Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

(Some fantastic jack-o-lanterns we saw while trick-or-treating tonight.)

Willow had a grand old time being a cowgirl in the fabulous costume given to her by her friend, Soren. People in our neighbourhood we didn't even know said the neighbours were calling them to be on the look-out for the cute cowgirl. For the most part she remembered to say "Trick-or-treat" and "Thank You" - but also had an odd tendency to ask complete strangers if they had a dog. We aren't sure what was up with that.

Here is a picture of Willow and her friend Rowan (get it? Both are tree girls - and I didn't even have to finagle that one!) at their school's Halloween parade:

To be honest, I am not sure what to make of the parade. Or rather, some of the costumes these kids were wearing. Her school is only K-3, so I am assuming that in 3rd grade they would be 8-9 years old. Wait - how can that be? I was 11 in 6th grade. Anyway - for the sake of argument I will say 8-9 years old. I saw one girl in a devil's costume that consisted of a spandex mini-dress, freakin' fishnet stockings, and 2.5 inch heels. Another girl - and I am effin not kidding one bit, was wearing a french maid's outfit - ruffly underpants and all. This treatment of little girls (I don't even want to give it the s-word because I don't want to attract ickiness to my blog) just disgusts me.

There were some cool costumes - some pretty realistic werewolves, a girl dressed up in a lovely sari, and a boy dressed up as Michael Phelps (8 medals and all!). The majority of girls seemed to be dressed as a Disney princess or Super Girl - and as for boys, Batman and Indiana Jones seemed to rule. One boy in Willow's class was dressed up as Iron Man - and he turned around to me while we were walking back to class and he said, "Wait - who am I again?"

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Beautiful Socks That Don't Fit Me

...remember when I said I was in love with the socks I was knitting?

I finished them tonight.

Jaywalker Socks

Aren't they pretty?

The Particulars:

Yarn: Ellen's Half Pint Farm Merino in Rose Garden
Method: Two circular needles
Needles: Size 1

This really is a very easy pattern to memorize - and I am very happy that Grumperina has come out with more sizes, because I will try to knit this sock again.

Merry Christmas, Teri!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sweet 100 List

Stolen from Georgiann.

How many have you tried? If you'd like, feel free to follow the same guidelines:

1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!
2) Bold all of the sweets you've eaten
3) Cross out any of them that you'd never ever eat.
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your "To Do" List.

1. Red Velvet Cake
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar (Why would you *want* to do that? I'll take mine a la mode, please.)
5. Beignet
6. Baklava
7. Black and white cookie
8. Seven Layer Bar(also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
9. Fried Fruit pie(sometimes called hand pies)
10. Kringle
11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut (When Krispy Kreme still was in Wilmington - it's long gone, though. Now we can get freshly made apple cider donuts from Linvilla and I like them better.)
12. Scone with clotted cream
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
14. Halvah
15. Macaroons
16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers
17. Bubble tea (with tapioca "pearls) (I love, love, love this - but you have to get it from an authentic place - the last time I had it was from the mall and it gave me an upset stomach.)
18. Dixie Cup
19. Rice Krispie treats
20. Alfajores
21. Blondies
22. Croquembouche
23. Girl Scout cookies (And Girl Guide cookies!)
24. Moon cake
25. Candy Apple
26. Baked Alaska
27. Brooklyn Egg Cream (This is a drink, right?)
28. Nanaimo bar
29. Baba au rhum
30. King Cake
31. Sachertorte
32. Pavlova
33. Tres Leches Cake
34. Trifle
35. Shoofly Pie
36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key limes)
37. Panna Cotta
38. New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon
40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
41. Anzac biscuits
42. Pizzelle
43. Kolache
44. Buckeyes
45. Malasadas
46. Moon Pie
47. Dutch baby
48. Boston Cream Pie
49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies
50. Pralines (Oh, I could eat these 'til I was sick.)
51. Gooey butter cake
52. Rusks
53. Daifuku
54. Green tea cake or cookies
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56. Crème brûlée
57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
59. Jelly Roll
60. Pop Tarts (Honestly, I don't know if I have ever had one. My Mom would never buy them.)
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An "upside down" dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
63. Hummingbird Cake
64. Jell-O from a mold
65. Black forest cake
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
67. Kulfi
68. Linzer torte
69. Churro
70. Stollen (I want to learn how to make this.)
71. Angel Food Cake
72. Mincemeat pie
73. Concha
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
76. Pain au chocolat
77. A piece of Gingerbread House
78. Cassata
79. Cannoli
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse
82. Petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle (I don't know why, but souffles just don't appeal to me.)
84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85. Rugelach
86. Hamenstachen
87. Homemade marshmallows
88. Rigo Janci
89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
90. Divinity
91. Coke or Cola cake
92. Gateau Basque
93. S'mores
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. Joe Froggers
97. Sables
98. Millionaire's Shortbread
99. Animal crackers
100. Basbousa

That was fun. What else would I add to that list? How about butter tarts? McDonalds Apple Pie? Rosettes? I don't think fudge of any kind was mentioned. Oreo ice cream?

