Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween plus Cat

Or All hallow's Eve...or Samhain...whatever you like to call the day! Take a minute if you can to honour those who have gone before, won't you? That is what today is truly about. That and celebrating another prosperous year gone by. And you know, chocolate/candy/treating/tricking CAN be part of the honouring/celebrating process..... ;OP

Audrey came over and treated my guys with YUMMY Lindt Chocolate and FINALLY got her present from me from Rhinebeck ( a button that says "Spinning: because knitting isn't weird enough!" and my Ravelry party favours bag) and saw my new loot.

Harley saw the vet again on Thursday. we gots good news and we gots baddish news. The GOOD: his ear infection is cleared up (yay), he is NOT anemic and his liver and kidney function appears to be normal(according to blood tests). The not good and therefore BADDISH news: he still has a fever (sound familiar????), he's still walking funny, he lost 4 ounces he could NOT afford to lose given his under weight situation.

Vet Nathalie is working under the assumption that he has the same disease at Cooper suffered from...coronavirus resulting in FIP, which is both incurable and impossible to 100% accurately diagnose in life (only by autopsy can anyone be 100% positive that a cat suffers from FIP). Also, its a fatal condition along with being incurable. Thus, our plan of treatment is to continue with the antibiotics to clear up any residual infection that might be causing a fever, supplementing his caloric intake in anyway I can, making sure said caloric intake is as nutritious as possible, keeping him as happy and comfortable as we can to improve the quality of life he has left. Unfortunately the medicating and "force feeding" of liquified kitten food and supplenets stresses him out terribly. He is to the point that he often cringes away from us because it may mean feeding or medicating rather than the lovings and cuddles he was always used to. Its a sad but necessary thing if he is going to stay with us as long as possible. Poor wee baby. He really is one of the sweetest kittens I have ever met. He is much loved in this house. Luckily he is improved to the point where he has taken some kibble in on his own and has stopped messing all over the house, so he has been allowed out of the bathroom for as much cuddling as he can stand. He loves the milk replacer for convalescing cats and kittens so I let him have as much as he wants, plus his beloved coffee cream. he even like the Cat Milk that Whiskas puts out (and no other cats I have ever had has ever liked it, even dairy product ho,13 yr old Miss Kitty). His kibble is the high calorie "just off the mama's teat" kitten food by Royal Canine. His liquified food is canned kitten food, milk replacer powder, Nutrical, homemade cat food, nutritional yeast, and warmmed water or cream and "served" warm. I sprinkle some nutritional yeast on his kibbles to entice him with its cheesy taste and give him extra B vitamines. I dose him with Viralys along with his antibiotics.
Running out of ideas...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heh heh

The Which Ewe Are You? Quiz I scored as a Perendale, a longwool type sheep.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Overwhelminess, I has it

The new ME.

Today I feel so overwhelmed by life and its doings that I can barely breathe. And I don't truly have the option to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head like I want to do. Its all those piddly fucking little things that pile up on you, y'know? Like laundry....again. I have a mountain of clean clothes to fold and separate into baskets for their owners. I didn't do it before because as each load was done, I was busy with other shit and let the mountain grow. It will take less than an hour to sort ou. This I know from experience but in that hour I could also be doing about eleventy million other things that really do need doing.

Halloween costumes: I need to sew a wizard robe from silver satin before Friday night because I work Saturday and cannot do it last minute. And create his staff and belt sacks of magical stuffs. I need to thrift shop a suit to turn into a zombie costume. They wear the clothes they were buried in, yes? Again...before Friday..Oh yeah...also because of school party...shit!
AND don't forget pumpkin buying and carving with the kids.

My wonderful sister has a big birthday TOMORROW and even though I have it ON the calendar and meant to get the card last week, I still managed to fuck up and forget to buy the fucking card.

Yesterday with the costume fabric shopping and black and white themed dance shirt shopping, I forgot ALSO to pick up the Lysine I asked the vet to bring in for me to give to Harley in the off chance miracle that an amaino acid supplement could help him. Long shot, I agree.

