Wednesday, August 31, 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!) – join us and try it today!

This week’s theme is: School

Ahh kindergarten,

Seems like only yesterday,

not '97.


How's she a sophomore?

An apartment in the dorm?

Loving Temple U? 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene that Biatch!

SO we are still dealing with Irene here.  I'm not complaining. Much.  We kept power through the storm and the  windstorm afterwards.  One tree out front lost a branch but it went the other direction, and we had n water damage.  Kept our cable, internet and phone (well I can't promise about the phone - I never use it)  

The problem is that both Curt and I have to cross several rivers to get to work.  You remember the song "over the river"  Well for me its 

Over the river and through the woods
to the big orange box I go;
Route 80's the way, I go out and play
Before the early morning glow!

WEll, Irene dumped a lot of water and the rivers all dumped into the Passaic which didnt crest until this morning.  The rivers have all been overflowing their banks some of them are 10 ft above the flood stage.  When they flood they have no compunctions about where they dump the water - and roadways are a frequent place for the water.  (As a funny aside - I had a texting convo with C as it took him my entire 31 minute lunch break to pass my store's parking lot- and then by 1230 he had to give up on his delivery and turn around anyway!)  So the off ramp I take to get to work is closed and I had to detour.  then going home??  This morning for the first time, the DMV flooded.  Route 46 gets closed pretty regularly- but never before the 46/80/23 split.  I actually walked onto the highway and took pictures!

46 west
46 West - the way I usually go home.  

46 east
This guy found the only way to travel 46 from the East

So- I am having a ton of trouble getting my trucks in.  Since receiving only works from 6am to 12am - I have to go in at 3am tomorrow to unload 2 trucks, because the vendors can't find drivers willing to deal with the traffic until the roads open.  AND  I MAY NOT GET MY CARPET TRUCK!!! THE HORROR!!!

When I finally did get to 80West  I had no problems after the first mile getting around the closed 23 exit - but I really felt bad for the eastbound traffic - today it was only stopped for 10 miles. Yesterday it went past 20 miles!

But hopefully now that the river has crested and it has been sunny and breezy the water can go down!

On a lighter note - my friend asked me if I thought that cats had their own emergency preparedness list.  The answer is clearly yes:

A. Make sure treat bag is water proof.  B. Stare out window. C.Realize that the zip loc that makes it waterproof makes it impossible to open without thumbs.  D. Stare out window. E. Curse fate. F. Do head count periodically on mousies.  G. Stare out window. H. Realize you can't sleep while ur mousies may be in danger. I. Stare out window. J. Begin moving mousies to ur peoples bed. K. Run around agitated- it may get u a treat & u need ur strength. L. Realise the best place for a mouse is where ur person will roll on it. M. Rearrange as necessary.N. Stare out window.O.  Watch your person totally take their thumbs for granted.P. Check to make sure your person closed treat bag correctly.Q. Realize a yes means you can't get at the treatsR. Stare out window. 

Monday, August 29, 2011


I decided yesterday's post was getting too long and split it.

Tuesday Min and I walked to a local place for breakfast.  I had a super yummy chorizo and ham hash with eggs and rye toast.  I am going to make this occasionally on the weekends!


We walked to the Post Office where we were in hysterics trying to decide how many times the woman behind us would sigh loudly before we left.  I didn't even come close with 18.  And she kept making REALLY LOUD phone calls - made worse by the echoing in the place.  So we knew she had to be somewhere, she wasn't expecting a line- even though she gave up the day before at a different post office because of the line, that she still needed to take a shower, that she wanted to wear her light blue shirt that wasn't pressed, and that she was going to be late!!

