Thursday, July 26, 2007

At last! The Vacation

Forgive me, this will be a picture heavy and link-heavy post. We returned from Canada yesterday morning - all groggy and jet-lagged as we could be. There is so much I could say about the trip, but I will try to keep this to brief musings... oh, who are we kidding?!!? Here we go:

1. The Empress Hotel

This is what the weather looked like when we arrived in Victoria on July 13th - sunny, beautiful, nary a cloud in the sky. Yeah... that didn't last. It clouded over the next day and proceeded to rain every day until July 23rd. The local TV station said it was 'statistically improbable for it to rain seven days straight in July on Vancouver Island.' Um, it did!

2. More Canadian Things I ate on vacation:

Old Dutch Potato Chips and Popcorn Twists
Nalley's French Onion Dip
Nanaimo Bar
Garlic Coil
Butter Tart
Canadian Chocolate bars (at least a 6 of these...)
Maynards Wine Gums
Licorice Allsorts
BC Cherries
Hawkins Cheezies
BC Salmon
My Mom's Blackberry Jelly (seriously - the best in the world)
Pizza Pretzel (I can't find a link for this - it's pizza dough shaped into a pretzel form and baked with toppings on top)
Wild Raspberries

... Yeah, I ate really healthy. In my defense, I was there for two weeks and only sampled these things along the way. Some of you may argue that these are British Foods rather than Canadian ones, but I only can get these in Canada, so to me they are Canadian Foods.

3. Willow Behaving:

I think it only happened this once. She and Emma (the baby doll mentioned in the 'Eight Things About Willow' post) are wearing the same dress courtesy of my Mom.

4. A Trip to Victoria

Of course, in the rain. This is a picture of the Friendship Gate on Fisgard Street. I wanted to find honey buns and bubble tea, but struck out on both counts. The rain got heavier and subsequently so did the grumblings of the progeny, so we hung out in Mayfair Mall and then Bolen Books to waste time until we could pick Andrew up at the ferry.

5. Willow and William Playing:

The last time we were out here William was only 5 months old and there is only so much playing you can do with a five month old... but he is a more robust and rowdier 14 month old and he and Willow had a blast playing together.

6. The Creepy Trees:

We pass these trees on the way to my parents' house - there is a whole forest of them and they creep me out because the short branches all look like arms to me.

7. I got to touch my sister's pregnant belly!

I didn't get to see Jaime when she was pregnant with William, so I was excited to see her pregnant belly. She isn't planning to find out the sex of the baby - but I saw the ultrasound pics and I am predicting she is having a girl. On a completely unrelated note, I love Jaime's new haircut - I think I may get a similar one soon.

8. Willow's Birthday Cake:

Craptastic cake writing aside, I like my decorating attempt! I got the idea from a Canadian Living Magazine. You take a candied fruit slice, slice it in half lengthwise, and put licorice in the middle to make your butterfly.

9. William and Gram (GG to him) hanging out:

10. Willow and my Dad being silly together:

11. TV Shows I Watched While on Vacation: .
Again, you may not consider these Canadian programs - especially the last two - but I don't get to watch them here (partly because we haven't had the cable hooked back up since we moved).

12. Willow and the Pigs:

While not Canadian at all, Willow did meet up with some fine looking pigs while we strolled around downtown Seattle. We were in town for a couple of hours and enjoyed both Tully's Coffeehouse and Cutter's Bayhouse.

13. Sea-Tac's Playroom:
Thank goodness for this! This pic was taken about 10pm and as you can see from her airborne pose, she was still full of energy.

14. And the knitting:
I did rip out the baby sweater I was working on and gave the yarn to my Mom as I didn't want to lug it back to Delaware. My Mom has a pile of old Patons pamphlets from the 50s and 60s and in one I found a pattern for a 'Boy's Helmet.' Why they called it that I don't know - girls can't wear helmets? It was a very easy pattern and I love the results. The green is knit from Patons Astra (the recommended yarn) and the pink from some unknown acrylic in my Mom's stash. Personally, I like pink one better because of the stripes. It's a 6 - 12 months size.
All in all, I had a great (if not soggy) trip to BC. Mom? The last two trips have been rather dismal, weather-wise. Think you can do anything about that? We miss you and Dad already.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Well, this was unexpected...