Sick cat tending: he needs to eat if he's going to get well and he does not want to have anything except cream. That he willingly devours with gusto. Home-made cat puree, watered down canned food, Nutrical high calorie cat supplement gel...all are fought off wildly and mainly land on whatever I am wearing so not only am I looking and feeling like a crazy cat lady...I REEK of it. Seriously. All I need is the grey wild hair and the stench of cat piss and I'm that crazy lady on the Simpsons. Its not funny in real life.

Slipper knitting: we have bare floors and its COLD. The kids are asking me for them and I have one pair done but they are as slippery as all get out so NOW I am sewing patches of Duck Easy Liner shelf liner stuff to the bottoms and that is easy yet time consuming. Maybe be faster to just glue it to all my floors? Or at least the stairs?

Floors: they are so gross...lets not even go there but they need a serious cleaning before winter shuts us all up with the dirt and germs.

Germs: that fucking flu is freaking me out lately. I was pretty laissez faire about it until last week. Should we vaccinate? Shouldn't we? How many containers of Lysol wipes and anti viral kleenex should I stock pile? How to keep the news from my scared children that a 13 yr old kid died from it on the weekend in TO (allegedly) after I was calmly reassuring them that since I will be able to look after them and nurse them should they catch the flu, they will be fine, no worries, relax. They hear stuff though and come to me a bit scared/worried. Especially Cameron, my worrier. He is SO me in a different form. Acts up to hide his real feelings, a tease and button pusher, under achiever, funny, but very sensitive which is hard to remember because he tries so hard to act like he doesn't care. But he he was worrying about Harley and crying because he missed Newman, which we thought he din't mind at all because when faced with the news of no more Newnie Noo he was unconcerned..apparently an act. His cat death worries and flu fears came to a head this morning. Poor guy.

Little stuff: like meals, and vacuuming, and dishwasher loading and unloading, kitchen clean ups, bathroom clean ups, homework supervision (such as it is), sleeping, eating, breathing... and all those other things that go into looking after a family like being able to hug them without screaming "Not Now! Don't you see how swamped I am???". I have to fit that shit in there too.

How do other people do this and not lose their minds and not only have everything done but are HAPPY about it ???

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear iPod

Hi iPod, its me...your user. I just wanted to take a minute to say how much I love you. Even though you are an older style 2gb and not as slim and stylish as the newer generation, I love your sleekly blocky lines. The fact that you try to get along with our family PC just makes me adore you more! Its not YOUR fault that the PC won't always be cooperative with its files.
I love how you keep me entertained with books and music and podcasts so that I can sit still awhile and get some knitting progress. Your sassy pink silicone rubber protector helps you put up with my klutzy, dropping ways and I love your wee lock button although getting near deafened by an accidental volume boost via my boobs when you were tucked into my bra in a Spanish airport BEFORE I found said cute wee button is a whole 'nother story. Your wheel control is just a l'il bit touchy for my hamfisted (and boobed )ways it would seem.

All in all you were one of my most wonderful gifts to ever have recieved and I adore your ease of use and excellent capacity. Now if only we had a Mac to keep you company and make for easier interfacing....

Love always,

Ruh Ruh Rhinebeck Recap (sans photos)

Its been a bit tired and busy Chez Nous but after having repeatedly been taken to task for lack of blogging, here I am. I hope it will appease.

