30 December 2005

Lucky Teapot ...


Rafe came back to town for Christmas. We went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on Tuesday. I thought it was quite good. Peter and that sword were a bit much, but I was particularly glad to see that they didn't fix Edmund. He's a despicable little shit, as he was written.

Brandon brought the bus home today and took away the teapot Billy left here. I went to the Chinese market and got a

Lucky Teapot, Possessing the High Temperature-keeping Power, 1250 ml multi-function teapot.

The Funcitons and Characteristics
-Unique Model, Pretty and Practical
-Quartz Glass, Clear and Transparent Thoroughly
-Enabling to disassemble it for the designs, rinse it easily
-No Poison to the Cup-body Plastics, Heat Resistances
-Poly-sorts of Colours Offering the Options
-Suitable for the uses of making tea and coffee

Materials and Properties
-Glass part: Heat-resisting: Temperature: 120°C
-Plastic part: PP. Polyethylene's Heat-resisting
-Temperature: 80°C (Or ABS, Anti-heat Temperature: 90°C)
-Metal part: Synthetic Metallic Net

Temperature-keeping Structure
-Don't use the Power, Coal and Gas Security and Energy-saving Upper Cover
-Because of its heat-cutting structure, don't release the heats
-Medium Pot
-Made of the double-structured glass with vacuum
-Possessing the High Temperature-keeping Power
-After pre-heating it, the heat water of over ninety degrees will be immediately alright in approximately one hour

Directions
-Place the net pot into the bettle vertically
-Place the suitable amounts of tea leaves
-Add the suitable amounts of boiling water
-Cover the kettle lid, then you can drink it

Cleaning
-The lucky kettle's designs are scientific and reasonable, rinse it handily
-You only need to take the net pot out
-Slightly brush it with a brush and then cleanse it to the cleanliness for the immediate alright

28 December 2005

Reprise ...



An old story ...

Many years ago, friends of mine found a wee, tiny kitty on the side of the highway in the dead of winter ... young enough that her eyes were still closed ... they thought she was too young to survive without a mother, so they were going to put her down ... I couldn't have that, so I brought her home. The vet thought she was a week or two old, and didn't hold much hope for her survival ... I got some horse milk and dipped a small bit of bread in it for her to suck several times a day for a few weeks and she did survive. She didn't meow, she said, "Ooooo" ... I called her Spook.

When it was time for her to get her shots, I took her to the vet again ... I was concerned about her ... most days, when I got home from work, she would be hanging by her front claws from the curtains or the back of a chair, Ooooing her little head off ... and she didn't seem to be getting much stronger - whenever she tried to do something, her back end would start to sway and she'd fall over. I'd never had cats, but this didn't seem right to me.

The vet checked her out thoroughly and told me that he thought the mother likely had Distemper, and that she had Intention Spasticity ... that's why she couldn't retract her front claws when they were into something, and why her back end wobbled and fell over. If she just did something, it was fine, but when she thought about it, she got all spastic. Apparently, Intention Spasticity usually affects the front end, rather than the back end, and the poor things starve. Since she couldn't retract her front claws once she'd leapt up to hang from something, declawing was pretty much essential ... but once that was done, she was fine, aside from her dignity, which suffered every time someone noticed her wobble and fall over. The vet didn't think she'd live very long, but he'd been wrong before.

Since Spook had no front claws and no ability to pounce, I was able to have both her and Nathanial-Bird (a completely neurotic budgie (who wouldn't go through a doorway, unless he was riding on my head or shoulder) that someone couldn't keep anymore) loose in the house at the same time. I started calling the cat Pook, after someone pointed out how funny it was to call a black cat Spook ... I hadn't made the connection ... how embarassing.

I didn't know how to raise a kitten, so I treated her like a puppy ... she came when she was called, played fetch, would sit and speak (Oooo) for treats, and ran to the door whenever someone came up the walk. She was moody as hell and very much a one-person cat ... when I sat, she was in my lap ... when I stood in one place for more than a minute, she way lying on my feet ... at night, she slept across my neck or wrapped around the top of my head. She had a shoebox that she was absurdly attached to ... whenever she went from one room to another, she dragged it behind her ... if I was moving too much to be a good bed, she'd sit in the shoebox. At the risk of being redundant, she was a rather peculiar cat.

One day, when Patty lived here, and Fluffy was up visiting, the three of us were sitting about yacking ... it suddenly dawned on me that Pook wasn't in my lap and that I hadn't seen her in a while ... it was one of those creepy times, when you know something's horribly wrong ... the interal dialogue went like this, "I'm sure she's fine, just found a warm place to curl up ... fuck, what if she died ... she's fine ...." Her shoebox was in front of the kitchen table ... I pulled the chairs out and crawled under ... there she was, poor thing, stiff as a board. She wasn't supposed to survive a week, but she'd owned me for eight or nine years. I was devastated.

Fluffy offered to bury her in the back yard, but it was the dead of winter, the ground was frozen solid ... so we put her in her shoebox with some mothballs to keep the dogs from smelling her ... ugh ... wrapped the shoebox in plastic bags and put her in the garbage - pickup was the next morning.

Mom phoned later, and asked right away what was wrong. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Pook died.
Patty and Fluffy: -appropriate clucking and awing noises-
Mom: What!?!
Me: Pook died.
Mom: When?!?
Me: This morning, sometime.
Mom: What happened?!?
Me: I don't know. She just died. I found her under the kitchen table, all stiff.
Mom: Your kitchen table?!?
Me: Yes, of course my kicthen table.
Mom: She's too young to just die!! Something had to have happened!!!
Me: Nobody expected her to live this long.
Mom: What!?!
Me: She wasn't supposed to live at all, Mom.
Mom: What!?! Oh ... uh ... is Darren coming home?
Me: Huh? Of course not!
Mom: Does Darren know?!?
Me: No, but he's supposed to call in a couple of days.
Mom: You're not going to call him?!?
Me: Mom! I'm not going to bother him in the middle of the night, overseas, for this!
Mom: Uh ... uh ... um ... what did you do? When you ... uh ... found her?
Me: Wrapped her up in plastic ...
Mom: What!?!
Me: ... and put her out by the garbage. I didn't want the dogs to get her!
Mom: What!?!
Me: Fluffy offered to bury her in the back yard, but ...
Mom: What?!? He didn't!?!
Me: ... the ground's frozen. No, he didn't. The ground's frozen!
Mom: You can't just leave her out there!!!
Me: It'll be fine, Mom. She's frozen out there and pickup's tomorrow.
Mom: What!?! Uh ...
Me: I'm gonna go, Mom.
Mom: Uh ...
Me: Fluffy's here visiting.
Mom: Uh ... okay.

This all struck me a little odd ... Mom never says "What?" ... she always says "Pardon?" ... and she's pretty unflappable ... but I had other things on my mind.

A couple of hours later, Mom phoned again. The conversation went something like this:

Mom: *gasp* I'm *snort* sorry *giggle* about *wheeze* earlier *snort* ...
Me: Um ... it's okay. What's up?
Mom: *laugh* You meant *gasp* Pook ... *snort* died.
Me: Yah, Pook ... Pook died.
Patty and Fluffy: -concerned looks-
Mom: *giggle* Pook *snort* ...
Me: Yes, Pook ...
Mom: *laugh* Pook *gasp* ...
Me: Mom?
Mom: *laugh* Pook *snort* ...
Me: Mom!?!
Patty and Fluffy: -even more concerned looks-
Mom: *gasp* *laugh* *snort* Pook *laugh* your cat! *gasp*
Me: Yes, Mom ... Pook, my ... *gasp* Omigawd ... *snort* Mom, you didn't think I meant *snort* Pook!?!
... Mom never did call her Pook ... she called her Spooky ... she calls Darren's little sister Pook, 'cuz that's what we all call her ...
Patty and Fluffy: -very concerned looks-
Mom: *laugh* I *snort* know ... AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE *gasp*
Me: *giggle* You mean ... *laugh*
Mom: *snort* ... under the table ... *laugh*
Me: *shreik* Oh no! *laugh*
Patty and Fluffy: -completely bewildered-
Mom: *giggle* ... dont' want to *snort* bother Darren ... *gasp*
Me: *snork* *gasp*
Mom: *wheeze* ... plastic bags ... *snort* ... Fluffy bury ... *helpless laughter*
Me: *helpless laughter*
Patty and Fluffy: -starting to look a little frightened-
Mom: *laugh* *gasp* Pickup's tomorrow ...*snork*
Me: Gsnxrk! *helpless laughter*
.... several minutes later...
Mom: *sniffle* Bye, Honey *giggle**
Me: *giggle* Bye, Mom *snort*
... repeat whole conversation for Patty and Fluffy ...
... much more helpless laughter ...

I wonder if Darren ever told his Pook about it.

27 December 2005

HaSA'R


I spent Christmas Eve wrapping gifts and watching Scrooged, then The Muppet Christmas Carol. I didn't get to A Christmas Carol (the Alastair Sim one ... and mine's not colourized) or It's a Wonderful Life or White Christmas. My godparents gave me Miracle on 34th Street this year. In past years, I've watched them all over several evenings, but I knew that would make me miss Pat horribly. I'll go back to doing that next year, and maybe add The Bells of St. Mary's to the collection.

