Monthly Archives: March 2011

March Outings of the Month, Modified

Nothing like leaving things til the last minute!

One of my 2011 Goals is to have an Outing of the Month, every month, with Mom, and with Dad, and to give babysitting time to The Brother and SIL Ana.

You can put a check mark next to the March Outing for The Brother and SIL Ana – here‘s the report of that babysitting adventure festivity!

Due to extenuating circumstances, things did not work out to go to lunch with Dad, or to go shopping with Mom in March. (In February, Dad and I went for coffee at Starbucks. In February, Mom and I shopped at Michaels).

On the bright side, we did enjoy two coffee outings this month! 

Last week, we gathered at Matter of Taste:

the girls!

photographic proof that dad was there, too!

(Actually, B was able to join us, as well, that afternoon!)

This afternoon, mom, dad and I rendez-vous’d at The Huether. (Yes there is a plethora of coffee shops in Uptown Waterloo. Did I start drinking coffee due to atmospheric osmosis?!)

I had yet to try a Huether coffee.

me and my...caw-aw-aw-fee!

The verdict?

Yum!!! I just got decaf…too late in the day for anything strong!

the girls, again!

dad treated - thanks, pops!

All in all, two coffee outings with my favourite parents is better than no get-togethers at all! April’s Outing of the Month goals: lunch out with Dad (remember, we’re moving through the day from breakfast –> coffee bread –>lunch) and a trip to the Kitchener Real Canadian Superstore with Mom (we really want to check out Joe Fresh fashions for spring).

How often do you get to see your parent(s)? I am lucky to have my parents in the condo building next door!

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I’m Still Clean!

Last week, I shared about ditching Diet Coke (mini-goal is to get to Easter, pop-free). So far, so good! I’ll submit to any testing, sans hesitation!

Have I craved a Diet Coke? Yes.

Have I given in? No.

How have I overcome a craving? With substitutions: Perrier, coffee, cold water, a snack…I go with what is the “second best option” for that moment in time. Within minutes, then, I can forget that I initially wanted a pop!

Do I miss Diet Coke? I don’t miss the drink itself  – I miss the ritual of drinking a Diet Coke while knitting. That’s the honest truth.

Do I notice difference in mind/body/spirit? Yes. Physically, I feel less bloated. Mentally, I feel less guilt because I know I am injecting less chemicals into my body. But I do miss the ZING!!!! that Diet Coke gives me – that energy rush. Caffeinated coffee just is not giving me the same feeling (??) – so maybe it’s an aspartame-whoosh I feel with Diet Coke!?!

Anyway the few times I have felt like drinking a pop, I’ve resisted, thanks to knowing I’d have to blog it. Feeling accountable is helping!!

Did you give up anything for Lent? How are you doing?

New Experience #11: Leave 50 Blog Comments/1 Day

I started reading blogs when I created this blog in January, 2010. At first, I was a lurker only (blog lingo for someone who reads but doesn’t comment). I felt shy about the idea of commenting – it seemed forward, and would the blogger really care to read my input? Over time, I’ve become more *daring,* and now really enjoy participating in these online conversations.

My style: I comment daily on a select number of blogs. I read some other blogs, too, but  will comment only if the topic or discussion particularly resonates with me. I do not agree with leaving a generic comment just for the sake of promoting my own blog, or just so I can say I left a comment – just not something I am comfortable with.

I had the day off yesterday, so I decided to try an experiment: I would leave over fifty comments on fifty different blogs.

Self-Imposed Ground Rule: My comment had to be thoughtful, genuine, personal and specifically respond to the content in the blog post. Things such as “Nice race!”, “Those cookies look yummy!” or “Hope you have a better day tomorrow!” would not be written.

Hypothesis: Leaving this many comments (way more than usual) would increase the hits to my own blog.

Realizations:

1)This New Experience turned out to be labour-intensive and very time consuming! I spent the equivalent of full time job hours on this project! And this was for only fifty comments! [Originally, I set my target at 100 comments – the goal was to at least leave more comments in 24 hours than I ever have before; I realized about noon that 50 comments would be acceptable…and a number that I could handle!].

