Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing you peace and happiness in 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Litigation I is done!

Just e-mailed the final exam back to my instructor. There is much rejoicing here in Vermont!


How I spent my Christmas vacation

Yeah, that sums it up right there. Since Christmas day I've been working on my take home final exam for my Litigation class. I thought that when you walk out of a class after the last scheduled session AND there's not final exam period, you'd be done, right? Wrong-o! This guy handed us our take home final in the last 15 minutes of that final class. Five essay questions (out of seven), citing appropriate sections of the statute as needed. He originally wanted to give us a due date of December 23rd, but quickly changed that to December 30th after we started to whine.

Anyway, I'm working on my last essay question now and plan to have the whole thing e-mailed to him tonight. Then maybe I can do a little knitting. (Yeah, knitting--hasn't been any of that around here thanks to Professor Grinch...) And blogging. I want to do some of that too, especially since I have to show you what Jim gave me for Christmas. Trust me, it's just too fabulous for words.

So, I hope the rest of you had a Christmas week that did NOT include any affirmative defenses, service of a summons and complaint, statute of limitations determinations, or third-party actions!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas...

...from our house to yours.

Here's hoping that your holiday was a good one!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Eye Candy Friday -- the secret edition

Rockin' Sock Club Members Beware--
Spoilers Ahead!

For today's eye candy, you're going to have to click here to see the December Sock Club yarn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crispy Treats

One of my favorite snacks are crispy treats. Lately you can find them in places like Starbucks, and even Kelloggs makes packaged ones. Unfortunately, for the most part they're just not that fresh. (And the Kelloggs ones are just taste like they've got chemicals in them--eeeeee-yuck!) My favorite soup place has been selling them and they're pretty good. Recently they started selling chocolate ones. I figured they were being made with Cocoa Krispies, but when I looked on the ingredient label I discovered that they were using dutch processed cocoa with the regular crispies. So I thought they might be pretty good, so I tried them.

Oh. My. God! They were soooooo good. So much better than the Cocoa Krispies ones.

But it got me to thinking--I should try making these myself. So I poked around the internet looking for recipes, did a little tweaking, and came up with these.

So fresh, so chocolately, sooooooo yummy! And so easy to make!

Cocoa Crispy Treats

1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 10.5 oz bag of miniature marshmallows
4 tbsp cocoa powder
5 cups crispy rice cereal

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add vanilla extract and cocoa powder and mix well. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add crisp rice cereal and stir until well coated.

Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment paper. (If you don't have parchment paper, be sure to grease pan.) Using a buttered spatula or the back of a large spoon, press mixture into the pan. Cut into squares when completely cool. Will make between 24 to 36 squares, depending on size of squares.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Special delivery

Look at what Carole sent me for being her 20,000th commenter!
From left to right: Trekking sock yarn, Lana Grossa Soft Cotton in blue and white, and two skeins of KnitPicks Gossamer lace weight in Jeans, as well as the cutest note pad and CHOCOLATE!!!
What a fabulous assortment of goodies! And because it came from Carole, it's all the more special. Thank you, Carole!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I [heart] TripleTreds!!!

Got a chance to drive in a lovely sleet/snow/rain mixture tonight with my new tires. Oooooooooo, I luv these babies! My car handled beautifully! Look at those tread marks! I'm looking forward to seeing what she's gonna do in some real snow.

I may have my chance this Sunday...

What's up with Bloglines?

I go to Bloglines this morning and I see that I have 200 new posts. And there from a different points in the last two years. And some of them are duplicates. Uh, I didn’t do that. It refreshed itself? What’s going on, Bloglines?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Staples--that was (not so) easy...

Aside from school work and work work, I've been putting together flyers for Jim for some the LHA's 2008 events. Typesetting and printing them. All four-page flyers, printed on single sheets of 11" by 17" paper. Jim has scheduled a work day on Saturday for people to come up to the house and put together the flyers for mailing--also refered to as a "lick and stick."

The jobs with smaller quantities have been easy enough for me to handle and they've already been shipped to Jim. The big job: 675 copies of the LHA's Time Line event... sigh...

I dropped it off at a Staples near Penn Station at 9:45 this morning. They told me it would be ready by 6:00pm. I would just pick it up, box it, and drop it off at the FedEx place around the corner. Easy, right?

I get to Staples at 6:05pm. They haven't even started the job yet.


They say they don't think they can finish this tonight.

