to clear. We'd sold our house, had nowhere to stay. Ah, the days before kids...we hung out in pj's all that day and watched this movie over and over again  while It snowed. And we ate at the only place open on Christmas Day, a Chinese restaurant. We did not have the duck.
Hmm, I have a vague memory of an almost life-threatening car accident that trip, resulting on a flat tire. And the spare was for a Chevy; we had a Ford. Significance? Chevy's have 4 lug nuts, Ford's have 5. They are not interchangeable. And what better time to find that out than Christmas Eve in a sleety snowstorm in the pitch-black darkness that is nighttime in DownEast Maine? We never did figure out why we had that spare tire, or where ours got off to. 

Adding to the pressure of the Holidays is this:

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It's just not right. This was in my mailbox yesterday, November 24th. (Sorry- told you the dates are off.)

She has sent bribery in the form of Birthday gifts to ease the sting, however.
And this girl knows how to get to my soul!
Check this out!

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There are little pilgrim-y craft kits for the kids (to keep them occupied while I eat chocolate, of course), gingerbread coffee (!!!) and gingerbread mix, ohmygod chocolate covered espresso beans (these are already gone), and near and dear to my heart- a giant bag of M&M's.
I hid the M&M's, and for the life of me, I can't remember where. My house is very small, so they will turn up soon, surely. I just hope I find them and not the kids!
Thank you Stacie!!!!!

When I saw your handwriting on the unmistakably shaped envelope containing your Xmas card, I polished off the rest of the espresso beans. Thanks to the overload of sugar and caffeine (my other two BFF's), I was able to laugh and proudly, prominently display The First Christmas Card Of The Season. I may have called you an un-Christian name. Possibly. cough.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's December 5th

It's SCHMOO'S Day!


Happy Birthday Big Ragu!!
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I love this picture of him. Stephen's birthday party.

But Dude, how can you be hitting this milestone birthday when I'm older than you, and I'm still 29??

It's a conununundrum.....


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Awwwwww. Thing Two LOVES Carmine. (Pretty sure he thought he was about to be dropped to his death in this picture...I guess when you're three feet tall, a two foot drop looks scary...))

ps. non-family-type readers...this is my cousin,  Carmine.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Funny Stuff

Borrowed this from ladeb:

Very funny stuff!

I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel or have them put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.
I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.
I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.
I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking ones nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot).
Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.
I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.
I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.
ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.
I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 thatBill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.
I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, andSt. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.
I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
THANKS TO YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.
I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.
I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... disfiguring me for life.
I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan ...
I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
THANKS TO YOU I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.
AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.
I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!
I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.
If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician. (Or so I was told in a forwarded e-mail.)
Oh, by the way.....
A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.
Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm making quite a name for myself!

And not in a good way!

     Word on the street is that I have moved from chocolate afficionado to chocolate junkie.
And who am I to argue?

I have had a Birthday. I turned 29 again.
Usually I do my best to ignore my b-day. I do not celebrate. There is no reveling. Oh, there's usually chocolate, in the form of cake, and wine, natch...but those are obligatory measures, really.
But this year, I actually enjoyed my birthday! ...maybe it was the sambuca....

...And I'm not done yet; there has yet to be cake, and candles, and singing! Power outage killed my oven. More on that later.

First there was this:

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'fess up Stash, you're one of those people whose toilet paper matches their bathroom, aren't you??? I knew it. And I'd use your bathroom anyday. (huge compliment, that.)
Why, yes, that s the Post Office scale in the background! Why, what do you use to prop up your objects d'art for their photo shoot??? (I was closed, btw)

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I always thought I was a thoughtful person. And it either wore off, or I was deluded. Because I don't believe I was ever as thoughtful a person as Stash is.
She even threw in lollipops for the kids.
Wait- one is pink (red), one is blue.  Yeah, deluded.
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How frickin' cute are these, I ask you??

Thank You very much Stash, for surprising me with such luvlies!!

But wait! I had other luvlies, too!!

