Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas roundup

Time does fly when you're having fun ! Today I'm catching my breath after the busyness of the last week .

This was Jessey's first Christmas so it was special for all of us. We celebrated Christmas Eve in true Austrian fashion .We had our traditional hot and cold buffet with appetizers , European sausages, cold cuts , salads and lots of desserts . Later we would go out for a walk to search for a glimpse of the Christkind who was delivering the gifts from house to house . My mother would take me out every Christmas Eve and while walking would relate the nativity story to me . I never did catch a glimpse of the Christkind despite all the my efforts . Magically when we got home the Chrustmas tree was lit up with candles and sparklers and the gifts already there , dropped by Christkind . Mysteriously my father never saw or heard a thing . This year Casey and Max went with the girls and Jessey . His first walk to search for Christkind ...

Christmas day and Boxing day were fairly quiet . Shirley invited us for dinner with turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas day. The boys are both with their in laws, so Mike and I are usually on our own . The weather was terrible with rain and freezing rain making travel treacherous so we stayed close to home on boxing day . I 'm all shopped out by then so don't mind forgoing the pleasure of the boxing day crowds . Saturday we were invited out to a friends' then on Sunday Shirley threw a surprise birthday brunch for me . It truly was a surprise; she didn't let Mike in on it as he habitually manages to spill the beans . I had been a little put out because no one had mentioned anything about plans for my birthday , which happens due to the date being 4 days after Christmas and everyone has had it with partying and presents and eating. So I was having a really nice pity party for myself till Shirley threw me for a loop . She put on quite a spread , everything was delicious and there was enough to feed an army . No photos the camera was at home. I can't thank her enough !

Now to get ready for the new year . 2008 was a year filled with joy and sorrow , thankfully more joy than the latter . This , for me, is always a time for reflection and hope , and the promise of a new beginning . So wherever you are I wish you all a very happy new year with peace , good health and hopefully enough of what you need to keep body and soul together .

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas ...

... from our house to yours . Wishing everyone peace and joy in this holiday season and the blessing of family and friends to surround you !

Monday, December 15, 2008

Catching my breath and catching up ...

... ever so slowly . The last few weeks and months have been some of the most difficult and challenging in my life . Trying to find an emotional balance and just keep going and doing what needed to be done sometimes seemed insurmountable . There's been so much joy because I had just become a grandmother offset by the terrible sorrow of seeing a woman who had become such a dear friend struggle just to keep breathing . Now is the time to move forward and remember the good days and be thankful that the bad days for Marie are over . Thank you for the kind words of condolence , it's so very much appreciated .

I spent the weekend catching up on all things Christmas . The Christmas shopping was done , the house and tree were decorated to the sound of Christmas carols playing in the background .

Best of all I was able to spend a little time with Jessey , hold him in my arms and just breathe in that wonderful baby smell . It just doesn't get better !

Monday, December 8, 2008

Into that good night ...

My dear friend Marie succumbed to her illness last Thursday evening . It was expected but sudden nonetheless . All of the hospital staff , doctors and nurses were extremely caring, making sure that she could slip gently into that good night . I was able to be with her till the end and hope that helped comfort her. She was such a remarkable person , overcoming many obstacles , always keeping a sense of humour no matter what . I know that I'm a better person for having known her and I'm thankful for that . I will miss her terribly ....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Of babies , baking and a rant ...

It seems another week has just flown by . On Saturday evening I had the opportunity to babysit my little grandson for the the first time , all by myself . Casey and Chantal left him with us so that they could go out for dinner with her family to celebrate her uncle's birthday . I had so much fun with him ! He's a very happy baby , especially when his tummy is full . I couldn't believe the appetite of the little guy and he sure lets you know when it's time for another feeding . I must have done a good job because I have him again on Friday morning . Yippee !

On Monday I went on a baking spree . I'm trying to get at least a few goodies done up before the holidays . Aside from these marzipan bars , I baked some cranberry pistachio biscotti (so good with tea ) my vanillekipferl (hazelnut cresents ) .I even managed to get some mushroom appetizers into the freezer . The house smelled just so wonderful . Now it's the battle to not eat them all up before Christmas . Mike has discovered that marzipan bars don't take long to defrost .

