Saturday, December 31, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Ahhhhh. Contented sigh.

I'm home! The holiday travels are over, and it's time to sit, catch my breath, and get back to my regular routines. The holiday was lovely, but I'm ready for some downtime now.

We did the Central Alberta Loop (my name, not official) of Grande Cache, Jasper, Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, and home. The weather was mild (mostly just below zero degrees Celsius), and the roads were in excellent condition. Some skiing was done (at Sunshine, where Alec Baldwin was spotted enjoying the fresh powder on the slopes), but not by me. I sat with my Dad (yes, his broken leg kept him off the ski-hill) and drank way too much coffee.

My brother and his girlfriend shivered a lot - apparently coming to winter in Canada after summer in Australia is a bit of a shock. Who knew?

Here are Ivan and Emily acknowledging the proximity of dangerous wildlife. Of course, they're too skinny to be taken serious as bear bait - although a bear might choke on one of them trying to swallow.

Here they are playing along the Smokey River. Yes, that's ice. Yes, it was cold(ish). Yup, they're monkeying around skipping stones. This is all a novelty to them, as they don't usually find half frozen river beds in Melbourne, Australia. In a high rise. Near the beach. Poor little them.

This is Emily on the "beach" in Jasper National Park. The river widens out here, and is so slow and sandy that it appears more like an ocean vista than a river in the Rocky Mountains. Note the snow on the mountain peaks (it was December, after all).

And, here we have Ivan and Emily lounging around at the base of a small frozen waterfall. Later in the trip we drove by The Weeping Wall, which is such a large frozen waterfall that it had nearly a dozen ice climbers on it. Sadly, my camera batteries had died by that point, or you would be squinting at a photo of a huge wall of ice with teeny tiny way-up-high must-be-insane climbers dotted here and there on the ice. Oy.

So, I'm glad to be home, and will soon be back to knitting socks, binding quilted placemats, and cooking for DH. Oh, and keeping Peanut warm while she naps in my lap. Ahhh, life is sweet.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ride 'er Cow-Bean

Here at Casa de Logan we share our lives with two creatures of feline persuasion. Regular readers will remember them from various previous incidents of blogging the cat, but for new readers (and those unfortunate enough to have just stumbled upon my regular posting of madness) I will go through the introductions all over again.

Please stay with me, as the mental image at the end is worth it. My stomach muscles still hurt from seeing it all played out in front of me.

Bean (the brown tabby) is light for her size, and a ball of fun, fun, fun. She's long, tall, and weighs 12 pounds. Her favorite activities include chasing shadows, playing with anyone who will play with her, and laying on her back in the sun. She is generally located by listening for galloping noises, interspersed with high jumps, flips, and barrel rolls. The only time she slows down is when patiently waiting to be fed (sits calmly while I open the can, the strolls casually toward the food bowls once they are put down).

Peanut (the black and white lump) is dense for her size, and a ball of naps, naps, naps. She's short along both the x- and y- axis, and weighs 12 pounds. Her favorite activities include napping on any soft surface, napping on anyone who will let her, and whining until we come and find her current nap location and cover her with a blanket. She is generally located by looking for a suspiciously breathing blanket or pillow, interspersed with whimpers when she needs the blanket rearranged. The only time she speeds up is when winding around my legs at feeding time, until I put down the bowls, when she goes running full tilt at them, determined to get the choice bowl, first.

Eventually it was bound to happen. The very nature of their natures had to collide. And, I think you know what I'm getting at here.

Yup. This morning Bean was standing patiently, looking at the spot where I put the food bowls, when Peanut, anxious to get there first, went running in at full speed, not looking where she was going...

She ran in underneath Bean, from between Bean's back legs, and just kept going. Poor Bean was suddenly traveling at full speed, on the back of the Peanut - until Peanut slammed on the claws right in front of the food bowl, and Bean went sliding off half forwards and half sideways, left legs flailing in the air as she went. Peanut, unperturbed, was at her bowl speed feeding, even as Bean was shaking her head and trying to get her bearings back.

I haven't laughed so hard in ages. The poor Bean had to go have a lie down in another room, and missed breakfast entirely. Oy.

Monday, December 12, 2005

On the Practice of Patience

The Plan:
"This year, I shall knit scarves for those I love. Except for the placemats I will be making for Dad and Marion - I love them too, but they asked for placemats."

The Followthrough:
"Honey, they're all finished! Yes, including washing and blocking. I'm getting them ready to send, now."

The Problem:
"Did I remember to take photos of all the hand knitted gifts before I wrapped them? Why no, of course not. Unwrap, take photos and re-wrap? I'd rather not. What, you insist? Threatening me with middle-of-nap-drooling photos of me, posted on my blog, if I don't take photos of the scarves? Okay, fine, I'll re-wrap them later." Photo taking did ensue, but I made DH take the photos seeing as how he was the one insisting on it.

The Completion:
"Honey, I just mailed off all of the gifts for your family. On Monday, December 12th. Doesn't this make 2005 the first (and possibly only) year I've ever finished and sent the hand made gifts on time?"

The Temper Tantrum:
"But the photos, they are sooo great! Really DH, you take photos so much better than me. The stitch definition, the colours, the shading - so much better than I would have taken. What do you mean, I can't post them on my blog until after Christmas? Are you freakin' kidding? I've been knitting since the beginning of Sep-fucking-tember, dammit! Screw you! Patience? Fuck that! It's my blog, and I'll post when I want to!"

The Disclaimer:
If you are expecting a gift from us, and want the finished product (even though you know you are getting a scarf) to be a surprise, then stop reading this post here. Do NOT scroll down. Come back after Christmas. Because I refuse to practice patience after knitting for months. And months. Since September. So there!

Note: Not all scarves are shown. Some views are odd. I don't care. I am, however, really thrilled to be able to finally post some "finished" photos. Yay!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Counting Down the Gifts

Time to take stock of hand made Christmas presents completed, and those yet to be finished (or started - argh!).

DH's Family:
Dad - finished (needs cat hair removal)
Mom - finished (including blocking & conditioning)
Chris - finished
Rhea - finished (including blocking)
Grandma - finished (including blocking)
Grandpa - finished
Dave - finished
All that is left is wrapping, packaging, and mailing. Yippee!

My Family:
Dad & Marion - not started (uh oh!)
Mom - 1/4 done (glass half full view)
Horst - finished
Dan - finished
Alex - finished
Faith - finished
Blake - finished
Ivan - not started
Emily - not started

DH & I:
Fuzzy Feet for DH - finished
Fuzzy Feet for me - not started
Socks for DH - 1 done, 1 started
Socks for me - not started

Okay, so overall, I'm doing pretty good on the hand made gifts. Ivan & Emily won't be started until I have spoken with them Dec. 16th (which is when they arrive in Canada). I don't want to make them gifts they don't want or need, so will be asking what in particular they would like.

Dad & Marion's gift (a set of 8 quilted placemats) requires some measurements before I get cutting, as I don't want to make them too big to have the full set of 8 on the table (need table top size).

Mom's scarf is giving me headaches, as it is a complex pattern (must pay attention) in an inky purple, so is not good TV knitting. However, the yarn is lovely to work with (Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool), so I enjoy my few minutes a day with it.

