Sunday, June 28, 2009


You should really tell me not to knit during a working set. The Hey Teach back looks almost exactly the same, but now it has been reknit because I tried to convince myself that I had the right number of stitches. It worked for a while, and then the charm of the number wore off and I had to rip back. It's not the pattern's fault.
I wish I could rip back the last two days at work. My practical nurse who is supposed to be working in tandem (with me in charge) has made it clear that she thinks I should already know everything and I'm headed for falling on my face. I disappointed her with the first, but not the second. But you know, I sought advice from the other RNs and no one knew the protocol until I got to work the next day and could feel the residual anger.
I have two nights now with her and am spending too much energy worrying if I should confront her with the "you don't have to like me but you have to work with me for the good of the patients" or the "I'm trying to respect your experience but I need more help" or the go home and cry at the end. This is why I left nursing. I could get all sorts of support from the rest of the group, but I don't want camps to ensue.
Right now I feel like the spent elastic on that old pair of underpants. Very little stretch left before everything falls apart.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kind Thoughts

When I got home from a rather heavy shift tonight, my sister had dropped off a very nice hand-written reference for the mystery flower. That one in the middle is :
Campanula glomerate 'Superba'.
Clustered bellflower carries its funnel-shaped flowers in large, loose clusters.
Thrives in sun or partial shad.
Divide in clumps in autumn and spring.

It's growing well in heavy shade, and I'd be happy to share it in the fall.

The Hey Teach is coming along. I keep waiting for the trick, but I think the surprise is that it is a well-written fast knit. The back is almost done.

Lastnight I helped out at the Sardis Grad 09. Perhaps that's why I had trouble with this shift. (That and the general crabbiness- it doesn't help get the work done.)
The theme was Hollywood and the parents did a marvelous job of decorating. Jean and I signed them in and D was security. Scotty had a great time. I was home by 9:30, but he was dancing with all the other non-drinkers and having a great time. He took his date to the "Dry Grad" put on by the community and then out for breakfast at a friend's farm. I still haven't seen him.

Allison asked for the Thai noodle salad recipe. I have adapted it from a friend:
6-10 cups of whole wheat spaghetti, cooked and cooled.
Grated carrots and chopped green onions.
I like to add celery, red pepper, sesame seeds (anything I can get away with)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp Sweet Thai chili sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
Red pepper flakes.
If you make the sauce a day or two ahead it becomes hotter. I can't eat spicy food, but the teenagers love it.
Hope that goes well with whatever you're barbequing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ups and Downs

The last couple of days have been a bit unseasonal. The longest day of the year was cold and rainy and dark. We had the lights on and a house full of relatives indoors for a BBQ. I thought it went well, but we already have whining that the graduate didn't thank enough. He's writing cards as we speak.

Yesterday was my catch up day with putting the house back in order and the leftovers in the freezer. I actually made turkey soup with the broth that I thought I wouldn't need for a long time. Unfortunately the 8 inches of stockinette stitch did nothing to spark my mind. I went to bed at 9:30, exhausted again. I feel better today and ready to tackle the band and lace of Hey Teach.
I also worked on the scarf gift with the yummy Casbah in the evening (before I crashed).

Today I was excited to meet Kate Jacobs. I must admit it took a bit to get into her book, but I loved the characters, and it got better as I went. My dear friend loaned it to me and I had to buy her a replacement because I rather trashed it in my nursing bag. We had lunch and enjoyed her talk about making communities and taking chances. I was definitely charmed.

Unfortunately the grad travel plans have changed and eventhough I am not in control, I got a huge blast and feel terrible. I asked the same graduate to make some calls and apologize. It has to do with pleasing his date and the dominoes fall from there. So right now I am talking to you who are not involved and hopefully are not pissed off at me like so much of the world.

I have had to disappoint a lot of people when I chose to return to work instead of volunteer for them. I'm disappointed that my family has not picked up more where I left off (so sad for me) and I'm still tired and overwhelmed from jumping into night shifts at my advanced age. Whew.

So I look forward to getting my act together in areas that I can control. Recognizing that it's not my job to make everyone's lives better and doing a better job at looking after myself. I bought myself a BCAA membership today, that's a good start. Plus I"m learning two new tunes on the piano. Too bad you can't buy or eat your way out of a slump.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gauging Myself

On Saturday, the BC Legion Games were held in Chilliwack. We have been piping and drumming for 18 years (since the big Tatoo at the now mothballed army base). This is the first time there was a games in our town. We have travelled to Vancouver Island and as far south as Portland (this year California). But when the bands come home, our band doesn't play. The Legion is an organization of mainly veterans. They do a lot to support pipe bands in our country. We used to be a Legion band, but moved up to serious competition. Our guys did the organizing and judging. It was a great venue and my D was the MC all day.
In preparation of Fathers Day/D's birthday and Scott's grad, I brushed the big black thing. Wholey cow! Now I either have to do this every day to keep the black hair down, or never again because I'm afraid.