2) I honestly do not know how people find the time to blog 1, 2, 3 times a day, respond to comments left on their own blog, read and respond to other blogs…and still have a life outside of the blog world!

3) I did not enjoy spending this much time reading blogs. I will revert to reading my “regular blogs,” commenting on my blends‘ (blog lingo for friends who you only know through blogs) posts, and spending time on blogs in a moderate manner.

4) Leaving this many comments did not impact the traffic on my own blog one little bit. This fact genuinely surprises me. A good check to the ego! :)

For accountability sake, below, you will find my Blogroll for the day.

[This is the order in which I visited blogs and made my comments. I’ve included time of day checkpoints, and the technical problem I created for myself…(thanks, Holly, for helping me out!)]

How many blogs do you read in a day? Do you comment or just read? I think most people lurk, from what I can tell!

Blogroll for New Experience #11

 5:30 a.m.

1. SIL Ana’s blog **link not provided on purpose

2. Cousin Joel – Soaked in Sunshine and Cheap Wine

3. Bestie Gina’s blog

4. Jess – 21 Days

5. Melissa – Trying to Heal

6. Tammy – Palm Trees and Manatees

7. Janetha – Meals and Moves

8. Kailey – Snackface

9. Sarah – Peas and Thank You

10. Averie – Love Veggies and Yoga

11. Gena – Choosing Raw

8:30 a.m.

12. Holly – The Runny Egg

13. Angela – Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat

11:00 a.m. [I did need to accomplish other tasks in my day!]

14. Gabriela – Une Vie Saine

15. Angela – Oh She Glows

16. Catlin – Healthy Tipping Point

17. Kath – Kath Eats Real Food

18. Melissa – Melissa Nibbles

19. B – Smart Cookie

20. Dorry – Living With Healthy Hunger

21. Monica – Run, Eat, Repeat 

22. Gina – The Fitnessista

23. JL – JL goes Vegan

24. Joyce – Flowing to Fifty

25. Tina – Carrots ‘n’ Cake

Whew! I was ready for a break!

Unfortunately, when I resumed commenting, I discovered that any comment I left on a WordPress-supported blog was not posting. Long story short: the comments went to spam. Thanks to Holly’s suggestions last night, I have now created a NEW Gmail account that I am going to use for blog-related email communications.

Even though my comments may not appear on some of the following blogs, I am counting them as comments because I DID compose and post them! WordPress + Akismet just ate them!

1:15 p.m.

26. Jenna – Eat, Live, Run

27. Cassie – A Very Busy Mind

28. Emily – Daily Garnish

29. Kristina – Life As Kristina

30. Lisa – Thrive Style

31. Morgan – Life After Bagels

32. Amanda – The Artsy Kitchen

33. Jessica – The Process of Healing

34. Zo – Striving Cynic

35. Stephanie – Yarn Harlot

36. Glenna – Knitting to Stay Sane

37. Kristin Armstrong (Lance’s ex) – Mile Markers blog on Runner’s World website

38. Ang – Running Chronicles

39. Mark – Battlefield Running

40. Anne – Run DMZ

[Losing focus and motivation, big time…]

41. Eric – Just a mile to go

42. Bryon – iRunFar

43. Annette – Annette Bednosky’s Blog

44. Kim – Tales of the Trail Goddess

[Not stopping now!…Push to the finish!]

45. Jo Lynn – Single Track Junkie

46. Dragonmamma – Dragonmamma’s Den

47. Laura – Sprint 2 The Table

48. Nicole – Yuppie Yogini

49. Faith – Lovely As Charged

50. Louis – Running Blog

THANK YOU, 50 TOTAL!

Yes, I could have *done more* last eve but to be honest, I was maxed-out.

Conclusion: New Experience #11 was a unique endeavour, and likely will not be repeated!

Now back to regularly scheduled blog reading and commenting!

