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While the Cat’s Away…

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Paul and his friend Rob went to a drag racing event in Ohio this week. So, while the cat’s away, the mouse…..

1) Watches him live streamed on the internet while planning a new knitting project and having an iced coffee!

(That’s him in the wagon on the screen!)

2) Works on the re-finishing of the 1950’s-ish desk found at the Habitat Re-Store:

….while still watching the live streamed drag racing event. (pay no attention to the recycling or the questionable electrical outlet…)

3) Does a little yarn shopping:

(… while still watching. I brought my iPad to the shop with me!)

You’d think I wasn’t limiting my knitting at the rate I’m buying new yarn.  But The Spinning Room put out their weekly newsletter saying they got in a big box of Malabrigo and I had to go browse. I just couldn’t resist this Malabrigo Rios.  I love, Love, LOVE knitting with this yarn.  And I have no idea what I’ll knit with it yet, so I bought four skeins to hopefully leave my options open.  It just won’t be a sweater or a blanket.

4) Gets takeout Japanese food including gyoza and shrimp tempura rolls with lots of pickled ginger. YUM.

5) Goes to some tag sales and finds this:

And some books:

LOVE Harlan Coben.  Like Joanne Fluke. (click down there to get on Amazon)

And sees this beautiful scene in Berne, NY:

5) Cleans the house and goes to the transfer station.  Booooooooo.  Who voted to do that????

Speaking of the new knitting project, I found this Dreaming of Spring hat pattern that I thought would make a great fall class.

It is knit with bulky yarn (mine is Azteca) and big (square) needles and is a small project, all of which should be easy on the elbows.  I am also attempting to knit it in the continental knitting style to see if that helps. But what is cool about this hat pattern is that it is knit flat, on the bias and then seamed.

Not your everyday hat pattern that’s for sure.  I like that about it and I think it will make a great class.

And speaking of iced coffee, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit obsessed with good beverage containers.  In case you are interested (like you need another recommendation for a beverage container)  I love my Lilly Pulitzer Insulated Tumbler.

It’s not quite like that one (click on that to see on Amazon) but similar.  Keeps things cold and doesn’t sweat on the outside.  And it’s pretty!

As promised in my last post, here are our eclipse photos:

My pinhole thing-a-ma-jig….

We also had Paul’s welding helmet…..

That’s not really what we saw.  We were actually able to see the moon in front of the sun.  It was cool.

I’ve got another 24 hours or so until Paul gets home.  That’s plenty of time to get into some more trouble!  I think I’ll  do something really crazy like make zucchini, carrot, apple bread.

 

 

The Fairs and The Eclipse and New Knitting Pattern Obsessions

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What a crazy busy week we’ve had!

Last Friday, Paul and I went to the Madison-Bouckville Antique Fair.  Aside from the extremely muggy air and the TWO shaved ices I had to have to combat that, it was a good haul day!

We added the bottom two blue bowls and the top yellow bowl to our Fiestaware collection:

We haven’t been adding to our collection (which I started at least 15 years ago) too much in recent years but lately we are finding these fruit bowls to be very useful.

We also got this great set of vintage Pyrex mixing bowls:

I’ve been looking to replace my current mixing bowl set because…. my elbows. It is VERY heavy.  These are much lighter.

We got the additional covered dish to go with it:

(Holding some yummy grilled veggies.)

And now I’m obsessed with finding a matching pink refrigerator set which one of the vendors told me is hard to find.  Challenge accepted!

Oh, and Paul found another 1950s-era stool to refinish (no picture).  He now has FIVE to work on.

Did I say how muggy it was?  We were so happy to get into the truck with the A/C.

Then it was Saturday and we made our yearly trip to the Altamont fair.  Unfortunately, I did not participate in the spinning bee this year, but we went to watch and lend our support:

We also saw some animals:

And stopped at my favorite vendor, the Tupperware lady!  Last year, I got the set of Tupperware 16oz Impressions Dripless Tumblers I told you about in this post.  And this year?

