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Saturday 9: Love Is All Around

Welcome back! I nearly forgot it was Saturday!

Link up here if you want to play along today.

Without further ado, let's begin:


Saturday 9: Love Is All Around (1970)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's song is the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a sitcom that originally aired from 1970 to 1977. Were you a fan?

I'm sorry, I don't really think I've ever watched it. (I was born in 1976.)

2) The song tells us that Mary Richards can turn the world on with her smile. Yet the real-life Mary Tyler Moore said she was uncomfortable with her "wide mouth." If you could improve on one of your facial features, which would you choose?


I really don't have much of a lower jaw; I feel like I have no chin! In fact, I used to say that I married my husband for his strong jaw, and he married me for my flat ears.

3) We also hear that Mary can "take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile." What do you think makes a day "a nothing day?"

A day for me would be a day in which I get absolutely nothing accomplished. I like to be constantly busy and really don't know how to relax. [With ME/CFS (if that is in fact my diagnosis, and it's looking more and more like it should be), this makes life challenging.]

4) Mary works in the newsroom at WJM. Her desk is neat as a pin. Are you neat? Or do you lean to the sloppy side?

In 7th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Trainham, talked to us about there being some people who are boxes, and some people who are squiggles - without defining either. She then asked us to sit for a minute and think about the question, "Are you a box or a squiggle?" before going around the class to say which we thought we were and why. I decided then that I'm neither, but I've yet to determine whether I'm a boxy squiggle or a squiggly box. Does that answer the question?

5) Mary's best friend, Rhoda, worked as a window dresser at Hempel's department store. What department store did you most recently shop at? What did you buy?

The other day, a box from Kohl's showed up. I did not remember ordering from Kohl's. We opened it. There were clothes for Sophia, Chloë, and me (not a lot, just one or two things each). I did not remember ordering these clothes. Chloë thought she remembered one item, so I let her try it on, and it fit. So did a dress. Sophia fit the two pairs of joggers, and I figured the cardigan must be for me since I've been wanting one lately. It's becoming quite disconcerting lately how often I can't remember things like this that you'd think I would!

6) Mary Richards lived in Minneapolis. What city is nearest to where you are right now?

Boise, where I live, is the largest city in Idaho. (It pales in comparison to the other cities in or near which I've lived: New York City and Syracuse in New York; Aiken in South Carolina;  all over Miami, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Panama City Beach in Florida; Virginia Beach in Virginia...  the one place that's smaller is Yigo, on Guam!) I think of it more as a large town than a small city.

7) Originally the part of Mary Richards was written as a divorcée, but in 1970, there were no TV shows that centered around a divorced woman. Think about the women in your life. Are most of them married, divorced, single or widowed?

I would have to say that most of them are married.

8) The MTM production company logo featured a mewing kitten. The cat was found in a Minneapolis shelter, and, after her sequence was shot, she was adopted by a crew member who named her Mimsie. What's the name of the last cat -- or dog or hamster or rabbit -- that you petted?

Pepper 007

This beautiful, big Maine Coon, Pepper, who belongs to Chloë.

9) Random question -- Would you rather have a job that kept you seated on your fanny or standing on your feet?

Well, if you had asked me that 20 - or even five! - years ago, I'd have said my feet. The good days now are ones that I'm even upright.


Now I have to go figure out why I'm starving, watching Food Network, and it's still two days until payday - and thus grocery day! Not smart! I'm watching back-to-back-to-back-to-back Cake Wars on my DVR, and my chief complaints are that: 1. From owning my own cake business back in Virginia Beach, I've long since figured out that many elements of this show have got to be staged; and 2.  I'm irritated by the number of people from all over who say "ah-mond" instead of pronouncing the L in almond. Whyyyy?

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday Stealing: Food, Glorious Food

Well, look at that: you came back! Thanks for that; I missed last week and so I missed all of you, too. 

Link up here if you want to play along this weekend. Let's go!


1.  Do you like pie?

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love pie!!! My favorite is what I grew up calling Dutch Apple Cream Pie, although I've seen it with different names. So, so good.

2.  Italian or Mexican?

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I never really liked Mexican food until I got married, but it's among my husband's favourite cuisines, so I've learned to eat it more. I love that Mexican restaurants always have a vegetarian section, so that's what I look for first on the menu. I adore Italian food and try to eat mostly a combo of Mediterranean and SE Asian diets when I can. My husband's and daughters' favourite meal that I cook is lasagna, but I hardly ever cook it anymore since I lost my best recipe! I know it almost by heart, though, so that's really no excuse. I prefer to make manicotti, even though, like, what's the difference? It's more challenging, and I like a challenge. I have never once put meat in either dish, yet I have never attempted a vegetarian lasagna. I'm afraid no one else will like it. Holy crap, I babbled a lot for this answer, eh?

3.  Can you bake? If so, what are your favorite things to bake?


Oh, I love to bake! In fact, I had this little baking business when we still lived in Virginia Beach. I loved doing it, but one time I had an epic fail in the summer, when I had gone to great lengths to make a really elaborate cake, and it was beautiful. I went to deliver it, and by the time I arrived at my destination - even with the AC on full blast - it had melted completely. What a disaster. I quit doing it after that.

4.  Do you use cook books or do you try to find recipes online?

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The first year we were married, in Panama City, Florida, in 2001, my sister-in-law Gail gave my husband this book for his birthday or Christmas. I think. I devoured that book; I really love cookbooks and have a small collection. But I do find I tend to look things up online more often than not.

5.  Do you own a KitchenAid mixer?

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Yes, I do! My husband gave it to me for Valentine's Day one year when we lived in Virginia Beach; maybe around 2010. I've got this red one. I've broken that glass bowl and replaced it two or three times - usually by warranty so no charge - and we finally just switched me over to the stainless steel one! lol

6.  Ever cooked a meal for more than 15 people at one time?

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Well, if you count a potluck or "share a dish" party, then yes, I have done that. Otherwise, I think the most I have cooked for was nine, manicotti actually, last summer for our friends and us.

