Night Mantra

I have fallen into a blog slump without my digital camera. Lots happening here, but not a heck of a lot of knitting. Maybe a part of me doesn't want to finish anything without being able to take a picture, but I don't think that's it. I've just been busy with busy-ness.

I found a pair of wool trousers to wear with a pretty sweater for last Saturday's wedding, and I ended up going with my parents, AND my dad danced! My sister ended up dateless as well because her husband also had to work. I secretly love hanging with my mum and dad and my sister - it takes me back to when it REALLY was just the four of us against the world all the time. No kids and no husbands - it's a rare occurrence that must be cherished. My sister and I giggled like schoolgirls the entire night. My favourite part was when we walked up to the DJ to request the Cha Cha Slide, and he asked us if we were seriously going to dance to it, and neither of us could lie to save our lives, so we just stood there and looked blank. He crumpled up our little piece of paper and threw it over his shoulder and said, "That's what I thought. Come back when you've had a few drinks." To which we slumped away embarassed. I just wanted to see who would dance and if they could do it. I don't dance sober, and I can't do the Cha Cha Slide - I missed the kindergarten class where they taught left and right. Everytime the DJ played a song and nobody danced, I yelled out "Whoever requested this mother-flippin' song better get up and dance!!" The music was loud, so I don't think anyone heard me. I also chugged back my water every time the DJ looked over (pretending it was vodka on the rocks), but it was to no avail. My sister got me really excited when JT came on, but I knew it wasn't the Cha Cha Slide even if I did start clapping.

The freakiest thing was when I pointed out this dude, and she nodded and agreed that he looked a lot taller on facebook. I didn't even say anything, and neither of us knew this guy from a hole in the wall. I was going to say the exact same thing - word for word!! That's insane. We laughed about that too. The dude was insanely short, and he looked gigantic in his facebook album. Let that be a lesson to you - don't share your photos with your network 'cause if me and my sister are in your network, we're looking at you right now and judging your height!

What else? Hmm. Sunday, the girls and I went to the Family Fun Event fundraiser for the non-profit agency for which I work. I think we ended up raising about $11,000. That's a tidy sum! And Monday I went to the dentist and had more glorious work done on my teeth, and this time I got to watch Seinfeld episodes on her new video glasses! I was in a fit of giggles at the same time I was getting a pretty filling. It was the one where Jerry declares that he hates anyone who ever had a pony, and Manya gets so upsets she dies the next day. I can't wait to go back next week for another appointment. Oh dear, it was hilarious!

Today I met with B's kindergarten teacher to make an action plan. We've both been concerned that she's not quite where she needs to be to prepare her for Grade 1. So we came up with a couple of pages of activities we can do at home. I am pretty happy about this because I really want to help her with her numeracy and literacy skills, but I had been a little unsure about how to go about it. Now we have some fairly easy and fun strategies that should ease her a little better into next year. For instance, we're going to start printing a little journal about B's day. I will ask her what her favourite part of the day was, and I will print it out, and she will copy it. After a few weeks, we'll have a nice little bedtime story going. Then I will make up some word cards, and she can try to find them in the other stories we read. I think we will also have special letter days where I will hide a letter under her pillow, and when she wakes up and finds it, it will be the letter of the day, and our activities may start with that letter, we could hunt for that letter, and eat foods starting with that letter. The possibilities are endless. As I said, I have a couple pages filled with ideas like these.

Anyone doing anything special for Leap Day? A couple of my silly co-workers have planned a night of family games to celebrate, so the four of us will head down to the centre to play. If it's anything like the other events they've planned before, we are in for a good deal of FUN.

This weekend is quite bare of plans so hopefully I can do some spring cleaning around the house as we seem to have accumulated a massive amount of crap over the winter. In some areas, all that is left is a pathway. The mess is making my head pound just thinking about it. Some of you may be asking yourself why I just don't turn off the computer and go clean it. Good question. I don't know. That seems like a weekend job. I also plan to go knitting at the Market on Sunday afternoon. It's been nearly three weeks, and I am starting to show symptoms of withdrawal like I can't remember how to purl and stuff like that. I admit that it has been a very long time since the knitting has been picked up. And when I say a long time, I mean a couple of very long days. My sister was telling strangers that I knit on the toilet - hey, my hands are free! Or maybe she said while driving . . .