Knitting has been aided and abetted by all the TV news watching of the lunatics up in Ottawa . Life wasn't worrying enough with all the bad economic news worldwide , now we have to worry about the repercussions of Stephen Harper's power at any cost politics . Despite what you might think about this coalition government idea , at least the debate should be on the merits of the economic plan , which Mr. Harper seems to have completely forgotten in this frenzy of separatist , socialist taunting . He was quite willing to work with the Bloc Quebecois when it suited him and he's completely lost sight of the fact that we have a parliamentary system of democracy which includes an opposition whose job it is to essentially keep the government honest and represent all the citizens interests not just those that voted for him . He has a minority government and refuses to act as such . The issue of the funding of political parties to the tune of $1.95 per vote , despite the idea that it is unnecessary , especially in economic hard times , is actually a part of what helps us stay a democracy by having political parties funded not only by special interests . I'm a quebecois by accident of immigration and a very proud Canadian (usually ) .That's being sorely tested these days . I think that the conservative government continually focusing on the separatist issue is just making a terrible situation much worse . It's feeding into prejudices and regional differences and forgetting completely the real issue . To steal a quote "it's the economy STUPID " ! Sorry about the rant ...

Oh yeah , knitting .... Emma's socks are done !

Friday, November 28, 2008

Spinning my wheels...

... so to speak .This is the sum total of my spinning practice for this week . At this rate pigs will be flying before I get enough knitable yarn . Kinky , lumpy , uneven seems to be the order of the day . Some how I can't get my hands and mind co-ordinated . I'm having problems with the drafting , I can't seem to get an even amount of fiber to spin and how to control the tightness of the spin . I don't know if that makes sense but if anyone has suggestions and tips , please feel free .

As mentioned in the teaser last post , here 's the latest yarn acquisition . The orangey earth tones skein is Arequipa sock yarn . I'm so in love with the colour and can't wait to knit some socks with it . The green tweed is Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed. intended for this cowl .

I finished up the last odds and sods at Marie's apartment so the coast is more or less clear for Christmas knitting and baking , not to mention gift shopping . I've not yet started that and have absolutely no idea what to buy . It's all coming up so fast !

Well I'd better get my butt in gear . I'm off to do groceries and get supplies for Christmas cookie baking . Hoping to have a finished knit and some cookies to show for the week-end's efforts . Have a great weekend all !

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Monday already !

It seems to me that somebody took a few hours out of the day because I can't believe that it's already Monday . I guess that 's the story of my life lately .

Saturday was kind of a blur because I had to empty out the furniture from Marie's apartment . I was lucky to have help from friends and neighbours so the task was made so much easier . Being able to sell off some of the furniture and household items made for a lot less stuff having to be moved into storage . We're only storing her personal items, clothing and bedroom furniture which can be used when she goes into a nursing home . Whatever was left was donated to charity. Sad situation that can't be helped . On a happier note , though Marie is still in hospital she's been knitting up a storm . She's been knitting scarves for everybody and his brother , so there will be a lot of warm necks around here . She's Santa and I'm the little helper (yarn supplier ) .

Speaking of knitting there is just wee bit of that going on here as well . And I do mean wee as in wee socks for Emma . I love , love , love these socks ; I think they're just so cute, bright and happy ! What confounds me though is how , even though the stripes match up , the toes are different . How does that happen ? As you can see there's already another pair on the go . Next up will be her mom's socks . Better find a couple more hours in the day...

I did make it to the spinning class yesterday and really enjoyed it . I wish I could say I had some hand spun yarn to show you , but despite my best efforts , the bit I did manage to spin didn't pass the " I think I can show it and not be embarassed " test . Pitiful really , much more practice required . I'm not giving up , just practicing .

What's a visit to a yarn shop without some stash acquisition . I think I'll leave that for the next post ...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Socks and a movie review

I finally have a finished knit ! Christmas socks for Chantal came off the needles yesterday . Yippee!!These will be my November socks for the Sock-a -Month KAL .

I've been itching to start something new so I'm glad these are done . The pattern (Garter Rib ) is from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch . Nice easy knit , great take along knitting . The yarn is Regia Cotton Surf . Purple is Chantal's favourite colour , so this yarn was always destined to socks for her . It's been lingering in the stash for a while . Next up - toddler socks for BF Shirley's granddaughter , Emma .

I signed up for a 3 hour drop spindle class at Ariadne Knits a LYS in downtown Montreal a couple of months ago .I've never been to that particular shop but had read about the classes on ravelry 's Montreal Knits group . I 've been wanting to try my hand at spinning for a while now but don't really want to go the expense of a wheel , at least at first . The class is next Sunday afternoon and I'm so looking forward to it . We'll see what transpires , will another obsession be born ?

