Sunday, 30 December 2007

Clapotis? C'est fini!

On Thursday, we got on the road to Ottawa at about 10:30am. As we were driving through Cobourg, it began to snow and continued pretty much for the rest of the drive. Near Brockville, traffic completely stopped just before an exit so we decided to take the exit and drive on a lesser highway beyond whatever stopped the traffic. It was a slippery road parallel to the big highway. We didn’t actually see what stopped the traffic but were able to get on the highway at the very next exit. By this time so much snow was falling that we stayed in the right lane for it was to ‘slithery’ to try to get into the left lane to pass. I drove until we started up the 416 - the highway up to Ottawa from the 401. We switched drivers and continued on our way; quite surprised the road had not yet been plowed even though there was quite a bit of traffic, this first business day after Christmas.

We gratefully arrived at my cousin, Jeannie’s at about 5:15pm - just in time for dinner! We were both very glad to get off the roads. I don’t have snow tires and was unable to back up the hill to get into Jeannie’s driveway. I attempted to go around the block but was unable to get up the hill one street over and ended up sliding backwards down the hill with the ABS grinding. There were no cars on the street so I just turned the steering wheel and back up to the curb and then was able to turn and go down the hill. I returned back to Jeannie’s street and was able to get enough momentum to get into the driveway.

We had a lovely dinner - a variety of leftovers from previous dinners. Yum. Jeannie and Robert went to a Senators’ hockey game and my aunt, Margaret, Skip and I stayed in and watched “The Queen”. I finished the clapotis (pronounced cla-po-TEE) with only 1 inch (2.5cm) to spare!

Here's a closeup:

Then I noticed that I hadn’t dropped one of the stitches and had to frog it back to redo it. I wanted to frog it back one repeat further so I wouldn’t have to sweat the last few rows.

This morning we slept in but finally got going just before lunch. We headed to Bank St. to the Indian Restaurant we had eaten at last time we were here - the New Nupur Restaurant on Bank Street in the Glebe. After the buffet lunch, we went to the yarn store next door, Yarn Forward. I bought 4 skeins of Bernat Cottontots yarn for the modular baby blanket for Carrie’s baby.

We then went to the War Museum which I was able to enter for free with my Ontario College of Teachers card. We had toured the cramped, old one a few years ago. The new museum has all of the old artifacts and more but more spread out and impressively displayed. We had to rush through the post WWII section because the museum was closing. We didn’t get to see the War Brides exhibit so may return tomorrow. I can also get free admission to the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, QC (formerly Hull, Quebec).

Back at Jeannie’s I recommenced the finishing of the clapotis. This time I remembered to drop all the required stitched and still only finished with 1 inch to spare again! I must not have ripped back one repeat as I hoped to. I was getting really nervous for the last few rows. I wove the ends in too soon to get a picture. I will block it when I get home but for now, it makes a very fetching scarf.

Yesterday, we walked over to the Rideau Centre and had lunch at Richtree. I had rosti and a Napoleon pastry. Yum. We then wandered over to Chapters for coffee at Starbucks and just to browse. They didn't have any "Hairspray" DVDs. It was a nice day for walking - temperatures just above freezing and sunny. The wind dried up a lot of the melting snow.

Last night Margaret treated us to ordered-in Chinese food. We then just relaxed after dinner. Skip watched football, Jeannie and Margaret read the paper and I knit. I started a mitered square baby blanket for Carrie's baby, due in February. We know she's going to be a girl so I selected 4 different colourways of pink and white yarn. The squares are about 7.5" square. I will make 16 in a patchwork quilt pattern. I knit 3.5 squares the last couple of nights and almost two squares in the car today in only 2.5 hours.

Here it is to this point:

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

"Let Nothing You Dismay"

Well, it's all over but the leftovers.

Monday, Scooter opened his gifts at about 4pm - his mother was coming at 6 to collect him. He was pleased with all his gifts. I forgot to give him his gift from Lorna so he'll have something else to open when he returns on New Year's Day.

Scooter and his new golf clubs.

After Scooter left, Skip and I went to Norm and Lena's in Scarborough (West Rouge, actually) to enjoy their Swedish Christmas Eve feast - our second Christmas dinner. There are usually several family members and a few friends in attendance.

