Monday, April 28, 2008

Oops - I Did It Again... (Coffee Swap Topic - Week #5)

Do you ever wonder where the time goes? I seem to have been sucked into some sort of time vortex this month... I managed to miss the week 2 topic for the Spring Fling Coffee Swap and now I've done it again with week 4. Let's see if I can get week 5 off to a better start.

You know with Spring the famous saying goes "April Showers, bring May flowers", please tell us what you like to do when those April Showers are pouring down on you. Do you like to curl up with your knitting, take in a movie or crawl back in bed?

To be honest, I haven't had to think about rain this year! We have had very little rain this April, which is probably just as well given how thick the snow packs were up north and the corresponding risk of flooding. It has been bad enough without the rain, but the rain could have made the situation quite dire. And if you clicked through to the article, you can see that that is exactly what is in the forecast...

What I like to do on a rainy April day depends on how warm or cool it is. If it is warm outside, I quite enjoy going for a walk in the rain. After winter, I enjoy the earthy sorts of smells that the spring rain brings. If it is cold, I like to curl up on the couch with my knitting, my boys and a good kid movie in the DVD player. Our all time favourites include Mousehunt and anything with Wallace and Gromit.

My package is coming together nicely. I really hope that my spoilee enjoys it! Since I'm away all of next week on mandatory work training I hope that the items I ordered from away arrive this week so that I can get it mailed... Otherwise, I will no way no how ever meet the mid-May arrival timeframe. On the other side of the coin, I'm feeling a little concerned about my spoiler... I've only ever heard from her once with the initial contact. Hey - spoiler, are you still out there? Perhaps you're someone who knows me and doesn't need to ask me any questions...??? I don't have anything to use to even try to guess who you might be!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Other Signs of Spring

The buds on my lilac bush just ready to burst (and the studded winters tires in the background getting ready for storage) and
the return of LOADS of wildlife! This little red squirrel is almost tame enough to take food from your hand. Cute as he is, I think that he may be getting just a little too comfortable with us. He tried to wander into the house yesterday! Little does he realize just how unpleasant that would be for him, although Tiger would find it quite fun...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

You Know That It's Spring When... find the sap buckets hanging on the trees in the yard.
...and the sap being boiled down on the back deck.
...and you have a couple of bottles of finished Maple Syrup from your very own trees!
This is really a project that was undertaken by Mr. Me and the boys. They tried it last year, but we soon discovered that a propane barbecue does not get hot enough to boil sap. We collected a great deal more sap last year but had to discard it since we couldn't boil it outdoors and I really didn't want my whole house sticky from boiling it inside. (Mr. Me's Grampy did that once, much to the chagrin of his Nana...) Much like milk, sap will sour if not stored properly and processed in a timely fashion. This year I bought him a mega burner... It would normally be used for lobster or corn boils, but also worked very well for Maple Syrup.


Back in the early days of Coronation Street, it would appear that based on his bio, Ken Barlow was a bit of a dog. It mentions flings with journalists and exotic dancers, but it appears to have forgotten some trans-Atlantic daliance because how else do we explain the fact that Ken Barlow is Mike Cutter's father?!
No? Not buying it? The reality, that Linus Roache (Mike) is the son of William Roache (Ken) isn't quite so juicy, but considering how much I love both Coronation Street and Law and Order, I do find it interesting.
As an aside, seeing Mr. Roache the younger, I now understand why Ken Barlow would have been considered "a catch". Quite dishy, isn't he?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Fling Weekly Topic #3

No - you're not mistaken. That reads #3... I missed last week. Life, work and everything seemed to get in the way. So we'll just skate over week #2 and get on with week #3, okay?
And the topic is:
Tell us how you started drinking coffee. Were you in high school or college and making it through all nighters? Did you get it from a family member? What drives your love of the bean?
Truth be told, this is a very similar question to the one that was answered here, but let's see if I can add something to it...
In high school I drank plain old coffee. It was the days before flavoured fancy coffees. The same applied to my first year at university and my two years at community college. When I started working in downtown Toronto, I would always pick up a cup on my way through Union Station from the GO Train to the subway on my way to work.
Later, when I went back to university, my first stop on campus was usually the SUB to pick up a coffee on my way to class. At that point I tended to drink flavoured coffees. They were new. They were different. My favourites were Raspberry Chocolate and Orange Brandy. Both rated big YUMS! Sadly, neither seems to be available anymore.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Look What I Won!

