Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Evil Prince Humperdinkle Day

Wednesdays make me tired. Glad the end of the week is fast approaching. Mr.Q will be home tomorrow (hooray!) and his mother was released from the hospital today...whew!

Hung out with my sister last night, as we were both solo for the night - went for Japanese food, and then...mwah hah hah hah! I give you...The Conversion of the Princess Bride:

She picked it up pretty quickly, clever girl - I think she must get that from me. She's already about half-way done her first dishcloth. Mwah hah hah hah!

I'm too sleepy to be coherent about much else, so look at this instead:

So dignified!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday ramblings...

Having exhausted my desire for housework yesterday, I've been having a lazy, puttering morning. Still in my PJs and housecoat. Considering a walk to the Laughing Bean - I think I have a free coffee on my "frequent flyer" card, and today would be a good day to use it. If I can muster the icentive to get dressed. In the meantime, I've been entertaining myself by watching the cats, none of whom were terribly co-operative or enthusiastic about the photographic process. But I tried anyway, so Mr.Q could see some pics of the beasties while he's far, far away:
What do you want, house-ape?

I'm trying to SLEEP here!


But leave 'em alone long enough, eventually the draw of the couch becomes too much to resist:

I've also been working on some Sci-fi themed ATCs for a swap:

Glue and paper bits everywhere - too much fun!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


It's 8:37 A.M. So far this morning, I have: cleaned out the laundry room and broken down the accumulated mountain of empty detergent boxes; sorted, bagged & binned the recycling that got missed yesterday (go figure); mopped the bathroom, hallway and laundry room (the latter door - hmph); and folded 2 loads of laundry.

And I have JUST put the coffee on, so all of the above was done in an UN-caffeinated state. I must be nuts. But at least I can pretend I'm a good housekeeper for awhile! After coffee - clean out the mudroom, and sweep & mop the rest of the floors.

Not quite sure what I'll do for the rest of the weekend...vacuum, I guess. And then what? I don't "nest" very often. It feels good to put my little corner of the universe in order.

Fortunately I have a couple of swaps to finish up. Creative diversions are welcome! And probably a nap will be in order. Woke up pretty early this morning. (In case that wasn't obvious!)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bathroom as metaphor for universe...

Occasionally I find myself frustrated that, when it comes to housework, Mr.Q didn't have the benefit of "proper" instruction as a child. (If you understand "proper" to mean "my mother trained him") Still, he does his share, and usually without complaint. This didn't use to be the case...until a friend, hearing him kvetch about it, suggested he think of housework as a way to bring a small measure of order to the chaos of daily life. For some reason, that resonated with him.

Today I understand why. My bathroom is spotless. The dishes are done. The laundry is almost caught up. The floors are swept, the cat litter cleaned, the tables cleared and wiped. And I'd really love for us to sit down with a beer and watch some BSG and bask in a job-well-done glow.

Instead, I get to sit at home by myself (though with some Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche) and listen to the cats get into trouble. Mr.Q's mother has been taken seriously ill, and he had to fly Home this afternoon, for an undetermined length of time. This sucks. Big time. Fortunately, he has lots of people at Home for support. Fortunately, his mother is in good spirits. Unfortunately, she should be in Calgary to determine just how ill she is...since it's the nearest hospital with the facilities necessary...but there are no beds available at the moment. So. Everybody and everything's on hold, and I'm cleaning the house like a madwoman, trying to find that sense of cosmic order.

I'm not doing too badly, all things considered. I feel good about the clean bathroom. I listened to Blue Rodeo while I worked, and felt a little like I was back in my old, funky bachelor suite from my college days. Good memories. Then I made "Irish comfort food" for supper (potatoes and cheese....mmmm!)

My sister (A.K.A. The Princess Bride) called to see if I wanted to drive down to the States tomorrow to pick up her bridesmaids' dresses. Would be fun - if I could find my birth certificate. Which I couldn't. Though I DID find my Water Safety II certificate from my swimming lessons when I was 8. As well as a "Champion of the Week" certificate from my Grade 5 teacher. I wonder if Homeland Security would consider those to be valid alternatives....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hitting the mail right on the head

OK, I have to admit, that's a pretty cheesy title for a post. But what can I say? The mail's made me happy this week. Yesterday, after a painful three-week wait, I got my toothpicks - I mean, Brittany Birch DPNs in the mail.

Today, I came home to find a fab package from
Alaska waiting for me:

Note that, although the yarn is quite lovely, and soft, and I'm quite taken with it, that's not what really caught my attention. Please pay special attention to the word HUCKLEBERRY:

I LOVE huckleberries, completely and unreservedly. With the passion that some people reserve for sports events such as World Cup Soccer. (Thanks Rebecca!)