It smelled like early spring outside when Iwent to the APs for breakfast on Christmas day. There were hugs and smooches all 'round. The deep cold in the ground and the accumulations of hoarfrost kept a tiny bit of very little snow we've had around and kept it from being a completely brown Christmas. The dog was absurdly wiggly all day. Mary and Robin and Cory and Ernie and Linda came after lunch. Hugs and smooches all 'round. Mona and Pete and Rose and Cassandra came after naptime. More hugs and smooches all 'round. Linda got a remote control robot with which Rose and Cassandra were considerably less than enchanted. We had a wonderful dinner that came together smoothly and all got to be there for it this year. As everyone went home, there were more hugs and smooches all 'round, of course, 'cuz that's one thing we're really good at.

I didn't do anything productive yesterday. I didn't even make the bed! I always make the bed!

22 December 2005

Happy Solstice!


Lovingly plagiarized Solstice greeting ...
Holiday Salutations, bestowed on kith and kin, at this special time of the year. Whether you are starving yourself in daylight, slaughtering innocent conifers, or dancing naked (and cold) under a hunters moon, I wish you, and yours, merryment in whatever proceeding compells you to decorate your home in garish hues, with ungulates on the rooftop, and a scarlet clad, aged ectomorph, glowing on your porch. May you all spend this time full, with love, laughter, and just enough dinner, so that there is room for Figgy Pudding. And a Happy, denominational or not, winter celebration of your choice to you and yours


It's been gorgeous out the last couple of days! Barbara and Annailese and I hung out on the back deck yesterday afternoon in the sunshine.
Vince delivered the super secret Christmas knitting to Dani for me yesterday.


It's just a little bit sparkley.


And I finished the so-very-boy blue scarf the other night and washed and blocked it in time for tuesdaydinnerandamovieonwednesday.


Brandon and I went to WEM (which no longer has more submarines than our navy, sadly) on Monday. He knows his way around, doesn't lose me (that's 'cuz I had the car key, he tells me), and doesn't get annoyed with I turn into a distracted space case. We went to the stores with the models and games and swords and not to the ones where I get crabby. We went down into the Sea Life Caverns to check them out to see if Brandon's boy would like them. They're great! There were fish and sharks and snakes and sea turtles and penguins. I wish they had more room to swim around, though.

I booked my flights and hotel and booked the cats into Kitty City for my trip to Whistler to see Dani and Sephi in January.

AND ... speaking of Kitty City, I got a call from Les about someone he knows who might be interested in Tiger.

I had lunch with Kitty and Dannie the other day. We see each other once a year at the Cookie and Tree party and say how we really must get together, then don't. Dannie's taken on the task of organizing us so we get together at least once a month, 'til we get back into the habit.

After much confusion, the greyhound package from Patti and Jaime arrived last night. I'm trying to fit getting-stuff-to-folx into the next couple of days. It's not that I'm that busy, but that folx have time when I don't. I'm off to Barbara and Anailese's shortly to deliver all the stuff for them and Chelsea and Bernie and Patti's Grandma. Barbara and I are trying to figure out whether or not we can go to Leduc together to take stuff to the Grandma. With any luck at all, Dave will be able to come by after work to pick up the stuff for René. If he does, then he can boost the Lady so the battery charges up some so Brandon can use her for a couple of days over Christmas. Tomorrow I pick up cat food and go putter with Mom at the APs house, getting stuff ready for Christmas, and make a stop at Bonnie Doon on the way home. Saturday I have to get groceries, then I have no other commitments 'cept watching Christmas movies and wrapping presents.

21 December 2005

On your mark ...


WEM with Brandon, Bonnie Doon, Capilano, Greenwoods, booking flights and hotel, post office, phone calls, knitting, blocking, lunch with Kitty and Dannie, visits from Barbara and Annailese, twinkle twinkle on my voice mail, wrapping, decorating, laundry, taming dust bunnies, news from Kitty City ...

19 December 2005

Happy Birthday, Linda!

18 December 2005

Doing ...


I went for second breakfast with Barbara and Annailese and Corbin on Friday, then went (ugh) shopping. I am having a great deal of trouble with a very specific request from Cory for Christmas. I may have to give up. I am not amused. At least the grocery shopping part went smoothly.

Brandon and I went to the Christmas Carol Project at the Roxy last night. It was great! I love that show. I'd rolled up the futon earlier and shaken the daylights out of the feather bed and the duvet and the pillows, and remade the bed with fuzzy sheets, so when I got home, I got to crawl into that. Mmmm!

I'm off to the APs today to decorate the tree with the family and have a little pre-birthdaying with Linda (whose birthday is tomorrow) and visit with Darren and Natalie and Karen.

16 December 2005

Warm Wishes ...


... says the Christmas card from the furnace company.

Last weekend we learned that time-outs should be taken on non-absorbent chairs.

'Tis the season to sling mud, apparently. Bah Humbug. Election campaigns at this time of year suck even more than at other times.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 7:32
Hours of dark: 15ish
Sunrise: 8:44 am
Sunset: 4:16 pm
Start of twilight: 8:01 am
End of twilight: 4:59 pm


Current weather: Clear. -20°C (-4°F), -26°C (-14°F) with windchill, humidity 84%, wind SE 8 km/h (5 mph.), barometer 30.34 in. Hg

Forecast:
Tonight.. Cloudy periods. 30% chance of flurries. Ice fog patches. Low -23°C (-9°F).
Saturday.. A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of flurries early in the morning. Ice fog patches dissipating in the morning. Wind up to 15 km/h (9 mph) Wind chill -28°C (-18°F).
Saturday night.. Cloudy periods. Low -19°C (2°F).
Sunday.. Sunny. High -4°C (25°F).
Monday.. Sunny. Low -13°C (9°F). High 3°C (37°F).
Tuesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -13°C (9°F). High -5°C (23°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -18°C (0°F). High -7°C (19°F).

13 December 2005

Farrago


I spent about fourteen hours at Adele and Dean's on Saturday. It was wonderfully fun and sad and hilarious and awkward and heartwarming and distressing and and and.
I met Mona and Pete and Rose and Cassandra and Dad (who was working a shift) at the Kiwanis Christmas tree lot on Sunday. We ran and shrieked and hugged and smooched and jumped and sang Welcome Christmas (the abu-dore one from the Grinch) around one of the trees and this thing parked next to my l'il Epona (this picture does not accurately show the size difference ... it's just about twice as high, twice as wide and easily twice as long).


Here are the socky slippers for my godmother, before washing and washing and washing and washing in hot water (this pair took about a dozen wash cycles to shrink down enough) and some more little sockies for Anailese's advent calendar and a mouse for scale.


And here they are post-washingandwashingandwashing


Instead of cleaning the house and running errands, I put up my Christmas tree today. It has a light in the base with a turning multi-coloured gel above it and fibre optics in the branches, so it's all twinkly. There are some truly awful artificial trees out there. It takes a lot of looking to find one with this high a cheese factor. The ginormous fluffy star on the top helps. See the sweet little wreath Patty and the girls made out of chestnuts from their tree?


It's decorated with mardi gras beads, stars, origami cranes that Cory made for me, little mirrors and plastic chandelier crystals.

08 December 2005

Winter



I love the ice crystals in the air

I love being able to tell the temperature by the sound my feet make on the snow

I love how sounds and smells are muted

One of my very favourite things about winter is when little cones of snow perch on top of the mountain ash berry clusters

Yesterday morning, there were tracks in the fresh snow in the back yard. Sir Bunrab (I haven't seen Sir Bunrab in ages!) tracks leading from the front street into the back yard and cat tracks leading from the back alley into the back yard ... they go all over the yard with little scuffley patches here and there ... there's no blood, though, so I think the cat must've survived.

I finished knitting my godmother's Fuzzy Feet ... pictures later, after I've washed them down to size. I've finished the super secret Christmas knitting project and I'm working on a very boy scarf, a prayer shawl (this one is a long-term project) and little sockies for Annailese's advent calendar (which won't be done 'til next year, but Barbara's making do with outgrown socks and a couple of little hand-knit sockies for this year). I want to make a scarf with this stitch pattern, too, but I haven't finished the one I started for myself a year ago.

I met Brandon downtown for dinnerandamovie yesterday. We saw Harry Potter. Both the dinner and the movie were good and the company was even better. I'm glad he's back in this part of the country.

This Saturday is the Cookie & Tree party at Adele's. I'm very looking forward to it! I've ordered tickets for the Christmas Carol Project for the 17th. I'm very looking forward to that one, too.

I ran a bunch of errands today (including fueling the car ... it's got a little over 550 km. on it now and I've filled the tank (from about halfway) three times) and yacked on the phone a lot and Mona, Mary and I kinda figured out what's happening for Christmas. I saved the closer-to-home errands for tomorrow. Epona is very fun to drive and holds way more than you'd think.

03 December 2005

More Fuzzy Feet ...


At the APs today, Rose told me, "I love my sister. We are the same." and Cassandra said, "Now be very still and I will give you a passage." That's massage with a p and they don't believe us when we say it's pronounced massage.

I'm making a pair of Fuzzy Feet, this pair for my godmother ... the one who gave me the yarn. Knit, knit, knit, knit.

29 November 2005

Catch up ...


It was absolutely gorgeous out for a couple of weeks. Throw all the windows open kind of beautiful weather.

There's a bunch of stuff I could have sworn I blogged, but it's not here. I think I just talked to a lot of people about it and never actually blogged it. Ditz.

Rose and Cassandra turned three with much ado. When I left their birthday party on Saturday, Cassandra took my face in her hands, gave me a very wet kiss and said, "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. We had cake!" It was nice to talk to Cory at the birthday party, too. The last few times I've seen him, he's either had a friend with him or has been feeling oogy, so we haven't talked much.

