Thursday, September 25, 2008

Motoring

I have had some significant challenges with this blogspot and it's stubbornness in not allowing me to format things the way I need to. After consulting a web designer, a graphic person and a very skilled admin assistant (I love having great connections and friends), we all agreed that if I wanted novel things like spacing and formating, I should change the format. So I am over at www.knittinchickmusings.blogspot.com Come find me there!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A walk on the sketch side

I work with a non-profit in Alberta which means that we are able to qualify to work for a casino every 12-18 months which brings in around $75,000 for two days of having volunteers staff a good chunk of the casino. I have incredibly mixed feelings about casinos and the social activist in me struggles significantly but... I thought I'd share with you some of the interesting things I encountered.

  1. The man who was upset that he had to sign for winning $10,000 as he was still down... don't you understand?
  2. The guy who offered to sell his body to the other cashier for more gambling money... hate to break it to you buddy but she'd rather invest $100,000 into a mortgage.
  3. I obviously do not have a lucky streak about me. The people who cashed out their chips with me ranged from $3.50 to small amounts (in comparison) with the other volunteer who would cash out $6,500 at the same way that I would cash out $100.
  4. Drinking alcohol, being with your drunk buddies and being up at 1:30 in the morning causes people to view their physical bodies as much more 'impressive' than they truly are.
  5. At 1:00 in the morning, you might be tempted to sing along with the music that is being pumped out of the stereo system in order to stay awake... and to not be frozen by the air conditioning in there. This might not be seen as impressive by your other rather tired volunteers serving with you.
  6. And finally, what we have always known... chocolate makes the world go round. After midnight and a chocolate bar enjoyed by all volunteer staff, everyone always gets happier.

Now if you'll excuse me, there are international students that have had any meals made for them for a few days and there is a bed calling my name.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The House of Knittinchick

So... it would sound impressive if I made it sound like my knitting made me a cool person, wouldn't it? It seriously does make me cool and you are all jealous... just wait and see. I spent this weekend finishing off some Baby Surprise Jackets and they are so adorable, aren't they? They are knit in one crazy piece and then you have to figure out how they are put together. It doesn't reflect poorly on my intelligence if my international student figured it out in half the time it did me, does it? Anyways, hope your day and week is fabulous.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stupid is as stupid does

So... I'm a part of the Spirit Committee at work. I had this great idea that I would help them be more creative and creating a spirit of valuing people there (which is a good thing). I thought that caramel apples might be a nice fall touch for everyone to have on their desk this upcoming week as we serve children and youth at our organization. However, I did not think ahead. Demonstrated by:

  1. Knittinchick suggesting this idea and being the instigator.
  2. Knittinchick reassures everyone that it won't be a problem... we'll just use the crock-pot after work to make them
  3. She forgets to check the recipe before suggesting this. Apparently a crock-pot won't get hot enough for caramel sauce.
  4. She purchases everything on the long weekend for the 40 people who receive a paycheque at her work.
  5. She realizes that she'll have to do it the night before going back to work.
  6. Apparently a large batch of caramel takes a long time to get to the right temperature and consistency (note to self: buy a candy thermometer... those $10 would be well invested)
  7. Start dipping the apples before it is really thick... apparently it will run off the apples and everywhere in the kitchen. Did you know that caramel makes a mess?
  8. Knittinchick does this late at night when you have done a little extra exercise during the day to try and lose some of the 15 pounds and is starting to feel it everywhere in her body.
  9. Knittinchick turns her home into a sweatshop with begging the students to help her pull these messy apples into bags.
  10. Finally all of the apples are bagged up and sitting at the front door. Four baking pans look so pretty but trust me, they are deceiving... they all represent a ton of work!

The good news is that my students have now tasted caramel, know about the tradition of students giving their teacher an apple and Knittinchick is extra committed to losing the pounds. I don't think that I'll ever crave a caramel apple, caramel anything ever again!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekends rock!

So... I have decided that I absolutely love long weekends. In my last job, there were weekend work hours so although we got the time off, it was never all together. Here are the fun things that I have discovered about not working weekends:

  1. You see your neighbors... and don't resent the neighbors that are having a backyard bbq still going on at 11:00 on a Saturday night... you roll with it.
  2. Coffee on a Sunday morning relaxing is heavenly.
  3. Everyone else has the weekends off... I have had more knitting dates and bbqs with friends instead of always sending regrets. Colour me happy, my extroverted little self says.
  4. TGIF takes on new meaning. It's all about making it to the end of Friday for your mini-vacay!
  5. Getting together with your old friends from your old work has suddenly taken on new proportions... it's kind of a pain to try and find that works for both parties.
  6. Relaxing over the weekends is fabulous, going to work with a clean house on Monday is great and a little weekday preparation means that the weekend is actually fun! (or productive when you are staining your fence...)

Enjoy the weekend. And relax and enjoy the two full days away from the office.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Excitement for this little chiquita!

So... one of my coworkers called and begged another coworker to come in on her vacation to photocopy IDs of people who were going to volunteer with minors (insert police checks and child safety checks). This very tired coworker called me and asked if I'd like to be her BFF (best friend forever) and do the photocopying for her. I am not about working like a dog these days and being the rescue queen but someone is NOT going to work on their vacation on my watch! So I went in to photocopy ID. Easy, right? Well, in my usual way to make drama everywhere in my life, I had a little adventure....

  • The first coworker explained how to photocopy to me. I reassured her that I was ok with photocopying.
  • I started introducing myself to people and asking them for ID to insure that they weren't criminals (well maybe I worded it better). Did I mention that I wasn't wearing my work nametag?
  • I explain to them about what ID will and won't work... one government issued photo ID and one gov't issued ID such as health care, social insurance number, birth certificate. Some were prepared and others didn't know where their health care card was.... isn't that a bit disturbing?
  • I take all the piles to the photocopier and the receptionist shows me the special preprogrammed button for ID... wow, we are advanced!
  • No worries, I am rock 'n rolling.
  • What people are showing up to chat with me? Inside voice: please leave me alone so I make sure the right and proper photocopies happen. Outside voice, "Oh how lovely to see you. How are you?"
  • Then there are about 20 people who need photocopying explained to them and it executed.
  • No worries, now try remembering who belongs to what. Good idea to self: always check the photo ID first. And don't laugh that this guy's first name if Herbert but he goes by John. Your secret's safe with me.
  • Finish off and go home to relax... ignore the fact that you've only been photocopying for one hour!!!

Another day in the fantastically exciting life of Knittinchick.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer insanity!

So... every summer I get caught up in the loveliness that is the farmer's market. Yesterday I went there and was reminded about how when I went there last year I had to leave because of a massive anxiety attack (insert: even more massive doses of gratitude and joy that I have passed through the valley of burnout!). So... I decided to celebrate by:

  • grabbing lunch at the Ukrainian food kiosk (I was on my lunch hour) served to me by a Mexican guy who is from the same city that my sister lives in... you've got to love irony!
  • having a homemade cupcake
  • stopping at the produce stand and buying two generous bags of peppers for only $6/piece
  • getting a couple baskets of peaches

Granted when I got home last night and needed to deal with the peppers and peaches, I wondered who in their right mind gets so excited about chopping them up and freezing them for the long winter. I do know that I'll enjoy them throughout the winter but I do this every year. Seriously! You'd think I'd learn my lesson.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Things you never knew

So... I'd like to let you know what I have been learning about the different ways of this world. We are not all the same! Case in point:

  • Not every country flushes their TP in the toilet. Some put in the trash can.
  • Not every country eats bran muffins or cereal for breakfast. Many eat fried and smelly meats first thing in the morning.
  • Not every country embraces the sunny weather of the summer. Some use umbrellas to protect themselves against the sun.
  • Not every country considers the noise of eating a big deal.

Good thing we're not all the same! I realize that maybe I may have gotten stuck in my ways.... but we all love the same things: knowing that we're appreciated, a nice meal and fun with friends.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yes!

At risk of sounding like an pyramid-ish salesperson, I LOVE this post. You have to go read it. I think that Happy Geek has been inside my skin at some of those painful parties.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boring, boring, boring

I've decided that a commitment to healthy eating and walking most evenings after dinner is TOTALLY overrated. Seriously, I made a quinoa salad with fruit from the weight watchers cookbook tonight... and thought it was quite tasty. I now am speaking about quinoa (a healthy grain that is good for you). My poor international students. The Korean student (who is as skinny as all get out) who has a hollow leg had to stock up on a muffin after dinner while I was out of the house. Joke's on her though: it was made with Splenda and whole wheat flour!

