Friday, March 27, 2009

Half Moon Bay

The kids and I are having a great trip.

We had a bit of a schmazzal with the rental car that still is not quite worked out, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. The rental car company had us flying into Boston (like I would book myself into the wrong city) and there was a bit of a price difference (try $350bucks US) they want me to pay the difference and I don't want to.

We got to spend two days with Shannon and her family. The kids get along so well together, every time we get them together I think we need to get them together more often.

The kids and I talked a lot about what else we wanted to do and I suggested the beach. They loved the idea and I decided we should drive out to Half Moon Bay. The day was beautiful and the kids had a great time. They have been to a small beach in Vancouver before, but I don't think they had ever been to a beach with the power and energy of Half Moon Bay. You should click on the picture below and make it big, well worth it.

It is one of my favorite places in the world and I think I have three kids that are now in agreement with me. They loved the drive there and really had a blast playing in the ocean and in the sand.

On the drive home we all talked about the power of the ocean and agreed it has this ability to sort of wash away your worries and stress. We all came back from there feeling refreshed and relaxed. I am so glad that we made the time to get out that way.

We are having a great time and the weather is improving everyday. We are spending the second half of the trip at Mom's house I am going to try to post some photos for you in the morning of what we were up to today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Honors Performance

Here is what we looked like on Saturday. Normally by this time we we are having rain and there is no snow on the ground. We are sitting at 8C today, but the even better news is that I will in Sunny California in just a matter of days.

There is a Fine Arts Festival here in the Loops that is put on for all the students who want to showcase theirs skills in front of an adjudicator and get some feedback on how they do.

There are all sorts of categories: musical stuff from vocals to instruments and there is coral stuff, kids who do short plays, children that stand up there all alone and do a memorized piece. There is dance stuff as well, everything from ballet to modern dance. There were 1200 performers all total that were a part of the festival.

At the end of the three week festival the adjudicators pick a few of the top performers for honors and they perform at the Sagebrush Theatre for all of the Loops.

Sebastian's and PJ's class did a performance last year that was chosen for honors so we did not expect them to be chosen again. They try to spread it around a bit from year to year.

As it turns out their group was chosen for honors again this year and they were the only group in their category invited to go. They performed a choral piece called "Sun Up"

The kids were amazing they memorized the entire thing, it was a 15 minute piece. Sebass got an honorable mention for his solo as Father Time.

The piece was about a group of Puddle Jumpers that are tired of the rain and want spring to come. They think of several ways to ask the sun to come out to play with them. First a general orders the sun up, then a girl suggest that they ask the sun to come nicely. They try to charm it up. They even have a go at casting a spell with the help of a witch in hopes of bewitching the sun to come out.

Finally it is father time that brings out the sun. He ticks through the months, right through to May Day and the sun decides to show herself. They were wonderful and they all had a great time doing it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Paul's Grandma is here for the weekend having a visit. We have not seen her since the summer and have been having a great time catching up.

I have my suitcase out and I am trying hard not to start packing until next week.

I am sorry to be so brief, I wanted to catch you up on our weekend doings. I am going to scoot, Paul is off to play hockey and I am going to enjoy chatting with Granny for a little while.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mooning Over Finished Stuff

Here is the view out our front window this evening.

This second picture is a close up of the moon that shows you the true colour this evening. Amazing isn't it? Mother nature sure knows how to put on a show.

I finished the buggy socks last night. I am happy with them, in spite of all the breaks in the yarn. I never did find any bugs in the ball of yarn itself. There is a little leftover that I am going to put outside tonight, the -15C should kill just about anything.

I talked Sebastian into taking a picture of the lace cowl for me. He was funny, I am in my pajama and therefore not wearing a bra, I asked him to make sure my breasts where not in the picture so no one could tell I was bra-less. So the first picture he takes is from my chin down. When I explained again what I wanted he said "Ohhhhhhh, I got it." Cracked me up

Shannon knit her pretty lace cowl and I liked it so much I asked her what pattern she used. She said "the one on Knitty." So I went to the website, clicked on the "archives" and did a search for cowls and scarves. Only one cowl came up so I printed the pattern and started knitting.

