Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I ordered my Elio!

I did it!  I put my $1000 deposit on an Elio!  I'm number 17 thousand something in production line.  I'm still debating a few options and haven't figured out if I want red or black, I know I want the rear spoiler, black carpet, haven't figured out if I want red or carbon interior panels, not sure about the touch screen thing.  Y'all know I want the stick shift (it was so cool seeing the automatic listed as an extra $1500!)  

Really excited.  It is actually roomier inside than it looks - sat in at the auto show last month. (not sure about the passenger in back but while they would have less headroom they would have more width - and since I rarely have anyone in the car with me- it doesn't matter)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Got my original March swap card!

It was  postmarked Mar 11, and I received it Thur!  Michigan is only half t he country away, it's not like it had to get here from Borneo!

 The card itself was super fun, you pull the first sheep and a dog chases out an entire flock!
And Jessica made me the most adorable owl bookmark! (I'm the dinosaur who still prefers actual paper books)

Thanks a million Jessica!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Balcony Garden - cucumbers

Trying something new with cucumbers this year.  I planted them inside a tomato cage.  I saw examples of this on Pinterest so I figure it's worth trying.  (The water bottle has pinholes in it so when I water I can fill up the bottle and have it wet the soil slower - and hopefully longer so it won't be dry when I get home at night.  Also seen on Pinterest, I did about 1/3 my pots that way to see what happens. It's the one literish size before you tell me the pot is too small.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Southern Journey

My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the SouthMy Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South by Rick Bragg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Red dirt, turnip greens, white whiskey, mosquitoes, football, stories, remembering the past and our ancestors, biscuits and gravy, armadillos, stillness, this book really brings the south to life. Not the Scarlett O'Hara south, "not mint juleps on the veranda" south, but this book brings alive the real south, the hardworking, help your neighbor, fix it rather than toss it, blue collar south.

The book is a compilation of essays previously published in magazines and newly written ones. They are sorted into 5 categories:

Home - "kitchen is the heart of the house ....the porch is it's soul"
Table - the stuffing/dressing conundrum, bad coleslaw
Place - the mountains, woods, rivers, Gulf (and several of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill)
Craft - Bragg didn't inherit an ability to fish, fix things or build things, but he definitely learned how to tell a story
Spirit - why college football runs deeper than the NFL, old cars, politics, looking forward, remembering the past but not reliving it's mistakes and horrors.

Loved this book, if not for the lizards, mosquitoes and lack of snow I'd move back.

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The Food Lab

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through ScienceThe Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow - this is actually a cookbook you read!! Every chapter! It teaches the why's of cooking not just the how's. There are a lot of cooking "rules" that it turns out aren't true, and others that are. To tell you how much I love this book - after I returned the copy to the library (ran out of renewals) I actually bought a copy to keep at home. (my husband was astounded that was a book with more information than I can absorb in a month)

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Balcony garden is almost planted! Herb Tower

I moved my herb tower to the shadier side of the balcony.  Maybe because of the metal trays - but no matter how much water, or how much coco fiber and peat mulch was mixed into the soil, the herbs just burned up.  Hoping the new spot helps that - it still gets full morning sun but afternoon sun gets filtered through the tree.  It's also less windy on this side.

Nerdopolis 2.2 Regstration open!

Registration is open until midnight GMT (7 pm my time) on Friday May 27th.  This tournament runs from June1- Aug 31.  I play on team Fraggle.  If you're interested check out out group on Ravelry: 

If you want to play on a different team check out Nerdopolis here:


Sign ups are here.

You do need to be a member of Ravelry to play.

Monday, May 23, 2016

You say Potato I say Tomato

Check out what I saw at Derring's Nursery in Roxbury!!  A plant that makes tomatoes on top and after the season you get potatoes from the bottom!!  How could I not buy it??  (no I don't anticipate harvesting $25 worth of tomatoes and potatoes although cherry tomatoes are like $4 a small container so maybe...) it is the total coolness factor!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Angie says they aren't legit

Curt and I went to the Hunan Palace in Denville on Friday night.  We got "soup dumplings" as an appetizer.  There is a place in Philly where soup dumplings are filled with just soup.  These had a little "meatball" inside with the soup, so the Angie says they aren't legit.  Oh well, they were pretty good.  I actually ordered a cocktail - ginger martini - really yummy, although Curt thinks you aren't supposed to eat the ginger slice - but I will eat straight up ginger.

