Category Archives: Etc

Honors English

Driving home tonight, I listened to the NPR story. It made me a little sad, and also a little nostalgic for the joy found in summer reading lists.

I must have returned Catcher in the Rye to the high school library , but somehow managed to keep this one on the bookshelf for the last 25 years or so. Time to read it again.

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Silver Dollar Pancakes and A Dino Dog

Happy Belated New Year. 2010 has presented me with at least two happy things this first week.

The Silver Dollar Pancake Pan

When my nine-year old nephew Alex comes to visit we have a regular routine. In the evening we change into comfy PJs, play a board game of some sort, ideally one that requires “thinking”,   such as Sequence or Blokus). The game is usually followed by a movie with either animation or amazing transformer-like special effects.

In the morning, Alex wakes up early and uses his best charm and puppy dog face to convince us to play another board game while the coffee is brewing. After the grown ups gulp a quick cup, and Alex drinks a glass of milk, its off to a local diner for a breakfast, where Alex always orders silver dollar pancakes. He will even special order them if they are not on the menu.  I suspect my Dad, Alex’s grandfather, introduced him to this breakfast delicacy, as I have fond memories of these ordering these little pancakes when I was a girl. Now, thanks to Crate and Barrel, instead of heading out into the cold, we can stay in our PJs and make perfect tiny pancakes at home.

A Dino Dog Coat

Max would never tolerate a dog coat, but with a little effort and a doggie tranquilizer or two, I may just be able to wrangle him into one of these. His nickname is, after all, Maximus Rex.

For more details on this particular dino dog coat, check out Crazy Aunt Purl’s latest post.

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Yarn Shop Owners Have the Best Jobs

I continue to make progress on the Rhea Stole, a little faster now since I switched to a pair of Addi Turbos. I had been using my KnitPicks Options, but continued to have difficulty with the joins unscrewing. So I did my little bit for the economy, visited one of my favorite local shops, and plunked down $16 for a new pair of the best needles on earth.

As a knitter and yarn lover, I know I’m not alone with my fantasy of someday owning my own local yarn shop. I imagine my days would be filled with  helping other knitters, teaching classes, selecting lovely new yarns for my inventory, and of course plenty of knitting.

There are a few local shops that I enjoy visiting and on occasion I have revealed to the shop owners that they are living my dream. Every time this topic comes up, the shop owner laughs and tells me that selling retail is so much more difficult than people imagine. The hours are long, there are no vacations, the profit margins are minuscule, and there is most definitely very little or even no time for knitting on the job. That is what they all tell me.

So back to my shopping excursion. It was about noontime yesterday, a lazy summer day in my little town. I drove downtown, found a parking spot,  darted across the street and entered one of my favorite shops.

Merry bells jingled as I pushed open the heavy front door. Inside the shop was quiet, aside from the sound of a radio playing softly. The cool air smelled sweet. The yarns were all stacked prettily in their bins, sorted by color and weight. I looked around for the needle display, and then heard a welcoming voice. “Can I help you?”

The voice came from the furthest end of the store, where there was a comfy sofa and overstuffed chairs. A fragrant candle burned on a nearby table.  On the comfy sofa sat the shop owner, with her feet curled beneath her. She was happily knitting away.

See, I knew it was true, all these shop owners do have the best job in the world. They just tell us its miserable and stressful so they can keep all the fun for themselves.

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I Love New York

IMG_1946 Just to be clear I may hate the NY Yankees, but I do indeed  love New York.

I just returned from a business trip. The days were all work, but in the evenings I was able to enjoy some NYC classics, including a Broadway show (!), a stroll around SoHo, and dinner in a fancy midtown restaurant.

The train ride there and back afforded me some much needed knitting time. I made excellent progress on another pair of welted rib socks.

And the best part of a trip to NYC for this girl? Sitting in the lobby bar of the New York Hilton, watching the Red Sox, “continue their domination over the Yankees”*

* a quote from the YES network announcer, as Paps finished them off in the 9th inning on Wednesday night.

Don’t you just love it?

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A Perfect Weekend

Friday Night at PPAC to see Spring Awakening. A bit shocking, a bit dark, with spectactular music and energy and a story I can’t let go of.

