Saturday, February 28, 2009

What day is this???

The kids have been on their winter break vacation and until this minute I have been thinking its Sunday. Duh. I blame Newman. He woke us at 4 AM with insistant meowing and walking on the head, wanting someone to play. There were no takers. The sleep after this was fraught with full body twitches, making kissy noises at the dog in my sleep( I was dreaming about trying to get Blossom's attention "Here girl..kissykissynoise" and woke myself up with the kissy kissy noise), and biting my own tongue (dreaming about chewing gum)HARD and waking up with a curse word or 3.
Then Newman started up again at 8 am. Then I gave up. The worrying started again and my stomach is hurting some.

Yesterday Hman got the message that his immediate superior was flying in this week to meet with him. It sounds out of the prdinary and thus has an ominous ring to it. Whether its a lay off or job change with pay reduction is unknown at this point. Its the uncertainty thats stomach acid inducing to me. I like to have a clear path, or at least as clear as possible. Too many unknowns in our stability make my stomach hurt.

It must be affecting Blossom too because she is a farting machine the last two days.. UGH! P.U! I think I will change her food...the stuff I buy now is way too expensive for our budget these day anyway, not to mention makes her fart worse than a bulldog,and has done nothing for her skin and emissions in a positive way. Time to try something new/cheaper. Go back to grocery store food? No. But a better than grocery store food diet is better than none at all. The cats will stay as they are because I do see improvement for them over cheaper brands in their out puts and skin and coats.

Does anyone have a homemade bread recipe thats good for slicing and toasting? Apparently mine sucks for toasting because it crumbles too much. I think just changing the flour or adding some gluten would help but I thought I'd put the call out for a better recipe just incase. Bread at the stores here doesn't tend to go for less than 2.50 a loaf for whole wheat and we used to pay about a buck or so at the bakery outlet shops back home. I thought I start baking again if I can get the loaves to be toast worthy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Been Away..

But now we are back. Our trip to Valcartier was fun as usual and very tiring as usual. We forgot the camera in the car while at the Village des Vacances (DUH). We were all four of us tired to start with so the day didn't go as long as we would normally and we did NOT do the Everest slide/slope again. Too scary for me and the line up was insane. There were bus loads of teens there on school trips which made for much butting in line. WTF? There you are standing in line for the "lift" and these kids will walk right by and get into line ahead OR hop on the "lift" tube that you are standing and waiting for. I got sick of that RIGHT FAST! I called a couple on it and they were embarrassed and apologised heartily, so I know they don't all do it on purpose but still it was annoying as Hell to tell one's kids not to push ahead even if it LOOKS like you can, and then have people do it and not suffer consequences. Message to the 3 teenage girls who KNOWINgLY cut in line for the raft run ahead of our family...karma is a bitch and it will come back to you some day. somehow. Maybe when YOUR kids have to wait another 10 to 15 minutes because some teenaged snots cut ahead of them.

Other than that the trip was pretty good. Visited in laws for dinner and had a nice time and enjoyed the pool at the hotel somewhat. I think we have become spoiled becaus ethe hotel isn't as wondeful as we first found it to be 3 plus years ago. Its getting a little worn and their ssytems crash often, the TVs in the rooms are pretty old and there is no pay per view that we could find for when one can finally crash out and relax and would like something other than French language TV to watch.

We went to les Galleries Des Capitale, whicvh is a good mall in Qc city area. It has an indoor fun park with a small rollercoaster, gorgeous vintage carrousel, ice skating rink, mini put etc. See, Monday the weather was bad so rather than hit Valcartier then, we spent the afternoon at the mall having some fun and yes, a little bit of shopping. I got a facial cleansing bar at LUSH that may settle my middle aged acne prone skin down, and a sweater on sale at Additionelle. Yay! The kids got a used car charger for the DS Lite. There were very few sales which we found unusual with Spring approaching.

Which brings us to what everyone is blathering about : the economy. Its has far reaching effect on everyone, some more than others. Chez Nous, we do feel it because Hman works in finance (how ironic)and is getting a little stressed in regards to his position and his earning power for the coming year (bonuses will be small or even non-existant, depending). As a result we are trying to tighten our belts. We know we can do it...for heaven's sake, we had two babies in diapers and me at home on a fraction of what he now earns. But our bills were lower as was our debt. SO, priority one is now trying to reduce our debt and get spending back under control. These go hand in hand.

