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Monday, December 29, 2008

A topical exploration of hibernation. With photos...

It's been a lovely snowy christmastime.
The lazy days I've daydreamed about for ages are here...and I love it. I am off work for a whole extra week...
Christmas was lovely - we had drinks and obscure nibbles at J's aunt's house and got to visit his cousins, one who is very round with what she assures me is not an alien baby.
The day of was a bit hectic, but it was nice to have kids around. They really do make christmas better...my little niece and I had a great time playing and all J's Mum's side of the family that could come did. A bit crowded, but all good people. Gifts were opened and enjoyed...My sister in laws both loved the things I sewed for them and their little ones and the bath salts were welcomed...There were fewer but more thoughtful gifts this year, it seemed. A few stick out - J's pop up book of Star Wars and Onion book...my microfleece super warm sheets and a real Japanese bento box...mostly I recall laughing and talking and (of course) eating.
The past few days have been relaxing at home...watching movies, reading multiple books in the sunbeams in bed, cooking elaborate delicious tasty things and generally doing nothing more than we like...and doing the things we do thoroughly. I've finally gotten around to both reading and watching A Scanner Darkly and Children of Men.
Current;y I'm making vanilla custard and fruit crepes...then I think I'll get the leapfrog room finished off...so we can fill it in with things...
For those of you too lazy to read...here's some pictures of things made with joy:





Happy holidays all...I'm off to nom some guacamole and fruit and cheese and wine.
Have a happy new year too :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Whew!

Ah.
Another late night, but I'm done sewing all my gifts and making my cookie recipes in a jar. Just a few bath salts to shake up and a bit of gift wrapping to finish...but I managed to get all the big stuff done! I was starting to wonder :) I have to go get a snap installation kit for the bunting bag, as the one I bought doesn't actually have the thingy you need to put snaps in (??) but that's nbo big deal. And, yes, I have photos, but I'm not posting them until after the day of days in case inquiring minds stumble by and accidentally get spoilers. Can't have that...

It's a short day at work today...just a few experiments to finish up and then I'm shutting down the lab. It is off home to finish up the last of miscellaneous gifting and bake a few more cookies (Cuz...um...we ate the ones that were supposed to be gifted tonight. Had to test them for quality you know...)

Tonight is libations and snacking with some of the family and tomorrow is the day of wonder.
Should be nice...I'm looking forward to doing nothing in particular and relaxing. And sleeping in. DEFINITELY sleeping in :)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mmm. Mmmm. Time for Pie.

Image: Bizarro

Pie anyone?
(got you thinking about it didn't I? :) )

Shake your moneymaker. Shake it baby.

Well...getting there on the gift department.
Last night I was up to the wee hours finishing my niece's present. It looks alright if I do say so myself...my buddy Magnus was flying home this morning at an absurd hour and he had insomnia, so I had someone to yak to as I sewed to the wee hours of the morning. We sent him home with some wine and cookies for the family...as luck has it my husband works at the wee hours of the morning too, so he could swing by the airport on his way and send Magnus off home to Vancouverland to be with the rest of his kin. Me? I don't move at that hour for nothing...

I hadn't meant to be up that late lst night, but I had to bake a bunch of cookies to send off to BC with Magnus AND had a final private bellydance lesson last night to "correct my technique flaws" and...well...there were a lot of them. It turns out that changing your stance and how you hold your arms pretty much affects every movement you do...so I had to go thru most of what I already know to correct it. My amazing teacher Johara went through two full routines with me movement by movement and spent over two hours helping me get movements down, so I can practice them properly over the holiday. I gratefully paid her in vanilla bath salts...everyone was happy...though my abs are aching this morning. It did push back the sewing to the silly hours of the morning , but luckily I have nothing extremely detailed at work today, so I can survive.

Other than being retardedly cold, it should be a good day...finish off the last of the gift assembly after work and run about with J picking up this and that, make a few more cookies and try not to freeze (it's only -45 °C with the wind-broke out the skipants this morning).

Have a great day all...I'm off :)
To amuse yourselves, check out these cool gingerbread creations...

Monday, December 22, 2008

No turning back now

My nephew is getting married this summer. I'm having trouble not feeling extremely old about this, but what can you do? I'm the youngest by far in my family, so he was born when I was 11...and now my little buddy is all grown up and going to marry a fantastic girl. I'm very happy for him. And her. All round it is a good thing.