Mike and I went out to dinner and the movies with some friends on Saturday night . We went to see the new James Bond flick " Quantum of Solace " . It was fun , entertaining , lots of action but IMHO not quite as good as the last one (Casino Royale ) . This one begins where the last one left off , so if you haven't seen the previous film it might leave you a slightly bewildered in the beginning . I also found the ending somewhat of a let -down , with some unresolved plot lines , so I'm guessing we'll be seeing more of Daniel Craig as James Bond . Having said that I do like him as the new Bond and overall like the tone of these two recent films . I found them to be more true to Ian Fleming's character and his books than the movies starring Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan . Still worth seeing if only for the action and the stunts which are really best seen on the big screen .

I've got to head out for a walk with Bingo and then go and get my annual flu shot . That season is upon us . Thankfully my cold is over with , except for a cough which always seems to stay with me for a while .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The last week has been quite the week , first too busy to blog and then too sick . I've come down with a nasty , miserable cold which had me down for the count . No fun , no knitting , no reading , nothing except lying on the couch downing Tylenol and copious amounts of tea . The worst is over but the cough is still lingering .

We went to Casey's for brunch on Saturday am . I hadn't seen the little munchkin for a week and man , oh man , has he grown . Chantal brought him to the pediatrician's office on Friday and he weighed in at a whopping 11.5 pounds . He's gained almost half his birth weight in just 4 weeks . I tried to take some photos but wouldn't you know my camera died . It's been acting up lately but Saturday it finally gave up the ghost . So Mike and I gave ourselves an early Christmas gift of a brand new camera . Mike wanted a Canon SLR , which had too many functions and settings and options for my taste , but you know how it is with men's more power mentality . You can never have enough power , so that's the one we bought .

Having no finished knits to show I thought to show you a couple of photos of the not usually seen on the blog felines of the house . I caught them snoozing together on my chair one morning . The together part is really exceptional as they generally just tolerate each other . The black one is Spooky and the barely awake white fella is Hey You . Just to round out the menagerie , here's a photo of Bingo in his usual guarding the house perch on a chair near the front window . Doesn't he look fierce , you wouldn't want to mess with him ....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes they can ..

.... and did ! What an amazing and inspiring election result , it sure puts our recent election to shame . We stayed up to the wee hours to watch history being made . Congratulations to the American people for having the nerve to vote for change !

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Post halloween

Halloween has come and gone , next stop Christmas . We had the most beautiful weather for trick or treating on Halloweeen , consequently there were loads of kids ringing the doorbell , all ages andall sizes . One in particular brought a smile to my face . Yup that would be little Jessey , 3 weeks and one day old and already dressed for trick or treating . They stayed for about 20 minutes and gave me a hand with passing out the candy . The little munchkin slept the whole way through and got lots of oohs and ahhs from the kiddies . Bingo was the official greeter and he did a great job ...

Not much knitting news here . The first of the new socks on the needles is almost done , just the toe decreases to do . My shoulder is still bothering me quite a bit , but wouldn't you know when I visited my GP last week I forgot to ask him about it . Guess it was a good day pain wise , but there was so much other stuff I needed clarify that somehow slipped off the radar . I'll just try and catch him at the clinic when he's on emergency.

I've been feeling a little blue and out of sorts these days . The situation with Marie has a lot to do with that . I know that I need a bit of time away from that sadness so that I can hold it all together and do what has to be done . I'm playing hooky this morning and going to visit my LYS in search of some really colourful sock yarn . I promised to knit a really cool and colourful pair of mother/daughter socks for my BF's daughter and granddaughter as a Christmas gift . You'd think I could find something appropriate in my stash , but so sad (not ) , I really need to go buy more sock yarn . Retail therapy in action ....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween !

Here's todays' comic from Dog eat Doug (click for bigger ) . This is one of the comics I look forward to reading everyday , it always brings a smile to my face ...
Does anyone else have a favourite comic ?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WIP Wednesday

It snowed overnight and was so cold and windy this morning making it very easy to put off starting the day . I've enjoyed a second cup of tea and even knit a little on some new socks on the needles . These are the take -a-long to the hospital project . I'm trying to work through some of the sock yarn stash and do some Christmas knitting .