Well, I must take off now to empty the dishwasher and load up the washer with laundry because the piles of clothes and dishes are starting to block my way to the bathroom, and when is a girl supposed to knit?


"Bye-bye Black-ee" Or "Ode to My First Car"

Mondays are not our favourite days. Especially when you hear from your insurance company and their settlement for your much loved little car is not what you were hoping. Is it childish to love a car so much?

I got my 1996 Acura Integra while I was in teacher's college and my dad thought I would need the wheels to get to the schools where I would be teaching. Now, I was always a public transit kind of person, living in metro Vancouver with buses and sky trains but my dad insisted and I returned home from classes one day and there she was sitting in the driveway. Shiney and sweet, not to mention fully loaded, she became my second home and accomodated my growing load of books and teacherly things.

When I moved out to London a few years later, I packed her up with all of my belongings and sent her across the country on a train. Somewhat spoiled from living in the temperate climates of the west coast, she had no problems adjusting to the harsh winters of Southwestern Ontario. And she did it without complaining, unlike myself.

Then a year and a half ago, when the hubby and I moved to Minnesota she was again packed up and away we went. T even learned how to drive in her at the ripe age of 28.

Before the accident she was still in great condition with a few more years ahead of her, even being twelve years old. T tells me that she went out like a champ and that we should remember her in her glory days, zipping around Vancouver, with the windows rolled down on our way to Grand Bend, and getting us across the boarder to Winnipeg (long story). So I'll wipe away my tears and thank Black-ee for keeping me safe during the accident and through all of these years and know that she had served us well. We love you Black-ee .


Wedding Bells Indeed

I wish I had some knitting or crafting to report and I also wish that I had some sort of picture to post. As it goes, I am pooped and Sunday is quickly coming to an end and the list of things to do remains incomplete. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. But we had great weather this weekend, T and I think that we found our wedding reception venue, and I've got an apple crisp cooling on the stove. Could be worse.

We spent Saturday looking at two possible wedding venues. The first one is the Shriner's mansion here in Minneapolis. I thought it was intriguing because it's an old heritage building with a lovely staircase and 1930's architecture. It turned out to be not exactly what we were expecting or wanting. A little on the tired side, the banquet rooms were not even housed in the mansion but in a separate building. I could certainly picture the Shriners members having their bingo night there, let's just say. So as much as we wanted to support a good cause, the mansion just was not what we wanted.

So after a quick brunch at the Egg & I, we headed downtown to the Crowne Plaza. The hotel had three rooms that we could use. One was a nice bar area where guests could get a drink and mingle before dinner. Then the next room is the actual dinner area that was the perfect size for our small wedding. Intimate with nice modern amenities and decor. Then the other room is the fireside lounge where the dancing will be held. Both T and I were quite pleased with what they offered and the staff seemed very cooperative and flexible. I'm very tempted to just go for it since we both like it so much. I think we may look at a few more places but this is definitely a contender.

Then we spent the rest of Saturday looking at cars but I wont go into that right now. We hear from the insurance company tomorrow and I may or may not write a seething post about our insurance company. Cross fingers!

I hope the wedding that you attended was lovely. Let me know if the bride and groom did anything fun that I could copy! Bye for now!


Wedding Bells

I'm not sure how it got by me, but I have a wedding to attend tomorrow night, and I haven't a stitch to wear, my hair is here, there and everywhere, and at this point, it's gonna have to be cash in a card. Sweet.

The camera is definitely busted, so it will be some time before I can throw up some pics. Perhaps it's time to go through the archives and search out some gems. I looked up my receipt from the camera, and we only bought it 13 months ago. Ugh.

In other news, I have finished watching the first 12 episodes of Freaks and Geeks, and B's new favourite song is Joan Jett's Bad Reputation. You should see her shake and dance to this. What 5-year old loves Joan Jett? That kid is gonna be a real punk like her sister! I guess I was never meant to have sweet, sugary, little princess-like daughters. My mum probably thinks I have it coming to me, but I swear to Todd, I was a pretty boring kid. I was the Freak and the Geek. Or the Geeky Freak, or the Freaky Geek. Ask anyone.