Sarah of the Pink Shoes

Late yesterday afternoon, my friend Sarah and I met up at Coffee Culture for a long-overdue gabfest.

Sarah and I first got to know each other in August 2008 (can it really be that long ago?!) when she started working at the store. We had a lot of fun working together.

It was Sarah who inspired me to get these shoes (one of my four pairs of Nike Frees)!

…and we had fun being the Bobbsey Twins, wearing them on shift together. (Please don’t say “small things amuse small minds!”).

Whose feet are whose? I forget now!

As always happens when you’re chatting with a friend, our visiting time flew by in a flash, yesterday. It was so good to catch up! Sarah is now a certified teacher, and landed a long-term contract job that began in October of this school year, and will last until the end of the school year, in June. I’m so happy this all worked out for her!

We intend to get together next month, again. Can’t wait! [Sidenote: Of course, I ordered a coffee at the coffee shop. Guess what? I realized I much prefer Coffee Culture coffee to Starbucks – CC is not so bitter!].

When’s the last time you went out for coffee with a friend? It’s hard, sometimes, to co-ordinate busy schedules, but always so worth it!

teacher sarah! with a hot chocolate!

end of our visit, boo hoo. the time went way too fast!

Before we left, I needed one more snapshot for the records…

no pink shoes for either of us...although we're still sporting our NIKES! (sarah on the L in lunarglides, me on the R in the frees)

*#*#*#*#*

Winding this silk yarn has grown extremely tiresome.

skein #2/4 total...not. having. fun. with. this.

I am literally untangling the threads inch by inch, turning this mess into a useable ball of yarn. After finishing this skein (maybe today?), I may take a break and just knit with the two balls I will now have at my disposal…seriously, Dad, watch out…I am so tempted to enlist your help to wind skeins #3 and #4!!

OK, I’m outta here. Thanks to having a day off today, I have a time-intense New Experience I am going to try to accomplish – it may or may not be ready for posting tomorrow, but I’m going for it! It’s definitely a Kiki-Ish Idea (ie. quirky, fun, unique!)!!!

New Experience #10: Drink Coconut Water

In the past couple months, I have read a lot about Coconut Water, both on blogs and in magazines. Some people enthusiastically endorse this healthy beverage while others…are not such big fans. In an effort to expand my list of enjoyable beverages (update: still clean on the Diet Coke front!), I thought I’d give Coconut Water a try.

I found this 14 0z (414 ml) plastic bottle of Zico brand Coconut Water at Eating Well Organically.

"zico pure premium coconut water with natural pineapple & citrus flavors"

For this price…

yes, that's $3.19 for 14 oz/414 ml!!!

…it’s verging into liquid gold territory! [Sidenote: pet peeve to be explored another day…how can we expect people to give up pop and chips in favour of healthy food and beverage choices when you can get a Coke this size for less than $2.00??]

I decided to try the Coconut Water during my morning shift at the store.

will i be an enthusiastic endorser of this product?!...

eager for the first sip!...

i've drunk the first mouthful...

..and this photo pretty much says it all. :(

ICK!!!! EWWWW!!

I was not a fan.

Why? I found the coconut water to be sickenly sweet and very syrupy. I took two sips and honestly thought I might either gag or have to spit it out. There was an unpleasant aftertaste – from the plastic bottle, maybe??

It was just horrid. Now, maybe it would taste better post-workout, when you’re craving refreshment. Also, I have to say I am just not a fan of fruit flavoured anything: yogurt, ice creams, electrolyte gels…I will always pick a chocolate or a mocha over fruit. So, maybe the added pineapple and citrus did not help the coconut water cause.

I sipped about 8-10 glugs and then just could not bear any more. Down the drain it went. Major fail!

Then, I went and made myself a coffee. That was good.

Have you tried coconut water? What was your impression, if so?

*#*#*#*#*

Updates on yesterday’s news

A local runner from Kitchener won the Around the Bay road race! (Kitchener is the neighbouring city to my Waterloo). Here’s the article in today’s K-W Record. From various reports received, it seems a lot of my friends enjoyed a satisfying race. Congrats, everyone!

