Monday, December 25, 2017

A Merry Historical Christmas

I think I heard someone on the radio say that it will be a record year if it snows on Christmas day - well it's snowing out there folks. Not much, just a whisper over night but it did snow off & on all day until it got dark. A record broken for the Lower Mainland this year. Not enough snow to make a snowman unless you shovel the whole drive, but we got snow.
I took the Ex & a friend out for late lunch/early dinner yesterday for Christmas. The Old Boys don't drive after dark because they can't see very well so they got a Chinese lunch - their choice!! Both wanted combination dinners Apparently they get turkeyed to death this time of year with all the church dinners, senior dinners & family get-togethers!! Both of them have somewhere to go for Christmas dinner but they say it's too much noise & bother - they'd rather stay home with the fire & TV on. I don't blame them a bit. I think a lot of us would be happier with leftovers than endure hours of family squabbles & noise. I used to go to one family gathering years ago just for the ham bone & turkey carcass. They used to throw everything out when guests went home!!! No one would eat 'leftovers' in that family!!! I used to get at least two big pots of soup out of those 'leftovers'. 

I'm not cooking turkey either this year. I love the legs & thighs & if I could buy only thighs I'd be in heaven & would cook it monthly. Luckily the Ex loves white meat so when I do cook a small turkey, he gets the white & I take the brown. I just wish they grew turkeys with bigger thighs though .   .   .   .   

Knitting content - Nada, Nothing, Zip. The new pills the doctor asked me to try for my knee pain not only did nothing for my knee pain but also did nothing for my hands. And while I was taking it I couldn't take anything else so I've been stiff, sore, burning, aching & weak. Not a good couple of weeks. Tonight, before bed, I shall return once more to my Tylenol Arthritis/Ibuprofen combo & hope tomorrow is better. Maybe I'll be able to get back to sock knitting once more!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Let it Snow!!

Just sitting here in my office taking a Snow Day. It's mighty pretty out there & I'm seriously glad I don't have to go out in it today 'cause it's already starting to accumulate. Another couple of inches should begin to shut the burbs down. I have fond memories of fighting my way home to Surrey across two bridges & down a freeway of abandoned cars from West Vancouver in over a foot of snow when I was first married 30 years ago. It took me 7 hours but I made it home. This was before everyone had a cell so my new husband had no idea of where or in what shape I was. He made sure I had good tires & a working car but I was on my own after that. People just don't understand what to do when it snows in Vancouver since we get it so seldom. Yeah, well, we usually DO get a couple of DAYS of snow most years .  .  .  but it's heavy, sloppy, turns to ice as soon as a person steps on it, never mind a car driving on it. I made it home through the snow mostly because I had studded tires & drove in the fresh snow when I could. I made new paths through snow so I had some traction. I drove on the median, on the gravel & between lanes of abandoned cars. And I stayed in second gear. When I could, I packed the car with extra people for traction, too. These days, I have my snow tires on, gas tank filled up, extra jacket & blanket in the car, folding shovel in the back & don't drive unless I have too. Hahahaha

I wish everything could be as simple as avoiding driving in the snow!! I've been using the same accounting software for eons. Periodically, I upgrade it just because you can't work in DOS forever. So I have multiple copies of the program since 2007, all in my software sleeve. I even have a 2014 upgrade that I just took out of the package!! To my shock & horror, someone new has bought out the company, added some spiffy new features & now RENTS in out by the month. All of my copies, including the new one, are not only redundant, they are no longer supported & I can't even register the last one so it will work. You no longer need to buy the software - that cuts out the pirates - but little businesses like me who only use a couple of the modules have to pay for the whole thing, use the old software until it stops running or find some other software to use. I am pissed. I've got half a year on for an old client & the program will no longer run!! This is partly Windows 10's fault as well!! Can't find a patch so I guess my only option is to start over on an older version . . . . .  grrrrr

I had intended to watch YouTube reruns & knit but I guess that's no longer an option. I really wanted some Goth Kitty fingerless gloves to wear!!! And, believe it or not, I'm actually turning a heel on my Hopscotch socks.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Slip Slidin Away

I've been having a Simon & Garfunkel week with everything 'slip slidin' away'. Boy, does the time fly by when you're busy!! Doesn't hurt of course when people you haven't seen in ages keep calling to go out for lunch or dinner. Maybe it's just that time of the year!!! For a very long time I've found the Christmas season a pain in the butt. Traffic jams, road blocks, more drunks & more beggars of every description. It annoys me.
Everybody talks about giving this time of year - giving to what??? Why give 'em a taste of Vegas when they live out of dumpsters the rest of the year, eh?? And why on one day, once a year anyway?? I'm not saying stop helping. Let's consider a Hand up not hand out.

I could rant all day about the housing shortage. If the local government was serious about low cost rental housing, it would be building portable modular housing everywhere & not just talking about it. And who's the idiot allowing Developers to bulldoze existing housing months & years before they're ready to pour the foundations for replacements?? If there's no housing, there won't be any workers. Think about that for a moment. Who will man that drive-thru when you want a coffee?? Who will sweep floors in the schools?? Who will help you at the Mall or bag your groceries? Never mind Food for the Poor, let them have affordable Housing & Daycare instead, they can always find work to feed themselves!! Think about it folks, most of us who rent are only 3 months away from living in a tent in the park.

In the meantime, life goes on. I have a roof over my head & it's usually warm but not tonight. So I bought myself some wild pink & purple hoodies & heavy grey sweats - I am the recipient of my own gifts this year!! I collected the last two boxes today!!! The cupboards are full, warm clothing is at hand & I can watch YouTube on the computer & Public TV on the tube. Now if we could only do something about all those bloody commercials.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Saturday - Six Days Later

Stevo - my favorite computer friend - came by after coffee on Friday & fished my new accounting program disc out of the inside of the computer. He just pushed down the centre lock mechanism in the floppy drive - the part I didn't - slid it all the way in & pushed the button to make it come out again. When it came out, the disc was in the drive. And he did NOT laugh at me. Apparently it happens so often, he has a special price to make a commercial office visit & fish them out. Good thing I bought his coffee .  .  .

