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July 2010
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September 2010

I solemnly swear...

...that tomorrow I'll post photos of something other than my adorable nephews; but tomorrow, as we know, is another day (though only a day away)...

Can you tell that I'm feeling better?!  Yesterday was rough, lots of ups and downs -- second, third, and fourth winds (maybe more) -- and I was so tired by the time I went to bed last night that I was feeling nauseous.  I slept very, very well, though, and for that I am thankful.

Before I hit the wall, I was working on a few things -- including some photos for my sister from JULY (oops!) -- and even making progress!

Maddy has decided that she doesn't want the loft or the futon & frame at all, so that saves me a trip.  It's not a bad 1.5-hour drive and I wouldn't mind doing it, but I'm pleased that I don't have to.

Katie finally (after 3 weeks) received the final determination on her totalled car this morning and that whole thing is now in the final stages -- with a tiny little pot at the end of the rainbow.  Unsure of what she'll actually look for at the moment, at least she knows where her wallet stands.  It kind of all depends on where life/work will lead... there have been some rumblings along the lines of "Westward Ho!"  That's a whole 'nother thing.  I alternate between unbridled excitement -- and memory, as I've been there, uttering those very same words -- and taking them in the gut.

Suddenly, there's long anticipated movement in Ali's world, too, and that's a good thing.

Things are coming around, I guess.

All's well that ends well -- or, It Coulda Been Worse

I'm just going to get it off of my chest and out there -- tell my story and MOVE ON.  I am so over last weekend.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and full to the brim with indoor stuff.  It sort of wore me out.  I was in my jammies early, even though I knew that DH -- also with a full and busy day -- talked about going to the gallery reception for a friend's opening.  I think I was sort of hoping that he'd be too pooped or that I could beg off; usually, he doesn't mind if I beg off.  This time, he cajoled me into going... getting dressed, freshening up, fluffing up my hair, getting in the car, and... going.

Well, you know how that story ends.  I had a great time and I'm glad I went!

Sunday was the day to deliver Maddy and her things to school.  I don't remember whether or how much I've mentioned here, but we're down a couple of vehicles in the family -- Katie's is a total loss after she was rear-ended a few weeks ago (though there's still been no official declaration and I'm getting a bit miffed with insurance/handling) (what else is new?), and Maddy's had a little breakdown shortly thereafter.  My stepdad, Joe, is working on figuring out what's wrong with it (my old Saturn).  Katie's been riding her bike on days when the weather and her schedule cooperate; otherwise, we've been shuttling.  For the moment, Maddy is fine (and stationary) without a car.

I always tease that DH seems to be conveniently booked at an art fair on college move-in weekend -- and so it was!  This means that his van was occupied, as well.  Maddy was hoping to bring the loft and a futon and frame, for which the van would be required.  I had a brilliant brainstorm driving home from the reception on Saturday night, though!  Since the art fair had been set up on Saturday morning, didn't need to be torn down 'til Sunday night, and was conveniently located pretty close to home, why not swap vehicles for the day!  I could time it all so that I'd have the van back in time for loading up after the show.

In a perfect world.

I backed the van into the driveway on Sunday morning.  We pulled loft, futon and frame pieces from the garage rafters and loaded them into the van, along with the laundry baskets, backpacks, boxes, and duffels full of things a college student needs at school.

We hopped in, turned the key, and started blankly at the lights on the dashboard... the engine wasn't even TRYING to turn over.  There wasn't a click, not a hum, nothing snapped or banged or boomed... there was just NO-freakin'-THING.

I called Joe and pulled him away from working on Maddy's car (oh, the irony!) to come and look at the stupid van.  He determined that it was the starter -- not a quick fix.

We unloaded the laundry baksets, backpacks, boxes, and duffels from the van and reloaded them into Joe's Jeep; the big stuff wouldn't fit.  That stuff would all have fit into my car!

And there's the bright spot in this whole fiasco -- if DH had taken the van instead of my car on Sunday morning and the same scenario transpired, he'd have had an art fair booth in the middle of Cherry Street with a dead van in a nearby parking garage -- at about 6:00 p.m. after a two long (and very hot!) art fair days.  I don't even want to think about it.

