Archive for October, 2008

a quick missive

Dear Reader,

I thought it only polite to let you know that no, I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but have been very busy doing, well, stuff.  This “stuff” has taken all my time, and it has been varied “stuff”, and interesting “stuff”,  but it has been cutting into my blogging time.  I am leaving on a jet plane (la la la la la, John Denver, la la la la la) this afternoon for an extended weekend visiting my husband’s family in British Columbia (once again, having reviewed the definitions of “party”, “walking the dogs”, “house on fire”, and so forth with Andrew).  I am packing (which includes last minute laundry because all of a sudden I absolutely must have the pants which I haven’t worn for months) and trying to wrap Christmas presents to take along.  Sadly, this rush (how do people ever leave early in the morning?) leaves me no time for an extended catch-up post, with pictures and clever witticisms.

So, dear Reader, I leave you with this pledge:  that upon my return, I shall regale you with absolutely every single detail of my life since my riveting  account of new toilets (October 10). And now, with your kind leave, I must go and make sure I have packed enough underpants (in case I am unavoidably detained for a month).

Until my return, I remain,

Yours truly,



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Off Again

ATTENTION:  This is the unposted draft, which due to popular demand (Okay, Christi asked politely) is now being posted.  It was written before my big trip to Las Vegas, and upon further viewing, is maybe not as amusing as I originally remembered.  (You know how no-one else thinks your kids are as cute as you think they are?  I present my third child.)

I am getting ready.  I get ready before every trip.  Getting ready does not mean packing, or even laying out my clothes.  Getting ready means thinking about looking in my closet and despairing that I have nothing suitable to wear or take with me.  It is an important step in preparation, and one that sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night several days before departure.  Of course, I take no action that would cure me of this; that would be admitting defeat.  You’d think with the increased amount of travel we’re doing that I would be getting this all figured out, but no.  I’d rather wake up at 3 am and fret about the lack of shoes to match what would otherwise be the perfect travel wardrobe.  I have resigned myself to a large carryon bag- I don’t know if I’ll need my honkin’ big sound-cancelling headphones, as the trip is only three hours and the six of us can certainly carry on conversation that long, but I do need enough room for the knitting supplies.  I also have to take a couple of door prizes and party favours (after all, this is a fiftieth birthday celebration) but they’re pretty small.  So, I should be able to get away with my medium suitcase, and not have to take the Big Mother.

We’re going to see Chicago (the band, not the Musical) ***small break to have supper*** and Menopause the Musical.  Other activities will be reported on after my return, depending on suitability for public consumption and privacy issues to be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Pictures may follow.

I unpinned the Ribbon Lace Scarf, and will pose for a picture with it upon my return.  Suffice it to say, I forgive it for the seemingly endless repeats.   Me like.

This time tomorrow I’ll be in Las Vegas.  Things that will happen while I’m gone:  The Canadian leaders’ debate.  We’re in the middle of an election campaign, and for the life of me, I don’t know what the platform is of any of the parties.  Not sad to miss this debate.  Last time it was like Springer, only with better suits and worse manners.  The American vice-presidential debate:  I know they have television in Sin City, but I don’t know if I can stomach a potential train wreck.  I can catch a facsimile on Saturday Night Live.  Tina Fey is a genius.  I’m not even sure if maybe there is no such person as Sarah Palin and it’s been Fey all along.  Tough to know what is a scarier phrase:  “President Quayle” or “President Palin”.  Yikes.

Off to take out my suitcase and stand slack-jawed in front of my closet.  Later!

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Lost and Found

So I’m cruising around my blog and I see that I have “2 drafts”.  Hoping for beer, I open them to discover that one is a duplicate of a previously published post, and one is a post that I never did publish.  I deleted the duplicate, and toyed with the idea of publishing the other one.  It’s only a week and a half old, but has political references in it which would have been much funnier at the time.   I was quite proud of it, because I rarely have my finger on the pulse of politics long enough to understand what’s happening, let alone make fun of it.  Suffice to say it involved questioning whether Sarah Palin and Tina Fey are actually 2 people, and also made reference to the bad manners displayed during televised Canadian political “debates”.  It also dealt with my approach to packing for a trip.  All in all, it was a pretty funny post.  You really should have been there.

