21 December 2006

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

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 7:30
Hours of dark: 15ish
Sunrise: 8:47 am
Sunset: 4:18 pm
Start of twilight: 8:04 am
End of twilight: 5:00 pm

Current weather: Clear. -5°C (23°F), -9°C (15°F) with windchill, wind SW 9.6 km/h (6 mph), relative humidity 62%, pressure 29.65 in Hg.

Tonight.. Clear. Wind W 20 km/h. Low -5°C.
Friday.. Sunny. Wind W 20 km/h. High -1°C.
Friday night.. Clear. Wind W 20 km/h becoming light. Low -13°C.
Saturday.. Sunny. High -6°C.
Sunday.. Sunny. Low -9°C. High -5°C.
Monday.. Sunny. Low -10°C. High 1°C.
Normals for the period.. Low -17°C. High -5°C.

13 December 2006

Well, damn ...

The city sent the graders around again, and this time, they ploughed right down to the pavement. That's three times they've been around to do the side streets since the last time it snowed. The last two times, they've ploughed around my car, so it's just a matter of shovelling out an exit and an entrance. This time, however, I wasn't here when they ploughed ... which means they ploughed the street into the place where I would park. They also ploughed quite neatly around the bus ... and piled it up higher than waist-high on the sidewalk to the curb. There's one chunk that's over twice as big as I am, from shoulders to hips. It's going to take me days to dig that all out and my wrists already hurt. I am so pissed off and frustrated I could cry. Just damn.

12 December 2006

Doing ...

Friday: Errands, errands, and more errands ... after digging the car out 'cuz the street got ploughed. Just the top layer got ploughed, then it was melty, so the ruts were back, worse than ever. The cards turned out well, each with a different hat on the same background:

They did not say, "Here's your hat. I gave it away" ... though I was tempted. Marmaduke teased me about giving a bald guy a picture of a warm hat in this weather. Enough with the hat pictures, already, eh? I'll be mostly done with them soon, honest.

Saturday: I went to a mall ... on a Saturday ... in December. Only for Patty would I do such a thing! Cookie & Tree party at Adele's ... not very many kids, this year, but still fun. The three youngest, Rose, Cassandra and Annailese, weren't there, this time. Then there was the car-shuffle in the driveway as folks left, clean-up, icing adjustments, restocking snacks and dinner ... a bit of down time between rounds. Then the grown-ups showed up to do the same things the kids had done, only mostly booze-powered instead of sugar-powered. I had half a beer at around 9 ... whadda lush. I folded a bazillion snowflake blanks ('cuz it drives me nuts when they're square or eight-sided) and actually managed to stay ahead of the game! The girls (even me!) sang carols up in the loft 'til the rest of the musicians arrove and turned it into a (great) jam. We had a rotating pushing squad working all night 'cuz the road in front of Adele's was horrible! I managed not to get stuck ... whew! Got to bed at six a.m.

Sunday: So very tired! Had a great time at Greenwoods Books with the fambly. Dad came, this time, too, and had fun. Yay! Then Mom, Mary, Cory, Ernie, Linda and I headed to Planet Organic for a bit and I raced home to feed the cats, grab a bite, and change, then off to the APs. The three of us went to the Canadian Folk Music Awards ... good show, great music, laughs.

Monday: Knitting day ... Poppet Project.

Today is another errand day, if I'm not too beat after I go shovel the car out again. And again, the barstids just scraped the top layer. It's unusual for the front street to get ploughed at all ... twice in a week is nuts ... and twice without doing the job right ... bleh.

05 December 2006

Ceiling Wax ...

The furnace started making funny noises. I went to check it out and discovered a large puddle on the laundry room/furnace room floor and the pump spitting water out all over the place. Bah!

The furnace guy came and replaced the condensate pump (it was full of little bits of plastic ... something inside went kerblam, but it still kept pumping water - just not up the hose, like it's supposed to). Since the one-year warranty ran out two months ago, I paid for the new pump. He didn't charge me for the service call or the labour, though, and gave the rest of the furnace a check-up while he was at it.

I had a lovely time with Mona, Pete, Jacqueline and Colleen at the Blue Chair Café, where friends Al Brandt and Dale Ladouceur were playing together. They're involved in several projects together, but this was their first gig as just the two of them.

When I was little and Dad would go out curling in the evenings, I would picture him in his heavy zippered cardigan, with toe rubbers on his shoes, standing on the outdoor hockey rink under the light, sweeping snow off a boulder twice his height. I knew this was what he was doing because he'd told me he was going to the rink to sweep rocks. I also knew that Puff The Magic Dragon treasured ceiling wax.

Jack Frost made my windows pretty.

And his friend, the North Wind, made the house across the street into a gingerbread house.

And then I knit some more hats (surprise!). Mona reminded me that, though Christmas is still a little ways off, the Christmas party where I wish to give the cards (with the hat pictures on them) away is next weekend. Aaaaaaaaaaaah!

Another knit with two strands of Lang Tosca ... child to teen.

And another knit with two strans of Lang Tosca ... infant.

And another knit with two strands of Lang Tosca until I ran out, then some other lovely yarn whose ball band is missing (sadly ... it's nice stuff ... I'd like some more) ... teen to adult.

Yikes! It's December already and I had't knit any socks for Annailese's advent calendar, yet! Two more in the works.

Mister Joe mohair (black, some of which comes off on hands and needles, bah) held together with silk garden ... adult.

Back to it. One more hat, two more little advent socks, cards (design and make) to go this week. Then I'm free to finish the poppet projects.

30 November 2006

A shot of the hats sitting all well-behaved on the stool in the sun puddle in the kitchen.

Cloud Hat (pdf) with Silk Garden (nope, don't know the colour ... ball band missing) and some kind of (also ball band missing) green mohair ... stretchy! Will fit young teen through adult, probably.

Cloud Hat (pdf) I ran out of the Silk Garden part-way through and switched to some pale, pale khaki (yet another missing ball band ... imagine!) King Cole superwash merino, then ran out of the green mohair and switched to a dark variegated (King Cole again?) ... child to small adult.

Cloud Hat (pdf) The same (King Cole?) dark variegated mohair with a ball of mostly black Filatura Di Crossa 127 Print ... young teen to small adult.

Two strands of Lang Tosca held together with a 3x3 rib brim ... child to teen.

Ooo, a close-up! Reminds me of blood orange guts.

Two of the seed stitch panels joined and some flurff added, none of which photographs well!

This is what Miz Bequita Banana did the day after her teeth cleaning/purple monkeys ordeal.

"They're my shoes. I found them. They fit perfectly, see? Mine! ... Sister Cleopatra Longtail at her most charming

It warmed up overnight. And snowed again. I am waiting, somewhat impatiently, for the kid who comes 'round with a shovel, 'cuz, though I'd reall rather just do it, I feel I should give him the opportunity to keep his promise. Damnit.

29 November 2006

I Did Not!

I did not knit hats today.
I did not add any trim.
I did not shovel snow.

I did not take any cats to the vet today.
I did not put the second duvet on the bed.
I did not sign anyone's community service record.
I did not close the bedroom window.
I did not make crêpes.

A while ago, Vince sent me a link to this post on his friend's pesky'apostrophe blog, which led me to this site about the Dulaan Project, from which I followed a link to a blog called Mossy Cottage Knits. I read most current post (at the time), which was all over the freakin' map!
Scam Myth Debunked ...Happy Thanksgiving ...dinner club ... angry pie ... Heartbreakers ... freaked out ... malnourisment ... vulnerable ... wonderful ... grownup ... scared ... hope ... strength ... missing leg ... skinny, pregnant ... Cuzzin Tom ... skillfully made ... sheer joy ... weepy ... blessing ... panic attack ... knitting ... encouraging ...

