30 November 2008

Social Sunday

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
As much as yesterday was about smiling at strangers, today was relaxing with friends old and new.

Late last night we got a last minute invite to brunch which turned out to be wonderfully refreshing and just what I needed.

After brunch, Hubby dropped me off and I unpacked and shuffled, boxes then tidied and cleaned the house (with the help of Robbie the Roomba and our faithful dishwasher, too).

Hubby returned and cooked up a nice pot of chicken-corn chowder then at 7:00 a few "gridders" showed up for the monthly meet. We chose both December's and January's grids. Owing to it being a school night, the meeting was brief so that the kids could get a close-to-regular night of sleep. (And, thanks to Kiddo getting lots of playtime today, she was asleep within moments of hitting the pillow.)

Back to work tomorrow but just a four day week. Thursday night we'll be heading to Vancouver, staying until Saturday. My homework between then and now will include studying the IKEA catalog.

29 November 2008

One fewer thing on the To Do list


After I'd gotten home, eaten dinner and sat for a moment, Hubby looked at me and said, "You look beat down and grumpy."

I looked at him and said, "I just worked six and a half hours retail. What do you expect?" And truthfully, I worked that without all the breaks I am used to either. I ate at my booth and only managed to get one brief bathroom break in the morning.

Add to that the fact that when I arrived, there was no table for me (a snafu with my cheque not making it from the school office to the PAC). Thankfully, the coordinator worked hard to find me a space. Unfortunately, that left me with 20 minutes to set up instead of the hour I'd been counting on. That meant I just started unpacking and hoped for the best. It also meant I didn't get a lot of things staged the way I wanted, although I did come up with the bright idea of tipping a wicker laundry basket on its side.

There was a lot of traffic, and I made more than the cost of my table, but not a lot more. However, some tables didn't even do that well, so I feel OK about the day.

Craft Fair Today!

Cloverdale Traditional School
Quadra at Cloverdale
10-4, admission by donation.

I hope to see some of you there;
these sock monsters really need
new homes!

27 November 2008

Happy (second) Thanksgiving

Greetings and well-wishes to readers south of the border; up here, we celebrated Thanksgiving in the midst of our move back in October. That will not stop us from having a turkey dinner tonight, though -- something we started a few years back because (a) we like turkey and (b) we actually do have a lot for which to be thankful.

Here are some things (outside the obvious -- friends, family, food, water, shelter) for which I am thankful this year.

For technology. Yup, I have a love-hate relationship with it -- the internet, all the gadgets and all the constant change -- but without it, Hubby and I might have to work retail (shudder).

For Victoria. Another love-hate relationship but when we started looking elsewhere for a place to live, nothing measured up. I'm happy we stayed, and I'm happy to still live in the City of Victoria with all its political dysfunction.

For my muse. Whatever weird influence it is that comes and goes but that fuels my creativity, I'm thankful. I get lots of positive feedback about things I create -- writing, knitting, sewing, painting, and so on -- enough that I know it really is what I want to do "when I grow up."

For you. Yes, you! Thanks for reading, even if you don't comment.

26 November 2008

Effing Funny.

Regular reader(s) will know I am a fan of Gordon Ramsay. I also watch an unhealthy number of hours of cooking shows so, unlike the "normal people" in this video, I could read between the lines and figure out what Mister Ramsay was getting at. Still, this is a really effing funny video (full of strong effing language -- consider yourself warned):

The recipe they are trying to follow is this one for Brussels sprout and goat’s cheese souffles which -- I'm sorry Chef -- does not sound the least bit appetizing even before these geeks got hold of it.

25 November 2008

The week of insanity continues....

Hubby has been busy tackling some of the little details around the house (staining the railing and handrail, installing trim, planning how to put in a new floor in the attic) while I've been getting ready for the Cloverdale Traditional School Craft Fair on Saturday.

Tomorrow after work I will head to my Mom's to finish stitching up the finger puppets I've made since my sewing machine is still not fit for use. That'll be the last of the stock for this show.

The UPack pod will be delivered late this week, to be unpacked Friday (hooray! The rest of our furniture! And STUFF! Christmas stuff even! And DVDs! And .... STUFFF!!!!). Should be a fun test to see how much more we can cram into this place....

Meanwhile at work, we've (finally) started the next digitization project -- a collection of personal documents (diaries, artwork, official documents, artifacts and photos) including details of an internment camp, local history, and Georgian royalty. I'll share more details when we're ready to launch.

Oh, and Kiddo brings home her first report card from the new school this Friday! Here's hoping we won't need a *long* talk with the teacher next week.

