Sunday, December 23, 2012

Averting Disaster

 I always enjoy the magic of watching the amaryllis emerge and bloom from an ugly bulb planted on Halloween. This year I did two and took one to work. It was a great addition to Christmas at Hospice.
 I have been working lots! Almost full time. I miss my home and sitting to knit and follow your blogs. Perhaps in the new year. I have a week off now and started my Christmas Eve cooking late.
 Decorating and baking got done in between shifts and concerts and teaching Sunday School. I don't feel that I have immersed myself in Christmas music as in other years. I now have my entire Christmas library on an itunes play list and just hit shuffle.
I did get all the knitting done. But I ran out of yarn for my last gift!! And, of course, there is none in Chilliwack!! I tried other yarns, but have decided to do the last bit in the new year. I made a quick hat instead of my first Sweet Georgia superwash worsted in the tourmaline colour way. I wish all my problems were solved so easily. Actually I finished the hat last night and it seemed stupidly small. I picked another pattern and different needles for the remaining yarn before I went to bed very late. I had my clock messed up from a night shift.
 But blocking made it much bigger (surprise?) and I could cook for the 7 hours since church.
French Onion soup ( I almost forgot, thanks D for the emergency supermarket run), twice baked potatoes, tortiere roll ups, bean salad, caesar salad, cranberry chutney, buns. Plus I made butter tarts today and peanut butter scotch marshmallow squares. They go with the shortbread and Christmas cake I already made.
 I worked the night of Dec 11-12. I missed the end of the world. Whew! I had all my presents wrapped and didn't want to miss Christmas.
Mom had a nice Solstice Dinner and we sat around the table filled with candlelight.
D has been sick with a bad cold, my friends are looking after their own family emergencies, or working Christmas hours, so they didn't even miss me while I worked. I was worried they would feel slighted.
Now I have caught up. The children are nestled in front of their computer screens and I want to watch some Christmas movies and maybe knit on my long neglected Colour Affection (affliction). The three balls of yarn behave much better in the yarn bowl. Soon I will be on to the plain grey border and knitting like the wind. Or at least knitting at all.
Hope your Christmas is filled with good cheer, warm hearts and gentle knitting.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thinking Big

After spending the last couple of weeks at work helping with an LPN student, I am pleased at her progress, and appreciative of the time and effort that her preceptor nurse, and the whole team, have shared.
We don't get paid more to have a student. Not everyone is a good teacher. But each nurse has something to give, beyond the needs of the patient and the family, beyond the duties of being a good team member, and sharing our own OCD quirks (I call it OCD for good at work).
I was trained in a hospital in the 80's. The whole school, our instructors, all the nurses in the building, shared a guiding and nurturing (and sometimes harsh direction), over the three years. I purposely travelled to Calgary to have the opportunity to learn on the job.
As well, D has been involved in developing a trade certification for dairy herdsman. In the past, farm boys and girls have been raised with the standards and instructions of the myriad of jobs surrounding raising and milking cows. Going out to do chores was the way they learned the needs of the herd and the the milking. But more people are coming from beyond the rural areas, even from other countries.
To take years of slow training and development, and encapsulate it in an organized and  comprehensive manner is a huge undertaking.
As well, our clinic is part of the veterinary program, taking students, almost continually, to go on calls with them to the farms and learn according to their needs. They even take kids who are interested in maybe becoming vets. Many of the vets in our area have spent time with D on his calls when they were starting out.
But D is a great teacher and has some good partners.

I bring this up because, even though neither of us have chosen teaching as our vocation, our professions have teaching wrapped within it. We are so proud that Emily has a calling to be a band teacher. We both loved school and are the worst parents for always being excited about what our children are learning (except maybe now with Scott's advanced programming and math).

My ideas are sparked by this article:

Our friend from elementary school, and Emily's Godfather is bringing a message of opening communication and taking the time to encourage and empower the youth of today. Worldwide.

I love having students. I have been invited to do some teaching at the local university's nursing school. I need to follow this up.
As we head in to a new year, do you see yourself sharing your knowledge with the next generation? What do you wish you had known before you headed in to a new environment? Who do you see around you who could benefit from some nurturing?
And I hope that I am in the sights of someone else's wisdom.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the Season

 Christmas crafting is having to be squished between practices, concerts, the pageant, festive breakfasts and way too many shifts.
My BIL welded these treble clefs for me to decorate for Christmas. I love them! I have tons of holly and ivy because they are special to me, grow really well in my yard and make great ornaments.
 Welcome to our Christmassy home. I finally got the tree decorated and baked the 8 batches of shortbread. I wrapped half the presents last night. But the big news is the knitting that is finished. I can't even tell you about the gifts because of my dear lurkers. But there will be a big reveal after the gifts are opened.
These little mittens were for me.
My sister emailed me a question about an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern and she was surprised I hadn't knit it yet and why not. Good question. Perhaps I could think about knitting through the Knitters' Almanac this year?
I am also going to start a blue hexipuff blanket from Tiny Owl Knits.
And maybe a sweater for me! And a baby blanket for my next great niece or nephew!
But first I must finish this last gift, work on the poor, neglected Colour Affliction shawl, finish my silk mittens and find my other buried UFOs.
Don't spend the season before you have enjoyed this one.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

A Little Christmas Break

 D and I enjoyed a few days in the city (Vancouver) for our annual meet up with friends from UBC days. We stayed in the Wall Centre, which is close to everything. It is part of our Intrawest Whistler time share. We walked everywhere and bought a few things on our list as well as some treats that were surprises.
 In Holt Renfrew, our friend's niece was dancing to beautiful piano music. Ballerinas were handing out candy canes. A most delightful shopping experience.
 Love the kitchy decor in such an upscale store. This is Canada's premium department store and sells all the biggest names, including Tiffany. I bought one small item in the mens' department. But I loved Urban Fare, a fancy grocery store, for stocking stuffers and good spices. The rain was a bit nasty, but the meals were delightful. As well we went to Jazz Vespers at St. Andrews Wesley United Church. We have wanted to go for years, but have never had the chance. D booked an extra night, so we had plenty of time.
But coming back, I feel I could use a few more days at home to prepare our Festival Chorus concerts this weekend, as well as the Fiesta Christmas Pageant I am directing on Sunday morning. I still have two gifts to finish knitting, but our Sisters' Lunch has been pushed back a week. Small blessings. The tree is up without lights or ornaments. And one of us has not baked anything.
The Common Threads Knitting Circle made a basket of cup cozies to thank Starbucks for hosting us for 6 months. We are now meeting at my church and the room is great for teaching and moving about and planning and sharing. Such a lovely and diverse group of knitters!
Today is booked from 0930h to 2100h. Plus I have to get home to let the dog out. Tomorrow I work. I hope to get some tasks done on Saturday morning.
When the concerts are over and the tree decorated, I will put on some Christmas music, pour myself a hot spiced apple cider and wrap some gifts.
Hope you are enjoying the excitement of the season. And don't forget to take a little break.