7.  Do you like hospital food?

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This is hospital food in Japan, not mine. I love the little bento box style tray! I'd love that... Here in Boise, at St. Luke's, the food is not so bad when I've actually been able to eat it over the five times I've been admitted in the 16 months we've lived here. In Homestead, FL, it was quite terrible.

8.  Favorite fast food restaurant?

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I know it's more like fast casual than fast food, but Panera's broccoli cheddar cheese soup in a bread bowl is my favorite - my girls', too!

9.  Any picky eaters in your family?


We all are, myself included, except for my husband. He'll pretty much eat anything. I like that about him.

10.  Soda or Tea?

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I'm trying to quit again (again!), but I basically survive on Diet Coke (or Kroger's version of it), crunchy ice chips, and chocolate protein shakes. Eating is kind of a horribly difficult situation for me lately. I hate doing it anymore. :(

11.  Hot chocolate?

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I can only have the sugar-free kind now, but my three kids adore the regular. If it's there, they want it. Two cups, please, with marshmallows or whipped cream!

12.  Favorite holiday dish?


This guy! 

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13.  What is the most tasteful strangest looking thing you have ever tasted?

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Uni (sea urchin). Rob and I went out for an anniversary dinner to a new sushi restaurant in town (Virginia Beach town center), and we ordered a bunch of things including the uni. We both agree, to this day, it was hands-down the worst thing we'd ever eaten!

14.  Fries or tater tots?

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I'm kind of over French fries. They don't love me, and I'm very picky particular about what fries I'll actually eat, so I usually try not to indulge. We don't get tater tots too often, either in to cook our take-out or whatevs, but I prefer them.

15.  Do you like cheese? If so what kind?

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I like every kind of cheese I've ever tried except Limburger. My mother-in-law liked limburger, and she had it once on a visit to our house in Virginia. She let me try some... and I was not a fan!

16.  Homemade or can soup?

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When I need the protein and am willing to eat meat, there's nothing in the world like Rob's homemade chicken and dumplings. No can can touch that! The first year we were married, I watched Martha Stewart's show every day, and I came out of it with so many good recipes and ideas. Rob's soup recipe was one of those. Thanks, Martha!

17.  Do you like to eat out?

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I definitely do, and when we're somewhere nice, I'm one of "those" people who likes to Instagram the food, too! :P

18.  What kind of food is popular where you are?

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Well, we do live in Idaho, and it is kind of world-famous for its potatoes, as my daughter Chloë pointed out. Would you believe, I had to ask my family this question because I couldn't think of anything?!! #BrainFog

19.  Do you like cotton candy?

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Neither Rob nor I ever really have liked it, but our three kids love it. Go figure!

20.  Turkey or Chicken?

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Neither - fish! Yes? Or shrimp. Or crab. Or even Krab. But not chicken or turkey much anymore; I can't eat it.

21.  Hamburger or tuna helper?

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Gross. No. But my kids would love it if I made it more! Weirdos.

22.  Raw or cooked veggies?

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Either, depending on how it's served. I like raw carrots and cukes and stuff, but I don't enjoy (and can't really eat) raw cruciferous veggies. Those have to be cooked, for me.

23.  Do you like salad? If so, what is your favorite kind of salad?

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Caesar salad is my favorite, and Cardini's dressing is the best!

24.  Favorite pizza topping?

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Pineapple! (Or if we're sharing and you can't handle that, just cheese is fine too.)

25.  Do you like meat loaf?

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No. Obviously, since I don't eat meat. Rob really likes it, but I've only made it exactly once since we got married. I feel guilty now! LOL... Right now, because of this post, it's a huge family discussion!


I don't think I did a single funny meme-ish picture on this post, did I? Apparently I'm serious about food! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday 9: Gidget


Howdy, folks! Welcome back.

This has been another whirlwind week for medical appointments, including a sojourn for my husband and me, our three teenagers, and our two doggos down to Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday and back to Boise on Tuesday, with appointments and both days. I don't yet have a solidified diagnosis for what we've termed "Succubus," which has plagued me/us for the past 38 months, but it looks like it will be ME/CFS: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The doc there said this would explain why I've been so much sicker and worn out than the Fibromyalgia diagnosis would suggest, although I probably do have some of that, too. Fun, fun. I don't feel any better physically, but it's a huge weight off my shoulders just to have been listened to for once!

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The movie Unrest describes precisely what I've been going through; you should watch it if you think you or someone you know might have ME/CFS. It's available all over the interwebs.

♥ Anyway, I'm telling you that because I know some of you have cared from distances far and farther, and I appreciate you so much. ♥ 

So let's get started! Link up here if you want to play along today!


Saturday 9: Gidget (1965)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Gidget was a sitcom that ran only one season. Have you ever seen it?

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I actually have seen it, though in repeats, but I did not realize it was only one season!

2) Gidget is a high school student who is more interested in surfing and boys than in the books. When you were Gidget's age, was your top priority getting good grades? Or were you more involved in the social side of student life?

Mel 1st grade

Well, obviously I'm much younger here, haha. My mom's writing (how I cherish that!) on the back says I'm six years old in 1982; 1st grade. Anyway, in high school, I was definitely far more interested in my studies, although I had a really good social life, too. I was a smart nerd with lots of friends - and boyfriends. ;)

3) Gidget's father was nearly always unflappable when it came to his daughter's high-spirited shenanigans. Who is the coolest, calmest person you know?

Sophia Head Shot

That would be my 13-year-old daughter, Sophie. She definitely doesn't get that from me! She may look more like me, but she's her daddy inside; our daughter Chloë is exactly the opposite. Jack is ... somewhere in the middle. 

4) Gidget spends as much time as she can at the beach, hanging out with her best friend Larue. Fair-skinned Larue doesn't share Gidget's passion for surfing and prefers to stay on the beach blanket, wearing a floppy hat that protects her from the sun. Are you a sun worshipper? Or, like Larue, are you careful about your exposure to the sun?

