Friday, February 26, 2010

Yawn!

I don't mind the snow.

I do mind offices that aren't prompt with announcing closures/late delays. I got about half way through shovelling my car out when I got word that the office was closed today.

Hooray.

Now I get to work late on Monday.

Which means I get to pick up the boys from school, drive BACK to Newark, entertain them for a half hour at the office, and then give them to Dr. Mad Scientist to bring home (he has class in Newark Monday nights).

Sigh.

But after pushing these weekend-ruining thoughts aside, I did finish up something.

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No, I'm not knocked up.

But I'm planning--no, not for me.

Right now I'm riding a wedding wave. I can count six upcoming weddings in the next year and a half by people I know. (Did I mention my Younger Sister T. got engaged a couple of weeks ago? This is in addition to my Youngest Younger Sister getting engaged in late January. So 1/3rd of those weddings will be ones we'll be attending!)

And you know how the rhyme goes.

First comes love, then come marriage, then comes the baby carriage.

When I got a free ball of Caron Spa yarn in the mail from the Caron Yarn in "sunshine yellow" it was screaming "baby sweater!"

And that's what it became.

I've got the urge to do another one in a pink and black yarn I have lying around in the stash. I might top it off with a blue version too.

Cover all my baby-gifting bases!

ETA: The pattern is the ubiquitous Baby Tulip Sweater. Nothing fancy.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quit Yer Complaining!

I think this sums it up quite well.

I will now go enjoy my "hurricane-like snow." Which is actually more like slush.

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Mmm...a slushy hurricane. Too bad the weather shut down the Boobie Bar!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

I Need a Double

I need to clone myself.

Seems like this time of year every year at work I'm always busier than a incontinent cow in a peeing contest.

Big Boss is heaping stuff on me, which is fine, I appreciate that I get to be a bit more than an average paper pusher, but sometimes I think he forgets that I work for three other people.

And this past week it's been five other people. A secretary I back up went on vacation for eight days. I don't mind that either--but it would have been nice to know before she left.

So tonight I will take my shower, hop into my jammies, crank up the tunes, let the Springs nest on my lap, and--type a handbook.

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Maybe I can get Moochie to do it for me.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fin!

I simply loved the pictures of the crowd when Alaskan Kikkan Randall was competing in the Olympics.

They weren't waving the American flag, they were waving the Alaskan flag.

So break out your eight stars of gold on fields of blue!

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My sweater is done!

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I love it!!!! So much so I'm posting pre-blocked modeling pictures.

The details!

Pattern: Four Seasons Cardi, by Rachel Dickman from Knitcircus #9

Yarn: Mirasol Tupa (part wool, part silk--I can't remember what the percentages are). You'll remember this yarn from my failed Skinny Empire. Ugh. I think I used 6 skeins. I'm not sure since I rolled everything into one ginormous ball after frogging Skinny Empire.

Needles: US8

Notes: Oh how I modified this pattern!!

1. I did the top in stockinette as opposed to reverse stockinette. I don't like reverse stockinette--usually. There are some exceptions.

2. I didn't follow the pattern at all for the top. My gauge was off with this yarn and there was no way to get it to be spot on unless I went up to like size 99 needles--which would have been too holey given this yarn is DK weight. I figured since it was a top-down sweater, I could easily make up the top based on my measurements, the gauge I was getting with this yarn and size 8 needles and the trusty top-down formula.

3. Instead of sewing the tie ribbon, I made a row of eyelets to thread it through. And I did it higher. I was never fond of the across the boob tie--but now I'm a fan. It makes poor Laverne and Shirley (who have shrunken remarkably post-Moochie incubation) look wonderful.

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4. I don't think the original pattern called for a specific edging on the collar and sleeves. I believe it relied on the natural roll of the knitting (don't quote me on this though--I'm too lazy to dig up the pattern--Moochie grabbed it one day while I was sitting on the floor knitting and took off with it). Since I didn't do my reverse stockinette, I needed something. I used what is quickly becoming my favorite edging--the applied i-cord around the neck and the top of the opening.

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5. Speaking of the sleeves--the pattern called for knitting them so they were a little "puffy." I'm not so into that. I just knit them straight. I then decided to edge them by doing a *K2tog, YO* and then five more rounds of stockinette which after I bound off, I flipped under and sewed to the inside of the arm.

