Maine or bust!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Let the insanity - I mean weekend - begin!

Friday! :D One of my favourite days of the week! Why? Because although I like my job, I like being able to do what I feel like doing all day even more. I like being able to sleep in. I like not having to get my kids up at dark o'clock in the morning, and I like not having to stop what I'm doing to go to bed because otherwise I'll be a zombie at work the next day. Call me lazy. I like being in charge of my time and what I do with it. Because during the week, let's face it, there just isn't enough of it.

I feel horribly unmotivated though. Like lazy and slothful and hibernatory (I think I just created a new word...) and I just don't feel like moving. Which is why most of my weekends go by in a rush. Not this weekend. No way! I have too much to do, and not enough time to do it in, so some things will be sacrificed, but I will get time to spend with Kari, Sue, and some of the other people I don't get to see enough of (and maybe Sir Pugsalot too).  I will get to finish an Orange Scratchy Sock of Doom (aka Scratchy Ass Socks), which means I will have officially completed my first entire pair of socks. I will get a batch of potato leek soup made (which I didn't do on Thursday night because I was lazy).

The house has been mostly neat lately, but the bits that aren't are driving me batty. The bathroom floor is seriously grossing me out right now. The landlord had a plumber come in while I was in Chicago (don't even get me started on how pissed I was) and the guy moved my washing machine... there was a pile of black mold under there from when we had the flooding issue earlier in the year (which the landlord fixed functionally, but didn't bother doing anything about the resulting mold or rust stains all over my bathroom, and I didn't know there was mold under the washing machine or I'd have done something about it! GROSS!). Anyway, since the plumber guy moved the washing machine, now the moldy stuff that was under the machine is all over my bathroom. That, and the boy didn't bother sweeping up after he changed the cat litter this week, so there's litter bits all over the place that I'm going to need to clean up tonight. GRR.

As an aside, holy crap does the word "Desiccated" look wrong, but Merriam Webster assures me that's how it's spelled (so thanks for that, Google Dictionary, which couldn't even find an approximation!).

Ah well. So many chores, so little time, so I'd better get to some of them right now! I'm VERY much looking forward to my evening activities (which I will go into tomorrow), so I'm going to go finish up here so I can get started on them! What's everyone up to this weekend?

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I'm sitting at my desk looking out the window watching some very lazy snowflakes fall to the ground. It's not yet time for those massive storms that mute sound due to the sheer volume of falling snow, but it's a beginning and a feeling of peace descends on me when I watch snow fall. Everything else seems less important - the class I suddenly dislike that won't be over for another two weeks, the fact that my car is falling apart around me, the mess in my apartment, the mountain of laundry waiting for me at home, the 50,000 other things that demand my attention. All of it can wait for a moment while I watch the snowflakes dance in the air.

Not mine, but I don't have any pics of snow lazily falling...
Give me a month, and I'm sure I'll be cursing it piling up on the car (making me have to waste time brushing it off before going to work), hiding ice on the sidewalk (I have a super-paranoid fear of slipping), and generally making spring wait. But for now, I'm bundled in my favourite sweater, enjoying watching it come down. I may not feel this way at the end of the day when I have to leave and realize that the brush for the car is in Jeff's front hall ;)

I took this in March last year, just as winter was giving its last gasp...
I'm thinking that I need a pair of fingerless mittens. It's a bit chilly in my office, and although I can easily change the thermostat, I'm not going to make the rest of the office suffer so I can be warmer! I'm debating over patterns, and I'll have to dig through my stash to see what I've got that's suitable. I will NOT buy new yarn for this project! I want to ramp up the knitting from stash this year. I have so much gorgeous yarn, I really don't need any more right now. And I keep putting myself in harm's way, walking through yarn stores, or wool festivals, or what have you, and bringing home a new haul :) Time to stop, take a deep breath, and appreciate what I have.

Yes, this is my stash.... *almost* all of it!
We're finished with swimming classes for the next month, so we have our Wednesday nights back. Zachary passed his class, but won't be moving up to the next level. I've decided to enroll him in Bronze Medallion instead (Medallion or Cross? Whichever one's the first level!). He'll have a first aid component and it'll be a start on the way to lifeguard training. Skye did not pass her level, but the one thing I remember about swimming classes when I was a kid was that it didn't matter what level I was at, I was just thrilled to get to swim every week, even in winter! So what if it takes her a bit longer to get to the end?

