Monthly Archives: April 2012

“printemps” stitch n kitsch

my transformation into becoming a hippie is progressing nicely, thanks to saturday’s outing to the spring stitch n kitsch sale:

yahoo!

this was my THIRD visit to my most favourite show/sale on the entire planet. (you can read about my stitch n kitsch discovery here and about the second trip – a new experience with mom! – here).

we lucked out that i happened to finish work on saturday at 3 pm instead of the usual 4 pm, so mom and i had some extra time together (never a bad thing).

our afternoon started on a sour note. you will not believe this tale of woe: remember my new peacock feather earrings? well, i wore them FOR THE FIRST TIME on friday eve to knitting club, and before i even got to shall we knit, i had lost one:

one lonely earring is all i have left

mom and i popped into earthwinds so that i could purchase another pair…and they had none in exactly that style. wah. happily, we managed to turn our luck around at stitch n kitsch.

as per usual, right inside the front entrance was studioloo, home to gorgeous yarn. the first skein to catch my eye:

look at the skein on the right: "indigo tie dye" - love! and how cool is it to name a colour "hipster?" that's right: cool kids knit!

we made our first purchase (ok, mom bought me a treat) 46 seconds later when i spotted this magnet:

"hippie van driving in the mountains," i am calling it

artist kym posed graciously for the blog!

you should see the colour and whimsy in each of her creations!

i loved the message on this piece of art:

i would hang this in the kitchen!

just like last time, mom and i did a tour of the room to see everything, then we went around again to do some buying [we deviate from this plan when we see something like the magnet that we adore too much to pass by on the inital go-’round].

we admired how this jewellery artist displayed her necklaces, draped over the huge glass jars!

now THAT'S a pair of moccasins! item for the christmas list

love that fabric! unfortunately, the dress was a child's size 5-6! i would totally wear a *something* made from that material.

wouldn't it be great to sport 5-6 of these colourful bracelets, all at once?!

we’ll pause here for a philosophical intermission:

this vendor also prints meaningful expressions on her display cards

so, back in december, mom bought me a pair of tie-dye undies. i wear them every single week, and they are always in the wash when i do laundry. in december, i said to mom that i would buy a tie-dyed cami at the spring sale. well, we were seriously worried for a moment, because we did not see the tie-dye booth! but then we did find it, so all was good. meet julia of green cocoon!

that's my new cami!

we had the best time chatting with julia. then mom said i needed another pair of undies (you don’t argue with your mom when it comes to underwear):

thanks, mom! (posing with undies -> it's all about the blog!!!!)

…and i selected the item i will get at the next show:

building my tie-dye collection slowly but surely. (this is the same tee that julia is wearing in the photo, above).

i had worn my pin-up girl hair barrette (picked up back in december) specifically today…

it gets a lot of wear!

one-of-a-kind!

…but sadly, the vendor was not at the show this time.

however, i DID find more hair clips!

guess which one i chose!

guess which pair i chose? (turquoise vs baby blue!)

it was two for $10 (a steal or what) and i went with the GINGHAM RED with YELLOW BUTTON clip and the BABY BLUE flowered bobby pins. they will be fun for summer. the artist is vanessa from this little bird.

we finished up back at the yarns. check out a few more names of colour shades – they crack me up:

L to R, that would be "less is more," "valentine lingerie," and "sweet transvestite" - this is not your g'ma's yarn stash!

i got a flash of inspiration for a future knitting project…but for some reason, my camera conked out right at the moment i was trying to capture the yarn, so you’ll have to wait for the explanation/description for eight months! i thoroughly enjoyed the in-depth knitting conversation i had with mat from manspun as my brainwave came together!

mom and i convened to s’bux, right next door since we still had not chatted ourselves out, and we desperately needed a drink fizzy water and a blueberry bar:

the camera miraculously revived itself!

what a great afternoon. and you can bet that our calendars are already marked for stitch n kitsch’s winter sale!

i can't believe there is a cardinal on that "save the date" card - that is my karmically-correct bird!

if you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be? it is only fitting to end with a hippie-dippy question, today!

