Saturday, August 30, 2008

See the fence in front of Mikki? Well, that fence is there to keep the dogs OUT of the sandbox.
Looks like Mikki just figured out that she managed to get herself inside the bars and that I am on the outside. Getting out proved to be more difficult than getting in. Although, notice that the gate is right there on the left. So Miks gave up and settled herself back into the warm sand. For a dog that is always hot I can't figure out the lure of the sun-warmed sand.
I got a really nice message about my blog the other day...

Hi Darcie,

So my boss asked me to do a research project about what makes one blog better than another. I decided to pick a subject that I love, and look at a whole bunch of blogs related to that subject (and I'm getting paid for this?!?!?!), and I have to say, your blog is TERRIFIC. You are absolutely hilarious. I love how you got the cadet to hold your knitting! Hilarious. Your projects are great, and you knit (ehem) the stories of knitting into your everyday life in a great personal and funny way.

My first question was "Where is this job? And how do I get one?" And then I wondered if she realized that there really hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on lately. But I will take a compliment when I get one. Thanks, Lucy.

So to rectify the situation in a small way here is Best of Opal 6-ply, colourway 1712. While I love these socks I shudder to think about how quickly I will be wearing them again.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Wildlife Sort of Day

Considering I am still slaving away cleaning on the inside of the house I have had some wonderful brushes with nature today. It is a lovely day - not too hot and no wind - and I have all the windows open. As I was scrubbing out the bathroom I could hear a bird whose call was completely unfamiliar to me. I glanced out the window and saw a beautiful large blue jay sitting in a tree right outside. We don't see too many of them around here! I ran to get my camera, but obviously the dogs didn't recognize the call either and started to bark at the strange noise. Of course, the jay flew away and I haven't heard him again.

I have a compost in my garden and a couple of sunflowers decided to start to grow in it. The only place I can figure out where the seed came from is from a bird feeder.
While they are pretty on their own I looked closer at the bloom this morning and saw this...

...two big bumblebees and a wasp also enjoying the bloom.

Then as I was sitting on the patio doing a bit of beading I heard the unmistakable whizzing of a hummingbird. He was hovering about a foot away from me! This was the first hummingbird that I have seen this year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Semi Annual Purge

With school starting tomorrow (yipee!!!) I figured that it was time to do my least favourite job of motherdom - the semi-annual cleaning out of too small kid's clothes. I HATE this chore! The only good thing about it is that next door is a family with 2 kids (even more fortunately, one boy and one girl) which means I can fill up garbage bags of too-small clothes, dump them on their back step and then run like hell before they see me and try to give them back.

I tackled Katie's room first since she is the messiest and it always takes me longer in there. I would really like to know how a straight forward organizing of clothes ended up being a complete scrub down and rearrange of everything, including the furniture. I did find $5 (along with 5 chocolate bar wrappers, 2 gummy worms, a crust from a sandwich and and empty Kool Ade packet, which I don't really want to think about why that was there and what happened to the crystals) in the back of Katie's closet which is now mine. I figure that it paid me about .65 cents an hour. And the money was probably mine to start with.

Meanwhile, I am exhausted and Christopher's room hasn't even been looked at. Good thing Pizza Hut is cooking tonight.

The paper tacked on to the small mountain of clothes is note to our neighbour Kari laughing maniacly because I am now done and it is her turn apologizing for dumping this in her yard.

Did I mention that school starts tomorrow??

Monday, August 25, 2008

For the Birds, Part 2

I was outside taking some row counter pictures when I noticed that my garden was FULL of birds again. The pitfalls of living in a neighbourhood with lots of mature treees, I guess. By the time I walked the few steps to take this picture most of the birds had already flown away, but this bunch sitting on the fence and in the tree didn't seem to mind my being there.
Now if only they would leave my swiss chard alone....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

For the Birds

I got a notice from Etsy that I made a sale yesterday. When I read it I started to laugh. I showed it to my husband and he had a chuckle. My yarnie sister Susan had a giggle when she came over for dinner last evening. And even my brother-in-law saw the humour in it.

Now, normally an Etsy sale does not elicit such a response. But this one was pretty funny. This is what was written on the message from the buyer...

