Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sun and Socks

We are supposed to have more snow this winter than any winter in the past 100 years. Everyday the forecast calls for snow and so far we have only had one really good dump of snow and a couple of lighter snows.

I am in Mom's camp on the unproductive cloud cover, if we have clouds they should be either dropping rain or snow. We are sitting at -7C (19F) this morning with flat grey lighting that makes the whole world look black and white and the weather report is calling for snow. I would love to have some snow!

So for everyone that needs a bit of sunshine: Here is a picture I took of a sunset in Hawaii from the ship we had dinner cruise on. Click on it to make big and fill your day with tropical sunshine.

PJ's mitts are just about done, in fact she is wearing the other one as I finishing up the thumb on this one. It took her two years to lose one of the mitts from the first pair I made her. When she misplaced the mitt she went downstairs to the yarn cave and picked out some yarn she liked. She brought it upstairs and put it on the counter and explained she could not find one of her old ones and asked if I would knit her new pair out of the yarn she chose. Smart girl how does a knitter say no to that request.

She managed to get a pair socks, a pair of fingerless mitts for her best friend and pair for herself, I apparently can not say no to an eight year old with sock yarn in her hand.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Saturday night we had the most beautiful dump of snow of the season thus far. It was only about -1C, which means you get big fat wet flakes of snow that stick together perfectly to make the perfect snow balls and snowmen. (I tried to make her snow girl, but the boys would not let me)

I have to be honest even after living in Canada for almost 11 years (WOW) this is the first snow man I have ever made. The boys did a whole lot of the work and Paul had to pitch in and lift the middle ball on the snowman, you would be surprised at how much it weighs. There is no way I can lift it, I am quite sure the snowman out weighs me.

The snowman stands only few inches shorter me, Sebass comes up to my chin these days so that should give you an idea how tall the snowman stands. The weather is sitting at 1C today and calling for snow, PJ and I have decided to make a snowwoman if we get some good snowperson snow. She tells me she think we should do a whole family this year.

Could you all do a snow dance for us?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beautiful Bang (Summer Vacation Part II)

The last post left you at the Canada/US Border. We had to cross at the peace arch as we were in Vancouver. We never cross at the Peace Arch due to the long line ups, we waited two hours to get across. Thankfully we left in plenty of time.

The kids and I were headed to Bellingham to fly out to Las Vegas to visit with Paul's parents. Paul dropped us off at the airport and he drove back to Canada via the Sumas crossing and only had to wait for two cars in front of him.

We had just the kind of flight you want, totally uneventful, we landed in Las Vegas around 11:30 Saturday night. Paul's parents picked us up and we off to their house to tuck into bed.

The next day we hung out around the pool and relaxed. As the afternoon went on SeaBass was not feeling well, he had a fever and was tired. He ended up sleeping the afternoon away and only getting up for about an hour to watch the 4th of July fireworks from the front yard.

The other kids walked around the block for a better view, but it was all SeaBass could do to sit on the front curb and watch them. He ended up going in and going to bed.

The fireworks were amazing. They live only a few miles from the strip and all the major hotels seemed to be competing with one another to see who could out do whom. They must have lasted hour or more.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Our Summer Vacation (Part I)

We have been on a bit of an adventure, we started on Thursday July 1, Canada Day. We traveled to Vancouver for the long weekend to visit Ranj and Susan and their kids (they just had another baby boy)

Paul and I took the kids the space centre and had a blast. I could not figure out why the space centre has a huge crab outside but here you have it. It is really cool looking, but nothing spacey about it.

Inside there was a planetarium much like the one in the Bay Area. We watched a couple of shows about stars with the kids. They really enjoyed the one about the planets but I think the second one may have put us all to sleep. I am not really sure as I was one of the ones nodding off.

Photograph of blurb above goes with the picture above it. I only took the photo because I though it was pretty.

In addition to the shows in the planetarium they had an area that reminded me a lot of the exploritorium but with a focus on space. There was a lot for the kids to see and do there. The kids all climbed into this space suit for photos but Sebass had the funniest picture so it's Sebass you get for this one.

I was surprised they had this space suit there. It is the one the astronaut Collins actually wore into space. I was surprised because as far as knew it was an American mission and the suit does have an American flag on it. I know many of the missions were done jointly with many other countries so I am not sure why I was so surprised to see this there.

I was not aware that the Canada is so involved in space research and had such a big space program.

We got to sit a bit and listen to a guy talk about rockets. He was pretty good, he taught the kids the three laws of motion in a way that was really easy for them to understand. He got the kids involved in his demonstrations and used a hockey analogy to explain the science behind rockets.

