Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random Numbers

96 - My Grandmother's age. I received an Easter card from her yesterday. Given her age, I'll cut her some slack about it being late. Aren't I nice? Her advice about her age:
"Don't live to be 96. It's no good."
96 is also one of those numbers that if you turn it upside down, it is still 96.
97 - The mark that Older Son received on his punctuation test! I'm so proud of him.
75 - The number of kilometres that I travel each way to work everyday. I also kind of think of it as three quarters... The fraction or the coins - either works.
4 - The number of calendar days before government fiscal year end. Considering I'm working in a Finance department these days, this is important to me! It is also only half as scary as the number of working days which would be 2!!!
2 - The number of marriages I have had, the number of children I have and yes, the number of working days before fiscal year end!
19 - The legal drinking age in most (if not all of Canada). It is also the last of the teenage years. This year 19 is a record for us here Chez Me. It is the number of times that our driveway has been plowed so far this winter... And that makes me dream of warm days with highs of 19 degrees C - low 70s for any Americans.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Fling Coffee Swap Questionnaire

Firstly - Happy Easter! Happy Spring! Secondly - I feel odd putting up this questionnaire before I've had confirmation that I've been accepted... However, since it is a requirement that the questionnaire go up before the close of registrations on the 25th, I present you with my Spring Fling Coffee Swap Questionnaire. (I've been a good swapper in the past, but still live in fear that someone may have had a bad experience with me, unbeknownst to me. What can I say? I'm a pleaser...)
1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground?
Ground. I like whole beans, but never seem to have the time to grind them right before I brew…
2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non?
A nice rich dark roast… Definitely leaded.
3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up?
Probably something pretty basic. I usually buy President’s Choice Canadian Coffee. (It’s a house brand for a chain of grocery stores.)
4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both?
5. Do you enjoy flavored coffees? How about add-ins or flavored creamers?
I do enjoy flavoured coffees, but flavoured add-ins and creamers are a DEFINITE DON’T with me.
6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup?
Unless it is an after dinner coffee, following a formal dinner, it is in a mug.
7. Describe your perfect cup - not JUST the coffee, but how you'd enjoy it!
It’s a warm spring morning. It’s bright and sunny. The kids and the husband are otherwise occupied. I’m sitting on my porch swing with my coffee and my knitting, just watching the world go by on the river that runs in front of my house. The coffee is rich and dark. Nice and hot with just a splash of milk. As a special treat, some Queen’s Muffins have just come out of the oven. I get to eat my muffin and drink my coffee without any interruptions. And then I get to have a second cup while I knit a few rows… Heaven!
8. You're sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up - or maybe you're there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company?
That would be a peanut butter filled oatcake dipped in chocolate. Sort of decadent – the chocolate. Sort of salty – the peanut butter. Sort of healthy – the oatmeal (work with me!).
1. Do you knit or crochet?
I knit.
2. What are your favorite types of yarns to work with?
I like to work with natural fibres. Probably something with a fairly firm twist, and I’m not usually attracted to things that are very textured – I’m not a fan of boucle or fun fur, although both have their uses.
3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now?
Well, I just need to cast of my second Jacobean sock, so they’re almost done. And then there’s a pair of 4 by 2 rib Tiger socks for Older Son. And I’m on the final clue of the SoTSii. And then there’s all that stuff that lives in my various baskets…
4. What are your favorite colors in yarns? What about those that you'd never find in your stash?
I like pinks, purples, greens and blues. I tend towards the grey tones – you know – cool colours as opposed to warm colours… Truth be told, you would find the rainbow in my stash. I’m not a big fan of yellow, but there is yellow in stash just waiting for the perfect project.
5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest?
I’m loving my Harmony wooden needles. They are heavenly. I don’t like plastic needles, with the exception of my Pony Pearls for sock knitting.
6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot - are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan?
Nope. There is a creature that lives in my sewing room that eats measuring tapes and small scissors and then swallows them all down with some stitch markers. About once a year he vomits them all at once and I have a momentary abundance. But then he gets hungry again… Sorry for any disgusting visual that may have popped into you mind with that.
7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going..The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favorite colors, slightly variegated..a beautiful sock yarn that's just squishy and sproingy in your hands.. a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo.. and a lovely bamboo blend with colors to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with?
Do I have my credit card with me? Can’t I use that? Okay – I probably buy the sock yarn and the bamboo. Then head to the bank for more money. Or I call a friend so that she can come and buy yarn too, and I can live vicariously through her purchases.
1. We're starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring - is it already truly Spring-like where you are?
Decidedly NOT. Our yard still looks like this.
2. What's your favorite spring flower? Do you have one?
Daffodils. They are so happy!
3. What do you most look forward to about springtime?
Not shovelling snow… Seriously – open toed shoes and pedicured feet. After a winter in boots, I’m ready to pamper myself and my feet a bit.
4. They've predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow - Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze - how do you spend your day?
If it’s after spring lift in, we’re probably going sailing! I always take my knitting with me, so that I can knit when we drop the sails to just drift and enjoy the sun.
5. The day after, it's going to be cooler and pouring down rain - does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up?
I probably don’t feel very energetic. I’d probably spend the day in either the parlour or my sewing room working away on projects. Or if there was a good movie to watch, we’d all snuggle up in the living room to watch a movie.
Odds n Ends
1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles?
I have a small collection of teacups that I inherited from my Grandma and I have a collection of Madeline rag dolls.
2. Are you allergic to anything?
No fibre allergies. Don’t send penicillin, okay?
3. Do you have pets?
Tiger the Cat and the kids have gerbils. Tiger is a 1.5 year old tabby cat that has “cattitude”. It is very clearly that he only tolerates us because we feed him. (But I love him anyways.)
4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in?
I’ve been swapping for a about a year, so I’ve done a few… The last 2 swaps that I participated in were Sock It To Me Twice and the Scavenger Hunt Swap.
5. List 3 of your favorite blogs - craft related or not - and tell us why you love them.
Shut Up I’m Counting. Cass is always good for a laugh and has convinced me that I’m not the most uncoordinated and clumsy person on earth… Although I do remain accident prone.
Chan Knits. Chan talks about her life and her dogs. Reading Chan makes me feel warm.
CanKNITian. I know J in person and love reading her blog because of that, but I wish that she’d blog more often. Her stories are always amusing – more so because she’s very much a real person to me.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Do you ever read something, understand what it means but see something completely different in your mind? Sometimes this makes me wonder about my sanity...
For example, I knit this for my SITMT pal, Cindy. However, if you think that I really expected to find Woodstock when I clicked on the link that said Woody Dishcloth, you are sadly mistaken. If you're sitting there giggling and thinking that this should have been knit in some sort of racially appropriate fleshtone, you're with me!
And then there was the Stocking Cap... I knew what they meant, but in my mind I saw Stalking Cap, which is probably more like this.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lows and Highs

