Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Away From Home

I'm packing work clothes for the sunny terraces of Tijuana. This year we are stuccoing the boys' dorm that we built last year and it's going to be messy. I'm taking Emily, 20 years old, lots of experience leading campers, looking forward to it, but not sure what to expect.
I always get wistful when it's time to leave our lovely home. Will the Great Blue Heron miss me?
This time I have a Canada flag on my back pack. It is an old tradition. When we were in Africa, it would have been helpful to be identified as Canadian instead of ... German, South African, American. Just about anything. I can wear my apologies on my back.
There will be plane trips to SanDiego and knitting on a scarf/shawl for a dear friend who is organizing everything at church for us. She deserves not only my support and effort, but a special thank you.
I will miss Easter at my home church again this year. Dan and I usually do special music with our instruments. But we will be reunited with our Calgary friends and I look forward to Carlton's Easter service this year. Project Help Mexico. It is a small organization, but we make a difference in the lives of the children of this lunch room/ foster home. And they make a big difference in our lives.
Everything looks different when I'm away from home.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset

 Emily and I took a quick trip to Victoria for her audition to music school. The ferry ride is always so beautiful, no matter what the weather. There was good knitting and visiting.
 We got onto an earlier ferry than we expected, so settled into our room at Craigdarrock House and watched videos and had some wine.
The campus is set up on the edge of the sea with wild gardens and totem poles. She played beautifully and was quite relaxed. We had sushi with Scott before heading back.

The trip home was earlier and the light was lovely. The ferry riders were in a good mood. Unfortunately, my sore throat had travelled to my nose and I was starting to get tired and grumpy.
Fast forward to Wednesday. I have been home coughing and sleeping. I finished the baby blanket and picked up the Hoaloha KAL sweater. Well, there were mistakes to rip out and uncertainty. With Mel's encouragement, I tried it on as I went and I'm pretty sure it will fit, even after blocking. I'm on the sleeve now and back on the Ravelry board with the few who have not yet finished. My sister finished but wouldn't pick a fitted sweater. I'll bet it looks good on her.
Today I will try to get the sleeve done as I'm feeling a bit better. Had a little visit from a knitting friend, which lifted my spirits.
The days are short when you just malinger. Tomorrow is another sleeve.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Messing With My Clock

 I've been picking up shifts while yet another nurse has been injured on the job. Mom says I should quit before I'm injured, too. Went from working, to our Fiesta Lunch fundraiser for Emily's and my mission to Mexico at Christmas. Then to Vancouver for a wonderful concert of Great Big Sea!!!!!!
Crazily, we met one of D's very fun cousins there.
 The opening act cancelled, so the band gave us two acts. Stunning. this was their 20 year tour. I have been a fan from almost the very beginning. Go Newfoundland music!
 This is my normal morning view. The mountains sometimes take longer to wake up and pull back their covers.
 This was the view we woke had from the 30th floor of the Wall Centre. I love staying in the same place and having a second familiar space. We can walk everywhere downtown from here. I lived in the city after high school, working in the Reserve Armed Forces Medical Corps and going to UBC. Sometimes I miss it. But D takes me there a few times a year for a taste of the big city.
 I took time on Wednesday (Wednesday?) to block out the Icarus. As much as I hate knitting for commission, this was a very different endeavour. My friend chose the yarn and pattern with me, and she is making me a quilt. I have been delighted by this alpaca yarn, but was a bit surprised by how big it turned out. Much bigger than the one I knit for myself when Scott graduated.
 Had to improvise blocking tools (fishing line and sewing pins) because my kit was loaned out.
 The cotton mix baby blanket is coming along. I enjoy the math, even if I don't always pay close enough attention. I would knit this pattern again. I love Berocco Comfort, but this is close and was on clearance as all our Zellers stores are being replaced with Canadian Targets.
I worked Wednesday night with a raging sore throat. You know you look bad when your palliative patient is worried you look tired. Yesterday was Pi day (3.14) and my dear Jean brought me apple pie from the famous Chilliwack Airport (I fly for pie!). It's now the Ides of March. Can't help but laugh at Wayne and Shuster!
This is my cranky pants day, after my night shift. Not the first morning, the next one. But I made reservations for the ferry and Em and I should have a good crossing as we head to UVic for her audition and to see Scotty. She is a good driver, so I will get extra knitting time and can listen to Great Big Sea and maybe figure out what time it is.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Back and Forth

 The weather has been adolescent lately. Either pouring so hard you have to run to the car (and I am not made of brown sugar), or glorious Michelangelo clouds and blue sky. I have good rain gear, and my old black dog can't walk very far, so we go out every day anyway.
 Our driveway has puddles big enough that flocks of neglected single male mallard ducks think they can live there. Very disconcerting when they try to land in a body of water you are driving through. Worse when the puddle forgets to show up.
 The water level has risen all around. The "Pineapple Express" storm is now called an "Atmospheric River." Nuff said.
 Only 3 more rows and 4 cast off rows to finish this alpaca shawl that has kept me company throughout the depth of February and my convalescence. I am so excited and worried about how it will turn out. This is for a friend. Not a gift but a swap, but I love thinking of her during the long rows, back and forth, and of the cheerful quilt she is making me.
 I am teaching entrelac soon. Apparently one of the necessary elements is terrible gauge. Oh well. This was never going to get to go to the dishcloth ball. It is much easier if you can knit backwards (which you can if you try) and if you change the dressing on your pinkie to one less bulky.
Flowers found in the wild verges of the train tracks. Tiny, isolated and entirely charming. I may have a new purpose to my walks.
I'm glad my new little camera doesn't mind the walks, though it is a bit bossy with its options and commands. Look out, or I'll go back to my phone.
Can't decide anything today as I worked a night shift last night. It was pleasant and I always have a great LPN partner, but I am dithering today and must be careful what I pick up to knit. Soup or salad, back and forth. Maybe just a cup of tea, coffee?
I would like to make up my mind but it is elusive and drowsy, going back and forth.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Before the Pineapple

 I miss the Vedder River Trail. Carly can't walk that far and we have had bad experiences with off leash dogs in the past. So on Tuesday I took her for her little 20 minute walk and then headed out to the river. Because of the sunshine and the ability to open my stride, I really enjoyed a brisk 45 minute walk.
 This is a major feeder into the Fraser River, the reason our town is here. The rivers were the highways and canoes were the vehicles in the 1880's when settlers first discovered this valley. Salmon are still swimming here, but in inconsistent numbers.
The snow line is rising. And today we are being hammered with a pineapple express: 40mm of rain and temperatures rising to 11 degrees C.
You can hear the chorus of rain on the deck, tinkling down the overflowing down spouts and, at times, hitting the window.
It's a great day to snuggle up with some knitting and an audio book. But Im not sure yet I can knit.
While carefully slicing potatoes last night for my Dad's 74th birthday dinner, I took the tip off my left pinky finger. If I can get the bleeding to stop, I can put on a light dressing and go to work tomorrow night. But I cant get a glove on this hand. You should see my typing mistakes!
Thankfully I am pretty ambidextrous. It came to me yesterday as I was devising a pressure dressing, that I can work pretty well with both hands, though I am left dominant because when I was turning 4 I broke my left arm and spent the summer in a cast. I must have adapted to using my right hand for many things at that plastic age.
And I am thankful. As much as I would like to moan about the discomfort and inconvenience, I am capable of finishing dinner (ham, scalloped potatoes, carrots and peas with an almond bundt cake) and redo my dressing a few times. I think of Mel, and marvel again at her strength and spirit. She is an inspiration, even if I'm behind on my KAL.
I wish you wellness and enjoy the monsoon.