Monday, November 27, 2006

Ok, I give in - what tarot card are you?

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Social Knitters Unite

You can change the world with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn, or at least you can make it warmer, nicer place to be

On Saturdays, I take my youngest son to a card game/ get-together that he takes part in (holy awkward sentences, Batwoman). So, no matter how tired or wiggy I am, I get to drive 2 hours to spend an additional 4-5 hours hanging around, trying not to a corner of town where shopping is on of the few diversions. Just bliss for a recovering shopaholic during the busiest shopping season of the year... ummm I'm being sarcastic here, folks. I know, I'm subtle...

Lately, I've discovered the Ottawa library branch in the neighbourhood where the game is held- it's full of families and older people so it's good for a place to sit, read or knit but it's really noisy. I like this good kind of noise. I get to hear some funny conversations and sometimes, when I'm lucky, I get to hear impromptu songs (like the one the little boy was singing about his favorite cats - bobcats, tiger cats, red cats, lion cats - you get the idea)

I've noticed that they also have a homework club where kids can come and get mentoring and help with their reading. What a good idea. Older kids get to rack up some volunteer hours and the younger kids get a role model and tutor, all wrapped in one package.

Last Saturday, there was a young mother and her 2 children - a son, who was waiting for his tutor and a daughter. The daughter didn't have any homework so the mother designed a reading sheet that the girl could complete after reading a short book. Well, the best laid plans often get side-tracked by knitting . You and I know this

The little girl (Savvi) decided that she liked my knitting and that she didn't want to do her 'homework' but her mother quietly convinced her to complete the work. When she did finish, she asked if she could sit and watch me knit. What?!? You just can't say 'no' to a question like that? Where is the next generation of warmth-givers going to come from if we don't give them a little of our warmth now?

She sat in the comfy chair next to me and silently watched but I could see her mind whirling with questions and comments. I started to engage her to see what she was thinking. Then, the conversation turned to, 'could I try?'. I took my 5 needle-hat in bright blue Red Heart cheapo but fun yarn and put it in her hands. Guess what!!! She, in all of her 7 year old wisdom, had been paying attention and understood where to put her needles and where to wrap her yarn!!! Slowly, surely, cautiously, she knit 5 stitches then 7 then 10. She would probably be knitting still if I hadn't had to go pick up the Boy.

In passing, she mentioned that she liked the royal blue hat... maybe she would like one? Is it creepy for a stranger to make a hat for a child? Are people that cynical that they would be concerned by this type of gift? Sometimes, I struggle with this very North American perspective. In my mother's culture, a gift is a gift and thanks are offered; here, I find people want to know why it was given and what is expected in return. How about we change that part of our culture this holiday season and give for the joy of giving, expecting nothing but our own joy in return. If the recipients feel joy too - well, we've all won then, haven't we?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How to piss off the cat (tutorial attached)

(or why I love Flashlight, my cat)

For those of you with normal cats, pissing them off may become quite a chore. For the rest of us, it's a simple as dressing them up in our clothes.

I've tried to demystify the act of pissing a cat off for those of you who may be wondering. 'exactly what does a pissed-off cat look like?'. Have no fear - now you too may learn my ancient secrets for destroying that annoying sense of trust that our domestic animals begin to feel after days and days of non-events and sleeping

Step 1. Pick up cat
Step 2. Put cat on kitchen counter for ease of pissed-off-edness
Step 3. Pretend to be getting cat treats to appease the cat's need for snack-treats and to lull them into a false sense of security
Step 4. Instead of cat treats, whip out scarf hidden on shelves under counter
Step 5. Have partner in crime (and in life) distract cat with loud noises and funny faces
Step 6. Wrap scarf around cat's neck quickly and dash to safety
Step 7. Have partner snap photos
Step 8. Continue to dash for safety as cat escapes counter top and claws at your ankles
Step 9. Swear and laugh at the same time as cat continues to attack your legs and feet

Life is good

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Knit happens, and happens, and happens

Here's the finished Brea purse - it's a good size for tucking my knitting into for a trip over to the Ironworks tonight.It's the 2nd Wednesday so it's Knit Happens again... don't know what to bring - my Pasadena cardi or if I should start another pair of mittens... oooh, such planet-altering decisions, huh?!? If only they were all so simple. At least I'll have a nice bag to carry my stuff there.

I've got to get more mittens done and a pile of editing done and some articles to complete and the dogs to walk and the yard to clean up and the laundry is still sitting there and the shelves need dusting and the hall ceiling needs painting and the basement needs to cleaned out and I'm pretty sure that the dust bunnies are making babies under the stairs and the mice have been stealing my brown rice again and I need to put the rice in a mouse-proof container because the cats are obviously too well-fed to do their job and get rid of the mice and the wool is lonely and it's calling me to come & play...what to do...what to do...