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It's weird that both packages were wrapped in CIRCLES. I have a circle obsession going on right now. I want to re-paint the post office. With giant circles. The girls were...reluctant, but I think I've swayed Em over to the ...round side. I'll show you why another day.

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Have you seen these? Awesome way to keep the yarn out of the muck!
I've been using this for a few days, and I like it a lot. No fur turds in the yarn.

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A cute little bear who will soon live on the xmas tree, a wrapped surprise, and a 'smelly'.
You know this went right into the Orient Heights train station, I mean the downstairs bathroom. 
Thing One took off with the bear as soon as she laid eyes on him. But she came back a few minutes later. (I confess, this was hours after I opened all this stuff. You'll see why this is important in a moment.)

She came back to show me this:
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Apparently the bear came bearing gifts of his own. I never even noticed. Yikes.
She could have totally made off with that Joanne's gift card, and I'd never have known.


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So stunned was I by the chocolate, I couldn't hold the camera steady.

Now.
I can only chalk this one up to the fact that I don't sleep much. I routinely stay up until 3am, and have to be up with the Things by 7. (I should be up by 6:30, with them....but it's more like 7.) I worked the night shift for...too many years. I'm sure I've lost brain cells from this. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)
 When I unwrapped this, this just happened to be the position it was in. 
I was befuddled.
candle holder?
piggy bank with the stopper in backwards?
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Thing Two asked what it was. I pretended I had a phone call to stall for time. He reached for it, and....
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as soon as his little hand grabbed it, I realized it was a wine topper (stopper?)!
Hmmm, what does it say about me that I 'got it' when my son had it in his hand?
Wait, don't answer that.

Big Thank You's to Kissy and Stephen, Stephen J and Hawk for all the surprises!

And to Mother and Daddy, and Maria, and Auntie Ro and Uncle Spuzzy, too.
I haven't enjoyed my birthday in...no kidding, like 20 years. 

And Michele, I have a separate post for the gift you sent me. I've worn it every day since I got it. I really, really wanted one of these. It is already slightly battle-scarred, which is the point. But in order to show it, I have to take a picture of me in it. I'm working up the nerve.
It's NOT a string bikini, folks. Sorry to disappoint.






Better than a scarf

I like scarves. I always want to be that girl who can just throw a scarf around her neck and look finished, polished, put together.

I look like I'm at the gym with a sweaty towel around my neck.

'Course in my current self-imposed heat-deprived state, I am wearing one brand new scarf repeatedly, and it's just perfect....

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I love this scarf.

Once I nearly was dragged by a car when my super-long very fashionable scarf got caught in the door. I'm way cool like that.

So when I saw these popping up, I had hope.

And I had to make one.

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OK, the color is off on that last one.

This is Ilean, by Patti Simmons.
In Dream in Color's Classy.
Sooo soft, soooo squishy, soooo pretty.

There are many, many more of these in my knitting future.
And many more cowls to investigate.

And, hey- since this pattern included yarn overs, and psso's...I believe I can now say I have knit lace! Not exactly the lace I aspire to, but, I'll take what I can get!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A really bad day...

No, it's not me. This was circulating in an email.




Unknown
photo credit unknown

Now THAT"S a bad day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If this doesn't get your blood pumpin'...



He's got the sweet legs.


And this is my new favorite movie. 

It's all I want for Christmas, Santa.

(You may have guessed that I am cooking like a fiend, and have nothing of interest to say, and no knitting to show...)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seen on the web...

This is blatantly stolen from the blog of Maryse , but it's just too funny not to pass around.

And what was I watching that I missed this? I'm up every night with Conan!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Alternative Energy Source


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I'm on a candle kick. This is the only place I dare to light one due to one stupid cat and two kids, who apparently are moths...

