Wine and Babies

One of the great things about visiting the USA periodically is that in a perverse way, it slows down my alcohol consumption at home.  Not that I drink to excess (that is a sport for younger people than me), but once I discovered how heavily we are taxed for alcohol here in Saskatchewan, it took the fun out of trying too many new wines.  Example:  a bottle of red wine (and here’s where my lack of crediblilty as an oenophile shows), (and I can’t remember the name, but I know I like it,) costs upwards of 18 or 20 dollars here under Sask skies.   I found it down in Arizona for 10.  If that doesn’t slow down your consumption, I don’t know what will.  (Well, at least it slows it down up here.  Down south, maybe not so much.)  As well, there is a lot of wine from all over the world that the Saskatchewan liquor board does not list, so we never see it up here.  Fun things like this:


and for a closeup on the label:


Now, before the inevitable snarky comment from an older sister about how fitting it is that I might drink this wine, I would like to point out that she left home way before the worst of my drama, and I have been (mostly) over it for years.

Moving on, I would like to say that being a grandmother hasn’t changed my day-to-day life much.  It would be a different story if we lived in the same city, I’m sure.  Anyway, Geoff continues to send us pictures, and I send them care packages.  The last one had 4 flannelette baby blankets that I crafted, mitred corners and all, a couple of dishclothsImage

and some booties that I whipped up on the weekend:Image

These are Christine’s Stay-on Baby Booties, with one small change.  Instead of a round of eyelets for a tie above the feet, I thought I would try just ribbing to the top of the leg.  Mackenzie’s feet never seem to stay still long enough to tie ties, so I thought they could try this and let me know how the booties stay on.  I also used dpn”s for the top of the foot, and it was easier for the short row shaping. (Just like they say in the pattern.  Who knew?)  I did switch back to circs for the legs.  That seems to be my comfort spot.

Since no self-respecting new grandmother would sign off without at least one picture of the new addition, may I present, in her Easter Finery, Mackenzie!



Hopefully spring is rearing its head where you are, so I wish you blue skies, and warmer temperatures, and if you are in Calgary, I also wish you minimal snow.  Just remember, you live there on purpose.








Another new frontier has been crossed; another redefining of my role in life has occurred.

At 7:25 am yesterday, March 17th, Mackenzie Leigh joined us from whatever the opposite of the Beyond is. The Great Before? The Slightly Confining Preceeding? Anyways, she arrived weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces, and welcomed by at least 6 grandfathers and at least 7 grandmothers as well as an assortment of aunts, uncles and cousins. (I have to approximate because there’s been a remarriage and I don’t know the status of the new inlaws or if they even care.)

Observation: Even if they don’t let you stay in the hospital more than a day or two now ( and believe me when I say I would have stayed in 2 weeks if they’d let me), someone should make sure that you can visit with the lactation consultant right away instead of some silly student nurse who doesn’t really have a clue, instead of your poor sleep-deprived husband having to physically track her down as they are ushering you out of the hospital even though you suspect (and rightly so) that perhaps a little pow wow with the lactation consultant is in order.

I’m here for a week or until my son and his wife figure out that I still can’t cook.

Another observation: You never lose the Standing Rock, or the Sway, or whatever you call it.

I do have some pictures to share, but I can’t seem to load them on my iPad. Just another example of how technology is passing me by. I’ll hook up my laptop tomorrow and then you can see just how cute and not at all leprechaun-like she is.


Oh, figured it out.  Whaddya think?


The Perils of Exercise

Two of my dear misguided sisters are heading off in May to run in a relay in Nova Scotia.  Much as I admire their resolve and dedication, I am quite content with the fact that I will never take part in that type of event.

Well, I have been thinking about the race, and how beautiful the Cabot Trail is, and how my mother was probably right when she commented that since a lot of the run takes place at night, the scenery probably isn’t going to be much of a distraction.  I was 0ut for a walk (the terrain here is flat; not at all like the Cabot Trail) a few days ago, walking shorts, a golf shirt, sandals, and I was feeling pretty good.  So good, in fact, that I decided to run.  Well, maybe a slow jog.  Since I had the cover of anonymity, being  in an undeveloped subdivision (they did that a lot down here in Phoenix- put in the streets, the sidewalks, the street lights, then the developers went broke and walked away.  Whole neighborhoods without houses.  Kinda eerie.) without prying eyes, I ran maybe a hundred metres.  Then I walked, then I ran again, maybe two hundred metres.  Then I walked again, then ran some more.  By this time I was on a path between two rows of actual houses.  Rubbernecker that I am, I like to look in people’s back yards.  I find them infinitely more interesting than front yards.  I slowed to a walk, then stopped at a particularly well-landscaped yard.  I was checking out some plants, when boom.  I rolled my ankle and went down like a stone. My first thought was “If I have broken my ankle, I will just tape it and go to the hospital when I get back to Saskatoon.”  Then I thought how nice and warm it was lying on the gravel, and maybe I would just lie there for a while and synthesize some vitamin D and pretend I meant to lie down.  Then I remembered that there are ginormous anthills around here, and the rattlesnakes are starting to wake up, and I struggled to my feet and limped home.