The gifts for DH will be finished by Christmas, plus I will buy him something small (probably a DVD, video game, or book). The "gifts for me" are really just things I would like, so can wait until after Christmas. Plus, DH bought me some sock wool in colours just for me, even though he doesn't know it yet. I will put it in a basket with a ribbon, and leave it under the Christmas tree - he loves surprise wife gifts like that (takes the pressure off him).

So, I believe I am in pretty good shape for Christmas. No, I probably won't get the two wall hangings and new bed quilt done as hoped, but I think I must have been on crack the day I included those in my pre-Christmas list, anyway. Okay, I wasn't actually on crack, but I was weak to the influence of yummy fabric stash. I love my stash. Mmmmm, stash.

Also, in case you're wondering, yes, I plan to do a lot of knitting for the feet in this home (mine and DH's). Even though the floor downstairs is heated, our feet generally aren't on that floor - we tend to live reclined. So, our dangling feet get chilly. Yes, we both have 5ft x 7ft quilts for our recliners, but the cats tend to take up extra footage in the lap zone (must cover cats to prevent kitty chills), thus leaving the feet uncovered. Brrrr, cold. Whimper, whine, complain. Dork. Mostly, I'm just having fun trying out new toe styles (next up - the short row toe a la Wendy Johnson) and heel turning techniques (currently in love with the afterthought heel). Knitting a sock with no heel, then cutting out and inserting a heel is way fun, dudes!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Damn Near Palpable!

Yup. The excitement is damn near palpable! There's a whole lotta Christmas stuff going on at Loganvilla, including (but not limited to) vacuuming, dishwashing, bathroom cleaning, linen changing, dusting, fabric room tidying, and office organizing.

What? That doesn't sound Christmas-y? Would it make a difference if I told you I'm wearing green underoos and a red bra? 'Tis the season, and all of that.

Okay, housework aside (wait - housework is never aside - in this household it is always right there in front of me, needing to be done), I am doing quasi-Christmas-y things. These things include blocking scads and scads of gift scarves, and booking accommodations for a three night trip through the mountains.

The trip will be taken by my brother Ivan and his girlfriend Emily (both arriving later this month, from Australia), myself (the driver/logistics manager), and Dad (because after breaking his leg windsurfing this summer, he needs a little mountain adventure in the depths of winter).

We will be leaving Loganvilla on the 27th, skiing at Marmot Basin (near Jasper) that day, spending the night in Jasper, traveling to Banff on the 28th, visiting the family's historic homestead on the 29th, spending that night in Calgary, trouping off to Drumheller to see the Hoodoos and the Dinosaur Museum, then zipping back up to Edmonton that night. It's like the Alberta version of the trek around BC that I was driver for this past summer. But in the winter. With parkas, mitts, toques, and scarves.

Highlights will surely include red runny noses, frosted eyebrows, chapped lips, wet pants (no, not like that - damp around the bottom from getting all snowy then thawing in the car), and hopefully avoidance of the old "put 'er in the ditch, I did". Although, maybe a car meets ditch full of snow experience will be fun for Emily, who has never experienced anything colder than an English winter before. I bet she'll love central heating. And that two of our hotels have pools and hot tubs.

Blah, blah, blah, ... I actually am really excited about this Christmas. I am looking forward to the family gathering, which will be made even more fun by Mom's husband Horst, who plans to take over the kitchen and cook on both the 24th and 25th! He will handle all meat and bread, while I get to handle veggies and cleanup. He's a great cook, and a lot of fun in the kitchen. Until it comes time to wash up...

As an aside, photos will be taken of the scarves so that after Christmas I can do the big reveal and post pictures.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Wee Tad Hungover

Yup. I'm a wee tad hungover. Just a tetch. Which is ridiculous, as I only had three drinks last night - but apparently years of being out of practice does a three drink hangover make.

The head, it pounds. The stomach, it roils. The eyes, they sting. The breath, is steenky.

I thought that maybe some fresh air would help, but it is -21C here, and a really bright sun has been joined by two large and bright sun dogs, all of which are reflecting on newly fallen snow (essentially, making the obnoxious whiteness even more nasty).

So, for your enjoyment/giggles, I'm posting a photo of the outfit I finally chose for the party. Following advice from the comments (thanks Deborah!) I chose a pair of casual pants (black, though), a black tank, and a shiny shirt for over top. The orchids were given out to all of the ladies (a classy touch). The food was good, the room was smokeless (yippee!!), and the company was most excellent. Note the drunken laughter in the "after" shot (found camera after we were dropped off at home by the designated driver program).

You may also notice ... evidence of a quilt in process on the design wall. This is a Lone Star in hand dyes from Caryl Breyer Fallert, plus a great background, and wee bits of a Paula Nadelstern feature fabric. What a name dropper! DH has requested that this be turned into a wall hanging for the TV room, especially once he realized I had some of the hand dyes left over. He's suggested matching pillows for on the couch, or using the leftovers in another lap quilt. The man knows exactly how to get me back into the studio. ;-)

I was downloading the camera when I found these photos, taken a few weeks ago. This is Ojo Sama, a 10 week old Sheba Inu (sp?) belonging to a friend of ours. I was tasked with puppy sitting one day, and Monkey Butt (Ojo Sama seemed too formal, Monkey Butt was much better) enjoyed the view from the guest room window. And chewing on my hand. And jumping in the snow. And peeing on the carpet, after having too much fun outdoors to pee there. Puppies. Good thing they're so cute. Okay, one more of Monkey Butt, because she is just so darned cute.

Friday, December 02, 2005

On Pants, Skirts, and other things that Hang

'Tis the season for Christmas parties. Yup. And DH is expected to go to all of them. With his lovely wife (not me, no one would ever call me lovely to my face and get away with it).

Due to the shiftwork nature of working at the mine, there are three parties. I have consented to attend two of them, which, considering my tendency to remain in the home unless we're completely out of cat food and bread, is a pretty darn big thing.

In my typical way of avoiding thinking about things I consider unpleasant (tee hee), I am only just now (2 hours 10 minutes from "Cocktails at 6:00") looking at my closet and deciding what to wear. Oy.

Here's the kicker. Some weight has come off over the last year (good), but new clothes have not been added to the wardrobe. So, knowing that my dressy clothes all hang sadly off my hips, and run the danger of dropping off completely if I don't stick out my stomach, I have been carb loading and eating everything I can get in my mouth all week. You know, add a little cushioning. In a probably futile attempt to get the Christmas party wardrobe to look like it is actually mine, not borrowed from a bigger sister.

The camera is still misplaced, so no photos. Will advise on the weekend as to whether the mad "oh shit, my pants are too loose" eating binge helped, or whether the bottom half of my party ensemble fell off at an inopportune time. Wait, is there an opportune time for your pants to fall down? Hmmm.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Things to NOT Do Again

1. Absently scratch my nose while slicing cheese with a sharp knife (resulted in a weird looking scratch and darn near took out an eye).

2. Put a (loose) sock on the head of a grumpy cat. I know, it sounds like fun. However, said grumpy cat may have been grumpy because of a soon-to-be-ejected hairball. The hoped for hilarity did NOT ensue.

3. Run upstairs to grab the phone in the kitchen, while wearing brand-new-just-off-the-needles wool socks. In mathematical terms:
[wool socks + vinyl flooring]^corner at high speed = buises + a groin pull.

4. Go out in public with a compromised immune system. I have spent the last month catching every cold, cough, flu, and other bug going around. There have been maybe three days in November wherein I felt healthy.

