Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


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You've Been Mooned!
(courtesy of an email I received. I am in no way talented enough to make such a thing.
Though he does look familiar...I may have dated him once.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unexcused Absence

We have a houseguest this week, my sister-in-law.

It's a very busy week. Halloween activities, and all.
Remember our fundraiser for Halloween, the one where we raised $800.00 ?
We take Halloween very seriously around here.

And the kids are OUT OF CONTROL, what with it being Halloween week, and, you know, a  houseguest and all. 
Routine? What's that? 
Bedtime? Pshaw!
More candy? Why not!

But Friday night.....Chocolate and wine, in that order!

I have tons of stuff to post, but can't get a minute alone to attempt it. I did manage to get the pics uploaded today.



Little Neccessities

I have an average of 2 good hair days a week.

So, I wear headbands and clips and ponytails A LOT.

I made this a while back, but couldn't show it because it was a gift for Berny in Italy. (Stuff takes forever to get over there!!)
But now I can divulge all the gory details.

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That's BFL from the Yarn Pirate, left over from Stacie's socks. I had a lot of that left over.
This is crocheted, and it was pretty quick. When you see the picture in  the pattern it will look entirely different (better); it's written for 2 colors of yarn. I just used the one variegated.
I like mine, because I loved this yarn, but I love the green and purple in the pattern. I will be doing more of these!

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Furnace War

It's good to have goals. Goals keep you motivated, keep you moving forward, keep you on track. It's good to have goals; it's better to be King.


One of my Annual Goals is to not turn the furnace on until November 1st.
And much like my January 1st Annual Goal to slim down to 120 pounds, I've never seen it come to fruition.
Yes, November 1st.
Detriments to this goal include the fact that I live in the Northern Hemisphere, Maine to be exact, on an island to be specific.
It gets cold. Real cold. Real early. Like September.
And it's not so much the cold that gets us...it's the wind. Lots O' wind.
I don't know that I've ever made it to my November 1st goal on my own. I've done it 2 of the 11 years we've lived here with the express help of our electric company, who aided and abetted by interrupting our power supply to the island for a few days at the end of October, two years in a row. (But it doesn't really count that way, does it?)

This year I was determined to make my goal. The weather turned while the boys were away. 
During that time, the country went into a financial crisis, and the lobster industry crashed. 
Boat price on lobsters went down to $1.90, instead of the average for this time of year, $4.40.
We'll be eating lots of lobster over here, as it's cheaper than meat! I wonder if I can barter lobsters for electricity?
More motivation to NOT turn on that furnace!
In fact, motivation to not just shut off unused and unnecessary electric appliances- but to unplug them!
And so, Thing One and I went through the house unplugging what we decided were unnecessary things (and fought vehemently over my coffeemaker. She won.).

We put on more clothes, dug out the really warm fleece pajamas, and snuggled together on the couch. Not just at night watching tv, but pretty much whenever we were home.

I began to gather my arsenal.

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We call this a hippie blanket. I don't know why.
I've made many of these over the years; every single niece and nephew has one. Both of my kids have them, courtesy of my friend Leslie, who we think of every time we fight over them use them. I just made this one.
They're quite technical and difficult, as you can see. Takes a lot of effort to tie those two pieces of fleece together like that.
It's the warmest thing ever!!

So we were quite cosy, Thing One and I, huddled under our hippie blankets in our fleece pj's in our freezing cold house. I was able to knit wearing these:

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and all was right with the world.

Then the boys came home. 

Thing Two, being the agreeable child that he is (and 5), just jumped under the hippie blankets with us. He did comment on the cold, but just did what we had done all week; hid under layers of fleece.

The Big Guy? He was having none of it.
He kept walking out on the deck, saying it was warmer out there than in the house (and it was, too!).
 I told him I'd make him his own hippie blanket- a camo one!!! Nope.
I dug out some warm sweatpants to sleep in. Nope.

He turned the furnace on last night. 
I hadn't even vacuumed out the vents yet.
It was like a snowstorm of dust and bits of paper (what do my kids do to the heat vents???).

I have to say, both kids cheered when they heard it kick on!
They immediately shed some layers.

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Last Sunday morning, the day they came home, the thermostat in my kitchen read 45'F. 
It warmed up considerably by noon, but at 6:30am,...you could see your breath.

