December 26, 2009
I can't believe how quickly the special days came and went. It's always like that. I hope everyone celebrated in fine style. I can't remember if New Year is the end of something or the beginning of something. Last year's 10 pound pledge was the beginning of something and for my part was exceeded by a whole lot of extra pounds taken on rather than shed. What a disaster. And now I find myself addicted to hot chocolate. Sometimes I make it cold. It's great either way. Martha, got a leftover heart-shaped cookie?
I've just finished Andy's sweater and still am contemplating whether or not to make an actual sleeve. I didn't take that particular measurement and I don't want it to chafe his little armpit. I also have another sweater on hand to see if it might be a better fit.
My personal trainer has commissioned a sweater for her bunny. Now that's going to be a big challenge. I've never seen a bunny close-up but I know they come in many sizes. They are also bigger than chihuahuas. The bunny tried on one of my chi sweaters and apparently fell over, face first, out of sheer terror over wearing a garment. The trials of being a fashionista.
Can't decide if I should brave the rains to visit my Starbucks or continue watching the Sherlock Holmes marathon. Yesterday it was Underdog to Wonderdog on the Animal Planet and I cried the whole time. Basil Rathburn does not evoke that kind of emotion. If anything, he propels me towards Starbucks.
December 7, 2009
Well, the annual Holly Jolly sale has come and gone.I was in panic mode at not having enough stuff to sell and anxious over having the wrong stuff to sell.I had 10 knitted dog sweaters and only one purchase. It was an apprehensive transaction since one rarely knows the actual measurements of the dog recipient. No problem. If it doesn't fit I'll do a made-to-measure sweater. Martha had her West Highland terrier come by at the end of the show to try on a sweater. It turns out that Andy is a mutant Westie - absolutely huge! And so sweet. So I grabbed my tape measure from my purse and proceded to take down his statistics for a custom garment.
The beaded hearts were also popular as were my fabric boxes.
It was disappointing that so few people dropped by. Perhaps we need a more intensive ad campaign. Or a more accessible venue. Things to evaluate for next year. Meanwhile, I shall have to be creative throughout the year and not the 6 weeks prior to the show.
October 28, 2009
Then it's knit, purl, rip out, cast on again,...nothing but problems with these little dog sweaters. The commission I had for a chihuahua sweater was a failure since the dog is 3 sizes smaller than the smallest size I made. He's a mosquito. And he lives in Peru so the fellow who commissioned me is now back home visiting and will measure every square mm of him and I can work from that. I must get cracking since the Holly Jolly sale is in 4 weeks and I don't have enough stock. So much to do, so little time.
I love this time of year for all the horror films that are on tv. I just saw a 1968 film called "The Power" with a very young and handsome George Hamilton, Suzanne Pleshette, Earl Holiman and a bunch of other familiar faces. And now the original "The Haunting" with Julie Harris is on till 2:00am. I don't think I can stay up that late but the ending is terrific. I have to make it to Fairview Mall's Apple Store to attend a class on how to use the MobileMe feature on my ipod touch. I love this little device but don't know how to use half of it. The Apple store gives one on one tutoring on different aspects of any of their products.
October 8, 2009
September 28, 2009
It was sort of a miserable day, starting off with an ambush of rain and me, on my way to Markham by TTC for a cardiac stress test. The first umbrella I took with me launched itself across the road, using the handle and main stem as a sling shot. Now, how does that happen...? So I stopped at Shoppers Drug Mart for a replacement. The prices make no sense at all - more expensive for a tiny, manual one.
For the past couple of years I've been passing an optical boutique in the underground concourse on my way to the subway. Last week I stopped to look at the frames and discovered the most unique, artistic designs, all from France. How come it's taken so long to come up with such delightful eyewear. So I now have a pair but it's hard to appreciate the 3-d structure from the picture. Even the case is snazzy. I feel compelled to get a second pair with the transition lenses so that I don't always have to change over to sunglasses.
When stocking up on catfood yesterday, I came across a laser light device for making the girls frisky and interested in some play. I don't even have to operate it - it moves the light around all by itself. Tayoh showed a bit of interest and tried to pick up the beam with her paw. Amber fell asleep on the sofa despite the beam landing on her forehead. Too old for play, I guess.
