Sunday, October 26, 2008

A New Beginning

I am feeling much better. That was short-lived, but longer than it need be. I ate very little for a couple days, drank my fenugreek tea, and I was feeling much improved on Thursday, and fine by Friday. It's a lesson learned, I hope. We will see -- the next time I'm tempted to do something that silly.

But I do have some pics for you, since I finally did get the batteries into the camera after that adventure (see below). I spun up another skein of that blue, but much softer twist this time. It’s nice! But it all depends on what I will make with it. I had plans to knit a lace shawl, and it will work very well for that. However, I also find the softer twist makes for a weaker yarn. Can’t have it both ways, I guess.

But before I could get this pic, I needed to get some batteries for my camera. I only take a few pictures and then the batteries are dead! They are not cheap. I do have the rechargeable, but they are lost somewhere, along with the charger.

So one day at noon, I ran out to the drugstore down the street, where I remembered seeing a flyer that there was a sale on batteries. Of course, at noon, everyone else from the offices downtown are running around doing some quick shopping, so the store was quite full, and all the tills had line-ups at them, and it was quite difficult trying to weave my way inside.

I was going to enter through one of the aisles near the last cashier since it was empty. But I did see that there were some legs and equipment around the edge of the counter, so I guess some workmen were doing some repairs. Why now, of all times?

I made my way going against traffic through the people waiting for a cashier, and located the wall of batteries next to that last cashier. I was trying to decide which to get (the package of 8 or the 4?, generic or copper top?), when I heard a female voice coming from around the corner saying “Push, push!”

Well, now, I stopped a moment. Where have I heard this before? That sounded quite famil….. Oh, I know! But was it possible?

So I peered over the stand of potato chips to where the “workmen” were working to find a woman lying on the floor with her knees up, a man with SECURITY across his back tending to the head end, and a young female paramedic kneeling at the other end! Was I really seeing what I think I am seeing?

Well, yes, apparently it was true! I don’t know if she was in labour at that time, but it seemed to be. The paramedic kept telling her to keep her eyes open, to breath through the nose, not the mouth… “let me know if you feel the need to push”. (There are no pics because I didn’t have batteries in the camera yet!)

Well, now. This was most interesting. What was more fascinating was that all the other shoppers seemed oblivious to the wonder of the moment going on right there. They were intent on getting their precious purchases and running off. I wasn’t sure if I should stick around either, but I did want to know the outcome (so to speak). But I found a cashier, paid my money, and left hesitatingly , thinking I should look around the corner from this OTHER side to really get a good look. I decided I really didn’t want to see very much, and besides, I still hadn’t any lunch! Yes, I think that would be a better plan.

So I never did find out what happened, if she had it right there, whether an ambulance finally arrived to take her away, or did she just have some other problem. Imagine the story she would have to tell that kid!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Mysteries continue

One day last week, after spinning, I took a walk up to a house where a really nice lady used to live until she was 98 and she finally passed away. She never left her house for the last couple of years, feeling it was always to cold to go out. It was a shame, since she was a wonderful gardener, and had the most wonderful selection of flowers. She would root a long stem rose someone would give her and she had three beautiful bushes in front of her house -- a red, a white and a yellow. She also kept a lemon tree in her front entrance. It was about 25 years she said, and would produce huge lemons! She had to rig up hammocks for them, they were so heavy. She would get 1 and a quarter cups of juice out of one lemon. I wonder what happened to it.

I had gone by a few weeks ago, and noticed that the house looked empty. It's located on a main thoroughfare, so is in a great location. Her son is not well now either, so I don't know why they don't sell the house; they could have done very well last year. But I had noticed that there was a nice apple tree in the back yard, that no one was picking! So I went over to see if I can have a few for myself. They were huge! And so many on the ground; that was so sad to see. I picked a small bag and had to be satisfied with those. Of course, the nicest ones were at the top, as they like to be.

I made myself a nice apple crumble. I found a good recipe on the net (very simple to do) and baked a nice 8 inch pan full. It was delicious!! It was far too small -- because it all disappeared so very fast. I guess it shrunk a lot when it cooked, right?

