Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Camping out at base camp

It's official - I'm registered for Sock Summit! (Twice, actually..much chaos ensued upon registration opening...We knitters are mighty! We broke the innernets! And, despite the extreme aggravation, that was immensely amusing.)


(And...omigawdcraziness - I think my brains might melt in a couple of these classes!)


Monday, May 25, 2009

The land of milk & honey it ain't....

But any place with beer like this has got to be OK:

Also, I am in the land where bottle openers literally grow on trees - good times!

Had a little bit of this the other night, with the possibility of more to come:

(How Canadian is that, eh? The campfire, the dog, the guitar...the Habs camping chair!)

(Campfires make me miss having long hair...I loved smelling the smoke in my hair when I went to bed...mmmmm!)

Took myself for some outdoor knitting yesterday, down by the river. I had intended to go to my favourite lake, but there were foul-mouthed hooligans on BMX bikes riding around, and stupid yappy dogs, so it wasn't the most relaxing spot. So I backtracked a little, and found myself another spot. There were a number of perfect sitting-rocks right by the river. This was the view my knitting & I had:

And yes, I did put my toes in the water. For a very brief minute. All this water here? Was snow just a few hundred metres ago. Not so warm!

Then, I still had a little time before I had to be at my sister's to babysit (you already know I'm crazy - what's with the surprise?) So I went down to Elizabeth Lake (Slough) to check on some old friends:

To make the day just perfect, there were auntie-snuggles galore, and then some Strongbow while I introduced my brother-in-law to Firefly. He loved it. I just hope I get my DVDs back when I leave...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Look upon my works, ye mighty, and NOM!

A quick check-in before all heck breaks loose over the next couple of days. A short week at the end of a short month equals marking madness tomorrow, followed by a long, sexy date with something "medicinal." Like, maybe the rest of that bourbon in the cupboard. Also, I've got far too much to do in the next 24 hours - finish packing coz I'm going home for a week on Friday, leaving right from work; a friend's graduation party tomorrow evening; and I have to help Mr.Q get his passport app finished before I leave.

Long weekend was awesome. Saturday was busy busy. We went out and found me a shiny new pair of Birks, just right for wearing with hand-knit socks. (Yes, I'm a regular outlaw, on the lam(b) from the Fashion Police. Pics will follow eventually.) We did a spontaneous jaunt to the "night" market in Chinatown (in broad daylight, it seemed a little ironic), where Mr.Q stuffed himself with fish dumplings, and I bought pink sock-monkey socks...

Then he went off to see Ravi Shankar (!!!!!!!), and I came home to my knitting.

Sunday, my pal Jel had herself a belated birthday potluck, so I got up early to bake a scutterbotch pie to bring:

There were a lot of knitters there. Also, a lot of cheese. And a lot of sangria. It was fun!

Sunday we went to see the new Star Trek movie. In the theatre. With popcorn and Twizzlers and everything! (Be still my heart, I can't take the excitement!) Actually, the movie was a lot of fun. Great special effects and things that go boom and pretty decent characterizations of the crew. Especially Bones - he was fantastic! I'm so glad we saw it on the big screen.

And, more revelling in the throes of domesticity - there was another bake-off competition at work on yesterday (featuring lemon.) Since this one was a "wild card" I went with my personal strength: cheesecake. White chocolate lemon cheesecake, to be exact. Between the cake itself and the glaze, this thing called for almost a pound of chocolate. (15/16ths, to be exact.)

When I was done, it looked like this:

It was very tasty. I won. Almost enough (everyone who wants to "judge" pays a toonie for the privilege, and gets a taste of everything) to cover the cost of the ingredients!

Now it's time to quit farting around on the innernets, and get my butt to bed...nights!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Long weekend...woot! And I am so ready for it. It has been a nutty-busy week. Next week will be twice as much of the same. Enough so that I actually made a point of remembering to bring marking home over the weekend, which I never do. The week was capped off nicely, though, by a visit with an old friend from junior high, whom I haven't seen in a couple of years. She was her with her new-ish baby, who I got to meet for the first time. Such a lovely little snuggle-monkey! (And slimy, too.)

We went for Greek food for a late lunch/early supper. Then, as she was driving me home, we made a spontaneous stop here:

They let you sample little bits of all the weird gelatos and sorbetos, before you buy. And when I say weird, I mean weird. Wasabi. Durian. Roasted garlic. Chocolate and chili - usually a favourite combination of mine, but this stuff was spicy. Like, Dave's Insanity hot. I even tried a little of this:

It was surprisingly good. But I walked out with a waffle cone of the Nut Kulfi - super-creamy, with pistachios and cardamom. Very, very yum.

