Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

Java over at Never Growing Old has five more questions for us to answer today.  Take a hop over to her Meet Me on Monday meme and play along.  I don't know how she thinks of this stuff...

1.  What are you wearing right now? 

Do I have to tell the truth?  Oh, I guess if I lie, answering these questions won't have any point.  So, the truth:  still in my jammies.  I know, here it is 7.30 in the morning and I'm just playing with blogs.  Oh, dear. 

I love these housecoats.  If I had one, I'd feel a lot more elegant than I do right now.

2. Do you have any freckles?

No.  When I was younger, I thought that a dusting of freckles across the nose was so attractive.  I think the heroines in the many books I read reinforced this idea.  They usually went with green eyes and long, tawny hair!  I was incredibly disappointed in  not having any. 

3.  What is your favorite Lifesaver flavor?

I haven't eaten  Lifesavers in a long time.  But, I always liked the fruit-flavored ones.  Lots of different tastes depending on my mood.  And I always tried to let them melt down to the thinnest of rings. Then, crunch, crunch, crunch!

4.  What is the last movie you saw in a theater?

Here we go again.  I'm starting to feel old and curmudgeonly.  The last movie I saw in a theater was Shadowlands.  Apparently that one came out in 1993.  This isn't the last movie I saw, but I'm just not crazy about movie theaters. 

5. Would you rather live without TV or music?

That's easy.  TV can never win over music! 

I think Eeyore has the right idea.  Make music while you can! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday wonders - V

V is for...

the virgin snow that fell overnight...

the varied thrush that tried to find somewhere to land...

the veil created by the snow on old oregano branches...

the vigor of a squirrel trying to gobble up all the sunflower seeds.

This last (I hope) blast of winter is pretty today.  Tomorrow, I expect it to have put on raincoat and boots, picked up the umbrella and sloshed back to the Arctic.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Candle #2

This is all about the Time Machine Reading Challenge.  I've just finished another book which means I'm already ahead of last year's dismal score by 100%. 

The Robe, by Lloyd C Douglas presented a little mystery.  My book list for 1953 includes this title but the publication date in the book is much earlier.  Why did I look?  I always look inside books for publicaton date.  Doesn't everyone?  I was halfway through before the mystery really gnawed hard enough to make me do some research.  This book was made into a film in 1953.  I'm sure that's the mix-up.  Will it still qualify as a candle?

I began this novel with kind of low expectations.  It is essentially the story of the beginnings of Christianity and I'm pretty familiar with the plot.  But Douglas is an excellent story-teller and I was swept along by the characters;  cheering on the good guys while hissing at the villains.  Some of the descriptions of life in Rome and Palestine were so English that I had to giggle.  I mean, really, a "grass-plot" in front of a villager's cottage with "tulips lining the path to the door"?    There was a lot of that.

But, in the end, I have to admit that the author's faith and passion are quietly attractive.  He presents his message of staunch faith in such utopian terms that anyone would be drawn to it.   I also found the political setting of this novel - the early days of the First Century - to be eerily parallel to our own.  Overblown spending at high government levels, tyrannical rulers facing their demise and the breath of freedom and democracy circulating among those with nothing to lose.   I was disappointed in the ending which wasn't how I would have chosen to write it.  But he sold 2 million copies and had a film made..what do I know? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Progress Report

Since today is a rare day with no outside demands on my time, I'll share with you how well life's stress and tension can help the knitting projects to grow.   

My charcoal cardigan - can't get that color right - is almost finished.  I'm such an optimist.  I call it almost finished but I've still got to attach the sleeves and knit up the yoke.  Shouldn't take long - clicking needles soothe the mind.  I am becoming concerned that the fabric will be too light to support the beautiful teacup buttons that I want to use.  Put the head back in the sand and keep knitting, Stephanie!

Does any one remember this yarn?  I frogged a gold-colored thrift store sweater and I had to dye it twice to get rid of most of the gold.  I really like the occasional rich grape-purple strip.

I've been searching for a pattern to use up this bit of stash.  I think I've found it.  Designed by Deborah Newton it's the Evergreen Tweed vest from the Winter Interweave Knits mag.  I've taken a photo from the magazine because Ravelry doesn't  have a one up for this pattern. 

I call mine Rusticity - it's got such a home-spun look.  I think the yarn is knitting up quite well into this pattern.  It's such a treat to have a big-needle project to turn to when my hands get bored  tired of dealing with the smaller needles of the cardi above or the even smaller sock needles for everlasting long stocking. 

And, now, I'm off to play.  Or at least get a few of the more interesting chores done. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday wonder - U

U is for Up.

