Thursday, November 30, 2006

Warrior Knitter's most excellent adventure

We're still here in lovely, wet, Suwanee, GA. Temps today in the mid 60's with rain off & on. Temps at home are in the teens with & snow & sleet & ice. Although staying in a motel (notice how I keep downgrading from a hotel to an inn & now we're at motel) hundreds of miles from home is not all it's cracked up to be, I'm glad we're missing the those S & I words.

Very boring here most of the time. I'm not bored but since I walk, knit, surf, watch a little TV & read while Sweetie's at class that's not very exciting to blog about.

But I had adventures Wednesday. I visited one yarn shop & unsuccessfully tried to visit a 2nd. More about that in a sec.

I visited Yarn Garden Knit Shop. Nice little shop. Very easy to find from the motel. They had an average selection of sock yarn ~ different stuff, but about the same amount as I've seen in the 3 yarn shops in the area where I live. Evidently having the Great Wall O' Sock Yarn is just not done. But I'll keep looking. Anyway, this shop is a lot smaller than my LYS so no spinning or weaving & not many books or patterns. Not a lot of needle, either. I am so spoiled!! At least I HAVE a LYS & a pretty darn good one.

I did find some cool stuff, tho. I bought a pair of small Fiber Trends sock blockers. I don't block my socks but I figure that these may help some of my heavier socks, such as my Conway's, dry faster. AND I can put an SIP (sock-in-progress) or a finished sock on these & the pattern & color would scan better & be easier to see as the sock would be a little stretched (& uniformly stretched) instead of having a hand stuck in the sock with the fingers spread.

I also picked up two of these car magnets for knitters (scroll down to the bottom). I'd seen them in the Patternworks catalog (but I can't find them on their website, hence the other link) & was going to order them but now I don't have to. Since we're in the Buick, I put one on the driver's door & one on the trunk lid. When we get home I'll put them on my pickup, one on the driver's door & the other on the tailgate! I've been wanting a knitting bumper sticker, but I now have these!!

They also had a basket of hand-dyed Bear Mountain sock yarn. Sorry, I can't find a link. I had 2 hanks picked out, a red/cranberry & a one with dark blues. I may go back & get them as we're here thru 12/6.

They had a whole bunch of Cascade Fixation but didn't have any of the dark blue. Oh, well.

So what I did I end up with . . . sock-yarn-wise??? As you socknitters know, ANYTHING can be used for socks & they don't put it all in the sock yarn section. I got 2 hanks of Mongolian Cashmere from Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers. The ball band says it's 100% Chinese Cashmere. It's sooooooo soft & wonderful & squishy & I want to step away from the cotton & cast on with it RIGHT NOW!!!! It's a 2-ply in the Pewter colorway, which is not on their website. It's a dark gray with some lighter & some darker strands. I'll scan it when we get home. It's going to be socks for Sweetie. Each hank is 55 gr ~ 400 yards. Yes, cashmere socks. Can you believe it??

There are some cool colorways on their website, so I might have to get some more ~ I will need to test the wearability myself. When I click on their shops button, I see that my LYS is listed. Why have I not seen this there??? hmmmmm.


As I was "trying" to hold down the total cost here as I thought I was going to visit a 2nd yarn shop, I put the 2 Bear Mountain hanks back.

All in all I was happy with what I found. OK, on to the 2nd "yarn shop".

Sweetie's here to take me to lunch, so I'll finish this post this afternoon.

She's baaaaaak!!

The 2nd yarn shop on my list . . . was Gailer Yarn Sales. So NOT a yarn shop. I can't find the yarn shops site that listed them, but it's a private residence in a very tony part of town on a small lake (Lake Windward ~ great name for a lake, if you're a sailor). Beautiful, wonderful, large, expensive homes. The names of the streets are a sailor's dream . . . . Flying Scott Way (Flying Scots are small daysailers), Clipper Bay Drive, Schooner Ridge, 7 Seas Court & Spinnaker Lane (where we'd want to live because of the name & it juts out on a peninsula into the lake). All in all a wonderful area. But not a yarn shop.

When I saw the area (before I got to the house address), I figured there was maybe a very small, very upscale, boutique-type shopping area & this woman (Gail?) would have a tiny yarn shop, mainly so she could buy what yarns she liked wholesale. And maybe she was wealthy & this was a hobby more than a business. But anyway, a regular, retail yarn shop, not a private home. Ok vent over. So now I feel entirely justified in going back to the Yarn Garden Knit Shop & getting the Bear Mountain sock yarn I put back!

Now for the drive BACK to the motel. I'd no trouble finding the place. (Thank you Google maps). I'd printed out each section of the way before we left so I could see each individual street name & I also had the "driving directions". I have no problem following a map but when I began to rely on the printed directions for the way back, then I had a wee problem.

I didn't get seriously lost, just kinda seriously lost. And I had a deadline. I had to be back to pick up Sweetie at 4:30. I had 2½ hours. With the Google maps I had, a big Road Atlas, a pretty good sense of direction & a digital compass to back it up, I got back. Oh, & it was pouring rain, too. I stopped at a coffee shop shortly after I figured out I was lost & had a cuppa joe & a most excellent slice of chocolate cappuccino-mocha-mousse cake. I don't think I could find that coffee shop again. Well, if someone promised me the the elusive
Great Wall O' Sock Yarn I'd give it a shot. That cake was pretty good!

I found a completely different way back. The NW part of the Atlanta area has this disconcerting habit of streets changing names in mid-stream for no reason apparent to the traveller. That didn't help matters. However, as once I was on a main road, with signs telling me that there were xx miles to Suwanee there were plenty of street signs. Once I saw the signs to Suwanee, I figured I was OK as Suwanee is not that big. BTW, I make it back with 45 minutes to spare!!

reading: Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe A Centennial Celebration ("new Phillip Marlowe stories by some of the world's leading mystery authors") edited by Byron Preiss.

Parting Shot: "Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow." ~ Robert Frost from Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Quote Source

Monday, November 27, 2006

Fast Times

Where to start!? So much to tell you. What was important Saturday or even Sunday is not so important today. So I'll just start with now then backtrack to Saturday & give you the oh-so-exciting highlights.

