Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Bloggiversary

Wow. Two years of blogging. I was a lurker and commenter for a long time. But I got so much from reading and enjoying your blogs that I wanted to contribute and be part of the friendship.
I have 2 prizes: one for each of the first commenters today.
I don't have a lot of readers, but I love the comments and relationships I've been blessed with. This mirrors my real life where I have a few close friends (and sisters) and a lot of "friends".
The blue alpace sock yarn is from Greendale, about 20 minutes by bike from my house in Sardis. These are not towns anymore but neighborhoods of Chilliwack. Still, we have our regional interests and disputes.
The silly lamb is from a shop and I couldn't resist. But what's this?

I made these for you last night. I was lucky enough to find some good beads in the bead shop in Fairview Bellingham. Do you think the instructinal ones will help? One of the purple ones has a lobster claw which I like to use to mark the front of a project.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me or stopped by to comment. This is a "secret" blog that does not include my friends or family. I was intrigued by Grumperina. Do you think her new husband knows? And I was sucked in by Lara Neels (math4knitters) when I was trying to leave a comment. But it stuck. I remember the thrill of my first post when it told me I had successfully "published". I have a few poems and lots of newsletter stuff published, but I haven't priorized my writing. This helps me keep things going. I also journal, but its often dark and adolescent. Maybe because that's how I started and I find it hard to express negative things (except whining).

Hope your day is as sunny as mine and you are in the company of roses.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Let the Quiet Begin

Today I took the kids, with their auntie and cousins, to the Bellingham airport. They're flying to SanDiego and from there driving to Baja Mexico. It's a church mission to build a church for a needy migrant worker family. But it's not my church and I don't have to go. Whew. They've had a big year of team building with fundraising and preparing. I didn't do much of that either.
What shall I do with my time?
First I'll study. I've decided on 2 or 3 hour blocks with treats between: walk the dog, write in my journal, forage for fresh produce.
I enjoyed the morning with the family. Then I drove to Fairhaven, a lovely heritage area of Bellingham. Unfortunately I couldn't get hold of my drumming friend who lives there to play with me, but I slowly poked in the shops. Wool Station, a great bead shop and Eclipse Books.
I bought some Malabrigo silk and merino (eventhough Clara Parkes from Knitters Review says the Blue Moon stuff is better value) and some beads for stitch markers. I hope they work.
D is home now so we shall watch a show in the basement until it is cool enough to walk the dog.
It doesn't feel like Saturday and it doesn't feel like the Canada Day long weekend.
Last night was book club and we had a wonderful dinner. Everyone brought something and we really enjoyed the early evening. Lucky me. Read Birth House by Amy Mcay. It was great.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Enough About You

This is a mosaic meme. For some reason I get a blank square each time. Hmmm.
It's made at Big Huge Labs. I couldn't figure it out directly, so I indirectly used the favourites file in flicker.
So you answer these questions, plop them each into flicker search and take the first picture. I couldn't do that in one case.
What is your first name?
What is your favourite food?
Where did you go to highschool?
What is your favourite colour?
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your favourite drink?
What is your dream vacation?
What is your favourite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
One word that describes you best?
What is your flicker name?
Does this sound like speed dating? I like the idea of a visual representation and the random chance. Did you get a blue void?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting to Know You

I have never done a meme. I have read a lot, but not jumped in for not being tagged. Today I read and have been reeled in.
What was I doing 10 years ago? I was getting ready to nurse up at our Cultus Lake Church Camp. Mr.Boo was 7 and NoodlePie was 5. They had just finished Grade 2 and Kindergarten and I was working pretty hard chasing them. I hope to nurse at camp next year again.
What are 5 things on my list for today? Study till 11am, try to get the kids to pack for Mexico, lunch with my best friend, Jean, at our favourite little coffe shop, BC Connections, hair cut with Roberto, supper up the hill at my in-laws with a favourite visiting (and knitting) aunt.
What are 5 snacks I enjoy? My first choice is a raisin scone with a cup of tea. Oatmeal cookies, bananas, chocolate and cranberry soy protein bar adn a soy latte.
Things I would do if I were a billionaire: hire a housekeeper and a personal trainer (ballet/yoga). I would buy a holiday home on the beach and a cute little car of my very own. I would still finish my nursing and get my degree and play flute- just more. I would love to start a charity knitting circle, but that's about time, not money.
Places I have lived: Mostly Sardis. I was born in Peterborough Ontarion, but moved when I was 3. I loved living at UBC, Jericho Beach and the West End in Vancouver. I studied nursing in Calgary and ran home on the train the day after grad.
Jobs I have had: raspberry picker, paper deliverer, farmer's daughter, gas jockey/ grocery clerk, camp cook, icecream scooper, McDonald's hostess and birthday party gal, pediatric nurse, business writer, singer. I have volunteered as the chair at the preschool, ukelele instructor to grade 2's, drumming instructor in the youth pipe band, bass and tenor drum player in a pipe band, Sunday School teacher and coordinator, guest speaker at church, and who knows what else.
3 habits: Always read before bed, walk the big black dog, and send thank-you cards.
Latest news/goals: I'm 2/3 done the theory course in my nursing refresher and halfway to January, the finish. Why am I going back to work when I'm on the brink of 45? I have a lot to give, a lot to grow, and I'm not done yet.
Consider yourself tagged if you choose.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Into the City

