One Fun Day at the Fair

Saturday, despite the heat and traffic, we bravely ventured to the Cape to the Barnstable County Fair. Turned out, the heat wasn't so bad. The traffic however, was. We arrived bright and early, and while there was not a great amount of livestock, and most were untouchable due to the heat, we did meet the following fine creatures:

Friendly floppy-eared goats.

Gentle giant draft horses.

And just a few humming alpacas.
But my favorite part of course was the teensy-weensy knitting & spinning exhibit, where the homespun yarn and projects were displayed, along with some soft fleece and rovings. As you can see, a big yellow sign proclaimed "please feel free to touch the fleece!"
I was happy to oblige. Here you can see me with my atrocious grin, testing the fiber for that 'twinging' sound...
Coming tomorrow, my pictures of the winning yarn and projects. I was impressed, yet saddened by how few entries there were-please please please all you Boston-area and south shore knitters and spinners get together and submit your work! I don't mean to insult the great work I saw saturday, but I have seen LOVELY fibers and colorways on your blogs that would give them all a good run for their money!

(I can't wait for the Marshfield Fair!)

What is Your Superpower?

Breaking my goal of avoiding TV, I watched "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" for kicks last night. The contestants were absolute characters, and did their best to stay IN character as well. This morning it left me wondering, what kind of superhero could I be? Phil's superpowers are clear enough, heck, he's already a living breathing action figure. You would just have to pick between GI Joe and Supercop. But what about me? With all my interests and hobbies, I MUST be able to come up with something. Something better than that damn "cell phone girl" or "monkey woman"

So on my drive to work this morning (all 40 minutes of it) I tried to come up with my superhero alter ego. It wasn't easy- I decided that superpowers should be derived from an inherent personality or physical trait, so "Mega Shoe-Shopping Girl" wasn't a strong idea. Finally, I determined (in true Heather fashion) that I could turn some of my faults into skills that work in my favor. Brilliant! The things I wish I could change about myself would become precious to me! My shortcomings would turn into protective powers, such as my annoying laugh or inability to dance could be used to frighten away or nauseate a villain or attacker. My terrible housekeeping would ensure that my secret lair was safe from attack! A-HA!

Since I hate my cheeky grin the most, I propose my superhero identity be known as "The Grinner" ...

The End is Near!

I have never been so excited to start ribbing. Just a few more inches to go and I can finish the neckline and sleeves. I'm definitely looking for a more complicated sweater next time-this project would have taken less time, I believe, if I had been more focused on the development, or had something to be a little more proud of, say cables and bobbles? Instead I absolutely HATED picking it up every night, and would do just a row or two before I tossed it aside. Almost there!

A Tuesday Babble

Since blogger adamantly refuses to upload my latest progress, hooray for my latest delivery of books! I decided to renew my love affair with Susan Orlean's books and articles from The New Yorker. She also wrote for some time in our area for a few Boston publications. I first read her work in high school, when Mrs Sholar (mean wench) ordered us to write articles and stories in the style of our favorite writers-mine were James Joyce, and for brevity I chose Orlean. In retrospect I think the assignment was fluffy and weak-instead of understanding their style and prose, just imitate them! Sure...

Nevertheless, it was fun and quick writing. I loved the way Orlean found direction and stirred interest in the mundane in her book "Saturday Night." I was thinking about it on one of my own saturday nights some time ago, when I had been cooerced into bar-hopping with some people I barely knew. (Growing up I had always felt like there was no place I truly belonged-being an anthropology student allowed me to "use" this feeling of being an outsider to my best advantage by being an active observer.) Well, I had never felt like more of an outsider than at that moment- clearly I did not belong to this group of pretty 20-somethings (and I say that generously because I swear one of the women could have passed for 40-45 if you had peeled her out of her crimson club-wear and done something with her bleached-blonde hair.)

