Thursday, October 01, 2009


Seriously adorable. <3 Pixar.

Cloud - The best free videos are right here

Friday, September 04, 2009

A post of shorts

Best things I've ever bought at Ikea, bar none:

Go buy them if you can. Totally awesome.

I'm an aunt! And I get to see my nephew this weekend!

I have a new appreciation and awe for people who work two jobs, or go to school and work. You are amazing people. I don't know how you do it.

I am feeling so comfortable with the needleless cable now that I'm coming to the end (hopefully) of Sheila's nursing shawl that I'm tempted to attempt the Shifting Sands Scarf and its 2500+ cables. After I finish some other projects first, of course...

Crap. I can't get the awesome picture off of my phone right now. I'll have to post that later.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One-Line Book Review #3

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer: I dunno, seems like a no brainer to me: warm loving furry wolf guy v. cold guy who has to keep himself from killing her... Book was good until Edward came back into it.

Will post about the new job later. So far it's good, except for remembering to use the option key on the Mac!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One-Line Book Review #2

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough: Diverting, but too many errors in technique and far too many "WTF?", "You've got to be kidding...", and "Did you even read Pride and Prejudice?" moments to be truly enjoyable or worth recommending.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

As my life implodes...

Sorry for the silence. My life literally imploded, which made finding time to post, let alone inclination to expound bloggerly upon the happenings, nigh impossible.

As most of my few remaining readers know, almost immediately from returning from the US, I interviewed for and was offered a new position. It is still in Edmonton, still in the pseudo-public sector, but has less all-encompassing responsibility, and I'll be working as part of a team devoted to communications for pretty much the first time since I graduated university. It is a good move, and I'm looking forward to it. But the five weeks notice I gave the AFA have proven a bit of a test to my nerves. I want to leave the AFA well prepared to weather my absence as the season starts, but as far as I know, a new ED has not been hired. It's a situation not designed to make me feel relaxed.

But I can't let it get to me (easier said than done, I know), so instead, I'm going to present those of you who've hung in there with some knitting pictures, and a new feature: The One-Line Book Review. First, knitting!

As I'm going to be an aunt soon, here is my first Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (Rav link):

The Garter Stitch Blob shot. Yes, it really is a jacket... Just wait... Click to embiggen so it doesn't look so blurry.

Half-folded! EZ really was a genius!

Surprise! One Baby Surprise Jacket!

The shoulder seams are sewed, and now I'm just waiting for my new niecphew to tell me which side to sew the lovely pewter Viking ship buttons on, and we're golden!

Now for a project with the undescriptive name of Lobster, but is a circular needle holder (Rav link):

My first felted object. Now that was interesting... But I won't bore you with felting shenanigans. Here it is in its place of honour behind the library door. I used my Lee Valley Victorian Spring Clip, which I've had forever, to hang it on the wall. Extra spiffy stitch markers are held on the bottom portion with an extra stitch holder.

I straightened all my circular needle cords with boiling water, then strung them through the (thankfully not completely felted together) needle loops. And voila! A strange-looking but totally useful storage for circular needles!

This was a quick knit, and in the end satisfying despite felting almost-disaster, and I think I'd like to make a few more, one for straights and at least one for DPNs (more if I have more than 11 sets of DPNs. I'll have to check). But I have many works in progress to get through before I'm ready to cast another on. The circs were the important ones, and they are now stored happily, hanging behind the library door.

My first One-Line Book Review will be for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith: Fine satire, rarely over the top; well worth the read even if you don't like zombies (or if you like zombies but don't like Jane Austen).

And now an obligatory cute dog shot before I sign off for the day. There is more knitting photos to come (as soon as I, you know, take them...), and as I count down to my last day as the Queen of Swords (professionally, at least), I hope to update you a little more frequently.

Nom nom nom...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

East Coast Trip


Some photos from my trip to the Eastern seaboard of the US last week. It was an awesome time, and I wish I was still there (though I hear it's raining again, so maybe not, though it's raining here too... :) ), and I miss everyone! Come see us soon!

Mike's pictures will be up as soon as he sends me the list of what he wants uploaded.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm alive... barely

Hello! Do you remember me? My name is Vanessa, and you used to know me. I used to post here relatively frequently, and most of you have met me in real life too. I'm tall, with glasses and long curly hair. Am I ringing any bells?

I am not without things to post about, but first work was sucking the creativity right out of me, and then I got sick (ugh for summer colds). Being in bed for five days, then a walking zombie for an additional five didn't help.

