Sifting Cat Pans

Congratulations, T!!! You know that I am elated that the two of you finally tied the knot. I am just as depressed that I missed it. There's always next time, and in your case it happens to be true. If I don't make it next summer, you have my permission to demote me to a person you happen to know. And while you were being pronounced man and wife, our goodest friend in North Carolina was busy going into labour. Woo hoo! Welcome, Baby Mia! You are every bit as beautiful as your mum and dad.
It's time for a wrap update:

And a close up:

I am not thrilled with how this is turning out. It is looking like a bad 70's couch, but I am going to stick with it. I decided to use the yarns in a particular order rather than just randomly switching each row. I also think I am going to run out of a few colours, so it serves me right. I don't do anything in my life to a set pattern. I am not a 123, 123, 123 gal - more like a 231, 312, 132, 213 . . . kind of gal. I do like the softness of the wool, alpaca, cashmerino, and ribbon. And I love me a drapey, drape, drape, wrap!

Bon soir, mes amis.


Going to the Court House...

Dear N,

I'm a Mrs.! And it's all over! T and I have been exhausted but the flowers have wilted, the licenses have been signed and the cake crumbs swept up. We are official and I wish you were there to share our day.

I don't have any pictures to post yet since I didn't really take any pictures except for the day after of my bouquet, which I got at the grocery store, by the way, and I absolutely loved it.I added the pearls to a bunch of white flowers, chopped off the bottom and tied ribbon around it. I was so pleased.

Our "honeymoon" consisted of one night at a ritzy hotel that probably had the most comfortable bed that I've ever slept in and the best room service breakfast I've ever eaten in my life. I could have wallowed in my bananas foster waffles and T's egg's benny forever. Yum!As soon as my new father in law emails me the pictures, I'll post them. Until then, here is the before and after of my dining room chair re-upholstery. I know, not the wedding pictures that you were expecting, but don't they look so much better?

Hope you and the girls are having a wonderful vacation together. You are such a great mom and I know they'll have lots of fun with you.


Holy Vacation, Batman!

It's official, T, you're a bona fide wife, and I am on vacation! This morning the girls and I went to the market, to a store-wide yarn sale, and antiquing in the country, and we were home by about 1 p.m. Not bad, eh? I got them packed, and my parents came to pick them up for what is to be B's first sleepover. They're going to the beach for dinner, and I must wait until J is finished work, and I think we will try an authentic Chinese restaurant down the street. Mmmm.

I went on to the Ravelry site to see where I was in line, and apparently my invite got sent out in June, and my mail spammer thingamajig blocked it. Oh well, at least I checked, and they sent out another invite to get blocked again! Then I added the email address to my safe list, and it arrived on my third attempt. I feel myself getting smarter! I'm on, but now I need to join Flickr and upload my pics which would be fine if I remembered my yahoo ID and password from my Freecycle days. When I finally remembered my ID, yahoo sent me a password reminder email, but guess what??? My email spammer thingamajig blocked it. I haven't the patience to go back ten more steps to go forward one, so I will try again tomorrow.

I bought some Lana Grossa sock yarn in indigo for my first real pair of socks, and I found a easy lacy pattern, and I got started, and about 8 rows in, I went to the washroom, and B pulled out one of the dpns with plans to orchestrate her band of stuffed animals. Fantastic. I am in a rut of tearing out projects. Maybe karma is telling me to seam up the sides of THE VEST.

How did the wedding go?


Peaches, Plums and Pears

We bought a load of fruit on the weekend, and the girls and I have been eating a tonne, and it’s only Tuesday, and it’s nearly gone! I love the summer and the little market stalls on the side of the road. If I have an addiction besides wool, it would be fresh fruit. At this very moment, my desk is adorned with a peach, a nectarine, a grapefruit, a banana, a plum, some black cherries, a hill of raspberries, and five strawberries. I just ate the banana. I think I will save the plum for when we pick up B from daycare this afternoon – she is a new fan of plums. I nearly fell out of my chair. I’d like to be able to say that we haven’t been sitting on the crapper all day, but that would be a lie. What can I say? Fruit is excellent for cleansing the system.

Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, I am officially on vacation. Yippee! I was thinking of taking the girls on some little road trips. I need to get out my map of Ontario and plan some excursions. I think the beach would be fun, or maybe some shopping in Port Huron or a day at IKEA. The girls love picnics, and I could hunt up some neat trails; however I am a freak about getting lost. Did I ever tell you the time that I got the fam lost on some trails in the middle of London?? J got a DVD player after that flop – like I owed him one. We also learned that E will only pee in a toilet even if there is no one around for miles, and J has no problem peeing on every tree in sight. I am going to ask the girls what they want to do during the week and see where that goes. Of course, I want to knit and sew and thrift, but perhaps I can do that each evening. Oh, and I can make dinners from all the Countessa cookbooks I borrowed from the library. Doesn’t it all sound so lovely??

I think I may give up on the second pair of handwarmers – the pattern is written horrendously. I have concluded that it is the pattern, not me. It seems reasonable to assume that considering how many times I have started knitting the dang things.

I made a small batch of guacamole last night and rather than add lemon juice and minced garlic, I used some Lemon-Garlic dressing that I bought from Remark, and it saved some time. J didn’t like it though and left it sitting there. But if it is easier, and I don’t think it tastes bad, shouldn’t he just like it for my sake?

Did you see Simple Sparrow’s towel beach blanket? I want to make one – it’s so pretty and useful! One or two of these would be perfect if I take the girls to the beach next week, don’t you think? If you have any ideas for amusing two girls sharing a wide age span, please share. I know that the week will fill up with dreadful things if I don’t plan this properly. I could also get the girls all ready for school, and spiff up the house from top to bottom. There’s so much to do, and only a week to do it.


Rock the Casbah

Dear T.

It's your last week of unweddedness. I expect pictures of you and T and the civil ceremony. Keep the Augusts clicking.

Our weekend was filled with fresh produce, lots of family, one empty church nursery and silent cheers, very little knitting, and frantic reading. This is a third of what I have out at the library right now. The last Harry Potter is mine, and Drowning Ruth is borrowed. I've asked this before, and I will ask it again - Why do all of my holds arrive at the same time???

I did finish the hand/wrist warmers, and I used the timer so that I could take this picture. How nifty is that?

My arms are so freaking white. You would think that I have been holed up in the basement or something. I get out, people. I just happen to slather on a lot of SPF 60. Yes, they actually have SPF 60. I was oddly excited about this. I now have several bottles and tubes of it.

That's it for me. I have a busy week ahead not planning a wedding or anything, but more of the same. Knit Club, dinner guests and parking lot aerobics. Yippee.


We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Dearest N,

Not to worry, I am keeping my head above water, which was almost impossible to do yesterday with our 1.5 inches of rain in 30 minutes. Of course I was stuck driving in this awful electrical storm yesterday, as I always seem to be during storms, and had to pull over on the side of the road because I literally could not see two feet in front of me. I was forced to continue driving because I realized that I was on a tree lined parkway and I could see branches falling out of the trees. I told myself that I was not going to die today and I was not going to die under a fallen tree! Have you ever seen rain fall sideways before? Well, neither had I until yesterday. Then the hail started. I don't really know how large they were because as soon as they hit the car they shattered into bits like glass. It was so scary N, I had to tell myself not to start crying because that would make it even harder to see. I finally arrived home, took my shoes off and made a mad dash for the house. Two minutes later the sun was shining. I am telling myself that this storm was a microcosm/foreshadow of my current life because in the end, the sun will shine.

Updates on the felted clogs and my "Backroom Overhaul" still to come!


What’s up, T? You are worrying me. Are you not blogging because you have nothing nice to say? When I was in my early teens, my dad told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say to my sister, I shouldn’t say anything at all. I didn’t talk to her for years. It’s funny the things that stick with you. (Nicole, if you are reading this, I may not be talking to you on a regular basis, but I believe it’s because we’re both insanely busy raising families, and it’s not because I have nothing nice to say. Honest. I can think of loads of nice things to say to you!)

