Sunday, July 31, 2005

Old Times *sigh*

I was cleaning out my computer and found some old photos that just bring back fond memories. *sniff* Geeze, isn't it terrible how time just flies? Even worse, isn't it terrible that we're actually aging? Sidebar...

Remember when we were kids and we felt so invincible, like we had the world in our hands and it was going to be "forever" before we were old? *sigh* I think I was reminded of my age recently when I had a chance to be the responsible one and a younger person was flippant about the situation. It was at that moment that I had a queasy feeling and started OK I know I'm not that old. But I have this sickening feeling that I'm at the dawn of maturity. I think I'm going to cry now.

OK, back to those photos. These were taken in '03 at my sisters birthday parties. She was surprised with a surfing lesson and beach party. It was great...while she was cutting the cake, the surf instructor was looking for a place to park. She had NO idea what was about to happen. One of her presents was a wetsuit, which she wanted badly. She had a secret ambition to be a surfer girl, so this fit into her plans well. I managed to get her to try it on "just to make sure it fits." When she came out, her instructor arrived!

I wish I could remember his name, but I can't. I think I'll just call him Bob. Anyway, Bob was cool. OH WAIT, his name is LEE!! He started out with the basics. This is how you get on the board, this is how you lay on the board, yada yada yada. I think I should have gotten Aimee a suit with legs. She was getting pretty cold.

How cute, her first attempt! After a while she got's a lot harder to be a surfer girl than you think! Plus, it was cold and the water was blah and the waves weren't really anything to get excited about. Cool thing we found out later was that dirty stuff in the water were actually tiny plants called Dinoflagellates that caused phosphorescence at night. Unfortunately, my batteries died by the end of the evening, so I didn't get any cool photos.

This is Aimee! THIS IS MY SISTER THIS IS MY SISTER!! She is the coolest person I know!!


Now keep in mind that this was a couple years ago and Aimee has changed a LOT. I know she would like me to add this because she's become quite disciplined at taking care of herself and eating right. She looks fab-o-lous! I think she looks just fine in these pics but I know she's going to complain when she see's them. But I don't care, because she's a star in my book!
You may be asking yourself, what does Rayleen want from Aimee? She seems to be kissing butt here. No seriously, I don't want anything. I think we have the most amazing relationship. Even though we beat up on each other when we were kids (I'll never forget that time you bit me and gave me that scar), we get along so well now. We're like night and day, and yet we're the same. I don't know what I'd do without her. Aimee *sniff sniff* I love you! Move back to SD! (ooooh the truth comes out!!)

Later we had a bonfire with singing and marshmallows. Doug, who plays in the Beatles influenced band The Offbeats, joined us and provided the tunes. Doug and his best friend Ryan, created a new line of guitar pedals that have become popular with many artists across the world. (shameless plug) I'll be honest, I don't know much about pedals, but I do know that people like 'em have been buying 'em. For more info, click on "Toadworks" in my index.

Many thanks to Faythe for the photos! I'll be scrounging thru my PC for more to post later. I actually have some FREE time on my hands. WOO!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Antique Yarn Shoppe

Now that I have some free time (I'm taking a late lunch at work), I thought I'd tell you guys about the Antique Yarn Shoppe we visited in Poway. This is normally where I'd post their link, but apparently they don't have a website. How can anyone in this day and age not have a website? I could go off on that, but that's not why I'm writing. Of course it's possible I just haven't found the site yet, either.

We three girls went to The Antique Yarn Shoppe on one of our field trips. The owner, Maureen, was very nice. She had a quirky sense of humor that I rather enjoyed. She didn't treat us like some people do...u know, look down her nose at us. We, young women newbies that we are. She was very cool and gave Janet a free pattern for a funky hat that Janet was admiring.

The business is located in a strange area, you might miss it. It looks like it's an office building. Once you locate the off street parking (there's plenty), you would look for this entrance:

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Entering, you can instantly tell it's not a big store. Check out Laura. She was well ahead of me, sniffing down some Plush.

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I have to admit. I wasn't impressed at first. But then I realized they had more than just acrylics. The store is comprised of several rooms full of yarn, tables, chairs and finished projects.

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They had a lot of specialty yarns I haven't seen anywhere else. Not even at Black Sheep, which we all know has a gazillion different yarns.

