Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Lot has Happpened and Big Changes Afoot.

Its really hard to know where to begin. There we were, my boys and I, enjoying our vacation by the sea when all hell broke loose and our lives changed.

I am not dishing out dirty details which enough people know and noone else really needs to know. Suffice to say that the problems of the past few months came to a crisis point while I was away and now our lives will never be quite the same.

Here is the story without gory details:

Imagine how it feels to work very very hard for a company that had a good reputation. Imagine that while working there you notice things. Things of a not so savory nature. Things like taking advantage of customer/clients, fraud, misrep-resentation, falsifying of documents etc . Stuff like that. What would you do? Imagine too that you are a person with a strong sense of right and wrong and ethics and honour....this is important in our imaginings because a lesser person may have just pretended not to notice things. May have just turned a blind eye.

Imagine that at first our upright citizen thinks that its honest mistakes and tries to correct it through the proper channels. Then he sees that they aren't HONEST mistakes but deliberate. Then he tries to effect change from within, which makes him unpopular with his bosses. He champions his clients and THEIR clients but he is ONE person between them and the corporate machine. Imagine, again, how this must feel. The stress. The worry. Over time it has a crippling effect as bosses say one thing but in fact ok the doing of other things. Imagine that you point out that customers are losing/being taken advantage of due to changes in policy and your "superiors" tell you that this was an expected side effect, that they would knowingly rip people off. How would you, as an honest person, deal with this?

In our scenario, the Honest Man informed these clients via a mass mail out that their products were expiring due to lack of representation, according to the company records. He included a trusted contact in that letter incase they wanted to prevent their losses. He tried to protect customers against losing money and protection. Many responded with gratitude, not knowing that their representative was gone and they were glad to save their products they'd spent so much on.

Unfortunately, some of these clients DID have representation but it wasn't in the records and one of these brokers got very PO'ed and thought that the company and the Honest Man were trying to steal his clients. The company wasn't happy about this OR the fact that their negligence had been brought to light. Our Honest Man had since left the company's employ and was exploring the possibility of creating a business with his friend, the trusted contact he'd suggested to the clients. Just when things were finally looking brighter for our Honest Man, the Doom came.

Allegations were being made about his actions. Suggestions were made that he'd acted to benefit himself. A complaint was lodged with a regulating body and an investigation commenced. While this investigation took place however, the Honest Man could not continue building and working on the business he'd so hoped to vreate as a way to provide for his family. His stress levels and anxiety for the future grew and grew. He told the regulators his side of the story and provided documented proof of the company's actions. The 'investigation' dragged on for 2 full months. The Honest Man appealed to a government official to look into the case and make sure the regulators were not being influenced by the huge corporation.

Then the investigation was finished and the regulators decided that the Honest Man was wrong to have chosen loyalty to the law and what's right over loyalty to the Company. Their letter insinuated that he should have turned a blind eye to the illegalities.

The Honest Man was crushed. Those in charge of protecting the public against Corporate wrong doing had found in favor of those doing wrong rather than he who'd been trying to defend and protect the victims. His reputation as a good and honourable person was now besmirched on the public record and the Company was laying liability of their actions at his door when they were sued. It was all too much. Betrayed by the Company, the industry, the regulators and the government, the Honest Man fell into the very deepest despair.

Isn't that a tale? Would make one hell of a novel for ol' Johnny Grisham, wouldn't it? This stuff could never happen in real life could it??! It must be some sort of crazy delusion of conspiracy theory.

Except that in the fiction there would probably be some sort of happy ending where the Company and Regulators and government officials get theirs and Our Hero, the Honest man, is validated and vindicated and everybody good lives happily ever after. In real life, we could only wish that this would happen.

As a result of that deepest darkest despair, my Honest man and I have decided to put some distance between us and the hateful mess. For the health and well being of our family unit, We are pulling up stakes and heading East to go back to a simpler life. Working to live rather than living for the career. We are making drastic changes, including the move, such as down sizing our possessions to fit into a smaller accomodation, looking for lower income employment because it offers less responibility than management did and also because thats all there is in the small town world we are relocating to. Let someone else save the fucking world. We will save ourselves, thank you very much.

Its been 5 years in this place. 5 years of his hard work and we did have some good times! That job was wonderful in so many ways. He found it challenging, never dull, exhilerating by times and he believed in what the industry offered people and did his best for his clients so that they could do their best for theirs. We met wonderful people and had adventures we never could have had if it hadn't been for his position. Our house, while messy and chaotic, is our dream home and we had such plans for it even though we never intended for it to be our last house. We just didn't envision leaving it under such a cloud of misery.

Yet, as the great lyricist said, "every dark tunnel has a light of hope, so don't hang yourself with a celibate rope". There is joy in this move. Small town life is good. Being close to family and support again is VERY good. Changing our focus to simple pleasures and loving rather than having them secondary to achieving is also good. We are bustin' a move toward happiness again.

May you be happy and healthy and have what you need. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nova Scotia

Hello from wonderful Nova Scotia! The boys and I drove here on Thursday last and have been enjoying as much as we can of the beaches and our wonderful friends and family.We were blessed with sunshine for the first 4 days of our visit and managed to do 5 beaches in 3 days! By Monday Cam flat out refused to even consider a beach outing, claiming he was "beached out". So we went shopping!
You just can't beat Guy's Frenchies, the best thrift store shopping ever! I went into the nearest one, hoping for some pants for the fast growing Thing 2, and came out 58 dollars poorer and his wardrobe quite enhanced ( manly terry bathrobes for both boys, 1 pair jeans, one pair cords, one pair Tony Hawk cargo shorts, several shirts for Cam and at least 2 for Ben). I also got a couple of tops for the cooler weather for myself (4). And a couple of books (3). Beat that retail stores!

Tuesday, which is still today in my head, we went to visit my mom and dad. I timed it to send the boys to a movie while I went to pick up my mom and together she and I went to the home. Dad's been moved now, for a couple weeks almost I think, to the more secure but much more enfeebled infirmary wing. It smells like pee. Its noisy with various yowlings and hacking coughs etc. When we arrived, the nurse dad was speaking to pointed us out to him as we approached but we didn't really register with him. He continued to mutter and ramble at the nurse and gradually we eased him away to get changed from his soiled pj's to clean ones. Then we managed to coax him into a wheelchair because walking was tiring him, and took him outside for fresh air and a turn or twenty around the gardens. Through it all he continued to be fairly incoherant. I would make comments on what was there and he commented on what he percieved and if we were lucky it might be the same thing. Yet, for all that he was more or less content. His eyes were bothering him so he tried eating supper with his eyes closed, with some assistance from me. At this point I had to pick the boys up so we said our goodbyes, which didn't much register with Dad. Mom, as usual, tried to force his attention but can't seem to understand that it doesn't work or why it doesn't. Its not a willful thing. Taking his face and turning him to face her, eye to eye , and speaking firmly as if to a child does not work and usually agitates him. Trying the same method to get a kiss goodbye while he is focusing on his supper is also doomed to failure. She still does it though. I was content to kiss his head and offer a gentle hug that didn't interfere with his dinner attention and a heartfelt "I love you, daddy" to which he actually replied with a a lovely response, though I'm not sure he meant it for me, since I'm not 100% sure he knew who I was.

We left and retrieved my boys and took mom to the grocery store where she got disoriented as to what aisle the tissue paper prducts were in. Rather than take my suggestion that we try the next aisle she chose to ask a store employee where the Kleenex was. He jovially answered that the paper products were in the next aisle. She then insisted taht they'd been moved from the aisle we were in and where she was sure she always bought it. His confused yet eager to help expression and answer to the negative that no, they hadn't been moved, kind of clued Mom in that she was wrong. Once we reminded her what we were there for again(diabetic vanilla Boost and Kleenex), she was ok again. I got her a cold rotisserie chicken plate for dinner thinking it would be more substantial that the leftover soup she was planning to have. Then we took Mom home.

I know its wrong but I can hardly stand to be around her, at least in her house. I know she wanted us to stay longer and for supper but the idea of it made my skin crawl. I spent my teen years in that house, and they were not terrible by any means, but now as an adult it makes me claustrophobic. The nictine stained walls and ceiling, the smells of air fresheners and the like OVER the stink of 30 years of cigarettes nauseates me, and after the mice incident from my last visit ...!? My usually mild germ phobia rears its ugly head. ( my house maybe untidy and carry its own patina of grime but I also disinfect quite a bit. I go through a lot of environmentally unfriendly and possibly toxic disinfecting wipes and a fair bit of bleach in the run of a month thanks to my better-than-it-used-to-be germ issue. And hand soap...but I digress).

I am so gonna go to hell for not being more tolerant of my elderly Mother.

I need some more beach time I think. Hello, Clam Harbour this weekend!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thursday





Gratuitous Hippopotamus shots because they were my favourite part of Granby Zoo. LOVE!

What a week. Not in a bad way, mind you. I got my shop on at a couple of thrift stores which led to getting my shop on in the hardware store....you know how it is.

