So, what does $800.00 worth of underwear look like?
bra return
That’s about $100/inch!

Actually to be fair, I included the return shipping (with insurance) in that total. Sadly none of it fit, and there’s a variety of sizes/styles in there.

Makes me feel like this blue M&M… odd, mis-shapen, Freak Of Nature.

That M&M tasted like crap too. It was just the candy coating.

Regular upbeat blogging to resume soon!

wood fired clay! real thai! toys that hypnotize dogs! fairy ring!

fairy ring!

Last night after supper, DH said “let’s take a look up the hill in the cemetery for fungi”. We weren’t even out of the car and he spotted some. I also found a bunch, “oh, look at this!” “Oh, look at this!” (I had no idea what most of them were). In about 10 minutes we found maybe 10 species, and this cool fairy ring was one of the first things we saw.
fairy ring

Clay! Thai!

On Saturday, I went to Belfast with a friend to Jody Johnstone’s kiln opening. She has a wood fired kiln that she fires up twice a year. It takes four days to load, and then she fires it for 8 days straight. Six cords of wood go into the thing! We got to crawl inside of the kiln, but sadly my camera wasn’t with me. It was VERY. COOL. Here are some photos of the kiln. After the pots come out, she grinds off the ash and other stuff. How could I not get this? As Jody was packing it up, she said she really loved the line on the vase, she thought it was so sexy.

So I have a sexy pot!
jodyjohnstone_vase (4) jodyjohnstone_vase (3) jodyjohnstone_vase (2) jodyjohnstone_vase (1) jodyjohnstone_vase

We also went into the new fabric shop, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, and the minute we got through the door, the skies opened up and there was torrential rain and scary thunder and lightning. It went on for quite a while. Something came home with me, but it’s a surprise for somebody, so it’s secret for now!

After that we wandered (it’s around the corner) over to the yarn shop, and I received the nicest compliment from an older gentleman. He said I look like Vanessa Redgrave! Who knew? I told him I loved him, and gave him a big hug.

And then we continued down the hill, looking for lunch, and ended up here,
Laan-Xang Cafe (facebook page). It was FABULOUS!
belfast laan xang cafe
Small, but very good. Her mom is there for a bit longer, before she heads to her other daughter’s place in Colorado. Mom makes some of the specials… we shared green papaya salad (Thai, omg I’m in love) and an asian noodle salad (Vietnamese I think, also very good).

And just around the side of Laan Xang, is this,
We were curious about it, but didn’t get anything.


I’m putting a waistband into the skirt to stabilize it… Didn’t find anything at the fabric store better than the bit I had. It’s almost all the way sewn in, and then on to the buttons.
carnaby waistband

And I’ve started a Shapely Tank. Not a very exciting pattern to look at, BUT it has short row shaping for the bust, and I’m hoping it will be fitted without being trampy. It’ll be nice to have something that isn’t tentlike!
shapely tank front

I was in Bethel on Friday, and got to knit on this during the car ride and during the Maine GIS User Group (MEGUG!) Conference. Here’s my backseat partner on the ride out, the Maine Office of GIS director. Does he look like he knows where he is?
megug gis guy
(actually he did)

Here’s a mitten made by a friend. Her own pattern. From reclaimed angora and some shetland yarn. Notice anything?

Zuzu is hypnotized

zuzu and the toys
The girls got some new toys yesterday… The 18million squeaker dragon, and the two-headed snake (a repeat toy). See?
zuzu and the toys (1)
(and yes, that is the Sarah Palin dress up magnet set on the fridge)

Rose Gimlet

I’m kind of sad that this is all gone before I finished typing this post!
rose gimlet

Muddle up the petals from a couple of roses (I used rugosa rose)
2 oz gin
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice. I put an ice cube in the glass too. It’s very pleasant. I tried it with tequila a week or two ago… it’s better with gin.

Carnaby Skirt!

The knitting is done… now to put on the buttons. And I think I’ll add a fabric waistband. I knitted this a little longer (meaning wider) than I needed, so I think I’ll add the buttons to the second textured band instead of the first, and put a snap inside.

carnaby_blocking_19june2011 carnaby_buttonchoices
I’m leaning to the skull buttons; the big celtic buttons are a close second. They’re actually a tad big for the buttonholes though.

carnaby_skulls carnaby_lions carnaby_celtic

Can you see the mistake?

I was going to overdye this a deep chocolate brown, but I kind of like it like this. Details on my Ravelry project page.

snowpile update, dogs, and, well…


It’s still there and still sizable.
snowpile 14june2011
Looks like some relative of a certain Hutt, no?

The other day I saw a LOT (like 100′s) of these snails, which I think are the same kind I saw last year where the snow pile melts.
snail (6)
Here’s what the snail guy says:

These look like amber snails, family Succineidae. Six species (all native) representing four genera have been recorded in Maine with Catinella vemeta, Novisuccinea ovalis, and Oxyloma retusa being the most widely distributed/common. I don’t have much experience with them and examination of soft parts is usually necessary for identification to species.

