Sunday, 27 December 2015

Post Christmas Cough

I am not fully over the cold.  I am left with a post Christmas cough and hoarse voice.  It was touch and go whether we headed to my mother's place for Christmas Eve.  On the 23rd I was doing the analysis.  Well enough to go or sick enough to stay home.  The final decision was made the morning of the 24th.  I was still not completely well but if I was still a student, my mother would have sent me off to school.  

Mother's checklist:

  • no fever - check
  • no vomiting - check
  • able to stand upright - check
  • able to breathe through nose - check
  • able to speak - half a check

I have been discussing white Christmases with my co-workers and friends.  We all loved them as children.  We are nostalgic about them but as we age or have to travel we prefer the green ones.  White Christmases are only for those who get to stay home for the holidays.  We had to travel and were grateful for the lack of snow this year.

We arrived mid afternoon.  It is a long drive and we left later than I liked but given my state of health, no packing or other preparation was done in advance.  We managed not to forget anything important.

I tried to stay out of the way once there so not to infect anyone.  I had my brother try on his sweater.  It fits so no ripping back.  Cody (my niece's boyfriend) arrived and I held up the back of the vest to him and decided it would fit.

The light was poor and I am tired of my poor photos.  I did not feel up to playing with the camera settings so no photos of knitwear.  Today is still too dark for decent photos so we will have to wait for photos of the knitwear.

Last year my sister decided we should have a new tradition which was continued this year.  11 adults and one child went for Christmas Day brunch at the Pillar and Post

My first cousin twice removed is 10 and 1/2 months old.  I took one look at her and realized my dilemma was over.  All the girl categories and some other children's categories are now taken care of.  Her mother and I had a discussion of what sweater would suit.  Machine washable but not necessarily machine dryable; outdoor sweater, any colour but white.  By the time next fall rolls around she will be a toddler and growing fast enough to fit the 2-4 year old size.  I will size generously to ensure the sweater has a chance of being worn.

The food was excellent and solved so many of my food issues I hope we go again next year.  I can't eat gluten or dairy; I limit meat intake and try to minimize sugar intake.  Planning a meal that includes feeding me can be difficult when you are not used to dealing with food issues.  The buffet works for everyone.  My sister rounds up as many family members as possible and makes the advance reservations. 

The dessert buffet included a vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free dessert.  I was so thrilled to be able to have any dessert for a change, I ate two!  It was one too many mind you and I paid for it later.

Christmas Day consisted of getting up in the morning, going out to eat, taking an afternoon nap, eating again (Christmas Eve leftovers) then going to bed early.  There was a bit of visiting included somewhere in there.  My memory of it is a little hazy as a few glasses of wine were consumed.  (No driving was involved after imbibing.)

I managed not fight with anyone.  I did not make anyone cry.  I hope I did not infect anyone.  It was a successful holiday.

Just in case you came here for photos, I have included a few of my mother's back yard.  Enjoy.  

Just for fun - some photos of my mother's dog.  I love my mother's optimism.  She went out and acquired a puppy for her 80th birthday.

Hope your Holidays went well and were better than expected.  Knitting photos next week I promise.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

It must be Christmas!

Hi everyone - This is "Hubby" (not my real name) writing tonight. The photo is Tony's sweater. It is not blocked, but it's basted together ready for Tony to try on at Christmas. Not sure I understand all that, but I trust readers will. 

Mary Jane is not up to blogging tonight. She's a bit under the weather - lying on the sofa - coughing, sneezing, blowing.... and knitting, of course. So good hubby that I am, I'm blogging for the first time. 

So - tonight's post will be brief - In fact, it's over. 
Nite all. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Not so Brilliant

All week long I write the next post in my head.  My insights are brilliant.  I am funny and endearing.  The photos are spectacular and exactly capture what I am trying to say.  The lighting is perfect and the colours true.

Then on Sunday I sit down at the dining room table and stare at my laptop.  I can't remember a single thing.  The topics explored in my head on Monday are gone.  The the fabulous sentences and phrases are a ghost of a dream.   You remember you had them but they have completely faded away.  I am blank.  Instead, I write the first thought that comes to mind. Usually something from the last 24 hours if I am lucky.  The photos are whatever I can structure on Sunday morning.  The lighting sucks and the colours are some exotic shade banned from the colour wheel.

So sit back and enjoy some  poor photography while I explore what I can extract from the faint tendrils of my formerly brilliant insights.

Back in the spring I had a plan for the summer.  I was going to visit a different town or village in the County every Friday.  I was going to be a Tourist in my own backyard.  The plan was to have lunch at a restaurant never tried before.  I was going to leisurely explore the shops and uniqueness that makes up each community.  Like so many plans that are just good intentions, it did not happen.

On Friday I had the opportunity to head on over to Amherstburg.  I had a 3 o'clock appointment. I decided to go early and explore Amherstburg.  It might be December but it was not too late to start the summer plan.  The day was warm after all.

I had lunch here.

I greatly enjoyed the gumbo soup and spinach salad.  The building was a bar back in 1836.  The historical sign on the building said it was called Bullocks Tavern.  I don't know if it has been a bar for all of its 179 years.  I like to think beer has been continuously dispensed from this location with generation after generation hanging out at the same "local".  The patrons telling some johnny come lately that, "My great great great grandfather drank here.  It is a family tradition."

