Tuesday, March 31, 2009

some news

tomorrow i start school. you didn't know i applied to school? that's because i didn't tell you. fear of rejection and all that. (rejection from the school, not you readers. i know you'd stick with me through thick & thin)

anyways, i'm beginning a social work program, to be finished in the next five years. hopefully less. i don't actually want to be a babysnatcher or anything like that, but a few jobs i've seen that appealed to me in the past while have required a bsw, so maybe i should get one. the alternative is continuing to be unable to get a good job and so wasting my life at jobs that bore and underpay me. i'm thrilled to finally be moving on with my life instead of remaining an unhappy housewife.

speaking of moving on, i'm relocating on thursday. i will take up residence in a nice little place not far from here. it has a fantastic south-facing sunroom, it's near a park and a library, and no metal music will be played on the premises. yes, you read that right, my partner is not accompanying me on the move. but the kids are, half-time. more on that another day.

i'm also desperately looking for a job.

and the new place won't have internet. not for the first month, anyways.

so between the kids, school, (hopefully) work, and adapting to living on my own after spending a quarter of my life with my partner, i don't think i'll be blogging daily. i'll shoot for weekly. but you'll get to see how i transform an already beautiful space into a beautiful living space that is mine. fascinating, non?

so anyways, i'll be in touch.


Monday, March 30, 2009

musings of an english nerd

i was running all over town today, waiting in lines and waiting areas and at bus stops, and i had a lot of time to think.

sometimes that's a bad thing.

so..... the word 'duped'. it means 'fooled', right? between the way it looks and the meaning, i assume that it's derived from 'duplicity', meaning trickiness and dishonesty. but 'duped' seems like it was once short for something. what would the word for someone who has been the victim of a duplicitous person be? duplicitousified? duplicitiated?

as ever, i went to the internet for a resolution to my query.

this is what wikipedia has to say about the word duped.

more helpfully, the online etymology dictionary sez:
dupe (n.) Look up dupe at Dictionary.com
1681, from Fr. dupe "deceived person," from M.Fr. duppe (1426), thieves' jargon, probably from phrase de huppe "of the hoopoe," an extravagantly crested and reputedly stupid bird. Bird name is from L. upupa, imitative of its cry. The verb is from 1704.
dang, i gues i'm not always right. who knew?

and now, because this post isn't dorky enough, an assortment of english related xkcd comics.

Friday, March 27, 2009

my wishes re: reincarnation

i am trying to be very, very good in this life so in my next life i will be reincarnated as a well-cared for housecat.i will wallow in the sun.a lot.

sockly love

my boy hears that i love him at least a hundred times a day. he can't walk past me, or even be in the same room as me, without me swinging him into my arms and squeezing him half to death while kissing him all over and/ or threatening to eat him. there comes a point, though, where the same thing repeated enough times becomes meaningless. and so i made him socks.you probably already know this, (daffodylic, megan and llama all do) but a handknit socks are actually hugs. long, warm, cozy hugs that wrap around your feet and you can wear all day and then to bed.
^this is a picture of me hugging my son.^

first green!

by the time march rolls around i simply feel dead inside. too long trapped inside, too long since i've seen the sun. but the day i start my seeds i start to feel a little more hopeful. the day i see the first green in my plant pots the clouds obscuring my soul roll back and all becomes well in the world.the first green was today.hallelujah!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

planned childbirth

don't bother trying to call me tomorrow, and don't look for me online, i'm going to be in labour.

'what?' you say, 'you're pregnant? i had no idea!'

'well, i'm not. i haven't been in a while, and i probably won't be ever again' i reply.

'but you said you're going to be in labour tomorrow. you mean labour as in childbirth, right?' you ask, confusion dancing across your features

'that's right. i'll have midwives in attendance, checking my vitals, even'

at this point i quit being so mysterious and explain myself.