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Oh, no way I'm a sun worshipper. I may be a water-baby - I've always grown up in and around the surf - but I have had one horrid sunburn after another in this life. I'll probably have skin cancer some day. Sophie is the only person in our family who tans instead of burns. So weird!
5) Gidget, the quintessential California girl, was created by Freidrich Kohner, an Austrian-born screenwriter. Can you think of another Austrian import?

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Isn't Arnold Schwarzenegger from Austria?
6) Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller wrote this week's Gidget theme. They also wrote the 1960 hit song, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool." When is the last time you felt foolish?

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Oh, I absolutely do something I feel foolish about every single day. Every. Day.
7) This is the show that introduced Sally Field. She went on to win two Oscars and four Emmy Awards. When you think of Sally, what role comes to mind?

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Oh, gosh. There are so many good ones, aren't there? Forest Gump, Steel Magnolias... but it's actually her role as family matriarch Nora Walker in the TV series Brothers & Sisters, which ran from 2006-2011, that I think of first. I don't know why.

8) Today Gidget is a grandmother. Sally reports that her grandchildren especially enjoy "sleepovers at Granny's." Where were you the last time you spent the night away from home? 

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We stayed at an airbnb home for the first time this past week when we were in Salt Lake. It may have been the last time. Oh, my gosh, it was an EPIC fail. Have y'all ever done it?

9) Random question -- Describe your perfect lazy afternoon. 

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Relaxing in a hammock near the seashore with a book, a tropical cocktail of some kind, and my family all nearby GETTING ALONG. Now that they're all teenagers, that "getting along" part has become more difficult to manage! Hormones, y'all. 


I suppose I should attempt Sunday Stealing now. Y'know, since I missed it because of packing and planning for our trip. Missed y'all!


Saturday 9: I ♥ Lucy

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Today's episode of Saturday 9 is all about that lovable redhead, Lucille Ball. At least I think so: I don't read the questions until immediately before answering them. Should be lots of fun! Link up here to join all the other S9ers in the fun this weekend!

And away we go:


Saturday 9: I Love Lucy (1951)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Before today, did you know that the "I Love Lucy" theme had lyrics?

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Actually, no, I heretofore did not. Interesting!

2) Since its premiere in 1951, I Love Lucy has never been off the air. Are you a fan?

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I wouldn't call myself a superfan by any stretch. I usually won't watch it unless literally NOTHING else but infomercials is on the air. And then maybe I'll still watch the infomersh. ;)

3) On the show, Ricky Ricardo supports his family by performing in a nightclub. Do you know anyone in show business?

So my 16-year-old daughter, Chloë (latest full-body shot, above), has been an on-again, off-again model and actress since she was five, although she has once again decided to take a step back from the business to focus on other things. Also, my 13-year-old daughter, Sophia, has expressed interest in acting and now is represented by the same agent who reps Chloë. She's gotten several requests for auditions so far but hasn't gone further than that yet. And finally, one of my very good friends is the wife of a gent who owns a very famous and well-known acting & modeling agency that I can't mention for privacy reasons. OH! And one of my best friends, Shana, is a talented musician and music instructor, and she has performed on stage with many famous names. So, a little.

4) Lucy and Ricky's best friends are Fred and Ethel, their landlord and his wife. Are you friendly with your neighbors?

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EW, haha! Say, I didn't know Fred & Ethel were their landlords! I guess I haven't watched as much as I thought I did. 

5) One of the most popular episodes has Lucy and Ethel working on the conveyor belt at a chocolate factory. When did you last have chocolate?

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I had, um, three of these 2-packs in the space of this week. I'm a stress-eater, and I'm also an Aunt Flo-eater (TMI, sorry). Although I've had a hysterectomy, I still get the hormonal upheaval from that. So between that and being very stressed out recently, I gobbled down three packages in three days. Shame on me!! Also, if you haven't tried these yet, you simply must. They're very good - and I hate cheap chocolate, so I don't say that lightly.

6) Another famous episode has Lucy promoting Vitameatavegamin. This tonic is made with vitamins, meat, vegetables -- and 23% alcohol. Do you read the ingredients statement before you take an over-the-counter medication? Or do you trust that it's safe because it's on the store shelf?

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Oh, that sounds so nastay!! I'm a label reader. There are so many ingredients I, myself, as well as a couple others in my family cannot take, so it's a must. (Plus we have kids, and there are things not safe for kids, although by age most meds are now okay.)

7) I Love Lucy was filmed before a live audience. Desi Arnaz (Ricky) always maintained he could identify the chuckle of his mother-in-law, who attended every taping. Do you know anyone who has a distinctive laugh?

Image result for luis capo el dorado furniture

I know the Capó family who own the El Dorado Furniture store in Florida; I met Luis Capó and his family on a cruise when I was 14 and he was 19. My three sisters and I all paired up with brothers and cousins of the Capó family on that cruise, and I've been friends with him ever since. Anyway, his laugh was so bubbly and contagious; I still remember it 27 years later!

8) The show ended when the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz marriage ended. Have you ever had to choose sides when a couple broke up?

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Yes, and it is super awkward. I prefer not to take sides and be neutral, like Switzerland.

9) Random question -- You must eat the same dinner, every day, between now and Labor Day. An identical menu, no deviation. What will you be having?

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I would start off with a giant, salt-rimmed margarita (y'know, for sharing) ;) to drink...

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... I'd eat nothing but New York-style pizzeria cheese pizza for dinner...

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And I'd have New York-style cheesecake every time, for dessert. (Yup, you can take the girl out of New York, but you can't take the New York out of the girl!)

And now, I am sufficiently hungry and can eat nothing but a protein shake. At least it's chocolate?!


That was a fun one! Thanks, Crazy Sam!


Sunday Stealing: Questions From The Swap-Bot

Hey, hey, whaddaya say? I'm glad to be back with you guys for another Sunday Stealing. This time, Bev brings us questions from the Swap-Bot:

Link up here if you want to join in the fun this week. Let's get started, hmm?


1.Where were you 3 hours ago?