In my head I'm thinking...

Yo, dude... there are no other options. This job has to be dropped off at FedEx by 9pm. I don't care what you have to do to make this happen. Pull this print job out of your a** if you have to. Job must be at FedEx by 9pm. You must finish this job in time for me to do that. End of discussion, printer boy. I'm waiting...

I very politely stated presented that thought to "printer boy." I wasn't budging until that print job was done.

WTF! WTF! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's things like this that will make your head explode if you're not careful.

Fortunately, my issue was promptly addressed by the store manager. After stifling his own panicked response (and muttering something about killing the morning printer dude), he took care of it. Even offered me a chair and a free drink. Was profusely apologetic.

Dude, as long as I make my FedEx drop off time, it's OK. Screw me on the drop off time, you're gonna have a problem.

Seriously, dude--you don't want to screw with someone who carries pointy sticks.

I walked out of staples with my print job by 7:15. Package was dropped off at FedEx by 7:20. I'm on a train by 7:30. All's better with the world.

Now as long as FedEx remembers where the house is...

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Reminder for this Sunday

Can't play with the blog today because I'm working on my final assignment for my legal writing class, which is due tomorrow. However, I didn't want to let the weekend go by without reminding y'all about watching Sunday's episode of Extreme Home Makeover on ABC. It the Vermont family that Jim knows. (Here's an article from the Rutland Herald about the upcoming episode.) Please watch, and I'll be back in a few days with some knitting content for you. Thanks!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another new toy

The GPS is here! The GPS is here!

As Punkin might say, the game show doesn't end around here. Yesterday my newest toy--a Garmin Nuvi 200--arrived on my doorstep. Now, I've always had a great sense of direction, something that I inherited from my father, and I've always thought that GPS systems were similar to spell check programs--both cause people to check their brains at the door before using. And besides, they were sooooooo expensive. Just learn to read a freakin' map, why don't ya!

However, I've gotten to see these puppies in action on the Elderhostel bus trips. They're kinda neat. AND when used as a tool to supplement navigation, they're very helpful. (Please note I said tool, not brain replacement.)

So, when I saw Wal-Mart's website offering a basic unit for $168, I thought about how useful it could be in my travels through New England. Especially when I take those detours off the interstate in search of gas or a retail outlet. Or yarn store. (There are still a few of them between here and Vermont that I haven't stopped at yet.) And I thought, what the hell! Let's go for it!

So last night I put her through her paces. Entered a few destinations to see how she'd tell me to get there. Some of the routes were dead on, others a little off, but all in all very accurate. And this morning I let her take me to the train station. I made a few turns to force her to recalcluate. She rose to the occasion like a true navigator.

Just for fun, I took her on the train with me this morning. Plugged in my office's address just to see what she'd do. She's had to recalculate her ass off, but she did it!

She even accepted the fact that we were "driving" on the train tracks!

I'm looking forward to taking her on the open road. It will be fun. And Jim no longer has to play navigator when we go on trips. He can sleep instead. ;-)

So, I have to give her a name. What do you think? Purl, maybe? After all, she will help me to find more yarn shops. (Another fiber fetish enabler in my life...)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just in the nick of time

Look at what I came home to tonight.

Good timing on that tire purchase, yes? I hope this isn't a sign of winter things to come...

My baby's got new shoes

The Blue Bean is sporting new shoes this morning. Four brandy new Goodyear TripleTreds. And in the 2 miles from the tire shop to the train station this morning I felt the difference. Seriously. Much better than the worn Geolanders that she came with. Just look at the tread on this puppy.

Now I'm ready for just about anything that Mother Nature wants to throw at me--precipitation wise that is. Except maybe for hail. Nobody's ready for hail. Doesn't she look happy?

And... while she was getting her new shoes, I finished up a sock!

Isn't she purty? That's sock #1 of my Scrolls socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Hand painted by moi in Charlotte's sock dyeing class at Webs back in May.

My first lace pattern. Lots of tinking went on with this one. Lots of lifelines added. However, as I approached the toe the amount of tinking diminished, so I'm hopeful that sock #2 will take less than seven month. (Second socks usually go faster for me in general, so cross your fingers!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Decisions, decisions

First off, a big hug goes out to Carole. Last week I was lucky enough to post the 20,000th comment on her blog! And she's going to be sending me a special package! Can I get a WOO and a HOO?!?