*#*#*#*#*

Yesterday, I gave A her sweater!

 

the finished product

While A loved the knitting, unfortunately, the fit was not entirely what she had hoped for. I could tell when she put it on that the neckline was still looser than she had envisioned. Long story short, after a few emails yesterday, we concluded that I will reknit the sweater.

 Honestly, I am fine with this, and here’s why: 1) from a business standpoint, I want my customer to be 100% satisfied with both the product and the service paid for. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and I would hope that A will recommend me without hesitation should she ever get inquiries as to where she got her sweater. 2) it’s silly to have a sweater just sit in a drawer and not be worn – that’s a waste of A’s money and my time. 3) I fully agree with A’s assessment. The sweater does need to made less boxy and the neckline will look better in a tighter crew shape. 4) I’ll be able to speed-knit through the second version of the sweater, given that I am familiar with the pattern, now, and took copious notes the first time through.
 So, A will have the sweater she desires…just in time for May’s warm sunshine and light breezes! :~
 
Lastly, I found this quote this morning on Gina’s (The Fitnessista) blog. It resonated with me, completely. Maya is so wise.
  

 

 “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
 
 The sun is out. Happy Monday!
 

It’s Around The Bay Day!

This morning is the 30 k Around The Bay road race in Hamilton, Ontario!

Why is this race significant?

~ It’s the oldest race in North America. First held in 1894, it even pre-dates the Boston Marathon! That’s pretty cool, if you ask me, and I’m proud that a city in Southern Ontario can make this claim!

~ 30 k is a unique race distance. While you can find an abundance of marathons, half marathons, even 25 k trail races, without too much problem, 30 k is not very common!

~ Over 7 000 runners from near and far will toe the start line this morning. It’s quite the drawing card for elite runners as well as those “normal people” who wish to challenge themselves with a distance longer than a half-mary (21.1 km), but aren’t quite ready for a full ‘thon (42.2 km).

~ The course is diverse in terms of terrain and scenery. (I have participated in this event several times, and have fond memories of those races!). The first 10 k is flat, boring and ugly, as you run through industrial Hamilton. The second third of the course takes you through lovely residential neighbourhoods, and you encounter rolling hills. The last 10 k is marked by an incredibly, unbelievably steep hill, but then it’s flat all the way to the finish.

The Around the Bay race is definitely one I would recommend to out-of-town runners because of the history, the uncommon distance, and the race route - for example, you get to cross over a drawbridge, at one point! [Sidenote: one year, the bridge went up to let a boat through right in the midde of the race! Runners were NOT amused!].

Hamilton in March, however, is not much of a drawing card. At this time of year, it’s pretty much still winter in Southern Ontario – ie. not visitor/sightseeing friendly. [Sidenote: funny memory: one year when Dad and I participated in this event, race morning dawned sunny…and over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. NO ONE was prepared for, or acclimatized to, this summery temp! Dehydration and sunburn were major factors – likely one of the only times people in this neck of the woods have ever complained about warm weather!]. 

Even in summer, there is not much to do in Hamilton. Toronto – yes. But a good 45-minute drive separates TO from Hamilton… bottom line, there are a lot more “desirable destinations” if you’re going to travel out of town only to do a race!

A lot of friends and contacts from the store are running today – best wishes, y’all! Don’t let the Grim Reaper freak you out!!

(If you like running-themed movies, check out Saint Ralph – Around the Bay and Boston both feature prominently in the storyline, it’s a sentimental, feel-good film, and I would give it a movie rating of 3.5 stars).

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When Is an Idea Your Own??

As reported, I finished A’s sweater this week. I ended up making a few changes to the original pattern:

yes, i ripped the pattern out of my book - it was too bulky to lug to aruba! i felt guilty, then thought: hey, it's MY book!

these alice starmore designs are gorgeous; i've had the book for a quite a few years

you can see my notations on the pattern, then i also wrote up additional details about the front piece...