'you see, dear reader, i'm helping my midwife-friend out. she's leading a workshop tomorrow for her fellow midwives, demonstrating some sort of midwifey technique thing. and she needs someone to demonstrate on. i'll get to expose my well-hidden thespian side and spend the day giving birth. how's that for random?'

'oh, yes,' you agree, nodding vigorously 'that is very random indeed'

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


this morning i woke up to this:stinkin dirty rotten filthy snow. spring was supposed to be coming. what the hell?

i've been job hunting, mostly coming up empty. it's disheartening and discouraging and depressing and lots of other words that start with d. today, out of the blue, a former employer called me up and offered me a job. four twelve hour shifts a week, sleeping. with benefits, a pension plan, holiday pay... i would get paid to sleep. seriously, paid to sleep. the money is crap, but enough. especially considering the type of work i'd be doing. which is, by the way, sleeping.

i had to turn it down since the hours conflict with my partner's work schedule.

excuse me while i go sob in the bathroom some more.

paid. to sleep.

Monday, March 23, 2009

money well spent

i have the world's best thrift store a few blocks away, and i visit it as often as i can. if they had customer loyalty points i'd be set. anyways, today i scored in a phenomenal way.see? even batman* likes it. i like it, too. knitting in a chair with no arms is marvelous. plus it looks funky.it's like winning the lottery, getting a vintage armless armchair for 15$. surely the sweetest deal, ever. i also got a more traditional armchair for another 15$, and they're both incredibly comfortable.

*not relevant to this post, but in the picture and potentially making you scratch your head in bewilderment: my kids use rolled up, taped together flyers as light sabers. i don't allow toy weapons in the house, but i can't forbid everything that can be used as a weapon. flyers are free and don't hurt when they fight with them, so i can live with that. but i think i'm one of the only people whose kids get all giddy on flyer day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

frigging awesome

my friend is getting married in a month, and i'm a bridesmaid. we have a lot of shared history (25 years, ish) and i love her to pieces, but we have nothing in common. my friend has a trendy townhouse, an important job, a successful fiancee, and is well off. she's stylish, classy, socially appropriate... like i said, we really have nothing in common.
so what the hell does someone like me give someone like her for a wedding present? i'm not actually able to get anything fancy, and she already has everything.
so, of course, i went to ravelry to solve my problem.
ravelry has a lot of patterns, but most don't scream 'classy and modern!'. even if a pattern did, i'd have to opt for the pattern that whispered it, instead, and i couldn't find any of those.
finally, i found this: a mobius shrug. with less texture (and no vile moss stitch) a more urban colour, and some mohair, it could be just the thing.
i wanted it to be charcoal, but i coudn't find the right yarn. in the clearance section, though, there was estelle watercolours (acrylic & mohair) in a creamy colour. don't tell my friend, but her present is costing me less than 2$. i grabbed my biggest needles, cast on an arbitrary number of stitches, and i was in business. it has very nice drape, a lovely luster and a subtle shimmer. my plan i to knit it like a scarf until it drapes comfortably around the shoulders, twist it once, and sew the ends together as invisibly as possible.
the result should be elegant, warm, and soft. if not, my credit card and i will be making an emergency shopping trip.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

spring equinox

what more auspicious day for starting seeds could there be than the spring equinox? and who better could there be to do it with than my little guy?
he's so great. he took it all so seriously. he held his breath and bit his lower lip while he poked holes in the soil for the seeds. he was so, so careful to get the seeds in the right spots. when i watered the tray he kept warning me against overwatering and pointing out the plants that didn't get enough.

my young padwan has done well.

on your left are three types of tomato (bison, early annie and german strawberry) and on your right are four types of pepper (cayenne, siberian home, hungarian hot and yellow & purple bell) there are two seeds in seperate spots in each container, and the one that grows the fastest & biggest will be the one that i don't uproot and chuck as soon as there looks like there's any competition for light or root space. the tray now has a clear plastic dome and is occupying a sunny window where the kids can't reach.

spring is officially here and i can feel it - there are seeds germinating!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

seed pot tutorial #2

tomorrow is spring equinox, the day i have chosen to start my seeds. in preparation for this auspicious occasion i'm finishing up making my seed pots. i promised here to do a tutorial on origami seed pots, and i am a girl of my word, so here you are.