The Tupperware Hamburger Press SetIt makes perfectly sized hamburgers and comes with four stackable storage compartments.  I can’t wait to use it.  We often get ground sausage too and it is so sticky to try and form patties, so this will be great! (Click there if you want to get one)

There was also fair food to be had.  We may or may not have had some ribbon chips, pizza, gyro, cider donuts and/or slush puppies.

Monday was the eclipse!  Thank goodness for Paul’s welding helmet (that man has everything!)…

Ha! And I just realized we took the pictures with Paul’s phone and he is not here and I want to get this published so I will post them next time.  It was cool, to say the least.

Then there was the progress on the deck that happened yesterday:

So exciting.  We are this close to having a platform to sit on…

Lastly, I’m sharing with you my latest knitting pattern obsessions.  I’m not really knitting yet, but still drooling over searching for the next thing I will knit when I do…

I found this great swingy sweater called Selva by Nadita Swings:

Selva by Nadita Swings

And then I got an email from KnitPicks and found these great patterns:

The Oakwood Poncho:

The Tilework Afghan:

(Love that color combo! Hmmm, same as the poncho…)

And the Rainbow Knit Blankie:

I am itching to get knitting!

Whew!  See? A busy/crazy week!  How was yours?

 

 

The Struggle

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The struggle is real, people. Plain and simple, my elbows still hurt.  And I can’t knit very much in the name of resting them, but resting them is hard because you need your arms/elbows for, oh, pretty much EVERYTHING.  This is not going to be a terribly whine-y post, I promise!  I’m just putting it out there to apologize that even though my blog is called Lizy Tish Knits, I don’t knit (very much).  And I might not for a while still and won’t have too many knitting things to show you. So I’m struggling a little because knitting is MY THING.  It’s what I LOVE. My license plate makes that very clear:

And I’m going a tiny bit stir crazy not being able to knit ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME.  So, I will do my best to blog about ALL THE OTHER THINGS besides knitting, with a tiny bit of knitting thrown in and hopefully you will still come back and read.

I am trying to make the best of the situation by knitting the little that I can and enjoying every few minutes of it!  Here is my work-in-progress of the Amy Shawl by Romi Hill that I am knitting on commission:

I think it is very pretty.  I am a little less than halfway done with the applied border.  I knitted the body of the shawl first, then I am knitting perpendicular to the shawl to apply the border, joining it to the border as I go.  It looks like there are a lot of stitches on my needle to knit, but I’m only working on the 34 stitches of the border and on every other row, knitting one of the rest of the stitches. Pretty cool how it goes. It will look great when it is blocked – all those lace-y holes will open up and really show the pattern.

I also went ahead and ordered the Knit Picks Options Foursquare Interchangeable Needle Set.  The square shape of the needle tips are supposed to help with the strain on my hands and therefore elbows too.  I can’t, however, change my needles in the project above because with the square needles, your gauge changes so that would not be good!   Next project, I’ll use these.

And I’m doing things to treat my arms/elbows right:

The thing on the right is an arm massager!  You stick your hand/arm through it and move your arm in and out.  Feels great!  A friend of mine very nicely gave this to me but you can find them (or things like it) here:Forearm Massager.  I also got this great Therapy Massage Ball Set which I can not only use on my arms but everywhere else!  It comes with links to videos and I followed a great one for massaging the bottom of your feet.  Felt soooooo good.  Click up there or here for more info:

In other news, Paul and I went for a quick mid-week racing test-and-tune session:

He is getting ready for a special kind of drag racing event.  Usually, he races and in between runs, tweaks motor things if needed and then races again. He also, based on the time of his races, chooses his dial-in time to race against.  In this race, he has to drive around town for 30 minutes, then make three back-to-back passes down the track and try to get as close the time of 11.0 seconds as he can.  He has to do all of this without touching anything on the motor or making any adjustments etc.  Definitely a little more challenging, especially since he doesn’t usually keep much gas in the tank (to keep the car lighter and hence, faster) so he’s not really sure how much to put in the tank to drive around for 30 minutes and then make three passes.  Should be interesting!

Also, we have this exciting-ness going on:

(That’s our friend Tyler in the hole.)