Tonight is my night at home. This means that the kids get to help me make dinner - they both love cooking - I get some laundry done, I get some knitting time, and the kids get to watch a movie. It's a lazy night, and I think tonight we're all going to appreciate it immensely. I have half a dozen enormous leeks to deal with, so I think after we've made dinner, it will be time to get a pot of potato leek soup on the stove. My kitchen is going to smell awesome! Who's coming over?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Violated... (language)

It's been a heck of a long week, and it's only Wednesday. I got home Sunday night, having eaten a small (snack sized) bag of Terra Chips on the plane... which proceeded to make me so sick I couldn't drive home until several hours after landing. I have no idea what's in these things that my body just doesn't like, but I'm never EVER going to eat them again!

Monday, I started a new class. I'm very excited about this, and I'm hoping that I don't get flamed by people who don't agree with my decision. I have joined an Insights into Judaism class at Temple Israel in Ottawa :) This is the first requirement before they will consider a person for conversion to Judaism, and the class is fascinating (that, and they're teaching me Hebrew! WIN!) But it's another night away from home, and another drain on my time (and my time with the kids, although we're working something out there).

Tuesday kind of sucked, and then was kind of awesome, and then really sucked. The gist of the evening was that Rob's house got broken into. AGAIN. He had finally replaced Ray's tv and Xbox, and when they logged into the Xbox Live account, they noticed that the account had changed somewhat, so the jerks who stole the old Xbox had been using Ray's account. Nice. Apparently logging onto the new one gave the jerks the tipoff that a new one had been purchased, so they busted in while Rob was at work yesterday and stole the new one. Assholes.

They also stole Rob's dad's Air Force dogtags, which have absolutely NO monetary value whatsoever. They did it just to be douchebags. Because really. Who the hell steals something that can ONLY have sentimental value to someone, when they clearly can't sell it or profit from it in any way? And of course, I'm stuck 850 miles away, wanting to just wrap my arms around both of them and make it okay, and I can't do anything. They feel violated, and I feel impotent. To the wankers who have been getting their kicks repeatedly bashing my boyfriend's door in and stealing his (and his son's) stuff?

You'd better hope I never find you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What the heck has Lynne been up to???

UPDATE: Sharon, the creator of Three Irish Girls yarn (one of my favorites) is having to move her studios due to safety concerns and a rising crime rate in her current location. She has a FundRazr page set up for donations here. Please help her out if you can! 

Well, I know I keep saying I'll update the blog more often, but I really just don't have time LOL I usually end up doing it during whatever lunch break I remind myself to take at work, but when it's busy, or when I take a walk at lunch, I don't have time. Hopefully Rob and the three or so friends who read my blog will forgive me ;) (If it makes y'all feel better, I realized this morning that the last time I watered the plant in my office was the last time I updated my blog!)

I'm kidding... mine's a philodendron, so it still looks great... the ground wasn't even dry!
The last twelve days were spent in a frenzy of preparing for my trip to Chicago for Thanksgiving (the US version, since mine was more than a month ago) to visit Rob :) Also in trying to get an assignment done - the bulk of which - again - was done the afternoon the assignment was due *sigh* I don't know why I procrastinate like that. It doesn't make me happy, and I keep telling myself I need to work on it before it's due, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. Sadly, chocolate therapy doesn't work for that sort of problem.

I finally finished Rob's kitchen curtain before heading out, but sadly didn't block it. I had blocking mats at his house and even brought my t-pins, but I didn't block it while I was there either. Why not? Well... it's become a tradition, because Rob so enjoys my cooking, that when I visit for more than a day or two, I fill the freezer. This means doing a ridiculous amount of groceries (he just about has a heart attack each time) and leaving the kitchen an absolute disaster, which I did. This weekend's efforts included two dozen banana muffins, one and a half dozen cranberry muffins, a batch of "Aunt Evelyn's Rock Cookies" which are apparently such a family tradition that Rob's cousin Suzanne in Florida was like "Yay! Rocks!". Then we moved on to the savory dishes and came away with a batch of chili, a batch of spaghetti sauce, a batch of seafood rosé sauce and a lasagna. Rob's freezer is full of plastic containers of all these yummy things, which will hopefully tide him over until the next time I come over.

No exaggeration, this is what his freezer looked like when I arrived... no this one isn' t actually his.
We were a bit harried because Rob didn't have time to do groceries before I headed down, and I arrived late Wednesday evening - and all the stores were closed on Thursday (except Walmart, and I won't even go into how angry it makes me that they make their employees work on Thanksgiving!). So I didn't even get started with the cooking until Friday. Thursday, since we weren't having Thanksgiving at his mom's, and there was NO food in the house, we wandered around trying to find a place to eat. We finally settled for McDonald's (which neither of us particularly likes). Ah well, we did get to see Skyfall on Saturday, which was awesome! He'd seen it before with his son, and he has a tendency to blurt, so I told him that if he said one word to me about the movie before or during, I'd make him go see Twilight with me LOL Sue and I totally saw Breaking Dawn 2 last weekend and I loved it. So there. (Yes, I realize that my intelligence just took several hits in many people's eyes...)