You may recall a few years ago (September 23, 2005) that I was so sorry to see my pear tree vanish. I miss it still. But fortune was good to me, and offered me another one! Can you imagine? And it is just half a block away.. I don't know how the Universe manages to do these things. No one seems to know what it is, and all the pears have been falling off, only to be nibbled on by the squirrels. So I can't let them go to waste like that, now can I?

I made another apple crumble and this time I put in a couple pears as well. Ah, what a wonderful treat that is!! I'm a good cook.

Of course, I think the real trick to making the topping is butter. Now, I don't use butter at all, and haven't for many years. But I've been wanting to make cinnamon buns and am told that you really need butter and brown sugar. I saw that one store had butter at a special price, so bought two pounds of it. And I used about 1/4 cup, or a good slice of it in the topping. That seemed to make all the difference, and it turned out beautifully! I've always maintained that you need to use good quality materials to be successful in your work. That was mainly in spinning and knitting, but it seems to apply in cooking as well.

On Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Now, that is odd. I've been quite careful what I do, and I don't remember being near anyone that was sick. Never know. And by evening I was sniffling a lot! This again is very odd, since I have been watching myself quite well, since I can't afford to get sick! By Monday morning, it was quite a severe case of stuffed head and running nose. I didn't feel sick, no headache, just a really bad nose!!

It wasn't until the next day, when I was making something for supper, that I realized I had some tomato sauce with FOUR cheeses in it! I love cheese, it just doesn't love me. So I think I over did it a bit.

And then it was some time later (I'm rather slow these days) that I remembered that I used butter in my topping for the crumble! And a lot of butter. I ate the whole thing in one day... and another the next day. What was I doing to myself?! Of course I'm going to be sick!

Well, I've done this before, so I know what to do. It's a simple matter of not eating for a day or two, drink lots of water, and have several cups of fenugreek tea with a bit of mint. So that is what I've done, and today I'm much better.

Sometimes this old brain just is not thinking clearly. I never connected that what I was using in my cooking would somehow affect me. I just never learn.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The unsighting

I forgot the really important news for October 14 -- I had it in my mind to include it as well as the election, but it fell out at the last moment. I seem to be losing a lot of things lately.

October 14, 2008 was to be a HUGE event -- earth-shattering. I eagerly awaited news... and Well, I should have known when I saw this announcement:

See what you think.
But I do like this one:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The more things change...

We had a Federal election up here in Canada this week Oh, didn’t hear about it? Many of us didn’t either.

Nothing changed. It’s still the same play with the same cast of characters. There were a few extras that were changed, but no one noticed.

While the US has been in election campaign for years, in Canada an election can be called at any time. For a general election, the Governor General (at the request of the Prime Minister) dissolves Parliament, and the Governor in Council (the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet) sets the date of the election and the date by which returning officers must return the writs. A writ is a formal document directing a returning officer to conduct an election in his or her electoral district, and on which the returning officer writes the name of the winning candidate after election day. By law, the time between the issue of the writs and election day must be at least 36 days. In practice, general elections usually last 36 days. An exception was the 39th general election, which included the 2005 Christmas and New Year holiday period and lasted 55 days. The 2008 election lasted 37 days.

Although the present (and past) Prime Minister declared he would not call another election for 4 years (the twig trying to be as much as the shrub that he can), he suddenly felt the need to have one much earlier. With no change. It cost us over $300 million. Oh, well.

One of the good things about our system in Canada is that we can boot out an undesirable PM at any time – we don’t have to put up with an incompetent leader for 4 years! Sometimes, we’ve only kept our PM for 3 months, but that was a very special case.

It was difficult to know that there was an election here. If it wasn’t for the mandatory 396 minutes that each broadcaster must make available for political parties to purchase for advertising during the 2008 election campaign, there would have been nothing on the media at all. I never did see any posters, lawn signs, or billboards anywhere during these 37 days. It was all very subdued – very Canadian.