I still have Jules et Jim hanging around, and I have a pot of chocolate coffee brewing, so I think I will lay back and get back to my SWS clapotis. Oh crap! The laundry - I nearly forgot. Must do that too. Maybe there's something in there I could wear . . .


The Visit to the Ketchup Lady

Woo-hoo! I'm happy to be back home. A good time was had with Julia - not entirely as planned, but well worth the trip. Baby Nathan is now a walker and still a big sweetie. We only watched one movie - the only one without subtitles. Who were we kidding? We can't knit and read at the same time. And sewing wasn't in the cards - the machine was being a bit of a bugger. We did start some clapotis' however - Julia picked a pretty 'putty'-coloured bamboo yarn, and I had brought my Patons SWS in the Geranium colourway. I have just started dropping stitches, and I immediately regretted not reading the Ravelry notes on other SWS claps! They stick. They stick real bad. This may be a real money-maker for the eldest - she can drop the stitches while watching TV and charge me a bundle, and to be honest, it will be worth every cent.

Julia dragged me to Newmarket's local yarn store Unwind, or maybe I dragged her. Either way, it was absolutely amazing. All of their Handmaiden and Fleece Artist was 25% off, so I picked up a Fleece Artist sock kit and some Handmaiden Mini Maiden. I also bought two skeins of Cascade 220 for 70% off, and three skeins of some Fat Ruth wool from Uruguay for dirt cheap. Never heard of that last one, but it was dirt cheap, and I was game. I swear to Todd, I was on the highest of highs coming out of that store. As Kat would say, "It was purely yarn sex."

We got stuck babysitting her niece and nephew for the day, so what do you think we did? We taught them to knit. Check out this masterpiece! It's a manly boy collar thing. Not bad for an 8-year old (and me). It was totally off the cuff. Get it?

The little girls didn't get the hang of it as well, but they certainly liked playing with the needles.
I did break the camera while away, so photos are courtesy of my partner in crime. And in more recent news, I have a new addiction - I managed to get the first 12 episodes on DVD from the library, and I have 7 more to watch before tomorrow when they are due with no chance of a hold. Arghgh. I need to mention that each episode is an hour long? I need to get going because I have a long night ahead.
PS - A shout out to our friends Rae and Katherine who gave us You Make My Day Awards. I'm blushing so much that my face is on fire. You guys are cool. Ditto that. The random golf shirt and golf balls I won yesterday don't even come close to this highly esteemed honour. T and I will get right on spreading the love as soon as we can agree on just 10. I don't think there's a real rule that it has to be 10, but we'll research that while we're at it. B just told me she's 'meltin' like a popsicle!' - I hope it's not my face. Seriously . . .

Sunday Night

Dear N,

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend in New Market. Hope you did lots of crafting, saw lots of foreign films, ate junky things, and talked and talked and talked. Also hope that you are now safe at home and warm in your bed. It's Monday again tomorrow.

I just wanted to let all of our London readers know that our heart throb, Hawksely Workman, is coming to your fair city on March 3. He will again do two shows, an early one and a late one. If only I were there, we could go again. Remember waiting with our Tim Horton's coffees to get into Aeolian Hall and then being so tired the next morning at work? Oh but being in the second row and hearing that incredible voice was so worth it. You must go N, you must! Thanks for the video link by the way. The 80's cheese is fantastic.

No crafting this weekend although after I post I am going to cast on for one of the Mother Bear bears from Knitting for Peace. I have to stop crying when I read that book.

Before I go I just wanted to share a picture of the cake that T got me for my birthday. I thought you'd get a good kick out of it. G'night!

Road Trip

Unfortunately I won't be up at the Market this Sunday knitting with my posse because the girls and I are going on a road trip to another market - Newmarket! Ladies, if you're out there reading, remember to pester the Tea Haus staff in my absence. Em and I tried the "But you let us take our tea to the end of the balcony last time!" in an annoying whine, and it worked last week. I'm just saying, that's all. I have some great shots of Dora the Explorer and the Town Crier, too, if anyone wants me to share. This is my knitting and my much-too-far-away tea.

