Sunday, August 31, 2008

What We Ate

I know that part of the fun of going to a fair is the food, and the Great Allentown Fair is no exception!

This year, though, we were greeted by a number of new (to us) food vendors. I think they came along with the midway rides. It was nice to see hand sanitizing stations along the midway! Intellectually, we know we haven't touched anything, but there's something about fairs/carnivals that makes a person feel a little grotty dirty downright filthy.

Here's one of the food trailers that were new.

Of course, we went in search of the tried and true (and local) favorites.

It's not as though they weren't also there!

This year, remembering years past and how cranky we tend to be without food to sustain us, and knowing how anxious we I would be to see the handcraft exhibits (and to discover just how well I had done, truth be known) that I actually cooked breakfast (bacon, scrambled eggs, rye toast, gallons of decaf coffee) before we drove to the fairgrounds.

And sustain us (that and the regular coffee the the Other Half consumed on the way there) it did!

We ate very little at the fair this year. Drank a lot, but that was because, despite the overcast skies, it was hot.

So here's the tally, for anyone keeping score:

root beer from a tried and true (OH)

pineapple smoothie from a midway company vendor (me)--not great, not awful. I didn't get a second when I had the chance. Was glad I got a "small."

2 fresh squeezed lemonade from the midway company vendor--good, refreshing

medium cup of french fries and small diet soda from tried and true (shared)--it was Smitty's, what can I say?

2 single dips of ice cream from local vendor (moose tracks for the other half, vanilla for me)--what can I say? I would have like to try the peach sundae at another stand, but not for $6!

That was it! No funnel cake, no deep-fried anything (except the potatoes), no Vince's steak sandwich, no cotton candy.

The fudge vendor wasn't there again this year, though there was a new one--the stuff was cheap ($3.50 a chunk) which is sort of scary, and looked all melty besides. No thanks.

On the way home, we stopped at Wawa for a frozen lemonade (still trying to rehydrate) and at the Corn Shed for peaches and cucumber (for last night's dinner) and a cantalope (for breakfast) and a sweet little patty pan squash.

As much as I enjoyed the fair this year, I'll be happy to wave good-bye and welcome the farmers market back next Saturday. We are running out of stuff to cook.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Trip to the Fair

One day, I'll bring all of you along with me, but for the moment, you will have to settle.

This episode is picture heavy.

And speaking of heavy:

This year there were elephant and pony rides.

For $5 (per person), you could get up on the back of an elephant and have a little ride. I have no idea where you would ride, there was serious fencing and cars, trucks and trailers everywhere that a person might ride.

It was five bucks to ride the ponies (around and around a little ring under a tent), too.

That was one sorry looking elephant!

I believe that this is Cora.

The big show in the grandstand this year is The Jonas Brothers who are somewhat local to this area.

The fairgrounds were crawling with preadolescent and adolescent girls in commercial and hand crafted Jonas Brothers tee shirts.

Half of the vendors were hawking Jonas Brothers merchandise --everything from shirts and bags to sunglasses.

Seriously, I guess it's no worse than our obsession with the Beatles. . .

A lot of these girls (note, I don't recall seeing any boys with this particular leaning) were toting posters (some of them huge) that I can only assume they plan to carry into the concert.

Sure am glad I'm not sitting behind any of them!

I don't recall there being this many fascinating cakes in the past.

This was the cake decorating competition. I have it on good authority that there's no actual cake under all that icing.

Styrofoam, likely.

Since much of this competition is for non-professional decorators, I doubt that any of these monstrosities creations will be seen here. But who knows, with a little practice. . .

This one took 3rd place.

The sentiment is nice. (Click and maybe it will get bigger so you can read the text.) The stripes, however are a bit uneven.

Oh, well, the sentiment is nice.

Mr. Frog is kind of cute.

I never knew that frogs had fat toes!

The fair is nothing if not educational.

And speaking of educational, here's a 4H exhibit on where eggs come from.

Fascinating to watch the yolk turn red and a few seconds later, an egg plop out of the chicken's butt!

It took a first, so I have to imagine that it's accurate.

I learned something!