Well, after an excessive number many hours of online research, shop visits, and phone calls, I've finally picked my tires--the Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds! I haven't really had to make a tire purchase choice since the 80s, and amazes me how the Internet lets you bypass salespeople and let's you do your own research. Of course, this same power can turn you into a crazy purchase. I went from reading Consumer Reports to general Google searches to discussion boards and customer comments. Lots of good detailed info out there, but some of the negative comments on certain tires--they just scared the hell out of me. Here's just a few samples...

Not sure where to begin. I hydroplane go 40mph. Cant get any traction at a red light if has a little water on the ground. When its dry Im very confident with them. Cant wait to get rid of them.

After 14,000 miles, I actually had the tread of my rear-passenger wheel fly off. I was riding on the inner layer of rubber and belts along with the edges of the sidewalls.

When new these tires were excellent! However, after 20k-30k performance decreased significantly in wet and snow condition. I have also had two failures... the first at around 20k when one of th 4 tires developed a "bump" on the side wall (replaced free by the Mfg) and now at 50k one of the tires has a shifted steel belt.

Pretty unsettling, aren't they? Well, I think my Blue Bean will be just fine with these puppies.

And after lots of mathematical calculations, I've chosen a near the house to get this done. A big thanks to Elizabeth for recommending, but after doing all the math they weren't going to save me any money on these. However, in the future I'll probably be turning to them first. Especially when I'm living in Vermont and don't have a tire shop every mile or so down the road. Now to pick a morning to get them done...

my Blue Bean, with the old tires still on her

And then on to the next agonizing purchase--eyeglasses!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First snow

Today was our first snow of the season in the NY Metro area. We woke up to a fairly dusty powdery snow, although on the highways it created some wet and icy surfaces. And a 32-mile drive to school this morning on tires that really need to be replaced... well, it was a little nerve wracking, even with the AWD. Please cross your fingers that I'm able to get some grippy new tires on the Blue Bean within the next week or so. I have a feeling that this is going to be a snowy winter--both here and in Vermont.

I have to get to work on some flyers for Jim, but before I go just a few things...
  • I'm coming down the homestretch for my Sunday classes. Next week is my last Legal Writing class and the week after that is the last Litigation class. The Sunday classes have been good, and I can't believe I'm almost done with them. Time to start thinking about registering for the winter semester.
  • With two of my three classes coming to an end, I'll have some time to get back to a little knitting.
  • The other night I succumb to temptation... and bought myself a Garmin GPS system that was dirt cheap on For $178, if was an offer I couldn't refuse, and totally justifiable based on the New England driving that I frequently do.
  • This is very important: Next Sunday you need to watch Extreme Home Makeover. They will be featuring a family from Vermont. These are people that Jim knows. Jim has worked with the father, Lou Vitale, at 7-Eleven. I've met Lou. He's a good, decent man, and this is a family that is so very deserving of their new home. So please watch next weekend. Click here for some more information.

Oh yeah, there's also this.

NaBloPoMo. I did it. Thirty consecutive posts. I even surprised myself!

Now there's Blog 365--post every day for a year.

I'm not that crazy.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jeopardy question

Automobiles for $600, Alex
Answer: It's almost as bad as shopping for a car.
Question: What is shopping for tires?

Yeah. Good times... NOT! I spent most of today shopping for my first set of replacement tires for my Blue Bean (a.k.a. a Subaru Forester, LL Bean Edition). Between scouring Consumer Reports online, as well as various other rating sites and message boards, and stopping by four different tires places, I think my head's going to explode. The tire places either don't have the tires that I think I want (based on Consumer Reports ratings), or the tires that they do have have some significant issues. Like being crappy on ice. Which is such sooooo not what you want for an all-wheel drive vehicle that spends time in Vermont. In the snow and ice. WTF?!?!?!?

Next week I need to call two more tire places that were closed today. Hopefully I'll have new tires within the next week or so.

Oh, and in between the tire shop stops I went to buy new eyeglasses. That's a whole other blog post story for another day... complete with cell phone photos and an accidental video.

Technology update: I figured out how to download the cell phone pictures onto a memory card, but I can't get the card reader to transfer them to my laptop. The saga goes on...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Eye Candy Friday -- the Fiber Edition

Nothing like a little silk and wool to distract you on a blah Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Birthday Treats

Yesterday was a pretty low key day for me, but I did have some neat treats...