I joined them as they collected at some new Boston nightspot, where they had reserved a table by calling ahead for an order of champagne. The lounge was a bit bare, but thematically decorated in some kind of woodsy theme, with bamboo walls and bars. The dress code appeared to be a cross of late 90's Urban Outfitters and DEB, with the exception of myself (tshirt and jeans). As the night wound down and I stared wistfully at the door, the "women of indeterminable age" began to dance with one another in the nearly empty lounge. Their next attempt to create a party where none existed involved snapping pictures of themselves in ridiculous poses, leading me to wonder if there was some sort on event or happening that I had missed. Had someone won the lottery? Reached their 45th birthday perhaps? Nope, someone handed me a camera so I could take their group shot, the sultry and ridiculous faces no likely to be posted on someone's MYSPACE page the next day.

Now I know Susan Orleans never intended to document this sort of saturday night at all, but when I finally escaped home that night, it did lead me to wonder what is it about saturday nights that are special? Why do we reserve all our excited for THAT ONE NIGHT? I personally prefer thursdays.....

Where's Waldo?

Every weekend we have a wonderful time; spend time with family, go to parties, dinners and have lots of QT (quality time), yet I discover the next monday that I have very few pictures to prove it! Monday is the day when I want to remember the weekend, every sunny relaxing moment. Sitting in my grey cubicle, surrounded by vomit-green walls and artificial lighting, I plug in the Olympus camera. True to form, I have taken FOUR pictures. Four. *sigh* And of course not a single one of myself. Just take my word for it-I was there.

Here's Mr. Wonderful, whipping up some virgin strawberry daquiris for me. He's grinning however, because he made one for little Curtis as well, who has his mother convinced that he has stolen off with someone's cocktail...

I know my blog has been very skant on the knitting theme, but the sweater from hell was along for the ride, of course. When it began to pour I snuck a spot under the tent and went to work, at which point an onlooker snidely said, "You don't do anywhere without that, do you?"

Sweet Italian Sausage w/Peppers and Potatoes (SISPP)

I made this last night for the Fab 5 as a first course and it was quite a hit:

1 jar diced tomatoes
3-4 fresh basil leaves
5-6 Sweet Italian Sausage
5 sm Red potatoes
2 red peppers (sliced)
2 green peppers (sliced)
1 tsp diced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil

Brown the sausage in a large saucepan lightly and set aside for later. Bake potatoes (I microwaved them for 8 minutes-make sure you pierce them with a fork first or POP goes the microwave!) Pour the can of diced tomatoes in the saucepan, and over low heat add the red and green peppers, basil, and diced darlic. Let simmer for a few minutes while you chop the sausage and potatoes. Add sausage, chopped potatoes, and olive oil to the sauce pan and let simmer covered over low/medium heat for 15 minutes. Add sea salt, fresh ground pepper and organo as you like, and serve when the peppers are nice and soft. Be careful when stirring not to let the potatoes fall apart...

I served this to the girls as a first course with fresh ciabatta bread (and I forgot the dipping oil!) It was a good starter for the five of us, so it would probably make enough for dinner for two if you served it with a side of pasta or risotto. I know the leftovers will be a tasty lunch for me today.
(I should note that I stole this idea from Mamma Mia's in Plymouth, but improvised in order to reduce the fat and starch content. No one needs all that oil and a million potatoes!)

How Not to Announce the Big News:

Well, I suppose it's that time-after all, I broke the news at work this week, and that has gone over pretty well. I'm a little frustrated that my future mommy-ness isn't obvious yet, but that will happen soon enough. We already have two other people in the office who are proudly sporting "the bump" and I want so badly to join the club!

To be perfectly honest, I absolutely love pregnancy so far. Not to boast, but there hasn't been any sickness or mood swings, nor any bizarre cravings. In fact, even though I'm carrying around some extra weight I feel downright....well, foxy!

