Wednesday, November 30, 2005

These are my confessions

Any guesses on which song that comes from? I happen to hate it.

Anyway. While in the midst of my craftiness this weekend, I also was thinking about the stash. And how not too long ago, I sorted the stash. Well, I might have missed a bit of it. See, I have this spot between the couches where I store my tote bags. And they had lots of yarn in them. Current project yarn? Oh no. Soon to be project yarn. As in, more than I can knit in a year yarn. And it was bugging me. So, I did what any freak anal retentive organized person would do. I begged the hubby to pull out the bins of yarn AGAIN so I could obsess over catalog the stash. It was not pretty my friends.

I have 67 skeins of yarn intended for the following projects:

6 pairs of socks
3 vests (2 calf length)
1 aran afghan
4 sweaters
1 tank top
1 shrug
1 scarf
2 shawls
1 felted hat

This does not include yarn for projects already on the hook/needles. Does anyone else get a little woozy reading this list? Could I even finish all that in a year?

There is also (I can't believe I'm actually admitting this) 60 skeins (plus some little balls that I don't know why I'm saving) of yarn that have no intended project.

The teenagers thought this was quite funny. Brian (I love this man) told me it was ok. He likes that I have a hobby. Like I don't know that is his motive for keeping me from driving him nuts. Hrmph.

And me? Well...I bought more yarn today for the Flower Basket Shawl I need to enlarge. Hey! What if that dye lot sold out? It could happen you know. I also bought another shawl pattern. Because I obviously don't have enough to do.

Kindly forward any information you have on Yarn Stashers Anonymous.

Posted by Heather at 2:56 PM 3 comments

A very crafty weekend

This past weekend was the weekend we could officially start the Christmas decorating. Despite my hatred of Christmas anything appearing on store shelves prior to November 1st, I LOVE to go all out in my house. I want the lights on my house to look like the movie Christmas Vacation (we are SO far from being even close) and would be really happy if we could have every single room in the house decorated. This year, we will be hosting Christmas dinner. Every year I stick decorations in the bathroom, but something isn't right because my shower curtain isn't feelin' the Christmas love. Until this past weekend.

shower curtain

shower curtain rings


Yeppers, I made my own shower curtain. 4 1/2 yards of Christmas fabric, purchased on sale at JoAnn's (yea, I went there the day after Thanksgiving). No, there isn't a white spot on the curtain it is the reflection of the stupid towel bar when the flash went off. And yes, I made the little curtain rings, too. Aren't they just too cute (feel free to barf now). The teenagers REALLY think I'm nuts now. Heh.

I also finally finished the bolero for my niece. I will never make this thing again. Way too much work for a very little sweater. When you have to pick up 331 stitches around the entire body, something is very wrong.

baby bolero sweater

close up


Cute, huh? That kid better wear it until it falls off her body. Or my sister ruins it in the dryer. For which I will have to kill her.

Remember this?

Flower Basket Shawl


The gorgeous Flower Basket Shawl that I finished forever ago. Well, I never wear it because it is too short. So, I called up the LYS that I purchased the yarn from and miracle of miracles, they still had some of the same dye lot in stock. So, I'm going to rip out the border and add several rows until it is much larger.

What did the cats do during this weekend of craftiness? Well, Tigger (original name, I know) curled up on my jacket for a nap.

Tigger


Pretty cute when he isn't being psychotic, isn't he?

Posted by Heather at 9:54 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's all about me

I have a whole post ready for all the crafty stuff I did over the weekend, if I could remember to get the damn batteries for the camera.

So, instead I'll post this great meme I snagged from the hysterical Crazy Aunt Pearl (Seriously, if you don't read her blog RUN over there and dig thru her archives. She is SO funny!).

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1. My food can’t touch on my plate, ever. I freak out.
2. Because of this, the cranky teenagers and Brian call me a Separatist. Whatever.
3. I HATE smelly things. I’m way oversensitive to smell.
4. I was a moron and got married at 19. No, I wasn’t pregnant.
5. I was told I’d never be able to have children. Heh. Tell that to the teenagers.
6. I’m claustrophobic and will freak out in an elevator if there are too many people in it.
7. As much as I complain about the cranky teenagers, I love them with all my heart. If I can die with them thinking I was a great mom and they knew I loved them, my life would be complete.
8. I love cherry flavored anything.
9. I can’t suck on hard candy, I have to chew it.
10. I’m terrified of big dogs because when I was 10 a German Shepard took a chunk out of my ass. Which made it grow back even bigger.

