Thursday, August 28, 2008

Soap La Table

The soap situation has improved somewhat. I'm still smarting from having two batches not turn out, especially considering how many times I've made that particular recipe on many occasions and never had any trouble. It's so frustrating! There's nothing like having a batch of soap start out just fine, go through all the stages without a hitch, and then start crumbling like stale cheddar as soon as it comes out of the mold. It's disappointing to say the least.
Yesterday's batch was pumpkin soap. Yes, it had real pumpkin in it, and cinnamon and nutmeg. I unmolded it this morning and thought it looked a little shaggy, but since there aren't any chunks or streaks of lye, I went ahead and cut it into bars. The shaggy parts can be trimmed since I don't think they're indicative of any chemical problems. The other cosmetic problem, which I also hope is really just that, is that there some inclusions consisting of hard, dry bits of soap from around the edge of the lining; they got mixed in while I was stirring things up last night, but I have no idea if they'll present a problem later on. It's a little soft yet, but hopefully that'll go away as it cures.
Still have a few more batches to go, but I'm not sure what I'll make.
The picture at the top shows everything but the failed batches of pomegranate soap. From the left, the pale beige soap is hard cider with oatmeal; the gray-green with black on top is green tea with silk--Christine of Aquae Sulis Soaps suggested dissolving a pinch of silk fiber in the lye solution, and it really, really does work; the darker brown in the rear is oatmeal cookie soap with peanut butter, honey, and spices; the orangey stuff to the right is the evil pumpkin soap with pumpkin puree and spices. Mmph. Now I want pumpkin pie....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Soap and Seizure

Five years ago, I took my first stab at making soap with lye. It went reasonably well. No lye volcanoes, no lye heavy soap, no seized batches... and then, for some reason, I took a two year hiatus. The first batch of soap I made recently was the shampoo bar I posted about a while back. That, thank goodness, turned out fine. The process moved more quickly than I was accustomed to going, but there wasn't an actual seizure of soap.
Seizure, from what I've been reading, takes place when the temperatures of the lye and oils are either too high or too low, or the fragrance oil isn't specifically designed for use in cold process soapmaking. There are a number of sites like Soapnuts where people puzzle over what to do to fix a seized batch, which can look like anything to a pot full of lumpy mashed potatoes to really thick icing. Soapnuts suggests waiting until the seized soap hits the gel phase, and then stirring it furiously to make sure everything is properly incorporated, but no one really seems to have any sure, set in stone answer on what to do to save seized soap.
So... are my first three years some strange form of beginner's luck? During those three years, I don't remember having any serious problems. This year, however, has been extremely frustrating.
Since we're going to our first craft show in quite a long time, I thought I'd get started early and make soap. Of the six batches I've made in the last two weeks, so far only three have turned out. Two failed completely and one... seized. As in lumpy mashed potato seized. Possible reasons could be that the temps for both the oils and lye solution were about 115 degrees, or that the fragrance oil I chose wasn't really for CP even though the label claimed it was, or that I added it at the wrong time (put it in the oil before adding the lye rather than adding it at trace).
It's in the mold now, and we'll see how it progresses, but I'm not very optimistic.

Addendum: After discussing my options with some of the experienced soapers on Ravelry, I dumped the seized soap back out of the mold and stirred it half to death. That stuff gets pretty bloody hot--go figure! It's back in the mold now, and hopefully that will be enough for it to be all right tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and am slightly more optomistic than I was earlier this evening.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New England, Day 5

