Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Gold and Two Bronze Medals?

I passed this little beauty off to my friend, Shanetha, today:

Shanetha's sweater

I have to say I never looked this good at 39 weeks pregnant! Shanetha was worried that she wasn't going to make it through the weekend, but I told her she had to make it to work on Monday so I could give her the baby sweater I had knit for her impending little boy.

The Particulars:

Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby Sport
Pattern: Baby Raglan
Needles: Size US 2 and 4, 16" circulars and dpns

All in all, this sweater took me about 10 days to knit (interspersed with knitting my socks). I think if I was only working on this, I could finish it in 2-3 days. It is definitely the easiest baby sweater pattern I have ever used.


My medal count? Well, I have two complete finished objects -a baby blanket for Lauren (which I forgot to take a picture of before I gave it to her) and Shanetha's baby blanket. I have also finished two socks, but they are not a pair - rather, consecutive socks from different pairs. I'm counting that as two golds and two bronze medals!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All Is Not Lost!

First Daffodils 2010

While driving back from breakfast this morning Andrew was saying how beautiful it is to see the grass coming up in the melted patches of snow. In most areas there is still 12 - 18" of snow on the ground - but there are a few sunny areas where the snow is almost gone. We got home, walked up our driveway, and Andrew exclaimed, "Look - a bunch of green!"

The daffodils have started to come up! Snow, go away now, please.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Resolution

...and I have to say this will be a challenging one for me...

No chips - potato or tortilla.

I don't have a sweet tooth - I'm a salty crunchy girl all the way and I know it doesn't do my blood pressure any favours.  So, no chips...

How long until Easter?

Monday, February 15, 2010

February's Non-Fiction Book: Alexander Hamilton, American

Alexander Hamilton, American by Richard Brookhiser

Another book from my father-in-law's library.  Out of all of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton has always interested me the most - he was somewhat of a prodigy, came from inauspicious circumstances, and had a tragic end.  I can't wait to fill in the gaps in this knowledge.

(Shan guilted me into this post, small and sucky as it is...)

Friday, February 12, 2010

What Time Do The Opening Ceremonies Start?

I better declare my events soon!

I'm not joining the Knitting Olympics or Ravelympics (rav link) this year - as much as I want to, neither really falls into what I want to accomplish during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

My goal for the Winter Olympics?

Finish stuff.

I'm not kidding, people - I have a serious condition called startitis - I love starting new projects - and this isn't necessarily limited to knitting. As it stands right now, I have 3 pairs of socks on the needles, 3 cardigans, 2 blankets, 3 project bags, at least 1 hat... all in various stages of completion.  My plan for the duration of the Olympics is to finish as many of these projects as possible...



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reason #242 Why I Love My Husband

#242: Even though he is pathologically afraid of heights, he got up on our sunroom roof this afternoon and shovelled about 1000 cubic feet of snow off the sunroom:


I saw Pam's Post about Kris having to shovel off their sunroom roof, and I started thinking... our sunroom doesn't have a flat roof, but it is pretty damn close - only maybe a 15 - 20 degree slope, and seeing as it is on the dark side of the house, that snow wasn't going to melt anytime soon.


And then I started seeing news stories about roofs collapsing - one of the Smithsonian warehouses, a shop down in Rehoboth, a firehall in Townsend, DE, a drugstore not far from us. The #delsnow twitter page kept posting warnings for people with flat roofs as well.


I told Andrew I would go out and do it - hell, I am only 5 feet tall on a good day with thick socks, so at the very least it would be easier for me to crawl through the bathroom window. Andrew, my very afraid of heights husband, wouldn't hear of it. "If I let you do this and you hurt yourself, I would never forgive myself. Worse yet, my father would never forgive me."


By Pam's math, 1 cubic foot of snow equals 20 pounds - so 2 feet deep X 20 feet wide X 25 long = 1000 cubic feet X 20 pounds = 20,000 pounds of snow. Boy, am I ever glad that is off the sunroom roof - that is my favourite room in this house!

This is a picture toward the end of the snowfall Wednesday night - you can see that our firepit is nearly completely covered.


Our neighbour's tree across the street - I was really expecting limbs to come down with this one:

Another tree in our neighbourhood that did have broken limbs:

Governor Markell lifted the travel ban about 3pm this afternoon, and I had to get out of the house.  The roads aren't in bad condition right now, but I think the most treacherous part out there right now is the immense mountains of snow piled up on the corners.  Forget about making a right turn on red right now - you will have absolutely no clue if something is coming down the road.  I also saw plenty of downed trees while driving around today.  DelDOT had trimmed the trees to the road so as not to impede drivers, but these property owners are going to have plenty to clean up once all this snow thaws.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Apparently Between Blizzards


Lamp outside my in-laws' garage


Icicles on a house in our neighbourhood

Willow had no school today, will have no school tomorrow - and at this point, I'm willing to bet no school come Wednesday or Thursday now due to the next impending blizzard. I never thought I would be saying 'next blizzard' here in Delaware, and certainly not less than a week after the first one!  We have 27" of snow on the ground right now, and the different meteorologists in the area are predicting anywhere from 8 - 20" with the next storm - and we only need a little over 9" to break the all-time snow record for this area.

