Sunday, August 31, 2008

Self Imposed Punishment

Now, I thought this would make me feel all...honorable. Chaste. Pure.

Not!

Since I've failed miserably to accommodate our wonderful new teachers in their transition to our school by not finishing the paperwork goals I'd set, I have decreed that there will be NO KNITTING until those goals are met.
I'm such an ass.

I've been stomping around like a 2 year old who has been denied dessert, and still not accomplishing much of anything.

But we did take the kids to the Fair.
We go to this really small event every year, The Blue Hill Fair, in Blue Hill, Maine. It's sort of lost it's appeal for me over the years, as we've attended 16 years in a row, and only the last 7 of them with kids (the significance of this being that we now have to endure those ridiculous rides).
This year, I was especially keen to see who was there for vendors (yarn vendors, I mean) and to hopefully see some spinning in action.
There was one vendor. Cosy Cat Farm, from right around where I live, in Southwest Harbor, Maine. (I can't get that link to work, either! Must not be running any longer.)
There was quite a bit of handspun, and a wheel for sale, but no spinning happening.
Ah well. It befit my self imposed punishment, and it was a beautiful day. We played with the animals all afternoon, and tried to talk The Big Guy into buying a lamb. He's having no part of it, on the grounds that I just evicted our half-dead 20 year old cat from the house because she refuses to learn to use the toilet. (I'm done with kitty litter. Just done.)
I don't know why I want a small sheep creature; I just do. 
I think I said the same of babies, once upon a time. Maybe I should re-think this idea!


I'll leave you with some pictures of the fair:
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Happening Again.

Did you know I was on the Frenchboro School Board for 5 years, until 2004? That I went to meetings with both of my kids as nursing infants, and yes, pulled out the ol'boobie to feed them in the middle of meetings? (We're pretty informal around here, but still, yikes!)

And one night I came home from one of these meetings, ranting about something-or-other, and the Big Guy said, "No More.". 
What? No more coffee? No more dinner? What the hell are you talking about (and how dare you interrupt a perfectly good rant!?)?
"No More School Board."
He proceeded to re-cap the last 5 or 6 school board meetings, and how much work it all entailed; the phone calls, and letters, and research, and budget planning...and how all of this was volunteer work. I was board Chair. And I had a newborn and a 22 month old.
And I saw the light.
And I resigned.

For one year.

This is my second year back on the board. And I'm Chair again. And it's taking over my life.
And it's still volunteer. And this time, it's worse than ever.

Now, I don't want to give the impression that we have troubles at our school; that is very much not the case! The school is very well run, we have great support staff, and we've just hired new teachers that we are very, very excited about. We'll have 12 kids in school this year, and 2 teachers. It's a great school. We just don't seem to know who does certain jobs. And it seems that I get left 'holding the bag'.
It's stuff like this that gets me down (and crazy):

1. The first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. There has not been a calendar mailed to the parents of the enrolled students. Apparently they are supposed to intuit when the start date is.(Even I don't have one!)
Also, we live on an island. Making appointments means coordinating months and months in advance, as we are only able to be on the mainland for a small window of time. Parents cannot make appointments around the school schedule, if they do not have it. (I myself have not yet made appointments for well-child checks this year, and we won't go off again until the week before christmas. At which time we have to try to squeeze in 2 doc appts, Xmas shopping, Xmas dinner shopping, and-oh yeah, an Executive School Board meting at 7pm. I have 5 hours to do all of that. How do I not drink more?)

2. The parents of school-aged children met informally last year to discuss beginning a voluntary lunch program at school. Our kids come home from 11-12 for lunch. Or, as I say, they wander the island aimlessly for an hour while they are supposed to be eating lunch. We had issues with this last year, and need to change this policy. 
I heard the other day, Wednesday, to be exact, that the Union does not think this is possible. You know, less than a week before school starts.
Oh. My. God. 
Mothers are going to freak.

3. We are the only school in our union that does not provide full-day Kindergarten. We don't know why.  The board agreed to change that policy. We thought that was a done deal. Today I heard that our school does not, in fact, have full day Kindergarten in the works. (In fact, tomorrow I will make 482 phone calls to confirm that info. You know, in my spare time; when I get done running the Post Office.)
News to me, parent of an incoming Kindergartener. I don't have any idea what time my kid will be released on Tuesday. And I'm the Chair of the School Board!

See what I mean? Good thing this job is volunteer, imagine the unspeakable things I would wish upon my boss, if I had one!

Ok, rant over.
Go about your business.
I have to go make 482 phone calls and try to set school up for Tuesday.
I wonder if Homeschooling is more work, or less?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Walk for a different cure...

My cousin Stacie:



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who deserves much sympathy, as she is married to this:

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Stacie provided a MUCH better shot of them, with the kiddos included. How cute are they??