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I absolutely love the way the sleeve edging turned out!

I think that's all of the mods. When I think about it, the only thing I really followed in the pattern was the general style of the cardigan, and the lace ribbing at the bottom of the sweater.

I have nothing against the pattern, the reason I modified so heavily is because of my gauge problem and the fact I wasn't sure I had enough yarn to finish it. I felt I had a little more control in guestimating how much yarn I'd need modifying it myself.

Good thing too--check out how much I had left when all was said and done!

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Whew!

So there you go--I cheated and started a little earlier than the Olympic's official start, DQ me if you must, but I got a great sweater out of the deal!

And finally, just for Janna: proof that I do make funny faces when the FO doesn't suck!

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Actually Squeaky cat was behind the camera when I took this and I was making faces at her before the camera went off.

Do you like the patented Interweave Knits tug-at-the-sweater pose?

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday, In Every Sense of the Word

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday--or as I like to view it: the day when the other half of the office takes a long lunch on Ash Wednesday. Now I can look forward to them stinking up the office with microwaveable or take-out fish on Fridays*, and whining about having given up sweets for Lent.

This means there will be no Bezzie-made cookies brought into my office for 40 days and 40 nights.

The whine-factor is too much.

Did Jesus whine? Probably not. But he was alone in the desert, so maybe he did.

Anyway, back onto the subject of cookies.

Even though I'm raising a boy that comes home and says to me with wide eyed wonderment:

"Mom, my friend Kole's mom packed him storebought cookies in his lunch. Storebought cookies in your lunch? People actually eat those?"

I have my own temptations.

Mainly these:

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My old college roommate and I lived off of Grandma's double chocolate cookies for two years.

They were 85 cents in the laundry room vending machine and oh so delicious compared to cafeteria food.

Imagine my delight when I discovered a vending machine near my office that sold them!

They're still 85 cents--but much smaller nowadays!

I thought I would read the back for the nutritional information -- to see exactly where my Freshman and Sophomore 15 came from.

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Look at the calories.

There are two cookies in the package. One cookie is 150 calories. But two cookies is 310 calories.

WTF?

Can someone enlighten me as to why this is? Shouldn't it only be 300 calories?

Or when they say "entire package" does that mean I have to ingest the wrapper too?

Weird.

Needless to say, as much as I loved these as a college kid, I don't see myself hitting the vending machine for them much more.

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I'll stick to my own cookies--just as my own cookie has stuck to Moochie's face!

Happy Fat Tuesday!


*For some weird reason, no matter WHERE I work, my desk is always near the lunchroom and I have to endure the mish-mash of food smells for two hours every day.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Love!

I am in love with this sweater!

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Ok, I will come clean right now, I am modifying this sweater heavily. But I'm cruising through it quickly.

Of course it helps that it was a three-day weekend here and I couldn't get on the computer because a pair of boys hogged it all weekend.

Regardless, if I can keep up this pace I should be done with the sweater by mid-week. Blocking should take a day and finishing--if what I have in mind works--should take another few days.

We've been digging watching the Olympics. I love them so much more than the summer Olympics.

After watching the men's biathlon slush-a-thon, I'm still scratching my head over why the COA decided to offer up Vancouver for the winter Olympics. I guess Calgary and Quebec City were too cold and snowy?

Speaking of cold and snowy, I will leave you with the 22 cent snowman.

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Ha ha! Chunky couldn't find anything else to use for eyeballs and a face. Apparently he's sad because that's the only way he could get the mouth to stick.

Don't worry, now that it's warmed up, the 22 cents has been properly retrieved!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Something To Declare

Today is the start of the Winter Olympics.

And if you're a knitter or crocheter--the Knitting Olympics put on by everyone's favorite Yarn Harlot or the Ravelympics.

You guys know how I feel about the Yarn Harlot, so although I did participate in the last Knitting Olympics in 2004, I will not be patronizing Ms. H's program.

That leaves the Ravelympics.

Ok, putting aside my meh-ness for The Place That Shall Not Be Named, I just can't get on board with this name.

***

Stricken Patient lies in bed looking despondently out at the cold gray February afternoon.

