Home Again

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Coffee this morning is at home. I feel I should have a little smilie or emoticon to indicate happiness here. I've been away for two days with The Girl Child while the boys held the fort with the dogs. 


Coffee the morning I was away was interesting:



I was staying at my aunt's house. It was quiet as the early risers were up and out and the rest were sleeping. So I quietly made my coffee and sat down at the little cafe table in the kitchen to drink it. I guess I smelled right or was sitting in the right place. This cat clambered up me and buried itself in my neck and hair. It then settled in and I was holding a cat for quite some time while I drank my coffee. 

The funny thing - and not funny 'ha ha' - is that the cat is a hairless cat and that makes petting it very similar to petting a rubber glove. It's a little unnerving to actually see what goes on under the usual kitty fur. 

 
 

While I was away I got to attend a very nice baby shower at a very swanky golf club. My SisterInLaw is the mama-to-be. We travelled on after the shower to my mom's hometown. We didn't even stop to catch our breath before heading out to the movies to see The Fault in Our Stars. Now I have to read the book. 

The second day of my little trip involved shopping for the morning while my mom took her mom to the lawyer's office. A nice lunch followed at a place where we all could eat. And that's tricky since our eating habits go from Carnivorous to Vegan-Gluten-Free-No-Seeds-Or-Nuts.

On our way home, we stopped at a locally famous bakery and bought cinnamon buns to bring home for the boys. The Girl Child got a gopher tail. I think this is a play on the Canadian Beaver Tail - deep fried pastry dipped in sugar and topped with sugary syrup of choice. The gopher tail was deep fried pastry filled with cream and then rolled in sugar and topped with sugary syrup in many flavours.

 
 
 

This treat made for a happy teenager who didn't really notice the milk-run of a drive through cottage country to the highway that would deliver us home. 

It was a short and sweet trip and we accomplished a lot. I have not travelled with my mom for quite a few years - we used to do trips like this all the time...then I had babies. The kids have done this trip more often than I have while they've been growing up. I had forgotten how very busy these trips can be. No moment is spared. Visiting is scheduled and timed, sleeping is over rated and there are few stops along the way between tasks. It's a good time, but it's nice to get home, too.

Mrs. A.

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Sweet Poppy It Happened Again!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

You may remember in my last post, I ran out of yarn for my wee purple summer socks. My own fault. It was an experiment. 


However...


Here is my Sweet Poppy baby jacket. You might be able to just make out the string going from arm to arm across the middle of the piece. That's the yarn I have left over. 6 inches to finish about 10 rounds on each little sleeve. 

This time, I'm not impressed. I got gauge and I had enough yarn according to the pattern. Pattern called for 200 yards. Skein said there were 214. Isn't a pattern supposed to test these things out and round up??

My option is to rip out the hem, rip out the edging, the take back the left and right sides, making the flare smaller and the jacket shorter, replace the edging, replace the hem and curse it until the cows come home. 

My other option is to call the yarn store in the village to the north and see if she's got some Malabrigo Rios in the colourway required. I suppose I could also check and see if she also has some purple to finish my socks...

I don't suppose my mom is going to hop on a jet back to New Orleans to get more yarn. That seems silly, even for yarn. However, I should consult her since I am knitting it for her to give as a gift at a baby shower. 

Said baby shower is this weekend. It's a fancy one. Catered, there will probably be hats involved and hosted by the Mother-To-Be's mom and sister at a serious golf club. Mother-To-Be is married to my brother and we're all excited. But we're going to be short one knitted baby jacket unless the stars align and I pull an all-nighter. 

I'm feeling some pressure to represent the Father-To-Be properly, so much so that I've crossed over to the 'other side' and scheduled myself a pedicure. Not that there's anything wrong with pedicures, I'm sure. I don't know, I've never had one. The spa is just not my style. I have a very generous gift certificate that I've been hanging on to since Christmas, so I figured this was as good a time as any to use it up. So nails and toes will be pretty for the weekend. Or at least improved. 


I thought I should include a 'before'...artfully posed so as to cover the unsightly mosquito bites. I wonder if Mr. A will notice?

In other news, The Girl rocked her science exam. 93%, giving her an overall mark of 95% in the course. Well done, Girl, since in this case, we're doing it for the numbers. Her registration at the virtual school for high school credit courses has been accepted and processed. I feel that we're one step closer to having life organized. 

In proper grown-up fashion, Mr. A and I went out and bought some insurance:


Apparently, this generator will run many electrical things in my house, most importantly, the sump pump and the fan that blows the heat around. Having experienced the Ice Storm of 1998 and quite a few blackouts (summer) and power outages (winter) since, a generator is becoming a fixture in many homes here in SE Ontario. 

Just one coffee this morning as I must primp and coif and moisturizer in preparation to be clipped and filed and polished. Wish me luck and patience while I pay strangers to invade my personal space. 

Mrs. A. 

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Something Seems Amiss....

Friday, June 13, 2014


The completed sock is 26g. The partially completed sock is 24g. Somehow, the tiny tangle left to knit, not even enough to qualify as a ball, is 2g. 

Theoretically, the math should work. Practically, I'm not so sure. 