Saturday at Gore Farm Up early, on a lovely Saturday morning. Wearing shorts, a t-shirts and a PawSox cap. Tote bag in hand – off to explore my very first Sheep Festival. Watched the sheep hearding demonstration. Incredible display of instinct and skill. Walked through the vendors area, more jewelry than fiber, unfortunately. But did see a few notable stalls

Alpacas of Springbrook Farms – softest lace weight. Yum – some hand-dyed and some shiboui yarns

West Elm Farms – iceland wool and rovings, goats milk and lanolin soaps

Traveling Rhinos – hand dyed and hand spun yarns

Ate lunch at the Boy Scouts tent. A giant cheeseburger with mustard and ketchup, and a soda. All for $4. Delicious and cheap. Who wouldn’t love that?

Wrapping up the day, a stroll to hear the music in the performance tent. A lace demonstration in the mansion. Home to enjoy the sunshine on the patio, knit a bit on the Honeycomb vest, wander through the garden to do a bit of clean up, some time with Stephen King in my head (don’t you just love audio books?!) , a short little nap, delicious dinner, Sox vs Yanks on DVR, and off to bed.

Today will be more knitting, walking through the woods with Max, enjoying the sunshine and our first trip to Fenway this year. Altogether a very lovely weekend.

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Local Talent

Who knew that little Pawtucket, RI was such a hub of artistic bounty?? There are so many talented folks in my little corner of the world. I feel it is my duty to spread the word.

At last night’s Guild meeting I had the pleasure of chatting with Leah Cherry of Emmaline Designs about her very cool project bags.  We shared ideas on the best attributes for a knitting bag. She is designing a line of knitting totes and accessory bags in the most dazzling array of colors and fabrics. She is still in prototype stage, but plans to offer her fantastic creations at the South End Open Market opening this summer in Boston. (Leah, I hope I have the correct link…) She may be a California transplant with no hint of a Boston accent, but she sure does know what we cold-weather knitters are looking for as we schlep our projects about in the snow!

I also met Iris of Cutie Pies, who made the most scrumptios little mini sized treats for all us knitting and crochet addicts. Iris and I only spoke for a few seconds, but it is clear she is a spitfire of a baker, with a quick tongue and a clear vision of what people want in a pie. Look out, Iris is here and she is the master of yummy pastries!

If you need need a project bag or a tasty treat, please visit my friends Leah and Iris. Rest assured, I have not been compensated at all – these are just my personal opinions. Of course, pie and tote bags are always welcome, though not expected.

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Happy Friday!

Max is looking forward to the weekend. Are you?


Click here for more funny puppies.

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Today I am grateful for a sweet husband and a thoughtful friend, who both felt badly that yesterday’s snowstorm and resulting disrupted travel plans prevented a proper birthday celebration. The following images all brightened my day.

Okay, I can’t figure out how to remove duplicate images from this gallery posting. Apparently I am a WordPress loser.  My ever-loving, always thoughtful and super-attentive husband gave me a smiley face birthday cake and a happy little African Violet plant. Perfect!

And my very good friend and pseudo trainer V gave me a sweet little butterfly birthday cupcake.

I am a very lucky girl, who will be enjoying much chocolate this evening.

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Fun With Color

I am just running out the door to my knitting group, but wanted to share the new Etsy Color Search tool. Is this not the coolest way to search??

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Her Husband is So Sweet

In  my next life, I’d like to come back as Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa. Her home in East Hampton, NY  looks so calm and peaceful, with all its  wide oak floors, sun-filled windows, granite countertops, and gleaming appliances. The sunny garden out her back door is an oasis, full of fresh herbs, meandering paths, weathered wooden benches and authentic stone walls.

She cooks decadent and delicious meals for her adoring husband Jeffrey (what is it about husbands named Jeffrey??). And she throws the best parties. Though from what I can see on the footage of her Food Network program, there seems to be a surprising lack of women at her parties. I guess, you know, maybe that’s an East Hampton thing?

Ina seems to live a Martha Stewart life, without being too Martha Stewart-like. To put it simply, she seems very happy.

For lunch yesterday, I prepared her Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts. Very Yummy.

My husband, also a  Jeffrey, liked them too.

P.S. – Seems I am not the only one out there who loves Ina.

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