There's a knock at the door and a Tall Bald Doctor comes striding in clasping a clipboard.

Stricken Patient turns her head and meets Tall Bald Doctor's eyes.

Tall Bald Doctor breaks Stricken Patient's gaze to look down at his chart.

Stricken Patient: What is it doctor? Is it bad? Oh please tell me!

A shadow passes over Tall Bald Doctor's expression as he looks up at his chart at Stricken Patient lying in her hospital bed.

Tall Bald Doctor: I'm sorry, I'm afraid you have....

Stricken Patient (impatient and annoyed now, with her voice rising): Tell me! Tell me!

Tall Bald Doctor: You have an infection of your ravelympics.

Stricken Patient: Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!! I'll never knit again!!!!!! Why God?! Why?!

***

Yeah, I think that name sounds like a terminal disease that is disgusting and can't be discussed over the dinner table.

Therefore, I'm playing by my own rules and have something to declare.

I have already knit for one day on this:

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Picture stolen from Knitcircus!

The Four Season's Cardi from Knitcircus #9.

I hope to have it done by the time the Winter Olympics are over.

I figure it's cool to play by my own rules as I realized today I've got some Winter O street cred.

I was checking out the Alaskan contingent to this Winter Olympics.

I went to high school with one of them (if only for a year--she graduated with Younger Younger Brother), and another one was actually at our wedding.

We invited Olympian's girlfriend, she brought him along as her guest. She was the ex-girlfriend of Dr. Mad Scientist's Best Man and a friend of Dr. Mad Scientist. She's married to Olympian now, but we're pretty sure she brought him to our wedding to rub it in Best Man's face. Ha ha! They did not have the best of breakups from what I hear.

Such a big state, but such a small world!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big News

Saturday, about two weeks ago, my Youngest Younger Sister called me.

Not entirely weird. But we email each other constantly at work, so we don't really talk on the phone much.

But she had big news to spill.

She has just gotten back from a vacation in the Bahamas with her boyfriend.

Who on that vacation became her fiance!!!

This is a double joy!!!

First because of course Youngest Younger Sister is getting hitched, and we'll be welcoming her fiance into the fray that is the weirdness that is my family (Dr. Mad Scientist will attest to this!), but also because:

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I splurged recently on this little vintage repro sign at AC Moore. It was $22 normally marked down to $5. If you watch a lot of kid's TV (like I do--not by choice), you will also recognize it as hanging on the walls of the set of iCarly.

Come Summer 2011 when she gets hitched, the family Bez will be doing just this!

GOING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm very excited. The timing couldn't be better.

By Summer 2011 Dr. Mad Scientist will have a year of PAID teaching under his belt and both he and Chunky will be out of school--thus we don't have to worry about them taking any vacation time off school (which teachers don't really get and Chunky is very anal about his perfect-attendance record). And I can easily take a week off of work to attend the ritual hitching!

It will cost us approximately $2400 (give or take depending on the final date they set for the big day) to fly the four of us back to the Homeland (and now you know why it will have been 11.5 years since we returned home--it's cheaper and faster to fly four people Europe).

This gives us about nine months to save up enough money to go. Easily doable.

And if you're doing the math--yes, I said nine months and yes, the wedding is in like 18 months. But someone doesn't start working until September 2010 and until then there's sadly no saving going on.

Chunky is very psyched! He'll finally get to see a real mountain! And the Pacific Ocean!!

We'll get to take our babies HOME!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Best Things Come To Those Who Wait...

...and possibly bitch about getting jacked out of snow earlier in the week.

So we didn't get the three feet like the southerners did.

But as of 7:00 p.m. tonight we had 9 inches, and now at 9:00 p.m.--it's still coming down.

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This was taken at 4:30 p.m.--8 inches. (That's what she said!)

I'll take it.

Newark cancelled schools Tuesday afternoon (shocking actually) before the snow even started.

At 11:30 p.m. Chunky's school robo-called to say school was cancelled (shocking again because it wasn't a 3:00 a.m. call like it normally is).

At 5:15 a.m. Moochie's daycare called to say they were closed.

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to call into work to see if we were closed--we were.

So we got a snow day.