I'm now sick as a dog, with a cold. I wonder if the doctor's office will barter services for lobsters?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back to our regular programming...

I managed to accomplish a few things while my boys were away.

(Man, they are a lot of work! I hardly would know Thing One was here; she does everything for herself. The 5 yr old and the 46 yr old...that's another story.)

I did this:

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That's an un-scarf, like the un-cola. Remember those old 7-up commercials? Whose voice was that?? Remember, it was a big laugh-Ah-hahahahaha. 
hmmm. that'll keep me up all night.
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The fingerless mitts to match. Not that I need the matchy-matchy, but I reeeeeally love this yarn. I even have more left over. I don't now what else I can do with it, so I will hold it and pet it for a while and see if it wants to become something else.
Plus, it's freakin' cold here! Came on quick! I wear these all the time; even in the house...but I'll tell you about that tomorrow...

Here's the Mystery Sock, with clue # 3 done (the heel). 
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I'm a little bummed out that it was this heel, the eye of partridge heel. It's the only one I know! I was hoping for a different style, so I could learn something new. 
But there's something to be said for doing clue #3 on both socks in less than an hour!!


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I'm off to look at clue #4, which was posted at noon today.
Maybe the toe will be something new. 
how many ways are there to do a toe, anyway?

testing 1-2-3-

OK Karen, here goes nuthin'!


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This is a good test because I cropped this pic right to the edge of the sleeve.
OOOO, I did it right!
Thanks, K for the help!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Boys Are Back!

With the camera!


But the battery is dead, so it will need the night to charge. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will be sunny tomorrow for some half decent pictures. fingers crossed.

They saw lots of moose, but nothing they could shoot at, and so came home moose-less. They seem to have had a good time anyway.
We've already emptied the truck and done most of the laundry. woo-hoo!

Thing One, who was left out of this trip, was appeased when her Daddy came home with a present for her. (I was concerned....they were 10 days in the woods, at camp, with no electricity or running water, or stores. I had visions of the present being a dead porcupine....did I mention that when I went to vacuum Thing Two's room the day they left I found a squirrel tail?? Actually, I think it fell out of the laundry I'd just put away. UGH!)
Happily, the gift(s) were a new folder for her artwork and a pack of sugarless gum-a rare treat in our house. 

Can't wait too see and hear all the Rhinebeck goodies floating around tomorrow!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Commercial-ism

So, we are those strange people who find commercials funny. We actually watch commercials, partly because we do not have cable or satellite TV, and only get 2 of the 3 major networks which, as you know, show many, many commercials.

 (And PBS, which rocks. We live for PBS. He loves the nature and science shows, the kids love the cartoons, and I love Masterpiece Theater and the Britcoms. Yay, PBS!
 And no commercials until the Quarterly Beg-For-Money-Athon.
 And even then they usually have some awesome special on; recently we watched some video of old groups from the 60's, except it was filmed present-day, and they were all old, but it was still cool- and they were still pretty good! And don't even get me started on the chicken show!!! That's another whole story in itself!)

Oh, right...commercials.
So, the most recent funny commercial worth mentioning is for a mop. A swiffer thing, I think. (Yeah, we love some commercials enough to talk about them, tell other people about them blog about them, and yet we are an advertiser's nightmare, because we can never remember what product is being advertised!!)

This particular commercial stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. The background music is "Baby come back, any kind of fool could see, there was something, in everything about you..". You know it, it's from an old 70's group named 'Player'.
A delivery man comes to the door with flowers.
Says "I have a delivery from a Mr. Mop..."  (cue music)
The housewife is looking at the delivery man, and behind him, peeking out from behind a tree, is a mop.

Oh, c'mon, it's funny!!

And for those of you old enough to remember the good ol' days of SNL...
at the end of this commercial, the doorbell rings again, and another delivery man is at the door.... "candygram..."

Leaves me in stitches every single time. 

There has been knitting, but I have no camera. She's in bed right now, but tomorrow I will get Thing One to model my finished cowl and mitts with photobooth.
This is a major sacrifice for me, you know. Once she finds out she can see herself on my laptop, she'll be singing songs from High School Musical and Camp Rock into it all day.