On Tuesday I decided that I was going back to a thrift store I visited last week to grab the rattan shelving unit I saw for 20 bucks. It was seriously fugly with its incorporated wine rack (donations welcome...maybe a nice merlot?) and had been partially painted with an ivory flat latex. The horror...the wine rack hadn't been painted and the paint job itself was very bad. 6 cans of gloss ivory coloured spray paint later, its much cleaner looking and will be holding all of my crafting books and some assorted crafting stuffs (needles, iron, sewing basket etc) in my craft space/"studio" in the basdement family room. I'm very excited because gradually I have been hauling all my yarn and crap downstairs and for the first time in perhaps my life, all my craft stuffs will have a central location. This is MY place and the rest have been warned on pain of death to keep out. There is still some hauling and organising to be done but its shaping up and making me happy. Pictures will come eventually.

Next week I am heading East! SO EXCITED. I hope we have good weather while we are there because I need some beach time.

Lets see, what else....I have more duties with the yarn company I work for now and thats fun and new. No new escapes for Da. Miss Kitty comes home all the time now that Mouche is gone (did I mention that? Mouche had to go because of his treatment of Miss Kitty. Now she comes and goes as before and it makes me so happy that she is actually coming back home again as opposed to hanging around other people's houses). Pippin was neutered today and needs to have his urine tested to check for crystals. I am waiting for him to gimme a sample (eeeew)so I can run it to the vets tomorrow. I got an awesome deal on a big book about textiles for beginners (how to knit, crochet, weave, felt, and quilt. It was regularly 19.99(UK) but I got it for $10 Canadian. Schweet! I went back the next day to nab the last copy for my lovely friend and fellow enthusiast Barb.

The upstairs bathroom is FINALLY finished. Check out the photos above! So much prettier than its former self.

The nightmare of the last two months seems to be "almost" over. It has to do with Hman's old job and his new career plans and how things are NOT going well thanks to some hiccups and monkey wrenches caused by his old job. We were told yesterday that the issues may be resolved "soon", but don't know whether it will be a resolution in our favour. Yet, that light at the end of the tunnel is glimpsed and we are trying to keep it together and prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Just knowing its soon over is heartening. Its more than we knew before (we have been seriously stressed over how long this was going to go on...6 months? A year? yet, how long a wait is this "soon"?). To all of my friends and family that have been my shoulders to cry on, sounding boards, and support I want to say thank you very much. I hope I can be as supportive and soothing as you all have been.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Da's Famous Now

Dad moved into his new digs at the home on Saturday with the aid of my Wunder-Sistah and her husband. It was all so new and a tad confusing for him. He does like his new comfy chair and does spend time in the lounge with the other residents. There have been a few "getting settled" issues but the staff is used to things like that and all in all Da is doing fine.

However, one incident has made Da the home "celebrity" amongst the staffers. Maybe I should say he's become "infamous" rather than "famous".

On Da's 3rd day in residence, the home recieved a phone call. "Do you have a resident by the name of R******S*****?"
"Why yes we do! Please hold and I will transfer your call."
"No, don't bother. I just wanted to make sure that this is where he belongs."
"???"
"Yes, he's over here at the hospital on the 5th floor where he was living before his transfer."
"!!!!!!!!!!"

And then mild panic ensued, I am sure. Dad was returned to the home, safe and sound and cheerful after his unsanctioned visit to his former nurses and an emergency staff meeting was held to discuss the security breach that is my Da. It was debated whether to move him to a more secure area in the home but that would remove him from the other more active residents and stick him in the area where the more bedridden etc are located. His nurses stood up for him though, stating that it was only his
3rd day and that he deserved more time to settle in and learn the rules etc. Their wiser heads prevailed and Da stays put for now with an extra set of eyes watching to make sure he doesn't walk out the front door alone again.

Thanks to the incident, though, EVERYONE that works there knows who he is. He's both baffled and chuffed as to how all these nice people know him. He is greeted cheerfully by name as he walks the halls to this or that destination or when he is encountered by any staffer. "How does everyone here know me?" he has wondered to my sister.

I'm sure it was quite serious on Monday but now all we can do is laugh at our Dad the famous escapee .

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fridayness

Today, for the second time this week, I've had trouble using my debit card. It happened at grocery stores both times and I had to whip out the credit card to save the day. This time however I went to my bank to see what was wrong with my account/card. Turns out, that I'd used my card somewhere that was cloning cards!!! GASP! I've been wracking my brain to remember if I'd used my card in a shady place of business lately..a questionable depanneur maybe? Anyways, the bank said I just had to change my PIN and all would be well. WHEW!

Dad is moving tomorrow! My sister tried to get my brothers to lend a hand because at a thrift store she got Dad a nice easy/armchair for his room. Apparently my brothers are too busy. I could just SCREAM and its all I can do to keep myself from calling them to bawl them out for having their heads so far up their own arses. Anyways, one way or another she will get the chair and herself to the place on time to check Dad out of the hospital and into the home and try to have him settled in comfortably. Thank goodness her husband is around to lend a hand. If I could afford the air fare.... I haven't been able to leave the guys for a trip back since April.

Our big family outing for the month was a trip to Granby Zoo. It was exausting trudging around all afternoon but I loved the hippos so it was worth it! They are so cool. Now, its not ONLY a zoo...there is a small water park with two wave pools, a lazy river ride on tubes, and some other assorted bits and bobs AND a small amusement park with a mini roller coaster, ferris wheel and games of chance etc. There are restaurants and canteens to get your munch or drink on and lots of places to have a wee rest. If we ever go again I'd like to spend the night before at a motel in the vicinity so that we could get there earlier. Its an hour and a half away from our home. Next month we have our trip east scheduled and a promise was made for a day at La Ronde in August.
I have the first sock of my second pair nearly done of the 6 I committed myself to for Romanian orphans.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

News

As anyone who reads here knows, my Dad was stricken with quick onset dementia with delirium this winter. We'd noticed the cogs were slipping a wee bit over the last year or so...just little things here and there..but then the whole train seemed to leave the tracks over the span of a few weeks and Whoa Nelly! that was hard. The delirium was due to an undetected infection and over time has eased and now Dad usually recognises his family and no longer thinks he's being held prisoner by criminals on a boat.

My sister has been handling EVERYTHING for Dad. Doctor's, paper work, financials, lawyers...you name it she handles it. She's my hero.

So, since February Dad has been hospitalised because he is no longer able to live at home safely. Last week the call came that he is going to move into the local long term facility! My devoted sister went to our home town yesterday and dealt with the paper work and information. She got to visit the room waiting for Dad and see how his life is going to change from such limited freedom in a hospital situation to a much more social and active small community. The TV and socialising lounge is right next door to his room and the dining hall is a short walk down the hall. The activities they engage in there range anywhere from trips to the Mall to soft exercise sessions. He will have a roomate but their room is spacious enough that we could get Dad a comfy armchair for having some peace and quiet in his room if he's not up to being sociable. This is going to be so much BETTER for him than how he's been living the last few months that I am really excited for him.

Its a big adaptation for him, though. The support staff at Glen Haven seems to have thought of just about everything to ease his transition from hospital to home facility and I think that he might be able to enjoy himself given the chance.

Mom won't need to do his laundry anymore either once he's moved in since its all done in house, so thats a bonus too. I can't wait to visit Dad in August and see his new digs. Maybe I can challenge him to something on the lounge's Wii!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday in July.

So far its been a beautiful day for weather and somewhat productive. I did errands while waiting for a kid in tennis lessons. I have spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker and ingredients to make my version of shish taouk. Miss Kitty pee'd behind the washer again and thats been cleaned and I bought some enzyme odour remover stuff so it won't stink up the joint.

I started editting a manuscript for a friend. I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV, but I did major in English at University and I remember enough to know when a sentence doesn't work properly. If only I had one of those memories that actually stores useful stuff like the rules of grammar and punctuation. I can say something isn't right but can't give a good reason why. I'm running more on instinct here I guess. So far my pencil and highlighters have been busy.

The beds have been switched around and now the old bunk bed frame (minus a rail)is serving as a shelving unit for my totes of yarn and fabric. Not all of the yarn has been moved nor have my books as I need a bookcase to put them away in. I hope to find one cheapish at the thrift store. I don't want that space that I have carved out to be overwhelmed in clutter like its predecessor(s). The key will be having enough storage to put things away. Places for my things and things put in their place.

Summer is slithering by. We hope to get to Granby this week and take in the zoo. The kids will love the water park. Next month has a trip East scheduled and possibly a day at La Ronde.

I hope everyone is having some fun this summer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trying not to take it personally....trying....

I have lived away from my friends and family for 5 long years now. We get back east fairly often and try hard to fit people in to our visits. Most folk cannot come visit due to finances and work schedules etc and we get that and accept it. What I get hurt by is those that can fit any other trip or event into their very busy lives and budgets, but yet never ever have yet made the attempt to reciprocate a visit here despite numerous invitations and their "Oh i would love to be able to come visit...maybe next summer" comments.

