Maine or bust!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Best friends...

This is a very new feeling for me. To have friends I can call on without reservation, without doubt, and without fear. To have friends who will laugh with me and cry with me, be honest with me, share their lives with me and be a part of mine. Friends who will welcome me into their families unreservedly, and just as easily merge into mine.

We've traveled together, cooked together, slept together, taken care of each other's kids and pets, picked each other up when it was needed, and calmed each other down at times too. Heck, we've even stalked knitting celebrities together ;) (But NOT STEPHANIE!!!! NEVER STEPHANIE! WE'RE NOT STALKERS!!! We *are* Canadian, however, which apparently makes us mostly harmless - Yarn Harlot's own words!) There's no judgment, there's no backstabbing, and there's no resentment. Just easily enjoying each other's company.

To have such fantastic women in my life is a joy and a wonder to me. It's not something I've ever experienced before, and I cherish it.

And as an aside, this was my status on Facebook tonight, and apparently I've become cool enough for people to start stealing my status and posting it as their own:

Here's hoping that all the extra candles on this final 

night of Chanukah shine a bit of extra light toward 

those who need it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A sad day...

I don't know how anyone can concentrate on anything today in the wake of what has happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I won't report the "facts" here, because they haven't been confirmed yet and have changed so many times over the course of the afternoon that nobody knows exactly WHAT's going on right now. And also today, in China, someone entered a school and stabbed a number of children.

The only reason I'm tackling this in my blog is an intense need and desire to understand. I can sort of see killing someone who has wronged you or hurt you or abused you. I can almost, kind of, sort of see killing someone who interrupts you committing a crime. I can even kind of almost understand war. (sort of) But walking into an elementary school and shooting up a bunch of little kids? Little kids you've never met before who couldn't possibly have caused any harm to anyone in their short lives? Little kids whose families are going to be torn apart at the senseless loss in their midst? Little kids who could have been mine, or yours, or anyone else's - who trusted implicitly in the safety of their school and sanctuary - who trusted that the adults around them were there to protect and cherish them. Those kids have never done anything to anyone. There is no sense whatsoever, no possible explanation or reasoning for killing them.

Many of us will go home tonight and hug our children tightly. Many of us have shed tears today at this mind-boggling tragedy. Many of us will try to make sense of it. But it doesn't make sense, and it never will. No matter how many ways you twist and turn this, it will not make sense. I think it's time to seriously reexamine what we've turned our society into, to reevaluate what the hell is going on in the world. The world has well and truly gone mad, and it's time we started taking care for and of each other again rather than isolate ourselves into little islands and all stand independently. It's time to turn our gaze inward and decide what is truly important, and figure out where we're headed next. Because I don't like this crazy ride anymore, and I'd like to get off.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Trauma means I get chocolate: a PSA.

Today wasn't fun. I had to go have a pelvic exam to check out a lump that's been hiding in my nether regions for a while. TMI? Imagine having to explain to the MALE nurse that no, I don't want to have a joint appointment with my EX-husband because I'm having a pelvic, thank you very much. In front of a waiting room and reception area full of staff and patients. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure he's a nice guy. He just doesn't have much tact or bedside manner. Then explaining to said gregarious male nurse exactly what the pelvic is for (thankfully in the privacy of an exam room)... he then told me to remove my pants and underwear and to cover with "this" - this being a large square of paper. I was half-afraid he was going to stick around, but he left the room at that point.

So much poking and prodding later, I have to have some blood tests, before which I  have to fast for 12 hours, so there we are. No answers, no closer to knowing what's going on, but I'm glad I went. All I can say is that the speculum? Was obviously invented by a man.

Since I've been poked and prodded and violated in just about every way you can legally pay for, I can have some chocolate now, right? RIGHT?