This is real, this is me, I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Tricks and Old Dogs

I have spent the better part of the day messing around with le blog.


The moral of the story is: do not mess with that which you do not know!!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Charts!

After a couple of requests spanning something like 3 months, I got right on it and posted the patterns (well, charts) for my little lobsters and a chain border...there they are on the right.

I have a lot more, I'll keep adding links as I get them in the computer.
Ahem, one of them is written on a napkin! (I think we were in a restaurant...)

One other request was for the 'wave chart' I used in the Under The Sea sweater. That wave was adapted from a hat pattern in Knitty called "Swell". I only used the top half of the wave. I adjusted it to the number of stitches available in Ann Norling's top-down raglan sweater pattern.
Thanks Kimmie Kemper!
 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Where there's a will....

...there's a way.


The Big Guy left for hunting camp for 10 days...
...with my son and my camera.

I had no idea I would miss my camera so much.

However, I am nothing if not industrious. I've been knitting and cleaning and cleaning and knitting. 
Now how am I going to show you the wonderful things I've created with no camera???
And then: Divine Intervention in the form of Ravelry.
A  genius posted in the forums last night, passing on some very, very useful information. 
Photobooth.  Well, Duh! Why didn't I think of that?

I've worked my tail off on the mystery sock, and last night (or early this morning depending how you look at it), I finished the 8th repeat of clue#2.

The reason for having to work my tail off? I ordered yarn specifically for this project. In my brilliant-ness, I waited until 3 days after clue#1 was released to order, and though it came in the mail lickety-split, I was waaay behind. In the meantime, I knit that cuff in about 6 different yarns. I wish I'd taken pictures of them all! You've never seen such ugly knitting!!

 I have a lot (oh, 'scuse me, that really should say 'A LOT') of sock yarn.
 I know there are many of you out there who have way, way more than I, but I'm usually pretty good about buying only what I'll use up. And I'm a slow knitter, so it isn't going to move really fast in this house. 
And of the 15 or 16 skeins of sock yarn...not a one of them isn't variegated. Apparently, I am all about the wild and crazy self striping yarns.
So I had to (HAD TO) order some semi-solid.
And I've been itching to order from Beth, the lovely lady of The Jewell's Handmade.
(I want one of her son's swifts, too!)
This is celery (and that brown-ness you see should be just a lighter green; best I could do with Photobooth). 

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very hard to hold still in front of a laptop.

I'm done at the 8th repeat, because if I go to 12 like Kirsten wants, I will have knee socks. Well, maybe not quite...but they will be way too high up the leg. I did these on my trusty size 1 Addi lace tips, and they are HUGE. This is my first 'patterned' leg, but I'm a fairly tight knitter and did not expect such a loose fabric. Anyone else doing these? (Seriously, there's got to be one of the 1126 people in this group who visits here!!)
This pattern is addictive! I had to force myself to stop at 8 repeats, I probably could have/should have stopped at 6.
But I put them down, and as Saturday Night Live was still on and I was still wide awake, I cast on some Christmas knitting. Which I can't show you. Yet. But it's awesome.

...And...remember this?
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'course you do, I only just showed it to you!

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It winds up to look like this...

(I was a little worried. You know how you sometimes love, love, love how it looks in a hank, and then you wind it, and you're all...hmmmm, and then you swatch it, and.....um.....it's just not the same? I was worried.)
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BUT I LOVE IT EVEN MORE!!!
Pardon the sun-glare, but it was important to get the color accurate.
I will be playing with this until the wee hours......

Friday, October 10, 2008

International Happiness

Happiness is:

    coming home from work to this:

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Oh, all that yummy European chocolate! And Italian coffee!
Thank you so much, Berny! Why does it taste better just knowing it came from Italy?

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I'm so hiding this from everybody in the house! Super-sneaky hiding skills: activate!
(sorry, we watched an old Power-Puff Girls cartoon the other day, and I've been saying stuff like that ever since.)


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Incense! Perfect! My boys (46 and 5 years old, respectively) seem to be having trouble lately with...aim. I will put the incense to good use in the bathroom, so the girls (who have no such difficulty) can enjoy going into that room.
I've given up washing the floor every time either of them goes in there. Once in the morning and once at night. Even Alice didn't have to follow the Brady kids into the bathroom! 
But it does smell exactly like the Orient Heights T stop.