Pictured are Lena, myself and Marion, Lena's sister-in-law.

We enjoyed glogg (mulled red wine with raisins and almonds), dried Swedish ham, beets and cabbage, an apple salad, Mr. Johansen's Surprise (a potato and fish dish), boiled potatoes, cheeses and rye crisp crackers, Vienna sausage-type sausages, ribs, and for dessert, wonderful rice pudding and lingonberry sauce and caramels. Mmmm. I restrained myself and didn't go for seconds but I sure could have.

Norm and his brother-in-law, Gord.

Christmas morning, Skip and I got up and had a leisurely morning. I put the burning log channel on the TV and we opened our gifts and had breakfast. After lunch, we dropped in at Skip's brother's house and visited with his wife and family. We then dropped in to visit Skip's mother in the nursing home and then drove on to Lorna's for our third (and last!) Christmas dinner of the season with her two kids, Scott and Megan. She served a delicious stuffed turkey,cranberries, scalloped potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, cauliflower and broccoli casserole and a delicious raspberry ripple for dessert.

This morning we slept in and after breakfast, Skip went back to bed for a wee nap. After lunch he had another nap. We're not sure if he was hung over after his glass of wine last night but he sure was tired. Today we just puttered around. All in all it was a wonderful series of holiday celebrations.

Tomorrow we go to Ottawa until Sunday. I decided to start the CeCe sweater but am having some 'issues' with gauge. I'm going to re-knit it with needles one size larger. I finished A's socks and will send them next week when we're back home.

They're ribbed and striped with alternating yarns left over from other sock projects.

I need to finish the hedgehog I'm sending his mother. I just need to attach the eyes, stitch the nose and stuff it.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

One Down, Two to Go

I spent most of today preparing a Christmas feast. We are celebrating early because Scooter will leave us tomorrow to spend Christmas with his mother. We'll see him again on New Year's Day for the rest of his winter vacation. I did zoom over to Canadian Tire to pick up some more light bulbs for the new chandelier. It poured rain all day - bleah! I'm not happy with the light bulbs. The lights flicker. I'm going to have to test the chandelier with other bulbs to see if they flicker. If they don't, I'll know there's something funny with the new bulbs. If they do, I'll know there's something wrong with my wiring.

Lorna arrived in time to eat chicken, cranberry sauce, green beans, scalloped potatoes, turnip, plum pudding, pecan tarts and cookies. We had a very nice dinner.

It sure was a good excuse to get the house cleaned up.

I spent most of the day on my feet so I'm going to take it easy tomorrow. We go to Norm and Lena's for their Swedish Christmas dinner, Swedish dried ham and all the fixings - a tradition we've participated in since Christmas of 1995. Skip and I will have a lovely quiet Christmas morning and then go visit my MIL in the afternoon on the way to Lorna's for her Christmas dinner. Mmmm - turkey.

Life is sure good.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

"Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat"

Well, the capon is pretty fat. We picked it up from the butcher today. That place was a zoo!!!

We met Skip's brother and his wife for lunch near my MILs nursing home where they had been visiting. After lunch Skip, Scooter and I dropped in for a visit at the nursing home. Jennie was in a pretty good mood and didn't snipe at Skip. We dropped in at the butcher (the zoo) and the liquor store. After we dropped Skip off, Scooter and I went Christmas shopping for Skip's Christmas gift. I then dropped Scooter off back at home and headed out to try and find more light bulbs for the lovely new chandelier I installed yesterday. I got the bulbs home and RATS! They're not the same 'colour' as the ones I bought the other day. Back I'll go tomorrow and try and return them and will have to go back to Canadian Tire and buy the lower wattage bulbs.

I went out, yet again, walking this time, to the IGA to finish up the grocery shopping. I started to get checked out and realized I hadn't even brought my purse with me. By some miracle, I had my cell phone in my coat pocket so called Skip to bring it to me. Oh brother.

After dinner, I scurried around and started some of the food preparation for tomorrow's Christmas dinner: chopping celery and onions for the stuffing. Lorna's going to join us so it's a good excuse for me to finally get things done around here and make the house (at least the main floor) presentable. I don't know why I never have motivation to do it for ourselves. Then I got the dining room all organized for our dinner tomorrow.