For a few years while Mona was living out east, we gave each other an afternoon for Christmas. Actually, we had the afternoon before Christmas ... had lunch and spent some time in the wonderful creaky-floored bookstore. Life happened and we've done other things for a few years. This year, we gave each other an afternoon, but it got bigger. Mona, Pete, Rose, Cassandra, Mary, Cory, Ernie, Linda, Mom and I spent a few hours at the bookstore. We didn't all arrive at once, so there was more than one flurry of hugging and kissing at the entrance. We showed each other our favourite books, had storytimes in corners, laughed and talked and had a great time. Some of us bought books to exchange with each other for Christmas and some didn't. Mom, Mona, Mary and I all arrived with bags of stuff for each other ... you left this at my house, I cut this out of the paper for you, here's your house hat reknit, will these fit the twins, etc. On the way out, there were people sitting on the floor, Rose and Cassandra were lying on the floor near the door, drawing on entry forms for some draw the bookstore was having, hugging, kissing, putting on of boots and coats, swapping of books and general mayhem. It was great!

Brandon's still out of town, but not as homesick on this leg of his trip. I miss Tuesday dinnerandamovies and I miss yackin' on the phone. All this will change when he gets back. We'll look after serious business like tie-dying yo-yo strings. No, really.

I spent a day raveling all of the knitting I'd been working on for Billy, winding it onto the swift and balling it on the ball winder. It was an interesting exercise. Since I knit with intent, it felt like releasing all that intent back into the wild. The swift and ball winder part was great fun!

I'm off to the APs later to see if I can figure out what's wrong with their e-mail setup, and tomorrow, I take the wee car in to have its winter wheels put on. She has a name, the wee car. It's Epona.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 7:59
Hours of dark: 14:45ish
Sunrise: 8:23 am
Sunset: 4:22 pm
Start of twilight: 7:42 am
End of twilight: 5:03 pm


Current weather: Light snow. -12°C (10°F), -18°C (0°F) with windchill, humidity unknown%, wind NNE 9.6 km/h (6 mph.), barometer unknown in. Hg

Forecast:
Tonday.. Periods of light snow. High -10°C (14°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy periods with 40% chance of flurries Low -20°C (-4°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High -11°C (12°F).
Thursday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -21°C (-6°F). High -12°C (10°F).
Friday.. Cloudy. Low -21°C (-6°F). High -14°C (7°F).
Saturday.. Cloudy. Low -20°C (-4°F). High -13°C (9°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -15°C (5°F). High -5°C (23°F).

28 November 2005

For me alone ...


There are thousands of ice crystals dancing in the sunshine outside my window. I don't think they're hitting the ground ... just swirling about, kept aloft by the sheer joy of being so beautiful.

14 November 2005

Fuzzyfeet ...


I got a call from a good friend about a part-time work-from-home gig organizing monthly luncheons and an annual meeting for a group of economists. I wouldn't be willing to take the position unless they're willing to just about double what they're paying now, but I sent a résumé.I figure I'll never know unless I ask. Besides, I've never written a résumé before, so it was an interesting exercise.

I've wanted to make a pair of Fuzzyfeet to try felting (though I believe it's more accurately described as fulling). My godmother gave me some lovely Noro Silk Garden last Christmas and I've had it in the back of my mind, mulling over what to do with it. The two ideas finally bumped into one another and voilà!

Here they are pre-felting/fulling with Mona's house hat and the first of twenty-four l'il sockies for Annailese's advent calendar (for next year) for scale,


And here they are after 8 times through the wash cycle in hot water,


They're fraternal twins. And here's a picture of a cool shadow on the livingroom wall that has nothing to do with anything.


I did the l'il sockie on a whim early in the week. The house hat has a much less impromptu provenance. It is a second attempt at a copy of a hat I made for Mona a few years ago that went walkabout. I didn't make it from a pattern, and I didn't have the original to work from, so the first attempt was too small (it's the too-small one in the pictures). It spent entirely too long in the back of Mary's vehicle with a bag of compost and got stinky, came back and got clean, then ended up in a drawer and forgotten about. Fortunately, Mona reminded me about it recently. I counted stitches and cast on that many and a few more, knit the ribbing, didn't like it, ripped it, cast on and knit it again, still didn't like it, ripped it, cast on and knit it again, knit the hat, didn't like how the decreases turned out, ripped the top third and tried something different, liked it even less, ripped the top half and tried something different, wasn't quite happy, ripped the top half again and tried something completely different, still wasn't quite happy, ripped the top third and reknit it for the last time. If I'd had any sense at all, I'd've written down what I did.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 8:42
Hours of dark: 14:00ish
Sunrise: 7:57 am
Sunset: 4:40 pm
Start of twilight: 7:19 am
End of twilight: 5:18 pm


Current weather: Light snow. -6°C (21°F), -14°C (6°F) with windchill, humidity 67%, wind NNW 25.6 km/h (16 mph.), barometer 30.36 in. Hg

Forecast:
Tonday.. Cloudy with 60% chance of flurries. Wind NW 20 km/h (mph). High -5°C (23°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy periods with 60% chance of flurries early in the evening. Low -18°C (0°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. High -7°C (19°F).
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -9°C (16°F). High 3°C (37°F).
Thursday.. Sunny. Low -3°C (27°F). High 6°C (43°F).
Friday.. Sunny. Low -3°C (27°F). High 0°C (32°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -11°C (12°F). High 0°C (32°F).

11 November 2005

Lest we forget ...


Today I light a candle for those who gave their lives, their limbs, their sight, their sanity, their loves, their innocence. Every day I light a candle for peace, that it never happen again. Blessings

06 November 2005

Snow!


It's been mighty frosty in the mornings for a while now, but it's melted off at some point during the day. 'Til yesterday. The frost stayed yesterday, and the puddles stayed frozen all day. Then it snowed last night, just a skiff of the stuff, but it's still there this morning.

Mom and I went to get some yarn to add to the blanket I gave Ernie as a baby blanket. It's not the first time it's been added-to. The same store had the coloured duct tape that Mary wanted to build her portfolio, so I phoned her to see what colour she wanted. She decided to get three different ones and chose blue and yellow, so I was describing the colours to her to see what would work best with them. I said, "The orange sucks" and Mom said quietly, "Which is a role reversal, really." Mary went with the neon green.

I'm taking a break from the prayer shawl right now to work on Mona's toque. It's been on a back burner for way too long. Truth be told, I forgot about it until she reminded me last week. There are other things on various back burners at the moment, too. There are people out there in blogland who knit and knit and knit away at the same thing 'til it's done ... and lots of them finish sweaters in a week and blankets in a couple of weeks. It's bizarre to me. I guess I'm what they refer to as a process knitter, rather than a production knitter .. though neither really feels like it fits. When I'm knitting for someone, I knit at them, rather than just knitting the thing that I will eventually give them. If I'm working on a sweater for Rose, I want to think about Rose while I knit it, so I put it down when I'm thinking about Ernie and work on whatever I've got going for him.

Brandon came for Tuesday Night Dinner and a Movie on Wednesday again. We had butter letuce and cucumbers in yogurt/vinegar/honey salad, cornbread, and cauliflower soup with wild rice and kidney beans. The kidney beans were a bit weird in the soup. I'm going to make another batch with mushrooms instead. We watched Sideways. He's been singing me a terrible version of "My bologna has a first name ..." song over the phone and making me laugh myself silly.

Looks like Tiger's a permanent Canadian resident now. Billy says he'd like me to take him to the humane society. I find that I can't do that, nor can I send him to Miami knowing that that's what'd happen to him there.

I'm off to the APs today to see the family and oooh and ahhh over their new computer.

01 November 2005

I met Nina when she was seven. In April, Nina had a school retreat before her grad. Parents of the grads were asked to write letters to them, to be delivered at the retreat. I was honoured to be asked to write one to Nina. I didn't want to post it before her retreat and then forgot to, so here it is.

Dearest Nina,

At seven, you were remarkable. You told me when I was to be the adult and when I didn't have to be and you made it the standard for my relationships with not only you, but your brother, your cousin, and many others.

At ten, you told me your hopes and dreams and troubles and fears. You trusted me.

At thirteen, you said you wanted to go to the Fair with me and you helped me figure out what rules would be fair for both of us.

At sixteen, you told me your hopes and dreams and troubles and fears. You still trusted me.

This year has been a little different and a little the same. We shared a roof for a while and, while the circumstances weren't the best, it was still a great experience. And when my world fell apart, there you were, being the adult, the caring friend.

At seven, you were a remarkable little girl.
Today, you're a remarkable woman, intelligent, loyal, thoughtful, vibrant and beautiful. You have a natural poise and presence. I am honoured to call you friend and look forward to seeing who you become next year, and the next and the next and the next ...

With all my love,
Lynn

31 October 2005

Ghosties and Ghoulies and Falling Back ...


... and the damned cat

Happy, safe and mindful Samhain, Hallowe'en, Los Dias de los Muertos, Guy Fawkes Night, Hallow Tide ... bon fires, candles, trick or treating, parades, graveyard renovating, buying things, getting drunk ... however you celebrate this time of year.

A few of us gathered at Pat's house yesterday to visit and take home the last bits of his household that Cathy and Skyler had set aside for family and friends. We talked and laughed and cried, fed the kids too much chocolate and some of the adults entirely too much vodka, Mudslides and scotch. Pat looked on through the mirrors when he thought noone was looking.

