Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quick Homemade Cinnamon Buns

California girl-in-exile that I am, it is always a rude surprise to wake up on a sunny morning, only to realize that it is still winter and freezing. Also we are feeling a little defensive, having let President Obama down in the real men department. Mr. Hunting Creek had a stressful week, having had his car break down in the middle of highway 1 during the morning rush, then after having that car towed to the mechanic, car number two broke down the next morning. Anyone with any sense at all knows that cinnamon rolls are necessary in times like these. These are adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine. They have a weekly recipe newsletter and the original was from there.
(the original recipe was called Coconut-Almond Spice Buns, but my family vetoed the coconuts and almonds, thus the name change)

Quick Cinnamon Buns
Preheat your oven to 400
For the dough:
3/4 cup cottage cheese (I use 4% milk fat)
1/3 cup buttermilk ( I have also used plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt, Trader Joes Vanana yogurt and sour cream thinned with a little milk)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter ( I have also used 2 tablespoons and they were great. Once I forgot the butter and they were very good - not quite as moist but they didn't last that long either)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all this in a food processor until smooth
Then add
2 cups flour ( I have used 1 cup flour and 1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix into dry ingredients in quick on/off of the processor, until dough forms. This is not bread dough, it will be damp and soft.
Place it on a floured surface, knead a little bit.( 3-5 times) and roll out until 12x15 inch rectangle.
For the filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter - to spread on the rolled out dough
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(if my son is gone I add pecans. If he is home I leave them out. About 1 handful)
Mix the brown sugar with cinnamon and nuts if you want them. No one in my house will let me add raisins or dried cranberries but I bet they would be good. Spread the melted butter on the dough, leaving outer edges dry (about 1/2 inch or so) Sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon. Roll up jelly roll style. Slice into 12 pieces (is it only me who ends up with odd amounts?) And place in greased 9 inch round pan. Bake until golden brown, about 25-29 minutes in my oven (your own may vary)
Glaze with goopy topping of your choice. I mixed 3/4 cup powdered sugar with a little milk and vanilla. Sometimes I use orange juice instead.
Now we are $800 poorer but we are philosophical about it. Coffee and Cinnamon rolls will do that for you. Maybe you need some cinnamon rolls too?
Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In The Pocket

The pockets on your shirts can be as wild and crazy or subtle as you please. You are the designer here, so you get to choose. Do you want a pocket that blends in?
You can't even see the pocket here on DBIL's shirt that I made 2 years ago - and that was my plan. The pattern on the shirt was busy enough. But maybe you want your pocket to stand out? Check out this cool pocket here. I love what they did with the stripes.
You don't have to use the pocket pattern that comes with your pattern either. I save pocket patterns (just trace one or make a template out of a file folder or template plastic) and also steal cool pockets from other patterns and RTW shirts. RTW pockets are easy to copy with a little tissue and a pencil. Just place the tissue over the pocket and rub gently along the edges - just like making a rubbing in kindergarten, remember? Pockets don't take much fabric, so you can test the effects of the different options and see what you like better. On the shirt I am making now, I planned the layout so that the state of New Mexico would be featured on the left side pocket (my brother in -law went to college in New Mexico.) I could also have fussy cut this as well, if I wanted it to stand out as a design element.
I cut out the right front of the shirt first, then the left. Wait - don't take off that pattern piece! I mark the pocket placement with tailor's tacks and any other vital markings with either snips or tailor's chalk on the wrong side.
For pocket placement, I make a tissue copy of my pocket pattern, and place it where the pocket would be on the left front.
I trace the pattern on the shirt fabric on to my tissue pocket so that I can find a match on the fabric for the pocket if I want it to match the front, then I find a spot that matches on the fabric and cut. You can see where I just made an outline of the motif that I want to find so I can match up the pocket.

Here you can see that I have found a match - this will be my pocket. It will blend right in.

If your shirt recipient is rough on pockets, consider lining or interfacing your pocket as well. You can test your options to see what you like best. It only takes a few minutes to test and after a few shirts you will know what you like.