On the electronics front, I figured out how to hook up the DVD player to the new TV. However, I haven't figured out how to run the signal through the DVD player to the TV so we can either watch TV or we can watch a DVD. That's doesn't sound like a big deal but to go from one thing to the other, I have to change the cables behind the TV. I'm relieved because now we'll be able to watch DVDs which is something I like to do this time of year - especially the Christmas DVDs.

I only knit a couple of rows on the black alpaca ribbed scarf. I have to find the rest of the yarn because I'm almost finished the first skein.

Tomorrow (after I get the light bulbs) will be dedicated to preparing our Christmas feast.

Friday, 21 December 2007

4 Days to Go!

Today was a day to get lots of errands done: pick up a Purolator package, exchange something at WalMart, return something to Canadian Tire, pick up groceries, help Skip take the 20th Century 80s TV to the car so he could take a load to the dump, put up a new light fixture in the dining room (it took three tries before I got it right) and clean up after myself. The house has been a complete disaster area this week with the new TV and home theatre system coming in and moving things around. Last night, every room on the main floor except the kitchen was in disarray and it was making both Skip and me crazy!

Order has been restored. Skip went and collected Scooter from school in The Big City this afternoon. Scooter will be with us until Christmas Eve and will return on New Year's Day until the 6th.

While I was up on the ladder putting the chandelier up and listening to the local classical FM radio station I was reminded of the Sing-Along Messiah this Sunday. Rats! I had planned to go and I completely forgot that I am hosting a Christmas dinner then. Pooh! I even have the ticket. Oh well, it's more important to spend time with friends and family - maybe next year - sigh.

Tomorrow we're meeting Skip's brother for lunch near my MILs nursing home. We'll visit her after lunch. I have a couple more errands to run in the afternoon.

I was thrilled last night to get a comment on my blog from the gal who created the now famous (at least among my knitting group) Rolo Pretzel Turtles, Jaden Hair. She is quite the Internet personality and blogs about food. She creates and photographs delicious fresh Asian and fusion cuisine. She also KNITS! Again, I am not a confident cook, however, I have printed out her recipe for German Oven Pancakes and Spam Fried Rice to try out on Skip and Scooter. Here's a link to a video of a radio show she appeared on. She certainly makes her dishes sound easy to prepare.

I am also posting a link to the garterlac dishcloth from the Criminey Jickets website. I knit it back in the spring to get more confidence with knitting entrelac patterns. I called it the 'Neapolitan Ice Cream' garterlac dishcloth.

I then modified the pattern to 16 stitch diamonds for lovely, sunny yellow bathmat.

Once the technique is mastered, there are lots of patterns using it. For example, in the winter catalogue is the Quant headband and these very cool Annetrelac socks from Interweave's Knitting Daily store. There's also this soft Danica scarf from and Pam Allen's Lady Eleanor Stole from "Scarf Style".

I haven't knit a single stitch today. I'm going to take another stab at getting our new big-ass TV hooked up so we can at least watch it; forget the DVD/VCR player and the home theatre system. I'm really tired. I think I'll go relax.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Clean as a Whistle

I had my screening colonoscopy today and it went fine and everything looked 'normal'. The consultation beforehand was very easy - just filling out forms and answering all the questions. The doctor was very cute and the sedation very effective. Last thing I remember was rolling over on my left side and then waking up afterwards. Skip dropped me off and then went to visit his nephew's wife, Linda, who just works 1 block away from the clinic. He was there to collect me after I was OK to walk down the stairs. We went and had Mexican food in Ajax at Mexico Lindo. I'm sure my guts will rebel but it sure was good.

The 'clean out' last night was not so pleasant. I had to drink 2 litres of a solution in 250mL (1 cup) portions every 10 minutes. Before the second litre was finished, I was 'cleansing' my colon. Of course, this was the time Skip and I chose to move our very heavy 20th Century TV to make room for our lovely 21st Century TV in the family room. It was comical actually; every time I tried to lift the old TV, I'd have to put it right down and run to visit the 'loo'. We finally gave up and the TV is still sitting on the TV stand in the front hall. The new TV is sitting on the floor in the family room and I'm unable to get it to find channels. Arggghhhh!