I finished the June baby sweater and it's still June. Cheating in a way by using DK and the baby bolero pattern from One Skein, I still used up stash, and I still needed to knit it over. Maybe it was because I was a bit jet-lagged from working nights, but when I finally took a breath and looked at my lap, I couldn't believe the sloppy gauge. Sometimes I feel it is something that is out of my control. I don't try to knit loosely, it just happens. But I have lately been trying to be more mindful of gauge, and it really works. It's not the same as just picking up needles, but in time, this new, firmer gauge will become habit. Especially with the cotton, I don't want it to end up looking like lace.

Our family gathering was a success. Too much food (surprise?). Scott made his killer Caesar salad in our giant wooden bowl. I made a double Thai noodle salad and mom brought "the best" potato salad. My SIL took the last bit home before I could claim it. The main dish was local Farmer Sausage on a bun. I also made a giant sheet cake, but MIL's apple pies and lemon meringue pies satisfied the crowd. D will take the cake to the office today for another birthday celebration.
I get to take the day off and do the last bit of cleaning and the 8 inches of stockinette on my brown Hey Teach. Yay.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Things

I don't live in a Martha world. We're a lot more casual here in the valley on the left coast. But we know a good thing. Cooking bacon on the BBQ.

Monograms. I pimped my phone with pretty sparklies.
I'm working on setting up some scrap booking. I really don't have the room to make a big mess, but I'm getting excited about the design. I was on a design website a while ago and they were horrified with the scrap book industry. But a few of them checked out the sites and had to admit some weren't too hokey. I'm sorry Simple Scrapbook magazine was cancelled because that's my style.

My walk is a good thing. Carly loves it. This is where I walk past the field next to my highschool (and Dan's and Scott's). The flag was set up by my son and his friends as a prank with Sardis '09 spray painted on it.

Eleanor and I walk on the river every Thursday if we can. It's a 10 minute drive to a piece of the Trans Canada Trail. I used to ride my bike on it, too. We enjoy the good surface, the great scenery, and bumping into friends.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Third Bloggiversary

Thank you all for stopping by over the last 3 years. I have been greatly encouraged to do more knitting and more adventurous knitting from your blogs. I went back to school and got my RN and now I'm working part time at the only hospital I've ever really worked.
As I was struggling to sleep on Monday in the day, I had some good ideas. First, don't struggle to sleep- it won't work. But I was worried about a friend who is undergoing heart troubles and I thought I'd knit her a prayer shawl. Hey, I have some wool in the perfect blue from my sister. Hey, I already have a blue shawl that I can give her.
I knit the Fleece Artist Make Waves Shawl kit that I bought when I couldn't find the right wool for Eunny's Print O the Waves Shawl. I eventually knit Print o the Waves and gave it to my second sister for her 50th. This I finished and set aside. Knitting in the bank.

I also thought I'd knit a prayer shawl for a choir friend who has just lost her Scott. He was the same age as my Scott and a great guy. It was a tractor accident, similar to one on my farm which took my cousin's life (hours after I got off). I was musing about the Sidar denim when I realized I had already knit a sweater, just a bit too big that would be great. I went to the wool shop where they were trying to consign it and now I'll wrap it up for her. Two projects in the bank that are worthy withdrawals. I finally finished the May baby sweater and handed it in today while I did still further orientation stuff at the hospital. I worked this weekend which means I have 10 days off (just 8 more). I so very badly need them. We have a Highland Games in Chilliwack this weekend. I am only a steward, but D is the MC. Then on Sunday we have 28 people coming for a BBQ. I have lots of help from friends and family and even D.
This year one of my slogans has been "Get up/ Dress up/ Show up". That was really helpful when I was waiting for my RN papers and didn't know what to do with myself. Now I am employed and following my dream of being a nurse, so I am switching to the motto "Dream Recklessly". Who knows what can happen.
I'd like to send out little anniversary presents to the few but special readers that have shared these last three years with me. Please drop me a line, and I will surprise you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welcome Summer

If you come to my front door, this is the current welcome. It can have brutal direct sun in the afternoon, so the succulents are the best choice here. Carly wants to pet you (push you over). Come straight through to the back garden. I know it's bad feng shui, but since we put lanoleum down, I don't mind the direct passage.
My wild border, running the length of the west edge is mostly in shade. I have been given most of the plants and they are allowed to do what they like to attract birds. I did have some trouble with the new prickly plants at the bottom of the yard, along the river. The neighbour took down my string fence and there was a dog turd right between the new plants. I am trying to "deter" this unreasonable neighbour from letting her untrained, vicious dogs (that look just like mine) run in my yard and make my dog crazy. It escalated when she and her little boyfriend started coming across to use our bridge (right in the middle of our dinner). So I trimmed a very prickly wild rose bush and laid the branches across my sad little fence. D doesn't want a pissing match, but I'm tired of the last 3 years of being held hostage to their anger.Let's change our perspective and stop to smell the flowers.