6:59 AM- On the road home. Not awake. Need coffee.
7:30- Stopped for breakfast in Wells, ME at a place called Congdon's Donuts. Had pancakes and really was speechless, they were so good. Had a big cup of coffee and am now semi-awake.
9:00- Now in Massachussetts. Overcast and a little misty. Heading south on 445 until we find Rt. 2, then we'll start heading west. Need more coffee.
1:15 PM- Crossed back into NY. Stopped to get gas and let dad take over the driving.
1:45- About to get back on the Taconic Parkway. Just went through another heavy rainstorm.
3:46- Crossed the state line into PA and got on I-81 South.
4:30- Stopped to get food and took the wrong exit. After much swearing and grumbling, got back on 81 and finally found the correct exit. Spent an hour at Perkins listening to a pair of elderly women who didn't have a single nice thing to say about anyone; they went on and on about this person joining the Catholic church and what a scandal it was, and someone else who was going to die without leaving anything to his or her relatives, which was also a scandal. Dad sat facing the woman who did most of the talking and said he was sure he'd seen two of her in just about every town he's ever been in. I asked if he thought she'd been cloned or was a government issue robot. When we finally got ready to leave, I stopped to compliment her on her jacket and discovered that, yes, she probably is a clone or a government issue robot, complete with ill-fitting dentures, beehive hair-do, and enormous spectacles. Once we got out the door, dad said, "You just wanted to see what she looked like, didn't you!"
7:45- Still on I-81 South. Just about threw a tantrum because I got stuck driving behind a truck hauling a giant container of radioactive something, and I had to drive about 80 mph to get around and past it. Dad insisted that I probably didn't get any more radiation from the container than I do from having my cellphone in my pocket. I spluttered and made evil faces at him.
8:30- Pulled off in the direction of Greencastle to let dad drive. We're about an hour from home and my eyes are going googly from staring at the road.
9:35- Pulled into the driveway and staggered out long enough to collect my bags, get into the house, and regale mom with a few tales of my travels.
11:30- *snore*

Friday, August 15, 2008

Red Scarf Time

Time to gear up for the Red Scarf Project. More information can be found at Norma's blog (see button to the right). Completed scarves can be mailed to:
Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry DriveSterling, VA 20166

New England, Day 4

8:30 AM- Left the motel and drove across the Bucksport Bridge, through Verona and Bucksport, and finally stopped in Ellsworth for breakfast--blueberry pancakes! It's changed since we were here last, but that's to be expected after twenty years. The old restaurant in the railroad car is gone, but The Grasshopper Shop is still here.
10:30- Drove through Blue Hill. Saw a flock of wild turkeys eating blueberries by the roadside.
11:00- Arrived in Stonington. Dad stayed to chat with Chuck while I went for a walk in town. Got a few more postcards and took pictures, and broke down and bought a baseball cap to keep from getting sunburned. I hoped to find something not very touristy, but ended up getting one with a lobster framed by "Deer Isle, Maine", which was among the least tourist ones in the shop. Sat on the municipal pier for a bit to write my cards.
11:30- Walked back up the hill to Chuck's and went to Sand Beach to collect some pebbles and take more pictures.
The beach was divided by a forested strip of land; one side is sandy, turning to pebbles the closer you get to the water, and the other side is sandy, but surrounded by huge rocks, with the beach made up of pebbles and finely crushed shells.
While I was poking around, I found a tiny baby crab. It wasn't happy to be disturbed, so after a couple unsuccessful attempts to photograph it, I let it dig itself back into the sand.
1:45 PM- Left Stonington and dad decided to skip driving to Cherryfield in the interest of saving time. I reminded him that he's the one with deadlines, so the route he chooses should take that into account.
3:30- Stopped at another yarn shop in Hancock, ME and poked around while dad bought some fudge. Bought two skeins of Malabrigo, then got back on the road. Dad wants to get as far as Portland before we stop for the night.
8:30- Bypassed Portland and ended up in a place called Saco, which isn't too terribly far from Kennebunkport. Most of the day has been pretty decent. Drove back through Belfast and Blue Hill, drove past Ellsworth, took state highways through wooded hills and past lakes... and ended up in Saco.
Saco, it seems, is one giant used car lot with about fifteen cheap motels, a handful of nicer inns, and a bunch of gas stations thrown in. There are also about a handful of places to eat: One endless buffet next door to a sports bar with 11 televisions, each of which looked to be airing a different sporting event; the buffet seemed to have as many varieties of "cuisine", ranging from Mexican to pancakes, to peel-and-eat shrimp. Further down the road was a dilapidated Thai restaurant, and beyond that, a pseudo-1950s diner which played nothing but Janis Joplin.
First, though, the motel. We were tired, grubby, grouchy, and getting desperate to do something other than sit in the car and stare at the road. We didn't stop at the first place we came to, or even the second. The Saco Inn was probably about the fourth place we saw, and, quite honestly, we probably should have kept going.
Dad unlocked the door and flipped the light switch. The overhead fluorescent light sputtered and flickered before deigning to turn on. It only provided a dim 1/4 strength illumination.
I went into the bathroom to take a shower, only to discover there wasn't a light switch, and that the lamp over the sink was bulbless. On further examination, I discovered the switch to be outside the door; the light it controlled was also weak, and there was no fan to go with it. After putting out the bathmat, I did battle with the shower itself. The dial was in two parts: Volume, i.e. how much water comes out of the shower head, and Temperature. The floor of the shower bowed, and the soap and shampoo persisted in falling off the rack. Okay...managed to bathe without shrieking or scalding myself, got out of the shower, and found myself in a Turkish bath.
There was no fan, as I said, and no way to open the windows to let the steam out. My towel was soaked, and the bath mat equally drenched, which was mostly due to the fact that the shower curtain hopped out of the shower at the slightest provocation. Fortunately, I didn't have my clean clothes in the bathroom, or they would very likely have been thoroughly damp, too.
Now being sufficiently recovered, we took off in pursuit of food. Drove past all the aforementioned establishments, stopping first at the buffet. After going inside just long enough to ascertain exactly how endless the menu was, we turned right around and went on to the diner.
Almost as soon as we sat down I started to feel I was trapped in the Chicken Salad scene from "Five Easy Pieces". An egg salad sandwich and a glass of Pepsi. That's all I wanted.
"You can have any of the sides if you don't want fries," the waitress said.
"Could I just have the sandwich without fries or sides?" I asked.
*pause* "You can have half a sandwich with a cup of soup..." she replied.
Things continued in this vein, and probably would have gone on all night if I hadn't accepted the soup and half a sandwich.
The speakers blared a steady stream of Janis Joplin, who, as far as I know, wasn't a contemporary of Elvis... not in the strictest sense, at least. Now, I like Janis. I really do. But if I hear "Me and Bobby McGee" ever again, I may have to become a hermit.
By the time the soup and half-sandwich appeared, I was really looking forward to getting out of there. The chicken soup may well have been homemade, but probably back when Janis was singing about her Mercedes-Benz. The noodles were hard as rocks and the vegetables were cooked to the consistency of wallpaper paste. I have no idea how this was acheived, and I doubt modern science is equipped to answer the question.
The egg salad sandwich was at least as disappointing. The bread was gummy enough to patch a hole in a lobster boat, and the egg salad itself.... was crunchy. From eggshells.
The waitress came back to check up on us--Dad had an entire bowl of the insipid soup--and I was too busy chewing to be able to answer the chirpy "How is everything?"
When the girl left, I muttered, "It's so good, I'm speechless!"
Well, we're back at the inn now, trying to get things sorted out for tomorrow. Dad still wants to try to make it home all in one go--eep!--by going south through Massachussetts, then through New York and Pennsylvania.
On the plus side, the yarn shop I found more than makes up for all the rest of today's little disasters, even if it happened before we got to Saco and its awful inn!