Cross posted on the Scavenger Hunt blog here.
If you looked down on the ground today, you might have found me sprawled on the sidewalk or under my car in the sitter’s driveway… I was kind of afraid that the under the car thing was going to result in an “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moment. Aren’t I too young for that? Enough of the ice and snow already. Unfortunately there is more of it in the forecast tomorrow and again on Friday. So those were a couple of lows today.
Fortunately, our stop at the mailbox was more of a high point to the day. We have one of those lovely Canada Post Superboxes so that the postal workers don’t have to put too much of an effort into delivering our rural mail. (I’ll tell you the moving the mailbox multiple times story sometime when I’m really peeved at our local post mistress.) Having managed to get myself out from under the car once, I wasn’t risking a second time, so Older Son very kindly retrieved the mail. Isn’t it nice when the kids are useful? Just junk mail in the regular mailbox, but there was a key to a package compartment…
I was waiting on two packages – one being something from (Not So) Cynical Knitting Gal’s contest (I had received confirmation from the United States Postal Service that it had been posted) and the other being my Scavenger Hunt Package. Which one would it be? It was my Scavenger Hunt Package from Penny!
And then there was another low… The realization that the camera has gone away with Mr. Me to Halifax for a couple of days and then a couple of days in St. John’s. Ack! I can’t take pictures until he gets home. I (very) briefly considering letting Penny know that it had arrived and explaining about the photos, but I decided that I’d just open it and try to describe everything.
So here goes:
The box was a 12 by 8 ¾ by 9 ¾ Smurfit-MBI recycled corrugated box – hey – she’d already hit the green category! (As a side note, I mention the brand of the box because it always makes me think of the Smurfs…) Upon opening the box I found a layer of sparkly red tissue paper covering all of the packages. The packages were wrapped in tissue – green, red, plaid, floral and one item was in a lime green bag… I just kept on taking them out of the box. There were 15 in total! I opened them in the order that they were described / identified in the accompanying letter…
First - “Green” was 3 balls of a lovely green shade of On-line “Tessa”, wrapped in green tissue paper and a green floral lei. It was purchased at Woseley Wardrobe, who even have their own Ravelry group! Very nice…
Second - “Hard” was a very sweet sheet mug with a hard vacuum packed bag of Irish Cream coffee.
Third – “Local” #1 and “local” #2. How great is that? Local #1 is a box of Morden’s Toasted Marshmallows. I’ll try to keep the kids out of them until I can snap a picture. They look and smell luscious… Local #2 is a skein of local 100% wool hand dyed sock weight yarn. It is heathered in shades of aqua blue, mauve and pink. Penny very wisely warned me that it is NOT superwash… (She must have read about some of my unfortunate felting episodes.)
Fourth – “Spoiler’s Choice”. Spoiler’s choice included 6 separate packages. There is a very sweet and lovely amigurumi book (those things just keep hollering at me) and 5 little packages with assorted yarns from Penny’s stash to make ‘gurumis. Now I think that that was a lovely thing to do in so many ways – it has given me a great colour selection and it would have also been suitable for the green category – and recycling is always a good thing. Love it!!! And there were 3 bags of sour candies to munch while I create ‘gurumis.
Fifth – “Round”. Round was a “Round Tuit”. What is this? It is a very pretty round box that is labelled “tuit”, with the explanation inside of how this should make my life easier since you’re always hearing people say they’ll do something when they get a “round tuit”. (Inside the “tuit” there is a round notebook and pen. The pen is from Penny doing decoy mail, but I’m going to have to ask her to explain that since I don’t know what it is.)
Sixth – “T is for Tiny”. Tiny as in tiny knitting needles, beads and crochet cotton with which I can make an amulet bag. The beads are a very pretty blue and the crochet cotton is a sort of cerise-y pink. Pretty!
And finally, “FUN-ny”. What knitter wouldn’t want a set of knitting word magnets? Very fun and very funny. My kids are going to LOVE these on the fridge!
At the very end there was a package that had a note on it to open it last. Inside there were patterns for a scarf to go with the green yarn (Ribbons Scarf from Yarn Yenta) and for the Bead Knitted Amulet Bag from S. Debra Santaniello.
Thanks again Penny for such a great package!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Winter Blahs: The Explanation

