Monday, December 24, 2012

From our hearts to yours

Image found here:

Did you ever hear the story of the Christmas tree
Who just didn't want to change the show?
He liked living in the woods and playing with squirrels,
He liked icicles and snow.

He liked wolves and eagles and grizzly bears,
And critters and creatures that crawled
Why, bugs were some of his very best friends!
(Spiders and ants and all).

Now that's not to say that he ever looked down
On a vision of twinkled lights
Or on mirrored bubbles and peppermint canes
And a thousand other delights

And he often had dreams of tiny reindeer
And a jolly old man in a sleigh
Full of toys and presents and wonderful things
And a story of Christmas day

Oh, Alfie believed in Christmas alright!
He was full of Christmas cheer!
All of each and every day,
And all throughout the year!

To him it was more than a special time,
Much more than a special day
It was more than a special story, it was more than a beautiful story
It was a special kind of way.

You see, some folks have never heard a jingle bell ring
And they've never heard of Santa Claus;
They've never heard the story of the son of god
That made Alfie pause.

Did that mean that they'd never know of peace on earth
Or the brotherhood of man?
Or know how to love, or know how to give?
If they can't, no one can.

You see, life is a very special kind of thing,
Not just for a chosen few,
But for each and every living, breathing thing
Not just me and you.

So when you're at Christmas prayers this year
Alfie asked me if I'd ask you
Say a prayer for the wind and the water and the wood
And those who live there too.

A very merry Christmas from my heart to yours, Readers! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Musings of a former grocery store clerk during Christmas

I always get a little bit nostalgic, Readers, when I do my grocery shopping at Quality Food Centers (who, Readers, I promise, did not pay me to write the following post).

I worked part time at a QFC for about two years. It's amazing what skills and personality quirks one can pick up from working in a food/retail environment; during my stint as a bakery clerk I learned how to use a multi-line phone, how to make little roses out of icing, got into the habit of wiping down every surface of my kitchen after cooking, and had developed a working knowledge of the phonetic alphabet ("Sure, Ma'am, I'd be happy to write on that cake! Now, the birthday girl's name is Mary spelled M as in Mike, A as in Alpha, R as in Romeo, Y as in Yankee?").

During a recent shopping trip, I was reminded of another little "quirk" I developed during my years behind the bakery counter: I almost always instinctively roll my eyes whenever anyone mentions the so-called "War on Christmas".


It seems as if mentioning Christmas is a bit less taboo lately than it was in years past; Target, Wal-Mart, and other retail establishments seem to be abandoning the "Happy Holiday" blanket greeting. Not all establishments are getting rid of the dreaded H words, and as we all know from FOX news, there are a few Angry Shreiking Christmas Crusaders out there who are NOT happy about it. Unfortunately for me and my former co-workers, QFC was one of those companies that encouraged the "Happy Holidays" greeting and still does, as far as I know.

I have to give my (former) managers a lot of credit here: they anticipated that this might bring some problems with customers and were able to deal with those problems quickly and gracefully. In addition, they did a fairly good job of nipping any potential tension in the bud:  for example, employees at our store were allowed to say "Merry Christmas" to a customer IF THE CUSTOMER SAID "MERRY CHRISTMAS" FIRST. That practice alone diffused most of the potential Angry Shreiking Christmas Crusaders; although if a HARDCORE  Angry Shreiking Christmas Crusader (which we got every now and again) wished to make their presence known, they'd throw a fit no matter WHAT we said.

I did get a few ASCCs while I was working at the bakery counter. Mostly, this was not because of me saying the dreaded "H.H." words but because the music we were playing in the store didn't include any religious Christmas carols (why anyone would think complaining to the bakery clerk would make "Joy To the World" play over the PA system is beyond me). I learned VERY quickly to just smile apologetically and nod as the ASCC would aimlessly rant about how corporations are stealing their "right to be faithful" (as one memorable customer put it). Even then, I knew that it would be MUCH easier for me and for everyone else in the store if I just let these trolls have their moment of deluded self-righteousness and get on with my duties.

A very wise person once said that silence is the best response to a fool.

I believe Rachel Held Evans says it best: When somebody decides to throw a tantrum because some overworked temp working the cash register at *insert retail establishment* says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", they are doing nothing to bring Christ's message to the world. In reality, they are just making themselves look like a spoiled toddler who had their favorite toy taken away.

Readers, God has given us the greatest gift that any of us could ever hope to receive. We have been given our ETERNAL SALVATION. We have been given the gift of our GOD INCARNATE. But, for so many of my Christian brothers and sisters, it isn't enough. Rachel Held Evans puts it beautifully:

Suddenly it’s not enough that Americans spend millions of dollars each year marking the birth of Jesus. Now we’ve got to have a “Merry Christmas” banner in front of every parade and an inflatable manger scene outside of every courthouse... or else we’ll make a big stink about it in the name of Jesus.  Having opened the gift of the incarnation—of God with us—we’ve peered inside and shrieked, “This is not enough!  Where are the accessories? We want more!” 

When our Lord and Savior said, "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven", I don't think he had religious music playing at the supermarket in mind.

People saying "Happy Holidays" is not taking Christ out of Christmas. You want to know what is taking our Lord and Savior out of Christmas more than anything else, Readers?

Being a dick.

So don't be a dick this Christmas, Readers. When you're out doing your shopping, be mindful of those who are working to help you. We are not actively trying to destroy Christianity, we're just trying to do our jobs without getting complaints from corporate.

Be nice to retail employees during this time of year, Readers. They have to put up with a LOT of abuse and overt stupidity.

Americans spend millions and millions of dollars marking the birth of Jesus every year, Readers.

Perhaps we should focus less on Christ's birth, and focus more on what Christ taught us:

Love your neighbor.
Love your enemies.
Turn the other cheek.
Blessed are the Meek and Humble.

In short, Don't be a Dick.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's that time of year again!

Readers, it's that time of year again!

Tomorrow is the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition! 

I am yet again directing a group of singing lawyers/administrative staff, and we will be caroling at the Westlake Center tomorrow starting at 6:15! We are raising funds for the Pike Place Market Senior Center and Food Bank! If you are in the Seattle area, please, come on down and immerse yourselves in Christmas Cheer! 