Phil is so proud of me. But I also think Phil is quite proud of himself, and his own achievement here. It's so adorable. Maybe it's the hormones talking, but I find EVERYTHING adorable. Is that strange? I find myself anxiously awaiting a big belly, browsing maternity wear online, and secretly wishing I could fit myself into those stretchy clothes already. Well, here's my secret:

Several years ago my cousin Abby became pregnant. Before that happened I thought you would never get my ass in that situation- I dreaded the stretching, the body shape, the nausea, the inhibiting factors of a modified pregnancy diet. I saw pregnant women as "breeders" and thought that having a child meant a final end to my youthful ways. But one day all that changed.

I watched my sweet younger cousin with amazement as she went through her pregnancy- I watched her become more beautiful with each passing month, and I learned that essentially she lost none of the qualities that I admired in her. Abby was still bright, funny, smart, and absolutely gorgeous. She hadn't changed at all.

In fact, she had improved.

I could go on, but she also acquired this fantastic way of walking when she was in her last trimester. I called it a waddle, but it was really nothing of the sort. It was this great walk with a new center of gravity- leant toward the back with belly forward. It was so beautiful to me, I was downright jealous. THAT'S the part I look forward to the most. (Well, other than our appointment in 2 weeks where we may find out if we have a little boy or girl, but don't get me started.)

How Fast Does Wool Burn?

If I don't get somewhere on this soon we may find out.
It is deceptive-I'm almost finished with the body, but with that low-slung neckline you would think I was making a tunic.
My co-workers arrive every day in sparkling-new adorable outfits, and I'm still working on the same damn sweater after three months? When its done I had better feel the experience to be rewarding or I am taking up a new craft!

Maybe fingerpainting. Or making those lawn decorations that look like a toadstool or a woman beding over in a polka-dotted skirt.


Last night my mom (Blogless Sharon) came over, bearing a delicious homemade dinner and her spinning wheel. We had a beautiful sunday evening knitting and spinning on my back deck, and did I even think to take a picture? What is wrong with me? Mom was plying her very own wool from Big Boy, a border leicester, and it looked so warm-I can't wait to see what she does with it!

I can, however, present you with before and after pictures of my finished curtains. Very cutesy, but they'll do just fine:
Ooh La La..

Saturday had to be one of the best days EVER. Phil took the day off form work, so we went out for breakfast and then took the kayaks for a spin down White Horse and Manomet Beach. The water was so clear and aquamarine that you could see the crabs sparring in the sand down below! If it weren't for the high UV factor I could have stayed out there all day. Buuut then I wouldn't have been able to shower and get pretty to go out that night-girls night out! My favorite-humid nights in Plymouth mean cold drinks by the harborside and a great band. God, I love this place!

Woohoohooo I am so tired! We had a blast at the game last night, and NO, I did not bring my knitting. I chickened out of course. How are you supposed to knit while you're holding a basket of french fries anyways? Well, poor Phil had to sit in front on two of the most obnoxious girls. He doesn't look too happy....

Then we had the great fortune of being seated behind this guy, with the cherry-red face. His entire purpose for the game was to get noticed by the cameras, and blocked most of the action with his directional arm-waving (and if you heard the score, you'd know it didn't help much)

My mission for tomorrow is to finish those curtains and start hunting for a bed for our guest room! I may also sneak in two hours of beach time, since its supposed to be lovely. If I succeed in my task, I suppose I could slip out saturday night to the Cabby Shack to meet up with my friends....but we'll see.

You know what they say, all work and no play.....

Hmm? What Is This?

Make a guess at where Miss Heather may be going tonight. Here's a hint; this little bag is sitting next to my feet today. Contents:
1 light and comfy shirt
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of cargo pants
1 pink baseball hat
1 unfinished sweater

If you said I would most likely be knitting at the Red Sox/Oakland game tonight you have guessed right!

Oh Kitty Where Art Thou?

