Friday, May 28, 2010

A New Word That Outed Me

After living here in the States for 12+ years, having someone ask me if I was Canadian because of my accent happens less and less frequently.  Every once in a while, however - a new word will pop up and my conversation partner will falter and say, "You're Canadian, aren't you?"  Funny how it almost comes out as an accusation with some people.  In any case - the word?


I can't tell any difference in how I say it versus how Andrew says it - but apparently that one word was enough to paint me as Canadian.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Woo-hoo Me! I Completed a 5K Walk/Run!

Jo's First 5K

Don't I look horrible? Needless to say, I walked the race, not ran it - and it was 90'f(rackin') degrees outside. And I didn't finish last! Trust me - it was close - there were a few people behind me, but that was it. I had horrible shin splints about a third of the way into the race - felt like I was walking flat-footed for a while until we hit the bridge and hill and I was able to naturally flex my knee and ankle while walking. I listened to music from Glee the whole time to keep me hopping, and sweated buckets - if I don't lose weight this week at Weight Watchers I am going to be might unhappy!

I was a little peeved at the people who took shortcuts - this race was held at my work's campus, and the route basically followed the perimeter of the property. There is a road that bisects the buildings, and there were lots of people who skipped the last leg of the race and joined up again about 100 yards from the finish line. I wouldn't have noticed except there was this one woman I had been using as a pacer and I knew I had passed her about three-quarters the way through and then all of a sudden she was ahead of me again.

And I have to say that I have so much more respect for my Dad's accomplishment of finishing the The Great Lake Walk last year. I struggled with 5K, and Dad and his friends completed a 56K walk in one day! I hope to be able to do this again soon - and next time not get shin splints!

Monday, May 24, 2010

CSA Shares.... Week I Don't Remember

Sorry!  I missed a few weeks of showing you pictures of our CSA shares - between me going away for a few weekends and everything else - things were a little harried.

We're starting to get into the fruit!  Let's see - from L - R: kale, carrots, onions, potatoes, asparagus, lettuce, strawberries, beets, broccoli, cilantro, and more potatoes.  Last week there was mint leaves in the CSA shares and I dutifully made mojitos with it (couldn't let it got to waste!).

The strawberries lasted all of five minutes when we got home - between Andrew and Willow.  Me... well, let's say when you come from the Berry Capital of Canada and spent many summers as a teen picking berries, you start to lose your enthusiasm for them.  And picking strawberries is so much harder on your back than picking raspberries, blueberries or blackberries.  I'll take cherries over other berries any day of the week.  I can't wait until later in the summer - the farm we pick up our CSA shares at has peach trees all over its property - I love peaches, too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Father-In-Law's Favourite Rhododendrons


My father-in-law tells me that these is his favourite rhododendron in his garden. It's a deceptive flower - look how delicate the spots are and the beautiful cerise shading on the outside of the petals. All this blanches away once the flowers get full sunlight, leaving bright white flowers in its place.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getaway: Day Three

We woke up Sunday morning to a perceptively cooler day - the weather was hardpressed to make it into the 60s, nowhere near the mid-80s of the day before. We got dressed, packed up the hotel room, then went out for breakfast at the Robin Hood diner. After breakfast we went out and did my final favourite boardwalk walk for weekend.


I know I didn't capture these colours properly - but right in front of me were two of my favourite colours - a teal blue (of the water) and lime/grass green (of the grass). Willow insisted on getting in on the action as well:


We walked around until we found an open coffee shop so I could have my requisite vanilla latte. I'm weird about coffee - I like it doctored a very particular way with fat free vanilla creamer and if I can't have it like that (basically anywhere other than home or the office), I will forgo coffee and have a vanilla latte instead. But the Robin Hood Diner, while providing a great breakfast, did not offer lattes.


