Friday, December 05, 2008

It's December

First, kudos to the Yarn Harlot for explaining what's going on in Canadian politics, because without newspapers, news not working on my work computer, and no real radio news, I've been completely baffled, but without much time to search out the news stories to inform myself. Now I know at least a bit, and can form my own opinion on the matter.

It's December and I'm working on Christmas cards, the Christmas letter, the donation to the Christmas silent auction, Christmas presents... Maybe it's Christmas soon? I am also on my twelfth day straight of working, and I'm tired. I would hope this weekend would be restful, but we have Mike's company Christmas party, the Jingle On Parade with the greyhounds, the bathrooms need cleaning, laundry needs to get done, and I really want to finish with the Christmas shopping and cards beyond waiting for the mailman to bring the online ordered stuff. But maybe I can sleep in one day...

Gosh, that's whiny. I don't mean for it to be, but I'm tired...

I got Priest two new toys for Christmas, one of which has replaceable squeakers. Do you think he'll like it?

Mike and I are going away overnight next Saturday, and Priest is going for a sleepover with his Aunt Sue and her three greyhounds (plus a foster). I'm sure he'll do fine, but I feel a little like a parent leaving her baby with a babysitter for the first time. I'll have to resist the urge to call Sue on Saturday night and see how he's doing. Does that make me silly?

It snowed here yesterday, but now it's plus 3 and everything is melting. It was all nice and light and fluffy snow, but now it's thick and wet and slick. It's December! As much as I'm enjoying the not-minus-30, this is just too weird...

And so ends today's randomness.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Soft and furry

My sleeve apparently tasted lovely, because this young alpaca couldn't stop nibbling on it! And on my bag, the bottom of my jacket, and I'm sure he would have nibble on my hair too, if he was tall enough! Thanks to Liz for taking the picture and letting me borrow it!

So that was Sunday. A nice drive out to the country, visiting with alpacas, petting them when they got close enough because they were sooooo soft, fondling the yarn, succumbing to a little bit of temptation, and making a few other stops on the way back home for other Christmas presents. I've made a good start on Christmas shopping, which is good because I'm running out of time. I know it maybe doesn't seem like it, since there's still quite a few days before Christmas, but when you actually count the calendar, it's... five weeks today to Christmas Eve. I have to get started on the cards SOON!

I'll be in Calgary Thursday through Sunday next week, tied to the Talisman Centre from 7 am to who knows when (5 or 6 I'm guessing). Come and visit!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She got the shawl

:D I feel all warm and wonderful. This is why I love giving gifts.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A word to the wise

Take my advice. No matter how tired you are, how absent-minded you are, how stupid you might be, or how frustrated you are with your oven that won't cook completely thawed chicken breasts at 350 in 50 minutes, always remember to put the oven mitts back on your hands before you try to put the casserole dish back in the oven! ALWAYS!

So, since I won't be knitting for a while, let me show you a picture of something I did knit.

This is the Luna Moth Shawl, done in Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino in colourway Royal Blue. It's just over one skein, and it is gorgeous. It is also on its way to its intended recipient, and she should get it today or tomorrow, since it's a local address. It's so beautiful. I love it. And I have quite a bit of the yarn left over! Small shawl for myself? Lace scarf? Hmm...

Must stop typing now. Too many blisters, and the anaesthetic spray is almost worn off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Welcome to the end of October

The leaves and needles in the back yard and driveway will probably take a dozen bags to haul to the curb, and there's definitely a chill in the air on the morning walks, so I think we can officially say that Fall Has Arrived. With fall comes a variety of things, things that I have been derelict in talking about lately, due mostly to the fact that said things kind of are a Huge Time Sink, leaving little time for blogging. But I digress...

First and foremost with fall comes my birthday. This year, I took my last three days of vacation around the long weekend, which meant that I had my birthday off, as well as five other days in a row. It was glorious! And hard work! I took the Thursday and Friday pretty much off. I knitted, and finished the lovely blue lace shawl! It is (still) waiting to be washed and blocked before I can give it away, but I'm hoping for this weekend. On the Friday, I also went for a pedicure. My toenails are purple. I'm a rebel. Saturday and Sunday, however, were devoted to hard work. On Saturday, as Mike left for work, I decided my birthday present to myself was going to be a clean house. I cleaned from 8:30 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, stopping only briefly for food and drink. At four, my body gave out, but only the upstairs bathroom was left, so I was happy. Sunday was devoted to cooking. I made a ton of food and threw it all in the freezer (except for a little bit of the one we had for dinner that night, and a container for Tuesday). Monday, I was going to finish the cleaning and the cooking, but my treacherous body derailed those plans, so I read instead. We had a small Thanksgiving dinner, just the two of us, and I opened my presents. Tuesday was my actual birthday, which I spent waiting while Mike's car got an oil change, misunderstanding the phone conversation of last week with pain clinic about my trigger point injection getting moved up (on the next next appointment, not that one. She was kind enough to see me two and a half hours early, though), getting eight injections in my back (two on the left, six on the right), and going home to sit on the couch, open the presents that arrived in the mail that day, and read more. I didn't have to sleep this time, but I was definitely sore and felt odd, and the nausea started in the late afternoon. I had dinner, but not much. And I went to work the next day, even though I really didn't feel up to it.

That provides a nice segue into work, because I couldn't stay home. After three years, I know there isn't a slow season, but the first couple of months of the season are pretty hellish, and when you add preparing for an AGM on top of that, and said AGM is four days after you have the shots that hit you pretty hard, you kind of have to go even if you don't feel like it. And I love my job. I do. But I've come to realize more lately that it is a stepping stone, not an end-point. We'll see where that realization takes me.

I also have much knitting to show, but that requires things like taking pictures. Give me a bit, and I will dazzle you with photos of knitting, including (dare I say it for fear of jinxing myself?) my first pair of socks. I also want to knit a sweater for Priest, but gauge is being troublesome. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Priest, he's doing well. We had a foster for a week, and they got along, though Priest does need to learn to leave her things alone, even if they are things like Dentastiks that he can finish off in about a minute, but takes her a day or so of chewing off and on to figure out. She gave him what-for, though, when she found that he'd gone into the kennel and eaten it for her. I also decided on the Yarn Ninja costume for him, and the walk is this Sunday. He's going to hate me, I'm sure. But he's going to be so cute. Assuming, of course, that I get it finished. And he's also famous. The (now sold out) Chinook Winds Greyhounds 2009 calendar features our beautiful boy looking very goofy for November. We're so proud!

Mike had a wisdom tooth pulled this past Friday, so we're on softer food for a bit, but he's recovering, though still in a lot of pain. He's also looking forward to school, which starts in another couple weeks.

Oh! And we have a new dishwasher! I should post pictures of that too. Thanks to Dad for all the help with installing!

There, I think I'm caught up. Thanks for your patience and support and everything else, and I'll try to keep the posts coming!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Trigger Point Injection #1


I am at home today, as the nausea is really bad, and I just wasn't going to be effective at work because of it. I'm going to eat here in a little bit, and quickly post this, as the nausea is so much better when I'm lying down.