Poor E called last night, and she is having a fantastic time, but she admitted that being the freak she is, she kind of misses us. I think she got a lump in her throat when I put J on the phone. We told her we could come pick her up anytime, but I honestly don’t think she will take us up on the offer. She is only a 20-minute drive away for goodness’ sake. I am slightly glad she didn’t say yes, because that would have added another half an hour at least to my drive to work this morning! That’s how self-centred I am.

I wonder if Costco will have the newest Harry Potter this weekend. Hmm.

Newsflash – I am now certified in First Aid & CPR. I am on a constant lookout for people falling over or clutching their necks, but so far, no chokers or strokers.

I took a bag full of my unfinished knitted items to Knit Club this week, and I weaved the ends in on like 5 projects. Isn’t that awesome? I am nearly finished my hand/wrist warmers, and then I need to seam the underarms of the vest. Then I can begin a new project. I have Alterknits on loan from the library, and there is a pattern for wristlets made from Manos del Uruguay, and we all know how I love me some Manos. And London Yarns just got in a million more colours of Manos!! It’s a dream come true. I wish you could see the wall of Manos – I think you would appreciate it as much as I do.

I should also learn to knit socks. One of my Knit Club friends is knitting socks at the moment, and I have been bugging her to explain the pattern stitch by stitch. I can do it. I can do it.

I don’t know if I told you, but the library finally finagled a copy of Last Minute Fabric Gifts (on my recommendation), and I have it in my hands!! I have everything I need to make a baby crib quilt, but I have changed my mind about the colours, so it looks like another trip to the fabric store. I have whites and pinks, but I believe that yellows and oranges are in order. Did you see Ezra’s Quilt? I could do that. I also need the special quilt foot thingamajig for the sewing machine. I am NOT quilting it by hand. Uh, no.

That’s what’s up with me at the moment. One child, knitting odds and ends, dreaming of Manos del Uruguay, crib quilts on the brain, and the last Harry Potter. My shoes smell like popcorn – and it’s not a good popcorn smell. Happy Wednesday, T.


The Vest a.k.a. The Pale Periwinkle Pest

Hello T.

The vest is nearly finished. The ribbing around the neck and arms is finished. I only need to seam up the sides. And weave in all the ends (there’s about a million – am I the only person who dreams about tying knots and cutting the yarn with my scissors??). And then block the dang thing. What I find funny about this whole first knitted garment situation is that in the end it probably won’t fit me. I think if I found a pattern with not so much finishing, I would be more content. I know there’s a gazillion patterns out there for seamless sweaters – I just need to find one that I would wear. Soon. I am going stir crazy. I want to knit, but I need to finish at least one project! My knitting basket is brimming over with ends that need weaving, pieces that need seaming, and half knitted objects. Ugh.

E is off at a friend’s house until Saturday. It’s going to be weird not having her around. She’s always quiet, so it won’t be quieter, and she’s never underfoot as she is always hiding in her room with a book or loafing on a couch on a phone, or typing away on the computer. Let’s face it, we never see her or hear her anyway. This weekend was the only time the kid has been home for two days straight since school was let out. One day she came home to shower, and she was back out the door in two seconds. I was trying to think of something special to do while she was away to surprise her when she returns, and I came up with painting her room, but we have to wait until the roof and her bedroom window are replaced. I could clean her room – but somehow that seems so unfair to me. I could put in some organizers in her closet. We could switch the girls rooms and paint her new room. However, before I go too far, I should really look at my planner. I have aerobics two of the nights, work every day and B at childcare four of the days, J is at work four of the days, knit club is tonight, and the only free night (Friday) I am meeting friends for coffee and desserts downtown. Plus I have a dentist appointment on Wednesday, and although the world does not stop for dental work, I plan to take it easy – call it a gift to myself for being such a champ. It seriously hurts thinking this much. Know what I mean? It’s a real wonder that I get out the door most mornings. All I do is think.