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The cotton section was fabulous! I also got some really cool ribbon yarn (which was used to create CarolAnn) here that I haven't seen anywhere else.

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OK, so this might not look like a large selection but I'm telling you, The Antique Yarn Shoppe is the place to go if you're looking for needles! Especially the hard to find, popular kind! Look at them all! Look at the circular's on that spinning thing on the left. (like my expansive-college-vocab?)

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I knew Maureen had a sense of humor when I saw this sign. Only we that are friends of or related to hippies would see the humor. hehehe

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More yummy specialty yarn...huh?? What the heck is Laura doing there? This is NOT the Plush section, girly! Oh hey, you can sorta see that funky orange hat that Janet fell in love with!

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I'm rather disappointed that this pic didn't turn out so well. Janet was trying on the funky hat and "won" a free pattern by allowing herself to be photographed. :) I'll be sure to post pics of it when she's completed it.

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While I don't think the Antique Yarn Shoppe has the largest selection, I did like that they have some yarns I've never seen before. They also have a large selection of Cascade 220, which I love. Black Sheep doesn't carry Cascade 220 and Common Threads has a small selection that is mixed in with the other yarns. I will probably visit The Antique Yarn Shoppe again only if I'm in the area and when I need accessories. Plus, it's always a good thing to support small business owners. (Of course, I'm going to talk about Michaels next...YAY Rayleen for supporting the little guy!)

Antique Yarn Shoppe
12939 Pomerado Road
Poway, California 92064


Later that day we went to Michaels to look for supplies. Apparently Janet and Laura got so tired of waiting for me (I think I'm a bit infamous about making decisions or rather, not making them) after our long day, so imagine my surprise when I walked around the corner and found them sitting down in the corner on the floor. WHATEVERRRRRR!! Janet was making a center-pull ball out of one of the yarns she was buying from Michaels while Laura giggled like an insane jackal. Note the shopping cart. Yes, we were planning on buying enough stuff that we required a shopping cart. For knitting supplies, people! How sad is that!

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OK, so go visit the Antique Yarn Shoppe if you have the chance. Maureen was cool, very friendly and helpful. I know she'd love to meet you.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Two Strange Finds...

Today I went to look at an apartment with Kimberly at lunch time. While she was chatting it up with the managment, I just had to take a picture of this car. The first I thing I thought when I saw it was, "Oh no she didn't!" Who would paint a car pink! It wasn't the factory paint, you could tell it had been painted by someone other than the manufacturer. I think it may have even been a Mustang too (not sure). All I have to say is, WHY WHY WHY!

This evening while in WalMart looking for a 2005 calendar (much harder than anticipated), I saw horse tack.

OK I realize people have horses. But this is WalMart in Lemon Grove, San Diego. Where are the horses? Why the horse gear? This was just weird to me. And even if I did happen to have a horse, I wouldn't be buying things for them from WalMart! Weird man, weird!

(I thought I'd add, for those of you not familiar with me, that I grew up on a farm in Oregon. I've had horses, cows, etc and we NEVER went to a store like WalMart to pick up supplies for our livestock.)

A Day with Jen

Jen and I met for dim sum was pretty interesting! I had no idea what I was in for, but was not disappointed. We met at Jasmine, which is probably the most authentic Hong Kong/Cantonese style restaurant you're going to find in SD (am I wrong Jen?). I think I saw some other white people there (don't let my skin color fool you, I'm really a white girl in disguise). Basically what they do is come around with little carts and offer you food choices. If you choose something, they write it down on your ticket. Kinda like...buffet on wheels but you pay per dish. I was happy with everything I ate, but need more practice with chopsticks. I think knitting has ruined any chopstick skills I had. And I use the term "skills" with a snort. Really, who am I fooling? Jen probably laughs at me and tells her husband stories every time she eats with me.

I definitely want to go back though. Afterwards, we window shopped at several Chinese stores in the area. OK they might have been Korean. I don't know. I mean, unfortunately when I see those characters, they all look the same. Especially when they're using fancy signage! Sorry Jen! I bought several cool fans for us ladies to use at church (they're so pretty and only $1.49 ea!!) since it's like an oven in there. Jen picked out the pretty Asian designed fans with authentic looking paper design, but I stuck with my white girl choice and got the cloth flower fans. hehe Oh yeah, and I also got some chilli pepper paste. I am SOOO looking forward to having it with some rice!