My New Doc got her way on Monday & I agreed to try a new-to-me medication for my knee so I - hopefully - don't get seized up in Safeway again. My only hesitation in this is that I've also got to take medication to protect my stomach from the pain meds. And the cost is not thrilling me either. I've heard of this stuff - Celebrex - before but not for a long time. So I have this one month trial period. And there's time to research the stuff.

I can tell after 5 days, that this medication does NOTHING for my pain. I'm not as stiff as I would be with all this cold, wet fog blanketing the burbs in the Lower Mainland but everything, including my fingers & right hip, burns. I think the best combo was the one Tylenol Arthritis & one 200mg Ibuprofen together. A nurse at Peach Arch Hospital told me to do that because it seems the combination works better than doubling either med on it's own. And most of the time, I only take it before bed & in the morning. And it's cheap too. But, I've only taken one course of Celebrex & now I'm off for a week before starting the next course. Research tells me it has to accumulate in my body to help. More research from individuals who've taken it say that when it works, it's a miracle that usually works right away. The others claim it ranged from doing nothing to a rash &  agitation to heart palpitations & trouble breathing. So far nothing has happened.

On the Knitting Front - Hopscotch socks haven't progressed much since my fingers are sore & I've been doing a lot of data entry. I do have plans to make myself a big, snuggly touque & some new wrist warmers. I do like the wrist warmers the best because they fill that gap between your jacket & hand where the cold air hits in the car. I don't like to drive with gloves at all but I can wear the wristers all day long & do find they help keep my hands warmer.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Monday turned into a mad day. I did not want to get up in the morning but got myself up anyway after another night of tossing & turning. I swear it's that  huge gibbous moon glowering into my bedroom that's causing problems!!! Have you seen it out there around 4 AM these days??? Got myself down to my new semi monthly appointment to find my knee x-rays had arrived. Gee, no one's talking about my cardiogram or cholesterol any more!!! My torn meniscus has turned into degenerating osteo-arthritis so my next appointment is to be with the Bone Guy. Whoopee. And my sore hands?? - the Doc is yakking up carpal tunnel but I'm holding out for arthritis since most of my thumb & first two finger joints are involved & there's no numbness or tingling at all unless I play video games all night. When she asked what I'm taking for pain & inflammation, I told her I preferred Baileys & tea, she decided I need prescription pain meds. I actually asked the Pharmacist if the Doc owns shares in the place.

Managed to drop off a Jade plant cutting at the Doctor's office. The poor thing & it's sister were still outside in their yellow pots so I took one with me to the appointment. I think I'll be dropping off some magazines next!! Jades are great plants for offices. No one has to remember to water them regularly & they quite nicely live a long time in the same pot in varying types of light when the office is closed.

Three of my little business guys actually dropped stuff off for year ends too. I haven't seen two of them for months & suddenly, here they are with paperwork in hand. Wow. I guess I know what I'll be doing for Christmas!!! One actually brought a bottle of my favorite libation for my tea!! Guess I'll do HIS stuff first!!

I was a real twit today. I bought the latest updated Accounting program last year & decided to finally install the silly thing. My new computer has one of those thin, floppy DVD drives in which you have to carefully install your disc before closing the door. Well, I was in a hurry, slipped in the disc, did not press it down & pushed the door. The disc slid into the slot just as neat as you please while sending the sliding reader/writer drawer BACK out. Great.

Knitting Stuff - since the sun is shining & the sky is blue, I'm off to Starbucks with my latest sock - in Hopscotch - in hand & my Creative device loaded with audio-books. I don't care who needs what today, they aren't getting it till after dark!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Tomorrow I'm off to the next semi-monthly appointment with the new Doctor. I wonder what she'll want to talk about this time???? Maybe it will be my knee xrays - yesterday I would've killed to be taken away horizontally from Safeway when it painfully stopped working mid step in the Dairy department on the far side of the store. I could only limp & slide a few inches at a time, leaning on that damn cart & feeling like I was going to puke. I made it out of the store with what I had in the basket, got home - easier to drive than walk - & fell into bed with everything left in the car in the drive. I did take my shoes off but not my jacket!! Later, I did feel so much better I managed to unload what was in the car. Story of my life, these days.

I've been trying to find some really thick & cozy sweats not only for me but for the Ex - I'm living on cement & he on cement tiles. Walmart used to have several brands but now only sells those cheap, thin ones made in China. The fabric is about half the thickness I want & it pills really fast. Everywhere I've looked has cheap fabric! I want fleece to keep us WARM. I found a wholesaler on-line that has 'Fruit of the Loom' sweats in 4 weights!! The waist bands are sewn on THREE times & sizing goes from XP to 5X!! And there's kid's sizes too. Last week I got two pairs of pants in less than 10 days. They're so perfect for the Ex, I can't wait to give them to him. Nice & thick, well finished & just in time to stuff into his Christmas bag. Now to get some for ME.

Goth Kitty
I also fell down the yarn hole .  .  .  I got my order from Knit Picks, sigh. They have such great colors & I don't have to look for parking .  .  .  .  I got a couple of great buttons, one in a leaf shape & one in a toggle. But the real thing that caught my eye was the fingering weight sock yarns in Hopscotch - a happy mixture of pink, blue, pale yellow, purple, orange & white which I had to cast on immediately!!! And the ultimate - Goth Kitty - a sullen mix of pinks, plums & greys. What I thought was black is actually plum.


I also fell for a number of the other sock yarns on sale, most notably Lakeshore, a delicious blend of blues, white & grey. It will knit thicker socks than the fingering but I was thinking of larger needles & an asymmetrical shoulder covering instead .  .  .

Friday, November 24, 2017

It's amazing what a week will do. I'm still a little afraid of the Orange puffer but I think I've got the Blue one down perfectly! And I feel a lot better. I can breathe again without coughing. I can even take several DEEP breaths without coughing & best of all, I can lay down to sleep without coughing. No more getting back up & sitting on the side of the bed until I stopped, either. My ribs & shoulders are still sore but the rest feels a whole lot better!!