  • You might want to send out some prayers for the students!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A little camping

So summer is the season for camping, right? I thought that I'd get in the spirit of things as well and packed up my sleeping bag, an air mattress (that I need to return to my auntie and uncle), a good novel, a flashlight, a good chicklit novel and my spirit of adventure and made the big trek ... to the basement. It's the only way that I can sleep in the extreme heat right now. Yes, I realize that this does truly make me a Canadian but what do you do to survive the heat?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Just a lot of bull

So... yesterday I went to a Rodeo and Running of the Bulls yesterday afternoon and evening. The afternoon was fun with typical rodeo entertainment but the evening's cold (incredibly cold and windy on the stands) interesting highlight was the Running of the Bulls. Here's the snippets that I observed:

  • There is a lot of liquid courage that goes on before the 70 participants go out to run.
  • 'Zorro' was not the smartest runner... he tried to wave in front of the bull and hit the bull. Hello! That is not smart.
  • The guy adorned in the pink outfit complete with a barbie bicycle helmet with 70s inspired streamers, pink tights, pink top and shorts (for the support of breast cancer) looked like he'd be an interesting person at a party... but maybe from a distance.
  • Hitting bulls is not a smart move. They don't appreciate it and might just decide to come at you. Healthy fear is actually a good thing.
  • Most of the people (80%) were under 25 and male. Except for the 65 year old man who looked like he had just retired. Maybe he more courage knowing that he didn't have to check in for work on Tuesday morning (thank you long weekend).
  • The Fire Department and EMT/EMR team that was there were amazing. They dragged two injured people under the fence so quickly that you almost didn't know that they had fallen.
  • When they announce that there is a jackpot for the best runner for $1000 and you ask your friends incredulously, "Is that all?", check around you to see if everyone else is suddenly silent. They will all turn their heads quickly to look at you. Seriously, there was a guy that left in an ambulance and they didn't tell us that he'd be ok. $1000 wouldn't go that far in making you walk again.

SO... you go run with the bulls. It seems a tad crazy in my mind.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stayin' alive!

So... I was driving on the freeway to work the other morning and I noticed a great ad on the side of a bus that I thought was for a 70s type musical coming to the city. Thankfully traffic was slower so I was able to check it out. It said "Staying Alive" and I thought it was a John Travolta type person. Alas, no, it was just a hand with a rubber glove on it encouraging men to go for an annual exam to check for prostate cancer. Go ad people! You definitely got creative and I will not be checking out the ticket sales for this musical. Too many sopranos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Train Station House

So... if you want to insert some excitement into a rather normal life, host international students during the summer. Then you will get all sorts of interesting timelines for an 18 hour segment of time such as:

  • going to work early so you can go to the airport on Thursday for an early arrival of Student C, pick her up, get her settled and make sure that she's doing ok
  • have a farewell dinner of waffles and Maple Syrup (something Canadian at least...) for the Student B who is leaving on Friday morning.
  • sleep on the living room floor in a sleeping bag as there is overlap of one night
  • help Student A who is leaving for Banff for a three day weekend... help map out the one-way streets for them with their first international driving adventure
  • drive up to the airport again (hello to all you parking people I haven't seen for fourteen hours) and drop off Student B
  • as you are walking Student B to the group dropoff wonder why you're doing this

BUT... then as you hug the student goodbye, she can't stop thanking you for it... and I realize that my heart has turned over a bit. Yes... that's why I host international students and because they give me some mad money to go visit my sister for Christmas.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Respectin' the Professionals

When the lovely naturopathic doctor tells you to take your herbal supplements with food first thing in the morning, she means it. If you try to outsmart her and take them on an empty stomach, you will pay the price. You will not only get acid reflux but it will move with a speed and force that freaks you out in rush hour traffic. You will be turning around and rushing home to get out of your brand new Jones NY suit and disinfect your car. You will then wear another suit to work and never, ever, ever take herbal supplements in a way that goes away from the directions. Trust me on this one!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wild West

You know you're in a city where it is located in the Wild West when traffic gets stopped for a long time and you think that it must be a funeral procession. Nope, traffic is being held up for about 50 cowgirls riding their horses to the next event in the crazy partying 10 days of celebration. Police escort and everything!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A little Adventure

So... summer means water fun, right? Sure does, especially when you have friends who have a boat. Third times the charm with water skiing, right? Not so much. I almost got up yesterday after trying about 15-20 times. Did I mention that....

  • I am very sore today?
  • I almost got up on the water?
  • The four year old gave me advice on how to keep my skiis together?
  • I can barely move today?
  • The eight year old told me that I was almost there?
  • Next time I'm totally getting up on it?

I think that I might be determined to not let that water to overcome me. In the meantime, I can barely move but at least I'll have a good story for the watercooler on Monday.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Life Lessons

So... I am going to astound you all with my weekend life lessons that I have learnt in the past two weeks. Hold onto your hats!
  1. When the NY hostel that you are staying in is partially condemned, this is a good thing. The room that you stay in is clean, brand spanking new and there is an extra shower available in the morning to get ready.
  2. It is always a good thing to go through big events that are hugely stressful snort, snort. That way when you start your new job and they have just gone through an office reno, it seems like small potatoes. While everyone is talking about how stressed they are, inwardly you think, "You should have seen the organizational move I went through three years ago."
  3. Every workplace has their own culture. My old workplace was a Starbucks culture. My new workplace is a Tim Hortons culture. This is fine... but an adjustment.
  4. It is always a good thing to listen to the news. That way when you are on the T in Boston, you would know why everyone is wearing their Boston Celtics jerseys... Oh, they won the National Championships. Oh yeah, I totally knew that. We joined in the celebrations anyways. When in Boston...
  5. The best and easiest sort of change is a new pair of shoes. Otherwise, you will enjoy the new challenges and be stretched by them but be so tired at night that you will be spilling things on yourself and your kind hearted international student will kill herself laughing!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back from the Big Apple!

So... I just got back from an amazing trip to the Big Apple. Here's some highlights from the first night...
Times Square at night... a rush!
The M& M Store... who would know that you could fill a full three stories with M & M stuff!
Along with Yankee and Mets mix... even though it's not named that!
The evening was finished off with pizza at John's Pizzeria.
As we were eating our really yummy pizza, I looked around and noticed that it looked oddly familiar. I had seen this picture in a magazine article about a church that became a pizza place.

This was the first church of the denomination of church that I have been involved with for my full life. I couldn't believe how much it was full of serendipity. I'd say that it was a bit of a mecca but it was just too full of "Can you believe this?" to call it mecca. Cool... The evening was topped off with a very hot wait in the subway to avoid having to walk several more miles before bed!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Life" happens

There's a saying about life happening. Well, today it did... unfortunately, it decided to stop some functioning machinery of the household it a rather dramatic way. The good thing (er, not so good thing) is that it happened to my student. Imagine being in a foreign country, picking up the dreaded phone and telling your homestay host that you need her to come home quickly for an emergency. Not a great way to start a day. Good thing I was 20 minutes away! Double good thing that my quick thinking about Mr. Plunger and turning off water flow worked. They're right! "Life happens!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Signs of a good friend

I am such a big fan of the consignment store in the neighborhood. As I am seeing the nieces today, I thought that I'd pop in on Monday just to see if there were any $1 tees or something equally riveting. Although the clearance rack didn't have anything that worked for me, I saw that they had maternity clothes. One of my good friends is pregnant so I thought I'd check it out. I picked up a couple shirts for her. As she's close to the same size as me in non-pregnancy clothes, I held them up to myself to see if they'd work.

So as I'm purchasing these couple shirts, I notice someone that I know from church. Hmmm... would she notice that a singleton is purchasing maternity clothes? So, I say in an almost stage voice to the other employee helping me, "You know that you're a good friend when you purchase maternity clothes for your friend." Eeks... that could have been slightly mortifying!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Annie Liebowitz I am not!

So... yesterday was an exciting day at the House of Knittinchick. A sock was finished for a birthday present at the end of June. This must be commemorated with a photo. Normal, yes? Well to knitters this is....
But my international student came downstairs while I was having a little photo session and just about lost it with laughter. She ran back upstairs to get her camera and take a picture of me documenting my sock progress. I'm a little worried about what her Japanese friends will think back home of Canadians! Oh well... it's just Canadian culture, right?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Advice for the sake of your cellulite!

Cellulite is an often underrated commodity. This is something that makes hard, cold chairs comfortable, stretches out your jeans and makes eating cottage cheese rather comforting. Here are some things that you shouldn't do to threaten this commodity:

  • Do not get inspired by the others who are running by you when you are walking. You'll start running/walking and will start putting your cellulite in jeopardy.
  • Do not have a Japanese student move in with you who is so healthy that it is very inspirational to you to start eating healthy.
  • Do not start drinking lots of water... it makes you take Bio Breaks often which will eventually threaten your cellulite storage traps.
  • Do not get nervous before meeting with people that are going to find out that you resigning your job and have your stomach decide to have a 'nervous condition' day.
  • Do not run up and down the double set of stairs with heavy boxes when you are packing up your office. This will make your bottom, calves and thighs hurt in places where you have these little spots for that rainy day. Definitely don't accept anyone's offer for help.