Image found here:
Readers, if you find yourselves unable to attend the contest, please, PLEASE consider donating. The need for assistance and resources for seniors is now greater than ever, and financial support has been diminishing with the uncertain economic climate. Please, PLEASE support your local senior citizens! 

While I'm on the topic of charitable giving, I  wanted to give a shameless plug to one of my favorite charities, World Vision: 

My husband and I have been giving gifts to friends and family through the World Vision gift catalog for the past two years! Last year, we bought my parents a goat (that was sent to a needy family). It came with an adorable plushie. It was pretty awesome. 

In addition to getting gifts for friends and family from the World Vision gift catalog (This year, we're probably going to split our donation between providing vaccinations and small business loans), the hubs and I are going to sponsor a child. We are very excited! 

The need for financial assistance is greater than ever, Readers, but there is also a great need for time and talent! If you are unable to give a financial gift to those less fortunate, please consider giving your time! Volunteer! 

Now more than ever, Readers, the world needs our three "T's"; our Time, our Talent, and our Treasure! 

Until next time! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Haiku Friday

I am seduced by
the warm blankets and sweet dreams.
My bed, my haven.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'll Be Seeing You!

Image found here:'ll%20Be%20Seeing%20You.htm

Well, Readers, now that it's official, I guess I can finally share the good news:

I have been invited to perform with the Seattle Radio Theatre. I will be singing with this amazing group of actors on December 21st! The radio play will be broadcast over AM 1090 KPTK at 8 pm!

The jury's still out on whether or not my contribution to the show (I will be singing before the radio play starts) will be broadcast over the radio. All the same, this is a tremendous honor!

There is a veritable MOUNTAIN of things I need to prepare for; I need to practice, update my headshots (my last semi-professional headshot was taken when I was 17), practice, drag out my old keyboard, practice, meet with the director and accompanist, practice, pick up a black evening gown, and oh yes, practice.

In all seriousness, I find that my mental state is fluctuating between pure euphoria and sheer terror. I haven't sung in front of a paying audience since I was 19, and even then, I was singing in a choir, not as a soloist. It's true, I constantly worry about making a fool of myself. However, I've come to accept that worrying about something is just about as effective as trying to do my laundry by playing Words with Friends.

Wish me luck, Readers! And tune in!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Craft Fair version 2.0!

This was my table's set up at the beginning of the fair...
...and I mixed it up a bit in the middle of the fair when about a good third of the snowflakes were sold. 

Good morning, Readers!

I would like to apologize for the distinct lack of crochet patterns as of late; at the insistence of my husband and friends, I've put myself on a  crochet pattern "sabbatical" until after Thanksgiving. I've got a few things in the creative crock-pot stewing away though, so you guys can look forward to lots of new stuff in December!

Plus, I just got some very, VERY exciting news and an unbelievable opportunity! I'll give details when I can, but for now, it's taking every ounce of my self control to not start squealing and jumping up and down like a two year old.

Well, another annual holiday craft show has come and gone. Boy howdy, Readers, WHAT an improvement compared to last year's sad result!

I ended up selling about half, that's right, HALF of my merchandise. Friggin awesome.

Even though (compared to last year's disaster) this year was quite a success, I still learned quite a bit throughout the whole thing:

1. Presentation, presentation, presentation. As I'm sure my regular readers are aware, my "doitatthelastpossibleminute" strategy had given me disastrous results last year. This year, I took the time to scour the discount and secondhand stores for various decorative items; I found a nice chocolate brown tablecloth (that I could use for myself after the craft fair was over), a couple of FABULOUS golden poinsettia place mats, and an earring holder that rotated, all for about twenty dollars.  I commandeered our dining room table for an evening and played with different "layouts" until I was satisfied, and on the morning of the fair my booth was up and ready to go within ten minutes.

Plus, you guys, look at this price tag. Look.
I made my own price tags by cutting out tag shapes from a blank manilla folder and stamping them. So cute, fun to make, and in my humble opinion, much nicer looking than the store-bought ones.

You'd think that presentation would be obvious to a gal who sells her things at craft fairs, but making my flakes stand out and look their best is something I really struggle with. I'm sure that some of you who follow my "Lace Doodle Thursdays" have noticed my lack of photography skills; I find that white crochet snowflakes are VERY hard to take pictures of! Granted, taking pictures of my snowflakes is an entirely different animal than setting up a craft fair booth, but making things look good (in pictures AND in person) is a skill I am continuing to develop. The best way to learn these things (in my case) is to fall flat on my face a few times; but as the proverb goes, from last year's mistakes come this year's wisdom. My booth looked SO much better than it did last year, and all the effort I put into the presentation of my flakes really showed itself in the increased sales!

2. Pricing. My prices this year came down quite a bit, mostly due to the fact that I worked really hard to silence my inner yarn snob. The vast majority of my flakes were made with DMC's "Cebelia" (which goes for about five dollars per ball; I ended up using one ball to make around 40 snowflakes. On average, the cost of materials was about twelve cents per flake. Given that I paid about fifty cents per snowflake last year, this is an amazing improvement) and a few were made with some inexpensive beads. The most expensive snowflake was about five dollars (it didn't sell, but I kind of wanted to keep that one anyway).

Most of the snowflakes sold were priced between $2-$3.50 each. It was interesting; the customers gravitated toward the medium sized flakes instead of the itty-bitty ones (priced at a dollar) or the lager and more complicated ones (priced between $4-$5). I like having a variety of shapes/sizes to sell, but knowing what the customers usually buy is always good to keep in mind.

3. My attitude. The fabulous legal secretary who runs the craft fair (and who was been running it for the past ten years) gave me some really solid advice after she witnessed my little "craft sale fail" last year: to RELAX! Nobody sells all of their items, nobody gets it right the first time. Customers are able to detect desperation like a rabbit can detect a ravenous wolf, and potential buyers will high-tail it in the opposite direction as soon as they hear an over-enthusiastic "OH, HI!!! WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN SOME HANDMADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS???"

