Monday, March 30, 2009

Curtains, Crafts and Cussedness

Don't you just love tulips? We had an almost perfect spring day here in TO on Saturday, and let me tell you, I took full advantage of it! TC was gone for most of the day, which provided the perfect opportunity to get so much done...after going for a little walk to McD's for some breakfast and people watching, of course :)

The biggest project that I accomplished was to take down, wash, dry, iron and rehang all of our curtains, which hasn't been done since we first moved in almost four years ago (it's at times like this that I really miss having a clothesline). I must have spent about 6 hours ironing on Saturday afternoon, but it was worth it. Incidently, did you know that prolonged sessions of ironing can give you blisters? Fun fact.

Between ironing and waiting for the next load of laundry to finish, I finally got around to taking some pictures of the various crafty things I've been up to. This is the batch of vanilla soap I made last weekend, which is now curing out on the sunporch. It smells so good, I can't wait to try it!

This hat has been the bane of my existence for the past two months. It's a lovely design, and I quite like the look of it, but the pattern was way off in terms of size. I used the recommended yarn and the correct needle size, and when I followed the pattern exactly, ended up with a tiny hat that fits a baby, not the "average lady's head" as it claimed. I made some alterations, and version 2.0 was wide enough, but too short. This is version 3.0, and it's just right. I guess I should probably start swatching.

My Jaywalker socks, which I finished a little while ago but haven't posted about because I hadn't gotten around to taking pictures yet. I love them - they're extremely pretty and very comfy. Plus it's supremely satisfying to wear something that you've made yourself :)

I also did some major organizing of my craft supplies - moving all the leftover yarn from various projects into storage, sorting through the collection of patterns, and getting rid of the ones that, realistically, I'll never use. Then I sat down and made a list of all the people I need to give gifts to this year, and decided what I'd be making or giving them that would fit the criteria of my gifting resolution. It's looking like there will be no shortage of projects to work on between now and December 31st :)

If I ever finish the cussed top-stitching afghan, that is.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dreams and Drudgery

I really need to dig out the camera and get some pictures up! Life has been trundling along pretty much non-stop for the last little while, so my efforts here have been less than they could be :) Most of my free time is spent working on the Latticework Afghan that I'm making as a wedding present for some friends who got married over a month ago. This sucker is taking forever! The top-stitching is super-pretty, but it means that you're essentially making 2 afghans, one stitched on top of the the other. It will get done, though, sooner or later (probably later).

I'm also starting to dream about what I'm going to try to grow in my little garden this year. Last year's garden was a complete disaster. Every plant was destroyed by some type of bug - the lettuce by aphids, the beans by an unidentified black bug that hung on the underside of the leaves, and everything else by spider mites. All I managed to harvest was 3 tiny tomatoes and a few stalks of swiss chard. I threw out all the soil/mulch/etc. and left the pots out in the unheated sun porch all winter, so I'm hoping that, with a good washing, any remaining creepy-crawlies will be taken care of. And I'll be buying sanitized soil this year.

I love the idea of growing my own food, but I seem to have a rather well developed black thumb. I need to find some hardy plants that do well in containers. Maybe just an herb garden this year? Except for TC's jalapenos. Or a mix of veggies and flowers? Herbs and flowers? What do you think?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Could you please repeat the question?

Because I know you've all been dying to know:

Lean = List (ie. a ship that leans is said to list)

4 = 4 (he had no system for numbers)

misterhamburgers = mistakes (mister the opposite of miss, hamburger for steak = miss+steak = mistake)

butler = made (butler the opposite of maid, maid = made)

farewell = by (farewell for bye, bye = by)

Enron = Enron (proper names, like numbers, stayed the same)

motel = in (motel for inn, inn = in)

the 1990's = the 1990's.

So: List 4 mistakes made by Enron in the 1990's.

On a completely different note, I'm super excited because my mum & dad are coming to visit sometime in April! They don't know exactly when yet, or for how long, but I'm not going to complain :) I can't wait to see them.

