The City of Crochet

Crocheting...an escape from everyday life in Europe as I face the perils of yarn shopping in a foreign country and dealing with all of the crazy looks I get for crocheting & knitting on the public transportation system.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

My French Market Bag Olympic Gold

Here it is folks, my French Market Bag in all of its glory before and after the first felting attempts:



And for those of you who are curious as to what the bottom looks like now:

I will be re-felting the bag at least one more time before I am satisfied, but to have it done this far has seen me reach my Olympic goal!

I am already plotting what to knit with the remainder of the wool that I have in this colorway......and plotting what to do with the 10 skeins of a different color I had sent to my parents house in the US to use while I am on vacation in 2 weeks!

Congratulations to all of my fellow Olympic Knitters and Crocheters....finished or not, we have had an excellent time cheering each other on, and seeing what we could do. As we all know, life does like to throw curve balls our way, and I know that several were not able to meet the deadline.....keep on persevering with your project, and know that you are an Olympic champion just for trying!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Seeing gold......

I am seeing gold folks! Between yesterday and today I have finished both of my challenges!
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My doily was finished yesterday. Here it is in all of its glory:
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As for my knitted French Market Bag, it is currently in the washer being subjected to the whims of the felting powers that be! My fingers are crossed and I am praying for no tears when I pull it out! *grin*

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Free Patterns!!!!!!

I bet that got your attention huh? *grin*

Now comes the twist...they are in french! Pull out your french-english dictionary (or become a fan of this on-line knitting Trico-Dico) and join the craze that will be sweeping blog land....okay, Bron started it and I jumped on the band wagon out of proximity to the patterns and the yarn company!

I ordered my very own Explications tricot on Monday and it arrived this morning! Very pleased with the shipping time from France am I!

While drooling over the patterns included in this book, I started looking up yarn costs. While exploring the site, I happened across the free pattern section and fell in love with many of the offerings, including these:



I am lusting after the middle sweater! And yes, they are all cable related...must be a theme somewhere in there!

Okay, for those of you who might be willing to try out some french knitting (I did stumble across 2 crochet patterns out of the whole lot, and neither were anything to write home to Mom about) check them out:

Site: Bergere de France - http://www.bergeredefrance.fr
Scroll the mouse over Tricothèque and a drop down box will appear
Make your selection: Femme = women; Homme = men; Enfants = children with fille = irls and fils = boy; layette = baby
To download the free PDF version of each pattern, click: Télécharger
Page Suivant will move you to the next page of patterns

To understand the pattern descriptions, lets take into consideration the above middle sweater! Description:

Pull col roulé = name of sweater
à réaliser en MAGIC = created with Magic (name of yarn)
Tailles 1 à 5 = Sizes 1 to 5

Difficulté : = difficulty
Qualifiée

Points employés : = type of knitting used (see the above link to Trico-Dico)
côtes 2/2
jersey envers
côte fantaisie
torsades

Aiguilles n°5 et 5,5 = Size of needles used

When you click into the patterns you will see at the beginning a section called Fournitures. Here is where they say the number of balls of yarn used, by size. For the above sweater it lists: Qual Magic, Ancolie 15-16-17-18-19 pel. Which would for example be Magic yarn, color Ancolie needing 18 balls for size 4.

Okay, I know that finding Bergere in the US must be impossible, so to find out what the yarns are, they can be looked at here: http://www.bergeredefrance.fr/catalogue/fils.phtml

Accès Direct will list all of the yarns. For example scroll down the list to Magic, and you will see all of the yarn specs. We find that the Magic is a 50/50 wool acrylic blend, is washable. What size needles and hooks are recommended, a swatch example, the available colors (coloris) Looking at the colors, Ancolie is not for me, and were I to ever make this sweater, I would be using the Fréon (or a similar color) I believe!

Bonne chance et bonne Tricot!

No Kermit.....make time NOW!

I found this little gem over at Sara's blog and had to try it out....yup, I'm a Princess, I admit it..but a fairly low maintenance one I must say! And being adored and worshiped is ALWAYS a good thing!

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

Well my bags are packed, its time to go......