I finally wore my red socks. So comfy...

They don't really match, but the differences aren't that extreme (as compared with the third, much lighter sock).

Lunch was one of my favorite guilty pleasure lunches--Macaroni and Cheese with Beef from Hale and Hearty Soups.

A yummy cupcake from Eleni's.

And the biggest treat of all--a new MP3 player.

Of course I've loaded it up with Buffett music and knitting podcasts. I'm going to have to knit it a little case to hold it.

Oh--and those red socks... You know, I washed those socks at least three times to get the dye out. Well, when I took them off last night, the bottoms of my feet were reddish.

Some of dye transferred to my white socks today, but they're still a little on the red side. Maybe in another 50 washes or so...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another November Birthday

Posted by guest blogger for the day, fiance Jim


May you have many more and with God’s good grace may I be there with you for each of them. You are my confidant, my mentor, my co-conspirator in all of life’s challenges. You do not complete me, but rather you add to and accentuate every aspect of my being. You are the response to all my wise cracks and devilish ways. You are the wisdom added to each idea. You are the reality of every situation, plied with love rather than a harsh criticism. You are all the tender moments in my life. You are my lover, my friend and my greatest pal. You are the one I miss on our long times apart. “You are the one I struggle with for most of the bed on our short times together.” But most often, our struggles are forged in our own togetherness against the challenges that surround us. AND, it is often that I worry more about you than I do myself. It is my greatest hope that each birthday from now to the end of our lives will be just a little bit better than the one before it. I know, I work for that with every thought of our lives together. So happy birthday sweetie and may we have many more.

Love ya.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Random Tuesday

Just some random items today...

  • One of my editors left this past June, and now today another one gave notice. I'm not happy. It's a good opportunity for him, but it sucks for me because he was one of the really good ones. I just hope they let me replace him.
  • I had a gift project that I started on this morning. I thought I had until the end of December to finish it. I've only got until the 7th. And I've also got a final writing project to finish. And a final exam on the 16th. Kind of a lot on my plate.
  • Since I started the whole NaBloPoMo thing (two days late, since I wasn't aware of it until November 4th), I've managed to post every single day. Every. Single. Day. That's from me, the writing challenged. But while readership on this blog appears to be up, commenting has been surprisingly sparse. Lots of lurkers out there. Like Jessalu says, "de-lurking is delightful." Come on out, y'all!
  • I still haven't figured out how to download the pictures off my phone. I usually grasp the technology stuff very quickly. Not so much here.
  • Need to get new glasses soon. My distance vision hasn't changed. My reading vision has gotten worse. Getting old is a bitch. I've been playing around wih Pearle Vision's website tool that let's you try frames on but uploading a mugshot picture of yourself. Very cool--the website, not my mug shot.
  • Need sleep. Generally, and like, now. Good night all!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back on Long Island

I'm back home on Long Island now. It never feels like I spend enough time with Jim, but I still need to be down here--at least for the time being--so for now, at least, I'm here. Oh well...

One of the things I did over the weekend was inventory some of my yarn stash. A while back I created an Excel spreadsheet so the I could inventory what I had and where it was stored. I brought some of the yarn up to Vermont to put in my fiber room, and as I was resorting some of it I thought, "geez, this seems to be an obscene amount of yarn."

It's not like I have dozens of potential sweaters in my stash, but a couple of skeins here and there really do seem to add up. So I have to ask the question--how much stash is too much stash?

Just some innocent sock yarn.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A little knitting

OK, I still haven't gotten the pictures off the cell phone, but I do have a couple of pictures of my latest wristwarmers.

This is Dashing, the followup to Fetching. I'm using Lamb's Pride Super Wash in Dark Grey. These will be for Jim.

Being modeled by Jim

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Not totally frozen...

...but I am totally exhausted. I'm not used to that much frozen fresh air. Must get some sleep. Too exhausted to blog tonight, but I'm not about to blow my NaBloPoMo consecutive posting streak. (I haven't missed a day since November 3rd (which was my official start date)!) I'll figure out how to download the parade pictures from my new cell phone tomorrow--once I can see straight. Nighty-night!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just plain crazy

A quickie post here...

If you happen to be Malden, Massachusetts tomorrow morning, I'll be there marching in their annual Thanksgiving parade as part of the Living History Association's Time Line contingent. I'll be the frozen civil war babe in the red cape. (Tomorrow's high down there is supposed to be 35 degrees. We're marching at 10 am.)