Willow has to wear a school uniform when she starts Kindergarten in August. I was checking her school website last night hoping to find a school supply list when I found a notice saying that the school's clothing policy had changed. This kid is going to need a whole new wardrobe - she is only allowed

- black, dark blue, or beige pants/skirts/jumpers
- all shirts must have a collar (plus a precious few additional colours)
- absolutely no writing or pictures (i.e., logos) on clothes

Now, the logo thing isn't so much of a problem - she doesn't have much in the way of that because I don't like it. However, both of her grandmothers have made her dresser-fulls of clothes... and in a riot of little girl colours and patterns - flowers, pinks, purples, turquoises, butterflies, hearts... all which are pretty much verboten under the dress code. Honestly, in her current wardrobe I can only think of a handful of things that fit the wardrobe (a yellow polo shirt, a red sweater, and a white turtleneck).

So, I guess this means I need to crank out at least a sweater for her to wear to school. It's really too bad - I am working on a beautiful shawl-collared sweater (and that in itself is not a problem) for her right now in a beautiful turquoise and sage green colourway (and that is the problem). I have some dark green Wool-Ease in my stash I can use... off to find a pattern.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Eight Things... about Willow!

I received this meme from Jen and since I have received something like this in the recent past, I am going to change it up a little. Instead of me, I'm going to tell you eight things about Willow.

And I'm not going to tag anyone... if you feel so inclined to write up one of these, go for it!

Eight Things About Willow

1. She hates fresh tomatoes, but loves tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, ketchup... practically anything else you can think of that is made from cooked tomatoes.

2. Her grandfather has been teaching her long words that describe her: obstinate, procrastination, cantankerous, etc. She is good at this - she can even give you synonyms for these words now!

3. She can read easy readers and hasn't even started kindergarten yet.

4. She and her friend Soren are always playing duos - Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, Harry and Hermione, Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann... and despite the fact she tells me she is going to marry Soren someday, they never seem to pick marriageable pairs! I had to inform her that Luke and Leia were brother and sister, which confounded her to no end. Andrew said I was spoiling the story and we would let her find out the rest of the family tree on her own.

5. The kid swims like a fish. Three cheers for the Y!

6. She has a penchant for expensive foods: prime rib, steak, lobster, shrimp, etc. We had barbequed steak last weekend and she ate more steak than anyone else (mind you, over three days, but still!)

7. She loves her baby dolls, and after watching Toy Story 2 she is worried about outgrowing them. With tears in her eyes, she made me promise that I wouldn't ever let her throw her baby dolls away.

8. She routinely tells her teachers that I am pregnant (I'm not!), to the point that every couple of months one of the teachers pulls me aside and surreptitiously asks, "Are you having a baby...?" She wants to be a big sister in the worst way.


The trip to Victoria was a mixed bag - the rain wouldn't let up and Willow complained about walking outside (despite the fact that she was the only one with an umbrella!) We did get to Beehive Wool Shop where I bought some stuff for my SP9, some Patons Deco in rose garden to make a baby sweater for my sister (she isn't finding out if she is having a boy or a girl so I am making random outfits in different colours), some Aero needles, a set of Pony Pearl dpns in size 2, and Patons Astra to make a baby helmet from an old (perhaps 1960s) Patons pamphlet. They had Fleece Artist stuff there, too and it felt soooooooo nice. A little expensive for my means (damn exchange rate!), but is sure was soft and in pretty colours.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

WiP It Wednesday

What? You thought I would forget simply because I am on vacation? Silly mortals...

I can forget for much simpler reasons than that!

Unfortunately, this WiP in destined to be frogged. It is the ribbed baby's cardigan from the new issue of Knit Simple, and I really don't like how it is working out. The ribs are doing what they are supposed to do - bunching up - but that is going to cause it to be quite cropped. It's too bad - I thought this would be a nice, simple, one piece baby pattern I could work up while away. Not so. I will have to go back to my old baby pattern standby - Daisy from Knitty.

Whenever I come up to my parents' house, there are a few foodie stock things I *have* to do, and so far I have accomplished:

1. Had Heinz Tomato Soup for lunch. This stuff makes Campbell's taste like salty crap and despite not living far from the Heinz factory in the US, I have never seen it in our grocery stores there.

2. Eaten a Coffee Crisp bar. Yes, I know there are a few select places in the US where you can buy these now (My local Dollar General, oddly enough) but it isn't the same.

3. Had Stinky Noodles for lunch. Yes, I know that isn't the real name, but that is always what we called them. And for some reasons, my local grocery stores don't carry this variety, either.

We are heading off to Victoria today, and there are a few things on my list for there... Purdy's chocolates, Rogers' Chocolates, honey buns (this I couldn't find a link for - but you buy them at an Asian bakery - it's like a steamed cake), Murchie's Tea... Yes, there is a reason why I am only having yogurt (albeit Island Farms Vanilla Plus Yogurt) for breakfast...

