Monday, September 29, 2008


I got a package from Saltspring this week. My sister sent the cards I ordered. She's an artist and this is one way she is experimenting with interacting with the public. I love them. The only problem is that, though they're gifts, they're not meant for me.

The crows remind me of the Raven series sock yarn.

Go check out her website:

February Lady and I are still watching TV together. But there hasn't been a lot of that. When I camr back from my lab, D and I went out to dinner with another couple I don't really know. But she's a nurse and we had a great time. He's very shy and I barely remember him from school. But he works with cows and I hear about him from D.
Saturday was all day in Harrison Hot Springs. I love the lake. Another sister has a cabin there.
Scott was part of a pretty spiffy piano teachers' conference. He received wonderful adjudication on his Rachmoninoff from Stephane Lemelin. What a gracious and great fellow. I'd really love to go to a concert where he plays.
Scott was in the afternoon. Then after dinner, and after a long delay, my best friend's son competed for the top piano student in BC. It was an amazing (and amazingly long) concert. Our friend played last, at 10 minutes to 11. Whew! But he came third and was a real star.

I picked up the sleeves on the sweater and now am knitting in the round. Amazingly I had the right sized needle. The weather is gorgeous. I planted bulbs with my Sunday School yesterday morning and then went for a bike ride. But the late night caught up with me early. I did finish Mansfield Park which is another enjoyable Jane Austen. I can't believe I haven't read them all because I read some of them several times. I will fix that this year. One year I read all of Dickens.

Hope you have survived the crazy circus that is September and can settle in to some lovely fall activities.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where Have I Been?

No where. I spent most of this week at my desk stressing. I was at my desk, finishing my assignments (yes, on time), or lying in bed with a migraine. I did manage to do a dance workout every day and do some surfing for ballet information. I don't know anyone who's even interested.
Today I went early with my car pool buddy to Kwantlen in Surrey. Can you believe we were there in an hour? We were an hour early. Our class has about 15 very nice returning nurses. I can't believe there's a group of people I have so much in common with. It wasn't so bad. I don't have to go back until next Friday and I have not too much to prepare. Whew.
I keep waiting for someone to come out and say they've made a mistake and I can't go back.
This course has been so confusing and unnecessarily conflicted. It has taken so much energy just to find information. Good thing we're nurses and can manage.
The September square has joined the basket of aran afghan pieces. February Lady is having her garter stitch edging done on the main body. It really excites me how many are knitting her right now. I am usually last week's news and last year's fad. But I really chose her in an organic fashion. I guess she's just right for right now.

Monday, September 22, 2008


It's amazing how much I can get done when I'm not studying and I'm supposed to be studying. This morning I made Raw Energy Pan Cookies. It's my own recipe so I shall share it:
Raw Energy Pan Cookies

Cream together: ¾ cup butter or margarine
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar

Mix in: 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Add and mix: 2 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt

Add and mix: 2 x 170g package DAN.D.PAK Raw Energy Mix (or 1 x 400g)
( 2 cups mixed sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds,
cashews, almond and raisins)

Press into cookie sheet

Bake 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Cut into pieces while hot.
I haven't finished the September square, but I like it. The picture shows the two edge patterns reversed, but I don't think you could call this a mistake. More of a design modification. It still helps to understand the process. One pattern repeat is 6 inches. This boggles me as I'm going for 12 inches square and it should be perfect- again.
I extended myself this morning with the NYC Ballet Workout video. I bought it years ago with my birthday money after a long search. I didn't like it the first time. That's before mainstream Pilates. I get it now. It was really fun. You wouldn't know to look at me, but ballet dance is one of my passions. I took lessons in university and even after I had my kids. But there are no adult classes in this backwater and I wasn't comfortable working out with 15 year olds.
When I found out that my plantar fasciaitis was due to my toe turn out, I felt a bit cheated. I had worked hard to achieve that and wasn't using it at all. So now I want to gain back some of my strength, enjoy the discipline (yes I do) and maybe even lose some of this studying weight.
My real trick is to not do anything repetitively because I always end up with injuries. Even typing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Up For Air