The injections themselves were nothing, really. So as not to overwhelm me, the doctor only did my left side yesterday, four shots. The needle was no worse than an acupuncture needle, and for all except the one in my neck, I didn't even feel the medicine being injected. The one in my neck, though, I felt that go straight up into the back of my head. I can't really describe the feeling well. She told me I would feel miserable for a few days (uh huh), and had me sit in the waiting room to see if I would react to the medication (I didn't). The muscles definitely felt different. My left arm was tingly and hard to lift. On the drive home, my jaw muscles on the left side suddenly released, and even now are pretty loose. But when I got home, I had to lay down on the couch and sleep. But I was done for. I was exhausted and nauseous and had trouble with my left arm. We ordered in, and Mike sent me to bed at 9. Then I slept horribly, only dozing from about 3 onwards. So I stayed home today.

For all those negative reactions, the muscles do feel different, and she did say that I might not see much of an improvement after the first time, so I'll give it a chance. But this definitely indicates that I'd better pick another day to celebrate my birthday, because the 14th is DEFINITELY going to be shot.

Urgh, gotta lie down again. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Admitting defeat

I have been trying to write a post about Monty. He died earlier this month, and I went to his funeral two weekends ago in Calgary. I've been trying to write something that does justice to him, and to my own grief. I've been trying to find the words to say how much I'll miss him, and the things I wish I'd been able to talk to him about, and how much he meant to me. But words aren't coming. Maybe the grief is still too strong or maybe there can be no words to fully capture a man like him. So for now, I have had to admit defeat. The post I wanted to write just can't be written right now. So I will move on to other things until such time as the words come.

Dog costumes are mandatory at the upcoming Hallowe'en Edmonton greyhound walk, so I've been turning my boundless creativity and less than boundless seamstress skills on what to dress Priest up as. The obvious ones (a priest or a magician a.k.a. Dumbledore, after all he is Magic Priest) wouldn't be too hard, but maybe that's just too easy. So I was thinking and thinking and looking at toddler costumes online (as Sue told me that they're a pretty decent fit with few alterations), and I saw some like a unicorn, or a pirate (and I succumbed when Sue showed me the martingale she had for sale with pirate skulls and crossbones on it, so dressing him up as a pirate would be very appropriate), and then I thought maybe I could find a white costume and modify it so he could be a fencer. But then I saw the ninja costume. Oh, but wouldn't that be perfect? I could dress Priest up as a YARN NINJA! Because my seamstressing skills are so limited and I don't have ready access to a sewing machine, I'm going to go to look at toddler costumes and let inspiration guide me from there. Honestly, a pirate or a fencer or a YARN NINJA would all be great costumes. But if you have any other ideas, or suggestions for creating these costumes, I'd love to hear them! Also, people costumes are optional, but wouldn't it be fun to, say, dress up as a knitter with my dog as a YARN NINJA, or dress up in my whites if my dog was also a fencer? Hee hee

Priest has also been limping quite badly for the last 24 hours, and limping like that is so pathetic in greyhounds because they're all leg. I have him booked in with the vet this afternoon. No idea what's causing it. Wish us luck.

Also, for you crafty people, you'll get a kick out of this. Last Wednesday our library contact came to the knitting group and asked if we might be able to knit something for their silent auction in support of the United Way. Sure! we replied, when is it? Oh, October 3. Just over two weeks. Well, whatever we knit won't be big! Isn't it amusing sometimes how much time things actually take to make, and how long people think they take to make? But we'll have something, and they're also having a virtual auction on the 23rd, so we'll definitely have something by then.

Also, I'm not impressed with Stephen Harper for calling an election on my birthday, but I have my second trigger point injection that day anyway, so we'll just call my actual birthday kind of shot, and celebrate some other day. More on trigger point injections later; my first one is in a week!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Quick photo post

Friday, September 05, 2008


It's not my birthday yet! Why is it not my birthday yet? I want these!

Wednesday was definitely a misaligned day. Was it for you too? It started not for me, but for a friend, whose car broke down at a gas station in St. Albert (I boosted him), then again about two kilometres down St. Albert Trail (I boosted him again), at which point the car just wouldn't start at all (I drove him and his girlfriend home, and picked them up in the morning to go to work). Then, because I was late getting home as a result, Priest slipped on the hardwood and bodychecked one of the dining room chairs, cutting his leg, and the chicken (which was totally thawed and cooked according to directions) was still raw after half an hour in the oven, leaving me starving while it went back in the oven, and then I was late for knitting. Ugh... At least yesterday was better.

We have company again this weekend, but I have to get the greyhound dolls done, and I have two shawls to finish as well, and a row of cabling to rip back on my poncho. The shawls won't get done, but I might be able to work on them a little. I would also like to get my hair cut, and do the recycling.

Priest seems slightly depressed, but maybe I'm anthropomorphizing. He lays down a lot, and is laying more curled up than normal. Is he cold? Or is he depressed? Or is he lonely? I wish I knew. But the picnic is coming up next weekend, so we can see how he reacts to lots (and lots and lots) of greyhounds, and maybe if I'm lucky, one of Terri's sweaters will fit him and we can win it at auction. Or I could just knit him one (see above for the projects that need to get done first...). But I'm getting cold too, and I have a poncho and fingerless gloves I'd like to knit for myself so they'll be useful this winter, and not next. Too... many... projects...

Okay, off to try and concentrate. It's Friday, thank heavens.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am starting to think I am not meant to knit socks. Being tired yesterday, I took my toe-up Mermaid Sock to knitting group, as it was mindless knitting, and I wanted to get a little further before I officially declared it Too Big and tore it back. So I knitted for about an hour, then took off my shoe, put my foot up on the table, and slipped it over my toe. We all looked at it forlornly. It really doesn't take long to rip something back.

That's the second "pair" of socks that have failed. Is it the patterns? My math? My feet? I don't know. But I'll keep trying. The siren song of hand-knitted socks being the most comfortable things in existence is too strong to let me be beaten by these failures.

Yay for long weekends. I will take the opportunity to sleep, crochet a couple more greyhounds (in pink and blue!), keep an eye on the weather for the tomato plants, and clean the house since it needs it. A picnic might be nice too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I got stung!

So we went to pick up Mesa on Saturday morning. There was a wasp nest underneath their front door. When it came time to go out to the Priestmobile, the lady asked us if we wanted to go out through the garage, to avoid said nest. "Oh, no," says I. "I'm not afraid of them."

I know. I totally jinxed myself.

Thirty years of not being stung by bee or wasp came to an end within a few seconds of setting foot outside that door. And you know what?

DAMN! Does it hurt!

First it hurt. Then it stung. Then it ached (my entire leg). I iced it so I could sleep that night. By the second day, I had a rash. I've recovered now, but now I have multitudes of mosquito bites to deal with. I can't win.

Mesa is settling in well. She's such a resilient and happy dog. Which is good, because I'm pretty sure this isn't her forever home. She'd do so much better in a house with children, and is independent enough to be an only dog. But seriously. She's such a personality. Why has she not been adopted? I'm going to send an update from foster mom to the adoption rep to add to the website. Maybe it'll help.

