Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hot June

I realize it's less than a week til the month ends and I haven't posted anything about this month's K.A.Y.E. prize!

Oops.

But here it is.

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It's 250 yards of a DK weight superwash wool hand dyed yarn purchased from numma numma. It's called Texas Toasty and the color is Jalepeno. Spicy!

It's all Chris's fault. If I hadn't gone KIPing with her on WWKIP day, I would have never known of this yarn.

Go check out the baby sweater she made out of some bamboo numma numma.

What do you have to do to be able to win this yarn? Well, click on the K.A.Y.E. link earlier in this post and follow the instructions.

If you don't win this month, no worries, you can still win the big year-end prize of a mini-stash of yarn.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not So Bad

Being 30 that is.

First up, the Boston Cream Pie was delicious. I think I must have put on five pounds just yesterday.

One of my bosses bought me a beautiful fondant cake with "Happy Flag Day [Bezzie]" written on it. This was from the boss I made the chocolate cheese pie for a little over a week ago.

Chunky made me a sweet little card.

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Which I added to my collection of birthday cards on the windowsill.

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I notice a very TurtleGirl theme going on here...first the turtle card from Chunky and check out the orange kitty cards from my Mom and Dad and Aunt Jaywalker.

But the best thing was something that I knew I wanted, but forgotten I had asked for (for Christmas last year). Dr. Mad Scientist couldn't find it last year in any store, and actually ordered this online for me.

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It's a Compost Pail! I had been collecting my scraps in an old Folgers can (tub?? What do you call them now that they're made of plastic?) but it got quite stinky quite fast and I deep sixed the concept.

My Aunt Jaywalker had this same cannister when Chunky and I visited her last October and I loved it.

It has a charcoal filter on the lid so the funkafactor doesn't get too bad. It holds a gallon of scraps so you don't always have to be walking to the compost pile.

Totally not a necessity for composting--but a wonderful little birthday splurge! Especially because I know he could have gotten it for $30 cheaper if he had shopped around online for it. But I didn't marry him for his financial sense. Hee hee!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Well I've Never Been To Boston...*

...but I kinda like the Cream Pies.

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Ganache. Is there not a more heavenly thing on earth?

Today's an important day for the following peeps:

Alfred Kinsey born on June 23, 1894--Mmm...science and sex, what more can you want!

Bob Fosse born on June 23, 1927--Too much Broadway for me to appreciate. I'd rather gouge my eyes out and pour hot ganache in the sockets than be dragged to a Broadway production.

Richard Bach born on June 23, 1936--I think my dad made us watch the movie version of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. If I remember rightly he made smartass wisecracks throughout the whole thing making a "deep" book/movie friggin hilarious.

Stuart Sutcliffe born on June 23, 1940--The true 4th Beatle if you ask me. Backbeat made me cry.

Wilma Rudolph born on June 23, 1940--Run Wilma! Run!

Randy Jackson born on June 23, 1956--Happy Birthday dawg!

Joss Whedon born on June 23, 1964--Yes, I'll admit it, I'm a Buffy geek.

LaDainian Tomlinson born on June 23, 1979--I saw him play football at my VERY first college game I ever went to--CSU v. TCU. We beat those mother smugger Horned Frogs! The thing I hate the most about the east coast is their lack of teams that bother to play Mountain West teams. I'd love to see a CSU game in person again.

And hey, I just found out it's Pam, Yarny Goodness Proprietress Extrodinaire's birthday today too! (Why yes, that would be a pimp of her store that features products by yours truly!)

It's also my 30th birthday. Woot.

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What have I accomplished in 30 years?

I've made residence in 5 different states in 4 different time zones.

I've been married nearly a third of my life (yikes, that makes me feel old).

I did my time in college for three years and collected an AA.

I've popped out and helped raise an amazing little nutbar.

I've pushed paper professionally for 11 years.

There's been a lot of shitty things that have happened to us lately--the Texass Debacle, Shitty September ala the IRS, and the latest fun and games surrounding Dr. Mad Scientist's addiction issues. But that's all recent history, and with time it won't seem so big or shitty.

I remember being forced out of college nine or so years ago when I ran out of money to be a big-ass horrible deal that I thought my life was over. I say forced out because I would have stayed in if I could have. But the money ran out. Dropping out is what you do when you don't want to go anymore. Yeah, whatever, not as big a crisis as I thought it was at the time. A college degree is a nice thing to have, but sometimes I'm glad I don't have one.