I am trying very hard not to be hurt or take it personally. I am trying to be a grown up about it. Yet, when you are repeatedly NOT a priority in loved ones lives, it really hurts. Alot.

I must be PMSing to even give a shit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Holy Frak its July!

I have become so remiss in posting its pathetic. I blame Facebook and Twitter. And the fact that I am so boring and have very little to write about.

HEATWAVE!! Last week we had a heat wave. It was nasty but I was able to refrain from killing anyone in my house. Much jumping into the pool. THANK all deities that we have a pool!!!! In NS, I could handle heat by going to the shore . Here in the land of lakes and rivers, there's no icy cold ocean to cool off in so I am grateful as hell for a pool. Even if it is heating up at an alarming rate.

KNITTING: I keep messing up the buttonholes of the Kria sweater and I am too hot to settle in and fight it right now. Instead I have started some baby things for a baby I know is due in October or November. Then yesterday I came across a charity knitting plea on Ravelry for orphans and Gypsy children and mothers in Romania. There are some very small socks and mittens needed and I may volunteer some handknits. Small and fast. After a sweater I need quick gratification, even if the bugger isn't finished yet. SOON! It's only 7 rows, armpit weaving, and washing/blocking from being finished! But i keep screwing up the damn holes.

OTHER CRAFTS: I have a serious problem with this now. For years I have admired handmade pincusions in all their adorable forms and now I am gathering the materials to start making some. Why? Because they keep calling to me!!! Sew us! Stuff us!! Make us!!!! What am I supposed to do with them then???? I only have so many sewing friends that would appreciate the time and energy and cuteness of a pincusion. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Then there's the quilting: now at a standstill because my machine is in the shop for a tune up. I managed to find fabric to finish the blue and yellow log cabin quilt top on Friday, oh happy day. I also have enough fabric to get a good start on the pink quilt scheduled for after the yellow /blue. Meanwhile I embroider and work on baby knits and avoid my housework.

As usual!! lol

Monday, June 28, 2010

End times????

What a freaking few days it has been! First off, the other day we had an earth quake. Today, funnel cloud over the West Island. Also last week a tornado touched down in Ontario, same day as earthquake I think. WTF! There is a reason I do not live south of the border...ok...many reasons...and two of them are earthquakes and tornados. You all need to keep that shit down there where its expected.

Between crazy weather, earth quivers, and oily oceans I am really starting to wonder if that friggin' Mayan calendar was right. Maybe I should just hide under my bed until things settle down and its January 2013...except its nasty under there and its way too humid to even think of making the effort.

Speaking of efforts, my quilt is at a stand still until I buy fabric and get my machine tuned up AGAIN. Today's crazy mini hurricane blew down my bean trellis so I have to put it back together tomorrow and secure it somehow. I steeked my Kria sweater project and because of my effed up sewing machine, the machine stitching broke and let go in places and I had to do a crochet reinforcement that looks like total ASS and I am not sure some of the loose ends won't let go along the steek line. My formerly soothing p[ractice of embroidery has turned on me because for some reason the cosmic forces will NOT allow me to create a frikkin' French Knot no matter how hard I try and re-read the instructions. You'd think i was trying build a rocket or something, but those damn knots just will not knot!!! ARGH!

And its not even July yet....wow. It may prove to be one pippin sansy of a summer!!


PS: does anyone know how to keep spammy commenters at bay?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summertiiime, and the livin' is...sweaty

We have high humidity the last couple days and while the temps are not extreme, they feel very squishy and sweaty. Bleah. I do NOT like to sweat. I think I would be very happy living up north in the chillier lands but the gardening would not be so nice.

Was wakened from the last of my sleeping in of the day by screaming cats and flying fur in my bed. Not pleasant at all. Mouche had attacked Miss Kitty while she and I were sleeping. This is just getting nerve wracking, this hate he has for her. I have a spray bottle now for when he gets near her in the living room, where she usually hangs out. How can such a sweet lovable Mouchey guy who plays with a kitten so nicely, be such a turd to my poor old lady cat. She actually tried to run away this week but the neighbors whose house she was lurking around brought her home (after I'd given her up for gone having checked the shelter for her to no avail), thats how much he's getting on her nerves. At least by keeping HER in the house (oh she is NOT pleased)we can protect her more while this sorts itself out. But WILL it? sigh. I don't want to send Mouche away but if he doesn't cut the shit it may come down to that.

I haven't been knitting much except for apple cores for the AppleCore Blanket pattern. These things are addictive...fast(now that I've memorised the pattern), light, uses leftovers (except that I also bought yarn for them which wasn't supposed to happen), did I mention fast? Practically instant gratification, knitting wise. Besides this I have been re-introducing myself to embroidery. O.M.G. This is a very soothing occupation. I find myself getting lost in the simple stitches I am using for my first project in YEARS!!!! Its a spray of wild roses on unbleached fine cotton for a quilt I have in mind for my grand neice Annika. But first I need to finish the lingering blue and yellow log cabin quilt thats been on the go for about 8 years. Its been going much faster in recent months but is currently lingering on my dining room table and serving as a cat mat. LOL Both Mouche and Pippin love sprawling out on it for a snooze.

We are on our second FULL day of vacation here and while the urge to kill has not risen sharply, there are moment when I understand why wild animals will sometimes eat their young. The squabbling brought on by constant association with one another....the sassing back.....the whining.....the tantrums.... I need some good earplugs and some stronger drugs to withstand the next 2 months.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kitten naming redux


The name "Sansy" just has not been a hit. It just doesn't roll off the tongue and the guys were resistant. The hunt for a name never ended, even after he'd been named. I guess we knew it wasn't THE name for this complex individual. Today we were trying Jasper because the balck stripes on his face remind me of the polished stone but it wasn't it either.

Kate the Enabler suggested Peregrine, as in Peregrine Took aka Pippin from LOTR and I think we have our name. Fun loving, mischievous, lovable, sweet, curious, troublemaking FOOL OF A TOOK! We have our name and it is Pippin
.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Perturbation

We are very perturbed here. The pump on our washer is finished and needs replacing. Cost is, as yet, unknown until repair dude calls with the quote. Having him tell us what we already knew cost us over 70$.

Yup..perturbation. We have it. Don't think we'll go blind from it though.

The saving graces of hobbying

I don't understand people that don't have a passtime or hobby interest. What do they do in their spare time???? What do they dream and plan and hope for? To me its just weird and seems like a very empty existance. Also, those people that I have know with no "interest" or "hobby" are very unhappy people.

Now, that said, there are those of us who may or may not have what some consider TOO MANY hobbies or interests and are these people really much happier than those with none? maybe not because they never seem to get anything done. A balance must be struck.

All this to say that I am GLAD I have something to do and live for besides whining and navel gazing. To whit, I segue to the garden and its goin's on. And it does have it goin' on.

This year I used seeds for German Giant radishes and I have had THE BEST radishes ever. Yearly I bitch and moan about how mine never do well for such an easily grown vegetable. Not this year. I am in ecstacies over my yield and the quality. Its German Giant from now on in this garden! Woo hoo!

The spinach is ready to be picked as are the "baby"salad greens. They are lush from the recent rains. The shelling peas continue to dawdle along. They are so hard to wait for after growing snow peas.

Something ate off all my bean seedlings again this year. I think its a neighborhood squirrel or something from how they were nipped of at the top over night leaving nothing but a stem. Something else nommed away all my watermelons but one poor plant. I think it was slugs or some type of bug. Nothing is hurting the last plant...weird.

Yesterday, 6 tomato plants were set into their summer homes. 3 Superfantastic and 3 Principe Borghese to be trellised against the shed wall. After that I started setting in the peppers and it began to rain. I got 12 in, I think, before I gave it up. I also popped in my 3 cucumber seedlings and ringed them heavily with ground coffee for protection from evil bugs/slugs/snails.

Next up for plantings, more radishes and peas and a replanting of the bush beans. Maybe another watermelon or two as well.

See? How can a person not find solace from the everyday blahs of life without a passtime?? Once my washer is fixed I will be hitting the quilt doings again.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Because Kitties Make Things less Crappy








And thats what get's me through...most days.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Just when you think everythings ok....

...A letter arrives to throw everything back into the misery it was 3 months ago. ARGH!!!

Anyway, just a note to say we've hit a new patch of pain in the ass. Things were going so well too!! Thats what upsets me most. Life was getting bacxk onto an even keel, we were free from the corporation, new opportunities had arisen....and now corporation is being bitchy. Its like they missed having someone to pick on so they decided to ring our bells for some shits and giggles.

In the perfect world that I envision this will simply be a pain in the ass and will be resolved in our favour because right is right and thats it. Unfortunately, in the real world, you do something you think is right and you get smacked down for it because someone with the power is suspicious of motives and just can't leave something alone. It doesn't matter that you didn't do anything wrong. You've made them look bad/ineffective/stupid/negligent and now you must pay.