One day I am to the cast off edge and I am talking to Shannon on the phone. I ask her, "Did you use this funny bind off they are talking about here in the pattern or did you make up your own?" She said, "what funny bind off?" We compared pattern and it turns it out this is not the same lace cowl Shannon knit. I got a chuckle out of the whole thing because it was her pattern that inspired me to knit this.

The yarn I used was a very lovely silk that Shannon gave me for Christmas 2007. It had seed beads spun right into the yarn and it was so fun to knit with and feels so soft against my skin, I love it. Silk is very warm, I think I will wear it Wednesday to work.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Wooly Weekend

Holy Cow! I did it. I wound all that yarn into balls and got them all organized downstairs, I will try to take pictures of that later. To tired right now. (All my stash was not featured in the the pictures on the back deck, there was also a bin of cotton, a basket of wool hiding in my room, a medium sized bin yarn set aside for felting project and a bin of misc. stuff.

That blue bin in the picture above is three balls deep. Now that is sentence you don't get to type every day, "three balls deep" I hope someone googling for some freaky porn comes up with this blog post on knitting instead.

Some things that surprised me about my stash:

1. Huge variety in colour. I don't seem to lean towards any one colour at all when it comes to my yarn choices. Lots of rich jewel tones and earth tones, but also a mix of pastels.

2. Made me feel very spoiled. The amount of yarn that is there that has been gifted to me on birthdays, Christmases and just for no reason at all is staggering. A HUGE thank you to fellow knitters for making me smile and feel so spoiled.

3. I only came across three unfinished projects. One sock for PJ that I gave up on because I worried the pair would be to itchy for her. (Delicate flower thinks everything is itchy) She tried it on and decided she would wear them if I finished them for her. One half finished sock that is a very pretty yarn from Blue Moon Socks that Rock kit that is fussy and is sucking up the yarn so fast that I don't think I can even finish the pair. I decided about an hour ago I am going to rip it out and start a different pair with the yarn. And a pretty lace shawl that I have left because I put it down for a while and I forgot where I am am in the lace pattern.

4. I apparently need to start some lace knitting 'cuz there is some beautiful lace yarn stashed away in there (Thank you Shannon and Mom!)

5. I have a sizable stash. I could go on a yarn diet for a long while and not go hungry. I think I will be knitting from my stash for while and only buy yarn if I really really love it or have specific sweater in mind.

6. I realized why I love to buy sock yarn. I know I will use it and I always know how much of it to buy.

(Is my count right? Did I blog 3 times last week and I am starting out this week with under my belt already?)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Frozen Wool

Mom had a great suggestion for my little bug problem. Freeze my yarn. What a great idea!

Here is the problem: family of five and only two little freezers. I have the small freezer above the fridge upstairs and the small freezer in the beer fridge in the garage. I can't buy a stick of butter and without using up what I have first for lack of freezer space. (I know I could really use a deep freeze, but the brand new washer and dryer was really a better choice at this point)

So I am racking my brain about how to freeze my stash a little at a time, you know I could quarantine the yarn that had not been frozen yet, while organizing the stuff that had, I could wind everything into balls as I go, I had lots of ideas. Then it hit this morning while I was telling the kids to dress warmly as it was -11C when they were heading off to school. (It warmed up a bit by the time I got organized enough to have my camera out)

The latest cold snap I have been complaining about (we are ready for spring around here but mother nature is not hearing us) is my salvation. Put the yarn outside! Duh. I don't know if I owe mother nature a thank you for the cold snap or if we call it even; after all she is the one that hatched the whole idea of wool eating beasts.

I took this picture before I got my entire stash out onto the back deck. It is a bit embarrassing how much yarn I have collected. I am wondering if I could give mom a run for her money yet?

This is a great chance to organize things. I have hatched a master plan that I will share with you on my next post. (I have not forgotten to tell you the story of the Cowl, I just got distracted by wool)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Knitter Nightmares

I have fallen a bit in love with simple lace patterns. (I blame this on Shannon and her lace cowl. I have knit one of my own but that is a story for another day) After I was done with the cowl I thought I would do an easy lace sock pattern. I pulled one out of my Socks that Rock collection. In the sock kit the pattern was paired with a very pretty pastel yarn that came with two patterns to pick from. I am saving the pastel for the second pattern, I think this pattern is called "sweet tarts" but I may have that wrong.