OK, I learn best by immersion. The bookmark for the D*I*Y* Planner has been in my list for a while. But I guess I was just ready. This is my 3 ring binder planner that I bought in March when I was convinced that my calendar was too small. The black and white picture of my big black dog was already on the cover.
Today I made a cover page (from the mosaic site at bighugelabs meme). I "monogrammed" it.
I already had card stock, a paper cutter, a hole punch and even a tab maker. Sometimes these things are waiting to happen.
What really makes me excited are the individualized pages. This project page has my favourite grids! I chose a calendar that has worked for me before. One week on each page with a blank page facing for lots of notes. I should have punched them on the other side, but that's how we learn, right? I can do better with 2009.
I love these action pages. I"m even thinking of putting them on the back of the calendar week pages. I have total freedom to try things and work through my preferences. I'm even free to change in the future. I guess I really needed a chance to take charge of one part of my life.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Messing About

I was visiting a sadly no longer current site from Blueprint magazine. It was a Martha Stewart publication that really hit home for me- so it was cancelled. I'm into this organizing thing and on I found some great ideas for my paper and pen obsession. The whole cards thing works for me, but I like 4x6 cards because I write large and I get them really cheap.I found a great craft idea at:

I think I may make a few for grad presents. The website shows them out of leather, which I can probably find. I think I may make a few for grad presents. Most of our young friends are going on to university so they may use cards for studying. I would say college, but the government had turned our colleges into University Colleges (I don't know what that is either), and now real Universities that hand out degrees. We are a little worried that they didn't follow it up with funding for research and the backbone things of a university. All dressing and election hoo haw.

The September square of the aran afghan comes from Alice Starmore's Fishermen's Sweaters. I want to make Inishmore some day, so I'm using this as a tutorial. I'll do another square from the other patterns in this sweater. This is a great way to figure out how to anticipate what's coming up on the needles. Cables have to be my favourite thing. That's probably why I have enough stash for an afghan.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


No. Not my daughter's room. That's in the "Pick your fights" catagory. It's starting to affect her, though. I refuse to help her look for stuff.
It's more in the computer. Do you ever read the blog 43 folders or uncluttered? I learn little bits. Trickles of ideas that I can use or save or reject.
I organized some of my photos. That's a real chore! I want someone to label them. I can move them, but how can I decide on file names and sub-files? I have made a good start because I learned a new and important skill: I copied digital photos to a disc to send to my sister with dial-up. I know, it's easy, just follow the steps. But you have to invest the time and start at the right place.
I also added a side bar to my blog because I want to have this information, but I don't think I need to carry it around with me. Books I've read this year. I think I'll try to do an FO list to, but I need to check the blog for that. This is a cool organizing tool.
My flute lessons are off to a good start, though I really need to improve my tone. I love my pieces and my instructor is so cool and loves to design knitting.

February Lady is the friend I turn to for the short amount of time I can knit. Sam had some great ideas on Lime & Violet Chum, but I haven't had trouble reading the stitches to find what row I'm on.

When Jean was here, I put a line through it and tried it on and we think it's going to even fit. It has been a very long time since I knit something for myself and it fit. I have hopes because I just sent a cheque in the mail to a Ravelry contact for some wool for another sweater for me. She sounds great and it was a lucky link up because she doesn't live that far away.

They say it's the last hot, sunny day. I don't know if I believe them, but it was 30 degrees yesterday! It's clouding over, so we may be heading to fall.

I'm still working on assignments but with much less fear and anxiety. I have an orientation on Thursday (she only posted it on Monday!) so I'll try to communicate face to face instead of this rediculous circle of email and phone messages that doesn't get me any answers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Late Summer

These are my daughter's anemones. From my mom. They are also called windflower which I love very much.
When she was little, she decided that her superhero name is Anemone Emily. Or Anenome Emily. The fish. We have trouble with that and don't care because she was little. What's your superhero name?
I have decided to treat myself to a little luxury. You can see it here among the chaos of my real life. I have a friend who always has fresh flowers. If she buys them or someone else, it doesn't matter to her. They are in the living room and in the dining room and I especially like the small bouquet in the guest bathroom. I try to do at least that when I have company over.

