Monday, July 26, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 7

Good morning everyone. I hope you have all had a great week. Here’s how my week went:

162. Lovin’ this song.
163. Stayed at our friends’ cabin.
164. My work has now changed from very part-time to very full-time.
165. Spent some much need time returning phone calls and e-mail.
166. Practiced organ – I play at church this weekend. My dream would be able to sound like this.  I do not sound like that!
167. There are two movies coming out which I’d love to see starring Steve and Will – you gotta love those two guys. Check out this second trailer for the Schmucks!  They keep me laughing every time.
168. The shawl is coming along. Although, I find I do have to go downstairs by myself where it is quiet and I have nothing to distract me.
169. I love John Travolta when he plays a bad guy. Okay, I’ll say it . . . I am just in love with John Travolta. Warning – the language in this movie is pretty spicy if that sort of thing bothers you.
170. One of my new fillings came out while brushing my teeth. I called the dentist’s office. They couldn’t fit me in. “What do you mean you can’t fit me in? I’m walking around with a gaping hole in my mouth. I think you can fit me in! Hello? Hell-oo?” Bollocks!
171. Waiting for an appointment to get the hole in my head repaired. Which lends to great anxiety and extreme hyperventilation, because I just LOVE the dentist and wish I could go every day and have him poke around in my mouth with sharp needle-like objects. No, it doesn’t help when you show me the shiny instrument and what it does and how it will just “slip along the tooth”. It’s a bloody hook that you are putting in my mouth which is going to make me leap out of my chair and hang from the roof each time you touch a sensitive area! And, no, it doesn’t make a difference that you’re sporting a jaunty Hawaiian shirt – it doesn’t make you more approachable, you filthy hippie!
172. Organizing myself now that I’m working full-time. It’s almost fall. That’s when I usually buy my annual gigantic calendar that comes with fun graphics . . . and stickers. I think I’ll look for one a little earlier.
173. Last night we got home from town. One of my purchases was new underwear (not that you want to really know about that!). I hate buying underwear because of the sizing charts. One brand says this size will fit while another tells me something totally different. It’s all so very confusing. Anyhoo, I pulled out a pair when we got home and held them up. Surely I must have grabbed the wrong size. They look as large as the UNIVERSE!
174. I’m hitting the treadmill tomorrow . . . the panties fit!
175. I decided to forgo my usual night snack. I opted for a glass of water instead . . . {sigh}.
176. Woke up early before church. I really should put on my sneakers and take my dog for a long, long, long, long, long walk.
177. How do people fit in an adequate workout program when they work full-time? Okay, let’s be honest. I didn’t work out even when I wasn’t working full-time. Hence the reason I am walking around in panties that could house a whole indigenous tribe!
178. Privately wishing we had “The Biggest Loser” in Canada. I’m obviously not good at motivating myself to get moving. We don’t have a gym in town. I still haven’t moved my clothes rack out of the way of the treadmill (which reminds me – I have laundry that needs to be hung up . . . BRB).
179. Signed up for Weight Watchers Canada – yay me!
180. Attended an old-fashioned threshing show. They had 10 threshers running at the same time. I believe one of them dates back to the 1930's. Pretty impressive they still run so well. It was fun watching the older people whose families would have had something like them. They were all smiling and having a great time. There was even an 87 year old man out there pitching hay. Wow!
181. Watched So I Married an Axe Murderer. Now my daughter knows where my husband and I get so many quotes that we use in conversation from time to time. Such a great movie.

Well, that’s my week in a nutshell. BTW, I just called the dentist’s office again this morning hoping to get in before my 12-hr shift at work. This is how the conversation went:

     “Hi this is Becky. I called on Friday about my filling that fell out. I would really like to get in this morning to have that repaired.”

     The receptionist snickered, rather rudely, and said, “I’m sorry. That’s not how it works. We are totally booked up for the rest of the summer. We’ll put you on a waiting list and see if there is a cancellation.”

