Friday, June 22, 2012


....the last two months have disappeared into the ozone layer.

Frankly, I blame it on my iPad.

I don't much get on the desktop anymore and I find writing with the iPad to be a challenge. The keyboard is frustrating and then the words that I meant to type, but misspelled, get changed into words or phrases that make little sense, so I go on typing without proofing. And then I go back and re-read and it makes such poor sense that I don't really know what I really meant.....and so I give it all up.

But occasionally, I keep thinking about all the things I have up in my brain and I need a place to spill here I am.

What's been happening? Here is the last 2 months in 10 points or less:

1. Still running. I have done a half marathon here in my hometown and was really pleased with my time. I am planning on doing the Victoria marathon in October. And the Tucson one in December. Might be biting off more than I can chew. We'll see.

2. I have not yet learned that no is a complete sentence, as I have somehow found myself on not one, but 2 boards. This could be a busy couple of years.

3. Our baby girl came home from her second year in university. But not for long. She is headed for Spain in July. And then again in September. And not home until February. I already miss her.

4. The oldest boy needs to get a job. And soon. I cannot afford him for much longer. Too bad 13 year olds are not allowed to work. HE'S very keen to make money.

5. School year is ending this ended last week. Except for exams. But they will both be done by the 22nd. Which is today.

6. Calgary weather continues to suck. Big time. And on June 9, it was snowing in Banff. Technically not Calgary, but considering I was there and not in Calgary, it still counts.

7. I went to Vancouver for a quick trip. I spent too much money. What else is new? Oh yeah - the weather sucked there too. No snow, but cold and rainy/overcast.

8. I fell off the wagon and bought both yarn and books. Not part of the plan for this year, wherein I was going to knit what was in the bin and read what's behind the door. The books were "Let's pretend this never happened" by Jenny Lawson (drop dead funny - if you don't mind a little profanity) and "The art of fielding" by Chad Harbach. Not yet read, Started and came highly recommended. And I have read some of the books by the bed. I just keep bringing home other good ones from work. I have finally resorted to Goodreads to keep me organized - sort of. And let's not even mention the stuff piling up in the digital and audio book shelf.....

As for the yarn - just a little Rowan's Felted Tweed. In ginger. And some Americo cotton. In raspberry. And two skeins of sock yarn. And I am not counting the kit yarn that I get every 2 months. That's different. Sort of.

9. The Flames fell just short of the playoffs. And the coach resigned. His brother coached the L.A. Kings to the Cup. Calgary has a new coach. We'll see what happens. But I will be pissed if Brent Sutter (old coach) goes to a place like Edmonton and

10. Finally? Still knitting. I have made a sweater, a scarf shawl thingy, a pair of socks and am working on another shawl. Still not that much closer to knitting a marathon. Good thing my running pace is a little faster.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Somehow, the month has gone away on me.....

Clearly I am behind on lists - very far behind (like 8 days behind).

I, ahem,have good excuses - but I won't list them here. It would take more space than the blog post.

List 22
My care package.....

Just sent a smallish one off to the baby girl.

A care package (the one I send) should contain:

1. Chocolate. Good chocolate. (Did you know that people who eat small bits of choclate weigh less than those who don't It's true. I read it in the newspaper.)

2. Money. Not a lot - just enough for a treat. And not every time. Just sporadically enough to give you a lift when it is there.

3. A small sign that speaks love to the recipient.

4. A picture of loved ones.

The one I get should contain:

1. A newsy letter.

2. Some home baking from Mom.

3. A picture.

4. Something I left behind during our last visit (but not my toothbrush - that's just gross.)

List 23

1. I sometimes tell people I have read books and then later realize I have not. (That's the danger of reading for a living.)

2. I would like to quit work - today.

I have others - but they are really not for public consumption.

List 24
I am famous for

1. Slipping and falling after giving the toast at my room-mate's wedding (and I wasn't drunk).

2. My Snickerdoodle cookies - at least among my son's Grade 8 class. And 13 year old boys rarely think anything their mothers do is fame-worthy.

3. Giving a good dinner party.

4. Living in a heritage house (well, heritage is relative. In Calgary, anything older than 50 years is considered heritage. And we live in a 98 year old house.)

5. Being "The Knitting teacher" at the Woman' Centre.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A quick catch-up

List 19

Dear _________you can make me happy by.....

Dear self
You can make me happy by:

1. Responding to the diligence and time I have spent on monitoring my food intake and dropping a few pounds

2. Stilling the pain in my hip, so I can run without hurting.

3. Help me stay on task, instead of leading me astray, to waste my time playing games and cruising the Internet.

4. Giving me reasons to smile and chill, instead of tensing up the majority of time.

Sometimes my physical self can be difficult.