So I took Maddy to school, unloaded, had lunch and went grocery shopping with her, then stopped to buy some rope on the way to the art fair, picking up Katie on the way, where we helped DH tear down and pack up.  Tying the panels on the top, we were surprised at how much fit in the Jeep... and maybe he doesn't need a full-size van when it comes to that... and I just had a few things in the car; given a little more time to think and plan, I'm sure they'd have fit in the Jeep.

A pickup truck pulled out right in front of me this morning, only a few blocks from home, and all I could think was, "Of course!"  And then I had to fight back tears -- because I "slept" a total of about 3 hours last night and this is just what happens!  Mere minutes earlier, I'd been thinking that I was actually happy that it was Monday!

Well, things have gone pretty smoothly since then (***knocking on wood***), and I'm determined to see steady improvement throughout the fun and busy week ahead!

In search of a pick-me-up picture, I came up with this little gem -- my nephew's first taste of birthday cake, two years ago!!  You can just "see" the sugar buzz, can't you?!


Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

What's yours?


Vicki's* Roasted Tomato Sauce

ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE (makes about 10 cups)

15 cloves of garlic
8 lbs tomatoes (any variety), halved or quartered
5-10 medium onions, quartered
1 c. fresh herbs, chopped -- rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
3-4 Tbsp. sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450F. Peel and chop 5 cloves of garlic; leave the remaining cloves whole. In a large roasting pan, gently toss together tomatoes, garlic, onions, oil, salt, and pepper.

Roast for 25 minutes. Gently stir. Roast for another 25 minutes; stir. Roast for another 45 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened and broken down into a sauce with a golden brown crust on top.

Remove from oven and taste. If slightly bitter, add sugar and stir. Pour sauce into clean, sterile jars or freezer bags and can or freeze, or refrigerate. If you prefer smoother sauce, blend in blender or use a hand blender until smooth.

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*Vicki's original post (2006!) and notes here.

I play around with this recipe a lot -- using many varieties of tomatoes, combinations of herbs, different varieties of onions and garlic, etc. On Saturday, I added some heirloom peppers; last night a red bell and a couple of banana peppers.  I think I've added mushrooms in the past (making mental note to do that again).

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I had some nice eggplant from Saturday's farmers' market, so we made a quick, sort of deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan.  I haven't had much success grilling eggplant, but I've discovered a FABULOUS way to "oven fry" it that keeps it nice and crisp!


Eggplant, sliced 1/4- to 3/8-inch thick
Beaten egg
Bread crumbs, seasoned to taste

Lightly sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and sandwich between two layers of paper towelling for 10-15 minutes to soak up some moisture (I don't always do this part).  Dredge each eggplant slice in flour before dipping into the egg and then coating with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, turn over and bake 15-20 minutes more.

It's the flour layer between the egg and crumbs that keeps this crispy!  Put a few slices on a plate, top with some freshly roasted tomato sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  It's fab!

Bon appetit!  I love this time of year!!

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"Seam faster!" she says!  Hahaha.  The seaming hasn't even begun yet!  But it is about to commence... a wee bit of knitting yet to do, a few more ends to weave in (amazing how well and quickly that goes when one just buckles down to do it).  This project seems to be taking a long time -- I haven't knit much else all summer -- but I have been busy with SO many other things this summer (and that will continue for a little while).  Thankfully, I don't really have a deadline for finishing and am truly savoring every step of the way.

But I will try to knit/weave/seam faster!  ; )

Meandering Monday

I was going to share a recipe today -- mainly so that I'll know right where to find it at tomato time and I won't have to search through the whole entire internet each and every year!  Yeah.  Roasted Tomato Sauce.  I love making that stuff almost as much as I love using it!  The recipe has been printed a million times -- I don't know what happens.

The tomato photos I took on Saturday when I made the first batch of the season would burn your retinas, and the tomatoes were all used in the sauce, so...  I was going to post the recipe without photos, but, as luck would have it, the Tomato Fairy stopped by this morning and I've enough for another batch, that I think I'll make it tonight, so look for food photos and recipes tomorrow!