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officially goofy

do you remember seeing those ads that used to run on tv where a hyper, unseen announcer would thrust a microphone in front of an ecstatic, celebrity athlete and bellow, “troy aikman! you just won the super bowl! what are you going to do next??!!” and the practically incoherent mega-superstar would yell, bug-eyed, “I’M GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!” before continuing on with his victory arm-pumps and man-hugs with his equally-frenzied team-mates?

well, my current level of excitement is right on par with these guys. cuz…guess who is going to celebrate her birthday next january in disney? me, yes, me!!

(source)

here’s the backstory:

the first time i ever heard of goofy’s race and a half challenge was the first winter i worked at the store. janice came in to the wednesday eve run club one cold, winter night with three rockin’ huge medals dangling from her neck – she was freshly returned from completing the goofy. we all ooh-ed and aah-ed over the super-cute hardware, and i was all ears as janice described her weekend of fun down at disney. i made a note to self: add this travel adventure to my life bucket list.

fast-forward to this past november, or so. various friends at the store started discussing disney 2013 and how a group trip was in the making. a facebook page was established, and i joined, just to stay in the loop as i debated whether i could make a visit to disney a reality for january 2013.

[tangent: typing this post, i sometimes feel like i am composing another april fool’s joke -> but, trust me, this plan is for real!]

i debated the pros and cons, my mind veering from YIPPEE thoughts to the YIKES. on the plus side:

  • a travel opportunity that is not too expensive nor too long in duration
  • a travel opportunity with a group of people i know and like
  • a travel opportunity to florida, my natural habitat, a state i love and adore
  • a travel opportunity that involves running
  • a travel opportunity on the weekend after my birthday
  • a quick get-away escape from january in canada
  • a chance to see all of disney’s parks
  • a chance to train for a specific event: disney is also about the journey, not just the destination
  • MEDALS!! a TSHIRT!!! LAUGHTER-FILLED FUN TIMES!!! (i am not joking when i say these are my three primary goals of completing the goofy)

the potential downsides all included hypothetical what if’s:

  • what if training doesn’t go as planned?
  • what if the weather is horrible that weekend?
  • what if there are flight delays, hotel snafus, race kit pickup blunders??…
  • etc

as you can see, the negatives are largely things beyond my control. (for training, i plan to be smart and do my best). still, i wasn’t 100% sure about disney…i askedvarious friends and family members for their input (thumbs up!), then decided to wait for karma to work its magic (after all, isn’t magic a major disney theme?!) and wait for *a sign.*

easter sunday eve, i got home from our family celebration and found an email:

“time to sign up there girl. come aboard. you can room with c and me.”

bingo. right then and there i made up my mind to just do it. life is too short to be worried by what if’s.

disney registration opened last week, and last monday eve (monday april 9th -> 9th day of the month = birthday date = good karma), i signed myself up.

(source)

i’m going to disney and i’m going to be goofy!!

show me the bliiiiiinnnnggg!!!

(source)

have you ever been to disney (in florida)? my one and only visit was our family vacation when i was nine/in grade three. this was pre-epcot, even!

photos from my album - we hit disney during a cold spell, back in 1979!

i am appreciative of any tips, websites, must-see disney places that you can recommend! at this point, i most want to see cinderella’s castle, again – haha!!

[sidenote: i have planned a number of running-related blog posts for the remaining days of the blogging from a-z april challenge; however, this blog is not about to turn into a training log book – that’s not my style! for example, you may or may not hear about disney again until i do up the race report next january!].

no stopping monday

IT’S BOSTON MARATHON MONDAY!!!! (yes, it is necessary to yell – boston marathon monday makes me very hyper and giddy!).

(source)

today, i have a fun boston memento to show you:

this poster was stapled to just about every hydro pole along the race route

i keep that sign upstairs in the walk-in closet, and it is one of my most treasured keepsakes of participating in the boston marathon [i don’t remember which year it came into my possession].

all three years, what would happen is that brian and brad (my travel companions) would drive me into hopkinton and we would hang out (i lucked out with great weather, all three years) until the start of the race at 12 noon (today, they have wave starts; when i ran, we all started at noon). while i ran, brian and brad would drive back into boston, have lunch, goof around, and meet up with me when i was done.

one year, the guys decided to steal “help themselves” to a “no stopping monday” sign – they presented it to me at the end of the race, and we all got a good chuckle out of now owning a *hot* sign.

i love the double-meaning of “no stopping monday” – yes, the intent is to keep the race course free of vehicular traffic, but i’d rather apply the slogan to motivate the runners. just go, go, go, people!!

so, while i treasure my race jacket…

wish i had thought to purchase the jacket all three years!

the official tshirts:

long sleeve, 100% cotton!

and the medals…

they hang in the closet upstairs, too!