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You can pretty much find me on the couch lately, whenever I don't need to be somewhere outside the house. With my severe iron deficiency, it's even hard for me to peel myself off the sofa without help, so here I sit. Hope fully when I get those iron infusions in a few weeks, my energy levels will bounce up a bit. I can NOT wait!

2.Have you ever eaten a crayon?

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Not to my knowledge, but hey - we were all babies once, right?

3.Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?

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This Victoria's Secret striped blanket is just to my left. When I'm cold and/or snoozing on the couch, it's the blanket I use. With my weird sensory issues, it has the perfect texture for me.

4.When is the last time you went to the mall?

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Chloë and I went to the mall this past Tuesday to do some mystery shops I found the strength to perform (paid for it later!), and I was so mad at myself when I realized after we got there that I had forgotten my free product & discount coupons for Bath & Body Works. Grr! I hate the mall so much, so I rarely go. Those coupons will probably expire before I get a chance to use them.

5.Are you wearing socks right now?

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No, but now I want those ^^^ cuties! I rarely wear socks. Actually, hospital socks have the perfect texture for my tactile issues, so I guess it's fortunate (or not, depending on your perspective) that I've built up quite the collection of them!

6.When was the last time you drove out of town?

Pony Club 1

Well, technically, we drove out of town to High Desert Station in Star, Idaho, when we ferried Sophia, our 13-year-old equestrian, back and forth to Pony Club camp last month. But in about 10 days, Team Odette is heading to the Bateman Horne Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I can get evaluated and possibly treated for ME/CFS. I'm about 1,000% certain that will be my ultimate diagnosis, with multiple triggers leading up to that. And then, a couple weeks after that, Sophie and I will be traveling to Bellevue, Idaho, to the Intermountain Pony Club Camp & Rally, where she'll be a stable manager for another club's team. (Our club isn't participating, but this will be an excellent experience for her.) Both trips will be our first forays into the Airbnb world. Any tips for us from you Airbnb veterans out there? (both links are to our respective upcoming stays)

7.Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?

Incredibles 2
I think it's been more than five days, but we recently went to see The Incredibles 2 as a family - minus Jack, who had to work that day. After a 14-year wait for the sequel, I had pretty high expectations. Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining movie and my girls enjoyed it, but... I felt let down by it. Meh. At least it was a free excursion, thanks to the kids' orthodontist, Dr. Jacob Jarvis!

8.What was the last thing you had to drink?

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Dudes. I need a Diet Coke Bong in my life.

9.What are you wearing right now?

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I'm slumming it today. I'm completely mismatched.

10.Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?

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Lately, I've taken a few car wash mystery shops for a local joint, and they do a great job. Next time we have the dough, I want to purchase their $50/month plan where you can get unlimited washes, every day, every week. Idaho is such a dusty, dirty state with little rain, so the car is constantly dirty. I hate a dirty car.

11.Last food that you ate?

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I just ate about a third of a pouch of Russell Stover Sugar-Free chocolates. They are not good. Really. Not. Good.

12.Where were you last week at this time?

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Well, it's after midnight now, so probably the same thing I'm doing now: kind of a Netflix and chill type of deal.

13.Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?

The last clothing I bought was equestrian gear from Dover Saddlery, for Sophia. I got everything on clearance: a white and a midnight blue summer riding shirt, two pairs of riding socks with cute patterns on them, a pair of summer breeches, and for free, she received a Dover saddle pad. Her own tack - her first! Plus I had to throw in the Breyer Turn-Out Set (the toy horse) at her request, but only so I could get to the free shipping tier. Problem is, I forgot to update our shipping address to our Boise home, and everything went to Miami. I had to pay a small bundle to re-route the package to Idaho. Argh!

14.When is the last time you ran?

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Who, me? Oh, no. I don't run. I can't run.

15.What's the last sporting event you watched?

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I caught some FIFA game, but it was completely by accident. I have no horse in that race.


And now, I have a request for you.

Sophia's art

I have started a GoFundMe page (that's the link) for my Sophia's art education. She hasn't had a lot of formal training, but she is very talented. I've purchased a program where she learns from the great Master artists, but the materials are not included. And there are SO many. I also have an Amazon Wishlist (link there) set up for the same supplies. If you would be so kind, would you mind at least sharing the link(s) to help us raise the funds so Sophie can advance her education? We would be so grateful for a few shares.

Thank you, and I'm glad you stopped by!


Saturday 9: Chains

Howdy, folks! Glad to be back here for Saturday 9, and I'm even more glad that you're here to visit. Link up here if you're playing along today. Let's begin, shall we?


Saturday 9: Chains (1962)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The song is about a woman who is in love with her boyfriend, but still attracted to someone else. Do you believe a woman can be in love with more than one person at a time?

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I do believe that, yes.

2) What about the male of the species? Do you believe a man can be in love with more than one person at a time? 

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I guess it's possible for men, too, but I do think it's a different dynamic and harder for men to manage.

3) These lyrics were by Gerry Goffin and the music by Carole King. Carole was a favorite guest of David Letterman's. When she appeared on his show, he often commented on how impressed he was by her firm handshake. She credited her memorable grip to time spent milking goats on her Idaho farm. Have you poured goat milk on your cereal? Eaten goat milk yogurt or cheese?

 We have some Kabrita Whole Goat Milk Powder that we use in a pinch when we're out of regular milk. This is actually beneficial to me, because I'm severely lactose intolerant, but I can manage the goat milk. It's pretty good, actually! Also, Chèvre (goat cheese) is among my favorite cheeses - and I'm a huge cheese fan. Huge! I've eaten my fair share of it - flavored and non. (P.S. I also like a firm handshake.)

4) When it first came out, "Chains" was a favorite of 18-year-old George Harrison. It was at his recommendation that the Beatles added it to their early stage shows and even recorded it on their first album. When you were in high school, what was one of your favorite songs?

I still love "What's Up?" by Four Non Blondes, which I used to sing like crazy in high school. Great song!

5) In 1962, when this song was released, epic movies were popular on the big screen. The Longest Day was three hours long, and Lawrence of Arabia ran more than three hours and a half hours. Today's most popular movies are nowhere near that long. Do you think the average American has a shorter attention span today than he did in 1962? 

