Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ten On Tuesday

Today's Ten on Tuesday is : 10 ways to Lighten your Mood....

Hmm. this one could be tough, my mood's usually pretty darn light!

1. Put on lipstick. My Nana always told me if my hair was done and my lipstick on, it wasn't going to be a bad day. Today, I put on lipstain because I finally found a happy lipstick medium for me and PC... I get lipstick and he doesn't. And, yes, we kiss that much. :) 
2. Watch a cartoon. Any cartoon. I like some of the new ones, but my favorites are still on sometimes and they help.
3. giggle. Try it. Giggle a little and see if you feel happier, joyful, etc. I know I do!
4. Dance around. Sometimes I'm dancing to the music in my head, other times it's the tunes on the radio. Even if you can't dance: dance! 
5. Car-Dance. This is different than #4 b/c you do this in the car. Find a great station, roll down the windows and get your groove on. I was once car dancing in traffic (I do this a lot) and a man stuck in the opposite direction, rolled down his window as he approached me and told me that I made his day. He had never seen anyone so happy and if I could be dancing in traffic, then he could too!
6. Call a friend. I have good girlfriends who have hilarious kids, so I'll call them and say "tell me what Chloe/Remi/Jackson did today." 
7. Eat a popsicle. It's hard to be serious when you're trying to manage the licks and drips.
8. hug someone. 
9. play with a pet.
10. knit something. :) 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mini & PC: A Love Story

I promised you the true tale of the 8 year love affair of Mini and PC... and all the mystery and intrigue involved.

Our first date happened 8 years ago today, which was a Friday. PC was on vacation from work and I had a day off, I was interviewing for a position at another department at the college I was working for.  I raced home to change to meet PC for lunch (less commitment than dinner, I suppose) at the Joshua Tree bar/pub in Davis Square, Somerville. I was nervous. I drank 3 diet cokes before he arrived... 20 minutes late. (mystery) He was late for a good reason: it was blazing hot out and while he lived less than a mile away, he wanted to take the bus, so he wouldn't arrive sweaty.

A leisurely lunch, complete with a good beer for each of us, resulted in neither of us wanting to end the date. What to do next? Well, PC stole my heart when he suggested we grab a loaf of bread and go feed some ducks.  Bread in hand, we went in search of ducks. We found them, but they wanted to bite me, not the bread. We fled the area near Longwood quickly... now where? We headed to Jamaica Pond and pulled over nearby and went for a brief walk with our bread, just in case.

Enter the drama and danger: a goose. A goose that was determined to kill me. A goose that, quite literally, hunkered down, pulled it's head in and cocked it to the side, menacingly,  and ran straight for me! PC, laughing hysterically, was pulling me along, while I was trying not trip and fall. 8 years ago today, he became my hero.

After that, because no 100 degree, 100% humidity day in Boston is not complete without a trip to the zoo (what.were.we.thinking.), we headed to Franklin Park. At the zoo, after the African wild dogs and on our way to the Andean condors, we held hands.  I thought, at the pygmy hippo, PC was going to kiss me, but he didn't.  Now, anyone who knows me could have told you that at 24, I was so done with the "dinner and a movie" thing. I had been dating a lot at this point, a lot of 1st and 2nd dates with nice, but not quite "it" guys... who were so unoriginal. Taking me to the zoo? Stole my little heart.

After the zoo, we headed back to Somerville... to PC's place. I was sweaty and disgusting. So was he. He ordered some dinner (calzones if I am correct, from Angelina's) and let me borrow a t-shirt and shorts and use his shower. The perfect gentleman, he put my clothes in the wash and stayed downstairs while I changed.

I finally got my kiss that night.

Our 2nd date was the following night.

So, the tale of PC and Mini started 8 years ago with a 24 year old girl and a 25 year old guy, who grew up less than 2 miles from each other. He went to high school with my brother, J. I knew his roommate's girlfriend from high school. All of these small world occurrences and we met and fell in love, one hot day in August 2002, over burgers, a beer and trip to the zoo.

Happy Anniversary, PC... the last 8 have been the best years... and I can't wait for 8 more.