I usually set myself a few goals for knitted gifts for family and friends , but this year I plan to just go with the flow . Knitting time is at a premium and I don't need to give myself more stress with deadlines and unmet expectations . This is supposed to be fun after all , and that hat or socks or scarf can be knit and gifted anytime .

Well , I'm off to walk the Bingster , brrrr......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

# 101

I'm too tired to think of a proper title for this post so have resorted to just a number.

I haven't been able to blog for much of this month . If you've read this blog in the past you will know that I've been the caregiver for an elderly friend Marie . She was hospitalized over 4 weeks ago and despite all odds is still fighting the good fight . She will however be unable to go back home . Her health is so fragile that she really can't take care of her most basic needs and requires more help than I can give her. Yesterday after much agonizing , a lot of tears on both our parts , she signed the request to go to a nursing home . In the meantime she'll stay at the hospital . This is kind of a good news / bad news situation . She's a uni lingual anglophone patient in a hospital with some staff that cannot always communicate with her as their English language skills are minimal . This has contributed to a feeling of isolation and along with her other health issues is having a terrible effect on her morale. I visit just about every day for a few hours , but really it hasn't helped much , in the end she's alone . I've spoken to the doctors and the social worker and they have done their level best to help her but for the moment she's stuck where she is . I'm getting worn out with the worry and sadness of her situation , which really is the least of it . In the next few weeks I'll be responsible for the dismantling of her life as I pack up her apartment and try to organize what she'll need for the nursing home . The only comfort is that medically she's getting the care she needs . By the way she's still knitting socks !

On a happier note baby Jessey is thriving . He's the happiest, most contented baby, he eats , sleeps and poops . Chantal is nursing him and really enjoys it and has no problems doing it . Lucky baby ! The whole gang is coming for dinner tonight as my father is leaving for Austria on Saturday .Today was the only day we could all get together . The last six weeks have been a blur , with so much going on .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I started blogging about 18 months ago . This was sort of an experiment , just to see if I could actually figure out how all this computer stuff works and to keep a kind of journal of my knitting projects and throw in a bit about my life and such. I'm not sure if I've figured out all the widgets and gadgets but I'm getting there . To my surprise I'm still at it . What's made this little experiment so enjoyable , and what's encouraged me to keep at it , are the people who stop to visit , especially those who've been kind enough to leave a comment . I just want to say thanks , it's much appreciated .....

On to finished knits . My right shoulder has been tormenting me, so not much knitting has taken place chez moi . I did however finish my broadripple socks . I just love the colours, especially the orange and purple . The yarn : Lana Grossa Meilenweit Merino, gifted to me by my father . Knit on 2,0mm DPNs . This is a easy , fun pattern that shows off self-striping yarns really well . These will be my Socktoberfest socks and the SAM6 KAL contribution . The seemingly never -ending baby blanket is still on the needles . I'm hoping to get a little bit further ahead on it tonight while watching the election results . With a little help from a tylenol and tea .

Depending on the results I may be needing more than one pain killer . Let's just say I'm not a fan of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives , but also have issues with the loyal opposition parties . It's terribly frustrating to vote federally in Quebec if you are not a separatist /nationalist . It really feel like an exercise in futility , but in some ways it makes it even more essential to cast a vote . So wherever you are today and you have the right to vote , do it !

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Introducing ....

.... our first grandson born on October 9th ,2008 at 7:28 PM . He weighed in at 8lbs even and just slightly over 21" long . Mom & Dad are both doing well , if slightly sleep deprived . Chantal's mom and I were both in the hospital room for the birth . It was so amazing to be there to share this experience with them . I'm still pinching myself because it feels like a dream . I think he's just the most beautiful baby , but then I'm just a little biased . So it's official I'm an Ommy !

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Sky

In keeping with Sandy's sky pictures here's my Tuesday afternoon version . It was just a gloriously beautiful day to take Bingo for a long walk along the river . Sunshine , fresh air, a bright blue sky and golden leaves were just what I needed to lift my spirits . Bingo , the lucky dog , must have thought he hit the jackpot with the multiple walks today . He was so tired when we got back he went straight to the water dish and then just flaked right out on the couch .