Last Friday, after my car was finally set free from the shop ($2600 later), I hit the openish highway (damn construction zones) heading South to cross the border into the US of A and my destination was the picturesque and movie set like village of Rhinebeck. Seriously. Think quaint yet modern New England village and you would come up with Rhinebeck. Love it.
The drive took longer than I anticipated, even though I drove it last year. I was alone this time and it made things drag. My directions didn't print off thoroughly so I had to buy a map at the duty free store, along with wine and Canadian chocolate incase of emergency and as treats for Mindy's kids. Turns out that as a map reader I don't quite suck ass but I'm pretty close. When I got to the border, I picked the shortest line but it turned out also to be the slowest thanks to Mr Hard Ass customs official who had no sense of humour and decided I was WAY too laid back to be doing something so nefarious as to cross into US territory for a Sheep and Wool festival. That HAD to be a lie. That and the fact that I had no arrests on my record made me a pretty suspecty customer in dude's books apparently. I think my knitting basket full of half finished projects convinced him...that and my warm woolies packed in my bag for the forecasted cold. grrr after I answered many stupid questions (where's rhinebeck?...DUDE its YOUR country, you should know!! I'm having map issues!) I was set free again to continue on what I hope will be my annual weekend long migration into the US. I had to pull over again to check my map and then I hit the highway. I drove and drove and drove and FINALLY made it to Kingston, crossed the Rhinecliff bridge and tried to get to Rhinebeck. An hour and some wrong turns later I actually DID make it into Rhinebeck and connected with sweet sweet Virginian Mindy and my fellow Canadian Veronik, at the fairgrounds. It was dark by this time and we were all tired and hungry .
We attempted a smooth return to Kingston to eat at the Olympic Diner with Carol and Laura but of course, I took wrong turns. Poor Carol and Laura. They were so fed up with waiting they had eaten and left but came back when we begged. We had a nice supper and lots of chatter and laughter as Veronik reconnected with her friends and I made new ones. It was terrific. Then it was off to target for a last second purchase of kettle, coffee grinder and corkscrew and then back to our motel for some bedtime wine, knitting in jammies and chit chat. Despite my best efforts (nose strips, decongestant, antihistamines, nasal spray AND ear plugs of two types) my snoring still disturbed their sleep. What a curse! We were a tired 3 some next morning. Mindy had to leave first to work the Kid Hollow Farm booth. V and I had the leisure to stay in bed a tad longer and linger over a yummy breakfast and coffees at Pete's Famous Restaurant in the village. Then we moseyed on to the fairgrounds.
First stop, Building B( I think) and there I hit the first booth I saw which just happened to be the one I wanted...Bartlett Yarns! They sell a lovely crisp sportweight 2 ply on cones for a marvelously good price. I got a turquoisey blue, 1750 yds, for $36 all in. SWEET! Then it was booth viewing, mixing and mingling with the knitterati as friend and colleague after friend and colleague spotted Veronik and stopped to chat. A lot of the time I had no idea who the people were even after their names were given and hands were shook so I didn't gush and make a complete ass of myself like last year's Yarn Harlot episode.
This year the fair seemed calmer than last year. It seemed to have fewer people. maybe the forecast of cold and possible snow kept folk away? Hard to say but I was grateful because I had less claustrophobia and didn't lose my friend immediately like last year.
We hooked up again with the amazing Carol and the dryly funny Laura and had lots of fun. Carol and I are a bit...enthusiastic...about Veronik's yarn company (St. Denis...distributed in the USA by Classic Elite Yarns) and took it upon ourselves to accost people at every opportunity with a sales pitch, company logo pin and free mini skein. Yay free yarn to play with! We amused Veronik and Laura, who are much more reserved and polite. Plus it helped that Carol has a fan club of her own because of her hand dyed yarns (Black Bunny Fibers) and we met many of her friends and customers. Seriously, it was like old home week! Great fun for a friendly person like myself. I even had some fellow North Shore Knitters show up on a day trip to check out the wonder that is the NY State Sheep and Wool festival. Valerie, my wonder chiroprator, and Marie-Christine, left home around 4 AM and drove to the fest in order to soak up as much of it as a day trip would allow. Valerie got a LOT of yarn! LOL
We visited sweet Mindy at her post and kept on exploring the fair until it was finally time to head for the TRavelry party in Red Hook. I did NOT get lost. Tah dah!
Now, this year the party organisers tried something different to ease last years parking issues. Everyone met at the school at the end of the same road as the Elk's Lodge and then we were all bussed back to the lodge. The school bus went all evening ferrying people to and from the party. While waiting in line, Ravelry peeps were entertained (?) by a female in a Bob costume. Bob being the Ravelry mascot, a Boston terrier of uber cuteness. The head of the costume was KNIT! Inside was none other than Scottish designer Isolda Teague.
At the party we sat at table with Pam, and Betsey, and Phyllis, who all know V, and had some refreshment and handed out more mini skeins. I met up briefly with Robyn, of Robyn's Nest, and Madeleine. Both are Montreal Knits people and it was good to see them since they tend to knit in the West Island area now. We didn't stay at the party very long, being seriously tired. Pam, V, Betsey, and I left and went to Salvatore's for supper. One of the menu items was Chicken Francais which the waitress called Chicken Frohn-chays which took me by surprise. No I did NOT correct her. The conversation at the table was fascinating for me, a yarn industry outsider. Well...can a customer of yarn companies really be an outsider? It was just really really interesting to hear some of the stuff that happens on the other side of the deal. It was eye opening and changed my perspective on some things as well. Thanks so much to Pam and Betsy for such scintillating conversation and dinner companionship.