I chose some older STR yarn to use, it is a lightweight that I got in one of the kits the first year Mom and I subscribed the the STR. I did not love the pattern that the yarn was paired with those many years ago (3 I think) so this yarn has been sitting (wound up and ready to go by the way) for quite sometime.

The first sock has moved along quite quickly, but I have been having some trouble with the yarn. I did not get to far into knitting the sock when I came across a spot where the yarn was weak and a little frayed. I frowned at it, cut out the small bad spot, knotted the yarn and kept on knitting. I little further into the sock and I came across another spot, I treated it the same as I did the first.

I remembered that the first year Blue Moon did the sock club they changed yarn suppliers part way through the year. I thought about that and figured they must not have been happy with the yarn they were getting. I mean two week spot in one hank was a bit unusual. I kept knitting.

A little while later I am knitting along and a yarn end slips through the hand I keep the tension with. Okay now I am really unhappy with the yarn. I have a close look at the yarn ends, they are clean break, like someone cut the yarn, no frayed ends, no weak spot, just broken yarn. I tie another knot and keep on going.

The fact that I did not clue in at this point kind of baffles me. In retrospect I wonder if I am an idiot or just to optimistic to think this could be anything other than poor manufacturing. I knit on. I knit for quite sometime with no more incidents. I figure it must just be fluke and worry about it no more.

Until another yarn end slipped through my fingers. Then I complained to Paul about the yarn quality and picked the ball up off the floor for a closer look. Do you see what I saw? First look in the picture above. If you can't spot it there don't feel to bad, I had to get out the macro lens for the photo below.

Something ate my yarn.

I really not sure how to proceed. Is this an epidemic? I my entire yarn stash riddled with yarn eating vermin? When I showed the hole to Paul he had the nerve to say, "I bet something crawled in there and laid eggs." I can't even go there.

I decided I am going to knit my way to the answer. I am going to finish the socks, knotting yarn when I need to and see what is in the middle of the ball. I will keep you posted.

On another note PJ wrote this note and posted it on her door yesterday when she got home from school. I was at work but Paul told me about it. I guess when he and Quentin read the note they both went in and helped PJ.

She was in a great mood by the time I got home from work and showed me the note with a big smile on her face. I love the phonetic spelling of 'only', which of course is the word "olee" in PJ'S note. I have to respect anyone that can express themselves as well as PJ did yesterday. She managed to turn her "Bad Bad Day" into a good one and the whole family shared a laugh about it.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A New Love

I have been wanting a pair of front loaders (get your minds out of the gutter) for years now. I don't know how I have gotten by with a family of five and no front loaders. I bought these about a month ago and I am in love. I can fit way more stuff in there and they are better for the environment.

I love that this pair has a sanitize mode, no more bleach for my running gear. I washed all the linens off the beds with the sanitize mode, all the towels in house smell fresh all time. I used it on Paul's hockey gear and it took the odor out of it all together. I don't know if you have the pleasure of hockey stink but it one of the worse smells ever.

When I bought them, Paul actually asked me if really thought we could use a washer that holds so much. Dude seriously needs to do some laundry in this house. I definitely don't have to do laundry as often as I used to.

Shannon and Mom have been posting such pretty spring pictures I thought I'd show you what our backyard looks like right now. Last week we had another cold snap, we are usually starting to melt by now but the melting season seems to be starting a little late this year. We got a bit of fresh snow last night and the sun is shining today. Here is the second snowman of the season. The first one is a chunk of ice about the size of an exercise ball hiding behind this one.

We got a bit of melt in freeze in mid February so under all this pretty soft snow is a layer of ice about 4 to 6 inches thick.

I have never seen an icicle grow in this spot before. This thing is amazing and the kids have left alone to see just how long it would get. During the melt/freeze last the month it really grew quite a bit. I think it is about 3 feet long and would be longer if it hadn't run into the top of the retaining wall in the backyard.

It did get up to 5C today and here you can see the roof of our house steaming as it warms up.

As you look down the street you can see the whole neighbourhood steaming away. I think it looks pretty and makes me feel a bit like spring just might be around the corner. I heard a rumour of 10C for Monday T-shirt weather!