September 23, 2009
I just hate this sudden humidity. So I've shut all the windows and turned on the air conditioning. But I soon have to leave the apartment so my comfort is going to be short-lived. I'm getting irritable.
I am forcing myself each night to do at least one link of the chain maille bracelet. This is taking me 2 hours to actually add a link. At this rate...
The knitting is going much better. I finally finished the turtle neck sweater for the schnauzer. But I now realize that it can only be worn by a female since the underbelly is long enough to completely cover the male anatomy. Back to the drawing board. Every sweater in this one book can only accommodate the female anatomy.
He's a cute little guy, my mini schnauzer. A bit chunky too but the knitting will stretch. I'm now starting on a commission for a black, urban chic sweater for a chihuahua. Wonder if it's a boy dog...
September 20, 2009
This weekend I attended some classes offered at the Canadian Bead Oasis Society. Carmi and I were together on Saturday for morning and afternoon sessions. Unfortunately, I just couldn't catch on to the Even and Odd peyote stitch. I was the only one in the class that was useless, much to my personal horror and I tried to cover up the mess I had made every time the teacher came by to help and she had a tremendous amount of patience. I wasn't much better in the afternoon for the Wire Wrap heart. The teacher had to help me a lot. But at least I finished the project and I'm keen to try more.
Today I went in for a chain maille class and it's been about 3 years since I last did this kind of a class. I quite enjoy the repetitive complex patterns - much like aran knit sweaters. But I now have terrible tremors because of my medication and for 2 hours I kept losing my grip of the smallest rings which are critical to making the links. Half my supply of silver rings was launched clear across the room. I should have finished the bracelet instead of making only 5 links. So I shall have to do a little each day before I forget the technique. It's called the 'vertebrae' and lies flat and fluid and is really gorgeous.
On the knitting front, I have completed the green ribbed sweater which Emily is modelling.
I've been commissioned to knit a black urban chic sweater for a chihuahua before the end of October so I must start that soon. I now seem to have several projects going on at the same time. It's fun and alleviates any boredom that may arise with one project or another. I could almost call myself a multitasker.
September 12, 2009
Last night while moving things around to search for accommodation for my growing stash of wool, I came across a collection of old magazines that had been bound in hard cover. My grandfather had done that and the magazines are in pristine condition. Liberty was a Canadian weekly publication sold for 5 cents and what I have is the collection for 1941. The ads are fascinating and amusing- lots of constipation complaints (politely called sluggishness, irritability, etc.). Lots of concern about body odours. War related stories, Hollywood news, fiction, and, at the beginning of each article, is a quote of how much time it should take to read the piece. One story was clocked at 28 minutes, 12 seconds. Anyway, I find it all makes me nostalgic for a time that wasn't mine at all but whose appeal makes me wish I had actually lived at that time.
If you click on the image, you can read the text.
September 8, 2009
Emily is doing her first assignment in the princess sweater, complete with ruffles and sequins. It enhances her femininity, doesn't it?
August 23, 2009
For some reason, Aidan thought it would be better to be photographed behind the screened in window. And that's what we have here.
Here is Aidan in his 'Knights of the Round Table' costume.
It turned out to be a very profitable day for me and the money is already spent. Ha!
August 19, 2009
Now it's Criss Angel, Mindfreak, I really like this guy. Oh yeah, he's cute alright. But for many of his stunts, he first gives a detailed description of the preparation and dangers involved. You really start to worry. Of course, this is part of the 'game'. His illusions are on a very large scale. God, I'd love to see him live. You don't see a lot of travelling magicians. David Copperfield was here a few times. Enjoy the videos.
August 15, 2009
I wanted so much to add a few pictures here from the book but, in reading the copyright info, I decided I couldn't afford a lawsuit and a huge fine. I have a model lined up for a photo as soon as the coat is complete This is a dog dreaming of the perfect outfit.
August 9, 2009
This next photo is one of my favourites. Of course, now Aidan is all grown up at 4. He's a great little person and his life continues to be enriched by the love that surrounds him on all sides.