I have decided to use the vase she bought me and keep some flowers by my sink. I have so many in the garden. I can afford a few in winter. Everything else in my house (gasp) is silk. But you can't tell with the orchids and I'd just kill it anyway. This is a little joy among the chores.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Whirling Undertow

It's been very busy at Chez Metaphor. I have managed to mostly keep up walking the dog and watching Lost with the family (red "knitting". February Lady bit me on the increase row, but I placated her with y terrible math and carried on with the easy lace as if we were friends.
Scott finished the bench which was one of the big things on my summer list. It is the one thing we have from D's grandma's house. I found some upholstery fabric on sale. I'm pleased with it, although I would have liked to keep the different colours of wood. I'm proud of Mr. Boo.
I also harvested the pods from my lavenders. I hope to sew and maybe embroider sachets and eye bags for my friends. I would love for them to have comfort to help rid a headache, and I want to discourage moths in my stash.
Finally. Finished. I knit the last border and sewed in all the ends just before school started and it got placed in a safe place (read "forgotten"). I just steamed the edges and waited for some natural light a la Brooklyn Tweed as told to Sticks and String. I have some practicing to do with my photos. But I love the excuse to take lots of pictures. Some day I may even be able to scrap book a little.
Right now I'm trying to get 11 assignments done in 3 weeks and going slowly. I need to hand them in on the first day of my labs which may or may not be running as scheduled. I sure don't have the flexibility in my schedule to postpone them. At this point, I'm already working full time through Christmas. But when I'm done, I can revert to the more sane (I hope) part time.
We have the September we dreamed of: warm and sunny, cool at night. It is important to go out in the good weather as a practice of gratitude.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Trails and Trials

I remembered my camera this time when I went up Teapot Hill. D was piping at Hope Brigade Days on Saturday morning and the kids wanted to sleep in (Scott has had a terrible cold from the Canmore bus trip). So I packed up the dog (in the dog crate) with a bowl and extra water, my camera, an apple for the top of the trail, my camera. Very organized this time.
It was coolish but not wet. It never rains under the thickest part of the canopy. The weather at Cultus Lake is usually a bit wetter and cooler because it's up in the mountains (the foothills of the Cascade Range). You can just make out Carly up ahead. I let her off leash if there was no one else around. I wish the others would leash their dogs when they're around me. But it's not worth the aggravation and abuse to mention it.
The bad news is: I forgot my insole orthodics and had to turn back half-way. I was really upset because I was worried about reinjuring my foot. But today we walked the 5km block and it's not too bad. Sunday was back to Sunday School and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage the extra workload. I'm back studying, I must prepare for my labs.
Friday I was given the plum position at the hospital for my preceptorship: telemetry. It's step-down ICU. It's not at all what I wanted. But they want to pump out the best nurses, and it's only a few months (160 hours minimum). I'm going to have to work hard to be able to juggle all the assessments, medications and monitoring equipment! What have I gotten myself into?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hope and Despair

I planted a tree this week. It's a sign of hope. I hope I can get some shade on my deck so I can sit out on it in the summer. It is an Acer Suminagashi, also known as a Japanese maple. It is green in the spring and summer and red in the fall. D drilled some holes in the wheely base to aid drainage.
I planted Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) at his toes to help keep water in the pot. It's a groundcover that does really well here. There's even one called Vancouver Gold. But I told Stephan at Minter Country Gardens that I don't really like gold or orange or yellow in my garden. He's a big, young, Dutch guy, and he didn't even flinch at my silly decorating ideas. He just said I had to look in the other area for a red maple. He was great. My mom is a landscape designer and when I asked her what tree I should plant in my big pot on my sunny deck, she said Japanese maple, which is what I wanted anyway.
I always choose hardiness over fancy hybridization. My garden does pretty good without too much intervention. Plus I like it too look a little wilder, not too pruned or tortured. The lady two doors up has had her garden in a magazine. I'd like to see the pictures. I've all but lost my zeal for gardening. I just want to spend time in it reading and knitting, and , if I have to, studying.