23 November 2008

Another packed weekend.

Friday: Renos and parental-based errands, lunch at 1550s, more renos.

Saturday: Renos continue. Paint purchased and applied (one tin of mis-tint in a tan/coffee shade for the office and spare bedroom and one tin of Behr "Pot of Cream" -- off-white -- for the kitchen and stairs). Kiddo got to escape reno-land for a while; she went out with her Nana to see the Santa Parade.

Sunday: Finished the damned renos. (OK, not completely finished, there's still details to work out, but finished enough for a big, bold Mission Accomplished banner as suggested by Hubby.) Sewed some finger puppets (more to sew later this week) and out for an afternoon of live theatre (Brilliant! at the Belfry -- totally worth the ticket price) then food with friends at Fifth Street Bar & Grill. This evening, I've been trying to inventory all my crafts in preparation for next weekend's craft fair.

Which reminds me:

If you are in Victoria, stop by the Cloverdale Traditional School Craft Fair (Quadra at Cloverdale) this Saturday November 29th from 10-4. Admission is by donation. Say you read it about it on my blog and get a free gift!

I will also have a table at the little craft fair at work on December 3rd.

18 November 2008

City in an Economic Bubble

It's weird but even though there are news stories everywhere about businesses failing, massive layoffs, real estate prices plummeting and other assorted doom and gloom, Victoria seems to be okay at the moment. Sure there are plenty of storefronts for lease and a few big names have closed their doors (like mega-housewares store Linens n' Things and local landmark Standard Furniture) but people are still buying stuff; the malls are still packed. [While I'm on the subject, how did I miss the golden child of 80s retail going under earlier this year?]

I know at some point the bubble will pop here too, we are already seeing it with housing prices and sales. Our Realtor told us that about 80 Realtors decided not to renew their licenses for November and housing sales are down about 60% -- not to mention some big projects stopping at the hole-in-the-ground stage. One project at Bear Mountain just laid off 65 construction workers ("Merry Christmas").

Of course, it is also possible that my fellow Victorians have their collective heads in their asses. [shrug]

In the meantime, I won't be buying anyone a gift card this season and although I can't commit to 100% handmade this year, several people will be getting handcrafted gifts from me (assuming I can find the bobbin case for my sewing machine).

16 November 2008

Full Saturday

After having a nice breakfast out (at Floyd's Diner 2 -- yummm!) we voted. On our way home, we ran into our neighbour and met his daughter who is a little younger than Kiddo. They decided to have an impromptu playdate which made everyone pretty happy for the next hour or so as Hubby and I got to work on projects around the house.

Since the sun was out, I decided it was time to put together the wheelbarrow and the lawnmower and put them to use. Then I realized I needed an extension cord for the lawnmower. So I went out to Canadian Tire to grab one, came home and realized it was not quite long enough to get to the very back of the back yard and just barely long enough to do the front corner. Ah well. The lawn is (mostly) mowed now and my feet only got a little muddy in the process.


After that I pitched in with the mudding and taping of the drywall that Hubby has been painstakingly putting up all week. Worked on that for about two hours, broke for dinner (Crown Palace, mmmm) and right back to it until 8:00.


Then we spent about an hour trying to find election results anywhere -- our local media really let us down. Luckily, people on Vibrant Victoria were on the ball, posting numbers they saw on commercial breaks, heard on the radio, or found on Twitter (can you believe the Times Colonist has a Twitter feed??). Finally, at 10:00 A-News kicked in with an "election special" but by 10:30 I was restless and went back to mudding the walls for another hour after which I settled in to watch SNL.

So... busy day, but productive. I'm good with that.

12 November 2008

Changes in my reading habits.

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
Well, there's been one major change in the last couple of years but it isn't the type of book I read, it's where. Somehow my brain rewired itself and now I find I can read on the bus. Not any bus but my regular transit routes. I suspect it's just a matter of my body anticipating bumps, turns and regular stopping and starting patterns but I'll take what I can get.

It started because some morning buses offer free copies of the newspaper and I would glance at headlines. Then I found myself reading a paragraph or two, then whole articles.

Now, after years of staring out the window, watching other commuters, listening to mindless pop or even knitting (which I can't do when the bus is crowded anyway), I can even read books.

It is a small victory, but a victory none-the-less, and one which I will happily claim.

09 November 2008

Sunday night grumbles...

Grumble #1. There's an ad running in high rotation right now about climate change, paid for by LiveSmart BC. In the ad the woman states that,
"We just don't have the minus thirty, minus forty winters like we used to and that's what we need to get rid of the pine beetles. Everybody needs to do their part."
And I want to know what, exactly, I can do to make sure that Prince George gets a minus forty winter. (Oh, I know, there's a long domino effect implied but I really, really resent the oversimplification.)