So another year and another decade come and gone. I guess I'll just continue to roll with whatever life spits our way.

Life is always sweeter with ganache anyway.

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*My apologies to Three Dog Night.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Local (Cheapass) Summer

I've been slack in my participation with One Local Summer this year.

My goal, as it was last year, is to find food that's made in a place that's a comfortable day's drive away. I am also striving to find as much local food at my ShopRite--to prove that you don't have to always go to specialty markets or expensive supermarkets like Wholier Than Thou Foods.

And this week I've got a twist--cheapassedness. Because, let's face it, eating local is a great thing to do, but on average it can be more expensive than non-local products.

I just finished up eating this for lunch:

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A grilled cheese sandwich, when I realized that this sandwich meets my criteria.

The bread is made by Freihofer's distributed out of Pennsylvania (Freihofer's is now owned by GW Bakeries, but they have many bakeries in the NJ area as well...).

The cost of this bread? I bought it when it was about to expire and it was 1/2 off and just popped it in the freezer for a grand total of $1.19. One good way to get cheap store bought bread is to freeze it when it's about to expire and keep it in the fridge instead of on the counter to extend its shelf life. It's easy spot mold on bread, so it's easy to get over any expiration aversions you might have about with bread.

The cheese is Heluva Good Pepper Jack cheese. Heluva Good is headquartered in upstate New York. They have facilities that meet my comfortable day's drive in five places. Only two of their facilities are outside my criteria--in Ohio and Tennesse. I'm not 100% sure where this particular cheese was made, but the odds are good it was local.

How much was the cheese? $2.99. But I used this 75 cent off coupon (scroll waaay down!), the coupon was doubled, and I only paid $1.49 total for the cheese. The best part was the register spit out with my receipt another 75 cent off coupon for Heluva Good cheese! Ha ha!

So see, no driving all around town to over-priced grocery stores or paying out the nose for locally produced foods. It just took 5 minutes of internet research to determine that these products are local.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sniff!

There's been boring knitting going on here.

I've started the body of Lily after finishing the sleeves and I'm about to turn the heel of Chunky's second tiger sock.

But speaking of Chunky, he's been keeping us busy.

This weekend was kindergarten graduation.

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My boy! What happened to my baby?!?!

His class put on a little variety show for the parents--little skits, poems, and Chunky and a couple of his classmates even gave a karate demonstration. I knew he takes a karate class after school each Wednesday, but I had no idea he was so good!

I won't bore you with all the video I took.

But I will post a picture of the little interviews they had with each kid that his teacher did and then hung around the auditorium.

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Here's what it says if you can't read it (and the picture cuts the bottom off):

Q: What's your favorite TV show or Movie?
A: Star Wars 1.
Q: What's your favorite color?
A: Green, blue, or orange. Probably orange.

Q: If you could be any age, what would it be?
A: 20, because my mom's 29 and my dad's 30.

Q: Will you ever have kids?
A: Can you get back to that question a little later? I can't decide, annoying kids? Or not annoying kids?

Q: If you could be any superhero, who would it be?
A: Wonder Woman (he laughs at his joke). Ironman.

Q: What's your favorite thing about school?
A: Every Friday we have fun stuff to do and we have a fun teacher. We would do anything for you, even give you $1,000.

Chunky: You forgot to ask me my favorite villan!
Q: So who is your favorite villan?
A: Rhino from Spiderman.

Sweet mother of Fatzah, I'm not sure what's funnier--that kid question or the Wonder Woman joke!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vote! (Por Favor?!)

Yeah you can choose from Old Man McCain or My Initials Are the Same As Body Odor Obama, or you can write in a certain cartoon mouse.

But that election isn't until November.

Instead why not vote for my Younger Youngest Brother's entry to win four new tires? He isn't old and he doesn't smell. I promise.

If you click here and click on the star-rating for the picture entitled Alaska Sled Dog Boot Camp--he'll be one step closer to winning those tires.

And hey, if you don't vote for him, it's a cute picture of my sister in law (the newly pregnant one that I've got to get knitting for soon) and their first "baby," Crispy, the Jack Russell.

Ahhh...makes me hate this hot Lower 48 weather just looking at all that snow!!!

This blog post paid by supporters of Bezzie's Younger Younger Brother for tires.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

All over the place...

I hate it when people can't pronounce the word "fail" or "hail" and say "feh-el" or "heh-el" instead of "fay-el" or "hay-el." I don't know if this is a regional thing or what, but I hear it all over. It gets worse when it's in the past tense:

What did the weather do last night? It helled.
Did you pass the test? No, I felled. GAH!

