Sweet Stuff

Oh.My.   If you haven’t been to a Maggie Moo’s, you don’t know what you’re missing.  The Knight has never really recovered from losing our 31 Flavors.  The spot became a Ben & Jerry’s, which delights me to no end, but the Knight… not so much.  He always orders their bananna milkshake, and then fusses that it’s too thin.  We do have a nice little soft serve stand a couple of miles from the shop, but that’s just not the same. 

I can’t do Maggie Moo’s justice.  Just follow the link above and imagine what you’d create.  Me?  I blended Better Batter and Cool Mint, and then added mixed nuts, M&Ms and maybe something else, but I don’t recall.  I’m so glad Ann introduced me to my new favorite, cool spot in town.  I’m also glad it’s about as far away from my home and work as it can get and still be in the same city.  It will remain a great treat, and I won’t need new clothes. 

Ann came bearing gifts.  First, there was the NEW YORK maple syrup.  I know most of you think Vermont (New England at large?) has the lock on REAL maple syrup, but I beg to differ.  My mother’s paternal side resides in upstate New York, and perhaps a great-uncle brainwashed me very early in life by feeding me straight from the bucket on the side of one of his trees, but Ann agrees that NY maple syrup is distinctly different and undeniably better.  I’m not familiar with Pete’s Sweets, but she calls it her favorite, and we chatted enough about the finer qualities of NY syrup that I’m sure that tomorrow’s pancakes are going to be coated with the best syrup I’ve had in a very long time. 

Pete’s has no web presence, but the NYS Maple Producers do.  If you think all “real” maple syrups are created equal, I challenge you to give the NY versions a try.  Thanks Ann!!

Ann is also the head of a great charity, Sublynnminal Healing.  That’s the Ravelry link, but if you aren’t a member of Ravelry and still want to contribute a toy, hat or anything else a cancer patient might need or like, follow the link above to Ann’s blog and she’ll gladly welcome your donation.  Back when she first started this still-growing venture, she simply wanted to collect a few caps for her cousin (Lynn), and perhaps have a few extras for Lynn to share with her fellow patients.  Ann was so moved by that first round of generosity that she gave every donor a skein of yarn!  Now, because she knows me and likes to encourage my hobbies, she went roving shopping for yours truly. 

You get a big ol’ photo, because the purple is almost accurate in the larger photos for some reason.  Yum!  It’s from Whimzy Pinzy Creations.  (Oops!  Sorry.  I got distracted by the Feet Sheet sock yarns they’re offering over there, or will be soon…)  Ann obviously can shop for me anytime!

Last, but not least, Ann brought some of her Scarlet Fleece Lapis Woodland to share.  Scarlet Fleece is a local dyer – local as in within driving distance – and I’ve put Lapis Woodland in my cart a few times at The Loopy Ewe, only to wonder about the SERIOUS differences in the dye lots.  Some are almost pink, and as you can see here, Ann’s batch is a very dusky rose at best.  The folks at TLE are great about noting which photos most accurately reflect the batch they have for sale at a given time, so after I knit up a little something with this, I’ll decide what to do about more of this.  (Because having two, maybe three other colorways in my stash of this very yarn isn’t enough…)

I was supposed to be teaching Ann to crochet, but because I need more Moos am still rather much a novice crocheter myself, we’re going to have to try again next week or soon thereafter.  Hooray!

While I’m babbling away and taking a break from the blankie, here is an up-to-date shot. 

It’s a lovely, soft lilac color, that the camera just can’t capture so well.  I’m really enjoying this pattern, but that’s only one ball and the start of the second into a six-ball project that needs to be finished by the 24th at the very latest.  There are a few other little things I’d like to whip out between now and then too, so I’m trying to make some serious progress on ‘Lac this weekend so I can indeed work in the other wee projects without going crazy!

Because of the insane amounts of rain we’ve gotten, this is also the first chance I have had to snap a shot of the Lace Ribbon Scarf.  The KAL has long since passed me by, but it’s a great little travel project, and I’ll finish it up in time to gift it, probably for Christmas.  Yes, it would seem that lace has become my new socks, but I assure you that I still enjoy socks and hope to work a few into my summer knitting schedule!

Last night’s scrap ‘n stamp was projectless, but I did figure out how to use the embossing tools my sister gave me for my birthday.  Note from a “retired” firefighter – if you smell something burning, your heat gun is too close to the paper.  I didn’t catch it on fire, but there was a distinctive yellow spot…   Did I mention we meet at the local firehouse?  The Knight was there having dinner with Neighbor Guy’s crew, so I would have NEVER heard the end of that one!