Okay, I'm ready for it to be spring after this next storm.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I Won A Quilt!

Omigod! I woke up with the worst headache this morning (no, not a hangover - I made the mistake of drinking hot cocoa last night and then was on a caffeine surge until 1:30am), came downstairs, and my lovely husband had a breakfast burrito and coffee waiting for me. I commandeered the computer from him so I could check my email and blogs (I'm not very nice in the morning) - and I found out that I won Tara's quilt!

Woo-hoo! Go check it out - it's beautiful! I did a little dance around my kitchen singing, "I won a quilt, I won a quilt!" And my headache is gone!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Blizzard Update: 6:30pm

The snow stopped falling around 3:30pm, and all the neighbours headed outside to plow, blow or dig out their driveways. Andrew started at the back sunroom door and moved his way forward - knowing he would have to get through snow this deep:


And then get through the snow drifts that had climbed up our sunroom door:


This is what the hood of my car looked like after Andrew had cleared off some of the snow:


Willow wanted in on the clean up action, too - but I think it was more just playing with the broom, because I can't say a whole lot of snow was moved on her shift!


This was the drift that connected our two cars:


Willow and I played in the snow - at first she was trying to stay dry, but that quickly went along the wayside and she wanted me to throw her into the snowdrifts:


The driveway and sidewalk cleaner - and to give you a clue as to how much snow we had, Andrew is 6'1", and he is wearing work boots that probably bump him up another inch:


I say there was at least 27" - because my inseam is 27", and when I was in the snow, I was up to my parts that don't like to be cold!

Blizzard Update - 10:30am

Yes, this snow drift is coming up three steps and up against our sunroom door:


I think at this point we have close to 2 feet of snow:


My neighbour's bamboo bushes in the backyard are all getting trampled by the heavy snow.

Snowdrifts in my backyard against the house:


Snowdrifts on the other side of the house:


My azalea and flowerbox:

Flowerbox and Azalea

More backyard pictures:


It's snowing heavier now than it was this morning - I'm wondering if we will hit 30 inches by the time the system is done.

Bezzie, want to come over and play?

I was going to say that the following picture was the first thing I saw when I looked outside this morning at 6:30am... but that's not true. Our upstairs window is completely snowed in due to the winds, so the first thing I saw was a wall of snow.

Here's our cars in the snow:

Blizzard 2/6/10 D

The drifts are on the other side, so you don't see much here.

The mountain on top of my mailbox:

Blizzard 2/6/10 C

I don't think the mail is getting delivered today...

Our backyard:

Blizzard 2/6/10 B

The reason the photo looks so blurry is that the winds are whipping around and I couldn't get a clear shot.

My hanging cucumber pot:

Blizzard 2/6/10 A

I think it is kind of funny that Nell in California is planting all the seeds for her garden to be and we are getting buried in snow! And the Vancouver Olympics will be starting very soon and they have no snow at all! I was supposed to go to my friend Lauren's baby shower today, but it has been postponed to next week - but Willow is still due to go to a birthday party today... but, seeing as Governor Markell has declared a state of emergency and no cars are allowed on the roads, I don't think Jeremiah's birthday party is happening today.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Trip Back Home From The Great White North: Day 5

This is a short but sweet one. I didn't spend much time in Ottawa on my fifth day because we had to be at the airport at 7am to get Teri on her flight back to Whitehorse. We did have an interesting taxi ride back to the airport - drove along the Rideau Canal for a long bit and I was amused to see zambonis on the ice - I hadn't even thought about how they kept it clean!

My flight home was very uneventful - and terribly short. I mentioned on my way up the flight took about 90 minutes. Well, we are on the tarmac and the the stewardess is doing her safety protocol and she said something about it being an hour to Philadelphia. I thought she was just mixed up. A few minutes later when we are in the air, the pilot comes on, gives us out cruising altitude, etc. - then tells us we will be in Philadelphia in 55 minutes. I can deal with flights like that!

I was so happy to see Andrew and Willow again - I missed them so much. I even had a treat for Willow:


She had asked for them before I left, and Andrew had told her, "Mommy can't bring timbits home on the plane" because we were still thinking that Transport Canada was holding to the draconian no-carry on luggage rule. Well, they dropped that while I was in Ottawa, so I was able to buy the timbits and bring them home with me. It was funny - I told the Tim Hortons cashier that they were for my daughter, so she stapled the box shut, then wrapped it up in a plastic bag and taped that shut as well... I guess she really didn't want me sneaking any during my flight!