Yes, I am on the wireless, high-speed hotel/motel internets in Suwanee, GA. Looking out the window, sipping on a cup of hot tea & sitting on the BIG phone book under a couple of pillows. The hotel/motel room desk is tall & the chair is short & I also am short. I can sit on the chair without the pillow & books & surf but to type I need the extra height. I'm also on the laptop. Laptops are great but I dislike the scrunched nature of the keyboard, there's no separate # pad & I LOATHE the touchpad. So I have a "real" mouse — instead of one of those mini-laptop mice.

Saturday
Neither of us slept very well Friday night so we ended up sleeping until almost 7am Saturday morning. Everything that could be packed & piled was done Friday evening. All we really had to do Saturday morning was get ourselves together & pack the stuff like shampoo & Sweetie's razor & shave cream. I'd picked up a box of those wonderfully sinful chocolate covered donuts Friday so we had hot tea & chocolate donuts for breakfast. YUM! We were out the door & on the road just after 8am.

We spent the night in Nashville, TN. On one memorable trip thru Nashville several years ago, it was night, it was pouring rain, hard rain & there was a HUGE traffic jam. Well, except for the rain, this was a repeat. HUGE traffic jam & it was night. And Nashville, they put all these great highway signs up to tell you what is coming up, but they neglect to tell you what lane you need to be in. Other cities, do this, too, but letting you know that ¼ mile ahead that you need to be 3 lanes over in heavy traffic at night is not a good thing. I'm just sayin'.

Having your own pillow makes such a difference. The feel next to your skin is familiar & the smell is familiar. We slept pretty good.

Sunday
We only had about 200 or so miles to travel Sunday. I like traveling down highways that have trees lining the road. So pretty. We got to Suwanee around noon.

Next time we travel someplace & we have a particular destination, I'm doing the maps. Sweetie did the large map of the Atlanta area but didn't do a finer map that would have actually got us down to street name level to the hotel. So we had to guess & by golly our way here. Thank goodness, I'd done the 2 yarn shop maps. We were able to look at them & get close enough to where it seemed familiar. Sweetie had been here 2 years ago to take some classes when he'd started with the company that he just quit.

We checked in & unpacked the 3 tons of stuff that I brought with us. I did not bring the Ott light after all. But, knowing that there would be a coffee maker in the room I brought filters, our regular coffee, tea bags & some snacks for us. I also brought a couple of our less used mugs so we wouldn't have to drink out of the styrofoam cups.

After we got settled in, we drove around a bit to orient ourselves & check out the restaurants & such. We located where Sweetie had to be for classes (about a ½ mile away from the inn) then had lunch & found a grocery store. I'd forgotten honey & sugar so I got those along with some milk, juice & some other snacks. The room has a fridge & a microwave.

When we got back we set up the laptop & figured out how to use the inn's wireless internet connection.

After dinner Sweetie made contact with one of the other guys that going to be in the same class this week. He came to our room. He worked for the place that Sweetie just quit. He starts with a different company today. He & Sweetie swapped stories & I knit on CIL's sock. He said that if he'd known another wife was coming he would have brought his. His wife didn't want to come if she was going to be the only one. Well, you know me, ½ of a hermit couple so I'm glad for ME that she didn't come along. I like being on my own in situations like this. I can do what I want when I want.

Monday
This morning as we were getting ready to go up for the complimentary deluxe continental breakfast (it looked like a pretty nice set-up from what I could see Sunday night) we found out that the fancy-schmancy key card lock didn't lock. You could just open the door from the outside without using the key card. So while Sweetie "guarded" the room I went up & reported the problem to the front desk. They said the maintenance guy comes on at 7am (10 minutes from then) & that they would send him right down. Sweetie suspected that the battery is dead in the door. Thank goodness I bought snacks last night. That was our breakfast as Sweetie didn't want to go "in shifts" to fetch breakfast. He can be a bit of a pain like that sometimes.

Over 45 minutes later the maintenance guy ambles down just as Sweetie's leaving for his class. I signaled to Sweetie that he should just go. The maintenance guy fiddles with the door & tells me that it won't lock. DUH! He's going to get a new battery he says. Ten minutes later he's back. He changes out the battery fairly quickly then tells me that someone from the front desk will be back to program it. OK.

About 15 minutes later the front desk person comes & she fiddles with the door for 10 minutes or so & she can't get it to program or whatever. It still won't lock. When she starts to walk away, I ask her want I'm supposed to do. I can't leave the room unlocked. What if someone steals my knitting or the 6 pair of hand-knit socks I brought. She has to think about this for a bit then hits on the idea that maybe I should change rooms! Which room?? Another pause. How about this one . . . right next door!!?? She opens it with her master key card. I know this one locks because knowing there was no one in the room I checked earlier to see if it was locked & to see if the doors did indeed lock here. I reminded her as she was walking away (probably much relieved to be done with me) that I needed new key cards for this NEW room.

I was about ½ way thru moving our stuff when someone with almost no front teeth (she had 1 with at least 2 others missing) & hair brush & comb challenged brought me the new key cards. She wanted the the 2 to our old room but she had a difficult time understanding why I couldn't give her the one Sweetie has as he is "at work" until later this afternoon. I assured her that as soon as he returns one of us would hike it up to the front office. It's not like you need the card to get into that room anyway. Sheesh!

Sweetie took the car today so he could get the lay of the land & maybe hook up with one of the other guys to & from the inn for the rest of our stay. There are plenty of eateria's around that I can walk to for lunch today.

That's my story so far & I'm stickin' to it.

It could be that it was the Thanksgiving weekend that there was SO MUCH TRAFFIC. It was very heavy almost all the way here. And people driving really really really fast. For the most part the speed limit was 70 mph. Folks drove 80-90+ mph. When the speed limit was 55 mph, folks drive 80-90+ mph. When a cop would get on the highway, again, way over the limit, folks would not slow down. They're right there with him, 80-90+ mph. It was INSANE!

