Sunday, February 20, 2005

What a fantastic weekend!

Friday, DW and I went out to dinner at the Royal Oak. I was good, ordering soup and a turkey sandwich with no mayo. That’s not too hard, since I prefer drier sandwiches. the soup was fantastic. I may go back just for the soup, and skip the sandwich next time. Having been good, I then ordered zucchini sticks, which were absolutely what I wanted, and I rationalized were better than French fries for me.

(Don’t tell my body they’re still grease, I’m trying to trick it. My body and I have an ongoing war. What it doesn’t know is that this time, I’m not only going to win, I’m going to win and force its terms of surrender to be the harshest in history. It will lose most of the identity it has created over the years, and assume the persona in the world that most benefits me. In other words, I’m sick of being fat. Yes, I know, I ate deep fried foods. But skinny people do too. I figure skinny people just tell their bodies “This is a salad.” and their obedient bodies process it as such. Hey, it makes as much sense as the Cabbage Soup Diet, doesn’t it?)

While we were at the Oak, DW ordered a Strongbow cider. Now, DW’s background is such that one pint is all it takes to get her giggly and overly relaxed. Not drunk, not obnoxious, but definitely buzzed. She decided it would be fun to go yarn shopping buzzed. She wanted to “pet and fondle all the little yarn beasties, and adopt a few to take home with us”. Please note, DW has often, in the past, been mistaken for being Amish, Mennonite, or a nun. She doesn’t smile much in public. This makes it three times as funny when she gets giggly.

So off we went to Yarn Forward, and I picked up enough Sirdar Snuggly to start on the Christening Shawl from Folk Shawls. That is to be DW’s shawl. Yes, I know, she just finished the Lotus Shawl for herself, but this is a shawl from me, hand knit to keep her warm and cosy. Unfortunately, we got there 10 minutes before closing, so it was a lightning fast yarn-shop. Nonetheless, my darling managed to fondle yarn beasties. She blames the fact that she bought nothing on the alcohol.

Then home to spend a cosy few hours snuggled into the new LaZBoy chair, knitting away at the Big Bad Baby Blanket.

Saturday saw me actually finishing the dishes in the kitchen. Does anyone else notice that dishes, especially eating-off-of dishes like plates and cups, migrate around the house away from warm soapy water in a pattern akin to geese flying away from cold snowy weather? I’ve gotten to the point where, in my head, I consider them two entirely separate sets of dishes. “Today I’ll wash the kitchen dishes, and tomorrow I’ll wash the house dishes.” So I finished the kitchen dishes, and helped the house dishes to migrate in the direction of soapy water.

Saturday night, I remembered a scratch ticket I’d bought at my last gas fill up. Scratch tickets are about my only purchasing weakness besides fibre and books. Some year, when there isn’t anything I particularly want, I’m going to put only “scratch tickets” on my birthday or Christmas list, and I shall shepherd them the way children do Hallowe’en candy – one a day for however long.

SCRATCH…SCRATCH…nope…SCRATCH..nope...SCRATCH sigh……..waitasecond…that’s a $50 dollar sign next to the two other $50 signs! WOOHOO!

Needless to say, today, before going grocery shopping, we went BACK to Yarn Forward. This time DW was not under the influence of alcohol. Between our 15% discount (frequent buyer points are NICE), and the 50 dollar scratch ticket, DW’s purchase of 6 balls of Invicta and my stitch markers (I keep breaking them) and needle sizer (I think those things are the ones who herd the dishes, and then they disappear faster than a two year old’s good humour in a doctor’s office) came to a grand total of….TWENTY ONE dollars. Canadian.

The dishes are more than half done, the house is looking better than it has in weeks, the laundry (thanks to DW) is up to date, the yarn was practically free this weekend, and I’ve lost a total of 12 lbs.

Life is good.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Please come back!

I just checked bloglines. My anonymous poster said that according to her/his bloglines, I had 45 subscribers, and I wanted to see if I'd missed an update. According to Bloglines, as far as I can see, I have 5 people openly subscribed to me, and 5 hidden. That's 10 people, dear readers. I'm not entirely sure what I did to scare off the rest.

Thank you to those still reading me, it gives me little frissons of joy that someone cares. I shall endeavour to be more interesting in the future.