I really wish this was Friday. Because I need a hug, and Kari and Sue are my go-to girls for hugs. I'll admit that I'm not the most mature person in the world when it comes to seeking medical advice. Especially when I'm scared or worried. I may have had a mini panic-attack in the exam room while waiting for the doctor to come in, lasting throughout the exam, and going full-force when the doctor left to let me get dressed again. Don't get me wrong, my doctor is the sweetest little thing in the world, and she's very reassuring and thorough, but dammit, when I'm having my ladybits felt up and it's highly unpleasant, and I have all these ideas in my head of what COULD be wrong? I may perhaps freak out just a little. And I may have cried a bit. And I may still feel like bursting into tears at any moment.

We only get one set of ladybits, girls, and it's really important to take proper care of them. In other words, it's important to go to the doctor and have a torture session once in a while. We may not like it, and we may be scared, but it's a necessary evil. Guys, just because you don't have ladybits doesn't mean you're exempt. It's important to have things like your prostate and colon checked regularly too! It sucks, but you can also have chocolate afterward. I promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I knit at Mr. Lube!

Today's been kind of eventful, so pardon me if I'm still a bit scatterbrained. I forgot to turn my alarm clock on again last night, so I popped awake at 8:10. Same time as last time. I don't know if my internal clock doesn't recognize daylight savings time or what, but during the summer, I would pop awake at 7:10. Far less convenient now, since by 8:10, one of the kids is late for school and I'm late for work. Oops! I drove both kids to school (Zachary still had 5 minutes before first bell!) and then rushed to work. Boss guy and I had a meeting with our banking officer at 10. 10:10 rolls around, no bank guy, no boss guy. Well, not entirely true, one of my boss guys was there, but the out-of-towner wasn't. Everybody finally showed up around 10:20 and we started our meeting.

From there, we literally rushed out the door to our office Christmas lunch (mmmm Italian Christmas lunch!). We ate at Bella's Bistro Italiano, and the food was fantastic, if a tiny bit pricey. I couldn't eat anything on the dessert menu (probably for the best) because there was booze in, like, EVERYTHING. My stomach has become more and more sensitive to alcohol until even a sip makes me feel nauseous and itchIy, so it's probably best to avoid it in food too.

I've noticed the last few days that Jeff's car has been a bit sluggish on acceleration, and at first I wondered if I was driving with the parking brake on, or if it wasn't totally disengaging (yes, folks, I use the parking brake every time I park. Sue me). Then I realized that I was wayyyyyy overdue for an oil change. I stopped in to Mr. Lube on my way home - it's funny, in French, it's Monsieur Lub :D We got the car rust-proofed (Rob is groaning right now at the unnecessary expense LOL) and while they had us covered with the tarp, I pulled out my knitting. You should have seen the guys' faces ten minutes later when they took the tarp off and saw Skye in the back seat reading, and me in the driver's seat, knitting away :D Best Knitting in Public reaction EVER.

As for knitting, I've been plugging along. The heel flap is done on the second Falling Leaves sock. I just need to turn the heel, pick up for the gussets and get moving again.

I'm sorry the pic is fuzzy...
I finally figured out the bloody increases on Laura's Ribbed Mitts...

SO so sorry.... :(
And I've made progress on the hat-that-isn't... (it's not a published pattern, I just picked it up off somebody's notes from a hat they made up).

I used my kid's camera, okay???? I'M SORRY!!!!
Actually, it was the hat I was knitting on at the Mister Lube. I have some major laddering in the ribbed section, but only at two junctures, not all four. Stupid KBL. Anyway, the hat isn't coming out very big, because I didn't use the same cast on as the lady who originally came up with it (stupid me) so it's not going to be anywhere near big enough for my head, but that's okay. I'm not too concerned. It'll go to that brat Charity that my kids are always whining I give all my knitting to LOL

As to the fuzziness of the pictures... well, I used Zachary's camera, which is fine for regular pictures,  but apparently sucks ass at macro shots. I didn't want to take the big camera out of the case, so that's my punishment I guess. Crappy photos. There are worse things. For instance, when the guys at Mister Lube were playing around under my car, they noticed something a bit strange. My tires were mounted BACKWARD. As in, they were mounted with the outsides facing in. But only TWO of them. Guess which two. Go on, guess. That's right, the two that had to be removed to repair the damage done when we had the accident in September. NICE, Carstar, really nice.