Dawn and Hugh came by one Friday. We tie-dyed two of Hugh's T-shirts. He was immensely interested in bits of the process, but far more interested in what Becky the cat was up to most of the time. We tied and dissolved and mixed and submerged and stirred and checked and waited and lego'd and stirred and checked and snacked (Ryvita fruit crunch, oh my!) and poured-out and rinsed and soapy-soaked and rinsed and untied and rinsed and soaked and admired. It was a ton of fun! I found out that if we do T-shirts in one colour each and send them home wet, we can do the whole process in a couple of hours. I think this might just be do-able as a come-over-and-dye thing.

I set all the clocks back and puttered for an hour this morning, while the cats complained loudly about not being fed at their regular time. They're going to be confused for a week, but they'll get used to it. In 2007, the US will be extending daylight savings time by 3-4 weeks. When it was extended by a month a few years ago, it was discovered that it really doesn't save any on energy costs overall ... but it means a huge boost to many companies, notably those in the barbecue and golf industries.

So, around the end of September sometime, Billy finally got back to me about the cat he left here when he left after Christmas. Turns out he wants me to either keep the cat or find a home for it, which sounds reasonable enough, if somewhat irresponsible. Upon thinking about it and checking options, it turns out that it's exceedingly difficult to find a home for a twelve-year-old cat with behavioural issues. The local humane society will take owner-surrendered pets and adopt them out if they deem them to be adoptable, or euthanize them if they don't. They will not tell you whether or not your pet is adoptable, nor what has happened to your pet after they take it. I can't do that. So my choices are keep the dear old thing and clean up its shit in the front hall every morning and the small lake of cat pee under the litterbox every few days, or I can kill it. That's not much of a choice, and it's not reasonable to ask me to make it. What I would like to do is ship the cat back to Miami and hand the decision back to Billy. I'll ask him if he ever turns up back online again, but I don't expect he'll go along with it. Barbara and Nina and Brandon would all dearly love to help me with this, each in their own way.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 9:37
Hours of dark: 13:10ish
Sunrise: 7:29 am
Sunset: 5:06 pm
Start of twilight: 6:52 am
End of twilight: 5:43 pm


Current weather: Mostly Clear. 0°C (32°F), Windchill -3°C (27°F) humidity 80%, wind S 8 km/h (5 mph.), barometer 30.09 in. Hg

Forecast:
Today.. Sunny. High 7°C (45°F)
Tonight.. Clear. Low -6°C (21°F).
Monday.. Becoming cloudy in the morning. Wind becoming SW 20 km/h (12.4 mph) late in the morning. High 7°C (45°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low -2°C (28°F). High 6°C (43°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -7°C (19°F). High 4°C (39°F).
Thursday.. Cloudy. Low -7°C (19°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -6°C (21°F). High 4°C (39°F).

27 October 2005

All tangled up in the eggs ...



In spite of telling myself I'd drive every day for a while so I get used to it, I didn't drive again until today when I went to Ikea to pick something up for Brandon 'cuz my vehicle has more cargo space than his ... and that amuses me to no end.

Barbara, Anailese and I went to Pat's sister's place for dinner with her and her family on Monday. Pat's nephew talked his Mom into letting him play Clan Lord so she talked me into going out there to help him get started. Danny very much misses his uncle, so we play and talk about him. I e-mailed Delta Tao's Nancy from Cathy's house before dinner and we had a serial number to plug in by the time dinner was done.

Both the city inspector and the VerdaTech inspector came on Tuesday. The new furnace and water heater passed the city's inspection, and the VerdaTech guy checked the place out for the EnerGuide for Houses program. I was hoping for more suggestions than I got, but he said I was already doing a lot of the stuff they recommend. I need twenty more centimetres of cellulose in the attic for R20. He recommended capping the old chimney, since the gas fireplace draws and vents out the side of the house. He said that the guys who installed the furnace and hot water tank didn't seal around the exhaust pipes very well and that I should call them back in to do it right. He recommended foam baffle dealies for the plug-ins and light switches on the exterior walls. My toes found a draught under the linen closet door and after a thorough search, we found that there's a ten centimetre gap above the door on the inside, so attic air comes in that way. So I do whichever of these things I'm going to in the next year and a half (the furnace and water tank will count toward this, as I've just had them done) and call them back to do a second inspection, then they file for a grant for me. Short of peeling the outside of my house and adding cellulose insulation under pressure, I haven't much hope of bringing the exterior walls up to code. That may happen some day, but not soon.

Brandon came for Tuesday Night Dinner And A Movie On Wednesday last night. I made a kind of channa alu matar butter masala thingy and brown rice. It was pretty good, but the sauce wasn't what I was going for. We watched Brad Pitt In A Dress. Yummy. Actually, it was pretty durned good (aside from the absurd fake accents ... why does Hollywood think that fake English accents sound more historical?).

Neige is amusing himself in Japan trading cooking with the Taiwanese girls. He wows them with crêpes and they cook various things for him. He gave me his crêpe recipe the other day. I especially liked the part about mixing everything 'til the four is all tangled up in the eggs. His description makes so much more sense than any other recipe I've ever read for them. I want to try making them soon so I can make Crêpes Florentine.

Mona just left me a one-sentence recipe for an amazing-sounding cauliflower soup that I'm going to try soon, too. I probably won't serve it with raisin bread, though.

I have a rescheduled date tomorrow afternoon with my Dawn Chicken and Hugh to tie-dye a couple of white T-shirts he was given by someone.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 9:49
Hours of dark: 13:00ish
Sunrise: 8:23 am
Sunset: 6:12 pm
Start of twilight: 7:47 am
End of twilight: 6:48 pm



Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 2°C (36°F), humidity 90%, wind ESE 8 km/h (5 mph.), barometer 29.54 in. Hg

Forecast:
Tonight.. A few clouds. Low -2°C (28°F).
Friday.. Sunny. High 6°C (43°F).
Saturday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -3°C (27°F). High 10°C (50°F).
Sunday.. Cloudy with 70% chance of showers. Windsy. Low -3°C (27°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Monday.. Sunny. Low -5°C (23°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -5°C (23°F). High 8°C (46°F).

23 October 2005

Smiling Geezers ...


On Tuesday, I got my driver's license, arranged insurance, and picked up my new car ... Brandon stopped by to see it in the evening.

Rafe came by to geek on Wednesday and Mary was in town, so she came by, too. She's done some paid drawings for a friend who works for an event planner. How cool! Since I was still at the dealership on Tuesday afternoon at the time Brandon would have come by for dinner, we had dinner and a movie Tuesday on Wednesday instead.

I met Rafe for lunch at Max's (a great veggie restaurant south of Whyte on 109th) on Thursday. we hung out and yacked 'til they tossed us out.

Brandon stopped in after work on Friday and suggested we order Indian, the clever thing ... Barbara and Anailese turned up for a while and we visited pretty much 'til dinner arrived.

Rafe phoned yesterday to say he and Amos were having lunch at Café Mosaics on Whyte and c'mon over, so I did ... Mmmm, steamed soymilk with maple syrup and a peanutbutter and teryaki tofu sammich. Rafe gave me a lovely painted porcelain egg ... it says "Eggzooberant" on it. He says it reminded him of me, and that it was painted by someone nice. Awww!


After lunch with lots of yacking and laughing, Rafe headed out. He was hitting the road directly from there, to go on his many-months-long adventure starting with a visit to Calgary then to his see his sisters in Arizona. Amos drove my car around the neighbourhood and over to where he'd parked his purdy midlife crisis motorbike. He says it's fun and fast ... too fast ... he's gonna sell it. While we were gawping at it in the parking lot, a guy drove by on the street and went around the block to come back just so he could say, "How do you park that thing? It must be a bitch! Haw! Haw!" Then I drove to the APs to spend the afternoon with the family. Sadly, the twins do not have Chicken Pox. Boo! We all went out to see the new car. Mom and Dad's neighbours-from-England came out to see it (he was very excited about it, so we took it for a quick tour 'round the neighbourhood), and so did my godmother and her daughter. Rose and Cassandra stood in the back, leaning on the backs of the seats, bouncing and chanting, "We're going to the Fair! We're going to the Fair!" Brandon and I went to John's later for a music evening in honour of his uncle, visiting from the Shetland Islands. It's been a rather social week.

As I was leaving the post office this afternoon, a smiley ol' feller tapped on my window, so I rolled it down to see what he wanted. He says, "I like-a you car, Lady!" Next thing I know, he and another smiling geezer are poking their heads in the window and two more are tapping at the other window. The wives were standing behind the car, clucking and pointing and giggling. I got out and let them all take turns sitting in it.

I added some fall colour on Flickr.com for Vince

18 October 2005

New Car ...



New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car!

16 October 2005

Poppets in Sweaters ...



These are the insides of the sweaters I knit for Rose and Cassandra. Mom tells me one woke up from her nap with it inside-out and she's pretty sure it was right-side-out when she went to sleep. Houdini Poppets!

15 October 2005

I'm thinking of becoming a hooker ...



We had a gathering last night at Marmaduke's studio 'cuz Vincent was in town. It was a quiet one and didn't go late at all, but it was really nice. Vincent was quite pleased that folx came to see him. I had a great time yackin' with Rafe, who's leaving next week to go gallivanting for months and months. I'm glad I got the chance to see him before he goes. I think we'll get together Wed. or Thurs. again just 'cuz. Marmaduke gave Barbara, Vincent and me a ride home, bless 'is heart. It took all four of us to haul all his gear in and down the stairs. You'd've thought he was moving in. He looked around the house, then crashed.