Here's what else I learned:

Things that I have used in my kitchen are antiques--like the Mouli and the tin measuring cup.

and a prom dress circa (nevermind the year) around the era of my own senior prom!

I guess that makes the Other Half and me antiques, too!

And now, what you've all been waiting for! Drumroll, please




Every single thing I entered took a ribbon! Every one of the 27!

And there were some that I had serious doubts about right up until I arrived at the fairgrounds.

Here's the scorecard:

The knitted doily (the one I gave all of about 2 hours to) the Bear Claw lap robe, the Pi Shawl that I entered as a carriage robe (which was displayed wrong-side out), the 3-piece garter stitch blankie, sweater and In a Flap Cap, the teal dress, the little kid socks, my Adult Surprise

Sweater, little Ellie (the elephant), the Christmas stocking, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus all took 1st place blue ribbons.

The pillow (eyes left), the pink baby sweater and socks, the Grrrr sweater, the cupcake hat, the Penny socks, the lime slice potholder (which was also displayed wrong-side up), and the Snowman pair all got 2nd place red ribbons.

The lopi mittens, the recycled wool shawl and the totebag from hell all took 3rd place white ribbons.

The self-striping mittens, the sweater I made for the Other Half from one of his old sweaters (and had enough yarn left to make the shawl mentioned above), the dishcloth, the triangle Santa ornament, and the Snowman TP cover all placed 4th (yellow ribbons).

Took a 5th for the Santa TP cover (no, they aren't, but they sure could be!) and the Silk Garden striped scarf took a 6th (lime green ribbon).

Were there surprises? Yep. I never expected the Surprise Sweater to place so high. I was disappointed with the 6th place that the scarf won. I really thought it looked better than a couple that placed higher.

That said, no way did I expect the TP holders (tm) to place at all. The tote bag was a royal mess, and I really wasn't sure at all about the yellow baby set--and it took a 1st!

And if my questioning of the judging of the knit and crochet judging isn't sufficient, get a load of what won one of the cake decorating competitions!

Put on your sunglasses and then, eyes left!

I am already planning next year's entries. I will not wait until the week entries are due to finish (and in some cases start) my entries.

Remember, you heard it here!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Because You Asked

I'm still working on the blue and yellow babyghan, but it's reached an unwieldy size for stoplight car knitting, being big and sweaty-heavy and all, so I started the girl version (all pinks and purples with some minty green thrown in.

Thought I'd try a new configuration at the same time: 3 sides in the same color, then 3 again and again and so forth and so on. Also, dark to light to dark, alternating.

We will give it a fair trial. Then we might frog.

The Tiny Prince, No Longer of Wails, is a very happy baby.

He wants his fans to have the details on the blankie blitz for Cheyenne River Reservation.

Blankies really should be machine washable and (preferably) dryable as well. That means Yarn should be washable wool, a nice wool/ack blend (Encore, Decor, WoolEase, et al) or a nice ack. (For my money, Red Heart Classic and SuperSaver are both good ones! The softer ones don't seem to wear as well and I find them a bit pilly, but as I said, that's my opinion.)

We're shooting for January or so. Blankies can be mailed to the Reservation:

Cheyenne River Youth Project
P.O. Box 410
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

where they will find a home and warm someone nicely, thankyouverymuch.

Colors? What ya gots? There are boys and girls and grown-ups and elders. Color is good. Neutral is good. Knit? Crochet? Sure! Quilt? Of course. Heck, you can even purchase 'em (I have already! Nice fleece ones in good lap robe sizes.)

But please, make it something you'd be proud to give to a face-to-face friend.

Since not everyone wants to make a whole entire blankie, there's also a squares option.

Squares: If you would like to knit or crochet up some squares, go on and do that little thing. Here's what's needed: squares, knit or crochet in the same types of yarns needed for the blankies, all colors in 9" size. If you like to work with baby shades, make those squares 4". (I dunno, that's what they said. And since I don't have to join them, 4" is just fine with me.)

Just a reminder: Squares are 4-sided figures with 4 equal sides.

Mail the finished squares to:

NAS Blanket Blitz
19510 Van Buren Blvd.F3-361
Riverside, Ca. 92508

by January 1, please. Joiners are standing by.