You can thank me as you settle down onto the couch with extra potato chips and a big bottle of pop to 'celebrate' the heavy rain day of the weekend. Definitely avoid all the water, exercise and nervous stomach conditions that you would help you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Times they are a changin'

"Change is inevitable except from vending machines."-unknown. I love that! My life is a changin' these days. I've resigned my beloved job that I have had for ten years and am going to a new job that will challenge, stretch and develop me and my career in a new direction. Four more days in the office, seven more official days-the last being Staff Fun Day (how's that for planning?). Here's what I'm learning about change.

  • It's easier to talk about than to actually do.
  • People all respond differently to you when you announce this-there are naysayers, ignorers and then the truly kind-those that speak to you and provide closure for both of you.
  • The author Bridges was right-it's the transition time (before and after the change) that is way more difficult than the actual change.
  • Changing jobs means that you have to re-evaluate your wardrobe... and purchase grownup professional clothes. What not to wear would love my life right now.
  • Good shoes will make even the most difficult days better.
  • Your true friends stick closer than crazy glue during this season and are such a comfort and joy-they reassure you that you are doing the right thing.
  • The most important: coffee is an important part of change.

So... more to come in the future. But for now, I'm sticking to my knitting for a friend's birthday and working like a little beaver to finish well at my work. If you want more details, PM me and I'll bore you with all the details.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A little shopping excitement.

So... I went out of town for dinner with a good friend last night. I had a couple of free moments so dropped by a gift shop. They had great buttons and I'm ready to be Cool Auntie Knittinchick... Aren't these adorable?
And then I found the motherload of a great Auntie gift... an educational book!

Won't I be popular at an eight year old's birthday party?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

30... again!

Today is brought to you by the number ... 60! That's because my Mommie Bargainista is 30 for double luck! So... happy for you Mommie. Remember when you turned 50 and we put a sign on your car and you drove all around your small town of 2200 people+200 dogs that said, "I'm 50 today!" That was fun wasn't it? Good thing you're not going to be mortified today by your loving children. Even though I was a bad daughter and didn't fix your tank top, there is a little package that should be arriving today. Here's a hint... it's good!

Hope it's a great day... if I was there I'd cook for you. On second thought, it might be better that I'm not there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

All a flutter

So... I knit my mom a sweater for her birthday and for Mother's Day. BUT... I didn't do the armholes exactly right for her. This is not good. It's always nice to have both arms sticking out of your sweater. So, I'm supposed to be fixing it right now. However, the thought of fixing something is just not as exciting as starting something new. So, I've started on another sweater instead. How do we spell procrastination? Procrastination, thy name is Flutter Sleeve Cardigan. The good thing is that it has been raining outside (both for my lawn and for the sake of pursuing my procrastination project!) Maybe I should reward myself with a new project if I fix the old one? What will motivate me more?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Klutzy alert!

If you happen to be cycling, running, walking or hanging out in the fabulous provincial park by my place, you might want to keep an eye out for me. I'm the one that is probably sprawled on the path with a bike sitting beside me. I guess doing a sharp turn on the only patch of gravel on the pathways is not the most intelligent move ever. The good news is that when you talk to seven year olds, they can identify with you!

  • Anyone have a child who needs to learn to ride a bike? I'm available tonight and would be a good teacher that identifies with their children. I'll also give them good advice about not kneeling too much after your massive wipeout!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Love Letter #4

Dear men- I just want to let you know that I celebrate spring along with you. I am excited about less layers, sunshine, more exercise at least most days and being outside as much as possible. However, please keep your shirts on. I hate to break it to you but it isn't something that I appreciate. My averted eyes are not because I'm impressed-clothing covers up a multitude of sins. If you insist on wearing no shirts while mowing, running, cycling I will be forced to call Stacy and Clinton! Sincerely, Knittinchick

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Exciting times for Knittinchick!

So... in an effort to be an eco-conscious, exercisin' (insert: hopeful to tone up some cottage cheese on the upper thighs) and a budget savvy girl (have you seen the price of gas lately?), I rode my bike to work this morning. I know that I'm one of the lucky people who is able to ride a bike to work so I'm going to take advantage of it. BUT... you must be way more organized. Case in point:

  • KC has to pick two outfits last night-exercise duds not the hard part and then her dress pants, sweater and underwear that will compliment her curvy body. Do those clothes wrinkle badly? Nope... they can go in the backpack.
  • KC makes a pot of coffee first thing in the morning and then realizes that her travel mug of coffee will not be sloshing over her backpack clothes I'm sorry but I do not trust those 'leak proof' lids and holding a travel mug while biking might not be the best.
  • KC packs her dinner leftovers (lunch today), essentials from the purse, cell phone, work keys and swipe card into her backpack and is just about out the door when she realizes that she doesn't have dress shoes... runners always wipe out any style statements that your pants should be making.
  • KC bikes through a residential neighborhood instead of on the busy street with no shoulder successfully and then finishes off her bike ride across a field that isn't too muddy. She doesn't get enough speed on the final hill and just about eats tumbleweed but rights herself in time!

KC gets to work, changes and worries about her helmet hair. Thankfully she shows up before others so when they get there she can calmly say that she's trying to be as green as possible! Overall a success! We'll try for perfecting the backpack system tonight!

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's a wrap!

So... after a few long days and later nights I finished the Woodland Shawl. It was so fun to focus on a friend struggling for more a few seconds here and there so I wasn't hurting! I came home on Tuesday night after an intense committee meeting re: budgeting and blocked the lace and it looked fabulous. It just goes to show that a beautiful pattern can make the most elementary knitter look great. Let's hear it for generous and gifted designers that post their patterns for free on the internet. Huzzah for Thrifty Knitter!

Just so you don't think that I'm altogether on my way to becoming a saint (I can hear my mother snorting her tea out her nose), I cast one on last night for me... because you know, it would be perfect for summer time dresses to cover up the upper arms. On second thought, maybe that is saintly to not ask people to see those bare white upper arms!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What didn't work!

Shannon is hosting a What doesn't work for me Wednesday. I can get on board with that. Knittinchick's Life Lesson: Do NOT believe all the hype about skin care products. Case in point:

  1. Knittinchick is depressed about her January skin and sees a great offer on tv (trust me... this never happens) for Proactiv and remembers several friends talking about how it worked for their teenage sons.
  2. KC gets excited and orders the starter kit.
  3. Three weeks later it arrives. Success!
  4. I will use it before I go to work after reading the instructions. Did I mention that I was working in children's programming at the time? Did I also mention that I was in charge of leading the music and dancing part of the program for 70 hyped up Saturday night grade 4/5 kids?
  5. No problems. I use the product all the face to be all cleansed and fresh feeling for all those lovely children hyped up on sugar and Saturday hockey/dance/entertainment venues.
  6. During rehearsal I feel rather hot. I take off my sweater (don't worry, there was a tee underneath) and ask everyone if it is hot in there.
  7. No... but have you looked in the mirror lately? You don't want to hear this!
  8. Upon a rather depressing look in the mirror, I realize that my skin is having a massive allergic reaction to this skin product.
  9. By the time the children arrive, I'm fully in the allergic reaction... as in eyes almost swollen shut, troubles talking and massively red bloated skin.... if you want to know how sympathetic a grade 5 boy is... present him with this situation!
  10. SO... after leading all the music and dancing, KC goes home to bed with significant antihistamines. My roommate was a nurse and she kept me doped up all night-I had my very own Hitch moment.

Moral of the story: only use stuff on your skin that is for hyper sensitive skin. Don't try new products before an event. And say Thank You to the very kind Proactiv person when they reimburse your fees and apologize that you reacted so badly.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wrapping up a li'l love

So... I have been hearing other knitters talk about prayer shawls in podcasts and on other places. I decided to start a prayer shawl for a lady who I respect and love who is battling pancreatic cancer. I saw a beautiful lace pattern for a Woodland Shawl in handpainted, soft and beautiful Smooshy yarn (insert: no scratchiness at all!) I decided to just go for it.
In typical Knittinchick fashion, this lace pattern takes a bit of concentration to make the leaves turn out... one is starting while its neighbor is finishing. It is very pretty but is not a traveling project. You have to focus to execute the pattern well. Note to any of you that might be tempted to do this: It is highly recommended that you not take it to a coffee shop when you are talking to people about leaving behind painful pasts and leaving with freedom. It tends to take away some of the sincerity when you announce proudly after someone has poured out their hearts, "Knit five, yarn over...what was that you were saying?" Or while watching a heart pounding mystery or talking to someone on the phone.
While I knit away, I am praying for peace and healing for this friend. My more-curvy-than-normal body, hair that sometimes doesn't work and lack of cooking inspiration really seems small and insignificant compared to what others are facing these days.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Can you hear me?