Back to the new doc again today to talk about my X-rays & how I feel. Both of us are happy with how I feel but I have to stay on the puffers for another month. Sometimes you just don't understand HOW BAD you are until you feel better!! The poor woman didn't get to talk about my cardiogram or cholesterol but asked about my walking instead. Are you kidding??? I told her I could walk about 2000 steps on a good day before my knee became unstable. So she promptly sent me back for knee X-rays. And I have another appointment in 10 days.
And I was feeling good enough to get my flu shot today - the new pharmacist was so good I never even felt it!! But, no Barbie bandaids dammit.

Knitting Content

Finished the second scrappy blue sock last night - well, I still have to tuck in ends but otherwise, it is DONE. I've been asked for some wrist warmers so they're next on the needles. I fell down the sock yarn hole & ordered a few balls of sock yarn for ME from Knit Picks called Goth Kitty. It's Hot Pink, Grey & Black - soooo me!!! I loved it on sight & had to have it. Bad Sharon. And I made sure I have enough for some wrist warmers for me as well. I intend to cast them on the moment the yarn arrives!!
The Giant Shawl/Blanket for my niece is finished but for the tucking in of all those ends. Not looking forward to that job.
I ordered yarn for three shawl/scarves for elderly  old friends last spring - they were to be Summer Knitting but didn't get done. Hopefully, I'll be able to do the most important one before the Big Day.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another Day at the Doctor

I finally found a new Family Doctor - mine retired after 46 years as my doc - & I've been going thru all the tests the new doc wants - what a pain in the ass. I also have to admit I haven't really BEEN to the old doctor much in my lifetime except when I got really sick or needed stitching up. It was more convenient to hit the nearest clinic after I dislocated my wrist & tore the meniscus in my knee than wait 3 hours in my doctor's waiting room.

My new doctor will only talk about 2 things per appointment no matter what which is also a pain & she always looks a bit frazzled by the time our appointment is over. That's what she gets for ordering a massive amount of tests. Friday, at our last semi-monthly meeting, I told her NO, we aren't discussing my cardiogram & cholesterol levels today - her plans, we're discussing my constant cough & the fact that I strained my neck, pinched a nerve & couldn't raise my right arm above my hip while struggling to birth an alien from my lungs last weekend. My ribs, shoulders & back  are all sore from coughing. By the time I dress, shower & run to the garbage bin in the mornings, I could cheerfully crawl back into bed. Then I started to cough. I was tight as a drum.

So she listened to my lungs. And tapped my back. And ordered chest xrays. Oh Gawd, what now?? She told me I sounded like I have pneumonia. And from the sounds of my symptoms, I'd probably been walking around with pneumonia since the the summer. Figures. Next thing I knew, I was armed with two puffers & another appointment to talk about my cardiogram & cholesterol. That woman just won't give up.


Nada. Nothing. I've got FLC(feeling like crap) soooo bad that I just wanna stay under the warm covers until I have to pee. Or cough.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Leaves are Falling Everywhere

I'm not much of a coffee drinker even though I used to meet my buddies at Starbucks almost every day - I did like several of their tea blends & I could knit like mad while I sat there. Most of my coffee buddies laughed because my coffee maker had never had anything but tea in it's basket. I still do love a coffee once in a while so I always go OUT for mine. I have a couple of spots to sit outside - even in my car with the windows down - this time of year when the trees are turning color & the little birds are flocking together in the tops. It's sweater weather with piles of multi-colored leaves on the ground to roll in but still plenty left in the trees to brighten up the days. I love warm summer days & fresh berries but crisp fall days with colored leaves everywhere are still my favorite times of the year. I think of new apples, bales of sweet alfalfa hay & Brussels Sprouts after the first kiss of frost. Wool weather. For Sure.

Yesterday I brought in the Christmas/Easter cactus, the Jade plant & two little Jade cuttings. Oooops, yes, I know, it has been cold but they were tucked under the patio table against the interior wall & haven't been watered in two or more weeks so they could take a little cold!! And just look at what the cactus did overnight. It's actually TWO cacti, one with smooth segments & the other with 'hooked' segments & they're named for the season in which they normally bloom. Well, guess what, mine bloom any time they please & usually at the same time!! They like to set buds when they get nice long nights & equal days - & always after a summer outside. I figure this one liked it's stay outside again this year. PS - Since the camera is still lost, you're getting a shot of a previous blooming, just in case you wondered.

The camera is still lost although I'm sure it will be found soon - I'm in the process of recycling all the plastic pencil/paper/file/disc holders I have that I don't use & shredding all paperwork over 10 years old. Good Gawd, is that a bag in the bottom of the closet with a fleece in it???? Once you get started, you just can't stop .   .   .   .  

Sunday, November 05, 2017

November Already

I can't believe it's November 05 already!! If it weren't for the firecrackers & the unseasonable cold - that is for US on the Wet Coast & even more unseasonable SNOW, I wouldn't believe it. Today dawned cool, crisp & blue skied. 
The perfect day to wear a Cowichan sweater!! And I have three fleece jackets .  .  .  .   Yup, good thing my car has a good, fast heater. My aging internal 'Granny Thermometer' won't let me sit outside with my buddy & his pooch at Starbucks in this weather anymore because I can't stay warm enough. I don't feel too bad because the pooch doesn't want to sit outside either.

Every year my landlord & I have this unacknowledged contest about who will holler "uncle" first & crank on the furnace. Yesterday I woke from an afternoon nap to a warm bedroom - I was gonna give up & get him to turn it on yesterday too. I think the furnace has been running more or less steadily since then. It will be so nice to shower in a warm room again!!

With all this cold air about, I've been seriously rethinking my wardrobe lately. I no longer need dress clothing. Or dress shoes. In the summer I live in shorts & tee shirts except for two pairs of long, floral pants that go with most of my tees. I even have a pair of jeans hanging in the closet. In the winter I've been wearing men's sweat pants - they come with pockets!!!!!! & keep me warmer, my tee shirts & a sweater at home or fleece jacket when I go out. 
As a result, I'm thinking of chucking all the pants that have no pockets, a couple of dress shirts I don't wear anymore & going back to fleece all the time for winter. Or at least fleece pants with long sleeve shirts & a vest - with pockets. In my part of the world, it's not always safe to carry a purse - especially if you're old. I like my keys in my right pocket so I can press the emergency button or lock my car fast. I'd like my phone in the opposite pocket & my thin wallet zipped into my vest/jacket pocket. That way I can carry my cane in the winter & a knitting bag too. And no one would try to steal my knitting bag - it has Knitting Chickens on it.

