Tag Archives: social outing

knit two together

if it’s the second saturday in september, that can mean one thing and one thing only:

knitter’s fair!!!

i love how this is the third recap that i have in my blog records of my favourite annual outing with mom. (the 2010 report is here! the 2011 account can be viewed here!).

mom and i figured out that we have been attending the knitter’s fair every year since [we think] 1994. we have only missed ONE year (2002) when i was away on a vacation! we are very proud of our track record. this year was one of the wettest, weather-wise (the rain was BUCKETING down when i got up in the morning; happily, by early aft, the sun was shining!).

9:30 a.m. – we’re ready to go!

9:31 a.m. – we’re ready to go! [i couldn’t decide which departure photo to use, we’ll just throw both in – haha!]

upon arriving at bingeman’s, we discovered that next year there will be a change in venue:

2013: see you at the aud in kitchener – the knitter’s fair has outgrown bingeman’s!

and something else new this year…

i want to know what happened to prompt this discontinuation! were children poking each other with knitting needles??!

mom and i have a touring method that we use every year: we circle each ballroom to see what’s available – we look only, except if we see a deal of the century, then we purchase immediately. i kid you not, booth number FIVE, and mom found the first deal-i-o of the day!

mom’s first purchase: seventeen balls of astra for $10! now that’s a bargoon!

variegated yarn is my weakness, and these skeins had a silver thread running through – file these under “perhaps!”

koigu yarn remains my favouritest – no purchase made as i can pick it up any time at “shall we knit,” should i so desire.

knitting humour!

only the brother will find this name as funny as i do! cracks me up every year!

i did not have any specific missions in mind, this year. if i happened to find a blanket to make for the mcc relief sale next may, that would be great; if i found sweaters for little e and cutie c, that would be bonus, but i was not searching for anything in particular…

i loved this PATTERN as an option for an mcc donation, but the finished size – about two feet square – was way too small!! too bad…

sadly, e and c are too big for the sweater kits we saw – all geared to the sub-two year old age group.

mom’s second purchase: four skeins of briggs & little for $20!

[mom’s intention for the day was to stock up on yarns for project linus blankets and prayer shawls…as you shall see, she should be set for the next twelve months!…]

a now-annual tradition! a photo with brenda (hi, brenda!) -> brenda made her sweater with leftover yarn – awesome creation, eh?!

mom’s third purchase! red heart – the orange (same as my sweater) for $2.50 a ball, the blue for $3.50 a ball – amazing! mom was on a real roll!

two more afghan possibilities???…

unfortunately, this design was for artistic purposes only – no pattern or kit available!…

i love LOVE loved this striking blanket/throw…but it was about 50% crochet…i do not crochet!

mom’s fourth purchase of the day! briggs & little, $4 a skein (NO TAX), any colour, any type!

whew, we needed a break at this point, as you can well imagine. a coffee/tea stop hit the spot! we also made a run back out to the rav to drop off the mega-bags we mom had accumulated. yarn is heavy!

regardless of the weather, i ALWAYS wear a handknit to the fair…my $4 sweater drew quite the compliments this year!

perfect strangers kept stopping me to comment on either the sweater colour or pattern – i proudly shared that the yarn cost me four bucks!

and the yarn of the year award goes to…this silk blend from zen yarn garden. oh my gosh, i have never felt yarn so soft, silky, luxurious…($35 a skein!!):

i wanted to curl up in this yarn and bury myself!

the “if-money-were-no-object” project…

i’d wear this bohemian sweater with my denim cut-off shorts and big loop earrings!

…but at ~$150 for the kit, i passed it by, boo hoo.

it took me a while to decide what i wanted to do…in the end, i concluded that the briggs & little deal was giving me the best vibe:

i will make two blankets! i’m envisioning lace creations…stay tuned!

mom’s fifth purchase! yet more briggs & little!