Priest and Mesa went to the vet yesterday to get their nails trimmed. Mesa's were so long, I didn't dare touch them. Well, they cut three of Priest's quicks, and then didn't tell me. So I took the dogs to the arena afterwards, and then they came home and were playing upstairs, and when I went up there, there were blood spots all over the carpet. Thanks, vet people. I don't mind (to a certain extent) that you cut the quicks, but at least tell me so I can adjust my plans and maybe expect some bloody carpet... *sigh*

We also took apart the upstairs bathroom sink last night. That was an adventure in disgusting-land. But the sink actually drains now, so it was worth it.

In random otherness, I can't get my head around this. How do you make yarn out of milk? And can you get it wet?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

More on dogs

Priest and I went for our walk this morning, as Red once again declined to join us for our 5:30 am stroll. Priest was his regular self, sniffing, walking beside me, walking ahead of me. He knew the route, knew which places he wanted to use as washrooms, and wasn't waiting for or watching Red. It was a nice walk.

We will foster Mesa. Mesa will stay in foster care until she's adopted, and while I don't think it's necessarily good to have a dog in limbo for so long, she will be safe and homed until she finds her forever home. But we wanted to start fostering, and if we chip, we chip. If we don't, we're still doing a good thing. I love Priest. I am confident and content in that.

We're FINALLY getting rid of the old couch and chair today. What a process. I'll be glad to have my living room back!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Possibly a bad idea...

This may be a bad idea, or may be the best idea, but Mesa needs a foster home for two weeks starting this weekend, and then if she's not adopted, she will be transferred to Calgary, where there may be forever people who can look past the fact that she's always going to limp and see the amazing dog she is. And since Red goes home Thursday, and we're going to Calgary in two weeks, it seems rather fortuitous.

The adoption reps said that they've had some inquiries about Mesa, but the minute people see her leg, they start to ooo and aahh and feel sorry for her. She walks on the leg, runs on the leg, does stairs on the leg, and hasn't found anything to be an obstacle. Yes, she limps. She's got tendon damage! But she is not defined by the limp any more than I am defined by my chronic pain or Mike is defined by his, and it certainly doesn't stop us from living. Pain or injury is not an end to life, but a boundary to be respected as you live. Pain clinic allowed me to put that into words. It holds true for people and for dogs (or cats, or birds, or any living thing). /end soapbox

I know. I'm crazy to foster a dog that I'm obsessed with. *sigh* But one's gotta be the first, right? Why not one that I understand?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Mmm... The actual called-for yarn for that poncho comes in a colourway called Fall Herbs... (you have to scroll down. Last one on the third row). And Red Cinnamon right next to it looks lovely too. Decisions, decisions.

I'm a third of the way through the HEOPC Scarf, and now can't decide if the yarn is eye-burning yellow, or eye-burning green. Oh well. It's eye-burning. I'm also ready to start crocheting the head of the first greyhound doll. It's been a yarn-productive weekend!

I did a lot of work in the yard yesterday, and I'm pretty pleased. I wish I'd read the directions on the WeedNFeed earlier, as I've been waiting for a nice non-rainy stretch to apply it, which is exactly not the weather I'm supposed to apply it in in July and August. Who knew? I'll try to take some pictures here soon (just ignore the infested and patchy grass) and put them up. The random bush is no more, except a little stump-like thing I didn't feel up to digging up, the weeds are mowed, the mulch is in, and I'm happy. Maybe I'll convince Priest and Red we need to spend some time out on the patio this afternoon.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ups and Downs


We had something stolen from our backyard: the LED stake that Mike's mom gave us for Easter. Rat-bastard neighbourhood children. I thought when the terrors moved away from two doors down, we'd be done with this kind of thing. Why even try to beautify your yard, then, if it's just going to get stolen? Are we supposed to lock our back gates now too?

The house is an absolute mess. Between the second dog and the old furniture and old buffet not gone yet, and the couch table not moved upstairs yet, the place is crowded and impossible to move around in, let alone get tidy and clean. And when things aren't at least approaching tidy, I get cranky and tense, which totally doesn't help. Insert expletive here.

Pain clinic is almost over, and I'm finally starting to feel like they're treating me as not a whiny, unmotivated, frightened, person who says they want to get better but doesn't truly mean it. It only took them seven of the eight weeks to figure it out, and I bet it's because I talked to the psychologist about it briefly on Monday, and he probably said something equally vague to the team during their daily meeting. Posture is a ton better (okay, that should probably go in the Ups category), but pain level is up, so that means I'm not as restful at night, so I wake up tired and more sore.

I really really wish we were going fishing with Mom and Dad and Sheila and Nathan. Instead, Mike has to work in a place where the tension level seems to ratchet daily, and I have to finish pain clinic and deal with work stuff when my board and all the clubs seem to have gone AWOL for the summer and no one seems to want the position we have available, clean the house, try to keep Priest off the new furniture when I can now that he's discovered it, try to not give Red any opportunities for further drama-queen-ness, and try to not kill anything or anyone (except the random bush in the backyard and the weeds).

The supplements and nutrition aren't working on the fatigue, so I feel like I'm just flushing money away and not enjoying anything in the meantime. Time for that to stop, I think. It's just increasing my frustration.


Okay, what was that, five downs? The psychologist at pain clinic suggest that to keep equilibrium in your life, you balance each positive or negative thought with one from the other side. So now I will try to come up with five positives of equal power to the negatives. This will probably take longer...

My GP seemed to believe me that I am tired all the time, and is willing to start testing to figure out why. So as soon as I can figure out a time, I'm going to go get more blood taken (hopefully), which will look for things like CFS, sleep apnea, and some other things like some kind of virus and my testosterone levels (I have no idea why; I can't remember). But at least it's motion to try and put a name to whatever's happening.

The new vehicle is nice to drive. Priest fits well in the back, and there's still lots of room for other things. Someday I'll figure out how to turn down the bass in the stereo.

Knitting group is going well. I managed to get an ad in the St. Albert Gazette this past week, and there were a few new people who came on Wednesday. I started work on my Hurray End of Pain Clinic scarf, which is in the eye-burning yellow/green cotton/rayon yarn that I bought when I was in Calgary last time. It's super easy, and I've already memorized the pattern, though the yarn is splitty as hell and the rayon catches on the knitting needles (!) and pulls. I've also started the light blue on the Endless Afghan/Great Gauge Experiment, but figured out that at an average of an hour per round, I'm still looking at between 50 and 60 hours left before it's done. I told knitting group that when it was ready to cast off, I'd save it and bring it to group and spend the whole time casting off. I swear, it'll take that long... And I'm crocheting the first of however many I can finish greyhound dolls for the Chinook Winds barbecue and fundraiser in September. More adventures in three dimensions! I've also picked out a fall project (Mmm... Pretty. Can anyone suggest a colour?), and at some point must go yarn shopping for it.

That's three...

Priest is doing really well with the extra dog in the house, except for the getting on the furniture thing. He hasn't growled, snapped, or done anything aggressive. He is a little more clingy on our walks, and prefers to walk beside me rather than out in front sniffing everything. Although the house really is too small for a second permanent dog (not that we can afford one, although I'm completely infatuated with Mesa), it's a good sign if we want to start fostering or doing more babysitting. Just need to get rid of the extraneous furniture, and things'll be much more manageable.