So... in my work, I deal with people a lot. I meet at Starbucks often (insert caffeine high perk!) to talk to people and use the phone A LOT! Often about confidential matters as well. So lately, I've been having some issues with my work phone. I bring to you the past two weeks of conversation:

  • Knittinchick: How are you doing? (normal voice)
  • response: I am having problems hearing you!
  • KC: Sorry, can you hear me now? (clear voice, a bit louder)
  • response: It's a bit better, but it's like you're talking through big static.
  • KC: My phone has issues. I'll make it quick. How is your cancer or heart attack or 'health' issues? Can I help you? (now yelling into the phone)
  • response: I can hear you now but there is something wrong with your phone.
  • KC: I'll email you about the rest of my thoughts. Have a great day (still yelling)

So after two weeks of yelling and rather infuriating frustration with my phone, I insist on the admin who does phone stuff at work replacing my phone. She and another coworker replace the headset but tell me that someone went into my phone and taped over the mouthpiece (as in they took it apart, used up some good quality tape and put it back together).

I'm taking ideas of ways to get back at my coworker. I'd appreciate something that has two weeks of pain for this coworker.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Shopping mall escapades

So... I am a short person. This creates unique situations such as always having a stepstool in your kitchen, wearing heels to look professional (ha, ha... just to be seen) and being the end of funny jokes. But as I was at the shopping mall last night looking for a pair of pants-now that's depressing-looking at the 'junk in the trunk' with the abysmal lighting of change rooms-I was wondering about capris and long shorts. I know that the British What not to Wear girls would say no but what say you? Capris/long shorts?

  • Do they work for business casual?
  • Will they make me look shorter?
  • Where should the capris end? I know that they shouldn't look like flood pants but other than that, I'm at a loss.
  • Are they ok if you have curves?
  • Should I just avoid and get petite sized skirts for the spring?

I ended up getting a pair of pants on sale at Cleo and being surprised by an additional 25% off at the till so I forgot about my height restrictions until this morning when I started thinking about my spring/summer wardrobe. Hmmm... maybe I should just focus on that additional 25%.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The magnet's forcefield is in action!

So... I seem to attract all sorts of 'interesting' situations to myself on a regular basis. I affectionately refer to it as the magnet in my head that creates fodder for my blog, the voices in my head and sometimes even parties. Case in point: trying to have a phone conversation with the new female Asian student who is supposed to be staying with me as of Saturday.

  • She calls me while I'm at a noisy chicks party last Friday night and she could barely hear me because of the laughter in the background.
  • I put on my sensitive hat and tell her to email me with her information so we could talk through email.... because you know, the phone is the hardest thing to conquer in a new language.
  • She doesn't have phone or email access where she's staying. I tell her "No worries." which promptly causes dead silence as I've used an idiom. I tell her to email on Monday.
  • Wednesday rolls around and I haven't heard from her yet. I think that I'll call the hosting agency on Thursday morning to get the email address or some way of confirmation.
  • The student calls last night (I cannot get her name because it is so difficult to understand) and is crying, telling me that she has no money and cannot afford to pay for homestay and needs me to call the hosting agency and convince them to be nice to her and even though she can't pay, let her stay at my home.
  • I try to calm her down. I tell her to not worry, it will be ok. I tell her that I will call the hosting agency but they will have gone home already. "No, no, they are there."
  • She will call me back. I call the hosting agency. They are gone. The receptionist says to reassure the student to not worry. I mention this is when it would be helpful if the student had good English to reassure her without having to explain it three or four times before she gets it... never helpful when you're hyperventilating.
  • When the student calls back, I tell her that I'll call the agency in the morning and she responds that she'll call me at 9:00. internal voice: they open @ 9:00... that won't be good.
  • "No call me at noon." dead silence "Call me at lunch" dead silence "Call me at 12:00." Bingo-we got a connection. "Do not worry. We will be kind." I think that the hyperventilation has calmed down enough to just be tears.

Wouldn't life be boring if it went the way it was supposed to? Instead of my life being a road map, it's more like a mapquest map of a new neighborhood... totally messed up but rather scenic and a good way of seeing the neighborhood. I don't need an entertainment budget... I have the magnet in my head to attract good times to me!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thank you... I think?

So yesterday at work, a really kind volunteer (he's about the age of my dad) told me that he liked me with a bit more meat on my bones. I know that he meant it as a compliment but it felt kind of backwards as in a smack upside the head. So I went home and had more fruit at lunch... and will be going for a bike ride today. Interesting motivation source!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Winners!

So... I hope that I win something on Bloggy Giveaways but I have good news! The lucky commenter was #17 Shane who told us about her not-so-fabulous experience with giving a handmade gift. Congrats:-) I got such a kick out of the comments about your homemade gifts. I have the following pieces of advice to recipients of handmade gifts:

  • Don't throw it in the garbage while the giver is around... you'll get caught.
  • Don't tell a generous scrapbooker that you didn't want her to take pictures of her wedding-only the photographer is supposed to do that!
  • Don't tell someone that you wished you would have gotten a gift card instead after they have spent two months on the gift.

It just goest to show that my mother was right. Say thank you, show appreciation to the person and wear your nice pants not your rude pants when you receive a gift!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Li'l realizations

Here's the following things that I have issues with this week:

  • All the time I've 'invested' on the Bloggy Giveaways... on the hope that the bloggers that allow Canadians into their contests will pick my name! Everyone who has US only contests say that it is because they don't want to pay the additional postage... but there might be a conspiracy here and they are just jealous that they don't get to live in Canada.
  • Spent $54 willy-nilly at one place... get this exciting purchase... on a tank of gas for my economy car! goes to show that being a geek and driving a small economy car is a good thing.
  • Feeling like I've gone backwards on my burnout recovery due to a serious lack of energy this week when I get home. Yesterday I slept for a bit after work so I'd be up to watching a new Grey's Anatomy. Really do med students actually steal rather utilitarian items such as bedpans for a salad bowl? I think not.
  • The snow that is taking its time in melting... please melt so I have more energy and can put the cushions out on my swing outside and be a cool person who knits and reads on her outside swing! yes, I realize the irony in this statement... it doesn't necessarily give you cachet b/c you are sitting outside while knitting-it is still knitting! I might even bbq for friends when the weather warms up!

But... then I realize that I have two friends who are facing liver cancer and spent some time in the hospital with a good girlfriend who just gave birth a preemie and who was just under 2 pounds when I visited them. Puts it all into perspective, doesn't it? I have so much to be grateful... Even though it's been a bad energy week, I know that it will progressively get better and there is always hope in the midst of toughie times! Hope you keep your perspective today-after all it is Friday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Free stuff!!!

So... it's time for the Bloggy Giveaways carnival that is so much fun. I am joining in the fun... I had a blast last time... and found lots of great new blogs and won three contests! I'm going to give away a copy of Knitting Rules that the Yarn Harlot wrote. It's funny, witty and extremely helpful to the starting knitter or the experienced pro. There is a legend about the Boyfriend Sweater Curse among knitters that says if you give a handknit sweater to a boyfriend... he'll probably dump you. So for this contest, you must:

  • tell me about a handmade gift that you gave someone that flopped! (as in... it was not appreciated)
  • provide your blog address or email address if you aren't a blogger
  • live in Canada or the US
  • enter before 7:00 MT on Friday night.

I'll post the winner on Saturday morning! Good luck:-)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hope

So... I have this mug that I'm drinking out of today that claims for good things to hope for. I thought I'd share with you the things that I'm hopeful about:
Spring arriving!!! Good thing I put out the summer furniture last week.

Friday, April 18, 2008

You just can't shake it!

So... you do turn into your family members as illustrated by last night's visit to the nieces and nephews. There were four little ones under the age of five-I was tired after a few hours but my little love tank was overflowing. "Auntie Knittinchick, shall we do cheers together?" "Auntie Knittinchick watch me roll over this ball." "Auntie Knittinchick, I love you." and the best, "Dear Jesus thank you for Auntie Knittinchick playing with us and bringing me buttons for my collection!" However, I noticed that my Auntie, cousin and I all had a few things that we said... you grow into your roots instead of leaving them as illustrated by:

  • What's up pun'kin?
  • I need to hear the nice words before I refill your drink.
  • We clear off our plates before we get more.
  • Oh, eating your vegetables makes you strong and gives you good eyesight.
  • Clean up, clean up (sung outloud) but this was reprimanded by Spud who told me I was "singing it wrongly"
  • We all need to take our turns.