Too much all at once! Huh? Wha? Still reeling, I followed the link to the angry pie story, at which point, I was hooked. Back to the beginning I went (and bookmarked Cuzzin Tom for later).

The roads were kind of icky, going to the APs on Sunday night. They were worse, going home.
It'd been cold out all week. It got colder over the weekend and colder yet Monday and Tuesday. Last night, there was a windchill of -46°C. I stayed home.

When I came home on Sunday night, I settled in to finish catching up on Mossy Cottage. I hauled out part of a ball of Silk Garden and some mohair, cast on and knit a Cloud Hat (pdf), cast on a second one and knit and read 'til way too late.

I spent a good chunk of Monday doing the same thing. Whenever I ran out of one kind of yarn, I added something else and kept going. And pilling Beq. And shovelling snow.

On Tuesday, I finished the hat I was working on and decided I should really be working on the poppet project that's been taking forever. I did some joining and added a bit of trim. I'm going to need another ball of yarn for each one. Poo. Then I decided that's okay, 'cuz I should really be working on little socks for Annailese's advent calendar.

I put the second duvet on the bed last night. Ohmygawdssoverycozy! I also closed the outside bedroom window. Buh! Good thing it wasn't frozen open. I woke up this morning to water dripping on my pillow. The ice on the inside window was melting.

The neighbourhood kid who shovels walks came by and asked me to sign his community service hours sheet thingy. Weird.

Nope, didn't make crêpes. Nor did I go get a pepper, so I could make greek salad. Maybe tomorrow ... and I can pick up the yarn to finish the poppet project, too.

The bright side (you should pardon the pun) of very coldness is how clear and bright and crisp it gets, so I can take pictures of some of the things I did not do today. I'll post them tomorrow.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 7:59
Hours of dark: 14:40ish
Sunrise: 8:23 am
Sunset: 4:22 pm
Start of twilight: 7:42 am
End of twilight: 5:03 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. -21°C (-5°F), -31°C (-23°F) with windchill, wind SSE 20.8 km/h (13 mph), relative humidity 64%, pressure 29.99 in Hg.

Tonight.. Clear. Increasing cloudiness near midnight with 30% chance of flurries overnight, wind up to 15 km/h. Low -22°C, -32°C with windchill.
Thursday.. Cloudy with sunny periods, 30% chance of flurries early in the morning, 40% late in the afternoon. High -7°C.
Thursday Night.. Cloudy, 40% chance of flurries early in the evening, wind NW 20 km/h becoming light in the evening. Low -19°C. -28°C with windchill.
Friday.. A mix of sun and cloud with 60% chance of flurries. High -14°C.
Saturday.. Sunny. Low -20°C. High -8°C.
Sunday.. Cloudy. Low -8°C. High 0°C.
Normals for the period.. Low -13°C. High -3°C.

26 November 2006

Hoary Day ...

It's so very still out, right now. The dry, dry snow that fell last night is still perched on the clothes line and the mountain ash berry bunches have snow caps bigger than they are. There's a layer of fine snow, like powdered sugar, over a crusty layer from the wind the other night. Sir Bunrab hopped every sidewalk and path in the yard, as if to mark them.

At -26°C, it was pleasant to shovel the walks. I got way colder, many times faster in -18°C with -32°C windchill the other day. It's foggy and the sun is struggling to be seen at all though pale dense clouds. There's plenty of light, and most everything's a muted bright white. Photographs come out blue-grey ... the camera does not see the lovely, soft, day I see, nor does it feel the stillness and quiet I feel.

24 November 2006

Purple Monkeys ...

Miss B is home, stoned, and with all her teeth intact. She has receeding gums and bone on one side, though, so we get to brush her teeth daily from now on. Oh joy. She wobbled around for a while, then settled on top of the carpeted thingy in the 'puter room. She's been staring out the window, mezmerized by the purple monkeys for a couple of hours.

Cats ...

Bequi's at the vet, getting put under to have her teeth cleaned and possibly one extracted if it's really bad. It's bloody cold outside ... scraping the inside of the windows while stopped at red lights kind of cold ... so I wrapped up a boiled hotpack and bundled it into the carrier with Beq, who meowed piteously all the way there. She and Cleo haven't been apart since I brought Beq home when Cleo was six months old. When I got home, Cleo flattened herself to the floor, doing her best the-sky-is-falling pantomime. When I picked her up, she clung like a limpet. When I put her down again, she disappeared and didn't come out for breakfast. She's just resurfaced and, apparently, the sky is still falling. She doesn't even like Beq.

03 November 2006

Ghostesses ...

It looks like the snow is here to stay. It snowed again last night ... everything has a clean white blanket.

Vincent is going to be in town again, but only for a few hours, so a few of us are meeting downtown at the Blue Plate Café for brunch on Sunday.

So much for my plan to knit two little socks a month for Annailese's advent calendar! I did a few last year and Barbara used some of her baby socks. I'll do a few more this year and she'll swap out some of the baby socks for them. Eventually, she'll have a whole set. I am so not a production knitter.

And finally, so I don't have to scour the web for it again next year:

Three little ghostesses,
Sitting on postesses,
Eating buttered toastesses,
Greasing up their fistesses,
Up to their wristesses.
What little beastesses,
To make such feastesses.

01 November 2006

Eleven ...

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

More and more families are going to the malls and safe events instead of going door-to-door, but I lit candles and hung a bazillion filmy scarves around the place (no, not near the candles), got dressed up and waited anyway. I knew there would be at least one kid 'cuz My Dawn Chicken had phoned to ask about bringing Hugh by before they went 'round their neighbourhood.

Hugh said, "I'm a ninja. What're you?" I said that I could be a witch or might be a gypsy or possibly a pirate or how about a dark faerie or maybe even a half-dead librarian. Hugh thought about it and told me I was a witch. But where was my hat? I pointed out that the candy was in my hat. He said witches don't wear cowboy hats. Dawn decided I must be a newt rancher. Hugh looked at us both like we had tomato plants growing out of the tops of our heads.

"I'm a ______. What are you?" is pretty common, since costumes are over/under or incorporate snow suits, toques, scarves, mitts and boots. With the exception of one dad (who may have been dressed as a hockey dad, I guess), all the parents who came with the eleven kids (that's eleven more than last year!) were dressed up. Coolness!

I put l'il rubber spiders in with the candy and a black flocked rubber rat (with a little silver leash) on the edge of the hat-bowl. They were more popular than the candy! I'll hafta remember that for next year. And here I thought it would scare 'em! Hah! Creeped Nina out, though.

29 October 2006

Culmination ...

Busy, busy. Errands and spending time with Barbara and Anailese on days when Corbin's there all day. Mom, Dad, Mary and I went to the art gallery on Tuesday, to see an exhibit of baroque masterworks. On Wednesday, I got to go with Dad and some of his Kiwanis folks to read books to preschool kids at the Norwood Head Start progam. Afterwards, we sat in wee chairs at wee tables and had snacks (that we took with us) with the kids. It was great fun, and the kids keep the books. For some of them, it's the first book of their very own. Brandon and Nina and I had dinner together and watched a movie ... well, kinda. Nina mostly texted on her phone while the movie was on.

I made something out of rayon ages and ages ago. I braided a leftover bit and tossed in in a dye bath with something else I had going, then in the wash. I ended up with a soft, drapey, slightly fuzzy braid. It's sat on my bedroom bookshelf for years because I wasn't quite finished with it.

Soon, the world will drown in T-shirts ... work T-shirts, play T-shirts, T-shirts with clever sayings, promotional T-shirts, T-shirts as uniforms. Ubiquity, thy name is T-shirt. What's to be done about it? I had an idea.

I bought a very pretty tie-dyed rayon dress and wore it when I went to Patty and Jaime's wedding with Pat. Every time I saw the dress in the closet, it would bring back a flood of memories. I wasn't ever going to wear it again, but I couldn't give it away.