August 7, 2009
1. The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough
2. Edgar Allan Poe short stories
3. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
5. Collage Discovery Workshop Beyond the Unexpected by Claudine Hellmuth
6. The Art of Annemieke Mein - Wildlife Artist in Textile
7. Material Visions Somerset Studio Publication
8. Awakenings by Oliver Sachs
9. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sachs
10. Birdman by Mo Hayder
11. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
13. Poetry by Leonard Cohen
14. The Petty Details of So and So's Life by Camilla Gibb
15. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
16. Mr. Sandman, The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy
So I've added another 2 books since it occured to me that I had forgotten Barbara Gowdy. Have you ever read a book more than once? I haven't and I'm afraid I would be disappointed if I recalled too much of the plot. Maybe I should try it at least once.
August 5, 2009
Lo and behold...someone is cat knitting.
August 4, 2009
I haven't knit in about 15 years and I tried to make a baby outfit about 4 years ago with disastrous consequences. I couldn't interpret the pattern. Not sure if it was me or maybe the instructions were just lousy. Some knitting books were on display at Chapters last week and I picked up a few. I'm a hoarder so I can't be content with just one. I've decided to knit for dogs - sweaters, capes, balaclavas and leg warmers for those tall dogs with long, skinny legs that have virtually no fur for protection. I've ordered some supplies on-line because I knew I could only get a certain things in Toronto. And I'm no good at figuring out substitutions and even worse at asking for help. There's a mathematical aspect to these things and I useless at math. I took a trip down to Romni Wools on Queen West and made it through the door just in time. A major thunderstorm right overhead - you know the kind when the flash of lightning and boom of thunder occur simultaneously. Very cozy to be indoors surrounded by fabulous colours and textures. Well, Romni didn't have the brand names I was looking for so I decided to just start grabbing whatever was appealing. Everything appealed to me. I always have to choose those skeins that, in addition to the visual allure,also have a tactile component. Wow - nothing like cashmere - even fake cashmere feels like the real thing.
So tonight I'm going to start an outfit that's been designated easy. A single thick cable right down the centre. I'd better not get into a screw-up situation. I need to boost my confidence. I shall have to locate a dog for modelling purposes. But I'm jumping ahead of myself. Geez, I hope the cats don't go after the yarn.
August 1, 2009
My dear Amber turned 13 today. As usual, she is lounging on the sofa and will soon rotate to the armchair followed by the stroller. Then she will beg for treats and I will succumb, dragging out the Greenies dental treats (dental my eye...cats swallow these things whole. And puke them up whole which provides the evidence for this theory.). As she ages she gets freckles. Her lips are covered in black frecks. Also the rims of her eyes. My vet tells me that red heads are notorious for freckling as they age. All this freckling and no sun exposure. I was racking my brains to think of something special to present her with. Usually I forget about birthdays but this time I decided to get her favourite toy - a realistic looking mouse with leather tail and covered in rabbit fur or something like that. Amber eats the tail first - I find it in the litter box attached to other bodily refuse. So far, she hasn't touched the mouse at all despite my squealing like a pig and whirling the
mouse around in the air by the tail. I guess she's now old enough to not fall for my silly antics.
July 31, 2009
I can now get emails from my father but they show up in the 'deleted' folder so I dare not empty it before checking. He is an 'approved sender' according to my designation but this seems to make no difference. I wonder if Windows Vista has become all powerful and is showing its dominance over me. I even manage to lose my last post without ever pressing a 'delete' button. How weird is that!
I think it's time to chow down over a bowl of organic white cherries. And then some black licorice.
July 4, 2009
June 30, 2009
It's a day full of thunder and darkening skies. Rain too, of course. And a nice cool breeze . Think I'll go on the balcony with a coffee. After a day of fasting to no avail (the test was cancelled because I wasn't prepared enough) the idea of coffee is so appealing. Too bad I don't have a Coffee Crisp or KitKat to go with it. My balcony looks pathetic with planters overrun with last year's dead foliage. I hauled the 2 cacti out to make it look festive (ha!). And the one with the bent over 'leaves/stocks' is still bent over. I didn't cut them off as Leslie Jane insisted I do. I don't know what it is about that plant but it just scares me silly. I'm afraid it will bleed if I cut it. Or I will be cursed in some way.