NINE places I’ve visited.
1. Pinetop, Arizona
2. Grand Canyon
3. Agua Prieta, Mexico for charity work
4. Nogales, Mexico for pottery shopping and deals on booze
5. Florida Keys
6. New York City
7. Vermont
8. Boating in the Gulf of Mexico
9. Several cities on a charity bike ride from Santa Fe, NM to Telluride, CO

EIGHT ways to win my heart.
1. give me chocolate
2. love my kids
3. love my kitties
4. be as big a football fan as I am
5. cry on our wedding day
6. laugh at my stupid jokes
7. give me chocolate
8. snuggle with me on a porch swing

SEVEN things I want to do before I die.
1. Go to a Steelers home game where they DESTROY either the Cardinals, the Cowgirls or the we-always-win-by-a-freaking-field-goal Patriots.
2. Watch my grandchildren grow up.
3. Watch the Star play second base for the ::barf:: New York Yankees (see how much I love him? I hate the Yankees. Sorry Jody.)
4. Finally lose weight.
5. See my mother sober.
6. Hike the Grand Canyon.
7. Go to Alaska.

SIX things I’m afraid of.
1. Something horrible happening to my kids or my Brian.
2. Snakes
3. Heights
4. Closed in spaces
5. Palmetto bugs
6. scary movies

FIVE things I don't like.
1. Terrible drivers. Drive or get the hell out of my way.
2. Yellow or green candy. Gross.
3. Mean people.
4. The Shrub
5. My ex-husband

FOUR ways to turn me off.
1. Hurt my kids.
2. Treat me with disrespect.
3. Be a bad parent.
4. Smelly people

THREE Things I do everyday.
1. Knit or crochet
2. Hug and kiss my kids before they go to school and tuck them in every night. And tell them I love them every day.
3. Snuggle with the best husband in the world.

TWO things that make me happy.
1. My family and friends
2. Knitting

ONE thing on my mind right now.
1. 4 more hours until I’m out of here!

Who is tagged? If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged!

Posted by Heather at 11:56 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Merry Christmas/Festivus/Kwanzaa/Yule/Hanukkah

What is it about this time of the year that just gets me in a snit? Could it be the selling of Christmas crap in SEPTEMBER at the local Walgreen’s? The traffic at the mall right near the exit I need to take to get home that is so freaking bad that I need to get off the Loop 2 exits early so I can make it home the 2 weeks before Christmas? Usually, my snittage starts in mid-October and lasts until December 26th. This year, it came early. Brian is usually on the lookout for the first store to haul out the Christmas Crap before Halloween is even over. You know, so he can warn me and avert potential embarassment when I go back to whatever store with him. Walgreen’s won this year, hands down. I think even Brian was shocked, and that is saying a lot. To add insult to injury, they started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween!! The local radio station that in years past played “holiday music” 24/7 from the day after Thanksgiving until noon on Christmas (why noon? Are we getting ready for Valentine’s Day already?!?) has already started this year. Yea, jam it down my throat some more. Gotta get in that holiday buying spirit!

What happened to thoroughly enjoying the holidays before we moved on to the next? I could see the reasoning behind selling that 14-foot, glow-in-the-dark, Santa complete with sparkly neon presents after November 1st. ‘Cause we all know Joe Schmo down the street needs to be the first on the block with the inflatable Santa (right after he takes down the inflatable turkey, of course. Ha! Think I’m kidding? My neighbor has had theirs up since Halloween.).

We live in such a hurried world anymore and this just makes it worse. Pretty soon we will be hauling out the Crap as soon as we put the fireworks away from Independence Day.