Dear US Government,
     I am writing to thank you for promoting the upcoming switch to Digital Television. I am one of the 19 million households not currently subscribed to cable or satellite service. I appreciate the coupons made available to us through my (considerable) tax dollars, enabling me to purchase yet another electricity-sucking device to keep plugged in, thereby enhancing my electric bill. Lorraine at the Swan's Island Electric Co-op will be thrilled to hear it.
I spent some time today familiarizing myself with the new converter box, and after the Benedryl I had to take for the allergic reaction to all the dust on the labyrinth of wires behind the tv/vcr/unused stereo equipment wore off, was able to set it up properly. I am happy to report that I am now able to receive two stations! 
     Unfortunately, I found out a few hours later that the system is not compatible with fog and/or high winds, as I promptly lost both of those stations due to those factors. This does not bode well for me come February. I anticipate wind at that time. And, if the past serves as any example, there is the very good probability of peanut-butter-thick fog, from April through, Oh-I don't know....August? 
     I spent some more time on my knees behind the tv cabinet (admiring my newly-cleaned labyrinth of cables and wires) unhooking the converter box so that we could watch something tonight on the old, crappy, fuzzy, snowy analog signal. And I have a nagging worry: what are we to do in February, when this old and crappy signal is no more? While the rest of the world revels in the glory that is digital programming, we will be enjoying a black screen. 
     I have seen the future, and is it not pretty. I see myself moving from free tv, to paying for increased bandwith to watch online. Hmmm, makes me wonder, whose idea was the switch , anyway?????
Signed,
Not-in-a-very-happy-place.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

'A' for effort...

Seen on our trip to the mainland....


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How cool are those??



Rather unexpected. however, on this:
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Leave it to Thing Two to notice those hubcaps on a random car at the grocery store.
I would have loved to have seen the driver- some punk rocker? Or a Granny??
Or a harried Mom whose teen- aged son put them on her car and she never even noticed??

I'M GOING WITH THAT LAST ONE!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seeing a trend

My house has a set point, it seems.

When we are at home, our body heat (and the hot air coming from all of our collective mouths) brings the temp to a balmy 56 degrees. 

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You'd be blurry, too, if you were here.

I keep asking the kids if they are too cold, and they keep saying no. The Big Guy keeps saying yes. I am toasty warm in my scarf and t-shirt and sweatshirt. (And sometimes fingerless mittens.)
Apparently, the kids run amok around so much, they keep themselves warm.
But this is their new favorite thing. (They learned this from the cat.)

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No, really, it's perfectly fine for you to rearrange the furniture so you can sit right on top of the heat vent. We wouldn't want your stuffed animal to be cold.

We've got some winter-y weather going on (translation: it's blowing a gale out there, and The Big Guy will be grounded for a good week or so. The upshot to this is that hopefully the lobster price will go back up to $2.25. woo-hoo.). So we've compromised: the thermostat is now set to 60. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Halloween sugar-high wearing off...


I don't have much fun to share, just the nonsense of trying to keep a few businesses running.


I have this really crappy picture:
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Seriously, what is up with my crappy pics??

This is Ilean, but shorter and tighter. Think turtleneck, instead of cowl. I actually prefer this size to the original, if only because I would likely wear it in place of a scarf, and I'd want it to be inside my coat, against my neck, and in order to close the coat it had to be shorter and tighter.
Viola!
I sent this one off to Kathy in Oregon. I hope she likes!
And I've got another one on the needles in a different yarn.

I've been agonizing over this yarn:

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I love this yarn wound in a skein, but then I wound it into a ball....and...well....

It's just so busy! At first I thought fingerless mitts, because, well, I love them, and I'm really itching to do them in some fingering weight. 
But, eh.

Then I realized that Thing One's winter coat is brown and pink, and would match this yarn perfectly. Hmmm. Maybe a hat for Christmas. Oh, wait- Christmas is in December. Not an option.
Possibly mittens. But wait, this is her snow coat I'm talking about.
Snow Coat + Not Waterproof Mittens = why bother?
So socks. Because she, like me, will wear any socks with any outfit. That's what feet are for.

And so:
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I did some 2x2 ribbing, and spent exactly 3 days scouring Ravelry for a pattern that will not be a complete and total waste of time in these colors. I think I found one.
But I'm going to try it first, just in case I'm totally and completely wrong (like I've been about the other 482 patterns I've tried so far. One thing I can say about this yarn, I've knit and frogged this for 3 days, and it's only showing the slightest bit of abuse.)

