BIG day!

A big big day chez Sato…well at least for On the Lam(b).

Prototypes (for my tech wool project) have arrived!

These are very, very rough drafts.  Next step is to have fit models try them on and make adjustments accordingly. Then the patterns are revised with those new tweaks, and then a proper set of samples is made.   There are a few tweaks I’ve noticed already (the crew neck on the women’s l/s is a bit tight), but overall I’m really really pleased.  What’s really great is that my designer and sewist really hustled to get them done for my Headwaters Relay, and there are bound to be at least a few people out of the several hundred there that I can ask to try on the samples and make comments.

Off to Montana!

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Catching Up

Funny how after Juneathon, it’s so easy to fall off the blogging bandwagon!  I’ve got a busy few weeks coming up, and although my life is not a soap opera (it only seems that way at times), let me answer a few questions which I’m certain are on your minds as we head off into August.

cue anticipatory music:

What will become of Luna?!?!?! Is Thing 2 reaching her (oh-so-low) bar of responsibility?!?!

YES! Thing 2 is actually thinking of someonething other than herself! Luna is a well-cared for kitten and Thing 2’s bedroom actually has floor! Which we continue to see on a daily basis! We still have a few days to go, but I think it’s safe to say that Thing 2 has earned Luna a spot Chez Sato.

Now, Luna’s spot may be a sure thing, but that doesn’t mean this will be an easy road. Flipper (our granny cat) is still giving this young kit the evil eye. And Luna apparently does not understand that the yarn (or computer keyboards, remote controls with wrist straps, foam rollers, or mozzarella cheese) is off-limits.  Honestly, I have not had a kitten in my house since I was a kitten myself (all my adult cats have been at least 5 when I’ve adopted them), and I am flabbergasted at the energy and bouncy-ness of this one pound bundle of energy.

Will Paige get over her extreme case of train station jealousy?

I doubt it.

Last week a coworker and I had to take the MetroNorth train to Stamford, CT for a work event.  When I commute in and out of the city, I go through Penn Station, a low-ceilinged, dingy, awful food-optioned pit served by the Long Island Railroad and NJ Transit.

For this trip, I visited Grand Central Station (see? even the name sounds better) for the first time in years. I wish I hadn’t. I almost cried.

The ceiling, which had been covered in plaster (!), was part of a 12 year restoration (finished in 1998–unbelievable to me that I hadn’t seen it yet). And instead of being a bastion of fast food (as is Penn Station), Grand Central HAS. BEAUTIFUL. CUPCAKES. AND. HOMEMADE. POP TARTS. (yes, I tried one. That, and my small iced coffee only cost $8. But that’s beside the point.)

I think people need to commute to beautiful settings. It certainly puts you in a better frame of mind to walk into an expansive, lovely space as opposed to one where you’re continually ducking for fear of hitting your head on the pipes.

Will Paige be trading in her mini for something a bit more powerful?

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No.  Maybe part of the reason Grand Central Station seemed so lovely is that I didn’t have to make my way home through it. Instead another coworker brought me home in style in his 2005 ‘vette. I’ve never ridden shotgun in a muscle car. Let’s just say, they go fast.  A little too speedy for my taste. But it was fun. (oh, and I don’t usually dress like Popeye. The work event was at a yacht club. I tried to dress the part.)

Will Paige’s parents be able to clear their home of 50 years of crap before they need to move?

Not with help like this:

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My siblings and I all gathered at my sister’s beckoning to help my parents rid their home of nearly 50 years of accumulated treasures before they move to their new downsized home in Virginia. (yes, Virginia. Still trying to figure that one out).  We had great fun at the playground and eating birthday cake. Not so much stuff made it into the garage sale pile. Although I did come home with some furniture, art, linens and more.  Amongst the long-lost treasures? My brother’s All Star Little League jacket from when he was 8. Numerous trophies (earned back in the day when not everyone got one). Yearbooks. Many many photos of people we don’t know. Over 200 vases. Nearly as many picture frames. Some even holding photos of those unknown people.  And knowing how my siblings and I are all excellent at leaving things behind (after our visits), I’m certain my parents’ home has even more stuff now than before we started.

How many runners will leave “it” all out on the track in Don’s Birthday Pizza Mile?

Hard to believe, but zero.

