Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Warm Ewe Up Swap Question 3

What is your favorite way to keep warm when it’s snowing outside? (And if you live in a warm weather climate, what would you do to stay warm and cozy while it’s snowing?)

I probably have the cheesiest answer ever but I think the best way to keep yourself warm in the winter when it's cold and snowing is to surround yourself with those you love!
Well, I'm really tiring of winter. Although the snow is beautiful, it does inconvenience me. Tonight's drive home took about 1 hour as opposed to 40 minutes. I decided to not play with the big trucks on the 401 so I took the back roads. The first road had not been plowed yet and the snow was about 5 or 6 inches high and heavy. Slow going it was. Once off that stretch, it was much better but I don't think I got over 70 km's per hour once. Now I'm home safe and sound all is good. I really would like winter much better if I didn't have to drive so far.

Hayley at Sunrise Grill

The weekend was lovely. Bright and crisp. My favourite type of winter weather. We headed out early to Toronto to visit Hayley. It was perfect for travelling! We arrived around lunch, grabbed Hayley and went to the Sunrise Grill on Roncesvalles for Brunch. It was that great stick to the ribs kind of breakfast.

Then we headed off to the Beaches Area which is the other side of Toronto from where Hayley lives. What a lovely area. However, it didn't seem too beachy at this time of the year. We went to the Naked Sheep where I bought Rowan Cocoon for the Owl Sweater I'm going to make Hayley. What a lovely neat and tidy store. We then took a stroll down a few blocks to see what other stores we could check out. We definitely need to return in the warmer seasons.

See the Beaches Grill on the corner. Looks very beachy but the weather wasn't!

That evening Hayley and her roommate Richard cooked us a really great dinner. It was very tasty! We enjoyed dinner and watched the Crashed Ice event on tv which I mentioned in my last post. Then we headed to our hotel 5 minutes away. It was clean and nice except the fact that it backed on the Gardiner's Expwy. The only noise we usually hear is wolves howling and not the constant sound of traffic. I think we'll try a different spot next time.

On the corner of Hayley's street is this shop which has Stained Glass Lamps and stained Glass. It always looks so inviting in the evenings.

Sunday we headed back to Hayley's and took Hayley and Richard skating. Well I should say that I watched. Last time, I skated was when the kids were little and my ankles killed me so I never tried again. Hayley hadn't skated in about 10 years and Richard 2. Jeff of course has been pretty actively skating. The rink we went to was super. It's outdoors but had a nice warm building to change into your skates. Many young families were there. Many new Canadians learning to take part in a great Canadian activity. It just had such a happy feel there.

The Skaters, Jeff, Hayley and Richard

Friday, January 23, 2009

Next year this time

I just have to go to Quebec City and see this with my own eyes. To me it's crazy, exciting and dangerous plus I do want to go to Quebec City in the winter and this would be a good draw. Maybe we can convince the kids to make the trek with us next year. This year I'll be content to watch it on TSN. Pat, from work who is originally from Quebec City will be in the crowd. Since it's forecast to be -21C here on Saturday, I would imagine it will be a tad colder there. Long undie weather!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I've been giving blood for about 10 years now. It was always something I wanted to do and then when Hayley had one of her surgeries she lost a lot of blood. She had given autologous blood donations but it wasn't enough. The doctor told us that he could close up and she could give more blood and he could book another surgery. I knew I couldn't do that to her. And the thing was that if one of your children had an accident and needed blood there would not be any question about using donor blood. Since that time I've felt it especially important to do it. Tonight was the local blood donor clinic. Since I didn't want to go home and then head back into town I asked Jeff to meet me at Shoeless Joe's for dinner and I would go after that.

I walked in the door right behind an old friend, Mary. I often run into Mary at the blood donor clinic but this was the first time that we got there at exactly the same time. She got through the finger pricking stage first and headed off to the 2nd stage, but I was finished the 2nd stage about 2 minutes before her. We laughed about how I beat her. Then at the last stage, the one I call the "bloodletting" I got a very friendly girl who got me set up. But another girl came out and I could here them talking. My girl said, "This girl will take care of you. Take anything she says with a grain of salt" The other girl laughed and replied, " You just dodged a bullet!" All this sort of slowed my bloodletting down a bit. The 2nd girl had a very interesting sarcastic sense of humour and we quickly bonded. Made small talk about the recession, jobs and our children. Then she stuck the needle in my arm. It was absolutely painless and of course I told her so. She replied, "That's what we like to hear! I guess that 25 years of experience has finally paid off!" When I was close to done and just waiting for the bandaid, I looked up towards the snack table and there was Mary smiling smugly and waving! She beat me on the bloodletting. I'll blame it on the girls but it's okay because I did have a pain free experience. Oh yes and I forget to add the other girl returned and asked me if girl 2 had taken good care of me and I told her yes and declared how pain free it was. She then proceeded to tell me that she actually had a guy yesterday tell me that she was the first one to ever actually hurt him. I guess I really did dodge a bullet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Knit Night

Last night was our monthly knit night. It's normally held in the community room at Chapters but we couldn't use that room this month so it was arranged to meet at a local library. We were positioned comfortably downstairs by the window in nice comfy tub style chairs looking out on the park. There were 8 of us total and like always the conversation flowed. As one of the women was telling a story and we were laughing, we were suddenly shushed. By teenagers studying for January exams. OOOOPS! It's a bit disconcerting to be dressed down by children younger than your own children. We had a hard time gaining our composure. We tried our best to whisper but it was hard. As someone said the library was probably not the best choice for us. If we'd wanted to knit quietly we could of done that at home. Edit I just realized can you imagine the shame involved if I'd been kicked out of the library!!! :)

Got a lot of comments on my pretty harmony needles. I'll have to take a picture of them for my blog but tonight I'm just too tired!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold enough for you?