*wanders off to ponder imponderables, and knit baby blankets*

Tora-cat, just clowning around.

Is that a Yarn Forward bag?

This is closer to the real colour.

Finshed the fuzzy orange Rose Petal Scarf.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Shot two. Lace pattern is clearer here, and the bleaching effect of the flash lets you see the variegation. For those interested, this is Fleece Artist merino silk.

Shot one of DW's finished Lotus Blossom shawl. Fast, isn't she?

MY new book. This should be fun!

DW's new book. She's very very happy. I'm a little jealous and feeling a smidgen outclassed. On the other hand, I get nifty shawls out of it, and she's promised to teach as she learns.

The beginning of fuzzy feet. *looks around furtively*'s not a new project. Really.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A short story for you

Sorry about the time off, dear readers. I sent a RAOK out, and then couldn't think of anything else to write until it arrived. I didn't want to blog about it, since I know the recipient is one of my 15 (!) subscribers.

Knitting News:

Remember all those UFO's? The ones I said I'd finish? Well, I'm still trucking away. 75% done the Baby blanket (for a darling lil guy who arrived well before his predicted Feb.14th delivery date). Finished Tammy's fuzzy blue scarf. But...


Those fuzzy feet in Knitty were calling me. Unfortunately, my stash is almost all currently on needles. Yes, dear readers, when I finish my WIPs, I shall be stashless. *shiver* Furthermore, I didn't have big enough DPNs. Now, with those two things in mind, I was barely able to resist the siren call of warm feet, until my dear wife said "Hon, would you mind going to Yarn Forward tonight?"

My wife has finished her Lotus Blossom Shawl. She's decided she's obsessed with lace knitting, and wanted a book. Since it was pay day, we had a lil bit of money to spare, so off we trotted.

Her book was fairly pricey, so I got to match it in stuff too. I got three skeins of dark purple Alfoss Lopi, 7 mm dpns, and this book. I cast on fuzzy feet, and am proud to announce that I have just turned my very first heel!

So now I have yet another WIP (can yuou say Startitis, dear readers?). Pictures of all of the above to follow.

Other News

Anybody know of some good tea? I'm drinking lots of tea these days, and we're almost out. I love all sorts of teas, from flavoured to herbal (except decaf, it scares me), and I'd love to hear your suggestions of what I should try next. I've been drinking more tea recently because we're buying less food! DW and I have each dropped almost 10 lbs. Next step is the gym. We were looking forward to spending more on yarn but the money we're saving on food is being funneled directly into debt. The bank realized a week ago that, instead of charging us interest and capital in my big huge student loan, they'd only been charging interest. We've been dropping extra cash into that loan to reduce the capital on a regular basis, but now our monthly payments will become triple what they were before. We now officially spend more on student loan payments than on rent. *sigh* So much for a house in the next year or two, eh?

What's that? I promised you a short story in the title and I haven't delivered? So sorry dear reader. Please find following a short story that I whipped up for one for my English classes when I couldn't find a good sight passage. Remember, it's aimed at teens, don't have TOO high a set of expectations.

SHORT STORY (title suggestions appreciated)

Andrew’s mother was pleased to find him home today; he was sitting on the couch watching television and not out with those friends of his. She paused in the doorway to the living room for a moment, looking at her son.

Andrew’s soft blond hair had been cut into a Mohawk, but he wore it down, swept over one eye. It made him look a little younger, she thought, but she preferred it to the time, months ago, when she had come home to a son who looked like Mr. Clean. Her son should have more hair than his grandfather, she had thought ruefully at the time, but she hadn’t said a word. All in all, Andrew was a good boy, and if he really wanted to follow these fashion trends, she’d let him. They were harmless. Besides, he needed something to make up for those clothes.

He was wearing his signature black. Everything he wore these days was black, his jeans, T shirts, socks, boots, even his underwear. She couldn’t remember the last time she’s used bleach on anything he wore. He liked his jeans tight; he tucked the hems into the Doc Martens that he had saved up to buy. Those army boots actually looked slick, especially with his puffy bomber jacket giving illusory shoulders to his thin frame. No football player, her son.