And what about those of us in the country that don’t celebrate Christmas? In my home we celebrate both Christmas and Yule, or the Winter Solstice. Where is my music at Wal-Mart? What about my friends that celebrate Hanukkah? I sure don’t see their decorations at Target and don’t tell me that Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song counts when it is played once an hour on the local radio station (even though it is pretty funny). Not too sure what the Festivus celebrators would like to hear, but why exclude them? Why not have some Kwanzaa decorations to choose from?

I really don’t understand how we supposedly live in such a melting pot here in the US, but everything revolves around Christmas at this time of the year. I guess embracing diversity only counts if you are hugging Santa.

Yea, Santa. Don’t even get me started on what Christmas is supposed to be about, because we all know that has been forgotten by most. That’s a whole ‘nuther rant and I don’t have time. I’ve got to get to the mall, you know.

Posted by Heather at 12:02 PM 7 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving?!?

Ok, how is Thanksgiving on Thursday?!? Wasn't it just July or something? Or September when I was working 567 hours a week on our fundraiser? Holy crap. It is just over a month before ::insert some kind of doom music here:: Christmas. How much shopping have I done? 1 gift for the Princess. Yep. That is it. Of course, this shall be followed by 5 weeks of frantic posting by me that I haven't done squat and am yet again on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Yea, like I haven't proclaimed that before.

Someone PLEASE tell me why Christmas seems to come as a huge shock to me every freaking year. Do they schedule it in October and I miss a memo? Hardly. It is the same damn day every year and yet every single year I hit Thanksgiving and panic. Although, in the last couple years the panic has lessened due to the fact that I'm no longer a single mother not getting child support and wondering how I'll pay for the only gift they are begging for (no, I'll never tell them of the jewelry I hocked or the kidney I was wondering if I needed). And every freaking year I vow to start shopping in July. Yea, like that is going to happen.

So, let the insanity begin. Least I'm not knitting any gifts, right?

Posted by Heather at 10:34 PM 4 comments

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Finished!

The baby blanket is finally finished! In good time, too, as the new parents should be coming home tomorrow with the baby. I am so happy with the way that it turned out. The pattern was really easy, but not so much so that I was bored out of my mind. Near the end, though, I was a little tired of it.

artsy shot

in the sun


Feather and Fan Baby Blanket

Pattern Source: Feather & Fan Lace Baby Blanket

Needle Size: Size 10, 24" Boye circulars

Yarn: Plymouth Encore worsted, color #517, 4 skeins

I loved making this blanket. The size 10's made it fly by. 10 1/2 was too big for me since I tend to knit a little loose. The pattern calls for a thinner weight yarn, so I did a gauge swatch of the 18 stitch pattern with 10 extra stitches on each side. I measured the pattern repeat and figured out my blanket width. Then I knit until I was close to running out of yarn and the blanket was a little longer than the width. Using stitch markers to mark off the pattern repeats helped keep the pattern a no brainer. I'd definitely make this baby blanket again.

Now, to finish the bolero. I need to get going if I'm to give it to my niece for Christmas. I'd like to finish it this weekend.

Posted by Heather at 1:19 PM 3 comments

Friday, November 18, 2005

Do something good

I've decided to join the 2 week knit-a-long for charity, Knit Unto Others that Carole and Margene started. It's simple. Crochet or knit something warm and donate it to the charity of your choice. Even one hat will make a difference to someone in need. I have to finish the baby blanket first, but after that I'll be making as many things as I can before the 30th.

I'm not trying to jinx it, but tranquility has settled on Casa de la Cranky Teenagers. Of course, that is probably due to all the sucking up that is going on so we can get off grounding, but I'll take what I can get people. I don't think the Princess has seen the error of her ways since it is in her master plan to have me change my rules. It doesn't help that her counselor at school told her that perhaps we could reach a compromise on the rules. Thanks, lady, for the support. Some rules are not up for negotiation. Period. I better shut myself up before I start another migraine.

I must have laughed for an hour last night after my post. And Pam's hysterical comment. So freaking funny. I love Pam. When you first meet her, she is so quiet and shy. But then you get to know her and you find out that she is SO funny and a wonderful, supportive friend.

In case you missed it the first time around, you must check out Store Wars. I just had to watch it again last night and laughed myself asleep. I think Brian had his head under the pillow because I would just not shut up about it. I crack myself up.