* * * * *

I had a good, productive weekend -- farmers' market shopping, farmers' market cooking, getting some photography/design work done and placing orders, weaving in ends on Parcheesi strips -- I've either misplaced a stack o' strips or I'm truly nearing the end of that particular job!

* * * * *

My bike has sat idle in the shed since the race -- I needed time to recover and, also, the weather was pretty crappy last week.  Yesterday dawned clear, dry and cool, though, so I hopped on and pointed east for a change.  Meanwhile, just a bit to the south of me, about 1600 bikers were participating in the 3rd Annual Race The Lake (being 90 miles around Lake Winnebago -- the one inland lake you see on any map of Wisconsin -- I live near the top).  I think that could be fun, though I have a ways to go in the training department before I'd qualify.  I logged 16 miles yesterday -- 7 miles straight out, with a little meander on the way back -- and the odometer passed the 200-mile mark!

I like to have something to look forward to and work toweard, and currently have my sites set on a Trek Women Breast Cancer Awareness Ride.  Scheduled for Saturday, October 9th, at locations all over the U.S. and Canada, there's a choice of 10- or 25-mile routes.  There are five events in Wisconsin, and I think I'm going to shoot for the one in Marshfield -- I'd like to do it with Katie, and maybe bring Mom along for some visiting with her sisters and whatnot.

* * * * *

Lastly, today, I've been meaning to talk about Amy @ Stash, Knit, Repeat -- and make sure that you are aware of her fabulous Fit to Flatter series (and now a class!).  She's been releasing the series and making it available in downloadable installments over the past few months.  The series is now complete and can be had all-in-one, and it's just wonderful -- worth every penny in what you'll learn about the Whats and Whys of what does and doesn't look good on you, and what you can do about it in terms of pattern modification!  I'm the type of person who needs to have the whole thing, so had to sit on my hands to keep from buying them individually; but if someone is interested in only a few of the installments, it's nice that they can be purchased that way, too.  The basics are fundamentals that EVERY woman -- knitter or not -- should know and understand!

Thea used Fit to Flatter as guidance for her new design, Shiraz!

Also, Amy is giving away an extra copy of Knitting It Old School, all you need to is head over by Friday to answer a simple question!

More yarn & stuff

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It speaks for itself, no?  The Malabrigo Sock (top) was a spontaneous purchase based on color (Eggplant) alone.  I absolutely love it.

The other is Happy Feet from Spin -- the stuff that'll become the border of Parcheesi.  Alas, I won't be playing with it much today -- well, maybe later.

It's Saturday (and fairly decent outside)!  There's much to do!!

I need to get on my bike, too!  If not later today, then tomorrow for sure -- and I'm going to try for Wednesday morning -- maybe someplace new!!

Disjointed* - with knitting and stuff

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I don't think I ever mentioned my second trip to Door County this summer, which came pretty fast on the heels of the first.  Katie's been baking up a storm this summer and needed cherries -- and everyone knows that "Door County" is actually secret code for "cherries"!  It's apparently not a great year for cherries, though, so we ended up with frozen (which we could have procured about 2 miles from home), but...

I finally visited SPIN (Rav link - no website that I can find) in Sturgeon Bay!  We came into town a weird way and I didn't have directions with me and I couldn't remember the exact name, so we stopped at a very busy downtown visitors' center and I asked for directions to a yarn shop, maybe it's called PURL.  Hahaha.  (Wrong town.)

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I found a couple of hanks of gray-black yarn that will become the border of my Parcheesi game board blanket -- oooooh, I'm so excited about that!  I also found a hank of Araucania Azapa -- a bulky wool, alpaca, silk and tencil yarn that was an orphan in the sale bin and I just couldn't leave it behind.  Oh my goodness, so wonderfully soft.  I've actually cast OFF the piece shown above, seamed it, and woven in all the ends.  It will debut here... in due time!