Ever notice that "hope" in French is "d'espere"? So close.
The despair is the radical overhaul of CBC Radio 2. Perhaps it is just the rejection of change, or the need for the new people to have time to find their stride. But I am most unhappy to lose my classical music. I really enjoyed the programming, especially as I sat at this desk studying since January. I have found a CBC Classical station on itunes radio. I can also listen to BBC 3 through the internet. It was good company and a good program while it lasted.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I barely made it through August! Two finals and some small travels. I did manage to get the August square made for the aran afghan. Scott is in Grade 12 this year and I mean it to be a grad present. I plan to finish the squares in December and make the seedstitch sashing and do the piecing before June. It's all stash from sweaters I've made in the past. I tried to hold out till after Labour Day to change bags. I love my rattan that I bought for our trip in March, but the rain was distressing it. I switched to my red shoes so I brought out the new bag. It's big, but it holds everything. I just about bought it when we were shopping in Seattle, and then found it in Langley for the same price but no exchange or duty. Yay.

February Lady is treating me well. We watched the bonus disc for Season 2 of Lost. It was really interesting. D already bought season 3. My brain is sore. A huge meeting today which I had to recap for one of the members who couldn't be there. Then the whole afterschool drama. Whew. This was Emily's first day of highschool. This year it's all about band!

Where's Angie?

That's a good question. If we look at the map of Canada (National Geographic Atlas), look waaaay over to the left coast.

I'm in British Columbia, almost on the 49th parallel and almost at the water, but not quite. The climate is similar to Seattle. Warm and green and wet.
It always tickles me to see Chilliwack on a map. I actually live in Sardis which would be a smaller dot on the other side of the Trans Canada Highway, but it is no longer its own village. We're now about 60,000 people and the inevitable but unfortunate (and inconvenient) bedroom community for the giant Greater Vancouver Regional District. It takes about an hour to get to Vancouver, depending on the always heavy traffic and if we can use the high occupancy (HOV) lane. I can use the bus or drive across the Fraser River to Mission to get the commuter train, or drive to Surrey to catch the Sky Train. But none of it is convenient. It's about 20 minutes to the Sumas border crossing.
The Fraser Valley is on the banks of the Fraser River which is one of the great aquafirs of the world and was featured in National Geographic a few years ago.
WhenI was growing up, we were 30,000 dairy and raspberry farmers.
You can see Kamloops to the north and east in the North Thompson River area. That's where my sister's ranch is.

If you really want to know where I live, it's just beside that really pointy tree that is sticking out in the middle of that row of trees on the edge of the field. Another picture of my beloved Mt. Cheam (SHEE-am). I'm trying to make up for not taking pictures on my walk (hike?) up Teapot Hill. I'm so sorry. It was perfect conditions and all mossy rainforest. But I was nervous about this first foray into the hills since my injury and forgot my camera. I really sucked wind. But Emily was patient and we had apples and fresh cookies at the top. Of course we saw old friends up there, we always do. I'll take pictures next time. I'm anxious to go up again so that I can look back on that first walk and smile and pat myself on the back and marvel at how much better in shape I have become.
Today was a bike ride. Good autumn weather.I tried to swatch for the Bristow
( ) but I couldn't get gauge with my Cascade 220, so I went for my next in line, February Lady Sweater from Pamela Wynne at (check under free patterns) and it's coming along fine. I have knit the baby sweater from EZ's Knitters' Almanac several times.

The binder at the top of the picture is my circular needle storage system. I use clear sleeves, like we use to store patterns and music and just labelled each with the size. I like that the needles can be stored relaxed, not too rolled up. But it doesn't help me meet gauge.

First day of school with both kids at the same highschool and the new rule of never being driven. It's closer than the Middle School, I hate the "Get in the car!!!" discussions and I have to train them to get ready for my returning to work. They seem in good spirits and are rewarding themselves with video games. I'm OK with that. Tomorrow is a full day for them. I have a fall planning meeting at church. Thursday is a haircut and Friday (!!) is an interview with the hospital to set up my preceptorship where I will do my on-the-job training with an RN instructor. I'm nervous. More knitting in this last day before I have to crack the books again.