100 Canadian Foods to Eat

Found here:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Post a comment here linking to your results

Maple Syrup & Poutine's 100 Canadian Foods to Consume

1. Arctic Char
2. Ketchup flavoured chips
3. Wild Rice Pilaf
4. Caribou Steak
5. Gourmet Poutine (Poutine, yes - but it was from a fast food place.)
6. Screech
7. Beaver Tails (It's a donut!)
8. Maple Baked Beans
9. Bison Burger
10. Bumbleberry pie
11. Nanaimo bar (Love, love, love! Do I get bonus points for actually having relatives who live in Nanaimo?)
12. Butter Tarts (Mom makes them every Christmas.)
13. Cedar Planked B.C. Salmon
14. Wild Blueberries
15. Pure Local Cranberry Juice
16. Chocolate from Ganong or Purdy’s (I depend on Auntie Daryth sending me Purdy's chocolate every Christmas!)
17. A cup of warm cider from your local orchard
18. Caesar
19. 4 of the following types of apples (Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Spartan, Greensleeves, Liberty, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Golden Russet, Idared, Gala)
20. Freshly foraged mushrooms
21. Dinner cooked by Michael Smith, Susur Lee or Rob Feenie
22. Fondue Chinoise
23. Dish created from a Canadian Living Magazine recipe
24. Peameal Bacon Sandwich from St. Lawrence Market in Toronto
25. Lobster bought directly from a boat in a Maritime harbour
26. Handmade perogies from your local church or market (How about just by my Mom?!!?)
27. Alberta Beef at an Alberta Steakhouse
28. Leamington Tomatoes
29. Roasted Pheasant
30. Wild Game hunted by someone you know
31. Ice Wine (No, but I really want to try it!)
32. Habitant Pea Soup – entire can
33. Any Canadian Artisinal Cheese
34. Bannock
35. Tourtiere (Another thing I would really like to try.)
36. Flapper Pie
37. Jellied Moose Nose
38. Saskatoon Berries
39. Fish and Brewis
40. Screech Pie
41. Fiddleheads
42. Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
43. Flipper Pie
44. Montreal Bagels with Smoked Salmon
45. Toutins
46. Jam Busters
47. Bakeapple Pie
48. Bridge Mixture (Oh, I am so addicted to this!)
49. Canadian Style Pizza (bacon, pepperoni. Mushrooms)
50. Shreddies
51. A cone from Cow’s Ice Cream
52. Lumberjack or Logger’s Breakfast
53. Jigg’s Dinner
54. Rappie Pie
55. Pemmican
56. Lake Erie Sturgeon Caviar (ook.)
57. Belon Oysters (ook. No bivalves, please)
58. Brome Lake Duck
59. Beer from a stubby bottle. (When I was a kid I didn't know they came any other way.)
60. A beer from Unibroue or Phillips Brewery.
61. Salt Spring Island Lamb
62. Fry’s Cocoa
63. A bag of Old Dutch Potato Chips
64. Every Flavour of Laura Secord Suckers
65. Chicken Dinner from St Hubert’s or Swiss Chalet
66. Hickory Sticks
67. An entire box of Kraft Dinner (To the detriment of my waistline.)
68. Candy Apples (NOT caramel apples)
69. Corn from a roadside stand (This is how my family always buys it. My inlaws, however - grow it in their backyard!)
70. A meal at Eigensenn Farm
71. Okanogan Peaches (And even picked them!)
72. Berkshire Pork
73. PEI Potatoes
74. Something cooked in Canola oil
75. Figgy Duff (Hmm. But I do have the album...)
76. Blueberry Grunt
77. High Tea at the Empress Hotel (Not even in the 5 years I lived in Victoria)
78. Fresh maple syrup hardened on the snow (And had the sugar headache afterward to prove it!)
79. Oreilles de Christ
80. Nova Scotia Beer Warmer
81. A cheese plate containing Bleu Bénédictin, Friulano, St. Maure and Oka.
82. Black or red currant jam
83. Maple glazed Doughnut from Tim Horton’s with a Large “Double Double” (I really like Tim Hortons' Chili.)
84. A glass of Mission Hill’s “Oculus”
85. Alberta Pure Vodka
86. Chokecherries
87. Canada Day Cake
88. Boulettes
89. Canadian Iced Tea (How is this different?)
90. Mead
91. Fricot
92. Grandperes
93. Local honey
94. Creton on toast
95. Glen Breton Rare
96. A whole box of Smarties, where the empty box is then used as a kazoo (Yes! Especially the kazoo part!)
97. Grilled cheese made with Canadian Cheddar
98. A meal from Harvey’s
99. Lake Erie Perch
100. Red Rose Tea

If you are unsure of what the item is, look it up! Please pass the list on to your friends and fellow bloggers - whether they are Canadian or not.