Then there was the green card middle lane stalker on Sunday morning. We were in the middle lane of 3 lanes & doin' about 78 mph so we wouldn't get run down (we were still passed by everything, just not as quickly, except for a really junky car & a HUGE motor home pulling a car). Traffic was relatively light but this green car came up behind us, right on our bumper (couldn't have been more than 3' from it) & just sat there. Several times there was no one around us so he could have gone around us. It was freaky. Finally after several miles (probably 15 or 20 minutes) we came onto the junky car who was also driving in the middle lane. We moved into the passing lane, passed it & got back into the middle lane. About the same time the green car passed the junky car in the right lane & just kept on going past us in the right lane. Maybe he'd never seen a car with our license plate before. Maybe he was fascinated by the Linux bumper sticker or the "Source Code is free speech" license plate frame.

Oh, & after folks go around you at 80-90+ mph they pull back in front of you, almost RIGHT IN FRONT of you. Scary. We've seen them doing this to big trucks, too. I like to get several car lengths in front of someone before I move back into their lane.

Once we got here & were driving around, as soon as the light would change there would always be a car somewhere back behind us that would honk. And I don't mean just once, but lay on the horn until THEY began to move.

After this trip, I will glad to get home. Even tho, it's a bit of a hassle, we are both glad I came. We get to see each other every day & snuggle together all night. It's worth it.

Well, that's it so far. I've got 157 rounds done on CIL's sock. From where I measured the sock on her Thanksgiving day, (at round 129) I've got about the same amount to do to reach the end of her foot. I figure at round 200-210 I'll start the toe decreases. I put a stitch maker in at the place where we measured he foot so I'll know when I have just under the same length knit up.

And you know what I forgot?? The 2nd ball of the dark blue Cascade Fixation for CIL's. When I seek out the yarn shops later in the week, I'll see if they have any dark blue yarn. If not, I'll go as far as I can then switch to The Principal Sock.

Well, now I'm going to catch up on my blog reading & knit some more.

reading: Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe A Centennial Celebration ("new Phillip Marlowe stories by some of the world's leading mystery authors") edited by Byron Preiss.

Parting Shot: "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." Martin Buber
Quote Source

Friday, November 24, 2006

The last day

This is going to be a multi part post. I feel rather fragmented as I / we are getting ready to leave early Saturday morning for Suwanee, GA. All the laundry is done, folded & put away. The last of the dishes are in the dishwasher. Anything that gets dirty now will get hand washed & dried as opposed to being stacked in the dishwasher. I've brought inside anything valuable that can be stolen (my "nice" flower pots) or blown around. I'm in the midst of giving all the houseplants a good soaking. We picked up 3 light timers at Radio Shack & Sweetie's got them all set up. We've got most of the perishable food in the fridge consumed.

We've started a pile of stuff that's going that we've been contributing to all day. In a little while, we'll start packing the clothes & making the pile of stuff bigger.

I've decided that The Principal Sock will be my traveling sock while we're driving. It's a mindless knit & the yarn is light colored so it'll be easy to see. We have a digital single use camera so I'll try to take some sock photos a la The Harlot. That should be interesting in itself. But you won't be able to see them until we get back.

Let's see, what else. . . . . I've got a fresh load of books from the library. I'm also taking my spindle, the roving & my spindle spinning book. Well, you never know!!!

The last couple of days, since I sent off the check to the wonderful person who found 4 balls of yarn for me (see my Nov 18 post) I've been thinking about my cabled sweater. In fact I've had the last ball of yarn sitting next to my computer. I can finish it. The hardest part will be the seaming. I haven't seamed that much but I have the time to do this right so I will. I am having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that I will be able to finish this sweater. I'll be able to wear this sweater THIS winter.

I've been thinking for several months now that I want to knit something besides socks yet I each time I dig back into the sock yarn stash instead of finding something else to knit. Lazy or Afraid! Probably a little of both. A sweater is a long term knit — as opposed to a pair of socks. It's also more of a $$ commitment up front. I think working on this sweater again will inspire me to knit another.


Before I became a socknitter in April 2004, I'd knit 2 sweaters for me, a vest for Sweetie & a few scarves. But after the cabled sweater is finished I think I'll start another sweater. Since I want to finish the 2 pair of socks for other folks & then the sweater that'll give me plenty of time to leisurely look on the web, at the patterns I already have & at books in the book store & the LYS. I am excited (AGAIN!) about finishing this sweater.

That's all for now. I'll be back in a few hours.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

OK, it's later. We're all packed except for the toiletries clothes & stuff we'll need for tomorrow morning. Everything is in a large pile ready to be loaded into the car tomorrow morning. We've even bagged up the garbage & dumped it in a dumpster behind an apartment complex a few blocks from our house.

I've been sitting here reading blogs & knitting (on The Principal Sock) & resting. I'm tired. I know I've packed way more stuff than we need. I always do. But I feel vindicated (& pleased) when we actually NEED something that previously was in the "we really don't need to take this" pile. Good think we're not flying.

I've got all my knitting & spinning organized. Each project is in it's own zip lock bag so all I need to to is grab whichever project I want to work on & my knitting bag & I'll have everything I need. Since CIL's sock has 3 balls of yarn attached to it it made it very crowded to put everything in my knitting bag. So it's just holds the tools I need for every knitting project, such as the clipboard where I keep my project notes, crochet hook, extra needles, etc. I have everything I need to finish up each sock & cast on for it's mate.

As I was typing the above paragraph I was thinking, "I only have the 1 hank of Koigu wound for my Mermaid sock. I should wind the 2nd hank & take it, too." Then as I was typing the last sentence, I thought, "Wait a minute. I would have to finish 5 socks in 14 days to be able to cast on for the 2nd Mermaid sock. NO WAY! Who do I think I am? The Harlot & her 1 sock a day theme?? hahahahahaha! I did, however, remember to toss in Lucy Neatby's book Cool Socks, Warm Feet just in case I should somehow magically make it to the heel!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Yes, an even bigger laugh than the previous one!

I'm going to read a few more blogs, pack up The Principal Sock & go to bed. Sweetie is likely to wake up around 5am & start banging around. (GROAN!)

reading:
reading: A Woman's Eye edited by Sara Partesky

Parting Shot: "Blond Klingons: Because it was a good day to dye!"
Quote Source

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stuffed!