I remembered after 6pm that I was going to make some treats for tonight's Sit 'n Knit. I had bought the ingredients for the Rolo Pretzel Turtles a couple of nights ago so I whipped them together and threw them in the fridge to cool down. Now, I'm not the most confident person in the kitchen but this recipe is a snap. I don't even use Rolos, I get the generic caramel chocolate cups at Walmart and I'm pretty sure you can buy them at Bulk Barn as well. And to make cleanup easier, you could use parchment paper or cheaper yet, aluminum foil on the cookie tin. I then just slide the entire batch on the aluminum foil onto the cooling rack. Once cooled (I use the refrigerator for 20 min. or so) I just peel the treats off. Then I recycle or throw the aluminum foil away and put the cookie tray away - no washing! It's the easiest treat to make and has always been very well received.

The Rolo Pretzel Turtles were a big hit again tonight at Martina's festive Kniterary Sit 'n Knit. Lots of people were there, too. I met Shawna (below on the left) who was allergic to what she was knitting; yet she soldiered on.

It reminded me of when my step-mom (who later legally adopted me) joined our family and she was trying to win over my teenaged brother by knitting him a Mary Maxim sweater (it was the early 60s so they were ubiquitous - now they're 'vintage') . It had a motorcycle on the back and goggles on the front with checkered flag pockets. I think my sister has it. It was 100% wool and Mom was allergic to wool. It didn't bother her eyes and nose until she had knit for a couple of hours but the wool irritated her hands and arms so she wore kid gloves that went up to her elbows (gloves were big then, too). The sweater was a big hit with my brother, thank goodness.

I sat beside Kathryn tonight and she was knitting the ribbing of a hat with some lovely Norwegian yarn. I introduced her to the magic loop method (third technique under Small Diameter Circular Knitting). She has the same aversion to dpns that I do and instantly saw the merit in using only one circular needle. Here's a link to a webpage that describes the crossover join method, however, I usually just cast on one extra stitch and move it over to the other needle and start the round by knitting the first two stitches together.

Lisa (in red above) brought the Christmas cardi for us to admire. We all remarked that we didn't realize that it was a child's sweater - it looked full-size in all the pictures.

One of the gals showed us the comfort dolls she is knitting.

They get sent to Malawi and are handed out to orphan children (many of whose parents died of AIDS no doubt). It is a project with ICROSS (International Community for the Relief Of Suffering and Starvation). The 5" tall dolls get shipped among medical supplies. Several of us took patterns. The pattern is also available here. They were SO cute, particularly the ones with black Afros. And they look like they have their hands in their pockets! She has 122 done and will sent them once she has 150.

I really enjoy my time with this lovely group of women.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Counting Sheep ...

I guess I shouldn't have had that latte this evening. I ordered a 'decaf' latte but I think they slipped me a high test 'caf' latte. Rats! I hate lying in bed trying to relax and breathe deeply to try to fall asleep and nothing works. I gave up and got up and did a few semi-productive things. I wrapped a Christmas gift for Skip, I threw some more stuff out from my desk, I searched for some cardigan patterns online and now I'm blogging. It's 4:30am and I'm sure going to feel like crap when I get up in the morning.

I have also begun my fast as step one in my 'clean out' (for the lack of a better phrase) for my screening colonoscopy on Thursday. I made a double batch of lime jello (anything red is verboten) which will be one meal and possibly a snack. I thought there might be a trace of red in orange and grape jello and I didn't see any blue jello - whatever flavour it might be. Also on the menu is some chicken broth and black tea and coffee. Step two involves drinking 2 litres of a solution in 250mL (1 cup) dosages every ten minutes starting at 6pm tomorrow to accelerate the process, I guess. Then for 'breakfast' on Thursday I have to drink another 2 litres of the solution with the same dosage starting at 6:30am.

I do not have any concerns which warranted the screening test. But I am getting 'of an age' and my maternal grandmother died from colon cancer so I thought I'd get checked out. When Skip picks me up after the procedure on Thursday (which should be complete sometime around noon) I hope I'm feeling well enough to go eat.