Oh, and as I write this, Rob is writing his final exam in his class, so wish him luck! I'm off to watch Mask of Zorro and drool over Anthony Hopkins.

I'll be in my bunk... 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where does the time go?

I ask myself that every single day. I have no idea, but it's not here. Because I never have enough of it. Rob is probably piping up "Cleveland!" as he reads this, because he's Rob :) But I don't think I'd have any more time in Cleveland than I do here.

Tonight is my final exam. YES. The class - the class with that teacher - she of the mercurial mood swings and irritability issues - is finally over! I don't anticipate any problems. I'm walking into this midterm with a solid B+ (if not an A-) so I think I'm okay. That, and I get my Tuesday evenings back for a few weeks! Jeff and I will both be greatly relieved.

The house, on the other hand, is an absolute disaster, and I have no clue how it keeps getting that way. Well, okay, that's a bald-faced lie. It gets that way because I'm lazy and I've raised two children who see their mom being lazy about cleaning, so they're lazy about it too. I need to clean it up though, because Rob arrives on the 22nd, and then he's here for a week and a half, and gross house needs to be decent before he gets here. (That, and I'm tired of tripping over bits and pieces that weren't on the floor FIVE BLOODY MINUTES AGO!)

I had to sit and watch Chanukah candles burn last night (I got a late start due to the class-that-wasn't at the Temple), so I decided to tackle the fingerless mitten that had been kicking my ass. I'm knitting Laura's Ribbed Mitts by Carrie Barraco. Problem is, she doesn't describe her increases in the pattern. She just says they're Cat Bordhi's La-link and La-rink increases. Well, that's all nice and good, but I've never heard of Cat Bordhi's La-link and La-rink increases. She does provide a youtube link, but hell, I don't sit around knitting while surfing the internet. I was incredibly frustrated at the lack of detail provided in the pattern. My increases didn't look ANYTHING like her gusset increases, and I was just about ready to chuck the whole thing. Okay, so last night I watched Cat Bordhi's video (the link in the pattern, btw? NO GOOD. Had to search it myself.) My increases now look like the gusset increases in the pattern, and I am kicking ass and taking names with these mitts :) So much so that I cast on a hat.


The lovely Stephanie Lynn (aka handmadesolace on Ravelry) created a fantastic hat she calls the Bulky Slouchy Thing. (This is not a published pattern, just her notes!) I found it while searching for something to do with my one lonely skein of Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton.

Back when I first learned to knit, I bought my yarn at Michaels or at Walmart. Then I discovered this great shop downtown called Knit Knackers Yarn Warehouse. It was in an old house on James Street in centretown (Ottawa), and it was fantastic. They had this huge bin that was all odd balls, and they were usually reduced in price. I actually got this gorgeous thing for $3.99! Unfortunately, Knit Knackers has since moved to Smiths Falls, and the fantastic staff have moved on (worry not, they're apparently all alive and well at Yarns, Etc. on Nicholas Street!)

Anyway, I'm still plugging away at the mitts, the Falling Leaves socks, and now this hat. Everything else is temporarily on hold until I cast off either the mitts or the socks. Tonight, my goal is to clean up the bathroom and to set the dishwasher going. Start small, right?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ice storm mayhem...

This morning I woke up to freezing rain and some really slippery sidewalks. Took me 20 minutes to trek from my front door to my car. No salt on the front walk, the city hadn't passed. Fortunately, the boy had cleared off my car and defrosted it. I was a mean mom and didn't give him a ride to school (no snow tires - things were going to be dicey enough with just me in the car!).