Back home to the room where once again we jammiefied and did some knitting and gabbed until sleep took us away again...except for when my snoring woke them up.
DAY 2: almost as good as day 1! It sucked mightily that Carol and Laura had to leave us in the early afternoon. I am telling you, they are super fun to spend time with and I have serious girl crushes on both. Carol got to buy the colour of yarn that I loved but didn't suit my colouring. Dang her for being blonde. Enjoy it Miss C. It was hard to see them go.
While Veronik did some book signing I did some (more) book buying. I got the 99 Yarns pattern book from Green Mountain Spinnery and LOVE IT. It could be my suprprise new favourite pattern book of all time. Also, I got it signed. Yay. V went off for some quality time with her dear friend Pam afterwards and I got to browse booths at my leisure, visiting ones I'd missed and revisiting ones I hadn't been able to linger at before. When I was good and tired I went to see Mindy and she got a break for coffee. My energy was failing but a nice big hot chai latte gave me renewed life. While with Mindy at her booth, the show was quieting around us and vendors were more able to visit back and forth. I got to know Pat and Heidi of Kid Hollow Farm better (and bought a sock yarn called Foggy Mountain..its lovely!!!) and what great folks they are. Otto and Joanne of Straugh's came over to chat and lo and behold, Joanne is into locker hooking rugs!!! I was in 7th heaven asking her all about this technique which I had briefly tried on my own a few years ago. She cleared up a LOT of my confusions...gave me some excellent advice...and was so nice and friendly and warm I just wanted to take her home with me to be my rug hooking buddy/mentor. On her advice I invested in a "normal" rug hook and am very glad I did. the booth where I got them had the kind I had seen for biggish prices but also had much less expensive makes. I got 2 of the cheaper ones because I tend to misplace things alot. Joanne and Otto raise cashmere goats and he had on a 100% cashmere sweater under his plaid jacket that was a dream to fondle the collar of. we all might have fondled more, because our hands were cold and Otto was cozy, but we are all good (ish) girls and Joanne's sense of humour probably only would have gone so far! LOL What a jolly bunch we were! Much laughing and fun.
Earlier in the day, V and I had found a treasure I'd been searching for at Carol Leigh's Hillside something or other booth. Nostepinnes! I'd found some before but none of them moved me to purchase. Here at this booth they had some Snipe's made nosties and there were a coupkle darkly finished ones that I was taken with. V got one and I the other and we called ourselves Nostepinne Sisters. Later V took Pam there but the dark ones were all gone and Pam's didn't match ours so she's a Nostepinne Sister but of the adopted or step variety. This struck us as quite funny when beer was added to the equation but I think you had to be there. Mmmm beer. Sam Adam's Octoberfest to be exact. But more later.
We had also found our knit friend the mighty and glorious Deeawn and her pal Susan FINALLY. late in the day. I'd missed her call somehow...I think my reception had been interupted. Deeawn is a force of nature and we crack one another up. Susan was a love and fit right in. We all helped Pat and Heidi and Mindy pack up shop, filling tote bins and disassembling "walls" and shelving. Then V, Deeawn, Susan, and I headed into the village for some supper. Mindy was supping with Pat and Heidi at a fancier place. Our budgets were hurting a bit so we went to Foster's and had some great BEER and food. And MUCH laughing, waiter appreciation discussion, and storytelling and fellow patron annoying. Sorry, less rowdy people! It was wonderful. Then D and Susan were off to their abode of the night and V and I went to the grocery store in search of a few items and more beer. We got a Sam Adam's mixed dozen and in it was the Octoberfest we'd had a pitcher of at the pub as well as a nice brown and wonder of all wondered Cherry Wheat beer! It was actually quite tasty!!!! There was much giggling back at the room once we were all 3 together again and in our jammies, knitting, sipping, and with Veronik translating Beau Dommage songs to our hysterical laughter. Poor Mindy had been fighting a cold all weekend and was so tired from that and work and our late nights and we were tired from all outr fun and disturbed sleeps that it was very easy to find things funny.
We didn't cry when my "Mindy Lou Who" left next morning with Pat and Heidi...headed back to Virginia and not to be seen again in person until next year's festival. It was hard to have her going but we still have each other online. Its both a curse and a blessing these internet friendships, because we are so far away from one another with Carol in Pa and Mindy in Va and I forget where Laura is...Pa or Mass?
Anyways, sad to see Mindy go but mindful of our owwn schedule we got showered and packed up and ready to leave. We wanted to book an extra room for next year for more friends to stay with us but ALL THE ROOMS ARE BOOKED. Popular place for Rhinebeck weekend and most people are return guests. Dismayed at our foiled plans, we headed for Red Hook and breakfast at The Historic Diner. Best poached eggs I've had since my mommy used to make them for me when I was small. Ever notice how sometimes simple things just are so much better when someone else makes them?
We hit the road, forgetting to gas up with all our chit chat, and I noticed just in time while driving that my car was seriously on E and got to the next gas station, disturbing poor V's intended nap. I begin to understand why Hman worries about letting me out in the world alone but alls well that ends well and our weekend was way better than "well".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The other side of a "She Wolf"

