Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Random Title Here.

My friend got her surgery date. She's going in on October 9. She won't be undergoing radiation beforehand...she had an MRI last week and radiating is not necessary or beneficial.

I finished her wrap a few days ago...I just need to block it a bit, and sew in all 28 ends, then it will be ready. I keep meaning to take some pictures but haven't got around to it, what with all the Living I've had to do lately. But basically it looks like it did before, only longer.

I'll try to get a few pictures taken as soon as I can... in the meantime, hang in there my lovely rodent friends.

Monday, September 24, 2007

National Anthem

Sorry - two in one week - but I couldn't help it. It do bring a tear to me eye.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Must be lamb today, 'cause beef was last week.

Ahh....the burnished crown, the swelling cloudy centre, the rush of heat and hint of smoky oil.

Yorkshire pudding
1 1/4 cup homo milk (can I get an "eh-men" from all you Canadians?)
4 eggs
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
Into the blender it goes. Let it stand a bit then add 1 1/2 cup flour, and turn the blender on. Leave it on while you heat the oven to 400 and pour a bit of vegetable oil into each of 12 muffin cups. When the oven is hot, put the muffin tin in until the oil just begins to smoke (about 5 - 10 minutes - WATCH IT). And yes, all this time the blender is running. When the oil is hot and ready, whip the tin out, turn the blender off, and fill the hot-oil-prepped cups with mixture to within 1/4" of the top. Back into the oven and bake about 15 - 20 minutes, til they look like mine.

Fill with gravy, stuff in face. (Even packaged gravy can't ruin these, by the way.)

bit of a larf.

If you have kids, you'll laugh. If you don't, you might laugh anyway.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thank you Dr. Skelton.

I was reading this article on How to be a Successful Blogger and, according to its rules, I am doomed to lose my entire readership because I have not been "reliable". (Note my use of sarcastic quote marks.) Apparently I must post nearly every day (it is permissible to miss one or two here and there). I must keep in mind that I am having a "conversation" with my Readers and therefore when they comment I must respond with a comment of my own lest the Readers' delicate sensibilities be offended and they return no more.

On the other hand I spent a fair few minutes in university learning about those poor rats who, when they were rewarded randomly by a food pellet after pushing a button, pushed the button for eternity even after food had been discontinued altogether. One group of rats got a food pellet every time they pushed the button: this group would stop pushing after a few unsuccessful tries. Another group never got a food pellet, and these would stop pushing almost immediately. But the rats who were fed randomly? pushed that thing until they actually perished, their little ratty paws poised in stiffening death on the very button that held them in thrall.

So according to the rules of behaviourism, I am perfectly on course to keep my readership hanging on my every word, despite my habit of posting Not At All, then Five Times Per Week.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Mum, Ox, Ames, Polite Lurkers: Beware. Extreme Rudeness Ahead.

Okay, sorry it has been a while. A few things happened -- a bit of fall cleaning, some cleaning-induced depression, ruminations on the meaning (or lack of meaning) of life, the start of school (my daughter is in Grade One at Ye Olde Homeschool) and a bit of knitting. It kept me busy.

Progress on the blanket. I am on ball 11 of 19, but I won't be knitting the whole 19 because the yardage is taking me farther than I thought it would.

But I have slowed down drastically on the blanket. Because of this.

Note the tensor. I'm not sure how I have ended up with a wrist injury. It wasn't from the knitting. I do vaguely recall letting Emily swing from my hand on the way to the library, and thinking at the time, "yowch." Obviously it was worse than I thought -- bad enough to keep me awake nights.

I've had to take a rest from knitting the heavy blanket. And you can see how I feel about the whole state of affairs, as evidenced by my rude hand gesture (I am flipping off Life, if you're wondering) and my expression. This is a slight departure from my usual sunny radiance (again, if you're wondering).

I have just realized that this is the first picture of me you have seen on my blog. An interesting choice for an introduction, really.

I have also just realized this must be the face that Charlotte calls "Scary Mummy".

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Where's a Genie When You Need One?

I bought the Vancouver Sun yesterday. It's not a paper I read regularly, although I did last year when we spent three months living on Burrard Street following the transplant. I was standing in a drugstore and noticed the front page, which said "Fall Arts Preview", so I made my mom buy it for me (I didn't have a twonie at the time) and brought it home. Flipping through the E section this morning just about made me cry with envy and longing to be back in the city....any city, really. Here is just a tiny bit of what you can see this fall if you are a lucky Vancouverite:

It just about kills me.