(Paul moved that whole pile of rocks himself because…my elbows.  I’m extremely a tiny bit not sad that I couldn’t help.  Don’t tell Paul.)

Hooray for a new deck!!

And the blue heron came to visit which is always fun to see:

They are very tall and very graceful and very stealth when catching frogs!

 

 

 

Four Great Summer Reading Books and A Favorite Thing

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In the summer I’m always excited to compile some books to read just in the summer.  Summer evokes the idea of vacations and relaxing and what better way is there to relax than with a book? Aside from knitting.  If I can’t relax with my knitting these days, I’ll be darn sure to be relaxing with a book.  Books are my second favorite obsession hobby.  Summer is about halfway over, but there is still plenty of time for you to add to your list. I have four great summer reading books to recommend to you today!  And then I’ll tell you about a favorite thing….

The Books: (Click on book pictures to go to Amazon)

#1) Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman :  A great book about a quirky woman who ends up in a small town and has to figure out life, as well as how to get along with the town.  Funny and also poignant.  I laughed, I cried.  (This author also wrote A Man Called Ove, which is on my nightstand.)

#2) Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple:  This is the author of Where’d You Go Bernadette (which I also really liked).  This one is also funny and poignant ( I guess I like that in a book).  A look at a woman’s life and marriage as she goes about her day trying to find out why her husband isn’t at work.

#3) The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand:  I love her books lately.  Light reading with small town drama and romance-y things.  Her books take place on Nantucket and this one is about one woman who grew up there and can’t leave.  She is known for her matchmaking skills and that’s where the small town drama and the romance-y things come from.  Definitely a good beach read.

#4) The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: I’m currently in the middle of this but can already recommend it.  Soooooo good. It is a mystery/thriller about a travel journalist who gets an assignment to review a luxury cruise.  Things are great until she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard…and the cruise continues on as she tries to tell someone what has happened.  Again, I’m only partway through, but it’s pulling me along and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My New Favorite Thing:

I actually have a new favorite thing that goes into an old favorite thing!

The new favorite thing is Starbucks’ Dulce de Leche Frappuccino.  So. Good.  The perfect beverage for a warm summer afternoon while you are working on your blog. And to go along with last post’s on-the-go beverage container recommendation, I’m telling you about my old favorite in-the-house beverage container.  My Tupperware 16oz Impressions Dripless Tumblers & Straw Seals .  They are perfect for an icy drink that needs a straw.   I have had them for years and they really hold up.  I even got a new set last year because I loved the colors. If they tip over they don’t leak!  Not even through the straw hole!  Tupperware commercial over. (I really do love Tupperware.)

In completely different news, I’m getting ready to make my first zucchini bread of the season!  Stay tuned…

 

 

More Summer Activities That Don’t Include Knitting

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My elbow tendinitis flare-up is persisting so I’m only limping along with a commissioned knitting project right now.  So, you get a list of the non-knitting things I/we have been doing!

1) The garden!  I’m going to make a batch of canned pickles this weekend (as opposed to the refrigerator pickles I made a few weeks ago) since the cucumbers are still coming.  And I also picked and froze these:

We have beans coming out of our ears now!  And zucchini is not far behind.  The peppers and the eggplant are not doing well for some reason. Lots of flowers, no fruit.  Except for one lone pepper.  But, hey! How about those hydrangeas from our yard??? So pretty.

2) We’ve also been eating lots of grilled veggies from the store, since this is the season for grilling.  Almost all we cook is on the grill this time of year:

3) Our beautiful weather (up til this week and now it is 85 and HUMID) has been great for opening windows, sitting in the kitchen in the morning to have tea and watch the birds at the feeder:

4) I have to tell you about my Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 Ounce Stainless Steel Hydration Bottle, Charcoal! (<— affiliate link)  I just used it yesterday and I was reminded about how awesome it is.  My friend Chrissy gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago.  Yesterday, I put ice and iced tea in my bottle at 8am.  I drank it throughout the day (it holds a lot) and it was icy cold all day long.  At 9pm (thirteen hours later) I dumped out a bunch of the ice that was still in there! This is hands down my most favorite water bottle ever.  Just saying.  (I highly recommend it, can you tell?)