Notes: The yarn shop in question is Shirley's Yarns and Crafts, in Hancock, ME. There's no website listed on, but the ladies who work there would probably also be delighted to help and are certainly willing to do mail orders.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New England, Day 3

8:30 AM- Back on the road after eating leftover Chinese food for breakfast; on the way to Conway for a scenic rail ride. After that, it's on to Maine.
10:30- Hopped abourd the Conway Scenic Railroad for an hour-long ride through scenic Conway and surrounding scenic countryside. The engineer's commentary was punctuated by blasts from the horn; this caused a number of the younger passengers to exclaim "Toot, toot!". This later turned into Screaming Child Syndrome.
11:30- Back in the parking lot at the depot. Dad is out taking pictures while I write this and watch people lining up for the 5-hour ride up into the mountains. Just heard a hearty "All aboard!" from the conductor, so it looks like they're taking off, as we'll be, I hope, very soon.
12:01 PM- (Dad's note) ME state line.
2:00- Portland. Big. Confusing. Need food!
2:19- On the way to Brunswick. Blue heron flew over the highway.
6:00- After some backtracking and a lot of grumbling, we're in Belfast. Tomorrow we're heading on to Stonington to visit Chuck, dad's old Peace Corps(e) coordinator. Booked in at the Yankee Clipper, which is in Belfast. Nice, quiet, with a view of the inlet.
7:30- Went to dinner at The Maine Dish. Menu was almost entirely fish--haddock three different ways, shrimp, scallops, and very expensive lobster--with a little steak and chicken. I had scallops and a baked potato; dad had haddock and rice pilaf. So, finally, I get to do my fish and blueberry pie.
Went for a walk and got all wet between the dew and the mist, but it was worth the view of the inlet.
9:00- Back to the Yankee Clipper to watch a little tellie before sleep.
9:15- *snore*