Now we're T-12 days from our trip to the States. Karen and I have all these plans for the few days we have, and I'm really looking forward to it (even if, as she suggested, we're so worn out from this crazy month that we just sit on the couch with a cold drink and talk). There are crepes, Main Street, butterflies, U-picks, Boston, Stonehenge, a beach, July 4, and meeting my dear, dear friend Karen in person for the first time in my future, and it's going to be wonderful.

I spent World Wide Knit in Public Day (June 13) knitting at the CFF AGM in Winnipeg, and completed my first hat with my first seam (and my first mattress stitch) as a donation for the Alzheimer's Society. I have no pictures, because it was during my zombie phase, and it was enough that I actually a) knit and b) knit correctly, but the ladies at River City gushed over it and promised to take a picture and post it on their website, so I'll borrow it from there when it goes up. Then they plied me with more yarn and some ideas on how to do the hat in the round, and said that if I made another and donated it, they'd give me another coupon for $5 off yarn. Darn them. Now I just have to do it.

Priest also has not been posting, though he has a lot to report too. He's quite annoyed with me that I have not been logging in for him. If I haven't said it before, I adore our dog, and I hope he'll forgive us for going away for a week. I'm sure he will, as long as we bring him back a nice gift.

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm alive, and I should be back to posting again soon. As long as I can curb my appetite for... brains...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Now Ended

Dear Now-Ended Never-Ending Afghan,

Let's not talk about it. We've had our ups and downs, come a long way since "Cast on 8 stitches," but now they're over, and we can both move on with our lives.

I remember back in 2006. I restarted you from my painful beginner attempts of 2005, and we were both filled with hopes and dreams and promise. Intellectually, I knew where we were heading, with four increases per row, twenty-four rows per colour, nine colours... But knowing it with the head and with the heart are two separate things, and at the beginning, there was only knitting joy.

Well, some joy. I won't mention the twisted purl stitches that made the first eight rows of a colour something suited for the ninth circle of hell. I admit my part in it. I was purling wrong. I was twisting the stitches. But until I corrected myself at colour five, I admit to dwelling in your sixteen rows of knit and dragging your eight of garter.

And when we were about to rediscover joy, when I learned to purl correctly, and we could again work in hopes and dreams and promise, came the realization that I had no tension. I had moved from the beginner tension of strangling the yarn, to letting it move onto the needles unchecked, until I was an inch out of gauge. Truly, it wasn't your fault. But every time I looked at the lovely jewel-bright purple colour six with its unbelievably loose tension, I lost heart.

And then, when I had achieved tension, and it was time to truly work on you, you turned on me. Rows suddenly were six hundred stitches long. I am not a fast knitter, and you knew this. But rather than growing quickly with each hour spent in each other's company, you flatly refused to indulge me. "Knit faster," you said, "and knit more, and maybe I'll grow."

So this weekend, after months of on-again-off-again and hours of agonizing time spent in each other's company, here we were.

Ready to cast off. Finally, we were one row away from moving on with our lives. But you couldn't just let it go, could you? You couldn't let us part ways without one final dig. No. You made me start a BRAND NEW SKEIN of yarn to cast off LESS THAN A QUARTER OF YOUR STITCHES. And as if that weren't enough...

You tell me after I'm done binding off 951 stitches (+/- 5 due to losing count) that I should have bound you off with a larger needle, so your edges wouldn't fold in!

But I digress. It's in the past, and it doesn't do to dwell on the past. I won't mention how the inconsistent gauge and tight castoff makes it impossible for you to lie flat. I won't mention how absolutely huge the purple band is in comparison to the other colours. I certainly won't mention that I had to put my hand-washing basin under your centre to stretch you up enough to dry you without being folded over and bunched in the centre.

In the end, you are big enough to accent a bed nicely, and will probably make a lovely snuggling blanket when you're dry. You are also my first knitting project, for all that you are not the first finished, and are a written record of my progression as a knitter in basics like stitches, tension, and (in the end) perseverance.

You are done, and our relationship can change now, as it always does when a project moves from work in progress to finished. But I will say this. It's telling about a person and her relationship with her knitting project that she will point to a clean and tidy storage room instead of the completion of a four-year-in-the-making afghan as the highlight of her long weekend.