Absolutely, I do. Definitely.

6) In 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy went on a two-week goodwill tour of India and Pakistan. She received a ceremonial "welcome necklace" in India. Made without jewels or precious metals -- just beads, sequins and paper -- it was valued by the First Lady for its delicate appearance and craftsmanship, and today it's on display at the John F. Kennedy Library. Tell us about a piece of jewelry that means a great deal to you, and why.


One of my most prized possessions is my "babies necklace." It represents my four children, with their sexes and birthstones on display. And our angel son, Robby, is not absent. My mother-in-law gave it to me after Robby died, and then she took it back and added our diamond girl after Sophia was born two Aprils later. I love it.

7) In Pakistan, Mrs. Kennedy made headlines by riding a camel. Have you ever ridden a horse, donkey, camel or elephant?

I've ridden all but a donkey; don't think I've done that. But I exhibited no talent; Sophia is absolutely the rider in the family! 

8) Also in 1962, the New York Newspaper Guild went on strike, so the nation's largest city went 114 days without a single daily paper. In 2018, how do you get your news?

Does The Onion count? I get my news from television reporters, the newspaper, and yes, occasionally, Facebook.

9) Random question -- Complete this sentence: Before I go to sleep, I always ___________________________.

.... get my "bear-po." Bear-po is my stuffed teddy bear and my pillow; I can't sleep without either one! ;)


That's it! Thanks for the visit!


A Visit To The Twisted Ewe: The Yarny Adventure Continues

 So there is a really cool store in the Garden City area of Boise called The Twisted Ewe - but I didn't know about the "really cool" part until Tuesday (yesterday). I had been wanting to go, having passed the shop many times on our way back and forth from home to church, but I kind of have a huge yarn stash already and I kind of haven't been knitting much since we moved to Boise. BUT. Now that there is a newly emerging knitter in the house, I had a reason to scope out their website, at least.

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I found, from the website, that there was a Christmas in July thingamajig going down yesterday, so we went first thing in the morning. I rather expected it to be a big event, with people there, but we were virtually the only customers the entire time we were there. Which was over an hour, actually. And the "Christmas in July" thing was just one small shelf of knitting- (and crochet-related, but this is a post mostly about knitting, I guess) notions and knickknacks. That surprised me. I thought it would be, well, the whole thing. But that's okay. This "fat" dish towel amused me! #iCanRelate

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And there were several Christmas-themed knitted wine bottle warmers that were cute. Although I don't quite understand the rage about warmers for everything, including wine bottles. Don't you want your wine to be chilled??

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Chloë didn't really know much about allllll the notions that could go into knitting, so I showed her a wall full of such things. I had given her (and myself) a strict $20 budget, so I wanted her to look over the whole store to determine what she'd spend it on. And we did look over the whoooooole store, which is why it took us over an hour to be there!

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Yarns in the shop were generally grouped together by yarn weight, with a few exceptions. I appreciate this, because that's often the weight by which I decide on yarns I need - in my own stash or in a LYS (local yarn shop, for those of you who aren't yarn-obsessed but for some reason still want to read this post). LOL

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Isn't that cool? All the OMG-er in me is thinking, that's a lot of yarn I could have used for other things! Do y'all really think the whole thing is yarn?

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I like to pet yarn before I buy. Chloë appreciated this and did it too, because we both have sensory issues.

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I think for a buck each, the shop sold these cute little Asian trinket boxes. Chloë and I were surprised to see them, because one of the sellers I bought from on Novica used them, too. And keep that rack of tiny note cards behind them in mind ... you may see them again later. ;)

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I went around feeling all the yarns drew my eye, and I found a lot of new loves. I photographed the ones that I really felt needed to join my stash but for that budget limit. (You know, for later. When I actually start knitting again and run out of yarn. On the first of never.) So I just noticed, because they're different weights, that apparently I'm a fan of Juniper Moon Farm's yarns! Gonna have to make a note of that. (Sooooo soft.)

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I always like it when LYSes have sample garments using a yarn I'm interested in, instead of just a small swatch like at Michaels or wherever. And Twisted Ewe had a lot of these.

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Ohhh, and let you tell me about the Clearance Stand. You guys, it was ah-MAY-zing. There is SO much there, and some of it is really marked down. It was like an angel had descended from heaven and placed that there for me. You can bet that I spent a lot of time there.

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Isn't this cool? The shop is full of this kind of funky, fun design for its displays, and this was my favorite. The Twisted Ewe is exactly like the kind of yarn shop I'd love to have and create when I grow up. Think I'll inherit it??

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I got another couple about the "Game Over" wedding day socks. I had to explain it to Chloë, who thought they were getting a divorce. Hellew!

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I have some Cascade Yarns yarn in my stash, and I've knitted quite a few things from it, but I find regular wool kinda ... scratchy. But this Luminosa is deliciously soft! I might have to add that to the stash in the future, y'know?

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See those pompoms in the baskets? Chloë was in love with them. Super soft!  There were all KINDS of different pompoms at the shop.

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Remember when I told you in the last post that I had never washed my own hand-knitted garments before? And that Stephanie usually does it for me? Well. I do have a simple of wool wash in the toolbox I keep most of my notions in, and I do know that you need some kind of wool wash to bath your garments in. But that won't be enough for all the knitting going on in my imagination. Twisted Ewe has it covered.

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They also have candles! So many different scents for different nosey preferences. I liked the cinnamon-y one I got a whiff of when I walked by, but Chloë liked a different one. That didn't surprise me; as much alike as we are mentally and emotionally, we have entirely different preferences for... everything. Everything!

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Hmmm... I don't think I have any hemp fiber in my stash. Better start knitting, so I can add some, right??

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Well, hell-OH, my pretty! See this sea-coloured yarn by Neighborhood Fiber Co.? It's my favourite color! Every ombre part of it! All of it! I need this! Yes, I do! Even if I have an identically-coloured Madeline Tosh skein that I haven't used yet after adding it a few years ago... Ecchhh. Yeah, I really do need to knit. (The main reason I haven't is pain. It's in all my joints and inside my bones, even my fingers. But I'll come back from this, y'all. Keep the faith.)