Well, okay. They are not packed yet. But they just might very well be shortly, and I am not talking about packing for my upcoming vacation to Florida!

Curious Yet?

It has been a wild and crazy week here at work and I have not been able to say anything on my blog because of the confidentiality of what was happening. I know that several of my colleagues occasionally pop on by and see what I've been working on.

As many of you may be aware I have been going crazy here at work lately from sheer boredom! If I could have thought of a way to get away with crocheting I would have had an additional 7 solid hours of crochet time each day! I've been talking to my boss and asking him for additional projects / assignments. Nothing, nada, zip and zilch was available. He put word out that I was inbetween assignments with him and had some free time available to see if anyone would jump on the "bait". Oh boy did they!

Wednesday afternoon my boss comes to me with a proposition for me to work with a former boss on his new team in Zurich. Same boss that restructured me without letting me know...slight bit of managerial skills break down, but hopefully that has been resolved (I was kinda like the guy from Office Space....came in and kept doing my job and getting paid, but was no longer employed). Anywho, the team that he put together was/is lacking several skill sets which is where I shine at - data management, reporting, retrieval.....really anything to do with the financial / supply chain / manufacturing computer systems I am a guru at.

Anyways, Marc (my boss) told me to consider going to work on a short term assignment with Scotts team. I thought of it over night, came in Thursday morning and told Marc yes, that I would consider it. By the time I left work last night, Scott had called (excited beyond belief that I was actually willing to come work with his team) and we've set up 2 days of meetings in Zurich next week for me to meet all of the team, pick up the tasks that need to be taken care of, and to also consider potentially moving to Zurich!!!

The move to Zurich (according to Scott) will be left up to me! I have to think about it and make a decision. I think that once I get a firm understanding of the new job roles, I'll be able to make that choice. While I love Belgium and Brussels (after almost 3 years here I should!) if it makes more sense to work in Zurich, so be it! I really don't want to live out of a suitcase, and if the new job requires large amounts of time in Zurich with the business development and marketing teams, it makes no sense to constantly be flying back and forth! Plus as an incentive, my friend Kim is now based in Zurich!

Will keep everyone updated on how things are going and if a move is in my future....that would then be 14 moves to 4 countries and 7 cities in 9.5 years! My moving has slowed down in recent years if you consider I've been based here in Brussels 3 years, but have moved once during that time (I did an apartment change after 6 months here)

I wonder what kind of yarn shops they have in Zurich! *grin*

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bird Flu....eeeek!!!

Thats it folks. Its right next to me. No where to run! According to the news wires, Bird Flu has been found in Germany. I am an hours drive from Germany!

No more chicken or eggs for me to eat! Which might lead to a serious eating problem here in Belgium....what will I put on my frites? Mayonnaise is made with eggs after all! And no more Poulet Durums (chicken burrito type thingies). I'm going to waste away to nothing!!!!!

What was I thinking????

No, this is nothing to do with the Olympics and any frustrations with my choose projects. I have a weakness for a dare. I find it often impossible to say no. Add a bet to it and I am swallowing hook, line and sinker!

Last night after my workout / knitting session (more at a later time with some tips and advice) I got a text message from a former colleague from the UK that him and another guy were in town for a Six Sigma training course and did I want to meet up with them for drinks. Well, the obvious answer is yes as networking is a critical part of my job. *grin*

So away I went to the local Irish bar, Michael Collins. A few Guinesses later, I am sitting there talking to Paul and he mentions a 10 mile race he is doing in October (do you see where this is leading?) My friend Kim is there and says that would be a challenge. I laughingly agree and pull out my normal 'I only run when I am being chased'. Then we start talking about how fast we all USED to be able to run a mile. Of course I pull out the speedwalking bit of 11 minute miles which would put me at an hour 50 minutes. Paul's last attempt at this race was an hour 48.....hmmm...I could potentially walk it in about the same speed that he ran it.....could I not just jog the last few miles and overtake him?

So 12 hours later I am sitting here wondering just how I got myself roped into training to do a 10 mile race.....I do believe I'll be getting a lot of knitting time in at the gym!

Final bet: 5 pounds and a Guinness....plus the knowledge that another guy placed a bet with Paul that I would beat Paul for 10 pounds and 5 Guinnesses!

