Monday, 7 January 2008

Back into the Swing of Things

Today the rest of the world went back to school and work. It makes it much easier to get around our fair town (HA! 112,000 people yet still a town).

I decided not to sleep in today and got my butt out the door to my fitness club for a 9:30am weight-lifting class. As anticipated, it was PACKED! I got there about 15 minutes ahead of time to get almost the last piece of floor space and set of equipment. I'm ashamed to say how long it has been since I've been to the gym (although I've been using my treadmill pretty regularly at home) and have really noticed a greater amount of lethargy lately. When I exercise regularly I have a lot more energy. Also since I retired, I'm a lot more sedentary and need to work out just to maintain my weight. Extra workouts will be needed to lose some weight - but enough about long-term goals...

This gym is located above a major grocery chain (Loblaws) so after the class I went downstairs and did some shopping. I decided to use up some of my PC points so have decided to shop more at Loblaws even though it is significantly more expensive for many items. I'm going to digress for a minute here... For the past several years, I've done my banking with a virtual bank - President's Choice Financial. I got tired of paying a monthly service charge to my former bank and was watching a small US savings account dwindle away. I won't get free banking with them until I'm 60 so I decided to look for a better financial institution. President's Choice is awesome. I can make all my transactions online or on the phone. I pay all my bills including paying income tax and property taxes online. PC has an agreement with a major bank (CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) for the use of their ATMs and every Loblaws has a PC ATM. I pay no monthly service charges, no transaction fees when using CIBC or PC ATMs and get free chequing. My pension is deposited directly into my account. I also have a savings account which yields a very high interest rate - competitive with other institutions who brag about their rates. Whenever I use my PC credit card or my pension cheque is deposited, I earn PC points. I earn 10 PC points for every dollar I spend on my PC MasterCard and 5 PC points for every dollar I spend using my PC debit card at a store when PC products are sold.

Why are PC points so cool? Because I can redeem them for groceries or anything else sold at Loblaws. Now it might not seem like 10 PC points per dollar is very much but they sure add up. As of the end of 2007, I had over 800,000 PC points saved up. That's $800 in free groceries!!! Woo-hoo! So Loblaws may be a bit more expensive but after the first $20 and in $10 increments, it's free!!! Wheee!!!

OK, back to my day.

After I came home, I had lunch then put away the Christmas decorations, did the bills for the month, wrapped a parcel to be mailed, cleaned the oven (which hadn't been cleaned for years, I'm sure, but got particularly greasy these past couple of weeks when we broiled our lovely filets mignons). I then prepared a delicious, yet healthful dinner of boneless pork chops and homemade apple sauce, baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli. That may not sound like a lot of activity for you Suzie Homemakers out there but for me, that's a lot!

Last night I finally finished the little hedgehog I'm sending MaryAnne. I put his eyes on, stitched his little nose, stuffed him and closed the opening.


Isn't he cute!!!

I got an e-mail from MaryAnne's 5 3/4 year-old son, Aidan, asking if I could knit him a scarf. Evidently he had been looking at some of my knitted items on the computer with his mother. So I went through my stash and found all the colours he requested. Initially, I thought I'd knit a ribbed striped scarf but after looking on Ravelry last night, I thought I'd knit him a zigzag scarf using all the colours he requested (red, white, blue, yellow and purple). This is how far I am on that.

This is actually the wrong side. Unfortunately the right side also will have yarn ends to weave in because there really is no right side with this design.

Wednesday we are heading into The Big City to see 'Dirty Dancing' matinée at the Royal Alexandra Theatre and next week we see 'Twelve Angry Men' with Richard Thomas (John-Boy from 'The Waltons' - remember?). I had always wanted a subscription to a theatre series so signed up for this year's offerings as soon as I retired. We enjoy the Wednesday matinées as it's easy to get there for a 2pm show and it's not dark when we get out. It's also less expensive. We saw ' Sweeney Todd' in November and will also be taking in 'Nicholas Nicholby' Parts 1 & 2 and 'The Ha'Penny Bridge'.

Skip is watching the BCS game so I think I'll join him.


  1. I just stumbled across your blog, and was admiring the zigzag scarf, and was trying to puzzle out what order the bits were knit in- it looks like there are some bits that were picked up along an edge, and knit in another direction...?

    (I did see the finished pic- the results are lovely!)

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  4. Hi Robin,

    If you can get your hands on the pattern at your book store, LYS or library, there is a very good diagram explaining the order of the sections. Basically you knit two triangles (which are the two points at the beginning and then knit each segment from there - increasing on one side and decreasing on the other. Once I got down to 7 stitches on the left needle, I just turned it around and repeated the pattern. So each side of the zigzag is knit in a different direction.

    The pattern is on p. 46 of Iris Schreier's "Modular Knits".