Saturday, January 13, 2007

How one thing can fix a mess

It's been a cruddy few weeks. Mack got sick and I got sick and then I went to the doctor and had a biopsy and the car's been going down hill so, suffice to say, all those conjunctions made for a long stretch of "Ugh!".

This is why it was a GREAT surprise to go to the mailbox and find a package from my Coffee Swap partner, Simone.

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Here's what it looked like after being opened. I almost didn't get to open it myself. Why?

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My inspector. As soon as I got in the house and he saw the package, he was up on his hind legs sniffing with profound intent. These were new scents. Imported scents. As soon as he inhaled the outside, he began beating on the package with his forelegs, demanding I put it down and let him open it. Sadly, his request was denied as, we've discussed before, only creatures with thumbs get to open packages. He'd also like it if everyone ignored the little semi-naked spot on his right foreleg. He's a touch selfconcious of where the vet had him shaved for his IV.

I love socks. I love socks a lot. I have at least one pair of socks in the works at all times. This yarn is destined to become Jaywalkers, I think. Not only did I get kickin' colors, but I got something I'm amazed I've managed without this long.

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See the little jeweled bits? Those are stitch markers. I've been knitting since I was 12 and I've never owned markers. It's not that I haven't thought about it. I see them in the shop and I tell myself I ought get a pair, but never do. I don't know why. I do that a lot, though. Little things I never buy for myself. Big things I grab at whim, but little things that make life easier and, hell, are just fun, I skimp on. Up until now, I've been marking my stitches with leftover yarn tied in slip knots. Pfft. No more! I have pretty, schnazzy markers.

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Since it was a coffee swap, I of course, got coffee. Not only that, it's South African coffee. I brewed the Peacock brand just an hour ago and have killed a pot. And since I have two other packages to go through, I'm thrilled. I love samplers.
Also, there was a packet of shortbreads. Note the past tense. Gone. Eaten and enjoyed.

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I also have two packages of South African specialties. One is of biltong and the other package is of droewors. The inspector has inspected both and is looking forward to a more solid investigation tomorrow.

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I also got bookmarks. I read like a fiend and keep marking pages with paper scraps. Much like the stitch markers, another thing I skimp on. No more, once more!
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I did not get as proper a photo of this as I wished as the envelope is just clever.

All in all, this erased a bad week. I'm taking notes, because this is how to do a swap right. I'm spoiled and thrilled and thankful!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Coffee Swap Q&A

1. Whole bean or ground?
Whole if it can be helped. I won't look gift horses in the mouth but since I have a place locally that roasts their own, heck, I'm taking it.

2. Fully-loaded or decaf?
Fully loaded. Someone said you can't tell the difference in taste between the two but I can. Or think I do.

3. Regular or flavored?
Regular. All the gifted coffee I have in house is flavored and untouched. Well, mostly. I'm trying to create a latte flavored cookie that vanilla flavored coffee is playing a big role in.

4. How do you drink your coffee?
A couple of shots of steamed milk will do me.

5. Favorite coffee ever?
Starbucks did a Holiday blend and I have one bag left. That's getting cracked open Thanksgiving and nursed until New Year's.

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?
Save the preground big name coffee [Folgers, Maxwell House, etc.] I'm pretty adventurous.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?
In the morning it has to be a bagel with cream cheese. The rest of the day it's shortbread cookies, biscotti, cookies, muffins, cookies. I really like cookies.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?
I brew mud. There are people at work that will not drink the coffee if I made it. I like it strong and thick. My espresso machine is always ready to go.

10. Yarn/fiber you love?
Merino and merino blends. If we're talking warm weather, I get fussier and it's Rowan Calmer and All Season cotton.

11. Yarn/fiber you hate?
Hands down it's Rowan Summer Tweed. I knit combined and it tore into my fingers while I worked with it. My hands hurt less working with 28 gauge wire and beads.

12. What's on your needles?
Socks. I redheart socks. Also I have a log cabin blanket that's made of gifted acrylic that will be going to the Humane Association - my "Logs for Dogs" project.

13. Favorite colors?
Might be easier to say what I don't like. Khaki, browns, day-glow and pastels are right out. I just discovered I can wear orange and not look bad which made my day.

14. Allergies?
Shell fish and birch trees so avoid those, ;)

15. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
I love my dog. Sickeningly so. It breaks my heart that he will not wear the sweater I knit him. Because of his past, I do a lot of charity work for the Humane Association.
Also I love to cook and bake. And read. Good god I'm a reader. I hit the bookstore once every other week.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why I am doomed

I tend to doom myself, which is nice because then I have no one to blame but me. I don't have to spend time railing at some other forces. I can pull up a mirror and simply say:

Erin, you dipshit.

Here's how I doomed myself this week:

I'm on appointment overload. Normally I try to keep it to just one appointment a week.

Tuesday: Vote!
Wednesday: Doctor!
Friday: Hair!

The first two I'm fine with. It's the last one I did on a whim and it's killing me. I work at the Dog that day and I have NO IDEA what the heck I want for a hair cut. Sure, my bangs need to be redone but beyond that no clue. Trim? Maybe, but it's such a pricey appointment I want it to be glorious. And Emily is glorious. If she moves, I will find her. If I move, she's coming with. That's how awesome she is. But I've got no clue. I don't want to hack off too much because of the winter, but I'm at that horrible point where my hair will get caught in my armpit and if I roll over too fast in my sleep, I'll break my neck.

That's right. I'm sexy.

In wonderful news, I have gotten a raise. This will make fuel oil that much easier as well as all the Thanksgiving grub.

Tonight's food adventure will be sloppy joes. I've been meatless the past few days and it needs to be fixed.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Place Holding

Not only is this a place holder, but it's a great way to announce that I love the holidays - namely the food. I'm already planning my Thanksgiving meal and I should really start thinking of moving past the desert.