I made it a point to avoid the craft fair as it was going on, with the exception of my noon break (where I went to re-arrange the booth and put out more merchandise). I know myself enough to anticipate my tendency to come off as a bit high-strung when I'm stressed out, so for the majority of the day, I stayed in my office. I will say that it was hard, SO hard, but the end result made it all worth it.

 Because, you know, it's a really good idea to NOT circle around potential customers like a shark.

With that, I'm out, Readers! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Haiku Friday

Repose is breathing
Deep, when my Soul has been freed
From the tightn'ing vice

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lace Doodle Hiatus!

Hi Readers!

Big things are going on; so I'm afraid that I'm going to have to put my weekly lace doodles on hold for a little while.

In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of a baby alpaca:

Image found here:
You're welcome :-P

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Cherry Blossom Flake

I love cherry blossoms. So cheery and delicate!

This weeks' flake is an homage to one of my favorite flowers:

The flake shown above was worked with DMC crochet thread size 20 and with a .9mm crochet hook.

ch 6, form ring.

Rd 1: ch 5, sc 3rd ch from hook, dc in ring. (ch 3, dc in ring, ch 3, sc in 3rd ch from hook.  dc in ring) 4 times. dc in third ch of beg ch 3 to form last ch 3 sp.

Rd 2: ch 1 sc in same sp. ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook ch 6 sc in next space. Repeat around; join with sl st to first sc.

bind off, weave in ends, starch.

You know the drill, crocheters; You can do whatever you like with the flakes you make from this pattern. However, please do not change or sell the pattern itself (but feel free to share it all you like!) :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Smile Saturday

You know, Readers, John and I have decided to hold off on having children until we own a house and have a set amount of an education fund saved. But, when I watch something like this, my ovaries start screaming at me. It appears that biology likes to play dirty.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Fly Me To The Moon 8-pt

This is the first of many "re-works" of the original Fly Me To the Moon pattern! I thought an unusual flake shape might make the finished work a bit more interesting.

I must admit, though, that the little "moons" look a bit like albino bananas.

ch 6, form ring or use magic circle

Rd 1; ch 3, 15 dc in ring. Join with sl st to third ch of beginning ch 3. 16 dc.

Rd 2: ch 1, sc in same st. *ch 4, skip next dc, sc in next dc. Repeat from * around; (ch 2, dc in last sc) to form last ch 4 sp. 8 ch 4 spaces.

Rd 3: ch 3, hdc, sc in same sp.(*) sl st in next sc. sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 6, sl st in second ch from hook and in next ch. sc in next ch. (ch 3, sl st in second ch from hook and in next ch, sl st in sc) four times. sl st in next two chains, sc in same sp (^). sl st in next sc, in next ch 4 sp work sc, hdc, dc, ch 1, dc, hdc, sc.(@) repeat from * to @ twice, then from * to ^ once. In last sp work sc, hdc, dc. sc in third ch of beginning ch 3 to form last ch 1 sp.

Rd 4: Ch 1, sc in same sp. Ch 13, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 12. sc in next ch 1 sp; ch 8 sl st in next 2 ch from hook, sc in next 2 ch. ch 5, sl st in next 2 chs from hook, sc in next 2 ch. Sc in the middle of next sc, sl st in next 3 ch. ch 1, sc in same ch 1 sp. Repeat from * around, omitting the last sc when you finish the last "moon". Join with sl st to first sc.

Block using 8-pt pattern. The little "stars" require one pin in each point.

Use whichever stiffening method you like, Readers!

*Note: Crocheters, you may do whatever you like with the snowflakes you make from this pattern. However, please don't change or sell the pattern (but feel free to share it all you like!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Smile Saturday

Witness, Readers, the beautiful story of Ed, who was searching so hard for his friend Bob.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: buh dhu du dooooo *buurrrhhh***

Well, Readers/crocheters, I've done better. 

Third flake, though!

I don't have a pattern for this yet...because, quite frankly, I'm less than thrilled with the finished product here. I showed this flake to my husband, and he thought the little "moons" were supposed to be birds or Nike swooshes.

The stars might need a bit of tweaking as well. Granted, this flake hasn't been pinned or starched, so we still don't know QUITE what it's going to look like when all finished.

I feel that the middle part could use some visual interest. I have some beads that I could incorporate, OR, I could change the whole dang thing from a 12-pt star to a 10-pt star, putting a little star shape in the middle. I'll play with it and see how I feel :-P

In addition to not being 100% satisfied with the end result, I find that it is super, SUPER hard to put into words how I did the little moons/nikeswooshes/bird things. I probably broke every crochet rule in the book; I was double crocheting in the middle of stitches! YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT! SHOCK AND HORROR!

I'll keep on working on this pattern, and will keep you updated, Readers!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Haiku Friday: In which I struggle to talk about sexual harassment without sounding like an angry bra-burner.

I wish I did not
have to guard my self, but dumb
men give me no choice.

Image found here:

At the risk of being labelled an "Angry Femi-nazi", I am going to just put this out there:

It should never be a woman's responsibility to put up with the creepy, disrespectful, and downright DANGEROUS behavior of men who have zero self control.

Street harassment needs to stop, and sexual harassment has to stop. Enough said.

I debated whether or not to bring this issue up again, Readers. I find that I have a lot of difficulty when it comes to writing and talking about sexual harassment, partially because the subject itself isn't exactly pleasant, and also because of how often I am dismissed as being "overly-sensitive" or "unfair" whenever I bring it up. I guess this speaks to my constantly brewing frustration with men who just don't seem to understand how honestly HARD it is to be female; how something as routine as a bus ride is made so much more stressful because of nothing more than my gender.

It's difficult to put into words just how much an effect harassment has on me, personally. There is nothing, NOTHING, that makes me feel more vulnerable, afraid, and frustrated than being harassed by strangers. I've written before about how outwardly rude and perverted behavior makes me feel angry and afraid, but I've never really talked about...the not-so-outward stuff. The unspoken stuff.

Like when a man sitting next to me on the bus decides to drape his arm behind my seat, letting his fingers brush against my arm as I'm desperately trying to scoot as far away from his wandering hand as possible without being too obvious.

