Thursday, January 29, 2009

Its all gone!

The snow that made the roads so very treacherous Tuesday morning is now just a memory. Well, there's just a tad left on the roof of the shed next door but that's about it. Now that's snow I can deal with . . . the only remains of our nasty White Christmas are piled along roadsides & in parking lots - in most Handicapped stalls - & will probably still be with us till Easter unless we get some really warm weather or a lot of rain. As long as the heater in my car works, I just don't care!

Speaking of my car, I have an Oil Light indicator with an audible DING. It rings constantly since the mechanic put the new thermostat in my car. Now heat is really good when there's ice & snow so I'm not willing to give up the thermostat but that damned DINGER is driving me crazy. If I crank up the Country music, it drowns out the Dinger but you sure can't have a conversation with a passenger. So yesterday, the mechanic made a House Call. Took him an hour & a half to take apart the dash in my car before he admitted he couldn't find the DINGER wire to snip it. Oh he could hear that damned thing but couldn't find the source. Oh, said I, do you want me to find the wiring diagram on the computer for you?? So I looked it up & printed it off. The COMPUTER in the car controls the DINGER. Shit. Took him an hour to put the dash back together & we have two screws left over.

I had a little meltdown the other day when my phone rang to tell me I had a message waiting. Now, my phone doesn't always TELL me right away when I have messages so I wondered who had called - I mean it's not like I can even hear it in the car. Turns out it was the message the BT left me just before Christmas that caused me to give us BOTH a Merry Christmas. Seems I hadn't erased it. It came calling again to boot me in the ass & I lost it.

So with the message, the dinger & the useless housecall, my week isn't shaping up really well. So I went out yesterday afternoon & bought the biggest bottle of Carolans I could find!! And had a nice shot of Irish Creme Liqueur in my tea to make it all better. Sigh, I need a NEW BT . . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here we go again

The weatherman said "flurries"! Well, it wasn't flurries this morning when my ink cartridge ran out & left me with nothing but blank sheets & estimate forms to print. I had no choice in the matter, I had to go out into the snow & get my cartridges filled. The roads were NOT nice so when I slid into the Safeway, I moved my Dentist appointment from later this afternoon to tomorrow afternoon!! The weatherman promised rain by then!! And, by the time I got a few things, learned how to use the Automatic Checkout - Hey, no more line-ups!!! - & got back to my car, the temperature had gone up enough that the roads were all bare & wet!!! In one hour!! Hah!

I don't know what's going on anymore . . . . .

I've finished my new socks! I really like this yarn. It's a little thicker than my usual Confetti or Regia & feels really nice now that it's knitted up. I think I'll enjoy wearing them. Even if they're not my usual style.

And I've turned the heel on the first sock
for the 'Someone Special' socks. Th
e other one is in progress as I type & I've been contemplating toe colors. I may make them navy because I don't have any light blue or tan. I think I remember when Gail knitted this up for herself - she was looking all over town for the same tannish, rusty brown for toes for her socks. I think she ended up using the navy in the end too. We'll see how it goes when I get to the toes.

Today was definitely a soup day. I decided while in Safeway that it should be a Corn Chowder day. I found THREE bags of frozen corn in the freezer - yeah, more leftovers from my 'shopping for two' days. So Corn Chowder it is. I found some fresh Chorizo sausage, sometimes I use Mennonite smoked Turkey sausage & sometimes leftover ham. I bought red & yellow potatoes & a couple of yams too. I brown the sausage, throw in some chopped onion, 4 cups of chicken broth if I have it or water if I don't, the spuds & yams in small chunks, fresh ground pepper & let the whole thing simmer for a couple of hours. I put in a couple of cups of milk & enough instant mashed potato flakes to thicken it a little when the spuds are done. Put on the top & let it sit on warm. It goes down very nicely with any kind of crusty bread or even warm pitas & tastes even better the second day. Often I use the same basic recipe for seafood chowder but cook the spuds & yams in chicken broth with smoked fish first & then add the remainder of the cut up fish & prawns to cook in the hot liquid when I let it sit. Cheap, filling & tasty. Warms you up after shoveling snow, raking leaves or walking the pooch. I may even share some of it with my Ex who seems to be always underfoot these days . . . .