Don from my running club hosted a “pizza” mile to celebrate his birthday.  The rules: eat a slice of pizza. In its entirety. Run a quarter mile (one lap of the track). Eat another slice, run another lap.  Repeat until 4 slices and 4 laps (1 mile) are done.  I entered the relay division (two slices, two laps, then a hand off to your partner).

After the very anti-climatic start (lots of chewing sounds, no movement), the race got going. This was hard. After the first lap, everyone figured out that the slice only had to be in your mouth, not fully swallowed, to begin the next lap, which led to many laps run whilst chewing. My relay partner and I placed first in the relay (13:24 for the mile). I think this is probably the only time ever I’ll place first in a race.

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There were plenty of green faces at the finish, but no barf on the track!

 

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Welcome Luna

for the time being…

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Thing 2 found Luna in a park near our home. Supposedly she walked right up to Thing 2 and allowed herself to be captured picked up and brought into our home.  She is with us on a trial basis, and Thing 2 has several obligations to fulfill in order to keep her.  If those obligations aren’t met, the Miser, I mean Mister, will take Luna to our local shelter. Thing 2 doesn’t have a great track record with rule-following. His money’s on the shelter. Mine is on Thing 2. She may not have a great track record, but she’s also as determined as the dickens. It’s been 3 days. So far, so good.  Our current cat, Flipper, is not happy with Luna. In fact, you know that scene in Shrek when Puss ‘N Boots’ eyes get all misty/teary?  THAT was exactly the expression on Flipper’s face when Luna came bouncing into the TV room Sunday night.

So far this summer has been one of ships passing in the night. With Thing 3 at camp, the rest of us float in and out of the house, with the only constant being dinner at 7pm. Sometimes I’m the only one partaking. Thing 1 has the most confusing schedule between his lifeguarding job/restaurant job and then trying to capture the most of his last summer as a kid.  Therefore, it was rather amusing this morning, 3 days after Luna’s arrival, to be greeted by a Thing 1 (who obviously woke himself up to share what he thought would be news): “Mom, there’s a strange little cat in our house.”

Yep, there’s a strange little cat in our house. Hopefully for a long time.

 

 

 

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Does anyone else

have Monty Python’s “Always Looking on the Bright Side of Life” sound track playing on a loop in her head?

Saturday was supposed to be a busy day–a visit with two friends to the New York Historical Society to view this exhibit, then a side trip to Tender Buttons, for, um, buttons. Because buttons are awesome. But a disappearing babysitter (for one friend) and the confluence of other obligations (for the other) at the last minute gave me a free day. This was disappointing, but ever the optimist, I made lemonade out of lemons as the Mister invited me to tag along to a karate event he was attending that evening.  A friend of his (who also leads a dojo, but in a different style of karate) was hosting a fund-raiser for that organization’s grand master’s building of a new dojo in Japan. In the woods. With trees. All by himself.

That didn’t interest me all that much (ok, only slightly.  The whole “build a building by hand” is intriguing). But the promise of sushi from Ushiwakamaru did.

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The dojo was all fancied up for the event:

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And the sake and beer were plentiful.

Ushiwakamaru’s sushi may not be Jiro-esque, but it’s way up there, even in the competitive NYC sushi environment.  It was delicious.  Even the stuff I typically don’t try (sea urchin for one) was amazing.

However, and let this be a lesson to you, running readers: several plates of sushi make for lousy fueling for long runs. The next morning I had a “fast finish 10 miles” on my docket (first 7 miles at an easy pace, last 3 at half marathon race pace). Two miles into this run, I started to feel shaky and unsettled. I made executive decision to continue on one mile to the closest starbucks (praying it was open the entire way) instead of turning around. Again, lemonade out of lemons. Thankfully Starbucks was open, and I chomped down on a bagel and a small iced coffee. After a 30 minute respite, I continued on my way, and actually even hit my paces for the last 3 miles.

And I’m glad I continued. I saw wild raspberries about to ripen. And some beautiful hydrangea and other unidentified because I’m not a botanist flowers:

Weekend plans may have gone astray, but everything turned out for the best.  I’m getting tired of lemonade, though.

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Paralyzed with indecision

1. I was going over our Europe trip itinerary last night and LO AND BEHOLD, discovered we don’t have a hotel yet in Amsterdam. Thunk (that’s my head hitting the desk). Good thing I discovered this now instead of when we arrived there.