I was reminded of your issues this morning, and I reminded myself that I am lucky that I have friends with whom I can knit and enjoy coffee and desserts. I am lucky that I have a roof to repair and walls to paint. I am lucky that B has fantastic child care which is SO hard to find these days. I am lucky that our jobs come with dental benefits. I am lucky that I have two legs to stand on and kick and do fancy aerobic moves. I am lucky to have a brain to think.

Hey! You wanna know something else? Tabouli is really filling. I am really full. And tabouli is a really cool word. Tabouli. Tabouli. Tabouli. Grilled Chicken. Pita. Mmmm.

And that light fixture? Throw some crazy crocs on it. Now THAT would look fugly!


Shelterrific to the Rescue!

Dear N,

Check out my light bulb question answered over at Shelterrific. I will definitely check out some of the suggestions.

Hope you're having a nice, lazy Sunday!


In the Fading Light of this Coming Night


Can another weekend be coming to another end? So soon? I shall not dread Monday as I do each Sunday night, but rather look forward to next Friday night when this weekend bliss will again begin.

I have pictures for you, T. Remember those hand/wristwarmers that I was hankering to knit? I have only ripped it out entirely once, and ripped out several rows during the second attempt. I am in love with the diagonal ribbing - I feel a whole baby blanket of diagonal rows coming on. It would be so lovely! Wouldn't you agree?

And check out the vintage doll I picked up yardsalin' on Saturday morning? Isn't it worthy of a horror flick? B loves her, but I am tempted to stow the doll away in the closet while we are sleeping lest we have nightmares.

I have made a fresh batch of guacamole, and J and I are going to settle ourselves in front of the tube for a new episode of Flight of the Conchords. I completely agree that kiwis with guitars are SOOO dreamy!


Sunday Supper

Dear N,

Another weekend has gone by and boy was it a hot one! All we could really do was sit in our air conditioned living room and read books. It was seriously too hot to do anything, including cooking so we came up with recipe. It's our take on a bean salad and we all know how much you like a bean salad!

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 tomoto, seeded and chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
2 ears of corn or 1 cup of frozen or canned corn
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp cumin powder
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

I prefer my fresh corn lightly steamed before I cut it off the cob. I think it makes the corn taste sweeter that way. Then throw everything into a bowl, toss and serve with tortilla chips. Yum!

Hope you had a good weekend. Can't wait to see your yard sale items!

Happy Saturday

Good day T,

I have left you little gift at the bottom of our blog. Scroll down for a visual and audio treat. I went yardsaling this morning bright and early, and I need to go take some pictures, so take your time and check it out.


Simple Gifts


I woke up at 5:30 this morning to the sound of the cat chasing a mouse. It’s been a while since we had a mouse in the house. I didn’t think Tig Tig had it in her to chase yet another. I didn’t get up because she was having fun, and I started to drift back to sleep. This was interrupted by the cat jumping on the end of my bed. Now I know a few things. One – the cat takes hours to kill the mouse. Two – It had only been about ten minutes. Three – that cat would not rest until the mouse was dead. This meant that there was a very good chance that Tig had brought her catch to me. I bolted outright, and that was when Tig dropped the mouse out of her mouth, and the mouse belly flopped onto my white duvet. I tried pleading with the cat to take the unmoving mouse away, but she just stared at me. I started to hiss, but this also garnered no response. I started to panic, and I lifted up the duvet like when you play the parachute games, but this only frightened the mouse who decided to scramble up the duvet towards me. I am fairly certain that I screamed, but no one woke up to help – this figures.

So I flew the duvet higher and higher until both the cat and mouse flew off. That was the first time. The second time, the mouse was a little more dead. I decided to get up and sit in the living room until I knew the mouse was completely dead. Then, I went back to my bed, and I read until my alarm went off at 7 a.m. By then the cat had hidden the corpse, and I was even more anxious because who wants to step on a cute little dead mouse?

I know there are a bunch of animal rights activists out there that would think that I am a horrible person for not helping the mouse, and oddly enough, I read the Good Samaritans Act yesterday word for word. How could I just stand by and watch the wee rodent die? I’ll tell you why. The cat is an official resident, and the mouse is – was – trespassing. If you do the crime, you do the time – in this case, eternally.

