Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I want one of these!


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Helloooooooooooooo there!

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They're awful cute, and we sat mesmerized while the goat played hide and seek with a chicken- no, I'm not kidding!-

but, we're holding out for a sheep.
(It will have to be toilet trained, so it will have to be a 'special' sheep.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

apple picking 2008


apple picking 2008, originally uploaded by happyplace99.

A llama, goats, chicken, a corn maze, and the biggest cortland apples we've seen in years! It all added up to a pretty fun afternoon. And the pies and apple jelly will keep the memory fresh all winter! yum!

Treasure Swap!

I've been spoiled rotten again!


Just look at the yummies I got in the mail today!!

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Mmmm, organic coffee, swiss chocolate, and ...wait for it...chocolate covered pistachios!
How can I have lived this long without these??? And what will I do tomorrow, when they are gone? Because there's only a handful left right now, and they will surely not make it through the night!
There's even a bar of chocolate flavored soap, which if not hidden, will surely be eaten by my kids. (Polish-Italian mix. It's going to be tough for them.)
And roving! I'm so excited to play with the 'sheep fur'. My favorite colors, too. And it even smells good!
And look at the colors in that yarn! Did you ever see anything so vibrant and beautiful?
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There are buttons, too, lost in that pile, awesome green buttons.
Thanks so much ,Lapoli, for a great, great gift!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ok, Kyle...

we're ready for ya.


It is now 7:30pm, Sunday evening. There is not a breath of wind out there.
I know this will change in a few hours, but it's hard not to be cocky and cavalier about the weather when the forecasters are soooo wrong, sooo often. (And they get so freakin' excited about bad weather! It's a little creepy!)

But, we did the smart thing; got gas ready for the generator, filled water jugs to have on hand, did all the laundry, bathed the kids early, etc. We lose power out here if half the island has beans for dinner, so a power outage is a given.

Now I'm winding yarn!!!

Stacie's socks are finished. I will take a final pic before they go in the mail...but I think I'll have plenty of time for that... we probably won't have a mail boat tomorrow.
A weather buoy out in the Gulf of Maine (that's as specific as the news was) recorded 36 foot seas. My stomach lurched just hearing that number.

Here's our forecast.
small craft should stay in port.  Ya think?

The amazing thing is, we had 'the storm of the century' back in December of 2000- just 2 months before Thing One tried to make her arrival. I have some of it on video. It was wild!!!
We lost many, many trees, power was out for days. One of those trees came down on our house, and one on the shop. No damage to speak of, but it scared the crap out of me.
Know what they called that, with wind speeds clocked at 90+ mph? 
A winter storm.
Apparently, if it happens before December it wins hurricane status, after that it's a storm. (Courtesy of Chris Ewing, circa 2000)What do you wanna bet an insurance company had something to do with that categorization?

So, I may be AWOL for a few days, but I'll be here with my gas stove and lights, and a generator to run the freezers and such. Long as the roof stays on, we're good to go!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Stretch

I'm down to the toes!! And can't wait to get these socks off the needles...I have yarn wound, and a pattern ready to go for the next pair.


We had shore leave Wednesday and Thursday this week, so not much knitting took place, but there was apple picking, and doctor's appointments, and a fab dinner (mmm, ribs at Texas Roadhouse), and lots and lots of shopping!

But we are home, and the weekend promises to be miserable with some hurricane or other battering the coast. The kids went out and picked up ALL of their toys outside (we once had a plastic shovel crack a window in a severe wind storm). I think I'm going to cut off the sunflowers for drying; if this storm turns out to be what they are claiming we will probably lose the rest of the garden and the sunflowers.
It's called 'batting down the hatches'!

But the crappy weather means more knitting time, right??

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pizza

yum.


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and deer...baby deer...
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Here's what I did this weekend. Look, you can see the floor! Now comes the tricky part...when they start asking for the stuff that filled 2 garbage bags that is now noticeably absent....
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and just because I always say they don't pay attention...my daughter made me a fast pass...you know, for when I drive around the 1 mile of road on the island, so I don't have to stop to pay tolls. 
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she even 'laminated' it (covered it with tape).

How cool is that?

Classics from the weekend:

1. Upon viewing his clean room for the first time Sunday afternoon, Thing Two said, "Well. I guess we can't play in HERE anymore!".    ah, they know me so well...