This afternoon I was smugly thinking I'd had my Christmas shopping done for some time now but realized I needed to pick up a couple of things for Scooter. He finally submitted his Christmas list (I got it as a Facebook message which he wrote me in Business and Information Technology class. What! Facebook's not blocked? It sure was at the school I taught at as well as Hotmail, Yahoo, msn messenger, etc. etc.) Anyway, while at an electronics store this afternoon, I asked a very cute and charming sales person about a deal he could get me on a 42" LCD 120HZ TV with a home theatre system in a particular price point. Luke - who sported a Nick Lachey hair style but with some blue gel - seemed very knowledgeable and taught me a couple of things that I didn't already know about 21st Century televisions. I learned that if the TV is 120HZ, it doesn't blur with motion. That is a good thing as Skip gets motion-sick when there is too much motion on the TV. Heck, he can't even look down in a car or he feels queasy. That's why I always navigate when we're in unfamiliar surroundings. Anyway, I told Luke I'd have to bring my husband in for the final decision.

After dinner I returned to the store with Skip in tow. We hooked up with Luke and did the deal which ended up costing about $600 more when all the required cables, extended warranties and taxes were factored in. To his credit, Skip only blanched a little bit when Luke rang up the total.

Then came the task of fitting the two enormous boxes in the back of my small, hatchback car. We ended up having to take the boxed components of the home theatre out of the main box and stuffing the separate boxes into the car, just barely fitting so I could put the hatch down. Luke came out and told us he forgot to sell us a couple of additional cables. There went another $100 or so. With the satellite provider we use, we'll get 6 months free HD service and rental as they currently are running a promotion. Woo hoo! We just might have HDTV in time for the bowl games!

So, while I'm fasting tomorrow (today, actually) I'll run out to the TicketMaster outlet to pick up our International Bowl tickets (we're sitting on the Ball State side - go Cardinals!! The Rutgers side was sold out - waaahhh!) and then I'll be trying to get the new TV set up. If I ever get out of bed, that is... Merry Christmas to us!!! Ho ho ho.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

"Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful ..."

Today it is snowing and blowing. Brrrr. I bundled up and braved and went out in this:

and walked over to the postal sub-station and mailed my Christmas cards and picked up some groceries.

Skip spent about an hour snow-blowing out the driveway and sidewalk.

We then cozily holed up in the house and lit a fire. I made a nice roast beef dinner and Skip watched football.

Friday, Skip and I attended a Christmas potluck staff party of the school I used to teach at. It was nice seeing everyone. I sure didn't mind hearing how fresh and well rested I looked either.

Yesterday, we went to a dinner theatre with Skip's golfing buddies. The buffet dinner was very well done and the show, "Sin, Sex and the C. I. A.", very entertaining.

On the knitting front, I decided to re-knit the striped socks on one size larger needles. The first one was just too tight. I've just rounded the heel and I think it'll fit much better. I hope to get them done this week. Then I'll tackle another UFO.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Happy Birthday, Skip!

Today is my husband's (aka 'Skip')'s birthday.

Phone calls have been flooding in. Unfortunately, Skip has gone to visit his mother and is not home to receive them. However, I have been enjoying taking the calls and chatting with family and friends. One friend, Joan, always remembers the day Skip was born because there was a terrible blizzard that day in 1944 and her mother made her trudge through the snow to write her Grade 13 Chemistry exam. Once when Joan, her mother and Skip were in the same room, Skip mentioned this and Joan's mother remembered the incident quite differently - that Joan insisted that she be permitted to go to school that day.

Today we hope to have lunch in Port Perry and stroll down the main street window shopping. That is, unless the blizzard that has been forecast sets in. Whatever the weather, Skip will have a very nice day.

Last night I attended my first meeting of the local knitting guild. It is an eclectic group of ladies including Martina, the proprietor of Kniterary and Stephanie, the proprietor of Ferguson's Wool Shop. A young gal sat beside me and proudly showed off her first completed project, a lovely multicoloured headband with a nice soft wool lining. I was really impressed with the intricacy of it - especially so early in her knitting 'career'. We also watched a segment of a Lucy Neatby DVD outlining a method of grafting a toe using a toe 'chimney'. It's very similar to the Kitchener stitch but just another way of doing it. I like learning different techniques - especially ones I can use in my sock knitting.