Sweetie & I went to SIL's for Thanksgiving, as usual. We had a wonderful dinner. My relish, bread & pie were a hit. I left the leftover relish & bread & a big slice of the pie with them. We took home just enough turkey for sandwiches on Friday. The bread recipe that I use makes 2 loaves so we have one here to munch on. It makes GREAT toast! I love it with cranberry-orange marmalade. And we have a 2 person wedge of pie for us.

CIL loves her socks. And they fit! She likes to wear them high on her leg so I have her whole foot yet to knit. At least I don't have to frog them! I don't think she's ever worn or thought about tube socks because she was having a hard time wrapping her mind around "no heel." She likes how they feel on her leg, tho. Now to finish the 1st one & onto the 2nd.

SIL also likes the Principal socks. She says that her Principal is going to be measuring her leg. I'm going to scan in what I have done on the sock before we leave & e-mail it to SIL so she can show her principal.

Now that Thanksgiving is over I can focus on The Trip. We're leaving early Saturday morning. We want to get in as much driving as possible before we stop for the night. Hopefully that'll get us into Suwanee, GA mid-afternoon so we can relax & unpack. Sweetie starts class 8am Monday morning.

There's going to be a lot going on Friday.
  • pack
  • library (enough to last me 14 days!)
  • get my glasses adjusted (this evening they've started bothering my left ear)
  • transfer files from both our computers to the laptop (my recipe & knitting files & a list of my bookmarks)
  • wash & clean all the extra stuff out of the car (what Sweetie's going to do)
  • tidy the house (pretty much done ~ want to come back to clean house)

reading: A Woman's Eye edited by Sara Partesky

Parting shot: "Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." ~ Erma Bombeck
Quote Source

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Three for One

Over the next few days the newspapers will be chock-a-block with After-Thanks-giving Day Sales. So I decided to have my own 3 for 1 deal here. Those are my 3 SIP (socks-in-progress) in 1 scan. The long diagonal SIP is CIL's sock which has yet to have a catchy name. The pinky one at the bottom is my Mermaid sock. And last is the previously unscanned Principal Sock for SIL's principal.


The Mermaid sock looks strange because it's so W I D E at the cuff. For those not familiar with it, the cuff is knit sideways in garter stitch (yes, all 188 15 stitch rows) then kitchnered together. It's not very stretchy cuff which is why is looks so W I D E. You start the leg by picking up stitches along the "bottom" of the garter stitch ring & go (downhill) from there. I've pretty much stopped working on this sock (for me) so I can get the other 2 finished & out of my life. I'm only on round 38 on this one.

CIL's sock is up to 130 rounds. It's a tube sock. I'm going to have her try it on at Thanksgiving. I hope it fits. I go from it's waay to small to it's waaay to big. I may be froggin' the whole thing Thursday on the way home & starting new. I e-mailed CIL a scan of it but I haven't heard back from her. I hope she doesn't dislike it THAT much. She really liked my Yoga Daughter socks & this is based on that design. I would like to have them done so I can give them to her AT Christmas not FOR Christmas.

The Principal Sock is a fun looking sock. All those bright colors. Each color is only about 3" long. It knits the fastest of the 3. It's the same ribbing as CIL's sock (k4, p2) but I don't have to do the color changes. YEA!! I can just mindlessly knit. No yarn overs. No k2tog. Just *knit knit knit knit purl purl* over & over & over & over. It would be nice to get these done by Christmas, too but not such a push there. I would like have one pretty much done, tho. Then I could put the live stitches on a piece of waste yarn, give it to SIL at Christmas to take to school & have her principal try it on. We'll see. I'm on round 35 there.

Depending on how my left hand goes, I may get a lot of knitting done over next 2½ - 3 weeks. It aches at the base of my thumb & sometimes up the side (where I think a tendon runs) when I really knit a lot.

Today was Sweetie's last day at his job. It was supposed to be Friday but his District Manager called Monday late morning & said he was in town. He needed to inventory the 2 storage locations & what Sweetie had in the company vehicle. He & Sweetie got most of it done Monday (they worked until 8pm -- do you think he'll get OT for that??) & finished it up this morning. I picked Sweetie up around 11am, we went to lunch & then home. COOL!

Tomorrow I'll start my Thanksgiving baking. SIL is having it, as always. I'm bringing what I always bring. Spiced Cranberry-Orange Relish, Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie & the white bread I've made every year since Sweetie's folks gave me a food processor for Christmas over 25 years ago. The 2 links contain the recipes from blog entries I made around this time last year. Here is the recipe for the relish.

SPICED CRANBERRY-ORANGE RELISH

From: Global Gourmet .com

12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1 medium orange
2/3 cup honey
dash ground cloves
dash ground ginger
dash grated nutmeg
dash grated cinnamon
dash Grand Marnier
½ - ¾ cups chopped walnuts, optional

Cut the orange into 8 sections, keeping the peel on. Remove & discard any seeds.

Place half the cranberries & half the orange sections in a food processor. Coarsely chop, pulsing the blade, being careful not to chop too finely. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining cranberries, orange sections, honey, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon & Grand Marnier to the processor, pulsing again until coarsely chopped. Add to the mixing bowl. Stir until both batches are mixed together. Taste & adjust seasonings, if necessary. Chill until ready to serve. Stir before serving.

I always make this the night before so that flavors can party-hearty. I like it because of all the spices & you can make it as sweet as you want. Don't mess too much with the sweetness until the next day, tho. Things made with honey tend to sweeten as they age. The pie & the bread I make Thanksgiving morning. I start the bread rising then do the pie. We are to be at SIL's at 2pm which means we need to be on the road at 1pm & I need to start the bread no later than 9:30am.

I don't know if I'll post between now & Thursday. If I don't

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

reading: A Woman's Eye edited by Sara Partesky

Parting Shot: "A Thanksgiving Cookbook by Mrs. Geraghty's Kindergarten Class

Russell - Turkey
You cut the turkey up and put it in the oven for ten minutes and 300 degrees. You put gravy on it and eat it.

Geremy - Turkey
You buy the turkey and take the paper off. Then you put it in the refrigerator and take it back out and cut it with a knife and make sure all the wires are out and take out the neck and heart. Then you put it in a big pan and cook it for half an hour at 80 degrees. Then you invite people over and eat.