Every morning, I give myself an hour to read through my favorite Blogs and assorted other sites, to laugh (or cry) at stories, to ‘oooh’ at photos and to bookmark projects to make. I only started doing this after the start of my recent illness, when all I could do some days is read, sleep and well, feel bad. It was a pastime that gave me light during dark moments, reminded me about the pleasure of planning, of sharing and of enjoying the creative energy that surrounds some people like an aura.
I’d like to share some of my favorites with you, so that you may enjoy them as well.

Katurah is an amazing writer, sharing her stories about raising her children in Zambia. I love the energy that she relates here and the gentleness with which she describes her beloved children

This woman is so cool that someone sent her stitch markers with the words “arse” and “bite me” on them!!!

Over a year ago, I was stuck in the wilds of Vancouver and lonely, without crafts. Then, one of my students slipped me sheet of scrap paper with a whole whack of URLs on it. Craftster was the first and probably the bestest link of all. I am stunned to see what people allover the world are creating and sharing. What fun!!!

A new friend sent me this link and although it’s not a blog, I thought that I’d share it any ways. ef is a really interesting piece about gentle leadership – too many ‘leaders’ are using out-dated and less-than-useful practices to manage their teams; this article advocates a different approach

Here’s another fun article forwarded me by some over-bright superstar -,1284,66209,00.html – have to say that it made me laugh!

Send me your favorite un-craft sites - I need some good ideas for my first ever (but not my last) Guerilla Craft Day and the Homestead - come along and craft with us:)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nuttin' but mittens!

It was so nice to put Shedir to bed that I forgot to share my latest mittens; these ones are for me and mine, not for the Lanark Knits project but they're still warm, colorful and fun, if I do say so myself.
Heeeeeeeeeeere's Kermit

And the reason that I will never make mittens in Bernat Satin ever, ever again

They're frikkin' heavy (but pretty). Hey, it's Canada in November - it's grey, dark and colorless - we need all the color we can get!!!
And finally, here is part of Val's b'day gift - soft, pink cabled mitts in Red Heart Simply Soft which beautifully lives up to its name... gorgeous. It's also somewhat shiny so (with my limited photography skills) that it's hard to take a good photo

I dropped them off at the store yesterday- Val wasn't at work but her boss was so cute. He looked at me, then at the package and said "ooh for the birthday girl", with a smile. When I picked up the gift certificates that I tucked into her card, the girls at Lush were so sweet. The wanted to see the mitts that I had made and when I told them that they were a gift from my heart to my DIL, they cooed. It made me feel so nice. I hope that she likes them and that her shopping trip is productive :) Love Ya, Kiddo!
I'll put the pattern for her mitts on here this week, so keep posted

Shedir, en Fin

Oui Oui mes cheres; Shedir est fini, en fin!
What a challenging project! I would definately recommend this hat for someone who wants to try more complex cables.
here is the first session's worth of knitting

And then, the next session

And finally, last night - phew!

Keep in mind, it's blocking in this photo and is still very wet. I tried it on, though and it fits well and looks pretty cool.
Would I knit it again? Probably, but in a cashmere or other natural yarn

Sunday, November 19, 2006

wii wii wii

we've been up since 5h30; K & K have been on the Wii hunt since 7h00 when they arrived at the first of many many stores - all sold out. Just got another phone call from K the younger; with fingers crossed, they will be returning to the homestead with a repaired Domino gee-tar (from the most lovely Folklore Centre's repair bay) and a Wii, for K the younger's holiday bliss... oh my stars!

Almost finished the basic cables up the side of Shedir. The softness of this cheap, cheap yarn is amazing and the color is beautiful. Only 2 more rows, then I get to start narrowing down this incredible project. I have come to the realization that I plan and then execute projects in haste, almost like the experience of knitting was secondary to the finished product. That's the 49th sad statement that I've made on this foray into blog-land

Friday, November 17, 2006

Snap, Snap, Snap Dragon

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

sad dogs & rainy days (and more of that 100 things that I promised, uh, I mean dumped on you)

I saw the saddest thing this morning - an old golden retriever curled up at the end of her driveway, sleeping - obviously waiting for her family to come home... or so senile that she falls asleep anywhere and everywhere... Poor old girl. She lifted her head as I drove past. She must be the best greeter ever - imagine coming home to that happy face every day? Heaven!

I come home to 2 happy dogs but they don't really care about humans (except the feeder-man aka K). Nash thinks that dogs are superior than humans and all most humans are is door-openers, feeders and head scratchers. Sometimes, if we're lucky, he'll actually retrieve something for us. Usually this highly-bred Lab will pick something up and then dance away with it cuz it's much more funny to run away than to cooperate.

