Sunday, July 31, 2011

Knitting Update

First -  My friend Grace is on Twitter!! Yay!!!  (does the Happy Dance!)

Hey - my post actually starts with a reference to Grace!  Cool Co-incidence?  Anyway- if you check out Grace's blog LovinComfortKnits  You will see she has been on  kick to knit monsters.  Cute monsters mostly if not all (sorry Grace - sometimes it's hard to keep up - you knit faster than my brain processes information) by Rebecca Danger.  I have shown some of them to Curt, if he happens to be sitting by me when I read her blog. As Curt watched me knit these:


He thought I was joining Grace knitting monsters.  In fact, he thought he knew which monster I was knitting.  If any of you watched Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network (don't remember which) in the 90's before all the really crappy shows came on you may remember a show called "Aahh , Real Monsters"  It revolved around a couple of monsters attending Monster School - and having to scare people/pets for their assignments.  One of these monsters was Oblina - the female monster.

For the record, I am not knitting siblings for Oblina.  I am actually knitting Alan Darts Chess Set and these pieces seamed together will be the chess board.  Although Curt seemed kind of disappointed that it wasn't her that I may make one for his birthday in November.

I am knitting the set for NerdWars on Ravelry. To get the 50 points for midpoint check in I needed to be at 50% by yesterday.  I posted the picture for check in at 1100pm.  So I had a whole hour to spare!  So I kind of need to hustle because now I need to knit 32 pieces by Aug 31.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Just seeing how this works.

I got the Blogger app for my phone to see if it helps me blog more.  A lot of days, by the time I get home, I have too much to do and/or I'm tired.  Of course, if Grace would get Twitter, it would make my life a bit easier.

Today is my father in law's birthday.  My SIL told my husband she wanted to take him to dinner tonite.  Then, there was an issue because the kick off meeting for their bowling league is at 4 or 5. (how early was she going?)  So now it's 11 and I still have no idea!  To top it off I haven't gotten my rental car yet, so its more complicated.

Update on the car. I'm making the Angie deal with the insurance company.  I also made her call Robbie's and have the car towed to Robbie's .  My friends want to know if its to teach her to deal with stuff or because I don't want to.  The answer ....yes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I once read somewhere

That the Japanese are more into gadgets than any other nationality.  Ever since I have been using this excuse with my husband or anyone else when I am drawn to purchasing a gadget.  After all I am half Japanese, and I need some way other than sushi to connect to my roots right??  The Angie follows directly in my footsteps.  She can actually be worse than me at times.  If she didn't get rice for a few days when she was younger, she would tell me her rice tummy was empty.  That since she was part Japanese and part from Louisiana she needed to get rice semi regularly...  Green beans & spaetzle for her German side.  Cheese for the French side. ... You get the picture.  One of her most coveted gadgets was the Magic Bullet.  As she will be living in an on campus apartment this year, she revisited the desire to have one.  Also she hinted at wanting a rice cooker.  While Curt and I were out shopping yesterday, we got her the Magic Bullet at Costco and a small rice cooker/steamer at Target.  When she came out to help carry stuff in and saw these two, she let out a squeal that I am sure shattered several windows in the neighborhood.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

While hiding in the ac...

one can get some reading done - especially when everything on tv annoyed my heat addled brain.  In the last week or so I finished Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams.  It was a nice easy read off of the 1001 books list.   The book was kind of bizarre.  There were more than 5 apparently totally disconnected storylines.  We don't actually get to meet Dirk until page 140.   The stroy lines all merge and make sense in a sci-fi way in the last 25-30 pages.   While it was an amusing book, and a quick read, I had to admit I was a bit puzzled.  What were the criteria used to create the 1001 books list?  I'm not sure what this book had to hold it up to some of the other sci-fi greats - even comparing it to the Hitchhiker's guide - by the same author.

Also, in one day I read An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor.  It was next in the series of Irish Country books.  It is a bit of a detour from the other books.  It starts with carolers that arrived at the end of the last book.  Mrs. "Kinky" Kincaid tells them a story from her youth in Cork, while they warm up with pies and drinks.  After they leave she continues reminiscing.  While in the other books Kinky is "fey"  she can see bits of the future, this book is a lot more fantasy.  There are ghosts, and fairies and banshees.   I'm kind of on the fence about this.


Friday, July 22, 2011

I know why I'm sweating!

A small rant here.  When I left work the temperature on all the thermometers was 102.  This was raw temperature not the heat index, which I am sort of glad I didn't know.  When I got to work at 4am, the temperature was 89 and was actually worse as far as humidity went.  I actually had a problem trying to catch my breath when I first went outside.

Since my partner Paul and I aren't totally stupid, we tried to get most of the actual physical stuff that had to be done early.  Especially those areas not protected from the sun by the overhang.  The night crew were of no help, they decided it was too hot and didn't bring the stuff that was out behind the building inside.  So Paul and I had to.   Only the same night crew blew the hydraulic fitting on the smaller forklift that fits in our aisles.   The other machine that lifts pallets can't go outside.  So we needed to run everything in with one machine and put it up with another.