[the briggs & little vendor was absent last year. when we commented to the guy that we were so happy he was back, he said they will be returning EVERY year from now on as they are moving from quebec to ontario. yippee!].

the day’s celebrity moment: while we were lunching, featured guest speaker, the yarn harlot, passed within six feet of us! i totally chickened out of asking stephanie for a photo. i don’t know why??? i am not shy, but i couldn’t find the gumption to approach her! photo opp failure!

truly, all i want to do with my free time now is knit and read (i’m into jennifer weiner’s fly away home and sue grafton’s r is for ricochet) or knit and watch foodnetwork -> knitter’s fair always fires me up, creatively!

what a great, fun happy  saturday. our calendars are marked for next year (september 14th!).


btw, this is blog post number 700!! so…if i blog three times a day starting now, i could hit one thousand by my birthday!


going once, going twice…

last year, we nearly froze to death…

file photo: quilt auction preview, may 27.2012

…and this year, it was practically hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk a tractor!

with the catalogue of quilt offerings for 2012!

i’ll take this heat, thank you very much!

what a perfect evening:

here we are!

[i love and adore having a chronicle on this blog of social events! this is the third annual blog post about quilt auction preview night. here is the 2010 report, and here is the 2011 account!].

in looking back, i noticed that i followed the same format in my recap posts for each of the last two years. let’s stick with tradition – after all, that is what quilt auction preview eve is all about!

tradition #1: dad’s parking spot

what the what?? in other years, dad has chosen to manoeuvre his lexus into the most obscure and puny of parking *spots* imaginable. this year, we drove in, right away at least three empty spaces beckoned us over, and we had tons of room to fling open our doors!

look at all that s-p-a-c-e!!!

as we walked along, we were all laughing pretty hard as we played “eye spy” for spots that dad could have chosen:

this green triangle was my suggestion – dad could have nosed the lexus right alongside that blue bucket…

ah – we missed out! we would have been twenty paces closer had we only held out for this spot!

tradition #2: meat ‘n’ pie

dad made a beeline straight towards the burgers:

uh oh, check out the size of the line-up!

much too long of a wait for erv-man! second choice? french fries!

THIS is the way to enjoy fries: hot from the fryer, with ketchup and salt!

very, very tasty! good choice, dad. but fries are not made from meat…

dad later found a shorter burger line, so don’t worry that the poor man missed out on getting his protein. then, just before we went home…

cherry pie and ice cream! for $2.50, only!

after the french fry munching, mom and i took off in search of…

tradition #3: mom buys apple butter and jams


the prices are SO reasonable: mom got a huge jar of (straight from wellesley) apple butter for only $5!

jam, jam, where is the jam lady?


mom does make jam herself, but it’s fun to pick up some types that are rather unusual:

i think mom bypassed the dandelion variety, though!

tradition #4: the viewing of the quilts

next, mom and i ventured over to the quilt display. we had 206 works of art to view!

follow the arrows!

this year, instead of trying to capture an entire blanket, i have only smidgeons of quilts to share with you:

my favourite of the entire evening…

…it’s shown in its entirety on the front of the auction program. spectacular!

this quilt featured flowers, each block unique from the rest. i loved the detailing!

we noticed a definite return to traditional quilting techniques this year

classic. i love symmetry and bright colours in a quilt.

and finally…

i know that blanket! (sorry for the blur – dad must have had salt jitters from the fries??!)

tradition #5: catching up

i swear we don’t walk ten feet without meeting someone we know, or seeing someone we recognize. this year, we connected with the usual mix of family (mom’s cousin bob, specifically, and joan and sandy), church friends, old neighbours, ex-classmates…and new this year, my friend vy from the store!

fun, fun, and more fun.

i know this is jumping the gun, but i am excited for next year’s outing, already!

what is one social outing that you attend every single year, if at all possible? the next written-in-stone event on the calendar is the september knitter’s fair!


update: my fb friend successfully completed his first 100 miler in 22:xx which is a fantastic time for a race of that distance (sub-24 is kind of the “gold standard” for non-elites). congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!

“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:


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!


…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!

pick your holiday!

yesterday, it was…

  • family day in ontario [the fact that we have this holiday slays me as it is a day off made up by the provincial government a few years ago. so, stores, schools, banks, private industry, and municipal/provincial employees are all off…but federal services are still running (so, i can’t go grocery shopping, but my mail is delivered!). makes no sense! and there is no real reason for the holiday except to break up the span of time between christmas and easter!].
  • louis riel day in manitoba [thanks, gina, for that fyi!]
  • islander day on prince edward island [thanks, mom, for that tip!]
  • presidents’ day in the states [i was ignorant about the very existence of president’s day until going to aruba. my american friends warned never EVER to travel to aruba for president’s week because paradise the island is jam-packed with families. the only GOOD thing about all the swarms of people is that is the bingo pots are sky high – haha!].
  • also, did you know that february is: national grapefruit month; national snack food month, national sweet potato month, national cherry month, and national canned food month? ’tis true. i found out here! [would it not make more sense to declare february national chocolate month, thanks to ♥ lovey-dovey day ♥ on the 14th??].

anyway, to get back to yesterday – all i did the whole entire day was be social and drink hot beverages! it was fantastic!

in the morning, i went out to sarah’s house. sarah gave me a tour around their lovely, new home…

notice zoe the kittie peaking out from upstairs?!