Pray for me because my nerves have just about had it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Pleased.

I wish I had a photo to accompany this post. I will later cuz Ben just took one.

I am pleased as punch to announce that the nameless kitten has a name now. It came to me as I was facebooking about doing nothing with the kitten on the sofa...again. I referred to him as le petit Monsieur Sans Nom (The little Mr. No Name) and it hit me right then....Sansy. I will pronounce it with an accent to both be pretentious and creative, so its said like this : Sahwn-zee.

Voila...he has a name and it is Sansy. YAY!!!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The 5th of June

Its a pretty low key day here. Its over cast and not terribly hot. The Hman is gone fishing for the weekend and the kids are gaming with a pal downstairs.

I've had a week of pinched nerve in my left shoulder but feel on the mend thanks to my teriffic chiropractor. I have a contract to finish up this week, so I have been working from home as well as at an office in Montreal on some text writing. Its been a more difficult task than the last time.

Last Sunday I brought home the wee tawny tabby with white kitten that I'd committed to before Mouche came along. He is adorable and lovable and cuddly as all get out. Yet, he is still Nameless. Nothing monikeristic is coming out and sticking to him. It is bugging the shit out of me. Have I mentioned his adorability? I think I could just walk around with him around my neck all day. He is always near by, especially if we are on the sofa. If not then he's racing through the house and up the cat tree, soon to be back with the humans on the sofa. Like today...he and I have been couch potatoes for ages. If I get up, he tends to follow, do whatever, and if I go back then he comes back too. Last night he kept me company while I watched The Wolman from the basement sofa. Such a sleepy cuddly wee baby. 11 weeks old now. Still without a name. I've tried everything. It'll come eventually I guess.

Thats about it for us this week. So boring!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Almost June!

I cannot get over how FAST time is flying by. 2010 is like an eyeblink...sure there was a lot of shittyness to the beginning of it but its still moving at warp speed towards 2011! It's almost June for cryin' out loud!

Almost June means almost summer and almost summer means almost end of school and we all know what that means.

My going insane with The Bickerson twins. Oh yes. Its already started lately. Thing One and Thing 2 annoy the crap out of one another until one breaks and starts screaming or hitting. I won't lie. Its usually Thing 2 annoying and Thing One screaming. Like nails on a chalk board no matter how deep the voice is getting.

So, facing a summer of madness brings up the lovely debates on day camps. They are 11 and 13...they are getting a bit long in the tooth for day camps so we need to search out ones that cater to an older crowd. Did I mention that only one is open to the idea? Yeah. Fun.

In other dealings, summer's approach means the semi-annual changing of the wardrobe and this year mine sucks. Between what I am disposing of from winter and that which does not fit etc for summer, I have trasg bags of clothing to donate and nothing to wear that can be seen outside the home. This has brought also the annual delusion that I can sew myself some stuff. How hard can it be?

There in itself is my red flag. Whenever that phrse "how hard can it be?" comes up, I have been training myself to STOP and back away from the idea. Tiling my kitchen floor on the farm? It was very hard for such a simple thing. And apparently I can't even buy a pattern in the right SIZE let alone sew it.

Yesterday while out with T2, we went to Fabricville. Things may have gone better had I been alone and able to focus solely on the task at hand rather than constantly trip over my sidekick and answer his questions about how much longer this was going to take. They really need to install a waiting area in these stores so I can park a male with a book and say I'll be back in awhile, don't leave thios area.
Thus, I ended up with a misleading pattern that in NUMBER was the right size but in actual measurments was NOT. I discovered this while pinning the pattern pieces on my fabric last night.

To all my friends who find sewing so relaxing and soothing, I THINK YOU ARE MAD!! Nothing frustrates me and makes me cry quite so much as sewing. I contantly fuck up, mis-read instructions, buy the wrong size(this one's new actually), run a needle through a digit, break needles, mis cut, mis measure...you name it. Anything that I can screw up in sewing, I do. So why do I even try???! Because it is a deceptive craft, thats why. It looks SO EASY when you take a simple non-froufrou garment, break it down into 4 easy pieces to be sewn together. It even SAID easy on the pattern for this "one hour" sewing project that I bought the wrong size for and thus the wrong amounts of fabric. ARGH.

Anyway, I took said fabric that I'd been starting my practice skirt on and basically created a tube with and elastic waist band. The easiest skirt in the world. Now I just need help in hemming it. I will probably make the same skirt with my purchased fabrics too. One of which has lovely scalloped selvedge edges for a self hemmed skirt. I think anyways.

The Kria sweater has been giving me fits in the hood creation but a friend gave me a brilliant bit of coaching and now it will be ripped back during todays drive to Charlesbourg and restarted. Rather than doing a wonky bit of intarsia while knitting back and forth oon two different sizes of needles, I will continue the sweater in the round, through the neck and the hoodwith steeking stitches at the front and a marker for increasing the stitch count of the hood in the back. Its gonna be swell and will no longer drain me of my will to live. YAY.

Speaking of will to live, my Mom is feeling much better than she was when I last saw her. Apparently her potassium levels were all outta whack (too high she says) and it was making her weak, dizzy, ill feeling etc. Now she feels great! I am trying to convince her to come and visit us this summer for a week or two. She's never been here and it could be fun for her.

Recent changes in the household numbers: I'd committed to adopting a tabby and white kitten through my friend Elaine last week. He's very cute and almost ready to leave home. Then two days later, my friend Geeta called. Her 3 year old black male cat Oscar was not happy. She'd adopted him a year previously and he has never enjoyed indoor cat life. He's very vocal about the whole thing too. He constantly tried to make a break for it when the front door opened etc. So she called me, her cat loving friend in a much quieter neighborhood to see if I would give him a chance at a happier life. How do you say no to a black sable cat named Oscar Peterson???? A couple hours later he was here. Lets just say I do not know HOW they lived with him for a year without giving in. I lasted two days and then he was let out. HE'S LOVING IT. And though he is still vocal, its more of the chatty in a loud voice variety of vocal. He musty have some Siamese or something obnoxious in his ancestry. This annoying feature of being very loud and never content in being inside or outside or the contents of his food dish has lead to his name evolving into Le Mouche!! He is our pesky pest of a fly. But he's very soft, cuddly, playful and lovable. Monsiuer Le Mouche...Mooshie-mu, Mooshoo...he gets it all from us grown ups but the kids are still calling him Oscar so far.

Wonder whats going to happen when the wee'un comes to us!? 3 adult cats and mischievous kitten. Should be interesting!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Spring of Renewal?

It would appear that our winter of discontent has passed,here at Chez Nous. I'm pretty sure my nerves of spaghetti couldn't take much more drama and the like. Things have settled down regarding my parents and things are lookin' good where Hman is concerned.

So good. It brings me so much joy to see him smiling again. He's embracing his new project with so much enthusiasm, its almost like he's been reborn from the ashes. He's been so strong that to have had him brought so low was very difficult to watch, for me and also for those who know and love him. Now, he's full of ideas and plans and optimism and its WONDERFUL.

I think the boys see a difference too. I see a lightness to them as well these days. They are relieved the dark cloud has passed on and that we have decided not to move house. This is a good thing.

Maybe its just the Spring talkin' here. The sun is shining, the lilacs are in full fragrant bloom, flowers abound in the neighborhood. It all conspires to have one feel that life is grand and embraceable again. The old adage that "This Too Must Pass" is true I guess. The sadness and worry of the past 6 months has lifted and exposed our faces to the lightness of Being again.

DAMN, it feels good!!! :oD

To all of our friends and family who listened and sympathised and commiserated and just plain oved us through it all, I want to say that I am extremely grateful for your positive vibes. All of you, even if you don't realise I mean YOU! Yeah, YOU! ;op

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It was worth it

This past weekend I was in Toronto for the Downtown Knit Collective's Knitter's Frolic. Its a wee fair loaded with vendors of yarny goodness and knitting related doo dads and boy was it busy!

Friday morning saw me gently awoken by Veronik's dulcet tones warning me that it was most definitely time to rise and shine. I lurched upstairs and was joyously greeted good morning by the ridiculously good looking and chipper Husband of the House. I was showered and cafeinated and then we loaded the car. During that chore I twisted my ankle which proceded to hurt until I woke Saturday and it didn't. Once loaded up and ready, V and I hit the highway for Toronto.

We met Megan at Lettuce Knit and then headed to the Japanese Cultural Center to set up our booth, #40. This didn't take terribly long and by the time we were done we were ready for a drink and a meal. So, it was off to meet friend's of Veronik's at a pub.

The pub was small but wonderful. EXCELLENT food. I had the Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad and it was delicious. Everything there was good. Such a cozy spot, loved it!