I got to work, pulled into our parking lot and stepped out of my car. *sigh*

Apparently the elderly gentleman who plows our lot and does the maintenance doesn't believe in using salt. Our conversation this morning when I phoned him:

Me: Jack, I see you plowed the lot this morning.
Jack: Yes ma'am, I did at around 5:30 this morning.
Me: Well, I appreciate that, Jack, but could you lay some salt down?
Jack: I don't use salt, rock dust is better!
Me: Jack, we'd really like you to use some salt. The lot is slippery as hell, and we don't want to get sued by the people we rent spaces out to.
Jack: Oh I'll come by and lay down some more rock dust!
Me: Jack, we'd really like some salt laid down. Right now, it's dangerous back there, and I don't think that rock dust alone is going to help.
Jack: Oh you'll like the rock dust when it's fresh. It doesn't wash away like the salt does.
Me: Jack, I'd REALLY like you to lay some salt down please.
Jack: Maybe I can mix a bit in with the rock dust.
Me: JACK! SALT! SALT, Jack. Salt. I want salt laid down in the back lot. SALT, Jack. ROCK SALT. Not salty rocks. SALT.

Jack: Okay, I guess I could pick up some salt. *click*

Not rock dust!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

32 years later...

I know that the anniversary of John Lennon's death was yesterday, but I didn't really have time to pop Imagine in yesterday. So tonight, after the kids and I lit the candles for night 2 of Chanukah, I threw the DVD on and watched it. It's strange to me how it still seems like only yesterday, and yet John would have been 72 years old this year.

So 32 years ago, I was a precocious 5 year old with a 10-month old brother I wasn't sure we should keep, I had started grade one and could read at about a 3rd grade reading level. I loved the Beatles, because that was one of the groups my parents actually liked and listened to. I registered John Lennon's death before I registered my own grandfather's death (my grandpa died in March of 1980, two weeks after my brother was born). I didn't figure that one out for another two years. Sometimes, I kind of wish  someone had followed my grandfather around with a camera all the time like people did with John Lennon, because maybe I'd have more to remember him by than a single photograph and my mother's stories.

Anyway, not much else happening today. Went to my mom's with the kids, had some pretty awesome meat pie for dinner and played some Mexican Train dominoes (somehow, the name of that game sounds like it should probably be offensive... I'll have to look up the origins of it), and headed home. I managed to post some of last weekend's pictures on Facebook, but this is one of my favourites:

First pic of all four grandchildren. My two are the older ones, my brother's are the baby & toddler.
So since I don't have much to share today, I will simply leave you all with this. Smile, stay positive, and never give up hope.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Chanukah!

Kari and Sue and I went to visit Kelly at Just Knitting today. It's a very sad time for us, as a third knitting store opts to leave our shopping area, but at least Kelly will continue her business online, so it's not really "goodbye," it's more of a "see you around, but not face-to-face. Kari and Sue got some lovely yarn, but true to my yarn diet, all I bought was a couple of sets of Hiya Hiya Sharp DPNs and a pair of scissors that had some awesome Engrish on the back (made in China, and the translation is hilarious). Major snowstorm today, but it all turned to rain later in the afternoon, so nothing stuck around. Sue was taking pictures out the windshield and sending them to her husband. 

Kelly on the left, Sue on the right. Kari refused to be photographed.

We then headed out to Sue's to record the Two Tangled Skeins podcast, which was awesome. Kari made us some shepherd's pie for dinner that was awesome :) Then I went home with the kids and we took the materials I showed you the other day and put together a Chanukiah (menorah) for our Chanukah candles!

sorry, my sense of balance required me to add the three other candle-holders...
Zachary looked up the prayers online while I used the glue gun to the glass candle-holders. I love how it looks, and it's exactly what I wanted! I said the prayers (I couldn't remember the melody) and lit the candles, and this was the result:

Happy first night of Chanukah, everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Squeaking in Under the Wire...