Love (kind of), Vanessa

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Breakfast: Yoghurt, muesli, frozen berries (mostly thawed)
Lunch: Leftover pizza
Dinner: Sushi, fake Moxie's Mayan Salad
Snacks: none
Liquids: two pots black currant tea, iced tea, Booster Juice
Treats: none
Exercise: Walk with Priest

Ahh... The first disc of Pride and Prejudice in the dvd player, my faithful dog snoozing on the couch, tea steeping, heating pad in easy reach, and 15/32 rows done on the navy blue of the afghan. If my shoulder didn't hurt so much, I'd say it'd be the perfect Saturday evening. :)

My shoulder is killing me, however, and I don't expect it to really improve much until after chiro on Monday. I will try to clean at least the small bathroom tomorrow before the greyhound walk, however. I hate to jinx us, but I think spring has finally arrived, despite the lingering snowpile beside the elementary school. Priest is getting some stamina back, but is resolutely NOT blowing his winter coat. Silly boy. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the backyard. Soil and sod? Just rake it up? Maybe try the latter, and resort to the former if necessary. Decisions, decisions.

Mrs. Bennett's nerves call. I do so love this miniseries.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

As the Purl Turns

Things happen as I get crazy busy. My knitting has aspirations to stardom. Silly knitting.

As the Purl Turns (WIPS 2009 05)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If the sun would only come out for good

Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Leftover stroganoff, apple
Dinner: Umm... Think it's going to be fake Moxie's Mayan Salad with shrimp
Snacks: Turkey/Jarlsberg rollups, trail mix
Liquids: We'll see; hopefully a litre herbal tea, 500ml iced tea, some water
Treats: ??
Exercise: Walk with Priest

Loneliness hit pretty hard yesterday. Strange, though, since I spent the evening surrounded by good people. When I got home they were playing melancholy jazz on Canada Live, which didn't help, so I lay on the couch with Priest until Mike came upstairs.

We have company this weekend, but I'm still hoping to get the rest of the backyard cleaned, sweep the patio, and do some other outdoor stuff. Hopefully it won't snow again! It's almost May (kinda)! I think I need a corn broom. I think that'd be a more effective mover of pine needles than the stiff-bristle broom we have.

I also only have six rows left of the light blue Colour 8 of Ye Olde Neverending Afghan of Doom. Once I'm on Colour 9, it'll feel like all downhill! Have to get there first, though... Hmm... Maybe once I get the patio swept, I'll bring some knitting outside for a photo shoot... This is THE time to be outside in Edmonton. Warm enough if you layer appropriately and sit in the sun, but no mosquitoes yet. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I did not choose the name

I swear. I did not do anything but build the look. The Hero Factory chose the name for me. I swear, really and truly... But I love it. :)

Not quite how I would have chosen to clean the laundry room

Breakfast: Yoghurt, berries, muesli
Lunch: Rye crackers with jarlsberg and ricotta, mini cucumber
Dinner: Supper salad with whole wheat tortelloni
Snacks: Not for lack of trying
Liquids: Not nearly enough by far
Treats: Two Icy squares (read on; I'm justified)
Exercise: 1/2 hour walk with Priest, some picking up in the backyard, and 1.5 hours of mopping

I've been derelict, I know. The truth is, I've been so unbelievably busy, but it's mostly with work stuff, and I don't go into too many details about work on the blog, so there really hasn't been much to talk about. I've been thinking about blogging, and about what to say, but then I end up in another whirlwind at work, and the thoughts are just flung out of my head. I have been knitting, and I'm now doing the newsletter for Chinook Winds Edmonton, and the greyhound walking club up here, but since that hasn't quite got off the ground yet, there's still not a lot to report. Until today.

Up until 3 pm, today was actually an awesome day. I talked to Mom, was doing laundry for the first time in two weeks (I seriously had NO CLOTHES to wear...), and took the opportunity to go through my closet. While I only have one pair of jeans that fit and don't have gaping holes in them, I do have lots of dress pants, and even some shirts that amazingly fit well. I also have pants/shorts/capris that I can do up and then pull off, shirts that I swim in, and (/cry) a $90 lavendar bikini that just doesn't fit at all anymore. The keep pile was still larger than the donate pile, but the donate pile contained things I wish I could have kept (like the bikini), and also things that I pulled out of the closet and went, "What was I thinking?" (like the horizontally striped drawstring linen-type pants). Alas, though I have many pairs of pants now, I only have one pair of jeans, so I think I should probably go get another.

So this was a very cathartic morning, and then I was tidying around Mike and his disassembled helicopter while continuing to do laundry. After Mike left for the helicopter field, I showered, switched over the laundry, and took Priest for a walk. I brushed him and clipped his nails when we got back, and picked up another section of the backyard (I can't wait until the standing water is gone from the other side). Back inside, I switched over the laundry again, knitted for a while, then hung everything back up in the closet. It was around 3, then, and I planned to switch the laundry again before having a snack and a lie-down on the couch with Priest. With this in mind, I trotted downstairs, and opened the laundry room door.