My sister her family all live out in Ottawa now and I haven't seen them in a long time...so J and I had planned to fly out for the wedding and visit no matter what, but were cringing at the costs. Luck is on our side it turns out. I have enough air miles to fly me out, and there is a seat sale on until the end of today for Air Canada, so we've both booked ourselves out on a flight out and back. Mehee. As luck would have it, we can actually afford to go this way - the world seems determined that we go, and I'm delighted that we are all booked to go. As a bonus, we'll go out a few days early to visit some old friends of ours that moved to Toronto years ago...we miss them dearly and it will be great to spend a few days with them. Then it 's off to the wedding outside Toronto on the weekend. As a super extra bonus, I have a few more days holidays than J so after he flies back I can stay on for another 4 days and visit the family back in Ottawa, and do things with the family (like see the national art gallery) for a few days and relax...then get back before the weekend and have a few days home with J before going back to the real world.
I'm so excited I actually made a little squeaky noise when I confirmed the booking...I can't wait :)

Sometimes, life is good. This is the best Christmas present life could have given me at the moment. 3 cheers for good things :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

3rd floor- habidashery and laminate!

Neato.
We now have nifty laminate in the green room upstairs. Dad did it this afternoon.

My Dad is awesome- He's even going to put the baseboards on too...shmancy ones were on sale so they'll be spiffy...we had to drive home in -28 weather with the 10 foot lengths sticking out the car window wrapped in towels and held in place by the me squished in an odd angle in the back seat (yes my hands froze)...but we got them home. Once there's a light I can take a picture of the wondrousness. It's really a totally different room. I love it now. I actually want to be in there.
I'd like to say I helped, but I prepped it and got the stuff for him and watched and oohed and aahed at appropriate intervals. I took the afternoon off to hang out with Mum & Dad...it was a nice visit. Tomorrow is gingerbread houses with the niece Cutestuff and then crazy farewell dinner...33 people in a tiny house. I will test my social crowds personal space abilities...what started out as a small family dinner with ableskeevers and sausages had ballooned into a large potluck. I'm tired just thinking about it :)
Ah well...tommorrow will take care of itself. For now I am content to have worked hard, got in some bellydancing and baseboarding along with a nice visit with the parents.

And on that thought...to bed. I have to get up and paint the baseboards early...oh the thrilling life I lead :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snuck up on me...

My parent will be here in 24 hours.

Help.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An open letter to Butterick

Hi there,

Sappy seamstress here. I just wanted to ask you a question about your "easy to sew, quick and simple" line of sewing patterns. I think you may have the wrong ideas in mind. Do you have the same dictionary I do? Let me check it:

easy  [ee-zee] : not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort.

simple [sim-puhl]: 1. easy to understand, deal with, use. 2. not elaborate or artificial; plain.

I don't think these words apply to all suchpatterns. Take, for example, the pattern that I am currently sewing: not only is all the info that you need to buy the fabric on the INSIDE of the pattern bag, but you blatantly misdirect people in the inner instructions. Once they decipher what they need to buy to sew the pattern and gleefully try to sew the damn things...they get annoyed...repeatedly.
My case in point: you state at the start of the pattern instructions that "seams are 5/8" unless otherwise stated" and then have ALL the pieces in the entire pattern state a different seam width on them? Why? My favourite so far is the 30" zipper you said I needed, with the pattern instructions saying it"may need to be shortened". Seeing as the entire bunting bag is only 26" long I'd agree! And the zipper was fun, as altho it said it is a 1/4" seam for installing the zipper, it REALLY is 5/8" to put the zipper in properly, which you can't really tell from anywhere except a badly drawn diagram, and a cryptic comment at the end of the pattern. For me, so far, this pattern has involved lots of squinting and huffing and muttering to get that right. Since all the pieces are really really small, there isn't much room for correction. This is a gift, not a macaroni picture. I want to make it look good!

Work with me here. I wish to make cute little things for cute little people. If it doesn't work out I'm making a hat out of it, and you will have to rest in the knowledge that some cute little baby will have no bunting bag...only coal. How could you do that to a poor little baby? If a novice tried this one it would already be a hat...a really ugly hat with a overly long long zipper hanging off of it for no damn good reason.

I am an experienced sewer and you've annoyed me. Rest assured I will think twice before I tread anywhere *near* your "difficult/advanced" patterns, let I combust in a ball of flame fuming over more completely random pattern instructions.

A little more care and attention please.

In stitches,

Geo

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sweet nogging cakes

So I made eggnog cookies.
They are exquisite.
If you want the recipe or a picture of said deliciousness, check the link to my food blog above...as for me, well I must go eat more cookies...

WANT!