Grumble #2. Yesterday I went downtown to try and pick up a gift card for our niece from Lululemon. I circled the area twice looking for parking -- there was none available on the street and the parkade on lower Yates was full with a 6 car lineup. The new furniture store across from the parkade was lined up out the door; they were actually letting just one or two people in at a time. I finally found somewhere to park on Fisgard, two and a half blocks away from our destination. Every store we passed was crowded and we had to wait in line to purchase the gift card. There is no way you can convince me that our economy is in the sh*tter.

Now, you kids, get off my lawwwwn!

Our Little Chef

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
Kiddo was chipper this morning -- much more so than Hubby or I -- and we joked that she should cook us breakfast. Long story short, she decided she was ready to learn but was still wary of the stove so we agreed on cooking pancakes using the electric frying pan.

After a slight disaster with the batter (she mixed up the salt and sugar first time around) she did perfectly well... until the very last pancake when she burned herself. Surprisingly, she didn't panic or cry, but also didn't hold her hand under the cold water long enough so it got a bit nasty.

Now, despite her finger being a bit "sensitive," she is OK (and now knows what a burn feels like and what to do if it happens again) and is looking forward to expanding her cooking from the microwave to the frying pan! I am ridiculously proud of her.

06 November 2008

Crafty Tutorial Time!

I finally finished the tutorial for the Creepy Severed Body Parts Garland I whipped up for Halloween....

The garland itself is a knit intestine; pinned to the innards are various severed felt body parts. The full PDF is available for download over at ThoseDeWolfes.com.

05 November 2008


1. Awesome Costume.

Saw this in the DIY Halloween pool on Flickr... so very awesome. The tracks run down the kid's legs so when he kneels they look like treads.

2. Awesome Outcome.

Yeah, I am still stunned and waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I really hope that Obama, Japan can boost its tourist numbers.

3. Awesome evening...

... almost. We went to see the Dr. Zonk show tonight. Dr. Reg Mitchell has donned a green clown wig to introduce kids to science since 1974 but is retiring, so he agreed to do two last shows as a benefit for the United Way -- both shows sold out. Kiddo freaked out at the big bangs (balloons filled with various gas mixtures) and didn't appreciate the stink produced by the two final displays which both involved burning sugar. In between, she was selected to help by mixing some chemicals in a flask which glowed nicely in the dark -- making her a human firefly. :)

04 November 2008

Yes, this is an election-themed post.

While our sad little federal election is already a mere dust mote in the corner of our collective Canadian consciousness, the U.S. Election is everywhere today -- and I mean everywhere. You would have to turn off your web browser, television, radio and avert your eyes all day to avoid it. Here are some more interesting election-related links if you would rather not look away:

And if you're really desperate to kill time, you can just search "polling station" or "I voted" or "us election" at Flickr or your favourite search engine or surf over to CNN to see if one more viewer will down their servers.

We'll be watching tonight as the numbers start coming in, snacking on an array of appetizers as prepared by my Hubby.

02 November 2008

E is for Exhausted.

After being sick most of last week, we still took Kiddo out trick-or-treating. It was actually really nice to do a fairly quick route around the neighbourhood, meet some of our neighbours, and then sit around while Kiddo answered the door for the dozen or so trick-or-treaters who showed up here. Oh, and she looked great in her costume... as Sarah Palin.

(Yes, she chose that costume and I think she will actually be sad if the McCain-Palin ticket fails to get to the Whitehouse. Sigh.)

I also think her trick-or-treating years may be numbered; it already seemed like she wasn't interested and yet she had heaps of fun working the door and handing out candy to other kids.

Saturday we popped up to Nanaimo and got a wardrobe for the bedroom plus a nice electric lawnmower that was being cleared out at the end of the season. I still have to put together the lawnmower, but there's no rush until the rain lets up enough to dry out the lawn a little.

Today we finished putting together the wardrobe (we started last night... it's a bit of a beast even as flat-pack furniture goes, but it looks good in place) and did some shuffling downstairs. Hubby took a load of construction debris out of the basement to the dump then we cleaned and moved boxes while he framed in a closet.

Anyway, I am still tired but determined to go back to work this week, even if my mind keeps drifting to thoughts of preparation for the craft fair at Kiddo's school at the end of the month -- I've committed to a table and the organizer from the PAC was very excited to hear that I would be bringing plush toys and finger puppets.