And last but definitely not least, "I love you!" which was said several times throughout the night to all kids regardless of behavior... This is a sure-fire way to guarantee that they say the same sorts of things to their kids!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slashing!

So... another sign that you live in suburbia is that the thought of slashing is a good thing and it doesn't remind you of a Stephen King novel. I went to the local kids' consignment store to get the cool pacifiers that have the little snap over them when they are dropped as children tend to do for a coworker's grandson's shower... life hasn't been that rough on me lately. (Don't worry... these along with the Squeaker runners are new!) But as I was leaving, I checked out the Clearance rack with the red slash which means 60% off consignment prices.

So... Auntie Knittinchick got for the low price of $8.23:

  1. Gap t-shirt
  2. Fisher Price t-shirt
  3. OshKosh tricycle t-shirt
  4. Denim dress
  5. Denim jumper w/ tee
  6. 3 month sleeper
  7. Short and tee outfit

Isn't that amazing? Bargainista would be proud:-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Signs that I might still be an extrovert!

For all of you that have known me for years, you'd identify me as an extrovert. I agree. However, this past fall when I was walking through the dark valley called burnout, I realized that I have a lot more introvert in me that was being ignored. So... I've been building in way more time to acknowledge this side of me. Last week I was alone for six days and realized that there is still a bit of extrover left. You know that you're in trouble when:

  1. You think about going into work even though you sound like death warmed over... Do you think that they'll notice?
  2. You have watched through a whole season's worth of NCIS in two days and start comparing yourself to the characters... seriously, there is nothing in me that is like Xeva, the Israeli Mossad secret agent. But when you've been by yourself for a while, you think that there are remarkable similiarities.
  3. It seems like a remarkably good idea to go to the basement, get your old Cabbage Patch doll out and put all the baby knitted items and children's Make Believe Crowns on Stacey (the name of my doll) and have a fashion show and take pictures to make your blog postings look that much better.
  4. You dream about a telemarketer calling you (even though your number is on the Do not call lists and is unlisted) just so you'd have someone to talk to.
  5. You start making up stories about your neighbors-you know the vet's assistant... I'm sure that he is really a trainer at the zoo who works with the elephants training them to take over the city in an attempt for world domination.

Last but not least, when you are driving through the Tim Horton's drivethrough to get a cup of tea, you try talking to the lady behind the little box only to cough in her ear and you can almost hear her pulling out the Lysol to disinfect the airwaves. The upside is that I've never received such great and quick service:-)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

WIPs

So much of life is a WIP (work in progress), isn't it? Unfortunately this nasty cold/flu isn't progressing out of my body at least to the point of being able to go back to work but when my energy is high, I've been able to sit absolutely still on the couch and knit. (When I talk to coworkers re: certain projects on the phone, they are very quick to reassure me that they don't want what I have.) I bring to you the gallery of WIPs that have made it to becoming FOs (finished objects).

Wave Jumper out of sock yarn (one full skein and a leftover skein) for Baby H. who's coming in July. I can't believe I'm ahead of the game right now.

Make Believe Crowns for the nieces and nephews that I hope I can see next week if I'm better by then... from oldest to youngest (except for the baby... he doesn't need one).

One single sock (being modeled by my hand) that only needed 30 minutes of attention. Leftover yarn being put to use... it will be paired with another leftover sock-they'll be good partners for one another.And yes, my life is still a WIP-Bargainista's Flutter Sleeve Cardigan is progressing nicely but definitely won't be done before I'm better. The other good news about being very sick is that I've lost my appetite and my abs are getting phenomenal workouts with all the coughing fits:-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Just another manic Wednesday

So... the verdict is in-I'm sick, sicker than a dog actually. I was supposed to go to the doctor's office, get magic pills, go into work to pick up work computer and come home. No! In typical Knittinchick fashion, I had to make it more dramatic. Here's the manic Wednesday rundown:

  • Knittinchick sleeps through the night-cause for celebration.
  • Wakes up around 7:00 in case the walk-in clinic is open at 8:00. Turns out to be 9:00 but no problem, just go back to sleep.
  • She gets to the clinic at 9:05 and there are 20 people in front of her-who knew 5 minutes could be so important?
  • She stares down the dirty men who are reading a Maxim magazine that someone left on the table-there are children here folks! Seriously, one guy was reading it for so long, there could have been a hole right in his head.
  • The nurse calls her into the examining room and turns out-Knittinchick is known to her. She pours out her woes all the while Knittinchick is trying to place her. She asks Knittinchick to call her daughter but Knittinchick gives her a business card so the daughter can call her... aka-vague remembrances of daughter but not too clear
  • Doctor says you won't be speaking at work this weekend. Rest, a couple of drugs for the pain, not much but time can help-does swab for strep.
  • Knittinchick goes into work and leaves her purse in the car as she'll only be a minute.
  • After talking to boss and a couple others (who keep their distance and make sure that she hasn't touched any doorknobs-no hard feelings), she gets ready to leave... only to discover that she followed her protocol of always putting her keys in her purse before leaving her car.
  • $100ish later-there is a new AMA membership, a lockout on its way and a couple of on-the-fly meetings re: people covering for Knittinchick.
  • AMA delivers and shows up in 25 vs. the told 60 minutes.
  • Knittinchick heads to Superstore to get prescriptions filled and hits an amazing sale of kids' clothes as she's heading into Superstore. Amazing! All is fine with the acquisition of cheap baby gifts and snow pants for Momofthecrazies' Pink crazed girls for $2.94 each.

If only every day ended with a fabulous sale like that.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Conserving energy

Dear Mr/Ms Energy Company President-I am sure that you were on a lovely beach in Mexico yesterday morning but I wanted to let you know that there was no power for 6 1/2 hours yesterday in the neighborhood that I live in along with the surrounding two neighborhoods. I know that it is Environment month and you were encouraging people to turn off their lights and power for an hour last week... but you must have thought that we didn't get the lesson to do it automatically for us for that long. Although this was a pain, I wanted to share with you some of the things that I observed that you might want to know:

  • Saturday is a day when most people vacuum, use power tools to build special headboards, do laundry and all of these activities were put to a stop with your energy conservation.
  • If you don't like spending money to line corporation's pockets and use VOIP (voice over internet protocol), you will be stuck without phone service.
  • With the increased hours, neighbors will have to start talking to one another in the street and will start talking about scintillating topics such as wondering if the hundreds of dollars of frozen food in their freezers will be lost.
  • The bride and groom at my church had no lights, power, sound system and instead had lots of romantic candlelight and a pastor impersonating a revival preacher from the 1930s.
  • For every hour that the power was out, the chance of there being a baby boom in 9 1/2 months grows rapidly... trust me, I've worked in children's programming.

I just want you to know that I wasn't upset just inconvenienced. However, I was fine because I am a knitter and a reader and these activities don't require power during daylight hours. Next time, could you have the power outage on Saturday night when I work to give me a few paid hours as a mini-vacation?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A 'not-so-typical' Friday

So... yesterday was supposed to be a calm day. I had a quiet morning of responding to work emails, a lunchtime meeting, another afternoon meeting with a delightful 98 year old and then picking up an international student who will be living with me for six months. Right? Wrong, instead...