Mmmm...pie

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

This weekend I did some sewing, ate pie (homemade pumpkin pie I might add) for breakfast and got through the first 2 films in the Lord of The Rings Extended trilogy. It was below -25...hibernation time. When you can sit on your couch with a glass of coffee and *watch* the river freeze, you don't need to go outside. I stayed in and baked pie and cookies and drank rum and eggnog and generally did nothing useful. I probably should have done more, but I haven't relaxed in a long time...so I did as little as possible. Even finished the Hobbit...yes, it was good.

Today? Back at life, enduring a mere -32 °C, with the severe wind making it feel like it is -44°.
Winter sure came with a pointed stick this year...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Apparently I'm skinny

Man...I have so much bellydancing practice to do. In saying this I imply I've been practicing a lot. Our practice last night showed me just how little Ive done and how I've got to step it up to get the routines down better...I know the moves, I just can't do them in proper order without someone leading me. This will not do. I mean, who's gonna be there for my solo?

But, turns out I've been standing and doing all the moves with my feet too far apart...so I have to practice it all "right"...and learn more moves. This is a good thing though, as it explains why my knees were bothered sometimes before...too much rotation on the knees when your legs are too far apart.
And they kept telling me to exaggerate some of the moves with my hips...because (get this) I'm just too skinny and I need to emphasis the moves more for people to see them. Made me grin a lot...apparently I'm doing something right healthwise...I still think of myself as the pudgy girl in the corner, so it's a pleasant thing to hear. :)

This weekend is stock up and don't go outside all weekend as it'll be stupid cold.
I plan on sewing, practicing my bellydancing and snuggling up to watch movies. We may marathon the Lord of the Rings. We shall see.

Before I go...here's my "what I'm up to right now" meme:

Current clothes: Yellow shirt, turquoise hooded cardigan, jeans, black specs.

Current mood: Tired, but happy. Busy day, but the weekend is here. I need some vegging.

Current music: A CD of Ambient and electronic remixes of Billy Holiday. Some are great, some tracks not so much...

Current annoyance: My lungs are slowly improving, but it's like I'm almost getting a cold, but I'm not. It seems the cold agrivates things for me, and I squeak like an old lady with emphysema at times...but I'm using my steroid inhaler and it's getting better. Still couching a bit, but breathing is good. I'm getting better I think.

Current thing: Reorganising and decluttering the house and generally doing too much. Seriously. I'm getting lots done, but man...crazy times. I did finish painting a bedroom tho, and that is one big part of it. When Dad comes he'll help put down the floor and then we're done. I must christmasize and organise before the parental units come on the weekend so they can actually have a bed to sleep on. Eep.

Current desktop picture: The Chinese symbol for Serenity. It literally translates to "To make your heart calm". I like.

Current book: The Hobbit. I realised I remember very little of it. So, I'm rereading it...loving it. Just finished the part where Bilbo escaped from Gollums cave. "What's it got in it's pocketses?"

Current song in head: "I hear Music" by Billy Holiday. The remix of it on this album is pretty catchy, but I like the original...that woman can sing like noone else.

Current DVD in player: I don't know. Haven't watched a DVD or the TV in ages...that would require sitting down...

Current refreshment: Tim Horton's coffee. An XL double double...my friday indulgence. Yum.

Current worry: Can I get everything done by Christmas. And do I care? :)

Current thought: Break's over. I have lots to do today...should get to it.

Have a great day everyone :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

She's crafty and she's just my type!

Here I got my sister in laws gift cards for a girly store, so they could indulge themselves...impractical wonderful girly stuff, just for them and noone else. Then I got ideas on the way home of something cool to make for them too...so I'm on it...the more the merrier. Mom & Daughter aprons with cookie cutters and cookie recipe for Sis in Law her daughter (monogrammed with"hot stuff" and "small stuff") and recipes in a jar for my other sis in law together with some of my famous bath salts. For years J's grandma has sent back her big decorative jar I first gave her looooooong ago the end of November and I refill it with bath salts for her for another year :). And I found wicked comfy soft slippers for my Mum...and I'll be sewing baby stuff for my new nieces...and and and...squeep....explodey happy head alert!
I love making stuff for people.
Stuff they can use. That will make them smile.
Makes me smile...
And I (whaddaya think?) got a great idea to make stuff for ME too...a A funky chefs apron, with fleece for the back of it, with "naked chef" embroidered printed on it...so comfy yet practical for thngs like cooking bacon in the nude. Ahem. I already have fabric to make myself one. Yes I'm a loser. And yes photos *will* follow. But just of the apron. Not me in it. Nuh uh. No way. Oh tell me you don't want one for lazy weekend breakfasts...you do. I *know* you do.
If I cut out sleep before the holidays I bet I can totally get everything done...:)
Heh...
Now that painting is done, I've had a breather and suddenly poof! It's holiday time.
Uh huh. Oh yeah.
I'm starting to feel it.
Duck and cover. Here I come...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Leapfrog has landed

Ladies and germs and molecular vectors, the Leapfrog has officially landed.
I repeat, the Leapfrog has landed.

