Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dancing Queen

While at the Elegant Ewe for Gina's show, I also picked up some more sock yarn. Because I need it, right? And especially in the color I chose. Because you know, I couldn't possibly have any purple sock yarn in the stash right? Ha.

On Friday Alison had invited us to go see her Aunt Sue's belly dancing recital. We went to Alison's to pick her up so that Shawn could meet Edgar. They seemed to get along okay, even though Edgar is a mommy's dog. You should see him trail Alison through the whole apartment, it's hilarious.

We drove down to the Crown Plaza in Nashua for the belly dancing recital. Apparently it was a whole day workshop. There were lots of vendors selling costumes, so Alison and I had to investigate this prior to the show. I don't think the purple hip scarf with the the jingling sequins really went with my fleece coat. Doesn't seem to have quite the right effect.

There were various performances by groups and individuals attending the workshop, but my camera batteries were on their last legs, so I focused on making sure I had pictures of Aunt Sue's performance. They all came out really dark, so they've been photoshopped to death to get these. Aunt Sue's class is a beginner to intermediate class and I think they said they were doing a veil dance. Aunt Sue is in green/teal.

It was fascinating really. After the performance, since it was around the corner, we went to Five Guys and Fries.

Yesterday and today I spent several hours working on the novel. I now have 26, 171 words and 88 pages. I've almost sorted out the time line, but I still think it's going to take a couple of hours to deal with that and have it make sense. I'm hoping to resolve it tonight, but we'll see. I am now at 26% of my goal of 100,000 words.

In fiber news, I've been making some progress on the knitting, but I've really been focusing on the writing this week. I'm about to start the decreases on the hand on the mittens, but it's been slow going. I think I'm bored because I've knit these before, even though it was twelve years ago.

I'm off to write. I have twelve hours of time in the novel to span to get me to where I should be, in the timeline. Stay tuned.

Long As I Can See the Light

Okay it's been a busy two weeks. I might have to split this up into two posts. Last weekend, Lisa E and I went to El Mexicano Jr on Wilson Street in Manchester. This excursion is part of Lisa's plan to seek out new and different places, as some times off the beaten track is a hidden jewel. There isn't much ambiance to the place and there are only three tables, but the food was wonderful. Lisa tried a selection of tacos and I got the chile relleno plate and we each got guacamole. Lisa was disappointed as she really wanted to try the tongue taco, but they didn't have it available that night. It was also nicely inexpensive. If you don't mind the hole in the wall atmosphere (which I don't), this is a must try.

On Saturday, I foolishly made my car inspection appointment for 8:00 am, so I trooped up to Grappone, and then visited the Corner View Restaurant for blueberry pancakes while I reread and made notes on my writing group's submissions for the meeting that afternoon. Writing group was hosted by Mary Kate and her 19 and 22 pound cats. Writing group was very helpful, despite the fact that I had not submitted what I wanted to. Mary Kate hosted and served some wonderful homemade bread and some chocolate with chili in it that was just amazing. I arrived home that day to find that Shawn had bought me a box of chocolates and some champagne, but no sculpture. Champagne is good though. And I think it'll probably take me at least 5 years to get Shawn to do a least.

We had decided to really do Valentine's Day on Monday, as we both had it off. What we ended up doing is a cooking marathon. We grocery shopped for the first time since god knows when, so on Monday we got the crock pots running, and made Potato Cheese soup, Green Chile Stew, and Caribbean Black bean soup. We package these up in individual gladware containers and freeze them for lunches. For our romantic dinner, we got two filet mignon, got out the rotisserie and roasted garlic, made a roasted garlic sauce with red wine vinegar, shallots and chicken broth reduced and then blended with 2 bulbs of the roasted garlic. Then we crushed peppercorns and cooked the filet in the rotisserie. The sauce was wonderful.

On Wednesday I made an appearance at the Manchvegas knitting group so I could snag my Thin Mint girl scout cookies from Sarah C. It was nice to see everyone and I needed the laughs. On Thursday, I had made an appointment to get my hair cut at a real salon, 26th on Hanover in Manchester. Brittany talked me into a cut with layers, this is my best attempt at taking a picture of myself. It actually looks better than that. After the haircut, I headed on over to Alison's to meet Edgar. Edgar is Alison's new child, a shih tzu - chihuahua mix. He's only six months old and only six pounds.

During this week, I also worked on the novel a lot. Unfortunately, I did not use the Wii Fit very much. After writing group and seeing Lisa, I've been hellbent on getting the rewrites done so that I can send it out to certain people who want the next installment, but it's been taking longer than I thought it would.

On Saturday, I went to see Gina H's trunk show at the Elegant Ewe, at which she had her new book and lots of the items from the book on display. If you're interested in Gina's book, go here. She's done a really nice job of putting it together and printing it. It's very professionally done and there's some neat patterns in it.

Stay tuned for part II...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wasted Words

Just a warning to start. I'm cranky due the flu/stomach bug I developed on Sunday evening. I spent most of Monday in bed or comatose or playing games on the wii which did not require any physical movement. Shockingly, they do exist. Because I had left revising my submission for writing group until the last minute on Sunday, it didn't get done as the result of the flu. And while I feel a bit better today, in that I went to work, and there have been no mad dashes for the facilities, I don't feel coherent enough to work on the novel. Spew a bunch of crap on my blog, yeah, but not the novel. So I have posted garbage on my writing group's site for the critique this month and I'm ticked off at myself about it, hence the Allman Brothers' Wasted Words song title for the blog title today. (What is with me and the Allman Brothers lately??)