…”no stopping monday” fills my heart with joy in a special way.

~*~*~*~*

i would like to wish the very, very best of race experiences to my friends from the store who are running boston today. donna, dexter, robert, teresa, jen, val…may the force be with you! may the wind be at your back! may you enjoy every painful after 20 miles powerful step of this historic and amazing course. i want to take each of you out for coffee asap upon your return so that you can share every gory detail with great depth about your race – you each will have a unique story, and i want to hear it all!

[on purpose, i have not delved into boston marathon history or any race day specifics, today – that is what google is for! but i have talked about boston each year on this blog – here is the 2010 post, here is the 2011 post. and, it appears that i have shown you a pic of my boston tattoo each year. let’s not mess with tradition!].

another unique treasure!

~*~*~*~*~

do you know anyone running boston today? yes! i will look up the results online, tonight!

have you run boston? yes! it is the world series of marathoning, without a doubt.

does marathon-talk bore you to tears? no way! luckily, talking about running is all in day’s work!

🙂

ETA: it’s supposed to hit 88 degrees F in boston today! the BAA has offered a deferral to next year for anyone wishing to take advantage of that option. if it was me, i would still run – that’s all a part of racing -> you take the conditions you are dealt, and you adjust accordingly.

movie review

when i found out that our half-marathon instructor at the store would be showing this movie…

(source)

…to his clinic members, i couldn’t believe my lucky ears! i’ve been itching to see this running-themed documentary since it first came out in 2007. unfortunately, i was working the night of their movie-watching or i would have totally crashed their party, but luckily, derek owns the spirit of the marathon, and even MORE wonderful is that he was very willing to lend me his dvd over easter weekend.

good friday evening, after a hard day of organizing and cleansing [um, ok….i actually did not start cleaning until 3 pm. i got about 2/5 of what i had anticipated doing, done. what can i say? among other diversions (coffee with kate!), my creative powers were on HIGH, and blog ideas were oozing from my fingertips – i couldn’t let that momentum slip away. and i DID make noticeable cleaning progress…now i’ll just have more *fun* for another day] i rewarded myself with a movie night.

i love running stories. i don’t think i have watched a running documentary since january 2011 when i watched the dvd the long green line, lent to me by gina. [here is my blog entry about that film. tangent – wordpress is really cool -> did you know that it has an inner google system – i can just type in key words, like “running, movie, gina” and it will deliver the blog post i am looking for. genius! after 600+ blog posts, i am very grateful for this feature].

back to spirit of the marathon…oh, what a touching and exciting movie! if you are a runner, you will be inspired by the training aspect (the film follows 5-6 marathoners as they prep for the chicago ‘thon; a couple are first-timers, two are elites – deena kastor seems like such a sweet person). if running is not your *thang,* you will appreciate the life lessons of perseverance, goal-setting, and benefits of group support. i dare you to finish the movie with dry eyes! (and it was the back-of-the-pack finishers who choked me up rather than the elites – their stunning finishes will send shivers down your spine). dad – there is even a father-daughter combo older than us who finish hand-in-hand!

movie rating: ***1/2 (three point five stars) out of a possible four.

i can see why derek has this dvd in his library. it’d be great viewing for the night before a big race. might this be a christmas list item for next december???!

final thought: spirit of the marathon is the perfect name for this documentary. watching it reminds us of just how running is a metaphor for life, and how completing a marathon is not purely a physical feat.

what’s your favourite type of documentary? i like anything involving people. wordplay was neat, as was mad hot ballroom. i avoid any animal kingdom or military/war stuff, though.

any other running-themed movie recommendations? run fatboy run was pretty amusing; believe it or not, i am not that huge a fan of “run, forrest, run.”