Note: The Maine accent I remember from years and years ago is disappearing. Hardly anyone I've talked to in shops or on the street has it anymore. :(

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New England, Day 2

8:15 AM- Breakfast at Friendly's, then out for an hour of exploring the Bennington Bookshop and Jay's Art Supply for postcards. Dad wants to go to the Grandma Moses museum, but it doesn't open until 10. He also wants to get started for NH, so he may skip it. It's raining again and there's some flooding south of here. Unlikely to have much bearing on us unless it KEEPS raining.
10:00- (Dad's note) Visted Bennington Museum to see Grandma Moses paintings. They had about 20 GM paintings. Bought a book and a wooden cardinal.
10:55- (Dad's note) On US 7 North. Saw first moose crossing warning.
11:02- (Dad's note) Red-tail flew up from ditch along US 7. Beaver lodge spotted along VT-313 on way to Shaftsbury.
11:30- Found an alpaca farm in North Bennington. The farmer let us visit with the alpacas. He laughed when I scolded the guineafowl. Bought yarn to make a shawl. Am working on my postcards.
1:26 PM- Reached Weston, VT. Yes. Weston, VT is the home of the Vermont Country Store. No, I didn't buy anything.
2:15- Forced to pull over by inclement weather, i.e. heavy rain, light hail, and low visibility. It didn't let up until we pulled into Ludlow, and then it continued to rain off and on.
3:40- Stopped for lunch at a roadside burger joint. I remarked that we've been in New England for two days and eaten neither fish nor blueberries.
4:00- Crossed the Queechee Gorge. The bridge is vertiginously high and I wanted to sit down. The river is benefitting from all this rain, so it made little rapids waaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the gorge. After we got back to the car--drenched from still more rain--I called a yarn shop in Lebanon, NH. The lady I spoke to laughed and said, "You're not from around here, are you?" It seems it's pronounced Kwee-chee, which only an outsider would pronounce Kee-chee.
4:25- Crossed the state line into NH by going over a bridge across the Connecticut River. Still raining.
4:33- Stopped at a shop called Country Woolens, which is off Route 4 in Lebanon. Dad's eyes sort of glazed over while I chatted with the proprietor--Debbie--about Elizabeth Zimmerman, patterns, fiber fairs, gauge, and other knitterly arcana. Debbie is delightful and her shop is very comfortable and organized. She has a dog who helps her keep the shop and he (?) peeked out long enough to acknowledge our presence before going back to his nap. Debbie has a little lending library full of knitting books; she was kind enough to offer to let me take one of the books if I found a shawl pattern I really liked, and said I could just mail it back to her when I got home to WV. I was touched by her generosity and told her so. Bought a shawl pattern and pair of circular needles.
5:19- Saw a rainbow. We're heading into MORE RAIN.
7:00- Still looking for a place to stay. Went through several small towns on I-93, got turned around once or twice in the process, and finally ended up in Plymouth. Our choices are:
A. Common Man Inn. This turns out to be an expensive tourist spa. One vacancy w/ king bed, fireplace, and deck for $175 a night. No fanks.
B. Red Carpet Inn. Never actually found this one.
C. Pilgrim Cottages- Cabins and a handful of vacancies.
D. Red Roof Inn. Only vacancies are in smoking rooms. Definitely no fanks.
Finally picked option C and got a cabin with five beds-- O.O --because it was the only vacancy with more than a single bed in it. Am tired, cranky, and sore. Want food, shower, and sleep. A massage would also be nice, but this isn't that kind of place.
It rained all the way from Bennington. Got drenched more than once.
9:00- Back in the cabin after dinner. Watched the end of The Scorpion King. Snoooooooore.

Notes: Am disappointed to learn that the rock formation known as The Old Man of the Mountain, which has been there for hundreds of years, has fallen down.

The alpaca farm is Shaftsbury Alpacas, which is a few miles from Bennington. The folks who run it are more than willing to take time to chat about alpacas, the weather, and the time of day; the alpacas are also pretty personable.:) The website can be found here.
Unfortunately, Country Woolens doesn't have a website, but if you google it, the phone number is given on the Wool Works directory. I'm sure Debbie would be happy to put stuff in the mail and answer any questions you might have. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New England, Day 1

Here's the first chunk of my travel journal. Most of these observations were recorded by me while dad was driving; his notes will be included.

Day 1: Aug. 7, 2008

Interstate 81- Saw three blades for wind turbine, each with its own state trooper escort.