What can you say about a man who made your favourite music before you were born? Dave Brubeck is 87. His breakthrough album, Time Out, is still holding its own in jazz. We went to the beautiful Orpheum theatre last night as part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
We were surprised by the great talent of Laila Biali and her trio. Check out her new album, Sea to Sky. A real Vancouver talent.
But we were really there for the man. Both our kids have played his 'Take 5'. Our son on the piano and our daughter on the drums. Complex and serene. The old guys made music on the spot last night.
I learned that there is only one kind of music: the kind that you are listening to at any time.

And here are the big blue automatic sleeves. I have now cast off the second one and cast on the 100 stitches for the back. Do I make the back with the patterned yoke or plain? No studying today and I blame the dentist. I had a filling hacked out this morning while I was all but upside down for 2 hours. Now I feel strange. But I walked the dog and fed the blog. Priorities.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Trail Riding?

We drove 3 hours east to Kamloops on Friday. It was hard for me to believe that my sister and her husband would sell the dairy farm , here, that his family had homesteaded. I hadn't seen a lot of her in the last years because I'm wrapped up in music and my kids, and she's always with the horses.
When she asked, on saturday, if I wanted to go with two of her clients (she had just trained their horses to ride) and my daughter ( a pretty green rider) I was unsure of saddling her with more responsibility (sorry). But I really haven't ridden for years. And I've had my share of being thrown from horses.
She gave me Faith.

This mare has been bred by my sister's stallion. I don't know why she's still there. Her owner only cares about barrel racing apparently, a fact she only troubled me with when I noted how antsy she gets going through gates. She also failed to mention that "she hasn't been ridden for a while" meant since February. But she was delightful.
They live on a hilly acreage, surrounded by other ranches - some really big. My sister just opens gates and travels through, shutting them behind us all. Who knows where we were? There were no trails. I like the semi-arid landscape and the rolling hills. I live in a flat valley in a rain forest.
We were sure we could see Laura Ingalls Wilder just around the bend.
Or maybe this one. (I don't know how to delete pictures).
So here's the proof. We were out for 2 hours. Faith is a gentle but sprightly fair bucksking pinto. I'd love to go back and ride some more. My tender ischial tuberosities aren't as bad as I expected. I really enjoyed the conversation with a nurse who wants me to work on her Rehab unit. And I was comfortable with my big sister. Just one year older, I spent my life trying to keep up with her ( and getting most of the bruises for both of us). When I had my son, our relationship deepened. I really needed my hero, and she opened up that she thought of me more as a difficult twin. I was much more precocious in school and loved the limelight. Music and company came easily to me and she was really shy. I never knew she had a speech impediment because I could understand her. I wonder if I won't see more of her with their wonderful welcoming house.
And there was knitting. The sleeves just seemed to knit themselves on the ride up and back. I'm almost done the second one. It is for her second son.
I got to give her oldest boy crap because he hasn't even tried on the sweater I knit for his birthday in May. I said, try it on or give it back. I know it fit D and he would wear it.
The risk of giving gifts, is yo have to let them go.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Goals

Angie from Purling Oaks says we have to post our summer knitting goals by midnight tonight and I'll be three hours away from my computer. So I'll do my best now.
Finish on the needles:
Alphabet Block Blanket
Fixation socks (Monkeys?)
Braided Blues sweater in Cascade 220 for nephew #4

2 monthly aran squares
frog the blue lace and make ? Icarus.

I'd like to make a pair of red monkeys with stash Mountain Colours, because I'm going back to the lovely Mt Vernon for the highland games and will definitely shop at Wild Fibres and Helen's Needlework for more yummies.