2. It’s not hard to book a hotel. Unless you’re me. Because I always choose the worst places. I’ve ended up in dangerous neighborhoods (ala the Mister’s and my 1994 trip to Atlanta, where we were just one street shy of Skid Row), or non-existent hotels (a 1993 business trip to Dallas–who’da thunk there’d be so many Holiday Inns in Dallas? how was I supposed to know which one to pick?–our entire office’s sales team was relegated to the Hotel Grassy Knoll after that snafu), and even a haunted hotel in Phoenix. At least I was by myself then, which, at the time, was not reassuring at all.

3. I struggle with hotels because I want something interesting, not just a box room that looks the same as every other box room in every other city.

4. Hotel booking sites and their infernal reviews are not helpful in the least.  No one is ever 100% pleased with their hotel. Ever.

5.  The Mister put me out of hotel booking misery for this trip and picked all the other hotels (I don’t know how Amsterdam went unforgotten). Now it’s my turn to pick up the slack. But why Amsterdam? Too many options. Inn? B&B? Little hotel? Chain hotel? Houseboat? I really want to stay on a houseboat! That’s unique! Can’t ever do that here in the US. But with my luck, I’d pick one that leaks, or even worse, sinks!

6. Now I know how I’ll be spending my weekend–staring a tiny thumbnail images, pouring over reviews, clicking back and forth between maps…

oh, dear Lord, keep me away from rickety, haunted boats on dangerous canals…just this once give me good hotel booking karma.

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The mice will play

(or at least sew) while the cat (or Thing 3) is away.

Thing 3 left last week for Maine, and she’ll be gone until the end of the month. Thing 1 and 2 are doing their summer stuff (working and hanging out). That means I can leave my sewing machine on the dining room table as often I am my only company in the evening.

This long weekend I was particularly industrious (sometimes I fool myself into thinking I could give China a run for its money in the garment-making business, but then I’m completely exhausted after concentrating too much on my top stitching, and think, ‘nope.’):

First: I hacked up my blue chambray shirt dress. I know, I know, I was particularly pleased with this, but the 2nd or 3rd time I wore it, a few seams in the bodice started to separate (I didn’t add enough ease, or my seam allowances were too big). Wanting to be a good pioneer, I hacked off the skirt from the bodice, added a grosgrain ribbon waistband, back zip and pleats and called it done. The pockets aren’t fully functional, and the zip is slightly off kilter, but it works.

Then I saw this cute pom-pom scarf, so I had to make two. Because you just can’t have enough pom-pom scarves.

I’m trying to plan ahead for my trip to Europe THAT’S IN LESS THAN A MONTH!!! We’re moving around quite a bit, and I don’t want to overpack as we may be stuck carrying bags while waiting to check into hotels, etc., so my plan is 4 bottoms, 4 tops, 2 sweaters, some accessories, and 2 pair of shoes plus 2 running kits.  The pom-pom scarf will count as an accessory.  I’ve also decided to make myself one of the sweaters. Because there’s plenty of time. Especially if I stop doing everything else for the next few weeks. Which is completely within the realm of possible since Thing 3’s at camp.  Although I do tend to overestimate my free time.

After our horribly muggy week last week, this weekend was just about as perfect as a summer weekend can get, and accordingly I squeezed in a two runs–10 miles on Saturday, 4 today. In between the sewing and running, I was also able to finish up Orange is the New Black, and make a pie.

That cat may be away, but who said anything about play?

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Happy National Tapioca Pudding Day?

Maybe it’s fitting…the country that actually celebrates declaring its independence two days after actually declaring it.

Maybe there were thunderstorms way back in 1776.

 

This year our two firework celebrations (one scheduled correctly for July 2, the other for tonight) have been postponed, allowing Mother Nature’s fireworks to take precedence. (note: I didn’t take any of these images; they come from news sources.  I, like my cat, was cowering under a blanket binge-watching Orange is the New Black and hoping the power stayed on til the end. Because in each of the photos, where I live is already under that big black armageddon-like cloud.)

The July 4th fireworks will take place tomorrow evening.  The July 2nd ones have been postponed until National Tapioca Pudding Day. Or, National Gummy Worm Day. Or National Cow Appreciation Day–take your pick, clearly we Americans love to celebrate days of particular significance.  (BTW, it’s July 15th if you weren’t already in the know)

So while today may be a bit of a bust, I am so looking forward to enjoying my delayed Independence Day fireworks on July 15th with some tapioca pudding (maybe mixed with gummy bears) in the company of all the newly appreciated (and liberated?) cows.

