Friday, September 28, 2007

Knitting in the Button of California

Adrienne over at Knitting in the Bellybutton of California is having a contest! Head on over... Enter the contest... And tell her I sent you, please? I was a runner up in Megan's contest, but that is the best that I've ever done in a blog contest!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

FFBE Topic of the Week

As of this weekend, the season has officially changed on the calendar - but what makes Autumn feel like Autumn to you, and why?

Living in an area that has 4 seasons, I always know that Autumn is on its way when we have to start covering the tomatoes to protect them from frost. At that point in summer, we may still have glorious warm and sunny days, but the much cooler evenings speak of the season yet to come - Autumn. Aside from covering the tomatoes, the cooler evenings also bring the beginning of one of the most spectacular things about Autumn - the Autumn leaves!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

100 Things About Me

This is my 100th post, and today I am home sick, feeling miserable, so it somehow feels appropriate to do something that's all about me...

One Hundred Things About Me

1. I am a natural blonde, although it is usually “enhanced”.
2. I am a middle child.
3. I have 2 sisters.
4. My older sister is my favourite.
5. Since I already had a sister, I wanted a brother when my younger sister was born. Why do people ask kids what they want? It’s not like they really have an influence over the whole brother or sister eventuality.
6. I have been married twice.
7. My first husband was the oldest of three children and so is my second husband.
8. I never met my husband’s youngest brother. He died before I met Mr. Me.
9. While I am left handed, every other member of my family is right handed. I try to insist that the kitchen should be set up to accommodate me, but I usually loose the battle.
10. I have two sons. They’re terrific!
11.My mother-in-law asked me if I was disappointed when I had my second son… She always wanted a daughter. I just wanted a healthy baby!
12. I have size 9 feet. Before younger son, they were an 8.5. Before older son, they were an 8.
13. I can’t skate. Unpatriotic, but true!
14. I iron my pillowcases.
15. I wasn’t allowed by my parents to wear pants to school until I was in the sixth grade.
16. Walnuts always make me think of my great-grandfather. He had a black walnut tree in his yard, could make boats from neatly split half shells and always had maple walnut ice cream in his freezer.
17. The very fist pair of shoes that I ever chose for myself was a pair of orange patent leather Mary Janes. It was 1969 – does that make more sense now?
18. As a kid, I was the only kid at birthday parties who wanted strawberry ice cream.
19. I still prefer it to chocolate ice cream.
20. But banana ice cream (or anything thing with a banana base) is my favourite… Monkey Tracks anyone?
21. My first teddy bear was named Lamby Bear.
22. He was a pink and white panda with a bell in one ear.
23, I love pineapple but I really don’t like it on pizza.
24. My eyes are blue, as are the eyes of my parents, siblings, children and my husband.
25. The first time I went to a funeral, I was 25. It was my paternal grandmother.
26. I didn’t get my drivers license until I was 33.
27. I still don’t enjoy driving although I drive quite a bit.
28. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce.
29. I’m a Certified General Accountant.
30. I also have a Diploma in Fashion Techniques and Design – Knit Option.
31. Right after high school I went to university and completed my first year of a Bachelor Science Degree in Chemistry.
32. I regret not having finished this degree in some respects, but that would have put me on a very different path…
33. I went to a college that was run by Ursuline nuns and lived in residence. Now THAT was an interesting experience. (Brescia College at the University of Western Ontario. It is now run by a secular board.)
34. I love sour gummies.
35. I’m 5’6” but have always wished that I was taller. That might explain why I usually wear heels!
36. My mother doesn’t know about my blog.
37. I won’t carry a vinyl purse or wear vinyl shoes.
38. I’ll wear a blend, but I won’t wear 100% acrylic.
39. I’m more open to polyester although it makes absolutely no sense.
40. I could never be a vegetarian, never mind a vegan! I just like my meat too much…
41. I respect your right to choose not to eat something and would prepare a vegan meal for a guest in my home.
42. I did grades 2, 3 and 4 in two years.
43. I had an imaginary friend named “Sally GooGoo” when I was a child.
44. My older sister could see her, too.
45. My toenails are always painted during the summer because I don’t like the look of naked toes in sandals. But my toenails are almost never painted during the winter because no one much sees them…
46. I eat for comfort. Yes – I’m an emotional eater…
47. My favourite comfort food is Salt and Vinegar potato chips. Lays, please…
48. I wish that I was in better shape.
49. I need to figure out how to get better organized.
50. I try very hard not to spoil my children with material things. I’d rather spoil them with love and attention.
51. I don’t believe that I am entitled to anything that I haven’t earned.
52. I was a geek in high school.