Because it's hard to stay down.  Especially when I have such great support.  Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.  They lift me Up!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Take me away

Another week -  turning into a weekend  - that I'd rather forget.

This is the mental picture I keep in my mind.  If it gets really bad, I'll stick my fingers in my ears and sing a few choruses of "Rollin' on the River".  Miss Piggy and Tina Turner - my heroes today!

I have to admit that when it comes to the office politics,  it's a lot harder to be a volunteer than a paid employee.   At my age, it's too late to learn to keep my thoughts to myself.  I should improve my learn some chess and poker skills.  No, it's definitely too late for that.

Sing your song, Tina!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Searching was chilly this morning.  But, there was a different feel to this cold.  For one thing, I was wandering outside with the camera and only wearing a sweater.  There had been a frost overnight but it seemed that spring was lurking around the yard somewhere.

It might be here in this this little clump of crocuses...

Or maybe it's here with the new shoots of chives?

These snowdrops amid a forest of promising tulip leaves could have the answer...

The hellebore "Ivory prince" is showing off its blooms...

Wherever spring is hiding, I know there'll be a lot of cleaning up to do before we're ready to play outside.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In the Pink

Yesterday was another play day.  I've decided that I need to hang up the computer and shelve the emails for at least one day a week.  Yesterday was it.

Not that I did much with the day.  We took the bus downtown and found a much saner Dressew atmosphere.  True, the 1/2 price sale was over but the crowds were gone.  And really, is it hard to pay $2.00 a ball for sock yarn?  I found some bright colors and I think I know a couple of little girls who like them.  And like their Grammy socks, too.  Can't ever have too many socks, can you? 

After exhausting ourselves fondling testing the softness of all the yarns on display, we trolled the costume and accessories aisles - just for fun.  The stuff you can buy - jaw-dropping!  Ready for lunch, we headed back about half a block to this delightful restaurant: Nuba.  I love Lebanese food and had a yummy felafel in a pita.  Anne had a glass of their fresh-pressed juice - a specialty of the place.  This is orange, beet and honey...pretty tasty.  The place is crowded, warm, noisy and it smells delicious.  It feels a bit like being in a cave underground with the arched ceilings and seeing people's feet walking by above. 

Then I came home and finished the Valentine Candy socks.  A little late but who cares about that?  I'm wearing them today.  Nice bright feet on a gray, rainy day.  My awkward stance is to show off the arch shaping on the foot.   I like these a lot.  It's a fun technique and is really quite easy.  The fit is great.  Try them:  Paulies Socks by Jane Prater. 

Now to go brighten up tai chi with all this pink.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

Java over at Never Growing Old hosts this fun meme.  She asks us five questions and we get to answer.  No right or wrong answers...just a little bit of sharing.  Here's the Five Questions for this week:

1. Did you get any Valentine's gifts?

 Nope.   Ever since elementary school, I've had a sorry relationship with Valentine's Day.  It didn't get any better when I was the Mom of schoolkids.  So, I kind of ignore it.  The hype of the the retail industry for gifts and cards - and anything else they can think of for us to buy - is overwhelming. 

I like it to be Valentine's Day every day in our home.  This little guy is always ready with a kiss.

2.  What is your favorite topping on something toasted?

The first thought I had was 'sunscreen!'. 

 I don't eat toast very often any more.  But if I did, my favorite topping would be cinnamon sugar.  That always makes me feel like a kid on a day off school. 

3.  Do you pick out your outfit the night before?

Are you kidding?  I'm so happy to jump into my jammies that getting dressed again is the last thing on my mind. 

Besides, come morning, I'd just change my mind.   I'm a morning person...the brain works way better then than at night. 

4.  What food do you absolutely despise?

Oh, I can't eat chicken skin or the fatty parts on meat.  Yuck!

5.  Righty or lefty?

Definitely a right-hander. 

The older I get, the more pronounced it is. 

I'm off to check out some answers...c'mon!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday wonder - T

T is for Tranquility.

Blackberry blooming by the Fraser River

Fishing on Rice Lake

Morning at Idabel Lake

Cycling near Pitt Lake

The beachfront at Skerries, Ireland

Ducks sunning in Steveston

Mallards at Maplewood Mudflats
When I think of tranquility, there's always water in the frame.  What's your tranquil motif?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cast on for the past

Having read one time machine challenge book, I decided it was time to cast on the knit-along lacy stockings from 1953.  Every time I look at the photo, I fall in love with the shoes.  I remember all the older women wore the same black shoes when I was a kid.  I didn't fall in love then.  I prefer to think it's nostalgia - won't go anywhere else with that thought. Do you think that's grass...or a shag rug?

I did read the whole pattern through for a change.  There will be a lot of modifications in this project.