In someways it was easier before when we had a smaller income. The kids drank formula and little kid food. NOW Cam is a bottomless pit 10 year old and Ben is a finicky almost pre-teen. The grocery shopping I used to do doesn't cut it now plus, hello, prices are higher. And groceries are a HUGE part of our budget that we can gain firmer control of. I am looking back to my Frugal Living days with nostalgia ( I was awesome at cutting costs and freeing up monthly monies)and rereading my Tightwad Gazette anthology for inspiration. Am I willing to make my own laundry detergent again?

Another problem is that with our better rate of pay has come the desire to settle less for cut rate nutrition and products. Rather than plain store brand whole wheat bread, we like to buy the more nutritious multigrain breads etc, Smart pasta, etc etc. I don't like buying a lot of snack foods other than popcorn,fruit, and cheese. The kids love crackers etc for snacking but I try to only buy these on sale. Hman gets tired of chicken if we have it too often even if its cost effective. I am going to have to find the energy and time to make up a monthly menu and food budget for March to cut grocery store visits way back. Fewer trips to the store means we won't impulse buy as often. Also, I would love to find a source of whole white flour here like I used in NS (Speerville Mills of New Brunswick rocked my world with their organic flour for my home baking)and start baking again to fill the snack gap. I just haven't enjoyed baking as much in my teensy kitchen like I did in my old more spacious one. Its not only food though. Rather than the cheapest product on the shelf we have been spending more on better quality or more responsible products (chlorine and phosphate free dish washing products, lower impact laundry products etc, nicer bath and body products). It adds up more than one would think. Plus the thrift shopping here is not as good as back home for the children's clothes (I miss you Frenchy's!!!) and I have been paying retail much more than I used to but not as much as I probably should by the looks of some of the boys clothes.
So, these are the things that are on my mind other than knitting. On that front, ther eis little change. I await the "old lady pink" yarn in the mail and I casted on a pair of socks from stash in the car on Sunday for easy car knitting (turned the heel of sock one yesterday before I lost daylight on the trip home). The Nordic mitten goes slowly because I find it hard to sit still and focus on it and then I remember I will need to knit another one and think that this may be my only pair I ever knit despite my admiration for them. Newman's cat bed comes along somewhat slowly but is nearing completion. This is excellent TV and knit night knitting because of the big yarn and knitting in the round. Plus its a cat bed...if I make a boo boo who gives a poop? Its nice to have something that you don't need to stress over.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On TV for a second...

Be Green with Geeta Nadkharni on CBC.

Ginette and I are getting our hair done with henna. Click where it says "Watch" witha little movie camera icon. I can never get the link thing on here to work, so you'll have to cut and paste the address.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy incident

I have been searching online for the yarn to continue my mother's sweater and have not been meeting with any success. For almost 3 weeks the search has gone and I said I'd give it a month and then find a way to continue it somehow.
Good luck struck today when a person on Ravelry told me online that she'd seen the brand and colour on sale at an online yarn store (Ram Wools of Winnipeg). I emailed to find out the dye lot and oh my stars and little oysters, its the PERFECT match. Same dye lot as I have. Not only that but its on wicked good sale ($4.99 each!!) I am so relieved. I wanted to make this sweater as perfect as possible and running out of the main colour is NOT very nice. Any solution bandied about would work, but in my head it made the sweater look like I'd run out of my main colour, not a design feature.
THANK YOU ALIBEE AND RAM WOOLS!!! I am so relieved I could cry.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shock! and Aawwwww.

My oldest girlfriend..wait that came out wrong... My friend that I have had longest and still have regular contact with..thats better..Julie, seen above in a Boxing day photo, got ENGAGED on Valentine's day!!!!