Where was I last night?
Oh yeah, point # 46

46) when I was little, I also wanted to be a mermaid (or a dolphin) and practiced swimming with my legs together, like a tail. Funny that no one wanted to play with me after witnessing my 'practices', huh?
45) I used to collect dead birds that had flown into windows and bring them home to my mother. I was sure that she could resuscitate them and devastated when she admitted that, despite the my extreme faith in her, she could not
44) I read and re-read my favorite books over and over and over again until I could recite them by rote. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, the Secret garden and Doll Island were up there, on my all time best. My brother liked Where the Wild Things Are which I only gained respect for as a teenager
43) I was a good runner/ sprinter and was the best in my age group for several years, at school. I was also the high jump and hurdles champ. A mean feat when you consider that I can barely see my own hands, never mind a bar 10 feet away. Running was a joyful experience that I couldn't get enough of
42) We had a stone wall that ran around the edge of our property and I used to climb to the top (9 ft) and walk the entire perimeter
41) 42 is strange because I was extremely afraid of heights - my brother and our friends would cross a RR trestle to go to another neighbourhood but I couldn't cross. I was too afraid - then I learned not to look down. I didn't like the idea of failing
40) my brother and I once made a raft and tried to float down the Simon river like Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn (I don't know which one I was supposed to be). We didn't get far and sunk into some very deep mud. My mother was not amused when we came home, covered in bog mud and stink
39) I loved the ocean and collected vast amounts of seashells. I still have a lot of them. Someone nicked my giant starfish, though... bastard!
38) I painted and drew prodigiously. I also wrote songs and poetry all the time, too. If we had had video games or a PC, I would have been a total geek-nerd-wannabe (or worse, a LARPer hee hee hee)
37) I was labeled a 'daydreamer' in school but the truth was that a) I was extremely bored most of the time & b) I was napping because I had stayed up late, reading. Sleeping with my eyes open is just one my many many useless talents
36) I was much taller than all of the other kids, including my older sibs... I recently found a photo of mt at around 8, towering over my brother (who was 9 at the time). As a teenager, I was embarrassed when people would comment about my height and wanted to be 5' 4" - 5'6" like all of the other girls... I tried to shrink but it didn't work
35) our radio or stereo was always on and I sang all of the time
34) my father once set fire to our kitchen when he tried to warm up soup. I was only 9 but I put the fire out. dad was recording in the living room and had forgotten about feeding us, I guess. He remembers the story differently than the rest of us
33) I was a free-range child and did not like to be indoors very much
32) I wished, prayed, dreamed about being kidnapped by gypsies... I wanted to live in a red & green caravan, pulled by a shaggy pony. K's mother used to threaten him with being kidnapped by gypsies but I wasn't as lucky as he... I'm still waiting on this dream
31) I actually enjoyed mucking out the stables and liked the quiet time afterwards, when I could feed the animals
30) I bothered my mother for a bunny for years and then I got one (Biff, who was very, very smart). We kept it in the fenced-in play yard with my friend's' bunnies. They dug (the bunnies, not the friends) under our play house and years later, when the playhouse was moved, the ground was full of tunnels and burrows like giant termites had cut through the earth. Our neighbours dogs escaped and killed all but one of the bunnies and I came home from school that day to find my mother and our neighbour trying to hide evidence of an obvious bloodbath. I loved bunnies ever since I got Biff and long for one, even now
29) my mother made the world's best french fries and used all sorts of veg to make them - sweet potato, regular potato, carrot and her favorite (but not ours), zucchini. We ate them with aioli- YUMMMMMM
28) I memorized all of my grandmother's clan stories and one of my party tricks was to recite them, randomly to any adult who would listen.
27) My cousin, Caroline Jane (who I think is gay but is deeply closeted - Dad, don't kill me) used to give us soda (which we hardly ever had) and encourage us to have burping contests. Then, she would report that we were very rude... the aunties were not amused. She only tricked us twice, then we caught on... we were very naive children
27) another cousin, our crazy Frank used to get us to jump off my aunt's garage roof in the winter, onto a snowbank. One spring, he got my brother to jump off, sans snowbank. Landing in roses is not as funny as landing in snow. After we stopped laughing, we took him to the hospital for the first in a long series of casts (we were very naive children)
26) I thought that my father had written all of the songs that he sang. Years later, I heard John Prine sing Sam Stone and thought, oooh, Dad wrote that. Checking the liner notes, I was sadly disappointed....
25) My father took me clothes shopping one season and was never, ever allowed to do it again. I bought a hooded poncho, a green and purple and orange granny gown and lace up boots with high heels. Not what my mother had in mind but I was one cool 7 year old... I had to make up for a wardrobe of navy and grey throughout my school year, I suppose
24) I couldn't sleep unless I had cold sheets and especially, a cold pillow case... my mother compensated by making me a cover that I could put in the freezer before bed. I still like a cold pillow
23) I danced all of the time (when I wasn't singing, writing, knitting, running, skiing or swimming). Some would say 'hyperactive'; I prefer 'behaviorally-challenged'
22) I liked to visit cemeteries and read grave markers... I was a morbid child
21) when I was little, my aunt made roast lamb for supper. An old lady who was visiting us shared that it smelt like the death camp she had resided in during the war years... I haven't eaten lamb since. This is on my list of 'things that you should never share with a 5 year old'
20) At dinner, we were expected to have an opinion on world events. I sometimes had to make something up quickly because I didn't always know that world existed. I had a rich inner life, I guess
19) my grandmother used to make us 'nursery tea' by filling our tea cups with lots of milk and sugar and just a quick pass of the tea pot. It made us feel grown up
18) she also had 2 cats, named Beanie and Bootie. She rescued them when my mother was teenager - they were under the butcher's steps and she brought them home in her basket of shopping. My grandfather said that this act of kindness was one of his favorite memories of her. They loved each other very, very deeply (which is remarkable when you consider that they married at 18 and were together for ever)
17) long after those cats died(at ages 22 & 25), she got another cat, named Timothy O'Rourke. When I asked why she had named him that, my mother told me that she named him after a boy that she had loved when she was back home. I thought that was sweet considering that she was 70 something...Grandpa Stan was long dead then but she didn't call the cat "Stanislaus"... maybe that would have hurt, to have her Stan back in cat-form. Timothy was probably just a happy memory that she got to hang onto...
16) my grandfather used to watch soccer on TV but it bothered my grandmother, so she bought him an ear piece that plugged into the TV. Every game, at least once, he scared the crap out of us by jumping up and down and pulling the ear piece out of the TV in excitement. Our nice quiet house would be blasted by screams of "goaaaaaaaaal" or whatever the hell those announcers were screaming
15) My older brother was my idol and I wanted to do everything that he did, good and bad. It got us into a lot of trouble from time to time. Of course, "a lot" is a subjective term and many kids wouldn't have felt that what we did was trouble at all, I suppose...
14) Once, when my brother went to camp, my mother asked for help to clean up his room before it was re-painted. We found a shoebox filled with squirrel tails. I never understood why he had them and how he got them... one creepy mystery, that was
13) I strongly believed that the 13th was a lucky day. After all, mein Z was born on the 13th... couldn't get much luckier than that
12) my parents are both fire signs and their kids were all water signs; my mother, the thoughtful astrologer once commented that she thought that her kids had doused the fire of their (my parents') passion. Way to make us feel wanted, mom ha ha ha
11) I once caught my cousin shooting heroin in my aunt's garage and never told anyone. He was a mixed up fellow, that guy...I was about 10 and I was fascinated with the process involved...sad thought, that.