On the Knitting Scene - the Blue Scrappy Socks remain out in the car for waiting time knitting - next week I have two appointments with the Ex so they might get finished. The Purple & Pink socks are next to my TV watching chair where I've been ripping out one of the sweaters I started for myself. I tried something different, it didn't work & the thing wound up being 6 inches too big in the bust. So I'm ripping it back to the part where I screwed it up & will do what I should've done in the first place. The woolly blanket/shawl is HUGE & just about finished. Although I'd like to see it with fringe, I'm not sure how much yarn/time/effort would be involved or if it would be worth it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Updating . . .

I do a lot of thinking while laying in bed in that drowsy, warm state between 'Do I really want to get up for a pee' & 'Dammit, I have to get up for a pee'. I think about laundry & how good sheets used to smell after blowing in the wind all afternoon. And I think about where Stevo put my camera when he tore my office apart to redesign my computer system. Last night or should I say this morning, I was wide awake at 3:28 wondering if I should get up & go for breakfast somewhere or just suck it up & try for another couple of hours. I really didn't want to get out of my warm nest but my stomach was complaining about going to bed without dinner again. It's been complaining a lot lately because I've been feeding it another strain of antibiotic that it doesn't like. I suspect I could force down one more cycle of the stuff before my gut really kicked the crap out of me but the last 10 days weren't easy. For me, the only way to deal with the side effects is to stop eating. And don't get all out of shape, you can swallow a huge amount of calories through a straw! I did drink a lot of milky tea, a couple of mochas, miso soup, oatmeal & noodles in chicken broth. Just nothing bulky. The pills are all gone - you'd think the stomach would shut up but it still complains.

Until I find my camera, there won't be any pictures of anything even though I'm happily knitting my way through a Purple Scrappy sock. Well, purple & pinks. I bought some Neon sock yarn from Knit Picks & thought it would be great to brighten up some of the antique OPAL I found in the stash. Looks like something out of the 60s, the kind where the pattern moves when you stare at it too long. But it's dark so I thought a little neon pink would do the trick .  .  .  .
The Big Triangle blanket is just about finished. I think there's a couple of balls of something or other left in the bag & several balls of the dark brown eyelash yarn - don't know if I'll use the eyelash on an edge although the stuff feels really good elsewhere in the triangle but it's a bit thin. Not sure what I'll do around the outside to finish it off yet although I left a loop at the beginning of each row, just in case. I was thinking about fringe at the time.
Sorted through all the sweater starts for Moi & have decided to finish the one that's closest to being finished - in the end, they're all the same - top down, raglan sleeves, V-neck, I'm so dull!! well, except for the colors, that is. And in the end, I just want a simple, warm, woolly garment to throw on to run  limp to & from the car.

And that's about it. I guess I'm wide awake now so I might as well work on the first chapter of my new University of Alberta Paleontology course - Ancient Marine Reptiles. This is another in the series presented through Coursera & follows Dino 101, Paleotology:Theropod Dinosaurs & the Origin of Birds & Paleontology: Early Vertebrate Evolution. Gotta keep the 'Little Grey Cells' working!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

This One's for You, Lynne

 Last night the Wednesday Nite Nitting gals met in a new spot once again in the Clayton(188 & Fraser Hwy)Tim Hortons. We should be known as the Traveling Knitters since we move every once in a while when things get too crowded, hours of operation change or owners change - I think we've moved 7 times in the last 20 years!! And every once in a while, we get old members or out-of-towners dropping by to knit & chat. Sometimes, we get REAL Oldies like Lynne, from the back of beyond, who we normally see only at fibery events!! First thing she says is - "update your damn blog!" Yessim, I can do that. So here's yer damn update, Lynn.

I know, I know. I haven't said anything since August!! Well, dammit, I was suffering from FLC & had nothing to say. And what's FLC, you ask??? Feeling Like Crap. Everything aches, you're stiff & sore, brain is fuzzy, the old gut rumbles & talks back, can't read, can't knit, can't spin, don't want to talk to anyone so you go back to bed instead. Not sure what it is or where it came from but some guy on Public TV claims he has the diet to cure it in 21 days!! Yeah. Sure. Time to get over it!!!

So what did I do on MY Summer Holidays???

Why, nothing, dammit. Nada. I'm so bloody dull!! Can we count the times I ran the Ex to the eye specialists??? How 'bout Little Ron's trip to the ER??? Didn't even drive to Hope & dip my gold pan in the river this year. And I doubt I've been more than 30 miles away from home either.

I had so many plans for Retirement. I was going to sleep in, stay up late, drink more wine, take classes & spend more time sitting on the patio spinning. And what have I done??  I took on three new bookkeeping customers & worked all summer. That's what.

Oh, I did knit a bit - finished three more pairs of socks, just about ready to do the toe decreases on another pair & put another few inches on the blanket/shawl I've been working on for my niece. I also dug out the 5, yes FIVE, sweaters I have started for myself & contemplated finishing ONE for this winter ASAP. I'll post pictures when the sky clears & you can actually SEE the colors.

Then I blew up my computer & got a new one built while we cleaned out a whole lot of garbage from my office. I think I had 5 boxes of extra electronic parts & two old computers in there as well as two boxes of records from a client who died 10 years ago. My new computer has a solid state main drive - NO MOVING PARTS!! It's so quiet I have to check to see if it's still ON. I have 4 TERRABYTES of storage space for new Audio Books! I figure if I'm gonna keep on working in my office I might as well have good tools.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Suzie Has Left the Building

Kroy stripes
Suzie has gone to a new home & to someone who loves her. Remember Suzie??? She's, or rather was, the very expensive, imported spinner I bought & barely used since I wrecked my right knee. I have one more empty place in my livingroom!! I am slowly getting rid of stuff & looking less like a Hoarder all the time. Two of my wine crates have been spoken for & the extra chair in the kitchen can go outside. Who knows??? Maybe I'll excavate that couch one of these days!! If I do, I think I'll cover it's seats with one more layer of foam & a new cover & use it instead of piling bags of fiber on it. Just a thought.