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Just look at those colors. I can't stop looking at them. I took a picture, and made a screensaver for my computer. Does that NOT say love?

I am winding it right now, and it still looks good. It's going to be fingerless mittens (got quite an obsession going with these) and a hat. FOR ME. Don't any of you get any ideas. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Beach Cover-up

Finished, washed, dye set, dried, and blocked!


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The colors are just ever-so-slightly less vibrant, but really, it's only noticeable if I hold the leftover yarn next to it.

Now, can somebody with a brain tell me why my pictures are consistently cut off on the right side in blogger? I LIKE the medium size. I DON'T WANT to use the small size, it looks like a thumbnail and it's annoying!
This has been driving me crazy for months, and I would gladly sacrifice right column width to make it right! (It looks fine in Preview, it's the column width that needs tweaking. I considered changing templates, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't make a difference.) 
Anyone?
Beuller?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunflowers

We love sunflowers. We love to grow them, to look at them, and to eat the seeds of them!

We even grow some strange, but pretty, versions of them  These are Moulin Rouge, and they are gorgeous!

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We cut off the heads of the regular variety and hung them to dry.
Soon there will be toasted, salted sunflower seeds.
Yum.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Motivators

I've just about had it with the whole jelly thing.

And, ugh!, I'm only on the second 1/2 bushel!

Got these guys in on the act today:

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bubble, bubble, toil and trouble......
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eek. The front of my stove is dirty.
HE didn't get a turn. It is food, after all! Food and five year old boys do not mix, unless it's eating!
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Sure smells like fall in my house!

Two down, two to go. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Show (part 2)

Here are the Things pre-field trip:


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Is he just a little happy to be going on his first field trip?


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I stayed home and dealt with this mess. This is the first 1/2 bushel. I was on the phone when the big canner came to a boil, and it gushed over the top of the pan,all over the stove. Then I had the pan on low for about 4 hours baking all that sticky apple goodness onto the burners. By the time I'm done with all this jelly, I'm going to need more drip pans. Did you hear that, Santa?

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This is the juicing process. Takes forever, and the wine is a requirement.

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Almost done. There's the juice in the big barrel on the left.

Then I washed that crocheted cover up with the dye set. It said wash vigorously for 20 minutes. I should have known better, but it came out ok.


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The colors are fine, but the cotton no longer has that crisp new look. It's a bit faded, which I'll take over the alternative which is bleeding all over everything it comes near. But the yarn itself looks a bit worn. You know how denim gets softer and worn looking as it gets washed repeatedly? That's how this looks. It's drying; I'll post pictures when it's done (maybe tonight).

So this stuff really worked! I only used about 2 teaspoons, so I guess I'll have it forever.
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And here's the monster that gave me nightmares last night.
This sucker was a full 2 and a half inches long! If it had been ON me, I'd have had a heart attack and died on the spot.
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woaaaaaaaaoooohhhhhh!!!!!!

Between the Monster-Spider, the egg the other day, and the solo- field trip, I've had a fun week!

Show and Tell, pt 1

     I have stuff to show, and stuff to tell...but...(you knew there was a 'but', didn't you?)

It's 2am, my eyes are crossing, and I have not yet uploaded the pictures. 
So here's the Tell part of the story.

     Firstly, it has been crazy hectic here on the Rock this week. I had two employees of Mount Desert Hospital come out to the island (no small feat) to finish a Nutrition Promotion/Healthy Lifestyle grant we worked on last spring. Remember this?

Marybeth Judy and Kathy Mulligan were kind enough to stay overnight, do a class with the kids at school, and attend a dinner with a healthy recipe swap. And yeah, it was all organized in three days. (I just did the Italian elbow thing, to nobody in particular. You know the one I mean.)
It was really fun, mostly because they are really fun. (God, I wish they were knitters!)
The dinner was a huge success, very well attended, and with no shortage of food!
Thank You ladies; and I'm serious about making this an Annual Event. We are sooo all about food out here. Not very many of us drink, and if you don't drink, you eat!

I found out Monday afternoon that the only date we could coordinate all of our hectic schedules around was...this Thursday. Yikes. This might be an organizing record, even for me. It all turned out well, howver, and All Is Right With The World. Thanks to all the chefs who contributed to our wonderful meal!