53. I didn’t like high school.
54. I choose my female friends very carefully.
55. Perhaps too carefully…
56. I am not someone who most people find immediately likeable.
57. That might explain while people either love me or hate me…
58. I love red lipstick although I tend to wear it less often now than I did when I was younger.
59. I was raised a Presbyterian, but it didn’t “take”…
60. I now attend an Anglican church, but I don’t believe absolutely everything they tell me…
61. We didn’t have a television until I was 6. It was a gift (a hand-me-down) from my grandparents. Left to their own devices my parents wouldn’t have bought a television.
62. I treasure the portrait of my paternal grandmother that was taken on her wedding day. It is the portrait that my grandfather kept of her on his bedside table until he died. (My Dad knew that I wanted it and quietly picked it up for me…)
63. I won’t eat raw mushrooms. Same applies to raw fish. Fish is meant to be cooked! I like raw onions, but they don’t like me, so I can’t eat them… They get cooked, too.
64. I don’t really like either Coke or Pepsi. I’m much more a gingerale kind of girl, although I do have an odd liking for the “kid” flavours like Cream Soda, lime, orange and grape.
65. Don’t even try talking to me before I’ve had coffee in the morning. I won’t remember anything… Yes, I am a caffeine addict.
66. I’m allergic milk, cheese and beef, but fortunately not badly enough that I can’t eat them.
67. I’ve had laser surgery on my eyes, but not to correct my vision. It was to close the holes that had developed in my retina.
68. I have never worn contact lenses.
69. I’ve worn glasses since I was 11.
70. I have a collection of Madeline ragdolls. I wish that they still made them.
71. I wear my charm bracelet everyday to remind me of what is truly important in my life. It has two little boys and their birthstones on either side of my birthstone. Mr. Me has the same birthstone as I do, but he isn’t really represented because I got it during a particularly rough period in our marriage. Good thing that its stainless steel!
72. I eat my French fries with salt and vinegar, never ever under threat of death with ketchup or gravy. Blech!!!
73. If I could only have one condiment on my hotdog or hamburger, it would be mustard.
74. I was born in Uxbridge, Ontario.
75. I wish I had a better relationship with my parents. (See number 36 above…)
76. I have always underestimated my abilities, although maybe not quite so much now as I once did.
77. I wanted to go to art school.
78. I don’t drink tequila anymore. I know that it tastes the same traveling in both directions…. ‘nuf said?
79. Crowds of people tend to make me anxious. I don’t like the noise. It overwhelms me.
80. I don’t go to see movies at the theatre often at least in part because I find the smell of artificial butter disgusting.
81. I don’t like dirt, but I like a certain amount of clutter. I find it comforting.
82. I own 3 pairs of knee high black leather boots. You can never have too many pairs of those…
83. I grew up in Oakville, Ontario. I still consider it my “hometown”.
84. I grew up in suburbia, but have become very comfortable in my rural setting.
85. I’ve never done it, but I know how to clean a partridge.
86. The only sport that I’ve ever done competitively is archery.
87. I have no fear of public speaking, although for a long time I considered myself to be shy. I mean, really, what is the worst thing that people can do? Laugh? They might do that anyways!
88. I believe that I’m lucky to have been born a Canadian.
89. I can’t fall asleep if my feet are cold.
90. Scrabble is my most favourite board game. I LOVE it!
91. I don’t play cards because I can never remember the rules to anything more complicated than “Go Fish” or “War”.
92. Aside from babysitting, my first job was working part-time in a drycleaners when I was in highschool. Many people have filthy and disgusting habits! (Yes – men in particular… Eeew!)
93. I’m still in touch with the very first boy who ever kissed me. It’s been 30 years. Actually, he is friends with my whole family.
94. I’m VERY ticklish. My sisters used to have great fun with this… Fun for them. Not fun for me!
95. I’ve never been to Florida.
96. When I count, I tend to count in groups of 12. No – I have no idea why, but I am confident in saying that British currency pre-decimalization would have made perfect sense to me.
97. I’ve always wanted red hair - and curls! The only people who get excited about poker straight hair are those people who don’t have it.
98. I’m neither politically active nor politically affiliated, but I do ALWAYS vote. I feel that unless I exercise my democratic right to have a say in the decision making process, I have no right to complain about the results.
99. Since this blog has lots to do with my knitting, the single most important event in my knitting life, aside from learning the craft in the first place, was a 2 day workshop I took with Lucy Neatby. If you get the chance to take a class with her – DO IT!
100. I feel guilt about being a working mother. As a result, my children have never had a store bought birthday cake. That usually means one homemade cake for the family, another for the party and then cupcakes for their class. The most elaborate? Either the 3D dinosaur that was standing up or the George Shrinks Zooper car…