The only other things that Willow had asked for was a t-shirt and a stuffed animal. The T-shirt was easy enough - but I like getting her unusual stuffed animals - and in one of the tourist-y shops in the Byward Market we found some Olympic mascots at half off. They only had Miga (the black and white one) and Sumi (the one in the green outfit) left - and she already had a Miga from our trip to Vancouver Island in the summer - so Sumi it was. I wished I could have bought more of them so she could have a complete set, but they aren't selling them down here.


Willow and her mascots

Teri - I had a wonderful time with you in Ottawa - thank you so much for inviting me. And if you ever have another one of these conferences to attend, please let me know - I'm game!


The red icon in the Day 3 post? It is the symbol for the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Bezzie guessed correctly, so I need to think of a good prize to send to her.

Monday, February 01, 2010

My Trip To The Great White North: Day 4

For the last few days, Teri and I had planned to go to the Canadian Museum of Civilisation over on the Quebecois side of the Ottawa River, and were stymied each time. On Thursday nights the museum (and the National Gallery as well) are free after 5pm, but we were too tired after hitting the National Gallery that day - and then Friday, too tired after doing our Bank Street shopping trip. We were determined to get there on Saturday! We woke up, ate leftover pizza for breakfast, bundled up, and set out to walk across the Alexandria Bridge into Quebec.

Well, we made one wrong turn, but it was worth it to get a snapshot of this handsome fellow:


Some of the sidewalks to the bridge were blocked by construction gates (the bridge will be undergoing a renovation in February), and we ended up on the National Gallery side of the road, walking up a hill - which took us to a neat look out and small ampitheatre with this statue of Samuel Champlain. Looking out in the other direction we saw the back of the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill:


Yes, that water is frozen. I didn't take any pictures of it, but you could see cross-country ski marks on the ice where people have walked across it. And on our way back, we saw people ice fishing on the river. Teri said she wasn't sure she wanted to eat anything that came out of the Ottawa River. On the Quebecois side there was some melting, but I think that was because there were some factories on that side of the river that probably attributed some ambient warmth:


We made our way to the museum, paid our tickets - I believe it was $12, and I think that was well worth the next few hours that we spent at the museum. This museum has exhibits and artifacts from all over the world, but its largest exhibits are those of Canadian First Nations Peoples. We checked in our bundles of coats, and soon saw the most totem poles that I have ever seen in one place outside of Vancouver Island.


The neatest thing about these totem poles is that some of them were old - as in over 150 years old. The fact that they are inside has preserved them and they are beautiful. People who grow up in different parts of North America have different perceptions of what Native Art is, but to me, this is it - this artwork comes from the Coastal Native groups where I grew up and I felt a bit of homesickness seeing it so far away in Quebec.


A close up of one of the carvings - I love the colours in this one:


A cool 3-D carving:


I had to take a picture of this one because in all of the Coast Salish and Haida works I have seen (and the area where my parents live is called the City of Totems and they are everywhere), I have never seen a Native drawing of an owl - this is a seat in a canoe and it is beautiful.


A petroglyph from the West Coast (I couldn't find a plaque saying exactly where it is from, but I know there are petroglyphs on Vancouver Island just outside of Nanaimo):


Anyone who has been to the Vancouver Airport would recognize this statue - the bronze original is there! This is the plaster cast from which the bronze statue was made:


A plaster cast from an orca statue:


A beautiful First Nations painting called "Spirits Waiting Their Turn" - I'm sorry, I didn't get the artist's name.

Spirits waiting their turn

The dogsled team on top of the ticket office:


Me on the coolest motorcyle - this was in the Children's Museum - Willow would have had such a ball here!


We saw two very cool exhibits at the museum that we weren't allowed to take pictures at - the Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan exhibit and the Profit and Ambition exhibit about the Canadian fur trade in the 18th - 19th centuries. The Postal Museum was also very interesting, especially the parts with the letters from soldiers during WWI and WWII.

After making the long walk back into Ontario, we went to Byward Market so Teri could have something she had been clamouring for all week - a beaver tail:

Teri and her Beaver Tail

Looks yummy, doesn't it? It's dough that has been stretched out and fried, then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. You eat it hot - and we had ours with some surprisingly good hot chocolate. Teri said it was damn good thing she had waited to have one of these or she would have had one each day she was here - and I am inclined to agree!

We knew our time in Ottawa was coming to a close, so we did one last round of shopping in the Rideau Centre, went back to the hotel cafe to have paninis for dinner, then went back upstairs to pack for home.

Tomorrow: Day 5 with a short flight, a happy girl, and a treat!