Monday, June 28, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 3

Good morning my lovely readers,

Behold I bring you the third installment of my 1,001 list.  Please note, I do realize there is no possible way I will reach 1,001 things by the first weekend in September.  However, I do intend to see how far I can get.  I must admit it was a very busy week preparing for my daughter's birthday and having our good friends arrive from Ontario for a few days.  So the upkeep of the list, I must admit, has kind of fallen to the wayside.  But we must forge ahead . . .


68.  Went to soccer wind-up.  The parents played a game against the kids.  I actually scored a GOOOOOOAL and had one assist for another.  I have been running with this small victory every moment of the week.  I think my daughter is tired of hearing the play-by-play by now.
69.  Went for our traditional, "Okay.  Daddy's left town.  We're going to A&W tonight for supper" meal.
70.  Played Kirby's Spring Break with my daughter.  I had absolutely no idea what was going on.  I just pressed a bunch of buttons on her Nintendo DS.
71.  I talked to a long-distance friend on the phone.  It is always so nice to hear her voice.
72.  We finally got the pool set up.  I think we were able to patch all the leaks . . . fingers crossed.
73.  Unfortunately there are still a couple of small leaks in the pool.  They are somewhere along the seams . . . need to do more patching!
74.  I finally organized my mini-bookshelf (i.e. my bedside table).  Now, instead of 20 books perched rather precariously, I now only have nine!
75.  I cleared a couple items off my list for A.P.D. two days before Friday -- I'd say that's progress.
76.  I actually planned a menu and wrote out a grocery list for the coming weekend -- a birthday party and company for a few days.
77.  I went shopping in the city by myself.
78.  I actually stuck to my shopping list and didn't buy anything that wasn't on it.
79.  I ate a hot dog from a street vendor.
80.  Helped hubby finish the patio area.  We've set up chairs, topiary trees, and a fire pit.
81.  I helped plan my daughter's birthday party.
82.  I bought one dozen pink roses for my girl (her favourite colour) in honour of her 11th birthday (one for each of her eleven years and one for the year to come).
83.  Wrote a love letter to my daughter in celebration of her birthday.
84.  Welcomed her tearful hug after she read her love letter.
85.  Made my daughter a special birthday dinner, had cake, and she opened her presents from hubby and me.
86.  Made daughter's cake for birthday party tomorrow.
87.  Eight VERY hyper girls . . . two parents . . . one very good reason to drink!
88.  I donned gear of mosquito repellent and fly swatters.  I'm still waiting for God's response on why He felt mosquitos would add a little something great to His amazing creation.
89.  I suffered a weeee bit of a meltdown . . . thank you Lord for my husband, the voice of reason!
90.  Welcomed friends for a glorious three-day visit.
91.  Had church service outside at the park followed by a lovely BBQ potluck lunch, games, bouncers for the kids.
92.  Took part in a three-legged race with hubby -- I think I may need knee surgery (he's rather competitive!)

Thanks for checking in everyone.  That is all I have for this week.  Have a wonderful week -- hope the weather is wonderful wherever you are.  {{{hugs}}} 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Love Letter to My Daughter on the Day of Your 11th Birthday

A Love Letter to My Daughter on the Day of Your 11th Birthday, originally uploaded by Knit Girl...(in & out).

My Dearest M,

Today is your 11th birthday.  As I write this love letter to you (with tears in my eyes) I am overwhelmed with joy and pride that you are my baby girl.

Eleven years ago today (at 1:10 p.m.), the nurse wrapped you up tightly and placed you in my arms.  I will never forget seeing your beautiful face for the first time and experiencing such a feeling of joy that you had finally arrived.  There were no other words to say to you except a tearful, “Happy Birthday, M”.  I remember feeling so tired and shaky, I was afraid I would drop this precious gift.  But there you remained – and you still remain tucked in so closely to my heart.

In 11 years, you haven’t changed a lot.  You were almost two weeks overdue and you still love to make a grand entrance into every room, waiting until everyone is waiting for you.  Your smile still lights up the room and you have the most amazing way of making me laugh right from the belly (the best kind of laugh in my humble opinion).  You remain close to friends and family and will stand up for the underdog in any battle. You are creative, musical, academic, and athletic.