…and then we went out for coffee to tim hortons. it is now roll up the rim season…and, surprise, surprise, i won a coffee!

i will be cashing that rim in for the LARGEST size possible!

in the afternoon, i met mom and dad at our uptown starbucks:

what's one more coffee in a day??!

i had to see family on family day, for sure!

in the evening, i got together with my neighbourhood + blog friend, tricia! third coffee shop of the day ->we met up at coffee culture:

tricia and i realized we have the exact same cameras!!

i was actually feeling a bit “coffee’d out,” (what a surprise, eh?!) and switched to decaf tea. it was wonderful to chat with tricia – our schedules are such that they conflict completely, normally, so it was really fun to be able to meet up – all thanks to family day!


which national food would you be most likely to celebrate? me = canned food – yes! i love all manner of tinned seafood; mushrooms; and many varieties of beans!

what was the theme of your day, yesterday? ummm, coffee?! 🙂

and sunshine! check out the spectacular day we enjoyed!

...and no wind, temps above zero

the rink in the uptown square was packed!

today it is back to reality…and less coffee!

a perfect day for tea

david’s tea has been open in uptown waterloo since the summer – and i have never been! it was high time to get myself in there -> and i knew just the person to introduce me to the wonders of this meeting spot right in my neighbourhood – my blog friend, angela!

angela, inside the tea shop!

so, angela and i made a date to visit david’s tea on saturday, after i was done work at the store. a blustery and wintery afternoon + hot tea + social time? sounds like a perfect match, no?!

david's tea is tucked in on willis way, in uptown

as great as it was to see angela again, i was also really looking forward to learning the ins and outs of the david’s tea operations. as noted on her blog, angela has frequented david’s many times, and really is a tea aficianado, so i was more than happy to let her show me around. just looking at the vast array of options was a tad overwhelming!

look at the options available!

david’s was positively hopping when angela and i arrived – the outdoor rink across the way has boosted traffic into the store. i’m glad to see that the tea shop is giving its neighbour, s’bux, a run for its money!

we were offered a free sample of the flavour of the day, upon our arrival:

i included the shot glass sampler on the top of the cannister - very cute, eh?!

“secret weapon” was just ok – it didn’t knock my socks off, or anything.

angela selected some of her favourites to purchase in the take-home size tins. [you can buy the teas by weight  – say, 50 g of x tea. then, when you bring the tin back, you’ll get a discount on your next purchase]. as angela made her picks, she told me about some of the flavours she has enjoyed, and others that are merely so-so. i sniffed away at the various types – everything from organic banana oolong to chocolate chili chai. several scents were appealing, a few…not so much. with some options, you could really smell the flavour very strongly while with others, it was hard to discern the notes.

the yellow and red labels are all caffeine-free

as my sit-down-and-chat tea, i went with the crème caramel rooibos that you see in the photo, above. i did add some of my own stevia, also. it was delicious!

the tea shop was a cosy, fun spot to visit:

we joked about the "product placement" of our cups for this photo!

angela and i enjoyed conversation on a diverse range of topics. while blog commenting is fun, personal get-togethers really are hard to top. and, hey! my get-together with angela was outing #5 for the 12 days of kiki project! [not bad, considering the 12 days of kiki is only 19 days old, eh?!]. when we left, the snow was still blowing and swirling, and darkness was falling, but i felt energized by our fun visit, and warmed by the hot and yummy tea.

are you a tea fan? if so, please share some favourite brands/flavours! that’s two rooibos teas in four days for me (i enjoyed a “regular” rooibois tea on wednesday with the brother, in toronto – i’d never had that type before, and now i’m decidedly a fan!).

keg party

on the twentieth day of december...

after enjoying the christmas light walk with bff debbie on sunday, it was time for another social celebration! specifically, sunday eve was the staff party for both the store and theOTHERstore. nicole had the great idea to all go out together, this year. awesome! the more, the merrier!

the venue? the keg steakhouse, in waterloo.

our party spot

we only MET at 8:30 p.m.! good thing i am getting better at staying up later!

testing, testing, one, two, three...let's party!