     “Uh, but I just had the filling done a few months ago.”

     “Well, the dentist will warranty his work. However, we have absolutely no openings and not enough chairs. You are going to have to wait for a cancellation.”

Now, the thing that ticks me off is that I have to walk around with a hole in my mouth which is rather irritating and throbs from time to time. Why do they not have certain times reserved for emergencies or situations like mine. I mean it can’t be good to have this huge cavity exposed for God knows how many weeks I’ll have to wait.

You know what? Perhaps I’ll just go to YouTube and see if there is a video on how to repair one’s tooth at home. There has got to be a kit or something available at Wal-Mart or Costco.

Update:  The dental office just got me booked in for tomorrow morning.  Oh yeah {sniff}-- she could sense I was a coiled tiger inside just waiting to spring.  Yeah, I gots that kind of power over peoples.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

True Blue

True Blue, originally uploaded by Knit Girl...(in & out).
There is something amazing about water. I love being near it -- it calms me. I think that's why this canoe caught my eye. The colour of it just popped out at me against the brown of the dock.

This week, my job went from part-time to full-time. Which lends itself to crazy work hours and reduced "me" time. It has forced me to re-organize my life and how I must spend the hours I do have free to its fullest.

I find when I am stressed, water relaxes me. The colour, the movement . . .and sometimes, the stillness. It leaves me feeling peaceful and rested. Like this image does. I'm so glad this canoe caught my eye. The boat seems to invite you in. To float on the water. To just drift and let the water carry you.

We have had a lot of flooding this summer in the area where I live. Many farmers were not able to plant crops. Homes and vehicles were ruined. Water is a very powerful force which has the ability to even carve paths through stone over time. We live in a country where we can just turn on the tap and pour a glass to refresh us. Even though there has been such devestation, there are many blessings.

Water is amazing.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2)

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Am A Reality-Show Addict

“They include watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, tremors, panic, chills, sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, and insomnia. Blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature all elevate.” (Information found at

Now, I don’t mean to negate the true effects of a person suffering from heroin withdrawal, but I have recently experienced several of these symptoms within a split second.  No, I do not do drugs, and I am not an alcoholic.

I am a reality-show junkie.

As many of you are aware, my family made the decision to cut off our satellite service for the summer months in order to use our free-time for good and not evil.  So far we have accomplished so much and tried new things that would have otherwise been avoided because we were always attached to the boob tube.

The other night, I was working at the group home and one of the participants wanted to watch a particular show.  So I grabbed the remote and started cruising through the channels.

As I breezed past channel 23 the oh-so-familiar theme song hit me.  It was like a sailor hearing the song of a siren, enticing me toward the rocky shoreline.  I kept surfing through the channels, but the seed was sown.  My heart began to race, my palms got all sweaty, and I felt my temperature rising.

It was the theme song for Big Brother.  As I write that last statement,  I feel slight shame that I, an educated woman, would like a racy reality-show like BB.  I could tell you that I only watch it because I find the social dynamics of people trapped in the same house interesting and intriguing (which I do).  I could tell you that I watch it because I always cheer for the underdog (which I generally do).  I could even tell you I watch it because I want to see dysfunctional people work out their issues (which I do).

But the reality is this.  It is one of my favourite summertime indulgences.  I like the cat fights.  I want to see if I can figure out which one is the saint and which is the sinner.  But what I really want to see is which couple will heat up the screen with a summer showmance.

Petty.  I know.  Adolescent.  Absolutely. 

It’s my vice . . .

Hi.  My name is Becky . . . and I’m addicted to reality TV.

Monday, July 19, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 6

This week’s installment is brought to you by the number three . . .