In other news, I wore the New Socks today. Which was quite exciting, right up to the point where I realized I would have to wash them again. By hand. And leave them to dry on the counter for another 2 days. Ooops! Guess I'll save them for special occasions. Also, though the fit was QUITE comfy, the knitted fabric felt a little odd on my feet. Not as soft as anticipated. This is not a problem. This means that I can justify the alpaca/silk sock yarn I've been eager to try. (Mwah hah hah hah hah!)

Nine lives

Cats....yessir, we're cat folk here at Chez Quimby. You could really say that it's their house, and we're just lucky enough to be allowed to be their housekeepers. And mostly, we don't mind a bit. (Though their occasional "offerings" can be a bit much!) And why? Well, not just for the cuddles and the warmth and the endless entertainment. It's coz they're so darned adorable. Most of the time. See?

Very sweet:

Even sweeter:

Not so much:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday night's alright

Whew! We were up till 2:00 A.M. watching BSG. Mr.Q was talking in his sleep about it, too. Love that show. And it was nice to have a SciFi Geek Date again - used to do it every Saturday to watch the show, but since we haven't had cable for awhile, we haven't had a geek date in a long time, either.

Mr.Q's in the studio all day today, so I've been left to my own devices. Which may shortly include a nap. But I went down to the Neighbourhood to mail some sock yarn out, and treated myself to lunch at the Roundel - BEST eggs Benny EVER! Mmmmmm! A lovely, pokey walk home through the side streets...with sights of the following...

Remnants of the windstorms:
Shoots 'n' leaves:
B.C. Buds:


Which, in February, are why I put up with the rain all winter....

Now that I'm home again, I'm trying to motivate myself to at least get some laundry going. But I can hear the bed calling me, begging me to come back...How can I resist? It's not like I have anything exciting to think about today.

Oh. Except THESE (!):

Friday, February 16, 2007

Oh, my poor nerves!

New yarn in the mail! Yarn shopping and knishes with The Divine Ms.D! Sassy sock yarn acquired for Iowa, and some en route to me from Alaska! Two luscious, sexy skeins of plum Silkdream (50% merino, 50% silk)! (Which just may be Fetching....) Fiberfest & Knit-out in Victoria in June!

And ants-in-my-pants cliffhanger season finale of Season 2.5 Battlestar Galactica! (Thankfully we've got the Season 3 DVD, or I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight!)

Where will I put my spinning wheel? Because that's the next downfall on this slippery slope of fiber addiction...

The difference between Muggle Stores and Yarn Stores: When you go into a Muggle Store, the clerk will ask "Do you need help, or are you just looking?"

In the yarn store, she asks, "Do you need help, or are you just fondling?"

Is it wrong to want to roll around naked in my stash?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Spinning yarns...

I came home after a longish day today to find one of two anxiously-awaited packages waiting for me, this one from a yarn swap I did awhile ago:

Of course, the colours aren't quite true; the top skein is more earthy-brown than red; the bottom has a lot more purple in it. It's all lovely, and soft, and I may have to sleep with it tonight! Thanks Amanda!

There was also an email from another swap partner, saying she had put sock yarn in the mail from Alaska...can't wait to see that! And to top it all off, tomorrow I'm going yarn-store-hopping with a pal I haven't seen in aeons....have to find some "sassy" sock yarn for my own swap partner. And maybe something little for me. Since I'm there already. Just because.

Because my life is NOT all knitting: Today the sun came out, despite the dreary forecast. Beautiful storm-light, that brightness against the black clouds, and the gulls' wings the same glowing colour as the fresh snow on the mountains. And crocuses really, really up in the neighbours' yards...mostly yellow, a few purple for accent, among all the snowdrops. My morning walk to the bus is a new adventure every morning now.

Several of my students didn't show up for the speaking test today - nasty flu going around, among other things...and it was actually kind of nice. It's a pretty boisterous class, lots of strong personalities, and it's a lot of fun. But it also requires a lot of juggling when all 10 are there. So to have half of them away meant a lot more focused, personal help. It felt like a really constructive class....very good! (Also it was a lot less exhausting!) One of 'em has been given directions to the best Italian cafes on the Drive for the weekend (with the hottest Italian men working at them) and we are all looking forward to her report on Monday.