My husband probably wouldn't be too pleased if he knew that I'd posted this picture of him on my blog, but considering he never reads it, he'll never know! Besides, I needed him for scale. This is why winter is getting me down. This picture was taken early this week after our storm last weekend. Another one is coming tomorrow. For scale, Mr. Me is just shy of 6' 1"
And here you can see my "wishing well" - the roof of it anyways! The rock wall is about 30 inches high and you can just see the top of it. The "wishing well" is the one of the original wells on the property. For years it was covered with a plywood platform. I was always worried that one of the kids or one of their friends would break through the wood and end up down the well... There's a steel grate set into the mortar so that can't happen. Visitors do drop coins down it and make wishes! You can just barely hear a little splash when the coin hits the water.

SoTSii All Caught Up

Presenting Clue #5:
And Clue #6:

And Clue #7!!! Pardon the lint on the rug... It wasn't the cleaning lady's week... I finished up Clue #7 yesterday evening, just in time to start Clue #8 today. Hard to believe that the stole is getting very close to done! Only one more clue to be released...
The SoTSii was my first structured knitalong, and I've got to say that I've really been enjoying it. If you haven't tried one, but are tempted, I've found it a great way to work on a project. And one of the nicest things about this KAL is that the designer, the Nautical Knitter, is very supportive. There are 1999 members in the group, yet she still finds the time to watch and encourage our progress and leave comments on our blogs. What could be better than that?!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah...

Why isn't winter over yet? C'mon, it's been long enough already! Not only am I fed up with all the snow, cold, slipping and sliding, it's just really all bringing me down... It's especially bad when I see all of the ab-fab flowers that some of you Southerners have. One season? Two seasons? SOLD!!! So long as none of them involve snow, okay?
March came in like a lion in New Brunswick, so hopefully it will hold true to form and will leave like a lamb. Although in the meantime, our forecast for Wednesday includes 25 - 35 cm of snow. For any of you Americans, 10 - 14 inches of the white stuff. Nice, eh? NOT!!!
Just to give you a little perspective on my life tonight, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Moncton right now. Just me, my laptop and nothing much on TV. I'm only staying over one night, but I brought two knitting projects with me. I'm sure that there is some logic to it, but I haven't figured it out. I cast on the first of my SKP socks this evening. Any illusions that I had about competitive knitting died a very, very quick death when I logged on to get the pattern on Saturday morning only to discover that some of the European knitters had already finished their first socks! How fast do they knit?
I made good progress on my SOTSii stole over the weekend and am actually only 10 rows away from completing clue 7 and being completely up to date. Now if could have brought this with me to finish, but that would have somehow violated the aforementioned logic. Nope - I don't know how, but I'm sure that it would have somehow thrown my knitting universe off kilter and into a tailspin. Considering my winter blahs, I just didn't want to risk it.
It's March break for the kids this week and they're very much looking forward to a week off. I'm not quite sure why they need it considering all of the snow days they've had, but I guess that I shouldn't begrudge them some time off school. I'm planning on taking Thursday and Friday off with them. Mr. Me has suggested that we take the boys to Huntsman Marine on Thursday for a day out. Do you think that he'd notice if we accidentally ended up off course here?