137.  Played a round of golf and had a lovely lunch with the family.
138.  Discovered, with much horror, my dog has fleas!  Off we go to the vet’s office so as to arm myself with everything necessary in decimating these unwanted creatures.
139.  A big addition added to my ever increasing laundry pile, Mt. Washmore, because of #138.
140.  Started my shawl and ripped it out a total of four times.
141.  Became increasingly frustrated with my lace shawl. It is now in the garbage.
142.  Started my shawl with a thicker wool.  What is up with cobweb lace weight???  I believe I have actually suffered about 25% vision loss due to the uncanny belief that I could actually complete such a large project with such teeny-tiny strands of wool.  Silly me.
143.  Did more laundry because of #138.
144.  Took a break from vacuuming, laundry, washing, and fumigating the house to go to the art gallery.
145.  I think hubby was a bit concerned for my sanity (because of #138) so he took us for dinner.
146.  Went to Wal-Mart and bought a bunch of movies on sale for $5.00 each.
147.  Did more laundry (because of #138).
148.  Unraveled the above-mentioned shawl.  I think I am not supposed to complete this one.  NEV-AH!  I will complete it!  I’ll be the mad woman screaming at her non-existent cats – but, hey, my shawl will be rockin’.
149.  Watched Memoirs of a Geisha.  Such an amazing visual movie.  Beautifully filmed.  I even almost enjoyed it as much as the book . . . almost.
150.  Weeded the front flowerbeds today which have been sorrily neglected this summer.
151.  Took about a case of Advil after spending 2 ½ hours bent over weeding the aforementioned flower beds.
152.  Having some trouble sleeping since it was about 29 degrees (Celsius) today which means inside the house, at midnight, it is approximately +60 degrees.  Crazy hot.
153.  Awoke at 2:21 a.m. to the most amazing (and terrifying) thunderstorm.  The wind was crazy, rain was flying in the window horizontally, we had a bit of hail, and there were about 100 lightning strikes per minute.  As the sky lit up, I would look for signs of tornados – thankfully there was nothing.  But I was sure ready to grab my daughter, hubby, and head downstairs to safety.
154. Had a great visit today with friends passing through town.
155.  Ate a creamsicle . . . yum!
156.  Sat out on our deck tonight until the mosquitos chased us back in.  For awhile is was lovely with the candles burning and the twinkle lights twinkling.
157.  Worked on a pair of knitted socks which watching Men in Black II.
158.  Frogged my lace shawl . . . again.
159.  Started my lace shawl . . . again.
160.  Attended a 25th wedding anniversary party.
161.  Played Keesdrow (my favourite game ever) with the family.  I am sad to report my hubby has currently taken the lead.  Rematch tonight!

That is it for now my lovely readers.  I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Have Fleas!

Or more specifically, Ctenocephalides canis -- dog fleas.

Our dog, Sam, has blessed us with a lovely infestation of fleas.  I saw a couple crawling on him this morning and so I promptly went to the vet who gave me a topical treatment for Sam and a spray to use on his dog bed, his kennel area, and our furniture.  The good news is we pretty much confine him to the living room/kitchen area and he spends much of his day outside.  The bad news is that fleas can jump around and lay eggs.

So disgusting!  If anyone has some home remedies for ridding the house of fleas, please let me know.  I've been searching online and have found some useful information.  

So today I will be so happy as I have to wash even more laundry!

Grrrrrrrr ........ what a great finish to my holidays -- housework and laundry to the max.  So not happy right now.

P.S.  not sure why Blogger is inserting so many spaces between paragraphs...

Monday, July 12, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 5

Well, today's list certainly is not as long as the others. I feverishly worked on completing the knitted wrap I made to wear this fall for my cousin's wedding.  As a result, not a lot of things were added to my list this week.  Hmmm . . . correction on that one.  We did do a lot of things, I just forgot to write them all down until this morning so there are probably many things missing.