I got up and fed the cats and did the dishes and made some cornbread, then Vincent came pounding up the stairs dripping wet, asking for soap. Haha! Four people to sherpa his stuff in and no soap! Ah well, I guess he thought there'd be some in the shower. We had cornbread, scrabbled eggs, slices of fresh tomato, coffee, tea, and a good catch-up yack for breakfast, then he warmed up for a while and his bandmates picked him up. I was rather surprised to find out that his main axe (his term) now is the accordion, and he plays bodhran (Irish drum). I've always thought of him as a fiddle player and flautist, with occasional penny whistle.

See this? The fibre slut in me is bowled over. I think I'm going to have to start hooking and work on some prairie designs. It was actually this piece that hooked (okay, I'll stop now) me first and sent me off to the other site. I need another obsession like I need a hole in the head, but here I go anyway.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 10:38
Hours of dark: 12:20ish
Sunrise: 8:01 am
Sunset: 6:38 pm
Start of twilight: 7:26 am
End of twilight: 7:14 pm



Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 9°C (48°F), humidity 70%, wind SE 19.2 km/h (12 mph.), barometer 29.54 in. Hg

Forecast:
Today.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind SE 30 km/h (18.6mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31.1mph) becoming NW 20 km/h (12.4mph) gusting to 40 km/h (24.9mph) this afternoon. High 16°C (61°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers early this evening. Clearing overnight. Wind NW 20 km/h (12.4mph) becoming light this evening. Low 0°C (32°F).
Sunday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High 11°C (52°F).
Monday.. Cloudy. Low 2°C (36°F). High 12°C (54°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low 0°C (32°F). High 9°C (48°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -2°C (28°F). High 11°C (52°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -2°C (28°F). High 12°C (54°F).

14 October 2005

What passes for normal ...


So there I was, walking home from the mall in my quick-dry pants rolled up to my knees, Garcia shirt, birkenstocks, and 'broidered-up army jacket, hair up in a poof on top of my head with l'il braids poking out here and there (I completely forgot to get normal before I left the house) with my canvas market bag over my shoulder, bouquet of flowers sticking out the back, bottle of scotch sticking out the front, and a coupla X-box games nestled in the bottom, out of sight, thinking, "Damn! Maybe I am a touch on the eccentric side."

09 October 2005

Happy Harvest Celebration ...


Past the equinox, not quite Samhain, Thanksgiving in Canada ... Happy Whatever Autumn Festival you choose to celebrate.

I have, as always, so very much for which to be thankful. I've a wealth of family and friends ... I'm surrounded by amazing, gifted, loving people. I live in a world of possibility, of plently. I know that not everyone does. So while today is a day for thankfulness, I also think of it as a day to consider what I can do to help make it so for everyone.

Blessings

07 October 2005

Warm!


I have a working furnace, a brand new one ... and a splashy new thermostat and new hot water tank! Turns out one must have copper plumbing to have tankless hot water. Who knew? Certainly not I. I have a high efficiency tank instead ... I'll get it a blankie to keep it warm. It can have mine ... I'm warm without it now.

30 September 2005

Wheel Go 'Round ...


The funeral was long. There were lotsa tears and lotsa smooches. There were these pools of people ... Newfies over there, Hippies over here, Bikers back there, coworkers over there, Shriners all over the freaking place. There were three eulogies and the last one was actually good. Rose and Cassandra were there, interfering with the stuffiness and cramming cashews in folks' mouths. It could have been a whole lot worse. Nothing like a lap fulla squirm feeding ya pre-licked cashews, fishing down yer shirt while telling ya this is all about Pat, and playin' peek-a-boo with yer scarf to lighten things up.

In other news, I've really got to get my license. You see, my car's in the city now. It still has to have its inspection and all that rot, but it's here!

I have to find a good home for Billy's cat. Turns out he doesn't want him back.

26 September 2005

Changes ...



The equinox came, and in that surreal time of perfect balance, Pat died. I'm relieved and happy that he's not hurting anymore, that his fears of not being him at the end weren't realized, that those who love him aren't watching him hurt anymore. And I miss him.

I got an e-mail from Billy yesterday. As usual, his timing sucks. I got angry once I'd digested it some. I'd been trying to get to angry for months. I'm glad that's over with. He and PJ and Pat are all mixed up in my head and heart right now. He doesn't belong in that mix ... he's still alive and not one of my ghosts, damnit ... it's something to do with the cat and PJ's dog, I think. It's complicated.

Saturday was fun. I met Brandon on Whyte. We went to Artifacts to find him a new earring, to EBC (huge construction site on the way with very cool big machines doing neat stuff) and United Cycle (ran into my cousin) to do bike things, to Doan's for lunch (where I rudely spent a bunch of time on the phone with Pat's sister), then I went home to construct a lasagna. Brandon, Barbara, Anailise and I went to Oliver's potluck later. It was somewhat subdued, but nice.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 11:57
Hours of dark: 10:50ish
Sunrise: 7:27 am
Sunset: 7:23 pm
Start of twilight: 6:52 am
End of twilight: 7:58 pm


Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 12°C (53°F), humidity 57%, wind E 11.2 km/h (7 mph.), barometer 29.77 in. Hg

Forecast:
Today.. Cloudy with sunny periods and 30% chance of showers. High 10°C (50°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy periods with 60% chance of showers. Low 1°C (34°F).
Tuesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High 12°C (54°F).
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -1°C (30°F). High 17°C (63°F).
Thursday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 5°C (41°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Friday.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers. Low 4°C (39°F). High 14°C (57°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 1°C (34°F). High 15°C (59°F).

21 September 2005

Change without notice ...


I worked the front desk a few times when I worked at the paper. There are a few people I still remember quite vividly:
The woman who brought us muffins because at 70 she had gone on a date for the first time in years after letting us rewrite her personal ad ... she rode her bike into the lobby in red denim overall shorts and a straw hat with flowers on it, apple cheeks and twinkly sapphire eyes,

The man with the great smile who signed his company cheques with an X,

The man with dirty white hair and dirtier clothes who came in at 8:00 a.m. to check his replies, stumbling, stooped, shaking and slurring. His ad read, "... youthful middle-aged businessman, social drinker ..."


I did oil some shelves on Saturday, and the uprights another day. I've yet to assemble them (mostly because it means removing everything from the other set and disassembling it first). It won't happen today.

Pat continues to struggle with pain management. His dad came out from Newfoundland to see him.

It warmed up out for a couple of days, so it's somewhat less frigid in here. It's cooled off again, but not as cold as it had been and there's sunshine to warm things up. A couple more weeks 'til furnace.

Miles came back to town for a few days and I'm not sure if it was helpful to Barbara or even more trouble.

I had an appointment with the bank yesterday. Brandon did not come for dinner and a movie yesterday. He went to a meeting to do some sleuthing for me for Barbara instead, bless his heart. He came over later. If the day goes okay, we'll have dinner tonight instead. There's some prep work I'd like to do in advance, but not yet. For now, I'm going back to bed 'cuz I can. I require more sleep than does Brandon. Much more. I could function just fine if I had to, but I don't have to, I'm tired and I'm going to sleep some more.

I have a few calls to make later. Oliver is having a potluck on Saturday not for his birthday. He's callling it a security party 'cuz most of the folx he's inviting have worked on our crew at the Fair at one time or another ... or plan to. He wants us all to meet his new girlfriend and it's just time for a gathering.

17 September 2005

Mice, men and me ...

Brandon had to get up early 'cuz his boy is coming over, so I got up at 6:30 with him. I was planning on oiling shelves today, so I could finish the kitchen re-arranging. So far, I've gone back to bed for three hours, talked to Barbara on the phone, stuck my fantabulous hair-don't under the tap to tame it, made the bed, fed the cats, done dishes, taken out the garbage, done a search-and-destroy in the fridge, made a grocery list, baked cookies for Pat and made myself some Okonomiyaki (yup, my latest favourite food). There's not a single oiled shelf to be seen.

It's great that Pat's in a hospital closer to family, but it's sure a lot more awkward to get to for me. I'm very grateful to Mona, Barbara and Marmaduke for getting me out there to see him as often as they have and to Brandon, Mona, Barbara, Patty, Vince, Neige and everyone else who's watching out for me. He's giving the palliative care folx a run for their money on the making-him-comfortable front. Thursday was the first day he woke up feeling okay ... then he slept most of the day. They're joking about using grizzly tranquilizer on him next. There's always someone there with him (sometimes lots of someones). I'm fretting less about how this is going to be for him.

It's been rather icky out for most of the week ... and that makes it kinda icky in with no heat. Wednesday morning was different ...
Out is lovely this morning. The air, sharp, cold and hard for the past few days, is cool and soft. It's raining. Earlier, the sun peeking under the clouds had the ones in the west painted salmon and watermelon. I had a moment of panic when I realized I'd forgotten to put a necklace on ... I nearly decided to miss the bus to go back for it ... weird. Such a creature of habit.

It's warmer out today, so I've got all the windows open to warm up the house a bit (I probably jumped the gun, opening them up when it was still 5°C (41°F), but it was so sunny ... it looked warm).