Casey called me this evening to tell me that I'll probably be an Oma sometime in the next ten days. Chantal had her doctor's appointment today and if the little guy hasn't made an appearance by this weekend , he'll probably induce her on Oct. 9th . I can 't wait to meet our first grandchild . I couldn't imagine myself saying that when I was younger , I mean that would mean that I'd be old . It's funny how the definition /perception of old changes as we get older ourselves . As I approach sixty (eeks) I'm thinking 'ah it's not so bad I'd have to be at least 85 to be truly old '. It seems to me it really IS that you're only as old as you feel , but the challenge is to figure out how to stay young @heart no matter what your chronological age . All this to say that I really , really don't feel old enough to have a 31 year old son , I must have had him when I was just a babe

There's no knitting progress to show really . I always seem to hit a wall whenever I get close to finishing any project. Boredom sets in and I just can't seem to get the last little bit done . Though this time it's partly due to a constant pain in my right shoulder . It 's so annoying because that baby blanket needs to be finished real soon , like October 9th soon . I can manage to knit in short spurts , but then it starts to hurt like h**l . It's making me just a tiny bit cranky . I have my annual checkup / tuneup next month , we'll see what the doctor/mechanic recommends . Hope it's not to stop knitting , because then I'll be really cranky.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Young@Heart Sing Coldplay (visit www.ezdreambiz.com)

I rented the movie Young @ Heart . It's about a senir chorus that cover rock songs . They're amazing and the movie was funny , inspirational , touching and life affirming . This particular song (Coldplay's Fix You ) resonates so much with me . The singer Fred Knittle just has the most wonderful voice . I dare you not to be moved by it . Despite the sad tone of this song the movie is not like that at all , rent it if you can ,you won't regret it ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

The week in brief

Because I'm kind've blank right now thought I'd give you a brief round-up of this week .

Knitting is progressing , albeit slowly . There's not been much progress on the sock or the baby blanket , hence no photos . Thank you all for the compliments on my finished socks . It's much appreciated .

The weather is gorgeous , perfect if you ask me. The days have been sunny and nights cool , truly beautiful fall weather.

We've had a couple of nice family dinners and get togethers since my father arrived . We celebrated Casey's birthday on Tuesday , Chantal made an exceptional dinner and then all her family came over for coffee and to have some birthday cake .

Chantal is fine. She's feeling like most expectant mothers feels at this stage of their pregnancy - a mix of when is this baby going to get here and wondering how the actual birth will be. She looks absolutely gorgeous , pregnancy becomes her. We're all waiting for THE phone call and anxious to see the little guy.

This last bit of news of my week isn't as good as all of the above. Marie had to be rushed to the hospital yet again . More of the same, they try and prolong her life, because that's what they do, but she's getting weaker each day. It breaks my heart to see her like this . Her doctors started to administer low dose morphine yesterday , so I'm not sure what that means as far as going home again . I've been going over to see her as much as I can . One day at a time ....

Getting ready for the week-end and more birthday celebrations next week (Max and the next day my Dad ) .

Have a good week-end ....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My weekend...

in short.....

A completed pair of socks : Eleanor socks .

New socks on the needles : Broadripple being knit up with brand new , hot off the plane, yarn gifted to me by my father . He arrived from Austria on Sunday afternoon instead of Monday as expected . Long story about crossed wires , miscommunication , actually he gave us the wrong date in his letter , which I can't find to prove my point, but all 's well that ends well . We're thanking our stars that he thought to give us a quick call on Saturday a.m . otherwise he would have had a bit of wait at the airport . You never saw anyone clean a house and finish up a guest room so fast . I'm still breathless ....

Here's some of what else came back with him , chocolates and more sock yarn for me . Yay !
All this is resting on a gorgeous embroidered Christmas table cloth . My step mom sent each of the girls one as well . She didn't do the embroidery but each cloth has a crochet edging which she did do .

Does it get any better !

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

Another week , that is . I can't believe that's it's Friday already . The days go by in a flash , I guess it's a sign of old age creeping up on me. It seems to me that this time flashing by thing started once I became a mother and the older I get the quicker time goes by .

I've been gearing up for my Dad's annual visit . He'll be arriving from Austria on Monday . He'll have a bed to sleep in but the room 's not quite ready . It seems we have what Mike calls renovation creep . Start one renovation project and before you know it , it's taking over the house and eating up the contents of your wallet . I don't want to break the news to him quite yet , but it's not over , more coming next year ....