It was that first step, with water soaking into my sock, that really started the afternoon downhill. I looked into the laundry room, and saw the water. Not everywhere, but a lot of places. And definitely not flowing towards the drain. In fact, it had flowed to the opposite side of the house from the drain. I stopped, stepped back, and got the phone. Once Mike was on his way back from the field, I took my socks off and went in to inspect the damage. Water water water. Soapy water. Soapy water carrying lint bunnies and various other yucky things with it. Water around the laundry basket with the clean laundry in it. Water around one set of legs of the hamper we use upstairs. Water underneath boxes, paint cans, and once we pulled everything out, all the way to the wall and our spare baseboard/tiles/hardwood. Water under, on, and in the shoes we keep under the laundry table. And, naturally, water under the washer and dryer.

I called Dad, and before Mike got home I knew what had happened. The drain hose had disconnected itself from the washer, so when it went to drain, well, you can visualize the carnage. Luckily, we don't think too much is ruined. We need to put a fan on one corner of the shag in the computer room, and one of Mike's shoes is outside trying to dry out (it was the only one with water inside), but the only things that seem to be ruined are cardboard boxes, not the contents, and Mike's old lunchbags, which he should have cleaned out two years ago. The clean laundry didn't get hit, I've now cleaned up most of the lint bunnies from the parts of the floor that got wet, Mike hooked the hose back up, and I found two quarters and a penny! Score!

But... it really wasn't quite the way I wanted to clean the laundry room.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Houston, we might just have something resembling ignition...

Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Quinoa salad
Dinner: I have no idea yet; getting home late today
Snacks: Too much of that fabulous trail mix
Liquids: 1 L herbal tea, water when I get home
Treats: XL Timmies' French Capp (I have to cut back on these...)
Exercise: Walk with Priest planned after dinner

So I've been playing with a really old idea for a story, turning it over in my head, working on a new way to start it, or at least a new way to approach it. It hasn't felt quite right, so I haven't done any writing on it just yet. But as I was driving to work this morning, it hit me.

The main character was wrong.

I can still use the former main character in a supporting role, but he shouldn't be the title character. The title character needs to be female, and younger. And suddenly, things started clicking. I know how the prologue is going to go. I have a vague idea about the start of the first chapter, but I think I'll have to sleep on it for a few night. And I should start thinking about, you know, plot, and do some research into faerie, angels/demons, and the like, and maybe try to decide if this'll be a one-off or a series (I think I'd prefer one-off, actually). Then, if I can get some of that together and start putting things down on "paper," then maybe next year I can participate in NaNoWriMo! How awesome would that be!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I vant to suck your blod

Don't vorry; it von't hurt a bit.

Vhy are you laughing? I am scarrrry vampire!


Err... no meal plan today. It's just more of the same with a Booster Juice, since it's knitting night.

Priest's sweater

Our funny dog. He does not like getting his picture taken. He looks away from the camera. But then it looks like, "Make sure you get my best side, Mummy!"

I'm pleased with just about everything about this sweater. Where the buttons are curls a bit, but even with the curl, there's not too much of his side showing, so I'll live with it. Or maybe I can figure out how to pick up stitches on the border and knit a garter edge... We'll see. I have enough yarn left over. The bellyband is nicely placed and snug to his belly, so little chance of him being able to pee on it. I didn't put a buttonhole in the sweater because he likes his ears out whenever he can manage it anyway, so we'll always be leaving the sweater in its preppy Harvard turtleneck style. When rolled up, the collar covers his head nicely, so that might work for shoving him out into the backyard on cold windy days. The collar fit nicely above the rolled-down neck, though, and I'm pleased with the way the whole sweater hung on him throughout the walk.

He looks so uncertain here. "Mummy, I thought we were going for a walk..."

Mike and I anthropomorphise Priest probably a lot more than we should, but he makes it so easy... When we started on the walk, he was dragging behind me, which is completely abnormal for the start of a walk. I figure it's because the sweater felt weird, moving differently than his winter coat, so he was getting used to it. But it totally felt like he was saying, "Mummy... All the other boys are gonna laugh at me. I look like a DORK in my preppy sweater!" Oh, he made me laugh... By the midpoint of the walk, he'd gotten used to it and was out in front of me like normal.

I think he's totally sexy in his preppy Harvard turtleneck, though. :)

I have more hilarious Priest pictures from last night, but they're still on the camera, and have nothing to do with the sweater. I'll give you a hint, though. I was tempted to start calling him "Edward."