And then, we went to a Chinese pharmacy. I think that's what it was. Maybe it was an herb store. All I know is I didn't see any English in there. Jen bought some stuff to make tea for herself and her husband from the gentleman at the counter who mixed up some sort of concoction for her. He would pull out a handful of what looked like sticks and bark to me, and weigh them on a plate. He had some sort of stick with strings on it that he used as weights to determine the weight of each item. I really don't know how he did it, but I'm sure he knew what he was doing. Luckily, I came to my senses, got out my camera and took pictures OTS (On The Sly).

You can see that he has some sort of system that only makes sense to him. That stick he's holding is his scale.

As he added different herbs, he would divide them up on three plates, breaking them in pieces as he distributed them.

Here's the plates when they were nearly completed. See how it looks like sticks, bark 'n stuff? Well, that's what they look to me, anyway. And Jen's going to make this into tea! Amazing!

When he was finished, he put the mixture in smaller bags. I really didn't need to take this shot, but by now I was obsessed with taking pictures OTS. Unfortunately, it was about now that his wife, or whomever that lady was, told me "Don't take pictures." Of course, we denied any such thing happening!!! Seriously though, other than the "creepy" factor, why would they mind?

When I took the other pictures OTS, the camera was at waist level. I used the "point and shoot" method when I don't want someone to know I'm taking pictures. But when I took this one of Jen laughing at me for acting like such a crazy white girl, I made no effort to hide my activity. Maybe this is when I got caught. Hmmm...

And THEN...I saw these. Sea horses. Um, WHAT is going to do be done with these dried seahorses? There's your basic gray and further back the cream/orange color. Poor sea horse. :(

Next, we went to Two Sisters and Ewe and Michaels. I wanted to introduce Jen to a nice yarn store and then took her to a practical store. She ended up getting some Brittany's needles from Two Sisters and yarn from Michaels for her first scarf.

She couldn't help but laugh at these handy items found in a crochet book. Who would want to make a cell phone case out of eyelash yarn?? I mean, how hideous is this?

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And what about this funky headband? I mean, duuude!

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We decided to have her first knitting lesson while enjoying snacks and tea at Extraordinary Desserts.

Jen swore she didn't know how to knit. So, I started to show her how to cast on. And she said, "Oh, you mean like this?" ...and proceeded to cast on ten inches of stitches. Then I started to show her the difference between knitting continental and english. And she said, "Oh yeah, it's all coming back to me, you mean like this?" ....and proceeded to knit several rows in garter stitch. Apparently, she knit when she was 10 and like riding a bicycle, never forgot. :)

Check her out, casting on and chatting away like a pro! I know she's fully addicted though. If you check out her blog, you'll see the yarns she chose to make her scarves. The color combinations are absolutely beautiful. Today she went to Black Sheep and picked up some more yarn for a different scarf. Yep, I have drawn yet another person into the dark side of knitting obsession! MU WA HAHAHAHAHAA!


In my research efforts re: Harry Potter Scarf, I came across a site which has informed me this is my HP House:

Want to Get Sorted?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Laura Cheating on Plush??

Say it isn't so! Laura would like us all to know she's found a new yarn. She hasn't given up on Plush, but she'd like some new color options and texture without losing the softness so she's started exploring other brands, such as Geisha.

She picked this up at Common Threads and as we expected, ran into some trouble. As Common Threads organizes their yarn by color, we were only able to find two balls even though the computer said there were three in the building. We didn't have the energy to search through the burgundy category for the other ball and gave up without a fight.

Wait a minute. Is she flipping me off? Maybe a different sort of intervention is in order. *shaking fist*

She's finished her hat and is working on the scarf using this spotted plush. Laura couldn't help but show me exactly how soft the yarn is. I think she was rubbing it in, trying to make a point while I was working on my embroidery thread scarf, which is not as soft as "clouds." grrr

You're Kidding Me!

So I found this really cute Harry Potter bookmark pattern online. It requires DMC embroidery thread and size 0 dpns. I thought, why not? It should be a nice challenge! Besides, I have a workmate I'm sure would find some use for it.