Plus August 15 is the deadline for my Nursing Theory course, and August 28 for Pharmacy. I can finish earlier if the gods are with me. The good news is that my labs don't start until Sept 25! So I get time off for good behavior in the fall. I'd better use it to track down a situation to do my practicum.
Let the summer begin (please)

On the Move

I finished June's aran square a while ago, but I've been hung up with my studying. I took the center panel from Alice Starmore's Malin from her book 'In the Hebrides'. I like it. It's more what I had imagined they would look like. I already have July's ready to go and there are endless sweaters that I have knit or hope to knit that can be added. I only want 12 with deep sashing.
I got a little tripod for my camera. The irony is that I couldn't use it to take a picture of itself. Sorry it's blurry, but little by little, my shots should get better. I am so inspired by the amazing pictures on your blogs.
My feet are healing and Carly and I were out walking almost every day this week. The corn is growing slowly because there has been no sunshine. I haven't even begun to think about summer music and reading. We're off to Kamloops this afternoon for an overnight visit at my sister's ranch. It's D's birthday and we're bringing up a cake. NoodlePie wanted to bake one, but she just finished a grade 9 Math final and there isn't time. I was going to pick up a Black Forest Cake from Sardis Bakery- a classic- but he just phoned from the office and there are too many cakes there, so we'll bring one from one of the office staff. I'll have to thank them again.
Yesterday was Diabetes studying all day! I managed through it and aced the quiz. I wish my regular theory course was packaged like Pharmacology. I'm still slogging through the week's chapters and feel no end in sight and so much time away this weekend.
Next weekend the kids go to Mexico on a mission to build a house. I should get some work done then.

This is my version of a summer sky. Don't forget the sweater and raincoat to cover up your bikini.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trying New Things.

The "blessed" jaywalkers are done. What is it with me and this pattern? Can I call it incompatability? I think I just wasn't in a pattern-reading mode. Anyway, I love Grumperina, so I really wanted to love these socks. They're just a little short in the toe right now and I have gobs of Super Soxx wool left over, but I haven't washed them yet, and I'm a loose knitter, so I may gain that three rows that I'm too stubborn to redo.

This morning I sent the kids to the dentist without me. Really, why should I sit there for an hour when they can drive? So I took the time to do a project that has been waiting for quite a long time. My treat after two exams and the descent into dorkiness that was my evening.

So cute. And that 's the new Cascade Fixation in Pebble stitch pattern. I'm not sure I'll like it. I was going to make the Broad Ripples that everyone else has. But my best friend has already knit up the first one. Is that a problem? Seems she has the exact same colourway. And as much as I like knitting along with the sheep, every faddish project. I was a bit disappointed that it was there on her needles. Too Pipi Longstocking to have matching BFF socks. Am I terribly shallow? What would you do? It's my fault, I sent her the pattern. But I didn't pick this beautiful colourway- it's a prize from Angie at: I do like it, thanks, even if it's not "cow wool"(?)

I've also started writing up my first pattern. I have knit my own patterns, but not written them down properly. It's really hard. I'm trying to find a Canadian yarn in a light worsted that is soft. Do you know of any? I figure I should support the locals. My LYS was no help. Perhaps I am only procrastinating like I do in my writing so I don't have to put it down in black and white. Anyway, it's the best thing I've ever knit (Cast-On podcast's assignment) and I want to share it.

I took the day off studying because I hope to hide out and get a lot done tomorrow. I did a lot of errands. I went to the wool shop and bought Crystal Palace bamboo dpns. Some of mine seem to have walked. There is food in the house. We have a vet student and I don't know how much he eats. D. is at pipe band tonight, so I may study after supper.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Knitting In Public

We knit in public! This is the second time we gathered. There were knitters trickling in and out and more at the Chilliwack mall. It was fun.
Knitting in public is dangerous! I made a mess of my sock and came home and ripped back (again) before I realized that I was just reading the pattern wrong again, and the numbers were correct. Stink.
On Thursday I wrote my 6th exam of 8. I aced it and started on my second-last unit in this very long independent on-line course. But this morning (Monday) I found that I have almost missed a Pharmacology exam. I hit the books today and I'll have to forgo struggling for the pics because I'm writing that baby. The kids are up on the hill at Grandma's in the pool. We were there for the usual 8 hour visit. No knitting. No kidding. I get Mondays off!
I did manage to finish the "delightful" jaywalkers. They fit pretty good with the mods. I took out the Cascade 220 blue heathers this morning. Nephew #4 is getting a Braided Blues sweater from IK Fall 05. I haven't swatched yet, though, so I could be lying. What I really want is some plain stocking stich. That' s why I have ripple socks and two lace projects on the needles. Hmm. So I'm going to indulge myself. I want to have it done for September.
But first I want this exam done!
Correction: I seem to have missed the deadline because the date on the exam 'page' is Sunday, but the date on the main site is Monday. I am bummed.
I talked to D and to Jean, so I feel a little better. I'm going to listen to the new Lime n Violet and swatch.
Update: I'm not the only dork, so he opened it. I just wrote it at 10:30 pm and didn't do as well as I would have, but I am so relieved.
Thanks Angie for the note.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Over-Knitting=Knitting Over