I think this year I prefer to get the inside taken care of rather than the balcony. The new sofa and chair are supposed to be delivered next Tuesday.
June 25, 2009
- Needless to say, the moment I left the apartment the sky turned as black as midnight, the lightening started flashing, the thunder grumbling and the rain angled at a 45 degrees. Guaranteed to soak the trousers despite a long raincoat. The umbrella was useless and the rain was falling so fast that nothing drained off the streets into the sewer. It was a deep lake at every corner and I was wearing sandals. This was the 4th foray through the rain for these sandals and they just gave out. I was sliding all around the soles that I vowed to hit the first shoe store at my subway destination stop. In 5 minutes I had tossed away the sandals and donned my new galoshes. I'm telling you, it'll never rain again this summer now that I have the boots.
- The weather is always like this when I go to the hairdresser. Today it was the all-important covering of the gray. But no matter how many products are caked on over the hair to prevent frizz, it's just an exercise in futility. I have prickly hair. That's all there is to it and the older I get the intensity of the prickles increase.
So, on the way home I had to stop by the post office to pick up a package. Since I didn't know the size of the box, I had taken along one of those dolly thingies. I think originally they were meant to transport suitcases. Black rods that fold up and have 2 bungee cords attached. While waiting in line I started to unfold it and the bungees were getting all tangled up so I put a foot on the bottom platform to stabilize it and - you guessed it - the wheels started to roll and I fell. In front of 20 people. I told them all to stop staring at me. I've had enough of this embarrassing business. This time I spared my face and glasses and fell on my tailbone. I seemed to try to break the fall with my left wrist so now my entire left side is sore. And the package didn't even need to be transported on a carrier.
I came home to a message that a big box was waiting for me at the gatehouse. It was my pet stroller! OK. All of you have a good laugh. I think my maternal instinct is emerging at long last. I had to do some assembly and ended up putting the back wheels on backwards. But this is a real, big-time stroller with a carriage tray underneath, a big rain bonnet, faux sheepskin-lined bed inside, a tray for coffee cups, water bottles. Now I have to see if I can get one of the girls inside to pose for us.
June 23, 2009
June 20, 2009
(Don't look at the mess on the sofa...oh yeah, you just had to look...)
June 16, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 9, 2009
June 8, 2009
In my old age, I've turned off of traditional ballet and look forward to new pieces or modernization of the classics. Yesterday's bill featured 2 distinct pieces. The first - Skin Divers - had its North American premiere. It featured the poetry of Toronto poet, Anne Michaels, whose beautiful voice read both Skin Divers and Last Night's Moon. A string quartet blended the rhythm of the spoken word to music as the foundation for the dance.
I can't say enough about Carmen. Absolutely passionate, erotic, every scene cuts to the bone without any of that silly miming business designed to drive the story forward. The choreographer is Italian genius, Davide Bombana. .
May 29, 2009
May 27, 2009
Just sometimes losing the harsh sunlight for awhile can be a comfort. Today was the first rainy day in quite a spell and, since the the rain took the form of a soft drizzle and a gentle pit-a-patting on the umbrella, there was none of that urgency to run for cover. Instead, every footstep brought forth a collision with yet another fresh scent - the heady aroma of lilacs, the sharp snap of juniper needles, the earthiness of moist cedar decks... The greenery is so lush right now and robins are busy plucking the lawns for worms. It's also peak time for the spirea to cascade under the weight of their heavy white flowers. The waning tulips are giving way to the tall straight stalks of purple alium, the stands of irises, and the emergence of budding peonies complete with swarming ants, What's their job anyway. the ants?
The next few days seems to have the same forecast as today. I don't mind it one bit except that I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow and this humidity turns my mop into a frizz bomb. I guess it's a small sacrifice compared to enjoying nature's bounty. Maybe if I wear my dark glasses no one will know me and I won't feel so ashamed of the hair.
May 22, 2009
May 17, 2009
I think it's Marissa's invitation to do the list thing that has brought me back to posting. Some health issues have been getting in the way. Well, let's see how much of the questionnaire I can complete. I seem to be stuck at 3s for this list.