I've been tagged by Jen for a meme, and that will be up tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Singing In the Rain

Okay, I am not known for my melodious voice, so let's skip the singing part... I caught the weather report this morning and it looks like it my rain on and off for the remainder of my vacation. Truly, I don't mind. Willow might go a little stir crazy and demand to play down at the lake in the rain anyway, but that's okay, too.

I didn't take my Mom's camera with me when we went out walking yesterday, but here is a pic of what the area looks like. We are quite isolated here and I am so enjoying the slow pace. Life and work were rather hectic before we left for vacation and I have a sneaky feeling that my head may have exploded if I had continued much longer.

Knitting has been happening - I will have a picture up for WiP It Wednesday tomorrow. I am working on a baby sweater right now - and I hope to finish it while I am here. There are a couple of good knitting stores are on the Island that I will be frequenting in the next few days. I am excited about seeing Beehive Wool Shop because I hear it is just huge. I want to stock up on Aero needles - I love using them and have never seen them at my LYS in Delaware or Pennsylvania.

Hmmm... it is nearly 10am. Maybe I should get dressed. Oh, I love vacations!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Best Laid Plans

I had this plan for a really cool contest - I am on vacation right now, and yesterday I took a picture of a world famous hotel that was outside the Customs building as I waited to be let into the country... I was going to post the picture, have people guess from the photo where I was, and then send the winner a postcard from said location.

However, I cannot seem to download pictures from my camera onto my host's computer. Bah humbug!

Anyhow, I am taking lots of cool pictures, and you will all just have to wait until I get home to see them.

And the photo? The Empress Hotel - downtown Victoria, British Columbia.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I hope all of you find this as disturbing as I do - I saw them while buying Willow new sneakers today. Check the sizes out... some of those are *baby* sizes. As in one year old to maybe three years old. What on earth are people thinking? The picture doesn't give you a clear view of the heel - but there is about an inch of clear plastic heel there - not platform, but an actual heel.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Off to Dulaan Today

These babies will be in the mail to the Dulaan people:

It looks like I will be a little late for this year's container - I misread the flyer and though the stuff had to be there by July 15th, not July 1st - but I know they will get there eventually. There are 11 hats, 2 pairs of mittens, and 1 sweater. Yes, that is the sweater I had knit for Willow, but she wore it once and by the time the cool weather rolls around again, it will be two small on her... so better someone else gets some use out of it.


People, it is going to be ungodly hot here today. 95'F and high humidity... Yes, I know that us nothing on the scale that some of the western states are going through, but beastly nonetheless. Do you know how hard it is to find indoor things to do in the summer for kids? I mean, if it were just me and Andrew, we would just walk through the mall, maybe catch a movie or two... but you can't do that with a kid and keep your sanity. A few of my co-workers had mentioned The Crayola Factory, but I found out that it would be a nearly two hour drive. It sure looks like a lot of fun, but I think I will keep that idea until the fall when the weather will be nicer.

You know what the ironic thing is? On days like this, I *like* going to work. I will be in happy air conditioning all day (at someone else's expense), get to talk to my friends, not have to wear sunscreen (I am very fair-skinned and wear it religiously but hate the feel/smell of it), and not have to worry about Willow being overheated or bored. Why does this heat have to happen on a weekend!?!!?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

WiP It Wednesday

You didn't think I had forgotten, did you? Okay, I did forget last week. Or rather, by the time I remembered I was so tired and hadn't taken a picture of any of things I was working on and so let it slide.

Anywho... Here is Willow's 'Oh My' vest:

I'm making really fast progress on this and I like that! The pattern is a child's hooded vest from Knitting Pure and Simple (scroll down and see pattern #271). I'm knitting it out of Plymouth's 'Oh My' in an olive/forest colour and it is terribly soft. I went to JoAnn's today to pick up a separating zipper and found that there is not much colour choice in short zippers (10 - 14 inch). Basically, I had a choice of white, cream, or black. I went with a 12" cream one. I brought it home and measured it against the vest and found I could have done with a 14" one after all. I was worried about the zipper being too long for the vest - apparently that was an unfounded worry.


Happy Independence Day to the Americans out there! We had a barbecue at my in-laws for lunch and we counted the American flags we saw between our house and theirs. It is about a 2 mile drive and we counted over 60 flags!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

When Cheap Chapstick Happens to Good Kids

Guess who found her way into my 79-cent Avon Candy Cane flavoured chaptick tonight?

See how she artfully filled in her eyebrows as well? Bezzie, be thankful you have a boy!