1. go to this site and follow the directions until you get to this picture:then stop. don't do what that picture indicates. instead,

2. fold the paper in thirds, first one way
3. and then the other

4. so when you open it up the way it says to here:it looks more like this:

then follow the directions on the site to the end. you should end up with this.
it's only a very minor modification, but it makes a big difference as far as the usefulness of the end product. remember: fold in thirds, not halves.

happy folding!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


i would blog, i really would, but i'm busy playing bejeweled blitz on facebook. it's sucked me in and i can't quit until my score tops 150 000. (i'm currently at 128 600) it's not optional, folks.in my absence, watch this. i really love it. i don't think i've ever seen anything quite like it, and truly original music videos are few & far between, wouldn't you say?

and one last goodie, to assuage my guilt over the blog neglect.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


my bff socks for daffodylic are finally done, and i am very pleased. look!
i mailed them off today. enjoy, friend.next up: a shrug for my friend's wedding and socks for my little boy, since he's already outgrown the ones i made him for xmas.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

yarn joy

the other evening things were dreary and grey. my partner was taking the kid out, leaving the baby and i home to enjoy the marvelous joys of doing taxes. the baby was weepy and clingy, i had a headache... it was not the best moment of my life.
i was settling down in front of the computer, coffee in hand, whiny baby being ignored, when i heard a weird thump at the door. i looked out the window and saw a postal worker heading back to a canada post truck... do postal people deliver stuff at 7 pm? apparently so. or some divine spirit knew i needed some day-brightening and moved a spiritually aware package deliveryperson to bring me some goodness. either way, i was mightily surprised and pleased.

inside the screen door i found a plump, cheerful package that looked mightily pleased with itself. i was mightily pleased with it, too. pleased turned to ecstatic when i opened it...oh my dear lord.
  • allergen-free 'granola' bars for my son
  • lace-weight merino yarn in a stunning colourway
  • packaged in a yarn bag
a yarn bag, i discovered as i read the tag, is a waterproof bag for holding a skein or two of yarn, for knitting on the go. if my thermos dumps itself in my backpack, if i set my bag down in a puddle, if the river overflows its banks and i'm chest-deep in water, i don't need to fret. my yarn is dry, secure, and in a stylin' bag.

the yarnis very, very soft. and pretty. i've never knit with lace-weight yarn and i have no idea what to make with it, but yarn doesn't go bad, so when the perfect idea arrives i'll be ready, pretty yarn in hand.

i don't have anything to say about the granola bars yet, since i'm saving them for the next outing i take my son on. there's nothing like an exciting new treat to bribe him into sitting still on the bus.

so thank you, yarnfloozies, for making tax night ten zillion times better.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

book review: the mercy rule

the mercy rule by perri klass is a great book. it's written in the most straightforward prose i've ever had the pleasure of reading. the book handles many sensitive topics with unsentimental truth and blatant elegance.

the protagonist, lucy, is a suburban mom of two. married, working, taking her kids to soccer practice and birthday parties. dr. lucy weiss is a pediatrician specializing in at-risk and foster children, and a nationally recognized authority on the subject. she is also a former foster child, herself. the book centres around two main subjects: lucy's complex relationship with her complex daughter, isabel, and her efforts to balance her difficult, often wrenching work and her home life.

there's a fine balance between being an evil babysnatcher, removing kids from bad homes to put them in worse ones, and being a rescuer of children at risk, removing them to safety. i once had a job where i had to make that call occasionally, and it is brutal. the home life is bad, but is it so bad that it warrants removal? at what point is the line crossed that necessitates breaking up a family? it's a hard, hard choice, and perri klass does an excellent job of articulating just how excruciating it is.