5. Use crappy health from cold/cough/flu whatever as an excuse to sink into the depths of melancholy. November has been a less than fun month.

6. Eat nothing but instant snack food and carbohydrates. Bad. Really, really, bad. Makes it hard to get out of a funk. However, I'm pretty much ready for that whole scene to end, now.

7. Stop blogging, because I'm just depressing myself. Idiot. Blogging is how I express myself - it helps pull me through the grumpies.

Now, things I WILL do: eat healthy meals thrice daily, hydrate properly, walk outside regularly, spend less time online futzing aimlessly and more time cuddling the cats, and generally look at life from a better place.

Also, if I don't, Christmas is coming, and will completely f*ck me if I'm not careful. Woo hoo.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The State of the Carpet Today

Yesterday was a major housework day. You know the type - I vacuumed, use the crevice tool on the edges (very rare here as I'm not a fan of work in any form, and the crevice tool isn't just housework, it's a tool, too), and then I steam cleaned the upstairs.

Our house is 1400 square feet on the top level, and around 1100 downstairs. Steaming the upstairs carpet was a pretty major job.

Afterwards, I celebrated by vacuuming the stairs between the levels. My reward was having the vacuum tumble down three steps while I was attempting to switch heads to the crevice tool (damn that crevice tool) and land on my right hand. Ouch is not what I said at the time, but will do for explanation.

This morning, DH & I were enjoying a sleep in on a sunny Saturday, when we heard that dreaded sound . . . a Massive Hurk-Fest was taking place. We shuddered, pulled the covers over our heads, and avoided as long as possible. However, eventually we had to face it. After Hurk-Fest removal and spot treatment, I realized, sadly, that further steaming would be required. Damn.

So, instead of having a care-free weekend with a spotless carpet and dust-free crevices, we will be walking carefully to avoid damp spots where I had to use the steamer again.

There goes our plan of rolling around on the floor, buck naked in a sun-beam. And I was sooo ready for naked roll-fest, I had even shaved my legs! Above the knee! Sigh.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Last night on television...

Did anyone else watch "The Closer" with Kyra Sedgewick? It is not really a show I an enamoured with, but hey, I was sitting in the dark and hoping that the Halloween Trick-or-Treaters would magically vanish, so I didn't screw around with channel surfing. Yes, I ran out of candy. At 6:45pm. Doh!

Anyway, on The Closer, the mother of the autistic teenaged boy (ex-wife of the murdered judge) was wearing this lace-y thing that I am IN LOVE WITH!!!!! It was not quite a stole, not quite a cardigan. It had a normal back and sleeves (set in, all lace) and then these ginormous lace panels on the front that could be thrown over the shoulder to engulf the wearer in lace, lace, lace. If not in the mood for lace around the shoulders, they could be left to hang, something like a swing coat front.

Yummy! Delicious! Me want! Me must make! And, I just picked up the Barbara Walker Treasury of Stitch Patterns (which has all of my favorite lace patterns, as well as many I hadn't yet seen, all in one place). I could make something featuring a number of different lace panels. Wee hee!

But, focus must be kept, deadlines must be met - because Christmas is (still) coming. My Christmas knitting is coming along well, and I made a child's scarf last night (while hiding from other children). The list, for those that are mocking me:

Finished: Mom's husband, older brother, grandfather, uncle, mother-in-law, brother's girlfriend, her daughter, her son, other brother's girlfriend.

In process: Mom, brother-in-law, his wife.

Not yet started: Father-in-law, grandmother, younger brother.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sunshine on a Cold Day

I've been a bad blogger. Sorry.

Last week was pretty much about mourning the most recent loss, and the first half of this week was about daily outpatient treatment, in Edmonton (a 4.5 hour drive from here, each way). So it is official: the Bubble de Logan is no longer.

In the good news column, however, is that we have been ordered to keep the next three months as "strictly recreational" and in January, we go in for a massive amount of testing (my specialist calls it the $1000 testing) to try and find out why the Bubble de Logan and its predecessors all bit the dust in 6 - 12 weeks. Maybe some good will come out of this yet!

On the quilting front, I am right now feeling quite the itch to get back to my studio. I've tidied up the work area, but have yet to tackle the cutting table or the design wall. Plus, I'm slowly working my way through the piles of stuff I have accumulated that prevent me from standing back and perusing my fabric stash. It is coming together, though slowly.

We are having family (mine) here this Christmas, so I want to get the fabric/yarn room in enough order to put a guest bed in there if necessary - or at least to hide in there if the family gets rambunctious. What, my family, rambunctious? Oh, yeah, baby. We've been known to have fart contests at the table during Christmas dinner - that's what you get when you're the only girl.

My brothers, whom I love and adore, are big, brash, and not the least bit refined. You can dress them up nicely, but they're more likely to burp out the words to the national anthem than sing it. DH loves having them around, as all the standard rules of conduct go right out the window. They're not rude all of the time, just, you know, whenever we're dressed up and trying to be polite.

Anyway, I'm hoping to have a new quilt ready for the guest bedroom, a matching wall hanging, and a new wall hanging for the master bedroom as well, all done by Christmas. As well as the zillion or so gifts I'm knitting. And the new large square shawl (which will be a throw/wrap for the guest room). Oy. Better get started!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Poked with a Sharp Stick

Off to the city again to get "examined" by a specialist in burst bubbles. Fun.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Some days are just grumblefutz days. Today the sun is shining, the wind is gentle, the temperature mild, and yet I'm grumblefutzing my arse off. The malady is melancholy. Poetic, huh?

It seems that the Bubble has burst. Am still waiting for the results of the latest series of blood tests, but know in my heart that it's over. I'll try and pull my head out of my arse later this week, but for now I'm going to stay in grumblefutz land. Knitting, with tea and a cat. And wool socks (stole some from the husband). And my hap shawl. And a homemade quilt or two.

Maybe, once medical confirmation of the end of the Bubble has come in, I will drown myself in apricot brandy. Seems like a sensible thing to do.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Logan needs...

Tee hee. Found a new thing going around in the blogosphere, and had to try it. Google "[your name] needs", and then enjoy the hilarity that ensues. I tried to limit my list to the top five, but way too much hilarity ensued, so here (in no particular order), are some of the things that Logan needs...

... to hear Bobby say it out loud, that it's okay like this, raw and deep, with nothing between them except the slick, wet heat of the moment.

... secure fencing, and a big yard.

... a ride that means business.

... a specialty harness to keep [her] in the seat while we are on the road.

... to take action.

... defending, since [s]he's such a brat, but defending [her] would be betraying the correct way of living. Dirty communist.

... another Wal Mart like Logan needs another Chinese Buffet.

... to be f#cked with a sharp stick.

... to be less timid about bossing around teammates.

... to take a good hard look in the mirror.

... needs to go.

And on that final note, Logan is outta here. Until tomorrow, anyway. Toodles.

Friday, October 14, 2005

It's just one of those days...

DebR is addicted to blog quizzes. Usually, I am amused or touched by her results, but don't bother doing the quiz myself. Today, ignoring this quiz was impossible. Yup, I succumbed to the quiz called "Which Absurd Cat are You?" - and my results were, well, umm, uhh, ... absurd but appropriate?

You scored as Pissed at the World Cat. And here we have the next serial killer. Try having some cotton candy, it'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, Psycho.