Power Walking 101 here I come!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Olympic Updates (finally!!)

Hello! I am indeed still alive! I have a computer now, but its not working the best and I'm peeved that they gave me a dysfunctional computer! I tried to install some software I needed to use this weekend and could not do it! The disk drive is not co-operating with me!

I have had a busy past few days, but I have fit in time for crocheting and knitting......of course!

Crochet Olympic Update
I don't think that I ever shared what I am working on exactly. I have picked a pineapple doily (I love pineapples) from this book which was published probably in the 50s - the price tag says 10 cents and it is a Star Doily Book No. 137 from the American Thread Co. Here is my current progress:


Knitting Olympic Update
I am picking up speed with my knitting finally! Okay, this is only because I no longer have to purl and can just whip my way around the bag which is now on the circular needles using only the knit stitch! I am loving the colors so far and can not wait to see the final bag! I have the sides done almost 4 inches, and I am thinking that I want at least 10 inches in total height before I start the handles! Although, if time is at a crunch, I will stick with the original pattern!



Hellos and hugs to everyone! For my fellow athletes, I hope that all is going well on your projects!! I really hope to have some time to get my computer sorted out this week so I can return to blog reading and general business as usual!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Grab a hammer and help me kill it!

Nah, skip the hammer! I want a cement roller than I can drive over the peice of #$*!@ that they call my computer!!!! AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!! I was not around much this weekend on-line becuase I was both crocheting and knitting while watching the Olympics, and my computer was running really slow. I turned it on at work this morning and see a nice little error message "Hard drive is at imminent risk of crashing." Son of a biscuit maker!

Call the helpless desk, and explain the problem....the lovely support person asks if I have run a virus scan....ummm....did I not just explain that the error message happens when I press the start buttom before the computer boots up? I finally get the call placed and 4 hours later the local IT guy calls me from the plant about an hour away and says that he will be in tomorrow and will take a look at it! Good thing I have this computer that I am using right now - it was my original laptop here in Brussels 3 years ago.....it was already almost 3 years old then! So lets just say that she is a little bit slow!

I will probably not be around much the next few days. No blogging, Crochetville, reading blogs - apologies for this! I know that several of you have various contests and requests going on....wish that I could join in, but this computer does not work at home on my ADSL line, so I'm stuck trying to squeeze in a few minutes here and there.

The Olympic projects are coming along nicely - I am about half way done with the base of the knitted bag I am making, and on round 10 of my doily. I took pictures last night, but of course this PC can not download them.....schnikeys!

Have a wonderful day everyone and I will talk to you once I have a functioning computer!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Oh yeah! I'm a SHRONE!!!!!

After procrastinating for several MONTHS, I finally submitted my self nomination to become a shrone. I was totally geeked (oh god, I just said geeked) to recieve an e-mail 30 seconds ago saying that I've been selected as a recipient of The Bona Fide Shrone Award!

Thanks Lori!!

Not sure what a Shrone is? Read all about Shrones and what defines a Shrone on the What Is a Shrone Page and check out the Shrone Hall of Fame to find out who else this honor has been bestowed upon!

In Lori's own words in the e-mail I recieved from her today:

Dear Kimberly,

I'm pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a esteemed recipient of The Bona Fide Shrone Award! I've determined that you possess many of the salient characteristics of a Shrone! Here are the reasons why you are a Shrone:


1. You have a style 100% all your own.
2. You are ambidextrous, but interestingly can ride a bike without using your hands.
3. You love thunderstorms.
4. You know what it is like to have physical maladies.
5. Something about you says when you get old and withered, you just might go out crusing for penis!
6. You are unknowable.
7. You stylishly procrastinate, a distinctive Shrone trait.
8. You've lived in Ireland, the land and home of Shrones!
9. You're one groovy chick and I think you are super cool!
10. You haven't killed your inner child and you freely allow it out to play.

Yours in Shronedom,
Lori

How utterly cool is this? So I am off to eat leftover pizza from last night and bask in the afterglow of the excitement from being named a Shrone!

The day before update......