Although I can't go to a single one of these events, there was one thing in the Arts Preview that I could do: Nettwerk Music Group has put out a free CD compilation download here, and we all have until midnight on September 10 to get it. You can download as often as you like. So I, in my continuing efforts to bring Canadian music to the world, am telling you to go over there and get it. All you have to do is fill out the info (name, email address, gender and age) and get the zip file.

Go ahead - you can thank me later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

For Cripes' Sake Lighten Up Already.

All right, I will do this meme although I usually have a strict "DON'T EVEN" policy about the list-type ones. My sister did this the other day and it made me laugh. But there will be no stinking tagging.

Three things I fear:
1. Religious extremists
2. Widowhood
3. MVAs

Three people who make me laugh:
1. Mr. HalfSoledBoots
2. Emily
3. Joss Whedon

Three things I love:
1. Hot glue
2. BC Ferries
3. Dumbek drumming

Three things I don't like:
1. Conformity
2. Telephone solicitation
3. The fashion industry

Three things I don't understand:
1. Mortgages
2. Lip discs
3. My brother

Three things on my desk
1. Tape measure
2. Bunny hand puppet
3. Orange Blossom cookies

Three things I am doing right now:
1. Nursing my child to sleep
2. Rubbing my feet together (I have done this when I get in bed ever since I can remember.)
3. Debating retrieving my secret Mars Bar from the tea caddy where I stashed it last weekend

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Learn tai chi
2. See a strip show
3. Sail

Three things I can do:
1. Raise a sardonic eyebrow
2. Keep a secret
3. Row a boat

Three things I can’t do:
1. Keep house
2. Diet
3. Use a power drill

Three things you should listen to:
1. Your conscience
2. David Suzuki
3. Our Lady Peace

Three things you should never listen to:
1. Naysayers
2. The American president
3. Whining

Three shows I watched as a kid:
1. Cover Up
2. Greatest American Hero
3. Simon and Simon

There. That wasn't so bad, was it?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Five by Five

Thank you for your comments on the last post. I think it's the first time in my life I read a poem over the next day, and desired to make neither additions nor deletions. Everything I have felt for the last four days is right there, buried in those three cryptic stanzas.

Last Friday my dear friend was diagnosed with cancer. By the end of September she will have had 5 days of radiation and a surgery to remove the tumour in her colon. She will be in the hospital about a week.

Friday night I didn't sleep, so Saturday was a bit of a sinkhole for me, but I drove to Village Yarns and headed straight for the Mission Falls 1824 washable wool. After her surgery my friend will need something to pull around her at 4.40 AM in the halflight, when she is awake and fearful and hurting, and her family and friends are all sleeping in their own beds.

The kind, sympathetic, supportive and incredibly helpful owner had 19 balls of this colour - I bought them all, drove home, and started flipping through the books: Cables Untangled, Aran Knitting, and Viking Patterns for Knitting. I did some haphazard math, double checked it as well as my distracted, exhausted, grief-stricken, fearful brain would allow, and cast on.

This takes precedence over everything else in my life at the moment, so the house is a mess and the lace, four days from completion, is resting for now. I am trying for 1.5 balls per day, hoping to be done in about two weeks. Finished dimensions will be about 28" by 80".

The central cable is just a vertically-symmetrical closed celtic knot from Starmore, and the edge is a mirror-image three-bight Norse happiness symbol on a four-stitch, four-row rope cable. I would have liked to have designed something more meaningful for the centre but time is of the serious essence here and I had to use what I could find that would fit the dimensions I was hoping for.

Originally I had chosen more of a taupe colour, but the shop owner gently suggested that a strong green would be more appropriate for a "wellness blanket" (thank you Karen for that phrase). I think she's so right and I'm glad she brought me up short before I bought depressing beige yarn for my friend's recovery.
I'm trying to be positive and happy as I knit this for my friend. I don't know how well I'm succeeding on the happiness thing but I do know that I'm thinking of her and wishing her healing, and praying all I can, with every wrap of yarn and sweep of needle.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

for you

which part is the part that knows
that feels, is aware,
inhabits the muddy shell and shows the rest
that I am here, for now among the shoddy living
making my way and scurrying back when I find
I’ve been down this avenue before
I remember, it goes nowhere

within is the greater part I suppose
I hope
it transcends I think or is meant to although
the flesh that binds me here
has its own power, own devices

and cleverly cunning with a smirk
this corrupt vessel of earth has craftily hidden
and in secret and darkness
lovingly shaped through five long years
a monstrous pearl.