The Great Pumpkin Carve Carve

Last night we went to the Great Pumpkin Carve in Chadds Ford, PA and saw the most amazing carved pumpkins. I can't believe that we have lived here for over seven years now and I have never heard of this event! We met our friends Jenny, Stefan, Soren, and Sammy there at 5pm - both of our families have small children so we thought it was better to get there early (a - before it was dark, and b- before it got too crowded). Here are some examples of some of my favourite carved pumpkins:

The Dragon


Bad Hair Day


Spooky Window


Where The Wild Things Are


Sea Turtle (for Cristi)


Cinderella's Coach


Dia De Los Muertos


Death Star


There are plenty more of the pumpkin pictures in my Flickr set if you would like to see them. I think what impressed me the most was the 3D cut-outs people had made - I had never thought to carve anything than the pumpkin shape itself. We have four pumpkins at home right now - one big one and three little ones - we will have to brainstorm some creative ideas for our carvings.

And then figure out what to do with all that pumpkin - I don't just want to throw it away!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Serenity Now

I'm trying to find peace and joy in little things.

These leaves are from the trees that line my library's parking lot.

I've been meaning to take pictures of them for about four years now.

They only get more and more beautiful as the season rolls on.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just In The Nick of Time

While still very sunny and dry, the temperatures took a huge dive this weekend. I am not even sure the high was 60'F today. I finished Willow's legwarmers tonight as she and Andrew were reading together - and as soon as they were off the needles she pulled them on. And then promptly requested another pair.

Willow's legwarmers

And a close up:

Legwarmers close up

The Particulars:

Yarn: TLC Essentials in denim blues
Needles: Size 6 DPNs. (I wish I had a circular small enough to handle only 40 stitches!)
From start to finish: Maybe 3 hours altogether? It's a 14" tube with 10 rows of 1X1 ribbing on either end.

Friday, October 17, 2008

You Know It Will Be A Successful Finished Object When...

... only one leg of the legwarmers is finished and she insisted on wearing them to bed.

Incidentally, this is how Willow sleeps. Invariably perpendicular to the bed with her legs hanging off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Had Dinner Yet?

Well, don't.

I found an interesting website today - when was the last time you ate ramen? I haven't had any in a long time, so I thought it would be neat to see some haute ramen cuisine.

Then I saw this.

I don't think I am eating ramen ever again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

What am I thankful for?

The Kiss

(L-R: Stefan, Soren, Willow, Jenny, and Sam at Dorney Park)

I am thankful for new friends.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What Crayon Am I?

You are most like:

You are Purple

You are vibrant and strong, and often associated with royalty. Your power may cause other a little discomfort at time, but only because they are weaker than you.

Take this quiz: Which Crayola Box of 8 Color Are You?

Really? I would never have thought myself purple.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Snow Hill Fiber Fest Roadtrip!

So, what would have me giving up watching Bill Maher on a Friday night and waking up at 6am on a Saturday morning? It must have something to do with yarn, because everyone knows I don't do weekend mornings**.

Andrew dropped me off at Michelle's house at 7am, we picked up her Mom, then headed south down to Maryland to see the Snow Hill Fiber Fest. I wasn't planning to spend big - Stitches East is coming up next month and I need to save my mad money for that - but I had never been south of Ocean City, Maryland before so I was happy to make the trip.

I understand the little fiber fest has doubled in size from last year, and I hope they continue to grow - there were about 20 or so vendors, kids' activities, plus a local church was having a barbeque for anyone wanting food. It was interesting because the vendors ran the gamut from local farms that brought alpacas and sheep to show, quilters, the SCA, and yarn spinners and dyers. The festival was on the banks of the Pokamoke River at Sturgis Park. There was also a Ravelry meetup at 1pm, but we had left to have lunch in Berlin, MD by then.

I have seen llamas and alpacas at festivals before, but this is the first time the farmer would let us touch the animals - these two alpacas are 6 years old and soooo incredibly soft. They were making these little purr-y/growly noises and stood very calmly while people pet them. As far as I can tell the farmer wasn't selling anything, just teaching people about the animals.