These three things were rattling around in different rooms in my mind. One day, they all met in the hallway on the way to the bathroom and, as ideas are wont to do, got all tangled up and sidetracked me from whatever it was I was meaning to do. Zzzzzp, zzzzzp on the serger, shk, shk, shk, shk with the rotary cutter, and I had a grapefruit-sized ball of tie-dyed yarn.

I knit it up.

There wasn't enough of it.

I had a couple of silk shirts that were lovely in the eighties and in which I wouldn't now be caught dead. They got zzzzped and shked and wound into balls, too. They made much smaller balls.

I cut up another piece of rayon I had lying around and swatched some of it with some of the silk, washed it, and determined that the resulting fabric doesn't shrink appreciably once knit up, and that the silk knits up a much smaller gauge than the rayon.

So I knit the hat again, using some of the silk, doubled, when I ran out of rayon.

I didn't like the crown. For reasons I don't now recall, I undid the entire hat, instead of just the crown, and reknit the whole thing, from the top down.

I still didn't like the crown, so I reknit it from the bottom up again.


Just in time, too! This is outside, this morning:

There was enough yesterday to require shovelling. After I'm done with this, I'll go shovel again. It's still snowing.

On an entirely different note, my house was infested with tipsy faeries on Friday night:

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 9:41
Hours of dark: 12:00ish
Sunrise: 7:27 am
Sunset: 5:08 pm
Start of twilight: 6:51 am
End of twilight: 5:45 pm

Current weather: Overcast, light snow showers. -8°C (17°F), -16°C (3°F) with windchill, wind N 20.8 km/h (13 mph), relative humidity 85%, pressure 30.01 in Hg.

Today.. Cloudy with 60% chance of flurries, wind NW 20 km/h. High -8°C.
Tonight.. Cloudy, 30% chance of flurries this evening. Low -12°C.
Monday.. A mix of sun and cloud, High -4°C.
Tuesday.. Cloudy. Low -10°C. High -3°C.
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -10°C. High -5°C.
Thursday.. Sunny. Low -14°C. High -5°C.
Normals for the period.. Low -6°C. High 5°C.

19 October 2006

Crow Is Smart ...

Really smart.

16 October 2006

Snow and Blankets ...

Yup, there was a covering of snow on the ground, this morning. On the back lawn, there's a circle of fallen leaves under the Mountain Ash ... there was a ring of green grass, about 10cm wide around it, then white all around that. Very pretty! It's all melted, now, but it's still (barely) snowing.

I've been knitting and dropping off squares for Blankets for Canada for about three years, thinking I'd drop in to one of their work bees (held the second Saturday of each month, quite close by) one of these days.

October is the eighth anniversary of Blankets for Canada, and Saturday was the Edmonton Chapter's open house, so I went. I had visions of a bunch of folks sitting about in a dingy church basement, knitting, crocheting, and joining squares, probably drinking awful coffee urn coffee and yacking.

I was met at the door by the Edmonton Chapter Leader and taken upstairs, to a big, bright work room, where a couple of women (Shelly was one of them) were knitting, one was crocheting squares together, a couple more were talking to others who'd dropped in, and several were hovering about a couple of big work tables, hands flying about, doing something mysterious. Eileen took me for a tour, showing me the one hundred thirty-some blankets that were going out that day (more than usual, as it was the anniversary, she said, usually more like eighty to one hundred each month ... whoosh!) ... and the room full of bags of sorted squares awaiting joining, shelves of sorted and measured and tagged fabrics ... more shelves of fabric awaiting cutting for quilt tops ... batting, craft supplies, sewing machines, bins of yarn, boxes of unsorted stuff, etc. ... and the classroom next to it, where fabric was being measured and tagged and cut ... and the church's storage room, half of which was full of more fabric and sewing machines ... then back to the work room, where she showed me some of the blankets and quilts and quilt tops (waiting to be made into quilts that very day). The next thing I knew, I was helping a couple of women (who come in all the way from Legal for these work days and work on stuff for Blankets at home as well) pin quilts together (The quilts are assembled from a top, a piece of fabric from the shelves that's about the right size for the back, and a flannelette sheet or other piece of fabric in the middle. There were so many quilt tops to be made into quilts ... one of the Communities in Bloom groups made quilt tops for Blankets over the past year - something like 120 of them, 101 of which were made by one woman!) for the president of Blankets to take home to machine quilt ... this is the mysterious activity that was going on at the big work tables. This wasn't what I'd imagined at all! I'm sure I took in only a small fraction of all the information that was tossed at me and of everything that was going on around me. What a busy, dedicated bunch of people!

I'll go back again next month ... and take my camera. In the meantime, look at a few pictures on Edmonton Chapter's photos page. I'm going to go to the yarn store in Ft. Saskatchewan next Saturday, to help join some squares, I think.

One needn't have the first clue how to knit, crochet, quilt or sew to be able to help out at these things. I'm told there are about a dozen or so who turn up most times, and another half-dozen who come sometimes, and that there's room for another twenty before folx'd even have to start watching their elbows.

Know anyone who's interested? The Edmonton Chapter meets at the Avonmore Community of Christ church just off Argyll, on the second Saturday of each month. There are chapters all over the country, as well as plenty of yarn stores that collect squares for them.
Live south of the 49th and want to help? You can send squares to either Blankets for Canada or Warm Up America. Michael's collects squares for Blankets in Canada and Warm Up America in the U.S.

11 October 2006

Happy Harvest Celebration ...

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

I stopped at Mary's on the way to the lake on Sunday, to see Linda's new room in all its green glory and to drop off the bed lifters I ordered, then Cory and I headed to the lake to hang out with Mom and her sister and help get dinner ready. Robin, Ernie, Linda, Mary, Dad and my uncle were all there for dinner, as well. It was very nice. While Mona, Pete, Rose and Cassandra were not in the same physical location as the rest of us, I know they were together, safe, and enjoying a much deserved holiday away in a lovely location.

On Monday, Nina went for breakfast to celebrate her Grammie and Grampie's anniversary with Patty and Jaime and the girls. Patty, Jaime and the girls, Nina, Barbara, Miles and Annailese and I all converged on Chelsea and Darwin's afterwards. Darwin, Miles and Jaime shovelled and spread mulch and put up a little playground climby, swingy fort thing for Bernie. We had a fire and watched the kids roar around a chalked racetrack on the driveway on their bikes. Barbara made a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. We dragged the kitchen table into the dining room and set the two tables as one so we could all sit together. T'was grand!

Nina and I did a bunch of running around, today, getting her finances in some semblance of order, so she can focus and not feel so out of control. Then we went for sushi!

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 this time of year is the time to reflect on harvest, bounty, and thankfulness, I also think of it as a day to consider what I can do to help make it so for everyone.


30 September 2006

Sad ...

A dear friend from the Fair is dying very quickly of liver cancer. Her daughter phoned me today to let me know.

Very quickly indeed. Mitzi died on Sunday

25 September 2006

I've lost my post ...

I posted yesterday, but it's gone into the ether somewhere, blast it.

edit: I found it!

Kin ...

Rafe phoned me yesterday (his birthday) morning to invite me to dinner at his Dad's house. It's way over in the west end, so I left way-early 'cuz the freeway can be so bad sometimes. I found a little park and knit for half an hour to kill time. I got to see his dad again (the last time was thirty-eight years ago), and Amos, meet his step-mom and godkids. One of his three-brothers-with-the-same-name was there, too. I got there at five, did the hellos, had a tour of the photo walls with Rafe, admired the beautiful art all over the place, and helloed other folx as they got there. We had a wonderful meal over the course of several hours, did lots of talking and laughing and unconvering unexpected connections. Everyone left around eleven, 'cuz Rafe's dad had a flight early this morning. I am so very taken with Rafe's family.