List 20.

Favourite memories

1. The look on my husband's face as I walked up the aisle towards him.

2. Holding each of our children for the first time.

3. Finishing my first marathon.

4. Finishing my second marathon. Completely different from my first.

5. My dad at his favourite time of the year - Christmas.

6. The times I have been able to completely surprise my husband. There have been three.

And finally?

List 21

With an extra hour in the day I would:

1. Get through a pair of socks in a month, instead of the two it takes me now.

2. Get more reading done.

3. Cook better more creative meals.

4. Actually have more friends in, rather than just thinking about it.

5. Be a more regular blogger.

6. Write to my aunt in Australia.

7. Spend more time with my friends.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Family traditions

1. Dinner out before everyone goes back to school.

2. Getting up at 7:30 on Christmas morning. (Could we make it 8:30? Or even 8:00 a.m.? Please?))

3. Prime Rib on Thanksgiving (from Bon Ton Meat Market) and at Christmas.

4. Going to the cottage with Grandma.

5. Underwear and socks in everybody's stockings! (Except mine - because I do everyone's stockings but mine. And the Santa that does my stocking doesn't do underwear or socks. Although I wish he would. It might be fun!!!!)

Most of our traditions are ones we have created ourselves. Far away from family, we have been forced to establish our way of doing things. And then sometimes, I .... shake things up. Like the year I moved the Christmas tree. 3 feet to the left. Well, you would think the earth had shifted 180 degrees, with the fuss it created. But it meant we no longer had to move furniture - and it made the living room seating less awkward. But it was a huge deal. Huge. So I have learned my lesson - maybe.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

These are a few of my favourite days (sung to the tune - well you know which one)

1. The first day of school.

2. Boxing Day.

3. The second day of vacation.

4. Saturdays of a long weekend.

5. Days off mid-week.

6. The day(s) my daughter comes home from school.

7. First Flames game of the season.

8. First evening we can sit out until 9:00 or so.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where to start, where to start?

Today's list is Pet peeves.

And I have sooo many.

1. People who tell me that the stapler doesn't work, when it is just out of staples.

2. Students who act surprised when they wait until the last minute to read a required article - and then are annoyed with me when I tell them that the book is out and due back after they need it.

3. When my knitting doesn't go fast enough. Of course, it would be helpful if I knit. But I think it should go by itself.

4. Baskets of laundry that lie around the house and do not get put away. Apparently I am the only one who sees them. Who knew I was blessed with that kind of second sight?

5. My hip. Just as training season is starting up, my hip starts acting up.

6. Socks. And the children who leave them everywhere.

7. The cat that is sleeping gently on my knee - and then she bites me, the brat!!

8. Our home internet, that despite the provider's promises, keeps crapping out.

9. Stinky dishcloths.

10. Having to tell people that the garbage (or the compost or the recycling) needs emptying. And that the litter box needs cleaning.

That's probably enough. It might get ugly.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In an alternate universe.....

...where yesterday is really today(or something like that), I give you my next list.

Things I overheard today

1. You HAVE to be kidding - she really DID that? (Student outside the library on the phone. Bold capitals are mine - but that was how she was talking!!)

2. Two teenagers discussing their plans for the day off tomorrow (which is, um, today, but whatever. Or evah!)

3. A woman swearing at the gas cap. Or the price of gas. Or both. I'm not sure.

4. My boss, her husband and her daughter sharing a moment of "togetherness". It was nice.

5. My son and two of his friends texting in the car. But I don't think they were texting each other. At least I hope not.

6. The hockey game on as I came in the house. (And yahoo - the Flames were winning!!)

7. My husband snoring gently late at night. (Wish I had a tape recorder so he would believe me.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Inspector Gadget rides again......

Tools and toys I'd like to try

1. An iPhone. Or a Blackberry. I know that I already have an iPad - but I think an iPhone/Blackberry would be cool. Expensive, but cool.

2. A mandoline. Although my fear would be that I would slice my finger(s) off.

3. A waffle iron. I gave mine away in a moment of foolishness many years ago and really regret it to this day.

4. A SLR camera. Like this one. Or this one. Or heavens above, this one.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10 years ago

1. I said I did not need to run a marathon to feel like a runner......

2. I worked full-time.

3. I never thought I would enjoy part-time work.

4. I was the master of quick dinners.

5. I couldn't sit through a hockey game for one period, let alone three. Except for Olympic hockey.

6. I was sure that our daughter would become a lawyer and that our oldest son was heading for an engineering career. Our youngest was only three, so the jury was still out on his occupation.