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I loved Spin!  It's in a great old bank building located on a corner with convenient on-street parking.  There was a small group of people knitting and visiting, as well as some other shoppers.  The staff was friendly and made it know that they were available and quite willing to help, but not overbearing in any way.  Very nice.  I'll go back!

We also drove up to Sister Bay to have lunch -- not at Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant.  Katie had a hard time resisting the call of the lingonberry, but she did, and we ended up instead (and very happily) at Mission Grille.  It was a beautiful day, so we were able to sit on the patio.  Mmm, very yummy.  I'd love to dine inside sometime, too; it looked very intriguing!

*I felt a bit disjointed as I sat down to write this post and was expecting that to be reflected more; sometimes, somehow, things fall into place.  Go figure.


I still have the Parcheesi blanket project handy and, besides weaving in all the ends, there is a bit of knitting yet to do.  My weariness and the intensely uncomfortable weather we'd experienced the past couple of weeks left me with little at the end of the day for a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g., though.  I love, love, love it and can't wait to get back to it!


In the meantime, not completely idle, my mind and eye wandered and a quick little sideline stealth project wedged its way into my project bag!  I cast on Saturday, knit a few rows of ribbing, and did the majority of the work last night; I will likely finish tonight.  A quick and fun project!  I can't wait to show you... in due time.

The girls fill in for missing photos of knitting and cycling.  Maddy's like, "Who? Me??"

I hauled several years and many pounds worth of LIVING to the curb last night for the recyclers to take today.  I hope they're long gone by the time I get home.  I went through them all last year, tearing out or copying particular articles that I wanted to keep, and setting aside a small stack of issues that I just could not part with.  My intention then was to list them all on ebay or sell them at a rummage sale, and I even took a few photos last winter.  But oh my god, FOR WHAT??  That is incredibly time consuming, not to mention a helluva a lot of work.  HELLO?  Not happening.  There are no rummage sales in the foreseeable future, either, and the sight of them was making me sick, so gone.  That's one heavy magazine that Martha puts out, and the significance of hauling all that weight out the front door yesterday and dropping it at the curb was not lost on me.

Getting rid of the stuff that's weighing me down... this is LIVING.  Wondering what else I can haul out of here...


I did it!

Goal met!  I rode the 14.3-mile bike leg of the Waterloo Fit City Triathlon Relay in 1:08:22 (average of 12.6 mph) -- my best time to-date -- and I did not come in last!

I came in second-to-last!!

Our swimmer's time was second-to-last and our runner's time was third-to-last, placing our relay team's combined finish at second-to-last.  Go Team V(icki)A(nn)L(ynn)!!

Thankfully, the weather, while not perfect, was much improved over what we'd been experiencing.  I think the last ride I took prior to the race (on Wednesday) really took a toll.  Combined with the continued extreme humidity and heat, various air quality and pollen issues, and a week of late-night sleep-disrupting fireworks activity, my pushing on the last ride left me completely wiped out and useless for the rest of the week.  If it had still been awful (hot + humid), I don't know that I'd have been able to do it.

The temperature on Sunday morning was moderate and it was much less humid; sunny, bright and clear, though with a pretty good headwind!  The route was the same as the one I'd downloaded and driven in my car a few weeks ago, but the direction was reversed -- and it was a LOT hillier than what I'm used to riding around home.

Our swimmer, Lynn, was in Wave 3 of 7; she swam her 500 yards in 11:05, ran out of the pool and met me in the transition area for the chip exchange, and a minute and four seconds later I was on my way!

Did I mention it was hilly?  I turned left out of the parking lot and right away, there was a hill.  It felt like it was uphill all the way!  Man, especially with that headwind, which didn't allow for gaining much momentum on the (few and short) downhill sides and made it hard to gain and sustain speed on the (very few) flats.  Heheheh.

It sure was a pretty ride -- when I took a sec to glance on either side -- gorgeous views of south-central Wisconsin farm country from the tops of those hills.  We did pass a couple of farms at very close range where, with the wind just-so, the smell nearly made me sick.

"Pedal faster!!"

The route was well-marked and there was personnel/traffic control at all the important intersections -- though I cursed a couple of times as I was motioned to slow for traffic; I thought that racers would have been given priority for the morning.