Pissed at the World Cat


Deranged Cat


Drunk Cat


Couch Potato Cat


Love Machine Cat


Ninja Cat


Nerd Cat


Which Absurd Cat are you?
created with

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Christmas, it be a-comin'

Christmas is coming. Last year, I had a plan - custom made reversible quilted placemat / runner combinations for everyone. I started working on the gifts late summer, and was done, quilted, and ready to wrap by November. It worked out really well, and the gifts were well received.

This year I have another plan. Hand knitted scarves for everyone (except Dad & his wife, who put in a special request for this Christmas).

I collected the yarn while on my gad-about with Mom, Adrian and Carla in early September, and by the time I got back from that trip, had already finished two (of the 15 I need to make). Yarn weight, fiber content, and colour was selected specifically for each person.

Scarves for men are pretty predictable - most of the men in my family tend to like plain, boring knitting, so are getting scarf stitch (aka mistake rib). To get that over with (and avoid dread of an abundance of plain boring Aran weight scarves), I worked on those first. Of the 5 of those, 4 are finished, and the last one is for a 5-year old, so will be little(whew). Of the three additional men I need gifts for, two will get Fancy-Man* scarves, and the last, well, I have no friggin' idea what to do for him. He may not get a scarf at all. We'll see. * I define Fancy-Man scarves as still knitted in scarf stitch/mistake rib, but with swanky shiny (silk content) fingering weight yarn, rather than heavy Aran weight yarn.

The women, however, are a different story. I really don't want to give them all variations on the same thing (even though that's what I'm doing for the men - double standards abound in LoganLand). And, I have a lace knittin' thang going on right now. So, each woman is getting a custom selected yarn AND a custom selected lace patterned scarf. The first (and only completed woman's scarf so far) was Branching Out, from The rest I am designing as I go, based on lace patterns I've found in a number of different places. And, like the one man I'm not sure of, there is one woman in the bunch who I just can't pin down. Should she get a shoulder shawl instead? Or lace gloves? I just don't know. Will have to wait and see.

Anyway, now that I've rambled and rambled and rambled, you've probably figured out that knitting scarves is currently boring the cr@p out of me. As such, this morning I started knitting a work sock for DH. He loves his home-made work socks, and I hope to have two pairs ready for him for Christmas. Which means Second Sock Syndrome, times two. Oy. Also, he likes his socks plain. Really plain. Like solid charcoal, with an allowable two stripes, but they have to be in the same place, the same width, and the same colour (dark red). Or, medium gray, with the requisite two red stripes. If I want to get really wild, I might be able to convince him to accept oatmeal as a main colour, but (of course) with the same requisite two red stripes. Although, oatmeal as a main colour may be so scare-ily different that the stripes will need to be charcoal to make them more acceptable. That's my man. Stable, dependable, and don't mess with my socks, dammit!

Gotta say, I'm really looking forward to the one quilted gift on the list (for Dad & Marion). Especially seeing as how with the bubble on board, I can't drink myself into believing that this repetitive knitting is fun, fun, fun.

All for hand made gifts. Which I love to give. And are worth it. But oy, the knitting. Next year, something quilted again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

All is quiet on the homefront

Not much going on here that is blog-worthy. DH is working, I'm knitting and quilting and avoiding the housework, critters are licking themselves in a sunbeam, and world is alright.

Bubble is still with us, and now has a fun trick of making me regret not just eating, but drinking too. Even water makes me nauseous. Oy. If this one is going to end (like all the preceding bubbles so far), I hope it finishes soon - although the weight loss is kind of a nifty side effect. We're not getting our hopes up, as they've been dashed way too many times. However, it's kind of interesting how something so microscopic can completely take over and f*ck with my body. And I though I was in control. Hah!

Okay, back to the couch for me. And if I get adventurous, maybe some time on the balcony in the sun.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Finished Object Alert

After 20 days of garter stitch madness, my Hap (Everyday Shawl) is done! After a Eucalaan Lavender bath, I blocked it to the width of a queen sized bed (60"), and used the stripes on the liner of an old comforter as a pinning guide. The critters were not happy about being shut out of the guest room overnight!

Once it was dry, I unpinned it and took it outside for a photo shoot. The strong gusts of wind made for interesting acrobatics, but the Hap seemed to enjoy being aired outside. Maybe later today it will make its uptown debut when I go grocery shopping.

Specifics: Shetland Shawl by Sidna Farley, page 26 of The Best of Knitter's Shawls and Scarves. Used 7 1/2 balls of the Rockies Brown shade of Shetland 4-Ply, by Harris Tweed Textiles, from (approximately 1600m / 1750yds). Knitted on US size 10 needles (~6mm). Cast on 2 stitches, then knitted section by section, with no internal cast offs or sewing required. Garter stitch grafted edging (13 stitches) to finish. I did make some minor modifications to the pattern (changes in the lace only).

After fighting the wind, I brought it inside for a still life shot, with serving dishes, on our 60" diameter oak table. The kitchen table gets a lot of natural light, so the colour is pretty darn true.

Also finished is a scarf I'm calling Persnickety. This is standard fern lace, knitted in opposite directions from the middle to make it symmetrical. Tassels were added for a touch of frivolity. I charted the pattern and added my notes, so if you are interested, email me and I will send it out (pdf file).

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Some Things that are Growing

Some things that are growing in my household right now...

- my everyday wear Hap shawl (7/8ths of the edging finished, so damn near fully grown);

- the finished knitted Christmas presents pile (I always start early, as I tend to slump in November then panic in December);

- the stack of dishes specifically designated for use during a large (for us) gathering (there will be a minimum of 8 here at Christmas, so we had to buy extra plates, larger serving dishes, and still need to get more cutlery);

- the blue/green fungus on the old loaf of bread in the pantry (since located and disposed of);

- the microscopic bundle of cells I am carrying in my uterus (ultrasound confirmed correct placement of said bundle of cells, although what was actually viewed on the ultrasound was a bubble/yolk sac). My hormone levels have continued to rise, and as correct placement has been confirmed, yay bundle of cells!

Some things that are not growing around here include...

- the leaves (all have faded from green, and most are now down due to strong autumn winds);

- my arse (I've lost three more pounds, probably due to stress and sleeping through meals);

- whatever it was that two teenage girls buried out behind my yard. Very, very weird. I saw two teeny-boppers leaving the area with a shovel, sniffling a bit, before we went to Edmonton for tests. Today I noticed there is a freshly turned pile of earth with a little plastic cross and some toys out there, right behind our yard. Creepy. I'm not sure on the etiquette of this, but if I had any idea who the girls were, I'd be asking them to relocate the final resting place of Fluffy or Guinea Pig or whatever they buried, so that I don't have to look out on the grave while eating my morning oatmeal - especially seeing as the local dogs have been sniffing around there quite a bit, and if we get a digger, I expect to find remains strewn about my back yard. Ugh.

Tomorrow, photos of some sort. I promise.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Human Pin-Cushion

I have a new title: Human Pin-Cushion. My old title (Queen of the World) was disputed at length by husband and cats, and really was more befitting the Peanut than me. Thus, I was dethroned.

Why HP-C? Because if I was to drop dead in the street half an hour from now, the medical examiner would assume I am a heroin addict (although would likely be confused by my obvious excess of nourishment). My arms are all bruised, bloody, and have teeny tiny little holes in them. Both arms. Numerous holes.