so now you see that not only can I adequately bore you; I can explain why (in 90 reasons) why my family is odd... it only stands to reason that I would be odd, too. The sad fact is that I haven't even begun my 100 things about the adult me...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

100 odd things about a very odd child

To continue to bore, erm, I mean enthrall you, I will share some 'facts' about the little person that was once ME

100) when I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then, a well-meaning relative explained that vets had to euthanize animals some times... Way to blow my illusions, there
99) if I could have, I would have had a herd of goats, donkeys and mules. They would have been my friends and we would have spent happy days, roaming together
98) I did not like ice cream but I did eat it on occasion
97) my older brother (who knew I hated anything but chocolate cake) would insist on a fruit-flavored (usually orange or lemon) cake for his birthday - I mean, really?!? What 6 year old wants a fruit-flavored cake! I thought that he asked for it just to piss me off. It's a Glen thing...
96) I loved to ride until Gypsy kicked me and sent me flying over the corral. I never wanted to ride after that - it was a equine betrayal that I am still recovering from *sob*
95) I read every book in my parents'/ grandparents'/aunt's houses and most of my local library's, too - I was very, very bored
94) we played Sgt. Blood in the woods behind our house - hey, it was VietNow and we were heavily influenced by what was happening around us. It was sheer luck that mom never found out that we were glorifying that 'conflict' in our play - if she had, we would have to endure hours of lectures about Nixon & Evil & Big Business & dead people. Yeah, mom is a lot fun when she's on a soapbox....I think that the 60s altered her brain chemistry
93) I did not watch TV very often and was usually out of the loop when classmates discussed the latest TV craze. I've since made up for my TV deficiency
92) I taught myself to knit by watching other people do it - my first attempts were pretty funny - mostly holes and knots, with a few tangles thrown in for good measure
91) when I was a teenager, my aunt Marge used to host garden parties and she had Pierre E. Trudeau over on many, many occasions. I thought that he looked like the Grinch; the ladies thought that he was hot. He did ooze charisma and you just knew that he realllllly liked the ladies
90) we used to mix up the leftover drinks after my parents' parties and swill them. They tasted much better after we learned to strain out the cig/joint butts. My brother still blames his hatred of liquor on these experiments - ever the iconoclast, I thank them for my love of drink
89) my father played in various bar bands and I knew every drumstick stroke and guitar lick to the classics - if you wake me up from a deep sleep and start a verse of "Johnny Be Goode", I finish it and go back to sleep. Yup, nothing but talent...totally unmarketable talent
88) one of my hobbies as a youngster was running away - sometimes, I was found and brought home right away. Other times, I managed to elude capture and spent hours/ days away. It was an odd compulsion that I cannot really explain
87) I knew more about fabric than most adults and could recite the virtues of a good wool (to the amusement of the tailors in mein Z's shop)
86) I hated elementary school WITH A PASSION - children talking about child-things was boring and intimidating. No one ever mentioned the news or politics or philosophy. I was sure that they were all in-bred or just really really stupid (I was a bumptious child)
85) I started skiing when I was 2.5 years old - I skied with the "big kids" every weekend and could keep up with them, no matter what terrain. It still makes me happy to think of all 8 - 10 of us, blonde & wind-burned. Our German/ Austrian/ Swiss community bred good skiers and we were among the best
84) we had a beagle named 'Baron' who never liked to stay home and was always out, hunting - he probably had another home somewhere
83) I had a black Persian, named "Charlie" after my step-father, Carl (strange family, yeah I know) - he was one of the great feline loves of my life and never failed to be my friend
82) I had a copper 'cheetah' bicycle with a banana seat, high handlebars and sissy bar; my older brother had a black'charger' (the same bike, in a different color and with different stickers). He taught me how to ride it, after everyone else had given up on me
81) I couldn't tie my shoes until I was a teenager... LDs run in my overly-creative family
80) one of my favorite foods was pickled beets - mein Bubby made them especially for me; no one else ate them
79) we had a cocker spaniel named "Taffy" who was the goofiest dog on earth. I'm sure that he also possessed the smallest canine brain ever recorded
78) my father had an old tomcat named "Kimber" who used to climb onto the balcony attached to my room, via the clothesline pole. Once, he climbed it with a muskrat trap on his paw. He was a tough old dude
77) I read every Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Laura Ingalls Wilder book that there was. I wanted to live in a sod house on the banks of Plum Creek, pick berries all day and fall asleep under an eiderdown, just like Laura