[sidenote: my camera is still not functioning 100% normally. as you will see, some pictures are very clear, some blurry. sorry, in advance, for any fuzzy photos!].

the keg was a busy spot on sunday eve – there were several large family groups, and couple of other staff parties going on.

my colleagues kindly agreed to pose for photos!

from the store:

manager paul, (and annette)

cass (and phil)

from theOTHERstore:

nicole; mandy (and ash); paul

luca (and michelle)

me and nicole! (well, i'm from both stores!)

i took advantage of the fact that we were enjoying a holiday party and wore my knit oldie-but-goodie christmas sweater. cheesy? perhaps. but it’s all about your attitude. green nail polish finished the look!

cosy, too!

we started with apps:

three girls, three cocktails...shrimp, that is!

…and moved on to mains:

medium-rare sirloin and mixed greens! perfect!

[i’m mostly including that photo because it turned out so CLEAR! phooey!].

after dinner, it was time to expose ourselves reveal the name we staff at theOTHERstore had drawn for our secret santa gift exchange! well, guess whose name i had received? nicole! that’s why it was so easy to do my secret shopping!

santa plate + red and green marker pens

young paul had my name, and i was so excited to receive…

a gift card for bath and body works!

whee!!! i will really have fun choosing what to buy at this store (a suggestion on my christmas list was from here, even!).

nicole also brought treats to ensure that no one (staff at the store, and all guests) went home empty-handed:

chocolate is always welcome at christmas!

what a really fun evening – lots of laughter, chatter and just a solid good time. and now we are all rejuvenated for the last, busy, week-before-christmas retail whirlwind! i feel so fortunate to work with such a congenial group of people.

did you attend a holiday staff party this season – either your own or as a guest? i have to inquire as to why our condo building did not hold an evening get-together this december – we have every other year that we’ve lived here. that event would have been another fun social!

new experience #28: set foot in the perimeter institute

september 1st marked seven years since the condo casa became “home.” at move-in time, they were putting the finishing touches on an eye-catching and very avant-garde building across the road:

the perimeter institute as seen from the loft windows - it's the black structure in the background

on sunday, the perimeter institute held an open house in celebration of the completion of the stephen hawking centre – just one of many special events going on this weekend.

see, seven years ago, the perimeter also held an open house…and i missed it! i remember that the line-ups were h-u-g-e, and i couldn’t be bothered didn’t make the effort to check out this world-renowned think-tank (founded by co-ceo of research in motion – aka the blackberry maker).

how time flies!

i was determined to correct my oversight because 1) i was genuinely eager to see inside the structure i’ve been staring at from my living room window for seven years 2) it would be a new experience to finally go behind closed doors.

however!!! participating in the tour was my second choice for “new experiences” this weekend – on saturday, the perimeter hosted canadian astronaut julie payette as a guest lecturer – again, free to the public. unfortunately, my work schedule clashed with the time of this special event. how sad! i would love to have “meet an astronaut” on my kiki-list!

the open house tours were available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on sunday, and you could pre-book a time slot. i chose 3 p.m. since i worked til 2 p.m.

sunday was gorgeously sunny! good for photo taking!

the small windows and black and green colour combo are meant to make the building blend with the colours of waterloo park

people came out in droves! in masses! in clumps! this was a seriously huge draw for the general public.

clear signage everywhere

they had us enter the building by the stephen hawking addition:

while i LOVE the architecture of the original building, i'm not so sure about the design of the new wing...

since i already had my ticket, i could just walk right in.

it was like following the yellow brick road - green arrows appeared every couple of feet

did you know…


how would you like to exit your office…

most of the offices look out over the park

…and have this view?

reflecting pond in the back courtyard

while the tour was self-guided – we just followed those arrows – there were tons of volunteers available to answer questions and point out interesting features. i kind of just gawked about in awe. the building is spacious, light-filled, minimalist in design…even with the hordes of people surrounding me, this sense of stillness and “zen” came through loud and clear. i can see how you could really probe the complexities of scientific theory in here!

neat feature!…

every so often there is a nook with a blackboard - i guess you never know when a solution to a quantum physics formula is going to strike!

