Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Training them up right

It's the small things that makes one happy. I was happy to discover that it is, in fact, NOT against bylaws to have a clothesline in Calgary. I've missed having a line since we moved to Alberta, eight years ago. Lines are great for washing blankets and bedding (too large for the dryer) and there is nothing like crawling into a bed, freshly made, with sheets dried on the line. Besides, I can save the energy karma and use it to balance my use of a/c... right?

In order to ensure that my line is not an eyesore, I purchased a retractable one that can be hidden away when not in use and promptly taught Eli how to use it.


His future spouse had better thank me... a LOT.




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Tale of Two Tours

The Tour De France ended on the weekend with British rider Bradley Higgins taking the yellow jersey (I had to look that up, just in case you think I've suddenly taken an interest in a sport and worried about my mental well being) and with it, ended a less well known tour.... The Tour De Fleece. The Tour De Fleece was started in 2006 by spinners (I would love to credit the creator of our tour, but can't seem to find the information) as a sort of homage to the Tour De France. In our tour we try to spin each day of the race, resting when the cyclists rest and challenging ourselves within our spinning. This was my first year of participation and my goal was to spin 709g (25oz) of super wash merino (Juliespins in colour Koala) as a three ply yarn.

I started on the first day of the tour

 And worked, spinning almost every day

Until I finally had 15 bobbins of singles (yes, I know there aren't 15 bobbins in the picture... one skein had already been plied and I had one single left to spin)

And finally, I was done Almost 1100m (1200yd) of worsted/aran weight three ply yarn.... Someone's going to get a pretty nice sweater....

Looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


A cool thing arrived in the mail today. An Ego Book.

What is this thing you ask? It's a book of all of my Facebook Status updates from June 2009 to June 2012. Why does a person need such a thing and am I really THAT egocentric?? Yes and no....for me, Facebook has been the place where I share many of the funny things my kids have said and done and I, occasionally, like to reflect on them. However, it is incredibly difficult to sift back though six years of posts to find the ones I want.. When I found Ego Book, I knew my problem was solved. I thought I'd share some of my favourites here.

Posted Oct. 15, 2009: Chey 4yrs "Are you picking up what I'm putting on the floor?" in context when asking if I understood her

Posted Nov. 7, 2009: Chey 4yrs in response to me asking her if I could put a flower on the hat I was making her..... Chey "I hate Flowers!" Me "Why?" Chey "Because! They don't KILL people"... I think this obsession with dangerous creatures has moved from endearing to concerning......

Posted March 15, 2010: Chey 4yrs "Mommy, I feel seasick" Me "What is seasick?" Chey "seasick is when you're sick of seeing!"

And a couple of notes from the book I kept before Facebook

Spring 2005: Eli 3yrs... One morning when Dale was getting ready to leave for work (he worked out of town at that time, Eli asked "Daddy? Have you made enough money for Mommy yet?"

Aug. 2005: Eli 3 yrs.... During Eli's "why?" phase I used to say "why is not a real question, ask me a real question and I will answer it"...... Eli's response.... "why is "why" not a real question?"

Oct 2005: Eli 4yrs... One day Dale and Eli were playing together in the basement when I heard a sudden commotion and Dale appeared carrying Eli (who was in the midst of a temper tantrum). He carried him to his room for a time out and walked away. Once the door was closed Eli yelled "is that the best you can do?"..... I nearly peed my pants....

And to finish this glimpse into my children's minds... I will share a song I wrote during the same time frame as the above incident....a particularly, rough, parenting patch, which.... Fortunately for all of us, ended soon after this next incident which inspired a song... Based on a single true event and sung to the Twelve Days of Christmas.... I will share the eleventh verse only

On the eleventh stage of temper tantrum my child gave to me.....

A battle in the bedroom, a battle in the car seat, a high pitched scream, a half hour of crying, a ridiculous demand, a windmill punch, a kick in the shins, "you stupid poopy head," a bite in the ass, a bruised husband and a headache for all to see......

 You have to have a sense of humor to be a parent.... This much I know for certain.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Juxtaposition and clarity

One of the things about parenting that occasionally surprises me, is how much time I spend, either being sad about a stage left behind, or looking forward to a new stage, with the occasional burst of panic about where the time has gone. When this happens I have to mentally give myself a shake and a stern talking to about enjoying the moment. Chey insisting that she hold my hand all.the.damn.time. gave me such a pause earlier this year. I had to stop and remember that it would only be another three seconds until she wants me to drop her off around the corner so that I won't embarrass her (ask me whether that will work... Or better yet, ask Eli... Or Devin... They both know that I am fully capable of unleashing public displays of affection as a disciplinary tool).

It was with great pleasure that I absolutely REVELED in a "stage/age" this weekend. We went mountain biking.... In the mountains! And there was no whining or complaining about comfort or distance  or lack of electronic devices (a few sour remarks about trail conditions perhaps, but to be expected from a kid who's used to paved trails for the most part). Instead there was a constant stream of "it's beautiful out here" and "it's so peaceful!" The trip was a test to see how the entire family (including the dogs) would handle such a trip and, after a 12 km (7.5 miles) round trip ride, I'll call it an unmitigated success. Kikx even enjoyed his basket ride (installed just for him.... I'd hate to leave him out of the fun just because he might tire sooner)... Our plan is to attempt the entire 42 km (26 mile) loop as an overnight, but I'm not sure we'll be able to fit it in this summer...we'll see how things look after our trip to BC in a couple of weeks....

Here are a few photos of the trip

This is how the dogs are with our without leash, biking or walking... they are awesome

Kikx in his basket, he didn't even try to jump out after being told to stay a few times and even enjoyed it once he got used to it, leaning into the wind and panting happily

We did get rained on a bit on the way back, but it was still a gorgeous ride

The perfect stage......

Friday, July 13, 2012

confidence or laziness

It seems I've fallen off the blogging wagon of late. It's certainly not because I haven't had anything to blog about, but I've been feeling a distinct lack of motivation in both knitting and blogging departments. This has caused me to wonder why that is.......

am I just lazy?

Or.... am I lacking self-confidence.

If you know me in the "real world" you know that the second statement sounds like an asinine attempt at modesty. Me? Lacking in confidence? Modest? Never! But, in fact, I do, occasionally, have the little voice that tries to overwhelm my natural inclination of the self assured. In fact my motto of late is "fake it 'til you make it".... I teach that to my kids as well. You can't stay angry at someone (including yourself) if you fake being happy... at some point, it just transfers and you ARE happy..... It mostly works for me and I notice that both my children use it more and more.....

The more I think about the reason that I have not been a prolific blogger lately, the more that I come to the second conclusion.... it is a distinct lack of self confidence that is weakening my resolve to blog, partially due to the fact that I am reading more blogs myself...... the inevitable self comparison that has resulted from this foray into the wilds of the blogging world  has not been kind......but, on further reflection,  I've decided that my motto can work here as well... and so... I will continue to "fake it 'til I make it"..... and I don't mean "make it" in the "earn-money-and-noteriety-as-a-blogger" way, I just mean to earn back my self confidence....

starting here.