Now I'm going to go pretend to be a housewife, and open a can of soup for Mr.Q. Maybe even throw some toast in the toaster for him, too!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Poor me

I am SICK, sick like a dog. (Why "like a dog"? Most dogs are usually a lot healthier, and less drooly, than I feel right now!) I had the foresight to prep for a sub while I was (foolish enough to be) at school yesterday, so I am actually taking a sick day. Gasp! Drugs are good, they are helping a little...minimizing the sneezing, at least, which is a blessing! I keep thinking: "OH! I've got a day to myself! I could...wash dishes, sweep, mop the floor, clean out the closet in my Magic Room, get dressed...." And as soon as I've finished thinking about it, I have to have another nap. I'd love to walk down to the drugstore, just to get out - and we're going to need toilet paper by the end of the day, the way I'm blowing my nose (I could actually pay for some of that kleenex with lotion in it...oh, the decadence!) But I suspect I'd have to have a nap by the time I got there, and then how would I get home? I feel like this is living inside my sinus cavity:

(I mean the creature, not Steve McQueen...) So I am trying to knit a bit and drink a lot of juice. (I may actually turn into a grapefruit soon...which might be interesting!) The cats have been quite companionable, and are making great sacrifices to keep me company by staying in bed with me, and even keeping the bed warm while I'm up:

And I am wandering about in my PJs, my befuddled brain pondering the mysteries of life, such as Whether I Should Watch Season 2.5 of Battlestar Galactica Without Ferdy, and Why So Many Knitters Seem to Have Cats AND Watch BSG....And this scenario: One of my Mexican students was wearing a lovely, intricately-cabled sweater the other day. I complimented her on it, and she said her mother had made it. "Really?" I asked - the work was quite exquisite. When she said "Yes," I stepped a little closer to have a better look. She laughed. "My other teacher told me about you!" she said. Hmph.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Look, Ma - no feet!

Coming from "Hobbit stock" means often, when eating out, my feet don't quite reach the ground. If I'm lucky, there's a table leg or cross brace on a chair that I can rest my feet on. If not, I get to feel like I'm in Kindergarten again, feet dangling a few inches from the ground....not the most comfy dining experience!

Well, this weekend we've discovered a solution:
He does put the "fun" in "functional"! I'm just a little surprised that it took me this long to figure it out....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I can't believe it!

From MSN today: I had NO IDEA that this could happen! I am shocked, I tell you....SHOCKED!

Shocked that somebody actually funded a study on something so obvious. Sheesh. That's worse than the one I heard where psychologists could predict your favourite Beatle by your favourite colour of jelly-bean. Or something like that. I mean, really... if you've got that much time (and money) on your hands, couldn't you study something useful? Like ending world hunger or a cure for AIDS, or why, when I'm knitting on the bus, no matter how empty the rest of the bus is or where I'm sitting, people have to come and stand right over me?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Houston, we have a sock.

I know that my mother would really rather I had become an astronaut instead of a knitter. Or, failing that, an interpreter for the UN. Or a pilot. All I can say is that at least my feet will be warm. Or one of them, anyway. Hopefully there will be a mate for Sock The First sooner rather than later. Since I've ripped out and re-done the heel THREE F$%#ING TIMES for Sock the Second. But really I'm OK with that. Because last night, I did THIS:

Hooray for me! I felt quite triumphant, grafting the toe and weaving in the ends. Though the victorious thrill was tempered by an irreverent urge to stick googly-eyes on the toe and use it as a sock puppet. I should be careful about that kind of thing, or the knitting goddess may put me in my place.

To celebrate, I went out to the Railway Club for a pint...and to hear/see Mr.Q play in a new project he's been involved in. It was quite funny to call from the yarn store and ask about set times and sound checks and oh yes, make sure I'm on the guest list...I bet it sounded a LOT more exotic than it really was. However, he played his fretless bass brilliantly, and looked more at home on stage than he has in a long time.

My horrid photography and the bad lighting aside, isn't he just sexy? It's those nimble fingers. Mmm hmm!

My day today was reasonable, marred slightly by lack of sleep and mild-ish "stomach troubles" that I think are a wee case of food poisoning from some bad pizza I had last night. But I don't think I confused anybody too badly with grammar, and I have nothing to do tonight that can't be put I'll spend the evening in my PJs, drinking herbal tea and working on Sock the Frigging Second. And it's already Thursday tomorrow...hooray!

Here's a cat picture, because I can:

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Happy Monday Eve....

Loverly weekend away, though short...lovely to see the kids, Dad, try to pull off a surprise party for Mom's birthday. Here I am modelling the special birthday hat which I made for her:

There are more pics, of course, but it wouldn't be fair to Mom to show them. And I'm such a dutiful daughter....!!!!!

Knitting news...Sock the First is ready for the last class on Tuesday, just a few steps away from finishing. Sock the Second isn't far behind. I'm about to dip my toe into the world of felting (otherwise known as Shrinking on Purpose). And I've just had my first foray into freeform knitting without a pattern:

A warm, cozy headband. What you can't see (and what I won't show you, since it's awful and I'd hate for a Real Knitter to see it) is that this project includes my very first buttonhole....boy do I ever need a drink now!) There was some experimenting with increases and decreases to shape the underside so it's not all bunchy under my hair. I love it, so far.

I suppose these aren't the most flattering pictures of me, but I do think they show off my handiwork rather well. Look at the pretty colours and sparkly bits instead...