Saturday 22 February 2020

Catching the sun

Despite the rocky start it has been a good week.  The weather got cold again on Tuesday and Wednesday but it warmed up on Thursday to the freezing mark and above.  The long range forecast seems to be showing we're past the really cold weather so by the end of March I expect we'll start seeing some signs of spring.  Fingers crossed!  The longer daylight hours and lots of sunshine are certainly encouraging.

On Monday I made a run to several hardware stores looking for a replacement for the wand for the kitchen faucet.  When I was talking with my friend K about our plans for Tuesday, she asked me if the entire faucet needed to be replaced.  I took a look at it more closely and realized I could simply replace the wand portion.  Woohoo!  It took me three stores to find it - the first I went to because I have gift cards to use, no luck there, the second I was picking up birdseed and thought I'd check, and the third store because I looked it up on the internet before I went.  For just $36 I was able to replace the piece.  All I had to do was unscrew the old broken wand and screw in the new one.  Even I can do that!

On Tuesday, K picked me up and we went for one of our lovely long lunches.  She arrived about 11:30 and dropped me off shortly before 3.  We never run out of topics to discuss.  This visit revolved around their recent stay in Arizona, upcoming travels for both of us, recycling, my grandson, and a myriad of other topics.  She brought her camera so I could see the photos from their sightseeing - Arizona is another place I need to visit!

D and Eli were here on Thursday, as she attended the funeral of her friend.  It was well attended and she saw a number of people she hasn't seen in years.  They didn't stay the night but went home after she got back to the house.  Eli was very adamant he wanted to go home to his treehouse.  He was very good for me while she was away; he even put himself to bed for an hour long nap.  

Eli loves Sasha, and while Sasha doesn't reciprocate, he does tolerate the little guy.  Here Eli was sharing his blanket.  It had warmed up by lunch time so I opened up the sun room for the cats and the kid.  Eli sat on the chair beside Sasha while he ate his lunch and chattered away at the cat.    

I've kept busy for much of the week with the curling and knitting.  I'm actually happy the men's Canadian championship won't start until Friday house needs some serious attention!  I did the bare essentials, laundry, dishes, and cleaning of bathrooms.  My son had to fend for himself several evenings as I didn't get around to figuring out what to make for dinner.  He didn't mind at all and is quite capable of making his own meals.  Dishes on the other hand.... not so much.

With all the time to sit and knit I managed a couple of finishes this week.  First up is the little lamb to go along with the blanket I made for my cousin's son and his wife.  Baby is due in April, so I made the blanket just big enough to cover a car seat.  The lamb was made with the leftover yarn.  By the time it was finished and sewn together, I had pretty much used up all the yarn, though  I did have to buy some additional cream yarn to finish the lamb.  I'm not showing you a close up, because although it's cute, my ability to sew knitting projects isn't the most professional.    

In addition I finished another baby blanket.  This one is also a smaller blanket. I'm using the yarn I purchased for a whopping $4 at Michaels (when I bought the cream) and I have a half a ball left.  I'll probably use the rest of it, along the cream for another blanket.  But I'll crochet the next one as I've done lots of the knitting the last few weeks. 

On Sunday I'm off to my brother's in between curling games to help my niece finish her top.  We're onto buttonholes and I've been watching videos to learn how to do it with my sewing machine.  I don't have a one step option, so it will be a little more tricky.   We'll practice with some additional material she has until we're both satisfied we're doing it right!  

I'll end this post with a photo from R's run along the river last week.  Maybe one day I'll go for a walk there too, though there will be no running.  

Wishing you all a week of sunshine ahead!

Monday 17 February 2020

Thank you

I appreciate so much the comments I receive, especially when I'm struggling with an issue in my life.  These few weeks have been especially trying.  But today I feel only a sense of relief.

Because I try to be careful about what I say here...just in case....I won't say much more.  But there is a resolution to the problems that have arisen between C and I.  She has sent me a final e-mail that makes it clear there will be no reconciliation.  I have come to understand that our friendship was somewhat toxic and so instead of feeling sad, I only feel as though a weight has been lifted.

To all of those who read this blog, and especially those who have commented.  Thank you.  While miles may separate us, you make a difference in my life by your presence here.  