When I used to hang out at the Hawaiian shirt designer's office, I would look at all of her shirts. She used to make all kinds of crazy shirt designs. Some would have each part of the shirt in a different tropical print. That would be fun to do. Others would have the collars and pockets and yokes in contrasting fabric. There is a lot you can do with a simple shirt to make it fun. When I lived in Hawaii I saw all kinds of beautiful shirts in all sorts of fabrics- cotton, silks, rayons and more - and the fanciest ones cost hundreds of dollars. Just go to Nordstrom and look at the Tommy Bahama shirts.(Try not to faint when you look at the tag. Because men's shirts are so EASY to make!) When you make a custom shirt as a gift you are giving something that no one can buy - love in every stitch, plus the cachet of knowing no one else will have one like yours.
Happy sewing!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quilt, interrupted

I straightened out my sewing cave, which has me inspired to mess it up again. (The best way to restore sewing mojo is to clean house, sort fabric or clean the sewing room.) I want to make a lap quilt for myself, to keep me warm while I watch TV or read. Each of the kids has a blankie for this and I want one for myself.(Why don't I make more stuff for myself? Bad case of Mom Syndrome.) I made one last year for my brother in law with minkee as the backing and it was so cuddly and cozy I want to do mine that way too. I use the Michelangelo method of quiltmaking: take any and all fabrics that you might even remotely consider putting in your quilt on the worktable and then take away everything that doesn't look like your quilt. I found lots of fabric that fit my chocolate and blue gray color scheme, with a nice mix of lights and darks.

But then...Mr. Hunting Creek and Best Sister Ever revealed that they were planning my brother in law's birthday party and the theme was Route 66 (because all of our parties have a theme now. And every birthday is celebrated with full birthday honors. We have our standards.) I remembered that I had some Route 66 themed fabric in the linen closet/auxilary fabric storage zone. So I spent Saturday afternoon searching through the three containers of fabric there, digging for it. I found stuff I had never even seen before. (I swear someone sneaks fabric in there while I'm not looking)
And all the stars were in alignment, because I found it AND my favorite shirt pattern.
Butterick 3777 from 1986. I have made this many times and I know the pattern by heart. It's out of print, but McCalls 4581 would be a good substitute. I've made many men's shirts before. Backstory for Lindsay T: I learned how to sew when I was a kid. Back then we took sewing in high school, at least the girls did (the boys took auto shop), but I knew how to sew before I ever took sewing in school. I had learned from friends, my mom, my grandmother and, as luck would have it, the lady next door to my parent's office. I used to work for my parents in the summers, and next door to their office in the business park was a woman who manufactured Hawaiian shirts and sold them in the boutiques in Laguna Beach and other places along the coast. I used to hang out there and she taught me how to make shirts.

The first thing you want to do is ignore their layout. If you are using a fabric that has a one way design or a pattern that must be matched, you have to take matters into your own hands and redo the layout to get the best use of the design on the most visible parts of the shirt. So take your time and look carefully at the pattern and the fabric and find the best arrangement. The first thing I do is cut out one side of the front, then carefully search the fabric for the best match for the other side. I fold back the facing and move it around until I find the best match.

I stuck the scissors underneath so you could see the top piece. (don't forget that the second front pattern piece is reversed.)See how it disappears? That's the best spot. After I cut the second front, I cut out all of the other pieces, remembering to keep the design all pointing the same way. I always buy extra fabric for shirts. I do NOT understand people who tell the cutting lady, "I'll have 1 7/8th yard, please." I always want to take them aside and say, "Do you never make a cutting mistake? Do you never match a design? Are you NUTS?" But I restrain myself. I always buy at least a half yard extra of fabric. One, it shrinks when prewashed, and two, I like to match the design and that gives me a little wiggle room. If the fabric has a really large repeat I might buy a whole yard extra.
Tonight I cut out the birthday shirt, and all this week I'll sew a little bit at a time. I'll try to take pictures at the tricky parts. If you are a shirt newbie and didn't get to hang out in a Hawaiian shirt factory as a teen, I strongly recomment David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking book. He has lots of great construction tips.(Check out his video on YouTube)But honestly, everything I know about shirtmaking, I learned back in 1974, in a business park mini factory on on Crown Valley Parkway. The quilt is still in its uncut phase. To be continued....
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Change is Good