Ok, I'm outie...like a belly button. (Isn't that funny?!? Brian doesn't think so. And either do the kids. I'm so not appreciated, I tell you.)

Posted by Heather at 9:50 AM 1 comments

Thursday, November 17, 2005

So funny, I can't even stand it

Is this hysterical or what?

Darth Tater


It's Darth Tater! I can't even stop laughing.

However no one in my house thinks it is funny. These people are so boring.

Posted by Heather at 8:11 PM 6 comments

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A better day

I am so very blessed. The emails, comments, phone calls and meeting with my knitting friends last night truly made me see just how blessed I am to have such an amazing group of friends. Some who I have never met! Today is a much better day. I'm still very hurt and very angry, but in time that will pass. But some things will just never be the same. Words hurt and things that only happen in a moment of anger or stupidity can have lasting effects.

Life does go on though, right?

I've made so much progress on the baby blanket. I'm trying hard to finish by this weekend so that I can give it to the new parents next week. All other projects are on hold until I finish this. However, I can indulge in a bit of retail therapy, right? Thanks to the very kind Heather over at All Things Heather, I have found a cotton alternative so that I can knit Eris all for me! Heather has been making me jealous with her gorgeous Rogue and found all kinds of pictures of TLC Cotton Plus knit in cables. So, I ordered from Joann's last night and I should have my yarn in about a week. Thank you again, Heather.

Finally, I'm going to do some shameless plugging (ha, it is MY blog, ya know!). I've been suffering with God-awful dry skin for years. Recently, my feet and elbows have really suffered and actually hurt. I read about this amazing product called Heal my Heels and figured, what do I have to lose? I ordered it and boy am I ever glad I did!! Within a week I was noticing a major improvement and now they are nice and soft. I've just put in another order and cannot be happier with both the product and the customer service. Claudia is the best!

Have a wonderful day...and be good to each other :)

Posted by Heather at 2:19 PM 1 comments

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Enough

Thank you so much for the comments and emails yesterday. I still keep looking at my ankle in surprise and because I love it.

And I sure needed to hear something nice. Because frankly, I've had about the worst 12 hours of my life. I've always known being the mother to teenagers was hard, but it has just been kicked up a notch. And I've had enough. It is very hard to hear the hateful words that can come out of their mouths. I know in the long run they don't mean it, but it breaks my heart. And I honestly don't know what to do.

Why can't they stay little forever? When they love you, don't question how you breathe and you never hear them screaming that they hate you.

I really don't think I'm doing this well at all sometimes. I so badly need a break before I do.

Posted by Heather at 8:52 AM 6 comments

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weekend craziness

Been an interesting weekend here at Casa de la Cranky Teenagers. I got word that my friends who are adopting a baby left on Saturday to bring the baby home! Earlier than expected, so I've been knitting like crazy to finish the blanket. I'm hoping to be done this week.

I've pretty much had a headache for 3 days since the Star cannot seem to stop talking unless he is sleeping. Grounding = boredom which then = mom being driven nuts. Been a long weekend, let me tell you.

I also did something this weekend I've been contemplating for probably 7 years. I got a tattoo today as an early birthday present.

goddess tattoo


Isn't it beautiful? Brian drew it based on a few ideas I had. The spotting in the blue will heal and then it will be perfect. I really love it and I'm so happy that I finally sucked it up and did it. Yea, it hurt, but it wasn't unbearable.

Off to play Monopoly with the kids then cheer for my Steelers in tonight's game. Hope everyone out there had a wonderful weekend!

Posted by Heather at 4:58 PM 5 comments

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Like another hole in the head

Inspired by my crafty buddy, Kelli, I've pulled out my sewing machine. Mind you, my machine is probably 30 years old and weighs a freaking ton.

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Yeppo, baby, that is a 1970's Kenmore sewing machine. 4 whole stitches. But that is all I really need. I haven't used it regularly in years, so the other night (thanks to Kelli's brilliant suggestion) I dug out the manual and followed the directions to clean the inside and oil it up. Saving me $60, I might add. With Brian's help, she is running better than I ever remember. I decided to toss decorating schemes out the window and set myself up in my bedroom. Now I have a little crafty corner!