One more... (squeezes brain for some happy thought) I knew the positives would be hard today...

My posture is a lot better. People even comment on it. So if I get nothing else out of pain clinic, at least I got this. And the chance to meet some really interesting people, and some people who are interesting from an observer's perspective, and to be able to look at the people who come to pain clinic and know that, despite the fact that I too have chronic pain, I am actually one of the ones who is better off. I'm still working, I have something that resembles a life, and I am not in so much pain that that is all there is in my existence. So despite the way it messed with my work schedule and my summer, it was worth it.

*deep sigh* There. Done. But I reserve the right to still be twitchy and hostile until the house is clean and the chores are done.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More adventures in three dimensions

Elephant is happy that his legs hold him up this time! Unlike before...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


New furniture! Huge! Overstuffed!


New car! Huge! Shiny!


Thank you, Mormor and Morfar.

Friday, July 18, 2008

No furniture until Monday

What a drama. I don't even want to talk about it. Living room will stay in a state of disarray until Monday. *sigh*

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blood from a stone and other adventures

Finally got my blood taken on Tuesday. This time it took an hour and three needles, including one in my FOOT! Has anyone else had them try to take blood from your foot? For me, it was a try, didn't work. The successful poke came after I ran my hands under hot water for about four minutes, then we rushed back to the room and the nurse tourniqueted both my hands to see which one would give her a usable vein. When the blood started flowing, I was admonished not to move or even breathe, lest we break the spell. I was hydrated, as warm as I could be. I can't say as I'm looking forward to going through this every time I need a blood test. There must be something else I can do. Suggestions?

I'm also quite frankly exhausted. I blame increased pain levels associated to both pain clinic not letting me go to the chiropractor (until today!!!), and the drive to and from Olds this past weekend, which has rendered my left arm unhappy and tending towards useless with reduced mobility, strength, and feeling. But Pain Clinic has told me that I can go to chiro if I want to! Not for the arm, of course, but for the lower rib that's out that's impacting my breathing. Hey, I'll take what I can get.

We get new furniture today! Furniture with cushions that don't start escaping when you sit down! Furniture that is comfy and overstuffed! Furniture that should allow for a reading lamp behind it! Yay for new furniture. Pictures to come. Any suggestions as to where to purchase a nice floor lamp? Home Depot? Ikea?

On the crafting front, I'm working on a Secret Project, which I will reveal once the intended recipient receives it. It's small and quick and much fun, but I finished it wrong the first time, so I had to unfinish it, and this weekend I'll finish it again. I am also considering learning to spin, and there's a great post at The Yarn Harlot that kind of gives words to why, even if I didn't realize it before. Work continues on The First Project blanket, now also known as The Great Gauge Experiment, since I've learned the importance of not letting the yarn run away with you. Ahhh... String.

We're babysitting a greyhound at the end of the month for nine days. Red is taller and about 10 pounds heavier than Priest (who was at the vet yesterday and hasn't gained any weight at all), but when Red came over to quickly visit and see how he did on the hardwood and tile, they ran around the house, and the backyard, and seemed to get along really well. So depending on how nine days go (10 minutes isn't really an indication), and if we think that the house is big enough for two of them, Mike and I may see if we can start fostering new hounds that come up for adoption. A second dog is probably not for us right now, but Priest has just brought us so much joy, it's a way to give back for that amazing gift. Yes, I know, I'll cry every time one gets adopted. I'm prepared.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A new backyard

Backyard Landscaping - 5-6 July 2008

With so much amazing help from Mom and Dad, we have a new, usable, functional, lovely, and almost finished back yard. If we hadn't been short-shipped on the blocks for the pine tree bed, then it would be done. I only hope when the blocks finally get in stock this week, that it'll have stopped raining. Unfortunately, I will be in Olds this weekend, and so won't be able to help do any of the work (and that's assuming the blocks come in).

It's so wonderful to look outside and not see the rotting deck, or the dirt pile upon which nothing grew, even in the five weeks between removal of the deck and this past weekend's work. There is a nice big space to brush Priest, a stable surface to put the chairs on and sit outside, the bed along the garage has a nice finished look to it, and all I need to do now is kill the random bush in the corner and fertilize and mow the little bit of lawn more often. Mike wants a turkish grill, and we're thinking of getting a kiddie pool for Priest, since it's bound to go up over 30 again.

Oh, and I need a door. Or maybe something from here. Just a door. We have the perfect fairy tree.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bruised, Battered, but not Bloody

So today I went for a blood test. I wondered if the not-panic-attack was a fluke. Well, turns out it wasn't. I even sat up. I even looked at the needle once it was in. But what I didn't get was blood taken. Despite the fact that I was calm, my veins decided to flatten out like cartoon bears sneaking into the ranger's house and pretending to be a bear rug, and decisively said, "No, thank you, no blood today."

Three nurses. Five needles, two in the back of each hand and one in my right elbow. And no blood.

So I have to go back and try again. Which I'm not looking forward to despite this new reaction to the experience.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I made this

The colour, anyway; I didn't spin it. And the liquid? It was a milky white. All the Koolaid went into the yarn! It's drying now. I have to decide what to make with it. Ideas?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Day the Physiotherapist Cured My Headache

Okay, well, maybe not cured, but sure as heck made a difference.

So this is my first week in the pain clinic program, and yesterday I had a bit of physiotherapy before the end of my scheduled time there. I was still fighting the barometric pressure headache left over from the day before, so that was what she wanted to talk about. She listened a bit to what I had to say about it, asked a few questions, and then said, "We need a lumbar roll." So she got one of those, and had me sit all the way back in a chair and put the lumbar roll behind me. "This is going to feel very exaggerated," she said. Darn skippy it did. "But how's the headache?" Well wouldn't you know, but putting the lumbar roll in my back made my headache less. Then she took my upper neck through a series of small movements. Each movement further reduced the pain, until the barometric pressure headache was pretty much gone, leaving only the normal pain behind.


So they loaned me the lumbar roll for the next few days, and I'm working on stretching out those muscles a little bit with the movements she showed me. I don't have much movement, but you know what, it seems to help. She did warn me that my mid-back, shoulders, and lower neck would probably not be happy with me, and they're not, but we have to start somewhere, I guess.

One pain management strategy down. We'll see what else happens.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hutch and (not so) Useless Closet

Just a quick photo post about this phase of new furniture. :)

Before the hutch. But try and imagine it with a Humphrey Bogart picture on the right, and CDs and DVDs on the shelves.

Delivered! Isn't it pretty?

Now fully set up and packed.

And now with doors closed and dog bed in place.

Not so useless closet anymore!

Stupid hallway; it's impossible to get a good picture without doors and such getting in the way.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Demolition and Archaeology

When the family came up for Family Weekend in late May, Mom and Dad decreed that we'd spend some time tearing out the old rotten deck in the back yard in preparation for doing more fun stuff to the yard in July. So bright and early (okay more like 9:30), out we went to do some demolition.

