Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goodness, a while between drinks

G'day all!

We pause for a moment
Mum, me and an anonymous hat, Christmas '89

21 years since Mum died.  It no longer feels like yesterday, it feels like a long time ago.  I still miss being kicked up the pants once in a while, having a shopping buddy (I inherited Mum's ability to navigate through shopping centres, though I'm not so good when I'm heavily jetlagged and the sun is on the wrong side of the sky....), having someone to go to when it all went wrong (though we were never a huggy kissy family).  I even had a dream with Mum in it last week, though her help was rather shocking (I had to dissect dead baby dolphins to find out what they died of, only one of the dolphins turned into a fluffy white cat that looked up at me with almond-shaped green eyes and started washing itself and purring, and I went screaming off to Mum and she said she would stun it for me if it would help me get my work done...  I refused as I rather expected to go to a vet instead...).  Anyway, thanks for the lessons, Mum, including the one of don't ignore it, go to the doctor before it is too late.

I've been a busy bee over the last month.  I've made squares for a siggy swap and sent them off but I'm not showing you them because they have my details on them!  Silly me.  I've been walking and riding around Ballard, looking at the pretty spring flowers and oh my gosh, there's been a lot of them!  It is settling down a bit now but it has been most enjoyable.

I went to the Ballard (NW Seattle) Relay for Life and now have a spiffy purple survivor tshirt:
Not that you can see the tshirt really
I did not do the whole relay, just the survivor lap, plus I helped with the luminarias.  I also dedicated four luminarias, for Mum, for her sister/aunt, for Jim Stynes and for Richard Cabe (Susan Tweit's blog has more on him).  I felt it was the right thing to do, a moment to reflect on those we've lost to cancer.  The luminarias used fake tea candles but they were still pretty.  And they provided a gentle light for the track overnight.  I also had a good natter with some of the other survivors.

Memorial Day weekend was busy -

Friday night we saw a quite pretty sunset from the Ballard Locks/weir and nearly got locked on the wrong side of the shipping canal.
Sunset from the fish ladder.  A seal came and looked at us.

Saturday was lovely so we went for a bike ride along the Burke-Gilman trail and ended up at Matthew's Beach on Lake Washington:
Lake Washington, Cascades are a smudge on the horizon.

My lord, I have discovered pure green!
(My undercarriage was quite comfortable due to my new bike saddle, thanks for asking!  This saddle is designed specifically for women and oh my goodness, what a difference it makes!  I never knew saddles could be so comfortable.)

But on Sunday, I was sooooo tired.  Eventually we dragged ourselves out and off to home despot and then the local nursery, Swansons.  So many pretties at the nursery.  So many things to grow, but we only have a smallish balcony and umm well I may or may not have been buying lots of plants from things like Seattle Tilth (= good) and Fred Meyer (not so good) and the nursery (fairly good).  And I may or may not have a growing collection of African Violets.  And ahem now some other gesneriads as well.

Monday, despite still being tired, I trawled off to the NW Folklife Festival
with a friend, who kindly drove me there, I kindly paid for parking and then drove us home after I exhausted her by keeping her on her feet for about 5 hours.  We watched some contradancing and I took us shopping at the various booths.  I got more tie dye!  Hooray!  I had quite some fun being a model for a clothing designer - she kept asking me to try stuff on after I showed that I am a whiz in her hats (assuming they are boofheaded size) - it gave me quite a big head!  Plus I found more clothes to buy.  I didn't expect that....

Yes, it is a yellow hat.  Me in a yellow hat!  In yellow!
I finished a lovely cardigan in April but still not sewn on the buttons - what is with that?  I have the design all worked out for the next one and I've made two starts on it but umm, just like the first one it seems it will take three (or maybe four) castings on to get the stitch count right - I did a swatch, I worked out I needed X stitches to go around my hips and now I am at X - 25 (that's more than 10cm smaller) because twice now I've found the piece was going to be somewhat too large for me, even allowing some ease.  But at least I finished a sock.  Almost.  The ends need to be darned in.