2. We watched the movie 'Toy Story" while the Big Guy stalked another deer. At the end of the movie, the bully kid who destroys every toy he comes in contact with gets the crap scared out of him when the toys come to life. I snuck a peek at Thing Two who was wide-eyed. (uhoh...)
After the movie I hustled them off to their respective beds. I brought him in to his room first and instructed Miss Thing to go upstairs on her own. Instead, she followed us into his room, shut the light off and said, "I hope you've been nice to your tooooooooys......I hope they don't come to life tonight........
Took me 15 minutes to convince him it was just a movie. And she's grounded.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stacie can't come to the phone right now...

 ...because she completed her walk-a-thon yesterday to raise money for Huntington's Disease, and she is off getting a pedicure!


Stacie raised $2280.00!

Thanks to all who donated, and thanks to Stacie for giving her time and energy to such a worthy cause.

p.s. Stace, go measure your tired little puppies...I'm down to the toes on your socks, and can't remember if you have normal feet, or gigantic monstrous toes like coughmichcough someone else in my family.....

Danger of Frost

     That's what the news says, "Danger of Frost". In caps. I have some stuff still out there, hanging on....a few almost red tomatoes, probably a grocery bag full of small green ones, one ginormous zucchini (The Big Guy thinks he's the dog from Wallace and Grommit, grooming this huge zucchini...), more cukes, and yellow squash.

     I spit coffee all over my computer when I saw this, and I know better than to even show it to The Big Guy for fear he'll call the guys with the white jackets, but I MUST SHARE.
All I'm sayin' is you have to be very confident with your sanity to pull something like that off.

     So, a few nights ago, I thought I saw something across the street. I thought it was a light. So I looked closer, and yeah...it was lots of lights! That whole house was lit up like a Christmas tree. Which is wierd, because my friend Scott used to live there, and Scott is gone (sniff). Haven't heard from him, either. 
Dude, where are you????
I was so concerned that I went to bed. I knew I'd hear all about it the next day. It's inevitable, around here!
    True to form, the next day I was told that a new sternman was here for the fall, and was staying in the house across the street from me. 

     Turns out, I never even had time to wonder if he was a decent sort. The kid didn't last 24 hours! (Which probably means he was a good kid; it's always the problems who stay!)

And there you have it: The Shortest Sternman's Stay On The Island.

And all I can think is: What's he know that I don't?

Friday, September 19, 2008

And another one!

No, not a sock...another big kid bike rider!




...and I've been told that the kid next door did the very same thing, the very next day.
That's three in a row!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Heelssss

Yeah, that's right...I said, 'heel sssssss'.

Like, as in, 2 of 'em!

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I couldn't do both at the same time on magic loop. I split them off onto different circs and on my next row, I'll put them back on one set of needles. 
Getting there!

Pumpkin craze

In between a PTO meeting and knitting socks, I've been spending some quality time with my stove. Some recent yummies:


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mmm pumpkin whoopie pies. Actually, I think they're called Pilgrim Pies.
And you know, pumpkin is loaded with fiber, so these are actually health food. It's true!
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Those 2 giant zucchini I mentioned? They became 6 zucchini breads. 
The Big Guy is grooming one out there in the garden, to see how big he can get it to grow.
How many more breads are in my future?!?


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And finally, a banana bread, and a pumpkin bread. I don't know why. I had the flour out, figured I'd just keep going.

I love fall!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday!

To my little Sis.



Who is waaaaay old today!

I may be older than you by almost 4 years, but my kids are younger than yours...which means I get some negative numbers in there somehow.
Kinda like how Weight Watchers figures in fiber when calculating Points.

So, that makes me younger than you.



Big News

to us, anyway.


Thing Two jumped on a bike today. Not his own bike, but an old one of a neighbor's.
And he did this, all by himself, without a single lesson from his Mom or Dad:



Yup, that's my baby, riding a two wheeler. No more training wheels.
I feel a little cheated, because we didn't get to 'teach' him.


It goes by so fast! 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Who knew?


Look!

78

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!





and wait a minute-look at this one!!

105

As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

How the hell did he get a 105!!!
Oh my God, I'm married to Ward Cleaver!





Sunday, September 14, 2008

All kinds of fun!

Hey, it's Fall! Want to know how I know this?

Grocery Delivery starts up this week!

Yes, it's that time. Orders need to be in by noon Monday, and pickup will be at the noon boat on  Thursday.

I, who have been borrowing toilet paper and milk for a week now, am thrilled!!

Also, my friends at Coveted Yarn are having a ginormous sale!  And I do mean ginormous! (I'm scrambling to make up my Xmas gift list so I can stock up....)