I meant to blog earlier, but I had a bit of a rough day. After several episodes of really bad reflux last night and very little sleep, I took a sick day and basically used it all up for sleep. ALL of it. Then I picked the kids up and fed them, and we went off in search of a Chanukiah, since this will be my first Chanukah! :D

Couldn't find one I liked anywhere, so the short version is that we went to Ikea, I bought a bunch of supplies, and I'm going to make my own. We bought some grape juice, whole wheat challah and some gelt (I still have Rob's dreidel from last year, plus we all got a little plastic one in class on Monday). I promise that I will take pictures once it's all done and put together. But for now, here's a pic of the components:

I'm a bit less discombobulated than I was yesterday (and definitely better than this morning!). I'm looking forward to candle-lighting tomorrow evening, and to my final exam on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to going to Carleton Place on Saturday for our final visit to Just Knitting. In a very sad (for me) turn of events, Kelly has decided to close her brick-and-mortar store and continue her business as an online-only retailer. If you're local to Ottawa, I highly recommend that you pop by this weekend, or at some point next week to check it out! If you're not local, well, now you can enjoy Kelly's shop as well, as it'll be in cyber-space!

Good luck, Kelly! We're going to miss you!!! Janie (formerly of Janie H. Knits in Perth) hasn't made it out to a knit night yet, but she is very much enjoying her retirement, by all accounts! Can't wait to see her again!

So I had a moment this morning. My daughter was getting ready for school. She came out of her bedroom wearing head-to-toe skin tight grey spandex... a pair of barely-decent leggings and an off-the-shoulder top that showed the matching bra straps beneath... I just about had a stroke. "GO CHANGE!" I bellowed. "But why?" she asked, puzzled. "Because you look like a cougar heading out on the town!" I roared. She burst into tears, and yelled at me, "But it's the only thing I have that I like! I need to wear this!"

Did I mention that my daughter is 11 years old? Prostitot, indeed! I did win the argument, and she did take the outfit off. I have since confiscated the top - not sure where it came from, but this kid owns more clothes than my ex, my son and I all put together. She gets second-hand designer stuff from my mom's neighbors which is sometimes questionable (although I've gotten pretty good at weeding through it before it enters my house) and her grandmother takes her shopping several times a year. All I know is, she won't be seeing THAT top again, and I've turned into my parents. I only wish I could drink wine. I feel like this is a wine moment.

I'll be in the corner sobbing into some Haagen Dazs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Writer's block...

There are so many things I could write about.

I could write about how yesterday was my last class in the uni course I'm taking and that I'm so glad it's nearly over. I could write about the A- I got on my 2nd project.

I could write about how thrilled and excited I am that my friend Sylvie finally married her long-time partner Sarah.

I could write about how my son didn't take out the garbage - again - and now I have a colony of fruit flies and a remarkably stinky kitchen.

I could write about how the girls and I sat around Sue's kitchen table last night, scarfing cookies and laughing at the dogs' antics.

I could write about how much I'm looking forward to my first Chanukah and how sick I am of Christmas music already (I always am, but this year it seems particularly annoying because I've chosen a different path).

I could write about how horrible I feel that Rob's cousin lost her beloved husband yesterday. I could write about a million things.

But my brain won't cooperate.

It all feels so trite and inane and ridiculous, and none of it is inspiring me to say anything more today. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bring it, Tuesday...

Last night's class was awesome! Apparently I have very good symbol recognition, because I was actually sounding out words in minutes while people who have been in the class for the full 5 weeks so far were having trouble. It was SO much fun (plus, Edith made & brought latkes - yum! Bit disappointed that we weren't learning to make them, but I suppose 20 people crowding around the stove in the kitchen would have been a bit much.).

This morning, I got up on time, got the kids' lunches made in record time, and actually got out the front door a bit ahead of schedule. Pulled out of my parking space and the car felt a bit sluggish... okay, I didn't warm it up first, but I figured it would settle as I drove. Turned the corner to head to Jeff's house to pick up the kids, and that's when I heard it. You know what I heard. I hate that sound. HATE it. This is what I heard:

Yup. Front passenger tire was flatter than a pancake. UGH. So here's where my day COULD have been completely ruined but wasn't. Yeah, I was going to be late for work, but all I really had to do was hobble the car around the block, park it and take a cab over to Jeff's house. Then I could just drive his car to work and back and deal with the flat AFTER work (and after the kids got to school on time). All in all, a pretty easy and stress-free way to deal with it. I now have to buy a new set of tires, but I was going to have to do that after this winter anyway. I just wish it hadn't happened after I just paid for my January university class *sigh*.