Barbara's struggling with a sprained knee, Miles out of town working, Anailise being very nineteen-months-old, and Corbin, the four-year-old fairly severly physically handicapped boy who comes over two-and-a-half to three days a week. On top of having Cerebral Palsy, he's fed mostly through a feeding tube which upsets his stomach quite a bit. He has a worker who comes in the afternoons as well, so that gives Barbara a little bit of a break. The mornings have been quite challenging, though. I went on Thursday for second breakfast with them. I met Corbin for the first time (what a flirt!), played on the floor with Anailise while he and Barbara had a cuddle. Then we propped Corbin up on cushions and Anailise made herself a little pillow nest and I read stories to the two of them while Barbara got second breakfast ready. You'd think I'd be the one making second breakfast so she could put her leg up, but I think she was just glad to have some time without someone hanging off her. We had boiled eggs and toast with lovely local honey and practiced taking deep breaths with Corbin to help him calm down when his belly started acting up again. Barbara said it helped and they had far fewer up-chucking incidents than earlier in the week. Anailise picked it up right away and would start deep breathing whenever Corbin started to get upset. It's wonderful to see how much care she shows for him.

Brandon had a hellish day last Tuesday, so we didn't do the dinner-and-a-movie thing. I really missed it. This week, I'm gonna make Okonomiyaki and something that kinda resembles Vietnamese salad rolls, and maybe try my hand at cucumber and/or avocado maki rolls ... and we're going to watch Sin City ... all of which is, of course, subject to change without notice, batteries not included, etc.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 12:34
Hours of dark: 10:20ish
Sunrise: 7:11 am
Sunset: 7:45 pm
Start of twilight: 6:36 am
End of twilight: 8:20 pm


Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 15°C (59°F), humidity 47%, wind W 22.4 km/h (14 mph.), barometer 29.94 in. Hg

Forecast:
Today.. Sunny. High 17°C (63°F).
Tonight.. Clear. Low 1°C (34°F) with risk of frost.
Sunday.. Sunny. High 20°C (68°F).
Monday.. Sunny. Low 3°C (37°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low 1°C (34°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 0°C (32°F). High 12°C (54°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 3°C (37°F). High 16°C (61°F).

14 September 2005

Dark O'clock ...


I had weird, restless dreams 'til the alarm went off at 5:30. My first thought this morning (after the mumblety-grml? one) was that it sure has been nice not getting up at dark o'clock for the last several months.

13 September 2005

Kid Therapy ...


I phoned Pat's sister today 'cuz I'd left a few messages for Pat and hadn't heard back. She says he's had a couple of really bad days. They figure the cancer's metastasized to his brain, causing some personality differences and affecting his pain centres.

They've upped the methadone beyond the maximum and added something (the name escapes me for the moment) that helps separate the brain and body, since the messages are getting all garbled, and he's able to move short distances with his walker again. With the number and amount of drugs, he's no longer able to go out for a smoke and he's pretty ticked about that. He's moved into the palliative care room (small hospital) and has more room for visitors now ... good thing, 'cuz he sure has lots.

Mona, Rose, Cassandra and I are going to go get cracker crumbs in his bed again tomorrow morning. His sister has appointments tomorrow, so I'll stay out there after Mona and the cracker crew leave. With any luck at all, Bobaloo and/or Marmaduke will come out in the evening and I can catch a ride back.

I hope they can keep the pain under control in a way that lets him stay coherent. It's important to him.

I'm worried about his sister.

11 September 2005

Happy Bday Brandon ...


... a coupla days late.
Friday morning Mona, Rose and Cassandra came over and we had second breakfast before going to see Pat in the hospital. We met Patty and Jaime there. The roving agents of cute got his bed fulla cracker crumbs and sang him Kwinkle Kwinkle Little Tar (among other classics), we had tea (soup an' sammiches for the girls) in the hospital cafeteria while Pat had some nursing done. Mona, Rose and Cassandra headed home after a little bit more visiting. Patty, Jaime and I headed out for lunch to give Pat a chance to eat his in peace, and have a wee nap, then went back to visit some more. We left late in the afternoon, Patty and Jaime went to Patty's grandma's for dinner and I came home and yacked with Brandon on the phone (and didn't sing him Happy Birthday 'cuz I'm generous like that). One of Pat's old biker buddies wanted to have a barbecue for him, but the weather was just too lousy and his house is really too small for that many people to hang about indoors ... so it got moved to Pat's sister's place in Spruce Grove on Saturday. Barbara and Anailise met us there ... there were s'more hippies and some bikers and some family. I think Pat had a really good time ... he didn't even doze off, in spite of enough drugs to drop a rhino. Flipper wants to do it again this weekend or next. Patty, Jaime and I came back here to hang out with Nina, and Brandon came over. It got very drunk out. Jaime and Brandon were very funny ... Brandon brought over his new Tibetan singing bowl and ended up giving it to Jaime 'cuz he enjoyed it so much ... Nina got all feisty ... Patty, Nina and I went down to make up the futon for Patty and Jaime ... I think it took us forever. Everyone crashed pretty late. I got Patty and Jaime up at 8:30 for coffee, and when Patty went to get Nina up for work we discovered she was gone. It turns out she had gone to her Mom's with a girlfriend of hers after the rest of us went to sleep. She came back later to pick up her stuff to move back to her Mom's ... she'd been planning to but waited 'til after yesterday so she could be here when Patty and Jaime were. Patty and Jaime left at around 10:30 to drive back to B.C. and I went back to bed. I got up again when brandon left at around 2:30ish, took some ibuprophen and went back to bed. I remember why I don't drink. Ow.

06 September 2005

Cranberries and opals...


When I was at the lake, the air was full of the smell of cranberries ripening. The leaves may not be turning yet, but fall's coming. There was a frost warning last night. Brrr! My thermostat croaked a couple of months ago. I didn't worry about it 'cuz it's summer, but now it's time. I've called the furnace/water heater folx to come on Friday to do an estimate. I'm going to replace the thermostat (preferably with one that's a little more programmable than the old one), the furnace (with a high-efficiency one), and the water heater (with tankless). Next call is the the eavestrough guys 'cuz the downspout on the east side of the house came down (nope, not again ... I haven't had it fixed since it happened) and the eavestrough on the west side has come away from the house. I suspect some rot in the eaves. Time to check the roof, too. If I have to replace it, I'm going with metal and never doing it again.

Pat's moved to the Stony Plain hospital, closer for his sister and his folx. He's out of treatment options for the cancer. He's got a couple of cracked vertebrae and some broken ribs and a leg that's painful and badly swollen from blood clots. Cancer sucks and cancer treatment sucks as much if not more. Barbara and I went out to see him last Friday at his sister's and had a nice visit. Patty and Jaime are coming in tomorrow from B.C. for a couple of days to see him. I'm looking forward to seeing them, but sure wish it were under other circumstances.

I keep meaning to post about the trip back from San Francisco ... actually, from Vancouver to here ...

We took off a little late and flew out over the ocean to get to altitude ... there was a tug with a bunch of sailboats in tow that looked like a mama duck and a while brood of ducklings ... then we flew over the mountains, which is always pretty cool ... the air was odd, like flying through the heart of an opal ... then we flew over some thin white cloud and there was a bullseye of a double-rainbow with the shadow of the plane in the centre ... every now and then there'd be a break in the cloud framing a mountain lake. I thought about getting my camera out several times but didn't want to look away. The cloud got thicker, but we stayed inside the opal even once the clouds got thick enough that we were in them ... when we popped out of the clouds, the opal effect was gone, but then there was that beautiful wide open prairie tapestry as far as the eye can see. I wasn't the only one on that plane who was a l'il sniffly.

Stuff and Nonsense ...


Daylight:
Length of day: 13:20
Hours of dark: 10:00ish
Sunrise: 6:52 am
Sunset: 8:12 pm
Start of twilight: 6:16 am
End of twilight: 8:48 pm


Current weather: Mostly Clear. 18°C (64°F), humidity 39%, wind W 3.2 km/h (2 mph.), barometer 30.15 in. Hg

Forecast:
Today.. Sunny. High 20°C (68°F).
Tonight.. Clear. Low 2°C (36°F) with risk of frost.
Wednesday.. Sunny. High 21°C (70°F).
Thursday.. Cloudy. Low 4°C (39°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Friday.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers. Low 3°C (37°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Saturday.. Sunny. Low 3°C (37°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 5°C (41°F). High 18°C (64°F).

28 August 2005

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Old...


Dad and I celebrated our 113th birthday yesterday at the lake. Mom, Dad, Mary, Mona, Pete, Cory, Ernie, Linda, Rose, Cassandra, the three dogs and I were out for the weekend (though Mary had to take two of the dogs home at night 'cuz they freak out over the nightly fireworks).

Yesterday, while playing DinoBridgeGinRhymeCountingGoFish as Mary Queen of Scots with Rose and Cassandra, who were being Peter Cottontail and Balla, I was informed that "When Mary Queen of Cots were a little girl, she were old."

25 August 2005

Last day ...


We hung about this morning, then went to the Zen Center to make cookies, then to Japan Town to Soku Hardware and to a little restaurant in a mall by the peace tower thingy and had okonomiyaki (a bizarrely delicious Japanese yam pancake thingy full of vegetables and ginger, and smeared with mayonnaise and something that closely resembles worcestershire sauce but isn't) for dinner. I'm packed except for what I need tonight and tomorrow. We've got cornbread in the oven. Solas and Sephi are coming over later. Tomorrow's pretty much about getting to the airport.

New weeds ...