And I am determined to find something other than plain vanilla.





Saturday, November 15, 2008

Presents!

I received a fabulous package from Kathy in Oregon!


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Try not to look too closely at the mess behind the goodies, I just got back from the mainland. And, who knew, 25 lb bags of flour make the perfect backdrop for a beautiful lace Noro scarf!


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You know you have found treasure in a book when you open it for the first time, leaf through it, and have half of the pages dog-eared!


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This yarn! Oh, this yarn!!

But this!!!!! I wrapped this around my neck as soon as I finished with the pictures, and only took it off when I got into bed. (We all know what would have happened if I left it on....)
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Aside from the fact that Kathy made this for me (blush), and the fact that these are some of my favorite colors, there is another reason it was so well received...

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How is it that there is shmegma even on the thermostat? Somehow The Big Guy is behind that. You should see what he does to the phone.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not the only one...

I don't know if I'm happy to not be the only person somewhat obsessed with commercials (the funny ones, anyway), or ...disturbed.


But I had to put this here.


Can I just mention that this guy reminds me of my friend Scott soooo much- the face when the bird gets eaten? I've seen that face on Scott before! It's uncanny. And it's the reason this commercial caught our attention in the first place.


Candygram!



And one more..I've mentioned this before. I still sing this song when I'm really bored.
(The middle one stinks, but the first one is a riot!)



Do I have to tell you that I've just watched these about 80 times each?
No, you knew that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Living Frugal

...or, as we call it, being poor.

I am taking the 30 day challenge to save a thousand bucks.
Hi, I'm Marissa and I want to save money...

So here are the first 7 of the 30 tips. Let's see where I stand, shall we?

1. Pack your lunches for the week.
Ok, I live on a rock, 8 miles out to sea. Seriously. I would be all over a Dunkin'Donuts if we had one, and I'd surely know if there were a McDonald's say, out on the head. There are no restaurants here (there are two take-outs in the summer which we cannot afford to frequent). There are no convenience stores. There is no supermarket. No gas station. 
I've lived here for 11 years. I make lunches every day. I have no choice!
Total Savings=0

2. Turn your thermostat down 3'.
Umm, my thermostat is set to 50, and it hasn't kicked on at all.(Except for the 2 times The Big Guy turned it on. I turned it back off when he wasn't looking, and he didn't notice. It's been pretty warm here. The coldest weather we had was the week the boys were away moose hunting, and thing One and I froze our butts off!)
Total Savings=0

3. Sell something on Ebay today.
I'm working on this. Problem is, I don't have 1 something to sell on Ebay, I have BOXES of crap that I've been setting aside to sell on Ebay. It's a freakin' full-time job!! But I have picked 10 things (lots of clothing), weighed and found boxes at the post office, and now just need to list them. This is still in progress...
Total Savings=?

4. Involve your friends in your savings challenge.
I wasn't sure what this meant, until I read the whole post. My friends don't influence my spending, because there is no place here to spend money. When we go off, we go alone. And we have a very tight budget. So I guess we do this already.
Total Savings=0

5. Optimize your cell phone bill.
This is a good one. Everyone should do this. I do it once a year, because I've been with US Smellular for the 11 years we've lived in their area, and I've been a 'free agent' (not under contract) for 9 of the 11 years. They LOVE me. I call them ALL THE TIME. I'm constantly changing my plan, and they are constantly trying to 'sell' me stuff, because they want me in a contract. It's sooo much fun. I am currently locked into a dirt cheap plan with a buttload of minutes- so many minutes that we dropped the long distance on our landline and still don't use them all. (I'd get rid of the landline entirely, but I'd lose my DSL connection. CAN'T HAVE THAT HAPPEN!!) I call every time I see or hear about a new promo, to see if it's any cheaper than my current plan. So far none have been.
Total Savings=0