I think that, eventually, all of Wave 4 and some of Wave 5 passed me by -- many with words of encouragement.  "You are doing AWESOME!"  "You go, girl!"  There were some comments about the hills and the headwind -- thankfully, because, you know, I'm glad there were experienced riders complaining and it wasn't just me.  Waterloo is the home of Trek Bikes and there are probably more than the average fit, experienced, local cycling enthusiasts!  Time at this event could be used as a qualifier for the Iron Man, I was told, so I was also passed up by some VERY serious (silent) racers... serious demeanor, serious equipment, serious speed.  Blistering!  I like to think it was a lot of those experienced riders and contenders who were passing me by.

There was one time that I was passed and I managed to close the gap a bit before falling hopelessly behind.  Chug, chug, chug!

There were some cheerleaders at Mile 12 -- about a half-dozen boys, one with an accordion -- playing some very upbeat music and cheering like mad.  It felt good to feel a spark and smile right about then... only two miles to go!

The last hill was K.I.L.L.E.R. (one I was originally looking forward to as a good downhill run!).  I seriously thought about getting off and walking a couple of times, but I put my head down, concentrating on the pavement under my bike rather than the very far away top of the hill, and put... my back, my butt, my legs, my feet... EVERYTHING into it!

Sharon -- our cheering section -- popped up just in time for the last exchange.  I didn't have to do a thing, as Annie was diving for the chip on my ankle the minute she saw me -- and was on her way in 20 seconds!  She finished her 3-mile run in 31:29.  Our total time was 1:52:15.

There are a few pictures -- all on Ann's camera.  It's difficult to be a race participant and photographer!  I was very proud of the team number written on my left arm and back of my right calf -- #211 -- so there are a few photos of that.  There were complimentary 10-minute massages afterwards, too, and there are a few photos of that.  Oh, that felt good.

I am so proud of myself, so happy that I competed and completed and met my goals and live to tell the tale -- even if I had ibuprofen for a bedtime snack last night and am still not so spry this morning.  I pushed it, baby, and it feels good -- a good kind of soreness and ache!  As my friend, Kate, pointed out last night, "You just started riding!!!"  And it's true.  Only a month-and-a-half has passed from the time I picked up my bike to NOT posting the worst time in a 14.3-mile bike race.  Who'd a thunk it?  Not me... this wasn't even on my radar on July 1st when I brought my bike home!

Thanks to all of you for the support and encouragement over the past month or so.  It's been awesome to read your comments and emails; the articles, stories, and experiences you've shared.  You guys ROCK!!  XO

As established yesterday...

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Little Yellow House, Hamachek Village, Kewaunee, WI; from the archives, a year ago (August 2, 2009).
I'd like to ride in this area sometime.

...the weather is craptastic and less than ideal for outdoor activity.  I've been kicking myself that I didn't get a bike ride in on Sunday morning -- the last time it was "nice" -- and have been stalking the weather (I love the "hourly" forecast) (and the "fitness" forecast) trying to find a decent, dry, daylight hour to ride.  At minimum, I'm hoping for two rides this week before race day on Sunday.

It was miserable on Tuesday and we were all looking for some way to beat the heat and not feel like a complete slug.  I ended up going to a movie with Kate & Al on the cheapest night at the "cheap seats" theater -- always a busy night ($1.75 admission!), it was REALLY busy!  The theater used to be part of Valley Fair Mall -- one of... if not the first indoor shopping malls in America.  Since the mall was torn down and all that's left standing is the theater, it's actually quite nice!  Anyway, we saw "Letters To Juliet" and I enjoyed the scenery.  Plus there was a big outdoor feast in an Italian vineyard at the end... that'll redeem just about any movie in my book.

But, on the way to the theater on that hot and sticky night, we saw a cycling group out for a ride and I couldn't help feeling a little bit like a slug.