isabel and lucy are, like many mother-daughter pairs, both stunningly similar and amazingly different. their relationship is fraught with misunderstandings, but also has nuggets of harmony. it's complicated, painful, wonderful, and incredibly real. this relationship is so well developed it's almost like another main character. also beautiful is the way isabel, a pre-teen, isn't another faceless stereotyped young girl. she's got a fully formed personality, and she is an amazing, talented, messed up, neurotic kid, just like the ones you'll meet in real life. the depiction of isabel is hands-down the best character development of a minor i've read this decade. if for nothing else, read the mercy rule to see how well the author creates the characters of isabel and lucy.

i don't know if this book was better than the groom to have been, but it's at least on par. it is therefore now tied for best book of the year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

this bathroom is brought to you by etsy.com

today my soap dish arrived, and i love it. i spent enough time in the bathroom, admiring how it adds colour and interest to the sink, that my kids started banging on the bathroom door and yelling for me. in other words, about 15 seconds. i hope to spend longer admiring it after my babies go to bed tonight. this beautiful item was purchased here.

i had been using body shop facial cream and it was ok, but i don't like body shop ethics. naturally, i went to etsy when i saw that it was time to replace my cream.

my search led me to summerland scrubs, where sample-sized jars of goat milk and cocoa butter souffle cream are less than 2$. i was surprised and delighted to see that the 'sample' contained almost as much as the body shop jar (1 oz vs 1.7 oz, if the body shop charged as much per ounce as summerland scrubs i would have paid about 3$ for my old jar)

the moisturizer itself is light, with the texture of chocolate mousse. a tiny bit goes a long way. it rubs in really well without residue. the body shop stuff left a residue. it was gross.

i'm not wild about the 'chocolate fudge' scent, it reminds me of chocolate skittles (bleugh!) in that it's a fake chocolate scent. sort of like how grape flavouring smells nothing like grapes. i'm not discouraged, though. i'll happily use up this cream and next time try another of her fantastic-sounding scents. maybe lemon cilantro.

the final way that my new cream kicks my old cream's ass is the ingredients list. the etsy stuff has about 1/4 as many ingredients as the body shop cream, and i can pronounce all of them. most of them i could find at the health food store. the body shop cream has the usual mile-long list of scary-sounding ingredients.

overall i give the summerland scrubs goat milk and cocoa butter souffle cream an enthusiastic two thumbs up and the body shop soy & calendula daily moisturizing cream a distasteful shrug.

the final etsy-based product i plan to review today is my bag of cocoa butter bath melts from bubbles n suds. these fizzy little bombs of joy are tiny - just look how shrimpy that one looks next to the huge, hulking lush bath bomb - but it's exactly as big as it needs to be. instead of being mostly fillers and air, these melts are dense and intense. it fizzed hard, and when it was done the bathroom smelled like a belgian chocolate factory and my skin was coated in delicious cocoa butter. all the patches of dry skin that had been forming on my body disappeared that day. i'm officially converted, and there's no going back.

to make things even better, a typical lush bath bomb costs ~6$. these delicious little treats are 6.50$ for 6. instead of a moisturizing bath being an expensive extravagance it can be an ordinary luxury.

seriously, these are the shizznit. buy them, and if you don't like them, send them to me. and when you're buying some, check out the lego shaped soap, the fight club soap, and all the other cool stuff to be found at the bubbles n suds soap company.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

disappointment is...

when i was a kid, when there was something i really wanted that was beyond my allowance (fifty cents a week until i was in my teens, then two dollars a week. but in a small town there isn't much to buy) i was told to go roll the coins in the change bucket. my efforts generally rewarded me with enough rolled small change to buy whatever lego set or scrunchie had caught my eye.