Stacie's Sox are in a timeout. They enticed me to pick them up Friday afternoon after a large glass of wine, and somehow that 2x2 rib was off by 2. So now it has a double seed stitch stripe about an inch wide. &$#^!!!!!
I'll probably rip back tonight and try to make up for lost time. Endlesssssss ribbinggggggg!

For today, though...some catching up in the kitchen. 
1. I have 2 thigh-sized zucchini (yikes) just begging to be shredded and baked into breads.
2. The kids want chicken- broccoli- ziti for dinner. (Love this, and we have it all the time, but I can't help think of it as 'funeral food'. You Italians know what I mean. That and the trays of eggplant.) (Ahhhhgh, now I'm dying for the chicken with the vinegar!!!)
3. I have a  giant meatloaf to bake off for Tuesday (I have a meeting that will prevent me from cooking and must do it ahead of time). (I no longer want this. I want the chicken with the vinegar.)
4. I am experiencing an intense craving for pumpkin whoopie pies (drool!).(umm, and the aforementioned chicken...)
5. The Big Guy has decreed that there will be meat gravy  tomorrow. (We like to let him think he actually has some say in what goes on around here once in a while. It keeps him quiet. But I am the Queen of this Kingdom.)

We are thinking of an island- wide pizza party this weekend. I kind of hope the weather is like today, rainy and crappy. Watch, it'll be nice out and nobody will be around. Always the way!

Hmmm, better than this though!!!



Best Intentions

The Big Guy has been after me about some socks.


Back about a million years ago, we lived up in the back of beyond:
Dennysville, Maine.
I'm not sure you could even find it on a map, but it was the blackfly capital of the world.

I once peed my pants from laughing, watching The Big Guy mow what we called our front lawn...it looked like a Pink Panther cartoon, where Pink was chased by a swarm of blackflies- one giant big black cloud was following/chasing him as he ran full bore with that mower.
We had 40 acres up there. He mowed 1/4 of one acre.

There is a wool mill in Canada named Briggs and Little.
Oh, be still my heart. Didn't I adore that place!
I used to drive up there occasionally, to pet the sheep, see the mill, and naturally, buy yarn. It is the coolest place ever! I thought they'd closed down in 1994- the year I left that area. There was a huge fire. But, hooray for them, they rebuilt! And they have a website!

I bought this, way back when.

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This has the Big Guy's name all over it. Hunting Socks. In Briggs and Little wool.
This is true OUTDOORS WOOL. It's oily. It knits like nothing else, and when knit at tight gauge, it's wind-water-and bullet-proof. (But don't stand in front of a bullet to check.)

So I started socks, way back when, in the early 90's, on 5 DPN's (Thanks to Sherri, an ER nurse at Calais Hospital and the many, many nights I spent hanging there while on call.).
And realized quite early into it, that I have an avid dislike for dpn's.
But, way back when, I was unaware that there was any other way to knit a sock.
(Don't even talk to me about socks on straights. Those aren't socks.)

Flash forward to 2007. I now knit socks.
On circs. Magic -looped.
And I love it.

In a yarn crawl through my attic one day, I came across the familiar Briggs and Little logo on a plastic bag. I may have screamed. Kids may have come running. They still don't understand the yarn fetish, but they are getting used to it.

There were the long forgotten socks. Um, or sock.
About 7 inches of one leg. (The Big Guy is, in fact, a big guy.)

I decided then and there that this yarn should become socks, and that it should happen by Christmas. Thankfully, I did not specify Christmas of which year, or I should have failed miserably.
They should be a surprise, I decreed. I will work on them during the wee hours, when I am on my own. And I began in October, while my boys were off moose hunting. Ahem, October of 2007.

But Thing One saw the socks-in-progress. (In fact, she helped me wind off the yarn into cakes, after frogging the original 'leg'. My kids LOVE to wind yarn.)

And she ratted the second my boys walked through the door.

And The Big Guy remembered the long ago sock. And commented that if I were to make him said socks, they would have to be knee socks so they don't slide down into The Hunting Boots.

Aaaaaand the socks went back into the ziploc bag from whence they came. They now mock me from the knitting basket. Nightly.

Knee socks. Sigh. Groan. Gasp.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is it the weather?

I like to blame things on the weather, it seems. Maybe because of where I live, and the fact that the weather dictates much of my life out here On The Rock.