7. None of our close friends had died.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My superpowers

The ones I have?

1. The ability to silence Grade 4 boys with a look over my glasses (my children call it "The Librarian stare")

2. The power to get us out of being lost - without the Garmin.

3. The ability to whip up a quick dinner using the old block of dried cheddar, some frozen peas from a year ago, a dried up tomato and some bread and pasta - and everyone will eat it. Well, they won't turn their nose up at it. Much.

The ones I would LIKE to have?

1. The ability to detect cat vomit a nanosecond before I step in it - especially with bare feet. (Don't laugh - it would save me a ton of grief!)

2. The ability to stop time until I am ready to go on - like before Christmas, when I am madly shopping. Or the 30 minutes before a dinner party, when I need 45 to get ready.

3. The power to have a clean house - with a nod of head or a blink of my nose (like Samantha in 'Bewitched'.

4. The ability to get the best seats in the house for concerts - without having to stay glued to my computer to get them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Right now I am...

....sitting in front of the computer with my housecoat on, sipping coffee and contemplating the day.

It's not a pretty picture (Me in my housecoat, I mean. The day looks pretty good. All things considered. Daylight savings time, grocery shopping and watching hockey.)

Awesome moments

Today was awesome because.....

1. I ran for an hour and kept a fair pace. And felt OK at the end.

(Here, I tried to insert a picture of my workout as seen on my Garmin watch. Only I couldn't. Envision a screen that says "A glorious day in March" That's the best I can do. Sorry.)

2. The weather was positively wonderful. I can feel spring in the air.

3. I spent only an hour and got the housework under control (a major task, considering I hate housework. But I also hate a really messy house. Where's Mr. Clean when you really need him?.)

4. MH and I washed the car. Well, he washed the car and I got wet. Looks good, though.

5. The Roughnecks won. (I won't dwell on the officiating. But we won.)

6. Bed was really, really comfortable. And I got a good sleep.

P.S. Posting a day late. But the day was still awesome.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy places

I guess this means places BESIDES that little place in my head.....

1. The east armchair in the living room. I am not sure why - but the west armchair feels wrong on so many levels. And I always feel a little resentful when someone else is in my east chair.

2. Rib Lake - home of our family cottage. It's off the grid and a little isolated. I've been going since I was 5 (give or take) and there are very few summers I have missed a trip.

3. Our bed. With flannelette sheets, my husband gently snoring and a cat softly purring. Even better if it is -25 C and snowing.

4. The Extreme Bean on a Saturday morning, after a run short or long. Drinking coffee, eating multi-grain toast and PB and J. And chatting with my running friends.

5. Book Club. With a glass of (red) wine, some good munchies and great conversation.

6. Any place with a book.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

TIme for some SERIOUS self-reflection...

Day 7

Things to say no to:

1. Cookies. And cake. At least on a regular basis.

2. Answering the phone when I KNOW it's a telemarketer.

3. The time-suck known as Plants Vs. Zombies. Or Angry Birds. Or Spider solitaire.

4. Running faster than I should at the start. Because I will feel crummy at the end.

5. Clicking on "just one more" link. Or blog.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 5, 6 and 7

March 5th

Words to live by:

1. When you follow your bliss...doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors: and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.
Joseph Campbell

2. One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. A.A.Milne

3. We've begun to raise our daughters more like sons...but few have the courage to raise our sons more like daughters. - Gloria Steinem

4. Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown

5. Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death. Harold Wilson

There are plenty more, I am sure. These are my current favourites.

March 6th

Things to collect

1. Good friends.

2. Experiences you will always remember.

3. Art that takes your breath away.

4. Laugh lines.

March 7

I am inspired by:

1. My children. Some days they drive me crazy and I will love them to the end of time, but always, their laughter and their tears inspire me to try and be a better parent.

2. My husband. Who just keeps going and who finds joy in simple things and pleasure in my company.

3. A good challenge.

4. Others who lead far harder lives than I ever will, but keep going with a smile on their faces.

5. My mother , who at 88 years continues to find joy in her life through giving to others, enjoying a good book or concert and who thinks her children, their spouses/partners and her grandchildren are just about the best things ever.

6. The colours and fibres that I find in yarn and patterns.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's March....

....and you know what that means.

Okay, maybe you don't.

Last year, I participated in the "30 days of Lists" project, which had you make a list every day in March and post it. Actually, it was more complicated than that. You made a list, made it pretty, took a picture and THEN you posted the picture. Or something like that. I was a little unclear on the concept. Or more likely and truer to form, I simply read as far as I wanted to and then started madly making lists.