Or when I'm walking home from work, and a slightly intoxicated middle aged man stops me, and asks, "Miss...could you do me a favor and just SMILE?", then taking a not-so-discreet look at my rear end as I walk away.

When I'm standing in line at Starbucks, and out of nowhere some ass-wipe standing behind me decides to lean forward and SNIFF MY HAIR.

Or when I'm simply approached while I'm on some sort of public transit, ALWAYS by a man, who is either unable or unwilling to read my body language, (which is screaming "PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE,") wanting to strike up a conversation that inevitably leads to:
A. Me being uncomfortably hit on,
B. Me being accosted by a Dooms-Day prophet, or
C. Him trying to sell me something.

Readers, I either walk or commute by bus to my job every day, and usually, I am alone and it is after dark. I take every precaution to send out as many "Please Leave Me Alone" signals* as I am able, but I still get approached (always by men) CONSTANTLY.

I find it much easier to deal if the weather is nice enough for me to walk. When I'm walking, I know that I have an "escape route". If somebody is being stupid, I can just walk away. Simple as that.

Where I REALLY start to feel afraid; not annoyed, not frustrated, but honest to God AFRAID, is when I'm riding the bus at night.

That "escape route?" No longer exists once I'm on public transportation. When I'm in an enclosed space and some guy decides to ignore my body language/monosyllabic answers to his attempts at conversation, I don't have the option walk away, and I am quite literally TRAPPED.

Now, gentlemen, I understand that the majority of you who try to talk to me on the bus are not rapists. But Jesus Tap-dancing Christ, fellas,  LEARN TO READ MY BODY LANGUAGE AND RESPECT MY PERSONAL SPACE!

What makes the above situations exponentially worse are the ridiculous implications and consequences of my non-interest. I almost always ignore guys when they try to approach me, and almost always, the guy in question gets offended when he realizes that he's being ignored. If the guy is hitting on me, I'm accused of being a "stuck-up bitch." If he's trying to save my soul, I'm accused of hating God. If he's one of those "Children's International" cretins, I'm accused of not caring about children.

It wears on you after a while, Readers. After three years of riding the bus, it still gets to me how often I get called names.

I wish that I could give the guys wanting to talk to me the benefit of the doubt. I really, REALLY wish that I didn't have to put up a protective "bubble" whenever I'm traveling alone at night. But sadly, because I don't have what one of my favorite bloggers, Dianna Anderson, calls "rape-dar", I am not willing to take the risk of being friendly. Lots of men have ruined it for you, fellas. When I was a bit more naive and outwardly "friendly", I've been called names, been loudly and rudely made fun of, and have been groped twice. (Both times, the douchenozzle responsible was exiting the bus and was out of reach before I had a chance to react). 

I occasionally have to put up with creepiness while I'm working as well. When I'm at my job, 99% of the time, I feel completely comfortable and safe, but there are times when I feel like I should invest in a can of mace.

I work in a skyscraper downtown that, for the most part, is not open to the public; most floors require you to swipe your key card before you can get in. My floor is one of the few that can be accessed by the public during business hours so that clients and visitors can easily see their attorneys.

On Tuesday evening, a seemingly normal-looking guy came up and started to aimlessly wander around the reception space. I did my receptionist thing and asked, "Can I help you?"

This butt-stain of a human being came up to my desk, leaned over,  started STARING AT MY CHEST and (in what should be ranked as one of the world's very worst/creepiest/stupidest attempts at flirting with a receptionist) asked, "Well, what kind of services do YOU provide?"

My face looked something like this after he said that. Image found here:

I lowered my voice a half octave, put on my "bitch face", and informed him that he had wandered into a corporate law firm. He then tried to make a pitiful attempt at a lawyer joke, all the while looking like he wanted to eat me. I called for security, but before they could come up to assist, this pustule on the face of humanity had taken one of the bottles of water at the reception desk and left.

Those are for CLIENTS, asshole!

Women who work in customer service, I feel, have an especially difficult time when it comes to these creeps.  When a lady is working at the cash register, behind the check-in desk, behind the Burger King counter, she has an obligation to give "good customer service" she always should. However, in my experience, I find that a woman's hands are tied when faced with a situation like the one I had: We are trained to keep smiling and giving "good customer service", even when the customer is being a disgusting creep.

When I was a bakery clerk way back in the day, my boss would tell me about how she would get goosed on an almost weekly basis by a customer who had wandering hands. She was so afraid of getting "written up" by her managers that she didn't say a single word.

A lot of time had passed since that incident, (she told me that it happened back in the mid-nineties, in a different store located half-way across the country), and I had received a great deal of "safety and awareness training" from our store. All the same, it always kind of got to me how much of this training was focused on waiting for the creep to go away.  If I didn't feel safe (and if the creepy customer was within earshot), I would call whatever manager was on duty and say, "I'm going to take my break early". This was our stores' "code phrase"  for when one of us was feeling seriously creeped out and didn't want to be too obvious. I would then go to the back room and wait for somebody to stay with me until the customer in question left. Under no circumstances were we to confront the creepy customer. That wouldn't be giving very good customer service, would it?

From a liability standpoint, I completely understand why the grocery store forbade us from confronting the creepers. Be that as it may, it still really bothers me. It felt like the grocery chain was more concerned with keeping a customer than they are with keeping their employees safe and sane.

It's WAY beyond the scope of one blog post to explore street harassment, the culture that allows and excuses it, and possible solutions.

I guess all I have left to say is this: I do not owe it to men to be friendly. I do not owe it to men to be conversational.

I will not compromise my sanity and safety for a man's need for attention and validation.

I am so sick of this crap.

*(when I'm walking I wear my headphones, and when I'm on the bus I either knit, read, play with my phone, or stare out the window.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Sand dollar box lid!

Is it a button?

A coaster for a shot glass?

Just a cute round THING?

NOPE! Readers, for this week's Lace Doodle Thursday, we have a LID! For a BOX!

I'm still working on the, well, BOX part of this teeny tiny keepsake. I went ahead and used a size 10 crochet cotton and upped my usual crochet hook size to 1.25 mm, which makes for a MUCH stiffer end result that doesn't require starching!