You wouldn't believe it -- but, the damn crows came down onto my deck and stole my creamsicle counter. Hopefully they are finding it useful.

I still giggle every time I think about it. I'm really trying to keep the laughs under wraps and see the gravity of the situation from Jenny's point of view. After all, that counter was pretty new and she paid good money for it. And to watch it fly away would be upsetting. But I just can't help myself. I keep getting the mental image of the Windex commercial where the two crows sitting on the overhead lines are playing practical jokes on the guy sleeping on the lawn chair below. Or a mama crow sitting up in her nest happily knitting away with the orange counter that matches her feathers so nicely. It also brings to mind the Yarn Harlot and her adventures with the rat-bastard squirrel.
See how nice the black crow looks with the orange counter?

So sorry, Jenny. I really do feel bad, but the giggles are winning out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Mounties Always Gets Their Man - Or Ceremony

The rain held off today and we were able to make it back out to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police depot for the final sunset ceremony of the season (whoa! how did that happen? and what happened to summer?). It was a cool evening, but thankfully dry. "F" Division is where all RCMP cadets from across Canada are trained.
Katie decided that she wasnt going to be as camera shy this week and posed for a picture with Safety Bear.
These obviously brand-new cadets (notice the hair cuts that look like they just happened this morning) were out and about making nice to the tourists, handing out activity books for the kids and just general crowd control. Er.... well, maybe not so much crowd control since we are Canadian (although there seemed to be a lot of Americans and Japanese in attendance today). Let's just say that they posed for a lot of pictures and asked people very nicely not to walk on the parade grounds.

What slays me about these cadets, though, is why do they need bullet proof vests when they only have rubber guns??

These cadets have been at depot for longer and probably have graduated to real guns. My husband is now officially embarassed by me. He tried to pretend he wasn't with me, but I made sure to say loudly "Honey, could you hold my purse for me while I ask this nice cadet if he would hold my sock?"

Well, okay, I didn't really say that.

I forgot to ask this cadet his name. I think he thought I was some crazy lady, but he did hold my sock for a picture with a smile on his face.

BTW - the sock is Lisa Souza Pink Ribbon. It doesn't really match the red serge.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Will Work For Beverages?

One morning last week I asked Christopher that if he would take an envelope to the mail box before the 9am pick up I would give him a loonie ($1 in non-Canadianese). He had to think about it for a few minutes, but grudgingly agreed. As he was getting dresses he made me a counter offer - he would do it for iced tea instead.

Who was I to argue? It was 7 in the morning and I certainly didn't want to bike over to the mail box so I didn't stop to inform him that I thought he was making a really bad trade.

I finished another pair of socks! This yarn is Austermann Step #18 Vulkan. I normally don't really like such bold stipes, but I think these ones are pretty cool. It helps that the stripes don't jump from colour to colour, but blend together.

Working with the yarn was another matter, though. I found it to be rather splitty and had to keep one eye on what I was knitting all the time which kind of defeats the purpose of just knitting stockinette. I tried working on them while sitting ring side at a dog show and it was a good thing that my more-knitting-experienced sister was there with me when I realized that I had dropped a stitch about 10 rows back. I knit so tight that I had trouble pulling the stitch back up, but Susan was able to do it.

Kai was determined to "help" me take the picture. He kept sticking his nose between the slats of the lawn chair. But of course I couldn't actually get a picture of him doing that.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

RCMP Sunset Retreat Ceremony - Well, Almost...

This evening we tried to do the local tourist thing and take the kids to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sunset Retreat Ceremony. Regina is the home of the RCMP and all the cadets from across Canada do their training here. Each Tuesday evening for about 6 weeks during the summer they pull out all the pomp and ceremony and recreate the traditional military end of the day ceremony.
The skies were also pulling out all the stops in presenting a spectacular show.
Unfortunately, about 15 minutes into the ceremony the thunder started to rumble and the clouds opened up cancelling the rest of the show. The rain lasted just long enough for the parade square to empty out of people.

On the way back to the car this group of cadets was patiently standing at attention for photographs. Katie suddenly got shy and wouldn't join Christopher for a picture.
There is one more scheduled for next Tuesday. Maybe the weather will cooperate and we will try again.