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yummy Mummy

It's official - the term "yummy mummy" has been added to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary! For those of you who don't know, a "yummy mummy" is an attractive mother. Now what does this have to do with knitting? Take a look in the mirror! Most knitters, in my opinion, definitely fit this definition. And yes - I will accept just about any sort of "caregiving" as being worthy of the term "mother".

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Successful Sock Adoption

Yes, my downstream pal's Sock It To Me swap package has safely arrived at its new home and the socks are very happy there!

Here is a close-up of the sock detail, but they really look much better on Audrey's feet! (And I think that her photographic skills might be better to - sorry for the fuzzy image.) The pattern is “Go With the Flow” from the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. Yes, the magazine is still available as a back issue. I don't own Favorite Socks, so I don't know if it is in there or not... Okay - its not in there. The link has the table of contents listed.
I had fun putting together Audrey's package and luck would have it, I was already familiar with Audrey... You'll find a link to her French blog on my blog. Check out her patterns. They're really nice!

It's Not Easy Being Green

No one does green quite like Kermit the Frog, but my kids are trying!
Thank goodness for Crayola Washable Markers!
And I guess that I've got two years of strange coloured orthodontic elastics to look forward to! At least neither of them is permanent green...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Is This Cheating?

I was tagged last week by Kristen. Much like Kristen, I actually find this somewhat exciting! Now I'm not ignoring the tagging, but I've already done the "7 Random Things" tag here, and tagged people, and most surprising - all but one of them did it and it might have been unfair tagging a French blogger since an English entry would have been rather out of place. (Yeah, bloggers!) I could come up with 8 more things about me, but I'm closing in on 100 posts and plan on doing "100 Things About Me" for that post and I'm having trouble coming up with the last few... (I'm trying not to repeat any of them.) So - once again - here are my original seven, and these are the people I tagged:

Crafty Canadian
Des aiguilles et du fil
Stephanie Cake

Wander over and have look at their blogs. I enjoy all of them very much! Oh - and the person who tagged me originally was Ms. Palmtree over at Days Go By!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


That would be needful as in needful of "Needful Yarns"! Okay - I didn't really need more yarn, but I wanted it. I bought 4 balls of this, 2 balls in each of 1020 and 1023. Enough for 2 pair of socks for ME! New stock arrived at my LYS yesterday and was still so fresh that I had to open up bags to get at it... Good thing that Trish is so nice! I did buy other yarn for other people as well, but since it is all destined to be gifts, I'm not going to post pictures of links just now.
Yesterday I successfully posted, not one, but two swap packages. My Sock It To Me package has been mailed as has my first SP11 package. I'm anxiously tracking their progress, and hope that both of my pals will feel at least a little bit spoiled.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Business Casual (*Rant Warning*)

Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but I'm am becoming more and more appalled at the state of business attire that is worn these days. If you work in a professional or office environment and are inclined to wear things that are torn, frayed, show your underwear of parts of your skin that you would be embarassed to show your grandmother you might want to stop reading now.
Now I'm in my forties, I'm a Mom and I'm an Accountant, so I could easily be accused of being "conservative"... Although I'd classify myself as a social liberal. I believe in equality and fairness for everyone no matter what.
Business can be defined as "a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern". Not the nasty profit motive...
Casual can be defined as "appropriate for wear or use on informal occasions; not dressy: casual clothes; casual wear". Informal is fine - it still has to be appropriate considering this definition.
Unfortunately somewhere in the last decade or so, the acceptable norm for business attire became "business casual" which can be defined as "attire that is acceptable for an office but quite casual, varying depending on the type of business and workplace". And the "casual" part has become "seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned".
I don't care if you wear shoes with open toes or backs (I do, too). I don't care if you don't wear hoisery (its too warm in the summer). But don't complain if you don't wear underwear (and its obvious) or you consistently wear clothing that shows your underwear. I don't want to see anything associated with either or those situations and no - I won't be sympathetic when you're upset because someone has leared at you.
But then again, maybe its none of my business - "something with which a person is rightfully concerned".
All definitions as quoted from here. Give credit where it is due!
(Sorry - its been a rough Monday...)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fall is in the Air

Fall is very much in the air these cool September mornings. Yesterday morning it was just at freezing and I regretted not having put on gloves. Fall also means harvest time. As you can see, Fred did an excellent job of keeping most things out of the garden. Unfortunately, neither the squirrels - who quite like tomatoes (who knew?) - nor the deer are afraid of him! Here is a small portion of our veggies. We've been giving it away like crazy - friends, relatives, co-workers, the local community kitchen - whoever will take it....

Ariel had mentioned in a post that while she doesn't change yarns when the seasons change, she does change projects. I was a little curious about just how cold it might get in Southern California... The answer: 50s farenheit, which is very loosely translated to about 10C! Balmy... I really don't enjoy it when it is REALLY COLD, but I think that I would miss snow and four very distinct seasons. But then I don't enjoy REALLY HOT either! (Yeah - there's just no pleasing some people.)
Oh, and a special thanks to Ms. Palmtree over at Days Go By. The Mexican Lasagne recipe that she e-mailed to help me use my zucchini is amazingly yummy! Check out her Gazpacho recipe.

Friday, September 14, 2007

FFBE Contest #2 (and Some Other Stuff)

So contest #2 for the Fall Felted Bag Exchange asks that we post a photo of our bag in progress. As always, I'll do this kind of loosely... It took me a while to choose both the pattern and the yarn, but I finally decided on Lagoon from Pursenality Plus. And I'm making it out of Galway Paint and Patons Classic Wool. The Galway paint is variegated blue, turqouise and purple (colour 518). I tried to take a photo but it ended up looking like it was all blue - which it isn't. I'll try again if it is sunny over the weekend. Maybe it will work better in natural light. And the Patons Classic Wool is "That's Blue". I bought the yarn on Wednesday and finished knitting it tonight. Its handles and embellishment stitching has been done. Now I just need to felt it, put on the closures, and since I like a firmish bottom - make and insert the bottom. Easy peasy lemony squeezy!
Now I don't own Pursenality, but Kristen has knit some very nice bags from it and it was because of her positive comments that I picked up to look and ultimately bought Pursenality Plus. Congratulations, Kristen! You have officially "enabled" me...
Part two of the contest was to link to a blog of someone who we "met" through the 3-2-1 contact contest. In the interests of being completely honest, there are quite a few people in the swap that I already read with at least some regularity. When that is coupled with school starting and being busy at work (including travelling), I must admit that I haven't picked up any new "habitual" blogs. Since I have been busy, I've been trying to pop by a blog or two from the list each day, usually just as the mood strikes me. For instance, I've checked out all of the other K names... Hi Kaili, Karen, Kati, Kris and Kristen! I could have sworn that I had been to Kim's blog, too, but the link appears to be broken?
I've finally finished my Sock It To Me socks and hope to get that package all together and into the post on Monday. These are the socks that ended up being very disagreeable! It is the Oriole pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. I don't know why I dislike them so much - and trust me, the feeling is mutual - but I do!