Below is a photo of one of the rockets used to propel Saturn IV into space. (1969?) I should check the date for you but I am to lazy to look it up (I am on vacation after all)

Saturday all the kids had a swim in the hotel pool and we loaded up the van to scoot across the border. More on that in the next post.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Spring is doing it's best to come to our neck of the woods. I think the day I took these photos was the only sunshine we have seen in weeks. We are getting rain the past two weeks, which is good, we are in desperate need of it.

Last fall I was in some store and they had a big bag of 40 or 50 tulip bulbs for something like $5.00. They were clearing out the last of the fall bulbs. I have always wanted to plant bulbs in the fall and have always been to done with gardening at the end of the season o bother.

When I saw the bulbs so cheap I thought, "For that price I can't be lazy" This spring I am so happy I planted them. They make me smile every time I am in the backyard.

The yellow ones all came up first, but now (I took these pictures a few weeks ago) there are some red, pink and white mixed with purple.

I don't think things have changed much around here, but for some reason I feel busier that usual. I keep telling myself I should feel less busy as the kids are long done with hockey and power skating wrapped up a few weeks ago. Sebass is the only one that decided to play soccer he has practice once a week and a game once a week, he is really enjoying it and seems to be a natural athlete.

Work has been busy, we added another massage therapist to the office and have now officially outgrown our space. Paul has spent all his spare time (haha) putting up some more walls in the office, turning some of the waiting room space into another exam room. He is in the process now of moving an existing wall, ripping out a sink and trying to magically make our office bigger.

We did our first camping trip of the season last weekend and went up to Wells Grey Park, we had a lot of rain up there, so we spent a lot time warming ourselves by the campfire and playing with the kids. It is always so good to get out and away from things for a bit.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Double Edged Sword

I have been a quiet again, I know.

Two of our staff members lost their husbands to cancer last week. A bit of a rough go around here. It was crazy how it all occurred:

Both of their wives work for us (we only have 4 employees)
Both men worked for local car dealerships
They were diagnosed within weeks of one another
They moved into hospice care within 3 days of one another
They passed away only 18 hours apart from one another.
I am so thankful they did not have to suffer any longer.

The only thing I know to do is love my family like there is no tomorrow. The only lesson I can take from this is to let go of all the little crap I tend to hold on to and live life as fully as I can.

I love you all and fuck you cancer.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


I was reading one of the blogs I follow last week and this really crafty lady (Knit and Tonic) posted an Easter egg dying technique I had never heard of, it sounded fun and different so the kids and I decided to give it a try.

I think she called them tie dyed eggs. So I started with a quick trip to the Salvation Army store to see if I could find 4-5 funky silk ties. (they must be silk) and a plain white T-shirt I could cut up. $20 bucks later I had eggsactly what I needed for the project.

I used a seam ripper to open the ties up and I ironed them out real quick to the kids could get a good look at them laying out flat.

I always give each kid 6 eggs to dye so I cut 18 squares (they need to big enough to wrap around an egg) out of the t-shirt and I had the kids kids come into the kitchen to do the rest of the work.

They cut up the ties into pieces to wrap the eggs with. I am glad I did not cut all the ties up for them because as they got more and more creative they would use pieces from several of the ties for one egg. They used rubber bands to secure the silk ties around the eggs.

Next you wrap the silk wrapped egg in a square of the white cotton t-shirt and wrap tightly with a rubber band.

Unless you are Q and then you spend most of the craft time playing with the rubber bands rather than wrapping the eggs. Who cares, he was having tons of fun and is thrilled at how his eggs came out. He did do some of the eggs and helped me pick out what he thought should be wrapped around the eggs.

Next you add water and some vinegar and let them cook away on the stove top for about 25 minutes, give take a few in this house.

We let them cool and then unwrapped them:

They came out pretty cool. I noticed that not all the ties transferred the dye in the same way. I had one Armani striped tie and it did not work as well as the cheaper/tackier ties (I paid a big $2.99 for that one, I thought that was quite a lot for a sacrificial lamb) For some reason the Disney tie with the 7 Dwarfs on it transferred all the colour except for the black, so you can't really tell what image we were trying to transfer, but we did end up with cool colours. The floral tie transferred really well.

We had a great time doing the craft and the kids are in love with the eggs. I will be keeping my out over the coming year for cool ties to use for next year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Here is the spelling list PJ was reviewing last week:

I test the kids on their words in the afternoon and long after the kids went to bed I was doing a quick tidy of the front room and found her practice work on the coffee table. Made me laugh.

I have been thinking a bit about my blogging, or should I say, lack of blogging lately. For a while now I find I really I want to blog but I just don't want to turn on my computer at the end of the work day.

I think about the blog all time. Things happen in my life everyday and I think to myself, "this is totally bloggable" But somewhere between the 'bloggable experience" in my head and turning on my computer I run out of steam.