Speaking of almost -not-quite-done-projects , I 'll show you my blueberry Eleanor socks . What's holding them up , you ask , when they're >< ( this close) to being done ? The answer would be that sweet little baby bootee that just had to be cast on and of course , that blinding orange baby blanket, still on the needles only slightly larger . I just love it , but I have to tell you that the reason there's still only one , is because knitting it is fun but the sewing it together and weaving in the ends is just so fiddle faddle , it drives me crazy . If this wasn't for our first grandson I'd have pitched it . Finishing is not my strong suit, can you tell ?

Well the weekend weather forecast calls for rain and more rain . A good time for finishing no end of indoor projects, large and small ...

Have a nice weekend !

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A small world

I'm having a lazy day today . I've been knitting on the baby blanket and the blueberry socks , I'm getting there with the second sock . I've been going through my ravelry queue trying to decide what to cast on for next . Decisions , decisions !

The weekend went by so quickly . On Saturday we made a spur of the moment decision to head down to Burlington for the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival . We'd gone for brunch with the kids so we left late and took the long scenic route down from Montreal , big mistake . We got there fairly late in the day ,too late to make entering the site worthwhile , added to that, it was raining . To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly , but Mike being the outstanding husband that he is , had seen a little yarn shop( Kaleidoscope Yarns ) just down the road from the festival site and suggested that we have look in there . Yup , he willingly went into a yarn shop with me . He's really polishing up his halo...

It really is a small world . While at Kaleidoscope yarns I ran into a couple of knit bloggers . Sandy , whose blog I read regularly and who is every bit as nice in person as she is on her blog . Also Norma and Paula who was down from Ottawa . Paula is the designer of the Corrugator scarf pattern which I've knit up a couple of times . Also there was another Montrealer Lee Ann with her husband and daughter . After chatting with them for a bit I did a little stash enhancement . This shop had so many delicious yarns I could barely restrain myself . I was good though and kept telling myself that I didn't really NEED more and only bought 2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca for another scarf at some point as well as some Cascade Ecowool for a hoodie for the baby . So all in all a pretty good day, even though I still didn't make it IN to the wool festival . Maybe next year , with better planning ...

Friday, September 5, 2008

September already..

... and the 5th of the month no less ! Where do the days go, blink and another week is over.

Knitting for baby has resumed . I just love the little blankies in this book . This pattern is completely reversible, easy , but not boring . It's scorching hot here so I won't be getting much further along on it today. There's promises of more seasonal weather for the weekend . I'm always happy for those gorgeous early September days .

Sock knitting continues as well ; one down on the "blueberry" socks and the second well on it's way . I'm getting restless again though and thinking of Christmas knitting . Ravelry is both a blessing and a curse . Too many projects and REALLY not enough time . I wish that there were more hours in the day or better yet someone to pick up and do all those mundane and thankless tasks that keep me away from knitting . I know there are people who get paid to do all those things, but at the moment my budget won't allow for that. Home renovations took care of any extra cash that was lying around . Besides, I'm my mother 's daughter and just HAVE to do it myself ; or I'd probably clean before the cleaner got here. Sort of defeats the purpose , don't you think ?
I hope the sun is shining and that all's right with your world . Have a great weekend !

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday sundries

There's been actual knitting going on around here , imagine that ! These are the new socks on the needles , Eleanor , originally a Socktopia / Monkey Toes free pattern , but still available as a ravelry free download.

My final socks for the Summer of Socks 2008 are the Spring Forward socks from Knitty summer 2008 . I'd hoped to knit up more pairs this year but I've knit only 2 pairs . Life has away of getting in the way of all my best laid plans . I actually gifted these before getting any pics and had to retrieve them for the photo shoot .

It's been such a hectic month of August that I'm not sorry to see the last of it . The only thing being that summer is drawing to a close . You'd never know it by the weather here though , decidedly summer like these days. I threw a surprise birthday/ BBQ party for my BF Shirley yesterday . Great friend, great party , great weather , what more can you ask ?

Monday, August 25, 2008

A happy day !

We had a wonderful time at the baby shower on Saturday . The weather was perfect, the food was great and boy , oh boy was that baby showered with gifts . Unusually it was a mixed shower so Casey got to be part of the the fun . He was overwhelmed with how many people came to celebrate this happy event with them . The two framed photos on the table are baby pics of the parents to be . Then there's the to grandma's to be feeling the baby kick . Lili on the left , Chantal ,
and yours truly on the right. I'm not fond of having my picture taken , so this is something . Chantal loved the baby blanket and all the knitted gifts. At the end of the evening there was a special gift for Casey to put in the baby's room - an artist's conceptualization of three of Canada's great hockey players as children in front of a hockey net . In case you're wondering they're Eric Lindros, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux . I thought that was a nice touch ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The reason ...