~*~*~*~*~

today marks the half way point of the blogging from a-z challenge! hey, this is a cool coincidence: the blogging challenge includes writing 26 blog posts; running a marathon involves finishing 26 miles!

lust, love, like, loathe

lately…

i am lusting after:

~ this ford fiesta 4-door hatchback:

whoever dreamed up that colour is a genius!

is this not the most fun little compact vehicle you have ever seen in your entire life?!! that photo is of the very car that was purchased recently by a friend-of-a-friend, and it is just about the most perfect car out i have ever seen. the colour is fantastic, and i love its adore its cute little shape and size. the best thing: you can get it with heated seats! (i will never buy another car without heated seats – i use that feature from september through june, and it is pure bliss). i have no need of a new car today, but this is my dream car of the future!

~these lululemon running tights that one of my colleagues at the store wore to work last week. i practically ripped them right off of her. i have just spent >20 minutes googling and searching online for a photo, and i am stumped ->cannot locate (they’re not the wunder under pants or the groove pants. dorry, help!). the tights are black, fitted, look incredibly comfortable and the pockets on the sides of the legs are a unique design feature. i will ask my co-worker for more details the next time i see her – or ask her to sell them to me!

~

(source)

🙂

i am loving…

~ the whole concepts of life possibilities and shape your own destiny, to be all zen-y and new age-y for a second. life is a highway an open roadway and it’s so easy to keep on going down the straight and narrow. on any given day, though, we have the option of taking an offramp. choosing a new direction is exciting…and a little scary! we can’t predict what will happen, and we need courage and faith to break off our current path. instead of overthinking, just do it! each day is a new day just waiting to be lived.

~ using my foam roller daily – even if i only have 87 seconds to quick roll out my glutes and legs, it’s worth it.

~ that mom gave me an easter card (well, mom AND dad, although i know mom did the choosing):

i am betting this is a find from "write impressions!"

now i am going to campaign for the return of the easter bunny!

i am liking…

~ wearing my hairband like a hippie + aviator sunglasses + big earrings:

expect to see a lotttt of this look - plus more earthy fashion add-ons! - over the course of 2012! 'tis the look i'm digging!

~ the novel “baby proof” by emily giffin. i went to the library, hoping to find “something blue,” the sequel to “something borrowed.” something blue was already loaned out, so i picked up baby proof. it’s just ok. so far, i am not as massively caught up in the plot as i was with something blue. but, i intend to keep reading – it’s still quite enjoyable, and i want to see what happens with the characters and the storyline.

~ top chef canada, season two: right from the first episode, i noted improvements from season one – the pace is quicker, the contestants diverse, the *cheese* factor has lessened…this is highly entertaining tv viewing!

i am loathing:

~ my current shampoo:

a new-to-me hairwashing product

i picked up this bottle on sale, at shoppers, and it’s the perfect example of “you get what you pay for.” the powerful scent is positively cloying. i get a whiff of cheap/fake vanilla + coconut milk every time i turn my head, for a good 12-24 hours post-wash. plus, the shampoo itself is overly-creamy and leaves my hair limp-ish. never again!

~ “upright XXL:” i only ever listen to z103.5 when i have the radio on. i love the dance music and the announcers’ personalities and banter. however, there is one severely annoying ad that keeps getting played, and it’s for a…er, male enhancement product, if you catch my drift (no way am i linking to the actual name of the pill, there). granted, i am completely the wrong demographic (not to mention sex) of the targeted consumer, but this ad is just really cringe-inducing and gross!

~ the price of gas:

as of easter sunday

and to think i was complaining back when a litre cost $1.2x…and, from what i hear, gas prices should hit $1.40 within a few months. yikes!

and you? got a love, like, loathing or lusting to share?! i know my mom is loving that it’s baseball season again, and she can watch her beloved blue jays in action!

knitting – duh

so did you really think i would do anything other than talk about knitting today? i thought not. happy to live up to your expectations!

i have a mishmash of knitting projects to chat about. let’s start with the log cabin blanket, since that throw was the last project completed:

i am as tired of showing you this project as you are of seeing it, but yet another snapshot is necessary for continuity of story.