Back at Min's we watched one more episode of Decoded before I started getting my stuff together to ride home.  Then there was an odd noise, Fe began freaking out (ok not that uncommon for Fe) and then the entire house started rolling/shaking.  Min looks at me and asks if we are having an earthquake.  My answer can only be yes.  The construction workers on the scaffolding down the street start yelling.  We grabbed our phones and I can tell you the cell service and download speeds were very slow as we tried getting more info.  About 10 minutes later the tv started having news reports. My brother who lives in CA was picking on me for those reports- he asked don't east coast people know to take cover not wander aimlesly outside where stuff can fall on them?  The answer - NO, 

Thanks to traffic getting out of Philly ( I think all the people who left their buildings just went home because it felt like rush hour to me) I then hit rush hour in north Jersey as well (although bright side I did see another Braun's truck on Route 1 - i told you I have issues)  It took me a total of about 4 hours to make a 2 hour trip.  We were at my father in law's for a bit (sad that the Angie called him to tell him he was ok before telling me)  and then I was tired. and hungry. So on the way home we stopped at the diner for food.  Chicken picatta for me.  Really good.  I got to bed at 11pm- had to get up at 230am.  Can we say extra coffee??? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Angie's move in- a week late

Sorry- crazy week at work.  

Last weekend I took a 6 day weekend, Thur - Tue to take the Angie shopping, get her all beautified and moved down to Philly for school.

Thur - we got the new shellac gel polish, which supposedly doesn't chip for a couple weeks put on her nails.  My nails have the fiberglass acrylic on them so chipping really isn't an issue for my talons  We also had a great lunch at the Thai restaurant in town.  We always have a plan. One of us orders the drunken noodles lunch with soup, the other orders something else (preferably spicy, preferably something we haven't tried before) with the salad.  Then we share everything.  We decided that next time we would get a couple appy's so we can try a dessert after.

Fri - we both got spa pedicures.  Love the foot massage.  I actually got really bright pink polish on my tootsies (usually I stick to dark blood red sparkly polishes)  We then hit Pier one, Target, and Costco for back to school supplies.  The Angie is in an apartment on the fourth floor of the dorm she lived in last year so she needed more stuff-  She got a rice cooker/steamer (one thing she had issues with last year was rice - apparently the way the mealplan worked getting just rice at the Chinese place was an issue)  She got the Magic Bullet- she's been coveting it for a few years now - knows the infomercial by heart.  And of course every kid needs a leopard print broom!  Also bathroom cleaning supplies/tp/paper towels.  And 5 cases of 36 Poland Springs.

Saturday morning we went down to my father in law's to borrow his truck - and to get the bike he bought for $10 and refurbished for her to bring to school.  He figured that way if something happened, it wouldn't be as big a deal.  She then got her hair trimmed and blown out - and we finished her shopping at the mall and grocery store.  Sat night she went out for one last nite with her high school friends.

Sunday I had to go in to work for a meeting, blech,  and she finished packing and getting stuff into the truck and her dad's car.  SHe also spent time online finding deals and ordering books for the semester.  She has at this point sold most of her books from last year and several of her friends books (as well as some books people left behind during move out last year) 

Monday morning we left the house around 6am.  We did really well - missing the worst of the 80/287 traffic and got to route 1 early enough that we didn't really have traffic through there as well. (on route 18 I saw a Braun's truck coming the other way - yes I have issues - and it was C!!) We stopped for an extended hour long breakfast at Panera's off 95 in PA because we were running early and she couldn't check in until 10am. (but if we left a half hour later we would have had a problem being on time due to traffic buildup)  It was a fun breakfast as she told us a bunch of dorm life stories from last year we hadn't heard - and also some of the stories from her friends at other schools.

We got 2 parking spots a car apart on the street behind her dorm.  She checked in at 10:01.  We got all her things moved in, amd went to the other side of Philly to my friend Min & catphew Felix's house.  We had stored some of her stuff in the basement of Min's place.  We took the rest of Angie's stuff up to her- were summarily dismissed (really we've gotten used to it) and went out in search of lunch.

A picture Min took, when she walked us down - I think to make sure we got in the truck!