... for the deafening silence on the blog is that Marie is back in hospital after reaching another crisis point health wise . Her health is on the downward slope , but she's still wanting to go home . I'm not sure that would be the wisest thing as every little thing she does just drains her and leaves her gasping for breath . The doctors have indicated that the intervals between hospital stays will be getting shorter as her lungs are reaching their endpoint and really there isn't much more that can be done . I don't know exactly what to say or do at this point . One day at a time , I suppose , but I hate seeing her suffer so much. I'm feeling just a bit overwhelmed , thank God for DH Mike and my BF Shirley , who always seem to find the right thing to say to help get over the rough spots.

On a happier note , Lili , Chantal's mom is throwing a baby shower for Chantal this Saturday . It'll be a family event with a big BBQ . Keeping fingers crossed that the weather is better for this than it was for Max and Stef's engagement party . It's been so hit or miss this summer , actually more miss .Chantal is looking just beautiful and feels good . Apparently the baby is kicking up a storm . Can't wait to meet the little soccer player ....

I'm too tired to do much knitting these days, but I'm almost done with the baby blanket . It's a mindless knit , no concentration required , just what I need .

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to normal ...

sort of . The renovations are almost done , just the clean-up and still a bit of painting (baseboards and window trim ) left to be done . The new floor looks beautiful ; you can't imagine how happy I am to get rid of the carpeting . The stairs and railings still need to be stripped and then re-stained to match the floor , but that shouldn't be too big a job . At least my furniture is back to where it should be . Last week my living room was in my kitchen , we could barely move in there never mind cook or have meals . I absolutely love the new tile and expanded entrance , so much more practical and easier to keep clean . Here's a couple of pics to show the new floor and entrance. Bingo is in his usual spot keeping keeping watch to make sure no cats come onto the property , just his own .

The weather has been just miserable , rain and more rain every single day . It's perfect for what we've been doing , but certainly not very summer-like . I've hardly managed to get into the pool at all this year . Mike has one more week left of vacation , or renocation in our case ,we'd hoped to get away camping for a couple of days this week but due to a few delays with the renovations and this weeks weather forecast we decided to just take it easy around the house . I don't feel like camping in the rain . Whatever we have left to finish off will get done on a more relaxed schedule. We're both just a wee bit weary .

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This and that

Saturday's engagement party was almost rained out. We did get a downpour but it did let up long enough to get the BBQ s rockin' and rollin' . After that no one seemed to mind the odd rain drop that fell . Max and Stef were so happy and touched by all the friends and family who came to help them celebrate this with them .

For those wondering about Max's injury , he's healing well . He still has bandages on two of the most severely injured fingers but it looks like everything will be fine ; he may have a little difficulty opening and closing his third finger initially, but time will take care of that . As I said in the last post he was so very lucky it wasn't worse .

The home renovations are coming along well ,the painting is done and now the fun begins . Mike is removing the old flooring and the marble in the entrance . Removing the parquet flooring hasn't been as difficult as we'd expected , so then it's just wait a couple of days till Max can help Mike with the tiling and installing the new hardwood . This isn't something I can help with except for the clean-up . At this point the whole house is topsy turvy despite the fact that we're technically only re-doing the living room flooring , entrance and painting the upstairs hallway . It'll take me at least a week after it all before this house reaches any semblance of normalcy . The only thing that's keeping me sane is the thought of how nice it will all look once this is over .

That and a bit of knitting here and there . Here's one of the Spring Forward socks done . I just love the curviness along the sides . Of course Bingo had to get on on the photo shoot . He's never far away from me , the little mutt !

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We had a bit of a scare

yesterday afternoon . I got a frantic call from Max telling me that he cut his hand rather badly with a Skil saw . You can imagine the thoughts that were running through my head till I got to the house which is a 5 minute drive away. I don't think an ambulance could have got there any quicker . I bundled him into the car and drove him to the hospital . He'd started an EMT training course when he was out in Alberta , so he knew what to do to stem the bleeding . He was fairly calm but in a lot of pain , so that ride to the hospital (less than 10 minutes ) seemed an eternity . The triage nurse took him right way and he was seen by the doctor not too long after . He was extremely lucky that the cut was on the palm side of his hand, otherwise he probably would have lost a couple of fingers . Bad enough , but could have been so much worse . We're counting our blessings today.