And for Dani ...

From Dictionary.com ...

a lot

Very many, a large number; also, very much. For example, A lot of people think the economy is declining, or Sad movies always made her cry a lot. It is sometimes put as a whole lot for greater emphasis, as in I learned a whole lot in his class. It may also emphasize a comparative indication of amount, as in We need a whole lot more pizza to feed everyone, or Mary had a lot less nerve than I expected. [Colloquial; early 1800s]


–verb (used with object)
1. to divide or distribute by share or portion; distribute or parcel out; apportion: to allot the available farmland among the settlers
2. to appropriate for a special purpose: to allot money for a park.
3. to assign as a portion; set apart; dedicate

21 September 2006

Bricolage ...

From Dictionary.com ...

1. at that time: Prices were lower then.
2. immediately or soon afterward: The rain stopped and then started again.
3. next in order of time: We ate, then we started home.
4. at the same time: At first the water seemed blue, then gray.
5. next in order of place: Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.
6. in addition; besides; also: I love my job, and then it pays so well.
7. in that case; as a consequence; in those circumstances: If you're sick, then you should stay in bed.
8. since that is so; as it appears; therefore: You have, then, found the mistake? You are leaving tonight then.

9. being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated: the then prime minister.

10. that time: We have not been back since then. Till then, farewell.

11. but then, but on the other hand: I found their conversation very dull, but then I have different tastes.
12. then and there, at that precise time and place; at once; on the spot: I started to pack my things right then and there. Also, there and then.

1. (used, as after comparative adjectives and adverbs, to introduce the second member of an unequal comparison): She's taller than I am.
2. (used after some adverbs and adjectives expressing choice or diversity, such as other, otherwise, else, anywhere, or different, to introduce an alternative or denote a difference in kind, place, style, identity, etc.): I had no choice other than that. You won't find such freedom anywhere else than in this country.
3. (used to introduce the rejected choice in expressions of preference): I'd rather walk than drive there.
4. except; other than: We had no choice than to return home.
5. when: We had barely arrived than we had to leave again.

6. in relation to; by comparison with (usually fol. by a pronoun in the objective case): He is a person than whom I can imagine no one more courteous.

These words are not interchangeable.

Pat's been on my mind a lot, lately.

My lawn is full of Robins, Northern Flickers and various other birds again today. The Flickers are the yelow-shafted ones (different from the ones shown, having a grey crown, tannish face and throat, a bright red splodge on the back of the head, black moustaches, and they flash butter yellow underwings and undertail when they fly). It's been drizzly and rainy out for a while. I bet they're all fattening up on worms and ground bugs, getting ready to migrate (the birds, not the worms and bugs ... though I suppose some of them may migrate in the birds' bellies).

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 12:17
Hours of dark: 10:30ish
Sunrise: 7:18 am
Sunset: 7:36 pm
Start of twilight: 6:43 am
End of twilight: 8:10 pm

Current weather: Light rain. 8°C (46°F), wind NNW 12.8 km/h (8 mph), relative humidity 93%, pressure 29.64 in Hg.

Today.. Periods of rain. High 9°C.
Tonight.. Cloudy, 40% chance of showers. Low 5°C.
Friday.. A mix of sun and cloud, 30% chance of morning showers. High 15°C.
Saturday.. Sunny. Low 1°C. High 17°C.
Sunday.. Sunny. Low 5°C. High 19°C.
Monday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Windy. Low 4°C. High 10°C.
Normals for the period.. Low 2°C. High 16°C.

20 September 2006

Bees in Bonnets ...

The weather's gone from unseasonably warm to grey and rainy and downright chilly. We had frost the other night! Time to start thinking about slippers and scarves and hats and other warm things. There are ponchos in the making for Rose and Cassandra, and Linda has a new hat:

She got a new hat because my rag box was full and I got a bee in my bonnet about not throwing out otherwise perfectly good fabric.

Really, one uses only so many rags, so I got to thinking that if I cut a t-shirt the right way, I'd end up with one big, long strip, which might be suitable for knitting. Since I was in a hurry to start the knitting part, I used only the body-from-the-underarms-down parts of two shirts, cut 2.5cm wide. That was enough (with a few meters left over) to knit a roll-brim hat on 10mm needles.

I'm rather pleased myself over this. The trick was finding a way to cut the material into strips that wouldn't cripple me before I even got to the knitting part. I found a rotary cutter in a quilting shop. Omigoodness, it's a great tool!

Knitting on 10mm needles with non-springy 'yarn' takes getting used to
It is possible to make a cute hat from nothing but a couple of old t-shirts
Quilting shops are dangerous and should be avoided

Still working on wee ponchos. I'm still debating whether or not to hood.
Ernie and Barbara would like some Fuzzy Feet.
There may be a sweater in Cory's future, but we have to talk patterns/yarns some more.
I have a scarf I started a couple of years ago that I really would like to finish.
I have the makings of a crazy quilt cushion cover for Mom 'cuz one of her cushion covers self-destructed.

05 September 2006

Labour Day ...

The cats had a holiday at Kitty City this past weekend, so I could go to the lake for the weekend.
We were all there. I like it when that happens.
I knit more than I have for a while.
After dinner (spaghetti, steak, baked beans, lentil loaf, salad, fresh garden carrots, oh my!) on Sunday, we made frozen yogurt with one of these, to go with the rhubarb and saskatoon crisp.
A kinda fuzzy picture of Monday Morning:

A darkish shot of the flowers from Dad, in with the Glads I had already:

31 August 2006

Farrago ...

I'm so very tired today. I had a running nightmare all night. I kept waking up, calming down, and falling right back into it when I went back to sleep.

So I made whole wheat, oatmeal, coconut, raisin, nut, sesame seed, poppy seed cookies for breakfast.

I've been meaning to show this post to a couple of people long enough that Robert has gone and written another one I want to point to. So I decided to post about them instead. Robert writes about permaculture and life and love and community and hope and faith and doing and being, warts and all. I like Caitlan's posts, too. She's charming and forthright and creative.

On my mind today ...
• I am so very tired of addict behaviours, cancer, and the antics of the men in the lives of some of the women of whom I am particularly fond.
... not just today, but I'm tired, so it's closer to the surface today.
• There's too much stuff in my house
• There has got to be a use for dust and cat hair. I could knit a new cat out of the stuff that falls off just Cleo.
• The lilies in the flowers Dad gave me are so very beautifully stinky. I have a whole new understanding of the term heady.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 13:44
Hours of dark: 9:00ish
Sunrise: 6:42 am
Sunset: 8:26 pm
Start of twilight: 6:05 am
End of twilight: 9:03 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 17°C (62°F), wind WNW 22.4 km/h (14 mph), gusting to 33.6 km/h (21 mph), relative humidity 51%, pressure 30.05 in Hg.

Today.. Sunny with cloudy periods, 30% chance of showers late this afternoon with the risk of a thunderstorm. Wind NW 20 km/h. High 18°C.
Tonight.. A few clouds. Low 2°C.
Friday.. Sunny. High 23°C.
Saturday.. Sunny. Low 6°C. High 26°C.
Sunday.. Sunny. Low 7°C. High 27°C.
Monday.. Sunny. Low 7°C. High 25°C.
Normals for the period.. Low 5°C. High 20°C.

27 August 2006

Fringed out ...

I met Mary and the kids at the grocery store on Tuesday. We shopped, came back here, played Liar's Dice, grazed, and watched some Firefly. It rained too hard to drive, so we had a great big sleep-over.