...and i thought friday evening's lecture was confusing! what IS this?!!!

the open house tour was really well organized:

the architects were available to answer questions...

...as were researchers. i didn't ask a question - not about to embarrass myself!

fun factoids! now THIS is the kind of scientific info that is useful to me, and that i understand!



we were shown what appeared to be a regular board room:

the INTERIOR is normal; when viewed from the EXTERIOR, the room appears to be floating! no visible support beams!

oftentimes, bottlenecks occurred during the walk-about tour. there were just so many people out! all ages and nationalities were represented.

interior view

without those green arrows pointing the way and ropes to cordon off some hallways, i don’t know how people find their way about – it felt very much like a maze. haha – i kept thinking, “it would be so cool to have this route set up as a race! up, down, zigzagging hither and yon – it’d be a great circuit to run!”

just like on friday, i am very enthusiastic about what i saw at the perimeter institute. “interactive” and “accessible” best describe the open house tour. as i exited, i was filled with a feeling of pride for my neighbourhood, and appreciation for what is being accomplished at the perimeter. i’m SO glad i finally got to see this facility – it’s absolutely breathtaking.

perimeter as seen from the waterloo park side

what do you appreciate most in your neighbourhood? waterloo park is such a gem…but i also love the shopping, walking to work, the princess movie theatre…uptown waterloo has it all!

“the future of science” or “would i fall asleep?”

friday nights make for great movie nights. that would be my usual go-to choice for celebrating the start of the weekend [or mid-work week, as is my case!]. this past friday, i got to try something new for my evening’s entertainment! [i debated long and hard whether i should classify this outing as a new experience and decided against it. just didn’t get the vibe].

anyway! this weekend is a big one for the local perimeter institute for theoretical physics. and when i say “local,” i mean it is right across the street from the condo casa! if you’re not familiar with the institute (and if you’re not from waterloo, you probably are not) just know that stephen hawking has visited, and in fact, this weekend, they are opening the stephen hawking centre, a new addition to the building.

friday evening, the perimeter institute hosted a FREE lecture entitled “the future of science.” when i found out about it, i signed up for my ticket right away. now, when it comes to being artsy or being scientic, i am definitely more in touch with the creative side of my brain; i haven’t thought scientifically since high school. but, i was quite jazzed about this opportunity for a neat social outing that is outside the realm of what i usually enjoy (hello, woody allen movies and author events).

plus, i loved the choice of venue for the event:

the starlight is a nighclub/bar in uptown waterloo/my 'hood

the instructions that came with my ticket were very explicit in stating that we HAD to be in our seats by 7:15 p.m. for the 7:30 start time (those in the waiting line would be admitted after 7:15 p.m).

there was already a long line forming when i arrived at 7 pm!

i love the juxtaposition of "night club" and "science lecture"

usually, i really dislike arriving so early to something. i get b-o-r-e-d waiting. however, i easily amused myself by snapping photos!

it’s all about the blog!

yes, the bar was open!

i love a good disco ball!

the starlight was a great choice of venue – intimate yet spacious enough. seating was very informal: small tables, rows of chairs, comfy couches…and we were encouraged to move seats to wherever we wanted!

seats filled up quite quickly - if you look closely, almost everyone is pecking away on a blackberry or iphone, while waiting - > funny!

view from the bar that i took when i was ordering my beer.....joke!!

i purposely chose a spot near the back, at an "aisle" so i could make an early get-away if need be...

i had wondered if i would know anyone…sure enough! anne from yoga was one of the organizers with perimeter! [something cool: anne mentioned that we were welcome to facebook photos, or post to twitter, if we wanted to; i told her about the blog, and she said “even better!” much nicer than events where photography is not permitted, and shows perimeter is with the times].

embarrassingly, it took me a couple seconds to recognize anne - used to seeing her in yoga clothes, in class!

this was seriously such an awesome place for this event: the atmosphere was relaxed and laid-back, not at all stuffy, pretentious, or formal. in terms of the crowd present, i was surprised: it was a much younger group, by and large, than i had anticipated – including several teens!

i love when i don't have to look around people! i enjoyed a clear sight-line of the stage, and space in front of me

all set to scribble down notes!