   Stacie has entered a walk-a-thon- type fundraiser for Huntington's Disease. Lots of info explained in a nice, concise manner can be found here.
Please donate to fund, if not a cure, at least some research into some treatment.



I know some of you have kids who have begun school already. We start on the 2nd, next Tuesday. I have just experienced a 'lightbulb moment'. 

I DO NOT have to have all of the kids fall clothes hung and pressed BY THE 2nd! They will be wearing Summer clothes (though not shorts...I don't think shorts should be worn to school unless they're Bermuda shorts), through most of September, right?

So, there are some too small clothes that need to be culled out for donations, and new socks and undies to be put away, but the rest of it? The sweaters, the corduroys? Faggeddaboutit!!

My week just improved immensely. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thanks!

Thanks, everyone, for a great vacation!


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Love, Thing One and Thing Two, and Me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ravelympics Update

DONE!!!


With 2 days, 18 hours, 51 minutes, and 38 seconds TO SPARE.


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My model threw a Kate Moss shitfit, and disappeared. The chair will have to suffice.
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Here is a pre-finished pic, on my Supermodel. All that was left at this point was the hood.
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Got to go sew on the 2 little lobster buttons, and this baby is done, and headed to the Post Office. This sweater was always intended for my friend Patrice, at the Maine Lobstermen's Association  (well, her daughter, I mean!). Thanks for all you do, Patrice!

I'm so blue-oooo-oooo-oooo

As soon as these kids could walk, we began the tradition of gathering them all together and herding them onto some farmland or other to pick ripe fruit. We do apples, strawberries, blueberries, peaches. This trip it was blueberries!


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There it is, folks, my favoritest  color in the whole wide world! That beachy, blue-gray, denim-y, bleached-out jeans color of the ripe blueberry. (Beachy and denim-y are too, words.)
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My migrant farm crew, pre-picking. Psyched up and raring to go. They work cheap, too. I had to promise an ice cream and all the berries they could eat while picking. (Sorry, farm owners.)
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Preparation is intense...

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What farm is complete without animals? No sheep; however, they had these:
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And like any well-producing blueberry field, there were lots and lots of these:
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These kids will feed anything that sticks its nose through a fence.
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Overcome by emotions during the picking. (??) Too cute.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer

One of the best things about being away on vacation is the change of schedule. My normal day is broken up into 3 hour blocks of time. (I feel like an inmate.)

But vacation means:

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long, lazy breakfasts....

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hanging out in our pajamas....
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and being goofy for as long as we want!
Spongebob Squarepants is Da Bomb to these guys. Long Live Spongebob!

Pay It Forward

My friend Grace had this on her blog, and I like the idea, so I jumped right on it!

Here's the idea:
There was a movie named "Pay it Forward" which promoted performing a random act of kindness, and urging the recipient to pay it forward by doing another random act of kindness for somebody else. Great idea! I used to love to pay for the car behind me at toll booths on the highway, pre-FastLane
So, in the spirit of giving, I will send a handmade gift to the first three commenters on my blog requesting to join the PIF exchange, who must then 'pay it forward' by doing the same on their own blogs.( You can email me as well.)
Visit Grace's blog at the link above for more info.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Camp

So, the Things loved Camp. There wasn't really any doubt that they would, but you never know...they might have missed Mom too much to stay the entire morning....

Yeah. Right.

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Surrounded by his Harem, Thing Two never even looked back at me.

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Thing One loved all the music, and wanted desperately to be up on that stage!

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"Stop taking stupid pictures of us, Mom!"

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They gave out t-shirts to all the classes. She jumped right into hers.
She really did enjoy it more than the pictures show!

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I reeeeeally liked camp! Can I go again next year?? 
(How freakin' cute is this kid??)

So, next year- full day camp!!! But not sleep-over. Unless I get to go, too. And it had better be at a 5 star resort, if that's the case.

HA!

Now you guys know how I feel getting on the ferry in the middle of February! (Or anytime between September and June, really...)

faux post

Like, faux pas, no? Except this is a 'fake post', meaning that it is after 1am and I am exhausted...but you are not forgotten.

Tomorrow (or later in the day to be more accurate), I will regale you with tales of a family Reunion BBQ, a lazy knitting day (and progress of the lobster sweater), and the Chronicles of Canobie Lake Park.
Also, a fun event, "Pay It Forward". You'll see, tomorrow.
I'm going to bed.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yarn Porn

Got a chance to scope out a yarn store right around the corner from my Sister's house. (Who knew, all these years!)



What a great shop! I didn't meet the owner, but somebody who works for her. We talked for about an hour, she's so nice. My kids ran amuck all over the store, and if she was offended by it, she never let it show. (It's so hard to try to hold a conversation and yell/threaten your kids at the same time!) I enjoyed our visit so much (despite the kids) that I'm going to try to go back and visit without them.