Paul And Storm's Cruel Cruel Moon

Go to the link and click on Play at the top of the page. heh heh

YES I AM THAT JUVENILE! Thanks for askin'.

Rip Off Artists

HBC's Cowichan "style" sweater. In the business of ripping off Canadians for 300 years and counting.

As a knitter I have an admiration for the sweaters made by the Cowichan knitters of the West coast. They are individually unique garments and much prized by their wearers for both their current fashionability and their warmth. Not only that but the 100 plus years of tradition that are behind the sweaters and the work that goes into them.

I few hundred years ago a company was formed that exploited Native North Americans in the name of profit. This company was the Hudson's Bay Company, formed by profit seeking British businessmen. Looks like the exploitation never goes out of style. Cowichan knitters applied for the sweater contract for the 2010 Olympics and really, what could have been BETTER than a Canadian original being worn by our Canadian team and marketed to teh Canadian people. Instead the Bay chose to be "inspired" by the Cowichan tradition and create knock offs to sell for $350 to commemorate the Olympics on Canada's West Coast.
More links to this story: Cowichan News

Now Public article.

Vancouver Sun article.

I am not a big fan of the Olympics. I think that they are a fairly useless drain on the tax payer's resources. The MILLIONS of dollars spent on this event could have contributed to cleaning up Vancouver's homeless and drug addicted, but no, there was never enough money for the programs etc but there is HEAPS of money for the Olympics. How many Canadians have to pay for the PR grab of hosting the Olympics? How many drug addicts had to go without treatment because of a governments lack of funds for the programs that we pay our taxes to support? How many homeless shiver and die in the alleys because the shelters are under funded?

Anyway, I guess my point is that in the end someone always gets ripped off but why does it always have to be the little guy.
If you want an Cowichan sweater, buy an authentic one. They cost less than the Bay's version and you know it was made by a Native North American artisan. If you want a sweater in this "style' then hire a knitter to make you one. Mass marketting kills the allure and pride.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Nothing Particular

A sample of what last years NY Sheep and Wool Festival was like.

I have not been very bloggy these days because it seems like I just keep repeating myself and boring the readers here ,who grace this blog with their presence, to tears. I really am this dull people! Just ask my husband. Its all blah blah laundry...blah blah kids... blah blah kitties...blah blah blahbbity blah yarn.. blah blah did that dust bunny just move on its own?

Truly dullness at its finest.

Today is no different but I think that if one comes here, then one knows what to expect so one is not terribly surprised at the boring factor. And if you keep coming back then its because my version of boring is somehow interesting to you. For that I am grateful.

So today's post is its usual random blah blah's about my usual blah blahs (see all of the above).