*comments off

Saturday 15 February 2020

And so it goes

Another week is nearly past, and I'll gladly say goodbye to it.  We've had another death - a friend of my daughter's and another separation - C and N were back together briefly before he left again.  It's been an emotional time, more so for others, but I've spent a good amount of time being there for the three of them.  Unfortunately, my involvement and words between us have caused a rift between C and I, one I'm not sure can be mended.  At this point, I'm backing away as well, as the drama is more than I can bear.  Frankly, I have enough issues to deal with in my own life.

I did get the normal housework done, laundry and grocery shopping on Monday, floors swept and washed on Tuesday.  Wednesday I didn't do much, though did attend my stitch and chat group.  It was cold that day, -24C at noon with an extreme cold warning in effect.  Thankfully it didn't last long and by Friday we were up to the freezing mark.  It appears the weather will be up and down for the next couple of weeks.  Today it's cold again but sunny.

On a happier note, last Sunday I visited the farm very few photos were taken, as I was late getting away from the house and in a hurry to get home.  There was curling finals to be watched!  
I stopped on the hill road leading down to the valley to take these two photos.  I have never seen the valley with as little snow at this time of year.  It doesn't bode well for the spring.

I spent about 3 hours with my niece working on her sewing project.  She isn't working with a purchased pattern, but had hand drawn a pattern based on a Pinterest picture with careful measurements.  Thus the top is one piece, but the edges needed to be finished.  She had some binding tape that we used to do this one piece at a time.  She and I are both pretty particular so it took awhile to measure, pin, and sew the pieces to our satisfaction.  She learned the basting stitch and how to rip out stitches too.  We needed to make straps as well, and used the same wide binding tape.  That was as far as we got, the next time we get together she will finish sewing on the straps, and we'll figure out how to do button holes (something I'm horrible at even with the special foot), and hem the top.  Once the buttons are sewn on it will be ready to wear.

While we were working on it, this snowy woodpecker showed up at the feeder outside the window.  It's a poor quality photo as I had to zoom in with my cellphone and the glass in the old house distorts the photos too. 

I don't see these birds in the city so I was excited to see the woodpecker at the feeder.  He/she moved pretty quickly too so I had to be quick.

This week I also made my final payment for the June cruise.  When I received the final information from my travel agent, I realized that I'd booked the flights home a week too late!  I have no idea how I did it, but this error not only affected me, but L as well.  I called WestJet and learned that they had changed my flights (I hadn't received any e-mail), and since I wanted to re-book within the 7 days, all I had to do was decline the change and they were able to re-book me at no cost.  Next up, I contacted L and let her know as well.  We were doubly fortunate as WestJet had also changed her flights so there was no cost to re-booking hers either.  Phew!  I dodged a bullet there as I would have insisted on paying the change fee since it was my error.

Good thing too, because last night my kitchen tap went kerflooey. (That's the technical term for it broke!)
The piece on the top of the spout allowed me to switch between full stream and spray mode. The internal workings include a spring that lifted the valve in the center.  Around the valve was a piece of plastic.
 It was this piece of plastic that broke.  It sent the spring flying and the top of the faucet too.
I spent some time researching to see if I could find a replacement part - I can't.  This particular model is no longer made so I'll need to replace the entire tap.  I priced it out at between $250-$500 and then there is the installation costs on top of that. I did watch a video...but I'm not a plumber and it needs to be done correctly.  

I'll spend the rest of this weekend watching the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women's championship curling), work on my knitting project and researching London and the various ports we'll be visiting.  That will be my happy place.  

I know that for many of you, your week has been as eventful as mine.  Hope you all have a good week everyone!

Saturday 8 February 2020

He warms my heart

We had a cold start to the week, with temperatures well below normal for early February.  When I woke to -20C (-4F) on Tuesday with windchills of -27C (-16F) I once again cursed my ancestors.  I understand why they came here....I just don't understand why they stayed.  At least I have a warm comfortable home, I'm not so certain they did.