Remember back when we were kids, and there was The Cold War going on, and everybody used to say the Russians were trying to control the weather? (or was that a Boston thing?)
Funny.

So, weather-related or not, people are in a weird mood lately. Almost everybody I talk to has an issue going on with a kid, a family member, a neighbor. Some of it is sickness, some of it just plain antagonism.

Is it subconscious 9-11 stuff?
We all seem ...uncomfortable. Things like minor medical issues that should merit a small amount of concern are blown into full-out emergencies. A minor faux-paus at a social occasion is taken for a full-out affront. 
I have noticed that people are snipping at each other a bit more publicly than I've seen before. It may seem odd to some, but I think this is a good thing. I don't mean to encourage hand-to-hand combat, but it's good for everybody to speak their mind, and communicate, to achieve compromise.
It doesn't always work this way, I know. I believe in fairies and witches, too.

I don't know.
I think it's time for a party, with lots of chocolate.

Even my socks are not cooperating. I know in my heart that it's the 2-at-a-time on Magic Loop that is slowing down progress, but jeez, I've been plucking away at these babies every chance I get, and this is as big as they've grown!

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The next time I mention 2x2 rib and socks in the same sentence, throw a bucket of water over my head, will ya?!?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hey Knitters, Check This Out!

So, I get this random link sent to me, about a contest in a group on Rav that I wasn't familiar with...something about yarn wish lists...

I almost never click randomly. Seriously. I don't have time to play around like that, I barely get done the Have-To's in my life, with some time left to knit.

And yet, I did.

And I found this group. 

(Go check out the contest- it's kickass!! And yeah, tell 'em I sent you!) 
Contest description is in the first post...

And this guy. (what a riot!)

At this shop.

(I'm sure I know this fellow. We haven't found the connection yet, but I have that vibe, you know what I mean? No matter, he's a new friend- and a yarn enabler at that!!!)

You could spend the better part of a day cruising around the online store (and I did). And since I'm from the area (though I live nowhere near it anymore), and visit often, I can justify this as 'buying local', right?

Works for me!!

You should see my Coveted Yarn Wish List now!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life on a small island

Chris and Emmie Sawyer held a dinner last night to raise money for THE HAUNTED HAYRIDE!

The hayride will take place the weekend before Halloween, and will blow last year's ride OUT OF THE WATER. Why? Because they raised $680.00, that's why!!

We take our Halloween very, very seriously around here.

I may even try to take some pictures this year, but I warn you, my camera sucks in anything but bright light.

This week should be a vacation compared to last (I hope!). Nothing huge on the horizon for a bit. Time to make up the Christmas list, so I can obsess over something!

Still plodding along on Stacie's Sox. Hope she isn't looking for them anytime soon!!!
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Keeping the vulgar stitch markers on the needles. Kinda like a secret joke.

This yarn, it must be said, is not brown/blue. The colors are not photographing correctly, in 482 shots. It is actually a sage green with the light and dark blue. It's awesome.

There will be another post later today, with a link to a new friend's contest. I need some time to put it all together. Check back later!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I just realized...

that I am stranded on a (not so much desert) isle, left with


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chocolate,
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wine,

and yarn.
Life is good!

(That's the Mother of all peanut butter-chocolate cakes, right there. And it was gooood!)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Passed the Test!

Yesterday I had the State's food inspector come out to the island to inspect my kitchen. I bleached the place from bow to stern (as usual), but this time hit places even I don't usually think of. Like under the countertops. And the inside of every cabinet. And the inside of the trashcan. It was exhausting, but it looks awesome.
And I got my food license. I am now approved to sell, barter, or trade, any and all baked goods I create in my kitchen! Huzzah! (just kidding on the barter or trade thing.I'm sure the State wants sales tax on everything!)

We celebrated last night with a pizza party. Also celebrated finishing the first week of school.

As it is a particularly crappy, rainy, windy,thank-god-i-can-stay-home-in-pj's-and-eat-chocolate-kinda day, I will share this with you. 

And then I will proceed to hang out at home, in jammies, and knit socks, and eat chocolate.

Tonight we will celebrate the hunt, as The Big Guy shot a deer this morning with a bow, on the first day of Bow Season. No pictures will be shown. He grabbed the kids, in their jammies, to track it. Took my kids about 5 minutes to find it. (They aren't rookies at this!)
Mmmm, liver and onions, tonight!

Off to knit socks.




Friday, September 5, 2008

Running With Dye

Like 'Running With Scissors".


Remember this?