9:15 AM- Crossed from MD into PA. The interstate is very crowded and mostly boring.
1:33 PM- Have been on 209 for a couple hours now. Drove through some very quiet, cool, green national parkland with almost no traffic and have finally stopped in historic Milford, PA for a stretch of the legs and some lunch at the Milford Diner. Back on the road after lunch and we'll be heading toward the big bridge at Newburg before we cross into New York. I'm not at all interested in driving through NYC!
2:15- Finally crossed into NY. 35 miles to the Hudson River Bridge.
2:35- Saw a pair of wild turkeys in the grass at the roadside. While there are wild turkeys at home, I consider this noteworthy because we're on a major highway. Dad is amused that I recorded this.
There are no bathrooms on the Taconic Parkway! Very annoying. Got of the parkway to find a bathroom and ended up driving past Rhinebeck. Was very disappointed that there were no public toilets in Milan and that there was a $5 fee to get into Wilcox Park long enough to just use the bathroom. I declined and we turned around and went through Rhinebeck. Argh.
Got a bit lost, but we're back on track after 40 minutes of fiddling and being lost. My fault. I misread the map. New York is nice, but they definitely need more bathrooms on the parkway!
6:09- (Dad's note) Crossed into VT
6:25- Arrived in Bennington, home of Grandma Moses and Bennington College. Checked into the Catamount Motel, which is where we used to stop when we came through Vermont when I was a kid.
I'm sooooo tired. We covered about 450 miles in ten hours, and that includes my detour to look for a bathroom. Tomorrow we're heading to New Hampshire, and after that, Maine. And after that, we drive like crazy and get home on the 12th, which means we'll be exhausted all over again.
Bennington is nice and quiet. And rainy! We arrived during a thunderstorm, and after dinner we mustered the energy to take a walk downtown and see what's there. I was a little disappointed to discovere that the Naked Sheep yarn shop closed earlier in the year.
I intend to try to visit another shop when we get to NH. Plans might change a little because there's some flooding over by Conway, which is one of the stops we have on the list.
10 PM- *snore*

Notes: I took pictures at Bennington, but the memory card was corrupted... so they didn't turn out. Bennington is a lovely town with an almost Rockwell-ian feel.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig

Left Maine at just a bit before 7 AM yesterday and got home at about 9:45 that night. Haven't transcribed my travel journal yet, but will do so over the next few days. In the meantime, click the moose to see the pictures from the trip. They're out of order, which happened when PhotoBouquet alphabetized things for me. They're also huge and mostly uncropped, which will be attended to also during the next few days. Dad took the ones with trains in them (Conway Scenic RR and the depot) and some of the landscapes while I was driving; the others are mine.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Just about to hit the road for Vermont and all points north. I've been packed for about three days and now I'm remembering about a billion tiny incidentals that either really need to be in the bag or need to be done before I leave. There are a few people on my postcard list; knowing the way the postal system works, I'll probably be back home before the postcards reach their recipients.
See you on the 12th! :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

In which the moths...