Why the little holes? Because in order to find out exactly when I begin the upcoming (we know it's coming - at least we're all pretty sure) miscarriage, my blood hormone levels are being taken every 2nd weekday. I get poked on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That way, the doctor can figure out when the miscarriage starts, and hopefully attach possible causes. Which may then be tested with other, future miscarriages. Such fun.

It's a good thing I no longer consider the state of pregnancy (for me) as anything other than a minor illness, kind of like having a head cold or the flu. Otherwise this would be rather depressing.

But, on the up side, nobody expects anything of me any more - they're all waiting for the inevitable, and want to analyze my every move, so have basically stepped up and are allowing me to spend most of the day, every day, sitting on my arse and knitting. Or surfing the web. Or napping (I do lots of napping).

Except for being stuck with needles all the time, it's kind of like a holiday. No litter box to clean, no heavy lifting, no exposure to harsh chemicals like bathroom cleansers, etc. I can sit around drinking milk, popping vitamins, and watching new bruises form on my arms. The multiple layers of bruising on my left arm, currently in various stages of fading, kind of look a little like Kermit the Frog, but more colourful.

Oh, and for anyone getting all depressed my this post, please don't. This is the first time in years I actually feel that something positive is being done in the quest to find out why I keep spontaneously rejecting fetal tissue. And, under Murphy's Law, because we finally have proper medical care and are being observed closer than we ever have been before, this will most likely be a pregnancy that sticks. Because that would be kind of ironic. Kharmic justice. Almost funny. And probably loud. For the next 18 years or so. Yup. Uh-huh.

Now, if you'll be kind enough to excuse me, I have to pack a knitting project. We leave at 5:00am tomorrow to drive 5 hours to the clinic for an ultrasound. So, of course, I have to drink 4 8-ounce glasses of water, while on the road, and then hold it. While bouncing in DH's work truck, on crappy roads. Then drive back home the next morning, so I can be here for the Wednesday blood test. The fun never stops.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

First Snow of the Season

Time for some photos, as I'm boring myself with my blog.

This is what things looked like out back a week and a half ago, when it was all sunshine and golden aspens around here. We had a couple of very windy days right after this photo was taken, and they stripped away most of the leaves.

Then, last weekend when my in-laws were here, we were treated to an early morning deer raid. There were actually six of them (including two young ones), but they spread out too far for photo taking. Please excuse the fuzziness of the shot - the light was extremely low (did I already say early morning?) and I was shooting from the relative security of our shaded front porch to the house across the street. When I ventured out onto the driveway to try for a better shot, they all took off. Apparently, the deer in this area are smart - they know to hang out in town during hunting season, as there is no shooting allowed in the populated areas (duh).

I got up from my afternoon nap today (no snickering - lazy chick with a stowaway here) to this - DH working on the front garden, in the snow. Not just any snow either - the first snow of the season, and showing up in the form of uber-flakes. Of course, it is a few degrees above freezing, so all the snow is really doing is watering the lawn and providing a cool effect on camera. But I'll take that. Yay for snow! Fun snow!

Knitting and quilting content to continue shortly. I just finished (but still need to block) a new scarf that I designed, and will be putting the pattern up here for anyone interested.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Legal in Canada Already!!

Found this on Norma's blog, and even though same-sex marriage is legal in Canada (yay Canada!), I had to post it - very funny, in a thought-provoking way. Kind of shoots the anti gay marriage arguments in the foot.

So, without further ado, I give you Reasons Why Gay Marriage Should Not Be Allowed in America ...

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans...


Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage, or are happy to have same sex marriage legal already where you live.

And yes, I am of the opinion that same-sex marriage is a GOOD THING. 'Cause they're people, ya know?

P-e-o-p-l-e, not P-e-r-v-e-r-t-s. Take that, so called "religious right"! Phooey on you!

Bump in the Road

Hah! Gotcha! Not that kind of bump, not this time. Nope.

Yesterday (very early Thursday morning) I had just hit "Publish Post" when there was a knock on the door. Keep in mind that it was very early. Wearing robe and hair-standing-out-like-a-clown early. And dark. Really, really dark.

As DH was still in the process of dressing (he was all clean and shiny, but hadn't yet put on pants), he ducked into the bedroom while I looked all confused (who comes to the door at that hour? really?) and answered the door.

An older, somewhat panic-y blond woman blurts out that there is a "body in the middle of the street", and that I should call 9-1-1. Then, she bolts. Takes off. Runs. Gone into the blackness of the really early morning. In my pre-caffeinated state, I step out into the front yard, and can see a rather large bump in the middle of the road, a few houses down.

Well, a zillion scary things are going through my mind (she's got accomplices, and as soon as I step out to check on this body on the road, they're going to rob/rape/beat/murder me). Thankfully, DH is much more pragmatic. He gets dressed, pulls on a coat and his reflective safety vest, and goes booting down the street. As I stand barefoot on the sidewalk (in my fluffy white robe) I hear him yell "she's alive but really cold - call the cops!"

Yup, dialed 9-1-1, and got to tell the dispatcher that there was a woman laying in the middle of our street. She tells me there is a patrol car in our area already, and she will send him our way - within two seconds, he's turning the corner onto our street (at the other end). I wave to him, then point down the street to where DH (smart, that DH) has put his coat / reflective vest combo over the woman. As the RCMP vehicle approaches, there is a big glowing X on her, and DH standing between the car and the woman, waving his arms. He's good that way.

Realizing I'm cold and practically naked, I hustle my fluffy arse back inside, and wait. DH appears in less than two minutes. He apparently got her to respond, but when he first approached her, she appeared to be asleep! He had assisted the RCMP officer with getting the woman (who he described as really young, blond, and not at all coherent) into the vehicle, was thanked, then headed home.

We talked about it for a few minutes, then the man was off to work. Just like that. All over in less than six minutes.

Last night when he came home we talked again, and decided that the incident had taught us a few things, and helped us to realize others:

1. When it's dark and you're the only house on the street with lights on, you're going to get the (hopefully very rare) knock on the door.

2. DH acts and thinks really quickly before his morning coffee, whereas I don't (not new to me, but the first time he recognized that fact).

3. A "body in the road" has the capacity to be a teenager down after a night of drinking - but that doesn't matter. A person passed out in the road still needs attention.

4. Calling the RCMP was the correct, and only, feasible solution. Whether they took her to the drunk tank to dry out, or to the hospital to deal with hypothermia (it was a frosty morning), it doesn't matter. The proper authorities made the decision, and we were able to continue going about our daily routine once the problem was out of our hands.

5. Ours is a very small town. Having a patrol car in our area literally means just that. He was one corner away, and was dispatched to investigate and driving by me before I had a chance to check that my robe was closed (it was).

6. When DH told his co-workers about the incident, they managed to turn it into a joke. He's the only one married, and got teased all day with "How come the married one gets the hot young unconscious blond on his doorstep? Doesn't seem fair!" Apparently, men can turn anything into a joke.

7. The likelihood of either of us passing out in the middle of the street is far, far lower than it was when we were drinking our way through University. That makes us both happy, as where we live, it is below freezing for damn near half the year.