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Great Canadian Sing-Along Song Search

Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Quinoa salad
Dinner: Beef kebabs with steamed vegetables
Snacks: Kiwi fruit, deli turkey with Jarlsberg cheese, the most amazing organic trail mix from Costco (darn it)
Liquids: 1 l herbal tea, 500 ml water
Treats: 2x Icy Squares chocolate (Priest had an accident in the house; I'm allowed)
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with Priest after dinner (planned)

The consensus on the buttons was the bone type, and that's what I ended up going with. I washed it Saturday, and it's still drying, or I'd put it on Priest and send him outside into the backyard for a photoshoot in today's sunny weather, but sun also means below freezing, and the neck is still wet to the touch, so I'll cross my fingers for sunny weather again tomorrow. Gosh, I hope it worked out. If it doesn't, it's totally my fault, and not Terri's because the pattern is awesome, and I've never made a fitted garment in my life. As an aside, does anyone else think it's kind of funny that I knit my greyhound a sweater before I knit one for myself?

So Mike and I are going to the States here in about fifteen weeks, and one of the things I've been thinking about doing for my hosts (who are musically inclined) is to put together a Great Canadian Sing-Along Song CD for them. This is not as easy as it sounds. There's a lot of great Canadian music, but sing-along songs are a little rarer. But I've been putting a draft list together in my head, and two weekends ago when we were out and about, I mentioned the idea to Mike.

"That's a great idea," he said. "I'll help!"

"Okay!" I said, and mentioned some of the songs I'd been thinking about. "And I want to put on Lovers in a Dangerous Time by Barenaked Ladies."

"What?" he said. "I've never even heard of that. If you do a BNL song, it'd have to be Million Dollars..."

"Hmmm... Well, yeah, I guess. But I sing along to LiaDT all the time..."

"Oh! And we'll have to put on some Bob and Doug MacKenzie!"



"You can't sing along to Bob and Doug MacKenzie!"

"Sure you can. What about Take Off?"

"You can't sing along to Bob and Doug MacKenzie!"

"But you can sing along with Getty Lee!"


So Mike's list and my list will be... very different. I want to include some Jeff Healey (that's what started the whole idea anyway), but don't know which one. I also want to include some Great Big Sea, but the problem there is not that there are no sing-along songs, but there are so many! Which to choose... My list also includes some Bedouin Soundclash, Wintersleep, Feist, Bif Naked, and Finger Eleven, but those are the only ones I'm absolutely decided on. But that's not enough to fill a CD, and I know there are those out there reading with with their own opinions on the Great Canadian Sing-Along Song, who have gone to things like Folk Festivals and the like, and have maybe been able to listen to great Canadian artists with great Canadian sing-along songs that I've never heard. So if you want to be part of exposing some great American friends (and me) to great Canadian music, email me a suggestion or two or leave it in the comments.

Next post may or may not have knitting. We'll see. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The real question

Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Mock Moxie's Mayan Salad
Dinner: More Mock Moxie's Mayan Salad, this time with shrimp!
Snacks: Kiwi fruit, deli turkey with Jarlsberg cheese
Liquids: 1 l herbal tea
Treats: XL Timmie's French Vanilla Cappucchino (again)
Exercise: None (long walk with Priest planned for tomorrow morning, resting the shoulder today)

So, I'm almost done knitting Priest's sweater. Two inches of straight, four inches of decreasing, and it's done! But, the real question is, which buttons?

The lovely, subtle, brown "bone" type ones?

Or the shiny, gold, Harvard sweater type ones?

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Winter That Was... I Hope

Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Turkey sandwich (Silver Hills sprouted grain bread, don't worry, haven't lost my mind yet)
Dinner: Mock Moxie's Mayan Salad, California rolls
Snacks: 4 slices Jarlsberg cheese
Liquids: 500 ml herbal tea, 1 L water
Treats: XL Timmie's French Vanilla Cappucchino
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with Priest

I've had about five posts in my head, but absolutely no inclination to post them. So hopefully now I'll find it again.

This has been a nice day. Monday and Tuesday were -30, though, so forgive me for being less than certain that winter has released his chokehold on Alberta. I live in eternal hope, though. Yesterday, the City did snow removal on our street. Snow removal means "scrape it up and pile it on the sides of the road, but not in people's driveways." Which left us with this...

Okay, now, I admit that I picked the biggest pile on the block to stand in front of, but even if I hadn't, it's still a lot of snow. And not just snow. Ice. Let's for a moment, take a look at the stratification of our driveway, shall we?