Three places that I go to over and over: Starbucks, parents' place, GoodLife fitness
Three people who email me regularly: Chris, Susan, joggles.com newsletter,
Three favorite smells: coffee, baking bread, Votivo candle - Moroccan Fig,
Other places I would rather be right now: San Francisco, New Zealand, Vancouver,
Three people I think will respond: (am I supposed to email them? or do I just name them?) Leslie, Susan, Chris
April 18, 2009
Today I found myself strolling around Chapters with my tall,mocha frappucino light in hand and I came upon a book that I must have read almost 30 years ago....no, that can't be right. Forget the time lapse. This must have been around the time (1990) of the release of the movie, "Awakenings" starring Robert deNiro and Robin Williams. It's based on a true story written by neurologist Oliver Sacks and Robin Williams' character is based on Sacks. If you haven't seen this movie, you should rent it. It is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking. It makes me cry every time I see an excerpt from the movie. OK, so I'm a big baby but I'll bet the majority of you out there will do the same.
Anyway, the book I picked up is a collection of short stories - actual cases - that are strange and mystifying. It is entitled "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat". Now, that should grab your attention.
April 11, 2009
April 2, 2009
March 28, 2009
Here we see little Amber resting up between meals. She has a voracious appetite and is eating like never before. She must be trying to regain her original weight thereby sending the 10 lb pledge into a tizzy. The vet called this afternoon to tell me the tests for feline leukemia and immunodeficiency viruses were negative. No surprise here and cost a fortune. So now we're thinking toxoplasmosis since many of her symptoms are classic. The only thing is that she's an indoor cat and would not be exposed to the parasite. Geez, maybe I gave it to her. Since Amber loves the anorexic food, I'm going to run over to the vet tomorrow to pick up some cans. The vet is both shocked and pleased by Amber's quick recovery.
This morning I was savouring my coffee while listening to CBC Radio 2. Or rather, the radio was on in the background. I have been reluctant to accept the change in programming from strictly classical to...something else. Much of it I can't stand but I suppose it's time to get with the program and open my musical mind to the new and interesting. As I am thinking this, a beautiful song is being played - Sometymes Why is a group made up of 3 women whose beautiful heartfelt harmonies grace each song. There seems to be some difficulty in categorizing their music - contemperary folk, folk noir, and who knows what else.
The song played this morning :Your Heart is a Glorious Machine is from the album of the same name
On the myspace page there is a short list of songs from this new album to the right side which can be played .
Of course I've tried 300 times to create a link to the myspace page. Nothing is working so this is the manual version: http://www.myspace.com/sometymeswhy
March 27, 2009
A get well orchid for Amber
After failing to develop a successful 'medicating'plan for Amber with that L-Lysine ,the 3 month old upper respiratory tract infection continued to flourish. And then there appeared to be an additional problem. . She stopped eating entirely on Monday night and did not move from the sofa at all. She had this look on her face...depressed, uncomfortable. She dropped a lot of weight - 2 lbs in 2 months. This is like a person losing 30 lbs in the same period of time. So she actually met Carmi's 10 lb Weight Loss Challenge whereas I'm still struggling. Her entire head is so much smaller. She looks great at this weight but illness is not the way to lose. The blood work offered no indication of something systemic. But I had noticed that her pupils were not equal and apparently this can be indicative of one of 4 different problems, most notably being FIV or FLV (aids virus, leukemia virus). It's very unlikely that she has either since she's 12 years old and these are young cats'disorders but I'm having the testing done anyway since the lab has enough blood left to do it.
During the exam the vet opened a can of 'anorexic diet' food, placed it on the table in front of Amber and she ate like she had been starving for days (very funny). So I have 2 cans at home and I am following Amber around the apartment like a stalker. As soon as Amber is finished with her bowl, Tayoh comes running to clean up the leftovers but so far I've been very quick. I'm running into the bathroom whenever Amber goes inside to use the litter box and I'm monitoring her activities there to make sure everything in that department is working. She's been so much better today - maybe from the injections of an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.
There's nothing that solidifies and bonds a relationship like an animal suffering. I feel so badly for her. But tonight she asked for her Greenies treats and that's encouraging.
I should hear about the viral testing at the beginning of next week. So for now, it's a lot of TLC.