So, I start working on it. The stripes are small and I've been having a lot of problems with the collor change using this tiny thread and bending needles. You can see it's so tiny that I store the entire project in a sandwich baggy. And then...and THEN...someone says, "That's not what the scarf looks like." You can bet your booty I stopped knitting at that exact moment. I am not knitting another stitch until I find out which one of these patterns is the one I should be using. They both have the official embroidery emblem, but that doesn't mean anything to me. Anyone know? Or is it just a matter of preference?

Option A

Option B

Fur Car

Laura sent me this photo. I'll let her tell you about it when she posts a comment. (That's your cue, Laura)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Maka's Car

Apparently he was side swiped by a semi. I'm still trying to get more info. I'm out of the loop, ever since the ghetto-WWE-chair-over-the-head incident.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Almost the end (2)

E tu, Brutus?

Today Apollo vacuumed Brutus's tank and did a water change. Within an hour Brutus was lying on the bottom of the tank in his dugout, struggling to breathe. His eyes were swiveling around, following us around the tank. I could tell he was about to die. Even though we had treated the water and added medicine for stress, I quickly threw in about 15 teaspoons of aquarium salt. I'm not exactly sure what caused the problem (though I have my suspicions), but the salt seemed to help, even though I was convinced he died several times. Over the course of an hour and a half, Brutus started fluttering around and his breathing improved. Now, five hours later, he's swimming around the tank, as if nothing happened. If he survives the night (I'm confident now), I'll go to the store tomorrow and get some medicine. It appears he has a spot on his head. I'm hoping it's not one of those holes in the head things I keep reading about.

We lost a betta, Jock, this last week after a water change. I'm wondering now if SD is adding something nasty to their water that the fish just can't handle. Poor fella's.

Though I didn't like Brutus at first, I've really come to like him. He's got a face only a mother could love and a great personality. Funny thing about Brutus is he loves Apollo! He swims backwards whenever I come to the tank, but he always swims towards Apollo. Sometimes he'll even get excited when he see's Apollo up close the tank and start bobbing his head! I've never seen a such behavior in a fish! I'm sure he reacts to Apollo this way because Apollo always falls for Brutus's begging and feeds him, a LOT. See how he recognizes Apollo with the fish food package?

I'm already planning on getting his "grown up tank" i.e. resort. Though only about five inches long, he's not far from growing out of his current 29 gallon studio apartment.

On a happier note...

The other thing that is nearing the end is my CarolAnn! Last night I finished knitting the body. Tonight I stitched up the bottom with an "I" seam and attached one handle. Next I need to add the other handle, create and sew in the lining, and add a trinket and or snap. I'm nearing the finish line!!

Good thing too 'cause I have so many projects lined up that need my attention. Next is a teensy Harry Potter bookscarf I'm making Chad with size 0 dpns and embroidery thread. After I finish the bookscarf, I'll be working on my summer scarf and The Jennifer, my next purse. Yay, I can't wait!


I've decided to buy an elliptical. After weighing (not meant to be a pun but...) my options, I know I will get a lot of use out of it here in my home. My good friend Jo also helped me make the decision, since I'm awful at making my own decisions.

I love working out at the gym but sine Jo has left, I just haven't had the heart to go back. I'm not sure if it's because I'm lazy or because I'm embarrassed. Hence, the machine at home.

Now, which one to get? Where to start? I've been looking at Sears online. They seem to have good machines, but a bit pricey. I want something that won't fall apart and is up to every day use. Any suggestions?

Break in

Apparently, there was a break in at work sometime between Friday and Saturday. We're missing petty cash and laptops. Cops are here right now dusting the area for finger prints. I'm wandering around with a digital camera trying to figure out how to take pictures without being noticed. ARG!

updates will appear in this post

Sunday, July 24, 2005


I learned today through the grapevine that Maka has been in an accident. He was hit by a semi and his car is totaled. From what I've heard, he's in the hospital, but I don't know where or what his condition is.

I'll post more info when it becomes available to me.

The Perception Laboratory's Face Transformer

According to this site, this is how I would look if painted by the following artists (photo taken from my profile):




Saturday, July 23, 2005

Why Not American?

So, as some of you know, I'm shopping for a car. On my short list is the Pontiac G6. Many have told me, don't buy American - buy Japanese!