While A loved the pattern, she wished to have a higher neckline, so I revised the pattern on my own. I also narrowed the body, and made sleeve increases at every 4th row instead of every 3rd row, thereby modifying the shape of the sleeve.

It got me thinking about knitting patterns and recipesat what point can you call a design or a recipe your own?

Let’s take chocolate chip cookies, for example. There must be several hundreds of variations out there. Where do you draw the line at saying you made an adaptation to a recipe versus saying you created your own recipe? If I add an extra 1/2 tsp vanilla, is it now MY chocolate chip cookie recipe?

So, looking back at knitting – if I modify a neckline, switch up the body shape, and change the sleeve, is it now *my* pattern??

In the case of A’s sweater, I would still say NO, it’s not a pattern I can pass off as a Cathy Creation. To my mind, if I had changed the neckline, body and sleeves AND gone with different cable placements, then it could be classified as *mine.*

Your thoughts? Baking or knitting – what/how many modifications need to occur for a recipe or pattern to “switch authors?”

For recipes, I would say one ingredient switch is enough to make it yours – is that being rather lenient?

*#*#*#*#*

Fun Ph[F]otos for the Fiction Folk!

I popped in to Wordsworth Books yesterday aft, and spotted these wonderful posters on the wall:

Fitting messages considering the thoughts shared earlier this week about magazines and online reading!

Happy Sunday! Hope you get in some running, knitting, baking or reading!

Pulling an All-Evening.er

Thursday night, I was a woman on a mission.

I decided I would not be going to bed until I finished A’s sweater.

Recap: A had asked me to make her this sweater…

…and I was pleased to accept the commission. Earlier this week, I emailed A and assured her the sweater would be ready for her on Sunday of this weekend (March 27th). I plotted out daily goals so that the sweater could be finit-o by the self-imposed deadline.

So I hunkered down with my sweater pieces, and got to work.

While I love knitting, I don’t so much enjoy the finishing. Sewing a sweater together is finicky, precise, and time-consuming. Beautiful knitting can be absolutely ruined by sloppy finishing.

I guess-timated I had a couple hours of work ahead of me. An evening’s worth? That would be fine. An all-nighter? That I was not ready to do.

It’d be one thing if I could count pulling an all-nighter as a New Experience. But nope, done that: back in high school, in Grade 11, I do believe, I attended a New Year’s Eve party that was put on by our church conference’s young people’s group. And I did stay awake all night! Thank goodness, I’m off the hook, and don’t have to attempt that feat, now!

Anyway, back to A’s sweater…it is completed!

ta da!

close up of the design on the centre front, plus the braided collar

I’m pleased with the finished product, and I hope A is, too. I’ll find out on Sunday!

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter?

Apart from that one New Year’s party, I have not. Even in University, I never stayed up studying or cramming to finish a paper.

I’m not a parent, so I’ve never had to stay up all night with a sick child.

Parties?? I’ve been out late, but never to an all-nighter!

*#*#*#*#*

So now it’s on to the next knitting project. (Might as well stay with the knitting theme today).

I still have this one on the go…

the project that requires concentration: knitted lace in variegated yarn; it's a baby blanket

I started this blanket back in July! I guess I am mindless more often than I am mindful! (I like to have one project of each type on the go).

This New Project is going to be a New Experience, believe it or not, so I will refrain from divulging too many details at this time.

But here’s the yarn:

four skeins - they need to be wound into balls before i can begin knitting

There’s a slight variegation – not sure if you can tell from the photos…

hand-dyed, made in canada, 100% pure silk

I bought this yarn back in September at the Knitter’s Fair with mom, and it was a splurge, to say the least:

i cringe to make public the amount spent on a wee four skein purchase...

Hey – some women are weak for shoes, some for perfume or expensive wine…I indulge in fine yarn!

Friday morning, I got to work on the winding. I had a bad feeling as soon as I opened up the skein. Within 30 seconds, the yarn was already showing tangles:

this could be slow going...