Way back in December, when she was still Cynical Knitting Gal, (Not-so) Cynical Knitting Gal held a contest - and I won! I've had my prize for a while, and Not-so CKG knows that I received it, but I thought that I should share some photos. Look what I won: A skein of Trekking XXL sock yarn in very yummy browns that make me think of chocolate and coffee and some adorable Mary Engelbreit sticky notes.

I thought that the yarn deserved a close up to show off those colours. But here's a question: have I mentioned how much I like Mary Engelbreit before? Or was the inclusion of those sweet sticky notes just one of those things... Thanks (Not-so) CKG for a fun contest and a great prize!

Event One Finished

Thanks to The Knitting Wildflower, I became aware of and joined the Sock Knitters Pentathalon. Don't you just love it when friends enable? (It makes me happy!) The first socks are the Jacobean Socks.Looking at these photos, it makes me remember how hard it is to take pictures of one's own feet! I don't think that my feet are as lopsided as the first picture makes them look, but maybe I'm wrong...? I knit them out of the silly Sisu pictured here.
Things I learned while making these socks:
1. I can't do the Magic Cast-on to save my life! However, by going down a couple of needle sizes and paying close attention to the direction of my loops, my cast-on is invisible.
2. I learned how to do a sewn cast-off! Very exciting, I must say. I was having trouble with it until I came across some instructions that suggested splitting up the stitches and "grafting" the cast-off edge. Very clever...
(Just as an aside, when I was adding in the link for the Sock Knitters Pentathalon there was a warning about how the group was in an age restricted area of Yahoo Groups. I knew that socks were fun, but I'm not having that much fun - am I??? Maybe I need to get out more?)

Scavenger Hunt: The Photos

If you go here, you can read all of the descriptions for the wonderful things that Penny included in my Scavenger Hunt Swap package. Since the camera had gone travelling at the time, the photos had to wait, so without further delay, here you go! I've put everything in the same order as the original post so I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Thanks again to Penny for a great package!

Sucked Into the Vortex

My LYS now has a blog! How cool is that? Definitely worth a visit if you're in the Fredericton area.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring Fling Topic #1

Browse around some of the other blogs of participants, and find one person who enjoys a similar roast coffee to you - share something interesting about them that you find on THEIR blog, and tell us what you've been working on knitting or crochet-wise this week!

Okay - I can handle this. Let's head over to the Spring Fling Coffee Swap blog and have a look at the participants list. C'mon....

Since there's usually a message to my madness, I often start with the people with similar names. Unfortunately the link to Katie L.'s blog isn't working! So let's head over to Kate E.'s blog. Much like me, Kate enjoys a dark rich blend, but unlike me, she is prepared to drink the unleaded stuff. Kate is a fellow Canadian, although she's on the left coast of the country, and owns an unruly cat... Hey Kate - I'll trade you if he purrs! (Tiger only purrs when he is asserting his dominance over the stuffed animals. Yes - EEEEWWW!)

As that was almost too easy, I went with my next logical step which is alphabetical order. In the A's I found Angie H. Now I'll admit that I've read Angie sort of off and on over the last little while since we've been in a couple of swaps together. Like myself, Angie is in the "bold leaded coffee, please" group. Other things that Angie and I have in common include: we're both Mom (or Mum since she's English) to two boys (check out their New Year's visit to Cornwall - made me envious), we've both had Scappyhappy as a downstream pal ("Hi, Iva!") and we both have projects named Aquila in our "to knit" lists (although it's not the same project - her's is a sweater dress and mine is a shawl which will require I learn rudimentary Finnish).

What's on the needles? Well, I've dug Alice out from the bottom of the basket and have been working away on the second half of the front. That will only leave the sleeves... And I've started, frogged and restarted the Mystic Light Shawl. I've only knit about 20 rows, so I'm not even close to finishing clue 1, never mind starting clue 2! And then there is the rest of the "stuff" in various bags that I can't think of right now...

(On a completely separate note, I have taken but not uploaded photos of my Scavenger Hunt Package and my prize from (Not So) Cynical Knitting Gal. Soon hopefully - Younger Son has become obsessed with ensuring that he gets his fair share of computer time, which means that Mom usually gets told she's been on it long enough. I can't wait for true Spring!)