I've made some slow progress - I now have one baby orange Koigu sock and one adult-sized Charade sock. I love how both turned out despite the square and snippy toe of the Charade. I purposely did not take a picture of the Charade that showcased the dang toe. It's rather embarassing as Isa tried to tell me that I was leaving too many stitches to graft, and I stubbornly refused to listen to reason because I would not stray from how the pattern read. It screams square toe. Isa tried to console me by saying that some people have square toes, but I don't think they're anything like this! That Isa is a true friend.

Well, I'm off to pack. I picked up some awesome movies from the library, and I am so stoked to sit down and watch them! We're going to stay up late watching foreign films, eat cinnamon buns and chocolate by the bowlful, knit and sew as if we were really crafty, go thrifting and antiquing, and just laugh like it's 1992! I am looking forward to the skinny latte with which I plan to treat myself tomorrow morning as we head out onto the highway.

And T, one last birthday treat for you - check out this new video from our dear sweet Hawksley. It's cheesy, but in all the right ways.


Diamonds in the Rough

Dearest N,

First of all, thank you a million times over, for the birthday books. How inspiring they both are. As I read through Knitting for Peace I nearly wept and immediately wanted to knit for all of those preemies, children of war and victims of domestic violence. I could also use some of the patterns from Bend the Rules Sewing for charity, and of course, for myself. The sweet, pleated tote bag is calling my name and I know my nieces would love the puppet theatre.
The delicious birthday books

But alas I must wait just a little bit longer before I can delve into any new projects as I must deal with some pressing matters. On the night of my birthday I was hit by another car making a left hand turn and found myself beneath the airbags, scrambling to get out of the car. Airbag smoke is toxic and does not smell very good. Anyway, no one was injured but for any one who has been in a car accident, it does shake you up. I am now dealing with insurance companies and tracking down police reports. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my birthday but lucky for me, there were no injuries and I have a wonderful husband who did manage to make it a happy birthday. I had asked for a bag of flour for part of my birthday gift, because I'm practical and also because I like to have flour around all the time for my baking. I got my bag of flour and inside it was hiding a most lovely diamond pendant necklace (inside of a box of course). Do I have a romantic husband or what? He wanted to make my first birthday as a wife a very special one. Swoon.

So, I am very thankful that although I was in a car accident on my birthday, I have the best husband ever and THE BEST blog buddy this side of the Mississippi (or any river for that matter).

Thanks for the birthday blog post. Unicorns are real!

The Good Life

I finally have proof that knitting will indeed be the end of me.

Last night I sat down to dinner all by myself, and I grabbed Barbara Walkers Knitting Treasury to read while I ate. I was completely engrossed with the lace patterns and while eating the first half of my second piece of breaded chicken, I found that I could no longer chew it. I looked down, and the chicken was completely RAW!!

I started gagging and choking and coughing, so I ran to the toilet bowl and heaved and heaved while tears streaked down my face. I was hysterical! I’d like to point out that as this was going on, El continued to do her homework sitting across from me, and B was in the next room watching a cartoon. This makes me think that they think I am such a freak that it is not alarming when I run around the house screaming that I am going to die. Although I tried my best to bring it all up, nothing worked. I, then , calmly walked back to the kitchen, grabbed a couple of bowls and spoons, scooped out mountains of vanilla ice cream and cut up the rest of the chocolate fudge cake, and sat down with the girls to eat dessert. I figured if I had to blow chunks sooner or later, it might as well be sweet.

It’s now been nearly 18 hours, and although I have been stalking the toilet bowl around the clock, I have yet to chuff. I googled salmonella this morning, and I still have plenty of time to fall ill. Until then, I must be calm and carry on as per the dish towel. I may need some Advil soon as my throat has become very sore from all the gagging. Oh dear lord, why me????

I did manage to finish knitting the first Charade sock, and I am in love with it, so I can’t possibly be that sick. It fits beautifully with the exception of a very square toe. I also broke the first rule of grafting – no interruptions! I’m not sure why I thought it would be a swell idea to teach a sock newbie how to graft the toe of her first sock while simultaneously grafting my own. That being said, I did succeed in grafting my toe but with ne’er a nerve in tact.


A Delicious Bass

For your birthday, T, please accept my birthday wishes and some fascinating tidbits regarding the mystical unicorn.
What is a Unicorn?