Or more appropriately, Dad did the demolition, and Mom and I watched and did what he told us to.

The tree had grown so much since the deck was built that it had grown around the deck, making it very difficult to get the deck out. Yet another reason, besides the poor construction and the fact that it was rotting, for us to get rid of it.

Look at all the stuff that was under there!

Raked up and all pretty.

Look! We even have a step!

Temporary arrangement, with bricks on the still in place supports, and six sidewalk blocks at the bottom for something to step out on.

And a rotted deck with various and sundry crap from underneath ready to head to the dump!

The archaeology of the day comes from what we found underneath the deck as we were raking. Here is a list:

  • Pine needles
  • Leaves
  • 2 bouncy balls
  • Tennis ball
  • Hackey sack
  • Work pencil
  • Ball point pen
  • Butter knife
  • Disposable cups and drink bottles
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic forks
  • Child's plastic clip-on earring
  • Plastic beads
  • Newspaper
  • Gold hair elastic
  • Rotten wood
  • Scrap drywall

So, what can these artifacts tell us about the previous residents of this house? Well, there was obviously a younger child living here once (beads, earring, bouncy balls), and the butter knife indicates some clumsy person like me (I would totally do the same thing). But the telling part is the rotten wood from the replaced boards of the deck and the scrap drywall. These things tell me that the people who replaced the boards and put that extra layer of drywall on most of the house were too lazy to take the scrap to the dump. And I'll admit it, that bothers me a little, especially since scrap drywall that's been sitting under the deck in the elements for at least three, if not more, years is hellishly hard to pick up. This lack of foresight just really bugged me. But the drywall and other nonsense is mostly gone, and soon we'll have a much better backyard to spend some time in.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The errant blogger returns

There's some laundry beside me on the bed (I'm using Mike's laptop, which has found a semi-permanent home in the bedroom), more downstairs in the washer to be hung up, a useless closet to be vacuumed for dust, and dinner to get started soon, but I'm on vacation, so darn it, I'm gonna blog for a bit.

And now I can't think of a thing to say. Or rather, a way to string it together coherently, so you'll just have to take the randomness for what it's worth.

So Mike doesn't have gout. He may have rheumatoid arthritis (waiting on test results). He definitely has an appointment with a specialist who may be able to help him, because this has gone on for far too long. We scared ourselves last night looking up rheumatoid arthritis (the line about joint destruction within 1-2 years wasn't helpful), but really have to wait for some kind of real diagnosis to really get our feet under us again. In the meantime, we'll just keep doing what we're doing, and hopefully regain some sense of normalcy soon.

Priest and I just came back from a restful week in Calgary. Priest was a good houseguest (only one accident, and it was vomit, and therefore excusable), but seems to have developed a great fear of... everything. I think it may be the fact that our schedule has changed since Mike's feet swelled up, and then we had lots of house guests, the kite scared the bejeebez out of him, and then I trucked him down to Calgary. Today he will barely go outside for the wind. But he's still happy. Hopefully he settles down again soon.

While in Calgary, I went for a reiki treatment and a biofeedback treatment. I won't go into the details of the appointments here, because quite frankly you'll all think I'm a raving lunatic if I do. The end result, however, is that I have more energy right now, and I'm feeling like I'm starting to heal.

Today I bought a buffet and hutch. I actually managed to get the one Mike and I had picked out a year ago, which really surprised me! Now, granted, it was on clearance, and has a small crack in it, but the salesman gave me the number for a wood repair/restorer that can apparently work miracles, so I'm happy. I am also on the hunt for new living room furniture. Mike would like something that reclines. It must be good for me to knit in. And comfortable. And the cushions can't move when you sit down in it. I am recreating Sheila's search for the perfect reading chair, except I'm trying to finish it up before I head back to work next week. Wish me luck!

And I simply must post about the backyard, but I need to rescue pictures from various places. Let me just leave you with this teaser: sometimes you can feel a little bit like Indiana Jones in your own backyard. Hee hee...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tinny energy

Having been awake since three this morning with Mike, I find myself approaching the afternoon sort of oddly. I feel energetic, but behind the eyes, it's not quite right. It's like... electroplated. An image of precious metal, but layered on something more base. But since I only have three hours left in the office (though many more working) before my vacation, I'll take whatever semblance of energy I can get, even if it is not quite right.

Mike is not well, and this may or may not affect my plans for my vacation. I had planned to go down to Calgary this coming Sunday, returning the following Saturday. I may make the trip shorter, depending on how the new prescription works out and what the blood tests reveal. If he can walk even as well as he was walking last week (and that was still not great at all), then I may feel okay about leaving him by himself for a week.

This weekend I rested, we cleaned most of the house, and I mowed the lawn. I also dug out the ugly day lily in the backyard, and discovered both a sidewalk block in the flowerbed (probably to keep people like me with shovels from digging near the gas line running to the garage) and a spruce tree root right where the day lily was. Since day lilies are so tenacious, I spent about 10 minutes thinking that it was a day lily root, and wondering how on earth I was going to dig it up. I am not a horticulturalist, that's for sure!

But I'd best be off. Lots to do, so little time...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Playing with string

Totally instant gratification. Crochet is great for that. And I love the colours!

Blue... Gorgeous blue. It doesn't look like much right now (heck, it really isn't!), but someday, oh, someday...

Guess what I'm going to be doing this weekend?

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's going to be a bright, bright bright sunshiny day...

Well, here I am at work, fighting the third day of a headache that shades to migraine without quite getting there. The smoothie I brought for a snack has turned a very unappealing shade of brown (probably the banana) and is slightly more bitter than it should be, but I'm drinking it anyway, and there is little enough to do in this lull between tournament season and Summer Camp, so I think today I actually will make my preferred early leaving time (as I try to reduce my banked time to more reasonable levels). Waiting at home for me are dirty bathrooms, three more loads of laundry, and the most adorable greyhound who wants to get outside in the sunshine (when he's not using unwound hanks of expensive yarn as toys). But between the headache and the fatigue, both the couch and the bed are looking like more appealing venues to spend the afternoon, as much as I would love to get out into the sunshine too (but it hurts my head).

Also waiting for me at home is yarn. Wonderful, bright blue, soft 100% merino that Priest also loved, and has been knitted through the provisional cast-on (I made it work!) and the first 14 rows of this. Which is not destined for me, but for a friend, and I will have to keep that constantly in mind because I love the yarn so much. *sigh* But it is lace, and I don't think lace and headache will mix well, if I feel I can handle knitting at all today. So if I can, I will work on the blanket instead, or maybe tear back the sock and try that again. Straight knit or straight purl. Yeah, maybe I can handle that.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Priest had a great greyhound walk on Sunday, and my body seems to have finally recovered from Provincials, so last night I went out to Knit-Lits at the St. Albert Library. The class I helped teach a few weeks ago has turned into a once-a-week, come out and knit with people gathering. Last week we were four, and this week we were three, but I'm sure it'll grow. So this week I decided to bring my sock. I successfully turned the heel on Tuesday (I'm queen of the world!!!! It feels so amazing to turn a heel), but then the instructions confused me, so Wednesday when I got home, I muddled through picking up the stitches, and working through the gusset decreases. When I headed out to Knit-Lits (the library's idea; every group or program has to have a name, so that's the one they suggested...), I just had to knit the length of the foot.