Meghan H. - Turkey
You cut it into 16 pieces and then you leave it in the oven for 15 minutes and 4 degrees. you take it out and let it cool and then after 5 minutes, then you eat it.

Danny - Turkey
You put some salt on it to make it taste good. Then you put it in the oven. Then you cook it for an hour at 5 degrees. Then you eat it.

Brandon - Turkey
First you buy it at Fred Meyer. Then you cut it up and cook it for 15 hours at 200 degrees. Then you take it out and eat it.

Irene - Turkey
Put it on a plate and put it in the oven with gravy. You cook it for 1 minute and for 100 degrees. Then it's all cooked. Your mom or dad cuts it and then eat.

Moriah - Turkey
First you cut the bones out. Then you put it in the oven for 10 hours at 600 degrees. Then you put it on the table and eat it.

Vincent - Turkey
You cut and put sauce on it. Then you cook it for 18 minutes at 19 degrees. Then you eat it with stuffing.

Jordyn - Turkey
First you have to cut it up and put it on a plate in the oven for 9 minutes and 18 degrees. Then you dig it out of the oven and eat it.

Grace - Turkey
First you add some salt. Then you put it in a bowl. Then you put brown sugar on it. Then you mix it all together with a spoon and then you add some milk and mix it again. And then you put it in a pan. Then you put it in the oven for 15 minutes and 16 degrees. Then you take it out of the oven and then you eat it.

Alan - Turkey
First you shoot it and then you cut it. And then you put it in the oven and cook it for 10 minutes and 20 degrees. You put it on plates and then you eat it.

Whitney - Turkey
Cut it and put it in the oven for 50 minutes at 60 degrees and then you eat it.

Christopher - Pumpkin Pie
First you buy a pumpkin and smash it. Then it is all done. And you cook it in the oven for 12 minutes and 4 degrees. Then you eat it.

Christine - Turkey
First you buy the turkey. Then you cook it for 5 hours and 5 degrees. Then you cut it up and you eat it.

Jennie - Corn
My mom buys it. Then you throw it. Then you cook it. Then you eat it.

Jordan - Cranberry Pie
Put cranberry juice in it. Then you put berries in it. Then you put dough in it. Then you bake it. Then you eat it.

Adam - Pumpkin Pie
First you put pumpkin seeds in it. Put it in a pan and bake it at 5 degrees for 6 minutes. Then take it out and eat it.

Christina - Turkey
Get the turkey. Put it in the oven. Cook it for 43 minutes at 35 degrees. Put it on a plate, cut it up, then eat it.

Sean - Turkey
Put it in the oven for 5 minutes at 55 degrees. Take it out and eat it.

Lauren - Turkey
First you find a turkey and kill it. Cut it open. Put it in a pan. Pour milk in the pan. Put a little chicken with it. Put salsa on it. Take out of pan. Put it on the board. Cut into little pieces. Put on a rack. Put in the oven for 7 minutes at 10 degrees. Take out of the oven and put eensy weensy bit of sugar on it. Put a little more salsa on it. Then you eat it.

Olivia - Corn
Get hot water and put on stove. Wait for 8 minutes. Put corn in. Then put it on a plate. Then eat.

Siera - Pumpkin Pie
Get some pumpkin and dough for the crust. Get pumpkin pie cinnamon. Cook it for 20 minutes at 10 degrees.

Kayla - Turkey
Buy it. Take it home. Then you cook it. Put it in the oven for 1 hour. Take it out of the oven. Put it on a plate. Then you eat it.

Tommy - Pumpkin
Cook the pumpkin. Then get ready to eat the pumpkin

Wai - Pumpkin Pie
Get a pumpkin. Cook it. Eat it."

Quote Source

I LOVE THOSE!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I feel good.

There are times when you feel blessed and everything just seems in kilter. This is one of those times. Sweetie's getting a new job & he's very happy & excited about it. I'm not working & we can afford for me to go with Sweetie to Suwanee, GA for 2 weeks while he takes some classes (see the previous post). The knitting on all 3 socks is going well.

A couple of minor things happened today that just reinforced the whole thing.

1st good thing:
I have a cabled sweater that is almost finished except for . . . I will run out of yarn. It's yarn I purchased for this sweater over 10 years ago. I don't even know WHEN I bought the yarn. When I started to knit again in Sept 2003 I dug around in my (then) craft closet & found 2 partially completed sweaters. The front of the cabled sweater had been cast on & the ribbing at the bottom was done. I'd stopped lo those many years ago because I didn't know how to cable & was going to take a class or something. This must have been (for me) pre-internets. I finished the other sweater & frogged the ribbing on the cable sweater because I couldn't figure out where exactly I'd stopped. I also decided that having the stitches sit on the needles that long, even if they were circs just couldn't be good.

So anyway, I cast-on again & figured out how to do cables. Essentially a new knitter then, I didn't realize that some knitters consider cables advanced knitting. I finished the front, then the back & took a huge leap & did both sleeves at the same time. For some reason, I don't know WHY but, I didn't measure myself & do the front & back in the size I am now. But when I got to the sleeves, again for some insane reason, I knew the sweater body didn't fit & that I'd worry about that part later. I did, however, knit the sleeves so that they fit the NOW me. I started on the collar. (This was early 2004; just before I learned now to knit The Socks & was consumed by The Sock & knit only for The Sock, so help me, Socknitters.) Again for some nutty reason (Odd, how I can't exactly remember any of these reasons, huh.) I stopped several rows into the the collar.

Meanwhile, I'd been reading Maggie Righetti's books, Knitting in Plain English & Sweater Design in Plain English. In reading these 2 books, I'd decided that as the body of the sweater was too small, I'd knit 2 panels in the same ribbing as the body, however wide they needed to be, 1 for each side so the sweater would fit & the cables would still be centered on the front & back of the sweater.