I wandered around the Castro today in Samframcisco ... went to Spike's for a steamed soymilk and to read the guidebooklet thingy the nice fellow at the cablecars gave me the other day - turns out it's the French version, so it took me a l'il longer ... then I went to my appointment with Gauge and got my wrist tattoo covered (pictures later, once it's healed (though it looks pretty spiffy now)) ... Solas and Vince came to watch me squirm/offer moral support. Gauge does gorgeous work. I love the design he came up with (dandelions ... imagine!)! He also has a very gentle touch and is just plain sweet about it ... "Ow" is met with "You're doing great, Honey. I hear you ... but I'm not going to stop." It was great. I left quite stoned on endorphins. Vince and I walked Solas to her bus, then went for pie and steamed soymilk, then to the Castro Country Club, then to Under One Roof, all to kill time before meeting Charlos and the PazuZo for dinner at Nirvana. I had a drink. On top of the endorphins, it near flattened me. It was fun to meet Pazzy, and it's always good to see 'Los. We yacked and laughed and had some great food. I came home and read the tattoo care instructions, unwrapped it, gave it a wash and dry and put some Vitamin A & D goo on it. I'm beat.

24 August 2005

Rice-a-roni ...


Yazza and Beam and the kids came into the city yesterday and we spent the day doing touristy things, starting with getting everyone an extra fleece or sweatshirt to wear 'cuz it's bloody cold down by the water and they'd decided the wharf was the place to take me.

We had lunch at theBoudin Bakery bistro, then went through their bread museum and watched them making enormous amounts of bread at a time. San Francisco sourdough really does taste different. I figured I would have fish once, since I'm in San Francisco ... it was very good (and the tartar sauce was fantastic! It's all about the condiments).

We got in a rather long line-up to ride the cable cars, listened to some ... interesting ... music by a few amplified buskers all playing at once along the line-up, watched the cable car guys turn the cars around as they came in, and finally got onto one of them. The fellow collecting the fares took our money and gave us tickets, then gave the younger boy a few dollars change (which we didn't have coming), making his day. The cable car ride was very cool ... up and down streets with dickensian streetfronts looming over us in the fog, with the sound of the brakes and cable-grabber levers and steel wheels on rails, and the smell of the scorched wooden brakes in the air ... quite magical, and the older boy was tickled that he got to ride at the very front of the cable car.

At the other end, we got Beam and the boys some socks 'cuz it was even colder out once it got dark. The older of the boys had a pocket full of change and had been thinking all day about what he was going to buy with it. While we were standing in the line-up again to take the cable car the other way, he decided what he'd really like to do was give his change to a fellow in a wheelchair who'd been hanging about talking to people 'cuz he thought that fellow could make better use of it. Very cool. A guy came along and told us about the streets and the cable cars and the neighbourhood at that end of the tracks ... turns out he doesn't work for the cable cars, but is a rather creative homeless guy. He was sweet and told good stories, we tipped him well. The younger boy got to ride at the very front of the cable car on the way back, and the older one got to stand on the step and hold on. Both were beside themselves, having so much fun.

We had dinner in a sports bar in hotel near the wharf and had a waiter who was not having a very good day at all, poor guy. From his bearing and speech, I think he's highly educated and not too impressed with working there ... on the other hand, he coulda been just plain crabby. Ours was the last car left in the parking lot by the time we were done. We had a great time getting thoroughly lost on the way back to Vinces.

22 August 2005

San Jose


We didn't get to see Althea. Boo.
But we did see a big barbie-pink fuzz-flocked plastic Buddah bank.

We've been busy. Odesseus came in Friday evening and left this morning. Connie Crete flew in on the spur of the moment Friday night and flew home again this evening. We went to Kiriel's and saw Kiri ('course) and Hidden (and a friend of his) and Noivad and Chicken and Krandor and Zyzyz and Mars (and a friend of hers) and Solas and Sephi and Yazza (and her kids). I ate sugar. I'm so tired.

18 August 2005

Samframcisco ...


We've been busy!
Monday: Taxis, airports, a missed connection in Calgary (I have never made a connection there successfully), the BART, drinks with Vince, Solas and Sephiroth at Marlena's, up 'til a bazillion o'clock yacking
Tuesday: Sleeping in, not a lot planned, lots of buses and trollies ... the transit system here is very cool ... meeting and consultation with Gauge, a drop-in visit with Charlos at Spike's, lunch at a créperie (not the same kind of restaurant), dinner with Lorikeet at Greens (very yummy!), family hunt in CL for Nettle
Wednesday: To the college with Vince to sit in on his first class, home for breakfast, back to the college for his second class (I went to read in the SU building but spent most of the time looking at little weeds growing along the sidewalks and birds), a visit with Gauge, a visit with Solas while Vince was otherwise occupied ... then she dragged me off shopping ... sure, it started off innocent enough with a trip to Borders to compare favourite authors, but then there was Macy's and sparkly lacy things ... then we had dinner at the Cheescake Factory (avocado eggrolls don't sound good, but gawds they're amazing!) with a total hambone of a waiter, walked up a small mountain to take Sephi his dinner and then back to Vince's

14 August 2005

Gnyah!


After some confusion (the kennel thought they weren't taking the cats 'til next Friday ... yikes!), the cats went off for their holiday. Nina didn't turn up on Thursday and didn't phone back 'til yesterday, saying she'd turn up here before work today or around 1:00 if it turned out she didn't have to work. I haven't heard from her yet. Time for more chamomile tea and rescue remedy! On Friday, I got a dress caught on a door hinge and tore it. I mended that. Yesterday I was talking on the phone while doing laundry and ended up pulling on the thread holding the button on a pair of pants. I fixed that, too. All I have left to do: dishes, empty garbage/recycling, empty/wash the litterboxes, finish the laundry, pack, henna my hair and go see Pat in the hospital. I can do all that and still get a good night's sleep, right?

11 August 2005

Oops ...


I switched the comments back so you don't have to have a blogger account to comment. I was taking a break from the porn spam for a few days.

Brandon came over after work and we had dinner from New Asian Village. Gawds, I love Saag Paneer!

I changed my phone plan so I have voice mail and so I can use my phone while I'm in the US. The cats get picked up tomorrow for their holiday at Kitty City. Nina phoned yesterday to say she was coming today but I haven't heard from her yet. Ah well, as long as she's back before I leave.

Pat's doctors confirmed that the Thalidomide isn't working and he's out of options. He's got two spinal fractures giving him problems with his leg and shoulder. He expects to go back to his sister's tomorrow ... I hope to get over to see him before that.

10 August 2005

Happy Bday ...


Yesterday was erranding, cleaning, talking to Pat, and dinner and a coupla Firefly episodes with Brandon. A whole day in one sentence!

I spent a good chunk of the morning on the phone, then Dad came over bearing gifts ... we looked at Fair and Sasquatch pictures 'til Mom got here, but then Dad had to go to the dentist. Mom and I went for lunch at the Lemongrass Cafe and ran into John (of Brass Monkey Productions fame), then to Bosch Kitchen Centre to get a pressure cooker. Wheee! I spent a bunch more time on the phone, then Barbara and Anailise came over to play. Then I spent a bunch more time on the phone. There was singing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to spend a bunch of time on the phone, do some laundry and cleaning, and see if I can get over to see Pat at the Grey Nuns, then Brandon's coming to buy me dinner and watch the last coupla Firefly episodes. I have a tentative date for coffee avec mon oncle on Friday and the cats get picked up. Saturday and Sunday to pack and repack, then I head off to see Vince, my twin from 'nuther family. Yafreakinghoo!

08 August 2005

Forecast and Aftermath ...


I rousted Cory at ten this morning to have a shower and pack up his stuff ... Ernie and Linda weren't far behind. We listened to some of the CD's we got at the Folk Fest, had fresh honey ginger lemonade, popovers and (not chana ... it can't be chana masala without chickpeas and we used lentils ... the kids called it Auntie Lynn Masala) masala for breakfast. Mary came to pick them up a little before noon ... we told each other stories of the last few days and watched Stevie's brand new DVD that I got from him yesterday at the Folk Fest, then they loaded up and left to get Cory to work on time. I puttered about ineffectively 'til I surrendered to the nap gods. I haven't yet checked to see if I have any pictures or not ... I took the camera out a couple of times and pointed it at things but it was either too bright or too dark to check to see what I'd taken for pictures.

What the fridge magnets said this weekend:
be cool as rain
tell spring about love

I want me so over you

gorgeous garden goddess
watch you sweat
producing essential summer gifts

true beauty is beneath

boy delerious dream of hot girl

drool for eternity

road shot

please only like luscious red blood

never shake mad puppy on chain

feet leave bitter smell in my bed

life is like pounding head

blow a forest whisper
but in a day shine delicate power

need not death or love sag with juice

man is shadow of music

ugly dress would beat your vision out

I lick sweet iron scream repulsive egg

I trudge thousand white moon tongues

diamond rose under enormous chocolate fiddle

it with finger run pink smear on most honey sausage

to incubate mother is thinking franticly

me like purple rock fluff

ask your woman to go to sleep

behind drunk friend lies


The kids think I know so many people and were asking if I know them all from outside the Folk Fest, or if I met some of them there. Once I thought about it, I realized that I first met Pete and another Pete and another Pete and another Pete there. Weird, eh?