6. Use gas prices to become your own hedge fund.
I was so freakin happy to see gas prices come down! The high prices did not seamlessly slip into our budget as they appear to have for Ramit and his many readers. No, here at The rock, it went something like, 'what can we NOT put gas in so we can keep running the boat?'. Turned out to be whatever I'm driving. We keep one car on the mainland for emergencies (and to avoid a $30.00 ferry ticket every time we go off- I'll say it; I'm that cheap.), and the truck here for work- both his and mine. I have so far avoided having to drop off and pick up the mail bag(s) and many boxes with the kids little red wagon, but it's been close! We've been sharing the truck. It'd do-able. (Plus, I'm cheating a bit-I've had the van here; usually it's on the mainland. It's going off next Wednesday. I don't use much gas, we only have one mile of road, and we, make let the Things walk to and from school the four trips every day. When I need gas in the van I suck it out of the truck. Don't tell The Big Guy.
Total Savings=0, since we cut back on gas instead of spending more on it.

7. Create a 'no spending' day once a week.
This is genius. A great idea for you $5 latte sucking commuters.
But again, there is nothing here (except the post office) to spend money on, so EVERY DAY IS A NO SPENDING DAY. I pay bills online as necessary. We never ever have cash on the island. We order stuff for the business when we have to (and it ain't often!). And that's that.
Total Savings=0

So there it is. I will make whatever I make off Ebay.
Wow, I guess I suck at this saving money challenge!

He has some great tips- if you're not already using them, you should be. I'm actually considering dropping my internet and phone in the spring, just temporarily. We'll see.
And the readers' tips in the comments are helpful, too.

And it's free!!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Marooned, Again.

Dammit, I've got to get off this Rock more!!



It's not fair! I wonder if I can convince the kids that sleeping in the car in near freezing temps is just another fun way of camping.  Walmart allows overnight parking....you think I can sell it to the Things as a campground? What if it's dark? Surely they'll buy it, they are a Polish and Italian mix, remember. And school s overrated anyway. They can miss 2 days of school so I can get a haircut and look at yarn, right? Plus, my driver's license is going to expire at the end of the month, -and we're down to 3 rolls of toilet paper. (That's about 3 days worth in this house...don't ask me why, I can't figure it out.)

All signs point to me making an escape this Wednesday.

Still doesn't get me to Stitches, though....

Righteous Indignation

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, I get this piece of mail. It's in a letter sized envelope.

And everybody who has kids, or has ever sent out those picture cards, recognizes the size and shape of that envelope.
It's the first Christmas card of the season.

The day after Thanksgiving.

And who is it that has their act together so early?    Stacie.
Good for her! (she obviously has too much free time.)

This is a problem for those of us who are OCD, because we feel that we are 'late' or 'falling behind'. Ridiculous, of course, but that's the way it is. It's like a cattle prod to the backside.

And so I begin to sweat a little, stressing about the fact that I can't take a picture to save my life, can't keep my kids clean long enough to attempt a Christmas Card Picture, can't get the two of them to stand next to each other without hitting, pushing, crying....you get the idea.  And then there's the tears, the wine (oh, that would be me.)

I'm not looking forward to it this year either, though I do think I have a usable picture for a change.

A few months ago I went to the mail, and had that same cattle-prod feeling. I recognized the shape of the card immediately.

Oh, c'mon! It's September!!!!

Well, it wasn't a Christmas card, but it was a photo card.

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Isn't that a great Thank You? I love that it lives on my fridge now, with some of my other favorite pictures.

And I don't know if the words are clear enough to read, but Stacie and Michelle raised the most amount of any team in New England! 
Way to go, girls! 



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

True Love

Pirate Yarn!

smoke rings
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These colors are spot-on. Isn't it gorgeous? Every time a new skein comes I say 'this is the best colorway yet', and yet, she manages to out-do herself with the next skein!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fun and Games

Remember all that apple jelly I made?