Then came today (or yesterday, as it is technically after midnight, and I've been sipping wine all evening).
The school had a field trip today.
BOTH of the Things were invited.
Field trips require a boat ride.
And vehicular transport.

And, in true neurotic OCD fashion, I begged volunteered to be a chaperone. 
And I got very, very busy planning the  Nutrition grant /dinner thing.
And on Thursday afternoon I checked the marine forecast. And knew I had a big, big problem.
You see, both kids knew about the field trip. They were very excited to go. And there was no way in Heaven or Hell I was going on that boat. (No offense, Kim; you know how much I trust you!)
enter, large bottle of Woodbridge, stage left.

After much discussion, fighting, and crying (that was me), it was decided that the kids should go on the trip without me. After all, there were three teachers going as chaperones. One, for sure, is CPR trained (I was with her, so I know!), they probably all are. They are all very responsible. They all hold valid driver's licenses. I'd bet my left foot that all three of them could pass a urine test (see, these are the things I torture myself with).
But they aren't ME.

In the end I lost the argument. 
And so, my Two Little Things went off on the Gott Boat today, without me. They left at 9am.
They came back at 5:45pm.  That's all day, people!
They had a lovely time. They brought back souvenirs and stories.
They are not maimed in any way.
I may never be the same.

I spent the morning juicing apples to make apple jelly. (Lots of jelly. I have 2 bushels of apples to juice. I filled my biggest canners today, and even had to borrow another and you wanna know how many apples I got juiced? 1/2 bushel. oy. You know where I'll be all weekend.)
I spent the afternoon at Tammy's store, eating all the chocolate that wasn't nailed down, because it was too early to start in on wine. Kay came down and hung out with us, too. (I should've brought the wine!)

Then I was attacked by the World's Biggest Spider. Pictures to show the horror of this monster tomorrow.

I also washed Thing One's Crocheted Cover-up with the dye set. Pictures of that tomorrow.

Ah yes, and I un-knit the last 2 inches of my latest project. Yes, un-knit. As in tinked back.
Because wine +lace knitting= disaster, no matter how you look at it.

Ugh, the kids will be up in four hours. I gotta get some sleep. 
fingers crossed they sleep in tomorrow...



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

...and really bad eggs

I must share this little slice of my life. Yesterday I thought I'd play Mother Of The Year, and make my kids eggs for lunch (you know, since I'm not a morning person, and I refuse to make them eggs for breakfast. Don't give me that look! There's nothing wrong with oatmeal! And, in my defense, I usually make brunch on Sundays.).

anyway....
I threw some nice chopped ham in a pan with a bit of butter... mmm, can you smell that?
I took my eggs out of the fridge. I picked up one that had some brown spots on the shell, 'cause I always use the ugly ones first...
and I cracked it into a bowl.
Only something wasn't quite right.
When the shell cracked, some water splashed on my hand. Water. Not egg white.
In a split second, I dropped the egg (into the bowl, thank goodness).
And the rest of the shell broke apart.
And as the sight registered in my brain, the smell hit me.
Oh God, the memory of it is coming back to me...

Now I've been a health care worker for a long, long time, and I have 2 kids. My husband is a commercial fisherman. I know all about the smells.

I was going to name all those smells, just for fun, but I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, up until that moment, arterial blood was the number one badness on the list.

Let me tell you, this was the worst smell I have ever had the misfortune to sniff. I barely made it to the sink, and I was standing right next to it. And I never, ever 'lose lunch', my body will not give up the calories! My record was way, way longer than Seinfeld's.

I flushed the nasty thing, and couldn't eat for hours. (That's a first, for me.)


So, what about the beginning of this 18-pack of eggs, the ones we ate for Sunday brunch? What about the rest of them? Is it a fluke? One bad one that got through? And how does that happen?
The eggs on Sunday seemed fine, nobody is sick yet. I cracked four more when I felt up to it a few hours later, and they seemed ok. I decided it wasn't worth worrying about. I threw them all out.

We are walking on eggshells, here!

I'm putting this at the end. Don't look if you aren't brave. (The kids made me take the picture, right before I bleached every surface of my kitchen, and Thing One lysol-ed the entire first floor of the house.)

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