Well folks, this is it! We are down to almost 24 hours until the start of the Olympic Opening Ceremony....Can you feel the excitement...the panic.....the anxiety....the utter bewilderment of folks going 'What in the world was I thinking????????'

As I made a post today on Crochetville about having everything ready to go tomorrow, I decided that it was about time that I went and bought the needles I need! Yeah, yeah. Procrastination. Well, part procrastination and part sheer stubbornness to buy something that I already own! Back in the US I have a whole stash of knitting needles, including circulars. But as I did not have enough foresight to bring them to Europe (I had three different sizes plus some dpns here, did I really think that my knitting skills were going to take off???? Nope, not a thought in my head aside from some vague wish to improve my knitting skills) okay, back on the subject.

So I was driving Kim's car home tonight and decided that if there was a parking space in front of my local yarn store I would stop in. Well whaddya know, there was! So I parallel park that car like no other, and away I went into the store carrying my computer. I'm a dork but I forgot to bring along the pattern I am making but since I have it on my computer I grabbed it and booted it up as I walked into the store.

I'm looking at needles, scratching my head in dismay, they have a 4.5 mm circulars, but only about 6 inches of the rubber section, no where near long enough. I keep hoping that they will appear. All of a sudden I hear a voice "You're Kimberly" Huh? Who in the world would know me in the yarn shop in Brussels? Turns out that it was AnneV!! Hi Anne!!! We chatted for a few minutes over our mutual dismay in not having the right size needles to purchase, and Anne's ability to walk out of the store without buying ANY yarn (you were much stronger than I was Anne - I came out with 2 more skeins of Noro!) in a store that is over flowing (yarn sits on the floor in boxes and bags!)

After Anne left I asked several questions to the store lady in my mixture of french and english......she actually talked to me this time!!! I think it was the fact that I was looking at knitting needles and asking about the Bergere Pattern Book that Bron bragged about getting showed us all. She did not have it, but if I bring a picture of the exact book in she'll see what she can do! She also told me about an American knitting club here in Brussels and a Knitting Night at the cafe by my place! How exciting! The cafe is the third Wednesday of every month from 17-19. She will let me know about the American Knitting Club the next time I am in when she gets the address! I also told her that I was teaching myself to knit and she seemed duly impressed! Yay!! Brownie points with the Yarn Store lady!

I am off to swatch some on the circulars that I ended up buying - slightly bigger than the pattern calls for but since I am felting it, all should be good as Anne told me!!

Have a great night!

Pssst - Bron - Dontcha think that I should rub in the fact that I can buy the Bergere yarn here that the patterns call for? You might have the book...but I gots da yarn!! LOL

Check it out.....100 Things About Me

Well now, I am sure that ALL of you have wanted to know about little ole moi! Over a process of several weeks (I'm really slow) I have compiled a list of 100 different (at least I hope I managed to make each one different with no repeats) little factoids about moi! Have you ever actually sat down and tried to write 100 things about yourself? Not as easy as it sounds let me tell you!

Here is the link to my list: http://landofkimberly.blogspot.com/2006/02/100-things-about-me.html

Some of the highlights in case you don't feel like clicking over to view it:

15. I sang in the Miss Michigan pageant (not as a contestant)
19. It is impossible for me to roll my tongue
36. I was a tour guide on Mackinac Island
38. I had never left the US beside Canada before I moved to Ireland
51. I can not sing in tune
68. My knuckles and knees are scarred from flipping over the handle bars of my bike
78. I have gone deep-sea fishing off the Florida Keys
87. I dream of someday living on a ranch / farm in the western part of the US
100. My favorite quote: “Fate chooses our relatives, we choose our friends” (choose wrong and you can’t blame fate!)

Notice anything odd and contradictory about two of the entries above? That's right!!! I can not sing in tune and yet I sang in the Miss Michigan Pageant! Go figure LOL! Actually I was part of a group of about 15 Girl Scouts who sang along with the previous years winner a song call "We Change The World" it was great fun and very exciting to be up on the stage looking out at all of the audience!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Its coming......

Quick! Dive for cover underneath the duvet and stay there for a week. Get sick....measles, mumps, mono....any of the contagious M words that requires quarantine work just fine! Find a long lost relative that you HAVE to vis....no wait, that one is NOT a good idea!