i've been quietly yearning for a magical windfall that would enable me to go to my friend's wedding this spring. trips to florida aren't cheap, though, and even if i had the money i'd need a passport, which i don't have. disregarding those irritating details, i decided to go begging from my sugar daddy of yore - the penny jar.two canadian dollars. 1.55 american dollars. i don't think i'll be visiting the sunshine state this year.

although the coppers and browns in the penny rolls are really pretty. can someone find me a sock yarn in those colours? pretty, penny-coloured socks might soothe my aching soul.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

more kid art cuteness

this afternoon my son (who is 3) took the camera and tried it out. out of 142 images about 15 weren't too blurry or dark, and these are the best five.
i promise that tomorrow won't be about my kid's artistic endeavors. thanks for bearing with me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

pure silliness

the front
the inside
my boy has been really into making cards for people lately. he's very specific about what he wants the picture to be, what he wants the inside to say, and who the card is for. this card was created while i napped today, and when i got up the little guy said told me that 'da big bug is scairting the persons in the building'.

who would have guessed that a giant, villainous bug would melt my heart? i must be getting sappy in my old age.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

four good things

i've been in a funk for a few days, so i am going to list some of the things in my life that are good.

1. last night i did a short session with a yoga dvd before bed, and it was wonderful. each of the dozen or so times that the babes woke me up i noticed how good my spine felt. when i'm done this post i'll do another session, and have another happy-spine night.

2. i won a contest! see? i think the prize is yarn, but i won't know for sure until i get an exciting surprise in the mail. the blog that hosted the contest is worth checking out, it's a collaborative effort with lots of good cat and knitting pictures.

3. my bff socks are practically knitting themselves. i've already started the second one, and the first looks fantastic. see? the yarn is very nice, the pattern gives me shivers, the knitting is supremely enjoyable, the end product is excellent. i'm not going to want to give these up when i finish them. i will, though, because no matter how nice the socks are, daffodylic is nicer and i want her feet to be clad in my love.

4. i drink fantastic coffee. really good coffee can make even the shittiest type of day quite a bit better.

so here's to coffee, friends, socks, knitting, contests, yarn, blogs, yoga and supple spines!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

seed pot tutorial # 1

in honour of the temperature being all the way up near freezing today (and so balmy and summerlike, compared to the -30 and colder that i've gotten used to over the past four months) i will show you one of the ways i make my seed pots.
i'm not into paying for peat pots that destroy the planet. instead, i save my toilet paper rolls and paper bags for a while and make my pots out of them. that way i'm reducing, reusing, and upcycling. see how green i am?

this tutorial is for the very simplest possible seed pot. let me demonstrate.
did you catch that? because it's the whole thing. i'll write it out.
  1. cut a toilet paper roll in half. (if you want a nice collar to protect your tomatoes from the horrors of cutworm, leave the roll whole but only fill it 1/2 or 2/3 with soil)
  2. cut a strip of newspaper or paper bag (i prefer the paper bag, it's sturdier) that's long enough to wrap around the length of the roll and then some, and wide enough to cover the circle of the roll.
  3. place the roll in the middle of the strip and pull the paper up to the top and tuck the ends into the roll
  4. fill with soil. the soil will hold the paper in place.
next you put the pot in some sort of tray under a good window, plant your seeds, and let them grow.

you'll need to support the bottom of the pot when you move it, since the paper is going to slowly rot and become even more prone to tearing. but that's the idea, since you want the pot to biodegrade as the plant grows, once you transplant it outside.

if when you plant your pot in the soil, if you're nervous about the roll not decaying quickly enough, you can slide it out of the ground, leaving the plant behind. i don't think it's an issue, though, since the pot is so short that roots easily spread out below it.

my other method of making seed pots involves folding origami boxes. i've slightly modified the basic box design that you can find anywhere. (the regular plan makes a wide, low box, and i prefer something cube-ish)

if there is interest i can post a tutorial on the origami pots. is there interest?