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You know what I think about when I see this picture, when I saw this yarn shelf? That super-white yarn, though, I see a lot and I don't understand how. How do you get super-white yarn without bleach, but how do you bleach fiber without it breaking down the fibers? I don't get this. Someone explain to me how, because I don't feel like Googling it. Lolz.

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I have some Ella Rae in my stash, but again, it's pure wool, not lush merino. This stuff is SO soft, but I probably won't add it to my stash because I don't often knit with chunky, yarns. You need to buy SO much of it to make the kinds of garments I would want to make, and frankly, I'm not Miss Moneybags over here...! But I was drawn to this particular colorway since my winter coat is the same color hot pink. Now that I'm writing this "out loud," though, it seems kind of a lame reason to be drawn to something so much that I needed to take a picture and post about it. Hee!

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The shop also has fun buttons and magnetic knobs, which I didn't entirely understand because... why? To display things? I guess I just won't get that one, even if they are cool. I do, however, like the display of magnetic tin boxes on a magnetic rack, and being able to pull them off and change things around. I've wanted to do that in my house, like, forever.

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I found this amusingly-stamped sentiment on a project bag, and I totally identified with it. I'm guilty of not swatching MOST of the time; I'm also guilty of things often not working out when I omit the swatching! So, yeah. I need this bag.

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I love all the yarn bowls available at the shop. I didn't check any of the prices, but since tangling yarns as been a huge deal for me when knitting with more than one yarn, I kinda need one. So now I know where to go.

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Baskets of knit- and crochet-related pattern magazines were available, and even more pompoms! I think there were some for every species of mammal. Except primates. That might get weird.

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Artyarns!!! This is among my favourite yarn-producing company. They consistently produce high quality yarns. Here is Beaded Silk, which I've used previously, and which I'm not opposed to using again. Unfortunately, I did not find Artyarns' Cashmere, which I asked about. They don't carry it. I was showed some other brand's cashmere, but to be honest, I was not terribly impressed. It didn't feel soft and luscious like I want my cashmere to be, so I passed.

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This emerald green Dragonfly Fibers yarn was amazing. It felt great, and I loved the colour combinations. Saving this one for the future stash memory box!

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I knew I would find some Madeline Tosh yarns! They are among the best of the best, IMNSHO. I love, love, love Mad Tosh. Look at those gorgeous, brilliant colours! So thrilling.

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And there was a whole WALL of Madeline Tosh! Yum, yum, yum yum yummy. I want it ALL.

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This Katia Darling Rainbow here was nice, too. That's an understatement. It felt great, and I liked it much more than that Katia I have in my stash. ::Adds to list::

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Seriously. No lie.

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Alexandra's Cr--- something or other is... OMG. Can you stand what a gem this yarn looks like?! I cannot. I can Not.

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There's even a large, round table for knitters to come and go, knitting in the shop whenever they please. I LOVE the sense of community involved with knitting. The Twisted Ewe even hosts a Tuesday Knit Night - with snacks! - for everyone to come together and, well, knit. When the two of us really get going, you can bet your sweet patoot we'll be there!

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Ohhhh, so many pretty yarns. I need to get some. All of 'em.

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Of course, Chloë was still there, doing a little "yarn tasting" right along with me.  She was finding her own tastes and interests, too, which I loved. I want her to feel completely immersed in  knitting culture while she's creating with sticks and strings, and be involved in every step along the way.

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Also in the shop: The Naked Bee lotions and balms for those of us who like to make our skin soft and yummy to touch. See that basket of itty-bitty samples on the bottom right? They were only 99¢ each! Who could resist? Not this lotion freak. I bought a sample to try, of course, and I've used about half of it by now. However, the first thing I noticed about my sample of The Naked Bee Moisturizing Hand & Body Lotion in "Orange Blossom Honey" flavour. (Yes, I'm American. No, adding those extra "u"s are neither necessary nor my native language arts. I just like them. They amuse me.) This flavour smells very strong, and with me having daily migraines and other headaches, it was a bit too overpowering for me. We're talking instant headache.

So I contacted The Naked Bee through facebook, and I asked them if they carried an unscented version - because though the scent is strong, the lotion works amazingly well - and they responded with a link to this:


Unscented! It's $14 for an 8-oz bottle, which is not ridiculously crazy at all. I might get some sometime. I hope it does not suck. I'm sure it won't.

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Raccoon, people. This is insane. How? WHY?

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I cannot remember for the life of me why Chloë is holding up this granny square, but here it is! Soak it in.

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Confession time: Seeing a $2 bill, even though I've seen a bunch of them, is exciting for me, too. Every time. ;)

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More Cascade Yarns scrumminess! Such soft goodies. The impulse to buy 10 of everything was becoming stronger, but I resisted. It was hard, though.

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Whaaaa?! More Cascade Yarns I need to buy. And I love the blues in this selection. I really think I see a Blue Period coming on in my future.

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I only see three of these Dragonfly Fibers Gradient Sets, but I wanted two of them. The third one was a duplicate of the greens. Maybe I want that, too. I don't know. I was shocked not to see some KPPPM at the shop, since it seems like it would really fit in here, but now I have to look up whether Koigu is even still in business. I can't imagine that they're not making bank off their amazing yarns. 

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I have knitted with some Manos del Uruguay in the past - a heavier weight than Alegria - and it is very special. In my opinion, it may even be more delightful than Malabrigos (shh!) yarn to knit with. And the colourway selection of Alegria is crazy.

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I think I found the skeins of One Crazy Stitch yarn - which adorably include a free stitch marker that varies with each skin - on the Clearance Rack. What a steal! Gotta keep that top of mind when I'm in the market for more yarn. More Yarn. More. Yarn. Oh, sorry, my mind started salivating a little bit there.

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Chloë found some yarns she reaaaaaally wanted to have, but they were outside her price range right now. It'll happen, Kiddo. It will.