When I ask them why, they stutter and stammer and give odd answers such as, it depends on which day the car was made. According to this person you shouldn't buy an American car that was built on a Monday or Friday. Interesting.

So, why not buy American? I want an answer! Why??

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cute dog

I snapped this one today while riding in a friends car after some personal car problems. Grr. Anyway, check out the cute dog in the bag on the motorcycle to the right. He was so cute! The second motorcycle drove up during the red light and the two guys talked about the dog. You could tell he was very well behaved. He sniffed the air and looked around casually, but didn't try to jump out.

The Black Sheep, Encinitas California

On our second field trip to yarn shops, we decided to visit stores beyond our normal shopping radius. First stop, The Black Sheep in Encinitas.

First, The Black Sheep has a large parking lot. Not huge like Von's or anything, but since they don't share their lot with any other businesses, I think they can fit...oh, a dozen cars in their lot. I'm just guessing at this one. But seriously, my impression is you will never have to worry about parking. They have a huge door welcoming you into the yumminess that is inside.

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I'm sure that lady was wondering why I was taking her picture. She's standing in front of the expensive shelves of yarn. I saw one label that said $28 and I immediately walked away. Unfortunately, these yarns are completely out of my league. You can see the wall of "Out of Rayleen's League" from this angle:

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While their website lacks in detail, their store does not! Walking in to the hardwood floored business (hardwood floors added to the whole natural feel of this place), we were completely overwhelmed. Where to start? What to look at?? AAAHHH!! Yarns and accessories were everywhere. Finished projects were displayed artfully on one of the walls. Some of them, well I don't even know what they were. But they were delicious to look at!

I'm not sure if The Black Sheep carries any acrylics. Their thing seems to be specialty yarns. And I'm not talking about the kind you can get at Michaels (I love Michaels!). This is the good stuff!! If you want it, they have it. Even if you didn't know you wanted it, you want it now and you bet they have every color imaginable! I took several photos and truly, they don't do the store any justice.

Laura has a bit of a problem. She likes any soft bulky yarn and has become addicted to Plush. I'm thinking of organizing an intervention. She found a display of nothing but Plush and bought two of almost every color.

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Girl has a problem!! She buys Plush at every store we go to. But I have to admit, Plus knits up soooo nice. It is extremely soft and is the kind of yarn you want to rub on your face. Then again, I'm constantly teased for my yarn/face rubbing antics. WhateverRRRRR! How can you buy yarn without the face test?? That's just insane!

The yarn tantalized me with their sweet sirens. Merino, cashmere, silks....AAAHH!

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See, I'm easily overwhelmed. Give me an aisle of cereal and I can stand there for 15 minutes trying to decide what to buy. Of course, I usually end up buying the same old thing because it's SAFE but you see my point? I am a terrible decision maker! So when I'm faced with a million shelves of yarn and a decision, I'm in big trouble. First, I must weigh the pros and cons of the fiber, touch it, squint at it, imagine it knitted, smell it, rub it on my face. Then I must fight the temptation to buy it "just because." (Seriously - I have enough yarn that I've purchased for prospective projects. I may need to buy yet another Rubbermaid container for my treasures.) Now I'm trying to buy yarn only for projects I specifically have in mind. This means, I must know *gasp* the yardage. ARG!

Girl, I'm telling you, this stores does not help one fight the temptations of buying it "just because." In short, it's like heaven and hell at the same time. Well, at least for someone like me who leans towards obsesive compulsive with neurotic tendencies. (I've also been teased for my overly dramatic ways. WHATEVERRRR!! NO SOUP FOR YOU!)

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Actually, because I was so overwhelmed I was able to stick to my budget.

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However, looking at these pictures - I must go back...

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Need yarn...

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The ladies at the store were very friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend this store for impulse shopping. However, be sure to bring some money with you. It adds up quickly.

As usual I took these photos on the sly. Do you think people mind if they knew I was taking pics for a blog? Somehow, I think it would give them the creeps. Then again, I like the (James Bond music winds up) danger of trying to take informative photos sneakily. I am the Queen of Sneak. hehhe

If you're looking for a good yarn shop with a lot of diversity (no Red Heart), this is the place to visit! Note, they're open seven days a week!

The Black Sheep
1060 South Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 436-9973

Monday thru Saturday 10:00-6:00
Sunday 12:00-5:00