By mid-afternoon the outside temperature was up to -6C (21F) and with the sun the sun room warmed up enough for the cats and I to enjoy it.  Of course, they have fur coats and I don't, but with a hoodie (or a bunny hug as we call them here in Saskatchewan), I was quite comfortable.  I got through several chapters of Jeffrey Archer's Heads You Win.  I started reading it sometime in December but put it aside for another book.  I haven't yet decided if I like it or not and I'm nearly to the end.  I enjoyed his Harry Clifton series but this new book doesn't have the same appeal.

I was out of the house on Tuesday for coffee with several of my former co-workers.  One couple was heading off the following day for a month's vacation.  They'll do a seven day cruise, a week in Florida and then two weeks in Mexico before returning.  One fellow was just back from a couple of weeks in Palm Springs, and two other couples will be in Phoenix in April.  Sigh....I'm so jealous.

On Wednesday I attended stitch and chat.  We were five this week, and I had missed last week so there was lots to catch up on.  I took along my crocheting as it is easy to work on while we're visiting.  At home I got a few pieces of the lamb sewed and stuffed, but I'm moving slowly on that.  Not sure why, just not in the mood.

Eli and his mom came into the city on Thursday.  She had a doctor's appointment so left him with me.  He was such a good boy, he played with his toys, watched Paw Patrol (me too), and ate lunch together.  I was able to get dinner ready to go and do dishes, while he amused himself.  When D returned, we visited for a bit before I headed out to my nail appointment.  I arrived home around 4:30, just in time to pop the casserole in the oven (Spanish rice). D had plans to go for dinner with her friend L, so it was Eli, C and I at the table.  Eli has never had Spanish rice so I made a couple of chicken nuggets for him.  He ate some of the rice, some cucumber, and some cheese but ignored the chicken.  Note to self: no need for chicken nuggets.  

He spent the rest of the evening chasing his uncle C around, had a bit of chocolate cake for dessert, and then it was time for his bath.  This kid loves water, and I warmed up the water twice before I could convince him it was time to get out of the tub.  He played a bit more with uncle C, had some grapes for a snack, and I tucked him into bed to watch another episode of Paw Patrol.  Midway through the episode he showed up in the living room telling me he wanted something to eat.  I gave him a few Cheerios and his glass of water, and he popped back into bed.  When he finished his snack and his show, it was time for lights out.

That's when he put up a bit of a fuss.  He cried for his mom, before saying one more goodnight to his uncle C.  I tucked him in and lay down with him for about 10 minutes and he was out like a light.  He's an early riser so I wasn't surprised that he was up by 6 a.m. The first thing he wanted was a cuddle with G'ma.  He brings me such joy!  D had another appointment on Friday morning, and when she returned they were off home.  Eli was ready by then to go to his "treehouse", his name for home.  

I did a bit of shopping that afternoon, picking up such exciting items as furnace filters and Mr. Clean.  I did swing by our thrift stores.  I found a brand new flat double sheet in dark grey for my daughter for less than $10.  At the second store, I bought...surprise, surprise...more yarn.  They don't often get it in so when I spotted several bags on the shelf, I couldn't help myself.  I came home with two bags for less than $10.  I don't think I'll ever run out of yarn.

Friday evening, I met friends C and D at a nearby Applebee's for dinner.  It was a nice evening, catching up as I haven't seen D is several months.  Today, there isn't much on the agenda.  I do need to wash floors as an almost 3 year old tends to spill.  Tomorrow I'm heading out to the farm to lend my sewing machine to my niece and help her with a project.  I'll take a look at her mom's machine while I'm there to see if I can figure out why it isn't working.  I've told her I want to be home by 2:30 p.m. so I can watch the curling finals for the Alberta and Manitoba women's provincials.

That was the week that was.  Not very exciting and no photos to share though I'll probably have some tomorrow.  I rarely go out to the farm without my camera - I'll share those in the next post.

Hope the weekend is going well for all, and have a good week ahead!

Monday 3 February 2020

Keeping busy being lazy

It was another week of curling, with the provincial women's completed on Tuesday evening, and the men's starting on Wednesday.  So, of course that meant lots of time for knitting.  I managed to finish the blanket for my cousin.  I had a bit of yarn left and decided to use to make up a small stuffed lamb.  Well as always, I didn't have quite enough yarn.  A visit to Michaels was made where, as Connie from Far Side would say, yarn may have been bought. 