That's right folks, one of the most hated holidays by a fair number of my fellow human beings is coming up! Its V-Day! No, I'm not talking about V-Day and the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII. I'm talking about that evil holiday that celebrates coupley love and a guy long dead.....St. Valentines Day!! *shudder*

Now, its not just because I am single that I have this allergic reaction to this holiday. Even on those years that I had a boyfriend over this time period, I still could not stand the holiday. Almost broke up with my Irish boyfriend over this day when I plainly stated that I did NOT want to celebrate it. It puts WAY too many expectations on the other partner, and I do not want that kind of stress!

An example......The search for the perfect card:

Awww, this one is cute...oh god, its too cutesy hes going to think that I am an empty headed bimbo if I pick this card.

Okay, here a humorous one....ha ha ha..that's funny....oh wait! He won't think that I am taking our relationship seriously if I give him this card!

Aha! This one says it all.....spending time together....finding the perfect guy.....ARGH!!!!! Now hes going to think that I am way into him.....what if hes not that much into me as well? He'll feel sorry for me....tell his friends that I am making a fool out of myself over him....no. no. no.

That's it. I won't give him a card..... but what if he gives me a card...I won't have one to give him.....he'll think that I am not interested in him.....AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
_______________________________


Any good things in my mind about V-Day? One....I love the little candy conversation hearts! I love lining them up to create totally goof-ball sentences......and chomping away on the silly sentiments like "Be Mine" So sorry....I belong to myself....can't have me *chomp chomp chomp*

And anyways, this can't be a good holiday......it brings out way too many of the deadly sins....

Wrath - How dare you forget to buy me a card and flowers?!?!?
Lust - Ooohh Baby!!!! You be looking gooooooooooood...I'm gonna get me some!
Greed - What else did you get me.....jewelry....perfume....chocolate???
Envy - Mary Jane's boyfriend got her a new necklace...I want to be her
Gluttony - That's it - only one more chocolate....well just one more......
Sloth - Yeah, I'll go get her a card.....maybe tomorrow (the result - see wrath)
Pride - I am the best girlfriend....no one is better than me....in or out of bed.

Okay....I stretched it a bit on finding an example of Pride...but the others are all ones that happen!!

So join me folks on my mad dash for the hills as I try to avoid yet another appearance of this holiday that causes relationships to break down, single people to develop severe depression, marriages to falter, sins to appear and insanity to develop on the card aisles as people start talking to themselves and screaming as they quest for the perfect card!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Thierry the Tortue

Hey - I have a FO to show off.....now lets say it all together "Aaawwww....hes so cute!"



The pattern came from Reecie. I modified how I did the bottom section and tail, otherwise the concept and other parts are from her pattern!

Thierry is waiting for some friends to join him, and then he will be jetting off to America!

Word Cloud



I've seen this floating around Blogland on several blogs and thought that it was really cool! So away I went! I love the words that it picked out (hey Dad - it even picked out the word "Dad" LOL) and I feel that it hit on the essence of my blog!

Go make your own word cloud here: http://www.snapshirts.com/custom.php

Button, button, whos got the button?

Make that plural, and the answer is moi! As Vera pointed out, part of the allure of the Fiber Olympic Events are the awesome buttons that are being created out there in blogland!

I've gone on a mad spree picking them up......here are my favorites:

First up, the General Buttons

Twice the Fun Thanks Stephanie for the great idea The Crochet Olympics


Onto the two teams that I have joined:
Not exactly like Grandma did it
Still waiting for a Team Hooker button



Next, a few of the country buttons:
The Expat Button Zees eess for you my leetle doomplin Oh how true...wheres the Guinness?


There seems to be a LOT of buttons around two of my favorite non-fiber related items......
Grab me that wine....I'm gonna need it Bottoms Up! Chocolate makes everything better The Necessities of life One more row.....5 more pounds on the hips


And since I am a Thats Moi! I am sure that I will be joining this team I was smoking that day before the Olympics are over and hopefully ending up on this team Oh please...not another stitch!!