Mary went home in the morning. After a good healthy breakfast ('cuz I knew what was coming for lunch ... they had lemonade, candy floss, and green onion cakes), Cory, Ernie, Linda and I headed to the Fringe, wandered a bit, stumbled into Dr. Draw's show and were immediately enthralled. We wandered some more ... saw a guy build a tree, juggle crystall balls, and twirl fire ... stopped to smooch Elsa at her booth ... then watched a grown man pass himself through a tennis raquet (unstrung (the raquet, not the man)) and juggle three rusty machetes while handcuffed and wearing twenty clothes pins on his face (which he put on while reciting the opening lines to Richard III). When we were tired of wandering, we walked down the road to have dinner, then took a bus to the University so we could take the train across the river and then took another bus home.

Thursday morning was popovers and devilled eggs for breakfast (lunch wasn't quite as bad as Wednesday, but involved more than one fried thing), then back to the Fringe for more street performer stuff. We saw a great soprano sax player, then, within spitting distance, a group called the United Saxophone Liberation Front (a baritone, a tenor, and two altos). There was a two-man act from Boston that gathered an audience by getting a few people to cheer at a table with a caulking gun on it. We picked up some naan bread and took the trolley across the river, then made our way home for dinner ... naan and carrot ginger soup.

I built breakfast burritos on Friday while weaving among the three of them in my bitty kitchey on Friday, thinking, "Aw, isn't that sweet? They just wanna spend time with me!" Once they all had their breakfast, though, they bolted for the livingroom to watch some more Firefly while I had my breakfast alone. Woe! Hahaha! I teased 'em mercilessly about that. Mary came early in the afternoon and we hung out for a while, then the whole crew left to run their errands before heading home.

Yesterday, I went back to the Fringe to meet Brandon and his boy. We wandered Whyte and the Fringe and Strathcona and Whyte some more, 'til the l'il guy was just all hot and worn out!

I met Mona and Pete and Rose and Cassandra at the APs today. There was hugging and smooching and computering and food and chirping and laughing and stories and new neighbour meeting and more hugging and smooching. Dad and I went to Southgate so he could get me some flowers 'cuz he'd gotten me a pair of loppers (I keep borrowing his) ... he said giving a nice lady a pair of loppers is like giving your wife a snow shovel ... it's just not right ... so there were flowers, too. Sweet, eh?

22 August 2006

Picture Catch-Up ...

I have a bazillion things swirling around in my head today (much like every other day) and haven't sorted them out for posting, yet, so here are catch-up photos instead!

Unfortunately, I haven't a single picture of Sasquatch. I'm getting better at remembering to take pictures, but a little better than abysmal isn't that great.

This is the May Day tree outside my bedroom window. Pretty, eh? It bloomed within a couple of days of May Day, this year. That's unusual. We had an early spring. Everything's been early this summer. I had rosehips on the rose bush by mid-July (though it did come up with a couple of extra roses in August).

There were berries on the May Day early. I did a double-take this morning, though.

Yup, yellow leaves. Red ones, too. The prediction is for an early fall that lasts a long, long time.

Some l'il Charlotte's been busy in the front railing. It's hard to photograph spider webs.

Lousy phone-camera picture of a billboard near Whyte Ave. that illustrates nicely the Canuckian approach to Rah-Rah-ing the troops here and abroad. A cheeky appreciation.

And this is the envelope, helpfully labelled, that Barbara received with the books when she took over managing the building she's living in.

But where are the pictures? On my desktop, cropped and sized and saved for web, waiting, because I can't get 'em to load at the moment and I have Things To Do before meeting Mary, Cory, Ernie and Linda.

Edit: Pictures! Taa-daa!

17 August 2006

Starting Fresh ...

I have a bad case of I Have Too Much To Catch Up On, I'll Post Later When I Have More Time Itis, so I'm starting over, as of now.

Fyn was in town yesterday, entirely too briefly. I didn't leave the house early enough to account for both rush hour and construction, so I was a little late, and then I didn't even offer to take him to the airport. Ditz.

It was wonderful to see him and I wish we could hang out regularly. He's smart and funny and thoughtful and cute as hell and fun and way high up on the list of reasons I wish I had a transporter. I'm not planning on going anywhere but the Fair this year, but next year, I do believe I'll go visit his end of the country ... unless the travel bug bites me again sooner.

We had grilled peanutbutter and tofu and banana sandwiches at Café Mosaics on Whyte - the special, in honour of Elvis. They were delicious!

26 July 2006

Catch Up, Fünf ...

Tuesday and Wednesday are, as always, a blur of activity ... meeting and crisis intervention training behind the dragon at 1:00 (with a quick pit-stop to nod at Adele at her noon meeting with the E, F, and G crews in the kids' loop), getting everyone their T-shirts and laminates (Marcus did that (and so much running around)for me, this year ... good gawds, I want an assistant every year!), making changes with Registration, staying put to vouch for anyone who showed up to register without photo ID, filling last-minute crew spots, switching SOPs around, telling Linda "Yes, you may go to the playground and play with the dead piano (old upright with the whole front missing, so the strings and soundboard are exposed) but check in in half an hour" every half-hour, greeting friends I haven't seen in a year, meeting new ones, charging back to camp to set up my tent and get changed for our first shift, shift change, shift from 7pm Tues.-2am Wed. (for which we turn up at least an hour early), figuring out how to cover more spots than we have bodies, shift change, accounting for missing folks, sleep, catching up with folks, more registration changes, more dead-piano trips, another shift from 2pm-8pm Wed. (with the hour+ early thing and the more spots than bodies things again) with shift changes on either end and then we were free! ... for a while. There's a gathering in Dubland on Thursday, and showers to be had and friends to see and so many things for Linda to discover!

Ever since Cory went to the Fair, folks have been asking Linda what she was going to deal with the communal showers ... bit of a prude, our Linda. Her response has always been that it'll be fine because when she goes to the Fair with Auntie Lynn, she's going to become a hippy. True to her word, the first time we went to the Ritz, she stuffed her things into a cubby, peeled off her clothes, turned around with a grin on her face and beat a ba-dum-bah on her belly. Just like that.

We had a standing shower date with Marcus, each night. I've just had an e-mail from him, saying how much he misses that (so do I), and how tough it is to adjust back to showering (and sleeping and everything else) under a roof.

Linda and I did a round in the Fair each of the three days, and saw parades and jugglers and freaks and magic and plays and, and, and! On her own, Linda would spend a ton of time in the playground, whacking on the dead pianos (two, now, as one of the crew brought a second soundboard and set of strings, mounted flat on a trailer) with drilled-out bouncy-balls on sticks, or playing in the Meadow with her ribbons on sticks, or sitting at the stage right outside our camp, watching all manner of Vaudeville, from jugglers to bawdy fairy tale plays.

Here she is, watching a fellow who balances on all that nonsense and juggles a plunger, a bunch of roses, and a machete:

The significance of the name of the stage was completely lost on me 'til I walked past one day and heard someone say, "Morning Wood!?" I must've had quite the look on my face 'cuz Simon (of the Fremont Players, who set up and perform on that stage) laughed and laughed, "Aw, no, Luv! You just got it now!? Hawhawhaw"

I saw some of the coolest things at the Fair, this year, and left me feeling that I must learn to weld.

Imagine a tennis ball with 3cm dia. hollow cylinders sticking out all over it, making a spikey ball ... now take away the tennis ball and open up the cylinders to the middle ... now make it out of 45 gal. drums instead, paint them all different colours, and open up a couple of the out-ends, too, so the sound can get out and hang hang mallets from them, so people wandering by can bang on it. There was one of those out front of the Dragon ... kinda cool ... it was very cool once it was taped up with warning tape and moved away from in front of the Dragon, out to the edge of the parking lot.

And the fellow who makes the steel dragons and kinda-double-little-cowbell-things made a bunch of hollow steel shapes ... like gaming dice and crystals. And a half-dozen other booths had cool stuff that gave me ideas of what to weld.

Adele pointed out that I'd been walking around with Pat's dragon's eye ring around my neck. Pat was a welder. He was making awfully cool stuff before he got sick again and stopped welding.