Friday, August 13, 2010

PC and I bought a new couch. It's green. I love it. LOVE. We're tossing the old blue couches (hand me downs from bro & SIL) and putting the green couch in the living room. And moving my knitting chair (buff colored armchair) to the living room. Buying an ottoman. Swapping the rug from the dining room.


I'm still so unsure about the design. I'd love to add some great book shelves, to not only store PC's books, but also to have some seasonal accessories. A great coffee table would work too. I'm thinking circular to break up the lines in the room.

I might need help.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a designer who can work with what you have? We're in an apartment, so no painting, no re-modeling... and we have a pretty strict budget. Like $500.

So, if you know someone (design students welcome!) and are someone, let me know. We'd be willing to let our apartment be photographed for a portfolio as well. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

The top ten reasons to love bacon? Hmmm... I like bacon, but I don't know if I love bacon. PC loves bacon. Anywho, here we go:

1. Bacon is best when crispy. Very crispy. It can be prepared in many ways from limp and rubbery (eww) to burnt.
2. It's salty, and eggs need salt no matter how they are prepared, so if you have bacon with your eggs, you don't need the salt shaker.
3. It adds a little "something" to ice cream. At this moment, there is a pint of maple-bacon gelato in my freezer.
4. Scallops love bacon. They've been known to fraternize with bacon and the results are amazing.
5. When you are camping and you want to conserve cooking gas, you can start a bacon-grease fire in the camp stove and turn off the gas. You can continue to cook your food for another 3-5 minutes, therefore conserving precious propane. (ask me how I know).
6. Bacon comes from pigs. Pigs are not very clean animals, but are very friendly and some varieties can be pets. So, bacon can be a pet.
7. Bacon can come from turkeys, too, so it can be "healthy" bacon.

Wow... I might actually have 10 things to like about bacon

8. Bacon can make any meal you have burned better. If you royally screw up the beef bourginon a la Julia Child, you can always make bacon and egg sandwiches, because who doesn't like a bacon'n'egg sandwich?
9. Bacon is a great bridge between two cultures.Canadian bacon is not really bacon, it's ham, but we still call it bacon to appease the Canadians.

and finally...
10. Bacon is tasty in a number of ways: in a sandwich, with eggs, addition to salad, etc.

Monday, August 09, 2010

cutting back

2009/2010 has been a good year for us. I'm coming up on my one year anniversary at work and I expect a good review from the boss. I'm also realizing that I've been really lax about saving some money. We were very fortunate to have my severance and unemployment when I was out of work, but I took a huge hit in my savings trying to keep up with the Jones's this year. So, I'm cutting back. And, it's strange b/c some of the ways I am cutting back are going to seem a bit crazy, but stay with me and we'll see how it all goes:

1. yarn diet. I know, I've said it, but I've been really good. I'm knitting from stash (I have got really good yarn in there!) and making 80% of my holiday gifts this year. This may be making me persona non grata at my LYS, but since I spent a good chunk of money there over the years, I'm not letting guilt seep into my brain.
2. bringing lunch. We've been doing this for years, but now we're really cracking down on the grocery bill and working through the pantry before we shop.
3. "free" time: HBO, Starz.... we get them in our cable package and we're going to start using them.  Less movies out, more movies in... and the popcorn is cheaper too!
4. take out with taking out... diving into my cookbooks to find yummy dinner ideas that are take-out like, but without the $40 price tag. This week: asian stirfry wraps: broccoli, water chestnuts, zucchini and carrots with leftover chicken in a sugar free teriyaki sauce on low carb wraps: Yum!
5. clothing donations. Tax receipts and cleaning the closets? it's a wonderful thing!
6. saving, saving, saving. I'm now officially on a budget with "play money" included each week. I'm already a little stressed out about it, but I think the first big "clink" into the savings account will cure that.
7. library for e-books. Yup, i'll have to wait for them, but at least I'll have them for free!

I always have these moments of self-renewal around the start of school, not January 1.