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What happened???

So where'd the sunshine go?? The fog went with it. We're back to that steel grey sky again - does this mean we'll actually get those snow flurries today???? OMG.

The cat is curled up in a ball on her Christmas blankey with the paw prints on it on her shelf on the window ledge. She twitches & gives out with a moaning sigh every so often. I wonder what cats dream of? Chasing birds?? Mice?? Raccoons? Eating? I know mine chases everything out of the yard & likes eating cheese & chips. She'll take a chunk out of your leg if you don't give her a piece of shrimp chip!! Or she'll sneak a drink out of your glass of milk if you aren't looking . . . .

Boy is she gonna be pissed in April when I head off to the Spring Retreat. I've just found out I can still go & I decided on the fly to just pick up & go!!! With the window open, the toilet open, the big bowl full of crunchies & the litter box freshly cleaned, I think the cat will be okay for three days on her own. Yeah, she howls at nite but the kids upstairs scream, swear, stomp & fight at nite too, so what the hell . . . why should I care? I'm giving myself a birthday present this year. And I may even go to the Fall one too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Is that Sunshine?

I woke up early this AM to more fog! Grrrrr - but Chinese New Year is almost here so I decided to go for BBQ pork, tea, fresh
shrimp chips, noodles & greens!! The fog lifted while I was shopping & I came out to a glorious burst of sunshine!! I just knew that's why I packed my knitting bag with me this morning! Time to go sit & knit at Starbucks for an hour or so! Called Gail & got her to come & join me for some theraputic rays. Yessiree, one glorious, gorgeous day. The kind that makes you get up & yodel!!!
I'm looking forward to shorts, thongs & tees . . . .

So what's in the knitting bag, you ask?? Well, the obvious - socks! Remember the pink & blue ball I bought for myself?? Well, it knits into broad bands of color. I didn't expect this when I bought it but I'm growing fonder of it all the time. The girls keep laughing at me because my favorite tee shirt is broad horizontal lavender, pink & white stripes BUT, I keep reminding them that these socks are just a little girly for me.

I have a second pair on the needles in a color that I'm not so fond of but they're not for me so I guess it doesn't matter. Gail told me she knit herself a pair out of this very color a
long time ago - I think this yarn has been aging in a stash for some time . . . I'm knitting these on my 2mm Brittany Birch needles so they work up a little denser than normal. I thought they might be a little warmer that way. And these socks will eventually go to a friend who has never had anyone knit a pair of socks for HER - boy is she gonna be surprised!!!

And then there's all that UGLY yarn. Well, I think it's ugly anyway. But, since it's
for a man who doesn't care what color his socks are as long as they fit, well, I guess it doesn't matter. I don't have to wear them. As I said before though, ugly yarn takes longer to knit. There's nothing to look forward to but the end of the sock. I may be crazy but I think size 13 Frankensocks would knit a lot faster than size 13 Ugly socks. But that's just MY opinion.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ahhhhhhhhhh . . . . . Sock yarn shopping!

I made the run to my local yarn shop on the way to work today to pick up some balls of the "UGLY" sock yarn on sale. Well, it's not really ugly I suppose but it's dark or muted colors - the guys really like most of it - but it sure isn't much to look at. It's the sort of yarn that knits slowly because there's no excitement about it. But, I suppose when you're knitting socks for a size 13 foot as wide as a house, there isn't going to be much excitement. Unless you count the thrill of actually finishing!!
So I blew the budget & bought 22 balls at half price. Why so many??? Well, it takes almost three balls to knit a pair of size 13 canal barge covers. Hey - I gotta pay for the spinning wheel.

On the way home, I stopped & got rid of the last 5 loaves of bread that needed a home. I got a warm welcome, a home brewed Cappuccino, a doggie kiss or two & a nice cuddle in a deeeeeep chair that I needed help to get out of. I love my friends.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's with all this FOG??

First we get snow, then it rains too much & now it's FOG??? Whatinhell's going on with our weather?? I did NOT have a good time driving home last nite from across town through the dark & fog! One at a time is enough, thanx!!