I'm almost finished the third hedgehog. I want to finish it to take to the Sit 'n Knit tonight at Kniterary. I will also take the two that are still drying. I gave Skip his birthday scarf - the ribbed scarf with Patons Bohemian chenille yarn in Beatnik Blues. I gave up trying to knit him a matching toque - mostly because I didn't have enough yarn to knit it tightly enough to keep out the wind. So, I'm going to lengthen the scarf another few inches.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

All That Cuteness and Talent, Too!

I forgot to write about this the other day after Scooter's piano recital.

Scooter studies piano with a very fine teacher in The Big City, Frank Horvat. Being a music educator myself, I couldn't be more pleased with Scooter's progress under Frank's tutelage. Frank's composing and performing is taking more and more of his time now so he has pared back the number of students he teaches. Skip and I are grateful he has continued to keep Scooter as his student.

At the recital of Frank's students last Friday, I couldn't help but notice the young lady in the pew ahead of us was knitting a rather large scarf.

She, Susan, is also a very talented piano player and has performed in two competitions that Scooter has performed in this fall. Susan's mother (sitting to her left) is also a piano teacher who had a few of her students in the recital as well. When I commented on Susan's knitting, her mother said Susan has got her knitting again. Susan told us she was knitting a scarf for her friend for Christmas. Yes, she's sitting on a pretty snazzy mink coat, too! Such style at such a young age.

I told Susan's mom and dad that I feel like a 'knitting missionary' (akin to the term 'yarn missionary' coined by 'Joe' the Yarn Harlot's husband) sometimes - that I'm always trying to convert people to knitting. It does my heart good to see a young person enjoying needlecrafts. I like to think it's as good for their stress management as it has been for mine.

Oh yeah, and here are Skip and Scooter posing by the piano:

Happy Birthday, Scooter!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Last night I braved the cold and snow to try to find some more brown Fun Fur-type yarn to make more hedgehogs. I went to Michaels and to Zellers - no dice. They had that type of yarn but no brown. What is it with the brown yarn? Why is there a big run on it? Is everyone making the fake fur stole in brown? What's the deal? I went home disgruntled and began knitting two more hedgehog fronts in preparation for their furry backs. I read in someone's Ravelry notes that they knit a smaller hedgehog using the exact same pattern and smaller needles so I knit one of them with 4.5mm and 6mm needles rather than the 6.5mm and 8mm needles.

Today I had a lovely lunch with Anne Marie. Afterwards, I drove to NE Oshawa to Michaels to see if they had any brown Fun Fur or the equivalent. Strike 3. No luck. I then slogged through the slush to the WalMart next door and lo and behold, they had brown Red Heart Foxy yarn - a very acceptable equivalent for the hedgehog 'prickles'. It was also an exact colour match for the Patons Classic Wool Merino I had purchased to use for the hedgehog backs - a modification from the original pattern. I bought two skeins.

Once home, I began knitting feverishly and finished the smaller hedgie. I felted it with the larger one I had completed the other night. While at Kniterary on Saturday, one gal who was taking Martina's felted pear class suggested I use flip flops in the washer for the required agitation. I put one pair of flip flops in the zippered pillow cover with the hedgies and another pair in the washer outside of the pillow cover. It took about 15 minutes for them to felt. I'm not able to get them to felt as thoroughly as a top loader with an agitator would do but I'm happy with the result. I squeezed out as much excess water as I could and stuffed them with grocery bags, shaping the backs, tummies and faces.

Here's a before picture of the little hedgie:

And he and his big brother drying after felting:

The one on the left has brown yarn and fur on the back - my modification.

The one on the right has Aran yarn and brown fur on the back as called for by the pattern.

You can also see the difference in sizes just by using smaller needles.

I have a third one to finish - regular size with brown yarn and fur on its back.

My sister, Valerie, and my friend, MaryAnne, each want one. They're so easy and fast to knit. I think there will be a couple more in the making.

As they say in Japanese - Kawaii! (ka - wa - ee = how cute)

Monday, 10 December 2007

Go Lightly?