This is the sock before Knit-Lits, and below is the sock after Knit-Lits.

Now you, gentle reader, are probably thinking, "Ness, that sock looks a little, you know, big, doesn't it?" Well let me tell you something. You are absolutely, positively, 100%...


So I'm going to have to tear back, and I'll probably tear back to the heel and pick up the gusset stitches again (maybe this time I will have the same number of stitches on each of those needles), but I need a smaller gauge of needle before I can continue. The ones I'm using now are 2.25 mm. I think I should probably drop down to a 1 or 1.25 mm. But if I go to a yarn store this weekend (for the Blue Mystery Project), I can grab a set.

And now, a photo for Nathan:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Here comes another busy weekend...

The snow is melting, even the stuff that keeps coming down overnight, and the weather is warmer, even at 5:45 in the morning. I am finished the FM Support Pack supplements, so now I can see whether or not it is those that are tiring me out. Priest is feeling a bit better, but still on a mix of rice and kibble, and he nicked his foot this morning on the ice, so he's now secured in his Xpen with a bootie on. My desk at work is mostly clear, and the majority of the things on it now I can't do much about until either time passes or people get things to me. But starting tomorrow and until Sunday when I head to the greyhound walk, I'm going to hang out this sign:

Because it's Provincials, and if the two I've attended as ED are any indication, that's exactly how it's going to be. But I'm going to knit and bring a book or two, and snuggle down in a camp chair, and we'll see. It's still going to be long, if inactive, weekend.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It just so happens...

Priest has played Houdini a couple of times and magically opened the door to his Xpen while we've been out. Nothing destroyed, no accidents. Yay for Priest! So I thought yesterday might be a good day to try to leave his Xpen open while we're at work. The look he gave me as I walked out the door said, "Um, Mum, aren't you forgetting something? Or are you going to seriously leave the door open?" But I had faith that everything would be fine.

Except I didn't realize the extent to which the bone we gave him to chew on on Sunday had done a number on his stomach...

I could smell something wrong the minute I walked in. A brief survey of the house revealed eight accidents: four diarrhea, three vomit (complete with partially digested dog food), and one urine. I think the urine was more that he knew it was bad, and probably couldn't get much worse, and hey, he had to go... He left no floor untouched. Basement, main floor, and upper floor were all affected. And it had obviously happened early in the morning, because it was pretty much all dried into the carpet and onto the hardwood...

Poor Priest.

Anyway, we got it cleaned up. I even got probably most of the diarrhea out from underneath the baseboard in the living room (hardwood there; it had pooled...). And we have the carpet cleaner for another 36 hours or so, so if we need to go over any of the spots again (or heaven forbid he has another accident), then we can. We've been feeding him plain rice for the last two meals, and I'll make him some with the beef broth we have frozen as well, so hopefully that settles his stomach a little.

So today I'm home with my sick puppy. I have over 9 days banked, and the roads are unbelievably horrible, and I'm working all weekend for Provincials, so I really don't care. Except I do. But I shouldn't. Argh.

Mike told me it is my choice about when to leave him loose. I still think he can handle it, but I really picked the wrong day to start. So it'll be back to penning him while we're at work for at least another two weeks. If he hadn't peed, it'd probably only be until his stomach settles down, but since he did...

Ah, the joys of dog parentship... But I wouldn't trade it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This is what happens... and miscellanea

I am sleeping better, but still not fabulously, so I'm still very tired, and have only so much energy to give before I start sucking it from other places. Yesterday was a prime example, so let me describe it to you. At 2 pm I did my employee's performance review. Usually I leave work at 3, which means that in terms of hard mental work, I'm done by then and can just go home and do not so hard mental work like talk to the dog, cook dinner, and knit. The review went two and a half hours. I left work at 4:30, drove home in much higher traffic volumes than I'm used to, got in the door to let Priest out, and then stood in the kitchen. I was confused.

I called Mike's cell, because I didn't remember his work number. I told him I just got home, and I let Priest out, and now I had to cook dinner. "I was going to make satay," I told him. "I was going to, but I don't know..."

"Put a pizza in the oven," he said (we had bought organic feta spinach pizza at Costco on the weekend, for just these kinds of days, actually).

"But I was going to make satay," I said. "Or I could steam you some perogies and make myself a shake for dinner."

"A what?"

"A shake. A smoothie. I wanted a shake today, but I didn't get home, so I can have that for dinner and I can steam you perogies."

"Yeah," he said, "that's a good dinner. Put a pizza in the oven; I'll be home soon."

I follow instructions very well in this state. I put a pizza in the oven. By this point, I was slurring words so I had to speak slowly and carefully. I was also a bit punchy, which does odd things to my sense of humour. I could only focus on one thing at a time. I let Priest in. I brushed Priest. I did the dishes. Mike came home and we ate pizza. And then I did nothing mentally heavy for the rest of the night (not for lack of trying).

What had happened was that I had overstretched my limits. I have enough to get through seven hours of work, the drive home, and cooking, but not 8.5 hours of work, the drive home, and cooking. Yet I had to be present and with it during the review, so I sucked at my minor reserves, and by the time I got home, my brain was exhausted.

So this is my warning to all of you: if you call me at night, don't expect stellar conversation. Don't expect much of anything, actually, even if I'm still awake. Until I'm sleeping better and have better every-day energy, not just reserves, anything after 6 pm is questionable. :)

In terms of miscellanea, I have the following:

-Somehow or another, I volunteered to teach knitting this week at the local public library. This is kind of silly because 1) even though the lead on this session said all I needed to know how to do was cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, and cast off, that's pretty much all I know how to do, and 2) I knit continental, and most people were taught and do British, so if their hands have any memory whatsoever, I just confuse them. But it was a ton of fun on Monday, and I'm going again tonight, and maybe we'll start a knitting evening at the library, which would be much fun.

-Priest's vocabulary is growing. He understands the word "Breakfast," so I have to be careful about sentences like, "It's not breakfast time yet," because he only understands the one word, and he associates it to food. He is also starting to get "Let's go" when we're walking, though he pretends not to understand when it suits his purposes. I'm also starting to get a handle on Priest vocabulary. When he slows down on the walks with his head down but not sniffing, that's "Mum, I know you're not going to like this, but I'm going to stop walking now." When he leans up against my legs and looks up at me, that's "I need some petting now, please." I'm still trying to figure out what he wants me to do when he play-stances at me, but we did chase each other around the coffee table yesterday a bit, which was fun. Ahh... Good times.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A note for when it occurs

I spent about an hour today trying to find a bridal shower gift for a shower this weekend. The trouble with buying a shower gift is that I know what I would want as shower gifts, but I don't know if that's necessarily what other people would want. I settled on something that fell kind of in the middle, and I hope it'll be acceptable.

Someday, Mike and I will actually set a date, and when that happens, someone might throw me a bridal shower. For that eventuality, here is a list of things I'd love. When you see the list, you'll probably realize why I have such a hard time shopping for bridal shower gifts.