I briefly turned into a twitcher (bird watcher) but after two sightings of new to me birds in one afternoon, I have not seen any new birds.  And no hummingbird has fed at my feeder, though there was one hanging around until about two months ago, so I think I will replace the feeder with a hanging basket of begonias and busy lizzies.  Yes, I am officially Old, I have a hanging basket with tuberous (flowering) begonias in it.

This post's public service announcement is:
Whatever you do, do not go to this site, especially if you like doing jigsaw puzzles.  OMG, addictive plus.  Not that I've done heaps of them recently and wasted many hours, nosirree!

Enough blather, it is time to go do a jigsaw puzzle 0.o


Friday, May 04, 2012

May the fourth

be with you, always.

G'day all!

May the fourth has really taken off.  It was all over the news channels when I went to the gym today.  People on Ravelry are asking what order to watch SW dvds in (my answer - 456123 cos if I did it in chronological, not filming, order, I'd get bored partway into Ep 1 and wander off and not get to see Star Wars (I'm old fashioned and call it what it was when I first saw it waaaaay back when it was first released).  Star Wars is still probably my very favouritest movie ever.  And if you read this blog much, you'll know how much difficulty I have picking favourites).

We've had a miserable couple of days here in Seattle.  Rain, rain and more blasted rain, except this morning when it seemed ok.  HA!  I went off to the gym and then it has pretty much rained nonstop ever since, which rather annoyed me as I had to go pick up some photos and needed to have them put in a plastic bag.  And I didn't have a brolly or a jacket with a hood with me.

I have finally found some buttons I like for the cardigan I've been knitting for a while.  I've already worn it, sans buttons, at the wedding brunch.  It didn't got with the rest of my outfit - I have the horrible habit of making lovely knitted stuff that doesn't go with the rest of what I have.  You would think I would learn, but no.  Given I like to knit blue, mauve, purple and pink stuff for me, with the occasional rainbow thing, and given those are the colours I prefer to wear, you really would think something would be matchy-matchy but no....

Eksqeeeze the blur, the good photo hasn't uploaded
 I have finished the chemo cap I made for our BC group on Ravelry.  One of the ladies is late in stage IV (ie terminal) and since we can do little for her, we are making hats for the patients at the cancer centre she attended.  It does fit around my head but for purposes of photo taking, I just stuck it on top.  At the point where the round starts (that would be the funny sorta line straight up the centre of the hat, if you hadn't already worked that out).

Since it is Spring here, I thought I would start growing some seeds - lots of basil, some coriander, some beans and peas...  Well, I just plain did not think that some critters would want to share.  I'm growing the things on a balcony and it never occurred to me that the local grey squirrel or one of the starlings or maybe even the house finches or whatever they are would decide they would be some good tucker...

Some of the basil should be ok, I know there are coriander seeds still and the peas are quite obvious, though I am sure I did not plant them in the small peat pots...  Back to the drawing board and this time get some chicken mesh!  Or I can get small plants, but $3 for two basil plants seems like such a rip off!

Another weekend is rocking up in an hour - time is flying.  Totally whizzing past.  I'm told it gets faster as you get older, and I am quite worried.  Soon I will blink my eyes and a year will have passed.  As long as I keep getting years, I think I shall be content!


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

new socks, surprise!

G'day all!

It is amazing how much knitting one can do whilst sitting on a plane. No matter how much we aussies love to knock Qantas, the inflight entertainment is pretty darned good, the food isn't too crappy either and you have plenty of time to knit most of a sock whilst watching a doco on human growth and eventual death (I admit, I cried), three or four episodes of Downton Abbey, an ep of Sherlock Holmes, then a movie that was obviously so memorable that I have already forgotten it... It only took another hour or so to finish it.

On the way back, I nearly finished its not quite pair.

Most gratifying :-)