I was just saying to TC the other day that very recently Toronto has started to feel like a place where I could see us living for a while. We've put down roots, and connected with a wonderful community of people who mean so much to us. If only my family lived closer - it's the one thing that really, really sucks about living here (there are other things that kind of suck, but them I can deal with).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Memories

I don't know what prompted it, but on my way to work this morning I kept thinking about one of my high school teachers. He was a bit of an odd-ball, but then I think most high school teachers have to be if they're going to survive :)

What made him odd, other than the bizarre stories he told (my favourite involved cheap luggage and a run-in with the Russian mafia), was the fact that he created his own language, and expected his students to learn it. All of his notes and assignments were written in his language, so you learned it or you flunked. And you know what? I still remember it, or rather it's basic principles. I don't remember anything else I learned in his class, but the language I do. Here's an example of a typical assignment question:

Lean 4 misterhamburgers butler farewell Enron motel the 1990's.

Any guesses as to what that says in regular English?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend in Review

Things I Liked:

  • Not waking up to the sound of the alarm clock.
  • Sleeping in until 11:00 am :)
  • Being taken out for brunch by my honey.
  • Walking in the spring sunshine holding TC's hand.
  • Getting 5 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away.
  • Opening all the windows and getting rid of the winter stuffiness.
  • Planning the meals for this week and getting all the grocery shopping done.
  • Playing with babies in the nursery on Sunday morning.

Things I Didn't Like:

  • A hair dresser who doesn't understand "chin length with layers".
  • Trying to compensate for a bad hair cut.
  • People who say they'll meet you and then don't show.
  • Discovering halfway through a recipe that I'm missing a key ingredient.
  • Watered-down fountain beverages.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Enough with the winter already!

We are now entering the time of year when it seems like spring is taking its merry time getting here. I don't know about you, but I always get a little impatient right about now and start feeling the urge to shake things up, try something new, do something to make it feel like spring is already here.

Any guesses as to what I did today? :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And the Winner Is...

...someone other than TC. We found out last night that he didn't win the election, and although he's a little disappointed, we're definitely okay with not having to move into Massey. As much as we were excited about the potential adventure, the more we looked into it, the more of a logistical nightmare it became. Certainly do-able, but it would have taken some serious effort to make it all happen.

So we're going to stay right where we are, and focus our energy on different adventures :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Homemade Goodness - for you!

I first read about this over on Sherrie's blog, and have since seen it in a couple of other places and I want in! I'm always looking for an excuse to start a new project :)

So here are the rules - The first 5 people who respond to this post will get something hand made by me: it will be my choice, but will, hopefully, be something you can use or enjoy for its aesthetic merits. I won't guarantee that you will love it ~ but I sure hope you do! I also promise to mail my handmade gift to you before the end of the year (December 31, 2009) or sooner.

To participate, you must "Pay It Forward" by posting your own hand made giveaway on your blog. Then put together something to be sent out as 5 surprises of your own. These surprises can be anything ~ a piece of art, a photo, a poem ~ whatever you choose.

Now I'll just wait for the comments to come rolling in! If you're one of the first five to comment, please e-mail me your mailing address (bloomingpatterns [at] gmail [dot] com), and my gift to you will go in the mail sometime in the next 9 months!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Airing my dirty laundry?

Right now my house is a complete disaster - partly because we've both been sick off and on through the entire month of February, and partly because when we have been well, we've been frickin' busy! Looking around at the place this morning, the state of chaos struck me as so funny that I just burst out laughing. My mother and grandmother would be horrified! No one would be allowed anywhere near the house until everything was spic and span. So what do I do? Take pictures so I can show you folks the pig sty I call home at the moment, of course :) Where shall we begin in my little tour of shame...

How about the kitchen, where as you can see, the mess from a couple of meals is still sitting out on the various countertops - though in our defense, the milk is empty and all the leftovers have been put in the fridge. We're not quite that bad! Let's move on to...

...the dining room, which is currently the cleanest room in the apartment. The mess has been confined to the table, which we haven't been able to eat off of in quite some time. And the chairs are serving as impromptu drying racks for clothes that have been dry for a while but not put away yet, much like...

...most of the clothes you see here in the living room. There's also another load of clean clothes in the dryer in the basement which has been there since Tuesday - I really should go get them, but I haven't been home long enough to do so. Actually, only the clothes in the hamper underneath the yarn and jeans, and the sheets/sweater on the rocking chair are clean - the rest need to be washed. We've had to change and get ready in the living room for the past couple of days because...

