Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour

You know that cautionary tale that everyone says about putting shit out there on the internets for everyone to read, because "Once you put it out there--it's ALWAYS out there!"

I beg to differ.

Well sort of.

I agree, it's always out there.

But it's not any different from anything else. It's just easily more accessible, that's all.

Even still, the good old fashioned pen to paper word can still haunt you--via the internet!

I don't know why I've been into this lately, but I find myself cruising Etsy or Ebay for "vintage correspondence" -- letters that people have written to each other.

Most of what you find listed are mundane business letters, sappy love letters, or niche-war letters (from a soldier to a girl back home and vice versa).

However I stumbled upon this postcard today on Etsy being sold by someone in Texas.

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Now, if you're familiar with northern New Jersey geography and the GSP Exit I live off of (I think maybe there's one, maybe two readers of this blog that will recognize the name of that town on the address), you'll know that Glen Ridge is right next door to where I live.

I pass by this house on my way to the bank every other Friday to deposit my paycheck.

So when I saw this postcard, I bought it. (It was $3 and a good way to use up the weird amounts I have left on giftcard credit cards my bosses always get me). When it arrives I'll reveal what originally drew me in to viewing this card. I'll keep you guessing as to what's on the other side for now!

Now I'm obsessed with finding out who this woman is/was.

At first I thought her name was Mrs. E. Longhatham.

But a Google search of that name comes up with NOTHING.

As someone with an extremely odd/rare last name (there's our branch of the family and another one in Wisconsin) I figure if our weird-ass last name makes it onto Google, than surely someone bearing the name Longhatham would.

No dice.

I decided I was reading the handwriting wrong.

I googled Longbotham and hit paydirt.

I think.

I found a preview of a census record for a Longbotham family living in Essex County New Jersey (the county I live in) showing a little boy named Edward Longbotham in that family who was 5 years old in 1910. That would make Eddie 34 years old when this postcard was mailed.

Perfect age to have a little Mrs. E. Longbotham keeping house with you.

More Googling of Edward Longbotham unearthed this letter from the Montclair Dramatic Club to Edward Longbotham.

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Picture snagged from this expired Ebay listing.

The time frame fits. Montclair is close to Glenridge. But the address for Edward is wrong.

Being the legal secretary that I am and having to had look up the assessed values of people's homes for divorce settlement reasons in the past (and to track down MIA deponents in other matters), I hopped onto the New Jersey assessor's website and tried to figure out who currently owned the property at the address that Ed received mail at.

Nothing popped up.

Which is odd.

But not so much because currently that address appears to be a business address, upon even further Googling. So maybe it was a business back in 1932? "Probably" would be my guess.

And the distance between the two addresses is about 2 miles.

If I really cared, I could probably further cement the connection between these two items and figure out who Mrs. E. Longhatham/Longbotham was/is.

But I'll pretend she's named Betty, lived with Edward and they lived on Hillside Avenue in Glen Ridge.

Actually, in five minutes after I typed that last sentence, I did confirm this. Ancestry.com shows snippets of city directories showing Edward and Elizabeth Longbotham living at Hillside Ave. (Snippets of enough where I don't have to pay anything to view the document).

Moral of the story: Even your old mail you thought didn't exist can entertain someone for an hour and a half one particular evening. It's ALWAYS out there!

And of course stay tuned to see what's on the other side of the postcard!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Love It So Much It Stinks!

New Jersey (as of Sunday) has had 35 days this year that have been 90 degrees or more.

What does one do when the mercury shoots up?

Why, you knit a sweater of course!

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Simply put: I'm in love.

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The details--

Pattern: Top down raglan of my own design.

Yarn: Jonelle Superwash DK in black.

Needles: US5

Notes: What's there to say really? I calculated what it would take to make a top down raglan based on my measurements and the measurements of a favorite store bought sweater. I picked up the old Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches and found a lace panel I liked (staggered fern) and stuck it in the middle of the front of the sweater.

Knit, knit, knit, knit.

Ta-da!

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It fits like a dream and it will be great for the icy office come fall/winter. Plus I can extend wearing my longer tank tops into the winter.

Although I might have to find a wishy-washy weather day where I can wear it with my summer skirt I sewed this summer that you see up there and the cute shoes I bought this spring to match my summer skirt:

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My only problem with this sweater?

When I was blocking it, I got it damp. Holy cow, the SMELL! It stank of mothballs when I merely got it damp enough to block out the center panel and the collar, bottom edge and sleeves.
Yick.

I hung it next to an open window all day and the smell has disappeared now that it's dry. Let's hope the stink is not a lasting phenomenon.

I think I'll go pensively ponder the stink of my sweater with my evil red eyes....

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Watch This Space

I've got an FO to debut soon.

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Mr. Mooch got a hold of the camera. This was the best picture to come off of the 100 pictures of his toes and thumbs over the lense.

And before I go--LilKnitter (Darlene) was the only one to correctly identify where my Fire King mug came from. It's one of the jadeite mugs Giles carries around. He starts with a D-handle and later on you'll see a C-handle (more expensive!) appear from time to time.

Yes, I've watched so many Buffy the Vampire Slayer espisodes that I now watch the background more than I watch the show itself.

I also have a tupperware pitcher that appears on the show. But that was a wedding gift. Ha ha!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Matcha Matcha Woman

I have no idea how to pronounce "matcha" but I'm going to say it's close to "macho."