So I walked around the Fair agian on Sunday to see if I felt the same way about it without the ring on ... I couldn't find any of that stuff and didn't think to go look at the one out in the parking lot. Hmph. But I ran into James while I was doing that. We don't seem to run into each other much, except for shift changes, so we try to sneak off for a few minutes whenever we do. There were open theatre seats in front of the Ritz (due to Honey Bucket cleaning), so we curled up and reconnected. We seem to've traded years ... last year, he lost Jenn and my heart was broken ... this year, I lost Pat and his heart is broken.

James in the theatre seats at the Ritz, oblivious to the dancing bear:

Linda tried to stay up for the Sunday-night-at-midnight shift and ended up asleep in her woobie in the grass next to one of the benches. Marcus took her back to camp (how did I ever do this without an assistant before? ... he's going to want to be on the crew next year ... maybe I can draught his sister for next year). Since we were done early on Monday, many folks packed up and left early, so we didn't have our usual gathering up at the Ritz Monday night. I definitely missed it. We went up for a shower, but it was a quick one with just Linda and me and Adele and Doug. We had a fire behind the dragon afterwards, but Linda was in bed already and camp was pretty empty, so I didn't stay long. Since we've planned this for several years and not ended up doing it, not many folks showed up. Maybe we'll be more organized next year.

Linda and I packed the car and left on Tuesday. We left the site by noon and drove to a place called Spokane Valley or Falls or something, just past Spokane. We went from motel to motel, being told they were full and check with this or that one, until we spotted one none of them had mentioned and tried it. They had one room left with a jacuzzi and including a hot breakfast in the morning, at $295/night ... that they'd be willing to let us have for $109. We checked in, went next door for dinner just before they closed, and went for a splash.

I think Linda stopped listening after 'jacuzzi':

There were conveniently placed handles around the tub and in the shower, mirrors on the ceiling over the tub and bed, and black lights on either side of the bed ... but the tub worked (after I fixed the plug) and the windows opened, and Linda didn't notice the extras.

Noone was home when we got to Patty's, so we let ourselves in and cleaned up some. We were to spend Jaime's birthday with him in Nelson, but he wasn't there. He'd bought himself a fixer-upper Harley on eB*y and gone to pick it up in CA. He stopped in at the Fair site on Tuesday night, but we'd already left. So we spent the evening with Patty and the girls and Patty's brother and his girlfriend and the next day with Patty and the girls. We left the following morning, Sarah and Linda having become fast friends, and me promising to visit one more time before the snow flies ... maybe for Sarah's birthday.

Sarah, Ally and Raye waving goodbye:

I took Sarah home Saturday night and asked to trade her for someone who wasn't going to laugh at my hair every time we stopped the car. I got Cory. Actually, Dad brought him in Sunday afternoon. I picked the cats up in the morning. We got groceries and went for dinner and to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. He had guitar lessons here every day for five days, with homework each day. After his lesson on Friday, we went to Mona's and hung out for a little while, then he caught a lift home with Mona and Pete and the girls. I met them all and Mom and Dad at Mary's on Saturday for her Open Farm Day. It was stinkin' hot! It took me 'til yesterday to get the house below 30°C.

Tomorrow, I drop the cats off at the kennel again and pick up Ernie and we'll head to the Sasquatch Gathering on Friday. We'll work at the gate from Noon 'til six on Saturday ... dash back to camp and throw together something for the potluck (I must remember to take something for Tippy's Stone Soup). I have no idea what's going on after I get him back home.

Catch Up, Quatre ...

Linda and I set off on the 30th and drove to Nelson, B.C., where we spent Canada Day with at the beach Patty, Sarah, Ally and Raye, singing Oh Canada, having birthday cake, building sand castles and getting face painted.

Here's Linda in her borrowed bathing suit (hand-me-down from Nina that doesn't quite fit Sarah, yet), maple leaf tattoo, Alberta rose painting, and holding one of the baby budgies being bird-sat by Patty's family for the summer:

Later, we went to the fireworks and Jaime came, too. We don't know if the dogs (brother and sister samoyeds) were set off by the fireworks or by the thunder later, but when we got home, Chloe was two storeys up on the roof, having gone out through the girls' window (and taken out the bars and the screen on the way). Jaime talked her back in. It took a while for all the girls to calm down enough for bed.

The rest of the drive was hot enough that holding a hand out the window while going highway speed felt like holding it under a hot blowdryer. Icky! Fortunately, the temperatures were more reasonable for the Fair, in the 30's, rather than the 40's. Once we got in, we noticed that we had squatters in our camping spot. We reported them to the Quartermonster and spent the night in Chewie's tent, since he was going into town and didn't need it. In the night, Linda ended up sideways across the bottom of my sleeping bag and rolled up to the top, a little at a time, squeezing me out of it like toothpaste out of a tube!

After dark, Bee Craig came and blasted the squatting bald-faced hornets with some kind of nasty toxic spray. One got in his sleeve and stung him a few times, so he headed to the hospital, then came back later and checked on the hive. He checked one more time in the morning and advised us to slosh a couple of pails of water on the ground under it before putting the tent back. Vick did the sloshing and we finally set up our home-for-the-week.

This is the Western Tanager feeding on the larvae from his (her?) new larder in the canopy a couple of feet above my tent:

(I washed the tent a couple of times after the Fair, to get the toxic bird poop off it)

And this is Linda telling her Mom all about it:

(Yes, that is marabou on Linda's tent! We found boas at the store in town and decided they were required camping gear)

As promised, I took Linda to Patti's Pies for breakfast one day.

We ate our breakfast by DeSpain Bridge, where this little girl was hooping and playing the flute (at the same time, and doing both very well!):

Patti's pies are made from gently stirred banana and cinnamon, topped with fresh peaches, nectarines, apples, cherries, and berries, all in an unbaked crust of dates and crushed nuts ... utterly delicious whole food!

Catch Up, Trey ...

When I went to look at the APs computer a while ago, Dad paid me with this:

And Mom keeps this sign (BAT LIGHT) at the lake on what I would have sworn was a coffee maker:

Maybe it refers to the blend she's brewing in it.

Catch Up, The Second ...

So far, it's been an unusually hot summer. Here's a blurry photo of Sir (gender non-specific) Bunrab lying in the hole he dug for himself by the fence ... the diggings made a convenient pillow for the poor hot bunny:

You'd someone said, "Quick, everyone pile on the couch and make a face so I can take a picture" ... but no! This happened naturally:

Okay, someone did say to make faces, but everyone was already on the couch.

Catch Up ...

My on-the-road knitting is usually a bag full of acrylic (with at least a little wool content if I have my way, but sometimes it's donated, so I don't) yarn to make eight-inch squared for Blankets for Canada. Rose and Cassandra always ask me what I'm knitting. I always say I'm making squares, then they ask why and I tell them that the squares will be made into blankets for people who don't have any blankets to sleep in. They play with the squares and ask if they can keep one each for their lovies (special stuffed animals), who don't have any blankets and I tell them that one day, I'll make blankets for their lovies, but that these squares are for blankets for people who have none.

For a while, though, it was Cory's blanket. I crocheted each of Mary's kids a baby blanket and have added to them as the kids grew. Cory's is a hexagon and is now over six feet across the short way. I never did make baby blankets for Mona's kids, so I figured it was about time. They each started out with four squares using three colours, bordered with the three colours ... then a row (on two sides) of seven squares, each using two of the three colours and another random colour, with the whole mess bordered with a couple of the random colours ... then a row (on the same two sides) of eleven squares in (sort of) random colours, with the whole mess bordered in a couple of those (sort of) random colours ... then a final row of fifteen squares in random colours (on the same two sides), with the whole mess bordered in a couple of those random colours, mostly purple for Rose and pink for Cassandra. And two little blankies with similar borders to the big ones, for their lovies.