And well.....I must say that I would love to see the finished items of this team -Just because......The possibilities are endless! LOL

For those of you who have not decided to join in the fun, you can always become a member of one of the observation / cheerings teams - this one Dad....you can have this button! is still my favorite!! *grin*


Credit where it is due:
http://beadslut.livejournal.com/100954.html
http://knottygirls.com/jenlablog/index.php?p=491
The Crochet Buttons - Cris Kazily and Rebecca

Tuesday Pre-Olympic Updates

Well, as you know, I have decided on joining both Olympics (Knit and Crochet....is there a Cross Stitch?? LOL), and I have my doily picked out (not telling which one I decided on) and all my lovely yarn bought for the felted bag (not telling which one I decided to make either). Only a few more days and all will be revealed with the opening of the Olympic Games!

I have joined in on the Team Hooker for the Knitting Olympics! All of us are crocheters who have taken on the challenge of knitting for the Olympics! Together we hope to provide encouragement and support to each other as we challenge ourselves to knit like we've never knit before!

I have a bunch of Olympic buttons that I have snatched from here and there.....will get them uploaded to photobucket and put out tonight.

I bought some encouragement to help me succeed in my quest for gold.....well, even if I fail I will still get it! I stopped off last night and picked up a fairly nice bottle of french bubbly! From a smaller vineyard, it has an awesome flavor! Now its not Dom Perignon, but for the size of the vineyard, I believe that it is an excellent bottle for its class, and it cost well under the 100€ the Dom P would have cost! So, during the closing ceremonies you will find me stuck on my couch, feet on my coffee table and a glass of bubbly in hand as I toast to the Olympic Athletes, the Olympic Knitters and the Olympic Crocheters....whatever the outcome, we were all winners for trying our best!

The swatching continues on.....I pulled out some of the Noro last night and started swatching the bag....had a slight mishap with the first row, but I came back beautifully and corrected it with style and grace ("frog you fils du putain!" yup, I'm swearing in french now) and recast without any issues. The doily swatching has taken me up to round 5 before I frogged it.....I don't see any issues so far with the pattern - it is a bit bigger / more intricate than the other doily patterns that I have done, but that is why it will be a challenge!

May the Spirit and Goodwill of the Olympic Games be with you all!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Happy Friday!

Well folks, its Friday! I know, I've blogged nada this week...no good excuses either! Just been in a funk!

Just in, it is soon going to Mister Doo's Birthday! To read all about it, please click on over to Lori's blog and find out!

I am off to spend an exciting weekend getting ready for the Olympics...then again, I'll probably just sit on my bum and read a few books which seems to be the norm lately! Although I have finished one knitted dishcloth and one turtle that needs to be assembled! Wow! I've got FOs! But I guess at the same time the WIPs are growing as I've started two more turtles and a practice doily *sigh*

My friend Dan is booking his tickets to come visit. He will probably be my last visitor before I move home, which is kinda fitting since he was my very frist visitor when I moved to Europe and lived in Dublin back in 2001! I like when things come full circle! Although, other visitors are still more than welcome! I would gladly ruin the whole perfect circle idea for visitors!

I did have a thought the other day about staying here a little bit longer....if I do this, I am going to miss my high school 10 year reunion. Okay, not a big deal, but I was living in Ireland for the 5th and missed that one as well. Okay, for the most part I talk to everyone that I would ever want to talk to. But I would love to find out what happened to all of the folks.....are the cheerleaders no longer so perfectly made up after having 5 kids, did the football jocks all gain some weight around the middle, did the wall flowers and nerds blossom and come out of their cocoons, are the goth folks still goth or did they conform to main steam society, and what about those other misfits like me.....where did they end up? Yup, I called myself a misfit - I can not say that I fit into any of the above groups...I was more like on the outside fringe of many groups - I was friends with the goths, with the nerds, with (some of) the preppy/jocks......I just might have to fly back for this reunion if I am still here!

well, I think that I am going to skip out of work and run to the grocery store while I still have Kim's car - makes the trip much easier and I don't need to lug 10 plastic sacks the 4 blocks to my apartment!

Have a superb weekend everyone, and may my fellow Olympic contestants keep up the good training practice! We can do it!!!