The blanket in the bag continues. I'm enjoying the mindless garter stitch while I watch tv. I think we all need a good mindless project once in a while just because. I know my niece & the pooches will love it when it gets cold outside & that's all that matters.

Socks have once more taken over my life. Everyone I know likes a pair of wild, scrappy socks - especially the 20 & 30 somethings. I thought I'd be smart this year & get a few pairs into the 'sock basket' in advance for a change. Usually I'm knitting touques for charity but I'm down to a lot of And I'm sooooooo tired of touques.
really funky acrylic that makes my finger tips sore!! I'm thinking about donating it myself or maybe crocheting a colorful blanket or two for the animal shelter. Lost pets need comfort too!!

The sock at the top is a new-to-me Kroy colorway. I really like the colors so it's going into MY sock box for the winter season. I meant to knit a bunch of shortie socks this summer but it got so hot I decided NOT to wear socks at all. So I made a couple of pairs of diabetic socks & started back into the regular length socks for the Fall. And, while rooting around looking for the rest of the sock scraps, I found at least 4 sweaters that I've started for myself in the basket by the TV chair. Yeah, I know, I know.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ice Cream & Cold Water Days

BJ Fluff
It's been lovely since my new-to-me fridge arrived. I'd forgotten how nice ice water could be. Although I haven't found my expensive Tupperware ice cube trays yet, I have that big jug of water in the fridge. Vancouver still has the best tasting city water fresh from the tap!! Mix that up with Magnum Ice Cream bars &  you have Heat Wave Heaven. I've not enjoyed either one in a very long time. My little fridge just didn't have the room for luxuries.

The new fridge came with door shelves wide enough to put 4 litre jugs of milk in them!! And 6 bins for fruits, veggies, meats, cheese & other things. I'm spoiled for choice!! People talk about living off the grid but I'm not ready to give up running water, a big fridge & electricity just yet.

Since I never did go back to spinning for the Tour de Fleece after my rather disastrous beginning, I have managed to knit every day on my blanket. Except for the day I decided to wind off all the yarn I spun up LAST year on the Suzie Pro. Her extra bobbins were all FULL. And I filled all four bobbins last year with NEON Pink & Green for the Steven West Shawl that caught my eye. But, I never wound it off. I got involved with other projects & ended up just looking at it for a year. Time just goes so fast these days! So, I finally wound it all off in one evening. And ended up giving myself a wrist strain from using the niddy-noddy for so long!!

Suzie & I don't really like each other even though I've tried to love her. I suppose it was a bad match from the beginning even though I fell in love at first sight. I worked very hard at getting along with her snippy little attitudes & fast ways, to no avail. She doesn't like my under-twisted singles yarn & I don't like her galloping, tightly placed treadles. She's
too heavy to haul anywhere comfortably with my arthritic hands, scratches easily for all she's supposed to be hardwood & isn't comfortable to spin on since I wrecked my knee - the treadles are too close. And I've never liked her small bobbins!! I thought we could work it all out with some time but  .  .  .  .  She's just too modern for me, so I'm selling her on to a new home. I still love my Old Indian, the best. He's the one I always took traveling even though he has a couple of scratches, a chip out of his orifice, water stained feet & glue inside one big bobbin - my fault - he still spins silk thread to bulky yarn comfortably without complaining.

Blue Jeans
I love my handspun yarn in skeins. I often hang up the ones that I really love as ART, like Blue Jeans, a mixed fluff skein that appalled me when I first opened the bag it came in. Some of the fibre looked like dirty dryer fluff!! But I spun it up anyway & loved the result so much I ordered another bag!!!  It's soooooo soft & scrunchy I don't even want to use it for anything. I just want to pet it. What a change spinning made to that awful bag of stuff.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Lazy Days

It's been a while since I had anything to say on this blog. It seems I've become a dull person. My 86 year old client - I've done his small business bookkeeping for 30 years now - called me this morning to tell me he just survived his latest birthday & the physical to keep his driving license. His doctor said he doesn't need to come back for 5 years since he's in such good shape. Ralph still leads an interesting life & works bidding BIG construction jobs. He WALKS the entire site, estimates board feet of standing timber(trees) & general costs to dig, haul & clear. And he still rents out two ROCK Trucks to Really Big Projects. Any time my old crapper cars die, Ralph finds me a better one.

I've been inundated with paperwork. I think I'm being punished for being so lazy for several years before I 'retired'. If I could've had half the work I've been doing since I 'retired', I'd have been much happier. But better late than never, I suppose.

The latest car socks are finally finished. They sat in the car for so long, I never thought they would get finished but I snuck out a couple of times, found a shady spot at the Starbucks closest to home & knit while snarking back a super BIG Passion Tea Lemonade.Tall, Icy & Pink. My favorite. I'm thinking I should knit some short scrappy summer socks for a change since I've got lots of winter socks in the bin.

I have been working away at the Tote Bag Blanket when it's not too warm to have it in my lap!! I'd like to have it finished by September but it's really hard to sit sweating under a pile of wool in a heat wave. Maybe it's the one I should take with me to Starbucks when I knit in the shade!!!
I decided to knit for the Tour de Fleece this year instead of spinning after getting a rough start. I spun for the first couple of days & was doing rather well - even if I do say so myself.  While communing with my machine, the thread broke & buried itself - somewhere.
I tried tape - tape should catch the end when you run it over the bobbin. Nope.
I tried fingernails - run fingernails lightly over bobbin & an end should pop up. Nope.
I rubbed, I picked, I pulled, I cut. In the end, I broke/pulled/cut half of what I spun off the bobbin without finding an end. Until I made about 50 of them, that is. I cut it all off & went back to knitting.  Sorry, no picture was taken of the destruction.
I suppose this is equivalent to crashing my bike, falling off & breaking a leg while pulling away from START.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Full Sized Fridge

Tomorrow I get a new fridge. Several years ago my second hand fridge went 'kapuzt' in the middle of the night. Yeah, left me with a frozen freezer side, a warm fridge side & a puddle out front. I was clumping along on crutches at the time, barely able to get off the throne by myself & the fridge dies. Good thing I had an almost empty beer fridge!! It took me a year to finish cleaning out that fridge since my knee didn't want to bend to get into it. And then it took me another two years before I had enough money to live on, so I made do with the small fridge. You just go shopping more often & buy smaller sizes like the Europeans do. That's all. But, on Saturday, the old crapper is being hauled away & a lovely white fridge is being dropped in it's place!! It will be so nice to buy a large jug of milk again & fill up the veggie containers with chopped veggies, ready to go. I have to find the ice cube trays for cold drinks once more. It's amazing how exciting it is to get a full size fridge again. Woopie - where are the magnets????