It did turn out super teeny-tiny. 

Enjoy, fellow crocheters!

"Sand Dollar Box" (Lid)

Materials: Size 10 crochet cotton
Crochet hook size 4 (1.25mm)
Special Stitches:
Beg. 3 dc popcorn: Ch 3, 2 dc in the magic ring. Remove hook from working loop, push through both loops of the ch 3 and dc and pull the loop through.
3 dc popcorn: Work 3 dc in the magic ring, remove hook from working loop, push through both loops of the first two dc and pull the loop through.

Make magic ring.

Rd 1: Work beg. 3dc popcorn in ring, ch. 2. (Work 3 dc popcorn in ring, ch 2) 3 times, join with slip st to beg. 3dc popcorn. Pull magic ring tight.

Rd 2: Ch 3, 3 dc in same sp. Ch 1, 4 dc in next sp around. sc in 3rd ch of beg ch 3 to form last ch 1 sp.

Rd 3: Ch 3, dc in same sp. (dc in each of the next 4 st, 2 sc in next ch 1 sp) around, join with sl st to third ch of beginning ch 3.

Rd 4: ch 1, sc in same st. Sc in each stitch around.

Bind off and weave in ends! :-D

Folks, you may do whatever you like with the miniature box lids you make from this pattern, but please do not re-publish or sell the pattern. Thanks! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Smile Saturday

Rescued ducks discovering water for the first time! If you don't feel ten times happier after watching this, you have no soul.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Haiku Friday.

"It's okay," they say,
yet My hands still shake. I must
get over this fear.

...of plugging in appliances that don't have a clear "On/Off" switch. It's ridiculous, I know. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Naomi's Star

Good afternoon, Readers!

Now that I'm a boneh-fiday married person, I think that it's time to amp up my lace-making skills. I am officially on a "lace schedule", Readers! You can expect a lace doodle every Thursday!

The first four of these "doodles', Readers, are little "Thank-yous" to a few of the people who helped make our wedding wonderful!

The first of these is a snowflake inspired by my parent's wonderful neighbor, Naomi:

Ladies and gentleman, the Fairy God Mother is alive and well and is living in the Pacific Northwest. Her name is Naomi, and she's been a close family friend for about five years now.

If a person were to go to a dictionary and look up the words "Hospitable", "Giving",  and "Welcoming", they would find Naomi's picture. While I was planning my wedding, Naomi has been UNBELIEVABLY helpful!

This Fairy God Mother in disguise planned my bridal shower, down to the tiniest detail. She also helped address our invitations, and she HANDMADE these amazing leaf-shaped brooches that my bridesmaids wore.

This flake/star has a pineapple lace motif in the center, to serve as a symbol of welcome and hospitality, the very same kind that Naomi gives to each and every person she meets!

Naomi, this lace flake is for you! Thank you so much for being so wonderful!

Naomi's star

worked with DMC cebelia, size 20 crochet thread (white)
steel hook size 8 (.9 mm)

Special stitches:
Picot: ch 3, sc in third ch from hook
Beg. 3dc cluster: Ch 3, (YO, insert hook in st indicated, pull up loop, YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice, YO, draw through all 3 loops on the hook.
3 dc cluster: (YO, insert hook in st indicated, pull up a loop. YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) three times. YO, draw through all 4 loops on the hook.

Ch 8, sl st in first ch to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, sc in ring. (ch 6, sc in ring) 5 times, ch 3, Dc in first sc fo form last ch-6 sp. 6 ch-6 spaces.

Round 2: Ch 1, sc in same space. Chain 4, *(sc, work picot, sc) in next ch-6 sp, ch 4. Repeat from * 4 times, sc in first ch 6 sp, work picot, sl st to first sc.

Round 3: Ch. 1, (5 sc in next ch-4 sp, ch 7) around, join with sl st to first sc.

Round 4: sl st to third sc from round 3. Ch 5 counts as first dc plus ch 2 , dc in same st, (ch 2, dc in same st) twice. Ch 10, *dc in third sc from round 3, (ch 2, dc in same st) three times. Ch 10. Repeat from * 4 times, join with sl st to third ch of first ch 5.

Round 5: work beg 3dc cluster in next ch-2 space, (ch 1, work 3dc cluster in next ch-2 space) twice. *(ch 2, 2 dc) three times in next ch 10 space, ch 2. (work 3dc cluster in next sp, ch 1) twice, work 3dc cluster in next space, ch 2. Repeat from * 4 times, (ch 2, 2dc) three times in final ch 10 space, ch 2. join with slip st to beg 3 dc cluster.

Round 6: sl st to first ch1 space. Work beg 3dc cluster in same space, ch 1, work 3 dc cluster in next space. *Ch 3, sc in next sp. ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sp, ch 3, (2dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sp. Ch 2, sc in next space, ch 3, work 3dc cluster in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, work 3dc cluster in next space. Repeat from *4 times, ch 3 sc in next space, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 space, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sp, ch 2, sc in next sp. Ch 3, slip st to first cluster.

Round 7: Sl st to next ch 1 sp, work beg. 3dc cluster. *^Ch 4, skip next ch-3 sp and next ch-2 sp, (2dc, ch 2, 2dc) in next ch-2 sp. Ch 2, sc in next, sp, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 sp. Ch 4, ^ work 3dc cluster in next ch-1 sp. Repeat from *4 times, repeat from ^ to ^ once. join with slip st to first cluster.

Round 8: Ch 1, 2 sc in next ch-4 space. *^(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 space. (Ch 2, sc in next space) twice, ch 2. (2dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 sp. 2 sc in next ch-4 space, work picot, ^2 sc in next ch-4 space.  Repeat from *4 times, then repeat from ^ to ^ once. Join with sl st to first sc.

Round 9: sl st to first ch 2 sp. ch 3, dc in same sp. ch 3, 2 sc in next space. In next space work (sc, picot, sc), 2 sc in next space. ch 3, *(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 space, (ch 2, 2 dc) twice in next ch 2 space. Ch 3, 2 sc in next sp, in next space work (sc, picot, sc), 2 sc in next space. Ch 3. Repeat from *4 times, (dc, ch 2) twice in next ch-2 sp, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, sc into first dc.

