Thursday, October 22, 2009


The Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York is home to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival on the third weekend of October, every year. This is always fun to attend -- Earthling and I went last year and had loads of fun, so we were looking forward to it this year. It's similar to Maryland's, but it's much more oriented towards families -- similar to a fall carnival. But regardless of how you look at it, it's still a lot of fun.

But really, the most important thing about Rhinebeck was that It. Was. COLD. Thursday afternoon, I left Virginia thinking, "It's October. How cold can it be, even if it is New York? I'll take my Rhinebeck cardigan (Ravelry link) and jacket, and I should be fine."

Little did I know. See this?

That's me INSIDE a barn. Yes, those are knitting needles I am holding. Yes, they really are about four feet tall. Note that I am wearing not just my sweater and jacket, but mittens and a hat as well (I'm also wearing wool socks, but you can't see those). The hat is one that I knit a couple of years ago and gave to Earthling for Christmas. The mittens, I cast on Thursday night and finished in the hotel room Friday evening, after Earthling commented that there was a chance of snow(!) for Rhinebeck on Saturday. (I don't normally knit that fast, even a pair a mittens, but this was on a deadline.)

There was no snow that day (although we did pass some on the ground on our way north), though, so we lucked out in that respect. Especially since the next day (which was the day we left, so we didn't go to the booths again), it rained, and was probably much more miserable for the attendees.

I went to Rhinebeck with a certain set of rules in my head. These rules were to help keep me from not spending too much.

Rule #1: I would use only cash. I would not pull out any of my cards or my checkbook, and I would not use the ATM at the fairgrounds.

Result: Bang on on this one. This has been my rule for pretty much every wool festival I've attended, and it's worked pretty well. When my cash is done, so am I. Earthling does the same.

Rule #2: I would not buy anything that I already owned, or that I could procure at any of my local yarn stores back home.

Result: Right. Well, I did pretty well on this one, too, except that I do know that I already own a couple of silk bells

(but not in that color. There's a difference.), and I'm pretty sure I can get one of these at With Yarn in Front:

Other than that, everything else was new. Honest.

Rule #3. I would not play with any of my new stuff until I made a sizeable dent in my current stash.


It was worth it though -- to entrance the Beasts.

There were bunnies:

There were goats:

I'm pretty sure this alpaca liked me:

Not so certain about the llama, though:

The sheep clearly couldn't care less:

Sheep Incognito was there:

We looked at the items that had been entered for judging and saw things that were beautiful:

Some things that were cute:

Some things that showed what I could aspire to:

And things that showed me that clearly, it is not my opinion that counts in anything:

I finished my Kindness Socks (in the hotel room):

It was a great time. I can't wait until next year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Lest ye think that I have been ignoring you and the house....

That, my friends, is a picture of one of my air ducts. You can't really tell, because I didn't take the vent off, but that vent right there has just been cleaned. I took no before picture, partly because I didn't think of it at the time, and partly also because I didn't want to frighten anyone with the image of my dirty air vent and thoughts of life forms living amidst my ducts (which, by the way, they were totally dirty enough to house. I kid you not).

However, last week, right before I went away to Rhinebeck, the Cardinal people came and cleaned my furnace, and the Steamatic people came and cleaned my air ducts. So now, there is no longer the possibilty of strange life forms living in my ducts, and (once I go out and procure the air filter), I can actually turn on the heat as well.


Paint. Evidence of it, although there is still considerable more to do. (Anyone who comes over to help will be fed. Please?)

Next post: Rhinebeck!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Little Things

The other day, H and I were shopping in a bath and beauty type store, and H came across a container of hand cream that she thought smelled really nice. And she was thinking about buying some, until she looked at the price tag: $24. At which point, she turned to me and muttered that hand cream really isn't worth that much, even if it is really nicely scented.

This sparked a conversation with the clerks, because we wondered how popular the hand cream was (we didn't mention that we didn't think the cream worth the price). It turned out that the clerks sort of agreed with us: They didn't think it was worth the $24 either, but that enough of their patrons considered it their little luxuries, enough so to pay that much for the cream. One of them suggested to H that if she really liked it that much, perhaps it would become her little luxury -- the one thing she would be willing to splurge on.

That got me thinking as I drove into work the next day. I had stopped at a Starbucks for a venti caramel macchiato -- which, with taxes, cost around $4.30. I also had to wait in line for it for about ten minutes, which almost made me late for work.

I had stopped there, because Starbucks is on my way into work. But so is McDonalds, which sells caramel lattes for a lot less, and the line is much shorter. I could have stopped there instead of at Starbucks, spent $1.50 less, and waited 5 fewer minutes in line. But a caramel latte is not the same as a caramel macchiato.

I still don't know about the hand cream - to me $24 still seems like a lot to shell out. But I guess we all have our little things we feel the need to splurge on, whether it be a caramel macchiato, a jar of hand cream, a cute pair of shoes, or a tube of lipstick.

What's yours?