I wound throughout the day, as time permitted, and things went from bad to worse.

I experimented with holding the yarn over my left wrist and winding with my right hand.
I resorted to drastic measures – draping the skein up like a spiderweb and playing a frustrating version of “cat’s cradle” as I plucked and wove, in and out.

I have never dealt with a skein of yarn this awful, ever. If I hadn’t been so busy trying to unravel the tangles, I’d have been pulling my hair out.

At 4 pm…I still had not completed my winding job.

By 8:30 pm, I still had not completed my winding job.

It now looks like this:

from demented spiderweb to the beginnings of a fabulous bird's nest

Let’s just conclude by saying that at $42 per skein, I expect to find a yarn that does not require 10+ hours winding per skein in order to make it knitt-able!

I sincerely hope this was the bad apple in the barrel and that skeins #2,3 and 4 go lickety-split.

If not, Dad, I’ve got a project for you…

Too-Da-Loo, Runner’s World

Yesterday, a question popped into my head:

Why am I subscribing to Runner’s World magazine?”

My answer? Because I always have.

(source)

That response seemed a little lacking in sound reasoning, so I devoted some more brain time to pursuing this train of thought.

Upon reflection, I realized that I have subscribed continuously to this Runner’s Bible for at least 15, if not 20 years. I started running in 1989, and I’m pretty sure I started getting the magazine via home delivery shortly thereafter – likely soon after I got my first pair of shoes!

To cut to the chase, today I went to the RW website and cancelled my subscription. It was the logical decision to make, and to be honest, it makes total sense! Here’s why:

~ we sell Runner’s World at the store. So, I have access to the publication for free, and can read it during any quiet times while on shift (as long as I make sure not to slop peanut butter or spill coffee on it – haha!). Sure, our store copies arrive about one week later than my personal copy is delivered by mail, but since there is no time-sensitive news involved, I think I can bear it.

~ as much as I hate to admit it, I am spending less and less time reading hard copies of the newspaper and magazines, and more and more time scanning online versions of the same publications. For years, I was a newspaper junkie; over the past while, I’ve weaned myself off of my reading routines (yes, used to knit and read the newspaper and drink Diet Coke!), and have turned to reading on my computer instead. And, I’ve noticed that the RW website carries virtually all of the same stories and features that appear in the paper magazine.

~ not to sound overconfident, but after 20+ years running, and given my occupation, I feel experienced enough that I could author some of the articles…Do I really need to read up on how to dress for cold weather? Or the best hamstring stretches? Yea, I still read these types of articles, but I learn very few new ideas.

Cramping Out(source)

~ to my mind, RW recycles articles every 2-3 years. The main tips in “The Twenty Best Superfoods For Runners” will next appear as “Healthy Staples For Your Kitchen.” “Beat the Winter Blues” is not much different than “How to Stay Motivated in the Off-Season.”

The Best Foods For Runners

(source)

~ this will sound just plain snarky: I really dislike the current editor-in-chief, David Willey. I’m sure he’s a very nice guy in real life. His editorials just irk me, though. Yes, this is a small quibble to whine about, but reading his openings makes me petulant. This aversion cannot be further explained, sorry.

So there you have it. Maybe I can just feel all virtuous about saving the planet, one less paper product in my home, blah blah. Which reminds me…Runner’s World is about due for another “How to be a Green Runner” article. May 2011 issue, I bet.

Do you subscribe to any magazines? Would you consider giving them up?

Let’s Try This Again

(source)

Ahhhhh….

(source)

Mmmmmm….

(source)

Soooo Tasty!

Last April, I proudly posted a blog entry about giving up Diet Coke.

And I did stop drinking the evil, calcium-leaching, chemical-laden fabuloso, refreshing, best-invention-ever beverage that makes my heart sing and my lips smack in glee.

For about six months.

Then, sometime this past fall, I started drinking again.

And I felt horrible guilt. Yet it tasted so good.