I had Hunan lamb, supposedly spicy, the pieces of pepper had some zing, but overall another not spicy disappointment,  If they didn't list it as spicy I would have said it was good!

Curt had some kind of pepper chicken (peppercorn not green) He enjoyed it.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Comment on Franklin Habit's recent post


So I very rarely comment on a post someone else had made someplace else.  But I recently read this post by Franklin Habit (knitters probably know who he is, the rest of you just know he writes about knitting and other fibery things) 

I really very, very, very rarely make the same thing twice.  Even when I make afghans - the blocks are usually all different.  The second sock or mitt is a serious hurdle to get over in a project.  Case in point - I started a pair of socks with cuffs designed to fold over a boot top.  Kind of like sock and boot cuff combined.  Let's ignore the fact that most of my socks end at the ankles and these feel like they have miles of leg.  I cast on in January.  Finished my first sock in about 2 weeks.  It is now mid-may - I have only about an inch of the cuff done (I'm hoping to finish by boot wearing weather next fall)  Another example is my beekeeper's quilt.  I've been working on it for literally years.  Sometimes I'll get a spurt and do 6 hexis in a month, but that usually leads to 2 or 3 "dry" months.  

I know knitters/crocheters exist that crank out a ton of the same patterns (some do it for charity projects - I'm just not that charitable. I can do 5 premie hats, just not 5 of the same premie hats) That seems like crafting hell to me.  People, even people I care about will ask me to make something for them- a copy of something I already made - many times I just take off the item in question and give them that one - that's why I can always make more fingerless mitts, I end up giving mine away!

What I am trying to decide now - if this ties into the process vs. project knitter.  I'm pretty sure I've told you previously, I'm definitely a process knitter.  In the mind of a project knitter, once they finish the project does their brain reset so they can do it again? Does the fact that, unlike me, they can crank out the second one faster than the first mean that since the finished objects come faster when they are familiar with the pattern it becomes satisfying??  It's liek trying to figure out an alien mind..... 

Friday, May 13, 2016

What to do with leftover nachos??


Meant to get a picture once I broke the ooey gooey yolk.. but I was hungry.  also no pic after the salsa topped it off.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Alan Dart Pattern... omg must make this as soon as I get my magazine!!

Seriously! Lumberjack Beaver!! How freakin awesome???  (huge fan of Alan Dart)

Nothing finished - but updates on 2 summer shawls.

 I'm halfway through chart 2 (of 4 and with 4 increases evry other round chart 4 will be a doozy) of Ghost Dance in  Manos del Uruguay Alegría Locura Fluor.
I'm up to row 44 on Luciole - (MET's Shawl if you follow me on Rav).

Blocking my Spring Spirits Kerchief - need to wait for it to dry before sewing it onto an elastic headband.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Only With A HIghlander

Only With a Highlander (Highlander, #5)Only With a Highlander by Janet Chapman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book. I already knew how Matt and Winter would end up, and how their magic would end up, but the story was a good escape for me right now. I really, really, really liked the identity of Talking Tom revealed at the end of the book, and it was good to see Greylan and Grace still in love after 33 years and 7 daughters,

What did moderately annoy the obsessive part of my brain is after describing the Gregor plaid.. the plaid on the cover looks nothing like it..

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weather hasn't been garden friendly

It rained almost every day for 2 weeks, it's been pretty cold (if you're a tomato or a pepper plant at least)  Today is supposed to have a high or 62 so I put my plants out on the deck for a few hours to start getting them used to the outdoors!

I also tried planting some chard, carrot and radish seeds... they are taking forever!


Monday, May 9, 2016

Nerdopolis Pattern Swap

LadyKatka of Team Dangerzone has once again put together an off month pattern swap... I got 2 partners to send patterns off their wishlist, and they each send me one.  Knittergoddss sent me the upcycled jean tote !!  I have several pairs of jeans that have holes in the wrong places (since I'm over 19) So I just need to find some cool handles.  Who doesn't need another tote??

I got one of my partners The Wave mittens:

And dreambird.

I won't post the other pattern until I know the recipient receives it.  ANd I'll let you know what the second pattern I get is!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!!