76) I had a crush on Levon Helm - he recorded next to our home when I was 5 and even then, I knew what I liked. I liked Levon. It was a one-sided love...
75) my parents bought a TV so that we could watch the moon landing - it was just about my birthday and I was sure that the TV was my present. Little did I know that it would remain shut off for most of the time (see point #93)
74) right after the moon landing, we went camping and I woke up every hour to ask, 'is I 5 yet?' - I was told to back to sleep but several very grumpy adults and many, many grumpy children. I guess I wasn't 5 yet
73) I was (and still am) disturbed by monkeys. Apes, I can handle (just look at my dating record) but monkeys scare the crap out of me. Bet I could take one now, though. I'm much tougher than when I was 4
72) My grandparents never stopped reminding all of us that we were theirs. They had lost so many family members by the time that we came along. I think that we gave them hope
71) when I was 8, my feet were a size 10 ladies. We went to buy school shoes and a sales clerk at a very upscale shoe store told my mother that, '(we) don't carry anything THAT BIG'. It scarred me for a while
70) I was in a hurry to grow up and time was moving very, very slowly
69) I was the third July baby that my parents’ gave birth to – three cancer children argh! My sister died before I was born and my mother has never stopped grieving, I think
68) we had a yard full of red poppies when I was very, very little and I still dream about our hill, covered in soft, red blooms
67) when I was 2, we went to a country fair and my parents lost me. They found me, asleep standing up hugging the leg of a very large draught horse, who seemed to like having me in his stall
66) when I was about 5 or 6, my father let me go out into the water in a large, black inner tube. I slipped through the hole when he wasn’t paying attention and was gone when they pulled me out of the water. I still dream about all of the colors that I saw while I was out of it
65) I wanted to be a mother since I can remember
64) my first language was German, mixed with Yiddish; then, I learned French and finally, English. I still don’t speak any of those languages clearly
63) I really wanted a turtle for a pet but I wasn’t allowed to have one because of a salmonella scare. I was distraught
62) my favorite candy was brown and tan peppermint sticks that were wrapped in cellophane and had a sticker of a lion on it. Yummmmmmy
61) I once went to friend’s house for “BBQ” and asked for a hot dog; they laughed at me and slipped a bun with dripping meat into my grubby, little hand. I soon learned what real BBQ was
60) I hated my first name A LOT, A LOT, A LOT.
59) I sang along to every song that was played on the radio but I didn’t know that my father was secretly taping me. I now know that I DID NOT know all the lyrics and often deviated greatly from the songwriters’ intent
58) I watched Star Trek every Sunday morning, without fail. It was my favorite
57) my middle name comes from my favorite great-aunt, Birdie. My father loved her, like a mother and she was very kind. When he wanted something to read, he would go to her house and she let him take whatever he wanted, as long as he reported back to her about what he had read
56) my father’s father was a funny, old man. When he was dying, he looked like a desiccated old bird. I felt guilty thinking that on the drive home one day. I think he would have cracked up to hear that
55) my father’s mother was a strong lady who left behind a socialite’s life to move to a farm and raise 5 kids. She did a good job
54) my mother’s father hiked out of their country for 6 weeks with his mother and siblings, looking for safety. They were special people. I always pictured the Sound of Music when I pictured this event in our lives
53) I wanted grapes BADLY when I was little but in support of migrant workers, we weren’t allowed to buy them. I cried and cried and cried and cried. It didn’t convince my parents to buy them, though
52) I once picked a big bunch of goldenrod for my mother’s birthday – she asked me if I wanted her to die. I said, “I don’t think so” (I really don’t think I understood what she meant at the time. Her allergies were pretty bad...)
51) I once whipped a boy with a skipping rope because he teased my brother. I nearly blinded him and I was recalcitrant when I was punished for it
50) I was our school’s dodgeball champ, three years in a row. I couldn’t throw a ball worth shit but I sure could dodge….
49) My grandmother moved to England when she was 12, to live with her aunt and uncle after her father was arrested for helping the rebels in her county. As a doctor, he couldn't stand by when someone had come to him to have a bullet removed. He paid a heavy price for repsecting his oath but i don't know if and when he was released. My mother and my aunt only whispered about it but no one ever discussed it at length; they'd be livid if they knew that was sharing this family secret. Their generation is 'different'
48) My grandparents met at a Displaced Persons dance and fell in love at first sight. I found this concept very confusing when I was a child; I still find it confusing
47) I wanted to fly more than anything... I'm still waiting on this one