Still crossing my fingers that Nina will return. Thank you all for your support- Its hard to lose a buddy you've had for twelve years. Especially one so tiny and cute.

On a happier note, I have a horde of cops coming to my house tonight- No, we're not under arrest for being a nuisance to the neighborhood. Its a barbeque, so if you're a badge-toting badboy (or girl) in blue, please feel free to stop by for dogs, burgers, and chicken. Just remember, Project Runway starts at ten, so be quick! Police are tough, but their wives can be tougher, so don't mess with my favorite show. I love these get-togethers, as police have the most entertaining and sordid stories to tell, unless you have a soft spot for dug addicts and drunk college kids. I do not, so I can't wait!

Jess, like you said..still working on miles of stockinette stitch...and going out of my mind!

Dude, Where's My Cat?

I'm not sure, but I suspect Miss Nina met with some bad fortune last night while protecting the property. At 3AM I was woken by a strange yowl in the back yard, so Scout and I went to investigate. No evidence of a struggle, no fur flying, no strange tracks were found. But this morning I called around the house for my dear little kitty, and she never called back. I'm not going to have a very good kitty kitty kitty...

Crafty Crafty....

What's a girl to do when her husband has to work all weekend? A long time ago I would have spent a day at the spa, met the girls for lunch/dinner/drinks, and finished up with some new shoes. Not the case anymore! This weekend I whipped up a cute felted clutch from leftovers and some handspun from mommakins:

Yes that's Mr Wonderful in the background, wearing his favorite Life Is Good hat- a good luck charm that kept him and the guys safe while on the road in Iraq.

I also collect white beach stones from our beach and coral from our vacations and keep them in containers around the house-I don't know why. I just like the way they look. Beachy without being kitschy.

When a girl has time on her hands (or when Mr Wonderful has poker night with the guys)
she might also sew about ten yards of curtain fabric:


If this sweater project could be compared to the Boston Marathon, I would be the runner parked in White Mountain Creamery in Wellesley, tempted by a chocolate-dipped waffle cone and NOT by the finish line. This weekend I made a renewed attempt at the Almost Cowl-you could spot me knitting on the couch in front of Project Runway re-runs (do you know the winner of the first season incorporated a lot of knits in his finished line?) all saturday, knitting at the beach:

(ooh, scandalous...notice I made the picture very very small. Don't look closely or your retinas will burn!)

I knitted for hours at the celebration in Plymouth on tuesday, and almost burst with pride when my friend Kevin told me it was beginning to look like a sweater. Finally! I knitted until the sun went down, watched the fireworks, then went home and knitted some more. I WILL finish this project someday-I don't care if I have to knit in the shower!

Happy Indepence Day!

White Horse Beach erupts into a crazy party every July 3rd. Bonfires light the water for a mile, fireworks perform in an unscripted display for hours. It is a bit awe-inspiring to see, but exhausting as well. If you see a stretch of beach without active fireworks, it means about five hundred teenagers are filling that area, getting tanked and having fistfights. I don't remember that being much fun when I was 16, but then again I was quite the geek.

Here's a crazy night-shot of the beach on Monday....

Luckily, my family and some of our best friends came to visit and save the day (or my sanity) that night. We sat on the deck and enjoyed a quick dinner-so did Scout-together. So much has happened. Kevin and Michelle have two beautiful sons- it seems like just last year Ed, Phil and I were a part of their wedding. I'm not ashamed to say I cried tons that day-Michelle was a beautiful bride, and you could see how Kevin was so moved, which I think is adorable in a big guy. Or maybe it was just joy at wearing a fantastic bridesmaid dress for a change...Thanks Michelle!
Miss Cassandra collected beach stones so we could make a cement stepping-stone for the garden with Scout's paw-print. Here we are as she carefully selects the perfect ones to create a border. Little Miss Alexandra looks on as Cassandra directs me. She's going to be quite the crafty one, but then again, so is her mother, her grandmother, and her auntie Heather.