Round 10: Ch 6, * in next sp work (sc, hdc, dc, tr). (ch 12, sl st in 6th ch from hook) 3 times. Ch 12, sl st in 6th ch from hook, (ch 6, sl st in same st) twice. (Ch 12, sl st in 6th ch from hook) 3 times, ch 6. Work (tr, dc, hdc, sc) in next sp. Ch 3, dc in next ch-2 sp, tr in next sp. Ch 7, (begin little heart), sc in 6th ch from hook. Ch 3, sc in third chain from hook, sl st into first sc (the one you made in the 6th ch), next ch and top of last tr worked. dc in next ch-2 sp. ^ Ch 3, repeat from * 4 times, then repeat from * to ^ once. Join with slip st and bind off.

You can do whatever you like with the snowflakes you make from this pattern, but please to not republish or sell the pattern. Cause that's not cool. 

Until next time!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2.0 Turtles

I'm back, Readers!

Whoof. I'm still recovering from the hurricane that was our Nuptials. I'm currently working on a blog post about our wedding day/honeymoon, which will be up when I'm entirely satisfied with it. It's been four days since I've been back to work, and yet I'm still feeling like a member of the walking dead.

Luckily, my office is located right next to a coffee machine.

As you guys can probably infer from the above picture and my Etsy gadget, I re-did the NES Ninja Turtle pillow. This time, I made sure that ALL of the yarn used was the same kind/brand; this was knit entirely from a machine-washable mercerised cotton. Also, I whipped out my size 1 needles for this project so that the pillow turned out a bit smaller.

In addition, I knit the entire pillow in one piece as opposed to knitting the turtles separate. This time around it was much easier, as I had (mostly) perfected the intarsia technique and I was already familiar with the image pattern.

I'm really starting to enjoy intarsia. It's a  royal pain, but the end result makes the whole thing worth it. Once I have enough snowflakes for the upcoming X-mas season, I might turn my attention toward knitting more pillows made from pixelated images...possibly celebrity portraits? Flowers? Simple landscapes?

Ideally, I'd like to shy away from doing more video game images. They're fun, but overdone, in my opinion.

Now that the pillow is finished, I'm finding myself yet again preparing for my offices' annual craft fair. I'm working on another snowflake pattern, which also will be posted as soon as I'm satisfied with the end result.

<3 Until next time!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Post-wedding Haiku Friday

They jumped in the pool,
my Bridesmaids. I'm not joking.
God, our wedding ruled.

My bridesmaids seriously, Readers, jumped in the pool. In their dresses. 


Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Haiku Friday. See ya'll on the other side.

Butter to my bread and breath to my living <3
His eyes, they glisten
like the azure Atlantic
as a storm passes.

I'm leaving for Massachusetts tomorrow morning, Readers. When I return, I will be married to the love of my life.

Until next time <3

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Capcom is responsible for my swearing habit.

This guy. This guy right here is partially responsible for my cursing habit.

 *I'd like to apologize in advance to my Mother for this post. Ma, cover your eyes.

This past weekend, Readers, as many of you know, was PAX. This video game conference attracts gamers from all over the country for a weekend of oohing and ahhing at the latest and greatest in video gaming technology.

I had the great privilege to host two particularly awesome people who were visiting our fair city of Seattle for PAX. The futon was laid out, the decaf was brewed, and Mega Man 9 was downloaded onto the Wii for some retro entertainment.

I'm not sure what exactly it is, Readers, but there is something about that little blue robot that compels me to use language that would make a sailor blush.

During this stage, my guests were laughing hysterically at me as I was screaming, *cover your eyes, Ma*"F--- YOU, SPLASH WOMAN! F--- YOU WITH A SPLINTERY POST!"
I usually don't swear much, Readers. When I'm doing the receptionist thing at work, I adopt a squeaky-clean "Receptionist Persona", and while I'm validating parking, scheduling meetings, answering the phones (et cetera et cetera), the dirtiest thing to escape my lips is usually some variation of "Oh, dear."

(By the way, Readers, I've found that my "Receptionist Persona" can be really, REALLY useful outside of the workplace. I'll blog more on that later).

It probably comes as no surprise that once I get home from work, I go through a reverse Pygmalion transformation of sorts. Once the high-heels come off, the "Receptionist Persona" comes off too and I find myself letting my not-very-ladylike tendencies manifest.

Even then, I usually don't swear much. This probably stems from my very conservative upbringing, where I wasn't even allowed to use the word "crap". Cursing was replaced by a list of "almost-swears", which I find just don't have the same cathartic affect. I mean, let's be honest with ourselves, Readers.  When you slam your hand in a dresser drawer, will yelling "GOSH DARN IT! THAT STINKY WINKY DRESSER! MY HAND HURTS LIKE A MUSSY FUDGER!" have the same effect of what we all know would ACTUALLY be said?

In some ways, the non-swearing cursing is MORE gross and MORE hurtful than the swearing kind. When I was in 6th grade, the worst thing I ever heard uttered from a kid's mouth was *Mom, cover your eyes"Go make out with your grandma, you zit-licker!" That kid, however, deserves a medal for his creative use of the English language.

There is something about Mega Man, Readers, that turns the "curse like an agitated drunk in a biker bar" switch on in my head. That Friday evening, as I was guiding the blue pixelated android through Splash Womans'....Splash fortress?  I weaved a tapestry of lexicon-foulness that was so thick and so putrid that it flew out of my window, circled around the Queen Anne district four times, and is now floating somewhere over Lake Union.

I'm not going to Dr. Phil this any, Readers. You can interpret the Mega Man trigger as you will (Leave me a comment about it, though! That mess will be HILARIOUS!).

My cursing aside, the weekend was a smashing success. The couple staying with us was an absolute RIOT! It's good to know that I have friends who will accept me as I am, even if I start cursing loudly at cartoony robots.

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Woman plus hot dog plus sophomoric buffoons equals:

Readers, I want to write about an incident that happened on Friday. I have a lot of difficulty writing about this, because this subject honestly makes me very uncomfortable and very, VERY angry.