Have you ever heard something your whole life, but never thought about what it really meant until someone pointed it out to you? When my son and I were watching Jon Stewart last night on the Daily Show, he showed a clip with dozens of nitwit media types at the Mall asking people, "Did you ever think you'd see this day in your lifetime?" And it struck me; what a racist, sexist, backward, close-minded thing to ask. They were assuming that the unspoken answer was, "No, I never believed that people could rise above old bad beliefs, racism, and prejudice. We never learn, we never advance, so I never thought this day would come."
The media totally missed the boat here, because the American people WERE ready for this day. And if this can happen in our lifetimes, what other wonderful things can happen, if we are open to the possibilities?
A second beef that I have is with some journalists and self-appointed Fashion Police who criticized the First Lady's awesome dress. I read, "no sparkles in the daytime", "her gloves and shoes don't match", and on and on. My daughter, an etiquette fiend (both she and her brother went to Cotillion) pointed out that they were all wrong. "The First Lady," she says, "is ranked first socially in our society. Therefore whatever she does is correct in matters of manners and fashion, because her social rank is the highest. She is literally, THE First Lady. Therefore, if she wears sparkles in the daytime, the sparkles are Correct. Also the gloves and shoes not matching - also correct". It is clear to both of us that journalists and many bloggers have never been to Cotillion. The same rule applies to President Obama's white tie. I read many people say that the white tie was incorrect. Sorry, people, he is the President, he doesn't have to follow your old Fashion Rules. Same etiquette rules apply - he ranks first, what he wears is thus correct. Besides, he said he was bringing change.
Change, as Sheryl says, will do you good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inspired (and Happy Birthday x 2)

As we watched the Inauguration, I could not help feeling how incredibly lucky we were to live here. This peaceful transition is an example of how to transfer power more powerful than any speech about freedom or democracy. This is how it's done.
As a former history teacher, I was also inspired by President Obama's speech. It had echoes of Lincoln, echoes of Kennedy...this President knows his history. What a pleasure to have a reader as our leader again.

What an amazing day. My daughter went to Georgetown over the weekend to celebrate her birthday with friends and reports that everyone there was in a VERY good mood.
Here is how the world has changed. When she was in Ireland a couple summers ago, many people in the pubs were openly rude and hostile when they heard her accent and one man made her cry. But this December when she was in London and Rome, all was forgiven and people went out of their way to congratulate her on President Obama's election. They would say, "Oh you're American? We love Obama!" Perhaps wearing your Obama08 T shirt would be a good idea if you are planning a trip abroad in the near future..

In local Little Hunting Creek news, it is still @!*&^%$ cold here. Parts of the Potomac are frozen and when we drove by earlier this week, the geese were standing on the ice. From the shore it looked as if they were walking on water. After the USAirways crash in NY, we shall now consider them "Killer Geese".

My son got his first college acceptance letter, so we were doubly very happy yesterday. How appropriate that he should get it on Inauguration Day. I told him it meant that he should be President. He said he would enjoy bowling at the White House.
His birthday is this Friday and he is beyond bummed out that he missed voting in the election by just a couple of months. Of course, he holds me responsible.(It's always the mother's fault.)

My daughter's birthday was Monday and we celebrated with the whole family.
Best Sister Ever and Mr. Hunting Creek have decreed that all of our parties must now have a Theme, so our theme was Tropical, since it was so darn cold. Our Menu included
Thai Crab Dip, Thai Turkey Larb Lettuce Wraps, Asian Grilled Ahi and Mahi Mahi,
Tropical punch, and Pina Colada Cake. Everyone raved about the cake. Mr. Hunting Creek found the recipe in The Cake Mix Doctor, and here it is, with improvements addded by Mrs. Hunting Creek.