Their bulldozers cleared what four hours of my time couldn't. And you know why? Take a look at that. I know there's nothing for perspective, but that's about a half-inch of ice. Pure ice. Stuck - no, melded - to the driveway. Resisting all human attempts to dislodge it while temperatures remained below freezing. Tomorrow, on the other hand, they're calling for +6, and if the hot/cold treatment I'm giving my poor shoulder right now helps some, I might just go out and try to clear the sidewalk part of our driveway. Because, darn it, I tried before and had NO LUCK AT ALL. Well, that's a lie. I could clear about one square foot an hour. Darn winter...

Stay tuned for other posts. They're pretty good ones, I promise. Well worth the wait.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So much for saving that...

I came home today to this:

So the Vanilla Chai soy milk that was going to be for my drive to Calgary tomorrow got cracked open. It's not as good as alcohol to take the edge off, but I still need to cook, cast off the rest of Lisa's shawl, wash and block it and five scarves, have a visitor, arrange the car to transport two dogs and some dog food, and pack, so alcohol is kind of out of the question.

Also sorry for no meal plan for the day. Just am not up to it right now. It would include a highly caffeinated treat, though. Yummy, but HIGHLY caffeinated.

Okay, must... you know. Deal. With everything. If you're in Calgary, I'll be in the Red Gym at Uni all weekend. Come visit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mini Bermuda Triangle

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, remains of V-day fruit platter
Lunch: Quinoa salad
Dinner: Shrimp and zucchini saute with green salad
Snacks: 10-layer dip, rice crackers
Liquids: ~0.5 L juice, so far
Treats: None
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with Priest and Darwin, housecleaning

Has everyone found the new location for the blog? Post a comment or something so I know and can stop being paranoid, okay?

So after scrubbing the algae off the ornaments and plants from the tank yesterday, I came to the conclusion that a) I couldn't get them really clean anymore, and b) the scrubbing had started really taking the paint off. So it was time for a new look for the tank. Fast forward to the afternoon, and...

If not for the reflection, this would be an awesome picture of two of the yoyos checking out the new digs...

The two platies in the background there admiring the new backdrop.

It was also time to change the bulb in the light for the tank, and the only 18" one that Paradise had was the POWER-GLO. Now everything just POPS!

Our foster Darwin's been doing okay, but he's bored out of his tree here. Small backyard, little chance for walks last week between Mike's working late/after-work meetings, my trigger point injections, and the uncooperative weather. He's not interested in toys, and plays like a regular dog, which freaks Priest out so he doesn't play back. I'm tempted to arrange a play date for him tomorrow with Chester, just to keep him from going completely stir crazy.

I reffed at the Red Deer Open on Saturday, and am heading down to Calgary to DT the Don Laszlo Memorial Open for my old fencing club on Friday. Stop by the Uni if you want to visit a little! There's always downtime at DT.

There has been knitting, but no washing or blocking, so I don't have pictures. I hope to be done Lisa's shawl today, and will then set aside part of tomorrow night (unless I arrange the aforementioned play date) for washing and blocking five scarves and one shawl. I hope we don't have company this week, because the guest room will be full of drying knitting! And then there will be photos!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Spot five differences between the two pictures

Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Chicken salad, mini cucumber
Dinner: Buffalo meatloaf with vegetables
Snacks: Yoghurt cup, apple, cheese
Liquids: 1x 500ml herbal tea, whatever I have tonight
Treats: None
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with Priest and Darwin after dinner

Hmm... Something's different.

I can't quite put my finger on what it is...

Can you spot it?

No tree!

Which means no more dozen to twenty bags of leaves in the fall!

To heck with it

I was holding off on posting until I'd come up with a new and spiffy and customized banner image. Alas, inspiration, PhotoShop, and my paltry skills in that arena are not cooperating. So the banner may go through various phases of hideousness (like Priest's has done over the last week) before I settle on one. For now, it'll stay the stock image, and forgive me.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Lunch: Salad, almonds
Dinner: Ham with ratatouille
Snacks: Yoghurt cup, mini cucumber, almonds
Liquids: 1x 500ml herbal tea, 1x 500 ml water
Treats: None
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with Priest

Priest spent his evening doing this:

I spent my evening doing this:

(No before shot, but count yourself lucky. It was horrid. I discovered washed but unfolded sheets...)

And turning this (looks up) into this (looks down).

In this picture, you can see the four scarves waiting to be washed and blocked on the front chair, and Lisa's shawl and maybe a little bit of Priest's sweater on the leather chair in the back. I put my spindles and spinning fibre to the other side of the chair.