Start fluttering out of my handbag.
Today wasn't bad. I was awakened at 3 AM by thunder and lightning, and the cat jumping on and off the bed. When I finally went back to sleep, I was two Benadryl to the wind and feeling like my head was about to explode from the rapid changes in air pressure; the noise from the thunder didn't help. Once I managed to drag myself out of bed, I was reminded that we had a lunch invitation to a place I've never even heard of. Oh, and it's two hours away and we're supposed to be there at noon. We left at 10:30, which makes it hard to cover two hours of distance and get where I need to be by the time I'm supposed to be there. But never mind the technical problems.
Getting there was fine. Kim was kind enough to provide very detailed directions, so finding the house was no problem. Lunch was great, the goats were great (Kim and her husband have two little Nigerian pygmy goats named Peanut and Jack. Such cute little fellows!), and the tour of the house and grounds was also great. We left around 4, with a bag of tomatoes and a camera full of pictures of butterflies and baby goats.
It wasn't until I got home that I realized something was missing. My cell phone. Not that it's anything super-cool like a Treo, or anything super-expensive like an I-Phone. But it is how I communicate with my relatives and friends and acquaintances. Where could it possibly be? I ransacked the car, my handbag, my knitting bag, mom's handbag, and the trash can in the car. No sign of anything more interesting than an orange peel, a business card from some retired FBI fellow who now runs a teddy bear store, an empty soda bottle, and some paper towels full of pollen from wiping the windows. Hm. Time to panic.
Then I remembered mom sitting on it when we got into the car to come home. No biggie. She sat on my keys, too, and when she got up to fish out my keys, both the keys and the cell went flying in opposite directions. While I was busy searching in the car, mom suggested I call Kim to see if the phone flew out of the car and ended up in their driveway. So I went back in the house and realized I didn't have Kim's phone number because it was in my cell phone, which was who knew where.
"Try the caller ID in the phone in the house."
Of course. Silly me.
Kim was kind enough to go outside to search her driveway for my delinquent phone, and was most apologetic when it didn't turn up. By this point, I was starting to get even more upset. What if some unscrupulous person finds it in a gas station parking lot and starts making salacious phone calls to my parents? Oh, no... what if some unscrupulous person finds it in a gas station parking lot and makes salacious phone calls to my friends? Since the phone was going directly to voice mail, that means it must be somewhere in the wilds of Virginia... Oh, no.. what if one of the goat's ate it? They eat everything. Is a pygmy goat too small to eat a cell phone?
Now, don't think I'm such a technophile that I can't live without my cell phone or MP3 player. The former doesn't get enough use to even make a dent in the measly 450 minutes I get a month, and it certainly isn't turning into an extra organ. The latter is stuffed with vintage radio shows like X Minus 1 and The Whistler, and it's sitting downstairs with my spinning wheel. I'm not enough of a Luddite to be able to completely give up these luxuries, but at the same time...
Mom, evil facilitator that she is, said, "Well, you've been thinking about getting a new phone anyway...."
So I grumbled, fumed, grabbed my bag, and hopped back into the car to drive like a bat out of hell for the nearest place I might find a replacement for The Delinquent. I arrived at the mall, which was about to close for the night--it took us three hours to get home because I had a couple of false starts which required turning around and scrutinizing the directions before I figured out that I had to go north on this road instead of south on that one, stormed through the mezzanine, and finally found the appropriate kiosk. And there was no one there. Argh. Time is of the essence! Some villain is probably making obscene phone calls while I'm standing here!
When someone finally arrived who was capable of answering my questions, I fixed him with my version of a steely glare--not convincing, considering that I was grubby, smelled of goat, needed a shower, and was shaking from a mix of adrenaline and need for dinner, and announced that I required a replacement for The Delinquent.
"We don't do that here, ma'am," was the reply.
"Then kindly direct me to someone who does," I snapped.
I was crabby. I admit it. But adrenaline and a sugar crash aren't things that, when combined, are conducive to someone being all smiles and sunshine.
"Try Radio Shack."
I said a terse "Thank you", turned around, and made my way to that very place, where I was greeted by no less than three sales associates. To make a long story slightly shorter, I was appalled to discover that the phone I'd paid $10 for when I signed my original contract was now more expensive than the phone I now have. My needs are modest. I don't need a phone that doubles as a Swiss Army knife and does windows and taxes on alternate Tuesdays. I don't really need a camera built in, and I certainly don't need e-mail or Internet service. Just give me something with decent sound quality, decent battery life, and NOT PINK! So one of the three directed me to the so-called lower end of the row of phones. I was not at all amused that the low-ish end meant $300.
I thought about it, snorted at the "Ladies and gentlemen, the mall will be closing in ten minutes" announcement, and said I'd take that one. No, I don't want the sixteen vacuum attachments that come with it. I. Just. Want. The. Phone. Thank you.
The young man who handled my order assured me that the old phone would be deactivated as soon as the new one was activated, thus ensuring that no obscene phone calls would be made to my friends and family.
I paid for my purchase, signed the papers, and bolted for the parking lot. By the time I got home, I was considerably calmer. And then it hit me: I've just paid an exhorbitant amount of money for a piece of plastic that beeps, flashes pretty colors, and makes vaguely musical sounds in response to communications from similar pieces of plastic owned by other people. Argh!
When I locked the door and turned around, my knitting bag was on the floor. And next to it, also on the floor, was a suspiciously familiar piece of red plastic. The Delinquent! Triple ARGH!
My one consolation is that it's not lost in the wilds of Virginia, at the mercy of a goat or some villainous person bent on making obscene phone calls while my account creeps closer and closer to three digits and two decimal places. I'll be donating The Delinquent to the nearest women's shelter... and trying not to feel too sheepish for spending more than half an hour looking everywhere but the most obvious place... and trying not to feel too sheepish for ending up with a nice, shiny, blue piece of plastic.