It was horrible again yesterday, but by late afternoon there was some cloud cover, a little movement in the air, slightly less humidity -- a break!  I saw at least four cyclists on my way home from work and, by gum, if they can do it I can, too!  I settled into my get-ready groove before I even got home and then made a bee-line for my gear.  I filled my water bottle, pumped up my tires, grabbed my glasses, phone and helmet, and off I went.  I can't stop to think -- especially on a day like yesterday -- because it would be so easy to chuck it.

One down.  I'm so glad I went!  And, actually, I think I'd be going a little bit nuts right now with the need for speed (haha, just some movement) if I hadn't.  I didn't break any records or anything, but wasn't slacking -- I'm so happy to see the speedometer at consistently higher speeds with what feels like little extra effort.  It's just getting easier as I get stronger and more experienced.  Also, may I say, I love biking because I can go faster than the mosquitoes -- they're the worst I've seen in many, many years.  Anyway, I hope there's another favorable weather window before Sunday, but if not... the weather is supposed to be FANTASTIC for the race and que sera sera.

May I peeve for a moment about cyclists?  There are two -- one's mine and one I've adopted from Kate.

  1. I can't stand it when cyclists, especially in groups, think they own the road.  Lesson One, as I can remember from bicycle safety in grade school, is to ride single-file and with traffic.  It's okay to ride double-breasted or even swarm the road -- especially in an area where there's little traffic -- as long as you are courteous and aware and move over.  On city streets?  Gah!  I will honk my horn and shake my fist and glare at you!
  2. The other is when people wear their earbuds while riding -- the reasons for which well-illustrated yesterday when I nearly witnessed a kid/teen, groovin' and oblivious, nearly get smucked by a car right in front of me.  He wasn't aware at all, except to keep tabs on me -- apparently being passed by an old lady would have been too much to take -- so he'd race ahead every time I'd get close.  Eventually, doing some early maneuvers for an upcoming left-hand turn, he started to drift across the road without even looking!  I hollered, which of course he couldn't hear at all, and it took him a few seconds even to react to the car's horn.

One really awesome GOOD THING is when a cyclist who is faster than me lets me know that they're there, shouting out, "I'm on your left," as they are preparing to leave me in their wake, and doubly awesome-good when their partner adds, "There are two of us!"  I never knew.  A few people -- about half who passed me -- did it on the charity ride a couple of weeks ago and I appreciated it so much that I've been doing it, too.  This is another reason why #2, above, is not a good idea... especially in an area of heavy traffic where you'd think one might want to be aware and keep their wits about them.  Sheesh.  Yeah.

Okay?  Thanks.  It feels good to get that off my chest.

There's been little knitting this week, but guess what?!  I've been weaving in ends!!  There's a long way to go, but starting is the hardest.  Ain't that the truth about so many things?


Ain't no cure for the summertime blahs

Except this:


My youngest nephew turned 3 last weekend!  He's in a Toy Story phase, while his big (by 2 years) brother is in a Star Wars phase, so it makes for some interesting play.  And, finally, play they do... together... and pretty darn well.  I've never heard such awesome sound effects from a 3yo before!


Yummy cake.

And this:


Please pardon the volume, but these girls make me laugh... and sometimes sing... heart bursting.

It has been a weird -- very weird -- sometimes worrisome week.

  • First of all, the weather is complete crap -- hot and so uncomfortably humid.
  • It is torture to walk the dog, never mind ride my bike -- and race day is coming!
  • This morning, it started raining like hell just before I left for work and I encountered three flooded intersections between here and there.  Unheard of.
  • There's been some under-the-weatherness in the house, which (yay!) I think is now over.
  • Katie was rear-ended a block from work on Monday and her car is likely totalled.
  • When I returned from picking her up after work that night, I checked my email before bed and learned that my sister and her youngest son were hit head-on in a collision earlier that day (that very same day!) involving three vehicles and her car is completely smushed.
  • Thankfully, other than some chafing from seatbelts, everyone seems to have escaped serious injury.
  • I feel like there are a million pans in the fire.
  • Sometimes it seems the more I try to simplify and slow things down, the more complicated they become and faster the treadmill goes.
  • There have been a lot of fireworks.