ok, so maybe not 100 things but more than I've ever shared before...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Once upon a time

I was a cute child
Then I grew up (sort of)

My brother was also sort of cute

But I think that I had better fashion sense. His school didn't require a uniform that year and now, he has to live with that for the rest of his life.

I had a more sensible school and we wore tunics and jackets for most of the year. When I got older, they let us wear other clothing for photo day. When I look back and see the great misfortune that is 1970s fashion (yes, I'm that old), I appreciate my navy tunic and white tights.

See my pink sweater? My beloved Aunt Mary bought that for me and even though I was not a 'pink' girl, I loved that sweater. Mary isn't as cool as my Aunt Vivian but she always made me feel special. Vivian is my hero. I'll tell you about her one day.

find a penny; pick it up - all day long...

you'll have good luck? What about if you find $2.12 in the grocery store parking lot? I guess I get 212 days of good luck? That would rock... I sure feel like I need all of the luck I can scrape up, including off of the grubby parking lot. It's burning a hole in my pocket, right now

I finally got started on Shedir and made it to row 22 (queue the scary music) duh duh duh then I found 2 mistakes (in my business, we call them opportunities but I call them 'aw crap') down on row 11 or 12. A frogging we will go. Never knit and drink (or is it 'always knit and drink'?). I'm off to the V&S store to pick up a short 3.5mm circ. needle. I've found that, with so many stitches on my short dbl. pointed needles, eventually some stitches fall off when I'm struggling to get my tight little cable stitches done. Because my hands are so mangled, cabling is probably the last thing that I should attempt but I can't help it. I LOVE CABLES! I've decided to use Red Heart So Soft (yes, dirt cheap but like its name implies, incredibly soft to the touch) in a nice Caribbean turquoise (possibly my favorite color, if you had a gun pointed at my temple and I had to choose just one...). To soothe my Berrocco obsession, I've also started planning my Pasadena cardi and maybe, just maybe a top-down cardi, like this one

The Brea bag knit up incredibly fast (more cables)- it's cute. As soon as I steam it into shape, I'll take some photos. It was hard to knit 2 strands together (again, the hands) but well worth it. Despite the odd shape to this bag, I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good, fast cabling project. I estimate that it took an afternoon and part of an evening to knit the 2 sides and part of a morning to knit the gusset/ handle & crochet it all together. I opted to knit one continuous piece for the gusset and handle instead of hunting for a handle. One option that I had considered was to head to the thrift store and find an old purse to cut up for its handle. Maybe for the next one I make.

Then, there's the s/l turtleneck from Lion Brand... to knit in Galaxy and Symphony, ice blue! And I have some Olive Decor to think about... and some new Classic Wool to felt (maybe into this, sans fleurs)

So much wool in my house... I'm knitting as fast as I can, folks.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

photo Hell

I wanted to post some of my old photos on my blog and went to the photo kiosk to scan and make a CD of all of these erm... shots (yes, siblings in full 70s regalia and shag haircuts - be afraid, be very afraid). After a fruitless hour with 'help' from the sales associates (who, I might add, have no training in their own machine), I now have copies of all of my photos but no digital files to share.... one day, my pretties, one day.
Despite this debacle, I finally posted to Craftster. No more lurking for this country bumpkin-ella. And I still love knitting!

Our municipal election(s - if you include Ottawa) were less than fulfilling but we'll see if anything changes for the better. I highly doubt it. To quote Pete T., 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss'.

I have a few writing projects on the go, including compiling lists of resources for various communities within Ottawa. This is where I could use a little help; if you know of a community (you know, small business, families, non-profits, etc. ) or services (Canada Business Service Center, Volunteer Ottawa, etc) - please share. I want to include a synopsis of the service too. Please feel free to email me with any info that you can share. What about your impressions of the election? Was it what you hoped it would be? Are you scared for the "New Ottawa"? Or are you like 90% of the general population and want to pretend that nothing has happened?