No socks were completed in the last couple of weeks although I'm gartering my way through a big tote bag of expensive wooly sample yarn mostly in tan, beige, brown & rust. It could've been a display or two because I have several balls of the same yarn in a variety of colors. Or several little balls of European Eyelash yarn. There's enough yarn to make a child's stripey sweater but it's not machine washable. It's too thick for socks or lace shawls. I don't think it would work well for mittens but might for scarves. I was going to knit a heavy shawl but decided it would work best as a comfy blanket knitted on 5.5mm needles that a woman & two little dogs could cuddle up under on cold winter evenings after the farm animals are put to bed.

I'm also working on a new 'house sweater' for me!! Yeah, I decided to use my "Need a Plus Cardigan" from Cabin Fever, pattern book & just knit a simple, top down, garter sweater. It works up fast in garter stitch & I'm just about ready to check the length before taking off the stitches for the arms.  I fell for this colorway when I saw it but didn't want to buy a lot since it's 100% acrylic. I wish I had bought more since it feels a little crispy like linen & washes well. And boy, do I love that color!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Banging on the Keys

Time sure speeds along when you're busy!! Suddenly it's the weekend & I have nothing much to report - as usual.
I haven't finished the socks-in-progress  - they spend most of their time out in the hot car as 'Car Knitting' & I haven't been waiting in the car lately so they still aren't finished.  The yarn for the Dragon Cowl is sitting on my desk, next to the keyboard, so it won't get forgotten!!
Beachcomber Shawl
I've fallen in love with the Shawl on the front of the latest Knit Picks advertisement. It's made out of bright, summery, cotton. Crafter Cotton. You know the stuff - we all knit & crochet those big dish/wash cloths. Someone has made a summer shawl out of the stuff. I mean, how appropriate. Throw it on over a swim suit, snuggle under it on the patio, throw it over your shoulders when out in a sun dress, toss it into the wash with your shorts & undies. I think it's one of the most appealing items I've seen lately. And I'm not even a shawl person!!! I think even the cat would love this one though.

Meanwhile, back at the Office, I've been working on sorting & adding up paperwork for another small disaster so I can file 6 years worth of taxes for a guy with a truck. I do this a lot. Small bookkeepers like me get the stuff the big Accounting offices don't want or won't do. Oh, they'll take your stuff but they'll 'get to it ' when they can .   .   .   maybe. Mostly they contract it out. Or look at it when CRA sends the final notice. As long as I'm not rushed, I don't mind a whole lot. After all, I can work all night if I want, in my pajamas if I want & listen to the latest British detective audiobook. Last night, I ate dinner at midnight & worked until almost 5 this morning. It was quiet & peaceful until the damned crows started cawing. Last night I listened to The Chessmen. It's the third book in The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May. Former Detective Fin McLeod grew up on Harris where the weather is harsh & the religion even harsher. He's now divorced, become the head of security for a private estate on the Isle & ends up investigating murders peculiar to the ingrown community. An excellent series that I highly recommend.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Livin's Easy

I like long warm days & cold nights. And the only way to get cold nights nowadays is to tinker with the vertical strip fan & convince it to blow directly on the bed. It's not hot enough to appreciate 'oscillate' yet but a soft direct blow is wonderful all the same. Since my basement & all it's windows face west, it can get mighty hot in here in the afternoon between 3:30 & 7:00 when the sun blasts directly in. When I can, I nap during those hours.

I also like long warm days for the plants & flowers. I love hanging baskets. And while Petunias seem to be the flower of THIS summer, I love the big baskets with anything & everything stuffed into them. I love waterfalls of Alyssum & Creeping Jenny pouring out from Geraniums, Coleus & Pansies. The City Mothers order huge hanging baskets hung up in public areas of Surrey & they contain every flowering plant able to exist in a pot. Someday, if I ever get a fenced & contained back yard again, I want to fill it with grasses, flowers, vines, wind chimes & spinners.

Long hot days are for drying skeins of freshly washed handspun yarn. Like all that yardage on the giant Indian bobbin. I should wind it off, splatter dye it in indigo, lime & turquoise & hang it in the patio to dry. Or macrame a triple plant hanger to decorate the corner of the patio.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wasn't that a Weekend

The May Long Weekend is over. Wow. Wasn't that a weekend???? All that lovely sunshine for a change & I didn't even get outside. I was at my desk doing a fast'n'dirty year-end GST tax return with a pencil & a calculator!! And coughing up half a lung while doing so. I've long suspected I traded one bad blood pressure medication for another a couple of years ago & when I hit allergy season this year, BINGO, the cough became constant. It was so bad last week that I couldn't breathe & went back to my puffer. It was like breathing through glue & I couldn't even walk to the garbage can without being out of breath - where's a family doctor when you need one??? eh?? Retired, gone, or working at a clinic that won't even let you in the door after lunch because they're full. And don't have an emergency because they shrug or tell you to go to Emergency. I don't want to be in Emergency with sick people on a long weekend!! Gah.
Dragon Cowl

So I stopped taking the blood pressure meds. It's taken two days but I can breathe again & I'm not coughing neither. Another $150 worth of medication in the drawer that I can't take. Whoopie. Guess I'll try the clinic again on a Thursday morning & see if I can get in.