So yes.  I WAS REALLY HOT.  I was already aggravated.  Why, seriously, why did half the store feel the need to come outside and say some version of "Wow, it's really hot out here!  Aren't you hot?"  I came really close to killing some of them.  I mean, No!  i had no idea it was hot!  This explains why water is pouring out of my body!  I thought I had spring a bunch of leaks!!  Thank goodness you came out here to tell me this!  &^*&#%^!@%  head.   AND to the second question - it's one hundred and freakin two degrees in the shade not taking humidity into effect.  YES I"M REALLY FREAKIN" HOT!  DUMBASS!!

Rant over.... for now.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I HATE Water!!

That is not good when the heat index is 115, and I work outside.  And have a history of heat exhaustion.  I do try to hydrate before going to races and sporting events that will have me out in the heat all day.  But a string of really hot days can wipe me out.  I've been trying to drink more - I've been adding a splash of juice or a  squeeze of lemon to water to make it more drinkable.This is not too practical when I'm not home.  I've been having a vitamin water with lunch (in addition to my coffee) but it's too many calories to drink more than one in a day.

I have to be really careful of artificial sweeteners.  They can trigger migraines.  If I'm going to someone's house that uses them I take some med's first, but I can't use them regularly.

The other day  I found Crystal Light Pure in the store.  It said no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavors.  But it was only 15 calories.  I read the labels.  They use truvia ( made from the Stevia plant) mixed with sugar.  This intrigued me, as stevia can have a weird side of the tongue taste.  The little bit of sugar seems to avoid that.  I bought the lemonade.  (As a warning I don't like strong or sweet lemonade- gee thanx grandma - my lemonade is more like a half lemon squeezed into a glass of water with a splash or simple syrup)  It was a bit too strong/sweet, but half a packet works well into a bottle of water.

This still only helps with a bottle or two, but it's a start.  

Today, I left work an hour early to grab Excedrin and an hour's nap in the ac.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Scent (your favourite scent, etc.)

Welcoming rich warmth

Dark, carmel, or light, fruity

the scent of my life.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beer Fest part 2


Tell me you don't want this outdoor kitchen?  It's the kitchen in the chef's garden (an actual garden- tomatoes and other things from the garden were used in lunch) outside the "biosphere" which is not a sphere by the way.  The chef on the right on his cell phone is Kevin Sbraga ( he was on Top Chef)  His food was nothing short of amazing.

For the Beer Tasting and Seminar, before the actual festival, a 6 course lunch was served with each dish matched to a different beer.  A woman - sorry don't remember her name, who is a judge at craft beer competitions - seriously I need her job, described the flavor notes in each pairing that made them a good match.

A beer I never would have tried out of TX - had ruby red grapefruit and ginger added during the brew Shiner Ruby Redbird went with the first course of lamb kabobs with za'tar and yogurt sauce.  Both were amazing.  I realize I'm going to go nuts trying to find more of this beer!


Course 2 was a SMOKED (as in the whole thing was smoked) turkey rueben with spicy thousand island.  Paired with sierra Nevada Summerfest.  Followed by Carmelized Onion Flatbread with savory peach comfit & foie gras paired with Blue Moon Honeymoon.  Soo good - ask Grace - me and onions usually not going to happen.  Next came Andouille sliders with garden cucumbers and cilantro paired with Sam Adams Summerfest (a beer I already knew I liked) I came to realize I have clearly been hitting the wrong burger joints!  This was followed by the Chef's Garden BLT with Beach House American Pils . interesting for a pilsner, I usually don't care for them but while I won't go out of my way for this, I would drink this again.  The heirloom tomato on the sammie was actually creamy.  It was excellent!  Finally dessert was a Wood roasted Apricot with pomegranate glaze and Cricket Hill Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale.  I had 2!!  The concept of breakfast ale is intriguing isn't it?  And was good - I'll be buying this again.

After this, we went down the hill to the 9th hole for the actual festival.  There were some really good beers there.  There were some really terrible beers there (Lobster ale while intriguing sounding should be dumped into the sea)  And for whatever reason (probably because they make Blue Moon) coors was there with their banquet beer (ok some people may not have had that) but Coors Light?? Seriously - who that drinks beer hasn't had Coors Light at least once??  My favorite and I will definitely be looking for this is a barrel aged ale from Scotland.  Innis - they have regular barrel aged which is good, but OMG their rum barrel aged??  rich, caramel deep dark amazing beer!


The bbq they served was decent - but after lunch it was hard to follow.  They had a really, really, really bad mostly 80's cover band.  What they lacked in talent, ability and musicality they made up for with enough amps and speakers to play a stadium.  Seriously people- if you suck at Springsteen, don't do his covers in NJ in front of a bunch of people drinking unlimited beer tastings, hostility will result. It was so bad I kept having to leave the tent.

Overall - if you like beer and you get the opportunity I would definitely recommend going - but if you do spring the extra $40 and go to the seminar first. 