Today I dropped into my doctor's office to pick up the pre-colonoscopy instructions. There is a substance that I am required to consume starting the day before the procedure that will 'clean me out' - Klean Prep. An equivalent substance is called 'Go Lightly' - oh brother. It is an over-the-counter medication but if I get a prescription for it I can claim it on my drug plan - which I pay quite a lot for now that I am retired. The doctor wasn't in the office yet so I went to run a couple of errands and investigate the cost of the Klean Prep. If it was only going to cost $10 or so, I wasn't going to bother getting a prescription but the pharmacy I went to quoted me $27. So back I went back to my doctor to get the prescription.

My doctor's hours are 2pm - 5:30pm on Mondays. I arrived at about 2:20pm and sat down in the waiting room along with about 7 other people who were waiting for her, too. After a few minutes, I realized no one was going into the examination rooms and no one was coming out. The doctor hadn't arrived yet! Finally at about 2:50 she arrived - not by the same door we peons come in but by a back door (that way we can't hiss at and berate her) . I was the third person to see her and finally got out of there at 3:15. I am always annoyed at having to wait so long to see her. Even if I book the first appointment in the morning or after lunch, there is no guarantee that she'll show up on time. Fortunately, she travels a lot and her stand-in is really efficient AND punctual. Grrrrr.

I got my prescription and got out of there - went to my local pharmacy, got it filled and came home. Sheesh! A whole afternoon shot. Man, I hate that. One bright shining light in all of this was that I did have some knitting with me during my wait - crazy socks using two different blue colourways of left-over sock yarn and am knitting bands of 10 rows in each colour. I turned the heel at the doctor's office. They pretty much stay in my purse for unexpected delays in my schedule.

Now I'm knitting on the Sirdar Funky Fur Snowman. I'm using a Fun/Funky Fur equivalent (JoAnn Fabrics generic Sensations Cello yarn) and 3 1/4 mm needles. Reading the pattern closer I realized the finished object is supposed to be 19" tall! Sheesh! I don't think I'll be getting it done for this Christmas.

I started a ribbed toque-like hat for Skip last night with the remaining ball of Patons Bohemian yarn. I've had to rip it out three times because I can't seem to get the gauge right. I may or may not get it done for his birthday this Thursday.

Tonight? I'm going to felt the hedgehog. Here are some before shots:

Stay tuned for the 'after' shots...

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Fa La La

Thursday, Valerie and I crossed the border to Port Huron, MI to shop for knitting stuff. I was looking for Fun Fur or the equivalent to use for the fuzzy part of the hedgehog. I bought some Patons Classic merino yarn and 9 balls of Cello white yarn (Fun Fur equivalent) at JoAnn Fabrics. The Cello yarn is for the Sirdar knitted snowman. We also went to Mary Maxim, lunch at Los Cuatro Amigos Mexican restaurant, and then Birchwood Mall to get a book with my Borders discount coupon at Waldenbooks. Back in Canada, we went back to Country Yarns and I bought the Huggable Hedgehogs pattern and some brown 'fun fur' type yarn for the bristles.

Valerie cooked a delicious meal of veal medallions, potatoes and corn. After dinner I perused her Knitters magazines. I also started the hedgehog. In no time flat, I had the front done and started the back.

The next morning I had an enjoyable breakfast with 10 retired ladies from the school I taught at for 11 years from 1978 - 1989 at South East Café. They get together the first Friday of every month for breakfast. Knowing that, I try to schedule my trips to Sarnia/Petrolia to coincide with the event. I drove back home after that arriving at about 3pm. Skip and I headed into The Big City at 4:30pm for Scooter's piano recital at 6pm. Scooter played very well. Once back home, I finished the hedgehog. It is adorable.

On Saturday, I whipped into Kniterary to show Martina the hedgehog. Just as I pulled into the parking lot, I realized she was having her 'felted pear' class. I had also been to the bead store, 'Bead It!' to buy the beads for the abacus row counter and showed Martina the picture and the beads I had purchased for Valerie to make the bracelet. I hope to go to the knitting guild potluck this Wednesday and the Sit 'n Knit on Thursday.