  • Knittinchick has a calm morning being productive while dreaming about her hair cut.
  • Her stylist calls her at the end of the morning and tells her that she is pregnant and moving to Vancouver. Knittinchick says all the right things like, "I'm so happy for you" "Congratulations" "I'll miss you" but all the time is thinking "What am I going to do now? I really loved the way you did it. You were so close to me. You used to cut hair and do makeup for the movie industry... that was making me seem cool."
  • In the remaining ten minutes before leaving for the downtown meeting, Knittinchick goes to the girl in the office with very nice hair and begs for all her hair secrets-shampoo, stylist, inspiration etc.
  • Upon arriving downtown for her meeting, Knittinchick realizes that she has 20 minutes before her meeting... perfect for a SB run. Oh no, they have a massive line. She runs across the street to a privately held family business for a cup of joe. No worries except now she's running back to the meeting place and when running into friends that she hasn't seen in months, she pretends to be friendly when wondering if the sweat stains will show at the meeting.
  • Meeting goes well... even ends early. Now Knittinchick is almost floating away for the need of a WC... stop at another coffee shop-no worries. After using their facilities when she's running out an older lady who she knows stops her and introduces her to all of her nursing school friends from 50 years ago... now she's pedal to the medal to meet her 98 year old friend.
  • Meeting with the 98 year old goes great... after Knittinchick has proceeded to get an unofficial, unguided tour of the facility after going in all the wrong directions.
  • Rushing to the airport to make sure that the international student will have a great first Canadian impression is waylaid by a serious accident on a major thoroughfare. Made it!
  • No worries... the flight is an hour late. Now what? No more joe... almost getting the caffeine shakes. Pick up a book and start reading it at the Meeting Place B... does it make it bad that someone had rather 'aromatic' body odours and she could barely keep from coughing and giggling at the same time.
  • After 75 minutes, Knittinchick keeps on checking the Arrivals screen. Meeting Place A is where she's supposed to be. So much for the great Canadian impression...
  • The female student's English name is Jake... often koreans don't ask Canadians before picking-no worries...
  • Knittinchick notices that there are MANY Asian females... she asks every female if they are Jake... no she didn't get too many looks like she had a second head.
  • Finally after humiliating herself many times, she gets Jake paged. A volunteer greeter brings over a guy... "I am Jake. I am happy to live with you." Knittinchick is basically speechless
  • Mental voices, "I am single. I'm not having a single guy close in age to me living with me. What will my friends at church say? How could this happen? I was so clear with the organization. What are they thinking?"
  • Knittinchick calls her coworker who is involved with the organization begging her with an overly positive voice, "Can you call the organization? Call you tell them that Jake is a guy? Can you get them to call me on my cell as I negiotate rushhour traffic on the freeway?"
  • The coworker delivers. The organization calls and asks if Knittinchick is sure it is a guy. Knittinchick reassures them that she only drank coffee that day... no liquor was involved.
  • After having dinner with her coworker and her female international student, Jake is fed, given a Tim Hortons (after explaining Roll up the Rim), driven another 40 minutes to the new home stay.
  • Another 35 minutes of driving later, Knittinchick comes home to her clean and welcoming home for her female international student and collapses on the couch.

Just another quiet Friday!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hair issues

The other day I was listening to a podcast from Boomama where she was talking about her hair issues and I couldn't really understand-until yesterday! I styled my hair like normal but instead of it working out, it was all girly, prissy fluffy and curly-yuk! I've decided that I need to go back to the stylist and beg her for a Kate Bosworth inspired look... Oh the magic that stylists need to perform. Can you tell it's Friday by the level of 'depth' this blog entry has inspired?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Love technology

So last night I was in my adult ed class in webinar format and I realized that I have moments when I love it when technology doesn't work. We could hear the instructor but she couldn't hear us so the online discussion was restricted to online chatting. Guess what that means? Lots of mental focus while I was able to knit on my project from a one-skein knitting book out of sock yarn. A friend's baby girl that is due on July 7th will enjoy it. I love it! I also wore yoga pants and a white tank top that looks like white trash. Love online learning! For the record, I do not love technology problems when the power goes out, I can't access my online calendar, when html doesn't make sense, my work budget file mysteriously disappears... but for last night, I loved it!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April 1st

I was careful as I came into work today... One year a couple of my coworkers disconnected my phone, internet, and power to my office along with some construction signs to make me think that they were finally fixing the heat in my office. It totally worked and caught me off guard. Did I mention that I had to come in early that day for a 7:00 meeting and that there was a major snow dump so I thought it might have been a power outage? Hmmm... maybe someone needs some April fooling around!

  • On a happy note, I was at the movie theatre to watch 21 yesterday (entertaining movie!) and saw this deal. Might be worth 'borrowing' one of my kids' friends and treating them to a $3 movie!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Signs that you might not be cool!

I've had a few times this past weekend that have highlighted the fact that I am not the coolest. Here are some of the not-so-gentle reminders:
  • Went to see 21 on Friday night. I realized that most people there were under 18. The movie was sold out. So I (and my friend) went to Chapters instead.
  • Since I couldn't see 21, I will be going to see it this afternoon @ a matinee.
  • I got all excited about starting to get through my knitting project. However, I'm worried that I will run out of the special bamboo yarn before I'm done. I dreamt about running out of it last night.
  • Hit a special sale for a sweater. However, it is in the dreaming phase right now.
I don't know what's worse... the fact that I've arrived here or that I really don't care.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air! You can tell by the following signs:

  • Pussy willows at my auntie and uncle's this past weekend (or sold for $20/bunch at the florists!)
  • Tulips @ the grocery store-it might be worth the $4 splurge
  • Kids riding their bicycles-and me thinking that I should join them
  • People talking to one another on the street and smiling at one another
  • Knittinchick getting jealous of all the kids throwing rocks on the partially frozen creek and them going on little adventures so she decided to go on her adventure. This was found by Knittinchick kicking tree stumps, throwing twigs against trees and many rocks into the rapidly flowing river.

You should try the last one... it's great fun:-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Prize day!

So... today I was invited into a brainstorming meeting about how we communicate certain values of the organization. This group meets regularly and I thought that I'd amaze them with all the stickies (aka post-its) on the flip chart with all my fabulous ideas. Although I was able to generate the most ideas, I also received the most Fig Newtons (the prize for bad ideas... maybe to get them flushed out of your system) instead of Oreos (the prize for good ideas). Is there a hidden message here? Don't worry I snuck myself an Oreo when no one was looking....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A love letter

To my dear central vac system-You are a fabulous part of my home. You faithfully clean my floors even when there has been disastrous baking incidents, bits of yarn from the latest project or lots of family over at my home. I appreciate you. I just want you to know that I will never forget to check the filter bag again as you taught me a lesson last night. The way dirt, dust and other debris flew out at me when I checked you last night fixed my little wagon... The extra detergent that I will put in with my yoga pants and hoodie will remind me to never forget you again. Faithfully, Knittinchick

Monday, March 24, 2008

My grateful list

For those of you who know me, you know that this past weekend was a bit of a personal hurdle. Last spring the plan was to get married on Easter Saturday. But, life intervened and the plan changed. Add to that clawing my way out of personal burnout. The lessons are good things... but painful nonetheless. This past fall and winter has been such a journey of healing and this weekend was my last big significant hurdle. On Sunday, I was sitting in church with my aunt and uncle and I was overwhelmed by gratitude. I thought that I'd share my grateful list with you (they aren't all uber-deep):

  1. My new friends. I have learned who my good friends are... they didn't mind being around me when I couldn't stop crying.
  2. My family... they faithfully read my blog, let me be Auntie Knittinchick even though I'm just a cousin and let me just be me.
  3. My personal faith... I wouldn't have made it through without it. It's amazing how the dark seasons make it so much deeper.
  4. Knitting... Seriously, this has saved me thousands in therapy!!! When my concentration was shot and I couldn't read (a recipe was a challenge...), I could knit a sock or an afghan or a sweater (as I was getting better... this required reading a pattern!).
  5. Chocolate-the darker the better. It's incredible how a little square of that can make the world look lots better and there is always new research coming out about how it is good for you.
  6. Flannel jammies-a winter evening in a warm house when you are exhausted is only made better by a bowl of soup from your slow cooker while you're wearing flannel pjs.
  7. Being saved from a marriage that would have been a disaster. Big picture... being single is blissfully peaceful in comparison to a bad marriage-and in my work I see a lot of those.
  8. Laughter-even on the darkest days, I was looking for good laughs. I avoided artistic, broody movies and chose the funny ones that would help me see light in dark days.
  9. Springtime. This year I have been craving the longer days (thank you Daylight savings) and the ability to walk, run (lol) and bike after work so I'm not worried about safety.
  10. All my bloggy friends... you read my blog even when I struggle with html (who wants to learn that system?) and even post sometimes. You're awesome...

Have fun on your Monday. This is one of the first Mondays off that I have had energy so I'm going to pull out spring clothes, knit some Make Believe Crowns for the nieces and nephews that I'll get to see in the next few weeks. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What the world needs now

Yesterday was one of those meeting filled, running around the city sort of days. So... I had an hour between all the work responsibilities and my adult education class (no this isn't a special needs class!) I needed dinner and decided to grab a bite in a nearby Chili's restaurant and sat in the bar (more friendly for a solo party) At 5:00, the quietness of the bar changed immediately and a hockey game was turned on. No problems... but the noise level significantly lifted. I had some other ideas of things that they could turn on in a bar to attract a more female audience:

  1. HGTV-Home decoration, home fixer-uppers and your female audience would be there. However, when Mike Holmes comes on there might be a risk of a more male audience.
  2. Knitty Gritty-Fun, hip Vickie Howell would attract a fun martini lovin' young knitting crowd. Although there might be a need for wet wipes for these knitters to keep their hands clean during the evening so they could knit.
  3. Food Network-Following the life of famous chefs would be fun for women to compare notes. Except for when the shows come on about additives in food or dirty failing restaurants. Might not be the best for business.

On second thought, I think that I'll stick with my career instead of going into marketing!

Monday, March 17, 2008

My name is Knittinchick...