-Distraction. Let's face it, life itself is hectic and crazy, but add wedding planning, and it gets downright insane. I would love to get any number of distractions as shower gifts. Yarn, a colouring book and pencil crayons (Harry Potter, maybe?), seed beads and stretchy cord to make necklaces, large and complicated puzzles, anything to distract me from all the pressures for a couple of hours.

-FunUNderwear (yes, you have to say it like that). Not lingerie, because the purpose of funUNderwear is not seduction. The purpose of funUNderwear is to promote some self-confidence. You smile at everyone because you know something they don't, and hopefully never will. You're wearing something fun beneath your clothes. Yay! Size large (I doubt that will change), and I'm not much of a thong kind of girl, but anything else goes, as long as it's fun!

-Dragons. To this day, I still really like dragons. Stuffed cute dragons, figurines, pictures, as long as it's pretty and not kitschy, it's good for me.

-Books. Maybe this kind of falls under distractions, but me and books, well, you know me and books. So yeah. Any book you think is appropriate. Books about keeping the romance alive, books about housecleaning, books about cooking, books about military history. I don't know. Whatever you think I'd like.

For the lucky bride-to-be this weekend, I settled on a book that kind of falls under the distraction category, and will write a brief inscription inside saying why I chose it. I hope I did okay.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easeter goodness and gauge revelation

We were down in Calgary for Easter, and Mom and I had a very successful shopping trip to North Hill Mall for Mike's birthday presents (one stop! No need to go anywhere else! Yay!). While we were waiting in line at Safeway, suddenly a woman pushed her cart to the end of the till. She addressed the cashier with quick, clipped words, her eastern European accent quite thick with distress. The cashier was confused, but the lady who was just finishing her transaction said, "I think she forgot to pay for something."

Indeed. The woman pulled a deli rotisserie chicken from her cart, and a $10 bill from her wallet. "I forgot this," she said. "I got out to my car and saw it in my cart, and I had to come back."

She was so flustered, and single-minded in her need to pay for said chicken, that Mom and I let her go ahead. Honestly, how could we say no? She forgot to pay for something, made it out of the store before realizing it, and came back. It made us smile. Happy Easter.

Mom also taught me how to purl this weekend, as the way I was doing it twisted my stitches. I've been faithfully doing a little purling every day to keep in practice. First, I was working on a gauge swatch for the basic sock pattern I picked up on my last Calgary visit, since I think I might want to try to knit a sock here soon. I've also been working on the first-knitting-project blanket, and with the new purl, it's just flying along! But something occurred to me yesterday, something that should have occurred to me earlier. You see, as I was knitting the gauge swatch for the socks, I was thinking to myself that it's going to be too big. I haven't measured it out yet, but I think it will be. So as I was knitting on the blanket yesterday afternoon, and watching the one ball of yarn dwindle significantly, it occurred to me that I never checked gauge on this blanket. I mean, I was still establishing my gauge when I started it, but really, I never checked it. And it also occurred to me that I ran out of the green yarn much, much earlier than the material count for the pattern said I should.

Now, at the time I chalked it up to having to throw away a good portion of one ball of yarn due to excessive fibre breakage (it was really, really, REALLY fuzzy), but the ball count on the purple I'm working on now is also 2, and that seemed... low. So last night, I took out my measuring tape and the pattern.

I don't have gauge.

In fact, I'm so far out of gauge, it's not even funny. 18 stitches and 24 rows does not equal 4 inches. It equals 5 inches. This probably doesn't mean a lot to those who don't knit, so I'll rephrase. Basically, I'm using probably an inch and a half more yarn for every 18 stitches than I should be. This is why I'm running out of yarn. And it's only going to get worse as the blanket gets bigger.

At this point, there are pretty much three options. First, I can just keep knitting, and buy extra balls of yarn in each of the remaining four colours (including this one) as needed, hoping the dye lots match. Second, I could frog the entire thing, and experiment with different needle sizes until I get gauge, necessitating some needle buying, and also the heartache of lots and lots and lots of hours of work down the drain, plus the stress on the yarn itself, and the frustration of reknitting everything I've done to this point. Third, I could switch needles now, which would probably make the blanket look a little funny and may not solve the problem anyway, meaning I still might have to buy the extra balls of yarn.

I think I will go with option one, for the simple reason that I don't want to be buying lots and lots of needles for gauge experiments right now, and I can't bear to take up five and a third of the nine colours of the blanket. So the blanket will not be the size it is supposed to be, but much bigger. Big blankets are okay, right?

What have I learned from this? Check gauge unless you don't care. :) See? This is why I gauged the socks!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Priest's busy weekend

Saturday, Priest's first meet and greet!

So many greyhound friends!

Hanging out being a good boy

Smoothie and Priest. I love this picture! Priest has such a goofy grin...

And Sunday, the St. Patrick's Day Greyhound Walk!

Heading out!
Group shot! Look at all the happy greyhounds!
Of course, he felt silly in his snood, but I had to try it out. There are some adjustments to be made for the next one! But isn't he handsome?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Knitting pictures

Finished baby blanket in "Ice Mint"/"Natural" colours of Bernat Baby Coordinates. Pattern is Rock-A-Bye from Quick Knit Baby Afghans. Bear is there for scale.

Snood for Priest, day 2. Knit in Pingouin Le Knit 3 in "Fog."

Oooo... Ahhhh... I'm planning to get a lot done (hopefully...) at the M&G on Saturday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thank you, I have my own bag

This weekend, we went to pick up the yarn I needed to finish the baby blanket, and as has become my custom, I slung my Dumbledore's Army messenger bag over my shoulder. I've been doing this lately when headed out to get things-other-than-groceries (for which I have other reusable bags), in my ongoing effort to reduce the number of plastic bags we collect. So off we went in the car, to Michael's, and picked up two skeins of yarn (one of which was the wrong colour and soon became too much of a temptation for Priest, but that's another story). We headed straight to the till (do not pass go, do not collect et cetera and so on). The cashier rang them through and started to put them in the ubiquitous plastic bag. "No thank you," I said, "I brought my own bag." At which point she said the weirdest thing...

"Oh! And the idea is to fill it up?"

I stared at her. "No," I said, "the idea is to not have plastic bags in the house."


And there was an awkward silence.

I've thought about this for some time. Did she think I was attempting to curb my spending by limiting myself to the size of the bag (which is pointless, because how much space does an MP3 player or a diamond ring take up?)? Did she think that my sole purpose that day was to purchase enough stuff to fill the bag, and my day would be complete? I'm sorry, but I've got enough stuff in my life without adding more. I needed the yarn to finish the blanket this week (and I did get it done, and it's washed). It's not like I came to the register with half of the store in my hands. I came with two skeins of yarn, and I said that I had my own bag.

It's truly mystifying. We apparently have entirely different starting points for thought, this woman and myself. She probably thought I was a complete weirdo as well, if she thought of me at all.