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Remember how I said the dye was coming off on my hands? Well, I washed it with a SHOUT! Color catcher, and it definitely caught some color! 

I don't want to wash this thing 482 times, and she wants to wear this over a white t-shirt dress to school. It won't be white by the end of the day!

So, I Googled around (what he hell did I ever do before Google?) and found this. It's supposed to set the dye, for good. Vinegar will not work on cotton, so I read. 
A bargain at only $3.49. Plus $9.00 for shipping! What do they pack this stuff in, bricks?
But I may have to just bite the bullet, as our weather is not going to stay decent for much longer and she won't get to wear this until next July or August, assuming it still fits!
Wish me luck! This could end up a whole 'nother color by the time I'm through!!



Thursday, September 4, 2008

A bunch of 'Firsts'

First of all, is that even a word, 'firsts'?


Oh, well.

Hey, look...First Day Of School!

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Apparently, it is no longer 'cool' to smile in pictures. Make a note.


And another 'first', for the Frenchboro Elementary School...the School Board has unanimously approved Full-Day Kindergarten. 

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He said, "Just like in the real world?".
Yeah, Buddy, just like that.

They won't actually go all day for a little bit, the teachers will give us a date for that to begin. (It's the least I can do, after sort of foisting this upon them after they've begun the school year! )

And so my reign of self-punishment has ended!
The handbook is accepted as a workable copy, cross that off the to-do list,
The Kindergarteners will be given the leg up they need to succeed in the world,
And school is in session!

To celebrate, I cast on a sock...with this delicious BFL from the Yarn Pirate!
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I was in a bad mood when I cast on for these. See my stitch markers? Dawn made them for me, in letters A through F. Guess why I picked those two, and what they stand for??
I'll take my comic relief anywhere I can find it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweeeeet Caroliiiiiiine.....

You're meant to be singing that. Did you understand that?


OK, so while we were visiting Boston, the Elders broke curfew and went to the Neil 
Diamond concert at Fenway.
There was alcohol involved, so driving was out of the question.

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She doesn't know the word 'hurst', but I know what she was thinking.

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It wasn't quite the image my mind conjured up when they said "limo"!

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Not quite what they thought, either!

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He IS bringing us to see Neil Diamond, right????


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We've got supplies, who cares where we go!


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They said the concert was amazing. Neil Diamond rocks. 
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Be home by midnight! (They weren't)
No drinking in public! (God only knows)
No flashing! (We can only hope)

Me and the kids stayed home with Uncle Michael and ate stuffed calamari in the gravy with linguine. We left at 3:30 in the morning, so it had to be an early night, for me. (It still wasn't.)

A funny story:
Michael had an appointment and left for a while. The gravy and calamari was all cooked and on the stove in Auntie Ro's. We saw The Elders off in the 'Limo', and then The Things went to bed.
I went next door and stole the gravy, washed all the pans, and hid the 2 tupperware containers at my Mother's! Meanwhile, while I was in Auntie Ro's kitchen, I swore, swore! I heard the patio door open. I figured Michael was going to sneak up on me and scare me. I hid next to the stairs to get the jump on him when he came up to 'get' me. I waited one minute, then two, then three...what the heck? It was totally silent. I got all creeped out, thinking of my kids next door, and the bottom door wide open, them alone on the third floor...
I beat feet out of there.
Flew back to my Mother's, locked myself in, checked every freakin' closet and under the beds, checked the kids....
Then I hid the gravy. I put one container on the stove, turned water on to boil the macaroni, and ran upstairs to shower.
I was up there about 10 minutes.
I came down to the gravy being gone, the stove shut off, and the pan in the sink. Michael.
(If he reaaaaallly wanted to get me, he should have just taken the gravy! I would have been confused for about 3 minutes before I figured out that it was him, but as soon as I saw the pan off the stove, I knew it was him!)
So we ate, we laughed about it, I watched it get later and later and my precious sleep-time get shorter and shorter...and finally I went to bed.

I got up an hour later to get some stuffy nose medicine on the kitchen windowsill(I had a cold), and Michael scared the crap out of me, standing out in the middle of the yard, near the pool, in the semi-dark!
"What the *(*& are you doing!"
"I was watching tv down here, he says, and I swear to God, swear -to-God, I heard the patio door open! I thought it was you trying to scare me."

I didn't tell him it had happened to me earlier. He'll never sleep again.
Though it would have been funny to see him hurdle those bushes between him and the door like an Olypiad.