Got the kids to school on time, got to work, and then got an interesting phone call. My bank phoned me on my office phone - I didn't even know they had that number! - to tell me that my rent was about to bounce. Um... WHAT??? Turns out my automatic transfer didn't transfer automatically on the 1st, so the money was still sitting in my savings account (where I put it to avoid spending it) and the payment wasn't going to go through. The lady at the bank said that she had never seen me miss a payment in the MANY years I've been a customer there, so she figured she'd call to see what was going on. MY BANK ROCKS. This woman? She is my ABSOLUTE hero today. She wears all the capes.

For some reason, it got dark enough for street lights around 2pm today - that's been happening a lot lately. So that combined with lack of sleep lately has made me far more tired than I'm accustomed to, but the rest of the day has held so much awesomeness that I'm pretty much okay with that. I'll just skip knit night tonight and head home after class, get a decent night's sleep (I hope) and be raring to go tomorrow. Now I just have to get my hands on some tires! (There goes my new car fund...)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, Monday....

You know, if it wasn't for the fact that I need my weekends to get things done, I'd much rather not have them. I feel so discombobulated when I get back to the routine on Mondays. Or no... I have a way better idea. I'd love to win the lottery so that EVERY DAY is weekend! That works :) 

After the lovely weekend I had, insomnia kicked my ass last night and I slept maybe 2-3 solid hours. I wanted to get up to knit, but I figured I'd get wrapped up in it and not want to stop. So I picked up a book. Normally, reading will put me to sleep in about five minutes flat. Not last night. A hundred pages later, I wandered out into the livingroom hoping that someone would be around online. Nada. I did eventually get to sleep, but it was fitful and restless and now I feel like my bed has a tractor beam on me and I'm only just managing to resist it by dint of will and I'm wondering why I'm bothering.

Except that I have class tonight, and I'm so excited that I'll be getting my textbooks and my first Hebrew lesson. I'm about four weeks behind everyone else, but I tend to find languages a bit easier than most, so I should be okay. I printed out the alef-bet and taped it to my office wall (where the fat ass sign used to reside). I've been sort of looking at the chart, and then comparing it to the prayers they gave us on Friday during the prayer chanting workshop to sort of learn to sound out words. It doesn't help me figure out what they mean yet, but that'll come in time. 

On the knitting front, I finished the scratchy ass orange socks of doom, and wore them on Sunday. A bit scratchy by the end of the day (because they're WARM!), but other than that, quite comfortable :) I worked a bit on the Falling Leaves socks, but I won't make too much progress on those until I go to Knit Night after class on Tuesday. I used to have to skip it entirely, because the coffee shop closed at 10 (which is when my class ends), but now they close at 11, so I can pop in for a short stint before heading home. I also cast on Laura's Ribbed Mitts (they're my mitts, but that's what the pattern is called) with the Estelle Cadenza that I had left after I finished Rob's curtain. It's so cold in my office first thing in the morning that my hands go numb. So, mitts.

I think I'm going to have to impose a yarn diet on myself. It's not that I think I should feel bad or guilty about the amount of yarn I have, but I do think that having enough yarn to open my own store may be a bit greedy and I don't need to acquire ALL THE YARNS. I do tend to get rather acquisitory when I start a hobby, but since I'm still going strong with knitting six or seven years after I started - which is practically unheard of - this desire to acquire has never abated. I just need to start knitting from stash, because I feel as though I'm just hoarding it all, and it'll never be seen by anyone. And I like making beautiful things to wear, admire and sometimes give away. Exceptions will be only festivals that I attend. If I save up, I can buy stuff at the festival. But I really have more yarn than I can probably use in a lifetime. I'd like to contain my habit the two dressers in my bedroom, if possible, and maybe the under-bed storage bag. (Right now, it's about three times that LOL) I want to be a bit more organized, and part of that is living within my means, both financially and space-wise. 