Anyway, more yarn news; I went to a LYS just a five minute drive from work yesterday to pick up yarn for a snood (traditional definition and what I'm actually knitting) for Priest. Mike nixed my idea of red or some other gorgeous bright amazing counterpoint colour, saying that when we get another greyhound (note the "when"), I can pick the colour scheme for that one's accessories, but he's picking Priest's, and that means shades of black and grey. *sigh* Anyway, I picked up a lovely rich dark brown skein, and two skeins of a grey tweed, both of which will look nice and be fairly sedate. When I came home and after we had our little afternoon ritual of getting out of the Xpen, running to the front door, being let outside to stare over the fence from the deck, and sullenly putting up with having his paws wiped, I showed them both to Priest. I know, probably not the best idea given his yarn fetish. But he sniffed the brown, then the grey, then the brown, and then tried to take the grey away from me. So it was the grey I cast on (four times, don't ask) last night, and I'm 5 rows in to K4P4 ribbing. I still suck at purling, but I have a plan to learn Mom's way over Easter so I can stop unraveling the yarn when I do so. And please send me good thoughts when I get to the cable part. I've never cabled before.

This weekend it's a Chinook Winds Meet and Greet (our first!) on Saturday, and a St. Patty's Day Greyhound Walk on Sunday. Priest is going to sleep for a week. Heck, so will I. But hopefully this time, we don't forget the camera in the car.

Friday, March 07, 2008

In which I keep convincing myself it isn't spring

It's not. It's not it's not it's not it's not. But it's warm, and the snow is melting, and after all the equinox is coming up... No! It's not spring, I tell you!

But spring may account for some things. Spring may account for me not needing sweaters at work, or the real desire I have to just sit and look out the window. Spring may account for my frantic knitting before it gets too warm to really do much, and my desperate desire to get a snood knitted for Priest now that I have the pattern. Spring may account for Mike's restlessness and perusing of MLS listings. Spring may account for Priest cockroaching in our company (lying on his back with legs going in all directions. It's honestly the cutest thing ever), but that may just be because he's getting comfortable with us. It may account also for his newfound desire to actually get out of bed at 5:45 in the morning to go for a walk; he's actually following me downstairs now, not making me go back up to coerce him into coming down. Spring may also account for me being kind of itchy in my own skin.

Except it's not spring. This is Alberta. Spring and March do not go together in the same sentence. There is still a bite to the air, and not the friendly nibbles of spring. Except it's definitely a lot more muted than it was last week...

ARGH! It's NOT SPRING!!!!!!!

Yeah. I need a vacation. Again.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

All I can say is, thank heaven for centre-pull skeins...

At least he had fun, and it's not ruined (just slobbery, but I have to wash the blanket before giving it anyway). It was probably my fault, as not only did I close his Xpen so he couldn't get at his toys, but I also piqued his interest in yarn again by having the two elephant skeins on the stairs briefly to bring back up. I need more secure storage for my knitting, apparently!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm exhausted. Alberta Winter Games is great, but exhausting. Thankfully, it was only one 15-hour day.

I think because my ankles are so achingly sore, and also my left shin where the bruise from slamming my leg with a bench is still swollen, I'm not getting really good sleep. Which doesn't help matters.

Okay, going to try and pull my brain out of fog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Food. Fooooooooooodddddd

I'll admit it. The quinoa salad I have for lunch every day is really tasty. And the cereal is delicious, even with plain soy milk. And even some of the new recipes we're trying are pretty good. But here's a list of things not to mention in my company, because if I'm feeling slightly off that day, chances are I'm going to burst into tears. ;)

  • Cheese. Don't even talk to me about cheese. There's a huge gaping hole in my heart (stomach?) that can only be filled by some good Brie, or Jarlsberg, or even plain old cheddar. And the little bit of goat cheese that I'm allowed to put in the quinoa salad isn't satisfying it.
  • Uncle Dave's Noodle Bake. In all honesty, this is one of our favourite dishes, and when I go over the list of ingredients, the only part of it I can conceivably have besides the spices is the onions, before they're goldened in butter. *sigh*
  • Macaroni salad. Mmm... It's not too bad now, but if we get to summer and I still can't have macaroni salad, we may have a meltdown on our hands...
  • Bananas. Yes, I'm actually missing fruit. It's shocking.
  • Booster Juice. It was starting to be a bit of a tradition for Mike and I on the weekends, to stop and get a Booster Juice. They don't make a smoothie with apples, pears, and grapefruit, even if they could make it dairy-free.

Despite the above whine (and the whines I've been giving to a lot of people in person), it does seem to be working, and I can definitely tell when I do something wrong (or at least, not as right as it should be, like the adventure with the kamut pasta last week). So I'll stick with it.

No matter how much miss (MISS) cheese.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Gods Laugh

Monday morning I was flipping through the flyers while eating breakfast, and came across the Canadian Tire flyer. Before I even opened it, I thought to myself, "You know, I just bet, BET, that tool bench we want is on sale this week." And what was on the front page? The blue Mastercraft tool bench with light and two drawers. 55% off. Naturally.

Why, you ask, was I so sure? Because every time that tool bench goes on sale, we are somehow or another not in a financial position to buy it. And because Mike was laid off on Friday, naturally, the tool bench we want had to be on sale this week.

But I have thwarted you, Canadian Tire Gods! For while I was obsessively tidying this weekend, I rediscovered the cash that I made selling my fencing gear, and since that money is supposed to be used for fun things, things we want, we're going to get the tool bench! You haven't won this time! I laugh at you!

But quite seriously, Mike was laid off on Friday, which may be a blessing in disguise, considering some of the things he's told me about the atmosphere there and the... personnel management, for lack of a better term. So he's now looking for work up here, and if he hasn't found something by the end of February, will head down to Calgary, where he has enough contacts that he could get a job in a couple days. In the meantime, he's focussing on finding a job here, and we'll deal with what comes.

In other news, my sneaky ploy to get people to post didn't quite work. Maybe their keyboards were frozen. I suppose now that it's thawing, we might see something new!

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's so cold...

As I sat in my car facing into oncoming traffic this morning on the Yellowhead, waiting for a break in traffic where I could extricate my car from the snowbank it had spun into, I cursed winter. Especially when, between snow and cold, getting anywhere gets quite sketchy. I mean, it's really winter right now. Nastily winter. Then I thought, Hmm... Maybe I can make this a community thing. So everyone, get on board! If you live in Alberta (or remember living in Alberta and how it sometimes gets), post some "It's so cold..."s on your weblog. If you don't have a weblog, feel free to use the comments.

For me? It's so cold... rethink your carefully planned meals for the week to make sure there's warm things every day. wish your dog was toilet trained, for his sake more than anything.
...opening the cupboard to put away a travel mug and getting that unmistakable whiff of hot chocolate (when you aren't allowed to have any) is cruel and unusual punishment.
...your knuckles split open even worse than before, just because it's so cold. Lotion does not seem to help the situation. wish not for a tropical vacation (though that would be awesome), but for a return to -5 temperatures. That would be nearly tropical! think about revisiting this idea in seven months or so, when the temperature has gone up 70 to 80 degrees and you'll be complaining about how hot it is. Then you realize just how much temperature 70 to 80 degrees is, and boggle.

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