Saturday was the market day of the Frolic and we were on our feet and on our toes! Megan, Veronik, and I manned the booth and we met so many wonderful people!!! Issue two of St-Denis Magazine was met with great enthusiasm as was Veronik's latest book Knitting 24/7 . People were so happy to meet the knit samples from the book and magazines! Usually if they were impressed by the pictures, they were knocked out by the real thing. Megan thinks we did well in our sales but it would have been nice to take home less yarn. For our first time at the Frolic, we did great and have lots of ideas for next years booth set up.

Saturday night it was off to Julia's house for a smoked meat feast. Veronik had brought a glorious Schwartz's brisket with her and while we waited for it to steam, we drank wine and partook of the most yummy cheese, a cave aged gruyere from a local fromagerie that Julia likes. OMG....that cheese must be subtly laced with heroin because we could not leave it alone...sooooo gooood. We had such a fun time!!! Lots of laughs and good chat. My only regret is that I was driving so I had to consume less wine.

Sunday Veronik taught two classes and so was a very busy lady. I took the opportunity to do a wee explore starting with the neighborhood that Lettuce Knit calls home. Then I found a big used book store on Bloor that kept me quite occupied. I returned to the JCC too early so I found a quiet spot and a chair to doze off in untill the workshops were done. Then we gals were off to another friend's house for beer and bbq. YUM. Robin cooks a mean burger.

I was really really touched by how friendly and accepting Veronik's close friends were of an outsider. I never was made to feel like the odd one out, and was very comfortable with both Robin and Julia. It was an excellent trip!!!!!!!!!!

Monday saw us hitting the highway home and though we were later than we'd planned, we got home safe and sound and very very tired. My feet were swollen most of the weekend because of travelling etc and they are still not themselves, but I have to say it was totally worth it!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wow, been awhile

I just haven't had anything to write about, really. I mean, the brain is thinking thoughts but nothing anyone really wants to read. Not that thats why I write in here...this has always been my venting/celebrating space for my own benefit because journaling in a notebook just doesn't do it for me. I have no idea why. I LOVE notebooks and journals. LOVE them. If I was a bazillionaire I would totally open a money losing Journal Store. I mean, it'd have to lose money right? Because all it would sell is Journals. And maybe fancy writing sticks. But thats all. All the fanciest journals and pens in the world that i could find would be on those shelves. And yet, I journal here in the cold and sometimes heartless cyber space. Odd. I thinks its because my handwriting is nasty. Thats it...nasty handwriting that is a shameful example of the WORST penmanship ever seen. Except for my husband's. Oh man...thats some gnarly scribbling. Cannot read it. Its lie trying to read cyrillic. Terrible. I digress...

Ok...so..whats new...I thought I posted here the opther day but it would appear to have disappeared. Very strange.

Bathroom update: still not finished because I am a lazy cow and the Hardware store never has more than one package of epoxy paint at a time and is an hour away. I know...excuses excuses.

Knitting: Kria still not done. See #1 reasoning above. I am however well into the yoke (past second decrease round).

Family etc: Well, its been a crazy time here Chez Nous the last few months. I couldn't really say anything incase unwanted eyes saw it but now I can finally say something. Hman was on leave for stress and has now been offered a severance package. He could have stayed on but with a work environment so toxic and unmanageable, it just was not a good idea for him to go back. So, now he is officially unemployed for the first time in the 19 years we have been together. Oh wait...there was those two down sizings several years ago but he had work within 2 weeks of the first and after the second we went into business for ourselves. You know, I still consider it the first time. This guy has the work ethic of a...hmm...who works hard to the point of workaholicism??? A workhorse? Man, I suck at analogies, but you get my point. A shirker of hard work and challenge the H-man is not. Thats why he's my hero(sometimes)!! But such a strong ethic kept him trying to make a situation work that just couldn't for him, and it wore him out. To go back to the same situation in which nothing had been changed for the better? Well the man ain't stupid either. So, now we have traded one type of worry and stress for another type. Because we just loves us some worry and stress. Thats why we had kids! Feel my fasciciousness. Find me a dictionary! Pretty sure i have a mispelling back there.

Speaking of those two hooligans I call my presciouses,they have a tournament tomorrow all day. Woohoo. They play a "sport" that I just do not understand at all called Kinball. Google it. I can't explain it, but they LOVE this game/sport and have played several after school sessions over the last couple of years, starting with Thing One and now both of them. Each session ends with a tournament and it lasts all day or until your team is out. I hope they have fun.

Sunday I am returning to NS for another stay of trying to help out my parents and give my older sister a break from being the responsible one all the time. Not that it does give her a break, really. She just can't stop being the responsible one! Its a curse. Poor darlin'.

After THAT, its off to the Big Smoke for the Downtown Knit Collective's Knitter's Frolic in downtown Toronto (aka the big smoke, or T.O, or T-dot, or Hell's arsehole...guess it depends upon who you are talking to..). I will be working in the St-Denis Yarns booth (#40 y'all...BUY YARN!!)with my friend and boss Veronik Avery. This takes place May 8th and on May 9th (Mother's day)there are classes and workshops being held. V and I went to Ikea yesterday to find yarn and garment display accoutrements and had such a great time. i love Ikea. I got a great little table for my back step. its to set my laundry basket on so I can hang out my laundry without breaking my back balancing on my step stool and balancing a big basket of clothes on a 1 1/2 inch metal railing. It really is a bad scene, trust. Poor darlin' sister said "About time!!" because she has tried to hang things on my line and feels my pain. Anyways, there is a whole story about how an Ikea worker bee was not going to let me purchase my table without buying the matching chairs...I shit you not! They are sold separately! Yet, she was adamant that due to the day's promotion, that I coulkd not buy my table alone without the chairs(which cost extra and I do not need nor want). Yes, the table was marked down by 10 dollars but she wouldn't even let me take it to the cash register and pay full price! Dudes! This was so weird...and we did not see the "must buy chairs" anywhere on the sign by the pile of boxed tables! The woman all but guarded the boxed table when I gave it up, to make sure I didn't try to sneak it by her. I gave up, and helped V ring her stuff through the self serve cash register and then rang my lonely cupcake motif apron through. Meanwhile, while I tended to my purchase, Miss V, defender of shopper's rights against fascist worker bees, asked politely of another worker bee of why the table could not be sold alone. This lovely lady in charge of the self serve cash registers and helping out the idiots(me) who frig them up was most helpful. The tables and cvhairs are sold separately, so the tables can be bought alone she said. Miss V pressed on, informing her of our ambush by the Yellowshirt (fascist)and attempts to reason with her regarding the table. Our lady maintained that as far as she had ever been informed the tables could be purchased alone and she knew of no such rule that chairs had to be bought too even with that day's promotion. Miss V and I looked at one another...looked around for the Yellowshirt...and ran for the table before she could catch us and bitch us out again. I got my table AND I got it for the sale price of $19.99 plus tax. And its PERFECT!!!!! My table with a tale. Love.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

No good news today

I found out today that my Dad has been moved from the big city hospital to the one in our home town. He'll be in quarantine for awhile to make sure he's not bringing and nasty bugs (flu etc) with him and then as soon as there is a space he'll be on the Geriatrics floor and then its a matter of the doctors determining what facility will best suit his needs from now on. His current diagnosis is Fast Onset Dementia with some Delirium. The delirium may go away in time, which I'd been hoping for, but that was before I knew that the doctors had settled on Dementia at last. Its been such a long wait for...nothing. So many fal;se hopes that this was something that could be treated or that would pass when all along its wasn't and now, my Dad, my smart Dad is destined for a "facility".

I'd told myself he wasn't going home. I tried to prepare my mother that he wasn't. Now that I am faced with the actual news that he not going to go home again, I cannot stop the tears. I guess there is knowing and then there is reality.

I don't like this reality one bit.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

April 2 is a major WTF!

I cannot believe the temperatures from yesterday and today. We are talking majorly warm! T-shirts and shorts warm. Breaking into a sweat warm. Yesterday was a luxurious 24.8 degrees Celcius for a high and today was 23.4 (according to Environment Canada for my area). Awesome. Felt warmer for sure. Its still 23 as we speak!

Its been a crazy mild winter and spring for the Qc. Usually we still have some snow laying around by now but not this year.

Today I puttered a bit in the garden. I don't want to get too into it because I have other things to do and it is a tad early but when the plants are popping up, what can a garden gal do? I planted peas. The worst that can happen is that they rot and I have to buy more seeds but I can live with that. Yesterday I started some seeds indoors: peppers and tomatoes. I think I would have been better off starting the peppers a bit earlier but this time I am NOT planting them out before mid-June at the earliest. Last year taught me a lesson.

I finally have child measurements for that sweater I am making so I can fearlessly tricot away. (tree-ko is French for knit) I coulda been done by now I swear but I am going to do my best to focus on it even though other things are tugging at my attention. Like painting the bathroom FINALLY. Today I washed the walls and ceiling and was all set to prime but then realized that some holes needed filling and my tube of Poly-Filla is all dried up. sigh. Who knows when this burst of productivity will repeat????
Other distractions include the yard work and the Apple Core Blanket with which I am smitten and desire to start knitting pieces of. In fact, I have one "apple core" almost finished but am unsure of how to do a sewn bind off. Google will show me the way. It always does.