123.  Played Clue.  Who knew?  It was Professor Plum in the Ballroom with the revolver.  Huh!
124.  Wept just a little as I realized my daughter is definitely not a morning person like me.
125.  Went on a tour of an old Hungarian flour mill.  A bit more interesting than you might suspect.
126.  Toured a museum -- great artifacts.  They even had old spinning wheels!!!
127.  Did some shopping -- clothes, books, and food (groceries . . . big whoop!).
128.  Did some sightseeing.
129.  Swam in the pool . . . a lot!
130.  I love the song Bulletproof by La Roux.
131.  Do you have an app for this?  Gave me a bit of a chuckle.
132.  A new friend invited us out for dinner.
133.  Went to the local fair.  Went on some crazy rides and some rides I will NEVER go on again, ate food that was bad for me, and laughed so hard I thought I'd pee my pants!  Good times :D
134.  While at the fair, we decided to eat our dinner in the bleachers.  There I watched my first harness horse race.  As they paraded past before the race we each picked a horse we thought would win.  The bugle sounded and the horses were off.  My horse, #3 - Candyman, won!  Too bad I didn't place a wager -- great fun.
135.  I finished knitting the wrap I started last Sunday.  I still need to block it, but I can tell you right now I won't be wearing it to the wedding.  The colours are much too bright!  I'll just have to enjoy it during the summer months.
136.  I cast-on to knit a shawl for the wedding (round two).  This one is a lacy little number which will either be a success or will cause me to rip out my hair in chunks, thus leaving me with a very scary hair-do for the wedding in September.  Stay tuned to find out.

Have a great week everyone :D

Saturday, July 10, 2010

saturday a.m.

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

I love tea.  There is just something amazing about tea that makes everything okay.  It can be enjoyed alone or in the company of others.  You can drink it hot or chilled, with or without milk, sweetened or plain.

This morning, when I awoke, it was rather dismal outside.  The dark skies threatened rain, so as the rest of the household slept, I snuck out to the kitchen and boiled a kettle of water.  I slipped on a pair of socks (hand-knit of course) and a sweater and went to the tea cupboard.  I opened up my newest purchase from David’s Tea . . . The Earl’s Garden.  The thing I really like about David’s Tea is that you can order online (which is great when you live in a smaller community).

Now, just listen to the description of this, my newest favourite tea: The Earl’s Garden – When he wasn’t in China discovering secret tea recipes, Britain’s second Earl Grey lived at Howick Hall in England, just like his ancestors had done since 1319.  And also like his ancestors, he was a keen gardener and outdoorsman.  This tea would no doubt have suited him, with the characteristic black tea and bergamot highlighted by strawberries, raspberries and essence o black currant.


So, with a steaming hot cup of tea I then moved to the living room, snuggled up onto the couch, wrapping my hands around the mug of tea, and just sat and listened to the birds singing outside.  Aside from their morning song, there was absolutely no other noise.  Peaceful.  Tranquil.  Perfect.

With warmed hands, I then picked up my knitting and worked on my project.  There is nothing more delicious than knitting with a cup of tea on an early Saturday morning!  It is the ultimate in relaxation.  I don’t need no stinkin’ spa to be calm (although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it either!).

After a couple of refills (okay, four . . .) I took my mug over to the computer to check several blogs I follow.  I then ventured over to David’s Tea and marveled at their serving suggestions (many of which I have tried).  I came across a familiar one, mixed it up, and came to write at the computer.

As I write to you, the birds are still singing, but now there are also sounds of traffic, children playing, construction of houses in the area, and the occasional train.  And you know what?  The sun also came out (even if it was brief).


What a scrumptious Saturday morning!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

These Are Two of My Favourite Things

Two of my favourite hobbies are photography and knitting.  They are both activities that take nothing and you create something out of it.

In photography, it’s all about making the image: selecting your subject, checking your lighting, choosing a composition, selecting an appropriate aperture, and perhaps playing with the ISO (to introduce grain, or noise, into your image or not).  It is not just taking a quick snapshot.  It is a process of turning nothing into something – in my case, digitally.  Then, if you like “tweaking” your shot, there are many post-processing programs out there to help you fix anything you are not happy with – within reason of course.  But if you have carefully taken the time to make your image as your mind prefers to see it, you shouldn’t have to do much “tweaking”.  Although, it can be fun to play with some of the artistic brushes that are commonly found in your post-processing programs.