I am not trying to excuse my lack of blogging, I am not even trying figure out for myself where I go astray between the experience I want to share and the power button on the computer.

On the contrary I learned with my sad cancer (fuck you cancer) post the other day that I need to blog. I need to blog in the same way that I need to do the laundry, sometimes I don't really want to do it but if I don't, the dirty stuff just piles up in my closet and gets kind of stinky.

I realize that I just made blogging sound like a chore and that is not what I mean to say. I mean that sometimes it feels like work to get your thoughts down on paper so to speak. But once you have thrown them out there they fit a bit better in your head. Do you see how it is like laundry, I dislike the stinky pile of laundry that overflows the laundry baskets but I do feel good when it is all folded up and put away where it belongs. The blog and the comments I get from friends and family help me fold up my thoughts and put them away.

I feel a greater connection to my family when I read their blogs and I check daily to see who has posted and find out what they are up to. So I realize that I need to make the effort to blog more regularly so that I hold up my end of the connection.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Head in the Sand

The Hard Stuff First:

I have not posted simply because I tucked my head in the sand for a little while. We have had a bit of bad luck with health issues at the office and without bringing you all down and sharing to much of what is not mine to share I will try to catch you up the best I can.

I may have already shared with you that one of our employees is fighting breast cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy and is fighting a brave fight. Sadly during her battle her spouse as also been diagnosed with the big C word and he is undergoing treatment as well. His prognosis is not as good as we all want it to be, but we hope for miracles, I have to believe they happen. Under the circumstances she has decided to take a leave of absence from the office, I think it is the right choice but it put me in a bit of pinch for staffing.

Meanwhile two weeks ago the husband of a different staff member was diagnosed with an ulcer. Guess's not an ulcer. He has cancer and is already in hospice care. Needless to say his wife, who has worked for us for over 5 years has taken a leave of absence. I would do no different if I was in her shoes.

We are small office and anyone hired to work for us seems to quickly become family. We are all so broken hearted at the office, so full of grief and anger at this beast called cancer.

In the midst of it all I still have an office to run and family to celebrate. I am trying to get someone hired to rescue the amazing staff I have remaining so they can stay healthy and happy.

I have been hesitant to post all this. For two reasons: One: thinking of the privacy of those affected and two: not wanting to bring anyone left left that still reads this blog down. But sticking my head in the sand and not sharing has not made things go away and just makes me feel full for not getting it out of my head and heart.

The Easy Stuff:

I have not been knitting much but I am pushing myself to get rolling again. I have been losing myself in books, computer games and a little bit of television. This weekend I made an effort to put the books down and pick up the sticks.

I have been chipping away on the traditional Danish wrap, I am up to 351 stitches on the needles. Mom, I was wondering if you could measure yours down the middle and tell me how long it is. I have no idea when to stop. I thought I would stop when I run out of Shannon's beautiful hand spun.

By the way the pictures here in no way represent the actual colour of the yarn. I have not idea why, but I could not capture it all. These photos make it look really grey, but the yarn is blue and purple in real life.

I finally finished some of the fiber I started in June on the Oregon trip. I am looking for you thoughts on how to ply it. Navajo or two ply? Or any other ideas you might have. It is 8oz of fiber. Does not look like very much here on the bobbins does it? The colour is pretty true in the photo though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

PJ's Birthday

PJ decided she wanted a girls party this year for her birthday.

The idea of a girl party worked out really well, as SeaBass and Paul were away for a hockey tournament.

There is a new kids hair salon in town and one of the things they offer is glamour girl birthday parties. I checked into it and it sounded perfect. PJ invited six friends and they all had a blast.

At the salon they have a glamour room where the girls get to pick out a fun outfit to wear, get their hair, nails, and makeup done and then have a fashion show.

The place even provided juice, pizza and a gift for every girl invited. PJ got to pick out a necklace for each of her guests. All I needed to do was bring the cake. It was very cool and very organized.

PJ said it was one of the best days ever. You can see Q in the pictures. He was very good natured about being the only boy there, he brought some art stuff and his DS so he would have something to do. It turned out they had a couple of costumes for him to pick from and he played a bit with the girls.

Everyone had a wonderful time and I would do it again if PJ wants to next year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PJ! I just can't believe how fast they are growing up.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fit to be Plied

I finished spinning this wool a long time ago, it is superwash merino that I bought online. I wanted to Navajo ply it, but did not know how so it is sat around on the p
spindles forever. I was feeling brave this weekend and looked up how to Navajo ply in book. Which only confused me.

I am a tactile learner and really need to touch things to get it my head so reading about a new technique does not work well for me. I decided to go online and Google some how to video. I watched two people do it on You Tube and then decided to give it a go myself. I ended up with this as a result:

I really felt like I was I ruining a decently spun fiber. I felt a bit frustrated and could not get any rhythm with my hands and my treadle speed. Not good. I went back online and looked at one more video. I noticed that in all three videos the spinners all held the single in a different way, they all did it a little differently. Of course, look at ten knitters and see ten different ways to hold your yarn, to hold your needles...why would a spinning technique be any different.