The windows overlook the Detroit River and I was able to watch the ships pass by.  Amherstburg has a lovely water front park.  I love the seasonal decorations on the fountain.

The hydrants along the waterfront reflect the military heritage of the Town origins.
I explored some shops, the waterfront and made note of some other shops and restaurants I want to check out on my next tourist day in Amherstburg.

I worked on my brother's sweater over lunch and later.  I cast off the two fronts on Saturday.

Again a lousy photo.  I just did not want to take the time to uncurl and pin out the fronts so you could see the full pieces.  Trust me, once you've seen one front, 

you have seen all plain raglan sleeve fronts.  I felt my time was better spent assembling the next afghan strip.

Five more squares to go.  I am starting to worry about how to finish this baby.  It is at least 5 feet long.  That is going to be a lot of stitches to pick up not to mention the estimated 4 feet width.  If I knit a few rows all around the edge I may need some more circular needles.  I am starting to contemplate doing an i-cord edge.  Only pick up stitches then the i-cord finishes off the edge nicely. The one row is all bind off.

My office Christmas Party was last night.  That is part of the reason for the late posting today.  Of course, it would not be a party with out knitting so I cast on the sleeve and headed out the door.

Dinner was lovely.  Hubby and I enjoyed the comedian entertainer.  I even tipped him afterwards for not hassling me for knitting during his performance.

Years ago Hubby and I visited Halifax while the Halifax Busker Festival was on.  For us, the Festival was a happy coincidence.  We wandered about the City enjoying the bits of the performances we saw while exploring the sights.  

Hubby wanted to go to the casino.  I find gambling boring.  I work hard for everything I have and to sit putting money in a machine with nothing to show for it afterwards (I am not a lucky person) is not my idea of entertainment.  I would rather knit. Knitting is  endlessly entertaining and at the end you have socks, a sweater or some other useful article.  I found some seating outside the Casino where I could knit and be out of any possible rain while I waited.

Turns out I was sitting in one of the busker venues.  I was the only one there.  The performer refused to perform at the specified time as there was only me - knitting away.  That was okay, I was simply putting in time and knitting.  I did not expect or need any other entertainment.  Eventually a few other people sat down and the performer began his routine.  That is when the hassling began.  He insulted me for crocheting.  I said it was knitting.  He acted insulted that I was not paying full attention to him.  He  said he was not a TV.  I calmly said as I looked him straight in the eye I knit without looking at my needles. 

Now if the comments had been part of a very funny comedy routine I would have been quite happy to go along with the jokes.  I would be the one laughing loudest.   After all, my knitting has been part of my own comedy schtick for years.   The worst part of the whole sorry episode in Halifax?  The guy was not funny.  

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Random Thoughts on a Sunday

1.  I think I am totally losing it.  My only thought today was that it was supposed to be sunny and I could finally get a photo shoot with my Doodler.  So while I waited and waited for the sun to come out I knit.  I completely forgot I started the laundry and needed to go for groceries.  I knit and kept checking the weather app.  Yesterday it said today would be sunny all day.  At six this morning it said it would be sunny at 8 AM.  At 8 it was 9 AM.  At 9 it said 10 AM.  Finally at 11 this morning it said 2:00 PM.

2.  The result of all that knitting - look almost another square!

3.  If I am not careful I am going to forget to cook dinner.

4. At 2:00 PM the sun was out and I met Hubby at Sadler's Pond for photo of the Doodler.  It was blocked and just waiting until someone else could operate the camera.  Hubby is not much of a photographer so I set the camera on automatic and let him loose.

5. Hubby doesn't understand the concept of straight horizons but it was a nice picture of the shawl.

6. Close ups

7.  To take the photos, I took off my coat, put on the shawl and closed it with a shawl pin.  My Hubby looked at it and said, "So, that is what that is for!".  It is whale bone and I bought it as a souvenir of my trip to Iceland a few years ago.

8.  A few photos of Sadler's Pond.  I like reflections.

9.  I attended a craft show yesterday and bought another knitting bag.  All knitters need more than 3 dozen right?

10.  Progress on the sweater for my brother.  I am doing both fronts at the same time.  I know it takes a little more time but mentally it seems faster.

11.  My ass is not as bad looking as I thought it was.

12.  It is amazing how much knitting, dinner prep and dishwasher unloading you can accomplish while waiting for photos to download.

13.  Timbit hockey players are unbelievably adorable.  Watching them play is a lot like watching Weebles on skates except they fall down - alot - but get right back up.  I asked Hubby if the jerseys are deliberately made too big to increase the adorableness.  Apparently they don't come any smaller.  Timbits players were the entertainment between the first and second periods of the 73's game on Tuesday.  It was a lot more fun to watch than the new vehicle driving on the ice featured at previous games.  That would only have been fun if the vehicle slid into the boards.    The blue team had a goalie and 6 players.  All on the ice at once.  The red team had 5 players.  One red kid realized there was no goalie so he stood in the crease so now it was 6 on 4.

I had qualms about children used as entertainment for adults.  After talking with some parents and friends of parents with Timbit players, the kids don't view themselves that way.  They are just thrilled to bits to be on the same ice as the 73's.

They tried so hard to play hockey.  They fell down if they skated hard.  They fell down if they changed direction.  They fell down if they touched the puck.  They ran into each other and fell down.  It was a joy to watch their enthusiasm for the game.

13. Essex played Lakeshore on Tuesday.  It was a great game.  The end result was in doubt until Essex won.