It’s not only the taste of Diet Coke that I adore – it’s the rituals and associations I have surrounding when I drink it that I do so love.

Knitting + Diet Coke (+ blog reading) = a favourite way to spend some quiet time. I even joked to SIL Ana, one day, when I was off the liquid crack bottle that my knitting suffered when I don’t drink Diet Coke because I am not inspired to knit, knowing “my treat” is missing.

A few weeks ago, I realized my guilt - not to mention my un-centring inner heart vibe - was way far outweighing the pleasure factor I was receiving with each gulp of cold, sugary goodness.

I felt like I was disrespecting my body by repeatedly ingesting fake sugar, chemicals, and who knows what else, on a daily basis.

I stopped for a solid week. [You may be saying “a week? so what?” – if you have any sort of addiction, be it smoking, drinking alcohol, eating a certain food, practising a certain behaviour, you know a week is an eternity].

Then I went to Aruba.

feelin' hot, hot, hot!

I’ve always tanned + knit + drunk Diet Coke in Aruba.

And this time was no different. Boy, it hit the spot.

Then I came home.

I brought Diet Coke into the Condo Casa. I knit + drank Diet Coke…and then decided no. more.

On Tuesday, Angela posted this entry on her blog. I well remember last year at this time when her husband, Eric, ditched Coke. In part, he inspired me to quit Diet Coke – there’s strength in numbers.

And I realized, again: I don’t need this stuff.

I came up with a plan:

~If I’m craving carbonation, there is Perrier water.

~If I’m wanting a cold beverage, there is Brita water in my fridge.

~If I’m craving a comforting drink, there is a cuppa coffee at the ready with my name on it. [Yes, you rightly could argue that coffee is addictive; I see it as the lesser of two evils – at least it’s not chemical-laden].

So, I’ve set myself a goal: no Diet Cola until Easter. Yes, it’s a late jump onto the lenten bandwagon, but better a late leap than no leap at all, right?! And then we will re-evaluate and look at the next step.

To be honest, this is one of those blog posts where as I’m typing, I’m thinking, do I really want to hit “post?”

But yes, yes I do.

Because if I put it out here, I can be held accountable.

I’ve come to realize that it’s OK to ask for support when you need it. So I’m asking!

So for the next month, exactly (how’d I time that?!), please feel free to randomly ask “did you have a pop today?” That would help me!

Yesterday was Day #1…one day at a time.

(source)

Ahhhhh….

  

the brita is full and at the ready

 

Mmmmmm….

 

my s'bux stash is currently a mile high

 

 

 

Sooooo Tasty!

Any addictions you wish to share?! I don’t judge, trust me!

My VFBF

We started out as little neighbourhood playmates:

jan or feb, 1973 - hours upon hours were spent in outdoor play!

We were the first invites to each other’s birthday parties:

jan '74, my 4th birthday party

jan '76, my 6th birthday party

Together, we experienced our 15 Minutes of Fame at a Teddy Bear Picnic:

clipping from the k-w record newspaper, july '76 (thank goodness my mom was particular about dating photos and such!)

There were annual family outings to Sauble Beach or Grand Bend

L to R: mrs m, wanda, me, mom, joanne, the brother, my dad (mr m must have taken the photo!)

…and the traditional New Year’s Eve sleepover parties:

laughter > sleep time!

…and 10,001 other days spent together that were never captured by camera (click here to read about Memories of Swimming Lessons, for instance!).

Now flashforward a whole bunch of years…

Place: The Huether

Time: after work

Date: yesterday

Who: yours truly and her Very First Best Friend (VFBF from here on out)…

...joanne! (even though jo has gone by her formal name of johanna for many, many years now, she will always be joanne, to me!

Despite having over 1.5 hours at our disposal, and chatting/sharing/laughing non-stop, VFBF Joanne and I barely cracked the surface of possible discussion topics!

pausing the chatter just long enough for a photo opp!

Happily, we both agreed that last eve’s visit is the first of many to come. Soul Sisters reunited!

self-portraits can't be beat!

we've come a long way, baby!