Monday, November 13, 2006


People like this are what really makes this incredible site what it is! A muppet quilt!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Finally, a post with my 2 mermaid babies - there was this great string of posts on Craftster a month or so ago and a whole bunch of people were making these lovely mermaids. As a beader, I couldn't just sit and watch the action. Life is not a spectator sport so here are my contributions.

I had some problems with the mirror-faces but my intentions were good. I'm going to make some other ones soon - maybe a butterfly or fish... or something else... Who knows; with my brain, I may make a million of them or nevermake one again

I also got started on my Berrocco Brea bag, using 2 strands of Briggs & Little Regal in a deep, deep plum shade. It knits up really fast but now I've got to run to the Real Wool Shop to get another skein... it really hurt to work this heavy yarn into these beautiful cables but I think that it'll look really cool. I don't think that I'll invest in handles though - maybe just knit up the gusset into a longer handle. Whaddya think - Shoulder bag? Hand bag? I've got to think out how wide I want this one, esp. considering how I botched my pirate bowling bag by making it so wiiiiiiddddde. I should have just followed the SnB pattern, as written.

Friday, November 10, 2006

No one ever suspects the butterfly

After reading the Panopticon's list, I thought that I would balance the universe with some things that I love. You have GOT to read this blog - I wish this man was my neighbor:)
10) Coffee - yes, despite my physician's warnings, coffee is my morning friend. No coffee, no nice Tara - all gone. It's just that simple.
9) My pets - Flashlight & Pablo Honey, the cats who tolerate me (sometimes); Jack & Nash, the dogs who love me despite my scoldings about their barking about nothing - shut up already! And of course, the fish and snails, none of whom have been named because I hate losing the ones who I name....
8) Peace & quiet -esp. good after a night of wine and music (or even better, knitting) or first thing in the morning with a nice hot cuppa
7) Noise, noise, noise - esp. of the musical or happy friends variety
6) Wool & other fibers - whether from a sheep, a goat or even the wild acrylic jungle, yarn is the panacea for all of life's ills (and many of its un-ills, too). If you need proof, put on a pair of hand-knit mittens on a cold, cold morning and take a walk. See?!? You feel better already.
5) Did I mention coffee? Ok, The Simpsons - after all this time, they still make me giggle out loud, never mind the occasional spewing of unfortunate quotes that few seem to get... That's me, the Simpsons geek. Sad, ain't it?
4) knitting and sometimes sewing - no, definitely knitting - currently on my needles - Magknits Paris Loop - sort of, more of a variation on the theme. Just off of my needles - Kermit green cabled cuff mitts
3) My grumpy, pot-banging partner - see what happens when you disturb my morning peace? You end up being blogged as a grump but I still love you, you pot-banging, 'swearing at the puppy' grump-ass
2) My kids - I now have three children; my 2 biological experiments, Pat & KC and then we inherited Pat's partner, Val. So we have 3 kids and I love them all. How lucky is that?!? When I look at their lives and who they are now, I can't see much to feel guilty about. They're all fine individuals who aren't afraid to dance their own dance and who know how to love. I don't know what went wrong... I sure tried to screw them up. Guess I'll have to try harder on the grand-babies (but not any time soon, please)
1) Most of all I love not being sad all of the time. This year has been the hardest of my life and I am surprised to be still standing. Even tough all of this stuff happened and I felt at many times that my life, my career or whatever was "over", I learned a lot and I hope that I'm a better person for it. If I haven't learned that much, this hard, hard year would have been a waste.

Remember to smile from your heart and to share your love

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Knitting in the Country

I attended my first Knit Happens at the Ironworks last night - lots of nice ladies and their wool. Good conversation, a nice house red and lots of interesting projects. Seems like a lot more people are felting these days and some are even trying my nemisis, Briggs and Little wool. Don't get me wrong - I like to knit with it but it never felts properly for me, just tightens up a bit and doesn't quite look felted. i have to say that my all time favorite is still Paton's classic merino. Nothing shrinks down like this except maye a traditional Lopi.
Pablo Honey is a pretty groovy kitty, if I do say so myself. As you can see, he's not very relaxed HA! He's pretty mellow except for the first really cold week in autumn, when he leaves the comfort of the barn for the warmth of the house. He is primarily an outdoor cat but when it gets cold, he spends his days inside. He's always skitterish for the first few weeks, as he shakes off his 'outdoor nerves'. He's probably the most loving cat that you'll ever meet, though and he loves to hug his family. One thing that we've concluded is that he thinks he's a dog - he bonded very heavily with Jack when he was a small kitten and goes outside when the dogs go. If call "boys - go outside', Pablo is the first to reach the door to the dogs' yard. If only I had normal pets...
Back to my green mitts - we're off to meet the Yarn Harlot tonight - EXCITEMENT!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I have to get started on the kids' drapes - I dropped in on Val at the store on Friday and she really liked the weird floral pattern that I discovered at Vsquared . I liked it too - was going to try to work it into my own living room but my love for my son and his partner won out. I'm trying to find a way to lay out the fabric so that there's maximum impact with this little piece of pattern across those huge windows. I'll post some photos and a drape tutorial once I get off of my duff and actually make them

I got a head start on Val's birthday present (but I can't share that now - wait until the 22nd and I'll post photos and the pattern for the prezzy. All I can say is 'get your needles ready, folks!'). I think that she'll like it/ them.