The much loved jaywalker is much maligned on my needles. For some reason I am not able to read a pattern this weekend. Especially when I have made a single size change. "No, that's not right!" How many times?
I should have got up from the TV (and studied) but I was bonding with my daughter, NoodlePie over "The Jane Austen Book Club" on DVD. Good thing D bought that big TV I didn't want.
I'm such a leader of trends. Everyone has knit this sock pattern- multiple times. Everyone probably read the book before going to the movie theatre. I hear they still have those.
But, as a lifelong fan of Jane Austen, I just never got the knack of trends. They sort of weave in and out of what I'm doing anyway.
But just because everyone likes something, that doesn't mean it isn't good.

New orthodics. How does Carly (the big black paws) know that this is the first day that I am going back to my first thing walk. Actually not really first thing. I get coffee and a sit with D in the sunroom which is also my office. But for years I had to "earn my shower". The morning is prime thinking time, so I thought I would use it to study. But I just clean house, read emails and still don't shower.
The sun is not shining. I am wearing a rainjacket, albeit a dry one. But my driveway is going crazy. Blue jay rhododendrons I planted 10 years ago. They actually have blue jays in them.
When they just open you can't see their black eyes which match a dark purple rhodo at the house which is over 40 years old.
I love corn. Maybe I was an aztec in another life. Our dairy farm had seasons that rotated on planting and harvesting. These little guys at the top of my street are having a hard time getting enough BTUs. They are to be up to my shoulder by my birthday. We have always said this, even when I was significantly shorter. This is cow corn. It will not cook. Don't bother stealing it, we'll just laugh. The Jubilee and Peaches & Cream were started under remay, a type of plastic covering. Some years we have it as early as Canada Day (July 1st) and some years weeks later. I can no longer digest it, but I still love its miracle growth.

Maybe I should knit corn socks.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Stitch Markers

Yes, it's Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch", one of my favourite movies. How much do I love this movie? I actually learned how to surf the year I turned 40.
I bought these little girl earrings at Disneyworld and was trying to figure out how to make them into stitch markers. Yesterday I found a necklace of silver links that I had been imagining. It was too long. As I was removing the extra rounds, the ideas intersected, and I was able to cannibalize them for these.

Today I'm off to Abbotsford, about 30 minutes west up the Fraser Valley to receive my orthodics. I have great hopes of being (eventually) able to return to walking. I haven't been able to do my block (5km) since the Run-a-go-go that I enjoyed so much. Mom is going to come with me and we'll do a bit of shopping.

I turned the heel on the Jaywalker 2.0 lastnight and had a good time at NoodlePie's last middle school band concert. It had a superhero theme with some of the greatest superheroes: Beethoven, Mozart and my favourite, Bach. My mom and paw were there. She's such a fine musician, but the family, especially in-laws, don't show up for her performances. It's a shame. Next year, at the highschool, she'll be in the drum corps, vocal jazz, jazz band and concert band. She wants to be a band teacher and I think she'd be great.

Right now she's knitting a garter stitch baby kimono for her trumpet teacher who is due soon. My flute teacher gave me a pair of light up needles. It was so sweet. I don't know if I'll ever use them. I may not even take them out of the outrageous package, but I am tickled.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Debbie Grief

This is not a good sign. I had to frog the same rows of the alphabet blanket more than once. Frogging such a long row(s) repeatedly is not encouraging. I must accept that until my brain sharpens a bit from this bronchitis- almost better again- I mustn't work charts infront of the TV.
I have been smart enough for this before. I will tell myself that it is situational. So the baby blanket- never again will I call her Debbie Bliss- will be returned to the Jamaica basket.

