Friday, 27 July 2012

Rocky Raccoon

I slept really well after the mouse attack. I needed a good amount of z's to make up for that night. It seems I also needed to prepare for last night.

One thing I do remember from mouse night is being woken up by DH earlier on to check on our 2 aged cats. He thought he heard scratching and little growls. Both cats were fine, nothing else seemed out of place, and we went back to sleep. Then the mouse attacked! You know the rest. Well not all the rest. It seems I wouldn't settle when he said he had gotten all the mice. I was only reassured when he told me Amy have gotten all the mice. She's the best mouser cat we have. I trust her.

Last night he wakes me up and I too can hear the scratching and tiny little growls. However this time they are coming from the bathroom window. Directly below is our green bin. He gets dressed and fetches the proverbial '10 foot stick' from the basement. The lid is raised, the bin is knocked on its side, and out peeks a raccoon! Finally I get to see a raccoon! I've previously just had the displays of garbage mess to tell me they exist. Oh, and once I heard a really bad fight in the trees out back. But I've never seen one.

Well I got to see two. After this guy finally crawls out he is joined by a larger racoon from around the side of the house and the two waddle off up the hill.

The green bin was pretty empty. Poor thing got in there somehow and fell right to the bottom. Now in hindsight (meaning I couldn't get back to sleep last night) I think he was in the green bin two nights ago as well. It was full then to overflowing. I had stocked up on weeds from the gardens. These were weeds I didn't want to compost. On top was a little chicken and the lid was not down tight. I may have been asking for it there, don't ya think? So I think those were the scratchings and growls from mouse night. I just hope the little guy wasn't in there long last night. I wonder who the other raccoon was? Mom? Sibling? Partner?

On a more amazing note, one of the aged cats and I went out to the patio to read a magazine and enjoy the sun. Percy is at the stage where a good sunning can be lovely on his old bones. I learn much from him. He sits on a well cushioned patio chair and sniffs the breeze before falling into light cat nap. I'm reading the latest edition of A Needle Pulling Thread. It's a great Canadian needle craft magazine that is well laid out and has a great variety of projects. If you haven't seen it, give it a try. It's at Chapters.

 Here's Percy. Note the green bin in the background.

So I'm enjoying the magazine when I hear a really loud buzzing close to me. I look up and there is a hummingbird not 2 feet from me, checking me out. I freeze and the little guy buzzes around me for a good 30 seconds before going off to the hosta bed. Amazing! It was like looking at a perfectly still bird with a blur where the wings should be. I was wearing a bright red polyester shirt. Now if that was the attraction, I may never take that ugly thing off! Percy slept right through it. I do wish I had his ability to sleep at times!

Tonight the Olympics kick off. I have my yarn and sewing projects ready. Ravelry knitting site often has challenges during sporting events. You start a project with the athletes and finish before the last medal is handed out. They just finished the Tour de Fleece I believe. There is a controversy over the name for this event. The US Olympic Committee sent them a cease and desist order as they planned to call it the Ravelympics. You can't use the Olympic word it seems. Well that would have been fine, but then the USOC went on to say it was degrading to the athletes to be associated with knitting projects. Ravelry is a huge site with over 2 million intelligent, opinionated and creative members. You can imagine the outcome! Now we are knitting in the Ravellenics. Whatever! I'll be finishing some socks and a baby sweater. So cute in a soft pink yarn! Also so little, so I should be able to get his done. I also have shirt and coat planned for the sewing project. DH just got the TV in the sewing room on the correct mode (yah!) and I have the CTV app on my iPad. I'm ready!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Mouse Attacks!

Have you ever seen the movie Mars Attacks? So worth it! Tom Jones sings to a bluebird and speckled fawn to cap it off. Everyone who is anyone is in it, and it spoofs so many things you can't possibly keep track.

But I digress. Last night I woke DH (but not myself) by getting up and searching my pillowcase for mice. He finally told me he got them all and I went back to sleep. I got the story this morning. Where the heck did this come from? I have a few thoughts. First of all when he got home last night I was soooo cranky! Took me a while to get that why down. I had been working on a Jalie pattern for a tennis skirt thing with attached pants. I ignored the stretch requirements (who needs 4 way stretch, really?) and the first attempt did NOT fit. I looked like an over ripe sausage in the green bin - ready to explode! To make matters just so much better my new cover stitch machine has it out for knits. I've tried what I know but I need help with that thing. In hindsight that kind of day was not the best background for greeting one's spouse. More a 'duck and cover' type of day.

But to get back to the mice in the pillow - the bad mood plus the weekend activities may have joined forces. DH was digging up a rubble pile (we have a few of those lying around) and felt what he thought was a spider inside his shirt. He stopped to dig it out but it travelled down his shirt, down his leg and then back up to his shirt. Mighty big and speedy spider, don't you think? He realized what was happening and grabbed the lump around his waist. It squeaked and he threw it (he says gently). The little mouse ran on his way. Now thank heavens he had his James Bond swim trunks under his pants! Their sleek fit may have saved us some serious problems!

So I think all of this May have led to the mice in the pillowcase. I'm not really sure, and I remember none of it.

So today the third try on the tennis skirt was a success. I like it! I haven't done a Jalie pattern before, but it was excellent. The instructions, the pattern paper, the diagrams - all made sense and worked well. I'm going to do more of those! However, next time I will pay attention to the stretch requirements. I just wanted to use stash the first time into it. Cute, eh? Perfect for walking in the park. I do find the waistband rolls as I sit here. Perhaps it will get an inner wide elastic lining next time.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My Day

It's my B Day! I had great day. First I watched 5 birds sit on the peak of the garden shed and pick off hornets as they emerged from the eaves where they have a nest. Smart little things! Then I put on my favourite (underwear optional) muumuu and went to my sewing room. I spent many wonderful hours rearranging, patting fabrics, organizing and dusting. Ahhhh.....