In the meantime, not much yarny or fibery stuff is getting done!! Although my niece has Okayed the Pond Scum green fingering I bought, I'm not sure I want to make the lacy little cover-up for her. She's never been a girly-girl. She'd much rather be in the barn hunting for eggs than dressing for dinner. And lately, she's taken to farming like she'd been borne to it. Her hives are producing so much honey that she's selling it for some astronomical price & her free range eggs sell for $5 a dozen!! She's eyeballing herbs next. In 3+ years, she can take early retirement & be a full time farmer which she's seriously considering. I see no use for a lacy cover-up in her future unless she wears it over her overalls. But, she does love Dragons. So I found a dragonish Cowl that might look interesting in Pond Scum. At least she could wear it while hunting for those free range eggs.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

May Surprises

It's been a while since I last looked at the old Blog. What a bad blogger I am!! Actually, my life isn't that interesting these days other than to say it looks like I'm back in the paper-shuffling business more or less full time once more. I know how it all started - I was broke & on the edge of shifting my yarn to a cardboard tent in the park!! but I never intended to go back to working full time - just enough to pay the rent. But, that was then & this is now .  .  .  .  time to get really organized again since not only am I working full time but I've signed up for another Paleontology course at the University of Alberta. Ooops.

One of my greatest wishes through most of my working adult years was to go back to Uni full time. For someone who hated high school & dropped out as soon as she could, college was a revelation. Was I a poor learner?? Low marks?? Quite the opposite. I found high school boring & hated being held back to the speed of the slowest learner. College freed me. I could work as fast as I wanted & was constantly challenged. So, when courses became too expensive, I consoled myself with knowing I could take them all for FREE when I hit 65. I intended to be a full time Student!! The problem is that by the time I hit 65, I was working full time & the fibre bug got me. I still love Paleontology but my dreams are filled with yarn .   .   .   .

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Another Birthday

Today is my birthday. On Easter Sunday, too. I don't remember ever having a birthday on Easter Sunday. I remember having a birthday on the Saturday between Good Friday & Easter Sunday - it snowed that year - but never on the Sunday. And it isn't even raining on my birthday, wow, after all the rain we've had this year, this is a miracle!!

I thought I'd spend my time quietly, knitting on a pair of Purple Opal socks. Yeah, they're just for me. I always thought this ball of Opal was kind of plain which is why it sat for years in the 'yarn for me' basket on the shelf. It's purple & that should say it all, but I've always jumped on the brighter yarns, the wilder yarns or the neons first thinking Yeah, this is Purple but just ordinary purple, small-p purple. If you know what I mean. But it's been glaring at me from behind the bars of the basket on the yarn shelf. Somehow it worked it's way to the front of the basket & has been giving me the Stink Eye for a couple of weeks now. So Friday night, I sat down in front of the Tube & cast on 73 stitches for the first sock in purple Opal.

Mmmmm I'd forgotten how nice Opal yarn is. It's quite sproingy without being too soft. 
Soft yarn does NOT a good sock make!! But you don't want nasty rough yarn, neither.
This yarn is nice in the hands, easy to work with & loose baby, without being sloppy. And the color's on the pinky-purple end of the rainbow. Just nice yarn. And. Well, look at that. The splotchy yarn makes a pattern!! I'm ending up with bands of large splotches with bands of fine splotches. Mmmmm - I wonder how it will look with hot pink toes??

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Little Pop of Color

My Cup & a fav pair of socks
Today I woke up to a brilliant blue sky. Nothing hurts today & I noticed nothing hurt yesterday either.  I have no idea what's going on or what magic pill or potion I've ingested, but I intend to make good use of the time I've got.

It's STILL tax season & I'm still trapped in the office banging on the keyboard but the kitchen sink is unstuck once more. Hallelujah. I thought that Drano Gel would never work. But, I kept pouring hot water down there & things began to budge. It's just about time to push the mini washer over there & wash a load of whites in hot water. That should blow it completely away!!!

The other night I just HAD to start something new. I bought - some Knit Picks acrylic - a while back. I know, I know, after all the bad things I say about acrylic .   .   .   but there are some out there that are pretty darned nice. And I took a chance with this stuff. It said it was worsted weight - looks like sport to me in the ball - but it knits up into a nice 6x6 swatch on 4 mm needles to a worsted gauge!!!

It feels good. I love the colors.  But it DOES work out to a worsted gauge - 18 stitches to 4". Wow. Looks can deceive. I've abused that swatch for several months & it looks just as crisp & nice as it did on the day I knit it up. So I dug out the Cabin Fever "Plus Cardigan"book & cast on for a Top Down, V-neck Tee with garter neck & shoulders. I might carry garter down a bit lower but no further than the end of the V. The Plan is to just cap the shoulders with the garter & then change to stockinet. The yarn was cheap, clearance cheap, which is too bad because I do love it so far. Isn't that always the way???? One great thing about this yarn is the color. Lovely color for a grey day .   .   .

Since the morning was so bright & nice, I managed to snag a good shot outside on my dirty patio table. It's funny how delicious, bright, crazy colors knit up so much faster than ordinary color-ways. And this one's going fast & easy. Maybe it's because it FEELS so good as it's being knitted too. I'm just about down to the bottom of the V at which point I'm thinking about closing the front & changing to stockinet for the rest of the sweater.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

My Exciting Life

My Desk Once More

I'm supposed to be purging items from my basement apartment. After 17 years in residence, I have it stuffed to the gills with books, yarn, fleeces & well, stuff. Not all of it's MY fault but most of it is. The place was empty when I moved in.

Today I tossed the George Forman grill. Why?? Because I couldn't keep the damn thing clean after the first couple of years & trying to degrease it this time completely clogged up the sink drain. That's why. These indoor grills are wonderful until they aren't anymore. When the BoyToy lived next door, we grilled almost every night. Salad & meat made a quick & easy dinner, especially in the summer & we wore out the first grill. This one got plenty of use too. I loved the removable plates but it got increasingly harder to clean as things began to stick all the time. This time around, I grilled lamb. And forgot to wipe, soak & scrub the plates right away. After soaking, scrubbing & degreasing this time, I realized the grill plates were peeling & I'd never get it clean. So, out it goes. I'd rather spend my time with a sexy cast iron pan which takes up a quarter of the space, instead.