Edited to add: If you send squares because you Saw It Here, please add "Sheepshots" to your return address. Thnx.

Oh, and if you send more than "just a couple," if you can, please include a little postage cash to help get them on their way from CA to SD. (A dollar or two, por favor.)

And if you'd like me to post a photo (or do a linky thing to your blog), let me know!

Here's that address: And yes, that is a new address. And it's live! Right now. The old addy is going away soon. Very soon. (Would have gone away before I paid for this month ::mutters under breath:: if we'd been able to get the *&%$ thing working ::mutters::)

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Next?

We are switching Internet providers.

Supposedly, this will be faster and cheaper. So far, it is neither. I will have a new email address. Watch for details.

And Blogger was causing me fits this morning. I couldn't upload photos. It should be obvious that I finally found a "work-around" for that problem.

Gentle Readers may be wondering what knitting would keep me busy now that the fair entries have been dropped off. Would the Sheepie take a break of several weeks? Or what? *

Well, in a sense, I am taking a break. Nothing "competition worthy," just some little things on the needles.

First up: 4" squares in "baby colors" for January's Blanket Blitz for the Reservation. This Blitz is sponsored by the Yahoo Group (Native American Support) and the Ravelry Group (Helping Hearts for Cheyenne River Reservation).

Nine and four inch squares, completed hand crafted blankets (all sizes) and purchased blankets are all needed. Leave me a comment if this interests you and you'd like more information.

In addition to the squares, I am working on a "scrapghan" in some sorta-boy colors--not baby colors exactly, but definitely not "girly girl." I have another collection of girl colors (pinks, lavender, minty green) and will start that one next.

Good old Red Heart (and other ack-rillic) for washability and wearability.

There's some soft, fuzzy stuff (Caron, Whatever That Nasty Stuff Was Called, the name escapes me at the mo') and the last of my Aussie yarn (3rd stripe in from the right side, that creamy beige) that Nanna sent me a while back.

Yesterday, since the Fairgrounds Farmers Market was closed (because of the fair!) for the next couple of weeks, we went on a "shopping expedition" to all of the high spots in the Valley.

A trip to Ollie's (previously described as a "downscale" Big Lots store) yielded these two new books for the collection.
Books at Ollie's are often damaged (didn't see any on either book) or remaindered, or something. They are also (usually) very cheap.

I paid $6.98 for both of them (cover prices were $14.95 and $12.95).

So, both have some interesting ideas--stepping off places, if you will.

They'll be used. . .eventually.

Next stop was Border's (for a slushie coffee drinkie thing for the ride home that I really didn't need--Brain Freeze!) and a quick look on the magazine rack.

I had checked the "usual places" for Knit Simple (don't you know that it will be on the magazine rack at the grocery store the next time I look?). There are some cute mittens and a very basic cardigan and a tea cozy shaped like a pumpkin. Very solid issue. Nothing strange or exotic.

Knitting is a very British magazine and comes sealed in plastic, so gawping first isn't an option. It came with a copy of Beautiful Baby Knits (loved the cover sweater) so I figured that alone made it worth the sticker price ($9.99). There's not a lot in the main mag that I will knit (truthfully, I doubt that there's anything there that I will make. though the article on lace will bear further notice) but the baby supplement. . oh, my! Six lovely sweaters, 4 clearly "girl" with flowers and ruffles, 2 unisex and knitted up in "boy" and photographed on wee laddies, two hats and a pair of booties.

Then, there's Belle Armoire subtitled Art to Wear which is inspiring and fun (and no, I don't think I'll make anything from that one either, but it's fun to look at and fun to imagine with, you know, fun).

Oh, and since Border's is a book store, We bought books for late summer-into-fall reading.

It was Buy-one-get-one (50% off) pile that attracted both the Other Half and me. Before long, I had selected my 2. He had found one, then I added another, then he did and next thing I knew, we had a pile of 6.

I'll probably read all of them. Four are clearly of interest to me mostly (chickish lit, but high quaity "chick lit!") so those will be passed along to the Daughter In Law and (eventually) to her friends.