The rest of the population apparently didn’t know there was an election either, for there were less than 60% of the eligible voters that actually voted – the lowest ever in the history of Canada. And the governing party was only elected by 36.6% of the votes! The other 63.4% was divided up by all the other 6 parties… there’s just too many. At least in the US, you only have a choice between two – not very much of a choice, in reality. Does that mean that 21.6% of the voting population chose our government?!

So nothing has changed. Everything is still the same. *sigh*

I did some spinning and Navajo plying-on-the-go with my CD spindle today. It was fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeling Blue

Immediately after my last post, I sat down and starting knitting a shawl I've been meaning to do for a long time. I feel that once I actually get a few stitches on needles, the rest just sort of happens by itself. Doesn't it?

Well, I did a provisional cast on, because of course, this one is done that way. I was just showing a few ladies the other day how to do the provisional cast on (there are several different ways) so it was all fresh in my mind. I did the required 92 stitches. I knit my 3 rows of garter. I started the pattern, with all the markers.

I don't like it. For some reason, the yarn doesn't feel nice. It looks ncie, but I don't think it is going to be a shawl. I don't know what it wants to be. It feels too hard. I did spin it with a lot of twist, because I like the look of the yarn when it is quite defined. But it's not feeling the way it should. I've already washed the yarn, so I don't think it will make it any better after knitting.

I've let that one sit for awhile, and I've started another "sample". This one is just a simple plain lace pattern: a few YOs, some decreases left and right, and that's it. It's not working. I keep losing a stitch someplace. How can that be? There are only 29 freaking stitches!! For some reason, I can't make the pattern work out. I think there is something wrong with the pattern, of course -- it can't be me!

I don't like the feeling of this piece either. I will do a bit more and wash it. If that doesn't make it any better, then all 6 skeins* will be designated for something else. Right now, I'm going to see if I can sleep on it for a bit, and see if it looks different in the morning light.

* just did a calculation: there appear to be about 300+ metres per 114 gm skein.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oh, so Blue --

I’ve just been told by a few people from different parts of the world that they read my blog quite regularly. I’m really flattered. The problem is that you come to read my blog more often than I do to post anything here for you to read!

It’s not as if I have forgotten all about it. I think about it several times a day. I have written so many entries, in my head, on the way to or from work. I write a few things while at work. I have actually put a few of them into text form. But there they sit, awaiting final editing. But once I’ve written it – either in my head or put it into text – I’m done with it. I don’t want to go back and re-hash it all again. It’s old news to me.

When I first started this blog, so long ago, it was for the purpose of having a place to let others know what was going on in my life, or a place to vent most often. But as I went along, I realized I was focusing more and more on fibre-related topics, and was actually stopping myself from posting anything different! Oh, I’ve got so many things to complain about, but do people want to hear me whine all the time? You’d think nothing goes right in my world, and all I do is complain, and bitch and am always grumpy and angry. Well, okay, so that might be pretty much accurate… I just don’t want everyone to know that!

Fall happened a few weeks ago. Of course, way up here, fall comes a whole lot earlier. I can feel it coming, and I have the urge to run away. I know when it’s time to leave! I don’t want to stay here – if I had wings, I’d be gone. However, I’m still here, and feeling much like the bears, and want to hibernate. I’d be quite happy to lock myself up the whole winter, and just be left alone. I’d spin and knit, and even pull out my loom – oh, I would need more than a cave for all this, wouldn’t I? Looks as if I have to curb some of my activities. And for some reason, everyone feels that I need to go to work. So I go, I sit, I go home. I could just as easily have done that right here, and been more productive doing something I enjoyed. But --- oh, well. (not complaining)

Let’s see what I’ve been doing. I am still spinning. I now have 5 skeins of this yarn. That’s more than I need for the lace scarf I will be knitting. I should start knitting it already. But it’s so much easier for me to sit down, and spin, and not think about what I’m doing. I would rather spin, and write articles in my head! Haha – I don’t have much to show you. Did you see this yarn yet? Oh, I guess not.