I'd also known since I finished the sleeves that I didn't have enough yarn to do the panels. Since April 2004, the finished pieces & the partially finished collar have been marinating. (Yeah, that's sounds better than bagged up & stuffed in the back of a closet.) I really do want to wear this sweater someday. So I posted on KR what kind of yarn I had, the color, the dye lot everything I had on it. I still had all the ball bands. I figured at best (since this yarn must be over 10 years old) that maybe someone had a few balls in a different color & I could do the panels in the same yarn but in a different color & trim out the collar, hem & cuffs with it to tie it all together. Otherwise I was going to find a yarn with a similar fiber content (in either a contrasting or complimentary color, depending on what I liked & could find) & do the panels in that.

Imagine my STUNNED AMAZEMENT when I got an e-mail today from someone who has

4 BALLS


of not only the exact same yarn, but the

EXACT SAME COLOR & DYE LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I e-mailed her back & hopefully we can do business & I can finish my sweater. She offered the yarn to me very cheaply, but I plan to send her more than she asked & maybe pass on some of this good feeling.

2nd good thing:
Being a hermit, I don't personally know nor have I ever met any of the wonderfully talented folks whose blogs I read. When I have commented, occasionally, one of these gifted folks has replied in an e-mail to my comment. A few days ago, I made a suggestion on one of the blogs I read daily (not a knitting blog) & the blogger e-mailed me back supporting my idea. Now I know that doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot to any of you, especially without knowing what blog or what the comment was or what the e-mail said, but it just reinforced the whole in-kilter thing.

3rd good thing:
AND, if you're a regular reader of Franklin Habit you've probably already read the post I linked to. It made me feel good & happy for Franklin.

4th good thing:
A minor heath issue has resolved itself.

reading: P.I. on a Hot Tin Roof by Julie Smith

Parting Shot: ""No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." ~ Aesop
Quote Source

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Way down upon the Suwanee River

Well, actually Suwanee, GA but I am NOT complaining. We'll be gone almost 2 weeks. It'll be 2 days down & 2 days back & the remaining 10 days we'll be in 1 place. This evening we got the info on the hotel we'll be staying in. And, yes, I've already staked out 2 yarn shops (so far) that I plan to visit. I've gotten maps & directions printed out from the hotel to the 2 shops.

The closest to the hotel is Yarn Garden Knit Shop in Lawrenceville, GA. It's only about 7½ miles miles from the hotel. The other shop I want to visit is Gailer Yarn Sales. They don't have a website but they're about about 13½ miles from the hotel. There are others farther away but that's all I had time to search for this evening.

I am taking my Ott light floor lamp. Who knows what kind of lights there are in the room. As we're driving ourselves we can afford to take stuff to make us more comfortable, like our own pillows. Hotel pillows are always wrong. We did this on another trip & we both slept much better than we usually do while traveling.

According to the info on the hotel's website, they have high speed internet access so I may be blogging from Suwanee, GA! We're taking the laptop & all kinds of cables so we'll be able to connect to about anything, anywhere. I don't actually know how this will work as I've never done this from somewhere else. We're taking all of our ISP's access numbers for the the area code of our hotel so I'll see.

I'll be copying all my recipe files into the laptop so I can work on those, too. I'll also have a fresh batch of library books. So let's see,
  • knitting (3 socks in progress & the yarn for their mates so that's 6 socks)
  • books
  • laptop for recipe files
  • probable internet access
So, yeah, I'm good to go. I will NOT be bored. The hotel also has a pool & a fitness room so we'll see about that.

And, no, I don't think I could even come CLOSE to a sock a day that The Yarn Harlot is doing. YIKES! That woman is amazing. I hope I get the chance to meet her someday. Why couldn't Sweetie's new company be in Toronto, Canada?? I'm just sayin'.

Lake Lanier is just north of where we're staying & if Sweetie has free time on the weekend, we plan to check out the marinas in the area. Maybe there's a chandlery in the area. I'll have the check that out, too!


Oh, so much to DO!!!


OK, some knitting content.
I'm on round 100 of CIL's sock. It's just under 8" long. I just measured Sweetie's tube sock & it's about 19¼" long & has 211 rounds from the cast on edge to where I stopped the ribbing for the toe decreases. It's made out of Trekking XXL. SIL's tube sock is 162 rounds. I don't have the length on it. It's knit in the same pattern but with Schaeffer yarn. I laid CIL's sock over the Trekking sock & the leg on the Trekking sock is just over twice the length of CIL's sock. I'm guessing at least another 60 rounds. My goal is to have it pretty much knit to where I'm ready to start on the toe decreases & have her try it on at Thanksgiving. I suppose I COULD measure gauge on both socks & do a lot of math but that would take all the suspense out it.

How much shorter than Sweetie's Trekking sock should it be? Should it even be shorter? Should it be the same number of rounds as SIL's Schaeffer sock? Stay tuned! Same bat time!! Same bat channel!!! (cue the music!!!!)

I worked on the sock for SIL's Principal, the Principal Sock some today. [Yes, it has a name now.] It's on round 16 & is about 1½" long. I want to get about 2-3" on this sock by Thanksgiving. Maybe tomorrow I'll have enough done that I can scan & post a pic.

reading: Generous Death by Nancy Pickard

Parting Shot: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One year ago today . . .

I started this blog. I'd been thinking about it for several weeks (way back then). And I already had a name for it. I had no idea that I was going to keep this up for an entire year. This will make post #198. The format hasn't changed. It's still mostly about knitting & I still write it for myself. It's great to have some readers, tho.

It's also been a great knitting journal. I keep track of my knitting stuff on spreadsheets & I have notes for each project, but I don't keep a WIP journal. This is what this blog has turned out to be for me. I'm still enjoying the process & so I'll keep going.

Things are a changing here in Hermitville. A few months ago, Sweetie applied for a job doing basically the same thing he does now but for a different company. They called him Monday morning & offered him a job. More money & better benefits. He turned in his 2 week notice & he starts with the new company on Nov 27th. YEA!

The new company will be having a class in the Atlanta, GA area for some of the new/different equipment he'll be working on. Sweetie HATES to fly. Since he was in the Air Force many years ago, he feels like he's used up all his flying luck. Just like all the other guys that did the same thing he did. We went to a reunion several years ago & guys came from all over the world. The ones that could drive, no matter how far away, drove. They did not want to fly. Now I know he's not the only one!