Even if no food shopping (other than lunch and the Brain-Freeze inducing drinkies) was involved, it was a very productive trip!

* Christmas knitting (couple of sweaters) will be next, and a baby gift that I must finish (but first, I must start it!), and then (shortly after the new year dawns, I think) I will be starting 2009 Fair Knitting. I have no intention of waiting until the last minute to make All Those Projects! (Is there an echo in here?)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Charge to the Finish Line!

Yes! I did it!

Everything (all 27 knitted wonders) is finished.

There was a moment this morning as I was tagging and packing up that I thought I had missed an entry: dishcloth, knitted. Then I noticed that Mittens/gloves, child, knitted were also MIA, so I went back to the dungeon (the Other Half's ugly paneled office) where I have been stowing the goods and found both!

(Worse come to worse, I could have tossed together another dishcloth--mittens? not so much.)

Now for one last ditch effort: The tiny snow people won't stand on their own! Damned "bounce back" fibers! So I am jerry-rigging them. Long needle, through the head, down to the bottom, back up, tie a knot under the hat. Ouch!

And I am off to deliver them! With 32+ hours to spare!

Did you win the pool? I want my cut!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two To Go (and Shin Splints)

I'm down to the Biathlon!

Two projects to go and I am finished for 2008! (Except for any last minute blocking that might be needed, the tagging, and the delivering.)

And what is missing from the photo (eyes left)? The doily, the one I thought I would pass on!

Found a quick pattern in Cottage Creations' new booklet: Comfort Gifts for Family and Community. It worked up in an evening in Sugar and Cream cotton worsted weight and inspired me to (possibly) make a set of (smaller) mug mats or three as Christmas gifts after the fair knitting is complete!

If you compare yesterday's picture with today's you should see some significant progress.

The tote (the green case of boiled ass) is progressing slowly. The pattern requires all my attention and the combination of yarn (Reynolds Saucy Sport) and needles (Clover, I think, 16" bamboo circulars, size 11) is causing me great pain. So I compromise: 2 rounds of tote, followed by 12 rows (mindless cruise-control knitting) on the pillow.

I have set myself a deadline (yes, again, shut up) of finishing the main knitting of one or both by lunchtime. (I may not be eating today!)

You. Can. Do. It. (Yes, they are still cheering me on!)


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Seventy-Two Hours and Counting

The last event is the triathlon. Three more entries to complete.

Left to right: Doily (not started, but yes, I will!), tote bag (half-finished), pillow (nearly 2/3 done).

I can do this! (Click on the photo. If the embiggener is working, you'll see Franklin's little sheep cheering me on!


Monday, August 18, 2008

These Make Me Smile

The fun part of the competition.

Carlos, the Growly Dog.

Pattern: Berroco #274 with several other adorable sweaters, dresses, overalls and (I kid you not) a beet.

Yarn: Fibranatura Baby Merino in Billy (blue), Jason (red) and Casandra (cream). 100% superwash merino wool, DK weight.

This will be the Tiny Prince's birthday sweater.

I still need to do something about the legs!

And h-e-r-e's Ellie!

Small and fiddly, but oh, so cute! Pattern at Christine Landry's site: here .

Yarn: Plymouth Encore in a sort of cornflower blue.

Ya gotta make this! It will get you over any fear you have of double pointed needles.

This one's for the Tiny Prince's soon-to-be cousin. His first first cousin, in fact. I'm sure there will be more, but the first is always special (and spoiled, too, if Mammo and Daddo have any say in the matter ::coff:: wait, wait, this one isn't my grand!)

The shawl is finished. No, I didn't make my self-imposed deadline! I decided to make it just a little bigger (like another set of stripes--relax, they're texture, not color!). It needs a bath and a s-t-r-e-t-c-h, so those pictures will come later in the game.

The pillow is 1/4 finished. The tote and the doily are still not cast on.

93 hours to go (but I'm goingto bed)!

What are the odds??

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Countdown To Friday

I set myself a goal of noon today to have this shawl finished (or at least the body, see, I'm waffling already). I'd like to be able to give it a long warm-water soak before pinning it out because the yarn is being re-used from the Sweater That Grew and Grew and I didn't bother to un-kink it before making the Replacement Sweater or starting the shawl from the leftovers.