I've tired of hearing that question from someone who sits in the next row of cubicles at the plant. Yes it has been brutally bitterly cold but I always find that kind of a dumb question. No one is going to answer, "Oh no I'd like it to drop another 10 degrees c and I'd feel more comfortable!"

My heart went out to those in Toronto who lost power last night. I received an email from Hayley saying that last night she went to the Bloor Cinema and they only got through the trailers and the power went out. She said it was out from Bathurst to High Park and as she turned onto her own street off Dundas W. all the power was off except for the last 6 houses of which one was hers. Her apartment is chilly in the winter at the best of times so if the heat went off I'm sure it would have been frigid. She was very, very happy! I heard this morning that the power was still out.
It definitely would have been a good week to curl up with one's knitting on the couch.
These pictures were taken last Sunday before the deep freeze hit. As you can see in the one shot the bay is now snow covered. It wasn't long ago that there was open water.

I used my Christmas money from Dad to order a set of Knitpicks needles and after more than two weeks they arrived today. They look beautiful. I'm anxious to try them out.

I've been working on these socks. They were part of the Robyn's Nest Sock Club for December and the pattern is called Massie and the yarn is a Zen Garden. It has little threads of bling throughout it. I absolutely love knitting with this at night because it actually sparkles. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do it justice. No sparklies! I do love the pattern. This is my first patterned socks unless you count Thuja...that was much simpler.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bi-Weekly Blog Question #2

This is for the yarn swap I'm currently in. We have to answer bi-weekly questions. This one's a hard one.
Question #2
If you could only knit or crochet with one brand of yarn for the rest of the year, what would it be and why?
The nicest yarn that I used last year was the Mirasol Miski, a baby alpaca. See ravelry project I haven't knitted with any other Mirasol yarn but if the quality is the same as the Miski I would definitely be a happy happy woman. The colour was rich, the yarn was incredibly soft and I don't think I ever had any knots in it. Although the skeins are small ones. I just hate joining yarn and weaving in ends. My weaving technique needs to improve for 2009.


My Car on the Cape Breton Trail 08

I drive a 99 Olds Alero. She's seen better days. She has some rust spots and recently I noticed one spot goes right through the body. She isn't as shiny as when I bought her back in 2001. When I first got her she had only 65,000 km on her but in 8 years, I've put another 220,000 kilometers on her. That's an average of 32,000 km a year. I have a friend who has a car that's a 91 and still has under 100,000 kilmeters on her. She took us all the way to the East Coast and back last summer because I didn't want to take Jeff's Jeep. It has no trunk and in the summer he has a soft top and you can't lock it. How would I bring mountains of yarn back? Hubby loves his Jeep and I think it's fun but not for a long trip. I lent this car to Hayley one summer when she was doing landscaping for a summer job in Oakville. It's survived one teenage driver (luckily Mike had his own car by this time) and yes Hayley, you are a great driver who would never smash up her mother's car like her brother. This car has never left me stranded. Sure, I've replaced the battery and done regular maintenance. Lately, the little problems are getting more regular. I have no rear defrost anymore, my gas gauge no longer works properly and my dash lights up like a Christmas tree with all the warning lights, and currently the trunk is bungied shut because it won't close. And before Christmas, suddenly my fan would stop working after a few minutes. Jeff replaced it and all was good with the world. Here in Canada, the last thing you want is to be caught with no heat, driving in a blizzard. Well, yesterday when I left on my 40 minute trek to work I had heat, and then suddenly on the 401 it was gone. Luckily, although cold, there wasn't snow or ice to deal with so I didn't experience any problems, and the same again on the way home. Jeff will have to take a look at her again. It's like her heart keeps beating but all her other faculties are starting to go. I'd really like to nurse her along 1 more year and buy something newer when the Jeep is paid off. Hang in there baby!!!!!

On the knitting front, I've been working diligently on a Central Park Hoodie for Hayley which I'm calling the High Park Hoodie because High Park is close to wear Hayley lives. The yarn is Saphira, a superwash merino in a rich wine shade. I've got the back, the fronts, 1 sleeve and a part of a sleeve done. Just the hood and the button bands to do and then the finishing. The pattern is very easy to follow plus I joined a KAL on ravelry and whenever I seem to have a question it's one that's already one that's been asked. Google is our friend. I think Hayley will really be happy with this sweater.

I also knit up a speedy cabled beret for my friend Mary from work. I had a beautiful Araucania Azapa in a light blue from Rose Haven Farm Store in Picton. Note Rose Haven is a wonderful store and I'll be back. The hat was so speedy that I started it on a Saturday night and finished it up Sunday morning and then had enough yarn left that I made a matching cowl to go with it. Mary said she loved it and that her daughter Maddie nabbed it and wore it to hockey that night. I have a photo posted on ravely but it's not very good because I didn't have anyone other than Jeff to model and it's just a little to feminine for him. The next day I found a big jug of wine on my desk from Mary. Thanks Mary!!

As I've mentioned before in this blog almost every Tuesday night I go with Jeff to cheer on the local Junior C team. Until Thursday night, they had an undefeated season. I'm not sure what happened that night but in my eyes the team is still fantastic. Hopefully, they just had a bad night and maybe they are just adjusting to recent player changes to their team. I got a new camera from Jeff for Christmas. I love it because I've never been that good at photography but even I can not screw this one up. I tried it out at the hockey game but there is definitely an art to following the players and snapping the picture at the right time when it focuses. Sadly, the pictures I took are not as good as the ones Jeff took and standing behind the dirty plexiglass doesn't help but I at least didn't have to pick the dirtiest piece to stand behind. Therefore I give you a picture Jeff took of the hockey game which I think captures the action and one that I took of the Zamboni...everyone loves Zamboni's right?