Thursday, June 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I am not great at math, but by my calculations I had my fiftieth post on the 26th. And because today is the ten year anniversary of the first day I met my husband at Edgefest in Barrie, Ontario, I am feeling especially nostalgic. He and I were at the Molson's V.I.P. beer tent—high class, non? He was impressed by my eating prowess, I am not sure what impressed me about him—probably he was a hottie—never-the-less we finally got it together to talk three months after we first met and here we are ten years, one dog and two beautiful babies later. He is my best friend and the only person I trust to tell me things straight up, to make me laugh even when I feel like screaming and crying, to still find me attractive at times when I, quite obviously, am not. Back then I couldn't have imagined how rich my life would be.

So, in addition to recalling the past, I wanted to say thank you to all of you for reading, making generously nice comments, and for sharing my day-to-day (and yours) with me.

Speaking of nostalgia, Spice Girls comeback?! Maybe ten years haven't really passed? Maybe this is all just a dream? Thankfully I don't get a chance to listen to the radio these days otherwise I am sure their annoyingly catchy tunes would be one of my new guilty pleasures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Clutch—Pre-Felt

Thought you would all like a little proof of knitting. I will post a finished pick, maybe after I buy an embellishment for it. A hot pink clutch needs a little something to make it real purdy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The One Thing She Asked For Her Third Birthday

And I am, of course, a slave to Her very "simple" request for a birthday present: "A regular Diego Cake." Only a one-glass-of-wine project—but I am a slow drinker. You should also note that using cocktail umbrellas to prop up the foil so it wouldn't touch the cake, is a bad idea. Think, Bridget Jones'—blue soup.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Whine and Cheese

We spent a lovely night out in Niagara at the Niagara New Vintages Festival with two really good friends, about 70 wineries, gourmet cheese, various little plates of food and some home grown celebrities—Anna Olsen and Rob Rainford. That is me in the picture, with Anna Olsen behind who, although lovely, has never made her own vanilla so she could not answer my question about the sediment in the bottom of my bottle and whether that is normal. Anyone out there know the answer?

It was an enjoyable night and the weather was great. I got to dress-up, wear jewellery, AND make-up—I felt so grown-up. I drove, so I had to be selective and only tasted one wine, 20 Bees and their very worthy Chardonnay, yum!

I am knitting a little felted purse (rather fulled, for Kristin) from the One Skein book. It is hot pink and almost finished, which for me means sometime before summer's end. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


...This blog post contains gratuitous information about the environment and may cause some to run screaming. I realize they sound a little goodie goodie, but be assured I still do a lot of really contrary things like throwing out a container in the fridge rather than open it to see its probably hideous contents. I am sure your list could be longer than mine.

Kristin tagged me for a meme. There are no rules to follow really, just a list of your efforts to support the environment.

A few years back I worked at a botanical garden and had the pleasure to meet and work with many true naturalists, ecologists and taxonomists. In particular one of my friends, we'll call him Carl, would get the restaurant on site to use his plastic containers when packaging his take out order. I know it seems small, and maybe this is no new thing for some, but it really occurred to me then what a person can do to make a difference. He ate out at that restaurant at least once a week for the year so he saved more than 50 containers from the landfill. If we all had it would have been a much more impressive number.

I am not a real outdoors person. I remember my first camping trip with my parents was torture for me. The toilet—which wasn't nice to start—had BUGS in it. I was beside myself. This early experience aside, and even though I rarely camp anymore and still don't really care for bugs (don't even get me started on ants!!!), I would not want nature tainted for others or my children's children. I do my part—I could do more—but I try to be a steward for the environment.

What we do:

• refuse to use bug spray on the afore-mentioned ants. They seem to find their way into my house every spring. They are little ones, but VERY annoying and, though I have entertained thoughts of flame-torching them away, I have managed to keep them at bay using the least toxic methods I know—squashing, vacuuming, applying soap to the entry way (they apparently don't like hygiene), a 50/50 split of icing sugar and baking soda which is supposed to make them explode because they cannot digest baking soda—but I have my doubts as this is the least effective method, lemon rind, boiling water which is highly effective but good for outdoor use only, and talking to them in a very stern and commanding voice to "leave my house!"—did I say the icing sugar method is the least effective. I digress, onto the next thing I do;

• clean with green cleaning products, and various home-made recipes;

• we use low VOC paint, and other building materials with low environmental impact;

• I compost a lot, but should compost a lot more;

• we pick up garbage where it ought not to be, like at the park, and hope to teach my kids by example to take care of the places we derive enjoyment from;

• we try to buy local produce, but this really works best in summer. In winter I look for hothouse tomatoes and cucumbers;

• As it becomes more accessible we are buying organic whenever practical, and intend to check out this not-to-out-of-the-way organic farmer's market;

• For laundry I use hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach;

• Drying laundry on the line as much as possible;

• I try to conserve energy and water: using the dishwasher and dryer at night, recycle, turning lights off when not needed, using cold water, use compact fluorescent bulbs, have a motion light in high traffic area, try to follow these guidelines;

• the babies use un-bleached diapers, and used a cotton service for baby one. I use a recycling service for the unbleached diapers;

• make use of cloth bags for groceries and shopping, or no bags if I have forgotten to bring them to the grocer—that went over really well;

• I donate unwanted items in the house to charity;

• use rags for cleaning;

• buy 100% recycled paper towels and toilet paper (tp isn't something the husband has adjusted well to)

What I would like to do:
• I would love to own a healthy home and live off of the power grid;

• would love to have solar panels;

• would love to sign up for BullFrog power—but am, admittedly, too cheap thus far. Maybe when we move;

• would love a hybrid for trips around the city, for those times when the kids aren't in the car. For now we keep our cars well maintained;

• wish I composted more and didn't get lazy about;

• want to upgrade our aged refridgerator, and washing machine. Honestly, they could collect a pension they are so old. I am told we have to wait for our move, so keep your fingers crossed that I get a freezer bottom fridge and front load washer soon.

This was a longer-than-expected post. Thank you Kristin, for tagging me. I am surprised at how long the list is. It never really seemed like all that much effort until I wrote it all down.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Ugly Step-Sister

I found this on a friend's blog and thought, o.k., for a laugh I'll do it. But, clearly, I am the ugly step-sister. Maybe with a little make-up...

How Do You Hold Your Yarn?

I have heard much talk of toe-up knitting. Everyone who tries seems to love it, so I am jumping on the bandwagon too. All eager to get started, I sought out a little guidance on starting the technique. My had the video guidance I was in need of.

What struck me about this video assistance is not how neat and simple the technique looks, but how she holds the string. She holds the yarn in her left hand, taught, and works the right needle into the stitch to snag the yarn and pull it through. I hold the yarn in my right hand put the right needle through the stitch then wrap the yarn around the needle and pull it through to make the stich. I have tried her way of doing and it makes sense, but it got me thinking, is that the way most knitter knit? Have I been doing it the remedial way? Help out here with an impromtu survey and let me know, how do you hold your yarn?