this blanket will be part of the quilt auction on saturday, may 26th, out at the new hamburg mcc relief sale. if tradition holds true, mom and dad and i will go to the preview the evening before to look at all the works of art (because, really, that’s what the stitched quilts are).

this is the third contribution i have made to the sale. here is a photo of the pattern of submission #1:

i remember i chose the lighthouse theme because it reminded me of goderich!

i didn’t write down a date for when this blanket was part of the auction; maybe around 2003?

i sure got to know this chart very well after umpteen repeats!

the second blanket was a mosaic pattern:

the geometric shapes and the fabulous colour scheme sold me on trying this pattern

a close-up of the design

when i made this blanket, i used the same colour shades as in the book, there, and the yarn was purchased at (the now defunct) “cloth & clay” in uptown waterloo. i DID date this pattern, and it was part of the quilt auction in 2005.

what is next? well!…it depends on how insane i am how much i want to be challenged! my eye keeps coming back to this kaffe fassett pattern that i have in one of his books in my knitting library:

i love that photo - the english cottage, the blanket tossed from the window, kaffee's carefree grin (haha, he's so happy cuz he finished the darn blanket - joke!)

a close-up - check out the complexity of colour + design!

my hesitation to embark on this project is due to a couple of factors: 1) sourcing the yarn: there are over 25 colourways involved, and i imagine it would cost between $500-$1000 for yarn alone (no len’s mill specials would suffice for this masterpiece).  2) the mind-bending nature of the pattern – i for sure would NOT be reading and knitting while *whipping up* this creation:

here's a snippet of the chart you follow!

3) the time that would be needed to complete this project -> i am guess-timating a year? it would be a whole life-consuming kikiproject in and of itself!

can you imagine how amazing the finished product would look, though?!

~*~*~*~*~

i love and adore making baby blankets. they give me an excuse to use variegated yarn (my favourite type), insanely small needles, i can work on them and read at the same time, and then i like having the blankets on hand to give as gifts whenever a friend pops a baby. i had been working on a blanket which i set aside in order to focus on the log cabin blanket. i have now returned to the cast-aside baby blanket:

THAT'S THE LAST BALL OF YARN!!

because i cannot resist a challenge, i have given myself the deadline of april 30th for finishing this blanket. it will be a one-of-a-kind: never again am i going to do an entirely seed stitch blanket on 2 mm needles.

once done, i HAVE to take a break from making baby blankets – look at the stash i have accumulated!

people! have more babies, please!

at least yarn does not have a “best before” date! but i seriously DO have to back off from the baby blankets.

~*~*~*~*~

in september, when mom and i attended the annual knitter’s fair (blog recap here), we found an awesome deal on red heart yarn. i bought three humungous balls of orange (total bill? $11.00):

each ball is 350 g so they are larger than they appear

my intent was to make…a baby blanket (groan). change in plan! i’ve decided to make myself a sweater! orange is my favourite colour, i have orange sweatshirts but no orange sweater…this is a good idea!

i have narrowed down my options to remakes of two sweaters i already have:

#1 –

minus the toy soldiers - don't you love her 80s hair and earrings?!

…which would be an update of…

this pullover that mom made me in high school - i still wear it!

#2 –

not quite so blatantly 80s...although the pattern is also from that era

…which would be an update of…

this yellow number that i wore on easter sunday; i made this pullover, yes, in high school!

i’ll putter around with the tensions and see which pattern will work best – i have no strong feelings one way or the other. i just want an orange sweater!

we’ll stop there. knitting is one of those things about which i could go on and on and on!…

i kan’t kome up with any kool kwestions today. i guess you kould komment if you knit. i know a few of you do!

java joints with kate and juanita!

i’ve got no preamble for you today, i just want to start talking!

on good friday afternoon, i fairly sprinted down the street, so eager was i to pay my first visit to death valley’s little brother, my hood’s latest coffee spot.

a very unassuming storefront: there is no highly visible signage, only the wood-framed blackboard that you see on the left, there

glad they were open for good friday - our back-up spot was tim horton's which does not have quite the same ambiance!

i arrived a few minutes early so that i could snap some photos – i had a feeling this place would be pretty unique. and i was right! [i was really wishing i had a fancy camera that could take panoramic photos; you cannot capture a vast area with a point ‘n’ shoot!]. the space was A LOT larger inside than i had anticipated – the room extends to the back quite impressively.