On Friday evening, as I was on my way home from a long, frustrating, and exhausting day, I decided that I didn't feel like cooking. I went ahead and cheated on my pescetarian diet "just this once", stopped by Dog Japan (the amazing Japanese hotdog stand, either located across from the Pike street Wallgreens or across from the Nordstrom Rack), picked up a plain hot dog with ketchup and onions and went on my way.

Readers, I thought that I lived in a city filled with mature adults. But it seems as if asshole-ish troglodytes like to congregate in downtown Seattle on Friday evenings.

While walking home, I witnessed three lewd gestures, I was the recipient of two "Yeah, Girl" comments, and I walked by at least two groups of grown ass men who would whisper to one another and then break out into hysterical laughter, pointing at the exhausted 20-something in the black suit, eating a hot dog.

An effing hot dog, Readers. For some reason, a woman walking alone eating a hot dog on a Friday night is a magnet for dumbassery.

This...kind of ruined my weekend. What makes it a bit worse, Readers? I highly suspect that if John (who has the build of an upscale nightclub bouncer) was with me, these fools would not have DARED making any of those comments or gestures, lest my fiance beat their faces into an unrecognizable pulp (which was his first impulse after I told him why I was so flustered when I got home).

I shouldn't have to rely on John (or my brother, or my dad, or any male, for that matter) in order to, you know, NOT be harassed and/or humiliated should I decide to eat a hot dog (or wear shorts, or dance, or wear a bathing suit, etc) in public.

I'm not going to whine about the "sexual double standard", or go on about how "Those guys judged me before even knowing me!" or about how "Misogyny is bad, m-kay?" We've all read that a million times, Readers. We know this, it's not exactly news.

Which is why this behavior baffles and really bothers me.

Readers, I'm obviously not going to place the blame for these childish cretins' behavior on ALL of those who have a Y chromosome. But holy crap, fellas, does it really take the perceived threat of getting your ass whooped in order for the less mature of you to NOT act like a sex-starved Neanderthal?

Ugh. I need to crochet something.

Until next time, Readers.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fetch some smelling salts!

This almost-exact scenario happened, except the dude in the jacket was my coworker (who was also dutifully holding up a Puke Pail for me) and the lady behind the curtain was a team of paramedics.
So, Readers, I fainted for the first time in my life on Friday. At work. In front of clients. And my company's vice president. Suffice to say, it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life so far and I NEVER want to have that happen ever again.

I will spare you all the gory details of my  little "episode", but I will say, Readers, that throughout the whole humiliating ordeal I learned just how much I appreciate and care for my coworkers. I was very well taken care of while I was "out", and once I came to I was guided to an empty conference room where I sat in a zombie-like state until the paramedics showed up to make sure that I wasn't dying.

 I had a supervisor on one side, asking me the usual battery of "OMG are you alright?" questions: if these "fainting spells" have happened before, if there was any chance I was pregnant, if I had eaten that day, and so on and so forth. My other supervisor was on my other side, cracking "You think THAT's bad?" remarks which, in all honestly, brought me a lot of comfort as I had just lived through one of my worst nightmares.

Once the paramedics were satisfied that there was nothing wrong with my heart or lungs (and that I didn't hurt myself too badly when I fell), I curled up and slept in our offices' "sick room" until my fiance could come and take me home (they didn't want me going home by myself). We were going to call a cab, but because it would have taken about an hour, one of our head administrators gave us both a ride to my apartment.

Readers, when one of your upper-level managers will gladly drive you, a lowly receptionist, home because a cab would take too long, you know you're working in a good environment. Plus, by the time I got home, a bouquet of hand-tied multicolored roses was waiting for me at my door, sent by my co-workers.

John took me to urgent care where they basically told me that I was severely dehydrated and that I need to eat more. I can't help but hang my head a bit in shame;  it's true that I have been dieting to lose a little weight before the wedding day...and I'm ashamed to say that before my fainting spell, I had not eaten all day, not necessarily because I thought I was fat, but because I was so overwhelmed with the wedding coming up that I literally forgot to eat.

John, once again, has proved himself to be the best almost-husband ever. He drove me to and from urgent care, he set up a little "nest" for me on my couch,  he fed me Popsicles, he set his iPhone timer for the doctor's "fluid intake schedule" ("Hon, it's been an hour. Drink another glass.") and played Mario Kart with me until the color returned to my lips (apparently, while I was "out", my lips were the same color as my forehead. That's terrifying).

What have I learned from this ordeal? That: 1. I know I can fully count on those I care about to catch me as I'm falling (literally!), 2. That I will never, EVER let myself go that long without eating or drinking ever again, and 3. That God has provided me, yet again, with the miracles that are my friends and loved ones.

Drink lots of water, Readers! Until next time!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Haiku Friday

My face reveals a
Bemused smirk when they mistake
Me for a lawyer.

(Seriously, Readers, whenever I wear my good black suit I'm mistaken for "the new associate." It's kind of awesome).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Belated Haiku/How to make an Emoti-Margarita

I'm a busy bride.
I can miss a weekly verse
If I so desire.

Apologies, Readers, for missing last week's Haiku Friday. I assure you all that I do have a good reason, though:

pictures courtesy of my fabulous sister (in red). Love you, Q-sie!

I was busy getting my Bridal Butt kicked at croquet, nibbling on delicate delights, drinking tea, being the "Bat Bride*", and celebrating my transition from "Miss" to "Mrs." with family and friends.

My friends, family and neighbors put together one of the two most wonderful bridal showers in the history of bridal showers. I was deliberately kept in the dark as far as planning went, so the minute I stepped out of the car, my jaw hit the ground and stayed there for the duration of the event.

Some very close family friends (who have been a part of my life since I was 10) hosted the event, and under the direction of my parents neighbor (another very close family friend, who I now know is the human embodiment of the Fairy Godmother paradigm), had transformed their front yard into a fairy tale-like tea garden, complete with croquet, cucumber sandwiches, twinkling lights, and BEAUTIFUL flowers:

My mother arranged these herself!