The ring is divine and her man seems normal and all but I have never met him in person. This is very hard on an old friend, to not KNOW the guy. He's a stranger. I know a lot about him from Julie but he is an unknown quantity in reality. What will this mean for our friendship, because her last husband was a big barrier in that respect and it was only after he was gone that I got MY Julie back, in place of the married Stepford Julie that had taken her place. shudder

I trust her judgement this time around though. Even if he is a Baptist.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Watched some HBO tonight. Right America: Feeling Wronged .
I've never seen so many stupid people on one show except for maybe Jackass, and I have never watched Jackass so I guess I have never seen so many stupid people on one show.
'Nuff said.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apres V Day

Pictorial: the finished thick wool socks were mine for about an hour. Now they are Ben's. A display of how to wear a Ragdoll(self portrait), Ben's handsome face before the dance last week, the Monkey Wrench quilt block pattern for a quilt I am making. I think it looks ok...what do you think?

It was a low key but pleasantish day for us yesterday, the 14th. Only one or two episodes marred our family trip to Chapters and they ended with two yound men being sent to their rooms for an hour or so. Grrrrrrr....

I got a couple of books I'd heard about on other's blogs (or is it others blog's?). Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann and The Lace Reader by Brugnonia Barry. I finished TBF last night and it was an enjoyable read. A murder mystery about a shepherd's death from the perspective and crime solving capabilities of the flock of sheep. Well written with some humour. I recommend it to anyone who has loved sheep.
Today may include more sewing...or a trip to the science center. Its still up in the air.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 random things tag

!:I hate being tagged for these things.

@: I have much trivia in my brain but never what a person needs at the time.

#: Have an annoying habit of bursting into song, changing words to suit the setting/situation.

$: I think teachers should be required rock a 98% average in SPELLING before they are allowed to teach our children. Oh yes I did say that.

%: I know I am using symbols instead of numbers..your point is?

^: I love my children but sometimes I don't like them so much (like when they scream and yell and fight..). I'm pretty sure they feel the same way (like when I say no to candy for breakfast....)

&: I am one of the most annoying people I know.

*: My husband adores me for some strange reason and it appears to be getting worse. I am slightly nervous that this means he has a girlfriend somewhere...HA! As IF!!!

(: I cry very easily at movies etc but in my personal life I find it difficult to cry SO when I cry about a sad movie, I can't seem to stop and become very sad for a while. its like a dam letting loose and its all gotta come out before the dam goes back up. The dam named Paxil.

): I wish I was thin but I keep eating.

!): My mental picture of my self is much prettier than the reality... the gut and double chin are much smaller....

!!: I like it when someone tells me I am pretty but I don't believe them...still like it though.

!@: I have a long list of pet peeves: people who need drama; people who talk about their old relationships ALL THE TIME even when they have a new one; people who allow others to fill their lives with drama that THEY then have to natter on and on about instead of ditching the problem causing person "becaaaauuussse..."; people who are cold and unfriendly but don't have the balls to tell you why (aka passive aggressives); passive aggressive people and their whining; whining; people who give you their whole life's story (especially the stuff you REALLY don't want to know) when you barely know them, and then you can't get what they told you outta your head so you avoid them; potholes and what they do to my suspension; haters; cry babies; old people who think the world owes them somethin' ,cuz they are still alive sucking the CPP dry, even if they are assholes; my mother, but I still love her; people that blame THEIR failings on other..failure to take responsibility for their own their shit. I think this covers most of the peeves...

!#: I have a friendly relationship with alcohol. We were MUCH closer at one time but now its only a passing acquaintance and sometimes I am sad we've lost touch. We do occassionally have lovely spontaneous reunions though.

!$: My mum says that when I was a child my freshly washed, dried, and brushed hair shone like a bright new penny.

!%: This is the same woman that told me at 16 that I had no ankles. I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL SHE SAID IT!

!^: This is also the same woman that said that she thinks the way my hair grows makes it look like a wig. Why do I love this woman?

!&: I think I am physically incapable of NOT having a smart ass remark. Even if I don't say one, I usually have it in my head and it hurts to keep the snickers inside.

!*: I like cats ALOT. Not so much their litter boxes.

!(: My dog farts way too much. Speaking of which....Jebus, Blossom!!!

@): I have a BA in English Lit with a very shitty grade point average.

@!: I would like to get into voice acting for cartoons etc. I have a couple good ones. It would satisfy my Theatrical tendencies (see bursting into song, smart ass remarks..) left over from drama club in high school that were never pursued after wards due to low self esteem. OR Musical theater!! OH YEAH BABY!!