AND, lest you think I was setting a bad example for the Angie - we didn't drive.  We stayed at a B&B nearby - Alpine Haus and had a car sent from Vernon Taxi to drop us off and come back for us.  The driver was a really nice guy, if you are ever in need of a ride in Sussex county call them. We got back to the B&B around 7, I took a 2 hour nap.  Then we went to the Vernon Diner & Pancake House for a late supper.  AND  got carrot cake to go.   We only missed 100 laps of the truck race- I guess there was a sizeable red flag - so were surprised that we could have dessert with the end of the race.
Alpine Haus was great- I actually want to go back and stay in the carriage house for a weekend in the fall.  I was awake at 5 and amused myself with Ravelry on the tablet, I started a book, and worked on a strip of my chess board project.  We had reserved the 9am breakfast, because Curt just likes to sleep late. I had heard a lot about their breakfast, it did not disappoint.  Great coffee, a blueberry/coconut muffin, baked peach , bacon and upside down french toast.  Even after all we had on Saturday I cleaned my plate.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This weekend was Curt's father's day getaway gift to the NJ Beer and Food Fest held at Crystal Springs Spa & Resort.  The weather and the venue were gorgeous.  Check out this view!

You can actually see both PA and NY from up there!

We got there a bit early because I had our tickets on will call - turns out no tickets just a list anyway.  There were a bunch of these chair/bed/pod things - I wish I had brought knitting or a book!


And seriously - I need one of these outdoor beds!



to be continued....

Garden Updates


My portulacas - such happy flowers and can live in total hostile environment - good thing - they dry out on the steps pretty much daily.


My container plum tomatoes.


The tomato that looks orange has turned red over the weekend.  Kinda small to share - we may have to rock paper scissors for it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Wish(es)

Find a magic lamp

What would your three wishes be?

Desires granted.


World peace? Cancer cure?

Kill prejudice and hatred?

End Global warming?


I really have doubts

A genie or someone else

could really grant those.


Good health for loved ones?

True happiness for our friends?

Be altruistic?


Would selfishness reign?

Ask for shallow vanities?

With no real meaning?


A million dollars?

A supermodel's body?

An immortal life?


Three wishes can tell,

The person we really are,

What we most value. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Knitting Update

I just updated my 52in52-2011 group post on Ravelry.  I am now at 27 started and finished projects in 2011, so I am exactly on track for 52.  This actually makes me slightly behind as I am going to be making a heart shawl for my sister and future sister in law for their weddings at the end of this year, and those will eat up time.  But fortunately, NerdWars on Ravelry leads to some smaller projects so there is hope I will make it.

I finished my pink fingerless gloves started in May:


With some of the leftover yarn I made the premie cap I wanted to make for Nerdpoints in June but didn't get to.  I am mailing it out to AC Medical center tomorrow anyway - hopefully will make a baby warm and happy,


As I mentioned earlier - NerdWars leads to some smaller projects.  This one was an answer to sometimes It's fun to be a Villain.  My current team "Meeples" is based on boardgame nerdery. (Since BBT is on hiatus for the summer I switched to another team.  I'll be returning to team Bazinga for tournament 3 in the fall)   For boardgamers, one common enemy/villain is the damn timer.  So as i couldn't find a pattern for a 3-D hourglass I got out some scrap cotton yarn and a crochet hook and guessed.  You can see why I stick to patterns ;P  You can't see from the crappy picture but the glass itself is made from sand and white yarn- it's an almost empty timer.  Maybe I'll try taking a better picture tomorrow.  I also used this for bonus unity points. Our team unity project for this round was to make a game piece.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Freestyle – whatever you want to write about


Starts with a trickle,

becomes a river of sweat

I so hate summer!



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tomatoes, Tomahtoes

On  a rainy Sunday morning (hmmm afternoon - I didn't get home until 8, so it feels like morning)  I'll show you some pictures of tomatoes I have on the vine.  If the sun ever stays out for any length of time, we will have a bunch of yummy ripe fruit!

Micro tom - claims to be the world's smallest tomato.  It's in a 6" pot for some scale - so I believe it to be true.

Coyote - small yellow cherry I missed out on last year

Siletz- heirloom type - sooooo yummy, good for salads, sammies or just off the vine

Early girl

container choice

Mexican midget - I bought this on a whim - because of the name.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Knitting Update


My family & friends like to play board games.  Hell I even drove to Philly for a board game party.  (OK, it was really to hang out with Fe & his mousies.... shhhh).  When there aren't many of us, and the tv is on while we play (Curt is a tv addict, the world is too quiet when it's not on)  we often play on a tray table.  

We (everyone but the Angie) also enjoy a nice cold beer while playing.  The problem with really cold beers, is condensation.  The moisture gets on cards, the board, your fingers.  I know, if the condensation from my Smithwicks is the biggest problem I have on a Saturday night, I'm doing pretty good.  Coasters help keep the table and board dry, but do nothing to keep your hand dry.  Not to mention they fall off the table.   The solution??  Beer cozies!  I used a self striping yarn ( Universal Yarn's Cotton Supreme Batik- awesome yarn knits like kitchen cotton but it is SOOOO soft) so each cozy is slightly different, because it is clear from how fast my bottle empties that other people are obviously drinking my beer!!