You have just reached a magical time in your life.  It’s like that very special moment before the night becomes dawn.  A time where everything is quiet until the first bird begins to quietly sing welcoming the new day.  It’s that in-between moment before a new day breaks and anything is possible.  I suppose that is why you are now called a “tween”.  You are no longer a child, but not yet a woman.  Enjoy every special moment and squeeze as much out of it as you can.  For when the dawn breaks, every opportunity will lay at your feet, waiting for you to become the woman God has intended you to be.

I wish I could just freeze you in this moment of time – but I know I can’t.  Because you have such a strong, independent spirit.  You would smash through the ice creating waterfalls all around you.  The world is never the same once you breeze through a room.  You, M, are unforgettable.

You, M, are amazing!

Happy birthday my love and may God always be with you.

Love you always,

Monday, June 21, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 2

Hi-dee Ho,

It’s time for my weekly list of 1,001 Things I Did This Summer.  Although I didn’t reach this week’s quota of 83.41 things, I did much better than last week.  Are you ready for this?

26. Cheered on my daughter’s soccer team on Monday. . . they lost 0-8.
27. Cheered on my daughter’s soccer team on Tuesday.  They played like a completely different team – they worked together and encouraged one another.  They only lost by 1 point.  That is huge progress for them.
28. Went on a tour of an old historical homestead – it was absolutely amazing!  I love learning about how the pioneers survived such harsh conditions.  We have become so lazy and reliant on everyone else to do everything for us.  Back then, if you didn’t do the work, it did not get done – which was never an option. Hmmm . . . lessons learned.
29. Got some amazing images while touring the homestead – I was able to make a beautiful group shot with my co-workers (all 22 of them!).
30. Had a great visit with a friend until he called me "PUNK!".
31. Bought surprise presents for my hubby and daughter – just ‘cause I like them so much.
32. Had a golfing date with hubby.
33. After my two-hour golfing date with my hubby, we came home and worked on our yard renovations.
34. Note: I am literally unable to move after completing #33.  Unfortunately, we have another two or three hours of work to complete before the rain showers come.
35. Played fetch with my dog, Sam.  Actually, it’s usually more like I throw the ball and we proceed to run around the yard in circles as I try to retrieve the ball from him.
36. I showed my daughter how to assemble her new clarinet.  She is starting band in the fall.  I am sooooo excited (I was a major band geek in high school).
37. I proved I could still actually play the clarinet after more than a 20-year hiatus.
38. Made an angel food cake for dessert.
39. Left home after the buzzer went off for the cake.  I didn’t realize I forgot to actually take the cake out of the oven (which was still on) before leaving for the library.
40. After about 20 mins at the library, I realized the cake was still in the oven.  I rushed home (thankfully we live in a town that has no traffic lights) to save my “lightly charred” cake.  Edit note: the cake was just fine – the outside was a bit of a challenge to break through easily with the fork, but then it just meant I burned extra calories while trying to consume it.  So really, I didn’t consume any calories . . . unless you count the 1/4 cup of whipped cream on top . . . but let’s not focus on the negative.
41. I watched a couple YouTube videos on drawing Manga characters – my daughter wants to learn how so we watched them before school.
42. I finally picked a few dead leaves off the plant in the living room instead of sitting on the couch thinking, “I really should pick those dead leaves off the plant.”
43. Hubby and I went to visit one of our parish’s shut-ins.
44. Went to the city and bought a couple books that were on sale.
45. I started reading “The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur” by Daoud Hari – an amazing story of survival.  I really appreciate living in a country where I am not afraid to wake up without wondering if today I, or my family, will be killed by rebel troops.
46. Worked on my sketchbook.
47. Bought a couple gifts for my daughter’s upcoming birthday.
48. I laughed as my daughter showed me her latest idea for a competition they should put on “Survivor”.  It involves lying on a couch and balancing a pillow on your feet above you as you lay on your back.  I told her she should keep working on it.
49. Learned about the song “O Fortuna”.  Listen to it here.
50. Developed an even stronger appreciation for Measha Brueggergosman – she never ceases to amaze me.  What a gift!
51. Went out for dinner with friends and family.  We laughed and enjoyed good food – what more could you ask for?
52. Declared every Friday to be Anti-Procrastination Day for myself.
53. Had an impromptu dinner and movie date with my husband.
54. Had lunch with a photographer whose work has been published in Chatelaine magazine and who has filmed documentaries for the National Film Board of Canada.  He has swam with whales and traveled around the world.  Sounds like my kind of job!
55. Renos in our back yard are progressing.  Today we had helpers which was a good thing or we’d still be outside until midnight.
56. Celebrated Father’s Day and our 18 ½ year anniversary of marriage.  My hubby is an amazing husband and father!
57. I practiced organ at the church for an hour and a half.  Folks, there is nothing more sinfully delicious than playing “Thy Strong Word” after pulling out all the stops . . . it gives me goose-bumps every time.
58. Watched with joy as hubby played with his Father’s Day gift.  Can you believe I gave him an iPad???  It really is more than a glorified clipboard – who knew?
59. Stayed for coffee and muffins after church and visited with a couple ladies I don’t see too often.
60. Happy Father’s Day to my dad, my father-in-law, and my hubby – they are all amazing men whom I love dearly.
61. I actually washed pots and pans after preparing lunch.  Usually I wait a day or two (or three . . . what?  Like you’ve never done that?) hoping someone else will do them first.
62. Called my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day.
63. I did a photography portrait session for my next-door neighbours – there were 17 people in total.  It went well despite the mosquitos.
64. Started post-processing work on the family portraits.
65. Began reading Sherlock Holmes on hubby’s new iPad.
66. Watched “The Book of Eli” with my husband.  Beautiful tones and colour choices for the movie.  I can’t wait to watch it again.  Plus Denzel’s smile always lights up the screen.
67. Questioned God’s reasoning on why he created mosquitos . . . I’m still waiting for his e-mail reply so I can forward it to all my friends.