the communal work table, immediately to your right, upon entering...

care for a seat in a vintage theatre chair??

blackboard drawings (notations? doodlings?) on the back wall...

who puts a piano in a whiskey + coffee bar?!

see the whiskey, see the coffee and tea choices...

i like the artsy yet also symmetrical arrangement of cups - very pleasing to my type a eye

first impression: wow, this is one hip and cool spot. seriously, dvlb exudes the type of “confident in its unconventionalism” atmosphere found in toronto’s best indy coffee shops [there are two in the brother and sil ana’s area that i am using as my reference points]. when i arrived at dvlb, nearly every table was filled, but the room was tranquil…honestly, the adjective “hip” is how i can best describe this place, and that’s the ultimate in compliments.

so, who was i meeting? cousin kate! when i put out the call for someone to go to dvlb with me, kate was the first to volunteer!

our first-ever coffee visit, together!

i was so honoured that kate could meet up on friday…because it was her 30th birthday! it was a joy to spend an hour of celebration with my oldest cousin.

from my photo album archives: april, 1982 -> my first time holding my brand new - and much cherished! - cousin kate.

i picked a rooibos tea to drink. it came served up in one of those china mugs. locals, be forewarned – the only sweeteners available at dvlb are honey or sugar. how *cool!*

i can’t wait to return – i’d love to hang out at that work table and blog an afternoon away. or chat with a friend and sip a hot beverage.

🙂

~*~*~*~*~

(easter) saturday morning found me at the opposite end of uptown’s section of king street – back at “the old faithful…”

so corporate!

our uptown s’bux was renovated within the past month – gone is the comfy couch, the series of small work tables lining the far wall, and the old earth-toned colour scheme. instead, we find:

new artwork...

single seating where the "friends"-type couch used to reside

i commend s’bux for keeping the colour scheme muted (thank goodness it’s not fastfood red + yellow) but in chatting with friends, we all agree that the vibe has gone from “make us your office-away-from home!” to “we want you to enjoy your coffee…in 37 minutes then kindly take your leave.” the fresh paint, updated paintings and new furniture are very nice, however.

so who was i meeting? childhood friend juanita!

our first visit in nearly 20 years!

i was so excited to see juanita. i can best describe our relationship as “ebb and flow.” we became best chums back in grade four, and our friendship was solid right through grade eight. then, we went to different high schools and lost touch. the first day of university orientation, juanita and i met on the lawns of u of w -> we discovered we were in the same program and even had courses together over the next two years. we lost touch again a few years after university (except for annual xmas card exchanges). then, facebook reconnected us almost two years ago, followed by this blog!

back when i requested input for what i could do for this year’s kikiproject, it was juanita who blog-commented, and suggested meeting up with 42 friends. [i loved this idea, but thought there was no way i could find 42 people to go out with, so i modified the goal to twelve. well, now 42 seems not so unattainable!].

juanita’s bday is also in april, so i thought a reunion this month would be fitting.

speaking of birthdays…

at my 10th bday party: juanita, me, gina!

12th birthday! that is vfbf joanne in the back; juanita is beside me in the front

it was so awesome to chat with juanita – our conversation flowed and it sure did not seem like eons had passed since we last saw each other. with true friends you can just pick right up from where you last left off, regardless of the passage of time.

~*~*~*~*~

who was your very first best friend? the story of vfbf joanne is documented here! going back to juanita…she has a younger brother, and he and MY brother became best friends their very first day of kindergarten when they stood side-by-side in line to go into school and noticed that they were both wearing the very same pair of star wars shoes. you just never know when or how you’ll meet a friend.

it was a lovely easter sunday

our family gathered together over the late afternoon/dinner hour. mom always finds the cutest seasonal touches for the table!

the girls' accessorized from g'ma's collection...

and made sure to include aunti, as well!

g'ma's piano is fascinating! (and loud!)

the easter bunny (aka g'pa & g'ma) found little e and cutie c in waterloo! this colouring activity makes stained glass pictures - the easter bunny knows that anything princesse-themed is always a hit.

mom baked her annual loaves of paska on saturday - this has been a family tradition since 1973!

with MY grandma (who will be 90 next month!)

mom and dad/the host and hostess; two thumbs up to dad on his smashing new shirt!

you do not try to over-pose a 5 year old and a 2 year old! the brother, sil ana, little e, cutie c.

cousins kate and alex with sharon and paul!

carving and slicing...

the traditional seated-around-the-table-portrait. we sit, we snap photos, we eat!

hoping the easter bunny was good to you and your loved ones, too!

