Monday, July 28, 2008


Friday night an auditor from work was playing at McKenna's Pub in Hopatcong. I used to work with the owner until he quit 4 or 5 years ago to open the pub, and I hadn't seen him since his wife died last year. So I figured, I've wanted to see Dan's band for a while- kill 2 birds with one beer you know. The pub was nice, more my kind of place than Curt's ( he never was into the whole bar thing and he's convinced I only go to hillbilly or redneck bars) Dan's band was a lot better than I had thought ( I pictured a bunch of old guys who never outgrew their parents garage) So had a lot of fun.

Sunday morning my car wouldn't even turn over, no dashboard lights, nothing. Turned out to be the battery cable, but I popped the acrylic off of my right index finger while dealing with it. If I had broken my nail it would have really pissed me off. I also got caught out in a downpour when it started raining, and as I walked back inside the power went out! So I am trying to re-acrylic my nail ( my left had is useless, I just have it as ballast so I don't fall over) by the window because I don't think a candle is a good idea near flammable liquid. Then I realized I couldn't watch the race because - no power. the power came back on with only a handful of laps left but I gave up and gave Angie money to order dinner and took a nap until it got there.

I still haven't taken any pictures of my flip flop fittens (foot mittens) I promise I'll get some photo's up tomorrow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Guess I need to re-cap

I guess I'll have to start practicing using red instead of orange. So Tony unveiled his 2 sponsors, Old Spice and Office Depot ( not good for my wallet, I'm addicted to that store as it is!) he will be running the #14 - AJ Foyt's old number. I won my bet - i said if he could change the number from 66, he'd try to get 14 'cause he wants to be Foyt when he grows up. Of course on Friday I get the backordered orange #20 backpack I bought to replace the ripped one for the track. I ordered it in the end of April before all this started. I guess next year I'll just call it retro! Tony did something kind of cool this past week, he donated bulletproof/stabproof vests for the 14 dogs in Indiana's K9 unit as well as the 16 they will be getting. He also donated vests to dogs in GA, NC and 2 other states.

So, what did I do this past week? On Tuesday, I met with 2 other knitters I met online through Ravelry.
I know sounds kind of geeky and if I hadn't learned to knit 4 or 5 years ago I would probably still consider it so. But as I taught myself through books, magazines and tv shows, I didn't know any actual knitters. The msn groups are nice and some of the swaps have been a lot of fun, but it's not very personable. I also can't really commit to anything in the evening- first I have to consider Angie's needs and getting up at 3am leads to me being kind of useless after 8. So when Sandy suggested an afternoon meetup in Denville I dove right in! Sandy has been to every meetup we've had but one, the Jacqui was at the first but scheduling hasn't worked out for her, and now Grace has been there the last 2 times. I'm glad Grace was able to make in out, Tom's family had a loss and I'm sure she welcomed the change. Sandy had gone to a knitters weekend in Ohio (can't remember what it was) and she brought me yarn! She got some in her goody bag, and I have enough blue/grey/white/black yarn for a pair of the shorty socks I like to make. She also brought me some yellow/black/whte yarn that I'll combine with probably solid yellow to make another pair. She also gave me a skein of yarn she said she couldn't make the colors work for her. Of course angie took one look and wanted "something" from it. I haven't taken any pictures so i guess I'll post them next week. Wow! Right? I had come straight from work, and as I had finished my flip flop fitten (foot mitten) I had nothing to work on, while Sandy worked on socks and Grace worked on a teddybear, but a yogurt/berry parfait was calling my name ... Oh did I mention? grace is an actual knit designer! She won 2nd place for a shawl she designed, I think it was far prettier than the shawl that won. she also has a shawl in the patterns section of Ravelry, how cool is that!

I had an evil plan Wednesday to get in an extra 15 minutes at work so I could leave 15 minutes early on Thursday. Ang wanted to see a movie in the afternoon and leaving at one would cut it really close since I'd have to stop at home first to pick her up. Unfortunately I really didn't feel like doing my IMA stuff Wednesday. Fortunately there is always a ton of other work not getting done in the department. I think Ian likes it better when I'm stuck behind my computer. wE dropped a bunch of mixed skid to pack out and labeled the stuff that went up. That place gets more work out of me when I'm not in the mood to work! My carpet truck hadn't come by 1 which was kind of disappointing as i really needed 6 carpets on the machine. So I went back to receiving to check on a PO figuring that would take 5-10 minutes and then I could leave. Of course just as I'm about to turn and leave receiving I hear air brakes. I knew, of course I knew. Carl seemed somewhat surprised I was still around, he looked like he'd just driven through Falujah or something. he's like I know I'm late, if you can't unload me I can't wait, I already skipped one stop, I'll tell you about it Friday. I checked his bills and of course I really need every roll on his truck.