Okay people – that’s my list for this week.  Hope you enjoy checking all the links . . . this one was my favourite things to watch online this week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ani-Procrastination Day

One of my faults is that I am a procrastinator.  It is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember.  My daughter, bless her heart, has not fallen far from this tree.  She also needs prodding and poking to help her accomplish tasks during her day.

Today it is raining.  I have decided to make it my new weekly Anti-Procrastination Day (cue trumpets here)!  I have a list as long as the Trans-Canada highway of tasks that need to be stroked off my list.  Perhaps I’ll take baby steps and just pick a couple.  That should fill me with a great sense of accomplishment.  Hmmmm . . . how do you pick from a list so long?  Do you select the one that’s been on the list the longest?  Do you go alphabetical?  Perhaps I could try to determine which has the most priority?  Do I pick several tiny jobs or one big huge project and break it down into tiny little chewable pieces?

So many choices can be overwhelming! Perhaps I should take a little nap and tackle the list when I wake up . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Just kidding!  Today I will mail out our Father’s Day presents (better late than never), submit the dates for when I played organ at church so the Treasurer can clear that off her books (I think it’s been a few months), contact my friend about travel arrangements to Saskatchewan, return a phone call from Wednesday, and re-tackle my ever-growing laundry pile which we have dubbed as Mt. Washmore.

Anything else is gravy. Speaking of gravy, I should be uber-organized and take a pot roast out for dinner and put it in the crockpot for the day. See, I can get things done.

What will you accomplish today?

Monday, June 14, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 1

Well, here it is folks.  The long-awaited list of "1,001 Things I Did This Summer" in lieu of watching TV.  I broke down the numbers for myself late last week.  In order to reach 1,001 I need to complete 83.41 items each week which means I need to complete 11.91 items per day.  Eeeeeek!

 I was not planning on incorporating work, laundry, or other chores into this list (since that is ongoing, and who really cares anyway) so I am left with the option of being rather "creative" with my list or come up short at the end.  I figured I'll forge ahead and trust I will complete the list on time.

I didn't upload any pictures for this blog entry -- but I do have a number of links you can visit as you read through this week's list.