Today, I baked a birthday cake for Scooter's 14th birthday celebration. His birthday is on Wednesday but we won't see him again until the 21st - the beginning of his Christmas holiday. I made a 2-layer chocolate cake with Reese's Pieces in it with chocolate frosting. It was really good. I'm going to make the same thing for Skip's birthday celebration on Wednesday with more Reese's Pieces. For Skip's birthday, we're going to go to Port Perry and have lunch at "The Front Porch Bistro" and stroll up and down Queen St. window-shopping. We had lunch there a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it so Skip thought that would be a good way to celebrate his birthday.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Happy Hanukkah! (Day 1)

I tried to give an update yesterday but was unable to log into Blogger. Some technical glitch, no doubt.

I am feeling much better. I've been dragging my butt around since last week and yesterday I finally had a surge of energy and ran around tidying up, decorating the tree, paying bills, etc. Whilst surfing the Internet for something or other, I stumbled upon a latke recipe and thought, "Oh yeah, at sundown, it's Hanukkah!". I found an adapted recipe that uses a fraction of the oil and substitutes a sweet potato for a regular potato. I realized we had everything in the house but the sour cream so as Skip was heading to the grocery store, I added it to the shopping list. They turned out great! I was so proud of my self - actually making latkes for my first time. Personally, I do not adhere to the tenets of any faith, but I certainly enjoying the traditions and especially the cuisine of any faith or ethnic group. I just realized I broke every Jewish dietary law (aside from not keeping a Kosher kitchen) by serving pork chops with the latkes. It was kind of nice and gave me an opportunity to think about my Jewish friends who would also be eating latkes last night for dinner - WITHOUT the pork chops of course - LOL.

After dinner, Skip and I met friends, Nancy and Rick at a church in a neighbouring town to attend a wonderful concert of Christmas music performed by the Foothills Brass. They played some lovely arrangements of some standard and not-so-standard Christmas tunes. There was also a sing-along near the end of each 'set'. Skip and I actually arrived 1/2 hr. early because I screwed up the start time so we walked 3 doors over and had a power-visit with Skip's former neighbour, Joan Grignon. After the show we trouped downstairs and enjoyed the 'church lady' treats awaiting us - shortbread cookies, chocolate delights, peanut butter and chocolate treats, etc. etc. We bid farewell to Nancy and Rick and headed home so I could finish packing for my trip to visit my sister today.

This morning, I got up early and got on the road a little before 9am (after the usual u-turn after my first attempt to go back to the house to get something I had forgotten). I purposely did not have any tea at breakfast (Earl Grey decaf) so I would be able to drive all the way to the service centre near Cambridge without a comfort stop. I ended up having to stop 3 times before arriving at my final destination because I drank a litre of water while I was driving.

After lunch Valerie and I drove to Country Yarns, a very neat and tidy yarn shop on the way into Sarnia. There was a good assortment of yarns, sundries and patterns. I bought a very cute pattern to make a knitted snowman. We then dropped in on my niece, Ana, and I met their new dog - a weimerarner - named Oscar. We had a visit with Alex (age 4) and Melisa (age 12). We brought Ben (age 10) home with us so he could attend his activities club at the school next door at 6pm.

Valerie has tons of Knitter's magazines that I will be perusing during my visit. Perhaps I'll see some patterns I'll want to scan.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Still Sick

The doctor tells me my throat thing is viral and it just has to run its course. I got a refill on my ventolin inhaler so that should help the congestion somewhat. I also got an appointment for my screening colonoscopy for Dec. 20. I'll be glad to get it over with.

On the knitting front, I'm knitting fuzzy pink mittens for one of my former students. I finished the first one tonight and have cast on the second one. I just want to get it done so I can start the alpaca scarf I'm knitting for Skip.

I slept in today and felt pretty cruddy all day. I didn't do much except have breakfast, do the crossword puzzle and have a shower. I rested on the couch all afternoon. I didn't even start knitting until 5pm!!!

We've been watching NCAA football all afternoon. I'm bummed out that LSU beat Tennessee. I like to root for the underdogs. The BIG game is Missouri (#1) vs. Oklahoma (#9). I SO want Mizzou to win. I have been wearing my Missouri shirt to bed every night this week to give them good luck and washed it today to have it clean for tonight. Mizzourah rah rah!!!