I mentioned yesterday about toilets, and thought I’d give you an update.

1.  Decided I’d replace the toilets while Mike was out of town so we don’t have to plunge all the time.

2.  Bought the toilets and arranged for installation yesterday.

3.  2 of the 3 go in beautifully- I was concerned about them fitting under the banjo-top counter (a stupid  idea if ever there was one.)

4.  Toilet in Andy’s bathroom goes in great, until we try to shut the door.  Bowl too long.

5.  Plumbers call the showroom, and the only toilet they carry short enough is the one we’ve already got.  Crap.  (so to speak.)

6.  While the interior designer drives over to give me an estimate on enlarging the bathroom (it was the plumbers’ idea and not mine to call her in; I’ve always considered this particular reno a pipe dream), the plumber tries to re-install the old toilet.

7.  I save $50,000.00 by deciding not to renovate the bathroom.

8.  The plumber tells me that the flange (or is that “Phlange”?) is broken, so it will have to be replaced, and the only way to get at it is through the ceiling of the family room.  Don’t worry, they can patch the hole with a 14″ square white plastic panel.  Uck.

9.  A different plumber shows up today to fix the flange, and even as we speak is trying to do so without any disruption to the ceiling on the main floor.

10.  I’m thinking about selling the house and moving to a bungalow.  With big bathrooms.  And shiny new toilets.  Or maybe an outhouse.

Enough about toilets.  Have a nice day.

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Just like Fish

My mother always said that company is like fish- it starts to smell after a while.  Well, I’ve never had company that stayed that long (the dog hair tends to scare them off), but sadly, Judy is heading home this afternoon (as soon as the plumbers finish putting in three new toilets.  My life is full of excitement.).  We had a lovely visit, although it was something of a working visit for her.  This all came about because I cleaned out my closet, and decided to part with several sweaters that, while still wearable, are just not me.  Some I’ve worn over the years, and some I rarely, if ever, wore.  Before I parted company with them, I needed a record that they existed.  I needed to add them to the family album.  So,

This shrug was fun to knit, but I’d rather have one that sits flat against my body.

My own design- I love the buttons and the broken rib, but I really have to get away from the dropped shoulders.  Too square, and I don’t need the extra bulk.  I should really stop being so lazy and do some shoulder shaping.   This was actually a little too short

for me.

Kind of cute but I have no application for this.

My first St****re pattern.  I love the huge cables, but once again, there is too much bulk in the upper arms.  I might try to incorporate the cables into another design.

These are just a few.  I hope that someone enjoys wearing them as much as I enjoyed knitting them.

Since Judy was here anyways, I also archived nearly everything else in my wardrobe that I knit.  Just for posterity…

While we were in Las Vegas, my friend came back to the hotel room with the most beautiful alpaca sweater that she had bought.  I thought I had been through the mall in great detail, but I missed the little hole-in-the-wall Alpaca Pete’s.  (I am not including a link because they have a very confused website.  Just trust me on this.)  Sweaters hand-loomed in Peru, gorgeous colours and fairly inexpensive.  If I hadn’t already shopped for 2 days, I would have probably bought myself more than this:

In spite of knitting a lot, this may be one of the nicest sweaters in my possession.  I guess it gives me something to strive for.

So there I am, standing at the till while the girl rings in my purchase.  I glance down at the floor (and this store was somewhat cluttered) and there, at my feet, were baskets of alpaca fibre.  In balls.  With ball bands.  Waiting for a home.  I picked one up, noted that the gauge was, oh, pretty fine (no such information on the band), and put it back in the basket.  Yes, I had the chance to buy wool in Las Vegas, and I turned my back on it. I reasoned that I am several fine-gauge projects behind, and I wasn’t looking for fibre, and yarn is like a bus; if you miss one, there will be another one along soon.  Will I regret it?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  So far no twitching.   No uncontrollable acquisitivity here.  I’m not as far gone as I previously thought.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to check out a website and see if there’s alpaca fibre that can be shipped to Canada.