When I got home, I finally got around to photographing my mail-box treasures from the week...not nearly as exciting as some people's, but I was excited all the same - 2 new project bags, ordered during a moment of (not-regretted) weakness on etsy. One, a lovely dark teal (darker than shown here):

And one that's absolutely perfect for socks-in-progress:

Very exciting, I tell you! Almost as exciting as getting the mountain of laundry finally folded and put away. (I need to slow down, the adrenaline rushes are starting to take their toll....)


So, it turns out that bourbon, which I never thought I'd take a fancy to...? I really like it in my coffee!

(And I like it in my apple pies...I lost the bake-off, by the way, by one vote. But to a worthy opponent - this guy bakes like my mother, which means he's a superbakingninja. So to lose by only a single vote was quite a compliment, actually. And the pie was darned tasty. But Tuesday, all bets are off. It's a "wildcard" category, featuring lemon. I have some sneakiness on the go. Mwahahahahahahah!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spanking the monkey

I voted today. Did you?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Derby Day

I got flak from my baby sister yesterday...she was whinging about why I never post any more. (This, from the woman who updates her blog once a month!) It's just that there hasn't been much going on the last month...Mr.Q's had his nose in his books, studying hard for his apprenticeship course. And I've been watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, trying to keep out of his way. A routine that, while pleasant, isn't especially bloggable.

But then I went through a few of the pictures I've taken over the last week or so, and realized that maybe it is time for a post. Before I get sucked into a vortex of knitting for the next term of the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup. (Mock me if you will, but it got me that Print o' the Waves stole last time around, and it's gonna get me a light cardi to take to Portland this term!) So, here you go - some random bits and bobs from the last week...

First - I think the only thing I love as much as cherry blossom time is when the blossoms all fall, pink snowdrifts swirling in the currents from passing cars, or piling up around tree roots, or drifting like giant pieces of confetti...

A poky, aimless amble along the seawall, with Sis and her guy...watching cricket players, and a harbour seal, and enjoying the briny wind....

A reconstructed figurehead from Chinese ship that used to "ply these waters"

Saw this in a public washroom the other day - newfangled space-age hand dryer:

When you put your hands in, the strength of the air jets makes your skin ripple. It's very cool. (I'm very glad nobody walked in while I was taking pictures with my cellphone!)

(Maybe I do need to get cable? Or take up stamp-collecting?)

Tried ordering pizza from somewhere new, a wee Mom & Pop type place. First point in their favour - they found our place with a minimum of fuss - so they really are "from the 'hood". Second point - I just think it's a good sign when the guy that shows up with your pizza is a burly, middle-aged Italian. Speaks to some authenticity, know what I mean?

It was bloody amazing! Thick, chewy crust - perfectly crispy at the edge - heaps of cheese - generous toppings...mmmmm! (Capota's Pizza, for any of you in our neck of the woods. Go there!) In fact, I'm eating the leftovers for breakfast as I type this. And it's very, very yummy. So there.

Went to the liquor store yesterday for some bourbon, of all things...I have never bought a bottle of whiskey in my life, but I was on a quest. Anyway, our neighbourhood liquor store is currently in a bit of a disordered state, as they're renovating. So the selection is haphazard - and sometimes things are not there, or they're on sale...or you might find something unexpected. Like this:

Blueberry Creme liqueur...a very fine little bit of alright! I'm looking forward to mixing it with some sparkling wine, or maybe icy vodka, for a summer drink. (Or over ice cream....!)
And then there was the bourbon...

Which I actually bought for work, but had to try me a mint julep, since it was there. Which I really, really liked. A lot. (Any recipe that actually uses "muddle" as a verb, and in a technical way, has got to be cool. Next thing you know, though, I'll be at the horse races. Which, come to think of it, could be fun. And we are only a couple blocks from the race track!)

Anyway. Here's the thing. We're having a bake-off at work. And there's money involved. And I am a leetle competitive, under certain circumstances. (Like, when there's money involved!) Tomorrow's challenge is a pie, featuring apples. Now, my pie crust is decent, but nothing to write home about. So I needed a killer filling to stand a chance. I posted on one of my Rav groups, and lo! The knitters came through (With a list of recipes a mile long, each of which I'll have to try). I decided to go with the one featuring "a good slug of bourbon" as the secret ingredient.

I even went as far as getting up early-ish this morning to try a practice bake - more of a tart than a "pie" since I was too lazy to bother with a double crust...

If the smell currently coming from the oven is any indication, I don't care if I win or lose. I'm going to be in my happy place just eating this thing. And if I lose, I can always console myself with another drink. I've still got some mint left...

(Though I do think I'll have a chance at kicking some arse. I'm just sayin')

(And for the record - though he won't get official marks for a couple of weeks yet, Mr.Q thinks he finished his course with a very respectable 80%...woot!)