What we'll probably do, is we'll both drive to Atlanta, GA area where the class is. I'll take all my socks-in progress, books, laptop etc to keep me occupied during the day. The BEST thing is that Sweetie & I don't have to spend a week or so apart.

Around 10 years or so ago, Sweetie had to travel to a little town near Raleigh, NC to attend a class. The catch there was that about 2 weeks before he almost had his big toe cut off by a piece of mowing equipment he was working on. So he couldn't drive & he refused to fly. I drove us there & back. I chauffeured him back & forth to class each day. He was on crutches & we'd rented a wheel chair. Most of the time I hung around the hotel (this was pre-knitting) & read & took walks. I wasn't bored & had a good time. So I'm not worried AT ALL about being bored. PLUS now I KNIT!!!

That's also why I didn't jump right out Monday like I had planned & sign up with a temp agency. Now I get to research yarn shops in Atlanta! (rubs hands & grins!!!)

I started the socks for SIL's principal today. It's with the candy/rainbow yarn in this post. It's Socketta yarn. I don't have exacts but I'm told by SIL that her principal has thin legs & wears a size 7½ shoe. My CIL has thin legs, too so I'm cast on the same number of stitches (60) & am going to use the same stitch pattern (k4, p2) & it's going to be a tube sock also. I want to get enough done (2-3" st least) so that CIL can try on the principal's sock at Thanksgiving since they both have thin legs. It just needs a cool name as does CIL's socks.

That means I have 3 socks in progress to take to Atlanta.

reading: Generous Death by Nancy Pickard

Parting Shot: "Whoever said there is no such thing as a stupid question has never worked in customer service." ~ unknown
Quote Source

Monday, November 13, 2006

M A G I C

I've come to realize that in part, it's not what you use, it's how you use it. I'm talking about Spindle Spinning. A few weeks ago, I stopped in at my LYS, browsed the wonderful stuff & came home with some yarn & a booklet. I sat down last night in one of the chairs in front of the fireplace (where Sweetie had built a marvelous fire) & started reading about spindle spinning.

Before long, I was up outta that chair & digging around in my stash for the bag where I had stashed the spindle kit months ago. I fiddled & read & fiddled & read some more. I haven't looked the the kit in so long I forgot what was in it. There are locks along with the roving.

I figured out what was wrong with the spindle that was included with the kit. I added a small cup hook (according to the directions in the book on how to make your own spindle) & turned whatever kind of spindle it was (it wasn't much of one) into a top whorl spindle. Now it's very rough. Looks like someone just took a dowel & a large part of some kids' Tinker Toy set, stuck 'em together & said SPINDLE! There's some kind of notch at the bottom but I haven't looked at the video in so long that I can't tell you what it's there for.


What I CAN tell you is that with the cup hook installed it's SO much better. Incidentally, that description above? That's a pretty good way to make a spindle. Just don't forget the cup hook.

Anyway, by following the instructions in Connie Delaney's booklet, Spindle Spinning from Novice to Expert I was able to actually SPIN. Yeah, OK, so it looks more like this than this but I SPUN YARN. And, by the way, that good lookin' hank in the 2nd link was spun with a spindle. A SPINDLE!!

When the spinning is good it is MAGIC! There were a couple of times when I was spinning & drafting & the fiber was cooperating & the yarn looked good. Professional. But then there are other times, more of them at this point where the yarn looks, shall we say, funky. Slubs & gobs & thin spots & a few even thinner spots where the yarn would break. Notice I'm calling it yarn.

Since I knit with sock yarn most of the time I guess unintentionally, I was goin' for sock yarn. That's when I had the most problems. It would be so thin that it would break & then I'd have to try to feather out the twisted anorexic stuff so I could meld it back with it's thicker fiber friends. Most of the time, I'd cut the really skinny twisted stuff off & go back on the spindle where the thicker stuff was, untwist that & blend that in. It blended better when it was thicker, anyway. When I let the yarn be a bit bulkier, it went better. So I'm trying to channel the bulkier yarn goddess when I spin. OOOHHH! Look what I just wrote — when. I. spin. Thicker & bulker is BETTER — for a beginner, anyway.

And when the spinning goes well, it just flows. You can see the great yarn happening right before your very eyes. You can see you're drafting the correct amount of fiber. You can see it getting the proper amount of twist. Oh, I'm a tellin' ya, it's as good as knitting when you have your knitting mojo & you are getting your knit on. Different, but as good as.

I remember how frustrating it was getting back into knitting. And how frustrating it is trying to learn something new on your own, like all my posts on how frustrated I was trying to knit the Mermaid sock — wait until I get to the heel (groan). I knit up socks now that I would be proud to show any knitter anywhere. Connie Delaney says in her book that it will take you 3 days to learn to spin. As I'm teaching myself (& didn't spin any today), I'm sure it'll take longer. But when you get those inches (so far, no feet, just inches) of perfectly spun yarn, it's all worth it. And someday, my handspun yarn will look as good as the yarn up there in the 2nd link!

When a get a bit more spun (ooooo! There I go again!) I'll unwind some from the spindle & scan it for you.

reading: Misdemeanor Man by Dylan Schaeffer

Parting Shot: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ~ Arthur C Clark
Quote Source

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Deep dark secret . . . EXPOSED!!!

YES! That is CIL's sock, round 60. It's just shy of 5" long at this point. BTW, that's a quarter for size reference & those are 2.5mm dpns. If this was a "well"-heeled sock I'd be within striking distance of the heel. Because CIL is in another city, I'm going to do a tube sock. That way if it shrinks, it'll still fit well. And I don't have to traipse over there for fittings. I'll be seein' CIL at Thanksgiving at SIL's house. I'll have her try it on then. Heck, it might even be finished by then.

OMG! That's less than 2 weeks away!!! OMG!!! But then Thanksgiving's early this year, on the 23rd. There's another full week of November after Thanksgiving.

I've made NO progress on my own Mermaid socks. CIL's socks aren't a Christmas present but it would be nice if I could have the pair done by then & give them to her so I don't have to drive all the way over to where she now lives.

I'm still waitin' on SIL to get back to me with the leg measurement for the socks I'm to knit for her school principal. Maybe I can work in a few inches on that before Thanksgiving so I can show SIL. Of, course I'll scan it in & e-mail her so she can e-mail the progress pic to her principal. I've got to find a "nice" way to tell SIL NO MORE. I'll do a scarf, but a sock is waaay to much.