There, your zoology/taxonomy lesson for the day…


Yes I haz them.
gracie14june2011 zuzu14june2011 zuzu14june2011 (1)
Mz Gravy Cakes – Zuzu hears something (Gravy too in the background) – Zuzu, as ever, looking at some object of her desire, usually it’s an orb

more about, well, bras

Again with the TMI. But I’m betting I’m not the only woman I know who could use a better fitting bra…

For the initial installment in the saga.

It is painfully apparent that I’ve been wearing the wrong size bra for years. The one I have worn (34DD) is “pretty good” (considering how badly most women’s bras fit them), but even so, it has left permanent discoloration (like bruising) along the upper edge of the thing, and divots in my shoulders. I think this, along with general forward rotation issues related to aging, may play a role in or exacerbate my occasionally recurrent back pain (which started this past weekend, I have a chiro adjustment next week, yes I did dig a few holes, but honestly, they were few and not large) and tendinitis issues.

The new 32GG isn’t working so well. I cry when I wear it. Even though I’ve learned that many bras need breaking in (like shoes?), it’s just not working for me. Not super comfortable, physically, or in my image of myself. Way bouncy shelf. I’m working on a trade of some sort with somebody I know that would like it. But honestly, I will give the thing away if it comes to it.

The 30H they sent is better, but it isn’t perfect enough that I want to get more of this style/size. And one needs more than one bra. I’m hoping to find one that fits even better and is even more comfortable, but where the heck to start? I heard the fitter at Breakout Bras is fabulous (here’s their sizing info) so I sent them an email with notes on what brands/styles/sizes didn’t fit and how (too loose in the band, cups too small, that sort of thing), and got a response.



This morning I ordered 4 styles, 3 sizes each. We’ll see where this goes.

If I can get off the floor, where I fell in shock.

Elf Slippers Done!

And, wow, are they something. Hideous comes to mind, but mom loves them. As does my recently graduated niece (who wants a pair, exactly like these).

Here’s said niece, rocking the elf slippers,
elf_slippers elf_slippers (3)

I stopped in at Mom’s on my way back home to Maine. She was asleep, but woke right up when she saw the slippers being put next to her bed. She loves them!
elf_slippers (2)
She can’t hear the bells. I told her, trust me, you’re jingling all over the place.

Daisy, overseeing niece and her beau,
daisy (1)
Pobrecita, she’s been diagnosed with Lyme, but is now on medication and is feeling better.

crazy stories, or never judge people by their cover

I went south of Boston last weekend for a memorial service for an aunt. She’s my biological father Lee’s sister. I didn’t grow up with this part of the family, but have been back in touch with them since about a dozen years ago. Lee is long dead, but it has been good to get to know a little about them and about him through them. Aunt Olive and I exchange holiday cards, and I have visited her a couple of times since then. I spoke with her in January, and in February my cousin Joe called to say she’d gone into the hospital with advanced lung cancer. They thought she might easily have 6 months and even up to 2 years. But she died within 2 weeks. At her request, Joe rode her cremains up from FL to Boston on his Harley so she could be interred with her father.

If any situation calls for potential discomfort, it might be one like this, seeing a large part of family that one doesn’t know, and where the relationship is through a father who couldn’t get beyond his own problems to know his two children.

But it was wonderful. His widow (being, I think, his 6th wife) was there, and she gave me some really old photos. One of my cousins asked if it was weird that she was there, and I said Not at all. She is in fact, the reason I could get back in touch with them. She answered many difficult questions with honesty and integrity. I like her a lot.

Anyhow, on the surface, some of my cousins seem like a rough crowd… Joe was graveside in his Harley vest, with the Harley and Marines patches, tattoos, and etc. I overheard his brother (who I think is a recovered addict and maybe also was in jail) telling this story “and then I ran through the house, grabbed the knife off the bureau, and stabbed him… all over a swimming pool, I was 5“. And wonderful, crazy stories (much like the ones from mom’s mom’s family) from Lee’s cousins (who range in age from younger than me to older than him) growing up in Roxbury.

They all were glad I came, and they all let me know that I am family and have a place with any of them should I ever need it. Which was their way of saying they love me.

And then I was off to the niece’s graduation party. She ran up and greeted me “I’m so glad a normal person is here“. Which is funny, me, normal. Anyhow, my SIL’s mother was there. She is so poisonous. Talk about a mean, ugly (as in inside) person. She upset a lot of people, and my SIL said if she ever got that way to take her out back and shoot her.

You know, that other part of my family could get around their own issues (and trust me, there are plenty), their own addictions (I don’t know if any are active, but I do know some are in recovery), and be together as a warm and loving group. But not this woman. It was really sad. I told my SIL that mom loves her as a daughter, always and no matter what, so she should never feel like she doesn’t have a mom…

So love the family in your life, whether you were born into them, adopted into them, or chose them for yourself. It makes all the difference.