1,001 Things I Did This Summer (Week 1 -- June 7-13th):
  1. Stood in the rain and cheered on my daughter's soccer team.
  2. Wrote several blog entries.
  3. Caught up on e-mail (153 message in my in-box).
  4. Worked on some photography.
  5. Started reading "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards.
  6. Played Cadoo and Yahtzee with my daughter.
  7. Did a much needed purge and clean of my closet and the rest of the house is coming along . . . baby steps.
  8. Started organizing my internet bookmarks.
  9. Catching up with my Flickr contacts.
  10. Danced in the kitchen with my hubby and daughter as we belted out a lively version of "I Am the Music Man".
  11. Watched YouTube videos of Julia Child and The Two Fat Ladies.
  12. Easily picked out jewelry and perfume to wear to work -- thanks to #7, the top of my dresser is cleaned and organized.
  13. Savoured a sweet, fat, juicy pece of watermelon with my breakfast.  Doesn't watermelon just taste like summer?
  14. Ate ice cream in the rain.
  15. Started going through 17.1 GB of pictures on my computer hoping to organize them (ha ha).
  16. Cursed the hacker that has required me to change my info.
  17. Stayed up late setting up new e-mail accounts and hcnaging contact info . . . darn hackers!!
  18. Blogged about my hatred for aforementioned hackers . . . still laughing to myself about the whole "kick in the crotch" thing.
  19. Laughed at my daughter when she found out the laptop has a calculator (that she was unaware of) -- her response was, "Sweeeeeet!"
  20. Made banana-chocolate chip muffins . . . from scratch . . . not a mix!  (OMG those smell amazing as they're baking!!!)
  21. Spent two hours with my daughter stamping and colouring her birthday invitation.
  22. Had a lovely Sunday afternoon nap.
  23. Drew chalk drawings on our driveway with my daughter.
  24. Played a round of golf with my family.
  25. Made the most delicious mushroom and cheese omelet for lunch -- yummmmmm!
Well, that's what I did this week.  I kinda fell short of this week's quota of 83.41 items, but I sure enjoyed keeping track of everything.  I have a lot plannned for this coming week.  What did you do this week?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Off In New Directions

..., originally uploaded by Knit Girl...(in & out).

I hate hackers!  With a passion!  I know, hate is a strong word, but it is most appropriate.  Over the last few days I have been getting strange e-mails from myself to . . . myself.  A friend has suggested someone had hacked into my account.  My first thought was "gasp . . . my pictures!"  I realize this wouldn't be most people's initial reaction, but I have 17.1 GB of photography on my computer.  If I lost it, it would truly be my fault because I didn't back it up onto an external hard drive.  But we are fixing that problem today.

On another note, I am a creature of habit.  I've always thought I adapted to change well.  But folks, let's face it . . . I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, toast and milk,  which must be prepared the same way each time or it doesn't taste the same.  I think that's why I never get breakfast in bed.  At church, if I am not organist that day, my daughter and I sit in the same pew every time (hubby is the pastor so we very rarely get to sit with him unless we're visiting another church).  There are so many more things I could list, but I'm starting to see that perhaps it's not that I am a creature of habit.  Rather I am displaying severe OCD tendancies . . . hmmmmmmm.  Okay, let's not say I'm a creature of habit.  Let's just say I'm . . . "quirky".  That sounds much better than continuing to reveal my obviously neurotic personality!

So this morning as I was eating my toast,  uummm . . . my "porridge" . . . I found myself . . . okay.  Hang on there.  I tried to deny that I even had toast, you know, to change things up.  It felt too wrong and I'm starting to have a panic attack thinking I'm really starting my day without toast for breakfast!  Let us continue . . .

As I was eating my toast, I was reflecting on the great inconvenience this hacker has caused me.  I stayed up until 1:00 a.m.  last night changing my e-mail service provider.  I tried importing my contact information (which I was unable to complete until this morning) -- so now I'm tired and grumpy.  I'm still trying to figure out how to import all my bookmarked sites!  And, here's the kicker, now I am having to relearn a whole new e-mail program.  I am frustrated because I don't want to relearn a whole new e-mail program.  The one I was using was just fine, thank you very much.  Well, okay not fine as of late obviously, but for almost 10 years now I have never had a problem.  Things were going swimmingly and I was coasting through life virtually unchallenged by technology as we know it.