The unicorn is a legendary creature like a horse, but with a slender, usually spiral, horn growing out of its forehead. The popular image of the unicorn is that of a white horse differing only in the horn.

In medieval lore, the spiraled horn of the unicorns was called the alicorn, and was thought to neutralize poisons. In popular mythology, unicorns were hunted for their horns, which were said to protect one against diseases, or, if made into a cup, would protect one from any poison that might have been added to one's drink. This belief is derived from Ctesias' reports on the unicorn in India, where it was used by the rulers of that place for anti-toxin purposes so as to avoid assassination.

People sold what they purported to be unicorn horns at this time, but were actually selling narwhal horns (narwhals are whales with large, horn-like tusks that swim in cold water.)
Traditionally, the unicorn had a billy-goat beard, a lion's tail, and cloven hoofs. Ironically, this perception was more realistic, as only cloven-hoofed animals have horns. Unicorns were once thought of as nasty, easily provoked creatures, unlike the gentle perception we have of them today. They were thought to have deep, bellowing voices. As Ctesias, the ancient Greek physician, said:

"The unicorn was native to India, the size of a donkey, with a burgundy head and white body; it had blue eyes, a single horn that was bright red at the top, black in the middle, and white at the bottom; the horn was also eighteen inches long."

Julius Caesar also described the unicorn, saying, "It had a deer's head, elephant's feet, a three-foot long horn, and a boar's tail." It was not until the middle ages that the unicorn began to take on its present form.

A widespread legend is that, when Noah gathered two of every kind of animal, he neglected to gather the unicorns, which is why they do not exist today.

The quilin, a creature in Chinese myth, is sometimes called "the Chinese unicorn," but is not directly related to the Western unicorn. The quilin has the body of a deer, the lead of a lion, green scales and a long froth-covered horn. In Japanese, the word kirin (written with the same Chinese ideograms) is used to designate both the giraffe and the mythical creature. Although the Japanese kirin is based on Chinese myth, it more closely resembles the Western Unicorn than does the Chinese quilin.
And no birthday is complete without a cheesy poem befitting of the birthday unicorn.

I Believe in Unicorns

Magical Creature - serving light,
Untamed Power - Graceful Might.
Symbol of Love, Truth and Purity,
Majestic, Proud, Wild and Free.

Stronger than a raging river,
More graceful than the seas.
Swifter than the fleeting winds,
You shall live forever.

No saddle would you ever accept,
No bridle could sustain you.
'Tis the Unicorn destined to roam,
No rein can ever tether.

And yet, the frailest ribbon,
Tied by the virgin hand,
Captures you with bonds of Love,
That you shall ne'er escape.

I listen with my Heart,
To hear you when you call.
'Tis the voice of the Unicorn,
It teaches - Love is all.

Happy Birthday, T!

You‘re like a unicorn. I can’t see you, but I know you’re there somewhere, destined to roam and more graceful than whatever is thought to be graceful. My mind has gone blank, so feel free to fill in the voids. This morning I listened to Neil Young’s Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World. Those are definitely words by which to live. That last sentence is awkward, but it was the only way to do it without ending it with a ghastly prep. You know how much I hate to end my sentences with prepositions!! Eek!


At Least the Mosquitoes Aren't Bad

Dear N,

It's cold. It's really cold. Luckily I finished this neck warmer over the weekend and although I'd much rather stay inside, I cannot. At least I have this to cozy myself into when I have to brave the below zero temperatures.Pattern: Tudora from Knitty's winter 2007 issue
Yarn: Cascade 220 100% wool in a pinky/purple colour
Started: February 4, 2008
Finished: February 10, 2008

On Sunday as T and I rushed to get into church from the bitter cold, a seemingly cranky, elderly man stopped in front of us, turned around and said, "At least the mosquitoes aren't bad." Oh those Minnesotans crack me up.