I also turned 38 years old this Saturday. And while I don't really care about the age thing so much, although I am noticing more white hairs, it's just that I had meant to accomplish more than I have by now. And that sounds arrogant and obnoxious, but it's sort of true. I do hope I'm a late bloomer.
In other birthday news, Kat at work made these lovely cupcakes for me. Notice the skittles and the sour gummy nightcrawlers. The cupcakes were lemon with lemon frosting and were awesome. Given that since Shawn was diagnosed with diabetes I have all but given up skittles and sour gummy candy of any kind, they were such a treat! (Yes, I do have extremely juvenile taste in candy, thank you. I am aware of that.)

On Saturday Shawn gave me a Nintendo Wii points card, a gift card to the Elegant Ewe, and a skein of purple Swans Island Certified Organic Merino Worsted yarn. It's not yarn I would have bought for myself due the cost, but it is lovely and very smooshy and soft. I also got one of Shawn's really lovely cards, but unfortunately, I ended up choking on the cupcake in the pictures in the middle of reading it. So it really didn't have the effect Shawn was going for. Usually I end up in tears because he's so sweet, but this time I was in tears trying to get green coconut out of my throat. Poor Shawn.

Besides the choking, I was also emotionally traumatized on Saturday due to the arrival of my new driver's license. I don't think I've ever had a picture this bad. Mary Kate said I look like I'm Asian. I'm tempted to lose it and get a replacement, but I think they just print them out again from the computer now. Sigh...

We normally go to dinner for each other's birthdays. I really wanted to go to the Hanover Street Chophouse because we had such an unbelievable meal there about a year and half ago. However, because it's so expensive, I had to offer to pay half to get to go. It was worth it. Shawn had the soup of the day which was a white bean soup with pork belly and some roasted vegetables, the truffled filet with fingerling potatoes and roasted vegetables, and a side of brussel sprouts cut in half and grilled with bacon (which I ate half of). I had the calamari with a garlic/spicy aioli and some marinara, the surf and turf which came with a filet, a lobster tail poached in butter, sour cream mashed potatoes and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. They had a panna cotta served with blood orange sorbet, but I couldn't eat all that so they let me just have some blood orange sorbet. They wrote happy birthday in chocolate syrup on the plate which was very ornate. I love it there, wish I could afford to go more than once every two years or so. The waiter tried to guess my age as 28 or 29, angling for the tip I guess :)

On Sunday I did the Wii for about an hour trying to work off some of the dinner, but I'm thinking it'll be days and days before that happens. I then went to the Sprint Store to get a new phone. Look at the color. I could just cry. But they had to order it, so I won't get it until Thursday probably.
Afterwards I went to guild and had a lovely time. People think that knitters are nice and sedate, but not so much. To protect the guilty, I'll not discuss the warped comments about poultry that occurred.

After guild I went to Joanne and Brian's (Shawn's parents) to visit. I helped Joanne set up their wii for wireless and showed her how to get other mii characters and register her friend's wii's. I got a very sweet card, a gift card to Target and Spore Hero for the wii. Woo hoo!! I did play it for about two hours while sick on Monday, as it does not have much physical activity.

Tonight on my way home from work, I stopped in at the Ewe. I bought a skein of Half Crepe from Mountain Colors. I love this yarn, but I've never bought it because I couldn't bring myself to spend the money. So I used Shawn's gift card.

While I was there, I also picked up the Trekking Hand Art sock yarn I had been eyeing last week. The colors don't really translate well in the picture but I really like it.
And that pretty much brings us up to date. Stay tuned for further transmissions.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Day in the Life

This week was about more cleaning. Again, I really, really hate cleaning. But the house had to be presentable for Laura V's visit, or she'd tidy around me. Seriously. It's happened.

Poor Shawn got home from Minneapolis on Friday night, earlier than expected, to find me on the kitchen floor in my cruddiest clothes cleaning the hermit crab cage. And then he got impressed into service. I'm sure he was thrilled that he managed to get an earlier flight home, so that he could help clean for the next three hours or so.

Laura arrived on Saturday morning, and we played with the Wii Fit Plus so she could check it out. After several hours of silliness, we decided to grab Vietnamese for lunch at the Golden Bowl on Queen City Ave in Manchester, because Vietnamese is always good. Then Laura decided that she needed a Wii, a Wii Fit Plus, some assorted accessories, and a TV. Apparently the Wii and the Wii Fit Plus are in short supply in the Manchester/Concord area. It took us going to five stores to get everything she needed and we snagged the last Wii Fit Plus and the last Wii at two different stores by calling ahead and telling them to hold it. The saleswoman at the BestBuy in Concord told us to take the Wii Fit Plus out to the car immediately so we did not get mugged for it.

Once we got everything we came back to the house, and goofed off for a while before heading to Fratellos on Canal in Manchester for dinner. We had a bottle of prosecco, which I had not had before. It was lovely, but I'm a sparkling wine fan. We had the carpaccio, Laura had the Chicken Capri and I had Lobster Ravioli. And then for some reason we had dessert. Laura had a puff pastry sundae thing, and I had the toll house pie. It was wonderful.

On Sunday, I conned Laura into going to guild with me. Laura does not knit. The only time that Laura tried to knit when we lived together, she knit so tightly that her hands swelled up about twice their normal size. It was quite possibly once of the weirdest knitting related thing I've ever seen. She appeared to have a good time chatting with everyone, and I got to work on my hat. I've finished with the color work and I just need to knit the crown and the decreases and I can start on the mittens.
The other good thing about knitting on Sunday was that Sarah came with pictures of Gabriel in the Dale Liederhosen outfit I knit for her shower last year. He's so adorable, and I'm happy that it fit him, as I was slightly worried about the waist size of the liederhosen when I knit it.
After guild, I drove Laura back to Boston since it would be hard for her to take the bus back with all her new electronics purchases. After I got home my husband picked up dinner for at Hot Stone Pizzeria, and I crashed.
Stay tuned for further updates, stay warm New Englanders.