We had lunch at Chickie's and Pete's.  It is a fairly famous sports bar near the sports complex.  it is famous for it's crab fries- fries seasoned in Old Bay seasoning served with a cheese dipping sauce.  they were pretty good.  Keep in mind I really don't eat fries much.  I kind of expected a sports bar in a place like Philly to have a better/bigger/more varied beer list than what they had - so I had an unsweetened ice tea.  then I asked the waitress if I could have my burger done rare.  In my experience- if the answer is yes they fresh grind their meat, if the answer is no- they buy preground meat or frozen meat.  So even though it won't kill me to eat a medium burger- I don't.  I ordered a chicken club sandwich.  It. Was. Dry.  the chicken was dry, it was too bready for the lettuce and tomato to counter.  I had to ask for mayo - and use a lot. ( I kinda feel bad for Min - trying to think of places to eat)

We then did a turn through target, Modell's and Lowes.  At some point while CURT was driving the truck- the turn signals and brake lights stopped working.  He was going to get new bulbs- but they lit up with the head lights and when you set the alarm they blinked.  Min ended up calling her grandmother's..... boy toy??... who worked 40 years as a mechanic and crawled around under the truck, before we decided that the problem was the front end somewhere.  We were also looking for odorban or other spray to get rid of the mildew smell from her sneakers being soaked earlier in the week.  And Curt had given his multi-bit screwdriver to the Angie and needed a new one to try and look at the lights.

While in Lowes (because the camping/hunting sections in Target and Modell were sad) we got what we needed - and were trying to figure out if we could steal...

Chad - and where she could put him since he was kind of missing half.

After going back to Min's house to hang with Fe a while (and Curt was not being a good male role model but I forget why)   We walked to a Thai restaurant for dinner - and Curt finally tried Thai food - and it didn't all have peanuts- and ... gasp.... he liked it!  When we got back, he headed home and Min and I (and Fe) settled down to some knitting (ok when Fe wasn't needing some attention) and Brad Meltzer's Decoded.  I think I'm almost through season 1!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book 18 for the year

Did you ever hear that quote about the wind off a butterfly's wings causing a hurricane in across the globe?  Seemingly inconsequential things causing other things.  The interwebs are like that.  Ravelry is really like that.  On Ravelry I have friends that, even geography aside, I don't know that I'd ever have made friends with.  A relocated midwest raised public health professional? A stay at home mom then wife, who's 10 years older than me? 2 librarians separated by 1000 miles?  A child social worked?  A minister? A Floridian IT pro?  A Hummer driving CPA?  Becoming friends with these people - some of whom are RL friends now, allows me to be exposed to all different things.  One of the groups I am in on Rav was reading and discussing Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann.  Let me say that if I had to read this for school when I was younger - I wouldn't have.

The book starts out with the true event in 1974 of a tightrope walker who walked between the World Trade Center towers.  12 characters, who have nothing to do with the walker - other than mostly being in NYC at the time - are unwrapped through the book.  An odd priest, his brother, 2 hookers, A judge and his wife who have lost a son in Vietnam, her group of friends who also lost their sons in the war, 2 artists high on coke, a Guatemalan nurse, a phone hacker in California.  In the beginning of the book 2 characters die.  The other characters all have their disconnected chapters.  In Parts 2 & 3 the characters begin converging, their lives connecting in invisible ways.  We learn of the 2 dead characters through memories, impressions and flashes back in time.  

The first 3/4 of the book is depressing, full of despair.  The seedy, the illegal, the drugs, the people trapped in their lives by their decisions, or by the decisions they were born into.  Trapped by world events, city events, random events.  It is pretty hopeless.  A hooker's child, despite her mother's attempts to stay clean, to get a real job, the mother fails and eventually her daughter falls to drugs and prostitution. The priest wrestles with and fails his vows. All starting to be connected outside of the rope walker.

The last part of the book takes place in 2006, through the eyes of a woman who was a child mentioned, but not in depth in the beginning.  She has taken the sacrifices of others on her behalf and seized the opportunity.  She still is fighting her demons, but is starting to win the battle.  Many of the original characters are gone, one is dying.  Yet somehow in her, we find hope. 