So I tell him don't leave! find Bahri and get permission to stay late and cut the time on Thursday. All said and done ( a bit of a pain as the other stops rolls were on top of mine) I finally walked out at 2ish. This means I can leave at 11 on thursday. Really hate when an evil scheme works too well!

Thursday leaving that early gave me the chance to take ang to lunch at panera's before the movie Mamma Mia - lunch was great, the movie was horrible! peirce Brosnan is hot but can't sing worth shit, I thought they left a lot on the table of what the movie could've been. But the afternoon out with my daughter was "priceless"

Monday, July 21, 2008

What'd you do this weekend?

It was very hot and humid this past weekend. I took DD out on Saturday morning to practice her driving (she's having some issues slowing down and downshifting when she turns). I took care of my container garden early each morning. The rest of the day I pretty much stayed indoors in the air conditioning. I did a lot of chores, cleaning up the place, re-organized my closet, finally unpacked from our vacation. DD went to a farewell party for one of her friends moving to Virginia, then on Sat went to the firework display a town over, and on Sunday nite, she was going to see the Dark Knight, but both the 7pm and the 8:20 pm show were sold out, so they saw Hellboy instead. so nice she has a life.

I realized that I have been using a lot of the yarn I purchased when I first started knitting. I have been using it mostly for various charitable craft projects. I had made a bunch of chemo caps with a group on msn in Jan and Feb. Then in Feb, I started using a bunch of it for Victory Junction Camp afghans. I also made a few small throw blankets for the local animal shelter. The good news is I have knit/ crocheted away 2/3 of my Lion Brand Homespun and Jiffy and a good portion of my Red Heart super saver yarn as well. Also a bunch of yarn, that wasn't full skeins some without the ball bands. Nothing against this yarn, but the kind of projects I am currently drawn to, won't work with this yarn. I also discovered how quick and fun it is to make market bags, and they are so good for the environment that I have used up a lot of my ---- cream yarn. Unfortunately through all this knit down activity I never took the yarn I used off my list or off my ravelry stash. So I spent a lot of time going through the various bags of yarn highlighting what I had left and taking pictures of it to put on my Ravelry stash page. I had to stop when I ran out of room on my Flickr account. ( Never came close any other month, but between the container garden, vacation and the yarn it's been a heavy month) So I guess in another 10 days I can pick it up again. Then I will have an accurate list of what yarn I have.

I did manage to knit 3 pattern repeats on the orange/black/white ripple afghan and make 2 squares for the red/white/blue afghan. The deadline for the afghans is coming up quickly, especially since I really don't want to seam them together.

I did buy some Noro Taiyo when I was looking for yarn to send my shopping bag swap partner, so now I'm looking for something to make with it. I saw on Ravelry that someone had used a shrug pattern from fitted knits that isn't that nice in the 2 color version the book had but is absolutely gorgeous in the Taiyo, so I am considering it.

Since I

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recent Reading

So, I haven't had a lot of time to read, knitting and browsing Ravelry are taking over. I picked up this book, because Borders had a buy one get one sale the week before I went on vacation. I started reading it in Ohio. It is a really great book. It basically bounces between a super villain "Dr. Impossible" and a recently made cyborg super hero " Fatale" You get glimpses of what drives the villain to want to subjugate the world, how he chose evil over good, his relationships with the heros - some before they got their powers. You see the petty politics between teams of heroes , how they have their petty differences and their insecurities and self doubts. There is of course a conflict, and actually a very surprising turn of events at the end. this was an awesome book. I have given it to my husband to read as I hope he will enjoy it. I do not believe i will post this book on Paperbackswap as I will keep it for a possible re-read in the future.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Travel knitting