I celebrated yesterday.  Originally I took the day off (with a lot of arguing) so we could meet up with the Angie.  Then the Angie cancelled.  I then got Curt to agree to go to chileplants.com with me to pick up some tomato, pepper, eggplant and basil plants.  It's about an hour away, a nice drive (even in the rain) and I've never not had a successful plant from them.

Friday night, I was on the computer when Curt got home.  He asked if I started dinner, the answer was no - I was going to do burgers and salad.  He said he didn't feel like burgers.  I told him to look around the kitchen to see what he wanted.  he wanted me to look with him, I knew what we had!!  Then he decides he wants to go out to eat. OK.  Then he wants a hug???  WTF???  so I get up to give him a hug.  Well the entire time the Angie was hiding to surprise me!  SHe had taken the train up after working half a day and had spent the afternoon with her grandfather.. I screamed. Literally, like a girl.  Seriously, this is how people get shot... anyway, they tell me they have a surprise the next morning before we go to get the plants (they knew once I decide I'm getting plants, I'm getting plants) I thought it would be breakfast, but no, they are going to get breakfast after. OK. So I have a snack when I get up.  Curt promises it isn't slimy (yes hanging out with pretty much just boys most of my formative years has given me this fear of something slimy when I'm getting a surprise. (you should see what happens when they want me to close my eyes!)  The Angie says it might be a little slimy.

Turns out she was right, Curt lied, but it was OK.. Curt got the Angie and I hour long massages at a spa. with hot rocks. Phillipe was great (considering what he had to work with, relaxing is not really in my wheelhouse) I think I was an inch taller when I left there.  (at one point he tells me to relax my neck, I say it is, he says if it was your head would be touching the table.  I try and fail. He says how a bout a deep breath, then another, took about 8 or so. poor guy)

We went to get my plants, then while Curt went bowling, the Angie and I had what used to be our Dad is bowling girl's fun.  Yes, risotto and salmon were involved...

Thanks to the Angie for coming up with the surprise and Curt for making it all happen.  I love you both soooo much!!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Recent Food Pics..

While my friend Min and I eagerly (and might I add supremely patiently) await Curt inventing the fUSB (food USB) device for us to send food back and forth with, the poor woman and Fe have to settle for pics... here are some recent ones:

chicken and dumplings

Mexican rice with eggs, salsa, guac and sour cream

beef and noodles

roast beast, fresh mozz, prociutto, and arugula sauteed with chili flakes and garlic


Thursday, May 5, 2016

ball sacks!

Made two ball sacks to hold balls of yarn for two shawls I'm working on.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Before Happiness

If you were wondering about my failed attempts at 21 days of 3 positive things - this book is the cause.  The problem I personally had was losing one of my best friends (no he didn't die) at least for now, and my inability to deal with the sadness that caused. (I'm slowly becoming able to be thankful for all the wonderful memories, and like Garth Brooks says in the Dance- I could have missed the pain but then I'd have to miss the dance.  And I'm seriously holding on to him promising to be in touch at some point in the future, and jealous of his faith that our friendship was meant and will be back someday)  But I can't hold that against the book, although this made it harder to read the last section than the first three I started prior to 3 weeks ago.

Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive ChangeBefore Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Achor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A lot of happiness self-help books are basically a bunch of bunk in my opinion. This book actually gives you the tools to develop a more positive approach to life and even more valuable tools to help spread this positivity to those around you.

Simple things - 3 extra smiles per day, use the power lead (speak first not loudest), making stress work for you, map the meaning in your life, spot and stop the hijackers, do something altruistic, identify your x spots, make 70% your goal, keep your eyes on the beach not the rocks. etc.

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I making notes here, so I hopefully don't have to re-read the book when my frame of mind improves.

First - and this is really important - there is a difference between being positive within reality and being a blanket optimist. And positive realism allows you to make changes while pure optimism really doesn't.

The book is split up into five sections:

All the Way: My Life on Ice

All the Way: My Life on IceAll the Way: My Life on Ice by Jordin Tootoo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a HUGE fan of Jordin Tootoo on the ice (and really really really hoping the Devils keep him around awhile) After reading this book I'm a huge huge huge fan of Jordin Tootoo the person.

It's a very raw, open honest book, like if you sat down with some snacks and were just talking to him. I'm pretty sure some of the stuff he talks about wasn't easy to deal with.

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