I had managed to finish one orange sock (plain vanilla pattern) and was nearly done one Falling Leaves sock before I headed out, so I had two brand new socks to work on. I cast on the second orange sock at the airport while waiting for my first flight on Wednesday, and it's now at the heel gusset pickups. I finished the first Falling Leaves sock while watching Quantum of Solace (the first two Daniel Craig bond films hadn't really stuck well with me, so I had to rewatch before going to see the new one) and cast on the second one and finished the cuff before coming home. I hadn't brought the pattern with me - too fiddly on an airplane - so that's all I was able to do.

Rob insisted on dragging me to Windy Knitty (I win!) on Friday. I hadn't planned on going since neither Sue nor Kari wanted me to pick up any yarn for them, and I've recently acquired what could ALMOST be considered way too much yarn (ahem. I said ALMOST). But off we went, and it was quite an adventurous drive, since Rob couldn't quite remember how to get to Clark Street (he found it). What's so special about Windy Knitty? Well.... aside from the fact that it's one of two LYS near Rob's house (I'm sure there are others), it's also my source for Three Irish Girls sock yarn (which is awesome and wonderful and squishy!) So three skeins of that, and one skein of Sweet Georgia came home with me. It's not all STAYING home with me, but meh. Squishy :D

I need to finish some older projects... either Tempting or the crochet blanket. We've been doing a 12 in 2012 KAL on the Ottawa Area Ravellers' board (Ravelry) where we're supposed to knit 12 projects entirely from yarns that have been in our stash for more than 6 months before the year is out, and I'm only up to #9.

Good things: I have two nearly-completed pairs of socks for ME! There are only two Tuesday classes left before the final exam (YAY - I am so ready for this class to be OVER!). I am starting a new non-university class on Monday evenings which I'm very nervous and excited about!

So all that insanity is pretty much what I've been up to in the last couple of weeks. (Actually, that mostly just covers the last few days, but the rest of it has been boring). Cheers!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trial and error... and error... and error...

Someday I'll start getting this right. The sticker thing wasn't working for me, and lately I've just gotten frustrated and angry whenever anybody asks me how it's going with the weight loss thing. It isn't. I've been sabotaging myself left and right and it's just not happening. I haven't gained anything significant, but I'm fluctuating in the same three-pound range all the time with no progress. Argh.

I've joined Fitocracy in the interests of some friendly shaming and competition. A group of Ravelry girls have a Fitocracy group and they're really great about motivation, so we're giving that a try. So if you're a member of Fitocracy, look me up (I'm "tollbaby"). Poor Rob's trying to be encouraging, but for some reason, it just makes me want to curl up into a ball and eat all the things. I think I just get overwhelmed by his enthusiasm :) (that, and the PMS... that's probably the likeliest culprit. I do tend to get irrationally irritable).

The food part, though? I'm a master at the food part (as long as keep a tight rein on myself). Tonight for dinner, I made a stir-fry of purple kale, broccoli florets, chayote (first time eating) and chicken for Skye, shrimp for Zack and I (poor girl can't eat shrimp!). Heated all that up with a bit of olive oil and a bit of sesame oil, and then when it was done, tossed in a couple of Tbsp of President's Choice Memories of someone or other's Peanut Sauce (the lower fat version). SO GOOD. I would have taken a picture, but we gobbled it all. (And now I must try kale chips because they're awesome when they get stuck to the side of the pan and get all crispy and stuff!)

I love trying new vegetables, and I'd been seeing the chayote at the grocery store for ages, but I had no idea how to cook it, and was apparently too lazy to look it up online. Last week, there was this lady doing her groceries who looked SUPER EXCITED at the price of the chayote, and she bought like six of them, so I asked her how to cook them :) Apparently you just chop them up however, remove the seed in the middle, and either eat them raw in salads (I'd grate them for that) or stir-fry them like any other veggie. Raw, they have this sort of appley-turnipy taste with the crispness of an asian pear that I just can't wait to try in a salad (and we had to keep ourselves from just munching the poor thing before the pan heated up). Cooked, they kind of pick up the texture of lightly steamed broccoli stem or mostly-cooked carrot and the flavor is out of this world. It's hard to describe, but trust me, you will NOT regret trying this! I think next time I'll grab some shiitake mushrooms and do a chayote/mushroom stir fry with onions and snow peas... maybe a bit of teriyaki sauce.