103 hours to Show Time!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heading Into the Home Stretch

I have been remiss in my blogging the last week or so, not because there's nothing to report, but rather, because there's no time to report all that is happening.

The Other Half and I have been watching the Olympic sports that interest us (swimming, track and field, and tonight, rowing), and I have been knitting.

I didn't join any of the Olympics-style knit challenges, as I have my own challenge going here. It's down to 117 hours before I submit my fair entries, and I have to say, I don't think I will get all of them finished!

Today (and yesterday) I made the Toy, knit (Little Elephant by Christine Landry). This one is fiddly, but relatively quick to knit. It will be a baby gift for the Tiny Prince's impending cousin (due on His Majesty' first birthday).

Yesterday, I cast on both a Pillow, knit and a Shawl/Pancho [sic] and I am making nice progress on both. I need to pace myself.

The Tiny Prince's birthday sweater needs only seaming and a good wash and block.

Tomorrow, I will cast on a mesh tote bag and (why did I enter in this category?) a knit doily.

Photos (perhaps) with tomorrow's entry.

Must get back to my projects!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lookie Here!

Cherri sent me this picture of wonderful, warm, wooly Mittnz.
She'll be mailing them off to
Cheyenne River Youth Project
P.O. Box 410
Eagle Butte, SD 57625
in time for the early October Blitz.


Monday, August 11, 2008

In Which We Laugh a Lot

I found inspiration for the Mr. or Mrs. Santa other and the Mr. or Mrs. Snowman other in an unlikely place.

I thought, gee, I wonder. . .

And so,


With alternate possiblility. . .


Sunday, August 10, 2008

One More Down

Today, I seamed and stuffed Xmas tree ornament-santa.

Pattern is from Schachenmary Nomotta Inspirations #41 that I bought from (Please don't make me linky it--y'all know where it is!)

The yarn is odd bits of stuff, some black wool sock yarn (Lane Cervinia Calzetteria from Smiley's--don't bother, they're all out of the black--substitute any solid black sock yarn), some red cotton ( Sonata color 3611 which, remarkably, is available), and some white hair of the mo from the stash (no labels, but quite possibly Ironstone Yarns English Mohair, since there are a couple of full hanks in that bin and they look awfully similar).

And the question is: Will Sheepie make it?

There are 8 more items to complete and 11 days to finish them. One is significant (or substantial): a shawl or (fsm forbid) pancho [sic] knit. I'm pretty sure that it won't be finished in time (6 PM Friday, 8/22). I might not even start it!

The others are smaller:

*child's sweater vest skirt knit(more than half finished)
*Mr. or Mrs Snowman other (started, car knitting)
*Mr. or Mrs. Claus other (finished except for stuffing and the final seam)
*Toy-knitted (planned, not started)
*Cushions/pillows-knitted (planned, not started)
*Doilies-knitted (yegh, sure)
*Totebag-other (WTF?)


Saturday, August 09, 2008

And Some More

Jeane made a bunch of pairs (9.5 pairs and counting). Eyes left for three of them.

They are so bright and cheerful. And thick. And warm.

Love the doubled cuffs!

Jeane is another member of Children In Common who responded to the need for Mittnz at the Cheyenne River Reservation. She'll mail hers next month and will be included in the prize draw.


Friday, August 08, 2008

I Wish

I had intarsed. . .

Blocking will take care of the slight "bubble" in the legs, but I genuinely hate the way the back looks.

The directions say to "use a separate ball or bobbin of yarn for each color section except where yarn can be carried over just a few stitches" (emphasis mine). Next time, I'll follow my gut!

I think I can get the front finished tonight (we'll be watching Netflixed Brooklyn South--an early Stephen Bochco series that lasted only one season.

Then I'll pick up the sleeves and start downward.

I think I might make a matching hat. It will just say grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! the whole way around!

I finished these cute little socks from Patons Pull Up Your Socks! booklet.

