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I’m taking the time right now to have a really deep breath. It’s taken me a couple of days to recover from the weekend, and I’m still not 100% sure I’m there yet. But I’m making progress 🙂 So Maryland. I was so excited and busy with trip prep last week that the “prep” entry I had planned to write never materialized. I was busy doing laundry and sorting the kids and drying fruits for snacking. That involved a small unplanned purchase, which I’ll get to in a moment. Part of getting the kids sorted was to go out and buy them bus tickets so they could get to their dad’s from school and to make copies of his house key so they could let themselves in. While I was at the hardware store, I saw a thing of beauty. You have to understand. I bought my dehydrator about 20 years ago now. It was ridiculously expensive at the time and looked like this:

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(That’s not my kitchen – I WISH that was my kitchen. It would imply that I have counter space to put a dehydrator on…) Mine also isn’t that pristine white anymore. It has yellowed considerably with age and is now not only slightly broken, but is butt-ugly too. One of the trays has been beaten up a bit over the years and has broken in a few places. It’s still useful, but not in the way I want it to be. When I bought this tiny little thing, it cost me over $60, and came with TWO trays. That’s about enough to dry three apples. Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, when I went to the hardware store on Thursday night, I found this beauty:

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Sorry about the tiny pic – this is also not my kitchen. Anyway, this is a Salton VitaPro dehydrator – it comes with five trays (hear that, American Harvest? FIVE!!!) and they’re transparent, so you can check on your produce without opening the lid. The only drawback to this one is that it isn’t suitable for making jerky. The temperature doesn’t stay hot enough for the appropriate amount of time. But that’s okay. i don’t make jerky. It’s expensive and wasteful, as far as I’m concerned (LOVE eating it though). So in preparation for the trip, because my friend Elizabeth can’t eat most standard snack foods (she has a corn intolerance and is a vegetarian as well), I dried an enormous amount of zucchini, apples and oranges as snacks. They were quite tasty.

So we set out on Friday afternoon for the wilds of Maryland. The trip down was largely uneventful until we arrived at the hotel. I pulled into the parking space in front so we could check in, and when I pulled out? I had a flat tire. UGH. Thank goodness it did not happen on the freeway while we were driving 60-70  miles per hour! I phoned CAA, and they said I was better off calling first thing in the morning if I didn’t want them to show up right away (and I didn’t. It was 2am.) We did get it fixed first thing the next morning, although i’m pretty sure the place we got it replaced at took advantage somewhat of the four female tourists, but what can you do? At least I had money for the repair! We went to the festival and had an absolute BLAST. I stuck to my plan and did not buy any yarn…. but…. 

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That’s what came home with me. That, my friends, is a crapton of fibre, which I got DIRT CHEAP and it is so wonderful and clean and soft and I can’t wait to get started spinning something! I am not spinning right now because my hands are really clammy and numb right now (yay). I bought two POUNDS of Merino for $20 (she was selling the 4oz bags 4/$10, so I got eight). Then I bought half a pound of Lincoln cross (that’s the brown stuff) which isn’t quite as prepped as the other fibre, but it’s still lovely. I also got a pound of Shetland and a pound of Romney. I regret not buying more fibre from that vendor, but apparently he’ll be at Rhinebeck, so I can hit him up again then! I also picked up some lovely hand cream called “My Daughter’s Recipe” in a honey-almond scent that is simply sinful. I bought a ceramic teabag holder from one of the many pottery booths, I picked up a few Clover bits and bobs from the Yarn Barn booth, and my final purchase is some of the fantastic cinnamon nuts from one of the food vendors (NO, I haven’t eaten any of them, because they’re to be shared at my mom’s Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday).

Saturday evening, we went into downtown Frederick to seek out some dinner. Due to all the food restrictions in our group, we had to be careful where we went (in addition to Elizabeth’s sensitivity to corn, I’m allergic to bell peppers, mangoes and kiwis, Kari can’t do dairy and Sue? Well Sue’s the lucky one. She can eat just about whatever she likes). We ended up at this fantastic little place on Market Street called The Orchard. I have never been so impressed with a restaurant in my life. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s well worth it. The food was amazing, and they even have their own soda (I had the Chai soda with dinner and it was AWESOME). If you’re ever in the area, TRY IT.

We headed home on Sunday and I’ve been trying to play catchup ever since. I started a new class tonight, so that’s an added bit of fun to the schedule, and this coming weekend is Ottawa Comicon! The kids and I will be heading over bright and early-ish on Saturday morning! BRUCE CAMPBELL WILL BE THERE. I’m a bit excited – can you tell? 

So were you at MDSW? What did you get? Flash your stash!

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