But now, a pimply-faced, greasy-haired geek has thrown down the gauntlet.  Okay draGonMasTer21352 . . . it is on like Donkey Kong baby!  You wanna face a dragon?  I don't think so man!  You have faced your last battle my friend.  You can go to your D&D gathering this afternoon bragging to your friends, and while your back is turned, I will fight back!  I have clothed myself in armour of new passwords.  I am looking into such secret computer . . . stuff . . . that even the Pentagon won't be able to hack in.  That's right, baby!  And while you are laying on the ground writhing after I kick you hard in the crotch, I will sit back and eat my toast.  And you know what?  I'm gonna have hot chocolate instead of milk!  

Yeah, I'm capable of change -- thanks for showing me the door!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Experiment

Reflections, originally uploaded by Knit Girl...(in & out).

So a few weeks ago, my beloved husband approached me with the idea of dropping our satellite subscription for the summer.  After talking it over we decided we would go ahead with this seemingly insane idea.  We called our daughter into the kitchen to tell her our plans.

“But, we’re gonna get it back, right?” my daughter exclaimed in horror.

We assured her it would be just for the summer.  It would be a great thing to bring us together as a family and to do things we wouldn’t normally have time for.  After glaring at us for quite sometime, as though we had asked her to amputate her right arm, she grumbled at us and said, “Fine. But just for the summer,” as if she were calling the shots.  Like that would ever happen.

So last week, my husband went online to cut off our satellite service for the summer months.  It was now official:  we would have no TV from Saturday, June 5, 2010 until Monday, September 6, 2010 (this is where I sheepishly acknowledge I have the date marked on my calendar).

We went away for the weekend to attend a family wedding.  When we returned my daughter, out of sheer habit, turned on the television to find the following message:  “ATTENTION: A subscription is required to view this program.  Please contact customer service to subscribe, or select a different channel.”

“Well, now what am I supposed to do?” She looked rather perturbed.

I suggested we could play a game, do a puzzle, or read a book.  With a sigh that seemed to emerge from her toes, she turned and went down the hall to her room.  “Well, this should be a fun summer!” she yelled back at me.

After a few days now, we seem to have settled in okay.  My husband has been away for a few days, so my daughter and I have enjoyed a lot of time together that would otherwise be dedicated to Hannah Montana or the Wizards of Waverley Place.  Last night we even played a game, nay, two games before she headed to bed.

This morning I was reflecting on how I will effectively use my free time during the summer.   I have decided to come up with a list of “1,001 Things I Did This Summer”.  I wanted to share this list with you at the end of summer, but I decided I will post the things I did during the week.  I’m hoping it will give you ideas on how to spend your summer and it will be a way for me to realize how much I can accomplish when I’m not sitting in front of the TV.  The list will be posted on Mondays every week until our satellite service resumes in the fall.  Who knows, maybe we won’t subscribe again.  I don’t know.  The possibilities are endless.  Stay tuned . . . .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


* * *, originally uploaded by Knit Girl...(in & out).
What would you do if you found yourself on a deserted island?  I’ve often thought about that question.  Would I be alone or have a friend with me?  Maybe a stranger is there.  How did I get there?  If I could have anything with me what would it be?  Would I want to leave?  What would be my first plan of action?  Are there food and water sources readily available?

I am a dreamer.  I have dreams and goals that many people in the world pursue.  The difference is that I’m not sure if I am brave enough to pursue them myself.  For example, I have always wanted to be a writer.  I remember summers spent at my parents’ cabin.  For awhile, we had a trailer that my sister and I would sleep in.  Some days I would sit in the trailer at the table and start the “greatest novel of my writing career”.  My sister and I were really into reading the Sweet Valley High series at that time, so my stories seemed to have that particular slant to them.

Over the years my writing has changed.  I have so many ideas in my head I can’t seem to get them all down.  Some ideas are still quite undeveloped . . . still floating in my mind.  Others have made it onto paper (or some computer file).  Some ideas are crappy.  Many have great potential.