While on the road to Ohio ( about 7 hours each way) I brought my flip flop socks to work on, but I had to pay too much attention and started getting sick. 9only so much the candied ginger could do) So I broke out the hook, and started hooking (hee hee always cracks me up). I had started one of these market bags for an exchange on gwen's msn knittng and crochet group. i managed to finish the one bag, make another, and make the small one up front in the picture all with one skein of 12 oz sugar n cream marshmallow. These giant skeins were on sale at AC Moore before we left. I then used 2 leftover rolls of denim to make the blue bag. I think this project was easier because I didn't have to look at it very much.
Ok, I'm not sure how to rotate this picture. But this is the exchange package I sent to Sherry Monday for the exchange. Along with the 2 bags, I sent 2 pot size coffee packs from Seattle Coffee- Henry's Blend and Breakfast Blend. I know I usually send Mara's roasted coffee, but I didn't get a chance to get to Denville. I sent three skeins of kinder yarn in a yummy sherbert color, that I bought from the Knitters Closet. I sent a candle pair that I got while we were at Cedar point in their "Frontier town" candle shop. [Angel was able to dip her own candles in colored wax. She chose to dip a candle that was shaped like a dolphin on one end of the wick and a starfish on the other. She dipped the dolphin's head in pink. then the whole thing in blue, so it had sort of a purple head. She wasn't totally happy but I thought it had come out pretty. She dipped the starfish in yellow and then made the tips pink. She was really happy with that one.] Finally what is an exchange without chocolate of some sort. i got the emergency chocolate in dark (red wrapper) and milk (white wrapper). Of course the day after I mailed it off, the temperature went up to 98 degrees, so I hope it makes it to Illinois ok.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sandusky Speedway

While we were in Sandusky, the Late Model Series ran Saturday night for the first time in I think 10 or so years. It's been so long since I've been to a local short track. Too long. Unfortunately the closest would be Wall Twsp, which is over an hour from here. One of my favorite categories is the spectator sport division. These cars look like they should be in the bumble bee brigade at a demolition derby. The kid that won his heat and the feature looked like he was about 12 years old - ok, pushing 13 maybe. I think the oldest competitor in that division may have been 17.
Looking over the wall of the bleachers you can see the "garage or pit area". We got dinner at the track, too. There is nothing like $2 nachos, $1 hotdogs, $2.50 for a cheeseburger. ( I always joke that's where they get rid of the used oil.)
The Late Model series ran a 100 lap race. There was a kid who was running in the series for the first time. I think his name was jervik. He started on the outside pole. He drove the wheels off that car! I was expecting there to be a ton of wrecks because there was 21 cars on the half mile track. The way they start after a yellow is kind of cool. The cars start as they were running, with lapped traffic in between. At the last 3 cautions, the kid had this other guy named Ice, who had been the champion 3 times on his back bumper for the restart. Kid kept his cool and won the race by about 1/2 a lap from 3rd place. I'm going to remember that kid's name. With a couple of breaks he could go somewhere.

We did get back to the hotel in time to see the last 30 or so laps of the cup race. I couldn't believe at the end I was rooting for Shrub! Anything to keep Hendricks from winning.

Cedar Point Pic's

Roller coaster nut!
Kind of a family joke: we manage to get a picture next to a cannon every summer vacation since she was like 3.
We let the maniac go parasailing. She also got to take a wave runner out to the boat!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our trip - part 1

Ok, I'm back. Cedar Point Amusement park is an awesome place to go on vacation! I really want to go back next summer for maybe a week. The park is in Ohio, and was about a 9 hour drive including stopping for breakfast and lunch. We stopped about 20 minutes before Sandusky for lunch so the nutjob could have Cici's Pizza for lunch. She always sees the commercials when we watch races on tv, and there aren't any in NJ. She got to eat her macaroni and cheese pizza (wasn't as heavy as I had feared) We checked in to the hotel around 3:30, and went in the pool until it started raining. When it came time for dinner we went to a place right on Lake Erie called Clinkers. Angel had shrimp, I had blackened grouper (thought about walleye, but when I asked the waiter he gave me the inspired description of it's a fish) Curt had fried Perch. I had a really good drink called the Lake Erie, but I forgot what was in it:( The restaurant was right on a little inlet on the lake and you could look over and see the roller coasters. You may have noticed the blue letters. My husband and I quickly realized that this trip allowed Angel to cross a whole bunch of stuff off of her "bucket list" I had never heard of the bucket list before the movie came out. But she has had a list of things that she has seen or read about that she wants to see/do ( I don't think she thinks much about the death deadline though) So as I go through our weekend, Anytime there is blue letters, it is something off her list. I still have to get the pictures off another memory card, and take pictures of my travel crocheting ( started getting carsick while working on socks, so stuck to crochet which I only had to glance at occaisionally)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well hopefully we're back

