Friday, July 22, 2011

Wake Me Up When September Starts


This summer crap is for the birds.

It was something like 116 degrees today in Noorick. I always thought it was weird that Newark always seemed hotter than our town, even though they're only 7 miles apart. Now I have proof it's not my imagination.

When the heat goes up, the cranky level of my fellow humans seems to increase too. Be it even more excessive car honking than normal to people being shot.

I seriously think if Newark could bring down their average temperature a few degrees they might see the homicide rate go down.

Tomorrow is supposed to be "cooler." Only 98 degrees.

I would love to finish Chunky's Harry Pooper Weasley Sweater this weekend, but it's just too hot!!

Instead, after I do my Saturday cleaning, I think I'll hit the "pool" with the Cousteau brothers.


And we'll probably enjoy some more of this...

Rocky Road Ice Cream

Cookie of the Week has been replaced with Ice Cream of the Week until it's cool enough to start the oven back up!

This week is rocky road. I love this because for some reason store bought rocky road contains marshmallow swirl these days. I like mini-marshmallows in my rocky road! Swirl just isn't right!

And finally, I'll be dreaming of late winter snowstorms--


Ahhhhh! Stay cool people!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Great Weekend

We've needed a decent weekend.

On tap this weekend was, despite my initial grumbling that he didn't need a kiddie pool and the neighbors bought him one anyway, some Moochie-water-fun:


And another delicious way to beat the heat--my own homemade Jersey peach ice cream.


Oh man, sooooo good! Can't really tell it's "homemade."

And finally, I'd like to announce a new member of our family.


It's Happy Feet!

Normally I wouldn't think about adopting so fast after another cat's passing (McDoodle!), but we have been contemplating adopting another katze for about six months now.

When one of Steve's peeps informed him that the Montclair Animal Shelter she worked at was having a street fair tonight and that cat adoption fees were half-off, we figured, what the heck, we'd check it out.

Ok, so maybe we tossed the cat carrier in the trunk before we left...

And after having TOTAL cat overload looking at so many incredible cats, we settled on Happy Feet.

I'm just excited to have another girl in the house! Happy Feet also has two boys. One of them was my first choice for adoption, but Dr. Mad Scientist really fell for Happy.

She's a little freaked out by her new house, but I imagine as time goes on she'll become a little more adventurous.

If you're interested--here's her Petfinder Listing. There's an even better face picture of her.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Cash Cow

Chunky and Dr. Mad Scientist are big fans of Harry Pooper.

Me? Not so much.

But I love my boys.

And on this day that J.K. Rowling takes it to the bank one last time (for now), I give you an honest to squash WIP.


Chunky's Harry Pooper sweater.

I just hope it's not too small for him by the time the cold weather rolls around!


Monday, July 11, 2011

You Say Tomato, I Say Potato

Time for a little update from the Pot Garden!

My pickle cucumbers are going berserk.

So far I've been able to can three jars of pickles/pickle chips.


Dill pickles with my own homegrown dill too! They're soooo much better than last year's pickles. Crunchy!

Next up, my experimental plant of the year--okra.


The pods are getting bigger! I'm very excited about these. If I get enough of them, I will pickle them too--along with either some garlic or jalapenos. Mmmmmm!!!

Finally, I give you a weird twist to my Great Urban Potato Experiment.

Longtime readers will remember that back when we first moved to Nueva Jersey, I took a grocery store Yukon Gold and stuck it in a pot and let it grow on the steps of Squirrel Gables.

That was back in 2007. Ever year since then I save a little baby potato or two from the previous year's harvest and I plant it the following spring.

Some years I get more potatoes than others, sometimes I don't. I always get at least enough for one dinner's side dish of potato-something (baked, homefries, etc.).

Saturday night I was outside watering my plants when Chunky said "Hey Mom, I didn't know you planted tomatoes!" and he pulled this out of my potato plant:


But I knew there was NO WAY these were tomatoes...well maybe. I mean I did use compost in my mix, and sometimes you get hitchhiker seeds (like the time I got a pumpkin plant growing out of my peas...), but these didn't smell like tomatoes.

If you've grown tomatoes, you know what I'm talking about, it's that tomato oil smell from the stem. It's quite distinct.

If you're really into it, you too can smell like a tomato.

So I hopped online and through some googling and posting on Facebook (one of my old HS friends grew up on a potato farm)--I realized that these aren't tomatoes; they're true potato seeds.

What you do is harvest them, squeeze out their guts (which are allegedly slimy just like tomatoes*), wash the seeds, dry them, and plant them the next year.

How cool is this??!?! Maybe I'm easily amused but I'm am already pretty damn excited to grow potatoes from the great-great-great grandtater of my original Pot Potato.

Apparently, the appearance of true potato seeds is kind of rare. And there's a ton of other stuff out there on the internet about the chromosomal uniqueness of taters and their various breeds. Basically, the potatoes from these seeds, if I am understanding my quick internet research correctly, will be a completely unique strain of potatoes.

Perhaps I am easily amused, but this is just so damn cool! Ha ha!

ETA: These little "berries" although they look like tomatoes, they are highly poisonous!

*I also learned that potatoes and tomatoes are in the same family, and when you stop and look at them, they do look a lot alike!

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Summer Sewing

It occurred to me that I've done a lot of sewing lately that I haven't blogged about.

Most of it occurred on my "summer vacation."

First up, a couple of additions to what I am dubbing The Summer of Dresses.

I don't know if it was the early June heat or what, but I had the urge to make myself some sundresses.

First I did this one during the throes of that early June heatwave:


This is Simplicity 5112. I've made the discovery that with my build I can wear either fat-junior's sizes or medium women's sizes. I'm going to milk not looking my age all I can.

This dress turned out OK. It was a little shorter and a little less flowy skirt than I wanted. I pair it with a light (storebought) cardigan for the office and it looks cute.

Next us is a dress that will always be near and dear to me. I made this on Tuesday of this past week. Springs was lounging in the bathroom giving me commentary as I tried it on to adjust the fit.

Excuse the self timer has a hard time taking non-blurry pictures.


This is Butterick 5351 made out of a linen blend I picked up at Joanns.

I really like this dress. I like the fit, I like the length, and I like the flowy-ness of the skirt.

I did have to modify the bodice though because it was waaaay too loose. I did so by adding some armpit darts.

And finally--and this is a big thing--why? Because I'm about to reveal Moochie's real name to you in this picture (some of you already know though!)

First a little back story: He's 2 and he's starting to learn his letters.

And the day I made this was my birthday -- and I had hung up one of those dollar store "Happy Birthday" banners with the jointed letters (because it's a tradition that my best friend from college and I have--every year before the others' birthday we send the sign to them...we've been doing it for shoot, probably over 10 years now!).

Anyway, Mooch REALLY liked the Happy Birthday banner.

So I figured I'd make him something similar so he could learn the letters of his name.


This hangs on the wall over his crib and he already can identify "I" and "O" on his own.

My favorite part is how he pronounces his name: "Kiki." Okaaaaay!

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