The leeks are still sitting on my counter, making me feel guilty. Oh, and one of the pumpkins I had waiting for roasting imploded on me, so I guess I'd better do something with the others this week. Normally, they store for months, but this one, I dunno... Gross. The stem end literally just caved in. Oh, and the heat got turned, so yay! 

I'm beyond shocked at this, but someone has nominated me for a blog award! THIS ONE, to be precise:

I was nominated by the Center Pull Photography Blog, and apparently this "award" is basically a round robin-type meme where you have to answer questions and then tag other bloggers to ask them questions... well, I'll answer the question, but I am so pathologically against asking others to do things like this that I can't imagine tagging anyone else (Seriously, Google "Liebster Blog Award" and you will get tens of thousands of hits, but nobody knows where this originated or who started it, just like a good old fashioned chain letter). 

The questions posed of me:

1. What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about cooking, about reading, about singing, about music, film, and nature. I am passionate about protecting those I love, and about nurturing the youngest among us. 
2. Why do you blog?
Erm... good question, considering that only a handful of people read it. It'll never make me any money, nor will it ever make me famous, so why do it? Because I like to write, I like to share my little slice of the world with others, and because I like to read other people's little slices of life.
3. What is your favorite meal?
Oh lord... I could never hope to choose. I like food way too much to hurt any of its feelings by picking one type over another.
4. What book or books do you think everyone should read?
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton and The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Yes, both self-help books, but they are books that truly do help you understand yourself, what's important to you, and those around you).
5. If money were no object, how would you occupy the rest of your life?
I'd spend it exploring all the places and things that make the world such a fascinating place. Of course, that would include Rob, his son and my children.
6. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
That's between me and God. 
7. What is one thing you’ve never been able to/had time to/had funds to do that you still want to do?
Lord.... I don't think there's enough space on the internet to list all of that.
8. What is your favorite television show and why?
I don't really have one. I don't watch TV.
9. What is your least enjoyable chore?
Folding and putting away laundry. That's tied with scrubbing the toilet.
10. What one thing about you is cool?
Usually my butt. Fat is a great insulator, but that usually means that the surface skin is cold :P 
11. Do you have pets?
I have two cats (ugh) and two kids - one teen and one pre-teen. I also have a housebroken boyfriend.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Family traditions

Today was a day of great tradition and *ahem* reverence in my family. Because although I am beginning on the road to becoming Jewish, my family is Catholic, and all that that implies. Therefore, being the first weekend of December, it was time to Christmas the place up. This means dragging the ancient artificial tree out of the basement along with the four or five crates of decorations my mother has accumulated over the years, and have the kids decorate the tree. For the last several years, it's been my kids' responsibility (with my brother's supervision and assistance) to decorate the tree. Before that, it was me and my brother, with my dad supervising. All my mom does is carefully remove each ornament from its box and hand it off to whoever's putting it on the tree.

This year, my nephew is finally old enough to start helping out (he's 2 and a half), so the process takes a bit longer. But it's a lot more fun :) He had a blast! At one point, he just touched one of my mom's glass teardrop ornaments and it shattered in his hands, and there was a bit of a panic to get all the glass pieces off him before he could get hurt, but other than that, it was pretty awesome.

I managed to get an awesome picture of all four kids together (new baby included), but I seem to have misplaced my camera's transfer cord, so I'll have to post it later. *grumble* There was a lot of playing and laughing and fun today, and it's nice that we can still do this together. Over dinner, we were discussing the whole conversion thing, and my  mom asked if I would need to be baptised again... I just kind of blinked a few times and looked at her... "Mom, Jews don't do that..." Then my son asked if I would need to be circumcised. I just about choked on that one :D

I took a walk when we got home, even though it was quite foggy and still raining (yay, Ikea umbrella!). I feel as though I've had a full and satisfying weekend, and now I'm ready to end it and go to bed. I promise to share pics as soon as I can get the camera to cough them up!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Emotional sucker punch