There are people I see only there ... we catch up once a year and carry on. I miss them if I miss a year connecting with them. Life taken in one-year slices is about big things ... marriages, going clean and sober, babies, illnesses, career changes, deaths, grandchildren, so many big things. A friend I've known for a dozen years but have never seen anywhere else had a Cochlear implant in December and had it activated in January. He was hard of hearing enough that he could hear that his father was speaking, but not what he was saying. He'd never heard his wife giggle. He's still moved to tears each time he hears a friend's voice for the first time ... and then there's the music. I wonder if his speech will change, now that he can hear others speaking. It would be very strange to hear him speak differently.

Brandon phoned this morning to say he'd forgotten how tiring the Folk Fest is. You'd think two evenings and two full days lolling about in the sun listening to fantastic music would be relaxing ...

Thursday's a breeze ... tarp, blanket, extra clothing layers (wet weather gear if the forecast calls for it), water bottles, binoculars, camera, sunblock, bug goo, distributed among the backpacks ("It doesn't matter if that's hers, you're carrying it 'cuz she's little and can't carry as much. It's okay if you carry his hoodie, it's lighter than your water bottle and program." Etc.) and you're set! Head over at four or five in the afternoon, plop down and enjoy ... take the kids down the hill for food a couple of times and to check out the merchandise tent ... pack up by eleven and shoehorn ourselves and our gear onto a bus home ... probably in bed by midnight ... unless it rains, then add half an hour for dealing with wet gear.

Friday's about the same with an extra layer 'cuz it runs a bit later, and the programs we bought Thursday ... pack up by midnight and leave soon after to do the bus shoehorning thing ... probably in bed by one or one-thirty ... unless it rains, then add half an hour for dealing with wet gear.

Saturday's a little more work ... get up at six-thirty to get everyone showered and fed and packed up to go (hurry!) ... to the tarp, blanket, extra clothing layers, water bottles, binoculars and camera, sun block, bug goo, program, add wet weather gear regardless of the forecast, tent (bless Pete's folx' hearts for taking it for us!), tie-dye to mark the tent (I'm going to paint the fly ... I'm tired of trying to get the tie-dye to stay put and of folx not being able to find it), fruit, snacky veggies, pretzels, olives, nuts, etc. (kids aren't fuel efficient) ... rush off to join Pete's folx in line to get in the gate (wait) ... grab a spot for the tent, get it and the tarp set up so it's ready when kids arrive (hurry!) ... take stock of who wants to do/see what when, figure out where and when we've agreed to meet various people and how we'll work it into the day ... take the kids down the hill for something to eat ... check out the merchandise tent ... go to workshops at a couple of different stages ... go find lunch for the kids and something sweet to eat on the way back up the hill to catch the mainstage show and brought-with food ... back down the hill for more workshops at various stages, visits to the crafts, merchandise and record-signing tents ... grab dinner and something sweet to eat on the way back up the hill for the mainstage show ... unload the tent onto the blankets, pack up the tent and tarp by ten-thirty or eleven for Pete's folx to take it home ... pack everything up by midnight and head out soon after for the bus/shoehorn routine ... probably in bed by one or one-thirty unless it rains, then add half an hour for dealing with wet gear.

Sunday's a repeat of Saturday, only everyone's more tired and sun/wind burnt, so it's a little harder to be efficient ... on the other hand, everything's pleasantly surreal ... unload the tent onto the blankets and strike the tent a bit earlier to make room ... pack everything up by eleven and pre-smooch everyone so we can make a break for it as soon as the finale's over ... Sunday night's bus is way more packed than the other nights' ... probably in bed by twelve-thirty or one ... wet gear can wait 'til morning.

Gawds, I'm tired! We sure had a lot of fun, though.

Tired ...


Folk Fest day 4 ... that's a wrap for another year. We stayed through the bitter end so the kids could sing along to a rather stumbly version of Four Strong Winds. We didn't get rained on. It was another day of making plans and then enjoying doing something else instead. Apparently I didn't miss much missing one of the main stage acts I was very much hoping to see ... and while we were missing that one, we were enjoying Big Jay McNeely hamming his way through his set ... he had Amos Garrett and Roy Rogers playing together (yow!), then Rusty Reed and Norton Buffalo.

The boys found themselves treasures in the record tent and Linda found hers in the crafts tent. Unfortunately, Linda's got lost twice and didn't get found again the second time. I have an idea where to find the fellow who made the beaded lizards she's so smitten with, so perhaps Lou (pronouced Lao) has a brother lizard out there somewhere who'd like to go live with Linda.

I haven't spent time with Brandon at a festival in roughly a bazillion years. It was great to do that again! I've been answering, "Hey, who was that guy? He's really nice. How come we haven't met him before?" since yesterday.

Pat phoned me on my cell while I was there, from the hospital. He's having even more trouble walking than he was at the Sasquatch and he's in to see if they can do anything about it. It's got something to do with a tumor on his spine affecting the nerve. He doesn't get the report 'til Wednesday about how the thalidomide's working, but says that if the tumor on his spine is growing it can't be good news. Me, I'm holding my breath a while longer 'cuz ... just 'cuz I can't give up yet.

07 August 2005

Surreal Transit ...


Folk Fest day 3 ... On the way to get Linda's glasses fixed, she and I nearly got abducted by a busful of grannies who wanted to keep us. On the way back, the driver had the whole bus singing "The Wheels On The Bus". It was screamin' hot today, then we watched the clouds come in during the evening and got thoroughly rained on, slogging through ankle-deep puddles on the road on the way out. The lightening was spectacular, as was the music. Cory picked up a CD and had Big Jay McNeely autograph it for him ... I picked up an Amos Garrett CD off the shelf and thought it was odd that it was opened ... turns out he autographed it ... the rest were still sealed. Guess which one I brought home.

The house is full of wet things hanging to dry and smells a little like wet pasture. I'm burnt and chilled, my hair's huge and all goofy ringlets. Tomorrow's forecast is for partly cloudy and a reasonable temperature ... but then, so was today's.

06 August 2005

Aurora Earle and the Dirty Hippies...


Among others, Steve Earle was on the main stage tonight, giving us his take on what's going on south of the 49th, and singing us protest songs, broken heart songs, and just generally growling his way through his stage time, accompanied by green northern lights stretching from due north to south across the eastern sky.

We had some amazingly bad neighbours at the fest today, one of whom stomped diagonally across all our blankets, my hand and Linda's glasses to get to their tarp and just kinda sneered when Barbara pointed it out. Ick. They were inconsiderate, pushy, messy and kinda smelly. A good-sized cluster of folx who give hippies a bad name. The bright side is that it's remarkable rather than the norm for the Folk Fest ... Cory was very impressed by how clear the ground is of litter.

We got home and unloaded perishables, water bottles, damp ground blankets and stuff we don't want in our packs for tomorrow, Linda washed enough dirt off her feet to start an herb garden, and the three of 'em crashed. Hard.

Tomorrow we'll get up early, go join Pete's folx in line and set up the tent. Once Barbara gets there, Cory and Ernie will hang out with her for a while so Linda and I can go to Bonnie Doon and see if we can get her glasses fixed.

05 August 2005

HASA'R ...



Folk Fest Day 1 ... lolled about in bed 'til 9:30 ... fed the cats, put in a load of wash, did the dishes, talked to a half dozen people on the phone including Mary to figure out last minute details ... got dressed and walked over to Bonnie Doon for rain ponchos for the kids, get a couple of keys cut (including a garage key 'cuz I've only ever had the one and the door locks when you close it - it's amazing I've never locked it in there), and acquire some munchie-type food to take to the hill and a whole lot more grapes ('cuz I suddenly remembered how locust-like these three can be) and a hula hoop ... came home, put away groceries while returning another half-dozen or so phone calls, organized food, packed my backpack, had a shower, made lemonade for Mary and her friend to drink after we left, did the dishes again ... then Mary and the kids arrived, hugs and smooches all 'round, we got 'em hydrated and organized and their bags packed, Mary's friend came in one door and hugged and smooched all 'round again and headed out the other door, down the block and caught a bus to the top of the hill ... a friend was doing wristbanding, so there was more hugging and smooching and some introductions while we got banded ... we got programs and phoned Pete's folx 'cuz they'd phoned my cell sometime when I wasn't paying attention to tell us where they were set up on the hill, then phoned Barbara to see if she and Anailise and Chelsea and Bernie were there yet (they weren't), found a spot and got our blankets set up ...

Simple, eh?

Snacks happened ... Mona and another of Pete's dads came up the hill, hugs and kisses all 'round, then Barbara and Anailise and Chelsea and Bernie, more hugs and kisses (and showing off of Bernie's various owies ... he had a rough week), then Pete's sister and her boyfriend ... Cory, Ernie, Linda and I headed down the hill to find some dinner and ran into Rufus (an old friend from highschool who I see once a year or two at the Folk Fest) and his son, naturally, there were hugs and kisses and introductions, we had dinner (from three different booths) and found a place to wash the .14 kilo of residual chili garlic sauce off Ernie's hands, the kids had elephant ears on the way back up the hill and decided it was a good thing we'd brought wet washcloths in ziplock bags after all ... various other folx (including Sean Holowaty, a marvelous local dulcimer player ... if you ever get a chance to hear him, do) came and went with lots of hugs and kisses and introductions. All through, Linda played with Anailise and Bernie a ton and another little towheaded ragamuffin crawled all over Ernie and Cory, much to everyone's amusement. We packed up and headed out during Loreena McKennitt's last couple of songs and caught the bus home with Barbara, Anailise, Chelsea and Bernie. We got in shortly before midnight, locusted some grapes, the kids brushed their teeth and crashed. I took some Valerian/Lemongrass/Hops tincture, phoned Mary and am about to fall down, too.