All this was in eager anticipation of the arrival of 4 patterns from Jalie. Thanks to Canada Post I knew they were on the truck and heading my way. Amazing! They in deed arrived this afternoon. Thrills! The guy didn't knock on the door - I found out they were there because the web told me they had been successfully delivered. I was ready to show that guy a warm welcome! He missed out big time.

I also spent a lot of time working with my new coverstitch serger. It's great on wovens but skips stitches on light knits. As that is what I want to do, I'm drinking a nice light white wine right now. I need a consultant. I have knit projects lined up!

My man got me a great cordless drill. I love it. Ive always wanted one, it just took him a few years to take me seriously. Men worry about the 'dreaded appliance' gift. Some appliances are truly gifts however, and this is one. He could certainly see me with a drill, it was the gift part I think that concerned him.

I have a lot of reasons for wanting a drill. All practical reasons. However, the best reason of all comes from Maya Angelou. Check it out.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

I am a very fast woman

I got home from a week in Montreal with my sisters yesterday and my DH announces that we are racing in a rally today. I've never actually driven rally before. I have driven track and I help at rallies, and I have driven parking lot rally sprints. Full speed rally over dirt roads in the woods is different. It's fast, cars do occasionally roll and the driver must work with the co driver to be able to travel at top speed. I was the Co Driver! I've always wanted to do this and worried about how I would do. The Co driver reads instructions to the driver as he/she drives full speed into blind corners. I was concerned about a lot of things. First of all I didn't know if I could read, keep an eye on the road and not throw up. Then you really have to give the instructions at exactly the right moment in the right spot. You need to 'keep calm and carry on'. You also need to ignore the fact that you're being driven at ridiculous speeds by someone other than yourself.

I did great! I loved it! I messed up a bit on instructions at times but we didn't go off the road and DH was pleased. We were working from instructions another driver gave us as I wasn't there yesterday to make up my own with Ron. I think it will go even better with our own wording and pacing. So now I think I'm a natural born co driver. I can't wait to do it again, and I think I'll be asked back. Too exciting for words!

We did well. DH got smoother at each turn. He hasn't driven rally himself in a long time and he so loves it. We were classed in the end as an 'exhibitionist' entry so we didn't get a prize. The prizes are these cute little brass plaques you can stick to your car dash. But our unofficial standing was 'outstanding'!

I have always enjoyed racing with the DH. We work well as a team I think. We have fun. The people we race with are great people and so supportive of each other. DH organizes the races and he does it so people can play and have fun. It's a huge commitment on his part, but he seems to find the rewards well worth the effort. If you have the ability to organize events and can do so for the right reasons, the rewards are huge. I'm so glad he sees this. He surrounds himself with people who also see this. They appreciate each other, and have a good time. What more could you ask for?
Here are some pics of us in our car. Ron is in red and that's the top of my head!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

An Apple a Year

I am in Montreal and took advantage of the opportunity to visit the genius bar at the local Apple store. I took my phone, pad and an older pod that wasn't working. I so wish we had one at home. They are helpful and just have tons of neat bits of info. My pad was Immaculate! Isn't that good to hear? It's like hearing your child was polite! I have a picture of me and my genius but can't figure out how to get it loaded from within my iPad. If only I were back at the store. This means you'll also have to wait for pictures of the 5 sisters in matching bikinis and the amazing fabric steals I got! I have a new place to shop! It's good to have friends who know things. Now we are off downtown to explore. We take the train and the Metro. A good transit system is a joy.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

A Closet For Me

For those of you who need to know, after 48 hours the spiderlings moved on to start their own lives. For those of you with adult children still at home, what can I say? Arachnids are 'da bomb'!

I'm looking for the real me. I often choose my wardrobe by what fabrics and colours appeal to me. Labels as well, let's be honest here. I want to sew most of my own clothes and I want to chuck almost everything I own and wear things that suit me, make me feel great and look attractive. Is this too much to ask?

I hope not.

So I have been taking pictures of me in things I wear. I'm getting some thoughts together, but I don't have a solid set of rules yet.

I did have my colours done and also had a consult on styles as well. That was about 20 years ago, but I still have the swatches. I have to say the colours tend to be the ones that get me compliments.

So here is me in a pink linen dress I loved making. The contrast piping and belt were fun and I topstitched the seams with a wing needle for a statement touch. It was the type of sewing I really like to do. The dress however does not do much for me. I do like to wear it and admire it, but really it's a bit frumpy.

Then I bought a Michael Michael Kors skirt ($4.50 at Frenchy's) and I like that. I bought it because of the great linen and neatly tucked away front pockets, but here it does seem to do good things for me. Perhaps because the colour is on the bottom and may be balancing out my top? Also the pink belt above seems to cut me in a bad spot and focus attention on my upper assets. Below I have an indent at the waist but the cut line is below.

So far what I'm seeing is that v necks are good and my skinny hips need to be fluffed a bit to balance my upper parts. My waist is OK but should be skimmed over lightly without a cut line. Perhaps a bit of a sleeve cap will help with the balancing act as well. What do you think?

Oh, and I have great legs. From the knee down, at least. And I need a haircut, as usual.