So I took my Ex out for breakfast this morning. I bought a box of frozen chicken breasts on sale the other nite & couldn't get them in the freezer when I got home. I'd forgotten that I'd picked up 10 loaves of Healthy bread on sale for the BT a while back & intended to stuff them into the freezer of his fridge before he got home. Sort of like all the juice & canned stuff I bought on sale over the last three months which were supposed to go there too . . . . anyway - I had to take out the bread to get the chicken in - you know where MY priorities are!! So I have 8 loaves that need a home. I thought about abandoning them at the nearest shelter but a couple of phone calls later, I found homes for them. My Ex volunteered to adopt a couple of loaves to go with the Hamburger Soup I made - hence the breakfast meeting!
So, while at breakfast he asks me how I'm doing without my 'friend'. I told him I'm doing just fine. He's still doesn't quite believe that we've parted company permanently. And he doesn't want to upset me by badmouthing the guy, dancing on the table or cheering out loud - but I can tell he's thrilled. And, he's up to something. So, he asks about my future plans. Well, I mention that I should finish those last two courses that I haven't been able to afford. And that I want to get that new spinning wheel I've had on Lay-a-way since last spring but haven't been able to afford. And that I'm inquiring about a job in Bella Bella that pays a salary & offers free accommodation & moving expenses. I certainly wouldn't run into the BT in Bella Bella now, would I???
The Ex asks how much the spinning wheel costs. About $800 I say. Which is why it's still on Lay-a-way!!! He offers to pay the balance. Oh, & could he please have some socks too.
Holy Crap.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A change is as good as a rest . . .

So Ginny is back on the needles - thank Goodness for the Denise 60" cord!!! I am once again, working this from the top down. Most of the purple & lavender yarn in this project is recycled from other sweaters I have owned. The yarn is probably 30 years old from Scheepsjwool - I hope I spelled it correctly!!! It's mostly wool, hand washable & I bought all of it in the Bargain Bin in an old yarn store in PoCo back in the late 70s when I worked over there. That shop had only European yarns, mostly German, in those days & I couldn't afford to knit with anything that wasn't in the Bargain Bin. I think I bought all the shades of purple she had & a teal too - I have a couple of teal balls left!! I've loved all the incarnations of this yarn - I used to knit sweaters with front detail like cables or lace panels in solid colors. But now, I'm branching out!

So, I decided I needed a new sock project - who doesn't??? I found this 100 gm ball of Garn Studios yarn in the prettiest colors - not my usual thing but I liked it. I
did not expect the blocks of solid color that I'm getting with these socks but they're interesting. I decided to make them a little longer than my usual socks so I guess they'll be Winter Socks. I'm not sure if I'll wear them myself of whether they'll go into the sock basket. We'll see.
I talked to my mother on Christmas Day - she converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses when she married my step-father so I like to bug her a little now & then!! LOL She was complaining about being snowed in up in Vernon & having cold feet all the ti
me . . . . oh, I feel a new sock wardrobe coming on . . . . Mom doesn't mind Frankensocks either!!!

And then there's that Marble. I just loved the color when I saw this yarn. Knitopia, in Langley, BC, carries only one kind of acrylic yarn & Marble is it. Lynne, the ow
ner, says its a quality yarn & wears very well. I fondled it for a while before buying any. In my books, acrylic is for afghans & kids' stuff because both are constantly in the wash!! But this Marble yarn is sooooooo nice that I may just change my mind. I was experimenting with some swatches & I can get 5 stitches to the inch without it looking too loose or too tight & still have a very nice fabric. I'm debating. I bought a book of lacy patterns because of a sweater pattern that I just loved. Of course it's in a size that's half of what I need but, with bigger needles & the Marble & a little math . . . hmmmm. Time to swatch some more I think.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Free at last, free at last!!