HOW are we doing at the three month mark??

welcome to the third checkpoint in this year’s 12 days of kiki challenge!

as things happened, over the past month i was able to focus on a few of the more neglected portions of this year’s project. let me show you the progress for month #3!

1. record at least one positive thing every day in my gratitude journal/excel spreadsheet.

(source)

a quick glance shows anywhere from 1-5 entries per day. most days have at least two positive notations.

2. babysit little e and cutie c two times so that the brother and sil ana can enjoy a significant date or special event.

(source)

oh, this was a fun friday, march the 16th! i recapped my time with little e and cutie c here!

a good time was had by all

3. blog three times per week (monday-wednesday-friday). modified on february 13th to: leave a comment on a minimum of three blogs, every day. ok, i have to confess i missed a day. :/ on one of the march sundays, i forget exactly which one, i think i only left one blog comment. i do remember i was not in the mood that day to leave a gratuitous comment on a popular girl’s random blog, and as luck would have it, none of my blog friends posted a new entry, that day. so, i am declaring my mulligan. blogfriends, please post on sundays, and help out a blend.

now, here’s a serendipitous moment to note: if i had not modified this goal, i would not be participating in the blogging from a-z april challenge (which i am truly enjoying). i love when things work out like this!

4. run four (point two) km…times ten. i did not accomplish this goal this month – and had no intentions of so doing!

5. eat five wildly decadent and delicious desserts.

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ok, for this entry, blogger’s license is in effect:

entry #1: yogen fruz vanilla yogurt with choco chips and oreo cookie toppings

now, you may look at this treat and go, “that is not wildly decadent!” and i would respond with, “you are correct!” however, it’s my blog and my project, so there i am taking into account the entire situation involved with the consumption of this delightful afternoon snack: it was enjoyed with mom and dad on a sunday aft, up at conestoga mall. we were laughing and chatting and enjoying our yogen früz choices, and that whole picture is what earns the fro yo its “delicious” designation. cuz it was divinely tasty!

6. finish a minimum of six knitting projects.

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the joy i felt at completing the malabrigo yarn log cabin blanket has been well documented – here is the last blog post in that progression series. so, knitting entry #1 was accompanied by a huge sense of satisfaction at the quality of the final product, the enjoyment of the knitting process…and the earlier-than-expected completion date!

it's going to be hard to top this project!

7. read seven books, and hopefully more.

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on march 31st, i completed emily giffin’s novel, “something borrowed.” this was book #3/7, and honestly, i would not have anticipated that i’d be on track for a book a month. [this is slow progress for many of you, but since i only read before bed, i am surprised at the status of this project]. this novel was fantastic! i might even dare to say it is the best chick lit read i have ever enjoyed. i gave it **** (four stars) in my reading log. the main character, rachel, is incredibly likeable, and despite the fact that what she is doing is *wrong,* (having an affair with her best friend’s fiancé), i could not dislike her for her actions. this book is an easy read, hard to put down, and now i have to see the movie (thanks, gina, for letting me know that one exists!) and read the sequel, “something blue.”

8. perform eight random acts of kindness. i exhibited no outward displays of kindness over the past 30 days.

9. watch nine different and new-to-me tv shows (either online, on dvd, or on tv). i watched no new tv shows this month; however, i did see a movie at the princess, and i watched a dvd at home (review coming to you on saturday). my goal for this coming month is to finally crack open season one of “the big bang theory.” i have had poor nicole’s dvd sitting on my kitchen counter for a good three months. i am sick of looking at it, and she likely would like it back, so i intend to get into this show asap!

10. refrain from chewing gum for ten months.

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i have no interesting insider’s tidbits to share. we’re just rolling along boringly nicely.