Here are the (tum-ta-dum!) Entropy Blankets with their sidekicks:

And then I got brave and tried two-colour knitting ... nothing scary like intarsia, though. I had a look at this book about slip-stitch knitting and gave it a try. I later read about doing the edging with different size needles ... I'll do that next time.

It's nothing spectacular, so I used a model to spice up the picture:

21 July 2006

Re-entry and PAG...

Re-entry from the Fair into the so-called real world has been bumpy and busy, this year. Cory's here for the week, taking guitar lessons daily.

I've just spent a good hour composing an answer to Fundin, who was asking me what was up with Dande and whether or not she was ever coming back to PAG. It was harder to write than I thought it would be. Pat (Tyndall) is all tied up in how I feel about it. PAG was the only time I spent in-game with him, for one thing ... and for another, he would be the first to say screw 'em, go play the way you want.

Hi Fundin,

I stopped playing as much when Tyn died, and summers are crazy-busy with festivals, so I'm rarely around. If I play, it's for FB Tues., Fri. and Sun. evenings (MDT), lately.

It's been longer than that since I've been to PAG, though. I thought I was taking a break to get un-crabby about the double-clicking and other stuff that was getting up my sleeve. I'm still not even sure whether I'm taking more of a break than I thought or I'm just done. I know it's tough (next to impossible ... you continue to do an incredible job) to lead a group like that if you can't get a commitment from the members, so I completely understand if you'd rather I just quit waffling and quit altogether.

Someone made a comment to me about how OOC Dande had gotten during PAG trips. That bothered me a lot and I was already crabby about the double-clicking and the STFU-type comments about RP, so I took a break. The reason I was PAGing in the first place was to spend time with people I didn't see anymore, except on PAG hunts. Now many of them have melted away and others are too busy beating the area to play CL the way I like to play. That's not to say that I believe PAG should play the way *I* want to play, but that if I can't play the way I want to play *and* hunt with PAG, then I have to make a choice. Sure, there are people I don't get a chance to see otherwise, but what's the point in seeing their icon if there's almost no interaction anyway? Sure, I feel bad about saying Dande'd come be a Good Horus Chick™ and then not showing up for this long, but there's way more Horus in the pocket healers than Dande will ever have. Sure, I would rather PAG would do what it can with what it has available (while staying at least a little IC, and without double-clicking or people who don't tolerate RP), but that's my problem, not anyone else's. Sure, I'd love Dande to get to the 2nd book, but it's plenty fun (possibly even more fun than if she ever did make it) to complain about how the group gets there only when she can't make the hunts.

Anyway, I love that you've created this group and maintained it this long. I want there to be a place for Dande-the-way-I-want-to-play-her in it, but I'm not sure there is.

15 July 2006

Important stuff ...

The Walk is tomorrow. Tomorrow!!

Dani's going walking again. You can sponsor her here.
I have.
You can sponsor her in your own name, in someone else's name, anonymously, in someone's memory. For donations under $25, you can PayPal Dani (solascl@hotmail.com) and she will add it to the total. Whatever you can do helps.


30 June 2006

Gone Fairing ...

I met Mary at her drop-off point on Tuesday to pick up Cory for his birthday sleep-over. Linda was already packed and ready. Cory and I ran errands, had lunch, played on the 'puters, had enormous salads for dinner, watched movies, sweated. Gawds, it was hot in here! On Wednesday, we ran a couple more errands, went for breakfast as a greasy spoon, came home and puttered a while, then charged off to the lake for his meeting at his new job. Meanwhile, Mary had a terrible run-around getting Linda's paperwork ready. After Cory's meeting, I took him home and swapped him and his stuff for Linda and her stuff, came home and tucked Linda in on the couch at about 12:30. We hung about in pjs and yacked for ages this morning, then got up and raced about like chickens with our heads cut off, popping in to see Barbara and Anailese, packing, taking the cats to the kennel, deciding that anyone whose lyrics include " hedge against the vague uncertainties/uncertain vagaries of life" shouldn't oughta be tossed into the "just country" bin, making laminates for the crew while watching movies, doing laundry, packing some more. Nina's car was broken into in the driveway last night and her iPod stolen. She talked to someone else down the block, whose car was also broken into. Grml. She's off to Drayton with the new beau for his grad. Linda is out cold on the couch and I'm heading off to bed, too. I'll be way far AFK 'til sometime around the sixteenth. Bright blessings and fair thee well, one and all.

25 June 2006

While you're up, Dear...

I went to the kitchen for a glass of water and ended up with a peanut butter/granola/carrot/lettuce sandwich, a dust-mopped floor, washed dishes, a line full of hung-up wet laundry, a peeled bed and a washer full of bedding.

21 June 2006

Happy Solstice ...

Things on my mind today ...
By design, National Aboriginal Day falls on the solstice.
Whether by coincidence or not, Gay Pride celebrations coincide with the solstice.
A time of turning points and balance, marking the end of the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest ...
Midsummer, Alban Heruin, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Gathering Day, Feast of Epona and others ...
Whether or not any of this has any meaning for you,
Bright Blessings

• Wednesday, I drove S to Olds on QEII, then W to 22, over the Crowsnest, across and up to Nelson, B.C. I got in early enough to spend a little time with the girls before bedtime, then Patty and I stayed up way too late yacking.
• Thursday and Friday, we were up early to get the girls off to school twice, prepared and loaded everything we were going to need for the morning into the van twice, had tea at the house with the Moms' group so they could give Patty a birthday present once, realized we didn't have keys for the van once, loaded it all into Epona and left a message for Jaime to please stop at home and swap vehicles on the way to school once, went up to the school for Sarah's Class 1 play once, went back to the house with Jaime in Epona to vehicles 'cuz he missed the message once, went to Raye and Ally's Fathers' Day/Last Day of School potluck in the Kinderhouse once, tidied up the classroom twice, moved the Class 1 things into the Class 2 room once, packed up the Raye and Ally and took them around town while we ran errands two or three times, went home and made dinner twice, visited the new house of one of the Moms from the Moms' group once, greeted and unpacked Barbara and Anailese, Chelsea and Bernie once, had dinner a couple of times, had a birthday party at the old church that's now a yoga space once (after gathering more than enough folks for a whole party at Patty and Jaime's house first), hugged and kissed and talked and chased and tickled and listened and read stories and played and laughed about a bazillion times.
• Saturday, Sarah, Raye, Ally, Barbara, Anailese, Bernie and both dogs came to wake me up. The rest of the morning was a bit rushed 'cuz it took them a while to get organized and I couldn't very well get up and get started before I was formally woken up! After breakfast, I drove home (same route in reverse, except that I took QEII all the way from Ft. McLeod), unpacked and collapsed.
1912 km. (much of it mountain driving) on 72L of fuel ... 3.766L/100 km. ... that's 62.5 mpg US/75 mpg Imperial. Not bad.
• Sunday I packed up and drove out to the lake for Fathers' Day ... I had a bit of a start when I came around the corner and saw the empty driveway ... I thought, "CRAP! It's in the city!?" ... but the cars were all parked on the other side of the road. Whew! It was a lovely day! On the way home, I stopped at Mary's for a minute (which generally takes me several hours).
• Birthday weinie roast yesterday got rained out and moved indoors ... about twenty women and Pete ... hot dogs and sushi (and other treats)
• I did not take a single picture.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 17:00
Hours of dark: 5:12
Sunrise: 5:06 am
Sunset: 10:06 pm
Start of twilight: 4:14 am
End of twilight: 10:58 pm

Current weather: Mostly Clear. 14°C (57°F), wind WNW 11.2 km/h (7 mph), relative humidity 67%, pressure 30.1 in Hg.