Sunday's Agenda

Woodland Shawl - coming along nicely if I do say so myself. See the needles? What the heck was I thinking???
Listening and giggling softly to this while I knit in the living room. Seems odd to me that everyone is retreating to the basement.
Watering the tulips from J's dad - he plants them and gives them to the girls so they can watch them grow each year. I think it's sweet.
Plodding through this children's book. The projects are really pretty, but my crochet hook is so small - most of the patterns call for bulky wool which isn't conducive to a 3.25 mm crochet hook. Will continue to gaze adoringly at pictures instead.
Planning to curl up with this movie later this evening. When I say later, I mean like 6 -ish. I have been a wee bit in love with Dave Foley since Kids in the Hall. When I was in highschool, my bestest friend and I watched and recorded every single episode, and she could act out every single skit word for word. My contribution was to laugh hysterically, and encourage her to continue. Even now, over a decade later, I beg her to recite the monologues she remembers. I am told that The Wrong Guy is hilarious and not to be missed. Well how could it not be?

And as it is Sunday, I will be heading up to the Market this afternoon to chill with my knitting peeps in the balcony and sip on some fantastic tea! Only wish you could be here, T!


Good Will Hunting

No one around here wanted to do anything today, so I left them all to loaf, and I drove to my local Goodwill store to thrift away the afternoon. There's nothing like the thrill of a good find! It was packed! I lost out on a cart, so I looked in the bag section for something to carry all my goods. I lucked out and found a big Disney Princess knapsack which turned out to be gold because the zipper in B's knapsack had busted just before Christmas, and I can't begin to tell you hard it is to find a knapsack during the school year! I filled the knapsack with 9 balls of green Canadiana Chunky and 1 ball of blue Lopi - each ball was 79 cents each!! I browsed for 2 and a half hours. I nearly jumped for joy when I spotted a book with ZIMMERMAN on the spine, but it turned out to be an Adam, not our beloved Elizabeth. It's unbelievable the amount of handknit sweaters on the racks. There was the cutest little Baby Surprise Jacket, but it was knit in very bright acrylics, so I did not pick it up, but I stood there for a long time soaking in the clever construction. I tried on the most beautiful heathered green-y, cable-y turtleneck sweater, and it was FITTED, but I noticed a small ravelling spot, and I was too chicken to take it home and repair the darn hole. I have to confess -all the handknits lovingly stitched and cast off to the Goodwill made me a little sad.

I came home and unloaded my treasures; then I finished this quick, simple baby-sized boat-neck sweater. I knit the pieces over the span of two afternoons! Now to seam it. Do I block the pieces first? I want to do it right.

Pattern: Boat Neck Sweater from Debbie Bliss's Baby Knits for Beginners
Size: 3 to 6 months
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers 100% wool, Lavendar - just a tad over 1 skein
Started: February 7, 2008
Finished: February 10, 2008 (still need to seam - does it count?)
Made For: Heck, I don't know. It was an impulse knit. I was also avoiding my sock.

I am now 3 inches into my Woodland Shawl, and it occurred to me that it would be much more enjoyable if my needles weren't the same colour as my mother-flippin' wool. I can't see my stitches!! I then peeked into my jar of needles, and I was elated when I found 2 more sets of needles in the same size. However, upon closer inspection, the other 2 sets appeared a tad bigger. Weird. So I pulled out my needle thingee with all the holes and tested all 3 sets. It seems that the blue Susan Bates aluminum 4 mm needles are really 3.75 mm needles, and the other two are truly 4 mm. That sucks. I assumed that because the needles said 4 mm, they would be 4 mm. Arghh!!

And we survived a gaggle of 12-year olds on Friday night. I think everyone had a good time. I missed the opening of presents as I was out picking up loot for the loot bags - a prime example of how organized I really am. It looks like J had everything under control as shown below.

Happy Weekend, everybody!


Year of the Rat

Today is the Lunar New Year and 2008 is the year of the rat. So if you were born on the year of the rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008), you are most likely to be: very charming, you enjoy social activities and because you're always meeting new people, you aren’t good at breaking off relationships however, and this presents problems going forward with new relationships. Born under this sign, you should be happy in sales or as a writer, critic, or publicist.
So to all you Rats out there, enjoy your year and be prosperous!

Eating: yummy New Years treats

Pepto Sock Parade

Yoo-hoo!! Soak up these slouchy socks! Her feet are still growing so I have every confidence that they will fit a bit better one day.

And feast your eyes on half a sleeve for my Drops cardigan. The RYC Soft Tweed is so light and soft as dryer lint.