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Finally, it was time for us to start gathering our desired purchases and begin the checkout process. See those note cards (again)? There are guinea pigs, sloths, hedgehogs, and other cutie McCutiepants animals on them. I really wanted one, but I had a dickens of a time deciding which one to purchase. Which do you think?

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I asked the shopgirl about cashmere, because I was wondering if they had Artyarns' version, but they did not. She showed me another brand (the name of which I forget) that they had, along with a knitted sample to feel. You guys, I did not love it. It was a little too scratchy for me. And, I'll be honest, it was outside my price constraints and I didn't want to pay for something that I didn't love.  That's good, right? Also, the shopgirl (and the shopdude) were not altogether thrilled about me having my Nikon DSLR camera in there and taking a thousand pictures, so she was not happy when I asked her to pose with it for me to snap a foto. Until I assured her that she would not be in the picture. Then she relaxed a little. Phew. 

(The shopdude, on the other hand, was really iffy about even letting me feature the shop on my blog. Really? Why?? Who doesn't like free publicity? It was definitely odd to me.)

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I did do the Etsy search, which returned a lot of fun and exciting choices for this. I want to get them ALL for her!

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At last, we were finished with our excursion! With bag in hand, we headed out to go do some mystery shops I had scheduled for afterward - but not before we took a few snaps! I think Chloë was excited about her purchase, too!

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One last snap. And then we go. Promise. Oh, but wait! You want to know what gots, yes?

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So, I bought three hanks of that Tea Rose-coloured yarn from the clearance rack, and Chloë bought the blue and purple (and there's more hidden within) cake of yarn. Hers comes with beads to string as she goes - something I've never done - and a pattern for fingerless mitts. She also got hers on the clearance shelves. To round out the purchase, I got the lotion sample, an elephant note card, and two Addi yarn needles to finish our products. Combined, we came in well under budget, so I was pumped about that!

So that was The Twisted Ewe. A super fun excursion! If you live in SouthWest Idaho, it's definitely worth the trip. Bring your wallet! ;)


I've Waited For This Long For So Long!

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I learned to knit 15 years ago, in Guam. More on that later. In late June, Chloë decided she didn't want to do fencing anymore, and instead she really wanted to learn to knit. Whaaaa! Of course, the practical side of me thought of the financial benefits of that, but the emotional side of me was so excited to share this craft I have come to love with my firstborn!


After a heavy-duty search on Ravelry for the right pattern for Chloë to learn on, I had the girls pull out everything in my rather extensive yarn stash.  It was a scarf; Chloë decided to make it for Sophia. I went yarn-diving in search of as many yarns as I could find that were suitable for this project. It called for a lace-weight and a fingering-weight yarn to be held together throughout the piece, so I pulled everything out that fit. This beautiful aubergine Cherry Tree Hill yarn (note the care instructions) was the first one chosen by Sophia.

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Suri alpaca, like this yarn, is made from the suri alpaca and has less crimp than huacaya alpacas. According to wikipedia, this makes it more suitable to woven goods than knitting ones, but we shall not be deterred!


This light grey Anzula "Haiku" was the next yarn selected by Sophie, in fingering weight. The "weight" of a yarn refers to it's thickness, in simple terms. It's often measured by the number of times you can wrap it around a ruler in one inch (WPI or "Wraps Per Inch") and/or the number of stitches you can get over 4" (usually a range, depending on appropriate needle size and a knitter's personal gauge). Fingering, then, has a WPI of 14-30, whereas a laceweight yarn will be 30-40+ WPI.


In keeping with the pattern's original yarns used, I added a merino/bamboo/nylon blend to the alpaca. Notice that everything I chose was hand-wash only; Chloë and I will have to learn to handwash our woolens together, because I used to bring everything to my pal Stephanie located in Chesapeake, Virginia, when we lived there. I haven't washed my own since living there, because I haven't really worn my handmade woolies in that time (for no particular reason)! No time like the present...

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This Alpaca with a Twist blue was added because the three of us decided that it was light enough (more cobweb weight than laceweight; cob is finer than lace) to combine with the other two and that they would fit the pattern better and blend the colours well.

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Unlike the scratchy Red Heart acrylic yarn on which I learned to knit, because it was the only thing available on the entire island of Guam where we were stationed at the time, I love that Chloë gets to start on luscious alpacas, merino, and bamboo. Oh, and silk. Forgot the silk. So yummy. For those of you who think I am a yarn snob: well, I am, but I used it so extensively during the begging third or two of my knitting and crocheting career that I developed a skin allergy to it. No fun! I had a lot in my stash, so I ended up donating almost everything with acrylic content to not-for-profit endeavors.

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In keeping with my desire for Chloë to have better yarns and better equipment and an easier learning experience than I ever did, we have another present (the first ones being sweet yarns)!

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It's a swift! A beautiful new Stanwood Needlecraft birch-wood umbrella swift to replace my last one, which is missing a part. What is a swift? Well, as explained in more detail in this Knit Like Granny post, a swift is often used with a ball winder (more on that in a bit) to knit unwieldy skeins or hanks of yarn into easy-to-use center-pull cakes.

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I plunked down a bit more moola than I did for my last swift, but the Stanwood is bigger and nicer. We quickly found it out has some cons, like the vice clamp being large and difficult to place because of that opening. Chloë (who was doing this because I want her to learn every step of the knitting process and really feel connected to the process and her finished product) had to try several surfaces before we decided on this side table.

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This swift was a big larger and stiffer than the previous one, and I was manning the camera (duh), so Rob stepped in to help open up the umbrella part of the swift. There's another con: those cotton or hemp or whatever ties at each corner catch the yarn during the winding process. But it's a beautiful swift, and I suspect that will ease with time and use.

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Just like my old swift, my old ball-winder had a missing part, crucial to proper operation. So I replaced it, and again I plunked down slightly more cash than I did for the old one. So here we are again, like the swift, with Chloë having the inaugural use.