It's the "W" that's getting me. I know I can do it. But Debbie has no sense of the beauty of math. I have found her patterns awkward before. I love the way they look. I love the finished product. But the numbers don't work for me. I like them to refer to one another, to be multiples of something or sums of nice numbers. Elizabeth Zimmerman talks about using 7's. Lara Neels of Mathknitters picks 8- very good for multiples. If I am doing several panels of cables, I make sure there is one row where they all "zero out". Like recalibrating an arterial pressure monitor every morning.
The letters are fun ( I like letters better than numbers) but the "stinking" border has a pattern over 3 rows in flat knitting. That means that sometimes you yarn over on a knit row, sometimes on a purl row, and sometimes on the wrong row or not at all. I have markers and post-its and highlighters. What I want is something more intuitive. I like to read the stitches on the needle. Oh well. I only have to knit this once. Thanks to Ravelry, I know it's possible.
I want to start a sweater. I bought cotton for a string bag. I have a colourwork sweater on the needles. Maybe it's me.
On a positive note, I aced a medication administration math test yesterday morning. I feel so up for this concrete ration math stuff. I did get one question wrong, but my answer was that I would call the pharmacy (because the order was for almost twice the listed safe dose on an IV antibiotic with a very narrow safety margin). I got the math right, but I would still check with pharmacy before I blew my patient's kidneys. I have studied hard and will keep my nose in my books to get through this second MedSurg unit. Then only two exams. YAY.
So I worked the rest of the leg on the second Jaywalker sock and decreased on the last row so the foot would fit as well as the leg. This means I will end up with one sock that fits and one that I need to rip back to the leg. But at least I'll end up with something I can wear. Stay tuned for more sign of the frog.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Our robin babies are greedy and growing quickly. I really feel for the mom who gives up all her time and energy to get food to them, protect them and clean out the nest. One of them fell out when we had friends over the other night and D put it right back in. It seems fine. But I think they've just about outgrown the nest. I hope we get to watch them learn to fly. From my computer, I can see the mom flying in and out. There are other babies on our horizon. We had dinner with all the vets last night and the Mama for this sweater has such a wee bump. Another tall, fit mom with just a bit of belly. She looks great and we sent out the word about the upcoming baby shower next month. I loved this Nashua organic cotton. The baby shrug from One Skein (it took a little more than 2 skeins). I knit it in part of a day with a fever and chills and cough (and without a computer to show you).
It really feels that time is just zipping away.
I finished an entire chapter yesterday. I haven't done that since before the plague showed up. I'm going to try hard to sit and finish another today. I need to feel that I've accomplished something in the sixth month of my independent on-line course. So isolated. I have a week off from Pharmacology and I'm going to use it.
Two more flute lessons and then my final concert with this Scherzando by Telleman. I do love it, but I don't find myself getting it up to speed. I'm not sure I can take lessons next year because I'll be doing labs and practicum in the fall. I should try to keep it up for Christmas. I'm getting to far ahead of myself. Dreaming of having this chapter finished.
No real knitting. Maybe tonight.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sister's Cabin

My sister bought a cabin on Harrison Lake and we had a great Mothers' Day BBQ there. It is boat only access and full of greenery.
The cabin is perched on the hilside with the forest behind it. I'd love to go back. I have already bought two hostess gifts for her, candles and stemless wine glasses. That's what we do as sisters, we give gifts and invite each other. Unfortunately we can't see that much of each other because of brutal commitments. This summer I must get back to Saltspring. And now my closest sister is in Kamloops. We may go see her one weekend this month.

The fairie orchid only bloomed for this one week. This eldest sister is a forester and a naturalist so she was excited about the find and appreciated its rarity.

I just spent too much time trying to get the best picture on my blog. It's on my flicker page and I'll try again. I'm just glad I can post and share. Thanks for being there.

Wish you could have joined us for ribs on Friday with great vet friends. The conversation was thick with medecine and music and kids and dogs. It made me think that I'm not so boring and the memorial was just unfortunate.

Or maybe you could have joined us at our fancy restaurant. I'll bet there are lots of couples who got married on the May long weekend. The meal was great and the other couple warm and friendly despite seeing us so rarely.

I didn't get to see my best friend this week. Her son was winning awards in piano at the provincial festival. But we were welcomed into his family 17th birthday brunch today and it makes me feel so good to have been at every birthday since he was 6. My son is a good friend with him and they make us proud.

We have been so busy lately with studying, working and being sick. It was a stretch to spend so much time just visiting (not even knitting) but D and I both agreed we need to let ourselves enjoy the good people in our lives.

We're out again tomorrow night to see friends who moved to Stratford. We had a great visit there a few years ago. It should be fun.

I had better get back to my studying. It's a bit like knitting a blanket. I can't see the end of it and the smaller goals are just not adding up quickly enough. When I finish this section, I have only two of eight left. But I'm not there yet. This uneasiness is equivalent to the elation I'll feel at the end of the next exam.

The alphabet blanket is that big project, but so far I'm enjoying the newness of each row.