For example, here are two images I took several years ago.

This is the image after playing with the artistic brushes and combining two images together.

My favourite mode on my camera is the Manual mode (or M on the small options dial on your camera). Here you can really play with the light.  I tend to underexpose many of my images.  I love the “moodiness” it can create in the image.  It creates a whole different secret world than what your eyes are sometimes seeing.

Knitting, on the other hand, really can take nothing and make it into something.  In fact, a number of years ago I took a spinning class.  No, not the popular spinning classes at the gym where you are on a stationary bike.  I’m talking about taking wool and scouring (washing) it, brushing it, spinning it, plying it, and setting the twist so that you can knit (or crochet...though that’s not my thing) what was once a stinky mass of greasy wool with bits of straw, insects, and poop in it and creating anything.  Anything right from a chunky wool sweater to the silkiest gossamer shawl.

Currently I have four projects on the go.  Some are nearly completed and waiting for the final stage before unveiling it to the world while others are still just barely cast-on to the needles.  I tend to have several things going at once.  If I get bored, I start something new or continue something else I had been bored of several weeks or months (or years...) before.  Currently, my projects on the go are:  a felted shopping bag (all complete, just needing to be felted), a pair of socks (I got bored of them since they are rather plain with no funky pattern to them), a cardigan sweater (no great excuse except I got bored – which is rather surprising since it is full of cables, bobbles, and all sorts of intricate patterns), and a wrap which I just cast-on a couple evenings ago.

My favourite thing to do though is to combine my two favourite hobbies together.  I love to take pictures of my knitting.  Especially when there is some beautiful colours blending together or amazing textures.  I love that both my hobbies can sustain me every month of the year.  And, yes, I do knit in the summer, albeit, they are lighter projects (socks, hand-warmers for fall, wraps, etc.).  Knitting, like photography, is a very portable hobby.  When we are traveling, sometimes even on trips to the city which is only 40 mins away, I usually have a simple project to work on.  It passes the time and I don’t get bored.  So I love when hubby is coming along because I will always call “shotgun”.

Monday, July 5, 2010

1,001 Things I Did This Summer -- Part 4

Week 4's installment of 1,001 Things I Did This Summer brings you a variety of activities.  As I look at the numbers, where I am at on my list, I am beginning to realize that accomplishing 1,001 things was a bit ambitious on my part.  I think I’ll be lucky to break 400 things this summer.  I suppose I never factored in work, laundry, and other chores.  Plus, being a creature of habit, I am finding I am doing many of the things more than once or twice.  It really wouldn’t be fair to list them more than once – it would be a bit like cheating.  I really don’t want to be labeled as, “Once a cheater, always a cheater!

Let us carry on with our head held high, unashamed of never reaching 1,001 things by September 5th  . . .