...our shoes (as well as various and sundry odds & ends) exploded in the bedroom. Actually TC's temporary fix of the box spring fell apart in the middle of the night, so everything had to be pulled out from under the bed so we could put it on the floor again. I nearly killed myself when I got up to get a drink of water last night.

As you can see, life has been, and continues to be, a little chaotic right now, but you know what? I'm okay with that. This time last year I would have been stressing out about all the stuff going on, the state of my apartment and how much I have to do, but this year I'm just not worried about it. I think it's because I've finally come to realize that it's such a waste of time to worry about anything.

When it comes right down to it, I worry because I'm not in control, because I don't feel like I have a handle on things. But what I've come to realize is that that's okay. Ordering the universe is not my job, that's handled by someone who's much better at it than I am. My job is to become the best me that I possibly can, and insofar as I am able, to try and help others do the same. If accomplishing that means letting the housework slide for a little while, who cares? It's just not that high a priority.

That being said, though, if you're looking for me tonight, I'll be at home, cleaning up :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Waiting Game

Today's the day - TC and the other candidates give their speeches tonight, and then the polls are open! They stay open until Saturday night, and the votes are counted on Sunday, so we should know by Sunday night what our fate will be...

Be sure to tune in on Monday morning :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hints of Spring

I love this time of year! True, it's still -20 outside, and there isn't much greenery as of yet, but spring has begun and there's no stopping it now. How do I know that? When I woke up this morning, for the very first time this year I didn't have to turn on the lamp to see, because the sun had already risen. And then in the subway on the way to work, I was blinded by the sunshine at several points as the track went above ground. I know that will annoy the heck out of me later in the summer, but for now I rejoice in the fact that it means spring is on the way.

What about you folks? What is the first thing that "spring" to you?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I am royally pissed off. I mean really angry - so angry I want to weep. Why, oh why, oh WHY must people wear perfume?!? TC got us tickets to a concert today, a piano duet by two of the best duetists in the world, held at the Royal Conservatory. I was excited about it, and really looked forward to an enjoyable afternoon. Things were going well - we arrived a little early, found good seats, and settled in. Then just before the concert was set to start, a woman covered in furs and fumes arrived. Her scent assaulted my nose before she even entered the row behind us for one of the few remaining seats, which happened to be right behind me.

I immediately went on the alert. Her perfume was so strong that it was actually hurting me to breathe, but I hoped beyond hope that I'd be able to make it through the performance before the full-blown allergy attack that I knew would be coming actually hit. I fanned. I breathed as shallowly as possible. I tried to discretely cover my nose when I needed to take a deeper breath. I was so focused on trying to breathe that I honestly couldn't tell you much about what the music was like.

Then I felt my right eye start to water, and I knew there was nothing I could do. At the beginning of the second piece, I started feeling the need to cough, which is how I react to perfume. Have you ever tried to keep yourself from coughing? For 30-40 minutes? It isn't pretty. Your nose runs. Your eyes stream. And depending on how desperate you are to control your cough (and I was desperate), you end up doing the coughing equivalent of a dry heave. Not that any of this actually prevented me from coughing. All it did was allow me to try and time my coughs with a louder part of the piece rather than during the silences between movements.

By the time intermission came, I felt so badly for the people sitting around me - I know how disruptive it can be to have someone coughing in your ear while you're trying to enjoy music - that I left and came home. There was no way I was going to be able to stay. Even if we sat somewhere else, the damage had already been done, and my allergies were in full swing. Before I left, though, I really wanted to find the woman and tell her what she'd done - ruining the entire concert for me, and at least partly for the people who were forced to sit and listen to me have a coughing fit. It was probably a good thing I didn't see her.

It just makes me so mad! I've heard every excuse under the sun for wearing perfume, but ultimately there is no good reason for it. If you wear perfume it's because you like to. You don't need it. It doesn't make you a better, more likeable person. It says nothing about you - nothing good, anyway. All it does is make a significant part of the population miserable whenever they go out in public because they can't breathe!!!!

So lay off the perfume!