Pina Colada Cake
1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut (you will use only 1/2 cup for the cake. We used the rest for drinks, and I added some to the buttecream frosting)
1 package plain yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix (if they had coconut pudding I would have used it. They need to invent this.)
1/2 cup light rum
1/3 cup vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)
4 large eggs
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan, or 2 9"round pans, or one 9"x13' pan.
Place cake mix, pudding mix, 1/2 cup cream of coconut(make sure you shake it first. it is thick) 1/2 cup rum, oil and eggs in large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer for couple minutes. Add the crushed pineapple. The batter will be thick and smooth(with teeny bits of pineapple.) Pour into your pan or pans. Bake until it springs back when lightly pressed, about 35 -40 minutes for the layer cakes, about 50-55 minutes for the bundt cake. Let it cool while you make frosting of your choice. I made a vanilla buttercream, but used cream of coconut and pineapple juice for the liquid instead of milk. It was sprinkled with shredded coconut for a festive look. Picture above, unfortunately with the cake cover on.

Stay warm!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is it Spring Yet?

My mother was born in Punxsutawney, PA, which is why I grew up being able to spell Punxsutawney.This comes in very handy for Jeopardy. Therefore I feel like Punxsutawney Phil is sort of a cousin. So Phil, honey, none of that shadow stuff two weeks from now. Please?
It is 17 degrees here in Virginia right now. I am so ready for Spring.

I read on Trena's blog her plan for all of the pretty things she is planning to make and I thought - what a great idea! I am always forgetting what I intended to make and then when I have sewing time I have to try and remember just what it was I wanted to do. So I am going to blatantly steal her idea and make a plan. I'd take pictures right now, but there has been an "unfortunate accident" with my camera. It was on the little bookcase here in my office and I accidentally knocked it off behind the bookcase. It's carpeted back there, so no harm done, except that I couldn't reach it. I tried to catch the wrist strap with a hanger (I thought this was a brilliant idea, but as my son says, "Mom, even monkeys use tools." and I managed with the hanger to get it even further under the bookcase. Perhaps the monkey could have done better.) I asked Mr. Hunting Creek if he could move the bookcase and get it for me, but he forgot. I don't want to be accused of nagging, (again) so I will ask him tomorrow (sweetly) if he can fish it out for me. In the meantime these are the new spring Patterns that I am planning to make, fabric to be assigned later.
Vogue 1085 looks nice and summery and a gal can't have too many knit tops. The wrap version is my favorite.

Vogue 8557 pushed all of my blouse buttons (oh what a great pun! and totally by accident!) Princess seams for the FBA, cute sleeves...I know I have some dotted swiss in the sewing cave that would be perfect.

I'm making all of the spring stuff out of existing fabric. (Like Trena, I discovered that constantly getting new fabric was keeping me from actually sewing what I had. Ironic yet true.)
I'm happy tonight because I have a four day weekend. You may have heard that we are having the inauguration here Tuesday. Since we are in Northern Virginia, we keep reading that the entire area will be paralyzed with traffic, crowds and gridlock. I don't care, it's all worth it, plus I'll be inside sewing!
I hope you stay warm and have fun sewing too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Much too good for use