I've been blog-hopping this afternoon and am thrilled to see the creativity that's out there.
Check out these fun mitts! I'm thinking of making a pair or two for the Lanark Knits project. They're just that cute! If I wasn't such an old chicken, I'd be wearing them around town, getting stares from all the other old chickens. Suppose I could make them and wear them around this drafty old house... hmmmmmm ladybirds!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thank you

Dear person who found my favorite scarf after I dropped it in the underground parking,

I want to thank you for putting my scarf where I could find it again. You'll never know how grateful I am for your kindness. It was about more than a scarf; it was about being nice to someone who you have never met (but who is really, really grateful for your niceness)

Thank you

Spin that wheel and pass it on!

The revolution starts now
When you rise above your fear
And tear the walls around you down
The revolution starts here

The Revolution Starts Now
Steve Earle
Sarangel Music

What did you do today to support your local revolution, “in your own backyard, in your own hometown”? With so much destruction and negative energy in the world, the only hope that we have is in changing where we stand. Long before we can effect those larger, global changes that are necessary, all we need to find our own local revolutions to support, to change our own realities, to make them fit our true value systems and make our communities more viable, more sustainable and more organically logical.

In all of my realities, music stands beside me, holds my head up when I’m tired, pushes my heart forward when I fear. Music serves not so much as the catalyst of change but as the anthems for what changes are already taking place around us. It’s not that music incites the change around us but it reflects the changes that we want or have already begun to feel.

When I look at my life, I see small steps towards my own revolution. Quitting a job that didn’t align with my values was a big step and one of the biggest risks that I have ever taken. Starting my own consulting business was another giant leap of faith in my own personal revolution.

For months, as I was driving into work, I had over an hour each way to listen to music. Steve Earle always fit into my daily play list, somewhere. I find Earle an interesting character, as well as talented musician – a bit of an iconoclast, he had times when he seemed to try too hard to be a rebel but it’s songs like the Revolution Starts Now that strike my heart as true. It always made me think about how I lived and if my values were reflected in that living. On some levels, I was doing just that but in other respects, I was avoiding what I knew to be true. Although I did not actively participate in the Machine, I was a cog that facilitated its negative work. By breaking my ties to the empty pursuit of the company’s goals, I landed squarely into a new but far more satisfying reality. I had spent months fighting the truth that I could leave at any time, until it became obvious that there was no healthy future in staying. I had to have faith that this movement was far from the end of my career but that it was a turn in my road, a new field in my own revolution. I am learning that we are all trying to find our ways through the world and that I need to learn patience with those who are not openly, actively seeking their own truths.

Thought for the day: If our hands were allowed to create the kind of world that reflects who we are and what we believe, what is stopping our hands from acting? Essentially, it is ourselves; we stop or start the motors of our own revolutions, no one else. Knowing that, what have you done today to create your own reality?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Everyone in my house is lazy

What's on my needles - Bernat Satin mitts in hot pink and orange (yeah, I know - too much color but hey, it's pretty grey around here in January)
What I've just finished - Diana's Tea Cozy - not my best work but knit with love
What's next - who knows argh

What I love about Halloween

10) Cleaning up decorations that have been soaked by that wet Canadian early morning snow (love those sticky web-thingys that cling to your hands even when you try to wipe them off..
9) Crazy teenagers who come to the door more than once (yeah, just switch your costumes around and we won't remember that you were just here 10 minutes ago)
8) Hiding my black cat so she doesn't get cat-napped and sacrificed (or whatever they do with cats around here)
7) Decorating the yard so that the three legitimate trick or treaters we get can trip and drop all of their candy (then turn off the lights so that they can't retrieve it whaaa haa haa haa)
6) Screams in the park behind my house (please, please, PLEASE, keep it up - I love having my OCD dog freak out and try to run through the front door to get to you)
5) Dressing up in a retro costume and realizing that what I've got on isn't a costume; I'm my mother circa 1974, minus the Pucci prints and spray-net 'au naturel' hair
4) Reminiscing about costumes past - KC's skunk hat, the boys going as the brothers from Face Off 3 years in a row (hey, it was easier than making a new costume and it's not like the neighbors remembered what they wore in years past)
3) Scary movies on TV!!! Spooktacular!!!!
2) Even better - faux-scary, campy movies on TV!!! (you know that movie with Kiss in the haunted amusement park, anybody?!? How's about some acting lessons, dudes?)
1) Left over Halloween candy (but therein lies the name of this post - I noticed that all of the yummy Hershey chocolate bars were gone from the candy bucket EXCEPT the Hershey Kisses. Apparently, we're all too lazy to unwrap individual candy. We want our gratification and we want it now!
Viva Les Egans