11. abstain from drinking diet pop (any pop) for eleven months.

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in eight months, i can have a diet coke!!! i already told mom that the very first day i can have a pop, i am sooooooo doing it. i don’t think she was that impressed…on a positive note, while i can’t say that the thought of a diet coke repulses me, i can say that the thought of chugging back a pop is distasteful. that is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. i do feel proud of being 90 days clean – i think i need a badge.

12. meet with at least twelve different friends for a social get-together.

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once again, this project was my very favourite part of the 12 days of kiki.

outing #13:

with friend and neighbour katie @ s'bux!

outing #14:

with little e! (a special after-school treat at a local coffee - er, choco chip cookie - shop!)

outing #15:

with cousin kate @ "death valley's little brother" (in-depth review on this new coffee spot coming wednesday!"

outing #16:

with juanita @ s'bux! (you will see juanita again on wednesday!)

and there you have it – the quarterly report has been filed. thanks for reading along!

pick a number from 1-12 of something that YOU completed lately! reading, knitting, coffee shop-ing, r.a.o.k.-ing…fill me in!

george and marshmallow

ours was not a pet-centric family. no parade of cats, dogs, mice, parakeets for us – it was just two parents and two kids inhabiting our suburban bungalow, back in the 70s. except for one brief interlude! the era of george and marshmallow:

i think my very body language speaks volumes, here - not exactly at ease around furry creatures! (thanks, mom, for noting the date in my photo album!).

[how completely appropriate that i can reminisce about bunny rabbits on easter weekend!]

as you can see, george and marshmallow became a part of our family when the brother and i were about ages four and seven, respectively. thinking back, i don’t recall clamouring for a pet, or begging my parents to get us a cute and cuddly something that we could name, play with and pet (after all, why else have an animal in the house when you are little? it was certainly not for the desire to spill out their food, clean up their poop, or discipline them).

since my memories of george and marshmallow are more impressionistic rather than detailed, i emailed mom and asked her how/why george and marshmallow ended up in our family. i’ll share mom’s account:

You and your brother asked for/campaigned for a pet, some kind of pet, and one that you could pet, so no fish aquarium  again. Since this mama was not about to include a dog or cat in the household, we tried to think of an alternative.  It was actually [some family friends] who mentioned the possibility of a rabbit.  Mrs B’s brother, I forget his name, had a Bunny Business.  So we drove to their mini farm, just outside of Waterloo, and you and your brother chose your bunnies from the stock available.  George was named after the George and Martha books, and you named yours Marshmallow because it was all white.  I did not see the necessity of you having pets, to be honest.  I thought that you could get that desire fulfilled second-hand at either [family friends] the M’s or the C’s.  But I caved and George and Marshmallow took up residence in the – I can’t believe this – garage.  Dad built little hutches, and you and your brother fed them faithfully.  I remember adding extra lettuce and carrots to our grocery order.  I do not remember who cleaned the cages, but it was not me.  Must have been Dad.

whatever became of george and marshmallow, you ask? again, let’s let mom tell the story…

After they seemed to run their course/wear out their welcome, we took them to the C’s farm where they resided for a very short span of time before a wily Mr. Fox found them.  Mr C did not know how to share this info because he thought that you would be very sad and upset.  But, as I remember it, you and your brother took the news quite well [we did – i do not remember being heartbroken – sorry!].  And that was the end of the can-we-have-a-pet era.  I remember that my favourite line was, “If a dog (or cat) moves in, I move out,”  and fortunately you thought it was better to have a live-in mommy than a live in animal.

it’s funny what sticks in your head – the biggest memory i have of george and marshmallow is of the smell! to this day, i can clearly recall the stench distinct odour of the rabbits’ cage. i swear our garage retained the scent of rabbit poop for many, many years.

pets: feel free to share the who/what/where/when/why/how of your childhood! our other caring-for-a-pet exposure was for my favourite dog, ever!

darling gretel! note the increased level of comfort level i am exhibiting!

we would take care of dad’s boss’ miniature schnauzer from time to time – long weekends, summer vacations, winter get-away weeks. gretel is the only dog i have never feared, even a tiny bit.

temporary dog-sitting - it was the perfect scenario for our family