the lecture started promptly at 7:30 p.m. *like!*

the panelists

the host for the evening was dr richard epp, on the far right in the photo, above. the other three men are all researchers/scientists. dr epp started by saying we were on a strict timeline and HAD to be out of the club by 8:45 p.m. *like even more!* early + mandatory finishing time? perfect!

view from my seat - no complaints!

now: i have to tell you right now that i’m not going to share a lot of info about “the future of science.”

in a nutshell, the discussion was over my head.

this doesn’t bother me a bit. i thoroughly enjoyed the panel discussion. but, i have not studied science – physics in particular – since grade 11 with mr pfisterer, so i truly had not a clue as to the ideas being examined. black holes and string theory? say what?!

dr epp was a fabulous moderator: he kept the discussion flowing and on-topic. i understood the questions he was asking…it was the scientists’ responses that lost me!

so i made up a game: “quantum” quickly emerged as the word of the night. how many ways was it used? well we heard about:

  • quantum mechanics
  • quantum gravity
  • quantum encription
  • quantum teleportation
  • quantum field theory

got that?!

but here are the ideas i did pick up:

  • in regard to teaching kids about science, the answers are not in books
  • the universe gets less mysterious but also more deeply mysterious (as we make progress in scientific study)
  • what distinguishes us from animals: our insatiable curiosity

ok! all was not lost: i walked away with three things learned.

the evening concluded with a q & a session:

many eager people! so different from what i usually see at events when people are hesitant to pose questions!

true to their word, we were out at precisely 8:45 p.m. *nice!*

the night was not boring at all, as i had somewhat feared. i enjoyed the people-watching myself thoroughly. it was fun to step outside my usual “thinking comfort zone.” i commend the perimeter institute for their outreach into the local community, and for offering these sessions – for free – to the general public.

bonus: i got to see inside the starlight! i highly doubt i’ll get there as a club-goer!

are you a scientist, by nature, or an artsy? i’d say i’m 95% artsy, 5% science-y! no balance whatsoever!

“science” is a pretty vast subject. what aspect of science do you prefer? in high school, biology as in cells/plants/animals bored me to tears, but i loved genetics!


Friday evening was one of my favourite annual outings of the entire year. Mom, Dad and I drove to the nearby town of New Hamburg. Every year on the last weekend in May, New Hamburg plays host to the MCC Relief Sale. Every year, we go on the Friday evening to the “Preview” events.

The weather this year: it was freaking cold! Seriously, I was thisclose to wearing my mitts. I DID wear fleece and my winter-weight jacket.

this is NOT really may 27th, is it?!!

Brrrr…at least we didn’t have rain, but dark clouds were looming!

In the 2010 report, I talk about five of our traditions for this evening event – let’s compare last year to this year…

Tradition #1 – Dad’s Parking Spot

Every year, Erv magically finds a parking spot insanely close to the entrance, given the throngs of people and hordes of vehicles cramming the surrounding fields and grounds.

three feet from the entrance - nice work, dad!

The tradition continues…Dad even had a lot of space with which to work this year! Although Mom did have step out into a mud puddle…

Tradition #2 – Meat ‘n’ Pie

the food lineups were gi-normous this year...

The tradition continues…This year, Dad got his sausage meat and his pie (cherry with ice cream) but no fries…too many people lined up!

Tradition #3 – Mom Buys Apple Butter and Jams

the mennonite jam lady + mom with her bread and butter pickles

The tradition continues…Mom walked away with FIVE jars this year, which may very well be a new record. With this selection…

mom debates her choices...

…can you really blame her?!

Tradition #4 – The Viewing of the Quilts

one of my favourites this year

The tradition continues…wow. The quilts up for auction were once again incredible.

look at the cross stitch and needlepoint - now imagine this multiplied over the size of a bedspread

They had a “Viewer’s Choice” award this year – everyone received one ballot with which to vote. I picked the quilt, above, because I can only imagine the acres of time required to hand stitch each and every flower on that quilt. Remarkable.

one of the more traditional designs...

Many of the quilts would appeal to the little folk. I would bid on…

ballerinas for little e...

...and kittie cats for baby c!

And, as always, Mom and I hit the wall before we finished our quilt tour. At a certain point, we can’t absorb and appreciate any more creativity and beauty. So much awesomeness.