Gals, don’t you love men who can cook?  Sigh.  I snacked on my sister’s chili dip and incredible homemade Hershey Bar brownies, but I saved room for dinner with the crew too.  I was more than rewarded.  Neighbor Guy made the neatest little puffs (from canned croissants) with chicken inside, and the best baby in the world’s dad made his signature squash, which is plain ol’ yellow squash, kinda’ steamed in a heavy pan with some onions.  Incredible.  I love this time of year with the garden-fresh veggies showing up everywhere!

I’ll have to do a garden post later, maybe tomorrow…

Meme and then some

Robin of my knitting guild tagged me for this.  This has been a really popular meme.  I’m betting it’s because it’s a little more introspective than some of the others??

I never tag others, so we’ll skip the rules.  (No, I don’t read instruction manuals either.  Knitting patterns are another story….)

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? 

1998.  May, 1998.  That was about the time Mugsy and Fred began having male-on-male canine aggression problems.  They had some EPIC battles, and it may have been right about now that Mugsy sliced my finger open on both sides as I tried to separate them.  I was also a newlywed.  About now, I was also starting back to work, and realizing that I’d never again be a firefighter.  It was a rather tough year, come to think of it!

2) What are five things on my to-do list today (not in any particular order)? 

Honestly, I don’t do to-do lists.  I used to be a huge lister, and was probably more productive, but I also found them encumbering.  I rarely even have a grocery list, because should I bother to make one, I leave it at home!  However, some things that need to happen today:

  1. Mail out some Pampered Chef catalogs
  2. Mail out a duplicate receipt and paperwork for a Pampered Chef warranty claim.
  3. Mail back my own damaged in transit Pampered Chef items from a DECEMBER order. 
  4. Pay my Junior League dues online.
  5. Call in a prescription refill for the Knight.

3) What snacks do I enjoy? 

Couldn’t I just list what I don’t like?  It would be a shorter list.  I like to snack.  Generally, I prefer nuts and seeds, or popcorn, but fruit is nice once in a while.  I don’t really like chips, but chocolate and baked goods are another story.

4) What are some places I’ve lived?

A short list here…  Horse Country, Virginia.  The end.  Oh – save college, in Washington, DC.  Not very exciting, but that’s the way I like it.

5) What things would I do if I were a billionaire?

Billionaire?  Big bucks, eh?  Well, I’d give my inlaws whatever they need to truly retire.  Then, we’d re-structure the family business a bit, so that the Knight and I could be gone more than six days at a time.  As much as I moan and groan and call this my labor of love, I don’t think we’d quit working, or even go part-time.  We might be a little excessive with vacation time if we got the right support system in place, but we’d always be available for executive decisions.  I’d buy a bigger house on the Outer Banks, so that I could have about a dozen of you in at a time for our knitting retreats.  I’d trade my car in for the hybrid version.  I’d enroll Sissy and BOTH of her owners in a personal dog training class.  I’d get that addition on the house underway, ASAP.  I’d buy the house next door (with an easement on our property) and put a trusted friend up in it for next to nothing, so that when we travel, the dogs have the love and care to which they are accustomed.  I’d buy a lovely old home in the city and donate it to the League, so the Board members aren’t afraid to go to the office after dark.  I’d set up a memorial discretionary fund for the County Fire Training Division, in memory of my father, and in honor of my father inlaw and husband, overseen by a committee of five – the Knight, me, the current Training Chief, a trusted dear friend who just happens to be a volunteer chief across the county, and some other sane, reasonable person.  Then, there would be the annual giving plans to the other charities near and dear to my heart…  The ASPCA, The Boys & Girls Club and Habitat Women Build.

Of course, before any of that happened, we’d sit down with our attorney and financial advisor, and we’d have a system and a plan in place before even a penny was spent!

So, play along if you like.  If you do, please leave me a comment so I can see what you wrote.

Now, on to other things…

Yesterday, I failed to share what are perhaps my favorite teapots.  My dear Anita made a set like this for Holly, as a custom order for me for the not-so-coffee swap Holly and I just completed.  I never shared my matching set with you, because I was waiting on Holly to get hers first!

 Lovely, aren’t they? 

That’s the very wee start to my Lace Ribbon Scarf.  I’m loving the Alpaca Sox yarn.  It seems I’m a fan of Classic Elite yarns, especially in greens, as my Stardust is also in their yarn.  Go figure. 

It’s hard to believe it’s Wednesday already.  Love these four-day weeks.  Maybe that would be part of my billionaire plan…