Green has come.
Rejoice and wibble the Happy Dance for the Rubber Duck and all his minions have been vanquished!

Yea, we give thanks to the Holy Horseshoe which has come again to the Bottom of Sweetness, for we have finished our quest with only 2 teaspoons of paint left...*just* enough, thanks to my Roller of Skimping +2.

Here's hoping that in the light of day it looks hunky dorey...Cuz I'll be damned if I paint that room again :)

Neato

I liked this photo on the lovely Bread and Honey food blog a while ago and thought of how nice it would look framed up in my kitchen. Punk meets baking. I like.
Turns out she has a print of it for sale now at her etsy shop.

Well hey now...time to save my sheckels...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bwaha!

I just finished my first coat of green paint.
It looks so nice.

That's all folks.

Too much church and paint and soup

This weekend was two christenings and then a memorial service out at the funeral home chapel.
All very nice, but a bit much for one day. One niece grinned ear to ear despite dripping water every where. The other screamed bloody murder over the whole water business. Don't blame her...get the girl all prettied up and then hold her up in front of a bunch of people and dunk her head in some river water? I'd be pissed.

On the plus side, I have finished the white paint. It is now white and not a collection of day glow colours. It's a bit thick in places but it's white - only 2 primer coats and 6 paint coats. I'm so glad it's done...tonight and tomorrow is the "fun" stuff - the Leapfrog green walls and then the painting is over...finally. We even found super cheap laminate for the crappy old floor...it's slowly coming together. Hopefully Dad will come out a day early and help me put it in. I"m not sure how it'll look if I do it all myself...

I also found a recipe to use up the gargantuan 6 Lb Kabocha squash that's been staring at me for the past month or so. The thing was bigger than my head but it made some kickass soup. It's yummy. All 4 litres of it. I still have half the thing frozen for later. Mmmm...theatre soup....

This is all terribly dull I know, but it is what it is. My happy but busy life. Perhaps soon I'll have a poignant rant or some pretty pictures for you. Until then...suck it up my dear muffins. It's all I got for ya :)
It's odd...the snow is finally here and it really does seem more like Christmas. I still have no urge to put up lights yet. For me that is really odd...usually I'm twitching and peeking in boxes mid November. For now it's back to work and all that.
Have a good day :)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

(image: I can't remember...it's been too long)


I'm so glad it's friday...I need a day off.
Work has been busy. Life has been busy.

Last night we got group choreography to remember along with the basic dance choreography for one of the bellydance routines...altho I hate the song it is to, the routine is a lot of fun. But the moves are tricky...and there is a lot of them. Eep. I'm trying to get the 3 song I am going to be in on my iPod so I can dance around on my breaks and such and try and get the routines down. I haven't had a lot of time at home (I'm not staying up past 12 to practice...) so I need to get to it so I don't make a fool of myself. I haven't even started to practice my solo yet. Doomed...

And the painting? Ha.
Ha hahahahaha haha ha
*wipes away tear*
Don't be silly darling...

And so it goes, this funny life business...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blinky tour

I managed to get some christmas evil over with yesterday. A friend and I did a bit of christmas shopping and now my nieces and brother are looked after. It wasn't too painful yet as there were few people there and the christmas music wasn't cranked up to a teeth grating level yet...not too bad.
As a reward, we got to relax a bit and she and I hopped in her car with hot chocolate and drove all over the city looking at the lights in people's yards...some people go all out. One house near me has a full choir of stuffed bears on a riser in their front yard. Another one has 10 inflatable things in the front yard.
Me? I should get my 3 foot christmas penguins out in the front yard...I had grand light plans for the yard...but then it snowed and I got wimpy, so this year the blinky shiny thing levels may be lower than norm...I haven't had enough free time so far to get out the ornaments, let a lone put them up. With everything painted this summer I'm wierded out about putting things up and making nail holes...
Being active and productive sure gets things done I must say. We've done more in the past month than I can recall in ages - things are getting organised, I'm actually on top of house chores for once. By adding in 2 weekly bellydance practices, cleaning and defrosting the fridge/freezer this week (It had ice inside it and was leaking water so I had to do some emergency luvvin to try and fix it...seems OK now), painting (I have declared there are only 2 more coats of white left regardless of whether it's "good" or not...it must be done before my parent's get here in 2 weeks), and doing some sewing (OK, so far just looking at the sewing) and I'm feeling a bit squished for time... I like lazy more at times like this. Still keeping it together...but I have to be sure to have more relaxing, looking at lights things in the next while to unwind...relaxing is good. I'm sure I'll pencil that in again next week some time for 5 minutes so I remember how it feels...:)
I have to say - I'm really enjoying the bellydancing though. Not only does it make me feel pretty...turns out I'm not too shabby at it. It's somethign "just for me". Reminds me to look after myself and take time just for me...it adds to the busy, but I wouldn't give it up now for anything...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Gift ideas