Now, if only it could stay like this. :) But I feel very productive today.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sicilian Kiss = equal parts Southern Comfort and Amaretto -> good painkiller

Breakfast: Yoghurt
Lunch: Tim Horton's Chili w/ Trail Mix Cookie
Dinner: Beef stroganoff with basmati rice, green salad
Snacks: Apple with Saint Andre triple cream cheese, mini-cuke and yoghurt cup
Liquids: 2x 500ml herbal tea,
Treats: TBA
Exercise: TBA

I know, I know. I was on a roll there. But trust me, ladies and gentlemen, Friday's post wouldn't have been worth reading, and it's been busy busy since. Friday I dropped Banner off at his new foster home/maybe forever home. I had his new foster mummy walk him around the house, where he studiously ignored the cats, was gentle with the kids, and seemed quite taken with the girl greyhound there. Then I brought his bed, food, and bag 'o' stuff in. And as I put my shoes back on, he stood next to his new foster mummy, head down, not even looking at me. Guilt-tripped by a dog. I gave him a kiss and left, then came home and poured myself 3 oz of alcohol to soothe my aching ankle and aching heart. Friday's post would have been about how hard it is to foster a dog, especially a dog that fits in. I know we don't have room for a second, and I know that Banner, with being cat/kid/small animal/bird-safe, would have been wasted at our house, but that doesn't make it any easier. Even knowing that because he is that kind of dog means he won't be in foster care for very long doesn't make it any easier. He came to us underfed and attention starved. I feel so strongly that he deserves a home, and I really, really hope that this either works out, or he gets one quickly.

After that was a day of cleaning, a day at the Pet Expo, a 9 hour day working from home, and then returning to work. Once I rescue pictures from the camera, Priest will talk about his shift at the Pet Expo. I took the car in middayish on Monday, because without power steering, I wasn't enthused about driving it during rush hour on Tuesday. It turns out they booked me in for Wednesday. I told them I needed the car back by Friday. I got a shuttle ride home, and an hour later he called me to say it was done. ... A-R-G-H. Why bother making appointments, then? The problem was the clamp that held a hose on to the power steering module. The clamp was not strong enough to hold it on. They replaced it with a stronger clamp. It makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Yesterday, I took the spindles to knitting and got some help tying on the leaders. Those who know a bit about spinning, the first thing they said was, "Does your dad take orders?" Then I tried it with non-crap fibre, and it turns out I can actually spin, kinda! I'm going to bring the big one down to Calgary tomorrow and show Dad how it works (which is like a dream). Noro Kureyon scarf should be done tonight and I should be able to wear it unblocked to Calgary, and then the focus will be on Priest's sweater, because darn it the weather isn't cold enough for his winter jacket, and too cold to really go nekkid (Nekkid hound! Shocking!). Then I just need to tidy and clean the guestroom so I can wash and block the mmmmMalabrigo Thunderstorm and the Noro Scarf. I want to frog the two snoods I made for Priest before I discovered the concept of tension and redo them, or recycle the yarn for something else since they don't quite work for him anyway. And I learned today that a friend of mine desperately needs a big, comfy shawl, even if she doesn't know it yet, so I need to figure that out too. I'm thinking this one, since it's easy lace and done in aran/worsted weight yarn, in a soft yellow or green.

I'm also thinking to add writing exercises to my weekly routine. Once the library is tidied, I should have a nice spot to do it in as well. I know this will be very welcome by, oh, just about everyone, so stay tuned.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Breakfast: Pineapple, banana, berry soymilk shake
Lunch: Salad
Dinner: Meatloaf with steamed veggies and red potatoes
Snacks: Anjou pear, deli turkey with swiss cheese, yoghurt
Liquids: 500ml herbal tea, 500ml water
Treats: None
Exercise: Driving my car home

I have a leak in my power steering fluid, and the dealership can't get me in until Tuesday. So my vehicle will sit at home with manual steering until Tuesday. Yay.

Banner will be off to his new foster/maybe forever home sometime this weekend. I'm happy for him, but I will miss his goofiness.

My project for the weekend is to try out the spindles Dad made for me. It'll have to be Saturday, because we're scheduled for a shift at the Pet Expo on Sunday.