"Now everything must be washed in hot water and soap, because of the children's dirty hands,' said Mrs. Williams, 'and when it is thoroughly dry it must be wrapped in baize and locked up in the strong-room. It is much too good for use." (The Letter of Marque, 1988, Patrick O'Brian)...much too good for use. Where have we heard that before? Do you have china or fabric or napkins or some other heirloom that is "too good" to use? When my grandmother died I received a stack of hand embroidered pillowcases. They must have been 30 years old. They had never been used - they were Too Nice. I promptly washed them and used them. I swore I wasn't going to be like my grandmother, who had nice things but never used them, but I look around me and I see the signs. I work at home, so I don't wear my nicer clothes around the house. Oh no - those are for going out only. Why? I can't dress nicely for just me?
If I were to make a New Year's Resolution, this would be it. No Hoarding. If I have it, use it. I have stacks of beautiful fabric that I don't sew - why? Because it is Too Nice. So who am I saving it for? It's mine. I can do whatever I want with it. No one is going to punish me if I use it for something different that what I originally bought it for. If I don't use it, it will just sit there gathering dust and taking up space (and eventually be sold at my children's mega yard sale for $5.)
These traits run in families. When my son was little, he would only eat half of something and ask to "save it for later".
I used to collect cookbooks, but I found that I only really used about 25 of them, and they were getting out of control, so one day I went through them all and took all of the books that I was sure I would never use and gave them to my brother. He kept some and then happily released the rest into the wild by selling them on Now someone else is happy with them and I have more shelf space. (I am resisting the urge to fill it back up.) The remaining books I try to use all the time. I try to keep them clean, but I make myself not fret if they accidentally get a splash or a mark on them. That's part of being used; they are mine to use. (The splashes will be seen by my descendants as historical.)
I have to do the same with my closet. It isn't that I don't wear some of my clothes because I don't like them or they don't suit me. I don't wear them - the nicest clothes - because they are Too Nice. I don't sew my favorite fabrics because they are Too Nice. What if I wore clothes I loved every day that were made out of my favorite fabrics? Wouldn't that make me happier to treat myself like I deserved the nice things that I have? I don't have to save them for anyone else. I am not alone in my hoarding. Gretchen Rubin wrote that she saves her new underwear.
When I read that I had that cold shock of recognition. "I do that too!', I thought. And I have to stop that now.
So in the kitchen, I will try to use up all the good stuff every day. In the sewing room I am going to try to use my favorite fabrics FIRST. Because what am I saving it for? Today is all we have, really.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Save the Date

It is a truth universally acknowleged that a woman in possession of a family wedding invitation must be in want of a new dress (and is also immediately on a diet.) We received the "save the date" postcard yesterday. Unfortunately all it asks is to save August 1st in North Lake Tahoe. Details such as inside? Outside? Formal? Barefoot with daisies? Sincere reading of poems written on birchbark? not indicated.
Luckily my daughter returns from Italy this weekend and we can confer on our strategy. The last family wedding we attended, I made a formal silk dupioni skirt which was worn with a silk kimono sleeved jacket that was admired by all. Mr. Hunting Creek says, "Why don't you wear that pretty suit you have?". "I can't wear the same outfit I wore two years ago!", I cry. Men! They just don't understand.
Outside, informal, the McCalls shirtdress above in silk would be appropriate.
Or maybe Vogue 1044 WITH the hat? I love hats and never get to wear them.

Maybe this will be an excellent excuse to use some of my vintage patterns and wildly impractical fabric stash?
What do you make for weddings? (My son says weddings are just an excuse for women to dress up and he isn't far wrong.)
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Buck Stops Here

Anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking or drinking or any pernicious addiction can tell you the tricks the mind plays on the addict to try and tempt said virtuous abstaining addict to fall off the wagon. As I discussed a few months ago, my children (who up until that point had seemed like nice, well behaved and affectionate children) claimed that I had a fabric and pattern "problem". They claimed that I was an addict; I denied it. (Which is exactly what an addict would say.) I found myself telling Mr. Hunting Creek this weekend that I had not bought any fabric or patterns since last March and we both realized: that's when the recession began! Yes! Mrs. Hunting Creek, mild mannered textile artist, quilter and sewista-poseur may be responsible for the worst recession since the Great Depression! So I expressed this belief, and asked Mr. Hunting Creek if I should, instead moderate my fabric fast in order to jump start the economy, patriotic duty and all that. For those of you not fortunate enough to know Mr. Hunting Creek personally, let me just say that he is a trained economist and responds to comments like that with statements that include terms like "declining marginal utility", "St. Milton Friedman", and "Keynesian."
What I took away from his possible Nobel prize winning discourse is that OTHER sewistas should support their favorite fabric pushers, but not Mrs. Hunting Creek. It was his opinion that addict that I am, I may have caused the whole Global Financial Meltdown in order to thus have an excellent excuse to purchase yards and yards of fabric, claiming to be doing it to "save the world". "Addicts are like that", he says. "They'll do anything for their fix".
So my fellow addicts (you know who you are), get out there and spend. Do it for the country, do it to save the economy, and while you are buying some lovely Italian wool doublecoth, think of me. Your country will thank you later.

p.s. if I were going to buy a new pattern, this new McCalls shirtdress caught my eye. Would it be cheating if someone bought it for my birthday?...just asking...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the cutting table