The apricot and hot pinque yarns are Passport Yarn Co. St Tropez (Michael's Stores brand no longer available ::sigh::); it's a nice soft blend of acrylic and nylon (75/25). The turquoise is a leftover bit from the lacy dress I showed you (July 21 entry).

These are for the fair, then they'll be my first pair for the January Heet the Feet Challenge for the reservation.

Note: Both pattern booklets are available at Elann.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

More Mittnz

Marie made these!

She's a member of Children In Common. For the second summer, they've adopted the Mittnz Challenge and have contributed many pairs of Mittnz to Cheyenne River Reservation.

Are you makin Mittnz?

You have until the end of September to finish your 8 pairs and mail them to be included in the prize draw.

And you should see the prizes! There's yarny goodness and books and a kit with handpainted yarn to make your own Mittnz. Eight prizes will be awarded to 8 lucky contributors.

Join in the fun!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Something HAND-y

Heideh has finished 7 pairs of Mittnz for Cheyenne River Reservation. Aren't they pretty!?

So, how many have you finished?

Time's running out. If you are just starting and make a pair a week, you could be finished in time for the draw!


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What I Did On the Weekend

Another fair entry finished!

This one is 2-piece sweater/cap-sweater/booties, knit.

It's the ubiquitous 5-Hour Baby Sweater that I have modified in a number of ways.

First off, I use the original pattern (though, who knows for sure?), not one of the many Internet versions. This one was originally published in McCall's Needlecraft, Spring 1979, and is currently available from Cottage Creations (Carol Anderson) in the booklet More Projects for the Community and Family (check with your LYS, or order direct). I can truthfully say that I have made dozens of these for Community, Family, and Friends!

Carol's pattern has a hood. I left it off. Carol's pattern is a cardigan. I made a pullover (the better to keep tiny tummies warm). The conversion is easy. I started the neck of the sweater at the ribbing. When I reached the end of the yoke patterning, I overlapped the 3 front stitches from each side and knit them together. The rest of the sweater is knit in the round, following the pattern for length. Then I ribbed the bottom (though the bobbly patterny thing on the yoke would look pretty there, too, with a picot hem).

But wait, 2-piece!

For the booties, I used my Basic Baby Sock (Worsted Weight) that starts with 22 stitches, ribbing (1X1) for 4 rounds, then switching to the pattern.

Since this is knit in the round, the pattern goes like: R1: k 2 tog around; R2: make that funny increase every other stitch around; R3 and 4: k.

The sweater is knit on size 10.5 (US) needles, the socks on size 6 (I think, or maybe 7).

The yarn is LB Vanna's Choice, color 101 Pink (first picture is closest to actual, at least on my screen). It's 100% acrylic, but a quite nice one. I used about 140 g for the sweater and sockies. Carol says that the hooded version, in 1979, was knitted using one 4 ounce skein.

Buttons are from The Button Drawer. Truthfully, they were part of a 1-pound bag of "novelty" buttons" that I have had stashed for a while. I've had wonderful success finding "sets" it these bags and use them for Family, Friends, and Community.

The Tiny Prince has gone back home ::sniff:: and all I have are pictures. He's this //close to walking with help and into everything!

We will have to babyproof the house before the next visit, for sure!

And here's something I learned: If I want still photos, I need to wait for him to be asleep!

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Sunday, August 03, 2008


We can't come to the blog right now.

We iz bizzy.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bakery Saturdays

I seem to be knitting food these days!

And how appropriate, since tomorrow is bakery day.

How to convince the Other Half that No Pastry is better than Bad Pastry?

The Danish we bought last week was Not Acceptable.

The bread was good, the blueberry pie was excellent. Both came from the Amish Bakery. The Danish, however, was "fresh from [fill in the name of the big city known for its eateries]." Nope. Not Acceptable.

Particulars on the hat? Vanna's Choice (pink) and some unknown ack (white and red). Pattern at Naked Sheep (a Google on 'cupcake hat' will get you there).

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Fifty-nine and Counting

When did this body get so old?

For some unknown reason, Blogger has decided that Sheep Shots is a spam blog. It is currently under review and you may (or possibly may not ever) see this post in the next few days.

Hmm. Nice birthday present!


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