So I was catching up with the few episodes of Glee I had missed (yes, okay, get it out of your system. All better now? I see you snickering in the back!). I promise there will be no spoilers. And the last few episodes have dealt with body image issues and eating disorders and such. At first, I was a bit outraged at the fact that they chose to focus on one of the skinny minnies as the central character for this issue, and then I caught myself. Holy judgmental bitch, batman! Just because I'm an overweight person with body image issues doesn't mean that skinny or average people can't have body image issues too! I was kind of shocked and disgusted with myself for that.

I've struggled with an eating disorder since puberty. Not many people know that. A few very close friends do, but it's always been a very closely guarded secret. I mean, I'm 285 lbs, so it's not THAT closely guarded, but I've always tried to keep it a secret. Granted, duh.... nobody PUBLICIZES that they have an eating disorder. Maybe if some of us did, it would be a step toward accepting the problem, a step toward getting better.

I keep telling myself that I need to get more exercise, and then I procrastinate until it's too late. I tell myself that I need to eat less, and then I become convinced that I'm famished and need to eat everything in sight. It's pretty effective self-sabotage, and I've been doing it since I was 11 years old, so I'm pretty good at it by now. I'm trying to get less good at it as time goes on, because I can't continue like this.

Suffice to say, I didn't expect this level of introspection or emotional turmoil from watching one of my favourite tv shows. Thus the sucker punch. But I'm glad that this show is using its influence to deal with topics that are not only relevant to teens, but are also the subjects that teens are least likely to admit they have a problem with. Bringing them out into the open, where they belong. Telling kids that it's okay to have problems, and that they're not alone.

So here's my confession: My name is Lynne. I'm 37 years old, I weigh 285 pounds, and I have an eating disorder. You're not alone. And you don't have to deal with it by yourself. Talk about it. It's okay to talk about it. It doesn't make you a freak or a loser. It just makes you a normal person.

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!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Now is the time to panic?

FWP, I know, especially given all the mayhem that Sandy caused yesterday for friends all along the east coast. But I have a midterm tonight, and I meant to study some more today, and I managed to misplace my textbook! ARGH. I'm pretty sure it's in the back of my car though, so I'll be able to study in the time between dropping the kids off at their dad's and the exam starting.

The panorama outside my window has been pretty impressive today... Have you ever seen a time-lapse film of clouds moving across the sky over several hours or days? It's been like a constant stream of that all day. Gorgeous, but very distracting :)

I'm at a point on the Tempting sweater where I'm not comfortable moving on without supervision, if not outright assistance, so I've been working on Rob's kitchen curtain (remember the kitchen curtain? I'm still working on the kitchen curtain). I finally finished the patterned part, so now I'm just doing the garter-stitch border at the top, which has to be long enough to fold over and seam, because he wants the curtain rod to be covered (I was tempted to just thread it through eyelets, but it's his curtain, right? He's the one who's going to have to look at it every day). Which means miles of garter stitch. :) Which means finding new movies to watch to distract my brain while I knit endless miles of garter stitch!

The Fiber Festival of New England is this coming weekend and there was a brief moment when I thought, "Hey, Massachusetts isn't all that far away, I bet I could convince the girls to drive down." That was just before common sense smacked me across the face and said, "Hey stupid, you're still high off Rhinebeck fumes if you think any of you wants another road trip this soon, or that you can afford more yarn!" That common sense bitch is on my list now, let me tell you. As IF there can ever be enough yarn! I mean, the kids' bedrooms aren't even filled yet!

Yes, I admit that I have far too much yarn. I admit that I desperately need to go on a yarn diet, or else my family will no longer have space to sleep, bathe or eat. I admit it, I'm a yarn hoarder.

It's simply incentive to knit all the things! (a bit more quickly, perhaps).

Shamelessly stolen from someone who stole it from Allie at Hyperbole and a Half (linked in sidebar).

*ahem* Midterm first!