Mrs. A. 

Something Seems Amiss...Part 2


After a very brief moment where I considered ripping back the toe-in-progress as well as the completed toe of the first sock in a vain attempt to steal back enough yarn to finish both toes, I came to my senses and decided to do the only logical thing: 

Put the almost-completed sock on a stitch holder and buy more yarn. 

Also to consider: is there a decorative edge that I could use in future that doesn't use as much as the picot hem? Something scallop-y perhaps? I seem to be brewing a 'summer socks in 50grams or less' challenge...

Mrs. A. 

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After 'The Visit'

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This morning's coffee is a mild Timothy's Breakfast Blend. The coffee maker doesn't like it and tells me I need to de-scale. I've started to sweeten my morning coffee with one spoon of white sugar - it really lends a lovely flavour - and one spoon of coconut sugar. 


I think I'm starting to recover from the Weekend of Visits. It might be helpful if I just talk about wee bits at a time. First up: a positive! My mom has recently been to New Orleans. While there she popped into a yarn shop, 'The Quarter Stitch', and bought a ball of Malabrigo Rios that she gave to me when she was here this weekend. It's lovely. 


It's meant to be a baby sweater. I've agreed to knit it. We've chosen the pattern 'Sweet Poppy' and if this silly blogger app was better, I'd link for you. My brother and his wife - the last of our sibling group to procreate and seen at the footer of my blog in a very old picture - are expecting a baby in September. The baby shower is in a couple of weekends. I think I'm supposed to have this knit for the shower. Not sure. So I figure I'll just knit it up quickly and count the 200m toward my woeful attempts at the Stash Dash. 


It's an interesting construction. Add the tiniest size makes it go quickly. The little neck edge is in the top, middle of the knitted piece so far. The sleeves use a seamless construction and have a cable running down the outside of them. I'm hoping the pattern is generous in stating the required yardage. I have one skein of yarn to work with - approx. 210 yards - and the smallest size calls for 200 yards. I'm just about finished the sleeve increases and I am looking forward to seeing what the pattern does next. In typical Mrs. A fashion, I have not read ahead...


My dogs are not having a good time. Leash training was going well until I hurt my shoulder quite badly. It's feeling much better now, with three weeks rest. I'm afraid to begin walking the two beasts together again as they are so hard to manage. The alternative is to walk them separately. Of course, that would be fine, but the one left at home is an absolute chore to keep settled and the time required means I do nothing else but walk dogs. We've had some success with having the two dogs off leash with us in the pool enclosure. I think part of the problem is that they have no place to play here. They used to play for hours at the other house. But here, even being off leash in the fenced-in pool area, it's more like patrolling rather than playing. As the pool warms, we're hoping to get them both swimming which is great mental and physical exercise for them. As I sort this out, I have a dog which has taken up barking at people when they come in the door, the little one is picking up bad habits, the big one is showing increasingly jealous behavior and insists on getting into the garbage as soon as we turn our backs. But what do they do as we go about our day? 


They sloth. Oh yes...the baby gate. The gate is for the dogs. 


It's been installed to seperate our upstairs main floor and the downstairs. The idea is to have the ability to have the dogs out of their crates, having access to their food and water, but seperate from company or open doors if necessary. That's the idea in theory. In practice, I will have two pissed off huskies sitting on the steps, shoving their heads under the gate, howling bloody murder that they can't chase the toddlers or careen off into the sunset. 

On today's agenda is a bit of school work. The Girl is working on an Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) assignment. I have her latest test to mark. The Boy is still working through Algebra I. He's almost done. We're spending much of our together learning time watching short documentaries on social issues, deconstructing them for structure and practicing writing essays. I'm pushing hard with discussion questions, expanding ideas, backing up points, relevant research, drawing conclusions. We're finishing a Romeo and Juliet Literature Study - they both really like Shakespeare...if I've done anything 'right', I put this at the top of the list - and there's a few bits and bobs to clear off the shelf before the summer courses start that I need to get to. 

This is our last 'at home' day this week. Tomorrow is car maintenance, library meeting, end of year Homeschooler bowling gathering and part-time job for The Girl. Friday is GPS History challenge, Father's Day prep and youth group. 

Mrs. A. 

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014


The Boy Child is 15. We got all ready for his birthday and set up his gifts the night before on the table, as usual. But in the morning, I realized we could use some space other than the dining room table. A space where we could all sit together and enjoy a few minutes of gift opening and Happy Birthday chatter. With all the excitement lately, I'd forgotten to consider the logistics of our new space. 

The weekend with my MotherInLaw was interesting. It was nice to see her and her husband. Mr. A and I took his mom out shopping on Friday and had lunch with her. She spent most the day with us on Saturday. We had a birthday party all afternoon. Mr. A's sister and her family joined us. It was nice to have them all together. They're not really a family for gatherings so it was nice to be able to host something for that side of the family. 

Saturday afternoon The Girl Child came to us, very upset, with a problem. It's fairly serious and I'll just say involves a social situation that gotten out of hand. It cast a bit of a pall over the remainder of the weekend and will take a few days to sort. Mr. A and I are dealing with it but I just feel awful that The Girl is so sad and upset. 