The result:  Fairly significant road rash on my left calf and knee (out of which I am still picking gravel), road rash on the side of my right foot, my left elbow and both palms, a bruise on my right thumb and palm, a really big black bruise on my left hip, and shredded dignity.  I will spare you the pictures.  I took two Tylenol and went to bed for the afternoon.

I spent some time trying to figure out how to blame my sisters for this ignomy;  all this running nonsense going through my brain and contributing to my delusions of athleticism; when I realized that it wasn’t the running that was the issue.  It was the standing still.

I am going to have to change the way I do things.

I’m going to sit down.

Up for Air

I thought I would take a little break from what passes for frantic production and share a little of what I have been doing whilst on holidays.

I have done some nest-fixing.  I sold a big ugly brown sectional couch, took down and threw away some heavy formal dark side panels in the living room, and bought a staple gun.  The staple gun is important because I used it to reupholster the valances in the living room.  Also, having a staple gun is never a bad idea.  Everyone down here seems to have a gun of some type, so I thought I would get into the act.  (Neighbour across the street sit sits and watches TV with a gun beside him on the couch.  I wonder who he’s pissed off so badly that he thinks he needs to protect himself. )

I bought the fabric for the valances at a place down here called SAS Fabrics.  What an adventure that was.  It’s a big warehouse, bad lighting, no heating or air conditioning, dusty, and only marginally organized.  If you are a sewing person (I was going to type “sewer” but that didn’t look right somehow.) this is a fun place to go.  I got enough fabric for the valances and had enough left over to cover 2 cute little pillows for my IKEA chairs.  4 yards of drapery cotton for $20.00.  The whole store is full of great deals.


Add in a picture of one of my favourite things in life,

and the room is now much lighter, and feels like a place I could stop and read, or maybe have a nap.


While I had the sewing machine out, I hemmed some linen tea towels.  The idea came from the Purl Bee, and I am sure that I am the last person in the whole world to discover this wonderful site.  Anyhoo, back to the tea towels.  I don’t really like working with linen; it’s too independant, but I persevered and am quite happy with the results.

It may be a small thing, but I think Robin might be proud of me.  I even mitred the corners:

Has there been knitting?  Why yes, there has been knitting.

Butin necklace- kit from Patternworks

Scarf-Red Heart Boutique Treasure. Surprisingly decent fibre.

Meritwist Handpaint mitts- not my best effort. We will not speak of these again.

Baby Washcloth. Garter Stitch. What was I thinking? Snore. Circulo Anne. Nice cotton. Needs doubling.

Uncharacteristically, I have even done a wee bit of crocheting.

Mostly square dishcloths. Crocheting is not my forte.

It has been three weeks since I sent Mike home to Saskatchewan.  It turns out that we got married because we like each other’s company- I go home in a week and am actually looking forward to my other house; the one with dog hair, dirt, too much clutter, office work waiting, blah blah blah. Oh yeah, and I am looking forward to seeing Mike.  I have been having fun here; selfish fun, but fun nonetheless.  I eat when and what I want, I get the remote control for the TV  (!!!!) and I leave crafting messes wherever the hell I want.  As I told my sister, it must be time to go home, because I am thinking about stealing a shopping cart from Walmart and taking in stray cats.  I could be in danger of becoming a crazy recluse.  (If you have enough money, you can be an eccentric recluse.  I would have to settle for crazy.)

I have one more week here.  Andy and 2 of his buddies are coming down on Friday, so I will pick them up at the airport and drive them around for a few days, read them the riot act about behaving and how to close up the house when they leave for home, and then fly home and leave them to their own 23-year-old devices.  I don’t wanna know.

I’ve still got a couple more projects to share, but I have to go and eat some random snack now.  And not do my dishes.



If I am having this much fun shopping before the baby arrives, I cannot even begin to imagine how I will be after.



We’ll be ready for the beach, and no, I did not buy myself a matching outfit.


That is all.

Back at it

I have dipped into my collection of Palette, and now it is no longer complete.  On the other hand, Mike now has a hat.

Not Mike's Head

This is the Andean Chullo Hat from Knitpicks, and it is all I can do not to order the kit (now on sale!) to replenish my stash.  I fulled it in the drier after I washed it, as Mike didn’t want it too floppy.  Also, the fulling makes it a little thicker, the better with which to keep out the wind.

I asked Andy if he would like one, and who wouldn’t want to have one of these?

Imagine Andy's face here


No thank you, he says.  He would prefer a plain grey ribbed toque.  No turn-up cuff, no pattern, no colour, no texture.  This sounds like a project for someone else to knit.

So, after a two week fibre hiatus due to Christmas and a killer cold, I seem to have recovered.  I have to say that this Christmas was awesome.  Mike really surprised me with gifting, we had good food, we had time with family (although we are looking forward to sharing Christmas next year with the Calgary Contingent, including our grand-daughter, who will be 9 months old by then.  Yikes!), and the weather has been unseasonably mild.  While others may worry about why it’s so warm with no snow, I have come to understand that I can do nothing about it, so I am enjoying the weather while I can.  (It’s a lot easier to be understanding about the weather since we are heading south at the end of next week, so it can get as cold as it wants here any time until the end of February.)

Next time- I show you what arrived for me in the mail, and share why I should never say that I have enough hobbies already.