My "May" baby sweater is coming along. The sleeves are knitted on , as any good pattern would have. I'm enjoying the Friday night knitting Club, though I haven't had much time for either with my working. It's nights tonight, but I don't know if it will be quiet or crazy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Soundtrack of My Summer

I have found the CD to live in my car and accompany my summer experiences. Jodi Proznik is a genius bass player from Vancouver, and her CD Foundations is brilliant, and one that all my family can agree on. I'm still waiting to buy my own bass.
Every year I choose one new release that turns out to be intertwined with our summer memories. It has been successful: Van Morrison, k.d.lang, Yoyo Mah, Harry Connick Jr., Dave Brubeck. It started unintentionally when I was young and listened to CFUN radio station. Elton John and Billy Joel were big summer tunes. Then in university, it was Ah ha, Tears For Fears and Huey Lewis. What are your sounds of summer?

I work this weekend, so I'll try to "knit in public" in the cafeteria. I'm still working on catching up on my monthly baby sweaters, plus reading Friday Night Knitting Club.
Plus tonight is the book club pot luck where we bring a friend and choose a summer book. Perhaps this is a misguided attempt to recapture the carefree days of the summers of our youth. What are you reading this summer?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coming to Light

The baby sweater is slowly growing. I have marked centimeters on the side of the pattern so I don't miss button placement, etc. There could be more instructions, but I've knit a few kimonos, so I can either go back to them or fudge it as I go.
This is a very special shade of green that I cannot abide. It was a donation with some other wool I wanted, especially preserved for this charity project. But I contest.

Carly and I walked earlier this morning. We'll probably have to keep that up with the warm weather. I can't believe the corn is already up to my knees.
And our shady field is tall with seeded grass. I love the morning light.

Nest 2009. I didn't think the robins would be back at my office window, but they have made a better nest than last year. It's pretty messy, but we become spellbound when the babies start to show.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Treat On Top of Treat

I'm starting to feel more grounded. Today I did the crazy errand thing where I ran around like a scavenger hunt, checking things off my list. I wanted to do some reading so I added oil change and tire rotation (usually knitting spots). I did some reading this weekend which was a real treat and rare since work started (and I threw myself into Icarus). The air quality is improving in the valley. This shot was Saturday before it cleared, I walked the dog and then spent too many hours in the garden.
This is the season of the blackberry bloom. It is one of my favourite scents and I adore blackberries. So does Carly, my big black dog, and she can pick them herself if she rolls her lips back.We have walked so much that I have totally worn away the tread on the toes of my runners. I forgot to look at them because the orthodics overcome the breakdown of the rubber- but not to that extent. I'll wear my light hikers for now, but I think I'll buy new nursing shoes and use those for walking.

I have finally started a baby sweater (for May, oops). I actually started the 5 hour baby sweater, but after several hours and 3 starts, I had nothing but froggin. I'm doing the Garter Stitch Baby Kimono
It's starting OK, but I'm going to do some more reading. I want to finish this Ian Rankin mystery (Hanging Garden) and start Kate Jacob's Friday Night Knitting Club (again) because I have been invited to meet her in a few weeks. I normally read at least one book a week, but I have been putting videos from the library at the top of the list so I can knit. I love "Pushing Daisies"!! But I have returned it now and I shall sit on the deck in the cooler breeze and sip a Pinot Grigio in this quiet and empty house. Treat on top of treat!

Friday was most exciting as Scott and all the boys who inhabit my basement walked across the stage and graduated from the same school that D and I did " a few short years ago"*
He was recognized with scholarships and whoops from his friend and has never struggled in his days. We are proud parents. Icarus came to the event and was suitably impressed.
*More than 20.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Floating on Thermals

I feel like I went to sleep in March and woke up in August. The weather is very hot for us -34 degrees celsius (thats about 98) and I'm behind in everything from working nights this weekend. I still am trying to balance work and home. Not everyone in the house is with the plan.
Tuesday night was awards: Emily sang O Canada and Scott got some great awards and scholarships.
Tomorrow is commencement. We're pretty excited. He's graduating from our own highschool.

Naturally my reaction was to knit a shawl. Does anyone understand this? I immersed myself yesterday, which was good because I really needed to sit still. I cast off Icarus this morning.

This is a skein of merino lace weight that I dyed blue from an icky mushroom. I tried for 5 (7?) years to make a thistle shawl but frogged it in January. Now I have a whole shawl and am almost ready for the big celebration. There is one dropped stitch, but I'm not focussing enough to be worried about it.
I'm off to deliver invites to the grandmas. Maybe I should take another allergy pill to combat this terrible smoggy air.
Tonight I have a special meeting of the camp and am missing an important choir practice. Now that the shawl is done, I can get back to my guitar practice, sweeping floors and ironing. Perhaps I should cast on another to continue to avoid my work.