Last night I finally had a little time, so I made this:

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It is a little padded pouch for sewing or knitting/crochet tools. If you look at the second picture carefully, you can see the various pockets. Pretty cool, huh? For not having sewn in forfreakingever, I did really well. My stitches were nice and even and I didn't wack off any fingers when using my rotary cutter (if you only knew what an accomplishment that is, right Brian?).

Seems as though I might actually start getting to have some alone time now. Let's see if I can get this right. The Princess is back together with The Boyfriend (I won't even go there) who is also friends with the Star who now has a girlfriend who just happens to be the Princess' best friend. So, they are all yapping together on 3 separate phones or on conference calls and running back and forth to tell each other to call each other and when they can't they tell each other what is going on.

Kind of makes your brain explode, doesn't it? See why I need a crafty corner? Now, if I can just get the damn cats to leave me alone... Hey, maybe I should set myself up in the shed?

Posted by Heather at 10:20 AM 4 comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday, Monday

How can it be Monday again? I want my weekend back! It was a good one, though.

Saturday brought a surprise from my Secret Pal!

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Aren't they cute? Stitch markers from Zephyr. I love them! My awesome SP also gave me a gift certificate to Adagio Teas which I quickly blew on several yummy tins of tea. I'm not a coffee drinker and I love herbal tea. Their tea is divine. Thank you so much, Secret Pal!

We found all kinds of old favorite movies at the library last week and seemed to watch all of them this weekend. Mr. Holland's Opus (wonderful), A Civil Action (excellent), Born on the Fourth of July (great, but damn depressing) and a few others. This, of course, gave me lots of time to knit on the baby blanket.

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Told ya I was cranking on it. That is skein number 3. Joan asked a few questions in the comments. I bought 4 skeins and I'll probably use all of it. So, I'm just past the halfway point. The feather and fan pattern I'm using is a repeat of 18 stitches. After knitting a gauge swatch (yea, I actually do this), I measured how wide the pattern repeat is. Whipping out my trusty calculator, I figured how wide I wanted the blanket to be. So, I cast on 154 stitches for 8 repeats of the pattern and 10 extra so I would have a 5-stitch garter stitch border on each side. I also knit 5 rows of garter stitch in the beginning and will do the same at the end. The blanket is being knit on size 10 needles and I'm really happy with the density of the fabric. I knit loose and 10 1/2 was a little too loose. I thought I would be bored out of my mind with the pattern, but I'm not. Like the Clapotis, it has a few mindless rows with 1 you have to think about tossed in. Keeps it interesting, but also is great for movie knitting. I'm really hoping to finish it by next weekend. The yarn is beautiful and I like working with it. Not bad for a $22 gift, huh?

In teenager related news, I think something is definitely wrong. Star was told on Friday, that if he didn't COMPLETELY clean out his pig pen bedroom by 9pm on Sunday, his new iPod would become mine until it was. If I told you the shit that came out from under his bed, you would faint. I did. Ok, almost. It probably doesn't help I'm a clean freak, but his room was a phone call away from being condemned (ok, I'm probably exaggerating...a little). Well, try not to gasp too loudly - I know you are at work (heh), he actually did it. I know!! It really is a Christmas miracle! Of course, he finished 15 minutes before the deadline, but that is the Star for you. Want a good laugh? He thinks it smells funny now. Ha! That would be a CLEAN smell, kiddo.

And in case you were wondering about the Princess...grounded, again. For breaking the same damn rule as last time.

My next purchase? A tape recorder so I can stop repeating the same thing over and over and over again...

Posted by Heather at 7:48 AM 6 comments

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Another day

After being so pissed last night, today I'm just downright depressed. Eva brought up a good point in the comments. None of us want a registered sex offender living next door, but where the heck ARE they going to live? I spoke to the head of the unit that tracks these guys. While I do feel better knowing that he has a probation officer and the unit keeps tabs on him, I still don't like it. But, there is nothing I can do other than be careful. Which I should be doing anyway. But still...