*#*#*#*#*

You knew it.

I knew it.

They knew it.

Welcome home, Baby!!!

meg and leif are PARENTS!

Baby Robin is in da house! [This time, I needed no assistance to come up with a name: “Robin” is fitting for spring and, also, YOU can decide – boy or girl?!!]

…but Meg and Leif are not pet owners.

And that’s OK by the landlord (aka me).

But, you say, what if FOUR plates are needed?? After all, three is an odd number…

Well, Meg, Leif and Baby Robin will simply jet off for a vacation:

that's a complete set!

*#*#*#*#*

Winter returned with a vengeance overnight:

truly craptastic

It made my heart turn to Christmas, obviously, as I purchased my first xmas gift for December 2011! Can’t say for who, can’t say what. But Operation Christmas 2011 is underway!

Do you buy gifts ahead of time, or only right before the occasion?  For my mom, Christmas stocking stuffer buying is a year-round activity!

Preoccupied with Pretend People

Last evening, I went over to visit BFF Debbie (who is not an imaginary person).

file photo, as they would say in the newspaper!

Knowing me all too well, Debbie had saved a very special and extremely exciting (to me) newspaper clipping:

i hope you can at least read the headline, here...

YES!!! YOU CAN KNIT YOUR VERY OWN ROYAL FAMILY!!!

Debbie’s friend Dawna had passed the clipping on to her – I don’t know how Dawna got her hands on it, as it’s from the “Daily Mail,” obviously a British newspaper.

Anyway, my inner knitter kept squealing in delight as I closely examined the photos and accompanying article.

(How’s this for punny: the very first sentence reads, “If you’re needled about not being invited to the royal wedding…”

L to R: prince william and kate, the queen, prince philip, even the royal corgis!

the royal groom and bride

joining the queen and prince philip, we even have camilla, prince charles and prince harry!

When I got home, I immediately looked up the website for the pattern - the article says you can order the pattern book online for £9.99 (no idea what this would be in Canadian dollars, but it’d be worth every penny).

(source)

Needless to say, the book is currently sold out; last night the link to Amazon showed “out of stock.” Just now, I see they have updated the page, and the book will be available March 31st.

Will I order the book and knit up my own royal family? In all honesty, no.

Unfortunately, I loathe and detest knitting dolls. There are so many colour changes involved, and it’s incredibly detailed and time consuming work, as you can well imagine.

Plus, I would want my dolls to turn out EXACTLY as they appear in the photos provided – since the samples were (I’m sure) made by a professional – after who knows how many tries – I’m pretty certain my version would not look nearly as cute. Also, I’d be more tempted to knit The Family if the pattern book was available as a kit, with the yarn and embellishments all-included.

Lastly, I don’t know what I’d do with the set, once completed! I guess you could re-create the display, and have The Family serve as decoration?? Would that be too too kitschy, though?

Look what else caught my eye on Amazon:

Royal Wedding: William and Kate Dress-up Dolly Book (Royal Wedding 2011)(source)

Paper dolls were SO my thing when I was little! In fact, I still have my entire collection – I’ll do a show and tell some day.

I do love the knitted royal family – the designer, Fiona Goble, has created a masterpiece of sheer brilliance. So glad you passed along this clipping, Debbie!

*#*#*#*#*

So I was walking by Bon Mot yesterday and did a double take.

note the bottom left-hand corner there...

Remember Meg and Leif?

The have very nicely adjusted to life together in the Condo Casa.

I thought it was bad enough when they proposed bringing home a kittie…

…but a BABY???!!! My head is spinning!

how adorable!

Whoa, Nelly!!!

I don’t know, guys…

Are Meg and Leif ready to jump into parenthood??? Kittiehood?? Please don’t even suggest BOTH! :)

*#*#*#*#*

Later today I am meeting up with my VFBF: Very First Best Friend. (She is not an imaginary person). I can’t wait!! Recap tomorrow!

Who was your VFBF?

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