Alas, there's Friday first. Friday...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Knitter's crack

Breakfast: Yoghurt, fresh pineapple, slice swiss cheese
Lunch: Salad
Dinner: White bean/mushroom soup
Snacks: Banana, deli turkey with swiss cheese, tbsp peanut butter
Liquids: 500ml herbal tea, venti passion flower shaken iced tea lemonade from Starbucks (that should probably go under treat...), 250ml grapefruit juice, Apple Cinnamon Booster Juice
Treats: None
Exercise: 45 minute walk with the dogs, 45 minutes chipping at the driveway

Today the optometrist is giving me a new left lens for free since I can't see very well. Also today, I learned a new way to purl (apparently, I've been doing a Norwegian purl, which adds an extra step, whereas this new purl once I get good at it will just f-l-y). Also today, I received a package from Ireland with the most lovely Irish tweed in it, as well as a sample of knitter's crack. What, you say? Yes, I said it, knitter's crack, AKA Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I know that whatever I make is going to be just scrumptious. And it's going to be for me. I really need to write up a proper thank you email, but I just have time to post this after dishes and before bed, and the left eye is saying, "Off with the glasses and let me rest!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A tattoo! And I didn't mean it!

Breakfast: Pineapple berry soymilk shake
Lunch: Chicken salad with tomatoes and water chestnuts
Dinner: Chili
Snacks: Yogurt, almonds, kiwi fruit
Liquids: 2x 500ml herbal tea, 300ml soy milk
Treats: Tim Hortons yogurt and berry cup (vanilla - toooooo much sugar), piece chocolate
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with the dogs

So I had a doctor's appointment today, and I finally caved to peer pressure and showed him the bruise I gave myself with a bench last Valentine's Day. He said that the bump was just scar tissue, because it wasn't fixed to the bone and could be moved around, and the bruise was tattooed with hemoglobin and some other hemo thing that I can't remember.

Seriously. If I was going to give myself a tattoo, I could have picked something other than a bruise, couldn't I?

Also, Captain Blood is still a great movie.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Miffed dog

Breakfast: Yoghurt
Lunch: Romano and black beans with italian dressing and tomatoes, almonds
Dinner: New Mexican Chicken Soup with cheddar cheese
Snacks: Kiwi fruit, deli turkey with swiss cheese
Liquids: 500ml herbal tea, 500ml juice, 125ml soy milk, 600ml water
Treats: None
Exercise: 0.5 hour walk with dogs, 1.25 hours chipping ice on the driveway.

Okay. I know this is very Bridget Jones' Diary. Believe me. But I also remember when I kept a daily food diary how it forced me to be honest with myself. Plus, this might help some other people find nice things to eat. So bear with me. If I don't like it, I'll stop, and you know, there's nothing saying you have to read that first bit anyway.

So Priest got miffed at me today. I was mixing up some more kibble for Banner after I'd fed the both of them. I closed the storage room door, poured the kibble into the big plastic container we have for foster food, put the lid on and shook it up. And Priest was annoyed with me for the rest of the afternoon because I didn't give him any! He's kind of forgiven me, at least enough to come meet me at the door when I came back from grocery shopping. Silly dog. :)

Horrifying discovery of the day: There's MSG in OXO bouillon powder, whichever flavour it is. Blah.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's a whole food revolution!

Get it? Get it? It's a whole food revolution, or it's a whole food revolution! Ha ha ha ha! Ha...

Okay, never mind.

Truth is, we have switched to a more whole food diet, and currently are avoiding wheat/rice with an increase in fruits and veggies for carbohydrates. And you know what? I'm less tired, feeling less hungry or tied to strict mealtimes, and I'm feeling good. Like, good. Good. Not great, yet, but I haven't felt good for a long time, so I'll take any improvement.

I am contemplating several things, including a redesign for the blog, and posting more. I know, shocking. As for redesign, I can't find a free XML template that I like and I am a) not a graphic designer, and b) not an XML programmer, so that leaves me limited... But I'll keep looking.

We currently have a foster dog in our midst: Banner. Banner is... well...

Yes, that is his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth. Banner is a super sweet dog and I'm finding it very difficult not to bond with him. He is gentle, cat/dog/bird/kid-safe, and has so many goofy and endearing mannerisms that I just can't tell you. He and Priest get along just fine. But he'll be moving to either another foster home or a forever home at the end of the month, as we've been almost positively tagged to foster a young, skittish girl just up from the States, who needs a calm, quiet place to discover herself and her confidence.

It's spring-warm here in Edmonton, which won't last, so we'll have to get the five inches of packed snow off the driveway while we can. My hands are pretty bruised from the three hours I was at it today, but I'll be back out there again tomorrow.

I have also finished two scarves over the last little while that I need to get pictures taken of so I can post them. They are both very pretty, and I'm so pleased to be finishing things! Now, if only I could finish my afghan...

Time to rest, to be ready for ice chipping, house cleaning, and dog walking tomorrow! Toodles!

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