Summertime blahs, for sure.  I hate it like this and can't wait to turn off the a/c.  I hope it's better by you!

Ten on Tuesday: Bacon

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Reasons To Love Bacon

1.  BLTs.  Thanks to the timely arrival of the Ten on Tuesday topic email, it's what we had for dinner on Monday night.

2.  Liver & Onions & Bacon.  I hated liver when I was a kid because it was cooked into shoe leather (the bacon was always good, though); thankfully, DH is the best liver cooker in the world.

3.  Bacon Cheeseburger.  I rarely go this far with a burger (usually don't even have it in a bun), so it's a real treat when I do.

4.  Bacon & Eggs.  When I think of bacon and eggs, I think of childhood and early summer mornings at the cabin, sleeping in the loft... the smell of bacon and eggs prying open my eyes enough to spot grandma, at the stove in her robe, preparing fishermen's breakfasts.

5.  Hm.  It's bacon!  Fry it up in a pan!

6.  Filet mignon.

7.  It's good to bring some home now and then (or have it directly deposited... but not to my thighs).

8.  It's crispy.

9.  It's salty.

10.  It's oh so yummy.

Yep, I'm tardy.

Ten on Tuesday: Vacation

ToT-Button Ten on Tuesday10 Things To Bring On Vacation

Packing for vacation -- no matter where or how long -- is hard; it makes me feel so confined!  Hopefully, in 6 or 7 months, I'll be packing for my first overseas trip, so it might be good to start thinking now about what I should bring along.

1.  Underwear.  I'm always afraid that I'll forget to pack it altogether, so I try to pack it first -- and extras.

2.  Travel documents.  Tickets, passport, reservation confirmations, maps, list of contacts/info.

3.  Footwear.  At least two pairs of good, worn-in (but not worn-out), comfortable shoes.  I won't be dropping in to visit The Queen, so casual will be fine.

4.  Electronics.  Camera, laptop, chargers, adapters, cards, readers.

5.  Reading material.  A book and a couple of magazines for the plane and bed-time reading; I love to read, but don't see making it a priority when I could be doing, oh, I dunno, ANYTHING ELSE in London.  Or Scotland.  Or Ireland.  (But I vote for Scotland.)

6.  Knitting.  This also for the planes, trains, and automobiles.  It's the choosing of the project(s) that can be tricky -- engaging but not too difficult, not taking up much space, containable.

7.  Various forms of tender.

8.  More cash than I think I need.

9.  Clothing pieces that look good smushed.  There are some.  A few.  Every little bit helps.

10.  My list.


Sidewalk layout

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This is not a definitive arrangement, by any means.  I just wanted to lay it all out and get a good overview.  In addition to the red being used only for the squares and also the bright yellow/orange only in the squares (twice each as the first, second and third borders around the center red square), the "rules" (my rules) are that the direction of the knitting must be observed and taken into account in the assembly.

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I've woven in approximately 3 of the eleventy billion ends, but progress is progress.  I've been carrying a section and some Chibis in my bag wherever I go.  I am still so in love!  My head has been swayed lately by some wonderful new designs and even my PayPal account tapped a few times, but I remain both engaged in and committed to this project!  I can't wait 'til it's finished, but I'm also savoring the process.

The weekend was great!  I shopped the farmers' market in the rain on Saturday, made some fun stuff -- including Patty Cake, which was dense and moist and oh so good.  I sauteed the leftover squash for supper, and ate nearly a quart of fresh blueberries.  Don't stop 'til you get enough (or they're all gone.)

I took a 10-mile meandering bike ride in iffy weather (or I'd have gone further); the triathlon relay is two weeks from yesterday and, considering last year's finish times for that leg, I'd like to improve my time just a tad -- I really don't want to finish last!

On Sunday morning I assisted a fellow photographer with a shoot he had scheduled and that was a lot of fun!  Also tiring, so I took a nap when I got home.  I made a nice dinner, then went to a movie!  It was that kind of weekend -- I'm glad that I had the brakes on for the most part and slowed down a little.  It felt good to be productive, but not racing around.  And I really enjoyed my nap!