For 2010/2011, I'm going to learn to invest some of my savings as well. All while knitting. :)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I'm knitting Shalor for PC right now. He's been waiting 8 years, as of August 16,  for a sweater. Yup, on August 16, 2002, PC and I went on our first date. I'm not sure if I've told you all the story, but that might be a better story for our actual anniversary. And, it's  a good one. Complete with intrigue, mystery, danger and some romance.

Anyway... (I'm rivaling Carole for digressions today, no?). I'm knitting Shalor. It's a big sweater. Not in the sense that PC's some gargantuan sized male, but it's got a whole lot of cables, honeycomb and some serious seed stitch sections. And, one cable is a 4-row repeat, another is an 4-stitch/8 row repeat and the big cable is a 20 row repeat with 16 stitches....so, nothing matches up. *sigh*
And, it's a Penny Straker, so you know the pattern is flawless, but also: not.charted. Yup. I said it. Not charted.

4 pattern rows took me 2 hours on Monday night. I'm a fast knitter and 2 hours for 4 pattern rows should mean I am knitting a Guiness-record-breaking afghan on US 1 needles, but alas it's an aran sweater on US 6 with worsted weight.  So, a little sleuthing on Tuesday during my lunch break (and much whining to a friend via email), resulted in my new favorite toy:

Knit Chart

You need to have Java enabled, but it's a great program. I highly suggest it!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

10 on Tuesday

10 Things To Bring on Vacation.... since I just got back, I will tell you what I brought :)

1. PC. Srsly, he carries stuff, he's a good driver, sings along to the radio, knows when I need to get an iced coffee... and he's not too shabby to look at.
2. my nook. I wouldn't have made it camping without it. I read 3 books on my nook while camping. That's 3 books I didn't have to haul with me. It went to the beach, the water, in the car... and did I mention I had my knitting pattern in there too?
3. comfy clothes. I don't get why anyone would wear uncomfortable clothes on vacation. I lived in shorts and tank tops all week.
4. knitting. For me, it's a relaxation thing. I'm a good enough knitter that I rarely have to look down now, even when it's lace or cables, just enough to stay on track... and this means my hands are busy while my mind is clear.
5. bathing suit. I'm not going on vacation unless I can swim. I *heart* my new Lands End tankinis. Plus size gals everywhere: they are cute, flattering and easy to manage for trips to the potty.
6. mp3 player. We don't usually go on vacation where it's not a road trip, so we need this to keep us singing along.
7. money. Cash money. There is nothing worse than getting back from vacation and getting the credit card bill. I take out the amount of cash I want to spend and work from there.
8. credit cards. Because sometimes it's better/easier to charge it... and if you are buying something you want to take home (expensive trinket, etc), you want the AMEX protection :)
9. cell phone w/ navigation and/or internet access. There is nothing like being in a strange town and saying "hmm... where's the closest Dunkin'?" This solves many problems.
10. maps. Because GPS takes you where you want to go, but maps can show you a whole new world. And, sometimes, where you want to go and where you need to be are two totally different places. :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Home Sweet....

Oh, I can't even say it. I don't want to be home. I don't. I want to act like a 4 year old and stamp my feet and refuse to budge and yell until I get my way. And my way is back on Lake Conway, camping.

It was a perfect, beautiful trip for us. Of course, the first night it didn't just rain, it typhooned. Isn't that right Kim? Kim lives near where we camp and if my cell hadn't died after sending her an email, I would have been able to call her to put us up instead of dealing with a leaky tent. Oh, leaky is probably being generous... the rain fly was, how do you say... useless. Necessity is the mother of invention and at midnight on Saturday, I was soaked to.the.bone. running down a muddy hill in flipflops and tying a tarpaulin to the tent. It worked. We got dry. We laughed.

Everything else on the trip: perfect. We hiked up to Sabbaday Falls, rode the cog railway up to Mt. Washington and spent a lot of time laughing. We also ate the yummiest ice cream, played with our friends' daughter, Noodle, who was on her 1st camping trip!!!

There was knitting. Napping. Laughing. Drinking. Eating. Cooking. Casting out. Casting off. Casting on. Creating. Washing. Lounging. Carousing. Driving. Wondering.

PC and I had a great time.

and tomorrow, it's back to work and I think I just might cry a little.