The other package that will *hopefully* hit the mail on Monday is my September SP11 package. Everything is bought but there's just that little detail of constructing part of it... And I ordered some goodies for the October package - I love Knitpicks!
And speaking of Knitpicks - I ordered these... When the e-mail first came through from Knitpicks last weekend, I was busy enough that I didn't immediately open it. However, when I read this post of Lesley's, I just had to go and check them out. Aren't they pretty? I actually ordered two sets - one for me and one for a knitting friend at the office. Congratulations, Lesley! You too have officially "enabled" me...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Small Victories

So if we go back to June, we'll find that I had the best of intentions to clean up my "sewing room". I must admit defeat. It still looks pretty much the same...
A rather large failure wouldn't you say? (Mr. Me would be appalled if he knew that I was posting pictures of my shame on the net...)
However, last weekend during the unwired darkness, I did manage to finish one of the UFOs. The Apple Sweater has been upgraded to Finished Object!
Now I just have to figure out what the heck to do with it...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This and That...

So the kids have started another school year, and I'm right back into the grind. I'm sitting in a hotel room this evening and will be doing the same again tomorrow - but a different hotel room in a different city. I actually like travelling some, but not too much. It just seems to create too much turmoil. I'm not quite sure why, but I have to do more advance planning when I'm away. I think that Mr. Me could actually manage on his own but he makes it clear that he really doesn't want to... Since I planned on being away for two dinners, I had suggestions for at least 3 different dinner options. Tonight he barbecued hamburgers, which made the kids happy, but he was really quite pleased when he found out that the middle school is having a welcome open house and barbecue tomorrw evening. Three guesses where Mr. Me and the kids are going for dinner tomorrow evening... Yeah - got it in one - the school.
A few people have enquired about the fate of Salamander Me. I'm happy to report that he was re-released into the wilds of my front lawn. I fully expect that he is back in the cellar, but so long as he doesn't make his presence known, I'm fine with that. One of those asking was Janet. Even if I don't get a chance to respond to every comment, I do like to click through to find out who has been reading. Now Janet gave me a bit of a challenge! She had mentioned that if she were to find a salamander at her home, she would wonder how it had gotten there... She lives on the Kenai Penninsula, but that didn't really help me so I had to read a bit more to discover that the Kenai Penninsula is in Alaska! Yes - that would be very far north for a salamander. And Stephanie Cake was able to give me some very interesting information about salamanders courtesy of Mr. Cake who has worked as a naturalist. I think that the one fact that made me decide very strongly that Salamander Me was not destined to be part of our family long term was the fact that salamanders can live to be approximately 30 years old. Nope - too much of a commitment for me.
And the favourite Dr. Who and the favourtie Star Trek captain conversation is quite interesting. It seems like Tom Baker is the hands down favourite from a character perspective although he's lagging behind in the hotness poll... And it is pretty well a dead heat between Kirk and Picard. However, Alison posed an interesting question: who was the best Dr. Who companion? I have no strong feeling on this and I'm waiting to hear back from my sister because she will have an opinion on this.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hey - Who Turned Out the Lights???

No one really turned out the lights on me but it sure felt that way. I arrived home from work on Friday - right before the long weekend - to find out that our land line and our internet service was down... Mr. Me had been working from home on Friday, so he was here when it happened. Had he called for service? Why, yes, he had. When could we expect a resumption in service? Tuesday. When on Tuesday? Anytime between 8am and 5pm. It was an all day appointment. Now I sort of understand this, but I sort of don't... I can see that something might take longer than expected and you might have to call to say that you were running late, but to have someone sit around waiting for a service call just strikes me as a little bit ridiculous.
On the plus side, I was taking today off for the first day of school so I was going to be around regardless, but otherwise, someone would have had to have taken a vacation day. The service guy finally arrived just around 2pm. It took him about 5 minutes to figure out that it was a corroded wire and fix it! Almost 4 days without phone or internet service and then 5 minutes to fix it. I felt somehow cheated... Like it should have taken more of an effort...