It never ceases to amaze me how life transitions such as this one have a tendency to bring out ALL of my inner emotions, place them in a blender with ice and lime, shakes/mixes them up into one giant Emoti-Margarita, pours the emotional mix back into my brain, and garnishes the swirling mix of euphoria/nostalgia/fear/joy with a tiny umbrella, metaphorically speaking. Throughout the shower, I laughed, I cried, I ran around and squealed like a dork, and I sighed as I was overcome with nostalgic memories. It seems like it was just last week that I was running around that front yard as a kid, throwing water balloons.

I thought that it had "hit me", Readers, that I am getting married in less than a month, but it seems as if these things never quite stop "hitting" me.  I must be walking around with a giant, William-Tell-esque target on my heart, as I'm constantly getting "hit" by emotions as the wedding day gets closer and closer.

Put down a deposit on the one bedroom apartment were John and I will be living as husband and wife? Direct hit.

My final wedding dress fitting, with the veil, jewelry and everything? Direct hit.

Future hubby and I bought our wedding bands? Direct hit.

Bridal shower? Deeeeeerect hit.

I was hit with emotions, yes, Readers, but the bridal shower was still beautiful and wonderful. I am so blessed to have such amazing family and friends!

*Note: The "Bat Bride" comes from a hilarious story when I was out wedding dress shopping. I'll write on that later <3

Until next time <3

Friday, August 3, 2012

Haiku Friday

Ya know, I don't think
Christ meant us to praise him with
Buying fatty food.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wedding Planning Hooplah part 5: It's time to play....WHAT'S THAT SONG FOR???

John and I are having WAY too much fun in choosing music for the both the wedding ceremony and reception.

The ceremony will be, of course, VERY traditional. The church has this huge/gorgeous/amazing pipe organ that we will be taking full advantage of!

We found an arrangement of this for the organ, which will be my prelude:

Readers, I am going to post some of the music that we're considering for the reception. We are going to play our new absolutely favorite game....




Have an awesome afternoon, Readers! Leave me your guesses in the comments!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Haiku Friday.

Stained glass windows are 
etched on Her wings, royalty
sent to humble us. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can I Can? I think I Can...

Me as soon as we're all settled in our new place. Image found here: 

As the weather gets hotter, Readers, a certain, strange urge begins to overtake me.

On my lunch hours, I will haunt Pike's Place market, looking for the best prices on dill. My Internet search engine history will show "jars and rings for sale," "you-pick tomatoes", and "jar sanitizing without a dishwasher".

Readers, I am becoming obsessed with Canning.

This is not the first time I've been overcome by a need for good, homemade pickles, Readers. It appears as if I am (at least) a third generation "Canner"; both of my grandmothers canned anything they could get their hands on, and my mother would "put up" homemade pickles every summer when I was little. Our basement walls would always be lined with colorful jars of pickles, tomatoes, dilly beans, vanilla, and jam.

While growing up in Wisconsin, this was (at least, it seemed that way to me as a kid) the norm for people. EVERYONE I knew canned their own food. Why on earth would anybody buy pickles from the store when you could make perfectly good ones yourself at home at a fraction of the cost? IT'S A COLLOSAL WASTE OF MONEY!

I've done a bit of canning on my own, Readers. One summer while I was in high school, I decided that I was going to make my own pickles. With my mother's watchful eye over my shoulder and my grandmother on the phone for moral support, I washed the cucumbers, sanitized the jars, boiled the lids, prepared the hot water bath, packed the garlic and dill, and after a hot, steamy afternoon (oh, GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE GUTTER!) I had two dozen jars of garlic dill pickles that would be ready to eat come Halloween.

Obviously, living in downtown Seattle presents a challenge to this would-be Canner. My mother and grandmothers (ESPECIALLY my dad's mother, who has a legendary green thumb) all have ridiculously amazing gardens that produce baskets and baskets of beautiful vegetables. For them, canning is almost a necessity; any produce that's not eaten fresh HAS to be processed otherwise food gets wasted.

I'm allowed a small "P-patch" in my apartment buildings courtyard, but this is literally only about a square foot of space. Luckily for me, I still have access to amazing and inexpensive fruits and veggies; I live within walking distance to Pikes Place market, AND the Capitol Hill weekly farmer's market. John and I also have a Costco membership.  Even if I have to buy my fruits and vegetables, I can still satisfy my urge to Can.

Another challenge, as I've written before, is the size of my kitchen. My kitchen is TINY. As in microscopic. Space is needed if a scatterbrain like me wants to can fruits and vegetables safely. This is just a sad reality of having a short attention span; my workspace is constantly cluttered with dirty dishes, papers, and whatnot,  but I'm certainly not the first Canner in my family to be easily distracted. I will clear out and sanitize my counter, dining table and even the computer desk, if I must. (My future husband, by the way, is completely supportive of my canning antics. Just so long as I don't get garlic on his laptop).

Organization of time is going to be another hurdle for me. The jars and rings need to be sanitized and organized just so, the brine/liquid/alcohol needs to maintain a certain temperature and pH, and once your cucumbers/tomatoes/beans/whatever have been packed into jars, you need to get the liquid in, lids on, and get those jars in the canning kettle ASAP or you run the risk of Botulism (a form of food poisoning that can literally kill you).

Having an itty-bitty working area and a short attention span is going to be a challenge for me. HOWEVER, I know that I am not the first to be faced with these problems. If I need to cut my canning down to 3-4 jars at a time, then so be it. If I need to get a buddy or my fiance to help me, then so be it.

Canning is a skill that I think is way overdue for a comeback. Being able to know what EXACTLY it is that goes into my family's food will make the prepping, sanitizing, boiling and stewing well worth it.

Aside from my inner granola grinning smugly, I get a strange sort of power rush when I am responsible for making my own food. I got this same rush when I picked vegetables from my garden, and still do when I knead bread dough, or when I make my own barbeque sauce.

Come what may, I can feed my family. Come the zombie apocolypse, alien attack, freak snow-storm, pandemic-du-jour...we will have food that we can trust is not loaded with God-knows-what and that tastes good to boot.

Until next time, Readers!