Laundry was very nearly folded and basketted into COMPLETE-ish submission yesterday but the blue kryptonite that is the sofa made me sleepy so I was felled by the power of the nap after lunch hour I didn't get hurt when I fell of course because the kryptonite, as well as being blue, is also very cushy and comfy. Sweet sweet sleepytime kryptonite....

Knitting has been slow. Mostly because I find it very hard to sit and get it done, even though I love it. Attention span issues, I have them. I FINALLY got my new needle tips yesterday...worked row 14 of Liesl and flupped it up. I have one too many stitches so I need to tink back and see where I missed a K2tog. I really CANNOT have anyone near by when doing this damn thing. Grrr...
Thrummed mitten #1 should have been done by now but I got distracted by some Alafoss Lopi and the desire to whip up a pair of felted mittens. They are knit but not yet felted. the pattern is a little wonky...numbers not right..ginormous thumb in proportion to the hand... I don't know if I would use this pattern again.
Hman's sock #2 is still not done and I still await the ball of yarn for it, not that I am ready for it. If I was a good little knitting wife I would have it finished before I run off to Rhinebeck next Friday (8 more sleeps), but we all know where I fall in this category of good little knitting wives.

Thanks to Barbara, I have been distracted by a slipper pattern. Well, that and because my feet have been cold and I can't seem to locate my slippers. Said pattern is seriously cute and would make EXCELLENT gifts for certain people I have in my family. I intend to attempt them after Rhinebeck (if I can resist the startitis until then) and see how I would feel in knitting a few pairs.

The ripping apart of the first ever sweater I knit has finished. MAN, there was a lot of yarn in that sucker. Ben had mixed feelings about the ripping of his sweater but I have assured him that the new one that I make with the salvadged yarn will be much better. I am toying with the idea of a Lopi inspired patterned yoke sweater since they are so easy and fast. Also drawn to a gansey. I will save it for January though.

The moving decision has been remade: first we decided that the boys and I would move in order for me to be nearer my parents so that I can help them out more. Then with Mom's improving health we thought that maybe it wouldn't be necessary. Now we have decided again that the move will be made. Stay tuned for any further waffling, but so far its decided...again. We've even been discussing which house gets what furniture and stuff. Its weird though, because dividing the household items seems so divorce like and this is SO NOT a break up. I stated this to to Hman, that it felt like the worlds most amicable divorce, but without the benefits of freedom and a fresh start. Don't worry. He laughed at that. He is used to my observations at this point in our 18+ year relationship.

Next week, as I mentioned, is Rhinebeck (8 more sleeps). I am stoked. I worked a cleaning shift for Ginette so I have a bit more money for my coffers. I was hanging out with one of my Rhinebeck roomies last night and I must say I am not the only giddy one. Veronik has work to do while there, promoting her yarn company etc but its also a huge social occassion for knitters and knit folk of all stripes. Industry people get to touch base with the general knitting population, network, and commiserate with one another. General knitting population gets to go crazy at seeing/meeting/accosting so many knitting industry celebs, the insane amount of yarny and fibery goodness all around, the knit wear worn by the other knitters in attendence (where else can complete strangers in a crowd of thousands fondle someone's sweater and NOT get punched in the face? Not only not get punched out or arrested for assault BUT perhaps have their knitwear fondled and cooed over in return? Only at a sheep and wool festival, my muggle friends. If you were a yarny goodness enthusiast you would know that.). So while work is done at these things, fun is had as well. I am lucky enough that I will be able to observe the working and the funning and that I have a friend that can introduce me in a non-stalkery way to other knitting insustry peoples. While I do admit a certain amount of fangirl excitement at this sort of "backstage pass" as you will, I am honestly just as excited to meet my friend's friends and put faces to many names and maybe if I'm lucky soak in some knowledges through osmosis. I learned a lot at last years event, about who and what I am as a knitter and what I like. This year I hope to build upon that with wiser purchasing and observing. I am composing a list of must do's and must buys , thinking on patterns that maybe I will invest in a whole projects worth of yarns for rather than a sampling like last year. I am getting giddy at the whole weekend away with no family obligations too...that in itself is very exciting! Some people go to Las Vegas to completely lose/find themselves for a weekend. Rhinebeck is my Vegas.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Its almost Punkin time