5) We also made our yearly trip to the Park Playhouse in Albany to see the musical Ragtime.  It was a great show.

That picture was taken with my hands way up in the air.  Here is what I really saw:

She was very tall.  Eventually she got tired and started slouching, so I could see better without leaning so much!  (Ok, I’m probably exaggerating a tiny bit. I could see pretty well.)

5) I can hardly believe it but the doodlebugs turned six last week!  Paul and I collaborated and made them a homemade cornhole game:

Unfortunately, I was the only one able to attend the party since Paul was stuck at home fixing an unexpected shower leak.  UGH!  The good news is that he is my most favorite handy guy in the world and he fixed it!

6) We went with our friends Elaine and Steve to Naumkeag House in Stockbridge, Mass.  A beautiful home built in 1896 with wonderful gardens:

We picnicked on the grounds and it was a beautiful, fun day.

7) Just because I’m not knitting much, doesn’t mean I’m not THINKING about it.  Or OBSESSING about it.  As usual.

I’m obsessing thinking about getting this set of square interchangeable knitting needles:

Options Foursquare Majestic Needle Set

Queue the excuse for buying them: The square-ness is supposed to be easier on your hands etc. (and therefore elbows….)

Also, I’m dying to knit these patterns:

Cloud Nine Ballet Slippers

The Girl From the Grocery Store Shawl (because it is by Joji Locatelli and I love her.)

Leoch Shawl  (because it’s pretty and different and has a couple tassles!)

8) And this is hilarious:

How is YOUR summer going?

 

Summer Update

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It’s been SUCH a busy summer!  Not long after my last post we went on a family vacation and things have not stopped since.  It seems as if we are settling down a little now, so I can share with you ALL THE THINGS, including some yarn and knitting!

Cape Cod was beautiful:

I got some vacation knitting done.  Made some progress on Helen Stewart’s Fairyhill Shawl:

And I got some new yarn at A Great Yarn in Chatham to start Helen’s Sprite’s Fen shawl:

And I may have gotten a little bit of other yarn there too…

We’ve also been to our favorite summer dinner spot, Jumpin’ Jack’s:

We also found a great Mexican restaurant which we went to three times in 10 days because we heard it was good.  It was.

And made another trip to the Brimfield Antiques Fair/Flea Market where Paul found a dump trac to go along with his Murray pedal tractor he is restoring, as well as a scooter:

I got a great recipe from my friend Pam, which I am now obsessed with: Firecracker Slaw….

Coleslaw in a bag; red, yellow, orange peppers; scallions, a few pickeled jalapeno slices; dressing.  Dressing is 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 3T olive oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 1T pickled jalapeno juice, 2T mustard seeds.  Nice and spicy and YUMMY!

I couldn’t resist a new Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors yarn at The Spinning Room:

Not my usual colors but I just loved it.

I’ve also taught some knitting classes but only managed to get a picture of the A Gentle Diversion class progress:

The garden is taking off!:

We currently have cucumbers coming out of our ears and I’ve been making pickles like crazy.  Soon we will have zucchini and beans coming out of our ears too.  Peppers and eggplant are doing as well, but we’ll see.  And I’m really hoping the butternut squash starts doing better too.

It’s been a fun summer so far!

 

 

Popping In…

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HEY!! Where have you been? Ha ha.  After a crazy few weeks, which mostly involved dealing with an eye issue and a weirdo steroid treatment that has mostly fixed the eye issue (I’ll save you the details of the crazy side effects), and in which I did not write any blog posts, I’m finally popping in to give you a list…

1) I’m plugging away on the first pattern of the Shawl Society II series, the Fairyhill Shawl:

2) But in the meantime, the second shawl pattern has been released, Sprite’s Fen Shawl, and I really, really want to start that because it is soooooooo pretty (click on that link, it really is).  But I need to find yarn for it….

3) But I can’t start that one anyway because I’m also doing some commissioned knitting these days.  Here is the Amy shawl by Romi Hill that I am knitting for someone:

It has a garter stitch body, which is finished, and you can see in the upper right part of the picture that I have started the edging, which is knit at a 90 degree angle to the body.  Such a pretty pattern.