I think of the mouse as I sit here at work, and it has occurred to me that I didn’t tell anyone this morning (everyone was still sleeping as I crept out the door). There is a good chance that someone else may stumble across Tig’s gift before I get home tonight for dinner. Oh well. Serves them right for sleeping through all of it, and I should mention that I was not in the least quiet during the mouse’n’cat brouhaha.

Check out my Grandpa and his wife. Aren’t they the cutest?? I could scoop them up and eat them with chocolate sauce and whipped topping! Back off – git yer own.


A Little Italian

Dear N,

I am in love. I am in love with an Italian. Everymorning I cannot wait to wake up to him. He is handsome and strong and ever so dependable. And he knows how I like it.
He is my coffee maker. T actually bought it for me and I've been hooked ever since. If you like a stronger cup of coffee, this makes the perfect amount of espresso and with a little cream and sugar it's the perfect size for a quick morning jolt.

Happy 4th of July!

Parking Lot Aerobics

Dear T.

When does it ever slow down around here? My planner just never stops filling itself up. It’s the planner, not me. I even try to squirrel it away in the bottom my bookbag, but it keeps gushing out like a zit gone wild. Did you ever see the episode of Family Guy where the son is talking his zit? I can’t remember the zit’s name. I should call J on the cell and ask him. He is a fantastic fountain of useless information. It’s useless in the sense that he will not save lives spouting his wisdom. Know what I mean? However, in this case, picking his brain would be handy and make me laugh. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, my planner.

It was Doug! The zit’s name was Doug. I didn’t even dial J’s number. I remembered it all on my own. But still, I might call him because he is the only one who would truly appreciate this moment of extreme clarity. Back to the planner.

B has senior kindergarten on days 1, 3, and 5 next year. That means every week will be different, and PA days will bump the days the following week. This 6-day cycle of craziness added to J’s never-ending random schedule equals one fried brain. There will definitely be people left waiting in the cold for rides home come fall. If I can remember where everyone is every single day next year, I will be worthy of a medal. Whatever happened to Monday to Friday? I am slowly inputting all the different timetables into my planner, and I think this job calls for a multitude of different coloured highlighters. Yes. That’s what is needed. I can do this.

Are you sure you need to add beaded jewellery to your crafty repertoire? When do you draw the line? I admit it looked fairly simple, but imagine all the new ‘notions’ and accessories you will need to buy. Lord knows I don’t need another tool. And I admit that I spent about half an hour planning my first furoshiki bag - I probably misspelled that.

Looking at my planner, I have an hour of knit club and an hour of parking lot aerobics, and I must make sure J gets to work by 7 p.m. No sweat!


Madeleines! and a Bunch of Links

Dear N,

Suddenly I am struck with a Proustian desire to make and consume the apparently lovely little French cake that is the madeleine. I say apparently because I've never eaten one before. Is that weird? Has all of the world experienced these delicate treats except for me? I figure that it is about time that I crawl out of my cave and try them. I am hoping that my local Williams Sonoma will be open this July 4th so I can buy myself a pan and make myself some rather unpatriotic little cakes. I also plan on reading Remembrance of Things Past while they are baking and be sure to have some tea on hand. I got this whole idea after reading this article from NPR.

I went to JoAnn Fabrics over the weeked to get some stuff to make my neices some dress-up clothes and as usual, came out with more than I needed. I got some pretty green glass beads to make these earrings that I saw on Crafy Ginger. So cute! Here is a picture of hers.

I also saw this furoshiki bag from Swiss Miss via Not Martha. I think a pattern for it would be easy to draft up and sew. It would make a super cute lunch bag/place mat. Oooooh and in linen!

Also obsessing about these flying lanterns from Oh Happy Day. I was considering buying a few to let off after our civil ceremony wedding but I'm not sure if I'll be violating some fire by-laws or some sort. So pretty though!

Well, I hope that you had a nice Canada Day and day off today. I thought of my fellow countrymen and women yesterday as T played God Save the Queen on the Casio.