We watched Sherlock Holmes last night and may I just say AWESOME. I enjoyed it very much and not just because of a half nekkid Robert Downey, Jr. Mmmmmmrdj.....so cut...so dashing...so scrumptiously decadent in a smallish package (not a large man I think). Le sigh...

That's about it for now. Happy holiday weekend to all.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blogging from HOME

I'm back. It was a long drive yesterday and I actually had to park in a Big Stop parking lot and take a nap for awhile before gassing up again and continuing on my way. It helped A LOT I must say, since I was very noddy headed before the nap and not at all afterward. Even with a nap and locking myself out of my car at a Moncton McDonald's, I made excellent time ( about 13 hours) and was home before the kid's bedtime.

My last visit with Dad was my longest. I wanted to spend extra time with him on my last day. I left while he was napping for a break and returned to him after his supper. We had a nice time. Sometimes he was lucid enough to know what I was talking about or to ask pertinent questions, but most of the time he's in his own version of reality that we think may be based on the thousand's of books he's read over his lifetime. Or his own fantasy. Its hard to say.

I finished my Nutkin socks while away! One is tighter than the other due to my own stress filled knitting hands. Tighter tension. Still wearable though.

I was loving Teri's version of Hermione's Everyday Socks so I casted on in "Sage Heather" On Your Toes fingering. Work is stalled on the Kria sweater because I am waiting for measurements.

Cameron has been highly emotional since I got home. Ben is happy and jolly but Cam has gone from happy to obstinate and weepy. He says he doesn't know why. 11 can be so hard, all the feelings starting to get jumbled etc. I remember having days like that and not being understood or even understanding it myself and having the grown ups get exasperated and yell at me for being a pain in the ass. Such is the life of a pre-teen... I'm trying to be understanding and supportive which is hard when you have someone defying you or telling you to leave them alone. Sometimes alone time is the best. He usually comes back to me cooled off and able to talk/apologize/be held. I think all the feelings that my being away created are all coming out at once and fairly inappropriately. Poor guy.

It was hard being away and out of my own home space, yet I really appreciated my time with my family. I feel closer to Teri since we got some actual TIME together just hanging out. Same with her husband. He's a very nice guy, which I knew, but he can also be quite kind and thoughtful in unexpected ways. The girls were both sweet and sour so I got to see them as they really are rather than always best behaviors, and I love them even more for it. Now I love the REAL girls and not just facades.

Anyway, I am home now with my guys and am glad. Very glad.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blogging from away

Here I am...not at home! I'm sitting in my niece's living room outside Truro, NS and typing on my awesome, new to me lap top. I'm quite happy about my newest acquisition. Its pretty much all I talk about now...how I love my laptop. Freedom and independence from the family 'puter is MINE. I can be out of the basement now!!!!

I have been here in glorious NS since Sunday night. I drove all day to get here and have been trying to divide my time between my mom and my dad, who is still in hospital. There hasn't been any changes in his situation.

Today I was at Mom and Dad's house to try and lend a hand. Its pretty obvious (and has been for a long time) that my mom has almost given up on the housework thing. Its nasty. My dad did the vacuuming so its now a big deal if it gets done. They have THREE crappy vacuum cleaners. None of them do much of a job I'll and are fine if one has bare floors but as for rugs they are almost useless. I got to try all of them today. I also tried to do some wall washing but that's a job for a team. The little wall I did do needed 4 changes of bucket water. That's how nicotiney the walls are in this house, and that's not even the worst wall! Its that gross. I gave up on the hall because after 4-5 buckets for the smallest part, I was not up to scrubbing and changing bucket water 20 more times. I went at the pantry cabinets instead. There too I only managed a fair job because there is so much stuff in the way. It really needs to be emptied of the clutter and scrubbed, then all of the clutter scrubbed before its put back.
I also cooked two sets of meals..both with ground beef because that's all she thawed out and it was a big package. I did a pasta dish and a stew. They are packed in single serving containers and put into the freezer. I went through the fridge and OMGs!!!!! There were jars condiments and stuff in there that expired up to 7 years ago. I almost passed out. None of it was stuff my mom ate and lots were still sealed but STILL! Jeebus!!!I did a lot of throwing out.
As I was doing all of this my Mom occasionally got in my way, escaped outdoors where she industriously picked up sticks and cleared dead flower plants out of some spots, had lunch very slowly as she looked at the paper, and got cranky. I guess if someone comes in and messes with all your stuff and gags a lot at the state of things, one does tend to get a bit snippy. Or maybe that's because I suggested that after her lunch she might like to give the bathroom bit of Lysol wipes attention.
Then she was exhausted and had a wee dizzy spell. Interesting. My patience and back wore out so I returned to my base in Teri's house to do my laundry and go out for ice cream with the family.
Tomorrow I will visit with my dad and when he falls asleep, go visit my dear friend Karen.
KNITTING: The Nutkin socks are DONE. Unfortunately my stress during the knitting of the second sock caused a tighter tension and my second sock is smaller.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where did the time go???



This is NOT my picture of KRIA but one from the internet and is almost identical to the pattern book's version of what I am currently working on, and is here for reference to what I say about it and the changes I am making in my version.
Wowsers! Its been forever and now that I am here I only have a few minutes.

The trip to NS did take place and was pretty ok. Of course most of our outdoor plans got washed away in rain and wind, so no beach walking or things of that nature. I DID finally get to visit with my friend Terri-Lynn and her family. It was a major highlight of the trip, actually. Its been such a long time since we saw one another face to face! I have to say that for us, the spark was still there. You know how you lose touch and then don't have anything in common anymore? NOT SO HERE! It was pretty much non stop blah blah blah and laughter and fun the whole time for us grown ups. The boys came out of their shells pretty late into the visit, right before we were to leave. I am so in love with T and T's house! Spacious and open and BRIGHT. Love it to pieces and can see myself in something just like it. I love my own house for sure but this place was really cozy, comfy, well lit from lots and lots of windows. Very very nice.

We also got to spend time with our friends Barb and Mike and their family over a nice lunch and some shopping. I have been able to hook up with Barb on most visits home but I still miss her lots and lots so this was an especially nice time. One of these days I will get to see their new home as well! Its only been two years they've been in it!

While we were in NS my dad took a turn for the worse and has been in the hospital ever since undergoing tests and minor treatments for dehydration and infection while they try to figure out whats going on with him. First the idea was Hepatic Encephalopathy, but his mental state has not improved since the duct blockage between his gall bladder and liver was cleared. So, its not that. New theories are a brain fever, a thyroid issue, or variant Creutzveldt-Jakob disease. He was meant to have an EEG (?) early this week so maybe we will know more soon.

They day we left for NS I got a very nice phone call offering me a 7 day work contract with a nice pay cheque. Today is my last day of the contract. It was mentioned yesterday that they may want me to come back for another 3 day contract next week, but that its still uncertain. I should know tomorrow sometime. This has led me to think that I might be able to have a home based business doing what I have been doing for the last 7 work days....writing text content for an English language website. My friend who hired me thinks there is plenty of work out there for someone writing for companies that can't afford to have an in-house person and so contract out the work. The Hman and I are turning the idea over in our collective brains and if I have to work next week, then I will definitely be in the market for a new to me lap top to work from instead of the family computer thats slowing down so desperately and needs upgrading. A lap top means I can take my work with me! I was using company computers for this contract and let me just say...an Anglo writing English on FRENCH computers is very inefficient, prone to typos and mistakes thanks to the wonky French keyboard and programming.....And possibly in tears of frustration.

KNITTING! Well, the Olympic Mittens did not infact cross the finish line. Mitten one did get switched to Magic Loop technique and did go smoother, but just did not get finished. My second Nutkin sock has been on hold until last night because I couldn't remember how I turned the 1st one's heel. No said heel is turned and the gusset stitches ready for pick up! YAY! In the days of it's hiatus I casted on and have made great progress in a sweater for a little girl of my sister's acquaintence and I am loving the simple stockinette in teh round. The pattern I'm using is Kria, pattern #8 from the Lopi 28 pattern book by Istex. The yarn however is NOT Lett-Lopi, but Briggs and Little's Tuffy in 3 colours: Rosewood, ecru, and oatmeal. The main colour is the rosewood...a heathered rose colour...and the colour work patterning is subtle with the ecru and oatmeal. It makes for a less bold effect that the black and white called for in the patterns charts. The steek is marked by two purl stitches up the front of the sweater and I think thst pretty brilliant. I'm adding length to both the body and the sleeves because I want the sweater to last longer than one season, and at its bigger gauge than that in the pattern, it should be about a size 5. I'm also planning to add a hood. Its gonna be haaaaaawseooomme!!!!
Ok...gotta get ready for work. See ya!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New beginnings etc

Tomorrow marks a big step in our family. Tomorrow is exciting to me. Tomorrow we have an appointment to register our first born at secondary school. I am torn between being thrilled and wanting to puke. Can I get a hollah from the other mommies out there?