I had set a goal in January of reading 24 books in 2011.  Last year, I started reading more, but not consistently.  I wanted to begin reading again,  I used to love losing myself in a good book.  This book was #18 for the year.  Technically  I am 3 books ahead of the pace I need - although with both my siblings getting married and other things in life I think I need to have 22 read by the beginning of November. 

Wednesday, August 17, 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: Home

Looking in his eyes,

Feeling his arms around me,

My heart feels at home. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lancaster Beer & Wine Gallery

On our way from Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse to the outlets on Route 30, we passed a winery tasting/store place.  Two weeks ago they opened an upstairs, The Barn Bar, connected to Rumspringa Brewing Co. a Brewery in Bird-In-Hand. We decided to stop in.  We decided to forgo the dessert offerings - although they really looked tempting, since we were planning on dinner at Cracker Barrel.  We ordered the beer sampler - their 4 regular brews and their seasonal offering - a heffeweisen that was a bit on the fruity side.


To go with that we ordered the cheese/sausage/pretzel plate


The golden and the stout were excellent.  the IPA was actually one I would consider drinking, surprising for an IPA.  I really, really liked the Red Caboose Ale so I bought a decorative glass growler - which held over 1/2 a gallon and had it filled with the Red Caboose.


Altogether a perfect lunch for a date day!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Unplanned yarn.

Friday evening, Curt and I decided to go on a quick day trip.  This was inspired earlier in the week when Krissie and Ryan Newman's date night turned into a trip to Bass Pro Shops.  I believe the closest Bass Pro to me is in Harrisburg, PA - about 3 hours away I think.  But a mere 2 hrs + away is Cabella's.  I love Cabella's- and there is a Cracker Barrel right across the street.  Curt needed some unmentionables because I threw a bunch of his away recently.  So, he wanted to head to the outlets outside Lancaster on Route 30 (not the ones in Reading)  These outlets are just about around the corner (ok long corner)  from Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA.  So our plans were made.  The Angie had already made plans for the weekend down the shore with her friends.  It was just Curt and I.

We left at 7am, figuring we would get breakfast around Allentown.  All the way to Bethlehem, there were those signs about what food was at the next exit.  Just before Bethlehem, was even a sign for Waffle House, but I didn't pick it (he drove I had to pick) because we were still some miles before Allentown.  Well, then Allentown came and went. And went, and went, and went.  I don't think any of these people eat breakfast out!  (ok,  there was Mickey D's, Burger King, and the Wendy's served breakfast- but yuck, I don't do them)  So, when Curt saw a sign for the Midway Diner he picked it.  It was a typical truck diner - and I had a lot of fun eavesdropping (although if they talk that loud it shouldn't be considered eavesdropping) on three pretty loud drivers sitting at the counter.  One driver had a dog that was working on exterminating Groundhogs.  Since my father in law is currently losing his war against a groundhog that likes his garden, they caught my attention.

found the pic on line.
When we got to Kitchen Kettle Village we stopped at the Lancaster Yarn Shop.  Not a really big LYS, but they had a section of locally raised,spun dyed yarn.  How could I resist??  I needed some sock yarn that would be a stretch from my usual choices for a KAL that starts tomorrow of Honey Badger Socks.   I found Crab Apple Yarns.  Jubilee.  It was way more than I would usually spend on yarn, but I really loved it.


They also had a sparkly yarn - not sure what I'll make from that.  Revival.


Without the Angie - Curt had to be my sampling partner in the jam shop.  We ended up getting 13 jars, a spicy pickle, watermelon rind pickles for my FIL, sugar free apple butter for my mom, 2 things of peach salsa, pineapple jalepeno I plan on using with pork or ham. and 7 of our usuals.  Then it was the smoke house, love the smell in there for cheee & sausage.  I showed amazing restraint by skipping the fudge store.  I realized some time ago that I like buying fudge more than eating it!  The leather shop also is on I never skip.