I needed the cream color (although this photo seems a bit white to me, it is cream) and found another ball of a similar but not quite the same green.  I couldn't pass up on the latter because it was on a discounted shelf - I got a huge ball for $4. It made paying full price for the cream yarn a little less painful.
I had initially thought I'd knit a sweater but I realize that most parents don't dress their babies as we once did.  A layette is unheard of for most.  So I used the stitches in the pattern for the sweater in the blanket.  I love how it looks like it is diamonds.  This is a small and lightweight blanket, as baby is due in April.  Hopefully his or her parents will like it. 

The lamb isn't complete, but all the pieces have been knitted.  I haven't the patience to put it together at the moment...good thing I have a bit of time!  In the meantime I'm back to crocheting my infinity scarf.

The weather was quite lovely this week with temps just below freezing.  It was so nice to be able to get outdoors without the need to bundle up as much.  By the weekend we were well above freezing and had lots of melting.  AND then it got cold so my driveway and street are skating rinks.  I'll have to get out and scrape the driveway before someone takes a tumble.

I have been out to feed the birds every day.  These Hungarian partridges have been visiting the back yard almost every day.  I've seen one on the bird feeder but to make it a bit easier for them I've been sprinkling some feed on the top of the snow.  They've been digging down to the grass on the lawn too.  Not sure what they're looking for as I'm pretty certain any bugs would be dead by now.  The partridges are very nervous and getting a photo was difficult because as soon as they sense me, they fly off.

I did a bit of grocery shopping this week, and met my friend C and N for dinner on Thursday evening.  He was off to work on Friday, so C and I were on our own for our regular Friday night supper.  The minimum amount of housework was completed...there was curling to be watched. Of course, that means this week will require much more effort on my part.

On Saturday I drove out to my daughter's.  The purpose was two-fold, to allow her to go out for dinner with a friend that evening, and to attend the Saskatchewan men's Tankard semi and final on Sunday.  Eli is very bonded to his mom and this is the first time she's left him near bedtime.  During the week she prepared him for my visit and her absence.  The preparation worked as he was a good boy for G'ma.  After his bath, we snuggled in bed and read some bedtime stories before I tucked him in.  It took him nearly 30 minutes to actually fall asleep but he stayed in bed, and every so often I'd hear, "good night Gramma". I'd say in return, "good night Eli, I love you, now close your eyes".  He did wake up and was a bit upset when his mom got home...but she got to deal with that. 

The curling was terrific - both the semi and final were close games with lots of rocks in play!  That makes it much more exciting for the crowd, and all the teams are great hitters.  I love the finesse shots as well, and these guys can do both.  
The sweepers are bringing a draw to the top of the four foot to tap the red rock back a foot or so, while the fellow in black is waiting to sweep the rocks behind the t-line.  This was from the semi-final.  The guys in purple one in the 10th end, when the skip on the other team missed his last shot.
From the final, the guys in purple are watching to see what the guys in white are planning.  If memory serves this is one of the times a bunch of rocks went flying out of the rings. The team in white were last year's winner of the event and had earlier won a game against the team in purple on Friday evening.  Both teams played well, but it came down to the final shot of the final end, when Dunstone (purple) took out the second last rock of Muyres (white).  Since Dunstone was ahead by two at that point, Muyres was out of rocks. 

Four excited guys, heading to the Brier in Kingston, Ontario at the end of February.  Saskatchewan has not won a Brier since 1980 - I'm hopeful this team will make it into the playoffs at least.  They're fearless on the ice and Dunstone is well known for his ability to make some absolutely crazy shots.  I've linked a link to a video of triple knockout he made last fall - it's less than a minute to watch.
I chuckled as the fellow on the left, was patting his skip on the head.  There is a bit of height differential between the two!

I left immediately after the final was complete, so didn't stay for the medal and trophy presentation.  The temperature was dropping, the wind had picked up, and it was nearly sunset.  I just wanted to get home.  When I woke up this morning to -17C (0F) I was glad to be here.  Time to get truly busy and get this house back in order.  

Have a great week everyone!