So this year, I thought that I would, you know, do it properly. So I goggled the project. And it is not as easy as last year (I know, on the scale of things, this is not a big problem.) But I think my creativity is limited. Or I have no desire to make the lists pretty. Although I could change the template. Or the font. Or the colour. But it took me a long time to come up with this particular look (stunned, aren't you?), so I think I will just...make a list.

So here I go.

Day One

Challenges to accept.

1. Complete all lists in this challenge.

2. Do the list daily (I mean after the first 5 , which I,um,am doing all at once.).

3. Knit 15 minutes a day.

4. Finish "Downton Abbey" episodes that are taped. (You would think this would be easy, but it is hard to get them watched around Flames games etc.)

Day Two

This month's goals

1. Sort all the pictures on the hard drive so I can find what I am looking for.

2. Finish covering the futon (half done is just begun....or something like that!)

3. Read 3 books from my basket. (The corollary should be "And don't put any more in " but that is kind of naive, don'tchathink?)

4. Complete the "30 days of lists" challenge (duh!!)

5. Do a monthly wrap-up - before the end of March (for February, I mean...)

Day Three

Recipe for a perfect weekend

1. No laundry to do.

2. Sitting and knitting for more than 15 minutes.

3. Watching the Flames win (as opposed to watching them...lose).

4. Running with my friends. And then going for coffee.

5. A lovely dinner in, with friends. And wine and chocolate.

Day Four

Things I'll put off until tomorrow

1. Making the list for Day 5. It's getting late. And there's a PVR with my name on it.

2. Writing an email to Brandee about my lack of running mojo.

There is not much more. It's 8:45 p.m., so there is not many things left to put off.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Um, is this thing on?

I am not sure where January went. Actually, I'm not sure where December went, either. Things kind of ....fell apart between then and now. Not in a bad way. Just in a too-much-Toblerone-food-and-giving-induced kind of way. So I'll recap - kind of a monthly wrap-up - only over two months instead of one.

So where was I? Oh, yeah - the Christmas list thing.

1. Turns out that Santa read the list - and I got an iPad. It's my new favourite toy. I took out a book from the library - on Christmas Day!! Pretty cool, huh? Of course, I am still madly addicted to the real book thing. At least I better be - I seem to have enough of them stacked behind the bedroom door...
Oh - and that Ian Rankin novel on the top of the pile on the right?? Totally does NOT belong to the library.....(I wondered where that went)

2. Of course, the big challenge now is trying to manage the above pile. And the growing list of e-books on my iPad. And trying NOT to buy any books - at all.

3. Good thing I like challenges.

4. Second favourite gift? My new oven mitts (I know - rather low-tech. But these are fancy-schmancy silicon and cloth ones. In orange AND purple. They match one of my sweaters. See?)

5. Christmas Day was quiet and low-key. Although I thought I would not like that, turns out there is something rather addictive about pyjamas, Toblerone and reading my newly-checked-out-on-Christmas-Day library book. Without having to worry about turkey. Or dessert. Or rushing around like a mad woman while everyone else is in their jammies, playing with my their toys.

6. Did some running, too. Only this year, it was beautiful out. No stupid cold days. Although I still think we are going to have some major winter soon.

7. Like in May.

8. Or June.

9. I ran the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve. Mostly because of the jacket. For a $40 entrance fee, I got this beautiful, warm, blue jacket. It's my new favourite. And it's not screaming orange like last year's. Which I didn't run. But not because of the jacket. Great jacket. (I'd pop a picture in, but it's in the laundry.)

10. Stayed up late (for us) too. Kind of like New Year's 1998. In that case, however, I was in the throes of labour (sort of).

11. Yes, we have a New Year's baby. Only now he is a New Year's teenager.

12. Not sure how any of it happened.

13. I mean, I KNOW how it happened. It's just that I thought it only happened yesterday. Or last week. Instead of thirteen years ago.

14. On the knitting front, it turns out I knit (and finished) 14 items in 2011. Which worked out to just over 10 kilometres of yarn.

15. Um, that's a lot of yarn.

16. But it is still not a marathon.

17. In the interests of making that goal, I will have to buy more yarn, I guess. (I will ignore for the moment the fact that I likely have a lot more than a marathon's worth of yarn in my workroom.)

18. And I will have to knit a whole lot faster.

19. Which oddly enough is also a running goal.

20. Running faster, I mean.

21. I didn't make any resolutions, but there is a theme emerging in my ponderings. Read faster, knit faster and run faster.

22. Could be an interesting year...