93.  Laughed as my friend’s son exclaimed with delight, “Daddy, he’s bringing out the nitro!!!”  Please note, the excitement was because my hubby was going to run his RC car which is fueled by a nitrogen gas, or something like that – I’m not sure.  When he talks about it, all I hear is the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher.
94.  Read a book out loud with my daughter.
95.  Had a family Wii night.  We played Wii Resort Sports.
96.  Started counting down the hours before my two-week summer holiday begins (18 hrs, 27 mins . . .).
97.  I tried something new today.  Dulce – dried seaweed from New Brunswick.  I really can’t say I enjoyed the salty-fishy experience.  As I was chewing and chewing and chewing (I soon realized with some dismay that as the saliva adds moisture to the dried seaweed, it really takes a long time to break down in your mouth) my co-worker exclaimed, “The kids just can’t get enough of this stuff!”  I simply asked him . . . “Why!?” Thanks T for the maritime experience of a lifetime (note: dripping sarcasm is implied)!
98.  We went to town and I caressed (for the billionth time) the Macintosh computer I have been coveting sooooooooo much.  They may have to take out a restraining order.  I’m not sure – it’s too soon to know.
99.   Stayed up until 1 a.m. reading – I haven’t done that for ages.
100.  Got up two-hours before my family and read some more of my book.
101.  Started a new layout in my art journal.
102.  I discussed with hubby the best way to refinish my spinning wheel so I can actually use it!
103.  Swam with the family in our pool for almost three hours.  My pale skin is actually beginning to show a hint of a tan!!!
104.  Happy Canada Day!  We are 143 years young.  We didn’t take part in fireworks this year as it was cancelled due to rain.
105.  I had a late afternoon shower.  This is somewhat new for me.  Being as I like to follow routine which dictates one must shower in the morning, it was rather liberating . . . a must-do-again on my list.
106.  Put on a “woody” perfume (the Natural from the Gap).  I think I’ve fallen in love with myself all over again . . . .
107.  Took a movie over to the church (so glad hubby is the pastor) and we watched Over The Hedge in air-conditioned goodliness.
108.  As one who prefers a more natural palette for my make-up, I tried my new lipstain (Colour Sensational by Maybelline).  The colour . . . #05 In the Buff – you gotta love that!
109.  Found three baby robins in the grass (will post pics this week).  We’re not sure if they fell out of the nest – we couldn’t find one in the trees.  But, mama kept bringing them worms – we’ll check on them in the morning.  I hope they’re okay since we’ve had hail and heavy rain tonight.
110.  Played Monopoly (The Simpsons version).
111.  Re-lovin’ the commercial with the gorilla playing drums to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”.
112.  Saw Twilight Saga’s Eclipse – best of the three so far.
113.  Another glorious day of swimming, suntanning, and reading.
114.  Tornado watch – how is one supposed to “WATCH” for them when it is pitch black outside???
115.  Spent most of my morning re-organizing my web bookmarks.  Didn’t I do that just before I had to change all my e-mail?
116.  Attended a 50th wedding anniversary.  The story of how they met was so romantic.  I was literally in tears by the end of it all.  Amazing in a time when divorce is such an easily accepted practice.  What happened to “until death parts us”?  I am so blessed to be married to such an amazing man for 18 ½ years.  Only 31 ½ years to go until our golden anniversary!!!!!!!  Love you, A.
117.  Mixed and mingled at the aforementioned anniversary offering sparkling conversation and hugs all around – so unlike me who would rather become a hermit crab most days.
118.  Most hilarious part of my day – my daughter turning to my husband and saying, “Would you please be quiet?  I can’t hear myself think!”  Classic – I think she’s heard that one before.
119.  I started reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell.  I really enjoyed the movie.  Everything Nora Ephron does just sparkles in my humble opinion.
120.  Bought a copy of Oprah magazine.  It’s my first copy of O magazine (July 2010 issue).  The only reason I bought it is because it has a suggested list of 26 books to read.  My hubby is not the biggest Oprah fan in the world, so it left me feeling like a bit like teenage boy in the 1950's sneaking in a copy of his first Playboy magazine and hiding it under the mattress.
121.  Played baseball with my family.
122.  Watched in amazement as our dog Sam chased down a gopher, caught it, tossed it in the air and snapped it’s neck (killing it), then laid it down gently when hubby yelled “Drop”.  Sam turned and looked at me with a look on his face that seemed to say, “Mommy!  Did you see that!?”  It all took place in less than one minute.
123.  I started knitting a drop-stitch wrap to go with my outfit for my cousin’s wedding in September.  It’s made with Noro sock yarn.  If you are on Ravelry, you can find the free pattern here.

Well, that’s it folks.  I’ll be trying to update my blog on a somewhat daily basis this week.  I hope you all have a great day and I’ll see you again soon.