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Because it was new, we had a few trial-and-errors with the ball winder, too. After a few tries, we were able to place it across from the swift and fortuitously at the same height as the swift. We also had to move the furniture around a bit to get the distance and tension right. Oh, the struggles of a knitter are real.

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The first yarn that Chloë wound was the Alpaca with a Twist Fino. The hank opened up to be quite large in circumference, so Rob once again stepped in to help Chloë open the swift to the right setting.

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The umbrella part was difficult to open at first because, well, Chloë and I didn't quite know what to do. This one looked similar but functioned different from the old one.

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Ahhh, finally got it there. Isn't it beautiful?

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The next step for Chloë was to untie the little bits of yarn holding the hank into a hank. She'd never done that before, with my knitting projects, because I didn't let her. Usually, I wound fine (read: expensive) hanks of yarn only, and I didn't want them to get messed up by the kids putting them on the swift incorrectly. But again, I wanted her to feel fully invested into this process, mainly so she would appreciate everything that went into her own finished product at the end. And a little bit of hard work never hurt anyone, right?

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Step Number Whatever: Learn to thread the yarn from the hank on the swift, into the slits in the ball winder. That's probably called something, but ask Rob - I don't know the names for stuff. Because this cobweb-weight yarn was so fine, this proved to be a challenging class for Chloë. It kept slipping out of the unnamed slits.

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Ultimately, we decided to tape down the end of the yarn Fino yarn onto the upright thingy in the ball winder with medical tape, and then Chloë was off and running! Er, winding.

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So as you can see, the swift holding the hank of yarn was set up, the ball winder was set several feet apart and busy winding up the yarn into a center-pull cake, and the sun was quickly setting.

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After a few mishaps with slightly adjusting the speed of the winding process, turning onto changing the tension between the two machines, leading to having to stop and restart after fixing the yarn, Chloë ended with a slightly hiccuppy cake with a belly button. She worked hard for it, and she deserves to be proud of it, hence the hand flare, there.

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Yay, Chloë! It really was a lot of work and took about a half an hour, so she took a short break to enjoy the glow of a new yarn cake. ;)

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Isn't it pretty? So pretty.

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After the sun had set last Wednesday night, Chloë was ready to wind hank two of yarn. We could have placed the two machines in slightly better situation, making the feed arm of the ball winder a little unwieldy while cranking the winder. Sophie stepped in to offer assistance with the feed arm, and Chloë accepted her help. I loved that this process was such a family affair!

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Much faster than the first ball of yarn, Chloë's finished second ball appeared. It was lovely - and no bellybutton this time! Chloë is a fast learner when she's interested in the subject matter.

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Then we all took a break to view the Strawberry Moon outside, the same night that the ringed, superior planet Saturn was opposite and at its closest, biggest and brightest in the sky. So exciting! I'm a bit of a star-gazer, so here is that Strawberry Moon over our little cul-de-sac.

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Back to work for the girls to wind hank three into a lovely cake. ♪ ♫ What's gonna work? Teamwork! ♫ ♪ (Thanks to Wonder Pets for that tune.)

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Cake Número Três  was quickly finished, and yay, she was done with the swift and ballwinder! She learned quickly that there was, um, a learning curve to using both. And oh, my gosh, time to learn the process of turning sticks and string into a finished piece of art!

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Mmmm, hello, my pretties. Come to Mama! Well, come to daughter, I guess, because she had done all the work and now was ready to actually use the stuff. The fancy alpaca, merino wool, bamboo, and silk stuff. I can't wait to see her go! Stay tuned for the post on that, and thanks for visiting ye olde fashioned blogge!


Sunday Stealing: I Love A Parade

Welcome back, thieves! I'm always excited when I manage to remember that it's SS (and S9) time, because I really enjoy all of y'all's virtual company so much. Anyway, it's almost Independence Day, and a quick peek a photo on the Sunday Stealing page for this week tells me that is what this meme will be about. So let's go, shall we?


  1. Do you like parades? 
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  3. Sure, why not? Who doesn't?

    2. Rate the following parade attractions in order of affection:
    *. horses;
    *. marching bands 

    *. floats;
    *. anything that gives away candy:
    *. politicians riding in cars;
    *. antique cars/tractors;

    *. fire trucks;
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  5. I'd probably say: 1. Horses (which have strongly grown on me, thanks to my younger daughter's affinity for them), everything else unless there is a super well-done float, and then politicians riding in cars. Bleh.

    3. Have you ever been in a parade?
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  7. Yeah, I've been in a few, mostly as a Brownie Girl Scout. But the first one I was in was when an acquaintance - maybe a customer at the bank where she worked - of my stepmother's invited my sister and me to sit in the rumble seat of his car for a parade. That was a lot of fun.
  8. 4. Do you bring lawn chairs to parades?
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  10. Lawn chairs, no, I don't think I've done that. Camp chairs, maybe, but not lawn chairs.

  11. 5. Does it bother you to have to park a long way from the parade, and then walk back to the car afterwards?
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  13. It never used to, no, but now that I am disabled and am reliant upon my wheelchair  half the time, it sometimes gets old. But generally I'm okay with it.

    6. Do you wave at people you know? 
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  15. Of course; who doesn't?

    7. At people you don't know?
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  17. Sometimes, yeah. LOL

  18. 8. Do you take pets - dogs, particularly - to parades? 
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  20. Not usually, because I don't want them to be scared, but we might have to this year with the plans I'm making. Our Chiweenie, Tapi, is the most fearful doggo ever. We recently bought her a ThunderShirt, and oh, my word, what a difference it has made in her anxious behavior! If you're on the fence about coughing up the $45 for one, let me tell you: it's worth it!

    9 Have you ever been to a big parade in person (Rose Bowl, Macy's, etc)? 
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  22. Yes. In 1985 (I think), my family and I attended the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan. The snow was really coming down that day, and we were freezing! But it was an excellent show.

    10. Do you attend more warm weather or cold weather parades?

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I would say it's about equal.


Now, having done this, I'm even more excited for my favorite holiday on Wednesday. Have a great Independence Day to all of you who are Americans, and be safe with the fireworks. God Bless America!!