Hi! My name is Knittinchick and I might have a problem... At least I don't hide it! As I was sitting on my couch last evening and had this revelation: Admitting it is such a good thing! Case in point:
Chair across the room:
Coffee table:
And there is the final artfully arranged yarn and wool. What you don't notice is that this ottoman is filled with ziploc bags full of Christmas gifts inspiration!

At least I'm starting to have success of the Pinwheel Sweater that is a baby gift for a ten month old and for me as well!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Getting ready for Easter

Isn't it wild how early Easter is coming this year? A little bit of trivia for you: I don't think that it will ever be this early again. I have come up with some fabulous ideas to keep your Easter easy...

  1. If you are like me and are crazy like I was last year this year I invited myself to my auntie and uncle's place and had twenty people coming over after working all Easter morning, I had to be organized. Bring in the beloved slow cooker. (This year I have two so I'd use both...) Make your stuffing in there. I cut all the bread the night before and had it sitting on the counter and then just throw in the liquid in the next morning. Plug in and then take everyone's compliments.
  2. Be like the lady at the LYS who is giving her kids gift cards instead of chocolate. Less cavities, hyperactivity and running around.
  3. Use your Swiffer wet mop refills to clean your car... it cleans it up so nicely and your car smells so pretty.
  4. Take time to enjoy the view and knit a bit on your Pinwheel Sweater.

Have a great Easter! It should be nice and taste of spring-y!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Measure twice, cut once

You've heard good planners and probably any DIYer say, "Measure twice, cut once." I've decided this can apply to other areas of your life such as being a good friend and picking up stuff for a coworker @ Costco.

Case in point: yesterday, a coworker asked me to pick her up a Blackberry when I went there. She asked if I'd have the money and I reassured her that it is not after the 15th of the month so I could pick it up for her. My inside voice was saying, "Don't you want to buy that yourself? That's a pretty big purchase?" She said that she thought maybe she had the cash for it in her purse and pulled out a $10 bill. Now my inside voice was wondering how to gently break it to her that you can't purchase a Blackberry for $10.
When I asked for clarification, she wanted blackberries-you know, the fruit. Two packages for $7.98 and we're happy. Again, measure twice, cut once! It tends to be a bit cheaper.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Enjoying the river

I have had this tendency to run through life and try to multi-task which got me into some serious trouble... ie) serious burnout. As I am getting better, I have moments where I forget my lessons but yesterday was a good reminder. As I was rushing to my next appointment, I was rushing by a frozen river that is starting to melt and I sensed that it was time to stop and Enjoy the River. So I slowed down and was astounded by the beauty of spring. Make sure you take time today to enjoy the river!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

At the car wash!

I think that there's a song about "At the car wash!" but I was inspired by my last trip to the car wash. Here in Alberta, it is starting to show signs of Spring. Woo hoo! Although I am not delusional to think that there will be no more snow, I am LOVING the respite in the midst of it. However, this requires a trip to the local car wash... where I gleaned some wisdom that I'm going to share with you.

  1. Don't go to the car wash on Friday afternoon around 3:00 when there is an open house of one of the businesses next door. People will park in lanes of moving traffic and you will almost play bumper cars with a parked car.
  2. A car wash is busy when it is springy outside on a Friday afternoon... everyone else has noticed the great weather as well.
  3. While waiting to enter the car wash, you can observe people. They do unique things while they think that you aren't looking. Think again folks, Knittinchick is watching you!
  4. There is the guy who probably is OCD... he keeps on wiping his dashboard for the full fifteen minutes that you are waiting. Don't worry Mister, you've already got it clean!
  5. Mr. Picking-my-Nose should figure out a way to be less in-your-face about his habit. Everyone can see you!
  6. Mrs. Soccer Mom should not choose this as a time to empty her minivan's trunk. She is frantically cleaning and sorting, running over to the garbage can and then jumping into her van to move it forward. And I thought I had multi-tasking issues!
  7. and my personal favorite: The construction guys that left their loader parked for a joint break should remember to put the brake on it... those babies can move at quite the pace towards a very expensive parked truck-probably their boss' by the way they were running after it to stop it just in time before it would have made a spectacular crash.

On second thought, I think that my car might need a loonie rinse today... I could use the cheap entertainment.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Springing forward?

This spring forward thing is something that I am so happy for... in a few days. It reminds me of when I was an intern and I had a huge responsibility on Sunday morning. I was so eager to impress everyone as I was so green behind the ears (did I mention that I'm learning not to be a people pleaser?)... that I thought that I'd show up a half hour early. I got to work and was expecting to find the best parking spot but I had to park over a block away. You'd think I'd clue in at this point... So I diligently walked into work and came in and the place was quiet but full! As I was about to go into my responsibilities, some kind custodian looked at me and started killing himself laughing... "Knittinchick forgot time change! Knittinchick forgot time change! Good thing you have blond roots." I went down in folklore as the one who let Spring Forward get away... So I've had some well placed paranoia about it since then. Shows that there is a reason for so many depracating jokes about people who come from Saskatchewan!!! side note: no recipes this week or simplifying ideas. I was at a work retreat offsitie so no cooking happened!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Suburbia Reflections

As a single chick living in the suburbs, I have special insight into some of the signs that you might be living in suburbia. Here are a few from my special sociological persective. You know you might be living in suburbia when:

  • There is a proliferation of Lululemon pants in comparison to say, office suits.
  • When the new neighbors move in and are playing their loud music the first night in a thank you party of sorts to all their friends who helped them move at an unreasonable hour such as 10:30 on a Friday night.... you start praying that they'll get pregnant soon and join the other lovely quiet neighbors that you have.
  • The number of wagons and jogging strollers outweighs the number of tax paying adults.
  • You know your neighbors names and like them and are 'concerned' when one of them is moving about who will replace them.
  • When an unfamiliar dog is wandering around the neighborhood, you and a neighbor try to be friendly so you can call the neighbors before the pound comes out.
  • A Friday night lineup is not in front of a club but rather at the local Blockbuster for people to rent their dvds for the weekend.
  • At the local coffee shop, you hear words like, "Home equity," "Landscape our yard this summer," "My commute is an hour long!" or my personal favorite, "My husband/partner just doesn't understand me!"

If you need to hire anyone else to do sociological research in your neighborhood, you might want to give me a holler! I promise that I'll come up with more fabulous thoughts!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Election lessons

So today I worked at the polls in my neighborhood. We were overstaffed for the numbers of people showing up in our polls for most of the day and it was rather cramped. When you have been in this environment for a long time, you notice the following:

    • The lady who counts, folds and initials all of her potential ballots minutes before closely (we're talking 100s!) when it is obvious no one more than maybe 10 people will end up showing up causes you to question things. Why is she doing that?
    • If I wouldn't have had my knitting with me, I would have pestered everyone in the room into sharing their most embarassing moments.
    • You get the giggles over the craziest things.
    • You can understand bedsores... your butt, legs and back are so sore from just sitting and not being able to move... over-glamorized closet that we were in.
    • You can get a whole sock almost knit in this amount of time! Everyone will suddenly become intrigued by the magic of turning a heel... maybe they were bored but who knows? (I actually think that they were jealous of me...)

I did swear an oath of secrecy but I can tell you that the Green Party isn't getting in anytime soon!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Weekend Wonders!

Let's all say it together. Weekends Rock! Let's keep it simple so we can enjoy them by:

  1. Making Roast Chicken in our beloved crock pots. Put a fryer or roaster chicken (based on the number of mouths and/or desire for leftovers), season with salt and pepper and turn on low for 6-8 hours. To make it gourmet: quarter an orange and stick in chicken's cavity with garlic and dried rosemary. Thirty minutes before serving, cover with 1/2 cup of orange marmalade and 1 TBSP rosemary. Yum-ola!
  2. Be kind to ourselves by making our housecleaning easier by tackling hot spots for 15 minutes a day.
  3. Start piling up all the tax return stuff in a special place as it all comes available so tax return season isn't so stressful!

Enjoy your weekends... take time for something that renews you... like hanging out with your aunt and uncle along with knitting furiously on your colourwork finished up for next class!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Helpful Abbreviations

At work, my boss is a very funny guy and tends to abbreviate all sorts of things so soon my coworkers and I are talking in shorthand in a way that would junior highers to shame. I was looking for a list of text message abbreviations and found these ones helpful. There are some that I laughed out loud but couldn't use in my work and then there were others that were a serious case of Potty Mouth.... my eyes bugged out of my head for a few minutes!

  • TBE-thick between the ears. I think that this is something that I'll have to refer to myself as soon!
  • TNA-temporarily not available. This would be something that would flow out of the TBE.
  • UPOD-under promise over deliver. I like to do this!
  • BCOZ-because.
  • IAM-I am tired. Story of my life.
  • P2C2E-process too complicated to explain. Most of life!
  • PB-potty break not peanut butter.
  • SBTA-sorry being thick again. Story of my life.