Onto better topics. I found out last week that a good friend and his wife are adopting a baby - who is due this month! Off to the yarn store I ran (such justification, I swear) and purchased a few skeins of Plymouth Encore, which I have never used before. Guided by Sarah's excellent advice (as usual), I purchased 4 skeins for a feather and fan baby blanket on size 10 needles. Now that I have my rhythm going, I am moving along.

blanket


A little closer (don't 'cha just love my super-green winter grass?)

stitch detail


I love this pattern! Very easy, but not so brainless that I'm getting bored. I can do 3 of the rows without looking very much. Not bad, huh? I have about 10 inches done.

Now let me tell you, the Star must be out of his mind with boredom. After his homework was done yesterday, he decided to count all the change in the 3-gallon water jug we save. After that...well he decided to get creative.

Florida


Yep, that is Florida. He even left a space for Lake Okeechobee, did the inlet for Tampa Bay and the Florida Keys. If only he applied that energy to his school work.

And, just for you Kim, a new picture of Luna (Kim's adorable dog - who has a birthday today - is named Luna, too. No, I'm not a big copy cat. We chose our Luna's name because we found her on the full moon and we were sitting on the patio enjoying the full moon when we decided to keep her.).

Luna


She is getting so big! She eats like a little pig and will chase a piece of lettuce around if you tempt her. Is her favorite food the cheaper leafy greens like spinach and romaine? Oh no. Our little diva adores radicchio at $4.99 a pound.

Such an interesting life I lead, I know.

Posted by Heather at 1:40 PM 4 comments

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

In disbelief

I am so livid tonight, I may spontaneously combust.

Tonight, as Brian and I were getting into the car, we were met on the driveway by a police officer who had just left a notice on the door. Being the paranoid person I am, I wondered what I had done. Turns out that our friendly officer was passing out Level 3 notices for a registered sex offender. I didn't even know there was a rating system for notifications. There is. And level 3 is as bad as it gets.

A quick mapquest search showed that, while he doesn't live in my neighborhood, he lives way too damn close to my daughters friends and well, frankly, too close to anyone. He has been convicted twice.

When speaking with the officer I asked what we could do. His answer? Nothing. Oh, watch our children and be aware. Mr. Sex Offender has every right to live wherever he wants as long as he registers. Oh yea, that will help his next door neighbor sleep at night.

Seriously, what the hell am I supposed to do here? What about the guys we DON'T know about? And what about his neighbor? Could you freaking imagine living with the knowledge that he lives right next door? Think I'd leave my kid home alone? Think Brian would want me home alone? Walking through the park alone?

I am growing so very tired of this very screwed up world we live in when people like this seem to have more rights than I do.

Posted by Heather at 8:17 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A little this, a little that

Such a busy last few days! I really love fall. I feel like I've been stuck inside for so long because of summer. It is time to be outside!

Saturday, Brian and I headed off to the airshow, sans teenagers (Mooommm...that is booorrriiinnggg. Whatever.). We had the best time!

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Brian is an airplane nut, so he was in his glory. I like the biplanes and the jets. I was kind of bummed that the Blue Angels weren't there. Hunky military guys in uniform. Yum. Oh, sorry...distracted there for a minute. We were there all day and I was amazed at all the different kinds of planes. Then, when it became dark, there was a stunt plane that had some kind of sparkly stuff coming off the back of the plane. So when he did stunts, it was like a shooting star. Very cool.

Last night the teenagers went trick-or-treating. I'm thinking this could be the Baseball Star's last year. Kind of sad, you know? Yet another reminder that he is growing up too fast. He was Derek Jeter (his idol) and had a blast.

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The Princess was a gangster girl (she is the one in the black). Remind me to lock her in a closet until she is 30, k?

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Lots of fun was had and enough candy to hype them up for a month.

Brian and I got to have lots of fun! We hung out in the decorated garage handing out candy and watching our Steelers win!! This was an amazing site to see at the game.

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I've seen them play live in Tampa many times, but never at home. Brian promises that someday I'll see them play at home. And I'll wave my Terrible Towel proudly. ::sniff::

Posted by Heather at 9:44 AM 3 comments