I apologize for relative silence round these here parts.

Truth is, not much is going on.

It's hotter than hell outside leaving baking to a minimum.

The only thing on my needles right now is a black sweater which is lame to try to photograph.

My sewing machine could use some tinkering around with and I'm just not in the mood. But I did do some back up work for Big Name Sewing Machine Company Attorney this week and I slipped him the Big Name Sewing Machine model I've been eyeballing. Hee hee!

However, one of my cell cube-mates is having a birthday tomorrow.

I flipped through my recipe books trying to find a cookie that spoke to his inner-dessert and I think I found it.

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Matcha cookies.

Matcha is a powdered Japanese green tea.

What you see in the picture above is NOT true matcha. I didn't find this out until I got home.

Yes, I realize that the label says it's not true matcha. I had a Mooch with me at the store.

I was a bit miffed because I had to make a special trip to Wholier Than Thou Foods to purchase what I thought was matcha. Ends up it's a green tea/match blend.

No worries. I just ground up the tea to a fine powder in the old baby food grinder I used for Mooch and Chunky before they grew a mouthful of chompers.

I was afraid these cookies would fall hard.

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The verdict?

Not bad! Despite the fact my camera sucks and these cookies look totally nastacular, they're a light green color and a nice balance of chewy-crispy.

They don't really taste like green tea though. But like Dr. Mad Scientist pointed out, they're like sugar cookies--but with anti oxidants!

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what TV show that mug is from. I've been lusting after a Fire King Jade-ite Standard D-Handle mug for a while and finally found one for less than $20. Yeah, yeah, I know. I had some birthday money to spend.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dog Days

Blech.

It's been hot.

I haven't really done anything exciting as a result. We've been cooped up inside except for the occasional dip in this in the backyard.

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Chunk and Mooch love it. And that Mooch is a freaking natural in the water. I never thought I'd have a kid that WANTED to glunk his head underwater!

Other than rocking my Mom Suit in the kiddie pool we've been indoor hermits in the heat.

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Man, I can't WAIT for fall/winter when I can snuggle with that damn cat again and not get a sweaty crotch*, bake to my heart's content, and wear sweaters I knit!

Until then, I'll just have to envy the lilies that seem to be digging this weather. Blech.

They can have it!

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* Yes, my Springs is a dirty Old Man Cat. I wake up every night in the middle of the night with him sleeping on my crotch.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Before It Got Hot

I accomplished something this weekend.

I made my Mooch a little somethin' somethin' for when the weather cools down and he can wear short sleeves again. (It hit 116 degrees F in Newark today. Can't wear short sleeves in that weather. Mooch has been rocking the sleeveless onesie.)

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It's a little button down shirt made from the yards and yards of Colorado State fabric I went crazy buying over a year ago.

It's not my best work.

Setting little baby sleeves is a bitch and a half. I'm starting to hate sleeves in any craft!

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But I think a lot of it has to do with my crapass machine. Someday I want a machine that doesn't need to be tuned after every project.

Something kind of cool happened at work last week though.

Attorney K came up to me wanting some copies. I don't normally work for Attorney K but since his secretary was out "sick" I am his official back up.

I noticed he was wearing a shirt with "Big Sewing Machine Company I Won't Name Due to Confidentiality Reasons" embroidered on the pocket.

Ends up he's been one of Big Sewing Machine Company's attorneys for nearly 20 years. He's toured their factories (all overseas) and told me how incredibly stringent they are with their quality control.

Now as you know, Dr. Mad Scientist and I (assuming he gets a job this fall) have agreed to buy each other big-ticket anniversary gifts for our 11th anniversary this December since we didn't do anything that special for our 10th anniversary due to his unemployment.

As a result, I've been eyeballing machines casually.

Big Name Sewing Machine Company is one of the brands I'm looking at.

When I mentioned this to Attorney K, he lit up and told me to forward the model number I was looking at and he'll let me know exactly where it's made and see if he can't pull a few strings with his Big Name Sewing Machine connections to get me a discount.

So who knows? Maybe when I finally get my dream machine that isn't a soul sucking piece of crap that destroys all fun in creating anything, I'll get a discount on it.

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Certainly isn't anything to sneeze at!

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Fourth!

We'll be enjoying oppressive hot temperatures! (Mid to upper 90s all week. Lame)

For dinner we'll be getting down on some fried chicken and tater salad (Chunky had cravings for both and we consented).

But we won't be enjoying any fireworks today.

Because we did that Friday night.

The townships stagger their fireworks on different nights so that they're not all going off at the same time. Everything is soooo squished here it's hilarious when their displays all end up on the same night.

We've seen this happen when they get rain delayed. (mmm...rain!) We've watched four or five displays from our back porch.

But this year it was way cool being right up under the fireworks.

We packed a picnic dinner.

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And sat in the field with 19,996 other people listening to the cover band they had playing in the bandshell until nightfall.

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Mooch and I danced.

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And Dr. Mad Scientist groomed Chunky like a monkey.

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Finally at about 9:30/10:00 the fireworks finally started.

I didn't get any pictures because my camera sucks at night pictures.

But they were AMAZING. I guess I'm easily impressed by Fourth of July fireworks. Because, let's face it, Alaskan July 4th fireworks suck because it's always too light out.

Happy Fourth!

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