On route to the Coffee Mill, we passed a high end toy shop (I forgot to make note of the name, but it is right next door to the Coffee Mill!) that had all these knitted toys in the mini-bay windows:




Aren't they adorable? Andrew was trying to convince me to knit these as well, but I have absolutely no interest. I detest colourwork, and the toys look like they have a lot of it. Somebody else can do it - I will just admire it.

We had a wonderful time at Rehoboth Beach - and it was just icing on the cake that this was Mother's Day and I was between some heavy deadlines at work, so the rest, sun, alcohol(!), and family time were deeply appreciated and needed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getaway: Day 2

And this is what we woke up to Saturday morning:


So beautiful and peaceful! I would love to wake up to that every morning. We walked down to a coffee shop for breakfast, and Willow found this dolphin to cuddle. This picture is for Tara - to prove to her that Willow still wears the skirt Tara made for her (the flouncy capri pants are too snug now, though!)


I found this pretty rose outside the coffee shop - I love how there is a single bloom in front of all the over-blown roses.


After breakfast we went for a walk along the boardwalk and I spied my dream house - although I think I would have to win a lottery or two in order to afford it. I love all the windows facing the ocean.


After our long walk the weather was still holding up (the weatherman had predicted a doozy of a storm in the afternoon) so we decided to park ourselves on the beach and play in the sun a bit. As you can see the beach wasn't that crowded - even though it got to be about 85'F by afternoon.


Here is Willow building herself a sandcastle:


Later in the afternoon we moseyed on down to Kitschy Stitch, and I picked up these lovelies:


TLS Dover sport weight sock yarn in 'Crushed Candies.'


Dragonfly Fibers Sock yarn in 'Villainess' - and I have to say, I bought it entirely because of the name. Ali, Kitschy Stitch's very gracious owner, said both of these were from local Delaware vendors, so I was quite pleased with that. I also bought some yarn and a sweater pattern - but that will get a post of its own.

The storm hadn't hit yet, but looked imminent, so we decided to hit the Tanger Outlet stores, where Willow rode a harley:


She hasn't lost her enthusiasm for these coin rides - even though she is bigger than most of them now. In the end, the storm never materialized, and it was lovely all day. We had dinner at Jake's Seafood on Baltimore Avenue, walked along the boardwalk again in twilight - and were treated to the sight of the girls of Cape Henlopen High School in their prom dresses taking pictures on the beach.

Tomorrow - more peaceful walks and a very happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getaway: Day 1

How fabulous is it when you check into your hotel room, open up the balcony doors, and this is what you see:


Balcony view from room 309 at the Atlantic Sands Hotel

A few months ago we decided that we wanted to spend the weekend in Rehoboth Beach again. We had such a great time in April 2009 when we spent the weekend here - unseasonably hot weather, great beer and food - that we booked our hotel for the last available weekend before the high season started.

We arrived Friday night around 7:30pm, dropped our bags in the hotel room, and rushed down the street to Dogfish Head Brewery to have dinner and drink beer:


Okay - so Willow wasn't drinking the beer - but I was:


This time I tried the Shelter Pale Ale and the 60 minute IPA - and I have to say that I really liked the Shelter Pale Ale. I really wish that Dogfish Head had a pub up here in Wilmington so we could try out their stuff more often - it is always a must stop when we stay at the beach.

After dinner we walked back down to the boardwalk where I snapped this picture of Willow on the beach:


She's getting so damn big. Would you believe she is less than 8 inches shorter than me now? Mind you, I'm not quite 5 feet tall, but it is quite disconcerting to have that height differential get smaller and smaller.

Tomorrow: Playing on the beach, dream homes, and yarn shopping!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pretty Placeholder


Isn't this a beautiful rhododendron bud? From my father-in-law's garden, of course.