Because it makes me giggle...


But mostly, it is these: motorolla cordless headphones...so I don't get tangled up in my cords...and pull them out of my iPod while working/running/painting/cleaning/living with my iPod strapped to my hip.

Or a lemon zester would be OK too.

Just saying...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm a git

I just gave myself a papercut on my nose.

On my NOSE people.

I know.

Don't ask me how...all I know is it hurts...and I'm being mocked by everyone.

ow...

Xnay on the Uffspay

This weekend I gave in to the nibbles and got some snackery. I'm always trying to find the ultimate cheese puff. I love cheesies and all things involving cheese, and I like spicy food, so these cheese nibbles looked like just the thing: all natural, real cheese, jalapeno...what could be bad about this?


Well...turns out - everything. They tasted like nothing. Honest. No flavour whatsoever. With all that promising description about 3 kinds of cheeses and jalapeno flavour...zilch. And the puffs themselves were mediocre - kinda crunchy, but mostly dry. I was very disappointed. I had to supplement with other less healthy tandoori ripple chips that were very delicious.


And so I warn you all - don't bother with these snacks unless you're into bland but crunchy empty calories.

Me?

I likes my empty calories to taste good...:)

Now, these? THESE are good...damn good. Go eat some. Avoid the cheesey poofs. You'll thank me...
The Bacon Queen has spoken: Empty calories for all!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Weekends make things better

To cheer myself up on the weekend I lowered my IQ considerably with some decent rum and eggnog and watched some giggly cartoons...an animated Hellboy movie, some South Park and the like. Uncomplicated, giggle like a teenager sort of stuff...Cheered me up immensely. J was full of hugs and reminders of how awesome I am and with some huggy consolation by the end of friday I was feeling less like a dolt and more like a tipsy giggly fool, which was enough.

We got to go spelunking in our attic on saturday - that was amusing. We bought our house from family, and they had a bunch of old stuff from when their kids were little stored up in the attic. We'd never looked (out of sight out of mind), and just waited for them to come and get it some day - saturday they finally did. I was surprised at how much space there is up there - they took 2 Honda CRV loads full out of there...and after peering and looking around like little kids who've suddenly been given keys to a new hidey fort we moved some of our storable junk up there. Neat.

I didn't get as much painting done as I'd hoped with all the spelunking, but I still managed to repair the flashing on the roof and get a coat of paint on the trim. We got the stupid idea to redo the floor in there since everything is out of there right now...it's old warped paint speckled yellow vinyl tiles at the moment...think we'll find some cheapo laminate and put it in. So I have to pull of the baseboards (which I just painted...heh) and I'm going to see if I can bribe my Dad to come up a few days earlier in December and help me do it...shouldn't take too long. Then that room is done forever and ever amen...and then on to more declutter organising and the like. This is getting fun...we can *see* the difference and it just makes you want to keep going.

As a bonus, we got to meet our new neighbors again on sunday. They're doing some renos and had an old closet door out in their back yard. Being the general creepy oddballs that we are, we went over to ask if we could have one of them to replace our broken one in our hall closet and got to visiting for a few hours. She's due to have a baby next weekend and it was kind of cool to see how the "other half" lives...as he co-owns a car dealership they have a rather posh house, but it was cool to talk with them and discover that despite all that they're pretty cool, interesting and regular people. I grew up in a town of 300, so I like knowing my who my neighbors are, and I'm glad that we're starting to get to know the new people on both sides of us a bit at a time. We had to take off as I had bellydance practice (got to learn the moves for my solo - hey hey!) but it was nice. And (bonus) they said we could have the closet door...hope it fits.

And today...back to work. Bleh.
Must run...life calls :)