Mr. Mooch watched the flakes from the warmth of standing on the coffee table we have put in front of the radiator to keep him from burning himself (which is located conveniently underneath the living room window):

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Me and Chunky had the pleasure of shoveling the driveway twice today.

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That's Chunky standing on the pilings of the driveway. In the summertime, we have to either climb the tree, or haul out a chair and stretch to pick the apples off those branches.

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Oh yeah. Can you see the glee on my face? I actually had to take off my Jovie Knock Off Hat half way through shovelling the second time because it was too warm! And boy does that hat rock! God save the water repelling nature of wool!

Ok, so it wasn't as much snow as the Southern Mid-Atlantic, but it was still enough to shut down everyone's favorite blog boobie bar and liquor store!

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You can tell when they're not open because there's only one neon-beer sign lit.

And yeah, we didn't have to shovel 36" of snow like the Southerners...but what's worse than shoveling a driveway?

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That would be shoveling a three-car wide driveway!

But props to my sidekick Chunky who kicks ass at shovelling (after I explained that you can't pile the snow behind the cars...). Of course it also helps that I offered him $5 for every time we shovelled, and he earned $10 today and will probably shovel again tomorrow.

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As he and Dr. Mad Scientist had their schools cancelled for Thursday as well.

Lucky ducks. Snow plus President's Day Weekend equals a six-day weekend for those chumps.

I get an hour extra to show up to work. Yay.

Stay tuned: Tomorrow, less snow talk (kinda) and details on the mysterious phone call I alluded to in an earlier post!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Darn It!

Darning my heel-holes wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

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It took 20 minutes tops.

Of course that also included five minutes where I waited for the squirrel scratching to subside in the ceiling above me before I hunkered back down on the couch to finish the job.

I swear, I'm living in my own personal heel hole!

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Absolut Citron

Back when I could drink, Absolut Citron was one of my faves.

But that was many moons ago and now my citrons are much fuzzier.

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Artsy Fartsy Shot! Especially since oranges give me gas! Ha ha! TMI!

Here she is all blocked and ready to wear.

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The details--

Pattern: The ubiquitous Citron

Yarn: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Iris Heather

Needles: US 6

Notes: I didn't modify this except to not knit the last section before adding the final ruffle. I read on The Place That Shall Not Be Named that other people using this yarn, because it is a little less in yardage from the yarn originally used in the pattern, that they came close to running out. Playing it safe, I omitted the last section.

Yeah, I would have had enough yarn.

Moral of the story: don't believe everything you read.

Do I like this pattern? Yes. I enjoyed knitting it. It was a good mindless bit of car knitting.

I do not enjoy knitting with laceweight. It's too easy to drop a stitch. But that could also have to do with the fact that I knit it in the dark many Saturday nights in the car waiting for my laundry to finish washing.

I also do not enjoy shawls/shawlettes/scarves/scarflettes, whatever the hell you want to call this.

I have a black boatneck stretch velour top that I don't wear because the boatneck shows my bra straps. I thought Citron would be great to wear with that top to hide my bra straps.

This time I should have believed what I read:

"Draped around the shoulders or scrunched around the neck, this piece will add just a bit of dressiness to any ...outfit."

Uhg. "Dressy" is not my style and the ruffles on this are just not me.

That, and I don't know how the hell you are supposed to wear a shawl/shawlette.

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I think it looks stupid like this (and notice how in the pattern there are no shots of the front when the back is fully "opened").

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It makes a cute little flirty babushka.

Unfortunately "flirty" and "babushka" should never be used together, let alone worn.

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Scrunched up, it kind of loses all of the details that make it unique and it just looks like a purple dust bunny decided to get amourous with my neck.

I don't know why I do this--shawls/shawlettes, dressy scarves and lacey little nothings are not my style, and yet I knit them anyway!

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Futbol Americano

I'm not really into the Superbowl this year.

I can't stand Peyton Manning (or Eli for that matter...). Plus they creamed the Jets, so yeah.

But on the other hand the Saints don't really do it for me. Meh.

However, it's a great excuse for football food! Ha ha!

We're having hotwings tonight for dinner. I've never made them before (outside of the crockpot) so it should be interesting.

The hotwings interrupts our normal every-other-Sunday pizza schedule. We ate it last night.