And what's on the needles??? Just finishing up the toe on the second Purple & Green Kroy 4ply Boot Sock. These took much longer than usual since they were 'Car Knitting' for ages. Since I haven't spent much time waiting in the car lately, they never got finished. And now that I have orders for 3 more pairs of socks, they came in from the car to get finished. Tonight is the Season Premiere of two favorite series on Public TV, so the toe will get finished & a new sock partially knit while I enjoy the Midwives & Homefires - a series about small town British women surviving during WWII. A real exciting evening at home!! But, it's Tax Season once more & most of my time is spent banging on the keyboard because everyone wants their project done NOW. Wooopiee

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lunch on My Own

I had to get OUT today & decided to escape the old keyboard & head for my favorite Greasy Spoon, the cafe in the Industrial Park. It was great!! Just a sprinkling of rain, hardly anyone on the road - at 12:48???? - and a parking spot right in front! No one was there but me so I got to sit & read yesterday & today's papers in peace & quiet. They made me my favorite hot chicken wrap - just chicken & swiss cheese - with a huge bowl of Chicken with Broccoli, Veggies & Mushrooms soup. I swear the soup was the best I've had in ages - so good that they sent me home with a bucket of leftovers. They told me it was three kinds of leftovers combined. All I know is it was damn good & I got the leftovers!! I love it when you go out for lunch & get supper included. hahaha

Tax Season is off with a bang. I've been chained to the keyboard all week doing payroll, employee remittances & T4s for three little companies as well as the year end data entry. Busy, busy, busy. I thought I'd trained all these people to give me their stuff every three months but it looks like they held out on me. Bah. Men are so hard to train in paper management!!! But, you know, when it's all said & done, it keeps you alive & ticking. There's more to life than yarn, socks & spinning, I've been told.

When I'm not banging on the keyboard, I've been working on some new socks in preparation for next winter. Just about finished sock #1 in one of the green/purple Kroy colorways I got for my last birthday. I have to remember to take a photo when it's light so I can post it.

I have another project in mind - I know, I know, I should finish one of the UFO cardigan
projects I have laying about but Spring is coming & I want something lighter to wear. I'd really like a couple of Tee Shirts in the cotton/acrylic blend which I bought on sale quite a while back. After spending years looking for the right pattern, I've come to the conclusion that the sweater pattern I already have will work as nicely for a V-neck Tee as it does for a cardigan or pullover. And I know it fits.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Good Grief - it's been a while since I wrote anything on the old blog. It's amazing how a
Scrappy Summer Socks
constant cycle of grey days or snow storms make every day seem the same. It's not that I haven't accomplished anything in the last month or so, but nothing's been interesting enough to report to anyone. Luckily for we, who live in the Canadian Riviera, the snow season appears to have come to an end. Finally. Snow is not usually in the forecast around Vancouver & the southern end of the Fraser Valley but comes in 10 year cycles mostly, if we get any at all. About 8 years ago we had a big dump around Christmas that kept us all home for the holidays but nothing much since. Between the rain & snow & grey days, I'm mighty tired of it all.

There's not much spinning going on around here - better for me to spin outside when it warms up - but I've been working on UFOs & knitting new socks. I finished another pair of Summer Scrappy socks for myself in the light pink/blue & green pastel yarns & a pair of Manly socks with Neon Orange toes - just because!! They've been spoken for by two different people so I have to decide which one I like the best, I guess. Max, the cook, adores them & has offered 4 lunches .  .  .  .

And last night, I just couldn't stand it. I got several balls of my favorite Kroy 4 ply for my
birthday last year from my knitting pals in mostly purples & greens. They've been staring me in the eye for several months & I just couldn't stand it anymore. I find it impossible to watch TV without working on something, so I cast on for myself once more - in the ball it looked a lot like purple pansies with green leaves, but on the needles, more greens than purple. You can never tell what the colors truly are inside the ball!! But, it's so warm & thick & soft that I just don't care. I have nothing close to this colorway & I think they'll be very pretty when they're finished. There's four more balls in different purple & green colorways waiting in the basket too. As you can see, I dug out my favorite bamboo skewer needles - 2.50mm - & am working my simple sock pattern, cuff down.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Back to Normal, More or Less

It's over. Oh, there's still piles of snow melting all over the place, the alley is still partially blocked & the side street is one skinny lane between walls of snow thrown from where sidewalks have been cleared. But our drives have melted more or less & the bigger streets are  just wet. Most of the snow is gone from roof, tree & blacktop leaving piles & puddles everywhere. The gulls are hanging out at Mcdonald's again while the sparrows sit begging on tables at Starbucks once more. And today, while pushing a buggy around at Safeway, shoppers were arriving in shorts, once more. It's a normal winter in the Vancouver burbs!!

I haven't been out of my house since the last series of snow storms started over a week ago. I decided I had enough dry & frozen stuff stored to keep me eating for another 6 months at least, so I stayed home, pounded on the computer & watched TV in my jammies. There are compensations for being Retired, after all. I'm so glad I didn't have to spend hours trying to get home after going out in the mess for I remember horrific commutes across town only to find the bridge closed - we only had TWO then. I could almost SEE my house on the other side but couldn't GET there.

Crab Cactus Blooming
So what did I do while 'snowed in'?? I found 'Jigsaw Planet' online & worked at least one a day!! I finished one pair of scrappy socks & started another. I made soup & Chow Mein. I took afternoon naps & watched middle-of-the-night TV. I read & listened to the whole 'Harry Bosch' series by Michael Connelly & 'Kate Shugak' series by Dana Stabenow. And I worked on Payroll books, WCB & end of the year data entry. It is almost time to file those taxes again & CRA will start accepting them on Feb 20. Just about the time I started longing for a Mcdonald's coffee with two milks, the rain came & washed at least half of the snow away!! Just in time. I was OUT yesterday, coffee in hand both BEFORE & AFTER visiting the grocery store. And last night for supper I had buttered fresh Sourdough bread, papaya cubes, chicken fingers & a big glass of milk. Tomorrow, I'll have Wild Baby Greens & chicken with Fig Balsamic dressing & two kinds of seedless grapes .  .  .