@@: I am very into ecological and environmentally friendly living but could do much much better. My family sometimes calls me a hippie and I am ok with that. I have the Birkenstocks to prove it now...

@#: I take on too many projects and get few done but this is getting better. I am trying harder to put the brakes on before getting over whelmed.

@$: I wish I had a cleaning lady but would be embarrassed for her to see how messy/grubby my house can get in just 3 short days.

@%: I have a very unreliable memory even for important things. I could remember an appointment up until a couple hours before hand, and then completely forget about it until reminded. If i were my dentist's office, I'd drop me as a patient for all the missed appointments and reschedulings. And its not as if i have other more important things like a job or anything. I just simply have a very slippery mind. I forget medications, treatments, appointments, what my husband tells me about his schedule, what my kids tell me about their schedules, to buy a new calendar to write these scheduling things on to, doesn't matter cuz I forget to check the calendar, I make lists and then forget to look at them OR lose them completely,....see what I mean? I AM just a ditzy as people think I am, but not stupid. There is a difference.


That is what I am going to call today's condition. Hamster brain on a Thursday is what it boils down to. I have spent most of my waking hours online browsing a chatting with a family member (thats good RIGHT? She's far away from me now and I miss her...). then I went shopping for groceries but that also turned into a stop at a fabric store within biking distance of my house! Well, its walking distance too but biking would be faster except today I was driving.
ANYWAY, I got 4 fabrics to coordinate somewhat with something in my fabric stash and as soon as they are washed and dry, work can commence on a quilt for Hman. Tah Dah! Its very hard to make a mankly coloured quilt and NOT have floral fabrics because almost all the effin' prints out there are Guess what? FLORALS. Good thing he is secure in his masculinity and that wee bit of pink on that print? I thought it was rust in the store....sorry.
Work goes slowly on the Selbuvotter Annemor #13. Mostly because I haven't been working very hard on it. Oopsy.
Cam has a birthday sleep over tonight and Hman will be later getting home so Ben and I are having a mother/son date night. Frozen pizza, ginger ale, Oreo Jello Pudding, popcorn, snuggles, and a movie . All his faves.
I was speaking with my niece and I will reveal what has come to the attention of my small brain, upon self observation.
I make friends easily. i kind of always have. whether I keep them or not always remains to be seen...I'm not a "Once you are my pall you are my pal fporever and evers" kind of person. I DO have friends that have known and loved (?) me for over 20 years. thats true, but i also have had friends that some how either didn't make the cut because they turned out to be perhaps not so worthy as thought OR vice versa.
This applies to internet friendships too.
So, I was looking at myself in retrospect and it would seem that from my shy start as a child to the person I am now, I have evolved into the social equivalent of a leg humping Golden Retriever. Extremely forward and friendly, never met a stranger, and almost always inappropriate. So far it seems to be working for me but you know? Who wants to be known as a leg humping Golden Retriever of the social world enthusiastically bounding around until a panting drooling mass? Not sexy at all.
Should I aspire to become a suspicious and coldly terrifying Siamese and shred all newcomers to pieces? Heaven forbid. Plus my claws are not that sharp.
It is a conundrum wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a piece of scotch tape that I can't find the end of, thats what it is. And the hamster on the wheel goes 'round and 'round, and the hamster on the wheel goes 'round....
Why are hamster's called hamsters anyway...why not tailess mice? Does hamster mean tailess mouse?

Please someone...make it stop...!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Knitting, baking, blah blah

The Snowdrift mitten and I are not getting along . Progress has halted and been ripped out. I will choose a new pattern to work on that has fewer stitches between use of the yarns. Snowdrift required dealing with long spaces of single colour and I don't like it. My gauge went all to shit and I tired of untangling my yarns so much.
I created a yummy muffin yesterday. The only measurements I can give are 3 oranges and 3 eggs because I didn't have to measure that. Other ingredients include quick oats soaked in orange juice, dried cranberries, crushed sliced almonds, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, oil,and vanilla. The oranges are chopped in the food processor whole and make for a nice orange muffin experience.
Child One had pushed every button I have last night and this morning and I think it is a testement to my love for my children that I haven't shipped him off to boarding school or something. It may be a pull the covers over my head and cry day.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Discussion and rambling.....