Ben (AKA Thing 1) is in 6th grade. This is his final year of Pramary school. Its the end of an era for him and us parents. We decided that he should continue his education in his first language so we are switching from French education to English. Why? Well, whilst he is brilliant with math, language is NOT his forte so much and we though that given some of his issues, we would try to level his playing field. He reads English as well as or perhaps better than he reads in French, so he won't be held back due to poor reading skills but his spelling and grammar might suck pretty bad. Apparently thats ok though because so many of the students come from Francophone families so he won't be the worst. Without the struggle of doing everything in a second language, he may even begin to excel and maybe some of his issues will be less intense. Being a teen is hard enough without having the struggle of language. He has a solid French foundation now that will be an asset in life. We are satisfied.

However....he's just a little guy! He's young for his age and small for it too! Its so scary for me to look at sending him off into a world of bigger people!!!! I know I know...he'll be fine...everything will work out...but for me its still scary as shit. Luckily the woman I spoke to totally gets that. She's probably heard it from every parent and maybe experienced it herself. I still wanna throw up though.


Now for the part I am actually quite happy about. Thanks to my sucky French skills I haven't been able to volunteer or be involved in the boys school and very little help in the homework department. Now? I am so looking forward to becoming more involved!!! I can volunteer. I can take part in the Parents organization (I forget what its called here...not PTA but its the same idea). Once Cameron is going there too (we convinced him it would be great thanks to their Focused program in Visual Arts) it will be even better! Maybe I could start an extra curricular knitting club if there isn't already one, or volunteer with it if there IS one already? Hman was intrigued by the fact that there WAS a Golf club/team but due to lack of volunteer coach this year there isn't. If its just a case of being a volunteer and not a teacher, he may consider volunteering as well! Lets face it...I'm also pretty stoked about being able to read notices from school without having someone translate or needing a dictionary, to be able to more or less comprehend the Report Cards (even though they are pretty weird now and even Hman doesn't quite get what they mean...so much for OUR higher edumacations), the chance to be the involved parents we wanted to be and were more so back in NS...this is a happy thing. And a scary thing. A new beginning for the family in a way.

Ravelympics knitting: I suck. SO SLOW. Very little progress made on my St-Denis Arctic Mittens . The charts are fine...the yarn is wonderful...I'm just very slow when it comes to busy colour work with DPNS rather than a circular needle like on a sweater or hat. I am going to try switching to the Magic Loop method for small circumference knitting in the round and see if that clears my path a little and speeds my progress. I only have 12 more days! ( I think?)

NOTE: If you go to the St-Denis link and decide to print the charts, note that the thumb charts have not yet been released and that the thumb placement on the palms is hard to spot .

Next week Things 1 and 2 have their "spring" break! YAY! No alarm clocks! We will be spending 6 nights in salty Scotia and are very happy about it. We will get to see some family and hopefully some friends and maybe walk on a beach in the cold and bracing briney breeze. A change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered after the last couple of months we've put in.

A trip to FRENCHY'S is also in my future I foresee! I miss Frenchy's sooo much! I got my most favourite pair of jeans there (Old Navy low waisted boot cut with lycra) about 6 years ago and those babies are still being worn. Not bad for about $4!!! At the rate Thing 2 has been out growing things we like to stock up on some larger sized clothes for him to grow into. Maybe I'll find something for myself for a change too? Hard to say. My sizes are hard to come by there.

I'm dying to see friends we didn't get to hook up with last trip. This one will be much less a whirlwind since there isn't a business trip thrown into the mix. 4 more sleeps to Friday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have not polititians feelin' spendy

http://thechronicleherald.ca/News
I had a good sanctimonious post about this but my computer ate it.
Aren't you glad?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Knittings





Jim posted a question in the comments about thrummed mittens. He's a non-knitter (aka muggle) and does not know what a "thrum' is. To him I offer this 'splanation.

In knitting, a "thrum" is a bit of unspun wool roving that is knit with a stitch in a piece of knitting, usually mittens or slippers. The stitch with the thrum is repeated at a regular interval and causes a pleasing dotted appearance on the right side (outer side) of the knitting. The ends are inside the garment and create a warm insulative layer that is wonderfully soft and cozy. That layer is why the mittens or slippers (or any other thrummed garment) is over sized. Its a much needed bit of cozy up here in Canada, land of igloos and polar bears if you go north far enough. The technique is thought to have originated in Newfoundland but some theorise that it is a northern European invention that made its way to Nfld with settlers and traders etc. Whoever is responsible, us chilly willies say "THANK YOU!" for the cute and cozy Thrummed garment. Mmmmm thrummy goodness.

Thanks goes out to my family for sharing their plague cooties. What would I do without a lovely sinus cold to make me so snottilicious? Such generosity deserves reward...possibly a pillow over your sweet sleeping faces some night when I have regained strength. UGH...I am dosing with Cold F/X and Sinutab since the symptoms hinted at their existance this morning. I "heart" drugs. I am not the type to whine about a virus and yet do nothing to fight it. I WILL take vitamins and remedies and sleep as much as possible and as a result sometimes I am well again the very next day. Not a fan of needless suffering. Nope not a bit. Why yes I did have an epidural during child birth, thanks for asking, and if I coulda been, I'd have been unconscious. Miracle of birth my ass. Ok....maybe I would not have been comatose for that...hindsight is iffy on the subject.

Lookit! I made pictures! The pretty coloured one is my darling sister Jessie's scarf that seemed to go on forever and ever and ever. I don't like making scarves and have no idea what possessed me to make this one but its beautiful and soft and cozy and she deserves every delicious stitch of that 50/50 silk and wool blend. The colours will go with any sweater or coat and will look stunning against her olive skin.

The grey sock is my first of a pair of Nutkin socks. I love this pattern. Its easy and pretty and I only changed one thing...the heel. I did a regular ol' slip stitch heel flap and turned heel rather thna the pattern's short row heel. I just LIKE the regular ol' heel bestest. Aren't they awesome? Yarn is Cestari 100% wool sport/sock on 2.75 or 3 mm needles. I'm pretty sure they are 2.75s. I started these waaaaay back in November so its hard to remember.

That is all!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thrummed Mittens


(my Dad's thrummed mittens are the blue and white spotted ones...Xmas gift 2008)
Thrummed mittens are some of the warmest hand gear out there. They are oversized due to the wool roving inside and some people don't like how they look as a result. If you have problems with cold hands, these could be a solution.
They are kind of fun to knit, especially in public. Folk freak out when they see them! (This can be a little scary too if they are blah blahing loudly in a language you don't always understand and come up fast and loud from behind you, startling you in a coffee shop.....just so's you know)
People think its hard to make thrummed mittens but it really is NOT. They are dead easy to knit for any knitter. Its just a matter of learning a wee technique and making a lot of thrums before starting so that they are ready. However, they can be a bit tedious because they do go slower than just knitting up plain mittens. The finished product is worth it, though.

Alison's Thrummed Mitten Pattern
(written for woman's medium)

You will need a 100 gram (4 oz) skein of worsted weight yarn, 50 to 60 grams (2 plus oz)of wool roving, and appropriately sized DPNs(or circulars for magic loopers). I used Briggs and Little Heritage yarn and 4 mm dpn needles.

Cast on 36, 1x1 rib for 18 rows, increase to 45, knit two more rows to the first thrummed row.

I go every 3 stitches, ie: thrum, 2, 3, thrum , 2, 3.. for a row. The next thrummed row is done like this: 1, thrum, 3..1, thrum, 3.. so that the thrums are offset. There are 3 knit rows between my thrum rows (thrum row, knit the thrums through the back loop row, knit row, knit row.. and repeat).
Continue to thumb placement (use EZ's thumb trick). Place the thumb in row 3 of your thrumming sequence and it will not disrupt your patterning. Continue for the rest of the hand. I used 11 stitches with the waste yarn.

When you are a scant inch or a pinch less from the finished length you need and are just before your last planned thrummed row: In the row before the thrummed row (row 4 of the thrumming sequence) decrease by K1, K2tog. Thrum the next row as scheduled and all the thrums will fit in pattern perfectly . Knit next row tbl as usual. The next TWO rows are decreased by K2tog all around. This leaves you with 8 stitches to finish off by running the working yarn through them and cinching off. I was very pleased with the shape and the fact that my thrums stayed in pattern. If desired you could have placed 3 thrums in the second to last row for denser tip thrummings.

Take out thumb placement yarn and pick up the thumb stitches, plus one at each end to make 24 thumb stitches. Knit one row and commence thrumming sequence until almost to the right length. In row 3 of your final thrum sequence K2tog around, row 4(final row) K all, break yarn and finish.

This is for a women's medium width. To up size or down size, increase or decrease your stitch count by 3's.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Absentee-ism...