Yup, it was an interesting Thursday morning. And just in case, I bolted down my morning coffee as soon as it brewed. Because you never know when you're doing to be dealing with a crisis. Like a disappearing harbinger of doom. Or a hypothermic teenager asleep in the street.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Signs there might be trouble ahead...

Hello. My name is Logan, and I am a knitaholic. I'm addicted to changing yarn weight. When my fingers tire of working with lace weight, I like to work my way up to Aran weight. When I've had enough of 5mm needles, I work my way back down.

Notice the use of the phrase "work my way" - intentional. Right now, I have the following projects on the needles:

1. Lace weight - a scarf (Christmas gift)
2. Shetland weight - a hap shawl (for me)
3. Fingering weight - a scarf (Christmas gift)
4. Sport weight - a stole (yup, for me)
5. DK weight - a scarf (testing a pattern I wrote)
6. Aran weight - a scarf (Christmas gift)

Notice any trends? Yup, this will be the Christmas of hand knitted scarves.

Also, please note that I can change from lace weight to Aran weight in ONLY SIX STEPS. I kill me.

Oh, and Deborah? You must be clairvoyant - within a week of your email, your guess was bang on. Yup, pregnant again. Am having blood tests every second day to follow my hormone levels, and an ultrasound on Tuesday (October 4th). We will wait and see how long it takes this pregnancy to end. Bets anyone?

We're really looking forward to this next miscarriage, as it will OFFICIALLY move us from "difficulty conceiving" to "spontaneous recurrent miscarriage", which is really what we should be getting treatment for. So, things are looking up, as we will finally be getting the right kind of help on the pro-creation front. Yippee!

Could I be stress knitting?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

What my Dad did this Weekend

First, consider this - what do you hope to be doing when you are 60, on a sunny but windy autumn weekend (in Alberta, Canada)?

You might have thought reading a great novel, enjoying a walk with the spouse and the dog, spinning the slots at a casino, or taking in some live theatre or a symphony event. All of these seem to me to be reasonable things for a 60 year old to do on a brisk Saturday in September.

Hell, I did two of them (reading, and enjoying a walk with spouse, sans dog) myself - great ways to spend time as the days grow shorter and the temperature drops.

My father, however, had different ideas. Yesterday, while I was reading and/or walking in the fall woods, he was . . . fracturing his tibia while avoiding a collision between a man in a catamaran and himself, windsurfing. Yup, Dad spent the first part of Saturday windsurfing on a chilly Alberta lake, and the second part in emergency, having his fractured leg prepped for surgery.

I just got word that he came through the surgery well, but is now the proud owner of a plate and some pins. He will be joining my younger brother in the list of family members who always set off the metal detectors at airports. Dad may be released as early as Tuesday, so long as he takes to the crutches and pain killers well.

I wonder how long until he is back on the windsurfer? Because he just started taking windsurfing lessons at age 57 - until then, water sports for Dad had consisted of margaritas on the beach, and cursing a misplaced umbrella during a heavy rain. Now he owns a sail and a harness.

Also, he has always wanted to learn to hangglide. Maybe when he's 70...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Love & Loathing in my Basement

Warning: Those of you with a weak stomach for serious stash collecting should turn away now. Anyone who purchases "just enough for the project I'm starting now", run for the hills. This post is about STASH. Serious friggin' STASH.

Yesterday, I went and picked up the mail for the first half of the week. No, we don't get house-to-house delivery here - we have to schlep up to the local Canada Post Office, which is (oh, so conveniently) only open between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, with a four hour window on Saturday (10-2). Seriously.

In the mail, along with the usual assortment of flyers and junk, was the latest Hancocks of Paducah catalogue. While I'm not really a fan of their online shop (poorly organized IMHO, and slow service), I do love their catalogue. So, when I got home and had put away the last of the groceries, I brewed myself a cup of Dilmah tea (thanks Carla!) and sat down on the couch to peruse.

Yummmmm. Page after page of glorious colour. Amazing textures. Incredible groupings. Ahhhh (insert Homer Simpson sound and drool effect here).

Then, as I flipped through again, marking my favorite fabrics with a pen, I began to notice a trend. So I put down the catalogue (step away from the catalogue), did something else for a while (laundry and dishes - always there in a pinch), and gave it all some time to sink in.

Okay, clean clothes and dishes done, back to the catalogue. Yup, there it is again. Time to face the music. I marched myself downstairs, and opened the door to the incredible mess I call my Stash. Stepping over the piles and bags of yarn, working my way around the really-good-bargain picture frames and roll of Fast2Fuse, I began to search my fabric stash storage shelves.

Sneaking suspicion confirmed. During the summer of knitting rather than quilting, my quilting fabric stash, while not changing, has matured into --- a collection of my favorite fabrics. The stuff I marked as delightful in the HoP catalogue? More than 90% of it is already in my possession, and just waiting to come out and play.

I love my stash. My stash terrifies me. It needs organizing. And more shelves. Okay, fine, just the yarn part needs organizing and shelves. See how organized the fabric stash is? I love my stash.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Napping + Nature = Good

This is where I have spent most of today (with brief stumbles about to blog, do laundry, and knit on the balcony). Note the presence of a Peanut, the home-made quilt, and the messy multitude of pillows - all essential for a day of serious nappitude.

This is what has been happening outside while I've been napping. Nature has made the leaves all bright and obnoxious, but in a lovely, lovely way. The clouds boiling about behind the mountain are staying over there (good clouds, well behaved clouds). Immediately above casa de Logan is sunshine, which is doing all it can to make the golden leaves even brighter. Nature turns on the high beams.

Home Again and Resting

I posted my last blog August 30th, and today is September 12th. Where have I been in the days in between? Well...

Since I left Blogdom on August 30th, I have driven 3,300 kilometres, slept in eight different beds (two were crashing with family, the rest were motels), eaten in countless restaurants (fine, I just didn't count), and seen the colour of the poplar leaves turn from rich lush green to translucent gold. It was a long, but lovely, trip.

Day One (August 30th): Drove from home (Grande Cache, AB) to Bob and Sandra's (the in-laws) in Langley, BC (11.5 hours drive time - not including stop and rest my numb butt time).

Day Two: Drove from Bob and Sandra's to the Vancouver Airport where I picked up Mom, Aunt Carla, and Carla's husband Adrian. Drove them to their hotel in Richmond. Drove back to Bob and Sandra's.

Day Three: Picked up Mom, Carla and Adrian in Richmond. Took the ferry from Tsawassen to Sidney, on Vancouver Island. Found motel just outside of Victoria. Drove around, found the Butterfly Gardens (which we all enjoyed).

Day Four: Drove from Victoria to Nanaimo, stopping on the side of the highway once to stare up at giant maple trees, and then taking a side detour to avoid a snarl in traffic. Put feet in a picturesque lake. Found motel in Nanaimo, and stuffed ourselves silly with really good seafood (really fresh seafood, too).

Day Five: Drove from Nanaimo to Campbell River, with brief side trip to a mining museum in Cumberland, and a stop to take photos of the ocean end of a logging operation, culminating in a raid on a wild blackberry patch that left us all with purple stained fingers and mouths.

Day Six: Dropped off Mom, Carla and Adrian for their trip to see Grizzly Bears doing what grizzly bears do (no, not sh!tting in the woods - catching and consuming salmon during the salmon spawning run). They saw 10 grizzlies! I napped. Staying in Campbell River again.