I am given over to thoughts and plans for 2009. What I would like to accomplish or have accomplished by someone else in my wee corner of the 'verse. Yes, it is time once again to ponder on the home and garden plans for the coming year.
First off is the VETO: there will NOT be a hot tub installed in the back yard and for that I am grateful. While hot water and outdoors is extremely pleasant, the reality of the hydro bills and up keep at minus 30 Celcius are nasty. We had a taste of hot tubbin' at Xmas and it was nice but not so addictive that we MUST have one. So there is one item OFF the list.
Another VETO was the jackhammering away of the cement pad in the back yard that was the foundation/floor of the gazebo. The frame is still there bolted to the cement, but the canvas rotted and ripped and is no more. Someone promises that the frame will be gone in the early Spring as soon as out door work starts. I have said it must be because if I have to go try MY hands at it it will cost much more to fix what I wreck in the process. But the cement must stay and Someone has plans to disguise its uglines and perhaps install a garden fountain. Agreement was made on the frame situation and we moved on down our mutual lists.
Back yard Renovations will continue in 2009. Last Spring saw the mini deck and swing by the pool and the joy they brought (and the knitting and napping that took place on the swing) and this year will bring the larger "living area" deck nearer the house, to have comfy out door furnishing (or just the table, umbrella, and chairs) and the BBQ. This will be immediately adjacent the Kitchen Garden and its lovelies.
The Kitchen Garden needs revamping, refilling, refinishing and the composter needs to be re-installed much more solidly than last time. The herb bed was neglected sadly. Why do I grow them but not use them as much as I should, reaching forgetfully for the jars of dried herbs, forgetting to preserve the bounty of herbs for winter use. All that flavour, life, and money wasted. Will do better this year and harvest more and preserve more. This I do vow. Cilantro will ne'er bolt needlessly and uselessly under my watch again.
The Raspberry plot needs pruning BIG TIME. There are big pieces in there that are useless and the whole thing maya as well be sheareed back to increase productivity and keep things within bounds. Also, a lot of mulch needs to be laid down to control the weed growth around the bed, making accessiblity a bone of contention.
The front yard: Oy Vay, the front garden needs a fine tuning. More mulch and compost needs to be trucked in and dispersed, the weeding kept up with, and pruning/deadheading needs to be done more regularly. Plants need shuffling and some need to go bubye. I wish I had an expert in garden design to help with plant selection and placement to make the jungle more of what I envisioned, more thecottage garden of my dreams that complements the house. Also, someone has determined that he hates hollyhocks and they must go.....maybe I will move them out back. New trellises need building or purchasing for the front door clematises. More Spring bulbs need to be planted in the Fall, Tulips and Daffs especially becaus ethe new gardens beds have none. My Morden Ruby roses need severe cutting back and I think Elle tea rose, in all her beauty, needs to be moved so that she is better appreciated. And maybe more of her should be added to the gardens because the blooms are exquisite and dependable.
The half dead Cedar that I moved to the other side of the drive way has got to go. It is so fugly is sad. A new tree should be added there, something not too tall. Redbud has been dismissed as not hardy here, so what should I put? Locust? Crab Apple? Another Sumac? Need that imaginary landscape designer friend again.
OR should I dig out a border along the edge of the drive, back fill with compost and plant annuals every year? Or plant with dayliliies? Holy pile of work.....
In the home, Cammie's room shall be painted and his crap window treatments replaced with Roman Blinds. This can be done before the outdoor works commence. 2010 has been deemed either Kitchen Year or Bathroom year...not sure which. All three roooms are nasty but who shall be reconstructed? That is a decision for later days.
And the plus to the back yard reno is that we shall start actually inviting people over to partake of the space and liquid refreshments. Hman has such a social job that he doesn't want to instigate such happeneings, which i misunderstood as not wanting to partake of. there fore it was determined that If I instigate social happening he's will enjoy and help out with them, not hide in the basement. A breakthrough! Communication is a good thing when such misunderstandings are cleared up and new enthusiasm for life brought out! Yay!
This summer, certain people should watch their inboxes for invites to them and their family units. Summer Life will be sweet.