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Of mice and men

and 47 Things

you know, like those best laid plans often going awry…

A year comes around so much more quickly than it should. I actually thought doing 47 things would not be so difficult–cripes, there are 365 days in the year.  So, what’s that, one thing every 7 and 3/4 days? I just had to do one thing only once a week. But I fell short. Badly.  Stuck at 25.

I know there are some things I forgot to add–like the day I complimented this guy’s shoes in NY.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a bigger smile from a complete stranger. When I was in San Diego, I had dinner with a small group of Europeans who insisted the practice of tipping was inherently wrong. But we had a fabulous waitress, and when they left the table (after leaving a paltry less than 10% tip I think just to anger me) I added enough cash to make up for the rudeness (and wrote a note on the receipt indicating that I thought her service was spectacular). I didn’t add any of the milestones I’ve reached while working on my tech wool project. And after awhile, adding all my new sewing projects just got a bit tedious.  On top of all that, there was the whole ebb and flow of the underlying Thing 2 issue. Let’s just leave it at it’s been a busy year.

I may not have reached my goal, but the process definitely made me expand my horizons. I’m a much more confident sewer (what is up with that word!) person who sews. I took more risks, and they mostly have turned out good. (or at least haven’t hurt anyone in the process.) I’ve become more mindful of how a good attitude or simple pleasantry can have a positive impact on others. This is all good stuff.  It made for a really great year.

 

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And on the last day…

she rested.  

But I realized this morning that I had missed yet another blog post (the 29th), when actually my day was chock full of activity: 10 miles of running and then volunteering at a kids’ track meet.

If you thought 10 miles was tough, try getting a bunch of 4 year olds to wait (patiently) for their heat in the 50 meter dash. I resorted to having them sit:

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These are only the girls.  There were boys, too.  Let’s just say I herded cats for awhile. (oh, and the curly-q in the pink tank staring at the camera–she’s a sprinter!)

The track meet was the brainchild of a fellow running club member–three years ago he decided to have 3 drop-in meets a summer (end of June/early July).  For $5, you could bring your child, have them run as many events as they would like, and walk home with a pocket full of ribbons and a t-shirt.  The first summer a few dozen kids showed up. Last summer, over 100. Yesterday? 275!   Lots of friends from the running club came out to volunteer, and it’s a good thing there were so many hands on deck.  But it was exhausting. In addition to being in charge of 4 year olds, I got to help with t-shirt distribution, money collection, and ribbon distribution. The meet started at 5 and ended at 8:30.  Good thing our local bar is only a block from the track. 

As for Juneathon,  I missed 3 blogging days, but I did exercise everyday (although my rest days were usually PT exercises).  I’ve made it nearly half a year without an injury (knocking on wood), so I’m happy with my mileage and conditioning.   I’m also pleased that I got to write some poems and read some even better ones. Like Tom’s experiment with the kids’ track series, Juneathon keeps exploding with fun.  Thank goodness, though, we don’t have to keep up with the 4 year olds.

Juneathon stats:

  • Total Juneathon miles: 115 (exactly! according to mr. garmin)
  • Total workouts: 21
  • Total time: 19:34:41
  • New PRs: 5K, 5M 
  • Newly minted high school graduates: 1
  • # of things sewn or knit: 6 (5 sewn, 1 knit)

 

 

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Decadence

In the form of pie.

Tonight was a friends’ “white trash” party, and everyone was supposed to bring a pie.

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(it’s not done yet)

Yes, I made a mock apple pie–it’s basically Ritz crackers with corn syrup, butter and cinnamon in a pie crust.

I had read about this type of pie in Jeffrey Steingarten’s The Man Who Ate Everything, a wonderful food science book full of recipes you think you should try but don’t, except for the chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses like 7 lbs of butter (and which are heaven, btw).

I also made a three berry pie (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry) with a crumble top just in case the ritz cracker pie was a dud. I shouldn’t have worried, it wasn’t.

Other pies represented: cherry, chocolate, blueberry, coconut, meringue, and the hard to categorize: ho-ho, ding-dong, devil dog, twinkie pie:

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Good thing my new skirt (Liesl’s “everyday skirt) has an elastic waist:

Because I don’t think 5 miles of running = 3 pieces of pie.

Juneathon totals:

  • today’s miles: 5
  • total miles: 104
  • # of pies at party: 9
  • # of pieces eaten: 3 (but I did refrain from the fried Oreos. really).
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