Well, hopefully by the time this posts, I'll be back form my little trip to Ohio. We are going to Sandusky to Cedar Pointe amusement park. This has been a dream destination for my daughter since she was 5 or 6 and saw the park on one of those most extreme rollercoaster shows on tv. So when we did not have to take her to dance nationals because she decided to focus on varsity sports this year, we told her she could pick the destination as long as it was within a 12 hour drive. So Cedar Point it is. We are also hopefully going to Sandusky Speedway. They have a pretty big late model event on Saturday night. I love going to racetracks I haven't been to before!

Well hopefully I'll update you on Mon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Container Garden Continued

Ok - as mentioned in yesterday's post - here is one of the "baby" cucumbers. You can still see the flower attached to the top. I can't begin to tell you how glad I am I decided to give cucumbers one last try. From now on all my cucumbers will definitely be grown upside down. The white string you see in the picture is the string trellis that is stretching from the handrail to the roof eaves. i am so amazed at those curly things (technical term) on the vine. When I first hung the trellis they had wrapped around 4 or 5 times in less than 3 hours! If I think about it I'll take a picture of them next time I do a container update.
Now here is the biggest of the sweet marconi peppers. I have never grown these before so I am not 100% sure what exactly I am going to do with it once I pick it. I guess it's sweet (hmmm what powers of deduction) so I'll try a piece raw to see how it'll do in salad. And fry up a piece to see about cooking with it. Although darker it is about the same shape as an Italian frying pepper. (yeah, I'm doing good, let's cook based on shape!)
Now I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this pepper here is HOT. It is the Anaheim pepper. I love it in mango salsa, regular salsa, makes a great omelet, spicy tomato sauce. I love it's versatility. Besides the heat it has a spicier flavor than say a jalapeno. My daughter likes it mixed with browned meat(usually ground buffalo) diced tomato and then mixed with velveta or other melty cheese as a dip or w/o the cheese sauce to make nacho's with lots of cheese melted on top!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I hate that D^## Tote!

I really hate this tote. I threw it in the washer to felt. It did absolutely nothing the first full wash cycle. i set it on a second, it shrunk. But it got all wonky. The bottom of the tote felted a lot tighter than the top of the bag, giving it a fluted appearance. I 'm not sure what I'm going to do, see if i can sew it a bit to get the shape better? Or as you can see in the photo below, maybe cut it into two bags?
I have been thinking about trying out needle felting for embellishments. If I made 2 bags from the one tote i could experiment a little.
This is the tote before felting on my exercise ball (does that count as using the ball?)
If you look very carefully just a hair right to the center of this picture you will see it looks like the color of the wool changes. See it? This was not a dye lot screw up. It was actually about 8 or 9 inches after I had changed skeins, so it was mid-skein. I don't know why that was, and I figured I was felting it, I figured it would blend. but now, I wonder, that was the top 7 inches of the tote. I wonder if the weird colored yarn felted less than the "normal" yarn?

If anyone reading this post has any experience felting Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, i'd appreciate a comment. I have felted many bags and never had this type of issue.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cool Photo Meme

My creation
1. "church-pic" for this sunday - "maria am gestade" part 1, 2. PINK SUSHI WINTER05 LAUNCH, 3. Lake Clifton High School, 4. It suddenly began to rain orange cones!, 5. Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr., 6. Caffé del Doge - Latte Macchiato, 7. Master Piste, 8. flash your stash, 9. Organized, 10. Angelique's Paradise Estate, 11. kicking out the jams with the high strung at the public library!, 12. Such a pretty color of blue....

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
Clifton high School
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
Tony Stewart
6. Favorite drink?
Quad-venti, non-fat, carmel macchiatto
7. Dream vacation?
Ski the Alps
8. Favorite dessert?
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Organized and Happy
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
High Strung
12. Your flickr name.

I got this from Christy on Ravelry

Just answer the questions, and do a Flickr search of your answers. You have to choose one picture from the first page of results and put your answers into the Mosaic Maker and see what you come up with.

Very weird some of the pictures that came up, for instance my name brought up a church, had to change the Quad venti to a plain macchiato and i had to take the 2 and the 20 out of my flicker name.