 First up:  these are not knee socks.  They are stockings.  From the pre-pantyhose days.  Yes...they are long stockings that probably required a garter belt.  So, I'll be thinking about how I deal with that.  One way would have been to start at the toes and work up.  But, hey!  That would be too easy.  Besides, I'm not that crazy about toe-up socks.  So, I've decided to knit from a provisional cast-on.  Then I can go back and fill in the butt part and get the legs together.  Buying a garter belt is NOT an option!

Another major mod is knitting the stockings in the round.  These are meant to be knit on two needles and seamed together at the end.  Changing this won't be as hard as it sounds.  I'm a bit surprised, though.  Why wouldn't  they be designed to knit in the round?  So much easier than sewing up that long seam.

Friday, February 11, 2011

One candle lit

...on my reading challenge birthday cake.  When I entered the time machine, I popped out in 1953.  The list of publications for that year seemed endless and I rushed off to the library to fill my book bag.  It seems a lot of years have passed since these books were published.  Not so many just sitting about waiting to be read.  If the books had any kind of longevity, they were being used for school reading and all copies were out - for the duration.

So, I was just picking from what I could find.  I had science fiction in my mind - here's what I found.  One Asimov novel.  One.  No Arthur C Clarke.  No Ray Bradbury.  No Sprague de Camp.  Not just the ones on my 1953 list but any title at all. 

So, I brought home this lonely little item and warmed it up with a good read.  I'd forgotten how good a story teller Isaac Asimov was.  I'd forgotten how clever he was with his predictions of what future life would be.  Or maybe, the predictions were so far-fetched that I couldn't relate back when I first read this series.  And, in some ways he didn't (or couldn't) go far enough.  It's truly amazing how far and fast technology has travelled. 

There were good guys and villains and there was conflict as seems to be the eternal human curse.  But the weapons were not so much lasers, tasers and other techno-tools.  The way to control is through the mind.  And I think that's going on every day, too, in our ever-changing present/future. I also appreciated his writing style and use of words.  Kind of old-fashioned but I didn't have to work really hard for the meaning. 

I've earned one candle.  And my latest trip to the library was more productive.  I snagged a William S Burroughs and a Lloyd C Douglas.  Talk about poles apart!  I've not read either of these before.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inside and out

Around this time of year, we start to get some splashes of color.

These primulas are everywhere right now.  Every grocery store has them at the front door.  There are tiers and tiers standing outside the DIY stores and of course, they're in every garden center.  The bright colors are so welcome in a landscape that is largely used-green, brown and gray in February.

So, each year, we buy some and enjoy them at our front door.  Then, when the blooms are gone, we plant them out in the garden.  We have lots  planted under the evergreens in the yard.  They are happy and bloom each year - just not quite this early.

Also in the stores right now are daffodils and tulips.  I prefer my daffodils outside but I'm a sucker for tulips in a vase.  At first they stand so stiff and straight.  Then, like tired soldiers after the drill sergeant has gone by, they bend and twist and droop.   I think this must be my year for pink - it was the first color I reached for.  Is an unexplainable love of pink a sign of old age?  Or a reversion to childhood?   When I was a kid my favorite color was red.  But I will admit to loving the magenta crayon and wishing there were more occasions to use it.

I know it seems a bit cheeky to talk about wishing for more color and spring when we seem to have it pretty easy weather-wise.    Truly, though, from November to March our winter is mostly rain and gray skies.  Oh, I'm used to it and I do prefer rain to snow but we crave some bright color outside.  So, just like everyone else,  we West Coasters keep our eyes open for signs of spring. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Yesterday was a beautiful day.  The sun shone after a night of rain.  But...I had a meeting in the morning. 
Once home, it's so tempting to just stay there and read a book.  But the sun still shone!

We decided on a walk through the woods to the beach.  We pass through an off-leash dog walk area and a beach where only the dogs swim.  Not sure if this is a  pre- or post-swim meeting.

In the woods, we find signs that spring is returning.  Here are some huckleberry buds to prove it.

On to the duckpond.  The mallards and widgeons all paddle over to see if we have food.  I love to hear the mallards laugh and the widgeons with their squeaky dog-toy sounds.

But here come the ducks which always catch my eye.  I love the goldeneyes. 

Look at the beautiful black/white patterning on their backs.

Along the way, we find a bouquet of white roses leaning on a tree by the water.  The poem attached is 'The Bargain' by Philip Sydney.   I had to do a bit of climbing to get down to read that.  The roses aren't real, I discovered close up.  I'm still trying to puzzle out why the flowers are there. 

And the back view as we leave the beach and the ducks behind. 


Blog Widget by LinkWithin