I took so many pictures this weekend - please accept this one as a pretty placeholder until I can write blog posts for the others!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool Recap

I kept meaning to do this recap earlier in the week, but time gets away from me way too easily. I think my brain was fried with that 90'F heat and 87% humidity (oh, I kid you not...)... but, no matter how bad I was feeling, these babies had it worse than me:


These kids, too:


Nobody wanted to move. To make matters worse (better?), the festival was crowded like I have never seen it before. When we left, not only was the entire parking field full, but people had started to park in the fields across the street. Despite the steamy masses, I did run into some friends:


(L-R Chris, Bezzie, and me)

I don't know how coherent I was - we had been at the festival for about three hours at that time and the heat was really getting to me. It had also just started occuring to me that with every skein of yarn I was buying and tossing into my backpack I was further insulating my already overheated self.

I also ran into Cristi early on, who was wearing her fabulous striped cardigan - but she was making a beeline for the t-shirt booths to get a tank top to beat the heat.

So, wanna see what I bought? My rule with buying stuff at festivals is that I don't buy stuff that I can either a) get at my LYS, and/or b) can easily order online. That second one is a tricky one - but has more to do with known quantities - I mean, I can buy Malabrigo so many places online, and I know what the yarn will feel and knit up like. At festivals I am going to come across stuff I have seen online, but may have never touched or knit with before. Anyway, without further ado:


Sock yarn from Ellen's Half-Pint Farm. It doesn't have a tag, so I am not entirely sure what is in it, but it is going to knit up in stripes of solid-ish red and a pink/orange/yellow variegated. This was the last skein I bought, and probably my favourite of the bunch.


Burgundy-rose superwash merino sock yarn from the Barefoot Spinner. I bought yarn from her last year and made my Cucumber Socks out of them - gorgeous saturation of colour.


Rock Creek Yarn superwash merino in 'Granny Apple.' Such a happy colour! I think I need to get myself a t-shirt now to match the socks I will make out of this yarn.

And two from Brooks Farms sale bin:


Solo Silk blend in a mango/pink/red/burgundy mix.


Brooks Farm Solo Silk in a pretty pink/beige. I actually have a plan for this one. My company sponsors a breast cancer walk in the fall, and the knitting group at work (yes - there is one - the knit for charity) is knitting pink scarves for the people walking in the breast cancer walk. I am now looking for some appropriate patterns - I want something lacy, but not overly complicated - maybe a 4-5 row repeat at best.


The Wool Chef Superwash Sock in 'Blue Hawaii.' I am not sure why this one pulled me in - I am not really a purple-y kind of person, but I really liked this skein.

I did have a good time - but I have to say - there were some examples of extreme asshattery abounding. Like the women ahead of me in line who were complaining about the number of handicapped parking spaces. As in they thought there were way too many - "Obviously there aren't that many handicapped people here." Or the other women (you know, maybe the unbearable heat was just making everyone catty!) ahead of me in line who were loudly exclaiming (and in complete earshot of the objects of their derision) that then men in kilts looked ridiculous. I thought they looked fine - if you've got nice legs, men - by all means let us see them!

And my personal victory? I didn't spill any food on my clothes! If you know me in person, you know that every year I manage to spill something on myself. Of course, I may have looked like a twit hunched over at a 90' angle eating my lamb pita sandwich, but I am VICTORIOUS!

And I will be back next year for more!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Willow Chagall

Last week I attended Willow's first art show - and if she had her way, it would be the first of many. Willow's art teacher sent me a note saying that one of Willow's paintings had been chosen for a district-wide art show, and that Willow's painting was based on the works of Marc Chagall. I was more familar with his stained glass windows, but it turns out that it was based more on this line of work.

Here is the young artist with her masterpiece:


And a close up of her work:


And this one (from some kids at Lancashire Elementary) just because it amused me -


It's a Bunch of Screams!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sorry, Dad!


This is what we are all doing now - it was a very busy week and even busier weekend -a real post will be coming soon. In the meantime, I'm trying to shake off the heat of the day so I can salvage some sleep - 90'F days in the beginning of May are nasty.