Because someone asked about my crust--I'm gonna give you my version of do-it-yourself crust. I encourage you to try making your own crust from scratch. You'll never go back to those pre-made crusts again!

Here's my disclaimer. I do not subscribe to the faith that dictates that you must follow a recipe to a tee, especially when it's for bread. I used to follow the recipe that Betty C. had for pizza crust, but it was an all white-crust, and we wanted whole wheat (because that's what we were addicted to when we'd buy the Boboli).

Therefore, using Betty C.'s recipe as a springboard, here's what I've come up with.

Start with 3 teaspoons of yeast (or you could use one packet of yeast--that's a little less).
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Add a cup of hot water (not too scalding hot, but not tepid either), and a "glug" of honey. Maybe 1/8 of a cup?
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Splash in some olive oil. Again, maybe three "glugs" from the bottle?
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Finally add in about 1.75 cups of white flour and 1.75 cups of whole wheat flour. I do use a measuring cup for this...but for the 3/4 cup part--I just kind of guestimate using the 1 cup cup.
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Take a fork and mix it all together.
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It's not going to stick much at this point. What I like to do is hand knead it a bit in the bowl, form it into a ball and let it sit for 10 minutes while I brown the sausage for the pizza.

I then roll it out onto my pizza stone with a rolling pin and "decorate" it with toppings.

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Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes and the crust is perfectly cooked all the way through. It's crispy at the bottom, but soft in the middle.

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Those "finished" pictures are actually of a mini-Moochie pizza I made for his royal highness (I dice up his toppings a bit more for his half-gummy mouth). His cooks for 15 minutes.

May your favorite team win or at the very least may your pizza always satisfy!

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Call the National Guard!

I woke up to a winter wonderland.

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That's right people. See the accumulation totals for Newark there?

0.2"

Send help.

I'm running low on milk.

I'm avoiding the web today. Between Facebook's new changes pissing me off*, I really don't want to read about all the snow that we got absolutely none of.



*Seriously, why fix what isn't broken? I have to read ALL updates now if I want to read them in chronological order (I really don't care that you friended your fifth grade arch nemisis or that you became a Fan of the Charmin Toilet Paper Butt Wipers Society), I get loads of white space at the end of my news feed (two screenfulls), I will get a groundhog-day-like loop of updates (wait, didn't I just read that you became a fan of the Charmin Toilet Paper Butt Wipers Society?), and after one click of "older posts" it will tell me: "No older posts are available right now."

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Milk, Bread, Eggs

I'll bet the National Weather Service and the dairy farmers, egg farms, bread bakeries and grocery store chains have a deal that every X months they take a storm that looks like it's going to dump lots of snow and HYPE IT TO THE MAX!

Even if there's a 1% chance you'll get snow from that storm (which admittedly, will hit some people hard), the weather forecasters will act like THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!

And then...

Pffftt.

Nothing.

What should I learn from this?

I should learn not to get my hopes up, but I do. I love winter. It's not like there's anything fun and exciting about impending heat waves in the summer.

Oh boy! I get to sweat in places I didn't know exist for seven days straight and pay a ton of money to keep this stupid air conditioner working! Yessss!

Ah well, at least it won't be a fustercluck getting to the laundromat tomorrow.

Although I did have visions of loading the laundry on the sled and dragging it into town.

And no matter what the snow-situation, it will be cold enough for wool socks.

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I'll be darning up these babies this weekend. I haven't worn them in like a year because of the heel holes.

It'll be like getting a new pair of socks!

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Monday, February 01, 2010

New

It's February 1 and it feels like so many beginnings today.

30 years ago today I gave up my coveted status of being an only child (Happy Birthday Gene!).

Today is the first day at work we'll be operating under our new name. One of the partners got a sweet judge position--who can blame him for ditching the firm? Sadly his name appears on EVERYTHING and it's going to be an adventure remembering what all needs to be replaced!

I got a great phone call this weekend that I can't yet blog about, but needless to say when I do, it's gonna be jawesome! Something to look forward to in the near future!

And finally, Knitcircus #9 went live! Go and check out the great patterns and articles.

Oh, and check out the cookies too!

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Cookie of the Week this week is just a simple M&M cookie. Simple yet delicious!

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