She wasn’t quite as comfortable with the earrings in his ear, or the ring through his eyebrow. Still, he had assured her that if ever he decided that this “look” wasn’t him, he’d just take the rings out and let the holes close. It was just that he had always had the habit of raising one eyebrow skeptically, and now there was a glint of silver that rose and fell like punctuation to his sarcasm.

They didn’t fight much, she and her son. Not anymore. No more than any other family that she knew of. They’d dealt with the fact that Gary (she refused to call him a father, a father would send money, if not love), had left them. That had left the family somehow closer, as if to say “See, we don’t need you, we have enough love.”

The day Andrew had come out to her had actually been a relief. She’d had suspicions that her son was gay, and the confirmation meant she could deal with it as a fact instead of hating herself for being paranoid. She wasn’t homophobic, nor were his ten and twelve-year-old sisters, so family harmony had been restored. Now that no one was hiding anything, the awkwardness between the family was gone. It also meant that she had someone to talk to when the next in her endless string of romances went sour.

Andrew was bright and sympathetic, and always helped around the house. Even now, at what was supposed to be the most awkward stage of his development, he caused her less trouble than either of his sisters. His marks were high and he helped his youngest sister, Ann, with her homework every night.

The savoury aroma of simmering chili that Andrew had started for supper filled their small kitchen and crept out into the hall. She continued into the kitchen, calling out a greeting to her son as she passed. His laughter at something on the TV drowned her words, but she’d thank him for making supper later. Right now, all she truly wanted was a hot shower. Working as a nurse was difficult, and shift work was even worse, but it was nice to come home to a well-run house, an almost-adult son who was so responsible and, she thought as she peeked into her daughters’ room, two adorable girls who actually obeyed their brother. Andrew’s laughter echoed up the stairs as she eased into the shower and washed out the tensions of the day. She smiled; she’d have to ask him which program was so funny when she went down for some of his chili.
Downstairs, her son chuckled at the television, forcing laughter to cover his concerns. He’d always wondered how she stayed so laid back, between her hellish job and worse boyfriends. Now he knew. It was the envelope marked “Peace” in the bottom kitchen drawer. Your choice of acid, hash, pot, even something that looked like coke. The envelope lay beside him. Andrew wasn’t looking forward to the talk that they would have to have about her drugs and whether or not she could keep them in the house. He just hoped she wouldn’t try to blame it on an ex or say she was holding them for a friend. He and his sisters would simply have to put down their collective foot and tell her she had to change if she wanted to continue living with them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Two FO's and a Whole New Semester

Oh, dear readers, such exciting times!

I finished Tammy's fuzzy blue scarf (baby blue ChaCha and Patons's baby yarn). Of course, I didn't manage to photograph it before the gift giving.

I also finished a blue variagated version of Autumnsnowdust's Rose Petal Scarf. I took it to school, hoping to take a picture of it. Unfortunately, the yearbook kids, bless them, had both cameras signed out. No problem, thought I. As it turned out, it was a problem. Another teacher BOUGHT IT from me within 30 minutes of seeing it. A second teacher then offered to buy yarn for me if I would knit two more for her children.

TWO FO in two days. Oh frabjous day!

In other news, I've lost 5.5 lbs. With this new semester (2 classes instead of 4), I'm hoping to be a funnier, more erudite, skinnier blogger. I didn't manage to exercise today, but I will soon. Our school is trying to match Terry Fox. He ran for the same numbr of days as this semester contains, so all of the teachers in the school are trying to collectively match his mileage.

Finally, I got my new classes today. So far, so good. The Grade 9's in my drama class bought in, playing the games, no protests, no sitting out. The Grade 11 World Religions course is full of neat, interested, interestING people who are really looking forward to learning. Well, except one. He wandered in ten minutes late, sauntered to his seat, asked if the personal info sheet had to "be handed in", interrupted a few times to ask if there would be writing in this class (?!?!), and complained about the fact that he now has homework (2 paragraphs, barely anything).

*holds her fingers to her temples and closes her eyes* I have a vision. I see...I see...I see someone who will voluntarily drop the course in the next month. *grin*

One last small school problem that's also a knitting problem. I no longer have the pattern for the Flower Basket Shawl. A student borrowed my copy of the magazine containing the pattern to work on a different pattern over the exam break. She left the magazine on the bus. I don't really want to buy a backorder copy of the magazine, but ....*shrug*