Tradition # 5 – Catching Up

The tradition continues…but I have no photographic proof. [I’m not yet at the point, as a blogger, where I feel comfortable asking acquaintances for a photo so I can put them on my blog]. This year, I met:

  • a girl I taught when she was in high school…and she was at the Preview Evening with her 4.5 month old daughter!
  • a girl I went to high school with. I didn’t actually talk to her…but I heard her very loud voice from across the room
  • my parents’ neighbour
  • a favourite couple who are customers from the store
  • and a few more!

As with every other year, this year was a really fun outing. I always walk away feeling so creatively inspired by the quilts. At this time, I’m not sure if my 2011 Goal of starting a knitted contribution for next year will happen or not. Too bad I don’t get inspired by the baked goods to learn how to make pies – haha!

On my Life Bucket List is to purchase one of these amazing quilts, and hang it as wall art in the Condo Casa. I have no idea how I will make this happen, as I don’t anticipate ever going to the Saturday morning Quilt Auction myself [the crowds are enormous and the auction lasts hours, neither of which entice me at all]; maybe I can send Gina some year, in my place?? Pay her in apple fritters (or pay her plane flight, haha!)? Let me know, G!

Are there any fairs/festivals/auctions that you attend annually? The MCC Relief Sale enjoys a huge following, and draws enormous numbers of visitors every year. The best part? All money raised goes to support MCC‘s work around the world.

Happy Sunday and Happy Birthday, Mom! ❤


What’s this?! An outing with Mom two days in a row? Zowie!

This weekend is the Spring Pottery Sale in Waterloo. The fun thing about having a blog for 15+ months now, is that I am starting to repeat activities that I blogged about last year. Too bad I went to the Pottery Sale last year – otherwise, it could have been a New Experience!

Unfortunately, the balmy temps of 2010 were nowhere to be seen today. Mom and I bundled up for our 10 minute walk over to the sale:

middle of april and i had to haul out my sushi hat (sugoi, from a few years ago) - brrr!

The selection is almost overwhelming! Tables upon tables of individually hand-crafted pottery…let me show you some samples!

loved the colours of this fish!

something about the simplicity/stylized art of these pears really grabbed me!

Zo, this one’s for you! 🙂

zo, do you have any cat pottery, at all??! this kittie was pretty cute!

Gina, look who we met?!! HAHA!!!! I’m so excited to surprise you with this photo! 🙂

gretta (ginas sister); daniel; kira - the kids each chose a treat - mice it is!

Thanks for getting in on the Joke For Gina, Gretta, Daniel and Kira – plus, it was great to see you, again!

Mom and I also ran into about 7 other people we know…this is a popular local event!

Now back to show ‘n’ tell…

bookends with a southwestern flair...love the natural, earthy tone, too.

What’s this???!…

a KNITTING BOWL!!! yarn goes in the bowl, pull it out from that doo-hickey at the front...id knock that over andbreak it in a second, i bet...

Don’t worry, SIL Ana, I did NOT get you one for Xmas! 🙂

Not so fond of…

...this dr seuss-ical *art*...and it wasnt cheap!

DID love:

this bowl...

...these mugs (though only ONE - never a SET!)...

the east-indian influenced detailing on this gorgeous bowl...

...THIS mug....(note the HUMUNGOUS size!)...

...this restful and simple tree scene...

...the pairing of the glossy blue stoneware with the natural clay border...

Ahhhh…If I Had A Million Dollars

Fear not! We did not come home empty-handed!

mom purchased this sushi set because the dish is JUST the size shes been searching for, for butter; two spready knives!

Can you guess the two items I chose (hint: they are in the photos, above!)…

i COULDN’T pass up the gigantico mug with the asian-influence floral accents; love the pear plate (thanks, mom, for this uber-treat!)

I will never be a potter. [Just like I will never be a cake-decorator]. But I do appreciate, and marvel over, the skill and creativity of these artists. Truly, touring through this sale is like going through a themed art gallery.

The very best part, once again, was chatting with mumsy. [Although randomly meeting Gina’s sister comes close!]
What can we possibly find to do tomorrow, mom?!

How often do you encounter people you know, when you’re out and about? Happens to me pretty much all the time if I’m in Uptown Waterloo!

Pottery, tapistries, modern art, sculpture, graffiti…what form of art do you appreciate?

Happy Saturday!