Day Seven: Drove to Powell River, then caught three different ferries for a scenic (but slow) trip back to Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver. Got a lot of knitting done while waiting for ferries, and while riding on ferries. Took the TransCanada Highway through Vancouver (only way to go), and found a crappy motel in Abbotsford for the night.

Day Eight: Drove from Abbotsford to Chilliwack, where we gassed up and had a real Canadian breakfast (bagels at Tim Hortons). Drove to a rest stop near Hope, where Adrian took over behind the wheel. He did really well considering he is used to driving on the other side of the road (from New Zealand). He spelled me until Kamloops, where we stopped for lunch. I then drove until Valemount (a long day of mostly driving, as opposed to Day Seven's long day of mostly waiting for ferries).

Day Nine: Drove from Valemount to Home!!! In between, we stopped at Rearguard Falls (definitely worth the quick walk), Mount Robson (best on a sunny day), a few roadside turnoffs in Jasper National Park, and had lunch and did some shopping in Jasper. Total distance: 2,400km

Day Ten: Got up really early to drive to Edmonton with my husband (who had been working, so was alone at home the entire length of my road trip) and my Mom. Dropped Mom off at her vehicle, and went to the doctor. Spent the night with DH's brother and new sister-in-law.

Day Eleven: Drove home (4.5 hours, and the addition of an extra 900 or so km to the total). DH went off to work for the afternoon. Did some housecleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Really, really, really tired, but still have Carla and Adrian here, so the company was good. Mom and her husband (Horst) arrived around 4:30pm. Things got lively.

Day Twelve: Hung around the house, all reading or watching TV. Six adults in the house, but things were pretty quiet and relaxed (we were all bagged). It was cloudy and raining most of the day. Weather cleared up early evening, so I took Horst, Carla, Adrian and DH up to the Sulphur Gates, then out looking for animals. Yes, I left my Mom home alone - but she was manning the phones (and a good thing she did - my older brother Dan got hold of her and they planned activities for the next day). On the way back, we had critter encounters with four mule deer, one bull elk, and numerous female and young elk. Adrian and Carla were thrilled (they had begun to think we'd been lying whenever we talked about the local wildlife).

Day Thirteen: Mom, Horst, Carla and Adrian packed up and left, heading for a reunion with Dan. DH and I went into blah mode. I started, but did not finish, a humungous pile of laundry. And, I thought about cleaning house, but chose not to.

And, that brings me to today - Monday, September 12th. DH is at work. I'm tired. I napped on and off all day, basking in the silence. I love company, and enjoyed the time with family, but man oh man, I'm out of practice. I did get some knitting time out on the balcony this afternoon, enjoying the gorgeous fall colours and snow on the peaks across the valley. Now, I'm off to bed. Again. Or, maybe a bubble bath. In blessed silence.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Summer is for Road Trips

I'm off again...

This time I'm driving from home to Vancouver by myself, where I will be picking up my Mom (smart woman - she's flying there), my Aunt Carla, and Carla's husband Adrian. We will then be crossing to the Island, where we will spend 4 nights enjoying coastal activities and moisture. Once we're good and mildew coated, I'm driving us all back here, to my place, dropping off Carla and Adrian, then driving Mom back to Edmonton.

My role in all of this is chauffeur. There will be two days with a minimum of 10 hours of driving, one day with 5 hours, and assorted days in between lots of car time between driving and ferry-ing. However, I get a free holiday out of it - Mom is paying for my hotel room (of course I'm bunking with her).

I've packed version 3.0 of the leaf lace shawl (frogged one of the two I had going - just not happy with the way it was knitting up), the PBJ scarf (one ball left to finish), and my Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles (just in case).

This should be a fun, but tiring (all that driving) trip. I'll miss DH and the critters, and blogdom. And the Summer of Lace Yahoo Group.

See you all September 10th (thereabouts)!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A PBJ Scarf

Every weekday morning, I get up at 5:30am with my husband. While he's in the shower, the cats get their morning feed, and I fumble around the kitchen half asleep, putting on the coffee and finding fixings for a lunch to go.

At his office (a trailer adjacent to an open pit coal mine, on the side of a mountain), he has access to a microwave, but not to a fridge. So, lunches must be room temperature safe, or on hot summer days, hot summer day safe.

DH's solution to lunch my making dismay? PB&J. Yup, that's right - peanut butter and jam sandwiches. His mother keeps us in homemade jams and jellies (his favorite and most requested right now is the '04 blackberry), so all I need to do is keep us in peanut butter (crunchy) and bread (whole grain).

Yet whenever I prepare another PBJ sandwich, I cringe. PBJ was what the poor, neglected kids got at school. PBJ is like the crappiest of crappy lunches. I feel like I'm sending him off to work with a big giant "screw you, I couldn't be bothered" kind of bag lunch.

However, PBJ is his absolute favorite, so every time I send him yet another PBJ sandwich, he is all happy and thankful when he gets home. Some mornings, he actually asks for PBJ, and it goes something like this:
DH: How about PBJ?
Me: Don't you want something nice, though?
DH: PBJ is nice.
Me: But I have some nice pastrami...
DH: But I want PBJ.
Me: But all the other kids, I mean guys, they'll think I don't love you enough to make you a nice lunch!
DH: All the other guys think you make the best PBJ in the world. In fact, you'd better make extra, so I can share.
Me: grumble futz

So I've been staring at this yummy skein of 100% Merino Superwash goodness now for over a month. I wanted to make something spectacular with it. Something brilliant. Something awe-inspiring. You know the drill.

Instead, it kept whispering to me quietly "PBJ. I'm peanut butter and jam. Really, I am." I ignored it, and swatched for brilliance. Trinity stitch and a lace panel for fingerless gloves. Cables and double moss stitch for fancy socks. Traveling stitches on a reverse garter background for a hat. Nothing worked. Nothing satisfied. They all left me with a hollow feeling that maybe, just maybe, the yarn was right.

It was right. It is a simple, easy, predictable scarf. It combines garter stitch predictability (equate to whole grain bread) with the world's simplest lace patterned 4 stitch repeat (k1, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, purl back). Even the back side looks great.

This stunning hand painted 100% Merino is now the peanut butter and jam sandwich of scarves. But boy oh boy, does this most simple of scarves feature the colours well. PBJ. Noting satisfies like it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Expounding 001 - News Media

Note: The following post is OPINION, and thus should not be confused with FACT. The Writer reserves the right to rant at will, and will.

Oh, for the days of old. You know the ones I'm talking about - when the media was about reporting FACTS, and OPINIONS were reserved for the "Editorials" section. Now, if you ask the average young person on the street (I'm bluffing - I haven't, and I won't - I tend not to want anything to do with the average young person on the street), they will likely be hard pressed to tell the difference between fact and opinion.

Opinion, and its evil cousin, emotion, have bit by bit crept in and obliterated the media as it was. Media now seems (to me - this being an OPINION, of course) so full of emotional response and fluffy "And just how did that make you feel?" crap that reporting the facts has gone the way of the Dodo bird (or, if the Dodo doesn't do it for you, insert name of extinct species of your choice, here). Yes, I'm quite adept at the twisted sentence. Fun.

The newspapers are the ones that offend me most. So many people place way too much value in what is written, taking anything published in a newspaper as undeniable truth. Sadly, much of what makes it into newspapers today is unfounded pseudo-fact, poorly written, improperly researched, and decorated with the liberal application of emotional misdirection and sneakily placed opinions. Sigh.