I am going to finish this D^%% Bag

I have been working on a felted tote for what seems like forever! to be honest I only work on it a couple days a week on lunch, and as it has been hot lately, playing with a large piece of wool is not quite so attractive. So my socks keep getting the attention. I am however only 4 inches away from being able to seam t up and felt. So I brought it inside from my car, and I am determined to finish knitting it this week!! Preferably before I do laundry next. I just need to stop playing on Ravelry long enough to actually knit!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My heart is absolutely breaking

I just can't believe Tony had to get out of his car last night. I was definitely concerned when he was doing the pre-race interview and he go lightheaded when they turned the table. He had already spent time on an iv in the in-field care center in the afternoon. It was really hard to watch the 20 with yelley behind the wheel. I feel so bad for the guy, he just can't get a break. And his car was soo good it took him no time at all to get the car up th the 4th place and was in the top 5 for most of the time before he got out. Zippedelli must be popping nexium's like jelly beans by now. The team was amazing getting the drivers swapped and four tires and fuel in a little over a minute. I told Curt I need a less stressful hobby, maybe attack dog test subject or something. Or maybe they'll start televising parchesi tournaments ( what is parchisi anyway?)

No seriously though, as painful as this season is quickly becoming, I'm behind Tony 100% when he's winning, I'll be 110% behind him when he's slumping. So, chicago next week. Another night race, Tony likes night races. He's driving the 20 in the Nationwide race Friday niight as well. so GOOOOOOO SMOKE!!!!

Contaner Garden Update 7.05

My tomato has a blush (or it may be camera shy) but seriously see a bit of yellow a touch of red! I hope it ripens before I go away next weekend. The only thing that worries me some is that it is supposed to be cloudy and rainy all week leading up to the weekend. So while water won't be a problem, not sure if it will get enough sun to ripen quick enough for me!

Anaheim peppers are HOT!! There are a bunch of them hanging, these are the 2 biggest. I'm drooling just thinking of it! If they ripen with the tomato, maybe some spicy salsa will be on the menu!

Sweet marconi peppers are sweeter than bells. Great in salads and stuffed! I can't believe how big these got in just a week! Going to be a bit hough, they are about 8" when done.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

The fireworks were on Thursday nite ( around here, the towns alternate nights around July 4th, one year we took my daughter to 5 nghts of fireworks!) but got rained out about 1/2 way through. Not all was lost- we stopped for ice cream on the walk home. I had to work yesterday until 1pm. They should have scheduled the ima's a half day. The store wasn't busy and after the orders, counts and price changes were done it was really boring. Of course, as I am now on vacation, the last couple of hours dragged!! THAT'S IT! no more thinking about work!

Angie is going to keep her friend company while she gets her hair done - for about 6 -7 hours! No wonder the poor girl needs company!! Sounds like beauty parlor hell to me! BUt on the bright side - I get a nice peaceful Saturday to get stuff done around the house. And lets not forget ---- the Daytona night race is tonite!! Go Smoke!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I finished an afghan!

I finally finished my bright block afghan for the Victory Junction Gang Camp competition. It is 7 different crochet blocks, done in three strips, in 5 different color yarns out of my stash. (yay! Stashbusters) It is my first large project with crochet. I still like knitting better though. it should put a bunch of points on the board for Tony. but honestly when all is said and done, it really is for a great cause!

The wacky one poses with the afghan.

We "harvested" a cucmber on Sunday!

Wacky girl with her "harvest" . We had our first "non-herbal" harvest on Sunday. The long awaited cucumber was harvested and turned into a yummy cucumber salad. This is not only our first veggie harvest of the season, but our first actual successful cucumber ever! and to top it all off we beat my mom, whose biggest cucumber is currently only 1 inch long. My mom lives about 25 miles east and at a lower elevation, so she usually beats us by at least a week to 10 days harvesting anything. While I don't think I'll be using the topsy turvy planters next year (way to heavy once filled) I am going to be growing my cucumbers upside down from now on.

I just can't take it any more!

I just can't freakin believe it! There must be some kind of record for number of races where a driver can lead the most laps and not finish in the top ten because of some totally out of his control freak event. And Tony has got to be leading that category! And did you hear the post race interviewer? What does he think they can do to turn their luck around? Loved his answer - if he knew they'd have already done it. Also liked the comments about there being a team trying to keep sharp objects away from their crew chief! So Daytona's coming up! Will probably have an ulcer by the end of this season but Go Smoke!!