Well, once you drain all that juice from the cooked apples, there is a lot of sludge left over. I put that sludge through an attachment on my KitchenAid (what would I ever do without that thing?), and make applesauce from it.

also thrown in here are some pics of another attachment shredding zucchini. I have 3 gallon ziploc bags full of shredded zucchini. I have a great bread recipe.

I'm already sick of it.

Making applesauce

That was 4 bushels of apples, to make 7 cases of jelly (and because you can't do a double batch when making the jelly, it was 11 batches), and 10 quarts of applesauce.

And I thought my drip pans were toast, after dripped jelly was baked on during subsequent batches of jelly-making...but good old Oxyclean and a long hot bath took care of that mess!
I love me some Oxy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pre- Thanksgiving

Saturday, the 25th, we held a Harvest Supper.

I called it the Harvest Ball, because I've always wanted to go to a Harvest Ball.
I ended up late, harried, dirty and stained from cooking all day, and went in my worst t-shirt. So much for the Ball!

I made a 20 lb turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Lots of gravy- about a gallon and a half!
mmmmm, I wish you could smell this!

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There were four turkeys in all, plus all the fixin's...and desserts-oh, the desserts. It was fantastic! We all pigged out, and then we went on the Haunted Hayride.
It was the best one ever! And you know what those jerks did to me???
They rigged a bucket up over the road, filled with flour (ashes) and plastic bugs, AND REAL SPIDERS! And when we rode under it, they upturned the bucket (think Carrie)! Of course, it was pitch dark, so I never saw anything, but I'm still twitching every time I think I feel something on me. wahhaaaaa!
Despite being covered in flour and plastic bugs, it was so much fun!

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This is Rit and Joan. They were moving off the island the next day. But the weather had other plans. It blew Sunday, and the ferry cancelled. They were stuck here until the next boat (Wednesday)...all packed up, with no food beause they'd used up their perishables. We brought them stuff to get through. 
Aaaaand then we got another storm Tuesday night, and the ferry cancelled the Wednesday trip!
They finally got off Thursday. Good luck, guys, we'll miss you!


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Thing Two wouldn't sit with us to eat, he only wants his teachers, Mr. and Mrs. F.
He loves them!!!! (They are pretty awesome!)

So this windstorm Tuesday night.
I was up late. Yes, really.
It was blowing pretty good. And then there was a big whump. Now, the previous Sunday's storm took out the last remaining piece of our fence. The last bastion of defense against the four legged Taliban we have running amuck on the island. The Deer.
So when I heard the whump, and felt the house shake, I said, well, there goes the brace on that last piece of fence. The deer will be here any second to clean up the blueberry bushes and apple trees. 
And I went into the kitchen to get a bottle of wine.
About then The Big Guy came running downstairs, all nervous-like.
(Never moved that fast when either kid was crying during the night, but, whatever....)
Did you hear that?
Ya think?
He opened the door on that side of the house and there's this huge tree, right there, against the peak of the roof. (The only tree that is anywhere near enough to actually hit the house had to fall.)
(I meanwhile am still in the kitchen, snickering under my breath because he ran down in his skivvies, and for some reason, his sister was following him around the house. I don't think she was fully awake (she was sort of shell-shocked at the hours we keep...he falls asleep around 9pm, I go to bed around 2am, he's up at 4, the kids are up at 6...she didn't know if she was coming or going all week! In true Brotherly form he just kept yelling at her to' go to bed, what was she going to do , climb up on the roof in the dark with a chainsaw and cut it off'...I all but had my face buried in a kitchen towel so they wouldn't hear me laughing! She was inches from his half-naked butt, and he was sooo  mad! We still don't know why, or what she was doing up!)

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the problem


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the solution


Well, the only damage that old tree did was to crush our piece of crap antenna, and drop us from four channels to one. As I managed to soak the burnt-on apple jelly off my stovetop, I'm asking Santa for a new antenna instead of drip pans.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday!

To Ghost!

Ghost turned 20 on Halloween. We don't know how she's lasted this long! But we're pretty glad she has.


Keep on reading...I'm trying to catch up, and this is the 3rd post today, so far. I'm not done yet!!