4) I’ve taught a few classes and forgot to take pictures (see aforementioned eye issue – I’m using that excuse for everything).

5) In gardening news, we planted the garden.  Really, Paul planted the garden. (See aforementioned eye issue in which for several days I wasn’t really doing anything but I could direct him where to plant things.)

Beans, San Marzano tomatoes, plum tomatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, peppers, eggplant.  In the middle tubs are pickling cucumbers and in the tiny planter, two lavender plants because I love, Love, LOVE the smell of lavender!

6) Did you catch the owl “decoy” up there?  My mother-in-law’s friend has one and says it keeps birds and other critters away.  Paul has been moving it every few days.  We hope it works.

7) I also bought marigolds to plant around the edges as I heard that helps keep some bugs away.

8) Look what came through the yard yesterday:

Sweet momma and baby.

9) And we woke up to this today:

(darn electric pole/wires…)

More craziness coming up in the next couple of weeks as summer gets started, but another post will come as soon as possible!  Do YOU have big summer plans, knitting or otherwise?

 

 

Racing Season

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Racing season has begun for us!

Last Saturday was Buick Day at Lebanon Valley Dragway.

Paul came in second!  Hooray!

And so begin my pit crew chief duties.  In case you forgot… unlocking all the trailer doors, writing his dial-in number on the window, washing the bugs off the windsheild, following him in the ATV in case he needs to be towed, cheering him on.

It was also Paul’s birthday last weekend and we celebrated with one of his favorites:

Jumpin’ Jack’s for dinner! And cake for breakfast and cake after dinner….

And in case you wanted some knitting news…  My Puerto Montt is done!

Look how crazy it looks being blocked:

This was so fun to knit, seeing how the pattern with the striping yarn took shape.  A class at The Spinning Room this summer! (Soon to be scheduled)

And much progress has been made on my A Gentle Diversion scarf/shawl, but I’ll wait to show you the finished project.  I need some sort of hook to make you come back!

 

 

Brimfield and Knitting ALL THE THINGS

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Today you get a recap of our trip to Brimfield as well as an update on my knitting of all the things. And a near-miss disaster.

Last week was the first Brimfield antique show/flea market of the season.  Paul and I try to go to all of them (May, July –ugh, hot– and September).  This time it was a perfect Brimfield day – overcast with a mild temperature – and we stayed for much longer than we usually do, racking up over 22,000 steps (per our Fitbits).  Usually the sun/heat gets the best of us and we are gone after our usual Pilgrim sandwich/falafel wrap lunch at 11:00.  This time we left at 3:30pm after arriving at 8:30am!

We found all kinds of stuff!  Before I show you what we got, here is what we didn’t get….

A lot of hands:

A personalized play oven/stove and fridge:

Mary in a bathtub and on the half-shell:

A lot of bells:

You can barely see the two shoppers in the tent, but they were ringing them all.

Here is what we did get:

Three stools and a traffic light:

The yellow stools are not as old as the red one but they are still old.  They are joining the free one we got last weekend (in the back of that picture).  Paul will be busy.  And he has always wanted a traffic light for his garage.  You know, there are a lot of cars in there so he needs it. Ha!

Then there is the glassware:

The set of four with the pretty blue flowers were a find for Paul’s mom since she has broken some glasses lately and told us to keep an eye out for some.  The two blue Capri glasses are joining the other four we got several years ago. They look horrible against the yellow table but trust me, they are a very pretty blue.

The Fire-King butter dish is something I obsessed over at the Bouckville/Madison antique show and regretted not getting so when I saw it here, I snapped it up.  I know, it’s just a butter dish.  BUT IT IS A COOL BUTTER DISH! It is not overly huge like a lot of butter dishes these days.  It fits a stick of butter just right.

I got the creamer on the left by mistake.  Found that one first, thinking it would go with our square blue Fire-King dishes.  Then I saw the one on the right and realized that is the one that would match.  The one on the left will be going on ebay.