I am so glad that my Forester has heated seats. I'll need it to thaw out my butt when we're done.

Am I crazy or what???

Eye Candy Friday -- the Foliage Edition

These were taken on Long Island last Sunday while driving to and from school. Mile after mile along the parkways and highways there was such beautiful foliage around me. Working the hours that I do I rarely get to see much of this, so it was such a treat!

Unfortunately most of these were shot through my windshield, so the colors don't appear quite as vivid as they were, but I think you get the idea.

These are giving me all sorts of ideas for possible colorsways for sock yarn.

So pretty, even through the crack in the windshield. (Yes, I'm getting that fixed soon.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


It's been a low-key day here at Moose Manor. We had a quiet supper down at Jim's parent's house, and then he had to go off to work. I just laid low. Reorganized some of my yarn stash, did a little laundry, and thought about all of the things I'm thankful for in my life...
  • I'm thankful for having my health. Without that, everything else would be impossible.

  • I'm thankful for my family--my mother, my sisters, my nieces... everyone. I'm thankful for the time I had with my late father, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him.

  • I'm thankful for my friends, who have managed to put up with me in spite of everything all these years.

  • I'm thankful for this blog and for the world that blogging has opened up to me.

There are lots of other things I am thankful for, but most importantly, I'm thankful for having Jim in my life. He's been my best friend, my love, my shoulder to lean on, and sometimes a royal pain in the ass. Nevertheless, I wouldn't trade him for anything or anyone.

I love you, honey!

I hope all of you had a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blogging under the influence

Howdy. My name’s Elizzabetty. I’m back home in Vermont. I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine. (Cline Zinfandel. Mmmmmm….) This is what happens when you blog under the influence.

Jim finally got the satellite dish fixed so we can get the Vermont local channels. (Last winter a load of snow coming off the roof took out one of the satellite dishes, so we lost the some of the local channels.) I was anxiously awaiting the Burlington newscast. We put on Channel 3, and the Powerball guy came on. Jim went to get our ticket so we could check our numbers as they drew them. Guess what? Due to “technical difficulties” they weren’t gonna do a live drawing. He went on for the entire duration of what should have been the live drawing repeatedly saying “we’re not doing a live drawing.” Dude—I heard ya the first time. No need to give me a dozen variations on the theme. Fix ya freakin’ problem, why don’t ya. (Yeah, I’m so not ever gonna be a Vermonter, am I…)

After that I took a couple of more pictures. Of course, being a tinsy bit loopy right now, I forgot to zoom out to take a picture of me and Jim.

How do ya like that door?


Oh, that’s better. Sort of.

Honey, can you get me a little more wine? Please???

Next time I’ve got some knitting content for you. I stopped at Webs today. Duh. Of course I bought some yarn. (Is the Pope Catholic???)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A UFO Sighting

A rare sighting around here. A UFO--that's Unexpected Finished Object! (I bet you thought that I never finish knitting anything, didn't you.)

The Fetchings! They are all done!!!


Yarn: Valley Yarns Sheffield in colorway 23 (Chianti) -- less than 1 ball
Fetching from Knitty, Summer 2006
KnitPicks Options, US Size 6, length 40” (Magic Loop)
Started: November 1, 2007
Finished: November 20, 2007

I wanted to weigh the leftover yarn to see how much I used, but the scales here don't go down that low. My food scale in Vermont does, so I'll update this post with that information later.

The only modifications I made to the pattern were one less row in the first cable repeat (an accident that I repeated with the second mitt), and I did a straight bind off instead of the picot bind off. I wanted a little snugger fit over my knuckles.

The only thing that I wish I had done differently would be to make the body of the mitts a little longer. But this is a minor complaint, and overall I'm very happy with them.

Next--I'd like to make some Dashings for Jim. Need some superwash wool for him. Guess I'll have to stop at Webs tomorrow. Hmmm...

Monday, November 19, 2007

More knitting progress

One thumb done and another to go!

And of course, I gotta weave in the ends. But I'm so close!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fetching and Foliage

I promised you some pictures that show the true color of Sheffield...

Yes, I do intend to finish the thumbs.

I decided not to do the picot bind off this time around. I thought that it tended to curl out more than I wanted. Once the thumbs are done on this pair I'll know better, but I think I'm going to like the closer fit.

I just love how this tree is changing color...