So... here's a recap of my day. SBTA, I M TBE & TNA BCOZ IAM. SBTA IAM on P2C2E. PB time. Basically, I'm happy it's Friday, I'm tired and a bit blond right now! Bring on hometime:-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Make your opinion heard!

I was sitting in a training session today for working at the polls on Monday and learned many valuable lessons. Hold onto your seats:

  1. If you come into the polls eat beforehand. Ballots don't make good munching snacks.
  2. Use the ballots provided and don't try to substitute your own version into them. There are many ways that they insure accuracy and it won't do you any good.
  3. If you are a senior living in a retirement community, check before you brave the cold and ice. There is probably a voting centre in your building. Handy dandy!
  4. Don't wear your political t-shirt, bring in a newspaper with a candidate's picture on it or try to sing a political party's theme song (do Canadian politics employ something like this?... I'm sure that the Americans do!). You'll have to turn your tee inside out, recycle your newspaper and have Simon Cowell give you a phone call to boo your singing!
  5. You can enjoy a cell phone free environment when you go to vote... maybe you'll want to show up at the polls just for an environment free of annoying cell phone jangles.

All of my wisdom aside, I had a moment during the training when I was reminiscing of my trip to Africa this past summer. I was thinking about how people were so grateful that there were UN peacekeepers that oversaw their first democratic election in 15 years. (In the capital, we saw the UN presence everywhere to insure that the election's results were lived out.) Aside from all the corrupt practices, people were hopeful that their voices were heard for the first time in a decade and a half. I kept on thinking that we take it for granted and that 70% of our population can't be bothered to go vote.

Go vote! Make your opinion heard. Most of the time, no one is asking or if they politely ask, they are not listening anyways. So many people are dying for their voice to be heard... take the few minutes to do so. That way when the government does not do exactly what you want, you'll know that you took the time to be involved!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lucky in coffee?

I am happily a Starbucks fan except for during Roll up the Rim. I get this image of myself having a lucky cloud instead of a dark one over my head and I'm able to roll up the rim for something amazing. Here's what you really need to know:

  1. Scrolling through the list and imagine yourself behind the wheel of a swanky boat (personally I dream of a not-so-economy car)! Yes, I need a new boat let's not think about the fact that I have to drive two hours to get to a lake and I don't have a truck to pull it with.
  2. Figuring out a way to outsmart having to even purchase a cup of coffee. However, I think that after you pay for postage for a free cup, you might as well get the coffee along with it.
  3. Wikipedia friends are spreading the news of Roll up the Rim to our neighbors. A little knowledge is a good thing!
  4. You can check out your odds and where the big winnings are at the lucky (slightly crazed) blogger.

So... I promise that I'll take you for a ride in my new vehicle when I win it. Until then, keep your eyes out for a ramped up Knittinchick who needs to be cut off the coffee!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Musings

Before you all get jealous of me having Mondays off when you are trudging off to work or facing another long winter day with your preschoolers as Daddy goes off to work, I thought that I'd let you into all the wisdom (wink, wink) about life that I've learned with my wierd hours:

  1. Having Mondays off rocks except for when you're going to work on Saturday afternoons and Sunday morning.
  2. If you want to call a customer service agent before work, this works except for Sunday mornings. They are in bed... like everyone else.
  3. There are perks to wierd hours: the SB drive through is not very busy before 8:oo on Sunday mornings, the bank drive through is abandoned and you don't fight rush hour traffic.
  4. You realize who has wierd hours like you. This is sometimes not the greatest realization, like when your neighbors who are paying down copious amounts of consumer debt fast (good for you!) by tending bar on the weekends come home @ 4:00am and their three small dogs start greeting them by several yapping episodes.
  5. Monday mornings are a good time to run errands. Most people are at work and the lineups are significantly smaller. However, if you're so bagged from your weekend responsibilities and cannot get out of bed until later in the morning, this is kind of lost on you.
  6. Social events happen on Saturday nights way more than Friday nights. Trust me on this... I've become the "Why don't I make a fabulous entrance or exit?" person at several close friends and family events. You learn to make it look fun but really the extrovert in you is dying to know what you're missing out on when you leave.
  7. The most important part: the grass is only greener where there is more water and care for it. I'm going to enjoy my Monday with some knitting time, a walk and dinner that's already in the crock pot.

Have a great Monday. This Monday is brought to you by Knittinchick's ADD moments of knitting this past weekend. (Note to you: they might become birthday gifts so act surprised if you're the lucky recipient!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's Saturday!

Yeah for sleeping in! Yeah for wearing jammies until late in the morning. Yeah for keeping it simple. This weekend is brought to you by:

  • Oriental chicken-pull out your beloved slow cooker, put 6 boneless chicken breasts in there. Combine 1/2 cup of soy and 1/2 of honey with 2 tbsps of sesame seeds (if you have them) and spoon over each chicken breast or just dump it if you're in a rush! Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with rice. (If you're feeling gourmet, add a small spoonful of crushed garlic and ginger from the fridge!)
  • Wax paper-If you are out of Swiffer replacements for your dry sweep, just put wax paper there. Cheaper, efficient and innovative are you!
  • Cupcakes-I love them. They are so cheerful and you can look so creative without too much effort. You can rip off all these ideas and look like you're the best mom or auntie.

Have a great weekend. If you want to be jealous, you can think of me today at 11:00 when I'm at dim sum with good friends.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A little planning goes a long way!

Have you ever thought that you are more organized than you truly are? Case in point: if you haven't been running or walking as much as usual due to sheer exhaustion at the end of the workday, you may be more curvy than usual.

This means that when you are knitting a beautiful tank with zero or negative ease (non-knitter translation: body hugging) and you are more curvaceous, it will be too negative in its ease. Boo hoo!
But then... maybe it's more serendipitous than I thought... Bargainista walks way more than I do and isn't quite so lumpy-bumpy curvy. Mother's Day and Birthday season is coming up! Yeah for being 'organized.'

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Have you ever noticed?

Yesterday I was thinking about the things that I notice (maybe others don't but I do... who knows, maybe I'm gifted?)

  • When you wear a warm sweater with a tank top underneath it that is just for personal eyes only, the room gets extremely warm in a meeting full of men.
  • When you wear a cooler outfit based on the previous day's experience, all you think about is knitting a pair of the ever popular Fetching-must be for cold offices.
  • It's good not to send out a staff wide email to everyone about a very important deadline this week and then post the deadline as April 22!!!
  • Before starting the work toaster oven with your favorite Baked Mushroom Soup for 55 minutes and getting pulled into a conversation with a 'dynamic' individual on the phone... it's always good to remove the tupperware lid that was sitting on top of the toaster oven before having someone discover it 20 minutes later.
  • Before seeing one of your friends that you were teasing about wierd socks the other day, you probably shouldn't be wearing your running socks with a nice outfit.

I'm sure that you've noticed this happening to other people as well... thank you for not pointing and staring when you saw me processing these thoughts!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's happening!

Please insert ominous background music as you read this! I've decided that the truth about how you turn into your mother has decided to come nest and inhabit my body. For all the extended family who show that they truly love me by reading this, do not get too excited yet. Bargainista's sweet spirit, generous gift giver, remember-er of important details and supportive nature have not nested here... rather some of Bargainista's not-so-famous qualities. This has been driven home in the past few days. Illustrated by the following:

  • I noticed a sale the other day and it was only knocked down by $10... I thought in my inside voice, "Why don't you mark it down 75% and then call it a real sale!"
  • These words floated out of my mouth, "I just have to warn you, my brain does this wierd thing. When children whine, it turns off. When they ask nicely, it works." How many times did I hate that as a kid?
  • I was talking to a friend the other day and when I told her my supplements she warned me that I'd want to up my fiber. I thanked (eek!) her for the advice and read my cereal box labels for fiber content. That's basically potty talk!
  • I rolled up my plastic bags like my mother does. This was something that one auntie taught the others at their annual Get Together. When my sister or cousins and I get together, we like to go to new markets, explore, sight see and more active things. My aunties share about rolling plastic bags! (and I did it!!!!)
  • I called a friend today outside a natural health store to see if she wanted me to pick her up some multi-vitamins. This says something about my life that I was not asking her about something cool like purses on sale. No, Vitamins!
  • I was broke up a cookie into bite sized "I'll just have a smidge of this" pieces and proceeded to eat the whole thing, convincing myself the whole time that I'd stop after this smidge.

Hopefully this means that all the good, wholesome, endearing and sweet qualities will follow. Don't hold your breath... I think my sister got all of those ones.