Casey and Mike are over at his house today doing whatever needs to be done there . He's been renovating the bathroom , so they're without the main toilet and sink . They'll finish up for him . Needless to say he's beyond upset with himself . He keeps saying he should have known better , but a moments inattention is all it takes . I'm just so thankful that it wasn't worse .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend Roundup so far...

We're still getting this hot summer weather with the added bonus of high humidity . Not having air conditioning , warm weather has contributed to some sleepless nights and is making me slightly cranky. I don't do heat well . Thank God we have a pool, otherwise I'd completely lose it .

Mike has begun his summer vacation ; four weeks off from the daily grind . We went out for dinner and a movie on Friday evening . It was a last minute kind've deal , no plans , no reservations , that turned out to be a really nice evening . We discovered a wonderful little Italian restaurant with great food and two musicians providing the entertainment and adding to the ambiance . The movie , Wall-E , was terrific . It was fun , entertaining and the animation was unbelievable . This was Mike's movie pick , guess he's getting prepared for his new role as grandpa (Pepere in French) .

We've no plans yet for a little vacation getaway . Necessary home renovations are on the agenda for the first 2-3 weeks of Mike's time off. We're painting the living room , as well as replacing the carpeting with a new wood floor . We're going to tile the entrance and strip the railings and stairs from the living room going upstairs . We're going to stain the stairway to match the new floor. This is all DIY and in all honesty I'd have to say that I'm stressing out about it all . I'm hoping that the choices we' ve made , as far as flooring and paint goes ,will turn out as nice as we hope . I'd love to change all the flooring upstairs as well , but the budget has limits , what with wedding preparations and all . Last but not least we're changing the windows at the back of the house . They'll be coming to install them on August 7th . If we're still standing after all that , and not completely broke , Mike and I hope to getaway camping for few days . I'm pretty sure that's all the pocketbook can stand .

Despite all this prep and running around , there is some knitting on the needles . I'm trying my best to keep up with the SoS and Sock -a -month Kals . I've cast on the Spring Forward socks. This is such a nice pattern . I love it ! I'm also working on a baby blanket . I'm not crazy about the colour but it's what I had in the stash . It won't match the baby's room but it'll be perfect as a little blanket for the car . I've got another one in mind for his room but will get this one off the needles first . The little teddy was a gift from Mallory next door . She's 12 and such a terrific kid and obviously generous too . She's known Chantal since she was about 4 yrs old when Chantal was her dance instructor . Small world...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Double /Double Socks

Yay ! I can finally say that I've completed at least one pair for the Summer of Socks 2008 KAL . With appropriate fan fair I present the Donyale Socks !

Despite the fact that it took me the better part of a month to complete these , it was was an enjoyable knit . It's a great pattern that looks more complicated than it is . The yarn is Elann Sock it to Me and unlike my previous knit with that particular yarn (Crosshatch Lace socks) this time it didn't split like the dickens . Though why colour would make a difference in that aspect is beyond me , this time around it was very nice knitting with it .
Onward to the next pair !

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Random Wednesday

We've had such energy sucking hot and humid weather here for the last few days . It's much too sticky to work with yarn but I did finish the Baby Backward Ribs finally , so the decks are cleared for the SOS 08 . It figures that as soon as I join some kind of KAL , knitting time comes at a premium . Two and a half weeks into SOS and I haven't finished one pair yet . Oh well , it's the process , right ...

When the weather gets like this I really don't feel like doing much besides sitting by the pool and reading . I just finished a book from the library by Khalid Hosseini titled " A Thousand Splendid Suns " . The setting is Afghanistan and chronicles the lives of two women Mariam and Laila . It is a very timely and thought provoking book . It moved me to tears in places . I don't know if it accurately portrays the lives of women there , but I assume it does because the author is originally from Afghanistan . I highly recommend it ; it's a book that will enlighten and entertain you . For a change of pace next up on reading list is "The Friday Night Knitting Club " by Kate Jacobs .

Last Saturday we had friends over for a BBQ . One of the quests was this little cutie and her mom . She was quite taken with Bingo , but he wasn't really sure what to make of this pint-sized bundle of energy . Emma is going to be the flower girl at Max and Stef 's wedding next year . She talks a mile -a -minute and has oodles of charm . She's my best friends' grand daughter and I just love her to pieces . I hope I get to have a grand daughter as sweet as her some day .