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And how I could I leave empty-handed?

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I absolutely could not leave this there. I've never, ever felt anything so soft! Whatever this turns out to be, it will live right next to my face.

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This is some cheap acrylic, but the colors are outstanding. There was a beautiful little baby sweater knit up in the shop, and if I was smart, I'd have taken a picture of it. Then you wouldn't be saying, "Why did she buy that yarn?". I'm thinking fingerless mittens and a hat. Maybe even for me! 

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Again, with the sock yarn. Love the colors, though..and bamboo, a new favorite of mine
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And I got one of these to replace the cute little ladybug one that Thing Two broke on me. I'm going back to buy what she had left to send out to the RAK board. Too cute! She had polka dot ones, and a cow, and a leopard print one....I'm getting them all!

Now I realize that Webs is not really so very far away from here. 
Must. Resist. Temptation......

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ravelympics

This is one of my favorite yarns.


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Its so very wooly, even has bits of straw in it. It's nothing you'd want next to your skin, but as an outer layer, it can't be beat!
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And here is all the paraphenalia I'll need to make my lobster sweater. This is the 5th or 6th one of these I've done. I have to dredge up an old picture of one; they are all pre-digital.

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Here are the buttons for the sweater. I got a couple dozen of these back before I had the Things.
Since I all but stopped knitting, I have many, many left.

So, this is my Ravelympics project. The event is the Sweater Sprint.
Progress is looking....well, not very good!

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That's about 6 inches or so...It's 11 inches to the armpits, when I'll split off to front and back on straight needles. I don't steek. I'd like to, but I would have to be heavily medicated, and well,  I have those kids....

The master plan is to get to the armpits, split onto straights, and cast on both sleeves at once-magic looped. If I can get the sleeves under my belt, the rest should be pretty quick. 
Oh, I just remembered the hood. Yikes, I've got to get moving on this.
I am so NOT the Michael Phelps of knitting!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What's Better Than....

Summer Camp?

   The kiddos are at a day camp this week. It's only mornings, sort of a trial run to see how they (I) do. As it turns out, we are all loving it. No separation issues at all!
They got out at noon Monday, and we had lunch, hit a local yarn shop (Wonderful! Will tell you all about it, and my goodies, next time...), and spent the rest of the afternoon at a story hour at the local library. They let us have a library card, even though we are out-of-Staters, and we took out lots of books. They also have a toy room, with a train table....so we spent a good three hours at the library during a crappy, rainy afternoon. And, yeah, I was knitting.
(I also spent a good half-hour talking on my phone quietly in the corner of the toy room...only to see a sign on the check-out desk as we were leaving..."No Cell Phone Use In Library!".
I wished I had a sign on my back that said, "Sorry, I've lived on an island for the last 11 years and forget what it's like to be in the real world". We ran out of there!!)
     Both kids jumped out of bed when they heard they had Camp again the next day, so I guess they really do like it. You can bet that next year we'll be looking into a full day camp!
Just think of all that lovely free time!! 

Last night, we saw an older movie called "The Ref". Denis Leary.
Oh.MY.God.
Denis Leary is the funniest guy on the planet. THE PLANET. 
And 'Rescue Me' aside, this is my favorite of his work. (Though I really, really loved "The Job" and can't believe they took it off the air. Stupid people. But he followed it up with "Rescue Me", which is awesome, so, I guess everything happens for a reason. And how about my other favorite, Lenny Clark? Imagine throwing a BBQ with both of them?!!? )
"The Ref". Great movie! A 'Must See'.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Summer

Eat an ice cream!


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

MMM MMMM GOOD

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If you should "make hay when the sun shines"; the Frenchboro adaptation must be "pick mushrooms when the rain and fog roll in and stay for three months".
There's a bright side to everything, if you look hard enough.

Natalia, wish you were here! They picked these all in about 10 minutes!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When it rains, it pours

Scott left today. Sigh.


And we heard that an old friend of Frenchboro has passed away, Nate Michaud.
Nate was a great guy. We are blindsided by his passing; he was only 36!

We offer our deepest condolences to his family, who must be devastated.

It's raining. Very appropriately, I might add.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Event of the Millennium

Yeah, I can say that, because we live on a rock that is 3 miles square, and not much happens around here. Well, not much that I can print publicly, anyway.


This is how you get to an island wedding. (And if you're me, you spend three days agonizing over the weather as well as who will wear what on which boat.)

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Look, there's Scott, on the left in the blue jacket. The Big Guy told him he looked like a game show host.
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That's double trouble, right there. Wyatt on the left, The Big Guy on the right.