El is now 12 years old. She is the mother-flippin'est coolest kid. We don't always get along, but that's because we're the same. The kid is brilliant and cracks the most sarcastic quips. She is serious about everything and does not suffer fools. I LOVE her sense of humour. She loves her little sister in a non-mushy way, and I envy B this - being the oldest in my own family, I always wanted a cool older sibling. Today at school, a couple of older boys walked up to B in the kindergarten yard and asked if she knew El, and they were absolutely in awe that this little purple marshmallow was related to the elusive El.

Anyway, I am one year away from being the mother of a full-fledged teenager. Everyone keeps telling me I am in deep doo-doo. Yeah, I know. This ball of sunshine is all mine!!


Building on your Strengths

We survived having the family all over for El’s birthday on Saturday, and the house looks fantastically tidy and clean which thrills me to no end. She got the second and third books that follow Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before, but the kid is very morbid and loves scary books and shows. If I catch a glimpse of a commercial for an upcoming horror flick, I have nightmares for weeks, yet she is fascinated by ghost stories and thrillers. I admit I read all the V.C. Andrews’ books too, but in high school – I am pretty certain that I was not in Grade 6! And there’s something different about reading it as opposed to watching it because a couple of months ago, I was flicking through the channels late at night, and Flowers in the Attic was on, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it, and now I am thinking that it was the eery music. Yeah, that’s what it was.

I had a lovely afternoon at the Covent Garden Market on Sunday, and I enjoyed my stroll home in the sunshine along the Thames. It couldn’t have been more perfect. The caramel apple cider was delicious, and my Charade sock is coming along nicely even though I whined horribly that it seemed to be taking ages. It would help if I stopped petting it after each row and swooning how much I love it. Yes, yes, get on with it!

And last night I dropped in at the Wortley Roadhouse for knitting and the smell of beer. I can’t hold my alcohol the same as before I had children, and I won’t be building up my tolerance on a weeknight. Even typing this statement makes me giggle – I sound so old and frumpy sometimes; however, I will secretly envied all those who handled a glass of wine or beer with class. I used to get very outraged when I was pregnant and people would offer J an alcoholic drink and he would refuse. “For god’s sake, man, have one for me!!” Overall, it was a very big, loud and uber-cool group of knitters. I felt very inferior surrounded by the talent around that table. My plan was to stay quiet and not say anything stupid. I barely managed that.

Big news! B ate a few bites of my tuna noodle casserole last week. As usual I placed a big ol’ dish of plain buttered noodles in front of her, and she inhaled it, but then she turned to my bowl of noodles covered in tuna and peas and chips. I think it was the chips she was after, but then she had some tuna noodles, and then she ate all my peas. Holy canoodle. It suddenly hit me that one day she may eat coloured foods!

And in other news, I may have rallied up a little parenting preteens support network at noon hour with a few of my co-workers. The story sharing gets a bit more frightening than any V.C. Andrews epic. What would Barbara do?


Woodland Scarf

Happy weekend! Well, my first week back to work is over and I'm proud to say that I've survived. It was actually nice to be back although I kick myself for coming back at such a busy time. If I had only waited one more week I could've gotten out of writing those dreaded year end and quarter end reports. Next time.

The agenda for today consists of laundry (lots of laundry), tidying the house, cleaning the bathroom, knitting, and if there's time, baking peanut butter cookies. Over the week I didn't have much time to knit much of the Woodland but here it is, about eleven inches in.
I probably shouldn't have used a somewhat slubby yarn as it doesn't show off the pattern as well but I still like it and I still enjoy knitting the pattern. Hope your shawl version is coming along too.

Someone should probably grab me by the knitting needles and stop me before I cast on for yet another project but I really, really, really want to make one of these beauties. It's been bitterly cold here and I could sure use something pretty like this to keep me warm on those early mornings when it's minus 30 fahrenheit. I've got some left over Cascade 220 in raspberry that would be oh so lovely for this. Something tells me that it's going to happen regardless of the baby blankets that need finishing and starting and the skirt that lays untouched again for another week.

I hope that you are having a great weekend. You are such a terrific and crafty mom, I can only aspire to be as good as you.