But in the meantime, my bachelor buttons are budding!

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I can't stand it when people say "shtreet" instead of "street." Last time I checked there was no "h" in street. A certain Democratic candidate's wife says "shtreet" and it drives me bonkers. Again, I don't think its a regional thing.

However, my socks are rockin'!

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Things aren't so great in the Dr. Mad Scientist employment field. He's finally coming to the conclusion that he doesn't think research is for him. The handwriting was on the wall, that's all I can say. But I think it's better to realize this now only having squandered less than 10 years of your life instead of more doing something you don't really enjoy.

But hey, the cherry tomatoes are flowering.

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I guess I can't really bitch about stuff. Starving kitties in Iraq and all.

In conclusion, I'm quite pleased with the pot garden sofar this season.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend

On Saturday I KIPed with Chris, Jen and Karen at Angelfire Studios. There was a decent turn out of knitters and Karen brought her little guy. Chunky was in seventh heaven to have someone around his own age around so he didn't have to associate with us knitters. We got there at 12 and I didn't hear "I'm bored!" until 3:00. Not bad!

I didn't get any pictures, but I worked on my Lily Cardigan. I finished up one sleeve and started the other.

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Doesn't look like much but I love the way it's fitting. I'm not loving the way the picot bind off on the one sleeve folded right over on itself. I hope that will block out.

Sunday Dr. Mad Scientist took off for the city for some AA Hootenanny at the Hilton. He had a good time.

I took this:

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and spun it into this:

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I lost control in a few spots (more than I'd like to admit) and it's got those fatter sections. But overall it's not bad. I love the color--"smoke."

This Falkland fluff was a gift straight from Geddesburg. You wanna see some real handspining? Check out her blog on handspun yarn porn Fridays!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

T. Made Me Do It

Earlier this week, my sister T. emailed me looking for her recipe for Chocolate Cheese Pie to make for a coworker's birthday.

So I gave it to her.

And had to make one of my own.

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My bottom of the totem pole boss has a birthday tomorrow. As she's very secretive of her birthday, I figured we'd have this as a Flag Day pie instead of her birthday.

The best part? I have enough ingredients to make another pie for us at home!

ETA: Yikes people. The recipe is off the box of Baker's Chocolate (I think).

2 oz baking chocolate
2 cups whipped cream (Cool Whip)
3 oz cream cheese
3/4 sugar
1 teasp. milk
1/4 butter

Melt the chocolate in the nuker slowly. Meanwhile cream together the butter, sugar, milk and cheese. Fold in the melted chocolate. Fold in the whipped cream. Put it in a cookie or graham cracker crust. Refridgerate for 3 + hours. The end!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wild!

Well the "cold" (I use that term loosely because the high today is supposed to be 90) front came through last night with a bang.

It was the WORST storm I've ever been through in my life.

This morning we surveyed the damage.

This is the view from the top of my steps of my pot garden normally.

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This was the view this morning.

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Notice anything different? Like that tree-age in the front yard?

That would be from where a large branch took out Zorba's the landlord's front porch overhang and his wheelchair ramp.

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Until those trees get cleared, he's pretty much trapped inside. He doesn't get along well without a wheelchair or walker. He could go out the other two doors...but it would be a real chore for him and his nurse.

It was basically the one maple tree in the side yard that snapped all over.

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Pretty awful, but kind of cool in a only-the-porch-got-hurt sort of way.

Like I said though that was the worst storm I've ever been through. I guess that says a lot given the places I've lived.

There was one in Waco, TX when we drove to Texas that was pretty bad. But this one had all the right elements: thunder, lightning, high wind, hail, and rain.

And of course Dr. Mad Scientist was coming home from his AA meeting at exactly the time it hit. But he said people were pretty good about driving really slow with their hazzards on and the fire department was already out and about directing people around fallen trees in the road.

Lucky him--his train line isn't operating this morning so he doesn't have to go to work until this afternoon when hopefully the trains start running again. I want to sleep in!

But hey, now that it's "cooler" I might start knitting again!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

OLS

I decided again to particpate in One Local Summer.

The farm stand across the street from the office isn't open yet. But I know the guy is busy. We see him keeping his bees and putzing around on his tractor. This is actually part of the reason we're moving to Newark--the partners think that where we're located is kind of podunk and not good for our image.