Free in more ways than one! 2009 has given me back my life. The BT is gone, my stress is way down & I can finally get out of my driveway.
I'll try not to complain to much about the rain again! Well, not for month or two anyway. So much rain fell over the last couple of days that not only is my drive bare & wet, but even the undug sidewalk & the mostly impassible alley are all bare & wet!! Side streets are once more free to roam - only parking lots are not as bare since the mountains of white stuff piled there may stick around till spring! It's so nice to just get in the car & go out to pick up fresh oranges. I was able to go knitting with the Gang, TWICE this week!

I even managed to get out to have coffee with friends I haven't had time to see in months. I met their new pooch - a Leonburger hound. Some big, blonde, German fibre animal that will be just under 150 pounds when fully grown!!! A nice companion to the Black Lab/St Bernard cross they already have! Good thing they have 5 acres - they need it!!! I am to be the recipient of the next bag of pooch hair from the dogs - the owner would like a pair of Barn Socks to keep her feet warm when she goes out to feed & groom the horses. Okaaaaaaay . . I can do that. I think I'll just card wool, mohair & pooch to make them.

I'm madly working on Arvik again - I hauled Ginny out & was putting it on the 60" Denise cable when I spotted a PULL in the sweater!! A great big long pull!! It looks like the CAT, over Christmas when she couldn't go outside, started exploring & made a bed in the bag with Ginny. Apparently, she got a claw caught & pulled a big loop after her when she left . . . . I've had to frog Ginny all the way back to the YOKE!!! Sigh . . . . Good thing I tied the top of the bag that the Arvik sweater was in!! Damn Cat! So, I'm working on Arvik. By the time I finish, I probably won't need anything really warm anyway!

I have enough B&L left to knit myself a Wallaby. I bought shades-of-purple Marble yarn to knit myself a Wallaby & the B&L was for the BT. Oh, I also bought some lovely Eton in a Robin's Egg blue to knit a sweater for you know who, too. Is this a case of the Boyfriend Sweater curse??? I have all this yarn. And all the Raspberry Dalesman yarn I collected over the years to knit myself a couple of jackets! So I guess I'm going to be doing a lot of knitting this year. For ME.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Another Snowy Monday

So I woke up this morning at 5:38 to the sound of my neighbor spinning his wheels whilst trying to get out of his drive. He's the guy, with several other guys, who occupy the drive directly across the alley from me. Did they shovel over the weekend when we got even more snow? Yup. Their wives broke all the ice with hammers & shoveled everything halfway out into the alley to boot. And then it snowed again last nite. The guy with the spinning wheels spent almost three hours spinning, digging, cursing & banging out there before he got out. I see half of my driveway is now dug too. Guess I'll just stay home & work in the home office.

I finally finished the Carpenter Wallaby last nite. I think the garter stitch hood took as long
to knit as the whole yoke!! I really grew much fonder of old Briggs & Little as I knit this sweater. Although there were some bits & prickly pieces to pick out of the yarn, it wasn't excessive. But, I noticed B&G puts out little particles into the air which make me cough when I frog. Notice to self - Don't Make Mistakes!!! The carpenter is also hoping for an earflap hat to go with his sweater - I was going to make him a balaclava - Knitty has a great one - but I think B&G is too scratchy for next-to-face wear!!

My biggest complaint with B&G is getting skeins into balls. The skeins don't seem to be too willing to co-operate unless you hand wind a ball first. Yes, I snapped that damned skein - many times - but it sticks together & always becomes tangled. So I unwind by hand into a ball which can be fed around, under & between errant strands & then rewind it into a nice centre pull ball.

The finished product is much softer than I expected from handling the skeins in the store! I might even knit myself a Wallaby - I certainly have enough yarn to do so now that I have no one else to knit for.

Ginny is already partially on the big 60" cable so I can finish the neck, fronts & bottom. I may just do seed stitch rather than garter but will decide when I actually sit down to do it. I need that sweater so whatever is fastest wins!!! So my work is cut out for me for the week!! I surely hope we get rain & not more snow . . . .