Jalie's sweetheart top. Every version I have seen is just so cute, and who doesn't need a new long sleeve top in the winter? I am so not a winter person, so I am making it in my favorite color to cheer myself up. I traced off the pattern this afternoon and compared it to my TNT T shirt pattern. I've never made a Jalie before, so first, I will cut a muslin out of some leftover Christmas knit and see how it fits. Then I'll make adjustments and cut some lovely turquoise and black knit(sold out, sorry!) from Gorgeous Fabrics that has been aging in the stash since last winter, waiting for its closeup. I'm sad that I have to go back to work tomorrow, but happy that the holidays are over!
What's on your cutting table?
Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Inaugural Ball Faux Pas Prevention

Do you lie awake at night, drenched in a cold sweat, chilled to the bone with worry that someone else will wear the same gown that you are wearing at the Inaugural Ball? Oh the horror! But never fear! Some good samaritans have invented an Inaugural Ball Dress Registry to prevent this future social catastrophe.
Of course, if you make your own dress, no one will have one like it. The Balls are not until Jan 20th. Since I always make everything at the last minute no matter how much time I have, that is plenty of time to whip up a ball gown.
If I were going I would make Evening separates in jewel tones, so that I could wear the pieces again in other combinations. I like Vogue 2607
After the ball, I'd make the short skirt and another harmonizing blouse to complete the ensemble and I'd be set for weddings, the Georgetown cocktail party circuit and evening receptions. But maybe this is too practical for you? Maybe you have a killer figure and you want to show off a little?
Then why not wear Vogue 2880?

Don't forget that there is a lot of standing, it is very crowded and it gets really cold in Washington in January, so don't forget a wrap and a handsome date in a tuxedo. All you need now is an invitation!
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Slow is IN

My secret vice: the IN/OUT lists, especially in our hometown paper the Washington Post. Some things I even get to explain to Mr. Hunting Creek, which makes me feel delightfully au courant.
What these lists tell us is what they think will be in and out. My list below is what I want to be in and out.

OUT: those horrible, trashy, Real Housewives of...shows. Because what is so OUT as a Housewife, anyway? Words cannot describe the horror these shows are. They are all so yesterday anyway. Who has that kind of time to conspicuously consume anymore?
IN: Shows about sewing, designing, creating and running a creative business. I think it would be interesting. Also travel - but real travel, not glamour travel. Not just 100 best beaches stuff.
OUT: Those awful babydoll dresses that make women look pregnant. I don't like them. I say they're spinach, and I say the hell with them.
IN: Fashions that make women over the age of 19 look sexy yet not slutty
OUT: Sexism. I still see, hear and read comments from our elected leaders, newspeople and others that make me cringe. What planet are you on, Bill O'Reilly? Planet 1965? (Not to pick on just Bill alone, there are countless examples of men who should Know Better being sexist. Let's resolve for 2009 to quit this bad habit.)
IN: Feminist men. Brad Pitt as an example.
OUT: Money
IN: Making do and enjoying what we have. Of course, we should have done this before, but now, no one has any money, so we have to. We might as well make it enjoyable.
OUT: Socialites
IN: Women of achievement. Let's celebrate women for something more than their gene pools, checkbooks or marital accomplishments, shall we?
OUT: Shopping
IN: Sewing at home. It's fun and mastering any craft is good for our mental health. One of the surprises of 2008 was the popularity of apron patterns. This tells me more people are sewing AND cooking and that's a good trend.
OUT: Fast Food
IN: Slow Food. Cooking at home is enjoying a renaissance. Eating at home with your family is not just good for the bottom line but also good for strengthening family ties and mental health.
OUT: Recession Gloom and doom. 2008 is over baby! Out with all that gloomy recession-speak.
IN: 2009. New Year, New President, new direction, NEW New Deal, new economy, new everything.
As my idol Tim Gunn says, "Make it work".
Slow is good, fast is out. Flashy is out, REAL is IN. 2009, you are my new favorite year.
Happy New Year to all, and thank you for visiting Little Hunting Creek.