I had school last night and got to class to discover that I had left my knitting at home. GASP. (If my hands aren't occupied in class, I get fidgety, which disrupts everyone else, so my profs don't mind the knitting). Fortunately, I had some (SCRATCHY) fingering weight yarn in my bag and a set of 2.5mm DPNs... so I cast on a sock. I'm most of the way through the heel flap already, but it's so scratchy and horrible to knit with that it's going to have to wait until at least one of the Falling Leaves socks is finished before it gets worked on again. I'll confess that no knitting was done today (Dominique is clutching his heart in shock right about now).

And now I have to find the motivation to go out for a walk *sigh*

Rob took this on my birthday last month.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not much to say...

I have a large assignment due at school next Tuesday, I've been running around a lot, I haven't been getting enough sleep, and the sock had to be frogged. That last one alone should be enough to excuse me, because I was one inch away from the toe decreases when Kari made me try it on and we realized that the sock was BLOUSING, but if I'm honest, I just haven't had much to say. Obama won, and I was ecstatic about that, but now it just seems like old news, and I'm boring MYSELF.

Sock the 2nd is coming along nicely. Finished the heel flap last night.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A relaxing weekend!

Friday was a bit hectic. I generally drop the kids off at their dad's and then head to knit night, but since Jeff had to work late on Friday, I had the kids until much later in the evening. I still made it out to knit night and then had some awesome Guinness French Onion Soup at the Royal Oak (I'm not kidding... I can still recall exactly what it tasted like and it was OMGGOOD).

Saturday morning, I headed over to Kari's house so we could do some groceries for her podcast taping later that evening. Okay, we didn't need groceries for the podcast, but I was going to be making dinner for Sue and her husband, their kids and Kari and I. Matzo Ball Soup (I don't really have a recipe, but if you follow the one at Martha Stewart Living, you'll come pretty close to what I make). YUMMMM. I happened upon a great sale at my grocery store - whole chickens were only $5 each! So I just had to buy the matzo ball makings and a few veggies for the soup. We also picked up some President's Choice thick-slice peppered bacon and a southwest salad kit and nommed bacon for lunch. Mmmmm bacon :D (and we came to the conclusion that peppered bacon would likely make amazing pralined bacon, which is Kari's specialty). Trucked on over to Sue's where I proceeded to chop and boil and such while the girls prepped for their podcast. Once the soup was done, I removed the chicken pieces and, discarding the skin and bones, made the most awesome little fry-up of boiled chicken, mini potatoes and salsa. Add the challah buns I had found at the store to the meal and we were all a bit stuffed :)

While the girls were recording the podcast (twice) and throughout the evening, I made quite a bit of progress on my new addiction: Kari's pattern, Falling Leaves Socks (ravelry link). I'm part-way through the gusset decreases at this point, and I'm loving this pattern so much, I don't think I'll have any trouble at all with second sock syndrome! I know I haven't talked much about knitting lately, but I was in a bit of a rut and now things seem to be moving again. Yesterday, I was actually sitting on the edge of my bed barefoot, knitting away on the sock, feeling the cold draft against my feet and thinking to myself, "Knit faster, woman! COLD FEET! Need handknit socks!!!" Rob's kitchen curtain is just a few garter stitch rows from being fully done, at which point hopefully either Kari or Sue will help me block it (I'd recommend actually forcing me to do the pinning this time, or I'll never learn LOL). The Tempting top has been on hold, but once the curtain is done, I'll finish that up too. I have to confess that I'm really having fun knitting socks now that I've gotten the hang of it, and I am so thankful I took the Yarn Harlot's Grok the Sock class back in August!

Sunday was kind of a lazy day... I made the executive decision to stay home rather than going to my parents' for dinner, and the kids and I had a fantastic hike up the mountain at Luskville Falls. Going up is always a lot easier for me than coming down, and I'm just very thankful for the modern inventions that are Voltaren and Tylenol Arthritis. The stairs at home were challenging this morning, and I've been moaning a bit every time I have to go downstairs to the kitchen at the office, but we got a really good workout doing the hike, and I can't wait until we can go back next summer! Thank goodness for the end of Daylight Savings Time though... both kids were in bed by 7pm, and I was asleep by 8:30!

Not my picture! I found it on Flickr.
It's kind of ugly outside... I've gotten used to having my blinds open at the office since there's no sun to blind me, but I'm getting tired of the grey landscape. I know I'd better get used to it, since that's what fall and winter are all about up here, but don't tell me I can't yearn for spring just a little. I'll have to console myself by spending time knitting socks and checking out all the fantastic winter produce! I'll be nattering on about Christmas cookies before you know it!