Sorry if I have mispelled the title of todays post. I don't have a dictionary on hand and am too lazy/don't care enough to look it up online. For that I do apologise.

It was pointed out to me last night by someone very dear and darling to me, that I have been lax in the blooging department. For this also, I apologise.

Sometimes life doesn't send happy cheery blog fodder a person's way and I don't want to waste anyone's time in posting a downer. At the same time, though, a blog is a journal where I should be able to post whatever the fuck I want. What are your thoughts?

So, where to start? There is a bit of crap happening on this end that I am not at liberty to share with the internet-verse but I can say that its making life a bit of a pain in the ass these days. To put it mildly. I keep telling myself to relax, breathe, things could be worse and then guess what!? THEY GET WORSE!!!! There is a lot of deep breathing going on here, let me tell you. And teeth grinding. My jaws have been aching.

This week chez nous, we had the car break down again. I had escaped the house to take part in a knit night in NDG when it happened so I ended up having to go back home. Last time repairs cost almost 2000 dollars. That was just back in December. This weeks bill of repairs is less than half that, so I guess its a small blessing. Something to do with a misbehaving engine cylinder. We hope it will done today.

Today we had a lovely phone call from Thing Two's teacher. It would appear that he has been lying and sneaking about homework and things needing signatures. Also, doing very little in his classwork. Troubling and called for an immediate intervention so we walked to the school and hauled him out of class to A) find out where he'd hidden his back pack and B) confront him with the issue. It would seem he's been keeping a lot of feelings and worries and fears under wraps too and they all came spilling out once the dam of tears broke. Things are being dealt with but the added stress is not welcome.

My Dad's health continues to be of concern. Apparently something showed up in his blood tests that warrants an ultra sound on his internal organs. My mother was very vague on that part. She'd rather discuss the neighbors and other various and sundry topics in GREAT DETAIL AND LENGTH than something thats actually important. I'm trying to be patient until I know whats what but its very frustrating.

I think thats it for the crap that I CAN discuss.

KNitting: I finished the charcoal and pink thrummed mittens that I was making for my hairdresser Nancy. She's a great person and I appreciate her skils very much. I go months between cuts but when I need the bangs trimmed, she never charges me for it. Sometimes she even takes it upon herself to style my hair at those bang trimmings to give me a boost and we chat about our families, weight, blah blah blah. She'd admired Ben's thrummed mittens last year and I promised her a pair eventually. She loves them.
Work contuinues on my sister's scarf but the last few days have not been productive knittingwise. I have about 1/2 a skein left to go and I want it done next week so I gotta get crackin'. Still don't have a Ravelympics project but have options. Did I mention that I have taught Hman to knit? He picked it up really really fast! Its a great way to clear the mind of things that are stressing you out or worrying you, if you can force yourself to sit down and do it. I don't foresee him becoming an adept but he at least is giving it a try from a therapeutic point of view. :o)

Reading: I have gone back once again to George R.R. Martin's series A Song Of Ice And Fire. I re-read A Game Of Thrones again last week and am on to a book two A Clash Of Kings. This is a really good series of Fantasy fiction and is as yet unfinished. Book 5 is breathlessly awaited for a few years now. Thats the great thing about Martin's writings....they are NOT rushed and thus crappy installations to cash in on a theme. This tale is convoluted, loaded with major and minor characters and takes a lot of time to tell. Book 4 A Feast For Crows was disappointing in that it covered only half of the story at that point in time...the other half is coming in book 5...there is JUST SO MUCH! So while it seemed like the story did NOT progress, it kind of did. Its hard to be patient but this series was started several years ago (I first read it in the mid to late nineties and book four only came out in 2006 or 2007). If you like murder and mayhem, intrigue and mystery, betrayals and plot twists....you might enjoy A Song Of Ice And Fire.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Workin' and stuff


Grrrrr...I'm a scareh monstah!!!!
Photo taken by Cameron Autumn 2008 in the Laurentians while we were on a walk. He was trying to get a blurry effect and had me shaking my head and jumping around. Guess what? Didn't work so you can now see me in all my goofy monstery-ness!!


I mentioned awhile back that I had fallen into a new job opportunity but I didn't give much in specifics. I think I didn't want to Jinx it...LOL

I am currently a sales rep for St-Denis Yarns, a small and brand new yarn company created by Veronik Avery. If you are a non-knitter then you won't understand how awesome that is. If you are an up to date knitter who understands the WOW that is Veronik's design talent, then you will feel my bliss.

So, now you can see why I blog and knit so much less...I'm on the phone!!! LOL Thanks to that, I need to call Valerie, my wunder-chiropractor, and get a left shoulder tune up ASAP. I'm kinked but not in a fun way if you catch my drift. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...

Winter here Chez Nous has not been so bad of late. Yes the ground is still white but the last week or so has been pretty mild and seen some melting, flurries, and even a bit of drizzle. Sorta like being back home but without the mud.

Since the fall, my mother's health has much improved but my poor ol' Da is experiencing some elderly issues that have us concerned. This is life with older parents, I guess. I am hoping to get a trip home sometime sooner than later to visit the folks back home. Its been since November and the visit with Mom and Da was very very brief.

Anyways, thats what I have been up to! I hope this winter season is treating you all well and you have your warm woolies keeping you comfy. If not, go buy some St-Denis "Nordique" and get some warm woolies made!!! ;oP

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I need a LIST

Its January here Chez Nous. I know its January EVERYWHERE but when I bring it up like this I mean its SAD/depression escalation time for me. this week I had the joy to experience this AND the PMS so, you know, it was touch and go there as to who would die. Luckily we all survived relatively unscathed (I credit yarn, crappy novels, and Glee...and maybe some sugar).

So, as I said, its January at my house and I think I might survive the winter better if I made myself a LIST. Oh yes...nothing says you have been navel gazin' too long like a LIST!

Being an animal of short attention span and forgetfulness, I both bore easily and forget those highly entertaining ideas of stuff to do that I come up with almost constantly. there fore, I just this minute came up with the idea of making a LIST while the idea is fresh in my mind (aka before I forget). Also, too much choice often paralyzes me into doing nothing other than taking a nap and hoping I will wake up with a direction. Thus a LIST! I don't have to do it in order and all my ideas/choices of things to make and do are there for reference. Nikol Lohr made herself a list but this is not a copy cat activity. For reals! I was actually over on my Friend Sarah's blog and saw her 2009 finished projects round up and saw a couple of things that made me go Hmmmm and then I thought "...HEY! I have a lot of things that make me go Hmmm...I should write them down. Like a LIST!" See? Inspiration is everywhere.

I forsee this LIST being the impetus behind smaller, qualifying lists-of-no-capitalization. Like the item regarding choosing a Ravelympics Project. This is the current bane of my decision making existance.

LIST 2010

1) Rag Dolls

2)circular needle holder that hangs for a clothes hanger.

3) Cat mittens

4)Ben's sweater

5)Robin's Egg hat

6)pick a Ravelry Olympics Project

7)make a list for #6

8)make thrummed mittens for Cameron

9) Bunny Hop Slippers

10) Make a duct Tape dress/torso form

11) make those stitch markers for Ginette

12) French Press Slippers

13) Unoriginal Hat

14) EZ's Green Sweater

15) something for Itzel's baby before it gets here.

16) knit top with sewn skirt dress for a little girl

17) that sweater for Baby Viola

18)fix Jessie's Colinette socks that she gave me in 2008 to repair

19)paint bathroom

20) paint hallway

21) paint other bathroom

22) replace laundry room flooring

23)retry Pretty Thing Cowl

24)hook a rug

25)locker hook a rug

26)Finish my Nutkin socks

27) make myself a sweater

28)camisole/tank top

29)Quo Vadis mittens

30) finish Mitred Mittens that I found stuffed in a drawer and then give to Tara because of her teensy hands


More as ideas come if I remember to write them down...

Friday, January 15, 2010

PP#3





My friend Janet made me these uber cute wrist bands for my birthday. Look at that beading???!!!! Thats attention to detail, my friends. I am so blessed to have made amazingly talented friends here in the QC.
The hat is my latest finished object, and I am hugely proud of it. This is H-man's very warm,lined, earflap tuque. After its Soak in the sink, it blocked out nicely on my styrofoam head form. It fits H-Man and he has declared it awesome and plans to wear it with pride on the slopes ASAP.
Yarns: Noro Kureyon makes the multicoloured background, Warani is the beige patterning, and Mission Falls DK is the soft, smooth lining.
Pattern: Its based on the Circus Loop Hat pattern by Luckyfind on Ravelry (free!!!) with some tweeking of the cast on number to accomodate both earflaps and a knit-in lining.
Knitting this hat reminded me of how much I enjoy the quick gratification of knitting hats and I forsee more in my knit future. Maybe not as involved as this one though.

Photo post #2: Christmas Tree (aka Bob)





What's a photo post without a gratuitous cat picture? They were not terribly impressed with furniture reaaranging and wreaked havoc on the porcelaine village. :oD