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I Had a Day Out

I had a lovely day out yesterday. The sun eventually came out & I thought I'd shovel the drive once more. I did about half of it - only a couple of inches or so & thought, what the heck, why not just go??? So I did. I picked up two weeks of mail for a start & then called in at the Dollar Store for some goodies - the cat got two new Kitty blankets for a buck each & I got pens, post-its, foaming hand soap & red licorice. Then I went to the Chinese grocery store & got tea, KaiLan, long beans, BBQ pork, oranges & Curried Chicken buns - mmmmmm. I called in on a client & got signed up to open on Sunday morning & ended up at Starbucks for tea & my first newspaper in almost two weeks!! Wow. It was so great to yak it up with people I didn't even know!!! And then a friend came in to drink tea with me & we eventually went out to eat Indian food for dinner.

I had a wonderful day!! I came home energized & happy with no problems getting back into the drive!
I didn't knit a stitch all day although I took the knitting bag with me. I just had too much fun being with people again. And, I slept like a baby last nite.

I got up to more snow this morning. Oh, come oooooon . . . . . At 1:00, my client called me & canceled tomorrow morning. He's concerned about me getting in & out of the business with more snow. At 3:00, I called my client & let him know the Weather Channel has now issued a SNOW WARNING for the Lower Mainland for tonite & tomorrow - 10 to 20 more cms due . . . . he thinks he'll just call the morning customer & cancel or rebook him for today if he can & then go home early. Whatever happened to Global Warming???

Friday, January 02, 2009

No resolutions . . . .

So, the drive is still under the last layer of snow - I kept hoping for more rain but it never actually came. I see flurries of small flakes against the dark trees out there & just a hint of blue sky over in the west - could there be sunshine on the way???? Oh the cat will be pleased - she's just not happy with all that white stuff out there & quite frankly, I want it gone ASAP too. I think the longer I stay snowed in, the tougher the getting out will be. So I guess I have to go & shovel the new snow away & start up the van. The tires are probably frozen into shape by now!! The weather forecast is for lots of rain on the weekend - it's going to warm up to 7 degrees by Monday apparently. Yipee!!!! I will not complain about rain, I will not complain about rain, I will not . . . .

I heard via the Grapevine that the BT may be released from Rehab next week. His landlord called me to say the Social Worker was inspecting the apartment this coming week to see what equipment he'd need, how accessible it is etc. He thinks the BT will end up having to move because it's just not accessible- especially now, in the snow. I hope they persuade him to move, I'm not sure I can deal with the updates & gossip from my friend, the Landlord.

I finished the UGLY socks I've been meaning to knit for the fella who fished the keys out of my locked van!! I knit "manly" socks for him although I'm sure he'd wear anything handknit. He lives in overalls you see. LOL I got this yarn figuring it would co-ordinate with the tan overalls! Here they are looking much bluer than they actually are in reality! They're a much muddier greyish blue than this.

After some adjusting & fiddling, the hood on the Carpenter Wallaby is finally in progress!! The darned sweater is very heavy at this point & try as I may, I cannot get the whole thing in a photo!! I'll finish the hood, get the Carpenter to put it on & then take the picture!! It's very nice to knit a sweater all-in-one-piece but wow, does it place a lot of weight on the wrists & hands as you knit! I admit most of the sweater lies in my lap as I use circs, I'm constantly picking it up & untwisting the whole sweater after a couple of times around. But I think it's going to look lovely on the guy in the end!

So what's ne
xt?? Well, Ginny has to be finished. And then Arvik. I don't want to start on another project, other than socks, till they're finished & on my back! Oh, and there's another sweater in Raspberry wool that's partially done. I believe it's my fav ratty old sweater pattern done in wool this time. One front & the whole back is already done.
And then there's that huge afghan-in-progress in blues & greys. It got so big
& heavy, I had to abandon it when my hands got too sore last spring. It was to have been the BTs new housewarming gift. I have to figure out what to do with it now because I don't think we'll ever be able to be friends again.
Finally, there's a big basket of squares waiting to be sewed together. The Wednesday Nite Nitters helped me knit them. We intended to make afghans for a local charity. Someone just gave me another big bag of acrylic yarn so I'm thinking about knitting more squares or even strips to add to the basket to make afghans. I just found a Shelter in Newton that houses people trying to put their lives back together. They're always looking for donations to help get their clients get back on their feet. Maybe I'll adopt the place . . . .