I’ve bought oodles of writing magazines and books expounding wisdom on writing the greatest novel.  I’ve tried some ideas and shied away from others.  I have, on many occasions, told my husband about a short story or novel idea.  He is always supportive . . . and can be brutally honest (which I really do appreciate even though I would never admit it to him at the time).  He has sat patiently listening to the beginnings of many a tale.  He must shake his head every time.

My husband (God bless him) is a practical man.  He lives in the “now”.  You rarely (if ever) will find him with his head in the clouds like me.  He is careful in his purchases . . . I am impulsive.  He is level-headed . . . I am flighty.  He is a night owl . . . I’m an early bird.  He is well-dressed . . . I grab the first thing off the floor.  He is tall . . . I am not.

But despite our differences, we are a perfect match.  We love the same TV shows and movies, we complete each other’s sentences, we love learning, we adore our daughter.  Even though we are complete opposites on one hand, on the other we are two peas in a pod.  We are inseparable.  You can’t have one without the other.

So one day recently, after bearing my soul to him about wanting to be a writer (and lamenting I felt I was not), he looked at me and said, “But you are a writer.”  I argued that a writer is one who is published and famous.  He counter-argued, “a writer is one who writes”.  He encouraged me to keep going with my blog even though I felt “nobody reads it anyway”.  Ever.

But today, I have seen myself in a different light.  Yesterday I added a counter to show me just how many people do not read my blog (because I knew I would finally be right!).  I checked the stats on the meter reading this afternoon – a mere 24 hours since I added it to my blog.  And dammit, he was right . . . again!  I do have readers.  And not just family or friends (although I love that they read my blog).  But I was shocked to discover I have readers in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe.

Thank you for helping me realize . . . I am a writer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

BLiNd 25

BLiNd 25, originally uploaded by Knit Girl...(in & out).
There is something I love about graffiti . . .

What causes one to pick up a can of spray paint or a knife to carve words into paint . . . .  Freedom of expression?  A desire to be recognized for something?  A way to show the world your talent?

There is something I love about graffiti.  I am fascinated every time I drive past a train riddled with spray painted art.  Don't get me wrong.  There are some pretty stupid things spray painted out there.  But there is some true art.  I always wonder about the pieces I've seen that are elaborate in detail and rich in colour.  How was the artist able to have that much time to create this masterpiece?

I live near a railway in a small town and the train passes through several times a day.  It provides many opportunities to view this moving slideshow of artwork.  I have several pieces I've seen that I would love to see again.  My eyes are constantly glued to every train I see.  Sometimes I have my camera with me . . . sometimes I don't.  It's those times my camera hasn't been by my side when I see fabulous artwork . . . and it makes me cringe to know I will never see that piece again.  So I study it intently as the train speeds past hoping I'll recall every detail later.

Two works stand out in my mind.   The first is a human eye painted in a very realistic style.  What amazed me was the size.  It wasn't something small like 5' x 5'.  It took up the whole side of the train car.  The iris was carefully positioned on the widest "bump" protruding from the side.  It was very three dimensional and was nothing short of amazing!  The second was an image of three crosses on Calvary the day Christ was crucified.  It, too, was done in a realistic manner.  The depth of the painting drew the eye in across the hills to rest on the three crosses off in the distance.  Tremendous work!

The next time you see graffiti posted somewhere, take time to pause and really appreciate the artwork someone has left for you to see.  I'm not talking about the random "Adam C. sucks d***!"  That is just crass.  No, I'm talking about the works of art full of colour and passion.  The masterpieces someone was willing to put up for the world to see.  How long did it take them to paint it?  Do they come up with the ideas on paper first?  Why do they risk the chance of being charged by the police if they are caught?  Have they always been so bold . . . ?

Graffiti – noun
1. pl. of graffito.
2. (used with a plural verb) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood's decline.
3. (used with a singular verb) such markings as a whole or as constituting a particular group: Not much graffiti appears around here these days.

This is from one of my all-time favourite commercials for Pfizer -- enjoy!