***So one of my lovely new toilets is longer than the old one and the bathroom door won’t shut.  Do you think Andy will mind?

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House Guest

I have the best company right now.  She stays out of the way, doesn’t complain about the coffee, and we didn’t even clean the bathroom before she got here.

Coincidentally, we share a name.

She’s visiting from my friend’s mother’s house for a while.  I have a project to do and Judy is here to help.  Cryptic, huh?  I don’t know yet if I’ll be sharing, but it’s kind of cool to have one to work with.

Oh, yeah.  Las Vegas.  Most of the details are secret (“what happens in Vegas”  blah blah blah.) but if you ever have the change chance to see Menopause the Musical, I would heartily encourage you.  If you or anyone you know has been through, is going through, or threatening to go through “the change”, and you think a giggle or six might help you through, this is the show for you.  We laughed from the first line of the first song to well after dinner (although that might have been the wine).

In Las Vegas they take their taxis very seriously.  There are taxi stands at all the hotels, malls, airports, and so on.  They don’t want people flagging down cabs in the street, tying up traffic and getting run over.  Just plain bad for business.  Well, we had just deplaned, and stood in the taxi queue like good corporate citizens, and were sent to the first stall.  The cab pulled up, and the driver popped the trunk from inside the cab.  Then, before he could even get out and around to the back of the car, a guy darted in front of us (from the non-line side, I might add) and started putting his bags in the trunk.  The first thought to cross my mind was that he was an airport VIP or some such nonsense, until I noticed that he was wearing camouflage cargo pants and a “wife-beater”.  (I don’t know how colloquial the term is, but just in case it’s new to you, a “wife-beater” is a man’s white undershirt, the type of which you might see worn in a trailer park (and I don’t mean one of the nice ones; I mean the kind where your neighbor two doors down could very well be a murderer or at least jumping bail.))  Back to the airport:  All six of us started to straighten him out; “I don’t think so!”, “Hey buddy, get in line!” and other such biting comments intended to make him see the error of his ways and get in line like the rest of us mortals.  (We are nothing if not witty.)  We were, ahem, quite loud. Then he called his girlfriend over (who had been lurking around the corner with her bags), so we got to yell at her.  She kept whining “I didn’t know there was a line”, so we responded with another bit of wisdom “Well, you know now.”  Big Bully Boyfriend (who I think had intimidated the cabbie by virtue of the fact that he was twice the cabbie’s size) tossed her bags in the trunk, turned to us and snapping his fingers said “This is Vegas.  Ya gotta move fast.”  What a cliche.  They got in the cab and it drove away.  We were standing there thinking the system doesn’t really work, when all of a sudden four or five Taxi police were running towards us, shouting “Did that guy jump the line?”  Their whistles were blowing, and they ran across a median to cut off the cab.  We got in the next cab, and around the first corner passed Mr. Gotta Move Fast, his taxi stopped by the taxi police.  Our cabbie said the offending driver would be fined, and probably would lose his ticket to pick up and drop off at the airport (which is a much-sought-after taxi gig in Las Vegas).  The best part?  The jerk in the camouflage pants would be taken back to the taxi stand and invited to join the line at the back end.  I guess that’s typically where you would find an asshole.  The lesson learned?  Sometimes a stern reprimand from a safe distance gets a favourable result.

There was some serious power shopping, and proof that I am not so much of a yarn acquisitor as I thought I was.  More on that tomorrow.  I took Mike to the airport at 4:30 this morning for his trip to Prince Edward Island, and even though I went back to bed, I am still tired.  And so, to bed.  Good night!

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