I love peppermint soap, and was so happy to see a handcrafted soap stall selling the strongest smelling peppermint soap - they were called Coastal Cottage Soaps. I can't wait to use this soap once my current Peppermint and Rosemary bar from Saltspring Soapworks gets used up. Trust me, this smell is invigorating in the morning!

Peppermint soap

This is the only yarn I bought - it is superwash sock yarn from Crash Into Ewe in the Cherry Chocolate Chip colourway. I was almost seduced by Avocado, but decided I needed some pink and brown socks to wear to work.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Sock Yarn

All in all we had a great, leisurely time. Michelle drove down Rte. 113 which I had never been down before, so it was interesting to see all the little towns I normally miss when we drive down to the beach. We had lunch in a little town called Berlin, MD which (unfortunately for us and the time we had to wait for our lunch) was having a classic souped-up car show on the main drag. I think I would like to go back there when the car show wasn't there because there were plenty of small shops I would have loved to go through if the streets were not so crowded.


** Weekend mornings? I love my husband. Most weekend mornings he wakes up with Willow, the two of them watch cartoons together, and they let me sleep an extra 1 - 2 hours and wake me up with hot coffee and pancakes. I'm a lucky woman!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finished Object At The Farm

One secret project revealed!

Ty in his new hat! A few weeks ago my friend Asami asked me to knit her a hat for her son Ray because she couldn't find one she liked for him in the stores. So, I accepted and went a step further - I knit new hats for Ray, his younger brother Ty, Asami herself, and her husband, Gara. And I was knitting them until the last minute - the brown and blue striped one was Asami's and I was weaving in the ends as we waited for her and the boys to arrive at Linvilla Farms.

Willow and some of the multitudes of pumpkins:

(We came home with two - a small one for the front step and a larger one to carve on Halloween.

Willow the witch:

How can you not like a place that has these:

Linvilla is a cool place to go - they have probably twenty different kinds of apples and pears, and at $1.49/pound, cheaper than any commercial grocery store around here. We made out with some Empire apples, red Bosch pears, apple cider donuts, and an orange cheddar spaghetti squash (I'm eager to try that one out!).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

WiP It Wednesday

So many projects going right now... and I can't reveal a single one.

Secret Project #1:

Secret Project #2:

Secret Project #3:

Secret Project #4:

Secret Project #5:

Projects 1 - 4 should be revealed soon, but #5 will take a bit longer (but I also have a bit more time with that one). Anyone want to guess what they all are?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


My world been a swirl of homework and work of late. My work and Willow's homework. Granted, it has been a loooong time since I was in first grade, but I don't remember having homework every night when I was six years old. Or having to write my own word problems. Not solve, but write. She is given an equation and has to write a scenario for it.


I went for a walk with my friend Carrie this afternoon and she mentioned she loved Halloween because it meant Christmas was right around the corner, unlike in Canada. I looked at her sideways. "Um, Carrie? Halloween is the same day in Canada as it is in the US." She responded, "You're not listening - I'm talking about Thanksgiving!" Oh. Yes, I think Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming weekend. My American friends react oddly to it - as if by virtue of the fact the pilgrams landed at Plymouth Rock that they have some proprietary claim to a holiday called Thanksgiving. I looked up Canadian Thanksgiving and found this, "As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty..." There you go.


I found out tonight at my SnB that my favourite barista is leaving... because he graduates from high school in the Spring and has lots of work to do between now and then. Bad, huh? I told Andrew this when I got home and he said, "Cute boy?" Gack. Am I that obvious? Yes, very cute boy. Very nice, too. And I know I am not the only one in my knitting group to think so!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Is It So Bad...

...that I bought some Avon body wash with no intent* to use it only so I would get a discount on this cute little bag??

Avon Knitting bag

I saw it in the catalog and thought right away, "Aha! Sock bag!" It even has a little drawstring closure up top. I love it!

Now to christen it with a sock-in-progress!

* It won't go to waste - Willow loves herself the smelly stuff.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!


Mom and Dharma, August 2008

I love my Mom! Please wish her a happy birthday!

10 Reasons My Mom is Wonderful

1. She knits! (And really, isn't that reason enough?!)
2. She loves white chocolate.
3. She instilled in me a love of reading.
4. She bakes the best pies in the world.
5. She indulges my desire to take pictures wherever and whenever.
6. She lets me rant and actually listens.
7. She likes playing card games (no one plays with me here unless it is one of Willow's card games).
8. She gives good hugs.
9. She is a cat magnet.
10. Not only is she my mother, but she is my friend.