I haven't made ANY progress on finding a spindle. NONE. I haven't even cracked open that book that's sittin' right by my monitor. Well, probably this evening.

This morning I sanded down the tips of the needles I've been using on CIL's socks. If you remember, I recently ordered 2 sets of ebony & 2 sets of rosewood Suzanne dpns from my LYS. All 4 5 needles sets came in more more blunt that the ones I've ordered previously. I sanded down the other set of rosewood dpns that I'm using for the Mermaid sock. That sock has a pesky k2tog every 4 stitches & 1 yarn over. A sharper needle does help with the k2tog situation.

It's been overcast this afternoon & Sweetie & I are planning on a fire in the fireplace this evening. Last week we picked up a sack of piñon wood from the hardware store. We've got red oak to burn which is wonderfully fragrant but the piñon wood just makes it more special. We just toss a chunk in every now & then.

This is the last day of Sweetie's vacation. He's got another week, the 1st full week of December. So no naps for either of us today as we, especially Sweetie, want to get back on a more business-like schedule. This week we've been eating & sleeping when we felt like it. Stayin' up late & takin' naps. If I only knew at 3 or 4 years old that I would enjoy naps so much as an adult.

My left hand/thumb is doin' OK. If a knit a LOT or hold on to my needles too firmly with that hand, it aches. So I have to consciously tell myself to hold gently & knit slower. ~ zen ~ The faster I knit, the tighter I seem to hold my needles. Maybe I'm afraid they'll fly out of my hands, I'm knitting so fast!!

If anyone out there is a Barry Manilow fan, you'll enjoy the 2 books (so far) by Dylan Schaeffer. The main character in the book is a HUGE Manilow fan & when he's not being a public defender he fronts a Barry Manilow cover band called The Mandys. There are a lot of Barry Manilow song references throughout the book. The book is pretty good. Today's Parting Shot is from one of my favorite Manilow songs, Weekend in New England.


YES!! I'M A BARRY MANILOW FAN.

I even have several albums.


reading: Misdemeanor Man by Dylan Schaeffer

Parting Shot: "And tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again?"

PS: the Manilow thing? THAT was the deep, dark secret!

Friday, November 10, 2006

News from Hermitville

It's been a quiet couple of days here in hermitville. We decided not to go canoing Wednesday or Thursday even tho the weather was great. Sweetie's been messin' with all kinds of projects this week as he's been on vacation. I've been working on my recipe file. I got all the recipes transfered over to my main file yesterday. It's over 3,800 pages & around 3,400 recipes.

Because I am anal, I have my newly completed main recipe file. I also have 2 index files, by category, such as Appetizer or Beef, or Cake then an alphabetical file. For some reason, not all the recipes are in all 3 files. So I'm going thru the main recipe file & comparing it to the 2 indexes. As the main recipe file as been a work in progress since we got married (it'll be 28 years this coming February) I've gone thru many versions of how I want the recipes to look. After all this time, I've got a system & some of the older recipes aren't in that system. Since I've got to look at each recipe in the main file to make sure it's there & then check the indexes, I'm also making all my instructions & how the ingredients are listed look alike. See? Anal!

All of the 1,000 or so I moved over are in the correct format, so with them it's just a matter of making sure I put the name of the recipe in each of the indexes. When I'm all done with that, I'm going to figure out how to generate a word index. I don't usually look up things that way, but if I can figure out how, it might be cool to see how many recipes I have that use chocolate. Quite a few I bet!

The other day, Sweetie talked about how he's hungry for stew! I convinced him to wait until today, when it was colder (high in the 40's today). I virtually leafed thru my main recipe file & narrowed it down to "Conrad's Beef Stew". I've many stew recipes but most of them have a tomato base. To me, if you use a good cut of beef, you don't need the acid from the tomatoes to tenderize it & it gives the juices a bitey-ness that I don't like. I can add brown sugar to lessen it but it's still there. This is one of the old recipes, as I used to didn't keep track of where I found the recipe so I have no idea where this one came from. I suspect it's from an old Good Housekeeping magazine. A lot of my early recipes came from there.

CONRAD'S BEEF STEW

Makes: 6 servings

1½ lbs boneless beef for stew, cut into 1½" pieces
¼ tspn ground pepper
1½ tblspn unsalted butter
1½ tblspn vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups water
¾ cup Burgundy wine*
1 bay leaf
1 envelope beef dry soup mix
¾ tspn fresh thyme leaves
5 medium carrots, sliced
2 small potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
3 tblspn cornstarch
½ cup hot water
1 cup frozen peas
¾ tspn seasoned salt*
parsley, for garnish, optional

Toss beef with pepper. In a heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter with oil then add beef, brown well then remove & set aside.

Add onion & sauté until tender. Stir in beef, 2 cups water, wine, bay leaf, soup mix & thyme & bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer, 1 hour.

Stir in carrots & potatoes & simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until beef & vegetables are tender.

Stir cornstarch & hot water together in a cup then add to pan along with peas. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes until peas are warm & sauce has thickened. Stir in seasoned salt. Garnish, if desired with parsley.

* I didn't have any Burgundy, so I used what I had in the fridge, Bosc Dla Rei Mocato D'Asti. I tend to like the sweeter wines & it was fine. I also used plain salt & it was OK, too.

I haven't used much thyme in the past, but you could really smell it's fragrance as the stew cooked. This one is a winner!

I've been getting my knit on, too. I'm now on round 36 of CIL's sock. I'll have a pic to post in the next day or so. It's long enough now that you can see some detail. Other than the whine cast-on, it's a dark, conservative navy blue sock. As I've posted before, I'm throwin' in random denim (2 rounds at a time) & dark purple (1 round) stripes. I like it

Sweetie & I are getting our naps in each day. It's going to be difficult for him to go back to work. And speaking of work, Monday, I'm going to put my name in at a couple of temp agencies in town. That'll give us some extra Christmas spending cash.

reading: Blood to Drink by Robert Skinner

Parting Shot: "Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." ~ Satchel Paige
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