From there it was on to lunch - but that is a whole post in and of itself!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Finally! Wildlife that isn't vermin! Monarchs visited the garden center.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Last night we went to the Sussex County/NJ State Fair. Two things kind of confused me.  First, how exactly do you deep fry KoolAid??  Personally, I don't like KoolAid - the red velvet funnel cakes or deep fried oreos would be tempting if it wasn't soo.... fried.  And second- how do you judge hay?  The blue ribbon is first place, the green ribbon right next to it was 5th place.  they look the same to me.



And I was trying to get this guy to look up for his picture, but he was being unco-operative.


And of course there was the demolition derby.  A guy from my town came in 2nd in the feature! Totally brings out the redneck in the Angie.  My phone died so I couldn't take any pictures.   All in all red neck bliss! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

REdneck Happiness


This weekend I will be one happy redneck..  Nascar Trucks and Cup at Pocono Speedway.  And Monday- the Sussex County fair's  demolition derby!!  Happy girl!!  Picture above was taken by Curt at New Jersey MotorSports Park at the Grand Am/Rolex race.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do you remember?

Those of you old enough to remember the 60's and 70's ( Ok I only have 3 distinct memories I can say were definitely from the 60's) Will remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.  Marlin Perkins was the host - who talked A LOT.  And his sidekick Jim - who got to wrestle with and take on all the wild animals.

 I will admit to a slight crush on Jim.  There didn't seem to be any animal he couldn't handle and he was so sweet with the big cats cubs.

 I really loved when the Muppets spoofed the show:

 Now, I know you're all (well those of you still reading) are wondering why I'm going down this road.  Many of you know that when my old position ended on Mar 1, I went to outside Garden.  Most of it (other than the people other than Paul who work there) was pretty good, we had a terrible start to spring, but managed to catch up and even surpass all our numbers.  I still work 4ish to 1-2ish.  

Some days are slower than others.  I have gotten to know a lot of the urban wildlife.  I have learned about the structure of pigeon flocks.  The alpha pigeon we have named Ballsy, because he is very bold.  He's flown at me a few times - I ripped one of his feathers off once.  He his friends - a pigeon as big as a chicken we call carmen,  the 2 mafioso birds.  I have even realized that the pigeons that hang out in lumber do not mingle (at least in the store - I don't know where they go outside)  with the garden birds.  I was in lumber and the birds are totally different.  (This job is turning me into the bird woman of Alcatraz)

There is a drainage pond out back.  Earlier in the spring 2 goose couples were there with their 4 goslings.  I discovered that geese babysit for one another.  Because sometimes I would see all 4 adults with the babies, and sometimes only 2.  @ of the babies were clearly younger than the other. 

The other day, there was a white egret fishing in the remains (deep puddles) of the pond.  I'm constantly trying to get rid of the mice, there is a family of chipmunks that live in the wall behind the mulch that connects us to Staples.

And now, we have found (in back of building materials -not my dept)  that there is a mama raccoon and her three babies.  One of the babies is really dumb, ditsy and confused.  Mama and 2 babies run out the back fence climbing head first down the chain link, one goes sideways, ass backwards, across, back up.  Then ran back and forth for over 10 minutes before crossing into the woods where mom went.  Apparently couldn't find mom because an hour later we saw her in the shrubs we sell.  And then climbing over the arched roof that protects the plants, and then eating the bird suet cakes


She's not afraid of people - she only moved aside when we shook the box at her.  I'm knd of concerned about rabies - because it was definitely daylight.

Yesterday, I saw her trying to eat the organic lawn fertilizer -


And around 1230pm I saw her climbing the i beam that holds our roof up.  Like I said - nocturnal animal - i don't know if she is rabid or just really, dumb.  And if she can't follow mom she isn't learning anything. 

I decided to name her after the most ditszy person I work with - the dept spv of indoor garden.  So she is Darlene.

Wednesday, August 3, 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: Distance

Display SLOWLY shows

the miles in tenths ticking off,

in cardio Hell!