Today.. Sunny then mix of sun and cloud with 30% chance of showers late this afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming NW 20 km/h near noon. High 22°C.
Tonight.. Cloudy periods. 30% chance of showers early this evening with risk of thunderstorms. Low 9°C.
Thursday.. Cloudy with sunny periods and 40% chance of showers. High 22°C.
Friday.. Cloudy with 60% chance of showers. Low 12°C. High 22°C.
Saturday.. Sunny. Low 7°C. High 24°C.
Sunday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 10°C. High 22°C.
Normals for the period.. Low 8°C. High 22°C.

10 June 2006

Drama belongs in the theatre ....

Too much going on right now to keep up blogging, apparently.
Nina has moved back in rather abruptly and that's all I'm going to say about that.
Mary and I charged about, doing errands and visiting the other day when her car was in for service.
Tomorrow, we fête Mona at the lake with a weinie roast (weather permitting).
I'm off to Nelson on Wednesday, for Patty's 40th (and Raye and Ally's 5th(?ohmygoodnessisthatpossible?).
There continues to be hippie herding.
And speaking of which, from Techdirt...

MPAA: The Grateful Dead's Success Was An Abomination Against Nature
from the one-way-to-look-at-things dept
One of the more annoying things we've found when discussing how the entertainment industry needs to adapt and change and embrace new technologies in place of their old business model, is the repeated claim that it's impossible to make money if the content is given away for free. Impossible is a pretty absolute statement -- and all you need is one example to disprove it. However, as we've shown, there are many, many examples of entertainers who have learned how to make more money out of giving away their content -- which seems to disprove the whole "impossible" bit. However, the industry folks don't seem to know how to respond to that, so they just keep saying it's impossible.

Witness this bizarre exchange between John Perry Barlow and the MPAA's Dan Glickman debating the future of the entertainment industry. Barlow notes that he made an awful lot of money as a songwriter for the Grateful Dead, which encouraged its fans to make tapes of its shows for free. Glickman immediately responds by saying: "It is ridiculous to believe that you can give product away for free and be more successful. I mean it defies the laws of nature." The problem, as always, is that Glickman has incorrectly defined his market -- which is a scary thought if he's supposed to be the leading spokesperson for that industry. He thinks they're in the business of selling content. That's not so. It's too narrowly defined. The entertainment business is in the business of entertaining -- and that can include many things that still involve giving content away for free for promotional value. We've discussed plenty of examples in the recording industry -- and Barlow's success helps prove that. In Glickman's own movie industry the examples are even more obvious. They should be selling the experience of seeing a movie, not just the content. However, when Glickman says things like the idea that giving away things for free is against "the laws of human nature," we wonder if this means he's never received anything for free in his life. Does he turn down the free soda offered with the slice of pizza in the corner shop? Free dessert with dinner? Why that's just crazy talk! Those restaurants must be run by anti-capitalist extremists. Their actions in giving away free food are against the laws of nature, and they must be on their way out of business.

28 May 2006

Infits ...

That's what the outfits Rose and Cassandra wore to church became when they got there. Mm hmm.

Mary's Open Farm Day was grand. She told folks about her CSA and Linda told 'em about the chickens and how the straw and chicken poop from the coop is composted for the garden and how the meat birds' enclosure gets moved every day so they have fresh grass to eat and fertilize a new section of the lawn and Robin tended the fire and gave folks carrots to feed the horses and told 'em about how the horse poop is composted for the garden and local folks came to talk about their bison, naturally raised beef, local natural honey and beeswax products, you-pick saskatoons, and natural produce. Mom fed folx rhubarb juice and Dad took pictures. Ernie was the gopher and helped kids take the pedal go-cart thingy around the track in the driveway or play the giant snakes and ladders game. Cory and I were the greeters. There was a local lady who came and sang some country music with her karaoke machine and the church youth group band came and played, then stayed to play snakes and ladders and have a weiner roast. Rafe would've been there, maybe even with stilts, but he got food poisoning, the poor thing!

19 May 2006

One Day ...

This is what I do to my kitchen in just one day ... a regular day.

18 May 2006

Maunderings ...

I took Epona back to the dealership this morning and they fixed 'er up. No more oily puddles. It's a much more reasonable temperature today. The dandelions are in full bloom.

So is the little bush Mary gave me last year.

It got jostled and moved and neglected and finally planted (at entirely the wrong time for transplanting) by Cory and Ernie, then Sirs Bunrab nibbled most of the branches to nubs over the winter. I was so surprised when I saw green on it this spring.

These little guys are this year's volunteer plants. They're coming up along the east side of the house, by the purple German Irises. Last year, I had volunteer pansies and the year before I had volunteer California Poppies.

Wednesday - I spent the day with Barbara and Annailese, hanging about in very little clothing, doing paper work. Annailese had the good sense to eschew clothing altogether for the entire day. It was stinkin' hot! Rafe came over and we built a ginormous salad for dinner. He brought pumkin pie. Mmmm!

Tuesday - The hey-you-should-have-driven-about-8,000km.-by-now-so-it's-about-time-for-your-first-oil-change-and-service light's been on in the car, so I took Epona in to the dealership, even though it's still under 3,000 km. They put the summer tires on and changed the oil and checked all the things they check and apparently forgot to tighten something when they were done. I left wee puddles of oil behind everywhere I went on my circuit of a bazillion errands.

Sunday - Mona, Pete, Rose, Cassandra, Mom, Dad and I had a weiner roast in the terra cotta chimnea in the APs back yard. My godmother's sister's new husband backed out of my godparents' driveway into Epona. His sedan had stove-in corner on the back bumper. Epona had a l'il scuff on the back driver's side fender. Dad polished it out with toothpaste and now I can't tell where it was.

Saturday - Jake had a jam party. He runs on musician time. I left around two ... the jam was just starting.

Friday - Mary, Mona, Mom and I met for lunch to plot the gathering in August, when Dad and I will celebrate 115 years. I was going to ask Mary for a piece of her rhubarb plant (mine's still in the garden of the house I sold to Darren and he sold to Nancy) when she next split it, but figured she's way too busy to think about that right now. Mary brought rhubarb to lunch for me and Mona. Wheee! They're pieces my great (great?) grandmother's (the one who grew up with Lucy Maude Montgomery ... I thought she got the plant from LMM, but Mom's not sure about that) plant. Mom has some kind of rhubarb sickness in her gardens, so she can't have any for a few years, so Mary's spreading it out is also insurance, in case the disease gets to her garden.

After lunch, I admired Mona and Pete's new car ... it's spiffy and smaller than their old car. Nina and I took her iMac and my old iMac apart, to try to make one working FrankeniMac out of them, but discovered that all the good bits had been removed from mine. Bah. We went for dinner and found ourselves at the wrong end of Whyte Avenue after the hockey game. It took us a couple of hours to creep the ten minute drive home through throngs of giddy fans. Fortunately, they were just giddy at that point and hadn't yet turned into the bottle-tossing mob.

Thursday - Dad and I went to the AMA to order a Trip Tik map thingy for my Fair trip. Then we went for lunch. Dad drove Epona ... said she's nimble.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 16:05
Hours of dark: less than 1 (twilight is figured differently on this site)
Sunrise: 5:28 am
Sunset: 9:33 pm
Start of twilight: 1:38 am
End of twilight: 1:20 pm

Current weather: Mostly Clear. 22°C (71°F), wind NNW 19.2 km/h (12 mph), relative humidity 24%, pressure 29.89 in Hg.

Today.. Sunny. High 25°C.
Tonight.. A few clouds. Low 9°C.
Friday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming E 30 km/h late in the morning. High 24°C.
Saturday.. Cloudy with 60% chance of showers. Low 10°C. High 22°C.
Sunday.. Sunny. Low 12°C. High 22°C.
Monday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 10°C. High 23°C.
Normals for the period.. Low 4°C. High 18°C.