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Thank You, God, and all the Sea Creatures for the calm seas. Couldn't ask for any better.

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She still didn't like the ride, but it may have been the 'jump seat'.

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Wyatt and Lorena Beal. Wyatt is responsible for  my first child's existence.
 Not like THAT!
He got us to go to a KISS CONCERT, and claims the super-loud music...and I quote, "Shook something loose", curing our three year run of infertility.
I don't know, he may have something there. He also brought me over to the mainland when my water broke. Hmmm, did I ever thank him for that, in all the excitement?
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Two of my most favorite people in the world, Frank and Marge Mancuso.

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John and Jean DesJardin. She's a sweetie; he's a joker. We love them!
Guess where his hand is? (She slaps him in a second.)
(That's Jay's Mom and Dad; Tammy's in-laws)

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My Crew. 

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My Homies.

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I dread the day they are all teenagers. This island isn't going to know what hit it. And Molly is missing.

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Ross. Classic. Love his Tony Soprano shirt. You knew there'd be at least one lobster tie. And he's not even a fisherman.
Didn't get a picture of him, but Lewis wore one too. He is a fisherman.
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Zach and Laurette. That was our last wedding! And the baby who was sitting up on the bulkhead on the boat is Brianna. She's their youngest.
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Davie. You're not fooling us for one minute. We know Debbie picked out your clothes for you today. (Thank You, Debbie.)
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Marilyn, looking like a fairy princess.

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Kim and Charlene (Charlie) Strauss. My favoritest Boat Captain, and his First Mate.

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Oh, there's Brianna! That's Butch and Tina. These are the ones you want to sit with at a wedding. The laughs just keep coming. We three would never have survived school together; we all would have been expelled for goofing off.
(We actually didn't get to sit with them at the reception, just the church. It was hard; I was so afraid we were going to be asked to leave. It's all Butch's fault. He's noisy.)
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There's Kimmie!
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George!
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I had Joseph sneak up front to take some pictures of us all waiting in the church. He took ONE.
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Thing Two got bored, and played...what else...trains, on the floor with a piece of paper.
 Chuga, chuga, chuga.

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The Blues Brothers. Not brothers, actually, cousins. Nate Lunt and Joseph Lunt.
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Brother of the Groom, Corey Sawyer! Just look at that smirk! He's just like his Father!

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Aww, Mother of the Groom. Barbara Sawyer. Tammy's gonna give me hell for not cropping this picture. That's her on the right.
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And Father of the Groom, Randy Sawyer. Umm, and Tammy's head again.

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That's right, boys, block him in so he can't get away. Doin' a good job.
Hey, that's Paul Joy on the left. He 's a Minister...and you may remember him from an earlier post...he's our Mailman! My kids are still trying to figure out "why he was up on the stage at Emmie's wedding"!

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And here's where I started crying. I didn't see much else of the ceremony after this.
Emmie, and her Dad, Spencer Joyce. 
Kinda gruff, Spencer is. Stoic. Sturdy, rugged fisherman -type. 
Handed Em over to Chris up on the alter with a "She's all yours". 
Everybody laughed. I cried harder. Think he did, too.
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Miss Princess Marilyn, rockin' the runway.

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Woo hoo!

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Overcome by emotion at giving away his youngest daughter, Spencer plants a wet one on the cheek of newly in-law-ed Randy Sawyer.
A Kodak Moment.

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Randy. Lookin' good, Mr. Sawyer!
No wonder Spencer was putting the moves on him!
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Going to get Barbara to wear this more often She looks very, very nice.

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Not much for being the center of attention.  "I'm some glad that's over with", he said!

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I was taking a picture of Emmie, here, but it turns out to be the only shot I have of the cakes! And they were so pretty! I could have sworn I took pictures of that table, but I was trying hard to keep Thing Two away from it....there is a 'bridge' between them, and I JUST KNEW I'd find him up there playing trains in the cakes!!
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I sat with the Bobsey Twins. That's Jay on the right. He lives next door to us, but swears he can't hear us hollering at each other. (Polish and Italian mix. We're loud. I make no apologies for it.)However, when I brought him a coffee, he seemed ...afraid...to ask for cream. I think he does hear us.
That was the first time I ever really met Jay. 
We had fun with him. Kept feeding him stuff. He kept asking for Sambuca for the coffee. 
I think he thought I had some in my purse, or something!
(There was no alcohol at this wedding. I may have commented once or thrice about missing a glass of wine...)
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There's Paul, minister and mailman extraordinaire, with the Things.

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You didn't think I'd leave the island without some knitting, did you? I never took it out, but I almost did on the boat ride home. I was too tired. And look, no Sambuca.
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Nice try, Joe. That's Sparkling Cider. Alcohol free. But, party on, Dude!

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Exactly. I hear ya.
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