Once friends, now strangers

In the same room feet apart

Feels like miles and miles 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Knit updates.

Here are my last 2 entries for Round 2 of Nerdwars.  The deadline was Sunday.  First was for the challenge where you had to cross into another nerddom.   I made a potions box cover.  I decided to send a box with various herbal teas, homeopathic remedies, herbs, Zicam, Airborne etc.  When the Angie got strep right before finals, at home in NJ I had the perfect teas etc. that would have made her life easier while the antibiotics did their work.  But the key to these is starting them right away, not waiting for mom to ship them.  So this way she will have some of my core stuff, and if she gets sick I can tell her what to take.  I used a double layer snap-loc container with a handle.  I crocheted a fitted top - there is supposed to be an owl cable on each side,  but I never cabled in crochet before and I don't think they came out that good.  I knit a cabled owl applique to put on the center.


The white owl ties into Hedwig - Harry Potter's white owl.  The box tied into the Angie's life because Temple's mascot is the Owls.

For my challenge project on mythology- I   used the greek goddess Athena. (thank's Min!)  Athena is often pictured with an owl , and amongst other things Athena is the patron of weapons.  My daughter fences on the Temple club team, and uses pvc pipes cut in lengths as blade protectors.  She drills 2 holes near the top and uses a mini bungee through her handle/hilt to hold it on.  Originally, I was going to knit a long tube as well to create a sabre cozy, but I ran out of time.  Then, when I needed to take a picture on Sunday night, the Angie was out with her friends until well past my bedtime, so I used her plastic sword from her Dance Competition production number about the civil war - For the Glory.



Monday, August 1, 2011

Crocheted Breakfast

Yesterday, I crocheted breakfast.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I crocheted breakfast, and no I did not lose my mind.  I needed to submit an entry to NerdWars on Ravelry, which answered the challenge to craft with something that is not yarn or normal fiber arts materials.  I was initially going to crocheted birds' nests out of fresh pasta to put meatballs in.  The problem was A. it's been too hot to make my own pasta- definitely too humid.  B. Buitoni is not that fresh but on the dry side, so it was too brittle to work with.  Despite having other items in my house to work with - my  husband has miles of cables, fiber optics and wire - but my head was stuck on food.  

Looking in my fridge, I saw a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough.

I rolled it out with a dusting of flour on a cutting board and with a pizza cutter cut it into 3 strips.  While I worked with one strip I put the others in the fridge to keep them cold - because I wanted the finished food to be fluffy.  I then cut each strip in half, and each piece almost to the end.


I took this "u" shaped piece and rolled it into a ropey yarn.


For my first few pieces I just chained the entire strip with my largest plastic crochet hook a size P. And then rolled it around a muffin tin to make a bowl.


I then got a bit braver and actually crocheted a 3-dimensional bowl.  (non-crocheters this will seem like greek, and I do apologize)  I chained 5, joined with a sc ( a slip was too hard) into a loop, chained one. I [sc, ch2] all around and joined the end with a sc, then tucked the end piece in. (no tapestry needle here folks)

Now ALL the non-crocheters can jump in - just put squares and bend them into the muffin tin.

I "lined"  each of the bowls with half a piece of procuitto. ( I was kind of sloppy - if you want to eat my food you better not bitch about the presentation- if you want to impress your company make it neater - I won't be offended. )  I then put a dollop of basil pesto.  It's n easy thing to make in the blender - the best jarred pesto I've found is the one at Costco - and there aren't an preservatives in it.  I usually keep a jar in the fridge - Angie likes making her grilled cheese with them, warming leftover chicken with it, puts it on her scrambled eggs, the non-pasta uses is endless.  I put some shredded 6 cheese italian cheese in each bowl.

I whipped 3 eggs with some italian seasoning a sprinkle of sugar and some italian herb seasoning.  I poured it into the 6 bowls.  I then put some shredded cheese on top.  Baked it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes.  I let it cool 6 or 7 minutes before lifting it out of the muffin tin, and viola - Nerd brunch!