Coffee this morning comes with a giant headache. I'll sign off here today. Hopefully I'll be back soon, feeling better with a happier outlook and a happier household. I'll show you what I needed that baby gate for...

Mrs. A. 



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Thursday Is Not Saturday

Friday, June 6, 2014

In the midst of the latest household organizing, a sick teenager, an impromptu do-it-yourself project in the garage and just arriving home from music lessons and soccer in the rain, my Mother-In-Law 'dropped in'.


A whole 36 hours early. 

......

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Ikea Carnage

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yesterday, I sent the kids to get started on unpacking the Ikea shelf that needed to be assembled.


It's an Expedit shelf. I was excited to bring it home last week after a last minute trip to the store. (Ikea trips are always an event.) These particular shelves are discontinued, but if you look in the warehouse, some can still be found. I was excited to find one lonely Expedit shelf in amongst the new Kallax line of shelving. 

Then we unpacked it. 



That's just a couple of the pictures I took before packing it back up. Every one of the 4 main pieces was damaged in an unignoreable way. And strange damage. Some had water damage. Some had holes. And another had its pre-drilled holes mangled. One side's finish was melting off in a spot. Considering the box was in perfect shape and factory sealed, we were all a little shocked. It had to go back to the store. 

Ikea has very comfortable seating in the Returns and Exchanges area. It's a good thing considering we had to wait more again half an hour for our turn with an Ikea minion. 

I wish I had taken pictures of this guy getting into the box to see the damage we were talking about. We had put a few strips of tape around the edges to close it up. This guy grappled on to one end of the glued down flap and tore it away. Then he ripped chunks of box off until he could grip the large top panel. With both hands he hauled most of the box top away. I told him his method seemed a little excessive while I undid three little strips of tape and quietly lifted the remains of the box lid up. Anyway, our refund was quickly had and Mr. A and I were off to the warehouse. 

Mr. A thought we would pick up a new shelf and be off. Silly Mr. A. 

Once we were in the warehouse, I had Mr. A look at the size of the boxes of the chairs I am interested in. He thinks they won't fit into our vehicle. Then, of course, I had to take Mr. A into the showroom to sit in the chairs I am interested in. (We went against the arrows and backwards through the shortcuts. !!!) He sat in a few chairs for me until I was satisfied. I've now decided on chairs that Mr. A will be happy with. I'll purchase them in July because there is a coupon. I just need one more coupon to maximize my savings. That's something to watch out for. 

By this time I had totally forgotten how angry I was at Ikea and how upset I was over an extra trip - 2 hours of driving! 

Then, back to the Marketplace for a milk frother cup. Ikea has everything. 

We found my replacement Expedit shelf. Also, my new dining room buffet. Because if you're making a trip you might as well fill the car. 


So, a shelf got built yesterday. It wasn't the shelf I had planned to build, but that's ok. Also, I finished the first of the Wee Purple Socks. And I've now hit each of three big cities in South Eastern Ontario in two days. 

Did I mention that when I arrived at the dentist's yesterday, she had been called to surgery and there was no one available to see to the children's teeth. Yeah. I think the universe knows my Mother-In-Law is coming...I don't have time for this when there is so much to do before she gets here!!

Mrs. A. 








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The Opposite Of Knitting

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Please excuse my absence. Blogger ate the post in which I outlined for you the details of the impending visit of my Mother-In-Law, the idiocy of having to travel one hour away to find a Grade 10 Science exam proctor, the state of the house and gardens and What I Did Last Weekend. 


Onward!

Today I have for you Un-Knitting:


The Wee Purple Sock progressed to the final toe decreases at Knit Night last evening. Later, while watching tv with Mr. A, I ripped it back in favour of knitting a sock that will actually fit my foot. 

The purple Malabrigo is wound, as you can see. That is a feat of accomplishment. If the yarn store lady asks you if you'd like to wait a few minutes while she winds two skeins of Malabrigo lace, DO IT. Even if  'a few minutes' means 20 minutes with two teenagers who will be entertaining you the whole time with obscure references to things they probably shouldn't be watching on the Internet. The Malabrigo is going to become Rock Island by Jared Flood. I began it at Knit Night after the ladies said kind and wonderful things about my yarn and pattern choice. But three rows in I had an extra stitch and I hadn't even hit the actual knitting-the-chart part of the knitting. It was the pre-knitting-set-up-for-the-chart. So I ripped that out and started the aforementioned toe decreases. 

Today I am off to the big city an hour away (in the opposite direction of the city which houses the only Science exam proctor in the land) for dental appointments for the kids. Also I must shop for The Boy Child's remaining birthday presents. And a baby gate. And soccer cleats. And chairs. 


The living room is lacking chairs. 


It does have a superfulous stove. The small moon chair - currently the choice piece of furniture for teenagers, I'm told - is The Girl's and will be put in her room should we get around to doing the flooring so she can unpack 'properly'. 

I'm off. Vacuuming and dusting of bedrooms as well as unpacking of the Ikea Expedit shelf and packing of the lunch must occur before heading out.

Mrs. A. 








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