Radio media I pretty much discount entirely. Trying to report the news, including squeezing in the facts with the much more popular and therefore required for ratings opinions, in a three minute spot on the hour, including sports and weather, is darn near impossible. When the radio news comes on, I put in a cd.

Television news is the worst of all. It is virtually impossible to have a simple, non-biased, fact-based reporting of world events these days. Why do I say that? Well, as the majority of television news reports are filled with graphic video footage of carnage and pain, the pictures generate an emotional response even if you turn the sound off. That said, it becomes impossible to have an impartial reporting of facts, when in the background is heart-renching footage expected to generate emotional outrage.

So I've ranted enough. Time for a two minute quick fix. My solution? Preface every single article in the newspaper with one of two words: either FACT or OPINION. As soon as any opinion slips into an article, whether it be a response to the ever so stupid question "And how did that make you feel?", or the writer expressing outrage or indignity, the label has to be OPINION. In addition, a requirement for fact checking must be designed and required. At first, very few articles would be labeled FACT, but I believe that would change, as both readers and writers became aware that the drivel soaked OPINION articles might make fun reading, but aren't actually very informative at all.

It almost goes without saying (but only almost, because I am saying it here) that every single television news report would have the word OPINION floating over the anchorperson's right shoulder, while video footage played over their left shoulder. To shift television news reporting into an unbiased reporting of the facts would require the dropping of photographic footage. Because photographic footage rips at the heartstrings. And generates emotional response. Which is OPINION. Duh.

But that's just my OPINION. Feel free to leave yours.

Warning: Rants Ahead (Background)

I just had a very long and interesting telephone discussion with my father, who is a holder of very strong, and often unpopular, opinions. He's also smart, well read, and logical. Best of all, he thrives on heated debate about the state of the world today, or at least our little corner of it. I admire the man, and he inspires me, even if we don't always agree.

Anyway, the point is this: our discussion brought up many topics that both of us have strong opinions about, and I want to spend some time writing about them. I will limit my posting to my opinions, as I don't have the right (or the desire) to post for him, too (he could start his own blog though ... hint, hint). And, I will only post on one topic at a time, as expounding is hard work.

So, for the next little while, my blog posts will include a segment of fibre arts content, plus a mini-editorial. Feel free to be offended, and to offer opinions in response via the comments. Now, off I go to vacuum, clean the litter box, and prepare my post about the state of the media today (start small, shall I???).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Flogging Molly

Ah, Flogging Molly. Introduced to them by DH, I'm absolutely enamoured of this band (yes, Flogging Molly is the name of an Irish folk-punk band, not just a naughty thing teenage boys do behind closed doors).

So far, we've picked up only two of their cds, but they don't get much of a break. If you go to their website to check them out, use the play button on the lower right, and skip to song 3 (although song 1 and 2 are great, too). That's a crank it loud and play it over and over one for me.
The cds themselves are properly produced, so don't have the scratchy poor sound quality of the website (although maybe that's our crappy computer speakers).

We listened to Flogging Molly while driving through the Rocky Mountains (both Jasper Park and Mount Robson Park), and now they are tied in my mind with incredible scenery and sunny days, driving with my favorite husband. Some of the lyrics are great, including my favorite lines, from Devil's Dance Floor on the cd Swagger "Her breath began to speak, as she stood right in front of me. The colour of her eyes, were the colour of insanity. Crushed beneath her wave, like a ship, I could not reach the shore." I don't know what colour insanity is, but it sure sounds poetic!

My favorite song title is "The Worst Day Since Yesterday" - pessimistic, but fun. Gotta love it.

Nope, no quilting or knitting content today. Strictly music for me. And tea. Lots and lots of really strong tea.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

4 Days 14 Hours, 2 Provinces, and 1 Sock

So we're back from our mini-vacation. It was short, but sweet. Sweaty, actually, but fun too. We left Tuesday morning and did the 10 hour drive from Alberta through BC. Many kilometres of highway were driven, under sunny skies and with air conditioning blasting. The company was good - DH and a sock, what more could a Logan Chick possibly want? Sorry about the smeary windshield - we were the great Canadian bug killers across two Provinces.

The first night we spent with DH's folks and Toby the sock-friendly retriever, in the land of many bunnies. Why the land of many bunnies? Because their neighbours brought home two "male" bunnies for the kids, but they soon had many. And the many promptly escaped. Now, the fields around the houses are hopping with bunnies. Literally. And while we were there, we saw the first stages of the generation of at least two more litters. No photos of procreating bunnies, sorry. And now I know where the expression "quick like a bunny" comes from. Anyone want one though? Or two? Dozen?

The next three days and two nights were spent with DH's grandparents in sunny Tswassen, where the welcome was as warm as the weather. Between Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Dave, we were well taken care of, and had a great time. They have a beautiful garden with a central patio area great for sitting, knitting, and enjoying the antics of many birds. The sock enjoyed the bird bath, too.

Outings included a visit to a place where injured birds of prey are sheltered (saw some incredible owls, eagles, osprey, and falcons - all way closer than I ever expected to see), some shopping (the Hospice shop that Grandma volunteers at, one quilt shop, and one yarn shop), a number of nice restaurants, a tour of the Steveston area (including historic homes and a boat building yard), and Granville Island. My least favorite part? That's a toss-up between the cr@ppy service and attitudes of the staff at the bead shop on Granville Island, and the traffic in Vancouver. Oy.

The final night was spent back with DH's folks, where surprise early birthday cake (ice cream cake from the local DQ) was served, and the young folks were soundly beaten in a rousing game of Krokano (spelling unknown - if anyone knows the correct spelling of the game, please leave a comment).

The drive home was not nearly as much fun, as we got away late (almost mid-day), and the sun was really hot (thank goodness for the air conditioning!). We found two great restaurants en route, but then drove into a pretty heavy downpour that followed us from BC into Alberta, and all through the provincial parks (both Mount Robsin and Jasper). Our final few hours of driving were in the dusk to dark, and in heavy fog on a winding country highway with very narrow shoulders - some stress ensued. It was sure good to see the lights of home (at around 11:00).

The critters were thrilled to see us, especially as the person that had promised to take care of them hadn't bothered to clean their litter box!!! Yup, I was pissed. But, as DH said, she was a last minute cat feeding solution, and was not expecting to get paid, so we can't really be all that upset. Still, I am, and she sure as heck won't be getting a thank you gift - the poor cats had very little water, and nowhere to relieve themselves - we're lucky we got back when we did!

All in all, the holiday was great (though short), and it is always good to spend time with family. I missed blog-dom, though, so will be catching up for a while. Why didn't I write earlier today? Stress headache hangover from the bad weather driving. Sorry.

I leave you with the sock admiring a rose from Grandma's garden. Oh, and yes, I finished the sock. As it was a second sock, it now awaits a wool wash with its mate, and the first official wearing by DH. He was happy - a holiday and a pair of socks. Woo hoo!

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Short Intermission

No, I haven't gotten all depressed and un-blog-like again - I'm on vacation. Kind of. DH and I are driving (12 hours each way) to the coast to spend some time with his grandparents. Hopefully, much knitting will be done while he drives. I imagine much shopping will be done while we're there, too.

Back next week. Toodles!

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