I personally love that there's a harem of wild turkeys that likes to strut in our parking lot and we get to watch bee keeping in action from our office windows. We ain't gonna find THAT in Newark.

Ah well, I'll start hitting up the Newark Farmer's Market when we make the move.

In the meantime, this week was the first official week of One Local Summer.

I knew this, but I didn't make a conscious effort to eat one total-local meal.

But I can tell you when we went grocery shopping this weekend I bought my staples of Park Sausage (Baltimore, MD) and Black Bear Deli Weiners (Philly, PA) (great on the grill!) seen here all wrapped up in foil.

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Opening the freezer to take pictures on a 100 degree day--ahhhh!

I also regularly buy some Pennsylvania hotdog and hamburger buns (I can't remember their name right now) and my fave--Friendship sour cream made in NY. So much better than that Daisy crap--and it's cheaper too!

Oh! And my favorite new discovery (also on sale last week):

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Turkey Hill Ice Cream imported from Lancaster County, PA. Yum!

Again my goal will be to eat foods in a comfortable driving distance (we'll pretend gas prices aren't crazy) and mostly from the supermarket. I like the supermarket angle because it shows you don't have to go all over town (wasting that gas!), live outside a city, or to the back country farms to find local foods. You just have to take the time read the label and do some research.

In the meantime my own down-the-10-stairs local harvest-to-be is doing well.

I had a ladybug land on my potato. How could I resist not taking a picture of my two favorite things--potatoes and ladybugs?

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And Chunky insisted as long as I was taking pictures I take a picture of his 11-bloom petunia plant that he gave me for Mother's Day.

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Maybe petunias are those flowers that like to be rootbound?? The pot is tiny, I'm surprised this little plant is going as good as it is.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

At Least I'm Not Wearing a Fur Coat

This is Squeaky's preferred method of staying cool:

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Stretching out in front of a breeze to ensure maximum belly-cooling potential.

For those who asked, an explanation of what Cold Fish does can be found here. No, there's no pattern for it. I just kind of made it up.

One thing New Jersey has over Texas--the effin' humidity.

Tomorrow is supposed to be even worse--98. I never thought I'd say this, but thank god I'm going to work. There's A/C at work for me and Dr. Mad Scientist and at school for Chunky.

Of course I'll probably bite the bullet and leave the fans on all day for the furbags.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Pass The Straw--Because I'm Melting

Because after a weekend of this:

weather

And no air conditioning, it's time to put these:

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In the freezer, and dig out this from the old underwear drawer:

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Thank god for cold-fish-cold-water bottle covers--how I slept in this shitty hot weather without one before, I'll never know!

Stay cool!

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Peas Peas Me

Walking inside the house today, we made a great discovery.

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(That's Chunky, my filthy handed model.)

We have peas!!!!! Chunky and I quickly set to "harvesting" the ones big enough to pluck.

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I think maybe we got 10 pods total (of course we snacked on a couple while picking them!) but my plants are still flowering away and we left the little pods on the plants.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this years Pot Garden.

The lettuce and spinach is going berserk!

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We'll be eating some this weekend for sure.

The radishes are starting to form.

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The damned birds are picking at my daisys and bachelor buttons.

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My oregano is finally starting to show a bit more progress.

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My socks are still rockin'

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(And if you look in the corner there you can see one of my potatoes growing like crazy too.)

The rest of my pots are doing well too.

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From left to right are sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, cukes, and big boy tomatoes.

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From left to right in the top row is some sugar pumpkins, my broccoli, more cukes and possible a tomato (or a maple tree seed that sprouted instead).

The bottom row is lavender, my Chunky Petunia (on it's second round of blooming), some pathetic thyme, basil, and some sad looking catnip.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this year's progress.

Now if I could just get those damn birds to look for worms in the ground and not my pots!!

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Shameless

Even Dylan eventually went electric right?

Scroll down. Hee hee.

Self-promotion over. I'll have more to blog about soon.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

22 Saturdays

I wanted to wait til the exact middle of the year--26--to send these, but the box is busting at the seams.

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22 Hats For Alex.

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My two favorite hats are the last two I knit.

One out of double stranding some of the Koigu mill ends I bought at Rosie's the morning of Maryland Sheep and Wool and some yellow Plymouth Dream Baby I had in the stash.

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And one out of one of my first attempts to spin on my wheel in some superwash merino I had.

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Honestly I think I love these two the most because I made them when I was finally done with that horribly boring skein of blue acrylic yarn I had been using!

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