Last is the framed advertisement of a Buick Special Wagon.  Because it’s cool.

That’s all.  We found a lot this time – some trips we go home with nothing but kettle corn.  Which we did not get this time, opting to share a HUGE m&m cookie instead.  We both wished we didn’t share it – it was yummy.

In knitting news, I have started ALL THE THINGS:

And I’m very close to finishing my Puerto Montt shawl:

Just need to finish up that left wingy thing.  I love how it is turning out!

Finally, the Dazzling Dishcloths class I taught last weekend was small but fun!

They got a great start on their Almost Lost Washcloths!

How about this for a start to my day today?….. I had a near miss disaster this morning with the Broken Path shawl (the green one in the picture up there)….

Believe it or not, once it was all untangled (after I was swearing up a storm for not double-checking and making sure all the projects were safely on the coffee table and not dangling over the edge), everything is fine and I won’t even have to cut the yarn to fix anything.  Amazing.  Another win for the Roomba for not messing it up.  Except now that thingy that the yarn is wrapped around isn’t spinning…

Ok, and I just counted my knitting works-in-progress and I’ve hit an all-time high of 18.  That’s bonkers.  I better get knitting.

 

 

3 (Maybe 4) Patterns That Made the Cut to Cure My Startitis

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So in my last post I told you all about the patterns I was going to start immediately.  And now plans have changed slightly.  After I calmed down for a minute (one really can get caught up in the excitement of starting new knitting patterns), I realized that in order for me to get started on ALL THE THINGS, I really needed to finish a couple of things that needed to be done for classes.  Or, at least put a pretty good dent in them.

I am trucking along on my Puerto Montt and my A Gentle Diversion, but they don’t look different enough to show you a picture.

And I DID finish my Tangled Lace Shawl thanks to some quiet knitting time in front of the warm fire.  On the very cold May-supposed-to-be-warm-by-now day last weekend:

I love how it turned out after some blocking time.  See how scrunched up it looks up there?  This is what blocking does:

I. LOVE. IT.

On to my starting plans…. here are the 3 patterns that made the final cut to help cure my startitis:

1) The Shawl Society II: Fairy Hill Shawl and I am either going to use my Periwinkle Sheep Rhinebeck 2016 colorway or my blue Madelinetosh Tosh Sock:

Opinions?

2) The Broken Path MKAL(Mystery Knit-a–long) by Alicia Plummer and I’m using Frog Tree Meriboo from deep stash:

3) The Starting Point Joji Mystery Wrap KAL by Joji (pronounced ho-hee) Locatelli and these are the five colors I’m using:

Apparently we will be using most of each of these skeins — 1,700-ish yards.

As you see, two of these, I have no idea what they will look like.  That’s a leap of faith!  I love both designers though, and, in fact, Joji came out with another new pattern and THAT may also be getting started soon.  It is called I See Spring and 99% of the reason I want to knit it is because of the name and my wishing for spring weather.  The other 99% is how cute it is. (Yes, I know that adds up to 198%)  I just need to find some yarn….

In other news, the big town tag sale was last weekend.  We scored this stool for FREE:

It’s pretty beat up but Paul will work his magic (read: many hours of sandblasting, welding, painting and upholstering) and it will be beautiful.  And then it will be for sale!

And I got a ricer for 50 cents:

And this pile of books from the Altamont Library book sale for $3-ish:

Actually there are a few missing from this picture because we went back at night and picked through the not-sold books and I found some more!

Then we needed a treat for after our long day so we got these to take home:

Peanut Butter Overload and Strawberry Shortcake in a jelly jar!  (They were yummy.  How creative is that??)

And if walking 9,000 steps in a morning wasn’t enough, that afternoon we got about 6,000 more when we headed up to the Washington County Fairgrounds’ Antique Fair / Flea Market:

The only thing we got there, though, was a contribution to my breakfast of champions for this week:

(The kettle corn, not the trail mix.)

And somewhere in the past week or so we got this despite the aforementioned cold May-supposed-to-be-warm-by-now days:

Also delish.

Stay tuned for details on starting my startitis-curing patterns…

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