I went back to the wheel and played a bit more and ended up with this:

Way happier with it, I only wish I was paying more attention to where the end of my single was, I would have attached the next spindle of single ply and kept on going. I am going to try to do some more today.

This is the first time I have plied with the Wooly Winder, I have to say I have no idea how I managed to ply with out it. Totally rocks, no need to stop and move your yarn from hook to hook.

Monday, January 25, 2010


On my birthday last year both Shannon and mom gifted me hand spun yarn, what a treat! As soon as I opened Shannon's I knew exactly what I wanted to knit out of it.

A long while back (Spring of 2008) I saw a shawl pattern in Spin-Off magazine that I really wanted to knit. It is a Traditional Danish Tie Shawl, the pattern is based on an old Danish pattern. I know mom has already knit one up, maybe she will post a picture of her completed one so you can see it.

The pattern is simple so I thought it would be a good one to lug along to hockey practices and knit while I watch the kids play. I was knitting away on it at SeaBass's game on the weekend and the game was so good I put one of my yarn overs in the wrong place. I did not notice for a few rows and then when I did see it I thought maybe I could live with it that way (Denial, I know) the more rows I knit the more I realized I could not live with it.

I did at one point decide to drop a few stitches in that area and see if I could go back and fix just that little section. I tried that and and was not happy with the results, so I knit a few more rows to torture myself a little.

Finally I decided I needed to just suck it up and rip back to my mistake. I tried a trick I have read about often but have never done. I used a smaller size needle and picked up the stitches on the row just beneath my mistake:

I took a deep breath and pulled out my working needle. I ripped back to the needle I used for the life line and prayed I picked up all the stitches and the few yarn overs all on the same row.

And it worked!!! You can see my stitches are leaning the wrong way on one side, but that was no big deal, I stitched into the knit stitches the right way to turn them around and I was back on track. Now I have even knit enough to be back where I was when I decided to rip back. Shannon did such a nice job spinning the wool that it held up nicely to the abuse of being ripped back and knit twice, it no worse for wear at all.

Shannon, if I am remembering right this is well traveled wool. I think I recall you posting pictures of this wool while you were spinning it in Oklahoma. I was thinking if my memory is correct then this wool has been from CA to OK and back to CA only to be delivered to me in WA and then knit up in Canada.

One for the road. This is Q trying on the chaps that Paul's parents got him for his birthday. A perfect fit.

Friday, January 22, 2010

About Damn Time

I have about a million titles for this post, it has been to long I know.

I don't know really know why myself so I have no excuses (see there's a good title) and really no good reason (another good one) for not posting in so long.

So how about if I just start fresh and dive right in?

We had a wonderful holiday season, it was just Paul and I and the kids around here and we celebrated the season in the best way possible, just spending time relaxing and enjoying some family time.

We spent last weekend celebrating SeaBass's 9th birthday.

When I was pregnant with SeaBass I took a Lamaze class, there were only four couples in the class and we all ended up having our kids very close together. Three of those couples seemed to really connect and our kids even go to the same school.

You all know of Deb and her daughter Layne who is only 5 days older than SeaBass, and then there is Wendy and her family, there son is only one day older than SeaBass. Wendy teaches my kids piano and works out with me in boot camp classes. The third I see around town now and again and we always stop and catch up when see each other.

Wendy came up with the idea of a joint party at the tube park up at one of the local ski hills. Since the kids all go to school together their guests lists overlapped quite a bit. It made the party a great time and a more economical for everyone as well. They keep a couple of fire pits going at the base of the tube run so you can warm up when you get chilly and the kids had hot dogs and Smores instead of birthday cake.

I was talking on the phone last night with Mom about the crazy weather in CA right now. We have a crazy weather here as well. Ours has been on the other end of the spectrum, we are unseasonably warm.

Aunt Patricia requested some snow pictures and I can't provide you with any right now. We had snow for a little while but has all melted away with the hot spell we are having. Today we are sitting +4C (39F), last Friday if was +13C up at our house (55F), I just peeked at the thermometer and it has popped up to +9C (48F) since I took that picture an hour ago! I have been wearing sweatshirts to work and my winter coat has been put away for two weeks now. I am sure it will get cold again and I am hoping for some snow. I never thought we would in a situation here that I would consider asking California for water!

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the back yard:

You can see the sun glaring off a bit of ice on the back lawn and bit a snow in the shady spot, but that's about it. (Oh yes and my finger in the picture too! Don't say I never post any pictures of me on here.)